Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday, November 19, 2017, "The Grateful Heart" Dr. Steve Gabrielson

I am Spirit having a human experience, and as such I welcome those qualities that I attribute to Spirit. As I express them in my daily life they are reflected back to me. I increase all forms of prosperity. And So It Is!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday, Novemer 12, 2017, How To Reverse Financial Adversity

I accept my abundance and expect my prosperity. I have order in my finances. I joyously tithe and claim my Miracle. And So It Is!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

'Your Fortune Begins In Consciousness' Sunday Service, November 5, 2017

"I've listened to lies long enough, and they've brought me misery. Right now I deny those false beliefs, and affirm the truth. I am prosperous. I am prosperous because I choose to know that I am prosperous." ...Ernest Holmes And So It Is!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

'The Love that Lives Within' Sunday Service October 29th 2017

"I look within for my answers, trusting the Guidance of Love and the wisdom of Right Thinking." And So It Is!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Perfect Relationship, Sunday Service, October 22, 2017

"I live in the faith that there is a Presence and Power greater than I am that nurtures and supports me in ways I could not even imagine. I know that this Presence is All knowing and All Power and is Always right where I am." And So It Is!

Friday, October 20, 2017



A  former client sat in my office totally overcome by his family conditions. I was aware that he was depending on me to help him navigate through his despair and back to his sense of living his familiar, satisfying life.  I was also aware that recently I had also allowed myself to get caught up in conditions and was not feeling particularly optimistic myself.

During the past few weeks, there have been an unusually high number of events that seem to scream and demand that we react in fear and/or anger to our conditions. There was a mass shooting in Las Vegas that affected multiple families that I or my wife know personally, the hurricane that devasted Puerto Rico where my wife Yolanda has extended family and a friend whose family are in more danger than is reported by general news outlets, fierce and destructive fires in Northern California that destroyed thousands of homes and caused deaths while  simultaneously right here in Orange County fires destroyed a number of homes and caused mandatory evacuations by people I know personally, plus there are continuous national news reports of threats of war. And at the same time, people close to me were experiencing significant health challenges. I acknowledge that I was struggling to stay centered in Truth and not allow myself to become overwhelmed.

A Miracle Is Simply A Willingness To Believe A Better Idea

I realized that I had allowed myself to neglect my daily Spiritual Practices. I allowed myself to feel too busy to start my day re-centering myself in Truth. Daily Spiritual Practices  are called daily practices for a reason. Just because  I did a lot of breathing yesterday does not exempt me from the need to do daily breathing again today. Some things do not store well.   As always, whenever I neglect doing my daily practices daily , sooner or later I begin to feel controlled by conditions instead of using what I know to shift my conditions. I suspect many others experience this as well. 

At times like this I am so grateful for this teaching and as I “snap out of it” and resume using the knowledge and tools that I have learned, my experiences change and everything improves. It has been truthfully said that when we change how we think about conditions, conditions change.

I started having an influx of clients who needed to know many of the exact same things about which I needed to remind myself.  In addition, I was fortunately the scheduled speaker at our Wednesday night service, “Wednesday Wisdom”. It is hosted and  facilitated each week by Reverend Judee Chapman. The topic had been chosen months ago and was titled “Five Simple Steps To Get What You Want”. It was the perfect refresher of what I needed to remember.  

Anytime we want to bring a new experience into our lives there are five steps that must be done. I used to teach four steps. I have recently re-discovered that there is a another step. That new “first step” makes the whole process easier and more effective.

Step 1. Shift Your Mood

1. Find something to read, watch, or listen to that can shift you to a more optimistic mood. There are sites on the internet full of inspiring stories. A good source is to search youtube for an inspiring America has talent episode or Britain, Bulgaria, Slovakia etc has talent ( they are everywhere). Many of these are so uplifting they warm your heart. Lately, I have been listening to a youtube music video by Natalie Merchant called “Wonder” It is from 1995 and is  just as relevant today. 

Check it out. You will enjoy it. I placed a link at the end of this post. If you go there please remember to return here to read the other steps 

Step 2. What Would You Love to Have In Your Life

2. Not just what you would like but what would you Love?  Get as clear as you are able on what you want.?  Think of it this way. When you order something online from Amazon or some other site you don’t type in “Just send me something you think I would like.”  Instead, you are very precise on the name of the article, the code numbers and color choices where applicable. Take the same approach to the new experience you are desiring, whether it is improved finances, health, relationships or work. You don’t have to wait until you have it perfect before moving on to step 3 but make it an ongoing project until you have it clear.

Step 3.  Not Just a Wish. Wishes Are Weak  – This Is  Real

3. Make a firm decision that it is going to happen. This is a step most people overlook. You probably never equated it with the differences in your own successes when you did it and your unsuccessful wishes when you did not. It is absolutely essential. It makes all the difference and you have already proved it to yourself.  Look back on your life and examine the things you wanted to do, be, have, and that you actually accomplished and experienced versus those that never materialized in your life. You will probably notice that for the things that did arrive you made a firm decision that you would succeed and then did whatever it took despite any obstacles. For those things that never worked out your decision was hesitant and your will to go forward crumbled as obstacles and difficulties appeared in your conditions.

