Tag Archives: Master Mind

ON WHOSE SHOULDERS DO YOU STAND?

Neddy, a childhood friend, caught up with me through Facebook.  Even though I could not remember her presence, I felt her loving spirit.  We laughed like old friends for hours about the memories that we shared about our life in the Jefferies Housing Project in Detroit — forty years ago.  Friendship is good that way, and lasting.  It made me remember the hope that carried us through the appearance of lack.  Back then, we didn’t need as much in the external to know inside that God was always lifting us up the rough side of the mountain.  Spirit was always calling us to demonstrate Absolute Good.  All we had to do was stand on the shoulders of God and peer out over the freeway at the vibrant colors of golden rays turning indigo skies magical colors in the Detroit sky — just glowing with the rising sun of a new day.

We could see past appearances and feel the dawning of divine ideas and dreams awakening so well back then — that it makes me wonder what ever happened to hope.  Have all the trappings of good times and the parties of plenty made it even more difficult to trust that we are not controlled by appearances — good or bad?  Some will tell you that the stock market has plunged; 401(k) pension plans have diminished;  old jobs have been lost and new jobs are hard to find; merchandise isn’t moving; and the real estate market is in a slump.  But those are the appearances of things.  The Psalmist asks, “if the Lord is the Strength of my life, of whom [and what] shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27)

There is nothing to fear when we realize that God gives us all of the Strength that we need.  When we stand in the Spirit, we stand on the shoulders of the universe, realizing that our spiritual roots reach down to the belly of the earth but do not stop there.  We realize that the earth, like the rest of the universe, girds us with a strength and a power that never loses its connection.  We “stand on our own two feet.”  We “stand up for ourselves.”  We “stand up for what we believe in.”  We “stand our ground” with purpose, power and vision.

We see this in the story of David and Goliath.  Goliath represents physical strength and prowess.  Goliath is what we see in the flesh — the circumstances that appear so much greater than us.  In the physical realm, if we judge by appearances, we believe that we cannot overcome what is bigger than us.  But when we dig deep, we find the spiritual strength that gives us the ability to fight the good fight.

Strength is really a conscious decision to be One with Absolute Good — no matter what the outer circumstances are, the present is where Absolute Good is.  Our helmets and armor and javelins and swords are how we stand in consciousness.

It is important that David, a boy, came forward.  We have to contrast David — the small and seemingly insignificant aspects of our own lives  — with the Goliath of lack, the Goliath of loss, the Goliath of fear — and use the power of the “little” that we have.   David was saying, I don’t have a spear and I don’t have a helmet.   I don’t  even have a shield.  But I’ve got my raggedly shepherd’s cloth.  I’ve got my staff.  I’ve got my slingshot — that I have fashioned from a tree branch.  I have the earth under my feet — and all that the earth is made of.  But most importantly I stand on the strength of God — a love that is invincible, a power that never leaves me, a protector that can never be defeated.

William Stafford says, “I have woven a parachute out of everything broken.”  Patrick Overton says:  “When you come to the edge of all the light that you have, and must take a step into the darkness of the unknown, believe that one of two things will happen to you: either there will be something solid for you to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.”  The Bible says put on the whole armor of God.  Stand on victory.  Stand on faith.  Stand on power.  Stand on strength.

As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.  Without hesitation, David ran to face his adversary head on!  He didn’t have to be as big or as tall as Goliath because he stood on the shoulders of God.  Reaching into his bag for one of the stones that he had gathered, David took it out and struck the Philistine on the forehead.  The stone sank into Goliath’s forehead, and Goliath fell facedown on the ground.  The fear, the doubt, the lack, the limitation were defeated in a single shot — by a kid and a slingshot.

Metaphysically, we can say that David — spiritual strength — struck the center of those blockages on our path that seem so insurmountable.  The biblical witness is firm that Goliath was struck in the center of his head — that part of our body connected to the pineal gland where the third eye of spiritual discernment gives us vision beyond flesh.  It is easy to think of David and Goliath as separate beings, but in our Oneness, we know that we are all parts of a whole.  If there is anything that needs conquering in our consciousness, we have the ability to conquer it — to stop standing in our own way and defeat the monsters of our own making.

The story of David and Goliath reminds us that we stand on something greater than what is in this world — a power that is greater than religion.  As One, we are greater than our differences.  We are greater than a name or a group that defines itself as Christian or Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist or Jew.  When we see with Spirit, we know that we stand on the power of Spirit.  Spirit is not locked in a steeple or a bell or pew or a pulpit.  Spirit is infinite, inexhaustible source and endless potential.  Spirit is divine ideas and unceasing love.  Spirit is always blessing us — despite the way things appear in the external.

Spirit gives us the strength to ask the universe for whatever it is that we desire.  We just have to be strong enough to trust that there is nothing that God cannot do through us.  Nothing is too big for God to bless us with.  Nothing is too big for God to remove.  Nothing is powerful enough to block us from the attainment of our good.  All we have to do is stand on the shoulders of the omnipotence of God.  When we do, we can look above the row houses and the high rises and the by-ways and the bridges — and see that there is a vast expanse of Kingdom that awaits our gifts and talents.  There is a Universe calling us past the battleground of our fears to re-connect with its inexhaustible supply.

