Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Star of Bethlehem

Rev. Hillary Dawes, PhD, SC-C

"...There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel..." (Numbers 24:17)

The star of Bethlehem is one of those religious mysteries of the world, that has baffled scientists, astronomers, historians, and religious scholars for centuries.   The astronomical approach of finding an actual star, that coincided with the birth of Jesus, has eluded many.  There is absolutely nothing in the astronomical record to indicate that any special luminary body was seen in the heavens at the time of Jesus' birth.   This has led some to believe that the star of Bethlehem is nothing more than Biblical myth, and that perhaps, Jesus is also a myth.  In this blog, I am going to take you back to the possible mindset of the magi of the east, who discovered this Star, which record we have of in the Bible.    

The narrative record of the star of Bethlehem is found only in the gospel of Matthew.  The narrative begins with these words.  

"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,  Saying, 'Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him'" (Matthew 2: 1-2). 

The wise men from the east were magi, probably from Babylon (Daniel 2:2,13).  At the time of the Jewish diaspora in Babylon, the Hebrew scriptures and prophecies would have been available to those interested in becoming familiar with them.   One of the predictions was a rising of a Star over the land of Jacob (Israel), and also the prophecies of Daniel, who was a captive in Babylon, about a coming Messiah (Numbers 24:17; Daniel 9:25).   It should be noted too  that these magi were star-gazers or astrologists.  Astrologists are people who read the signs in the stars and other celestial bodies.  I am going to take you back to what those magi probably saw in the sky, before the appearance of the Star of Bethlehem, and how a series of signs in the sky, helped to point them towards Jerusalem.    You are going to find out how by following these signs, they ended up finding the Christ child.   
Now before I delve deeper into this study, let me just say that I am in no way am an astrologist.  I won't even pretend to be one, and what I am doing is just giving you the clues which the magi might have used, to find the Christ child.   One need to understand too that Jewish astrology is somewhat different from ordinary astrology.  Back then, astrology was the same as astronomy, and the position of stars in the universe had meaning attached to them, of spiritual importance.  It had nothing to do with reading the stars to predict one's personal fortunes or fortune-telling.   It's not different from today, when we see "blood moons" in the sky, to attach spiritual meanings to them.  Now Hagee may have been wrong about the blood moons, but that did not keep him from trying.  LOL.  I also did a  little write-up on the blood moons.  You can read about it here. 

If we accept common convention that Jesus was born anywhere from 4-6 BC, then we can go back prior to 6 BC to see what events were occurring in the heavens, that would have caused the wise men to look up, and pay close attention. 
12 BC - The appearance of Halley's comet.   Halley's comet only comes around every 75-76 years, so this was a remarkable sight to behold.    The orbit of Halley's comet was well-known in the east, as ancient documents from the Chinese and Babylonians show.  In spite of some theologians trying to make Halley's comet into the Star of Bethlehem, it does  not fit as 12 BC is too soon for the birth of Christ, and Halley's comet does not return until another 75-76 years after, so there was really nothing to 'follow.'   
7 BC - The triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation of Pisces.   Jupiter and Saturn came into conjunction on May 27, October 6, and December 1 of 7 BC.   According to Babylonian astrology, the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Pisces was predictive of  "the end of the old world order, and the birth of a new king chosen by God."  

4 BC - Exploding supernova observed by the Chinese.  You can read up about it on NASA's website.  Was this the Star of Bethlehem?  Sounds like a good fit, doesn't it?  According to Matthew though, the Star of Bethlehem was not an exploding star, but a moving star.  When the wise men could not find the Christ child, the Star appeared again, and led them to the Christ child (Matthew 2:9).  No star does that.   One thing we do know that happened in 4 BC was that this supernova event, which occurred on April 4,  was preceded by a partial lunar eclipse on March 13, 4 BC.   King Herod was very much alive on March 13, 4 BC, as he had executed a Jew by the name of Matthias, who had raised an insurrection against him,  for Herod putting the carved image of a golden eagle on the temple of God in Jerusalem, on that very day (Antiquities of the Jews 17.6.1-4).    

We need to pause at 4 BC, because nothing above seems to fit the star of Bethlehem's description.   Nothing fits, except for one other possible explanation - that star was not a star, but a host of angels.   When reading the Bible, it is very easy to fall into the trap of making the Bible into a history book, a geography book or a science book.  While those disciplines are alluded to in the Bible, the Bible is primarily a spiritual book, which main goal is to teach spiritual lessons and theological concepts.   The rising of a star in the east, which was never seen before, would have drawn the attention of the magi.   It was God's intention to lead them to the Christ child, so God opened their eyes so that they could see the glory of angels from afar, guiding them to the Christ child.   Angels are frequently referred to as stars in the Bible, so this should be of no surprise that God uses angels for this purpose (Job 38:7; Revelation 9:1; 12:4).   The host of angels seen by the shepherds on the night of Jesus' birth, would have been enough to fill the night sky with the brilliance of stars (Luke 2:8-14).   From afar, they would look like One star.    

Even today, angels are all around us.  Our eyes may not perceive them, but they are still around us to guide us along the paths of God, and to offer us protection from harm and danger.   The star of Bethlehem therefore is not an astronomical entity, but the celestial beings of God who celebrated the birth of the one true Star of Bethlehem - the Christ child.   He is the Star of Jacob, and the "bright and morning star" (Revelation 22:16).   

For more information on angels, and how God uses angels as our guides and for protection, please don't hesitate to contact me on my website.   

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Eros Love Is In the Air

Rev. Hillary Dawes, PhD  SC-C

"Love is in the air" is the title of a famous song by John Paul Young.  Before you begin reading what I have to say about Eros love, please take the time  to watch this YouTube video I found online, of his song, Love Is In the Air.

When it comes to romantic love, it seems that it comes out of nowhere.  Boy sees girl and girl sees boy, and BOOM!  Magically, it all seems to happen, without warning, that Cupid's arrow strikes the heart, with eros love.  It's one of those mysteries of life which I will explore in this blog, about eros love.

