About http://thespiritualfamily.chatango.com/?flash and https://thespiritualfamilymessages.wordpress.com/

We have a chapel site, a message site, and spritual chat room, open to all. thespiritualfamily.chatango.com. In addition, there is a blog that presents a spiritual and uplifting message, weekly. At this writing there are almost three hundred messages available. https://thespiritualfamilymessages.wordpress.com/ I am an ordained minister, recently retired from serving as a chaplain at a prison as well as serving as ministry leader in several community activities, organizations, and churches. I am also very active in serving in geriatric settings, bringing love and showing how faith and trust can bring the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Henry and Betty

This is a story of Mr. Bowser who worked at the Post Office. He hated his old Chevy, but he still had to drive it because it just wouldn’t break down. It was still running, so he had to hang onto it. It was all rusted out along the sides and the floorboard was rusted out. He had a piece of three-quarter inch plywood on the floor so he would have somewhere to put his feet. The Chevy’s name was Henry, after his late father. His father taught him never to throw away something if it was still working.

 

 

He couldn’t get rid of it, because after fifteen years, even on the coldest mornings, all he would have to do is point at the ignition and it would start. He drove the thing around and hated it for ten of the fifteen years that he owned it.

 

 

The heater didn’t work so it was freezing cold inside, but Mr. Bowser was brought up to endure suffering and be cheerful. So he drove around cheerfully in this horrible car, even though it depressed the life out of him. He hung onto it until a year ago last January.

 

 

He was sitting in the Chatterbox Cafe and someone said to him, “Well, that old Chevy of yours is amazing. It’s quite a starter, isn’t it? What do you ever do with that thing?”

 

 

Well, he never did anything. Lack of maintenance seemed to encourage that car. It thrived on neglect. He hadn’t changed the oil in five years, but the car didn’t seem to notice.

 

 

They said, “Lordy, we have never seen anything like it. We’ve never had any kind of luck with a Chevy like you have.” In that moment, something seemed to snap inside of Mr. Bowser. He drove that car out to the hill by Haberson’s farm. He stopped, put it into neutral, got out and gave it a push. It ended its life near the second telephone pole it ran into…..He put that car out of its misery.

 

 

It was a happy man who walked nearly two miles back to town. He now has a new Chevrolet he calls Betty. It doesn’t start all the time, and he’s had problems with it. But when it does start, the heater works well. But, better than that, there is still that new car smell. It smells fresh.

 

 

You get that fresh feeling when you sit in Betty. That’s all he wanted.”

 

 

That is the “Christian feeling,” a new life, a fresh start and a hope that encompasses the world, “a fresh inspiration of wonder and joy, a spark to touch us and to start us.” That is the dream; but – –

 

 

How often do we hold on to things we no longer need or really want? We do that, you know. Downsizing for all of us is a desperate attempt and desire to move into the future yet holding on to the past. This goes not only for our material possessions but also our emotional hurts and depressions. Oh, we have a suitcase full and we carry this burden, and it gets very heavy. We are ready and yet we hold on to our pains, our habits, our afflictions, our hurts; and we want to walk through that door but the baggage is too heavy to carry and too broad to fit through.

 

 

We just don’t know how to let go of that baggage, how to just drop it and leave it behind. And it keeps getting heavier and heavier. We drag it behind us because it gets too heavy to carry. Yet we never let go. Wherever we go, we carry that burden. We carry that weight of our world on our shoulders. What a burden it is!

 

 

God says to us,  Matthew 11:29 – 30: 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, ………….. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

 

 

We don’t hear that. We have gone through so many times of distress and regret, still carrying all our stuff. All the time it gets heavier and heavier.

 

 

Dennis Wheatley, the wonderful speaker, tells us what we should do. Let’s look at his remedy:

 

 

“#1. We should focus on where we want to go – rather than where we’re coming from.

 

We focus more on where we’ve been than where we’re going. We focus on the mistakes we’ve made in the past, the failures we’ve had, and we think it binds us. That limits us. That puts us in a cage. We hold the keys to the cage, but we stay inside anyway.

 

 

#2. Learn from your mistakes – as well as your successes.

 

You can use your mistakes and transcend them. What you are here today to do is find out how to transcend your own biography. We all have a biography. It’s in our mind. We’ve written it from day one.   The minute we came out of mamma’s womb, we decided who and what we are. Then we hold those opinions tightly. Now, possibly, it’s time to rewrite our biography. It may be time to write a new chapter, or even to close the old book and begin a whole new book.”

 

 

“There was a man who was very distressed. He said, “Do you think it is possible for a human being to do a redo?” These were his exact words. He said, “I just don’t think I can. I have made so many mistakes, mistake upon mistake. I don’t even know why I’m alive, because some of my mistakes have been with drugs and alcohol.”

 

 

He was telling about how much he had taken at one time. It was physically impossible for a human being to live through a poisoning like that. But he did. He said, “Because I lived, I must be here for a purpose. Do you think it’s possible for a human being to do a redo?”

 

 

Psalm 32:10: Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.

 

 

That is the whole message of Christianity. You get a redo – “a start over.”

 

 

And that is where many of us are. We sit, preparing for a redo – a start over. Many of us have changed just so far this year – with moving to a new location, a new life, new friends, new activities. Some of us have lived through family and friends upheavals and stayed with them, praying through the dilemma. Some of us faced a physical change in our personal or a loved one’s physical situation that prevents living the life as before and needing to walk through that door to a new way of living.

 

 

“Back in 1974, a man wanted a car. He had a great desire for this car. The reason I’m telling you this story is because the man saw this car the other day. It was a 1974 car – the exact car he wanted. He looked at it and it had big rust holes in it. He thought, “How could I have invested so much time and energy desiring this car?”

 

 

I realized as a young married woman that you just can’t make a car new again – no starting over for a car. Once it starts to rust, it just keeps on rusting, once the electrical stops or the wires begin to get crossed (and believe me, they do – let me tell you about my old Studebaker sometime), there is NO turning back. You can patch it and paint it – and surprise – a new rust hole will pop out or another wire will break or another door won’t open or a windshield wiper won’t work. That is just what old material objects often do, they decay like Mr. Bowser’s old Chevy Henry. But a human being is always going through a redo phase. Every cell is continuously being replaced and made new. I think we have new cells every 48 hours or so.

 

 

The only thing we are carrying, that is old in us, may be our opinion of “who we think we are, what we think we can do, how far we think we can succeed, or not.” We carry those with us in our luggage. We all carry the baggage of the past, and we are constantly finding baggage and being surprised by it, and, hopefully, unpacking and discarding the negatives of it. But, do we?

 

 

Believe it or not, we unpack useless baggage in our minds daily. It is a focusing on “self” – not to expect the worst in the future, but to expect the best, to know that God is really with us and we can expect the best. We have the right to expect the best. We are a child of God.

 

 

You can reach above your own history (of who you were or have been). It’s redo time.

 

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So, if you are listening to voices telling you that you lack, that you are not good enough, educated enough, pretty or handsome enough, shut your luggage and lock it. Do not let that baggage in.

 

 

God would never give you a message like that. God will never talk to you in a discouraging way. God will never tell you what you can’t do. God always whispers in your ear and tells you what you can do and accomplish.

 

 

Our God is an Awesome God.

 

Watch this video and then you will know that God can certainly create you and me as His perfect child.

 

 

God is the great giver of ideas, not generic ideas, but ideas for you on how you can use the idea in your own life. God is all good, endless good inside of you, and love.

 

 

You will never hear a negative thought or word from God.

 

 

So when you pray, if you’re beginning to get negative messages, that is the human part of you that should be quiet.   Listen to the all-positive voice of God. Throw the negative baggage into the lake and let your “woes be gone”

 

 

 

 

Let me tell you, if you don’t at first succeed, you’re running about average. It’s true. Failure creates success, improvement of life.

 

 

Now, here is a prime example of what I am talking about. It is the rendition of the story of Abraham Lincoln:

 

He failed in business at 22 years of age.
When he was 23, he ran for the legislature and was defeated.
When he was 24, he failed at business and went bankrupt.
When he was 25, he was elected to the legislature.
When he was 26, his sweetheart died.
This so destroyed him that at 27, he had a nervous breakdown.
When he was 29, he ran for Speaker and was defeated.
When he was 31, he ran for Elector and was defeated.
When he was 34, he ran for Congress and was defeated.
When he was 37, he was elected to Congress.
When he was 39, he ran for re-election to Congress and was defeated.
When he was 46, he ran for the Senate and was defeated.
When he was 47, he ran for Vice President and was defeated.
When he was 49, he ran for the Senate and was defeated.
And when he was 51, he was elected President of the United States.

 

 

This makes a good example because he is one of the most famous of presidents; and if he would have given up, we probably would never have heard of him and our country may have gone in a total different direction.

