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Monthly Archive September 2020

The Faith of a Mustard Seed

by Rev. Elizabeth Rowley-Hogue,
Spiritual Director
September 17, 2020

A mustard seed is a teeny, tiny seed, about 2 millimeters in diameter. Those little seeds turn into waist-high mustard plants and cover a lot of land. Even if your faith is as tiny as the small mustard seed, it is more than enough. Look at the great expanse of beauty produced by these tiny little seeds. I’ll never forget the first time I saw a field of these incredibly beautiful mustard flowers. They seemed to go on forever and gave me a sense of the infinite presence of love, which permeates all of life.

Whatever you choose to have faith in is perfect and right for you, whether you call it Allah, Atman, Brahman, Buddha, Divine, Eternity, the Force, God, Jesus, Mohammed, the Presence, Source Energy, Spirit, or otherwise. I choose to call it God, which works for me; It is the Invisible Presence, the Thing Itself, common to all, in and through all things, and Its nature is love.

The dictionary defines faith as complete trust or confidence in something or someone. Ernest Holmes wrote, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I believe faith is a mental attitude embodied to such a degree that the mind can no longer deny it. We all have this mental attitude of faith about many things without even realizing it.

You have faith that the invisible law of gravity will work when you get out of bed. You don’t have to pray about it or will it to be. You just get out of bed and stand right up.

You get in the shower and turn on the water, expecting to control the temperature, adjust the flow to your liking, and keep a steady stream going until you’re complete.

When you go out to your vehicle in the morning to drive to work, school, or wherever you’re going, you have faith that your car will start right up and allow you to get to your destination on time. I’ve never walked out to my vehicle and thought, gosh, I sure hope my car starts today. It just starts, like it always does. I’m so grateful!

You have faith that the sun will rise and set daily, that your coffee maker and toaster will work as expected. The list goes on and on.

Even if you have the tiniest suspicion that something is working for your highest good, that the Universe just might possibly be conspiring for your magnificence, that is enough to have it be revealed to you.

As you move through your day, you’re given many opportunities to choose between fear or faith. I invite you to choose faith. Have faith that everything is unfolding exactly as it should. Remember, you live, move, and have your being in a Universe that is working for you.

It doesn’t matter how big your faith is; it matters that you have it.

And so it is.

Nature is a Great Healer

By Rev. Elizabeth Rowley-Hogue,
Spiritual Director
September 3, 2020

I’ve just returned from marrying my best friend, and it was a glorious event!   For our honeymoon, we were planning a staycation, given the world’s state at this time.  We spontaneously decided to take a road trip to Sedona, Arizona, and we are so glad we went.

It was hot and dry and inconvenient to wear a mask, yet we made it work.  We had a magnificent experience together on our first trip as a married couple.

I had heard great things about Sedona for many years, and it did not disappoint.  The majesty of the colossal red rock formations blows your hair back and takes your breath away.

At the top of our list of things to do was visit the vortex sites. Sedona’s vortices are different from the vortex you may have read about in the Esther and Jerry Hicks books.  The books describe the vortex as a field of energy that is your highest and best state, and when in it, you are powerful and can use the law of attraction to easily co-create whatever you desire to experience in your life.

A vortex is a funnel shape created by a whirling fluid or by the motion of spiraling energy.  Familiar examples are a whirlwind, tornado, or water going down a drain.  Vortices can be made of anything that flows, such as wind, water, or electricity.

In Sedona, the vortices are swirling centers of subtle energy coming out from Earth’s surface, similar to the swirling energy centers, or chakras in our bodies.  We visited three of the four sites.  On our last day in Sedona, we did a sunrise hike up to the Airport Mesa Vortex.

We took turns meditating on a peaceful perch facing the sun, feeling the powerful swirling energy of Mother Earth and the canyon’s wind blowing up.  The convergence of these three elements of nature created a dynamic sense of oneness.  As I sat at the center of this trinity of Earth, wind, and fire, captivated by the raw beauty all around me, with my hair blowing back, I felt a rush of gratitude, joy, and delight at the opportunity to experience life on this planet.

At this moment, I truly arrived in Sedona, experiencing its magnificent, mystical splendor in all of its glory.  We headed back down the trail to our hotel and left for home shortly after that.

I’ll be revisiting this exact place in my daily meditation practice. 

Nature is a great healer.  Now that the smoke has cleared and the temperature has dropped, I encourage you to take time to get outside.  Find a special place in a forest, on a hiking trail, or at a park to dwell and be one with the trees, rocks, water, wind, birds, Mother Earth, and all of life.  As you sit, give thanks for this precious time you have on the planet and let the joy wash over you.

And so it is.

No-one Gets Left Behind

By Rev. Elizabeth Rowley,
Spiritual Director
August 20, 2020

This week I received a download from Spirit for an acronym that’s quite fitting as we celebrate the diverse nature of all of God’s children.  The word is ohana. 

Ohana is a Hawaiian term meaning family.  To quote the Disney movie, Lilo and Stitch of 2002: “Ohana means family.  Family means no one gets left behind.”  In Hawaiian culture, ohana represents the idea that families — blood-related, adopted, or intentional — are bound together, and that family members are responsible for one another.  The human race is one big family, and we are responsible for one another.  No one gets left behind.

The acronym O.H.A.N.A. is defined as observe, honor, admire, notice, appreciate.  I’ve invited our community to use this acronym as we move through the world to help us see all of humanity as our ohana, our family, and leave no one behind.

Observe – to perceive and see the diverse nature of yourself and others.

Honor – to hold in high regard or esteem the qualities of yourself and others that are unique.

Admire – to recognize the worthiness of yourself and the worthiness of others as you regard and respect all of the unique qualities you are seeing. For this word, an image pops into my mind of a tiny little church in Kauai with towering, beautiful stained glass windows.  I remember I was on a family trip one year, and everyone was trying to get me to leave for the next fun adventure. So moved by the beauty of the stained glass that I asked for more time and if they might come back for me later.  I remember looking at the stained glass for quite some time, reveling in the intricate details, different colors, and the glorious magnificence of it.  Shifting my gaze to the room and floor around me, I noticed how the light came through the glass, creating patterns of light in other places.  It was stunning.  I felt deep admiration and respect.  This is the way to admire the diversity you see all around you.

Notice – to pay attention and become aware of what arises in you as you observe, honor, and admire the diversity surrounding you.

Appreciate – to recognize the full worth of yourself and others, the big picture, and the Source of all of life – our Creator – The Thing Itself, which birthed us into existence.

That’s o.h.a.n.a.  As you move through the world, I invite you to observe, honor, admire, notice, and appreciate the diversity of all things.

People, trees, flowers, clothes, music, dishes, cars, etc.  Take it all in and join me in giving thanks for the magnificent heterogeneity of all of life.

I’m so grateful for every individualized expression of the Divine. I appreciate all of the unique qualities and characteristics of myself and others.  We are one human family, equal, imperfect, and magnificent.  You are worthy of respect and love.

Ohana means family.  Family means no one gets left behind.

And so it is.