Tag Archives: Soul

STEP INTO YOUR GREATNESS


When you stand on the edge of pure possibility,
you can use your prayer as the impetus to fly.

***

alvin ailey
Alvin Ailey Collection

an excerpt from the book God is a Brown Girl Too, where God speaks as us to us, from the kingdom within . . .

Reading God is a Brown Girl Too

 

“I sing“Jesus loves me this I know” because it is Jesus whose teachings have taught many to step into their greatness. Jesus is the perfect manifestation of Spirit in creation.  Jesus is the divine idea of God fully expressed as humanity. There is nothing like the blood of Jesus.

Jesus TwoBut focus less on his crucifixion and more on his resurrection.

Jesus has never stopped reminding Brown Girls everywhere that you will do “even greater things” than him (John 14:12). Jesus Supper

Eat those words with as much joy as you would a trip to Red Lobster, and let them slither off your tongue like those hot cheese biscuits.”

 

Christ is not a person.

Jesus SixChrist is the salvation, the stature that Jesus attained to show you that God dwells in all humanity.

Paul said “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27), teaching you that Spirit is your birthright.

I sing, “Jesus on the main line, tell ’em what you want.”

But Jesus does not merely teach you to ask for what you want.  He commands that you do so — commands that you be in the right consciousness to receive it. Jesus is teaching you to step into the kingdomJesus Te of God that is within you, and know that all else — every single detail of my good will be added to you (Matt. 6:31-33).

Jesus ThreeI sing “Yes, Jesus loves me, yes, Jesus loves me” because Jesus taught you that if you don’t have the good sense to ask in your own name, ask in his.  He said that he will serve as your proxy and your healer and your friend.

But he taught you these things so that eventually you would become wise enough to touch the hem of your own garment.

There is fish and bread for you to multiply.  There are oceans for you to walk.

There are dead among you who need to be raised.  There are stones that need to be redeemed from accusers.

elevenThere are wellsprings of living water to drink.  But I need you to stand up my daughter — in a  consciousness that realizes you have whatever it takes.  You will never be successful if you do not grasp the unlimited power that I am as you. I don’t care about your weave, your Gucci, your rock or the glitter of your rims — even your millions don’t  matter.

Only when you awaken to your true self do you step into your greatness.

It is important for everyone to study and know the truth — especially you.  Disregard those who believe that you have no right to God — for they want you to believe that you have no right to yourself. alvin ailey 4

No woman or girl should be oppressed because of those who misinterpret the truth to mean that God is male and therefore, only men are God.  I am inextricably part of each one of you in the same way that a breath is part of the wind.

flight 4You, too, are the energy of life.  There is no separation between all that I am and all that you are.  Paul was right when he said that you live, move and have your being in God.  You are my offspring  (Acts 17:28).

All of you who see me in Jesus should be aware that Jesus acknowledged me in you when he said  “I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” (John 14:20).  Jesus said that the “kingdom of God is within you”  (Luke 17:21).

Jesus not only said I and the Father are One, he also said, “you are gods” (John 10:34).

This is called oneness.

This means that there is no separation between you and Spirit.

This means that your greatness is you waiting for you to express the Absolute Good that you are. alvin ailey 3flight

Feel me at the bottom of your feet.

I am stepping through divine vibrations that I am sending from the tip of your toes up your muscles and bones — through your veins and glands — to the top of your head.

alvin ailey 2I am always in your midst as your teacher, your companion and your guide.

I always direct you, move you, lead you, speak to you, create through you, act through you, dance through you, and sing through you.

I am always there, always here, always now.

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF MEDITATION, PART I

eye 24Meditation is the most important way to experience God.

The only way to silence our voices – both within and without – and connect with the divine everywhere present is to be still.  In the stillness, weHEALING 11 realize the presence of God expressing as us.

“Who are we,” you might ask, “to commune with the creator of heaven and earth?”  We are God’s image as wisdom and God’s likeness as love: an amazing creation of God expressing as us.

Each time we breathe, we are given a gift to perceive God in a new way.

Meditation is the silence that we breathe God in and the moment in which we know that we are God.

great 7We are one with the same creative consciousness that breathed as us the breath of life, endlessly expressing as one.

Without meditation, we forget we are more than the bodies that give shelter to Spirit.  We are more than the body  temples that dance in the soul.ownership 6

The Psalmist said the “meditation of my heart shall give understanding.” (Psalm 49:3)

Understanding does not merely come through endless expressions of source everywhere present, it comes from source itself.

We can do a holy dance and pray loudly all day, but until we surrender to the silence, we cannot hear God.

But when we meditate, we transcend the physical realm and reconnect with the great power that is always available to us.  God is here.  God is inside each pause.  God is on the back of dreams.

God is in the channel re-opened.  God is between the cracks of every prayer.  God is the incredible moment when we forget both words and thoughts.

Meditation is home no matter where we are.  Meditation is the open door where all that we have sought lies waiting.