 

 

 

We don’t know how we can overcome the great problems that are facing us. It’s that moment we need to hold the hand of God and say, “I can’t do it alone. I am walking with You. Take me one extra step.” After that step we ask God to take us another step. That way we can go on and get our energy back. We then have the strength not only to endure, but to transform our lives.

 

 

Inside each of us is a strength that God has given us. We all, and I mean all, have that connectedness with God. Whether you believe it or not, you now have it. Every once in a while everyone needs a pep talk to remind us of the power and the strength of God.

 

 

Within our minds there is a part of us that is like a mental prison that forces us to look at the negative, at our baggage. It forgets that there is One who can unlock that prison, the great power and the strength of God will flow through at any moment. All we have to do is open our hearts and ask. Have a pep talk with God.

 

 

It doesn’t matter where you hear the pep talk, either.

 

 

Well, I invite you to listen to other ministers of other religions because the pep talk is the same.

 

 

Oh, we may have to change a word here and there to make the pep talk more personal and alive, but the Truth of God coming from every minister is about the all-present, good God that is available to you right where you are, a God that will make your moments so very special right now and make tomorrow better than ever before.

 

 

Do you want to go back and live in the past where you may have thought your problems were so much less and life was so much more worth living? “The Good Old Days” We might think that our problems today are so great that we just can’t carry that baggage around or overcome it. Well, alone we can’t. It takes a far greater mind and power than we possess alone. These are teaching opportunities for us to expand our minds to the limitless Mind of God and to reach to Him for solutions.

 

 

God is bigger than any of your problems. No matter what you’re facing, GOD IS BIGGER.

 

 

God can figure out a way when to your mind there seems to be no way. God can work out a solution, too, but you have to do your part. You have to consent and allow God to work through you. Then you have to go out and follow His direction.

 

 

 

Edgar Allen Poe once said, “Those who dream by day are aware of many things that escape those who only dream at night.”

 

 

Become a daydreamer, who realizes there is no lack but a lack of faith in God. There is no sickness in the soul, but only a separation from God. Become the kind of dreamer who knows that you can go beyond where you have been, where you think you’re going and become something great for humanity and for yourself.

 

 

Bury that baggage and look to the future, using your past experiences as teachings from God.

 

 

With God, you can go beyond even your best yesterdays. With God, you can have the greatest gift of all, and that is a fresh start.

 

 

God creates your fresh start and makes the best tomorrows of your life.

 

 

May God Bless Your Tomorrows!

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The Homecoming

 

(a special thank you as always to Christopher C. for his insight and resources)

 

 

“Enter God’s gates with thanksgiving, and God’s courts with praise.” Psalms 100:4

 

 

 

I hope and pray that every time you go to your church and/or come into our Bethel —http://thespiritualfamily.chatango.com/ — you will feel as if you have come home.

 

 

 

I also hope and pray that next to the home where you live, your Church and/or our Bethel is or soon becomes your second home as a physical site outside of yourself, but most important, I pray it is your spiritual home in a way that a one way traffic sign points the spiritual way; and I pray that it points the way to God.

 

 

 

Reverend Billy Graham told of a time many years ago when he arrived in a small town to preach a sermon. Wanting to mail a letter, he asked a young boy where the post office was. When the young boy told him, Dr. Graham thanked him and said, “Son if you will come tonight to the Baptist Church, you will hear me telling everyone how to get to heaven.” The boy stood there for a minute, scratched his head, and said, “Well, sir, I don’t think I will be there because you can’t even find the post office.”

 

 

 

There is a big difference between knowing ABOUT God and knowing God. Lots of people know about God. The word God is on our money, in our sacred documents; God’s name is used by the devout, and sometimes, sadly, often as a curse. Everyone knows about God. Nine out of ten people in America say they believe in God, although they may not know really how God works in their own individual lives. Knowing God is something else entirely. So, perhaps for many of us, it is time to make a spiritual homecoming; and it may be a wise idea to do this on a daily basis.

 

 

 

A professor (you have probably heard this story) was given a choice of two doors to go through. One of the doors was marked “love” and the other was marked “knowledge about love.” The professor who loved knowledge, chose the latter. Just as there is a difference in knowing about love and experiencing love, so there is a difference in knowing about God and knowing God.

 

 

 

To know God, not just know “about” God,  we must realize that God is bigger than any of our problems whether they are within or “without” ourselves. Our concept of God should be so large, so great that we know whatever we do, whatever we think, whatever we say, wherever we go, at any moment of the day or night, God is with us and we are home. We are moving with the power of God;”  we are spiritual. We are not alone when a problem rears its ugly head and stares at us. We are standing there with the biggest God there is around us and through us. We can do anything because we “know God.”

 

 

 

Deuteronomy 10:17. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.

 

 

 

Whenever we face a crossroads, here is a positive spiritual affirmation to repeat often as needed: “God is bigger than my problem!”

 

 

 

I am glad you are here because A Spiritual Homecoming is waiting for you.

 

 

 

Have your ever heard of the story which has also been made into a hymn (so inspiring) called“The Old Apple Tree.” Read the words below because it is a story, as well as a spoken hymn, especially for me since, as you know, I am melodically challenged.

 

 

 

“Coming home. God I am coming home. A minister had completed services one night in a Midwestern town. As he decided to board the train one night he took a seat next to a young man. While sitting there he found the young man was crying. He turned to this young fellow and he said, ‘Young man, I am a minister, I am a man of God. Maybe l can say something that will help or encourage you.’

 

 

 

“The young fellow turned and looked at the old preacher and said, ‘Preacher, I have been roaming this countryside for two years now. I left home two years ago tonight, and while there I gave my mother and father so much trouble. I even had the nerve to strike my father with my fist. So my dad came to me and said, ‘Son, we have to let you go. You are breaking your mother’s heart.’ Preacher, here I am tonight on this train. I wrote my mom a letter to tell her I would be on this train. See preacher, three weeks ago I had a spiritual experience. I gave my heart and my mind to God. I told mom I would be on this train.’

 

 

 

“The old preacher looked at the young fellow and said, ‘Son, how do you know that everything is going to be all right? How do you know that you will be welcome, that you will be able to get off the train?’

 

 

 

“That young fellow turned and looked at the man of God and said, ‘Preacher, all of my life we have lived in a little white house that sits right beside these old railroad tracks, and in back of this old house we have a big apple tree. I told my mom if it is all right for me to get off the train to have dad go out back and tie a big white rag on that tree, and I would know if it was all right for me to get off of the train. So preacher, we are almost home.’

 

 

 

“The young man turned to the preacher and said, ‘Would you look out of the window and tell me if the old rag is in the tree? I can’t bear to look. I want to go home so bad that I don’t know what to do.’

 

 

 

“The old preacher took the arm of his sleeve and he wiped the window and looked out. He said, ‘Son, why, you don’t have anything to worry about at all. That old apple tree is in full bloom. It has white rags from one end of that tree to another. Standing under that old apple tree I see an old gray headed mom and dad waving a white bed sheet like a flag, saying ‘Come on home son, come on home.’”

 

 

 

That is the way God is. God does not care what you have done. God does not care how long you have been going the wrong way. We all love you because we are friends and family; but God loves you regardless of your past or present.

 

 

 

 

This next story, is absolutely the truth. It is almost a believe it or not story.

 

 

 

“It had always been Ken Gaub’s goal to help those who were hurting. Some people just needed a little boost, and Ken Gaub said, “I wanted to influence people’s lives in a positive way, so I became a traveling missionary.” So, with his family he conducted crusades, not only throughout America, but also in many foreign countries. He established a magazine, a radio and television ministry, and a youth outreach program.  He was doing what the man we are remembering this week, Billy Graham, did for many years.

 

 

 

Ken says in his own words, “Sometimes even preachers get drained and discouraged. They wonder if they should consider another line of work.” This is how Ken felt one day in the 1970’s as he and his wife Barbara, and their children, drove their two ministry busses down 1-75, just south of Dayton, Ohio.

 

 

 

Ken was at the wheel and he said in a very prayerful voice, “God, am I doing any good at all traveling around like this, telling people about You?” He didn’t say this aloud; he said it inside of himself the way you may have many times. He wondered silently, “Is this what You want me to do?”

 

 

 

About that time he heard his child’s voice. The voice said, “Hey Dad, let’s stop and get some pizza.” One of Ken’s sons was the voice. Still lost in thought Ken turned off at the next exit, Route 741 where one sign after another advertised a wide variety of fast food. “A sign, a sign,” Ken mused. ‘That’s what I need, a sign from God. That’s what I need God, give me a sign that You know I even exist.”

 

 

 

They maneuvered their autos into the pizza parlor’s parking lot. The family bounced out, but Ken sat in his seat staring out into space.

 

 

 

“Coming?” Barbara, his wife said.

 

 

“No, I’m not really hungry,” Ken told her. “I will stay out here and stretch my legs.

 

 

 

Barbara followed the others into the restaurant. Ken stepped outside. He could see them through the windows of the restaurant ordering their pizza.

