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The Church Within Sunday Services

for October 2007

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#572
10-7-2007
#573
10-14-2007
#574
10-21-2007
#575
10-28-2007

10-7-2007 Sunday Service of the Church Within #572
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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 closed mouth gathers no foot.

[editor: If perhaps my aging memory has failed me, and I have already used this small bit of humor, and way too recently… too Bad! I Like it. <grin>]

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

Those of you who are somewhat familiar with our Sunday Services have likely come to expect that I will identify the topic for the day prior to actually beginning the sermon or sharing the quotes. Today, I will not do so. I expect you to figure the Topic out for yourself…

The topic of today's Sunday Service, #572, is…

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The Sermon
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Sometimes they are High… and sometimes they are low.
Sometimes they need to be Raised… and sometimes they need to be lowered.
Sometimes they are Way too High… and sometimes they are way too low.
Sometimes they are the Reason for a Success… and sometimes they are the reason for a failure.
Sometimes they are Suitable… and sometimes they are Completely out of line.
Sometimes they Free you… and sometimes they imprison you.
Sometimes they Live and Grow… and sometimes they wither and die.
Sometimes they cause Excitement… and sometimes they lead to disappointment.
Sometimes they engender Enthusiasm… and sometimes they bring about depression.
Sometimes you Need to Have them… and sometimes you need to Not have them at all.

Ah yes, Indeed. Today we are exploring the wide-open, ever-changing, and Always-entertaining (or not…), topic of: “Expectations.”

We all have them from time to time to a greater or lesser degree, do we not?

So…

When are they Appropriate, and when are they Not?
When are they Helpful, and when are they destructive?

Well… I would guess that they should be Lofty when they relate to Faith and Hope and Responsibility, wouldn't you?

And… perhaps maybe they should be low when based in fear or, encumbered by inherent limitations or, demanding of absolute perfection. What do you think?

I think we have a Right and a Responsibility to have High (though realistic), Expectations of our “Leaders,” whether they be involved in Religion, in Government, or in the Reporting of Facts. But at the same time it is prudent to remember that they too are Human and therefore still imperfect to a greater or lesser degree. If in fact they do not Meet your Expectations, then it is important to make them aware of it, and hold them accountable… perhaps even replace them if your satisfaction is denied or ignored.

Parents inevitably and quite appropriately have High Expectations for their Children…
God Bless them Both. The Loving and Wise Parent will neither impose, nor compel the implementation of their own expectations upon their children because they are able to perceive the selfishness of doing so. At the same time, Children are justified in, and entitled to, having certain Expectations of their Parents… like food and shelter and love and protection. But that entitlement does not extend so rigidly into the domain of a child's expectations for ease and entertainment and self-gratification. True, a good parent will wish to provide these as well… in limited doses… but there is a relatively “fine line” between enough and excess.

Having High Expectations of other individuals in your life is Rarely going to be endearing or personally satisfying for either you or them. While having Low Expectations of them may be perceived as being demeaning. Perhaps it is better, in regards to Spouses, Friends, Associates and Co-workers, to have No Expectations whatsoever, save courtesy and respect.

Now, How could a diatribe on Expectations be complete without addressing the issues of Personal Expectations for one's own Self? Can they be too High? Perhaps, but only if they are Inflexible and lead one to resignation rather than forward into the unknown. Can they be too Low? Indeed sadly, this is often the case. Should one have none at All? I'm getting that, That would insure little more than Stagnation and Inactivity.

Are we Just in having Expectations of God? Absolutely! The Same Expectations any devoted Child would have of their Wise and Loving Parent.

…opportunities to Learn and Grow? Of Course!
…everything I truly Need? Certainly!
…help in fulfilling the Dream of your Soul? Truly… even that.
…anything that I Want or Desire? Yeah, well… What do You think?

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Quotes
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(From: Voltaire (1694 - 1778)

We never live; we are always in the expectation of living.

(From: Horace (65 BC - 8 BC)

Life is largely a matter of expectation.