As you may be well aware, there are four basic kinds of love - agape, agapeo, phileo, and eros love.  What may come as a surprise to many, is that while the Greek words "agape" "agapeo" and "phileo" are abundantly found in scripture, the Greek word "eros" is nowhere to be found in the Bible.  I kid you not.  Is that an error?  Oh no!  The reason why "eros love" is not found in scripture is because there is no such thing as romantic or sexual love.  What we call sexual love is actually sexual attraction, and there is more than ample examples in the Bible of sexual attraction, and the love that can arise from that.    Please also read my blog  in Being in Love is Not the Same as Love to understand these concepts of love and sexual attraction.    

Sex, although it's a powerful force in romance, is NOT LOVE, but it is an act from which eros love can arise.  Eros love is best defined as a force of attraction that pulls people together, and a bonding agent which causes you to emotionally bond to another person.  Eros love is important, because it causes you to form deep, intimate, and close relationships with people that you love.  Without eros love we would not become 'attached' to anyone, or become a part of their lives.   We would be detached and aloof in all our dealings with each other.   Eros love by no means has to be sexual, but it is more often most evident in the sexual context, as it causes the deep bonding and intertwining of the soul to that of another person, forming soul-ties.   One of the most well-known soul-ties in scripture, that is non-sexual, is that of the love between Jonathan and David.

"And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul" (1 Samuel 18:1).

Eros love is similar to agape love in that you are with the person no matter what their faults are, but is different from agape love in that agape love is love without attachment or any kind of emotional bonding, whereas eros love is love with emotional bonding between two people.  Eros love is a spiritual commitment of love between two people, as it is mutual, and reciprocating.  Eros love hence helps a couple to form very strong love-ties with each other, sometimes so strong, and so secure, that no one can break that tie, but the couple.  The three-strand cord of eros love is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12).   

"Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for [eros] love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.  Many waters cannot quench [eros] love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for [eros] love, it would utterly be contemned" (Song of Solomon 8:6-7, amplification supplied for clarity).  


Since eros love produces strong emotional bonding, even with people who are less than ideal mates, should we then avoid eros love?  Absolutely not!   Eros love is sweet, no matter what, and the love a couple has for each other makes life bearable and pleasant, no matter what their faults are.   Sex also is a beautiful experience, but sexual love that does not expand beyond the bedroom is not God's ideal or plan for us.   Bear in mind also that  'sexual love' which causes you to attach to another person, without mutual reciprocation of love, is not eros love, but emotional attachment, which is a counterfeit to eros love.  Eros love, if properly practiced, actually increases the love a couple has for each other.  It deepens the agape, agapeo, and phileo love which already exists, and is transformative in a positive way.  It's not abusive or clingy in any way.   

Sex is the most frequent way in which eros love is produced in a relationship, and yet not the only way.  We tend to mistakenly believe that sex is an expression of love, but sex is only an expression of love, if love already exists in a relationship, prior to sex.   To me, sex is best defined as an expression of the physical interplay of the Masculine and Feminine Divine image of God.  It's a love-play; hence this is the reason why couples can have great sex, and do not love each other.   For sex to become meaningful in which it produces eros love, you have to love your mate.   When you have some time, read in your Bible the book, Song of Solomon, as an example of eros love between king Solomon and his wife, symbolizing God's love for His people.   I want you to also think of ways in which you bond to people you love, such as family members or friends, in non-sexual ways.   You are going to find eros love popping up in all your close relationships, even non-sexual relationships.     

Acts of affection are a basic human need that promotes emotional health.   Eros love is affectionate love, with sexual affection being a special kind of affection reserved for the romantic couple.   Eros love includes all kinds of affection, including sex.  Acts of affection, with the exception of sex, are usually indicative of eros love within.   Kissing, hugging, caressing, stroking, patting, holding hands, and so forth are ways in which we show physical affection to those we love, or are attracted to.  One reason why sex is not an indication of love is that people sometimes engage in sex to find love.  They use sex as a substitute for love, so therefore sex is not an expression of love, but an attempt to fulfill a craving for love.  This is why true lovemaking is more than just sex.   True lovemaking is expressing your love for your mate in a physical sense with acts of affection around the sex act.  Eros love includes all of that!

In our effort to understand eros love, there are certain things we need to remember.  Eros love is from God.  God created love, affection, and sex.  If you don't believe me, then go read again the book, Song of Solomon.   Because God created love, affection, and sex, sex is not sinful.  What is sinful is our abuse of sex; however, the more we understand eros love, the more we will realize that eros love is all around us, and is an essential part of our existence, in more ways than one.  Eros love is essential for our spiritual and emotional well-being.  It is sacred.  

For more information and to learn about the sacredness of sex, please read my blog Sacred Sexuality 101.  If too, you would like to receive love coaching, to understand these concepts of love, to enhance your dating or marriage experience, please contact me on my website to arrange for personal coaching.  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Toxic Religion

Rev. Hillary Dawes, PhD, SC-C

For those of you on Facebook, you have probably seen the meme going around that reads something like this.  "If all religions teach peace, then why are they at war?"  Religion is supposed to be a good thing.  Religion is supposed to bring us closer to a God of Love, and yet all we see around us are religious people at war with each other, and against all others.   Where is this disconnect, and how did religion become so toxic?  Personally, I believe that the toxicity in religion stems from having toxic people in religion.   When a toxic person converts to religion, unfortunately, the toxicity does not go away.  As a matter of fact, they sometimes use religion to justify toxic behaviors, in the name of God.   Atrocities, which would otherwise be repulsive and abhorrent, are somehow sanitized as right and just, when committed in the name of God.  Religion gives an out for toxic people to harm others without fear of Divine retribution, and without fear of "what man may do to me."   Toxic people also tend to use religion as a cover for unrighteous acts, while appealing to religion as their justification, and right.   

