Church Within Sunday Services

for September 1997

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9-7-97 - Sunday Service of Church Within #50

Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome to Church Within.

Today is the Golden Weekiversary ;-) of our weekly "Sunday Services". #50!!! Such a small, minuscule drop in the Eternal Bucket. And yet... it seems so long ago that I sat staring at the completed Sunday Service #1 wondering to myself: "Gosh! I wonder what #50 will be like."

Let us go together and see... Shall we?

Going Within
        Relax your physical mechanism for a few moments and go within to that special place of comforting silence and solitude. It is the place where you can bask in the warmth of the unconditional Love and everlasting embrace of your Creator. It is the place where ego has not the key to enter. It is the place where resides only your experiences of the Love, Truth, Beauty and Goodness of your mortal career to this point in your existence. It is the place of your True Self, your Surviving Self. It is your Soul.

Here is where you may discover God and the Kingdom of Heaven Within you.

Take some time to simply Be.

(Zen From the Dharma Texts)
Itsuzan asked: "Is it helpful for students to look through the Buddhist sutras and Zen records?"
Bankei replied: "There's a time for reading the Zen records. If you read them or the sutras while you're still seeking the meaning contained in them, you'll only blind yourself. When you read them after having transcended that meaning, they become proof of your attainment.

(A translation of Lao Tse)
Nature is complete because it does not serve itself.
The sage places himself after and finds himself before,
Ignores his desire and finds himself content.
He is complete because he does not serve himself.

(Luke 18: 9-14)
        And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
        And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
        I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

(The Urantia Papers Paper-140 Section-5)
1. "Happy are the poor in spirit--the humble." To a child, happiness is the satisfaction of immediate pleasure craving. The adult is willing to sow seeds of self-denial in order to reap subsequent harvests of augmented happiness. In Jesus' times and since, happiness has all too often been associated with the idea of the possession of wealth. In the story of the Pharisee and the publican praying in the temple, the one felt rich in spirit egotistical; the other felt "poor in spirit"-- humble. One was self-sufficient; the other was teachable and truth-seeking. The poor in spirit seek for goals of spiritual wealth--for God. And such seekers after truth do not have to wait for rewards in a distant future; they are rewarded now. They find the kingdom of heaven within their own hearts, and they experience such
happiness now.

The Sermon
        Who's pathway to God is better than that of any other? Who among us has any right to judge the sincerity or method of approach to the Divine Source that ANY other may choose? Who here has become so perfect in the following of their own path that they may negate the sincere footsteps of their fellows? Are there any among us who are so truly righteous that God has appointed us to cast a single stone at another?

        There is not a single step of sincere Faith which leads anywhere but towards the never ending discovery of the Infinite Parent

I would share with you a story:

        I was talking with my older brother one day about our father who died when I was 17. He is the eldest son in my family, actually he shares that honor with his twin, and I am the youngest [by 9 years] of five children. We two are separated in age by 11 years.

        He was sharing with me his experience of who my father was and I likewise was sharing mine. I was shocked to discover that the father that I knew was so very different from the one that my brother knew... "Did we not have the same dad?" I wondered... and yet I knew that in fact we did. How is it, I asked of myself, that we saw him so differently? How could my brother be so wrong about who our father was? Sure, there was much upon which we agreed, but our individual perspectives were so widely separated that it seemed we were discussing two different people. For a moment I became almost indignant... but then... somewhere inside of me I heard the words: "and have you always seen your father in exactly the same way as you do now at this moment?" I thought about it for a moment and had to admit that well... no... I suppose I didn't.

        As a very young child I had thought my father to be wrathful and angry at me for my mistakes... vigilantly waiting to catch me doing something wrong so he would have the opportunity to yell at me. Though it was quite seldom that he actually did so, the few times that he did kept it vividly in my mind. Certainly his nurturing and love for me encompassed 99% of my actual experience, but I took that for granted.
        When I began to mature somewhat, I recognized more of the love my father was constantly offering me and less of the discipline... but not yet had my fear of his wrath begun to diminish. It wasn't until adulthood that I had begun to recognize that my father's apparent anger at me for the things I had done wrong had been but an act... a means of getting me to make correct decisions rather than dangerous ones. My father had Never done aught but to Love me.

        I returned to the conversation with my brother after my moment of reflection. Of Course my brother saw our father differently than I... did we not have totally individual experiences of him? I expressed to my brother what I had just discovered. He looked me in the eye... nodded... and then smiled.

        We began to talk about our father again... both of us learning and growing in our perspectives of who he Really is. Perhaps we should one day get together with All of our siblings...

Those with ears to hear...

The Prayer
Dearest Heavenly Parent,
        Have patience with our immaturity... and continually remind us to do the same.

