Monday, March 16, 2009

A Closer Walk with Thee

Yesterday in service we talked about the season of Lent and what it means to be in a spiritual practice of fasting from thoughts, attitudes and behaviors that are no longer serving us. The most useful spiritual tool that I have found regarding a new thought look at Lent is the book "Keep a True Lent" by Charles Filmore from Unity Press. In the forward by Georgiana Tree West we read:
"When we withdraw our attention, interest, and support from the false and unworthy, this is true fasting. When we give that same attention, interest, and support to the enduring good, we are feasting on the things of the Spirit, and this is true prayer."

This idea alone is worthy of forty days of mindful focus. What are the false ad unworthy ideas, thoughts, beliefs and behaviors that we have been walking with? Are we willing to shift our attention, interest and support to that which is the enduring good of our life?
The Lenten season is a church institutional idea that is based on a very sound idea - taking time to internally clean house so that we are prepared for a deeper spiritual journey into our Christ Nature. Ultimately this is a very personal journey and no institution, church or spiritual system can facilitate (even though we may find ritual, community and inspirational support in them) that which is between God (whatever we conceive it to be) and ourselves.

I believe it is this notion of the very intimate and personal spiritual journey that we are each responsible for that Ernest Holmes was speaking to in his first published work, Creative Mind in the passage entitled "The Church of God"

The Church of God is not built with hands, it is eternal in the heavens; it is not lighted with candles; its dome is heaven and it is lighted by the stars of God's illumined thought, and each member in his separate start "shall draw this thing as he sees it, for the god of thing as they are". Here all people recognize the God within their own souls and ask for and see no other God. When you can look upon all creation as the perfect work of a perfect God, you will become a member of this church. I doubt very much if the church universal admits members from the church individual. When you can see in the saint and the sinner one and the same person, when you can realize that they one who kneels before the alter and the one who lies drunk in the street is the same one, when you can love the one as much as you do the other, no doubt you will be able to qualify. As it is now we have too many preachers who do not understand, that have no purpose; too many prayers, too many creeds, too many teachers, that have no message; too many churches, too many "learned" people, and too few thinkers. "The Kingdom of Heaven cometh not by observation". It is the "still, small voice" within the soul that speaks. The expanded thought will never wish to join or be joined to. Nothing human can contain it. It feels the limitation of form and ceremony and longs for the freedom of the Spirit, the great out of doors, the Great God of the everywhere. Alone in the desert, the forest or by the restless ocean, looking up at the stars, man breathes forth these words, "With only my maker and me".
- Ernest Holmes

Thursday, March 12, 2009

PRESS RELEASE: Rev. David to be honored at Morehouse.

Rev. David Alexander will be inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers at Morehouse College on April 2, 2009.

This event will occur as part of the 22nd Annual College of Ministers and Laity Program. It is also the period of the College's 142nd Science and Spiritual Awareness Week, March 29th through April 5th 2009. This year's theme is "The Mature Spirituality of a Renaissance Man." The speaker is Rabbi David Saperstein, the director of Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Washington DC. The prestigious Gandhi, King, and Ikeda Community Builders Prize will be awarded posthumously to Yitzhak Rabin, former prime minister of Israel and Nobel Peace Prize winner. The ceremonies will take place in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel on the campus of Morehouse College. Among the others to be inducted is Rev. David's dear friend Bishop Carlton D. Pearson.

Rev. David Alexander will also be the featured speaker at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, a New Thought embracing Pentecostal Church, at the invititation of Senior Pastor D.E. Paulk on Wednesday evening, April 1, 2009.

Rev. David has been dedicated to the work of Inclusivity and broadening the reach of New Thought's message into the world. Beginning with his friendship and collaboration with Sharif Abdullah, author of Creating a World that Works for All and director of the Commonway Institute and continuing with his outreach to Bishop Carlton Pearson during his "fall from grace," Rev. David continues to seek out new ways to connect the transformative principles of New Thought with the current issues of the day. Teaming up with cutting edge Inclusion leaders like Bishop Carlton and Pastor D.E. Paulk, Rev. David is helping to heal the separation and isolated exclusive thinking between the New Thought and Pentecostal Christian faith traditions, thereby spreading a message of a way of life that honors all paths to God and promoting spiritual tools for personal transformation that help make the world a better place.