(From: Susan Laurson Willig)
Limited expectations yield only limited results.

(From: William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)
Oft expectation fails, and most oft where most it promises;
and oft it hits where hope is coldest; and despair most sits.


(From: Fritz Perls)
I am not in this world to live up to other people's expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine.

(From: Jack Nicklaus)
Achievement is largely the product of steadily raising one's levels of aspiration and expectation.

(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-192 Section-2)
Then said Jesus: "If, therefore, you serve me with a whole heart, make sure that you are devoted to the welfare of my brethren on earth with tireless affection. Admix friendship with your counsel and add love to your philosophy. Serve your fellow men even as I have served you. Be faithful to men as I have watched over you. Be less critical; expect less of some men and thereby lessen the extent of your disappointment.

(From: Norman Vincent Peale (1898 - 1993)
If you paint in your mind a picture of bright and happy expectations, you put yourself into a condition conducive to your goal.

(From: Diana Spencer)
Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.

(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-91 Section-4)
        Remember, even if prayer does not change God, it very often effects great and lasting changes in the one who prays in faith and confident expectation. Prayer has been the ancestor of much peace of mind, cheerfulness, calmness, courage, self-mastery, and fair-mindedness in the men and women of the evolving races.

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The Prayer
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Dear God,
        Help me to accomplish those things that You expect of 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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10-14-2007 Sunday Service of the Church Within #573
****************************************************************************
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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I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it.
(Mary Chase (1887 - 1973), from Jimmy Stewart in "Harvey", 1950)

I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it.
(Garrison Keillor)

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

What in Heaven and on earth shall we talk about today?

The topic of today's Sunday Service, #573, is Realizing Reality…

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The Sermon
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I think that Reality gets a “bad rap” sometimes… don't you? Think about how often you have heard people use the term Reality as if it were something a person must come Down to… as if it is somehow less than what we Dream of or Strive for. How many times have you witnessed someone (perhaps even yourself), being told that they are out of touch with Reality? Who is it (in reality), that has such a perfect grasp of Reality that they can accurately define what it is for anyone but themselves?

The truth of the matter is that, each and every personality Real-izes their own Reality… every day and in each wakeful moment of their lives. The philosophical concept of Total Reality is being added to Constantly… each of us contributes to it. The things that Are or that Have Been, do not constitute anything nearly approaching the level of True Reality, for they leave out all of the Reality that has yet to be discovered, experienced, Real-ized.

The day that you were born Reality, as it was, changed… it's Potential was greater than before, increased, augmented by your becoming an integral part of it. What You Personally have added to the continuous flow in the stream of Reality is of Supreme Worth and of Ultimate Value… even though your ability to fully recognize it is inherently limited. God alone has the vision capable of Truly assessing it.

Reality is in a continuous state of evolution. In fact, an honest evaluation of Reality and the process of it's continuous revelation should be proof to the discerning mind that evolution is God's “Method” of Creation in the time limited universe. God did not create everything already in perfection and then abandon us to ruin it all. Rather God is still With us and allowing/helping us to be active partners in the unfolding of Creation… the Revelation of Reality.

Truth, Beauty, Goodness and Love are the Earmarks of Reality. They are the personification of Reality. Falseness, the perception of ugliness, evilness and hatred are the antithesis (opposite) of Reality… perpetrated by the conscious choosing of Non-Reality.

As one becomes more Real, as one participates in the unfolding of Divine Reality, they are becoming more Godlike, more like God. When Jesus said to us, “Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is Perfect.” …was he not imploring us to become more Real? …was he not challenging us to seek out our Father's Will so that we may partake in the progression of Reality so that it will one day become “on earth as it is in Heaven”?

Do you realize what you are truly capable of?
Do you Real-ize what you are truly Capable of?

Reality isn't what you think! Reality is what you strive for and Accomplish.

