Companies spend billions of dollars in marketing annually . . . making sure you believe that you must do the same. There are ads everywhere you go encouraging you to spend, spend, spend. Most of these ads don’t even tell the truth about their product and your safety. Other ads give too much information about their product. They tell you in advance that their product might cause death. Yet, we still spend, spend, spend. “Saving” does not seem to matter in today’s global economy. People shop and buy based on available money to them. Some people live above their means, thinking all is well. Other folks live below their means wondering where the next dollar will come. But wealth is in the character of the person not in the material possessions owned.
In 1912, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke at The Bowery Mission, a rescue mission in New York to about 500 poor homeless men and said the following words:
You must be thankful to God that you are poor, for Jesus Christ has said, “Blessed are the poor.” He never said, “Blessed are the rich.” He said, too, that the Kingdom is for the poor and that it is easier for a camel to enter a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter God’s Kingdom.
Therefore, you must be thankful to God that although in this world you are indigent, yet the treasures of God are within your reach; and although in the material realm you are poor, yet in the Kingdom of God you are precious. Jesus Himself was poor. He did not belong to the rich. He passed His time in the desert, traveling among the poor, and lived upon the herbs of the field. He had no place to lay His head, no home. He was exposed in the open to heat, cold and frost—to inclement weather of all kinds—yet He chose this rather than riches.
This earth’s happiness does not depend upon wealth. You will find many of the wealthy exposed to dangers and troubled by difficulties, and in their last moments upon the bed of death there remains the regret that they must be separated from that to which their hearts are so attached. They come into this world naked, and they must go from it naked. All they possess they must leave behind and pass away solitary, alone.
God has not said that there are mansions prepared for us if we pass our time associating with the rich, but He has said there are many mansions prepared for the servants of the poor, for the poor are very dear to God. The mercies and bounties of God are with them. The rich are mostly negligent, inattentive, steeped in worldliness, depending upon their means, whereas the poor are dependent upon God, and their reliance is upon Him, not upon themselves. Therefore, the poor are nearer the threshold of God and His throne.
Jesus was a poor man. One night when He was out in the fields, the rain began to fall. He had no place to go for shelter so He lifted His eyes toward heaven, saying, “O Father! For the birds of the air Thou hast created nests, for the sheep a fold, for the animals dens, for the fish places of refuge, but for Me Thou hast provided no shelter. There is no place where I may lay My head. My bed consists of the cold ground; My lamps at night are the stars, and My food is the grass of the field. Yet who upon earth is richer than I?
When the young child asks the question about where babies come from, and the first response, other than the stork story is, “when two people love each other . . . blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!” The child eventually grows up to learn the real story, “when two people have sex . . . blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!” Now as an adult, he or she knows where babies come from . . . but what about love?
Love refers to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes that ranges from interpersonal affection (“I love that person”) to pleasure (“I loved that meal”). It can refer to an emotion or attraction (“I love my job or career”). It can also be a virtue representing human kindness and compassion (“I love children, animals, the poor”). (Wikipedia)
Love is a power that you can choose to share or not. Love is so powerful that you can choose who or what to love, whether it is good for you or not. Have you ever seen a man who did not love his own actions? Even though they be bad actions, he loves them. This man is a man with the spiritual side of his nature still undeveloped. If he is selfish, the evil is not in his love of self—all love, even self-love, is good. The evil is that he has such a poor, inadequate, misguided love of self and such a lack of love for others and for God. He looks upon himself as only a superior sort of animal, and foolishly pampers his physical wants and needs.
Know thou that in every age and dispensation all divine ordinances are changed and transformed according to the requirement of the time, except the law of love, which, like a fountain, always flows and is never overtaken by change. ~Bahá’u’lláh
When you go backwards, you relinquish your powers. How?. . . you ask, I will tell you. When you go backwards, you go back to familiarity. There are no new challenges, just the same challenges from before. When you go forward, you are in unfamiliar territory, with new challenges. When you go backwards, you tell the same old unsatisfied stories. When you move forward, the stories are new and exciting.
When you go backwards, everything about you reveals how you surrendered your powers. When you push forward, everything about you reveals how you are maximizing your powers. Looking ahead pushes you to new levels and possibilities. Looking back brings up bad memories, feelings, or mistakes. The only good thing about looking backwards is learning not to bring it into the future.
Always continue to spiritually grow and improve. Show people the “new” you. Don’t go backwards to the “old” you, where people take all you have to give and you have nothing left for yourself. Don’t go backwards to the person that everyone wants you to be. Step into the future, use your powers, and be the person that God intended you to be.
The immortal human soul is endowed with two means of perception. One is effected through instrumentality, the other, independently. For instance, the soul sees through the instrumentality of the eye, hears with the ear, smells through the nostrils and grasps objects with the hands. These are the actions, powers, or operations of the soul through instruments.
But in the world of dreams . . . the soul sees when the eyes are closed. The soul journeys, perceives, and senses. It often happens that a man in a state of wakefulness is not been able to accomplish the solution of a problem, and when he goes to sleep, he reaches the solution in a dream.
Perhaps the reason why you have not accomplished what you envisioned is the extent you look upon your own weaknesses and inabilities. It is important to remember to disregard your own handicaps and lay your whole reliance upon God. He will come to your help if you only arise and become an active channel for God’s grace. This is the reason why so many competent souls suddenly find themselves absolutely powerless, ineffective, and thrown aside by the Spirit of their Faith as useless souls. Stay on alert to have the Will of God operate through you!
WHAT are you doing with your powers?
Only you can prevent the drama in your life. You have the power to choose how you will react in every situation you encounter. Focus on the attributes and spiritual gifts that God has given you.
Identify your strengths and weaknesses and thank God for both!
Watch out when you put your powers into action. You will excel in all tasks. Like a superhero you can accomplish all things with minimum stress and maximum success by using your God-given powers.
WHAT characteristics make up your powers?
Love God with all of your mind, heart, soul and strength. Know that power comes from God. Ask God to show you how you can serve others using your powers and step back and watch opportunities appear.
Spend time in prayer. Prayer is the key to your powers. Use your keys to open doors and discover new treasures. Use your third eye to look beyond the surface to the deeper person inside you.
The third eye is your connection to God as well. The Third Eye is not blinded by falsehood, seeks the truth, is not of this world, and perfects hearts.
If you are reading this post . . . “Happy New Beginnings to You!” Traditionally, in this country we say, “Happy New Year to You.” The day represents the end of one year and the start of another. People make resolutions that last until Jan 31st and then it’s tax time.
I say “New Beginnings to You” because it seems more powerful. The word beginning means emergence, the initial start, a point in time for brand new opportunities and possibilities. These are action words! The word new means to make a fresh start, changing for the better, coming into knowledge, never existing before. These are action words too!
The positive affirmation for this month is about goals and how you are preparing. Having a new perspective is a good start. It may be a new year but the same old issues are still there. A positive outlook in a negative situation or environment can only benefit you. It may force you to take advantage of other options, it might alert you to make changes, or judge for yourself is it worth it.
My point is every day you wake up is a new beginning. Every day you are blessed to see . . . can bring a new start. Things you didn’t or couldn’t do or haven’t started can begin. The dreams and goals you pushed aside can emerge again. Each day brings new hope and possibilities, but only you can take advantage of it!