Is it God’s work or our work that makes things happen?

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“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”   (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

In Marjorie Thompson’s book Soul Feast she asks, and then answers, a very interesting question. “Is it God’s work or our work that makes things happen? The answer to both, is yes!” This quote from her book says so much as we endeavor to have relationship with God. God of course is capable of doing mighty and beautiful things in our lives, but we have a part to play in that as well. We have to keep alert, to recognize the blessings of God that abound in our lives and to be in communion with God in gratitude. Sometimes the easiest way to do that is to stop and, even in the midst of trial and strife, look for the blessings and gifts that God has provided us. We start counting our blessings, from the really big things, to the smallest of things, and what we discover is that the list just goes on and on. It has no end. The unlimitedness of God pours out a treasure for us to accept.   As a wise minister from my childhood used to say, “God is in the blessing business.” When we begin, with gratitude, to concentrate on all of the many gifts of God it seems that more just keep coming.

Meditate on your blessings, visualize the gifts that Spirit has poured out to you.  Use your gifts to bless and affirm others.  Your well can never run dry for Spirit God is infinite abundance and peace.

Affirmation: “Stopping to recognize the blessings of God, I see that they are indeed never ending and a feast for my soul.”

Rev. Jefferson Beeker

http://jefferson340.wix.com/index

We live our lives one thought at a time. Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.

Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life.

Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeker for daily affirmations of uplifting and positive faith.

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Magnificent Is Spirit’s Dwelling Place, And It Lives Within Each Of Us

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Let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in God’s sight.”   (1 Peter 3: 4)

We think of our dwelling place as our home, that place where we live, or perhaps our church, where we worship. Our dwelling place conjures for us a place of peace, security and overall comfort. It is a place that brings us a renewal of strength and restores us back to being in balance with life.

For too long we have thought our true peace, our true dwelling place is a physical space.  For too long we have looked outside of ourselves for what we believed to be mysterious and remote.  I think our true dwelling place is found within. Deep inside each of us is that wonderful spark of Divine Spirit that is the seed of our very creation and it longs to be acknowledged and given reign in our lives. This Divine Spark is pure, without judgment; it never labels things positive or negative, black or white, and it always is constant in its purpose. Because this spark of pure Spirit is the foundation and center from which we are to live our lives, it is the true essence of all that we are; however, in our humanness we have lost track of that non-judgmental and perfect Spirit within us.

Scripture tells us that Spirit groans to be made known within us. It says to each of us, come rest with me, you are tired and spinning your wheels, come sit with me and I will restore you to divine wholeness. One that is clear, easy and beautiful. Put your yoke upon me and let’s go together through this wonderful adventure called life.

Spirit is always calling to us – wanting to take us to our inner dwelling place. It is where we began and it is a sacred and holy place. Far too often the distractions of life and our ego centered desires pull us away from that place. There seems to be a tug of war going on so we can get what we want, have what we want, and be something different to the world than we were created to be. When we can relax and let God lead us, let Spirit direct us, let the Divine Nature within us carry us along like a feather floating with the current of a river, we will be so much happier. When we are able to do so we will come to realize that as we have been seeking Spirit, Spirit has been seeking us. Our dwelling place within beacons us to come and rest, and to truly discover all that we are, all that we are meant to be, and all that we can do to help light our world.

Affirmation: “Life is a wonderful adventure when I turn within and let Spirit/God guide me forward in all things.

Rev. Jefferson Beeker

http://jefferson340.wix.com/index

We live our lives one thought at a time. Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.

Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life.

Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeker for daily affirmations of uplifting and positive faith.

Choose Your Words Carefully – You Are Proclaiming What You Wish To Experience

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 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.”  (Psalm 19: 14)

Anyone who has followed just about anything I write has most likely come to the conclusion that I believe in the power of affirmations. Daily affirming the presence of God in all of God’s magnificent glory working in, and through, and as our lives, has a powerful way of lifting our belief and trust to new levels of faith. First person, present tense affirmations such as, “Right now I am experiencing the presence of God moving me to new understanding and clarity in my life” are game-changers. They help to move us to a new awareness of that presence that is always with us and to the truth that we are never alone.