Namaste,

Reverend Cecilia Loving

About SPIRITMUV:  Spiritmuv® is a trans-denominational church, which means that it transcends the confines of religion and teaches unconditional love for one another regardless of race, creed, culture, or religion.   At the heart of its teachings is what Jesus taught — that we love one another, as well as the community that Mahatma Ghandi inspired when he said, “I am a Christian and a Muslim and a Hindu and a Jew.”  Reverend Cecilia Loving is the founder and creator of Spiritmuv, which was formed in 2007.  Services are held for an hour every Sunday, from 2:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. at the Unity Center of NYC, located at 213 West 58th Street.

Rev. Loving, author of Prayers for Those Standing in the Edge of Greatness, is the sole owner, creator and administrator of God is a Brown Girl Too®, which holds annual retreats and workshops.  The next God is a Brown Girl Too Retreat will be held April 1-3, 2011, at the Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center.

None of the content herein may be copied or otherwise used except with Reverend Loving’s written permission.

Join the Spiritmuv  Community at www.Spiritmuv.ning.com for special postings by Rev. Loving.

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A HEALING PLACE IN THE HEART OF GOD

Paulette Pipe was spirit-led to retreat into the silence for forty days and forty nights.  There, she found a healing place in the heart of God that looked like a cabin in a forest, with a small bed, a kitchenette, a bathroom, and a writing desk.  The cabin had a screened-in porch that was surrounded by tall trees, which she felt held her “in the womb of silence.”  This Shantivanam healingor “Forest of Peace” gave her the space to release, restore and reunite with Spirit.  She dreamed prophetic dreams, moved beyond the appearances of things, and bore witness to the truth.  (See Paulette Pipe, “The Voice in the Silence,” Unity Magazine, July/August 2010, at pp. 20-22)

When we go away and pray awhile, we forge a path that awakens to love and resurrects in the divine within.   By our witness to solitude and introspection, we allow the summer to open new spaces of retreat and  embrace us with the recreation, re-envisioning and re-connection of God’s heart fully open.  We have to rejoice in the time away from obligations — catching our breath in the rhythm of our being.  We need to re-enter the soul with intention, and find there the refreshment, renewal and rejuvenation of our purpose on this planet.   We need to slow down long enough to listen and resonate with the beat of the spiritual pulse that is always giving us direction.

still-3Are you listening?  Or are you standing in the way of your own good?  Are you diving without hesitation into the wellspring of nonresistance and surrendering to the Kingdom within?   Or are you worried about what other people think, caught up in the straight-jacket of  other people’s opinions, limited to appearances of lack and limitation?  Have you stopped preventing yourself from being too happy, too successful, too visible, too loud, too different, too much?  Or are you still worried about people hatin’ on you — because you know and you show that you are the temple of a living God? 

still-4If we cannot love ourselves fully and completely, then we will never transcend the jealousy and envy and hateful attempts to sabotage other people’s success.  The truth is that many of us hate on each other because we dislike ourselves.   The truth is that many people disregard and disrespect each other because they have no idea how to celebrate themselves.   We need to sing our song and dance our dance and speak our speech and take our stand — because the Spirit in us is the most powerful force in the universe.

still-22It doesn’t matter if you are a Christian or a Muslim or a Buddhist or a Hindu or a Jew, we all live and move and have our being in the Spirit.  Our beloved Jesus said love one another.   He said stop second-guessing yourselves: you are the light of the world!  Stop second-guessing the gifts and talents that God is expressing as you!  Put your lamp on its stand, and give light to everyone in the house.  Stop sabotaging yourselves.

There is a healing place in the heart of God.  We have to honor heal9ourselves enough to go there and recognize ourselves in the beauty of infinite possibilities.   We have to honor ourselves enough to release the television and the internet and the cell phones and other electronic devices, and surrender our prayers to the endless ethers of inexhaustible supply and look God squarely in the eye.  We have to honor ourselves enough to forgive, forget, find new beginnings, and plant fresh seed there.

There is a healing place in the heart of God.  But we have to take the heal3time to go there and be a witness to the co-creative power of Spirit expressing as us.  We have to do the work that it takes to peel back the layers of resistance and allow ourselves to surrender to the Kingdom within.   We have to learn to dance again — to the rhythm of the universe that reminds us of the harmony we all share.  We have to learn to walk again — toward the goals that are always giving way to good for all.  We have to learn to write again — by believing that we are here to be the best and the beautiful and the bright shining stars that we are.  We have to learn how to sing again — our own song that knows one lyric — Hallelujah!

healing-10 We have to learn to give again — not because we want something back but because we want to bring happiness to others.  We have to learn to be silent again — and in that stillness — allow ourselves to be loved and delivered.  We have to learn to find that connection with Spirit again — and in that Oneness know that we always in the heart of completion.  And there is nowhere else to go or be — but here.

All of the materials in God is a Brown Girl Too® email messages are copyrighted by and may not be used without the written permission of Cecilia Loving. 

Register for the God is a Brown Retreat this July 16-18, at the Mariandale Retreat Center by going to http://www.godisabrowngirltoo.com.  You don’t want to miss it!

