81. Editing God’s Word

Rev. Steph

My friend and Soul Home member, Muzi Cindi, is getting ready to launch his book on Saturday 15 December.  The book is entitled Jesus for a Digital Age. It is a special, revised 2nd edition, dedicated to Nelson Mandela in 2018, his centenary year.

At the feet of Nelson Mandela, Sandton, Johannesburg, 2008

At the feet of the Nelson Mandela statue in Sandton Square, Johannesburg

I picked up a copy of Muzi’s 1st edition two years ago and found that I could not read it.  My English teacher genes reared up in horror at the typos,  the lack of punctuation and the general lack of structure and cohesiveness in the first few pages of the manuscript.  I thought to myself: “The only way I am going to be able to read this is if I proof it and edit it myself!”  So I began marking up the preface with my comments and corrections. When I got to the end of the preface, I gave up. It was just too much work.  I put it aside, not realizing, at that time, exactly what I had set into motion in the Universal Law.

JfaDA first front cover 51Mc+cRucDL

Jesus for a Digital Age – first edition published in 2014

Fast forward 18 months to the celebration of my 60th birthday, in June 2018, at which I launched my latest book: Sex Goddess: De-bonking the Mythology of God and Sex.

Sex Goddess front cover

(Note: Since my party, I changed the title slightly, revised the contents slightly and had the cover redesigned. Now the book looks like this:

Mockup, SG final cover

The book is available here: https://www.amazon.com/SEX-GODDESS-Debunking-Mythology-God-ebook/dp/B07G8WQ2HB

At my party, I publicly announced that my dream was to meet Oprah and put a copy of my book into her hands.

Oprah by Marc Accetta on Flickr 25700562523_19e362b2cc_m

Oprah (photo by Marc Accetta on Flickr)

Both Muzi and my S. African publisher, Webster Tsenase, spoke at my party.

Muzi at my 60th IMG-20180616-WA0020

Webster at my 60th IMG-20180616-WA0032I had been wanting to get these two men together for a while.  I had a feeling that Webster should republish Muzi’s book.  And, indeed, at my party, the three of us had a conversation about exactly that topic.  Muzi explained that the first time he had published Jesus for a Digital Age, it was put together in a great hurry in order to launch it at his first Divine Feminine conference in 2014.  He asked me to edit it for him so that he could relaunch it at the next Divine Feminine conference in August 2019.  I agreed, knowing that we were a good 14 months away from the next conference and so there was no urgency.  Or so I thought.  But then everything changed….

On 15 November 2018, I landed back in S. Africa after two months away, working in Europe and speaking in Toronto at the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

PWR, Muzi and Steph IMG_20181104_124852

With Muzi at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto, Canada

The very next night after my return, I read a message from Muzi that he was negotiating to have Oprah come and speak to the Senior Pastors at a celebration dinner in Johannesburg on 30 November. What??? Only two weeks away!! The following morning, Saturday 17 November, I heard that the event was confirmed for 30 November and I would be helping to plan it. There would also be a workshop in the afternoon on the Divine Feminine with Rev. Michael Beckwith from Agape and Oprah, and yes, yours truly, Rev. Steph, along with other S. African thought leaders.

In honour of this momentous occasion, Muzi wanted his book to be available on Amazon on 30 November.  He asked me to edit it on Sunday 18 November. I had five days, until Thursday 22 November. Webster would need the following week to typeset the manuscript, design the cover and upload the book to Amazon.  Innocently, I said “yes” to Muzi having no clue about the kind of workload a project like this would involve.  I was clearly an editing virgin. 😦

Miraculously, I had a “chance” conversation with my former Practitioner student, Penelope Gottlieb, during the evening of Sunday 18 November. She told me that she had taken a major career turn and was going to start a business from home as an online editor. At the time, I was still too zapped by exhaustion and jet-lag after my trip to understand that the Universe was sending help my way. The following morning, Monday 19 November, as I began working on the manuscript, it clicked: Penny could help!  And so she came on board to edit the 12 x Appendices.

