Posted in Authentic Freedom, creativity, Freedom, Inspiration, Jesus, Lessons, self-actualization, Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Practices, Surrender, Virtual Church

The Seed of Happiness

One of the ways that Authentic Freedom Academy supports self-actualization and personal empowerment is by providing nourishment and support for psycho-spiritual development.  The Authentic Freedom Virtual Church and accompanying Agape’ Meditation newsletter is one way we accomplish this goal.  Each week, subscribers receive access to the meditation newsletter and video lesson – centered on the non-dual teachings of Christ.  Below is a sample of what you might expect to receive as part of subscribing.  To learn more, go to our Virtual Church page and Subscribe! 

June 14, 2015 – Eleventh Sunday Ordinary Time

Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter

Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service

 

 Scripture Readings:

Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and through it all the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.” He said, “To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

MK 4: 26-34

 

Additional Readings:

EZ 16: 22-24

PS 92: 2-3, 13-15

2 Cor 5: 6-10

dandelion

 

We Know Not How

This week’s gospel speaks to us of the kingdom of God – its abundance and fruitfulness. The same could be said of ourselves and the fruitful outcome of our life’s journey – its purpose and how we are called to find fulfillment within ourselves and in service to the betterment of the world.

 

The seed provides the perfect metaphor for the journey of our Soul. The seed bears deep within itself – invisible to the eye – something that says what the seed will be when it grows up. A sunflower seed has no choice but to become a sunflower (or squirrel food). The same is true of an acorn, a wheat berry, an apple seed. The seed, when given the proper protection, nourishment, water and light, has no choice but to become that for which it was made. Once the seed is planted and the resources it needs provided, the seed simply becomes its purpose. This happens of its own accord – and not because someone “made it happen.”

 

This is also true for us. Deep within ourselves is something invisible, yet concrete, that says who God intended us to be when we come into our own ripeness. We, like the seed, need the proper environment, nourishment, safety, support, water and light, to become that for which we were made. Once this is provided (often by our own hand), and we are willing to plant the seeds to make this happen….it happens on its own. Again, not because we, or someone else, made it happen. Coming into our own fruitfulness is the natural consequence of giving ourselves what we need to not only survive, but also thrive.

 

What is the seed in you that is trying to be born?

What can you do to provide safety, nourishment and support (ie: boundaries) for your own becoming?

 

 

Spiritual Practices – The Seed Inside of Us

For this week’s meditation, you will need some relaxing (or energizing) music, two blank sheets of paper and some crayons.

 

Begin by setting up a work area. A place you can comfortably engage in meditative art. Have everything in the space that you will need to complete this meditation.

 

Put on the meditative (or energizing) music. (I like Violin Concerto in D Minor by Bach) Listen intently to the music, allowing yourself to feel its movement – the rising and falling of the music, tempo changes, listening for the individual instruments, etc. Allow the music to inspire your soul.

 

While you are feeling the music, imagine a seed. Be open to whatever seed presents itself to you.

 

With your paper and crayons. Draw that seed.

 

As you continue to listen to the music, reflect on the seed. What is significant about the seed you chose? Is it large, small? What does it produce? Is it abundant in its production (like the mustard seed) or does it produce something rare? Reflect on how you are like this seed.

 

After this portion of the reflection feels complete, on the second sheet of paper, draw a picture of yourself growing out of the seed. What are you becoming? Draw this.

 

Authentic Freedom

In Authentic Freedom, we focus our attention on the kingdom of God within us (Malkuthakh), and how it is known by a state of inner peace, contentment, compassion and joy. While we may not experience the fullness of the kingdom until after we depart this life, Jesus came to teach us how to experience the kingdom here and now.  One part of enjoying Malkuthakh is to become the person God made us to be. Each and every one of us is uniquely gifted and called by God to experience fulfillment in our lives through the use of our own unique gifts – both for our own enjoyment and in service to the betterment of our world. The work of this begins in childhood through the environment provided by our parents, teachers, ministers, etc. Yes, we sometimes have to undo that which was not supportive of our Soul’s development. As grown ups, however, we now have a choice. It is our responsibility, for the sake of our Soul and for the purpose of our own inner contentment, to create and uphold the environment in which our Soul’s purpose can finds its fruition. This begins by naming and claiming our needs and setting boundaries around these needs. In doing so, we are preparing the soil in which the seed of our Soul may take root and grow. Then it is our job to feed and water it. And finally, it is our task to GET OUT OF THE WAY and let our seed grow in the way and time that it needs to….all according to God’s plan.

 

How are you preparing and environment in which the seed of your Soul may take root and grow?

Fleur_de_Lis_Tattoo_by_ladyserenity2002

Posted in Agape Project, Authentic Freedom, Being Human, church, Jesus, Spiritual Practices

Loving as Jesus Loved – Walking the Talk

Below is an excerpt from this week’s Agape’ Meditation Newsletter, supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church.  The full newsletter (published weekly), along with the weekly Virtual Church Video Service is available by subscription.  Click on the Paypal icon below to subscribe: 

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Walking the Talk:

I will be the first to admit that loving as Jesus loved is perhaps the most difficult task in the human experience. Jesus, in fact, died doing it. At the same time, it is in truth, the ONLY point of the human experience. If we are not here to learn how to love – then what is the point? Right!?

