Tag Archive | Religion and Spirituality

A Special, Precious Moment … with Love


Jesus-Mary-Joseph-manger-sceneWe live all year for these moments – these special Christmas moments. Whether in the hearts of children looking forward to Christmas plays, cookies, and visits from Santa to load the tree and stockings. Or whether in the hearts of compassionate adults looking forward to time with family and friends, special songs, and thoughtful giving to those who are less fortunate. These longings, traditions, and special celebrations are what we measure a year by sometimes. The waiting makes them both fleeting and precious. Sharing a smile and a surprise is the fun part. We spend time in labors of love by baking, shopping, wrapping, decorating, and random acts of kindness.

All this joy, and yet it is not enough.

Because Christmas, while it is celebrated in these and many other ways, is not complete until we reflect on the TRUTH. Take a moment or two as you hustle and bustle about your day to remember why we even have this holiday at all. That tiny baby, born so long ago with one purpose – to redeem and save the souls of mankind. With reverence for the season, I share with you 2 great songs – from a parent’s perspective.

My Soul Stirs – original poem


Binary-Star-2-PhotoMY SOUL STIRS

Standing in the middle of movement, the twirling, swirling world moves around me.

With no warning. No clue. No signal.

Action fades into a standstill.

I caught a glance and my soul stirs.

I am suddenly and excitedly alive.

With every breath of air the goosebumps rise.

A green and vibrant vision appears.

Angels voices arise mingling with your words.

I see a new dimension where energy abounds.

With each moment, each hour, each revelation the connection is cementing.

I did not know the revelation was on the horizon.

Taken aback and yet surging full speed into possibility.

Oneness. Power. Collaboration.

I do what I know and it grows.

You do what you know and it explodes.

Healing and the healer emerging in a breath.

Souls embracing remembered power.

I see you more clearly.

Nothing will be the same.

Bliss

And my soul shivers.

~ Barbara Bernard Miller

Keep moving …


helping-handThere are so many days and so many ways that I need reminded that I’m on the right path. I know what I believe, what I feel, and what I desire. And yet those things seem to find ways of falling short of what others expect or want from me. And sometimes, they fall short of what I believe God calls me to do and be.

And so, I stand humbly reaching out my hand in love, in friendship, and in faith. I seek to balance the spiritual life I live with the physical life I’m leading. What I know for sure is that is not an easy task. It stretches me to places I don’t expect.  I sometimes need to choose something that is greater than the things I want. I must choose the things that align with a greater purpose.

To those I disappoint or hurt, I apologize.

To those I inspire, I pray it is enough to encourage you to keep moving on your positive path.

And for me, I will pray more, listen harder, and continue to seek to move in the “right” direction.

Pray for me, pray with me, and be blessed!

Pass it on!


Today I received a really lovely note from someone who had attended my speaking engagement on Gratitude. Of course I was pleased that she had enjoyed my speech. Her words were flattering. But that wasn’t the important thing about her message. What really caught my heart was how she had “passed it on”. My speaking had inspired her to in turn speak at her church and give her own testimony. She talked about Regrets and Resolutions and had the courage to share her own story. She passed along several of my insights that had touched her. What a gift she gave – not only to those she spoke to, but to me as well.

This is exactly in line with one of the chapters in my book, MIGHTY INSPIRATION, Love Letters from God. It talks about how one action, word, or inspiration spirals and twists and move across the face of the earth because it builds and grows as it gets passed along. We almost never see the far-reaching results of the positive things we create. But they live and move well beyond our initial creation.  This is one way in which we can change the world. Nothing happens if we receive it and hold what we have. It edifies us, yes. But it stops there. It lingers temporarily and then dies with the next thing that catches our attention and focus. Now, the real change comes when we receive and then give. When we pass it on – no matter what it is – it grows. It takes on more and more energy and spreads in multiple directions. It divides and multiplies – it does not diminish, when we pass it on.

I was thrilled to hear from her. I was delighted to see this principle in action. And I know, in the energy of spirit that more and more people are passing it on even now.

What are you passing on these days? Whatever it is, may it be a positive change in our world … and may you be blessed!

