Saturday, March 31, 2012

Even As I Am Fully Known


So often I still catch myself believing that love is something that comes after I do a thing.

“I’ll deserve love once I’m wise
When I’m good enough everyone will love me
Only when I’ve proved myself can I be worthy
When I’m pretty, when I’m strong, when I’m humble, once I… when I… then I will be loved”

These messages run yet in my head and heart.

I fail to see love as something that is there for me before I am perfect, I don’t believe I’ll have it while I grow.

The Truth, the beautiful, awe-inspiring, mind-blowing Truth is that God’s Love is there for us no matter what we do. We are Loved – full stop.

He shows us we are worthy through this Gift.

And those on earth, who truly love us, do so before, during and after. They accept and love us just as we are. They place no demands on us nor expect a thing.

I have come to see that there is no such thing as conditional love.

True love, real love, is always unconditional.

And such a gift has the power to change and heal every one of us, if we would only let it in. 


1 Corinthians 13   


1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 

Bible Verse: New International Version (emphasis added)



Do you catch yourself trying to earn Love rather than just receive it?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

When Anger Stops Us Seeing A Friend

When we begin to open our eyes and hearts to the level of addiction that has existed in our lives sometimes its tempting to declare "Well no one has ever loved me! True friendship is a fallacy."

Even if we don’t admit it, deep down, many of us feel cynical about love and friendship. All the little hurts have added up and while we may not say it out loud a part of us has become hard.

But for most of us there have been people - amongst the comings and goings, the growing and learning phases in our lives - who have extended the hand of friendship our way. 

Its true, we may not have noticed.

These special people can pass us by if we want to hold onto our grief and pain, if we want to blame and be victims.

It happens because we get angry instead of sad.

We get angry because we hurt and don't want to know it. We don't want to open up again, to feel how alone and sad and friendless we felt before, when our feet were small and hearts tender.

I know this because I have been there. 

Sometimes the hurt of feeling friendless, abandoned, unloved and unimportant feels too much and I just want to hold onto angry disillusionment instead. 

And if you are like me, then when we do this, when we shut down in this way, we not only miss the chance to receive the gifts and gratitude of true friendship but we also prevent ourselves becoming true friends to others.

When we are willing to be humble to the pain we feel, we will stop trying to have those around us alleviate it, and begin to have something to give.

Before this can happen however we will need to stop blaming others, we will stop waiting for the world to make things fair and safe for us to share and speak and be ourselves.

We will have to ask –

Do I want to be true even if others aren’t?
Do I want to give more than I want to justice?
How much do I want to love?

The story of ‘Through the Mists’ shows us many beautiful examples of friendship in action, not the least of which is Fred’s own life. Fred was a lonely man while on earth, he lacked love and support from almost everyone in his society yet he lived his life in service and friendship to those less fortunate. His humility made him not full of self but of compassion; his integrity made him willing to risk ridicule in order to live by the principle of love he aspired to. 

I have learnt that to be a true friend I will require humility. It may mean taking steps that feel risky. 

But mostly to be your friend I will have integrity. I will honour love and truth above my image or comfort. 

And in this I will serve as a matter of course.

Who has been a friend to you in your childhood or life today? What did they teach you about life and love?


 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Be Real, Be Loved


Yesterday I talked about overlooking friendships. I said that not so long ago I’d asked myself:

“If I can’t see the love extended towards me from those around me, how can I know it and receive it from God?”

This question opened my eyes to many things.

When we live steeped in addictions and co-dependence true friendship doesn’t always stand out. It takes a growth in integrity to begin to recognise those that give without trying to get something from you. And often when we’ve been used to co-dependence it can feel vulnerable and strange to begin to enter relationships based on love and humility.

I often find myself feeling exposed or insecure or stupid when I can’t ‘control’ the way others will perceive me through projections or addictions in the way that I used to.

As I let the real me speak, the child in me identifies risk.

