Tag Archives: John

WHAT IS “GOD IS A BROWN GIRL TOO”?

For our 100th blog, I decided to re-visit the genesis of God is a Brown Girl Too.  God is a Brown Girl Too is a spiritual movement that was born when I was in seminary and the Holy Spirit revealed to me that one aspect of my Rev Loving leading the sessioncalling was to uplift the divine nature of women and girls of color everywhere.  This movement is called God is a Brown Girl Too because it is not limited to Africa but to brown women and girls worldwide.  Why?  Because we have been marginalized, demonized and denigrated throughout history and need to reconstruct our understanding of Spirit as us – not as some old white man who could care less about us.  We need to recapture the beauty, grace and power of our divine birthright.

God as Mother, Father, Creator of us all is always present as us all, always loving, always continuing to express as us. 

Sabrina and KiaThe Brown Girl represents the daughter of all beginnings.  Genetic studies and fossil evidence show that humans in Africa, between 200,000 and 150,000 years ago.  Based on our knowledge to date, our foremothers left Africa between 125,000 and 60,000 years ago, and that over time these humans replaced earlier human populations such as Neanderthals.   And yet, because those who re-wrote history and science and religion left us obscured, worthless, shameful, or – at best – comely, we fail to realize who we really are: made in the image and likeness of the creator of all. 

God is a Brown Girl Too exercises the power that we all have to re-claim our legacy as God’s image and likeness for ourselves.

 Womanist Alice Walker understood the significance of Brown Girl-ology when she wrote The Color PurpleCelie is the downtrodden Spirit within,God is a Brown Girl Too 2010 Retreat 037 who does not find her fullest expression in life until she finds out that God is not a man – but is everything, even the color purple!  Shug Avery sings, when you feel the truth and love what you feel, you have found God.  Understanding our Oneness with the heart and purpose of the Brown Girl, who merely sits in the shadows of scripture, dances on the edge of time, nonexistent or irrelevant to most – is a challenge worth pursuing because it is by seeing beyond her face-lessness, name-lessness and voice-lessness that we find ourselves.   Creating Outside the Box Three

People from all races, religions, nationalities, and cultures flock to hear the Brown Girl’s voice in The Color Purple on Broadway and to witness her story of realizing that God is within her and everyone else – not merely to be entertained but because there is a ministry in her God is a Brown Girl Too Prayermessage. 

 When I arrived at New York Theological Seminary, I met Drs. Delores Williams and Anne Elliott, in a course that I took on the Spiritual Traditions of Nineteenth Century African American Women.  These two womanist theologians taught me that theology is not just how the white man sees God – but how we each walk and talk with God; that African American women have a special relationship with Jesus;  that we are moved by the Holy Spirit in a particular way; that we fail to question the messages that we embrace as gospel – like the rape of the slave girl Hagar at the bidding of Sarah; that black women through time have defied death and slavery to bring the word of God; that we have a heritage which not only anoints us with salvation but also with hope. Spirit of the Living God is My Breath and My Heartbeat

Drs. Williams and Elliott laid part of the foundation for the beginning of this discourse with acknowledgement of how God expresses as me, along with my background in Unity. 

Pam and Lia Beautiful movementUnity is a nondenominational faith, which teaches that there is no separation between the human spirit and God: that in this eternal Oneness, the “I AM”, we are a living expression of God.Gathering for Morning Prayer Aboard the Ship  Some may find this heretical or blasphemous, but in 2 Corinthians 6:16, the Bible teaches us that “God hath said I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and will be their God.” In 1 Corinthians 3:16, Paul said “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you.” He said that “we live and move, and have our being” in God  (Acts 17:28). We loved

DSC08154[1]In Romans 8:9, the biblical witness said “Ye are not the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.” In John 10:34-35, Jesus said, “it is not written in your law, I said, ye are Gods.” 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.”  These scriptures and similar passages form the foundation for the church that Spirit formed through me: SPIRITMUV.  SPIRITMUV is the spiritual birthplace for God is a Brown Girl Too.