The peace which passes all understanding cannot come to you if you are a part of toxic religion, even if you don't personally participate in the wrongs being committed.   You will always find yourself caught up in the midst of what others are doing, as their actions will negatively impact your life.  Perhaps you yourself have been a victim of toxic religion?  If you have suffered from spiritual abuse of any kind, then you are a victim of toxic religion.   Spiritual abuse includes such things as brainwashing in cults, financial abuse, emotional abuse from church members, toxic teachings that harmed you, toxic teachings that damaged your health, toxic teachings that rob you of peace of mind, curses, spiritual oppression, spiritual warfare resulting in broken homes, divorce, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and so on.  If you have suffered from any of those, then you were a victim of toxic religion. 

One of the things I have learned by watching the news reports on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and interacting with people on Facebook, is that people will justify anything, as long as it is done in the name of God.  People will use false facts, misinformation, and plain propaganda, to get others to support their side of the story, and to turn others against the opposing side.  When it comes to wars, religion is a formidable weapon used to assuage the conscience, when one is committing otherwise heinous acts.   As long as God sanctions it, people feel it is okay.   The problem however is that the other side also thinks that God is sanctioning their cause as well!  

The main reason why toxic religion is so dangerous, is that it robs you of peace.   No one in toxic religion is really happy, and they certainly are not experiencing peace.  You can even see it in their long, pious, self-righteous faces.   They see evil in everything, and nothing good.   They are always searching for the devil hiding under every rock.   Scripture is used as a sword to cut others to pieces, and sometimes they throw the whole Book at you!  Perhaps you have been caught up doing the same, and are now suffering the negative effects of being in toxic religion.   Lack of peace of mind, fear, intimidation, apathy, cold-heartedness, lack of love in one's life, lack of inner peace, cruelty, harshness, and so on, are all the effects of being in toxic religion, and even when you leave physically.   Toxic religion is such, that the effects haunt you, long after you physically leave the toxic organization.  This is because the teachings are embedded in your mind, and lodged in your subconscious, following you, wherever you go.   Studying more scripture sometimes fail to free you from toxicity, as usually what happens is that you swap one form of toxicity for another form of toxicity.   It's not unusual for people to leave one toxic church/religion only to join another toxic church/religion, or they bring the toxicity with them to their new church or religion.  One of my favorite quotes from Einstein is this: "Problems cannot be solved by the same mind that created them."   Surely then, if you want to rid yourself of toxic religion, you need help from someone other than your own mind.   It is for this reason, why I have created a toxic religion deprogramming spiritual counseling program.   In this program, I address the spiritual mindset of toxic religion, and help you to free yourself from that mindset, which is truly a form of spiritual bondage.   In my program, you will finally be free to serve God, without the underlying toxicity, and find peace of mind.  The program outline is as follows. 

Week One:  Identifying What Makes Toxic Religion Toxic
Week Two:  Tactics Used to Attract People to Toxic Religion.
Week Three:  The Types of People Who are Attracted to or Vulnerable to Toxic Religion
Week Four:   Identifying Vulnerabilities Within Oneself to Toxic Religion
Week Five:  Working on Your Vulnerable Areas to Remove Them

If you are interested in toxic religion deprogramming, please contact me at my website, and for more information.   God bless you, and have a liberating day!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sacred Sexuality 101

Rev. Hillary Dawes, PhD, SC-C

We are so used to hearing about the negative effects of sex.  We are bombarded on a daily basis on the negative effects of sex with news reports of rape, sodomy, gang rapes, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, affairs, and sexually transmitted diseases.   We tend to warn our young people to stay away from drugs, violence, and also sex.   Sex is so powerful that it can bring down even the most powerful people in society.   Who has not heard of this powerful leader or that powerful leader being brought low by sexual indiscretions, love affairs, and bad marriages?   Donald Sterling was brought low by racial comments made to his mistress.   Bill Clinton was brought low by being caught in an sexual act in the White House, with Monica Llewinsky.  What about Senator John Edwards?   After his sex scandal/affair, we have not seen nor heard from him again.   With all the negative press about sex, it is very difficult to have a positive, healthy, attitude towards sex that is fulfilling and positively life-transforming.  Yeah, you read right.  Sex can be positively life-transforming; and it is, when you practice sacred sexuality.   

When you practice sacred sexuality, you will begin to understand the purpose of sex, and how sex can change your life for the good.  You will understand how the Creator built us for that, and why, and how sex can even contribute to world peace.   We are all created sexual beings.   Our sexual development is very much a part of our physical and emotional development.  Lack of understanding of the spiritual aspects of sex contributes greatly to the stunting of our emotional development, and is the source of lack of peace of mind in society, hence the negative manifestations of sex in society.   In sacred sexuality, whether you are single or married, you too can learn and appreciate how to apply the principles of sacred sexuality in your life, so that you can spiritually grow and evolve into a more grounded person, who is at peace with God and humanity.   

Because sex can be such a complex and controversial issue, I won't be able to get into all of it in one blog, so I have created a spiritual coaching program, designed to address some of the more basic issues, as it relates to sacred sexuality.  What I can say, as an introduction to that program,  is that we need to remove the negative stigmas, and return sex back to it's rightful place, where it all started - the Creator.  When we start to view sex from a spiritual standpoint, instead of just merely physical or moral, then we will truly begin practicing the art of sacred sexuality,  which will manifest for us the peace of mind and joy in life, that we all seek.   The sacred sexuality spiritual coaching program is as follows:

Week One:  Male and Female as image of God
Week Two:  Fornication vs. Pre-marital sex: Why They are Not the Same Thing. 
Week Three:  What's love Got to Do With It?
Week Four:  Emotional, Physical and Spiritual All in One 

Once you start practicing the art of sacred sexuality, expect to find more positive experiences in life, as you and/or your relationships heal.  You will find the world to be a much more loving and peaceful place, and most of all, you will feel fulfilled, and be at One with those around you.  