Learning how to love as Jesus loved is a life-long process and one that we will likely never perfect. All we can do is show up….and do our best, knowing that God loves us without condition no matter where we are on the journey. Learning how to love as Jesus loved starts with showing up. One of the ways we show up is through our daily spiritual practice. This week, your meditation “assignment” is to just show up. I’m not offering any specific practices, other than the invitation to show up. If you are able, show up every day to whatever practice you feel called to that day.

  • Show up to silence.
  • Show up to mantra prayer.
  • Show up to reading and meditating with scripture.
  • Show up to the enjoyment of nature.
  • Show up to snuggling your children or cuddling with your beloved pet.
  • Show up to listening to a friend.
  • Show up to singing or dancing your gratitude.
  • Show up to making love to your beloved.
  • Show up to recognizing God’s love in your daily life.
  • Show up to creating something beautiful.
  • Show up to giving expression to your feelings through writing or art.

Show up. This is all we have to do and how we get started in the journey of learning love as Jesus loved.

How are you showing up?

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Jesus, Oneness with God, Virtual Church

FREE Virtual Church – Healing the Wound of Separation

This week, as a special treat, I am making the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church service available to all.  The theme this week is “Healing the Wound of Separation.” If you enjoy this service and wish to subscribe, click on the Paypal link below (when subscribing, you also receive the weekly Agape’ Meditation Newsletter  – supplement to the weekly video service) :

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Readings HERE

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Watch on YouTube HERE:  https://youtu.be/dnMKqZTpdeU

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Posted in Authentic Freedom, Jesus, sin, The Seven Deadly Compulsions, Virtual Church

Did Jesus Die for Our Sins?

In anticipation of Palm Sunday and Holy Week, enjoy this excerpt from this week’s Agape’ Meditation Newsletter, supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church.  Learn more about the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church and how to subscribe HERE. 

jesuschristsuperstar-cross

Dying for our Sins

It has been said that Jesus died for our sins. This is true, not as an atonement, or as a payment for our sins, but for the sake of sin itself. Sin is that which arises out of our perceived separation from God. “Original sin” as it is spoken of in the Christian tradition is the perceived separation from God. Unlike other humans before him, Jesus came to understand that this separation from God is not real, but is simply a false perception created so that one might have a human experience. Jesus also understood that this perceived separation is the cause of human suffering. Jesus discovered that his (and our) original nature is not in fact separation from God, but Oneness with God. After Jesus came to understand this Oneness within himself and found the comfort, healing, peacefulness and love inherent in this state of Oneness, he sought to teach it to others.

The problem was that there were those who benefitted from a humanity wallowing in the fear of this perceived separation. People who have forgotten their Oneness with God are afraid and anxious and will either seek to have control over others as a way of trying to escape these feelings of powerlessness or will allow themselves to be controlled by others because of their fear. In Jesus’ time, those who were threatened by the healing promised by Jesus in recalling their Oneness with God, were the government and religious officials who were in positions of power and who benefitted because of people’s fears.

When challenged by those in power about the truth that he had come to know in his Oneness with God, Jesus had a choice. He could have recanted his truth and agreed that it was the Romans or the High Priests who were right, or he could have stood by his truth. Jesus stood by his truth (“I AM”…One with God). It was for the sake of this truth that he was willing to die. This is how we can say that Jesus died for (the sake of) our sins.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, God, Oneness with God, Virtual Church

Ten Commandments or Ten Affirmations?

The following is an excerpt from this week’s Agape Meditation Newsletter, supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church. 

Heston-239x300

Years ago I read a commentary on the Ten Commandments that finally made sense. In Neale Donald Walsh’s (now classic), Conversations with God, he describes the Ten Commandments as representing the way we all naturally act when we remember our intimate Oneness with God. When we know the love of God that dwells within us, when we love ourselves in the same way that God does, then we can’t help but live by the guidelines set up in the Ten Commandments. From this perspective, the Ten Commandments really boil down to one commandment – Love God. When we love God, we learn to love ourselves and when we love ourselves, we can’t help but love our neighbor. The rest simply falls into place naturally.

