Elder Rose Ministries An Interfaith Community Resource
Elder Rose MinistriesAn Interfaith Community Resource       

Elder Rose Ministries Monthly Newsletters

Every month, Elder Rose Ministries will be publishing a newsletter with upcoming services, ministry updates, articles, poems, liturgy, and so  much more.  This is an Interfaith Newsletter, so publications from all religions and spiritual paths are welcome.  This is your community newsletter to have an interfaith dialogue and learn about the beauty and richness from our brothers and sisters of all faiths.  

 

If you have article, poem, liturgy, spiritual jokes and quips, pictures, etc.  you would like to submit, please email them to rev.cslacey@hotmail.com and make sure to put ERM Newsletter submission in your subject line.

 

 

Elder Rose Ministries Community Newsletter: January 2017Edition
In this edition, topics include the Elder Rose Homeschool Co-Op's new Lego Group along with recipes and homeschool projects and Goal Setting; Goal Setting for the New Yea; Holy Days Highlights.
ERMJan2017news.pdf
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Elder Rose Ministries Community Newsletter: December 2016 Edition
In this edition, topics include the Elder Rose Homeschool Co-Op's Yuletide Crafts and Recipes; the Story of the Candy Cane and the Yule Spider; our new Column "Spiritual Practices" and an article on head coverings; and Symbols of the Holiday Season; and "Waffle House Inspiration".
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Elder Rose Ministries Community Newsletter: November 2016 Edition
In this edition, topics include the Elder Rose Homeschool Co-Op's Thanksgiving Education and Arts & Crafts Page for our homeschool educators; Rev. Candy's article on stress management and how to be thankful. We also have our normal topics of the month's holidays and a summary on highlighted holidays. Rev. Kim will publish his article in our Digest later this month.
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Elder Rose Ministries Community Newsletter: October 2016 Edition
In this edition, our first newsletter as a merged ministry, we have included a Note From Your Pastors (monthly article), Holy Day Highlights (monthly article), Upcoming Events (monthly), Women's Ministry information, ERM Academy Homeschool Co-Op (Monthly), Rev. Kim's Pocket Sermon (hopefully monthly), and Clergy Self-Care Tips.
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25.12.2016
Laura Gallant
No comments
 Many of you over the past few weeks or even the last few months have spent many hours searching for the perfect gift to give your loved ones this year for Christmas. You have browsed many local stores and even looked on shopping websites like Amazon and eBay to find that perfect gift, because you want this gift to be the best thing they have ever gotten. You want this gift to top all the Christmas gifts they have received in the past.  Or maybe you were on the receiving end of one of those perfect gifts and still remember to this day how joyous it made you feel to receive something that you have always wanted.  Maybe it was some special toy that you have been wanting all year and finally got it for Christmas. Or maybe it wasn’t a toy or some new gadget but the gift of love. We all have those memories of receiving or giving the perfect gift and for most of us those gifts haven’t really changed over the years. Which brings me to the top five gifts that most men and women don’t want to receive a Christmas gifts: Guys most ladies don’t want to receive the following as Christmas Gifts:          1.Kitchen Appliances or household that she didn’t specifically ask for              2. Gift Cards to Home Improvement or Auto Parts Stores              3. A subscription to Sports Illustrated              4. Any items related to dieting             5. A Gym Membership And Ladies most guys don’t want to receive the following as Christmas Gifts:              1.     Any knick-knacks             2.     Gift Cards to the Spa or Crafts stores            3.     Underwear            4.     A subscription to Better Homes and Gardens           5.     Any personal hygiene products That being said here is the ideal perfect Christmas morning: You wake up Christmas morning to find under the Christmas tree the prettiest wrapped presents with ribbons and bows and pause for a moment to gaze at them. Up to this moment the presents under the Christmas tree have been a mystery. You may have even sneak in the night before when no one was looking to pick them up and give them a shake and then listen closely to try to guess what’s in the package. But now you finally get to open them. Will it be that movie you have been wanting? The next book in the sci-fi series you have been reading? Or maybe something else you have had your heart set on? But what if you decide not to open one of your gifts this year because the last two you have unwrapped were not what you really wanted and by not unwrapping this gift you could be missing out on that prefect gift. The Bibles says: Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. II Cor. 9:15. The