BL with Penny IMG-20180616-WA0025

With Penny at my 60th birthday

As I was finishing my first edit of the first 100 pages of the book, with still another 100 pages to edit in Section 2, plus the Appendices to check, Muzi called to say that Oprah had had to postpone the event on 30 November for security reasons.  This was very disappointing after all the anticipation. But Muzi was a man on a mission and still wanted the book to be published during Mandela’s centenary year i.e. before 31 December 2018.  Again I was lulled into a false sense of security.  We had over a month to finish editing and typesetting and get it uploaded to Amazon.  No problem.  Or so I thought….. But a day later, Muzi changed his mind: he wanted to launch the book in Johannesburg on 15 December!! This meant finishing the editing by 2 December so that the book could be typeset and printed and delivered by 14 December. So five weeks had suddenly been reduced to two weeks!

As the Goddess would have it, my friend Nancy Koenig from New York, who was a part of the Agape group at the S. African Birthing Our Divine Feminine Conference 2017, (where I gave my debut speech on God and Sex) happened to see a post of mine on Facebook about my editing project and offered to help.

BODF Nancy and Steph 20170811_211408

With Nancy at ‘Birthing our Divine Feminine 2017’ in Johannesburg

(Nancy confessed to me that she had also tried to read Muzi’s book, and had even considered offering to edit it for him, but had held back in case she offended him. You can see how she set the Law of Attraction into motion too!) So then I had two editing partners. They were both a Goddess-send and brought two extra pairs of eyes and their own editing skill-sets to the project.  I could never have managed it without them.

On Sunday 2 December, we were nowhere close to ready to submit the manuscript for typesetting.  I asked for 2 days extension.  Webster flexed: we had till Tuesday night, 4 December.  Still not ready though. We worked through Wednesday 5 December.  There was only one day left because the printers had to have the print-ready files by Friday 7 December.

On Thursday, 6 December, I began sending Webster the manuscript piecemeal as each section got completed. I imagined that by 3 pm on Thursday afternoon I would have sent off the entire  manuscript to Webster.  Wrong!!  I finished sending it at 3 am in the early hours of Friday morning.  Webster worked through the night and sent us the manuscript for checking on Friday morning at about 8 am.  We found loads of little typos but there was simply not enough time to correct them all.  I worked through the morning and sent my last set of corrections to Webster in the early afternoon.  He liaised with the printers and they said it was too late to start printing on Friday afternoon. They would rather wait till Monday morning but they could still get it done and delivered by Friday 14 December.

So, big surprise, we now had the whole weekend to check the document.  The extra time was Goddess-sent.  On Monday morning, 10 December, right before we were supposed to send it to the printers,  we were still finessing the blurb on the back cover and finding tiny typos. Webster had contacted the printers and was waiting for them to send him a job code which would initiate the print job.  Webster called them in the mid-afternoon,  concerned that he had still not received the job code. The printers chose to inform him then that they were not going to print Muzi’s books!  They did not have enough printers, they said. What??  How could they back down at the last minute?  Well, they could and they did.

Webster, fortunately, had a back-up plan which meant assigning the job to a printing company in Cape Town.  The seeming drawback is that Cape Town is ca. 1500 kilometres (ca. 900 miles) away from Johannesburg whereas the originally appointed printing company is located in nearby Pretoria. So, we are dependent on the couriers driving overnight tonight, on Thursday 13 December, to get the books to Webster by Friday 14 December.  That is tomorrow.

If you read this any time on Thursday 13 December or Friday 14 December, please say a prayer for smooth and efficient delivery of the books in time and on time.

I just heard today that Jesus for a Digital Age has been successful uploaded to Amazon and is available in paperback or on Kindle. Check it out here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0639985718

Muzi, book cover of JFDA IMG-20181212-WA0001

I am holding the space for a successful book launch on Saturday 15 December 2018. Muzi has asked me to be a keynote speaker. Wahoo!!  So honoured. I will tell you about it in the next blog post.