There is another powerful way to affirm God’s presence and it is one that is not always easy for people to do. It involves looking at oneself in the mirror, right in your eyes, not moving your gaze, and speaking to yourself in the “second person.” In this way we would affirm, “You are a beautiful creation of a God who knows only good. You are a blessing to all with whom you come in contact and you touch the lives of many.”

The interesting thing about this exercise is that, one, it is often easier to see the fullness of God for another than it is for oneself, and, secondly, it can be difficult to look oneself in the eye and not allow old tapes of our feelings of limitation and lack to overcome us. Deep within all of us lives the sum total of everything we have experienced in life. Good or bad, these thoughts, just beneath the surface of our consciousness, have shaped and formed us to be who we are. Looking at oneself in the mirror and affirming the truth of who you are as God’s creation will begin to change how you see yourself and your place in God’s world.

You are wonderfully made by a God who loves you unconditionally.   Remember to tell yourself that often and then go forth to live that truth in the world. Live that truth in the words that you utter, and in the thoughts that you think. Words and thoughts both for yourself and for all those with whom you encounter. Your life will change in wonderfully miraculous ways.

 Affirmation: In the mirror: “You are a child of God. Loved completely, just as you are.”

Rev. Jefferson Beeker

http://jefferson340.wix.com/index

We live our lives one thought at a time. Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.

Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life.

Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeker for daily affirmations of uplifting and positive faith.

There is a comfort in knowing we don’t have to know everything

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For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13: 12)

We all seek to gain more knowledge, we all desire to know how things work and what we can do to move things along when what we desire to experience seems to be moving slowly. In our frustrations with life we often think, if we could just put our hands on certain things we could push, or pull, or force what we want to happen.  Our sense of needing to know, to understand and to have ready answers seems to be an entitlement that under some circumstances we need to release.

I think there can often be comfort in our not knowing, for it is in our not knowing that we realize we also don’t have to make everything happen. We don’t have to shoulder burdens beyond our capability, or have to feel as though we need to fix the world. Some things are just not meant to be our burden. We can relax and have trust and faith that things are being handled. We can stop and remember that there is a power in the world far greater than us that loves us and pours forth a blessing that awaits our acceptance of it.

For example: We don’t have to make the universe work, God does that. We don’t have to make the tides of the ocean move in and out, God does that. We don’t have to make sure the stars stay in the sky or that the sun rises and sets each day just when it is supposed to do so. God does that. We don’t have to make our healing happen, God does that. We don’t have to make the answers to our prayers happen we just need to trust that we are unconditionally loved and blessed abundantly. God will take care of our life and do so better than we could ever imagine.

There is a great deal unknown to us about the mystery of God working in our lives. What we can know is that God does create for us and we can see the results of that creation all around us, but “how” God works we do not need to know. We do not need to know the HOW because we know the WHY, and the why is that we are cherished, blessed, given the gift of perfect grace, supported and renewed beyond all human measure and that God loves unconditionally.   Yes, unconditionally.  We don’t have to know all the details. What we can know is that in God’s infinite wisdom and abundant power God has it all handled.

Those things we are to know, and those things we are to do God will reveal to us when and was we need to know them. As we release our hold on always having to know or be “in charge” we open up a new space for miracles to appear in our lives in beautiful ways we had never before thought possible.  Releasing our hold on what we think has to be creates room for what more beautifully can be.

How do we move toward accepting this truth of God in our lives? Two words can make all the difference. Just two words can change our thinking and perspective and get us started on a whole new outlook. Those words? “Thank you.”

