Posted in divine mother

Discovering the Goddess through Biblical Women

woman of bible pixabay course icon

30 Lessons for only $30! 

For over 2000 years, the bible has been interpreted through the lens of the patriarchal, hierarchical male. Not anymore! Through this course, Discovering the Goddess through Biblical Women, Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, MATS, peels back the veil of patriarchy, revealing the presence of the Goddess in the archetypal roles played by biblical women throughout HERstory.

Each day, through the duration of the course, you will receive a brief history of a great woman of biblical history, along with reflections on how these women provide powerful examples and models for each of us to follow.  You will meet and spend time with thirty different women of the Judeo-Christian scripture, beginning with Eve – Mother of All the Living and concluding with Mary Magdalene – Priestess and Beloved of Christ. These are women who have endured struggle, tragedy, violence, heartbreak, and who have been victors in the end.  Whether they died for their cause (Lot’s wife) or became a queen (Esther), they were powerful women who reveal the face of the Goddess. Through these biblical women, we see the Goddess, in seeing the Goddess, we begin to see ourselves. In viewing the biblical women in this way, we have an opportunity to rescue these women from HIStory and shed new light on their stories, this time, as Goddesses in their own right.

REGISTER HERE! 

Posted in Inspiration, Superheroes, world changes

He Who Holds the Gold

Today’s blog continues the discussion about authority, and specifically addresses the question:  Who will actually help to bring about change?  In short – it will NOT be the one who currently holds the gold.

GalacticFederation

He who holds the gold…

There is an old saying, “He who holds the gold makes the rules.”  Historically, there has been something very true about this statement.  Those with power and control are those making the rules.  We, the peons who work our butts off so that those in power can remain in power, are then expected to KEEP QUIET, DO WHAT WE ARE TOLD, SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP.  In the U.S., for example,  our government was initially set up so that we, the peons, would actually have power and control through the work of the officials we elect to represent us in policy making decisions.  Well…..those days are long gone!  These days are so long gone, in fact, that it isn’t even our elected officials who are making the decisions, but powerful corporations and special interest groups who are coercing and sometimes paying for decisions to be made in their interest….not in the interest of the American people, and surely not in the interest of the larger global community.

Too much to lose

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that the rules generated by those holding the gold are no longer working. In fact, if we continue on the current trajectory the very survival of our species is in question. This is true in all institutional arrangements – government, corporate, religious, education, medicine, banking, etc. And, this current arrangement which is working really well for those in power and control, but not working at all for the general population or the larger global community, is not about to change – not at the hands of those in power and control anyway.  Those who are currently holding the gold have too much to lose because in the current paradigm, they are (typically the only) the ones reaping the benefits of a hierarchical/patriarchal institutional structure ruling mostly through intimidation and fear.  (note, this intimidation and fear can be very subtle and insidious…..have you paid attention to advertising for example, all designed to make us feel we aren’t enough, don’t have enough, and that we won’t be loved and accepted if we don’t have said advertised product.)

The Power of a few (who are in fact, the majority)

I am not without hope, however.  For the REAL power, you see, is in OUR hands.  “The tired, the poor, the huddled masses,” and masses we are.  We, the peons, far outnumber those who are in power.  The problem is that we have remained silent for far too long!  We have bought into the manipulations of those in power and control and in doing so, we have lost our voice.  Well, we don’t need to be silent any longer.  In fact, our very survival depends on our ability to find our voices and SPEAK on behalf of the real needs of our world.  What we don’t need is to know what Kim Kardashian wore to the grocery today, the “next best Apple device,” the “guaranteed weight loss cure,” to “lose ten years off our face through expensive and unnecessary cosmetic surgery.”  We also don’t need to wage another war, plant another crop laden with genetically altered seeds, kill another honeybee, destroy another piece of land through fracking, kill off another species or allow another human being to go hungry or homeless.  Instead, what we need are:

