bless those that curse you, truth, Divine Love, God is love, power of blessing, power of multiplication, speak kindly, an inside job, patterns of pain, as within, where attention goes energy flows, humility, vulnerability, how you do anything is how you do eveyrthing

Bless those that curse you: the truth about divine love

We say that God is love, and by this, we typically accept that Divine Love is the law. We see the Divine as the embodiment of love; it is the very nature of the Divine. This love permeates all of creation, present in every one of us.

So, for example, we read in 1 John that anyone who does not love does not know the Divine because Divine Love is the very nature and essence of goodness.

Do you base your love for others on an expectation of reciprocity? Love based on expectations becomes a business deal – if you do this for me, I will love you. How could you make Divine Love an article of commerce? God’s pure love can only flow from a pure heart. It’s impossible to say that you are full of Divine Presence and not overflow with love.

The beatitudes remind us, “Bless those that curse you”.

When we bless, we invoke good upon, calling forth Divine Love. This power of blessing imparts the quickening of spiritual power: it produces growth and increases. It is the very power of multiplication.

A curse, on the other hand, is to affirm evil for or onto something. You might understand this as the removal of Divine Presence. A curse wishes upon others that they not bring forth spiritual good through Divine Love.

When we curse those who curse us, we start from a place of ego: taking upon ourselves the decision to remove Divine Love and Divine Presence from the equation. We punish tit-for-tat, diminishing the spiritual power that produces growth and increase. Because of our pain, we strike out to cause pain to another.

Divine Love, Divine Presence, God is love, bless those that curse you, all is one, what goes around comes around, reap what you sow
How do you speak up?

But while your ego may be satisfied, what good has this done for you or another?

Why speak kindly about those to talk badly about you?

Perhaps your natural response is to complain and play the victim. Yet, each time you retell the story of how they wronged you, you replay the emotions and feelings in your body. You relive the moment, over and over again. Our bodies are constantly in tune with these emotions: what are you creating in your health and well-being as you replay and relive a past scenario?

Our stress doesn’t happen “out there”. It is what happens within your mind and your body. How you respond matters: this is the energy that you mirror into the world. It’s the very same energy that will come back to you. In the same way that you can be sure that another person will reap what they sow – you will reap what you sow. You reap the rewards of your thoughts and your words.

How you do anything is how you do everything.

There is no better motivation to speak kindly about others than neuroplasticity! How you respond now is writing neural pathways in your brain. You can self-train and entrain yourself in how to respond.

Most importantly, these same neural pathways become your inner voice and inner critic. They become the automated response in similar situations.

How would you like to entrain yourself to respond in moments of being attacked and stressed in the future?

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Finally, consider who is listening and watching you. If you curse those that curse you: who is hearing you do this? Perhaps your children are watching you. Is this what you want them to learn in life?

Or perhaps, you live the Christian life and want your life to be a beacon of light for others. If you claim to love God and yet do not show this in how you respond in everyday life, what example are you showing the world?

Divine Presence is an Inside Job

Transformation is not just what comes out of your mouth or the words that others hear. It is also your thoughts and feelings. So, if you are not feeling up to blessing someone that cursed you, take a moment to sit with your reaction. What is going on inside of you?

  • Is this about you and an experience from the past you have yet to heal?
  • Or perhaps, it’s a pattern with this person that repeats, and you have failed to set in place healthy boundaries.
  • On the other hand, it may simply be a reflection of the state of your relationship with this person.

As you sit with the inner awareness, take time to notice whether you have an overdue conversation with this person. What do you need to clarify or change? Is this a relationship that you can heal?

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Patterns of pain

Alternatively, you might notice that your pain is unrelated to this person and what they said to you. What pattern of pain or hurt has this situation shone a light on that hasn’t healed? Is there forgiveness work that you have outstanding?

It is often the case that you remember the pain from your childhood that you have swept under the mat or rationalised. For example, it may well be that a parent, teacher or family member spoke in this way to you, and you felt helpless to respond.

Now, as an adult, you feel the anger of how they mistreated you. A part of you, because you understand that they were doing the best they could, perhaps has already said, “It’s okay, I understand”. But the very fact that you feel triggered sheds light on the healing work you have outstanding.

Will you take this opportunity to go within?

Divine Love often brings people into our lives momentarily to allow us to heal those parts of us that we are overlooking. It’s like a pumice stone that helps us slough off the old skin on the soles of our feet. In the same way, through these healing opportunities, we slough off the deadwood of our soul.

