Church Within Sunday Services

for December 1996

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#10
12-1-96
#11
12-8-96
#12
12-15-96
#13
12-22-96
#14
12-29-96

12-1-96 Sunday Service from "Church Within" #10

Ever so slowly does our fruit ripen upon the branch. The bud must bloom and be nourished through the life giving circulatory system of the Son, refreshed and sustained by the ever flowing waters of the Spirit, and energized and invigorated by the Light of the Father. The young blossom, fragrant and beautiful, must hold on and remain connected to it's Source through the winds of adversity so that it may continue to thrive and develop and grow the beginning stages of it's fruit... it's true destiny. And one day also, must the once glorious petals of it's first stage of development wither and fall away to reveal the new and developing fruit of it's true essence.

Then begins the intermediate stage, the growth and ripening of the fruit, that which produces the seed... the potential for development of a new fruit bearing tree. Still is the connection with the Son, Spirit and Father imperative for continued growth and regeneration. The immature fruit is of little value prior to it's own ripening... it's value is in it's potential and continual growth. And yet even in it's undeveloped state, still does it contain much that is beautiful and good. It now requires more sustenance than it did as a flower, and all that it needs is readily available when it remains attached to it's source. Slowly but surely does it acquire the nourishing sweetness of it's own process... it's own ripening. The fragrance of the blossom returns as the enticing aroma of the maturing fruit. The seed of the new gradually attains it's own viability... it's own potential for circulating the energies of the Universal Source. And then one day the fruit is ready for harvest. That which has matured and encased the development of the seed is ready to become a part of the Banquet for the nourishment of all Creation.

And then is the seed of true Spirit ready for planting in the fertile soil of the Creator's Universe. Then do we begin the growth and development of our true destiny.

Dearest Father,

The process of our own growth is long and arduous; fraught with the animal legacy of fear, selfishness, intolerance, greed and impatience. Help us to see beyond the guilt and shame of our inherent immaturity to our true essence... our true being. Help us to recognize that we are indeed Your Children, put upon this planet not as a test of our worthiness... but as an opportunity to develop our own maturity and strength of character through the struggles and trials of adversity amid our incompletion. Sustain us through our youthful impatience and show us the folly of envy, prejudice, blame and resentment. Let us see that those things which we dislike in others are those things which we wish to overcome in ourselves.

Take our hand, Father, and let us not linger overlong amid the memories of our past growth pains, that we may experience the joy and excitement of those things which You place along our present path. Let that which has been and is yet to be, stimulate our forward progress rather than blind us to the truth, beauty and goodness that surrounds us at this present moment.

In all ways Father, let us indeed be the instruments of Your Will.

Father's Love... through me... to all of you,

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12-8-96 Sunday Service from "Church Within" #11

A Family one day decided that they would all go to "Disneyland" together. None of the family had ever been to Disneyland before, but they had heard wondrous and alluring things about it and each was excited about what it would be like for them. The infant was oblivious to the meaning of it all, but felt the excitement of its parents and siblings as the day for departure drew near. Seeing Mickey Mouse and Goofy was all that the 3 year old boy could think about, and the 6 year old girl wanted especially to visit the castle of Sleeping Beauty and see Tinker Bell and the Light Parade. The 11 year old boy couldn't wait to go on Pirates of the Caribbean and into the Haunted Mansion and to explore Tom Sawyers Island. The gift shops and the arcade most attracted the 16 year old, but she also looked foreword to the thrills of the Matterhorn and Space Mountain. Mom and dad greatly anticipated the opportunity for the time together with their whole family.

The family had never traveled very far together, and as it would be quite a long journey, about four days by car through many states, the parents planned it to see as much of the country as possible. They carefully planned their route to include a large variety of the scenic beauty with a few short stops along the way specific to the interests of each child. The days until departure passed slowly, but finally it was time to go. Everyone piled into the van with their favorite toy, game and book. Energy was high and the anticipation was felt by all. Dad started the engine and they were off...

Characteristically, the baby slept during most of the journey... All of the colors and sounds and smells were overwhelming to it's undeveloped senses. The toddler spent the majority of the time playing with his toys and looking at the pictures of Mickey and Donald in his books with an occasional glance out the window when something "special" was brought to his attention... his comprehension of what was taking place did not extend much beyond the confines of the vehicle and the ultimate goal. Being only 6, the little girl seemingly constantly asked the question: "Are we there yet?" She would color or "read" or play a game for what seemed like only a few minutes, then look out the window and ask "The Question." The 11 year old, though seemingly bored most of the time, did enjoy looking out the window at the passing cars and trucks... wondering if they too were going to Disneyland. He loved seeing all the birds and animals, but frequently fell prey to the temptation of asking of his own irritating question... "WHEN are we going to BE there?" The teen, wanting all to think that she had already seen everything there was to see, read her book and spent her time trying to look bored as she stared out the window at all of the newness and dreamed of what fun she would have... once she finally got to the goal. In spite of all of the responsibilities inherent in a trip of this length, mom and dad thoroughly enjoyed the journey... well... all except for the sibling squabbles and the constant asking of "Those Questions". The beauty and diversity that they encountered along the way, together with the occasional pleasure they observed being experienced by their children, were restorative to their souls... the journey was as important to them as the goal.

