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ACCEPTING WHAT IS

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

Learning to surrender to the IS-Ness of Life is an essential spiritual practice. Much like forgiveness, it is not a one-time discipline. It must be done over and over again. Recently I reminded myself that it was time for me to surrender again to God’s will.

Actually, I’ve had some resistance to the phrase, “surrender to God’s will.” The term seems so “yesterday thinking” suggesting that God is a Power outside of myself and that I must give up my personal power of choice.   Yet, my Higher Self (God within me) knows that my “today thinking” understands what “God’s will” really means.  I must remind myself over and over what I know to be so.

I’ve come to understand that God’s will and God’s nature are one and the same. When I think about what God is, I sense The All-Pervasive Presence is the very essence of the intangible qualities that are the core of everything that denotes good. It stands to reason that God, the Great Creative Force of the Universe, being the only thing there is, can only impart Itself, Its own nature, because there is nothing else.  God’s Will, I reason within my own mind, can be nothing short of Its nature of Love, Beauty, Harmony, Joy, Wholeness, Unity, Peace, Wisdom, etc.

When we are no longer constrained by our own self-imposed littleness, and surrender to the will of goodness, we are able to move through, over, or around what used to seem like a difficult situation. Instead of seeing how low you can go, you start to see how high you can go. We can say good-bye to hitting bottom over and over again. 

Years ago, when I began my journey of awakening, my spiritual community encouraged me saying, “the sky is the limit.” Their message was: challenges are successfully met to the degree we accept and activate our true nature, our oneness with God.

The moment we begin to see a greater possibility for our lives our spiritual bar is raised, our expectations are elevated; our consciousness is expanded. We actually start to become the good we seek.

From this perspective I realize it is always God’s will or God’s nature that I desire when I pray about the experiences of my life. Of course, the great realization is: God being the All in all means God is already in the midst of all my affairs. It is up to me to stop struggling with my limited perceptions of life and simply accept or let God be God as the thing I desire to experience. I must surrender to God’s will… God’s nature.

Whenever I practice surrendering to Nature’s Way, I notice I am less rigid and less controlling about how things must look, sound or be expressed in order for them to be authentic.

Whether I say “I accept what is” or say “I surrender to God’s will,” I ignite the same vibration of my inevitable Wholeness. 


This Week’s Affirmation

“I surrender my will today, in this moment, to welcome all that God has for me.”
~ Anonymous ~

GRATITUDE: May The Fourth Be with You!

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

The fourth step of Spiritual Mind Treatment, a process of right thinking, or affirmative prayer, is “Thanksgiving.” Today may very well be the day you are filled with deep gratitude as you begin to feel, sense and know God’s grace is pouring in, through, and as you, bringing about peace of mind. After all, when one lives in a consciousness of this fourth step, there is sure to follow an ever-increasing awareness of visible good. So, “May the Fourth Be with You,” today and always.

Yes, May 4th is a fun time to play on the famous words, “May the Force Be with You,” from the classic movie, Star Wars. In so doing, it may be a blessing, or gentle reminder that there really is a Force for Good operating in the universe, an Eternal Presence, forever whispering, “lo, I AM with thee always.” This Divine Intelligence reflects into our experience the exact image of the issues of the heart.

Ernest Holmes says this about the power of gratitude: “When we speak the words of thanksgiving to the God within, knowing “before they ask will I answer,” there is something in the attitude of thanksgiving that carries us beyond the field of doubt into one of perfect faith and acceptance, receptivity… realization. Appreciation, gratitude and thanksgiving
~ the motive power which attracts and magnifies the hidden potentialities of life.”

As humanity navigates through the balance of this year and looks forward to the newness of the coming days, it is important to have a thankful heart in this present moment. Otherwise, it is easy to become blinded by fear; the false evidence appearing real and inadvertently manifest more of the same. Right now, I am thankful for a good night’s sleep; a beautiful sunset; special friendships, good health; food; shelter; and so much more.

The Force of the fourth is with me now. I prayerfully affirm and give thanks, with great anticipation, for the inevitable fulfillment of my heart’s desires and the desires of all who resonate with these words adapted from Centers for Spiritual Living Global Vision:

• I give thanks for a world in which we live and grow as One Global Family that respects and honors the interconnectedness of all life; a world where this kinship with all life prospers and connects through the guidance of spiritual wisdom and experience.

• I give thanks for a world where personal responsibility joins with social conscience in every area of the political, corporate, academic, and social sector providing sustainable structures to further the emerging global consciousness.

• I give thanks for a world where each and every person has enough food, a home and a sense of belonging; a world of peace and harmony, enfranchisement, and justice.

