Church Within Sunday Services

for April 1998

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#80
4-5-98
#81
4-12-98
#82
4-19-98
#83
4-26-98

4-5-98 - Sunday Service of Church Within #80
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome once again.

Go, if you will for a moment, into that place of serenity and peace... of silence and intuitive understanding. It is there that you may commune with your Creator... it is there that you may find your own personal "Church Within".

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Quotes
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(from: "Ideal Suggestion Through Mental Photography" by Henry Wood -1893).
"If we WILL, we can turn our backs upon the lower and sensuous plane, and lift ourselves into the realm of the spiritual and Real, and there gain a residence. The assumption of states of expectancy and receptivity will attract spiritual sunshine, and it will flow in as naturally as air inclines to a vacuum.... Whenever the thought is not occupied with one's daily duty or profession, it should be sent aloft into the spiritual atmosphere. There are quiet leisure moments by day, and wakeful hours at night, when this wholesome and delightful exercise may be engaged in to great advantage. If one who has never made any systematic effort to lift and control the thought-forces will, for a single month, earnestly pursue the course here suggested, he will be surprised and delighted at the results, and nothing will induce him to go back to careless, aimless, and superficial thinking. At such favorable seasons the outside world, with all its current of daily events, is barred out, and one goes into the silent sanctuary of the inner temple of soul to commune and aspire. The spiritual hearing becomes delicately sensitive, so that the 'still, small voice' is audible, the tumultuous waves of external sense are hushed, and there is a great calm. The ego gradually becomes conscious that it is face to face with the Divine Presence; that mighty, healing, loving, Fatherly life which is nearer to us than we are to ourselves. There is soul contact with the Parent-Soul, and an influx of life, love, virtue, health, and happiness from the Inexhaustible Fountain."

(The Urantia Papers - Paper-112 Section-2 )
        The material self, the ego-entity of human identity, is dependent during the physical life on the continuing function of the material life vehicle, on the continued existence of the unbalanced equilibrium of energies and intellect which, on Urantia (ed: Earth), has been given the name life. But selfhood of survival value, selfhood that can transcend the experience of death, is only evolved by establishing a potential transfer of the seat of the identity of the evolving personality from the transient life vehicle--the material body--to the more enduring and immortal nature of the morontia soul and on beyond to those levels whereon the soul becomes infused with, and eventually attains the status of, spirit reality. This actual transfer from material association to morontia identification is effected by the sincerity, persistence, and steadfastness of the God-seeking decisions of the human creature.

(The Darby Bible - Matthew 11:28-30)
Come to me, all ye who labour and are burdened, and *I* will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest to your souls; for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

(The KJV Bible - Romans 13:1)
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

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The Sermon
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        Today's first quote, from a book by Henry Wood written in 1893, is as quoted in the book: "The Varieties of Religious Experience" by William James, first copyrighted in the year 1900. It speaks of a place that I have visited and now return to as frequently as I am able. For many years I knew of it only in unfulfilling word symbols, but once I allowed the Inner Presence of God to show me the way into it, there was born the insatiable quest to make it my home, my sanctuary. It is a Wondrous place... a place built of Love, of Compassion, of Nurture, of Truth Beauty and Goodness. There I find only Peace, Security and Fulfillment. It is a place without fear, without deception, without material neediness. Therein are All of my Real needs met/provided for. The more often I seek to find this place, the easier it becomes to find. The more often I find it, the longer it seems I am able to stay. Each time I am drawn away from it, I am shown one of the hurdles I must yet surmount before I may take up permanent residency. It is a place not attained without a healthy measure of struggle. Ego is a master at identifying the obstacles which stand in the way of its becoming an enduring abode. For that Attribute of ego, I am forever thankful... even though mightily challenged. The place that I eagerly pursue is "the inner temple of soul"... a place not so far out of reach as to be unattainable on this mortal plane of existence. It is a place that I can only describe as "the kingdom of heaven" that "is within."

        Soul is the higher self, a child of the Divine. The soul knows Love and where it may readily be found. It is the repository wherein all personal experiences of love reside and have dominion. Soul is the conjoint offspring of the assenting "human self" and the all loving Divine Inner Partner. It grows and thrives whenever ego consents to defer its own will unto the Will of God.

        Ego is the purely human self, the human child. In those times when the ego truly "Feels" loved and appreciated by others, it shows no compulsion to exhibit the unattractive traits of egotism. Its prevailing tendency to be egocentric and self-absorbed are effectively eliminated by Love received and freely given. Ego incessantly seeks for love, acceptance and approval, and it deserves them... but quite often it struggles in confusion as to the most appropriate place in which to find them.

