Your Kingdom Awaits MKMMA Week 18

Mahatma Gandhi is, by many, considered to be the father of a nation.

He said, There is a force in the universe, which, if we permit it, will flow through us and produce miraculous results.

He longed to see his nation freed from the bondage of imperialism but he chose to use only love and peace, kindness and silent protest as his weapons of war.

For a time they followed him but there seems to be something within men that prefers to be divided, to want more for self, to always want a bigger slice of whatever cake is before them. Gandhi was a dreamer and he achieved his dream never diverting from his path of peace but it was not too long before they split his new free nation and his life was taken from him with the weapons of men. Assassinated by those he came to set free,  5 bullets to the chest took him on the last walk into eternity.

When the Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20,21 NKJV

Was He referring to the same ‘force in the universe’ that Gandhi said would flow through us to do miracles…I think He was but didn’t Gandhi say it would only flow “IF we permit it”

Jesus talked about the Kingdom often, one day He told His disciples

And from the time John the Baptist began preaching until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and violent people are attacking it. Matthew 11:12 New Living Translation

The Kingdom of Heaven existed before John began preaching about it, in fact it existed before the creation of the worlds and long before the first man was lovingly placed in the perfect garden that God had prepared for him.  All the temporary things we now see and the eternal things we don’t see were created out of the mind of God who pre-existed everything. (if you wish to call it the Universal mind that’s fine but to me He is a person who I know as well, if not better, than my earthly Father)  When the thoughts of God were put into words and mixed with faith, faith became substance and the worlds began.  The infinity of the physical universe is a manifestation of the thoughts that came from the infinite mind of God.

So why does Jesus refer to John the baptists preaching as the start of the Kingdom of Heaven advancing? Because John was the herald to announce the coming King. Whatever men had been able to achieve until that time, all the great kingdoms that had risen only to fall again, all the learning and teaching, the wonderful things he had built (and apart from a few shiny electronic devises he has not achieved much more even until now) there had been glimpses of the Kingdom but in truth it had eluded him. So the King was coming, but the person that shot Gandhi in the chest existed long before Gandhi and his weapons have been many and various. So we have it today that whilst the Kingdom of Heaven is advancing the violent people are still attacking it.

As we started a new scroll in Og Mandino’s great book I was grabbed by the thought, “I am indeed a fortunate man and todays hours are but a bonus, underserved. Why have I been allowed to live this extra day when others, far better than I, have departed? Is it that they have accomplished their purpose while mine is yet to be achieved? Is this another opportunity for me to become the man I know I can be? Is there a purpose in nature? Is this my day to excel?”

I believe it is…

In the 18 weeks we have been studying and thinking and hopefully opening our previously closed minds there has been development that maybe we could not have imagined…The old blueprint is fighting, thinking sincerely that it is keeping us safe from these new dangerous abstract ideas that are lifting us to higher plains.  It is afraid of almost everything but it is crying out for the New Creation, (That’s the person we are becoming) to give it, very simply because it doesn’t have much time to think, a clear, loving and kind vision of a great future and then give it, and by that I mean ‘the person I was who is trying to reassert himself’ PERMISSION to let go, move on, move up and be happy. Whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and HAPPY actually.

The Kingdom of Heaven is waiting. For years I have been waiting for Kingdom Revival and now I see that Revival has been waiting for me all along.

Will you write your own obituary? Masterkey Week 17A

I had not regularly bought a Daily Newspaper for many years until Mark J said it was a requirement of the Master Keys MMA to buy one every day last week. OK, it’s no problem, I can read the sports pages on paper just as easily as I can read them online I suppose.
Oh no! It’s not for the sports pages, It’s for the obituaries, you have to read at least one obituary every day.

I can’t believe it, I have never read an obituary in my life.

But I can follow instructions even if I am not sure I understand why sometimes so I bought The Times each day and searched for the obituaries…which are incidentally, conveniently close to the sports pages.

The were a few about people I would possibly never have heard of if they hadn’t chosen to die this week, others I probably should have heard of but hadn’t, like Princess George Galitzine, (real name Jean Dawnay) who was told she was ‘far too ordinary and not tall enough’ but became the first Englishwoman to model for Christian Dior in Paris way back in 1950.

There was Alexander Chancellor, The Spectator editor and ex BBC Chairman Sir Christopher Bland. There was Mary Tyler-Moore, Alan Waldie who blessed us with the Heineken adverts and the Benson & Hedges gold sardine tin.
Ronald Webster led a revolution to lead the island of Anguilla back to British Colonial rule checked out aged 90 in December as did Ljobo Sirc.

