"Simple Gifts" written by Elder Joseph Brackett, Jr., of the Shaker community in Alfred, Maine 1848 


'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free

'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,

And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gained,

To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed,

To turn, turn will be our delight,

Till by turning, turning we come 'round right.







All-in-all, ACCEPTANCE is another gift from God. Like abundant and eternal life, it is a gift that keeps on giving. It is another reason why it is IMPOSSIBLE to beat God's giving.


True joy and happiness with who you are WITHIN begins with ACCEPTANCE of what God has given you for YOU ALONE. When you look into the mirror, you may acknowledge who you are physically and mentally, but, do you accept who you are and recognize it as a gift from God?


All gifts from God to His children are GOOD gifts, for He only wants good things for His children. EVEN that which you or others may see as being a physical flaw, mental defect, or an educational or financial drawback can be a good gift in God's eyes intended to bring out the best in you and others, for God works in mysterious ways.


The majority of us have been taught to be appreciative when gifts are given to us and to accept them with gratitude. Yet, when it comes to God, like Adam and Eve, we feel we deserve more and better in some way. We may feel that our gift is just not good enough, according to man's standards. By having this attitude we are being ungrateful to God and telling Him that He and His gifts to us are inadequate.


According to who we believe that we are or should be and what we have planned to do with our lives, we may view what God has given us to work with as being more of a hindrance than an asset or blessing. In other words, we're telling God we do not accept His gifts, His plan for our life and who He created us to be. Like Adam and Eve, in our minds, we should be more than what we are. Ignorant and blind to the love, power, wisdom and perfection of God, we continue to revel in our love of the world and idolization of the flesh (self).


So what's wrong with loving self, isn't that part of accepting yourself? No, loving self encompasses the pride and lust of man, his rejection of God and embracing darkness and iniquity. The fleshly, carnal self refers to the soul (mind) not only in the world, but of the world, as it is not led by a heart (spirit) that loves and obeys God. Entwined in the world's darkness, it has no relationship with holiness. Thus, it is a lost soul, which is not what God created it to be. One who is a lover of themselves puts their life, needs and desires above loving and serving God and their neighbors, seeing themselves as more important and more worthy.


If you have this kind of attitude toward God and life, then, life itself can become one great big disappointment as you wallow in your disappointment and disillusionment. Temptation will come, without doubt, pushing you to cross the line between Good and Evil and become a slave to darkness, promising to give you what we want.


You may give in to darkness, and decide you're going to make changes, due to the fact that you know better than God and you know how to get things right to your satisfaction. No lines, no waiting, no kneeling and praying, just self-service and immediate gratification.


However, things may not go as planned for Satan is a trickster and you're left still unsatisfied, even after you've striven in so many ways to be who you want to be or don't want to be, even going as far as mimicking someone you admire or want to become. Nonetheless, the enemy has a myriad of other options available to redesign a new you. You can: spend your life under the shadow of another; live vicariously through others; try to live out your life as the invisible man; blend in as an unnoticeable wallflower; escape as the eccentric recluse; or become embittered and hateful towards others to make you feel better about yourself. The adversary is an equal opportunity employer and has many roles you can play in his nefarious and dastardly schemes to control, steal, kill, and destroy. He would be glad to hire you as a full-time employee, until he is finished playing with you and using you.


Unhappy and bitter people suffer from a lack of meaningful identity and unconditional love, which is often the reason why most people develop psychological, personality and behavioral problems. This lack of godliness is not simply just a case of immorality. Pride comes before the fall, then, people become like lost sheep wandering to and fro with amnesia, not knowing where they belong or who they belong to. They are vulnerable, unprotected, and easy prey for the wolf.


The wolf may convince them to find a new identity and be somebody else. Many turn to drugs to make them forget who they are. In no time at all, the wolf is able to convince them that they are somehow better than before.


