choosing faith over fear, raising your consciousness, decision-making with faith, deciding from faith, choosing to believe, inspired action, thy will be done, aligning with faith, responding with faith

Choosing Faith over Fear: raising your consciousness in decision-making

I’ve been walking a hard road over recent years, learning to live from a place of faith instead of fear. I recently wrote a post about the road of fear, and how my religious experiences as a child garnered more fear than faith!

Now, as I untangle all the old belief systems and build a new faith and connection with the Infinite, I am learning to trust – myself and the Divine.

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Which God do you serve?

In this Sunday sermon, I want to take on a challenging topic – challenging for me, personally, that is!

In recent days, I’ve posted about living in faith, rather than living in fear. When I am living in fear, I am focused on the external – what I might lose. When I am living in faith, the focus is internal, on my beingness and enoughness with Spirit.

Today’s lectionary readings come from Deuteronomy 30: 15-20 and Luke 14:25-33. And the question in both passages is very simple:

Which God do you serve?

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Guilt & Shame – motivating you towards God?

This is Part 2, following on from Faith or Fear: Love of God or saving you from hell?

As we continue to move up Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs, the motivating factors become weaker. So, while fear may be the strongest, with guilt and social acceptance being another strong external motivator, when you reach shame (internal), the power it holds over you lessens.

Nonetheless, shame as a learned behaviour is something that carries with you all your life! The effects of the manipulation and emotional abuse are scars carried until healing takes place on a deep level.

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Faith or Fear: Love of God or saving you from hell?

I’ve written a lot lately about how mission boarding school and growing up on the mission field has influenced my faith and my journey to practicing Presence. Today – I want to dive into the darkness of the journey from a culture of fear, into learning to lead from faith and love.

A topic I have been ruminating on recently: How many of my choices and decisions in life are made based on faith? What decisions were fear-based?

Where does the fear come from? Unfortunately – indoctrination.

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Practicing presence effortlessly

I love it when I meet someone that just effortlessly is spiritually mature – they function and interact with others effortlessly, one foot in the spiritual and the other in the physical worlds. Spiritual maturity brings with it a level of inner wisdom that is impossible to imitate.

Nonetheless, from the outside, their emotional intelligence seems simply innate, as if they were born with it. Admittedly, I have no idea of all the inner work that they have done to get there! I wasn’t present to witness their perseverance in the face of difficulties – their dark night of the soul.

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Living authentically – the authentic Christian

One of the reasons that I think Christians get such a bad rap, is that we only ever talk about our struggles behind closed doors – if we admit them at all! Perhaps if we admitted our struggles to those outside of Churches – especially the struggles with ego and learning to truly love, we would find that others were more accepting when we tried to share our journey with them!

But, if your upbringing in the church was anything like mine – God forbid that we admit to others that we have doubts about faith, God and “salvation”. You parrot off that you are sharing God’s love with the world, as you Bible-bash them into salvation.

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self-help, the best self-help book ever written, metaphorical interpretation, reading the Bible, understanding the Bible, interpreting the scriptures, building a relationship with God, understanding God

The best self-help book I’ve ever read?

Someone was asking, recently, for the best “self-help” and personal development book that others had read. One of the group members suggested “The Bible”.

I admit, I initially responded (internally) with “no, definitely not“. (Possibly even more along the lines of a visceral response of “hell no”).

A few days later, I was reading a post (somewhere on the internet) about how self-help books are no good and that if we are truly interested in transforming our lives – what we really need is more stories.

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Overturning tables: taking on the culture of abuse in churches

This morning I read Nancy Beach’s description of the final outcome at Willow Creek Church: “Nancy Beach: A Voice of Wisdom“. I found myself, once again, facing the anger at the injustices that happen within churches and missions! I wrote about this in February of this year, when NBC had a segment dealing with the abuse that happened in New Tribes Mission: Shadows of the Past.

The thought that came to me this morning as I read Nancy’s article was

This is a moment for overturning tables and complete disruption!

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Growing weary: why do I have to continue doing what is right?

Lectionary reading

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.  And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up

Galatians 6: 7 & 9  (ESV)

I just finished writing a blog post about burnout and recovering from getting burnt out. It reminded me of a sermon I gave recently at Balboa Union Church – based on the above reading from Galatians 6. We are challenged to not grow weary of doing good — in spite of the challenges.

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