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The Church Within Sunday Services

for April 2008

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#598
4-6-2008
#599
4-13-2008
#600
4-20-2008
#601
4-27-2008

4-6-2008 Sunday Service of the Church Within #598
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Weekly On-Line Services Since September 29, 1996

Today's Service is offered by: Pastor Daniel J. Megow

Please Freely Share any of our Church Within Services with Any and All whom you feel might Appreciate them. If you have received this Service from a friend and would like to subscribe to our Weekly On-Line Services, send an e-mail with your request to: seewithin@churchwithin.org Thank You! ...and Please Visit our Church Within Web-Site at http://www.churchwithin.org

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Humor of the Week
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RELIEF: What trees do in the spring.

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Welcome by: Pastor Daniel
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Greetings my Beloved Sisters and Brothers, and welcome once again to the Church that is Within.

In Honor and Tribute to, and in Memory of, a Great man who was tragically taken from us 40 years ago as of April 4th, 2008… one of my own personal hero's… I have decided to put together today's Sunday Service “Quotes Sermon,” exclusively with individual Quotes of statements from the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The topic of today's Sunday Service, #598, is Brotherhood and Love…

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The Quotes Sermon
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[Pastor's Note: All the words are his. The intentional order in which I placed each of them in the following Sermon are my attempt to present a unified message composed of separate public statements he made during his life with us. I pray that I have done Justice to his memory.]

(From: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Ten thousand fools proclaim themselves into obscurity, while one wise man forgets himself into immortality.

Life's most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?

If a man is called to be a street-sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street-sweeper who did his job well.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Cowardice asks the question - is it safe?
Expediency asks the question - is it politic?
Vanity asks the question - is it popular?
But conscience asks the question - is it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: - 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'

The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

We have flown the air like birds and swum the seas like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.

The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human and, therefore, brothers.

Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

One who condones evils is just as guilty as the one who perpetrates it.

Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.

Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.

True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice that produces beggars needs restructuring.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.

Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase.

If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values -- that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control.

We must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.

Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.

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The Prayer
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Dear God,
        Thank You for sharing Martin with us. May his memory inspire us each to be who we truly are, and all that we can be.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal
Parent,

The Creator's Infinite Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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4-13-2008 Sunday Service of the Church Within #599
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Weekly On-Line Services Since September 29, 1996

Today's Service is offered by: Pastor Daniel J. Megow

Please Freely Share any of our Church Within Services with Any and All whom you feel might Appreciate them. If you have received this Service from a friend and would like to subscribe to our Weekly On-Line Services, send an e-mail with your request to: seewithin@churchwithin.org Thank You! ...and Please Visit our Church Within Web-Site at http://www.churchwithin.org

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Humor of the Week
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To shorten winter, borrow some money due in spring.
(W. J. Vogel)

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Welcome by: Pastor Daniel
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Greetings my Beloved Sisters and Brothers, and welcome once again to the Church that is Within.

Well, it is appearing as if we are, perhaps, finally experiencing the first days of the Spring Season here in the Inland Northwest portion of the United States. If the weather forecast holds true to it's prediction, we will be having our first period of 7 days without snow and temperatures above 60 degrees in 2008. So… I guess maybe it is time to do our annual Sunday Service on the topic of…

The topic of today's Sunday Service, #599, is Spring…

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Quotes
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(From: The Urantia Book - Paper-176 Section-2)
But you should be wise regarding the ripening of an age; you should be alert to discern the signs of the times. You know when the fig tree shows its tender branches and puts forth its leaves that summer is near. Likewise, when the world has passed through the long winter of material-mindedness and you discern the coming of the spiritual springtime of a new dispensation, should you know that the summertime of a new visitation draws near.

