Sharing the Spirit of Life
A patron of the Everyday Sundae Ice Cream shop in Washington, DC watched as owner Charles Foreman gave a scoop of ice cream to a child who didn’t have money. Moved by the kindness, she donated $100 so that Charles could give more cones away. Soon, other customers contributed enough money that Charles now gives away hundreds of cones.
“We need to reach deep into ourselves and find the sacred spark that represents the best in us which knows who we really are. We are here to share this spirit of life and love with others, to blossom, and to help others to blossom.” - Roger Courtney, United Church of Christ
Affirmative prayer: Thank you, Spirit, for the goodness of individuals, for the connection, kindness, and generosity I see every day. I am lifted up and delighted to be in the energetic expressions of Life’s holy gestures. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
a channel for god's touch
When Betsy and Jim Cox welcomed their baby boy, Blake, into the world, they were thrilled. And they were stressed. Money was tight and Steve had to work a lot. One day, Betsy noticed there was a cold draft in Blake's room so she drove to a local store to buy a space heater. In the store, another customer noticed little Blake and exclaimed, "He has the most big beautiful blue eyes!” The compliment made Betsy laugh and relieved her stress. “It was just this amazing moment of human connection. He impacted my life."
“In your raw, honest, vulnerable way of being, you may become a channel through which someone else feels God’s touch. You may be the occasion for someone else’s defining moment. You may be the only book of wisdom someone ever reads, or the only voice of truth they hear. It may be through your kind words or your touch that another person feels the embrace of the Divine.” – Scott Awbrey
Affirmative prayer: Infinite Presence, I give thanks for the emissaries of love and truth that bless me every day. I affirm that I am such a voice for others, that I lift up another with my sacred love. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
June is Pride Month, when the world's LGBTQ communities come together and celebrate the freedom to be themselves. Pride events welcome anyone who feels like their sexual identity falls outside the mainstream – although many straight people join in, too. The original organizers chose this month to pay homage to the Stonewall uprising in June, 1969 in New York City, which helped spark the modern gay rights movement.
“I've been thinking about the difference between tolerating and celebrating. When you tolerate someone, it's as if you're forcing yourself to acknowledge they exist. But when you celebrate someone, you're letting them know you actively appreciate their existence. They bring something valuable to the world, just by being them.” – AJ Willingham, CNN senior writer
Affirmative prayer: I give thanks for the wholeness of every person and for the beautiful ways we each express love. I am grateful for the dignity and joy of LGBTQ communities, and I celebrate the freedom of love made visible. There is no otherness. We are One, and there is blessing and goodness. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
A Sense of the Miraculous
A "replica" sword that had been gathering dust at Chicago's Field Museum for about a century was recently found to be an authentic artifact from the late Bronze Age. The 3,000-year-old weapon was found in the Danube River in Budapest in the 1930s and was mislabeled as a copy and placed in storage.
“When you stop covering up things, people, and situations with labels, a sense of the miraculous returns to your life.” - Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
Affirmative prayer: Today, I see the happenings of my life as signs of Spirit’s affection for me. I stop naming, classifying, and judging people and circumstances, allowing myself to simply be in the moment. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
Limiting My Desires
Billionaire Warren Buffett is famously frugal. The 92-year-old has lived in the same modest Omaha home since 1958, which he bought for $31,500. In today’s dollars, that’s about $329,505. Buffett called his home the third-best investment he’s ever made. His top two investments: wedding rings.
“I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them.” - John Stuart Mills, English philosopher and political economist
Affirmative prayer: Thank you, Infinite Presence, for the inspiration that leads me along my life journey. Thank you for the loves of my life. Thank you, forever, Amen.
No Greater Love Than This
The first Memorial Day commemoration on record occurred May 1, 1865, when a crowd of 10,000 freed slaves staged a parade around a racetrack in Charleston, South Carolina, which had been a makeshift prison for Union captives. Three thousand Black schoolchildren carried bouquets of flowers and sang. Members of Black Union regiments performed double-time marches. Black ministers recited verses from the Bible.
“America is hope. It is compassion. It is excellence. It is valor.” - Paul Tsongas
“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:13
Affirmative prayer: Today, I revere all that is good, noble, and selfless about America. I honor those who have given everything to defend our home and to keep us safe. Thank you, God, for their light and love. Amen.
People in Japan, like the rest of us, have spent the last few years covering their faces and, now that mask-wearing mandates have been lifted, many say they have forgotten how to smile. Hence, there is a boom in “smile-training seminars.” Researchers say when we connect in a physical way – like sharing a smile – our breathing and heart rates sync up.
“When there are two harps in a room tuned to the same frequency, if a chord is struck in one, it fills and infuses the other with the grandeur and beauty of its resonance and brings it into harmony.” – John O’Donohue, Beauty: the Invisible Embrace
Affirmative prayer: With an awareness of the One Life in which we all live, move, and have our being, I recognize the beauty and loving-kindness of each human soul. I connect, seeing the Divine wholly present in my sisters and brothers. In this pure essence, we are united and in sync. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
Studies show that too much noise can hurt a child's cognitive development because it distracts our brains and makes it more difficult for children – and adults – to focus. But when the setting is quiet enough for them to pay attention to important sounds, it is a powerful learning environment. Neurobiologist Nina Kraus believes turning down the noise in our lives starts with embracing silence.
“In the experience of silence, you may experience a certain pure awareness. Even if it is brief, you are in contact with that which Is, and this Reality is in love with you.”
– Thomas Keating
Affirmative prayer: Infinite Presence, I leave the den of noise – all the chatter and the sounds of media – as well as the rumble of my own doubts and fears – and enter into the life-enriching ease of silence. In grace and receptivity, I hear the pure Voice and am renewed, enlivened, and made heartfully strong. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
A Star Whose Light Will Never Fade
Tina Turner, the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, died yesterday at the age of 83. She was, in a word, unrelenting. After surviving an abusive husband, Tina went on to have a run of hit records, including “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” But her triumphs went far beyond her superstardom. She showed others who lived in fear what a future with love, compassion, and freedom looks like.
“Tina Turner was raw. She was powerful. She was unstoppable. And she was unapologetically herself – speaking and singing her truth through joy and pain, triumph and tragedy. We join fans around the world in honoring the Queen of Rock and Roll, a star whose light will never fade.” – Barack and Michelle Obama
Affirmative prayer: Today, I honor the lifeforce of Tina Turner, and give thanks that the same indomitable spirit is in us all. Turns out, “Love has everything to do with it.” Thank you, God, forever. Amen.
a touchstone for my life
The power of friendship was on display in the Leeds Marathon when marathoner Kevin Sinfield, who was pushing his friend, Rob Burrow, in a wheelchair, stopped just short of the finish line to gather Rob into his arms and carry him across the finish. As he did, he kissed him on the cheek and whispered, “You’re not going to beat me, Rob. We’re finishing together.” Watch it.
“Friend, our closeness is this: anywhere you put your foot, feel me in the firmness under you.” - Rumi
Affirmative prayer: I give thanks for every person with whom I’ve shared something real and precious. Time spent with friends in days gone by and in current days is prime time. I bless every soul companion, hold them in absolute love, and allow every dear relationship to be a touchstone for my life. Thank you, God, forever. Amen.