1) to feel safe in our world

2) to discover our own uniquely creative contribution to bettering our world and finding fulfillment through this contribution

3) to feel empowered toward making positive change

4) to know that we are loved and accepted for who we are

5) to have the freedom to express our truths

6) to feel confident in making prudent decisions reflective of our own unique place in the world

7) to know that we are not alone

It starts with you

The process of facilitating positive change in the world begins with ourselves.  First, through our own process of self-discovery and self-actualization, we need to find the fulfillment of the above needs within ourselves.  Once we have identified our own uniquely creative gifts, THEN it is our job to SHARE THEM.  And when we all come together in sharing our uniquely creative gifts, change can’t help but happen.  The good news is that we have a whole history of positive change movements led by authentically powerful leaders who have first done this inner work themselves, and then empowered others to do the same – St. Francis of Assisi, Teresa of Avila, Martin Luther, Dorothy Day, Oscar Romero, Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. oh yeah….the Buddha, Moses, Mohammed, Jesus, etc. etc. etc.  Positive change starts with one person taking care of their own inner needs, then inviting others to do the same.  And sometimes, when a group of people gather with this common intention….amazing things start to happen and then suddenly someone else is holding the gold and generously sharing it with others.

If you are interesting in being a part of positive change, join us for The New Superheroes:

Mondays

6:30 – 8:30 pm

Oshkosh, WI

or join us on-line through the weekly Superhero Report.

To learn more, click HERE. 

 

Posted in End of the World Prophecies, Inspiration, Jesus, Lessons, Uncategorized, women, world changes

Authentic and Effective “Authority”

Today’s blog addresses the current stage of our human evolution which is quickly (and not so peacefully) replacing hierarchical, patriarchal authority with something of another sort all together.  As we witness the destruction of all that has been founded on the patriarchal/hierarchical/power-over model, we must ask the question, what will authority look like in the new world?  Well, it is probably already happening right underneath our noses. 

It’s a man’s world, white male privilege, women acting like patriarchal men, and the glass ceiling

Having worked in the patriarchy of all patriarchies and the hierarchy of all hierarchies (the Catholic Church) and having lived 10 years before that as a peon in corporate America, I have first-had knowledge and experience of what DOES NOT work in the form of leadership.  And it goes something like this:

“I’m the boss (most often male, or a woman acting like a man) and you will do what I tell you to do.  Period.  And don’t you dare to question or challenge me or there will be hell (sometimes literally) to pay!”

This is usually followed up with an unspoken, “Do as I say but not as I do” attitude.

Top-down leadership, driven by power and control, most often motivated through intimidation and fear, covered over with a lot of hypocrisy.  Then the “boss” runs off on his pleasure trip of China and the Far East while the peons are left behind making WAY  less than “the boss,” if they are getting paid at all (as often happens in the Church).

As anyone who is not in these positions of power and privilege can attest, this form of leadership DOES NOT WORK.  In short, this is NOT how you get happy, healthy employees, enthusiastically willing to share their gifts and talents in service to the corporate/Church mission.  Instead, you get disgruntled, unhappy, frustrated, anxiety ridden employees, just trying to make ends meet in a dog-eat-dog world, daydreaming about how they might stab you (the boss) in the back.

Times are a changin’

The good news is that this model of leadership is dying….and quickly.  While it may not look like it – as our government ( GUILTY) plunges into more and more corruption, corporations are quickly trying to destroy the world (Monsanto, Military contractors, the Koch brothers, Big Oil, AMA, FDA, APA, and all the other alphabet soup companies) and the Church chases after women religious instead of cleaning up their own act – it IS happening.  The more a new paradigm of authority peeks out its compassionate head, the more tightly those structures built on power and control cling to their power.  This situation is very much like what my mother used to say about cleaning the kitchen, “The kitchen will get dirtier first before it starts getting clean.”

