metaphysicalfoodforthought

Home » 2015 » May

Monthly Archives: May 2015

Ask the Rev! Unity of Rehoboth Beach – May 31, 2015

Good Morning Beloved!

What did the Buddha say to the hotdog vendor? “Make me one with everything.”

Then the vendor gave the Buddha a hotdog with everything on it — mustard, onion and relish.

The Buddha gave him a twenty dollar bill, although monks are not supposed to handle cash. The Buddha waited for his change but the vendor didn’t give to the Buddha.

Finally, the Buddha said softly, “Sir, aren’t you going to give me my change?”

The vendor said, “The change must come from within!”

Ask the Rev

1.  What is the origination of the book of Genesis?  Book of Beginning, thought to be written by Moses, but we believe otherwise, most likely written by at least 4 different people or influences. Mostly by the Yahwist; who where considered to be the ‘Priestly sect’, and drew on four separate blocks of traditional stories about Abraham, Jacob, Judah and Joseph, combining them with genealogies, itineraries and the “promise” theme to create a unified whole.  When composing the “primeval history” he drew on Greek and Mesopotamian sources, editing and adding to them to create a unified work that fit his theological agenda.  The Yahwistic work was then revised and expanded into the final edition by the authors of the Priestly source.With that in mind, we must remember who the Bible was written for…not necessarily you & I, but for the Israelites.  It was a ‘story’ of how they came into being.

We, in Unity, look at the Bible as not only a history of a nation but as a journey that we all take when it is looked at from a metaphysical point of view.  And when we look at the gospel stories, they were handed down by the social, political & theological forces of the Judeo-Hellenistic world, not just to record what Jesus supposedly said and did.Consider how you would write today’s history from your point of view and you get the picture.  It’s what we do with the history that is important, whether it’s a world history, a national history or a personal history.

2.  How do we know what Gods will is for us? God’s will is always the highest good for all in every circumstance.  So our “free choice’ comes into play.  Without it, life would be safe, but boring.  We would ALL be wearing the same clothes, the same hair style and drive the same car (Henry Ford might have been onto something – all black, same style car!)  Sameness isn’t what works…this is a creative multiverse….so sameness is not an option.  We are ALL creators and so, we all must participate in the creation of our lives.What do YOU think God’s will is for you?  Only you can figure that out in the long run.  Others are here to listen and prod and suggest ideas, but the choice is yours.

Bryant McGill said, “The purpose of your life is the purpose you bring to it, choice by choice; and recognition by recognition.”

I am reminded of a song, “Love Wins” and THAT can be your guide.  It’s ALL about love

3.  What does it mean “Jesus is our Savior?”– John 14:6 is often quoted by those passionate about Jesus being the ‘only way.’ “… no one comes to the Father but by me,” means we must find God individually; discover the Father-Mother God the way Jesus did, and how many of us have done, go within.  We must follow the example of our Way-Shower, Jesus.  Only we, ourselves can ‘save’ ourselves by how we live our lives.

There is no secret moral behavior required for knowing or pleasing God, or what some call “salvation,” beyond becoming a loving person in mind, heart, body, and soul.Unity’s founders studied many of the world religions and philosophies and choose Jesus as their way-shower.  Many of the Unity philosophies are similar to some Eastern Religious beliefs, such as Silence and meditation, we are all one.I have chosen to follow the Fillmore’s guidance at this time.

And as Charles has been known to say, “I reserve the right to change my mind.

4.  What is the meaning of life? Education, learn how to be fully human and divine, our destiny to oneness with God.  Everything in life teaches us something.  And to do this, we must learn who and what we are.  Go within, Know thyself…, we hear that all the time; what do you think that means?

5  Does Unity believe in Hell/Heaven? New Thought, an overall description of the philosophy that Unity believes, does not believe in an actual, physical Heaven or Hell.  We believe that Heaven or Hell are states of thought, the stress and worry we place upon ourselves as we go through our day can be ‘hellish’ or if we learn to keep our perspective and look at situations through the heart, they can be ‘Heaven.’  It is all on how we ‘see’ things that are happening around us and how we react, or not, to them.  Perspective!

6.  Predestination – If we believed in predestination, then where is our free will?  Then everything would be happening ‘to us’ and not ‘through us.’  That is not free will.

I believe that there is a touch of predestination for all of us…in that we all will be returning in realization to the energy that we are all a part of.  And that there are many paths but all leading to the same Source.

7.  Do animals have a soul? According to Pope Francis, YES!  And from Ecclesiastes 3:19 “For the fate of humans and the fate of animals is the same; as one dies, so does the other.  They all have the same breath, and humans have no advantage over the animals…Who knows whether the human spirit goes upward and the spirit of animals goes downward to the earth?”

Personally, YES!  I have looked into the eyes of my companion animals, as well as, the eyes of many others.  I believe animals are here to teach us many things, that they may even be more ‘evolved’ than we are, that they are here to help us on our journey and I am Blessed for them!

8.  Were we born with Original sin?  Unity does not believe in sin, much less ‘original sin.’  We believe that humanity is essentially good, because we are ‘made in the image and likeness of God/Goddess.’  And if God/Goddess is ALL GOOD, then we are also.  We Unitics believe we are born in divine blessing.

Yes we are not perfect on earth, we make ‘errors,’ we ‘miss the mark’ which is what ‘sin’ means.  But we are not ‘marked’ to be sinful. That, again, is choice.

9.   What does Jesus say about homosexuality? – Nothing. He never mentioned it, so it was obviously not a pressing or important matter to him. JESUS ACCEPTED PEOPLE FOR WHO THEY WERE.  So it seems to me He would affirm the right of people to be whatever God created them to be, including in matters of sexual orientation.Look at what Jesus did stand for, then you will know that this would not have been an issue for Him.

If you look at some of the Hebrew verses that are thrown at people saying that homosexuality is an abomination, you must consider the culture of the time, the people it was written for and he context that the verses are taken from.  To label one part of society an abomination based on a culture over 2000 years old is not necessarily a good thing.  If we did that we would be able to sell our daughters, never cut our hair and have to change our complete diet, among other various things.

