I Am Healthy
What does it mean to be healthy? We usually think of the physical aspects of health first. A perfect body. The imagery that bombards us daily illustrates healthy as thin. As tanned. Flashing a blinding white smile. Tossing back thick, glossy hair. But this is merely marketing. Health isn’t based in appearance. And it isn’t limited to our physicality.
Myrtle Fillmore, cofounder of Unity, diagnosed with tuberculosis, was sickly as a child and young adult. Then from a New Thought lecture by E. B. Weeks, she came away with a life-changing affirmation: I am a child of God, and therefore I do not inherit sickness.
Myrtle knew this to be true and she was eventually healed of tuberculosis. She said of the experience, “It was a change of mind from the old, carnal mind that believes in sickness to the Christ Mind of life and permanent health. I applied spiritual laws effectively, blessing my body temple until it manifested the innate health of Spirit” (Myrtle Fillmore’s Healing Letters, Unity Books).
Myrtle knew without question that prayer works. She also taught that there is more to the healing process than just prayer for physical recovery. Myrtle believed in daily practices for mind, body, and spirit: “Daily, declare that your spiritual life and world, your mental life and world and your physical life and world are unified and that you are expressing harmoniously the ideas of the Christ Mind on these three planes.”
The practices Myrtle espoused for wellness still ring true today.
Attitude matters. In the January/February 2018 issue of Unity Magazine®, columnist Dawson Church, Ph.D., writes, “Your beliefs are powerful determinants of your health and well-being. That’s not a metaphysical proposition; it’s a scientific fact.” Church notes the great volume of research that links beliefs to biology, showing that beliefs affect blood cells, stem cells, muscle cells, and hormones. “When you fill your mind with an image of a benevolent universe and your heart with compassion for all living things, you’re doing more than basking in the majesty of creation. You’re sending signals to your cells that make you healthier and happier,” Church says.
Myrtle stressed not only the importance of faith and prayer but of being optimistic, of practicing positive thinking for positive results. “Prayer is an exercise to change our thought habits and our living habits. … When some of our thought energy is expended in negative beliefs and feelings … we get those old negative results.”
Take care of you. Myrtle embraced healthy living. She taught the importance of self-care and believed eating right, exercising regularly, and resting were key to a healthy body. “The body responds to changes of the mind; and when this is accompanied by truly wise living habits, the conformity to true ideas … will renew it and make it every whit whole.”
Health expert Susan Smith Jones, Ph.D., says, “Sometimes we just need gentle guidance and daily reminders about how to invite more vibrancy into our bodies and lives” (“Dr. Susan’s 11 Healthy Living Tips”). She encourages a diet that is at least 50 percent fresh, raw foods each day along with getting plenty of sleep and staying hydrated for increased energy, restored vitality, and radiant health. And she recommends simplifying our lives: “You will increase your joy and zest for living … it doesn’t necessarily mean restricting activities, but it does mean ‘uncluttering’ … Put your energy into activities you really care about and enjoy.”
Faith matters too. Myrtle taught that God is inward: “Sometimes we pray to a God outside of ourselves. It is the God in the midst of us that frees and heals … You need to think of God, the all-powerful Healer, as being already within you, in every part of your mind, heart, and body.”
Myrtle’s faith practice focused on prayer. Unity offers a five-step prayer process, a gentle guide to quiet the mind and turn inward.
Relax: Close your eyes. Relax, breathe deeply, and let go of outer concerns.
Concentrate: Quiet your mind. Begin to focus your thoughts on the spirit of God within you.
Meditate: With an open mind and a receptive heart, feel the peace of God’s presence. “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10 RSV).
Embrace the Silence: In the silence of your soul, know that you are one with God. Allow this realization to permeate your being.
There is no one right spiritual practice. Find what works for you. But keep in mind the admonition of May Rowland, director of Silent Unity for more than 50 years, who said, “Faith is never passive. Do not delude yourself, get busy.”
Talk It Over With God
Excerpted from Mary L. Kupferle's book Trust in the Goodness of God. Since 1944, Kupferle's articles have appeared in Unity Magazine®istered;, Daily Word®istered;, and other Unity publications.
Is something upsetting and disturbing you, dear friend? Talk it over with God. Talk about it freely with God. Tell God your doubts or fears or apprehensions, and He will respond and bring new courage, reassurance, and peace. If you are feeling hurt or disappointed in some area of your life or in a relationship, talk it over with God. Pour out your frustrations or feelings of anger, grief, resentment, or unhappiness.