Yvonne and Paul

Like Unity, SPIRITMUV teaches that we have the same consciousness that Jesus Christ had, “Christ Consciousness.”  Therefore, it is imperative for us to seek and embrace the kingdom in our lives through our conscious connection with the Spirit of God: in every word that we speak, every vision that we have, every breath that we breathe, every inch of space that we take up.  God dwells within us and does not depart from us.  We are the DSC_0438temple of God and we live and move and have our being in God.  We are not only flesh but also Spirit; there is no separation between us and God.      GBGII 2012 BBB               

 In 1997, when I was recuperating from surgery, I began to write a collection of poetry called “Plain Brown Girl,” thinking not only about myself but about all black women, asking who is thereGBGII 2012 F to tend our wounds and comfort us when we are healing.  The Brown Girl spoke through me through centuries, reminding me of that she is the face of God.  She expressed herself as a Brown Girl partly because of the limitations of the use of the word “black” to embrace people who are not only the most beautiful deepest, darkest brown but are other endless shades of beautiful brown. God is love

Brown also embraces cultures that do not fall under the “black” rubric – many Asians, Hispanics and Latinos and Native Americans whose darker color is indigenous to their land but no different than all of the darker sisters who populate this world and have been marginalized and condemned as always less than

GBGII 2012 JDSC_0408Brown Girl-ology is the daughter of womanist theology, born to fashion a God from a past that was before history; courageous enough to create her own myths; inventive enough to question the founding fathers of a faith that is largely prejudiced and racist and sexist; daring enough to remember God as Mother, as well as Father; prophetic enough to celebrate Spirit as herself rather than as a God that does not embrace her image and likeness.  We embrace the Spirit in us through the power ofDSC_0447 community. 

To date, there are been five retreats: the Opening to Consciousness Retreat in 2009; the Awakening to Love Retreat in 2010; the Creating Outside the Box Retreat in 2011; the Tell a New Story Retreat in 2012; and the Hope of Glory Retreat in 2013 aboard the Carnival Glory Cruise Ship to Nova Scotia. In 2014, we will have the Reclaiming the Vortex Retreat in Sedona, Arizona.

God is a Brown Girl Too 2010 Bonding in Faith

God is a Brown Girl Too 2010 Retreat 074We are grateful for those of you who have joined us on these retreats as they cannot exist without you. 

We look forward to you joining us on future retreats.  We also invite you to celebrate yourself and become more aware of Spirit expressing as you by attending our Sunday God is a Brown Girl Too 2010 Retreat 061Worth-Ship Services at the Unity Center of New York City, at 2:30 PM, at 213 West 58th Street, near Broadway. 

We meet in the Upper Room to meditate, pray, teach, sing, grow, listen, embrace, and uplift the divine within. 

Hope you can help keep our community strong by supporting the you in us.

Much love and many blessings on the path,

Reverend Cecilia Loving

 

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THE BEGINNING AND END OF YOUR LOVE STORY by Cecilia B. Loving

Marlon and CeciliaMarlon and I are huge romantics.Dady'd little girls
We enjoy every love story.
We have probably memorized the script to Pride and Prejudice.
We are huge fans of Masterpiece Theater, especially the award-winning Downton Abbey series:
we couldn’t wait for Mr. Bates to join his beloved Anna.
We have enjoyed Enchanted April countless times and have seen it on stage and screen.
If Love Jones or Princess Bride is on, there’s no getting Marlon to budge;
if Daddy’s Little Girls or Love Holiday is on, there’s no getting me to budge.
The red roses, the Godivas (especially those chocolate-covered Oreos)
and the Cupcake Prosecco are plentiful.
Love HolidayLove JonesBut we both realize that the beginning and end of our love story
is not about romance.

Love is Spirit.
Whether in life or death, love is the eternal energy
that connects us, draws us, manifests us, and expresses as us forever.

