Church Within Sunday Services

for May 1998

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#84
5-3-98
#85
5-10-98
#86
5-17-98
#87
5-24-98
#88
5-31-98


5/3/98 - Sunday Service of Church Within #84
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome once again to the church without a building... Church Within.

Last week I discussed Faith with you. Well… this week, let's discuss Love; more specifically, the term "being in Love".

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Quotes
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(A Zen Parable)
A university professor went to visit a famous Zen master. While the master quietly served tea, the professor talked about Zen. The master poured the visitor's cup to the brim, and then kept pouring. The professor watched the overflowing cup until he could no longer restrain himself. "It's overfull! No more will go in!" the professor blurted. "You are like this cup," the master replied, "How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup."

(from: The RSV Bible - Corinthians I 13:1-14:1)
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. Make love your aim…

(from: The Urantia Papers - Paper-138 Section-8)
Jesus taught, "Faith is the open door for entering into the present, perfect, and eternal love of God." Jesus did not speak like a prophet, one who comes to declare the word of God. He seemed to speak of himself as one having authority. Jesus sought to divert their minds from miracle seeking to the finding of a real and personal experience in the satisfaction and assurance of the indwelling of God's spirit of love and saving grace.

(from: The Urantia Papers - Paper-191 Section-4)
You are to love all men as I have loved you; you are to serve all men as I have served you. With understanding sympathy and brotherly affection, fellowship all your brethren who are dedicated to the proclamation of the good news, whether they be Jew or gentile, Greek or Roman, Persian or Ethiopian. John proclaimed the kingdom in advance; you have preached the gospel in power; the Greeks already teach the good news; and I am soon to send forth the Spirit of Truth into the souls of all these, my brethren, who have so unselfishly dedicated their lives to the enlightenment of their fellows who sit in spiritual darkness. You are all the children of light; therefore stumble not into the misunderstanding entanglements of mortal suspicion and human intolerance. If you are ennobled, by the grace of faith, to love unbelievers, should you not also equally love those who are your fellow believers in the far-spreading household of faith? Remember, as you love one another, all men will know that you are my disciples.

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The Sermon
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What does it mean… "being in Love"?

        As far back as I can remember in my life, I have Always wanted to be "in Love". It is the well-nigh universal quest of all civilized Humanity… to be "in Love". It is the Root of all in mankind that is true, beautiful and good… and, it is also the underlying passion which triggers the lesser and more base motivation of seeking after the accumulation of material possessions and physical attractiveness. The state of being "in Love" is the cause for mankind's utmost joy and happiness as well as being the inadvertent stimulus of his bestial emotions of jealousy, fear, loathing and sorrow. How is it that something so Grand and so Noble as being "in Love" can ignite in us such diametrically opposed attributes? Let's do a little inner searching today and see if we can't come up with a few pertinent answers to this perplexing paradox.


What does it mean… "being in Love"?

        The term "being in Love" usually brings to mind such notions as: romance; fulfillment; marriage [Hey… It can happen! ;-)]; sexual attraction; desire; (and unfortunately) exclusiveness and possessiveness.
        
        Language can be a fairly tricky enterprise, so let's go to the [Daniel's] "Webster's" [ ;-) ] for a moment and break the term down into it's component parts… let's see if I can select a few of the dictionary definitions to illuminate somewhat what "being in Love" means to Me.


being -
        1.) the state or fact of existing 2.) for the present; for now
in -
        1.) contained or enclosed by; inside; within 2.) amidst; surrounded by
love -
        1.) a deep and tender feeling of affection for or attachment or devotion to a person or persons 2.) a feeling of brotherhood and goodwill toward other people 3.) God's benevolent concern for mankind; man's devout attachment to God.

"being in Love" - [my extrapolation]
        The state of existing for the present… for now… for this very moment, enclosed by and within and surrounded by a deep and tender feeling of affection for, and attachment and devotion to a person or persons in a feeling of brotherhood and goodwill, because of a devout attachment to God, and in reciprocation for God's benevolent concern for mankind.

What does it mean… "being in Love"?