  • What about this person or situation is truly bothering you?
  • In what ways did they rub you up the wrong way?
  • Was it a particular word or phrase that they used?
  • Maybe it was the tone of their voice?
  • What about their opinion or comments is vital to you?
  • As you take time in the silence to consider this person or situation, do you notice a characteristic that you have avoided working on yourself?

Your gratitude: take a moment to thank this person for the opportunity they have given you to go within.

Divine Love flows, gratitude, thankful

Divine Love flows

If you take a lemon and squeeze it, you expect to get lemon juice.

If you are walking along with your mug of coffee, and someone bumps into you, causing you to spill it, what you will spill is coffee.

That is what you carried in your coffee mug.

So, when you are squeezed or bumped: does Divine Love flow from you? If anything other than Divine Love flows from you, start at the top and reread it all.

The person cursing you is an opportunity to go within. How you do anything – like how you respond when bumped – is how you do everything.

The only thing that can flow out of you is what fills you. Does your cup overflow with Divine Love and inner peace?

Where attention goes, energy flows.

You get to choose where to focus your attention any time another person attacks you. Will you focus on that person and what they have done? Will you choose to be the victim and replay the scenario over in your mind or with others? 

Or will you choose the path of healing? 

Every interaction with others is an opportunity to notice where you have blocks to the flow of Divine Love in your life. Humility and vulnerability allow us to accept “I am a work in progress”. But it requires that you be open to seeing and attending.  

What does Divine Presence require of you today? 

Bless those that curse you 

Could you bless this person and thank them for holding up a mirror for you to look at yourself thoroughly?  

Every person you meet reflects your stage on this journey of life and personal transformation. How does Divine Love overflow through your life? Does it seep out when life squeezes you? Does it spill out if you get bumped?

Divine Love is the law:

  • Love the Great Creator with all your heart, soul and mind; and
  • Love your neighbour as yourself.

This is what makes it possible to bless those that curse you.

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Why does the Spirit feel so far away?

A couple of days ago, I read this by Madisyn Taylor

We all experience periods where we feel separated from the loving ebb and flow of the universe. These times of feeling disconnected from the source may occur for many reasons, but self-sabotage is the most common cause for us choosing to cut ourselves off from the flow of the universe. We purposefully, though often unconsciously, cut ourselves off from this flow and from the embrace of humanity so we can avoid dealing with painful issues, shun the necessary steps for growth, or prevent the success that we are afraid of achieving from ever happening.
When you choose to disconnect from the source, you block the flow of the universe’s energy from passing through you. You become like a sleepwalker who is not fully awake to life, and your hopes, plans, and dreams begin to appear as distant blurs on a faraway horizon.
Universal support has never left you, but if you can remember that you became disconnected from source by choice, you can choose to reconnect.

And I couldn’t agree more – how often do we distance ourselves from God & our Source?

Read More »

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“A noble cedar or a humble mustard seed?”

A few months ago I threw some avocado seeds into my compost bin, and now I’ve discovered I have a beautiful avocado seedling growing in my compost.  I’ve very happy about that – but all I did was throw it away! I was expecting to make compost, but now I am very pleased that I need to ask Alexis to locate a great place to plant an avocado tree.  And we all know how big an avocado tree can get.  So, I’m not sure where that avocado tree will get planted, but I am pretty sure that it will produce some great avocados!Read More »

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The alien that resides among you…

As I see here in Panama wave after wave of Venezuelans arriving, running from the disaster in their country, I realise that it is hard for us to welcome them with open arms.  People here feel threatened by the mass migration wave that has hit Panama – “there are too many of them”. Crimes rates have increased over the past three years. Housing has become more expensive. Unemployment has increased.  The cost of living has gone up.

And “the Venezuelans are to blame”…Read More »

The Ultimate Sacrifice

Lectionary Readings:

  1. Acts 10: 34-43
  2. Psalms 118:1-2, 14-24
  3. 1 Corinthians 15: 1-11
  4. Mark 16: 1-8

Let’s pray:
Lord of life,
From the beginning of time, You knew the final outcome and watched as the jigsaw pieces were slotted into place.
While Your blood was poured out and on Your head was placed a crown of thorns, even to the darkness of the grave, You saw the triumph that would be won over the power and fear of death.
You walked from the empty tomb, opening wide the gates of life. You defeated death to show us that we can rise from all that binds us to the world: pride, envy, anger, fear and the debt of sin that holds us here.
Lord of life, You defeated death to demonstrate a love that is beyond our understanding.
On this day we pray, Lord of love and Lord of peace, Lord of resurrection – be known through our lives and through Your power. Amen.

How many men in history can claim to have had such a radical effect on the world as that man Jesus of Nazareth?  While many may doubt the historical accuracy of the Bible, it’s impossible to ignore the striking effect of Jesus on those who witnessed his life, his death and his resurrection.

