Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Psalm 85 Understanding and Growth

Colorful New Growth, Fountain Grass
The challenge in walking the spiritual path is that the more we learn, the more disciplined our lives must become. We must become the evidence of our understanding. Spiritual growth is never a straight upward climb. There are always surges forward followed by times of retreat and backsliding. When we become deeply aware of our spiritual nature (restored the fortunes of Jacob), the edges of our lives are smoothed and we seem to coast along more easily. Inevitably, we will be asked to explore another growing edge. These opportunities are challenging and at times it can feel as though we are being punished (will you be angry with us forever).

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Psalm 80 Look Within

Retaining wall covered by vines
As we navigate our spiritual journey, we should expect to have trials and tribulations along the way. These experiences help us broaden and strengthen our understanding and faith. There are times, however, when we are caught off guard by these troubles and instead of looking within for guidance; we are seduced into relying on external stimuli for information and direction. Undoubtedly when we make these mistakes, we experience a great deal of suffering in our lives.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Psalm 100 Present in Praise

Praise the Lord ...
Have you noticed that it is difficult to praise God when we are focused on the past or the future? The only moment in which we can truly experience the Divine is now. This poem calls every fiber of our being in to joyous praise. We are to be fully present in the present. Giving thanks to God should be done with gladness not fear or moroseness. Singing is an activity that draws our whole being into praise. When we sing the sound causes vibrations within and around us, creating harmony. Also singing relaxes the left or analytical brain. It allows us to be fully present in the moment.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Psalm 123 Spiritual Pride

Temple of Christ the Savior Lanterne StatueImage via WikipediaServants look to their master for direction (hand). And so must we with the Christ within. Those who choose to serve God are given relief from the contempt of the worldly life. This requires a single-minded focus on the spiritual. When we begin to know the nature of God, we can have faith we will be protected in our time of trial. The mercy of God is grace—aid from God in the process of our regeneration. If we allow, Spirit can guide us so that we cooperate to the best of our abilities with God’s Law, and limit our suffering. But we cannot do this half-heartedly; it is an all or nothing proposition.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Psalm 34 Lessons for Life

Canvas textureImage by net_efekt via FlickrOne of the most challenging aspects of the spiritual life is that the Spirit of the Divine requires a blank canvas (poor soul), on which to paint its perfect portrait. We must approach God with pure humility, laying aside our personal will, in the search for true spiritual understanding. Any troubles we experience are only a reflection of our erroneous beliefs of our separation from God and each other. We experience separation primarily when we become deeply self-centered. When we choose to make ourselves our center, our connection to God fades.