Church Within Sunday Services

for November 1997

Click a box to go to the Individual Service
#58
11-2-97
#59
11-9-97
#60
11-16-97
#61
11-23-97
#62
11-30-97

11-2-97 - Sunday Service of Church Within #58
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome to Church Within.

        My son Danny, who will this month be 8 years old, just recently joined the "Cub Scouts". Yesterday he and I were going through his "Wolf" Cub Scout manual in an effort to earn his "Bobcat" patch. One of the required tasks to achieve this goal was memorizing and understanding the Cub Scout "Motto". That motto is: "Do your Best."

It's a Good Motto, is it not? I wonder how much I could actually accomplish if I remembered and practiced it All of the time. I pray for the desire and stamina to find out...

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Quotes
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(The Urantia Papers ---Paper-99 Section-6)
There is a real purpose in the socialization of religion. It is the purpose of group religious activities to dramatize the loyalties of religion; to magnify the lures of truth, beauty, and goodness; to foster the attractions of supreme values; to enhance the service of unselfish fellowship; to glorify the potentials of family life; to promote religious education; to provide wise counsel and spiritual guidance; and to encourage group worship. And all live religions encourage human friendship, conserve morality, promote neighborhood welfare, and facilitate the spread of the essential gospel of their respective messages of eternal salvation.

(The Bible --- Ephesians 5:8-13)
for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is a shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret; but when anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light.

(The Book of Mormon --- from: Moroni-10:5-6)
        And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. And whatsoever thing is good is just and true;

(The Book of Mormon --- Moroni-10:8-18)
         And again, I exhort you, my brethren, that ye deny not the gifts of God, for they are many; and they come from the same God. And there are different ways that these gifts are administered; but it is the same God who worketh all in all; and they are given by the manifestations of the Spirit of God unto men, to profit them. For behold, to one is given by the Spirit of God, that he may teach the word of wisdom; And to another, that he may teach the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; And to another, exceedingly great faith; and to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; And again, to another, that he may work mighty miracles; And again, to another, that he may prophesy concerning all things; And again, to another, the beholding of angels and ministering spirits; And again, to another, all kinds of tongues; And again, to another, the interpretation of languages and of divers kinds of tongues. And all these gifts come by the Spirit of Christ; and they come unto every man severally, according as he will. And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that every good gift cometh of Christ.

(The Urantia Papers --- Paper-2 Section-7)
The religious challenge of this age is to those farseeing and forward-looking men and women of spiritual insight who will dare to construct a new and appealing philosophy of living out of the enlarged and exquisitely integrated modern concepts of cosmic truth, universe beauty, and divine goodness. Such a new and righteous vision of morality will attract all that is good in the mind of man and challenge that which is best in the human soul. Truth, beauty, and goodness are divine realities, and as man ascends the scale of spiritual living, these supreme qualities of the Eternal become increasingly co-ordinated and unified in God, who is love.

(The Tao of Pooh --- pg.137-Chuang-tse)
It is widely recognized that the courageous spirit of a single man can inspire to victory an army of thousands. If one concerned with ordinary gain can create such an effect, how much more will be produced by one who cares for greater things!

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The Sermon
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Ahhh... what a Glorious day Today is... Alive and pregnant with the potential for discovering Truth, Beauty, Goodness and Love!!!
...if I allow the birth.

It is supposed to be cold, cloudy and windy with rain here in Northern Idaho today. I will eagerly look forward to but a single moment of brilliant sunshine with it's associated patch of blue sky. The clouds and rain and blowing leaves are so beautiful against the bright azure background!

Many of the people I may see today will be frowning and unhappy, cold and miserable... but not I. I will joyfully smile at them all for I know that they are God's Children. Perhaps one will look me in the
eye and genuinely smile back... maybe even more than one. What a marvelous Gift that will be!

I will watch the news today and be shown that there is still pain and suffering and catastrophe in the world, and I will pray sincerely for those who are affected by it... and rejoice for the vast majority who are not.