Step 4.  Get Rid Of All Your REAL Obstacles

4. Identify every thought, idea and belief you have that is incompatible with getting what it is that you want. For example sometimes people tell me they want a new, good relationship. Later she/he says  “all the good ones are taken”. Now we have a physics problem. Those two ideas – having a new good relationship – and –all the good ones are taken- cannot exist at the same time. One of them has to go. Someone else might want more money and also hold unexamined beliefs that people who have over a certain amount of money are bad, or that there is a nobleness about suffering or simply that money is scarce and the amount that they want is impossible. Therefore it is necessary to consistently examine your ideas and beliefs (notice your self-talk). Every idea that is incongruent with getting what you want needs to be identified and released. It’s an ongoing process even as you move on to step 5.

Step 5. Acting Is Not Pretending

5.  Act as if what you are wanting is already occurring.  Many people have heard “fake it ‘till you make it”. That is not what I am talking about. I am  talking about taking the action on the next obvious step that you would take if you believed with absolute certainty (not hoped) that what you want in your life is already taking form. For example suppose someone told you that he/she knew for certain that he/she was going to Europe this summer and that he/she had no idea how because there was no money available.  I would ask a simple question. I would ask if he/she had a passport. If he/she didn’t I would know that he/she did not really believe it. If someone knew for certain he/she was going to Europe getting a passport is something that people do who know they are going on a trip. If you had a house for sale, and you really intended to sell it you would fix it up and get it ready for sale before a buyer showed up because that is what people do who really intend to sell a house. Taking action that is congruent with getting what you want because you have to be ready to receive it when it arrives. If your sailboat is stuck in an area with no wind you might pray for wind. If you don’t already have your sails up before the wind comes, it will go right past you because you were treating prayer like a wish instead of a certainty.

I recognize that when I am trying to change my condition and I am in “struggle” mode, it can be hard to do some of these steps. When that is the case then I suggest in addition to all of the above that you take Steps 6 and 7.  Step 6 is work with a Practitioner and Step 7 is develop a set of daily Spiritual Practices and do them daily.

The trick to effective prayer is developing a level of trust in the prayer process that enables you to move right along in the direction of your dreams. We call that opening our consciousness.  Sometimes we need to begin by praying for clarity and to deepen our trust before we can budge those old beliefs.   – Reverend Dr. Jane Claypool

Here is the link I promised to Natalie Merchant's youtube video "Wonder" in step one;        Notice the wonderful Guitar work by Jennifer Turner at a time (maybe still) that it was uncommon for a woman guitarist to be chosen as lead guitar. Although Natalie Merchant is great Jennifer Turner added so much to this whole album.

Posted by Rev. Bruce Fredenburg 

Staff Minister; Science of Mind in Mental Health

In addition to being an Ordained Minister with Centers for Spiritual Living Reverend  Bruce is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, practicing in Laguna Hills, California since 1982. He is a Clinical Member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, a Child Specialist and Divorce Coach with Collaborative Divorce Solutions Orange County a member of  the International Association of Collaborative Professionals and is a trained  Mediator.  Reverend  Bruce is also a professional speaker who brings wit and humor into everything he does He has served as a Staff Minister with a focus on Science of Mind in Mental Health at CSLCV since 2003

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Rev. Carla Schiratis' Lessons from Bali

They call Bali the Island of the Gods.  It still seems surreal to me that I have traveled there twice now, both times on a spiritual pilgrimage, with my beautiful CSL family. This stunning island is part of Indonesia and believe it or not there over 17,000 islands that are part of
Indonesia.  The vastly predominate religion in all of Indonesia is Islam, however Bali is an anomaly, where the island is about 90 percent Hindus.  As unique as Bali is to Indonesia, so too is the Balinese form of Hinduism that is practiced on Bali.    
The lessons begin with the knowledge that this was a people and a land that suffered unthinkable oppression from the Dutch, the Japanese, and The Coup, the Thirties September Group in 1965, leaving the island in tragic despair and bloodshed.  Today, these loving people celebrate life, probably to a degree that we may never understand.  They teach us, “today is a day to be thankful for, today is a day to give blessings to God, and today is a day that I will be present, mindful, and in gratitude, regardless of the past events.”
Bali is a land that is entranced in Spirit. 

 Everywhere you go, everywhere you look, you see “physical blessings” little offerings to God, small baskets woven from coconut or palm leaves, which are filled with flowers, rice, and incense. These offerings are at the front of their homes, and their businesses, on the streets, in the temples, they are everywhere.  Visual blessings of gratitude that are crafted with amazing skill and beauty.  In fact, the word Bail in Sanskrit, (that was the original Indian heritage) means “offerings.”

