Below is a transcript of Rev. Ken’s video.

The Necessity of Faith

Be Open to What Can Be

My talk this morning is the power of Faith, the power of faith. Faith is the most important thing in your life. Faith. It’s impossible to arrive at the grandeur of life through petty thinking and small ideas. You want to know what small ideas are? Just turn on your news, just listen to your local politician or your national one. Those are small ideas, and we don’t need to limit ourselves with small ideas. Open yourself to possibilities of what can be.

That you are here in life to experience the goodness, love, and joy of creation. You’re here to be awed with how much God loves you through your hopes and dreams, through having love and prosperity and health in life, through having friendship and laughter. You’re here to be awed with how much Spirit loves you. So don’t limit yourself to what has been. Open yourself up to what can be. And what can be are all the miracles of creation. What can be are all the blessings of Spirit raining down upon you. What can be is the storehouses of Heaven opening up. This is what can be. And we want to say to ourselves, we’re open to that.

Our Perception of Life

Now, people will say, “Well, I’m a realist. I only believe what’s right in front of me.” But you know, scientists tell us that that’s really not the case. That we really don’t even see realistically what’s in front of us. I know this is kind of a strange thing to say, but we are only perceiving a small percentage of the stimuli that’s coming into our brains. We actually have a cone of perception, about 7% of reality that our brain is able to handle at one time. And so what happens is that our eyes are scanning all of reality, but 7% is coming into our brain. If we were to get 100% of the stimulus from our environment coming into our brain at one time, we couldn’t handle it. So we only have 7%.

Our brain then goes on autofill, like your computer, and it fills in the blank spots, much like your computer does. It fills in the blank spots of what has been, and it puts that all together and projects motion and vitality. Much like the cells of a film, they go through the projector, and what has been just a static photo becomes alive. And this is what happens for us in our perception of what’s going on in our reality.

Hourglass with blue sand

There’s More Than What’s In Front of Us

And then, on the opposite side of that, when you look at the material world, the individual cells of objects that exist, when you go to the subatomic level, then what you find is that on the subatomic level, the particles are very far apart. So our reality, in essence, is filled with empty space. So this leads me to believe that we’re really not seeing what’s really in front of us. We’re largely seeing empty space. And so, that means, by our very nature, that life has to be very fluid, that there’s a lot more going on than we think there are, and there’s a lot more possibilities.

And we go through life, and we have all kinds of experiences, some pleasant, some not so much. But each experience contributes to the tapestry of life, shaping our perceptions. And so, we can understand the world around us. I like the idea in Judaism that they embrace both the joys and the sorrows of life. They say we need it all. It’s about having it all and accepting it all. At the Seder service, when they celebrate the Passover, they will have sweet wine to drink. This is to remember the really wonderful times of your life. And they will have salty food. This is to remember the tears that we’ve shed for the tragedies. And they have bitter herbs that you’ve had, we’ve gone through bitter times. They want to remember it all and know that in remembering it all, it makes us fuller human beings. And then, that will enable us to have strength to move forward in life, stronger.

Holding Onto Faith

I love what Anne Frank said. She says, “I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that remains.” I don’t think of the misery, but the beauty that remains. And despite facing all those challenges, she faced, a little teenage girl, she had unwavering faith and spirit that even in the darkest of times, that there could still be beauty and that there was still hope to survive, to go through, to know that there was still a possibility. We know that Anne Frank, unfortunately, she was betrayed, and they were all taken to the concentration camps, and she died in the concentration camps. We’re told, I’ve read, that one of her friends of her own age knew her in the camp, and that she survived.

She later said about Anne that even in that place, that Anne would go out at night and look out at the stars and relished in being out, being in the open, in that place of hell, and looked up and beyond. Even when she was being held back by attack dogs and barbed wire, she looked up and saw beyond. She held on to her faith. She was able to transcend all of that hate and spite and hold on to faith for humanity and for the future. She said, “Even after all of this, after all of this, I still believe in the essential goodness of people.” Despite all that horror and hell that she saw around her, she was still willing to believe in the goodness of people and still believe in the future for her life and the future for humanity. And it’s that kind of faith that we have to hold on to.

We’re not going through this experience right now of that kind of hell. We all kind of have our personal experiences of terror, but we need to rise above what is around and hold on to our faith and hold on to our belief that goodness is there, that there’s a Hindu Swami and I’m taking bets on if I can make sure I can get through this. His name, Paramahansa Yogananda, I can’t say that twice, Paramahansa Yogananda. He said faith is the most important thing in your life. It transcends the limitation of petty thinking. It unites us with the flame of possibility and potential. Faith, and to harness the grandeur of faith, we’ve got to cultivate a mindset of abundance and gratitude. As we open our hearts to infinite possibilities of the universe, we awaken to a reality filled with boundless opportunities and blessings. But we first have to be willing to open up to those possibilities.