Today I will know that there are some people who care about nobody but themselves... who selfishly take advantage of the weak and the fearful and the lost... who destroy rather than create... who hate rather than love. But... I will choose to be cheered by fact that Most of God's children DO care about others; DO Love Truth, Beauty and Goodness; and DO do their best to make the world a better place to live.

Ahhh... what a Glorious day Today is... Alive and pregnant with the potential for discovering Truth, Beauty, Goodness and Love!!!

...if I will only allow the birth.

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The Prayer
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Dearest [fill in your own favorite name for the Universal Source],

        Show me Your Light that I may see through the darkness of fear. Open my eyes that I may see the Truth, Beauty, Goodness and Love that is You. Help me to see myself and others as You see us... Your little children doing all that we know how to learn and to grow... wanting so much to be like You, and yet falling short in our immaturity and relative youth. Teach me Dear God to Love as You Love... freely and without conditions. Give me the strength to endure my incompleteness as I ever so slowly acquire the means for my continued growth and eventual maturity.

        For these things I pray dear Parent, and for those things that I have not yet the foresight to request of You. I Worship All that You Are. Help me to Be Your Will.

Amen!


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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11/09/97 - Sunday Service of Church Within #59
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Welcome
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Good morning to all our sisters and brothers who join with us today. Our service this Sunday is offered through Minister Jill Megow.

Greetings, everyone. I find myself filled with a special joyful excitement each time I get the "Angel Bump" to share with you in this special way. Each day, it seems, I am discovering more and more who I truly am and how much I enjoy trusting that new awareness and being it to the fullest. It is my silent prayer that each of you, too, will receive daily Angel Bumps of beautiful self-discovery and will risk being that new and beautiful personal essence you discover about yourself. What a grand journey!... this self-discovery through the leadings of spirit during daily moments of stillness that we afford ourselves.

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Going Within
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Come, be still with me. A sigh of relief and an initial conscious relaxing of my body is a ritual I use to begin my stillness. Take a moment now to initiate your silence. If you do not have a ritual you follow, consider creating one this morning. Have an inner dialogue with yourself and ask yourself what stillness means to you. Ask your body to show you how it feels "stillness" and expresses it. Let your body show you the way. Feel that smile of surprise spread across your lips as you discover that your body does have a "voice" and responds to your request joyfully.

I'll join you again in a few moments. Peace, joy and enlightenment to you in your silent inner journey.


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Quotes
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(Our Special Thanks to Fred Harris for the following Parable)
"UNTIE THE CAT"
When the famous guru sat down to worship each evening, the house cat would get in the way and distract the worshippers. So he ordered that the cat be tied up during the evening worship. After the guru died the cat continued to be tied during evening worship. And when the cat expired, another cat was acquired so that it could be duly tied during evening worship. Centuries later, learned treatises were written by the guru's scholarly disciples on the liturgical significance of tying up a cat while worship is performed.

(The Urantia Papers Paper-87 Section-7)
Every effective religion unerringly develops a worthy symbolism, and its devotees would do well to prevent the crystallization of such a ritual into cramping, deforming, and stifling stereotyped ceremonials which can only handicap and retard all social, moral, and spiritual progress.

(The Bible Thessalonians I 3:9-12)
For what thanksgiving can we render to God for you, for all the joy which we feel for your sake before our God, praying earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith? Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you; and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all men, as we do to you


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The Sermon
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        I was recently invited to attend a WOVA Seminar in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. WOVA stands for "Women Of Vision and Action." It is a national organization of women who seek to create a better world. What powerful, loving energy I experienced from this group of about 50 women who gathered together with unity of purpose. If you would like information about this group, e-mail me at jillp@churchwithin.org.

        In the afternoon we broke into small groups with specific topics. I participated in one which examined Human Ritual and Rites of Passage in our lives. We all laughed as the presenters gave us a mime skit of a daily ritual we all have created for ourselves: Our "Waking Up and Getting Ready for the Day" ritual. We looked at all types of human rituals that societies engage in: Rituals and Rites of Passage---beginnings, cycles of growth, completions, and celebrations in the life process.