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” -Johann Richter

 

 

 

 

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80. The Healing Power of the Present & Celebrating Octogenarians

Rev. Steph

When I was 29, I discovered aerobics at my local gym in Johannesburg.  I loved it so much that I went to the gym every day except Sunday and even considered training to be an aerobics teacher.  Spirit had another plan and I was called to the ministry instead.  Thirty years later, I started attending a Saturday morning aqua-aerobics class at the Retirement Village where my mum lives.  Wow!!  The endorphin high was even bigger than the regular aerobics classes on dry land all those years ago!

Aqua at Inyoni, plucking up courage 20180321_100037

Aqua students having a chat and gathering up the courage to get into the water

Inyoni Aqua class IMG_20181124_100837 (1)

Aqua students moving past resistance and taking the plunge – slowly and carefully

The aqua teacher is only available on Saturday mornings and some of the octogenarian students were clamoring for another class mid-week.  They asked me if I would be willing to teach a class on Wednesday mornings.  Happily, I agreed, realizing that my old ambition to teach aerobics was fulfilling itself.  But that is not the best bit.

Aqua balancing exercises IMG-20180203-WA0001

The best bit happened at one of my early classes when only two students showed up: a German woman and a Jewish man. I stood in the pool and watched them as they carefully walked down the steps into the water, side by side, both hanging on to the hand-rail to steady themselves. Both of them in their mid 80’s.

“Wow!” I thought.  “Both of these people would have been children during World War II. They are old enough to remember the Holocaust!

Then it suddenly occurred to me that I am a Brit! My grandparents fought the Germans during the war.  What a tryad!  A Jew, a German and a Brit.  But none of that mattered.  What mattered was that moment.  The past did not exist. The identity of race and religion was irrelevant. In the presence of the water and the sunshine and the fresh air, what mattered was splashing about in the pool and having fun. Race memory disappeared. Ancient wounds dissolved into nothingness.   The three of us were playing together like children.

Aqua - Steph teaching 20180314_100356

It was clear to see that in the present moment, where children live, there are no memories and, therefore, there are no wounds.  There is nothing to be healed ever, nothing to be forgiven, only more life (and more fun) to be revealed.

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” – Johann Richter

79. An extra-ordinary Ordination

 

Rev. Steph

Earlier this month, I attended the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto Canada. I spoke on a couple of multi-faith panels and co-facilitated the Women’s Alchemy Ceremony on the first day of the Parliament.  One of the biggest highlights though, was my Ordination Ceremony on 4 November 2018.

My friends, Debrah and Andre van Zyl, who co-founded and co-direct the All Paths Divinity School online,  ordained me as an Interfaith Minister. It was a huge privilege and a very sacred ceremony.

Ordination PWR blessing from Andre 45957011_10204661596695234_4474844112654172160_o

Being blessed by Andre van Zyl

No big deal, you think. That is not a miracle.  But it was the most beautifully orchestrated event with a South African flavour – something I could never have planned.

To start with Debrah and Andre are originally from South Africa.  Our paths even crossed in Cape Town in the late 1980’s but we only met up at Agape in LA in 1994.  They still live in LA and are still homesick for S. Africa.

PWR, STeph and Debs IMG_20181101_081640.jpg

With Debrah after the Womens’ Ceremony

Andre Van Zijl, profile pic

Andre van Zyl

Debrah encouraged me to attend the Parliament and send in some proposals for talks and workshops. When Debrah told me about the Parliament, I immediately told my friend in Johannesburg, and Soul Home member, Muzi Cindi, because I knew he would be interested.  And he immediately registered for the Parliament and booked a flight to Toronto for himself and his friend, Bishop Jackson Khosa.

Muzi and Jackson attended the Ordination Ceremony along with Dr. Thabo Nocube who is originally from Zimbabwe, Africa, but now lives in Toronto, Canada.

