Church Within Sunday Services

for January 1998

Click a box to go to the Individual Service
#67
1-4-98
#68
1-11-98
#69
1-18-98
#70
1-25-98

1/4/98 - Sunday Service of Church Within #67
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome once again to Church Within.

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Quotes
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(A Sufi parable)
        Nasrudin was now an old man looking back on his life. He sat with his friends in the tea shop telling his story.
        "When I was young I was fiery - I wanted to awaken everyone. I prayed to Allah to give me the strength to change the world.
        "In mid life I awoke one day and realized my life was half over and I had changed no one. So I prayed to Allah to give me the strength to change those close around me who so much needed it.
        "Alas, now I am old and my prayer is simpler. 'Allah,' I ask, 'please give me the strength to at least change myself.'"

(Albert Einstein)
A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of others.

(The Urantia Papers Paper-130 Section-1)
Jesus said: "My friend, we are all Jonahs with lives to live in accordance with the will of God, and at all times when we seek to escape the present duty of living by running away to far-off enticements, we thereby put ourselves in the immediate control of those influences which are not directed by the powers of truth and the forces of righteousness. The flight from duty is the sacrifice of truth. The escape from the service of light and life can only result in those distressing conflicts with the difficult whales of selfishness which lead eventually to darkness and death unless such God-forsaking Jonahs shall turn their hearts, even when in the very depths of despair, to seek after God and his goodness. And when such disheartened souls sincerely seek for God--hunger for truth and thirst for righteousness--there is nothing that can hold them in further captivity. No matter into what great depths they may have fallen, when they seek the light with a whole heart, the spirit of the Lord God of heaven will deliver them from their captivity; the evil circumstances of life will spew them out upon the dry land of fresh opportunities for renewed service and wiser living."

(Karri Hummel)
My resolution (hope) for the new year sounds rather simple. It .is as I go about my life, working, errands, grocery shopping, etc. to somehow, in some way, to look for opportunities to let as many people as I can, know how loved they are, no matter what, not only by God but by me too.

(The Beatles)
"All we are saying, is give peace a chance."

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The Sermon
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The beginning of a New Year is traditionally a time when we are filled with Hope. Hope that "This" year will be better than the last. Hope that our lives will be more tolerable... more in line with our Ideals. Hope that Peace will prevail. Hope that the World will become a healthier and happier place to live and raise our families. Hope for a better Future.

What is your Vision for a Perfect World? Is it a selfish vision or an altruistic one? Do you think that it is possible? Do you think God would like to see it come about? How badly would YOU like to see it happen? What is stopping you from trying to Make it happen?

What can One person do to make a difference? Anything? Of course! You are God's child... You can make all the difference in the world! Sure it takes dedication. Yeah it's a struggle. And Certainly it isn't going to happen all at once. But if you take one small baby step in that direction, it is one step closer towards it's realization... one less step that someone else will have to take towards the making of a healthy planet. Why do we so often wait for someone else to take the step for us? Are we waiting for God to do it? If God hadn't wanted each of us to experientially be a part of the process, He/She would have created it perfect and complete in the first place. Obviously the world wasn't created perfect or it would still be so... there is no potential for error in absolute Perfection.

Each and every one of us has a part to play in creating "the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth"... and in becoming "perfect even as our Father in Heaven is Perfect."

So how do we discover our own part in the Supreme Tapestry? We must go within to that place in our Soul where God resides... ever willing to guide us should we choose to ask for Divine help. We must be still and listen for that "still small voice". We must let Nothing discourage us and we must proceed forward whether or not anyone else is at our side supporting us. God is always supporting us each... what else could we possibly need? If you are looking for validation from human sources or from physical manifestations, then you are looking in the wrong place. Seek for your Validation only from God, dedicate your life to the doing of God's will, and "all things needful will be added unto you."

Let us each start today by being all that we can be. God desires nothing more of us. If each of us does what is in our hearts and Souls to do, and gives moral support to all others who are doing the same, then no matter how alone we may seem to be in our quest, we are indeed united in purpose.

