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Posts tagged ‘Faith’

Unleash and Release

“Throughout our lives, God's grace bestows temporal blessings and spiritual gifts that magnify our abilities and enrich our lives. His grace refines us. His grace helps us become our best selves.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“Throughout our lives, God’s grace bestows temporal blessings and spiritual gifts that magnify our abilities and enrich our lives. His grace refines us. His grace helps us become our best selves.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“There is that incessantly gnawing loneliness that leaves us ever-restless, eventually driving us to embark upon some endless journey supposing that whatever would fill us is held in some hidden treasure that lays silently buried in a yet undiscovered place. Yet, it would do us well to understand that this loneliness is no more and no less than the image of the infinite God ever-stirring within us and all the while begging to be unleashed.”― Craig D. Lounsbrough

Loosen the binds and bonds of ego, worry, restlessness.
Enter the space of spirit, soul, being.
Always present, waiting to be found, seen, experienced.
Seek, find and be found.
Listen for the whisper, the call.
Here for a purpose, hear on purpose.
Inquire, discern, reflect, respond.
Salt, light, color.
Do good.
Bless the world with your best imperfect, flawed, beautiful self.

“Christ has no body now but yours
No hands, no feet on earth but yours
Yours are the eyes that look
Compassion on the world
Yours are the feet that walk to do good
Yours are the hands that bless all the world.” – St. Theresa of Aliva

Epiphany

“Today the Magi gaze in deep wonder at what they see: heaven on earth, earth in heaven, man in God, God in man, one whom the whole universe cannot contain now enclosed in a tiny body. As they look, they believe and do not question, as their symbolic gifts bear witness: incense for God, gold for a king, myrrh for one who is to die.”— Peter Chrysologus

The Epiphany – the culmination and destination of Advent and Christmas.
Unfathomable, transformational, relevant, meaningful, vibrant, alive and available to all to this very day.
Not history or fable, but past, present and future.
Ponder, seek, expand, allow awe and wonder in.
In the unknowing, mystery, beneath, above, around and beyond understanding, the Epiphany calls, invites and welcomes all in to be held, changed and made new.

“What are you doing, O Magi? Do you adore a little Babe, in a wretched hovel, wrapped in miserable rags? Can this Child be truly God? … Are you become foolish, O Wise Men … Yes, these Wise Men have become fools that they may be wise.”— Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

A woman who said “yes” without hesitation, with unshakeable trust ushers the Savior in. Let the light in to your routine and daily life, be upended, turned up and around. Cast Light.

“Truth, by which the world is held together, has sprung from the earth, in order to be carried in a woman’s arms.”— St Augustine

Peace. Hope. Joy.

Be Glad In It

“Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love, to work, to play, and to look up at the stars.” – Henry Van Dyke

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalms 118:24

A new day. A new year. After a few years of making plans to only have them thwarted by an ongoing pandemic, resolutions are hollow and a set up for disappointment. And yet, and yet. Hope keeps calling. Joy demands attention. Light keeps breaking through. Resolutions with commitment and work pull us forward. This will not go on forever. Nothing does and there are no do-overs as hard as we try to change the past. Our response is more important than the circumstances. That’s where our power lies.

In the unmaking and unraveling, we can reclaim, reshape, repurpose the materials and tools we have been given to create something new from what’s already available and in reach. Abundance over scarcity creates options and avenues to follow.

Put your focus, effort and attention on that which you can influence and stop wasting time trying to fix others and waiting for the perfect circumstances that never arrive. Be bold and fierce, present and engaged in this day.

We know all too well that we can’t predict the future. But we can enter this day, give it our best, whatever that is for you right now. Hope. Light. Joy. Today and on the road ahead. Be glad in this day.

“Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.” – Doris Day

I Told You So

“Acts of kindness never die. They linger in the memory, giving life to other acts in return.” – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

“Can we see the trace of God in the face of a stranger?” – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

May our “I told you so” statements be steeped in generosity not righteousness and indignation.
Words, acts and affirmations of encouragement, support, connection, belonging, listening, inquiry, companionship, empathy, kindness.
To self and others.
Especially when it makes no sense whatsoever.
In our pursuit of needing to be right at all costs, it is costing us relationships, connection and community.
Opinions, accusations, and assumptions are drowning out the richness, complexity and dimension of differences and commonalities within the differences that tie humanity together.
As we enter a new year, may kindness be our guide, joy our daily companion and love our destiny.
Together rather than other.
If we keep but these resolutions, we will heal the world from COVID and all other pandemics of the heart.
You are worthy, messy, beautiful, incomplete, redeemable, resilient, forgiving, kind, generous, capable, strong, wholehearted. You have the capacity and agency for this and so much more. Believe and pursue.
I told you so!

“The responsible life is one that responds. In the theological sense it means that God is the question to which our lives are an answer.” – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Peace

“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.” – John F. Kennedy

“If it’s out of your hands, it deserves freedom from your mind too.” – Ivan Nuru

Peace always begins within. Reconcile and release worry, unforgiveness, resentments, open the door to peace. We become what we carry. Lay down the unnecessary, the old, the burdens that bind. Integrate them and move forward, not looking back. Walk lightly. Pour your energy, attention and effort to creating, building and connection. Nurture peace within by pruning, replanting and rooting in good soil of joy, love and gratitude.

Peace be with you, me and the world. Never stop pursuing.