        Eventually they finally did reach Disneyland and the experience was beyond any of their expectations... but that is another story.

        We are all on a Grand Journey... at every point along the way we must each experience at our own acquired level of comprehension. And, on this particular Journey, we will each gain progressively, the experience of the infant, the toddler, the young child, the older child, the adolescent and, the adult.

Those with ears to hear...

Dear God,

Help us to keep our sights focused in the present moment so that we do not miss any of the magnificent opportunities that You offer us along the way. Remind us to not dwell overmuch on the events of the past, for in doing so we may forget that it's value can help us to make better decisions right now. The future is indeed alluring, but let us not miss our own part in it's unfoldment by neglecting the experience presently at hand.
The Journey is long, Father, help us to remember that You are indeed with us every step of the way. Your Will is for our growth and our eventual maturity. Let us experience each moment gladly with the uncompromising trust of a little child. In our souls, we know that You will not allow us any experience that is not for our eventual benefit. Help us also to know this from our ego's perspective.
I pray that I will be the child that You would have me be, Father. I Will to do Your Will.

Father's Love... through me... to all of you,

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12-15-96 Sunday Service from "Church Within" #12

A dear friend of mine one day said to me, "I finally discovered how to recognize it when the 'Angels' are talking to me. When it's them, the voice in my head says You, and when it's only me, the voice says I." I couldn't help smiling. Inside my Ego thought... "well, that's a pretty childish way to explain it." Then into my mind popped the old verse, "Unless you become as a little child..." Huh...? Was that a YOU I heard? Hmmmm... Unless YOU become as a little Child. Then again... I grinned. And my Soul thought... "Ahhh, that was a Beautifully Childlike way to explain it."

I always wondered why I couldn't hear God talking to me... even as a young child. Heck... I talked to God, Why didn't God talk to me? I was as sincere as could be, but I just couldn't hear. "I know You're there God. Can You hear me?" I listened and listened but heard only myself in reply say, "You know I listen." then, "Yeah... that's what I'd want You to say!" "You know that I speak to you... why can't you understand?" "Yea sure... there goes my ego trying to make itself feel good again." I continued arguing with "myself" for a while then said to myself, "You should just get back to living." So I finally just went back to doing the "real" things... the "Important" things... the things of THIS world! For too many years I stopped listening...

"OF course I can't hear God... who do I think I am anyway?" "You are God's Child." "I know that... tell me something new!" "You are good most of the time... you try." "Yeah but what about that time that...; and then I was mean to...; and I didn't help that person when they needed me...; ...and I couldn't make that other person happy... and..." "But usually your motives are good." "But sometimes my motives are self centered." "But usually they are not..." "Yeah but..."

When it's God, the voice in our head says, "Why don't you..." or "You ought to...", and when it's only our ego, the voice says "but I can't" or "but I don't want to." But... when our Ego says, "Oh... all right..." or "Yeah... that would be nice... why not..." and we follow through... our Soul responds, "That felt GOOD!! I "ought to" do that more often!"

The "Voice" within each of us sounds always the same. Only by discerning the meaning of the words we "hear" can we recognize the source of the words.

Dearest Father,

Help me always to recognize Your voice, and to choose those things which You suggest. I wish to feel "good" ALL of the time, Father. And... when I falter in choosing Your leading, and feel depressed at my imperfection... remind me that I am yet but a child... and that I am Your Child... and that there is much yet to experience and learn if I am to mature and grow in Your Light. Curb my impatience Father.

I cannot change any of the immature choices I have already made... I can only decide to choose more maturely "now", BECAUSE of them. For YOU, dear God, there is only the "now"... let me be here "NOW" with You. Let me BE an expression of Your Love even though I don't yet fully understand the fullness of it.

I will to do Your Will.

Father's Love... through me... to all of you,

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12-22-96 Sunday Service from "Church Within" #13

We each, are on a solitary journey. It is a journey towards God, and a journey towards the discovery of our true selves. It is a time of much learning and growth. On this journey we need find only two things: the One who is our Source, and our own true being... a child of God. It is not easy to attain our goal, the path is fraught with obstacles which we must overcome and learn from.

