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Sunday Message for August 15, 2021


Let's start with a prayer: Father, Mother, God; it's scary to change. It's frightening to let go of what I know so well and step into the unknown. However, I forget sometimes that I am not stepping out alone. Nor am I stepping into an unsafe place, I am going where You guide and where You are. Help me to trust in You even when I feel unsure or scared. Thank you for being there for me in this way, Amen.

One day the elderly priest, called the eager, fresh-faced, wide-eyed, enthusiastic young priest into his office and said, "Son, I want to talk to you about some of the new ideas you have implemented around here. First, I want you to know that I think it was a great idea to replace the first few rows of hard, wooden pews with plush theatre seats. It worked; now the front of the church fills first."

The young priest nodded with appreciation for the acknowledgement and was filled with just a bit of pride.

"And" the old priest continued, "You told me more upbeat music would bring young people back to church, so I supported you when you brought in that rock 'n roll gospel choir. Once, again, you were right -- we are packed to the balcony."

Again the young priest felt pretty filled with himself and said, "Thank you, Father. I am pleased you are open to new ideas and better ways to do things."

"Well, to a point, I am", said the elderly priest, "But I'm afraid you've gone too far with the drive-through Confessional."

"But Father!" protested the young priest. "My confessions have nearly doubled since I began that!"

"I know son," replied the old man. "But that neon sign flashing 'Toot 'n Tell or Go to Hell' just cannot stay on the church roof."

I thought that was appropriate and fits with our theme for the day which is . . . "Get Over Yourself Already!"
Get over taking everything - including ourselves -- so darn seriously!
Get over being resistant to change!
Get over having such a narrow focus on life's possibilities!
Get over being attached to how things are or being stuck in how they SHOULD be!

Because if we really want to "Live Our Bad Ass Lives," which is this month's theme, then we really do need to get over all of that already!

Today is the third installment of our crazy irreverent monthly theme based on this book by Jen Sincero, You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life.

Added to what we have already talked about this month . . . go back and read/listen if you've missed it . . . today we are going to, as I already said:
Get over having such a narrow focus on life's possibilities! Said another way: EXPAND YOUR FOCUS
Get over being resistant to change! Said another way: EMBRACE CHANGE
Get over being attached to how things are or being stuck in how they SHOULD be! Said another way: GO WITH THE FLOW

Expand Your Focus

To set the stage for Expanding Our Focus," I want to invite you into a little experiment. Are you ready?

I want you to look around the room for the next 30 seconds and count the number of red things you see. . . . How many? Talk to me?

Now, all eyes on me. Quickly, tell me how many yellow things are in the room? Probably just as many, but because you were focused on red, you didn't see much yellow!

Sincero offers up that little experience in her book, and then says about it: "And that's just an example of what we're not noticing that we can see. There's also an infinite amount of emotions and thoughts and beliefs and interpretations and sounds and dreams and opportunities and smells and points of view and ways to feel good and responses and non-responses and things to say and ways to help. YET, because we're so set in our ways and committed to how things ought to be and what our reality should look like, we only scratch the very surface of all that's available to us every single moment. Meanwhile, we're totally surrounded by countless awesome versions of reality, and they're all just hanging around like a bunch of shy teenage girls at the prom, leaning again the walls, waiting for us to ask them to dance. So. . . why would you create anything that's not totally awesome?"a

A friend of mine most definitely had blinders on/a narrow focus when she knocked the center diamond out of her wedding ring on the agitator in her Goddaughter's washing machine. She assumed it went either into the clothing or, when she didn't find it there, into one of the many little holes in the tub. She was ready to call a plumber and have him/her pull the washing machine apart!

But her Goddaughter kept insisting that it was too big to go in one of those holes; She assured her it wasn't. What's the line from the old Richard Bach book Illusions: "Argue for your limitations and they are yours!" She was definitely arguing for her limitations and had her blinders on; that's for sure.

Fortunately for my friend, the Goddaughter did not and pursued looking for her diamond with her phone flashlight until she found it precariously perched on the rim of the inside tub. It had defied gravity and flown up instead of down. With all the pulling out of wet laundry, She had no idea how/why it didn't drop into one of the holes, but it didn't!!! Thank goodness she expanded her focus!

In Divine Discontent Eric Butterworth writes: ""Somewhere in the deeper strata of human awareness, a voice persists which continually says, no, this is not good enough. There's something better. At moments there comes to every human being the sense of the better possibility in some that are passing a momentary incredibly important mood, in some that never breaks through at all to full consciousness, but in a few minds, it becomes a dominant mood, the splendid urge is the voice of Prometheus."
Prometheus, as you may know, was a titan, fabled to have made people out of clay. Looking on his handiwork with a passion, he longed to give them something that would bring them closer to the immortal Gods. So he gave them fire, stolen from Mt. Olympus. The fire of creativity, and love, and life, and wisdom. So the word Promethean, has the connotation of creative, vivifying, boldly original. And the Promethean voice is the inner spark and spirit by which every person may transcend his human qualities and achieve the great heights to creativity within. It's the voice of the universe that says, "Come up higher. Come up higher. You can do more.""b

Where are your blinders on too narrowly? What are you being prevented from seeing? Today are you willing to open them out which may be your first step in doing our second idea for the morning . . .

