Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

Monday, December 28, 2015

“Thank You, Father for Zero Pain” + A Special Favor From You!

Filed under: Prayer,Relationships — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Some of you may have noticed that I pretty much stopped posting new articles to my four blogs around the first of November, 2015.

ThankYouFatherAbout that time something happened to my lower back and the pain was almost unbearable. The pain broke my focus and interfered with the concentration required to write. I would sit down to write and the pain said, “No!”

I am a very spiritual person and believe that God does heal.

“Prayer slows our mind, calms our spirit, and centers our heart. It removes our mind from the culture of consumption that surrounds us and centers us on something greater and more important. It calls us to identify our desires and articulate our values.” ~ Joshua Becker

Recently I wrote: “I believe that every prayer is answered when absolute belief is present; one way or another and always for good and for your benefit. It might not be at the time you want, or the way you want it; but it will be answered. Another benefit of prayer? It teaches you patience while you wait for an answer. 😉

A prayer without belief that your prayer will be answered is incapable of producing any useful result. Next time, suspend your disbelief and say a prayer of thanksgiving. A grateful prayer begins the creation process. Let go of the “wanting” of it and focus on what it feels like to have what you desire. Remember that prayer is made powerful by the sincerity of it and the faith and belief that supports it.”

The power of prayer is not the result of the person praying. Rather, the power resides in the God who is being prayed to.

Prayer places us in contact with Almighty God, and we should expect almighty results, whether or not He chooses to grant our petitions or deny our requests. Whatever the answer to our prayers, the God to whom we pray is the source of the power of prayer, and He can and will answer us, according to His perfect will and timing.

There is a scripture that says, “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:19).

… And now, the favor I ask of you. If you are a believer, right now… stop and silently remember me in your prayers. I thank you!

BONUS Articles: So… What About the Power of Prayer?
A Prayer of Thanksgiving
Holy! Holy! Holy!
Religion vs. Spirituality

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2015 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

So… What About the Power of Prayer?

Filed under: Prayer,Relationships — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Have you ever had the feeling that you were moving near the edge of desperation and said something like this, “God, am I ever going to find someone to love?” but past that, you never quite expected an answer?

Or have you been brought to your knees, and said fervently, “God, I’m serious this time. It really would be great if you would send me someone to love and who loves me,” and time dragged on, you’re still single and you never got the answer you wanted?

PrayerWithoutBeliefWhat’s happening here? There seems to be a disconnect. Something is missing.

What’s missing is a healthy mixture of faith and belief!

How many of you pray without believing and wonder why your prayers don’t get answered?

When your belief in the benefits of the prayer you pray, is stronger than your fear, equal to your courage, and has a healthy balance of faith and belief, the answer will come.

Dr. Ernest Holmes wrote: “Faith is a mental attitude which is so convinced of its own idea – which so completely accepts it that any contradiction is unthinkable and impossible.”

Oh, by the way… whatever answer comes may not necessarily look like the answer you thought was best for you, however it will be the answer that is in your best interest. That’s the way prayer works.

Prayer has most always been thought to be a religious practice – not necessarily a spiritual practice – so if you don’t subscribe to any religious deities, who or what can you pray to? There are many benefits to prayer, many have nothing to do with religion.

Would you agree a wish is just a hope or desire for something with no outside control and a prayer is a thought, desire, or question offered to a deity or higher power in hopes of that prayer being heard and answered by the deity or higher power? You may want to read that again.

Me too. So, think about this: “Your belief determines your action and your action determines your results, but first you have to believe.” ~ Mark Victor Hansen

Refusing to admit that it even might work, however, nixes it entirely. And, of course, there’s always “God (The Universe, your Higher Power, Guardian Angel, or whatever you call God) helps those who help themselves.”

Positive or negative, prayer or worry, this channeling of thoughts does work. And, as always, the choice is yours. You must believe!

PrayBOOK

Click cover for info

“Prayer slows our mind, calms our spirit, and centers our heart. It removes our mind from the culture of consumption that surrounds us and centers us on something greater and more important. It calls us to identify our desires and articulate our values.” ~ Joshua Becker

Prayer centers your heart and focuses attention on what is most important.

People who do not pray – people who do not believe in prayer – are convinced that they can do everything themselves. They surrender nothing. They have no faith. They worry that there will be no answer.