It may be difficult to understand our drug epidemic today if you cannot visualize darkness and the force of its physical and spiritual attributes. But, perhaps, another similar comparison might help you understand what is happening to many people today by seeing them as lost ships having drifted into a zone not unlike the Bermuda Triangle. The mounds of ships being lost, then, sucked into this inescapable zone becomes staggering, and no one but God can rescue them.


Having suffered pain, they welcome the Satan and his tricksters. Darkness then uses them to inflict relentless pain upon themselves and mankind. Yes, our world is plagued with immorality because it has given in to Darkness. Profanity has worked its way into common conversation and mouths are filled with hateful and destructive words, labeling people as inferior, undesirable, hopeless, failures, and losers. Banded together, these lovers of themselves and the world want society to work for them and reflect what is in their hearts. Is it no wonder that deception, lies, racism, violence, religious discrimination and  persecution move to take an open seat in public debate to legally claim a rightful place in society?




In whatever identity one chooses for themselves, or even develops, as a result of behavioral adaptations and compensations, one inevitably lives a life as a contrasting, conflicted shadow of their true self, struggling to emerge, or never emerging into the Light. Without God, we become a problem to ourselves and to those around us. We are destined to live in an alternate reality, unable to grasp the concepts of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, TRUTH, HOLINESS, and RIGHTEOUSNESS, which are precious gifts from God, which we were meant to live and enjoy as part of our abundant and eternal life. It is saddening that many people never come to understand how and why they have rejected the gifts of abundant and eternal life and the specialized gifts that God has chosen especially for them.


As we try to find a way to live within our bodies, outside the Will of God, we continue to have help from the adversary and those he uses to help us along our path of self-destruction. Outside influences from the world try to convince us that we should be like everybody else and have everything that we want. We ALLOW people who are around us and presented to us through various media to have influence upon us, confusing us even more.


Many people live in constant doubt of themselves and their abilities, living a life of discontent, always questioning the Will of God, asking, "How can His gifts be a blessing if they don't get me what I want or make me become who and what I want to be? There must be some mistake or, perhaps, God has abandoned me because He doesn't think I deserve, or maybe I just don't get it like other people do?" However, the real questions are, "DO YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU DESERVE GOOD THINGS? And, DO YOU BELIEVE THE WORD OF GOD? Or, is it that you have yet to learn what good things are as they apply to you? What are you capable of taking care of? Have you shown God that you are humble, loving to everyone, accountable, appreciative, content, unselfish, generous, and worthy?"


My friends, know thyself and "to thine own self be true." Apply God's truth to your life to examine and discover who you are, the good and the bad, then, surrender to God, and accept yourself. Therein, will God deliver you from evil and the weakness of the flesh, strengthening your heart to endure and overcome.


Meanwhile, how does GOD feel about your rejecting His gifts? Here you are doing everything you can to change who He created you to be and either praying and asking Him to help you to do it, or completely ignoring Him throughout the process. Just how does God feel? Or, is He supposed to be able to take it because He's God and He's always good?


This sounds like there is a whole lot of love for self and little or no love for God. How would you feel if someone didn't appreciate your gifts and did everything they could manage to do to change, ruin, or destroy them? Yet, all the while, they're accepting things from your enemy that will only destroy them in mind, body and spirit?


Take another look at yourself. Again, do you really accept who God has created you to be and the gifts that make up who you are? How do you apply yourself and your gifts to the world and to God's Kingdom?


If you don't believe any of this applies to you, then, tell me, who are you? Are you righteous and holy in God's eyes or has your claim to the right to judge what is best and right for others made you SELF-RIGHTEOUS and SELFISH? Instead of putting yourself on a path of self-improvement and self-satisfaction, have you put yourself on a path to self-destruction with no clear destination because you are absorbed in SELF? Are you a danger to yourself instead of a help? You may say that you believe in God, but, unless your attitude, behavior, and relationship with Him reflect your belief, then, your real belief is in SELF! If you are to come into the reality of your existence, come to understand this world, conquer it and endure, then, there are things you must come to ACCEPT about yourself and the world and things you shouldn't accept to know who and what you are.


 your servant and soldier, united with the One,





Published by Mishael T