Choose the Joy of God Instead of Pain


There are thoughts in reference to our Easter 40 Days of Light series.

Day 5 – I choose the joy of God instead of pain.

I find there is power in the words, “I choose.” What is it I choose or I have chosen in my life? I know for a time earlier on in my life I chose to be a victim of the world, of people (family and ex-spouses), of circumstances and my own thinking. It is not a happy life when we walk this path. I know it wasn’t for me.

I put up brick-solid walls in an effort to protect myself and receive a semblance of safety.  It only kept me isolated from God’s Love and lasting peace. Of course, then, I was led by righteous anger, resentments, past hurts and slights, all these were my guide. What did it prove to serve? Only my own unhappiness and that unhappiness reached all of those in my life whether they realized it or not. I did not know then that these devices and defenses only led the way to pain. It was in fact my own crucifixion. Continue reading “Choose the Joy of God Instead of Pain”

And the Award Goes to….. Love


Last night Paul and I watched the Oscars and like many we enjoy seeing all the stars come out in their finest. As I continued to observe the proceedings, I became uncomfortable with the faux-feud Jimmy Kimmel exhibited with Matt Damon. Even though this was supposedly in jest, I still felt a slight disturbance.

This morning after my meditation, I returned to the reading from Ken Wapnick’s “The Healing Power of Kindness” I am using with the new Thursday class. As I read, I realized I had to look at my own anxiety, guilt, and fear.  This not only goes for what I witnessed during the awards, but also before responding to anyone.

Some questions came to mind: What is my trigger? Why am I trolling? Why do I troll the trolls? Who am I choosing as my Teacher?

I wrote those on the page. When I used the word “trolling,” I took it in the moment as why am I persisting to judge in the moment.  I can blame others for judging but am I the only one who is allowed to judge? Hmmm…

So I took this idea further. I know I have projected my own guilt. It is inevitable here in this world, however, I have the power of choice. As I observed Kimmel’s jesting, it caused me to think more within  of the times I have done the same and admit that to myself. Honesty is the best policy. Sometimes I may have done this without even thinking, a sort of auto-pilot, but that does not excuse me and not the point here.

The point is I am not being conscious of my thoughts and words. I attack myself and other by doing so. And we know that attack is not loving.

But why did Kimmel’s jest of Damon bother me so? Was it just a joke and I was being too sensitive? Did I feel for Matt and felt slight anger towards Jimmy?

I have been on the receiving end of this… “torture” is the word that immediately came to mind.  Interesting. I thought I could be harmed or hurt in any way so I project all of those feelings towards feeling sorry for Matt and seeing Jimmy as the victimizer. Anger towards my own victimizers. Anger towards myself, the ultimate victimizer.

Any anger I felt towards Jimmy, I had to ask, “What does this solve?” and “Is this kind to Jimmy, Matt or myself?”

Instead, it was all about me. It was my own so-called “victimhood” that I do not want to approach. What I remembered is that I need to be focused on my “own page” so to speak. It is my own fear, anxiety and anger over symbols upon symbols, “words” that proceeded to project my own guilt.

It may seem a small thing. But the small things can become bigger things if I/we are not self-aware. To question every value, every idea, every thought we hold is what A Course in Miracles is asking us to do. As I always say, it is not about the beauty of the words but the sincerity of the practice that welcomes peace in our lives.

I am always open to learning more about myself and Who I really am. I am ready to release the ideas that keep me in fear. Love is always with me.

Namaste,

Rev. Deb

P.S. If you are interested in our “Healing Power of Kindness” class, this week is the last week to sign up before the class is closed to new students. See information at this link.

Healing From Trauma


From Rev. Deb’s Unity Radio Show “Entitled to Miracles”

Rev. Deb responds to a student’s inquiry on one deals with trauma by using A Course in Miracles. With a foundational passage and several lessons from A Course in Miracles, coupled with tips and a mindfulness meditation, Rev. Deb shares how you, too, can move past trauma and into peace. She offers these suggestions from what she has learned as she has healed throughout past 25 years from her own trauma experiences. A Course in Miracles says, “If you Continue reading “Healing From Trauma”

Prayer of the Heart for 11/17/16


Today’s prayer comes from a member of our Prayer of the Heart class that ended in October.