To contact me about sacred sexuality coaching, please go to my website, and fill out the contact form, and send it to me.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Relationship Commitment

Rev. Hillary Dawes, PhD, SC-C

Dating is fun, but after a while, most folks want to know if their date is going to commit to them for a relationship.   The commitment question does not however end when they do enter into some kind of relationship, even when they are boyfriend/girlfriend.  I can't even begin to tell you the many times people in long-standing relationships worry about their mate not committing.  Without going into all the details of the different kinds of relationships that are out there (sex buddies, friends with benefits, monogamous/exclusive boyfriend-girlfriend, live-in lovers, common-law marriage, legal marriage), I am going to describe the three types of commitments that can occur in a relationship, and what they look like.  

Life-time Friendship

This is where partners are friends with each other.  They get on well, understand each other, enjoy each other's company, and socialize together.  They usually share a lot of things in common, and have common interests.  They do a lot of things together and are a good fit.  They are also very forgiving of each other faults, and are willing to overlook slights.   They tend to stick with each other through the ups and downs of life, and are there for each other through the good times and bad times.  

Soul Mates

Soul mates are like friends but they are mirrors of each other.  They see themselves in each other.  "I see you in me and me in you."  Soul mates are very comfortable with each other, and they complement each other.  What one lacks the other makes up for, and together they function as a whole.   Apart they are strong, but together they are stronger.  They complete each other.  


Marriage is a legal contract, where two people commit to take care of each other for the rest of their lives, "for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, 'til death do us part."   Because it's a legal contract, it is enforceable by law, and the two parties cannot get out of that commitment unless by court action - a divorce.  Ideally, you only want to enter into a legal contract, such as marriage, with someone who is at least a lifetime friend or your soul mate.  Entering into a marriage contract with anyone less, is signing up for spiritual/emotional disaster.  

As a spiritual counselor I teach people how to identify the qualities within their relationship that are for or against commitment.  In many instances, couples do love each other, but their love do not rise to the level to cause any of three commitment levels - lifetime friendship, soul mate or marriage.  In my love coaching program, I explore all three levels of commitment that can occur in a relationship, and help you lay the framework for being in a loving committed relationship.    For more information about my love coaching program, and to contact me, please visit my website. 

Ending Emotional Pain

Rev. Hillary Dawes, PhD, SC-C

One of the facts about this life is that you are going to go through emotional pain. Whether it's from broken relationships, bad marriages, traumatic childhoods, disloyal friends, spiteful people, or other life circumstances, we all have to face emotional pain at one time or the other.   It is just a fact of life that is, and therefore we need to learn good ways to handle emotional pain, and the long-lived hurt it can inflict for decades, even for the rest of our lives, affecting us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  We need to know how to get rid of it, so that it does not permanently lodge itself within our subconscious, infecting our very being with its toxicity, and becoming an emotional baggage that we carry around for the rest of our lives, creating misery and inability to ever find happiness.  

Ending emotional pain happens one way and one way only - by practicing forgiveness.   Before I go into the details as to why forgiveness works, let me first explain what forgiveness is NOT.  Forgiveness is NOT pretending everything is okay when they are not.  Forgiveness is NOT pretending as if others are not doing wrong.  Forgiveness is a REALIZATION that people are going to do bad things from time to time, perhaps even hurtful things to you or others, which will cause pain, even emotional pain.   It's this emotional pain that lingers and causes you misery and unhappiness on the inside, long after the initial hurt was done to you.  Let's for example say someone made a rude remark to you or told a lie on you.  Yes, what they did was wrong, and it hurt you.   It probably cost you friendships, your job, or caused you to be wrongly punished for something you did not do.  What was done is done, but emotional pain causes you to re-live those hurtful experiences all over again, even long after the incident was over, and keeps you in a state of constant hurt and misery.  The more you re-live those hurtful experiences, the more angry, resentful, and bitter you get.   You might even start to hate the other person, and justifiably so.  The problem however, with these kinds of emotions that stem from emotional pain, is that they hurt you more than they hurt  the other person who wronged you.   YOU are the one feeling unhappy on the inside.  YOU are the one feeling victimized.  YOU are the one feeling miserable and alone.   After a while, the emotional pain builds up so much, that you start to feel depressed and anxious, and might even cause you to feel bodily pain as well.  It's not uncommon for emotional pain to cause muscle aches and pain, as well as be the  start for clinical depression and other mental/psychiatric disorders, due to the stress caused by emotional pain.  Read here how stress can be a trigger for major illnesses.  You can also read this article here as well,  that shows the link between emotional pain and physical pain.  

Forgiveness is you releasing from your own heart the anger, resentment, and bitterness that you have on the inside for others, and not carrying grudges any more.  It means that you come to an UNDERSTANDING  and ACCEPTANCE that people are the way they are, but you don't allow that understanding to cause you to develop long-standing bitterness on the inside. When you forgive, your anger is replace by pity for the other person's pathetic ways.  You become compassionate and realize that they are weak human beings with character flaws like anyone else (including yourself), and are in need of healing.   You also understand the fact that people are going to mess up from time to time and make mistakes, and that also, people are going to act out behaviors true to character as well.  "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time" (Maya Angelou).   Put away your anger that you are carrying against people who are being who they are, or for mistakes they made.  This will go a long way in helping you to see them in a different light, and to quell the anger that is raging in your own soul.  

Here is what to expect when you forgive.   Your emotional pain is lifted.  Your physical pain might even disappear.  You will be at peace on the inside with yourself, because emotional pain is really lack of peace within oneself.   It is actually you being angry at yourself, and inflicting anger on yourself.  So therefore, not only do you have to forgive others, but you need to forgive yourself.   Forgiving yourself however is a feedback loop that depends upon you forgiving others.   You can't receive self forgiveness if you are not willing to forgive others (Matthew 6:14-15).   So forgive, and see your burdens miraculously lift away, as the grace of forgiveness enters your soul (Romans 8:1; Isaiah 26:3; Matthew 11:28).   Your inner world of peace will match your outer world of peace.  