perfect gift was given Two thousand years ago; A tiny babe on a bed of hay, Wrapped in swaddling clothes. No tinsel-laden tree, No bright red Christmas bow; Just a tiny little babe, From a Father who loved Him so. God gives the gift of life To all who would believe; Because the perfect gift was placed In a manger, not underneath a tree. (The Perfect Gift  By J M McIntosh) To the Artist He is the One Altogether Lovely. To the Architect He is the Chief Corner Stone. To the Baker He is the Living Bread. To the Banker He is the Hidden Treasure. To the Biologist He is the Life. To the Builder He is the Sure Foundation. To the Carpenter He is the Door. To the Doctor He is the Great Physician. To the Educator He is the Great Teacher. To the Engineer He is the New and Living Way. To the Farmer He is the True Vine. To the Florist He is the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley. To the Geologist He is the Rock of Ages. To the Judge He is the Righteous Judge, Judge of All Men. To the Jeweler He is the Pearl of Great Price. To the Lawyer He is the Counselor, the Lawgiver, the Advocate. To the Newspaper Editor He is the Good Tidings of Great Joy. To the Philanthropist He is the Unspeakable Gift. To the Philosopher He is the Wisdom of God. To the Sculptor He is the Living Stone. To the Servant He is the Good Master. To the Statesman He is the Desire of All Nations. To the Student He is the Incarnate Truth. To the Theologian He is the Author and Finisher of our Faith. To the Toiler He is the Giver of Rest. To the Sinner He is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the World. To the Christian He is the Son of the Living God, the Savior, the Redeemer and the Lord. For He is many things to many people. I know what Jesus is to me, but what is Jesus to You?
29.09.2016
Candy Lacey-Partlow
No comments
My dear friend April Pashovich has a beautiful cooking video blog.  For all of those Fall and Winter Gatherings, this recipe is ideal.  You can cook with alcohol or without.  Happy Harvest, Blessed Samhain, Happy Holidays! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyNsHFTXLsw&feature=share Bright Blessings, Rev. Candy
08.09.2016
Candy Lacey-Partlow
No comments
I wrote my heart out last night, edited for typos, and set what I’d put together aside for a few hours. When I went back to it, I was dismayed that my thoughts were all over the place, and unless you are me, nothing I wrote would make any sense to you. It was something I could not share. I deleted it. What I wrote about, very poorly, mind you, was things that are making me feel completely alone. There was ranting, but zero content about how I am managing to cope. Yesterday, after reading that rant I’d composed, I realized I feel more alone than I ever have in my whole life, and today, I realized that I am coping with it. Successfully. Rather than share a depressing rant that will only serve to make me look nuttier than a peanut farm, I will share how one person, me, copes with this aloneness. First, here is what is going on. I have had issues driving for about three years now. Prior to that, I belonged to groups and did volunteer work. When I quit driving, the volunteer work and group participation tapered off until I was participating about a fourth as much, but I was still participating. I simply rode with other people who were also going. No big deal. I used to give other people rides all the time. Unfortunately, there was a major brawl this summer centered on a dinner party I was asked to host. Friend alliances splintered after things were said and done that can never be taken back.  People are gone from my life, and each other’s lives. We all spent years together. Now it is as if some of us never met.  After that, I stopped inviting groups of people into my home. I further reduced my volunteer work and community involvement. I did not have the heart for fellowship crowds, groups, and organizations. I told myself this was temporary and I just needed to recuperate from the hurt. I still had a very good job where I was fulfilled. I saw hundreds of customers per week and enjoyed my co-workers immensely. I gardened, cooked, did art, and studied music. I have a very good marriage and was content working, coming home, and staying busy with hobbies. I have other friends I still saw and did not feel lonely at all. Then I got sick. Not, I have bronchitis sick. I got a chronic illness there is no treatment for. It’s not terminal, but it is debilitating. I have not worked in over a month and cannot leave the house alone most days. I am working on getting back to my job, but I still have very bad days, so I have no clue what to expect from minute to minute. The driving issues, the friend groups splintering, and the illness all put together have changed my life immensely.  