Sirc was imprisoned and sentenced to death aged 27 by communist dictator Marshall Tito of Yugoslavia but he escaped and became a great economist in the more forgiving capitalist UK and made it to age 96.
He said his prison term was the making of him because it taught him all about economics. Now that’s what you call making lemonade when life deals you a lemon.

Naked Civil Servant and Elephant Man, Sir John Hurt said goodbye to planet earth on January 25th…now he didn’t seem to be the cheeriest of souls so he might have fancied another shot at it.

I never would have guessed that so many people were just queuing up to die…and unless I had bought all these newspapers I would probably not have known how many people were wishing it was the newly elected American President instead.

My youngest son (together with his twin Nathanael) didn’t know that all this morbid coffin chasing was going behind the door of his dad’s private office but he had been after me to watch a documentary film with him for a few weeks. Finally I caved in, well really it was his Mum who caved in, and the timing was amazing as ever. It was ‘David Bowie-the last 5 years’ and was the story of a man who had clearly foreseen, predicted, orchestrated, filled in all the gaps, kicked the bucket list right up in the air and written in song, film and a stage play his own obituary.

Intriguing, challenging, moving and defying all expectations I will confess to wiping a tear or two away from the corner of my eye. I remember sitting on the carpet as a 13 year old boy one Thursday evening when my Dad came in from work raving about this song that he had heard on the car radio and hoped was going to be on Top of the Pops. It was…a curly haired fresh faced boy sat on a stool singing about an astronaut called Major Tom. I loved it, Dad loved it and now my 16 year old boys love it too. I understand DB declined the knighthood he was offered saying that was not what his life was about.

In the 5 years he fulfilled his dream to write and produce a musical, he released his final album on his 69th birthday and died on cue 2 days later. People said it was a great loss. I think it was just the final act performed to perfection.
David Bowies body of work will be seen and heard alongside those of Beethoven, Mozart, Van Gogh, Da Vinci, and every other genius who has left a legacy in their field…

I was surprised to hear that Og Mandino read an obituary every day but now I am beginning to understand why

…at the end of the week we found out for sure why WE were reading the obituaries… the exercise continued with the instruction to ask yourself 3 questions…

Question 1.  Would that person whose obituary you have just read love to change places with you and have 1 more day?…Maybe… but I don’t think so. Certainly not with David Bowie but I think most of them had done what they were supposed to do…I am not the judge but maybe Sir John might have liked the extra day.

Question 2.  Who can I let know how grateful I am for their presence today if it is my last day?

Question 3.  How will I behave today to finish the masterpiece of my life elegantly.

Og Mandino asks the question in scroll 5 of The Greatest Salesman…

‘Why have I been allowed to live this extra day when others, far better than I, have departed? Is it that they have accomplished their purpose while mine is yet to be achieved?’

He has had us repeating for the last 30 days in the previous scroll

‘I am not on this earth by chance I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain not to shrink to a grain of sand.’

My purpose is written on paper in my own hand and typed on my computer and all my electronic devices but more than that I am told and I firmly believe that it was written long before I was born, even before the foundation of the world and so I feel safe and secure while my eyes are focussed on it… I cannot leave until it is complete because only I can complete it.

MKMMA Week 17, Courage to stand for what we believe means we will not fall.

It has taken me a week to decide if I can get past the quote below from the Master Key Part 17 Introduction and concentrate on the many positives in the numbered section.

I am not sure if the Intro’s to the numbered parts were written by Haanel himself or are commentary from another writer but I cannot let it pass and want to discuss it whoever the writer may be. First let’s read the passage in question.

“The kind of Deity which a man, consciously or unconsciously, worships, indicates the intellectual status of the worshipper.
Ask the Indian of God, and he will describe to you a powerful chieftain of a glorious tribe. Ask the Pagan of God, and he will tell you of a God of fire, a God of water, a god of this, that, and the other.
Ask the Israelite of God, and he will tell you of the God of Moses, who conceived it expedient to rule by coercive measures; hence, the Ten Commandments. Or of Joshua, who led the Israelites into battle, confiscated property, murdered the prisoners, and laid waste to cities.
The so-called heathen made “graven images” of their Gods, whom they were accustomed to worship, but among the most intelligent, at least, these images were but the visible fulcrums with which they were enabled to mentally concentrate on the qualities which they desired to externalise in their lives.”