AnimaAnimus

A new model of authority

The new model of authority, is really not so new.  In fact, I believe it is exactly the kind of authority modeled by Jesus.  Instead of a model based on power and control, top-down leadership, driven by intimidation and fear, what Jesus modeled was leadership based in SERVICE and SUPPORT.  Jesus led, not by telling people what to do.  Instead, he showed them through his own actions.  And then, he supported them in doing the same.  Jesus didn’t motivate people through fear.  Instead, he showed them unconditional love and compassion.  He helped them to love themselves in the same way and in doing so, helped them to uncover their unique giftedness, and then through his gentle encouragement and healing presence, helped them to heal the fears that were obstacles to fully utilizing those gifts.  Then, Jesus empowered them to use their gifts in service to the betterment of the world.  Instead of a hierarchical model of leadership, what Jesus modeled was one that doesn’t even have a name – one in which the leader stands beneath those he/she leads, upholding them in becoming a leader in their own right.  And guess what, in Jesus’ model of leadership, women are given the same service and support as men and are empowered to fulfill their own magnificence – while honoring their own way of being female – in other words, in Jesus’ model, women don’t have to become like hierarchical men in order to find success.  Oh yeah….and if we apply Jesus’ model of leadership to our current means of exchange, everyone is getting paid a just wage.

What model of authority would you like to see in the new world?

Posted in church, Discernment, Empowerment, Freedom, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Raised Catholic, world changes

Priest in a Post-Modern World

Yesterday, I began the discussion on charisms by asking the question, “What is your magic?”  In the next several posts, we will be exploring spiritual gifts (as they are defined by the Catholic faith in which I was raised), ultimately with the hope of giving you some tools to assist you in your own discernment.  What is your magic?  Today, I am going to press pause on that exploration to share a bit about my own discernment around this question and the answer that keeps showing up – and one I most often believe I can do nothing about.  With the assistance of today’s blog, I hope to change that!

LauriPriest

So…here it is.  I am called to be a priest and have been given every charism to fulfill this vocation.  I am a fantastic presider (I just officiated my brother’s wedding and was confirmed in this gift).  It has been reflected to me that when proclaiming the Word, people are moved and that I’m an adequate preacher.  I have been given the gift of healing through the ministry of hands-on-healing and spiritual direction.  I have been given the gifts of faith, leadership, pastoring, teaching, knowledge, and wisdom.  I have even learned to accept voluntary poverty and celibacy(ahem…not by my choice!).  I know that I have been a source of encouragement and many have reflected on my most obvious charism which is discernment of spirits.  Oh yeah, and I seem to know how to write and am rarely without inspiration in this regard.  So……God gave me all the gifts to be not just an adequate priest, but an amazing one!  Unfortunately, God put me in a place where I have been unable to respond to this call.  In the Catholic Church in which I was raised and where my heart still remains, there is no place for women called to the priesthood.  So, the question is, how is one supposed to respond to that call to be priest when the Church they love cannot accept their gifts (even if I am no longer worshipping there….and that is a whole other story)?

Sure, I could change teams and seek ordination through another faith, but that does not resonate with my truth because even bigger than my issues with Catholicism are my issues with patriarchal, hierarchical institutions.  No, I’m not some rabid, militant feminist who hates men.  In fact, I adore men.  However, I am deeply troubled by the separation, power, control and manipulation through fear that has been promulgated by many (if not most) patriarchal, hierarchical institutions.  And, I don’t believe there is one church, corporation, educational institution, medical, government institution that is not guilty of using their hierarchical, patriarchal power to uplift themselves while keeping others small.  It is primarily for this reason that I do not bargain away my Roman Catholic upbringing for another hierarchical, patriarchal institution, none of which have anything to do with what, I believe, Jesus had in mind.

