Keep a True Lent
We have traveled through most Charles Fillmore’s book, “Keep a True Lent” during these few weeks. In fact, we are close to the end. Soon we will reach that time of crucifixion and resurrection.
This week, Charles asks us to look at faith. Faith-thinking. And abundance.
What is faith-thinking? It simply is using our ability to think with faith. Our thinking capacity is most often ego driven. If we do not control it, have dominion over it as we spoke about last week, we can go astray.
The thinking in our head is often the second-hand ideas of our ancestors. So Charles asks: “Do we ever have an original thought?”
Faith-thinking is thinking from the heart or with love.
It is a waste of time & energy trying to build without the true thinking source, our heart, our spiritual center.
Everything that appears in our life & affairs physically & mentally has sometime been sent forth from our thinking. It is only through the power vested in it that you can come into consciousness…consciousness makes our heaven & our hell.
Our ability to think is part of our gift from our Creator. Ideas are available to all of us. We choose what we wish to do with those Divine ideas. Our free will is that gift that makes this world filled with variety – in every form.
We are the focus of life, intelligence, love, and substance of God. Our identity as individuals is formed by the infinitely various combinations of the attributes of the Christ.
Just think of the principle of music. One principle yet millions of combinations of its parts. And all important, just as each individual instrument is an important part of a symphony, if not heard together in harmony, it would be painful instead of beautiful to hear.
Our identity is formed by the various combinations of God’s attributes: the 12 powers.
We get to discern how to use these powers. Could be as a Spiritual aspect or an intellectual aspect, or very base. We have free will to live our lives.
How are you living your life? Can you combine these faculties for your good and the good of all?
Of course you can. Are you willing to do this? That is the question.
Our thinking faculty is the inlet and outlet of all ideas. When you master your thoughts, they are filled with ideas and wisdom, God’s gift to us.
Your talents are part of the abundance given to us all to use for good.
If you suppress your talent, being indifferent to it and to life, how would that show up in your life? Maybe frustration. Maybe anxiety.
And if you would be egotistic about your talent, maybe the behavior would turn out to be obnoxious.
Have you noticed any behavior like this in your friends and family? In yourself?
1 Timothy:4:14 tells us “Do not neglect the gift that you have…”
The important thing is, we must take control of our gifts–we must know what they are, and their place in our lives.
We can use the 12 powers to find them, and use them properly to the aid of all and for your personal growth. If we take control of our thoughts, we can enjoy a more abundant life.
Stephen J. Kosmyna. Unity Minister writes:
“Release thoughts of lack, limiting beliefs and self-imposed boundaries. You have more than what appears in your basket to create the life you desire. We draw from the Universe as a we think a thought, imagine what it looks like, build the picture and the vision, and hold it steady with tremendous feeling and emotion. See it. Believe it. Do your forgiveness work and be grateful for your vision manifesting in advance and absolutely it will come to be.”
In times of struggle…we forget what brought success to us, much like the Israelites in the Hebrew Bible. If you recall, they would often, unfortunately, follow several years of good, fruitful living with disasters of weather and violence from enemies when they strayed from God’s Word.
Then they would pray and beg God to save them only to stray again, a continuous cycle until they finally got it…. just follow God’s Laws and all is well.
We do the same thing. We forget, or listen to ego, or someone else…instead of taking responsibility for our thoughts and actions, and following the Laws of our Creator. When we do that, all is good. We can have ‘life, and have it abundantly.”
To aid in that abundant life, according to Charles Fillmore, there are two laws of increase;
- Primary law of Increase is a Permanent law because it is Spiritual: possessing and molding in thought the omnipresence of Spirit –
- The Secondary law of Increase is Physical: piling up possessions by human effort. This is insecure: it can disappear as quickly as it appears. Just think the Wall Street crash…
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:20-21
This is the world of the visible and the invisible. The world of ego thinking and faith-thinking.
Money, for example, is visible. Thoughts are invisible but they are connected. Control of your thoughts makes it possible to have abundance.
Spirit provides through ideas and wisdom. What we choose to do with those ideas is up to us.
Those choices determine our abundance. For example, what are your thoughts as you handle money? Do you give thanks as you write your checks to pay your bills? Or are you thinking about lack, limitation?
Remember: It’s not money B UT THE LOVE OF MONEY that is the root of our problems. Believing that our source is of this physical world.
Here’s another example – when you choose to gift someone, what are your thoughts behind the gift? Are you giving from the heart, no matter what kind of gift you are giving – could be physical, could be time or talent, or even treasure.
Could be at Holiday time, or here at Unity….
The thought behind a gift is the real measure of its value and efficiency. Think of a gift from a child…a drawing or a trinket. The thought behind a gift from a child is pure love.
And this is one reason why we ask you to bless your Tithes and offering each Sunday. Blessing something increases its value. We ask you to send the gift to Unity, no matter the size, and THAT increases its worth.
There are many ways we misuse money and other items that we give dignity to, but should not. Think about what you value and why. Does it really have the value you are giving it?
I have seen lately, a comment, ‘the problem we have now is because we value things and not people.’ Something to consider.
So, watch your thoughts when you are handling anything you consider of value.
Are you hoarding it, even in your thoughts?
If there are thoughts along the line of hoarding, then we are misusing the thing…whether it be money or other items.
If we do not keep the circle of giving and receiving going, the flow of good gets stuck, and the good stops flowing.
Many Unity’s do what they call Circulation Day. Instead of a yard sale, for example, they set up everything and let people come and take what they need. It’s a great way of cleaning out what no longer serves us and keeping the flow of giving and receiving going….circulation.
Thomas Merton said, “It is easy enough to tell the poor to accept their poverty as God’s will when you yourself have warm clothes and plenty of food and medical care and a roof over your head and no worry about rent. But if you want them to believe you – try to share some of their poverty and see if you can accept it as God’s will yourself.”
We ask ourselves every Sunday, what is mine to do? Last week I reminded us all about the blessing of tithing, how Jacob set the example of making God a partner in all transactions.
As we go to our daily jobs, whatever they be, we can make God a partner there too. We do not have to slave and stress at our work. If this is where you have chosen to share your gifts, then make God a partner with your work. See it as a part of the Divine Journey. Look for the Divinity in all the parts of the work. Make it Sacred.
All work becomes divine when it is for God. God is a generous paymaster. The reward is much more than the money in the bank.
Remember, there is no place where God is not. Make every place you are and everything you do, sacred, for it is.
Bonaventure wrote: “God is “within all things but not enclosed; outside all things, but not excluded; above all things, but not aloof; below all things, but not debased.” He spoke of God as one “whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.”
So, when you sit down to eat your meals, be thankful for the abundance before you, whatever it is. As a child, there were times when food was scarce. A meal might have been biscuits and molasses. Or what we called Italian pancakes, made from flour and water. Yet it filled our bellies and we were grateful for it.
Keep in mind that everything exists because some other life form has sacrificed for it. Be it vegetable or animal. Bless the meal, be grateful for the hands that made it available to you from the farmer to the producer to the store clerk.
We must have compassion for our body, have compassion for every living body, declare oneness with everything and everyone. This is how we find peace, by BEING peace.