GBGII 2012 BBBThe truth is that we don’t meditate enough.  We slow down long enough, and go within further enough, and get quiet long enough, and listen deeply enough,
and surrender well enough to participate in God’s meditation as us.ownership 12

Meditation aligns us with the spiritual energies that support our co-creative work of love, peace and liberty for all.

Perfect divine opportunity energizes us.  Perfect divine order guides us.  Perfect divine abundance blesses us.

Meditation is the place where perfect divine miracles await us.

CHRIST IN US, OUR HOPE OF GLORY

Carnival Glory

This past week, we went to Halifax, Nova Scotia on the Carnival Glory cruise ship to uplift Christ in us, our hope of Glory for our God is a Brown Girl Too retreat. 

God is a Brown Girl Too is a testament that we are more than the physical; we are also the shipSpirit.  Paul realized this when he said to the people of Colossae ” Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27 NIV).  Jesus Christ says this differently in John 10:34 when he says “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’?'” 

God is a Brown Girl Too, a book where God speaks to black women as themselves, says “when you know that I am you and you are me, you will begin to realize who God is.”

Oneness betterChrist in me is glory; Christ in me is power; Christ in me is commitment; Christ in me is love; Gathering for Morning Prayer Aboard the Ship Christ in me is energy that defies the appearances of limitations.

Last week, while we were embraced by the bosom of the ocean and lifted by the infinity of the sky, we remembered to breathe the sacred breath of oneness.  We celebrated God expressing as us.  We reinforced the truth that Spirit lives in us. 

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As our Master Teacher Jesus Christ taught us in John 14:20, one day “you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”I AM

Christ in me is transformation.  Christ in me is illumination.  Christ in me is demonstration.  Christ in me is co-creation.  Christ in me is determination.  Christ in me is celebration.  Christ in me is restoration of all my good returning swiftly to reward me.

On the Carnival Glory, we visited the Kingdom of God, united in the consciousness that God is everywhereSabrina and Kia present. 

We stop closing the doors to the divine and re-opened the absolute good that is everywhere present. 

We stopped worrying about we shall eat and what we shall where and we sought God first, fullyIn the womb of discourse internalizing what Jesus taught in Luke 17:21, when he says “nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” 

The kingdom of God is within us.Walking in the Spirit Lia and Pam

Christ in me is unlimited supply. 

Christ in me is divine ideas. 

Christ in me is amazing peace, and harmony, and commitment, and discipline, and accomplishment.

I AM beauty

We were not wary or apprehensive of Carnival’s recent press because we blessed every crack and crevice aboard the ship. 

We blessed the crew and the captain and every passenger who ever boardedRev Loving leading the session and will board the ship. 

We blessed the entire ocean and realized that our sacred circle was comprised of universes greater than we who we are in the flesh. 

We releasedNot only did we get a great price for our journey but we had a wonderful time and terrific service.  The Glory The ship and the city greatwas a floating paradise, another dimension, a divine vibration illuminating in the arms of God.

PatienceWe meditated in the Christ in us.  We prayed in the Christ in us.  We blessed the sacred waters as they restored our strength, our light, our love, and our vision. 

We were baptized in the holy communion of fellowship in Christ Consciousness.

I have no theology, I dance Pam and PamWe left our sins at the altar of deliverance. 

As Paul said in Romans 7:4-6, we “died to the law through the body of Christ, that [w]e might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.  For when we were in the realm of the flesh, I am a Woman of High Faiththe sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death.  But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit.” 

We pray as oneWe released the sin of fear, the sin of remorse, the sin of lust, the sin of doubt, the sin of despair, the sin of hopelessness, the sin of ignorance – and we put on our Christ selves. 

We re-connected with who we are and remembered why we are here in the first place. 

As Paul teaches in Romans 8:9, we are not controlled by theWe gather Sabrina et al sin but by the Spirit because the Spirit of God lives in us.

We danced in the Spirit. 

Tai Chi Nan Clear

We sang in the Spirit. 

Holy Laughter Pam JonesWe walked in the Spirit. 

We meditated in the Spirit. 

We healed in the Spirit. 

We released in the Spirit.

 

We sharedWe washed in the Spirit. 

We spoke in the Spirit. 

We rested in the Spirit. 

We prayed in the Spirit.

We taught in the Spirit. 

We testified in the Spirit. 

I am shalomeWe spoke tongues in the Spirit. 

We prophesied in the Spirit. Nan and Bianca better

We remembered in the Spirit. 

We were born again in the Spirit.

I can do all things

We lived as 1 Corinthians 3:16 proclaims, when Paul says “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” 

There are no excuses big enough, wide enough or powerful enough Lia and Shelia dancingto stand in the way of God blessing us. 

As Acts 17:28 says‘For in [God] we live and move and have our being.'”mother and daughter

Even though you may not have journeyed with us in the flesh, every time you prayed, every time you meditated, every time you affirmed the truth, you are there. 

The Psalmist says “be still and know that I AM God” (Psalm 46:10).

