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Weekly Message for Sunday, August 4, 2002 
                                         
  "The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with
the rain." 
              - Dolly Parton
              Singer/Songwriter

                    As many of us in spiritual studies have found, the time comes when we must be prepared to "walk our talk."  The Master Mind Jesus stated that we will "know our faith by our works."  Dr. Ernest Holmes, Founder of Religious Science and author of the "Science of Mind," wrote, "either we are believing that it is, or we are believing that it is not."  He also stated that "this teaching is not worth a dime if we cannot demonstrate it."  In other words, "faith divorced from works is not faith."  There comes a time for all of us when we have to put the books down and begin living our beliefs.  Not the beliefs and philosophy of the authors, the mystics, but our own.  In other words, we must put our words into action; the words we have read, the words we have said and the words that will erupt in our minds when we face our beliefs in our experiences!

              The experiences that will bless us the most, are those experiences that put us to the test.  All of us will be given the opportunities to demonstrate our faith, to see it unfold in our lives to the level that we are willing to depend on it.  Dr. Robert Bitzer, Founder of the Hollywood Church of Religious Science, wrote that "we must depend on Principle and Principle alone."  This Principle is Life, Love, God, Truth ....... Job 23:10 - "But he know-eth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold."

               The books, the authors, the speakers, ministers, priests, rabbis, practitioners ........ all of these.... are just our guides along the path .... at some point each of us must go it alone ..... jump without a parachute according to the ways of the world ....... but in Reality, we are never without a parachute!

                The Reality....... the Real, is God, Omnipresence.  But is Omnipresence "real" to us?  That is always the question and of course, most of us will answer this question many, many times in our lives.  An important question is, how much more of our life do we want to spend with this question unanswered?  At what point do we want to make the "decision" to realize the Presence of God in our daily experiences?  Many of us have experienced enough of life without this realization.  We have experienced confusion, disappointment, depression and all sorts of effects of each of these.  Are we ready to jump without a parachute?  Are we ready to put our beliefs to the test and move into something way beyond what we have previously imagined for our lives?  Do we fear that we lack the faith to realize our dreams?

            From Rev. Mary Manin Morrissey of the Living Enrichment Center, Wilsonville, Oregon, "Nobody has more faith than you do.  You have as much faith as the people you admire most in the world, those whose accomplishments seem incomprehensible.  Our faith is no less, but our application of it may be faulty.  Sometimes, we apply our faith to holding back, believing more in what can go wrong than in our knowledge that God can manifest good from any circumstance. But as the Apostle Paul instructed, "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind."  Take your mind off your problems and put it on God and your natural faith emerges."

           As we move into this greater experience of a life "lived in faith," our friends and family may see "miracles" happening in our lives, but we will know that what the world calls miraculous is truly just a normal and natural consequence of a "faith-filled" life experience.  And, yes, we may have a few more experiences that are less than wonderful as our natural faith emerges... but we can know without doubting, that "these too, shall pass."  As the wonderfully beautiful and often-mystical, Dolly Parton states, "The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain."

                          
 And So It Is! 

Living The Way To A Wonderful Life,
Henry Lee Bates                          

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