 

 

 

 

He stayed outside, closed the door, and looked around. He noticed a Dairy Queen. He strolled over and got a soft drink and ambled back still pondering. He was absolutely exhausted at the core of his being. He wondered and he questioned if his doldrums were a sign of permanent burn-out.

 

 

 

Then Ken heard a persistent ringing. It broke his concentration. It was a jangle that was coming from a pay telephone in a booth at the service station next to the Dairy Queen. As Ken approached the booth, he looked around to see if anyone else at the station was coming to answer the phone. The attendant continued his work. He was oblivious to the noise.

 

 

 

The constant ringing annoyed Ken, who was praying and wanting help from God. “Why doesn’t someone answer the phone?” he wondered, growing irritated. “What if it’s an emergency?” The insistent ringing went on, 10 rings, then 15, then 20 rings. Finally curiosity overcame Ken’s lethargy. He walked over to the booth, lifted up the receiver, and said, “Hello?”

 

 

 

The operator on the other end said, “Sir, I have a long distance call for Ken Gaub.”

 

 

 

Ken was stunned. First he thought it was his family. He looked over through the window of the Pizza Hut and they were all eating. Everyone was accounted for. Then he said, “You’re crazy.” Then he realized his rudeness and said, ‘This can’t be. It just can’t be. I was just walking down the road here and the phone was ringing.” The operator ignored his ramblings. She said, “Is Ken Gaub there? I have a long distance phone call for him.”

 

 

 

Was this a joke he wondered? Immediately he looked around for the Candid Camera crew, but they were nowhere in sight. The operator was persistent. “I have a long distance call for Ken Gaub, sir,” the operator said again and again, obviously reaching the limits of her patience. She said in a harsh tone, “Is he there or not?”

 

 

 

“Operator, I am Ken Gaub,” Ken said still unable to make sense of it. The operator asked, “Are you sure?” Just then Ken heard another woman’s voice on the telephone. “Yes, operator that’s him. That’s Ken Gaub. Yes, I recognize his voice.” About then the operator hung up.

 

 

 

The other woman’s voice said, “Mr. Gaub, I’m Millie from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. You don’t know me, but I am desperate. Please help me.”

 

 

 

Millie began to weep, crying uncontrollably. Ken waited patiently for her to regain control and finally she explained. ‘Mr. Gaub, I was about to kill myself. I started to write a suicide note but then I began to pray. I told God I really didn’t want to do this.” Through her pain, Millie remembered seeing Ken on television. She said, “If I could just talk to that nice kindly minister, the one with the understanding attitude. I knew it was impossible because I didn’t know how to reach you.”

 

 

 

Millie went on, a little calmer now. “So, I started to finish the note and then all of a sudden some phone numbers began to pop into my mind. I wrote them down.” She began to weep again. Silently Ken began to pray for wisdom on what to say to help her.

 

 

 

“I looked at those numbers,” Millie continued tearfully. “I thought wouldn’t it be wonderful, wouldn’t it be an answer from God, wouldn’t it be a miracle if God has given me Ken’s phone number?” She said, “I can’t believe I am talking to you. Are you in your office in California?”

 

 

 

Ken explained, “I don’t have an office in California. It’s in Yakima, Washington.”

 

 

 

“Then where are you?” Millie asked, puzzled.

 

 

 

Ken was even more bewildered. “Millie don’t you know— you made the call.”

 

 

 

“I don’t know what area this is,” Millie said, “I just dialed the long distance operator and gave her the numbers, making a person to person call.” Somehow she had found Ken in a parking lot in Dayton, Ohio. Ken gently consoled the woman and then they prayed together for God to lead her out of the situation into a new life. Then he hung up the phone. Ken was dazed unlike he had ever been dazed before in his life. Would his family believe this incredible story? Perhaps he shouldn’t tell anybody about it. Some stories are just so sacred and so unbelievable that they lose everything in their retelling.

 

 

 

Then he thought, he had prayed for an answer. He had received just what he needed. He received a renewed sense of purpose, a glimpse of the value of his work, an electrifying awareness of God’s concern for each of God’s children– all in an encounter which could only have been arranged by God. Ken’s heart overflowed with joy.

 

 

 

When his family came back to the bus, “Barb,” he exclaimed. “You won’t believe this, but God knows where I am.”

 

 

 

And just as that story is astounding, believe it or not – God knows where we are, each one of us. God knows what we are going through. God knows how to help us. God knows how to heal us. God knows exactly everything about us. There is nothing in your or my mind or in our body or in our life that God is not aware of because God is not far away. God is with us here, right beside you and right beside me.

 

 

 

Did you realize there is a place where God talks about calling you in our Bible. Isaiah 66:4. “. . .because, when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, they did not listen;. . . . .” Now, look at Isaiah 65:24. This is about you and me. “Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear.”

 

 

 

You know, I am sure, that each of us have a voice mail or an answering machine for God. We often do not answer when God calls; we just let it go to voice mail. However, when we talk to God, He hears us. “before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear” Is. 65:24.

 

 

 

 

You and I are here today to have a spiritual homecoming. In order to have this “homecoming,” we will need to have a receptive mind that is open and receptive to the communication of God. The answers you get, the solutions to your problems are going to be higher than your own human mind, higher and better than you can ever imagine.

 

 

 

Because they will be higher than what we are used to, they may seem different and even odd.. They may tell you to walk down a different path than you are walking down right now. It takes courage to turn around. It takes courage to go God’s way. But remember, with God and going God’s way, we are never alone.  We are just walking home. Praise God for our Spiritual Homecoming.

 

 

 

Luke 11:9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

 

 

 

Can you come home? You had better believe it. God is waving a giant white sheet and saying, “Come on home. If you need forgiveness, come on home. If you need a healing, come on home. If you need prosperity, come on home. If you need a solution to the biggest problem you have ever had in your life, come on home. I am here for you; and I am as close as you are, right where you are sitting.”

 

 

“All you have to do is knock and open the door.

 

 

 

” Walk to Me. I am here; I am waiting for you.

 

 

Come on home.”

THOUGHTS – -WORDS – – DEEDS

 

Matthew 4:4 , “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceeds from the mouth of God” [RSV].

 

 

 

Each of our mouths can act as a mouth of God. To do so, we have to understand something the wonder of God.  And we earn and understand this through the study of our Holy Bible.

 

 

 

 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could have it within our ability to speak one word and completely change our lives? To be able to create exactly what we want?

 

 

 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if God looked at each one of us and said, “You can have all the health, wealth, happiness and all the desired outcomes you want in your life.”

 

 

 

God said this, and yet many do not take advantage of this spiritual offer. Many repeatedly say, “No thanks. I’d rather not.”

 

 

 

The real food of God is spiritual not material;  it feeds our soul and then our mind, and then our body.

 

 

 

Deuteronomy 30:14 says, “But the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.” In this part of scripture, the Lord is speaking to Moses, haven given him a commandment and instructions on how to live a spiritual life. These instructions are very plain and simple. The word and the power ARE IN YOUR MOUTH and in your heart.

 

 

This word of God is not just locked up someplace in a Bible. In fact, when these words were spoken in Deuteronomy, the Bible as such didn’t even exist.

 

 

 

So what did they mean when they said “the word of God”? They were actually talking about the living presence that would spiritually come through the human voice that people could experience and feel. Just like what we receive during a prayer time and meditation – a spiritual experience in our hearts and in our minds; a living presence will fill us, and then we will be able to express it through our mouths and into our lives.

 

 

 

God is actually busy expressing His Word through us, through life, and through the very planet earth itself. The Bible says that humans were given dominion over ALL life; we have that added gift of God’s power. All that God has created, we’ll listen to His word, and if this power from God is used in the right way we can speak new spiritual worlds into existence. In this very deep perspective, we can say whenever we speak rightly that God CAN speak through us.

 

 

 

Sometimes we hear people ask the question “How can there be so much misery in this world?” The answer is through the misguided, misused use of free-will through humankind.

 

 

 

If things aren’t exactly the way we would like it to be, all we have to do is look around at each other, and look inside of our own hearts and minds to find out why. It can be very difficult because it places the responsibility on us, instead of blaming our wrong concept of a vengeful God. But, if you contemplate this even a moment, you see that it also places incredible opportunity on us as well.

 

 

 

We have it within our own God-given power to speak the Word of God, creating by what proceeds from our mouths and hearts. Each of us, literally, is a co-creating channel of God’s good.

 

 

 

Words are the most powerful agents of the mind. Every time we speak we cause the atoms of the body to tremble and change their places. Not only do we cause the atoms of our own bodies to change their positions, but we raise a lower  rate of vibration, and otherwise affect the bodies of others with whom we come into contact.

 

 

 

A scientific experiment took place in which a handful of iron filings were placed upon a thin metal sheet. Then a certain musical note was struck and those iron filings formed themselves into a star pattern. Then a different musical note was struck and they formed themselves into a snowflake. (You probably have seen this done.)