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Quotes
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(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-100 Section-2)
        Spiritual growth is first an awakening to needs, next a discernment of meanings, and then a discovery of values. The evidence of true spiritual development consists in the exhibition of a human personality motivated by love, activated by unselfish ministry, and dominated by the wholehearted worship of the perfection ideals of divinity. And this entire experience constitutes the reality of religion as contrasted with mere theological beliefs.

(From: Solonia 4/4/04 – the Garden TeaM)
Each and every time that you choose to serve in our Father's Love, In the Moment and For the Moment, you have become more an active part of Spiritual Reality

(From: Franklin Delano Roosevelt)
The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts about reality.

(From: Robert H. Goddard (1882 - 1945)
It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.

(From: Og Mandino (1923 - 1996)
Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.

(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-100 Section-3)
        Religion is not a technique for attaining a static and blissful peace of mind; it is an impulse for organizing the soul for dynamic service. It is the enlistment of the totality of selfhood in the loyal service of loving God and serving man. Religion pays any price essential to the attainment of the supreme goal, the eternal prize. There is a consecrated completeness in religious loyalty which is superbly sublime. And these loyalties are socially effective and spiritually progressive.
        To the religionist the word God becomes a symbol signifying the approach to supreme reality and the recognition of divine value. Human likes and dislikes do not determine good and evil; moral values do not grow out of wish fulfillment or emotional frustration.

(From: Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968)
If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values -- that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control.


(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-100 Section-3)
        Values can never be static; reality signifies change, growth. Change without growth, expansion of meaning and exaltation of value, is valueless--is potential evil. The greater the quality of cosmic adaptation, the more of meaning any experience possesses. Values are not conceptual illusions; they are real, but always they depend on the fact of relationships. Values are always both actual and potential--not what was, but what is and is to be.

(From: Lantarnek - 9/16/07 – The North Idaho TeaM)
It is praying for those who persecute you. It is having faith that will move mountains, a faith as small as a mustard seed that grows into an enormous tree. Seeing with spiritual eyes is turning the other cheek and forgiving those before they even think to ask. It is to be in this world but not of this world. It is knowing that you are a child of God though you be born of man and woman. It is the removal of the delineation between a spirit reality and a physical life, the infusion and ever present state of a consciousness of Christ and a practical, functional lifestyle.

(From: The Tao Te Ching - #38)
Therefore the Master concerns himself
with the depths and not the surface,
with the fruit and not the flower.
He has no will of his own.
He dwells in reality,
and lets all illusions go.

(From: Dan Millman, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior)
But change is a law, and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.

(From: Socrates (469 BC - 399 BC)
The shortest and surest way to live with honour in the world, is to be in reality what we would appear to be; and if we observe, we shall find, that all human virtues increase and strengthen themselves by the practice of them.

(From: Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.

(From: Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)
When we are unhurried and wise, we perceive that only great and worthy things have any permanent and absolute existence, that petty fears and petty pleasures are but the shadow of the reality.

(From: The Tao Te Ching - #44)
Fame or integrity: which is more important?
Money or happiness: which is more valuable?
Success or failure: which is more destructive?

If you look to others for fulfillment,
you will never truly be fulfilled.
If your happiness depends on money,
you will never be happy with yourself.

Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.

(From: Frank Herbert (1920 - 1986), Dune (Reverend Mother Mohiam)
The mystery of life isn't a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.

(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-102 Section-3)
        Religious desire is the hunger quest for divine reality. Religious experience is the realization of the consciousness of having found God. And when a human being does find God, there is experienced within the soul of that being such an indescribable restlessness of triumph in discovery that he is impelled to seek loving service-contact with his less illuminated fellows, not to disclose that he has found God, but rather to allow the overflow of the welling-up of eternal goodness within his own soul to refresh and ennoble his fellows. Real religion leads to increased social service.

(From: Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968)
I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.

(From: Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)
Truth is uniform and narrow; it constantly exists, and does not seem to require so much an active energy, as a passive aptitude of the soul in order to encounter it. But error is endlessly diversified; it has no reality, but is the pure and simple creation of the mind that invents it. In this field the soul has room enough to expand herself, to display all her boundless faculties, and all her beautiful and interesting extravagancies and absurdities.

