Rev. Deb Canja

Rev. Deb Canja

Rev. Deb Canja is CMC Minister #122. She was ordained on Aug. 22, 2020. She serves on the CMC Board of Directors. She teaches a session of ACIM-1 that uses the Circle of Atonement edition of ACIM.

Thursday, 25 March 2021 06:22

God Is the Love in Which We Forget

Dear Miracle Workers,
 
Lesson 46 teaches “God is the love in which I forgive.” For me, an easier way of doing this lesson is to say: “God is the love in which I forget.” The goal is to forget all that we think we need to forgive. Why?
 
We have God’s Love, but can’t know that Love until we make room for it. Every past thing that we remember as painful, whether small or large, done to us or by us, takes up space that Love could and would fill if the space were open. To open the space simply requires that we, in this present moment, completely drop the story we’ve been remembering about what happened. The present moment is the only moment. If we can keep the present moment free of the past, Love will fill the space. To allow Love to fill the space is forgiveness. Make a decision to simply forget.
 
Is it that easy? When we look at a tree or a bird or a flower, it is not hard to think of it as being in harmony with God. We do not think of the tree as thinking of itself as somehow separate from nature, from God. The tree does not think. It just is. It exists in harmony – as do the flower and the bird. To see others as God does, see them as a tree, or a bird, or a flower, existing in harmony with God. On a level that our eyes cannot see, that is the truth of who they are…and of who we are.
 
(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #279, Mar. 23 2021)
Friday, 05 March 2021 22:40

Time for Wine?

Dear Miracle Workers,
 
No one would mistake me for a sophisticated wine connoisseur. I only drink sweet, white wines and I’d be just as happy with sparkling grape juice. The truth is, I don’t really like wine and it doesn’t like me. My puffy eyes the next morning are proof. And yet, sometimes I still drink it. Why? ‘Cause I want to.
 
I thought of that as I was implementing a new time management system I picked up from motivational speaker Lisa Nichols. ACIM is a course in mind discipline and the Workbook is all about building habits. Jesus tells us, “You want happiness. You want peace. You do not have them now because your mind is totally undisciplined….” (OrEd.Wkbk.20.2) With that in mind, I am always looking for new ways to get better. Lisa’s trick is to manage her time in 30 or 60 minute blocks and label each block, not by the task, but by the outcome she wants to produce. She said, “I don’t call it ‘exercising. I call it ‘snatching my sexy back’!” OK! To get myself to exercise I wrote “Do You Really Love Yourself?” It was really effective until I suddenly realized I hadn’t built in any time for “fun.”
 
Now, fun is a funny thing. What if you don’t feel like having fun when you come to the fun block of time? And where, I wondered, was my block of time for naps?? And what about the times when I eat too many carbs and go into a carbo-coma?
 
That’s when it hit me. If I’m serious about managing my time, the “ ‘cause I want to” days of drinking wine have to be over. And eating food or snacks that create brain fog and carbo-comas has to be over, too.
 
It turns out that time management and mental discipline are not so much about managing my time and focus as they are about releasing the things that sabotage my efforts.
 
(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #272, Jan. 4 2021)
Sunday, 28 February 2021 02:17

Moving Forward with Determination

Dear Miracle Workers,

A friend was in pain. She’d been through cancer and then hip surgery and now painful, red, swollen and itching hives covered her. As an A Course In Miracles student, she wondered, "What darkness am I harboring that I keep manifesting all of this pain?" Her question isn’t unique. Somehow we’ve come to believe that an “unhealed” body is the sign of an unhealed mind. The truth is something else.

Bodies are "a learning device for the mind...and not lessons in themselves." (T2.VII.6:3) The idea that our painful bodily circumstances show how far we have to go in our healing journey, really makes no sense. If you are “here” – or at least think you are – you are, by definition, “unhealed.” If you are here, it is your job to be “here” AND unhealed and to work on healing. As a result, you will display “unhealed” thoughts, behavior, and bodies. If there were no reason for you to do so, you wouldn’t be here.

Rather than signifying an unhealed mind, they point instead to a mind seeking a way to speed up the curriculum. They are witness to a determination to find a unity of everlasting peace. It makes no sense to ask, what does this say about me? You are a perfect child of God, Love itself embodied. Ask instead, “What is this trying to tell me?” The message is always intensely personal.

Some months earlier my friend had declared, “I’m not going to repeat these life lessons anymore. I’m going to get it now!” meaning in this “lifetime.” Seen in that light, those angry, red welts – that’s the universe coming to help a strong and determined soul meet her goals. Instead of symbolizing how far off the path she’s fallen, they show she is moving forward with determination. You go, girl!

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #268, Jan. 7 2021)

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