 

 

 

This was a literal experiment that demonstrated how a certain kind of vibration, a certain sound vibration, literally demonstrated itself into the physical world in a different pattern. So it is with every word that proceeds out of our mouths. Those sounds have specific vibrations that affect the patterns of matter in this world.

 

 

 

Commit today to speak only positive words about yourself, about others, and about your world.

 

 

 

It is not only prayer that affects a change—it’s whenever we speak. In fact, whenever we think positive thoughts , we are causing good vibrational changes in our lives and in the world.

 

 

 

There has often been some kind of lost word of power, that if we could just recapture it somehow, we could recreate for ourselves the power of God. The Hebrew people believed that this lost word was hidden in the word Yahweh, out of which the word Jehovah came. They believed this word was unpronounceable and yet had that kind of power.

 

 

 

“Sow a thought; reap a word. Sow a word; reap a deed. Sow a deed; reap a habit. Sow a habit; reap a character. Sow a character; reap a destiny.”   From the simple, seemingly innocent sown thought grows a lifetime of destiny, and influencing future generations.   As Jesus Christ said, “As you sow, so shall you reap.”

 

 

 

The seeding process begins with the thoughts we think. Words are formed based on the thoughts that we hold in the incubator of our mind. Words are powerful and formative.

 

 

 

One of the chief delusions of this world we live in is that talk is cheap. We say that because in this modern age, fewer people keep their word. Promises are broken more frequently. In today’s world sadly nobody really expects you to keep your promises anyway, UNLESS you sign your name and somebody has a lawyer. Just try to buy a home, or even a car, by just giving your word. And yet a human’s word used to be a respected bond. Our words should always be a respected bond.

 

 

 

There is often an ignorance of the relationship between talk and deeds.   “As we sow, so shall we reap.”   We sow our thoughts; we reap words. We sow words; we reap deeds. Eventually we have habits, character, and destiny.

 

 

 

Look out on the road you’re driving on sometime this week, and see all the cars out there. Just ask yourself this question: “What is it that is driving those cars?” You might say, “Well, human beings, obviously.” But what’s driving those cars? What’s driving those people? Thoughts. Thoughts are driving those cars; thoughts like “I am hungry! I can hardly wait to get to lunch,” or “We should visit Grandma today; we haven’t seen her for a long time,” or “I’d better cut the lawn this afternoon before it rains again.”

 

 

 

Thoughts like that are driving those cars. Distracting thoughts like that can drive our lives also. Think about it. It’s true, but we don’t usually remain conscious of it.

 

 

 

Jesus wants us to wake up our words; he admonishes us to pray constantly, using words.

 

 

 

In the East, the yogis speak about words having great power also. They have special names for these words—”mantras”. “Mantra” is a Sanskrit word which means power or protection. It also means that which brings the experience of the subject directly to the speaker.

 

 

 

You must become awake, and aware, of the words proceeding from your mouth, and their cost to you in what they are creating in you, and others around you.   Others judge you more on the words coming out of your mouth than on the clothes you wear.

 

 

 

For the next thirty days do not allow ONE NEGATIVE THOUGHT TO PROCEED FROM YOUR MOUTH. Only positive uplifting life creating words proceed from your mouth for the next thirty days. If you are a couple, help each other in this transformational exercise that will literally change the rest of your life as you form new habits of speech. This may change your communication forever!

 

 

 

Start with your new thoughts and words, but those new thoughts and new words have to translate into new deeds. And those new deeds have to be sown so that new habits can be reaped. And those new habits will create new character. And that new character will change your life.

 

 

 

So to repeat, , start with your new thoughts and words, but those new thoughts and new words have to translate into new deeds. Use your life to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Those new deeds have to be sown continually so that new habits can be reaped. And those new habits will create new character. And that new character will change your life, and the lives of countless others that witness your life whether you are aware of it or not.

 

 

Change your words; change your life!

 

 

 

 

 

God Bless You!

God’s Plan for Us.

 

 Then our mouths were filled with laughter, and our tongues formed joyful shouts. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”  Psalm 126: 2.

 

 

It’s good to laugh in church. If you can’t laugh in church where can you laugh?
Christianity is a religion of joy, and in that context let’s share a few Christian ideas.

 

.

 

I saw a sign the other day that said, “God put me on earth to accomplish a
certain number of things. Right now, I am so far behind, I will never die.”

 

 

Maybe you feel that way, today. Maybe you feel that some things are temporarily
out of your control as hard as you try. God can help manage your life and help you every minute of the day and night. God can bring your life into a wonderful Divine Order.

 

 

God has a plan for your life and for my life. It is by Divine appointment now that you and I are both experiencing these words, this message. These words are for everyone whose get-up-and-go has got-up-and-gone.

 

 

When your smile has turned to a frown, it is time to turn to God.   We get tired often when life has become a hard climb. We have found that it is a little bit tougher than we had imagined. We wonder how in the world we’ll get over the next hurdle.

 

 

It is at this time more than any other to turn to God. When we do, we find out the truth that God is at hand, and we find that new strength is at hand. The truth is
that our life can be great.

 

 

God is life, and God is the giver of life. We can, again, become engaged and excited about our lives, today. We can become excited about connecting with God.

 

 

The deeper the prayer in our life, the deeper the inspiration and the finer the ideas are because we are positive faith-filled people. We choose to be. No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, sailed to an uncharted land, or opened up a new heaven to the human spirit. To do all that we need to do, we have to say, “Yes.” We have to  say, “I’m ready; I’m willing; and I’m very excited about what is happening.”

 

 

Diane Ackerman once said, “I don’t want to be a passenger in my own life.”

 

 

You don’t, either. You want to be fully engaged in experiencing and enjoying. You want to be a VIP, a Very Involved Person.  This is a person who is totally engaged and in the enjoyment of God’s blessings. Take yourself out of neutral in all the areas of your life, and become engaged in the enjoyment, the spirituality, and the fun of your life, knowing there will be bumps and a bit of sadness along the way.

 

 

Hostile-looking tribesmen in a South American jungle suddenly surrounded a
missionary. Noting their posed spears and poisoned arrows, the missionaries
knew they had to think of something and think of it, quickly. At that moment a plane
flew overhead, and he said, “See that bird up there? That is my friend. If
you hurt us, it will kill you.”

 

 

The chief took one glance into the sky and then answered, “That’s no bird;
that is a Boeing 747.”  Now that’s a twist.   Sometimes life takes surprising turns, in the moment of the surprise (not always pleasant ones)– we must call upon Divine help.

 

 

Here is a good definition of the survival of the fittest drama –not by hiding behind a shell because things in life have become unpredictable and even uncomfortable and negative; it is grasping life, riding the waves of life spreading our wings,and enjoying living each of our moments.

 

 

 

What do you see when you look into the mirror? Do you see someone who is
made up of the sum total of his, or her problems? Do you see someone who,
for some reason or another, in some areas of his or her life, puts himself
or herself into neutral and hides for protection?  Or do you see joy through your circumstances – positive and negative.

 

 

I’m going to give you a secret and a key.  Commitment to life turns the weights into wings!  It allows you to fly over problems that used to hold you down, and allows  you to take hold of a new day, a new beginning.

 

 

When is the last time you celebrated the morning, celebrated life? Life is
so rich; the most valuable thing you have in your entire life is this day,  this 24 hours. There is nothing richer.  The most precious commodity in our world is not gold – it is time.   Live your life not by the gold standard but by the time standard.

 

 

Today, let’s anchor our lives in the joy and satisfaction of who we are, and that we have this time to see God everywhere we look during these 24 hours. We have lives that seek the gain of experiencing more of God, the sacred presence within us, and all of us. – to live our lives from this higher perspective, to reorganize our priorities, and to put God first. When we do, we will be less and less likely to veer off  course.  And when we might veer, we know God and we can forgive ourselves  and move forward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are meant to spiritually have more. Our souls are meant to enjoy life and we are meant to allow our spiritual energy to overflow with joy. That is what life is
about. Wealth, in of and itself, does not guarantee happiness.

 

 

How successful are you in life?

 

 

Today, judge your lives by the amount of joy you inject into each and
every moment of the day, these 24 hours are to be enjoyed—they are a gift
from God.

 

 

 

 

 

Your will is shaping your future. Whether you fail or succeed shall be no
human’s doing but your own. You are the force, but you are not the force
alone. God IS with you.

 

 

You can clear any obstacle before you, or you can be lost in the maze.
It is your choice, and your responsibility, win or lose. Only you and your
God hold the keys to your destiny.

 

 

I want you to have this kind of destiny. Even when things go badly for
you, you will still find life good and worth living, because you know you
are connected to God.

 

 

Your soul has wings. When you have a sense of God, you will fly over
former problems that used to bother you. Here is what I pray for you. I
pray that the same circumstance or event that would have put you into a
crisis mode a year or even a week ago will feel like just a minor speed bump now, because  you know you are NOT alone.

