Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Fall is upon us!

I am so thankful and grateful for the abundance that is all around. I appreciate the cooler weather, shorter days, and changing leaves. I enjoy the taste of a bountiful harvest and the privilege to share what God as given to me with family and friends. Pumpkins, candy, lights, and costumes bring festivities to life, putting smiles on children’s faces and lightening up everyone’s mood. I love making traditional fall recipes; chili with corn bread, apple pie and vegetable soup. Life is such a blessing.

With each season, there is a new opportunity to start fresh. I am grateful for new beginnings and new chapters of my life. This season, I say goodbye to one residence and hello to a new one. Goodbye to apartment living and hello to house maintenance. I also had to say goodbye to an old friend and hello to new ones. One constant though, is my faith in God; that is unshakable.

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Blessed to be Free

During July, Americans celebrate freedom and independence. Fortunately, I was blessed to have been born in the United States of America where I am free to speak my mind, believe whatever I desire, own property, have multiple children, vote, practice any type of profession, travel and create a life of my own choosing. Many people around the world don’t have this kind of luxury. Perhaps you are one of these people.

One thing we all have in common however, is the ability to choose our own thoughts; that in turn reflects our attitude, and ultimately our life experiences. Regardless of political, social, religious, or economical oppression, nobody can control what is inside our heart and mind; this is 100% under our own control. We can choose to forgive and we can choose to have faith. Even in the case of “brain washing” or psychological torture/abuse, our soul/spirit is untouchable. This divine essence always knows the truth of our being and provides more sustenance than food or water.  There are countless stories of such experiences from people who have been imprisoned, oppressed, abused and tortured who have risen above all adversity as a result of this Truth. They never lost sight of their freedom to choose their own thoughts, attitudes and attitude despite any circumstance.

The story of Immaculée Ilibagiza, is a perfect example of this concept during the 1994 Rwanda genocide when she and seven other women huddled silently together in a cramped bathroom of a local pastor’s house for 91 days! During this horrific ordeal, Immaculée lost most of her family, but she survived to share the story and her miraculous transition into forgiveness and a profound relationship with God. To read more of her story, get her book Left To Tell or check out her website for yourself. http://www.lefttotell.com/

The story of Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, is another example of someone who utilized his freedom of thought to endure unspeakable horrors. For more of his story, read his book Man’s Search for Meaning and discover what he learned about freedom. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Frankl

When I think of these brave people, I am so thankful and grateful for the freedoms I enjoy and for the choice of thought/ attitude/ perception, that is inherent to every human being on this planet.

What freedoms are you grateful for? Take a moment to reflect on what you might take for granted or tell your story and comment below.  Here is what the books look like for featured authors mentioned above. They are definitely worth reading!

 

With love and blessings; gratitude and Joy,

Lisa

 

Planting Seeds of Faith

Spring if often a time for planting in the garden. A time of renewal and anticipation filled with promise and hope. I love 

gardening; planting seeds of herbs, vegetables, and flowers. This brings me joy and connects me to mother earth, which is a very grounding experience. At a recent workshop I attended, we explored the idea of seeds being planted into the conscious mind by way of intentions where they germinate and later manifest into our desires. Today, I want to explore the various seeds we can plant in our own lives and see what sprouts.

Just like there are many varieties of seeds available to plant for food, shade,  or pleasure; there are endless seeds of thought we can plant for a multitude of outcomes. We can choose to plant the seeds of wholeness, wellness, joy, love, beauty, success, dreams, simplicity, harmony, balance, fun, creativity, relationships, communication, forgiveness, reconciliation, hope, faith, strength, courage, wisdom, completion, discipline, longevity, health, adventure, positivity and so much more… There are an infinite amount of seeds available to plant in the fertile soil of our consciousness. The trick is to continue nurturing them and not dig them up. When we plant a seed, we are expressing faith in Universal Laws or Truths that we can trust to manifest our desires. Tomato seeds produce tomatoes. They can’t produce cucumbers because that’s not the intention of their seeds. The same in true for planting seeds of joy, wisdom, love and anything else in life; they all correspond to the intention of that particular seed. Therefor, paying attention to the seeds we plant in our own minds, correspond with the outcomes we experience in our own lives.