I’m changing the world


One of the topics in my book MIGHTY INSPIRATION, Love Letters from God, is the concept of changing the world. Do you believe that you can change the world? I do. Every action and word we use creates a ripple effect. We don’t just put  ideas and energy out into the world – we move them along as well. We expand them when we focus on them or talk about them.

It is my firm desire to change this world. I believe that I have a purpose. It’s not to gather the most possessions or attain the highest of titles. It’s way, way more important than that. I believe my purpose is to help others see their own light and empower them to embrace it. No I’m not perfect at it but I do deliberately work on it. I have a spiritual practice that involves gratitude as well as intercession prayers. Science is even backing up the idea that prayer and faith can change things. This is not new news to the believer but it is important confirmation that is starting to build.

I also work to use my talent for words to inspire – not just on my blog or in my social networking platforms, but also in my work. Planting seeds of positivity seems to be producing many fruitful changes. I enjoy seeing the faces of people when my words seem to strike a cord in their hearts. I enjoy it more when they share the words or even suggest some more. I see a bit of encouragement growing in the work place and I hope that my small efforts are a part of the cause.

And next I want to move from words of inspiration to actions of change. I have long been a “sponsor” for children outside of my country. And yes, I can help them with my modest financial donations. That enables others to use my gift by putting it into action. Lately, that hasn’t seemed like enough.

Next year I’m turning 50. Yep, it’s just a number but in my head it’s a number that represents the middle of my life. I’ve graduated from the daily needs of my children – they are adults and creating their own lives now. And I’m not at the end of my life where I reflect on the journey complete. I’m in the middle. I’m in a position of flexibility that I want to put to use. So I’m exploring where to go and what to do to make my mark on lives I don’t ordinarily have the opportunity to affect. I can go into the world, not once, but over and over. I can combine my love of travel and appreciation for different cultures to spur me into action – I can see the world and change the world and we shall all be the better for it.

I’m wrestling with new questions – Where do I go? What gifts do I give? What talents do I share? Who do I take by my side? The answers to these questions may not stir the world, but they will change the lives of some human beings I don’t yet know. I want to dream big. I want to reach as far as my hands can go. I want to change the world and leave it better for my journey. I want to let strangers know the love of God because they met a woman – this woman.

I’m open to suggestions and inspirations – help me answer my questions … and be blessed!

Praying …


I believe that we are spiritual beings having a physical experience. Because I believe that, I am often able to step back and look for the spiritual lessons that life is presenting me. Not always in the moment, but usually sooner rather than later.

And that is where I stand today – wondering what lesson is showing up right now. I am infinitely aware that I am hearing of so very many people around me and connected to me in some way, even if only by a once-removed relationship, who are gravely ill or dying. The pace and quantity seem to be picking up at a severe rate. So does the pace of evil in the world. I’m sure this isn’t just happening to me, but I am ever so aware.

I vow that I will not let my mind wander and conjure up scary or silly scenarios. I will not allow superstition to cloud my view. I have faith in an all loving Creator and I will look to him to calm my trepidation. And I will pray. I pray for my friends who are battling cancer, and strange afflictions. I pray for those I know who have fallen to accidents. I pray for those I know who are facing the horrors of battle and war.

And I will pray for peace – the peace that surpasses all understanding. I invite you to pray with me and be blessed!

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

~ Matthew 18:20

Doubts, Guilt, and Distractions


I was speaking with a friend at work yesterday about our journeys along the path of spiritual growth and our “calling.” Specifically we were talking about the work we are doing as writers. I am a published author working on my second book and she is a budding writer on the way to being published for the first time. Neither of us ever planned on this path but find ourselves drawn to it.

And, as with anyone on the path to their calling, we noticed that the closer we get to achieving our goals the more we have  doubts, guilt, and distractions. First, we have doubt about the worthiness of our stories. Afterall, we’re just ordinary women with ordinary stories. Well, that’s what we tell ourselves but in reality, everything in life that changes your heart, mind, or soul really is a big thing. Isn’t it? Second, we feel guilty for sometimes spending our precious family time on writing, or conversely spending too much time working or playing or whatever instead of concentrating on our writing. And third, there are the distractions. These are the things that creep up in every day life, such as illness, homework, cooking, TV, that next good book, grocery shopping, Facebook, yep, even blogging.