We can get into the meaning behind the HEBREW Bible in lessons through the coming year, if you like, or study it metaphysically in a class.

10.   Does God get angry?  No, God is all good.  The men who wrote the stories in the Bible, however, DID get angry.  And they portrayed their God the same way they are; angry, changing their minds, making errors and repenting.Keep in mind what the Hebrew Bible is; a history of a people who made their God in their image, just as their God made them in His image.  So, if they got angry, so did their God.If we look at the New Testament, with the influence of Jesus, we see a different God, one that is an example of the Love we are and can be in all our endeavors.

11.  What is Unity’s view of reincarnation?  I looked at Rev. Ed’s response to this question to make sure I kept my feelings about it out of the response.  He said, “I think Unity’s understanding of spiritual truth cannot possibly make sense unless we accept the idea of reincarnation. If our purpose as spiritual beings engaged in a human experience is to bring more of our spiritual energy into tangible expression, to achieve that new dimension of consciousness that Jesus calls ‘the kingdom of heaven,’ then it must follow that the process requires more than the limits of a single lifetime. I believe this understanding is implicit in the entire ministry of Jesus—indeed, in the entire Bible. And there are brief passages in which the implicit seems to become increasingly explicit. But it’s difficult to point to any specific teaching or passage that directly speaks to the question. Apparently we just weren’t ready, in collective consciousness, to grasp it at the time the scriptures were written.”

Charles Fillmore not only believed in reincarnation, but he believed we could live a much longer life because we can heal our own bodies.  This was proved by himself and his wife.

12.  Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does God make us suffer? God is all good, so does not cause us to suffer.  The cosmos operates on scientific and spiritual laws.  When a law is not adhered to, a consequence occurs. We are to discover these laws and principles and use them.  Thus we have gravity as well as the law of cause and effect.Keep in mind we ALL have free will…choices we make cause effects.  To have that choice of ‘good, we must have the choice of ‘not good,’ again, it’s our choice.This question also takes into account reincarnation, if we have ‘lessons’ to learn in our incarnations, then who are we to know if what is happening to someone is not for their or someone else’s lesson?

But this question leads into the next….

13.  What is Race or Collective Consciousness? – outside events have an effect on us, if we allow that energy to overcome our defenses and change our outlook on life and our own situations, we have allowed what Charles Fillmore called “Race Consciousness” to affect our lives.This has nothing to do with the different races of our Earthly nations.  It is just a term meaning all of humanity.  It means the energy from other people and situations have influenced us and our thoughts and behaviors.  Like a MOB mentality.  Or ‘it’s always been this way’ mentality.

We see the results of Collective Consciousness often in the news; when people react violently to a situation or have a peaceful demonstration to press an issue.  We also see it when people react to a call for help, whether physically or monetarily or for prayer.Will you allow Race or Collective Consciousness dictate your actions and reactions?  That, my friends, is the question. 

14.  What does it mean to “Own Unity of Rehoboth Beach?”   Ownership, to belong here and be a part of it.  To help it grow and not falter.  We are a baby in this world of Spiritual entities.  The only way we can continue to be a part of this community and our lives is if and when we all take ownership.  Help where you are able.  Spread the word.  Bring a friend or two.Soon we will celebrate one year.  I envision this growing and prospering.  Please, if this community is important to you…help us keep it growing and going strong.There are many examples of what one person can accomplish when they choose to do what is theirs to do.  What is yours to do, my friends?

Memorial Day, Unity of rehoboth Beach, May 24, 2015

Good Morning Beloved!

A priest, a doctor, and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers.

The engineer fumed, “What’s with those guys? We must have been waiting for fifteen minutes!”

The doctor chimed in, “I don’t know, but I’ve never seen such inept golf!”

The priest said, “Here comes the green-keeper. Let’s have a word with him.”

He said, “Hello George, what’s wrong with that group ahead of us? They’re rather slow, aren’t they?”

The green-keeper replied, “Oh, yes. That’s a group of blind firemen. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime.”

The group fell silent for a moment.

The priest said, “That’s so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight.”

The doctor said, “Good idea. I’m going to contact my ophthalmologist colleague and see if there’s anything he can do for them.”

The engineer said, “Why can’t they play at night?”

Memorial Day

Did you know there is a World War II connection to Unity’s Prayer for Protection?

Here’s the story about how Eric Butterworth wrote it.

When World War II was raging in Europe, Unity received many letters and phone calls from people caught in the conflict, but for a long time they did not have a prayer for protection that they were all satisfied with.

Silent Unity came to Eric and asked him to write a protection pamphlet that Unity could send to people. … They told him they wanted affirmative prayers for protection on the back page. Among these was the verse from the 23rd Psalm: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me”.

One of the young women who worked in Silent Unity was reading Eric‘s manuscript draft, and as she finished it, she said to him: “Jim, if I were a woman in England and they were dropping bombs on my roof, or if I were a soldier and someone was pointing a loaded gun at me, I wouldn’t want to feel like I was walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Can’t you do better than that?”

He says he thought, ‘You want me to do better than the 23rd Psalm? You have to be out of your mind.’ But rolling around in the back of his mind was the little verse he had written as a prayer for protection at Christmas. He had written it just for Silent Unity, but now, he said, ‘it came rolling up to the front of my mind and demanded that I pay attention to it. It enticed me to see what I could make of it.’

So that little Christmas prayer became:

“The light of God surrounds me,

The love of God enfolds me,

The power of God protects me,

The presence of God watches over me.”

That is the way it was first printed. Then, he says, a line came to me that I felt would make the prayer even more powerful. The line was:

“Wherever I am, God is.”

And after that, many Unity’s added “And wherever God is, all is well.”

And that little prayer has been all over the world and to the moon! It comes in handy in many circumstances. And whether it is said silently or out loud; whether for yourself or another; it is powerful. I suggest it often to others and say it even more often, I think!

