This is very interesting and inspiring history!
This is very interesting and inspiring history!
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
“And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Mat 6:5
Jesus reveals to us that we have direct access to the Most High God, the essence and the source of all being. Moreover, he reveals that this Most High God is Our Father. Our relationship with God is a parent/child relationship.
“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3-4)
Think on this. Childlike humility before God is important because before God you are a child. Ask yourself, “What does it mean to be like a child before God?”
Jesus then gives advice on how to pray in the Lord’s Prayer. He doesn’t say you have pray exactly like this. He give the prayer as a model and says, “Pray then, like this.”
His example is a starting point for people who are grateful to have been a new start through Divine Grace; who want to be delivered from the power of evil, forgiven for past sins, and cared for; and who want to do God’s Will and help to bring his Kingdom on Earth.
Private prayer springs from a deep heart of gratitude. It is a confidential, honest, sincere, introspective, reflective, conversation between you and your Divine Parent, who also happens to be the source and essence of all love, consciousness, and existence.
This wonderful opportunity is available to all of us all the time. Begin with a childlike attitude using he model that Jesus provided and ask God to help deepen your faith and lead you into the truth. The possibilities and potentialities are infinite.
Regarding the past transgressions of public figures, some people make statements like “God called David a great leader and a man after his own heart. Don’t judge only their past. Forgive and see the good.”
Forgiveness is indeed central to gospel. Jesus did say that in order for us to be forgiven we must forgive those who sin against us.
Let us not forget however that repentance is also important. In order to be forgiven we need to acknowledge our sin and repent. God brings our sins to light, either privately or publicly, for the very purpose that we may repent and be cleansed through His mercy.
God’s judgment and mercy work together so that sin may be cleansed and reconciliation achieved.
Let’s take a closer look at David’s heart.
When David sinned and tried to keep it secret, God sent the prophet Nathan to judge him (2 Samuel 12:7-12).
When confronted, David acknowledged his sin and repented. However, there were still consequences for his sin.(2 Samuel 12:13-15).
David’s prayer of repentance for the sin is recorded in Psalm 51.
This is an example of how through repentance and forgiveness, our Heavenly Father delivers us from the power of evil.
If the heart is not cleansed through repentance, the result is denial, defiance, and lies. A person acting from such a heart is still not free from the power of evil.
It is good to be just and loving, but please don’t use the Bible to excuse sin.
When our heart/mind experiences the love of God through the Holy Spirit, the natural spontaneous response is to offer thanks and praise. The natural response when one is experiencing the loving kindness of God is to love God in return. The more we love God in gratitude, praise, surrender and commitment, the more we are capable of experiencing God’s love to a greater degree. The more we experience God’s love and forgiveness, the more we desire to show that love by loving, serving and forgiving others. The more we express God’s love in service and the more we forgive others, the more we experience God’s love.
We live in a reciprocal relationship of love between God and ourselves and also amongst ourselves and others. When we live this way we are living, moving, and breathing in God.
Our physical bodies live and breathe air. When we live in the Spirit in loving relationship with the source of all Being and others, our souls live and breathe in God.
Thank you God for your loving kindness.
I praise you for your awesome wonder.
Thank you God for your forgiveness. Thank you for helping us to wash our robes.
I surrender to your love.
I forgive others their sins, their debts, and their trespasses just as you have forgiven me.
Help me to discover your kingdom within.
Thank you God for your loving kindness.
We praise you for your awesome wonder.
We thank you God for your forgiveness.
With the help of your Holy Spirit we will sin no more.
We will forgive each other and seek reconciliation.
We surrender to your love.
Guide in those situations where we can be of service to you and to others.
Please give us wisdom and help us to know, experience, and understand the truth as much as we are able.
Let your Kingdom come in the midst of us on earth as it is in heaven.
We are your offspring. You are our loving parent.
Let us live and breathe in God.
Teach us the way of peace
We offer praise to you
We want to be your true sons and daughters
Building your Kingdom on Earth
We want to feel your Holy Spirit
Giving our hearts new birth
Fill our hearts with your love
Send us wisdom from above
We want to be your true sons and daughters
Bringing your Kingdom on Earth
We want to see your bright shining presence
Filling the world with new birth
We praise you
We give you thanks
For all your wonder
For all of your power
For all of your glory
For all of your mercy
We offer our lives to you
We give our lives to you
On Friday October 20, I had the opportunity to participate in taping a radio show “Songs and Stories of the Great Unknown at KKRN Community Radio 88.5 FM in Round Mountain. The Show was hosted by Craig Boyer as a part of a regular series he does called “Dig This: Music With a Message.”
The one-hour show was broadcast at 9 a.m. on Saturday October 21. The entire broadcast can be heard on KKRN.
With Halloween approaching, Craig selected several songs and readings that deal with aspects of the Great Unknown. He invited singer-songwriter Sarah Hoxie, poet Larry Harris, and storyteller Jim Dowling from Redding and myself to join him as guests on the broadcast. Interspersed amongst the music, poetry and readings we discussed what we had listened to. This blog contains a few videos of our discussions and links to videos of some of the music we listened to.