If you are interested in ending emotional pain, I have a four-week Conflict Resolution spiritual coaching program that takes you through the steps of ending emotional pain, starting with confession and ending with restoring one's peace of mind.  My step by step program will change your life, and help you to end emotional pain, using forgiveness as the main tool.  The program outline is as follows:

Week One:  Confession - of one's weaknesses and faults
Week Two: Repentance - turning away from negative emotions
Week Three:  Forgiveness - letting go of negative emotions
Week Four: Restoration - of one's peace of mind

If you are interested in ending emotional pain and learning how to forgive, please visit my website to contact me.  God bless you!  

Friday, May 30, 2014

Emotional Baggage Removal Program (EBRP)

Rev. Hillary Dawes, PhD. SC-C

Emotional Baggage Removal Program (EBRP) is a spiritual coaching program designed to remove emotional baggage from past relationships out of your life, so that you don't carry it into any new relationship you may have, and ruin that relationship.   A lot of people go around carrying toxic emotions from past broken relationships, divorces, bad marriages, bad relationships, bad job situations, and emotionally traumatic childhood that creates dysfunctional relationship dynamics.  The emotional baggage causes them to attract more and more bad relationships, instead of  attracting the loving relationships they so much desire.  This is because you only attract your mirrors - a universal law.    So if you are carrying hate, anger, and bitterness on the inside, then you are going to attract more hate-filled, anger-filled, and bitter relationships in your life.   Your emotional baggage is going to unload itself in whatever relationship you are in, and create a toxic situation that only attracts more toxicity.    In order to change this around, so that you can attract more positive relationships, it is important therefore that you get rid of the emotional baggage that you are carrying around, and replace it with positive emotions.    "You attract what you are."  

EBRP gets rid of emotional baggage through spiritual counseling, as well as a series of spiritual practices that you do daily, that are designed to get rid of  your specific emotional baggage.   Spiritual practices include meditation/prayer, journaling, affirmations, physical activities, and sound/music therapy to name a few.   Spiritual practices are tailored to YOUR level of spirituality, and are in accordance with Universal Spiritual Law, common across all cultures and belief systems.   The five-week EBRP is as follows:

Week One:  Making Peace with Your Past
Week Two:  Increasing Love and Appreciation of Self
Week Three:  Increasing Positive Emotions
Week Four:  Making Peace with God (or the Universe)
Week Five:  Managing Stress in Relationships 

If you are interested in EBRP, please contact me on my website.

Friday, May 16, 2014


Rev. Hillary Dawes, PhD, SC-C

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28, KJV).

With such beautiful words as the promise in Matthew 11:28, one would think that living the Christian life would be stress free, or at least less stressful.   The truth is that many, many, many Christians are under tons of stress, and sometimes even more stress than before their conversion.   It's a really strange phenomenon that the supposedly care-free Christian life is filled with so much stress!  I think one of the major reasons for this is that many of us do not know how to balance work and rest.  We are constantly on the go, doing this and doing that, and if that is not bad enough, our minds are constantly working, processing a million thoughts non-stop.   Add to that the cares of life and the consciousness of sinning, and you have a recipe for spiritual, emotional and physical breakdown, with negative impact on one's health and peace of mind.  

One of the reasons why it's so important to control our stress levels is that stress is a leading cause of major illnesses.   Cancers,  heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and depression are all associated with stress.   You can read how stress causes and contributes to disease, in this article here.  Many times our prayers for healing go unanswered, because we continue to subject our bodies to the high levels of stress, which continues to trigger the disease process.  Healing cannot take place as long as the the cause of your illness is left untreated, and so, if stress is the trigger to your illness, then no healing will come, as long as the stressor remains.

Stress usually affects us in three forms - physical, social and spiritual.   Physical stressors are those things which affect your health or threaten you with bodily harm.  Examples of physical stressors include illnesses, physical  abuse, physical violence, work stress, physical hazards, feats of physical endurance/challenge, sexual abuse, depression, mental illness, and so on.  Examples of social stress include marriage, divorce, major life events, bad relationships, peer pressure, bullying, emotional and verbal abuse, loneliness, dysfunctional family life, lack of love in one's life, financial abuse, job loss, unemployment, debt, financial troubles, dating anxiety, shyness, social awkwardness, and so on.   Examples of spiritual causes of stress include unforgiveness, lovelessness, ingratitude, complaining, criticizing, fault-finding, judging, worrying, anxiety, wrong-doing, guilt, shame, bad attitudes, negative thinking, hopelessness, spiritual/religious abuse, toxic religion, and so on.  As you can see, the causes of stress are many and varied, and the sooner you address the causes of your stress, the less stress you will have in your life, and the happier your life will be.   

As a spiritual counselor, I help you to pin-point those areas of your life that are causing you stress, and make recommendations for you to get help for those stressful areas of your life.  Very recently, a few months ago, I had a client by the name of Clara* who was under intense stress and severe depression due to being a single, divorced mother with no help to raise her son, and a bad relationship with her son.   The stress became so bad, that she lost her mind, and wanted to end it all.  Luckily for her, I was able to direct her to the appropriate resources and her life was saved.   Not only was her life saved, but she was afterwards able to finish with the spiritual counseling, and her relationship with her son was restored.  Another client by the name of Tammy* was helped by me to relieve stress associated with  a major medical depressive disorder and bipolar depression.   While I do not treat depression, I was able to help Tammy tap into activities and resources to relieve her stress associated with her depression.   

Many of my clients are able to reduce their stress levels by taking one or more of my spiritual coaching programs to address the issues surrounding their stress.   There are at least five spiritual coaching programs that I have, that I use to help clients relieve stress, depending upon the cause of stress.  

Spiritual Renewal Coaching Program - A three-week program that addresses generalized, overall stress.  Perhaps you just have 'bad energy' that is weighing you down, or you are giving out 'stressful vibes', or you are anxious for no particular reason, then this program is good for you.  In the Spiritual Renewal program, I coach you through techniques that will provide you with physical, social, and spiritual relief from stress.   