We spoke of the power of our words last week. Think about that power when we say this little prayer each Sunday at the conclusion of our Service. When we place feeling behind our thoughts, it helps in the manifestation.

I think it is very appropriate that we remember the Prayer for Protection this holiday weekend. After all, we are remembering those men and women who protect our freedoms this weekend.

Isn’t it wonderful that Unity has a Prayer to protect these men and women as they protect us? And that protects ourselves!

Every Memorial Day weekend, we honor those who dedicate their lives to the service and the protection of our country and the people in it. And they do this in so many ways.

From the service men and women in the distant and not so distant lands to those who serve right around the corners of our little towns, we are so very Blessed to have the men and women who protect and take care of us.

In Ezekiel 22:30; the profit Ezekiel writes that God is looking for someone who will stand up for what is right and be the hero that is needed.

It says: “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land….”

Would those of you who stood in the gap please stand so we can proudly acknowledge your service?

And we thank you!

 

We have many examples of those who have stood ‘in the gap.’ One was Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific. One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank. He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship. His flight leader told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet. As he was returning to the Lexington, he saw a squadron of Japanese aircraft speeding their way toward the American fleet.

With the American fighters gone on a mission the fleet was defenseless. He couldn’t reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger. There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them. Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes. The wing-mounted guns blazed as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another. Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent. Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible and rendering them unfit to fly.

Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction. Deeply relieved, Butch O’Hare and his tattered fighter plane limped back to the carrier. Upon arrival he reported in and related the event surrounding his return.

The film from the gun-camera mounted on his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of Butch’s daring attempt to protect his fleet. He had in fact destroyed five enemy aircraft.

This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action Butch became the Navy’s first Ace of W.W.II, and the first Naval Aviator to win the Congressional Medal of Honor. A year later he was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29. His home town would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to fade, and today, O’Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this wonderful man.

Just like for Mother’s Day we again have the history of one of our holidays starting during the Civil War era. The custom of placing flowers on the graves of the war veteran’s began on May 5, 1866, in Waterloo, NY, and Waterloo has been recognized by Congress as the official birthplace of Memorial Day, though then it was ‘Declaration Day.’ In 1868, Gen. John A. Logan, then president of the Grand Army of the Republic, declared that May 30 would be a day to decorate with “flowers the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion.”

After World War I the day was set aside to honor the service men and women of all American wars, and the custom was extended to pay homage to deceased relatives and friends, both military and civilian. The most solemn ceremony conducted on Memorial Day is the placing of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns located in Arlington National Cemetery.

Did you know that the American Flag is to fly at half-staff the first half of the day to honor the war dead and then full staff for the second part of the day to honor the living? And, on Memorial Day, at 3:00 we are to pause for a moment of silence, as declared by President Clinton in 2000.

We all have people we remember on this and many other days. It is a time to remember them, not forget them and not forget the reasons why they are not here.

It is important to remember the past so we can take the steps of responsibility to prevent more of the very deaths we honor today. We must remember. For it is in remembering that we learn. And it is in learning that we work to prevent the errors of our ways.

So let us remember what Memorial Day is for….not the start of summer, tho that is a very fine thing. Not for picnics and barbecues, tho they are fine too.

No, Memorial Day is for remembering the lives we have lost and remembering the cause for the lost lives. It’s for remembering what the costs are for the freedoms we have and the freedoms we still fight for in many ways.

So we thank everyone who has stood up for those freedoms, in whatever way they have. We thank those who sacrificed their time, health, physical bodies and their lives. For, because of them, we are a free country.

And we must not take those freedoms for granted. We must honor the rights we have and the rights we all deserve. Do not become complacent…that is how many tragedies occurred.

These rights come with responsibilities, do not forget that. For if we forget the responsibilities that all who we honor this weekend fought for and fight for, we have wasted those lives.

We ALL fight for a better country and a better world.

And here’s another true story I’d like to share with you.

It is told that in 1862 during the Civil War, Union Army Captain Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison’s Landing, Virginia. The Confederate Army was on the other side of a narrow strip of land. During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moans of a soldier who was severely wounded on the field.

Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, Captain Ellicombe decided to risk being captured to bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach to avoid being noticed, the Captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward the encampment.

When the Captain finally reached his own line, he discovered the soldier was actually a Confederate soldier, but that he was dead.

The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light he saw the face of the soldier, and it was the face of his own son! It seems the boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out and, without telling his father, he enlisted in the Confederate Army.

The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission to give his son a full military burial despite his enemy status and asked if he could have a group of Army band members play at the service.

The request was denied since the soldier was a Confederate. But, out of respect for the father, they did say he could have a small funeral with one musician. The Captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper stuffed in the pocket of the dead youth’s uniform.

Those notes became the song known as “Taps.” We are all familiar with the melody, but do we know the words? Listen to them now.

Day is done… Gone the sun… From the lakes…From the hills…From the sky…

All is well… Safely rest…. God is nigh.

Fading light… Dims the sight… And a star… Gems the sky… gleaming bright…

From afar…Drawing nigh… Falls the night.

Thanks and praise…For our days…Neath the sun…Neath the stars…Neath the sky…

As we go…This we know…God is nigh.

Let’s take that into meditation….

Prosperity & Power – Unity of Rehoboth Beach – May 17, 2015

Good Morning Beloved!

During a visit to the mental asylum, the director was asked how he determines whether or not a patient should be institutionaltized.

“Well,” said the director, “ we fill up a bathtub with water, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub.”

“Oh, I understand,” said the visitor. “A normal person would use the bucket becaue it’s bigger than a spoon or the teacup.”

“No.” said the director, “A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed near the window?”

Prosperity and POWER

Did you know that you are powerful beyond measure? That’s what Marianne Williamson has said. At least she is given credit for this quote, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.”

― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

When Charles Fillmore developed the 12 Powers of Humankind, I wonder if he was thinking along those lines. Here we are, human beings filled with these 12 powers! Wonderous!