In our day and age, with the internet, television & radio, news travels in a moment.  But 2,000 years ago, there were no mass means of communication.  There was word of mouth, the news was passed on from village to village… And yet, we find in Acts we find Peter in Caesarea, speaking in Cornelius’ household, where he said:

“you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power.  He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.”[1]

In the first Century after Christ, we find that the Emperor Domitian (in the second great persecution – not the first one under Nero), some 40,000 Christians were martyred. If forty thousand died in just this second phase of persecution, how far had Christianity spread in those first 100 years?  It has been said that there may have been as many as five hundred thousand or a million Christians by the end of the first century.  All of this, by word of mouth.

Try, for a moment, to put yourself in the shoes of those early Christians, living 100 years after Christ. The apostles were all dead.  There was no one living that had been a personal witness to his life and death. There were no history books to refer to, cataloguing the life of Christ as a historical fact.  There was actually no New Testament either.

So, why would they slip out at night, away from their masters and hiding from the Romans, to meet in caves and catacombs and darkened rooms?  What did they expect to happen that was so different, so important, that it would attract them to risk their lives to hear of the gospel?  What kind of church meeting would bring them out at night, against the threat of a government that was trying to kill them?  If today it’s hard to fill a church when it rains, what would it be like if you thought you might be killed for coming on Sundays?

Forget about the paraphernalia, comforts and trappings that we have inherited from nineteen hundred years of church councils, traditions, theologians, translators & interpreters.  Forget the creeds, the prescribed order of worship, the special church language, the hymnal, scholarly commentaries, or anything else that we may use to structure our services.   What was so special about the events of Easter that it was worth dying for?

What is it that we celebrate today?

Today we celebrate the ultimate sacrifice of that man Jesus, who taught us:

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.[2]

His crucifixion was indeed the greatest act of sacrifice, perfectly demonstrating his teaching.  But his death is not where it ends.

We are taught that there is no fear in death, because Jesus was resurrected from the dead.  This celebration is not about Jesus hanging on a cross; we celebrate because we believe he is the Lord of life, that there is life after death, and that there is victory over death.

Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians emphasises the importance of the resurrection:

“If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.  … For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. … If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.[3]

As followers of Jesus, we are to live in hope – not just a hope for a better world or life in this lifetime, but a hope for all eternity.

But I want to take this day not only to reflect on that ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made, believing until death that his sacrifice would be enough; I want us today to reflect also on the sacrifices of his life.

His daily walk was an example of the Golden Rule: doing unto others as we would have them do for us.  He exhausted himself in giving to others: preaching the Kingdom of Heaven, healing, casting out demons, and comforting those who came to Him for help.

His life has been exalted as the perfect pattern for our lives.

But let’s be honest: sacrifice is not a concept that any of us truly enjoys.  Yet the man we know as Jesus, sacrificed those things that we prize as “good” and “worthy”:

  • Family, with all the joys and comforts that come with it;
  • Ambition, wealth, prestige & popularity
  • Position and other elements of success

How do we embrace being a follower of Jesus more seriously and focus on its core: the life of Christ?  When considering how to live our lives and how best to demonstrate the love of Jesus and that we, are truly his followers, we should ask ourselves daily “What would Jesus do?”

Right now the phrase “What would Jesus do?” is being used by the Occupy Movement.  It has been used by anti-war protestors in the question “Who would Jesus bomb?”, and even gone so far as to be the subject of the “What would Jesus eat?” biblical diet plan.

Many of us may be confused about how to imitate the life of Christ, when He lived in such a different culture, society and age as we live today.  Some may argue that the Bible offers little detail about Jesus’ daily life when he wasn’t preaching or performing miracles; and others will mischievously point out that when he wasn’t doing that, he was hanging out in bars, with prostitutes and tax collectors or trashing the temple.  (Perhaps that’s not quite the answer we’re looking for.)

Jesus’ purpose on this earth was to show us the way to establish a relationship with the Creator God, with the Divine.  To open the way for us to be anointed by the Spirit, to do bigger and greater things.  Jesus didn’t tell us to do what He did, He told us to do even greater things.

In the spirit of asking how we can better follow His example, it may be helpful to ask “What did Jesus do?”?

