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Sunday Message for September 20, 2015


This month, we are engaging in the practice, practice, practice of the art and the science of the powerful, transforming teachings of Unity which affect our lives in a very real way.

Why do I say the practice involves both an art and a science? Because it involves the qualities of art which are fluid, flowing, creative, feeling, passionate, energetic and alive as well as the qualities of science which are methodical, formulaic, repeatable, reliable and systematic. And this month, we are practicing both of these aspects in the context of YOUR current challenges and issues.

And today our conversation around it is all about EMPOWERING YOUR POWER. And those of you who are savvy in our spiritual teachings will realize that that statement is a bit of a paradox, because we really don't need to do anything to Empower the Power within us. It is already there. It is Complete. It is Whole. It is Perfect. It is Ever-Available to us. All we need to do is consciously connect with it and give it space to work in us. And therein lies the rub, as Shakespeare once said!

Or therein lies the adventure, as Ernest Holmes said in This Thing Called You. He wrote: "The greatest adventure of your life lies in your conscious use of this power. You need not believe in any particular religious system to discover the wellspring of life. You find it at the center of your own being, in the quiet of the evening, in the stillness of the night, in the dawn of the new day, and in the midst of activity."a

Today we will look at using this POWER, or said another way we will look at Empowering Our Power to create a conscious connection to the Source of all Life and to experience any challenge life may offer us in an empowered way.


So, where do we start?

First and foremost, there must be a willingness in us to change! We must be able to look at the way we are approaching life, the way we are handling our current challenge. We must be able to look at the things we think and say and the way we behave. And without judgment or criticism but with honesty and a willingness to be more fully aligned with the God of our Being and with the Good that God has in store for us, be willing to assess whether those things are working. As Dr. Phil says, "How's that working for you?"b If it isn't, are you willing to change?

C. S. Lewis once wrote: "It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: [but] it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And we cannot go on indefinitely being just ordinary, decent eggs. We must be hatched or go bad."c Change is about hatching, isn't it? And if we don't hatch, we'll go bad! What a concept.

I love Edwene Gaines' work. One aspect of her goal setting process is particularly appropriate for us this morning. She suggests that after we identify our goals, we daily pray NOT for the goals to come about, but for the change within us to allow them to manifest.e

So, here is an important question -- What did you come in here with this morning that you are willing to change?

Perhaps that change means to leave something behind; perhaps it means to have a new thought about your current situation (how novel that would be, eh? To have a new thought about your situation?)

What did you come in here with this morning that if you were willing to change it, you just might hatch into something quite spectacular?

I'm going to throw out some possible thoughts . . .
* A belief that you are separate from God?
* A belief that God is judging you? Punishing you? That his challenge is "God's Will."
* A belief that God will show up for everyone but you? That there is a power available to everyone but you!
* A belief that you, no matter what you do, will never make it; never be good enough?
* A belief that the world is too far gone to be helped?
* A belief that your problems are caused by the government, your former spouse, your parents, etc., etc.?
* A belief that the challenge you are currently having will never go away?
Those are some examples.

What else might someone have walked in here with that could be keeping them from feeling that deep and abiding connection to Spirit and keeping them from living a life rich in meaning, love, peace, joy and harmony? (audience suggests possibilities)

So we've thrown a lot out to consider. I invite you to think for a moment and ask yourself -- what did I walk in here with that if I changed it, my feeling of conscious union with the Absolute Essence of Love would be strengthened; I would be able to create anew for myself because I would be aligned more cleanly with Spirit; I would have Empowered the Power within me?

What is it for you today? Don't answer aloud, but are you willing to make a commitment of heart? If so, say with me: "I commit to making a change."

Again with a little more gusto! "I commit to making a change."

In This Thing Called You, Holmes says: "Everything you have ever thought, said, done, seen, learned or experienced has left an imprint upon your subconscious mind. This subconscious also contains memory images of your family life, your ancestral background and the sum total of what the whole world has thought or believed. These memories are not dead things. Quite the reverse, they are always active. But there is more to it than this. Just as you are being acted upon by your own memories, the mind of history and your environment, you are also being acted upon by the Mind of God, which is within and around you. Between this Divine Presence, this upper part of your being, and your outward experience, there is a field of subconscious reactions, which have been gathered up throughout the ages. But you are a creator and not a creature. Today you may be suffering from the effects of the consciousness of the ages and your own beliefs, but today you can begin to change them!"e

That's what this commitment is all about. Let's do it one more time: "I commit to making a change."