(From: Anthony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book)
Reality doesn't bite, rather our perception of reality bites.

(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-56 Section-10)
        To finite man truth, beauty, and goodness embrace the full revelation of divinity reality. As this love-comprehension of Deity finds spiritual expression in the lives of God-knowing mortals, there are yielded the fruits of divinity: intellectual peace, social progress, moral satisfaction, spiritual joy, and cosmic wisdom.

(From: John Knowles)
Everyone has a moment in history that belongs particularly to him. It is the moment when his emotions achieve their most powerful sway over him, and afterward when you say to this person 'the world today' or 'life' or 'reality' he will assume you mean this moment, even if it is fifty years past. The world, through his unleashed emotion, imprinted itself on him and he carries that stamp of that passing moment forever.

(From: Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)
The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly - that is what each of us is here for.

(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-117 Section-4)
        God's gifts--his bestowal of reality--are not divorcements from himself; he does not alienate creation from himself, but he has set up tensions in the creations circling Paradise. God first loves man and confers upon him the potential of immortality--eternal reality. And as man loves God, so does man become eternal in actuality. And here is mystery: The more closely man approaches God through love, the greater the reality--actuality--of that man. The more man withdraws from God, the more nearly he approaches nonreality--cessation of existence. When man consecrates his will to the doing of the Father's will, when man gives God all that he has, then does God make that man more than he is.

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The Prayer
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Dear God,
        Thank you for letting us each be a part of the process.

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

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

BACK TO TOP

10-21-2007 Sunday Service of the Church Within #574
****************************************************************************
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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That is the saving grace of humor, if you fail no one is laughing at you.
(From: A. Whitney Brown)

In a small mid western conservative town, a new bar/tavern started building to open up their business. The local Baptist church started a campaign to block the bar from opening with petitions and prayers. 

Work progressed however, right up till the week before opening, when a lightning strike hit the bar and it burned to the ground. The church folks were rather smug in their outlook after that, till the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means.

The church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the buildings demise in its reply to the court.

As the case made it's way into court, the judge looked over the paperwork at the hearing and commented, "I don't know how I'm going to decide this, but it appears from the paper work, we have a bar owner that believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that doesn't".

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

The topic of today's Sunday Service, #574, is Humor…

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The Sermon
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Some may be wondering how Humor can be an appropriate topic for a Sunday Service. Others who have been following the Church Within Services for a while may not be so surprised by it. Then there will be those who say to themselves, “Yes of Course. Why… humor has Everything to do with Growth and Spirituality.”

Humor truly helps one to take themselves far less seriously. It is one of the reasons why Humor is so Valuable in the human life experience. Laughter helps to release pent up anger and clung to sorrow… even if only for the moment… a break from the inherent pain of life on a world such as this. Humor is healing to the Soul. Often it is the final treatment that allows us to move forward from a stifling perception we have been stuck in for so long.

Humor is the great Equalizer. None are too high, nor too low to be unaffected by it, whether they be delivering the Humor or receiving it. Some of the Funniest Humor I think is when we are able to perceive our own life experiences paralleling the experiences of others… things that we thought no one else has ever had to struggle with, and then finding out that in fact, Everyone has to deal with it. It helps us to feel less alone. Humor that surprises us or catches us unaware or off guard usually makes us laugh the hardest.

Humor Releases…
Humor Heals…
Humor Teaches…
Humor Frees…

Got Humor?

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Quotes
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(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-48 Section-4)
        When we are tempted to magnify our self-importance, if we stop to contemplate the infinity of the greatness and grandeur of our Makers, our own self-glorification becomes sublimely ridiculous, even verging on the humorous. One of the functions of humor is to help all of us take ourselves less seriously. Humor is the divine antidote for exaltation of ego.

(From: Elyon - 4/22/01 – The North Idaho TeaM)
Humor can disarm another from the tendency to guard against being told what is right by another individual. Humor can draw camaraderie to the surface.

