Can You Control the Universe? More Than You Know!

By Rev. Richard Kent Matthews

The villain called entropy…

How do we explain love, especially Divine Love, in contrast to pain and suffering, death and violence, not only among humans, but also animals, plants, planetary bodies, colliding galaxies, supernovas and the continuous path called entropy, or the disintegration of all that is?

No matter the object, be it rock or flesh, or its direction, ultimately it all heads for destruction. It appears to be the natural way of things. Can we understand love in a way different from sweetness and light, or would that somehow be blasphemy?

Most of us who believe in some sort of God 'out there' actually think He/She will stick Its Divine Finger into the natural mix in order to suspend the laws of physics simply to put a little more money in the bank account, stop the spread of a cancerous tumor, or keep a child from breaking his neck on the football field.

Not likely.

But there is a way for you to control YOUR universe if not THE universe.

First, recognize your frailty. You are part of the creation, and are heading toward annihilation as certain as the rose in your garden or the moon in the sky on an August night.

Second, you have been given a finite amount of time to create and express your personal moment on this planet.

Third, you will be as good at creating your experience as your thoughts allow.

Fourth, your thoughts will ALWAYS determine the level of joy or anguish that you experience in any moment of your day.

Fifth, you can change your thinking if you want to do so, and you can also remain in your current patterns of thinking which are creating your current experience of the world.

Sixth, you can make one simple but major decision that will change your life forever, and this is the greatest and most powerful 'secret' you'll ever learn...

Eliminate all self-pity.*

Do that, and whatever amount of time you have on this planet, in this form, as a part of this universe will be heaven as you've never known it.

Guaranteed.

*(A spiritual disclaimer: Eliminating self-pity will, without doubt, be the toughest challenge you will ever accept into your life. Tis best to know that now, here, at the outset. And it also brings the most treasure. But you won't know until you move into and through it. Take the risk. It's worth it.)

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Why Are You Saying What You're Saying? The Extraordinary Power of Your Daily Affirmations, Conscious or Unconscious

By Rev. Richard Kent Matthews

You're about to discover the real power of affirmations...

Affirmations work...all the time. Why do they sometimes seem like they're not working? Because most of us don't understand the dynamics. There's nothing supernatural about them. Affirmations work according to natural principle. When they are understood, like any natural process, they can be used simply and easily.

Here is the secret: You are continually affirming. Your life is a direct result of these continual affirmations. Check out what you're constantly saying to yourself. As you begin to listen to that conversation, you'll notice patterns. Those patterns, repeated over and over in word and practice, produce your life experiences. They are your beliefs. You respond to your surroundings and incoming data according to your beliefs. And I'm not just talking religious beliefs, although they play a major role. I'm also talking about what you believe about the world around you, the people in it, and most of all, about your own ability to cope with what you think you see. Years of feeling like the victim make everything--and everyone--appear to be the victimizer. Believing you're not smart keeps you from being smarter. Unlovable mindsets produced unlovable actions. And the world responds accordingly.

It may be cliche' but it remains true: Change your thinking, change your life. Begin by committing to the practice of listening to what you tell yourself over and over again:

1. What do you say to yourself as you begin your day? (This can set a positive or negative tone.)

2. What are you saying, throughout the day, about those you interact with? (Remember: feeling superior to others is a good sign of an inferiority complex.)

3. When you know you're telling yourself something that goes against your physical, emotional and spiritual health, how often do you rationalize and continue on in the same direction? (This could be the key you've been looking for. We often know a truth but talk ourselves out of it. Listen carefully to your "Oh, well...")

You have talked yourself into the world in which you currently reside. You can talk yourself out of it, if you are not happy with it. But chances are, it's comfortable, habitual, and easy, even if it hurts. Even what you've just read may go onto the trash heap--even if it seems to make sense to you.

So, begin the affirmation process by first listening to your own voice. Just listen. Don't try to force change. As you listen, change will occur on its own. As you become more aware of your script, the new awareness will begin to change the script... automatically. Then, you can add the new words, and a conscious new script.

Your work is cut out for you because habits of mind and body can be difficult to break. Now you know how to do it. And you're up for it, right?

Take it in small steps. You’ve taken a lifetime to build most of the habits that carry you through the world. You’ll meet with resistance. The smaller the steps, the less resistance, and the continued improvement.

You’re worth the effort.

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Is Your God Still Angry? Why Divine Forgiveness is Totally Unnecessary

By Rev. Richard Kent Matthews

The following headline arrived in my inbox recently: Thousands Planning to Pray in New York City's Time Square

“Thousands of people of all races, cultures and backgrounds, representing churches of every denomination, will be gathering in Times Square from 3:00 to 4:00pm on [date] for Prayer in the Square, to pray for one hour to seek God's forgiveness on behalf of the nation. The one-hour event drew an estimated 18,000 to 20,000 people [last time] and is expected to draw an even larger crowd this year.”

What’s interesting to me about this headline is the idea that the individual, the nation, the world still need to beseech the Creator for some kind of forgiveness. It’s an absurd idea. Here’s why (No need to call me a heretic; I admit it freely and joyfully!):

Let’s pretend that I am a traditional Christian (which I am not). I suppose I would have to follow the traditional edict that God has to be continually forgiving the world because it continues to sin against him. After all, isn’t that what the Bible teaches? We must seek God’s forgiveness every day, every moment, because there is no health in us and we are constantly falling out of favor, no matter how hard we try to behave. Even our thoughts betray us. A little lust here, a bit of jealousy there, some envy, some anger, some bitterness. There’s no end to the nasty little behaviors, thoughts, attitudes, deeds.

