Find Us
Css Menu List by Vista-Buttons.com v5.7
20121 Santa Maria Ave
Castro Valley, CA 94546



Sunday Message for April 24, 2022


This is the last Sunday of the faculty of Wisdom. Next week we will be teaching the faculty of Power - represented by purple. But what we want to learn and practice this week is to choose to live; to rise out of limitation, lack and difficulty into greater life. We are immortal beings who are "sage-ing not just aging." And we want to learn that we can get right direction and good results easily, in the right time, as we use our spiritual gift of wisdom and good judgment

(John 11:25) "...I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live,"a What is the most common use of this mystical saying of Jesus today? That's right, it is read at most Christian funeral services. But look at the great affirmation Jesus makes here: I am life! This is not only to reassure us of ongoing life after we die; it is to assure us of our power of life now. He is saying: CHOOSE TO LIVE FULLY NOW!

John writes his unique gospel about Jesus much differently than the other writers. John often has Jesus stating a principle and then proceeding to prove or demonstrate it in manifest form. Here Jesus states, "I am the resurrection and the life." He then proceeds to "raise" Lazarus from the tomb. Later he proves this principle in what Charles Fillmore called, "The Great Demonstration" - Resurrection. Jesus says to us, "Come, follow me"! Can we also deeply choose life, and have the will to live and love? We, too, can affirm, I am life

We always have a choice in life and our life reflects our choices just as a mirror reflects our image. We may sometimes lament, "But I had no choice." It may seem as though that's the case, but we always have a choice. Ultimately, that choice may be to decide what or how we are going to think about a certain situation or ourselves. Given the direst circumstances, we can still choose our thoughts. Our life is a series of choices. Someone said we have 50,000 thoughts every day. That's a lot of opportunity for choice.

I think this little story illustrates how you can choose to see things in a positive light at all times.
Two men crashed in their private plane on a South Pacific Island. Both survived.
One of the men brushed himself off and then proceeded to run all over the island to see if they had any chance of survival.
When he returned, he rushed up to the other man and screamed, "This island is uninhabited, there is no food, there is no water. We are going to die!" The other man leaned back against the fuselage of the wrecked plane, folded his arms, and responded, No we're not. I make over $100,000.
The first man grabbed his friend and shook him. "Listen, we are on an uninhabited island. There is no food, no water. We are going to die!"
The other man, unruffled, again responded. "No, I make over $100,000 a week."
Mystified, the first man, taken aback with such an answer again repeated, "For the last time, I'm telling you we ARE doomed. There is NO one else on this island. There is NO food. There is NO water. We are, I repeat, we ARE going to die."
Still unfazed, the first man looked the other in the eyes and said, "don't make me say this again. I make over $100,000 per week. I tithe 10% !! My minister WILL find us!"

(Ezekiel 18:32) "For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord God. Turn, then, and live."b There are losses, disappointments, heartaches, break-ups, failures, things that just don't work out, people who go their own way, changes we didn't count on and are not ready to accept. All of these are "facts of life." But life is more than these. We can turn from these situations and live. We can have the will to live strongly. We can make a conscious choice to rise up and start anew, to set new goals, to recover from loss, to love again, to build a new life, to have the wisdom and good judgment to see beyond what was to what can and will be.

Max Lucado, in his book In The Grip Of Grace, tells of his boyhood days when he and his friends would gather on the street each afternoon to play football. One dad in the neighborhood, a die-hard football buff, would sometimes join them. This dad always played for whichever team was losing that day. Max Lucado writes, "His appearance in the huddle changed the whole ball game. He was confident, strong, and most of all, he had a plan."c The kids, fired up by his leadership and emboldened by his plan, played with new determination

Lucado makes the point that Jesus did the same thing for us. He came to join the losing team, and his appearance in the game changed everything. He is a leader who inspired hope, confidence, courage, and love in his disciples. And he had a plan, a plan so outrageous and amazing that no one, not even his disciples, truly understood it at first. But they trusted him as their leader, and so they followed.

So no matter how badly it looks like you are losing this game of life, there is someone who will give you guidance, someone who will help you have the courage to move forward in new ways

On his deathbed, Erich Fromm (who wrote The Art of Loving), asked his friend, Robert Fox, "Why is it, Bob, that the human race prefers necrophilia to biophilia?"d Why are so many people fascinated with death rather than the love of life? Why are movies, TV news, national expenditures, even churches centered on death, destruction, killing, dying? Let us choose biophilia - the love of life and living, the joy of living, the preservation of life, the reverence for life

Resurrection means "to rise again." We open ourselves to new life; give ourselves to that spirit of Life in us that is mightier than outer circumstance, even mightier than death. Reflect on the words we often use that correspond to the word resurrect and put a hyphen in them for emphasis: re-new; re-store; re-vive; re-energize; re-fresh; re-treat; re-cognize; re-member; re-joice. Can you think of more ways to re-connect?