(From: Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)
Humor is the only test of gravity, and gravity of humor; for a subject which will not bear raillery is suspicious, and a jest which will not bear serious examination is false wit.

(From: James Thurber (1894 - 1961)
The wit makes fun of other persons; the satirist makes fun of the world; the humorist makes fun of himself.

(From: Bill Nye)

Humor is everywhere, in that there's irony in just about anything a human does.

(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-48 Section-4)
        Humor should function as an automatic safety valve to prevent the building up of excessive pressures due to the monotony of sustained and serious self-contemplation in association with the intense struggle for developmental progress and noble achievement. Humor also functions to lessen the shock of the unexpected impact of fact or of truth, rigid unyielding fact and flexible ever-living truth. The mortal personality, never sure as to which will next be encountered, through humor swiftly grasps--sees the point and achieves insight--the unexpected nature of the situation be it fact or be it truth.

(From: Robertson Davies)
The love of truth lies at the root of much humor.

(From: Elyon - 3/30/03 – The North Idaho TeaM)
Much of the laughter response in a human being is due to a sense of reality and a sense of what is false, and the juxtaposition in the context of a joke illustrates the points. Without conviction there really is no humor, for you must stand firmly in a position in order to find humor in comparison. When a comical situation is presented that allows laughter, it presents the opportunity for those engaged in laughter to perceive the other viewpoint without threat. While it may not convince in the moment, it may bear upon the mind at later times.

(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-143 Section-7)
Worship--contemplation of the spiritual--must alternate with service, contact with material reality. Work should alternate with play; religion should be balanced by humor.

(From: The Book of Runes - #20
Effort will be required to keep your good humor. Whatever happens, how you respond is up to you.

(From: The Book of Runes - #6        
You may feel overwhelmed with exhaustion from meeting obstruction upon obstruction in your passage. Yet you always have a choice: you can see all this apparent negativity as “bad luck” or you can recognize it as an obstacle course, a challenge specific to the initiation you are presently undergoing. Then each setback, each humiliation, becomes a test of character. When your inner being is shifting and reforming on a deep level, patience, constancy and perseverance are called for. So stay centered, see the humor, and keep on keeping on.

(From: Lewis Mumford (1895 - 1990)
Humor is our way of defending ourselves from life's absurdities by thinking absurdly about them.

(From: Bill Cosby)
If you can find humor in anything, you can survive it.

(From: Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)
Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.

(From: James Thurber (1894 - 1961)
Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility.

(From: Kirk Douglas)
Humor, you can't exist without it. You have to be able to laugh at yourself. Otherwise you suffer.

(From: Hugh Prather)
True humor has beneath it the understanding that we are all in this together.

(From: The Book of Runes - #8
Being centered and grounded, freeing yourself from all unwanted influences, and seeing the humor, you are indeed prepared to open yourself to the Will of Heaven, and can await your deliverance with calm certainty.

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The Prayer
**********
Dear God,
        Help me to easier laugh at my own immaturity… so that I may move beyond it.

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

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

BACK TO TOP

10-28-2007 Sunday Service of the Church Within #575
****************************************************************************
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
*****************
Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

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

There are times when I feel as if I have given it away…
…and others where I feel as if I am only beginning to understand it…

The topic of today's Sunday Service, #575 , is Freedom…

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Quotes
*******
(From: Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826), speech, 1808)
Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state," therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.

(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-132 Section-2)
The spiritually blind individual who logically follows scientific dictation, social usage, and religious dogma stands in grave danger of sacrificing his moral freedom and losing his spiritual liberty. Such a soul is destined to become an intellectual parrot, a social automaton, and a slave to religious authority.

(From: John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963)
Conformity is the jailer of freedom, and the enemy of growth.

(From: James Madison (1751 - 1836)
I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.

(From: Malcolm X (1925 - 1965)
You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.

(From: John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873)
The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it.

(From: The RSV Bible - Peter I 2:16 )
Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil; but live as servants of God.

