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Weekly Message for Sunday, July 20, 2003

                     "Let Your Light So Shine," we have been told.  But, unless we know what this Light is and how to turn it on ... it cannot Shine, Shine, Shine!  There is much to be learned from the successes in the world generated by faith.  A. A., or Alcoholics Anonymous, founded in 1935 has had millions of success stories since its inception.  Founded in an era when admitting to being an alcoholic could have serious ramifications to one's reputation, career and self-esteem, this organization has assisted people from all walks of life and varying faiths to successfully move beyond alcoholism.  This success, in my opinion, has everything to do with Step# 2, the acknowledgment of a Power greater than themselves.  The recognition of this Power that is greater than us, is the "success" step .. without it, the 12-Step Program would have not found its great success.  The first step in A. A. Step# 1, is to recognize what needs to be changed .. in other words, we recognize the problem and in Step #2 we turn to the solution, God.

        Within the 12-Steps there is a statement, "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him."  This is a key phrase ... those who are successful with A. A. ... successful with Life ... must understand God.  For many people there is never that awakening to the idea that they require a greater understanding of God in order to have a greater portion of Good in their lives ... too many people rely on what they know from past experience ... but the measure of Good we experience in our lives is directly affected by the level of our understanding of the nature of God so we must strive to expand our awareness and understanding of God.  The 11th Step is:  "Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out."  This improvement in our conscious contact with God is very necessary for us all.  We cannot allow ourselves to rely on the pastors, priests and rabbis to teach us what God must teach us ... at some point each of us must come into a personal relationship with God.

      In Religious Science we use the term "consciousness" to define the measure of our awareness of God, the Infinite One.
  But this term is not limited to any particular religious belief and the teachings of Religious Science are not in conflict with any other religious teaching.  Now .... some people will immediately say .. how can you state that Religious Science is not in conflict when you don't believe as the Christians teach that Jesus died for our sins and He is our Saviour and you can't go to the Father without Him?  Or, how can you state there is no conflict when those of the Jewish faith are still waiting for the Messiah and you are blind to their waiting?

I can state this from "understanding" for as we "understand" God more we realize that our relationship with God has nothing to do with religion ... and in fact, many religions will deter or delay us from having any real relationship with God for as we find a greater relationship with this Power Greater than us (God), we will find that much of what we have learned from religion is no longer plausible to us... the Master Mind Jesus stated this very same thing.  Whether we believe in God as defined by our religions or not ... even if we are atheist .. as long as we understand that there is a Power Greater than us ... we have the "Spiritual Advantage."  Jesus stated, "these things I do and greater things still shall you do."  He did not say ... sit around in your misery and wait for me!  While some of us are waiting for the Messiah ... we have things to do ... He/She is not waiting for us ... get busy!!  Everyone who understands, believes or knows that there is a Power Greater than us ... already has the "Spiritual Advantage" ... so now all we must do is learn to use it! 

 And So It Is! 
Letting Love Use Me In Its Own Good Way,
Henry Lee Bates                          

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