(photo credit: Carl Studna)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Our place in Women's History

Yesterday was International Women's Day which began about 100 years ago to bring a greater awareness to issue of equality, treatment in the workplace, abuse and other social issues. (check out the About page in the IWD link above for more information.)

Our spiritual community (New Thought Center for Spiritual Living) spent the day honoring the Divine Feminine in spirituality and specifically gave tribute to the great women of New Thought History. I was surprised to find out how many of us did not know this history. When I was in college I took a Women's Studies course - where again, I was surprised to discover that the professor believed that there was no organized religious movement that has women in significant leadership roles or that ordained women into the fully life of ministry! I was shocked! Having grown up in the New Thought tradition, I was very aware of ordained women ministers. As a result I wrote most of my papers in that course about the role of women in New Thought (none of which the professor had any awareness of!).

The truth is that we ought to be shouting from the mountaintops - loudly - the historic place that New Thought has both in Women's History and in religious history. When events like International Women's Day come along - we ought to be involved in a bold and significant way - educating others on our proud history and standing as a shinning example of a movement that has a over 100 year old history of breaking the mold!

Beginning with Mary Baker Eddy, who was healed by PP Quimby, went on to establish the Christian Science Movement...continuing with Emma Curtis Hopkins whom we regard as the "Teacher of Teachers" for as she broke away from Mary Baker Eddy - and established her own Theological Seminary in Chicago - she taught hundreds of students - many of whom became significant leaders and founders of the various branches of New Thought. This history extends to present day - as 3 of the 5 major branches of New Thought; United Centers for Spiritual Living, Unity and the Universal Foundation for Better Living are all headed by women.

Even more importantly is the role that the early women of New Thought played in the women's suffrage movement and cultural conversations of the day in the early 1900's. In 1999 a new book which highlights this history was first published: Each Mind a Kingdom: American Women, Sexual Purity, and the New Thought Movement, 1875-1920 by Beryl Satter. This work is a significant contribution to the library of women's history, American history and New Thought history. I hope that it will become as valuable and as referenced in our movement as Spirit's in Rebellion has.

Other references that I used last Sunday:
for more information on New Thought History - click here

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Re-investing in Faith

Philosophy in Action - for March 2009

Ernest Holmes teaching on faith is absolutely powerful and inspiring. However, for those of us early on our journey of faith, it can be a bit intimidating. In the Science of Mind he defines faith as
“an idea so inwardly embodied that the mind can no longer conceive of its opposite.”
Wow! Now that’s powerful stuff. But what if you do contemplate its opposite? Does that mean you have “less” faith? Often we approach life’s challenges with the notion of “if I only had more faith” or “I don’t have enough faith.” But the truth is you already possess all the faith you will ever have, right now!
If you have ever thought that all you need is more or enough faith in order to succeed, STOP. Begin to pay attention to where the faith that you do have is being used. Is is being used negatively or misplaced as Holmes describes? Do you find yourself saying “oh, I just knew that was going to happen!” when things go wrong? How about when things go better than expected? Do you think to yourself “gee, guess I was lucky?” If so, then its time to start re-investing your faith for higher yields.
It has been said that the difference between the mystic and the paranoid is a thin line. The paranoid believe that there is a grand conspiracy in the universe that is working against them. The mystic believes that there is a grand conspiracy in the universes that is working for them! All we need do to build our faith is to try on the idea that all things are working together for good, right now. In the bible we read: “All things work together for good to them that believe and those who are called according to his purpose” I like to think that since God is all that there is, then we are all called according to his purpose so the only question that remains is – do we believe it? This is what it is to have the faith of God.

for the full article on Faith by Ernest Holmes - pick up a copy of the March issue of Science of Mind magazine

Blog ReNewal

Greetings everyone - It's been a while since my last post and I'm excited to announce that this blog will have regular postings once again!

I now have a monthly column published in the Science of Mind magazine The column is Philosophy in Action - and is intended to be a follow up the the Ernest Holmes published article.

On or after the 15th of each month - that article will be posted here - so you the reader can post comments, ask questions and otherwise interact with the column and Holmes article.

Of course, I'll continue to publish other content as well.

I hope you'll enjoy this new feature and will spread the link to your friends.


Inspired? Thank you for your support