I have not met many pagans though I have met plenty of Muslims and Jews and many more Christians and I have never found intellectual status to be a deciding factor in what they believe. I am a member of Mensa and I only mention it to say I suppose it means I have quite a high intellect but I have met men with far less mental ability than myself who have been able to teach me much about the simple faith in the God we both follow.

The writer above, suggests that men have created their deity in their own image and I agree with him that many have but the God I know and serve was not created at all but He created man in His own image.

In Haanel Part 17:1 we read “We are told that Man has “dominion over all things”; this dominion is established through Mind.”

In the very first chapter of the book of Genesis we read from verse 26,  Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it;…

and moving to Genesis 2:15 we read  Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.

Whether you take it literally or allegorically is up to you but the point is, God made man and gave him a superior mind for a purpose: that he might fill the earth, rule over it, tend it and keep it.
It seems that man’s tendency, at least since the fall of Adam has been more about subduing and dominating than it has about tending and keeping.
If you are struggling with the concept of ‘the fall’ let me put it another way…Haanel talks about being in harmony with the laws of nature…The apostle John wrote “if we ask anything according to God’s will we know He hears us.” and Jesus said “Ask believing, nothing doubting.”

Before the fall man was in perfect harmony, walking with God in the garden, nothing doubting…clearly all men are not in perfect harmony today and doubt is everywhere evident…so we are fallen from what God intended for us, which we now know to be “Whole, Perfect, Strong, Powerful, Loving, Harmonious and Happy.’
Now the God I read about in Moses writings is not the one described above by Haanel or his introducer. “the God of Moses, who conceived it expedient to rule by coercive measures; hence, the Ten Commandments.”

To a man who knows God and understands the Old Testament scriptures this God is not at all coercive but full of Grace and Truth. The Ten Commandments are the Law of God and as we have already agreed concerning the laws of nature they were given for the good of mankind.
The 7th as an example is written Thou shalt not commit adultery.
How about this as a paraphrase, Remain faithful to the partner you married because the intimacy you know with that person can never be bettered, The sex will be the best if you give yourselves fully to one another, the trust will be complete and perfect but if shattered will never again be totally whole. Every person connected with the adulterer and the one betrayed will be in some way diminished and nobody at all will be increased. Thats why I say remain faithful… because I love you both so much.

The writer clearly does not know this God of love and has a scant understanding of the scriptures.
God had been very patient with the inhabitants of Canaan and waited hundreds of years until their sins became intolerable before allowing the Israelites to invade.

This is the same God who changed His mind about bringing judgement on Ninevah in the days of Jonah after the king humbled himself and the people followed his example.

This is the same God who waits patiently today for the world to get better although the signs of that happening are not very encouraging.

Haanel talks about a new age of thinking men where peace reigns and there is prosperity and progress on every side. I believe he would be so disappointed if he were alive today because having placed his trust in men and the ‘universal mind’ to make everything right perhaps he would feel the world is actually worse now than it was in his day. Sure we have invented new and shiny things and much better ways to kill each other, but is the character of man with his wonderful mind and many opportunities any better?
I know we are not to judge…I am just observing.

The writers comments about the Israelite hero Joshua being a thief and a murderer are probably antisemitic, and considering the time it was written this is no surprise, but to suggest the pagan deities were just like our DMPs and the cards we are using to develop our desired characteristics is at best naive. They were sacrificing their own babies to these ‘gods’ they had carved from wood or stone. Has man changed since then? Not a bit considering the millions of babies that are sacrificed each year in abortion clinics.

So are you thinking this is so negative…I never knew Rob could be like this…let me just say I am very positive that we can turn it round, but not if we think we can do it without God. Mark spoke a few weeks ago about the Tower of Babel, that was the birth of the New Age movement…man can get to heaven without God, by the power of his own mind. Communism is a modern day tower…from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs…how does that work out in practice? Needs are deeper than food clothing and shelter, men need incentive and crutches only teach men they cannot walk.  Man needs God and to carry out His great plans for man on the earth God needs man…He has chosen in His goodness to use men and it is our privilege to be so used. Because He has chosen us we must choose to believe it was He who created us Whole, Perfect, Strong, Powerful, Loving, Harmonious and Happy.