Why is it so hard for us to make progress just when we’ve found the thing we love or feel drawn to accomplish? Some people call that the devil. You know, the closer we get to God and his work, the harder the devil will attack to keep us from it. Others call that our own inner insecurities. All the stories of how we are not enough coming to the foreground of our consciousness to trip us up on the path. I don’t think the label is the important thing. The true important thing is how to get on the other side of doubts, guilt, and distractions in order to keep moving. Are they all really bricks creating a wall or are they just a curtain of illusion?

First things first, we have to recognize all of this as our “story” and not as the “truth” at all. Life is, after all, about living. No one thing gets top billing all the time and that is okay. Letting go instead of clinging to our stories of inferiority and unworthiness is not always easy but it is critical. If we judged ourselves with the same leniency and grace we give to others we might not tell these stories at all.

It was a good conversation in the end. We found ourselves encouraging each other and giving ourselves the much-needed break that is called for. We will continue with our living and writing on a better track for having examined our “problems.”

How about you – what do you do when you find yourself tripped up with doubts, guilt, and distractions?

Who needs to know you?


You know the old adage – “It’s not what you know but who you know.” Well as with most old sayings, there is of course, some truth in that statement. I venture to say it’s an 80/20 split in the case of who/what you know. In life, we are all born into a community – by our nature we are in relationships. We are connected and that’s really all we know. Our every achievement and learning has come because we either heard it, saw it, or was physically directed by another to learn it.

I’m not sure why anyone would venture into the “real world” and think it would be any other way. And yet, I frequently hear people making that statement as if this is a foreign concept. Rather than disdain this fact of living as social beings, I believe we should not only practice it to learn and connect but we should do it in both directions.

What do I mean by that? Well, when we need to know or get something, we go to the closest “expert” to ask. One person directs us to another and we network our way into moving ahead, either in knowledge or in career, etc. But how many times do we look around to see who needs to know us? Do you have a spirit for teaching but hesitate to reach out to do that? Do you have expertise, experience, or knowledge that would change someone else’s life, or even the direction of their struggle, but talk yourself out of sharing? I often wonder what is it in our nature or raising that makes us hesitate to share without being asked. Do we have to let people struggle to “earn” their right to proceed or succeed? I think not, but I am discouraged at times by the way we live in a society that cherishes taking care of our own and letting the rest be damned.

I can’t tell you how badly my life would have gone if that was the case for me. Not everyone gets the privilege of being born into a family or situation that edifies and lifts them up and guides their way. I am ever grateful that as a child I was given a hand out. Out of poverty. Out of abuse. Out of despair, dysfunction, and possible destruction. I was also given a hand up – people who didn’t know me chose to love me. I learned to live in a family that gave without question. They were generous with time as well as with resources. They lived their faith through volunteerism and I was blessed to live with and learn from them. I have tried to instill that in my family. I know I crave the opportunity to give back as a way to balance the books for what was given to me.

Sometimes, on our better days, I wish we would see more examples of people voluntarily sharing and networking who and what they know on behalf of someone else and not just for themselves.

Ask yourself – who do  you know? Who else needs to know them too? Join me in looking for who needs to know you and me. And be blessed!

Measure of Success


“Success is not about the end product. Success is not the measure of how much you do.

Success is about how much you love and give of yourself to help other people.

 It is about how you connect and help everyone’s dreams and creations move forward.

True success is not an individual thing at all.”

~ Barbara Bernard Miller, MIGHTY INSPIRATION, Love Letters from God (pp. 64)

Have you ever noticed how so many people who define success in a worldly way are so unhappy? They strive for money, things, possessions, and victories. They attain those things and look around and still find themselves lacking in fulfillment. Nothing seems to be enough. No achievement ends the quest for more, more, more. That kind of success feels hollow and solitary. It is fleeting in its enjoyment and temporary in its existence.

God has other ideas of how to define success. His message, as quoted above from my book, tells of the divine definition of success. Have you noticed when you put this aspect into action how much more fulfilling life is? Have you experienced the gift you give to yourself and your life when you have helped others attain their dreams? That success is permanent. It rings solid and true in our heart and spirit. It brings inspiration and drive to help more and more people to their fulfillment.