 

 

If we have a jigsaw puzzle, we can pour it out on a table and it is a
chaotic heap of similar looking bits of displaced matter. There are no
clues. We look at our lives, and they are the same way, but the truth is
that each piece fits into the bigger picture. Life must be lived forward,
but it can only be understood backward.

 

 

As a thread in the tapestry, every event in your life has some meaning
and purpose for the larger pattern, even if you cannot see what it is in
the moment.  You will discover the meaning more quickly if you direct your thoughts  and focus your mind on God.  To aid in this, make a list of all the things you enjoy about your  life. The simple pleasures: praying, working with your hands, breathing fresh air, enjoying beautiful music.

 

 

When you are having dark times, sit down and write out stories: stories
about your life past, when you were most enjoying yourself. Write down the
meanings you now see in those stories. This will increase your faith and
your confidence as you go through the present story that is now unfolding
and that you cannot fully understand.

 

 

 

Hard times come to a believer and a non-believer alike. But because God
has promised to be with us, at all times, we CAN face even hard times in
life. God is with you and you remind yourself of this, over and over,
again, during the day. God is our provider, strengthener, rescuer, and we
seek that. When we seek that, we find it.

 

 

Consent to God in the moment, to new greater life, to new greater opportunity,
by FIRST saying yes to God.

 

 

Imagine this. You are in your dining room, and you have a
fine wooden table and chairs. You are sitting there at the table and you
have just eaten dinner. You are smiling. You are sitting there.

 

 

You cross your legs, lean back, and all of a sudden, the back of the chair
falls to the floor and breaks into smithereens. You think, “Oh no! This is
the chair my mother owned and I loved this. How can this be?” You run down
the street because, down the street, is a carpenter, the best in the city.

 

 

You say, “Please come to my house.” The carpenter arrives immediately,
looks at the chair and says, “I’m sorry, it is beyond repair. But, allow
me to take it. I can make a stool out of this, and it will be better than
you ever imagined.”

 

 

So the carpenter takes the chair and reshapes it into a stool. Not an
ordinary stool, but he even puts in gold inlay and reshapes it into a
family heirloom, a treasure, the most treasured thing in your entire home
when you get it back.

 

 

That is the way it is with God. God comes instantly, when we call. Maybe
we have broken something into smithereens, and it cannot be repaired
exactly as we would like it in our minds, but God is going to make
something better out of it, if we give it to God, and if we are willing to
allow that to occur.

 

 

Ephesians 4:17-24:Now this I affirm and insist on in the Lord: you must
no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds. They
are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God
because of their ignorance and hardness of heart. They have lost all
sensitivity and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to
practice every kind of impurity. That is not the way you learned Christ!
For surely you have heard about Him and were taught in Him, as truth is in
Jesus. You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self,
corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your
minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to
the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

 

 

 

I don’t know where you think the ideal place is. Maybe you think it is on
the beach on a south sea island. Maybe you think it is a small town where
there is no crime or urban problems. Maybe you think it is on top of a
mountain somewhere, just praying to God. But it is not. Reality, rarely,
lives up to the fantasy. You do not grow unless you are engaged with life.
You do not experience life fully without growing, without experiencing the pain and the joy  …  experience life every second, to be so aware of God in your life, this day, that it is the best  day you have ever lived, regardless of the circumstances.

 

 

A bold goal must capture the hearts and minds of people who do the real work.
When John F. Kennedy was President, and he announced to the United States
that we would put a man on the moon, a janitor at NASA was interviewed one day,
and he was asked to describe his job as he swept the debris from one of the
workrooms.  The janitor said, “I am helping to put a man on the moon.”

 

 

We too, need a bold goal for our lives, and we all have a need to be a
part of something bigger than ourselves.

 

 

Today, make God real in your life by seeing as God, hearing as God, thinking as God, moving as God, and enjoying as God!

 

 

Let us pray.

 

Dear God, I commit to You first, and then to life. I will no longer
disengage. I allow You and me to walk together, hand in hand, thought in
thought, life in life, and to meet everything with victory, a smile, and
happiness. And so it is.

 

 

In Jesus Christ’s name and nature. Amen.

 

God bless you!

 

.

 

Living the Life of Love

 

There was a little boy who was riding across town on a city bus. He was  huddled very close to a well-dressed lady and was swinging his legs back  and forth, out in the aisle like kids do.

 

Accidentally, he rubbed his shoes up against the woman sitting across from  him. She got perturbed and asked the other well-dressed woman, “Pardon me,  but would you please tell your little boy to keep his feet to himself?”

 

The well-dressed woman looked at the boy as if she hadn’t really been  aware that he was there, then shoving him aside, said, “He’s not my boy.   I’ve never seen him before.”

 

Embarrassed, the little boy moved to another seat where he sat down as if  trying to hide. It was obvious the boy was trying to fight back tears. He  looked at the lady whose dress he had soiled and he said, “I’m so sorry; I  didn’t mean to.”

 

When the woman saw what the scolding had done to the boy, she felt badly about how she had responded. She said, “Oh honey, that’s all right. Are  you going somewhere alone?”

 

The boy lowered his head and answered, “I always travel alone. My mommy and daddy are gone, so I live with my Aunt Maggie. But when she gets tired  of me, she sends me to Aunt Elizabeth.”

 

The woman then asked, “Are you on your way to visit Aunt Elizabeth now?”

 

The boy answered, “Yes, but Aunt Elizabeth is hardly ever home. I hope  she’s home, today, because it is so cold outside.”

 

The woman looked at the boy again and then said, “You sure are awfully young to be riding the bus alone.”

 

The boy piped up, “Oh, it’s OK. I never get lost – but sometimes I get  awful lonely. So, when I see someone who I would like to be my family, I  huddle up close to them and I pretend they are my family. That is what I  was doing when I got your dress dirty. I forgot about my feet.”

 

 

Hearing this, the woman moved over to where the boy was sitting and put  her arm around him. Then she hugged him in real close. She understood that  what he really wanted, what he really needed, was to feel that somebody loved him.

A baby is born with a need to be loved – and never outgrows that need.

 

You all have needs; I have needs.   We  need to be loved and we need, as a human being, as a Christian, to give  away our love, also. To become the best that we can possibly be, we need  to give love away, to allow it to express in and through us.

 

 

This is what the Valentine’s Day celebration should be about – expressing  more of God’s love to each other. We can help end loneliness.

 

 

In 1 John 4:7-8, it reads: “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does  not love does not know God, for God is love.”

 

 

 

 

When we know we do not have to generate the love within ourselves and  create it, but just become a conduit for the love of God through us, then  we have it all. Then we have God; we have the kingdom of God; and we understand what God is about.

 

Love is what the sea is to a fish. It is something we swim in all of our lives. It is something we can decide, this day, to give away and to have expressed in our lives.

 

Here is an acronym for love:

 

L Letting
O Our
V Values
E Express

 

Letting our values express – our feelings..

 

Here is an alphabet for love:

A Accepts
B Behaves
C Cheers
D Defends
E Enriches
F Forgives
G Grows
H Helps
I Includes
J Joins
K Kneels
L Listens
M Motivates
N Notices
O Overlooks
P Provides
Q Quiets
R Respects
S Surprises
T Tries
U Understands
V Volunteers
W Warms
X Expects
Y Yields
Z Zip in your life!

 

 

When this becomes the code in our life, it will add zip in our life –  the zip code.

 

 

There is a wonderful story about a lighthouse off the coast of  Massachusetts. It is Kinot’s lighthouse. Many lonely sailors have searched for this light because it is unlike any other light in the world. The  signal spells out “I love you” in nautical code.

 

 

 

Several years ago, the Coast Guard decided to put in modern equipment.

 

They felt they needed to take out the signal that spells out “I love you.”  They told the public they were going to put in the regular signal that  just flashes. The entire state rose up in dismay. Sailors from around the  world who had been touched in the middle of the night by the lighthouse’s  message protested. Finally, the Coast Guard backed down and the old  equipment is still there. All night long, in fog or good weather, in nautical code, it flashes out “I love you.” Sailors from around the world  have longed to go there to see that light and its message.

 

 

Author Eric Butterworth, writes: “Love is not something you do; love is  being. Love is not trying; love is being. Love is not finding the right  person; it is becoming the right person.”

 

 

I heard a wonderful story that at first sounded funny, but has a much  deeper meaning. It is about a man who had been married for over 30 years.

 

 

He returned home one evening and found his wife packing. “What in the  world are you doing?” he asked.

 

 

“I can’t handle it anymore!” she replied. “We’ve done nothing but fight,  argue, complain, and bicker at each other. I’ve decided to leave.”

 

 

The man stood in shock and bewilderment as his wife walked out of the  house – out of his life. Suddenly, he dashed to the bedroom and pulled a  suitcase down from the closet shelf. Running outside, he yelled to his  wife, “I can’t handle it anymore, either. Wait for me, and I’ll go with you.”

