June 12, 2016 – The Power of SHE

Rev. Sheila Gautreaux, L.U.T.
“The Power Of SHE

Quantum physicists talk about the male and female energy of planetary and particle movement. God, which is the universe, is a perfect balance of male and female energy. The time is right to focus on merging the divine feminine with the divine masculine in our lives and in the world to see a shift in war and violence. The masculine energy is out of balance. When it is out there by itself, there is force and then push-back. The key to all this in our world is for the masculine energy to find balance with the divine feminine.

The Biblical story of Deborah tells of the only woman to be a judge, prophet, and general of Israel. Deborah means “bee”, spiritual discrimination, activity. She was the first woman head of state. On guidance from God, she told a general, Barack (means executive aspect of active will) how to defeat one of Israel’s enemies. He responded, “I will only go if you go with me.” This is the first place in the Bible where the divine masculine and the divine feminine come together to overcome. When the mind (the masculine) and the heart (the feminine) come together, we are power—not “we have power” but we ARE power! When we have power, it can be taken away, but when we ARE power it can’t be taken.

How will it affect our innocents, our water, our food, when the masculine cooperates in a scenario that takes all of them into consideration? Would not the balance of the masculine (mind) with the feminine (heart) defeat our enemies within and without because we bring harmony to our decisions?

How do we teach our young women about force? We have taught our daughters power is something to HAVE, not to BE. But within, they have masculine and feminine, and when they align that, they ARE power. And we are called to teach our little boys compassion, nurture, gentleness. We must stop telling them, “Boys don’t do that.” And we must stop telling our little girls, “Girls don’t do that.” It is our responsibility to share this with our children. We must redesign our school curriculums for this. And we must revamp our sports programs to reflect these values, personified by the late Muhammad Ali. We can, when about to make a decision, ask ourselves to seek balance with our masculine and feminine energies and seek a decision for the highest good of all.

Now we are asking men what they think, and women what they feel. What if we ask men what they feel and women what they think? Will it help? We’ve got to change our language, and how we speak to little boys and girls. Ask yourself, “Where am I out of balance? What can I do to bring myself into balance?”

When mind and heart are one, I AM POWER! When mind and heart are one, I AM POWER! When mind and heart are one, I AM POWER!

June 12, 2016 – The Power of SHE

Rev. Sheila Gautreaux, L.U.T.
“The Power of SHE”

Quantum physicists talk about the male and female energy of planetary and particle movement. God, which is the universe, is a perfect balance of male and female energy. The time is right to focus on merging the divine feminine with the divine masculine in our lives and in the world to see a shift in war and violence. The masculine energy is out of balance. When it is out there by itself, there is force and then push-back. The key to all this in our world is for the masculine energy to find balance with the divine feminine.

The Biblical story of Deborah tells of the only woman to be a judge, prophet, and general of Israel. Deborah means “bee”, spiritual discrimination, activity. She was the first woman head of state. On guidance from God, she told a general, Barack (means executive aspect of active will) how to defeat one of Israel’s enemies. He responded, “I will only go if you go with me.” This is the first place in the Bible where the divine masculine and the divine feminine come together to overcome. When the mind (the masculine) and the heart (the feminine) come together, we are power—not “we have power” but we ARE power! When we have power, it can be taken away, but when we ARE power it can’t be taken.

How will it affect our innocents, our water, our food, when the masculine cooperates in a scenario that takes all of them into consideration? Would not the balance of the masculine (mind) with the feminine (heart) defeat our enemies within and without because we bring harmony to our decisions?
How do we teach our young women about force? We have taught our daughters power is something to HAVE, not to BE. But within, they have masculine and feminine, and when they align that, they ARE power. And we are called to teach our little boys compassion, nurture, gentleness. We must stop telling them, “Boys don’t do that.” And we must stop telling our little girls, “Girls don’t do that.” It is our responsibility to share this with our children. We must redesign our school curriculums for this. And we must revamp our sports programs to reflect these values, personified by the late Muhammad Ali. We can, when about to make a decision, ask ourselves to seek balance with our masculine and feminine energies and seek a decision for the highest good of all.

Now we are asking men what they think, and women what they feel. What if we ask men what they feel and women what they think? Will it help? We’ve got to change our language, and how we speak to little boys and girls. Ask yourself, “Where am I out of balance? What can I do to bring myself into balance?”

