Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

 Happy New Year!

I am honored to be sharing this life with you.

As the new year moves in, I resolve to expand in all of my capacities... I resolve to build my endurance, to shoulder what the Lord has given me and submit to higher will. I resolve to be a better listener, a better thinker, and a better believer. I resolve to pray more, love more, and give more.

May this next year be blessed with revelation, fulfillment, and peace! God bless you!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Searching for Peace

When people long for an answer, what they really long for is peace.

There is no amount of logic that will bring peace to a searching heart. If you are seeking God, it is good to study what others have said... but the only true answer you will ever receive, the only thing that will stop your heart from questing, is communion with God. This is because God is not something that can be understood in the mind... it is not something that can be analyzed, broken down into endless pieces and rules, and then put into a safe category. God is that which exceeds all contradictions and explanations; in a sense, it is the ultimate paradox... and yet it is so very, very real. The reason why so many people have trouble seeing God is because we live so close to it, it's hard to pull back and see what's really in front of us... but just because we can't see it doesn't stop it from existing.

If you seek God, then pray. It is very simple. Pray through the heart, and you will be given God's peace... and eventually, you won't need to look anymore, because you'll see that God is right there inside of you.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

God Will Place You

Had an enlightening conversation with my aunt this holiday season....

She told me that whenever she is under stress, her first reaction is to "run away." When her mother died at 13 (similar to when my mother died), her response was to rebel and run away from home. Now that she is struggling with marital problems, she feels the urge to run away again, but she stays in her marriage because she wants to remain true to her faith and set an example for younger generations.

She said that she remembered when my mother died, that I came to her with a lot of soul searching. Every time I would come to her house, I either "believed in God" or I didn't. I would argue and discuss it with her until I returned home, sometimes over a period of three or more days. She said I was fighting an intense inner battle. This led all the way up to my revelation, and then all arguments of God stopped because I had found my faith.

She said that it appears that I am doing the same now with my father's death... yet instead of searching for God, I am searching for where I fit. She said that my conviction gave her chills, that it was clear I wasn't doubting God, but that I was looking for the place where God needed me. She told me "Don't worry about where you're going because God will place you where you fit...." In the meantime, it's good that I research all kinds of faith in order to understand where one is lacking and another is fulfilling. "Eventually," she said, "You'll find a peace in knowing that God has you exactly where He needs you."

When she said these things, I was surprised, because my aunt is in no way a perfect person and her judgment of other people and other faiths has often turned me off to Christianity. I was shocked that she actually encouraged me to search through other religions to find what felt right, and that this was a necessary part of growing in faith. She said that this way, I could lead others from all sorts of faith and help them to have a relationship with God. She also said that I needed to do this now while I am young, because if I ever was to be married or have a family, they would be looking to me for strength and conviction, and it isn't good for children to see a mother flip-flopping back and forth with her beliefs.

She also said not to think that I am doing this alone; she said that many people are watching me, my brother and friends and probably people I don't even realize, and that they are looking for God's truth in my life. It is not really about me... rather, it is up to me not to lead them astray....

Suddenly, my path to God and divinity took on a far more important role. No, this walk is not for me... it is for all those who witness it, and I have a responsibility not to lead them into false beliefs.

It made me wonder if God is making my life into an example of faith in order to wake them up....

"Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass ... Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him."
Psalm 37:4,7

"For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice, and He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course."
Proverbs 2:6-9

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Waiting, waiting, waiting....

I guess everything is in God's hands... but sometimes I get so impatient! I can't help it, I'm so enthusiastic about God's love, and I want to share it so badly... but I know I'm not ready yet, I don't know enough about religion to believably back up what I want to say. It's funny how God's truth happens in a second, while logical knowledge takes years of arduous study to build. It's very hard for me to study religion because I see so many things that are hurtful and needlessly misinterpreted... the attitudes in religion that move against God are like needles in my heart, they make me want to cry out, frustrated and helpless... and yet how, with so many beautiful religions to choose from, everyone is still so blind... and the people who aren't blind are busy saving orphans in Africa....

Also, there are many people saying what I want to say already... I think the only difference is they don't have God's words burning up their mouths (because if they did, why has no one claimed the title of messenger?)...

Christ knew He had a task for God, but He still had to be anointed by the Spirit in the River Jordan... how long did He have to be patient, with God's call burning up His heart?

Which brings me to a question -- what is the difference between a scholar spreading a message, or a servant of God spreading a message... even if the messages are the same? I think it is the same difference between one who hears a recording of Beethoven, and then one who sits in the middle of the orchestra. A recording is beautiful... but sitting in an orchestra will bring you to your knees. Truth must be brought alive by Spirit.... In the end, I don't think people listen to words... I think they listen to Spirit.

Doesn't matter how many times I update this blog, what people need is my presence so they can feel and see God work through my character. I tutor children for a living, ages 7-12, and I imagine that teaching faith will be much the same... you can't tutor a child over the internet, you have to engage them on their own level in a personal setting. Of all the things recorded of Christ, why did they not record his teaching? Why couldn't they describe how he sat with the ignorant and blind and turned their hearts?  That is what I am dying to know... Christ, how did you do it...

My father once said that if you can teach a child, you can teach anyone...

It feels so strange saying these things because there is no certainty that anything will come to pass... no certainty in myself, that is... yet I have great certainty in God, and this feeling hasn't passed in the 10 years that I've had it. It's been in me since before I even knew who Christ was... I can only trust and believe that God wouldn't plant a desire in my heart that He wouldn't fulfill....

Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." - Mark 10:27

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Prayer: A Step Towards Enlightenment

The goal of praying is to reach a state where you are constantly in prayer.

You'll never grow spiritually if you don't pray... in fact, most spiritual growth takes place through prayer. So what is prayer, why should we do it, and what is our ultimate goal?

1) When I pray, who am I speaking to?

You are speaking to God... but what is God? God is consciousness. The flaw in human logic is that we think of consciousness as being separate from everything around us. We think consciousness is something confined to the brain, nervous system, etc. However, this is not true. Consciousness is energy. Energy is self aware. We are made of energy, are we not? And aren't we self aware?

When you pray, you initiate direct communication between you and all things. And believe me, They are listening. When you pray, pray through your heart. This is where you open your connection to God.

2) Will my prayers be answered?

Yes. Always. But not always how we imagine. God (just like the Heart) knows the true value of all things.

It is not a matter of faith that your prayers will be answered. Anyone who prays will have their prayers answered. However, the greater faith you have, the more you will see your prayers manifest in reality. Also, we must have patience when waiting for our prayers to be answered, because timing is very important.

3) What is the goal of prayer?

When we pray, we encourage grace. What is grace? Grace is God... grace is becoming more aware of the presence of God both in ourselves and our lives. Prayer is the only thing that can open the eyes of the heart and allow one to truly see God as He is: both inside of ourselves, and interconnected with the world. I encourage everyone to pray at least once a day. Pray how you are comfortable; you may use recited prayers like those found in Catholicism or types of Buddhism, or you can pray simply through your heart. However, pray often, and have faith. This will bring you to God.

Try to reach a point where you are in a constant state of prayer. What does this mean? It means that you are in constant dialogue with God. Imagine that you only pray once a year... and once a year, your prayers come true. Now imagine if you pray once a week... and once a week, your prayers come true. And now imagine if you pray once a day... and once a day, your prayers come true.

But when you are in a constant state of prayer, your entire life becomes a miracle, and you will see God manifest in everything around you. This is Enlightenment.
Those who do not understand I will need to leave behind. But that time is not now.

God says... don't say it, there will come a time and a place, but not yet.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Love Letters V

You are my treasure. I have made you delicate and powerful, small and mighty; in you, I have placed the passion of my brightest stars and the words of my clearest rivers. I took dust and light, shaped you with sound and water, and loved you into being. And even though I allowed you to have a life of your own, you gave it back to me and put yourself in my hands.

I see your eyes turned to me. The world is a busy place, rushing back and forth, made of blues and grays. I watch them, but it is rare that one turns to watch me... and for that, you are full of color. For that, I have come to you, to provide for you and shelter you. Walk, and I shall walk with you.

You may doubt me, and I know why; because the road to your heart's desire is a long one, and there is much to fear. But you need not fear. I carry you in my hands. Your heart is my greatest treasure... and I guard it with my own. Above all things, I will guard your beautiful little heart.
"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Matthew 6:21

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Travel

If I am going to eventually minister to those of all religions, then I must become an expert on all religions.

