Church Within Sunday Services

for April 1999

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#132
4-4-99
#133
4-11-99
#134
4-18-99
#135
4-25-99

4-4-99 Easter Sunday Service of Church Within #132
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Today's Service is offered by: Minister Jill Mary Megow

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

Happy Easter!

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Quotes
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(The Urantia Papers - Paper-193 Section-0)
That which the world needs most to know is: Men are the sons of God, and through faith they can actually realize, and daily experience, this ennobling truth. My bestowal should help all men to know that they are the children of God, but such knowledge will not suffice if they fail personally to faith-grasp the saving truth that they are the living spirit sons of the eternal Father. The gospel of the kingdom is concerned with the love of the Father and the service of his children on earth.

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The Sermon
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It's Easter Sunday. Do you know where your Father is?

At 11:30 pm last night, this phrase came to me. Over and over. You know what I mean, don't ya? When you get that broken record playing over and over in your head. Some sort of "message" and you wonder to yourself, "Why am I thinking That?" Well, that's the way it was for me. So, about 15 minutes later, I asked myself, "What would my Father in Heaven want to say to us on this special day for Christian folk, that would be for All His Children, regardless of their religious orientation.

Do you know where your Father is? You can be certain, He knows where you are. He knows, Personally, where each and every one of His beloved children is, in each and every moment. That is how much we are loved; how much we are cherished.

I wonder where your Father, according to your belief system, is. For me, well... it's kind of an interesting story. You see, I was raised with exposure to the world's religions. So I learned at a young age to imagine Him in all sorts of ways. But you know what? I Never imagined Him as a Person. That seems so strange to me now. Because now, I have a different perception from all those I grew up with. Where is my Father? Why right inside of me! He dwells Within Me! He is always with me. He is always guiding me. He gives me encouraging nudges when I have self-doubt. Where do you think the phrase "You GO! Girl" came from? (Grin)

That is now. But for the first 50 years of my life, although I always believed in God, my Father in Heaven, and prayed often to Him, He was Not A Person, to me. No. He was "pure energy". He was "original thought". He was "All There Is". He was "Pure Light". He was "White Light". Hey, He was God, you know, that abstract being concept. Certainly not a person like all of us imperfect beings.

I'm so glad I reached 50! My Father introduced me to some very wonderful, knowledgeable, and insightful children of His in my 50th year. They shared their concepts that they understood from Jesus, which were: We have a personal Father in Heaven who loves us unconditionally. Our Eternal Parent is the perfect Father, Personified. We can talk to him personally. We don't have to have another human being intercede on our behalf.. He hears our every mental prayer and verbal prayer. He hears our unspoken fears. He feels our joy. He feels our sorrow. He cheers us on, inspires us, comforts us, nurtures us. Man! He is Really Real! Whew. How that transformed me and my life! I am Never Alone! He is not an abstract energy "out there". That's what I came to know. He's a Person. That concept was So Embraceable for me. It felt So Right. My Father wants me to know that He IS my Eternal Parent, always available, and ALWAYS giving me what I truly need, even if it isn't what I think I Want! And the other thing I came to believe He wanted me to know is that we are all brothers and sisters of the same Eternal Parent. Not one of us is more important to Him than any other. We are to love one another with the same unconditional love with which He loves us. That's My Dad. That's Our Dad.

Who is your Father? Your Dad? Today, when so many are especially focused on their spiritual beliefs with the celebration of Easter, I hope you will take time to ask yourself that question and find your Very Personal answer... your Own Personal Resurrection.
All faiths, all doctrines genuinely seek to help you know your Father in Heaven. Your Father knows where you are this morning, and He is with you. He Loves You!

Do you know where Your Father is?

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The Prayer
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Beloved Eternal Parent of All,
I pray that you find a way to reach each and every child at a conscious level and reassure them of Your Love for them in whatever way they can personally know you, just as you found a special way to reach me.


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

The Creator's Infinite Love, through me, to all of You,
Jill Megow
Minister of Church Within

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4-11-99 Sunday Service of Church Within #133
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Today's Service is offered by: Pastor Daniel J. Megow


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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome once again to The Church that is Within.