        It has been said: "Seek first the kingdom of God, and when you have found entrance thereto, all things needful shall be added to you." This is not idle speculation, it is an experiencible reality within the grasp of each and every of God's children.

        God Shows the Way... Soul recognizes and remembers the Way... it is Ego which chooses to follow the Way or not. Ego cannot be despised into submission, it must be Loved into peaceful and Soul satisfying surrender.

(from: "Out of Darkness" a book in progress by Daniel)
        "Ego... ya gotta Love it."

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The Prayer
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Dear Ever Loving Source,        
        Grant me always the wherewithal to be continually within the Loving embrace of Your Divine Influence. It is there only that I am truly contented and in peace.


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

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

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4/19/98 - Sunday Service of Church Within #82
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome once again to the church without a building... Church Within.

What is it that motivates you in this life, and how well does it workto help you to feel Fulfilled... and Loved?

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Quotes
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(from: The Urantia Papers - Paper-103 Section-1 )
The unity of religious experience among a social or racial group derives from the identical nature of the God fragment indwelling the individual. It is this divine in man that gives origin to his unselfish interest in the welfare of other men. But since personality is unique---no two mortals being alike---it inevitably follows that no two human beings can similarly interpret the leadings and urges of the spirit of divinity which lives within their minds. A group of mortals can experience spiritual unity, but they can never attain philosophic uniformity. And this diversity of the interpretation of religious thought and experience is shown by the fact that twentieth-century theologians and philosophers have formulated upward of five hundred different definitions of religion. In reality, every human being defines religion in the terms of his own experiential interpretation of the divine impulses emanating from the God spirit that indwells him, and therefore must such an interpretation be unique and wholly different from the religious philosophy of all other human beings.

(from: The RSV Bible - John 13:34-35)
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

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The Sermon
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What is it that motivates you in this life, and how well does it work to help you to feel Fulfilled... and Loved?

        I would like to suggest that, the most Powerful Motivator, perchance even the Only motivator, is the innate need to be Loved. It is well nigh Universal to all Life... Every Living thing responds to an environment of Love... Every Living thing thrives in an environment of Love.

        Earth, barring any negative influence from humans, reflects the loving watchcare of the Supreme Being. To creatures such as Us, it may on occasion seem violent or cruel, but the symmetrical beauty of un-compromised Nature is undeniable.

        For my purposes today, let us deal with domesticated life, and that life which is distinctly influenced by humanity. Plants, devoid of self mobility, cannot go out and actively seek love. And yet, which of us cannot recognize the difference between a plant or garden that has been lovingly nurtured and one that has been neglected? Pets and domesticated animals are mobile and have the ability to actively seek love, and according to their nature and intrinsic temperaments, do just that. Which of us cannot recognize the difference between an animal that has been lovingly nurtured and one that has been neglected? What about children? Again, which of us cannot recognize the difference between a child that has been lovingly nurtured and one that has been neglected? Using the perception of our Souls rather than of our egos, let's now consider Adults... at least as physical age qualifies them as such. Which of us cannot recognize the difference between an adult that feels lovingly nurtured and one that feels neglected?

        The reason that I have cited these examples, is to bring into mind the results of Love and the intrinsically beneficial influences it provides to all living things. Everyone and everything Needs Love, and from a strictly Human standpoint, it is the one necessity of life that so few show evidence of having it in sufficient quantities.

        This "perceived" deficiency is what causes to become manifest in humankind, the quest to become Lovable. Here is where the greatest of human confusion exists. What is it that truly makes one lovable? You might think, in observation of the outward behavior of the majority of people, that it is the accumulation of material things or the acquisition of knowledge, title or power which makes one lovable. The dominant amount of time certainly appears to be spent on those things. Now is that because they actually satisfy the urge to be loved and the craving to be lovable? Or is it that ultimately they leave one with a feeling of inadequacy and of unfulfilled need... perpetuating yet another futile drive towards misplaced motivations? Certainly we must have the things that our physical existence requires for it's survival, and everyone deserves a sufficient level of comfort and entertainment, but how wise is it to pursue them with overmuch fervor and devotion and spend such comparatively little time in pursuit of the things that have value to our souls and to our spirits?

        If you wish to be loved unconditionally, then Love Unconditionally. If you would desire to be served unselfishly, then Serve Unselfishly. If you would Truly be Lovable, then go directly to the Original Source of Love, for there alone will you experience the absolute of Lovability.