(John Lennon)
"Some people say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.
I hope some day you will join us, and the world will be as one."
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The Prayer
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Dearest Father [please fill in your own favorite name for the Universal Source],
        Encourage me when I despair. Give me a gentle shove when I become complacent. Help me to focus only on You as my Ultimate Goal so that I do not get discouraged along the way. I wish to do my part in the unfoldment of time/space perfection according to Your Will. Show me how Dearest Parent.


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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1/11/98 - Sunday Service of Church Within #68
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome once again to Church Within.

Well… Now… What should we talk about today? Now… let me think. Now….

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Quotes
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(What a Parent or Boss says)
"There is no time like the present."

(The Urantia Papers Paper-160 Section-2 )
3. The enthusiasm for living. Isolation tends to exhaust the energy charge of the soul. Association with one's fellows is essential to the renewal of the zest for life and is indispensable to the maintenance of the courage to fight those battles consequent upon the ascent to the higher levels of human living. Friendship enhances the joys and glorifies the triumphs of life. Loving and intimate human associations tend to rob suffering of its sorrow and hardship of much of its bitterness. The presence of a friend enhances all beauty and exalts every goodness. By intelligent symbols man is able to quicken and enlarge the appreciative capacities of his friends. One of the crowning glories of human friendship is this power and possibility of the mutual stimulation of the imagination. Great spiritual power is inherent in the consciousness of wholehearted devotion to a common cause, mutual loyalty to a cosmic Deity.
4. The enhanced defense against all evil. Personality association and mutual affection is an efficient insurance against evil. Difficulties, sorrow, disappointment, and defeat are more painful and disheartening when borne alone. Association does not transmute evil into righteousness, but it does aid in greatly lessening the sting. Said your Master, "Happy are they who mourn"--if a friend is at hand to comfort. There is positive strength in the knowledge that you live for the welfare of others, and that these others likewise live for your welfare and advancement. Man languishes in isolation. Human beings unfailingly become discouraged when they view only the transitory transactions of time. The present, when divorced from the past and the future, becomes exasperatingly trivial. Only a glimpse of the circle of eternity can inspire man to do his best and can challenge the best in him to do its utmost. And when man is thus at his best, he lives most unselfishly for the good of others, his fellow sojourners in time and eternity.

(Elvis)
"It's Now... or Never..."

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The Sermon
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Where is God? Where do we find our Eternal Parent?

        God is said to be timeless... having neither past nor future... the Eternal Present. Where can we find God really? Now. Right now is the only time we can experience personally, the presence of Our Universal Mother/Father.

        We often think about times in the Past that we have experienced God's Presence in our Lives. They are indeed unforgettable and inspiring.
         We often think about what it will be like in the Future... when we're With God in Heaven. This indeed draws us onward through struggle and effort.
        We often get caught up in the attempt to recreate the same God experiences we had in the past... or to dwell on the bliss that the future may bring. These do not bring a new experience of God... a New taste of the Divine Presence, Because God is not IN the Past or in the Future. God is in the Present. God experience is This Instant, Now... not a couple minutes ago or a couple seconds from now... not way back then or a long time from now.

        We can Fully experience God's Presence in our lives if we seek for a new experience of it Always... right Now. If we are looking for Good... we find God. If we are seeking for Truth rather than for confirmation of beliefs... we are finding a new aspect of God in each new discovery.

        What is it that is so energizing and inspiring: about being in a place of Pristine Natural Beauty... The forest, or jungle the mountains, the desert, the ocean, river or lake? ...Or about hearing a song, or a magnificent musical piece? ...Or about experiencing an Awesome piece of Art? It is the "Now Moment" of Beauty that provides the thrilling experience of Awe and Humility and Oneness. Now is "when" we can Feel God.

