Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Heart that Appreciates

When we were younger as little boys and girls, our parents always encourages us to say “thank you” whenever someone give us a gift, or treats, or returning the item we borrowed. As we grow a little older we acquire the habit to show appreciation when some one gave us favor like sharing seats, finishing errands for you, or simply being there beside you during heartaches.
   A thankful heart, why is that important?
   Most people may have not realized that when we say thank you or show appreciations we are sending “love” energies and thus revitalizing the recipient. The simple principle of give and take is a natural cycle in our planet. The cycle of life, food web, symbiosis, mass equal the force, and so on...lead me to the understanding that what ever you sow that you shall reap. Eastern religion calls it Karma, or as Jesus put it "Do unto others what you want others to do unto you."
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them" Matthew 7:12
by Mari Sterling Wilbur
   Similar spiritual activity that I recommend is our Appreciation of beauty. Focusing on nature as God’s masterpieces is one manner of sending our appreciations of God’s creation…therefore it is a form of worship too.
     Further is appreciation even on common or an attractive object or scenario…This we shall further explore on coming articles.
   When we spend great deal of time appreciating beauty we are aligning ourselves with the universe. When we are more aware of spiritual (beauty) things that surround us the easier it is for blessings to travels back to you.

Reaching your wishes
   Imagine your wish is a visible item…over there in the horizon. Abstract things like peace, friendship, career, or love can be imagine as a living entity. So you place that wish somewhere there…Far enough but not too distant for you to reach. You can also place that prayer request (wishes) inside a box (make it an existing reality and it’s advisable to add specific detail you prefer); or you can create a whole environment and place your dream at the end of a hall way…the length of the alley depending on you.
   If it is “family relationship” put that image inside a box…
   If it is a “brand new car” put that car at the end of the hallway…
   Now slowly open the box, you can make specific image of a key if you like, your imagination is what counts…then twist the key, you’ve heard clicking sounds…then you slowly open the key…there you should be seeing your wish…don’t be shy, go pick it up…cherish it for a couple of minute at the palm of your hand…try to remember the varied degree of feelings while the object is at your hand. Then claim that wish…becomes your own…becoming part of you and therefore you become one…then relax…thank God. See yourself thanking and appreciating God. Imagine that feeling of gratitude bathing you…soothing you…filling you…it becomes the air you breathe. Be generous in praising the source. Remember that God is a Spirit; you don’t have to draw a portrait of Him. Imagine how you would worship a King, your creator…flourish in His presence. Hold that feeling of beauty…
   Slowly return to your current being still holding beauty…is there any changes in your emotion? Honestly assess how you feel.

   The above exercise is just a pattern, you can re-invent or add some process whatever you like (like adding some music) just don’t forget to hold the feeling of beauty, of being thankful, and being thankful again and again.

   I'll let you hold to this feeling first and form the habit until it became natural like breathing...before I introduce further appreciations...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Answered Prayers via Coincidences

