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Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Dec 26, 2013 | Comments (0)


Second Sunday After Christmas

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for the Second Sunday After Christmas

Godly Abiding Spiritually in Jesus Changes the Meaning of What we See Worldly When Not Abiding in Jesus.

Spirituality is our innate ability to feel the difference worldly or godly thinking makes to the way scripture translates to our daily life and relationships.

All Scripture is a testimony to Jesus Christ, who is the Word of God. He is the complete revelation of God’s will of grace for salvation. Grace is the only unfailing rule of faith and practice for the Christian life.

The Gospel of grace is: rather than trying to be more faithful to become faithful, we become faithful by feeling the Faith God already has for and in us.

The Strength of Christianity is Grace

John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Another name for Jesus is "Grace". Another name for God is "Grace". We are saved by GRACE. "Love" is not Love if it is not grace. This is true for "Faith", "Hope", "Joy" and all other theological words of significance in the scripture.

Until someone experiences the grace gift in their lives, all other theological words have no real meaning. Why not begin to use the word "grace" in place of "Jesus", "God", "the Spirit", "Love" and so on? It might seem inappropriate to do so. However, until it is actually experienced it will make no sense at all.

That is what this year is all about. Grace, did you get it?

Praying Gracefully

Prayers are from the Collects for the weekly Scriptures.

Pray this prayer: "Almighty God, Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Now quietly move into God's Presence and pray the prayer again: "Almighty God, Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord."

What was the difference?

Find the difference between being in God’s Peace to celebrate Christmas and celebrating Christmas to be in His Peace.

THE NEW YEARS RESOLUTION THAT REALLY WORK

John 1:1-18 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.

The last Sunday in Christmas can be a real bummer for some. All the preparation, hard work, busy malls, traffic and people can really stress a person out. Let us not take away any joy that is left. The embers are still lit. Just a bit smoky but with a few embers left. Here come the resolutions time. Some people make many and others none. 

By definition a New Year resolution is a commitment to make a life style change that would be advantageous for us. Most of us have made New Year’s resolutions at one time or another. The reason we quit making them is because they do not work. The reason they do not work is because they are symptoms. Until we know the cause they will be a lost cause.

It is like the man goes to the doctor and says he is terribly sick. The doctor gives him some pills but they do not work. He then gives him a shot that does not work. He then tells him to sit in a hot bath for an hour and then stand naked in front of an open window. The man says, “That is crazy! I would catch pneumonia.”  “Exactly,” the doctor says, “I know how to treat pneumonia.”

Trying to making a life style change does not work anymore than taking pills and shots for an unknown sickness works. We need to know what causes the symptoms. Trying to change our life style is like depending on the same way of thinking that got us in to the mess to get us out. (Einstein)  

We need to remember we are unique, just like everyone else. Everyone’s perceptions and viewpoints are formed by Thought combined with Consciousness and Presence. Everyone solves their problems in either of two ways.

The bad news is we cannot change our life style. It will always be a part our human nature. Our thoughts create our feelings about what happens to us. We can change the event to make us feel better about it or we can change our thoughts to feel better about the event. The problem is when the event is unforgivable or the person is unlovable, we cannot change our human nature. We become a victim of our thoughts with no possibility for closure.

The good news is not that we can change these thoughts but that we can transform them. There are three universal principles about the spiritual process by which we transcend our problems. These three principles have universal application. There is a simplicity and depth to the principles. 

  • Our thoughts create our feelings about the situation when we are out of the Presence. Our feeling of the Presence creates our thoughts in the situation. In the exact same situation, we transcend our “reality” when out of the Presence to a different “reality” when in the Presence.
  • There is innate Presence in everyone and it is not theirs. It is what it is: pure unconditional, inclusive grace of God. We cannot access the Presence with rational, conditional thinking.

We need to transform this rational, conditional thinking to spiritual thinking that will stop our reacting automatically to our conditions.We do not have to use any of the traditional therapy techniques such as tell our story, express our negative feelings, learn new skills or rely on external coping techniques or rituals.

We transform our natural conditional thinking to spiritual thinking to change how we look at reality. We need to discover how to do this transformation, not learn it. We discover how to transcend when we recognize the difference in our thinking when we are in or out of the Presence.

Once we can recognize the negative emotions that stem from our conditional thinking, we then can contrast them to the types of feelings and insights that come with the feeling of being in the Presence. We then see we do not need to act on these feelings. This realization raises the red flag, alerting us that we are in an alienated state of mind; that taking action or speaking out in that state of mind would be self-destructive.

Allowing these principles to work allows us to walk away from a troubled past and to transcend adverse circumstances. The results are in knowing how to make wiser choices and to live a life of peace and contentment for a HAPPY NEW YEAR.


THE DISCIPLE-SHIFT: The Virtual Small Group: Members share once a week with their group through the internet when a shift from being out to being in the Presence made a difference.


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