Everywhere you go, everywhere you look, 
you see "physical blessings"

And there are water gardens and water bowls arranged with the upmost care, featuring flowers arranged in stunning mosaic type patterns. Most of the Balinese go daily to the temples to receive a blessing from the local priests, leaving a veil of rice pressed to their
foreheads, temples and chest, which they leave on them throughout the day, until it falls off.  Another symbol of their devotion.   My lesson here opens the idea of creating visual prayer for the senses, reminders that keep Spirit in the forefront of the mind at all times.   
We visited several scared temples, which we participated in the native blessing ceremonies, wearing their traditional garments. At the temple of Shiva, which represents the destroyer, we set an intention on receiving our blessings with the idea that which does not serve us and our highest good would be released and destroyed.
At the Ganesh Temple, or Bat Cave Temple, we accepted our blessing with the intention to remove any obstacles that are keeping us from moving forward.  And at the beautiful Tirtaganga Water Gardens & Palace, we swam in the tranquil stone pools with the intention of creating a cleansing baptism of our souls. Beautiful Bali, she fills me with the lessons of release and rebirth. 
We river rafted in the deep jungles, celebrated the beautiful artist communities,
participated in chanting meditation, followed by Yoga, and an inspiring spiritual message each morning. Bali, taught me to be even more present, to pay attention, and relax into Spirits arms. 
There were many more lessons from these loving people of Bali then words can express, but I will leave you with this one. One morning my travel companion, Rev. Janet and I decide to get up early and first thing go to the claimed Monkey Forest.  We walked there quickly in anticipation of visiting this exotic place, taking care to purchase a large bunch of bananas to feed the monkeys.  I was holding the bananas as we made our way to the entrance.  Immediately, hungry monkeys from every corner come running towards me, crazily, and I swear I saw them showing their little teeth.  I being an animal lover, I actual had a pet monkey as a kid, did what was only natural. I panicked, threw the bananas in the air, and ran out.  Janet being annoyed by my sudden behavior, insisted we go back and buy more bananas.  This time, she held the bananas, being careful not to drop them.  A woman working at the entrance of the park offered to help Janet.  She showed her how to hold one banana above her head at a time and then the monkey would climb up and grab it.  Well this went fine until Janet took the remaining bananas from the women and proceed to feed them herself.  Suddenly, a huge monkey climbs up her leg and starts to grab the entire bunch of bananas.  Janet reacted by quickly pulling the bananas away from the him, and the monkey then proceeded to bite her on the leg, because frankly, he was a little upset with her selfish behavior.
Lesson here: Nature is individualized, each with Its own set of laws not to be reckoned with. Or, maybe, the lesson was: the one with the most bananas wins!

Dr. Heather is leading a trip to Bali in June of 2018 and you are invited to come along! Visit our website to learn more. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday, October 15, 2017, "Fear of Intimacy"

,br> I give myself fully to life, knowing that Spirit is always loving me, protecting me and guiding me to greater good. And So It Is!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

'Undefended Love' Sunday Service '

'I am willing to be the change I want to see in the world.'
And So It Is!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Choosing Where to Give, Sunday Service

I love sharing my Divine Gifts with my community & the world.
I make an impact here and now that resonates throughout the globe!
And So It Is!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Talking With A Practitioner Is Always A Good Idea

What is within you is greater than your history.  Your history does not need to decide your destiny unless you decide it must.   – Mary Morrissey

I saw a recent Facebook post titled If You Experienced Emotional Abuse As A Child, You Probably Do These Things As An Adult”.  The article was posted from a medical site by a retired CSL minister and it had a lot of useful information on how those experiences shaped current behaviors. Most of the comments posted about the article were positive and came from students of New Thought including practioners and ministers.

Someone noted that “Many use this information as a reason to be a victim all their life and blame their family the rest of their lives. It is frustrating to see them tell themselves that is their story for the rest of their life.” 

As I read that comment I was reminded of a common myth promoted by many people who call themselves coaches. Many are taught to say that the difference between a coach and a therapist is that a therapist looks at the past while a coach is only interested in the future. This of course is not true. As both a  therapist and a practitioner,  in either role I am interested in assisting people to live full, prosperous  and satisfying lives in the present and the future.

Each person is not a problem to be fixed or a hole to be filled.  Each of us is a light to be shined, not covered over. However, there is a clear purpose for and benefit to exploring a person’s personal history before treating.  

Naturally  I approach my work differently as a practitioner/minister than as a therapist, because I am being asked to supply a different service in each case. As a therapist I am asked to use my knowledge, training and skills to deal with and help heal conditions from a physical human perspective. As practitioner I am asked to employ all of my knowledge, training and skills to help heal a condition from a different perspective.

As a practitioner and minister I am seeing beyond conditions into the Source of all conditions and know the client’s true perfection at the level of Source.  Be that as it may, as a therapist trained as a Science of Mind Minister and practitioner I bring all of my abilities to every situation. 

However just as when wearing my “therapist” hat, when I am acting as a practitioner I find it is useful to look into the person’s history.  I don’t do it to help the person wallow in their past or to assign blame. I do it  to understand where the error in belief occurred, how it happened and what sustains it. By understanding those things, I can target my treatments to the real blockage. To solve a problem it is important to identify the right problem.

Spirit, Source, Higher Power whatever you want to call It is constantly creating and each of us is a Divine idea in Mind. Spirit creates us as vehicles for doing what Life does, create channels to express more of its essence. Spirit extends itself through and as us into this realm of time and space, which it also created, for the richness of learning that is possible in physical form. Our primary drive is to express experiences of more Love, more success of all kinds (health, relationships, financial, joy, satisfaction, peace, beauty, appreciation, gratitude,) and every possible good. As stated earlier, each of is a light to be shined.