Embrace Change

There is a wonderful Chinese Proverb that says: "When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills."

Notice that said "WHEN the winds of change blow." It didn't say "IF the winds of change blow." It isn't a matter of if; it's only a matter of when. In fact, they are blowing a lot right now in our world in politics, in the environment, in justice for all and they will continue to blow as we move toward a leap in consciousness.

And they don't always give us a warning.

The new preacher had just begun his sermon. He was a little nervous, and about ten minutes into the sermon his mind went blank. After a brief second of complete panic, he remembered what he'd been taught in seminary about situations like this:

He was told to repeat the last thing he had said with a bit more fervor and that would help jog him into remembering what was supposed to come next.

He had just quoted Jesus' statement "Behold, I come quickly," so he said it again. "Behold, I come quickly."

Still his mind was blank. He tried again with even more fervor. "Behold, I come quickly," but still nothing.

He tried one more time "Behold, I come quickly" speaking and gesturing with such force that he fell forward, knocking the pulpit to one side, tripping over the flowerpot, and falling into the lap of a little old lady in the front row. The young preacher apologized profusely.

"That's all right, young man," said the little old lady. "It was my fault. I should have gotten out of the way. You told me three times you were on your way!"

No, change does not always announce itself like that!

I think we often view change as a disruption, a break in the flow, a shift in direction, an alteration in our lives. But, what if, just what if, change is not a DISruption but an Eruption.

What if change is life erupting into fuller bloom? Change is not a break in the flow, it IS the flow.

Change is not a shift in direction it IS the direction in which all life moves.

What if this change - that looks like a layoff - didn't happen because you are a mess up, it happened so you can have a freer, fully, more expanded expression of Life!

What if this change - this divorce - didn't happen because you don't deserve to be loved, it happened so that a more genuine, fulfilling and joyous love can enter your life.

What if this change - this illness - didn't occur because you've never been worthy of anything, not even a healthy body, but rather as a wake-up call to shift your internal and perhaps external ways of being so that a vibrant, healthy physical body can be brought forth!

OR even what if this change - this illness - occurred because your soul is actually complete here on earth.

The truth is Life is a self-sustaining system. And it sustains itself by adapting --- by changing! Thus, every change that ever occurs in this life experience is a change for the better.

Imelda Shanklin in All Things Made New writes: "Change is the master law. Everything is in a process of renewal. Fixity is a state that is acknowledged nowhere except in the unquickened mind that is too dull to apprehend the fine movements that keep fresh and buoyant the lifesprings of creation. The moving Spirit is the Change-producer, the Transformer, the One who says: "I make all things new.""c

Imelda Shanklin wrote in God's Constancy: "In whatever study we make of God, it is imperative that we remember his constancy of nature. With that truth immovably fixed in us we can meet all the changes of phenomena and be unchanged by them. We can face all the fluctuations of the emotions and remain serene in the consciousness that the emotions may vary but mind never does."d

And because of that, we can . . .

Go with the Flow

. . . go with the flow, although we don't always do that!

Eric Butterworth writes: "There is a flow of harmony and love and light and life and substance everywhere. You are that flow ... whether you are aware of it or not, whether you are frustrating it or not. This is what "omnipresence" is. You do not leave the Presence of God or the flow of life when you are negative or resistant. You leave the consciousness of the Presence. You are always in the flow ... and it is always in you. You may not know how or why you lose the consciousness of the flow, but of one thing you can be sure - if you are not experiencing health, if there are problems in your work, or if you are being pushed around, you are out of the consciousness of the flow. Thus, the need in healing or prosperity, or inharmony, etc., is to get back into the awareness of the creative flow. It is not something you have to turn on. The flow is constant. Your prayer is not to generate the flow, but to acknowledge it, and thus to get your thoughts synchronized with it."e

You want to be your badass self? Well, then it is time to get over everything - including ourselves -- so darn seriously by:

  • Opening our Focus to expanded possibilities because they are always there.
  • Embracing Change because it will come. And by
  • Going with the Flow - life is so much more badassed when we do!

Let's pray: Father, Mother, God; I thank you for your light in my life. Continue to guide me, Lord, in this process of change. Help me to trust You in this process, trust You for my strength. Let me rest in You. Amen.

aJen Sincero, You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life p. 137
bDivine Discontent Eric Butterworth
cImelda Shanklin All Things Made New
dImelda Shanklin God's Constancy
eEric Butterworth
f1 Timothy 6:10
gMatthew 6:19
hEric Butterworth Discover the Secret of Life
iJen Sincero You are a Badass at Making Money p. 9
jRev. Karen Russo Grow Yourself, Grow Your Wealth: Prosperity Practices for Faith and Focus

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