Practical Ways to Bear Burdens


Six practical ways to bear someone else’s burdens.

Help!!!

Help!!!

Read | 1 Thessalonians 5:14

There are hurting people everywhere, but at times we just don’t know what to say or do to ease their pain. Here are six practical ways to bear someone else’s burdens:

1) Be there. At times the best “method” of helping is simply to be present. During our darkest hours, we don’t need someone who tries in vain to fix everything; we just need a friend.

2) Listen. Don’t attempt to give answers or tell people what to do next. Injured souls frequently want only a listening ear so they can express what’s on their mind.

3) Share. Never parade yourself as someone who seemingly has all the answers. Instead, allow your own pain and failures to help others.

4) Pray. There is power in speaking people’s names before the Lord. When others hear someone talk to Jesus on their behalf, healing often starts to take place.

5) Give. Sometimes helping others involves more than a handshake or warm hug. Maybe they need something financial or material. One of the best measures of sincerity is how much we’re willing to give to others.

6) Substitute. You may know an individual who bears the burden of caring for someone else. If you step in and take his or her place for a while, you are emulating your Savior—He, too, was a substitute.

Because we were unable to do it ourselves, Jesus bore all of our sin and sorrow, even unto death. As a result, we can live happily and eternally in communion with our Father. If Christ did that for us, how can we ever say, “I’m too busy to bear someone else’s burden”?

Article taken from In Touch Ministries led by Dr Charles Stanley. All Rights Reserved.

Becoming a Burden Bearer


How to bear one another’s burdens.

We are a people who care

We are a people who care

Read | Romans 15:1-2

The Bible instructs Christians to bear one another’s burdens. Doing this effectively requires three things.

• Awareness. If you’re not sensitive to the struggles of those around you, how can you help them? Every Sunday you sit in church, surrounded by people who hurt intensely. The Lord knows the depth of their suffering and desires to release them from bondage, but He often works through His children. Thankfully, we have His Spirit to sensitize us to needs in our midst.

• Acceptance. We are not to bear burdens on the basis of how we feel about the other person. Jesus doesn’t discriminate about whom to love or help. If we want to be like Christ, we must be willing to share in the pain of others, no matter who they are. Does this describe you? Or do you limit your support to family and friends?

• Availability. Christians sometimes relegate the work of caring for others to their pastor, figuring, That’s his job, after all. Yet he, too, has burdens. Your pastor wants to help everybody in all possible ways, but if he’s the only one available to offer support for the congregation, both he and the church will crumble. A faith community thrives when people bear each other’s burdens. Ask yourself if there’s a way you can help carry the load.

Scripture tells us the whole law is fulfilled in one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Gal. 5:14). Next to loving the Lord with all your heart, this is the second greatest command (Matt. 22:39). Therefore, when we share another person’s heartache and burdens, we fulfill a great law of God.

Article taken from In Touch Ministries led by Dr Charles Standley. All Rights Reserved.

A Godly Response to Criticism


Every rebuke is a chance to let your Christian character shine by showing love to your critic.

PWEOM

PWEOM

Read | Proverbs 15:31-33

No one likes criticism, but encountering some is inevitable, so we need to learn how to respond in a godly way. Although you might be tempted to become defensive or angry, remain calm and listen. The words may hurt, but great benefits come to those who carefully consider what is said.

If we refuse to accept reproof, we’ll limit our potential for godly character development and spiritual growth. Some of life’s best lessons come through difficult experiences. If the Lord allowed the situation, you can be sure He wants to use it in transforming you into His Son’s image. Whether the criticism is valid or not, whether it’s delivered with kindness or harshness, your goal should always be to respond in a way that glorifies the Lord. Remember that you are responsible only for how you handle yourself, not for how the other person is acting.

When a criticism comes your way, be quiet and listen until the other person has finished. Make direct eye contact to show attentiveness and respect. When your critic finishes, thank him for bringing his concerns to your attention, and tell him that you will consider what he’s said. Ask the Lord if the accusation is valid. Let Him search your heart and either affirm your innocence or convict you.

