Church Within Sunday Services

for February 1998

Click a box to go to the Individual Service
#71
2-1-98
#72
2-8-98
#73
2-15-98
#74
2-22-98

2/1/98 - Sunday Service of Church Within #71
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Welcome
********
Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome once again to Church Within.
And welcome to another day of "God knows What". God really Does know What ya know. ;-)

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Quotes
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(a teaching of Master Yoda)
Size matters not.
Whether small or large,
It is no different,
Only different in your mind.
You must unlearn what you have learned.
Try not,
Do or do not,
There is no try.

(from the "Celestial Lites")
A human Doing accomplishes little without Being…
A Human Being accomplishes Much without doing.

(from Thomas Merton's version of The Way of Chuang Tzu)
If a man is crossing a river
And an empty boat collides with his skiff,
Even though he be a bad-tempered man
he will not become very angry.
But if he sees a man in the boat,
he will shout at him to steer clear.
If the shout is not heard,
he will shout again,
and yet again, and begin cursing.
And all because there is somebody
in the boat.
Yet if the boat were empty,
He would not be shouting, and not angry.
If you can empty your own boat
Crossing the river of the world,
No one will oppose you,
No one will seek to harm you...
Such is the perfect man:
His boat is empty.

(a Zen parable)
        There was once a great master of kenjutsu (sword) renowned throughout Japan who, when visited by another great master, wished to demonstrate the teaching he had given this three sons. The master winked at his guest and placed a heavy metal vase on the corner of the sliding doors, wedged it with a piece of bamboo and a small nail in such a way that the vase would fall on the head of the first one who came into the room when the door was opened.
        While chatting and drinking tea, the master called his oldest son who came immediately. Before opening the door, he felt the presence of the vase and its position. He slid back the door, put his left hand though the gap to catch the vase and continued opening the door with his right hand. Then, clutching the vase to his chest, he entered the room, shutting the door behind him and replacing the vase; he came forward and greeted the two masters. "This is my oldest son," said the host smiling, "he has learnt my teaching well and one day he will undoubtedly be a master of kenjutsu."
        The second son was called and he entered without hesitating and only caught the vase at the last moment; it almost landed on his head. "This is my second son," said the master, "he still has a lot to learn but he is improving every day."
        Then the third son was called. Entering the room hurriedly, he was struck on the head by the vase. The blow was a heavy one but before the vase hit the tatami, he drew his sword and, in one quick action, cut the piece of metal in two. "This is my youngest son, Jiro," said the old man, "he is the baby of the family and he still has a long way to go."

(from The Urantia Papers Paper-140 Section-10)
         That evening while teaching in the house, for it had begun to rain, Jesus talked at great length, trying to show the twelve what they must be, not what they must do. They knew only a religion that imposed the doing of certain things as the means of attaining righteousness--salvation. But Jesus would reiterate, "In the kingdom you must be righteous in order to do the work." Many times did he repeat, "Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." All the while was the Master explaining to his bewildered apostles that the salvation which he had come to bring to the world was to be had only by believing, by simple and sincere faith. Said Jesus: "John preached a baptism of repentance, sorrow for the old way of living. You are to proclaim the baptism of fellowship with God. Preach repentance to those who stand in need of such teaching, but to those already seeking sincere entrance to the kingdom, open the doors wide and bid them enter into the joyous fellowship of the sons of God." But it was a difficult task to persuade these Galilean fishermen that, in the kingdom, being righteous, by faith, must precede doing righteousness in the daily life of the mortals of earth.

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The Sermon [or, Things that Strike Me]
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"Why don't you Do something?" I would venture to say that pretty much every one of us have heard that line at least once or twice in our live. No? I seem to remember hearing it a few times as a child. Not so much from my parents, I was kinda lucky there... my parents for the most part usually said, "Why don't We...?" as opposed to, "Why don't You...?" Of course, when they said it I could be pretty much assured that they were going to do it with me.

I learned as an adult a different perspective of "Why don't we...". It usually meant "Why don't you..." and only once in a while meant "Why don't we...".

As adults, we seem to hear it far too often... and Say it Way too often. "Why don't you..." or "Shouldn't you..." or "You ought to..." or "If you would only..." etc.... I Hate it when I catch myself
saying any of those to someone... but I am beginning to learn that when I Do catch myself saying them, in reality I should be saying: "Why don't I...", "Shouldn't I..." or "I ought to...".

