The Master Key MMA journey draws to a conclusion…and is only just beginning.

Having lived on planet Earth these 60 years I have learned that not much is new but that so much is misunderstood. If you are like me some things you will have seen quickly, you ‘get it’ straight away but with some other things, it may have taken years for the ‘penny’ to drop

The mind is a funny thing…remarkable…unfathomable…the most wonderful thing ever created…but funny: you have to treat it right.
In the physical world there are Laws…one example being The Law of Gravity, try explaining how that works sometime, not even the cleverest scientists can explain it adequately, but you have to admit it does work… every time, for rich and poor alike.

There is the Law of Averages, Thermodynamics, Sowing and Reaping…the list goes on but we should thank God for these natural laws because without them there would be chaos. Can you imagine putting your keys down on the desk and not knowing if they would be there when you went back or whether they might just float off. What if the desk followed suit… chaos!

So if there are physical laws might there also be parallel spiritual laws? Maybe not something many people think much about but I believe they should at least investigate the possibility. Whilst the aforementioned law of Sowing and Reaping clearly works in the physical, for example if you plant onions in a field you are not going to harvest potatoes are you? But all truth is parallel and so the same law works over in the spiritual world in exactly the same way.

If you plant thoughts and therefore words of love and hope and joy and kindness wherever you go then you will find that people return the same kind of fruit into your life and you will harvest good things… but if you plant bad seed your harvest will be thorns and thistles spiritually speaking.

So we are talking about the mind since that’s where thoughts originate…as I already said, it is a funny thing the mind, you have to treat it right if you want it to work well and serve you. It is governed by laws in exactly the same way as the physical and the spirit and maybe it is central and the link between both so that’s why it is going to be the centre of this post.

Did you ever think about the way you think? For most people the answer would be probably not…many people do not actually think at all. Not really, choosing what clothes to put on or what to have for breakfast doesn’t count. What sets you apart from the silent majority, (and if you are still reading you have proven me correct) is your willingness to think seriously, to investigate…to seek after truth knowing that only the truth can really set you free.

There was a very well educated man called Paul, I never knew his last name but I know he wrote a big chunk of the New Testament and one stand out thing he wrote was this…”Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”

That interested me in a number of ways.
Why would Paul, or God for that matter, want me to become a new person, what’s wrong with the old person?
Why would God even care about the way I think, how does he know me from Adam in all those millions of people
Why does Paul suggest I LET God transform me…does God need my permission? If He is all powerful and He wants to transform me why can’t He just do it?

Actually asking the questions was quite enlightening even in itself. It seems that God does want me to be best person I can be, He wants me to fulfil a potential I didn’t even know I had before I started this six months of concentrated thinking I have been doing. It seems I am capable of doing so much more than I could previously have dared to ask or think.

And God does know me, he knows my name, in fact I heard somewhere that my name is written on the palm of His hand, and not just mine, yours too, so He must have a pretty big hand.

I thought I would check that out if I could and it seems the Hebrew prophet Isaiah (40:12) said “Who has measured the waters of the sea in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens by the width of his hand? So yes that’s a pretty big hand. And a pretty big heart too if he knows you and I by name and even the hairs on our head are counted.

So what about question 3? Why does God not just do his stuff and make us all like He wants us to be? It would be easier wouldn’t it? But it is our privilege to play a part in our own transformation. The material I have had access to these last few months, Og Mandino’s The Greatest Salesman in the World, Charles Haanel’s Masterkey, Earl Nightingale, Emerson. I am just reading W. Clement Stone’s The success System that Never Fails, all the contributions from Mark and Davene and the MasterMInd Group, my guide Steve Earl. It all adds up to a perfect whole and God is using all of them. Some passed a century or more ago, some are young compared to myself, they are scattered all around the globe and yet we are one. God is love and faith works by love, His love, our faith and maybe that impossible DMP is possible all of a sudden.

