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.

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A New Look at a Classic Prayer

Years ago when I began recovery, I would cringe whenever I heard The Lord’s Prayer. I thought if was just some Christian prayer that atheistic Jew that I was, was just plain offensive.

Then I had a spiritual awakening and came to believe in a Higher Power yet I still could not stand The Prayer (the Lord’s Prayer). Then I read a book entitled, “Setting a Trap for God” by Rocco Errico and I began to understand the power of this prayer (or at least looking at the English from Aramaic translation).

The idea of setting a trap comes from the Aramaic work for prayer which literally means “setting a trap”. So according to Errico, prayer is not about changing some big guy in the sky’s mind, but adjusting and preparing our minds and hearts to receive God’s program (not ours).

For me that made sense and still does!

Quote of the Week

“Our Father who is everywhere
Let your name be set apart
Come our kingdom
Let your desire be, as in the universe, also on the earth
Provide us our needful bread from day to day
And free us from our offenses, as also we have freed our offenders.
And do not let us enter into temptation but separate us from error
For belongs to you the kingdom, the power, the song and praise, from all ages throughout all ages.
Sealed in truth, trust, and faithfulness.”

The Lord’s Prayer (Rocco Errico’s translation from the Aramaic Bible)

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Remembering

A couple of days ago, we celebrated Memorial Day. It was a day when we remember all those who have given their lives so that we may live in freedom.

Memorial Day is a day, which some people use as an opportunity to remember all those who died, and although they did not serve in the military, brought freedom to the people they came into contact with.

I have never lost someone close to me who died while in the military but I have lost many people who brought me freedom of another kind – mental, emotional and spiritual freedom. They were in my life long enough to make a profound difference and I will cherish and remember them as long as I live.

We all have people who, for whatever reason, seemed to die too young, “before their time”, yet seemed to make a difference in the world for the better. We honor them as well as those who died for us in battle and we do this by never losing our gratitude which, without them, our lives would not be as it is today.

Quote of the Week

“Heroism doesn’t always happen in a burst of glory. Sometimes small triumphs and large hearts change the course of history.”
Mary Roach

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The Serenity Prayer

One of the most quoted lines from the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, is from one of the stories in the back of the book. The author says: “Acceptance is the answer to all of my difficulties.”

And although I believe that is true to a point, I believe in the Serenity Prayer, which says there is a time for acceptance and a time for change. I can change the way I react to things beyond my control, I can change my behaviors that are not life enriching, I can change my attitudes, in other words, I can change my thinking, my words, and my actions.

Acceptance is a powerful tool but not unless combined with the courage to change and the wisdom to know when to do what. If we look at the Serenity Prayer, we see that it is acceptance (serenity), courage (change), and wisdom that are all necessary, because without all three qualities any one would not help in challenging times.

We need to know that when we try to change something that cannot be changed we may find ourselves in even more pain and suffering. Similarly, just accepting (even with serenity) bad situations or treatment can leave us in a big mess. And, consequently, the wisdom to discern the difference between serenity and courage is of no use without action.

Quote of the Week

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
The Serenity Prayer, Reinhold Niebuhr

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Angels Among Us

This past Sunday was Mother’s Day – a time when we honor all mothers. Many people are blessed to have mothers that they get to share many happy memories with and learn life lessons to help them throughout their lives.

I have been blessed in my life to have had many women who were instrumental in my spiritual and emotional growth. They taught me how to be a woman of integrity, honesty, trustworthiness, and gratitude. They guided me through some rough times and shared the good times. They are all a part of who I am today.

Some of these important people are no longer here, but for the brief time they graced my life they left an indelible mark on me as a person.

We never know how long we will be blessed with the angels amongst us. I suggest we remember to acknowledge and thank those who have been our teachers, guides, friends and confidants. We could not or would not be who we are without them.

Quote of the Week

“No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helped you.”
Althea Gibson

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Prayer of Selflessness

No matter what religion you are, or are not, one of the most beautiful prayers and a perfect example of how we should live our lives is the St. Francis Prayer.

This prayer is about selflessness. It is about what we can do for others rather than thinking about what they can do for us. So rather than seeking consolation from others when we are in the midst of a challenge, we look at whom we can console.

Rather than complaining about our not being loved, we can find people to love. Instead of demanding to be forgiven we can forgive everyone and everything!

In other words, we can ask ourselves, ”How can I be a more loving, compassionate, giving person?” “How can I touch the lives of all I come in contact with and bring light into someone else’s life today?”

I once heard that “when we are born we cry and the world rejoices. If we live our lives well, when we die the world cries and we rejoice.” Let’s live our life well.

Quote of the Week

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, that where there is hated, let me sow love.”
St. Francis Prayer

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