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Sunday Message for January 6, 2019

A NEW DESIGN FOR LIVING

This is the first day of the rest of your life. And as the scripture tells us, "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!"a

This day, today, we have an opportunity to begin anew. Of course, we have that opportunity at any moment, but when the calendar changes to a new year, we tend to think about this idea more consciously.

I want to be very clear on what we are NOT going to do today. I'm not going to talk about the self-assessment that usually occurs at this time of year -- you know when we review the past, look at what worked last year and what could be improved.

We decide what changes to make in the new year. And, if we are serious about the process, we may come up with a "to do" list, which we affectionately call New Year's Resolutions.

What often happens is that we begin with good intentions, but we fall short on follow through, so that by the end of the month we simply give up and drift back into the comfortable rut of past experience. Have you ever heard the saying: May your troubles last as long as your New Year's Resolutions.

Often with New Year's Resolutions, we attempt to change behavior without changing the consciousness that produced it. It doesn't have to be that way.

What is called for is an actual change of belief, especially what we believe about ourselves. If we have adopted the world's view that we are individual beings, separated from our Source and separate from each other, then that is the consciousness we must change.

That's where Unity comes in. At the heart of our teaching is the message of Oneness. There is One God, One Mind, and each of us is an aspect of that One. Far from being separated from God, we actually are expressions of God. We may be ignorant of that fact, but our ignorance does not change the reality of our being.

At any moment in time we can wake up to the truth of who we are. This is the message of all the great mystics. For instance, when the Buddha was asked, "who are you," his reply was "I am awake."

This is the essence of what Jesus was getting at when he said we must be "born again."b They were talking about the same process, and the good news is that when we change our belief about WHO we are, we really do change WHAT we do with our lives.

So, this morning our work is to look at what our design for living this year shall be. How do you intend for God to use you -- THROUGH you, AS you, IN you -- in 2019? In other words -- what is your INTENTION for your life this year? Not what do you plan to do this year, but what is your INTENTION. We will look at that this morning.

And, in addition to that, we are going to look at this question: In what atmosphere and energy do you want this intention to express itself? THAT's what we will explore today, not only for you, but for our church as well!

POWER OF INTENTION

But, first I want to spend a few minutes looking at the power of intention. Dr. Wayne Dyer once wrote: "Intention is a force that exists in the Universe as a field of energy."c

Ernest Holmes said: "There is a power for good in the Universe and we can use it."d

They are talking about the same thing.

The truth is, we all begin with the same raw material - it is what we do with it that matters.

For instance: A plain bar of iron is worth about $5. This same bar of iron made into horseshoes is worth $10.50. If made into needles, it becomes worth $3,285; and if turned into balance springs for watches, it attains a worth of $250,000!

So, I want you to think about this question: What is God's idea for that bar of iron that is your life? Is it horseshoes, needles or springs for watches or any of a million other things between? How about for this church?

YOU REALLY DO GET TO DECIDE! Science is proving that over and over as Metaphysics and physics come closer and closer together.

There was recently an article published in a scientific journal. The article was entitled, "How the Power of Intention Alters Matter: Scientific proof that human intention raises local symmetry in the substratum of space."

The article discussed a series of experiments by a Dr. William A. Tiller that pretty clearly show that human consciousness "changes space."

Dr. Tiller's experiments began by imprinting electrical devices with a specific intention. The imprinting was done by four experienced meditators, people who Tiller said were "highly inner-self-managed people."

Then this device - imprinted with the intent - was wrapped in aluminum and sent by overnight shipping to a laboratory 2,000 miles away, where it was placed beside the "target experiment" and turned on.

So, for example, one electrical device was imprinted with the idea of raising the pH level of water. When the device was turned on in the vicinity of a jar of water, the expectation was that the pH of the water would be raised. They were looking for at least a full pH unit of difference, something large enough that the results could not be attributed to faulty measurement (it's possible to measure 1/100th or even 1/1000th of a degree of change in pH, so one full unit is a lot).

And, they were, in fact, able to achieve an unambiguous change in the water's pH state simply through its being in the vicinity of an electrical device that had been imprinted with that intent. And they were able to raise pH in this way by as much as 1-1/2 full units, a very large amount.