The catch is that in this human experience our operating system for Mind is largely in our human brain which is also designed to preserve our survival. To aid in this, our brains are always searching for patterns, specially patterns that warn us that danger is possibly near. Pattern recognition helped our early ancestors avoid danger by noticing everything that resembled a previous threat.

 When we try to change patterns that are not working for us, our brain automatically activates ideas, beliefs and behaviors that were developed to defend against something that was once a threat. It may no longer be happening but the pull of the familiar is strong because it feels safe.  Something familiar that worked is hard to release.

Exploring personal history  is valuable because it helps us  identify and understand  how the erroneous and often unconscious beliefs  that are driving those unhelpful behaviors were created. It can remove the mystery by bringing previously unexamined beliefs into conscious awareness.

As individualized self-conscious expressions of the Divine you and I are blessed with the capacity to generate new original thoughts which allow us to change our minds.  The first step to getting out of a cage is to recognize that you are in one.

Discovering that you built the cage because it was the best defense you could come up with at the time against something that was but is no longer happening helps sidestep useless self-blame and also accept the possibility that the cage is not needed anymore. Finding out that you created the cage for understandable reasons (not just 'cause you are defective) is good news. Even better news is that you built it so you have the power to learn how to open the door and step out. 

Posted by Rev. Bruce Fredenburg 

Staff Minister; Science of Mind in Mental Health

In addition to being an Ordained Minister with Centers for Spiritual Living Reverend  Bruce is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, practicing in Laguna Hills, California since 1982. He is a Clinical Member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, a Child Specialist and Divorce Coach with Collaborative Divorce Solutions Orange County a member of  the International Association of Collaborative Professionals and is a trained  Mediator.  Reverend  Bruce is also a professional speaker who brings wit and humor into everything he does He has served as a Staff Minister with a focus on Science of Mind in Mental Health at CSLCV since 2003

Friday, September 8, 2017

A world That Works For Everyone

Centers for Spiritual Living
Our MISSION is to provide spiritual tools for personal and global transformation.
Our PURPOSE is to awaken humanity to its spiritual magnificence.
Our VISION is a world that works for everyone.

While Dr. Heather is on Sabbatical I am filling in. As a Staff Minister whose ministry focuses on the  Science of Mind in Mental Health my attention is naturally drawn to certain perspectives.

In this first post, I want to share my belief that many of our human experience problems can be resolved and our lives improved if we focus on recognizing a simple Truth. That is we all come from One Source. We are all connected.  
This is not simply a nice sounding concept. It plays out as an inescapable factor of our physical world reality. Physically, we are all connected. We are all touching the atmosphere and/or in some way touching the earth or touching something that is connected to the earth. Always and everywhere. There are no exceptions. Beyond the physical connection it runs even deeper than that. 

Change Our Thinking Change Our Lives
At the top of this page, you see the Mission, Purpose and Vison for all Centers for Spiritual Living.  My thinking is that to bring  our Vision into physical reality requires understanding, accepting and living the basic concept that we all come from One Source and thus we are all connected.
This demonstrable premise leads to some inevitable conclusions. One of these is that every decision we make and every action we take has consequences for others.  Positive as well as negative.
Many of us do well with understanding how we direct and co-create the conditions of our individual lives.  At the same time I see less understanding of how our collective consciousness drives how we organize ourselves as societies both here and around the world.  Changing this starts with each of us individually.
If this connection was visible, if we were all tied together with a simple cord around our body, we would easily understand. We would experience  that when someone moves with thoughtless impulse or aggressive disregard for  anyone else we would all feel the pull to one degree or another. For some it would be a minor event. For others it could be disastrous and cause injury.
With everyone being aware of the situation eventually it would be obvious that no one can move forward without cooperation from the rest of us. Even with a long length of cord to allow us sufficient freedom to do everything we desired all of our decisions and actions would be automatically guided by consideration of  how they affect everyone else.
 It would be in our self-interest to do so because the necessity and benefits would be obvious. When no one is harmed by another person’s physical expression and  instead benefits  from everyone’s decisions all of us  including ME  is better off.

Why has this been so difficult to achieve?
We live in a culture that encourages hyper-adrenalized physical and emotional states.
According to Fred Luskin, Ph.D.  Director of Stanford’s Forgiveness program, the purpose of adrenaline is to force us to focus on a problem. He points out that when we are in hyper-adrenalized states, generating emotions such as generosity, empathy and compassion is almost impossible. It is easy to understand how that does not lead to creating a world that works for everyone
It is becomimg more intense. Twenty four hours news programs compete for audience size by promoting the worst aspects of human activity. Talk radio shows substitute yelling and anger for honest discussion. Many popular entertainments – movies, television shows, video games, sports - constantly and prominently feature physical violence, horror and fear demanding that we feel anxious and afraid.

All of this and more promotes a general sense of separation, danger and lack. It is difficult to think thoughts of Truth (health, abundance and prosperity of all good things) when our physical senses are feeding us a constant stream input that insists we are in immediate danger.

