'Thanksgiving, Ginger Rogers style is: Thanksgiving as an attitude, Thanksgiving as giving and sharing and mentoring. An attitude, a deliberate decision, not a "once in a life-time" event. Giving is possible when you know what you have been given already. This year we are celebrating the Ginger Rogers' approach to thanksgiving, and it comes to you threefold: As a memoir (see below) from someone who was blessed by Ginger Rogers' generosity and mentoring - as a short film in which you can see Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire dancing in "Too hot to handle" from 1935. And in the form of a daily lift which will support everyone who is struggling with a sense of loneliness right now and who doesn't have someone like Ginger Rogers as a mentor.
Thanksgiving is a holiday observed in the US. I think it should be a world holiday, a holiday in every country, and it should be re-defined to include truly everyone. One day of thanks for all. One day of global gratitude. My husband and I say to you all: Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, everywhere!
My first Thanksgiving
This blog post is an encore, edited slightly. You find both versions on my website.
Use what you know and continue to grow. Stay with new ideas, fresh and freeing, gratefully, and then move forward differently - not with the yearning for another article or a different topic. Staying with new ideas long enough to understand them properly. And then live them. For there is a tendency in the human mind to jump to the next, to not properly digest the food already eaten; we don't need a puffed up sense of ego, but a grateful awe of God, the only Eo there is.
There is a spiritual guideline, enough to fill a human life, enough to carve out of a diversity of possibilities the one that serves a higher purpose and blesses all:
"Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more. Gratitude is much more than a verbal expression of thanks. Action expresses more gratitude than speech."
(Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, p. 3)
This is my guideline. I am trying to be really grateful for everything good I already comprehend, to avail myself of the blessings I have, to be fitted to receive more. And the way to do it is to put everything I am grateful for, I spiritually understand, into action. I am using the weeks surrounding Thanksgiving Day in the US to my own thanksgiving and gratitude week. I look around in my own household of thought and ask myself, how deep my love, how honest my gratitude truly is. There is more to come. But only if I already use what I have.
My own practice of gratitude has lead to surprising gifts - given by me and received. Practical expression at this point is to remember individuals, who have unselfishly supported your spiritual growth and wellbeing over the past year and send them a note and/or send a donation. Just that you know: Christian Science practitioners are not employed by anyone, the contributions to the periodicals are unremunerated, and many practitioners do so much more than help individuals find solutions, healing, and redemption from the past. There are so many worthy causes out there, and this year I am supporting a homeless shelter in Berlin, the sunrise of Africa school, I increased a monthly donation to our local Christian Science community in Berlin, and I volunteered to help without pay with moderating and facilitating peace building efforts and advanced training between religions.
We are so very well equipped, and we move forward out of a wonderfully rich platform of ideas. Where do they come from?
Here are two articles. The ideas in both come from one project I prayed and wrote about, after having tested the ideas in my life and practice. I can only write about something I have proven for myself. Already the blessings shared with me through email, WhatsApp and iMessenger are so very heartening. Gratitude is more than you think it is. It is a life-saving power.
The grateful awe of gratitude. November 20, 2017. The Christian Science Sentinel.
Three dimensions of gratitude. A blog post, September 1, 2017
I continue to be in the "Luther mode", discovering more insights and ideas of his that move me forward as I go along. This is my most recent insight, another wonderful quote by Luther:
"Joy is the graduation cap of faith."
"Die Freude ist der Doktorhut des Glaubens."
In German there is an inbuilt pithy humor within this saying, but in English you get the idea as well. Those, who dedicate their lives to the matters of Spirit, and truly do so, grow out of a sense of burden, out of the stress and strain of daily life, and eventually graduate as joy permeates the heart. Joy is the signature of everyone truly spiritually-minded, it is the sign of an active group of people serving a higher purpose than their own, it is the key feature of unselfishness.
There is a list of qualities that define the result of Spirit in our experience. Paul writes in his epistle to various groups of Christians in Galatia (fun fact: Today a region in Turkey around Ankara, the capital):
"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!" (Gal. 5: 22, 23. NLT)
Right after love, the second on the list, comes joy. The state of being happy! I observe, that individuals who know something about God and have stepped into the world of unselfishness and spiritual observation, have a certain warmth and glow about them. It is not the joy the stems from well-being, success, or good fortune. It is more than an emotion or feeling. There is no room for doubt or fear left in a heart which feels the presence of Spirit.
There is little space for the story of desperation, which excludes the allness and onliness of Spirit. So if joy doesn't stem from well-being, success, or good fortune, we can now safely say that it stems from spiritual well-being, success, and good fortune - the good life which is the result of divine Love and filled with the yearning for the prospect of seeing more of Spirit in our and everyone's experience.
If the question of "graduation" comes up, we will get the question what subject we are graduating in. What is the content of faith? What is the doctrine? Here is an answer from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy:
"This is the doctrine of Christian Science: that divine Love cannot be deprived of its manifestation, or object; that joy cannot be turned into
sorrow, for sorrow is not the master of joy; that good can never produce evil; that matter can never produce mind nor life result in death." (p. 304)
Can you accept this doctrine? And graduate in the faith? And come up with your own test system, whether you understood it enough to graduate? Is there enough joy in your heart to throw it around like confetti? Joy is the standard, and once you have graduated, you will never unlearn it.
"Joy is the graduation cap of faith!" It is looking pretty good on you.
(You can find the previous posts on "What is joy?" by using the search box on my website. Simple.)
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
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