AHSCKNYE: Into the Mystic — Mystical Presence

By: JUBILEE! Minister Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge

Looking for God’s presence outside of ourselves is one of the favorite pastimes of we human beings. I had my own “Where is God?” moment at my mother’s bedside just a few days before she died earlier this month (in Dec. 2015).

As I watched this formidable and faithful woman, shriveled and helpless, trapped inside her naturally aging body, struggle through the final days of her illness, I asked, “Where are you God?” My mother, by all accounts of her faith, lived her life as rightly as she could. She stood by her family. She never drank, smoked and only cursed when her long fuse ran short. She sacrificed herself for her children and never once doubted that God would take care of her, even in the darkest days of her life.

And, this is her reward? To lie suffering in bed, spending her days either sleeping or crying? It seemed too cruel, like God had abandoned her — and me.
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AHSCKNYE: Into the Mystic — Mystical Prayer

By: Jubilee! Minister Candace Chellew-Hodge

For anyone who has studied the Law of Attraction or listened to Abraham, the ancient wisdom channeled by Esther Hicks, the Apostle Paul’s words in today’s reading (Philippians 4:4-9)  may seem familiar. It should, because what Paul outlines is how to activate the Law of Attraction — or put another way, how to start moving out of our ego and into our higher, Divine Self.

First, he tells them, be grateful. “Rejoice in the Lord, always, and again I say, Rejoice!” This word, “rejoice” in Greek simply means, to be glad. The first step to raising your vibration — to stepping out of ego — is to rejoice, to be glad, even when everything around you is working hard to make, or keep you, sad and in the dumps.

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ACHSKNYE: Into the Mystic — Seeing in the Dark

By: JUBILEE! Minister Candace Chellew-Hodge

In our Jesus story (Luke 21:29-33), we encounter a story that the traditional Christian church has used as proof that one day, Jesus will come back. As a good Southern Baptist kid, I believed in what they call The Second Coming. The story is terrifying — the moon turns to blood and Jesus descends from the clouds on his white steed, fiery sword in hand ready to cut down the infidels and resurrect the faithful into eternal glory.

All this from a guy we tend to call The Prince of Peace. Sounds more like what our modern day terrorists are promising to do to the world.

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AHSCKNYE: Miraces — The Miracle of Stars

By JUBILEE! Minister Candace Chellew-Hodge

The moon came to me last night With a sweet question.
She said, “The sun has been my faithful lover For millions of years.
Whenever I offer my body to him Brilliant light pours from his heart.
Thousands then notice my happiness And delight in pointing Toward my beauty.
Hafiz, Is it true that our destiny Is to turn into Light Itself?”
And I replied, Dear moon, Now that your love is maturing,
We need to sit together Close like this more often So I might instruct you
How to become Who you Are!
— Muslim mystic Hafiz

In our Jesus story (Matthew 2:1-12), we meet King Herod and the three wise men who are following that star to the manger in Bethlehem.

While King Herod may have been a real, historical figure playing his role in this story, the true power of this story lies not in its history, but in its truth.

These wise men, whether they are based on real people or not, were magi, or magicians. They were miracle workers who understood what Hafiz was trying to teach the moon: We are all destined to become light itself.

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AHSCKNYE: Miracles — The Miracle of Infinite Possibilities

By Jubilee! Minister Candace Chellew-Hodge

Jesus slips into a house to escape enemies, 
and opens a door to the other world.
Solomon cuts open a fish, and there’s a gold ring.
Omar storms in to kill the prophet and leaves with blessings.
Chase a deer and end up everywhere!
An oyster opens his mouth to swallow on drop. 
Now there’s a pearl.
A vagrant wanders empty ruins. Suddenly he’s wealthy.

But don’t be satisfied with stories,
how things have gone with others.
Unfold your own myth, without complicated explanation,
so everyone will understand the passage, We have opened you.

— Rumi

‘Tis the season … to make our New Year’s resolutions. How many make them? How many keep them?

What do you think the perennial number one resolution has been over the years? Losing weight, of course, followed closely by a determination to quit smoking, get organized, spending less money and enjoying life to the fullest. Yep, we Americans want to lose weight before we want to live life to the fullest. I think we’ve found the key to the world’s problems.

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AHSCKNYE: Miracles — Miracle of Trust

By Jubilee! Minister Candace Chellew-Hodge

Our ancient Hebrew cousins certainly had their faithless moments. The scriptures are packed with stories of their lapses — worshiping golden calves, chasing after the gods of other lands and generally giving God the finger over and over again.

They would do whatever it took to not feel vulnerable … to find a god or gods outside themselves they could trust to protect them. Every single time, those gods let them down. But, feeling vulnerable keeps us in pain and fear, and that’s the ego’s stock and trade, so it has an interest in seeing you invest your trust in things that will ultimately fail so it can keep in that place of fear and pain.
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AHSCKNYE: Miracles — Miracle of Assurance

By: Jubilee! Minister Candace Chellew-Hodge

All these miracles are about to drive me crazy:

my elbows, my ears, my nose, my wife’s nagging,

and the sweet  darkness of the night, and this blanket existence

around my soul, and my heart connected to the pulse of

every creature.   I am afraid of the daylight.

Yesterday God was  everywhere throwing

bliss balls, planets, and their kin.

–Muslim Mystic Rumi

In our Jesus story (Luke 1:26-37),  we find that our guy hasn’t even come on to the scene yet. Instead, we find his mother Mary being visited by the angel Gabriel, who tells her that God has picked her to bring a special baby into the world.
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AHSCNYE: Miracles — What the Quantum?

By: Jubilee! Minister Bill Harris

Don’t be conformed to this world, Paul says. Throughout his writings he uses “the world” to express a very specific idea. “The world,” means ego. In other words, don’t let your life be shaped by and determined by the ordinary stuff that makes up your day to day life. Instead, he says, be transformed. Rather than letting your life be run by ego, make a shift. Let the quality of your ordinary world be shaped and determined by the extraordinary, divine, true Self that you are.

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AHSCKNYE: Miracles — Miracle of Expectation

By: JUBILEE! Minister Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge

In our Jesus story (Mark 13:33-37), we find the second meaning of the Advent season that traditional Christianity teaches us. We are to prepare, yes, for Jesus’ first coming into this world as a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger amidst the mooing cows and the bleating goats. But, Advent is also a time to remember the doctrine that Jesus is coming back a second time.

Now, as a Southern Baptist child, the first part of today’s scripture that we didn’t read was used to scare the hell right of you.

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