“There are no differences but differences of degree between different degrees of difference and no difference.” William James

Growing Up Spiritually

If you are familiar with my writing or follow this blog, you are aware of my penchant for spiritual things. I like to think of myself as a Contemporary Mystic. Unfortunately, mystic is a word that has been misused and maligned in the modern era. If someone says “she is a Mystic”, usually they are thinking in terms of occultism, delusion or psychotic episodes! This is an unfortunate fact. This causes many who are growing spiritually to be uncertain about sharing their experiences and growth for fear of being judged or misunderstood.

Mystic as defined by Oxford Dictionaries is; a person who seeks by contemplation and self-surrender to obtain unity with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or who believes in the spiritual apprehension of truths that are beyond the intellect.
‘the poetry of the 16th-century Spanish mystic, St John of the Cross’

As a Christ believer, I have had more than a few heated conversations or rolled eyes when sharing my growth. It is what it is. The ancient writers like St. John of the Cross, who fervently sought after The Lord through meditation and contemplation experienced the same incredulity or worse, among family and peers. Many of these seekers were priests, rabbis, learned men and women of theology, yet their descriptions seemed out there or other worldly to some. They desired intimacy, to know God for themselves. To know that they knew what they knew. Or something like that!

For example, you meet someone and you are attracted to them. You decide that you would like to get to know them better and you seek to spend time with them, to develop a relationship. It’s all surface knowledge initially but the more time that you spend together, the more you learn about them. However, during this “get to know you” period, that individual’s true personality-who they are- is somewhat of a mystery. Even though, you have looked up there info on the internet and paid for the background check (lol), this is still surface information. The only way to truly know them is through personal experience.

Growing up spiritually is similar. We read the Holy Scriptures, attend church, temple or other designated place of worship to hear and learn so that we may experience God for ourselves. Much of what we observe is a mystery, at first. It is our seeking, though prayer, meditation and taking the personal time to ”get to know “that we begin to develop a relationship that leads to intimacy.

26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Colossians 1

The question is; How far down the rabbit hole do you wish to go?

Advertisements

Forgot about J?

Lately, I have been focused on Beauty ‘outside’ , skin care, cosmetics, etc. It is all about healthy skin and toned bodies at this time of year. The summer season is underway! You can’t help but think about looking good at the beach, on picnics or just laying out at the pool!
However, I would be remiss to leave out the main ingredient, the One factor that makes Beauty possible- Christ in you!
I was in my prayer closet the other day and I got a little nudge in the spirit-“Isn’t your byline-Proclaiming Good News through Beauty”? So what about Beauty Inside?

So what about it?

Prayer is the key. We have so much on our minds these days, like what to wear, where to go this weekend, what to eat, what Not to eat, how many vacation days do I have left,…the list goes on.
Just under the surface we may begin to feel a little antsy or we are on edge and we can’t figure out why.
I am reminded of a lyric from “Forgot About Dre” by Dr. Dre-

Nowadays, everybody wanna talk like they got somethin to say.
But nothing comes out when they move their lips.
Just a bunch of gibberish.
*You look at their life and they forgot about J.
*my artistic license

Prayer is our opportunity to get the latest downloads on what is really happening in our lives and the world around us. That edgy feeling, feeling overwhelmed or confused, it could be the Holy Spirit telling you to stop by for a chat.
Peace is His specialty.

Be Blessed!

I Am yours and you are Mine

You have ravished my heart,
My sister, my spouse;
You have ravished my heart
With one look of your eyes,
With one link of your necklace.
10 How fair is your love,
My sister, my spouse!
How much better than wine is your love,
And the scent of your perfumes
Than all spices!
11 Your lips, O my spouse,
Drip as the honeycomb;
Honey and milk are under your tongue;
And the fragrance of your garments
Is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
Song of Solomon 4:9-11 NKJV

The Lord is remembering women in these times. The early church fathers did a disservice to women in many ways and spoke ill of the female gender. Many believe these early misconceptions have left a harmful residue in Christianity today.
We are valued and loved! Women are highly favored of The Lord.

He seeks relationship with us. The Lord wants to heal the wounds that women have suffered in the name of Christianity, at the hands of the ill-informed and the wicked. Listen to your heart.

Abundance Flows Freely Through Me!

yes_logo
19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silas and Timothy—was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.” 20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 1:19-20 NIV

Yes is a foreign word to most of us. We have been hearing no from the day we arrived on this planet! Most of the time, it was “No” to protect us from doing something that might hurt us. As toddlers or as we grew older, it was to make us aware of what was considered wrong or bad manners in our social structure. However, having grown accustomed to hearing it since the beginning of our lives, many of us have been conditioned by the word, no. We expect it.

So, when we begin to walk in the Kingdom mindset it is almost like when we were 1st toddling about as babies. Except as babies we had no previous instruction, clean slates. By now, we have had plenty of instruction. No is in there deep, so much so, we are not even aware. As such, taking steps in our Christ mind can be very timid, or it takes ions between steps because we are so certain NO is just ahead!

Try something new. For the next few days, think yes. Not a random, I hope so, but an emphatic yes! For everything that is a positive for your life, think yes. For the large and the small. Yes! Yes! Yes!

