Church Within Sunday Services

for March 1999

Click a box to go to the Individual Service
#128
3-7-99
#129
3-14-99
#130
3-21-99
#131
3-28-99

3-7-99 Sunday Service of Church Within #128
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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.

Do you ever feel out of control... like everything just happens to you and there's almost nothing at all you can ever hope to do about it? Proceed at your own risk... ;-)

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Quotes
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(a Zen Parable replay)
        Two people are lost in the desert. They are dying from hunger and thirst. Finally, they come to a high wall. On the other side they can hear the sound of a waterfall and birds singing. Above, they can see the branches of a lush tree extending over the top of the wall. Its fruit look delicious.
        One of them manages to climb over the wall and disappears down the other side. The other, instead, returns to the desert to help other lost travelers find their way to the oasis.

(Quoting: Albert Einstein)
The significant problems we face can not be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.

(from: The Urantia Papers - Paper-160 Section-2 )
Every human being sooner or later acquires a certain concept of this world and a certain vision of the next. Now it is possible, through personality association, to unite these views of temporal existence and eternal prospects. Thus does the mind of one augment its spiritual values by gaining much of the insight of the other. In this way men enrich the soul by pooling their respective spiritual possessions. Likewise, in this same way, man is enabled to avoid that ever-present tendency to fall victim to distortion of vision, prejudice of viewpoint, and narrowness of judgment. Fear, envy, and conceit can be prevented only by intimate contact with other minds.

(Quoting: Robert Frost)
I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

(from: The Urantia Papers - Paper-111 Section-5)
        Peace in this life, survival in death, perfection in the next life, service in eternity--all these are achieved (in spirit) now when the creature personality consents--chooses--to subject the creature will to the Father's will. And already has the Father chosen to make a fragment of himself subject to the will of the creature personality.
        Such a creature choice is not a surrender of will. It is a consecration of will, an expansion of will, a glorification of will, a perfecting of will; and such choosing raises the creature will from the level of temporal significance to that higher estate wherein the personality of the creature son communes with the personality of the spirit Father.
        This choosing of the Father's will is the spiritual finding of the spirit Father by mortal man, even though an age must pass before the creature son may actually stand in the factual presence of God on Paradise. This choosing does not so much consist in the negation of creature will--"Not my will but yours be done"--as it consists in the creature's positive affirmation: "It is my will that your will be done."

(from: the RSV Bible - Romans 12:2)
Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

(from: the RSV Bible - Corinthians I 13:10)
but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.

(from: the Tao Te Ching - #33)
Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.

If you realize that you have enough,
you are truly rich.
If you stay in the center
and embrace death with your whole heart,
you will endure forever.

(Quoting: Mahatma Gandhi)
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

(from: Olfana - Nov. 17, 1993)
Cheerfulness comes easily, when one remembers one's destiny is Godward. "Be of Good Cheer" is an encouragement to exist with God in your every effort in life. Cheerfulness can be infectious. It spreads enthusiasm for life from one to another. People need this powerful ingredient in their life. We weep to see those whose lives lack all cheer, or hope of God's Comfort. Re-establish your faith in the power of God's Love to envelop you, and raise your emotional balance, so that you can take, with equanimity, the experiences of life.

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The Sermon
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        Life on this little wayward planet of ours sure seems to be typified by the human struggle for Control, doesn't it? Control is the One thing besides Survival, Comfort and Love that every human being seems to relentlessly pursue.

        What is this Control thing really about anyways? Ever notice that people who constantly try to exercise control over others seem so far less contented in their personal lives than those who exercise loving Self Control? It's difficult not feeling overtly and inescapably controlled by our environment, our society, our circumstances... isn't it? But are you really? Can one escape being controlled? I would have to say from personal experience that the answer to that last question is a definite YES... through perfecting Self-Control. Everybody Talks about Self-Control and how necessary it is to have, but far too often the talk about it is directed toward how others need more of it rather than how they themselves might need it. Funny... don't ya Think?

        When So much of our life seems to be far beyond our control, how can a person gain control of their own life and attain that ever elusive perfection of Self-Control that characterizes those who seem at total Peace within themselves and with the world about them?