We are not as concerned with adding years to our life as we are adding life to our years. We take the "small moments" of our lives to re-new and re-energize. We can add a touch of symbolic transformation to countless daily activities. Mary Martin did hundreds of performances of the musical, South Pacific, on Broadway, and shampooed her hair in every one, but as she did it, she symbolically transformed her hair washing by singing, "I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair!" (Incidentally, Mary Martin was a Unity student.)

We can also choose life - as we wait at red lights, the bank, the supermarket, and doctor's office. We may use the moments of waiting for reflection, prayer, relaxation, being at peace, instead of resenting or trying to distract ourselves with a magazine, radio, or constantly watching others who are slowing us down. These moments provide opportunities for energy boosts rather than energy drains.

What other ways can we symbolize what we are doing to make creative, renewing, reenergizing experiences? Eating... showering... taking out the trash... walking... driving.

Some Life Enhancing Ideas and Activities
* Put some bright, cheerful colors in your home or wardrobe
* Play inspiring or energizing music
* Have plants and flowers around you
* Take a walk in nature
* Read the Bible
* Laugh
* Volunteer at your church
* Receive a hug (Ask for it if you want it.)
* Have a cup of herbal tea with a friend
* Meditate
* Make love
* Look up and out the window at the sky

"The most necessary part of learning is to unlearn our errors."e - Zeno Much of our learning consists of unlearning what we have been taught that isn't true. We clear our minds of fear, lack, superstitions, weakness, prejudice, old wives' tales, war-thoughts - any negative thought patterns that are not serving us well, not present for our good. We live our lives based on our beliefs. But what if our beliefs are false, dangerous, or self-destructive?

Nature abhors a vacuum. When we release or cancel our false beliefs, then we need to replace them with positive, spiritual ones. We need to practice these newly learned beneficial beliefs on a regular, indeed a daily, basis.

Do you believe that you always have a choice? Do you believe that your life belongs to you rather than someone else who "makes you" feel and do what you do?

If we trust the Christ presence within us we go beyond much of the struggle and agonizing over decisions we have to make. We realize we can receive direction, ideas, and guidance from within. This is a much different process than racking our brains, running around to others trying to get them to tell us what to do, getting emotionally swayed or "sold," just spontaneously "jumping into it," or postponing the decision indefinitely.

How do you deal with the pressure of making decisions? What kind of decisions do you face now that can be helped by a positive approach to getting your guidance and direction?

Remember, you have a marvelous "right brain" and an astounding "left brain." In decision-making, you want to use both sides of your brain. We arrive at our best judgments when we honor our head and heart.

In our Left Brain - Rational Realm we get the facts, we are working from the head. In our Right Brain - Intuitive Realm we take it into prayer, we are working from the heart. Our Left Brain works from logic. Our Right Brain can operate on hunches. In the Rational Realm we go for what makes sense, but in the Intuitive Realm we go for what feels right. We use our Left Brain to consult experts or do research and our Right Brain to journal about it or look at our dreams. The rationality of the left brain goes for counseling, while the intuitiveness of the right brain pays attention to the "still, small voice" within. In the Rational Realm we get a plan. In the Intuitive Realm we watch for "synchronicities." The Left Brain looks at possible consequences and probabilities. And the Right Brain has an Inner-tutor (intuition) - which is the teacher within

"The road turns with my feet," is an old Chinese saying that means I can't really make a fatal mistake or error. Life and love follow me forever, wherever I go. I may think I made a terrible mistake or a horrible decision, but life goes on. I can learn from that decision and weave that into my wisdom. Like a musician playing the wrong note (which they do all the time), I weave the mistake into the melody and keep right on going. The divine outworking of good or "God" transcends so-called "mistakes," if we learn from the experience and apply that learning in our lives. Then there are no "wrong choices." It is all "grist for the mill."

There is a story that tells of someone who asked the philosopher, Socrates, "How do I get to Mt. Olympus?" (Olympus was the place of the oracle, the residence of the gods of the ancient Greeks). Socrates answered, "Just make every step you take go in that direction."

Before our meditation I would like to read you a poem by the Bengali poet Tagore:
In Life or Death

Here I am, spilling over with you
Like a cup overflowing with wine!

You see through my eyes
You hear through my ears
You weave words in my mind
And your joy sets them to music.

O give yourself to me in love
Then feel it pouring back to you again!

You are my poet, Lord! And I am your poem.

Meditation does not have to be a religious experience - it CAN just be meditative contemplation. The meditations that I do, though, are spiritual experiences.

Don't go into the meditation expecting anything. If something happens, fine. If nothing happens, fine. You may have a vision, receive a message, or nothing. Whatever happens - it is OK. Meditation is not something you DO. LET meditation happen to you. Meditation is drinking deep from the well of the Spirit. The joy of meditation is in the bliss of experiencing union with the One. In the bible it says, "Be still and know that I am God."

The meditation that I am about to do is by Frances W. Foulks and is from his book Effectual Prayer.

Sit quietly in an upright position. Since meditation is an inner [not an outer] thing, posture is not the most important aspect. The important thing is a relaxed mental attitude. Many people find that this is best achieved in a comfortable, upright position, the hands lying open palms up on the lap, signifying a receptive attitude.