We have a choice. Planting seeds of faith require gratitude which nurtures the composition of the seeds allowing them to flourish into manifestation. What would you like to plant today? I invite you to plant the seeds that would make your life more enjoyable and fulfilling. Write them down. Nourish them with positivity, faith and trust. Weed out doubt, fear, or negativity. Instead, focus your energy on the outcome of these seeds and before long you will begin to see them sprout (manifest) in your life.

* If you liked this article, please comment below and/ or reblog (post on your page/wall) to share with others. Let me know what seeds you’re planting and together we can nurture all the possibilities!

The Blessings of Palm Sunday

  Today is Palm Sunday; the kick off to Holy Week for millions of Christians and Jews all over the world and a time for prayerful reflection and gratitude, as well as preparation for changes yet to come. For Christians, today marks the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a road covered with palms fit for a king.

In the Jewish faith, the rituals of Passover serve as important reminders of the sacrifices and triumphs made by the Israelites to regain their freedom in ancient Egypt.

For me, Palm Sunday has deep spiritual meaning because it marks the beginning of personal transformation. Each year, I release another layer of pain, regret, or shame in order to resurrect a new dimension of freedom. Today, I embark on Holy Week by identifying what aspects of my character or life need forgiveness or healing. Then I pray on these areas all week long in order to gain greater clarity of their deeper meaning; to identify the lessons they have for me, since I know that everything happens for a reason and this includes every action and reaction I may have.  I also double up on reading spiritual literature to help me to see different points of view and therefor open up my consciousness to greater capacities for love and understanding. I also meditate on these messages from scripture and other sacred texts in order to heed their personal message for me  allowing them to inspire and motivate me through this process of grieving and healing.

What does today (this week) mean for you?

I urge you to take serious thought about utilizing the blessings of Palm Sunday and this Holy Week to resurrect a new found freedom within yourself. In order to have a breakthrough, we must each be willing to break down our barriers (walls) of anger, hurt, shame, fear, and pain so that we can ascend to a higher plane of existence.

Change is possible. Change is inevitable. Give yourself the blessing of embracing changes in your life with courage and strength. Face them head on and witness the miracles for yourself. Create your own rituals or plug into the one’s offered by your spiritual community, and utilize this sacred time of year to cleanse your heart of any unwanted feelings that may be holding you back.

Throughout the week I will be posting messages of hope and faith as I embark on this sacred journey and remember the sacrifices Jesus made for me through his example.

Join me today. Comment what’s on your heart. Identify your areas for transformation. Great joy await for us all on the other side!

Love & Blessings

Rev. Lisa

 

Gratitude as the Gateway

 

Whatever the circumstance, gratitude can open the door from chaos to order; blocks to breakthroughs and endings to new beginnings filled with possibility. Gratitude is truly the gateway to happiness and more importantly, satisfaction with life. When we choose to look at what is right in our lives, we shift our focus and instantly our energy as well as outlook changes. The darkness of self-pitty and depression instantly become lighter, fear turns into renewed faith and despair turns into hope the minute we surrender and accept where we are in the moment. Being grateful for all the blessings we have in the moment open a space within us to accept the unacceptable with grace and ease. This practice paves the way for peace and clear thinking in which solutions can present themselves. When we are locked by resistance, we block God’s help. Gratitude breaks through the resistance by reminding us things could always be worse and helps us to put everything in perspective. Of course, we may not like the situation, but we must accept it nonetheless.

Acceptance does not mean forgiveness, or turning the other cheek. Acceptance, simply means acknowledging what is. It is what it is. This mindset helps take the emotion out of things and automatically takes the charge out of things. Try it and see for yourself. I’ve been using this technique for almost a year and the results are phenomenal. Of course this tool requires practice as our human tendency is to react out of emotion first and resist looking at things objectively. Unfortunately, this is the way most people handle problems, challenges and uncomfortable situations. However, it doesn’t have to be this way when you practice gratitude regardless of the outcome.

Starting today, write down everything that is working in your life. Using complete sentences, journal what you appreciate about your life and the people who make it better/worthwhile. Think about a challenge, problem or particularly difficult situation or person and find 10 things to be grateful for. Look for the positive in the person or situation and notice how you feel. Notice your energy level as it begins to shifts. Sleep on it. That’s why I love doing this practice right before bed, because the brain will contemplate it all night long in our sleep as it passes from our conscious mind to the subconscious mind where the real shifts occur. The next day, I usually feel entirely different about the whole situation and can see solutions that I couldn’t before. Tell me about your experience and comment below.