Tell God exactly how you feel and why, everything you hold within your heart. Give God all of your pent-up emotions without hesitation, and God will, in turn, open His great heart of love for you. God will reveal to you the healing solution for every difficulty in your life!
Talk it over with God as you drive to work. Talk it over with God as you sit in business meetings. Talk it over with God as you pursue each daily chore or as you walk down the street. Talk it over with God as you seek right decisions about finances, look for a job, help a family member. Momently, hourly, daily, talk it over with God. You will be led to the right paths of healing, supply, and happiness, and to the desirable channels of helpfulness and support.
Make it a practice to talk over everything first with God, whether it be of small or great importance. Become a habitual communicator with the source of all wisdom, the provider of all supply, the giver of every good and perfect gift. Establish lines of communication each day—yes, moment by moment—so that you begin to feel more and more in God’s presence and aware of the fullness of God’s joy as you listen for His response.
As you remember to talk to God instead of flaring in anger or impatience, you will be amazed at the calm and peace you feel. As you talk to God instead of indulging in self-pity over unhappy circumstances, you will be surprised at the upliftment. By turning to God when you feel low or grievous or unworthy or inadequate and telling God that you are counting on Him to help you surmount such feelings, you will find immediate relief and comfort. …
There is nothing you can say that will offend God. There is nothing you cannot express openly, candidly, completely, for God is total understanding. God is love, and you are God’s beloved. Talk it over with God. He has good for you beyond your present concept if you will but begin to communicate and honestly speak out and listen for His guidance.
Talk it over with God even though you feel your words are inadequate and you seem to be speaking to the empty air. Remember not to become discouraged if you are unable, at first, to hear or feel a response. Keep on talking, keep on listening, and be assured that God’s presence is there. The answers will come through in their divinely ordered times and ways. Give God the time and opportunity to answer you as you hold to your faith in continuing communication. God’s great love not only will understand but also will honor your honesty and effort.
The more frequently you talk with God, the greater will be your comprehension of God’s guidance and the ways in which He responds. You will begin to hear God’s voice more clearly as a natural inner urging, indicating the action to be taken. You will find that doors to your good open as easily and spontaneously as the rising and setting of the sun—and they will be that bright and sure and beautiful! …
Begin now, dear friend, to start the flow of communication. Talk over everything, everything, with God without delay. The answers will come through. The solutions will be found. You will move into new blessings of enrichment and healing. “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Prov. 3:6).
Talk it over with God, and miracles will abound!
Think on These Things
Are you ready for the Word!
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and knowledge.” Proverbs 1:7
Is there still a place for fearing God in society and our lives individually? I ask this question because the Bible has much to say about fearing and demonstrating respect for God. Do you think reverence for God is increasing or decreasing in society? In your observations, do you find that the general population’s approach the to places and practices of worship to be more or less sacred? There seems to be a slow drift of the heart from approaching God as awe worthy, the Holy Other that simultaneously inspires hope and fear in our heart, to a God who is our “buddy” the Mister “fix-it”, or the one who is to blame when things go very wrong in our lives or in this world.
Is the Ancient of Days being dismantled bit by bit before our very eyes? It is obvious that over the past 30 years the culture has undergone a massive shift downward when it comes to the role of religion and spirituality. In many schools God has been expelled, and Atheism is sounding more like a faith belief that opposes God’s existence, rather than a solely scientific proposition. As many children, youth, and young adults return to their academic institutions they will be facing these realities.
Therefore, I offer this verse from the writer of the Proverbs, “The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge.” These words echo through the annals of time declaring to us that knowing God is the true foundation of all knowledge and wisdom. I like this phrase I heard a lecturer use once, “God is the uncaused cause of the universe.” God is the Designer, Initiator, and Manufacturer of life and the universe. God is the missing link that science desperately seeks. Existence makes sense when God is in the equation. The quandary, however, is this, if God is in the equation why can life still be so tragic, violent and senseless?
Listen to these verses that speak to fearing God: “how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You;” “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him;” “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence.” Could the fear of God be a solution to many of our global concerns, and the senselessness of life? Are we suffering from the side effects of marginalizing God from the public sector and trying to regulate Him to the closet of people’s lives?