This Sunday, JOIN SPIRITMUV FOR PART VI OF OUR 7-PART SERIES ON TERRIE COLE-WHITAKER’S BOOK, What You Think of Me is None of My Business, from 2:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M., at the Unity Center of NYC, 213 West 58th Street, between Broadway and 7th Avenue.

VICTORY IS MY NAME

god-is-a-brown-girl-too-2010-retreat-161I was at the Mariandale Retreat Center today to ensure that on July 16-18, God is a Brown Girl Too®‘s second annual retreat will provide an awesome opportunity for you to “Awaken to Love,” which is this year’s theme.  I am excited, so excited that I feel like jumping up and down in anticipation because I know that we are going to have a fabulous time.  It is the perfect environment for you to do the work that needs to be done to release and heal, rejuvenate and energize, recreate and resurrect the power and presence of God in you.  So get your registrations in!  You don’t want to miss this powerful gathering of sisters in the Spirit.  We are coming from Washington D.C., North Carolina, Michigan, New Jersey, California, and several other places to center in a new energy, hear a new calling, and receive a new story of the inexhaustible source of God expressing as us.  We will meditate, pray, praise, worship, enter the silence, and receive our blessings in a magnificent way.

I have extended the $100 discount deadline to July 1, so you can register on line and send your check to me to avoid that part of the registration fee.  This amount includes a single room, three meals, powerful workshops, and spiritual grounds to open the mind, heart and soul in a new way.

In the interim, enjoy the words of Victory, one of the voices of God is a Brown Girl Too that was heard at the last retreat:

GBGII CoverI am the time before, the was then, the beginning now.  I am the breath-filled space, the light-filled hand, the love-filled heart, the joy-filled dance.  Prayers call to me, and I anoint believers with the evidence of things hoped for and the miracles of things unseen.  When everyone is looking for God, as something more extraordinary than themselves, they will miss me — even though I am here.

I am the time before, the was then, the beginning now.  I am the breath-breath-10filled space, the light-filled hand, the love-filled heart, the joy-filled dance.  Prayers call to me, and I anoint believers with the evidence of things hoped for and the miracles of things unseen.  When everyone is looking for God, as something more extraordinary than themselves, they will miss me — even though I am here.

If I need you to release your fears, will you open your eyes and realize the strength of your own salvation?  Will you praise the divine creation that you are?  Will you kneel with me at the altar of infinite possibilities?  Will you keep your promise to be the blessing that you were born to be? 

Discover the Power Within ThreeWho am I?  They call me Victory.  What am I?  I am the daughter of the first and the last, the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega — brown as the soil of my mother.  Where am I? I live wherever you shine your light. 

If you are waiting by the healing pool for someone to lift you in; if you are reaching to touch the garment of wholeness; if you are weary in the race and cannot go any further; if you are down in the valley and need some lifting up, then all you have to do is call my name.

breath3I am greater than you could ever imagine.  I am the healing balm, the burning bush, the living water.
I can walk through the fire, cut to the chaise, rise to the occasion. I never lose, never miss, never  falter.
I am closer to you than hands and feet, closer to you than the air that you breathe and the space that you take up.

Victory is my name, and you — made in the image and likeness of God — are all that I am. 

breath-7If you are looking for God, if you are looking for freedom, if you are looking for prosperity — all you have to do is look within.  And there, you will find me.  I am the ground upon which you stand, more than the economy, richer than a stimulus, better than a job.  I am the divine surplus — always giving, always forming, always molding, always shaping, always rewarding, always liberating.

If you have forgotten me, re-discover who you are, taste the wisdom of your highest self, push past your self-imposed limitations, leave the prison of your own mind, and imagine God as simple as a plain brown girl.

Taken from the book, God is a Brown Girl Too, by   Reverend Cecilia Loving © 2010
Pastor, SPIRITMUV  (www.spiritmuv.com
 )

All of the materials in God is a Brown Girl Too® email messages are copyrighted by and may not be used without the written permission of Cecilia Loving. 

Register for the God is a Brown Retreat this July 16-18, at the Mariandale Retreat Center by going to http://www.godisabrowngirltoo.com.  You don’t want to miss it!

This Sunday, JOIN SPIRITMUV FOR PART V OF OUR 7-PART SERIES ON TERRIE COLE-WHITAKER’S BOOK, What You Think of Me is None of My Business, from 2:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M., at the Unity Center of NYC, 213 West 58th Street, between Broadway and 7th Avenue.

