Tag Archives: God

The Sea

27 Jan

A professor took his class on a field trip to the ocean. Once at the water’s edge he handed each student a cup. Some were tall, some were short, some were thin, while still others were stout around the middle. No two cups were the same shape and no two cups looked alike.

In addition, every cup was a different color although from a distance you could see that many of the colors could fall into distinct groups. Some had a darker hue and some lighter. The one thing that all the different cups had in common was the amount of liquid they held. Each, to the drop, held identical amounts of whatever was to fill them.

The professor then had each student walk to the water’s edge and fill their cup to the very brim with ocean water and then step back into line. When every student had filled their cup the professor asked them, “What’s in your cup?” Of course, the unanimous response was water. “Yes,” replied the professor, “but what kind of water?” Ocean water yelled the students.

“Good,” said the professor. “Now let me ask you this? What’s the difference between the ocean water in the ocean and the ocean water in your cup?” One young man quickly responded, “That’s simple. The water in the ocean has sea life in it, but the water in our cups is just plain water.” His classmates all murmured in unison because his answer seemed to make sense.

“That’s not quite correct answered the professor. It’s obvious that your cups are not large enough to hold a fish, or a squid, or even a starfish, but there is still tiny life in your cup that can’t be seen. The same life that fills every drop of this ocean no matter what distant shore it falls upon. So wouldn’t you agree that the water in your cup would be identical to the ocean, only on a smaller scale?” From the looks on his student’s faces he could see the beginnings of understanding, and he was pleased.

The professor then went on to explain the message he was trying to convey to his students. “This ocean could be compared to God.  Vast, powerful and without end. Loving and nurturing to all the creatures great and small that live within it. The cup is your human body. No two are identical. Each a different shape and color from the others. No one cup is better, more important, or for that matter worse than the others, only different in outward appearance.

Upon your birth God infused you with a small piece of himself. He sees you as his Greatest Miracle, the Greatest Miracle in the world. That piece of him is the spark of life which animates your body. Some may call it the soul, but it needs no name. It is your humanity. It’s what makes you and me the same.

So please remember this: whenever you harm another person, by your words or deeds. Whenever you bully another because you think you’re superior. Whenever you see another human being as less than you. Whenever you show a lack of respect for another, you aren’t doing it to them alone; you are doing it to yourself and to God. You see each of us is God walking around in cups of different colors, shapes and sizes.

And there is something else my students that I want you to know: God makes no mistakes and creates nothing but perfection. Therefore, you are perfect. And never let anyone tell you different! Oh, and one other thing, you were created for GREATNESS and not littleness. The choice is always yours.”

Luckman’s Law: With love you have everything. With fear you have nothing.

With love always,

Michael

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Give Me That Old Time Religion!

10 Jan

This is a conversation about religion. Yikes!

Often, just the mere mention of the word religion will get people to unconsciously straighten their backs and tighten their guts, while waiting for whatever is coming next. For me, I’ve lost count of how many people, once they discover I am Jewish, who want to share with me the simple fact that as soon as I make Jesus Christ my lord and savior I would be welcomed into God’s Kingdom of Heaven. Since Judaism is considerably older than Christianity, by, oh what’s that number, 3,760 years, I’ve often thought of all my dead ancestors and where they wound up after leaving their earthly bodies.

But interestingly I do believe in Jesus. But more about the historical Jesus as described in Reza Aslan’s bestselling book, Zealot. I am also very drawn to the Gnostic Gospels found in Egypt in 1945. Gnosticism being more about humankind’s individual relationship with God than it is about having a strict organized religion, created by men, to control men and women, boys and girls, with fear and damnation.

Even as a little boy in Sunday school, learning bible stories out of the Old Testament, I could not reconcile a loving, creative and merciful God with one who would smote (here is a word you don’t run across too often) you if you by chance angered Him, or for that matter, Her. If this was what organized religion was about, than I didn’t want any part in it. Immediately after my Bar Mitzvah at the age of thirteen, organized religion and I parted ways.

Now does that mean that I am against organized religion for everyone? Of course not. Just because I chafe at the yoke of religious dogma does not mean that that very dogma, and the organization that exposes it, does not bring enormous comfort to those who believe in it. And religion does more than just comfort our souls, it brings structure to our lives. But in my life it is my relationship with God, and God alone, that brings me even more than just comfort and structure; it brings me enormous joy and happiness, unconditional love for ALL my brothers and sisters, and the knowing that God has asked me to fulfill a function while in this body, a purpose so-to-speak, that will benefit all of mankind. I am hoping it is through the words I write.

The opposite of Love is not Hate, it is Fear.