We loved

Jack Boland used to say “You are where you meet God.”

God is a Brown Girl Too says:

“Your power to create pushes you beyond the edge of what you as a human can do to the greatness of what I can do through you.  I am the co-creative force of every breath that you breathe and every bit of energy that youGod is love Move From the Love You Know expel. . . .[W]hen you trust fully and completely in me without all of your second-guessing, you stop limiting what you can do in the flesh and start creating through the energy that has summoned you to this existence. 

You become the “Joshua” in consciousness – the I AM that I AM, the full anointing of Spirit.  Only then will you cross over into the Promised Land.  Wings will take shape from your soul and deliver you beyond your imaginings – across the threshold of your fears.  Magic and miracles and divine openings in the universal fabric of Spirit will manifest.”

Christ in us is the Promised Land. 

Christ in us is the answer that we have been looking for. 

Pam, Marlon and Cecilia

Christ in us is the unlimited power that we desire. 

Christ in us is the love that we so desperately long for. 

Pam and Lia Beautiful movement

Yvonne and PaulChrist in us is the stream of unlimited good. 

Christ in us is the source of endless supply. 

Christ in us is our Hope of Glory.

So we continue to meet every Sunday as Spiritmuv, at the Unity Center of New York City, at 2:30 P.M., at 213 West 58th Street in Manhattan, in the upper room. nan, marlon and cecilia

Come gather where there are two or more reconnecting to the divine mind that we call Spirit. 

We continue to meditate daily, along with www.spiritmuvmeditation.com

We continue to pray daily and study the word. 

Marlon walkin on water

We will also continue to uplift the word as part of our Spiritual Fitness Radio Show on blogtalk radio, starting this month. 

We will continue to spread the word of God in every conceivable voice, medium, adventure, cruise and retreat –

freshly anointed with the realization that this is the work that God has called us to do.

Rev Loving listening to Spirit

Namaste, Reverend Loving

X2theL Interview of God is a Brown Girl Too Author Cecilia B. Loving

AUM for Constant ContactHope you enjoy this slice of food for thought, and interview by Drake Colley, co-creator of X2theL, Neo-Soul.

Rev. Loving shares her vision of absolute good and infinite supply, and journey through God is a Brown Girl Too, Prayers for Those Standing on the Edge of Greatness, God is a Lawyer Too, and what’s next.

JOIN THE SPIRITMUV MEDITATION CHALLENGE

JOIN THE SPIRITMUV 40-DAY MEDITATION CHALLENGE.

Click above to join the meditation challenge.

fall 15

Since 2012’s 40-day Challenge, we have continued and have now challenged ourselves to over 700 days of meditation.

Why?  Because it changes our lives and centers us so that we listen to the divine within.

WHERE IS YOUR GOLDEN VOICE? By Cecilia Loving

Ted Williams, “the man with the golden voice,” is teaching all of us something from his meteoric rise to fame.  Everyone seems to be holding their breath for his success.  We pray that he is redeemed from self-destruction because we don’t want an unhappy ending to this modern day miracle.  We pray that God will not only protect him from his own demons but also from the vultures that have lined up, patiently awaiting.

We’ve all been there before — perhaps not in Ted’s infamous shoes.  But when opportunity presented itself, there was something in us that longed to return to the cozy familiar.  Perhaps we resolved to change our lives forever, never to make the same mistakes again.   Perhaps we felt the fresh breath of triumph in our lungs and breathed it as long as we could — until we faltered and eventually needed the strength of something stronger than flesh.  Somewhere in the distance, we heard our golden voice but it seemed to fade, die out, or just not sound like us anymore. 

We were so eager for Ted Williams to tell our story that we summoned him from obscurity to speak with his golden voice.  We root for Ted because we are rooting for our own success.  He can do it — he can do it — he can do it!  Or if we are the negative sort, we moan that he’ll fail, he’s a con artist — or the most inspiring — once a drug addict always a drug addict.  We know that Ted needs help.  Gratefully, Dr. Phil has offered him at least 90 days of treatment at a remote rehabilitation facility.  But the real question is not what Ted is going to do, it is what are you going to do?  Where is your golden voice?  What talents are you allowing to go to waste?  What dreams do you need to dust off?  What resolutions have you made year after year that now lie buried on a journal page?

Ted Williams teaches us a few lessons about using our God-given talent.

First, the gifts that God blesses us with can survive the greatest storm.  Ted Williams had been at rock bottom, strung out on crack, addicted to alcohol and homeless.  But despite the odds, he still persevered and God sent him an angel.  A reporter from The Columbus Dispatch posted a 97-second clip of him on its website, holding a handwritten cardboard sign, which read I have the “God-given gift of voice.”

Second, God opens the doors that need to be opened.  The Columbus Dispatch video was posted to YouTube by an anonymous user.  Within 48 hours, the video went viral, receiving over 13 million page views.   This lead to numerous morning show appearances and potential job offers to do advertising, sporting events and even a potential spot on Oprah’s new OWN Network.

