There is no greater power in the universe than the power of God’s love. Through love and grace, I overcome challenges in every area of my life. My heart is filled with thanksgiving because I know that God’s will for me is good and only good. I claim my good now. Even before I ask, God has already given. The more I realize that God has already given everything, the more I live in that place of grace and peace.

Today my life is transformed by the power of God’s grace.

Gail Manishor,
FROM HERE TO SERENITY, A Spiritual Guide to Transform Your Life
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From Here to Serenity,

From Here to Serenity,




Instead of naming it a problem, which has a negative connotation to it, we can call it a challenge or a project. Life is filled with issues. It’s part of life. Difficulties or challenges seem to come when we least expect them. We sometimes ask “Why Me? Why Now? Haven’t I had enough problems for one lifetime?” When we go through the hard times, we can compare it to Jesus being forced to carry his own cross, or Moses wandering in the desert. We can look at these challenges as cleansing rituals. They purge us of our cosmic impurities and prepare us for a greater life. We are here to accomplish something, to learn and to grow spiritually. When challenges are thrust upon us, we can know that God has already given us all the strength, power and wisdom we need to get us through them and to come out of each crises stronger than we were before.

Know that when we’re in the dark, there is a reason for the darkness. We need that growing time. There is a perfect timing–God’s timing. I call it Divine Timing. While we’re waiting for the light to come, we are trusting, knowing the truth. Accept what is. As we accept what is, peace and joy are inevitable.

When we view the problem or challenge as a project, it give us a different perspective of the situation. If it’s a project, it means there’s a way to go about making the project have a successful outcome.
In a recent sermon Rev. Dr. Christian Sorenson said “A problem is an opportunity and not a roadblock. It is an opportunity in which we can use our self to create our dream.”

He also said, “When an obstacle comes up, “Don’t take your eye off the vision. Let them (obstacles) be a launching pad for your vision.”

Above all, stop giving energy to the negative, to the problem. Think on the solution instead. Be assured that your life will turn around.

Maya Angelou said, “He would not have carried me this far to let me down now.

Affirmation: I know that whatever happens, God means it for good, and I now place my trust in the Divine Presence. I have the strength and courage to go on. There is a brighter day ahead for me.

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Challenges on Our Desert Path


“Allow the challenge to be a pathway to greater understanding. Use your experiences in life as a gateway to God. Allow these challenges to awaken something inside of you, to find the blessing in it all.”
Gail Manishor, From Here to Serenity, A Spiritual Guide to Transform Your Life   

Just when we thought we had our desert absolutely perfect, something happened to upset our (my Garden Angel and my) plan. That’s the way life is. Life keeps happening. In life there are always challenges.             

 The first thing we noticed is that the 2 hibiscus plants that separated our yard from the neighbors and was the background for our desert began to look dry and seemed to be dying.  My Angel and I became aware that our neighbor had stopped watering  his lawn which was soon full of weeds. My Angel was horrified and I wasn’t thrilled either. Neighbors began to comment about our neighbor’s yard.             

A whole series of discussions between my Garden Angel and I began: “How can we mask the weed filled yard from ours and make a nice backdrop for our beautiful desert?”             

 We had some lovely shrubs, but these were not high enough to shield us from the unsightly view. For what we thought might be a “quick fix” we brought 2 very beautiful “Mandarin Orange honeysuckle vines and a trellis. These did not take off as we had hoped they would. They were trying, but not ready to fill the whole job. Next we planted that in the area between the houses. It did begin to grow and look very beautiful, but it could not completely hide the unsightly view.             

My husband Bill and I began to make rounds of nurseries looking for the perfect and least expensive solution to our problem. Bill loves anything with deep red leaves. I found a shrub that might work and began to check out different nurseries.             

 My Garden Angel and I went out and bought 2 nice size healthy Purple Hopseed Bushes (Dodonaea viscose Purpurea). We’ve placed them and will prepare the soil before planting.             

Purple Hopseed Bushes


This was our challenge. I didn’t think about the neighbors and what their challenges might be. Later I found out that the bank was taking back their home.  They may have become depressed and lost all interest in the home they had first bought with such excitement.             

 Before we criticize and blame others we need to take a look at ourselves. We judge others too quickly and harshly.             

 Just for one day see how long you can go without making a judgment of someone or something. It’s not easy. Are we thinking they’re too fat, they’re too thin,  they’re doing this or they’re not doing that. Ernest Holmes wrote “Mind your own business.” I think that’s excellent advice. Terry Cole-Whittaker wrote What You Think of Me is None of My Business. We have enough to do deciding what we ourselves are going to do without making judgments about what others are doing.             

Gail Manishor
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I have just come across The Spiritual Garden by John Stuart Leslie. It is worthwhile for anyone interested in gardening. Check it out.