Tag Archives: Change

GIVING THANKS FOR THE DIVINE WITHIN: GOD AS INDIVIDUAL BEING


img_5609-2This is from a previous class on the teachings of Joel Goldsmith.
Joel GoldsmithThis was taken from the 7th Section of Joel’s book
Living by Grace and from
“Evaluating Your Spiritual Progress”  which is in
the end of the 6th Section.
Joel Goldsmith 2

Join us as we listen to the divine within.

The music is several different versions of Amazing Grace by Ladysmith Black Mambazo,
Walela and a piano solo called Amazing Grace.
Please help us support these artists by purchasing
this powerful meditation music on i-Tunes.

A PRAYER FOR WORK

” Yoarthlighothworld.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neithedo people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead,theyputitonitsstandanigives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds anpraisyour Father in heaven.”
(
Matthew 5:14–16)
love 103

alovawork, saluting the divinity in everyone and every situation.  

Nothinannoncakeemgoofromworkplace, from those whom I supervise, from those who I serve, frothoswhprovidservicetme.

alovialthings.  bless those with whom I work
and I release them to their greatest good.

 I embrace God’s love for me.
aabltmovbeyonthcomforoanboxes within which I have limited myself
anallow God’s love to use me for even greater things than these.PRAY2alovialthings.
Lovgivewatmbeinmbest, giving my best,
accomplishinmbest.

dnodweligossip, or envy, or struggle. I am able to be the best that I am called to be by realizing that I am a blessing, that I have special gifts and talents, that I have something unique to offer, and brinwho I am and the knowledge that I have in the obedience that I am.

alovialthings, a love that is success, a love that is joy, a love that is victorious. I am love in all things.

Lovpenetratemadversaries. Regardless of the situation, love manifests me as a winner.
PRAY6

This is a prayer that we give our best to our work environment, regardless of what shape it may take or where it might be or what it might demand, and that we come to it not so much expecting it to give to us but for us to give to it. May we find there whatever is in
accordance with Spirit’s desire for our growth. May we perform no task out of greed or selfishness or deceit.
PRAY10This is a prayer that we not lose ourselves in the fabric of the law firm, the corporate world, the police force, the military, the government, the university, the hospital—or wherever we find ourselves collectively giving to society—but that we understand that Spirit put us there for a reason, and part of that reason is what we as individuals bring as separate, creative expressions of Spirit.

lightThis is a prayer that we have the vision and the faith to celebrate our gifts with every task that we perform by never being afraid to speak our truths and tell our stories and do our best. Being the best at who we are in all of our imperfections, not perfection itself, is a blessing.
PRAY8This is a prayer that we put our egos aside to contribute what we can, whatever guise it may take, and that we be there to mentor those who need mentoring and that we grow and improve ourselves and increase our knowledge. We pray that we continually bless others in ways we cannot even imagine.
light3

This is a prayer that we use the work environment to cultivate whatever gifts and talents we have and take them out into the world to continue to develop them and to bless others by doing so. We are constantly growing, constantly learning, and constantly developing better judgment and greater resources, which can ultimately contribute to even greater good, productivity and peace than we currently experience.
LIGHT 5

Each lesson, each test, each job, and each performance inevitably prepares us for the next. Life strengthens us through our challenges and our struggles and even our suffering; and the lessons that we learn, the strength that we develop, the faith that we nurture through our experiences at work – whether they appear to be positive or negative – serve us as well as our workplaces because they enhance our creativity, courage, and commitment.
light31If others second-guess our skills and abilities, it only shows their shortcomings, their fears, and their need to grow, not our own. More importantly, the opinions of others are grossly over-rated and give us an opportunity to trust our own judgment. This means that we must be open-minded and receptive to good advice but know the difference between someone else’s judgment and our own wisdom – by developing a discernment that is not merely intellectual but Spirit- based.
Mary and MarthaCentering in Spirit helps us stand strong in the workplace, to be a tremendous success and a great asset because Spirit guides us continuously. Regardless of what we are doing, all we need to do is to be open and receptive to that guidance.
beauty eightThis is a prayer that we center ourselves in the guidance that Spirit gives us, especially in the midst of those who do not recognize our greatness, those who question our worth, those who diminish what we can offer. Only God realizes our greatness, and God puts us in our right time, at our appointed place to contribute, develop, and move forward. This is a prayer for us to shine our light, our gifts, our talents – that only we can offer.
PRAY11This is a prayer that we find a space for Spirit at work. We spend such an enormous amount of time giving to our jobs and our businesses that if we do not take Spirit there, it is absent for 75% or more of the time that we live. There is no separation between us and Spirit merely because we leave church, or temple, or synagogue, or mosque. This is a prayer that we continue to be centered in Spirit—particularly in places that are most in need of its presence. This is a prayer that we allow Spirit to use us and to be so centered in Spirit that we realize it is with us—especially at work. This is a prayer that we open our consciousness to the presence of Spirit in the mundane and everyday, ordinary encounter. . . .
Prayers Cover for CreateSpaceTHIS IS AN EXCERPT FROM REV. LOVING’S BOOK
Prayers for Those Standing on the Edge of Greatness,
which can be purchased on Amazon by clicking here, or wherever books are sold.

