“Beloved…..”

1 John 7,8 states strongly, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God;  and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”   I saw a bumper sticker on a car in front of me. The bumper sticker said,  “God loves you—and I am trying.”

Love is a journey not a destination. Love is like a river, never ending as it flows, but
gets greater with time. God is love.

One person said, “Love is like swallowing hot chocolate before it has  cooled off. It takes you by surprise at first, but keeps you warm for a  long time.”

What would Jesus say about love? I believe that He would say, “Love is my  religion!” Very simply, love is all there is. Love is really all there  is—God IS love, the only energy, the only presence. The only power that  we should express in life is the energy of God’s love, for if we do,  our life will be successful.

You and I, truly, are radiating centers of God’s love. Our spiritual  purpose is to express love to others and to allow others to love us.   Everything we do should be an act of love, the only thing we should  express.

In the first letter of John, it says twice that God is love. It is in the  Bible because it is a reality. God is the very presence and power of love.   God is not necessarily loving, like a human being can be loving, or not  loving; for God is the very essence and quality of love itself.

Because, as it says in first Genesis, you and I are made in the image and  after the likeness of God – so,  it must be that  we, as God’s own creation, also are Divine love in expression. Love is our basic nature, and love is our essence.  If we are not living in that natural essence and expressing from that  essence of love we feel disjointed, and out of kilter.

It is that spiritual essence, that truly binds everything together in  perfect harmony in this world.

Paul’s letter to the Colossians in chapter 3, verse 14. There, Paul is  listing some of the qualities that we need to express in life, like  forbearance, forgiveness, etc. He finally winds up, in verse 14, by  saying, “And ABOVE ALL THESE put on love, which binds everything together  in perfect harmony.” It is the spiritual glue, which, in a sense, holds  this whole world together and holds our lives together. How truly important it is.

There are two major choices in life at any given moment—being loving, or  not being loving. It is as simple as that. It is an experience we have all had, to live from the higher vantage point of life, or from the lower.

It seems in life there is always the flip side to everything, just like on  a record. You play one tune on one side, and then you flip it over and  there can be another tune on the other side that is quite different than the one you just listened to. And so it is with love.

Love is a wonderful quality, but we express it according to our  understanding of it. If our understanding of it, at any given moment, is  not what it ought to be, then it comes out as something that we might even call unloving. This is also represented in the Bible, in particular by one of the gospels; the apostle John could represent the spiritual quality of
love.

In the gospel that bears John’s name, we see that love is mentioned a number of times.  What did Jesus have to say about love? Jesus said many things about love.   He also expressed love in His actions as well as His teachings.

The kingdom of God was Jesus’ main teaching, His main theme. He talked  about that kingdom not being so much an outer, political kingdom, but  being a kingdom within us.

At one point in Jesus’ ministry, a certain gentleman asked him what was  the greatest commandment in our law. In other words, what is the greatest  teaching in our Bible? Jesus gave him two answers instead of one.

First of all, He said to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This comes from the book of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament,  chapter 6, verses 4-5. Then he said a second is like unto it, love your  neighbor AS yourself. So, you see, at first glance Jesus gave him two for  the price of one.

And when we love God, what does that mean? How do we love God? So much of
loving God in the churches has been the idea of loving a God out there, outside of us, as if God were sitting on some great throne in the sky.

Jesus’ concept of God is a God who wants us to express our own Divine loving self, and in that way, to love God. If you truly want to love God, then what you need to do is to express more of your personal love from God in everything you do. To do this it might be a complete re-creation or rebirth of yourself and the way you live life. It must be accomplished to truly live within the kingdom of God’s love.

I think this is the kind of God that was meant by Jesus. At one point in His ministry, Jesus quotes the prophet Hosea from the Old Testament and  says, “I desire mercy and steadfast love and not sacrifice.”  In other  words, what Jesus was doing, in quoting Hosea, was saying that God does not want ritual or all of these outer observances, but God wants mercy and  steadfast love to all. It is spiritual, inside of ourselves, and through our daily actions. What God wants us to do, in a sense, is to  express our own love. That is how we can love God to the fullest. The  bible says that ALL love is from God, so, to follow Christianity, we MUST express it.  Express and live the  love of Christ.

 

 

 

God bless you!

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STOP DIGGING

STOP DIGGING!

“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13

 

“A stone may have been lying at the bottom of her riverbed for 10 million years,
but if you pluck it out and set it in the sun, in five minutes it is dry.”

 

 

“If you take a dry stone from the bank and switch it in the water for just two seconds, put it down to dry again, then a moment after, you will not be able to tell the difference between the two stones. The one that was wet for millions of years is just as dry now as the stone that was only wet for a few seconds.” Tolly Burkan

 

 

 

The point? Your future does not reflect your past. No matter how long you have been telling your story and living stuck in the bondage of your status quo, once you set an intention to make a shift into a new level of living, the quality of your life can change forever.

 

 

A life that has been newly found has exactly the same dynamic energy as someone who has been living that life for decades. The moment you start expressing your newfound life, you bring new life to everyone and everything you touch. To coin an old phrase, you can hold a candle to anyone! If you are holding a candle, a hundred people can lineup with unlit candles, place theirs in your flame, and walk away with a flame of their own. And even after you have given that much of yourself, your flame is not diminished.

 

 

Let your light shine; it will illumine your way out of the dark hole of your problem.

 

 

The first rule about holes: If you are in one – stop digging!

 

 

We have tried to do things alone and it has not worked. What we need, “Is spiritual guts! Spiritual G U T S means, – Going up to Spirit!” Stop digging!

 

 

Based on the Greek Orthodox spelling of Crist, the only difference between crisis and Christ is – is the letter T. The T stands for TRUST. So, stop digging.

 

 

We are here to find freedom in God. Freedom is a state of being without thought or restraint of bondage, limitation or repression, or digging ourselves into a hole. Freedom is having a sense of complete well-being. It is a result of living our life according to God’s Truth.

 

 

Freedom is about learning to live Christianity, to make it real in our day-to-day living. We make it real when we make the decision, and choose, to commit to live in the way of Christ  and can stop digging..

 

 

 

When we make that commitment, we start moving on our spiritual path, in that we begin to make conscious choices. That is what life is about-not being a victim any longer, and not allowing outside pressures to break us down, or to cave in on us. It is about living in the moment and making conscious choices that allow us to change. It’s about making that choice NOT to dig in any deeper.