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


9-14-97 - Sunday Service of Church Within #51

Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome to Church Within.

        It has been said: "Love your neighbor as your self." Excellent
advice. Let us each learn then, all the more so, to Love our True
Selves. Truly, all the better can we then "Love our Neighbor".

Going Within
        Within each of us is a place of Perfect Peace... of Sublime
Solitude... of Love, Truth, Beauty and Goodness... of Loving
Communication between the Divine Parent and the True Self. It is our

Go there for a moment and take some time to simply Be.

In the life of the Spirit you are always at the beginning.
(from: The Book of Runes)

Truth is within ourselves...
There is an inmost center in us all,
Where Truth abides in fullness... and to know,
Rather consists in opening out a way
Whence the imprisoned splendor may escape...
(from Paracelsus, Robert Browning)

         "I cannot but observe that so many of you spend so much time and
thought on mere trifles of living, while you almost wholly overlook
the more essential realities of everlasting import, those very
accomplishments which are concerned with the development of a more
harmonious working agreement between you and your Adjusters
(ed: the fragment of God Within you). The great goal of human
existence is to attune to the divinity of the indwelling Adjuster;
the great achievement of mortal life is the attainment of a true and
understanding consecration to the eternal aims of the divine spirit
who waits and works within your mind. But a devoted and determined
effort to realize eternal destiny is wholly compatible with a
light-hearted and joyous life and with a successful and honorable
career on earth. Co-operation with the Thought Adjuster does not
entail self-torture, mock piety, or hypocritical and ostentatious
self-abasement; the ideal life is one of loving service rather than
an existence of fearful apprehension".
(from: The Urantia Papers Paper-110 Section-3)

Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there!
for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
(Luke 17:21)

The Sermon
        The most important relationship for us each to cultivate, is the
relationship with our True Self... the Union of: Creator and
Creature, Parent and Child, God and man.

        Life so often seems out of balance, out of harmony, out of the flow.
Why is that so? Is it because we incessantly strive for external
gratification? Do we compromise our own internal feelings and
leadings to impress or to get attention, from others? Do we search
pointlessly for complements and outside approval in the hopes that
what others say or think will give more meaning to our lives? Who's
respect is of equal importance to the respect that we have for

        You indeed are worthy of respect. You are an individual and unique
child of the Infinite Source. There is no outside influence that
can, in any way, make you other than who you truly are. It is only
from within yourself that you can grow. The metamorphosis into a
butterfly can only be accomplished by the individual strivings of the
solitary caterpillar. The "ugly duckling" sought, with futile
persistence, to be accepted as a duck when in reality he was a Swan.
Do we become more contented when we struggle to be like others, or
when we dedicate ourselves to the discovery of our own God given
individuality? "The quickest way for a tadpole to become a frog
is to live loyally each moment as a tadpole."

        So... How do we cultivate Self Respect? How do we learn to find and
create the value within ourselves when all of our lives we have been
taught to seek fulfillment from external sources?

1.) See yourself as a child. Allow yourself to make mistakes
and to learn from them. Know that you are continually growing and
give up the pretense that you have already reached maturity.

2.) Rather than chastising yourself for your past failures or
for those things which you have yet to accomplish, embrace the
experiences of personal spiritual development which you have already
so valiantly earned, and let them guide you ever forward toward

3.) Look within at your own true innermost desires... The
ones that your ego fears to set free lest it lose it's own limiting
control over you. You can recognize them by going within and,
leaving material acquirements out of the equation, allow "the
still small voice" to complete this sentence: "If only I had the
ability or the resources or the time, my true hearts desire would be
to...". What is it that you would choose to do? Do you think it
was God or your Soul that has been telling you all along that it was
impossibly beyond your abilities... that you didn't deserve it?
Think again. Now, Begin to do that with purpose and dedication...
one small step at a time... one foot in front of the other. Do it
out of Love for yourself and for God. You CAN indeed do it dear
Friend... If it is Good, it is God's Will for you, NOT your ego's.

Be true to yourself and you will, as a result, be true to others and
true to God.

The Prayer
Dearest Infinite Parent and Source of All that is,
        In Your Image have You created us... not materially but Spiritually.
Give us the stamina to continually discover and reveal that Unique
Image of ourselves which is Your Gift to us.

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


9-21-97 - Sunday Service of Church Within #52

Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome to Church Within.

        Today marks the end of our first year in the weekly sharing of Sunday Services on the Internet.[ For those who have missed some of our "Services", they are All available at our Web Site on the "Sunday Service Page" at: seewithin ] It has been a year of challenge and of growth... a year of self doubt and of Faith that God always provides us with what we truly need. It has been a Joyful struggle, a Wealth of Experience. When we first incorporated as an All Faith Church in October of 1995, we had no clear idea of what it would actually involve to become one. We are daily discovering that it requires a constant exercise of Faith and an uninterrupted dedication to the doing of God's Will as it is personally revealed to us... And we have had to learn the true meaning of the words: "Not my will, but Yours be done."