To go from being somebody who was almost constantly surrounded by people to see so few people has been excruciating. While the initial sorrow from feeling so alone made a weepy idiot out of me, I now have gained some perspective and I realize that I am actually coping with this. One thing that is helping me cope is that I try and create something every day. My painting, beading, and writing helps greatly. Many people say that whatever art form they call theirs is healing. It’s true. I also watched a lot of horror flicks. I can’t get enough of the stuff. Sometimes, even if I cannot concentrate and I have to throw out what I create, like yesterdays writing, it still helps to keep my mind busy for part of the day. Otherwise I dwell on things I do not need to be thinking about. Another thing that helps is I have kept in communication with people I know even though I cannot get to them. I have plenty of people to be thankful for. I don’t assume everybody can just drop what they are doing and run to my side and sit with me 24/7.  I cannot get to others right now, and others cannot always get to me. So, chatting online with people helps me greatly.  When I am able to get out, I make it a point to talk to people.  I see my husband every day, of course. And I know that if I lived alone, I’d feel more alone. I talk to myself as well. I tell myself this will not be forever and I will eventually get back to normal. At first, when the shock of being so sick had me, my husband begged me to believe all would be well again. I wasted plenty of energy arguing with him. I felt so bad, I could not imagine ever feeling any other way. Then, I went from all bad days, to some better days, and some whole good days mixed in with some very bad days. But the fact all the days were not bad anymore. That made it easier to believe I’d get better. At first I felt ashamed to feel lonely. Then I realized, everybody feels the same way when things like this happen to them. When I stopped being angry with myself for being sick and for being upset, it improved my emotional wellbeing immediately. I started to try and do things that might help me get better.  I threw out some food that was not healthy and got more vitamins. I did yoga stretches days I moved around little so I would not get stiff and sore. I slept extra as I needed to. I let my doctor give me –shudders- medications. Out of five things prescribed, one gave a bit of relief I would not have gotten had I refused to try. I also looked at things that were not helping me. I removed myself from online discussion boards because I hate to watch people fight. I had a lot of hurt I was holding onto from this summer’s mess.  I decided I did not have the energy or room in my heart to hold on to it. I do not have the time or energy to worry either. It is difficult, but I have to put worry out of my mind. The number one thing making me feel alone was THINKING I was. Counting the people who were not there as opposed to who were gave me an unrealistic view of just how many people I had in my life to be grateful for. It’s been over a month, not over ten years. Sometimes, I have had to remind myself of this. I admit there have been days and even moments during some decent days I have been unable to do anything at all to help myself. It was at those times there was only one thing I could do. I just hung in there. The pain wound up easing off, although it keeps coming back, and I keep having good days, mixed in with the bad days. The doctor says this is temporary and that I will, indeed get better. I will work again, I will drive on my own again, and I will get my life back. In the meantime, all I can do is cope. So, most simply stated, my formula to cope with aloneness Do things that make you happy. If there are things you cannot do, then do something you CAN that makes you happy. Reach out to others. You can always reach out to somebody. Tell yourself it WILL get better. Tell yourself that until you believe it. Do not be down on yourself, feeing ashamed for your situation, or your feelings about it.  Do things that are good for your health. Let go of things that are not good for you. Most especially let go of mindsets that are bad for you. Hang in there. Sometimes hanging in there is the ONLY thing that you can do. Do it. Learn something from it if you can. Anything at all that can help you in your life. Anything.  I have learned that we only have limited control to what life throws at us. Sure, we can always make a lousy decision and get ourselves into a lousy situation we cannot easily get out of. That’s not what happened to me here. I had no control of this. None of us has any idea when it will be finished with and life will get back to normal. This might be the new normal.  One of the most difficult things to deal with that results from an illness is the feelings of aloneness because you cannot get out and do the things you used to. I cannot control that.  I can only control my reaction, and how I cope. It’s all any of us can do. If I have learned to be grateful for all you have and for WHO you have in your life. WHILE you have it. It’s easy to see what you had when it’s gone. We seldom know how good we have things until things aren’t good anymore. The only thing constant really is change.  Sometimes, things change for the better, sometimes for the worse. Sometimes bad times don’t go away for a very long time and sometimes, bad times get worse.   