 

 

In that change, we begin to know that there is only one Presence and one Power of God, and that we can be one with God.

“For to us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist.” 1 Corinthians 8:6

 

 

And Freedom is about choice. We can choose to dig or to fly – to trust regardless of the human propensity to feel the need to be secure (even in our victimization). Helen Keller said, “It is mostly superstition. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either an exciting adventure or nothing.”

 

 

 

Yes! I want my life to be an exciting adventure, forgetting, for a moment, that an exciting adventure is not usually very comfortable. Yet, I still make that choice in trust, in trust of our Lord. We want our lives to be an exciting adventure because that is what we are about-learning that we are an expression and the creation of God.

 

 

 

One woman said, “This reminded me of a time when our son was taking skydiving lessons. He came into the pastor’s office (I was there also) and was so excited about it. He was going out the next morning, and he started explaining to us what he was going to do and how he was going to do it when he jumped out of this airplane. I could hear and feel the fear in his voice. Yet, it was about feeling the fear and doing it anyway. That was an exciting adventure.”

 

 

 

We do have that choice. We can choose to try to stay in that very safe space. Yet, trying to avoid danger is no safer than outright exposure, as Helen Keller said. It is about courage. God will give you the courage courage!

 

 

 

It is also about giving up the idea that something bad is going to happen. We go along in this life so often thinking that if we do this, or that, something bad might happen. We need to just give up the idea that something bad is going to happen, OR we start looking for consistency and comfort based on fear.

 

 

Do you know what Ralph Waldo Emerson said about consistency? He said, “Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”  What it is really about is living in the past. If we are trying to be consistent, we are looking back to the past. But the past is nothing more than history. We are trying to duplicate that history, and we are not participating in that exciting adventure of present life.

 

 

In the exciting adventure, it is time to make choices – to make that choice to experience the courage, love, and discomfort, if that is what it takes, to really participate in this adventure called life.

 

 

We can make the choice to either be out in the world OR try to avoid danger. I invite you to make the choice to commit to being who you really, truly are.

 

 

Commitment is so important. Without that, we cannot move forward. We must be about making a commitment. And what are we making a commitment to???    We are making a commitment to God – a commitment to live in that Presence and knowingness

 

 

Make the commitment, even though your knees may be shaking. God, instead of fear, will take over. There is only one Presence and one Power of God in your life. You make the commitment in this moment to live in that God truth. Choose, from this moment forward, to not allow anxiety or fear to be any part of your life, only God’s protection.

 

 

Go on with your life. How is this commitment able to be so strong in you? It is through prayer – having a rich prayer life, produces a rich spiritual life. Those of us who participate in the Spiritual Family Prayer room  –  http://thespiritualfamily.chatango.com –  know about the power and the results from prayer.

 

 

Jesus said, “All of these things I do, you will do, and more.” What that says to you is that the very first thing He always did WAS PRAY.

 

 

Make it a commitment to pray.

 

When you sit down to pray you ARE connected with God. You are connected,
because God is connected with you. It is about intent. It is about relationship, your relationship with your BEST FRIEND – God.

 

 

There may have been times when you have sat down to pray and you have felt that nothing was happening. Yet, it is about the intent. If your intent is to pray, you are praying.

 

 

Arnold Patton says everything in life is about intent, and that we need to have a clear intent to have our life work perfectly.

 

 

So how does prayer make you free? It is about being in prayer and knowing and understanding that you are with God every moment that you are created by Love in love. You find the truth that sets you free; freedom is that connection and understanding that you are not alone.

 

 

In Genesis, it states we are created in the image and after the likeness
of God.

 

 

In First John, our Bible states, God is love. If that is true, and I choose to believe that both those statements are true, then you and I are also love. We discover this and reaffirm it through prayer. The steps Jesus gave us about prayer were to go to your room, go to that innermost chamber (the recesses of your mind), shut your door, and pray to your Father, in secret.

 

 

Shutting the door can also be a metaphor for shutting out all those concerns we have. If you are in the innermost chamber of your mind and heart, with the door shut, talking to God, you cannot think about your concerns or your problems.

 

 

Think about God because God really is the answer to everything you are seeking. If you think about God, if your intent is to sit down in prayer and think about God, you cannot concentrate on any outer concerns. As you let it all go to God in prayer, all of those outer concerns seem to just take care of themselves.

 

 

You cannot know all the details. God told us the details were none of our business. Your business is to just be there in that prayer presence. Then you will realize how free you really are, to let God take care of all those details. Our Lord wants us to put down the shovel, put our hands together and pray and then trust Him to give us the guidance and the courage to make these choices we are free to make.  Stop digging.

 

 

When you are praying to God in secret, you are asking God to change your life, and allow your life to work. You will notice I said “allow.” Allow God to work in and through you. You give God a chance to move through you, and recognize and acknowledge that there is just one Presence and one Power of good and love in your life.

 

 

You affirm through prayer: “Thank You, God, for my life. Thank You, God, for guiding me, directing me, and protecting me. And most of all, thank You, God, for reminding me that I am created in love by love to be love.”

 

 

Through that prayer, you become aware that God’s love supports you and each of us in life.

 

 

In closing, I would like to share with you a few quotes that really are about freedom and the one Presence and one Power. It exeplifies the knowing that there is only one Presence and one Power, and no matter what else is showing up, or whatever other emotions or thoughts are being created, we can always turn back, know, and live in that center of peace.

 

 

Maya Angelou stated in it her poem: “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”   Maya Angelou knows it; Brother Lawrence knew it;  St. Theresa of Avila knew it.

 

 

Author Joel Goldsmith states it this way: “True freedom is in the joyous song of life sung when we find peace within.”

 

 

We can have that peace no matter what else is going on in our lives because, everything that is showing up is about taking us to God and finding out who and what we are–as God’s child.

 

 

So, no matter what our circumstances are, when our souls are free through that activity of the presence of the Christ, we are free indeed.

 

 

You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free John 8:32.

 

 

 

 

God bless you all!

JOY

We’ve talked a lot in our prayer groups about happiness and  joy. Let’s chat about this for a moment or two.

 

Religion should be joy! The theologian who has no joy in his work is not a theologian at all.  Mahatma Gandhi said, “A human’s joy knows no bounds when they obtain something beyond hopes.”

 

 

Beyond the realm of just hoping for something—Spiritual euphoria is discovered when you have a happiness to be experienced with all your spiritual might.