Enchanted AprilLove never fails.  Love is not merely flesh but is the most powerful energy there is.  There is a reason why the Biblical witness John wrote in hisPride and Prejudice letters that love never fails because love is God.

1 John 1:5 says “God is light”: a light that purifies us – as love does – from all sins.

This is not worldly love, as 1 John 2:15 indicates, not lust of the flesh or egotistical pride but the eternal love of Spirit.  This is not a fleeting love, a seasonal love – or a love that dissolves or fades like the petals of a rose or melts like chocolates – but a love never, ever changes.  We are love 36required to love – not with words or speech but with action and truth (1 John 3:18).

Love never fails because “love comes from God” (1 John 4:7).  As John says, “[w]hoever does not know love does not know God” because God is not an engagement or a boyfriend or a girlfriend or a date or a promise or a marriage or a desire – God is the divine in us, the truth as us, the infinite,love 34 inexhaustible good in us.  “God is love” (1 John 4:8), a love that can never ever fail.

We don’t need to love for love because love is here – living in us (1 John 4:12).

“There is no fear in love,” no hatred, no jealousy, no anger, no resentment, no despair, no failure because perfect love – the love of Spirit – cannot, does not and will not fail.

love 47No matter what challenge you have before you, love will take care of it.  No matter what you perceive as the enemy, love will remove it.  No matter what you fear, love will turn it on its head and make it serve – rather than harm you, protect rather than hurt you, prosper rather than rob you.

Love will turn bitterness into support.  Love will turn catastrophe into success.  Love will turn the enemies into friends.  Love will wrap you in a love 38circle of power so protective that those who thought they meant you no good will succumb to your greatness or distance themselves so completely they no longer remember who you are.

No matter what the situation, what the circumstance, what the complication, love will heal you, love will lift you, love will love 46shield you, love will guide you, love will direct you, love will strengthen you, love will feed you, love will completely re-order your affairs because love cannot and will not fail.

As I say in the book God is a Brown Girl Too, on page 44, “You are the beginning and end of your love story”: a story that will bless you, heal you, prosper you, and never, ever fail.

FIFTY WAYS TO LOVE YOURSELF

Carl Sandburg said “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent.”  He adds, “Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”  Jesus said it differently, he said “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:60)(NIV).   How do we proclaim the Kingdom of God?  How do we enter it, realize it, become one with it, be uplifted by it, be glorified by it?  We don’t have to wait until the afterlife.  In Luke (17:20-21), Jesus says the kingdom of God is in us.

Jesus is saying that we have to love ourselves.  But we don’t.  Instead, we distract ourselves with other people, places, things – even opportunities so that we don’t have to stare deeply into the face of our own love – a love that is powerful, a love that is infinite, a love that is true, a love that never fails nor forsake us because it is the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God expressing and loving as us.

We cannot live our lives righteously without loving ourselves.  We cannot do what we were called to do – without loving ourselves.  We cannot be the best that we can be without loving ourselves.  When we learn to love who we are, we begin to understand that we live, move and have our being in love, which is what John called “God” (1 John 4:8).  There are infinite ways to love ourselves, so 50 ways is by all means the tip of the iceberg – but these 50 ways to love ourselves were prepared in honor of our 50th birthdays.

