"...you O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy." Psalms 92
What is it about kids and animals that so powerfully draws us in and makes us just laugh? My niece, when she was just four, was our flower girl at our wedding. After a full day and night full of dancing, she grew tired. But when we did one more circle dance, she shook off whatever tiredness she felt and ran - just ran! to join in on the dance.
My dog, after being at my feet while I was writing, writing, writing at my desk, had the patience and persistence to wait until just the right time to look at me with her liquid warm eyes and get me to shake off whatever warm comfortableness I was feeling to join her for a romp in the snow. She leaps, she wags, and we are off.
Joy is powerful! It's contagious and compelling. Joy has been defined as the understanding of the ultimate triumph of life. Life always triumphs and Love never fails. What children and animals seem to know inherently is that life is about playing and exploring, that good is present right now and that we simply cannot wait to see more of life and love and good!
It is enough to shake off any tired thinking, any dead ends and negative ruminations. Jumping for joy just shakes off anything unjoyful, simply because anything unjoyful cannot attach itself to us.
There is too much good to discover. The works of God's hands are everywhere and the only acceptable response is to jump in and dance!
Here are some other posts about the shakedown that happens when joy is at the helm:
"The miracle of grace is no miracle to Love," my cousin reminded me as we were waiting backstage to perform in our high school dance production.
I was nervous. I was a freshman and this was the first time I had ever choreagraphed a full length piece that was now being performed in front of a crowd. But the familiar quote and the reminder that this performance was on God's shoulders, lifted a false sense of responsibility I had about the performance. It calmed my nervousness and reminded me that this performance is about God's grace. It was not about what I could personally achieve, nor a personal statement designed to gather praise about my up and coming skills as a dancer or choreagrapher. This performance was about joy and freedom of movement.
Grace has always seemed to be an evasive term. But I now saw it that it is an inherent quality that comes to the surface naturally to ease away nervousness. Grace is also the antidote to anger. Grace is the soothing and smoothing away of irritation. It quietly assures us that God is in control, and we can move forward in our day in the balance and confidence of divine Love's leading.
The performance that night went off without a hitch and it became the first of many performances. Whenever I am faced with a new project, a new direction in my life or a new oportunity, the lesson of grace learned that night is one I continually draw on! To have things resolve harmoniously, beautifully, graciously and joyfully is divinely natural. It is no miracle to God! And it is right and natural for us to experience God's grace.
For more on miracles, click here!
Recently, there have been a number of blog posts from friends, quotes on facebook walls and email inspirations coming in that deal with overcoming the heavy baggage of hopelessness with the piercing lightness of Truth. Each one of these posts, quotes and emails starts a wave of fresh thought that makes it easier for us all to experience Truth and Love on a larger scale. So I wanted to add to this momentum.
I wrote this post some time ago that shares how I came to experience this lightness and hope in my life.
This was my ultimate challenge many years ago:
No place to live.
Plans to have a family dashed.
But the worst of it was I felt I had lost my connection to God.
So, added to my list was little hope. I say little hope instead of no hope, because it was a little thing that helped me. That was the idea that in spite of everything, God loved me.
It has been several times now that I have told this story about how I re-built my life after a life changing challenge. But today I am reminded that getting out of horrible, dead end situations sometimes takes just one step. And it can be a little step, and that’s okay.
I read this today from the book of Job (which was the catalyst for this posting)
There is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout
again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.
Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock
thereof die in the ground;
Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth
boughs like a plant.
Life prevails over even the worst that can happen. Even a slight glimpse of this idea will start us in the right direction – a “scent” of this refreshing thought will get us up and flourishing once again.
I am praying for these small glimpses of peace, hope, progress for all those who are
impacted by tragedy, by the confusion of war, or one’s own sense of isolation. These small glimpses are like light in a dark place.
A little step toward the light is so practical, so do-able. A little step, a short prayer acknowledges this light. It puts a wedge into discouragement and lets the light glide right in.
This leaves me with a feeling of authority and growing dominion. We have what we need to overcome discouragement and disappointment.
God loves us. And with this nugget of Truth, we can grow to understand that this love is a rock on which we can firmly stand.
Here is another post from my new blogging friend, Lindsey Biggs, who shares her post on the same theme:
Let the light in to your consciousness!
Efficiency, coordination and synergy are God's resources.