And now that we have created an opening by being willing to shift, change, release, it is important to immediately refill the space with Truth, so repeat after me . . ."I know that I am one with God. I know that God in me is perfect. I know that my real nature is spiritual. I know that I exist in a boundless good in a heavenly state and in perfect being. I know that my mind is being acted upon by pure Spirit. Divine Intelligence guides me into peace, happiness and success, into joy, love and perfect life.f

It is having the consciousness that God is in and through everything that gives you the feeling of connection and that empowers your power. It is by knowing that Spirit is right where you are; that it is the very essence of your being; knowing It is at the center as well as at the circumference of your life.

Words from the SOM, are at the crux of our work this morning: "I must set myself right with the universe. I must find the way back to the central fire, if I am to be warmed. I must find the Source, if I am to be supplied. I must be like God, if I wish to realize God's Spirit in my life!"g

I must be like God if I wish to realize God's Spirit in my life! Pretty bold statement. There's a whole sermon in that, but for today . . . What do we need? We need the faith OF God -- not faith IN God.

As Jesus said: "So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."h It's the emotion of completion that brings us to the faith OF God, rather than just faith IN God.

In your consciousness, in your heart and in your mind, recognize that God's work is done. It was done in the beginning. Two times two is already four, but the truth of that statement only becomes functional in our experience in proportion to our awareness of that principle.

The telephone, airplane, laser beam were possible millions of years ago but they awaited a vehicle to reveal the principle governing these revolutionary ideas. All music, all art, all literature already exists?we simply need to learn how to open to the spiritual realm within and let God's creation, that which has always existed, come forth.

God's work is done, finished and complete. It is ever unfolding to our conscious awareness in proportion as we learn the Truth and how to bring ourselves into harmony with that Truth.

Remember, God is conspiring for you to express life to the fullest! "Above every blade of grass hovers an angel whispering ?grow, grow, grow.'" Pay attention! Look for the good! Look for your life to unfold in beautiful and powerful ways!

In every moment, to every experience, make a conscious choice of how you will respond. Make a choice to know that God's perfect work is already done and that you are the vehicle through which it will manifest in this world.

Make a choice to change whatever you may have thought when you walked in here today about your challenge or situation to the belief that God's Infinite Goodness, Peace, Harmony, Wholeness and Love are right in the midst of it.

Make that choice today and you will have empowered your power!

I want to leave you with a final quote and then a story that summarizes what we have explored,

The quote comes from The Science of Mind: "The secret of spiritual power lies in a consciousness of one's union with the Whole, and of the availability of Good."i

And the story is a true story of a young bride named Thelma Thompson who went to live with her husband who was stationed at a U.S. Army training camp near the Mojave Desert in California during World War II.

From the first day, she hated the place. She hated the dust, the loneliness, the tiny shack in which they had to live, the unbearable heat -- 125 degrees in the shade of a cactus and the relentless wind. There was no one to talk to but the native people, and they couldn't speak English.

She was quite sure that she was in a living hell and it wasn't about to change.

Finally, she became so utterly wretched, so full of self-pity, that she wrote her parents and told them she was coming home. Her father answered her letter with just two lines -- two lines which Thelma says will always sing in her memory -- which she says completely altered her life:
Two men looked out from prison bars,
One saw the mud, the other saw the stars.

According to Thelma, she read those two lines over and over until she determined to find the good in her situation. She made up her mind to look for the stars. [In other words, she decided to change!]

She made up her mind to approach life with sense of personal power and trust that there was a reason for all that was happening, and that the reason, at its heart, was compassionate and good.

Tentatively, she reached out to the native people, and to her surprise they received her overtures toward friendship warmly. When she showed interest in their weaving and pottery, they gave her presents of their favorite pieces, pieces which they refused to sell to the tourists.

She studied until she became an expert on the various forms of cactus and the yuccas and the Joshua trees. She learned about prairie dogs, watched for the desert sunsets and hunted for seashells that had been left there when the sands of the desert had been an ocean floor.

The Mojave Desert didn't change. The native people didn't change. The wind still blew incessantly, the temperatures continued to reach 125 degrees, and the tiny shack in which she lived with her husband was still claustrophobic, but over time none of that mattered anymore, because Thelma had empowered her power.

And by doing that, she transformed a wretched experience into what she later described as "the most exciting adventure of her life." Instead of wallowing in self-pity, she wrote a book, a novel, about the desert, which was published under the title Bright Ramparts, which brought her some degree of success and personal satisfaction.

She looked out of her self-made prison and chose to see the stars instead of the mud.

aErnest Holmes This Thing Called You
bDr Phil McGraw
cC. S. Lewis
dEdwene Gaines
eErnest Holmes This Thing Called You, p. 60
fErnest Holmes This Thing Called You, p. 61
gErnest Holmes Science of Mind p 446
hMark 11:24
iErnest Holmes Science of Mind p 151

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