Look out for the sequel in 2016!

I HONOR THE MOTHER WHO GAVE ME BIRTH, THE MOTHER WHO KEEPS GIVING ME BIRTH, THE MOTHER IN ME, AND THE MOTHER IN YOU

21I honor the Divine that birthed the unique being CALLED ME.

eye 24I honor the Universal Ethers that formed every hair, every molecule, every fiber, every divine vibration of the I AM that I AM.

ownership 6I honor the Cosmic Womb that delivered the light that shines as me.

100I honor the Spirit that carried me into this  reality of absolute good that we call life.

great 7I honor the Perfect Harmony that called me from the endless bounty of this time space continuum before I was shaped in the womb.

thanks 31I honor the Souls who came before me and through whose legacy I began, not simply because I am, but because without them, I would never be.

Gabriel 12I honor the God that gave me a destiny in the irresistible vortex of my desires.

thanks 40I honor the Ancestors — expressing through me the love of enlightened purpose and endless possibility.

DSC03766I honor the Christ that died for me because in the second that my Savior died I began.

soul5I honor the Breath that the Holy Ghost breathed as me in the transformational moment of my spiritual liberation.

spirit 6I honor the Freedom that blessed me through the all-encompassing soul of my being.

DIVINE MOTHER 5I honor my Mother, and in so doing, I honor all of who I AM.

God is a Brown Girl Too 2010 Retreat 205Mothers do not only bring out the best in us, they are the best in us.

aa IMG_0392They are that aspect of us that sacrifices all to give to others.

IMG_1927They are that co-creative side of us that will bring forth all energy, all resilience, all commitment, all compassion, all power to give birth to something greater than ourselves.

ac IMG_0574A mother is the deep wisdom in us that knows, really knows as much as God and sees through all appearances of things, and reaches beyond flesh to pull us back from waywardness to righteousness.

ReadingA mother is that balance in us of carefulness and carefree-ness, of resistance and release, of responsibility and blame, of praise and humility.

DSC_0232My mother had 5 children, and from a very early age I wanted to emulate her and so I sat on the porch with about 5 dolls lined up under my care and protection because I appreciated the sacred act of mothering and the love that she gave me.

Marlon and Cecilia Photos of Younger Days 012Thich Nhat Hanh says that our mothers are so profoundly connected to us that they continue to nurture us even when they have left the fleshly realm, that they never stop giving us life, that we can always call on their support.

Our Mothers Watch Over Us Even When They Are Gone

When the singer says sometimes I feel like a motherless child, we feel her pain because we know that those words mean she has lost spiritual grounding.  She can no longer see the spiritual ancestors that continue to give birth to us, to love, to protect, to heal us.

img073I have been a mother to you, and each one of you has been a mother to me.  We will give birth to spiritual children while we live, and through our life and practice, we will continue to give birth even after we die.

Sitting togetherAnd so I want to give everyone an opportunity to celebrate the mother today:  The mother who gave you birth; the mother who keeps giving you birth; and the mother in you; and the mother you will always be – even after you are no longer on the earthly realm.

DSC_0214My Mother is a reservoir from which the continuous stream of good constantly flows into my life, a stream that has nothing to do with money or bank accounts — but flows endlessly  from inexhaustible supply.

DSC_0211

My mother is all-knowing wisdom, all-giving love, all-flowing peace constantly cleansing my heart.