Isn't Advice wonderful? It is always so right, so... needed... by the one who is giving it un-asked for. I Hate it when I catch myself giving un-asked for advice to someone... but I am beginning to learn that when I Do catch myself doing it, in reality I should be taking my own advice. Something within me is advising me... I Hate it when I catch myself thinking that it must be meant for someone else.

I Hate it when I catch myself Hating things. "Don't you hate it when that happens?"

What is the fascination with Doing? Why do we learn that we must DO something in order to BE something? Quite common, no? I am beginning to learn that fruitful Doing happens as a result of Being far more often than the other way around. If I am Being Loving, I can't help doing Loving things.


Let us pray...
OOPS... sorry... I mean,
I would like to say a prayer now...

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The Prayer
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Dear God, [please fill in your own favorite name for the Universal Source],        
        Show me how to BE Your Child... Show me how to BE like You... Show me how to BE Your Will. ...show me how to recognize that You have been showing me these things all along.
        Then, Show me how to See... Show me how to listen... Show me how to seek. Yes... these Three will show me how to BE. Will they not?


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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2/8/98 - Sunday Service of Church Within #72
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Welcome
********
Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome once again to Church Within.

Usually I don't think about the week's "Sunday Service" until the moment I begin it on Sunday morning. This week however, I had the uncontrollable urge to start it mid-week. Three paragraphs into it I stopped, unable to go any further. I knew it wasn't finished yet, but words would no longer go together. I kept going back to it, but no inspiration was to be had... until this morning... Sunday. Go figure...

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Quotes
*******
(A Zen Parable)
        Word spread across the countryside about the wise Holy Man who lived in a small house atop the mountain. A man from the village decided to make the long and difficult journey to visit him. When he arrived at the house, he saw an old servant inside who greeted him at the door. "I would like to see the wise Holy Man," he said to the servant. The servant smiled and led him inside. As they walked through the house, the man from the village looked eagerly around the house, anticipating his encounter with the Holy Man. Before he knew it, he had been led to the back door and escorted outside. He stopped and turned to the servant, "But I want to see the Holy Man!"
        "You already have," said the old man. "Everyone you may meet in life, even if they appear plain and insignificant... see each of them as a wise Holy Man. If you do this, then whatever problem you brought here today will be solved."

(from: The KJV Bible - Ephesians 4:11-16)
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

(from: the CDA TM transcripts of Elyon)
If you are struggling with what you singly may do for the benefit of the world, you can at least bring to the attention of another of each one's value in world growth. Merely educating another will have great effects, oftentimes more powerfully than any particular act you may singly perform.

(from: The Urantia Papers - Paper-28 Section-5)
One of the most important lessons to be learned during your mortal career is teamwork. The spheres of perfection are manned by those who have mastered this art of working with other beings. Few are the duties in the universe for the lone servant. The higher you ascend, the more lonely you become when temporarily without the association of your fellows.

(from: The Urantia Papers - Paper-81 Section-6)
In civilization much, very much, depends on an enthusiastic and effective load-pulling spirit. Ten men are of little more value than one in lifting a great load unless they lift together--all at the same moment.

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The Sermon
[or, Things that Strike Me]
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        Teams are particularly inspiring to me. The team is, IMHO, an incredible example of how a widely diverse group of individuals, each playing individual roles, can still share in Unity of Purpose... and accomplish something far grander than anyone could do all by themselves.

        Don't you wish there was a World Team focused on the healing and nurturing of our Planet and all of it's inhabitants... You know... where all of the players realize that together they will help each other to make the world a better place to live? Don't you wish we could start such a team? Actually... the Team already exists. The only problem is, Most of the individuals and groups who are already a part of the Team... don't yet know that they are. From the child who picks up a piece of trash, to the group concerned with Global Warming, All are members of the Team... all want to, in some way, be a part of the healing and/or nurturing of our planet.

        Have you ever watched a team play where nobody played together... where the individual players were each exceptional in their own way but each seeming to be playing only their own personal game? "You should be playing MY game!"; "No, you should be playing Mine!" This is Very seldom a Winning team. Yet when these same players Unite in common purpose, and respect the roles that others play as well, and do their individual best as a team player, they all win together... they are a force far greater than the sum total of the individual players.