Affirmation: “I don’t have to know how God performs miracles, I only need to know that God does. Thank you”  

Rev. Jefferson Beeker

http://jefferson340.wix.com/index

We live our lives one thought at a time. Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.

Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life.

Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeker for daily affirmations of uplifting and positive faith

Spirit/God is always right where we are at every moment

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“I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 20)

Perhaps one of my all time favorite songs is “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II for their Broadway musical “Carousel” it has never failed to lift me up when I have felt down. It has always brought me feelings of being closer to Spirit/God in times of stress or upset and it has always brought sensations of joy and happiness to my heart. Just hearing this song causes me to think thoughts of possibility, new adventures and new hope. It’s as if in the darkest of situations suddenly I remember that there is a light up ahead that will shower me with a new day and a new realization that even in those darkest moments I had not been abandoned.

This song was sung (at my request) at my ordination into ministry and filled me with excitement as I contemplated what lay ahead for me. On Palm Sunday two years ago the song was sung by Trisha Yearwood on television in the spectacular program “The Passion” and the night I saw this I just had to rewind the DVR several times and re-watch her magnificent rendition. I was brought to tears of joy and feelings of the presence of God washing all around me.

Whenever I am about to embark on a new project, a new adventure and especially a move to a new location, this song seems to just naturally come to mind. I wonder if it’s authors knew when they wrote it what amazing impact it would have in the years ahead. It speaks of a great and wonderful truth for us today; that through our lives we can never walk alone, for Spirit/God is always right where we are at every moment. We need not look far off in strange places to find this presence, but we need only look within. The beating of our hearts, the moving of our breath is a wonderful sign of Spirit’s presence and activity in our lives. In what we are doing now, and where we are going, through the deepest valleys of life and through the highest mountains of experience, we are loved unconditionally.

God is always a God of “What’s next?” As close as our very next thought.  God is always a God of creating something wonderfully exciting for us to experience. And God is always right with us at every moment, giving us everything we need, just as, and when, we need it.

Close as our very next thought?  Yes, absolutely.  Thank you God.

When you walk through a storm

Hold your head up high

And don’t be afraid of the dark

At the end of the storm

Is a golden sky

And the sweet silver song of the lark

Walk on through the wind

Walk on through the rain

Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on walk on with hope in your heart

And you’ll never walk alone

You’ll never walk alone

 Affirmation: “Thank you God that I know I never walk alone.

Rev. Jefferson Beeker

http://jefferson340.wix.com/index

We live our lives one thought at a time. Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.

Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life.

Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeker for daily affirmations of uplifting and positive faith.

Thank You God – I Never Knew That Was There Before

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For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)

Recently I had my annual eye exam. Time to check my vision, order new contacts and make sure my glasses (for those times I put the contacts on hiatus) are up to date. It was nice to be told by the doctor that my vision has actually improved. I had sensed this, but having confirmation was great.

Seeing clearly to navigate our journey of life without mishap and to enjoy the creation of a loving God all around us is important. I think since I have also been studying Mindfulness Meditation, and practiced bringing my awareness repeatedly back to the present moment, (and away from distracted thinking) the world that I observe around me has gained exceedingly more meaning and beauty. The colors may not actually be brighter, the sounds more rich and the smells more fragrant, but they sure do feel that way to me.

As important as our physical vision is to seeing the beauty all around us, having a spiritual vision and connection with Spirit/God is also vital to our living the abundant life that Jesus promised us.

Our walk with Spirit/God is an exciting one. It is one that grows each and every day as we continue to build that relationship. Perhaps one of the most important practices for me is to begin each day with Spirit/God. First thing in the morning, before anything else leads me into distraction, I like to go into that quiet place and rest there with the Spirit that can perfectly prepare me for the day ahead. Sometimes I have many things to discuss with God in prayer and other times all I do is meditate on “thank you.” Either way, how we prepare to meet the day and its obligations determines how we will deal with the twists and turns that may meet us up ahead.