A blend of vivid imagination and intense prayers can actually lead to divine guidance or in laymen’s term coincidences that eventually became answers to our prayer request. 
   Have you taken a second look or thoroughly consider those past unpaid bills then all of a sudden a call from a distant relatives or a friend visiting you had the exact amount you needed to settle that due? Or while working on a project that you can’t seem to finished for lack of references suddenly you heard someone mentioning the topic and therefore approach that stranger; and after a short conversation she or he happen to be expert on the area you are struggling to finished. One night a television show that you rarely watch featured gardening tips, and then you recall early that same day you mentioned to your spouse that you plan to renovate the garden…
   All the above incidences have one thing in common…and that is “coincidence”. Playwright often employs this tactic when they want to present twist on the story and therefore became central directions of the remaining story. They wrote total stranger’s accidental meeting in a park; the hero discovering a document that leads to his quest….
   Strange as it may appear and often left us marveling on how the heavens seem to be working for our intentions. Coincidences play a vital role in fulfilling our dreams and therefore we should take special attentions when they happen…or at least we recognizes if it is happening.    
Awareness from the Source
   In my Christian life I have learned the value of Quiet Time the hard way. Sometimes we need a real slap in the face before we realized valuable lesson. Therefore I am blogging this note for anyone who might want to consider what I am about to share…to avoid falling down on the same pit I have been. Most especially to backslider who are at lost right now. (Please read Connecting to Divine Source)
   When we enter a relationship to anyone it is very crucial to take note about regular communications. My former boss who is often very critical and want all her instructions followed to the tiniest detail would often coax me “You’re very lucky Fher I’m still nagging you when you fail to do task, because once I stopped talking to you better start writing your resignation…”
   I put that lesson to heart even in various areas of my association with people. As a matter of fact, God is longing for our attention too…Communication is so important to our Christian life that is why we call our church services Fellowship. But there is a more important communion with God that we should and let me stress NEVER ever forget, our personal devotion with God.
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.-- Joshua 1:8
   Always set aside a regular session alone with God. Yes! This is between you and God alone…not with your wife or husband, not with your fellow believers, but it’s all about your intimacy with God.
   The characteristics of an intimate relationship include an enduring behavioral interdependence, repeated interactions, emotional attachment and need fulfillment. Intimate relationships include friendshipsdating relationshipsspiritual relationships, and marital relationships and there are individual differences in both the quality and quantity of these relationships. (source: wikipedia.org)
   There are varied styles or ways to communicate with God. Some prefer a park with lots of trees others may want the comfort of their own bedroom, the important thing is you wont get distracted. Our Pastor suggest we don’t do our quiet time lying down or as much as possible he suggest, that we sit on a comfortable chair with your Bible…because we might fall asleep and fail to listen to the part where God gave us His answer.
   Our devotion time should be on a regular basis. Yet, we can also make a snap quiet time especially if it situations calls for it…like if we need to make a tough decision…(Although I personally believe if you are constantly communicating with God you already have form a heart similar to our Lord, and therefore able to decide right away)
   Quiet Time depends on our current situations. Although there are no specifics told from the scriptures how to meditate on God’s word…I have a couple of suggestions that you might like to adopt…
   Like King David he likes to sing to our Lord. I also do that to set the mood…either I would read (sing) Psalms or utter my own worship songs. I would begin sometimes with humming…then singing….
   We may open our Bible randomly…or make an advance reading list on your diary or from previously preached topic to instill the lesson on your mind. Ask the why, what, when, where, or who question if you like. Meditate means slowly taking in or cherishing the essences of the verses from the scriptures. The important thing is that you clear your thoughts from any other trivial matter. Focus on the Word. It is also very vital to recognized that Jesus is the Word made flesh. John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word... And the Word was with God… and the Word was God.”
   I also have a notebook nearby for any revelation that may appear. Don’t you worry if you are not getting any answer or if God seems to be silent too. As long as you sincerely “seek” His kingdom…He is faithful to give what we needed most…and more than that too even the desires of our heart.
(Seek and you shall find…)
   Once you neglect quiet times for relatively a long period…you will lost your connections….but it does not mean that divine guidance will discontinue its natural course.  
   Here are some pointers to remember to bring into us more awareness.
1.   “You can not give what you do not have” is nearly comparable to the principle “you can not receive if you never asked”.
2.   Also called Reflections, we must create the habit of self-evaluations on regular basis. Write a journal…and remember to be honest with your feelings. If you want to criticize someone, you can do that on your journal…at least you are being honest on your feelings.  
3.   Where our attention goes…energy follows. Intentions are very potent tools in attracting situations that will lead us to our prayer requests.

   Recognition…when we rely to God as source of everything we need and will ever be needing…we acknowledge our reliance on His power and authority. 
"If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you can ask for anything you want, and you will receive it." -- John 15:7