Marlon and Cecilia Photos of Younger Days 004My mother is complete faith, unlimited joy and calming grace that blesses me with a life so wonderful that I have never even dared to imagine it.

Christa & Camille LovingMy mother is the divine ideas that keeps anointing me with fresh stories and new friends and untold strength and cosmic energy.

Aunt Cecilia Uncle Marlon and Christa Sweet 16My mother is the success, overflowing from the abundance of gifts in the irresistible vortex of my desires.

Cecilia and NajahMy mother moves through my life through a community called church and a vibrant connection of Oneness with each and every one of you.

SittingMy mother is the freedom that resurrects me through the all-encompassing soul of my being.

PrayingMy mother is the prayer that is always answered and is always blessing me.

 

STEP OUTSIDE YOUR BOX INTO BLESSINGS: Self-Empowerment Call

GBGII Blessings

The following is an excerpt from the studied chapter “Step Outside the Box into Blessings”, from the book God is a Brown Girl Too can be purchased on Amazon:    Listen on link above.

Interview Nov 2013

 

Enjoy our other websites uplifting a consciousness of grace at http://www.spiritmuvmeditation.com (we are on over 700 days of a meditation challenge); http://www.spiritmuvvideo.com (we post videos for our Miracle Minute Meditation, as well as our Metaphysical Bible Journey); http://www.spiritmuvblog.com (where we continue to uplift our community of growth in consciousness); http://www.myrtletreepress.webs.com (our publishing website); and http://www.spiritmuv.com (our main website).

 

 

DANCE WITH A NEW FREEDOM

 DANCE 13she wishes she could tell you the beginning so that you would realize the end
is the glory of a song
and a dance
with heart and meaning,

the poetry of creation
always leading back to itself.

DANCE 10

DANCE 3

Eric Butterworth was one of the great mystics of your time.  He taught many Brown Girls and left many books and tapes as a lasting legacy.  Before he made his transition, he was in a wheelchair.  His voice had become so weak that those around him hung on to his every word.  One of the last things that he said at a retreat in upstate New York was “I have no theology, I dance.”

“I have no theology, I dance”  means that you DANCE 5move with the Holy Spirit,  move with the wisdom that there is no separation between all that you are and all that I am.  You flow, you live, you laugh, you sing, you dance with a new understanding that you are unlimited in the Spirit, regardless of the appearances of the flesh.  You are Spirit in movement.

DANCE 2You are not a religion, you are divine truth. You are constantly re-defining yourself because there is no limit to Spirit.  In John 14:12, Jesus said, he who believes in me will do the works that I do also; and greater works than these will he do.  When you dance in the Spirit, you realize that if things are not going the way that you want them to go; if you are not satisfied with the direction your life has taken; if you don’t like the experiences that manifest in your life – you have the power to change them.

DANCE 7When you dance in the Spirit, you know that if patterns of negativity keep showing up in your life – such as disharmony, loneliness, pain, physical discomfort, financial insecurity, lack, worry, doubt – you can change them. You can wake up from your self-limiting thought and you can experience the ceaseless flow of good – and turn your life around.  You can dance.

DANCE 8When you dance in the Spirit, you shake the dust off your feet.  You bless the people who are not in accord with your greatest good, who do not support you and do Spirit calls you to do.  You dance in the joy of infinite possibility.  You dance in the hope that you can create, grow, plant, deliver, empower, ignite, vote, rap, sing, write, dig, teach, sell, envision, tap, rescue, develop, uncover, realize something in your life that will heal the world of hatred, of doubt, of lack, of limitation.

DANCE 11The Psalmist says in the 8th Psalm, the 6th Verse, you have given him power over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet. You dance.  No matter how unimportant, how trivial, how average, how unattractive, how old, how overweight, how unnecessary, how disabled you may seem to you, the dance that you do could not be done in quite the same way – without you doing it.  You dance in the realization that you are my unique melody sung once – only once as you – one melody of Spirit singing itself into the continuum; and the music of the spheres would not be complete without your voice.

DANCE 12 You dance in the truth that Spirit moves through you. You have something wonderful to offer life, which can only be created as you.  When King David brought the Ark of the Covenant to the City of David, which to the Israelites was the ark where God was kept, David danced before the Lord with all his might.  This mighty king made up his mind right then that he would tap dance, break dance, cabbage patch – clap his hands and stomp his feet – that he would gladly be a dancing fool – not just for a wooden Ark but for the Spirit that dwelt within him.