        I would like to stimulate thought today about a Celebration Ritual most of us will be engaging in this month: Thanksgiving. What is your Thanksgiving ritual? Do you celebrate it with family? Are you without family nearby and celebrate instead with your close friends who have become your new family? Or are you alone perhaps, and wish you had someone to share it with? Oh, my! If you are in that category, what an opportunity to reach out to another!

        Unfortunately, some social rituals that are supposed to be filled with love and appreciation aren't that, in real life. I was with a client recently who said, "I hate Christmas. It's such a chore putting up the tree, decorating it, then taking it down. And Christmas Day! Ugh! In my family it's just an excuse to get together and drink, and we always end up fighting and yelling. I hate family holidays."

        Can some of you relate to that scenario? I can. And it hurts, deep in my heart. I am fortunate, however, that such scenarios no longer exist in my life. But my heart cries out, "Is there some way we could change that scenario?" Perhaps. I would like to offer an alternative to the ritual that for many has become a dreaded but necessary "obligation" in their minds.

        Thanksgiving. What a glorious word. How could we change our personal ritual to truly reflect the meaning of that word this year? This year I am going to establish a new ritual of "thanks" giving and appreciation in our home. After everyone arrives and we socialize and get acquainted (if there are new "family" among us for the first time) and get re-acquainted for an hour or so, I will have everyone write their name on a separate piece of paper and put it in a bowl.
Then we will each draw a name. (I won't tell them ahead of time the reason why.) After we have each drawn a name, I will hand them a piece of paper (it might be fun to go buy one of those beautiful specialty papers that now are available at Kinko's and Hallmark shops). Then I will invite each of them to write on that piece of paper 5 qualities or characteristics they appreciate and give thanks for about the person whose name they have drawn. It matters not whether it is someone they have just met or a lifelong family member.

        Oh! Are you feeling a little anxiety welling up inside? What if you draw the name of someone whose behaviors you've come to despise? Hmmm. Do you think you might be able to look back to when you were a child and find a specific time when that person did something special with you, for you? Quite often people who live in fear and self-shame find that they CAN and DO reflect their true, loving nature with children. Each of us, despite the protective and sometimes abrasive armor we wear as adults to hide our self-hate, has had moments when we have been our True Self-our God Self. You CAN find 5 God-like qualities in another if you are willing to look through the eyes and heart of the God within you.

        When we are all finished writing, we will sit around the dining table or living room, and read "My Gift of Thanks and Appreciation for ________ (insert person's name)" out loud, making direct and loving eye contact with the person. Then we will give our gift to that person to keep and treasure---a reflection of their goodness and wonderfulness, a permanent reminder to them when they are in doubt of who they are.

        We are each a beautiful and unique child of God, Our Father, Our Creator. Let us release all personal judgment, all personal hurt, this Thanksgiving, and allow ourselves to be led to see the inherent beauty and goodness in others. What a joy to be the recipient of such vision from another, as well. Most of us don't look at ourself through God's loving eyes very often. That gift of appreciation, written and verbalized, may just be the seed that begins the journey of self-love for one who has been living in self-hate for years.

        I am looking forward to our Thanksgiving Celebration this year. I encourage you to find a way to look forward to yours in a new and refreshing light, too. Begin a new and personally meaningful ritual this year! We are creators of our reality. Let us all create an essence of true "Thanks" Giving this Thanksgiving Day.
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The Prayer
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Dearest (insert your special reference name for our Creator),

        As I approach the social ritual of Thanksgiving, soften my heart, release me of my unconscious "ritual of judgment" of those whom I truly love dearly, and plant within me the seeds of birth of a new ritual of true "thanks" giving. Let me see all others only through Your Loving Eyes, as You see them, appreciate them, and have compassion for them. Let my heart be filled with unconditional love. Let my words of appreciation for another flow from the personal experience I have of Your unconditional love, mercy and compassion for me, despite all of my shortcomings. Guide me to discover the truth, beauty, and goodness in myself this day and every day, so that I can then be open to discover and express to others the truth, beauty, and goodness that I find in them when I look through Your eyes and heart. Heal my eyes and my heart, and those of all Your children, this day and for all days to follow.