As I think of how our world is changing and economies crumble and jobs are lost, it makes me look at this quote differently. If we but reach across the worldly “game” of success to practice the divine essence of success we might all become successful. If we stop competing so hard and start cooperating, there is a chance for true success.

Something to think about. Be blessed!

Puppy Pile of Angels


Do you believe in angels? I do and I know I’m not alone.

I find it interesting that every religion that I’m aware of includes these beings of light and love. They show up in the teachings of ancients, as well as modern-day man. The Torah contains many stories of mystical experiences, including visitations by angels in prophetic dreams and visions. In the New Testament of the Bible, angels foretell and herald the birth of Christ and sing at the heavenly throne. Angels also are major figures in Buddhism and Hinduism, Celtic and Norse mythology, and in many Shamanistic legends. They may have different names but they appear nonetheless.

Not that it really matters – I believe in them no matter what organized religions may have to say about them. I think I’ve always known that I had angels, many of them, surrounding me and working on my behalf. My upbringing tells of a special guardian angel that we all have traveling with us on this life journey. They are assigned to protect us. As a child I would recite the prayer that was taught to me:

“Angel of God, My Guardian Dear, to whom God’s love commits me here.

Ever this day be at my side to light and guard and rule and guide.”

Ahhh, but I have what one friend described as a “puppy pile” of angels flocking around me. I feel them. I sense their guidance, like the time I was driving down a dark road and heard a voice urge me to slow down and look about 10 seconds before a small child on a bike darted across the street. I knew in that second that I had been warned by one of my angels. And that’s happened to me time and time again, whether it be when a car was about to run a red light and almost hit me or other times when my own distracting thoughts are halted by a word of “LOOK!” I’ve been warned when not to walk down a certain flight of stairs or when I needed to attend to my child who was about to get hurt. Some will say it’s coincidence but the difference is in the urging of the communication. It’s an energy that I feel and not just a hunch.

Heck, I often laugh and say that my parking angel has come along with me and find it nearly amazing when I always find a spot right where I need it. She’s faithful, that angel, that’s for sure!

I believe that our angels are not just guardians. They serve as guides, encouragers, healers, comforters, and so much more. In the near future I plan to paint some of the angels that I sense around me and others. I look forward to them revealing themselves to me. Perhaps I’ll paint your angel for you!

Do you know your angels? May they continue to conspire on your behalf and may you be blessed!

11:59 God


Have you ever noticed that God works on an “11th hour, 59th minute” time frame? It’s been my experience that during those times when things are at crisis mode and I’m about to give up or give in, that’s when He shows his hand.

I cannot tell you how often I’ve found myself with $1 left and a bill due the next day when a refund check I wasn’t expecting surprisingly shows up in the mail. Or another time when my son was a child and he had a mystery fever for 21 day. No doctor or hospital staff in the small town we lived in could find the cause or cure. We were driving the 2 hours back to the big city hospital for invasive tests when the fever broke and was gone before we arrived. No procedures, no painful tests were necessary.

I invite you to look for your own examples – has God been swooping in at the last moment for you as well? I have a theory as to why that is. I don’t know about you but I’m a “fixer”. That means when there’s a problem I will move heaven and earth to figure it out and find the solution. I will do research. I will pray and call on others to pray. I will call in favors or make critical calls to try to influence the people or the circumstances. I truly believe that God helps those who help themselves.

And I also believe that sometimes we have to come to the end of our physical solutions in order to fully and completely leave our problems at his feet. We have to exhaust our ego and our knowledge in order to move into a stance of faith and trust. It is from that position that we can fully appreciate that God is the only resort left. Time after time I have found myself in that postion of knowing that nothing else I can do will make a difference. And that’s when I pray at a deeper level. That’s when I muster the strength to do nothing more than believe and watch for God to move. And oh how deliciously glorious it is when He does indeed move!

So, while I hope that I have gone around this bush enough times to know I’ve learned my lesson, I am still humbly aknowledging that it is in the 11th hour and 59th minute that I see the full and glorious power of God in my life. He has never abandoned me and I believe He never will. His answers are not always what I wish for but they are each and every time, exactly what I need.

I pray that you see the glory of an 11th hour, 59th minute God in your life. Be blessed!