Now close your eyes and shut the world of effects out. Jesus called this going into the closet and shutting the door. If your mind wanders, do not be harsh with yourself but patiently bring it back by repeating silently: Be still and know.

Father, as I come into Thy presence, I lay aside all human likes and dislikes, all sense desires and flesh emotions. I cease struggling after things, cease striving. Knowing that I am Thy beloved child, I am free from worry and anxiety. I am not fearful of anything or anybody, for underneath and about me are Thine everlasting arms. I forgive as I would be forgiven, for my heart is filled with a realization of Thy redeeming love. A greater understanding of all comes to me as I sink down in quietness with Thee. My soul rests in peace and is glad.

In this union with Thee the intellect loses its disposition to doubt and argue. My mind is ready to think Thy thoughts after Thee, and in this state of mental relaxation my body receives its release from the bondage of error thoughts. From the crown of my head to the soles of my feet every cell and every nerve relaxes and lets go of its tenseness. My head - eyes and ears and mouth and nostrils - relax and lets the God life flow in freely and fully. My limbs relax, the bones and flesh relax, the muscles and nerves and skin relax, all open and subject to the renewal of their Creator. All the organs of my body relax so that they may do their work in divine order and harmony, performing their perfect functions in building the Christ body. The emotions are quieted and transformed into new life that is both soothing and thrilling. My heart is at peace with God and man and beats in unison with the great heart of the universe. The breath of God in my nostrils makes me a new creature in Christ Jesus, every whit whole. The river of life circulates freely through a renewed and released body, cleansing every cell, and renewing me according to the divine pattern.

As Thy spirit of peace and love pervades my whole being, all that was weary in me is refreshed, all that was sick is made whole, all that was limited is made free and full. I am recreated in mind, soul, and body. I am released from the bondage of grave-clothes and come forth into the glorious Christ resurrection!

Bless God, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name.

All things, past, present, and future, that are out of harmony with the divine law are forgiven me by the One who gave His life to set me free.

There is no transgression, no sin of omission, no sin of commission that Thou, O Son of man, O Son of God, hast not wiped out for me, in Thy "Father, forgive them," spoken from the cross.

Ignorance in transgression, willfulness of desire, and all their effects have become as nothing as I enter upon the "crossing out" with Thee, my Saviour.

Scars and wounds and hurts are made whole; both those which I have received and those which I have inflicted have been healed by Thy blood shed vicariously for the healing of the nations.

All unforgiveness in me and toward me, all intolerance and injustice, even that present in the lives that I remember no more, are completely blotted out through Thy forgiving love, O Christ of God.

I accept Thine atonement, O Lamb of God, Messiah of the world. Through Thy redeeming love I am washed, clean, rising above all human appearances, all material bondage.

Now am I resurrected from the dead in mind, body, and affairs, and enter into the newness that has become mine through Thee. I am a son of the living God, the Word of God made flesh, saviour of my word.

There is forever flowing us-ward the river of life. It issues forth from the sanctuary of God, pure, crystal-clear, redeeming and vitalizing in its nature. It is a fountain whose waters never fail; it is a well of living water springing up unto eternal life. Its waters are for the healing of the nations through the cleansing and purifying of the individual. It is without money and without price for those who thirst for God, the living God. Those who drink of these waters shall never thirst again.

I enter boldly into the waters of this river of life; in confidence I lie down in the stream. I surrender my wounds, my mental and physical pains, to its purifying and renewing action. Knowing that Thou art with me, I pass calmly through the waters. The rivers shall not overflow me, but when the cleansing is finished Thy hand shall draw me forth out of many waters.

I invite the peace of this river to enter in that my soul may become as a watered garden. I invite its purity to enter my mind that it may be as a city of God made glad. I invite its tributaries to break out in all the desert places in my life that they may blossom as the rose, in all the waste places that they may become a Garden of Eden, in all the wilderness that it may be filled with beauty, in all the lonely places that they may resound with melody. Everything shall live whenever the river floweth; everything on its banks shall be healed. My blind eyes shall be opened, my deaf ears shall listen and hear, my lame mentality shall leap into livingness, and the whole shall break forth into a song of "Glory to God in the highest."

I am a channel of the living fountain that comes forth from the throne of God. I give of my waters and am never depleted, never impoverished, because I am aware of my source. I know that he that watereth shall be watered also, and I give myself as a channel through which the living waters flow to all humanity.

I thank Thee, Father-Mother God, that Thou hast placed in me the perfect Christ pattern, together with the power to bring it into perfect expression for my joyful use and Thy service. Let me express it always according to Thy highest thought of me. Let me come again into a conscious union with Thee. Thine is the power and the glory forever.f


aJohn 11:25
bEzekiel 18:32
cMax Lucado In The Grip Of Grace
dErich Fromm
eZeno of Elea was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher
fFrances W. Foulks Effectual Prayer

Top of  page