Our spiritual vision and understanding does get clearer as we practice being in the presence of our loving creator. Even in the rush of a busy day, driving through traffic, shopping in the grocery store, or with whatever we are doing, just remembering we are indeed “in the presence” can clear our way forward.

A wise and gifted teacher of mine years ago challenged us to throughout the day give conscious thought to our “being in the presence.” I have found that in doing so I do indeed see more clearly, hear more profoundly and experience Spirit’s grace more deeply.

Our scripture above ends with, “even as I have been fully known.” How comforting to realize that God knows us so deeply, loves us so unconditionally and in spite of our shortcomings holds us as a cherished citizens of Spirit’s creation.

Spirit/God has so much to reveal to us and is experiencing us fully and lovingly as we are experiencing it. I, for one, don’t want to miss out on anything.

Affirmation: “The fog lifts and the way is clear. Thank you God. That’s all, just thank you.”      

Rev. Jefferson Beeker

http://jefferson340.wix.com/index

We live our lives one thought at a time. Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.

Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life.

Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeke

The Silence Is Not Empty, It Is Filled With Spirit/God

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The Spirit within me refreshes me daily. I feel myself saturated with the Life Essence Itself; I feel the same Life Essence flowing in me.” (Dr. Ernest Holmes)

So many people tend to think that when we enter into meditation and into the silence that the silence is empty and a void. That it is darkness, that it is without substance or purpose. Nothing could be further from the truth. The silence is not empty, it is filled with Spirit/God. We have sacred substance inside of each of us. We live in the midst of silence even though we probably think that we do not. In between each and every one of your thoughts, there is silence. No matter how fast you may think your mind is spinning, there is a space between each and ever thought you have. In between each and every word you speak, there is silence. Millions of moments of silence make up our day. These periods of beautiful pauses are available for discovery. Discovery of who we truly are and discovery of the presence of Spirit/God who has created us to be magnificent beings.

Because those periods of silence are so little known and experienced by us we miss a great opportunity to experience the fullness of God, deep within us, right where we are at every moment. A divine presence that is the true make up of our own spiritual DNA. When we stop and allow that silence to be elongated, to be stretched out and become a more intentional experience, we are able to absorb more of that beautiful Spiritual presence and truth in our lives. We are able to let millions of thoughts and impulses connect more deeply with our conscious mind and move us to seeing new and exciting possibilities in our lives. Even a few minutes of contemplative silence can make a huge difference. Why settle for a thimble full of Spirit when you can have a bucketful?

Easy to do? Of course not. Not because Spirit is unwilling to speak and make Itself known to us, but because our human minds love to race from one thought to another with lightening fast speed. Nothing wrong with this, we don’t beat ourselves up about it, it is just how we are built. But what I do know is that taking some time to be conscious of our breathing, keeping our focus on the breath in and out, is the beginning to our experiencing the amazing power of Spirit that lives within us. When the mind wanders again, and it will, just bring the focus back to your breathing. I also like to visualize the amazing light of Spirit all around, moving through and around me as I sit quietly. Always returning to the breath, in and out. Another thought arrives, don’t dwell there, just recognize it and let it go, back to the breath. It does get easier, like exercising a new muscle. Do we fail when we allow our minds to fly off into extraneous thinking? Of course not. Again, it is natural. Each time we return our thought to the breath we have actually celebrated an amazing new victory. We will certainly celebrate hundreds of new victories within a single time of meditation.

There are many wonderful techniques for quiet meditation that I like. Mindfulness meditation (as described here) especially helps me to power down from the craziness of life and emerge renewed, empowered and ready for what is next in this wonderful journey of life Spirit has given us.

This is the most pure form of contemplation we can ever experience. The indwelling and all encompassing silence of God being Its fullest self deep inside of us, right where we are. The merging of our humanity with our spiritual self. This divine unity is the seed from which all miracles can soon blossom.