We’re talking about the Power of Power this week and we are relating it to Prosperity.

So, prosperity and power….what can we do with that?

What IS prosperity? We’ve asked that question several times, as we travel through the year and discuss it with our monthly theme or one of the12 Powers for the month.

Have you come up with YOUR own idea of what prosperity is? TRUTH students, of which we are all a part, have an understanding that prosperity is VERY many things, most of which have nothing to do with money.

Take a moment and list in your mind the ideas that you consider a part of prosperity.

Now let’s share some….I consider my ‘girls,’ my dogs as a big part of my prosperity. Good discussions with people is a part of my prosperity. My friends!

Right! Many and varied. Some on our lists are the same, some are different. It has to do with what is important in our lives.

Now, how do you define Power? It’s not just strength, as many think of right away.

Standing in my integrity. Control over my thoughts…

SHARE what power means…

Charles Fillmore defines power as our innate control over our thoughts and feelings. The mind, body, and especially the spoken word have power to transform energy from one plane of consciousness to another. This is the power and dominion implanted in humanity from the beginning.

I’ve mentioned this before, in Genesis 1: 26 “And God said, Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

Metaphysically, all the animals, fish, birds, etc. represent our thoughts, so, God said we are to have dominion over our thoughts.

All the power in the universe is God-power and humanity is the power of God in action.

SO think about how you are putting the power of God into action.

Myrtle Fillmore said in How to Let God Help You, “As we realize we are God’s children, that we have power and authority to think and speak the good and true and to have it manifest in harmonious relations and pleasant surroundings, we no longer invite or submit to in-harmony, misunderstandings or limitations.”

That’s having dominion over our thoughts.

I recently read this in the book I am reading for my winding down time, before sleep. It’s amazing sometimes the metaphysics that are written into the books we read for pleasure. “To say words are not powerful is foolish indeed. Words may send nations to war, or soothe broken hearts; words are the most valuable currency in the world…”

What do you think of that?

Charles Fillmore tells us that our “power center” is based in our throat. (Your throat chakra has the attribute of communication.) This means the words we speak are charged with power. Words are the open door between the formless and the formed worlds. Jesus said the words he spoke were Spirit (formless) and Life (formed) and they went forth to do what they were sent to do.

Jesus knew the power of our words!

God spoke the universe into existence. First was the thought, then the words resulting in manifestation.   In the first chapter of Genesis, every act of creation begins with “God said.” Let there be light, let there be firmament, let there be water; let there be earth.”

Amazing, right there in the first book of the Bible, we are told about how important our thoughts and words are and how we are responsible for what we think and say.

That is one of the things I so love about Unity’s philosophy– we are responsible for our thoughts, words and actions. Self-responsibility.

Even if we do not consciously recognize it, we are creating just as the CREATOR, every day of our lives. We are ever co-creating our own world with our thoughts and words.

According to Head Master of Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardy, Professor Albus Dumbledore, “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.” Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Science would agree- it has now been proven that every word we utter makes an imprint in the astral ethers, and when there is consciousness of God-life in the mind of the speaker, (in other words, when there is belief, feeling behind it), all her words become living identities and are perpetuated.

Therefore, when facing the appearance of any type of lack, speak words of prosperity whether for finances, health, joy or love in our lives. Take on the feelings and emotions that you would have if it were already done, because it is just a word away from being so.

This is where Power aids in prosperity.

The relation between the world without and our thoughts held within parallel. Whatever you see in the external, you may be assured has its parallel in mind – whether yours or someone else’s!

Catherine Ponder, in The Healing Secrets of the Ages said, “Power is released by merely stating words of life, health, vitality. The body can be renewed, even transformed through the spoken word. Owing to the vibratory power of words, whatever man decrees, that he releases within himself and within his world.”

Remember, our own Myrtle and Charles Fillmore were proof that thoughts and words are powerful enough to heal. Myrtle healed Tuberculous and Charles grew his shortened leg.

And there have been many other reports of healing through prayer…the spoken word.

So, what do you do when faced with a ‘challenge?’ Do you label it a challenge? Or do you take your POWER and look at it as an opportunity?

(Story about O’Neal asking for a challenging work opportunity?)

Do you affirm your power or do you actually ASK for a challenge? Watch your words (bumper sticker).

The Dalai Lama says, “When you think everything is someone else’s fault, you will suffer a lot. When you realize that everything springs only from yourself, you will learn both peace and joy.”

What does that say about our power? Look at your thoughts about your ‘suffering,’ where do they come from?

It’s time to realize that suffering is a choice.

Have you ever felt powerless? Was it a time when you felt less than prosperous?

Think of a time when this has happened to you, observe where it shows up in your body. When we allow the feelings to be there as pure feelings without thoughts, and without resisting them, we often remove the energy from them. Catherine Ponder reminds us that when we feel powerless it is just a feeling and to remind yourself that strong, firmly held thoughts in your mind actually change your body’s chemistry.

Power comes into action in stages: Silence; Thought; Word; Manifestation

Imagine being in total and absolute silence. What prosperity thoughts come forth? What words would give prosperity power to these thoughts? How will this manifest? Can you hear, smell, taste, touch and see the prosperity manifesting clearly?

What is going on in your life right now? Are there areas of your life where you feel powerless? In these moments speak out loud positive and strong affirmations of power. The word “utter” and “outer” have the same root meaning. So remember: What you “utter” becomes your “outer” in your body and affairs.

There is an excellent affirmation that Charles Fillmore said several times daily on the insert for you. I have it on my phone and comes up to remind me twice a day. Try it!

Continuing with Catherine Ponders thoughts; ‘There is a mighty power stored up in the atoms and cells of the body awaiting liberation. Concentrating upon the word “power’ helps to liberate this mighty force, so that it may do its perfect work in the mind and body. Speaking it out loud to yourself can help you feel how powerful you are. Try using, “Prosperity is now mine.” Can you feel the power? Say it with meaning, feeling. Soon your life will be more prosperous by using powerful affirmations.’

