REVELATION

The search for God is not easy for anyone, and when the revelation of God does come, it is something so entirely different from what was expected that if a person is honest he will have to confess that it is beyond his understanding. Only after finding corroboration for what he himself has discovered as it is presented in a thousand different ways through the spoken and written word and then living it for years and years, does it ultimately register.

 – Joel S. Goldsmith, The Thunder of Silence, 1961

Posted in Asking, God, Growth, Inner Life, Reality, Receiving

HEART of REALITY

We are familiar with two ways of dealing with the nature of things: (1) the method of observation and exact description from the outside, the spectator method, and (2) the method of vital experience–discovery of reality by living your way into the heart of things.

The more one knows in terms of exact description, too often the less is the feel of the reality of the significance of life. … The windows of the soul suffer “black-outs.” … The process of description, ruthlessly carried through, entails reduction and the stripping away of everything that will not submit to description and explanation. We end, therefore, with a reduced world, a reduced man, and greatly reduced hopes and aims and aspiration.

As soon as we live our way into the heart of the realities we need for creative life, the sense of frustration is over and there is a hole in the sky and free water to swim in. … Nobody who has truly fallen in love has any doubt of the intrinsic value, the infinite value, of love. It is its own evidence, its own excuse for being.

What is true of love is just as true of God and the world of spiritual realities. There come high moments when we find ourselves where we know we belong, when the Beyond is here and the Yonder is present. These eternal moments take the soul to the very heart of reality. Many times I have found my way home in the dark because my feet felt the road when my eyes could not see it. There is Something in us, deeper than hands or feet, that finds the way to the Central Reality, and when we arrive we know it.

The goal of life is not a code or a law or a fixed creed–it is a flying goal, with an ever new Beyond.

 – excerpts from Rufus M. Jones
“The Eternal Significance of Life; Entering into Life,”
The Radiant Life, 1944.


Be perfect [complete, whole], therefore,
as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:48
The Bible, New International Version

Posted in Eternity, Freedom, God, Guidance, Jesus, Life, Love, Perfection, Reality, Soul

PERFECT CREATION – PERFECT PSALM

There is a short simple Psalm–the twenty-third, written by an ancient Palestine shepherd in shepherd’s pictorial language, which through the centuries has impressed almost all types of minds as a picture of life that belongs in the list of perfect creations.

… the Psalm presents the three periods, the three stages of life through which we pass. It begins with the naïve, child-minded stage of life, when everything is provided, without care or worry or anxiety, or any sense that life is a difficult affair. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He leadeth me in green pastures and by level brooks.” There is only one short period of life like that for any of us, when everything we need comes to us without any sense of the strain of providing, when we are surrounded by loving providers and the supplies come to meet the needs.

Then comes the middle stage of life… There are hills to climb, and dark deep valleys with frightening shadows to be passed through. … and only by slow and patient experience we discover step by step that our Shepherd-God is with us in the dark and shadowed valleys. … He anoints us with His oil of gladness and our cups–and our saucers too–overflow with more than enough, with a glad surplus for others.

This brings us to a third and wonderful stage. Through the struggle with the deeps and the heights, and the consciousness of Presence through it all, we acquire a new kind of faith, very different from that naïve faith at the beginning. It is now a faith, robust and virile, founded on experience, tested in the dark and on the mountain hillside, in the face of difficulties. We can look back on the guided journey–the rod and the staff, the table and the oil–and we can look forward with the assurance: “Surely goodness and mercy now shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the House of the Lord forever.”

[After the first two stages] comes the third calm stage of rightly formed and settled character which has come to birth through the battle with stern issues of life. … issues are settled and the forged anchors hold. We have banked the assets formed in the moral struggles of the past and they, with God, are for us forever.

(The) third and wonderful stage of life may be called “secondary instinct,” or subconscious processes. This is the stage of achieved skill, when one hits the mark of his aim with the sureness of instinct, but with the wisdom of slow and painful acquisition. We write without knowing how we do it. … We play the intricate and complicated opus on the piano or the violin with swift movements which seem to come from beyond the steering process of the mind. The perfect performer can never explain how he does it any more than the centipede can tell “which leg comes after which.”

