Did you thank God?
Did you thank those who allowed themselves
To be used
As instruments of your success?
If you did not,
That was a big omission;
Your first duty
Was to shower God
For his kindness,
His unconditional love
Then you thank all those
Who accepted to be his
ship to transport your gift;
And you can’t leave out
Those who interceded for you;
Your lawyers in heaven.
Thank them all;
And thank yourself
For your availability;
For accepting his divine call.
Why do I find it so much easier to meditate in a group setting? I recently visited a local branch of Tergar: The Meditation Community of Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. This group is from a Tibetan Buddhism tradition, yet is also heavily influenced by mindfulness meditation research. I’ve only gone twice, but am excited about the teaching and practice I am finding there.
I frequently lapse in my regular meditation practice. Weeks (months?) go by with no ‘formal’ meditation, but merely moments throughout the day when I pause and take a quiet, reflective moment. When I do set actual time to meditate, sometimes even 15 minutes can feel like an eternity. I was using a meditation app for a while, but soon after was feeling constrained by the guidance.
When I joined the group in meditation, it felt like almost no time went by before he rang the bell at 20 minutes. I felt so refreshed. This group also has a discussion period focused on different themes. There is so much to learn! I’m looking forward to learning more, meditating more, and experiencing more joy in my life.
I originally posted this on my blog, I Am Many Things, in February of 2019. Fast forward six months, and I’m still going to those weekly meetings. It has changed my life. For the first time, I am meditating regularly, even daily. I’ve only missed a couple of days since April, and I can’t describe how much freer I feel.
While this is definitely not the only form of meditation or Buddhist teaching, I have found that it uniquely fits me. I love how Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche connects cutting edge neuroscientific research with this ancient practice. Also, the focus on practical application, consciously using the techniques in everyday life, has definitely improved my attitude, which in turn greatly benefits my family (and eases their suffering)!
Since this initial post, I’ve undergone more formal teaching in this tradition and am looking forward to continuing my journey. I believe that, at 53 years old, this student was finally ready to listen to a teacher.
Thank God for you; Thank God for me Thank God for us; Thank God for all; Thank God for the life That he has given us. Thank God for the world And all the people Of the world. Thank God for the sun; Thank God for the moon; Thank God for the stars; Thank God for the air; Thank God for the water; Thank God for the land; Thank God for everything That he has created. The food; The hills; The trees; The leaves; The grass; The animals in the forest; And the fishes in the sea. Thank God and thank God And thank God.
you ever noticed the corners of grain or vegetable fields after the farmer
plows them? Look closely the next time you pass one and see they are left uncut.
It’s strange, but this tradition started in biblical days, and it dates back to
the Jewish Feast of Weeks, which begins exactly fifty days after Passover. Today,
June 9th marks the 2019 celebration better known as the Pentecost.
Yes, I know what you are thinking – Pentecost(al) is a sect of religion who
speak in tongues and follow the Holiness Movement. However, Pentecost Sunday
commemorates the receiving of the Holy Spirit by early Christians which is
steeped deep in Jewish roots. This tribute inspired the beginning of the “church”
as we know it today.
times, the Jews were commanded to offer the Lord new grain in the form of two
wave loaves made with the finest flour and baked with leaven. The Jew, Gentile,
and other nationalities came together, speaking different languages. (Thus the
origin of speaking in tongues in the Pentecostal church today). Peasants of the
fields harvested their grain for an offering but under one stipulation. The
Lord required them to leave all four corners of the field untouched, so the
poor and strangers had crops to eat too.
religion sees the Feast of Weeks as a symbol of the coming Messiah and His
ministry. The celebration denotes the Lord gathering both Jews and Gentiles and
making them one in Him.
4For he himself is our peace, who has
made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of
hostility, 15by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and
regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the
two, thus making peace,
churches, Pentecost Sunday is an observance of the gift of the Holy Spirit. He
lives and breathes in each one of us, just as He breathed on the disciples when
they were filled with fear upon witnessing Jesus’ resurrection.
21Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Waiting on Christ’s return, today, we congregate and construct our churches for praise and worship. Inside its four walls, regardless of the religion, we are baptized by one Spirit, into one body. The Lord resides in each of us. It was Peter who prophesied all men must unite in one church under heaven. Let us open our minds and understand, it was God’s request the world is to be but one religion. Let each of us pray that one day we will fulfill His wishes.