One thing I have learned above all else…there are people who can’t believe in the whole DMP yet because they have not walked this path with us. I expected them to see it and that was so naive of me. What they can see is the first step, what would the person I expect to become do next? When they see that first step done they will believe for the next step. The only person who needs to believe for the whole thing right now is me. That is the most important thing I have learned in all of the six month journey.

What do you want your last day to look like? MKMMA wk 24

I saw a documentary film many years ago about a group of colleagues working in a fish market called Pykes Peak in Seattle. They get up every morning at some really unearthly hour like 3.00am and they work for long hours in a freezing cold, smelly environment. The guys on the film talked about the choice they have to make every day…they could complain about their lot and be miserable all day or they can come to work and enjoy it, so they decide every day to enjoy it.

In Scroll 6 of the Greatest Salesman in the world Og Mandino tells us how not just to make that choice but to make it happen.

He says if I feel depressed I sing (I have been doing that for years, seems to come naturally)

If I feel sad I laugh.

If I feel ill I double my labour. If I feel fear I plunge ahead.

If I feel inferior I wear new garments. (I find a new haircut and a smart pair of shoes does it for me.)

If I feel uncertain I speak with a stronger voice.

If I feel poverty I think of wealth to come.

If I feel incompetent I remember past successes.

If I feel insignificant I remember my goals.

After all isn’t that what goals are for…it doesn’t matter about the size of the problem, my God is bigger and the goal…my Definite Major Purpose is the reason he put me here.

Thats why, “Today I am master of my emotions.”

These are all choices…you don’t have to sing…sometimes you are almost choking on the words and it would be easier to cry…but choose to sing.

The Fish Guys make similar choices every day and their philosophy affects literally thousands of people. Crowds come to stand and watch them work just to cheer themselves up, it’s amazing. Can you imagine a person coming to watch you at work because he is feeling depressed and going back to his own job happy. Man that’s a ministry…the Ministry of Fish.

They talk about just 4 things that make their workplace such a joyful place to be every day and the end result is they sell lots and lots of fish, more than they ever would if they all had long faces.

Point 1. PLAY…just have fun, with each other, with the customers, they literally hurl great big fishes and crabs and all sorts of sea creatures across the store and they are pretty good catchers too and as I recall they even get customers in to try and catch a fish sometimes.

2  MAKE THEIR DAY…if you can make someone else happy, if they can go home that night thinking the highlight of the day was meeting you, having some fun with you, laughing with you, wouldn’t that make you day too.

3 BE THERE…it means love the one you are with, give that person 100% attention in the moments you are with them, listen to them and let them go away feeling they were the only person in the world that mattered to you at that moment.  We could all do that in our daily conversations but how often are we thinking ahead to what we will say while we should just be listening… and worse how often do we think about where else we would rather be when someone needs our total attention. How many conversations take place through the background distraction of the television or some other third party interrupter. Isn’t the ultimate KINDNESS just to be there until the person talking to us feels heard and understood.

4 CHOOSE YOUR ATTITUDE.  Hopefully this is self explanatory. If you don’t think you are in charge of the way you feel, think, talk and act then who is? And you can always use Og’s tools from above to help you reinforce the choice.

Mark Januszewski on the MKMMA commencement webinar said something in one short sentence that speaks of exactly the same attitude, he said, as close as I can remember it.

“I talk to everybody that makes eye contact with me. I treat him as if it is his last moment on earth and I want his last moment to be a great moment, I want to be present in his life.

If the six months or so that we have invested in each other during this course if could be condensed into one sentence that would be it.

If we can live that way for other people just as much as possible how can we not enjoy our own life and know we have lived it to the full. Man, that is the abundant life Jesus was talking about, it’s not about accumulating more stuff. (Nothing wrong with having some nice stuff mind, it’s just not the main thing.)

To be there, and touch people at a heart level, to make their day thinking what if this were their last day is a reflection of what Og Mandino said in the fifth scroll.

“I will live this day as if it is MY last.”

What do you want your last day to look like?