1.  RE-DISCOVER YOUR TRUE SELF.  The first way to love yourself is by re-connecting with the energy of God’s love through your breath.  You have to breathe mindfully.  Close your eyes and breathe, realizing that in each breath that you take, you awaken to your power.  In each breath that you take, you know that you have nothing to fear. Breathe in and re-discover your divine connection with God.  Remember that God is breathing you as the greatest gift of love that there is.  Breathe in and “do not be anxious about anything, just give your requests to [God]”  (Philippians 3:6).2.  LISTEN TO LOVE.  God is always talking to you; you just need to listen.  Take a second right now, and listen.  Isaiah said “When you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it’” (Isaiah 30:21).  When you really listen, you can hear the Universe saying “I love you – with an everlasting love.”3.  SEE LOVE.   See with a single eye the love that surrounds you with an aura of compassion, and fills your body temple with wholeness, and goes before you as all-powerful love — to do the work that you were appointed to do.  Jesus said “the light of the body is  the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light” (Matthew 6:22).  See nothing but love, and its energy with allow you to witness the fullness of its presence and power.4.  AFFIRM LOVE.    In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God (John 1:1) – and that word, the most powerful expression of God as you is “I AM.”  Affirm I AM, which acknowledges the Spirit in you.  The “I AM” allows you to raise your vibrations higher instantly in the realization that you are pure God presence expressing as you.5.  PRAY INTO YOUR GREATNESS.   In the book, God is a Brown Girl Too,you are reminded that “When you stand on the edge of pure possibility, you can use prayer as the impetus to fly.”  Nothing is impossible with God.  God is always praying you, and when you take the time to pray, it is only so that you remember that the Universe has already aligned with your intention to give you what you want, to manifest the answers that you need, to bless you with the gifts that await you.  God knows what you need before you even ask (Matthew 6:32).                                                                                                             6. STRETCH BEYOND DISBELIEF INTO BELIEF.  Jesus said “Stretch out your hand” (Matthew 12:13).  Stretch beyond hate into love; stretch beyond fear into love; stretch beyond jealously into love – every day when you feel some resistance, some tightness, some anxiety – just allow yourselves to stretch beyond the box that you’re in – with love.

7.  MOVE WITH A NEW COURAGE.  When you move, you are telling your body that you love it and you allow it to say “I love you” because it becomes fitter and stronger.  When you don’t have a regime of moving your body, you believe that you don’t need it anymore and it begins to age and stop working.  But when you move, you remain more youthful.  Stand up and say “feet I love you, heart I love you, muscles I love you.”  As Paul said, “in God I live and move and have my being” (Acts 17:28).

8.  DRINK LIVING WATER.  As much as 70% of your body can be made up of water, so you have to be diligent about loving yourself with what you need.  You can take a sip of water and say “water I love you.”  But you can also drink the unseen water, the substance of love – living water – and say “love I feel you,” and really feel love filling our bodies, minds and souls. Jesus said “[w]hoever believes in me . . . rivers of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:38).

9.  EAT THE BREAD OF LIFE.  Jesus said “I am the bread of life.  Whoever comes to me will never go hungry.” The bread of life is manna, the unseen nourishment, the unseen goodness that you are always surrounded by – just waiting for you tap it.  So there is no need to overeat. There is enough to feed us and sustain you.  You need only eat the foods that love you – not the foods that harm you.

10.  EMBRACE A NEW ORDER.  When you love yourself, you allow yourself to be open to the divine order of the universe.  You realize that God is present in every step that you take, that God is working out every detail for your greatest good; God is penetrating every aspect of your being to work out every single detail for your greatest good.

11.  TAKE UP YOUR BED AND WALK.  Take up your bed and walk – first, by leaving your past behind (remember, Lot’s wife kept looking back and she turned into a pillar of salt); second, by being fully responsible for your life (no, you cannot wait for some other person or for some other time); third, by refusing to limit yourself (there is no limit on your happiness or success).   Rise up and say “I’m gonna get up and take charge.”

12.  ALLOW YOUR DREAMS TO GUIDE YOU. – Loving yourself deeply makes you open and receptive to the power of your dreams.  Say “I will allow my dreams to guide me.”

13.  TRUST THE KINGDOM.
Desires, intuition, visions, divine mind are always directing you to what you are here to do.  Take a moment and acknowledge that you love the Kingdom within enough to trust it, be guided by it, and be obedient to its guidance.