After opening the program with the theme from the Twilight Zone played by the Cosmic Orchestra.
Then Craig played the Monster Mash by the Crypt Masters followed by his reading of a story “Christenstein” by an anonymous author. The story is a parody of the Frankenstein story recounting the attempts of a mad scientist to create a perfect spiritual being. He neglects to include love and so his creature turns out to be a monster.
The story was followed by the song, “God in a Drawer” by Berkley Hart.
After these selections, we shared our thoughts.
The next musical selection was Welcome to My Nightmare by Alice Cooper. Craig then shared a nightmare he had had recently after which we continued our discussion.
The next selection was Ghost Riders in the Sky by Sons of the Pioneers followed by discussion and a poem by Larry Harris.
Then Sara Hoxie sang an original song she wrote about bigfoot.
Craig read the “Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe and we concluded the program listening to “Let the Mystery Be” by Iris Dement.
The conditions for the restoration of Adam’s sin have been fulfilled. That means that people can be liberated from original sin.
Therefore, the Kingdom of God can come on earth as it is in heaven.
This means that world peace will be established. People of different races and nationalities will live together in harmony. An environment of true love will come to be.
God is compassionate. God’s compassion is expressed through both judgement and mercy.
In order for us to experience God’s mercy we must go through God’s judgment.
The proud will be humbled and the sinners must come to repentance.
Pray for God’s Kingdom to come on earth. Pray for God’s will to be done. Pray for us to be delivered from evil.
Believe, repent, and sin no more.
Through repentance your personal sins are forgiven. God will give you the strength to resist evil. God will fill you with the Holy Spirit so that you can feel His love. The Holy Spirit will cleanse your heart. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. You can be perfect as your Heavenly Parent is perfect.
Peace will come through forgiveness. Just as God forgives us we must forgive others. As we forgive each other God will forgive us, not just individually but collectively.
Racial, religious, and ethnic harmony will come through forgiveness. Forgiveness opens the door for us to feel God’s love together. Love God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. Love your neighbor. Love your enemy.
The kingdom of God is the world of true love. The world of true love is coming now.
How long will it take for the world of true love to be realized?
The door is open. For me to enter I must repent and sin no more. In this way, I dis-cover the Kingdom of God within me. Loving others and sharing the truth that God reveals to me I help to expand the kingdom. Listening to the truth that God reveals to others helps to expand the kingdom. Forgiving others is part of loving others. Through reconciliation we expand the world of true love.
The door is open. For you to enter you must repent and sin no more. Ask God for help. Ask and you shall receive. Be patient and believe. You will be redeemed through your faith in the power of God.
The door is open. For all of us to experience the Kingdom of God together as one family, we must both repent and forgive. As we do so we will become one together in God’s love. The Father will be in us and we will be in the Father.
Sin will be no more.
The kingdom of God is coming now. The door is open. Please enter.
This is a tough one. On a theological level it raises questions. On a personal level it hits home.
If one says to Our Father who art in Heaven, “Please don’t lead me into temptation,” that would seem to imply that when we are tempted it is God that is leading us into temptation.
If it is God’s will that His Kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven, then why would God lead us into temptation?
Now, to be clear, it does not say that God is the one who tempts us. It merely implies that God may lead us into a situation in which we are tempted.
That makes more sense, because if we are to become perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect, then we should be able to resist temptation.
After his baptism by John, when the Holy Spirit descended and a voice from above said, “This is my only Son in whom I am well pleased,” Jesus was led by the Spirit of God into the wilderness to fast for 40 days before beginning his public mission.
During that 40 days, we are told that he was tempted by Satan himself with three great temptations. He withstood the temptations by reciting verses from scripture.
Moreover, the story goes on to say that, in addition to these three temptations. Jesus was tempted in every way that it is possible for a man to be tempted and he overcame every temptation.
God allowed the man Jesus to be tempted in every way before he began his public ministry.
Jesus began his ministry as the Messiah on the foundation of his spiritual victory.
Because he overcame temptation, he is the Way.
St. Paul said that Jesus is the first fruits and we are to become like him. So perhaps in order to become like Jesus, we also need to overcome temptation.
Therefore, we may be lead into temptation.
If one has never been tempted, how does one know how he or she will respond?
To teach the Way, one must become the Way.
There are many more questions, but for now I want to repeat that Jesus resisted Satan by quoting sacred scripture. There is power in the words of sacred scripture.
It is not only Christianity that testifies to this power.
To give an example. Five hundred years before Jesus lived, Buddha gave this advice:
Those who recite many scriptures but fail to practice their teachings are like a cowherd counting another’s cows. They do not share in the joys of the spiritual life. But those who know few scriptures yet practice their teachings, overcoming all lust, hatred, and delusion, live with a pure mind in the highest wisdom. They stand without external supports and share in the joys of the spiritual life.