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Connecting to Divine Source

   Previous blogs have discussed about the importance of coincidences or divine guidance in order to reach Realizationism. The process of spiritual awakening taking shape on a steady phase is now bringing us closer to Realizationism.
   Once we have recognized an enlightenment taking place we can proceed to its unraveling in our life and benefit more abundantly. Some enlightenment may happen in a shorter period of time as in my case it took many years to take shape or until I finally give in…yet during the process I’m already enjoying its benefits and seeing patterns that are nearly magical but real. I also have this little theory that I need to be confirm base on experience and perhaps I can will the answer to come to me...by the way the theory is, once we lost contact by deliberately  seeking material gain above spiritual growth we will degenerate and needed the process to start all over again--this means we will lost appreciation of real beauty and will lost communication with the divine source. Although I believe on the consistency of enlightenment...some process are halted because of secular pitfalls. 
   Now let us return to our destiny unfolding. Newly born in Spirit we will need nourishment from Spiritual milk in order to grow. I have pointed out the importance of meditation...on the word of God and so once again I advise 
   More often our career path is the first touch-point of these manifestations. This because we have already molded a mindset that is always relative to material gain or subconscious therefore interpret spiritual blessing in terms of our priorities…as we mature spiritually this guidance, will eventually be leading us to the very purpose of why we are createdThe more we became aware of this reality the faster it will take effect in our life.
   I've also mentioned that literally passing through fire is almost unavoidable to align our preoccupied mind to this eye-opener. Smoldering, pounding, twisting, and even humiliation is necessary to evolve from becoming just a mere flesh and bone but a living soul as well (Genesis 2:7). Returning to the original fabric we are created.
7 Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
   You can also read Why there are sufferings? 

   Although most of us may resent the process by which God teaches us valuable lessons, we must also acknowledge that this is done to refine our character. You have to put to mind how a diamond was being created from a chunk of coal.
   Because during the times of our distress; God inject some of the greatest lessons in our life.
   Which do you prefer a diamond or a coal?
   Once we settle down after some numbing experience and seek our inner self we can evaluate our positions from where we stand. Focusing MORE on the outward appearance of circumstances will lead us to frustrations. Searching for answers from places we have no direct influences can be frustrating But if we stay connected with our spiritual nature we are more likely to received spiritual answer. My method on this process is creating Visual Manuscripts, if you feel you can't express yourself in words, you can do what I do...doodle images and even employing collage to retain the energy of the object that affect me during self-searching.
   I feel there is a need to reiterate the importance of "coincidences" to fully enjoy The Art of Realizationism.
   More on: Answered Prayer via Coincidences

Friday, August 5, 2011


   Lately, I've been noticing some spiritual awareness even among those who   consider themselves not so religious, the casual church-goers, and also among  those people preoccupied with secular existences. The world unfolding in our eyes is experiencing a global cleansing. The heighten awareness is being catapulted after recent unusual events; either caused by natural calamity or man-made they are so spectacular like earthquake coupled with tsunami and irregular  weather activities in various part of the world, or the global financial crisis, plus some volatile relationship between nations.
   Although most of these cleansing process may have been tragic there is a positive note taking shape.  Therefore, on this note also I feel the greater need once again to re-introduce Realizationism in your life. 
   There is a sudden Realizationism happening in our midst.How do you know if you are experiencing this process? 
   Many may have had it in the past but simply shrugged it off and continue in their usual course allowing an important enlightenment slipped away... 
  Just what are these experience you have failed to acknowledge as an actual divine intervention? You will know that you are reaching the first level of Realizationism when you start asking this two question: “Is there more to life than this?” and “Wow! What a coincidence. I wonder why?” (Or other similar questions and an intense feeling of incompleteness you want to be filled)