Everyone comes into
life to serve a great purpose. That is our destiny. We extend a hand in life to
help the broken, but it’s Christ who chooses the believers He wants to
represent Him. Faith is a large part of the commitment, but it’s the renewed
spirit which Christ blesses each time. I, too, am not worthy to wipe the dust
from our Father’s holy feet, but for an unknown reason, God duly elected me. I
am a representative of Christ, an emissary, an evangelist of His word. But, I was
the man most people least suspected to be His ambassador. This is how God works
among humanity. He selects the defeated, renews their heart and mind, and sends
them into the world as a witness of His great love.
My heart filled
with emotions, and it danced with a joy I didn’t think was possible. All I
could do was reverently thank God for the opportunities He opened up before my
eyes. It’s a select few picked to serve our Lord on a greater platform,
representing Him in the interim of His great return. Yes, this includes
ministers, pastors, priests, missionaries, and then just the ordinary… like me.
Do you know how
Christ chooses who will live in His shadow as disciples? Millions live in a
holy relationship with the Lord, but a genuine disciple usually is considered a
social outcast. They have a more profound knowledge of God and wisdom; perhaps
a miraculous incident occurred with Him. Often, they are rejected by family and
friends and considered “weird” or a false prophet. Demon possessed people react
strongly to them, and immature Christians spew insulting comments their
direction. Disciples, or anointed chosen followers, stand alone in a mocking
world. I’ve experienced all of these things, but with God by my side, I endure
all the accusations and criticisms, knowing He is my strength and power.
In the Bible,
Jesus’ biological half brothers rejected Him and His ministry. King David was
ridiculed for obeying and following the Lord. Isaac, the son of Abraham and
Sarah, was born supernaturally for his parents were aged one hundred and ninety
when he was conceived by God’s miracle. Moses was appointed at birth to
represent God and was the target of terrible criticism from the Israelites and
even his own brother and sister. Christ filled John the Baptist with the Holy
Spirit before he was born. He was ultimately beheaded because no one believed Christ
chose him. Not one person in scriptures chosen and anointed as a representative
of Christ had an easy life. They had to set themselves apart, and I’m sure they
felt very isolated.
So, today I ask,
are you chosen by God to be His ambassador? Are you afraid to take a leap of
faith for fear of rejection? Please read Psalm 91 as it is God’s promises to
His chosen and anointed people:
God will reward the fruits of our accomplishments at the end. Pick up your staff and walk my friends. Be strong in your commitment, now more than ever as the world’s flocks of sheep are like a pack of wolves. They hungrily circle God’s chosen to wait for the perfect chance to ensnare and devour your devotion. Be not afraid to stand in the barley and dance in the shade. Christians, we were born to represent Christ Jesus.
You heard our prayer O Lord, And our boy traveled safely; We cannot thank you enough; These are dangerous times; Nothing must be taken for granted; Thank you a hundred times; Fill our hearts with trust for you; Fill our hearts with love for you; Fill our hearts with gratitude; We thank you Almighty God; You heard our prayer. You heard our cry; You gave us a positive response. Thanks for positive response!
It’s a day to thank God for all the mothers we know on this Mother’s Day. Our moms are like great trees standing proudly amongst the forest. They bear fruit and give shade to protect us from evil elements. This is a day of remembrance for not just my own mother but to all the others who gave us a life worth living in an unknown existence we call earth.
Where would we be without the beautiful ladies who gave us life? Let me begin with all the pioneers and name worthies in history. What strength and endurance their mothers experienced as they stood on the dock waving goodbye to their child! Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, Jacques Cartier, and other explorer’s mothers must have been devastated to think it would be the last time they saw their sons. Yet, others stand so proud in the light of their children’s accomplishments such as the Steve Jobs, Alexander Bell, and even the great entertainers and athletes of our times. Where would we be without those mothers who created a life that richly blesses our lives today?
One mother, in particular, stands out in my mind and is of biblical proportion. A very young girl, Mary, gave birth to a son who still tries to change the world by His ministry. Jesus, God’s immaculate conception, was like no other child and His mother, too, was like no other woman. The anguish, fear, and heartaches she withstood, and all in the name of love for God. To me, she is the “mom” of all mothers for without her, what would our life be? This is a perfect day to give thanks to the mother who gave us her beloved son.
I also reflect, this day, on the mothers of my childhood days in Severna Park, Maryland. In this small town, the women worked at church and gave the community a special meaning. Some helped in the educational field, turning kids into men and women of great knowledge. Those were the days when moms sat for hours helping with homework, starting showers, and tucking us in bed. It didn’t matter if we were their natural children, adopted, or just a good friend. There’s a lot to be said for the love of a mother, a sobering reminder we’d be lost without them. Happy Mother’s Day, Mother Mary in heaven, for we owe you everything as your precious son died for us so we may be a better servant. Thank you.