        I used to think that "being in Love" was one of those things reserved for a single special person… my one and only "True" Love… and for nobody else. It was something to be carefully guarded and kept as a singular and exclusive possession. I would jealously battle to keep it within it's boundaries… even pollute it with "little white lies" rather than take the chance that it might somehow escape my feeble grasp. But like water I couldn't hold onto it for very long, it would run through my fingers or evaporate.

        Love is to the Soul, very much like what Water is to the Body. It must circulate to have any health sustaining value. Like water, it must stay in motion or it becomes stagnant and unwholesome. Allowed to freely pass through, it cleanses and refreshes every part of our being.

        One day not so very long ago, although it seems a lifetime, I was having one of those "bad" days. I was grumpy and upset and un-loving. I felt un-loved for some stupid ignorant reason, and I was not a very nice person to be around. On my drive to the store that day, something life-changing happened to me. I was stopped at a traffic light fuming at the injustice of it's changing when I was in a hurry, and a car pulled up next to me. There was a child in the front seat who was looking at me… darn kid. Something within Forced me to look at her and that momentary gaze immediately stopped all time. I was captured by her eyes looking into mine, so full to overflowing with Love and excitement and wonder. Tears of joy and recognition flowed unbidden from me. I knew in that fleeting moment that I had just experienced a taste of God's perfect and undying Love. Unable to contain myself, I smiled and beamed it back uncontrolled at the impertinent youth. She winked at me as the light changed, and she and her father drove off. What in God's name had just happened to me? I was not the same person I had been but a few minutes before. I was "in Love" with that precocious little one who had so surely transformed me. But "being in Love" now carried a different meaning for me than it had previously. Now it meant experiencing God within another. Now it was something to be shared freely and unselfishly with as many who were willing and able to receive it, and in turn unconditionally accepting it from any and all who offered it. I was energized and excited at the prospect of unleashing this priceless Gift I had just been given.
        When I arrived at the supermarket, I uncontrollably became as that little child. Within every willing eye I discovered anew the precious gift of God's eternally flowing Love. I gave, and I received and for the first time in memory I understood the whole true meaning and value of Life… "being in Love".

        Love is no longer something that I can lose… no longer something that I must repress or restrain… no longer something that I must jealously guard. It is the True and Ever-present Grace of God, Free for all who are willing to unconditionally let it flow as God so wills.

What does it mean… "being in Love"?

What does it mean for You?

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The Prayer
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Dear Ever Loving Source,        
        Pick me up whenever I falter amid my human limitations. Show me the way when I become confused as to the most beneficial direction to take in my journey home to You. And most of all my Dearest Parent, teach me to Love as do You. This I ask today and for all time.

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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5/10/98 - Sunday Service of Church Within #85
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome once again to the church without a building... Church Within.

Today, our service is lovingly offered through Minister Jill Megow.

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Quotes
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(A Zen Parable)
        A hermit was meditating by a river when a young man interrupted him. "Master, I wish to become your disciple," said the man. "Why?" replied the hermit. The young man thought for a moment. "Because I want to find God."
        The master jumped up, grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, dragged him into the river, and plunged his head under water. After holding him there for a minute, with him kicking and struggling to free himself, the master finally pulled him up out of the river. The young man coughed up water and gasped to get his breath. When he eventually quieted down, the master spoke. "Tell me, what did you want most of all when you were under water."
        "Air!" answered the man.
        "Very well," said the master. "Go home and come back to me when you want God as much as you just wanted air."

(from: The RSV Bible - Mark 11:24)
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

(from: The Urantia Papers - Paper-91 Section-4)
        Prayer must never be so prostituted as to become a substitute for action. All ethical prayer is a stimulus to action and a guide to the progressive striving for idealistic goals of superself-attainment.

(from: The Urantia Papers - Paper-91 Section-8)
        Genuine prayer adds to spiritual growth, modifies attitudes, and yields that satisfaction which comes from communion with divinity. It is a spontaneous outburst of God-consciousness.
        God answers man's prayer by giving him an increased revelation of truth, an enhanced appreciation of beauty, and an augmented concept of goodness. Prayer is a subjective gesture, but it contacts with mighty objective realities on the spiritual levels of human experience; it is a meaningful reach by the human for superhuman values. It is the most potent spiritual-growth stimulus.
        Words are irrelevant to prayer; they are merely the intellectual channel in which the river of spiritual supplication may chance to flow. The word value of a prayer is purely autosuggestive in private devotions and sociosuggestive in group devotions. God answers the soul's attitude, not the words.