There is a generation that is growing up on a moral diet that excludes innocence, an emotional diet that elevates self-centeredness, and a societal diet that eliminates God. Those who practice praying, pray with me this week for all of our students. Pray for their families, their teachers, and their quest to find truth in the midst of all the information they receive in their academic and social lives. Over the next few weeks I invite you to walk with me through the Proverbs and see the relevance of the wisdom of God that continues to speak concerning and challenges of our generation. Until next time, walk good my friends and think on these things.
God First … Details To Follow
Excerpted from The Quest
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” —Matthew 6:33
Grazing cattle do not become angry or distressed if their pasture changes. Fish do not grow resentful as the mighty currents change their water. The cows will have grass to eat, and the fish still have a home. Animals, it seems, accept change as a fact of life.
If only we humans could do as well! How shockingly easy it is for us to jump off the path, only to chase down one blind alley after another in desperate pursuit of something—anything—which waves a seductive promise of fulfillment and satisfaction. But one by one, each alley leads to the same deadend: another alluring mirage which grows dim, disappears, and disappoints.
And so the days of our lives spin by as we quicken our pace to get more … more ... more. Or to do more … more … more. Or to be more ... more ... more. And the more we get, the more we want. The more we do, the more that needs to be done. The more we become, the more we want to be. Finally, in a frenzy if getting and doing and becoming, we exhaust ourselves, despairing of our hollowness and echoing Maxwell Anderson’s chilling words in the song “Lost in the Stars:”
Sometimes it seems as if God's gone away,
Forgetting the promise that we heard Him say,
And we’re lost out here in the stars.
Little stars—big stars—blowing though the night.
And we’re lost out here in the stars.
If you’ve ever looked into the night sky, undimmed by city lights so that you can see all the stars, you know the felling of insignificance which can overtake you. You can feel swept away by the incomprehensible magnitude of outer space. Yes, we are “out here in the stars.” We are in and of the stars, but we are not lost! Right where you stand is the hub of the universe, and you are the star of a cosmic extravaganza even more vast and grand than outer space. It is your own inner space. When you discover that universe, it becomes quite natural to live each day putting God first.
What does putting God first mean? It means being true to the Presence which made you. It means thinking and acting from your highest level and always being open to God's will as it seeks to unfold itself through you. It means, to use the farmer's metaphor, putting your hand to the plow and furrowing straight ahead rather than in meaningless circles, eyes neither to the left nor right but always fixed on God. Then the healing, the prosperity, the peace, or the whatever you have been hoping for will take root in your life.
When you place God first in your life, everything else easily sprouts and grows naturally. This is simply another way of phrasing Jesus’ “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.”
It’s so heartening to know know that with God first in your life, you don’t have to concern yourself with the details of how things are going to work out. The need to manipulate other people and the pressure to control events disappear.
Changes can take place all around you, and they will merely be experiences to learn or grow from or to accept or to ignore. The pastures may be relocated or the water changed, but that which counts the most can never change—the presence of God within you. The more you allow it free rein in your life, the less crucial the “pastures” and “water” become.
Perhaps you are already discovering this for yourself. Your concern over the details of life wane as your desire for something more, something greater, increases. The further you travel in your spiritual journey, the more you need and feel God.
Remember, the Power within you has infinite patience and comes forward only when It is called. As you enter this leg of your journey, do so with a joyful shout. Let your voice ring out through the primeval forests of you inner world: “O, Lord of my being, live Your life through me.”
Gospel Music Legend Melvin Williams Receives First EMMY Award Nomination
New Documentary on PBS Follows Williams’ Journey from Mississippi Cotton Fields through Five-Decade Career in Music and Entertainment
Gospel Music legend Melvin Williams, a member of the award-winning Williams Brothers, has received a 2018 Southeast EMMY Award nomination for Special Event Coverage of his new documentary, “Melvin Williams: Down Home Gospel.” The film, which examines Williams’ journey from his roots in Smithdale, Mississippi, to a stellar, five-decade career in music and entertainment, will premiere nationally on PBS during Gospel Heritage Month 2018 (September) in more than 200 markets. The film initially aired on Mississippi Public Broadcasting on March 4, 2017, and January 26, 2018.
The 44th Annual Southeast Emmy Awards will be held on Saturday, June 16, 2018, at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia. Hosted by CNN’s Anchor Fredricka Whitfield, the Southeast EMMY Awards categories honor journalists, television producers, photographers, documentary filmmakers, and others making a positive difference by connecting audiences with new ideas and trusted information.