To read more, subscribe to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church.  For less than the price of your weekly latte’ you will receive the weekly Agape Meditation Newsletter, the weekly Virtual Church video service and the bi-weekly Superhero Report.  Subscribe HERE:

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Posted in God, Healing, Jesus, Spiritual Practices, Virtual Church

Jesus Saves? Saves us from What?

an excerpt from this week’s Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Meditation newsletter:

Jesus-heals-leper

Pope John Paul II once said, “If there is a hell, I can’t imagine there is anyone there;” and the Catholic Church has officially removed purgatory from the books. If God loves us so much that no one is condemned to hell and if purgatory doesn’t even exist – what is it we need saving from? Life as we know it – that’s what! Jesus didn’t come to open the doors to a heaven that is already guaranteed, he came to help us survive the human condition and he did this by teaching us about love, and healing us from the inner (and sometimes outer) obstacles to knowing that love…..

to read more, subscribe to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church and receive the Agape Meditation newsletter, along with the weekly video service and Superhero reports. Subscribe HERE:

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Posted in Mary Magdalene, Song of the Beloved, Virtual Church

A Special Treat from Authentic Freedom Ministries

As a special treat for Authentic Freedom Virtual Church subscribers, I am sharing an excerpt from the sequel (as yet untitled) to Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene.  (copyright Lauri Ann Lumby)

fall-of-jerusalem

Blood.  There was blood everywhere.  Blood and red.  The red of the Roman army’s uniforms and cloaks.  Cloaks of red flashing across my vision and with every passing, there was death.  Flashes of red revealing crosses that now lined every hill, every walkway.  Flashes of red and crosses where my Jewish brothers hung executed.  Zealots, I’siims, Sadducces, Pharisees, Priests, merchants, paupers.  The Romans had shown no discrimination and no mercy in their bloody rampage.  Power over power over power as women and children littered the ground – broken, bruised and bloody shells staring vacantly – pleading toward a god who showed them no mercy as their final breath was wrested from their bodies.  Red cloaks flashing as the Romans marched over the corpses of the massacred in their advance toward the temple.  The Jews had given their very lives for the sake of the temple.  Then, all I saw was flames.  Flames engulfing priests as they ran screaming from the tabernacle they had failed to defend, wondering where their god was who had promised to defend them.  Flashes of red as the magnificent temple crumbled beneath the Roman’s feet – now laying in a pile of rubble, bone, burning flesh all soaked in blood as the Romans planted the red flag of their victory.  Flashes of red as the flames eventually died out, the smoke dissipated and the dust settled, revealing flocks of carrion bird feasting on what remained of our people, while the surviving few offered a groaning lament to a god who had left them for dead.  My heart sank in the devastation I saw before me – piles of rubble and bone and ash awash in a sea of blood while the red flags of victory signaled the Roman conquest…..

To read more and to enjoy the weekly Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service, Agape Meditation Newsletter and Superhero Reports, Click on the paypal link below:

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Posted in Agape Project, Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Virtual Church

Life Sucks and Then You Die

An excerpt from this week’s Agape Meditation Newsletter, supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual church:

job

Nobody says it better than Job. Life sucks and then you die. Ok, not really, but that is often what it feels like, especially when we come face to face with the very real truth of the human condition. The human condition includes suffering, setback, disappointment, failure, heartbreak, betrayal, disease and even death. Life is hard, and the story of Job provides for us a mythological portrayal of just how hard life can sometimes be. The challenges, however, are not the end of the story…..

 

To read more, subscribe to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church.  Click HERE to learn how!

Posted in Agape Project, Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Virtual Church

God Speaks – We Resist

Below is an excerpt from this week’s Agape Meditation Newsletter – supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church:

The first reaction to God’s voice is almost always RESISTANCE.

This week’s Psalm speaks to this truth and uses the Israelite’s journey through the desert as a metaphor for this process. Liberated from a life of slavery, do the Israelites celebrate and look forward to their new life in the promise land with joyful hopefulness? No….they whine, complain and argue. They even go so far as to say they would have been better off if they’d stayed in Egypt. SIGH! This is how we are. We have an opportunity to leave behind a life that is too small for us….and then we ask for our small life back.

In response to this very human response to growth, the psalmist PLEADS with us:

If today your hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts.

How are you being called to listen to God’s voice and how are you invited to recognize resistance when it arises and meet it with an open heart instead?

To access the full version, subscribe using the Paypal icon below.  For a low monthly fee, you will received the Agape Meditation Newsletter, Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Video Service and weekly Superhero Report. 

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Posted in Authentic Freedom, Virtual Church

Revisioning Baptism – Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Newsletter

Excerpt from this week’s Agape’ Meditation Newsletter, supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church.

“You are my beloved Son/Daughter; with you I am well pleased.”

If you grew up in the Christian tradition, baptism was described as the necessary means by which we are freed of our sins – specifically, the stain of original sin. It is also explained that baptism is necessary to be accepted by God and a requisite to reuniting with God after our death. (If you were raised Catholic, you had to be a Catholic in good standing to be accepted into heaven….but that is another story.)

Pardon my bluntness….but to all of this I call bull… (you fill in the blank)! If we believe in an all-loving, all-forgiving (that too is another story) God, then who or what could ever be denied reunion with God after death? Even Pope John Paul II said that if there is a hell, he can’t imagine that there is anyone there…

…to read more, subscribe to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church…information below:

Agape Meditation Newsletter is available by subscription only and includes the weekly Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service and Superhero Report. To subscribe, click on the Paypal link below:

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