 

THOSE ANGRY BLACK WOMEN ARE GODS TOO

god-is-a-brown-girl-too-2010-retreat-073Many of us know that there has been an ongoing  assault on the beauty, strength, success, and wisdom of black women.  The assault was escalated with the release of a movie about “tired black men” — with a sideshow of commentary from one or more misguided rap stars and anybody else who cared to join the attack.   It’s unfortunate that someone thinks so little of humanity’s unlimited potential as children of God that he would dare complain that black women have “standards that are too high.”  The even more troubling aspect of a movie that depicts black women as unworthy, lazy, irrational, angry, evil, insecure, insensitive, bitter, and greedy — is that there were black women who portrayed these caricatures of themselves.

enjoying-the-crowd-at-womens-empowerment-dayThis on-going dialogue of the denigration of black women made me realize that God is a Brown Girl Too® is not only important to a black woman’s understanding of herself as divine but also to the black man’s realization that the black woman is a sacred expression of God.  In July, we are having a retreat for women that will celebrate who we are in the Spirit and re-build, restore and heal our pain.  If there is some work that you need to do in release, or in learning to love yourself, or in tapping the creative power within you, you need to come and join us.  We will have a wonderful time in the beautiful, restorative community of Mariandale.  (See www.godisabrowngirltoo.com for more details.)

gbgii-2012-fNot only are we our Mother’s offspring, but we are also our Father’s daughters in whom he is well-pleased.  Our Father is our creator, our protector, our source, and our strength.  Like my 89 year old Dad, our Father is that energy in the universe that is not merely committed to our achievement but is the foundation of our success.  Dad reminds me constantly that he is proud, supportive and joyous that I am strong, creative and successful.  He acknowledges (like the blogger DaWriter) that “the Black Woman doesn’t need to tone it down a notch, maybe everyone else needs to raise it up a notch.  Rather than telling her to descend, maybe we should concentrate on ascending and reaching higher levels.”

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It was my Dad and my husband Marlon and my spiritual brother Patrick Bradford and my brother Christopher Loving who helped fund God is a Brown Girl Too.  Because of their contribution, this wonderful new ministry has been born to restore our spiritual legacy.  They support me in asking how the Mother of Creation was somehow left on the editing room floor when the story of beginnings was told.  They agree — when I say “if we don’t lift the black woman up as made in the image and likeness of God, then how can we see God in her descendants?”  They  demand our respect for the mothers who birthed us, fed us, protected us, healed us, uplifted us, educated us, endorsed us, and restored us.  They  know that if we don’t love our mothers, we cannot love ourselves.

gbgii-2012-gGod is a Brown Girl Too is about God as so much more than the proverbial white man in the sky.  God is much greater than a sex or any time-space continuum.  When anyone looks at a black woman, he should know that the Kingdom of God is within her.  The glory of God is expressing in every aspect of her greatness.  Jesus said the Holy Spirit will live in us and be in us.  He said I am in the Father and you are in me and I am in you.  Paul said we live and move and have our being in God.  There is no separation between all that we are and all that God is.  Fathers must teach their daughters that we are all heirs to the throne.

Marlon walkin on waterRegardless of sex or color, we must begin to open our consciousness to realize that we are greater than we could ever imagine.  There is no reason to fear, despise, resent, patronize, marginalize, or denigrate someone else.  When we do so, we just undermine ourselves.  Fathers must awaken to the reality that we are not just in need of love,  but as gods — we are Love itself — the vehicle for all compassion and patience and understanding and wisdom and enlightenment.  My husband Marlon is always reminding me that God is Love and we are God’s holy dispensers of life’s most precious re-useable source.   The only fight that we need to have is one with our own demons — anything and anyone who blocks our ability to re-connect, re-center, and re-ignite the love that shaped us before we were formed in the womb.

The men in my family and the brothers in my circle of friends help me remember that I am much greater than who I am in the flesh.  I am my Father’s daughter — free and unencumbered by social structures or economic appearances or even religious hierarchy.  We are here to bless the world.  We only stop short of the attainment of our goals, the realization of our dreams and the reinvention of our lives because we get so caught up in the short-sighted meanderings of false prophets that we never fully reach the point of expressing the best in us.

CECILIA LOVING Prayer Circle of women-718.596.8019, 376 President Street, Brooklyn
CECILIA LOVING Prayer Circle of women-718.596.8019, 376 President Street, Brooklyn

Being about my Father’s business, I step outside of the confines of the box where someone tried to put me, or more importantly where I have dared to limit myself.  I don’t define myself by what anyone else says or thinks.  I move out of my own way.  I dance away from my comfort zone — with a rhythm that defies gravity and logic and sense.  I take risks that astonish even myself.  I leave the prison of my own imaginings and I take charge of who I AM.  I leave the prison where I suffocated myself with somebody else’s foolishness and name-calling and finger-pointing with the knowledge that what you say about me only reflects on what you think about yourself.

 I know that God doesn’t look like me; I look like God — not in the physical, but in the Spirit — the energy of pure power without parameters, or definition, or limitation.  God is our Father, but God is also our wife, and our Mother, and our sister, and our girlfriend, and our daughter.  God is a dark chocolate man, a radiant old woman, a pale beige boy.  God is a sweet honey cinnamon fudge cream — God is a brown girl.  And there is no question that God is a Black Woman, as well.  If you want to worship fully and celebrate the Spirit, lift up the God in her.

Happy Father’s Day.

