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 Hope of Christmas

Christmas is the season of hope.  Hope is a natural part of our lives and a foundation upon which we can build.  It is the assurance that possibilities can and do become realities.  The dictionary says that hope is “a feeling that what is wanted is likely to happen; desire accompanied by expectations.”

There are many levels of hope.  There is the hope that is no more than a dream for something we want.  Such as, the hope we might have while buying a lottery ticket.  The desire is to win the money and the expectation is that the ticket will be the winning one.  

Or there is the level of hope that is more realistic, such as the hope that we will find the right partner for ourselves or get the job we want.  Then there is the deeper level of hope that touches our spiritual being and that is when we pray and have the feeling that what we are praying for is likely to happen.

What are you hoping for this Christmas season?  Is that it will be a wonderful Christmas, maybe the best ever? Is it that we have remembered everyone we should have? Is it that we will get the gift we want?  Or is it that this year, we will remember why we are celebrating this season.

My greatest hope this holiday season is that we remember why we are celebrating this season. Jesus gave us hope for a brighter future.  He taught us that God is within us and that to know God is to be in the kingdom of Heaven here and now.  My hope for you is the realization of this Truth in your life, not just during the holiday season, but all year long!

Quote of the Week

“What is Christmas?  It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future.”                                                                                      

Agnes M Pahro

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and amidst the enormous amounts of food, football and shopping, most people still take time to think about what they are grateful for.

Why do we need a holiday to remind us to be grateful.  What if everyday we spent time being grateful for whatever is happening in our lives?  To see gratitude in the breath we take, the experiences (good or bad) we have, the people around us, our very existence?

Imagine how much happier our lives would be.  Envision how such appreciation would make the world better not just for you but for everyone you come in contact with. Gratitude is contagious. 

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Giving Thanks every day of the year!

Quote of the Week

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” –Oprah Winfrey

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Priorities

In your life, what matters most to you?  Is it your family, friends, career, home, income, health, or maybe your spiritual life?  We tend to live our lives based on what is most important to us.  We make decisions regarding these priorities.

This being November, we think of gratitude, especially for everything in our life that truly matters to us.  For me, it is my recovery and relationship with my Higher Power.  Without these two, I would not have the joy I find with my family, friends, two careers I love, and a healthy body and mind.

What is important to you?  Do you appreciate it/them? Do you prioritize your life based on these priorities?  Now is the time because now is really the only time we have.

Quote of the Week

“Life is all about priorities. Year after year, day after day, and even minute after minute you have to embrace what is more important and essential for you and not look back. When others don’t understand or admonish you for your choices don’t give it any energy because they are telling you that their wants are more significant than yours.”                                 ― Carl Henegan, Darkness Left Undone

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Letting Go

So often we find ourselves blocked from the flow of good into our lives and we can’t understand why.  For many people, it is because they are holding onto the past.  We all have done it at one time or another.  When we do, the past is not completely in the past. 

The actual experiences of past months or years may have been left behind but the energy of the past is still active in our lives in the form of regrets, judgment, guilt, and resentment. And although the experiences are behind us, the energy from the past may be shaping our present whether we are conscious of it our not.

So how do we heal the negative energy from past events that hold us from our good in the present?  Forgiveness is the answer and the way.  It is a healing energy that can heal our hearts, our minds, our body and our life.  All the prayer and meditation we do is of little use if we continue to hold onto judgments and resentments.

Resentment is the opposite of forgiveness.  We cannot have the latter if we are holding onto the former.  Jesus said that that before we go to the “altar” to pray, we must first go back and make it right with anyone we owe an amends to, or have to forgive.

I believe we must first work on cleaning our own “house” or the “wreckage of our past” before we can truly receive the blessings that God wants to give us.  Try it and see if letting go of the past doesn’t open amazing things in your present life.

Quote of the Week

“It is not easy to let go, but when you do; not only do you realize the strength that lies within you, you also create an opportunity to see God perform the best of miracles in your life.”             ― Gift Gugu Mona

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Going through Difficult Times

I received a call the other day from a friend in Miami who I had not heard from in over 15 years.  Her husband of 17 years had told her that he wanted a divorce and she was devastated.  It’s always hard to comfort someone who has lost someone they love and their life is about to change in ways that are unknown and so scary.

It feels like life is over and her question to me was how she could survive it.  I am not a therapist but I am in recovery and the lessons I have learned from it, I believe, can help anyone.  

The primary lesson is that we have to keep moving.  We need to take one step after another, get up when we want to stay in bed, do the next thing in front of us even if its as simple as taking a shower and brushing our teeth.  I told her that the way we get through any difficulty is one step, one minute, one day at a time and to remember that we are not going through it alone.

I believe God is always with us – including during the times we feel so lost that it seems we have been abandoned.  I can look back at all the times in my life that I felt I could not go on – when just breathing was a challenge.  How did I do it, taking it one baby step at a time, taking action (any positive action), reaching out to be of service to another, and to remember that God was with me through it all.

Life happens – sometimes it is not as we had planned or as we would like, but I do know that it was through the challenges in my life that I grew spiritually and emotionally the most. It was also those times in which I grew closer to my Higher Power and learned that its not enough to have faith – we also must trust that “God will not take us where God’s grace will not keep us.”

Quote of the Week

“I do believe that when we face challenges in life that are far beyond our own power, it’s an opportunity to build on our faith, inner strength, and courage.  I’ve learned that how we face challenges plays a big role in the outcome of them.”

Sasha Azevedo

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