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The Sermon
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HOW do I love?

        Pastor Daniel's Service last week on the concept of "love" stimulated me to do some self reflection. I wonder if it did the same for you. It made me wonder, "HOW do I love?". And further, how have I come to embrace the act of loving from a different "space" or level of consciousness through the years? Oh my, what a journey I took Sunday afternoon and through this past week.

        If you didn't take an opportunity last week to reflect on this most elusive concept -love-perhaps you would join with me now in a few moments of silence to reflect from your inspired soul consciousness.

        I'm back. Ummmm, love flowing through me sure feels good. I think I'll give myself 5-minute love treatments periodically each day!

        Well now. When I ventured to examine "HOW do I love?", I was led back to my mid-20s. I think that is when I made a shift in conscious awareness of the meaning of love and how it "works", if you will. I believe it forever changed my life and my relationships with others. I married my first husband a week before I turned 23. We spent the first five years of our marriage with him in college and me working. In the summer of 1971 I went off birth control pills with the full expectation that I would be pregnant within 6 months and we would be parents of a beautiful baby by the time he was graduated and employed. It never entered my mind in the beginning that I wouldn't get pregnant. But one year went by, then another, then another. I didn't get pregnant. I felt empty. Then I felt angry. Then I felt bitter. All of our college-couple friends had also "gone off the pill" and ALL of them had babies! I began to hate myself, and life.

        I thought I "loved" our married friends. But I discovered I was beginning to resent them and their good fortune. I reached a point where I didn't want to associate with them. It was too painful seeing them with parenthood dreams fulfilled. Mine weren't! I was filled with envy, jealousy, resentment and hate for 6 years. It was all-consuming. I cried every month when my menstrual period came instead of its absence, heralding a coming birth. I prayed, and I prayed. I questioned God's love for me, over and over again. I couldn't understand Him NOT MAKING PREGNANCY POSSIBLE for me. After all, I knew I was a good and worthy person. I knew I would be a good mother and Tom would be a good father. I knew that being a parent was the greatest dream I had ever had.

        Finally, after all these years of wrestling in a mud pit filled with jealousy, hate, and resentment, I was exhausted. I told God, "I don't want to FEEL THIS WAY anymore. Help me to love my friends instead of hate them for their good fortune." The turn-around was incredible. Within two weeks we went to visit our closest friends. Their little girl was about 2-1/2 years old. She was precious. And I was overcome with NEW FEELINGS that whole evening. I looked at them and their daughter and my heart involuntarily sang out, "Oh God, how wonderful for them! Thank you for answering their prayers for a healthy child. And, thank you for giving me the opportunity to rejoice and celebrate with them." The evening was fun! My heart was LIGHT! I saw all the goodness in the parents that I had refused to see for years because of my jealousy, and I saw all the delight and wonder in their little girl.

        God had shown me a higher level of the glorious feeling of love because I had asked Him to show me how to love; to "give me what I needed" to be more whole, instead of praying desperately for what I thought I needed "to make me happy". I had been "needy" for love all those years, and my subconscious belief had convinced me that "having a baby" would fulfill all my "needs." Sound familiar?

        Well… with a heart growing subtly fuller each day in God's love for all of his children, and giving forth of that love to all my friends, I soon discovered I didn't feel those "awful" feelings anymore. There simply wasn't room inside to hold on to them and hold all of God's love, too. "My cup runneth over." Within 9 months of that momentous evening, I was pregnant! I gave birth to my first son on March 15, 1978. And on March 14, 1979 I gave birth to my second son!

        Was it simply chance after 6 long agonizing years that I became pregnant, or did my learning to "love" unconditionally, instead of loving from a space of being "needy", have something to do with it?

        HOW do I love? I now love as fully as possible from a heart filled with appreciation of every beautiful gift God has blessed each and every one of us with. I no longer love from a "needy" space. GOD'S LOVE FOR ME fulfills all my "love" needs.

        HOW do YOU love?

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The Prayer
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Dear Ever Loving Source, only through You can we discern the way of love and the way to experience fulfilling love, personally. I pray that you give each of us exactly what we need, and the wisdom to recognize your gift to this end, that we may no longer yearn needily for love.