You never know what is going to happen and from one day to the next, your life could be entirely changed forever. Live as well as possible. Do the things that make you happy, and choose wisely who you do things with.  An illness or tragedy always reveals who you can really count on and it reveals strengths in yourself you never knew about. It also reveals weaknesses and brings your hidden fears to the surface. You will be surprised by not only yourself, but by others. Hopefully, there will be pleasant surprises- like your own ability to cope and survive. Never underestimate the power of your loved ones to help you through bad times. Never assume everybody who you love likewise loves you as much as you love them and that they will automatically come through for you. The people who wind up helping you cope with aloneness most may be the last ones you’d expected to. Also, remember the people you have spent time with. If they are not around, don’t assume they are snubbing you. They may be dealing with something they don’t want to look like they are whining about.  Suffering is embarrassing for people sometimes, and they feel like, if nobody sees them in their lowest moments, they will at least still have their pride. But if you reach out, they might talk about it, and maybe feel like they do not have to deal with things completely alone. I wish I had known these things before. Well, here’s the end to all I’ve been saying. I hope you never have to cope with aloneness. I hope you never have illness, or pain, or misfortune, but I know that if you live long enough, someday you will. Cry, break things, fall to pieces, have a meltdown, and get it out of your system. Sleep, eat some comfort foods, and go AWOL a little bit. Then draw yourself up and continue living. Be blessed, bless others, and be happy. Blessed Be. Written by April Pashovich for Rose Oak Interfaith Ministries Interfaith Blog.  November 9, 2014
08.09.2016
Candy Lacey-Partlow
No comments
Sabbat-Esbat Pagans Updated on November 17, 2014 Pagan Ritual Service Ground Blessing prior to Ritual. | Source “ I attended ritual; that is all I need! Sabbat-Esbat Pagan Mentality Just like in Christianity with the Sunday-morning, Christmas, Easter only Christians, Paganism has their Sabbat-Esbat Pagan only Pagans. There is the feeling that "I attended Ritual and that is all I need". Those that have this mentality are missing out on spiritual growth and the connection with the Divine. Having a spiritual life is part of bringing balance into our daily life. Parts of our life include a full-time job, raising children, family obligations, school, household duties, and social responsibilities; but our spiritual life is void. When we feel that something is void in our life, often a personal spiritual life is lacking. Manifestation Ostara Sabbat: Planting seeds to bring about manifestation. | Source “ Going to ritual makes me pagan. Sabbat-Esbat Only Pagan Common Ideology As an Interfaith Pagan minister, some of the practices observed of Sabbat-Esbat Only Pagans are discussed here. I attended Ritual. Many Pagans attend a monthly New Moon or Full Moon Esbat or a Sabbat rite which occurs about every six weeks and that is all that they feel is necessary. These rites are led by a spiritual leader who has designed the rite for a specific purpose and most leaders will request that all present participate. For some, they participate with passion and grow spiritually, but many just go through the motions of what is asked of them. The Priest or Priestess will talk to the Divine on my behalf. In Paganism, Pagans are seen as priests and priestesses in their own right. This means that no one needs to intercede on your behalf to commune with the Divine. While priests and priestesses who are clergy will often pray, meditate, etc. on the needs of those they minister to in their community, individuals have the responsibility to commune with the Divine one-one-one. Only pagan leaders need to be in service to the Old Gods and the old ways.Other than attending the occasional ritual, there is a mindset that only those in leadership are in service to the Old Gods. This service is in providing wisdom, healing, and ritual to and for the people; and offerings and communion to the Divine. Not true. Pagans must have a personal relationship with the Divine and service to their community. We do not just live to oneself. I live by the "Rede". All that is needed is to live by the Wiccan Rede of "Harm None." That's great that one lives a moral life. Many, whether religious or not, live by a moral code of "Do Unto Others", "What you send out comes back", "The Golden Rule", but his is still is not in service to one's community. What else is the individual doing to make the community better? Service does impact our spiritual life. What is on the inside is reflected on the outside. Going to ritual makes me a Pagan. Just like going to church does not make one a Christian, the same thing applies to Pagans. Going to ritual does not make one a Pagan. Participating in ritual without application of what is taught is like having firewood to get warm without