Tag Archives: Higher Power

Meet Christ in the Word

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Bible, drawing

Meet Christ in the Word

How to meditate, and why? Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote several recommendations for the Finkenwalde seminarians on how to meditate.

As I have said before, Bonhoeffer was adept at meditation and prayer. What an instructor to have for spiritual direction. He suggests that people ought to rise up from meditation “in a different state from when we sat down. We want to meet Christ in His Word.” [1]

Bonhoeffer had such a high view of scripture. Scripture was where he came to receive what God would like to give to him. Through reading the Bible on a regular basis, each day he gathered information and understanding from God’s Word.

He suggested meeting the Lord each day in the morning. Truthfully, this is difficult for me. I am not a “morning person.” Perhaps, someone of Bonhoeffer’s insight was excited to meet God as early as possible. One of his recommendations is to “lay upon Him everything that preoccupies you and weighs you down, before new burdens are laid upon you.” [2]

This is similar to one of the recommendations of the Twelve Steps, to reflect upon one’s day at day’s end and to set up a virtual ledger, weighing good deeds and bad, and then leaving things with God. (Or, the Higher Power.) As someone with a certificate in Alcohol and Drug Counseling, I have spoken with alcoholics, addicts and their loved ones about the wisdom of making mental accounts. Every day we do at least one thing “right” or pleasing in God’s eyes. That is to be celebrated.

“His fellowship, his help, his guidance for the day through his Word—that is the goal.” [3] What an insight into how to meditate! God willing, I might be able to do the same thing.

@chaplaineliza

 

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

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Meditating on the Word, Dietrich Bonhöffer, edited by David McI. Gracie. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cowley Publications, 2000), 24.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

Breathe, Center, Pray.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, January 14, 2017

bench-snow-water

Breathe, Center, Pray.

Breathe. Just breathe. Big breath in, big breath out. Slowly.

This suggestion works for so many things. When you are afraid or fearful. Or, when you feel anxiety creeping up to get you. Perhaps, if you are angry and you need to cool down. Or, when you would like to calm yourself and focus.

As I said, this really does work. Slowing the breath seems to lengthen out time. Another suggestion? Keep track of your breaths. Slowly, slowly. Don’t cry or speed up or—especially—if you wish to find calmness, stillness, serenity, even.

If we pay attention to breathing, we can get down to the very foundation of life. The overarching principle remains the same.

Breathe. Calm yourself. Slow down and let yourself fill with all good things as you breathe in. Slow down further, breathe out, and let go of all anxiety, fear, anger. Let go, and breathe out everything negative.

Now you are in a much better place to connect with God. Reaching your Higher Power can happen at any time, true. However, breathing deeply, in and out, certainly helps us to center and concentrate.

Now, center. Now, pray. Now, serenity. Thanks, God.

@chaplaineliza

 

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

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

PEACE is Resting in God’s Plan

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, February 22, 2016

IMG_0165

PEACE is Resting in God’s Plan

Next person in my journey towards PEACE, today.

In my continuing efforts to pursue PEACE, I talked with several members of the Bethesda Worship Center in Des Plaines, Illinois, yesterday.

I had the opportunity to talk with a number of people in the congregation. One woman, in particular, gave her personal definition of PEACE considerable thought. After some reflection, this is what she said. (And, again, she was shy of the camera!)

Nancy Nalbandian’s definition: PEACE is resting in God’s plan for your life, even when your future seems very uncertain.

She elaborated a bit more. (I did tell her that this particular personal definition is quite definite. And, personal!) Nancy considers the most important part of what PEACE means to her is the resting part. Moreover, “PEACE is trusting that God will work everything out in due time.”

This definition necessitates a belief in a personal God. I have such a belief, and so does Nancy. I know not everyone who reads this blog has such a belief. What I am interested in is whether this kind of belief in God (or in a Higher Power) is helpful to a wide group of people.

God willing, this blog post connects and draws many people together. Please, dear Lord, hear our words and earnest prayer.

@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

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.

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.

Help Me Love Myself, God

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

someone who knows

Help Me Love Myself, God

I am sadly familiar with the kinds of lies my insides whisper to me. “You aren’t good enough. You aren’t pretty enough. You aren’t talented enough. You’re not thin enough.”

I have worked on my confidence for years, and I consider it improved. However, my low self-esteem becomes reactivated at the darnedest times. “You won’t be able to do that. Why even try?” and “What a joke! Who would want to listen to you, anyway? You can’t even talk your way out of a paper bag.”

The old-me is like to think this way. Certainly, my self-esteem is much better than it has been, years ago. But, what about my bad habits? What about the problems those habits cause? What about working the Twelve Steps? How do they impact my life?

Ah, loving myself. I need to beat this low self-esteem. But, how?

That is where friends and acquaintances come in. That is where the Twelve Step program helps me. That is when many people working together are so much stronger than one person working as hard as that individual can work.

God, help me. Heal me, inside and out. Please encourage me to continue to lean on others when I become discouraged. Help me to disregard all those lies and twisted truths. God, help me to love myself. And help me to be willing to allow others to love me, too.

Lord, in Your mercy, 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