How does one achieve Contentment? What is it that we all truly seek in life?

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Quotes
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(Ancient Native American Proverb)
"Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

(from: The Urantia Papers - Paper-92 Section-7)
        Religious meanings progress in self-consciousness when the child transfers his ideas of omnipotence from his parents to God. And the entire religious experience of such a child is largely dependent on whether fear or love has dominated the parent-child relationship.

(from: The Urantia Papers - Paper 83 Section 8)
        The ideals of marriage have made great progress in recent times; among some peoples woman enjoys practically equal rights with her consort. In concept, at least, the family is becoming a loyal partnership for rearing offspring, accompanied by sexual fidelity. But even this newer version of marriage need not presume to swing so far to the extreme as to confer mutual monopoly of all personality and individuality. Marriage is not just an individualistic ideal; it is the evolving social partnership of a man and a woman, existing and functioning under the current mores, restricted by the taboos, and enforced by the laws and regulations of society.
        Twentieth-century marriages stand high in comparison with those of past ages, notwithstanding that the home institution is now undergoing a serious testing because of the problems so suddenly thrust upon the social organization by the precipitate augmentation of woman's liberties, rights so long denied her in the tardy evolution of the mores of past generations.

(from: Shooter - a Teton Sioux)
All birds, even those of the same species, are not alike, and it is the same with animals and with human beings. The reason WakanTanka does not make two birds, or animals, or human beings exactly alike is because each is placed here by WakanTanka to be an independent individuality and to rely upon itself.

(from: The Urantia Papers - Paper-180 Section-5)
        Love, unselfishness, must undergo a constant and living readaptative interpretation of relationships in accordance with the leading of the Spirit of Truth. Love must thereby grasp the ever-changing and enlarging concepts of the highest cosmic good of the individual who is loved. And then love goes on to strike this same attitude concerning all other individuals who could possibly be influenced by the growing and living relationship of one spirit-led mortal's love for other citizens of the universe. And this entire living adaptation of love must be effected in the light of both the environment of present evil and the eternal goal of the perfection of divine destiny.

(from: Eagle Man in the book - "Mother Earth Spirituality" 1990)
Peace of the souls who realize their relationship to the universe and the Great Spirit who is at the center of the universe... This center is the same for everyone everywhere. Peace between two people recognizing the kinship of all people... Peace between nations recognizing that all people are family or kin, and children of the Great Spirit

(from: Frank Fools Crow, Oglala Lakota (Teton) Sioux holy man)
"Survival of the world depends on our sharing what we have, and working together. If we don't the whole world will die. First the planet, and next the people."

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The Sermon
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        It is SO difficult to acquire adequate tools which are appropriate to use in relationship building and family perpetuation in today's world of advancing technology, world-wide communication and Spiritual Awakening. The budding realization of the Value of "Basic Human Rights" and "Human Equality", makes many of the Old relationship/family tools of past ages obsolete, if not downright harmful, and in some cases fatal.

        Here are some examples of Old tools of control and subservience which are rapidly losing their effectiveness in dealing with today's more enlightened and less easily controlled population. They worked somewhat in their time, but today they are more likely to produce anger, resentment, withdrawal, depression and too often violence. See if you don't recognize many if not all of them:

"Do as I Say!"

"Because That is your Place."

"You DO it because I SAID to!"

"Children should be Seen and not heard."

"You're gonna get a Whippin'/Beating/...!"

"Spare the rod, Spoil the child."

"It's the Wife's/Husband's DUTY to..."

"Don't Think about it, Just DO it."

"Do it because the leaders of the Church tell you to..."

"That's all you're good for."