I love the words of Presbyterian minister and author James Finley who has written, “When engaged in contemplation, we rest in God resting in us.”

Affirmation: God invites us to sit with Spirit in the silence and be changed, inspired and renewed. Why would I ever choose to miss that beautiful gift in my life?”

Rev. Jefferson Beeker

http://jefferson340.wix.com/index

We live our lives one thought at a time. Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.

Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life.

Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeker for daily affirmations of uplifting and positive faith.

Let Spirit’s Light Wash Over You

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If you have faith the size of a mustard seed.”   (Matthew 17: 20)

Faith is a powerful word and idea to contemplate. We can have faith in many things, we can have faith in people, and we can have faith in God. All too often it has been people who have let us down and because of that experience we come to the false conclusion that God will also let us down. We begin to see God in the image of humans, with capricious intentions, instead of seeing God as the steady, forever constant, Divine Essence of all good. Personally I have never understood how people who don’t believe in the power of God in their lives make it through each day. Yes, I have grown up as a believer, as a churchgoer, and as a Christian for my entire life. I have constantly seen and experienced how the power of God has gotten me through some pretty tough times and delivered me to the other side of those mountains. Scriptures that speak of having faith and continuing to trust in God have become my mantras in those difficult times. One of my favorites that has always gotten me through the tough times, is Isaiah 41:10. “Do not fear, for I am with you, be not be afraid, for I am your God, I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Those words and those powerful thoughts have often been on my mind, as they are yet today, for there is much going on in our world that could discourage and defeat us. We are not charged to have great faith, but even just a little, like a mustard seed. These seeds that take root in the soil of our thoughts can grow into amazing structures of possibility, reaching for the sky in magnificent grandeur.

Feel as though your faith is lacking today? Feel dehydrated of the Spirit of God in your life? Take some time to sit in the quiet, to imagine the presence of God within you. Visualize the seed of God’s possibility deep within and trust that God is at this very moment nurturing that seed and blessing you abundantly. Think of Spirit’s Divine and perfect Light washing over and through you. Visualize that Light cleansing you of all self-doubt, fear, darkness and especially negative defeatist thinking. As that Light washes through you see that Light as it encounters each and every cell, atom and molecule of your being and turning them into glowing beacons of health, prosperity, possibility and newness of resolve. The old is washed away and replaced with the new pure and loving presence that is truly the real you. Do this often and allow your spirit to be renewed.

The great artist Michelangelo said that in creating his magnificent statue of the David all that he really did was chip away all the stone that was around the David so that he could reveal what was hidden within. That is what we can do as we contemplate this power of Spirit washing through us. It chips away all the negative, burdensome ideas and thoughts we have accumulated and reveals the magnificent creation of God that we truly are.

Faith, our belief in the things that are not seen scripture tells us. Faith, the assurance that joy always comes in the morning. Faith, our knowing without a doubt that as beautiful creations of God we need not fear, for indeed, God is upholding us with Spirit’s victorious presence.

Affirmation: “My faith is a mighty seed that grows each day to bless and strengthen me.”

Rev. Jefferson Beeker

http://jefferson340.wix.com/index

We live our lives one thought at a time. Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.

Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life.

Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeker for daily affirmations of uplifting and positive faith.

Relax, Spirit/God Has It All Handled

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For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13: 12)

We all seek to gain more knowledge, we all desire to know how things work and what we can do to move things along when what we desire to experience seems to be moving slowly. In our frustrations with life we often think if we could just put our hands on certain things we could push, or pull, or force what we want to happen.  Our sense of needing to know, to understand and to have ready answers seems to be an entitlement that under some circumstances we need to release.

I think there can often be comfort in our not knowing, for it is in our not knowing that we realize we don’t have to control it all and we also don’t have to make everything happen. We don’t have to shoulder burdens beyond our capability, or have to feel as though we need to fix the world. Some things are just not meant to be our burden. We can relax and have trust and faith that things are being handled.