New truth as an angel from Heaven. MKMMA Wk 23

We have almost reached the end of the Master Key and already I am drawn back to the beginning. I have printed the early weeks and am again spending time on each section before moving on to the next. I don’t feel the need to give each section a week this time because the language is no longer difficult and my understanding is greater.

What I have learned more than anything else is how much I don’t know.  It has come to my attention how much I have quoted from great authors past and present and most of all from the Bible which I hold as the benchmark above all other books.  I had thought I understood what I have quoted… (we all nod knowingly to each other as if we are alone are in possession of some secret information to which ‘the outsiders’ have no access.) but now even though I understand it in new, deeper ways: still I realise that there is much more that I have not yet understood. I could give half a dozen examples but I shall write about just one taken from Zechariah 4 later in this article.

This example has been so helpful to me I have made it the conclusion of my last two sermons which can be heard by visiting the website at www.hgfchurch.org or on the podcasts from Hindley Green Family Church where I am the minister.

In starting the Master Key again. I have printed the original on one side of a page and on the opposite side I and am writing my own translation in the more modern language I would use hoping to get the meaning across to a 14 year old.

I have taken the liberty of comparing it with my benchmark (the Bible) and am glad of the times when it has given me new light. There have been other times when I find it contradicts or doesn’t go as far as it should and in these times I allow Mr Haanel his opinion but find it disproved either in the course of time or that it was just wrong in the light of the Bible. I know that may be off putting to some but we either have a benchmark or we don’t, until something else disproves and displaces it I will stand on it even if I die doing so. Many will tell you it is not true but none can offer a fragment of real proof.

Haanel allows no room for the fall of man. He seems not to acknowledge sin and therefore negates the need for a saviour. But Christ said he came to seek and to save that which was lost.  If He is not who He claimed to be  then what right would He have to expect us to believe even a word of His teaching. Yet if every man would only live by His teaching in the Sermon on the Mount there would be only peace and prosperity in this world.

Haanel quotes the Bible and particularly the Words of Christ as often as it suits him and so if I were able to converse with him I should say, “if any of it is the truth then it is all the truth but if it contains even a single lie then we Christians are deceived above all men.”

You might think then that would apply to any book…if anything Haanel or any other serious author or philosopher says is true then everything they say is true and if one thing is wrong then the whole work is of no value…This cannot be so…I believe every sincere human effort is of value and I allow for areas of honest ignorance in an equally honest attempt to find truth. After all it is only the truth that will set us free. (You will notice repeated use of the ideas of honesty and sincerity, this is not accidental, I would like the reader to know that there are those who speak and those who write lies with a definite intention to deceive.) I make no claim to be perfect, I have been wrong many times but not intentionally and I am always hoping to gain new understanding.

William Ellery Channing (no relation)  said back in 1829,   “I call that mind free which jealously guards its intellectual rights and powers, which calls no man master, which does not content itself with a passive or hereditary faith, which opens itself to light whencesoever it may come, which receives new truth as an angel from Heaven.”

So let’s return to the promised example where Haanel has helped me to get more light on Zechariah chapter 4: verse 6 which says…

Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. 

As I said, I have come to understand that verse differently recently… perhaps I didn’t really understand it at all before.

Its one of those verses we quote ourselves and often hear others quote, and it sounds good but we are never quite sure what it really means. This is what came to me as I was meditating on it having earlier been thinking through some points in the Master Key.

Haanel says we are not a body with a spirit but a spirit with a body and we are almost in agreement on that one although I see it slightly differently.

First we must think of ourselves not as a body with a spirit…but as a Spirit with a soul and we LIVE in a body for the duration of our time on earth.

The body is wonderfully made, it is powerful in it’s own right and it has demands of it’s own, in the right place they are good and keep us alive…take one example…hunger…it can be very good…because it encourages us to eat which in the right amounts and the right quality of food keeps us alive and well.

But when it gets out of control, it can be very bad…if it becomes gluttony or some other eating disorder it will make us unwell, bring about diseases and even cause us to die before we should.