(From: Teacher Daniel - 3/3/03– the S.E. Idaho TeaM)
Your seasons on this planet are conducive to spiritual lessons, for in the cycle of nature there is a perfect parallel in soul growth. There are the seasons of weather and there are the seasons of the soul. This is the season of springtime; and there is about springtime the unique flavor of newness, of life bursting from potential as it resides in the earth to actual as it blossoms and blooms in your flower gardens, trees, hillsides, everywhere that plant life exists.

(From: Susan J. Bissonette)
An optimist is the human personification of spring.

(From: Anne Bradstreet (1612 - 1672), 'Meditations Divine and Moral,' 1655)
If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.

(From: Victor Hugo (1802 - 1885)
Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.

(From: Homer (800 BC - 700 BC), The Iliad)
A generation of men is like a generation of leaves; the wind scatters some leaves upon the ground, while others the burgeoning wood brings forth - and the season of spring comes on. So of men one generation springs forth and another ceases.

(From: Woodrow Wilson (1856 - 1924)
We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of a long winter's evening. Some of us let these great dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true.

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The Sermon
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I don't know about you, but for me there comes a point where the day after day “sameness” of the Winter season makes me especially anxious for the newness, the regeneration, the activity that the coming of Spring betokens. Regardless of the severity of the Winter, there is still the nagging perception that I am unable to do a lot of the things that I might wish to be doing if only Spring would finally arrive… those things that winter prevents me, for one reason or another, from doing. And yet… when ya' come right down to it, it is those times of forced inaction that help me to define the direction I would most like to follow for my greatest benefit once Spring does at last appear. Inevitably, when it does so, it turns out that I have defined far more possibilities for action than I can reasonably accomplish in a single season. And so… I must then take the necessary measures of attempting to prioritize my steps for the maximum potential gain attainable at this particular moment in time. I have learned that it is still advisable for me to take but one step at a time and continually reassess where the next step might take me, because what actually unfolds with each step is not always (in reality it may be closer to seldom), similar to what I had originally expected would happen. What I am unable to accomplish this year could very likely move up in priority once the doldrums of Next Winter are upon me, as often has been the case throughout my adult life.

Flexibility is as desirable for the Seasons of the Soul as it is for the Material Seasons of physical climate… perhaps even More so. How often have you found yourself searching for answers in one place, only to inadvertently and unexpectedly find them in another? I know that it has happened to me more times than I can count or even fully remember. The question is, is acquiring the answers to what my Soul is seeking more important to me than Where exactly it is that I might happen find them?

Each Season has it's good points, as well as it's less than perfect moments. But there's just Something about Spring…

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The Prayer
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Dear God,
        Help me to accomplish what is Your Will for me. I can ask nothing more… nor less.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal
Parent,

The Creator's Infinite Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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4-20-2008 Sunday Service of the Church Within #600
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Weekly On-Line Services Since September 29, 1996

Today's Service is offered by: Pastor Daniel J. Megow

Please Freely Share any of our Church Within Services with Any and All whom you feel might Appreciate them. If you have received this Service from a friend and would like to subscribe to our Weekly On-Line Services, send an e-mail with your request to: seewithin@churchwithin.org Thank You! ...and Please Visit our Church Within Web-Site at http://www.churchwithin.org

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Humor of the Week
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If Hale Business Systems, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fuller Brush, and W. R. Grace Co. were to merge, would they then be called “Hale, Mary, Fuller, Grace?”

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Welcome by: Pastor Daniel
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Greetings my Beloved Sisters and Brothers, and welcome once again to the Church that is Within.

Good Lord! I find it hard to believe that I have been doing this now for 600 weeks. Who'd have ever thunk it back when this all started?

The topic of today's Sunday Service, #600, is Seeds or Something…

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The Sermon
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One day some years back, I went to visit a pastor of one of the larger local “Christian” churches in the area. I wanted to introduce myself (since I have no church Building and the organized ministry of my church is entirely on-line and on the Internet I figured it would be highly unlikely that he would even know we existed), and to see if I could discern his personal religious perspectives. He seemed an amiable man, and sincere, though a bit more traditionally bound to past dogma and doctrines than I am comfortable with in my own ministry.