        The song "We are the World", with all the different artists unifying to make it what it is, speaks to my Soul every time I hear it. About every other month or so I get this incredible urge to somehow try and get all the musicians, actors, comedians, writers, sports figures... Artists of All kinds, People of all kinds, who are each devoted to their own "pet" causes, together to speak out for the conscious overall healing of our world. There are So many caring people out there who are Devoted to separate and beautiful Causes. We occasionally hear them, or about them, individually supporting their favorite "Cause"... "Save the Wildlife", "Save the Forests", "Help the Homeless", "Save the Oceans", "World Peace", Help save This... Help Cure That... Each the Most important of all causes... Wouldn't it be Wonderful if the world could see them all as United and working together towards overall planetary healing... as One Grand Team? I think it's necessary to recognize the individual and group efforts, and to support the ones that attract us personally. But also, I think it's important to openly recognize that it is simply a Part of a Much larger Overall Purpose and that Everyone is a necessary and valuable part of it.

        Celebrities are all over the media supporting this or endorsing that. Personally, I wish I could help to individually support All of the this's and that's... I feel they are each necessary to the growth of the Whole. They are All Extremely Important, but none by itself is All Important. I wonder what would happen if they all United and came out and said, "Hey... Every little or big thing that You do or that I do to help to make our World a better place to live and grow is important! Let's all work together." "_______ is how I'm helping."? You know... like a Worldwide Campaign to make our world a loving, healthier, cleaner, more beautiful place? Don't you think it would inspire a lot of people to want to be a part of it? Wouldn't You want to be a part of it?

BE a Part of it. Make the world a better place... right where you are.

        When I see a bunch of trash lying around in an otherwise beautiful place, how often do I lovingly pick it up instead of complaining about the slob that left it there? Not often enough. When I see someone sad or downcast, how often do I give a shoulder to lean on or a compassionate ear to let them unburden themselves... how often do I just Love them? I pray it were more. How much do I cut down on my own waste or my own contribution to pollution? Not nearly enough. If I thought everyone else was trying to do it too... as a Team... I think it would be a lot easier... don't you?

So... you wanna play? What do you say we all play together as a Team? I'll do my little part and you do yours and we'll always know we are doing it all together... doing our part for Truth Beauty and Goodness... as a Team.

(from: our "Angel Bumps" collection)
"Be a part... of the Solution."

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The Prayer
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Dear Ever Loving Source,        
        Mold us into a team of your loving children. Show us how to co-operate with and support one another to make Your world a better place because we have lived, loved and shared upon it. Teach us Your way of perfection that we may have a model to ever strive towards.
Be our Coach.


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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2/15/98 - Sunday Service of Church Within #73
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Welcome
********

Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome once again to Church Within.

I'd like to talk about Prayer today... so I will.


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Quotes
*******

(The KJV Bible Psalms 51:10-12)
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

(The Urantia Papers Paper-146 Section-2)
         The cry of the righteous is the faith act of the child of God which opens the door of the Father's storehouse of goodness, truth, and mercy, and these good gifts have long been in waiting for the son's approach and personal appropriation. Prayer does not change the divine attitude toward man, but it does change man's attitude toward the changeless Father. The motive of the prayer gives it right of way to the divine ear, not the social, economic, or outward religious status of the one who prays.

(The Urantia Papers Paper-146 Section-2)
        Jesus taught his followers that, when they had made their prayers to the Father, they should remain for a time in silent receptivity to afford the indwelling spirit the better opportunity to speak to the listening soul. The spirit of the Father speaks best to man when the human mind is in an attitude of true worship. We worship God by the aid of the Father's indwelling spirit and by the illumination of the human mind through the ministry of truth. Worship, taught Jesus, makes one increasingly like the being who is worshipped. Worship is a transforming experience whereby the finite gradually approaches and ultimately attains the presence of the Infinite.

(A Zen Parable)
One day Chuang Tzu and a friend were walking by a river. "Look at the fish swimming about," said Chuang Tzu, "They are really enjoying themselves." "You are not a fish," replied the friend, "So you can't truly know that they are enjoying themselves." "You are not me," said Chuang Tzu. "So how do you know that I do not know that the fish are enjoying themselves?"

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The Sermon [or, "Things that Strike Me"]
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        Have you ever been aware of one of your Prayers being answered? I would venture to say that most of us have experienced this "knowing" feeling more than once in our lives.