There are other lusts of the flesh too as we all probably are aware…so we understand as wonderful a creation as it is… the body has power…physical power. We must not let the flesh… or the body rule us. Ruling is the spirits job.

Then we HAVE a soul…it’s primarily our conscious mind…our emotions…our will, our memories and it too has power and it would seek to rule over the spirit.

Every living person has a spirit…when we die the spirit leaves…or to put it the right way round…when the spirit leaves there is no longer life in the body.

Haanel and I agree so far but here is where we appear to differ, and please understand, differing is not a problem and certainly no reason to fall out.

The human spirit is separated from God because of sin. The Bible calls that spiritual death…

Ephesians 2:1 Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins.

But when he was crucified Jesus paid the price of every persons sin and so all sin is paid for…all debt is cancelled provided…and this is a huge point…provided they acknowledge their need of a Saviour…repent of their sins and receive God’s forgiveness.  They must believe in their heart, (for heart read spirit) and confess that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Colossians 2:13 says You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.

So Jesus paid the price for all our sins…so that means that everybody can be reconciled to God and enjoy what Haanel refers to as the “Universal Mind.” For me there can be no mind without personality and so I cannot think of God, Father, Son or Holy Spirit as anything but 3 persons, one God.

So we were dead…and then when we believe on Christ we are made alive.

Some say we are ‘born again’, and actually it was Jesus that coined the phrase but it is over used today; it really only can have one meaning.

So the dead spirit is now a live spirit because it is reconciled to God’s Holy Spirit…it lives in the same body which it now recognises as temple of the Holy Spirit. And the soul is now being brought into subjection to the spirit. This does not happen instantly…it is a lifetime process and we do have to make conscious effort to co-operate with God and let Him transform us into a new creature by changing the way we think. (Romans 12:2 NLT)

OK so lets go back to Zechariah 4  Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord of hosts.

Not by physical might…the body…its strength… it’s skills can all be used to get it’s own way….many men together can use their combined might…the might of an army can take a city captive or even a country…but God says not by military might…

Nor by Power…the soul has its power…will power…even a strong mind can overcome many week minds…coercion…manipulation…intimidation…God says not this kind of power….

Not by might…nor by power…but by MY Spirit…So the universal acts through the individual, regenerated, born again spirit, which is now alive to God, in touch with God’s Holy Spirit…who is the All Knowing, All Powerful, Everywhere Present God.

If you ask anything according to His will…her hears you…and if you ask i His name, nothing shall be impossible to you.

It is not me that does the works but my Father that dwells in me. and to quote Jesus again,   “The works that I do you shall do also and greater works than these because I go to my Father.”

The River is in Full Flow. MKMMA Week 22

Let me start with a quote lifted from my last post.

“I did a random act of kindness that was bigger than anything I had ever previously done, to a relative stranger, in fact I was surprised myself that my new character would do such a thing… and the person closest of all to me is upset, no, mad at me for having done it, and yet that person is such a generous person, perhaps the act was more fitting for their character than mine and thats where the shock waves came from. Nevertheless I am glad I did it and I am sure it will work out well in the end.”

Thank God it wasn’t really ‘The Last Post’. I mean to say we lived through it, I thought it was going to be a disaster but it wasn’t, in fact everyone concerned prospered in it. It worked out better than even I could have expected it would. Isn’t it true that most of the things we worry about never actually happen. I can’t go into the details now, maybe I will at a later date, but I started a river flowing that has come flooding back to bless me in ways I didn’t even know existed.

And my previously uncharacteristic random act of kindness has moved me toward everything written in my DMP.

Some of the stumbling blocks are still there. Not everyone who needs to be is on board at the moment but I am giving thanks in everything and I am convinced the late adaptors are just God’s timing device for everyone’s benefit. Because of what has happened over the last week I have realised there will be other things I need to know before everything can fall into place. We just don’t know what we don’t know do we.