        These "tools", and yes they were tools in their time, are no longer appropriate, will not Work, and in fact are Socially and Personally detrimental to today's more aware populations. They worked in their time because they were the best tools possible at the time... men and women and children were NOT considered Equal, nor were they Treated at all equally... children's Spirits were treated as something to be Broken, as in breaking a Horse or in letting a young dog know who the boss is. Man earned a living and ruled the house as he wished and was the Universal Disciplinarian to be Feared and Obeyed... that was considered his job, Women did all the housework and bore and raised the children as Husband and Society expected them to because That's the way things were done... regretfully they were little more than sex objects and beasts of burden. Children more often did what they were told, When they were told, because the consequences were too painful... they often had little if any right to their own thoughts and desires, being labeled impertinent should they persist in displaying any. All of this was quite Normal and Acceptable for that time. Men, Women and Children somewhat Expected it even if they didn't particularly like it, and lived as comfortably as they Could within its confines.

        Humankind, however, continues endlessly to grow, and with the social evolution of Equal Rights we outgrew and began breaking down the "confines" which formerly could so effectively Control the Human Spirit. Society is beginning to recognize the Barbarism of the old ways and the old tools... but it is slow in developing and offering adequate New tools and New Ways to replace the Old ones.

        Now is a time of Major Transition for us and for our World. Civilization is rapidly approaching the Physical limits of our planet. It is no longer so easy to start fresh in a New Land as it once was... we can no longer isolate ourselves, but must learn Cooperation and Respect and Tolerance in order to survive. We must create and learn to use, and learn to sharpen, Spiritual Tools if we are to survive in the rapidly approaching Spiritual Age. And this is true especially in regards to Family and Relationship Tools... from the Personal relationship with our own Self, to our relationship with our Spouse, Children, Families, Society, our relationship with the whole World and the Family of Civilization, even our relationship with God.

         There are so few examples of effective New Tools that are adequate to the task of developing Satisfying and Healthy Relationships in today's world because Women and Men are so recently entering into the early stages of trying to understand and desire equality in All areas of life and New Tools are essential to building Healthy, Loving and Growing Relationships that can "keep pace" with the growing understanding of humankind. People naturally crave lasting and loving relationships. The desire/need to be loved and accepted and respected drives all other human desires. One will do almost Anything to fill this most essential human need. Even today's rampant materialism and the obsession for power, fame and outward success are fuelled by the underlying human need to be loved, accepted and respected. But never do those things completely satisfy; never do they bring lasting contentment and inner peace. "What will?"

        I wish I had all the answers, all the methods, all of the tools to share... but I do not. Only have I discovered a few, though incessantly I seek. Though they be few, the tools I have found and am learning to use have made a profound transformation of my life. Perhaps they will not work for others... perhaps they Will. Perhaps you have already discovered and use them... perhaps you have discovered others that work equally as well as mine do for me. If so please share them... humankind needs all the new tools it can get. So what are mine? I'll show you mine if you show me yours. I'll go first...

"I Love you because you are lovable, not because I expect anything in return."

"I love You for who you Are and, who You as a Unique child of God desire to be."

"I will neither lead nor follow you, but willingly will I walk at your side hand in hand."

"I respect your Ideals though our ideas may differ."

"Your Dreams and personal goals are just as Important as mine. Whether they be different or the same, you have my respect, support and encouragement to pursue them."

"Our Personal Paths are Individual and Unique. I cannot leave mine to walk Yours, and you cannot leave yours to walk Mine, and yet "In Love" we still may walk together."

OK... now it's Your turn...

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The Prayer
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Dear God,
        I wish to do what is Loving and pleasing to You and all of Your Children, for from that comes all of my True Satisfaction.

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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4-18-99 Sunday Service of Church Within #134
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Today's Service is offered by: Pastor Daniel J. Megow

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

Have you ever looked for something? Well of Course you have...

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Quotes
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(a Zen Parable)
When Banzan was walking through a market he overheard a conversation between a butcher and his customer.
"Give me the best piece of meat you have," said the customer.
"Everything in my shop is the best," replied the butcher. "You cannot find here any piece of meat that is not the best."
At these words Banzan became enlightened.