Worry is an enemy to faith. Hope in the human sense is not faith. It is wishful thinking, or wishful praying, or wishful asking. Never pretend you have faith when you really don’t believe it is going to happen. That is praying a lie. That, in fact, is a negative prayer which sometimes gets answered too.

“The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.” ~ George Mueller

spiritualityWhile praying, and after praying, believe that your request has been granted before you see the answer. Believing that prayer works seems to make it work even better. Believe!

“Only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope for…”

“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” ~ St. Thomas Aquinas

Some say you must be willing to prevail for what you asked for, beg for it, agonize over it, then pray for the same thing over and over again. The length or volume or eloquence of our prayer is not the issue, it is the sincerity of our heart and the confidence we have that there will be an answer. Stop it! God heard you the first time!

I believe that every prayer is answered when absolute belief is present; one way or another and always for good and for your benefit. It might not be at the time you want, or the way you want it; but it will be answered. Another benefit of prayer? It teaches you patience while you wait for an answer. 😉

A prayer without belief that your prayer will be answered is incapable of producing any useful result. Next time, suspend your disbelief and say a prayer of thanksgiving. A grateful prayer begins the creation process. Let go of the “wanting” of it and focus on what it feels like to have what you desire. Remember that prayer is made powerful by the sincerity of it and the faith and belief that supports it.

That makes spiritual sense to me. And you?

BONUS Article: A Prayer of Thanksgiving

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

Filed under: Gratitude,Holidays,Prayer,Spirituality — Larry James @ 8:30 am

Be thankful for your relationships.

All of them.

PrayerThanksgivingSeems to me that there may be only two prayers worthy of praying. One prayer is to know God better. The other prayer is a prayer of thanksgiving.

Pray a prayer of self-discovery and one of gratitude, and know God is listening.

It is useless and wastes God’s time — and our mental energy — to pray for things. God has given us the ability to choose. Our greatest power is choice. To use this power to choose to pray for things that God has already given us the power to create may not be an effective use of our time.

I can imagine God being amused. I can hear him saying, “Why don’t they get it? I have given them everything and yet they insist upon asking me for the same things, over and over again.”

childprayingIt may not seem logical that you should only pray a prayer of thanksgiving. If you are someone who has always used your prayers for asking, this may sound strange to you. This, to some, may appear to be an arrogant way to speak to God. Hardly.

“If the only prayer you ever said was, ‘Thank you.’ that would be enough.” – Meister Eckhart

God will view your prayers with greater reverence when you acknowledge that you have already been given the power to choose. Stop asking God to give you a great relationship. Instead, choose to thank God for a love relationship that transcends your own imagination, then do whatever you can to help it turn out that way.

It’s up to you to do. Take whatever steps are necessary to accomplish what you want. Do at least one thing everyday towards accomplishing what you have thanked God for. Make a call, attend a seminar; do whatever it takes.

“Gratitude unlocks the fulness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. Gratitude makes sense of the past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie, author, “Codependent No More

Thank God every day for guidance. Listen to the still small voice within. When you respond to what you “hear,” the rewards are often more than you ever expected. Listen to your heart. It always tells you the truth.

In the past we have asked for a great relationship, never received it, and never bothered to do anything differently and wondered why God didn’t answer our prayer. Hopefully, we have learned that lesson by now. That’s like asking God for a great job and never going to look for one. Excuse me! I don’t believe that’s what God had in mind. We must be thankful and do something.

Being thankful for the relationships you already have is one of the keys to attracting the relationships you want. Cultivate the practice of affirmative prayer. An attitude of gratitude is faith in action. It is a very satisfying feeling to know that what you are thankful for, you will experience. What you focus on, manifests.

A grateful prayer begins the creation process. Let go of the “wanting” of it and focus on what it feels like to have what you desire.

Someone once said, “Pray without ceasing.” God hears your quiet thoughts too. Another good reason for keeping your thoughts focused on what you desire. Thinking positive is a good thing. Caution: Negative prayer (or thought) works too.

“I pray every night and I don’t ask for much.  I just say, ‘Thank you.'” ~ Prince. American Musician, 1958 – 2016

Saying a prayer of thanksgiving has you focus on the good things that are happening to you and the good things that are about to happen to you. That alone may be a good enough reason to only pray a prayer of thanksgiving. It creates a thirst for more of the good that God says is already yours. Think about it. You get what you really believe.

