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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The Courage of Springtime

Spring is busting out all over! 

Or, at least, so it seems.  When we see the change of the season it looks like it is happening effortlessly. But if we were to watch it through slow motion, we would see that it is not quite as easy and quick as it seems.

Change of any kind is not easy.  It often requires not just effort but courage as well.  For me, spring is a time of courage.  It is a time of breaking out, moving forward and become something different than previously it had been.

Think about the holidays we celebrate during spring.  Passover is the story of the Israelites going through, not just change of where they live, but also a change in spiritual consciousness needed to allow them to enter the Promise Land. 

Palm Sunday is about Jesus leaving a place of safety to enter Jerusalem, a place of danger and challenges in order to fully realize God’s Will for him.  Without Holy Week, a time of great difficulty, Jesus would not have been transformed from Jesus to Christ.   

Spring is a season of bursting forth, pushing through winter – a time of long nights, cold days and a ground that is hard and seemingly devoid of life – but then blossoming forth into the full realization of Nature’s purpose for it.  Much of nature requires a time of struggle or hibernation to become the beauty of what we see in spring. The caterpillar goes through great pain to become a butterfly.  Flowers bloom often in spite of winter still hanging on, and blades of grass push forth through almost impossible physical conditions.

Nothing in life changes without some pain and discomfort.  Spiritual growth is at its greatest not through the easy times but the times of struggle or the “dark nights of the soul”, That doesn’t make it any easier, but it is that glimmer of hope that helps us through the challenges life often presents to us.

Are you going through some challenging times right now?  I know I am!

The good news is, that through these most challenging times, I will eventually experience the greatest joys and a deeper connection with my Higher Power.  Although it may seem like it would have been nice to just stay as things were, I know that these times of challenge are part of God’s will for me so that I, too, can experience the blossoming into whatever is next.  

It takes faith, and trust, but also courage, to keep moving forward amidst the challenges, the tears, and the pain in order to experience the beauty and wonder of springtime for my soul. 

Quote of the Week

“It’s good to do uncomfortable things.  It’s weight training for life.”

Anne Lamott

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Prayer – does it work?

Have you ever had a prayer that seemed to work like a miracle while at other times, it seemed like your prayers fell on deaf ears?  No matter how much you prayed, begged, cajoled, pleaded, or bargained with, the prayers were unanswered.

You might have thought you did not say the perfect words, or you did not pray enough or maybe you just didn’t deserve to have your prayers answered. The truth is that prayer is not to change some Supreme Being’s mind to give us what we want but to change our mind, our consciousness so we understand that we are part of God and God is part of us.

It is not the words we speak but the consciousness in which we live that determines the quality of our lives.  We have to live in alignment with Spirit’s Will for us, not ours.  All the prayers in the world cannot change Universal Law.  No matter how much we pray that 2 + 2 = 5 it Is not going to happen.

We cannot continue to abuse our bodies and pray for health.  Rather than pray to win the lottery, think about praying for the courage to do that which we are most afraid to do.  Rather than ask God to do for us, what if we asked for the wisdom and courage to do what is ours to do?

Prayer works.  When it doesn’t it is because we have failed to align our will to God’s Will and Universal Law.  That is when we see true miracles happen.

Quote of the Week

“All around us are the miracles of God. A tiny seed grows into a peepul tree. A caterpillar becomes a butterfly!”    Dada J.P. Vaswani

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Not only is it St Patrick’s Day but it is my birthday as well. It may just be another 365 days but what a year those days have been.  I started out recovering from hip surgery and this year I am recovering again – this time from foot surgery.

During this year besides of course being a year older, the world was filled with turmoil and change. Many of the changes were huge – Covid, Black Lives Matter, an election that was anything but “normal” and an economic upheaval that we are still trying to recover from.

Personally, besides the two surgeries, I have done church without people and saw businesses close – even if only temporarily, that seemed, prior to March 2020, secure places of employment.