(from: The Urantia Papers - Paper-140 Section-6)
Seek first the kingdom of God, and when you have found entrance thereto, all things needful shall be added to you.

(from: the KJV Bible - Matthew 6:31-33)
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

What is it that motivates you in this life, and how well does it work to help you to feel Fulfilled... and Loved?

Are you experiencing full Satisfaction from your motivations?

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The Prayer
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Dear Ever Loving Source,        
        Continually direct me in my lifelong Quest.
Amen.


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

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

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4/12/98 - '98 Easter Sunday Service of Church Within #81
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome to the 1998 Easter Sunday Service of Church Within.

Today is significant to me for many reasons. Easter has always been a special day for me, but later today I will be performing a Church Within First Communion Service for my 8 year old second grade son Danny. He made his own bread for it yesterday and felt pretty good about himself being able to do it. He will also be the one to break and pass it. The breaking and sharing of bread with our extended family will be a part of the ceremony, but the Focus will be upon Communion/Talking with Jesus and with God. I am excited about his excitement and just felt like sharing that with you all.

Now... on to our Regular Easter Sunday Service.

What is the Significance of Easter?

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Quotes
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(from the KJV Bible John 16:5-7)
But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the
truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

(from Young's Literal Translation Bible John 16:13-15)
and when He may come -- the Spirit of truth -- He will guide you to all the truth, for He will not speak from Himself, but as many things as He will hear He will speak, and the coming things He will tell you; He will glorify me, because of mine He will take, and will tell to you. `All things, as many as the Father hath, are mine; because of this I said, That of mine He will take, and will tell to you

(The RSV - Peter I 1:3-5)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance
which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

(The Urantia Papers Paper-193 Section-0)
"I lived my life in the flesh to show how you can, through loving service, become God-revealing to your fellow men even as, by loving you and serving you, I have become God-revealing to you. I have lived among you as the Son of Man that you, and all other men, might know that you are all indeed the sons of God. Therefore, go you now into all the world preaching this gospel of the kingdom of heaven to all men. Love all men as I have loved you; serve your fellow mortals as I have served you. Freely you have received, freely give."

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The Sermon
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What is the Significance of Easter?

If you ask little children, I would bet that the overwhelming 1st response would be The Easter Bunny, eggs and candy. Truthfully, it would have been mine as a little child. Ya know... When I ponder back, I bet Easter is what instilled in me the joy of seeking and finding. Oh I did Love searching for treats that I knew Must be there, hidden somewhere by some invisible being if only I looked in the right places... he never made it impossible to find, just difficult. The seeking and finding was Glorious! Still is. Now that I have grown up, somewhat ;-), I get that same exact feeling when I am actually looking for truth, beauty and goodness. I Know they are there... if only I look in the right places. Hmmm... perhaps that part of Easter does have a touch of significance to it after all too. We have been told: "Seek and you shall find." Why shouldn't it be as fun as it was on Easter?

What is the Significance of Easter?

        I think I was 8 or 9 the first time I thought of the Resurrection of Jesus Before I thought of the Easter Bunny and the search for goodies... and I was brought up in a very religious Catholic home. Up to that point, the significance of the Resurrection was more than my young mind could grasp. But all of a sudden I thought about Jesus surviving mortal death. I thought that was more significant. Quite frankly, I didn't think much about redemption of sins at that age, what Really touched me was that He was "out there" somewhere and I could talk to him and he would, if I was sincere, listen to me. I could be in Communion with him because of his Resurrection! Ya know... that's Still the most significant thing about Easter to me.

What about you?
What is the Significance of Easter?

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The Prayer
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Dear Ever Loving Source,        
        Help me to see the Significance of each and every moment from Your perspective. I know that always I will fall short of Your full understanding, but each day share with me another piece of it. Strengthen in me the desire to find all of the things that You have placed in my path which await my discovery.

A Joyous Easter to you all!

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

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

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4/26/98 - Sunday Service of Church Within #83
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome once again to the church without a building... Church Within.

I thought it would be fun to draw a "Rune" this morning after my Stillness/Meditation/Worship… it was. <grin>

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Quotes
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(from: The Book of Runes)
"On the side of the earthly or mundane, there may well be surprises; unexpected gains are not unlikely. On the side of human nature, this Rune is symbolized by the flight of the eagle. Soaring flight, free from entanglement, lifting yourself above the endless ebb and flow of ordinary life to acquire broader vision---all this is indicated here. This is the Rune of questing."