It was man who chose to fall from that place but each man individually has now been given the chance to be restored by simply believing in the Saviour Jesus Christ and experiencing a New Birth in his human spirit (Ephesians 2) meaning the Spirit of God, the Universal Spirit if you like, comes to live there: (Thanks to Haanel I now understand the seat of this dwelling to be the Solar Plexus.) and so he regains access to the Mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

We become new creations and the old person we once were dies away. There is a process as we are renewed in the spirit of our minds and there is a new blueprint to replace the old. The architect, the builder and maker of this new man is God as we cooperate with Him in it.

It may be that you will choose to carry on believing that man without God can solve his own problems and you have the right to do that…God is not at all coercive and will not take that right from you.
But remember the people in Canaan, as patient as God is, judgement will have to come one day because it is a law of nature. Perhaps Emmerson would describe it as the law of compensation but for better or worse we will all reap what we sow.

I want to leave the last word with the great Israelite Hero who said in the book of Joshua chapter 24:14,15
“So fear the LORD and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD alone.
But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve.
Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live?
But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.”

The Kindest Act of All MKMMA Wk 16

“I am not on this earth by chance. I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain…not to shrink to a grain of sand. I am natures greatest miracle. I was conceived in love and brought forth with purpose.” The scroll marked IV Og Mandino.

OK  so after 16 weeks of reading Haanel’s Master Key and repeating aloud multiple times each day the appropriate scroll from the Greatest Salesman I have learned many things and yet I have learned that I still know so very little about what makes everything tick.

Take Og’s statement above, “I was conceived in love”…well maybe I was, I like to think so, but what about those who were conceived ‘by accident’ on a one night stand, or far worse as the result of a rape or even a systematic sexual enslavement of one people group by another. Is it possible to watch the news on television and think that every child is conceived in love? Maybe it is better not to watch the news at all and actually I do avoid it as much as I can, but because I choose to guard my heart and mind by not dwelling on them that doesn’t make the atrocities go away does it .

What about the millions of people who live from cradle to grave under the power of darkness, and dare I say, Satanic ideologies or other forms of physical or mental slavery. People who never have any possibility of free thought and even less chance of freedom of action without fear of the worst kind of reprisals. Children are abducted and forced to be soldiers, young girls are forced to become brides when they are hardly in their teens. Are these things too far away to be of concern in such a small world?

In the ‘civilised’ West: and I am talking about less than an hours drive from my house young men of one certain persuasion are given cash incentives if they manage to get a young girl from the indigenous population pregnant. In a town only 60 miles away at least 1400 children were systematically, sexually abused over a number of years right under the noses of local authorities who were too scared to act.  I know it is hard to believe but I have lived long enough to know it is still happening.

So am I expected to believe that the world is making progress but it is just not perfect yet?

Or am I supposed to accept that all their misfortune is the result of people’s own thoughts and they have ‘attracted’ to themselves the terrible life they are living?

Well, I don’t believe it and I cannot accept it.

Am I now going back on all I have previously written in my blog posts? I have tried to be so positive. Well every lamp must have a positive AND a negative wire before it will give its light.

So I am not going back on anything previously written…I have come a long way and learned so much of value but one thing I believe remains the same and no amount of reason has been able to move me from it.  Good and evil do exist side by side and if anyone were to deny it I think they would only be choosing ignorance for the sake of convenience.

Imagine the architect of the universe as mere electrons firing together to form atoms which in turn form cells who act individually or group together with all their different tasks to perform. Imagine that a few trillion of them contrived to form you. You are a spirit being, your have a soul, (your mind, your will, your emotions) and you live in a body.  Can you believe all that just evolved from some lesser life form?

No intelligent design, no benevolent creator who said “Let us make man in our own image” and whose heart is filled with love for mankind.  Some would have it as a series of chance happenings that took place in a previously vacant universe.

I don’t want to be rude but I have to laugh.

You see my imagination doesn’t stretch that far and I am not convinced that science will ever prove that things can come from nothing. Words and thoughts are not nothing, they are something so I can more easily believe that by mixing words with faith an intelligent, supreme being called those things that were not as though they were.

I believe in a God of Love. If we are to accept the Bible record we must accept it in its entirety, yes,  some of it may be allegorical but there is sufficient hard doctrine for us to accept that God is a good God who desires only good things for men but that He has a malevolent adversary who hates mankind as much as he hates his creator.

In the 51st Psalm King David expresses to God his deep sorrow and very real remorse for his own terrible actions…he writes

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.

This is the man about whom God had already said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.’ Acts 13:22

He does not write, I was conceived in love and brought forth with a purpose…but rather I was conceived in sin and brought forth with iniquity. 