Every rebuke is an opportunity from God. It’s a chance to let your Christian character shine by showing love to your critic. If he is angrily attacking you, your respect and kindness become a powerful testimony. Criticism is also an occasion to humble yourself and accept the Lord’s correction.

Article taken from In Touch Ministries led by Dr Charles Stanley.

Godly Parenting…Who is Responsible?


My daughter went to bed tonight at 8:30 pm.

Godly Parenting

Godly Parenting

I have been slacking off with our structure around bedtime, wake up time, disobedience, disrespect and other issues. Even though I was given the tools to be an effective parent, lately, I have been shouting and repeating myself like a broken record.

I knew I was off and needed to be back on track!

This makes no sense. I’m home all day and I have all the time in the world…

What could be my problem?

Ooops, I know the answer and perhaps you know too.

My priorities are in the wrong order.

Well, I had a Devine encounter today. I went to a training and was reminded of putting first things first. “I’m raising a Godly child”.

I’m really grateful for the reminder. It is my full responsibility to imprint Godly principles into my child’s life.

I will not blame anyone or anything for any shortcomings I observe in my child. Again, as a mom it is my duty to train my child according to the standards of the Holy Bible.

I will not quit… I can’t…this is too important. I owe it to my child, to myself as a Godly woman and to my husband and most importantly I owe it to God because he gave us Jaiden Rae.

The reminder worked for her as well. We accomplished a great deal with less frustration. Very timely… It helps my witnessing. God is a God of order…

Thank you God!!!

Spiritual Etiquette


1 Corinthians (DRB) 14:33 “For God is not the God of dissension, but of peace: as also I teach in all the churches of the saints”.

Over this week, I have been thinking about what to write or post. It has been a spiritually high week but on the other hand, while enjoying where I am and trying to just observe and listen and be aware while still operating in the spirit I have seen and heard things that I feel strongly to write about.

I am from a third world country where I was exposed to a culture where while in the spirit or under the anointing it could sometimes get disruptive or should I say disorderly even to the point where it seems that there is no sense of awareness.

Stay with me, my radical friends. I am going somewhere.

I don’t want to you to become disengaged.

However, I feel compelled to share my point on what has been dropping into my spirit.

So here I go again…

Researching the internet.

Why?

Just to see how to help put my thought eloquently or to see if someone has it all figured out through the Holy Spirit.

And yes, I found this article on spiritual etiquette.

My conclusion is, even under the strongest of anointing there should be order. As one matures, one can navigate under the anointing without disruption, or disorderly conduct, and be aware of oneself and the others around.

Activate your spiritual senses as you operate under the anointing. The fruits of the spirit is still at work. You can still open your eyes, your should be listening, and can still feel!

I encourage you to read Suzanne’s blog and see if there is anything you can learn from the topic as you grow in your walk with The Lord.

Spiritual Etiquette

Spiritual Etiquette

“In the mid-eighties I studied with a teacher who introduced me to the term “spiritual etiquette.” Although most of us are familiar with the term etiquette – which is generally defined as adopting a code of polite behavior in society – pairing it with spirituality is something that’s not often discussed. This is primarily because it’s a pretty charged topic, and the ego can get provoked rather quickly in reaction to what may be considered polite behavior in the area of one’s spiritual life, simply due to how we define it, as well as our ideas about ourselves.

This is the thing though: we cannot delude ourselves into thinking we can compartmentalize our spiritual life, no matter how we define it. We take ourselves wherever we go, and the core of who we are is reflected in everything we do at home, work, school, and socially. Therefore transparency is a non-negotiable factor.

My own teacher had a tough time walking his talk regarding spiritual etiquette. He made some unfortunate mis-steps on the path, and lost his way from what I considered his greatest contribution to transformative self-awareness. However, the concepts he shared deeped resonated within me, and it was this thread of his body of teachings that became my own missive to both learn and eventually teach about. In order to make it more accessible to people of all faiths and beliefs, years ago I merged it within the framework of secular mindfulness practices, which I believe offer universal benefit in terms of a compass to maintain steady footing on our journey.

The words of songwriter Graham Nash have always been a preface to offering these guidelines and core principles: “You, who are on the road, must have a code that you can live by” – so there they are once again.