Spiritual Cleansing Program - A four-week program that addresses stress caused from spiritual attacks.  This program is especially geared for people who feel as if they are under spiritual oppression, and cannot break free from bad luck.    This program is similar to the spiritual renewal coaching program, in that you are coached in techniques to provide physical, social, and spiritual relief from stress, but it also includes spiritual protection to remove the negative spiritual influences out of your life. 

Emotional Baggage Removal Coaching Program - A five-week, extremely specific program, tailored to your personal issues, that addresses past issues causing current stress.  Many people  carry around lots of toxic emotions from past relationships, broken marriages and dysfunctional family dynamics.   The Emotional Baggage Removal Program (EBRP) helps you to remove those toxic emotions out of your life, so that you can live free from the stress of those toxic burdens.   EBRP helps you to remove bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, resentment, negative attachment, MENTAL BLOCKS TO LOVE, and a host of other negative spiritual emotions out of your life.  

Cult deprogramming - A five-week program that addresses the stress caused from being in a toxic religious environment.   It does not have to be a cult for a religious organization to be toxic.  Any mainstream religious organizations can become toxic TO YOU.   As long as the environment is toxic to you, it is going to cause you guilt, shame, fear, worry, anxiety, and rob you of peace of mind.   Cult deprogramming addresses the spiritual mindset that led up to you being in spiritual bondage to an organization, and helps you to become free.  

Spiritual Counseling to Remove Dating Anxiety - A four-week program that addresses the anxiety and the needy/clingy behaviors people tend to display while dating.   The anxiety and clingy/needy behaviors result from having a love-void on the inside.  This program helps you to fill the love-void by "filling up on love" while dating.   

I also offer a Love Coaching Program which teaches you what love is and how to identify love separate from lust and emotional attachment, and Abundance and Prosperity Counseling to relieve financial stress.   My book Surviving a Global Economic Crisis: A Biblical Perspective teaches you how to find inner peace in the midst of global (or personal) economic crisis.  

If you are suffering from stress, and are seeking relief, then perhaps spiritual counseling is what you need, so that you can start enjoying life again, and truly find rest in your soul.   For more information about the programs I offer, please visit my website

*Name changed for privacy

Saturday, May 10, 2014


Rev. Hillary Dawes, PhD, SC-C

"For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Romans 8:6, KJV)

The godly life or the spiritual life is your personal journey in the Spirit to wholeness and inner peace.  Along this journey, there are many bumps in the road, and sometimes it can seem discouraging.  Sometimes it seems like no matter what you do, and how well you follow every thing by the book, things backfire, and you are met with frustration along the way.   Sometimes the setbacks can be so overwhelming that you feel like giving up;  hence the need to know whether you are on the right track or not, so you are not expending needless energy or putting energy into things that do not serve your highest spiritual good.  In this blog, I have developed this list of ten things, as a way to give you guidance along your path, so that you are encouraged in your journey. 

