Posted in Authentic Freedom, Virtual Church

What Were You Thinking God?

This week’s Authentic Freedom Virtual Church service is LIVE. In this service, we ask the questions, “What were you thinking God?”  Specifically, what was God thinking when God allowed us to try-on the human condition?  What kind of parent lets their child leave the comfort and safety of their spiritual home to venture forth into a fearful, dangerous world?  One who loves us enough to let us grow, that’s who.

Attend this week’s service HERE.

NOTE:  Starting January 1, 2015, the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church services and accompanying newsletter will be available only by subscription.  For the price of a large latte per week, you will receive the service, newsletter and the bi-weekly Superhero Report.  Secure your subscription HERE:

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Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Book, Being Human, Christ Consciousness, Freedom, Gifts of Contemplation, Grace, guilt, Jesus, Lessons, Oneness with God, sin, Spiritual Practices, teachers, Virtual Church

Show Me the Way to Go Home

Through the metaphorical Adam, the human conditional was born, providing for us the (false) perception of separation and the sensation of having fallen from Grace. In birthing the human condition, we now know fear and suffering in contrast to the love and peace we knew “at home.”  Jesus (among other prophets) discovered the remedy to the human condition and through his teaching and example, shows us the way to go home. 

 

Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter for Sunday, November 23, 2014

Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service

 But first:  a little humor!  🙂 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWQ-rnXi_n4

 

Scripture Reading:

Brothers and sisters: Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through man, the resurrection of the dead came also through man. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the firstfruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.

1 Cor 15: 20-26, 28

 

Additional Readings:

Ez 34: 11-12, 15-17

Psalm 23

Mt: 25: 31-46

 

Jesus Shows Us the Way

“Since death came through man,

The resurrection of the dead came also through man.”

When the metaphorical Adam chose power over obedience to God, the human condition was born. Instead of the peace, love and joy experienced in our original state of Oneness with God, humans now knew fear – fear that then led to a whole host of fears and their resulting compulsions. Inside of our beings, in this place of perceived separation from God, we felt as if we had fallen from Grace. As a loving parent, understanding our need to explore and to learn, God allowed us this choice, knowing that in this choice, we would suffer and experience the burden of guilt for turning away from God. God, however, did not leave us abandoned, neither did God leave us to our own devices, instead, God sent prophet after prophet after prophet to help remind us of our original nature and to help us find our way home. The greatest of these prophets (in the Christian tradition), was Jesus. Jesus, in his own longing and search for God, found the remedy to the suffering of the human condition (the remedy didn’t alleviate the suffering, but provided a means to transcend it), and generously shared what he learned with others. Thankfully, some of his disciples remembered bits and pieces of what Jesus taught and others wrote it down. Through scripture, specifically a prayerful reading and reflection on scripture, we find glimpses of what Jesus taught and sparks of what he remembered. What is even more remarkable is that like the gurus before him and since, Jesus’ very spirit is accessible as a teacher and a guide to those who seek out and cultivate a deeply intimate and personal relationship with Jesus as the Christ. In this way, Jesus, himself, becomes our teacher – helping us to see the deeper truths beyond the words of scripture, leading us to other resources including human teachers who can guide us. We even find that Jesus can come to us himself to teach and guide us.

The “sin” of Adam allowed us to experience the human condition. Jesus helps us to find our way home.

How have you cultivated a personal relationship with Jesus?

 

 

Spiritual Practices – Inviting Jesus to be our Teacher

jesus

 

Look at the created image of Jesus above. Let it sink into your consciousness.

Close your eyes.

Imagine Jesus, as you saw him in the picture above, standing before you.

Rest with that image of Jesus standing before you. Remain in this visualization for 15 – 20 minutes.

Know that as Jesus stands before you, he is gazing back at you with unconditional love and acceptance.

Allow yourself to receive that love.

Be attentive to any thoughts, feelings, emotions that may arise as you imagine Jesus standing before you.

Record any thoughts, feelings, insights received, etc. in your journal or notebook.

 

Authentic Freedom

In Authentic Freedom, we acknowledge Jesus as our teacher and as the example of one who learned authentic freedom and taught it to others. Every story, parable, lesson, example that Jesus taught, can somehow be brought back to the core wound and the resulting fears explored through Authentic Freedom. Jesus, while experiencing the fullness of the human condition, found his way to freedom – a freedom, he discovered, was found only in God. This is the freedom we are called to discover, cultivate and embrace through Authentic Freedom. God is the remedy to the suffering of the human condition. Jesus showed/shows us the way.

 

What is the suffering you currently want to transcend or have healed?

 

How might Jesus invite you to turn toward God as a source of healing and support?

Authentic Freedom is available for purchase on Amazon.  Learn more HERE. 

 

Posted in Being Human

The Fruitless Search for Ego-lessness

Yesterday, I was reminded, yet again, that it is not for the sake of egolessness that we are here…..but to be human.

