GRACE

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

The words we hear ignite certain feelings that create images in the mind. When left alone, these feelings and images evolve slowly or quickly into the physical realm. The invisible feelings, emotions and images of the mind become visible depending upon their intensity.  These mental impressions are forerunners to “the word”; i.e., a single distinct meaningful mental seed that contains its own fulfillment.

Yes, the words we hear are immediately translated and transcribed into our memory or subjective mind. They may be called into action at any time, either deliberately through conscious choice, or unconsciously through resonating with the belief it contains. 

Many words carry more than one meaning, therefore the context that they connote needs to be understood. Otherwise, what evolves into form may be different than expected, and in most cases not even remembered as having once been a feeling.

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“Grace” is one of those words that is rarely misunderstood. It always implies some natural goodness. When I hear the word ‘grace’ I sense and feel the essence of loveliness. Images of simple elegance flowing with effortless ease enter my mind. Soon I find myself in an environment of courteous goodwill, respect, consideration, and thoughtfulness. 

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The word ‘grace’ triggers a spiritual awareness within me. I begin to feel and sense an Intimate Presence divinely guiding the affairs of my life, bringing about peace and tranquility in all my undertakings. This awareness of The Great Mystery of my being inspires me to devote more quiet time contemplating The Beloved of my soul.  

I notice that whenever I begin to forgive myself for human errors that may have caused a negative experience for myself or another, the energy of love, peace and harmony surround me, infusing my consciousness with a sense of well-being. Once I decide to let go and let God, I notice unexpected good flowing in my life even before I imagined its possibility.

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Ernest Holmes says: “Grace is the giving-ness of Spirit to Its Creation and is not a special law, but a specialized one. In other words, Grace is, but we need to recognize it. It is not something God imposed upon us, but is the logical result of the correct acceptance of life and of a correct relationship to the Spirit.” 

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The more aware I become of the Love of Spirit all around, the more inspired I become to practice random acts of kindness; to forgive easily, gaze more deeply into nature, and to become a beneficial presence in the world, doing that which is mine to do. 


This Week’s Affirmation

“I walk this world with grace.”
By Natasha Brown
https://www.gritsngrace.com

SING YOUR SONG

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

There are those who study the reliability of the universe. These scientists pass on their findings to whomever is open to receive them. Of course, the universe is too vast for scientists to study all the expressions of life with detailed attention, so they specialize their focus. 

While sciences vary, all Laws and Principles, the Infallible and Invisible Causes behind everything, are actually the One Presence, God, making Itself known throughout all nature.  All Life is The One Life expressing. 

Regular readers of this blog have no doubt noticed that I love talking about the Law or Science of Mind and how it works in the human experience.

I enjoy exploring the idea that I AM the image and likeness of God. In so doing, I discover there are infinite possibilities for the expression of good to flow through me. I prepare a way to receive these gifts of life by practicing my true nature in everything I think, say and do. I forgive myself quickly if I miss the mark, and simply begin again.  I enjoy passing on my findings to those who are open to receive the good news about this inherent nature.  After all, “It’s in every one of us.”

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There is a natural rhythm to everything that occurs in the universe. Sometimes this rhythm is obvious and other times it is obscured by circumstances. For example, although the sun rises and sets with mechanical precision; nonetheless, on a cloudy or foggy day, the overcast may be so great that reality is hidden from sight.  

However, no matter how long the darkness lasts, there is unwavering faith that sings: The sun’ll come out tomorrow ~ Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow ~ There’ll be sun.”

On a clear day, when the magnificence of the universe fills our awareness with its divine order, stunning beauty, and provision for every living thing, the soul of nature lifts it voice in universal praise, singing: “How Great Thou Art!”

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Similarly, there is a rhythm to individual life that operates in the microcosm exactly as it does in the macrocosm. Sometimes the perfection that each one of us is, is heavy laden with the conditions of living.

Unlike the sun, however, as self-conscious beings of choice, we have been “conditioned” to identify with what arises. Sometimes there is a tendency to claim the thing that is hiding the reality of who we really are, believing it is who we are. For example, one may say, “I am sick; I am poor; I am scared; I am lonely,” etc., etc., while all the time these conditions can be likened to the clouds and fog hiding the sun. They hide who we really are. 