actually lighting the firewood. There is no "fire". Applying what is taught helps us to grow spiritually. If one has a ritual to bring about the manifestation of a new job, but does nothing more after the ritual, the job will not be brought to fruition. However, if one applies the ritual by writing a resume, sending the resume to a several potential employers, and then goes to several interviews, there is a great probability that one will manifest the fruits of labor. I just follow the teaching of the Priest or Priestess. Priests and Priestesses are guides to spiritual development. They cannot live a spiritual life for those in their covens, groves, troths, etc. Spiritual development can only come by studying with an open-mind from various sources such as scientific study, metaphysics, mysticism, magical application, comparative religion studies, etc. and applying them to one's own personal life. The greatest teacher, of course, is experience through the application of what is studied. Ancestral Altar Samhain Sabbat: Honoring the ancestors. | Source Avoiding becoming a Sabbat-Esbat Only Pagan So, how does one become more than a Sabbat-Esbat Only Pagan. Here are some guidelines to help those who want to become a Spiritual Pagan. Daily exercise. For one to develop spiritual muscles, one must practice every day. Exercise includes meditation, praying, studying, magical applications, personal reflection, etc. Pick a specific time every day to exercise and stick with it. Commune with the Divine. This can be considered a part of "Daily Exercise", but may not be. Communing with the Divine may include focusing on a particular deity, however one sees deity, and listening for messages from the deity; walking through the woods; sitting by a lake or pond; going on spiritual quest; singing or dancing; gardening; massage; or healing. Each person communes with the divine in his or her own way. Document spiritual practice. Keep a journal, diary, or Book of Shadows to log your daily practice. This will help to document your spiritual growth. Write experiences that you have while performing your "daily spiritual exercise"; any thoughts that come; rituals that are performed; prayers and chants that express your spirituality; etc. Service. Service to the community and to the Old Ways is an outward expression of spiritual development. Service may include teaching, leading ritual, healing, or just giving a smile to someone who may need it. Take responsibility. Responsibility for one's own spiritual practice is moving beyond a spiritual leader spoon-feeding doctrine and philosophy. Responsibility of learning is choice as to what is important spiritually in one's life. There is a choice to personally believe philosophy or doctrine or not and apply the teachings that as an individual one is passionate about. The philosophies and doctrines that make the individual a better person. One does not have to go to a group ritual in a coven, grove, or troth to be a Pagan just like one does not have to go to church to be a Christian. We know true Pagans and Christians by their application of a spiritual relationship with the Divine. These individuals have moved beyond just attending a service and are living their spirituality. Balancing Spirituality Sabbat Pagans Sabbat-Esbat only Pagan Personal spiritual relationship with Deity Spirituality reflected in daily life Rite of Life Passage Rite of Life Passages: Baby Blessings | Source Insights into Spiritual Relationship Please feel free to share your insights into Spiritual Relationship between Deity and individuals.
08.09.2016
Candy Lacey-Partlow
No comments
This a common question that we get asked when people meet us.  We are ministers who honor the spiritual paths of all people and promote tolerance among all religious and spiritual paths.Interfaith ministers have the ability to have inter-religious dialogues with people of many faiths.  They seek to understand how and why people believe the way they do. Many have the ability to perform Rite of Passage ceremonies for multiple faiths to include Baby Naming and Dedication Ceremonies, Moontime Passage Ceremonies, Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah Ceremonies, Marriage Ceremonies, Eldering Ceremonies, and Funerals. In working with people of from many cultures, creeds, economic, and other social backgrounds we have found that all people have basic needs that they seek clergy out during various times of their lives.  These include times of great stress and difficulty, illness, and death of family members to not only provide services, but spiritual counsel and support.  They seek someone out to assist with their spiritual needs, to be a guide, and to understand how they see Deity.  For many, clergy is the spiritual leader they look toward for comfort, prayer, and support.  Deity is seen in many forms by people.  God has many names and many faces.  Sometimes people just need to see their Deity in someone. At Elder Rose Ministries, we strive to provide services to all who come to us and be that friend and support to come along side and walk with the individual and the family.
