Church Within Sunday Services
for January 1997
1-5-97 Sunday Service from "Church Within" #15
Greetings dear Sisters and Brothers,
Let us today, sincerely and with purpose, listen attentively for the voice of God within us and within our fellows. So easy is it to discern the handiwork of our Creator in the grandeur of a snowcapped mountain, the awesome power of the ocean or peaceful stillness of a lake, in the life-force of a mighty tree, or the sweet melodic song of a tiny bird. These are indeed God's gifts for the regeneration of our weary spirit. But for one whole day, today if possible, let us strive to recognize our Divine Parent in ourselves and one another. This can and will be much more of a task, that is certain. But it is a task well worth undertaking, for it is the discovery of the Personality of our Maker, one small fragment at a time. It is an Eternal vocation, one with Absolute Job Security.
This is all so easy to say and yet so extraordinarily difficult on this planet to accomplish. Need it be that way? Yes... and No. It is not a simple task to overcome our inherited animal tendencies, yet we must. It is God's desire that we do indeed experience the taming of our own selves or He/She would not have placed us here and given us all of the tools needed to do so. Great works of Art do not just happen without effort and cooperation on our part. But it need not always be such a painful struggle... if only we let go of the animal desire for control, and let God stimulate the Divine Nature in our Souls.
Observe deeply within yourself for a moment. What is it that you see? Do you see the inadequacy, the failures, the imperfection and immaturity... the times you were misunderstood or rejected? Of Course they are there! What did you expect? You are yet a child struggling for Divine Maturity. Now... for another moment, put on a different pair of glasses... see more clearly your true intent, your basic motives. What do you see now? The desire for Love... the yearning for Truth and Beauty and Goodness... the times when you cared so deeply for another that you did everything you could to comfort them in their need, their grief, their sorrow? Can you also see those times when you WERE appreciated for your own beautiful uniqueness... admired for your sharing of the Father's wonderful gifts that you possess... Loved for who you truly are? Ahhh Yes... They too are there! Did you expect otherwise? Which of these views of yourself is more real, more true? Both you say? I say Not! The Positive, the Beautiful, the God-like, is True Reality... God IS Reality. That which is un-Godlike is un-real... a fabrication of our imaginations... foistered upon us by our own Egos to define the areas in our being where we have not yet discovered the reality of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness.
When Soul-sight becomes hazy or unfocused, put on that other pair of glasses and see by the Light of God. Use them today to view yourself and your brothers and sisters. The view can be as Magnificent as that of the mountains, the ocean, a lake, a tree or the song of the bird.
Dearest Heavenly Parent,
Ever show us Your true reality... and our own. Help us to be as patient with ourselves and our brethren as You so Lovingly are. Guide us into the understanding that we are NOT sinful and evil creatures... merely immature and incomplete. Remind us constantly of that which we HAVE accomplished... we so easily forget them Father. And when we venture into the unknown realms of the Souls of others, help us to discover anew Your beauty and goodness from their perspective. Only by discovering Your diverse expressions in All of Your unique Children, can we ever hope to begin to comprehend the vastness of Your Absolute Personality. Help us Father, to forgive in others those things which we have yet to forgive in ourselves, and to make personal the words of our Master that "The Kingdom of Heaven is Within"... not a place we will go, but where we already ARE if only we will recognize and accept it.
Let us all work together towards the Perfection of our little part of The Kingdom of Heaven. It is our responsibility... it is our Privilege.
Father's Love... through me... to all of you,
1-12-97 Sunday Service from "Church Within" #16
The Greatest Challenge, the Greatest Difficulty of Mankind today, is learning to Love ALL... Unconditionally. The Greatest Challenge, the Greatest Difficulty of each and every one of us as individuals, is learning to Love OURSELVES First... Unconditionally... for how indeed can we hope to love others if, initially, we do not learn to love ourselves. This my dear friends, is a formidable task... but one that we must undertake if we are to become whole. A Healthy Ego is essential to the accomplishment of this very necessary procedure, and it is the Ego, which FIRST must be healed.