  1. 'WORLDLY' PEOPLE FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE IN YOUR PRESENCE (John 15:18-20).   They can't tell you why they dislike you, even though you are nice and not pushy, and you really do care about people.  Your 'goodness' is a turn off for them, as it makes them feel bad about themselves.  You are too much of a 'goody-two-shoes' as that makes them uncomfortable.  They invariably try to find ways to show you up as a fake or someone disingenuous.  They try to dig up dirt on you so as to bring you to their level. Don't let this kind of persecution and pressure get to you.   If you continue to be consistent in your demeanor, and be your true self, after a while they will leave you alone.  
  2.  YOU ARE MORE INTERESTED IN PEOPLE THAN THINGS (Luke 12:15).  You don't see socializing and having fun with your friends and family as a waste of time.  Jesus was accused of being a party-person, and too sociable (Luke 7:34).   Your goal in life is not to amass tons of wealth but to build good memories with the people in your life, by building strong, solid friendships, relationships, and family (Matthew 16:26). You provide for your family, but you are able to balance work with social time.  
  3. YOUR LOVE IS NOT INSTITUTIONALIZED.  It means you truly love what you are doing, and you are not loving others just because you saw a commandment in the Bible to love others.  It is not a love where you are doing XYZ because Jesus said you are to do those things to show love.   Sharing the gospel, giving Bible studies, preaching to the homeless, and evangelizing are typical institutionalized way to show love to others.  Please bear in the mind that doing those things do NOT require you to love at all, if you are doing them out of obligation to fulfill a command.  As a matter of fact, those things are really duties, and not necessarily acts of love.  If your love for another person is based upon them following your teachings, then is it truly love?  Do you only care for them if they follow your teachings or do you care for them regardless?  Do you call down hell and destruction on them if they do not abide by your doctrines?  A truly spiritual and godly person practices tolerance and love regardless, and does not seek for the destruction of another soul (Luke 9:51-56).  
  4. YOU HAVE ALL THAT YOU NEED FOR THE PRESENT (Philippians 4:19).   The spiritual person does not give into the mindset of lack.   The spiritual person recognizes that all his/her needs are being provided for, and are being met.   The spiritual person has an abundance mentality and not a scarcity mentality. The temporary appearance of lack in the present does not mean a loss of spiritual status for the spiritually-minded person.   The spiritually-minded person is at total peace with God's providence.   
  5. YOU GIVE WITHOUT AN AGENDA TO SATISFY THE EGO (Matthew 6:1-6).   I am not referring to public relations and marketing that companies do to advertise their business or what churches or ministries do to let the public know what services they have to offer, and how they are serving the community.  This is about using your acts of charity to another person to make yourself look good in front of others.  Where the focus is not on the person you are helping but on you, where you use your good deed to make a show of your righteousness before others.  An attitude like that will drive away people from your confidence as the cost of being publicly humiliated is not worth the help you are offering.  I have been in positions where teachers wanted to use me as an exhibit for their class when I obviously did not feel comfortable going up in front.   They were more interested in proving their point for 'educational purposes' without regards for my feeling.  It's difficult to trust people who put you up for show.  If you are the kind of person who is critical, judgmental and condemning, and love to point out the sins of others, do not be surprised that you get 'persecuted' by others.   When you judge or condemn others, it causes you to be condemned back by them in defense.  This is the law of reciprocity in action.   This was why Jesus said, "Judge not that ye be not judged" (Matthew 7:1).   It will all come back to you. Your reward in life is the satisfaction that you get when you help others, and the joy of knowing that another life has been helped.   Having inner joy over the happiness of others  is a sign of spiritual maturity (Romans 15:12).
  6. THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU (Luke 17:21).  A lot of folks identify heavily with the churches they attend.   While that is good for the church you attend, it does not say anything about your relationship with God - only your relationship with your church.  Church membership does not equal having the kingdom of God within you.  The kingdom of God is not a building or even a visible place with borders (John 18:36).  The kingdom of God is the life of the Spirit residing in you (Luke 11:20).   It's you being 100% authentic regardless of whether its Sunday morning in church or Monday morning on the job.  Some folks are only 'good people' in church or in front of others, but behind closed doors, they are no different than anyone else.   The Spirit within you is 24-7, and is not something that comes upon you in church that causes you to yell and shout.  The Spirit within you is that Life within you that causes re-birth (Romans 8:5).   In the Spirit-filled life your tendencies change.  You tend to be attracted more to peaceful, loving, and compassionate ways to live.  The fruits of the Spirit manifest more and more in your life (Galatians 5:22-23).  
  7. YOU ARE MORE INTERESTED IN HELPING OTHERS THAN PUSHING DOCTRINES (Matthew 23:25; James 2:14-18).   It always amazes me to see people giving Bible tracts to the homeless and hungry on the streets - preaching to them and yet never offering them any food, clothing or shelter.   While you may have no problem spending money on lots of tracks to share the gospel to people who may  never attend your church, and you might find it difficult to spend the same amount of money to provide a meal to the hungry.   Yes, sometimes they use the money to buy alcohol, cigarettes, etc but you can also help by giving to a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen.  Where I live, we have at least two homeless shelters.  They do an EXCELLENT job of keeping lots of homeless people off the streets, as well as provide spiritual counseling and educational opportunities.  This is the one I support regularly.  And I don't work for them.  I just love what they do for our community.  
  8. YOU DON'T GO OUT OF YOUR WAY TO SEEK SPECIAL HONORS FOR YOURSELF (Luke 22:24-27; Matthew 23:1-12).  Nothing is worse than church folks fighting for church office, and using church office as a means to exert power over the lives of people.   A spiritual person is not interested in power grabs, but concerns him/herself with serving others.   You are on the wrong track if your focus is on jockeying for elitist positions in the church to satisfy your pride.  If you are the type of person who does not respect the spiritual gifts of others, but try to outdo others in their gifting or even belittle their gift, you are going the wrong way spiritually.  The body won't thrive if only one  voice or one opinion matters.   Don't be surprised that your church is not seen as a place of community but just a place of hostility.  
  9. YOU DO NOT PRACTICE BLIND FAITH (Matthew 23:24).   Blind faith is following some religious teaching that fails to deliver, yet hoping it will all pan out if one has enough faith.   Insanity is described as doing something over and over again, expecting different results.  If your faith in something is proven false, why do you cling to false hope?  I never understood that concept.  I am tired of hearing Evangelists chastising people for not having enough faith for healing from an illness or for their state of poverty.  The truth is that they are misleading people as to the true state of their affairs. Don't get sidetracked with slick attempts to pull the wool over the eyes of the sheep- buy this anointing oil here or this scarf here to be healed or bring blessings in your life.  Yes, we have all heard this, and many do buy those things, and are no better off than when they started.  Some have even become worse off, as their problems remain unaddressed.   It's so much better to seek counseling whether from your pastor, a spiritual counselor like myself, or a qualified secular counselor for your life problems and for proper guidance, than to buy into hocus pocus.  
  10. YOU ARE WILLING TO LISTEN TO THE POINT OF VIEWS OF OTHERS WITHOUT BECOMING DEFENSIVE OF OWN BELIEFS (Psalm 119:165).   Too many of us are more interested in defending our beliefs than finding out truth.   Your truth and my truth are not always the same, so there is no point in you trying to prove your truth to me, as your truth does not resonate with my truth.  Really,  the root of all these debates is the fear of being wrong, and the fear of being found believing in a lie, so we cling, argue, and provoke each other to anger with ad homien attacks, in order to defend what we believe to be truth.  I love the saying, "Truth needs no defense."  Do you know why?  If something is true, it is going to be evident, and the proof of it being truth lies in its own veracity.  No amount of questioning, analysis, or examining can destroy that which is true, because the more you dig into truth, the more credible it becomes.  On the other hand, truths based upon unproven beliefs or unsupported feelings may not pan out when put to the test.   The enemy to falsehood is truth - not more falsehood.  Truth cannot be destroyed by lies.   The truth will always come out.  You need to get to the place where people can express themselves with you, without you taking it personally, and getting all mad and irate with them.   A truly spiritual person is not bothered or disturbed by differences in opinions (1 Corinthians 11:19).   

In conclusion, the spiritual life leads you to the abundant life of peace, happiness, and joy!  For more information on how to live the abundant life and to get spiritual counseling on the abundant life, please visit my website.  

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


One of the things I have noticed, among dating Christians seeking a spouse, is that many are seeking godly mates who love God, to marry, which of course is right.  Many assume however that a person who is "in love" with God would make a loving spouse.   Is it really true that love for God means love for people?  In this blog, I will explore this concept of whether religion plays any role in finding love.