 

 

Isn’t that what couples should do? Isn’t that what friends should do?   Isn’t that what enemies should do? When one starts to walk out, let’s grab  our suitcase and go with them.

 

 

Decide to live life in a new way and labor, daily, for love, to work for  love in our lives. The labors of love are special because every day is  payday. It will be in our lives. There is nothing that can stop the power  of love in your life. That is what we are talking about today. I pray that  each of us becomes ten times more loving because we are making a commitment with these ideas about God.

 

 

A young man once talked with people of many races and creeds. Each told  him of the oldest thing in the world. He was determined to find it. He  walked many miles and was often rewarded by beautiful vistas before him,  but always when he heard of a very ancient thing and went to see it,  someone told him of another much older thing. After many years, he  returned home an old man, still not having found that for which he was in  search.

 

 

One day, as he sat in his garden, a little girl passed, holding an old doll tenderly in her arms. He watched her smooth its rough tangled hair and speak to it as a mother would to her baby. “At last,” he said, “here is the oldest thing in the world. It is love.”

 

 

Remember the TV show “The Twilight Zone.” There was an episode about a
future time when a man had been convicted of the crime of coldness. He had
been insensitive and unsociable to the people around him.

 

 

For this he was sentenced to one year of invisibility. He was to be  ostracized and ignored by his fellow citizens. A mark was placed on his  forehead indicating that no one was to talk or interact with him.

 

 

At first, he thought the punishment was laughable. He went everywhere, laughing and thinking it didn’t bother him at all. He decided he preferred  that people not talk to him. However, in time, he became increasingly desperate for companionship, affection, and conversation.

 

 

One evening, he saw a young woman who had also been condemned to
invisibility. When he tried to talk to her, she fled in fright. For months, the man had a terrible time, living his life, day to day, in the  solitude of isolation until his sentence finally came to an end.

 

The experience transformed him. He was warmer, more considerate, and
caring.

 

 

But soon his new, more loving self was tested in an unexpected way. One  day, he ran into the woman who he had begged to talk with him months  earlier. She was still serving her sentence, and now she was the desperate  one. She sobbed and pleaded with him to look at her and say something.

 

 

When he pushed by her and kept walking, she crumbled to the ground, weeping. Over and over again, she said, “You’re so cold! You’re so cold!”   Feelings of compassion welled up within the man. He turned, knelt down,  and began to comfort her.

 

 

Seeing this, the other people in the street began moving away from them.   Warning devices began to sound.  A loudspeaker blared, “Unacceptable behavior. Unacceptable behavior.”   The man’s love had gone beyond the limits deemed appropriate by society.   Previously condemned for being cold, he was now condemned for being  loving.

 

 

How often do you hear people say, “I love God, but it’s people I have a
problem with.”

 

 

Author James Dillet Freeman, once wrote: “Some say they love God, but not
men. But how can we love harmony and not music? How can we love light and
not the morning? How can we love nature and not the spring?   How can we love God and not the likeness of God, which is humans?”

 

 

Love is an abstract idea until it is expressed in you and by you. We may talk about love, define love, but still not be loving. We have to break down the barriers. That is why we are here today – to break down the  barrier, once and for all. To love the persons, situations, and  circumstances that irritate us, challenge us, and baffle us.

 

 

 

To that person who seems to rub you the wrong way – right now, silently, begin to transform them with me, and begin to send them love as a secret  experiment.

 

 

 

Be like Clint Eastwood. Sit there and think, “OK, make my day. Give me the  truth of God and I am going to prove it in my life. I am going to see if  this stuff really works. This is the time. This is the place.” Begin to  send that person your love, right now. Don’t tell them you are doing it.  Let it really be an experiment. Begin to send them love and give it until this time next year, and just see what happens in your relationship. You  have a new best friend, out there; you just don’t know it. If it is your  spouse, all the better; say, “I love you. I bless you. I behold God’s love in you.”

 

 

 

The one who seems cold and indifferent needs love, not condemnation. To  the person who seems to stand in the way of your good, who seems a threat  to your security and success – let love cast out your fear. Put love into action and be loving. Erase the differences you see with your physical  eyes; erase them with love. Turn any resentment into love. Agree with your  adversary with love.

 

 

I want to share with you Romans 13:8-10. “Owe no one anything, except to
love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law . .
. . love is the fulfilling of the law.” If God is love, and if I allow God  to flow through me to love you, that is my religion and my body is the  temple where it takes place. We do this with the present and we do it with  the past.

 

 

 

There was a program on television about a woman who had been very bitter in her life. Her father and mother had abused her all during her youth and teenage years. It was a terrible story. Ordinarily, when you see someone who has been the victim of that kind of mistreatment and hate, they are  severely affected. You could say they have a reason to be. This woman had  a successful marriage. She had a wonderful husband and they had been happily married for 11 years. She was a successful lady with a professional career. Great things were happening to her. A reporter asked her, looking right into her eyes, “Why?” She thought she had not only  survived but triumphed. This is something I will never forget. Listen to these words. She said, “I had more love than they had hate.” She said it just that way – direct, firm, with her chin tilted up.

 

 

 

Hate is the sand in the machinery of your life, but love is the oil. Love will fix you right up. If you are the tin man and are rusty because some of the things that have happened to you have not been very pleasant, give love a try. Just see what will happen to you.

 

 

 

1 John 3:11-15, “For this is the message you have heard from the
beginning, that we should love one another. We must not be like Cain who
was from the evil tendencies and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him?   Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be  astonished, brothers and sisters, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another. Whoever does not love abides in death. All who hate a brother or sister are  murderers, and you know that murderers do not have eternal life abiding in  them.”

 

 

 

I am not talking about life after you die from the physical and neither is
this Bible passage. It is talking about eternal life in your tomorrow,  your Tuesday, your Wednesday. When you get up in the morning, in a good
mood, you are not in a bad mood by 10:30. You have life in you and you
have it abundantly. The secret is to love. Love everyone around you. The
opposite is death. Death in your day is when your shoulders are downcast
and you feel life is tough and a miserable existence.

 

 

You can measure a person’s worth by the size of their heart. One St. Valentines Day, the five-year-olds in a Sunday school class were told to  bring in something that they loved. The next Sunday, they brought in the  usual hats, sweaters, and books. But one boy entered with an especially big grin. Behind him, wearing a red dress was his four-year-old sister.  The best exhibit of all is something you love and are so proud of –  something special.

 

 

I want those of you who have businesses to pay special attention to this next story. You have seen businesses, especially restaurants, where one  goes in and it fails. Another one comes in and it fails. Another one comes in and it fails. You think it is the location. There was one woman who decided to open a business in a location where the two owners before had gone bankrupt and failed miserably. Her friends said, “You can’t possibly start a business there.”

 

 

She said, “I’m going to use a secret they didn’t use.”  She decided to open
up this business to test the Bible. She opened up a restaurant and a candy
shop in a place where the two owners before had failed and gone out of  business. She was a brilliant success. When asked how she had succeeded in the same business where others had failed, she said: “I just loved and  blessed all my customers. I loved them as Jesus has taught us to do. I love the complaining man as well as the satisfied customers. When customers leave my place, I not only invite them to come back, I silently send them a blessing of love and prayer for their prosperity and happiness.

 

 

“When no customers are in the store, I bless the people with love as they pass by on the street.”

 

 

Love is a power. This is great in a business, but the real place to start  this is at home. Bless that place. Bless the place, even when nobody is  there so when they come in, they will feel the love of God. Surround  yourself with God’s love. Remember what the Bible says. You do not have to  do it. You simply consent to it happening through you, and it will. Love  is THE GREATEST POWER it will never let you down.

 

 

There is nothing you or I have ever done, ever said, or ever thought that
can destroy the love God has for us. God sees more in us that we see in
ourselves.

 

 

Rev. Robert Schuller told a wonderful story about an artist who was
painting a picture one day. There was a beggar who sat across the street
from the artist’s studio. From his window, the artist sketched the face of
that defeated, outcast soul. But the artist made one important change.
Into the dull eyes, he put a flashing glint of an inspired dreamer. He
sketched the skin on the man’s face to give him a look of iron will and
fierce determination. When the painting was finished, he called the poor
man in to see it.

 

 

The beggar did not recognize himself. “Who is it?” he asked the artist.
Then suspecting that there was something of himself in this portrait, the
beggar hesitantly questioned, “Is it me? Can it be?”

 

 

“That’s how I see you,” replied the artist.

 

 

Straightening his shoulders, the beggar responded, “If that’s the man you
see, then that’s the man I’ll be.”

 

 

We are going to begin to see people in our lives not the way our eyes tell
us to see them. We are going to see them as God would see them. They will
respond.

 

 

We often question, “What is my purpose in life?” According to the Bible, it is to love, to learn love, to master  it, to give it away. It is easy in a place like this, isn’t it? The next  time you are in a place where it is not so easy, do it anyway.

