Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sermon on the Mount

This is the Mount of Beatitudes where the Sermon on the Mount was given. The grounds were so beautiful. Even though there were lots of people around, the space felt very sacred and personal. It was wonderful to reflect on the Sermon on the Mount. Our guide showed us the hillside where Jesus taught. It is easy to see why he picked such a magnificent place.
The Beatitudes
From the Gospel of Matthew

And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Journey of Faith

I just returned from a 10 day pilgrimage in Israel. I had the intention to blog from there but when technology would not cooperate, I knew I was supposed to pay attention and be present with all that was going on around me. It was an extraordinary trip as I traveled with 21 other pilgrims to Tel Aviv, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem and many places in between. I will share my insights in the days to come as I re-enter life. I am so grateful for the opportunity and the teachings I received from Rev. Marcia and my fellow pilgrims. So grateful to my loving husband for supporting me on my journey and to all those who were praying for us while we were away. So many miracles occurred as storms cleared out and there was sunshine, fog lifted and revealed a most beautiful valley, crowds seemed to disappear and allow us private time at some of the most magnificent churches. My faith is renewed and strengthened and I am so grateful for God's unlimited graciousness in my life.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Wheels of Life

I noticed a few weeks ago that one of the tires on our car looked a little flat. I stopped at the gas station to put air into it. The tire was not inflating no matter how much air was flowing into it. After a visit to the tire store, it turned out to be a bad valve on the tire.

The car manual states that inflating car tires with the correct amount of air is essential for maximizing gas mileage and ensuring even tire wear. So the same goes for maintaining the balance of spirit, mind and body. If we sustain a constant relationship with our spiritual practice (meditation, journaling, prayer, classes, etc) we are able to retain a presence of a peaceful mind and ease in our daily activities. When we are out of spiritual balance, the peaceful experience leaks out and the body feels deflated and lacks energy and we have difficulty getting tasks accomplished. Stress builds in the body because we are operating with less energy.
I realized that doubt is like a bad valve in our thinking. No matter how many positive affirmations, prayers or good thoughts we have in the moment, doubt is a slow leak that can leave us drained, diminished and discouraged.

Tire pressure is measured in PSI, or pounds per square inch. Spiritual balance can be measured in DDP or daily dedicated practice. As we maintain our practice we leave little room for doubt or uncertainty to take hold.

It is so important during the rough, bumpy road that we seem to be traveling lately to take the time to maintain our spiritual balance. It can boost our faith and keep the wheels of life moving with ease and grace.