Religion is our vertical experience of man to God, while marriage is a horizontal experience of human to human.   Just because you are loyal and dedicated in your church, are blessed and highly favored with spiritual gifts, and love God, does not mean that you are ready for marriage, or even have what it takes to enter into a loving relationship with another human being.   God's love for us is unconditional (John 3:16), so it's quite possible for a person to have a good relationship with God, and not be a particularly loving person.  Our relationship with God depends largely on God's unconditional love for us - not the love we have for God.   Our love for God is NOTHING compared to the love God has for us, and as such, we can easily deceive ourselves that we have a strong, loving relationship with God, when the fact is that God loves us in spite of our deepest faults.   So you could be the worst hater, spouse-beater, verbally abusive person there is, and yet be within the bounds of God's love, as His love is greater than all our sins, "...but where sin abounded, grace did much more abound" (Romans 5:20).  So in reality, you don't have to be a good person, who is all lovey dovey, to have a relationship with God.   You just need to abide in His love.

Marriage involves the ability to relate to another human being in a loving fashion. It requires people skills - not religious skills.  We know that is true because even non believers have good marriages!  As a matter of fact, in the USA, atheists, agnostics, and other faith groups have much lower divorce rates than Christians.   You can read about it here.  This goes to show that being religious has very little to do with having a happy marriage, and that being a Christian does not inoculate you from bad marriages.  Many of the people I give post-divorce spiritual counseling to are Christians.   What many don't understand is that the marriage relationship requires that one develops one's ability to love another human being, where you are not demanding love, but living in love.  To go around saying you want a spouse that loves you just as Christ loves the church is a great goal, but if you yourself are not emotionally in a place to give and receive that kind of love right NOW in your current dating experience, then your expectation is nothing more than a demanding,  pie-in-the-sky fantasy,  which will cause you future marriage problems, if you do ever get married.

If you are serious about finding love, and settling down in a good marriage relationship with another human being, I highly recommend that you take my Four Loves Coaching program, so that you not only attract love into your life, but become a more loving person.   I know for myself, if I had not found love, I don't know where I would be today.  After coming out of a very bad marriage, and years of bad relationships with men, I was finally able to break free from that vicious cycle, and find love in a relationship, that I am currently in.  I will teach you the same relationship/people skills and principles that I learned, which finally caused me to  break free from the cycle of unhappy relationships, and find love.

To sign up for any of one my spiritual counseling programs,  and for more information, please visit my website, and God bless you.  Much love to you.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Rev. Hillary Dawes, PhD, SC-C

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" ~John 10:10

Universally, most people struggle with lack in their lives, especially lack in finances and love.  Poverty and lack are real problems worldwide, with the naked, the starving, and the homeless.  Even in first world countries like the USA, we struggle with homelessness, high cost of living, debt, and unaffordable health care.  Many people are just one pay check away or one illness away from financial bankruptcy.  The same can be said for lack of love.  Singer Dionne Warwick made this song popular back in the 60's - 70's What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love.   It seems that there is a shortage of love in the world overall, with the wars, battles, strife, unrest, and political fights that are constantly being waged globally.   Crime is at an all time high, with killings and murders in 'peaceful' countries.  The seemingly upswing in school killings, with children killing children in our schools, has put us on all on edge, and intense high alert, as to the increasing lovelessness that is being manifested in every sector of society.  

Lack of love and lack of finances in our lives all stem from the same source - a mindset of lack or scarcity.  Yes, when we have a scarcity mentality, that there is not enough, it causes us to become selfish and self centered in our attempts to grab more for ourselves, because we feel we do not have enough.  So the person who feels that they are lonely and lacking love, will be out there seeking for love, and the person who has lack in  finances, will be out there seeking after that which you do not have; but are these true lack, or just PERCEPTIONS of lack?  Are we operating off what is real, or are we operating off what we perceive to be real?  The truth of the matter is that 1) we live in an abundant Universe where all our needs can be met, and 2) there is actually no limit to love.  Love is limitless, and thus is not lacking.

We live in an abundant Universe where all our needs can be met.  "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).  This means that all you need is here already, and there is NO LACK. Your perceived lack is temporary, and your need will be met, as all the resources will be Divinely provided.  Yes, we live on a planet with limited resources.  There is just so much square miles of land, so many trees, so many plants, animals, and people.  Yes, all that is true but that does not take away from the fact that there is more than enough provided for us all, because God is able to provide for us "exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20).   Did not Jesus say that it was the Father's "good pleasure" to give us the kingdom? (Luke 12:32). Just because we do not possess the thing right now that we are desiring does not mean that we won't get it.  As long as it is a need, you will eventually get it.  The reason why you are not getting your heart's desire is because you believe in lack.  You see yourself as poor, unfortunate, underprivileged, and deprived, and thus you train your mind to think of yourself that way.   If you continue thinking of yourself that way, your life will manifest poverty, misfortune, underprivilege, and depravity.  You are what you think you are, thus when you think lack, that is what your life will manifest.  "As he thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7). You therefore need to correct your thinking, and bring it in line with the truth,and the truth is this: We live in an abundant Universe, and God will provide all my needs.  

In this abundant Universe, there is no limit or lack of love.  Yes, although we see an abundance of unloving behaviors all around us, the truth is that there is an even more abundance of love all around us (Ephesians 3:17-19; Song of Solomon 8:7).  It is just that we are so focused on what is evil, that it blinds our eyes to what is good.  When you live your life seeking for what you already have, you will never find it, because you don't recognize what you have.  When you live your life focusing on what you don't have, then all you will get is what you don't have.  Again, this comes back to the teaching of Proverbs 23:7 of whatever you think about, that is what your life will manifest.  So if you focus on all the bad things in life, then your life will also manifest those bad things you are concentrating on and giving your energy to.  "You get what you pay for" is the common expression used to show us that whatever we invest in mentally or financially, is what we reap.   Correct your focus to this truth, that love is all around us, and abundantly so, and you will find love.   

If you are having trouble with lack in your finances or love, as a spiritual counselor, I can help you to change your mindset, so that your life can manifest more abundance. Read my personal testimony here about how I managed to change my life around, by applying some much needed spiritual principles from the Bible.   You can do the same as well, when you sign up for my abundance and prosperity coaching program or my love coaching program, on my website.  For more information, please go to:

And God bless you!