Ordination PWR with Muzi, Jackson and Thabo 45357121_10217243258976230_1465249490557468672_n

Muzi, Rev. Steph, Dr. Thabo and Bishop Jackson

Dr. Thabo spoke after me at the Birthing Our Divine Feminine conference in Johannesburg last year.

PWR with Dr. Thabo Nocube IMG_20181106_193223

with Dr. Thabo

So I had my African homeys but then my homeys from Agape in Los Angeles showed up too.  My friend Linda Watson RScP was going to attend the whole ceremony but got caught up in traffic after lunch and arrived very late although just in time to hear my ordination speech.

PWR, with Linda Watson. IMG_20181106_193720

With Linda Watson RScP

Linda had been having lunch with Rev. Rodney Gittens from Centers for Spiritual Living in New York and she invited him to come to my ordination.  When the ceremony was over, she introduced me to Rodney and told me he was very close to my beloved teacher and mentor at Agape in LA, Rev. Nirvana Gayle. Nirvana left this plane in August 2016 and he is still so missed.  When Rodney told me that he and Nirvana were so tight that Nirvana had even passed on to him his stylish flamboyant suits and colourful shoes when he died, something touched me and I burst into tears. It was as if Nirvana himself was present at my Ordination in the form of Rodney.

PWR with Rev. Rodney Gittens, NYC IMG_20181106_153411

with Rodney on the day after my ordination

After the ceremony, a large group of us joined up for dinner at the Italian restaurant next to the hotel: Debrah and Andre and their two children, Sarina and Jarryd, the newly ordained ministers, Muzi Cindi, Bishop Jackson, Dr. Thabo Nocube, my lovely room-mate Rev. Felicia Parazaider. But the best was yet to come…. Bishop Jackson and Muzi Cindi spontaneously started singing African songs in our little private dining room in the restaurant. The vibe was magnificent.  My two worlds of S. Africa and California collided beautifully right there in Toronto. I could not have asked for more or better.

Appreciating the  miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings

Rev. Steph

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” – Johann Richter

78. Poppies and Random Acts of Kindness

A few months ago, my friend Mary MacDonald Hamill, an actress from New York City, (https://www.marymacdonaldhamill.com/)randomly asked me if we could meet up in Europe in September 2018. Mary wanted to do my tour of London as laid out in my first book “Down Dirty and Divine: a spiritual ride through London’s underground”.

Mary and I first met at the Agape International Center of Truth in 1994 when she became my student in the Science of Mind Foundations Class.  Even though I left America in 1999, and lost touch with many of my American friends, Mary and I were able to reconnect via Facebook in 2014.

Miraculously, I could say YES to Mary’s request as my former boss in the UK had just asked me to work a 5-week contract in Europe from September to October.  Really, what were the chances? 🙂

There were many road blocks to our meeting in September though, so we stopped fighting the current and we eventually met up at Victoria Station in London on Saturday 10 November 2018.

This particular Saturday was the day before Remembrance Sunday, 11 November, 2018, marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. There has been a long tradition in the UK to buy and wear a poppy from 2 November (All Souls Day) until Remembrance Sunday each year.

Poppy by Philip Stevens – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3108101

Mary wanted a poppy but we could not find anyone who was selling them late on Saturday night or on Sunday afternoon.

Window display in Coutts Bank, Charing Cross, commemorating Armistice Day and the signing of the peace treaty between the Allied Forces and Germany as well as Remembrance Sunday and the honoring of all the soldiers who gave their lives in service to their country.

Poppies on small wooden crosses at Westminster Abbey all bearing the name of a soldier who died in World War I

On Sunday evening, Mary gave up and said “Well, I cannot find a place to buy a poppy so I hope I can find one that someone has dropped on the ground by mistake”.

Immediately, I countered. “Or maybe you don’t have to pick it up from the ground?  Maybe someone could just give you a poppy in your hand?”

That night, we got of the tube train at Stamford Brook and, as we left the station, we saw a huge board advertising poppies for sale.  We asked the Station Master if we could get a poppy. “No” he said. “People were there selling poppies earlier today but they have gone now. Sorry, I cannot help you”.