Discovering who we Truly are, is the ultimate goal and supreme privilege of each and every child of the Universal Father. Not only must we learn to survive in this world, we must begin to prepare for our survival and growth in the next. We do this, by discovering our own true nature. We have as a constant companion, One who loves us dearly and understands us supremely, and who shows us the way. We must not depend on others for our own validation, for that comes only from within... from our Divine Parent.

As a young child of this world we were totally dependent on the love and nurturing of our earthly parents for our survival in this world. As a developing child of the universe, we are totally dependent on our Heavenly Parent for our growth and sustenance. It is our Soul which we must learn to nurture under the guidance of our Divine Parent. Survival in this world is sustained through the actions and reactions of our ego self. Survival in the Kingdom of the Father, is dependent on the growth and development of our Soul.

Learning to recognize and communicate with our Divine Inner Guide, is what moves us ever forward towards the Light of God. Prayer, Worship, and Meditation are the tools which we must use.

Listen for the Voice of God within you. It will ever guide you towards the Light. It is the source of all Goodness... It is the source of all Truth... and... it is the source of all True Love.

Dearest Father,

In our Journey, help us to discover You within our own selves, for You are indeed there with us. Help us in our solitude, to find You also within our brothers and sisters, that we may know You also through their eyes... and their experiences as well. You are so much more than individual experience can encompass... help us each to share that which we have discovered about You so that all may benefit from an enlarged understanding of Your incredible vastness.

May we each discover daily, a new way to be progressively like You... for that must truly be Your Will.

Father's Love... through me... to all of you,

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12-29-96 Sunday Service from "Church Within" #14

Forever will we strive for perfection and forever will it be just beyond our reach. It is our eternal goal and our Divine destiny to ever strive for the perfect beauty and infinite goodness of our Heavenly Father. "Be you perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." Do you think these idle words which our Master said to us? Is this eternally beyond our ability?

Why bother in such an imperfect world to even try for the perfection of God in our own lives? Why not wait until mortal death and the life in the next world to begin this awesome task... Ahh, for then it will be so much easier will it not? Let us wait until tomorrow... yes... tomorrow it all will be so much easier. All of the problems will just go away if only we wait long enough... won't they? God will again send someone our way to do it for us... won't He? Can't we just sit here in our own self-pity, content with our own human imperfection until God shows us the way... well... until He shows us an easier way?

Sure God. You have revealed much to us... even have You sent us Your Son to give us guidance... but... but what did he show us that we cane USE? Indeed he lived a life dedicated to the Service of others. Certainly he Loved with a Divine and unselfish compassion for all that he met... even thieves, prostitutes, beggars, the sick and diseased, those who were outcast from the society of his time... but what would You have US do Father? Surely You do not expect US to do anything about THEM do You? There are far too many of those kind of people around today for US to do anything about it. Ahh... I know... I'll tell them where the have gone wrong in their life... that'll do it! Or... maybe I'll give them the Book... let them find out for themselves the way I had to. That's the answer... right? Maybe tell them to get a job or go find a church or something... Yeah... that should do the trick! How about if I just give money to some big charity... let them deal with it... OK? Will that satisfy You God? I know... I'll pray for them... Yeah, That's the Ticket! That's good enough ain't it God? Is that what You want me to do? Well... I'm Waiting!........... Huh? What'd ya mean "do what Jesus would have done"... I can't do miracles ya know! ...... Trust You? Well of course I trust You... You're God ya know. All right... what WOULD Jesus have done? Care for the sick and the downtrodden? Yeah... He would have done that. A kind word, a Loving smile? Well... I guess He would have done that too. Search for the lost and help them to find their way? Boy, He was sure good at that... wasn't He? Show them how much You care for them? He was the Best at it! Learn to Love them as You do? Is that what You want me to do Father?

Dearest Father,

Make me the lantern of Your Divine Light. Let me be a beacon of Your Love for all. Give me the strength to help others in need when I too am in pain and in need of Your comfort. Remind me to unselfishly share that which You have given to me, for I know that You will replenish it a hundredfold. You Love and care for all... let me also do this Father... I would be like You in all ways that I can. Certainly You are unfathomable from my vantagepoint, but help me to understand You in the ways that I am capable in this moment. Help me to be Perfect even as You are Perfect... one small step at a time. As long as I steadfastly continue to take each step, one after another, surely I will one day reach You. I Love You Dear Father! Help me to recognize You within the Souls of my brethren so that I may Love You in turn, by loving them.

Father's Love... through me... to all of you,

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