When mind and heart are one, I AM POWER! When mind and heart are one, I AM POWER! When mind and heart are one, I AM POWER!

Play

October 18, 2015 – Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys

10/18/15  Cindy Farris, L.U.T.
Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys

This one friend always says, “It’s not your circus! They’re not your monkeys!” Do you know what that means? Have you ever taken on more than you had to? Have you ever felt like you were the only one who could fix it? —the only one who was doing it right? Are you a control freak? Are you “capable”? Do you get hooked into things you wouldn’t normally do?

I do. I am partners in a yarn shop. 11 women in a co-op. Now there’s a circus! A few weeks ago we moved the shop. It had been decided it would be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday for the move. Unbeknownst to me, a couple of the “sergeants” decided to start moving on Sunday. I usually work there on Mondays, so on Monday when I texted “When should I come in?” the reply was “Don’t come in. Stay home.” My ego was a little miffed, but I got a lot of work done at home. Over the next few days I did go in for a few hours. There were plenty of Ringmasters and I was not needed. It was a circus, but it wasn’t mine. I got to see what it looks like when I’m in controlling mode. The sergeants mirrored it back to me.

Do you see lots of things that aren’t being done well? “If they just did them my way I’m sure things would go better”. There are clues which can tell you if it’s your circus or not. Ask, “Does this situation really involve me?” Most of us have gotten involved when it was not our business. And at what cost? —our time and money, energy and health? Can I really bring something to a table I wasn’t asked to sit at? This is the butt-out part.

When we butt in, we could be taking someone off their path. We have to be mindful, “Do I have some responsibility here?” If the answer is no, butt out. Am I doing my actual work or taking over someone else’s job? Am I butting in because of my ego or lack of self worth? Am I doing something so I feel more fulfilled, to show I am capable? I could be in places where I am truly filled with joy on my path. It is ultimately God’s will to be done. At times I have to be the monkey with my hands over my mouth, or my eyes, or over my ears.

Tuesday through Thursday I teach science at a charter school. I am a master teacher, and I am Ringmaster in my classroom. That’s what I was hired for and I am good at it. I like it. It is my circus. Most of my students are boys and often the coach will come by and call all the guys to the baseball field. This school was founded and is paid for by a major league baseball player. When my students leave, I am no longer responsible for them. They are not my monkeys. I am free. I know when it’s my circus when I have empowered my monkeys to soar!

October 18, 2015 – Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys

10/18/15  Rev. Cindy Farris, L.U.T.
Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys

This one friend always says, “It’s not your circus! They’re not your monkeys!” Do you know what that means? Have you ever taken on more than you had to? Have you ever felt like you were the only one who could fix it? —the only one who was doing it right? Are you a control freak? Are you “capable”? Do you get hooked into things you wouldn’t normally do?

I do. I am partners in a yarn shop. 11 women in a co-op. Now there’s a circus! A few weeks ago we moved the shop. It had been decided it would be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday for the move. Unbeknownst to me, a couple of the “sergeants” decided to start moving on Sunday. I usually work there on Mondays, so on Monday when I texted “When should I come in?” the reply was “Don’t come in. Stay home.” My ego was a little miffed, but I got a lot of work done at home. Over the next few days I did go in for a few hours. There were plenty of Ringmasters and I was not needed. It was a circus, but it wasn’t mine. I got to see what it looks like when I’m in controlling mode. The sergeants mirrored it back to me.

Do you see lots of things that aren’t being done well? “If they just did them my way I’m sure things would go better”. There are clues which can tell you if it’s your circus or not. Ask, “Does this situation really involve me?” Most of us have gotten involved when it was not our business. And at what cost? —our time and money, energy and health? Can I really bring something to a table I wasn’t asked to sit at? This is the butt-out part.

When we butt in, we could be taking someone off their path. We have to be mindful, “Do I have some responsibility here?” If the answer is no, butt out. Am I doing my actual work or taking over someone else’s job? Am I butting in because of my ego or lack of self worth? Am I doing something so I feel more fulfilled, to show I am capable? I could be in places where I am truly filled with joy on my path. It is ultimately God’s will to be done. At times I have to be the monkey with my hands over my mouth, or my eyes, or over my ears.

Tuesday through Thursday I teach science at a charter school. I am a master teacher, and I am Ringmaster in my classroom. That’s what I was hired for and I am good at it. I like it. It is my circus. Most of my students are boys and often the coach will come by and call all the guys to the baseball field. This school was founded and is paid for by a major league baseball player. When my students leave, I am no longer responsible for them. They are not my monkeys. I am free. I know when it’s my circus when I have empowered my monkeys to soar!