(from: The KJV Bible - Isaiah 25:1)
"O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth."

(from: The Urantia Papers - Paper-132 Section-3)
        "Truth cannot be defined with words, only by living. Truth is always more than knowledge. Knowledge pertains to things observed, but truth transcends such purely material levels in that it consorts with wisdom and embraces such imponderables as human experience, even spiritual and living realities. Knowledge originates in science; wisdom, in true philosophy; truth, in the religious experience of spiritual living. Knowledge deals with facts; wisdom, with relationships; truth, with reality values.
        Man tends to crystallize science, formulate philosophy, and dogmatize truth because he is mentally lazy in adjusting to the progressive struggles of living, while he is also terribly afraid of the unknown. Natural man is slow to initiate changes in his habits of thinking and in his techniques of living.
        Revealed truth, personally discovered truth, is the supreme delight of the human soul; it is the joint creation of the material mind and the indwelling spirit. The eternal salvation of this truth-discerning and beauty-loving soul is assured by that hunger and thirst for goodness which leads this mortal to develop a singleness of purpose to do the Father's will, to find God and to become like him. There is never conflict between true knowledge and truth. There may be conflict between knowledge and human beliefs, beliefs colored with prejudice, distorted by fear, and dominated by the dread of facing new facts of material discovery or spiritual progress.
        But truth can never become man's possession without the exercise of faith. This is true because man's thoughts, wisdom, ethics, and ideals will never rise higher than his faith, his sublime hope. And all such true faith is predicated on profound reflection, sincere self-criticism, and uncompromising moral consciousness. Faith is the inspiration of the spiritized creative imagination."

(Webster's New World Dictionary)
        [ed: The Latin root for the word faith, ala Webster's: "fides" - confidence, belief --- "fidere" - to trust.]
faith n. 1. unquestioning belief that does not require proof or evidence 2. unquestioning belief in God, religious tenets, etc. 3. a religion or a system of religious beliefs 4. anything believed 5. complete trust, confidence, or reliance 6. allegiance to some person or thing


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The Sermon
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What is your Faith?
What does your Faith do for you?
What is it that you would wish your Faith would do for you?

        Most people when asked, "What is your Faith?", will tell you what type of church they go to, or if they don't go to a church, what Book or system of belief they adhere to. They will tell you how surely it has changed their life if you show some further interest in it… and quite often, even if you don't. I used to do that. It was all I knew of faith.

        Faith to me was nothing more than my intellectual belief in things I had learned or been told or had read about. The problem with this way of thinking for me was that, every time I discovered an error or misconception in my beliefs, my faith was either totally discarded, or I would fanatically refuse to accept any new revelation of truth regardless of how "right" it felt in my heart… in my soul. This caused me no end of frustration and personal disharmony. Faith then became for me something to be discounted or avoided, rather than something to be embraced and energized by. I found that it was much easier to stand still and stagnate, than it was to move forward and grow. Easier, Yes… Fulfilling? Not in the least.

        In the past couple of years, I've begun to see faith as something very different from what I had previously thought. I've begun to see it as something fluid, always in motion… something that does not restrict or limit a person, but rather sets them free to explore, to grow, to Soar. I put my Faith in God alone, in that God would never let me down, never abandon me, and would always show me the way if I was as sincere and trusting as a little child is of their parent. I discovered that my Faith was not as dependent upon the reality of my beliefs, as my beliefs were dependent upon the reality of my Faith. By stepping forward and acting in the Faith that my beliefs were real, my Divine Parent would then show me which of my beliefs were true, partially true, or in fact false. Being attached to God rather than to beliefs, it is no longer so painful to discover errors in my beliefs. It is instead refreshing and invigorating because the result… is discovering more of Truth and "personally discovered truth, is the supreme delight of the human soul"… at least it is the Supreme Delight of This human Soul. Is it not for you?

What is your Faith?
What does your Faith do for you?
What is it that you would wish your Faith would do for you?

Where have you been placing your Faith?
Are you satisfied?

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The Prayer
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Dear Ever Loving Source and Divine Parent,        
        Although I am all grown up in my human form, let me never lose sight of the fact that I am but a little child in my relationship with You. Sometimes it is hard to completely trust, have confidence, and fully rely on the reality of Your Unconditional Love for me… there are so few examples of Your kind of Love apparent on this world that I sometimes struggle in confusion and uncertainty. Let me feel Your loving embrace when I have my childish doubts, and relax into the surety of Your ever-present parental care.

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

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


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