“Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have.” 1 Samuel 25:6
Many of you may remember, years ago, when a deadly tornado ripped through Will County, Illinois. A young father sat huddled in the corner, holding his three-week-old son. As the winds swirled with incredible force, the home began to rip apart. Pretty soon things were flying around the house, and the father was hit in the head with a fallen beam. When he woke up, his young son was gone – literally blown out of his arms.
He searched around the fallen lumber of his home and he couldn’t find his young son anywhere. Tears started to roll down his face. He started walking. After walking about a block or so, he looked over and found his young son alive in a field. He was not hurt at all. He was blown there by the wind and gently laid down in the meadow. Within ten minutes, the father found the rest of his family – all alive. Even though every material thing in their lives had been destroyed, they smiled and said, “We are alive! Thank you, God!”
A week after the disaster of Hurricane Andrew, a television camera panning Homestead, Florida, showed a long line of people waiting for food. As the camera went down the line, each individual began to shout, “We are alive!”
The poor people in Haiti have dealt with the distractions in their lives in recent times, very recent times our nation in the past many years has faced some of the some of the worst storms in its history. AND let’s not forget the political storms and wars and rumors of wars that are storms that now in this day and age are forced on us almost hourly. And speaking of our nation, the United States of America, and probably much of Canada also, we have faced a frightening situation that could totally eliminate our ability to function normally. I’m speaking of course of the imminent danger of the terrorist group known as ISIS who are in our country and in Mexico and in Canada and at the borders of each of these countries. Their mission is to totally eliminate any influence these three countries have. And to do this their plan has been to destroy the power grid which is the grid that controls all the electrical, phone, and other necessities of life. This would put us all into the 16th and 17th century when we lived as pioneers. No electricity, no phones, no Internet, no medicine, no way to live what we consider a normal life.
If you are reading this message, we will all applaud because it means that the threat of this occurring on Thursday, September 11, did not occur. We praise God that we are able to read this message, and that this storm has not occurred.
Now there are many different kinds of storms that happen in our lives. And these storms can happen in many different places, and we can be in many different places when this storm hits. These storms can be an environmental one; it can be a result of family problems; it can be a storm created by workplace situations, layoffs, company closings, departmental difficulties, etc. This storm can also be the result of illness when some type of disease happens inside our body or the body of a loved one.
So we see that there is an outer storm resulting from weather situations that can destroy towns and farms and communities. W IND and rain and hail and tornadoes and hurricanes are examples of just a few outer storms. And let’s not forget earthquakes, mudslides, avalanches, etc.
We all have to go through and endure many storms during our lives. No matter where you are during the storm and no matter what kind of storm it is, once it hits there will be what we call the eye of the storm. You can find that eye when you find God. You will then find a silence and a peace that will make you feel alive again.
An eye of the storm is the time when you can make a prayer request. A prayer request is a re-QUEST to again become aware of God. A quest is a time to look spiritually, a search, in the seeking something higher than ourselves. You connect with God. Yes, you connect with an awareness of God’s help. Prayer is really like a spark plug that gets you going again. When you’re in the eye of your storm, it will calm you down. God will reassure you. God will tell you that there is hope, and that’s an important thing for you to realize when you’re going through your dark night of the soul. It’s important for each of us to have a connection with God. We have to have a connection that we never let go of.
There are a couple of truths I want to share with you today. The first is:
God never gives up on you. No matter what time you pray, you’re going to have God listening.
I know many of you are from around the Kansas City Missouri area and many of you have visited that area; a visit to this area hopefully included a stop at the famous Savoy Grill. The Savoy Grill is world-famous for their food. Walk through the Savoy Hotel which was built in the 1880’s by hundreds of artisans from around the world who came to bring the very best of their talents to build a monument.
When you walk on the floors, the beautiful floors, you are amazed at the artisan’s talent. They are made out of Italian tile, laid with meticulous accuracy by Italian artisans. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of pieces of tile are placed in a precision pattern that is magnificent. However, every so often your eye will catch a flaw that is so blatant that you wonder how they could ever have missed it.
Asking the management of Savoy Grill about this, and we are told that the artisans believed that the human was flawed, and that only God could be perfect. When they did their work, they created a flaw on purpose because they believed as above that only God can be perfect and the human is flawed. This speaks volumes about the human beings’ level of consciousness of God during the 1880’s.”