Play

September 27, 2015 – Serving From Our Hearts

09/27/15  Rev. David McArthur
Serving From Our Hearts

There are really only four spiritual practices. The first is love—that state of consciousness. 2nd is prayer—every religion has a way to pray. The 3rd practice is meditation, in which we transcend the mind. But they all come together in the 4th practice: service. Service is not just completing a list of tasks. It’s focusing on the feeling of the awareness of the divine, and leaving “I” and “mine” for the “one” of us all. For example, Jesus came to the home of two sisters, Mary and Martha. The women represent two parts of our feelings, one with a list of tasks, Martha, and the other, Mary, who sat at Jesus’ feet. Martha complained to him that Mary was doing nothing while she, Martha, was doing everything. Jesus answered that with her focus on the awareness of the divine, Mary had chosen well and that nothing could take that away from her.

In San Francisco, Cary had gotten $200 out of an ATM in the Tenderloin, a poor seedy part of the city when a gust of wind blew his cash and cards and ID all about. A young boy and girl brought back the plastic insert with his photos. Somebody brought him his Medicare card. Others returned more cards and twenties from the ATM. He returned to his hotel room and emptied his pockets on the bed. Everything had been returned to him! Every dollar! Those people had been in service in those moments, responding with compassion to one in a difficult moment. It is a natural part of us. It’s the gift of being willing to be an instrument—a way to respond and touch others.

We always receive so much more than we give! Toby was a college freshman who joined a group that distributed food to a retirement home. He met a ninety-two year old man, Loki, who taught Toby about whittling and even the sacred art of tying flies. Christmas came and Toby took him a present, but Loki had passed the night before having left Toby a letter. Loki explained that his body was tired but his spirit was soaring, because it was time for him to rejoin his beloved Esther, who had passed years before. He told Toby that he had become one of the most important people in his whole life. He said, “You were a good friend… I love you Toby.” Toby said this was life-changing. He went from being a party guy to a young man who knew he could make a difference. Addressing students, Albert Schweitzer once said, “the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”

It’s been said, “love one another and help others to rise to higher levels simply by pouring out love. It lifts others to those higher levels.” Move from receiving to experiencing the awareness of the divine presence in others. It’s simple. It takes us from being “Martha” to being “Mary”. Affirm I behold God’s light in you! I behold God’s light in you! I behold God’s light in you! It opens that beautiful light within you! Enjoy doing it!

Play

July 5, 2015 – Freedom from Within

07/05/15 Rev. David McArthur
Freedom From Within

That freedom thing! Have you been celebrating? Freedom to choose our leaders, and freedom to disagree with them. Freedom to worship as we choose. They’re from without.

For the spiritual being there is another kind of freedom from within, which preserves the quality of our lives and what our lives are creating. Like 7 years ago when we were replacing our old building and there was a recession when everybody got afraid at once and the economic flow stopped. The lenders stopped lending out of fear. Fear took away freedom. But here, we chose to be free. God is our source. We can free ourselves from the fear of lack.

Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Charles Fillmore, in “Prosperity”, wrote, “Pour your living words of faith into the omnipresent substance, and you will be prospered though all the banks in the world close their doors.” God is our source, not banks. Because of that no one and nothing can withhold my good from me. We kept to this and our fear started to release. So a bank which had quit lending and which didn’t do church loans did for us.

Of those who lost family in the church in North Carolina, many said to the gunman, “I forgive you.” “Hate won’t win.” “We have no room for hate.” “I pray God for mercy on your soul.” “May God bless you.” That’s freedom! It was not an easy choice, but in it they found freedom from hate and destruction. It’s one of the most powerful choices available to us. They made the choice of love and used it to go to forgiveness. Freedom from hate, from what we’ve all done, that’s freedom!

I keep looking back at the experience of Viktor Frankl as he told it in “Man’s Search For Meaning”. Suffering the worst of man’s depravity in a Nazi concentration camp, he clung to his wife’s image in his mind until it grew more luminous than the rising sun. For the first time in his life he knew that love is man’s highest goal, that the salvation of man is through love and in love. He said he understood how even a man who has nothing left may still know bliss. This freedom from within that even the worst depravity cannot take away is in you. It is yours anytime you choose to love.