        Look into Someone's Eye and Love. Allow Love from your Soul to flow outward to them... Then Feel. Do not try to analyze or judge... just Be. This is what we do when we are "In" Love. Being in Love is Now! Experiencing God's Love is Now! We too often confuse "Being in love" with the physical attraction we feel for another human being. Rather, "Being In Love" is the experience of Being in the Presence of God. Look Everyone in the eye. It makes you feel naked at first, but it is only the childlike freedom of the Soul that is uncovered. You Cannot reveal your past in these encounters of pure Soul exposure. The past exists only in Your memory. You can only reveal Now in "the Language without Words"... the language of the Soul. Fear not... You are always "Here" Now. God is within you... here... Now... And God So Loves You that only your Highest Good is Her/His Will. You are safely in God's Embrace... Now. Dwelling upon the Past or Future affords the greatest opportunity for making mistakes. Now... there is no mistakes, because Now... God is Here... We, in God's Presence... God's Presence within us. Any momentary sidestep in an attempt to qualify or label or cling to Now, takes us away from Now.

        When we allow God's Love to flow outward... through us, and inward... to us, we are Being in Love. We have no expectations of Love in the exact moment of being in it's presence. The Expectations can come only before or after Love. We must leave the immediate embrace of Love to be able to expect anything of it, yet we search and search to find it somewhere other than Now.

        Fruit is produced... Now. It must continue in the immediate state of growth to manifest. The Sweetness of Fruit is indeed threefold: The Memory of... the Anticipation of... and the Experience of. But the only time we "really" can Taste it is... Now.

Share and Experience God, Love, Truth, Beauty and Goodness... Now.

Be Here... Now... Always!        


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The Prayer
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Dearest Father [please fill in your own favorite name for the Universal Source],
        I know that I spend a great deal of time reflecting on what has been and what is to come, and that You don't deny me this experience for it is what propels me onward... gives me the impetus to be in motion. My memories and those things that I strive to attain reflect who I am... they define my path. Help me to "Now" create my exquisite memories of tomorrow. Help me to recognize You in my Present Experiences... Now.


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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1/18/98 - Sunday Service of Church Within #69
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome once again to Church Within.

This Weekend, ministers Jill, Sheila and I were requested to do a Sunday Service in Port Angeles WA for a small group of seekers. Consequently, we will not be here Sunday to deliver the Service to the Internet. This is why you are getting This Week's Sunday Service a couple of days early.

I doubt that the Port Angeles Service will be very similar to this one, so perhaps when we get back I will post it also on Tuesday or Wednesday. We shall see...

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Quotes
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(The Urantia Papers Paper-117 Section-6)
        All true love is from God, and man receives the divine affection as he himself bestows this love upon his fellows. Love is dynamic. It can never be captured; it is alive, free, thrilling, and always moving. Man can never take the love of the Father and imprison it within his heart. The Father's love can become real to mortal man only by passing through that man's personality as he in turn bestows this love upon his fellows. The great circuit of love is from the Father, through sons to brothers, and hence to the Supreme. The love of the Father appears in the mortal personality by the ministry of the indwelling Adjuster.[ed: God Within us] Such a God-knowing son reveals this love to his universe brethren, and this fraternal affection is the essence of the love of the Supreme.

(Will - "the 1-2-3 lesson" Tallahassee Transcript TM)
1.] Assume that Jesus is constantly standing next to you all day and you  are demonstrating to him by every word, act, and thought that you understand his teachings of living totally in accordance with the Father's will.
2.] Consciously spread divine love to everyone you come in contact with.  It does not come from you, but it flows through you to that person. It  is a separate reality that you may channel a gift to that person.
3.] Be totally sincere and direct whenever speaking to another one. That  is, no wisecracks, no sarcasm, no teasing. Just say as directly and  clearly as you can what it is you wish to convey.

("The Urantia Papers" Paper-132 Section-7)
"If we know God, our real business on earth is so to live as to permit the Father to reveal himself in our lives, and thus will all God-seeking persons see the Father and ask for our help in finding out more about the God who in this manner finds expression in our lives."
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The Sermon
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When we are out about our daily lives, are we practicing our Beliefs... our Faith... our "Religion"? It's not such an easy thing to do all the time. Oh sure, it's not all that hard to quote our Theology to ourselves and others. But how does our "theology" affect the way we relate to our brothers and sisters actually?

