Thursday, June 07, 2007



Brandi Carlile
My son turned me onto "Smallville," and the opening theme song is beautiful. GREAT MUSIC is one version of love in action. The current top 20 is surprisingly good. Linkin Park ("What I've Done!") Snow Patrol ("Chasing Cars"); Plain White Ts ("Hey There Delilah"), The Fray, Maroon, Fergie, Gwen Stefani, and my current fave artist today is Brandi Carlile. Her second album, The Story, was released in April 2007. It was produced by T Bone Burnett and includes a collaboration with the Indigo Girls on "Cannonball." The album was recorded in an eleven-day-long session with Carlile , the twins (Tim and Phil Hanseroth) and drummer Matt Chamberlain to capture the raw intensity of Carlile's live performances.

What you resist persists; what you fear is what you draw to you. Whatever you fight, fights back at you. If you fear growing up, if you are afraid of evolving, you are doomed to be an immature adult. There is nothing more unattractive than an immature adult. These are the people whose lives have gone off track because they are foolishly chasing their youth instead of accepting change. But life is a flow, and we must follow it wherever it leads us. The happiest people are those who can put this into a positive perspective. Everything you think you have lost is really your opportunity to gain. It's looking at the glass as half full instead of half empty.

GOOD is the underlying, invisible, spiritual language of the universe. Harmony, good is the underlying structure of all things. It's the genetic code of the universe. All things work toward good, toward the light when you are in faith. In other words, when you activate your "faith" in the goodness of people and the universe, that's when people and events respond accordingly. That's when things go your way. You are in the divine flow, working together with good.

Another word for good is God. Another word for love is God.

I know one thing for a fact that prayer actually changes things in the physical universe. But prayer is not what religion teaches it is: it's not begging some anthropomorphic God for favors. It's acknowledging the good already there. Underlying everything are the laws of the universe and you cannot really break these laws: truth, honesty, goodness, right action, principle, order, harmony, love, liberty, equal rights, etc

Prayer is holding to the GOOD so solidly, holding good in your thoughts so powerfully, evil has no room to grow; it is drowned out, extinguished by our lack of attention to it. That's what Christ meant when he said: bless your enemies, resist NOT evil. Evil cannot thrive in an atmosphere that doesn't acknowledge it. When you think constructive thoughts about someone, and direct the highest good toward your fellow man, his behavior can change.

What does love look like?
Eric Nelson

It looked like a pack of sweaty bike riders, appearing out of nowhere, speeding down a lonesome road in 100-degree heat. At least that’s what it looked like to me. But there was more to it.

I was perhaps 130 miles into an all-day 200-mile bike ride through the foothills of California’s Eastern Sierra when I began to run out of steam. Not having much else to think about, I wondered why I was feeling this way.

Had I eaten the right food last night? Had I gotten enough sleep? Was I taking in plenty of fluids? Had I trained hard enough? Even though the answer to all these questions was an unequivocal “Yes,” I still felt pretty exhausted.

The only answer I could think of was love.

This led me to ask a different question: “If it’s not food and water, not the amount of rest or training, then what is it that propels me forward? What is the source of my strength?” The only answer I could think of was love. My love for the spectacular scenery surrounding me. My love for biking. My love for the freedom, flexibility, harmony, and joy I experience each time I ride.

“That’s nice,” I thought. “But what does love have to do with strength? What does love feel like? What does love look like?” You’ve guessed it. As if on cue, there appeared, almost out of nowhere, a pack of sweaty bike riders, speeding down this lonesome road in 100-degree heat.

One of these bikers invited me to join his pace line. (This is when riders line up directly behind one another as closely as possible so as to take advantage of the lead rider’s wind break or “draft,” with each rider taking a turn “pulling” the line.) The effect was a decrease in the amount of energy I had to expend while, at the same time, increasing my speed. Not a bad deal!

This sense of the sustaining power of love stayed right with me.

A few miles down the road, feeling refreshed, I broke away from the pack. But this sense of the sustaining power of love stayed right with me. At one stage this love looked like another solo rider and me keeping one another company on a long uphill stretch.

Later on it looked like a gloriously long downhill with nary a car in sight. And for the last 30 miles or so, love looked (and felt) like a steady tailwind gently pushing me across the finish line.

So what exactly was this “love” that appeared seemingly out of nowhere, this love that looked like many different things? Was it simply positive thinking, some happy thought that had the effect of taking my mind off my body just long enough to finish the ride? No. As I see it, each instance described was confirmation of the love of God, the love of Love itself.

The strength I experienced that day didn’t come from my body.

The strength I experienced that day didn’t come from my body. It didn’t come from the pace line or the tailwind. It came from my acknowledgment of the presence of God, the presence—and power —of divine Love.

“‘God is Love.’ More than this we cannot ask, higher we cannot look, farther we cannot go,” said Mary Baker Eddy. While everything about my ride — the scenery, the camaraderie, the sense of accomplishment — was great, it was this enlarged understanding of Love as the very source of my strength that really put the icing on the cake. As it says in the book of Psalms, “It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.”

I realized that if God is Love and God is infinite, then the expressions or proofs of Love’s presence must be infinite as well. God’s wisdom and health and supply and compassion—and, yes, strength—must be reflected everywhere, in everything, and in everyone.

It’s nice to know that when you are in need of strength, encouragement, inspiration, you can acknowledge God’s presence, the presence of Love, and ask yourself, What does Love look like?

The mental picture you hold of someone is the picture you create. We are all according to the law of the universe -- that what you picture in your mind, that what you hold in your thoughts becomes your reality.


Promise Yourself....
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature you meet.

To give so much time to improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud word, but in great deeds.

To live in the faith that the whole world is on your side, so long as you are true to the best that is in you.

A somewhat different and shortened version of this was adopted by Optimist International, which publishes it on the Web, with the following statement:

Many have found inspiration in The Optimist Creed. In hospitals, the creed has been used to help patients recover from illness. In locker rooms, coaches have used it to motivate their players.

Optimist International adopted this creed in 1922. It was originally published in 1912 in a book titled: "Your Forces and How to Use Them." The author was Christian D. Larson, a prolific writer and lecturer who believed that people have tremendous latent powers, which could be harnessed for success with the proper attitude.

Charles S. Braden, in his definitive history of New Thought, Spirits in Rebellion: The Rise and Development of New Thought (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1963)