        I remember back about 6 years ago to a specific time when I felt Completely out of control. Not in any kind of violent way whatsoever, but rather I felt like there was Nothing I could do anymore to change my circumstances... to make my life more like I had always dreamed it could be. This was one of those times that I was So frustrated, that I began internally Yelling at God. You've never had one of those, have you? <GRIN> Anyways I was pretty Livid at first until I rather unconsciously said something to God that just stunned me into silence. Boy was I Mad when I said, "I'm SICK and TIRED of incessantly Fighting for Control of my Life all the time! I give UP! Do with me what You Will God. It can't Possibly be any worse than what I've been able to do. YOU take control of my life then, OK?" [Here's where the 'silence' part came in. ;-)] I was Spent... Done In... Resigned to whatever God could ever possibly throw at me. "Give it Your best God! You couldn't EVEN do anything to make it any Worse than it is." Then I began to laugh uncontrollably. Of Course!! With God being All Loving and such, wouldn't what he really wanted for my life be much better than what I could humanly concoct? I found at that moment that I was Peacefully willing to give up Every deep desire, Every cherished Dream, Every long-held concept of who I wanted to Be... into the Loving Hands of my Divine Parent. WOAH!!! What an Incredible Weight it was that was lifted from my shoulders in that instant. I was FREE! Free to let go of the constant battle for control in my life.

        I began refusing to try and manipulate and control others. This worked out in my favor actually, because as I actively let go of trying to control the thoughts or actions of anyone else, they eventually seemed to stop trying to manipulate or control ME. That was a Cool realization when finally I recognized it! I actually had More control of the "Self" kind than I had Ever experienced before. In Fact, I was continually being given more and more opportunities to control the course of my life than I had ever experienced previously. How very Strange! Here I Consciously and with Deep Conviction gave control Unconditionally to God, and progressively was control of my life being handed right back to me.

        Life has become Much more enjoyable and rewarding since that significant day in '93 when I Truly 'Let Go and Let God'. I have gained something valuable that my ego Never could have previously imagined possible or attained on it's own... a measure of Self-Control. It is hardly perfect mind you, I will be the first to admit it... but I'm working towards it and it no longer seems so far out of reach.

        When you have once become willing, in the depths your Being, to give Total Control of your life and it's direction to God, then have you attained the requisite maturity of Soul that allows God to then return a Higher Level of Personal Control back to you.

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The Prayer
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Dear God,
        You take it from here, OK?

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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3-14-99 Sunday Service of Church Within #129
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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.

As Human Beings, we go through successive levels and stages of growth and development.

1.] the "No!" stage
        (Infant)
2.] the "Don't do that!" stage
        (Toddler to _____ )
3.] the "Which feels better?" stage
        (Child to _____ )
4.] the "I should do This because it is right." stage
        ( _____ to Adult to _____ )
and,
5.] the "Why would I do anything Else than what is Right?" stage
        ( _____ )

May we Always continue to stretch to achieve the Higher Level...

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Quotes
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(From the NASB Bible Deuteronomy 5:6-21)
(1)        "I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
        "You shall have no other gods before Me.
        "You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.
        "You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing loving kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
(2)        "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
(3)        "Observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.
        "Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.
        "You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
(4)        "Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you.
(5)        "You shall not murder.
(6)        "You shall not commit adultery.
(7)        "You shall not steal.
(8)        "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
(9)        "You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, and
(10)        "You shall not desire your neighbor's house, his field or his male servant or his female servant, his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly at the mountain from the midst of the fire, of the cloud and of the thick gloom, with a great voice, and He added no more. He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.

(From: Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., "Guilt is the Teacher, Love is the Lesson")
Forgiveness is not a lack of discrimination whereby we let all the criminals out of prison; it is an attitude that permits us to relate to the pain that led to their errors and recognize their need for love.

(From: Rev. Mary Manin Morrissey )
Single people think they'll find fulfillment by meeting someone; couples believe changing a trait or habit of their partners will make the relationship whole. The truth is, what we long for can be found in a divine marriage with our Creator.

(From: "A Course In Miracles", Foundation for Peace)
Pain is my own idea. It is not a Thought of God, but one I thought apart from Him and from His Will. His Will is joy, and only joy for His beloved [children]. And that I choose, instead of what I made.

(From: "Joshua and the Children", Joseph Girzone)
I have come to free the children from hatred and teach them to love.