How different we are today. We are spiritually here to make a connection so our work will be perfect, not flawed. The perfection of God can come through you. We are here to know that we have a connection with God and that God will respond; God will come through us, and it can be perfect through God’s perfect inspiration.
We don’t have to live a flawed existence. Yes, none of us are without sin, but with the Triune God within us, we are able to have a strong and able existence.
“The path of direct knowledge is accessible to each of us through prayer, and it leads to the secret place of the Most High. Facts can be found in the world, but God’s perfection must be spiritually discerned or revealed by God. People can be storehouses of facts, and they are often willing to share this knowledge with others. The knowledge is then duplicated and stored in another ‘location, but lives do not change. This human wisdom is not enough.”
The wisdom of God is enough. Creativity, clear thinking, wise decisions, intuition, and reason for being come from God. Other people cannot fully light your path. You have a light from God that illumines.
When you go to your minister or priest to hear talks about God and about spirituality, realize that clergy, your pastor or your priest or your Rabbi, are just the spark plug. For example, if you came to me as your pastor to learn how to play the trumpet, you would not learn how to play the trumpet. You would have to take lessons from an expert, learn to read music, and practice wholeheartedly every single day. In exactly the same way, you have to practice the presence of God – all by yourself. You can get guidelines and ideas and blessings, but you have to practice the presence of God yourself. No one can do it for you. And the good news is that your prayer line is always open and even better news is that God always hears you. You can have God’s help whenever you want it. And you can come and plug into God and praise and worship him anytime you want to.
Kahlil Gibran said this when he was speaking of religion:
“And they said to an old priest, ‘Speak to us of religion.’ And he said, ‘Have I spoke of anything else this day? Is not religion all deeds and all reflection, and that which is neither deed nor reflection but a wonder and a surprise ever springing in the soul? Even while the hands hew the stone or tend the loom, who can separate his faith from his actions, or his belief from his occupation? Who can spread his hours before him saying ‘This is for God and this is for myself. This is for my soul and this is for my body’? Are all your hour’s wings that beat through space from self to self? He who wears his mortality but his best garment were better naked. The wind and the sun will tear no holes in his skin. And he who defines his conduct by ethics imprisons his songbird in a cage. The freest song comes not through bars and wires. And he to whom worshipping is a window to open but also to shut has not yet visited the house of his soul whose windows are from dawn to dawn.
“Your daily life is your temple and your religion. Whenever you enter it, take with you your all. Take the plow and the forge and the mallet and the lute, the things you have fashioned in necessity or for delight, for in every sense you can’t rise above your achievements nor fall lower than your failures. And take with you all men. For in adoration you cannot fly higher than your hopes nor humble yourself lower than their despair. And if you would know God, be ye therefore not a solver of riddles. Rather look about you and you shall see them. Playing with your children, look into space and you shall see Him walking in a cloud, outstretching His arms in the lightning, descending in the rain. You shall see Him smiling in flowers and then rising and waving His hands in trees.”
What you think about God says more about you than it does about God. If we think God is way up there and we can never reach Him, that speaks of us and our own limitations, our own shut window. It does not speak about the God Truth of the open connection that is always with us … if we would just pray and listen.
“God has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” 1 Corinthians 3:6
Practice the presence of God in your own life, don’t just read about it.
How do you deal with problems in your life? Do you talk to God? Do you pray? Or do you try to solve your problems by yourself? “Hang on there, God. I’ll be back in a minute I’ve got something I have to take care of first. I have to worry. I have to fear. I have to make my body sick. I have to be busy about my human work. I have no time for Your work, God.” We put God – who will flow through us – far away from ourselves in a self-imposed space that doesn’t really exist except in our own minds.
When we find ourselves going through a storm in our lives, we need an anchor. Something must be available to hold us in place. We need a foundation to our lives. If we think of a boat in a harbor where a storm is coming, if that boat is going to survive it has to have an anchor. Then the winds can blow, the water can come to the sides of the boat and rock the boat, but the boat does not leave where it is anchored. It stays in place. We too have to have some anchor in our lives to keep us in place.
Hebrews 6:17 & 19 says: “So when God desired to even show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of God’s purpose… We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner shrine behind the curtain.”
