"Educating the soul"
(©2005 By Bob Perks)

11-17-2005 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #366
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

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SOW Archive Updates
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SOW #94 - "57 Cents That Made History" formerly listed as : A True Story by: Bill Fullilove, was originally written by Russell H. Conwell, the kindly pastor described in this anecdote. He set down his version of these events in a chapter of his book /Acres of Diamonds. while the Story we have does relate to true facts, the actual facts of the story were embellished somewhat beyond the actual truth of the matter. The Archive for this story now has a commentary about the facts as they were related by Pastor Russell H. Conwell.

SOW #106 - Previously listed as “We are Never Alone” is actually titled: “Free the Birdies” and is still by Lloyd Glenn from 1994.

SOW #107 – “The Gift of Kindness” by John W. Schlatter is not the original version by the author. A short history of the story is now at the Archive for that story.

SOW #134 – “Heaven's Grocery Store” formerly listed as Author Unknown, was written by Ron De Marco (Copyright 1990). The Original version is now available at the SOW Archives.

SOW #209 – “The Emperor's Seeds” formerly author Unknown was from "In The Garden With Jesus", by Tiziana Ruff -- from 'andychaps_the-funnies'.

The appropriate changes have been made at the web-site. Thank you once again to our story friend Ree for the updated information!

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Bob Perks

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Story of the Week
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"Educating the soul"
(©2005 By Bob Perks)

He was a big man with a huge pain in his heart. Not the kind that a doctor can cure. Not the kind that one can define easily. He was hurting and there was nothing anyone could say.

I think it comes with age. Not a particular point in life that one can mark on a calendar. Nor can you see it coming. It just seems to sneak up on you and suddenly you find yourself crying over little things that appear to cast big shadows on your life.

I approached him from behind and couldn't tell that he was crying until I walked past. I turned and glanced his way to simply acknowledge him standing there and saying "Hello!" I startled him.

He looked up quickly and then struggling to gain his composure he reached for a tissue and mumbled "Hello."

I walked just a few steps and stopped. I couldn't just walk by without offering a word or two.

"Anything I can do?" I asked.

"No." he replied.

Sensing he wanted to be alone I turned and continued on my journey.

"I'm just educating the soul," he said.

I stopped.

"I'm sorry, I didn't hear you right. Did you say you were educating the soul?" I asked as I turned back toward him.

"Yes, I am."

Now you know I was intrigued by this. I had never heard of such a thing before so I walked back to where he was standing.

"Tell me, how does one do that?"

Wiping his eyes, he smiled a little and began to explain.

"I have never been so sensitive to worldly things. I mean, I'm a tough guy or at least I always thought I was. You would never catch me shedding a tear. No way. Suddenly life has grabbed my heart and I find myself so wrapped up in it. I am not a bit depressed. I can easily find joy in many things in my day. But even joy brings tears," he said.

Now shuffling his right foot nervously back and forth he looked down and up a few times before continuing.

"I have lived a good life. I don't have all the things that I once dreamed of having, but still, I am a happy man. My heart aches for those who are hurting. In recent weeks the millions caught up in hurricanes, the bombings over seas, the soldiers far from home all have taken a spot in my heart. In stark contrast I have been thrilled with the announcement of my first grandchild, the recovery from a cancer operation for my old friend and we just paid off our car," he said.

I didn't interrupt. I waited.

"My reaction to all of this is so powerful, so emotional...so alive!"

I smiled. "I like that part. "So alive!" I think you have the answer if you are indeed searching for one. I am guessing you are retired," I said.

"Yes, recently."

"Not to suggest that you have not been "alive" before, but I believe you have arrived at that place where you have suddenly realized that life is exciting. Being fully aware of everything around you, being so in touch with the energy that comes from life itself, has awakened your spirit," I said.

"That's why I call it, "Educating the soul." I have lived a full life in the direction I was headed but I have not lived a full life emotionally. I believe I was so focused on "doing" that I paid little attention to "being."

He smiled and said, "Wow, even that last statement was pretty amazing for me."

"So now you are educating your soul. I love that idea."

"Yes, I am teaching me to be more in touch with reality, with the stuff of life, with my soul however one defines that."

I met a man today who lived and then began living more.

He was "Educating the Soul."

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Pastor's Quote of the Week
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The spiritual forward urge is the most powerful driving force present in this world; the
truth-learning believer is the one progressive and aggressive soul on earth.

(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-194 Section-3 )

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The Prayer
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Dear God,        
        It may not have all been pleasant at the time, but Thanks for Education You have provided for me in my life… rather Thanks for the Continuing Education.

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

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

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