“Do you know where we could get a poppy?”  I asked.  “My American friend really wants to take one home with her.”

“Well, I can give her mine,” said the Station Master. “It is a little metal one.  Will that be alright?”

“That would be wonderful” I said.  And so he disappeared into the ticket office and hauled out his winter coat, removed his poppy brooch and put it in Mary’s hands – just like we had imagined after we released the idea of grovelling around on the floor for a poppy.

Mary receiving the poppy in her hands.

When we left the station, so excited with our manifestation, Mary wondered if the Station Master was an angel.  Maybe he only appeared to give her the poppy and maybe he did not exist in human form….?

Well, I found out when I went back to Stamford Brook station the next day that he was, indeed, an angel but in solid human form, patiently helping stressed out commuters and making the journey smoother for them all.  I thanked him for giving Mary his poppy brooch and told him how much it had meant to her.  For him, it was no big deal – just an every day act of kindness.  For Mary and me, he was an answer to prayer.

Station Master at Stamford Brook – earth angel

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology

All blessings,

Rev Steph

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” – Johann Richter

77. Alchemy with the Women at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, 2018

My dear friend, Debrah van Zyl, is a South African living in Los Angeles and she and her husband, Andre, serve on the LA Chapter of the Parliament of the World’s Religions. Debrah suggested I apply to speak at the next Parliament of the World’s Religions.  This was in April 2017 when we met up in Cape Town where she was visiting her mother.  I was certainly interested but completely forgot about it in the busy-ness of my life. Then, randomly, I got an email from the Parliament to tell me that the deadline for speaker proposals had been extended to early April 2018. It was mid-March. I still had time.

with Debrah van-Zyl

I wrote a number of proposals for the Womens’ Track based around my fave themes of God and Sex and the Divine Feminine.  I also offered proposals to lead ceremony for women and I told Debrah that I felt there should be a ceremony for all the women at the Parliament and I would like to co-create it and co-facilitate it.

On May 17, all of my proposals around my fave themes were turned down.  One was accepted on “Visioning and Visualization for a Non-Violent World”.  I was happy with that. It meant I would go to the Parliament and I let go of the idea of ceremony for the women.

A few days ago, in mid October, I was driving around Austria and suddenly had a huge realization of the enormous power that I, and all women, have in our wombs – a power which no man-made rule or restriction can ever control.  Unbeknownst to me, Debrah had sent me a message earlier that morning and asked me if I could be available for a Zoom meeting for the facilitators of the The Alchemy of Women’s Collective Wisdom and Power ceremony later that evening.  She had put my name forward to the organiser of the event and I had been accepted.  I only saw the message after my realisation – 2 minutes before the call started!  I was able to jump on and found myself on a zoom meeting with a number of very powerful women including the author, Jean Shinoda Bolen, who writes about Goddess Archetypes.  The ceremony for women was planned for the morning of 1 November before the official opening of the Parliament.

Jean Shinoda Bolen holding the space before the ceremony started

The ceremony took place this morning. It was a profound and luscious event with 200 women from all over the world who had all brought water to contribute to our water ceremony. The ceremony was opened by a group of Native elders – women from various Indian tribes whose ancestors have lived on this land for hundreds if not thousands of years.

My group of goddesses

3 hours flew by in a split second with singing, dancing, drumming, praying and sharing, laughing and crying. It is hard to put into words what it was like but at the end, I spoke to one of the organisers, Ann Smith and said “It was just like Heaven”.  She corrected me “It was Heaven, Stephanie.”

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” – Johann Richter

 

76. A healing miracle

 

In 2006, I did my first 10-week contract for English in Action as an English teacher in Austrian schools.  I had been on the road for about four weeks when I got really sick and lost my voice.  (Teachers’ worst nightmare.) Nevertheless, I got on the train to Wels on Sunday afternoon, expecting to be better by Monday and to be able to start my week of teaching at the Dachsberg Grammar School in Prambachkirchen.