Father, I know that I am innocent, yet sometimes, when I forget, I am filled with fear. Let me remember my innocence today.

Skeletons in the Closet (Shake, Rattle, and Roll)


From Rev. Deb’s Unity Radio Show:

It’s that haunting time of year! You don’t have to be afraid of the “bumps in the night” that occur from the thoughts of the past. Let’s shove those skeletons back in the closet where they belong and roll along in peace with the Holy Spirit. Rev. Deb shares a recent personal story of doing just that. As A Course in Miracles says, “Children perceive frightening ghosts and monsters and dragons, and they are terrified. Yet if they ask someone they trust for the meaning of what they perceive, and are willing to let their own interpretations go in favor of reality, their fear goes with them. When a child is helped to translate his ‘ghost’ into a curtain, his ‘monster’ into a shadow, and his ‘dragon’ into a dream he is no longer afraid, and laughs happily at his own fear.”

Download this episode and others: http://www.unity.fm/program/EntitledToMiracles

Now available as a podcast on iTunes!

Can You Be Happy in the Midst of the Happenings in the World?


Yes, you can be happy during this election. You can be happy when everything has fallen apart in your life. You can be happy in the midst of every darkness that seems to surround you.

Let’s even equate happiness with peace, does that help you to start to see this differently yet?

I understand that life can be hard, difficult and challenging as well as heart-wrenching. I’ve been there many times in my past with the tragedies that have occurred. What pulled me out was my dedication to the study and practice of ACIM. It is what saved me so to speak. Not so much the reading and I emphasize this, it is the practice of its principles and concepts into my daily life. That is what made the difference and that is what led me to a happier and more peaceful life.

Yesterday (10-23-16), I spoke on “The Happy Habit”. The habit of happiness is up to you. Happiness is a choice. It is God’s Will for us. He desires our happiness, yet we seemingly throw it away by listening to the teacher of fear, the ego. In my talk yesterday, I built on what Rev. Paul shared on 10-16-16 on the “Rules for Decision.” If you remember those in the Text, Chapter 30, you will find your way to happiness and peace. It’s main rule is “Today I will make no decisions by myself.” You see, when we make decisions, and these are the decisions for fear or peace, we choose the teacher we will learn from. When we choose the Holy Spirit as our Teacher, happiness and peace abounds.

Now reading this may seem easy enough, however, as we found in our Sharing Circle after my talk yesterday, not so easy to do, with this presidential election around the corner. I shared with the group, that I too, had been triggered by a particular candidate’s actions and stance. I felt it more deeply with experiences I had over the years of sexual abuse and assault. I came to a point where I was shaking and in tears. I sat quietly and joined with the Holy Spirit. I thought I had dealt with my “history”, but it was obvious that there was more to offer to Him. I didn’t excavate into the experience for that is not essential for the miracle. I asked simply the Holy Spirit to look at what had arisen for me and for His Guidance in what to do. What appeared in my mind was I could go talk to a therapist, someone objective, in dealing with the pain that arose.

The factor here in this experience? I was open and willing to see this from a new perspective and to use whatever means the Holy Spirit offered to me in bringing my mind back to peace. What I found was at first, I had no resistance to receiving outside assistance. The next day which happened to be the third debate, my mind was calm and at peace. I found I was not guided to seek that help afterall. What I am finding (and who knows if this would change) is the only course of action was to say “Yes” to the Holy Spirit. “Holy Spirit, I am open and willing to whatever You guide me to do.” So far it seems, this was enough. Certainly, if I am guided again to open up the doors to therapy, I will do so and have over the years.

Holy Spirit works with us in the world if we allow Him to do so. There are other ways He assists us with embracing happiness and peace in our lives. It could be an article you read online, such as I did and what I presented in “The Happy Habit.” We never know where we are led to include more happiness and peace in our lives. He is teaching us always that it is our choice for happiness. We need a thought correction is all.

If you are wound up with the election, step away, unplug for awhile, do something to enrich yourself. Plug into the Holy Spirit. As much control as we want to have in our lives or around this election, we just don’t have that type of power. Our power within is of the decision we can afford ourselves.