(from: The Urantia Papers - Paper-102 Section-3)
        Religious desire is the hunger quest for divine reality. Religious experience is the realization of the consciousness of having found God. And when a human being does find God, there is experienced within the soul of that being such an indescribable restlessness of triumph in discovery that he is impelled to seek loving service-contact with his less illuminated fellows, not to disclose that he has found God, but rather to allow the overflow of the welling-up of eternal goodness within his own soul to refresh and ennoble his fellows. Real religion leads to increased social service.

(from: the RSV Bible - Matthew 7:7-11)
"Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

(from: the Tao Te Ching #62)
Why did the ancient Masters esteem the Tao? Because, being one with the Tao, when you seek, you find; and when you make a mistake, you are forgiven. That is why everybody loves it.

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The Sermon
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The Eternal Quest is for Truth, Beauty, Goodness and Love.

Seek and you shall find.

Seek for the Whole Truth, with a Whole Heart, and ever will it progressively be revealed. How Humanly Vain to ever think one has found it all. When one has discovered the Whole Truth, they will have Fully experienced All that there is to discover and understand about Every Facet of God and the Universe. Ever will there be Truth just beyond one's grasp. Seek it. Find it

Seek and You Shall find.

Seek for All Beauty, with All your Heart, and you will become able to find a Piece of it Everywhere you look. It will take Eternity to see it All.. Seek it. Find it

Seek and You Shall find.

Seek for Nothing but Goodness, and your Soul will experience that which is Good in All that you Find. How much Goodness you are Finding, is The measure of how devotedly you are Truly Seeking it. Seek it. Find it

Seek and You Shall find.

Seek for Love, Heart and Soul. It is your Birthright as a Child of the Universal Ancestor. It is Love which flows through the arteries and veins and capillaries of the Universe to nourish and replenish All that is Spirit... All that there is. Love is as Water for the Soul... ever Flowing... Forever in Motion... Always Energizing... Always Replenishing. The More you Give it away, the More you Receive in Return. Give it. Receive it.
Seek it. Find it

Seek and You Shall find.

Do you yet experience Only Truth, Beauty, Goodness, and Love?

There is More. To Find, you must Sincerely Seek. Never stop.

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The Prayer
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Dear God,
        I am ever Astounded. Thank You!

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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4-25-99 Sunday Service of Church Within #135
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Today's Service is offered by: Minister Judy Girard

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

Take a moment for peaceful stillness and then proceed at will...

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Quotes
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(From Yogi Berra)
If you come to a fork in the road, take it.

(From Deuteronomy 26:5)
"My father was a wandering Aramean, and we were traveling vagabonds and vagrants who found our way to Egypt and live there as aliens."

(From Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)
As a famous Christian hobo once said, "We must, to a certain extent, look for a stable port, but if life keeps tearing us away, not letting us settle anywhere, this in itself may be called benediction. The world is understood and will be saved only by those who have no place to lay their heads. Personally, I ask God to let me die, (metaphorically, at least), by the side of the road."

(From Simon and Garfunkel)
Homeward Bound I wish I was....

(From the RSV Bible, Matthew 8:20)
And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head."

(From R. Southey)
Not where I breathe,
But where I love,
I live.

(From the NASB Bible Luke 13:11-13)
And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, Woman, you are freed from your sickness. And He laid His hands on her; and immediately she was made erect again and began glorifying God.

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The Sermon
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The most exasperating, confusing and difficult stranger I've had to walk with is myself. Sometimes I wander around aimlessly, other times I fight the direction I am taking even when I know it's the best course of action. Just when I think I am set on a good course, I suddenly switch directions and literally sabotage the previous leg of my trip. "Caution: This vehicle suddenly backs up, turns and changes direction with no warning." The adventuresome part of me likes to face whatever comes head-on. No pre-planning, just moving from place to place and taking whatever comes. I was born a seeker. I want to travel to all of the holy places of the universe, including my own heart. And then there is that part of me that likes to feel safe and secure at home.

