Every day we are given the opportunity to begin again. I think that is truly a blessing. We don't have to stay hooked into the past, we can choose to begin all over and start fresh. Yes, that does sound simple and easy. However, some people don't realize life can be different until someone says, start over! When I wasn't feeling spiritually fulfilled, I started seeking nourishment elsewhere. I didn't stay with what was familiar, I looked beyond what I could see and searched for more. I walked out of my confort zone and took a risk.
Sometimes we have to take risks in order to find something more. When I say risk, I'm not talking about sky diving, I just mean doing something that's different and challenging for our normal day. A year and a half ago I went on a shopping trip--and it wasn't for shoes! I was seeking another church, one that spoke to my heart. It took numerous attempts to find the one that was right for me. Of all things, it was a Methodist church! I was raised a Methodist and had chosen to ignore their teachings and follow a New Age view point. I did that for well over 35 years. And here I was, sitting in a Methodist church in a folding chair at the contemporary service. And I loved it!
Now, to be honest, it took some conditioning to get past a few words that bothered me. I hadn't been a practicing Christian for many years, so some of those words were uncomfortable to hear. But I was committed to being open and learning. I was determined to see what there was here to learn and potentially grow from that knowledge. I took a risk.
Every week that I attended church, I heard music that moved my soul. And my feet and hands! I swayed with the music, I clapped, and I sang out. I had fun at church! I don't remember having fun at church before, but with a new frame of mind, I was actually having fun! From the first time I attended services there, I was moved by the music. It touched my soul, it stirred my emotions, it made me happy. The sermon that followed guided me in ways I needed every week. The pastor was speaking to me. He was communicating a message that my heart and soul needed to hear. I hung on his words. Every Sunday. I looked forward to attending church every Sunday. All because I took a risk in order to find something more.
I decided to attend a women's Bible study class. Little me, walking into a room with seasoned Christian women. Would they accept me? Would they judge me for my past? Would they think I asked silly questions? This was a big risk. Huge. But my eagerness to learn propelled me to take a risk at all costs. And I can tell you, I am delighted I took that risk. Not only did I learn about the Bible, I made new friends. No one judged me. Everyone accepted me. And all enjoyed my enthusiasm to learn. No one thought I asked silly questions, either. I took a risk, and the outcome was very worthwhile.
Stick your neck out there; take a risk. Learn something new. Make a detour to an unfamiliar area to discover something great. Listen to your heart instead of your friends. Be all you can be! You've got this!
PS: I am traveling next week, so there will not be a blog post. Until I return, Love To All.
This blog post will probably lose me a few friends, but...it's the journey. I just returned from a women's conference in Tampa, FL. Not just any conference, it was a Joyce Meyer conference. I love and adore this woman! Not to mention, on the lineup were speakers Lisa Harper, Sarah Jakes Roberts, Priscilla Shirer, and musicians Natalie Grant (awesome voice) and Elevation Worship. Oh my heavens! I laughed so hard! I danced! I sang! I had a ball!
You may be thinking, who are these people? Well, let me explain just who they are. Joyce Meyer is the female version of Billie Graham. I know you know who he is. If not, Google him. Google her, too, while you're at it. Anyway, she is a marvel and I have read her books, purchased her Bible studies, and bought more of the same at the conference. I watch her at 9:30 every weekday morning because she is relatable and funny. If I miss one show, I watch it online. I love this woman! Having the opportunity to see her, along with other wonderful women speakers, was an opportunity I just couldn't miss. I am overjoyed today from the experience!
I learned so much, I grew so much, I opened up even more. I am a child of God and I am SO happy to be one! Yes, they are all Christian women who offered the hungry crowd a smorgasbord of delicious thought. Our cups ran over, our plates were filled to overflowing. We ate the knowledge, the words, the joy with zeal and love. I doubt we will ever be the same!
