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The Way to a Wonderful Life Message for December 4, 2016
        ASK BIG RECEIVE BIG is almost a standard mantra of spiritual and progressive religious teachers.  But like so many things the simplicity of these words is lost in the attempts of people trying to sell books and receive donations to their organizations and churches.  The word "ASK" has been a term of confusion for centuries for those who attribute "ask and you shall receive" to the Master Mind Jesus.  The word itself in the language of Jesus means to "claim" and how do we claim anything? ... in our mind of course, by thinking.  Think BIG and you will receive BIG or at least bigger or an increase of what you have.  This doesn't sound as dynamic as "ASK BIG RECEIVE BIG" but it is in alignment with the Principle that will not fail us.  Thinking is the most powerful thing we do.  As we realize and understand to a greater degree that we are created in the "likeness" of G-d; Spirit, Intelligence, Power ... we then realize that our Power is in our thoughts ... what we think we become as the Buddha so simply stated it.  And what we think comes from the depths of our consciousness.  We must understand consciousness.  

         Let's consider this wisdom from Walter Starcke from his book IT'S ALL GOD" ..... the single word that is the essence of God consciousness - Spirit.  My problem is that this word represents a different sense than any of the senses most people live by.  Just as you cannot fully explain color to a blind person who has never seen in terms of how color feels, smells, or sounds, spiritual sense can only be experienced on its own terms.  God is literally Spirit.  Perhaps it would be more accurate to say, "Spirit is God," because, as the Scriptures state [Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  II Corinthians 3:17].  Spirit defines the quality of our lives.
          The main reason it is so difficult to define Spirit is because the definition is so simple.  In fact, the spiritual life is so simple that it can be put into a few words and, if understood, we no longer need to go to church or read any more books, this one included.  It is this:  When the Spirit in which you do something is more important to you than the results you wish to achieve, you are spiritual.  When the results are more important to you than how you go about getting them, you are material.  It is that simple."

       One of the big take-a-ways from the wisdom of Walter Starke is to be conscious of the state of mind in which we not only react to those people, places and things outside of us, but to the state of mind that is creating the thoughts that we think.  For the person who gets on their knees and begs G-d for help or for things, there is little comfort in knowing that it's all G-d for they have already determined in their mind that it is not.  As the mystical Ernest Holmes stated "either we are believing that it is or we are believing that it is not" and this is the truth that we are all confronted with daily in our thoughts.  And so the question comes to us, how much can we believe?  In other words, in the face of adversity, either physical or financial, how much can we believe for ourselves?  In the contemplation of a new idea that will bring joy to a greater degree into our experience, how much can we believe?  In other words, how much of the Spirit are we allowing into our mind and heart to be more fully expressed in what we are desiring to experience?  

       There is much for us to "think" about which is why the Scriptures inform us to "pray without ceasing."  The great philosopher William James gives us this sage advice:  “Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, 'This is the real me,' and when you have found that attitude, follow it.”

And so it is!
Rev. Henry Bates

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