However, with an insight of Wholeness, the whole picture may change in an instant. Ernest Holmes teaches, “Change your Thinking, Change Your Life. Paul of the Bible says, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Obviously, they both agree, along with many great thinkers throughout the ages, that there is a power for good at hand right now. It is the power of choice operating in the mental realm of our own being. You may begin singing, “Born Free.”

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There are individuals, right now, who may be heavy laden with physical conditions who never lose their sense of Self. While they do not deny the experience or the appearance of the circumstances; they navigate through them, embracing the wisdom of science that supports their physical healing. At the same time, these individuals unify and identify with the inner feelings of Light, Love, Peace, Joy, and Abundance, the true nature of individual being. These individuals sing: “I Love Myself…Just the Way I AM.” 


This Week’s Affirmation

I know there is a power for good, which is the power of choice operating in the mental realm of my being.
By Mary Jane LaBonte, RScP

THE BIG IDEA!

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

Early on in my personal pursuit of Truth and Happiness, I stumbled upon The Science of Mind and began to learn about my relationship with Divine Mind. I read somewhere that we (humans) do not “think.” We think that we think, while all the time there is Something thinking through us. This concept was nothing more or less than a riddle that I could not wrap around my mind.   I also learned early on, if I did not relate to a particular concept, to just leave it alone for the time being, and I did. 

Throughout the years I enjoyed chanting the words, “I’m a channel letting God’s ideas flow through me.”  I loved hearing the words from songs such as “Flow Through Me Holy Spirit,” and “Use Me.” I cannot count the times I have affirmed, “There is only One Life. That Life is God, and That Life is my life now,” and “God in me as me is me.”

Most of the time, I simply enjoyed the moment while I affirmed these various statements of Truth. I was not necessarily “thinking” about how I was teaching myself what I needed to know. Now I realize, words of Truth are forever thinking through everyone.  They are The God-Power; The Omnipresence; The First Cause; and The Only Life Force there is. They are the Original Word of Power that creates everything out of Its own image.

The Creative Word of Power is Love; is Peace: is Harmony; is Joy. It is the Ultimate Good imaginable about any experience in life. This word (choose any one) is God’s idea flowing through humanity that I sang about and spoke about. However, with my own free will, the creative power within me is filtered through what I believe is so about these divine qualities of my inherent spirit.

When the idea of Love is filtered through a belief that someone else is responsible for how I feel about myself; or, if ideas of Peace and Harmony are filtered through a belief that differences means separation and I must take sides; or, if the idea of Joy is filtered through a belief that challenges and change represent adversity and pain, then the big idea, or the divine idea moving through me,  is watered down and a mirage of false beliefs becomes the experience, the effect, the apparent issues of life.  

When I was a child, there was an expression that was used when someone did something unexpected, disapproving, and rather audacious at another’s expense.  The offended would ask, “What’s the big idea? In other words, “What were you thinking? Or What’s your intention and motive here?

In such times when you may be entangled in a self-created web of confusion, it is good to stop and ask yourself, “What’s the big idea here?” 

The big idea of Love, Peace, Harmony and Joy are always thinking through you. They are the All-Powerful Word that brings about fulfillment in the very thing you desire; i.e., health, wealth, right relationships, career and so on and so on.

Spiritual practices such as meditation, spiritual mind treatment, inspirational reading, affirmations and visioning have a tendency to lead you to Truth and Happiness. Try it, you might like it.


This Week’s Affirmation

Look at me! I AM always a perfect idea in the mind of God!
By Keith Childers

PRAYER: An Affirmation of Truth

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

Prayer is indeed a phenomenal way of participating fully and freely in this thing called life. There are many schools of thought, combined with one’s personal experiences that influence one’s prayer life. 

The following are just a few examples of information that may have been inadvertently received and that are now operating in our lives when it comes to what we believe to be true about life and living and how we pray.   

In Ancient Chinese philosophy,” Yin and Yang is a concept of dualism, describing how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. – Yin is the receptive and Yang the active principle, seen in all forms.” (Wikipedia) 

In the Christian Bible we find: “There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build.”  (Ecclesiastes 3)

The Science of Mind teaches: “This is a Universe of Wholeness, All-ness, Oneness. Spirit is a transcendent, perfect Whole that, in Its Infinite Inclusivity, harmoniously embraces all seeming opposites.