I confess: I have not been patient. I am sometimes like a dog with a bone. Once I see a clear picture in my mind I can wake up thinking it is already done.  This has sometimes caused momentary confusion, for a brief moment on waking from a dream; believing it has happened already I have struggled to grasp the current reality. I think that is a positive thing because it shows me the belief I have in the eventual victory is really strong and I have no doubt whatsoever that it will come to pass… in fact it has already come to pass for ‘the future me’.

Lately though, having stepped back and tried to be the observer I understand success requires steady but incremental progress and there has to be a process. The daily disciplines we have in place have meant I can practice what might be called “line upon line, precept upon precept thinking.” knowing these small, incremental actions will turn into measurable steps toward my eventual success.

Actually, I am successful even now as I enjoy the journey, I am just not at the final destination yet. I affirm I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving harmonious and happy and I know it is true.

But how can I be perfect if I have not yet achieved the goal?

I can be perfect, and here is the proof. I have a tree in my garden and in the springtime, at the centre of each blossom there is a tiny green ball, they look like little beads but they are actually perfect plums, perfect for the stage in their development but a long way from ready. It will be many months before we can eat them but they are perfect now and will be at every step of their growth until they are perfectly ripe and ready to eat.

So I was perhaps a little disappointed in the reactions of others, maybe even a bit annoyed…though not angry. Nevertheless my emotions were not entirely positive and then along came Og Mandino with the scroll marked six. He asks or rather he has me asking, “How will I master these emotions so that each day will be productive? to paraphrase he says “I see the battle and I have a plan to win it.”

Here is the plan. If I feel depressed I will sing. If I feel sadness I will laugh. If I feel ill I will work doubly hard. If I feel fear I will do that which I fear. I will dress UP, I will speak UP, I will direct my thoughts to see the victory which is certainly coming.

Today I will be master of my emotions.

I like to sing and I have quite a repertoire of songs old and new…

Not long ago I was whistling a particular old favourite in a supermarket and Steppy, my wife was also in there unknown to me. She heard the whistling and said to herself ‘only my husband would be whistling that tune in Sainsbury’s’. So she followed the sound and found me and we had an inpromptu lunch together…The words of the song go…

I have a mansion just over the hilltop,                                                                      In that bright land where we’ll never grow old                                                       And someday yonder we will never more wander                                               But walk on streets that are purest gold.

Heaven is the ultimate goal, of that I have never doubted but I also know that I have a definite purpose here and I won’t be going anywhere until I have fulfilled it.

So everything will slot nicely into place in His time even if there is pain or suffering on the way… the promise is the promise…”only believe and do not doubt and if you have anything against anyone, forgive them so your heavenly Father can forgive you. Then if you command this mountain to be removed and cast into the sea it will be done.”

Stick to the pathway, the journey is as exciting as the destination. MKMMA Wk 21

It is almost as amazing how supportive a mastermind group can be as it is disappointing that the people you most want to improve for just don’t get it. It is not as if this is the first time I have had this experience. I am grateful for the feedback I have had  from the mastermind group since my last post and have been greatly encouraged to stay on the path.

I had an epiphany 30 years ago where I changed almost overnight from a hopelessly addicted gambler, a seeker after every kind of sensual pleasure and an abuser of whatever substance was accessible. I met with God in my own bed…no other person was involved but I was awakened to a life changing truth. My girlfriend at that time thought I was going mad and was on the verge of walking out when the car she was sat in filled with light and she knew that I was more sane than I had ever been. When she told me of her experience which was so different from my own it was hard to reconcile the two, but it was the same power, the same person coming to both of us in the way we each needed to meet Him.

We have talked about having to learn to love the person we are trying to become and I am getting there, but if I were to dwell on the person I used to be all those years ago I could only have love for him and a hearts desire that he would find out what I know… but I would certainly have no desire to become like him again.