Amen.

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I offer my grateful appreciation to WOVA for the inspiration for this service. May we all be inspired to personally create a new daily ritual of seeing all others through our Creator's eyes and heart, which dwell within each of us, from this day forward.

In loving service,

Jill Megow
Minister, Church Within

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11/16/97 - Sunday Service of Church Within #60
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome to Church Within.

We appreciate, so much more than we can adequately say, your being here with us today!

I just started watching "Touched by an Angel" this season, and my favorite line from the show [they say it at least once a week] is: "God Loves YOU!"

Just thought I'd mention that... it's Truth ya know.

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Quotes
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(The Bible John 14:15-16)
        If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

(from "The Tao of Pooh" by: Benjamin Hoff)
The masters of life know the Way, for they listen to the voice within them, the voice of wisdom and simplicity, the voice that reasons beyond Cleverness and knows beyond Knowledge. That voice is not just the power and property of a few, but has been given to everyone. Those who pay attention to it are too often treated as exceptions to a rule, rather than as examples of the rule in operation, a rule that can apply to anyone who makes use of it.

(The Urantia Papers Paper-133 Section-4)
"My brother, I perceive you are seeking for truth, and I suggest that the spirit of the Father of all truth may chance to dwell within you. Did you ever sincerely endeavor to talk with the spirit of your own soul? Such a thing is indeed difficult and seldom yields consciousness of success; but every honest attempt of the material mind to communicate with its indwelling spirit meets with certain success, notwithstanding that the majority of all such magnificent human experiences must long remain as superconscious registrations in the souls of such God-knowing mortals."

(The Urantia Papers Paper-148 Section-6)
"No more shall suffering mortals be denied the comfort of knowing the love of God and understanding the mercy of the Father in heaven. While the speech of God spoken from the whirlwind was a majestic concept for the day of its utterance, you have already learned that the Father does not thus reveal himself, but rather that he speaks within the human heart as a still, small voice, saying, 'This is the way; walk therein.' Do you not comprehend that God dwells within you, that he has become what you are that he may make you what he is! "

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The Sermon
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"Seek and you shall find."
"He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

Listen and you shall hear.

A while ago, my son asked me, "Dad... Does God answer our prayers?" Unhesitatingly I answered, "Yes son, of course God answers our prayers." He nodded.

"Well... how do you know?" he asked a while later. "Know what son?" I said. "That God answers our prayers." he replied. "Well," I said, "God answers my prayers." "Always?" he asks. I thought a second and said, "Well, yes son, God always answers my prayers." "Well..." he says, "I just prayed for a remote control car and didn't get it." I smiled at him and said, "Well son, sometimes God's answer to a prayer is no." He frowned, and I said "But sometimes it just takes a lot longer to answer certain prayers, son. I'm always waiting for at least one prayer or another to be answered completely." He thought about that for a second, " Dad, does God ever answer our prayers right away?" "Yes son, if it is something God knows that we truly need right away, the answer will come right away." "Well, I didn't really think I would get my remote control car right now anyways. God doesn't answer My prayers." "Sure he does honey," I said, "You just need to learn how to listen for the answer. Sometimes the answer comes a long time after we have already forgotten that we prayed for it."         After a while, "Dad... What does God sound like?"

What does God sound like to you?

Do you listen for God's voice? I do, and sometimes I 'hear' that "still small voice" from within that sounds so much like my own thoughts. The words that encourage me: to have patience, to love and be loving, to appreciate the beauty around me, and to be good and do good things... These are God's words to me. Sometimes they are direct thoughts that I get myself, most often those are the ones that say "be a little more patient with...", or "wouldn't it be better if...", or "don't you think you should...", or "wouldn't you really rather..." We ALL know about those ones don't we?