Whew, God, you weren't kidding when you said I had a task... and I'm going to have to travel the world too. I'll have to visit all of the holy sites, but that will come later.

I'm an "all or nothing" kind of person. I hold nothing back. When God threw me into this fire, I realized I had two choices: succeed or die trying. If I fail at uniting the world, it will be because I died trying.

Compassion

I do believe that in the spiritual realm, compassion rules all things.

I think compassion is the very essence of God. When I see kindness, generosity, and love that spills over the boarders of convention, love that overflows from the heart and extends to all of those in need, that is where I see God. That is where God comes from inside of me. When the pain of another brings tears to my eyes, and the suffering of another compels me to act, and when the burden of another invites my own arms, this is how I know I am truly of God... because selflessness is something that expands beyond the natural realm. Selflessness is against our baser nature. And yet compassion lives inside of me. Compassion is what drives my life, and compassion is the tool that God gave me.

To judge is human. To forgive is Godly. Christ did not come to judge, but to save all souls. I think this speaks mountains of what God is.

I do not see God in those who would judge the wicked. I see God in those who would die for them.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


"We have had many harbingers and forerunners; but of a purely spiritual life, history has afforded no example. I mean, we have yet no man who has leaned entirely on his character, and eaten angels' food; who, trusting to his sentiments, found life made of miracles; who, working for universal aims, found himself fed, he knew not how; clothed, sheltered, and weaponed, he knew not how, and yet it was done by his own hands. ... Shall we say, then, that transcendentalism is the excess of Faith; the presentiment of a faith proper to man in his integrity, excessive only when his imperfect obedience hinders the satisfaction of his wish."
-Ralph Walder Emerson, Nature

I disagree. Is this not the faith that we all live by? Do we not all live entirely by our character, however limited? Do we not all find ourselves clothed, fed, and sheltered by our own hands, yet we know not how?

Let's take the time today to dwell on the miracle of our own lives, and how we must appear in the eyes of God. God does not require that we all live by an excess of faith, but He certainly looks after those who do, and there are many.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

God's Wild Flower

As much as I am able to know, I am what I am, and I am willing to wait for what God has planned.

Lately I have been withdrawing from life and many of the people around me. I am taking longer breaks in solitude. It is strange to feel God call to us. It is a voice... like music, which moves through the whole body... and suddenly, I cannot choose anything else, I must go where I am drawn.

"For a long time I wondered why God showed partiality, why all souls don't receive the same amount of graces.
Jesus consented to teach me this mystery. He placed before my eyes the book of nature; I understood that all the flowers that He created are beautiful. The brilliance of the rose and the whiteness of the lily don't take away the perfume of the lowly violet or the delightful simplicity of the daisy.... I understood that if all the little flowers wanted to be roses, nature would lose its springtime adornment, and the fields would no longer be sprinkled with little flowers....
So it is in the world of souls, which is Jesus' [God's] garden. He wanted to create great Saints who could be compared to lilies and roses. But He also created little ones, and these ought to be content to be daisies or violets destined to gladden God's eyes. Perfection consists in doing His will, in being what He wants us to be.
I understood that Our Lord's love is revealed as well in the simplest soul who doesn't resist His grace in anything. In fact, since the essence of love is to bring oneself low, if every soul were like the Saints and Prophets who have shed light on the Church, it seems that God wouldn't come low enough by forming only their great hearts. But He created the child who doesn't know anything and only cries weakly, He created poor ignorant persons who only have natural law as a guide -- and it is to their hearts that he consents to come down: Here are wildflowers whose simplicity delights Him....
Just as the sun shines at the same time on the tall cedars and on each little flower as if it were the only one on earth, in the same way Our Lord is concerned particularly for every soul as if there were none other like it. And just as in nature all the seasons are arranged in such a way as to cause the humblest daisy to open on the appointed day, in the same way all things correspond to the good of each soul."
St. Therese of Lisieux, 1873-1897 
May I always be God's wildflower, in his deepest forest, blooming.

Knowing God

I've cracked open a book called Feeling Like God by Chris Tiegreen. Lots of good stuff... it talks about the emotions of God as outlined in the Bible and tries to help the reader understand God on a more human level. This is supposed to help us build a stronger relationship with Him, which is a good deal, since we are God's children, after all. Everything we are is a dim, dim, dim shadow of Him....

But something stood out to me in the first chapter of the book that bugs me. It mentions "knowing" God as in studying Him through a book. Chris Tiegreen then goes on to say that it's not enough to know Him through the Bible, we must feel like God as well. Feeling like God is what helps us build a deeper relationship with Him. This shocked me because since coming into my own faith, I have always thought it was obvious that to know God is to feel God, and it has nothing to do with the Bible at all.

Let me ask a question: can you claim to know someone just by reading a few letters they sent you in the mail? If Angelina Jolie sent you a letter telling you about what she bought when she went shopping yesterday, does that mean you know her?

Can you know someone if you have never met them in person but talk to them on the phone every day? Perhaps a bit better.

Can you know someone if you've never been involved in a deeply romantic relationship with them? Especially a long marriage, including sex, children, and the whole nine yards? After a lifetime together, you can claim to know someone much, much better....

But knowing God, when you really know God, is much deeper than all of these things, because God first and foremost resides inside of you.

Knowing God is what real salvation/revelation is. In this book, Chris Tiegreen starts out by speaking of "knowing God" as though it has to do with humanly study and knowledge, but that's impossible. We can never truly comprehend God in our minds... and for God's sake, don't base your "knowing God" on "knowing the Bible." The Bible is nothing like God, not when it is taken as a whole.That's where the essential flaw lies in studying the Bible. Everything that comes before Jesus' teachings should really be thrown out, because all that stuff about "jealousy" and "rage" is simply not true.

When you really know God and you know God's presence in all things, you also realize that religion has very little to do with it. Imagine for a moment that your brother walks into the room. You know it's your brother; you can see him, hear him talk, maybe even smell him if he hasn't showered. Now imagine that you can know God in just the same way. You sit down in a room and you are silent, and suddenly you can feel a love, connection, and consciousness humming through everything. Knowing is an emotion, but it's more real than that. The faith of the saints and prophets is a feeling, it's an experience and a "knowing" that is absolutely incorruptible because it cannot be challenged. God walks into a room and you see Him. You can't know God much more than that.

You can know God on earth. God isn't sitting somewhere out there on some Heavenly throne. Even Christ said "The Kingdom of Heaven is inside of you." God is here and now. You know God when you can see God here and now.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Where there is life...

Where there is life, there is God.

In Heaven, there is life in its purest form.

Those who know God know life in its purest form.

God, give me back to God. Give me back to the Spirit of Life. Give me back to that which I came, to that which made me, and remade, and shall make again. God, bring me back to You that we might continue our work. I am sorry for straying. I am sorry for thinking I am not what I am; for thinking I am less or more. I am sorry for that which is between us.

God says, You are everything to me.

And I, I am nothing, if alone.

It cannot be earned...

Prayer is powerful. Prayer is the only means to awaken a soul to God. If prayer can make one see God, what can't it do?

Gifts cannot be earned. They can only be given freely. This is how God gives His Gifts. You cannot earn a blessing from God; you will never be pure enough to match the divine will; God made us this way. It is better to be weak. God loves to lift you. God is waiting for you to be weak and crawl to Him, that you might see Him, that He might show you His highest Self. If you do not approach God helplessly, that which thinks it is strong[er than God] will make you blind. Why else do we suffer? That we might learn the sweetness in suffering, the absolute nothingness of our smaller selves, and absolute surrender to our Father.

I surrender again and again. It is a daily practice. We can never be strong. We can only be weak with God; only in our weakness can God work through us. Only by our humility can we follow His path.

It is dangerous to say "I am God." To be God is not to be powerful, but to be Love. To be beyond self. To be the wholeness in all things. To have God's wholeness, there must be endless sacrifice until the very word sacrifice becomes irrelevant, because all things bring joy.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Love Letters IV

It is my joy to bring you joy. And when I bring others joy, I feel your joy, and I am warmed.

Give to me that I might give to them. Love me that I might love them. Heal me that I might heal them. Teach me that I might teach them.

You are my only, my divine, my immortal moment. You are melody in sound, a breath in the silence, the core of each verse. You sing to me and I sing to you; we sing for each other.