I never realized, until a year and a half ago, that contemporary Christian music could rock you out! I mean, we were dancing like teenagers! It was such a moving experience for me. The joy, the happiness that filled every woman in that arena was incredible! I ordered the tape so I could relive and enjoy it all over again!
This experience was enhanced by attending with four seasoned Christian women. I'm considered a baby Christian. Well, this baby learned and grew by association with them, too. You know something? I never ran into one single cranky woman the entire time! None! They ALL were sharing the love of God. They were all happy to be there to worship, learn, grow, and love. Awesome! I wish you had been there with me to share the experience. Maybe next time!
Love to all!
We all acknowledge that there are negative forces in our world. Some would call it the devil in action. Remember the famous line, the devil made me do it? Do you believe that a red suited demon is harassing you? Maybe yes, maybe no. Or I'm not sure. Whichever, sometimes negative happenings seem to invade our lives. Actually, it is rather difficult to avoid being exposed to negativity. We can look at our feed on FaceBook daily and see negativity, or even in the safety of our homes we can see on TV some pretty outlandish things. And that's just on the news!
Yes, there is a negative energy present. Whether you want to personalize it by saying it's the devil, that is your choice. I am not here to say it is or isn't. I don't want to go there....You choose. What I do know is, when we see negative things, we don't have to embrace them. God gave us free will. We can choose to ignore what appears to be evil and turn ourselves in another direction. If we don't make that choice, then we wallow in the negative. We accept its presence and saturate ourselves with the evil content. It's like being infested with fleas. Yuck!
Why would we want to wallow in negativity? Maybe we don't know any other way. Maybe our lives have been so saturated with negative influences, perhaps since childhood, that we don't know what positive is? In a case like that, we have to make a concerted effort to dramatically turn from the negative. But first, we have to identify that which is negative. Our vision is so influenced by our conditioning that sometimes we just don't see what is negative. The rose colored glasses have to be slung across the room so we see clearly what has been hiding right in front of us. We must peer into what stands before us and really recognize it as being negative--maybe for the first time.
Once we recognize what is not in our best interests, not a good influence, then we can turn our backs. We can look toward something positive. We can focus on the positive instead of the negative. What we are doing then is filling our vision with something positive. We are viewing good instead of evil. There is a natural law called the law of attraction. We attract to us what we are, see, feel, etc. Therefore, by 'seeing' positive, we are attracting positive into our lives. By associating with positive people, we are embracing positive people and their good influence. By watching positive TV shows, we are thinking positive thoughts.
I cannot express strongly enough how important it is to think positive. Whatever is negative only attracts more negative. Try to fill your vision and thoughts with the positive. So, how can we add the positive into our lives? Hmm, it's really easy. Prayer helps. Ask God to help you to identify that which is negative in your life, then turn from it. Don't continue to be caught up in something that brings you to the floor. Who needs that? Ask God to bring into your life positive people and ideas. Ask God for positive influences to surround you. In other words, ask God. It's just that simple. Through God, all things are possible.
Love to all....
It's so interesting how the world and our friends can affect us. As children, like me, you were probably told to be careful who you hung out with, and not follow any bad examples. "If they jumped off a bridge, would you jump, too?" Of course we said, no. But we did follow suit in certain incidences, didn't we? We might have smoked a cigarette or drank a beer, hopefully nothing worse than that. We were influenced by our friends, we have to admit that.
I know everyone, especially in my age bracket, seems to say how society has changed. And not for the good of all. If we take the time to look around, we'll see how truly awful our society is currently. The bad news is, it only seems to get worse. I'm sure many would point fingers and say, well, it's always been that way, we just didn't know about it. Really? I don't think so.
Divorce would be a good example of how society has changed. Like most things in our lives, marriage is considered disposable; temporary. If he turns out to be a bum, get rid of him. Now, I am not judging because I have a couple divorces under my belt. I am observing from the benefit of time and experience. I have been married to a bum, and I divorced him. But if I had taken the time to know him, I wouldn't have married the guy. If I had been more secure within myself, I wouldn't have felt needy and settled for less than. There is always more to the story.