DANCE 6Throw away your crutches – whatever shape they may take.  Get up from beside your pools of Bethesda.  Touch the hem of my beloved Jesus’ garment.  Rise up like Lazarus.  Run the race and don’t get weary.  Renew your course with a new strength, a new power and a new victory.  There really is nothing, absolutely nothing that can hold you back.  So press forward not just to win the prize but to dance – all the way to the finished line.

 

This is an excerpt from the book God is a Brown Girl Too, which can be purchased on amazon.com.  It is a book where God speaks to us from the kingdom within, which is and always will be uniquely us.  Read and imagine God speaking to you, in the image and likeness of all that you are.

RECEIVE THE RICHES OF MY UNIVERSE: Self-Empowerment Call


Listen to our Saturday call here from Sept. 6, 2014.

GBGII page 24Now that we are dedicated to posting these, we will improve on the sound quality.

The following is an excerpt from the studied chapter; the book God is a Brown Girl Too can be purchased on Amazon:

“Each one of you is a unique seed, endowed with the power to attract what and who you need for your growth. each one of you has the power of choice in a universe abundant with divine ideas. You have the power to choose a consciousness of abundance, one  in which you can manifest the good that you desire . . .”

This power of choice liberates us from comparison.  We are not limited to a few divine expressions but to the unlimited good that the universe expresses as us. So we should not compare ourselves to others, loathing in fear and jealousy because we believe in lack.  We cannot worry about what others say or think, limiting ourselves in the marginalization and degradation of people who have not yet attained a spiritual vision.  We have to be committed to the absolute good of our own divine calling.

Listen.

Rev Cecilia Exlains God is a Brown Girl Too

 

Enjoy our other websites uplifting a consciousness of grace at http://www.spiritmuvmeditation.com (we are on over 700 days of a meditation challenge); http://www.spiritmuvvideo.com (we post videos for our Miracle Minute Meditation, as well as our Metaphysical Bible Journey); http://www.spiritmuvblog.com (where we continue to uplift our community of growth in consciousness); http://www.myrtletreepress.webs.com (our publishing website); and http://www.spiritmuv.com (our main website).

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO LEARN TO UNLEARN – PART 1

Cecilia July 4 2012 HeadshotEach Saturday, we devote ourselves to reading and discussing God is a Brown Girl Too on our “Self-Empowerment Call” from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM, at 567-314-3648, Pass Code 48201.

One of the things that we often discuss is what we have to un-learn.  The truth is that many of us have no idea why we believe what we do.  We do not know the history of our indoctrination nor do we question it.

The following is the first of several excerpts from papers that I have written about theology which serve as the foundation for God is a Brown Girl Too.   We were born as depraved sinners; we were taught to believe that we are powerless, even though Jesus Christ taught that the kingdom is in us; that the Holy Spirit is in us; that the Father is in us; and that He is in us.

a-soul-sings-to-her-mother1

The following is an excerpt from  African American Spiritual Traditions,
which was written in May 2004.  It discusses why some people fail to believe that the power of God is within them.

THE SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EASTERN AND WESTERN ANCIENT UNDERSTANDINGS OF THE ROLES OF JESUS CHRIST AND THE HOLY SPIRIT

Although the formal division of the Church into separate Eastern (Greece and the Near East) and Western (Western Europe) churches occurred in 1054 in the Great Schism between Rome and Constantinople, there had been a growing division in the way these two churches or theologies understood the role of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit for hundreds of years.

On the one hand, the East practiced the same theology that  Christ gave to the Apostles and that the Apostles gave to the early church fathers.  The East was also influenced by the Egyptian desert fathers[1], who practiced rigid asceticism to combat their physical passion in order to enhance their Oneness with God.