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The Sermon
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My focus today really is on the quotation from Dueteronomy, commonly referred to as the Ten Commandments. Some of us grew up with those 10 statements or guidelines for living embedded in our memories. Some of us can still recite them, if not word for word, pretty close. Bear with me for a moment or two here, even if you are not familiar with these lines. For a long time I thought them somewhat unrelated to my life. I mean how many of us actually have the opportunity to kill someone? Even if thinking about it counts, how often does that really happen? Or stealing or coveting a neighbor's goods? And if we aren't part of any organized religion we can just toss out keeping the Sabbath, right?

I decided to take a little closer look at these commandments and take a little creative license with them. See if these make any sense to you:

(1) Is my heart set on God (Insert any reference to a Higher Power with which you are comfortable)? Do I love God above all things? Or are my possessions and busy lifestyle and chaotic schedule more important? Do I give greater attention and trust to things rather than God? Is TV or sports more important than some time for stillness? Are there times when I make no conscious effort to make God alive for me or for others in my life? In what ways am I lukewarm in making love to God; not on fire in ALL my work and deeds and prayers? In a pretty ego centered world it is often difficult to stay focused on the center of my being.

(2) Taking the Lord's name in vain. Well, what about not respecting the Lord that is within me? Respecting that I am a gifted child of God? Putting myself down? And what I say has a profound effect on those around me and on myself. Am I conscious of my words? And are there times that I am so busy babbling that I have plugged my ears so as not to hear God's call?

(3) How do I sanctify my days in the name of the Lord? Do I set some time aside on a regular basis to be quiet and listen to what out Creator is saying? Would we expect our human relationships to grow and be nurtured without time spent on them? How many times do I allow prayer to dribble from my heart, empty of ecstasy, cold and unemotional instead of expressing gratitude and joy for all the gifts given and received?

(4) How do I honor those in authority? How difficult this has become in light of the current political situations worldwide? How do I show respect for authority and respectfully challenge it when needed? Often I would rather belittle those in authority so that I can gain more power myself.

(5) Do I show respect for life? All life or just those lives I consider valuable? And what about verbal killing--put downs, sarcastic comments, shutting people out whom I don't find valuable, excluding those less desirable segments of society from my vision and from my life? Do I lack passion for the oppressed? Do I fail to speak for the voiceless? And what about the environment? My own selfishness and self-centeredness at times allow me to focus on what is good for me and perhaps not for other creatures; " two-leggeds, four-leggeds and winged ones" (with gratitude for phraseology to Matthew Fox).

(6) This one may put me on shakier ground. I'm not so sure that this is really about who our sexual partners are, though it may be about whether we are free to be in a sexual relationship with another. Are our sexual encounters about love and joy? Do they build up relationships or do they harm another? Do I honor my body no matter what it looks like? Do I care for it lovingly as the vehicle that houses the very spirit of God? Perhaps at times I don't feel that lust that is often spoken of when adultery is mentioned. But do I take delight in God's rich harvest of the gifts of life? What about the times I fail to be aroused by the rain's sweet wetness or the sun's hot kiss?

(7) To be honest and fair, to seek justice and freedom and the basic necessities of life for everyone. To use my talents and possessions in service to my fellow human beings and to God. To make wise use of my time and not steal it from my children, my spouse or my significant relationships in order to be involved in something less important. To steal time away from an employer. How do I steal from others when I waste a talent or gift I have been given? Or when I don't share something I am thinking? Or take time to share my experience with another?

(8) I think this is not only about speaking truth but about not misleading others by my silence. Maybe too, this is about being less judgmental, less outspoken, less harmful in my speech.

(9) (10) To resist the temptation to want something so much that it becomes the focus of my life. Earning money for material things becomes more important than spending time with my family. Wanting what someone else has instead of focusing on my life and what God has in store for me. Ignoring the gifts I truly do have and wishing I had another's.

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The Prayer
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Loving Parent,

As a child of God,
I appreciate myself as a creation of our heavenly parent.
I do not put myself down in any way.

I love people,
I forgive those who hurt me this day.
Forgive me for the pain I have caused in others.
I am in harmony with all living things.

I receive power to do all things through the Creator.
I accept the gift of Abundant life within me today.
Health is in my mind, body and spirit.
I am successful with personal relationships, and
readily receive inspiration for my creative endeavors.

Creator Father and Mother, Let my mind be one with yours;
Let me put my trust in you and see and do your will in all that I do.