 

 

II Samuel 6:2-3, 5, 14-15 says: 3.They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart 4.with the ark of God on it,c and Ahio was walking in front of it. 5 David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with castanets, harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums and cymbals.

 
2 Samuel 6:14-15 (NKJV):  14 Then David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet. ”

 

 

Our FIRST, first lady, Martha Washington said, “The greater part of our joy or misery depends on our dispositions, and not on our circumstances. We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us in our minds wherever we go.”

 

 

“To get up each morning with the resolve to be joyful . . . is to set our own conditions to the events of each day. To do this is to condition circumstances instead of being conditioned by them.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

God is a God of joy. Jesus Christ said that God is love. Could love condemn you? And of all things, when Love made you, could God say, “I’m disappointed I don’t really love this one? That’s not God. That’s NOT what Jesus said! That’s only a God, that somebody makes up who has a very limited concept. What we say about God says more about us than God.

 
“Delight yourself in the Lord; and God will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

 

 

God is unimaginable love, unimaginable life, unimaginable joy. That’s all God could be—so infinitely beyond anything we can conceive, that we can’t conceive of God except to know God’s much more than we are. I’ve always said, “Oh God, help me to be more loving than I am,” because I know there isn’t any other kind of life worth living. I know I’m not capable of that kind of love, but innately, I am. It’s just that I’ve been programmed to believe I am naturally limited as a human.

 

 

In the Bible, Jesus said in three different gospels (so it has importance) that nobody gets into heaven except children. Nobody. Are you a child? Are you childlike? But, stop and think—if you have to be a child to get into heaven, what does a child have? One thing a child has is utter, trusting love. He, or she, quickly learns from us adults to not trust our love. When I’ve been around little children, what’s always impressed me is how they run up to you, reaching out, and expect you to pick them up and hold them. They’re full of love and joy. They know that’s the way they’re meant to be. They know that’s the way the world ought to be. We must re-learn that from them. I hope you can experience and realize the importance and delight of filling yourselves with love and joy as a child.

 

 

Isn’t God wonderful? Isn’t life wonderful? It can be—it’s up to you. I think God gave you all the wonderful faculties you need to live a creative, beautiful, unfolding life, IF you will. So, live it. Have faith. That’s what it takes. Have faith that you can. Dare to act like a child of God. And really trust that the world is good and full of love, and it will respond to you with love when you give love. Approach life with the wow factor, explore, and find joy in every day and you’ll become like a little child again.

 

 

“In Thy presence is fullness of joy; in Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.” Psalm 16:11

 

John Piper in his book “Desiring God” says, “The chief end of a human is to glorify God by enjoying God forever. Enjoying God is essential to glorifying God.”

 

 

Consider some of the sentences from his book I highlighted:

 

“…it is unbiblical and arrogant to try to worship God for any other reason than the pleasure to be found in God.”

 

“Praising God, the highest calling of humanity and our eternal vocation, did not involve the renunciation but rather the consummation of the joy I so desired.”

 

“My aim is to own up to the amazing, and largely neglected, fact that some dimension of joy is a moral duty in all true worship and all virtuous acts.”

 

George Bernard Shaw said, “This is the true joy of life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of joyful nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can in a joyful way.”

 

 

We rejoice in God’s love. We feel God’s love. Whatever we may pray, we can know that God’s will for us is fulfillment, because God is love. God’s will is for us unfolding ourselves and being all that God made us to be. God made us to experience joy as a child again. God made us in God’s infinite wisdom, infinite love, and infinite joy.

 

 

God is wisdom and light. It shines in the very center of our being, at the very center of our mind as we focus on the Divine in prayer . . We are never finished discovering the wonders and the treasures and gifts for us to open as God’s child.

 

 

The light of God brings forth awareness of the talents and abilities we have been given by God. We rejoice anew in God’s life. Every thought in our mind, every feeling in our heart, every cell in our body, rings like a beautiful bell, just as the sound of bells is the sound of life. God lets us know that life is singing its song as it courses through our body—through our nerves calming with God’s tranquility, through our veins bringing new God-given life, and through every cell of our being, shouting aliveness and new vitality. We rejoice in God’s life.

 

 

We rejoice in all the good God has bestowed on us because God is our ever-present good. We can know that God’s will for us is the fulfillment of our every need. God is the source of our prosperity and success. God is the source of our peace and security. God is all around us and in us. God is love. God is joy. God is light. God is life. And God is ALL good.

 

 

And as we worship Sundays, we give thanks to our triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit –  for the awareness of our joy in love.

 

 

God made us with infinite possibilities. Children let themselves be what they are made to be; that’s all. The child does everything just as he or she is led to do it. We are all children of God. We are a living new joyous song of life. The more we succeed at it, the more quickly the world will begin to sing that song with us.

 

 

God wants us to meet in this Divine appointment, to accept our love and joy as a divine and permanent gift. May this gift give us something we carry daily in our soul and our mind and feel in our body. May this joy from God carry us during our good times and our difficult times.

 

 

In Jesus Christ’s name… Amen

 

 

PERSPECTIVES

Mrs. Toplov was complaining to Mrs. Weinstein about her new daughter-in-law. “My poor son,” she moaned, “his new wife is a leech. All she does is sit around all day. She has maids to do her cooking and cleaning. My son is going broke buying her expensive gifts. She sleeps late every morning. He even brings her breakfast in bed!”

 

 

 

“A blessing, she isn’t,” Mrs. Weinstein concurred. Both ladies talked and said that is terrible. Mrs. Weinstein said, “So, how is your daughter?”

 

 

 

“My daughter – she is a lucky girl. She married a man who treats her like a princess. Hey buys her anything she wants; he hires people to take care of the house. She doesn’t have to dirty a finger. Every morning, he brings her breakfast in bed.”

 

 

 

Both ladies concurred, “Isn’t that wonderful?”

 

 

 

It is perspective. It is how we see life. It is how we decide, each morning, to view life. What do you commonly see in your life? Are you constantly witnessing error and negative things? Or do you bear testimony of the inherent goodness of God and God’s creation? These are important questions, because by your answers, you can get a better understanding of yourself.

 

 

 

Let me tell you a story about Mr. Wittlemeyer. He lived in Madison, Wisconsin. He invited his grandchildren to spend the summer with him, and every morning, they would go into his bedroom and watch him sleep. As Mr. Wittlemeyer breathed in and breathed out in his sleep, his mustache would move up and down. His grandchildren thought this was the funniest thing they had ever seen.