And yet his purpose became clear…and he achieved it too, uniting a people and continuing the blood line and the prophesies that brought forth the Christ. Emmanual, God with us, you shall call His name Jesus for He will save His people from their sins.  Not just a carpenter, not just a great teacher, not just a prophet but The Prince of Peace, all the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form and the propitiation for our sins, the only way to God.

No man comes to the Father but by Me, He said it Himself and if He lied about that then we have to believe He lied about other things too.  But He cannot lie and He is the same, yesterday and today and forever.

So however it came about that you were born into this world, be it in true love or in lust or in violence… the new birth, the birth by the Spirit is from God and he gave you a purpose that was known to Him from before the foundation of the world.

This fits perfectly with Haanel. The spirit world is very real and permanent. The things of earth are temporary. The laws of the universe and the laws of the mind work for all people, God makes His sun to shine on the righteous and on the unrighteous. Evil people may prosper for a time and they will manifest what they think about because the laws of the mind work for them too but David in another place (Psalm 37:7-9) says this

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;                                                                      Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,                                                 Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.                                      Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;

Do not fret—it only causes harm.                                                                                     For evildoers shall be cut off;                                                                                   But those who wait on the Lord,                                                                                They shall inherit the earth.

Don’t fret…Be at peace.

At the end of two weeks thinking about Kindness, noticing kindnesses and trying to do kindnesses without getting caught or looking for credit the greatest kindness of all comes in this. To help a fellow human being to see that, whatever the circumstances of his birth, whatever his life history to date, no matter where he has been and what he has done, God loves him with an everlasting love and wants him to come home.  To simply ask is all that is required…there is no work to do…there is no cost…Jesus has already covered that…just come with Gratitude. Enter His gates with thanksgiving in your heart.

You will see that Gratitude is indeed a cause not an effect, and that we can actually change our own life and much more than that… if we can reach even one of those enslaved in darkness we might be opening a door  allowing light to flood in and change a nation. How can we do that? Well first we must pray…they are not the enemy, they are people who God loves in need of our help. We must give without expectation of reciprocity from those we seek to bless…we are in the flow.

Let’s leave the last word to Og from scroll 2. With love I tear down the wall of suspicion and hate which they have built round their hearts and in its place I build bridges so that my love may enter their souls. I greet this day with love in my heart.

MKMMA Week 15 Back to the Garden

I heard a line in a song on the radio today, ‘And we’ve got to get ourselves Back to the Garden’. The Song was called Woodstock. It reminded me of my hippy days in the late 60s. Are you going to San Francisco? Will you wear flowers in your hair? Well actually we only got as far as St Ives in Cornwall, close to the South Westerly tip of Great Britain: and I am sure we believed it was possible to get back to the garden…the protest singers were heavily concentrating on Viet Nam but we were more interested in Making Love with no thoughts of War in that peaceful corner of England .

Then we all grew up… the pimples cleared up and before we knew it the hair started to fall out and now here I am to tell the tale in my seventh decade.

But looking back there was a certain flow then, a freedom I suppose, a kind of relaxation, an ability to dream about bigger things than paying bills and getting by from day to day. We truly thought we could change the world one way or another but I don’t think we changed it at all, certainly not for the better.

There has been a long gap in the middle but I am actually beginning to dream again. I actually do believe we can still change the world…we were just looking in the wrong place…we were looking to change the effects and now at this late stage we come to realise we were supposed to be looking at the cause. Well we have to teach it to the current generation of young people and hope they can grasp it better than we did.

The very best life it was ever possible to live was in the Garden of Eden…Whether you think the story allegorical or you take it literally is your business and I am not looking to persuade you to agree with my view, but all the blessings of God were there, and all they had to do was live in harmony with Him and cooperate with the natural laws that He had set up for their advantage.

All the natural laws, including the 7 laws of the mind that we have been thinking so much about were set up for mans good. God had no plan for man’s defeat then and neither does He now. He is a benevolent creator with no malevolence in Him at all. He is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. He is love and love is the Law of Attraction. Have you ever noticed what happens to the darkness when light breaks in. The light wins every time and if we will live in the light of God our victory is assured.

But back to the Garden…it was the best it could possibly be there… there was no way to improve the situation at all.  They were in perfect harmony with God, with nature, with each other. The Affirmation we heard about a few weeks ago,  “I am Whole, Perfect, Strong, Powerful, Loving, Harmonious and Happy” can never have been more true.

But Adam had a choice…we have the same choice today…Their choice to disobey a simple instruction based on a false promise from the tempter caused them to forfeit everything they had that was precious.