Is it true that when something bad happens we tend to not want to take responsibility that the bad we see is what we created? Not taking responsibility means we try to find someone outside of ourselves to blame. When we ask God for things and the things don’t come, who do we blame? When we blame God for not answering prayer, our love for God becomes conditional. There is no room for blame in an unconditional love relationship.

gratitude“Gratitude unlocks the fulness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. Gratitude makes sense of the past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie, author, “Codependent No More

How can we justify loving Him conditionally when we, in our self-serving arrogance, resist believing that our misfortune is our own fault?

God always answers prayer. Always. It may not be the answer you want but he always answers.

Can we look at ourselves in the mirror, take complete responsibility for our relationships and all areas of our lives, and know that we do have choice and we do create our own reality? As within, so without. Consider saying ‘yes’ to prayers of self-discovery and thanksgiving and experience the miracle of good that God has already given to you. Then get busy and do something different. Change your thinking and your behavior and you will change your life!

“Gratitude is a wonderful way to experience this world through peace, freedom, and joy. When we recognize the limitless good contained in every moment, we begin to know the grace that flows through life. Acknowledging all experiences as being helpful in some way, does immeasurable good to correcting wayward thoughts and feelings. Thankfulness helps release our hold upon old energy that limits and binds us.” ~ Harold W. Becker

Pray to know God. Thank Him for being there for you. Be grateful for the gift of constant and faithful devotion He has given to help you get to know Him better. Pray to thank God for His abundance. Let Him know how grateful you are for the relationships in your life. Offer thanks for your present circumstance, regardless of what you think or feel about it. Thank Him for the lessons of good you learn from the things you often call bad. Thank Him for the tears of joy and the tears of sadness.

Be grateful for your abiltity to create an attitude of receptivity. Thank Him for more love, courage and understanding. Express gratitude for the everyday miracles that occur that you often take for granted. Be grateful for the power of choice. Thank God for creating the possibility of unconditional love and for the self-discipline to stay on that path. Thank Him for the opportunity to express gratitude. Be thankful for all that God has freely given.

Now. . . receive it!

Whatever you want in your relationships. . . wants you! Thank God for that, too!

“To say that “prayer changes things” is not as close to the truth as saying, “Prayer changes me and then I change things.” God has established things so that prayer, on the basis of redemption, changes the way a person looks at things. Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person’s inner nature. We are in danger of forgetting that we cannot do what God does, and that God will not do what we can do.” – Oswald Chambers

Read a special thought and prayer about gratitude from Rev. Richard Rogers.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Your thoughts?

GratefulHeartCLoveLOGOCopyright © 2007, 2012 & 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Religion vs. Spirituality

Filed under: Prayer,Relationships,Spirituality — Larry James @ 7:00 am

peanutsWhen I perform my “romantic” wedding ceremony, I always ask the Bride and Groom about their spiritual beliefs. I get a wide assortment of answers which often leads to some very interesting conversations.

I need to know because each ceremony is always customized to their complete satisfaction. They always get to choose just how spiritual they want their wedding ceremony to be. My belief is that what is in the wedding ceremony should only and always be the choice of the Bride and Groom, not what the Minister thinks should be in it. I never push my beliefs off on anyone. They get to choose.

It is also my belief that you must never forget the importance of the spiritual side of your relationship.

“My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was God and I didn’t.” 😉

Affirmation ~ My love partner and I share similar spiritual values. Higher spiritual values give meaning and purpose to our relationship. They determine what we will turn away from and what we will move toward. Shared spiritual ideas are the basis for a lasting, fulfilling love relationship.

Marriage is sacred. So are the vows you make. Making a relationship work should not be totally dependent upon what you or your partner do or do not do.

God, a Higher Power – or whatever you choose to call what you believe in – can only inspire you to make the right choices. He alone cannot do it for you. You and your partner must do the work.

Listen for God’s soft whisper. He speaks to you in the stillness of daybreak and in the midst of conflict.

mosesemailAre you listening?

I highly recommend the following list of priorities for your relationship: God, you, your relationship and your work – in that order!