So what is your heir? You are heir to a connection that never leaves you, that never gives up. You are an heir to the promise of the unchangeable character of God’s purpose. You are an heir to an unchangeable connection of all good that is always manifesting through you. When we pray it is a communion between God and humans. Prayer is the most highly accelerated way to connect with God. It is like a transmission going into gear.
Emerson said, “Prayer is the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view.”
When we forget to pray or just don’t bother, it’s like telling God that we just don’t have time or just aren’t interested. Then when we walk out of the eye of the storm and into the winds, the rain, and sleet, and hail, we suddenly become beaten down; and when were so far down that we can hardly walk or that we can hardly even get up, then we cry out and we crawl back to God begging him to help us. We suddenly remember how to pray again, and we cry out “Help me, God.” And the help comes. But we could have had the help from the very beginning if we had stayed in communion, in contact, with God.
There are three R’s in prayer: Recognize, Remember and Rejoice.
“RECOGNIZE when you are in your storm. You are facing the turbulent winds of your life and you recognize that you are an heir to something greater than this manifestation. You recognize that you are an heir to the help of your living God.
“The second R is REMEMBER. The core of Jesus Christ teachings for you is remembering God first. “
“The third R is REJOICE. In the moment, if you truly have God with you, you are going to know you have help, and you praise God for it.
You pray in the right way. You don’t pray in fear staring at the outer circumference of the appearance of the storm shouting, “Help me. I’m being destroyed.”
You go into the eye of the storm where there is spiritual stillness and you make your connection. “
The whole reason for any religion/Judeo-Christian focused, is to get you to the point where you realize that God is always with you. A prayer connection is unlike a telephone—there is never a busy signal on this line. But, sometimes there is a busy signal when God tries to get through to us because we’re too busy trying to deal with the problem ourselves. Or, sometimes we put God on hold to walk into the face of our disaster TRYING TO DO IT ALONE!
The nice thing is that when we reconnect, like the prodigal son, there is a weld there. Here is an interesting fact told to us recently by a welder – actually in a DIY episode on television. “ If we have two pieces of metal and we weld those two distinct pieces of metal into one, the weld is stronger that the whole piece of metal because of the heat and the fusion of the particles. Now, this weld will never break. You could take a sledge hammer to that piece of metal and it might break anywhere but NOT at the weld.”
This is the way it is when you make the connection with God in your individual challenge. There is going to be a weld. There is going to be a fusion of power. You can break in other ways, but you’re not going to break at THAT spot, because you’ve had a power and a divinity come to you that is higher than anything in the world.
Another thing, if the connection is truly with God it doesn’t cost anything. Never seek out a philosophy that wants to charge you big money; because God is not for sale, God is free. We work on the love offering basis here. We look not to you, but we look to God as our source. We know that if we are doing God’s work, God will provide.
If you turn to God, whether through our ministry or through an inner-prayer connection, there is never a cost. There is never a fee for the wisdom to make that connection. I tell you, no matter what your faith, or religion you have an open connection. What better time than now to find that connection?
If you have trouble, we can pray with you. That has tremendous power. Sometimes another person can believe for us what we cannot believe. The greatest example of this is when you’re in the hospital and a team of experts have told you the absolute worst. At this time you need someone else to pray with you. No one will ask for money or gifts. We are about doing God’s business, God’s will. And that business is prayer and belief in the probabilities of God.
Always have a listening inner ear to God’s inspiration and know that your help is at hand. Know that you are not like those Italians in the 1880’s. You realize you don’t have to be flawed. Your life doesn’t have to be flawed. You can have a connection at all times that works through you to create an absolute reality in your life through God.
Last week, I asked you to repeat the little phrase, “God loves me.” One hundred times in the morning, and one hundred times at night. I would like to hear from those of you who did it to let me know how you felt at the end of the week
This week I have an additional challenge (no, not the one with the ice bucket). One hundred times in the morning and at night say, “Thank You, God.” And you can add the “God loves me” to that if you want to.
GOD LOVES ME; THANK YOU GOD.
We are now in the serenity and calmness and grace of the eye of the storm.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOKPnU63oVY (an oldie but goodie)
God Bless You!
*Thank you to Mr, Chenoweth for his many and often permission to use his resources.