Archive for the ‘practical Christianity’ Category

36. Believe Anyway

April 6, 2018

Even though it’s true that every life will have some stumbling places, dark passages, and challenges to grow through, the most powerful factor and the most profoundly hard-to-believe truth is that Life responds to our held-beliefs. That’s the catch-22 that our parents never taught us, because they didn’t know.

Most of my adult life, I’ve never asked for what I really wanted because I believed I didn’t deserve it. If I prayed for it, I did so as a meek unworthy supplicant, not as a fully entitled child of the Most High, my Father God. I think that one reason why our prayers for other people often are more successful than prayers for ourselves, is that we dare to ask earnestly for their sake, in trust and faith, believing that they deserve it.

Jesus the Christ said,”Whatsoever you ask, believe you have received it, and it shall be yours.” The catch is, you’ve got to somehow dare to believe you deserve it, even if you don’t. He tells us to believe that even before you ask, the gift is already set up, ready to go, with your name on it. In this physical world, that seems absurdly unrealistic. You have to hold your secret wish in your heart with all your strength, and yet release it, toss it into to Life/ God/ the Universe, then relax and trust that “it’s on the way – no problem.”

But wait a minute – If “The Force” is always with you, why don’t you always get what you want? Because God/ Life/ The Universal Consciousness/ etc. always works to bring about what you are actually believing, and is not fooled at all by what you’re sayng.

This process is real, eternally active, and it’s a gift to you, a life-law that you can use, then you’re free to choose the life you really want. By all means, do whatever you have to do to believe in it as being rightly yours, begin to live as if it were so.

Whatever you hold in habitual belief, life will habitually deliver to you. But be careful of what you are believing unaware, in the dark corners of your mind, for it is not harmless. All lies, when you believe them, are as powerful as the truth, because you are holding them as your truth.

Faith works. What we believe, we will receive. We often fail to have faith in the best things of life is because there’s always so much ugly “physical evidence” to the contrary on the 10 o’clock news. These are real people’s lives, yes, but if you find yourself more blessed, don’t feel guilty, feel grateful. Do what you can to help where you are, but make your choices different from the individuals on the news. It’s that simple, and that profound.

Search out, shore up, and call forth the hidden strength that’s in you. Have the courage to believe in your own life, and in your Self, no matter what the odds are, and no matter what other people’s lives are. You’ve got to be willing to believe that God thinks you’re good enough, even if you’re pretty sure you’re not. You’ve got to make up your mind, and then, as stubbornly determined as a four-year-old, Believe Anyway.

34. To Be Who You Are

February 25, 2018

The year I was ten years old was a year of awakening and child-size revelations. I started to look at the world around me for the first time, and notice things beyond the end of my own nose.

It was summer and the warm lazy days flowed along like an easy river, and carried me with them. Sometimes when I was by myself I would climb up in the little pear tree and and sit, hidden in the branches, and wonder about things like life, and God. I’d be wondering what God was, but then I’d notice a perfect green pear I could pick, so I did. And I ate the pear and it was warm from the sun, and crunchy and sour and sweet at the same time, and the juice ran down my chin and I forgot all about God.

I just knew that He was around and always watching out for me, like Granny said, and keeping me safe. Even if I woke up in the middle of the night in the dark, He would be there and I could just go back to sleep.

Summer evenings when I went to bed it wasn’t even dark yet. I looked out my window at the lavender-colored sky above the rooftops, and I understood that God was kind of like the sky, just always there, so big that it fills everything and goes on out there forever and ever. I  knew God was taking care of everybody and yet He still had time to notice me falling asleep.

God was this somebody or something that was bigger than the sky, that saw me and knew me and loved me, and He thought I was okay. I tried to be good, even though it meant sometimes I had to do what I didn’t want to, or act like somebody different than I really was. And I came to wish with all my young heart that I could be the same person on the outside as I was on the inside, just be me, the way God saw me, and that could be okay with everybody else. But I knew I didn’t dare. I never imagined that 50 years later I would still be trying to do that.

The simplest truth at bottom of all truths is that we all just want to be who we really are. But as children and as adults, it’s hard to even know for sure what that is, because most of our world is always expecting us to be everything else.

We all got taught a system of well-meaning lies (like You’re not good enough unless… You don’t deserve that… You can’t do that because… You shouldn’t want that because…) and these rules were meant to protect us from some problems our parents or other grownups had experienced in their lives.

But their lives are not our lives. We believed them though, because we were little kids. We didn’t know any better. Then when we grew up, we kept on limiting our own lives, for years or even for a lifetime, by believing those rules. Some of them were never true in the first place.

What was true for our parents or anybody else “out there” may not be true for us, so the soul-work for each of us has got to be the unlearning of our untruths, and the re-learning of what is true for us now, which maybe always was. When you know the truth, it really can make you free.

If we don’t unlearn, we don’t grow into becoming all we are meant to be. If we hide our own light, we can’t live an authentic life, which is the one thing every living soul sincerely longs for.

No matter what anybody else told you then, or tells you now, you do have the right to be who you honestly are, and that real-you is actually much more wonderful than you think. If you want to know who you really are, don’t ask anybody else, Don’t look “out there” or even in the mirror. To be who you are, look inside, and believe what you see.

32. Courage and Faith

January 10, 2018

There is a basic universal law that is always invisibly working in our lives, whether we know it or not, and even when we are totally unaware, and here it is: “What we believe, is what we receive.” This is the winner’s edge, and the loser’s self-defeating curse, because we can only be that which we are willing to dare to believe we can be.

In every aspect of life on earth, courage is the difference-maker. That, and the commitment to hold onto our “foolish”  faith, sets every impossible dream into forward-motion.

“Nothing is impossible, if you have faith.” Jesus said that, among other radical ideas that got him in trouble. He was telling the truth. That’s exactly what he and other great teahers and messengers came here to tell us about – the power of faith. Even a little faith. (If you want to move mountains though, I recommend more than “as a grain of mustard seed.”) The greater the faith, the better the outcome. But faith is not easy. It requires courage.

If your heart and soul truly, passionately desire something “impossible,” don’t play the odds. Go for it, all out.

Believe anyway. Impossible is just a word until proven otherwise. I’ve done some impossible things in my life. (yeah, seriously. even me.) They turned out to be not impossible, just really really hard. If you believe you can, or if you can even let your self believe you might, all bets are off. The power of the universe gets behind that. If you can dare to believe you can do it, you will.

27. Step Into the Light

October 31, 2017

Most of us live our lives invisibly, floating like a dust mote in the air unseen until the light catches it drifting through a sunshaft, golden for an instant, then gone again.

Life is short. Spend as much of it as you can in the sunshaft. Be willing to be seen. It’s actually not as scary as you think. Step into the light and let life shine on you.

Try something different. Do something more. Wear your heart on your sleeve. Step out of the shadows and onto the water.

Miracles happen every day, but it’s like my granny used to say, “You’ve got to walk out under the sky and let the blessings fall on you. They’re not going to come find you hiding under the bed.”

We don’t exactly hide under the bed, except figuratively speaking. But technology has removed many of the necessities of ever having to speak to each other, or look at each other, or God knows, touch each other. This is not really a good thing.

Consider getting old-fashioned now and then. Openly care about somebody, and don’t worry if they know it. Maybe even, tell them you care. What a radical idea!

Try it. You might like it. What have you got to lose,  except a little loneliness? And really you don’t need that anyway. Love is better. Friends are better. Neighbors are better.

Go ahead, try it. And get back to me with how it worked out for you.