However at the time there were people who came and begged me to go back. One was a close family member and in truth most of my family members have never come to accept the new me.  My best friend of many years, (we met in school aged 11 and we had been each others best man at our weddings) walked in to my living room and gave me an ultimatum. Go back to how you were or we are finished, I said I could not go back and he turned and walked out into the night. Another friend did likewise and I have seen them both of them once in the 30years since and they treated me worse than a complete stranger.

So now I am faced with a similar situation once again and yet I can face it this time with perfect peace. How many others have been so prepared to face such massive change?

My ideas are bigger now and some colleagues are not yet ready to come up higher and see what I see, but I know that they will, I will nurture them and lead them until they do see …

I did a random act of kindness that was bigger than anything I had ever previously done to a relative stranger, in fact I was surprised myself that my new character would do such a thing… and the person closest of all to me is upset, no mad at me for having done it,

and yet that person is such a generous person, perhaps the act was more fitting for their character than mine and thats where the shock waves came from. Nevertheless I am glad I did it and I am sure it will work out well in the end.

…Haanel in 21:17 says Do not hesitate to aspire to the highest possible attainments in anything you may undertake, for the mind forces are ever ready to lend themselves to a purposeful will in the effort to crystallise its highest aspirations into acts, accomplishments and events…

and 21:19. There is no limit to what this law can do for you; dare to believe in your own idea; remember that Nature is plastic to the ideal (I think he means God is Willing) Think of the ideal as AN ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED FACT.

Is that not what I read my DMP every day as if it were an already accomplished fact…sometimes I have fallen asleep listening to my recording of my DMP and woken with a start knowing for sure that it is happening as I listen. And then I realise it is still future for me… but it is a sure and certain future and this time my companions will be with me to celebrate it.

After many steps forward what happens when you take a step back? MKMMA Wk 20

After many steps forward I feel I have made a pretty big step back.

I was so glad for the quote from a friend of mine who has absolutely no idea how I am feeling right now, (nobody but God knows), yet he sent me a text message today with the following quote. “…do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you…” Isaiah 41:10

Not long after I read the following quote from Emerson on a twitter post from Mark J, ‘Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.’ 

Between them they were a lifeline and since you are kind enough to take an interest in my writing I will tell you why.

I have been really enjoying the MKMMA ride these last four or five months, I have been learning so much and at times felt I was almost flying into the new life of the person I intend to become. This last week I have been brought down to earth with a bump. I can’t say it’s a reality check because quite honestly my reality has changed, but I suppose other peoples reality is still where it was and now there is a gap between us  almost the size of a canyon.

The trouble is many of the people on the other side of this canyon are important in my life, (I don’t mean my wife because she understands me better than anyone), but nevertheless, important people with whom I am deeply partnered and associated are now thinking in a completely different way to me. It seems I have left them behind, at least for the moment.

I see an amazing new future with greater goals than ever before and aspirations that I know will greatly enhance our fellowship and through them our whole city.

We all agree that without a vision the people perish and for years the vision has been to hold on,  just keep everything ticking over, be faithful and guard our post…but now I see a window of opportunity that we must walk through while it is open… it will not stay open for long…but I see us advancing and taking ground…and I include all of us in the vision…and many people we have not even met yet will benefit from our boldness too.

Sadly the reaction I received last week from I man I love and trust has shaken me to the core. I know the root of his reaction was fear and not necessarily his own fear but he spoke strong yet negative words to me in a way he never has before.

I understand that I want to push the envelope, I realise its a big vision and it is possible that it will prove to be too big but we have to try, and if we try and fall down half way we will still have made a huge impact on our society.  However, instead of a peaceful discussion with council of caution and patience there was a sharp rebuke for even considering such ridiculous ideas.

So it leaves me with a dilemma regarding the three most important flash cards I am looking at and speaking out every day. In fact it has brought confusion and disorder in what was a seemingly straight forward growth progression.  I should keep it to myself, take it to God and wait on His perfect timing and the latter part is in fact what I will do, however I have chosen to write about it here because I am sure others among us may have similar issues and we might be able to help each other.

