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

INNER CHAMBER

When you pray, go into your room and shut the door
and pray to your Father who is in secret;
and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Matthew 6:6
Revised Standard Version of the Bible


Prayer is described and experienced in many ways: inquiring, listening, conversational, and more. When the disciples asked him, Jesus provided the model, commonly known as “The Lord’s Prayer.” It is profound, universal to humankind. Nearly all of the “categories” of this blog are represented.

One of the many ways it represents prayer, is affirmation: accepting and declaring its truth for the one who is reaching for the inner depths of their needs, gratitude, and God’s message.

This link opens a document with thoughts of the Lord’s Prayer as affirmation. It opens a pdf document which can be saved if desired.                                 – mjd

Lord’s Prayer paraphrase

Posted in Affirmation, Asking, Forgiveness, God, Lord's Prayer, Meditation, Peace, Prayer, Protection, Receiving, Silence

FREEDOM

Jesus: “The truth shall make you free.”
John 8:32


By Periods GOD created that which produced the Solar Systems;
then that which produced the Earth.
But the Earth was unorganised and empty;
and darkness covered its convulsed surface;
while the breath of GOD rocked the surface of its waters.

GOD then said, “Let there be light;”
and light came.
And GOD gazed upon that beautiful light;
Genesis 1:1-4a

And GOD gazed upon all that He had made,
and it was very beautiful.
Genesis 31a

The Bible in Modern English: The Five Books of Moses
translated by Ferrar Fenton, 1901.

 

Posted in Affirmation, Creation, Freedom, God, Light, Reality

CLOUDS of GOLD

“In the summer of 1892, a young British physician named Wilfred Grenfell arrived at the Labrador coast aboard the medical vessel Albert. He would spend the rest of his life providing medical services to Labrador and northern Newfoundland.”

 – Youtube, “The Grenfell Mission”

That is what life means to me–a place where a Father above deals differently with his different children, but with all in love; a place where true joys do not hang on material pegs, and where all the while the fact that God our Father is on his throne lines every cloud with gold.

Death does not spell loss of life; unused talents mean really lost lives.

Faith in Christ is a life factor to me. It is not so much a way of escape from sins and sins’ punishment as a road to abundant achievement. It is a way to save, not my soul but my life.

It is a simple fact, that, just as the virtues must spring from within and cannot be compelled from without, as they must arise from a new heart and not from fear of punishment, so true and permanent satisfactions are in reality absolutely independent of things material. The perfect peace that is possible in life is not spelled by riches, leisure, or ornate surroundings. Peace is so shy a maiden that she cannot be caught by genius or wealth, cannot be gained by the lullaby of atheism or of false prophets, or by narcotizing the soul’s sensibilities with abandonment or dopes. It is simply a physical impossibility. Peace is the gift of God the Father to his good children.

 – Sir Wilfred Grenfell (1865 – 1940)
– excerpts from What Life Means to Me, 1910


Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation,
by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7
The Bible, New International Version

Posted in Christ, Comfort, Faith, God, Life, Peace, Rest, Trust