 

 

 

One morning, they got the idea they were going to play a joke on Grandpa. They went to the kitchen, opened up the refrigerator, got into the cheese bin, and brought out some limburger cheese. They crept into the bedroom and they wiped limburger cheese over his mustache.

 

 

 

He woke up in a few minutes. He sniffed and said, “This bed smells.” He got up, put on his bathrobe, looked around his bedroom and said, “This whole bedroom smells.” He opened the door, walked down the hallway and noticed the hallway smelled, too. He went downstairs and looked into the living room and said, “This living room smells.” The dining room and kitchen smelled, too. Finally, he went outside and said, “The whole world smells.”

 

 

 

Isn’t that the way it is? We think IT is not in us; IT is out there, in the world. Depending upon our perception, everything we see is bad – or good.

 

 

 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could go to the eye doctor and ask for a new set of glasses, when we have a negative perception – Glasses that would be God-view glasses, the positive view? When we put them on, we would see life as fresh and new. What was bad before would be positive now. We would see God’s good that to our old eyes was invisible before.

 

 

 

There is an American saying, “I’m all eyes and ears.” In other words – I am paying FULL attention.

 

 

 

Jesus teaches in Matthew 6:22, “The eye is the lamp of the body. . . .”   What is Jesus saying here? More than just not seeing with the eyeball, Jesus talks of having spiritual sight. Jesus is referring not to the physical eye, the lens, or the optic nerve, but to PERCEPTION. The way you view life is what creates the light inside of you.

 

 

 

Jesus goes on, “. . . if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” Matt 6:22   So you must look to God; then you are looking to the good. Jesus continues, “But if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” Matt 6:23

 

 

 

We have all known people who get up in the morning and everything they see is dark and wrong. They view life and say, “Oh, my life is a drag; it’s awful.” Many others on their life path will also not see positive and good; and they will say, “Oh my life isn’t any good; look at that problem there.” They will focus on the darkness instead of the light, and how great the darkness is inside of them – how can the darkness turn to light?

 

 

 

We must strive to recognize the good in everything we see. We must look in a loving way. We have to picture praise. When you look at someone, even if it is for the first time, use your eye to notice praise, blessings; and see God working in their lives. May we always see God in the observation.

 

 

 

In Luke 17:20-21, Jesus says, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God IS among you.” Jesus does not say “maybe;” He said it is a fact. This is a certain truth in your life. So, if this is so, let’s try to increase our awareness of it. In today’s language, heaven means the abode of God, the angels, and the spirits of the righteous after death; the place or state of existence of the blessed after the mortal life. Therefore it must be also defined as expansion. How do we expand the awareness of God working in and of us? You can use your eyes and you use them in Godly ways.

 

 

 

In Mark 9:47, Jesus says, “And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out. . . .” Of course this is not saying to tear out your eyeball. The eye Jesus talks about is your perception. If your perception is wrong, then remove that and change it.

 

 

 

Jesus continues: “It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell.” Mark 9:47 Jesus is saying that if you have both of your eyes focused on what’s wrong in your life, your life will become a literal hell. Of course it is better to have both sides focused with the perception of God, but if you must, through your own free-will, keep one eye focused on the appearance of your  problem, you are at least 50% ahead and even more if you learn to shut the eye that is perceiving ONLY the bad.

 

 

 

 

Jesus goes on to talk about the unquenchable fire, “where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.” Mark 9:48   In the Bible, look at the word “hell.” Look to the letter after the word or the number, then look down at the bottom of the page and you will see where it says “Gehenna.” He is saying, “Look, either you have the right picture or you will go to the valley of Gehenna.” Gehenna was a trash dump outside of Jerusalem. The stench was strong, and the fires to burn the refuge – including the dead bodies of the castoffs of society – burned night and day, for hundreds of years. In Jesus’ day, that was what the literal hell was. Where we live is often caused and fueled by our view of our life. You must have the view of God’s insight. Otherwise, your views and  your life are not going to mean any more than to go to the trash dump where the worm never dies and where the fires have been burning almost forever.

 

 

 

Practice having the sight of gratitude, looking around on a beautiful day or a terrible day, and seeing God in the ordinary, or the extraordinary, and finding that special, wonderful thing. All of us want to be happy and all of us want to be content. We want to give the highest and best of which we are capable to life. We want to make our special contribution. Let’s take God as our partner in everything we see. Then we have true in-sight!

 

 

 

We will have the gift of joy; we see beyond appearances to things that the human alone would be blind to see. We will see anew again in a brand new way.

 

 

 

We may have been blinded by the appearances we follow in the Jesus Christ way
by agreeing to see beyond appearances to see the positive and best at all
times.

 

 

 

What we see in the outer world is but a reflection of the inner world, because we surround ourselves with a picture of our own beliefs. In other words, we manifest, in general, what we seriously think and believe. So, if we want to find out what our thinking is, all we have to do is look around us and ask ourselves the question, “How’s life?”

 

 

 

The Bible says we shall not bear false witness, but that is just what we are doing, for example, when we do not see the presence of God in every situation or when we accept “the appearance“ as the only reality.

 

 

 

On the other hand, we are a witness for God when we see the whole human where a sick one seems to be in appearances only; when we forgive someone who has injured us and then see God’s love for him or her; when we see prosperity instead of the appearance of lack, knowing God supplies our every need; or when we see harmony and peace, regardless of the seeming appearances.

 

 

 

Perhaps you recall the lines of William Shakespeare. He said, “There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so.”

 

 

 

Are we seeing good everywhere we look?

 

 

 

Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 7:24-25 says: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rains fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock.”

 

 

 

We pray your life is founded on firm ground because things happen in life that can easily throw us off kilter. Jesus said the rains fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on the house. He did not say the rains may come, the floods may come, and the winds may blow and may beat on the house. We must have firm footing in our perceptions, and we will not be thrown down permanently by what happens. Our perception will be founded on the rock of faith.

 

 

 

Jesus goes on to say: “And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell – and great was its fall!” Matt 7:26-27

 

 

 
A man spent some time walking on a beach. It exhausted him because he was walking on the sandy part. He was taking about a two-mile walk in the morning, just as the sun was coming up. It was not like walking on firm ground. It was like walking ten or fifteen miles, because he sank and then had to lift up one foot and then the other. It was a lot of work. When you are on firm ground, when you are perceiving God in all things, you are empowered to do what you need to do in life, because God is with you, constantly, every moment.