Until then, trust the process of gratitude and allow it to transform your heart, mind, and life.

 

“I am so Blessed”

Singer, songwriter, Karen Drucker wrote a song entitled “I am so blessed” from her album Songs of the Spirit II, which I have entitled today’s blog because it is so fitting. Below is a link to her website where you can hear this song for yourself and buy a copy of her CD. http://www.karendrucker.com/pages/music.htm

I had the great pleasure of participating in two, new, experiences September 1st. One was a book study and the other a magnificent woman’s group that enticed authentic action from me while tugging at my heartstrings and stirring up my passion/purpose. I learned so much from both experiences and grew more empowered and enlightened as a result. It is amazing the breakthroughs that can happen amongst other like-minded beings when brought together for a common purpose.

I am so thankful for the opportunity of these groups and for being fully present in them so that I could take full advantage. As a result, I had a fabulous day that was way more powerful than if I was just sitting at home alone. I was reminded of the importance of balance, prioritizing, practicing new skills, facing fear & moving forward with purpose & passion. I was reminded that I teach people how to treat me and that I have the right to be assertive in getting my needs met as well as making my boundaries known.

God reminded me of the importance of simplicity, again, and modeled what that looked like from both facilitators as well as provided me an opportunity to practice it with a friend that evening. All that was required was deep listening to another person, being fully present for them and to God, so that I could be a clear conduit for Spirit’s Wisdom. And what a relief it was. No pressure, or anxiety or stress. No worries or fear. No fuss. Just the willingness to listen from both ends. To the person in front of me and God. What could be greater than that.

I also learned to appreciate where I came from in my life and the power of just one decision. I was reminded of a dark time when my self destructive ways led me to a crossroads and how I made a conscious choice to live and stop trying to kill myself. This one choice made all the difference in my life and placed me on the path I am today. It led me to recovery and sobriety, to college where I earned my Bachelor’s in Social Work, and most importantly back to God; Source. From then on my Faith began to grow and I learned to trust God in every area of my life. I learned that God had a Divine Plan for me and that I was special and unique with specific talents and gifts designed for greatness. I learned that all the pain I’d experienced wasn’t in vain and that it all had meaning. For God never leaves us or forsakes us; God walks silently alongside us, waiting for us to reach out to him/her. God was there and always has been there. It’s me who moves away and forgets; who turns a deaf ear or becomes blind to the wisdom, love, strength and absolute power that lies in the Almighty. And the best part is, realizing that this power resides in me. That God lives in the center of my being as Spirit and that we are forever connected. That realization alone is what set me free from the roller coaster of addiction as well as suicidal depression. The knowledge that I am not alone and can never be abandoned. The knowledge that I have all the wisdom I will ever need right inside of myself to answer any question or make any decision in my life. The knowledge that comes from trusting God, having Faith, and surrendering control so that I don’t become lost of crazy in the details. I am so grateful that God has got my back and has supplied me with everything necessary for this earthly adventure. Thanks be to God. Blessed Be. And so it is.

God is in the Details

What a lovely sight; the ocean. How it moves freely and effortlessly over, in, and around land and ships. Millions of sea shells bask in the sunlight as pictured on the left, yet each is uniquely different. God surely is in the details of life.

How often do we become still in gratitude to bask in the magnificence of the Divine? God is all around us, guiding and directing the planets, animals, weather, and us, if we listen and heed his/her advice. I am so thankful that I don’t have to have all the answers and that I can rely upon a power greater than myself for wisdom and strength to lead me through anything.

Each day I am reminded of Spirit’s availability and accessibility in my life. When I feel overwhelmed or out of control, there is a power for good that I can call upon that restores me to sanity and serenity, however I must call upon it and believe its wisdom. There is freedom in trusting God. Spirit never abandons anyone and loves us all unconditionally.

Where in your life is God calling you to surrender control of the details so that something greater can come into being?  Today, I encourage you to become still long enough to feel the presence and peace that awaits when we release our fear and find faith.