If Viktor Frankl can do it where he was, then maybe I can do it. If those families in North Carolina can, we can too. That’s the real freedom. We have freedom to choose love. If I understand his journey, that is the only choice that matters. I am grateful for those that showed me how. I choose love; I am free. I choose love; I am free. I choose love; I am free. What a treasure to live in a country that holds that. What a way to be! Enjoy!

Play

July 5, 2015 – Freedom from Within


07/05/15 Rev. David McArthur
Freedom From Within

That freedom thing! Have you been celebrating? Freedom to choose our leaders, and freedom to disagree with them. Freedom to worship as we choose. They’re from without.
 
For the spiritual being there is another kind of freedom from within, which preserves the quality of our lives and what our lives are creating. Like 7 years ago when we were replacing our old building and there was a recession when everybody got afraid at once and the economic flow stopped. The lenders stopped lending out of fear. Fear took away freedom. But here, we chose to be free. God is our source. We can free ourselves from the fear of lack. 
 
Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Charles Fillmore, in “Prosperity”, wrote, “Pour your living words of faith into the omnipresent substance, and you will be prospered though all the banks in the world close their doors.” God is our source, not banks. Because of that no one and nothing can withhold my good from me. We kept to this and our fear started to release. So a bank which had quit lending and which didn’t do church loans did for us. 
  
Of those who lost family in the church in North Carolina, many said to the gunman, “I forgive you.” “Hate won’t win.” “We have no room for hate.” “I pray God for mercy on your soul.” “May God bless you.” That’s freedom! It was not an easy choice, but in it they found freedom from hate and destruction. It’s one of the most powerful choices available to us. They made the choice of love and used it to go to forgiveness. Freedom from hate, from what we’ve all done, that’s freedom! 
 
I keep looking back at the experience of Viktor Frankl as he told it in “Man’s Search For Meaning”. Suffering the worst of man’s depravity in a Nazi concentration camp, he clung to his wife’s image in his mind until it grew more luminous than the rising sun. For the first time in his life he knew that love is man’s highest goal, that the salvation of man is through love and in love. He said he understood how even a man who has nothing left may still know bliss. This freedom from within that even the worst depravity cannot take away is in you. It is yours anytime you choose to love. 
 
If Viktor Frankl can do it where he was, then maybe I can do it. If those families in North Carolina can, we can too. That’s the real freedom. We have freedom to choose love. If I understand his journey, that is the only choice that matters. I am grateful for those that showed me how. I choose love; I am free. I choose love; I am free. I choose love; I am free. What a treasure to live in a country that holds that. What a way to be! Enjoy!
 

May 17, 2015 – The In Breath of God


05/17/15 Rev. David McArthur
The In Breath of God

We talked before about spiritually filling ourselves up and we can then give from the overflow. One way is the in breath of God. How do we let this beautiful Spirit fill us? Well, what touches us most is feeling the presence of God; the Presence as love fills us. It comes back to a simple experience, that God is Love.

From First John, “ Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God… because God is love.” Not “God loves”, but “God is love.” In the Hindu writings, Krishna says, “Give all your love to me. Fill your mind with me; love me; serve me; worship me always. Seeking me in your heart, you will at last be united with me.” And Jesus said to love god with all your heart, your soul, your mind. That’s the work, the in breath.

Now how do we actually let that love be there and fill us? Love is an uplifting feeling but it’s so hard to get to when we are empty. It’s the last thing we think of, when we’ve tried everything else. When I want to feel good there is something that always makes me feel better—CHOCOLATE! You may not have known that chocolate is a doorway to God. Just touch the memory. The smell! The flavor! The feel! Just experience it. There never was anyone who said chocolate is awful. Who’d have thought that it’s so simple. That’s step one—feeling good. Get out of the “awful” feeling. Then you can touch some of those experiences where you actually feel love.

Recently on retreat, I found when I wanted to go from feeling good to the experience of love, I would go to the experience of my mother. I had a wonderful mother. Or you might recall your childhood best friend, or a grandchild. Feel their presence in your life. Then let them go, but continue to feel the love. Just breathe love. Breathe God. Breathe that connection with all of life—that love—the true nature of who we each really are!