Namaste,  Reverend Cecilia Loving
Pastor, SPIRITMUV  (www.spiritmuv.com )

(All of the materials in SPIRITMUV email messages are copyrighted by and may not be used without the written permission of Cecilia Loving. )
JOIN US FOR PART III OF OUR 7-PART SERIES ON TERRIE COLE-WHITAKER’S BOOK, WHAT YOU THINK OF ME IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS

CALLING FOR A NEW “EASTER”

 We do so many crazy things in the external to celebrate “Easter” that we should really spend time hunting for its meaning rather than for colored eggs.  We long for baskets of jelly beans, chocolate rabbits and marshmallow peeps — delivered by that elusive bunny rather than centering in the Spirit that is always here.  We eat hams, hens, ducks, potato salad, collard greens, and coconut frosted cakes rather than spiritual sustenance that would never leave us hungry.  In some countries, there is even kite-flying, cross-country skiing, and courtship spankings — rather than the realization that “Easter” is not to celebrate the flesh but to uplift the Spirit.

There are so many traditions that have evolved through Anglo-Saxon pagan rituals, that the full meaning of “Easter” has been lost — somewhere between the name itself (speculated to have evolved from the Old English word Ēastre or Ēostre or Eoaster, referring to  the goddess Ēostre) and endless bickering over the earthly timing of what is really a spiritual event (whether to observe it after the equinox, when the ancients celebrated the Passover, or calculate it independently).  So it makes sense that we have completely forgotten that this tribute is not about a new bonnet or patent leather shoes.     

Easter is about Jesus’ crucifixion on the cross and the blood that was shed for our salvation.  But more importantly, it is about resurrection.  Even before he was crucified, Jesus taught that death would not contain his Spirit.  In Capernaum (John 2:19-21 NIV), Jesus told the Jews who protested after he cleaned out the temple, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”  The Bible says that the temple Jesus spoke of was his body.  Jesus said (John 11:25-26), “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”  

Jesus did not dwell on the actions of the men who were responsible for his crucifixion, he simply asked God for their forgiveness because he knew that “[t]he Spirit gives life; [but] the flesh counts for nothing.” (John 6:63)    He said, “I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”  (John 8:51)  When we understand the awesome power of Jesus’ ministry and embrace it as part of our own life, we are born into a new consciousness; we walk with a new strength; we transcend the appearances of life; we realize that the Kingdom of God is within.

As Jesus told Nicodemus, “no one can seek the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”  To fully realize the infinite blessings that Spirit is expressing as us, we have to form new beliefs, new understandings, new celebrations of the all-encompassing power of God.  We can no longer be afraid to ask for whatever we want in the material and the physical world.  We can no longer be afraid to be the person that God has called us to be.  We can no longer care what anyone else says or thinks. 

Our lives are opportunities for spiritual rebirth.  Our lives are divine appointments to walk the water of our transgressions and evolve into a completely new creature of faith.  Easter celebrates a transformation of the soul that raises our consciousness in a new awareness.  If we really open our hearts, our minds and our souls in the resurrecting power of God, our old self will die and a new self will be born.

This calls for a new tradition of Easter: one where we feel the peace that Jesus left his students with and receive the Holy Spirit that now lives in us.  After Jesus was resurrected, he told his disciples “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”  (John 20:21-22)  As believers, as disciples, as students of Christ, we too are blessed with the peace and the breath and the light.  These blessings only require us to release the person we once were and become the phenomenal person that we are.  

Jesus gave us a new commandment.  He said love one another.  Our resurrection is neither fear nor strife; it is simply love.  If God is love, so are we.  Love is our story, our truth and our victory.  Love is our resurrection.  Love is our faith.  As my brother Chris said the other day, Jesus’ story is my story.  Jesus’ story is forever re-telling itself in the eternal wisdom of the Unlimited Power of the Universe. 

“One Love,” a gentleman in the gym always says.  Indeed, we are “One Love” in Spirit.  Resurrection Day is to celebrate this Spirit, this Oneness, this Love that is eternal. 

So let’s stop simply taking a break on “Easter” and instead focus on lifting up the true power and purpose of this great day. 

Reinvent.  Reconnect.  Release.  Realize.  Restore.  Rejuvenate.  Recreate.  Yes, and by the way, Happy Resurrection Day!

Namaste, 

Reverend Cecilia Loving                                 

Pastor, SPIRITMUV  (www.spiritmuv.com )

(All of the materials in SPIRITMUV email messages are copyrighted by and may not be used without the written permission of Cecilia Loving. )

GET UP, PICK UP YOUR MAT AND WALK

This morning, I got up from my mat and walked.  And God revealed a universe so remarkable, it was as though I had climbed through Alice’s looking glass.  Just like Jesus told the man who had been lying by the pool of Bethesda for 38 years, I got up from my mat and experienced the beauty of wholeness that was right in my midst.  It was as though I had put a foot in the healing water and then found myself wading knee-deep as the angels stirred in purpose, potential and endless possibility.  All I had to do was get up from my mat of anticipation, and open my heart to receive the absolute good that is always awaiting us.

I walked the streets uphill to Prospect Park, and the sweetness of the sun anointed my face.  I walked the wooden climb of the Brooklyn Bridge, and the symmetry of holy wings suspended me in a heavenly embrace.  I walked the upward path through the open arms of the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, and in the blink of an eye, I saw spring kissing winter good-bye.  In the Gardens, I went through opened arms to an oasis of beauty, serenity and squirrels on a spirit-filled mission of their own.  I walked uphill and downhill with anticipation of new life awakening with springtime, while summer lounged between moss-filled cracks, sleeping patiently.