        Are you Always aware of your prayers being answered? Is it even possible to? Probably not... but then again, who really knows for sure?

        I remember as a boy of 9 or 10 praying to one day have the "Perfect Marriage". I was head over heels in love with my "childhood sweetheart" at the time, so of course she was the focus of my "desired" answer. Didn't happen. But undaunted, I repeated the Prayer often throughout the course of my youth, teens and early adulthood. Invariably the answer was a resounding "No" to the point of questioning whether or not the prayers were even heard. At 25 I took matters into my own hands and Made it happen... but I considered it the answer to my prayer none the less. There were others who thought it was the Perfect Marriage. It appeared that way externally, so I bought into the illusion. I knew I could survive it 'till she changed or I changed... sigh. Turned out I wanted children and she later decided that she didn't. She became verbally abusive when she drank too much, which seemed often after 6+ years. But I endured... except once when I was "weak" and prayed that, "If only You'll get me out of this, I'll become a priest or something." I forgot about that particular prayer when she left me a few months later, and I proceeded to whine to God about how he wasn't answering my "marriage prayer".

        But... I gave God another chance. This time it was Almost Perfect... a lovely Artistic lady who already Had 4 children. The Perfect Answer to my prayer... as long as she changed a couple of things, or I did. I was fairly happy and grew tremendously from the experience... after 8 years I even remembered the "bargain" I had made with God toward the end of my 1st marriage and I was ready to
Pay Up because he had obviously answered my prayer. I truly wanted to be a Minister and prayed that God would show me the way to become one. I asked my wife what she would think about being the wife of a minister. She left me a few months later... guess she didn't like that idea or even the fact that I would seriously consider it. "See God, You're Just not answering my prayer!" Early 40s... divorced... "No one can possibly love me for exactly who I am"... I gave up on that particular prayer so often repeated over the last 30+ some years. I was relieved really... sort of.

        I started devoting myself to the task of becoming a Minister. "If nobody can live with that, then So Be It!", "I'll be happy on my own... just You and me God." No more brutal disappointment... no more trying to change others or changing who I am to suit others. Like an answer to a prayer! "I don't quite recall praying for this exactly God, but Thanks!"

        A dear woman caught me unconsciously just being myself, and for some odd reason loved and loves me anyway. We got married after two years of getting to know one another. She loves me for exactly who I am and what I want to be. And I love her for exactly who she is and who She wants to be. I guess some prayers just take God a little longer to answer than others.

        I've stopped putting conditions on my prayers. I Know now that they are answered in whatever way is best for me and my growth. In fact, I rarely pray for specifics any more unless I am praying for others. Just praying for God's Will in my life or asking for guidance to help me through the difficulties and pains of a lesson, seems to cover all the bases for me. I no longer have expectations, so I no longer have any disappointments. I am finally developing a Personal relationship
with God, and He/She is a Great friend to have! It is the Greatest answer to the first prayer I ever made... when I asked, "Who are you God?"

         I guess some prayers just take God a little longer to answer than others. Oh well... no matter... God hasn't failed me yet...

How does God answer Your prayers?

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The Prayer
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Dear Ever Loving Source,        
        Help me to recognize and accept all of Your answers to my Heartfelt prayers... even when they cause me growth pains... even when they seem to take forever to unfold. And help me to understand that the things that You want for me are exactly the things that I truly want for myself. Your Will be done.


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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2/22/98 - Sunday Service of Church Within #74
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Welcome
********
Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome once again to Church Within.

Just in case any of you wonder about my "multiple source" selection of quotes each week, I'd like to tell you a little about my purpose in the process.

Sometimes I use quotes from different sources that show the similarity in them... sometimes to show different concepts which lead to same conclusions... and sometimes... it is to just show my own process of self discovery.

In today's "Sermon", I make mention of my Woodsculpture. If you care to see it before you go on, or after you're through, you can see a few examples from the "Pastor's Page" of our website at:

http://www.cet.com/~ seewithin/artwork.html

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Quotes
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(A Zen Parable)
One day while walking through the wilderness a man stumbled upon a vicious tiger. He ran but soon came to the edge of a high cliff. Desperate to save himself, he climbed down a vine and dangled over the fatal precipice. As he hung there, two mice appeared from a hole in the cliff and began gnawing on the vine. Suddenly, he noticed on the vine a plump wild strawberry. He plucked it and popped it in his
mouth. It was incredibly delicious!