One evening at the retreat the sunset was so beautiful, just reaching the point where it was breaking into all the colors. I went to the meditation room where I could see it across Monterey Bay. A nun there smiled and spoke, “My brother recently passed and I came up here to be with him, and I can feel your love for him.” And I could feel her love for him and I also felt his love for her. My heart opened. But then it was no longer about her or him. I could just be there in the love, breathing that love.

But your mind wants to come back in. It is so infinitely creative with all kinds of distractions. So just bring it back and affirm, “Love fills me now. I am love.” I went back to my opened heart. Love fills me now. I am love. That’s how we fill ourselves to overflowing: Love fills me now. I am love.

May 17, 2015 – The In Breath of God

05/17/15 Rev. David McArthur
The In Breath of God

We talked before about spiritually filling ourselves up and we can then give from the overflow. One way is the in breath of God. How do we let this beautiful Spirit fill us? Well, what touches us most is feeling the presence of God; the Presence as love fills us. It comes back to a simple experience, that God is Love.

From First John, “ Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God… because God is love.” Not “God loves”, but “God is love.” In the Hindu writings, Krishna says, “Give all your love to me. Fill your mind with me; love me; serve me; worship me always. Seeking me in your heart, you will at last be united with me.” And Jesus said to love god with all your heart, your soul, your mind. That’s the work, the in breath.

Now how do we actually let that love be there and fill us? Love is an uplifting feeling but it’s so hard to get to when we are empty. It’s the last thing we think of, when we’ve tried everything else. When I want to feel good there is something that always makes me feel better—CHOCOLATE! You may not have known that chocolate is a doorway to God. Just touch the memory. The smell! The flavor! The feel! Just experience it. There never was anyone who said chocolate is awful. Who’d have thought that it’s so simple. That’s step one—feeling good. Get out of the “awful” feeling. Then you can touch some of those experiences where you actually feel love.

Recently on retreat, I found when I wanted to go from feeling good to the experience of love, I would go to the experience of my mother. I had a wonderful mother. Or you might recall your childhood best friend, or a grandchild. Feel their presence in your life. Then let them go, but continue to feel the love. Just breathe love. Breathe God. Breathe that connection with all of life—that love—the true nature of who we each really are!

One evening at the retreat the sunset was so beautiful, just reaching the point where it was breaking into all the colors. I went to the meditation room where I could see it across Monterey Bay. A nun there smiled and spoke, “My brother recently passed and I came up here to be with him, and I can feel your love for him.” And I could feel her love for him and I also felt his love for her. My heart opened. But then it was no longer about her or him. I could just be there in the love, breathing that love.

But your mind wants to come back in. It is so infinitely creative with all kinds of distractions. So just bring it back and affirm, “Love fills me now. I am love.” I went back to my opened heart. Love fills me now. I am love. That’s how we fill ourselves to overflowing: Love fills me now. I am love.

Play

June 22, 2014 – Location, Location, Location!


Sheila Gautreaux, L.U.T.
Location, Location, Location! 

After rapidly outgrowing their old location a highly successful business celebrated opening day at their new location. A large floral bouquet arrived with a card that read, “Rest in Peace.” The owner immediately called the florist who apologized profusely. Hoping to shift the business owner’s attention, the florist pointed out, “Imagine how the mourners at the funeral home on the other side of town are feeling about the card on the bouquet they got that says, ‘Congratulations on your new location!’”

The parable about the farmer sowing seed is all about hearing and listening. The four locations where the seeds fell represent the four types of listening (hearers) and the reception we give the seeds (words of Truth). Hearing is automatic, and for those without any impairment it requires no effort. However, listening is a conscious choice, a process that requires focus, concentration, and intention to open and receive. From those that listen to words without “getting it” (location 1) to those that have done their inner work and are ready to listen to the words of Truth, guidance, and direction (location 4), God’s Guidance/Truth will either be inconsequential or powerful and life-transforming. The fourth place where the seeds fell—the fertile ground—represents the people that have begun to heal the inner challenges within before applying the principles to their outer lives. We give it to ourselves first before we seek an outer effect. It requires that we listen with authenticity—beyond the chaos and noise. The still small voice within continues to speak, and give us all the tools we need to deal with the world and our lives. It is a key to the Kingdom. Bring out the Kingdom in your life. Take the Words of Truth into your heart, and then to the outer. Affirm, “I listen with my heart and the Kingdom of Heaven is revealed for me.” “I listen with my heart and the Kingdom of Heaven is revealed for me.” “I listen with my heart and the Kingdom of Heaven is revealed for me.”