If you’re really ready to see how powerful you are, you need to stop thinking about all the things out side of your control and focus on all the things that are in your control. And “Go With The Flow!”

Trust Divine Order.

In Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

MOther’s Day – May 10, 2015 Unity of Rehoboth Beach

Good Morning Beloved!

A preacher, who shall we say was “humor dis-advantaged”, attended a conference to help encourage and better equip pastors for their ministry. Among the speakers were many well-known and dynamic speakers.

One such speaker, boldly approached the pulpit, gathered the entire crowd’s attention, and said, “The best years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman that wasn’t my wife!” The crowd was shocked! He followed up by saying, “And that woman was my mother!” The crowd burst into laughter and he delivered the rest of his speech, which went quite well.

The next week, the pastor decided he’d give this humor thing a try, and use that joke in his sermon. As he approached the pulpit that sunny Sunday morning, he tried to rehearse this joke in his head. It suddenly seemed a bit foggy to him.

Getting to the microphone, he said loudly, “The greatest years of my life were spend in the arms of another woman that was not my wife!” The congregation inhaled half the air in the room! After standing there for almost 10 seconds in stunned silence, trying to recall the second half of the joke, the pastor finally blurred out, “…and I can’t remember who she was!”

Mother’s Day

I must say, I’ve had a difficult time writing this weeks’ lesson. Some of the problem, I suspect, is “Florida lag”…coming back from a week away is tuff! I’m still wandering around with harry Potter and the gang!

The other reason I’ll get to in a moment.

First I wondered if you know some of the history to Mother’s Day?

It goes all the way back to the years before the Civil War (1861-65), Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia helped start “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” to teach local women how to properly care for their children. These clubs later “Mothers’ Friendship Day,” at which mothers gathered with former Union and Confederate soldiers to promote reconciliation.

Another precursor to Mother’s Day came from the abolitionist and suffragette Julia Ward Howe. In 1870 Howe wrote the “Mother’s Day Proclamation,” a call to action that asked mothers to unite in promoting world peace. In 1873 Howe campaigned for a “Mother’s Peace Day” to be celebrated every June 2. Look up the proclamation, it is relevant for today!

The official Mother’s Day holiday, however, arose in the 1900s as a result of the efforts of Anna Jarvis as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children. After gaining financial backing from Philadelphia department store owner, John Wanamaker, in May 1908 she organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia. That same day also saw thousands of people attend a Mother’s Day event at one of Wanamaker’s retail stores in Philadelphia, of course.

Following that success, Jarvis resolved to see her holiday added to the national calendar. Arguing that American holidays were biased toward male achievements, she started a massive letter writing campaign to newspapers and prominent politicians urging the adoption of a special day honoring motherhood. By 1914, her persistence paid off when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Anna Jarvis had originally conceived of Mother’s Day as a day of personal celebration between mothers and families. Her version of the day involved wearing a white carnation and visiting one’s mother or attending church services. But once Mother’s Day became a national holiday, it was not long before florists, card companies and other merchants capitalized on its popularity.

By 1920 she had become disgusted with how the holiday had been commercialized. She outwardly denounced the transformation and urged people to stop buying Mother’s Day flowers, cards and candies. By the time of her death in 1948 Jarvis had disowned the holiday altogether, and even actively lobbied the government to see it removed from the American calendar.

Even though the holiday turned into something other than what Ms. Jarvis wished, I believe it still has a purpose in our lives.

To me, personally, it’s a reminder of how far I’ve come.

I’d like to tell you a little about my Mother’s Day Story. You see, for years, I found it very difficult to even shop for a Mother’s Day card. The cards available were never what I wanted to say, never what I felt. The same problem happened on Father’s Day.

No, it’s not that they didn’t convey my love for my Mother…you see, I had a difficult relationship with my Mother. So the cards that expressed love for the Mother, for all the wonderful things that Mothers do for their children, I just couldn’t relate.

You may be surprised. For many of you know that I call my Mother nearly every day just to touch base and make sure she is ok. And I have been doing this for years, not just since I moved here.

I have been my Mother’s caretaker more than she’s been mine.

So, what changed? My grandmother, my Mother’s Mother, died. And at that funeral, I heard my Mother say how she hated her Mother. And from that day on, I worked on changing the relationship I had with my Mother.

I didn’t want to hate her.

You may wonder why she would hate her Mother…that’s easy. The history of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse travels through a family until someone stops it.

So, it took much effort to overcome the feelings of abuse, neglect and not receiving much nurturing to get to the place where I am with Mom today. Lots of counseling and soul searching.

So, I understand how some of you may feel about Mother’s Day or Father’s Day…it can be very difficult. But it says in Exodus 20:12   Honor thy father and thy mother:

You might say, “Yeah, but my mother wasn’t honorable!” Well, the Bible says nothing about that qualification…it only asks, is she your mother!

And in 1 Peter 4:8 – ‘Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins – errors.’ So, to get past the idea of what a Mother SHOULD be, in my mind, I love her, unconditionally. And I understand that she did the best she could do at the time with what she knew.

It took a while. But it can be done.

Most of us probably do not need a reminder to love and honor our caretakers, whether they were Mothers or Fathers or Aunts or Uncles or even Grandparents. And we must not forget those Foster Parents and those who are not blood relatives but ‘relatives’ just the same.

My point, we are all male & female; made in the image of Mother/Father God. So, whoever raised you to who you are today, let’s honor them. Let’s honor the mother energy in all of us.

To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you;

To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you;

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you;

To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you;

To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you;

To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you;

To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you;

To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you;

To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you;

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience;

To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst;

To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be;

To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths;

To those who placed children up for adoption — we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart;

And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you This Mother’s Day, we walk with you.

Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.

So we honor all, not just the care taker of a child, but wherever the feminine principle resides there is a requirement for the caring, loving roles of mothers.

There is the mother energy in every human. It’s in you and it’s in me. And it’s in every human and I would say, every animal too.