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

The Creator's Infinite Love, through me, to all of You,
Jill Megow, Minister of Church Within


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5/17/98 - Sunday Service of Church Within #86
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome once again to the church without a building... Church Within.

What are the things that bring fulfillment in this life?

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Quotes
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(a Zen Parable)
In early times in Japan, bamboo-and-paper lanterns were used with candles inside. A blind man, visiting a friend one night, was offered a lantern to carry home with him.
"I do not need a lantern," he said. "Darkness or light is all the same to me."
"I know you do not need a lantern to find your way," his friend replied, "but if you don't have one, someone else may run into you. So you must take it."
The blind man started off with the lantern and before he had walked very far someone ran squarely into him.
"Look out where you are going!" he exclaimed to the stranger. "Can't you see this lantern?"
"Your candle has burned out, brother," replied the stranger.

(from: The RSV Bible - Timothy I 6:10-12)
For the love of money is the root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs. But as for you, man of God, shun all this; aim at righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

(from: The Urantia Papers - Paper-159 Section-3)
        The world is filled with hungry souls who famish in the very presence of the bread of life; men die searching for the very God who lives within them. Men seek for the treasures of the kingdom with yearning hearts and weary feet when they are all within the immediate grasp of living faith. Faith is to religion what sails are to a ship; it is an addition of power, not an added burden of life. There is but one struggle for those who enter the kingdom, and that is to fight the good fight of faith. The believer has only one battle, and that is against doubt-- unbelief.

(Walt Whitman)
I mind how once we lay, such a transparent summer morning. Swiftly arose and spread around         me the peace and knowledge that pass all the argument of the earth,
And I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own,
And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own,
And that all the men ever born are also my brothers and the women my sisters and lovers,
And that a kelson of the creation is love.

(note: a "kelson" is a beam or support which adds structural strength to the keel of a boat or ship)

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The Sermon
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        One summer evening on their tenth birthday, twin sisters Mary and Marie were allowed to spend the night alone out under the stars for the first time. They had hoped for a camping trip, but their parents being poor could afford no more than a borrowed tent and two sleeping bags arranged lovingly in the back yard. Mom and Dad had everything set up and ready to surprise them when they came home from playing at their friends that day, including store bought snacks and sodas which were a luxury that they were pressed to afford at the time. Although it was somewhat less than they had hoped for, Mary and Marie were very excited when they saw their "campsite" and could hardly wait until nightfall when they could begin their adventure.

        Mom and Dad kissed them goodnight, and the two girls were free at last to enjoy their evening's solitary experience. It was the first time they truly felt left to themselves and it was fun. They sipped on their sodas and munched on chips and cookies saving their candy bars for last. After hours of talking and giggling, they slipped quietly into the sleeping bags and stared wishfully up at the stars. "What do you wish for when you grow up?" asked Mary. Marie thought for a second and said, "I want to be rich and famous and help poor people!" Mary considered that for a moment and said, "Yeah! That's My dream Too!" That night the girls made a pact. They would let nothing stand in their way until that dream they shared came true. Quietly, each lost in their own thoughts of what that dream might mean to them, they drifted off to sleep.

        The years passed but Mary and Marie never lost sight of their childhood dream. They both studied hard in school and eventually received full scholarships to college. To help with personal expenses, Mary got a part time job cooking and making beds at a local homeless shelter. It hardly paid anything at all, but she felt good about helping those who were suffering from the hardships of life. There she met and fell in love with a young man who volunteered his time seeking job placements for those at the shelter. All of her free time she spent helping him and eventually became quite good at it herself. After Mary graduated from college they married.

        Marie didn't have to work. She got herself a rich boyfriend who was studying to become a lawyer like his dad and grandfather. She didn't really love him, but she saw him as a means to her fame and fortune. Marie attended all of the elegant parties and social functions deemed necessary by her boyfriend and his family. She was given a car and all the expensive clothes she could ever want and became quite the social showpiece. Even though Marie came from a "questionable" background in the eyes of her boyfriend's parents, she did carry herself acceptably and they were allowed to marry shortly after he entered his father's law practice.

        Slowly the twins began to drift apart. They still talked with one another when their schedules permitted, and reminisced about their youth, but as time went on there was less and less that they could find in common to talk about. They began to go their separate ways to find the answer to their dreams.