Dear God, I pray to be your divine melody, to learn and to sustain it. I pray to be the fullness of each note, the silence of each rest, the crescendo and finale. Dear God, I pray to be the voice of your voice, the will of your will, the heart of your heart and a vessel of your unconquerable love. Dear Lord, anoint me. Bring me your burdens in rain, sun, and storm. Give me the brightest lamp, the longest road, the hardest path and the highest peak; give me the heaviest heart that the world might be lighter. Show me your strength, and dear God, give me your courage that I might cry out against the sickness that has poisoned our people, the worm that has rotted the fruit of your trees. Dear God, make me a falcon that I might fly towards daybreak and skim the skies, lifted by your endless wind.

I shall move fast for your pace is upon me, and I know that you drive me as surely as daybreak, you lead me as the Sun across the sky.

A Promise

First written October 7, 2009 © Theresa Shreffler

I do not believe that you are beyond potential.
I do not think that you are undeserving of love.
I will never look at you and criticize your faults,
nor will I ever love you any less because of them.

I do not believe that you are beyond suffering,
nor do I believe that your cruelties are your own,
nor will I ever believe that you are less than me
nor will I ever judge you for a lack of faith.

I will never pretend to listen to you, while you speak
your heart to me; I will thank you and bow, knowing
you have trusted and seen in me all that I want to give;
if I may, then let me fail a thousand times for you to succeed.

I will never falter, I will never waver in my belief
in you, nor in the path that brought us together;
I will value every brief second we spend, even in passing,
even if I did not make you smile, even if

I did not touch your heart. I will gladly suffer
your pain with you, and burden the greater
if I could, and forgive you for any doubt, and
when you leave, I will bless your feet that

you may walk on water, that you may not
falter nor tire, and that your road will lead you
only to fulfillment, satisfaction, and peace.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

An Orphan with God

I am a tiny sapling tree and every time we talk about God, I grow a little bit more. Thank you all for sharing your faith with me. :)

Since I became an orphan, an amazing transformation has happened in my life. I am now fearless. Psychologists say that our relationships with our parents form the majority of our identities, and wow, is that ever true. How many people's lives have been ruined by a bad relationship with a mother or father? Well, now my only parent is God, and I have been forced to become who I have always wanted to be.

Before my dad died, my greatest fear was that I would not be strong enough to carry out God's will. I was very emotionally dependent on my father. Everything in my life revolved around him because we had so much in common. We were both writers, both musicians, both deep thinkers in our different ways. His atheism was like a sliver in my side; it caused me to doubt my faith, to make me question what I believed, and whether or not I was strong enough to share my spiritual experiences with the world. Also, fear of his death held me back. I didn't want to travel or leave home because I was afraid of losing precious time with him. Perhaps very deep in my heart, I always knew that he was going to die.

I spoke to God a lot about it... I was encroaching on 20 and I still hadn't progressed enough on my spiritual path. I hadn't reached where I needed to be. I felt like I was floating in a stagnant pool; life was too comfortable and I didn't know how to take the next step. I thought... maybe I am too weak to serve the world. Maybe this is all just a wonderful, fantastical dream, and one day I will be on the other side of the hill and realize that I have lost my chance. When I thought of that, I felt a deep, wallowing despair.

And then my father died, my last surviving parent, and I realized that I had only two choices: sink or swim. I was faced with needing to live on my own and provide for myself, and at the time I didn't even have a job. My father was thousands and thousands of dollars in debt, and to be honest, I still don't know if we will lose this house or not. I had to drop out of school and I thought I would never be able to continue with my education. My vision of the future was erased. Everything changed.

But even as I was standing next to my father's death bed, there was joy in my heart... because I know God very well. Even though everything was ripped away from me, and my life had completely changed, I was finally back on my spiritual path. I knew that if I could handle this, I would be fearless. I would be able to conquer the world. If I could learn to swim by diving into a shark pool, then I could easily tread in the deepest waters. My father's death was God's greatest sign to me. God was saying that my prayers had been heard, and that yes, I was strong enough. My path was exactly what I thought it would be.

Everything since my father's death has been a trial of faith. The jobs I've been able to find in this harsh economy, the scholarship I received to finish college, the blatant signs from God that have shown up on my doorstep... my entire life is one long unfolding miracle. Every day my faith is stronger. I've always known God, and yet now I know God in a different way. Before, I knew the truth of unity, and God's presence in my heart. Now, I can see the power of prayer, and how God works through the hands and feet of other believers. Now I can experience it for myself. I don't say God is my Father because of what we learn in church. I say God is my Father because He is. Because he provides for me as a Father, guides me as a Father, pulls me from the fire and brings me peace. I gave up my parents that I might have this relationship with God, and it is worth it. It is so very, very worth it.

I was once reborn in God... and with my father's death, I am now made new again. I am a child, but I am unafraid of the world. God's passion lives inside of me. I wish I could live every day in silence, sitting in my back yard and listening to God. If I died tomorrow, I know it would be with peace in my heart, having lived a life full of meaning and revelation. We are all so blessed to be here. We are so blessed to be alive.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It's Not a Relationship, it's a Marriage

We can change our minds a thousand times, but real faith never changes, because real faith is simply love. When we can say we are in love with God, it is because God is in love with us. To be in love with God is to make a commitment to God. It's not just a relationship; it's more than that. It's a marriage. A union with God is a promise. It's a promise to never turn away, to never surrender, not in sickness, poverty, or in the deepest suffering -- and God promises to always be there.

And just like a marriage, a union with God has little to do with rituals, baptisms, or similar. Before announcing it to the world, it must be decided upon within the heart. It must be tested with time and hardship. It must be strong to withstand all worldly forces. Our love of God must be set deep in the foundations of our very person. To uproot God from the heart would be to destroy us from the inside out. That is a marriage.

Sometimes I wonder who I would be without God.... I don't have an answer. I have many hobbies, things I like, people I love... but what would really define me? I don't know. I guess it's because my faith gives my life purpose, order, wonder... without these things, I simply wouldn't be myself. I would be a cold stranger. Maybe I would even be dead by now.

I am very happy with who God is creating me to be, even if it means that I will never know my parents as an adult. I'm happy that I found my faith young. I feel that God is making my life a wonderful gift, and the short years I've lived are already irreplaceable. There is a lot to wonder at. The number of revelations we experience has little to do with the events in our lives, and a lot to do with how closely we walk with God. When we commune with God every day, there is a revelation every day. I am in constant dialogue with God, and God has a way of speaking back.

Open communication, constant companionship, mutual respect... yes, this is the true marriage of my heart, and nobody needs to know but God.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Love Letters III

Sweet child, be at peace. Be calm and wait. I am creating a life for you. It is my joy.

Many losses have yet to come, but you will gain what is priceless. I know the value of all things, and above all, you are valuable to me. You are far from forgotten, and as the months roll by, you will see how I envision your life, and all of the changes I have made in the endeavor to complete you. We are together now. There is no other way. Nothing can stand between us -- not the flaws of others, not the traps of desire, nor the path of worldly weight. With me, you are the wind and water, the silence, the shade of the trees. With me, you are all that is.

And what have you to fear, when the heart of the world looks upon you with love? What have you to doubt, when you favor me above all things? Do you think I do not listen? I write you letters as you write me. I sign my name in the grass at your feet and speak through the whispers of a hundred voices. I compel their hands; I know their tongues. You stretch yourself to understand, and I move that you might see me. Dear child, I am not hiding. I am with you as we speak. I am on your shoulder as we write.

You ask if I can move the universe, and sweet child, I have been... but you are fragile. You, above all else, are as delicate as finely blown glass. To move too swiftly would cause cracks. Under too much heat, there would be flaws. Just look at the porcelain of your hands; at the slender slope of your fingers. I am the artisan, and you, my unfinished symmetry; a carefully crafted song.

It shall pass soon. The winds have calmed and there shall be a great peace. You will have time to rebuild, to become what we have planned. Hold me tightly and be still, and know that you are safe.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Judgement

My aunt once told me that you can't trust people who don't believe in God. She said it's because they don't have a conscience. I kept quiet, but honestly, I was disappointed. I wanted to ask what she really knew about her conscience, because my conscience says that it is wrong to speak badly of others, no matter who they are. Who are we to assume a person's status in the eyes of God?