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” ~ Elizabeth Kubler Ross

Here is my take on Religion and Spirituality:

Religion is a specific church’s organized approach to human spirituality which usually encompasses a set of rules, narratives, symbols, beliefs and practices, not unlike a “how-to” guide, that give meaning to the practitioner’s experiences of life through reference to God or a higher power usually within that church’s denomination. Most religions and denominations are about conformity and the leadership has the right to demand such. However, it puts limits on us and often traps us in its dogma. God is too big to be confined to any one religion or denomination.

To me, spirituality means that, once one has accepted his or her faith in God, Great Spirit or a Higher Power (or whatever they choose to call it), how they personally choose to express it is their own personal choice not particularly what a church denomination chooses to impose on their followers. Spirituality is natural. We all have it, whether we know it or practice it, it is in us.

“Spirituality is NOT a Religion. Being spiritual just means you are in touch with your own divine self.” ~ Anna Pereira

Spirituality has to do with what we make of what religion offers us and what we make of our place in life relative to the Divine, to self and to others. Religion could be thought of, at least in very general terms, as a large shared human activity organized and passed along in time to help individuals in their relationship to the Divine and to one another.

InGodWeTrustSpirituality is all about finding the truth that resonates the highest with you. Religion is based on a fixed belief-system, and to be included (or to be saved) you need to adopt this belief system.

childprayingSo to some, to be spiritual may mean the individual expression of their faith without religious interference from a church or any reference to God. It is only and always a personal choice. It is the connection we feel to something greater than ourselves. In a sense, spirituality is personalized religion. It also means that you recognize and acknowledge a power or sensibility within yourself and outside of yourself, beyond the purely physical or mental.

“Every religion on the planet, and there are so many more than you are even aware of, has the potential of absolute thriving. But when you think that you must prove that you have the only one that is right – and you use your condemnation to push against the others – your condemnation separates you from your own Connection that, before your condemnation, you were finding in your own religion.” ~ Abraham

It is your way of loving, accepting and relating to the world and the people around you. It cannot be found in a church or by believing in a certain way. It is independent of religious beliefs, dogma or doctrine.

Spiritual beliefs are developed individually and quite often deal with issues of a more personal or intimate nature than those addressed by religious doctrine.

Many followers of religion feel that only their path can lead to salvation. They have tremendous faith in their own religion, but at the same time they feel other religions are wrong and cannot lead a seeker to God.

Religion“All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness should be part of our daily lives.” ~ Dalai Lama

Spirituality feels that all religions are valid. Spirituality knows there are many paths to the same goal. Spirituality embraces all the world religions, but at the same time, is not constrained by any religious dogmas or forms. It does not require membership in any group.

The religious beliefs of spiritual groups do not necessarily lead people to the same conclusions as organized religions, but that doesn’t make them less religious. Being religious or spiritual both usually connote belief in a Higher Power of some kind. Both also imply a desire to connect or enter into a more intense relationship with this Higher Power.

Although this may be controversial thought, it also seems to me that some atheists are spiritual, in their own way. If being spiritual also means following good, life-affirming principles, then any atheist would be thought of as a spiritual person who passionately believes in, and lives, a life that includes helping others, being honest, and sharing oneself.

Few men are so obstinate in their atheism, that a pressing danger will not compel them to acknowledgment of a divine power. – Plato

By the way, neither religion or spirituality are bad because what you personally believe is what is true for you. Both give order to a world in chaos; they provide a moral foundation upon which to base behavior. Religion is a path to God. Spirituality is also a path to God. However there are differences in the approach.

Holding on to your religious beliefs can often inhibit spiritual growth.

“Religion is belief in someone else’s experience. Spirituality is having your own experience.” ~ Deepak Chopra

religionMy friend, Jennifer Scott put it this way: “I deeply believe in God but only through my personal relationship. I believe that God is everywhere and in every living thing. I personally do not believe in the rules of any church yet strongly support those who do.”

I concur.

You choose!

Seen on a bumper sticker: “My car ran over your dogma!”

God is smiling.

Religion is for people who are scared to go to hell. Spirituality is for people who have already been there. – Bonnie Raitt

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

BONUS Article: Vows, Parents & Religion: Conundrum!
6 Differences Between Religion and Spirituality
A Geriatrics Tale about…

loveneverfails

Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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