All of the times as a child that I was made fun of, or judged, or rejected, or just not approved of when being myself taught me to play it ‘safe’ and hide myself in gradually increasing increments. I replaced these ‘self-parts’, my ‘whole-heart’, my ‘true-ness’ with parts I thought would please everyone, until one day (not so long ago) I realised that my heart was closed off and I had lost the ability to sincerely love and to be loved. 

It’s hard to let love into a heart that is walled off by fake parts. And as I tear down the barricade I often find myself overwhelmed with emotion. When love reaches behind the fa├žade it is such a contrast to the loneliness my true self had grown accustomed to, that I often melt into tears. 



So I’ve learnt that sometimes friendship requires bravery. Sometimes it means taking a step that feels risky. It means taking down the walls and opening up to the possibility of love once again. It means having the courage to grieve as well as be real.

I see the same thing reflected in my relationship with God.

Have you ever realised that you overlooked a true friend in favour of an addictive relationship?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Fruits of Friendship


Each day this week I’m reflecting on friendship.

In my journey to understand true friendship, I realised something truly humbling. That is, that many times over the years I have completely overlooked people who extended true friendship to me.

I’ve done this for many reasons.

Sometimes it was because I’d never stopped to consider the qualities of true friendship. I was constantly seeking addictive relationships in order to make me feel safe, or validated, or liked.

Sometimes I recognised the character and goodness in the person but I felt so vulnerable and insecure about myself that I withdrew from them thinking they wouldn’t like me.

Sometimes I was just completely self-involved in my own life and issues that I didn’t even notice that the gift of love and acceptance was right there beside me. I didn’t see a gift without strings attached when it was offered to me.

How sad I feel to have rejected such gifts.

I recently asked myself the question: “If I can’t see the love extended towards me from those around me, how can I know it and receive it from God?”

Last Wednesday at the book group and karaoke night, the gift of friendship was extended to all of us present.

There were quiet helpers who gave us their time without demand for payment or recognition.

They set-up the sound system, they set out your chairs, they recorded it all, they charged batteries, set-up microphones, played music, cut-out feedback, and then packed it all up and stacked it in the van. They give you the gift of their time, their service, and their expertise almost every time we meet.

Did you see them? Did you notice the fruits of friendship all around you?

Often friendship is a quiet gift, by its very nature it does not demand our attention. Instead it ripens and bears fruit. It is enacted not just felt.

I am reminded that many who have now passed still serve me and offer me friendship. Fred and Robert James Lees extend their friendship across a century assisting me to grow and learn.

Also that each of us is surrounded daily by invisible brothers and sisters who wish to guide us to greater love and safety.

   *******************************************************************

Huge gratitude to these people who helped out on Wednesday.

Lena, Igor & AJ
 
To Lena - who has learnt how to edit video files so that we can bring you the book group on youtube every  week. She edits the video for upload each week and also operates a video camera and helps with set-up and pack-up.


To Igor & Vlad - who operate a camera and handle sound during presentations. Igor is our usual video editor and Vlad is learning the ropes. Igor uploads all files to youtube.


Joy & Cavil
 To Joy - who was the first to arrive and last to leave. I believe this made her stay at the Wondai Hall more than 10 hours!

Cavil
My AJ - who has individually purchased every piece of sound and video equipment we use, he maintains all of it, and understands how each item works. He has trained all of us in how to use these things and is involved in and oversees every set-up and pack-up we do. He packs the van and unloads. He backs-up every piece of data we collect. He edits all of the audio files that appear on our website.


Diana, Jane, Joy & Laurleen
Vlad & Igor

Jane & Anto
 To Diana, Cavil, Anto & Jane- who handled hall logistics, and mucked in with technical support or whatever was needed at the minute.

You guys are awesome

Some great guy who would probably rather be playing guitar!


My special thanks to these wonderful people and many others who often show up and quietly add their hands to the task. (I think Joy calls you her 'silent ninjas'!) Every one of them is led by their own passion in these areas and their desire to serve others.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Friend Indeed


On Wednesday at the book group we discussed the question “What is true friendship?”