Blah, blah, blah…

Now the heresy. If I were to become a Christian of any sort again (Was one for many years; woke up, thank goodness), I would be a Universal Salvationist. Reason? Well, the story goes something like this:

God creates the humans; the humans are innocent. Then, they are tempted by “the serpent.” They eat from the Tree, their eyes open, and they know good and evil, becoming, in essence, like their Creator. God even proclaims it himself: “Behold, the man has become as one of us, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:22) He’ll have to kick them out of the Garden now because they may eat from the Other Tree (of Life) and live forever. Got it so far?

Since humans did this horrible thing, the only one that can save them is God himself, so he comes to earth in the form of Jesus, does his thing, is crucified, dies, then rises again on the third day. He appears to a lot of people, depending on which gospel you use as a reference, then ascends to heaven. Cased closed, world forgiven, job done. Period.

The idea that this Plan of Salvation won’t work unless you and I believe it is where Paul and the rest of church history fall flat. Why? Because God did what he did through Jesus because humanity couldn’t. Nothing we do can bring any kind of salvation, including believing in it. If Jesus actually did what Christians say he did, then humanity from beginning to end is saved and set free from any condemnation. That includes Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists (bless ‘em), Taoists, atheists, even us poor misguided New Thought ministers.

Ultimately, the work was between the Father and Son. Not between fallen humanity and God.

In the final analysis, if Jesus actually carried out his mission of salvation, it matters not what you or I believe. Jesus kept to his task. The work is complete. As he said from the cross, “It is finished.” The Curse is lifted; humanity from first person to last is redeemed.

The best part is, no one has to believe it. Now, that’s Unconditional Love.

So, if you still plan to attend the big annual forgiveness rally, enjoy. But remember this: In spite of what you or I or anyone believes, either Jesus did the work or he didn’t. If he did, all’s well. But if even one soul is lost, if one person can end up in an eternal hell, Christ’s work was—and remains—a failure.

We know that’s not true, right?

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Guilty Giving and How to Really Like It

By Rev. Richard Kent Matthews

“Like the moon, in its radiant beauty, be a Light Reflector. Remain open and willing to serve. That's why you're here." Guru Da

Warning! This article may be harmful to your ego!

You hear it everywhere, read it everywhere, discuss it now and then. You must give to receive. After a while, hearing that can become annoying, even irritating. “I know, already!”

They try to get your money, your time, your efforts, your talents. They send you tons of bulk mail every year. A gazillion spam-y emails. They push telethons in front of you, right when your favorite sitcom is supposed to be on. They call you on the phone. They threaten you at church (Well, at some churches. Not mine). Give, give, give. Ad infinitum.

OK, so you know it’s a good thing, this giving and all. Yet, just giving because someone says you should, or you must, or you won’t get the goodies if you don’t, doesn’t seem like the best approach to get you to share yourself and your worldly possessions with the rest of us. All that does is produce guilt. (My Catholic friends have told me that, without guilt, the church doors would close. Is that true?) And even though I may get your money by guilting you, somehow my taunting you and begging you and cajoling you seems a bit less than honorable. But I have to do it; otherwise, you wouldn’t lift a finger. Still…

Oh, well. Enough of the sermon. What I really want to share with you is a way to be of service to the world that does not guilt you, won’t trick you, or overpower you in some way. I am of the mind that the only reason we’re here, apart from survival itself, is to be of service to the world. And the best way to do that is to want to and also to enjoy what you’re doing. Don’t you agree?

With that, here’s a short list of my ideas on how to create the service mentality within your brain and heart. Then, you can choose—or not—to put the list into practice:

First, consciously choose to make a commitment to be of service to the world, on any level—locally, nationally, globally. Clarify the role you want to play. How will you know which of your behaviors are demonstrating that commitment?

Here’s a hard one: be willing to sacrifice some of your personal interests or preferences when necessary to support your commitment to service. You’ll know when you’re being asked to do that. The old “I want it my way” will rear its head. What you do with that little irritant will determine how committed you are.

This one will trounce your ego a bit: When you do your service, in whatever capacity, don’t be seeking congrats and kudos. Sometimes you’ll be working behind the scenes and someone up front will get the credit—often for your work. Can you keep from letting that get your goat? Try. It will take humongous effort. Ego wants what ego wants.

Take some leadership roles but don’t be above doing any type of job that needs to be done to keep you and those you serve on target. Now and then, you’ll want to feel put upon, that a certain task is beneath you. Get over it and get over it now. When you serve, serve. No whining or self-pity, for God’s sake.

Finally, be or become the one who knows how to get things done, the one who doesn’t quit, the one who remains consistent. In other words, be dependable.

Preachy? I hope so. If you’re reading this and it touches you—positively or negatively—you’re being approached by your inner guidance. You are called to be of service to this world. There is nothing as important. Not money, not success, not even sex! And in this particular place and time, you know it from the bottom of your heart. I’m just here as a reminder.

The world has always had its challenges. That’s why great leaders and great champions have been constantly sought and summoned to help straighten a curvy path. You are such a one. Your singing, your playing, your speaking, your writing, your labors, your childcare, your elder care, your environmental commitments—they all serve the purpose of serving the rest of us. We need you, now more than ever.

Keep giving your money, your time, your talents. Feel guilted if you must. My only advice can be wrapped up in one word: Commit.

The Universe is your home. Serve it well.

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