Third, if we don’t put God first, our good will disappear just as quickly as we receive it. Putting God first is a daily process.  It’s not something that we do once and never worry about again.  Salvation is not a one-time experience.  Salvation is an ongoing process.  Being tapped into and turned on to God is an everyday ritual of meditation, prayer, affirmation, study, and silence.  Williams showed us that if we don’t put God first, we will more easily revert back to our old ways.   (He got drunk and fought but hopefully will resist in the days to come.)

Fourth, Ted Williams is proof that we all have a golden voice.  We just need to use it.  By our “golden voice,” I don’t mean how we sound but the inner gifts that we each uniquely bear.  Ted’s children attempted to shame him by asking “where have you been?”  But that is the same question they need to be asking themselves.  We come not from our parents but through them to be the best that we can be.  The irony is that our challenges ultimately become our gifts.  We have the capacity to become better people because of them.

No one tells this story better than Wayne Dyer about his alcoholic father.  Dyer’s father abandoned his family and he and his siblings sometimes lived in foster homes.  But Dyer says that his father’s own dysfunction became his greatest teacher. “Growing up in Detroit orphanages I was immersed in opportunities to learn self-sufficiency at an early age,” Dyer says.  “Of course, so were all the other children around me. It’s just that I was already aware, by age 10, that whatever happened to me, my own destiny was right in my very own little hands and in nobody else’s.” 

Dyer says that true healing comes from making a conscious choice to “live your life based on the notion that there are no justified resentments.”  What a liberating concept: there are no justified resentments.  I do not have the right to be resentful against anyone or anything.  What I do have the right to do is to dance to my own music, create my own rhythm, find my own golden voice.  Dyer said that when he stood at his father’s grave, he didn’t curse him, he sent his father love — and in that instant, he was liberated.

Every day gives us an opportunity to heal and be restored in the righteousness of God.  There is no need to hold onto the past; or worry about what we did or didn’t do.  There comes a time when we have to shake the dust off our feet, and keep on moving.

We send you love Ted Williams.  We know you have been the best that you had the capacity to be under the circumstances.  Now, we pray for you to put on a new self.

No matter what, we are glad that we heard your golden voice.  You are living proof that this is our season.  We are taking shape and creating form in the cosmic ethers like fresh seed falling on new earth.  Just like in the Garden of Eden, the true manna of God Source is all around us.  Thank you for reminding us that we each have the gift to listen to God and to hear a golden voice inside of us.  Perhaps it is singing “I ain’t gonna study war no more.”  Perhaps it is testifying, “I’m gonna touch the hem of Jesus’ garment.”  Perhaps it is praying,  “I’m gonna rise like Lazarus.”  It doesn’t matter.  The most important thing is that we listen, and hear ourselves taking charge in a new way.

Namaste,

Reverend Cecilia Loving

About SPIRITMUV:  Spiritmuv® is a trans-denominational church, which means that it transcends the confines of religion and teaches unconditional love for one another regardless of race, creed, culture, or religion.   At the heart of its teachings is what Jesus taught — that we love one another, as well as the community that Mahatma Ghandi inspired when he said, “I am a Christian and a Muslim and a Hindu and a Jew.”  Reverend Cecilia Loving is the founder and creator of Spiritmuv, which was formed in 2007.  Services are held for an hour every Sunday, from 2:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. at the Unity Center of NYC, located at 213 West 58th Street.

Rev. Loving, author of Prayers for Those Standing in the Edge of Greatness, is the sole owner, creator and administrator of God is a Brown Girl Too®, which holds annual retreats and workshops.  The next God is a Brown Girl Too Retreat will be held April 1-3, 2011, at the Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center.

None of the content herein may be copied or otherwise used except with Reverend Loving’s written permission.

Join the Spiritmuv  Community at www.Spiritmuv.ning.com for special postings by Rev. Loving.

GOD IS A BROWN GIRL TOO® 

“CREATING  BEYOND THE  BOX  OF CONVENTIONALITY ” RETREAT
will take place in the Spring of 2011
from April 1 at 5:00 P.M. through April 3 at 1:00 P.M. 

Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to enjoy the peace, serenity and creative consciousness of a like-minded group of women of color at the Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center, located at 299 North Highland Avenue, in Ossining, New York.   All rooms are single and surrounded by the loving prayers of the Dominican Sisters who own the facility.   

 The cost of the entire weekend, including rooms, workshops and three delicious meals per day, is only $450.00.  There is a $100 discount for senior citizens, so seniors pay $350.00. 

 Registration has already begun at http://www.godisabrowngirltoo.com/or you can mail payment directly to God is a Brown Girl Too, 376 President Street Unit 2H, Brooklyn, New York 11231.  But act fast because rooms are sellling and there are now only 13 rooms left.