14.  LIFT THE WEIGHT.   Ernestine “Ernie” Shepherd, at age 75, is a personal trainer, a professional model, a competitive bodybuilder and happier and more fulfilled than she’s ever been in her life. She started working out for the first time in her life at age 56.  She has no aches or pains; has 9 to 10%  bodyfat —  single-digit percentages usually reserved for elite-professional male athletes in their prime! She takes no medications.  And she loves her new life’s work and has never been more successful.  Say “I will lift and love lifting the weight that makes me healthy.”

15.  RELEASE.   When you love yourself, you realize that you have no need to hold onto anything or anyone; you can let go of the past – including past acquaintances, situations, obstacles, fears because the Kingdom of God loves you so much, it will help you surrender what you don’t need.  Think of one person or one situation you need to release and see yourself sending it love, and letting it go.

16.   FORGIVE SEVENTY-TIMES SEVEN.  When you love yourself, you realize that you cannot reap the inexhaustible source of the universe if you are blocking the flow of your good with anger, resentment, lack, or unforgiveness.  And sometimes you forgive everything and everyone except yourself.  So let’s love yourself in this moment by forgiving yourself – 70×77 – for whatever you did – whatever you carried into this room, whatever you are ashamed of.  Close your eyes and say “I forgive you.”

17.  LAUGH.  Laughter is the greatest gift that you can give yourself.  Laughter massages your soul with good loving and frees your spirit to experience true joy.  Say “I will laugh when it’s time to laugh, and enjoy every moment of it – and most of all I will laugh at myself.”

18.  CRY.  When you hurt, crying is the best way to release your pain.  Tears are a way of telling yourself that whatever emotion you are experiencing, it’s okay.  Tears are also a way of expressing joy.  Say “I’m gonna cry when I need to.”

19.   CELEBRATE.  Celebrate who you are – your unique talents and skills, and the love that God has in creating no one else like you.  What other people think of you is none of your business.  When you’re really loving you, you don’t care.  Think of one thing right now – or one reason to celebrate you. 

20.  CHANGE.  Loving yourself allows us to operate, use, turn on, tap into the unique power that we have to improve ourselves.  Change for the better.

21.   REST.  Love your life by finding the time that you need to enjoy other places, other people, other things, and to go within for more quality time with the love of your life – you.  Take a ME day.  (On the 7th day, even God rested.)

22.   CREATE.  Create with a new power. Second Timothy says in Chapter 1, Verse 7 that “God did not give us a spirit of timidity or fear; but a spirit of power….”  God loves us by allowing us to use the creative energy of the universe to heal, bless and uplift through our creative abilities.  Honor your creative abilities as your greatest gift.

23.   WRITE.  Loving ourselves improves when we write to reconnect with the love within.  Make a commitment to keep a journal or just notes to remember who you are.  If you write on Facebook, you can use that – just cut and paste into a separate document.  Write and be led by your writings.

24.   HEAL WITH  A NEW WHOLENESS.  Stop choosing struggle and pain, and you won’t experience it.  If it shows up unexpectedly, deny its presence and affirm the power of the “I AM”: I am perfect, whole and complete!

25.   START ANEW.  Each day and every moment, you have the power to begin anew.  Just affirm that you are at a new beginning.  Paul said, “I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31).  Be reborn in the resurrection of God’s power expressing as you.

26.   STUDY TO SHOW YOURSELF APPROVED.  Studying is love.  We study because we love ourselves enough to want to grow in wisdom.  Say “I will always be a student of love.”

27.  DANCE WITH A NEW FREEDOM.  When 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!  When  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.  Dancing allows us to love ourselves, without worry, without fear, and without missing a beat. When we dance, we let go and go with the flow.

28.  SPEAK.   When we love, we speak words of good, words of empowerment, words of encouragement, words always contain the power that manifest the change that we need.  Speak only words of love.

29.  LEAP AND THE NET WILL APPEAR.  Take a risk.  Do what you only dreamed of but never dared to do.  Leap!  Say “I will leap because the net will appear.”  Love is the net that will catch you.  Either the universe will catch you or teach you how to fly.

