"Being in God's Service"
(Written by: Deborah Goaldman)

8-16-2000 SOW Seeds Service from the Church Within #97
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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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Church Within's "Light and Life Garden Retreat"
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Update:

We're Almost There!!! Thank you all!

Total Needed to Purchase Tractor:                $4,000.00
Total Received so far:                                $3,621.43
Still Short:                                         $378.57.

Contributions may be sent to:
Church Within
2650 S. Millsap Loop
Post Falls, Idaho 83854

This week's SOW Seeds - #97, contributed by: Deborah Goaldman

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Story of the Week
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Being in God's Service
(Written by: Deborah Goaldman)

        Sue's day started with a prayer expressing a desire to be of service in any way God could use her. Along with this prayer came a little trepidation as to what it might require of her. The day was young and proceeding normally as Sue drove home from an errand. "I ought to fill up the car", she thought. "No, that can wait." But the thought nagged at her and so she drove to a filling station. As Sue approached the gas island she saw a truck parked next to the mini mart, and the man and woman inside it were fighting. Loudly, especially him! Sue considered leaving; this wasn't pleasant to be around but she parked anyway. The fighting continued and soon the man struck his companion calling her names. Then he left with a slam of the door. The woman was alone now, crying. People were still filling up their cars and going in to pay. Sue did the same, uncomfortably. Another thought was making her nervous. "Go comfort this woman." But Sue didn't want to. But as she paid the attendant she remembered her prayer this morning. "Use me as you need me, dear Father." So Sue walked over to the sobbing woman, reached in through the truck's window and hugged her. Together they cried as the woman told her story. These beatings had happened before. Both of them were using drugs. She tried so hard to make it work with him. Yet she had children and knew this wasn't good for them. A mother's love poured out from Sue to comfort this lost and confused woman as she urged the woman to seek help for her drug use and move with her children to a safe place. At a time when the woman felt the most rejection Sue gave her love—a love that moved through Sue from God.

        A commitment of service was fulfilled that day--like one of many opportunities that are presented to us every day. God has decreed that "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Jesus said "The duty of man is expressed in two great privileges: sincere worship of the infinite Creator, the Paradise Father, and loving service bestowed upon one's fellow men." (The Urantia Book) True service is done out of a motivation to share divine love and is an honor of trust that God bestows upon us. As spiritual children, our early attempts at service may be out of a sense of duty, to do our fair share or because we think we should. With this mindset we are often at risk of feeling unappreciated or used. Such beginnings at service are mere shadows of the true service that Jesus spoke. True service is sacred and exhilarating, no matter how humble it may seem. It may be as simple as a friendly smile or time given to listen attentively to another's heart. Loving service is not only a gift to the recipient but also a gift to the giver. In a sense it is a spiritual palindrome—like a word that is the same whether spelled forwards or backwards. Service is the economy of God. Simply said, it is what spiritual people do for a living.

        Like Sue's initial reaction, many of our early struggles with learning to serve can be hindered by fear. Many impulses to be of service go ignored for this reason, because commitment is the hurdle we face. Likewise we may fret over the consequences. But if our desire is to live God's will then the best way to begin is in prayer and meditation. By devoting time to be with God we are letting God serve us by saturating our souls with divine love. The more of God's love we let into ourselves the more we have to give. Love is the motivation of true service and the only source of this love is God. Love also is the understanding of what a brother or sister really needs in service. A Chinese saying comes to mind. "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." With human eyes, we may err in understanding the best way to offer service. This is why we must remember that to serve means we are part of a team. And we must consult the team captain—God. To live a life of service is to always live on the edge of the known where existing rules and laws cannot always illuminate the best way to answer the needs of one another. Only God, who is both in and around us, can provide such insight. So turn within before you move out into the lives of others. Open yourself first to love and then let love lead you. Serve. Fear not the mistakes you will make. God turns mistakes into opportunities when brought to him in prayer. The act is ours, the consequences God's. (The Urantia Book)

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The Prayer
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Dear God,        
        How can I serve You today?

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

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

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