There is part of me that longs to be a hobo. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? I mean hoboes aren't exactly the cream of society's crop, are they? Kind of like Jesus and his disciples. They didn't really live anywhere and traveled from town to town with no noteworthy employment that we hear about. We really are all like hoboes traveling from place to place. The word hobo is actually like the contraction "good-bye" which means "God be with you." Similarly, hobo is a contraction for homeward bound. Homeward bound? What does than mean? Home? The place I reside, right? Wherever you reside isn't your true home. Even the Planet Earth is not truly your home. Home is where you came from -- God. Home conjures up many things to each of us. Some very positive. For some, home holds no pleasant memories. I tend to link together all the positive things about home I can think of, whether they were part of my home life as a child or not. Warmth, security, unconditional love, peace, rootedness, acceptance........... All of those are home. I know when I am there and I know when I have not yet reached home. When will I find the kind of rest that home brings? The kind of contentedness and security that only comes when we are truly at home. How do I travel there?

That kind of traveling doesn't lend itself to many encumbrances. We fool ourselves in believing that we can travel with our belongings. All the things which we accumulate: possessions, relationships, ideas and dreams. The reality is that we really have little to hold on to as we travel along. Some of us travel with more than we need to. (Ask anyone who has ever picked me up from an airport!) Not only our material possessions, but memories, disappointments, resentments, guilt, fear and shame to name a few, often weigh us down considerably.

For years I've had this image -- maybe it even started as a dream. But the image is kind of a progressive picture. There is an old woman traveling down the road, heavily laden with a nap-sack and suitcases and backpack and guitar case and camera. She walks doubled over under the load and carries a walking stick to help her maintain her balance. In the next scene she is being invited (in my image it is the Lord himself who is speaking to her) to lay aside some of those "things" which weigh her down. At first she shakes her head and continues walking. She is asked again. "Perhaps I can carry some of those things for you." Reluctantly she hands over an item or two. She walks a little taller and straighter. "Perhaps there are some things here which you no longer need to carry with you." One by one she puts down the items she is carrying until she is walking straight and tall. In fact, in the final scene, this old woman begins dancing down the dirt road, free at last of all those things in her life which weighed her down.

How does one travel home? What are the roadsigns along the way? If only it were so obvious as to come to the crossroads having one clearly marked with say, skull and crossbones or pain, suffering and isolation and the other markers something like "abundant life, peace and tranquillity complete with a flashing red heart. Unlike the doom and gloom that may be ahead on the one path if you take the other road, you are called to travel it with great passionate delight as you perform countless deeds of love. Be forewarned that often this road leads you over valleys and plains and even over cliffs where you may "fall" in love with God, with yourself, and with all those around you. It is the heart's path, where you are asked to lay aside all but what is essential.

If we fail to see ourselves as hoboes, perpetually homeward bound, we may be easily tempted to adore other gods. If this life is seen as the end, how difficult it is not to adore power, money and status!

I stand on the end of myself and wonder,
Where is home?
Where is the place where beauty will last?
When will I be safe?
And where?
And with whom?
My hobo heart is wearing me out.

I am so tired of seeking after
treasures that tarnish.
Which is the way home?
My luggage is heavy and
weighing me down.
I am hungry for the holy ground of home.

There is a power in you, a truth in your heart
that has not yet been tapped.

You are blinded and the blindness is deep
for you've not loved the hobo within you yet.

There is a road that runs straight through your heart.
Walk on it.

To be a hobo means
to be on the move, slowly,
to notice your luggage becoming lighter
to be seeking for treasures that do not rust,
to be comfortable with your heart's questions
to be moving toward the holy ground of home
with empty hands and bare feet.

And yet, you cannot reach that home,
until you've loved the hobo within you.
One must be comfortable with
being a hobo
before one's feet can touch the homeland.

Do you want to go home?

There's a road that runs
straight through your heart.
Walk on it.

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The Prayer
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God of all paths traveled, remind me at every corner that I am homeward bound and cannot truly rest until I rest in you; until I find my home in you. Bless me as your holy hobo and guide me on the road that runs straight through my heart.

God's love and abundant blessings through me to you,

Judy Girard,
Minister
Church Within

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