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

Judy Girard,
Minister
Church Within

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3-21-99 Sunday Service of Church Within #130
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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.

Ah... Spring! Last years growth becoming nutrient for this years... Seeds sprouting... Life regenerating... Beginning the cycle anew for the fruits of a new harvest. I Love seeing little plants grow... don't you?

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Quotes
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(From NASB Bible Luke 13:6-9)
And He began telling this parable: A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. And he said to the vineyard-keeper, "Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?" And he answered and said to him, "Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down."

(From the Urantia Papers - Paper-151 Section-1)
"A sower went forth to sow, and it came to pass as he sowed that some seed fell by the wayside to be trodden underfoot and devoured by the birds of heaven. Other seed fell upon the rocky places where there was little earth, and immediately it sprang up because there was no depth to the soil, but as soon as the sun shone, it withered because it had no root whereby to secure moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns, and as the thorns grew up, it was choked so that it yielded no grain. Still other seed fell upon good ground and, growing, yielded, some thirtyfold, some sixtyfold, and some a hundredfold." And when he had finished speaking this parable, he said to the multitude, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear "

(Childhood Rhyme)
Mary, Mary, quite contrary. How does your garden grow?

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The Sermon
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        For those of us who live in the northern hemisphere, springtime is approaching. The time for longer days and warmer temperatures and gardens to prepare. The greening rebirth of creation is beginning. Spring is a season of growth. What kind of garden do you have? Not just the one outside, but your internal garden? The garden of your soul?

        In the garden of your soul, are the trees rich with fruit or are they barren? Does the overwork of your jobs, social calendars and other secular activities, school events, or endless rounds of meaningless TV take its toll? Take time to take stock of your garden and make sure that your trees and foliage aren't barren from neglect.

        After a long winter, the earth's hard crust can prevent the moisture of Spring rains from soaking into the soil. Likewise, our relationships with others and with God can become crusted over by the tamp, tamp, tamping of routine and the passage of time. Literally packed down and hardened. Knowing this, the gardener of Jesus' parable story proposed hoeing around the barren fig tree to break up the hard crust, so that it might bear fruit.

        What hardens the ground in the soil of our gardens? What prevents our inner lives from breathing freely? Is it routine? Is it repetition? Perhaps it is pain caused by disappointment or rejection. Broken relationships? Promises made and not kept? Betrayals? In any event, how about gently hoeing around the plants of those things which have hardened us? What about carefully introducing some new ways of communicating, or new routines or a new prayer form to soften that crusted shell? How about trusting someone just a little? Or standing with someone and allowing yourself to be trusted?

        And what about seeds? What seeds do we plant daily? Are they seeds of appreciation, success, growth, happiness, love and justice? Or are they seeds of defeat, despair, hopelessness and selfishness? Remember: "So you shall sow, you shall reap."

        Besides breaking the crust of your soil, hoes are useful for removing weeds. Weeds are the enemies of healthy plants. They drink up the water needed for growth and survival. They block out the sunshine and choke out good plants. Our own symbolic hoes are tools for removing the weeds that choke out young fledgling plants. Good intentions, resolutions, new habits or the changing of old ones. Unlike a spade, a hoe, used correctly, doesn't injure young plants in the process of removing the weeds. Hoes are for turning over the soil of our soul gardens, for reworking the soil of our marriages, professions, friendships, and other relationships.

        Who or what is a hoe in your life? Take a moment to reflect on that a bit. If no one or nothing comes to mind, perhaps it is time to be more willing to allow that to happen.

        Any good gardener will tell you that good soil is essential to a good garden Good soil, rich in nutrients, not too wet or too dry is also essential for growing the life of relationships and love. Hoeing is good to loosen the soil to allow nutrients to work and be absorbed into the soil. Breaking up the packed soil to allow the life-giving oxygen to work its way in.

        And what about fertilizer? There is generally no lack of "manure" in our lives with which to cultivate the soil of our souls. Nothing is so rich a fertilizer as "crap." All those foul smelling realities like failure, sickness, death, disappointment, inadequacies, broken relationships, ill-informed choices. Embrace the fertilizer in your life; the decomposed past and the fresh unpleasant things in your life. Make your soul soil rich and bountiful! You can choose to use these things as fertilizer, you know.