A

Western churches, on the other hand, were largely influenced by Augustine of Hippo, and to a lesser extent, Tertullian.   A1

Augustine, who was born in Africa though said to be a Roman citizen, has been called one of the greatest theologians of Western Christianity.  Their Fourth Century writings had little influence in the East, largely because they were written in Latin as opposed to Greek.[2]    (See Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, “Eastern Orthodoxy”, http://en.www.wikipedia.org )

Eastern theologians relied more on Greek philosophers, borrowing their language to explain Christian doctrine.  Significant differences between Western and Eastern ancient understandings of the roles of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are reflected in their understanding of (A) the “origin and procession of the Holy Spirit”, and (B) the “specific work of the Spirit in God’s plan of creation and salvation”.[3]

  1. The Origin and Procession of the Holy Spirit

The early Christian Church was troubled by disagreement over the nature and relationship of the Trinity.   The West saw the Holy Spirit as proceeding – and therefore originating — from both the Father and the Son, subordinate to neither.  The East saw the Holy Spirit as proceeding or originating from the Father alone.   According to the East, the Father alone brought forth the Holy Spirit; and the Son sent the Holy Spirit as the indwelling paraclete.

The Nicene Creed, established in 325 AD to conform Christian belief, is one of the key documents setting forth this fundamental difference in perception.  It, in part, sets forth:

“We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father . . .”

A-3The First Council of Constantinople adopted a revised version of the 325 AD creed in 381 AD, which was the last time that Catholic and Orthodox communions would agree on a Credo.  The phrase “and the Son”, which is the filioque in Latin, was added to the Nicene Creed at Synod of Toledo in Spain in 447 AD,[4] so that it read the Holy Spirit “who proceeds from the Father and the Son.”

West v East

Augustine of Hippo wrote that “the Holy Spirit is neither of the Father alone nor the Son but of both” – stressing their “unity.”  His view was if Spirit proceeded from both the Father and the Son,[5] then the work of the Holy Spirit collapsed into that of the Son.

But in John 15:26 (“when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me”), Jesus Christ  tells us that the Spirit proceeds from the Father – a scripture that the East constantly adduce in their criticism of the filioque clause of the West.

Father

The East follows the Johnanine doctrine closely, which distinguishes between the generation of the son (John 1:14 — and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth; John 3:16 —for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son; and Luke 3:22 — and the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from Heaven which said “You are my Beloved Son; in You I am well pleased” ) and the procession of the Spirit.

A-4

“Athanasius and the Cappadocians [Gregory of Nyssa, his older brother St. Basil or Basil the Great, and Gregory of Nazianzus] emphasized the participation of all three hypostases in all divine activity as a consequence and condition of their unity of essence.”  Systematic Theology, at 271 (citations omitted).   The Apostle John saw the Holy Spirit as the “other advocate” or paraclete who the Father will send in the name of Jesus or whom Jesus will send after exaltation by the Father (John 16:7 – “if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you”).

John 16 7

Consistent with John, the Eastern view was that the Holy Spirit issued from God the Father, through Jesus the Christ, so that God-Jesus Christ-Holy Spirit are viewed as three divine and unique hypostases.  The  Spirit proceeded from the Father through the Son and was perfected in the Holy Spirit.  Gregory of Nyssa, the younger brother of St. Basil, explained this procession as “three torches burning”, with each transmitting fire to the next; the Son being used as an instrument of the Father.  St. Basil believed God created through the Son and perfected through the Holy Spirit.

2.  The Specific Work of the Spirit in Creation and Salvation

The “original sin” was allegedly inherited at the creation of humanity from the Fall of Adam and Eve.  The West believes that after the Fall, humanity needed a savior to restore their right relationship with God.  Thus, Jesus Christ is the savior to restore humanity from sin. The East, however, believe that the “original sin” was not inherited but salvation is an ongoing process of improvement and healing for humanity  as a whole, all of which has been damaged or “tainted” by the Fall.

adam

Under early Western theological thought, the only way for a wretched and depraved humanity to receive the salvation of the Holy Spirit from the sin that was its so-called birth right was through the church.  To the West, only the church and the Bishop had the ability to dispense the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Ignatius, the Bishop of Antioch even wrote in one of his famous letters that “You should all follow the Bishop as Jesus did the Father.”    There was no individual anointing by the Holy Spirit as that could lead to heresy and confusion.  The West wanted full control; so there was only the anointing of the church.  In other words, to get the Holy Ghost, you had to go to church.  To speak in tongues, you had to go to church.  To receive the gift of prophecy, you had to be in church.