 

 

 

As our closing prayer, today, I am going to close with Author Emmet Fox’s
words and make them a prayer.

 

 

Let us pray.

 

Loving Father,

“There is no difficulty in my life that enough love will not conquer; no
disease that enough love will not heal; no door that enough love will not
open; no gulf that enough love will not bridge; no wall that enough love
will not throw down; no wrong that enough love will not set right; it
makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble; how helpless the
outlook; how muddled the tangle; how great the mistake; a sufficient
realization of love will dissolve it all – if only you will love enough,
you will be the happiest, most powerful being in the world.”

 

God, today, this moment, I agree to let my light shine, my love shine, and
to become love. Thank You, God.

 

In Jesus Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

 

God bless you!

 

Real Serenity

Reinhold Niebuhr wrote a prayer in 1943 that has become famous. I’m sure
you will recognize it.

 

 

“God, give us grace to accept, with serenity, the things that cannot be
changed, the courage to change the things that should be changed, and the
wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.”

 

 

This prayer sums up a great philosophy of life. The key to it, of course,
is the last part—to have the wisdom to distinguish between the first two
parts—to know what in life to try to change, and what to try to simply
accept because it cannot be changed.

 

 

Which of us has the wisdom to know these things? It seems that if we have
the wisdom, if we accomplish this through life experience, contemplation,
prayer, meditation, or any of the many means by which wisdom is gained in
life, we can earn that quality called serenity, happiness, or inner peace.

 

 

Behind all the changes we try to make in life, behind all the desires to
change, behind all the wishes we have to bring new things into our lives
(and even the wishes to leave old things out of our lives) lies the simple
desire to feel serene – to feel inner peace. We may think it is a flashy
new car, or a new job, or a new home, or a new relationship. But the root
of all those desires is simply to feel inner peace.

 

 

There is another serenity prayer—an older one. We find it in Matthew. You
will recognize these words. But even though they are familiar (or
especially, because they are familiar), hear them as we see them again (below). Take  them deeply inside yourself. Feel the rich meaning of these words of Jesus
as He says [in Matthew 6:31-33]:

 

 

 

“Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life – what you shall
eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body – what you shall put on.
Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the
birds of the air. They neither sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns. And
yet, your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
And which of you, by being anxious, can add one cubit to his (or her) span
of life? And why are you anxious about clothing?

 

 

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They neither toil nor
spin. Yet, I tell you, even Solomon and all of his glory was not arrayed
like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field which
today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more
clothe you, O men of little faith? Therefore, be not anxious saying, ‘What
shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ But seek
first God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things shall be
yours as well.”

 

 

 

These are truly magnificent words. It is the last part that we have heard
so many times that is the true significance of this spiritual search that
we are on today, our pursuit of happiness, and our desire to be
serene and have inner peace. Seek first God, then all else will be added
unto us.

 

 

I know, you have heard it and done it before. I believe every one of us
has. Yet, in order to be serene and know happiness, you and I must pursue
this every day – put God first in our lives.   However, often we do not feel the confidence it takes to actually believe that we can put God first, with all the challenges in our lives.

 

 

Maybe that is why many people are so afraid. There is an enormous capacity
to feel humble at moments like this.  As we contemplate our need to put God first so that God may speak through us, and act through us, and give us something worthwhile to do, we  realize, anew, this loving connection that serenity is ours.

 

 

One thing about people in the world we live in – they do not always give
us the support that we need or feel we deserve. It does not happen all the
time. Maybe that is because we are the ones who are supposed to give that
support, and love to ourselves. Keeping our own promises is a key way for
us to find our own inner peace and our own serenity.

 

 

If you ever feel a sense of anxiety, what can you do about this?
Contemplate about it, and the answer comes: “Really be there.” What does
that mean? The answer is: “To really be there, in the moment.”

 

 

When you feel anxious, you need to breathe deeply into your anxiety, and
really feel the anxiety in that moment – pray.

 

 

What you often do with your anxiety is push it away from yourself.  By
pushing it away, it grows larger.

 

 

Sometimes, when it is a rainy day and it ruins your plans or makes you
feel down – stay in the moment. Notice the variety of raindrops that fall.
There is an incredible variety in the fall of raindrops. Contemplate the
mocking bird. Poor thing; it has no songs of its own. It has no musical
taste. It will follow the song of a robin with the song of a common
sparrow. It sings and sings and sings, and yet it seems so joyful. Why?
Because it makes others’ songs its own. It has real joy when it gives
itself, completely, to its own singing.

 

 

We have often heard that another way to serenity, to feeling a sense of
inner worth and peace, is to be grateful for what we already have. The
glass is either half empty or half full; it is our call. What do we say it
is? Is it half empty or is it half full?

 

 

By showing gratitude toward the things we already have in our lives, we
are actually invoking the very presence of God. Invoking the presence of
God is surely the best way we have of reminding ourselves of what is
really important.

 

Some of us are prisoners of our desires – things we want, or the things we
feel we have to have. How do we deal with our attachments to things? One
suggestion might be to feel the pain of not having what we do not have.
Feel the pain. Recognize the price that each of us is paying right now for not
being content.

 

 

If you feel that pain enough, you will cease desiring. Am I saying that
desiring is wrong? No. I’m simply saying that if you are feeling pain
already, if you allow yourself to stay in the moment, the pain itself will
lead to release.

 

 

Another suggestion might be to imagine having what you want or need already.
Imagine getting the object of your desire. Imagine having it. Then realize
that the pleasure is short-lived.  How long do you ever stay happy when you get what you want? A few hours? A  few days at most? Even a brand new car stops bringing pleasure after a few weeks. It just becomes the thing you ride in to get to where you are going. Is it worth it? That is something to consider in prayer.

 

 

We, also, can offer our attachment to things directly to God. Continue to
offer to God whatever it is we desire, over and over and over again until
we start believing and realizing that it is God’s, not ours. It is God’s, not ours. The
pain will then cease and desist.

 

 

We, also, can take care of our bodies. Many of the ills or discontent we
experience in our lives are often due to discomfort in the body. If we pay
attention to the things that really serve us – the foods we really need to
eat in the appropriate quantities, the exercise our bodies desire – the
problems may evaporate. A lot of problems evaporate by simply taking a
long walk, or working out in the gym, or practicing the presence of God. A
lot of problems simply dissolve when the body’s needs are taken care of.
Pay attention to and take care of the body.

 

 

Lastly, there is a kind of discontent that comes over us that is actually
healthy, despite everything I have been saying – A Divine discontent.

 

 

Are you not paying attention to something? Is there some unfinished
business in your life? Are you not taking care of yourself in any way? Do you have
a commitment that you are ignoring? Do you have a calling from your soul
that you are putting on the shelf? If you are doing any of these things, a kind of Divine discontent arises in the soul, and calls to us to fulfill it. It will not be content until we make the necessary efforts to fulfill them. This is a gift God gives us. We must do what is necessary to fulfill those things.

 

 

Make a list of your goals, and prioritize them. Look specifically at your
goals and decide what is most important and what you can do right now.

 

 

If you want to be nicer to people, make one of your goals as follows: “When
I see (***Adam***) tomorrow morning, I will greet him warmly.”   Let that be
your goal. You can say “Hello” to (Adam) in a pleasant way, tomorrow
morning, and the fulfillment of that goal will bring a degree of
satisfaction into your life.

 

 

It is spiritually important to take care of those goals (to take care of
our bodies), just as it is spiritually important to pray and to meditate.
All of these things bring their own contentment.

 

 

It would be great if it only took a blue sky and some white clouds to
bring serenity – not that it cannot, but more often, it takes our own
commitment to know what we really need – our minds, our bodies, our
friends and family, etc. – and to fulfill those needs before contentment can come.
But it will come.

 

 

Most of all, it takes our awareness that God lies behind it all.

 

 

If we seek first to know God, to put the presence of God into every
activity, then serenity is ours. Or, in the words of Matthew, “Serenity
will be added unto thee.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

I pray that serenity lives as part of you.

 

God bless you!

True Divine Justice

In Psalms 89:14, it states, “Righteousness and justice and the foundation
of your throne. . . .”   It is the foundation of God to have righteousness.

 

 

There is a story that took place some time ago about the victorious Duke
of Wellington. After his retirement, he used to invite the officers who
served with him in the Battle of Waterloo to a yearly banquet, where they
discussed the exciting experiences of passed days.

 

 

 

At one of these annual events, the Duke produced a lovely jewel box
encrusted with diamonds. The box was passed around the table for the
guests to admire. After some time, the Duke asked for the return of the
jewel box. Everyone wondered who had it. They looked around, they looked
on the table, they looked on the floor, and no one could remember who had
held the jewelry box last. A careful search revealed nothing. At this
stage in the proceedings, someone suggested all the guests present should
be searched. Two raised objections to this proposal – one who would not
agree to being searched; the other the Duke himself, who flatly refused to
have his former officers searched, or humiliated in any way.