30.   EMBRACE.  Embrace people worldwide with your love, including on Facebook, via telephone, letters, email, and in person.  The best way to receive love is to give it.  Hug somebody right now.

31.   COMPETE ONLY WITH YOURSELF.  You are your most fierce competitor and your most formidable adversary.  But here’s something you might not know, when you really love you – nothing can defeat you, so you have already won the race.  Surrender to the victory that you are. Call forth your extraordinary power.  Say “I win the race by loving me.”

32.   FIND TIME TO LOVE YOUR BODY.  – Find time to love your body.  Find time the time that need for your manicure, pedicure, hairdresser and massage.  Loving yourself means never ever looking shabby.

33.  CLAIM YOUR GOOD.  All you have to do is ask, and receive.  You can have the car, the spouse, the house, the trip, the joy that you desire – all you to do is claim it.  Right now, decide on 1-3 things that you want.  And say to yourself – I love me, so I will have [ insert your desire ]. If you want it, claim it.  This is simple: you are changing your consciousness so that what you want, claims you.

34.   BECOME NO. ONE ON YOUR LIST OF PRIORITIES.

35.   SAY NO TO WHATEVER WILL DRAIN YOU, USE YOU, MARGINALIZE YOU, LIMIT YOU.

36.   GET HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT.

37.   SMELL THE ROSES AND THE LAVENDER AND THE ROSEMARY AND WHATEVER ELSE SMELLS DELICIOUS AND SURROUND YOURSELF WITH IT WHENEVER YOU CAN.

38.   FIRE YOUR INNER CRITIC.  It’s past time to be unconditional in your love.  End all conversations that lie about how you do not have it going on: you do – wherever you are and whatever you are doing, you do.  You are the bomb.  You got the right stuff baby.  You got it going on.  No one can lose with the stuff you use.  Say I fire my inner critic.

39.   BE STILL.  Being still allows you to be at peace in the love that you are and to re-connect to the power that God is, and to feel the Kingdom expressing as you.  Just take a second and be still.  As the Psalmist says, “be still and know that I AM God” (Psalm 46:10).

40.   BE PATIENT.  We cannot love ourselves without patience.  Say I will love being in the moment.  I am patient.

41.   MOVE FORWARD.  Move forward into untouched spaces and realize YOU ARE more remarkable than YOU could ever imagine.

42.   BE GRATEFUL.   Oh, this is truly an energy of love.  Gratitude opens you to the realization of unlimited source and supply.  Say “I am grateful because I am always blessed,” and watch your blessings multiply.

43.   LOOK INSIDE AND SAY I LOVE YOU.  We fail to do that; we tell everyone else that we love them, but we don’t love ourselves – no one can love us unless we open the door to their love by loving ourselves.  Sometimes I think why are you not there to love me, but I wasn’t there to love myself.

44.   SHINE YOUR LIGHT.   In Matthew 5:14, Jesus said: “You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light shine so before men that they may see your good works…”  You cannot pick and choose who will benefit from your light.  You must be generous enough to share it with everyone.  How? By simply doing what I have called you to do.  Somewhere, someone told you that you weren’t good enough, but you need to tap into the higher power of your love and shine your light.  Say I’m shining my light today!

45.   NEVER GIVE UP.  The moso is a bamboo plant that grows in China and the far east. After the moso is planted, no visible growth occurs for up to five years – under ideal conditions! But if it gave up, it would never see its full growth and potential.  Your struggles are there for a reason; those are the things that ultimately matter; it has nothing to do with the prize at the end. As Og Mandino says, “Never will I allow any day to end with a failure.  I WILL NEVER GIVE UP. When others cease their struggle, then mine will begin.  I WILL NEVER GIVE UP. I will greet the new sun with confidence that this will be the best day of my life.  As long as there is breath in me, that long will I persist.  For I know, if I persist long enough — I will succeed.”

