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The Church Within Sunday Services

for November 2006

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#524
11-3-2006
#525
11-12-2006
#526
11-19-2006
#527
11-26-2006

11-5-2006 Sunday Service of the Church Within #524
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Weekly On-Line Services Since September 29
th 1996

Today's Service is offered by: Minister Judy Girard

Please Freely Share any of our Church Within Services with Any and All whom you feel might Appreciate them. If you have received this Service from a friend and would like to subscribe to our Weekly On-Line Services, send an e-mail with your request to: seewithin@churchwithin.org Thank You! ...and Please Visit our Church Within Web-Site at http://www.churchwithin.org

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Welcome by: Pastor Daniel
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Greetings my Beloved Sisters and Brothers, and welcome once again to the Church that is Within.

Well… last night it was pretty windy and stormy, and at about 6:16pm, the power went out on our street and some of the surrounding streets. Fortunately we had a fairly healthy supply of candles and a decent camping flashlight to see by. It's funny how short a time it takes one (who is rather dependent on electricity for most of the things they do in the evening at home), to realize they can think of nothing to do… couldn't watch a movie, couldn't make coffee, couldn't make popcorn, couldn't read, couldn't do e-mail or search for quotes for the Sunday Service. Three hours later, the recording at the power company still said “crews are on the way” meaning, they haven't gotten there yet to see what the problem was so they Sure aren't anywhere's Near Fixing it yet… But there's so much to do tonight to get ready for family coming over tomorrow… and what about the Sunday Service? We went to bed.

I woke up at 1:30am and the nightlight was on. Hmmm… the two big safety candles we left lit were out. I woke Jill and asked her how much longer the half-baked pies in the oven needed to be baked… after telling me, she said the power had come back on at 1: am. I got up figuring I could get a start on the Sunday Service and finish baking the pies for the family get-together. If I was lucky, I could finish the Service in time to watch the NASCAR race and get all the food prep done before everybody gets here. I got the pies going again, set the timer and turned on the computer to begin the Sunday Service. I thought I might as well check my e-mail while the pies were finishing up… and Low and Behold! Our very own beloved Minister Judy Girard had sent me a finished Sunday Service! Go Figure! “Thank You Jesus!!!” (…and Minister Judy too of course ;-). (it's 4:30am and I get to go back to bed!)

So… here is the 'Truly Worth Thinking About' Service from Minister Judy…

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The Sermon
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        Recently in a class I was taking about the Gospels, we hit on a discussion of the “Risen Jesus” and how he wasn't recognized in those days just after his resurrection. From the disciples on the road to Emmaus to Thomas in the upper room, many of his most intimate friends and followers had difficulty seeing who he was.

        “Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe." Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe." (John 20:24-29).

The discussion got me to thinking about several things. I had always thought about Thomas as the Doubter—the one who needed to see in order to believe. I could empathize with Thomas. I mean, isn't it reasonable to want to be sure that the same person you just saw go through a painful and horrible death is really the same person you are seeing interacting with you and your friends? Can you even imagine having a loved one return from death and visit you in a human body? Would you believe it? But, maybe the message is even stronger than I thought it was. And maybe it really has nothing at all to do with faith and doubt. What if what we are being told is that in order to recognize Jesus we must touch his wounds, enter into his wounds, become part of his woundedness? It's not like the wounds were hidden.

I thought about how hard I try to hide my own woundedness. Whether it is emotional pains, hurts and disappointments I have encountered along the way, or if it is my physical limitations, my tendency is to try to cover them up. Recently, my arthritis and other physical signs of aging (prematurely, I might add) have made mobility difficult for me. At times, if there is something I want to do that requires a fair amount of walking, I have been using a wheelchair. I have discovered several things in that process. First of all, it is difficult to be dependent on someone else to get to where I want to go and to see the things I want to see. I am an independent, self-reliant and strong person and openly displaying any kind of weakness is very difficult for me. I also have noticed that when you are transported in a wheelchair you become invisible. People walk in front of you, talk over you and just plain don't even notice that you are present. And folks don't seem to know what to do with people in wheelchairs or those with other disabilities. Seems to make people uncomfortable. They seem to feel awkward, unsure of where to look or what to say. That got me to wondering how Jesus felt walking with his friends on the journey to Emmaus, questioning whether they were ever going to notice him—to look at him and see him for who he was.

