| My interest in this class on Buddhism came about because of my interest in daily meditation, mindfulness, the books of the latest Dalai Lama, and the way I feel the God or spirit connection through nature and my garden. I have taken a local class in Buddhist meditation and connected greatly with the special classes on mindful walking and eating, as I have a practice of both walking and eating fast. Each practice has brought about a slowing down that has brought a special awareness of simple things of joy that have added much peace to a otherwise sometimes stressful life. |
Rev. Linda Francis
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Monday, December 22, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Breakfast at McDonald's
This is a good story and is true, please read it all the way through until the end!
I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree.
The last class I had to take was Sociology.
The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with.
Her last project of the term was called, 'Smile.'
The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions.
I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway. So, I thought this would be a piece of cake,
Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning.
It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son.
We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then
even my husband did.
I did not move an inch... an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.
As I turned around I smelled a horrible 'dirty body' smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men.
As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was 'smiling'
His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's Light as he searched for acceptance
He said, 'Good day' as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.
The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation.
I held my tears as I stood there with them.
The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted.
He said, 'Coffee is all Miss' because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm).
Then I really felt it - the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes.
That is when I noticed all eyes in the
restaurant were set on me, judging
my every action.
I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray.
I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman's cold hand.
He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, 'Thank you.'
I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, 'I did not do this for you. God is here working through me to give you hope'
I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son. When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, 'That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope..'
We held hands for a moment and at that time, we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give.
We are not church goers, but we are believers.
That day showed me the pure Light of God's sweet love.
I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand.
I turned in 'my project' and the instructor read it.
Then she looked up at me and said, 'Can I share this?'
I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class.
She began to read and that is when I knew that we as human beings and being part of God share this need to heal people and to be healed.
In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald's, my son,the instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.
I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn:
Much love and compassion is sent to each and every person who may read this and learn how to
LOVE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS -
NOT LOVE THINGS AND USE PEOPLE.
There is an Angel sent to watch over you.
An Angel wrote:
Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart
To handle yourself, use your head..
To handle others, use your heart.
God Gives every bird it's food, but He does not throw it into its nest.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
|A Story of a Special Prayer|
SPECIAL GROCERY LIST
Louise Redden, a poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store.
She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries.
She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work, they had seven children and they needed food.
John Longhouse, the grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store at once..
Visualizing the family needs, she said: 'Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can..'
John told her he could not give her credit, since she did not have a charge account at his store.
Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family. The grocer said in a very reluctant voice, 'Do you have a grocery list?'
Louise replied, 'Yes sir..' 'O.K.' he said, 'put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that
amount in groceries.'
Louise hesitated a moment with a bowed head, then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed.
The eyes of the grocer and the customer showed amazement when the scales went down and stayed down.
The grocer, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, 'I can't believe it.'
The customer smiled and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales. The scale did not balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more.
The grocer stood there in utter disgust.. Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement.
It was not a grocery list, it was a prayer, which said:
'Dear Father Mother God, Angels and Guides, you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands.'
The grocer gave her the groceries that he had gathered and stood in stunned silence.
Louise thanked him and left the store. The other customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and said; 'It was worth every penny of it. Only God Knows how much a prayer weighs.'
THE POWER: When you receive this, say a prayer. That's all you have to do.
Just stop right now, and say a prayer of thanks for your own good fortune. Then please send this to all your friends and relatives.
I believe if you will send this testimony out with prayer in faith, you will receive what you need Universal God Source to do in your and your families' lives.
There is no cost but a lot of rewards.
May you always walk with Angels
Blessings and Peace! And So It Is.
++++++++++++ ++++++++++++++++++ +++++
Three things will happen to you this coming week:
(1) You will find favor with someone you don't expect;
(2) You will be too relevant to be ignored;
(3) You will encounter Universal Source and you will never remain the same, for you will have the "Knowing" that all is in divine right order no matter what that is.
