“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?

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“Delay not to seize the hour!” ~ Aeschylus

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“For with You is the source of life, and in Your light we shall see light.
Extend Your kindness to those who know you
And your righteousness to the upright of heart.”
(Psalm 36: 10:11)

The Light is in us. When we are in prayer we are connecting to that Light in us. This is why prayer is so important. It is an intimacy like no other. When we think of intimacy, it is usually sexual union. Yet, the union between a man and a woman pales in comparison. However it is the marriage union that mirrors intimacy with God, as in a prayer filled life.

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh”. Gen. 2:24

That word “cleave” is the Hebrew word dabaq, which means cling or adhere; figuratively, to catch by pursuit- to abide.

Prayer is how we can abide in The Lord; to dwell in God.

We abide in our homes. Our homes are protection from the elements, how we protect our possessions from thieves and how we provide a safe haven for our families. Prayer is like living in him every day!

With that in mind, how good is your housekeeping?

Are you taking the time to keep house? Or are you so busy that when you are home, it is only to sleep and eat? Many of us live to work and work to live, but never truly enjoy the benefits of all that working.

Sure we buy things, but so many times we are off to buy something else while our last purchase is still in the bag!

A life without prayer is like that. We are blessed beyond measure, though we seldom realize it. First of all we are alive! It’s only when the sh*&t hits the fan that we remember to call on the name of The Lord.

Let’s not wait.

More Than Enough!

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“You have nothing to prove”.

Someone said this to me the other day. We were having a great conversation, discussing our business successes this quarter. I was sharing about my beauty events and the feedback from customers, etc. I was excited to share how well things were going, but this was not the response I had anticipated. The nerve of this guy!

Later, while watching NBA All Star Saturday, my mother calls and says she has a word for me. In the middle of the Slam Dunk Contest (why did I answer the phone)? Well, okay, there is always replay.
She says, “You are more than enough”. That was it.

It got me to thinking.

The voice in my heart gave me 2 Corinthians 12:9:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Well what do you know, is it possible I am trying too hard? Is it possible I am striving in my work, trying to cover fear and uncertainty? It’s not about me.

His grace is sufficient for us!

If you believe……

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We are 6 days into the New Year 2016! We have made our resolutions and plan. We are working on our Vision Boards, signing up for fitness classes or going back to school. We are on the move!
This Women Crush Wednesday is about ……Us! Every woman reading this has something about herself that she can and should be proud of. However, many of us do not receive the cheers and accolades that we deserve so we often think that we are not good enough. Or we strive so hard to please because we are seeking affirmation and we come up short.

Stop being so hard on yourself!

As I was putting my thoughts together for this post, I began to think of all the women who affirmed me over the years, who encouraged me to believe in myself and to honor my femininity. My mother is definitely chief of them. I mention my mom because as I began writing this morning, I remembered a song that she played often, during Clean up Saturday. Yes, we had a name for a day where you started at 9 am, cleaning your room and doing chores before you could do anything else.

While I lay sound asleep in my comfy bed,with visions of going outside to play with my friends on a sunny Saturday, all of a sudden loud music would blast throughout the house. A kind of call to arms. I hated it.

I mention this because I remember while scrubbing tile in the bathroom Saturday mornings, there was a song that my mom often played from The Wiz ,a Broadway musical which was recently recreated and shown on television this past Holiday season. This song helped me make peace with my lot. It encouraged me as I planned my escape to adulthood, where you did not have to clean your house if you didn’t feel like it! I believe this is sung by the character Glenda the Good Witch to Dorothy. These words rang in my head as I began writing to us, women and girls, all around the world today:

Believe in yourself, right from the start, Believe in the magic that’s inside your heart. Believe all these things, not because I told you too. But believe in yourself as I believe in you.

Go get it! Be you, boo! You are a Queen! You are the Princess of your realm! Have an Awesome Day!