If we Show others what we believe not with words but with actions, we are walking in Faith... we are sharing our "religion", our own personal relationship with God. If we merely Tell people what we believe, then they have only words to ponder. Don't get me wrong, words are wonderful tools... magnificent aids to discovery and the acquirement of new knowledge... and that is Good... it helps us to grow. But it is so easy to get stuck in the words. "Yup! That's the Truth alright!" ...am I Living it as I say it? I certainly Want to... why is it so difficult?

The "1-2-3 Lesson" in today's quotes had a very large impact on my life. I really took it to heart... to Soul, only a few short years ago.

This first one...

"1.] Assume that Jesus is constantly standing next to you all day and you  are demonstrating to him by every word, act, and thought that you understand his teachings of living totally in accordance with the  Father's will."

For me, Jesus is my Father and elder Brother, and I believe the words: "Where two or more are gathered, I am there." I had some pretty interesting experiences with this exercise. You can fit in the name of Any of the Great Masters and the exercise will be quite effective.

In consciously trying to practice this suggestion I started becoming aware of observing myself and my reactions to others. I was recognizing how entrenched my old patterns were. This was a rather unexpected result for me.

It all seemed like an "Act" at first. I was Acting like I thought Jesus would want me to, because I was trying to show him what I knew. I was just acting... OH! I was Acting! I wasn't just talking about it, I was really Acting! Hmmm... kinda came in the back door on me. God Wants us to Act! Perhaps being Actors on God's stage is what life is about? Sure... at first we must Play the part, children play in order to learn and practice. But as our "Part" becomes more familiar we start to Become the part... and become A part.

So then...

"2.] Consciously spread divine love to everyone you come in contact with.  It does not come from you, but it flows through you to that person. It  is a separate reality that you may channel a gift to that person."

This one was really Cool. I found that I had to look people in the eye to do this one. It was pretty hard at first, but I soon discovered how Good it felt. Now THIS was a practice worth cultivating! God doesn't worry about getting Love in return. God just Loves. When I first started freely trying to spread this divine love without any of my own expectations, I discovered that it was being mirrored back to me from the eyes... from the Souls of others. Double Hmmm... In trying to give a gift of God's unconditional love, I was in turn Receiving the gift as well. OK, well that one caught me a little by surprise too.

This next was by Far the Most difficult one to practice...

3.] Be totally sincere and direct whenever speaking to another one. That  is, no wisecracks, no sarcasm, no teasing. Just say as directly and  clearly as you can what it is you wish to convey.

WHAT? GIVE UP MY LONG CHERISHED SARCASM?? The Wisecracks that make me feel like a part of a conversation? And What's so bad about Teasing anyway? Sure, I can be sincere... direct... but... Well OK... I'll try it just Once, but GEEZE. The effects of practicing my own Absolute Sincerity nearly Floored me. Nahhh... This isn't what people really want, Is it? As I lay there gasping from the experience of actually being Heard for once, I got to thinkin' Well... maybe sincerity is what people really DO want.
Triple Hmmm...

Practicing this little 1-2-3 exercise kinda "tricked" me into discovering that I can find and experience God's Love emanating continuously from others if only I will look for and accept it and return it.

Our own Soul is the Transmitter AND Receiver and vessel of God's Love. Now... if only I could keep mine engaged all of the time... Well, I have to keep remembering what my old Drama coach used to say, "Just keep practicing, you'll get it."


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The Prayer
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Dear God, [please fill in your own favorite name for the Universal Source],        
        Help me to realize that it's OK to be Me.... that that's who you want me to be. And help me to continually discover who I am each time I find another part of You. There is No Truth, Beauty, Goodness or Love that You are Not a part of... so wherever and whenever I discover them, I have indeed discovered a part of You. Remind me to look so that I may discover More...