FINDING PEACE IN THE SOUL

This is the season where we tend to lose sight of the big picture.  After all, it’s too cold.  Nerves are jittery.  Santa has a list, and none of us are perfect.  The gifts that just have to be purchased stretch our budgets so far we fear they may snap.  We are dazzled by all of the holiday lights and carols but dread disassembling a tree that took hours to display.  Family celebrations sound so wonderful in principle, but we are quickly reminded that these are the people who completely disregard our boundaries and callously criticize our flaws.  We are easy prey to gingerbread, sugar cookie and red velvet temptations that wreck havoc on our diets.  And if that wasn’t enough, we sniffle right into the hands of some fastidious airport security cautious enough to confiscate our Henri Bendel snow globes.  By then, our stylish new UGGs have wandered so far off the track that we’ve forgotten that this season is not about shopping at all; it’s about the Spirit.

Where were we anyway?  Scrolling through the Tiffany’s catalogue?  Smelling freshly cut pine trees on Smith Street?  Adding to our iPod Christmas collection?  Well, we should have been on the trek from Galilee to Jerusalem, nine months pregnant on the back of a donkey, ready to burst over the rough terrain and through the arid desert.  There, we could hear people talking about us behind our backs — condemning us in the most insidious ways.  Even though they could have helped a pregnant woman carry water from the well, they didn’t.  But our Souls pulled us beyond the trajectory of appearances and made us steadfast in the power of faith to do what God called us to do.  It just wasn’t always easy.

But we could always hold onto what the angel said: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”  Mary, the mother of Jesus, represents the Soul metaphysically.  The soul is that part of us that is the driving energy and force behind all that we do. The Soul is so connected to Spirit that it knows what we cannot fathom in the flesh, what we cannot reason in the intellect, what we cannot imagine with the mind.  The Soul knows the big picture.

We are always on a journey with the Soul.   It is not inside of us, we are inside of it.  The Soul knows our destination.  It does not allow us to run away from what we are meant to do.  The Soul is that part of us that leads us and reveals to us and guides us through our dreams and our hunches and our intuition.  Jonah in the Bible is a testament that if we don’t follow our Soul’s purpose we will end up in strange predicaments, deep in the belly of stagnation.

The Soul will interrupt our daily routine, push us outside of our comfort zones, end our misdirected relationships, find us a new job, plant a seed in us of a powerful new adventure, guide us to the good that is right in front of our faces, lead us on the path of righteousness, force us to be better than ourselves.

It is the Soul — Mary — who teaches us to expect the unexpected, push past the unlimited, dance beyond the undefined, believe the unbelievable, imagine the unimaginable, demonstrate the impossible.

Through the Soul, we are always pregnant with the infinite possibilities of Spirit.   Through the Soul, we are always on the path of giving birth to God’s divine ideas.   Through the Soul, we are always giving shape to our divine inheritance.   Through the Soul, we can always tap the infinite source of God.

 Through the Soul, we can endure the roughest side of the mountain, map our journey from the evidence of things unseen and know that each adventure brings peace.  When we are in alignment with the Soul, we believe in a power greater than the flesh, a power greater than what any imagination can conceive, a power that is knocking at our door to remind us that there is nothing to fear because we have found favor with God.

Despite all of the hustle and bustle, this is the time to go within, and sing Mary’s song.  My Soul, she sings, my Soul magnifies the Lord.  And my spirit  rejoices in God my Savior.  For God has lifted my lowly state into the consciousness of a believer.  God has planted in me the Consciousness of Christ — and by finding peace in my faith — all generations will be blessed.

My Soul moves me beyond fear, pushes me pass doubt and guides me with renewed commitment.  My Soul comforts me with peace, lifts me in love and blesses me with joy.  My Soul pulls me past pain, delivers me with discernment and anoints me with favor.  Because I am, I know that God is.  Because my Soul does magnify the lord, I will not merely stay the course but I will rejoice with newfound peace that God is using me — and that is all that matters.

Namaste,

Reverend Cecilia Loving

About SPIRITMUV:  Spiritmuv® is a trans-denominational church, which means that it transcends the confines of religion and teaches unconditional love for one another regardless of race, creed, culture, or religion.   At the heart of its teachings is what Jesus taught — that we love one another, as well as the community that Mahatma Gandhi inspired when he said, “I am a Christian and a Muslim and a Hindu and a Jew.”  Reverend Cecilia Loving is the founder and creator of Spiritmuv, which was formed in 2007.  Services are held for an hour every Sunday, from 2:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. at the Unity Center of NYC, located at 213 West 58th Street.

Rev. Loving, author of Prayers for Those Standing in the Edge of Greatness, is the sole owner, creator and administrator of God is a Brown Girl Too®, which holds annual retreats and workshops.  The next God is a Brown Girl Too Retreat will be held April 1-3, 2011, at the Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center.

None of the content herein may be copied or otherwise used except with Reverend Loving’s written permission.

 

Join the Spiritmuv  Community at www.Spiritmuv.ning.com for special postings by Rev. Loving.