Our society is in such a hurry! We want it yesterday! I know, I am the queen of impatience! But a little bit of yesterday just might be a good thing... There are some things that don't really have to change. Some things are just fine they way they always have been. When we walked at a slower pace. When we didn't run around with a cell phone permanently glued to our ear, or so addicted to a game we feel we simply must complete it. I think we have placed all too much importance on things rather than being.
We have become 7 day-a-week seekers of fun. Busy all the time! Some of us don't attend church, we're just too busy. Worse yet, we don't even take our children to church. Whatever happened to making it a priority to attend church?.....People are not attending churches, and I think that is such a shame. I receive great joy from my church. I look forward to attending. I also enjoy the camraderie when I am present. My soul is filled up to the brim with guiding words of wisdom. I need that. Society needs that. We need our souls renewed.
Personally, I believe some of our societal problems stem from not attending church. There was a time when we made it a priority to be in church, and not just on Sunday. We took time out to praise God, to love God, to pray. Life may not have been perfect back then, but it certainly has not improved. By us not going to church, we are allowing society to influence us.. Society is not supposed to influence the church. The church is meant to influence society. For its betterment.
Perhaps you'll join me in church one Sunday.... If you don't enjoy the one you select, try another one. Keep seeking until you find a minister who speaks to your heart. You deserve that special time with God. If we make God first, the rest will fall into place. I promise!
I have been wanting to start a blog, but life got in the way. I'm sure you know how that is... Just so you know, this blog is going to deal with spirituality. I have been a spiritual seeker for over thirty years. I have dabbled in lots of things. To name a few: Spiritualism, the New Age philosophy, A Course In Miracles, I Am, gurus, etc. You get the idea. I am a seeker of truth.
Sometimes that truth appears in some pretty strange packages. Ever attend a seance? I have. Lots of them. I've also led seances. Sometimes I think I have a short attention span. But then again, I've been seeking all things spiritual for decades. Apparently I haven't lost interest in learning and growing in that capacity. I love to learn and grow my soul.
I've been doing a lot of growing in the last year and five months. I will share some of that growth with you as I write these blog entries. It is my hope that you will learn from my experiences. If you like what you read, please leave a comment. If you have question, ask me! I would love to hear from you. Let's be friends! Stay tuned!
Today we will look into my path. It's been full of curves, but never dull. I always kept pursuing and eventually came to a conclusion, for good or not so good, depending how you look at the end result. Every step was a learning experience. If we aren't learning, why are we participating? But we are required to be aware of what's happening around us. If we don't notice, then we are just treading water in the pool of life. And not learning.
Not everything we endeavor to participate in is worth our time. If there is nothing positive in this venture, if we aren't feeling uplifted, if we aren't learning something new, we have to ask ourselves why we are still there? Have you ever been a participant with joy in your heart, but there was this nagging little imp doing a dance in the back of your mind? Something distracting you from the current activities, softly suggesting that this isn't what it appears to be. You know deep in your heart, if you'd bother to pay attention, that this activity is not for you. It's probably wrong on various levels and the little imp is screaming at you to pay attention.
I had that happen to me after I had received shaktipat and was initiated into following a guru. I even traveled to India in 2009 to stay at this guru's ashram. Frankly, it was more palacial than ashram in its appearance. Huge buildings surrounded the ashram where followers could stay. During the time of the guru's birthday, so many would attend the celebration that they camped out on the mammouth grounds next to the Ghangi River. All very impressive. At the time. Not any more.
When something is nagging at you, causing discomfort, inserting questions into your head, please pay attention. Somthing isn't right. Something here is definitely not right for you. I'll tell you more about my guru days later. In the mean time, be aware of what is subtling bothering you. There is a lesson to be learned.
Love to all.
(c) 2018, Elizabeth Owens