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A Christmas Season Challenge

imgres-1I have a friend who doesn’t give Christmas gifts. The first time I gave her a gift it was met with gratitude. Then an uncomfortable feeling followed when she explained to me that she didn’t give Christmas gifts. For her, gift-giving had become a source of stress and she just gave it up. Can you imagine? It took me just a few awkward moments to discern how powerful her position was. What if we all took control of the season doing only what feeds our souls and letting go of what doesn’t?  What if we didn’t worry about what people thought about us, and whether we were meeting their expectations? What if we didn’t buy into the frenzy?

As a start, listen carefully for how many times you say to yourself, “I have to get this” or “I have to do this.” It’s pretty revealing.

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The Costumes We Wear

Halloween blog imageFrom Rev. Carol's blog:

Halloween is such a fun time for my family. It’s a strange tradition when you think about it… all those weird skulls, skeletons and scary monsters… among children dressed as superheroes, astronauts and ballerinas. No doubt my next-door neighbors from New Zealand scratch their heads a little at it, but they nevertheless have their Halloween décor out just like most of us do.

I think people like to dress up on Halloween. It’s an excuse to step into another character for a few hours. A simple donning of a costume, wig or mask gives us permission to be stronger or scarier or sexier than we usually are.  We can be whomever we choose to be.

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Excerpts from Rev. Carol's Psalm 23 Revisited - Dwelling In “The House Of The Lord”

Shepherd and sheepDwell

1.     to live or stay as a permanent resident; reside

2.     to think, speak, or write about at length or with persistence; linger over

The thoughts and beliefs that take up residence within us – the ones we linger over and persistently live as – form our world.  Ask yourself this: “Where do I dwell?” The answer can be seen in the form of the life you are living now. And for many of us, a deep house cleaning is in order! That’s a big part of the spiritual life, continually cleansing our minds so that empowering life and love-centered thoughts take root.

From Psalm 23:6 it says, “And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” This is not a physical place, nor a place we go to after we die.

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God Bless The Truckers

God Bless The TruckersI love road trips. When our girls were growing up and other families jetted off to beach resorts or exotic overseas destinations, we took road trips. We drove all across the country from Texas to Colorado to California; from Florida to Georgia to Virginia; from Colorado to South Dakota to Wyoming. We explored at least half of our 50 states. I found myself back on the road again during my most recent vacation – this time making college visits with our youngest daughter. And once again, my car was neck-in-neck with what appeared to be an endless parade of trucks. But I was filled with gratitude. I thank God for all those truckers!

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Stir Up the Gift of Joy

Heart VibrationsHow successful is your life? How do you measure it? Our culture tends to measure success as outward appearances - you know, the house, the car, the image, the vacations. And we give lots of power to celebrities as we let them define success for us. But what if the measure of success was how much joy we experienced in our lives? How successful are you then?

Joy isn’t a transient emotion. Happiness is. Joy is a divine gift that is deeply embedded in our souls. It is always there, ready to be stirred up.  If we need to pull ourselves out of despair or negativity, we can always count on that deep abiding joy within to shift everything for us. But how do we stir it up? The answer isn’t obvious.

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Silent Unity

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