Monday, December 24, 2007

God Rest You Merry Gentlement

Merry Christmas!

Beautiful Story
by Pastor Rob Reid

The pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry--to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn--arrived in early October, excited about their opportunities When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc, and on December 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished. On December 19 a terrible tempest - a driving rainstorm - hit the area and lasted for two days.

On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster, about 20 feet by 8 feet, to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor and, not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity, so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory-colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later.

She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet. 'Pastor,' she asked, 'where did you get that tablecloth?' The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria. The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told her how he had just gotten the Tablecloth. The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria.

When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. He was captured, sent to prison and she never saw her husband or her home again. The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church.

The pastor insisted on driving her home, that was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return. One older man, who the pastor recognized from the neighborhood, continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn't leaving.

The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike.

He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again in all the 35 years in between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier. She helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman's apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.

True Story - submitted by Pastor Rob Reid

Who says God does not work in mysterious ways...

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Relationship of Oneness

This bit is by Joel Goldsmith and is all I needed to hear today.
Happy first of Christmas.

Several years ago in a period of distress, it came to me that I must love those who hate me, I must give love for ingratitude; and my answer was, “Father, I just can't do it. I don't know how to do it. Yes, I can be a hypocrite and say I love these people who are hating, judging, condemning and fighting me; but I can tell you truthfully that I don't – I don't know how to love them. It is true that I have no antagonism towards them because I know what motivates them and I do not blame them. If I did not have a little understanding of Your infinite Love I might do the same thing in their position; so I have no sense of judgment, criticism or condemnation of them. I can even say, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do’ – but to love them! No, I cannot honestly say that I love them… I just cannot do that. If there is to be any loving, I am perfectly willing to be the avenue through which You, God, can love them through me. If that can be arranged, let's have it that way; but don't ask me to love them because that is beyond my capacity.”

It was less than a minute after that that I settled down into a beautiful peace, went to sleep, and awakened completely healed. It is impossible to love ingratitude, injustice, misrepresentation and lies, but we can be willing to let God take over: “God, You who could love the thief on the cross and the woman taken in adultery. You love these people too.”

What was required for the demonstration that I had to make? Was it not the ability to "nothingize" myself, even to the extent of not trying to be self-righteous about loving my enemy? When you say that you are loving your enemy, that is self-righteousness. We have to learn to let God do the loving and be willing to be an instrument through which God's love flows to our friends and our enemies.

In the world there are good people and bad people, just and unjust people, but when you climb up into that circle of God, you find that God is the Principle of all people; God is the only Principle of people, the animating Love and Life and Truth of all people – those in your business, in your social relationships, and in your home.

Your home is a composite of your consciousness of home. You are the doorkeeper of your household, and you should stand guard at the door and see that nothing gets past that door which does not have a right to be there. This door, however, is not a material door. The only door there is, is the door of consciousness, and the only door for which you are responsible is that door. What do you allow to get past that door, your consciousness? Do you accept contagion and infection as power in your home? Are you a party to discord and bickering? You should make it a matter of daily realization that nothing should enter the doorway of consciousness except the Truth of BEING, and that no suggestion of human power, whether physical, material or mental, is law. Any belief that enters your home must first enter through your consciousness, and the truth of BEING in your consciousness will act as a law of annihilation to any false belief that would intrude.

Everything that comes within range of your consciousness will take on the nature and character of that consciousness. Your own life is not only affected by what gets past the door of your consciousness, but the life of everyone who has brought himself to your consciousness is affected, and that includes the members of your family and sometimes the members of your community and your church. All these look to you for bread; they look to you for the Truth of BEING, but oftentimes your mind is so occupied with concern over your own discords and inharmonies that they are turned away without the divine substance which they sought from you.

Deep within every person is a hunger for the bread of life. Friends, relatives, and even acquaintances who find their way to your home ostensibly seeking companionship, supply or any form of material good, even though from their point of view that may be their purpose, are in reality longing and craving for the true Substance of Life, the meat which perisheth not. If you give them money and give them that alone; if you give them your physical human companionship and give them that alone; you are giving them a stone. You are not giving them the bread of life; you are not lifting their state of consciousness. This you can only do in the degree that you are specifically entertaining the consciousness of Truth within your being as they come to you:

"God is the substance and the activity of my home; God is the consciousness of every individual who enters my home, whether it is family or friends, Nothing enters my home to contaminate or violate its sanctity, because God is my only home. As long as my home appears on earth as a material structure it will express the harmony of God. Those in that home will either reflect that harmony or they will be removed because nothing unlike God can remain in my home, my temple, my being, my body. Anything of a discordant nature that would enter, or might temporarily be permitted to enter, will be removed in its time and in such a way that it will injure no-one, but be a blessing to everyone involved.
Since God is my consciousness, nothing can enter that consciousness that defileth or maketh a lie and even if I in my ignorance or human softness permit something to enter which has no place there, it will not long remain. The consciousness of Truth and Light which I am will heal it or remove it. I am willing that everybody and everything that enters my consciousness shall be either healed or removed. I dare not cling to anyone and say, "With all your faults I still need you and want you". I take my stand with God and, if necessary, leave father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife in order to dwell in the secret place of the most High."

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