46.   MOVE OUT OF GOD’S WAY.   All you really have to do is lay the groundwork and move out of God’s way.  In the Book of Matthew, the 6th Chapter, the 8th Verse, it says that God knows what you have need of before you even ask.  The good that you seek is already part of the endless energy of God.  The only person standing in the way of that good is you — when you give your power away to people and events and the appearances of stuff.  Say “I’m going to move out of God’s way!”

47.   PUT YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER.   In the 2nd chapter of John, we learn that Jesus found  those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business there — and he made a whip of cords.  He drove all of them out of the temple,  overturned the tables, and screamed “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” Then, His disciples remembered what the Psalmist said, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.”   God’s cleansing power goes deep into the veins and the inner parts of you for true confession.  Zeal — the pure presence of God — holds you accountable for your stuff — for anything that you do that is inconsistent with Spirit.  If your right eye offends you, pluck it out; if your right hand offends you, cut it off.  You need to do your own self-inventory and make sure that you are acting with commitment, leadership and integrity.  You need to clean out the contradictions that undermine your faith; and you need to remain vigilant to destroy any ousted enemy that tries to sneak back through your thoughts, words or deeds.

48.   STOP WORRYING ABOUT SOMEBODY ELSE’S BUSINESS.  You can’t worry about what somebody -sposed to be doin.’  That’s too toxic.  You have to realize that who you are in the flesh is a compliment to who you are in the Spirit.  You have to recognize that you are the good in everything that you experience.  As soon as you ask, you begin the process of receiving.  The only way that you shut the door — is by not believing.  When you give praise and thanks for the manifestation of your good, then you allow it to take shape.

49.   REAP WHAT YOU HAVE NOT SOWN.  In John 4:38, Jesus told his disciples “the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”  You are really above creation’s cause and effect subjugation.  If you are centered in God – in love, you will reap without measure the infinite reward of Spirit.  God’s desire to express through you is so great that you will even reap more good than you sow.  Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 9:37 that “the harvest is plenty but the workers are few.” At some point in your lives, you have stopped short of your true potential, but the love of God will give you favor, so that in all things, at all times, you will have what you need.  Accept God’s favor.

50.    MOVE TO THE END OF YOUR RAINBOW.  What people rarely focus on in For Colored Girls is that at the end of the play, where Ntozake Shange says “& for this is for colored girls who have considered suicide/ BUT are moving to the ends of their own rainbows.”   In other words, they are not tragically ending life but have come to the realization that they reach the end of their rainbows when they love themselves.  Shange says, “i found god in myself, and i loved her fiercely.”  The love that you need, you have within.   Shange says “my love is too beautiful to have thrown back in my face; my love is too sanctified to have thrown back in my face; my love is too magic to have thrown back in my face; my love is too music to have thrown back in my face.”  We relate to love on a human level — based on what we give and receive.  But on a spiritual level, love is not giving or receiving — love  simply is.  We evolve in it.  We create out of it.  We are reborn in it.  We are sanctified by it.  We are saved as it.  Love is the only  salvation that there is.  It doesn’t worry about receiving because it is constantly giving.  It doesn’t worry about giving because it is always being blessed.  There is nothing that it needs or lacks because Love is divine source.  See good radiating from you like endless streams of light bouncing off the edge of all possibility.  Don’t let your stuff walk off.  Claim it. Witness your own love as the ultimate salvation.  See prayers swinging from every space in creation.  Hear blessings beings harvested in answers declaring this is a new season.  Nothing is impossible.  Move to the end of your rainbow, and find God again and again.


Rev. Loving is the pastor and founder of SPIRITMUV, a new community of faith.

WISDOM FROM MIDDLE SCHOOL

The other day, I received some sage advice from a seventh grader. The Pikesville Peak Winter 2012 Edition features a front page article written by my niece Christa Loving, for those “in the middle point in [their] life.” Christa wrote that when you are in the “middle point” in your life, “[y]ou can make it the best time of your life or the worst.”