Eastern theologians, however, viewed spirituality as an individual experience.  This was likely inspired by the Egyptian desert fathers’ practice of rigid asceticism and control over themselves as individuals.  For example,  Gregory of Nazianzen, one of the Cappadocian Fathers, was concerned that the Holy Spirit not be suppressed.  Similarly, Gregory of Nyssa believed that our experience of the Holy Spirit is based, in part, on our Free Will to move from “Glory to Glory” and that the Kingdom of God is within us.  Macarius said that no part of the soul is covered with darkness; all of the soul is covered in spiritual light.

In the East, Gregory, Chrysostom and Macarius espoused the general view that we were made in the image of God.  The so-called original sin was just a taint.  Moreover, it was the result of humanity’s ability to exercise its God-given free will.  Chrysostom believed that evil was not a part of human nature, even though we may have a tendency to exercise our will to do what appears pleasurable but may be evil.  Despite the fact that the Fall tarnished the image of God (a result of “moral negligence”), God’s purpose is to restore humans to their original pristine perfection.  Athanasius described this concept of theosis:  “The Son of God became man that we night become God.” 

John Wesley said that “no man sins because he has not grace, but because he does not use the grace which he hath.”  Spirit — under this Eastern perspective —  could not be confined to the church.  This is consistent with the way Spirit moved in the lives of the nineteenth century African American women.  The church was not receptive to them, but they still received the glory of God, the salvation of Jesus Christ, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Sin was always projected on to brown skinned women everywhere; they were condemned, ridiculed, raped, oppressed, ostracized, sexually exploited, physically abused, mentally tortured – and needed to understand the Truth, that they are glorious, beloved, sacred daughters of God, blessed by Her Love and Her Grace.  As Sojourner Truth said, God is an ocean of Love and we move in Him like Fish in the Sea.

Sojourner

The Western perception of the Holy Spirit  produced a negative anthropological stance.  If everyone was a depraved sinner, tarnished forever from the fall of Adam and Eve, then the black woman, one of the most despised creatures – by white men, white women and black men worldwide – would be at the very bottom of depravity and sin.  The irony of this is that Eve, the oldest bones found in Africa, said to be the mother of all civilization had to be black.  According to the Discovery Channel’s documentary on Eve, all people were born from her; their pigmentation changed over time.  Nevertheless, under the Western Church rigid view of sin, Eve and her children can never be fully saved from their sins, except through Jesus for which there is no perfect salvation.

Those who attend church based on the Western school of thought, perceive themselves as sinners, who can never be saved.  They call on Jesus as their Savior, but look to the hereafter as the only way to experience true happiness.

The East has a more positive anthropological stance.   If the Fall is perceived as merely a taint or “moral negligence”, a sin for which we were acquitted when Jesus the Christ died upon the cross and was resurrected, we can redeem ourselves with the aid of the Holy Spirit, by baptism and rebirth, by the teachings of Jesus the Christ, and by the grace of God Our Father.

In John 14:12, Jesus said “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.”   If we believe that we can attain the stature of the Christ, we can do so without the church, without the bishop, without the pastor, or the preacher, or the congregation of so-called saints.  Jesus Christ taught at the temple, but he did not worship at church.

Jesus said, in John 10:34-35, “it is not written in your law, I said, ye are Gods.”

Paul said “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you.”

A more positive theology opens up the depraved sinner’s consciousness to the realization that she is not depraved, nor a sinner, nor worthless – but the worthy mother of civilization and co-creator of all things.

She has a specific work to do to restore humanity’s divine image;  she is capable of unfolding her perfection;  salvation is hers.

(Part 2 will be added next week.  References are below. )

[1] These anchorites or hermits sometimes led a life of prayer deep in the desert, spending time in prayer and meditation while denying themselves of food and sleep (e.g., Anthony, eating a few crumbs every second day, while walled up in a fort; he received visitations from angels, demons, wild animals, and other apparitions).  Dorotheus lived 6o years in a cave, sleeping while sitting up.  Macarius stood upright through the entire period of Lent.  Syrian ascetics were known to place themselves in holes; one slept in a hollowed-out log full of thorns and stones.  Some took off all of their clothes and grazed on herbs and grass like animals.  The Syrian stylites spent their lives praying at the top of tall stone pillars (e.g., Simeon lived 40 years atop a 50 foot stone pillar).  Not all anchorites were men; many were women!  (Lange, Stuart, “Searching for Intimacy with the Desert Fathers”, Reality Magazine, Issue 40.)