This is a question that I have given weight to over the past year. In December 2010 Fi and I talked about friendship. I tearfully told her that I would like to be her friend, a real friend. I’d just lost faith that I had any idea about how that would look in practice.

You see I’d realised that I had often used friendships to avoid rather than express myself. I’d noticed that I’d used ‘friendships’ with women to avoid my loneliness and soulmate grief.

I’d begun to feel how hurt I’d been in my relationship with my mother and how that had effected every relationship with women since.

Too often I’d tried to gain approval rather than been willing to give or receive the gifts of true friendship.

Our conversation really started me on a quiet journey of self-reflection and it’s been a road on which I’ve paused at times to grieve what I thought I knew but didn’t, what I thought I’d lost but had never really had.

Here is what I have felt and learnt about friendship in the past year:

-       a friend will tell you the truth of who they are and how they feel
-       a friend won’t withdraw when they are challenged by the way we feel or live
-       a friend loves and gives without expectation, demand or desire for anything in return

Since I began to pray and desire to understand true friendship I have come to see that some of the people I thought were true friends were not, and some people I didn’t consider much had more integrity than I anticipated and offered me the qualities of friendship as a natural part of themselves.

Friendships, by nature of their honesty, their love, their gifts and their steadfastness in the face of change, can not only nourish us but also challenge us, and help us grow. 

At times in the past I've used 'friendships' as ways to have commiseration for my woes and agreement for my self-righteousness and anger. 

I now believe it is a true friend that will honour love and truth above accord in their relationships. And this not only makes them trustworthy, it makes them a friend in deed, in word and in spirit. It grounds them as an ally as I seek to honour for these things myself.

In the example in “Through the Mists” Helen and Frederick met only briefly while on earth, yet in that time they displayed to each the qualities of true friendship and thus formed a bond that reached beyond their earthly lives and into the heavens. Fred was so humble, so without demand or expectation, that he hardly understood that he should be rewarded for his gift of friendship nor did he see the measure of the gift he had given Helen i.e. peaceful resolution of her loving desire to have her charges cared for after her passing.

 
Have you experienced a friendship that has not only nourished you but also challenged you to be a better person?

Friday, March 16, 2012

And Still More Book Group Info..

Thanks to everyone who attended the first book group yesterday. There were slightly more of you than I had anticipated. (laugh) In my mind I had pictured just a small group in a semi-circle chatting about the first chapter in a very relaxed manner, not a 'lights, camera, action' type affair.

However I'm so encouraged that so many people are interested in reading these books anew (and some for the first time). I feel there is so much valuable content in there and I will aim to be concise in my presentation and also allow time to explore your thoughts and questions. There is much learning and growth to be had for me here too. I'll do my best to serve the purpose of our group.

A special thanks to those of you yesterday who took the bull by the horns and launched in with questions and reflections.

After the group yesterday, we all thought it better to have a later start time so the new times are listed below.

Thanks for your patience as we iron out the logistics.

Wednesday 21st March - Wondai Council Hall - 3.00pm (followed by Karaoke at 6.00pm)

Thursday 29th March - Wondai Diggers RSL - 3.00pm

Tuesday 3rd April - Wondai Diggers RSL - 2.30pm

Thursday 12th April - Wondai Diggers RSL - 3.00pm

Wednesday 18th April - Wondai Council Hall - 3.00pm (followed by Karaoke at 6.00pm)

Tuesday 24th April - Wondai Diggers RSL - 2.30pm

Monday, March 12, 2012

More On The Book Group

*** Updated to Correct an Error in Dates for Book Group Meetings
Meeting previously published as April 4 should read April 3 at the Wondai Diggers Club
Also updated below

Thanks to everyone for your enthusiastic response to the book group idea. I have received some questions via email regarding participation in the group, forming your own groups and re-reading the book.

Rather than answer more individual emails I thought it a better idea to just post the responses here.

Participating In The Book Group Long Distance

A few people have emailed saying that they would like to contribute their answers via email prior to the meetings. I love the idea that some of you want to be involved in the book group long distance!