Why competition should be re-evaluated. It is not always good.
It is instructive to examine what we know about this and can prove. One of the things that happens when we find ourselves in conflict is that conflict narrows focus. Conflict is about winning and losing. Winning and avoiding losing are the primary values. We have seen that when people believe that the stakes and consequences of losing are high enough they often discard values such as empathy, caring about fairness, and even honesty.  
Competition of course is a level of conflict. How intense the conflict can become depends on perception of what are the consequences of losing. When we are in that mental state our brain causes our bodies to release a cascade of hormones to prepare us to fight, flee or freeze. One of those is adrenaline. When adrenaline is high feelings compassion, generosity, sharing, mercy and forgiveness decrease and even disappear altogether.

Why this is important to know.
That which is believed gets done. Everything else gets "lip service". There is a natural outcome of understanding and BELIEVING that our constant connection and oneness is real. We would use our intelligence to create and voluntarily employ basic rules of decency in day to day attitudes and behaviors. Otherwise, how would anything work?  I would still have my individual consciousness and expression and freedoms, and at the same time I would have to acknowledge the physical reality that what I do affects more than just me.

We all understand that we cannot hurt one part of our body without injuring and/or causing a pain experience for the entire ME. I cannot allow injury to one of my limbs or organs  without all of  me feeling the pain. Whenever someone goes to a swimming pool no one asks “Where is the no pooping section”. That is because it is obvious that as soon as any part of the pool is contaminated it is all damaged. If we could accept this Truth, to know and really believe it we would, all of us, never take any action that did not hold value for every other person in the world.
In his well known book The Science of Getting Rich Wallace D. Wallace introduces the idea of keeping our ideas on the Creative Plane instead of falling down into the Competitive Plane. The difference is this: On the Creative Plane it is understood that the One Source of everything  - call it Spirit, Life Force, God, Higher Power, etc -  is infinitely powerful and endlessly and constantly creative so that we are always supplied with everything we need. Our job is to accept that reality and make sure our actions are congruent with that belief.  
On the other hand minds working on the competitive plane see limitation and fall into behavior consistent with that belief. If someone believes that the her or his access to the supply of all of the good things in life ( loving supportive relationships, finances, health, safety, satisfaction etc.) are finite and limited the natural outcome is to compete fiercely to get some share of whatever is still left and an attitude of separation from everyone else who may be trying to get “your share.” It’s easy to see how that can get in the way, perhaps even eliminating the possibility of creating a world that works for everyone.

This is the crux of it.
When we truly know something we take action that is congruent with our belief. When enough of us do the necessary work to accept our Oneness as the Truth rather than a wish or a hope our decisions and actions will change and the systems for daily life would change to reflect that Belief, The natural result would be a world that works for everyone.
It is  beyond my present knowledge as to what sort of systems we will design and create when enough of us believe and take seriously the understanding that we are unbreakably connected with each other and our One Source. I am certain that it will include more empathy, generosity and  forgiveness. It makes sense to me that that competition will be relegated to minor games and amusements and have no part in any activities in which losing can result in serious harm to any of us.
In the 1950s Dr.  Ernest Holmes declared his belief that the population of the U.S.A. was large enough for a nucleus such that if enough of us believed that world peace was possible and truly desired and intended it that world peace  would manifest quickly. Like many of us, I falter at times in my ability to act in accordance with these ideas. I invite everyone to join me in shifting our individual beliefs to embrace ideas that support Our VISION -  a world that works for everyone -into manifesting as a practical physical reality.
I welcome any ideas and comments anyone has that helps accomplish this.

If you found this post helpful please share with others.

Posted by Rev. Bruce Fredenburg 

Staff Minister; Science of Mind in Mental Health

In addition to being an Ordained Minister with Centers for Spiritual Living Reverend  Bruce is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, practicing in Laguna Hills, California since 1982. He is a Clinical Member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, a Child Specialist and Divorce Coach with Collaborative Divorce Solutions Orange County a member of  the International Association of Collaborative Professionals and is a trained  Mediator.  Reverend  Bruce is also a professional speaker who brings wit and humor into everything he does He has served as a Staff Minister with a focus on Science of Mind in Mental Health at CSLCV since 2003

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Self-Absorbed--It's All About Me!, Sunday Service

The right-mindedness of one person can change the world. Today I practice recognizing the Spirit in all. And So It Is!

Friday, September 1, 2017

On Sabbatical

On Sabbatical

Thursday, August 31, 2017

What I Know for Sure

One of my favorite parts of the Oprah magazine is her "What I Know for Sure" column, so I'm sharing my wisdom with you in my own version of "What I Know for Sure."

What I know for sure is...volunteering and serving is the best, easiest and most fulfilling way to find belonging in any community. It gives us purpose to connect, fosters friendships, and offers a whole new reason for showing up. Whenever I start in a new group or community, I always look for ways that I can serve because I know it's the fast track to making friends.

I found our Center about 14 years ago when my girls were small and getting up by 6:30 a.m. every morning.  Since we weren't doing much on Sunday mornings AND we were up early, I decided to seek out a spiritual center with a vibrant youth church. God guided me to our Center and the most spiritually grounded, fun and loving youth director; our very own Ms. Pattie (now Rev. Pattie). I didn't know a soul when I walked in the door! It was just me and my girls. I asked Pattie if I could serve in youth church. Of course she said YES!