 

 

 

The banquet ended with the box still missing. The guests departed,
including the one who had refused to be searched, and consequently, was
regarded with suspicion. Some days later, the Duke found his jeweled box
in an inside pocket of his coat. It had been returned to him on the night
of the banquet, and, he had picked up the  box without thinking and slipped it into his inside pocket.

 

 

 

At once the Duke set out to find the guest who had declined to be
searched. He found the officer living in the poor section of the city,
nursing his sick wife. After informing him that the missing box had been
found, the Duke inquired, “Why did you object to being searched, thus
drawing suspicion to you?”

 

 

 

The officer replied, “In my pocket that night was a large portion of my
meal. I simply slipped it from my plate to a paper sack, so I might take
food to my sick wife.”

 

 

 

There are so many times when, in our mind, we are quick to judge and
quick to want to dispense some kind of justice but we may not know the
whole story, the whole truth.

 

 

 

As spiritual people, we seek to be on an even keel with our beloved, non- judging God.

 

 

 

It is the foundation of God to have Divine justice higher than human
justice. When we think of justice, it is natural to think in human terms
of justice or rewards, and of punishment. The idea of justice is lifted to
a higher meaning when we realize God has provided us with the best
possible outcome for all.

 

 

 

God’s Divine justice is not a system of reward and punishment, but rather
it is a law that will ensure God’s perfect order is being demonstrated.
When you align yourself, your mind, and your heart with this Divine law
of God, you are shown the way how to live within God’s system of
spiritual righteousness.

 

 

 

Many people feel they have been wronged in some way. Maybe something has
happened to them and they feel they have been wronged and justice has not
been served. When we turn to God in prayer and ask for understanding, we
then find peace.

 

 

Do you feel or have you ever felt in some way you are being falsely accused? It may begin as simple as a silly argument.  Again, if you turn to God, a Divine love will be within you, no matter what people may say  about you. It will sustain you through every moment of life.

 

 

 

Unfair circumstances may often seem to disrupt the order and harmony in our
life. Yet, we know that even the most carefully planned life has a road
map with some detours along the way. Still, because of our faith, we
hold tightly to the knowledge that God is actively at work within us.  We
trust in God, even when everything is going against us. We trust in
God and  relax, and we flow with the experiences instead of resisting them.
We do not struggle against apparent wrong. Rather, we know that good is
always present and our positive approach will bring God to us and allow
God to reveal the good to us.

 

 

 

Truth of God will keep you poised during those dark nights of your soul.
It will keep you confident. This is the truth; God is in charge of your
life and all is well. You hold to that in prayer and you know that no
matter what human beings say about you, God– my God and your God – is the
God of just outcomes, true, divine justice.

 

 

 

Here is a  story of Paul and  Silas in prison. (Acts 16:16-18) “One day, as we were going to the place  of prayer, we met a slave-girl who had a spirit of divination and brought  her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling. While she followed  Paul and us, she would cry out, ‘These men are slaves of the Most High  God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.’ She kept doing this for many days.

 

But Paul, very much annoyed. . . .”

 

 

 

Can you imagine? Here is this woman following Paul and Silas shouting
these things. After a couple of days, Paul is ready to take justice into
his own hands. He turned to her, and he also turned to God.

 

 

 

He said, “… I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of
her.” And it came out that very hour.” (Acts 16:18)

 

 

 

She was calmed instantly, she was infilled with God. “But when her
owners saw that their hope of making money was gone. . .” (Acts 16:19)

 

 

 

This made her owners very mad. They said, ‘Sure she was sick, but why did
you change her?’ She was making us money. Now she is no good to us at all.   How dare you do this! They seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the  marketplace before the authorities. When they had brought them before the  magistrates, they said, ‘These men are disturbing our city; they are Jews  and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to adopt or observe.’   The crowd joined in attacking them. …. ….” (Acts 16:19-22)

 

 

 

As humans, we can easily enter lowest areas of our mind, which is almost
animal nature, and action. One or two people joined together in the mind of animal  nature can become a lynch mob. Or, we can join one or two together in the  mind of God, and  can create great things for us and for our world. It
is always our choice.

 

 

 

The crowd joined in attacking them and the magistrates had them stripped  of their clothing and ordered them to be beaten with rods. After they had  given them a severe flogging, they threw them into prison and ordered the  jailer to keep them securelyFollowing these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and  fastened their feet in the stocks.” (Acts 16:22-24)

 

 

 

Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever had a time when your family did
not understand you? You knew what you were doing was right.

 

 

 

Sometimes it may have seemed those around you not only locked you in a
prison cell of their personal beliefs about you, but put you in the innermost cell where  you would never find a way out. Not only that, but they wanted to keep you in your place so they put your legs in leg irons. I know some here can
relate to that because we are  human, and we live with humans. There
will be people who love us, people who don’t love us, and some people will
want to put us in a place, in a category in their minds, where we don’t
belong; and it is unfair.

 

 

 

What do we do about it? First choice – “I’m going to take revenge. When I
get out of here, I am going to say this and that and I’m going to try to
ruin their life in every way I possibly can. I’m going to make their life
miserable.” Does that win? No, it never wins. There is only one person who
we make miserable and that is ourselves. We have to go to God.

 

 

 

This is a story is about two human beings. They are in the innermost cell
and they are in leg irons. You would think they would be complaining,
shouting, and thinking, “How can God do this to us? How can these people
do this to us? We are going to call all of our people and we are going to
make sure they are hurt like they hurt us.”

 

 

 

“About midnight, Paul and Silas were praying. . . .”(Acts 16:25)

 

 

 

That is significant. What happens at midnight? It is begins a new  day. It is a new day in your life. Every time you pray, it is going to be  a new day for you and for your world and for your life. “About midnight,  Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners  were listening to them. Suddenly there was an earthquake. . .” (Acts 16:25-26)

 

 

An earthquake shifts, it changes, and  moves things.   “. . . so violent that the foundations of  the prison were shaken. . . .” (Acts 16:26)

 

 

Every foundation in our own life can be shaken by God Almighty – NOT by humans, but by God.

 

 

“. . . .And immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains
were unfastened. When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide
open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed
the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted in a loud voice, ‘Do not harm  yourself, for we are all here.’” (Acts 16:26-28)

 

 

 

Divine justice is good for all, not just for you. It does not seek revenge;
it seeks God’s good FOR EVERYONE.

 

 

 

“The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling
before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them outside and said, ‘Sirs, what
must I do to be saved?’ They answered, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you  will be saved, you and your household.’ They spoke the word of the Lord to  him and to all who were in his house. At the same hour of the night, he  took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were  baptized without delay. He brought them up into the house and set food  before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced before them; and he  and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God.”  (Acts 16:29-34)

 

 

That is one part of the story and here is the next:

 

 

But when it was day, the magistrates sent the police, saying, ‘Let those
men go.’” (Acts 16:35)

 

 

Again, it was a new day with new thinking. Paul and Silas did not have
any contact with the magistrates, yet they had a change of heart.

 

 

 

When you go to God in prayer, you are changing your entire world.
The change in thinking and the other person may be immediate,
and sometimes, it may take years. BUT there will be a change of human thinking.   The main thing is that you have spiritually changed.

 

 

 

 

You are filled with the presence of God’s love and you are trusting by letting
go and letting God. You are no longer in prison by what happened to you
unfairly. You are released. You are no longer held captive by your hate.

 

 

 

“And the jailer reported the words to Paul, saying, ‘The magistrates have
said to let you go; now therefore come out and go in peace.’ But Paul
said to them, ‘They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men who are
Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and do they now cast us
out secretly? No! Let them come themselves and take us out.’ The police
reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they
heard that they were Roman citizens; so they came and apologized to them.   And they took them out and asked them to leave the city.” (Acts 16:36-39)

 

 

 

When a you or anyone holds fast to God’s Divine justice, people who hated you; who wanted to do great harm to you will come and  say to you themselves, “I did wrong.” But you do not care; that is outside you, because you have already been released inside.  Once you have been released from the prison (the leg irons) in your own mind, no one else can put you back into that prison.

 

 

 

You are free with the freedom of Christ. You wish nothing for that
company, that situation, that family member, except love. You love them
in a God-given way.

 

 

 

It happens in you as you give yourself to God in prayer and release your
prison thinking about the situation and the person or persons involved.
Just watch what happens. Pray for people who do not like you or perhaps have
thought wrongly about you – not to change them, but to change you.

 

Remove the leg irons.  Release yourself from prison.

 

 

Let us pray.

Dear God, I thank You for being with me at all times, even when I am in
the valley of the shadow of death.  When I feel as if I am so alone, and I have no one standing with me, I know You are with me.

 

And, Lord,  I pray for Divine justice, and by dong so, I release others and also in so doing, I release the leg irons and  release myself  from my innermost cell.

 

In Christ’s name…. Amen