Posted in Authentic Freedom, Divine Revelation, Faith, Spiritual Practices, Truth, Virtual Church

Follow that Star – the Journey of Faith

Dear readers, please note that this is the last FREE issue of the Agape Meditation Newsletter, supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church.  Starting next week, the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church service and accompanying meditation newsletter will be available by subscription only for a very nominal fee.  For the price of one large cappuccino a week, you will receive the service, newsletter and the bi-weekly Superhero Academy Report.  To secure your subscription, subscribe HERE:

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Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter – Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service – Feast of Epiphany

 

Scripture Readings:

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel.” Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.” After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.

Mt 2: 1-12

 

Additional Readings:

Is 60: 1-6

Ps 72: 1-2, 7-8, 10-13

Eph 3: 2-3a, 5-6

 star-of-bethlehem-large

Following a Star

“ A prophet is not someone who first had an idea.

A prophet is the one to first believe in it – and take it to its conclusion.”

– Taleb

The story of the three magi is ultimately a story about faith. Legend suggests that the magi were astronomers – learned men who were taught how to read and interpret the movement of the stars. In watching and observing the stars, they saw something that suggested to them that something magnificent was happening. There was no way of explaining how, why or what the “something magnificent” might be, but whatever it was the magi saw, compelled them to follow the star. They had no idea where the star might lead them or what the outcome of their journey might be, but what they discovered at the end of their journey was far beyond what they could have imagined themselves – the birth of LOVE in the world.

The magi provide for us a model and an example of faith. Each and every one of us are gifted at least once (but for most it is MANY) in our lifetimes with a STAR – something that shows up seemingly out of nowhere – twinkling and sparkling and urging us on in search of something. Often, we don’t know what that something is – only that we have to follow our urging. Following that urging brings us through many life experiences – easy pathways and some that seem treacherous. But like the magi, we are compelled to continue on. Faith is what compels us and what allows us to continue searching in spite of the many obstacles to the search that may arise. We may take a detour from our path because the path feels fearful, or we are not yet ready to let go of the things we cling to that would allow us to receive the gift at the end of the star. But Faith, eventually draws us back on course and toward the destination – ultimately of our Soul. Faith is not something that happens by our effort, but is instead the imprint of our Soul’s Purpose leading us home. Yes, we can deny the calling of our Soul – but there are consequences to this choice – desolation, despair, loneliness and even physical illness and pain. Faith will win in the end and we have a choice as to whether we experience the gift of the star in this life or if we have to wait until the moment of our death.

What is the star that has shown up in your life?

How are you following the star that is leading to the birth of love in your own life?

What role is faith playing in your journey with the star?

 

Spiritual Practices – Time Line

Chances are that you have already experienced one, if not many, stars in your lifetime which have shown up to lead you to greater and greater experiences of love, meaning, purpose and fulfillment. As hindsight is 20/20, it is often helpful to look back in order that we may look forward to the current stars which are calling to us and leading us toward even greater joy.

On a blank sheet of paper, draw a horizontal line. Place a zero at the beginning of the line and your current age on the end of the line. Reflect back on your life and take note of where “stars” showed up in your life. What were the situations, experiences, conversations that awakened you to a new sense of calling, that provoked you to explore making a change in your life, urged you to begin a new search. Mark those situations, etc. on the line and the age you were when they appeared. Choose one of the stars and go back and imagine in detail all the circumstances that surrounded the appearance of the star and the journey it took you on. Take the story all the way to its conclusion and all the details surrounding the process of getting there (if it has been concluded). If the story has not yet come to its conclusion, bring it into the current time and imagine for yourself what the outcome might be – or better yet, invite God to show you what the outcome might look like.

Write down the story of this star and its conclusion or imagined conclusion.

Reflect on what you have written and experienced. What role did faith play in this journey?

 

Authentic Freedom

This week, instead of expounding upon how the story of the magi fits into Authentic Freedom, I am offering you an opportunity to experience a two living examples of Authentic Freedom as experienced through modern-day individuals – Mahatma Gandhi and The Fourteenth Dalai Lama. Two spectacular movies have been made which represent the way in which both of these men lived Authentic Freedom – Gandhi and Kundun. This weekend, go to your local library or video store and watch one of these movies, or watch them on Amazon Prime or YouTube (links below).