We are all at the beginning of a brand new year. We each have the power to make of this year what we desire. We do it through our thoughts, the choices we make, and how we face and overpower our fears. So please remember this: God gave each of us free choice. He will never interfere. But he does ask two things of us; that we make no decisions by ourselves — and that we always choose wisely. Have a wonderful year.

With Love,

Michael

What Do You Deserve?

8 Nov

 “I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store.

For Life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have willingly paid.”

-Jessie B. Rittenhouse

There is a chapter in my book Overpowering Fear: Defeating the #1 Challenge in Sales and Life entitled, Littleness versus Magnitude: Your Choice. I developed my beliefs about this choice from the book A Course in Miracles. In ACM God says that each of us are given free choice; we can choose a life of Littleness or a life of Magnitude, which I prefer to call Greatness. For most of my life I didn’t believe that I deserved greatness, and so by default, I accepted littleness. Sure, there were moments in time where I did achieve greatness, but to me they were just flukes, nothing to pin the hopes of my future on.

I am happy to say that I don’t believe that anymore.

Like me, too many people have been raised with the conviction that they don’t deserve to have everything that they want. That others are more deserving. That they have to settle for less. Or that life is a zero sum game where if they get everything they want, somewhere, someplace others will have to get less. If you’re one of these people who believe this then you are absolutely wrong. In fact, you deserve to have everything, be everything and do everything that your heart desires. You are a child of God and God denies himself nothing and he did not create you to struggle and have less than you desire.

Let the poem above be your guide. Life will pay you any price you ask if only you believe that you deserve it. I want you to take my word for it, YOU DO DESERVE IT!  Ask God, Spirit or the Universe for what you want, believe that you deserve it, and have faith that it will materialize in your life. And it will.

It is not that you ask God for too much, but that you ask Him for too little! ~ A Course in Miracles

Love,

Michael

Am I my Brother’s Keeper?

18 Oct

After Cain kills his brother Abel God asks Cain where is Abel. And Cain replies, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Implying, how should I know. When in fact he did know. He just killed him.

Those five words are probably the most quoted in the bible.

Am I my brother’s keeper? I personally believe so. All men (and women too) are my brothers. We look different. We act different. We speak different languages. We celebrate different cultures. But if we were to remove our outer skin and never spoke, there would be no way to tell us apart. And that’s because we are the same.

And if we are monotheistic, as Judaism, Christianity and Islam are, we believe in one God. We pray to the same deity, although we call him by different names it is the same God. The God of Abraham.

So, if we are all the same, and are our brother’s keeper, why do we hate our brothers and sisters so? Why do we fear them instead of loving them and watching out for their welfare? As God wishes us to do.

We do it because we are afraid. We want to blame others for the things we no longer have control over. We wake up with fear and we lie down at night fearing tomorrow. And knowing how afraid we really are politicians and pundits take advantage of our fears to convince us it’s not us, but THEM. And if we can just eliminate them everything would be alright once again.

They convince us that our president is not one of us. He’s not a Christian he’s a Muslim. He wasn’t born in “our” country. He doesn’t think like we do. What they are really saying is he’s black and we should return to the days when it was accepted belief that blacks were inferior to us. They want us to fight back against the inevitable; we’re going to lose our white Christian America. Get over it. We’ve already lost it in California and lo and behold, nothing has changed.

They convince us that corporations are just like people. When we know they’re not! People have consciences. Corporations do not. Corporations think only short term and they think only of making a profit and to hell with the people of this country or any country for that matter.

They convince us that contrary to the fact we got screwed by the big banks on Wall Street, that we shouldn’t add any new “big” government regulations, practically assuring all of us that we’ll probably get screwed again.

They convince us that even though the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, demanded that their suppliers move their manufacturing to China so that they could offer lower prices to their worldwide customers, it was OK that millions of Americans lost their manufacturing jobs. And what is even more incredible is that the very people who were put out of work – still shop in their stores.

They convince us that we don’t want a government run healthcare system. But those on Medicare (including me) love it, and demand that legislators keep their hands off of it.

Obviously, I did a little venting of my frustrations here. But isn’t it time we put away our fears and began to see and love our brothers and sisters as ourselves? After all, wasn’t it God that wanted us to be our brother’s keeper?

With love,

Michael

A Power Greater Than You

16 Oct

Early morning every day, I have a conversation with God or the voice for God, the Holy Spirit, as described in A Course in Miracles. Or as I like to address Spirit, Infinite Spirit. The first thing I ask for is a perfect day. And what do I mean by a perfect day? A day where everything comes my way and one where everything goes my way. I am always open to receiving all the wondrous things the Universe holds in store for me.

Another thing I ask for is that I am always in the right place at the right time. Doing and saying the right things at the right time. I have asked for this for as long as I can remember. In my studies of A Course in Miracles I came upon the following quote on what to ask of God:

“Where would You have me go Father?”

“What would You have me do?”