After a brief description of what my Sunday Services were like and saying that I considered them to be “All-Faith” we had a little discussion that went something like this…

(He:) Yes, but what do you tell your people that they should Believe?

(I:) I specifically try Not to “tell” people what they should believe.

(He:) But I think it is a Must to tell people what to believe… they Want to be told what to believe.

(I:) Okay… Sow?

(He:) So… it's what I believe!

(I:) Sow! It's what I believe as well!

(He:) So… what? You agree with me?

(I:) Sow seeds of course. Is that not something we agree upon?

(He:) Well, sure if That's what you are talking about… it's in the Bible.

(I:) Yes it Is, and it is also a premise of most all other religious belief systems as well, in some form or another.

(He:) So, why not pick just one?

(I:) Sow, Yes! But why not then pick the best seeds from All of them?



[disclaimer: The previously mentioned meeting did in fact happen… although the actual “facts” of the meeting itself have been rather lavishly embellished and rearranged in such a way as to make some semblance of a sermon out of them that's in keeping with today's topic. ;-)]

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Quotes
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(From: Edwin Teale)

For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together.
For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.


(From: An Unknown Author)
If people did not prefer reaping to sowing, there would not be a hungry person in the land.

(From: Robert Collier)
You cannot hold on to anything good. You must be continually giving - and getting. You cannot hold on to your seed. You must sow it - and reap anew. You cannot hold on to riches. You must use them and get other riches in return.

(From: The Urantia Book - Paper-151 Section-4)
"The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man sowed in his field. Now a mustard seed is the least of seeds, but when it is full grown, it becomes the greatest of all herbs and is like a tree so that the birds of heaven are able to come and rest in the branches thereof."

(From: The RSV Bible - Corinthians II 9:6-8)
The point is this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work.

(From: Orison Swett Marden (1850 - 1924)
It is like the seed put in the soil - the more one sows, the greater the harvest.

(From: Saadi (1184 - 1291), On the Duties of Society)
He that has acquired learning and nor practised what he has learnt, is like a man who ploughs but sows no seed.

(From: Ellen G. White)
Talk unbelief, and you will have unbelief; but talk faith, and you will have faith. According to the seed sown will be the harvest.

(From: The Urantia Book - Paper-192 Section-2)
Learn to weigh the consequences of your sayings and your doings. Remember that the reaping is in accordance with the sowing. Pray for tranquillity of spirit and cultivate patience.

(From: The ASB Bible - James 3:18)
And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

(From: Saint Francis of Assisi (1181 - 1226)
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace!
Where there is hatred let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; Where there is sadness, joy.


(From: Frances E. Willard)
Sow and act and you reap a habit;
sow a habit and you reap a character;
sow a character and you reap destiny.


(A Chinese Proverb)
Each generation will reap what the former generation has sown.

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The Prayer
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Dear God,
        It is Truly You who has created all of the Good Seeds. You are the Water of Life and the Light of Life, and it is You who nurtures the seeds and causes them to germinate when it is their right time to do so. Thank You for giving to we Your Children, the responsibility of Sowing them… and I'm assuming that we have a significant role in the production of “fertilizer” as well. ;-)

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Infinite Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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4-27-2008 Sunday Service of the Church Within #601
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Weekly On-Line Services Since September 29, 1996

Today's Service is offered by: Pastor Daniel J. Megow

Please Freely Share any of our Church Within Services with Any and All whom you feel might Appreciate them. If you have received this Service from a friend and would like to subscribe to our Weekly On-Line Services, send an e-mail with your request to: seewithin@churchwithin.org Thank You! ...and Please Visit our Church Within Web-Site at http://www.churchwithin.org

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Humor of the Week
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(From: Woody Allen)

How to make God laugh: Tell him your future plans.

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Welcome by: Pastor Daniel
************************
Greetings my Beloved Sisters and Brothers, and welcome once again to the Church that is Within.