As we begin this New Year, I’m offering a revisitation of column I wrote in June of 2006 about these core principles, as a way to come back to beginners mind and reflect upon where we are on the path. If we’ve veered off in some area, we can just own it with acceptance, kindness and honesty, and begin again.

During the past fifteen or so years of communicating about how personal behavior directly affects our spiritual growth, I learned this level of transformational work looks deceptively easy and obvious on the surface. But in actual practice it’s challenged many who agree the foundations of spiritual etiquette are a given in any awareness seeker’s life … in theory. Living them in every moment of every day isn’t as easy as it appears! However, the current global situation – and the greater needs of the whole – asks each of us to consciously attend to any gaps that exist in what we believe – and how we show up in the world, moment by moment, in all situations. As David Byrne of the Talking Heads wrote, “This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco, this ain’t no foolin’ around.”

In that spirit, here’s a review of the Core Principles of Spiritual Etiquette:

Integrity

The root meaning for integrity is the same as that for integration; complete, unbroken and united. Integrity is the gauge of the evolutionary status of your soul; the more you embody, the more evolved your level of consciousness. Living a life with integrity means embracing 100% accountability and responsibility for your thoughts, choices, behaviors and actions. It also implies you’ve accepted there is no one to blame for your current spiritual position in life…because no matter what happens, it is your choice as to how you will respond and move forward, and those choices will impact the spiritual consequences. Once you decide it matters to never compromise your soul for anything you desire in life, you are on the way to living with spiritual integrity.

Grace

In traditional religious terms, grace is thought of as an act of bestowment from a Higher Power, a gift of divine providence from that benevolent Force which guides and sustains our faith. In terms of spiritual etiquette, I also use the word grace in its more secular form, and describe it as human actions undertaken with beauty of form, conscious composition, humility, common decency and respect, personal accountability, and with an extension of good will and the adoption of the Golden Rule towards others. When we behave gracefully, we are demonstrating a sense of spiritual refinement, class and style.

Behavior that is spiritually graceful embodies the practice of spiritual integrity. Acting with spiritual grace is an art that takes practice to accomplish, and is strengthened by the practice of mindfulness. Learning to act from a point of grace rises from inner stillness and personal strength, clarity and a presence of ego-less poise and confidence. It can be both thunderous and subtle, yet always comes from the heart.

Purity

The word “purity” scares people who think it means becoming a nun or a monk. Purity is not about piousness or celibacy or wearing shapeless clothes; it’s about consciously not allowing the things of this world to muddy your soul. Purity isn’t about self-righteousness; it’s about right-use-of-self with no air of superiority whatsoever. Purity protects you from using spiritual principles as a weapon against others, and keeps you from cherry picking which principles appease your ego. Purity is being aware of your shadow potentials and spiritually self-destructive tendencies, and staying one step ahead of yourself. The more you practice self-honest inquiry, you become able to acknowledge and honor where your choices lead you, and are able to refine how you show up in the world a little more each day.

Humility

Humility isn’t about seeking to be humiliated. It’s about dropping the ego’s grip on everything you do. Letting go of attention seeking, defensiveness, justification, competitiveness, envy and victimhood, and instead feeling genuine happiness over someone else getting the promotion or a bigger slice of the material pie. Humility is owning your mistakes and making amends and correcting the situation whenever you can without beating yourself up about it. It’s understanding that expecting to get everything that you want without earning it creates an entitlement mentality that can turn you into a spoiled brat and a potential power abuser. Humility is knowing that being “spiritual” does not make you “special” or “better than.” False modesty is of the ego; when you’re humble you can own your brilliance and accomplishments without being taken out by your ego, as denying what you possess inside is denying the Source of whatever gifts and talents you have actualized. Humility allows you to blend into the world instead of clamoring to stand out simply with the knowledge you are merely responding to the inner callings of your place along the journey, knowing that no one is more or less important than anyone else.