How easy it is to love an infant... so pure, so innocent, so Loving; And the little child... eyes so full of wonder and delight, so forgiving, so tolerant of our perceived limitations, so accepting. Within each of us is the little child... too often scared and unsure... starving for Love and affection. We must learn also to see this little child who WE are, in the same Light... Father's Light. This little one has Great Value and Great Potential... for this Precious little one... is God's Child.
Society has taught us for far too long, that our value is established only by our capacity to succeed materially, our worth measured by the accumulation of wealth and power, our desirability achieved by our ability to conform. It is time we begin to realize, that our TRUE Value and our TRUE Worth and our TRUE Desirability... are immeasurable by human standards, and lie in our capability "to become as the little child"... eyes full of wonder and delight, forgiving, tolerant of our own perceived limitations and those of others, accepting and giving of God's Love unconditionally... to first ourselves and then others.
Dearest Heavenly Parent,
Hold and Comfort us while we proceed in the struggle to heal ourselves and our world. Help us when we look into the mirror of our past, to see not shame and guilt, but instead, ourselves as the little child held compassionately in Your arms. Shield us from harm when we dare to face the suffering and pain which were caused by the mistakes of ourselves and others. Show us how to bravely state and accept our own feelings with the understanding that others may feel differently than do we. I know that we, Your Children, each have a unique and valid perception of this world based on our own personal experiences of it... constantly remind me of this when I communicate with others.
Help me to clearly discern Your Will for me, oh Great One, for it is that which I choose to do.
Father's Love... through me... to all of you,
1-19-97 Sunday Service from "Church Within" #17
Ever so slowly does Our Father's Will become apparent before us on our path. Each step... each moment, reveals a new glimmer of light upon which to view the long slow process of our personal evolution. From the limited perspective of a mortal lifespan, we may but get a glimpse of the purpose... of the Wonder... of our Divine Parents' Plan for the unfoldment of Creation.
Standing still shows us only past reflections of what we have already learned... or failed to learn. Even the slightest attempt to crawl towards the beckoning Light of God opens avenues previously unrecognizable from a stationary viewpoint... and yet we habitually try to see it ALL through a review of the past or a dream for the future. On these we may most profitably reflect while in silent meditation with our Divine Inner Partner. Only in still silent union with Father may we discover the true import of our past experiences or cravings for the future. Now is the moment of progress... Now is the revelation of our creative potential... Now... is the growth of our Soul. Only Now may reveal what is and is to be. The past influences Now... the future unfolds in the Now... Now is where we must choose. Now is the only place where we CAN choose.
Let us choose Love... let us choose Compassion... let us choose unselfish Service... let us choose Light... and Life... Now.
Your Way is what has allowed me to survive the pain and suffering of this world. Without Your Loving embrace I would have many times been shattered beyond repair. You are never the cause of my grief but the protection from my succumbing to it. Ever have You picked me up when I fell... held me when I cried... encouraged me when I doubted. You dear God, are the soother of my pain... the Light in my Darkness. So slowly am I beginning to recognize Your Beauty in others... and hardest of all... in myself. You are the Source of ALL that is True, Beautiful, Loving, and Good. By seeking for these do I indeed find the reality of You.
Help me Dear Father to see through Your Eyes... to Live in Your Will... to experience through Your Guidance. Give me strength to persevere in the face of defeat... to move on when my feet feel bound... to grow when I feel I have reached my limit. Yours is The Way, The Truth, and The Light... make it also mine Dear God.
I Will to be Your Will.
Father's Love... through me... to all of you,
1-26-97 Sunday Service from "Church Within" #18
(The Urantia Papers - Paper146)
" When you have become wholly dedicated to the doing of the will of the Father in heaven, the answer to all your petitions will be forthcoming because your prayers will be in full accordance with the Father's will, and the Father's will is ever manifest throughout his vast universe. What the true son desires and the infinite Father wills IS. Such a prayer cannot remain unanswered, and no other sort of petition can possibly be fully answered."