         And then there's the deceptive wildflowers. Some weeds, we have the tendency to view as wildflowers. Think of the flower referred to as "Johnny jump-ups," or miniature pansies. They truly can be beautiful. Have you seen them? They can take over an entire yard! Sometimes they are referred to as wildflowers when in actuality they are weeds. The point? We can easily practice self-deceit by sparing wildflowers in our garden that are really vices. Really, weeds in disguise waiting to overtake the garden. The following is a list of common weeds that are often re-named as wildflowers.

1. The weed of selfishness can be named "looking out for number one." In our society we have come to value that standard highly. After all, if I don't look out for me, who will? How about being so busy looking out after others that we pay little attention to ourselves. Not in an unhealthy, out of balance, co-dependent kind of way, but in a way that makes it so we encourage and support others. So that we are all looking out after one another and relying on our Heavenly parent to provide for us all that we need?

2. The weed of lack of commitment can be re-named "free spirit." Now that's not to say that there's anything wrong with being a free spirit, so long as doing so does not prevent us from making and keeping commitments.

3. The weed of cynicism can be renamed the "wildflower of reality"--"That's just the way it is." It's easy to develop a negative attitude these days. To resign ourselves to a certain reality at the expense of not doing anything to change it.

4 The weed of the absence of prayer can be renamed "liberation from church" or "my work is prayer." Don't forget to take some time each day to give thanks for all we have, to just be still and experience the power of our Creator.

        Can you think of other weeds growing in your garden? Maybe disguised as a wildflower? Consider examining you soul garden to find your variety of wildflowers that may be trying to hide from your hoe.

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The Prayer
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Divine Gardener and Loving God,

Help us to see the weeds AND the wildflowers in our garden. Use your holy hoe so that they may be removed gently and lovingly, but firmly. Where there is "crap" allow us to make holy fertilizer so that the soil of lives may be rich and abundant, so that we will truly be the beautiful garden You have created.

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

Judy Girard,
Minister
Church Within


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3-28-99 Sunday Service of Church Within #131
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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.

Well... it's My turn again. ;-) My Thanks to Minister Judy for the last two Sunday Services. They touched Me as I hope they also did all of you.
        This weeks Service was initially inspired by my reading of Judy's Service of two weeks ago... #129.

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Quotes
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(The Urantia Papers - Paper-103 Section-20)
        In the absence of wrong teaching, the mind of the normal child moves positively, in the emergence of religious consciousness, toward moral righteousness and social ministry, rather than negatively, away from sin and guilt. There may or may not be conflict in the development of religious experience, but there are always present the inevitable decisions, effort, and function of the human will.

(The Urantia Papers - Paper-130 Section-2)
        Ganid was, by this time, beginning to learn how his tutor spent his leisure in this unusual personal ministry to his fellow men, and the young Indian set about to find out the motive for these incessant activities. He asked, "Why do you occupy yourself so continuously with these visits with strangers? " And Jesus answered: "Ganid, no man is a stranger to one who knows God. In the experience of finding the Father in heaven you discover that all men are your brothers, and does it seem strange that one should enjoy the exhilaration of meeting a newly discovered brother? To become acquainted with one's brothers and sisters, to know their problems and to learn to love them, is the supreme experience of living."

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The Sermon
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        The life of every human being is characterized by level after level of experiential Learning, Growth, Insight, and Adjustment. For Each of these successive levels of human development, from Newborn Babe through Fully Mature Adult, there are certain Guidelines for, or Stages of Living, that help us to Survive and Ideally, to Flourish in the Physical World... in this Human/Mortal condition we call Life.

