The Bright Side's Guiding Principles -- The Bright Side is one man's idea of what a ray of common sense spirituality looks like as it shines through social, political, religious, and economic issues where most human concerns appear. The Bright Side believes that Creation is ongoing, that humans are its spiritual culmination, that God, or Divine Mind underlies and energizes all, that Divine Ideas moving through creative thought take form as answers on the Third Dimension, and that Jesus' teaching of the Laws of Life--rather than doctrine and dogma and trappings of Christianity--offer a fail-proof way for humans to exercise spiritual mastery and global responsibility. The Bright Side champions free, positive, abundant, and creative thinking and expression, as well as fairness and responsibility in personal, business, government, environmental, and international affairs.
Three years before I was born a tornado, without warning, struck my hometown destroying lives, homes, and businesses. After that my Dad considered a storm cellar to be a kind of ark that was just as important for our family as a dwelling place.
When we think of arks, most of us will remember how the Ark of The Covenant provided guidance and protection to the Hebrews, and how Noah was instructed to build a life-saving ark in the form of a large wooden boat.
We're in the midst of a global threat that the world has never seen the likes of before, leaving millions--if not billions--insecure and uncertain about their long-term welfare.
I want to suggest that Bright Side readers have or build themselves multi-dimensional--spiritual and physical--Arks of Awareness that provide refuge, safety, protection, and assurance.
On the physical, material side, remember what Jesus said about having a quiet, private place where we can look at the inward face of life and feel that we have an inseparable bond with God, the Good Omnipotent. Let there be, in that place, books and other resources from which you draw courage, faith, peace, strength, inspiration, and power. A Bible should be there as well as sources of strong, powerful affirmations, and music that nurtures the soul.
Let your Inner Ark be a sturdy, rich awareness of God as the Presence visible and invisible, and the Power always mighty to help, to save, and to provide. Your body is a temple, and in it your mind--where you commune with Spirit--is the Holy of Holies...a mountain top of the soul. In this exalted place the silence is full of the voice of God. God has never been disturbed, and even if you aren't fluent in the language, you get the message.
The world outside your Ark may be dark and foreboding, but inside will be a place--a palace--of light. If you ever sought a suntan, you know that the sunlight does all the work. It would be good, as your soul basks in this light to give sufficient anti-viral sunlight to your body. Your Ark is not a place of personal effort and strain, but a place of being, of letting go of your way and your ways, and letting God's mysteriously creative way make your way straight.
Relax, breathe deeply.
Peace, be still.
All is well.
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Impressive memorials, cast of bronze and sculpted of granite, dot hallowed sites across America. Usually on Memorial Day, Americans flock to those sites to honor those who never returned after marching off to war.
As a minister, I have visited many cemeteries from Texas to Minnesota, Tennessee, and Florida, and in the older cemeteries large and ornate memorials may mark the resting places of those beloved of their families.
It seems instinctive--and it may be--that human survivors want to erect some permanent sign of a special person having lived and left their mark on the material world.
All of us have had friends and family members who have passed on, and we rightly want those of the future to know how much we love and honor them, but I have come to feel that there's a more personal way in which we can memorialize those who have made eternal differences in the way we live our lives.
What if we devoted some deep thought to what the qualities are that endured the deceased to us? In the case of those who were in the military when they died, we know we honor them for qualities that include courage, devotion, bravery, and their love of freedom and peace. Those friends and family members whose lives blessed ours may have had those qualities, too--and others such as steadfastness, faith, helpfulness, caring, and gentleness that made them heros in our sight.
I'm suggesting that once we become conscious of the qualities we admire and honor in the deceased, we resolve to develop and manifest those same qualities in our lives. Doing so, we may make the qualities of the deceased a memorial that lives through our lives as a daily blessing to those who's path merges with ours for a time.
The anthropomorphic god,, central to the worship of many, a god that worshipers create in their own image, is a false god, an idol.
For the concept of God to work on all levels--and many of those in Bible times knew this--God must be Spirit--Omniscience, Omnipotence, and Omnipresence. And Spirit must function as Universal Principle, as Spiritual Law, not by anthropomorphic whim, mood, favoritism, or prejudicial edict.
To have a God that IS GOD, we free our intellect of the tendency to take everything literally, since some truths are best conveyed with abstractions, allegories, symbols, and allusions. When we say, "God sees ...," we don't equip God with eyes like ours. What we're trying to say is that God is Omniscience and registers everything taking place in Creation...even the death of a sparrow.
It is an error, based on the anthropomorphic misconception, that proposed a perfect Heaven and a Creation that's perfect EXCEPT for an imperfect Earth. Of course the serpent gets the blame--but Who created the serpent?
Illumined minds will always hold that for God to be GOD, God's Creation and God's creatures must express some degree or aspect of the one and only Creator. If flaw and imperfection appear, Jesus showed the way to handle them by healing or correcting them with love and creative intelligence, not by seeing them as evidence of a devilish Pseudo-creator.
Spirit--the God that is God--is creative on all levels and all dimensions. Heavenly things happen in Heaven, and Heavenly things happen on Earth. Spirit is the GOD we want to love, honor, listen to, to receive instructions and guidance from, and to let ourselves be loved, helped, healed, and prospered by.
God is Spirit--and operates in ways that are a mystery to us--because Spirit works in a tamper-proof matrix of Idea and Law that looks to us like Love. We Don't ever quiet "get" how Spirit operates outside our concepts of time, space, possibility, and probability to be present in, for, through, by and AS all...eternally. But that's why Spirit--not some idol--is IN CHARGE.
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