Man outdoors kneeling in prayer

Finding Perfection in the Unexpected

This past week, I took a little mini-vacation. I went to Savannah, Georgia. I haven’t been to Savannah in many years, and frankly, I had a negative attitude about it. When I first went to Savannah, it was in the late ’70s. I was in college, and of course, we went to St. Patrick’s Day celebration. And at that time, Savannah, and even the tour guides admitted to this, Savannah was largely an abandoned wasteland. It was the houses were abandoned. It was just not a very great place to be. But I was there this time, and the whole place has transcended. You know, they have the SCAD, the college there, and they’ve refurbished many of the homes and the old motels, and there are wonderful restaurants and eateries and museums, and many of the historic homes have been renovated. And the food was exquisite. The weather was perfect.

We were on one of the little riding the one of the tour trolleys, and we went by Forsyth Park, and it was probably one of the first days the weather was nice. So the park was full of people entertaining and, you know, having fun picnics and playing frisbee and all that kind of things. And as I was looking out on that, I thought to myself, “This is perfection. This is perfect.” A song came to me. If you’re my age, you might remember Three Dog Night, “Saturday in the Park.” And it was like the 4th of July. This was perfection. And I thought about that, how the more that we are able to witness perfection, the more we are able to say, “This is God’s blessings coming to me.” The more we’re able to open up, the more we’re able to see, the more we’re able to witness. It’s always been there. It’s just in our ability to open up and see more of it.

So we were coming back to the… had to come back to the airport to drop my friend off, and we went by a plantation, a rice plantation. And that’s what they call it now, a rice plantation. It was a plantation that grew rice. It had 355 enslaved people working on it, and it was an affected death camp. They worked there, profit, and it was in conditions that no human could survive. They don’t really share that with you, but that was the truth of it. Where’s the perfection in that? I can’t find it. So you give it over to God. This week, I heard of a young teenage transgender girl, Nex Benedict, who was beaten to death in her high school bathroom. Where’s God’s perfection in that? I can’t see it. Give it over to God. You’ve got to work with this. It’s God’s universe. It’s not mine.

Choosing to Move Forward

So what I can’t see, what I can’t work with, I turn over to Spirit. But I cannot allow, I cannot give myself the opportunity or the indulgence to let that stuff hold me back when there is work to be done, when there are things in front of me, things that I can do with my hands, things I can do with my life that will make a difference, that will make the world a better place for me having been here. So I can’t indulge myself with depression, with negativity. I’ve got to get up and move on out and do what I can with the best that I can. I have got to become a vessel of divine energy, channeling creative power of the universe through my life, through my possibilities, through my ideas, through my hopes, and through my dreams. When we align ourselves with intention, we get into this cosmic rhythm. We tap into a reservoir of infinite potential that resides within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, who by the way, one time stayed in St. Augustine, Florida. He actually lived here for a brief while. This is a great quote. Write it down. He says, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” And what is within you? Within you is a spark of the divine. Within you is the love of Spirit. Within you are the hopes and dreams of the potential of humanity. And there’s a way. Spirit has given us these hopes and dreams.

Ocean with orange, blue, and pink colors in the sky at dusk

There’s a way we can bring them to life, principle, the infinite essence that governs the cosmos, operates not outside of us, but within us, within our thoughts, within our ability to choose what we’re going to think about, within our ability to choose not to get depressed, not to get down, but to keep moving, to keep focused. As we surrender to this flow of Spirit, we recognize we have an ability to change life, to make a difference, to create a world of our hopes and dreams and desires. It’s within every one of us, and we can do this when we turn loose of the baggage.

Embracing Faith

Dr. Holmes says, “To learn to think is to learn to live. Our thoughts possess the power to sculpture our reality and shape the course of our lives. With mindful awareness and intentional action, we can harness the creative power of mind to manifest health and happiness and prosperity and success. We can harness it to bring about the world that we’ve been told is ours.” Victor Hugo said, “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” Our faith serves as a beacon of hope, reminding us that challenges are temporary and that the dawn of a new day always follows the darkest, the bleakest night, that amidst all of our troubles, there’s the promise of renewal and transformation.

So we want to embrace that power of faith. We want to cultivate our mindsets of abundance, of love, of passion, and happiness, to harness the creative energy. Together, together, we can unleash the limitless potential of our hearts and minds. We can manifest a reality filled with love and joy and fulfillment and boundless possibilities. We can create a new heaven and a new earth. It’s what Christ said we were here to do. And we can do it. We don’t have to be held back by history. We are not a people of history. We are a people on the move. We’re headed to the promised land. It’s what told to us, and there is no reason we can’t have it at this time, this place, this earth, now, here. It’s what we’re called to do.