Tag Archives: Purpose

When I Pray

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By Rev. Lauri Boyd, Minister, Unity of Columbia, MO

The experience that we call prayer is a universal human experience. Whether we are burdened with fear or sorrow, or our hearts are overflowing with joy, we have this instinct, when things go beyond our human capacity to process, that there is ‘a something more’ that we can turn to. It matters not whether we conceive of this ‘something more’ as a being, a living energy, the force of nature, or the Infinite Unknowable Source of all that is. In our times of greatest joy or pain, we have an overwhelming desire to commune with it – to become consciously aware of our Oneness with it. And we call this experience of communion and Oneness “Prayer”.

In my experience, I pray in different ways depending on how grounded I am feeling in a particular moment and on the deeper need motivating the encounter. In my study of prayer, I learned about a model in which there are four levels of consciousness which influence how and why we pray. I will call these levels “Praying to God”, “Praying for God”, “Praying with God” and “Praying from God”. Continue reading When I Pray

Universal Benevolence

2016.06.05 Universal Benevolence

By Rev. Lauri Boyd, Minister, Unity of Columbia, MO

“In the simplest language, this practice [of Universal Benevolence] is about keeping your heart open as often as possible.”

Living Originally: Ten Spiritual Practices to Transform Your Life by Rev. Robert Brumet

Universal Benevolence means practicing goodwill and kindness to all persons, and ultimately to all beings. Jesus taught the practice of Universal Benevolence this way – “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (Jn 15:12)

The practice consists of three specific intentions: appreciation, kindness and generosity. When we practice appreciation, we choose to consciously recognize the value of the people and things around us. This recognition leads us naturally to the practice of kindness, blessing those around us through our words and actions. Generosity is kindness taken to the next level. It is grounded in the intention to give abundantly at every opportunity.

So what makes this practice transformational? Continue reading Universal Benevolence

What is a Minister?

When most people think about ‘the call to ministry’ they think about a person who has decided to make ministry his or her job – what he or she does for a living. When most people think of a ‘minister’ they think of the person who presides over the service at a church or spiritual center on Sunday morning. Or, they might think of the person who serves as a hospital chaplain, or a military chaplain or a prison chaplain.

I imagine that very few people who have not made this career choice would think of themselves as ministers. And yet, I believe that in a very real sense, we are all called to ministry.

What is a minister, really? Continue reading What is a Minister?

Living a Life of Purpose

I’ve been thinking lately about what it means to live a life of purpose. I look back over the arc of my life and, taken at the surface level, it would seem that my purpose has shifted dramatically in the last dozen years. I’ve left behind the world of corporate America and moved into full-time ministry. And yet, when I look past the surface, it’s not so much that my purpose has changed as that my understanding of what is meant by ‘purpose’ has changed.

In the first half of my life, I thought my purpose was synonymous with my job. Continue reading Living a Life of Purpose