        Mary and her husband worked hard and saved enough to rent a small office where they set up business helping homeless people to get free education and training for good paying jobs. They received a modest compensation from the employers who hired their clients. They both loved their work and they did their jobs well. In time they became quite well known and appreciated by most of the area's employers, and by those who were in need of work. They didn't have much in the way of luxuries, but they were supremely happy with each other and their unpretentious lifestyle.
        
        Marie had all of the material things she had ever dreamed of. She was rich and she was well known by all of the "right" people because of her husband and his family. Hardly a day went by that she didn't go out shopping or to luncheons with the girls to talk about their husbands whom they rarely spent time with except at functions. Once in a while, when her friends weren't there, she would give a few dollars to the "poor people" who happened to get her attention while out shopping. It didn't make her feel very good, but at least it took care of her responsibility to live up to her childhood dream, didn't it? For the most part, Marie felt lonely and unsatisfied but couldn't for the life of her figure out why. She had all the things she had ever dreamed of but still somehow felt empty.

Which of the two girls had their dream come true?

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The Prayer
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Dear Ever Loving Source,        
        Guide me on the path that leads to the true fulfillment of my fondest dreams.

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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5/24/98- Sunday Service of Church Within #87
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome once again to the church without a building... Church Within.

There are Many different phases of our Personal Growth… Pain, Struggle, Disappointment, Accomplishment, Joy, Satisfaction. How do we learn to Minimize the first three and Maximize the last three?

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Quotes
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(from: The Book of Runes #11)
        …a Rune of fulfillment: ambition satisfied, love fulfilled, rewards received. It promises nourishment, from the most worldly to the sacred and Divine. For if the ancient principle "As above so below" is true, then we are also here to nourish God.
        This Rune calls for a deep probing of the meaning of profit and gain in your life. Look with care to know whether it is wealth and possessions you require for your well-being, or rather self-rule and the growth of a will.
         Another concern of [this Rune] is with conserving what has already been gained. It urges vigilance and continual mindfulness, especially in times of good fortune, for it is then that we are likely to collapse ourselves into our success on the one hand, or to behave recklessly on the other.
        Enjoy your good fortune and remember to share it; the mark of a well-nourished self is the willingness to nourish others.

(from: The Urantia Papers - Paper-5 Section-5)
        Eternal survival of personality is wholly dependent on the choosing of the mortal mind, whose decisions determine the survival potential of the immortal soul. When the mind believes God and the soul knows God, and when, with the fostering Adjuster, they all desire God, then is survival assured. Limitations of intellect, curtailment of education, deprivation of culture, impoverishment of social status, even inferiority of the human standards of morality resulting from the unfortunate lack of educational, cultural, and social advantages, cannot invalidate the presence of the divine spirit in such unfortunate and humanly handicapped but believing individuals. The indwelling of the Mystery Monitor constitutes the inception and insures the possibility of the potential of growth and survival of the immortal soul.

(from: The Urantia Papers - Paper-110 Section-6)
The growth of the parts does not equal the true maturation of the whole; the parts really grow in proportion to the expansion of the entire self-- the whole self--material, intellectual, and spiritual.

(from: The KJV Bible - Matthew 11:28-30)
        Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

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The Sermon
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        We all experience the Highs of Life… and we definitely all experience the Lows. Isn't it funny, well maybe not really funny… Isn't it Strange how we can one moment be undergoing the most sublime spiritual Soul experience, and then all of a sudden without warning… we're out of it. Gone… Kaput… only a memory… "did I really experience it?" Then it's back in the ego… "I thought I had the Answer! I MUSTA' been wrong… Oh well, what's new…?" Then Ego starts doing it's job again and begins pointing out to us ALL of the places in our life where we have "Failed Miserably" at attaining perfection. You know it's your Ego, because the Soul would say: "places in our life where we have yet to attain Perfection." Ego is the Master at showing the Soul where there is yet opportunity to become more Godlike. Think about it! Ego can identify for us those areas in our lives that we have not yet mastered… It can be the "grain of sand" which irritates the oyster into producing the Pearls of Wisdom and Understanding that are so valuable to our Spiritual Growth! Could we not use this Ego thing Far more effectively if we were actively trying with All our Soul to be as Godlike as possible every moment of awakeness? Hey! Our Souls would know how eternally far from God's Perfection we were at any given time., but it would rejoice in how very far it has already come. In this state of Soul Awareness, the ego can be a very valuable "Tool" if it is used sparingly and kept well greased with the lubricant of Loving understanding. In stead of it fighting us all the time, wouldn't it be better if we allowed the ego to Work for us?

