Elijah and the Widow

009-elijah-widowIt is always interesting to teach children about Abundance and being “provided”. Due to their innocence and unfiltered view of the world, kids are not only great teachers of spiritual Truth, but they easily grasp the concepts of spiritual lessons when we share them.

One of my favorite stories to share with children is the story of the prophet Elijah who in his travels (he was running away from angry King Ahab), came across a widow who was gathering sticks to make a fire.

He asks the widow for some food, and she tells him that she has only enough food to feed her son and herself, and that they will likely starve after that. In other words, she has just enough for their last meal.

She offers to share it with him, but he says to her:

13 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’” 1 Kings 17

I have written before about the relationship between giving and the abundance found in daily bread. You can read that blog here.

This simple but powerful lesson about God’s provision is another great lesson for children. It has the wonderful imagery from the Hebrew scriptures of a dry, drought-stricken land where there is no food -AND- the appearance of a seemingly-every-day miracle. One piece of the power in this lesson is that Elijah does not promise her that a giant caravan will stop by and unload enough supplies to last her through the drought. He promises her that her jar of flour and flask of oil will not run out. He promises her “daily bread“.

This is also a wonderful lesson to share when working with young children on doing Treatment for the things in their lives. Especially in our instant-gratification, 24/7 American culture, children can benefit from learning the concept of being provided with “daily bread”.

Children as young as elementary-age can also talk about what it might be like if all the stores in our neighborhoods closed and there was no food. This is what the widow and her son were facing when Elijah asks them to feed him first. What a step of faith this widow took when she used her last bit of flour and oil to feed this man of God.

Her faith is rewarded, though and she and her son survive the long drought as God promised.

The dual spiritual lessons of giving and its relationship to receiving as well as God as the source and substance of all our Good come together to create a wonderful lesson for kids of all ages.

For older kids, the teachings of Florence Scovel Shinn may be introduced as she writes extensively in an easy-to-read style about God as our Source.

As always, these Kids sheets are free to use with attribution.

(C) 2017 Practitioner's Path

Bigger than a tithe

givingOne of the many highlights of my own spiritual journey has been the opportunity to meet and study with Edwene Gaines at her beautiful retreat center, Rock Ridge in Valley Head, Alabama.  Learn more about her many retreat and seminar offerings here and if you can, I encourage you to attend one!

Edwene teaches about prosperity from the biblical and spiritual perspective, using many of the Bible’s scriptures to illustrate the promises God has for us in terms of our abundance in this life, like this one:

And God will generously provide all you need; you will always have what you need & plenty left over to share with others. [2 Corinthians 9:8]

This short, simple statement packs a punch (and a lot of wisdom) into 23 words. Many of us begin our spiritual journeys when things aren’t going great in our lives. Whether we’re out of money, down on our luck, heartbroken, sick or just sick & tired of the ways things are in our lives, we often seek out the wisdom of Spirit to “fix” things.

If abundance and prosperity is part of the package we need to fix, one of the first things we learn from spiritual teachers is to tithe, or give 10% of everything we earn. There are varying strains of advice on where to give; Edwene teaches that we should give where we receive spiritual food; others teach that we should just give.  I agree with all of these – give where you receive spiritual food and give where it feeds your soul to give – just give, but it doesn’t stop there.

Giving extends beyond what we pull out of our purses and into every aspect of our lives. We are not off the hook if we tithe on one day, but are stingy with non-monetary gifts the rest of the week.

Do we give space on the highway when others want to merge? Do we give a smile to people we see on the street but don’t know? Do we give a break to someone who was rude to us, allowing them to have a bad day without taking it personally or declaring war? You get the picture.

Giving  activates the Law of Circulation, which always brings back to us what we put forth and as promised, you will always have what you need & plenty left over to share with others.

Take stock of your giving this week, and see if you can up your portion. The results will bless you many times over!

And so it is.

(C) 2016 Practitioner’s Path

Three Day Quote Challenge – Day 1

“With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.”

― Wayne W. Dyer

I was tagged by blog follower Vintage Sapience to participate in the Three Day Quote Challenge. I accepted, and chose to share a Wayne Dyer quote (above). Be sure you stop by and check out their blog, too!

Three Day Quote Challenge rules:
  1. Post three consecutive days.
  2. You can pick one or three quotes per day.
  3. Challenge three different bloggers per day.

 

 

In turn, I nominate:

The Perfect 29 Days

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As we prepare to say goodbye to the month of November and move full-speed into December I was pleased to be reminded this morning of the book, “29 Gifts” by Cami Walker.

I wrote about this book about a year ago when I first discovered it and was thankful to see it again this morning when someone shared it as part of their “Creative Corner” (a sharing opportunity where a lot of books are recommended and get another boost in popularity in our group and the region).

Cami Walker wrote the book after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis very shortly after getting married. She writes openly and honestly about her reactions to the diagnosis, and her journey toward peace, found within the advice she gleaned from an African healer she met in Los Angeles.

The concept is simple: commit to giving something to someone at least once a day for 29 days and watch the miracles in your life unfold.

Before some of you protest and say, “I don’t have anything to give – I’m barely hanging on here!” be aware that giving does not need to be something that you buy.

  • Can you give someone you time to listen?
  • Can you share a smile with a stranger?
  • Can you give a kind word to someone who needs to hear it?

You get the picture.

In the spiritual teaching I follow and live, we know that to increase our prosperity we must activate the Law of Circulation,…by giving. The more we give – authentically, from the heart – the more that returns to us. This is related to the concept of Karma I wrote about previously. What we put out there returns to us: if we are generous with the world, the world is generous with us.