I am writing on this subject because I have been looking at the “no” in my life. Of course there are times that no is necessary. The problem is, when you show up with no on your mind that is what you get.

The objective of this exercise is to evict no from your expectation!

For example, the other day I was running errands and ran out of money but I was hungry. As a foodie, you know that I am against hunger! I drive over to a fast food restaurant for a cheap burger to hold me over and as I am approaching the drive-thru I realize I have exact change but I like tomatoes added which is extra. I am rarely charged the tomato charge, maybe once-which is how I know about it. Anyway, I’m thinking “I do not have enough for the tomato charge, I hope they do not say No. Guess what? They said no. I had to go without tomatoes! Silly? Sure, but I missed out on tomatoes because of my thinking. My expectation of no, made me miss out on juicy tomato slices for my burger.

Moral of the story? Don’t miss out on tomatoes because of stinkin thnkin!

“Fully inhale your dream and completely exhale manifestation of it.” T.F. Hodge

Facing-Reality-A-Tough-One-For-Sprint
23 Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed.
24 Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. 25 And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.
26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.
Galatians 3:23-29

The Walk of the Bride in the Kingdom of God has reached a plateau. There is a transition phase on the horizon as we have moved from the inner work of prayer and purification of the 1st 5 beauty treatments to the outer workings found in the remaining 5 tenets, such as the Mind of Christ, humility, etc. It is how we will manifest what has been initiated through our obedience to Christ in us. I am excited to discover what is up ahead and I will return to these writings once I understand how these things should be conveyed.

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
2 Corinthians 3:18

“By Myself I can do nothing.”

The Walk of the Bride in the Kingdom of God is continuously unfolding. It is as if each step taken opens to more and more of Him; that is Christ in you, the Hope of Glory.
These tenets or beauty treatments were inspired from studying the Book of Esther in the Holy Bible. The tenets are:

Prayer, Praise, Purity, Practicing the Presence of God, Beauty of Holiness
Mind of Christ, Humility, Giving, Trust, Consistency

In earlier posts, the tenets were described individually, to be walked out in our daily lives. As I have often said, I am walking it out as I go, along with you, Precious Reader! I believe The Lord has inspired this “Walk” to help us to grow in intimacy with Him so that we might increase in every area of our lives! This is His desire for all of His children but I perceive this specific inspiration is particularly for His daughters. The tenet concepts are for all, but the “feel” is female.

What about Beauty inside Out?
This theme is perhaps the foundation of what we are experiencing in this walk. Beauty is in Christ. It is to be complete in Him. Beauty inside; more of Him = Beauty inside and out!

“But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted”! John 15:7 NLT

Let this Mind be in you!

Mind-of-Christ
Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit?
Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.

3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

6 Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
8 he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2 NLT

Sanctify yourself and you will sanctify society –Saint Francis of Assisi

We must bear in mind that holiness is not something that we can procure for ourselves or obtain with our quality and our skills. Holiness is gifted to us by the Lord Jesus, when He takes us up with Him and clothes us in Himself, making us like Him. In the Letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul says that “Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself up for her, to make her holy”(Eph 5.25 to 26).

There, holiness truly is the most beautiful face of the Church, the most beautiful face: it is rediscovering ourselves in communion with God, in the fullness of His life and His love. It is understandable, then, that holiness is not the prerogative of only a few: holiness is a gift that is offered to all, without exception, so that it constitutes the distinctive character of every Christian.

Pope Francis on the “Universal Call to Holiness” Vatican Radio

Righteousness is the truth revealed and working in you!

the-kingdom-come-sermon-slide
Walking as the Bride in the Kingdom of God

The tenets of this path were inspired by the Book of Esther.
The beauty treatments prepared for the maidens who were to go before the king consisted of 6 months of purification with oil of myrrh and 6 months of perfumes and cosmetics. As I continue to “walk as the Bride”, I am growing in understanding as I experience it. Prayer, Praise, Purity, Practicing the Presence of God and the Beauty of Holiness are metaphorically speaking, the ingredients that detoxify our hearts and minds, to increase our capacity to receive spiritually. As we activate the 1st 5 treatments, we are being cleansed of the dead weight that we have been carrying around most of our lives. Low self-esteem, guilt, insecurities, past hurts, shame, etc.; all these and more are drawn out and burned by the fire of the Holy Spirit as we pray, praise and practice His presence in order to heal and make us new in Him.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61

Let me be clear, this walk is about Christ Jesus! The above scriptures were spoken by our Lord when he introduced his ministry on earth (Luke 4). Christ is our Bridegroom. Our growing in intimacy with God through Christ brings the reality of “Christ in you” to bear in our lives!

The cleansing water of the Word of God and the precious Blood of Jesus entitles us to partake in that which has been obtained for us. It is our intimacy, our developing relationship with the One who loves us that enables us to acquire and establish the Kingdom of Heaven within. Not head knowledge only but a true experience that can be seen and demonstrated in our lives. Thus the purpose of becoming “oaks of righteousness”, whereby those in our circle of influence may come under our shade to grow in the things of God and to establish His Kingdom in their lives.

You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
LORD my God, I will praise you forever.
Psalm 30:11-12