So, how does one respond to their call to be priest when the faith they grew up in won’t take them and when they can’t support any other institution founded on the same hierarchical, patriarchal sin as the one they came from?  Ultimately, this strikes me as a post-modern question.  The old guard is dying and the new is yet to be revealed.   This is a time ripe with opportunity, but fraught with danger and anxiety.  How will we tend to the grieving in the face of the death of the old?  What will the new world look like?   How will we tend to the spiritual, pastoral, religious and communal needs of a culture beyond hierarchy and patriarchy?  What will this look like?  In the meantime, what do we do?  For me, the answer can only be this:

  • Continue to preach (through this blog and other opportunities).
  • Continue to heal (through spiritual direction and hands-on-healing).
  • Continue to preside (through weddings, naming ceremonies, funerals, etc).
  • Continue to teach, counsel and lead.
  • Continue to use my gifts of discernment to help guide myself and others.
  • Continue to be open to sharing the gifts of prophecy when they emerge.
  • Continue being priest in all the ways that I know how and in all the ways in which I am free to do so.

Now, let us go in peace to love and serve the Lord.  Thanks be to God!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvFUw9HvRf8

Posted in church

What Does it Mean to Be Church?

Today’s blog explores the question of “church.”  What is “church” and how do we understand, live that out or reject it all together in the post-modern age?

Big C little c What begins with “C”?

If you are anything like me, the word, “church” elicits a deeply visceral and emotional response.  This is about as loaded a word as any word can be.  For some church has been and continues to be a refuge, a sanctuary, a place to find nourishment, support, inspiration and empowerment in the spiritual journey.  For others, church is something that has been a profound source of pain, alienation, fear and abuse.  My sense is that for most, church is a mixed bag.  I know for myself, church was once a source of comfort, nourishment, respite and empowerment, then it was a source of pain, and now I find myself again in a space where I have found a community with whom I can worship and again find nourishment and support (ironically, all of this happened within the boundaries of one denomination – Roman Catholicism).

Big C Church

Because the word church is such a mixed bag, I think it is important to distinguish between the Big C church and the little c church.  The Big C church is the institutional church…..anything that has been put in place around a particular set of beliefs and involves a hierarchical, and mostly patriarchal structure.  Big C church is the Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, UCC, Anglican, Evangelical, Pentecostal, etc. church.  Big C involved a building, doctrine, laws and is centered primarily around worship and indoctrination of the participants in the teachings of that particular BIG C church.  Big C church has its place in our society, and it has certainly had its role in the history of Western civilization (both for the good and for the bad).  The problem with Big C church, however, is that it IS an institution…and with that comes all the problems of an institution – infighting, competition with other Big C churches, attachment to power and control, a need to manipulate its members, a need for group think and obedience to the appointed authority, etc.  Big C church will always struggle to find the balance between the message of Jesus (at least within the context of Christian churches) and the need for power and control.  The good news is that while the BIG C church wants to think it is in charge and is the only gig in town, there is another church that is living, breathing, existing, right under its nose.

Small c church

In my personal opinion (and I might get burned at the stake….again…for saying this), is that the real, true, authentic church of God is YOU!  It is not in some building, ruled over by a hierarchical, patriarchal structure, confined by doctrine and laws….but is the living breathing people who have sincerely sought to know the love of God in their heart and live that out in their daily lives.  The church of God is not determined by our obedience to an outside perceived authority and its laws, but is determined by our obedience to the God within and to the guided empowerment of that God and in the ways we live out God’s love in the world….regardless of our chosen denomination or lack thereof.  As Paul explained in his letter to the Corinthians, when we seek to know God, come to discover, cultivate and share our gifts in the world, the WE ARE THE BODY OF CHRIST.  THIS is the small c church.  So here’s the really cool thing….there are people in EVERY denomination, EVERY religion, EVERY philosophy and belief system, EVERY culture, of all walks of life who are the small c church.  The small c church is not constrained by belief.  The small c church is not contained in a building.  The small c church is not defined by differences or separated by membership.  WE ARE ALL the small c church when we seek to know peace and desire to be a sincere vessel of compassion and love in the world.

What is church to you?

Where have you found gift in the BIG C church?