So, let’s ask ourselves, who are our mothers? Was it your birth mother, a step-mother, your mother in law, maybe some other relative or friends? Where there teachers in your life that helped to fill a void that may have been there? There were for me, fortunately.

How about yourself?

Have you’ Mothered’ yourself through the years? How about recently? We all need that energy from time to time.

Remember, wherever the feminine principle resides, the “Mother” in us resides.

I ask you to really look at this question today and this week. Where do you see, and better, “feel” the feminine energy?

If you are looking for ways to show your love, here are some thoughts:

Many of us can probably replace the term Mother for another, like father, our aunt. But let’s look at it, there is a great message here, and it reminds me of the lesson I gave a bit ago about Love being a VERB. Here are 7 ways we can love our Mother:

  1. Love her verbally. Sometimes we have the philosophy—I don’t have to say the words, I love you, that somehow you already know it. Maybe we have the philosophy, “I have told you before; if I change my mind I’ll let you know!” Or, “I SHOW you love, I don’t just say it”…and that may be true, but we all need to hear those words, “I Love You!”
  2. Love her physically. When’s the last time you gave her a big hug w/ out her asking for it…or a kiss on the cheek, or a neck rub, or just sat on the couch and held her for a change? She deserves your touch and should never have to give that up completely! It would mean more to her than flowers or candy, or eating out.
  3. Love her patiently. Mothers have an incredible job w/ no pay. No position in the business world compares to the physical, emotional, and spiritual commitment she has in motherhood. It even says on the census form, No Occupation

Here’s the point, in spite of all she does for us, we often become impatient with her…we get so used to her taking care of things we come to expect it and are outraged that “those clothes are still dirty?”/that’s not ironed? /you’re out of my favorite cookies? /you know I like that over rice, where is it?

She’s picking you up at school because you don’t like to ride the bus, but you’re scolding her for being 5 minutes late!

Love her patiently. Because she’s tender to your needs is no reason to take advantage of her, its reason to be patient and to love her all the more!

It is unfair for you to be more kind, considerate, and patient with your friends than your own mother! In some cases, if you treated your friends like you treat your mom you wouldn’t have friends.

  1. Love her attentively. Mothers listen as you pour out your heart…she has a sympathetic ear, and always has…and even as an adult you’ve gone to her when you want someone who will really listen and understand…and she’ll always be on your side. It’s no wonder we like to talk to mom…she listens…but now she has issues, and now it’s your turn to be her “rock”…and take time to listen…it’s payback time!
  2. Love her gratefully. She needs a sincere thank you, and not just today, but from a genuinely thankful heart when least expected!

An elementary science class had been studying magnets, and how metal objects are attracted to them. At the end of the semester the teacher put on exam this question: 6 letters, starts w/ “M”, picks up things, what am I? Over half the children wrote “Mother”!

  1. Love her generously. There’s nothing too good for her, we could never repay her, but we ought to die trying before she does! She didn’t spend on herself unless all your needs were met…she could easily do without, and now it’s time for her to have something she wants!
  2. Love her honorably. As we said, “Honor thy Father and thy Mother…

Let’s end with the reading of “I’ll love you forever.”

The Lord’s Prayer – Unity of Rehoboth Beach, May 3, 2015

The Lord’s Prayer seems to cross all Christian religious borders. Most churches use it in their liturgy. The “official story” is that it came directly from Jesus. Seems one day when He & the disciples were on the shore of the Sea of Galilee – you know, they probably hung out there a lot, being fishermen. So they’re all doing what fishermen do – probably mending nets, fixing up the boats, maybe eating peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. Well, maybe more like fresh cheese, olives and home-made bread.

One of them turned to the Teacher and asked, “Lord, teach us to pray?” I’d like to think all conversation hushed. All eyes turned to Jesus to see what He’d say. And since He was never one to miss a ‘teaching moment’, I picture Him standing up, putting his hands together with a smile and saying, “when you pray, pray this way.” The phrase “this way” in Aramaic actually means “something like this” for that’s how the phrase translates.

Our Father who is everywhere

Let your name be set apart

Come your kingdom (counsel)

Let your desire be, as in the universe, also on the earth.

Provide us our needful bread from day to day

And free us from our offenses, as also we have freed our offenders.

And do not let us enter into temptation,

But separate us from error.

For belongs to You the kingdom, the power, and the song and praise

From all ages throughout all ages.

That’s a literal translation made by Rocco Errico, a man who has studied Aramaic and Hebrew interpretations of the Bible & ancient Semitic culture. He has four doctorates & has published eight books, including two grammar books on Aramaic. I saw him speak once at First Church Unity in Nashville. He is on YouTube. His books are on Amazon.com. Here’s the one I’ve based today’s talk on. [hold up SETTING A TRAP] Much of what I will tell you today comes directly from this book although I haven’t put quote marks around everything.

It’s an interesting title for a book about the Lord’s Prayer, no? When we pray in the right way, God can’t help but hear us. We are holding up a hand to be noticed. We set a scenario up that God cannot overlook, thus we capture a bit of God’s personal attention with our prayer.

So let me set the background a little. If you’ve heard me talk before, you know how much tracing the history back means for me.

Aramaic is the language of Jesus. It was the lingua franca of the area; it predates Hebrew. Now if you want to bring perspective into this, remember that the Gospels weren’t written until years after Jesus was no longer around for editorial review. There is much speculation that they were not even written by the apostles or His direct followers, but by those who had heard stories of what He said many years later & thought, I’d better write these down! Kind of like when you say to Grandma, “That’s a great story…you should write a book!”

Aramaic was translated into Hebrew and Greek and then on from there. You may have seen the glyphs of near Eastern languages like Hebrew and Aramaic written. They have dots all over the place above & below the letters. These indicate meanings. A meaning changes completely if you miss the dots or change one letter. Like writing “trip” when the word is “trap”. One letter totally alters what is being said. How many times were these words copied before they got to us? Monks spent years in cloister rooms or scriptoria doing this and they didn’t have overhead lighting…or corrective lenses. What they DID have was iron gall ink made from oak tree galls & pens made of turkey or swan feathers, oh, plus a penknife to sharpen the quill.