The three cards…

One is the single sentence DMP (Definite Major Purpose).  Obviously the things I want to become and the things I want to achieve and build as a part of my DMP are not just about me, they involve an extension of my existing work and many of my current associates.

The second card…“What am I pretending not to know?”  Well clearly I thought my closest associates would greet my proposals with excitement and faith but it is now obvious that I was pretending not to know they would hold on to their comfort zone for dear life whilst thinking I have gone crazy.

There would be a financial cost to get the ball rolling on my ideas and though it is one we are well able to meet I do think it is stumbling block. There are certain signs, things that are said, when money becomes the biggest issue and they have been shown as evidence. I am sorry to report that we claim to believe that our God will supply all of our needs and that He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and that the silver and the gold all belongs to Him. We quote that the treasures of the wicked are laid up for the righteous and then as soon as we are challenged with a financial risk we collapse like a house of cards. When will we realise that faith is an act?

Actually I am pretty sure the majority of the group would be excited to at least explore the possibilities and it is just a few who would stand in the way of progress, but I don’t feel it would be right to go over the heads of these few. They deserve respect and honour: they are good, well intentioned people and I will not dishonour them at any time.

So we come to the third card…“What would the person I intend to become do next?” 

The person I was would certainly be very angry and push through for his own way and if people were hurt along the way then it was for the greater good. Thankfully Machiavelli is dead and the person I intend to become is Whole, Perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy…although right now I must confess I am not feeling happy at all…but I will be patient like nature…giving thanks in everything and although I see the window of opportunity closing the principle of love must prevail. God can keep the window open or blow away the wall if need be.

This MMA group has been wonderfully encouraging all along but now it is not encouragement I seek but wise council. I am sure I am not the only one among us who feels they have outgrown some of their associates. It is not their fault they have not been along with us for the ride is it?  However the next step for me is to learn how to help them make the leap, how to communicate across the canyon and rebuild bridges that bring them on without me having to go back.

In the meantime I will not fear, for He is with me; I will not be dismayed, for He is my God. He will strengthen me and help me; He will uphold me…

The MasterKey is so Close MKMMA Week 19

It’s early Saturday morning and I woke up with such excitement in my spirit. Things sometimes come together in such a way that even though in themselves they might not be pleasant, or might not mean very much, when they collide they bring revelation and create harmony.

Our dealings are with real people and not to be rude or arrogant it is fair to say they might be at a different level of understanding from where we are.  They may not have answered the call and even begun the hero’s journey or they may well be ahead of us along it. It’s not a time to judge, just to observe.

On Thursday I watched the ‘Finding Joe’ documentary on YouTube. I explained it was a part of a course I am taking or I might not have got away with it. I am sure the other two people in the room could easily have suggested alternative viewing. There was an atmosphere of fear and suspicion in the room, one person was listening with one ear whilst occupying themselves with a electronic game and though the other paid more attention his conclusion was that it was about a cult led by one man called Joseph Campbell. I am not claiming to have been totally enlightened myself, I too was wondering if all the heroes journeys and the myths the documentary talked about would lead to a pulling down of my own faith and lumping it with so many other stories as just another myth.

And if my own beliefs were indeed a myth would I be willing to let them go in order to move on and find the real Truth. Could my Hero stand the test of scrutiny or was He just a 2000 year old version of Luke Skywalker or was the road from Nazareth to Jerusalem just another Yellow Brick Road? Whatever the Truth is, it is The Truth. There is no truth for me and a different truth for someone else, My prayer is that one day we will all know The Truth and The Truth will set us free. I am confident that my prayer will be answered for all who truly seek the answer because my Hero said it would be so.  Actually He said  “I am The Truth”, a very bold claim.