GOD IS A BROWN GIRL TOO® 

“CREATING  BEYOND THE  BOX  OF CONVENTIONALITY ” RETREAT
will take place in the Spring of 2011
from April 1 at 5:00 P.M. through April 3 at 1:00 P.M. 

Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to enjoy the peace, serenity and creative consciousness of a like-minded group of women of color at the Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center, located at 299 North Highland Avenue, in Ossining, New York.   All rooms are single and surrounded by the loving prayers of the Dominican Sisters who own the facility. 

 The cost of the entire weekend, including rooms, workshops and three delicious meals per day, is only $450.00.  There is a $100 discount for senior citizens, so seniors pay $350.00. 

 Registration has already begun at http://www.godisabrowngirltoo.com/or you can mail payment directly to God is a Brown Girl Too, 376 President Street Unit 2H, Brooklyn, New York 11231.  But act fast because rooms are selling and there are now only 13 rooms left.

 

GET YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER By Cecilia Loving

There’s a lot of discussion these days on the controversy surrounding Bishop Eddie Long, senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church,  who has been accused in a series of civil lawsuits of sexual misconduct with young male parishioners.   Although Bishop Long — revered husband and father of four — vowed from the pulpit to thousands of supportive congregants that he would contest the accusations, his battle seems lost before it could ever possibly be won.

According to court papers, Bishop Long engaged in private ceremonies to consecrate his “Spiritual Sons” where via candlelight, they exchanged vows while Long covenanted that he — spiritual Father — would protect them forever.  Long’s Longfellow Youth Academy supposedly trained young men to love, lead and proceed on their “masculine journey” through commitment, leadership and integrity, but it sounds more like a inner sanctum created to satisfy Long’s fleshly desires.  Long’s spandex-wearing photographs, emailed to his accusers’ cell phones, would probably be Exhibit A in establishing the type of misconduct punishable by criminal laws in states that have discerned the need to protect congregants from their own clergy’s antics.

Unfortunately, allegations of clergy sexual misconduct are not new.  The potential for abuse of power and betrayal of trust is so prevalent that a “mega church” would be foolish not to create adequate safeguards — like educating clergy and congregation on the law,  raising awareness of potential for abuse; providing mechanisms for reporting misconduct, including the investigation of complaints and sufficient response mechanisms; as well as dedicating therapeutic systems to re-build trust in the event of malfeasance.  Otherwise, the church inadvertently sanctions the hatred, violence, abuse, and destruction it should exist to condemn.  Jamal Parris’ complaint against Long, New Birth and Longfellow lists the people at the church who knew that he shared a bedroom with the Bishop.

The unraveling of Bishop Long is not just about problems inherent in black churches.  It is about the responsibility of churches, clergy, congregants, and people everywhere to get their houses in order.  There is a reason why the states of Minnesota, Alaska, Colorado, North Dakota, Texas, and Utah have criminals statutes to prevent clergy from engaging in sexual acts while giving spiritual counsel.   These rules are not limited to black folks, they are for clergy of all colors and all faiths because of an ongoing abuse of authority.  When God’s shepherd is shrouded with both the glorification of his pastoral position and the celebrity of his church, there is an even greater potential for not only his abuse, but also his flock’s acquiescence.  Sadly, most of us are star-struck.  Self-proclaimed Christians seem to ignore most of the commandments, even the one where God says have no other idols before me.

This case is hardly just about gay rights.  In 2004, Long led a march to Martin Luther King Jr.’s grave site in support of a Georgia constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.   Like many “Christians,” he speaks out against homosexuality — completely dismissing the fact that Jesus said love one another.  But gay rights pertains to sex between consenting adults.  This isn’t a case where Bishop Long simply engaged in a sexual relationship with a consenting male companion from — let’s say another church.  Long’s hand-picked disciples from the Longfellow Youth Academy could hardly be said to “consent.”  Many courts do not even allow “consent” as a defense to what is clearly a breach of “the punctilio of an honor the most sensitive” — the fiduciary duty of a church to protect the  pastor’s flock from everyone, even himself.

This case is much deeper than sex.  Sadly, it is about greed and grandiose power gone astray in what supposedly began as a spiritual ascension of faith.  If the allegations are true, Eddie Long is a mirror of what goes wrong with each and every one of us when we stop being true to God.  I would not be surprised if he, too, was the subject of abuse — years before he ascended to the throne.  It may be that his entire life has been one of pain that he never adequately dealt with and instead inflicted upon others.  When we say we believe in God but our practice is inconsistent, we are bound to come face to face with our own demons, eventually.   I don’t say this while sitting on some self-proclaimed high horse either.  I don’t believe that anyone in the flesh is capable of casting stones at a sinner.

In the 69th Psalm, the Psalmist said “O God, You know my foolishness; and my sins are not hidden from You. . . . Shame has covered my face.  I have become a stranger to my brothers, and an alien to my mother’s children; because zeal for Your house has eaten me up.”

