Church Within Sunday Services

for April 1997

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4-6-97 Sunday Service #28 of Church Within

A Quote:

        "Seek constantly the Father of us all that you may begin to learn to receive His love. Do not despair at your failures, simply try faithfully, over and over, despite the apparent lack of success. For your willingness to make the attempt, builds edifices of strength and faith and courage unseen within."
[The Master]

The Sermon:

        "Seek constantly the Father of us all... [within yourself; within all others; within all that you perceive as Beautiful; within all that you perceive as Good; within all that you perceive as Truth,] ...that you may begin to learn to receive His Love." (disclaimer: The previous words in brackets were added for effect, by Daniel)

        Where do you usually look for God? As a little Child, I used to search in the sky and the clouds... then in a Church building... then in a Book. The "Book", after many years and many readings, taught me something. [finally... -sigh-] It taught me that I would
not find God personally, in a Book, or in a building, or in the sky.

        To find God as a Personal Being... Parent... Friend, I had to search within others... within myself... within all that I can perceive as True, Beautiful and Good. These were nice words that I kept stuck up in my mind for many years. Boy... was I happy to intellectually know those things! I always could kinda see God in "things" that were Beautiful... I could see the Creator's hand in Art for instance, or Music, or Writings, or in Nature... But I still, somehow, felt incomplete. Know what I mean? It was Great to know where to find God!

         But one day... something "whupped me upside the head." I really got popped a good one. OH!!! I had to actually go out and actively DO those things!!! Hmmm... well that was a new one on Me. But I timidly stepped out and tried it once. And I went "Oh... there ya are God!" The loving look that I got back when I searched for God within another, could have had no other source than the Source of all love. I saw another do a selfless act of Goodness, of kindness. And I said, "Oh MY God! There You are TOO!!" OH Boy! This was going to be Fun! And it is... whenever I remember to actually DO it. Why do I so often forget to remember? How often do I pray to God to help me remember where to look for Him/Her/All? Not nearly often Enough. I need to get in the habit of saying: "God... Help me remember where to Look for You today. OK? Please?" Alright... I'll start this morning... as soon as I'm done here... NO!!! NOW!!! Hey... not so
loud... alright already... I'll do it now...
The Prayer:

        Help me to remember where to look for You today. Help me remember to seek for You within others... In their Loving looks, in their acts of Kindness, in their expressions of Joy and Beauty. And help me also to show forth Your love, Your kindness, Your Beauty and Your Joy, dearest Parent. Help me to be a lamp whereby others may see Your Light. I am so imperfect at this, God... give me the lessons that I need to get better at it and help me to grow from them without fear. Help me to learn them with the purity and curiosity and delight and excitement of a little Child. Little ones are so wondrous to watch in their quest for new discovery. Help me to become as the "Little Child" in my search for You... undaunted... unafraid... ever seeking to understand and grow in my ability to discern You in ALL that is Loving, True, Beautiful and Good.

Your Will be Done.

Father's Eternal Parental Love,
Pastor Daniel


4-13-97 Sunday Service #29 of Church Within

A Quote:

"He who would be greatest among you, let him become server of all."

The Sermon:

If you can guess who said the words of today's quote... you win the "Daily Double". If you can Live these words... become the Loving "server of all.", YOU WILL WIN THE KEYS TO A BRAND... NEW... Life!!!!

What means, "become server of all"?

Does it mean... All the people I like?
*Of course them, and More*
OK, how about all of those who believe the same way as I do?
*Yes, yes, them too... and many, Many more*.

My Country, right?
*All of those within it... but you are just beginning*.

Who else... let's see... well... OK then... All who know and love God, who do good things, who are successful and are making something out of their lives?
*So far you have only chosen the easy ones. What about those who you do not like... those who believe differently than you do... those who love another country... those who do not yet know God, who do not "appear" successful in -your- eyes? Should you not also serve them?*

Oh, like... Love my enemies, right?
*Why should ANY of your brothers and sisters, children of the Universal Source, be considered your enemy?*

Well... what if I'm afraid they will ruin my life, or destroy my happiness, or what if they're just lazy bums looking for a free ride through life?
*Your Master said "Fear not". Serve All.*

You mean even the man on the corner with a sign asking for a hand out... or a prostitute... or someone who seems crazy... or...
*All means All.*

So... how do you expect me to do THAT... how can I serve THEM... What do you WANT from me??
*Share Father's Love... no more, no less.*

Yeah... that's easy to say, but how do I DO it?
*The Master showed you how. Do that.*

What, like work Miracles and stuff? Sure... Right! Heal the Sick? Walk on water? I'm not God, ya know!
*Show Compassion... Love those who feel un-loved... Care about those who feel un-cared for... Forgive those whom you feel have harmed you... Ask God, What is Your Will for me in this moment.*

Well... all I can do is my Best...
*Your Creator asks no more than the best you can do... Do that...*

The Prayer:

Let me live this day and all the following days of my life according to Your Will. You are the Giver of all Life, the Source of All Love. Help me to share of the Gifts You have bestowed upon me. Help me to always do my Best. Show me how I may best serve You and All of Your Children.
Heal my prejudices, Dear God... soothe my Fears, remove all hatred from my life... I no longer want these to control my thoughts. I want only those things that You want for me... Guide me on the path to their discovery.

I dedicate my Life to Your Service, show me how I may Best serve in Your Will Dearest Parent.

Father's Eternal Love,
Pastor Daniel


4-20-97 Sunday Service #30 of Church Within

A Quote:

"Except you become as a little child, you shall not enter the kingdom of Heaven." (Jesus)

The Sermon:

        What is it about a "little child" that is so precious? Few are not touched by the Love... by the Excitement... by the exuberance for Discovery... by the Belief in Good... by the Faith, of a little child. That childlike Faith... such an example for us All. A little child does not Judge others but sees only their good. Little children are so quick to forgive... such an example they could be to us if we would but see with our Souls.