 

Cecilia and ChristaI believe that this seventh grade wisdom is applicable to your life, regardless of whether you are twelve or ninety-two – or any age in the “middle.” We are all in the “middle” of something, and we can make it the best time of our life or the worst. So I was interested in sharing Christa’s perspective, who wrote that even though she was “new to Pikesville, [she does] know a little bit about how to survive middle school.”

 

In summary, Christa offers the following words of wisdom:

 

What Are You Calling YourselfBe Yourself:  Be your “crazy, original, happy, and loving self.” This rings true for all of us. We have to listen to the inner voice of Spirit and be receptive to whatever makes us uniquely us. We were all called to do something phenomenal.  As Jeremiah taught us, God said “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” (Jeremiah 5:1).

 

Hold HandsDon’t Let Anyone or Anything ‘Slow Your Roll’:   You can use being bullied and being picked on to “become stronger” and no matter what, “do not let people get [you] down.” Nothing and no one can prevent us from receiving the absolute good that the universe has in store for us. As Paul says in Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

 

doveDon’t Think You Know Everything:   There’s always an opportunity to “learn new things, so don’t waltz into 6th grade acting like you know EVERYTHING ABOUT ANYTHING.” It’s important to
“[c]ome in like everybody else with an open-to-learning mind. No one wants to hang around someone who thinks they are a know-it-all.” (Emphasis in Original)  This is consistent with what Job concluded when he said that “we were born only yesterday and know nothing” (Job 8:9)). We are in a constant state of growth and transformation. As Jesus said, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about” (John 4:32)). We are smartest when we allow ourselves to be fed not only the food of flesh and of intellect but also of spiritual substance – realizing that the Holy Spirit will “teach [us] all things” – more than we can ever begin to imagine (John 14:26).

 

TCreating Outside the Box Oneake Advantage of What You Don’t Know to Make New Friends:   Asking questions like “where is this class” or “can you help me with my locker” are perfect ways to make friends. “[B]e open to meeting new people: don’t stay stuck in a little cult.” You have to “be bold and walk up to people” and “hang out with as many people as possible.” Jesus said it another way, he said “love one another” (John 13:34). When we love one another, we are compassionate about their feelings; we get to know them; we make time for them; we celebrate them; we help them push through the rough spots; we hold their hand when they need companionship; we praise them when they need uplifting; we forgive them when they’ve made a mistake.

 

Windows of HeavenDon’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions:   Don’t worry about being made fun of for asking questions. You are probably asking the question that several other people want to ask. Jesus said “ask and you will receive” (John 16:24).   When we open up our minds and are receptive to the universe, we receive certain questions because they are necessary to push us farther along the path. Our questions themselves are blessings, and if we fail to follow up on them, we don’t open the door to that channel of good.

 

IBible 7t’s Cool to be Smart:   “Bad grades are not cool! Try to be the smartest. So what if people say ‘you’re some kind of smarty pants.’ Take that as a compliment. You’ll be the one who becomes that millionaire everyone dreams of being. If people say you’re a nerd, those people will end up working for you most likely.” In 2 Chronicles 1:11-12, God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.” Wisdom is the greatest wealth we can have. The best wisdom we get is from God, and when we seek first God’s Kingdom, all else will be given – including wealth, leadership and divine ideas.

 

Eagle BayKeep Your Cool Peer pressure is not good. You have to be an independent thinker. At one extreme, peer pressure may cause you to “do something dangerous”; at the other extreme, it can also make you do something like “skipping class” or “hitting someone.” Regardless, “it’s not good. It can get you into serious trouble if you mess with the wrong person. So always keep your cool.” Jesus said “Peace, be still!” (Mark 4:39). Being cool requires us to realize that God is the only leader that we need to follow, in a peaceful, graceful, loving mood.

 

SPIRITMUV5Namaste,

 

Cecilia Loving

 

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