I walked right outside of the box containing who I once was — magically opening to who I know I AM — weeding out fear and doubt, pulling beyond conventionality, pushing past the ordinary to the extraordinary energy of God.  I walked, baptized by fresh breezes; transformed by choirs of birds; sanctified by swaying trees.  It was as though I could hear Jesus saying, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”  Get up from your contentment.  Get up from your misery.  Get up from your resentment.  Get up from your jealousy.  Get up from your pain.  Be bold enough to step into the present moment.  Enjoy the now.  Release the past.  Celebrate the awakening of a new season in your life.

Walk away from who you used to be.  Walk away from your old stories, and sow a new one.  Walk away from what you wished, or ought, or should, or would have done — and reap the salvation of what you are doing.  Walk away from laziness and procrastination and seize the day to begin again.  Walk away from the boundaries of your self-imposed limitations, and renew your soul with the unlimited power of Spirit.

Walk and see the seeds of prayers wiggling through shoots of green.  Walk and see daffodils dancing praises of deliverance.  Walk and see God painting the landscape with new expectations of tulips and hyacinths and lavender, narcissus, honeysuckle, azaleas, and lilies — all awaiting their bloom.  Walk and see the spaces where the fragrance of roses will ride the air, bless loving kisses, and witness.

Walk between the gaps of time where the Holy Ghost goes before you and awakens the glory of success.  Walk before the hopes that ignite the wind and spread the ideas that create, and bless, and are never seen again.  Days gone by have no space to hold the breath of infinite promises.  We cannot find the future in the past.  The best that we can possibly do is be liberated by the truth that nothing stays the same.

Freedom is the air.  The Hybrid Oak knows it, and reaches its arms out in  hallelujahs.  The Cypress knows it, and bends its branches in humble prayer.  The Shingle Oak knows it, and stands above the others in high praise.  Again and again and again, they welcome us as though they have come to the altar for the first time.

Walking in springtime is a meditation, an anointing, a shout, and a clap.  Come.  There is deliverance in the healing pool.  The angels of nature will stir the waters of your salvation.  All you have to do is take the time to see — really see God’s glory.

Namaste, 

Reverend Cecilia Loving                                 

Pastor, SPIRITMUV  (www.spiritmuv.com )

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(All of the materials in SPIRITMUV email messages are copyrighted by and may not be used without the written permission of Cecilia Loving. )

HERE I AM

When I saw The Book of Eli, starring Denzel Washington, I was reminded of how we are all called by Spirit to do a special task.  We may not believe that we are worthy or that we have the requisite skills, but God will give us what we need to accomplish what we are appointed to do.  I was reminded of how difficult it is to “stay on the path; stay on the path” as Denzel’s character Eli had to tell himself repeatedly.   There is always something to distract us when we try to stay the course, but like Eli — we only need to stay centered in God.  

We can only imagine what contributed to Eli’s phenomenal training to protect the Bible during his 30 years in the wilderness.  Similarly, we speculate that Moses was trained by Pharaoh as an Egyptian Priest of the highest order, and that he spent 40 more years meditating and praying while serving as a shepherd on Horeb, the “mountain of God.”  So, like Eli, Moses was well-prepared for his mission.  In fact, Moses was so well-prepared that in Exodus 3:4, when God calls Moses from the burning bush, Moses simply says, “Here I am.”   

Here I am — ready to do what Spirit calls me to do.  Here I am — ready to push past the boundaries of my comfort zones.  Here I am — ready to leave who I used to be in order to accomplish God’s divine plan.  Here I am — regardless of what others may perceive as difficulties or setbacks or handicaps, I am ready because God is my strength, my might, and my salvation.

You see, we were called before our births in the physical realm.  The Buddhists ask “do you remember what your face looked like before your parents were born?”  Our spiritual face is the energy of our soul and the deepest intent behind our purpose.  Jeremiah said “Before we were  formed in the womb, God knew us.  Before we were born, God set us apart.”  (Jeremiah 1:4-6)  We may not remember exactly where we are going or know how we will get there, but Spirit will lead the way.  We are often of such little faith that we doubt our abilities — like Moses — and second-guess our talent, but God will give us the voice and the vision and the victory that we need.  God will soften even the hardest hearts of the egos in our midst — especially our own.  God will part the Red Sea of fear and trepidation, allowing  no one deter us from our path. 

As the Psalmist reminds us, God said, “Do not touch not my anointed ones, and do my prophets no harm.”  (Psalm 105)  You are my beloved child; you are my heir to the throne.  The Kingdom of Infinite Possibilities is within you.  If you thirst, I will give you living water.  If you hunger, I will feed you meat and rain down bread from heaven.  I know what you have need of before you even ask.  All you have to do is trust.  I AM THAT I AM is not only where you are, but God is already at the place where you  are going.