“They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?"
And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them,
who said, "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!"
Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.
As they were saying this, Jesus himself stood among them.
But they were startled and frightened, and supposed that they saw a spirit.
And he said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do questionings rise in your hearts?
See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have." (Luke 24:32-39)”


So there Jesus is, standing there. His closest friends are afraid of him. They don't trust what they are seeing. There he stands, wounded, but somehow healed. Disfigured to be sure, but whole and radiant. There was no hiding of his infirmity. “Come and see. Touch me. Put your hand deep inside of me.”

I don't know if you've ever been around someone who has a bad wound or who has had surgery, but usually the last thing I want to do is see that sore, let alone touch it. In our heart of hearts, we do not want to acknowledge our own brokenness, woundedness, imperfection and disability. I don't want to acknowledge it in other people and I certainly don't want to be reminded of my own mortality, yet alone of my brokenness, infirmities or weaknesses.

So, there is Jesus, the disabled God. Victorious over death, but with the tell-tale signs of torture and abuse. “Here I am, beaten, abused both physically and emotionally, and I have nothing to hide. I am whole. “ How much more human can you get than to stand there, having gone through your own grief and sorrow, confusion and despair, exasperation and exhaustion, pain and perseverance, and invite people to see it all? To touch it. And possibly even to smell it.

There is an invitation there, I think. An invitation that we give lip service to. An invitation to enter into the life of Jesus. To touch his pain and thereby touch the pain of others. To enter into his woundedness—his humanness. To go deep inside of Him. To weave his pain into our lives—to weave our pain and the pain of others around us into all that we do. To become intimate with Jesus in a way few of us are really comfortable with. To not look beyond those who are less able than we are, but to enter into their lives. To touch their woundedness, to see the scars and to not be afraid. Further, to touch on our own brokenness, our own weakness, flaws and holes, and our own mortality.

I just recently viewed the movie, Santa Claus 2. There is a line in the movie somewhere that questions whether “Seeing is believing or if believing is seeing.” Obviously, the movie is referring to Santa Claus. But what about Jesus? What happens when we believe? What are we able to see when we believe? What can we touch?

Jesus, the disabled God. Full of holes, yet missing nothing. And maybe there is another message. In order to become whole, we must embrace—not conquer, but embrace-- our woundedness, our brokenness, and our disabilities. To exhibit all that we are to the world and invite them in to our weakness. To meet our brothers and sisters, not with fear, but with a willingness to touch their pain, to reach in and feel their wounds with our hands—and our hearts.

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The Prayer
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Loving God, we thank you and praise you for the gift of faith. For believing when we cannot or do not see. Help us to see you in all we meet, to meet you in all we see and to embrace our brokenness, while striving to be whole.

Blessings,

Judy

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11-12-2006 Sunday Service of the Church Within #525
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Weekly On-Line Services Since September 29
th 1996

Today's Service is offered by: Pastor Daniel J. Megow

Please Freely Share any of our Church Within Services with Any and All whom you feel might Appreciate them. If you have received this Service from a friend and would like to subscribe to our Weekly On-Line Services, send an e-mail with your request to: seewithin@churchwithin.org Thank You! ...and Please Visit our Church Within Web-Site at http://www.churchwithin.org

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Humor of the Week
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A wealthy older lady decides to go on a photo safari in Africa, taking her faithful aged poodle named Cuddles, along for the company. One day the poodle starts chasing butterflies and before long, Cuddles discovers that she's lost.

Wandering about, she notices a leopard heading rapidly in her direction with the intention of having lunch. The older poodle thinks, "Oh, oh! I'm in deep doo-doo now!" Noticing some bones on the ground close by, she immediately settles down to chew on the bones with her back to the approaching cat. Just as the leopard is about to leap, the older poodle exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious leopard! I wonder if there are any more around here?"

