Gratitude, by Paul Solomon
Previous Months in the Pastor's Corner
The following address was given by the Reverend Dick Dinges at the funeral service of Terezinha Richmond, who died in late September 2009. Les Richmond has given his permission that it could be published on the Fellowship website.
Les offered me this opportunity to share any wisdom I have that might be helpful at this time. Physical death is the time for us to pause and reflect. Today I would like to talk about what happens at physical death, and about the meaning of life.
Many people fear death because they don't know what, if anything, survives the death of the body. For
Then about thirty years ago I found the book, "Life After Life," by Dr. Raymond Moody, in which he related the stories of persons whose bodies died and were revived. These persons described a consciousness outside of the body. They spoke of going to various states of being in the universe—most often to a place of Light in which they experienced feelings of love, joy, and peace beyond earthly description. Dr. Moody coined the term
Not much else was written about NDE at that time, but fifteen years later I found dozens of books on the subject, and I have been immersed in the study of the topic ever since. I have not had an NDE, but I have spoken to maybe two hundred people who have. They told me that what they lost when they died was a body that wasn't working for them anymore. They said their minds expanded to grasp Universal Consciousness. They were no longer limited to time and space. They had been local, but they became
Most importantly for us at times like this, they said they could also be present with loved ones on Earth. They said that when loved ones on Earth thought of them, the energy of their thoughts went out like a beacon of light to attract their attention. Then they could respond by being present in consciousness to their loved ones on Earth. Sometimes they would appear in dreams, looking like themselves only younger and completely healthy. Sometimes they would appear while their loved ones were awake. There is a good book entitled "Hello from Heaven" by Bill Guggenheim in which he presents 353 such stories.
My most important truth at times like this is that loving relationships never end. The Apostle Paul wrote, "Love never ends" (I Corinthians 13:4), but people in touch with Spirit today describe it in greater detail. They say that the goal of humankind is to merge into conscious Oneness with God, Who is Love. The loving relationships we develop on Earth are only a small beginning for the love we will share with everyone.
In the light of all this we need to recognize that Terezinha has not died; only her body has died. Her spirit has completed this chapter in her drama to become a perfect loving soul, and she has become
What has changed is that we can no longer relate to her physically. Now we can have an improved communication—one of Spirit. All you need to do is to quiet yourself and invite her into your consciousness. We may not be used to doing this, and we may not feel successful in trying. People learn to do this over time.
And when the time comes that we will shed our bodies, then we will also leave behind the grids of time and space, the veil that hides the spiritual realms beyond. Then we will see the whole picture. In the meantime, we can trust the testimony of thousands of witnesses who say that consciousness continues beyond the physical, that Love is All There Is, and that loving relationships never end.
By Paul Solomon
There is a promise in the Bible that is written, “Draw nigh unto God, and he will draw nigh unto you.” (James 4:8) This verse speaks of two forces coming together, impelled by something. What is the impelling force that draws the two together? The simple truth is gratitude—gratefulness.
If you can be grateful in all things, for all things, at all times—constantly grateful to your source for everything in your life, no matter what is happening, no matter what it looks like at the moment, no matter what catastrophe seems to be occurring at the moment—if you can be grateful for all things, in all things, at all times, you will draw nigh unto him and he will draw nigh unto you, until you are melded together as one.
This may mean discovering a God that is different from the one you have known thus far. If the God you have been relating to is not supportive of you—your past, your future, your accomplishments, your desires, the other people in your life—then you should probably fire that one, because the true God within you is supportive of all that you are.
Each human being is an absolutely perfect creation, including his or her weaknesses. Congenital defects, illnesses, weaknesses, disadvantages, disabilities and challenges only exist to point out opportunities to deal with particular issues and lessons for growth, as determined by the soul. So they are a part of the perfection of a life experience.
Every soul is born perfect, with particular strengths and weaknesses. The weaknesses are as perfectly planned as the strengths. And the greater or superconscious mind, which is God within you, knows everything there is to know about all those aspects chosen by the soul.
You have the right to have a good relationship with that higher part of yourself, to enjoy your God within, to have fun in that relationship, free of fear and guilt. In such a relationship, you ask questions, and you listen. You never feel condemned. You always feel loved and forgiven, cherished. And that is the way it ought to be.
If there are things that you resent or dislike about yourself or your life situation, dismiss them. Change your relationship with them, until you can be grateful in all things, for all things, at all times. If you can experience such a level of appreciation for everything in your life, every moment of your life, living with an attitude of gratitude, then your link with your source will cause you to live life effectively, with prosperity in every area. It will cause you to be supportive to yourself and to everyone around you, at all times. And it will cause you to enjoy life beyond anything you have experienced.
Previous Months in the Pastor's Corner...
April 2006 - Sarah Anderson
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