• I give thanks for a worldwide culture in which forgiveness is the norm.

• I give thanks for a world which has renewed its emphasis on beauty, nature and love through the resurgence of creativity, art and aesthetics.

• I give thanks for a world that works for everyone and for all creation.

May the Force, operating through the fourth step of Spiritual Mind Treatment, be with you, now and always.


This Week’s Affirmation

I choose Gratitude as my daily affirmation knowing that all is in Divine Order.
By Mary Jane LaBonte, RScP

PRINCIPLE IS ALWAYS NOW

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

“….and concerning the works of my hands, command ye me.” ~ Isaiah 45:11 (ASV) ~

The good news is: “Principle is not bound by precedent.” The far-reaching implication of these words are a great assurance that all things are possible, regardless of the history of the thing desired. Over and over again, I bear witness to the power of a made-up mind. It doesn’t matter how long one has endured a negative experience; I notice whenever there is a resounding proclamation that Enough is Enough, there is a response, equal to the command, revealing the imminent change right now.

When the apparent good, (manifestation) is realized, there is an outburst of gratitude. The new day is proof, (a demonstration) that there truly is a power for good in the universe for which humanity is infinitely connected. This Power is sometimes called the Over-Soul inasmuch as It is the unifying essence of the One Spirit. This power responds to the slightest impression or vibration that is activated by a word of faith. This relationship between the human and the divine is great reason for celebration. 

However, the Law of Life never gives us more than we can accept at any given time. Therefore, sometimes, after the initial demonstration and the celebration, there is an awareness that the issue is not completely resolved. Instead, the apparent good is a starting point of unwavering faith in the greater-yet-to-be.  

The Apostle Paul teaches us “to pray without ceasing.” The Cumulative Prayer and consequent manifestations are the up-rooting of deep-seeded belief patterns; both individual and collective. Having a consistent spiritual practice of affirmative prayer is a testimony of a faith that says, “I push myself forward toward the goal to win the prize. God has appointed me to win it.”  ~ Philippians 3:14 (NIRV) ~

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
~  Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) ~

The goal is the vision that pulls me. The prize is my highest idea of good operating in my daily life. Peace on earth, Unconditioned Love, Harmony and Wisdom are the impetus for everything I think, say, and do. My goal is to live life more abundantly. 

When I consider my personal values and beliefs, I let them merge with visions for which I resonate. My values resonate with StillPoint’s vision to “experience a personal sense of enlightenment and transformation.”  My values resonate with the Centers for Spiritual Living’s vision of “a world that works for everyone.” My values resonate with The United States of America’s vision of “liberty and justice for all.”

Consciously and deliberately, I let go of all images of limitation. Undergirded by a Principle that is infallible and instantaneous in Its manifestation; I become aware of what is mine to do and who I am to be.  I shout a resounding YES, to all I believe is right, good, and orderly, and for the highest good of all people. My commitment to my goal for Peace Now becomes a great contagion, affecting everyone I encounter. 

I eagerly await the inevitable evidence that my soul’s sincere desire is heard and acted upon. I give thanks and celebrate the good news that “Principle is not bound by precedent.”


This Week’s Affirmation

Today is a new day. I stop looking at tomorrow through yesterday’s problems.
By Keith Childers

The Ideal: TRUTH

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

In spite of the struggle humanity is currently moving through; I am, nonetheless, awe-inspired by the unconstrained beauty that springtime yields. Over and over, I am called to reconcile my awareness of God’s magnificence all around, juxtaposed to the pain and suffering I see in the world. 

I allow myself to move into the higher realms of consciousness that transcend these paradoxes; the hypnotic spell of ‘us and them.’ I am ready to wake up fully; and know, understand, sense, feel and experience the presence of God right here and right now.  

So, I ask, do I ignore what is going on and retreat within myself, saying it has nothing to do with me; declaring all is well? Jesus sure didn’t when he saw the “mis-creation” out-picturing at the Temple in Jerusalem. No, I’m not satisfied to simply say ‘it is what it is.’ Something within me just won’t let me do that.  Something within me says, there is an answer, just listen. 

~ ~ ~   ~ ~ ~  ~ ~ ~

In her book, Entering the Castle, Caroline Myss describes the soul as “your calm eye in the hurricane of a chaotic world.”  I begin thinking of all the enlightened ones throughout the ages who faced the atrocities of ignorance. The story of Jesus includes his looking out at his persecutors, and praying: “Forgive them father, for they know not what they do.” Then there’s the Sufi story of a great master being stoned to death, yet still smiling, he says to the crowd, ‘I am not deceived by you – I know who you are.’ In both instances these enlightened ones understood the true nature of their perpetrators, even though the culprits themselves, did not. The enlightened had a calm eye in troubling times.