For example: We don’t have to make the universe work, God does that. We don’t have to make the tides of the ocean move in and out, God does that. We don’t have to make sure the stars stay in the sky or that the sun rises and sets each day just when it is supposed to do so. God does that. We don’t have to make our healing happen, God does that. We don’t have to make the answers to our prayers happen we just need to trust that we are unconditionally loved and blessed abundantly. God will take care of our life and do so better than we could ever imagine.

There is a great deal unknown to us about the mystery of God working in our lives. But what we can know is that God does create for us and we can see the results of that creation all around us. We need only look, and hear, and turn within and feel, to know that Spirit’s great creative energy and vibration is molding our collective and our individual world in perfect and divine order. We do not need to know the HOW because we know the WHY, and the why is that we are cherished, blessed, given the gift of perfect grace and supported and renewed beyond all human measure. We don’t have to know all the details. What we can know is that in God’s infinite wisdom and abundant power God has it all handled. We can celebrate that abundant blessing poured out to us in our gratitude and thanksgiving to Spirit/God with our each and every prayer.

So, continue to lift up your prayers to Spirit/God. Continue to let your gratitude and trust in the one great mind of intelligent grace lead you to experiencing a great awareness of your place in God’s kingdom here on earth. Continue to meditate and experience the source of God energy deep within you. Continue to connect with God in those ways that bring your awareness of God closer, trust that God has everything handled in perfect order, trust that whatever you are meant to do God will lead you to doing, and remember to be watchful and alert, for your answers and your miracles await you.

Affirmation: “I don’t have to know how God performs miracles, I only need to know that God does.”

Rev. Jefferson Beeker

http://jefferson340.wix.com/index

We live our lives one thought at a time. Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.

Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life.

Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeker for daily affirmations of uplifting and positive faith.

What Is The Dominant Focus Of Your Thinking Today?

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Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2: 5)

What is your life looking like today? Does it look the way you would like? Is it at least moving in the direction that you would like? Moving toward the fulfillment of all the things that would bring you happiness, joy and peace?

The thoughts that we have create our present moments and set the stage for our future.   Stop for a moment and think about each thought that you have. We know that thoughts create. We know that what we think about creates our next moment. We know that the thoughts we have today will create our tomorrows. It makes the need for our every thought to be very clear and specific and positive. We are called to be mindful of our thinking, for in our thinking we have the seeds of tiny, but powerful prayers. These prayers set the stage for those things we are open to experience and recognize and these tiny prayers are an indication of our outlook on life.

Imagine that each thought you have is like a bean. Positive thoughts are one color, say white, and negative thoughts are another, let’s say red. As you have each thought another bean is dropped in a large clear cylinder container. What do you suppose would be the dominant color of your container at the end of your typical day? Would it be crimson with negative and defeatist thoughts, or would it be white with thoughts of the healing, rejuvenating and uplifting power of God?

The prevailing belief is that if you want to improve the beauty of your home for resale you should renovate your kitchen and curb appeal. If you want to improve the beauty of your life experience how about renovating your thoughts and beliefs? Sounds simple, but it takes practice and persistence. God will help us as we begin with a simple prayer, “Lord, help me to begin to see a more positive, Christ-centered world in which I live. Help me to experience your presence and your grace in each thing I do and to affirm new possibility in all aspects of my life.” When we begin from a place of positive faith and trust, then, no matter what may happen throughout our day, we will be able to know we are in the presence of a powerful God, who loves us unconditionally.

Affirmation: “Today is a great day to release the past and experience a beautiful NOW. I begin by affirming the amazing presence of Spirit/God right here. Around me, through me, and as me at every moment.”

Rev. Jefferson Beeker

http://jefferson340.wix.com/index

We live our lives one thought at a time. Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.

Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life.

Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeker for daily affirmations of uplifting and positive faith.