I was new to the Science of Mind teaching and really didn't know how I could help, but I was a warm body with a willingness to serve. At the same time, I signed up for Dr. Heather's Science of Mind classes.

I learned the philosophy from Dr. Heather in class and the application in youth church with Rev. Pattie, made complete by a hands-on craft!  Additionally, I made friends, so many friends, creating connections with all members of our congregation. My bond with Rev. Pattie is deep and lasting. She knows me so well and supports me in countless ways. Overall, my time in service made our Center my spiritual home.

I continue to serve, but in a different way. Although, you might see me back in the youth church in the not too distant future. I hear Spirit calling my name.

There are so many ways to be in service at our Center and I know there is the perfect way for you.

What I know for sure is that you will come away from a service experience more enriched with flourishing with friendships and a deep sense of belonging.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

'Being Kind in a Cruel World' Sunday Service

Kindness is the fruit of the Spirit. As I look for. embody and spread kidness, I am expressing the Divinity within me and changing the world around me. And So It Is

Friday, August 25, 2017

Everything You Wanted to Know About the Senior Minister's Sabbatical

A few weeks ago I wrote about the benefits of a sabbatical and thought I would add to those ideas some that I gleaned from my colleagues, particularly Rev. Dr. Petra Weldes and Rev. Dr. Edward Viljoen.

What is a sabbatical? Sabbatical leave for the Senior Minister of the Center for Spiritual Living Capistrano Valley is a planned time of rest and renewal to support future growth. Sabbatical leave follows precedents in the academic community and among a growing number of private sector groups. This "extended time" is qualitatively different from "vacation" or "days off." It is an opportunity for the individual to strategically disengage from regular normal tasks so that ministry may be viewed from a new perspective because of a planned time of rejuvenation. Sabbatical leave is an extension of the Biblical concept of a Sabbath day for renewal and also the direction that fields should be allowed to lie fallow every seventh year to regain strength and fertility. A sabbatical is paid time off during which no teaching, preaching, seminars or workshops take place inside or outside the Center by the minister.

When does the sabbatical take place and how long will it last? My sabbatical will begin September 1, 2017 and end November 30, 2017. I will be back in the pulpit in December 2017 and intend to take my usual vacation next year.

Why is there a sabbatical for the minister? The practice of a sabbatical every six years is common in many congregations. A sabbatical is an investment in the minister's vitality and longevity and in the congregations' autonomy and leadership. I have been in service here for 18 years and have never taken a sabbatical (Although several years ago I took 6 weeks off and called it a sabbatical. My colleagues lovingly informed me that that was a vacation.)

What will I do during her sabbatical? I  will maintain her position as Senior Minister but will undertake a program of spiritual reflection, study and some travel.

What will happen on Sundays during the sabbatical? Regular Sunday services and activities will continue as always. Assistant Ministers, Rev. Pattie Mercado and Rev. Judee Chapman, and guest speakers will lead services during this time. We have some amazing guest speakers lined up including my mentor, Rev. Richard Rogers, Gino Walker, Rev. Dr. Kathy Hearn, Rev. Dr. Harry Morgan Moses, and Rev. Dr. Maureen Hoyt. Some of them will also offer workshops after the Sunday service. Also stay tuned for some exciting classes and other activities.

Does my  taking a sabbatical mean I am thinking about leaving the Center for Spiritual Living? Not at all! In fact, I simply realized that I was overdue for some rest and renewal, a sabbatical is the best way to prevent burnout.

Can we contact you while you are  on sabbatical? In the case of extreme emergency I may be contacted through the Board President, Fred Mercado, or either of our Assistant Ministers, Rev. Pattie Mercado and Rev. Judee Chapman. (Of course, if you run into me at Ralphs, be sure to say hi!)

How does the congregation benefit from the sabbatical? You have the opportunity to realize you are an empowered community whose strengths include but are not limited to the Senior Minister. Guest speakers will offer different perspectives providing an exciting time of learning, experimentation and rejuvenation.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Kindness Toward Ourselves, Sunday Service

I am the Presence of God's Love in the world, kind and loving toward myself and others. And So It Is!

Friday, August 18, 2017

What Would You Love?

The Prosperity Plus II course which is nearing completion, begins by asking the students: What would you love? Not what would you like, or what would be okay if it occurred, but what would you LOVE in each of the areas of their lives. What would you love in terms of your body and health? What would you love in terms of your career? What would you love in terms of your relationships? What would you love regarding time and money freedom?

It is such a great question! Recently after Sunday service, practitioner Aidan Greaney led us in a visualization process and started with the question,
 'What would you love to see representing growth of our Center?' 
He took us through a process of making welcome those ideas and being grateful for  their manifestation. The second part of the process was asking us what would we love in our personal lives.

Although I have wants regarding relationships, health, and time and money freedom, what came immediately as my answer was to be such a powerful and clear channel for Divine Mind, that people who wanted healing would be healed just by being in my presence. It was definite. It was clear. It is what I truly want. And it is one of the main reasons for my sabbatical-- to get in touch with my calling.The irony is for  my entire ministry, this has been what I most greatly desired. And I often feel disconnected from it.

But how can I know that I have made a difference in people's lives?