        I think those Immediate Struggles… the ones that REALLY are bothering us at the moment… are the ones most prudent for us to begin resolving… resolving our will to become God's Will and… Come what will. The Soul knows that no matter What happens when openly seeking God's will, it is the Right thing for this moment of Growth. The Ego isn't the Least bit sure about that.

        I have found in my own life, that the completion of a phase of Personal Growth is always characterized by a supreme feeling of Soul accomplishment… a certain exuberance for life… and a wondering: "Why was something so purely Simple so incredibly difficult?" There is the feeling that "I have found the answer to Life!" It's like a "Born All Over Again" experience. Ya ever get those? Aren't they Great!

        Then there follows a shorter or longer period of time where I get to enjoy my newfound realization or understanding. I sometimes identify it as "Being in the Space", or "Living from Soul rather than from Ego." But then…. "Rats!" Time to go to work again… time to learn what the Fragment of God Within would have me learn next…

        For a LONG time I had let my ego convince me that I had Failed… that I couldn't really have experienced what I did in fact experience because it seemed like every time I experienced a Spiritual High… the spiritual low would inevitably follow in seemingly short order. SO frustrating!!

        Then one day, relatively recently, I got to thinkin' about things. Ya know… "I DID TOO experience THAT!!! It felt GREAT!! It was the Answer to what I had been so struggling with and it was REAL!" So why do I fall back into the Lows every time? Not because I Failed last time… but… because… I am now at the very Beginning of my Next most needed Lesson to learn. I don't understand yet at first what it is I should learn, so ego roots around in it frantically for a while seeking diligently for everything that isn't the way to learn the lesson. Eventually by process of, elimination the Soul starts to get a clue about what it should really be learning from all this. After thorough frustration has made it's mark, ego is sometimes willing to ask for help from the Parent Partner Within. This is when Soul and God Within can truly begin the task of growing towards the Next experience of Fulfillment.

        When you get down and feeling low… Instead of feeling like you LOST it, try looking at it as if you are preparing for a difficult journey to an Exciting Place.. When we truly and unconditionally seek God's Will… we are either "preparing" for the Journey… ON the Journey towards… or AT the Exciting Place of accomplished Growth… Journey's End. When one Journey is finished, the next is soon to be revealed. And then begins anew the Cycle of Preparation, Movement, and Attainment.

Don't ya Hate getting ready for a trip? ;-)

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The Prayer
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Dear Ever Loving Source,        
        I know that I will continue to think that I can do things all by myself… but would You do me a favor and Kick me a little sooner the next time so I might remember to ask You to help me before it gets so painful? I'd appreciate it God. Thanks!

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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5/31/98 - Sunday Service of Church Within #88
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Welcome
********
Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome once again to the Church that is Within.

Let's first off today, each take a moment or two to be in the NOW with our Creator. Say Hi... ask a question... and then just Listen for your first clear thoughts...

Then Continue.

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Quotes
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(from: The Tao)
Therefore the Master
acts without forcing
and teaches without words.
Events happen and she lets them come;
events pass and she lets them go.
She has everything but possesses nothing,
she acts without expectation.
When her work is complete, she forgets it and moves on.
She is forever in the now.

(from: The Bible - Matthew 25:40 )
        Matthew And the King answering shall say to them, Verily, I say to you, Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it to me.

(from: The Bible - Matthew 25:42-45 )
for I hungered, and ye gave me not to eat; I thirsted, and ye gave me not to drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye did not clothe me; ill, and in prison, and ye did not visit me. Then shall *they* also answer saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungering, or thirsting, or a stranger, or naked, or ill, or in prison, and have not ministered to thee? Then shall he answer them saying, Verily I say to you, Inasmuch as ye have not done it to one of these least, neither have ye done it to me.

