Posts Tagged ‘God’

Living with Thanks!

 

 November is a time for thanksgiving; a time for pausing in gratitude for the many blessings in our lives. Living with such an “attitude of gratitude” is essential for a happy life because it turns our attention away from lack into plenty, from poverty into abundance. From this mindset that we can truly see the glass half-full, regardless of its contents.

No matter what your spiritual or religious beliefs, having a thankful consciousness can mean the difference between living in misery or joy. I am so grateful to notice the difference in my life and to have awoken to this Truth long ago. Will you join me? Living with thanks is ultimately a choice. Are you willing you move past petty differences with others to see and appreciate the beauty in them? We all have gifts to give and none is more priceless than the gift of love.

Today, I invite you to thank God, by living with thanks. Another words, living with a grateful heart. Show kindness. Give generously. Practice patience. Live in Gratitude. Say ‘Thank You’ often.

Namaste’,  (Peace be with you)

Lisa

 

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.

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

 

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning…

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Remember this song? Oh, what a beautiful morning…oh, what a beautiful day. I’ve got a wonderful feeling… everything’s going my way… Oh, what a beautiful day! 

Such a cheery tune that always puts a smile on my face and brings gratitude back into focus. Just as the song and picture of this magnificent sunrise show, the beauty of God’s love and light are all around us. (even if things aren’t going “our way”.) We can hear it in the birds singing, as waves crash, when someone dear says ” I love you”. We can taste it in fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. We can smell it in the air, trees and flowers. We can feel it with a loved one’s embrace. We truly can see it at every turn. 

Each day we have a fresh opportunity to view the world from a place of gratitude; what could be more beautiful than that!

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Keep your face to the sunshine and you will not see the shadows.”
Helen Keller

The Blessings of Holy Thursday

         Today is Maundy Thursday, a Holy day where Jesus celebrated the Jewish custom of Passover  with his disciples before he was crucified the very next day. This meal commemorates Jesus’ Last Supper which began the sacrament of “Holy Communion” in the Christian Faith.

Before the Passover meal, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. By performing this lowly act of service, the Bible says in John 13:1 that Jesus “showed them the full extent of his love.” By his example, Jesus demonstrated how Christians are to love one another through humble service. For this reason, many churches practice foot-washing ceremonies as a part of their Maundy Thursday services. “

“Maundy derived from the Latin word mandatum, meaning “commandment,”  and refers to the commands Jesus gave his disciples at the Last Supper: to love with humility by serving one another and to remember his sacrifice.” (John 13:34)

To read more follow this link. http://christianity.about.com/od/easter/qt/maundythursday.htm

For this post, I want to focus on the metaphysical aspects of these important rituals in showing our gratitude for Jesus and for each other. Share a meal all together with your family and enjoy the gifts of communion. Participate in a community event and experience humility in the face of serving others less fortunate. In order to make today even more personal, think about all the sacrifices your parents made in order to provide you with a better life. Give them a call and let them know you appreciate their sacrifices. If you have children, you can relate to the acts of Jesus as he taught his followers lessons of boundless love and humility. Teach your children about these lessons and show them your love through quality time. The blessings of these lessons are that they are timeless and as relevant today as 2,000 years ago. Create your own rituals that sanctify the sacredness of today.

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, today can be a significant day of reflection, grace, and service. We can reflect on the sacrifices of generations before us and of our own sacrifices for the generations yet to come. We can perform humble acts of service for others in order to appreciate all the blessings we have in our own lives. In what ways do you show your love to others? How can you transcend the lessons of Jesus today? What hope can you offer?

There are no pure actions too small or too great that can be done in the name of God; in the name of Love. Experience the blessings of Holy Thursday in whatever way works for you and allow the deeper meaning of today remind you of what’s truly important.

 

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.