   This phase is what I call the “awakening stage”. These are the initial process that will take place on the subliminal level. At this point we will begin the searching…this stage can also be very difficult if we hesitate to listen to its calling. Although divine intervention (better term is guidance) is unrelenting, constant, and stable; we must also bear in mind that it does not rush.
   How do we benefit more to this awareness?
   Realizationism happens when we bring it into awareness. Let us say, a newly retired employee is planning to start a business, having received his last pay he was uncertain where to invest his money.
   To apply the principle of Realizationism regarding divine guidance…he would begin to sort all the event leading him to this situation, perhaps he had long been wanting to start a food business, his former job experiences were mostly on sales and marketing, he was most of the time in the field…then by coincidence while walking one day he saw a man on the rush; eating his burger on one hand and on the other trying to balance his belongings and drinks. He was not sure why the man seems to be getting his attention. He goes home and still later that night he can still visually see the image of that man having a hard time eating with both hand busy and on the rush. That night he brings all his awareness to his interest in food service. Then the sudden rush of idea came…how about creating a meal package for people on the go and they don’t have to use both hands.(Now I leave this matter to your imagination just in case divine guidance want you to take the same route).
   From the example above what do we recognized on this sudden spark of imagination? There are many points to ponder here. One is his previous employment therefore understanding how often he would rush or even skip meals just to finish his job and then another point is the coincidence of the man eating his meal with difficulty. Further, enlightenment will also happen as he remembers during his previous job he had met a client who makes food packaging.
   The point here is when we call to attention our needs, the universe unfold its directions if we are attuned to our inner-self. Inspiration can’t refuse a person who calls for it.
What if our inspirations fail to give the best solution?     
   At this point I would like to call your attention to differentiate divine guidance against spiritual deceptions or impulses. It is easier to understand if you can recognize a deception when it’s coming. Generally, deception wanted instant gratification and always centers on the worldly appetite or personal gain. Deception seems to have its knack on RUSH things. It demanded immediate respond on your part. Like lust that needed to be quench NOW…you desire for it to happen as fast as you can. One characteristic of SIN is that it insists immediate action leaving us no room to reflect.
   While things that came from God are often like a smooth breeze gently blowing…allowing you moment to think, and re-think. Giving you space to ponder. Like a tender loving Father…He is willing to help you…but most of the time before He give what we want He first desire to lead us to what we need. It’s not that God does not like to bless us, its just that He want to teach us “appreciation”. (Later we will know why we need to have a thankful heart.)
   One factor that we must remember is deception and lies always leave its known trademark: Guilt! 
   Here’s an example on quickness of the poison and how lethal it is for a compulsive person and how it eventually lead to guilt. This is where the first recorded deception taking place on Genesis chapter 3.
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
   What would have happened if Eve before taking a bite consulted his husband first and then in return Adam questioning God of its validity? There should have been no banishment from Eden and most especially deception should have been controlled.

   Tough decisions require ample time to think and re-think. Divine guidance seems to follow that principle and often they came into view only when we have settled down. (Later, I will discuss how to attract these helping hand in our lives) 
   Have you heard “When in doubt. Don’t”? It’s a very useful preventive measure. Of course, it does not mean we all-together avoid immediate responses especially when our service is most needed.

10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
    As a general rule in following intuition one must be conversant or properly connected to the source of inspiration.We will further explore this connection from the divine source but as for now think about these following verses:
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" -- John 15:5
   John 10:16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.


After Image 8.2, Studies and Stretching

 I don't recall the last landscape or even seascape that I painted, if ever there is; it would be the usual school projects. I'm disinterested in painting landscapes, it's not that I don't appreciate one...in fact I was always awestruck seeing one. It is just not my forte...I prefer to go into details...close up images of the common things. Things that are abundant only inside my own space. That is perhaps my introversion and the usual choice of isolation.  
   I had a model here as basis...I'm not including the picture so that I will not give injustice to the original...anyway, I don't intend to copy its every strokes; I remember what Ray Albano said "Avoid copying the works of others, if you do, you have to at least be as good or a lot better." Therefore, I will go beyond the copying which I know can't even level myself but instead will express what I can.
   Sun ray casting its invisible light has always baffled me...how those great nature artist achieved them flawlessly.  
   I should give credit for my wife also on this one because she was the one who pushes me to paint landscape...Now, as I move along contemplating and internalizing a possible  new realization I will probably do more of this type. 

   Completeness happened when you are doing your core gifts and when reaching some higher level...at least for the time being making some progress...to continue sharpening the saw as advised by Masters I went into another study mode...this time on color-pencil. Choosing violet to sketch with an aim in mind to presents light being defuse yet not sacrificing detail.This is not being timid in approaching difficult situations and plunging into the unknown but making careful calculations base on previous experiences. Some lines are intentionally stress to give it a more pronounce outcome when it reaches our vision and to draw some point if interest. After the drawing has been done I feel satisfied...
   Now I had my idea for a self-portrait...