Hearing this, the young leopard halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees. "Whew!", says the leopard, "That was close! That older poodle nearly had me!"

Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard. So off he goes, but the older poodle sees him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figures that something must be up. The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard. The young leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here, monkey, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!"

Now, the old poodle sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back and thinks, "What am I going to do now?", but instead of running, the dog sits down with her back to her attackers, pretending she hasn't seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the older poodle says: "Where's that darn monkey? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another leopard!"

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Welcome by: Pastor Daniel
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Greetings my Beloved Sisters and Brothers, and welcome once again to the Church that is Within.

I owe the topic for this week's service to the political election in the USA that took place this past week. (It just made me think about how important it is.)

The topic of today's Sunday Service, #525, is Balance…

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Quotes
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(From: The Tao Te Ching - #77)
As it acts in the world, the Tao is like the bending of a bow.
The top is bent downward; the bottom is bent up.
It adjusts excess and deficiency so that there is perfect balance.
It takes from what is too much and give to what isn't enough.

Those who try to control, who use force to protect their power,
go against the direction of the Tao.
They take from those who don't have enough
and give to those who have far too much.

(From: The RSV Bible - Isaiah 40:15)
Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance

(From: Rodney Yee)
As we look deeply within, we understand our perfect balance. There is no fear of the cycle of birth, life and death. For when you stand in the present moment, you are timeless.

(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-196 Section-3)
        The great challenge to modern man is to achieve better communication with the divine Monitor that dwells within the human mind. Man's greatest adventure in the flesh consists in the well-balanced and sane effort to advance the borders of self-consciousness out through the dim realms of embryonic soul-consciousness in a wholehearted effort to reach the borderland of spirit-consciousness--contact with the divine presence. Such an experience constitutes God-consciousness, an experience mightily confirmative of the pre-existent truth of the religious experience of knowing God.

(From: Euripides (484 BC - 406 BC)
The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.

(From: Thomas Merton)

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.

(From: Robert Fulghum)
Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

(From: Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.

(From: Charles Dickens)
The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life.

(From: Will - 3/14/04 – The North Idaho TeaM)
Picture yourself a stairwell and imagine yourself standing at the ground floor. With two feet on the ground you are stable and balanced. As you choose to ascend the stairwell you must shift your balance. This shifting of balance when executed rightly is a change from a static balance to a dynamic balance and aids you in taking your first step. Your entire terrestrial life is a series of incremental steps. Your exit of womb and the beginning of life independent, the arrival of the Indwelling Spirit, your choice for eternal life, your transition from childhood to adulthood, from middle years to senior years, each step is a shift in balance and brings with it the potential to lose balance, to be thrown too far to one side and to fall.

Some may wish to remain steady and to stall out on a given step because of the distress of a dynamic transition of balance shift. Remember always that spirit is the handrail, and this spirit rail continually ascends. There is no plateau as each step has for you while on Earth. The steady ever-presence of spirit retains your upright ascent even when you are momentarily off your balance. It is the time when you are unbalanced that this rail is of most importance and is the time when you ought to clutch ever more solidly to the spirit rail.

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The Sermon
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The word Balance is one that humanity has been using/hearing rather frequently these past several decades. Of course, now that I am thinking about it, Balance must have been a fairly significant word/term/concept for mankind ever since the first humans looked upon this world, or we as a race of intelligent creatures would not have survived until today. Survival always was “Hanging in the Balance.” What was accomplished by an individual to Assure their survival, kept the Balance from being “tipped” too far in the non-survival direction, if you know what I mean. Once any kind of commerce began in the human race, Balance was given an even greater amount of attention, I would imagine. Pretty much (if not entirely), Civilization/Mankind is downright Dependent upon Balance for it's continued survival.

Life Is in fact, A Balancing Act… wouldn't you say?

