Posted in creativity, Discernment, Empowerment, Faith, Holy Spirit, Raised Catholic

What is You Magic? Part 3

Each and every one of us has been uniquely and creatively gifted to be a vessel through which LOVE is made manifest in our world.   In service to this unique giftedness, we have also been blessed with a certain kind of magic which allows these gifts to be used in service to the betterment of the world and in ways that are no less than miraculous.  In the Catholic tradition in which I was raised, this magic is referred to as charisms, known in other traditions as spiritual gifts or in the yogic tradition as siddhis. This is part 3 of an ongoing exploration.  Read Part 2 HERE, and Part 1 HERE.  Today we will explore the charisms of faith, giving and healing.

Mary Jo Copeland - and the charism of giving
Mary Jo Copeland – and the charism of giving

Faith

St. Paul said, “Faith is the realization of things hoped for and evidence of things unseen.” (Hebrews 11:1)  Faith as a spiritual gift is possessed by those who have an unusual ability to trust in the love, power and goodness of God and who as a result of this level of trust, experience a remarkable proportion of inner freedom to act on this trust.  Faith in this form allows us to BELIEVE that God is working for our highest good in all things and to act on this believe, often without physical proof or anything else, for that matter, on which to base this belief – except our belief in God.  The proof of this faith arises in the accomplishments of these faith-filled people who are somehow able to accomplish big visions with no visible means of support because they have believed that God would provide – and miraculously, God does.

Giving

When I think of the charism of giving, I am drawn to the life of Mary Jo Copeland.  I attended elementary and middle school with Mary Jo’s children and were mutual parishioners at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Brooklyn Center, MN.  Mary Jo is the founder of Sharing and Caring Hands in downtown Minneapolis which serves the needs of the urban poor.  Mary Jo is the perfect example of the charism of giving.  Mary Jo’s exceptional generosity to the community and to the people she serves is demonstrated not only in the services provided through her ministry but is perhaps best exemplified by the tender care she offers to those she ministers to through loving touch.  The charism of giving is known by the heartfelt desire to give of ones resources in support of others, typically in enormously generous ways.

Healing

As a Reiki Master Practitioner, I have often wondered if the charism of healing is one of my gifts.  Humbly, I must admit that it is not.  Yes, I provide a healing ministry, but the charism of healing goes beyond the work that I have seen accomplished in the hands-on-healing sessions I have facilitated.  Yes, there have been a few instances of miraculous results, but one who possesses the charism of healing witnesses results far greater than mine.  Specifically – the charism of healing is known by a curing of illness and a restoration of health where healing was unlikely to occur quickly or to happen at all.  It is this remarkable and miraculous healing that distinguishes the charism of healing from other charisms which may support the healing process such as encouragement, hospitality or mercy.

Posted in Inspiration, Lessons, teachers

What We Have Is To Be Shared

Today’s blog examines the idea that if we want to receive, we have to give. 

Conversations with God

Yesterday I was listening to a talk given by author Neale Donald Walsch of Conversations with God fame.  I have been a fan of Neale’s work since his first book was released.  I love his writing, the philosophy that emerges out of him and his humble and gentle nature.  Neale said something in yesterday’s talk that hit me right between the eyes.  He said that if we want to receive something in our life, we first need to give that same something to another.  In other words, if we want hospitality, welcome, friendship, compassion, love, humility, acceptance, understanding, tolerance; we need to be hospitable, welcoming, friendly, etc. to another.  Then he extrapolated on this idea to the field of money…an issue around which I have recently been struggling…..and my brain exploded.  My attitude about money, prosperity, abundance, wealth was all wrong.  Actually, my attitude isn’t really wrong, I was just thinking about it the wrong way.  Of course, I don’t want money for my own sake…..I want the freedom that prosperity gives us to support others.  I don’t want money for myself, I want money to give it away – exactly the attitude Neale says we need in order that we may receive.  I am now thinking about money in a different way……who do I want to and who can I help?  I think of the amazing editor who has journeyed with me through three books and who I want to provide with a living wage.  I think of the graphic designer who charges me WAY TOO LITTLE for the cover art she has provided me for my books.  I think of the graphic designer who is doing the interior of my next two books in trade for classes.  I think of the orthodontist who will be equipping my son with braces, the heating and electric company who provides comfort for my home, the farmers who grew my food, the physicians who help to keep us well, the men and women who work on the oil rigs providing fuel for my car.  Every penny I make is to help support the life and well-being of a whole slew of people.  And….I’m glad to play a role in the care and feeding of others.  And in the spirit of this little tweek in my personal intention around prosperity, abundance and money…..this is the Psalm that I wrote while sharing my gifts with the small group of people that gather for contemplative prayer and discussion every Sunday night:

R:  All the Lord gives me is gift to be shared.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Abundant are God’s gifts and I am grateful.