08.09.2016
Candy Lacey-Partlow
No comments
My husband and I frequently officiate Handfastings and often the guests have no idea of what to expect or even know what a handfasting ceremony even is in terms of a wedding or commitment. The following is a passage excerpted from one of our recent ceremonies.  Please feel free to copy the contents and share with your clients or family members. “The handfasting of today, is a tradition that has been revived for its beauty, symbolism, and uniqueness [and as a representation of binding the couple to the promises they have made to one another].  It does not necessarily represent a Pagan tradition, for many religions and cultures throughout the world utilize this as a symbol of unity. It has origins from Pictish and Viking times where a contract for marriage between two families would bring about peace and make for allies.  The cording of those betrothed represented this promise to marry.  These cords would be knotted, hence the phrase “tying the knot”, demonstrating this union.  It was used in British and Celtic traditions.  It was used in Biblical times as noted in Ecclesiastes 4:12: “And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Cord colorings are also chosen to represent qualities that the couple want to bring into their marriage.” For further study and information on the traditions of Handfastings, see the below bibliography: Handfasting and Wedding Rituals: Welcoming Hera’s Blessing by Kaldera, Raven and Schwartzstein, Tannin. Published by Llewellyn Publications. Perfect Handfasting and More: A Brief History, Things You Need to Know, Handfasting Ritual and Related Rituals by Stonechild, Liana. Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Romantic Guide to Handfasting: Rituals, Recipes & Loreby Franklin, Anna.  Published by Llewellyn Worldwide.  Tying the Knot: A Gender-Neutral Guide to Handfastingsby River, Jade. Published by Creatrix! LLC.
08.09.2016
Candy Lacey-Partlow
No comments
For some of the Handfasting Ceremonies that my husband and I officiate, we are asked to perform a full ritual.  For many of the couple’s guests, they have never experienced any form of a Pagan ritual.  The following is an excerpt of a simple explanation for the ritual that will be performed.  Feel free to copy and share the contents of this explanation.  If you would like further explanation or instruction, you may feel free to contact us using the Contact tab of our website. [The couple  has] chosen to have a full ritual, which is also how they worship and practice their faith.  We will be casting a circle.  The circle is how we create sacred space or set aside space for worship and communication with the Divine.  Only the wedding party participants will be in the circle.  So once the circle is cast, those who are not in the circle, please remain outside of the circle and those who are within, please do not leave until it has been opened. [The purpose of this is to not disturb the energy workings while the rite is being performed.] We will also be inviting the elements of earth, air, fire, and water, as well as Spirit and the ancestors.  Within each of us and within our environment is contained all of these elements.  Our body represent earth, our breath represents air, our heart beating or that which animates is fire, and our blood represents water.  Spirit is our soul and that which also animates us. As we call upon the elements, we are recognizing nature and that we are a part of that nature.  As we call upon Spirit, we are recognizing the soul within us, the universe, and the Divine, however we see it. We are also recognizing the ancestors.  Without them, we would not exist, have a heritage or traditions, have knowledge, etc.  We often recognize the ancestors as just family members, but they are also ancestors of the lands, cultures, and the practitioners of our faith. At the end of the ritual, we will release the elements and spirit and open the circle. This ending represents the conclusion of the ritual.  [The couple] will also be jumping the broom.  This is an ancient custom.  It was thought to originate from Africa and also practiced by the slaves. In Africa, it represented crossing the matrimonial threshold and as practiced by slaves it represented their union.  However, slaves were not allowed to be legally wed and this was the closest to a wedding they could have.  This practice has been adopted into many Pagan ceremonies and many other cultures representing a crossing over into a new life as a married couple, sweeping away the old life, and sweeping in the new. If at the end of this ceremony, during the reception, you have questions, please feel free to stop and visit with me or my High Priest.”
26.03.2016
Laura Gallant
No comments
May The Road Rise Up To Meet You This song is from www.prayerscapes.com. This is a beautiful version of the Irish Prayer "May The Road Rise Up To Meet You." I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do. If you would like more songs like this please visit Prayer Scapes at www.prayerscapes.com.