How are you being called to recognize your call to BE the little c church?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth

Posted in world changes

Putting on the Prophet’s Hat

World changes?  Natural Disasters?  2012?  End of the World Prophecies?  Global Warming?  Global recession?  Government Corruption?  Planets re-aligning?  Poles Shifting?  Earthquakes?  Tsunamis?  War and Famine?  What’s it all about?  Is it the rapture?  Is the apocalypse near?  Or……is it the birth of something new and wonderful?


Putting on the Prophet’s Hat

You do not need to be a prophet to recognize that we are in the midst of cataclysmic change…in the world and as a species.  In truth, a prophet is simply one to can read the sign of the times.  So putting on our prophet goggles, what do we see?  War.  Famine.  Natural Disasters.  Global Recession.  Plaques.  Government Corruption.  Corporate Greed.  Churches Dying.  If we judge these things as “bad” and that is all we see, then we might summize that  the end is near and we should all get ready for the rapture.   I’m wondering if there might be another perspective?

Standing on my Soapbox

I need to make it very clear that I AM NOT a future-teller.  I only see what I see and what I see I choose to perceive through the lens of love and hopefulness.  Are we facing a decline in our economy, are churches dying, is capitalism failing, education struggling, medicine in chaos, the world at war?   YOU BETCHA!  However, I don’t believe that this is a bad thing.  In fact, I think it is a very good thing….and this is why:  EVERYTHING that is in conflict, decline, struggling – in our world and in our society are those things that were established upon the hierarchical-patriarchal model, rooted in fear and managed through greed, power and control. This hierarchical-patriarchal model has failed….and failed miserably.  We need only look at the world around us to see that this is true.  Interestingly, it is only since we embraced this model of interaction that we have known violence in our world.  The time of the hierarchical-patriarchal model has come to an end.  AND THANK GOD!!!!!

The Birth of Something New

So if everything we know that has been rooted in this hierarchical-patriarchal model is dying, what does that mean?  On one hand….it means the end of all structures based in this model:  church, medicine, government, education, the military, commerce.  It even changes the way we look at and define our inter-personal relationships – especially marriage and parenting.  YIKES!  The death of these structures might feel scary….mostly because it is all we have ever known.  The good news, however, is that something new is arising.  We don’t yet know that that is….but if we look closely, I think we can see a glimpse of it on the horizon….or at least we can get a sense of what it might feel like.  While I cannot propose to know what this something new might be….the following is my personal sense of some of its qualities and characteristics and what we might look for as a beacon of hope as we watch the old world die.

A Beacon of Hope

My sense of what is trying to be birthed and what the new world might look like is:

  • A world rooted in love, motivated by compassion
  • Working toward equality and justice
  • Founded upon a model of collaboration
  • Where all people are equal – regardless of race, creed, gender or sexual orientation
  • A world where we take the time to listen to each other and seek to discover our similarities while honoring our differences
  • A place where all people are not only equal….but are honored as SACRED
  • A place where all we have is shared and no one goes without
  • A world where all people are treated with dignity and respect

Heaven on Earth

Call me a dreamer.  Call me an idealist.  Call me a utopian-minded liberal.  But in the end, I believe that this is one of the things that Jesus was trying to teach us.  Jesus showed us how to live a life centered in love and compassion and how to remember our truest nature as men and women of contentment and joy.  What would happen if we actually put these teachings into practice?  We just might realize that the Kingdom of God that Jesus spoke about so freely, is at-hand…right here in our very midst.  Do we have the courage to open our eyes and see it?

Jesus said:

“If those who guide you say, ‘Look, the Kingdom is in the sky.’ Then the birds are closer than you.  If they say, ‘Look it is in the sea.’  Then the fish already know it.

The kingdom is inside you, and it is outside you.

When you know yourself, then you will be known, and you will know that you are the child of the Living God; but if you do not know yourself, you will live in vain.”

Gospel of Thomas Saying 3

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com