Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Audio from 1-13-2013 Lecture

For those of you who were unable to attend my lecture on Sunday January 13th in Lily Dale, you can access an audio recording of the lecture here at the Church of the Living Spirit website. Click on my name, turn up the volume, and have a good listen!

The subject of my lecture is "Living a Life of Faith thru Prayer" and I focus on the life experiences and journals of George Müller, a 19th century Christian evangelist from England.  His life of prayer is an inspiration and I recommend reading his autobiography.

He opened 5 orphanage houses in England and he was well known for providing an education to the children under his care, to the point where he was accused of raising the poor above their natural station in life. He also established 117 schools which offered Christian education to over 120,000 children, many of them being orphans.

Through all this, Müller never made requests for financial support, nor did he go into debt, even though the five homes cost over £100,000 to build. Many times, he received unsolicited food donations only hours before they were needed to feed the children, further strengthening his faith in God.

For example, on one well-documented occasion, they gave thanks for breakfast when all the children were sitting at the table, even though there was nothing to eat in the house. As they finished praying, the baker knocked on the door with sufficient fresh bread to feed everyone, and the milkman gave them plenty of fresh milk because his cart broke down in front of the orphanage.
This way of living brings the Lord remarkably near. Morning by morning, He inspects our supplies that He may send help as it is needed.
I have never had a greater awareness of the Lord's presence than when after breakfast nothing is left for dinner, and then the Lord provided the dinner for more than one hundred people; or when, after dinner, there was nothing for the tea, and yet the Lord provided the tea --- all this without one single human being having been informed about our need.
One thing is certain --- we are not tired of doing the Lord's work this way. page 130
Although he never asked any person (only God) for anything, Müller asked those who did support his work to give a name and address in order that a receipt might be given. After all, "true Spirituality is proving God as your supply, daily - not just once in a while."

Müller prayed about EVERYTHING and EXPECTED each prayer to be answered, which he documented in his journals.  He knew that God would provide:
When sight ceases, it is the time for faith to work.  The greater the difficulties, the easier it is for faith.  As long as human possibilities for success remain, faith does not accomplish things as easily as when all natural prospects fail.  page 187
Müller's faith in God strengthened day by day and he spent hours in daily prayer and Bible reading. When he eventually passed in his 90s (which an incredible age to reach in the 1800s), he had lived an amazing life of prayer.  He is truly an inspiration of intuitive faith and utilization of Spiritual Natural Law.

God bless!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Children's Lyceum

I am thrilled to say that the Lyceum program is up and running again in Lily Dale. 

What is Lyceum?  Lyceum is the Spiritualist's version of Sunday school. 

The formation of Lyceums in the United States and the United Kingdom was inspired by Andrew Jackson Davis, an American visionary and lecturer who, in 1863, spoke of the benefit of training youngsters in both worldly and spiritual matters.  Not long after his lecture, some inspired members of the audience established the first 'Children's Progressive Lyceum.'

The word 'Lyceum' comes from the garden in ancient Athens where Aristotle taught philosophy to his followers. And in America, during the 1800's the word 'lyceum' meant a "literary institution, lecture hall or teaching place."

Children's Lyceum classes are designed to create healthy-minded "free thinkers" and include lessons in Spiritual Natural Law, the Golden Rule as well as many others.

The purpose of the Lyceum is to guide children to explore aspects of themselves, values of being a healthy member of community, and Spiritualism.

Activities such as discussion, story telling, creative expression, music appreciation, movement, healthy snack time, and play are offered as ways for children to explore, discover, and make choices for themselves as unique individuals and members of community. Spiritualism is a religion of conviction not conversion. Therefore young people are introduced to aspects of Spiritualism and encouraged to have discussions with their parents as part of their exploration.

Young people (4 years to teens) are welcome to attend the Children's Lyceum program at the Andrew Jackson Davis Lyceum building in Lily Dale on Sunday mornings.  Interested parents can attend the session with their children OR they can attend one of the Sunday morning church services in Lily Dale and pick up their child immediately after the service.

Lyceum sessions are facilitated within a caring, harmonious, fun loving space that encourages mutual respect and understanding of boys and girls of all ages who wish to learn together.  As Andrew Jackson Davis stated “...a child is the repository of infinite possibilities”. 

FYI:  Many other Spiritualist churches offer Children's Lyceum on Sunday mornings - check with your local Spiritualist church for more information. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sunday Speaker at COLS church service 1-13-2013

This Sunday, I will be the Featured Speaker and Medium at the Church of the Living Spirit. Church services are held at the Assembly Hall in Lily Dale, NY at 10:30 a.m.

For those of you who are not familiar with a Spiritualist church service, here is a basic outline of events:

•Lecture from the featured speaker (me, this Sunday)
•Healing time - opportunity to receive beautiful, channeled energy from one of the healers
•Messages from Spirit - demonstrations of mediumship are presented by the medium (me, again!) giving short messages to those in the audience
•Music - songs with live music accompaniment

So there you go - if you are coming to church, you will see me!

For more info, visit http://www.willawhite.com/ and http://www.churchofthelivingspiritlilydale.com/.

Friday, January 4, 2013

'Weird' beliefs are world-wide

Recently, I attended a beautiful wedding in a Christian church.  During the service, the officiating minister stated, "Other people may think we are 'weird' for our beliefs, but we feel we are following the dictates of God."

This particular comment got me thinking about how people of EVERY religion out there feel that others think they are 'weird' for their religious and/or spiritual beliefs. 

Sometimes this is expressed in statements of victimhood or defensiveness by the religious group or individual.  Sometimes these perceived 'weirdnesses' are made the subject of jokes.  Misunderstandings and generalities abound.  Whole groups get assigned a catch-phrase or pigeon-hole category that may or may not fit.

Other times, there can be a 'spiritual superiority' that emerges... almost like children showing off, my 'religion' is better than yours.  Cases of "I've got it all figured out and you are clueless" emerge.  Throughout history, religious superiority has been used as a reason to prevent or allow actions, bend the will of the people, and reshape cultures.

Many people are not encouraged by their spiritual communities to explore the ideas of other religions.  They are told essentially, "This information (or religious group) has already been examined and found lacking.  Don't look at it."  In some communities, comparative religious study is prevented by their doctrine and policies.  The religious authorities demand "You must only read or experience these prescribed books, translations, and approved interpretations."

Personally, I enjoy comparative religious study and seeing the differences and, more often than not, similiarities between religions.  I find it fascinating to study the evolution of religious history, the growth of polytheism to monotheism within cultures, the influx of various races into an area and the effect on spiritual beliefs, and the list goes on. 

Occasionally, there are individuals that have a good grasp on their religion and still maintain an openness of religious discussion.  Those are some of the conversations and discoveries I enjoy the most and learn the most from. 

There is always something more to learn and explore when it comes to understanding aspects of the Divine.  I hope that I never stop exploring and never stop learning.  Thankfully, (as we Spiritualists say) spiritual progression is eternal and infinite.  Hope that doesn't make me 'weird'.  *smile*