A friend was not looking forward to her week. Multiple projects were looming over her, each demanding more time and resources than she felt she had.
These kind of situations are ripe for healing. It requires us to let go of a false sense of responsibility and to be prepared to be surprised.
We've all been in tight situations before: having multiple projects; having to make major moves in little time; needing to prepare presentations with little direction, and so on.
I have found the following ideas not only helpful in alleviating the pressure, but healing - lifting the whole activity higher and making it a bigger blessing than I could have imagined:
Whatever the situation is, know that God is bigger.
God, Creator of all that is, operates from an infinite basis. God is the source of all intelligence, harmony and joy. There is no problem too big for God.
Your responsibility is to respond to God's ability
Each task or project we are assigned to is not dependent on our personal achievement, but on an acknowledgement of God's efficiency, coordination, synchronicity and synergy. These are divine ideas - qualities we reflect from God and resources we can draw on for any task. Removing any sense of fear or doubt, we can respond to God's governance and let God's goodness be reflected in our actions and expect that each prayer-filled action we take will be fruitful.
Listen. Listen. Listen.
I was once on a task where I needed to buy a number of things in a short time with limited funds. I challenged the seemingly implausible and replaced it with the promise of God's abundant good. I claimed efficiency as my standard, expected that all that I needed would coordinate with what we already had, and was convinced that the final product would bless more than I could then imagine. Each step I took, I listened. I wasn't sure where I was going, but I was listening. As I was driving I saw a warehouse and got a nudge to turn in. I did, and found this warehouse had a major clearance on all the items I needed. I was able to get what I needed that day under budget, on time, and beautifully coordinated.
Listening every step of the way - this is a blessing to every task that we do! Whether we are setting up a new home, directing a corporate initiative, working for the resolution of a national crisis, God is guiding us all to a greater and more permanent sense of peace, productivity and progress.
Through all that the world may throw at us, and sometimes convincingly make claims of divisiness, disaster and disease that would overwhelm us, there is an insistence that life prevails, goodness prevails and love prevails. The very nature of love pierces these claims that lead to depression. The primal impulse of love is God. In the Bible, the book of John says simply "God is love." God's love is the most potent force that we can experience. Understanding the power of God's love - pure, universal and unconditional love - leads the way out of the fog of depression and into the light of God, Love.
I collected a number of posts that I wrote over the years dealing with this issue. These posts were written in different years, from different perspectives and approaches to prayer. The last post includes links to others' experiences in healing depression. Even while I write this, I hope that those struggling with depression will feel that they are not alone in this struggle. Love is right where you are.
A little girl who was born blind, but now sees, visits a garden. “She is
greatly astonished, and can scarcely be persuaded to answer, stands speechless in front of the tree, which she only names on taking hold of it, and then as ‘the tree with the lights in it.” - from "Seeing" by Annie Dillard
Land o' Lakes, Wisconsin (c) Gabe Korinek
I grew up in a family of photographers. How to see things, how to capture
important moments, how to understand light and shadow, how to compose a
scene to bring out the subjects’ natural beauty - these were all little lessons picked up while doing the mundane and sporadically wonderful things that make up family and community life.
My first professional lesson in a beginning photography class was all about light. As I was driving home after that first class, I started seeing things differently. It was amazing to me to see the same objects that I had been seeing every day, in a whole new way. It was eloquent. That new understanding of light "rekindled an appreciation of the marvelous" which I was finding in my every day objects.
I chose the pictures on this website here because each one instructs us to see something familiar with new eyes. Each photographer has his or her own signature in their work, and I can sometimes identify the photographer of a picture just by looking to see how each one experiments with light and composition. My dad always uses renaissance lighting on the faces of each person - that triangular shape of light on the one cheek. My brother Bruce’s signature is clarity and focus. My brother Brad’s work, takes you to places all over the world and shows its universal beauty. My son Gabe has a fresh and profound way of looking at the world and captures that in his work. The casual click of family snapshots brings home the tie we all have with joy, laughter, and play.
Jeff’s work (Jeff is the photographer of the banner photo) gives us another way to see. Photographing the northwoods, which is our mutual neighborhood, he captures what is genius in the minutest detail. He seems to be able to take the spiritual sense of a thing and then take a picture of that essence! A wave in a river isn’t a picture of a wave in a river, it is movement and spontaneity and grace. A tree, a drop of rain, a branch against a river - each photo points to an image's primal spiritual element. His perspective – shared through the picture, teaches to see things in a new way, a spiritual lens.