 

 

 

The Bible teaches about taking the high watch. When circumstances seem
less than ideal, it can be difficult to maintain a clear perspective. In
such times, it is helpful to remember that things will appear differently
when viewed from a different perspective. Approaching difficulties may
appear ominous, but they will seem much different once they have passed.

 

 

 

It is easy to have a spiritual experience when you are in the rose garden
looking at the roses. I am going to ask you to have a spiritual experience
looking at the ordinary things in your life by changing your perspective –
with the God-view and seeing them … perhaps for the first time.

 

 

 

Many people become frozen and fearful of the future. They whine and
complain about their daily activities and responsibilities; their perspective was so negative.  . We have all  known people who have become psychologically drunk from whining.

 

 

 

There is a story about a philosophical clock. One hundred years ago, a
clockmaker built a magnificent grandfather clock that not only kept time,
but could think as well. Soon after the clock was delivered to its owner,
it began to think. The clock thought, “I’m to tick twice every second.
This means I must tick 120 times a minute – seventy-two hundred times an
hour and 172,800 times, each day. It also means I will tick 63,720,000
times, every year.” After making these calculations, the clock collapsed
in a nervous breakdown.

 

 

 

Let us put our lives into perspective with the Divine order of God.

 

 

 

The moon is approximately 240,000 miles from earth (238,852 miles). The
sun is 93 million miles from earth (92,960,000 miles). Scientists have
concluded that if either one of these astronomical bodies was 100 miles
closer or further away from the earth, life on this planet would not be
possible. Likewise, the earth spins at 1,000 miles per hour, while
orbiting the sun at 60,700 miles per hour. Just a two-mile-per-hour
difference would prevent life on earth. The amazing handiwork of God is
not only perfect but perfectly balanced.

 

 

 

Have your error cataracts removed, once and for all, to stare until you see God – His view. Know when you see something bad there is always another view you are not seeing. Stare at the black cloud long enough until you see the dark turn to light, God’s light shining through.

 

 

 

I am going to ask you to join me in a commitment for the next seven days –
dedicating your eyes to God’s will and work seeing ONLY good.

 

 

Please join me in prayer:

 

Listen to these words of truth, as you pray, about who you are as a child of God. You
are, in truth, inherently good. Goodness is welling up in your soul seeking to find expression in your seeing the good, in your actions, and  doing everything to make you radiant and happy.

 

 

Father, we see what You deem is the perfect perspective for us to view.  Help us as we gaze on Your truth.

 

 

 

 

In Jesus Christ’s name, we so dedicate. Thank you, God.

 

In Jesus Christ’s name. . . Amen.

 

God bless you!

 

LOVE

 

1 John 4:8 “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

 
Churches teach the biblical teaching of keeping the Sabbath. If God is love, like our Bible says, then to keep the Sabbath, we must spend 24 hours out of our week, refreshing and cleansing our lives by becoming love. 24 hours every Sunday, not judging or criticizing, not jumping to conclusions, but giving everyone, including ourselves a break. The Sabbath is – a spiritual cleansing of love. With our next celebration coming in a few days………

 

 
Valentine’s Day dates back six centuries. It was a commonly accepted day when they believed birds chose their mates. This goes back even before we linked it with St. Valentine. It has been hearts and flowers ever since. ANY day of the year that we decide we are going to become more loving to humanity, to our spouse, our boyfriend or girlfriend, and to all the people in our lives, it is a true Godly act. Valentine’s Day cards are often a good and fun idea because they help us express the human love as well as the Divine love that is inside us and allows an avenue for that love to come forth.

 
The two great things to hold onto in this world are God and each other. Love is the power that connects different people’s souls, broken by ignorance, fear and  circumstance.   Those of us who come in to the Prayer Room. http://thespiritualfamily.chatango.com  know this love, unconditional love. We share the love of God and the love of each other.   Wouldn’t it be a glorious service to humanity, to begin THIS day, from this message, a chain of love throughout our planet? We can do this by allowing this chain of love to begin with who? WITH US. When we agree to do this, we are saying yes to God. Say, “Yes, this morning I’m going to allow Divine love to flow through me and from me.

 

 

We can begin planning now by declaring that, “I’m going to be loving to everyone I meet. From now on, I’m going to suspend my judgments on people – suspend anger, criticism and condemnation – and I agree to be loving here on out.” Try this for a month and see what happens.   “If, at the end of this experiment, I choose to take up anger, hate, and disagreements with others, I can do that. But for thirty days, I’m going to walk the high path and be a real light to the world. For thirty, maybe forty, days I’m going to truly follow Jesus Christ whose main teaching was love. I’m going to become a sample of God’s love.”

 
Wouldn’t it be great if just for this week we named our prayer group “Valentine;” and what if we become that manifestation and then begin a conscious realization of love for the next thirty days? That means loving everybody in our lives-not just the select few who are easy to love-everybody, especially those few who are difficult to love, and keep that wonderful smile on our face to show to everybody. Make it a beacon for everyone to enjoy, savor, and hold on to. One of the secrets of life is that it’s much easier to love everyone, than to hate some. When we hate or begrudge, it becomes like a poison to the soul, which the person holds onto dearly and causes great stress and illness. The projected hate toward someone results only in negativity. So, let go of that and focus on love.

 
Love is the theme song of the universe. It is power of new life, not just in you but in those people who come to you on your path.

 
We make a great mistake of thinking that love must be returned. To truly be loving, love must free, not bind. It loves with open arms and open hands. We must love all who cross our path, and not expect anything in return. Now, some hearing this will say, “There Pastor Peggy goes again talking about that Pollyanna philosophy.” But this is not Pollyanna in any way. Love is not a matter of escape from life, rather it is a dedication to God.

 

 
When we are from the foundation of God’s love, we go to a new level of awareness of sharing-not really wanting anything from anyone else. At the opening of the Olympics and during them we see the competition but we also see the love the athletes have for each other. We watch many differing people coming together in a celebration of love. Yes, we look at each other and realize we are different, but we don’t care. We don’t ask anything of someone else, we find joy in sharing. Holding hands in spirituality, and standing up for the very best, of what is best in humanity, as a people. We are many different races and faiths becoming one people.

 

 
If we are unwilling to love the human expression of life that we have seen with our eyes, how are we going to love the source – God – which we have not seen? Some people say, “I love God, but it’s people that I can’t stand.” How can we love music and not harmony? How can we love the morning and not the day? Every individual is an inlet and an outlet for the complete love of God.