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

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

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1/25/98 - Sunday Service of Church Within #70
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome once again to Church Within.

What Is Church Within anyways?

I can remember when I first conceded to myself that, in spite of my fears of opening myself to an overabundance of peer rejection, I was going to open a Church. "Why Me God?" "Can't I just be comfortable and just do one on one sharing with people?" [The word "Church" had, for quite some time, rather uncomfortable connotations for me.] "Why Me?" I sat and waited for an Answer to This one! "Well?" From my mind apparently, I heard the emphatic word, BECAUSE. "OH SURE! What kind of an answer is THAT?" "I've been getting That answer all my Life!" And again only more slowly this time, "because... Be-Cause... Be Cause... BE Cause... Be CAUSE" ...and my humanness quickly and jokingly added, "Be Cause of the Wonderful Things He does...". HMMM... "Something Profound just happened... what IS it?" ...oh. "Umm... I guess BE CAUSE is more of an answer than I Thought it was... OK, so what's Next?" I remember Well that Fateful question. What's next?

I resigned myself to the inevitable answers that would follow. Many Names started going through my mind. One that I liked the Most was "The Church of God's Children". That seemed pretty all inclusive to me. But then it occurred to me that some might take it as self righteous... Oh Yeah! YOUR God's Children and Nobody ELSE is? So I discarded it... RATS! I kept getting the quote, "The Kingdom of
Heaven is Within", over and over in my head. It was beginning to pester me a little before it Smacked me. I unconsciously said to myself, "The Church is Within". Well... yeah... God is within... religion is really from within... Faith Definitely comes from within... Why not Church? Church Within! Well... as you can see, that one kinda stuck. It was not destined to be like any other church in recorded history that I was aware of.

Since I knew it would have to be vastly different from all the ones that had not proved to be "complete" enough to me, [for various reasons... mostly of "doctrinal" origin] I then proceeded to think about a Wonderful church building... how to get the money to make it happen... how to advertise it... how to keep money coming in to keep it going... You know... all those things that I didn't like about many of the "other" churches... -sigh-... "How long will You bear with me Lord?"

I don't know what Church Within will become. I am barely discovering what it IS. I don't know that we will Ever have a church building in the "normal" sense of the words. I know that it is becoming something Different... just what that will be I can only discover by watching it unfold in front of me. I don't yet know God's Full Will for me or the Church and I doubt that I ever will completely. I Hope that it will always stay as the "carrot" just ahead of me... it keeps me on the path of discovery. Hopefully it will never become Crystallized in concept. I pray that it never becomes "just like" the others... it's too much fun discovering New things and New Ways.
The Church is Within.

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Quotes
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(Albert Einstein)
No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it.

(from The Bible Luke 5:37-38)
And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.

(from The Urantia Papers Paper-147 Section-7)
"Be reminded that a wise tailor does not sew a piece of new and unshrunk cloth upon an old garment, lest, when it is wet, it shrink and produce a worse rent. Neither do men put new wine into old wine skins, lest the new wine burst the skins so that both the wine and the skins perish. The wise man puts the new wine into fresh wine skins. Therefore do my disciples show wisdom in that they do not bring too much of the old order over into the new teaching of the gospel of the kingdom."
 
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The Sermon [or] "My Inspirations"
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How often we try to fit New Concepts into Old paradigms... New Wine into Old Wineskins... Try to change things without changing ourselves first...
Think about just how often we really Do that... as much as we would like to avoid doing it. Rather Startling sometimes when ya think about it.

Think about it.

I think that this is enough Inspiration for today.

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The Prayer
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Dear God, [please fill in your own favorite name for the Universal Source],        
        Help me Always to be open to discovering More of Your Divine Will. I so enjoy the excitement of each new discovery. Show me where and how and to look. I am just beginning to really discover that When to look, is Now... please don't let me ever forget it... just keep reminding me when I get too busy to remember... OK Lord? Thanks! Yeah, I'll keep trying to remember too... maybe with both of us working on it together...

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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