~ ~ ~   ~ ~ ~  ~ ~ ~

So, what does this wisdom of the enlightened impart? One thing I glean is, I must become proficient in distinguishing the deed from the doer. One is governed by “Man’s Law” and the other is governed by “Spiritual Law;” and, humanity is composed of spiritual beings having human experiences. The consequences of anti-social behavior are not the action of a punishing God, but are the logical outcome of an infallible and neutral law, whose rain falls on the just and the unjust, and Its sun shines on all alike. 

~ ~ ~   ~ ~ ~  ~ ~ ~

Spiritual Law is a universal principle of Cause and Effect. This Creative Law of Mind transforms the energy of thoughts/and become the experiences the thinker encounters with  people, places, and things. 

The violent thoughts and deeds that out-picture in the world can be likened to weeds that obstruct the growth of a beautiful garden.

The peaceful thoughts of Love and Light that out-picture in the world can be likened to the beautiful springtime, bursting forth in all of God’s magnificence. 

I am a contributor to the collective consciousness and experience of humanity. I have the power to choose the thoughts I offer the world.

~ ~ ~   ~ ~ ~  ~ ~ ~

I contemplate these things. I learn lessons about right thinking and right living. I forgive myself and others for all “mistaken identity.” I envision a world where humanity expresses its true nature of freedom, peace, harmony, love and joy. I am shown moment by moment the weeds of my consciousness that must be uprooted. I do what is mine to do to bring all issues of discord back into alignment with the ideal, the truth. 


This Week’s Affirmation

God is Good, and God is All There Is.
My faith in Spirit is greater than any appearance of duality.

By Angela “Chris” Beam

THE POWER WITHIN

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

Can you look evil or tragedy in the eye and announce your faith, a faith that says Peace, Love and Harmony are the only Reality; that any so-called evil is “false evidence appearing real?” Can you do this without any resistance to the experience itself, knowing that “what you resist persists?”  In other words, have you cultivated a consciousness that distinguishes the relative from the absolute; secondary causations from First Cause?  

I responded to this self-talk, not with an answer, but with a question. I asked myself, does this mean I should take on a passive attitude and not speak up about what is apparently evil – that which brings harm and suffering to myself or others in the world? My mind was immediately flooded with thoughts. I reminded myself:  the principle I am dealing with is, ‘where attention goes – energy flows.’ 

Therefore, when words and actions expressed are not congruent with the nature of Being and go in the opposite direction of Truth; there is a cross-current of energy, frustrating the Perfect Law that is always conspiring to bring about goodness. It is from this awareness that Ernest Holmes taught the effectiveness of being “for something and against nothing;” i.e., proactive rather than reactive. 

I am reminded that I have the power within me to reverse negative experience by speaking the word of Truth; i.e., my description of Reality, in spite of appearances. My consciousness of Truth is the affirmative prayer that ignites the Infallible Law of Mind.  My divine ideas expressed restore harmony. The next step of course is action, as it has been said, “faith without works is dead.”

Martin Luther King Jr., when seeing great injustices taking place in our country, knew that something was out of alignment with the Truth of Being. I imagine he first prayed, looking for the answer as to what to do; and this one man, seemingly against an army of enemies, took action.  

My inner dialogue continued and I recalled another great American Theologian, Dr. Howard Thurman. While his quest was the same as King’s, he was inspired to lift the spiritual consciousness of humanity through his ministry. His consciousness became a great influence.  Then there was Siddhārtha Gautama, who, upon seeing the poverty of his land for the first time, renounced his life as a prince – left the palace and chose the life of a beggar and became the Buddha. 

Each man acknowledged the symptom of discord and then moved forward with some action according to his particular uniqueness anchored in spiritual awareness.  

In the words of Bryan Stevenson, “Somebody has to stand when other people are sitting. Somebody has to speak when other people are quiet.” The Apostle Paul said, “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all.” (1 Corinthians 12:4).  

I have now come to understand, while actions may vary, God-inspired ideas yield peace. I envision living in a world that is safe, where nonviolence is the norm. I adhere to the words of Gandhi, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” I affirm the healing power of Love in the world, be it in family dynamics; in the workplace; in relationships; in finances, or in health. I embrace Goethe’s words, “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” 


This Week’s Affirmation

Right here and now I am Perfect Peace. 
I have the power to change my world to one that works for everyone!

By Judy Hilley

~ ~ ~

In Loving Memory
Reverend Wendy Williams