        I would like to take this time to Sincerely thank each and every one of you who have helped to support us in this endeavor with your encouragement, your suggestions and your donations. Though we may not get back to each and every one of you personally, know with a certainty that you are in our hearts and in our prayers and that we appreciate all that you have done to help support our continued growth. We Cherish You!

        While contemplating the stillness of this morning's early hours and wondering what God would have the content be of today's Service... I got the urge to draw a stone from my bag of "Runes". I have included the results with today's quotes....

(from the Book of Runes)

        This Rune stands for Wholeness, that which your nature requires. It embodies the impulse toward self-realization and indicates the path you must follow, not from ulterior motives but from the core of your individuality.
        Seeking after Wholeness is the Spiritual Warrior's quest. And yet what you are striving to become in actuality is what you, by nature, already are. You must become conscious of your essence and bring it into form, express it in a creative way.
        At the same time, for some this Rune counsels opening yourself up, letting the Light into a part of your life that has been secret, shut away. To accomplish this may call for profound recognitions, for admitting to yourself something that you have long denied.
        Again, there is a caution here not to give yourself airs. Even in a time of bountiful energy, you are required to face and vanquish your refusal to let right action flow through you. Nourish this capacity, for it is a mark of true humility.
        Practice the art of "Doing without doing." Aim yourself truly and then maintain your aim without manipulative effort, for by our own power we do nothing. Even in loving, it is Love that loves through us. This way of thinking and being integrates new energies and permits you to flow into Wholeness, which is the ultimate goal of the Spiritual Warrior.

(Proverbs 1:33)
        But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

(James 2:15-16)
        If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

(The Urantia Papers Paper-130 Section-6)
        "This day, my son, you are to be reborn, re-established as a man of faith, courage, and devoted service to man, for God's sake. And when you become so readjusted to life within yourself, you become likewise readjusted to the universe; you have been born again--born of the spirit--and henceforth will your whole life become one of victorious accomplishment. Trouble will invigorate you; disappointment will spur you on; difficulties will challenge you; and obstacles will stimulate you. Arise, young man ! Say farewell to the life of cringing fear and fleeing cowardice. Hasten back to duty and live your life in the flesh as a son of God, a mortal dedicated to the ennobling service of man on earth and destined to the superb and eternal service of God in eternity."

The Sermon
        Am I more concerned with what things I want to have... or with who I wish to Be? Are my true inner longings satisfied more by the accumulation of material wealth... or by Spiritual wealth? Which do I spend more of my time working on?

        There was an adventuresome young man who sincerely wished that he could travel all around the country to meet with new and exciting and different people. He had gone on regular single destination trips with his friends and seen much, but he wanted to see it all at once. One Grand Trip. The desire was so great in him that he decided to quit his job and find a new one that would pay him enough so that he could afford to buy an expensive new car... one that would be just perfect for his long journey of discovery. He would miss his old job and the friends he worked and went places with, but it just didn't pay enough to buy the car that he "had" to have for his quest.

        The new job required long hours of solitary work... work that he did not enjoy... but it paid enough to survive minimally AND to keep up on the exorbitant monthly payments for his New Car. He didn't have any free time to go anywhere, and he was always too busy or too tired to see his old friends, but he reasoned that when finally he had paid off his car, he would be free to do as he would choose. He missed going places with his friends and enjoying their company, but he kept his eyes ever on his goal, never letting relationships or anything else attract his attention away from it.

        Years went by and the now older young man had only one payment left and the car would be his... he made the payment... the car was his... his goal accomplished! He was ecstatic until he realized that he would need money to sustain him on his journey, but that shouldn't take more than a half year or so if he devoted all of his time and effort into it. Life would still not be much fun until then, but he figured that as soon as he had all of the things he needed to begin his journey, he could really start enjoying life the way he had always wanted.

        The day had come! He had quit his distasteful job and everything was ready to go for his trip. He drove away exhilarated in the joy of what was ahead. Five miles out of town his engine blew up. Angry and dejected and lonely, he left it sitting there and began walking back to town. After a mile or so, an older car pulled up beside him. "Need a ride?" the driver asked. "Uh, yeah sure." he said. He discovered it was one of his old friends on his way to a party with all of his friends from his old job. "Do you want to come along?" he was asked, "We are going to look at the pictures of all of the trips we took together. We've seen practically the whole country since you left for your new job and are going to talk about doing it all over again during the course of the next six years." "Um... well... OK."
said the lonely man, "I guess that might be fun." "By the way," said his old friend, "How was the Grand Journey You went on?"