  1. He was humble and served others – no matter how much power and glory he had or was entitled to, this is the man who washed the feet of his disciples.  Is your life characterised by a servant’s heart?
  2. He glorified God – In all of Jesus’ teachings, he doesn’t speak of Himself, so much as of God and God’s Kingdom.  His purpose on this earth was to re-establish our relationship with the Creator God.
  3. He lived a life of prayer, meditation and constant communion with God.  As if points one and two weren’t hard enough, I truly struggle to take the time to stop everything and just be still.  Many of you know me as “the Prayer Lady” – but that doesn’t mean it’s any easier.  I’m not talking about those prayers were you have a list of petitions that you put before God, those ones where we try to convince God that we want Him to uphold our agenda, and bless our ambitions (I’m quite good at those ones! They fit into my way of working and thinking).  I’m talking about that prayer and meditation where you have a private two-way conversation with the Spirit.  That time where you stop everything else and get quiet, open your heart and mind, elevate your spirit, care for another and become one with the Universe, reaching out for God, where you bow Yourself humbly before the supernatural and inquire of the Creator, stop thinking, analysing and planning and just listen; and then make sure that you test the spirit & nature of anything that pops into your mind.
  4. And lastly, Jesus lived a life of sacrifice – He gave of his time to others, He gave of his energy to others, He laid his hands on the sick and worked till He was exhausted.  And his final sacrifice completely changed the world’s religions in a way none of us could ever have imagined.

For me, the following phrase sums up the life and example of Jesus “Not my will but Thine be done”.[4]

It’s that life that relinquishes and unclasps our grubby little fingers that are tightly grasping our possessions, money, hopes & expectations, and then demanding that God uphold our plans.  It’s understanding that our wants don’t come first, and understanding that it’s the Divine Way, not “my way”.

Today, we remember Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.  We give thanks to God for his gentle mercy and untiring love.  We give thanks to Jesus for His ultimate sacrifice and for his pattern of how to live our lives: saying “yes” to the Divine, and “no” to our own selfishness.  We learn today the meaning of sacrifice and surrender.  We learn today that we are given enough grace to do what our Creator has planned for us to do – whether that be serving a meal to a homeless person, buying uniforms for needy children, taking a meal over to widows and those without families to support them, or contributing to our society in any other way.

The pattern of the Christian life we are to follow, demonstrated by Jesus, provides us with unadulterated peace in our relationship with the Creator God. It’s one in which we may have to learn obedience through suffering, and submit to the will of the Divine.  Heaven is waiting for those who have gone through Gethsemane, who have finally handed over the reins of their lives, and let go.  No longer stubbornly refusing to submit, hoisting clenched fists defiantly in the air… but humbly saying to the Spirit: “not my will, but Thine be done.”

That will be the moment in which we begin to do greater things than even Jesus did, as we were put on this earth to do by our Creator.

Let us pray:

Grant us the strength, Lord God, of body and of spirit, to offer you the sacrifice of our lives.
So often we find ourselves apologising to you for our abbreviated prayer life; and yet you draw us into your presence, as you did the disciples at Gethsemane.  You ask us to share in your life and to play our part.   You ask us to watch and pray, so that we might not fall into temptation.  And yet, so often in prayer our thoughts are distracted by sounds or circumstances, or diverted by trivial concerns.  We carry our baggage with us, rather than leaving it at your feet.
Come Holy Spirit: dispel the darkness from our minds and open our eyes.  Revive our drooping faith, our doubts and fears.  Kindle in our hearts the flame of everlasting love.
Grant us each the strength to be still and know that you are God.   Speak to us through the grass of the meadows, through the trees of the forest, through the valleys and the hills.   Speak to us through the rain, thunder and lightning, through the waves of the sea, through the dew of the morning and the peace of the evening.
God of gods, in Thy mercy, in Thy love, be with us now.  We know and we speak of Your love and ask that you help us to put away, for this hour, the cares of this life; so that we may know in truth your presence.
Let us each find that place of the inner vision and through Your Spirit let us hear the wondrous secret.  Through Your mystic insight, cause a spring of knowledge to well up inside us, a fountain of power, pouring forth living waters, a flood of love and of all-embracing wisdom, like the splendour of your eternal Light.
Creator, open our hearts to peace and healing between all people; open our hearts to provide and protect the children of this earth; open our hearts to respect for the earth of which we are guardians and the gifts that it grants; open our hearts to do greater things than those done by Jesus in his brief 33 years on this earth.
God who sees all things, in our consciousness, let us find happiness in the love of Thee.  Fill us with love towards our fellowman. Make us worthy to serve our fellow men throughout the world, especially those who live and die in poverty & huger.  Let our life, our words, our deeds, bring the joy and happiness of Jesus to each person that we meet, day by day.  Give to our fellow man, through our hands, this day their daily bread and by our understanding, give them love, peace & joy.
Amen.


[1] Acts 10: 37-38
[2] John 15: 13
[3] 1 Corinthians 15: 13-19
[4] Luke 22:42