Think about it. In order to get ones personal Needs met there must be maintained a certain Balance…
a Balance of work and play…
a Balance of activity and rest…
a Balance of eating and exercise…
a Balance of knowledge and experience…
a Balance of making mistakes and acquiring wisdom…
a Balance of the material and the spiritual.
It is my own experience that “Balancing the Material and the Spiritual” makes Balancing all of the others Much, Much Easier. Have you ever found that to be true for yourself as well? Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I am “There” yet, only that I have discovered the truth of it in those times when I Am able to maintain that Balance.

The Spiritual part of Balance seems to be what actually gives Quality to life, whereas the Material part appears to provide the quantity.

Accumulation is more material, Appreciation is more Spiritual…
Aggression is more material, Cooperation is more Spiritual…
Fear is more material, Understanding is more Spiritual…
Hatred is more material, Compassion is more Spiritual…
Mistrust is more material, Love is more Spiritual…
Ego is more material, Soul is more Spiritual.

The quest for: power over others, unbridled material gain or unfair advantage, is more material.
The Quest for: Love and Compassion… the Quest for God, is more Spiritual.

Since we are almost entirely material creatures trying to survive upon a material planet… it would be likely to assume that perhaps there is yet some way to go in achieving a balance of the material with the Spiritual, wouldn't you Think?

Well… enough time talking about it.
I guess I had better be about it.

What are You doing today?

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The Prayer
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Dear God,
        Help me to find the Balance between making sure I survive in This life, and making sure that I Survive into the Next Life.

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

The Creator's Infinite Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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11-19-2006 Sunday Service of the Church Within #526
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Weekly On-Line Services Since September 29
th 1996

Today's Service is offered by: Pastor Daniel J. Megow

Please Freely Share any of our Church Within Services with Any and All whom you feel might Appreciate them. If you have received this Service from a friend and would like to subscribe to our Weekly On-Line Services, send an e-mail with your request to: seewithin@churchwithin.org Thank You! ...and Please Visit our Church Within Web-Site at http://www.churchwithin.org

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Humor of the Week
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Do not always assume the other fellow has intelligence equal to yours. He may have more.
(From: Terry Thomas)


[What do you Mean it's not funny? Haven't you ever made that assumption before? ;-)]

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Welcome by: Pastor Daniel
************************
Greetings my Beloved Sisters and Brothers, and welcome once again to the Church that is Within.

It is next to impossible to live in this world without making some assumptions…

The topic of today's Sunday Service, #526, is Erroneous Assumptions…

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Quotes
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(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-103 Section-1)
        Rationalism is wrong when it assumes that religion is at first a primitive belief in something which is then followed by the pursuit of values. Religion is primarily a pursuit of values, and then there formulates a system of interpretative beliefs. It is much easier for men to agree on religious values--goals--than on beliefs--interpretations. And this explains how religion can agree on values and goals while exhibiting the confusing phenomenon of maintaining a belief in hundreds of conflicting beliefs--creeds. This also explains why a given person can maintain his religious experience in the face of giving up or changing many of his religious beliefs. Religion persists in spite of revolutionary changes in religious beliefs. Theology does not produce religion; it is religion that produces theologic philosophy.

(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-54 Section-1)
        True liberty is the associate of genuine self-respect; false liberty is the consort of self-admiration. True liberty is the fruit of self-control; false liberty, the assumption of self-assertion. Self-control leads to altruistic service; self-admiration tends towards the exploitation of others for the selfish aggrandizement of such a mistaken individual as is willing to sacrifice righteous attainment for the sake of possessing unjust power over his fellow beings.

(From: Herman Melville (1819 - 1891)
Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.

(From: Robert Heinlein (1907 - 1988), Stranger in a Srange Land)
Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.... Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love the greater the jealousy.

(From: H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)
The world always makes the assumption that the exposure of an error is identical with the discovery of truth--that the error and truth are simply opposite. They are nothing of the sort. What the world turns to, when it is cured of one error, is usually simply another error, and maybe one worse than the first one.