14.02.2016
Laura Gallant
No comments
Today we are going to talk about the 10 commandments of love and what they mean to each and every one of us here today. 1st let me read to you the 10 commandments of love and then I will break them down for you. 1) Love is patient. 2) Love is kind. 3) Love is not envious or boastful. 4) Love is not arrogant. 5) Love is not rude. 6) It does not insist on its own way. 7) It is not irritable. 8) Love is not resentful. 9) Love rejoices in the truth. 10) Love bears all things, believe all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. Commandment #1 Love is patient. What does it mean for love to be patient? Well love puts up with a lot of things. It means to have patience or forbearance with others, to be slow to anger and ready to forgive. If you have this forbearing love in towards others you will accept him or her without demanding or expecting change. You will tolerate the weaknesses, mistakes, and, at times, ignorance in our common human nature. When problems or conflicts arise, you will not over-react in haste but, instead, withhold judgment and give others the benefit of the doubt. Commandment #2 Love is kind. To be kind means to be useful or helpful. You should regularly and sincerely offer assistance to others for no other reason than to make him or her happy.  Kindness is not merely an attitude or state of being, it is also a deed. Kindness is obliging and accommodating. It creates no trouble or disturbance but, rather desires to promote happiness by extending good to others. It is good -natured to not only wish others well but to also do well unto others. For kindness is an action of love.     Commandment #3: Love is not envious or boastful. When love is not envious it means that when you possess true love you will not be unhappy about, complain about, or wish to diminish or detract from the attainments or advantages of another. In fact, love produces just the opposite reaction. Love delights in the welfare of others and rejoices with them in the favor they enjoy. You will not feel threatened, lessened, or weakened by attainments, advantages or favor from which another benefits. You will not see someone else as your competitor or rival. Love understands that the happiness and favor of others is an addition to our own instead of impairing or lessening it. Love’s joy is increased by others endowments, ranks, reputations, wealth, health, comforts, learning, skills, gifts, talents, acknowledgments, and so forth. Love does not envy in the sense that it doesn’t seek or desire aspects found others. When you truly love yourself you will feel blessed in your own endowments, ranks, reputations, wealth, health, comforts, achievements, skills, gifts, talents, and so forth. Love is not boastful.  When you are not boastful you do not have an inflated sense of importance or consider yourself to be superior to others. You are neither conceited nor arrogant. If you are not boastful you will treat others with concern, respect, and positive regard. Your ideas, expectations, and ways of doing things are not better or more correct than those of others. Your feelings and needs are not more important than someone else’s. Love does not boast in knowing what is right, it finds fulfillment in doing what is right. It means being helpful to others and consistently performing and living those principles that makes for a stronger and healthier community for others. Love should compel you to be steadfast, loyal, trustworthy, and constant. Others should be able to depend and count on you to keep your word and to do what you say you will do. Commandment #4: Love is not arrogant.  Which means that love doesn’t have a “big head on it shoulder “nor is love full of itself. To not be arrogant means to put someone else’s benefits before you own.  In arrogance we become the objects of our own love, but in humility we learn to love others.  For example when the Good Samaritan stopped to help the man in need on the Jericho road, he didn’t concern himself with how “Jews do not associate with Samaritans” (John 4:9). The Good Samaritan did not care how it looked to others. He was there to help (Luke 10:30-37). His humble focus on someone else’s need is the illustration Jesus used of loving our neighbor as ourselves. Commandment #5: Love is not rude. Rudeness, in a sense, refers to words or actions that are offensive, hurtful, or an embarrassment to others. Even when one’s demeanor is relatively mild or calm he or she can still be guilty of being rude. Unbecoming words and ill-mannered actions qualify as being rude no matter what the circumstances are. However if you are courteous, mannerly, decent, civil, and respectful, you can achieve these virtues, and thereby be able  to reflect real love, speak and act with good-will and positive regard showing honor to others. Commandment #6: Love does not insist on its own way.  Essentially what this means is that those who embody true, love do not insist upon their own ways or rights. They rather seek the welfare of others as more important than our own - even when personal sacrifice and self-denial become necessary. We should not seek our own advantage, comfort, ease, honor, pleasure, or profit but sacrifice all of the above for the benefit of others. These are the expectations for our relationships in general. This doesn’t mean that one must destroy regard for oneself altogether. Neither does it mean that we should completely neglect our own health and welfare. Our ability to love others is predicated on our God given instinct to love ourselves. You must come to accept that times of personal unhappiness are sometimes necessary.  That a commitment to love involves a commitment to sacrifice and putting the best interests of others in front of your own personal welfare  that will ultimately benefit both you and the other individual.  