 

 
AND, we can’t possibly love anyone or anything unless we first love ourselves in a spiritual way. We have to know that if we are going to love, we have to pour that love through us (like a hose). As that love comes through us, what does that do to us (to the inside of the hose)? It cleans us out to the core, too. We become filled with love.
But, if I realize that God’s love has to get through me to get to you and I say, “Oh, I’m no good today. My hair doesn’t look good today. I look tired. This isn’t my good dress. How can I effectively talk about love because I have this outfit on? What was I thinking about?”

 

 
I am the hose of God; it has to flow through me to you.

 

 
In this world today, love is the only safe emotion there is. It is the only safe way in which we can live as a people with our fellow man/woman and with ourselves. Love gives all, but it also demands all. Love is the toughest taskmaster and hardest discipline in the universe. Why? Because we also have the baggage we carry right above our eyes in our own minds.

 

 
We, so easily, can slip back into saying, “Well, wait a minute. You did this to me last Valentine’s Day. I remember.” But, we must rise above our past. Life, to be alive, has to consent to live above yesterday. It is not held down; it is freed today in a brand new life in a brand new awareness of God.

 

 
Here is a quote from Booker T. Washington, a very famous African-American.   Think about, as I print this quote. the time in which he lived, and realize he had the right to hate if anyone did. He said this: “I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him.”   It has been said that as soon as you begin to condemn someone, you become one of them.

 

 
Psalms 127:1 states: “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”   This is about more than a stick-built structure. It’s talking about the HOUSE OF OUR LIFE. If God is building our house, what materials does God use? Divine love!
Joel Goldsmith has written: “Illumination dissolves all material ties, and binds men and women together with golden chains of spiritual understanding. It acknowledges only the leadership of Christ. It has no ritual or rule, but Divine love. No other worship than the inner flame that has ever been lit at the shrine of Spirit. This union is the free state of spiritual brotherhood, and sisterhood. The only restraint is the discipline of the soul. Therefore, as we know liberty without license, we are a united universe without physical limits, Divine service to God without ceremony or creed. The illumined walk without fear but by love and grace.”

 

 
Love cannot just stay inside us. It needs to be expressed. We must go the extra mile. We are children of God; and orphans of society are waiting for our love.

 
Look in the Bible at John 3:16.   You’ve heard it before, but let’s take it to a new depth  today. “For God so loved the world . . .”   I like that. It doesn’t say God just loved or cared for or kind of liked the world. It says SO LOVED the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life.
Let’s talk about the size and the scope of God for a moment. The breadth of God-for God so loved the world. The length of God – that he gave his only Son. The depth of God – so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish. The height of God – but may have eternal life.

 

 

Martin Luther called John 3:16 the heart of the Bible. He said it was the gospel in miniature. He said:
“God-the greatest lover,
So loved-the greatest degree,
The world-the greatest number,
His only Son-the greatest gift,
That everyone who-the greatest invitation,
Believes-the greatest simplicity,
In Him-the greatest person,
May not perish-the greatest deliverance,
But-the greatest difference,
May have-the greatest certainty,
Eternal life-the greatest possession.”

 

 

 

There is only one God, and God is Love. Everything else vanishes and love, in reality, stands forth. The Biblical statement “God is love” is accurate in every way. God is not a superman dishing out love to us and expecting it in return. No, God is love, and we are God’s instrument of expression. To love God is to experience the feeling of love and to let love flow through each of us.

 
God is love, and in that love there is no condemnation, disapproval or fault-finding. Love always welcomes its children back into the fold.

 

 
Love always approves. Love, God, approves of us as its child. The approval of love never varies, unlike the sliding scale of human values.

 

 
I’m sure we will have disagreeable people coming to us, people who it would be easy to dislike. Just step back for a moment, step on the right foundation of God’s love, and say in prayer: “Divine love, reveal Thyself to me.”

 

 
Celebrate Valentine’s Day by using this time to make a commitment. Use your prayer time to practice love for the upcoming 40 + days of Lent (beginning March 1; start getting prepared now). Devote yourself to a cease-fire toward that which you find unlovable for the next forty-plus days. (Give it up for Lent, if you observe that tradition.)

 

 

 

Join me in a chain of love with all humanity around us as an experiment. I don’t think we’ll ever regret it or leave it behind.

 
Please join me in prayer in a celebration of the love of God.
On this week celebrating love, we ask You, Lord, to help us become the manifestation of Christ’s love as we rest into Your loving nature, dear God.   Father, create in us this day a desire to mend a quarrel, to seek out a forgotten friend, to dismiss suspicion and replace it with loving trust.   Inspire in us this day to write a love letter or share some treasure or give a soft answer instead of a hard response.. . .

 
Help us, dear God, to appreciate everything and everyone around us.   Help us to be kind, to be gentle, to laugh a little more. Help use to know that we deserve confidence, that we can take up arms against malice, that we can stop complacency and express gratitude.   Help use to remember to go to You, dear God, in prayer every day so we can have Your Divine love and manifest Your Divine love out of the strength we receive during our prayer time.
In the Divine love of Jesus Christ, we pray.
Thank You, God. We love You . . . Amen.

 

 

 

THE LIGHT

The Light

 

Isaiah 35:4 (KJV): 4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.

 

 

John 12: 36 (NIV) Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.”  When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.

 

 

A couple went to hear a talk about Peru. They saw a slide show of all those mystic places there. The husband said, “Gee, if I could only go there I would feel so close to God.”

 

 

Where would you have to go to be close to God?

 

 

Would it be India? It is for many people. They say that it would be the absolute epitome of life to follow a guru around, sit at his feet, and listen to him speak. Remember the Beatles? They did just that. They thought they would then feel close to God. It has been said that a guru contains within the his/her inner self, the truth of what life really is. If you would get a true guru, he or she would speak this truth to you — that you have within you all the potential of God’s spirituality. The spirituality is not in any locality, place, or person, but in God. Our Sunday messages are a signpost from God to all the glories you have with you this moment.

 

 

In religion, so much passes from the notebook of the preacher to the notebook of the bible student without ever passing through the spirituality of anyone. I ask you this morning to really feel these words.

 

 

There are actually two essences inside of us. Within each of us is the spiritual and the personal or secular human. Many of us feel we are simply alone, that we are a body and that’s all we are, but I tell you this morning – you are more – so much more.