Then the whole Bible went to print on the first printing press & I’m not even going to comment on how many of Guttenberg’s copywriters can dance on the head of a pin.

Errico speculates that there are 1,000 idioms that lost their meanings in translation by being taken literally. I looked up “idiom”, and an idiom is a phrase that one culture uses commonly and thus understands, but a phrase which doesn’t make sense when translated literally into another. For example, we might say someone was drowning in red tape. Imagine someone reading that in a culture where they don’t have that expression. They’d be thinking, “red tape? Can someone drown in tape? Another is “hot under the collar,” or she was “chained to the stove.” If a German-speaker came to you to say, “Oh, he doesn’t have all his cups in the cupboard” she’d be saying what equals to us as, he’s “lost his marbles.”

Let’s examine the Lord’s Prayer with some of Errico’s information & understandings from his knowledge of the idiomatic Aramaic in which Jesus spoke.

Prayer is intended to be a form of listening for God, not necessarily speaking out to the Deity. In this one, we are talking to God as our father. Now any observant parent knows what a child needs before the child asks. Do you think God knows what you need? So this prayer isn’t “telling God” what to do – God knows how to run the universe. The purpose of prayer is to CHANGE US! Could a prayer make God more loving, do you think? A prayer can help you to understand yourself. Prayer is nourishing, it clarifies the atmosphere in our minds to give us a refreshed perspective on what’s going on all around our world.

In Unity, we say there is only one Power in the universe, God the Good. Our fear can create blockages to interfere with this knowledge & the beautiful faith this statement should bring forward in us. So much of contemporary praying is a move of desperation, of hunger, of begging relief from a perceived threat. While prayer, in the ideal, is really a form of listening. First we set the trap, then we see what we’ve caught.

Have you ever heard the phrase, pray in Jesus’ name? It’s in the Gospel of John, right? He says in there “Truly, truly, I say to you that anything you may ask my father in my name he will give it to you.” Our Jesus wasn’t the only Jesus in Palestine, you can be sure. It was a pretty common name at the time. When He said “pray in my name”, He meant pray with the same kind of understanding of God & the human family that He had. He meant for them to pray in the manner he was about to teach them.

Dr. Errico writes that the Lord’s Prayer is the essence of Jesus’ entire teachings.” It is a short summary of his beliefs about God, humanity and the world. It blends His understanding of the seen & unseen realms.

When Jesus, who was, after all, a spiritual genius, prayed, He had some basic understandings going for Him:

  • God is a loving parent;
  • God is the source of all good;
  • God is for us & never against us;
  • We are God’s children;
  • As God’s children, we can receive all the good things a loving parent has to give us.
  • The kingdom of God is inside of each of us. We must act to lay hold of it.

When they were all together by the water, Jesus composed and recited a simple, succinct prayer. It has a universal appeal. It is brief. Every line of it is an attunement (which is an alignment to our best selves, our divine nature). It wasn’t a random grouping of holy words or even an original one by any means.

The phrases He used appear in other places in Hebrew Scriptures & rabbinic prayer. The phrase, “Our Father who are in heaven” is found in many Jewish prayers. “Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth” appears in the Tanna (which is the study guide for Rabbis of the first two centuries.)

Jesus wasn’t the typical young Jewish man of the day. Even if the phrases were familiar ones of the times, He put them all together for us in one place.

 

Let’s break it down:

 

Our Father who is in Heaven

I’ve spoken before about the meaning of the word “father” in Aramaic. If you were here that day, you might recall that I said one Aramaic word might have up to 42 meanings. 42! So when Jesus referred to Abba, He meant it as an endearment. Abba can be translated as “beloved.” The word He used wasn’t even what we would equate to “father”, but more a familiar expression, like saying “Dad”. He was trying to wake the disciples up starting in this way. How different is it to say “Our loving Dad” instead of “Our Father.” It creates the idea of a compassionate, loving deity, one who knows our wishes simply by virtue of being a parent. Remember, in some of the Jewish tradition, the name of God is never even spoken or spelled out. For Jesus to skip over all the omniscient, omnipresent, etc. aspects of the Creator & go right for the affectionate papa aspect was a startling attention-getter, to say the least.

It is because we are God’s children that we can call God that!

If the kingdom (which also means “counsel” and which I understand to mean wisdom) of Heaven is within us, then so is God. So in effect, we are saying something as simple as, “Dad, you’re right here with me. Let’s talk.”

 

Hallowed be thy name

In the Near East, when merchants sold goods, they would call upon God to witness their words. They might say something like, “In the most precious name of God, this shirt is worth $20, but you, dear friend, may have it for $14.” To which ‘dear friend’ might reply, “Blessed be God, but this shirt isn’t even worth $10; I’ll give you $8 for it. The sellers & buyers dragged God’s name into everything. Rather like today, right? Some people wouldn’t think of praying in a hundred years, but they use the name of God all the time. “God knows”, “In the name of God”, “Oh my God!” “For the love of God” – But these are exclamation points in a conversation. They don’t have too much to do with the Holy Name of God after all. It’s a form of invoking God’s name in vain.

So Jesus calls our attention here to remembering to use the name of God in a more proper way – as an invocation. We want to keep the name of God out of false applications – for example, waging war in the name of God. (Of all things God is NOT, I would think political tops the list.)

 

Let your Kingdom come

Jesus saw a world in which God’s rule as a parent reigned over all politics, all divisions, mended all hearts, reconciled everyone to one truthful path, under the loving guidance of a devoted parent. This means no more boundaries, not racial, not religious, not national, not nothin’! All would be joined under one banner –a kind of Unity Consciousness with love being supreme.

The kingdom of God is a genuinely spiritual, social kingdom that rules from within the hearts of humans. For where is the kingdom of God? Right! It’s within! All races & nations are God’s children.