My hope for this website is that it will help you to see things through a more
spiritual lens, and that you, too, will find a startling beauty and grace in people and things that you deal with every day. I hope you will discover a new depth and spiritual perspective that will surprise and delight you as you explore this site.
The crude creations of mortal thought must finally give place to the glorious forms which we sometimes behold in the camera of divine Mind, when the mental picture is spiritual and eternal. Mortals must look beyond fading, finite forms,
if they would gain the true sense of things.
-Mary Baker Eddy
Love is everywhere.
I just wanted to share this gorgeous love song with you all today. Happy Valentine's Day!
Click here to get there. Enjoy!
K.d. Lang -
"Simple" Lyrics (K.D. Lang/David Pitch)
light in a darkening air
not elude you
Love is simple
beautiful struggle we're in
not elude us
Love is simple
to know that
All in love
as a philosophy
I am calm
Calm, as I ever have been
Love will not
Love is simple
Be sure to
All in love
That all in
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I don't know of any one question that has captured the thoughts of so many through the years, decades, millenia: what is the nature of evil, and why are we aware of it?
An answer came to me recently, knocked and simply stated - the reason we are aware of evil is that we are not aware of good. So, all you prayer warriors out there, walk with me on this one.
The reason we are aware of evil is that we are not conscious of or awakened enough to the allness of God. It is kind of like saying, the reason we are in the dark is because we can't see the light.
So that puts the full weight of the issue on understanding the light - God. To unravel the snarls of evil thoughts, motives, and strategies, one turns on the light. No time needs to be wasted on finding the cause for evil, its history, its prospects for the future, its power. The eradication of evil happens when we engage with omnipotent good.
A few ideas from MBEddy's writings help bring this lesson home (these are all from her book Unity of Good):
"By knowing the unreality of disease, sin and death, you demonstrate the allness of God." (page 9)
And the allness of God is all good.
"God says 'I am too pure to behold iniquity, and destroy everything that is unlike Myself'" (page 18)
Just as the light destroys darkness.
"A lie (another word for evil) has only one chance of successful deception, - to be accounted true." (page 17)
This puts us in the driver's seat. Don't give away the power. Don't believe the lie.
Here are some other posts that demonstrate this principle of destroying evil (evil includes anything bad here: sin, disease, death, lack, etc.) by understanding the light, God.
I have been fascinated with my conversations with friends, Gary and Maggie, who have doctorates in the fields of science, and with lectures and writings of Dr. Daniel Scott, CS and Dr. Laurance Doyle and others. They have helped me see more clearly the role of Christian Science in the progress of mankind.
Thrilling stuff. Here are some past posts of conversations I've had and inspirations I've gained from them.
Recently I had requests from two pet owners for prayerful treatment for their pets. Throughout the day, I noticed that Mocha, my lovable Rottweiler, stayed uncommonly close to me. She has always been close by when I do my morning prayer work, and that day, I named her my assistant. Later on, I got the happy news from both pet owners that all was well.
I thought about the deep and uncluttered spirituality of animals. They have much to teach us! The lessons from animals is an old, old story. In the Bible, the book of Job has this to say:
But ask the animals what they think—let them teach you;
let the birds tell you what's going on.
Put your ear to the earth—learn the basics.
Listen—the fish in the ocean will tell you their stories.
Isn't it clear that they all know and agree that God is sovereign,
that he holds all things in his hand--
Every living soul, yes, every breathing creature?
Isn't this all just common sense?
Job 12 from The Message
(click here for other translations of these verses)
Each animal lover I know has a bond with their furry and feathered friends that can only be explained in spiritual qualities. Mocha has been the furry representative of joy, forgiveness, present-mindedness, patience, contentment, spontaneity, obedience and stability. She is a reminder that these qualities are reflections of God. When I have been sad, or jumping for joy, or simply quiet and praying, she responds with those healing qualities of God. Mocha simply teaches me that God's tender loving care is right here and tangible.
What spiritual lessons have your pets taught you?
Kim C Korinek, CSB
banner photo (c) Micah Korinek; other photos by Gabe Korinek, Kim Korinek, Brad Crooks. Leslie Larsen (c) 2016