“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?

“Faith is about doing. You are how you act, not just how you believe” Mitch Albom

In celebration of the Christmas season, Woman Crush Wednesday honors a well-known woman.  Often venerated, sometimes denigrated, yet she has an enduring presence in the hearts and minds of many.  A woman who is an example of faith, in that she believed though she did not see and she saw her faith become a reality!

Thank God for Jesus (or Yeshuah if you prefer)!  I am sure you have figured out who this special woman is by now!

virgin-mary-mother-of-god-virgo-maria

Mary is a beautiful example of grace under pressure.  She exemplifies walking in faith.  She had a word from The Lord and had to walk it out,by faith.  I love her response to that Word from the angel.  I especially like the Message Bible version of that conversation:

“And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.”

And Mary said,

Yes, I see it all now:
I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve.
Let it be with me
just as you say.

Then the angel left her.

Luke 1:36-38

Basically, she said “Let’s do it!

Yet many times we hear an inspired word for our future or we have that “feeling” we should make a move, or not;  but we ignore the voice of the Spirit inside us.  The voice that says “I got you, go ahead and be or do whatever you see in your heart”.

We know that voice and we still talk ourselves out of it!

Luke 1:38 is an awesome  reminder of what it means to hear and receive, but also to stand in faith.

An awesome example from a woman’s perspective.

 

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:26

melinda-main_2742861b

Melinda Gates has become the world’s most powerful person to focus her attention solely on women and girls. As co-founder with her husband, the Gates Foundation is the world’s largest charitable foundation, with a $41.3 billion endowment. Mrs.Gates told Forbes Magazine (Nov 2015), that in order to fight poverty, “you have to put women and girls at the center”.

The Gates Foundation focuses on initiatives that address the world’s most vulnerable women and girls. In the past three years, Melinda Gates has announced a new initiative on family planning and universal birth control access, she is involved with programs on maternal and infant health, educational opportunities for girls, and initiatives encouraging micro-entrepreneurship among women.

Thank you Melinda Gates! You go girl!

http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolinehoward/2015/11/23/the-first-woman-of-women-how-melinda-gates-became-the-worlds-most-powerful-advocate-for-women-and-girls/

Hocus Pocus, Alakazam!

magic hat

Prayer

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24

When we pray we are communicating with The Lord, the One who loves us. We must come to Him knowing that our words are heard and we expect He will communicate with us also.
When you go to the bank to withdraw money (that you know that you have), do you say a few words at the door and cross your fingers before you approach the teller? Of course not! You boldly walk up to the counter and present your request with full expectation of receiving what you ask.
If we come before The Lord in prayer and we “hope” someone is listening but we only vaguely believe that God exists, then we are no different than a child pretending to be a magician, who says “Abracadabra” waving a magic wand, expecting a rabbit to come out of his hat!

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16