[2] All branches of Eastern Orthodoxy trace a continuous apostolic succession back to the five early centers of Christianity: Rome, Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople. The Western tradition is largely seen as Catholicism and Protestantism (e.g., the Roman Catholic Church).

[3] Quotes without citations are taken from Dr. Anne Rebecca Elliott’s dissertation, African American Women’s Understanding off the Spirit: Ancient Eastern Pneumatological Influences (1998).

[4] The dispute over the filioque clause and the manner of its adoption helped lead to the great schism 600 years later.

[5]  The “result”, however is “not in keeping with the witness of the scripture.”  Wolfhart Pannenberg, Systematic Theology  (1991),  at 317.  In fact, Western theology is now reaching a consensus that the filioque is “uncanonical” and the “Augustinian doctrine of the procession of the Spirit from the Father is an inappropriate formulation.”  Id. at 318 and n. 181.

EIGHT LESSONS FROM THE SILENCE

IMG_0135[1]In Sedona, so much was revealed that it will take several blogs to process it all.  Even after several more blogs, the process of understanding the blessings of Sedona will be ongoing.

Aligned

For example, one of the most important parts of the retreat is being silent.  We were silent every night from 10 PM to 6 AM, but on the fourth day, we went into more focused silence from 5 PM to 5 AM.  In the silence, it is easier to practice the presence because you can more easily leave the world around you.

auras

The first lesson that I learned in the silence was compassion.  I realized that the loudest noise I hear – the noise that I needed to silence – was my inner voice.  Take a moment and listen to your inner voice.  What are you telling yourself?

Bayliss seeing

My inner voice was filled with criticism and condemnation.  I had to silence my inner voice as well as my outer voice – to hear God.

Altars

The second lesson I learned in the silence was to look deeply into my own eyes and smile.  In the mirror, my whole face smiled with me.  Have you taken the time to see you and bless yourself with a smile?  I never would have taken the time to smile at myself if I were not silent.  Looking deeply into my eyes and smiling was like staring deeply into an opening in my soul.

face to face

The third lesson that I learned in the silence was to be moderate in all things.  Spirit made me promise not to deprive myself.  I can eat the blanched kale and oatmeal and fruit that we had for breakfast – with ground flaxseed.  But for me, I can also eat flesh in moderation, sugar in moderation, salt in moderation.   Moderation also requires that I in-take the colors of the universe: beets and oranges, strawberries  and radishes; sweet potatoes and tangerines; cucumbers and mangoes, and sweet potatoes and egg plant.  Whole foods shined through us fresh as a new aura of wholeness.

Gina

The fourth lesson that I learned in the silence was to stop judging.  Instead, I allow peace to fill my heart: a peace that washes away fear, a peace that washes away sadness, a peace that nourishes my soul.  In peace, I rest and am renewed – rising like an eagle, strong enough this time to fly higher.

FB bird in the cactus

The fifth lesson that I learned in the silence is how to see my husband more clearly.  I really saw him as who he was for the first time.  He was there in the silence too as he accompanies me on every retreat and for every service, presentation or workshop.  We have been in the silence several times before so we know to avoid each other’s eyes.  Our eyes would be conversation in and of themselves.  Instead I feel his anticipation of my needs, his desire to give, his patient attention to detail, his strength to my weakness, his husband to my wife, his light in my darkness.

Marlon Our Guide

The sixth lesson I learned in the silence is that I already hear the prayers of others – not loudly, but instinctively.  I already am part of the impetus to receive answers.  I already ride on the wings of grace with blessings and favor.  Miracles are already taking shape.

embraced by the sun

The seventh lesson I learned in the silence is how to see you.  I know you by your magnificence.  Your radiance transcends the mago womb of love.  You are as brilliant as dawn, dressed in new moons, wearing the victory of new seasons.  Each one of your ten toes and fingers wiggle in the rainbows of lasting promises.  Each one of your amazing stars curls through your hair and colors your skin endless shades and hues of brown.  I learn the importance of being present for you as much as I am present for me.