One can quietly fall back in confidence on acquired skill and say with the Psalmist, surely this gift from above shall be with me all the days of my life.

This perfect Psalm fits every stage and every level of life, and what I have been saying about the deep and hidden processes of life-formation are at least implied, if not explicitly expressed, in the beautiful Psalm of the ages.

 – excerpts from Rufus M. Jones,
“The Height of Life,” The Radiant Life, 1944.


STANZA 1.
My LORD attends;–I shall not want;–
He lets me rest in verdant fields,
He leads me by the pleasant brooks,
He brings me back, my life refreshed,
To skip with joy, and praise His Name.

STANZA 2.
Though I may walk through Death’s dark Vale,
I fear no hurt, for You are there,
Your rod and staff direct my way.

STANZA 3.
You spread my board before my foes,
With flowing cup have oiled my head.
Kindness and mercy follow me,
On every day I live;
And in the LORD’S house I shall dwell,
To lengthen out my days.

Psalm 23
translated by Ferrar Fenton
The Bible in Modern English, Fourth Edition, 1906

Posted in Affirmation, Faith, God, Guidance, Life, Perfection, Protection, Psalm 23, Rest, Trust, Wisdom

HOW to LIVE

“To learn how to think is to learn how to live…”
– Ernest Holmes
The Science of Mind, 1938 edition


Various demands on our time, attention, activities, can put minds in a jumble, flitting from this to that and seeming to dominate life. Learning to take control of our thoughts is a necessity for guidance, orderliness, happiness, and progress in life.
Happily, Scripture is filled with references to mind and thought as pathways to guidance, orderliness, happiness, and progress in sync with the Universe and God’s intent for our individual lives.                   – mjd


[I commit] To realize always clearly that thoughts are forces, that like creates like and like attracts like, and that to determine one’s thinking, therefore, is to determine his life.

One of the most valuable … formulations of a long-known truth, is the fact that thoughts are forces, that they have form and quality and substance and power, that they are the silent, unseen, but subtle agents at work that are daily and hourly producing and determining, and with almost absolute precision, the conditions in our lives. As is the inner, therefore, so always and necessarily is the outer.

There is a general order of thought that may be described as the normal, health bringing, pleasure bringing, the desirable, valuable. Of this order are faith, hope, love, magnanimity, charity, nobleness of feeling and purpose, good temper, good will, clear, clean, hopeful, healthful thought. These are evidently the God-intended, for they are productive of wholesome activity, of health and strength and peace of mind, of soul, and of body.

Ordinarily we find in people those qualities we are mostly looking for; if we show to them our best, their best will open and show itself to us.

 – Ralph Waldo Trine
excerpts from On the Open Road;
Being Some Thoughts and a Little Creed of
Wholesome Living, 1906.


Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on thee:
because he trusteth in thee
Isaiah 26:3
The Bible, King James Version


(We) take every thought captive to obey Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5b
The Bible, Revised Standard Version

Posted in Affirmation, Christ, Inner Life, Life, Mind, Peace, Power, Thought

CONTINUOUS CREATION

A note from this writer: Most passages in this blog are from times long past, when the term “man” was an abbreviation for “mankind,” meaning all of humankind, men and women alike. In my early years, this was always the inference, and gender played no role in devotional reading.
The culture of today – the 21st century – has shifted to an extreme sensitivity to expressions of gender, which may impact some readers’ perceptions of quotations from long ago. Nevertheless, I have chosen to reproduce quotations as they were originally written, without editing for today’s shift of interpretation. The deeper meanings for anyone’s inner life of the spirit apply to all. – mjd


It is the man within the visible man that we really care for. It is not the hundred or more avoirdupois pounds of flesh that we love–not the dust wreath–but the SELF that uses this visible form and speaks to us through it.
The creation and perfection of this man within are the highest ends of life so far as we have any revelation of them. This spiritual self can have but one origin–it must be born from above.