        He felt at home with all of his old friends. They were all so happy to see him again... they had all missed him. They all decided that next month they would begin re-discovering the country again His old boss was there and asked him if he would consider coming back to work with them. "YES!" he said enthusiastically. And so... his Grand Journey began...

The Prayer
Dear God,
        Help us to never lose sight of our True Goal, and to always see the Love, Truth, Beauty and Goodness that You provide for us on each and every step of the 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


9-28-97 - Sunday Service of Church Within #53

Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome to Church Within.

        Today begins the second year of our ongoing, weekly Sunday Services. This year we will also be involving our other ministers [Jill, Sheila and Tom] in the Sunday Service program. Each of us has a unique and personal approach to life and the understanding of God, so the diversity of Spiritual Interpretation should be quite interesting to experience.

        As of yesterday, our Web Site has been thoroughly re-vamped and updated. This is an on-going process. You can now see relatively current pictures of me and all the other ministers by going to the "Pastor's Page" from our "Links" menu. As always, All of our Past Services and the Current Week's Service can be accessed from the "Sunday Services" page. You can also view all of our NEW
"Products", [Bumper Stickers, Inspirational Thoughts, Seasonings] from links on the "Divine Creations" page. Please visit our Site and share your suggestions or comments with us. The Internet Address is: seewithin

Now... let us begin Year Two, with Today's Sunday Service...

(a Sufi Parable)
        Nasrudin was eating a poor man's diet of chickpeas and bread. His neighbor, who also claimed to be a wise man, was living in a grand house and dining on sumptuous meals provided by the emperor himself.
        His neighbor told Nasrudin, "if only you would learn to flatter the emperor and be subservient like I do, you would not have to live on chickpeas and bread."
        Nasrudin replied, "and if only you would learn to live on chickpeas and bread, like I do, you would not have to flatter and live subservient to the emperor."

(The Urantia Papers Paper-103 Section-1)
In reality, every human being defines religion in the terms of his own experiential interpretation of the divine impulses emanating from the God spirit that indwells him, and therefore must such an interpretation be unique and wholly different from the religious philosophy of all other human beings.        When one mortal is in full agreement with the religious philosophy of a fellow mortal, that phenomenon indicates that these two beings have had a similar religious experience touching the matters concerned in their similarity of philosophic religious interpretation.
        While your religion is a matter of personal experience, it is most important that you should be exposed to the knowledge of a vast number of other religious experiences (the diverse interpretations of other and diverse mortals) to the end that you may prevent your religious life from becoming egocentric -- circumscribed, selfish, and unsocial.

The Sermon
        It is not nearly so important What you believe... as How you believe. How does your personal religion make life better for You and those around you? Does it relieve anxiety or create it? Do you Live it... or Talk about it?

        Much of religion today is far too concerned with trying to make everyone else believe in circumscribed doctrines or rituals, and not nearly concerned enough with promoting the individual's personal religious experience. There is so much time and effort spent on Defining God, and so little spent on the eternal quest of Discovering Him/Her.

        Where do You look for God? In a Building... in a Book... in a Tradition? Certainly it is possible to find ideas about God in these places, and we all have. But a personal religious Encounter with the Creator must be Experienced first hand. Where can we encounter God? In every single experience of Love... of Beauty... of Goodness... that is where we Discover God in ourselves, in others and in all Creation.

        Many times I have heard the words: "How can I love my neighbor as myself... I don't Love myself!" Jesus once said: "Love one another as I have Loved you."

        We learn to Love ourselves by accepting the fact that we are indeed lovable... God Loves us each. How can that be possible? We are so imperfect... so immature... it can't Be... Can It? Does a good human parent love their child? Of Course they do... whether or not they have the ability to show it successfully or not, a good parent Indeed loves their child. You are God's Child... and God is not fettered with human limitations or emotional needs. We ARE lovable because we are Loved... God knows why.

        There is no greater religious experience than that of giving and accepting Unconditional Love.

        Unselfish Service is the Result of Unconditional Love. These two things above all, should be the goal of the religious person. Knowledge is indeed necessary and beneficial to personal growth and
it should also be sought after. But it's value is in how it Enhances personal experience... it cannot become a substitute for it.

The Prayer
Dearest Original Parent and Source of All that is,
        Guide my every step. Show me Your Way and help me to know that I am forgiven when I step in error. Remind me often that I am but a child who has Much to learn, and that I cannot learn everything in this one short life here on this planet. But strengthen my resolve to continue to learn and to grow, for in that way will I discover You more Fully... day by day... year by year... millennium by millennium.

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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