Each human being is endowed with free will and can thus choose to experience freedom or bondage, abundance or lack, joy or misery, all of which lie within the Infinite Inclusivity of God.” (Core Concept Five)

The vast ocean shows us the ebb and flow of its nature. When I was first introduced to the ways of the ocean, I was amazed how far into its waters I could walk during low tide. It was in these early morning hours I discovered some of the mysteries of the sea that would otherwise be hidden. Attempting to walk the same distance during high tide would put my life at risk. However, both aspects require careful scrutiny, for they each had their advantages. High tide is a sheer delight for surfers as they catch the wave.

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There is a common thread running through all of these concepts that may support us greatly when we discern the One Truth permeating them all.

There’s no point in wishing, hoping, begging, and pleading for what is inherently so to ever be different than it is; instead, when we pray, the more we adhere to the nature of being, the more of Life’s secrets are revealed, and we may begin to know how to apply our greatest advantage to all circumstances.  

Yes, knowledge is power. Prayer is not for the purpose of convincing a God out there somewhere what would be the best outcome for a particular situation, and in return assure It of our allegiance – sort of a quid pro quo. No, the All Powerful One is changeless in Its nature and cannot be persuaded. The apparent good that we seek for our lives is already the nature and the Presence of God within ourselves, seeking expression. Ernest Holmes teaches, “the highest God and the innermost God is One.”

,Therefore, prayer is for the purpose of affirming our faith in that which is already so.  The affirmative prayer of New Thought is not new. It is simply conveying the Ancient Wisdom that has always been known by the great mystics throughout time. New Thought conveys The Truth of Being in today’s language. Health, Wealth, Beauty, Love, Peace, and Joy are our inherent nature. They belong to us now.

From The Living Bible, the words of Jesus are translated saying, “Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you have it; it’s yours!”  Let us pray for a world that works for everyone!


This Week’s Affirmation

“I see God in all there is and affirm peace and harmony for the world.”
By Angela “Chris” Beam

PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

In the movie, Scent of a Woman, Al Pacino plays the role of a complicated alcoholic, whose young assistant for a week-end excursion suggests that he does not drink for those few days. His reply was (paraphrased) “sorry my boy, that’s just too much of a stretch for now.”

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For many years I smoked cigarettes. The more I learned about my True Self, the habit made less and less sense. It became clear to me that dependency on anything outside of myself was a false idea about my nature.  I began affirming the Truth about my inner source of peace and well-being, as I continued to smoke. After all, to simply quit was too much of a stretch

One day, who knows how long after I started the practice of spiritual affirmations, the cigarette I tried to smoke was intolerable. I was no longer a smoker. It appeared to be in an instant, “out of the blue,”  or “cold turkey” as they say, because there was no evidence of an outer process. 

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The idea that there is a power for good in the universe and you can use it, is the foundation stone that may build a whole new world for you and for me. The idea is a good one.  However, when it comes to actually believing, accepting, and activating this power for the purpose of manifesting one’s highest good; the proposition may seem easier said than done. It may be too much of a stretch.

Nonetheless, regardless of the individual’s lack of awareness or her conscious use of this Law of Mind; It is always working with mechanical precision according to the flow of the thought patterns that are established over time.

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No matter how resigned one may become with what seems like unsurmountable conditions; according to Emma Curtis Hopkins, there is an intuitive knowing within all beings that asserts, “There’s good for me and I ought to have it.”   

I imagine that the people who were targets of slavery in this country, consistently envisioned a life of freedom. I imagine they affirmed their divinity, the image and likeness of God, even as they succumbed to the ignominy visited upon them. 

I imagine all this to be so because of the Infallible Law/or Principle/or Power for good as it relates to the activity of Divine Mind operating throughout all humanity.  This Perfect Law of Cause and Effect supersedes man’s laws that are fallible, subject to change and error.

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Knowingly or unknowingly, the issues of our hearts always come to fruition. And, just like one day I was no longer a smoker; one day, man’s laws succumbed to the collective consciousness of the people’s affirmation that freedom was their divine inheritance and therefore, inevitable. 

Sometimes, the issue at hand seems like too much of a stretch to overcome in the moment. However, remember, there are spiritual tools such as affirmations, journaling, inspirational readings, spiritual gatherings, meditation, walking the labyrinth, and more that support you in stretching from where you are to where you desire.

Just trust and expect the desired good to follow. Goethe said, “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has geniuspower, and magic in it.”  


This Week’s Affirmation

Today I raise my expectations and claim my highest good.
By Judy Hilley