(From: Sri Madhava)
Freedom, then, lies only in our innate human capacity to choose between different sorts of bondage, bondage to desire or self esteem, or bondage to the light that lightens all our lives.

(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-155 Section-6)
        While the religion of authority may impart a present feeling of settled security, you pay for such a transient satisfaction the price of the loss of your spiritual freedom and religious liberty. My Father does not require of you as the price of entering the kingdom of heaven that you should force yourself to subscribe to a belief in things which are spiritually repugnant, unholy, and untruthful. It is not required of you that your own sense of mercy, justice, and truth should be outraged by submission to an outworn system of religious forms and ceremonies. The religion of the spirit leaves you forever free to follow the truth wherever the leadings of the spirit may take you. And who can judge--perhaps this spirit may have something to impart to this generation which other generations have refused to hear?

(From: The RSV Bible - John 8:32 )
and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

(From: Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.

(From: Nelson Mandela)
For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-134 Section-6)
        If one man craves freedom--liberty--he must remember that all other men long for the same freedom. Groups of such liberty-loving mortals cannot live together in peace without becoming subservient to such laws, rules, and regulations as will grant each person the same degree of freedom while at the same time safeguarding an equal degree of freedom for all of his fellow mortals

(From: Mikhail Bakunin (1814 - 1876)
The freedom of all is essential to my freedom.

(From: The KJV Bible - Corinthians I 9:19 )
For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

(From: Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948)
I want freedom for the full expression of my personality.

(From: Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC)
Freedom is a possession of inestimable value.

(From: John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963)
We stand for freedom. That is our conviction for ourselves; that is our only commitment to others.

(From: Bob Dylan)
I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom.

(From: John Milton (1608 - 1674)
None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license.

(From: Aung San Suu Kyi (1945 -)
The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.

(From: Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948)
The outward freedom that we shall attain will only be in exact proportion to the inward freedom to which we may have grown at a given moment. And if this is a correct view of freedom, our chief energy must be concentrated on achieving reform from within.

(From: John G. Riefenbaker)
Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong.

(From: Periander)
Freedom is a clear conscience.

(From: Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)
All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.

(From: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 - 1945)
True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

(From: Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)
Those who would deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, cannot long retain it.

(From: Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)
The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do.

(From: Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968)
God is not merely interested in the freedom of brown men, yellow men, red men and black men. He is interested in the freedom of the whole human race.

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The Sermon
***********
Is it Truly Freedom when I Think only what I am told to think?

Is it Truly Freedom when I Believe only what I am told I should believe?

Is it Truly Freedom when I Choose only between black or white and consider not the Colors in between?

Is it Truly Freedom when I Say only what others think I should say?

Is it Truly Freedom when I Say only what I think others want to hear?

Is it Truly Freedom when I am Bound by contrived fear?

Is it Truly Freedom when I have given up on Hope?

Is it Truly Freedom when I let others make up my Mind for me?

Is it Truly Freedom when I know God only based upon what others tell me of Him/Her?

Is it Truly Freedom if I do not All of these things for Myself?

I will end today's sermon with one more quote… it is one that has provided me with personal inspiration and renewed determination many times over the years that have passed since my mid-twenties…

        “By the old way you seek to suppress, obey, and conform to the rules of living; by the new way you are first transformed by the Spirit of Truth and thereby strengthened in your inner soul by the constant spiritual renewing of your mind, and so are you endowed with the power of the certain and joyous performance of the gracious, acceptable, and perfect will of God. Forget not--it is your personal faith in the exceedingly great and precious promises of God that ensures your becoming partakers of the divine nature. Thus by your faith and the spirit's transformation, you become in reality the temples of God, and his spirit actually dwells within you. If, then, the spirit dwells within you, you are no longer bondslaves of the flesh but free and liberated sons of the spirit. The new law of the spirit endows you with the liberty of self-mastery in place of the old law of the fear of self-bondage and the slavery of self-denial.”
(From: The Urantia Book - Paper-143 Section-2)

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The Prayer
**********
Dear God,
        It is only in partnership with You that I am Truly Free.

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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