Most frequently God's words of Love and Kindness seem more to come to me from the mouths of other people. Ya ever notice that? I'm becoming much more aware of it lately. Quite often in the course of a conversation, someone will say words to me that I really Needed to hear, like... "Look at that Incredible Sunset!" or "You gotta smell these flowers." or "That was so nice of you." or "I Love you." Words that make me feel good when I am down, words that encourage me to be my best, words that remind me of the beauty all around me, words that ring true in my Soul, words that draw me to Love. To me... these are All God's words. God is the Source of ALL that is True, Beautiful, Good and Loving, in my opinion, and the more we choose to allow those things to flow forth from ourselves, the more we will see them flowing out from others as well. God is Always with us... each and every one of us... and He dearly Loves us each individually. When we begin to see the Love and the Beauty and the Goodness in others and in ourselves, it becomes much easier to "Hear God's Voice".

"Well... " I said to my son, "To me God sounds just like Love." He nodded and thought about it for the rest of the day... and so did I.

I learned to listen for God's Voice more regularly that day, and you know what? I'm getting a lot better at hearing it. Funny. I had just prayed the day before for a better understanding of our Heavenly Parent, and then the next day my loving son helped me to find one.

"Hey, Listen..."

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The Prayer
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Dearest Father [please fill in your own favorite name for the Universal Source],
        Teach us, Your children, the best way to recognize Your Voice over the clamor of everyday existence and survival. Sometimes it is really tough to listen, and sometimes we just fear Your answer will not be what we want to hear. Help us to remember that whatever answer You give is truly for our greatest good. Help us to "Fear Not". Help us to better understand Your Will that we may the better pray for those things that You would so gladly give to us for the asking. Teach us the best way to act like Your Children.
        Thank You Father. I anxiously await Your Answer. Oh yeah... and help me to keep listening! AMEN.

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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11/23/97 - Sunday Service of Church Within #61
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome once again to Church Within.

Come in, make yourself comfortable and take a few minutes to relax in mental stillness while listening intently for that "still small voice" within you. When you feel at peace within yourself, proceed.

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Quotes
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(from: The Urantia Papers Paper-100 Section-4)
        In the mind's eye conjure up a picture of one of your primitive ancestors of cave-dwelling times--a short, misshapen, filthy, snarling hulk of a man standing, legs spread, club upraised, breathing hate and animosity as he looks fiercely just ahead. Such a picture hardly depicts the divine dignity of man. But allow us to enlarge the picture. In front of this animated human crouches a saber-toothed tiger. Behind him, a woman and two children. Immediately you recognize that such a picture stands for the beginnings of much that is fine and noble in the human race, but the man is the same in both pictures. Only in the second sketch you are favored with a widened horizon. You therein discern the motivation of this evolving mortal. His attitude becomes praiseworthy because you understand him. If you could only fathom the motives of your associates, how much better you would understand them. If you could only know your fellows, you would eventually fall in love with them.
        You cannot truly love your fellows by a mere act of the will. Love is only born of thoroughgoing understanding of your neighbor's motives and sentiments. It is not so important to love all men today as it is that each day you learn to love one more human being. If each day or each week you achieve an understanding of one more of your fellows, and if this is the limit of your ability, then you are certainly socializing and truly spiritualizing your personality. Love is infectious, and when human devotion is intelligent and wise, love is more catching than hate. But only genuine and unselfish love is truly contagious. If each mortal could only become a focus of dynamic affection, this benign virus of love would soon pervade the sentimental emotion-stream of humanity to such an extent that all civilization would be encompassed by love, and that would be the realization of the brotherhood of man.

(from: The KJV Bible Isaiah 38:16)
        O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these is the life of my spirit. Oh, restore me to health and make me live!

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The Sermon
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What is it that motivates your life? Really.

        For some, it would seem that it is the accumulation of possessions that motivate them... or appearances... or for power. For others, you might think that their job is their true motivation. But... look deeper. These are but the surface motivations.