If you send me your answers before the groups I will be able to share some of your thoughts, feelings and questions with the people here during our group, and then once the videos are completed you will be able to hear the thoughts and feelings of those in Australia. Beautiful. Keep in mind though that I won't be able to share everyone's contribution every time.

If you are keen to do this I will post all of the dates and corresponding chapters on the blog below so that you can see where we are up to and email your answers accordingly. I will need to receive your responses before 10am on the day of the group (Timezone - UTC + 10).

Of course you may wish to just follow along and do the reading and questions for yourself in your own time which sounds great as well. No need to share unless you desire it!

Making Your Own Book Group

Others have also emailed about starting their own book groups. First, you definitely don’t need my permission to start your own group. If you want to start a group then go for the desire!

I love that there is so much enthusiasm out there.

With that in mind, here are some thoughts I had about how this group may assist other groups.

My idea was that the videos of the groups may form a useful tool for another group to start their own discussion of the book, or a Divine Truth meet-up group, especially if the person wanting to start the group is new to the Way or has little experience running groups.

People could meet each week having done the specific reading, watch the youtube video and then have their own discussion. This gives some structure to a group if the leader is worried about generating ideas for discussion or format for a group.

So if group leaders wait until at least a few of the clips are up, you will get to see how it ran in Wondai, any problems that we had (which you could then hopefully avoid) and any things that worked really well.

Also if you only have a small group of people interested, you could us the clips to watch when you meet up. That way you get to add the thoughts and ideas of those in the Wondai group to those of the people in your small group which may make for interesting discussions.

To my mind, the group would still need a leader to take responsibility for leading discussion and addressing any issues of love within the group. Also the group may not want/ need to watch the videos after a few sessions as they may be in their own flow, have their own ideas on how they want it to run and be following the format easily.

So I think it is totally up to you how you decide to proceed. At this stage, it is unlikely that the videos will be available immediately after the sessions i.e. it may be hard for whoever does the editing to keep up to the week by week sessions.

Some people in other areas are planning follow with the book reading week by week for themselves or in a small group regardless of the videos.

Personally, I think the books are wonderful, so I am just enthusiastic that so many people are thinking of reading them!

Keep in mind that any group we run (you or me or anyone) will be a great demonstration, through the Law of Attraction, reflecting to us any unhealed emotions we may still have.

In this way, following our passions and taking initiative, can create a lot of growth rapidly, as long as we are humble.

If You Have Already Read the Book But Want To Be Involved

I’ll be recommending to everyone who comes to the group here, that even if they have read the book in the past, it’s a great idea to re-read the allocated chapter before we meet and complete the questions. My experience with reading these books is that when I go back and re-read I find more meaning each time.

Part of the reason I am passionate about these books and the idea of a book group specifically with them, is that I actually found the prose and content quite difficult the first time I picked them up. I put them down again for years. Having recently picked them up again and now finding them incredibly beautiful I thought that perhaps meeting up and discussing them chapter by chapter may open them up for more people who maybe struggled like I did the first time they attempted a reading.

If You Live in the Local Area But Can’t Attend Every Week

It is also fine if you can’t attend the book group on all of the days in Wondai, so long as when you do come you are up to date with all of the prior and current readings and questions.

If everyone in attendance has done the readings and questions it means that they are able to give/ contribute at the groups, rather than merely ‘take’ from the experience and reflections of others.

Remember that one of the main purposes of the group is to encourage a self-reflective process around the principles of Divine Truth, Divine Love, Natural Love and Morality. If you are not actively engaged in this process through the readings and questions, then the purpose is lost.

Planned Dates for Meetings With Mary In Wondai

Mar 15, Thursday, Wondai Diggers Club                  Preface & Chapter 1
Mar 21, Wednesday, Wondai Town Hall                  Chapter 2
Mar 29, Thursday, Wondai Diggers Club                  Chapter 3
Apr 3, Tuesday, Wondai Diggers Club                      Chapter 4
Apr 12, Thursday, Wondai Diggers Club                  Chapter 5
Apr 18, Wednesday, Wondai Town Hall                   Chapter 6

Apr 24 Tues (not confirmed) Wondai Diggers Club  Chapter 7
 
Love to you all, thanks for your questions and enthusiasm,

Happy reading,

Mary

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Book Group

Hi everyone,

AJ & I have been home for a little over a week. Now that we are back to sleeping when it is dark and waking when it is light I want to let you know about a new project. I have been wanting to start a study or book group for ages and somewhere during one of the 16 flights we took in 6 weeks I finally decided to take action! 