But, it was when the same experiment was repeated over and over that the really significant effects began to show. For Tiller has found and proved that when intent is repeated in the same space, eventually it becomes permanent.

And when that happens, the laws of physics in that space no longer operate as they did before! (For a meaningful analogy, can you remember when it was "impossible" for man to run a four-minute mile? Once that barrier was broken, it became the norm.)

When they kept running the same experiment over and over again, Tiller said, the laboratory began to become "conditioned," so that the same result would happen more strongly or more quickly. And eventually, it would happen even after the device was no longer in the room.

In one of the spaces they used, the alteration in the space of the room has remained stable for well over a year, and it's still going strong. As a corollary, today, if you can't run a four-minute mile, they won't let you on the track team.

Author George Leonard (field of human potential) wrote: "Ultimately, human intentionality is the most powerful evolutionary force on this planet."e

This morning, we are going to harness this power for ourselves and for our church as we set an intention and a theme for our lives and for the life of this church for 2019

INTENTION & THEME

What do I mean by an intention and a theme? Well, first the intention. What is the broad intention for your life? By intention, we are looking at the "WHAT" of life; by broad intention, I mean the broad "WHAT," such as:
I intend to go deeper and higher in Spirit.
I intend to be an ambassador of God.
I intend to see God in everything.
I intend to live from a place of real, unconditional love.
I intend to express God's abundance in all areas of my life.
I intend to experience an awakening of consciousness.
I intend to live from my Divine purpose.
I intend to unconditionally share my gifts and talents with the world.
Ad infinitum.

Now, what do I mean by theme? Theme is the "HOW." Be very clear here -- not the "how" as in the details of how this is going to work out - no, no -- that's God's job. But, rather the "HOW" as in what atmosphere or energy do you desire to live this intention.

For example: I intend to go deeper and higher in Spirit while living, moving and having my being in Joy.
Theme for the year: JOY
Intention for the year: Go deeper and higher in Spirit.

I intend to be an ambassador of God as I experience unshakeable faith and confidence.
Theme for the year: Faith and Confidence
Intention: To be an Ambassador for God

I intend to see God in everything in an atmosphere of profound peace.
Theme: Profound peace
Intention: Seeing God in everything

I intend to live from a place of real, unconditional love as I experience harmonious relationships.
Theme: harmonious relationships
Intention: Live from real love.

I intend to express God's abundance in all areas of my life with ease and grace.
Theme: Ease and Grace
Intention: Expressing God's abundance.

Get the picture? In a moment, we will do a process -- an internal process -- for tapping into your intention and theme for 2019. And we will do the same thing for our church.

But, first an important word -- there is something very important you must do once you set your intention and theme. What is it? LET IT GO!

An idea dropped into the subconscious is like a letter in the mailbox. Just know that the message was delivered, and your result is on the way. After you have set your intention and theme, release it to God. When you mail a letter, you must let go so it can be delivered to where it is going.

After dropping the letter in the mailbox, do you . . .
stand there and make sure no one tampers with it,
watch to see that the letter carrier tucks it away safely,
follow him or her back to the post office,
tail the letter through the storing process,
insist on sitting next to the mail sack while it is being flown across country,
follow it through its next sorting,
do a security check on the next postal deliverer and, finally,
make sure the addressee picks it up.
I certainly hope not! At some point, and we hope early on in the process, you must just let go and trust the postal service to do its job. To breathe down the neck of postal service workers would only annoy them and waste your energy.

The same is true here -- set your intention and then release it so that God can take care of you in ways that you could not take care of yourself.

The note I received from the Universe the other day said, "The questions you have to answer, pertain to what, where, when, and why. Mine pertain to how and with whom. Fair? When you know the end result, I always know the fastest way." Signed: The Universe

YOUR PERSONAL INTENT & THEME

So just relax in your seat and we will begin this process for our personal intention and theme. Begin to breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose, exhaling with equal depth also through your nose.

Lord, we ask to be led from the non-being of ignorance to the being of realization,
we ask to be led from the darkness of ignorance to the light of understanding,
and from the death of ignorance to the eternal bliss of knowledge.

Lord, we ask to be led from the non-being of ignorance to the being of realization,
we ask to be led from the darkness of ignorance to the light of understanding,
and from the death of ignorance to the eternal bliss of knowledge.