(From: Abraham 5/1/2000 – the Woods Cross TeaM)
Many are the times we cross paths with our fellows and find we do not communicate well, or assume that others think poorly of us. Conflicts arise out of what seems to be nothing. Many have had difficult backgrounds that would have taught them to believe the world looks at them in a negative fashion.
Problems between you and your fellows become built up with excess baggage, not only from what is obvious and in front of your face, but with the many years past scars. Through miscommunication we find that we assume what others are thinking. The problem becomes so built up in our minds that the original problem is lost under the pile of assumptions and negative thoughts.

(From: G. H. Lewes, Physiology of Common Life)
We must never assume that which is incapable of proof.

(From: John Seely Brown, Fast Company)
The harder you fight to hold on to specific assumptions, the more likely there's gold in letting go of them.

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The Sermon
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The assumption that you know what another person is thinking…
or is feeling…
or knows…
or doesn't know…
or is capable of…
or is incapable of…
or is going to do…
or isn't going to do…
…is pretty much an Erroneous Assumption, don't you think?

Do you ever make those kinds of erroneous assumptions?

No, I never do Either… well… Almost never.
OK, so Sure… Once in a great while maybe, or Occasionally at the Most.
Alright, alright… sometimes I might make erroneous assumptions, but Surely not more often than I don't.

Maybe making erroneous assumptions is an inherent part of learning… then again, maybe it's only real value is to help us learn Not to make erroneous assumptions.

If one always assumes the Worst, more often than not they will find evidence that they are right.
If one always assumes the Best, more often than not They will find evidence that They are right.

Assumptions based upon a rational assessment of observable facts can lead one toward the attainment of Knowledge and Wisdom. Assumptions based upon an irrational accumulation of unsubstantiated suppositions invariably will lead one in the opposite direction and can have serious emotional repercussions.

Are you going in the best direction for you?

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The Prayer
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Dear God,
        Guide me in the right direction for me.

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

The Creator's Infinite Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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11-26-2006 Sunday Service of the Church Within #527
****************************************************************************
Weekly On-Line Services Since September 29
th 1996

Today's Service is offered by: Pastor Daniel J. Megow

Please Freely Share any of our Church Within Services with Any and All whom you feel might Appreciate them. If you have received this Service from a friend and would like to subscribe to our Weekly On-Line Services, send an e-mail with your request to: seewithin@churchwithin.org Thank You! ...and Please Visit our Church Within Web-Site at http://www.churchwithin.org

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Humor of the Week
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(a Zen Story)
One day Chuang Tzu and a friend were walking by a river. "Look at the fish swimming about," said Chuang Tzu, "They are really enjoying themselves."

"You are not a fish," replied the friend, "So you can't truly know that they are enjoying themselves."

"You are not me," said Chuang Tzu. "So how do you know that I do not know that the fish are enjoying themselves?"


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Welcome by: Pastor Daniel
************************
Greetings my Beloved Sisters and Brothers, and welcome once again to the Church that is Within.

I've done a fair number of Sunday Services over the years on “Service” but, never before one quite like this one…

The topic of today's Sunday Service, #527, is Service…

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Quotes
*******
(From: Marcus Aurelius – Meditations, Book Three)
One whose chief regard is for his own mind, and for the divinity within him and the service of its goodness, will strike no poses, utter no complaints, and crave neither for solitude nor yet for a crowd. Best of all, his life will be free from continual pursuing and avoiding.

(From: Lantarnek - 10/19/06 – Lightline Teleconference TeaM)
When you deepen your relationship to the divine presence you serve your brothers and sisters and you uplift the world, for the reality is not only the hard rock, the blowing storms or those peaceful sunny afternoons, it is also the establishment of an awareness of spirit presence in the mind connected by way of soul to He who is overall.

(From: The RSV Bible - Corinthians I 12:4-7)
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

(From: Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
The aim (of education) must be the training of independently acting and thinking individuals who, however, can see in the service to the community their highest life achievement.

(From: Cesar E. Chavez)
The end of all education should surely be service to others.

