LEARN: Thrive By the Spirit™ – Creating a World of Patience & Tolerance

LEARN! … By the Spirit™ with Jerricia J. Ulmer, M. Ed.

Creating a World of Patience & Tolerance

July 23, 2012

© 2012 Jerricia J. Ulmer

Photo: Associated Press

The July 20th killing of 12 people and injury of 58 others in an Aurora, Colorado picture show touched the nation.  I try to avoid watching the news because of the seemingly rampant occurrences of such morbid atrocities, but by 7 A.M., before my first cup of coffee, I was well informed.  Less than 6 hours after the killings, a whole time zone away, people were mourning.

Our hearts and prayers certainly go out to the victims and their families.  But today, during his first court appearance, I couldn’t help but notice the face of Aurora shooter James Holmes.  As I exercised profusely on the gym elliptical machine, my ears were tuned to Shine’s energizing, self-affirming “I Will Tell Myself”, but my eyes were tuned to the CNN broadcast and James Holmes’ face, his wildly dyed hair, his eyes that seemed to vacillate between mania and misery.  I was moved to put him in the victim column too.

This may draw some criticisms, but his pain is undeniable.  Anyone who meditates for months on how to hurt and kill a mass of people is aching.   And hurt people hurt people. Continue reading

LEARN: Joy By The Spirit – …In Spite of It All

LEARN! … By the Spirit™ with Jerricia J. Ulmer

…In Spite of It All

© 2012  Jerricia J. Ulmer, M.Ed.

April 9, 2012

In the world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. -John 16:33

This life is fleeting. Some say it’s short, but I’m a quality over quantity girl.

This body – our “earth suit” – is vulnerable. Yes, it is amazing to see what it can endure and how GOD designed it to heal itself. However, it will ultimate start to break down.

Aging is not for the faint of heart. But if you grow and live By The Spirit, you can live in peace. At birth, some believe – fresh from the other side – we are closest to our Divine state. Then we are dirtied by all muck and mire of life. Prayerfully, we come back to live in our true spiritual essence and learn to shake off our own and other people’s stuff. And that, to me, is peace. Peace = Joy.

Joy is a sustained state of well-being. It’s like living out The Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the Serenity to

accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

and Wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time…

Trusting that He will make all things right

if I surrender to His Will;

that I may be reasonably happy in this life

and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.

 -Elisabeth Sifton

You are going to get cut off on the highway. Someone will rub you the wrong way. People will criticize your viewpoint. All you can do is be yourself and know that GOD is using you and your influence.

On the flip side, a gracious driver will let you in a crowded lane. You may get a much-needed hug from out of the clear blue sky. And your boss may think your idea is the next best thing to sliced bread.

Come what may – oh, and it will come! – choose to maintain your peace, or at least find it in spite of it all. Doing so in any circumstance will sustain your state of well being, e.g. Joy. Some times may be tougher than others, and a situation may get under your skin more than expected. But make a conscious effort each day to live in peace, to live in joy…By The Spirit.

LEARN: Commit By The Spirit – “I’m Not Going Anywhere!”, Pt.2

LEARN! … By the Spirit™ with Jerricia J. Ulmer

“I’m Not Going Anywhere!”, Pt.2

© 2012  Jerricia J. Ulmer, M.Ed.

February 18, 2012

Guess who’s been ring shopping! Oh yes! Needless to say, I’m one happy lady!

After endless hours of online browsing and then a few trips to some local reputable jewelers, I finally narrowed it down to two. The styles I chose were nothing like what I initially thought I wanted. But once I tried them on, they won out over all the others.

One was a very unique design, with custom lace-designed filigree and alternate gold accents in hidden little places. The diamond split shank looked like a pretty little ribbon on my finger topped off by a shiny full carat princess cut bow. Seemingly a most precious gift for a girl. Trust, I was smitten. But I’m preparing for a full woman-sized commitment! So that one got relegated to second place. Continue reading

LEARN: Commit by the Spirit – “I’m Not Going Anywhere!”

LEARN! … By the Spirit™ with Jerricia J. Ulmer

“I’m Not Going Anywhere!”

© 2012  Jerricia J. Ulmer, M.Ed.

February 6, 2012

I don’t know about you, but wanderlust runs in my veins. Whether fantasizing about being on some remote Caribbbean island with my significant other or daydreaming about raising a ruckus in L.A. with my girl crew or trying to teleport myself to a swamp tour with some very skilled, cunning Cajun named Boudreaux, I would always want to be someplace else. Then it occurred to me: I would always want to be someplace else. 
 
Don’t get me wrong: wanderlust is great! It can be fun. Travel can open our minds to flora, fauna, people, and cultural experiences we never thought existed or only heard about via the Travel Channel. But what I was doing in my mind was running, hiding. I could envision myself sipping something cool while hanging out on the pastel pallette of some French Quarter or Garden District balcony. But in my mind, I was still the same person, harboring the same fears and anxieties. I realized how applicable was that old adage “Wherever you go, there you are.”
 
So I decided to stay right where I am. To live in the moment. To face head-on the issues, people, and emotions I was feeling at any given time. And – just as importantly – to allow myself to ENJOY the moment. Ah, what a relief! What a gift to myself and others around me. I would now be fully engaged in a conversation, completely aware of the rhythm of his hearbeat when we were together, enthralled by the acrobat squirrel in the tree above.  I had grown appreciative of the Houston sun on my skin and the beauty of our neighborhoods, parks, and skyline and the Southern hospitableness of our people. No more wallpaper pictures of other places. No more spending countless hours wishing I was someplace else. I’m not going anywhere! Of course we will still take planned vacations and random excursions. And wherever we end up, that’s where I’ll be.