Warnings are given to keep us from harm. The warning had been, if you eat of it you will surely die, and although physical death took a long time to manifest their spirit died right then, their inner peace, and their peace with God, was broken in an instant and since the outer world is a reflection of the inner world there could be no peace on the earth from that moment forward. (Not until Emanuel stepped in)

It was not too long before one son was to murder another and eventually violence so filled the earth that even a great flood couldn’t stem the tide.

In the Master Keys 15:9b we read, “Our highest happiness will be best attained through our understanding of and conscious cooperation with natural laws

The apostle John wrote a letter and in it he says  “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” 1 John 5:14,15

I understand that ‘according to His will, and ‘in harmony with the laws of nature’ are the same thing and that means ‘Whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy.

How do you listen? MasterKey MMA Wk 14

All of us in the Mastermind Alliance have been working through the MasterKeys one week at a time and we have all read each of the scrolls from Og Mandino’s Greatest Salesman between 80 and 90 times each. I read mine out loud every time because I believe that faith comes by hearing. Faith in whatever it is, the Bible means faith in God comes by hearing the Word of God but whatever you allow yourself to hear repeatedly will increase your faith in that thing, and we know that the subconscious doesn’t differentiate, it just accepts what the conscious guard of our hearts repeatedly allows through.

So as I was reading Luke Chapter 8 a few days ago, a verse that I have probably read a hundred times but never really noticed before leapt off the page at me. Its verse 18 where Jesus says…

Therefore consider carefully how you listen.

Then he goes on to say

Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.”

And I may have thought that was more about material things and I am sure since all truth is parallel it can be but here I now see it as spiritual… or should I say understanding…If I understand this it will be given to me to understand more…If I do not understand even that which I thought I understood will be taken away from me.

So lets look at the question then…”How do we listen, or how do we hear?  Well you can hear without listening can’t you. If we don’t pay attention we miss what we were intended to hear.

If someone is taking the trouble to try to tell us something we should at least start from the premise that they are doing that for the good of all concerned.

Jesus before He said consider carefully HOW you listen Jesus had just told the story about the farmer who went out to sow seeds. The birds steal some off the path, the sun burns up those that fall upon the rocky ground because its roots are not deep enough, some live a half life, they can hang around for years but they never bare any fruit because they never seem to get past the cares of this world.

And some just seem to be overcome what ever happens and they bare fruit, some 30 some 60 and some 100 fold. They bare fruit and so to what they have more will be added.

Maybe we have taken this in a passive way…if you are rocky ground then you are rocky ground…if you have the thorns then thats just the way it is…but since we have been thinking a lot about thinking I have realised that we actually get to choose what kind of ground we will be…

So if I am a hard ground person (due to my past thinking) and I want to be good a ground person that is going to take some effort, and I will really have to have the desire if I am to see it through.…we have read in the Master Keys that thinking is work, hard mental work and that is something many people will not want to do but we must understand that it is our own choice.

If we will do the work, regardless of the pain and the time it will take, we can transform our hearts from being hard where we cannot stop the birds from stealing the seed to the kind of fertile soil where we could not stop the production of a profitable harvest even if we wanted to.

If my heart is like the hard path it is a result of my past thinking and doings but if I want things to be different I have to change how I hear things…my understanding of the laws of the mind must be allowed to bare fruit. The Law of Growth tells me, If I forget about the things that I have allowed to harden my heart they will atrophy. If I fill my mind with whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, if I think about these things, Phil 4:8  my very character and then my circumstances will change.  My sermons have been greatly influenced by this prolonged study and I spoke from the pulpit on New Years Day inspired by these thoughts.

To carefully consider how we listen there are 4 steps.

Hear, Interpret, Evaluate and Respond.

We first hear, by paying attention and shutting out all distractions…

We may then have to interpret…I found the language quite antiquated with Emmerson and to a lesser degree with Haanel so a dictionary is proving useful quite often…

Having understood or translated the words we must Evaluate…

I have tried to keep an open mind…to allow others a different perspective when the temptation has been to compare notes with what I already believe. I have not agreed absolutely with everything and I have disagreed at times but I have seen value in everything even if it has simply opened a point of discussion in my mind.

And our response perhaps with more words as in this writing but more importantly with the physical application off what we have discovered. Are we doing anything differently because this is the only proof that we listened and understood. By the fruit you shall know them.

So “Therefore consider carefully how you listen.”