My prayer for you today:
The eyes beholding this message shall not behold evil, the hands that will send this message t o others shall not labor in vain, the mouth saying Amen to this prayer shall laugh forever. Remain in God's love as you send this prayer to everybody on your list. Have a lovely journey of life! Trust in the Universe with all your heart and Source will never fail you because Source is Awesome!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Rev. Lindsay Baldassano
I began this course a few months ago during a time when I was seeking to refresh my Reiki practice and further my knowledge and understanding of subtle energies and healing. I was very excited about the new seminary program being offered by ULC and am still excited to continue learning in this fashion. I have always been a student at heart and actually looked forward to having to do homework again and having the chance to collect my thoughts about a topic and put the words down, to both express the lesson and what I have taken from it.
The range of topics and intensity of knowledge being passed on was impressive for an online course. Teaching such a physical practice as healing can be a challenge when done through a non-physical medium like the Internet. While this course could not provide every little nuance of the hand-on aspects of the healing work, it certainly provided the internal assessment tools to be able to discern when and how you are connected to the Divine energies. These are important tools for healers beginning on their first forays into the healing arts. The thought that the energy bodies and organs of a person is analogous to the physical circulatory system is an extremely important concept to grasp in modern energy medicine. There is a still a dichotomy of information types out in today's field in the States. We are still placed between purely intuitive energy medicine and the energy medicine concepts which are trying to be furthered by the scientific communities. I do feel that once we have a way to better talk about what is perceived and what science can prove with what equipment they have (our current equipment may not be able to read the types of information our bodies perceive and interpret naturally), we will better be able to define our energy systems and their components.
It was also very exciting to hear of the advances in the field of professional Traditional healers. It is my hope that this trend continues through out the world, so that in time it is the standard, rather than the exception that we are all assessed and treated holistically. Thank you for offering this course, it was well worth the time and investment it took to make this course an option for me!
Friday, December 12, 2008
12 Days of Christmas
There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me.
What in the world do leaping lords, French hens,
swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out
of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?
This week, I found out.
From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were
not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone
during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.
It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning
plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each
element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality
which the children could remember.
-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
Gentleness, and Self Control.
-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness,
-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.
So there is your history for today. This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and enlightening and now I know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol...so pass it on if you wish.'
Thursday, December 11, 2008
WORK IN JAPAN
A Calling For Foreigners
In June this column looked at the booming demand for foreign celebrants and preachers at Christian weddings. But a new law will crack down on foreigners playing preachers, thanks in part to Rev. Kenny Joseph, President of the Japan Association of Preachers and Ministers (JAPAM). The new law is clear: "Anyone engaging in any activity involving the management of business or involving remuneration other than that permitted by his status of residence without obtaining permission may be subject to punishment." That punishment could be a \300,000 fine and/or three years in prison and expulsion from Japan. Up to now, those expelled could return to Japan in one year. The new law makes it five. This shouldn' be a problem, Rev. Joseph told Hilary Hinds Kitasei, as he's happy to help you get the credentials you need.
If there's no legal requirement in Japan that weddings must be officiated by ordained ministers, why does anyone need special credentials to conduct them?
The problem comes when a foreigner engages in any work for pay that is not included in his visa provisions. It means that if the word shukyo (religious mission) is not printed on your alien registration card you cannot conduct a religious, sacred activity such as officiating at Christian weddings. They are 100% religious sacraments - not cultural - with two hymns, a sermon, two prayers, 15 Bible verses, a solemn proclamation and a benediction.
How can someone get the right credentials?
The JAPAM nationwide network of veteran missionaries in Sapporo, Sendai, Nojiri, Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka and Naha interviews prospective preachers. We give them a qualifying certificate if they pass a rigid, 10-point oral exam. Although they can show this certificate to the wedding chapel or company, this in itself does not change their visa status. What they must do is leave Japan, go on to an approved Bible school or Christian college, and come back as a bona fide missionary. Another possible solution is to begin a correspondence course by email or regular mail from an accredited seminary like Trinity Seminary in Newburg, Indiana. This does not include phony diploma mills, usually in California, Arizona or Las Vegas. One major offender will sell a bogus minister's ordination certificate for $19, a fake PhD in Theology for $175, a tarot advisor diploma for $195, and a medical doctor's diploma for $300. Try taking that to Tokyo University Hospital and do brain surgery!
What is the difference between a minister, a preacher and a missionary?