R:  All the Lord gives me is gift to be shared.

I see before me all who hunger and thirst for God.

I offer what God has given me that all may be fed.

R:  All the Lord gives me is gift to be shared.

As the smallest seed produces abundant yield,

So shall the word of God that goes forth from my lips.

R:  All the Lord gives me is gift to be shared.

Though I am too young and slow of speech,

A cracked pot and a broken vessel,

The Lord can work the good in me.

R:  All the Lord gives me is gift to be shared.

Full of wonder and awe in the Lord

I take not for myself, but so others may live.

R:  All the Lord gives me is gift to be shared.

What are you being invited to give so that you may receive?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

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Posted in Authentic Freedom, Empowerment, Faith

Effortless Generosity

In today’s blog, we explore faith and good works and the effortless nature of giving when we know and trust in God.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?

Can that faith save him?

If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them,

“Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?

So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

James 2: 14-16

The Fear that Keeps us from Giving

In my book, Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy, I address the very topic explored in James’ epistle above.  I do not directly relate giving to faith, but in essence that is what we are talking about.  We begin by exploring the first of the seven spiritual fears, there is not enough and how this fear causes us to gather to ourselves more than what we need through the compulsion of gluttony and how we fail to share our resources with others because of this fear.  As we allow this fear to be healed within us, we find that we naturally and effortlessly share our resources with others through the virtue of generosity.  At the end of the day, it is FAITH that allows us to be healed of this wound so that we can freely and generously share what we have with those who have not.  Generosity is our faith in action – and demonstrates how much we really believe in the truth of an abundant God.  When we know that our needs are being abundantly met, then we are free to give to others.  But here is the really cool thing….when we have faith and trust in God, we give to others even when it doesn’t seem as if we have enough to give….in other words, we don’t just give from our surplus, we give from what we might need to survive.  This is true generosity.

Fake it til you Make it

Faith,  however, is not always an easy thing to accomplish.  Whether it is due to our upbringing, our education or religious indoctrinization or just our personal temperment, sometimes we just simply struggle to BELIEVE.  When we don’t believe, generous giving might be a challenge.  But, there is something really magical that happens when we are generous with our resources – regardless of our faith.  There is a universal law of nature that when we give, we get back 100 fold.  I know, it is a leap of faith to believe in this “law” but sometimes faking it (the belief part) and giving anyway has the miraculous effect of establishing within us the foundations of faith.  We might call this, “Fake it til you make it.”  In other words…..give to others when you see they are in need and see what happens in your own life.  Take that $10.00 bill out of your pocket and give it to the homeless guy…just because….and regardless of whether he really needs it or not and whether or not he might use it to buy alcohol or drugs.  Just give it…without condition, without expectation, without judgment……and see what happens.  See if you don’t find something you have needed suddenly showing up in an amazing, wonderful and unexpected way.  Give and see what comes back to you….and let this be the seeds of faith.

The Generosity Challenge

There are  two fabulous resources I have found to help us in this journey toward being an effortlessly generous human beings.  The first, of course, is my book, Authentic Freedom.  🙂  The second is a project called The 29 Day Giving Challenge.   This project is based on the founder’s (Cami Walker) experience of giving and how it freed her from the symptoms of an MS flareup.   Check out her website for details on the project and to get involved if you feel so called.

How Authentic Freedom Ministries is meeting this challenge

In the spirit of faith and generosity, I am pleased to share with you that Authentic Freedom Ministries is putting its resources (not just money), where its mouth is.  What good is all the work we do at Authentic Freedom Ministries if we are not giving back?  Believing in the abundance of God and wanting to freely and generously share our resources, we have recently entered into a community partnership arrangement with one of the local high schools.  Thanks to this partnership, we will be one source of support for the needs of the student and teaching populations of Oshkosh North High School.  With 47% of the student population qualifying for free and reduced lunches and with the continually decreasing resources available to teachers, Oshkosh North High School is in a state of great need.  We will be providing financial, material, networking as well as volunteer support as needed and as we are able.  We hope that this partnership becomes a model and a source of inspiration for other local businesses to follow.

How are you being called to share your gifts and resources in service to humankind?

Where does the fear there is not enough prevent you from giving?

How are you being invited to fake it til you make it?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com