It comes from God, who is its home, and its perfection [completion] must go on by a divine plan–according to the law of the spirit of life which was in Christ Jesus. Like anything else, it grows by what it feeds on. …

It is clearly evident that a spiritual self cannot be forced; it must make its own choices.

The law of its being is to go from more to more. Every time it uses the light and appropriates the gift and sees the vision and responds to the love, it expands, and increases its range and scope. Every attainment is thus a prophecy of something more beyond. … its end and perfection is nothing short of likeness to Jesus Christ and the fullness of God. Its very imperfection [incompleteness] is its glory, for it points it ever on to something which lies before. It is never left high and dry as a finished and completed thing with no more capacity for increase. The making of the man within the man is thus a continuous creation …
Body may go to pieces, but this spiritual self continues to be what it has made itself by its choices and its loves. …

The soul that chooses to be a son of God may wait with perfect assurance for the time when Christ shall be seen as He is, and the likeness shall be completed.

 – excerpts from Rufus Jones, “The Man Within the Man,”
Practical Christianity, 1905.


Consider the incredible love that the Father has shown us
in allowing us to be called “children of God”
–and that is not just what we are called, but what we are.
This explains why the world will no more recognise us than it recognised Christ.
Here and now, my dear friends, we are God’s children.
We don’t know what we shall become in the future.
We only know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is!
Everyone who has at heart a hope like that keeps himself pure, as Christ is pure.

I John 3:1-3
J. B. Phillips, translator
The New Testament in Modern English
(Revised Student Edition, 1972)

Posted in Affirmation, Christ, Creation, God, Growth, Hope, Inner Life, Love, Perfection, Receiving, Spirit

ETERNAL FOUNTAIN

Let us not merely say, “To work is to pray,” but “Pray that we may work.”

We must come to know and love God, the sum and substance of all spiritual life, or it is idle to talk of loving man or doing anything for him. We must have, to give. We must drain from an eternal fountain, from a well that never becomes dry, in order to water the smallest garden or plot of ground.

Now, in order to have a real energy of spiritual life, we must have actual [contact] with God himself. To think about him, to meditate upon his works and ways, is one thing; to commune with him, another. And to commune with him, we must have something to say to him; and that something must be something out of our actual life, something which really interests us, not something which we think ought to interest us. We must say to God something we wish to say, and not something we think we ought to say. Our prayer … must be the “soul’s sincere desire.” Therefore, God, in order that men may come into real communion with him and so receive real vital energy,– faith, love, peace, joy,– has ordered it so that we may speak to him of our real wants, and of all of them, and by an earnest petition do something towards realizing those wants.

– James Freeman Clarke, The Christian Doctrine of Prayer, 1890


Delight thyself also in the LORD;
and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Psalms 37:4
The Bible, King James Version


Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me,

and I will hear you.

Jeremiah 29:12

The Bible, Revised Standard Version

Posted in Asking, Faith, Growth, Guidance, Inner Life, Listening, Lord's Prayer, Receiving, Thought, Work

I AM

The mighty God of the universe calls Himself I AM. In Exodus 3:14, the Bible says, “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM.” Moses had said, “When I go down to Egypt and the people ask me who sent me, what shall I tell them.” God said, “You tell them that I AM sent you.”

 – Billy Graham
from a sermon preached at Pure Heart Church, Shanghai, China, 1988.


The disciples healed “in the name of Jesus Christ.” In the name of Jesus Christ is the name of the I AM.

“Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks unto God the Father,” said Paul, in writing to the Colossians. Whatever we do heartily and sincerely in the name of Christ or the I AM, carries with it the power of the I AM to accomplish–a power from a higher source … All power is given to Christ. Doing all things “in His name” puts aside our mortal personality and lets the Christ do the work. When Moses, with a sense of his personal insufficiency for so great a work, shrank from it, saying, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, but I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue, the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.” [Exodus 4:10-12]

 – H. Emilie Cady, “In His Name,” How I Used Truth, 1916

Posted in Asking, Christ, God, Healing, Jesus, Receiving, Speech