I was thinking about a story I heard recently about a monkey and a banana, actually I heard it many years ago, there is nothing new under the sun.  There is a place somewhere where the natives like to eat monkeys, but monkeys are quick and not easy to catch so they had to come up with a plan. So they make a box with a hole in it just big enough for a monkey to put his hand through. They put a banana in the box which the monkey can see and smell and pretty soon he can taste it so so badly he puts his little monkey hand through the hole and grabs the banana. But now his big monkey fist with a banana in it won’t come out of the hole… so he is faced with a choice, let go of the banana and run for your life or hold on and finish up as roast monkey. Apparently the natives eat a lot of monkey.

So that was Thursday and what happened on Friday slotted right in. I wasn’t involved in the Alpha Course that was taking place in the next room. Some of us were playing table tennis minding our own business in the big hall but afterwards the two groups came together…and lo and behold, there he was, the monkey with his fist gripping the banana for all it was worth. He was full of the  knowledge he had brought with him and he was not about to let it go, he knowingly told us “these are only stories, how could someone have lived 969 years, they are like Chinese whispers, they were all written by men, if all this is true I want God himself to come and talk to me personally”. I suggested He might if He truly wanted to hear but perhaps He would use His written Word rather than put in a personal appearance. “No! I want Him to come and talk to me personally.”

That might sound ludicrous but he is actually the second person to say exactly that to me within a week. If I am honest I could feel the tension rising in me, the old man, the old blueprint if you like, wanting to rise to the argument and slay the dragon with my superior knowledge. And how he loved that, and how he sought to feed my ego, I can talk with you (he meant fight) because you know so much more than these others. I tried but I didn’t do a great job of explaining that these, new baby Christians at whom he was pointing his finger knew everything they needed to know to walk into heaven before me. We could have all the knowledge in the world and still be without that simple faith that just holds Daddy’s hand and trusts Him to bring us through. But he was spoiling for the fight and more than that he wanted me to fight.

It was just like the emperor in Star Wars willing young Luke to use the dark side of the force, grab that banana and don’t let go.

Later I thought about the Laws of the Mind and particularly the law of relaxation and I woke up this morning with a wonderful clarity. I can’t expect everyone around me to understand where ‘I am’ because they are at different stages of the journey, but that does not prevent them being Whole, Perfect, Strong, Powerful, Loving, Harmonious and Happy where they are now and I need not be envious or feel inferior to those on the journey who are ahead of me.

And this is what I woke up knowing, and I have said all that to say this…Every myth, every story, every tale of the Hero’s Journey is the same for a reason. The reason is the reason for our being, remember Haanel saying “in it we live and have our being”?

Well it’s not original to Haanel, he took it from Doctor Luke who wrote the Acts of the Apostles.

In Acts 17:28 Paul was troubled by all the idols he saw around him in Athens, but he did not use aggressive argument or even logic, he stayed relaxed and trusted in the Holy Spirit to lead; and the wisdom of God began to pour out of his mouth.

Acts of the Apostles 17:22-28 “So Paul addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about. “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’”

So here is what I woke up with in my mind this morning…every great deed of men, every hero’s journey, myth or movie, real or allegorical comes from the pattern that is within mans spirit because man is in direct communication with God’s Spirit. Not the universe, that’s like saying the house is the home, when actually without the heart it’s only bricks.

Every soul longs to know it’s maker and every son wants to see his Father as the hero and to emulate him.  When a man answers the call to greatness it is a picture of the Truth that God saw man’s need from heaven.  He always knew when and where eternity would invade time, heaven would invade earth, God himself would take the form of a man, take the Hero’s journey into the earth, pay the ultimate price that would allow him access to the dark domain where he could bind the dragon, take back the keys to death and hades and rescue his beloved men. Because the truth is eternal it abides in the spirit of men, who were created in the image of their Father God, before the time of the ‘invasion’: even from the beginning. Because God was destined to make the Hero’s journey at just the right time, the nature of the journey and its purpose was always in the mind of God, and therefore the people who were made in his likeness and who longed to be close to Him were born with the seed of it inside them. The call comes to all…but not all accept it…many are called but few are chosen.

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.”