I had so many plans for things that I thought I needed to do this Spring. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately… it remains to be seen), the record-breaking weather patterns of 2008 have put some of the time and season sensitive ones beyond the realm of possibility for this year… and at the same time created the potential for accomplishing some others down the road a few steps that have been on hold for far too long. I am perceiving that that is a good thing…

The topic of today's Sunday Service, #601, is “Plans versus Planning…”

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Quotes
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(From: John Lennon (1940 - 1980), "Beautiful Boy")
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.

(From: The Urantia Book - Paper-48 Section-6)
Sometimes the planting of a seed necessitates its death, the death of your fondest hopes, before it can be reborn to bear the fruits of new life and new opportunity. And from them you will learn to suffer less through sorrow and disappointment, first, by making fewer personal plans concerning other personalities, and then, by accepting your lot when you have faithfully performed your duty.

(From: W. H. Murray, The Scottish Himalaya Expedition 1951)
Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way."

(From: The Urantia Book - Paper-127 Section-6)
He knows how to carry on in the face of disappointment. He bears up bravely when his plans are thwarted and his purposes temporarily defeated. He has learned how to be fair and just even in the face of injustice. He is learning how to adjust his ideals of spiritual living to the practical demands of earthly existence. He is learning how to plan for the achievement of a higher and distant goal of idealism while he toils earnestly for the attainment of a nearer and immediate goal of necessity. He is steadily acquiring the art of adjusting his aspirations to the commonplace demands of the human occasion. He has very nearly mastered the technique of utilizing the energy of the spiritual drive to turn the mechanism of material achievement. He is slowly learning how to live the heavenly life while he continues on with the earthly existence. More and more he depends upon the ultimate guidance of his heavenly Father while he assumes the fatherly role of guiding and directing the children of his earth family. He is becoming experienced in the skillful wresting of victory from the very jaws of defeat; he is learning how to transform the difficulties of time into the triumphs of eternity.

(From: Daniel H. Burnham (1846 - 1912)
Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood...Make big plans, aim high in hope and work.

(From: Napoleon Hill)
First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.

(From: Lester R. Bittel, The Nine Master Keys of Management)
Good plans shape good decisions. That's why good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true.

(From: Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890 - 1969)
In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.

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The Sermon
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I am learning that fixed, detailed and precise Plans, while crucial to the building and construction of material creations, are of far less importance when it comes to the formation of personal goals, decisions and life strategies… and of even less value in the realm of personal relationships For these (it is becoming more and more obvious to me as I age), Plans are of far more usefulness when functioning rather as outlines or guidelines. Personal progress and growth require a generous degree of flexibility in order to be open for the potential benefits of unforeseen opportunities, unexpected circumstances and unanticipated pathways. Regarding relationships, plans are at best a “Wish List” and rigid plans will most often turn out to be downright destructive.

Good Planning however, is vital to the success of Any venture, be it material, personal, spiritual or relational. Planning is of Immeasurable worth, for it allows one to make use of whatever wisdom one has so far acquired in life.

Planning is one of those “In the Moment” or “Now” things. Plans, though products of Planning, are inherently a part of the past. While they do frequently provide stimulus and encouragement in the process of moving towards one's goals, it must be remembered that the Plans are not the Goals themselves.

One can rightfully and will inevitably make Plans for the future. It is a part of human nature to do so, and besides, it's Fun if the person can avoid overmuch disappointment, remorse, depression and/or even anger when the plans fail to come to fulfillment (as they so often do). Planning for the future never disappoints. Planning incorporates knowledge, wisdom and inspiration.

I personally find that inviting God into my Planning Sessions makes them not only far more enjoyable, but also far more likely to lead toward successful outcomes and central to the continuing discovery of God's Will for me.

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The Prayer
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Dear God,
        In all of my Planning, be there with me.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal
Parent,

The Creator's Infinite Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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