        A child takes for granted that it is Loved. Children recognize every Loving act of God that others show them. Most especially, at first, from their parents and family; but... then too, from each and every person that they meet. A child's initial impression of God is gleaned from observing the Good in others... the God in others... for is not God the Source of all Good? A child Loves freely... A child Loves without conditions or prejudice... A child Loves in every single moment that he or she is allowed to. If we would "become as a little child", then so must we Love.

        Little Children seem to be Excited about Everything. It is difficult to not get caught up in that virtually inexaustable excitement when we are near them. If in a clear state of mind, we cannot help being affected by it in some wonderous way. A little child knows that there is so much more that they do not yet know and unceasingly strives to know it. A child is Excited about Life... about Growth... about Discovery of everything that is New and Beautiful in the Universe. If we would "become as a little child", then must we share in the Exitement of these things.

        A little child Believes that their parents will feed them and care for their physical needs and help them to grow and to survive in this world. A little child Believes that the World is Good and that People are Good. A little child Believes that everything will turn out for the Best. And then... A little child Lives it's Life in the present moment... with the inner knowingness that their Beliefs are Valid. A little child relies and Acts upon their Beliefs... such Supreme Childlike Faith, that of the little child. If we would "become as a little child", then must we have the Faith of a little child.

        The measure our True Faith... is that which we Live of our Beliefs as does the little child.

The Prayer:

Dearest Source of All, Dearest Loving Parent,
        Help us to remember that we are never fully "grown up" in Your eyes... that always will there be unlimited opportunity for Discovering New Love, New Knowledge, New Understanding. Help us to remember all of the moments in our life when Truly we experienced Your Love through others... and gave it ourselves.
         Help us to re-capture our own Childlike Faith Dear Heavenly Parent, and help us to be more and more like You as we grow up.

Father's Eternal Parental Love,
Pastor Daniel


4-27-97 Sunday Service #31 of Church Within

A Quote:

The Master said:
" He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water." (John 7:38)

The Sermon:

Does "Living Water" flow from our hearts and souls? What is the "Living Water" and how do we allow it to flow?

In a garden, water nourishes the plants and seeds by helping to deliver the nutrients in the soil. In the physical body, water serves the dual purpose of nourishing and cleansing all of the cells. Without water, all life as we know it on this planet would die. All physical life would cease to exist.

(A Parable)
Let us become gardeners for a moment... better yet, let's imagine that our brother has asked us to water his garden for him while he is away on an extended trip. He has worked very hard to prepare the soil... he has just fertilized it and pulled all of the weeds he could see... and he has carefully planted and tended all of the plants and seeds that he wants there.

        OK... so... what is our responsibility in this situation? If we pulled up his plants and replaced them with plants and seeds that we thought would be better for him in his garden, he would most likely be rather upset... don't ya think? He probably wouldn't mind too much if we pulled a weed occasionally, or removed destructive bugs when we found them... weed killer and bug poison could possibly damage his plants that he so lovingly nurtured up to this point, so we should probably forget about them. What our Brother truly asked us to do though was to "water" his garden... to make available to his plants, the nutrients he has already provided them.

So I water his garden while he is away. If it was MY garden, I probably would have planted more of the foods that "I" liked and left out those which were unpalatable to me... but it's his, so I just keep it watered. (I did plant a few of my own favorite seeds in a couple of places... maybe he just might like them... if he doesn't he can always pull them up later.) The garden does well... it grows... it's quite beautiful actually (even though there are those few vegetables that I really don't like <grin>). I gotta say... my brother DID plant a pretty nice garden here... even though...

Well, after a few months, my brother comes back from his trip. I have been true to my trust and his garden is flourishing into fruit. He is quite pleased with the results. (He noticed the few that I had planted and grinned. Mostly he was pleased with my choices, but one or two of them he just wouldn't eat... he saved those for me and others who might like them.) There was such an abundance of food being produced that not only does he share them with me, he also has plenty to share with his friends and neighbors and he does so.

He even gave me some of the ones I DON"T like... against my preconceived judgments I even tried those ones. I actually LIKED a few of them... hmmm. The ones I still couldn't handle I gave to others and they raved about them. Oh well... to each his own I guess.

        A persons personal Religion can be likened to his own garden. He will plant and nurture those things which are attractive and flavorful to Him. He may try to grow new things that he ends up not liking... those things he will either uproot or not plant again. He may try to plant something that he really didn't think he would like and end up Loving it. Others may make suggestions, but it is up to the individual to decide what works best for him. A person's garden and his religion are very Personal things... to each his own.

Those with ears to hear... let them hear.
(End Parable)

Let us Always be willing to share the "Living Water"... and never attempt to uproot the favorite plants of others.
(End Sermon)

The Prayer:

Dearest Heavenly Parent,
        You are the Source of all Living Water. Let it flow to each of us from those streams which will personally do us each the most good according to Your Will. Show us the way to let it flow into and through us so that all may benefit from it. Let us become tributaries of your Infinite Love. Help us also to remember to tend carefully first to the health and growth of our Own Garden lest it wither and die whilst we spend time looking to the gardens of others. Only when our own garden is doing well will others be willing to ask us to help them with theirs. Always let us be willing to share the fruits of our Souls with others of Your Children, but not force them to eat that which they are personally repulsed by.
Create within us an insatiable appetite for those spiritual foods which You know we need and dampen our childish fear of trying something untried that You know is Good for us.

Let us become Rivers of Your Mercy, Understanding, Tolerance and Love.

Father's Eternal Parental Love,
Pastor Daniel


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