 

 

In these two halves, the spiritual part of you is God’s child. The personal part of you is a woman or man child. Have you ever heard of Jesus referred to as the Son of Man? You might wonder what that is. And then you’ve heard Jesus referred to as the Son of God. And then Jesus tells us in Galatians 3:26 (KJV) that “26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”

 

 

You are the son or daughter of a couple, and you are also the child of the living God. If you look at your hands, your hair, your physical make-up, you may look like your father or mother. And truly, you are the son or daughter of man. But you are more. You are also the son or daughter, the child, of God. This is on Jesus Christ’s authority. We each have a large spiritual part.

 

 

You have been told you must be born again. I agree. You must be born again in the awareness of God, of who you are, what you are, and what you can become as God’s child.

 

 

If you think you are just the son or daughter of humans, you’re going to be very limited in your perception. The child of humans has attached itself to belief about limitations. However, the child of God inside of you knows no boundaries, knows no failure, knows no sickness; knows no darkness.

 

 

Jesus Christ says, you must have new birth in your awareness. You must be born again to who you really are. You must have the awareness inside of you that there is also a spiritual distinctiveness within this human body that holds it up and gives it power. Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Except one be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

 

 

The real element of growth is to grow inward and realize that we are NOT alone, to realize we have the power as a child of God that Jesus Christ said we had. Without some evidence of the nature of Christ inside of us, people just react to life. They want to fight with fists instead of words. They want to solve problems through force instead of through God’s wisdom and love.

 

 

In life there are two paths, the higher way, and the lower way.

 

 

Often when we are in a “holy” place, or a church, it is the energy we feel of other people that have prayed before us.

 

 

Where is Holy Ground?   It is inside of you.

 

 

Exodus 3 tells of Moses’ awakening. “Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian; and He led his flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and lo, the bush was burning, and yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, ‘I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.’”

 

 

Imagine walking down the street and seeing a house on fire, but it’s not being consumed. You look. You stare. You gawk at the strange mystery. In that moment you’ll probably have some spiritual awareness come to you because the ordinary and normal appearances of life are gone. Personal limitations and preconceived opinions of what life is no longer are real.

 

 

“When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And He said, ‘Here am I.’ Then He said, ‘Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place upon which you are standing is Holy Ground.’ And He said, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.”

 

 

Many of us tend to hide our faces because we’re also afraid to look at God. I don’t know why, but we are. We think that if we look at God, God will know what is hidden deep inside us and require us to do something we don’t want to do. We are afraid. We fear God.

 

 

God’s will is to make our life better, not worse. God loves us more than we can even comprehend from where we stand at this present moment.

 

 

“The Lord God said, ‘I have seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters; I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites. And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring forth my people, the Sons of Israel, out of Egypt.’

 

 

“But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Sons of Israel out of Egypt?’

 

 

“He said, ‘But I will be with you; and this shall be a sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought forth the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God upon this mountain.’”

 

 

 

 

There is a law of spiritual and mental growth that is constantly at work within our mind. It is the moving from sense-consciousness (or Egypt) to spiritual consciousness (or Canaan). The name Moses means to “draw out.” In Scripture it symbolically represents this progressive or drawing out process that works from within – moving out.

 

 

What is going on inside of us? Inside there are many thoughts of God’s truth coming up. But those thoughts are still out of touch. They are still oppressed by our own human thinking that acts as a block or a sifter. It’s like God’s truth is at the top of a mountain, so difficult if not impossible for us to reach and grasp.

 

 

This mountain is a spiritual mountain in a perceived and experienced spiritual consciousness; we are on a higher vantage point of life after a time in the wilderness. You might feel like Moses, that you have been in the wilderness for forty years. Forty means four square; a complete experience, multiplied by a zero for emphasis.

 

 

Here are all four corners of the Truth: a complete Truth. Then, if we want to multiply it inside of our mind, we talk about that Truth over and over and over and over again until it is enough. The Biblical way of describing this is to add a zero.

 

 

So, here we have a story of something that is happening right now inside of us, a wonderful wilderness story of thoughts waiting to be freed from human limitation, of a mountain waiting for us to climb. When these thoughts are freed, the awareness of God creates a new kingdom. That kingdom is Holy Ground. When we’re in this thought process or thought-kingdom, everyplace we step is Holy. We realize God IS with us, and we are not alone.

 

 

The angel of the Lord, the flame of the fire, and the bush are all within our spiritual consciousness. They become manifest through our focus on The Word. The bush inside of us is a nerve center through which faithful prayer flows like electricity through a wire. It is making an awe-inspiring light, but it is not ever consumed.

 

 

Yet when we consent to God working through us, we have that  fire inside, an enthusiasm. This is that light that does not consume. It adds to; it benefits.

 

 

Then you realize, right where you are; you are on Holy Ground.

 

 

IT IS THE LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS.

 

 

We invite you visit our new chapel, our on-line live ministry; come often and join in the experience. Sit in the chapel and feel the light and love of God surround you.

 

 

https://thelightinthedarknessweb.wordpress.com/

START FRESH

We are half way through the month of January of this new year. Have we decided to actually MAKE A FRESH START. Let’s take a look at what our Lord says and wrap ourselves around it.

 

 

Isaiah 43:18-19 Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

 

 
Romans 12:2 “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. ”

 

 
How many of you, “would like to have a fresh start in your Christian life? ” Many of us here have made numerous mistakes in our lives as Christians. We have experienced many setbacks and failures throughout our lives. Sometimes we allow these mistakes, these setbacks and failures, to enslave us to the point that we never appreciate the full Christian life that God has given us to enjoy.

 

 
In John 10:10 Jesus said, “I am come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.”  Then he goes on to tell us that there is an adversary, that we know as the Devil, that seeks to steal, kill and destroy that life. The Devil does not want us to have a fresh start in life and reminds us of our past to keep us from moving forward..

 

 
The good news is, God says, “ I want you to have a fresh start in life, I want you to have a new beginning, I want to do something new in your life.” So, aren’t you glad that God wants to do something new in your life? Isn’t it exciting to know that God’s desire is to give you a fresh start, a new beginning in life. What all of us here need today is a Fresh Start, a New Beginning with God. Last year some of you said, “ I am going to grow in my relationship with God. I am going to pray more, read my Bible more and get more involved in my church. I’m going to spend more quality time with my family. ” The list could go on and on. The fact is all of us here made some mistakes or we made some bad decision that held us back from doing those things that we wanted to do.

