2011 Challenge

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Alignment and Illumination…being and doing…both are necessary, but there is a vast difference in the outcomes depending on which flows from which…

When doing comes first, ego is inflated and legalism is born. Your God experience is based on "shoulds" and the net result is a religous organizational experience that is lacking spiritual power.

When our doing flows from our purposeful decision to "be" with God, the result is a faith-empowered God-infused organic journey with Trinity that is fresh, alive, and allows the light or presence of God within us to illuminate out of us…Christ is still incarnating in His people as we spend time with Him.

So, we align our hearts, minds and bodies with God through His Word, and through time with Him…this is the being side of things…Now, we have so much more to offer than merely ourselves or our good intentions, we have Christ infused into all that we are and all that we do…this turns every moment into a sacred moment and illumination for ourselves and those around us happens…this is the doing side of things.

There are two parts to the 2011 challenge, a being part and a doing part.

Being:

Spend 20 minutes of "God-talk" time every day at 11:00. It can be 11:00 a.m, or p.m, whatever works for you. When 11:00 rolls around, stop what you are doing, and spend some time just "being" with God…talk to Him, pray for others, ask Him to reveal more and more of who He is to you…allow Him to refresh and renew your tired soul…or simply slow down, center your thoughts on God and practice being with Him…with no agenda, no asks…Just breathe His presence into your present moment and know that He is God. Before long, 20 minutes will be gone, but the peace of His presence will linger in your soul drawing you back for more.

Doing:

Do 20 positive acts on the 11th day of each month. It can be positive words to a friend or family member…a random act of kindness towards a stranger…an encouraging Facebook post or note…or an action that has positive consequences for our world or community like picking up trash without being asked, doing something to lower your carbon footprint or even volunteering for a shift at our clothing bank the Gift of Apparel! You will find that it will get easier and easier to do 20 positive acts, and before long that will begin to morph into other days as your whole disposition begins to transform into a channel of God's positive grace!

I will post some ideas here on the blog and or on my Facebook page! If you have some ideas of positive acts PLEASE add them in the comments areas for others to see and try!

So here's to a 2011 that balances our being and doing so that God has the opportunity to flow through us all like grace filled rain!

Dei Gratia,

Monty

Powerful Prayers vol. ix: “Empty Me” Loder

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I have just returned from leading a 3 day Sacred Space retreat. My mind all abuzz with the epiphanies the retreatants were having, the God-moves that took place in the quiet corners of people's soul, and the rhythm of the Divine Hours being practiced by the monks at the Abbey that we experienced as we quietly slipped in and out of their practice… receiving something they had no idea they were giving.

This morning, as my spirit honed in on this particular prayer to breathe into my soul, it seemed to speak about all that God was doing in and through the men and women who were at Sacred Space…read and pray this slowly and ask the Spirit to illuminate the parts that your heart needs…

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Empty Me…

Gracious and Holy One,
     Creator of all things
          and of emptiness,
I come to you
     full of much that clutters and distracts,
          stifles and burdens me,
               and makes me a burden to others.
Empty me now
     of gnawing dissatisfactions,
          of anxious imaginings,
               of fretful preoccupations,
     of nagging prejudices,
          of old scores to settle,
               and of the arrogance of being right.
Empty me
     of the ways I unthinkingly think of myself as powerless,
          as a victim,
               as determined by sex, age, race,
                    as being less than I am,
                         or as other than yours.
Empty me
     of the disguises and lies
          in which I hide myself from other people
               and from my responsibility
                    for my neighbors and for the world.
Hollow out in me a space
     in which I will find myself,
          find peace and a whole heart,
               a forgiving spirit and holiness,
                    the springs of laughter,
          and the will to reach boldly
               for abundant life for myself
                    and the whole human family.

Ted Loder
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Rumination…

This prayer is full of ruminatorial opportunities! (but I'll focus on just one)

The line that first drew me in was, "Empty me now of…the arrogance of being right."

I wondered, '

"what would happen in our lives if we took 30 days and decided that we would choose to be kind instead of fighting to prove that we are right?"

How would we handle the tension in our souls that worships the god of rightness more than the God of love.

Could I possibly see and believe that I can choose to be kind over being right without having to give up on what I believe…yes I think I could, but that would require a mind like Christ's.

He was able to be 100% right in every situation when the people around Him were so lost and wrong, yet love and kindness flowed from His soul.

I often ask myself, "even if I prove myself to be absolutely right in this moment, does it really have an eternal significance?"

Most often it does not, and my need to be right can easily take second place to my call to be kind and demonstrate love without really giving up anything that matters, and gain much that does through kindness.

Our need to always be right lurks in the shadows of most all conflict…

Our need to always be right reveals the insecurities that fill our identity…

Our need to always be right becomes a god that we fashion and dress in religiosity and truth justifications…

Our need to always be right keeps us from enjoying the people in our lives…

30 days…can you do it…will you allow yourself to enter into and feel and become aware of the tension that you are experiencing with a need to be right…

When you sense the Holy Spirit placing some Divine Duck Tape over your mouth again and again, let me encourage you to laugh and smile at yourself as you see how often you need to apply the filter. It's okay, it is all a part of the process and journey of becoming, and on the way, your kindness just might unleash the soul of someone who desperately needs it.

Dei Gratia,

Monty