“I am honored to receive my first Emmy nomination for ‘Down Home Gospel,’” says Williams, a 19-time Stellar Gospel Music Award winner who has been singing since the age of 6. “I feel blessed to share my story and my family’s story with the world. I love gospel music, and I am on a mission to preserve its roots and culture globally.”
In “Down Home Gospel,” Williams’ acoustic band performs a stirring set, ranging from freedom songs to his own Gospel hits, including “Cooling Water.” He also talks about his humble beginnings in Mississippi, his parents, three sisters, and seven brothers (one brother died a few months after birth, and his brother Frank, who founded the Mississippi Mass Choir, passed away in 1993). He also shares stories about the family’s musical legacy, from the Little Williams Brothers to the Sensational Williams Brothers to the Williams Brothers to Melvin’s solo career, and how his brothers Frank and Huey of the famed Jackson Southernaires influenced his career. The 60-minute documentary features music from Williams’ ninth solo album, “Melvin Williams: Down Home Gospel,” which will be released this fall.
By Rev Duke Tufty
I would not carry with me
the glowing ember that burned my hand,
Nor would I go about my day with a sliver wedged deep into my skin.
In that same manner,
I release situations of the past
which disrupt my peace of mind and cause ill feelings,
for they only continue to hurt me
as long as I choose to hold on to them.
Today, I willingly forgive and release
all harsh feelings toward myself or others.
I rise above and move beyond uncomfortable memories,
and claim my right to live this day
with a Peaceful Mind,
a Peaceful Heart,
and a Peaceful Spirit.
I AM FREE, I AM UNLIMITED,
THERE ARE NO CHAINS THAT BIND ME.
Let Go! Let God Fill Your Need!
By Mary L. Kupferle
If you are anxious, tense, or concerned about anything in your life, dear friend, begin now to relax, let go, and let God fill your need.
No matter what seems to be missing from your life—be it a much-loved person, a special place, an activity of great value, or a feeling of well-being—know that God is right now filling your need.
Take a deep breath. Release it slowly, telling yourself quietly: I let go. I let God fill my need. Accept the reality that God's wisdom is ever present and available, ready to fill you with new understanding, light, and life. Let God fill every void, every emptiness that seems to separate you from the desires of your heart. Let go! Let God fill your need!
God's light and substance and divine activity will move in and through you as you let go. God's creative process is awaiting your acceptance of its productive, healing action. Let your thoughts be lifted up. Let the presence of God dissolve your fears and doubts and remove every unbelief. Let go and let God within you do the work.
Begin now to relax from the strain and effort of questioning, planning, and reasoning. Take a few moments throughout the day to calm your thinking and place all your attention upon the words: I let go. I let God fill my need.
Immediately, you will experience visible and tangible benefits, inside and out. You will feel renewed strength and faith and courage. Your http://www.unity.org/prayer will be more effective, and your understanding of the presence of God within you will be clearer. You will find that God's love takes care of what you cannot accomplish. As you let go, God will freely and abundantly fill every need.
God always provides knowledge, guidance, understanding, faith, healing, supply, or anything else you need. Whatever your life experience appears to be, you have—at this very moment—an opportunity to let go of your personal striving and let God move in you and through you to fill your every need.
During the most critical point in the life of Jesus, when the minds and hearts of His disciples seemed totally depleted of courage and faith, their needs were filled. As the disciples viewed the amazing example of Jesus' quiet surrender, they learned of the miracle-working power of letting go and letting God. Their eyes and minds and hearts were opened to the message of abundant life, eternal life, and love for all humanity.
God's love and goodness will always fill every need in your circumstances, every hunger of your heart, every longing of your soul for peace and assurance, and every good desire for the expression of eternal life and well-being.
Although it may sometimes seem you are separated from that which has been your greatest avenue of comfort, security, or supply, remember: God always fills your need. No matter how great the gulf seems between you and the solution to your deepest desire, you can trust God. Tell yourself again and again, as often as you need to do so: I let go. I let God fill my need.
Let go. Let God fill your need. God never leaves a void. God will never desert you or forsake you. God's presence of love and wisdom is ever nurturing your soul in its gradual unfoldment of spiritual potential. God's power is ever at work within every circumstance. As you let go and trust God, everything is transformed—yes, everything—into a blessing. God continuously makes dark places light, rough places smooth, crooked places straight, and empty places full—full of loving-kindness and abundance of joy.
Let go. Let God fill your need. Let the creative process of God begin now to fill every point in your life that needs the touch of divine love and healing power. God is ready to do what you cannot do by yourself.