If you can use anything, Lord, you can use me
Take my hands and my feet
touch my heart and speak through me
If you can use anything, Lord, you can use me.

We dedicate ourselves to awakening and compassion, for ourselves and for all beings.
For, if we wish to find anything positive in the world, we must first find it within ourselves.

Tune in to your body wisdom and dedicate yourself to nourish and support every cell in radiant health.
Dedicate yourself to experience an abundance of money, time, and love.

The power of intention is our connection with the divine. A long-term intention is also called a vow or dedication. Ask yourself: To what have I dedicated my life? How deeply do I carry this dedication? Is it time to rededicate my life?

Imagine the highest vision for your life as if it has already happened, and you are presently living in this energy.
How do you look?
How do you feel?
What are you doing?
Who is there with you?
What is happening around you?

Make the vision as compelling and as real as possible. Your vision isn't something that needs to be created - it already exists within you. You just need to access it.

Spend some time breathing into the being-ness of living in your vision. Visualize yourself inside a picture or movie in your mind where you are seeing yourself feeling inspired and empowered by your life's intention. As you look around, notice how your life has been changed by this vision. As it all merges together you now realize you are now living your highest vision for your life.

Now step out of the picture or movie in your mind and imagine you are holding it in your hands. You no longer see yourself inside the picture or movie - you are looking in on it. Take a deep breath in through your nose and exhale the breath out through your mouth, sending it straight into the image of you living in your highest vision. Do this four times to energize your intention with Prana or life-giving energy.

When you feel ready, slowly open your eyes and sit quietly for a few minutes reviewing your vision. Don't concentrate on the results of this vision, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the intention. Then take out your paper and write your intention and one-word theme.

YOUR CHURCH'S INTENT & THEME

So, again, just relax in your seat and we will begin this process for our church's intention and theme. Again we are going to breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose, exhaling with equal depth also through your nose.

Lord, we ask to be led from the non-being of ignorance to the being of realization,
we ask to be led from the darkness of ignorance to the light of understanding,
and from the death of ignorance to the eternal bliss of knowledge.

If you can use anything, Lord, you can use me
Take my hands and my feet
touch my heart and speak through me
If you can use anything, Lord, you can use me.

We dedicate this church to awakening and compassion, for ourselves and for all beings.
For, if we wish to find anything positive in the world, we must first find it within.

Let us dedicate this church to experience an abundance of money, time, and love.

Imagine the highest vision for your church as if it has already happened, and you are presently living in this energy.
How does the church look?
How does it feel?
What are you doing?
Who is there with you?
What is happening around you?

Make the vision as compelling and as real as possible. Your vision isn't something that needs to be created - it already exists within you. You just need to access it.

Spend some time breathing into the being-ness of your vision for this church. Visualize yourself inside a picture or movie in your mind where you are seeing yourself feeling inspired and empowered by your intention. As you look around, notice how the church has been changed by this vision. As it all merges together you now realize you are now living your highest vision for the church.

Now step out of the picture or movie in your mind and imagine you are holding it in your hands. You no longer see yourself inside the picture or movie - you are looking in on it. Take a deep breath in through your nose and exhale the breath out through your mouth, sending it straight into the image of the church living in your highest vision. Do this four times to energize your intention with Prana or life-giving energy.

When you feel ready, slowly open your eyes and sit quietly for a few minutes reviewing your vision. Don't concentrate on the results of this vision, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the intention. Then take out your paper and write your intention and one-word theme for the church.

So we now release our Intentions and Themes to God
Lord,
give me a faith
that expects greater things.
for you said:
Surely I know the plans I have for you, ..., plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hopef

Whatever I do,
let me give it my best
yet not my will but thy will be done.'g

Anxious in nothing,
at peace with the promise-
For you said, 'Be still, and know that I am God!h

that when I've done all I can,
you'll take care of the rest...
Because it is written
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
     and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
     and he will make straight your paths.i


So God, I release and let go and let you take it from here on
Thank you Father
Amen



aPsalm 118.24
bJohn 3:3
cDr. Wayne Dyer
dErnest Holmes
eGeorge Leonard
fJeremiah 29:11
gMatthew 26:39
hPsalms 46:10
iProverbs 3:5-6



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