(From: Sir Wilfred T. Grenfell)
The service we render to others is really the rent we pay for our room on this earth. It is obvious that man is himself a traveler; that the purpose of this world is not "to have and to hold" but "to give and serve." There can be no other meaning.

(From: The RSV Bible - John III 1:5 )
Beloved, it is a loyal thing you do when you render any service to the brethren, especially to strangers

(From: Madame de Stael (1766 - 1817)
Sow good services; sweet remembrances will grow then.

(From: Og Mandino (1923 - 1996)
Always render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your task may be.

(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-170 Section-3)
Jesus taught a living religion that impelled its believers to engage in the doing of loving service. But Jesus did not put ethics in the place of religion. He taught religion as a cause and ethics as a result.
The righteousness of any act must be measured by the motive; the highest forms of good are therefore unconscious. Jesus was never concerned with morals or ethics as such. He was wholly concerned with that inward and spiritual fellowship with God the Father which so certainly and directly manifests itself as outward and loving service for man. He taught that the religion of the kingdom is a genuine personal experience which no man can contain within himself; that the consciousness of being a member of the family of believers leads inevitably to the practice of the precepts of the family conduct, the service of one's brothers and sisters in the effort to enhance and enlarge the brotherhood.
The religion of the kingdom is personal, individual; the fruits, the results, are familial, social. Jesus never failed to exalt the sacredness of the individual as contrasted with the community. But he also recognized that man develops his character by unselfish service; that he unfolds his moral nature in loving relations with his fellows.

(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-92 Section-4)
The essence of his teaching was love and service, the loving worship which a creature son voluntarily gives in recognition of, and response to, the loving ministry of God his Father; the freewill service which such creature sons bestow upon their brethren in the joyous realization that in this service they are likewise serving God the Father.

(From: Hadewijch of Antwerp)
May your service of love, a beautiful thing; want nothing else, fear nothing else and let love be free to become what love truly is.

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The Sermon
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The other day I was listening to a talk show on the radio on my way home from work at the leather shop. This particular segment of the show was about a U.S. senator who was planning to introduce a bill in the Senate that would re-instate the military “Draft” for 18 year olds, and the talk show host was all in favor of such a thing. She had been in the “service” (voluntarily I suspect since she is not old enough to have been drafted), and felt that all young people, rich or poor, had an obligation to “serve their country” in such a way as she did. Well, I don't mind telling you that I was somewhat taken aback and rather perturbed by these comments (especially since my son Danny just turned 17 years old this past week). One of the shows “callers” took issue with the host, and it was very briefly mentioned by the host that during “peacetime” draftees could/would serve at hospitals or schools or airports or such as security or whatever, but they would still be in the military (I guess that must the only way she can conceive of as “serving the country”).

That got me to thinking… What if “Serving the Country” also meant…

…carrying out disaster relief?
…building homes for those in need?
…maintaining and constructing local, state and national infrastructure?
…serving in search and rescue?
…laboring in agriculture?
…working in natural resource conservation?
…aiding in food bank maintenance and distribution?
or,
…helping in homeless shelters, health care facilities or other forms of social services?

Should these things not also be considered to be “serving the country” in which a person lives? Do they not also serve the good of the country? Why is it that “serving the country” has become synonymous only with being in the military? Do not get me wrong, I have respect for those young men and women who feel led to serve the people of their country in the military, but there are other ways to serve for those who feel morally opposed to or unsuited for military service. Would it not be wise to have options of service for those young men and women as well?

What if “being in the Service” had a more universal meaning than it does today? What if “being in the Service” included a number of constructive options as well? I would bet that most young men and women would gladly volunteer to Serve their fellow man in those ways for a few years… perhaps even a lifetime.

Being in Service to our fellows is far more than a responsibility, it is the Greatest Privilege.
Being in Service can be hard work, yet it is a Supreme Joy at the same time… an Excellent way to feel good about one's self.

“Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of my brethren, you did it to me.”

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The Prayer
**********
Dear God,
        I am at Your Service. Show me how best I may help.

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

The Creator's Infinite Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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