The word “kingdom” in Aramaic comes from the same root as “counsel”. God is our wisest counselor – if we live from our hearts, we live in a wise counsel state of being. So “let your kingdom come” actually says “Let divine, spiritual forces guide our lives & direct us in all our ways.”

Remember, the Jews lived in occupied territory. The Romans ruled. They left the people to mostly govern themselves, but they made all the big decisions. Kind of like Washington today – they let the states do their thing until April 15th, and then they bring out the list of names. Same with the Romans. And the Romans wanted to impose their imperial society, their oligarchic society of merchants ruling – the ones with the money make the laws – on everyone. Their best way to do this was to eliminate individuality. Little by little they interfered with the locals, colonizing them from the top down, imposing their will. So the disciples & everyone expecting a messiah who expected a rescuer, a political warrior, someone who could summon up an army and not just any army, but one which could defeat imperial Rome! Jesus disappointed a lot of political locals when He declared, your ruler is within & it is the aspect of you which rules from the heart like a loving parent.

At the same time, He was re-stating powerfully that we are each a sovereign individual. We are each a co-creative, procreative I AM presence! Your sovereign self does not need to be ruled; it needs to rule itself in the most right & just manner possible, which means ruling from the heart.

 

Thy will be done

Literally translates as saying to God, let your wish or desire be throughout the universe, and also on earth. Wish means will, desire, delight & pleasure. People often understand God’s will as something to hinder theirs, something forced upon them. We don’t have to beg our father to find out what is His will: it’s a caring parent’s desire for us – what parent wants their children to suffer, to be sick, to be lonely, or to live in poverty – you know when your children are hurting in some way, you’d move heaven & earth to make things better for them.

Allowing your genuine inner self to come forward in a loving manner means not colliding with others, but associating with them in desiring the best for everyone.

 

Give us this day our daily bread

In the Near East, people provide for themselves each day. Which means they don’t go to Harris Teeter for two weeks’ worth of groceries twice a month. Like the Lord’s Prayer, bread is the one foodstuff all cultures have some form of. Eastern women bake a supply of bread for one day alone, for their families & for any guests who might come by. They believe the stranger today may host them tomorrow. Thus they treat each other well & share, even with enemies. This courtesy lasts for as much as three days, but then possibly no longer. Best be on your way after that third day.

Bread is so sacred; an Easterner will not tell a lie when bread is present on the table. When baking bread, they do not rise to greet a guest, but will urge any newcomer to partake.

Bread represents “ideas” & “Prosperity”. God provides us with ideas that we may prosper. It also refers to “truth,” “teaching,” and “understanding.” Daily Bread from heaven is insight & understanding every day, kind of like reading your Daily Word to set the tone of your day.

 

Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive others

The literal meaning of the word translated as “trespass” is ‘debts’. It also means error (which is sin, right? Remember “missing the mark?”) A trespass is a fault, offense, mistake. Just like if I mispronounced your name & said, “I’m sorry”… mispronouncing your name was a sin, I got it wrong, but I hope that my apology makes it right. My apology cancels the debt and unties the difficulty. It loosens and frees any situation developing from your being offended at how I didn’t pronounce your name correctly.

Even more than truth, forgiveness sets us free. Past errors are erased, debts canceled, we begin on a new path in our life. Imagine if you had no debt in your life whatsoever – imagine if a Jubilee were declared wherein all debt was canceled & you owned all the things you’ve been making payments on for years. (This was something they actually did in those days, declaring a year of jubilee every so many years. All debts were canceled. It gave everyone a chance at a new life, cleared family debts, freed up tons of creativity & generated a lot of gratitude to whoever declared it. The Master Teacher gave us elbow room when he tried to put across the idea that blame does nothing while forgiveness and pardon can change the world entire.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be free of the idea we have offended God with some behavior of ours? So the other half of the phrase – as we forgive others – becomes the balance we dare not overlook. For if we want to be free, we need to free others. I can tell you if you do not forgive someone, they OWN you! While you harbor resentment or anger, that person or situation is in charge of your life.

Furthermore, forgiveness is downright healthy! When we allow love to heal us with forgiveness, it doesn’t matter how others feel, or even if they don’t care about being forgiven. They don’t have to react. The action takes place inside of us in a beautiful restoration of inner harmony.

 

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil

When I would go canoeing with my second husband, I sat in the front, which means I steered. I remember to this day when he hollered at me: “Carol, don’t steer into danger!” That’s kind of what they’re talking about here. The translation is roughly equal to “keep us out of trouble.” What loving parent takes his child to the curb & says, it’s okay to cross the street without looking, go ahead. God is light; light will not lead you into darkness. Light dispels darkness!

The Aramaic word “temptation” also connotes materialism. So what we are really saying here is don’t let us enter into materialism – don’t let us be deceived by the materialistic way of life. Because we lose sight of spirituality when we get into bigger, better, faster, more.

The word “deliver” also means “parted” or “separated”. So the idea now has moved into “keep us alert, keep us from wrong thinking & actions that’ll lead us into more problems.” In Aramaic, the word for evil also means “to err, to displease, to harm, to mistake, to be unripe…to be unripe?! Says to me to not be at our fullest, or in our most healthful aspect. As a noun, the word used means “bad” “ugly” “cruel”, “immature (unripe)” “incorrect” and others. God didn’t create our problems, no matter how much we like to lay blame. We have the ability to look to the truth within to make our own ways straight.

So this phrase, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil becomes instead: keep us awake to straying from the right road, deliver us from doing a wrong thing.”

I invite you to take another look at this simple, profound, loving prayer with these new thoughts shining from it. We lose meaning with allowing it to be just a formula…we’re then following along instead of leading our own way into the world. Jesus was giving His peeps a way to take charge of their lives. In effect, he was giving them God’s best contact information … friending them on Divine Facebook. He was showing them how to capture the best of divinity in the personal trap of each individual heart raising itself up to speak to a beloved parent.

And after redefining this prayer for ourselves, we wait with eager anticipation for God to recognize us with the divine and simply beautiful love of a parent.

Let’s take the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer into meditation.