        OK then, how about... a spouse or partner, or... your children, family, friends. Worthy motivators, each of them. But again... look deeper. Deeper you say? Well... yeah... There IS a deeper
motivation ya know... we haven't yet reached the core.

        Church?... deeper. Scriptures?... deeper. Beliefs?... deeper. Faith?... even deeper yet. The I AM?... well, yes of course, but for today's purposes let's go back up one notch.

         The universal motivation for "all of the above"... is truly, Love. The desire to BE Loved, and the desire to Give Love and to have it be accepted by others. Many might tend to partially disagree with this, but while were down here, really deep, let's look at it for a minute.

        Why is it that so many strive for power, position, titles, or for things or possessions, or for good appearances? Is it basically because they are power hungry or greedy or vain? I don't Think so!
I believe they strive for these things because they mistakenly think deep down that having those things will make people love them or accept the love that they so desperately need to share. Look at the subversive message given in most commercials today. "If you look like this... or, "If you buy one of these... then you will be able to have that... people will like you more... you'll be respected and loved. Sure sells a lot of products, and sure, those things may get you noticed, but Loved? "Oh, if only I looked like so and so... If only I had such and such... I'd be..." What?
        Is there anything wrong with having these things? No. of course not. But they are not the true goal, are they?

        Job? A means of survival, yes... a way for getting things, yes... or of providing for family, most definitely... receiving or giving Love? Bingo!

        Husband or wife? Girlfriend or boy friend? Child or children? Family or friends? The real motivation again? Love... pure and simple Love.

        So OK, desiring to Love and be Loved is the underlying universal motivator. How does it help to recognize this? In all of your personal strivings, consciously be motivated by Love. Love of God, of others, of yourself. Be aware of this motivation. Look for this motive in the actions of others. Know that God loves YOU! No matter what you may have done in the past, God loves YOU! Regardless of how unworthy you may feel, God loves YOU! And God also Loves Everyone else.

God is the Source of ALL Love. Let God be the Source of all your motivation, and let Love be always your true and conscious Motive. It's the only road to true and peaceful happiness, and everything else that you've always really wanted.

As Jesus once said: "Love one another as I have Loved You."

What is it that motivates your life? Really.

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The Prayer
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Dearest Father [please fill in your own favorite name for the Universal Source],
        Help me to see Your Love in myself and in all others. Show me Your way of seeing Your children so that I may learn more and more to Love them. Help me to freely love in spite of any possibility that it may seem to be rejected. Teach me to Love Unconditionally as You do.
        This I pray today.

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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11/30/97 - Sunday Service of Church Within #62
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome once again to Church Within.

I am glad you are here.

The following quote from the Urantia Papers had a Major impact on my life when I first read it many years ago. It still does today and it is the reason that I choose the "Sunday Service" Quotes from a diverse variety of sources. I am not trying to "convert" anyone to embrace any particular "truth", but rather to seek and find truth in all sincere expression of God's Children.

(The Urantia Papers Paper-155 Section-6)
You must cease to seek for the word of God only on the pages of the olden records of theologic authority. Those who are born of the spirit of God shall henceforth discern the word of God regardless of whence it appears to take origin. Divine truth must not be discounted because the channel of its bestowal is apparently human.

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Quotes
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(The Urantia Papers Paper-103 Section-4)
        God the Father deals with man his child on the basis, not of actual virtue or worthiness, but in recognition of the child's motivation--the creature purpose and intent. The relationship is one of parent-child association and is actuated by divine love.

(Elyon 11-9-97)
You must continually make choices in this life, and you must choose based upon the highest ideal you are aware of. If you continually seek guidance from the Father your ideals will be elevated, your principles will be raised, your expectations will be enhanced. But choosing to act upon your highest thought of how to conduct yourselves in a given situation is the gift you give to the Father. Your making your every choice based on the highest ideal you are familiar with is the truest gift you can return to the Father; to act in wisdom, to act in peace, with harmony.