To speak badly of others is to cause pain, even if our words are never overheard (and guess what? God hears them.) There is enough pain in the world outside of my control; I don't need to add to it. I always feel guilty when I say something needlessly judgmental because I feel like I am letting down God. Treating people negatively gets in the way of my spiritual path. I am very aware of my failings and imperfections, and I too am judged daily. All people deserve to be understood, even if they are not right. All people deserve to be listened to, even if they are not a reliable authority. Love listens, and love isn't concerned with proving anything; love only cares if a person can be healed. When people speak to me of their diverse beliefs and hardships, all I can think of is "How can I show you God?" The only way I can show anyone God is through love.

There are too many who claim to "believe in God" yet live a life of hypocrisy. Look at people's actions. Where there is kindness, there is God. A man who acts purely out of kindness but who doubts God's existence is still doing God's work. And how pleasing is that, to know that there are people who do good for the sake of good, and not for the sake of reward? God notices.

I survive by a deep, abiding love of God, and I am judged for it by religious and non-religious alike. But I know what I have, and I will not pass that judgment onto those of weaker faith. That's not what God made me for. That's not the duty God has given me.

I am not worthy of my life. I am not worthy of being alive. I am not worthy of knowing God. And yet I do. God saved me and I am not worthy, so I have no right to judge.

Submission

Yes, life is predestined.

Yes, all things are known and planned by God.

I think it's a hard mindset for us to accept. I think it takes a true life of trial and submission to really see what God is. But when we take for granted that everything is preplanned, that all things are decided, we begin to see God's presence in everything. We begin to see a logical sequence in our lives.

To say that all things are not predestined is to lessen God's authority in our lives. We must live by faith alone; faith in our path and faith in our Father. It's a joke to think that we're allowed to "create" ourselves. We are partners with God, or we are nothing. Our own desires have little to do with who we are or the lives we live. Those who walk a spiritual path have few desires; that is why we are so overjoyed with our lives. All we desire is what God desires for us.

If you wish to know God, submit to it. Submission and sacrifice are the only way.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The New Age Movement Isn't "New"

My main issue with the New Age movement is its insistence on taking the ancient wisdom found in most major religions and trying to act like it is something "new." Instead of "bodhisattvas," "sidhas,"  "prophets," or "disciples," we now have Indigo Children and Astral Travelers. Different names for the same spiritual beings, yet devoid of the centuries of authority from real prophets, real sidhas, and real Buddhas.

Despite its insistence on being "philosophical" and "scientific," the ideas discussed in most New Age books don't even scratch the surface of the philosophical principles of Greek dialogues, Buddhist tantras or the Christian Bible, and let's not even start on "scientific evidence." There is an entire history of philosophy and theory from all around the world that has been incorrectly jotted down by a few half-educated people and shoved in front of the public eye. These people now want to tell us that if we visualize something, it will happen. The Secret to life is that there is no Big Secret. Truth is everywhere, as is God. Crack open any text from any established religion and you'll begin to see it.  Except that maybe you're not really looking for God. Maybe you're looking for any explanation other than God.

It seems like anyone can write a self-help manual, stick some meditation and chakra aligning techniques in it, talk about spirit guides, and suddenly have a right to speak for God. Well here's what I've learned in my tiny insignificant life -- God's laws don't change just because we change our theories. You want to know the truth in the world? Do what the Buddha and Christ both said -- be good. Goodness brings us to a unity with God. Anything else is an unnecessary distraction. Serve each other. That is the true spiritual path.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Unity and Anointing

I pray for them: I pray not for the world. That they may be one, as those, Father, art in me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given Thee, that they may be one, even as we are one.
John 17:19, 21-22


If we are to have unity, if we are to have love, if we are to have a world at peace, we must understand that we are all the same.

The suffering that one feels is the suffering of another. The faith one feels is the faith of another. Are we to condemn our brothers and sisters because they do not speak our own words? Because they do not use our own symbols? When a man in China cries out to the darkness, is it not the same darkness that we all cry to? And when he waits breathlessly for a sign, is it not the same sign that we all seek? Do we not all search for a reason, a justification for our lives? Do we all not feel, on some level, that we are unworthy of it?

To unite a world, we must become bigger than ourselves. We must extend ourselves beyond what we think we know. There is no need to conquer, to convert, to convince; however, there is a great need to love. The enemy is not a matter of words or translation; the enemy is wickedness. The enemy is hate, mistrust, and division. The enemy makes us blind and distracts us by creating physical and ideological barriers; as a servant of God, it is my job to tear those barriers down. There is no barrier for unconditional love.

To create peace in the world, we must begin with ourselves. If we do not have peace in our hearts, how can we have peace in our homes? If we cannot have peace in our homes, how do we have peace in our countries? If we do not have peace with our faith, how can we have peace with the faith of another?

God gave me a task when I was 12. When I was 19, the Spirit of the Lord told me that my work would begin following my father's death. When I was 20, my father died. I am an orphan, I am God's child, I am God's friend, I am a servant to the world.

When Jesus came, he said:


The spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted; To proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.



I am not Jesus. However, I, too, have an anointing:


The Spirit of the Lord has assigned me the task of strengthening the faith of others, shielding the broken, teaching the ignorant, and destroying the barriers of race, culture, and religion. I am here to bring peace to the world. I am here to live a life of servitude and love. I am here to bring unity.

I know I am not the only one with this anointing. The entire world is moving toward unity. What is the road that God will have me walk? I do not know. However, I know that I am on it because all that the Spirit has promised me has come to pass. I am unsure of how great my part will be. Will I have a violin solo, or shall I be a conductor? Will I be a lonely flutist in the back row? Who knows, perhaps I have already filled my task and I shall die tomorrow. I do not know, but with every breath I feel God's voice in my lungs and I willingly bow my head to the divine. I follow Jesus. I love God. I despise evil. I do God's work. My life is genuine and so is my faith. Let's tear down our barriers today in the name of love. Let's create a united world.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

God is...

GOD IS....


1) Love.

2) Silence.

3) Peace.

4) Compassion.

5) Generosity.

6) Wisdom.

7) Patience.

8) One.

9) Everything.

10) You.

Residing in God, you feel it in everything, you see it in everyone, you are disgusted by anger, moved by compassion, aware of your own imperfections, and lovingly obedient to the spirit of the world. God is a center of peace, an iron bar of light that never wavers, overflowing abundance, sweetness, beauty, and joy. We are in the process of creation. God didn't create the universe -- He is creating the universe. God didn't make you -- he is making you.

God is found in all religions. God is spoken of by all saints and prophets. What I say here has been said before and will be said again. God is everything. God is unity. God is love.

To denounce other religions is to create division. This is against God.

To judge others is to create division. This is against God.

To accuse others of a lack of faith creates division. This is against God.

It is by our actions that we are judged, not by what we declare with our mouths, but by what we do with our hands.

If you create negativity, if you create division, if you spread malice, if you presume to know the faults in others, this is against God. God Is. God doesn't need a correct interpretation. True prophets know God outside of religion. True prophets know God from the heart, and the heart alone. I will not put my trust in anything but God and prayer, for God teaches us through nature, through the very years of our life. God is creating me to be what I am, as He is creating you. When we die, it is because we are complete.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

God has spared me once again.

All that was wrong is now somehow made right. I was faced with all sorts of issues, legal and personal, that have resolved themselves with little effort on my part. I have been dragged from the fire by loving hands.

Father, I don't know why you spare me, but I know our love is great, and so I do not question. Thank you for your mercy. Thank you for being my family.

I walk the path to prove myself to God. I think now that God wants to prove Himself to me. I am reaching and God is reaching back. I am searching and God is making Himself known. I am putting faith in the impossible, and God is saying yes, yes, yes.

I am honored to have this life. I am not worthy of Your favor, and yet You direct me and protect me in all things. God, We truly are partners. Thank you.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Contending with Horses

I have been given hardships this past year that should break me. But, as always, faith prevails.


My sufferings do not make sense to my friends or family. Over and over I hear, "I am so sorry. There must be a reason for this, there has to be, but I just can't think of it. Why be orphaned. Why be faced with lawsuits. Why would God do this to a kind soul?" But they don't understand. When I was young, I asked to serve the world. I prayed to be a savior. I told God this is what I want. By giving me this path, God is not punishing me. God is telling me I am strong enough. God is answering my prayers.


I am unafraid, because God is with me. I am God's child. I am God's love. I am, in all of my imperfections, a humble piece of God, and God lives inside of me. See, I know exactly where God is taking me, and that is why my suffering brings me joy. I will suffer. And in the end, I shall be strong enough to carry the entire world.