I believe that we are sitting at the perfect point on the calendar for setting up a flow of Good into our lives in the new year. If we begin the 29 Gifts challenge on December 1 and stick with it through December 29; then use December 30 and 31 to reflect on what we have learned, and set our intentions for the New Year,…just imagine the Good are we seeding for 2016!

You can download the 29 Gifts Journal (it’s printable, too!) so you can write about what you gave each day and document your path to a more open heart, and a richer life experience.

I’m looking forward to re-reading this book and taking the 29-day giving journey again. I invite you to join me and welcome your stories along the way! Leave as a comment here or send me an email.

Namaste.

Our brother’s (and sister’s) keeper

As we head quickly toward celebrating the New Year, and setting sights on our own particular brand of prosperity and success, it’s easy to forget that as we make our master lists of desires for new homes, cars, jobs and more; many people are battling much more fundamental challenges day to day, and even hour to hour.

One of my daughter’s high school friends (they’re both grown up and have families now) is facing a significant challenge: Dana gave birth to a beautiful little girl less than a month ago. Little Kassidy came 5 weeks early and with a lot of medical problems that have required 3 surgeries in her 1st 2-weeks of life, and she’s got more surgeries to follow soon. She cannot nurse or eat and is in the NICU at Children’s Hospital being fed via a feeding tube.

Juggling the care of her other children, and her husband’s recent layoff (this came right after little Kassidy was born), Dana and her little family are reeling from what feels like “one bad thing after another”.

Wanting to help, my daughter set up a fundraiser to help this family keep their heads above water while Kassidy remains in the Hospital awaiting another surgery.

We’re reaching out to people everywhere, and no amount is too small. GoFundMe is easy to use, and all of the money donated goes directly to the family.

Thank you in advance for considering a donation to this young family.

Your prayers for healing of little Kassidy as well as for improvement in their financial circumstances are welcome, too.

Regardless of your gift – prayer, spiritual mind treatment or money – we are grateful for the gift of yourself that you share and know that as the teacher Jesus stated in many ways; “as you give, so shall you receive.”

May you be blessed with an abundant New Year. Abundant life and love; light and peace; beauty, joy, health & prosperity.

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Be Careful,…Your Hypocrisy is Showing

I’ve been pretty clear in this blog (and in live conversations) about my disagreement with those in New Thought circles who believe that you should never give to need. One licensed practitioner I know actually wrote that they’d give money to a RICH person before they’d give to charity. When I read the article and questioned them, I came away thinking “OK,…whatever – but that doesn’t work for me”.

For a while I thought that the 2 opinions on giving could co-exist peacefully. I decided that we  just wouldn’t discuss it, and that I would just ignore this point of contention. The problem is that I couldn’t ignore it, and I finally realized why: I can respect other peoples’ convictions, even if they’re vastly different from mine, as long as there’s some consistency. But my BS-o-Meter goes off when the conviction conflicts with actions.

One example that almost everyone has had some exposure to is the abortion debate. Although I am strongly pro-choice, I have the utmost respect for those who believe that life is sacred, and work hard to not only prevent abortion, but to feed, clothe and house mothers and children and who protest the death penalty at every opportunity. These are people who believe that life is sacred, and their actions are consistently being directed toward preservation of sacred life. I may disagree, but I have extraordinary respect for their consistency of conviction.

I have a much harder time respecting those who want to stop abortion, but have no interest in feeding, sheltering or providing basic care for the baby once it’s no longer a fetus, and who are at the front of the crowds shouting “hang ’em high!” in death penalty cases. This behavior does not align with the alleged reason for the opposition to abortion, and makes it look more like political convenience than a strongly-held conviction.

What I realized recently about the “we don’t give to charity” crowd  was that there exists a credibility gap with many of them as well. If you stand staunchly on the grounds that giving to charity is acknowledging need,… accepting charity is surely off limits because it is acknowledging your OWN need! If “teaching people to fish” (as opposed to giving them food) is the way you address hunger, you shouldn’t have your hand out when the food bank is delivering groceries. Similarly I expect to hear “Thank you, but we don’t believe in charity” when you’re offered charitable funds to pay for health services due to your inability to pay; I expect you to address the ability to pay for your doctor’s visit, hospital stay or surgery by doing treatment for an answer that is anything BUT charity. Keep in mind that the “free care” option available in many hospitals is funded by people who donate (give to need!) to these earmarked funds so that those who are in need can get care without giant hospital bills following them for the rest of their natural lives.

Religious Science, I am told, is built on 4 pillars – one of which being the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus has a lot to say about situations like this. In his day, Jesus was particularly critical of the scribes and Pharisees, calling them out on behavior that he saw as misaligned with the principles they boasted about loudly in public.

In Matthew, chapter 23 we can read one such opinion Jesus gave on the matter.

“1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, 3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. 4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.”

They preach, but do not practice. This sounds an awful lot like “I don’t GIVE to charity but I sure will take it when it’s offered!“.

They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. This sounds like “I’ll offer a free class to teach you to do treatment, so you can learn how to feed yourself and your children,” while leaning out the back door to accept a bag of groceries from the food bank.

If your “principles” of not giving to charity are absolute, you go hungry until you can demonstrate food or money that is NOT charity-based; you take on the debt from the medical interventions and treat for it to be paid, but you don’t. accept. charity,…unless your convictions only apply to others, in which case they’re not convictions – they’re convenient excuses.

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