Tag Archives: God as I understand God

Following Our Higher Power’s Voice

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, November 28, 2015

Higher Power - coin

Following Our Higher Power’s Voice

“Happiness is not an accident. It comes from following the spiritual voice found in each of us. This isn’t always easy.” [1]

Many people familiar with the Twelve Steps and the practices of Recovery know about “Do the Next Right Thing.” When clean and sober people are not exactly sure of what to do, this slogan serves as a help and assistance.

I can do that one better. My friend Bill (now, sadly, in that Big Meeting in the sky) had something he would regularly say. “Do the Next Loving Thing.” This always made a great deal of sense to me. God as I understand God (that is, the Christian understanding) had quite a bit to say about loving others.

In fact, God mentions in the Bible that the most important command given in all of the Biblical Law Code is a two-part law: love God, and love your neighbor as yourself. Loving in the vertical plane, and loving in the horizontal plane, too.

So, following the spiritual voice, following God as I understand God, is staying in ‘conscious contact’ with God. Following Step Eleven, too.

Today is the last day that I will be considering our daily meditation book, Keep It Simple. Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent in the Liturgical Year. I’ll be switching gears, and taking a look at what Father Henri Nouwen has to say about our Advent and Christmas journey through the month of December. Oh, and the last two days of November, too.

But for now, I am still listening and meditating on Keep It Simple. I will close with the Action for the Day: “Today, I’ll meditate and listen to my Higher Power’s gentle voice.” [2]

Dear God, help me do the Next Loving Thing. So help me, God.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

(also published at http://www.matterofprayer.net

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 29 reading.

[2] Ibid.

Turning It Over to God—in Gratitude

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, November 26, 2015

THANKFUL today I'm thankful

Turning It Over to God—in Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Today was Thanksgiving: a day when America traditionally gives thanks to God. Today’s reading in the daily meditation book Keep It Simple also involved turning life over to God as I understand God.

I just read some heartbreaking and honest Facebook posts where a few acquaintances of mine legitimately had difficulty doing both of those things today.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

True, there were (and are) various things happening in each of these families. With wide and varied situations with many family gatherings. Still more with volatile or even explosive verbal confrontations. Some with lonely, anxious people gathering together over a meal ladled out at a shelter or a church basement. And then, those with sad and grieving people in sad and desperate straits.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Yet, today was another day where many, many people worldwide successfully stayed clean and sober. Through anxious circumstances, even though they were sorely tempted, or amidst incredible grief and sadness. Many, many people successfully turned their lives and wills over to the care of their Higher Power. Just for today. One day at a time.

Another day clean and sober. Another day following God as I understand God.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

(also published at http://www.matterofprayer.net

To Share, or Not To Share?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, November 25, 2015

one day at a time, but several days attack

To Share, or Not To Share?

When people are in the midst of their addiction or compulsion, so often they are self-focused and self-centered.

Sure, the self-centered attitude of addiction is narrow and focused. Or rather, not focused outward at all—only inward, and only wanting more, more, more, more. This attitude can be unhappy, pain-filled and even desperate.. The end result? Loneliness that sometimes seems as if it will never, ever end. Desperate, indeed.

I love this reading from today, from Keep It Simple. The reading suggests one way to combat unhappy, pain-filled loneliness. The answer? Sharing with others. Being intentionally other-focused. Serving and giving.

“Remember the first time you walked into a meeting? You were met by people who shared. Maybe they shared a smile, their story, or just a cup of coffee with you. The sharing that goes on in a Twelve Step program is great. We learn that the more we give, the more we get.” [1]

Yes, sharing can be a life-saver. (Literally.) Sharing, giving, serving. Intentionally directing our focus and energy and direction outward.

Thank You Thanks so much, memories of all.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

(also published at http://www.matterofprayer.net

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 25 reading.

Listening to My Higher Power

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, November 23, 2015

prayer to God as I understand God

Listening to My Higher Power

I used to be a people-pleaser. I would do my best to be everything or make myself into whatever people wanted or needed. I would run, do, speak, or not speak. Almost always at half my acquaintances’ beck and call. When I was a teen and in my twenties and thirties, my poor sense of self-esteem kept me going overtime. (And then some.)

I gradually learned how to navigate my way through the awkward conversations, extra-long telephone calls, home visits and play dates. (Fearful of running afoul of the modern-day Pharisees, though.)