God is teaching me. We are growing, and one day, We shall prevail.


"If thou hast wearied with running with footmen, how canst thou contend with horses? and if thou hast been secure in a land of peace, what wilt thou do in the swelling of the Jordan?" Jeremiah 12:5

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Perfection

"9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. ... 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."
1 Corinthians 13:9



Imperfect

a poor reflection [of God], as in a mirror
the self known in part


Perfect

seeing [God] face to face (not as a dim reflection)
the self fully known


We are imperfect until we reach a sublime union with God. What are the signs of imperfection? Anger. Greed. Selfish motivation.

And then, a moment. What the Buddhists describe as the “blowing out” of the ego, or for Christians, a baptism in the Holy Spirit. That which is greedy inside of us, that which is selfish and judging and spiteful, is destroyed by God's perfect love, and we are made anew. We become “Awakened” to God's presence in the world.

Is this moment known beforehand by God? Yes. Is it planned? No. Because God is everything. God is your past, your present, and your future. God knows the moment you both will meet. You cannot fight what you are, or the mistakes you will make upon your path. God knows them, and God watches, and God listens to every whisper of your heart, and God leads you up winding mountain paths and into valleys of snow, just to bring you to the door. It is here that there is the only true choice. You must open the door on your own. And then you are awakened. You experience the connection in everything, the One, the meaning of Life and the truth of Love.

When one reaches a point where he or she comes upon God, it is like a leap, a jump, a flash of light. It is not anything visible or describable, but an “explosion” inside of the heart, a “breaking” of our deepest walls and a complete release of inhibition. In that moment, when we meet and know God, all that is angry and foul within us is destroyed and we become new. We are defined by God's love. We become vessels of perfection.

When we speak of perfection, we should not mistake it for something cold and hard, like a diamond. Perfection is fluid, like water, or air. Like Love. Perfection is Love; pure, fluid Love that changes and adapts to all things. God's love is beyond right or wrong. It is beyond organization, beyond definition, and beyond explanation. God's love is the very seed of creation.

Part of this union is also realizing that we can never be as great as God; we are simply pieces of the whole, not the whole in and of itself, and we exist in an imperfect, impermanent world. However, although no man can be as huge as God, a man may discover God within himself, and know God, and see God, and speak with God, and act with the will of God. This is why those who know God's love are humble; because they inherently know that God is everything, and that all of humanity is a grain of sand in comparison. That is why all who know God speak in riddles; because the reality of God is that it is a state of consciousness, a heightened awareness, and it cannot be described in words.

Friday, September 24, 2010


"What if you were to arrive at the Pureland of the Buddha, or if you are Christian, in the Kingdom of God? How would you walk? You must be able to leave footsteps where no trace of sorrow or anxiety can be found. Only peace and joy."

-Thich Nhat Hanh


If we can walk with peace and serenity here on earth, and our footsteps leave no trace of sorrow, hate, or anxiety, then we no longer walk on earth, but in Heaven. Both the Buddha and Christ taught that Heaven is here, it is inside of us. If we can learn to walk in peace, to live with compassion, then we already live in the Kingdom of God.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Debts Forgiven: An Answered Prayer

My father passed away about a year and a half ago, leaving my brother and I with close to $50,000 in debt, credit cards and student loans combined.

I was baptized last February and attended a sermon at Church which talked about God as the "forgiver of debts." The sermon stressed that we should forgive the debts of others that God may forgive our debts. I have always been very generous in forgiving others (for more than just financial debts), and so I began praying: "Please God, forgive my father's debts. Forgive my father's debts because he forgave the debts of others." I've prayed this more than a few times over the past months.

A month ago, my brother was notified by Sally Mae that because my father was the only signer on his student loans, he doesn't need to pay back any of the money. That's $30,000 that we don't need to pay!

And finally, today, I received a letter from our lawyer informing us that my father's biggest credit card debt, $13,000 with Chase, was misfiled with the court. The credit collectors had a 1 month window to file a creditor's claim with the court in order to collect the money from the estate. Otherwise their claim can be rejected by the estate and the debt dropped, forever.

Our lawyer wrote to us reporting that Chase misfiled the claim with the court. It wasn't filed within the 1-month window, and so we can reject it! That's $13,000 that we don't need to pay!

God, thank you, thank you, thank you for forgiving my father's debts! Thank you!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My Faith, and Why

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
 -Matthew 5:8 
"If then your whole body is flooded with light, and no corner of it is darkness, it will be completely illuminated as when a lamp's rays engulf you." 
 -Luke/Sayings Gospel Q, 11:36

So I always resist writing about this event because I cannot fully explain it.

It has been the defining moment of my short life, and I know, no matter how long I live, that it will always be the most defining moment. You see, you have to understand that I was raised an atheist. There was no religious dogma or ideology in my house. My feeble grasps at God began as ventures into fantasy writing, palm readings, tarot, and a fascination with the arcane. I wanted the unexplainable to be true. But logically, I knew it couldn't be. I knew that ghosts, magic, and psychic powers were all just things of fancy. But I wanted it. Because I was so young, I couldn't identify my longings. I just knew that something was out there, something was missing, my family's explanations of life were logical and yet not fulfilling. I needed to find an answer that was substantial and satisfying.

When I was 10, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. That year, I moved 2000 miles away from her to be raised by my father, who had previously been absent in my life. My parents were not divorced, but because of financial circumstances, my father had to work in Los Angeles, CA while my mother lived in Washington state. The move was a hard one. I had never been separated from my mother before and I missed her sorely. At the same time, I was rejected by the children at my new school because I was shy, androgynous, and didn't know anything about the LA lifestyle.

I was isolated. My mother's cancer ate away at her until she died two years later, when I was 12. By this time, I still identified as atheist, but I had been frantically searching for a meaning in all of the emotional hardship and life changes around me. I knew there had to be an answer, and countless times I had prayed and cried out to God, but never had there been a reply, and I was angry and unconvinced. I sought out religious friends and argued with them until they couldn't stand me anymore. Some still don't speak to me.

When my mother finally died, although it happened 2000 miles away from me, I was awash with guilt. I blamed myself for wasting the time I had had left with her. I also blamed myself for her death, because I hadn't prayed or asked God to save her life (this is a child's logic... but it was also a very real emotion that arose from my heart.) I knew it made no real sense, and yet the guilt ate away at me like a wild thing. I couldn't help but feel like if I had done something different, anything different, I could have saved her.

About three weeks after her death, the guilt and misery reached a breaking point. I was sitting on my bedroom floor attempting to read a fantasy novel that centered around Celtic mythology, and I remember that I couldn't focus. I put the book down. I fell to my knees as a crashing wave of guilt and sorrow swelled through me, and I cried out -- God, I am sorry. God, please forgive me, I am so sorry.

At that moment, a force rushed through me that I could only describe as lightning. I cried out, and a wave of purity blasted through me, so powerful that I couldn't breathe. I opened my eyes, and I could feel love everywhere, the most divine, perfect love that I could ever perceive, so perfect that it was beyond comprehension, beyond name. The force of that love was so strong that it made me feel like I was exploding, like if it was any stronger then I would die from it. Then suddenly I was aware of an overwhelming consciousness, a presence in everything around me, as though I had been swallowed by the most beautiful music.

I looked down at the book, and threw it away from me, for the very thought of fantasy and polytheism suddenly disgusted me. The thought of atheism and man's lonely existence disgusted me. The disgust I felt was beyond physical; it was the knowledge of suddenly seeing God, of feeling God all around me and inside of me, and realizing how very wrong everything was. I stood up and went into my living room, awed by my new eyes, and looked out of my living room window. I was struck a second time by the intense presence of God, because as I looked outside and saw the trees, the grass, the sky, the cement -- I felt an intense connection in everything. God was everywhere. He was in the air, in the water, in the couch beneath me and the lungs I breathed with. Everything was connected. It was connected by perfect, divine love, and it was all in front of me.

That love changed something inside of me. It became me. I was, in every meaning of the word, reborn. My eyes were new, my thoughts were new, the world was new. I sat and breathed God and knew my source, and knew that this love was my most divine purpose; that somehow, I was seeing beyond the physical, and that everything was united and created through love. An overwhelming compassion filled me. I wanted to give this love to others. I wanted to do anything to stop people from suffering. I wanted to serve. I knew that my richest, most rewarding purpose was to serve others, and I no longer had a choice. God's love was so powerful inside of me that to act against it made me feel physically ill.