(The Urantia Papers Paper-103 Section-9)
The ideal of religious philosophy is such a faith-trust as would lead man unqualifiedly to depend upon the absolute love of the infinite Father of the universe of universes. Such a genuine religious experience far transcends the philosophic objectification of idealistic desire; it actually takes salvation for granted and concerns itself only with learning and doing the will of the Father in Paradise. The earmarks of such a religion are: faith in a supreme Deity, hope of eternal survival, and love, especially of one's fellows.

(Malvantra 11-2-97)
If a pursuit shows itself to provide opportunities to lead you to the Father, then it is worthy of your pursuit. If it proves to harbor the seeds of becoming an obstacle to your spiritual growth, I encourage you to let it go, whether it be a faulty spiritual technique or dwelling on your future possibilities. If it leads you in a spiritual direction towards the Father, then pursue it. If it stands as an obstacle in the way of this pursuit, then I encourage you to let it go, as you only have one career before you, your spiritual career.

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The Sermon
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Where is it that you seek to find that which will give Supreme value to your life... that which will make life really worth living? Do you find it there or is the satisfaction short lived, transient?

It seems to me that once I attain something that I desire, almost immediately does another desire appear in it's place. This can be pretty disheartening when my personal desires are focused on material acquirement or on expected results. Once I get that material thing that I thought I so desperately "needed", I find that it is not nearly as satisfying as I expected it to be. The desire for things breeds the desire for things. Vicious, vicious circle to be imprisoned in, don't ya think? Then there's those times when I plan things to come out a certain way, right down to the smallest detail, and then they don't. How frustrating that can be, no? [The making of concrete plans which require the personal involvement of other people notoriously creates frustration.] When I expect something specific, I am usually surprised but rarely pleasantly. When I expect nothing in particular, I am always joyfully surprised by every little thing. In those times when I am not attached to specific outcomes, when my desire is only to discover those things that God wants for me to have, when I "allow" rather than "force", everything in life just seems so Good... so Valuable.

When I once lost my complete ignorance of that whole process, I was no longer perpetually stuck in the "gotta have" side of it. I was most of the time, but not constantly. When I actually started to become more aware of the dynamics involved in the process, I was able to limit my "down time" to around 50%. Once I began making a conscious effort to "allow" without pre-conceived conditions, my "down time" actually became the exception rather than the rule. Eventually, I stopped having to make the "conscious decision" to allow and accept God's Will in my life... it became habit to do so. It is such a peaceful place to BE. And then like everyone else... I forget... go back to the old rut... get caught up in the old "If only I had this, I would be able to do that" syndrome... or the "As soon as I have that I will be able to start doing what I Really desire to do" thing. SIGH!!! Perhaps it is the "carrot" for humanity. One day I hope to "run" merely for the pure joy of running... toward the open arms of the Divine Parent rather than toward that silly elusive "carrot"... no longer getting sidetracked by the glittering bells and whistles of material possessions. "If not today, then when?"

"Now" seems like a really difficult time to stay in for very long doesn't it? And yet... "Now" is the only place where we can really and truly "BE". "Now" is the only place where we can truly experience God personally. If you are waiting until you get "over there" to find God, no matter where you are, God will always seem to be "over there". God is definitely over there, God is everywhere, but the only place to experience God is Here... and Now.

When someone asks you what you do for a living, what do you tell them? If you tell them that you seek to discover and become more like God for a living, and that is the truth, then everything else will quite naturally take care of itself. Sounds fantastic? It IS!!!

(The KJV Bible Luke 12:24-30)
Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that
Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.

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The Prayer
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Dearest Father [please fill in your own favorite name for the Universal Source],
        Grant me the courage to wholeheartedly trust in Your Divine care. Help me to recognize that the things that I want are not necessarily the things that I need, and that always have You provided for my true needs or I would not even be here in this moment to talk to You. Your Way is the Best Way... permanently engrave this understanding into my being, dear Parent. I am tired of struggling with my own way.


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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