Simple things

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The Tiger

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Peace love joy

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The best teachers

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Simpler Ways for the Holidays

by The Reverend Sharon Bianchi

Growing up with six brothers you can imagine the excitement in our house around the holidays. My Dad was a good one for building excitement and he would always start at Thanksgiving dinner with his “only ______  any
days until Christmas. This would be repeated at every meal. While we were a poor family, and the gifts we dreamed of in our heads were rarely the gifts we would open on Christmas, it did not stop us from sharing with anyone who would listen what wonderful things we anticipated receiving from Santa or Mom and Dad.

While the excitement of the holiday still touches the hearts of kids today, things sure have changed. Trying to find suitable gifts for our grandsons has become a full time job. They have every gadget, electronic device, cell phone, flat screen television, skis, and more items than I have time to name here.

When I think back to those early years growing up with my brothers, our gifts consisted of new pajamas, gloves and socks and if lucky, something new to wear to school but in the long run, we didn’t really care. We always got a stocking too, filled with candy, nuts and fruit. I can imagine what would happen if I tried to pass off such a stocking today.

We get so caught up in the pursuit of more, we tend to forget the simpler things and how satisfying those things can be. We have so much to be grateful for and gratitude is warmest when it is given without expecting
something in return.

So this holiday season, I plan to give my grandsons my time-whether they want it or not! We can do some of the simpler things like take in a movie or have lunch together or bake cookies. And if I want to give them a stocking full of fruit, nuts and candy, by golly, I will.

So this holiday season, don’t stress. Go back to the simpler ways and have a wonderful holiday by appreciating time spent with loved ones

The Tiger

by Butch Tull - Board President

A teacher and his student were walking from one village to another when they turned and suddenly heard a roar behind them. Turning their gaze in the direction of the roar, they saw a big Tiger following them. The first thing the student wanted to do was to run away, but since he had been studying and practicing self discipline, he was able to halt himself from running and wait to see what his teacher would do.

 “What should we do Master?” asked the student.

The teacher looked at the student and answered in a calm voice, “There are several options. We can fill our minds with paralyzing fear so that we cannot move and let the tiger do with us  whatever pleases it. We can faint. We can run away, but then it will run after us. We can fight with it but physically it is stronger than us. We can pray to God to save us. We can choose to influence the tiger with the power of our mind if our concentration is strong enough. We can send it love. We can also concentrate and meditate on our inner peace and on  the fact that we are one with the entire universe including the tiger and in this way influence its soul. Which option would you choose?”

“You are the Master you tell me what to do. We don’t have much time,” the student responded.

The Master turned his gaze fearlessly towards the tiger, emptied his mind from all thoughts and entered a deep state of meditation. In his consciousness he embraced everything in the universe, including the tiger. In this state, the consciousness of the teacher became one with the consciousness of the tiger. The student started to shiver with fear as the tiger was already quite close, ready to make a leap at them. He was amazed at how his teacher could stay so calm and detached in the face of danger.

Meanwhile the teacher continued to meditate without fear. After a little while, the tiger gradually lowered its head and tail and went away. The student asked his teacher in astonishment, “What did you do?”

“Nothing I just cleared all thoughts from my mind and united myself in spirit with the tiger. We came united in peace on the spiritual level. The tiger sensed the inner calmness, peace and unity and felt no threat or need to express violence and so he walked away. When the mind is silent and calm its peace automatically transmitted to everything and everyone around, influencing them deeply,” concluded the teacher. I have found this to work with more than just tigers. - Author Unknown

Beyond Abundance

by Bonnie Crosier - Student Minister
Someone once said that dealing with “the lack of” is one of our greatest lessons in this world. When we “lack” we start to understand the gift of abundance. When we lack, we can better empathize with our neighbor who also struggles. When we lack, we sometimes find the time to become closer to God.

While we are here on this Earth to learn to overcome lack, we thereby have abundance. Infinite abundance is what Infinite Intelligence gives to us and we are “made in His image.” “Beloved, I wish above ALL things that you may prosper even as your soul prospers,” (3 John 1:2) We learn and practice our spirituality and learn how to move above and beyond “lack”. This isn't just handed to us. We need to put the effort to meet God somewhere in the mix.

Still, sometimes, we feel like we just don’t have enough. One way to go beyond ourselves is to use affirmations—to affirm, in faith, that love and goodness do exist and you are allowing and even inviting them to come to you. Do you affirm that you will be abundant in clarity? Do you affirm that you will have an abundance of knowledge when starting a new job?

Your spiritual essence is love and that love comes from Infinite, eternal sources. Just think, we were born from the love of the infinite, it’s up to us to display that love to the others around us! The “Attitude of Gratitude” gets things done-in you and through all life around you!

Leave the past in the past. Don’t dwell on something you cannot change. Look at each new day as a do over. You get a brand new day to do the things you didn't get to do the day before. Count your blessings and find that you are abundant in ways you never thought possible. Make a list. You’ll find you are richer in so many more ways than the first thought.

May abundance bring love, peace joy into your lives, forevermore.

When the Student is Ready 
the Teacher Will Come

How many times, over the years have we heard the title phrase? Quite a few, I am sure. But it is a twofold application. We take it to mean that when we are ready, to understand, a lesson will be brought to us that will make sense and have some meaning in our life. In this application, we would be correct.

However, it also works in a second application. When other students are
ready, we, as teachers will show up. We have talked many times in the
past about how we all have knowledge to share, stories to tell, that will have some meaning to someone we come in contact with. But as teachers, we do not have a classroom to conduct ourselves in. We do not
have a class every day that we can check on their progress and see how they are coming along, and help them.

In our Spiritual aspect, we must assume that everyone and anyone is a student that is ready for a lesson. We must always be ready to inspire and/or motivate each other. Even those we do not know closely. Often times, people are more susceptible to learning from someone they do not know, opposed to someone familiar. They feel that someone less familiar will have no personal agenda or judgment to pass on to them. We feel the same way towards others. We feel we are getting it “straight from the horse’s mouth” so to speak, when a third party offers us knowledge of information. No one wants to be judged but everyone wants to learn from their mistakes.

It is not necessary to judge someone. That person is certainly well aware of the mistakes they have made. They do not need to be reminded of them. It is not our job to criticize but, it is our job to help and teach each other. Perhaps we don’t think of ourselves as teachers, or motivators, but we are. We have all walked the walk of life and learned experiences along the way. Every experience gives us new knowledge that someone else may not yet have learned.

So, yes, we are all teachers. We all have something important to share
with someone else. Even if you pass a lesson along and it seems it is not
being understood, don’t worry that it is wasted. The student will understand it when the time comes to apply it to a situation or event. Every act we do, every lesson we can pass along, will never go to waste. We are the teachers that we wait for to come into our lives. We are each other’s teachers.

Do not be afraid, do not shirk your responsibility. Someone is always ready for us to show up in their life and help them on the path to enlightenment. There are no better teachers that the student themselves.

Blessings to All,

Pastor Bianchi