You have to understand that I was only 12. I couldn't put it into words... and who would believe me? It was a strange sensation; I felt like God wanted me to speak, but every time I would try, people's rejection would hurt too much. I was still very sensitive. I told my father that I believed in God, but he brushed it off as a symptom of grief. It would be three years before I told anyone again about my experience. I felt like I had been given a secret, and it was easier to keep it to myself than to suffer through the misunderstandings of others.

At first I thought that everyone who believed in God must have had the same intense awakening as I did (because what else did they believe in, exactly?). It took a long time, but I slowly came to realize that the people around me, even the kinder ones, even the heavily religious ones, were in many ways oblivious to what I continued to see. I grew up in an uncomfortable in-between; knowing God in everything around me and my own heart, yet unable to fold myself into a religious ideology, because I couldn't stand the hypocrisy of most believers. I prayed nightly for God to be my teacher, and show me the truth of the world. I prayed nightly to show the world God's truth.

I am Christian now, but I can't accept that there is only one way to understand faith. I read the teachings of Christ when I was 16 and I have been baptized since, but I still feel that the purity of my experience with God far surpasses anything else, and I understand that this experience has been written about in all religions. I see the effects of God's presence constantly in my life. In fact, He has made my life. He has created the person I am.

So when I speak of God, please listen, because my faith is genuine. God made me the way I am for a reason. This journal is not meant to be read as a permanent ultimatum or new doctrine; this journal, rather, is a journey of faith, a documentation of my spiritual growth and understanding of God. I mean this journal to inspire you, whether you are Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Catholic, or any of the other countless doctrines that exist in the world. This journal is, in fact, my heart, and is written with sincerity and love. I will never hide anything from you; not my doubts, my conflicts, my mistakes or my hiccups of faith. Here I am, I am not perfect, but I am happy to share God with you, because He has given me the gift of writing and the grace of knowing Him, and I would like to share my faith with the world.

I am simply, humbly, reverently defined by God's love, and my only desire is to love you the same way.

"He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye." ~Buddha 
"God is LOVE. Whoever lives in LOVE lives in God, and God in him." 1 John 4:16 
 “Unity is divinity; purity is enlightenment." ~Sri Sathya Sai
"The soul can split the sky in two and let the face of God shine through." ~Edna St. Vincent Millay 
"When I saw others straining toward God, I did not understand it, for though I may have had him less than they did, there was no one blocking the way between him and me, and I could reach his heart easily.  It is up to him, after all, to have us, our part consists of almost solely in letting him grasp us."  ~Rainer Maria Rilke
"God is not what you imagine or what you think you understand.  If you understand you have failed."  ~Saint Augustine 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"Just don't seek from others,
Or you'll be far estranged from Self.
I now go on alone;
Everywhere I meet It:
It now is me; I now am It.
One must understand in this way
To merge with thusness."
Dongshan Liangjie

Monday, September 6, 2010

Love Letters II

I am so thankful to belong to you.

Although I know I can never be you, I can try. I know you would not have me as anything other than myself, yet I yearn to be more. What else is the soul to crave, once it has tasted perfection?

You knew when we would meet, and that eventually, I would have no one else but you. In every step of my life, you knew me, and I have been blessed to know you. There's no need to make it complicated. In fact, there is a great need in this world to make things simple. I love you because you love me. I need you because you are the only thing that's real.

Where I go, you go. Where you go, I go. Your plans are my plans, because they bring me joy. Because it is not about where we go when we die or the rewards we get. It's about living with you. It's about having this one life with you, to share. The idea of nonexistence after death does not settle with the heart, and yet I cannot imagine what Heaven could be, and I do not believe in Hell. I would have my Heaven here and now with you, where I know you exist. I would not wait to become nothing.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

All of the structures of man,
founded on nothing.

We live in denial of God's purpose, even as we undeniably live it.

We are strangers to ourselves, orphans of existence, defined by what we are lacking, blind to what we have, confused and lost in a changing world where our equilibrium must be founded on willpower alone.

Man is confused because we lie to ourselves. We look away from the only truth in life, the only experience that is real, the only thing we cannot confront. We seek truth and yet run from it, because to find truth, to find the real meaning of existence, we must confront our own mortality.

Once we force ourselves to become aware of death... once we make ourselves stare at it, look it in the face, meditate on it, and see it in ourselves... once we make a commitment to dying, everything becomes much more clear. The illusions we create for ourselves, the structures, the ideas, the debates, the ups and downs of history and current events, all fall to nothing. None of this matters. Nothing but the state of our hearts.

Because we never know when it is our time. Only the lucky ones die slowly. We must be prepared, because whatever comes after death will be as real as what we see around us now, more real, more vivid, and by the time we reach that point, it will be too late to change anything.

This life is very real. The consequences of this life are very real. Stop living in the illusion of tomorrow. Wake up. Now is the only time we have to change.

Friday, September 3, 2010

God sends me balloons. :)



Received this in my back yard a week before my baptism. It was stuck under a bush near my back fence. It says "Happy Baptism" in Spanish. No one knew I was going to get baptized.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

“I do not care to know your various theories about God. What is the use of discussing all the subtle doctrines about the soul? Do good and be good. And this will take you to freedom and to whatever truth there is....”


-The Buddha



Here is truth: God does not care who you profess to, who you bow to, what you follow, for all doctrines are in equal parts right and wrong. What matters is that your actions find their root in kindness and compassion. A kind, selfless man who claims to not love God is a liar, for his actions speak differently, and it is by actions that we see the state of the heart, and it is by actions that we are judged. Don't be satisfied with becoming a member of a group. Become a leader of all people through pure thought, intention, and selfless action. This is the thread of commonality shared by all major world religions. Become selfless. Destroy the ego. Overcome the devil inside of you. Then you are free to know God.

When we serve God, God serves us. My life, and the lives of many others, are testimony to that. It doesn't matter how we understand it. What matters is that we do it.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Those who know God in their hearts also know that there is a dimension to existence that cannot be rationally expressed. There is a knowing that cannot be defined by words. A truth to every experience that is undeniably self evident; a consciousness in the world that pervades and connects everything.

Why are some blind, and why do some see? What stops a person from fully submitting to the experience of God? And what makes a prophet -- simply one who is overly moved by the Spirit, or is there more, is there a greater level of spiritual knowing than what is evident in the lives of so many believers?

There is a difference between belief and knowing.

There is a difference between analyzing and accepting.

The mind is our greatest tool, and our greatest deceiver. It is not by our thoughts that we come to know God, but through our actions. If we could know God by thought alone, it would imply that God exists in our thoughts alone. But that is not true. God exists far less in our minds, and far more in our physical reality, but we do not see it because we are too limited. We are trapped by our concept of man as "master of nature," but man is master of nothing. Man is blind. Seeing God requires that we look past what our minds perceive, and experience God's presence in the deepest chambers of ourselves.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

You can't tell me there is no God when we are sitting inside an ocean of it. You can't tell me that God does not answer prayers when everything I have ever asked for has been given to me. You can't make God into a "half there, half not there" presence, who structures the universe but does not involve itself in the drama of man. God is nature. God is man. God is life. God is our source, and God is love.

When believing in God, people focus too much on prayer. They think answered prayers are evidence of God. When someone prays for something very specific and then receives it, that means God is "real." When someone prays and does not receive it, that means God is "not real." People see God in terms of what they can get.

But to know God, one must only be focused on serving and giving; when one serves and gives generously, their prayers are answered by default. It is just as easy to forget our answered prayers as it is to have never received them. Faith should not be based on answered or unanswered prayers, because in the long run, that is a very small part of our relationship with God. Belief must be based on the internal state of one's heart.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Healing

Healing is hard, but it is not something we need to be afraid of.

I think the reason why a lot of people hide from their problems or suppress emotions is because facing them can be a very painful experience. In some cases, it can be downright excruciating, to the point where we end up carrying our baggage for our entire life. We need to get out of the habit of running from ourselves, or looking the other way. If we have deep emotional pain, it needs to be recognized and given an outlet.

This is where God comes in. It is far easier to face down our worst experiences if we have God to hold onto. Trusting that God is with us, that God is aware of our pain and helping us heal, gives us the strength to face our deepest fears and actively begin healing ourselves. When we believe that God is helping us on a road to recovery, we begin to believe that the whole world is arranged to heal us. When we believe we are being healed, we become healed.