Here I am — finally realizing that I am strengthened by the power of God.  I am lifted by the power of God.  I am energized by the power of God.  I am prospered by the power of God.  I am reborn by the power of God — one with every cell, every molecule and every atom of our being.  Here I am — and right where I AM is Spirit expressing as me.  Here I am — moving forward in unlimited potential and divinely guided to a consciousness where I can never falter, never sway, never miss the triumph of all that I AM. 

I will stay on the path of righteousness, regardless of what others think.  I once was lost but now, I have returned from the far country.  I am going about my Father’s business. 

I don’t want to just see the Promised Land; I want to be in the right consciousness to enter it.  I want to be a believer — not just in somebody else’s testimony, but I want to know God for myself.  I want to know Jesus Christ for myself.  I want to shut up and listen to the Holy Spirit for myself.  I want to maintain a clarity of heart and sincerity of purpose so true that it reaches beyond who I once was to liberate me in the unlimited power of all that I AM.  Only then can I walk the walk and talk the talk like Eli — with the sword of God’s power, watching a thousand fall at my side and ten thousand at my right hand and nothing come near me.  (Psalm 91) 

As long as I stay centered in God, I will succeed.  No matter what circumstances I meet on my path, nothing will be too great for God.

Namaste,   Reverend Cecilia Loving                              

Pastor, SPIRITMUV

www.spiritmuv.com

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(All of the materials in SPIRITMUV email messages are copyrighted by and may not be used without the written permission of Cecilia Loving. )

WHERE IS CHRIST?

Chicken Soup for the Soul tells the story of a priest who was so madly in love with his Christmas nativity scene that he often took a special inventory of his beloved life-sized plaster figurines and doted on his favorite, which was the Christ Child Jesus. So when the priest awoke on Christmas day to find the Christ Child missing from the manger, he almost lost his mind.  He chastised his congregation about the theft, repeating his tirade at each Mass. Yet, the manger remained empty. In order to calm down, the priest took a meditative stroll. Where is the Christ Child? He had to have pondered again and again. What happened? Where is Christ?

In John 14, Jesus said I might not always be with you in the flesh, but God is going to send the Counselor to be with you forever. Jesus called that Counselor “the Spirit of truth”, who Jesus said would live in us and be in us. He said, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”

In other words, Jesus Christ is not really in our nativity scenes, even though we remember him there. Jesus Christ is not really on our symbolic cross, even though we carry him there. Jesus Christ is not limited to plaster or plastic or wood or silver or gold. Jesus Christ did not limit himself to the physical but taught about the oneness of the spiritual realm. He said, I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you — not just in a manger or a scroll or a prayer. He said I am a reality that you touch every day. I am in every breath that you breathe and space that you take up.

In his wonderful book, Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers, Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk, says that Jesus is born every time the Holy Spirit in us is touched. He says that “The Christ within us is waiting for each minute to be born again and again.” Thich Nhat Hanh says that “the Holy Son has been born in you as a baby, but maybe it’s not strong yet. You have to strengthen and cultivate the Holy Spirit in you.” You have to practice your awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence. Otherwise, you will miss the beauty of the Christ that is right within your midst.

The Chicken Soup story says that the priest — worried about the missing Christ Child — walked through his neighborhood. As he walked, he saw one of the smallest members of his flock — bundled shabbily against the cold, dragging behind him a brand new red wagon. The priest was touched by how much sacrifice the boy’s family must have made to get him a brand new red wagon. So, he quickly caught up with the boy to wish him a Merry Christmas. But when the priest caught up with the boy, he could see that the wagon was not empty. Right there, in plain view, was the Christ Child wrapped in a blanket.

Grimly, the Priest stopped the boy and lectured him profusely: stealing was a sin — and robbing the church of such a sacred image — was an even greater one.
“But Father!” the little boy cried out after the Priest’s tongue lashing was over , “I didn’t steal the Christ child. It wasn’t like that at all. It’s just that I was praying to Him for a red wagon for Christmas — and I promised him that if I got it, I would take him out for the first ride!”

Where is Christ? The Christ left the manger eons ago. The Christ was resurrected in us as the Holy Spirit to teach us the power of the Divine Mind — over the material world, over plaster and plastic, and even flesh. The Christ lives within us in a place that never grows old, never grows weary, never grows tired, never needs surgery, never feels the economic decline or its surge because it is full and complete in the inexhaustible everything of all that God is. Jesus did not leave us comfortless. He is always present as the Holy Ghost — to teach us all things. The great Hindu spiritual teacher Paramahansa Yogananda, in The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You, says that this is not the body but the omnipresent Christ Consciousness present in all creation.

During these weeks of Advent, the time during which many people prepare for the celebration of the birth of Christ through prayer, meditation and other forms of worship, it is important to re-visit our spiritual practice so that we develop a consistent way to tune into the Holy Spirit within us. The most priceless gift that can be given now is the remembrance of this divine connection that unites us all. God is always calling us to greater works than those who have gone before us, always breathing into us the power to do better, create more, and evolve beyond the pure potential of the infinite realm of possibilities. Now is the time to release whatever we allow to block our good and allow Spirit to do its good work. Now is the time to stop chasing the plaster figurines of your Baby Jesus and know that the Christ within you has never left.