So beginning next week I will lead a book study group here in our local area. Anyone is welcome to attend as long as you are willing to do the reading and study questions. And, as I mentioned to some of you overseas recently, I hope (with the help of amazing volunteers here in Wilkesdale) to be able to provide recordings of the sessions to you via youtube.

Full details of the group are below. They might also appear on the website sometime soon but for now the blog is an easier and swifter way to let you all know.

Love,

Mary 

P.S. Its great to be home and while I didn't get to post much while we were away, I did write a little and took some photos, so I will be posting 'retrospectively' - blogger has taught me how. So if you are interested in seeing some travel pics keep you eye out in January and February postings. 




Introducing a New Group

A study group led by Mary to explore the messages and meaning outlined in the books ‘Through the Mists’, ‘The Life Elysian’ & ‘The Gate of Heaven’ received from Aphraar by R.J. Lees

The group is designed to:
  • Encourage participants to discover, reflect upon and appreciate more of God’s Truth and to practically examine how these Truths impact upon our lives and soul’s journey.
  •  Assist participants to develop self-reflection, an important quality in establishing a personal relationship with God.
  •  {Hopefully} create an online resource via You Tube, for people in other areas, or those unable to attend the group in person, to be able to follow-along with the book group and their reflections.

Participants & Attendance

 

At commencement of the study group course the group will be open to anyone to attend

After the initial meeting the group will be closed to new members, meaning that people are not able to join the group part-way through the study course unless they have completed all of the required reading, study questions & viewed all the prior YouTube presentations.

Required reading and study questions to be completed before each meeting. Those who are unable to fulfil these requirements should not attend further groups but can continue to follow-along in their own time using the planned YouTube segments.

Group Format & Participation

 

The group format will be a discussion led by Mary using the study questions and general reflections by leader and participants.

Sessions should last a maximum of 2 hours and will be held weekly with some weeks off due to Jesus and Mary’s travel schedule.

Creating an Online Resource

 

With the assistance of some of the Gods Way of Love teams, all group sessions will be recorded and placed on YouTube.

This will enable people in other locations to ‘join’ the study group or start their own study group guided by the online format.

With consideration that all filming and production is carried out by volunteers, every effort will be made to ensure that editing and uploading of these sessions happens swiftly. We would love to provide this resource to as many people as possible in a short time frame. 

Details for the First Meeting 

 

Our first group meeting will be held in the Wondai Diggers Club, March 15th at 12.30pm.

The first book to be studied will be the ‘Through the Mists’ by R. J. Lees and is available as a free download on the website or alternately for purchase at www.lulu.com

Set study questions to be completed for each chapter are outlined below.

Before the first meeting please have read the Preface and Chapter 1 and complete the study questions in response to Chapter 1.

Bring your copy of the book, a pen, a journal with your completed study questions for the chapter, a water bottle and your enthusiasm.

Further details about future meetings etc. will be outlined at the first group. If there are any pressing questions before then please contact Mary: mary@divinetruth.com

Book Study Group Questions

Each week, read the required chapter and write a response to the following questions:

 

What issues of God’s Truth are demonstrated in this chapter?

How does this Truth relate to my own life and/or progression?

Did this chapter highlight to me an aspect of Natural Love, Morality, Personal Truth, Divine Love or Divine Truth that I am avoiding and thus hindering my own progression?

Did the chapter raise questions? Was there any part that I found confusing or didn’t understand? Note these for discussion in the group.

Did any part of the chapter move me to anger, grief, fear, joy or repentance? Write and reflect on this.

Journal about any other feelings this reading triggered.

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