It's not a question of whether or not healing comes from you or God. Everything is God. Trust God to bring you to a place where you can heal.

Friday, August 6, 2010

3 Steps to an Awesome Life


How to live an awesome life:

1) Want what you have.

2) Always apologize first.

3) Walk on the grass.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Listening

When we sing in praise, when we ask and pray, we give our yearning heart to God. Yet sometimes, we are so caught up in praise and yearning, in asking and wondering and looking, that we overlook what is right in front of us. It is easy to forget that to really feel God's presence, and to hear God's words, we must be silent.

Turn off the music and listen.

Monday, July 19, 2010

On Miracles

A miracle is a state of mind.

Why do we not receive miracles? And when we do, why do we doubt what they are?

To receive miracles, to see miracles, to attract miracles into one's life, we must be open, observant, attentive, and patient. We must also begin to see the world differently. We are jaded by what we see every day: a plant, a bus stop, the sky, the ground, our own hands. We see these things and rely on them as physical attributes of our reality, and yet it is rare that we stop and think about them. The more one learns about matter, science, and the make up of reality, the more one sees that just the existence of everything around us is a miracle. Our very lives are miracles. And yet, when we pray, we can't help but doubt God and worry and trouble over our own prayers -- will God grant me what I am asking for? Will God save me from this situation? Will God help me? Will God send me a miracle? If God doesn't answer my prayers the way I want them, does that mean God doesn't exist? Or that God doesn't love me?

It is easy to pass off a miracle as coincidence, just as it is easy to pick only certain "miracles" to pay attention to. We make rules in our minds: its only a miracle if it can't be explained by nature, its only a miracle if it involves saving someone's life, or seeing an angel, or hearing a magical voice, etc. Stop seeing miracles as limited to only certain qualities. God is nature; of course a magical being of light is not going to burst out of thin air and grant you three wishes. God doesn't need to do that. God is the universe, God is the world, God speaks through the world and moves through the world; God doesn't need to break His own laws of nature to bring us miracles. Nature is the miracle. Logic is the miracle.

God wants us to understand Him; that is why God brings us miracles in logical, natural ways. God is saying -- Here I Am. Look No Further. I Am Under Your Two Feet. If God really wanted faith to be confusing and terrifying, God would send down legions of unexplainable blessings that would awe and astound us, and make us feel entirely disconnected from our own Creator. God does not want us to be afraid, but to realize our own relationship and intimate connection to Him. God wants us to discover the presence of God within ourselves and everything around us. That is the reason why we are here.

So when you ask for a miracle, have faith. We are tiny creatures so entangled in this reality that we can't see it for what it is. God is thinking, feeling, and consciously interacting with you every second of every day. Your life is the most intimate journey you will ever have with God, who is sharing your thoughts, your hopes, your dreams and desires. When you ask for a miracle, prepare yourself to receive one by reminding yourself that all miracles come by natural means, and that its okay that miracles are a part of nature, because nature is God.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

On this day, God wants you to know...


...that there are countless ways to love God. Love God through love for your parents. Love God through love for your spouse. Love God through love for your children. Love God through love for your friends. Love God through love for your country. For God is in all these and much, infinitely, more.

To love God, you must have an attitude of love. An attitude of receptivity and warmth and readiness to receive God's grace. An attitude of giving and generosity and not-holding-back to let God's grace flow through you and on into the world. You know you love God when you feel love flowing through you.

Love is the opposite of logic. Logic is argumentative, aggressive upon the mind, splits the world into right and wrong, us and them. Love is generative, compassionate, embracing all creation. Logic pays attention to what is being said. Love pays attention to how things are said. Logic leads to debate. Love leads to communion. Practice love to be closer to God.


Taken from the "God wants you to know" application on Facebook; my daily message for July 9, 12, and 13, 2010. Reading my mind, again.

Friday, July 9, 2010

On Lies

Do not lie.

When we lie to others, we become dishonest to ourselves. It becomes difficult to discern what our real intentions are, and when we look within to analyze our feelings and motivations, it is like gazing into a muddy pond, because we have shielded so much from the world. Many times God speaks to us through intuition, and when we quiet ourselves to listen to that still, small voice, if we are used to lying and deceiving, we worry that perhaps we are lying and deceiving ourselves. Perhaps the message we hear on the inside is not what we think it is. Perhaps we have misinterpreted God's plans for us, and who God is. Lying causes doubt.

When one is honest in all of ones words and actions, one hears God more clearly, because the mind is clean. It becomes easier to trust one's intuition, because one knows one's own mind.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Truth has a life of its own. There will come a time when your yearnings become so strong and powerful that you will have no choice but to let them become reality.

Monday, July 5, 2010

From Ursula LeGuin's Left Hand of Darkness:

"The unknown," said Faxe's soft voice in the forest, "the unforetold, the unproven, that is what life is based on. Ignorance is the ground of thought. Unproof is the ground of action. If it were proven that there is no God, there would be no religion. No Handdara, no Yomesh, no hearthgods, nothing. But also if it were proven that there is a God, there would be no religion… Tell me, Genry, what is known? What is sure, predictable, inevitable—the one certain thing you know concerning your future, and mine?"

"That we shall die."

"Yes. There's really only one question that can be answered, Genry, and we already know the answer. … The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next."

Love Letters I

9/4/2005

Dear God,

These are confusing times. I do not know why you gave me the knowledge that you did. I do not know why I chose to come here, and I do not remember what my purpose was. This love that we share is so close between us, and yet I feel as though I am alone. There are so few who know of you how I do, who can feel you and talk to you and hear your wisdom, but I wish it upon so many. I wish it, and yet it does not come. Do they push you away? Do they not understand? Do they refuse to look at us and see who we really are? God, I cannot define myself unless I define you, I cannot will myself unless it is your will, I cannot speak unless it is your voice.

I need you now more than ever. I need you in my life, in my heart, and in my soul. I need to breathe and know that I am absorbing your grace and knowledge with every passing inhale. I wish to dance with you with the same beauty that you have shown me, with the same elegance. Might you teach me? You have shown me the world through your eyes and taught me love, and I wish to give so much back. I can expect nothing in return, and yet I am still human, I am still your child and so insecure, so alone.

If this is a test, I do not appreciate it, God – and yet your love exceeds all things. If I cannot share you with someone, then I cannot share myself, and if I cannot share myself then perhaps I am destined to be the forerunner. Perhaps I am destined to walk this path as so many have walked before me, solitary in my knowledge yet following your footsteps in the sand. There are times that those footprints seem to be washed away by the tide, but I have simply to stretch out my hand and you pull me along. It is so hard, God, I do not think I can make it. I don’t think I’m strong enough. I fear that I will fail you. Whether I was pushed, or pulled, or dragged onto this road in the beginning, it makes no difference now – I walk it, and those who cannot walk with me, I must leave behind.

And this is something that no one will understand but you.

Please God, when we are all together in Heaven, let them understand.

Death

Most of the meaningful things in life revolve around death; as though there is some mysterious unknown, some world beyond the veil that we cannot touch. It is in that search that we find religion. We find science, progression, the search for knowledge and improvement which is really the search for immortality. What is this holy grail of mankind, passed down from our oldest forefathers, that drives men and women alike to the brink of madness? Seeking to change the world, seeking to open hearts and open minds, to persuade opinions and prove theorems... for what reason? To be remembered? To somehow find a meaning in the empty existence that we call life?

Mayhap it is in death that we find value. We realize the importance of trivial things. Yet everything that we know about life leads us to seek a greater meaning - all our scientific answers confuse us, our religious ideologies are limited and empty of understanding. We seek answers in our friends, our family, the trusted officials of our society and the people that live within it. We even seek answers within ourselves. Some are so desperate that they travel the world in hope of an answer to the riddle; as though an explanation for an entire universe would exist in one lonely, outcast planet.

What is it about humanity that makes us search for meaning? Is it because there is pain, and a deep seated mental structure has taught us that all pain must be for a reason? What if a person was devoid of emotions - would they continue to seek a meaning in life? Would they even find it in themselves to wonder, vaguely, why are we here? Perhaps it is the wrong question - perhaps it is more simple. As simple as 'why am I'? It's that word again, "I", and what happens to the "I" when the body disappears. Have we seen any evidence that something happens at all? Have we felt it within ourselves?