The Relentless Pursuit of Ego-lessness….and pop-culture’s addiction to perfectionism

Yep.  I’ve been there.  With both feet, body, mind and spirit I jumped on board the pop-culture Ego-eradication craze, reading every book, embracing every practice, watching every movie in the hopes of being freed of my ego.  Hmmmm I might have even written a book reflective of this desire.   😉  And….I am the perfect victim.  My Perfectionist LOVES the idea that with the right kind and right amount of spiritual practice, learning, etc. I might indeed become perfect….free of ego….an enlightened being, spiritual teacher and master.  All of this has been the perfect fuel for the inner critic and judge that wags her finger of shame and blame at me pointing out all the places where I am still imperfect….all those places where I still judge, where I become angry, harbor resentment, feel pain, grieve losses, hurt those I love, lose my temper, etc. etc. etc.  “But if I just pray and meditate enough all of this will be forgiven, I will finally be free and I will have the life I dream of filled with happiness, joy, opportunities for creative expression and I will be fulfilled, safe, secure and rich.”  This is what all these teachings promise, right?  But there is one thing missing in many of these pop-culture ego-eradication teachings: the fact that we are not here to be EGOLESS……  We are here to BE HUMAN!

Being Human

So…what DOES it mean to be human?  As much as we might like to deny it….being human means we get to experience ALL OF IT.  As a Divine Spirit being Human…..we get all of it:  Suffering.  Pain.  Worry.  Loss.  Deception.  Betrayal.  Our hearts get broken.  We fall apart.  Really bad things happen to really good people.  And really bad people get really good things.  We lose our minds.  We hunger.  We experience poverty.  We know injustice.  We might have to agree to things we don’t really believe we want to do.  We give our power away.  People rob our power from us.  We get sick.  And we die.  While we might want all of this to go away and to be freed from the reality of the human condition….this is NOT why we are here.  No matter how hard we pray or how much we engage our spiritual practice…all of these things will continue to happen.  I’m guessing even the Dalai Lama struggles with anger and resentment at times.  I know Jesus did.  So if even our greatest teachers struggle with being human….why do we think we should be any different?

No Congratulations Necessary

Yesterday, after setting my foot along a path that I have been avoiding, dreading, and not at all wanting to accept, I was congratulated for being a “great ego-less leader and teacher.”  BAH!  Egoless my ass!  I was mad as hell.  Frustrated.  Angry.  Ashamed.   Disappointed.  Grieving.  I was anything BUT egoless.  Instead I wrapped my arms around my ego as she was biting, kicking and screaming and set my foot along the path.  “You can rant and rave all you want,” I said to her, “we are going anyway.  I don’t know why this is where we are going or for what purpose, but we are going.  And….we’ll make the best of it.”  So, I forged on, in spite of my ego; and perhaps this is the best that we can do.

Lauri Lumby

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Uncategorized

Hope Walks In

Today’s blog asks the question, “Where do we find hope?”

Brothers and sisters:

Hope does not disappoint, 

because the love of God

has been poured out into our hearts

through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

Romans: 5:5

Where is the Hope?

As any human being who is honest with themselves and the rest of the world will admit…..the human condition sucks!  We suffer disappointment, loss, death, disease, war, pestilence, hunger, homelessness, broken hearts and broken dreams.  In the face of all these challenges, we are tempted to believe, “Life sucks, and then you die.”  If this is true, why did we agree to this human experience in the first place and why do we stay here to endure sure suffering and pain?  In a word – HOPE! 

Planted in our Hearts

Whether we simply believe in the resilience of human nature or in the idea of a benevolent Creator/God…..there is something within us that keeps us going in spite of the sure suffering and pain of the human condition.  Paul, in his letter to the Romans, called that “something” HOPE.  Hope is the thing that keeps us moving in the midst of tragedy.  Hope is what keeps us alive in the face of death.  Hope is what keeps us believing in a better day, life, existence.  Hope, as Paul describes, is God’s love, planted in our heart, driving us, compelling us, fueling us, moving us.  Hope allows us to dream beyond the pain and imagine better things, better days, better dreams.  Hope opens our eyes to see beyond the veil of suffering to the hidden glory – the new life in the midst of death, the new possibilities beyond perceived failure, the new love beyond betrayal.  Hope allows us to see beyond the limitations of our human eyes to see with the eyes of the Divine.

Claiming Hope as Our Own

But where do we find this hope when we feel that all is lost?  The answer – WITHIN.  As Paul reminds, hope is found in our hearts in our intimate connection with that which we might call God.  And the way to get there?  (Have I beat this horse dead yet?)  PRAYER…  MEDITATION… SPIRITUAL PRACTICE…CREATIVE ENDEAVORS…LOVING CONNECTIONS WITH OTHERS…   To find the hope we think we have lost, we need only return to that which is closest to us….our inner selves, God, love.  So when you feel beat down by the human condition, when you feel disappointed, despairing, alone……GO WITHIN.  Pray.  Meditate.  Paint.  Draw.  Write.  Cook.  Practice Yoga. Sing. Dance.  Spend time with someone you love.  This is where you will rediscover that spark of hope that will keep you moving and help you see the light in the midst of the darkness.

What are the practices that have helped you rediscover hope?

How do you make it through the struggles of the human condition?

How do you know the God in your heart?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com