Reverend Cecilia Loving
Pastor,SPIRITMUV http://www.spiritmuv.com http://www.godisabrowngirltoo.com
(All of the materials in SPIRITMUV email messages are copyrighted by and may not be used without the written permission of Cecilia Loving. If you want to be included in the weekly audio prayer distribution, please email us with your request. You can also blog atwww.spiritmuv.wordpress.com)

LET’S CLEAN UP OUR ACT

love 103A lot of people reading my book Prayers for Those Standing on the Edge of Greatness have told me that it has been a tremendous blessing in helping them release toxic relationships, negative energy, old baggage, and other stuff that we all have to clean up in order to move forward in our lives.

LOVE 2Several weeks ago, at the SPIRITMUV Sunday Service, I addressed the commandment that best supports this process of spiritual de-cluttering, which is the Seventh Commandment: You shall not commit adultery.  In the flesh, we believe that the Seventh Commandment is just about lying to others.  But it is also about lying to ourselves.  The only way that we can cleanse what we don’t need in our lives is to take an honest inventory of what’s there.  Jesus taught that we should have so much integrity that if our right eye causes us to sin, we must “gouge it out and throw it away” and if our right hand causes us to sin, we must “cut it off and throw it away.”  

eyeIt takes a lot to cut off our hand or pluck out our eye and fortunately, it’s not required that we do it in the physical realm.  But Jesus said, do the work.  Do as much as you can to clean up your act.  Only then, do you even begin to see the blessings behind the door upon which your heart knocks. 

eye-14The Seventh Commandment’s mandate to clean up our acts forces us to dig well beyond the appearances of the lives we lead to remove all of the complex lies that we hide in.  In fact,  I believe that a better way of saying this commandment is not that you must not cheat on others but that you must not cheat yourself.  If you are lying to others, you are lying to yourself.  If you are cheating yourself, you are not being your best nor are you attracting the best relationships and experiences to you.

 stone-10Eric Butterworth taught that you can be in a marriage committing adultery, even if you are faithful to your spouse in the physical sense.  You are cheating your spouse and yourself if you don’t want to be in the marriage, but you don’t have the courage to leave.  Any time you are dishonest, you are committing adultery because you are cheating your Highest Self, by living a lie.  Jesus confronted everyone with their lies when he told the crowd at the Mount of Olives,  let he who has no sin cast the first stone.  (John 8:7 NIV) 

stoneNot one of us is perfect.  All of us have lied.  All of us have cheated.  All of us have sinned.  Cleaning our own house does not permit finger-pointing, unless it is at ourselves.   We know that each person on the Mount of Olives who had condemned the woman scorned disappeared when Jesus added the requirement that only those who had no sin could stone her.  The Bible said that each person left one by one, “beginning with the oldest even to the last.”  No one was spared.

clean-6Cleaning our houses means that we let go of the past, step away from the person who we used to be, and move forward in the divine energy of renewed commitment.  Jesus said, go and sin no more.  (John 8:11)   How exactly do we do that?  Sometimes when we look at where we are, it seems overwhelming.  First, we can start with the physical stuff.  We can throw away or give away the papers, the boxes, the files, the clothes, and other stuff that we no longer need — in order to make room for the new.  When we do this simple physical task, we open spaces in our consciousness to receive God’s good. 

clean-10 Second, we can forgive the people, the situations and the circumstances that we have been holding onto.  Sometimes we can’t do this part alone.  So we pray to Spirit, to God, to Love to do the work through us.  This often requires the heavy lifting of disappointments, pain and remorse.  This requires us to stop hanging on to crutches and stop languishing in the belief that we are less than God’s anointed.  Deep down inside, we are aware of the relationships that no longer serve our highest good, that are filled with jealousy and gossip and hatred. 

surrender-15Albert  Einstein said “arrows of hate have been shot at me too, but they never hit me because somehow they belong to another world with which I have no connection whatsoever.”  (Michael Beckwith, quoting Einstein in Spiritual Liberation)  The world that Einstein speaks of is one that is cleansed of his own bitterness and frustration, one where he has released whatever and whoever was not supportive of his higher good and greater purpose.  As Arthur Schopenhauer indicated, we have to release those we thought were friends when they will not support our success.

 surrender-7Third, we have to cleanse the consciousness and conduct that causes us to cheat ourselves out of being the divine creation that we are.  This is even more difficult.  In order to cast out the old hang-ups, fears and doubts, we have to first identify them; and then we have to be courageous enough to let them go.  We have to be honest with ourselves about what causes us to fall short of what we want to accomplish in our lives.   We have to be honest about what we need to do in order to demonstrate the power that we are blessed with.  

surrender-1Of course, this is not a seasonal but an ongoing process of self-examination and self-discovery. 

As autumn winds blow and colder days arrive, it is a perfect time to go within and at least begin this inner journey. 

At minimum, we can begin to clean up our acts, so that we can stop blocking the endless flow of good that God is pouring into our lives.  Yes, it is a process that we must grow through.  But ultimately, this process is far more important than the hopes and dreams that lead us through it. 

(All of the materials in SPIRITMUV email messages are copyrighted by and may not be used without the written permission of Cecilia Loving.  If you want to be included in the weekly audio prayer distribution, please email us with your request. )