1.] the "No!" or "No no..." stage (Infant to ______ )
        The first level that most of us go through as Infants is the "NO!" stage. When our intellects are Totally Undeveloped, Totally Inexperienced in Life, the word "No" is about the Maximum of Guidelines that we can possibly comprehend. EVERY experience of life is a NEW experience and we are fully incapable of discerning the difference between Right and Wrong. We don't, at that beginning stage of life, even understand that the word No even has a meaning... only that it is usually accompanied by a feeling of displeasure from outside ourselves. Our inexperienced young minds, are at this point quite proficient at perceiving the positive feelings of Love, Comfort, and Pleasure... or the Lack/Opposite of them... the negatives of fear, discomfort, displeasure. Infants may be incapable of Choosing their physical, mental and emotional environment, but they are truly adept at reacting to it.
        When the Positives mostly outweigh the negatives in these initial life encounters, the transition to the next stage of experiential growth is relatively unconscious and naturally occurring. But when human beings are subjected to an overbalance of the negatives in their infancy and early childhood, they are susceptible to getting emotionally stuck in this stage for far longer than would be otherwise necessary. When this happens, fear, discomfort, and displeasure have a tendency to dominate their experiences, which typically brings about an almost Incessant and seemingly unquenchable thirst for Any kind of Attention, Love, Physical Comfort, or Personal Pleasure, and materialism usually tends to be the more dominant drive.
        The word No can be a beneficial tool in protecting the safety of an inexperienced, uncomprehending child, but it can also become quite habit-forming. How often is there a loving reason for saying "No!" to our children, and how often do we say it just out of habit? Does it help them to grow or does it inhibit them from experiencing? It's worth contemplating... don't ya Think?

2.] the "Don't do that!" stage (Toddler to _____ )
        When the Human Child gains a certain level of experience, and begins to recognize that words are more than just foreign sounds, that they are intended to Mean something, and that they can be used together in the varying combinations to express greater Meaning, the child comes to the, "Don't Do That!", Guideline stage. Here is where we begin to cognitively recognize that our experiential exploring results in one of three different types of external reaction... Positive Response, No Response, and Negative Response. At this stage of life, a child begins to actively seek Positive responses because it recognizes that they feel better than negative ones, although if there is an overabundance of "No Responses" the child may choose to stimulate a Negative one just because it feels a lack of attention or personal validation.
        Up to about the age of 5-6 years old, children are pretty much incapable of recognizing that there is a difference between right and wrong. Actions are dictated by experiential memory of results and by youthful curiosity and inquisitiveness. The quest for discovery and new experience dominates their young minds. At This stage of human development, if a child remembers that it feels good or if they don't yet know how it feels... they most likely will Do it. The Moral view of Right and Wrong is still beyond their comprehension level.
        Certain aspects of this stage can also linger into adulthood and far too often they do.

3.] the "Which is Right and which is Wrong?" stage (Child to _____)
        At some usually un-definable moment of our early childhood, we rather unconsciously discover that there is a very real Difference between Right and Wrong. Once we finally recognize that there IS a difference, we can then begin the long arduous task of learning which is which and choosing one or the other. We begin to feel Good about choosing right and guilty about choosing wrong... hopefully.<G> Custom, Superstition, and Social and Moral "laws" together with the real or imagined consequences of breaking them are the primary deterrents to consciously choosing wrong in this stage of our development.
It is quite possible to go through ones entire human experience in a fairly moral seeming fashion without ever transcending or going beyond this stage.

4.] the "I ought to do This because it is right." stage ( _____ to Adult to _____ )
        When one begins to recognize their Soul, or Higher Self, the inner urge to do what is Right merely Because it is Right begins to manifest. This is a Grand time in ones personal growth because it signifies the initial emergence of Soul, but it is by No means a calm and peaceful time of continual self assurance. Rather it is characterized by the human ego's struggle to maintain control and domination of the personality. The deepest fears of ego are challenged from time to time throughout this stage of growth, and it will often fight quite ferociously to avoid facing them. Ego's primary weapons in this battle for dominion are Fear, Judgement, Guilt, Recollection and reminders of previous failure, and as a last desperate resort ego will even stoop to accusing the Soul of egotism for doing things which are True, Beautiful and Good.
         If sincerely embraced, Faith, Grace and Love will eventually win out over guilt and fear and the next stage, the stage of Peaceful Knowing and Positive progression can begin.

5.] the "Why would I possibly think of doing anything Other than what is Right and Good?" stage (The Beginning of Soul Maturity )
        Fear evaporates... Time is no longer an issue... Dreams become attainable... Death is but a Graduation... Heaven is Now and Forever... Love can be found anywhere you choose to look for it... Life is Good... And... Faith... pure and Simple Childlike Faith in the Unconditional Love of God for his children is the Motivator of Actions and the Revealer of Destiny.

Are there More Stages... Higher Levels? Undoubtedly!
Can we attain them? Indeed.

*******************************************
The Prayer
**********
Dear God,
        Thanks! It is All worth it!!

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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