A minister is an ordained, bona fide professional person of the Christian church, qualified to administrate a church and officiate at weddings, funerals, baptisms and communion. A preacher is a non-ordained layman, elder, deacon or "tent maker" who has some basic qualifications to substitute for a minister on occasion as needed. There are over 2000 Protestant ministers in Japan called missionaries. They're sent by their home churches or denominations to spread the Christian faith and assist the national church. But because their main duties fall on Sunday mornings, they can't answer calls to officiate at weddings, which are usually held on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, the best times for the invited guests to attend.
So what is the solution?
Missionaries who pastor a church in Japan need to train Japanese assistants to substitute for them on some Sunday mornings, freeing them to answer the invitations to do chapel weddings. Our office got six calls from six bridal companies for a minister on one Sunday. We now have a Registry of Emergency Preachers (REAP). We hope many retired missionaries and their "made in Japan" children can return to do this ministry.
Rev. Joseph is happy to respond to inquiries by fax (03-3922-7655)
O N L Y I N F O !
Regards, Georg - Japan, Gifu
Monday, December 08, 2008
|On the Wheel|
After 17 years as a practicing Wiccan, it might seem strange to suddenly decide to take a class about my chosen path. It's a time of great change in my life. My children are both adults, my parents are beginning to have serious health problems, and my work is threatened by our country's economic crisis. On my next birthday, I will be 40.
As a Wiccan, I understand the cycles of our lives are part of the same cycle that turns the Wheel of the Year. As each season brings forth both blessings and challenges, it is also true for each new phase of our lives. I knew this year would be hard for me, for so many reasons. So, I began to search for ways to support the Wiccan part of myself.
The class I have taken at Universal Life Church has helped me move closer to a deeper understanding of my path, and myself. Taking this class has helped me move a little further out of the broom closet at work. I'm feeling more comfortable in my own skin while in the work environment and I have better tools to help my family and others with their needs.
I plan to move forward as before. I will walk the path I have chosen, but it always helps to hear a new perspective. This class has helped to open me again to the idea of connecting with the Pagan and Wiccan communities. I've joined several online sites, and I'm keeping my eyes open for opportunities in my daily life.
As a Wiccan, I am well acquainted with the concept of connections. We are all connected to each other. What action one takes, or does not take has an impact on others. When any person gains knowledge, it is likely to impact those closest to that person. When a spiritual person gains knowledge, it is likely that a larger part of the world may benefit. My class from Universal Life Church will support me on a path that will help others, and that is the blessing that I take away with me.
Rev. Melissa Hayes
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Master of Shamanism
Rev. Justin Oles
After completion of this course I can honestly say that there were a lot of
things I didn't know about shamanism. I also discovered that there a lot of
misconceptions. I'm surprised to see how little the general populous knows and
how many of the old 18th century misconceptions are still seen.
I have not seen the mixing of the old shamanistic practices with the general
medical field although I know that a lot of nurses are starting to use things
like reiki in their practice. It was nice to see in the various discourses that
professionals in the field are starting to look at some of the "old world"
techniques for treating disease. The studies I have read and many of the studies
cited in the articles speak of the generalized effects of the treatments. While
many shamanistic techniques have shown promise for treatment of symptoms none
have shown cures. However, if the treatment can make a persons life better the
treatment is helpful regardless of scientific proof of its effectiveness.
An interesting point brought up several times throughout the discourse was the
similarities among shamans throughout the world. Even though shamans were
separated by thousands of miles many of them shared similar techniques, beliefs
and methods of attaining their desired spirit flight (altered states of
consciousness). I was surprised to see that some of the common techniques used
by people to "get high" are also techniques, used much more carefully, but
shaman to attain the altered states of consciousness needed for their practice.
I know for one that it explains effects I have felt while drinking various this
such as tequila and absinth. I knew that wormwood (the basis of absinth was a
hallucinogen) but I didn't realize that agave (the basis of tequila) was also
one. That explains largely why tequila effects people the way is does.
Lastly, I liked the way the author wrote or compiled the discourses. There were
several time where he offered both sides of the argument allowing the student or
reader to form their own opinion. My only recommendation, and this goes for
several courses, is that they be proof read before posting. I found several
cases where parts of the course were missing or unreadable due to poor
reproduction of articles or poor coding on the part of web builder.
By Rev. Justin M. Oles