The local English teacher from Dachsberg, Birgit Ortner, showed us to our rooms in the wing of the school where guests were accommodated.  Spirit had gone ahead to prepare the way for me and I was assigned the healing room. It had an infra-red sauna cabin and a massage bed. It was used by visiting therapists but was allocated to the English in Action team for that week.  Not only were the vibes lovely, but I could use the infra-red sauna as much as I wanted. So I did. And by Tuesday, I had got my voice back and was ready to teach.

I had not even heard of infra-red saunas until I got to Dachsberg but that “I AM consciousness” that some people choose to call “God,” functions beyond the human realm of knowledge, beyond time and space, and It knew exactly what I needed to support my body’s healing process.

Birgit and I got on really well.  I think she must have put in a request for me to return to her school to teach because in 2007, I was sent to Dachsberg again.  On the train to Wels, I prayed to be allocated that same room with the infra-red cabin and, sure enough, that was the one that was assigned to me.  I was not sick that time but still enjoyed the sauna every night. 🙂

I am in Austria right now and, instead of teaching courses, I am freelancing for five weeks and doing my old marketing job  which involves visiting client schools and promoting English in Action courses.  Miracle of miracles, of all the hundreds of schools in Austria that I could have been asked to visit, Dachsberg Grammar School was on my list today!  I hoped to see Birgit again after an 11 year gap but knew she might be teaching and, therefore, unavailable.  But, because miracles are the order of the day, I rocked up just as her free period started!  She made me a divine cup of coffee and we got to have a great catch up.

Oh, and by the way, I also did my job and spoke to her colleagues about the next English in Action course at Dachsberg.

No time for a sauna though… 😦

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings

Rev. Steph

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” – Johann Richter

 

75. It is the “what” not the “how”

Now that I half-way through my job contract in Austria and living out of a suitcase, my clothes are starting to look a little crumpled.  Most of my stuff is non-iron but I have one dress which I simply could not wear to meet clients because it needed an iron badly.  I was not concerned.  Last week I booked myself into an apartment for two nights and assumed there would be an iron there. Wrong!  I found an empty iron box but no iron.  I called the owner to ask where he kept the iron. He explained that the person who had stayed in the apartment before me had bought a new iron and then called to apologise for leaving the empty box in the hall cupboard by mistake.  OK, so I was half-way to manifesting an iron. At least I had the box it came in ….  🙂

This week I was asked to work in an area of Austria that is new to me: Burgenland.   My boss suggested that I book into the Burgenland Hotel in the Eisenstadt city centre which is right on the Hungarian border.  In German the word “Stadt” means “town” and the word “Eisen” means “iron.”   So here I was moving to “Iron Town.” Do you think this could have been a sign? 🙂

The hotel room was large and comfortable but very old fashioned.  It looked like it had last been decorated in the fifties. In the corner by the window was a strange thing.  I could not figure out what it was.

The Strange Thing in the hotel room

The black box on the top looked like a dial.  I turned it. The red light came on. Hmmm.

The Strange Thing opens up

I pulled it open.  Inside was a black velvety backing that was becoming warm. OH. It was a shirt press!

The Strange Thing is a shirt press

I lowered my dress into the shirt press making sure that it was flat against the wooden board so that that I did not create more creases.

And then I left my dress for a few seconds until it was nicely pressed.

And then I wore it.  You cannot see my smiling face because the photographer blocked it out with his thumb.  But you can see the wrinkle free dress.

So the thing is, I got clear on an image of myself wearing the dress without wrinkles.  That was what I asked the Law of Attraction for.  The answer did not come in the standard way I was expecting with an iron and an ironing board.  Oh no, the Universe dished up a shirt press in Iron Town which was quick, easy and fun and far less labour than ironing. 🙂

I did not worry about how I was going to get the job done.  I just focused on the end result.

Now I invite you to think about what you want not how you are going to get it or make it happen.  The Law of Attraction will fill in the details.

Let me know what happens!

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings

Rev. Steph

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” – Johann Richter