To know Him is to love Him

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Trust. It is a word that carries a lot of weight. When someone says “Trust me”, it is not always easy to acquiesce. Especially if we do not know them well.
Walking as the Bride in the Kingdom of God depends on trust. Yet how can we trust The Lord if we do not know Him?
This “Walking”, describes a concept that I came across. It was revealed to me, through scripture, inspired teachers, but most exclusively from inspiration found in my study of the Book of Esther. My posts in 2014 will catch you up. It describes a set of actions or beauty treatments that will help you develop an intimate relationship with The Lord. If you know Him better, you will trust Him. More.

Many of us say we trust The Lord. However, if someone was to look closely at our lives, the trust is not clearly evident.
We doubt. We question. We change our plans, all because we are only giving lip service to entrusting our lives to Him. I’m not preaching outside the lines here, I have my struggles. Nonetheless, the idea of “Walking as the Bride” is to help us know Him. It has improved my life so much and yet I have hopped off the Potter’s wheel from time to time (control issues, let’s be real). I return to my old ways of thinking; anxiety, self-doubt, etc.

The Holy Spirit is present to remind us, if we are listening. The still small voice asks, “Do you trust The Lord”? I will say, “of course I do”! The response will be, “So why are you in bed eating a quart of ice cream at 2 am”? No, I do not hear voices! I pray you get what I mean.

We all have our ways of dealing with stress or worry. I tend to eat. Too much! Since implementing these tenets, much of what I used to do , I do not do and there have been positive changes in many other areas of my life. Still, it is the “walking” that makes this work. It is active. It is a life practice. It is about a love relationship. Not to sound corny or to question your intelligence but God is a person. Not like you or I, certainly. I am just saying there is a Person to know. I will stop here.

Lol! I am chuckling because I imagine there are some reading this who are humming the theme to the “Twilight Zone”. That’s okay too. If this is meant for you, you will get it.

Trust and Rest when all around you
Puts your faith to stringent test;
Let no fear confound you,
Wait for God and trust and rest.

Trust and rest with heart abiding,
Like a birdling in its nest,
Underneath His feathers hiding,
Fold your wings and trust and rest.

Unknown.

Maybe Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more.. The Grinch

As I set out to enjoy the beginnings of my Holiday vacation, I started thinking of all the stress and sometimes loneliness that this time of year often brings. So many people have lost loved ones this year in the news and in our own social circles. Stress is at its height with “terror watches” and everything else Cable news can scare us with!

Yet on the other side of it, there is something more. As commercial as the Christmas season has become and in light of the fact this is not literally Christ’s birthday, our Heavenly Father turns even this for our good. The spirit of giving is abound! Hidden in the pleas to “Buy this” every 30 seconds, everywhere, the masses are thinking of giving. Regardless of religious affiliation, we are conscious of the concept of giving to others instead of ourselves.

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The Holiday movie that encourages that spirit most for me since babyhood has been Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch that Stole Christmas cartoon(1966). I encourage you to take a look! You are beyond saving if it does not warm your heart!

God bless us. Everyone.

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The Fat Lady is not singing….Yet!

As we approach the celebration of the Thanksgiving Day in the United States, many are thinking about gratitude and being thankful in these times. It has been very trying for everyone in recent months and continues today, with all of the unrest going on around the world and very close to home; racial hatred, police shootings and terrorist attacks, etc., it is disheartening.

That is the point.

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6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Matthew 24:6-14

We see these words from scripture played out every day on television and in the news media. Yet this is only a build up of things to come! We have yet to preach the gospel of the kingdom in all the world!
There is more to the Good News than salvation only.
Some say that Christianity is on its way out,that the hearts of the people are becoming dull to faith.

Don’t believe the hype!

The darkness is meant to wear you down, get you to cave in…Not a chance!
Praise is the answer! Shout that darkness out of your home! Keep a song of praise in your heart! Darkness will come, “but it will not come nigh you”!

Why not? The Light is in your heart! Your mind is filled with the joy of The Lord and all He has done and continues to do for you! Your light reaches others and they are changed. This is why you must stay filled with praise! We impact our world by being Whose we are, acting on that truth and the power of that will change the world!
And THEN the end will come….

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Abundance Flows Freely Through Me!

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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!