Honesty

Honesty is owning and living the Truth with a capital “T”. Not necessarily the much-touted “my truth,” as that can just simply be your point of view in the moment and may have nothing to do with the real Truth of any given situation. It’s about not lying when it’s convenient or if it will save your butt when you choose not to own up to the facts, or will just make you feel better about yourself and your choices, for the most insidious lies are the ones we tell ourselves. Radical self-honesty is the first step in seeing and owning our shadow behaviors and how they undermine our spiritual growth, and it takes incorporating every other attribute of spiritual etiquette on this list to transcend our self-destructive and non-productive repetitive, reactive behavioral patterns. It’s hard for most everyone to be honest all of the time… but choosing to live your life as honestly as possible in every situation allows you to look in the mirror and sleep well at night.

Observation

The power of finely tuned observation is called “seeing” by shamans and mystics. Observation involves paying attention to everything going on around you, and honing your intuitive skills. Awareness, attention and presence are the three components of mindful observation. Observation leads to spiritual discrimination, which has nothing to do with the lower energy of judgment. Discrimination is about using both logic and intuition as allies to comprehend what is really going on with any person or any given scenario and how that impacts the choices you make. Clear observation allows us to distinguish reality from illusion and not become enticed by mirages. Honest self-observation is the key to living impeccably.

Authenticity

Spiritual authenticity means no hypocrisy, double standards or phoniness. It means you can’t complain about what horrible crimes against humanity that power-abusing world leaders are engaging in on a grand scale if you are committing similar types of injustices energetically in your own life sphere. Scale is irrelevant in terms of energy, and there is no justifying hypocrisy. You can’t go around espousing “love and light” in the public eye and then treat the waitress as though she is beneath you, scream at your employees or students, or act like a bitchy diva. Authenticity is about walking the talk for real. Remember, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can never “get away” with anything on a spiritual level.

Courage

Courage is being stronger than your fears – even when it’s difficult. It’s about owning your own mind, believing in yourself in a healthy manner and not being concerned with everyone’s approval. Courage is upholding your deepest convictions regardless of the situation. It’s also about facing your darkest tendencies and doing the work to transcend them. Courage, along with hope, is what gets you through the toughest inner and outer challenges and is the strongest arrow in a spiritual warrior’s quiver.

Hope

Without hope there is no primal inspiration to live a spiritual life. Hope engenders faith and makes us survivors and believers in the possible even when present circumstances appear the darkest, bleakest and most grim. We never know what lies just around the bend, and without hope we will give up. Hope also sees there is more to existence than the earthly plane we find ourselves in, as we know all things must pass, including our current physical form, and even in the ravages of disease or poverty there is something beyond what appears to be.

Compassion

Compassion is the step before forgiveness – without it, then forgiveness can be self-serving, especially if we follow the idea that we should forgive another’s transgressions for our own benefit. Genuine compassion is never self-serving by definition. Compassion allows us to see another as an imperfect human being, yet it’s not about enabling darkness and ignorance in an attempt to express unconditional love. Compassion allows us to see that souls who inflict pain are either suffering greatly in the present, and/or are carving a path for self-created misery in the very near future. Compassion begets forgiveness for that soul yet it also doesn’t imply forgetfulness of the actions or the potential for it to continue. Compassion for ourselves teaches it isn’t okay to be a doormat. And lastly, one of the most compassionate things you can do for a fellow human being is to not enable their darkness or ignorance in any way, even if it requires some mindful assertiveness or even some “tough love” to shine a light.

Empathy

Empathy is the direct experience of another’s position, and is a unifying relationship on a deeper level than compassion is, as compassion does not require standing in another’s shoes. Although many people envy those who have what appears to be a “charmed” life, it is only by experiencing multiple types of human suffering can we possess empathy. As the saying goes, “No one can counsel an alcoholic as well as someone who has been there his/her self.” Experiencing crisis, adversity, loss, pain, and other “dark nights of the soul” are horrific while we are in the middle of them, but the very things that cause us tremendous suffering can turn out to be major gifts on the soul level when we reach the other side. Every personal trial and tribulation you survive is a deposit in your empathy bank account.

Action

Action means moving the energy. No matter what our intentions, dreams and goals are, they must be followed by supportive actions. Spiritual activism means doing something positive and productive instead of whining and feeling hopeless. In addition, it means doing the work on ourselves, every day, even when we don’t “feel like it.”