Jesus demonstrated this holy zeal when He cleaned out the temple.  John, Chapter 2 says Jesus found  those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business there — and he made a whip of cords.  He drove all of them out of the temple,  overturned the tables, and screamed “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” Then, His disciples remembered what the Psalmist said, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.”   God’s cleansing power goes deep into the veins and the inner parts for true confession.

Jesus knew the Holy Ghost so well that he said “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (John 2:13-22)  We think that Jesus is talking about the church, but he was talking about the temple of his body.  He was saying his body vessel of muscle and bones and nerves and skin is just an outer garment.  His persona, position and title was just the human temple.  He existed for the greater mission of being resurrected in the Spirit.  He came to teach us that we, too, are governed by a Holy Ghost power that is greater than what you see in the flesh — a presence so powerful that it is in us — a Spirit of Truth to teach us all things, as our counselor, our teacher, and our guide.

Jesus  came to show us that Zeal — the pure presence of God — holds us accountable for our stuff regardless of  where we are on the path or what we have manifested for ourselves  —  whether we have a mega church or an infant church; whether we just go the park and have silent walk on Sundays; whether we practice yoga on a mat or run in the street; whether we sleep in or have brunch — it doesn’t matter.  We are accountable for our behavior — for anything that we do that is inconsistent with Spirit.

We try to fool ourselves, but the truth is that no matter how holy you profess to be — abuse and God don’t live in the same house.  Hatred and God don’t live in the same house.  Hatred includes homophobia, sexism, racism — and all of the other -isms.  Lies and God don’t live in the same house.  Cheating and God don’t live in the same house.  Jealousy and God don’t live in the same house.  Resentment and God don’t live in the same house.  Idols and God don’t live in the same house.

When we find these things present in our consciousness, we have to step up to the plate and correct our wrong.  It doesn’t matter whether we are Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, Taoist , Muslim, Nondenominational, or Atheist  — the zeal of God’s house will “eat up” anything that is not in alignment with Spirit.  We cannot hide from it — under neither the masquerade of redeemed saint nor the cloak of skeptical nonbeliever.  We will always be held accountable.

Spiritual leaders  need to get their houses in order.  Teachers need to get their houses in order.  Politicians need to get their lives in order.  Corporate executives need to get their lives in order.  Churches and their parishioners need to get their lives in order.  We all need to clean out our temples so well that we become so honest and forthright — that only God remains.

I always try to see a blessing in the appearance of destruction, knowing that the lesson of redemption is  not just for the accused, it holds truth for us all.  Here, one blessing is a reminder of the cleansing power of God.

We need to do our own self-inventory and make sure that we are acting with commitment, leadership and integrity.  We need to be honest with ourselves.  There may be some lies that we don’t want to come terms with.  There may even be some bones that we need to shake out of our closets.  We have to stop trying to fool ourselves.  Our loved ones and friends need to stop trying to look the other way.  We need to stop trying to hold onto the past.  We have to stop giving our power to people or relationships or situations that are toxic.  We can no longer get stuck in the mire of bad habits, abusive appetites, or somebody else’s stuff.  We need to clean out the contradictions that undermine our faith; and we need to remain vigilant to destroy any ousted enemy that tries to sneak back through our thoughts, words or deeds.

Otherwise, we may not find ourselves on CNN or the Tom Joiner Radio Show defending our dirty laundry, but we will wake up one morning and our mess will be piled so high that we can’t even step over it.  We will be forced to finally see what’s there, and hopefully we will come face to face — not with our demons — but with our everlasting love for God — an earth-shattering zeal lashing out from the universal ethers — to do nothing more than get our house in order.

Namaste,

Reverend Cecilia Loving

About SPIRITMUV:  Spiritmuv® is a trans-denominational church, which means that it transcends the confines of religion and teaches unconditional love for one another regardless of race, creed, culture, or religion.   At the heart of its teachings is what Jesus taught — that we love one another, as well as the community that Mahatma Ghandi inspired when he said, “I am a Christian and a Muslim and a Hindu and a Jew.”  Reverend Cecilia Loving is the founder and creator of Spiritmuv, which was formed in 2007.  Services are held for an hour every Sunday, from 2:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. at the Unity Center of NYC, located at 213 West 58th Street.

Rev. Loving, author of Prayers for Those Standing in the Edge of Greatness, is the sole owner, creator and administrator of God is a Brown Girl Too®, which holds annual retreats and workshops.  The next God is a Brown Girl Too Retreat will be held April 1-3, 2011, at the Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center.

None of the content herein may be copied or otherwise used except with Reverend Loving’s written permission.

 

Join the Spiritmuv  Community at www.Spiritmuv.ning.com for special postings by Rev. Loving.

GOD IS A BROWN GIRL TOO® 

“CREATING  BEYOND THE  BOX  OF CONVENTIONALITY ” RETREAT
will take place in the Spring of 2011
from April 1 at 5:00 P.M. through April 3 at 1:00 P.M. 

Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to enjoy the peace, serenity and creative consciousness of a like-minded group of women of color at the Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center, located at 299 North Highland Avenue, in Ossining, New York.   All rooms are single and surrounded by the loving prayers of the Dominican Sisters who own the facility. 

The cost of the entire weekend, including rooms, workshops and three delicious meals per day, is only $450.00.  There is a $100 discount for senior citizens, so seniors pay $350.00. 

 Registration has already begun at http://www.godisabrowngirltoo.com/or you can mail payment directly to God is a Brown Girl Too, 376 President Street Unit 2H, Brooklyn, New York 11231.  But act fast because rooms are selling and there are now only 11 rooms left.

A HEALING PLACE IN THE HEART OF GOD

Paulette Pipe was spirit-led to retreat into the silence for forty days and forty nights.  There, she found a healing place in the heart of God that looked like a cabin in a forest, with a small bed, a kitchenette, a bathroom, and a writing desk.  The cabin had a screened-in porch that was surrounded by tall trees, which she felt held her “in the womb of silence.”  This Shantivanam healingor “Forest of Peace” gave her the space to release, restore and reunite with Spirit.  She dreamed prophetic dreams, moved beyond the appearances of things, and bore witness to the truth.  (See Paulette Pipe, “The Voice in the Silence,” Unity Magazine, July/August 2010, at pp. 20-22)

When we go away and pray awhile, we forge a path that awakens to love and resurrects in the divine within.   By our witness to solitude and introspection, we allow the summer to open new spaces of retreat and  embrace us with the recreation, re-envisioning and re-connection of God’s heart fully open.  We have to rejoice in the time away from obligations — catching our breath in the rhythm of our being.  We need to re-enter the soul with intention, and find there the refreshment, renewal and rejuvenation of our purpose on this planet.   We need to slow down long enough to listen and resonate with the beat of the spiritual pulse that is always giving us direction.

still-3Are you listening?  Or are you standing in the way of your own good?  Are you diving without hesitation into the wellspring of nonresistance and surrendering to the Kingdom within?   Or are you worried about what other people think, caught up in the straight-jacket of  other people’s opinions, limited to appearances of lack and limitation?  Have you stopped preventing yourself from being too happy, too successful, too visible, too loud, too different, too much?  Or are you still worried about people hatin’ on you — because you know and you show that you are the temple of a living God? 

still-4If we cannot love ourselves fully and completely, then we will never transcend the jealousy and envy and hateful attempts to sabotage other people’s success.  The truth is that many of us hate on each other because we dislike ourselves.   The truth is that many people disregard and disrespect each other because they have no idea how to celebrate themselves.   We need to sing our song and dance our dance and speak our speech and take our stand — because the Spirit in us is the most powerful force in the universe.

still-22It doesn’t matter if you are a Christian or a Muslim or a Buddhist or a Hindu or a Jew, we all live and move and have our being in the Spirit.  Our beloved Jesus said love one another.   He said stop second-guessing yourselves: you are the light of the world!  Stop second-guessing the gifts and talents that God is expressing as you!  Put your lamp on its stand, and give light to everyone in the house.  Stop sabotaging yourselves.

There is a healing place in the heart of God.  We have to honor heal9ourselves enough to go there and recognize ourselves in the beauty of infinite possibilities.   We have to honor ourselves enough to release the television and the internet and the cell phones and other electronic devices, and surrender our prayers to the endless ethers of inexhaustible supply and look God squarely in the eye.  We have to honor ourselves enough to forgive, forget, find new beginnings, and plant fresh seed there.

There is a healing place in the heart of God.  But we have to take the heal3time to go there and be a witness to the co-creative power of Spirit expressing as us.  We have to do the work that it takes to peel back the layers of resistance and allow ourselves to surrender to the Kingdom within.   We have to learn to dance again — to the rhythm of the universe that reminds us of the harmony we all share.  We have to learn to walk again — toward the goals that are always giving way to good for all.  We have to learn to write again — by believing that we are here to be the best and the beautiful and the bright shining stars that we are.  We have to learn how to sing again — our own song that knows one lyric — Hallelujah!

healing-10 We have to learn to give again — not because we want something back but because we want to bring happiness to others.  We have to learn to be silent again — and in that stillness — allow ourselves to be loved and delivered.  We have to learn to find that connection with Spirit again — and in that Oneness know that we always in the heart of completion.  And there is nowhere else to go or be — but here.

All of the materials in God is a Brown Girl Too® email messages are copyrighted by and may not be used without the written permission of Cecilia Loving. 

Register for the God is a Brown Retreat this July 16-18, at the Mariandale Retreat Center by going to http://www.godisabrowngirltoo.com.  You don’t want to miss it!

This Sunday, JOIN SPIRITMUV FOR PART VI OF OUR 7-PART SERIES ON TERRIE COLE-WHITAKER’S BOOK, What You Think of Me is None of My Business, from 2:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M., at the Unity Center of NYC, 213 West 58th Street, between Broadway and 7th Avenue.