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The eighth lesson that I learned in the silence is that my dreams are already one with nature.  My dreams awaken in the desert even more eloquently than they do in the city.  In Sedona, my dreams ride the winds of gentle kisses and leap from the limbs of juniper trees, saying “you have arrived, you have entered a new realm, you are here.”

Healing Walks

In the silence, deep within the silence, I know that we are born of the same mother, fed by the same father, guided by the same holy spirit, led by the same Christ of many different names.  I know that our song will last forever because I can hear it.  It is a song bestowed on us by the ancients, a song of grace given to us by God, a song of power exuding from every cell of our being, a song of wholeness connecting us as one, a song of Genesis constantly creating, a song of vision beyond the world dimension.

Cecilia

In the silence, I hear a song of joy that never ever stops singing.

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NAMASTE,

The love in me embraces the love in you.

Rev. Cecilia B. Loving

STEP INTO YOUR GREATNESS


When you stand on the edge of pure possibility,
you can use your prayer as the impetus to fly.

***

alvin ailey
Alvin Ailey Collection

an excerpt from the book God is a Brown Girl Too, where God speaks as us to us, from the kingdom within . . .

Reading God is a Brown Girl Too

 

“I sing“Jesus loves me this I know” because it is Jesus whose teachings have taught many to step into their greatness. Jesus is the perfect manifestation of Spirit in creation.  Jesus is the divine idea of God fully expressed as humanity. There is nothing like the blood of Jesus.

Jesus TwoBut focus less on his crucifixion and more on his resurrection.

Jesus has never stopped reminding Brown Girls everywhere that you will do “even greater things” than him (John 14:12). Jesus Supper

Eat those words with as much joy as you would a trip to Red Lobster, and let them slither off your tongue like those hot cheese biscuits.”

 

Christ is not a person.

Jesus SixChrist is the salvation, the stature that Jesus attained to show you that God dwells in all humanity.

Paul said “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27), teaching you that Spirit is your birthright.

I sing, “Jesus on the main line, tell ’em what you want.”

But Jesus does not merely teach you to ask for what you want.  He commands that you do so — commands that you be in the right consciousness to receive it. Jesus is teaching you to step into the kingdomJesus Te of God that is within you, and know that all else — every single detail of my good will be added to you (Matt. 6:31-33).

Jesus ThreeI sing “Yes, Jesus loves me, yes, Jesus loves me” because Jesus taught you that if you don’t have the good sense to ask in your own name, ask in his.  He said that he will serve as your proxy and your healer and your friend.

But he taught you these things so that eventually you would become wise enough to touch the hem of your own garment.

There is fish and bread for you to multiply.  There are oceans for you to walk.

There are dead among you who need to be raised.  There are stones that need to be redeemed from accusers.

elevenThere are wellsprings of living water to drink.  But I need you to stand up my daughter — in a  consciousness that realizes you have whatever it takes.  You will never be successful if you do not grasp the unlimited power that I am as you. I don’t care about your weave, your Gucci, your rock or the glitter of your rims — even your millions don’t  matter.

Only when you awaken to your true self do you step into your greatness.

It is important for everyone to study and know the truth — especially you.  Disregard those who believe that you have no right to God — for they want you to believe that you have no right to yourself. alvin ailey 4

No woman or girl should be oppressed because of those who misinterpret the truth to mean that God is male and therefore, only men are God.  I am inextricably part of each one of you in the same way that a breath is part of the wind.

flight 4You, too, are the energy of life.  There is no separation between all that I am and all that you are.  Paul was right when he said that you live, move and have your being in God.  You are my offspring  (Acts 17:28).

All of you who see me in Jesus should be aware that Jesus acknowledged me in you when he said  “I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” (John 14:20).  Jesus said that the “kingdom of God is within you”  (Luke 17:21).

Jesus not only said I and the Father are One, he also said, “you are gods” (John 10:34).

This is called oneness.

This means that there is no separation between you and Spirit.

This means that your greatness is you waiting for you to express the Absolute Good that you are. alvin ailey 3flight

Feel me at the bottom of your feet.

I am stepping through divine vibrations that I am sending from the tip of your toes up your muscles and bones — through your veins and glands — to the top of your head.

alvin ailey 2I am always in your midst as your teacher, your companion and your guide.

I always direct you, move you, lead you, speak to you, create through you, act through you, dance through you, and sing through you.

I am always there, always here, always now.