(a Zen Parable)
         During the civil wars in feudal Japan, an invading army would quickly sweep into a town and take control. In one particular village, everyone fled just before the army arrived - everyone except the Zen master. Curious about this old fellow, the general went to the temple to see for himself what kind of man this master was. When he wasn't treated with the deference and submissiveness to which he was accustomed, the general burst into anger. "You fool," he shouted as he reached for his sword, "don't you realize you are standing before a man who could run you through without blinking an eye!" But despite the threat, the master seemed unmoved. "And do you realize," the master replied calmly, "that you are standing before a man who can be run through without blinking an eye?"

(from: The Urantia Papers - Paper-110 Section-3)
        I cannot but observe that so many of you spend so much time and thought on mere trifles of living, while you almost wholly overlook the more essential realities of everlasting import, those very accomplishments which are concerned with the development of a more harmonious working agreement between you and your Adjusters [ed: God Partner]. The great goal of human existence is to attune to the divinity of the indwelling Adjuster; the great achievement of mortal life is the attainment of a true and understanding consecration to the eternal aims of the divine spirit who waits and works within your mind. But a devoted and determined effort to realize eternal destiny is wholly compatible with a light-hearted and joyous life and with a successful and honorable career on earth. Co-operation with the Thought Adjuster does not entail self-torture, mock piety, or hypocritical and ostentatious self-abasement; the ideal life is one of loving service rather than an existence of fearful apprehension.

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The Sermon
***********
"NOW" is the only time we can really experience God's sheer Beauty and Truth and Goodness and Love.
NOW is also the only time we can experience the Eternal's Presence in our life.
NOW is when we can experience God's Love pouring out to us from another.
NOW is when we can feel God's Love overflowing from ourselves.
Not Yesterday or last year or "when I was...", not tomorrow or next year or "when I get..."
Right NOW!

        How often do we allow the true NOW into our conversations with other people? Doesn't it seem like we spend an awful lot of time thinking about what we are going to say next when we are in conversation with others? What would happen if we would just listen eagerly to what others truly have to say first... instead of trying to figure out what to say ourselves?

        I know you've had those incredible conversational experiences where the dialogue just seems like communion. Words just flow without conscious thought. You don't interrupt one another. The whole conversation just makes you feel good inside, and you feel like you've really shared something special. Aren't those the Greatest? In those times we are truly "experiencing the moment" rather than trying to analyze it. In those times we know that we are OK and accepted for who we are... we don't have to try to sound more intelligent or important than another. And what about the ones where you're trying to just get a word in edge-wise or dueling to see who gets in the LAST word... not really listening to what someone else is saying as much as struggling for what to say next. Those conversations aren't nearly so satisfying, are they? What's the difference between the two different types of communication? One is NOW... the other is struggling to mix past with future as oil with water.

        What is it that we so fear about NOW that we spend so little time there? Is it that we are afraid NOW may turn out like one of those uncomfortable "thens"? Yes. Is it that we are afraid that NOW might not turn out to be what we hope it will? Yes. Is it because the ego must give up control fully to God in order for the Soul to experience NOW? Yes.

        "Then" is where God Was. "When" is where God will be. "NOW" is where God IS.

        When you are entranced by the Beauty of your surroundings, when you are engrossed in a well written story, when you are singing in joy without thought, when you are sharing your Soul with another... You are experiencing NOW... you are experiencing God's Presence in your life. NOW is where all the grace of God is freely available for you to use in your life. Now is where Love is.

        Enjoy NOW! Feel God's Love pouring into you and out from you NOW. Get to know all of God's other children, your sisters and brothers... NOW. Experience the Pure Joy of Life... NOW.

NOW is when we are IN Love...
NOW is when we are IN Service...
NOW is when we can FEEL Compassion...
NOW is when we can participate in the creation of our Life...
NOW is Being with God...
Allow NOW.

NOW... I wonder where all of That came from?

NOW?

NOW I begin to understand....

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The Prayer
*********
Dear Ever Loving Source,        
        All is well when I allow Your Will to influence my life. Make me an Instrument of Your Will. Be with me NOW for Eternity. Don't let me forget NOW... OK God?

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent... Right NOW!

The Creator's Infinite Love, through us, to all of You,
Pastor Daniel and Minister Jill [together]


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