 

Gandhi – http://www.amazon.com/Gandhi-Ben-Kingsley/dp/B00190N4E4/ref=sr_1_2?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1420032966&sr=1-2&keywords=gandhi+movie

 

Kundun – Part 1 of 7 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8auIjicuK-U

 

 

 

Posted in Divine Revelation, Spiritual Practices

How God Speaks Through Our Imagination

Today’s blog comes to us through Kristen Moss.  Kristen attended the inaugural Authentic Freedom Ministries Sunday Service.  Using the story of the Epiphany, the star and the Magi from the East, I invited the participants to engage daydreaming as prayer through the meditation practice known as Imagination/Contemplation. Through this practice, you place yourself within the context of a scriptural narrative and imagine the story unfolding in your mind through the perspective of one of the characters.  The “character” that spoke to Kristen was the Star, and this is what it said:

After reflecting on a reading from the Gospel of Matthew 2:1-12, we picked something from the story that we related to and meditated on it. I was drawn to the North Star.
The Star’s Message to Humanity
“I am the North Star. I light the way for many people as well as other entities. I, with the guidance of others; “Guardians of Light”, we pass along great messages of peace, love and wisdom. Fear not, my friend, worry not of the other beings you fear will do you harm. We are the “Bringers of Light”, part of a glowing and powerful group of galaxies, constellations, stars and planets. Many of you humans have forgotten that your planet, Mother Earth, is a living and breathing place that must be loved, must be cared for… must not be misused or abused. We see what is being done… the hate and fear that humans breed… the lack of respect for your home~ Earth~.

We see how this planet is crying out for you to stop all the harm and to come back into the space of love and understanding. Do you not see that Mother Earth is a reflection of you? She mirrors your human behaviors… send Her love and gratefulness; she, in return, will love and provide abundance for you in all ways… now is the time to remember… don’t forget!

I, the north star, along with my astial brothers and sisters, watch with great awe as well as sadness. We know the potential you are all capable of. We see your future and know that many great and wonderful things await you and your planet.

Many others have been observing you all as well, some more than others. Most come here with the intent to assist your people (humans) in the shift in human consiousness, the shift that greatly will affect your earth home in a wonderfully, loving way.

We stars love and protect you.. we guide you, we assist in your spiritual development. We gather together in our own ways, astral collective gatherings of Light and Love. We assist all that are within all of the billions of galaxies here and well beyond”….

What is the star saying to you?

How have you been open to the Divine speaking to you through your imagination?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in About Lauri, church, Discernment

Saying Yes To God

http://www.ishalerner.com

Dear Readers,

I want to thank you for being a loving and supportive witness as I have moved through this past year of listening and attempting to discern God’s call for me in my life – specifically in this year of dramatic change (divorce, etc.).  Today is the day I step into what I can best discern as God’s invitation for me to step more fully into my call/role of “priest.”  I hesitate to even use that word because of the negative connotations this word brings up for many, and for fear of being caught up in my own compulsion of pride.  When I use the word “priest” here, what I really mean is VESSEL – specifically, a vessel through which other people are empowered to:

REMEMBER the Love that they Are

And I do this through the sharing of my own gifts and the tools that I have gathered along the way that help us to come to know ourselves more fully, to come to know God more fully and to identify, name, claim, cultivate and eventually share our own unique gifts in the world.

So, as the Authentic Freedom Ministry team launches our Sunday services, I thank you.  I thank you for listening, for holding space, for accompanying us on this journey….and I thank you for your thoughts and prayers of support.   And today, I have a special request – I ask that as we create a space of contempative worship, that you hold us in your prayers…..and more importantly, that you hold in prayer those who feel called to join us for contemplative worship this evening and in the days and weeks ahead.  For twenty years I have observed the dramatic transformation and healing that takes place in people when they allow themselves to be open to the contemplative journey, and I expect the same to take place in the minds and hearts of those who will find their way to our Sunday gatherings.  So I too, will hold them in prayer.

Blessings to you as we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany…..the day when three dudes from the East recognized the miraculous Presence of the Divine in a star, had the faith to follow that star to destinations unknown and who discovered the love of God in the heart of a child.

In love and light,

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com