“Learning lessons is a little like reaching maturity. You’re not suddenly more happy, wealthy, or powerful, but you understand the world around you better, and you’re at peace with yourself. Learning life’s lessons is not about making your life perfect, but about seeing life as it was meant to be.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Fierce Reckless Love

“The earth has grown old with its burden of care, but at Christmas it always is young, the heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair, and its soul full of music breaks the air, when the song of angels is sung.” – Phillips Brooks

“All thoughts, all passions, all delights Whatever stirs this mortal frame All are but ministers of Love And feed His sacred flame.” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

In a world that yells you’re not enough, not welcome, don’t belong, Christmas marks the end of isolation, aloneness, unworthiness, the beginning of acceptance, joy and love. Rejected from the start, no room at the Inn, Jesus comes to walk the same earth, experience the same judgment and though innocent, bears our own sins on the Cross to save the world. Fierce, reckless, unbelievable, undeserving love, grace and mercy.

Put down your rules, assumptions, opinions, ego, religion, judgment, comparison and flat familiar narratives for a moment. Open up to mere consideration of this fierce reckless love. Be held in the invitation, the welcoming, the homecoming, where nothing makes sense yet possibility lingers in inquiry, in imagination.

Change your answer, say yes and “make room at the Inn.” Don’t follow the crowd, break the rules, go off trail. Crack the door, open the window to wonder, contentment, delight, mystery, magnificence. Rest in the blessed assurance that you are never alone, never have been, nor will be.

That’s the message of Christmas – belonging, not just some, but all. Christmas demands more, gives more and transforms if we allow. Accept the invitation in your heart to come home where the hem of heaven kisses the earth this morning and each day going forward. Offered to each without reserve or measure.

Merry, Merry Christmas.

“There are four questions of value in life, Don Octavio. What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. Only love.” – Lord Byron

Christmas Eve Eve

“God is in the details.” – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

“Expectancy is the atmosphere for miracles.” – Edwin Louis Cole

In these last hours of Advent, prepare to enter Christmas through eyes and heart of a child. The waiting is over and the gift is arriving yet again to change the story, the trajectory, the future.

In wonder, love and joy, never miss the chance to pause from skating to plop down to make snow angels. To delight in the season and to carry it forward into the world. Generosity, kindness, compassion, understanding, inquiry, surprise, transformation, wanderlust, reverence, laughter, dancing, hope, singing, faith, color, trust, mystery, connection, snow angels. All gifts of this season. Open, invite it all in and in turn, give them all away freely. Be held and hold.

Merry Christmas. May we carry it forward when we return to ordinary days to transform them into extraordinary days.

“The Gospel comes in power and the Holy Spirit, with much assurance. If you call upon the name of the Lord, God will transform you on the inside, give you the shock of your life, and give you everlasting life on top of that.” – Ray Comfort

Solstice Inflection

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, ‘Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” — Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

“The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns. Faith also means reaching deeply within, for the sense one was born with, the sense, for example, to go for a walk.”― Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year as the journey begins to spring through the woods, valleys and mountains of winter. An inflection point, a turning, a beginning and ending residing together. Light always returns.

Here’s to beginnings, endings, more beginnings, more endings and the caulk and cracks of ordinary simple beautiful days that hold them all together. There’s meaning in all of it. Trust it when it doesn’t make sense allowing hope to be the thread that allows us grace to not understand and to continue on with joy as a backdrop and faith as a verb. Read your life so you can keep writing your life anew weaving the sentences, paragraphs and acts together. Finding the themes, the patterns, the connections, the dead branches that need to be pruned for new growth to unfold.

Flow in and with the rhythm of seasons with the unfolding, unmaking, unwinding that prepares for the renewal, repurposing and making new. Unfolding, unfurling, flowing.

“Those who flow as life flows know they need no other force.” Lao Tzu

Big Sky

“Excuse me while I kiss the sky.” – Jimi Hendrix

“Aim for the sky, but move slowly, enjoying every step along the way. It is all those little steps that make the journey complete.” – Chanda Kochhar

As you walk the earth, may you pause frequently to see the big sky.
Anchored in now and hopeful for tomorrow.
Gratitude doesn’t deny struggles.
It makes us look at the big sky to see the whole picture.
Where blessings and burdens reside together.
In the landscape of life, beauty resides awaiting attention, offering an embrace.
Joy for the taking.

“O God, we praise Thee for keeping us till this day, and for the full assurance that Thou wilt never let us go.” – Charles Spurgeon

Final Steps to the Finish Line

“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.” – Joseph Campbell

A week from today is Christmas Eve. The hustle and hurry to get the last gifts, preparing for gatherings, wrapping up work for the year, rushing to the finish line. Don’t let these last steps get lost in the chaos, missing the gifts of Advent waiting, reflection, beauty and transformation.

Our lives are more than headlines. Get into the sentence structure of your story. The beginning, middle and end, noticing how the narrative weaves together. In the nouns, verbs, prepositions. In the commas, semicolons and periods. In the paragraphs breaks, transitions and in the final paragraph that sums it all up to create meaning and foster growth.

Dwell in the full Christmas season and story. Still, calm, quiet. Oh, Holy Night and all the days that lead there. Find your sacred space in it all.

a blessing for a chaotic season by Kate Bowler

“blessed are we, the fearful. though we long to be people of peace, we can’t lie

we are afraid.

afraid there wont’ be enough – enough resources, enough time, enough memories.

blessed are we who ask You for wisdom, show us what to turn from, what to set aside.

come Lord, that we might see you, move with You, keep pace with You.

blessed are we who ask that this Advent we might dwell together quietly in our homes.

come Lord, that we might be for others the peace they cannot give.

blessed are we who look to You and say God, truly, we are troubled and afraid. come govern our hearts and calm our fears.

Oh Prince of Peace, still our restless selves, calm our anxious hearts, quiet our busy minds.”

 

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