Interconnection

Interconnection is about physics; seeing that every thought, choice, action, and behavior has an impact both directly and indirectly upon every other sentient being and the planet. Our practice becomes dedicated to honestly seeing the impact we have, and to make adjustments accordingly. The Golden Rule is an easy rule of thumb to remind us of this, and to adopt it simply because honorable treatment of others is the right thing to do.

Humor

If you cannot see the humor inherent on the spiritual path then you will be a boor. If you take yourself so seriously and can’t laugh at yourself, then you will have a much rougher time of it than those who remember to have fun with the cosmic jokes.

Reverence

On the flip side, if you can’t stand in total awe of the magnitude and depth of all existence, then you will never grasp reverence. Reverence is how we see that the interplay of light and dark without and within is a sacred dance. Reverence is where gratitude is borne in our hearts, where love, selflessness, and devotion all emerge, where personal rebirth and miracles are possible and our deepest meditations open our hearts and minds toward beauty, possibility and lasting spiritual transformation.

May 2014 bring you deeper into your practice of mindfulness, entwined with these core principles of spiritual etiquette, and be a source of strength in your circle.

Well said Suzanne. Great work!

© Suzanne Matthiessen, innerevolution media.. Dynamic Views template. Powered by Blogger. http://living-mindfullyblog.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-core-principles-of-spiritual.html

Kindness: An Admirable Quality


Think of your responses over the past week. Might there be any irritation, impatience, or words you wish you could take back?

Kindness

Kindness

Read | Jeremiah 9:23-24

Yesterday we read about the fruit produced in a Spirit-filled life and noted that all the other qualities are expressions of the first one—love (Gal. 5:22-23). Author Ray Stedman explains, “After all, joy is love enjoying itself; peace is love resting; patience is love waiting; kindness is love reacting; goodness is love choosing;faithfulness is love keeping its word; gentleness is love empathizing; and self-control is love resisting temptation.”

Let’s focus on kindness, which he says is how love reacts. It is revealed in . . .

• Generous thoughts that look for the good first.

• Sensitive words that are spoken to the unruly for discipline and the well-behaved for praise.

• Considerate responses that are made in the face of anger or injustice.

• Intentional actions that benefit others without personal gain.

Think of your responses over the past week. Might there be any irritation, impatience, or words you wish you could take back?

Kindness is not something that we put on for certain occasions, like a piece of jewelry; rather, it is an attribute of God’s that He desires to reproduce in us. Take time to bow your head and acknowledge how kind your heavenly Father has been to you. Confess any acts of unkindness, and receive the forgiveness He promises (1 John 1:9). Then ask Him to continue working through the Holy Spirit to develop the fruit of kindness in you. Tell Him you know that is one of the qualities He delights in and you desire it to be evident in you.

Blog inspired by In Touch Ministries led Charles Stanley

What is going on with Prayer Works Lately?


Welcome back to sisters Debbie and Faith (our leaders). They visited the Caribbean Island Jamaica in April. The trip was to do God’s work through this ministry.

PWEOM

PWEOM

Much was accomplished!

Praise God!

Here’s some of what the Lord got done through our leaders:-
(i) About 20 Jamaican families received clothing and financial help.

(ii) We did a one bedroom home construction project (it was completed).

(iii)Our ministry provided much needed kitchen supplies to one family.

(iv) We cooked and served over 100 people in Clarendon, Saint Mary and Saint Catherine, every week for 3 weeks.

(v) We provided spiritual coaching to young adults and teenagers.

(vi) One person re-committed his life to Christ. Many received spiritual healing.

(vii)On a personal note, Debbie and her mother (sister Faith) met the personal needs of an uncle they love dearly.

That was some type of trip.

PRAISE GOD!

Thank you Lord!

Let us pray that we can do more in the USA and elsewhere with God’s help. We encourage everyone to be an active participant as we accept charitable support (as a non-profit ministry) for local services in the USA.

PWEOM

PWEOM

Many of us already know we do a lot in the City of Camden, New Jersey.

Visit our website at http://www.prayerworkscafe.com and check out our blog at http://www.prayerworkscafe.org as well.

May God continue to Bless us as we serve Him.

P.S. Don’t forget our grand launch & office opening ceremony coming up in June !!

Stay tuned !!