The healing power of church

clasped-hands-541849_960_720I love church. My love for church has grown and so has my understanding for the spiritual growth, humility and love it takes to serve Christ’s church.

The church that I love is based on the healing power of Christ. A church that is willing to love without conditions or boundaries.

I have seen the power of Christ connect people of all types and backgrounds. Liberal and conservative. Black and white. Homosexual and heterosexual. Homeless and wealthy. Toddlers and seniors. All attracted to the same church. Why? Because ultimately there is a craving for divine, infinite Love that uplifts, heals and saves and gives meaning to our lives.

Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

may-703626_960_720This flies in the face of so much of what we see today, which wants to separate us based on our history, politics, age, race and religion. Christ is above all this. We have the right to know we are all loved and accepted (as Jesus showed us), and we can live that Christ-spirit where ever we go.

I’m not pretending the Bible doesn’t talk about judgement and separating the “goats” from “sheep” in God’s fold, but I am convinced that this is talking about states and stages of thoughts and actions.

We want to judge — be spiritually discerning in — our own thinking every day and determine if thoughts are coming from God (harmonious, loving, kind, spiritual, limitless, generous, forgiving) or from a mortal ego (limited, fearful, destructive, condemning).

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts: And see if there be any way of wickedness in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Self-knowledge is an essential component of spirituality. God knows everything that He made is good, spiritual and perfect. We can know that, too.

friends-1149841_960_720Each day I can pray: How can I love more? How can I serve You better? We can also pray wholeheartedly for a greater understanding of God and everyone’s relationship to Him. This will in turn bless us and every community.

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Colossians 3:11 ESV

Psalms 139: 23, 24 ERV

Sticky paper

I recently had a mouse in my house. We thought the cats would solve the problem but after several weeks we purchased live traps. A few days later we caught the mouse and released it in the woods. Problem solved!

I discussed this issue with a family member who shared her stories of catching mice, including the use of sticky paper.

I’m personally not a fan of the sticky paper method, but thinking about this sticky paper did prove to be a useful analogy in my spiritual practice.

I was praying during the church service this last Sunday. It was uplifting, inspiring and healing. However, now and then, these thoughts would come out of no where: feeling personally offended by a situation, rehearsing another uncomfortable situation, etc.

This was my response: there is no “sticky paper” in my consciousness to trap these thoughts. I could simply let them go — no reaction, no distraction. I did let them go and continued on with my prayers. And I felt so uplifted!

This is a process I would highly recommend to anyone! You could also think of the analogy of throwing spaghetti noodles at the wall — in this case, we don’t want them to stick!

Water into wine…

In the Bible we read about Jesus attending a wedding reception and turning the water into wine after the wine had run out.

I think of this Bible story as a symbol for how the Christ – the divine message from God – can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary in any situation throughout our day.

I’ve enjoyed praying with a poem, which reads in part:

Walking into a church
should be like walking into a manger, —
a place so shorn of self-righteousness,
so free of all reproach,
that the hungering heart will feel no
shame, no awkward fear,
no insecurity.

Sitting in a church
should be like sitting in a field of sunlight—
comfortable and warm…

And it closes with:

Oh, yes—I know how I expect my
church to feel ….
Dear Father-Mother, teach me
now the way to make it real.

We may feel this way about a number things of life.

For example, I know how I want this relationship to feel — teach me how to make it real; I know the way I want my career to feel — teach me how to make it real.

What makes this ideal model in thought a reality? I find that it is divine Love, which can be felt through humility, unselfishness, and being ready and willing to listen and follow the inspiration of this Love.

The wonderful thing about this spiritual animus – the activity of divine Love – is that it is always present in our consciousness; It lifts us up and points the way toward Spirit and away from materiality. It is an attraction, a law, a buoy; It saves us, so to speak.

It is present in every relationship, every encounter, every job assignment to turn the “water into wine” in our experience — to take us from feeling ordinary to feeling touched and blessed by Love, which feels extraordinary.

Perhaps this love is a gift you can give to someone today; or perhaps it is a gift you have received. Either way, the activity of divine Love is always here, and the opportunity to recognize it and utilize it shows we live at one with divine Spirit and Love, which is extraordinary.