I am reminded of the tale of the man sitting atop his roof, a raging flood just below him. He is praying desperately for God to come and save him from his predicament and believes in his heart that God will surely do so. After a time a man comes along in a boat and says: "Come friend... let me help you to safety." The man on the roof says: "No... no thank you. God is coming to save me." A while later a woman with her child comes by in another boat and reaches out a hand to him saying: "Please sir... come with us... we would save you from harm." Again the man on the roof says: "No... no thank you. I have prayed... I know that God is coming to save me." The Flood is getting worse, the man is now inches from being swept away by the current and a Rescue Helicopter comes by and drops a rope to him. Over the loud speaker is heard: "Quickly man... grab onto the rope! The flood is soon to rise drastically... we are here to save you." Despite their urgent calling, the man only says: "No... no thank you. I have prayed... I know that God is coming to save me. Be off with you so that He may do so." Finally after repeated attempts to save the man, the Rescue Copter leaves to see if they can help others in need. Shortly afterward the man is washed off of his roof by the raging flood and is drowned in the swirling current.
In the next scene, the man is standing in the presence of God saying: "Father... I prayed and prayed that You would come and save me from the flood. I had faith in you... I trusted you... why did You forsake me?" Looking tenderly at the man, God said to him: "My dear child... did I not send to you two boats and a helicopter?"
"You are the answer to my prayers." Most have heard this sentence at one time or another in their life... probably have even said it to another at some point. How true is it? Indeed God lives within the Soul of each of His mortal Children. Can He answer the prayers of another from the vantagepoint of our own Soul? Can Father answer our own sincere petitions from within the Souls of our Brothers and Sisters? I believe that not only can He, but indeed He truly does.
Consider for a moment the last time that you sincerely prayed to God to help you through a desperate situation in your life, and you survived it. Perhaps your need was fulfilled by an act of loving kindness and generosity from a fellow human. Did Father answer your need? And consider also a time when you shared, out of compassion, a kind word, a shoulder to lean on, a listening ear, or, a helping hand, to another of God's children... were you part of God's answer to the prayers of that person? Indeed... indeed... whenever any of us has the true desire to be Loving, Compassionate, Good, we become an extension of the Father's Hand. We voluntarily take part in the expression of the Supreme Being.
Our Heavenly Parent IS the Source and Director of ALL Love, and ALL Compassion, and ALL that is Good. God touches our heart... and we love. He touches our Soul... and we show Compassion. He touches our life... and it is Good. Knowingly or unknowingly, we each, when we fully desire to be and do our Father's Will, become an instrument that our Infinite Parent may use in the answering of the sincere prayers of His Children. We may never know in this life how important we have been or could be to the survival and welfare of our fellow brothers and sisters. Most probably we will NOT know... but it changes not the fact that as we grow in Love and Compassion, and as we grow in our desire to do the Father's Will, we grow also in our capacity to personally help in the furtherance of the Divine Plan of God... the realization of Universal Light and Life.
Dearest Most Loving and Caring Source of All Goodness,
Make me an instrument in Your Divine Symphony. Teach me to play in harmony with all others that Your Precious Song may touch the Souls and Spirits of all who would listen. Tune me that I may share my voice without irritation and discord. Direct every note I play that I may blend with each that is played by others.
Yours is the Melody of Eternity dear God... the Music which reaches to the core of my being. It brings tears of joy to the eyes of my Soul... Soothing Peace to my troubled heart... bolstering Courage to face the disappointments and sorrows of this world... and willful Determination to grow and develop in the agelong quest for Your Infinite Perfection.
I am Your humble child Dear God and I would be like You in every possible way. Show me how, my Father... this I pray.
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