 

 
Well today the good news is – according to Isaiah 43:18The Lord says, `Forget about what has happened before. Do not think about the past. Instead, look at the new things I’m going to do.” Listen to what God is saying in this verse. Forget about what’s happened before. He says don’t think about the past. It’s over. Let’s close that book.

 

 
Let’s focus on the fact that God is much more interested in our future than He is in our past. Many are stuck in their past. God is more interested in your future than He is with your past because the future is where you’re going to spend the rest of your life. He says, “Forget about your past. Forget about the former things. Don’t think about it. Look at the new thing I’m going to do.”

 

 
Israel was being punished for their sins and rebellion against God. God wanted to give hope and encouragement to His people. He wanted them to know that even though they were being punished they were not being forsaken. God wanted His people to understand that the punishment that they were experiencing would not be the end of them. The fact is that God wanted to give them a fresh start in life, a new Beginning.

 

 
God made a way for them. They could remember that when the enemy was about to overtake them how He provided protection for them. They could remember the former things, but they couldn’t see their future. That is why God said, “I am going to do something new.”

 

 
Maybe that is where you are today! You feel that you have made so many mistakes; you have failed God so many times, and you have excused and sinned it all away. We all share guilt. Now, we think, God doesn’t want anything to do with us. We feel and believe that we have no future with God. The good news is, God is saying, “ It’s not over, I have plans for your life. I am about to do something new for you. ”

 

 
This morning I want to share with you, “ How To Make a Fresh Start? ”
I want to share with you a formula for starting over. S.T.A.R.T. I hope you’ll remember this and pass it along to friends when they have disappointments and failures. Regardless of what kind of failure you had in the past. – financial, relationships, marriages, moral failure, legal failures, failures in making good decisions…. Regardless of the failure you’ve had in your life, here’s how you start over.

 

 
S – Stop making excuses………..  If I want a fresh start in life, I have to stop making excuses for my failures. I’ve got to stop blaming other people. I’ve got to stop seeing myself as the victim of my circumstances.

 

 
Other people can hurt us, other people can harm us, and other people can scar us. But the only person that can ruin your life is you. Nobody can ruin your life without your permission. You DO  have a choice and you can choose how you’re going to respond to those hurts. The Bible says that the starting point is to just be honest and accept responsibility for your part in the problem.

 

 
Proverbs 28:13 “A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confess and forsakes them he gets another chance.”  and in  Proverbs 20:7 “A sensible man watches for problems and prepares to meet them but the fool never looks ahead and suffers the consequences.”

 

 
So “S” in START stands for Stop making excuses.

 
T – Take An Inventory Of My Life……….  I need to take an inventory of my life. That means I need to evaluate all my experiences. I need to look at what I have left after the failure. I need to take an inventory of my life’s experiences and learn from them.

 

 
Galatians 3:4You have experienced many things. Were all those experiences wasted? I hope not.”

 

 
Learn from your mistakes. Failure can be your friend or your foe. You determine if failure will be your friend or foe by the way you react to it. You can choose to learn from it or choose to repeat it. If you learn from it then it can be your friend. However, if you don’t learn from it is your foe.

 

 
A – Act in faith……….  This is the third step in getting a fresh start. Act in faith. You have to launch out into new territory. The Bible says that the key to changing anything is faith. If you want to change your circumstance, it takes faith. If you want to change your personality, it takes faith. If you want to change anything in your life, you have to have some faith.   Jesus says this in Matthew 9.  “According to your faith it will be done to you. ”  That is a very simple statement but it’s very powerful. “According to your faith it will be done to you.” That means we tend to get out of life what we expect.

 

 
What are you expecting in life? Are things going to be better or worse? Are they going to be the same? If you act in faith, then you will do something positive to ensure that you don’t repeat the same mistakes over.

 

 
Acts 3:1-5Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. 2And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; 3Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. 4And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. 5And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.”

 

 
This man asked for something and expected to get it, but in reality he got more than he expected. The point that I want to make is that this lame man acted in faith and was greatly rewarded. Many times we ask for something and expect to get nothing and we get exactly what we expected, nothing.

 

 
R – Refocus……….  I need to refocus my thoughts if I want to change my life. If I want to get going again, if I want a fresh start, I need to rethink the way I think. I need to change my mind about many issues.

 

 
Proverbs 4:23 “Be careful how you think. Your life is shaped by your thoughts.”   The way you think, determines the way you feel. And the way you feel determines the way you act. If you want to change your actions, just change the way you think, and it will inevitably change the way you act. If you are depressed, discouraged and distressed, it may be because you’re thinking depressed, discouraged and distressing thoughts. That’s your choice. You don’t have to think those thoughts. If you’re acting in fearful, worried ways, it’s because you’re thinking fearful, worried thoughts.

 

 
Romans 12:2 “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. ” That’s where the change takes place. That’s the power to start over.

 

 
T – Trust……….  Trust God to help us succeed. Depend on Him. We can’t depend on ourselves. We’ve already proven that we can’t do it on our own. That’s why we’ve failed. Some people just don’t get it. They stumble and fall and then they get up and say, “I’ll just try harder!” It’s like you go up to a wall and bang your head against it and the wall doesn’t fall down. You try it again and Bang! Again. You keep doing it thinking, “Maybe it will fall over this time.” That’s the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting different results. If we keep doing the same thing then we will keep getting the same result. We can’t change who we are, only God can do that. I am not speaking about the outward man but the inner man. The real person is the hidden person of the heart. Success in the Christian life is not trying harder, but living smarter, giving God control of our life.

 
Zechariah 4:6 You will not succeed by your own strength or power but by My Spirit, says the Lord. ”

 

 
“When someone becomes a Christian, They become a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!” God specializes in new beginnings. Jesus Christ has the power to do that. It’s called being born again, the chance to start over. We can have a fresh start with a new life as we continue through this New Year. God says, “I don’t want you to turn over a new leaf. I’m going to give you a whole new life.”

 

 
Will you have a fresh start in life? Will you have a new beginning? It’s your choice.

 

 

How can I have a fresh start? I can have a fresh start by:

 
• Stop making excuse
• Take an inventory of my life
• Act in faith
•Refocus my thoughts
• Trust God

 

 
Try beginning this new year with a fresh start. God will help you through the rough times and you will be renewed and refreshed daily.

 

 

Amen