LEARN: Resolve By the Spirit – …To Show Up Like Christ

LEARN! … By the Spirit™ with Jerricia J. Ulmer

…To Show Up Like Christ 

© 2011  Jerricia J. Ulmer, M.Ed.

December 21, 2011

We know the Christmas story. It’s a beautiful one. An angel of GOD comes to a seemingly normal young woman and asks her to deliver the Savior into the world during an appointed time of peril.

Well, we’re in an appointed time of peril now. The time is ripe. The world still needs saving! GOD sent Jesus to show us the way. He came so that we may have life and have it to the full (John 10:10), but how many do not know the CHRIST of Christmas? How many souls in a lost and hurting world feel like they’ve never seen Jesus at work, like He’s just some age-old character in a fairytale?

Continue reading

LEARN: Resolve By the Spirit – …To Do It GOD’s Way

LEARN! … By the Spirit™ with Jerricia J. Ulmer

…To Do It GOD’s Way

© 2011  Jerricia J. Ulmer, M.Ed.

December 11, 2011

“They carry out plans that are not mine and make alliances not inspired by me” -Isaiah 30:1

People are strong proponents of getting things done, of doing it their way. You know I’m not a fan of the adage “GOD helps those who help themselves.” But, I am evolving in the Scripture, faith without works is dead (James 2:17).

Notice in that verse faith is first. Therefore, prayer is probably the first step any of us should take when trying to chart a new course in our lives. Yet, so many want to dig their heels in and immediately do something. That gives them a great story of how they pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. But we didn’t create ourselves, so why are we working so hard for ourselves? When we truly believe in the faithfulness of GOD, we enter into a rest – an unprecedented peace – and things fall into place.

So what do I have to do? Where do the “works” fall in?

Continue reading

LEARN: Filled By the Spirit – “Let Down Your Nets for a Haul”

LEARN! … By the Spirit™ with Jerricia J. Ulmer

“Let Down Your Nets for a Haul”

© 2011  Jerricia J. Ulmer, M.Ed.

October 14, 2011

Luke 5: 1-11

“Jesus said to Simon, ‘Push out into deep water and let down your nets for a haul.’ Simon answered, ‘Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so (according to your word), I will let down the nets. When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats . . .”

Credit: via Doug Firebaugh

I was so scared.  I admit, I felt like a bit of a hypocrite, telling people to trust GOD and I was having trouble trusting HIM.  GOD does and can do all things – I know that!  But I was just having trouble relinquising control. 

There I was – “fishing” in the middle of a drought.  And after listening to a T.D. Jakes teaching a few days earlier, GOD had caused Luke 5:4 to light a spark in my head, my heart, and in my Spirit.  Well, I knew the drought was in full effect and had experienced it for almost a year.  And I knew so many others were just happy to have any fish at all that I should rejoice at the first to nibble on my line.  But that was the human side of me.  The flesh side.  The side that wanted to rely on my own doing and ego. 

 
I anticipated the first fish to jump into my net to be a guppy, a fish that wouldn’t truly fill me up.  I wanted to Jedi mind-trick myself into thinking I still had guppy tastes or guppy appetite.  But I knew my appetite was bigger.  I knew I wanted more.  GOD had filled me with a desire for more.  
 
So there I was Googling “faith”, determined to reconcile it with action, when I came upon an interpretation of the very scripture that had engaged me, an interpretation that really helped articulate how I was feeling.
With Jesus in the boat, there will be no more swimming at the shallow end of the pool. No more circling within a comfortable distance of a familiar shore-line. No more encounters that just skim the surface. No more angling in mud puddles. No, when Jesus hops into the boat, he invites his disciples to push out into “the deep water.”

Deep water is out there. Deep water is a place where, literally, you are out of your depth. You can’t see the bottom. The well is deep and you have no bucket. On deep water, it’s hard to tell exactly where you are, because you’ve left familiar landmarks behind. Deep water is a place of risk. Deep water is a place where you are no longer fully in control, where you feel uncomfortable, where the boat suddenly feels so small, and the sea just suddenly feels so large.
 
But deep water is also the place where the fish are.
 
(Duke Divinity School. “Plenty of Fish in the Sea”. http://divinity.duke.edu/node/549. 4 Oct. 2011.)
 
Deep water can be a scary place, especially if you doubt your swimming ability or the quality of your boat.  But that’s just the thing: GOD wants your total reliance to be on HIM – no life preservers, no “Plan B”.  HE wants the glory and the credit so you’ll have a dynamic testimony to give, one that turns others to HIM to be saved and know that HE can work in their lives.  That’s why we’re here.
 
Then, I was blessed with this quote by Dr. Wayne Dyer posted on his Facebook page (10/4/2011):

 
Being infinitely patient means having an absolute knowing that you’re in vibrational harmony with the all-creating force that intended you here. You know that everything will happen at just the right time, at just the right place, with just the right people.
– Dr. Wayne Dyer

Here is my prayer:
GOD, place in me a mindset and an openness to accept the abundant blessings you have in store for me.  And more importantly, fill me with faith and trust in YOU.  Help me to relinquish my idea of control and know that your ways and your timing are perfect.  And what you have in store is truly the best indeed.  In Jesus’ name…Amen.  

 

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