As my reading today from Keep It Simple tells me, trying to be a people-pleaser will get me exactly nowhere. Nowhere except hurt or angry, and feeling taken advantage of.

How on earth am I to stay centered and focused? Ah, ha! My reading gives me two good ways: by listening to my internal voice (“To Thine Own Self Be True”), and listening for my Higher Power’s voice. I do have wisdom inside of me. I have dreams and aspirations. I am worthwhile. What’s more, I also have God as I understand God. My Higher Power has my back. My Higher Power will never leave me nor forsake me.

So, I thank God that I no longer am a people-pleaser. (Well, hardly ever, that is.)

Let’s pray, using the prayer for today from the reading. “I pray that I’ll listen to that gentle, loving voice inside me. Higher Power, help me make my ‘conscious contact’ with You better.” [1]

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

(also published at www.matterofprayer.net

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 23 reading.

Spiritual People, Spiritual Choices

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, November 20, 2015

believe that good things will happen

Spiritual People, Spiritual Choices

Ah. Teaching myself to make better choices.

The daily meditation book, Keep It Simple, has a provocative reading today. “Life is about choice. To be spiritual people, we must make spiritual choices. Honesty is a spiritual choice. And working the Steps is a spiritual choice.” [1]

Living one day at a time, I am breaking life down into manageable bite-sized pieces, it’s true. But teaching myself to make better choices? A day at a time? That’s taking one-day-at-a-time living to the next level.

I have the option to make good choices today. Healthy choices? Yes. Safe choices? Yes. Beneficial and loving choices? Yes, yes. All of these are possible to me, now that I am working a Twelve Step program. I no longer am a slave to the unmanageability of life, to the madness and maelstrom of a life full of fear, anxiety, frustration and depression.

As I walk with my loving Higher Power, I have the ability to choose spiritual choices. To choose serenity and peace, as much as I am able. I have the option to keep my side of the spiritual street clean, too. And, as I continue to walk with God as I understand God, I’ll have better and more loving relationships: with God, and with others around me.

All in all, that sounds like a pretty good choice to me. A spiritual choice. So help me, God.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 20 reading.

As We Daydream–Before God

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, November 12, 2015

Pray Pray Pray 1 Thess

As We Daydream–Before God

Daydreaming seems like such a pointless thing to do. At worst, daydreaming might seem to be treading water (with the mind). At best, daydreaming can be as hopeful and as hope-filled as a tweet or a post on Step Eleven. “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God … “

Daydreaming? Yes. The active process of daydreaming leads to prayer and meditation. “Through our daydreaming, we get to know ourselves, our spirit, and our Higher Power.” [1]

As I consider how I might be best able to help others in their process of doing Step Eleven, I cannot deliver a “one-size-fits-all” solution. No, each solution is as individual as the person who needs it; who responds to such a heartfelt question.

Whether good weather or bad, whether sunny skies or cloudy and overcast—this reading today gives us positive advice and beneficial understanding. Daydreaming can indeed help each one to find the internal want-to. Find the desire to continue with the Steps, one day at a time.

Dear Lord, gracious God, it is beneficial to allow the mind to wander—sometimes. Help me to keep daydreams positive and helpful. Thanks for the loving, caring thoughts and acts You bring to us each day. Continue to others, and at the same time, connect to God. Please, God, hear all of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 12 reading.

Facing My Mistakes, and Learning

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, November 8, 2015

don't let yesterday use up today

Facing My Mistakes, and Learning

Ah, how difficult it is to face my mistakes! But, what if I sweep my mistakes under the rug, or minimize them, or even pretend they didn’t even happen? That is the sure way to unhappiness. A definite way to unmanageability, too.

If, as the daily meditation (from Keep It Simple) for today reads, I run from my mistakes and try my darnedest to avoid them, they will follow me. [1] However, if I am able to face my personal mistakes, all to the good! (That includes my fear for an awkward or downright unpleasant mistake at work, or with my family, or an acquaintance. Just to mention a few situations, of course.)

The reading today points out that “Native American culture teaches us that all mistakes in life are gifts. The gift is that we are all given a chance to learn.” [2] Yes, I can find lessons in practically every mistake I ever made. Isn’t hindsight called twenty/twenty?

Yes, I can ask my Higher Power for help. I can pray to God as I understand God for the knowledge and wisdom to acknowledge my mistakes, not to cover them up. Lord, in Your mercy, hear my humble prayers.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 8 reading.

[2] Ibid.