(The KJV Bible - Proverbs 17:8 )
A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.

(The RSV Bible - Proverbs 18:12-16)
Before destruction a man's heart is haughty, but humility goes before honor. If one gives answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame. A man's spirit will endure sickness; but a broken spirit who
can bear? An intelligent mind acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. A man's gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.

(The RSV Bible - Matthew 7:7-12)
"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! So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.

(The Urantia Papers Paper-1 Section-2)
        Those who know God have experienced the fact of his presence; such God- knowing mortals hold in their personal experience the only positive proof of the existence of the living God which one human being can offer to another. The existence of God is utterly beyond all possibility of demonstration except for the contact between the God-consciousness of the human mind and the God-presence of the Thought Adjuster [ed: "Divine Spirit"] that indwells the mortal intellect and is bestowed upon man as the free gift of the Universal Father.

(The Urantia Papers Paper-3 Section-1)
        The creature not only exists in God, but God also lives in the creature. "We know we dwell in him because he lives in us; he has given us his spirit. This gift from the Paradise Father is man's inseparable companion." "He is the ever-present and all-pervading God." "The spirit of the everlasting Father is concealed in the mind of every mortal child." "Man goes forth searching for a friend while that very friend lives within his own heart." "The true God is not afar off; he is a part of us; his spirit speaks from within us." "The Father lives in the child. God is always with us. He is the guiding spirit of eternal destiny."

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The Sermon
(or, "Things that Strike Me")
***********************************
        On Wednesday and Friday nights this week, I had the supreme opportunity of watching another human being sharing her "Gift" with the world. Many others also did, in fact, but for this moment, I choose to use the example of a young lady named Tara.

        Now, I've always enjoyed watching Ice Skating, but never before had I ever been brought to tears by a performance. This 15 year old child of God revealed something to me. She revealed a magnificent example of what can happen when a human fully allows the Divine Spirit Within, to play the Soul's instruments that they have helped to forge through human effort and determination. She gave me the gift of watching God reveal Beauty and Goodness through another.

        Immediately after the performance she said, "That was SO Cool!" Was she talking about how wonderful the performance was, or about the feeling she got from the freedom and exhilaration of allowing it through? I perceived that it was the Ultimate Joy of allowing it to come through her. In the later interview when asked what she was thinking about during the performance, she said: "During my program, ya know, I just forgot about everything and it just seemed to work, and I'll never forget it." Just seemed to work?

        I have felt that feeling before, haven't you? [No... not on the ice. There I spend more time on my bottom than on my skates.] I consider myself to be a fairly good Cook... I feel it when I prepare a special meal. Somehow it just feels natural to unthinkingly add a little of this or a dash of that to enhance or create a flavor. I also like to sing... sometimes, when I forget "about everything", it just seems to work. Although I am somewhat less than an "Athlete", when I leap to catch a fly ball and come down throwing... or catch a "pass" that I thought beyond my ability... I feel it at those times. I am also a Woodsculptor, and that is where I feel "it" the strongest and purest. That is where I first discovered and cultivated the feeling of: "forget about everything," and "it just seems to work".

        When I first looked at the sculptures that I participated in creating, it became forever obvious to me that there was No Way on Earth I could have ever done them "on my own". People would say, "How do you do that?" or "You have a Gift." At first I didn't know how I did it, or recognize the gift. So when asked I could only say I would just, "forget about everything," and "it just seems to work". That Feeling... was the Gift from God to me, and the result of that feeling, the finished accomplishment was but God's gift to others... through me, not "by" me. [Not that I think they're "God's Gift" or anything... ;-)] I began to crave that feeling of watching it happen as I allowed it to. It was and is a natural freedom beyond words.

        I "know", that for me, the "primal" ability was a present, a gift from THE Creator. The practice, and the refining, and the stretching beyond "present" limits... defines and enhances the ability to recognize the extent of the gift, and also helps to create the tools whereby the gift may be shared with others. But the "fruit" of the gift, from my experience, is produced from within by God.

We have all experienced instances or situations where we have asked ourselves: "How did I do that!?" or "How did that happen?" Well... what do YOU think?

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The Prayer
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Dear Ever Loving Source,        
        Show me the way to have "That Feeling" always... in every moment of my life. I can ask for no more greater Gift from You. And I can Give You no greater Gift in return than in sharing it with Your other children.

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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