Believe it or not, that candidate you despise is your spiritual teacher. We like to call them Forgiveness Opportunities. We need that person and their supporters in Heaven. They are not separate from us, as much as we would like to think. We can disagree with their point of view, however, we cannot dismiss them from the Sonship. As one of our members yesterday stated, we can bless each one. Whether it is the election, or the bad driver in front of you, or someone else you think about, instead of cursing, choose blessing. Remember, Jesus tells us “The Son of God is always blessed as one.” And too, in Lesson 105 – God’s peace and joy are mine:

…if a brother seems to tempt you to deny God’s gift to him, see it as but another chance to let yourself receive the gifts of God as yours. Then bless your brother thankfully, and say:

My brother, peace and joy I offer you, That I may have God’s peace and joy as mine.

One last thought I offer you and it is this, we cannot control the outcome to situations in our lives no matter how hard we try to manipulate the world. What we are called to do is place the outcome (the future) in the Hands of God. We do not know the big picture, Holy Spirit does. Releasing our attachment to the outcome will bring us the peace and happiness we seek. Be sure to read through Lesson 194 – I place the future in the Hands of God.

On Sunday, November 6th, we will offer a special Healing Circle with an Election Meditation. Perhaps you will feel called to join us for this livestreaming event (or in person at our Madison Center). We will offer afterwards our Sharing Circle as always. More information on Sundays can be found here at this link. 

For the article I referred to during my talk on “The Happy Habit” see this link.

Many blessings of peace and happiness to you!

Rev. Deb

I Can Elect to Change My Mind


From Rev. Deb’s Unity Radio Show:

Like it or not, the discussion of the upcoming presidential election is all around us. We easily get drawn in to the battle, so it seems. Yet, we don’t like how we feel. How can we rise above the negativity, the conflict, and fear? Why, remembering we can elect to choose peace in our mind! Rev. Deb shares her thoughts about how to put God and peace first, and an election meditation you can use to remember to embrace everyone in unity and put forth peace as your One Goal.

October 14th, 2016

Download this episode and others: http://www.unity.fm/program/EntitledToMiracles

Now available as a podcast on iTunes!

What Lessons are Here for Us?


On Sunday, October 2nd, 2016, I spoke of the world as our classroom. Everything here is for us to remember to choose the Teacher of Love over the teacher of fear. EVERY situation, EVERY news item, EVERY relationship, and all of it is for us. This is how we heal and this is how we find peace in our lives.

The question then is “Is my peace of mind worth going through the lesson?” Hopefully, the answer is a resounding “yes.” Many times I have spoke and share on the idea that this course is a course in practical application. This is where the rubber meets the road. If we want to embrace A Course in Miracles truly, then we must live it to the best of our abilities. There are many situations in our lives, and this was evident in our Sharing Circle after my Sunday Message, where we can become confused about how to handle our experience.

If you use the idea of your internal feelings as your barometer, and stop immediately when you feel out of sorts or a lack of peace, or sad, angry, frustrated and so on, and turn within to Jesus or the Holy Spirit, you are making a great stride towards your healing. This can be anything in your experience. As I spoke Sunday in relation to my Message and with the group afterwards, every moment we have an opportunity to choose our teacher.

Somewhere, somehow we have decided we wanted to remain as a victim to this world. The very world we made up! When we realize how empowered we truly are, we can change our mind. We can think differently. Does this change the world itself? Perhaps not, but it changes our experience of the world as we change our perception and purpose of the world.

We find as we join with our most Holy Instructor, we can view all situations through His Loving Eyes. He does not see the negative, the destruction, the chaos, the injustice or any of which our body’s senses experience. What He sees is Love. What we can see with Him, is Love. He knows we identify with the body and it’s okay, but we can also identify with truth and make our experience here happier and more peaceful.

Yes, there are many instances in our lives, all of our lives and around the world that trigger strong emotions. We want to help or change the world in some way, but we don’t know how or we think we do. Changing our mind about the world as Jesus suggests does not mean we sit in lotus position and burn incense and ignore what is occurring. We do turn within to Him, we do ask to see through His Eyes, and we forgive the situation. Yet, we may also be called to act, instead of acting from the ego, we would be using our body and our voice, to be an agent of love.

The Course is not concerned about what you do in the world, but from what premise or mindset you do it. It starts first with our mind. One can offer a gift from fear or from love and from guilt or from appreciation. The act is the same but the premise is different.