And then I suppose one is to realize that the world is only real from the inside out. We experience the world first and foremost within ourselves - which can then perceive the outside environment. But if it was not for our own perceptions, who knows what the outside environment would truly be.

There is a greater pain than loneliness. It is in not knowing the answer to the only question in this world that has meaning, to every individual soul, to every nation of past, present and future, in every cycle of human life. And yet it cannot be answered; not directly. It is the question of death; of what happens after, and what happens to the "I."

Which, in turn, is our individual need for immortality.

If not the immortality of ourselves, then we wish for the immortality of our loved ones, for those we hold dear and those we selfishly bond to throughout the struggle of life. For there is no greater pain than death - the not knowing, the soul searching, this giant game of hide and seek. And so science carries on, filled with its ranks upon ranks of brilliant minds, seeking to answer the unanswerable question, both for themselves and for the whole world. And so religion carries on, comforting the hearts of the broken, structuring the societies of yesterday and the generations of tomorrow.

And here, the lonely traveler walks on... seeking answers to questions until he loses the question in and of itself.

Perhaps we are living the answer?

Perhaps we are not.

Monday, June 28, 2010

smalWe are like fish swimming in the ocean. Every now and then, a fish breaks its head above the surface, and realizes there is something else out there than just water. But for the most part, we are oblivious to the ocean in which we live.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Do not hide the intensity of your faith. When God calls, we must show ourselves, to testify to God's presence, and speak His Word. The weak will crumble and hide. Those who are of true faith will stand strong, unbending, and die for the good of this world, that old knowledge not be lost, and new thought not be squandered.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

We must grab our faith with both hands, use it, wear it, become it. Faith is Truth, but it is also a tool. We need to learn how to make it work for us. Don't be hesitant. Plunge head first, apply it, see what works and what doesn't. God loves us. God will show us His ways if we apply ourselves.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

When Christ returns, by all means, He will not be Christian.
You know you have reached a plateau when one day you realize that you need God more than you need yourself.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Why do you think that you do not deserve good things? Have you asked for them?

If you have, then be patient.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

To change the world, we must change our vision of God.

To unify ourselves, we must become unified under God. In many ways, we are already; the same basic truths are practiced in every major religion. Every religion is valid, as are the words of every prophet. No religion was ever started to deceive, but rather, to lead its followers to the highest truth. When we look past the minute differences between religions, we see a far larger picture unfold: that the divine has been present in every culture, every community, through a myriad of profound teachings that all lead to the same basic principle. The purpose of our existence is to reach a union with God.

“Don't you know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
1 Corinthians 6:19

"He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye."
Buddha

"And when a man sees that the God in himself is the same God in all that is, he hurts not himself by hurting others. Then he goes, indeed, to the highest path. "
Bhagavad-gita


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I am not seeking answers. I am seeking a method of teaching.
It is said that the Buddha would not speak of who he was before Enlightenment, because the man he had once been was now dead. As the Buddha, he was given new life.
"A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind, and another woman shall bear me."

- Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bad Programming

Do not allow yourself to be hurt by another's "bad programming."

We learn behaviors. Sometimes, due to circumstances beyond our control, we learn very bad behaviors. When we love another human very much, we can be hurt by their "bad programming" because we have exposed our hearts out of trust. Sometimes, the people we love can be mean and hurtful... but if we can take a step back and recognize their behavior as learned programming, and not as a personal attack, we are better able to forgive the ones we love.

The metaphor of an arrow is used in Buddhism. Buddhism teaches that when people act toward you with mean or selfish intention, their words and actions are like arrows being shot at the ground in front of us. We have the choice to either leave the arrow lying on the ground, or we can pick the arrow up and stab ourselves with it. We allow the actions of others to effect us. We allow the mean words of those we love to penetrate our hearts, even when we know better.

Remind yourself that when someone you love is acting selfishly towards you, it is not your fault, but their own bad programming. Distance yourself from the situation, give them time to "run the program" and wind down. Once they are back to their normal, loving selves, forgive them. They know not what they do -- and some learned behaviors are very old and ingrained, and difficult to overcome.

Your soul is not your human programming. The body suit you wear can be programmed through will power, mental focus, and prayer. You can either bring your body and programming into alignment with God, patience, kindness, sincerity... or you can allow your body to program itself, to be at the mercy of the influences around you, and become enslaved by your senses. Do not forget that both you and the ones you love are at the mercy of your programming. Continue to love and forgive. The slightest change in your actions can rewrite your program, and can profoundly change the programming in others.
Here is the flaw that makes perfection,
like a rose grown wild.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

We are
so much more
than we think we are.

If only
we could hold it tightly
and become it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Monday, May 31, 2010

"And even as each one of you stands alone in God's knowledge, so must each one of you be alone in his knowledge of God and in his understanding of the earth."

-Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Oh when, oh when, oh when is the hour of our calling?

Reciprocity and Perfect Action

Your actions have consequences.

What you do causes a series of events to unfold. There is hardly ever a choice that you make that does not have countless events chained to it. When you do something positive, a series of positive events unfold, and eventually something positive is returned to you. Likewise, if you choose something negative, a series of negative events will unfold. In the East, this is called Karma. In the West, it is taught in Christianity as a basic principle: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Nature is built upon reciprocity. What you give is what you receive, and more. In order to reach a true understanding of God, we must be perfect in our actions. To be perfect does not mean to always do the right thing. It means to always have a good intention. The consequence of any action is uncontrollable the moment it is enacted. However, if one intends to do good, and carries oneself with the virtues of grace, honesty, patience, and integrity, then only good results will follow. One must be selfless in one's thoughts and intentions before one receives a union with God. In short: be kind.

To be perfect means to bring our actions into line with God's will. It is a cycle that is self-contained. To know God's will, we must first practice it. How do we know what to practice? We look to those who have come before.


“We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”


Maryanne Williamson


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I would fight a million if it meant saving just one.
That which is our Father is also within us. It is asleep, and you are blind to it because you do not acknowledge it.

I shall proceed with quiet confidence, for I know that although I do not make the trees bloom, nor do I cause the hours of the day, that surely their seasons are my own, as are their laws. I am Master of nothing; only a servant and a friend. Know that although I suffer just as anyone suffers, I am madly in love with this world, and I am madly in love with you.


"The kingdom of God is within you."

Sunday, May 16, 2010

"Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don't have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless -- like chasing the wind."

Ecclesiastes 7:9
I know I am yet a child....
and yet, since I have been a child
I have known that
you are all my children....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

One's connection to any religion will never be as strong as one's own, personal connection to God. When in doubt, follow God.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

About your heart....

Matthew 7:16-18 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Friday, May 7, 2010

"Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."


1 Timothy 4:12

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

- Romans 12:2


"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?
-
1 Corinthians 3:16 (New International Version)
I shall never forget that it is God who has brought me here, God who leads me, and God who gives and takes away.

We all move by God's time,

and God's timing is always perfect.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I had to become an orphan to realize that the whole world is my family.

We must love each other like family.

Forgive like family.

Serve like family.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pray. It doesn't matter when, or how. Just pray, and pray often.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Don't worry. Everything is going to be just fine! This is all meant to be. And if your faith is not enough, don't worry, because mine is enough for two. Or three. Or six billion.



"Truth cannot be said because of this: it cannot be divided into polar opposites, and language is meaningful only with polar opposites. Without the contrary, language loses meaning." - Lao Tzu

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Truth

"The misinterpretation of Truth creates division."


Truth is...
that once you find it, you never lose it. Never.

- to follow one's own path, and respect the path of others.

- to love everyone unconditionally, no matter who they are, their relation to you, their age, race, or creed. To understand; not to judge.

- to know the commonalities in all beliefs, and generously understand their differences, the source of those differences, the consequences of them, and their transience.

-to experience joy in stillness and silence.

- to know the connection in all things.

- to ask, to receive, and to relinquish control.

- to love, until kindness is your only creed, and beauty shines in every face.

- to feel the suffering of the less fortunate, to have sympathy for the ignorant, and to know that all who are separated from truth are less fortunate, ignorant, and already forgiven.

- to experience a physical, body-and-mind shift to a higher awareness.

- to not have one's faith confirmed by religious practice, but by spiritual knowing; the receiving of messages, the answering of prayers, the occurrence of miracles, and the healing of others by pure intention.


and most importantly....

That truth is attainable on any path, in any religion, by any means as long as it is kind and guided by love.