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“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” ~Buddha

Unity Blog

 
Carriers of Love.

December 13, 2018

This Sunday is the traditional Advent celebration of Love. Love is my favorite topic and yet in some ways it’s the hardest to talk about…

It is Everything.

It is Who We Are.

It is All That Matters.

 

Bette Midler’s performance of “The Rose” goes deep into my heart and soul every time I hear it. I also find the lyrics profound… especially the words, “I say Love, it is a flower, and you, its only seed.”

 

Upon looking up the origins of the song, I learned that the songwriter, Amanda McBroom, had a spiritual experience in which the song basically wrote itself! In her description of writing it, she ends with expressing her eternal gratitude, “…to the Universe for speaking to me in the first place and for showing me what I truly believe.”

 

I love thinking about being a seed of the flower that is Love. It’s another way of saying that I am a child of God, for God IS Love.

 

Another image that came to me this week is that of being a carrier oil. In aromatherapy, certain strong essential oils are diluted by a “carrier oil,” so that the potent oil does not burn or irritate. Maybe we are like a carrier oil for the essence of Love!

 

As part of our reflections on Light and Love, Shannell Sedgwick will share a personal miracle story of a longed-for, unexpected birth.

 

Blessings and Love,

Peggy

PS – Don’t forget to take time to go into your own Inner Stillness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths. Listen to podcasts of her Sunday talks.

 

Tending the Peace Light.

December 6, 2018

 

This Sunday, as we continue the theme of bringing light to darkness, we will focus on the light of Peace. I am always deeply moved and challenged by stories of people who are able to be deeply peaceful in the midst of truly challenging circumstances. Gandhi, of course, comes to mind. He taught that practicing peace called for being truthful, gentle, and fearless.

 

But there are many people who practice peace day after day in ways that inspire me. Perhaps you know people like that. Perhaps you ARE people like that!! It is certainly one of Unity’s primary teachings. I invite you to share your stories with us on Sunday. The more we hear these examples, the more we recognize that it’s not just famous people who can inspire and encourage us. We are surrounded by examples every day.

 

I have long been touched by the poem below that reminds me that peace is not passive. It calls for active courage!

 

Much love,

Peggy

 

Waging Peace by Sarah Klassan

(How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace. Isaiah 52: 7)

“…You might as well

wage peace as war. You’d have to stand

exposed at the crossroads of unguarded anger,

a presence, not an absence,

not gritting your teeth. Forcing your clenched hands

open. Your heart’s hard core

and everything the stubborn mind conceals

revealed. Disarmed

you may become disarming,

the terror in your unmasked face

radiant, your unshod, wounded feet beautiful

beyond words.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths. Listen to podcasts of her Sunday talks.

“I’m It!”

November 29, 2018

Happy holidays, 2018!  Can you believe it??

 

I love this season and its invitation to explore the celebration of Light in the shortest of days and longest of dark nights. Most traditional holidays at this time of the year honor the coming of Light.

 

The Advent season—the four Sundays before Christmas plus the intervening weeks—anticipates and prepares for the birth of the Christ child, who symbolizes the ultimate Light that the darkness cannot overcome. Christmas is the quintessential archetype of light, and it takes place during the darkest time of the year for half the world.

 

In Judaism, the redemptive power of light is most poignantly present in the celebration of Hanukkah, a winter festival of lights that lasts eight days. This year it starts on Dec 3. The Hanukkah candles honor the miracle that even a small light can overcome vast darkness.

 

Solstice ceremonies celebrate the return of hope to our land in the midst of the short days, longer nights, cold weather, bare trees…  as our planet experiences the first slow turn toward more daylight.

 

These next 4 weeks our Sunday services will focus on uplifting stories and practical ideas about bringing our Light into any “dark” circumstances we may encounter for ourselves or for others. Each Sunday will have a different focus: Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy – the traditional Advent themes.

 

If you have a story to share that illustrate bringing or receiving light during a metaphorical dark night, please let me know. Another word we sometimes use for these kinds of experiences is “miracle.”  Have you had any lately that you’d like to share with us?

 

With gratitude and love,

Peggy

 

PS – One of the most wonderful stories about spreading light is of the magical “Hong Duc.”  Leane Gabel will be doing her annual reading of it on Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths. Listen to podcasts of her Sunday talks.

Where’s Your Power Source?

November 21, 2018

I’ve been thinking a lot about power… what is true power and where does it come from? Why are so many people blinded by the illusion that power is force or domination?

 

True power is not about having your way or “winning” a war. It’s not about making others do things against their will or proving them wrong. It’s not about lording it over people or being worshiped as a star.

 

Thich Nhat Hanh, in another of his beautiful works, The Art of Power, says, “Our society is founded on a very limited definition of power, namely wealth, professional success, fame, physical strength, military might, and political control. My dear friends, I suggest that there is another kind of power, a greater power: the power to be happy right in the present moment, free from addiction, fear, despair, discrimination, anger, and ignorance. This power is the birthright of every human being, whether celebrated or unknown, rich or poor, strong or weak.”

 

I think true power comes from within. It also comes from outside of us, but only in terms of connecting to the larger energy that powers the universe. The true power Source is so vibrant, so strong, so intensely radiant, that it sometimes seems we can only manage connecting with it in small doses!

 

But it is always available, always present, no matter what our life circumstances may be.

 

Sunday’s talk will focus on ways to claim, strengthen and nurture our connection to the true power that lives in the essence of our being.

 

May your Thanksgiving be one of great thanks-giving! And may you know you are loved, exactly where and when and how you are!

 

With gratitude for all of you,

Peggy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths. Listen to podcasts of her Sunday talks.

 

Deserving.

November 15, 2018

I have discovered that the word “deserve” is actually kind of loaded.

 

A while back someone told me that I should go ahead and do a certain thing for myself, because I deserved it. It was a remark made in pure kindness, and I appreciated the affirmation, but it started a train of thought that has been speaking to me ever since.

 

Yesterday a coupon came in an advertising packet directed to “affluent neighborhoods.”

 

“You deserve service this good!” said the coupon.

 

“So does everyone else!” said I.

 

Sometimes the underlying message is that if we deserve something extra good, we must be extra special—more special than some other people. Furthermore, sometimes the “deserving” messages perpetuate an attitude of entitlement.

 

On the other hand, I sometimes hear people say that something good happened to them, and they don’t feel like they deserve it. Why not? They deserve good just as much as anyone and everyone else.

 

Good comes to us in many different ways. So does hardship. Mostly it has nothing to do with what people “deserve.” It has to do with an infinite variety of factors that make up the complexities of all of our lives.

 

Rather than trying to decide what we or someone else deserves, we would do better spending our energy practicing gratitude and grace!

 

Let’s talk about that Sunday!

 

In Abundant Gratitude,

Peggy

 

 

Quotes to ponder: “The joy beyond despair comes when we abandon the exhausting illusion of self-sufficiency and become the grateful recipients of the gifts that life provides.”  ~Parker Palmer

 

“You don’t have to earn grace. It is not something that comes only to the good. It comes to all alike, because all alike are expressions of God.”  ~Eric Butterworth

 

“Love protects us from nothing, even as it unexplainably sustains us in all things.” ~James Finley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths. Listen to podcasts of her Sunday talks.