I noticed years ago, almost from the time of working for my very first client, that people have  a tendency to attribute their healing to conditions in their lives and not to prayer. For instance, my first client had not been a very good student her entire life. She wanted to pass an accounting exam that she had failed twice before. We worked together. I prayed for her; she passed; she received an "A." And she explained that she had had a great sleep the night before the exam, the person grading the exams was known to be easy and she took her "lucky" bracelet with her. Now the truth was that consciousness was unfolding. I was confidant that the Divine Mind was guiding her throughout the exam. I told her she could borrow my believing and she did.

But what difference does it make who gets the credit? The bottom line is that she passed an exam with flying colors that she had not passed before. It doesn't matter if it is luck or consciousness unfolding. It doesn't matter whether I prayed for her or someone else had.

When I get my bloated nothingness out of the way of the Divine Circuits, I realize that the TRUE HEALER isn't me anyway. It is the power of perfect Spirit. 
"It truly is the "father within who doeth the work."
It is always the inner teacher/ father-mother God, Infinite Mind that does the healing. It is also that same mind that brings us clarity about what we would really love.

What would you love? Listen to that voice for God and make welcome those ideas. When you have clarity about what you would love, the next step is to sit in the silence and visualize yourself being, doing and having those ideas.

As the wonderful mystic Emma Curtis Hopkins used to say:
"There is good for me and I ought to have it."
Having your good, living your dream, blesses everyone  -- even the people who don't know you. People are blessed because the outer world is a little bit brighter, lighter and more beautiful because you are a spot where the Absolute is becoming the relative. So you become a holy place. the place where love blooms.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

"Accepting What Is" Sunday Service

I accept my and others humanity with compassion. I accept our Spiritual Truth with conviction and faith.' And So It Is!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Why Do People take a Sabbatical?

Genesis 2:  
"1. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 
2.  And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made." 
The people were instructed to remember the sabbath and keep it holy.  It was to be a day of delight and thanksgiving. So just as joy is more than the absence of sorrow, keeping the sabbath is more than the cessation of work. It is a time to develop a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God. It is a time to fully appreciate the blessings that surround and indwell us all.

Ministers, teachers and other professional people are encouraged to take sabbaticals periodically to rest and renew.

What better use of a minister's time and energy than to rest from the daily activities and to renew her connection with Source.

I am very grateful to be given a three month sabbatical beginning September 1, 2017.

Please know that I love my work and feel blessed everyday to be doing the work I am doing. I am blessed by the entire community -- the people who attend services here regularly, the ones who have been part of  our community in service, the hundreds of students who have studied with me. I am grateful to be part of a Center that values my contributions and service.

When I speak on a Sunday, I want to speak about the experience of Transcendence from a felt sense. I want to inspire other seekers.  When I truly experience the divine within nature and within myself, I experience transcendence. That is my hope for my sabbatical. I will be a better minister for unplugging and turning to the Source within.

Jason Silva spoke about the mystical experience recently. He inspires me.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Compassion In Action, Sunday Service

Today I celebrate my Oneness with all of life. I bring compassion into action this day and Love becomes my way. And So It Is!

Friday, August 4, 2017

I Agree With God

In the August 1951 issue of the Science of Mind magazine, author Linda B Huber wrote an article titled, "With What Do You Agree?" The following is an excerpt from that article:
"Life for all of us should be so sacred, so sweet, so holy, so marvelous because we bear His Image, because we have been fashioned after his own likeness; because his Spirit is within us; because He hath set his Love upon us; because this world is so filled with His glory and wonders of His handiwork; because we are one Spirit, members of one divine family.
I agree with God only! Words of Life and Light. Say them, ye that are storm-tossed, sad, weary and alone.
I agree with God only! Words of Peace and Power. Say them ye that are discouraged, disheartened, doubtful and worried.
I agree with God only! Words of Truth and Beauty.  Say them ye whose lives are dark, sad, unhappy and unlovely.
I agree with God only! Words of Wholeness and health. Say them, ye whose minds and bodies are out of tune with the Infinite.
I agree with God only! I see only Good in every condition, therefore I know all things continually work together for  my Good. I see only God in my mind, my body and in all of my affairs. I agree with Peace. I agree with health. I agree with abundance. I agree with God, the Good, Omnipotent! Within me! Now!
I believe these words of wisdom are timeless and just as inspirational  today as they were 66 years ago. Let's practice together.


Friday, July 28, 2017

She Let Go

last weekend, our Board of Trustees was treated to a weekend retreat led by the amazing Rev. Dr. Petra Weldes, senior minister of the Dallas Center for Spiritual Living. It was an amazing weekend with brilliant results. The Board had decided what we wanted to focus on in the retreat. Then Fred Mercado and I had a telephone meeting with Dr. Petra. We wanted to have  a spiritual experience of connection and we wanted to evaluate our Board Commitment and we wanted to create a Mission Statement that moved us forward into our new home. We wanted to examine growth and expansion. We did it all. The Mission of the Center for Spiritual Living Capistrano Valley is:
 This vibrant spiritual center:
·        Teaches Science of Mind principles and practices for transformation and a deepening relationship with the Divine.
·        Creates affirming, inclusive gatherings of unconditional love and acceptance.
·        Contributes to the benefit of the greater community.
We were fairly sizzling with  enthusiasm and agreement when it was completed.