“What would You have me say, and to whom?”

And then just let go.

They say that whatever problem you are facing; just turn it over to God. Let go of it. Let go of the worry. Let go of the outcome. Just let God, Spirit, the Universe do their work. But we don’t always do that and I’ve often wondered why.

I think its fear. We grow up believing we need to be self-reliant. That it is okay to ask God for the big things, but when it comes to our everyday lives and the things that cross our path daily, we should take the initiative and solve our own problems. Some of you may have grown up in homes where you were admonished not to ask God for the little everyday things. She was too busy and you were bothering her. Not so.

A Course in Miracles also says: “It is not that you ask God for too much, but that you ask him for too little.”

Each of you has a power greater than yourself who is ready and willing to bring you all that you ask for. Don’t think of yourself as too tough, too smart or too macho to reach out and develop this most wonderful relationship.

I guarantee you it will change your life.

My love always,

Michael

Are You on Your Perfect Path?

7 Oct

Luckman’s Law: God shows you where you could have gone if you had overpowered your fear and taken a different path.

Have you seen the movie Defending Your Life with Meryl Streep and Albert Brooks. If not you definitely want to rent this 1991 classic. It is the story of a man (Brooks) who dies and goes to heaven. It is there that he meets the perfect woman (Streep) and both must go before a court to see if they are ready to move forward to a higher plane, or go back to earth to experience a new life.

Both stood in their individual courtrooms watching on a large screen various scenarios of their life. Streep’s character, when alive, lived a brave and fearless life while Brooks’ character lived a life just the opposite. As the various scenarios of Brooks’ life unfolded it became apparent that he was and always had been a fear based person. Whenever faced with a new challenge or a new opportunity in his earthly life Brooks would either cave or do the opposite of what was in his best interest. I’ve always related well to Brooks’ character.

In fact, each time I see this movie it reminds me of me. I was his character, arrogant on the outside, a bowl of Jell-O on the inside.

As I grew in my spirituality and after reading countless books, and sitting through a good many seminars, I formed my beliefs about what happens to us when we die. First, is my belief of who we are. We are not our bodies. Our bodies are only the vessel that holds our Spirit which is a part of God. Second, before we enter our body at the time we take our first breath, we have agreed to the life we are going to live. Our Spirit knows all the various scenarios we will encounter in this lifetime, and what our final purpose is. Third, we will encounter the very situations we agreed to, but the choice of how we handle these circumstances is solely up to us.

By this I mean we have free choice. We can choose to run in fear of the situation. We can choose to boldly and bravely face the situation. Or, we can decide to do nothing, hoping and wishing it will take care of itself. Only one of the three choices above will bring us closer to our ultimate purpose for being here, and that is to overpower our fears and boldly and bravely face every challenge.

I actually believe like Albert Brooks, that when we die we all go back to God. And the first thing we do is to review the life we just lived. And we must answer these questions: Did I always do the right thing? Did I face my fears and do what was necessary? Did I stand firm in my beliefs? Did I do all I could to help and support my fellow man? Was I honest and forthright? In the roles that I took on did I always do my best? Did I live a life of Magnitude or Littleness? Did I achieve my Glory?

Now here is my challenge to you my friends: Do you want to wait until you die to share your answers with God, or do you want to look back on your life now and decide to overpower your fears and create the right answers to all of the above questions, while you are still alive to make a difference in this life, in this world?

With love,

Michael

If You Can’t Find Time to do it Right

14 Aug

My first job out of college was as a junior salesman for the Milton Bradley Company, the oldest board game manufacturer in the United States. I was required to travel three mid-western states calling on Woolworth stores. It was in one of those stores that I first read the above quote, or rather the full quote; If you can’t find time to do it right, how are you going to find time to do it over. I found this quotation so profound that I made it my personal credo and it has served me well over the years.

You would think that anyone who attempts any task, either large or small, would want to do the very best job they were capable of doing. But anyone over five years old knows that this is not always the case. Now why is that?

My belief is that we were never told of our greatness. Nobody ever told us of our divinity. That we were a child of God and we could be, do and have everything that we desired. Nobody convinced us that we were capable of doing great and amazing things. And so we don’t.

Instead, for many of us, we were told just the opposite – that we were in some way flawed. Not quite good enough. Not capable of doing outstanding work. And we accepted this as the truth, and thus settled for an ordinary life. It took me many years to realize that this was wrong. It is not that we can’t find the time to do it right, but that our internal belief system tells us that we are incapable of doing it right. So why even try.

But try we must. Each of us has the innate ability to be one, two or even three times more productive than we are. So the next time you attempt a new assignment or take on a new task, and before you start, ask God, your higher power or the Universe for the ability to do the very best you are capable of. And soon, you’ll be surprised at just how capable you really are.

With Love,

Michael