Think about this as you read or view the news, gather with family or friends, attend meetings at your job, and so forth. You can make a difference by being the peacemaker in your own mind. Try it for the next hour and see how it feels. Then try it for the following hour, and so on. A thousand minds are set free as you set yours free.

In Peace,

Rev. Deb

Prayer of the Heart for 10/5/16


Freedom. I reflect on the idea of “freedom” today. I know I am free in You, Father. I know I choose to be restrained by the ego’s tactic of fear or to the immunity of love. I choose love today for I am forever free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer of the Heart for 9/28/16


Father, I bring my mind to Your Care. Everyone offers me the Gift of Love if I only realize it. You only want Your Children to know Love. Fear has no place in my holy mind. Let me extend Love to my brothers today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts on Week 36, Text, Ch. 20, IV. Entering the Ark


Nothing can hurt you unless you give it the power to do so. 

I cannot be hurt by anyone or anything. I am the one that allows another person, organization, situation or fearful thought “hurt” me. In truth, I cannot be hurt at all. When I allow something to “hurt” me, it is because I wish to remain as a victim. There are no victims when we all have the power as the Son of God. In past experiences I have had in my life, there were times I allowed others in the world have power over me. Be it abuse, or whatever it may have been, I believed myself as small and insignificant. This changed when I believed what the Voice of God shared with me. In any situation, I allow the Holy Spirit to see it with me and show me where I can have freedom instead of fear.

In the past, I tried to figure out my plan to deal with the fear I held onto so tightly, and none of it worked at all. Holy Spirit offers a new plan and one that works. When I align myself with His Plan for Salvation, all is made clear. Just as Ganesha in Hindu philosophy used his trunk to remove obstacles in the way, Holy Spirit does that for me.  Yet I cannot see my brother as an obstacle but as a partner. This is how we enter the Ark, as we cannot enter alone.

My favorite passage is the last paragraph, where it is assured us when we follow Holy Spirit’s plan, all obstacles of our state of mind will be removed and our mind will be at peace.

You may wonder how you can be at peace when, while you are in time, there is so much that must be done before the way to peace is open. Perhaps this seems impossible to you. But ask yourself if it is possible that God would have a plan for your salvation that does not work. Once you accept His plan as the one function that you would fulfill, there will be nothing else the Holy Spirit will not arrange for you without your effort. He will go before you making straight your path, and leaving in your way no stones to trip on, and no obstacles to bar your way. Nothing you need will be denied you. Not one seeming difficulty but will melt away before you reach it. You need take thought for nothing, careless of everything except the only purpose that you would fulfill.  As that was given you, so will its fulfillment be. God’s guarantee will hold against all obstacles, for it rests on certainty and not contingency. It rests on [you.]  And what can be more certain than a Son of God?

 

Thoughts on Lesson 245


Your peace is with me, Father. I am safe.

We go in peace when we realize everything outside of us is just that, outside of us. It is our perception of what is occurring that upsets us. We spoke about just this in our last night of our Thursday summer study as we began with yesterday’s lesson, 244 – I am in danger nowhere in the world. A question arose about our actual experiences in the world, i.e. walking on a darkened street, cancer, accidents, etc. Yes, here in the world of form we will experience these, but it is our “point of view” from which we come that makes all the difference. With ACIM, it is always about what is in my mind. I can approach dire health issues with peace by aligning my mind with the Holy Spirit and asking His Assistance.

One of our students brought up the passage that is a type of prayer. This is found in the Text, Chapter 19, IV. The Obstacles to Peace, C. The Third Obstacle. We find this in paragraph 11 (p. 419):

When anything seems to you to be a source of fear, when any situation strikes you with terror and makes your body tremble and the cold sweat of fear comes over it, remember it is always for [one] reason; the ego has perceived it as a symbol of fear, a sign of sin and death.  Remember, then, that neither sign nor symbol should be confused with source, for they must stand for something other than themselves. Their meaning cannot lie in them, but must be sought in what they represent. And they may thus mean everything or nothing, according to the truth or falsity of the idea which they reflect. Confronted with such seeming uncertainty of meaning, judge it not. Remember the holy Presence of the One given to you to be the Source of judgment.  Give it to Him to judge for you, and say:

Take this from me and look upon it, judging it for me.
Let me not see it as a sign of sin and death, nor use it for destruction.
Teach me how not to make of it an obstacle to peace, but let You use it for me, to facilitate its coming.

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