A person who demands his or her own way, who tramples on others’ rights for the sake of upholding their own, or who insists on having his or her due is not showing love. Love is considerate of others, always. The one who loves is willing to forgo recognition and lay down his or her rights for the sake of others. Commandment #7: Love is not irritable.  Those who love do not excite others to anger or cause them to be enraged nor do they themselves get excited to anger or enraged at the words or actions of others. Rather, they are peaceful, calm and patient. True love causes one to govern the temper, restrain emotions, and subdue feelings. One of the true tests of love is its ability to transform a naturally quick, excitable and irritable temperament into one that is calm, gentle, and subdued.  That doesn’t mean you are free from disagreements, arguments or conflicts with others. But, you do have the capacity to react differently and handle situations more gracefully. If you will exercise temperance or self-control over your thoughts, emotions, and feelings instead of escalating difficult circumstances, you will remain calm, cool, and collected and not allow situations to get out of hand. In no case should you ever find yourself in a place where you are indignant, scornful, enraged, or stirred with wrath towards another human being. Commandment #8 Love is not resentful.  It means that love does not keep records of wrong doings.  You should not keep a record of wrong doings that another has done unto you so that you can bring them up at some point in the future and throw it back into someone else’s face to be used against them. Love doesn’t keep score!  Which means that love is quick not only to forgive but to forget. Love doesn’t constantly consult a filing cabinet where a list of the wrongs doings that others have done is kept up to date and  that is always at hand to be used at a moment’s notice. Love forgives and blesses those who have caused wrong doings. Commandment #9: Love rejoices in truth. A loving heart is saddened by wrongdoings because it destroys individuals, but the truth on the other hand has just the opposite effect; it makes love sing for joy like a morning bird on a spring day. Love quickly recognizes conduct and attitudes that are trustworthy and takes great pleasure when truth prevails. We must stand opposed to unrighteousness, wherever it is found and joyfully side with that which is good and right. We shouldn’t rejoice in the evil we encounter, but neither do we ignore it. Rather, love induces us to seize the opportunity to encourage and foster the triumph of truth and goodness in others and in the world around us. And finally, commandment#10: Love bears all things, believe all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never ends.  Love bears up under the heavy load of life’s problems and sufferings. It holds steadfast and remains strong despite opposition, deprivation, and hard work. Love is courageous. Love is not suspicious or cynical, but open and favorably disposed toward others. It seeks to understand each person in the best light with an understanding of life’s complexities. Hope is not a sentimental wish; it is faith’s ultimate triumph that gives us realistic optimism and confidence in the future, even in the face of repeated difficulties and disappointments. Hope and trust gives us a sure promises that enables us to put our problems and failures in perspective. Love lasts; it holds out; it perseveres in the face of opposition, unkindness, and difficulties; it never gives up. Love gives a person the power to endure all things. 1 Peter 4:8, says “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins”. By: Rev. Laura Ann Gallant
10.02.2016
Laura Gallant
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We have a lot of brides and grooms that call us last minute to try to book their wedding officiant/minister for their special wedding day 24 to 48 before their ceremony. A lot of times we will have to inform them that we are booked and we get the response "We have called almost all the officiants in the book and they are all booked. Thanks we will have to try another on." Sometime we will ask them "How long have you been planning your wedding and when did you decide that you needed to look for an officiant?" The normal response is "Well we have been planning for 18 months and we just figured we needed to find an officiant to make our marriage legal yesterday."  At this point we just want to scream and say you needed to book your minister /officiant first and then your venue. Don't you know that without a minister, officiant, judge, or someone else that is legally able to solemize marriage in the state that you can't really legally get married. So to answer the question "When planning a wedding who do you book first?" The answer is always book your minister/officiant first and then your venue.  Then start booking the rest of your vendors. You see most book the minister last and then panick at the last minute to find some one to marry them when the minister should have been booked first. Many do not realize that the minister/officiant who is normally booked last and of the vendor is the least paid is one of the most important vendors they are going to hire for the special wedding day, because without the minister/officiant they can't legally get married. So if you or someone you know is starting to plan or are in the mist of planning a wedding please, please think about hiring your minister first and then your venue. In the end you will be happy that you booked your minister first and not last. For waiting to almost the last possible minute could me that you will not have someone to solomize your marriage.

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