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Henry Bates

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The Way to a Wonderful Life, Sunday, April 7, 2013 

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           "And the faith that grows out of questioning is stronger than the faith born of blind acceptance.  It can withstand the shocks of circumstance.  Only he who questions the universe and questions it in utter honesty can grow in his comprehension of the truth."  - James Dillet Freeman, Be!

     One of the things that drove me from traditional  religion was the negative attitude I encountered when I questioned what was being taught.  Yet, Jesus was always questioning the religious leaders and religious dogma.  We have all heard the words, "if you don't use it, you lose it" and this is important to remember when it comes to our faith.  In the ancient scriptures we are told to "pray without ceasing" and in doing so we become conscious of what we are thinking and the patterns of our thoughts.  Knowing that thoughts have "formative power" ... especially those thoughts about things that we dwell on mentally, it is incumbent upon us to consistently "recognize" that our thoughts are shaping our experiences.  And we must question what we think and believe in order to avoid consequences that we don't want to experience.   

     I know that I repeat this statement of faith from the teachings of the Master Mind Jesus often, but it is necessary that we not lose sight of it:  "For most certainly I tell you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you."  And in these simple words we can know that all is possible when our faith is in tune with the Infinite Good.  Does this mean that our faith can only be used for what the world thinks of as good?  No, it doesn't.  To be so would be to attribute limitation to faith, and that would be a false idea.  Faith, like electricity can be used for the good or it can be used to negate the good ... even destroy what we might call good.  You might ask why is this possible and that would be a good question.  Since faith is a universal law, it works for everyone and everything in the same precise way.  Or, as stated so simply, "For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."  

     Let's remember here what the Master Mind Jesus said about faith; "the size of a mustard seed" ... in other words we have varying "measures" of faith as applied to various things.  This is why we may pray successfully for money, but our prayers miss the mark for loving companionship.  Another example may be a man who has the faith that he can rob a bank, but doesn't have the same measure of faith to escape being arrested.  We have faith that night follows day, but doesn't day also follow night?  Our faith to be powerful must contain a powerful conviction.  And conviction comes from convincing ourselves that we have the faith to do the thing that we set out to do.

     Let's look at some more wisdom contained in James Dillet Freeman's book, Be! ....  "You can learn to have faith. ... Faith is not an abstraction; it is an attitude toward life, a feeling about life.  It does not come out of signs or miracles or any outward happenings so much as out of inward growth. ... If you cannot believe in much, then believe in the little that you can.  Start where you are and grow.  What seed can have a foreknowledge of the tree it will become?  What thorny bush can prophesy the rose?  What worm (caterpillar) can tell of the butterfly?  Faith grows."

     Let's revisit that "faith as a grain of mustard seed" illustration that the Master Mind Jesus gave us.  A mustard seed is infinitesimally small.  The mustard tree originates from Persia. The tree grows to about 20 feet high and has an irregular shape. It is nearly as wide as it is tall.  In other words, it was a perfect symbol of the way in which our faith can grow tremendously, and give us the power to experience big things; great success, tremendous prosperity, limitless creativity and every good desire of our heart.  Jesus was a Master Mind.  "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" ... facts change, the truth does not.  Keep faith with the truth, with life, and feel the Spirit of G-d within you as your faith grows.


Keep the faith!
. Henry Bates

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"spiritual ... not religious"

"Even God could not have created a perfect individual.  We must go
through the experiences of evolution." -
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