Rev. Arlene’s Blog

Rev. Arlene Meyer, our Minister, posts mid-week messages on this blog. Come back often to read her inspiring and thought-provoking posts. Learn more about her.


The Kindness of Forgiveness

We all know the importance of forgiveness, but just as important as it is to forgive others, it is as important that we are kind to ourselves by forgiving ourselves.

It is time to stop beating ourselves up for mistakes we may have made because as humans we will, and do, make mistakes.  Many of these mistakes are small things, that in the scheme of life does not change much.  Sometimes the mistakes are bigger, but no matter the magnitude of our errors, we tend to be equally hard on ourselves regardless of the how small or big the mistake may be.

This week, practice kindness to yourself by forgiving yourself for any errors or mistakes you may have made.  You deserve it!

Quote of the Week

“A … quality of mature spirituality is kindness.  It s based on a fundamental notion of self-acceptance.”                                                  Jack Kornfield


Pride Week is important to us all

June is Pride Month – a time to remember that we should make inclusivity a priority, not just in organizations, but in our own lives as well.

It is a time to remember that we are all children of God and when we discriminate or hate any one group it can easily spread to all people who are not like us.  Hatred is contagious but Love is even more contagious and powerful.  Love will always win out and we can each do our own part to assure this happens.

Ask yourself these questions – Do I dislike any group of people that are different than me?  Do I make jokes at the expense of others?  Am I as kind to others as I wish they were to me?

We all can do our part to make our world more inclusive by treating others as our brothers and sisters, which they are.

Quote of the Week

“How would your life be different if…You stopped making negative judgmental assumptions about people you encounter? Let today be the day you look for the good in everyone you meet and respect their journey.”                                                                                           Steve Maraboli


Courage in the face of change

So often in life we are faced with situations which require us to tap into an inner courage that we might think we don’t have.  Sometimes it is because of a physical ordeal but more often than not, it is a result of some inner fear.

Such things as moving to a new place, a new job, ending a relationship, facing an illness, or having to do something that terrifies us (such a speaking in front of others).  We feel torn between the thing we are called upon to do and the desire to run from it. That fight or flight syndrome is part of our very nature.

Courage is not the lack of fear but the ability to walk through scary things in spite of the fear.  I heard a fairly young speaker the other night talk about getting a diagnosis that he was going blind.  There was no surgery or medicine to change the situation.

But there he was – being of service to others.  He could no longer drive or even walk without the help of another, yet he was there.  He shared about his fears and how devastating the news was when he received it, but it was not the words that I heard but what I saw – his willingness to serve – that impressed me. 

I may never see that young man again, but it was courage he showed in spite of his fears that I will always remember.  For that I am eternally grateful to him.

Quote of the Week

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy”.                                                                                Dale Carnegie


Are you a perfectionist?

Perfection –

Nowadays everyone is trying to be perfect – perfect faces, perfect bodies, perfect jobs, perfect relationships, perfect home, perfect families, perfect pets, etc.  Seeking so much perfection can bring a lot of stress into our lives. No matter how good something is, in the race toward perfection, it seems we can never win.

Maybe its because the only thing Perfect in this Universe, is Perfection itself – also known by some, as God.  Although we can never attain perfection, we are perfect because we were created by Perfection.  When we understand that we are perfect, not because of what we do, but because of whose we are – God’s child – we find peace and serenity.

Does that mean that we do not try to improve in all the areas of our life? No! Growing and improving is part of living and of using the gifts we have been given to good use. In the development of our soul, it’s important to strive for excellence and impeccability.  But by accepting that we may not achieve perfection, we understand the need for the courage to change and grow so that we may be all that we were created to be.

Don’t add stress to your life by comparing yourself to others, or by beating yourself up because you did not reach the result you wanted.  Know this, that just by the effort, and the knowing that God loves you, you are perfect just as you are!

Quote of the Week

“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.”  

Michael J. Fox


Is God Absent?

In the movie about the life of Ray Charles, Ray, there’s a powerful scene that takes pace right after Ray as a child becomes blind. He enters the house and falls over a chair and cries out to his mom to help him. His mother obviously moved with love and wanting to help him, doesn’t.  As a result, Ray begins to become aware of his surroundings by listening to sounds and the more he listens, the more he learns. He hears a cricket and lets the sound guide him so accurately, that he catches it and gives it to his mom, who although he cannot see, knows where she is. 

His mom is moved to tears of joy seeing how Ray adapts and overcomes to his new blindness.  The look on his mother’s face is pure love. 

I believe that God is like Ray’s mother in that It often lets us fall and fail so that we may grow and develop the skills we need to become the person It knows we can be.  Letting someone fail and learn what they need to learn is a powerful gift of Love.  

So when it seems like God does not respond to our prayers or has deserted us, remember this. God is always with you – sometimes holding your hand but at other times, letting you go so you can learn to walk on your own and navigate the pitfalls along the road that is called life.

Quote of the Week

“God, Who is everywhere, never leaves us. Yet He seems sometimes to be present, sometimes to be absent. If we do not know Him well, we do not realize that He may be more present to us when He is absent than when He is present.” 

Thomas Merton