On March 17th last year I had no idea that I would be in the midst of moving just 1 year later.

The one guarantee in life is that things always change –sometimes those changes overcome us like a tidal wave while at others, like a stream carrying us through life gently. 

Change is inevitable and when we understand this and cease fighting these changes, we find ourselves in a lot less pain and discomfort and we flow with life rather than against it.

Quote of the Week

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” 
― Lao Tzu

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Heaven or Hell?

Heaven and Hell – there have been books and poetry written about them, movies and TV programs produced about them, and certainly much discussion in religious and spiritual circles regarding the subject.

I believe that heaven and hell are not places but states of mind.  There have been times in my life that I certainly experienced living in hell.  My life was one of chaos, fear, deprivation, despair, not to mention emotional, mental, and spiritual “hell”.

I thought there was no way out of that hell and often death seemed like the only option.  Then I entered into recovery and not only did I find a solution for my addiction but was blessed with a key – it was the key that opened the door from hell and opened up heaven right here – not someplace or time in the future – but right here and now.

I learned, through the help of several spiritual teachers, that the key to freedom was through a change in my thinking, followed by a change in my consciousness and then right action.  For that to happen, I had to be honest, open-minded, and willing to change.  

When I make an effort to have a conscious contact with a Higher Power of my understanding, I then can access a new way of thinking, new actions, right speech, an open mind to new thoughts, and a willingness to be of service to others.  It is then that Heaven just opens up and shows me a vision I had never even dreamed possible.  Whether I stay permanently in that heaven or not – does not matter because even a minute of heaven lets me know it is possible.

Where are you now?  Are you in a self-made hell or in heaven? If it is not heaven what can you do to change your thinking, to take the right action, to look at your life honestly, and pick up the willingness key to free yourself from any hell you may be experiencing?

The world is an amazing place.  Only you can set yourself free to experience the wonder of it all.

Quote of the Week

“Heaven is a state of mind. When you live in the awareness of God as a presence and a power in your life, when no matter what happens in the outer world the “real” of you is unchanging, peace-filled, and expectant of good, heaven will indeed be in the midst of you, heaven will indeed be near.”

From “The Quest.” By Mary-Alice Jafolla & Richard Jafolla

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The Law that never Lies

There is a Universal Law that never lies and one that, if we understand how it works, can transform our lives and the way we look at the things that happen in our life.  It is the “Law of cause and effect”, which states: For every effect, there is a cause and, likewise, for every cause, there is a definite effect.

This law applies not just to our lives but to science as well. It is a Law we can depend on and one that offers us hope no matter what is going on in our life. 

In our own life, we can depend on the fact that our thoughts, actions, behaviors create specific effects that create our life as we know it.  This means that if we are not happy in our life, we must change the causes that created them in the first place.

The effect is not etched in stone and one we have to carry for the rest of our life.  We can change it by changing the cause.  If we are unhappy in a relationship, we can change the way we think about it and the way we react to it.  

Someone once said, “It is not the events in our life that determine our happiness, peace, and well-being but how to react to the things that happen.” What effect in your life is not as you would like it?  You can change it by changing the cause – that is done by changing your thoughts and actions. 

We are not helpless victims in life at the mercy of change.  We are the masters of who and what we are.  This is not easy to admit because it means we can’t blame “them”.  But this is good news because it means we can change ourselves, and how we view the world.  We are co-creators with God in our life – and I don’t know about you – but for me, that is really good news!

Quotes of the Week

Thoughts become things through the principle of cause and effect.  When you think certain thoughts repeatedly, you are planting a seed in the spiritual world that will bloom in the physical world.”             Catherine Wishart

Further, Ralph Waldo Emerson confirms this when he said: “Cause and effect, means and end, seed and fruit, cannot be severed; for the effect already blooms in the cause, the end pre=exists in the means, the fruit in the seed”.

The Good News is that we can change the seed (our thoughts – the seed) and therefore our fruit (our life).

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