On Friday night, we made a cozy relaxed circle in the back of the all-purpose room. Dr. Petra led us in a meditation and then encouraged us to stay in that consciousness of receptivity to our soul's growth. Then one at a time we were encouraged to read one of the poems that she had brought for the purpose of our deepening. We had many insights from them, including a quote from Meister Eckhart,
"God ripened me
So I see it is true: all objects are wildly in love. "
Each trustee felt deeply connected and provided keen insights to whatever he or she had read. I was the last to read. I read the last poem. Rather it read me. I was sobbing by the third line. It speaks of deep surrender which is something I feel called to do now.

She Let Go by Safire Rose
She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of fear. She let go of judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the 'right' reasons. Wholly and completely,
without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn't ask anyone advice. She didn't read 
a book on how to let go.  She didn't read the scriptures.
She just let go.

She let go of all the memories that held her back.
She let go of all the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of planning and all the calculations about 
how to do it just right.
She didn't promise to let go.
She didn't journal about it.
She didn't write the projected date in her day-timer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.
She didn't check the weather report or her daily horoscope.
She just let go.

She didn't analyze whether she should let go.
She didn't call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn't do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.
She didn't call the prayer line.
She didn't utter one word. She just let go.
No one  was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.

Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort. There was no struggle.
It wasn't good and it wasn't bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Practicing Compassion and Kindness

Every time I step on my yoga mat, my wise teacher reminds the class, “Yoga is a practice.” 

I’ve learned that a “practice” means you approach whatever you are doing without expectation, taking what comes in the moment with gratitude.

It’s a simple concept but not always easy to do. My mind likes to assess the status of the body and judge whether this will be a good or bad day for yoga. But, really, is there ever a bad day for yoga? Ha!

The same could be said for compassion and kindness. It’s a practice and there really isn’t a bad day or time to practice. Regardless of what’s going on in your world, compassion and kindness, just like love, seem to improve any situation even if it’s just your experience of it.

Last year I took a class with Rev. Pattie called Living My Life Purpose. One of the practices in that class was to raise and praise people and situations in our experience. At that time, I felt like I was living in my car, driving my kids to and from three different schools and a variety of after school activities nearly daily. I decided to start raising and praising all the other drivers on the road. Out loud declaring, “I raise you and praise you!” when someone cut me off. “I raise you and praise you!” when someone didn’t stop at the intersection. “I raise you and praise you!” to the road workers causing delays. First it added humor to the situation because my kids thought it was hilarious, and second, 

it reminded me of the power I have in the moment
to invite God into any situation by means of me.

In August, we are exploring the ideas of compassion and kindness. How can you invite God into the moment by means of you through your practice of compassion and kindness? How can you make your life more vibrant and alive by practicing compassion and kindness in the moments when it's not easy?

If you are looking for some ideas, here are a bunch! Pick something and do it, then share with us on our Facebook page how you noticed your life expand.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Lost in Unbelief? The Answer is Within

As some of you know, I was blessed several years ago with the gift of some old Science of Mind magazines. The earliest ones in my possession are from 1950. This month I am reading a 1956 issue. It was July in an election year. Some of the articles were written to convince readers of how to vote. History shows that Dwight D. Eisenhower  was elected President. I don't know much about what the fears and hopes of the American people were, but from Dr. Holmes' article, I know that there were some big fears.
His words are just as important to us today as they were sixty-one years ago.

Holmes wrote: "First, we have to have conviction of the Presence; next, we have to have the technique for prayer; then, we have to have the results of prayer. This is the only authority we have. The only background you and I have is what we leave behind us as we advance to the foreground of spiritual awareness. This is the only background that has any reality or substantiality or any real validity in any field. What we know, we can do. The rest we only believe in.
The world has intellectual capacity enough and it has the ingenuity for magnificence. It has inventions and modern conveniences that we all enjoy but it is more scared than it ever was. It is more insecure than it ever was. Therefore, there is something missing in human endeavor That which must now come to the world must be an ever-increasing spiritual awareness. This is what the world needs, what it is dying for, and without which it might destroy itself. Everything else has failed. Why? Because it has detached itself from the spiritual and wanders alone and is lost in the midst of unbelief.
Let us, then, in our thought firmly but easily, spontaneously, but definitely, seize the prerogative of the Spirit within us and say:'We know there is One Life, we know that that Life is God, we know that there is no unbelief within us, no doubt, no uncertainty. There is One Life, that Life is God, that Life is our Life, that Life is the life of every person. Deep within us we must feel It, comprehend the meaning of Its beauty, sense the dynamic power and creativity in It. We need to know that here and now there is One Perfect Life in every atom of our being and every organ and function of our body. Its Intelligence is the source of all intelligence. We need to accept the givingness of That which projects nature out of the lavish abundance of Its own inexhaustible resources; the substance of the living Spirit. The government of Divine Intelligence can govern our affairs, if we know Something in us which knows what to do and how to do it. We must permit the expansion of our own soul, the liberation of our own spirit, and the authority of our own faith.'"

Ad so it is! May this day be  a day in which you expand your soul, liberate your spirit and be confident in your faith. After all, it is the faith of God in you!

Ernest Holmes