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Sermons

Sunday Message for May 22, 2022

THE POWER OF OUR SPOKEN WORD

What we want to learn and practice this week is that: We can know that our words have power, and we can use powerful words that help heal and that bless us and others. We choose our words with care as we use our vocal ability carefully.

Also we want to learn and practice that the silence within us leads us to our Power, taps our Power, "owns" our Power, identifies with our Power, replenishes us with Power from on high. We need to practice times of SILENCE so that we may be EMPOWERED.

SPEAK WITH LOVE & WISDOM
We need to learn to speak with love & wisdom. Words have inspired and discouraged, brought love to people and ruined relationships, conveyed truth and lies, soothed hurts and wounded, praised and slandered. What use do we want to make of our words?

Dr. Mark P. Cosgrove, who wrote The Amazing Body Human, God's Design for Personhood says: "In all of the animal kingdom, human bodies stand unique. It would seem that our bodies are poorly adapted for survival. We have very little hair compared to most animals, so our bodies are unprotected from cold weather. We are not particularly well-adapted for swimming, or climbing trees, or fighting. We have no natural weapons, like claws or sharp teeth. According to Dr. Mark Cosgrove, humans are the only creatures who cannot drink and breathe at the same time. This would seem to be a poor way to adapt to our environment. But our airways and throats are constructed for a very special function: speech. No other creature can speak, sing, or make the wide variety of noises that the human being can. We are the only creatures with the specialized airways and other apparatus that allow for speech."a

We are the only creation on this planet that has words - verbal symbols that communicate our thoughts and feelings.

OUR SUBCONSCIOUS RECORDS ALL WE SAY
Whatever words we choose to use we need to remember that our subconscious records all we say. We need to learn to monitor the way we speak about our life, others, our body, our work. Our subconscious is always listening and taking in the "programming" we send into this realm of our minds. Our subconscious is a recorder that is always on, and it plays back what is placed on it.
When we keep repeating (affirming) some statement with a lot of emotion, we may need to take a look at it and ask, "Is this something I actually want to have take place in my life experience?"

Jan Tincher, a Hypnotherapist and Master Neuro-Linguistic Programmer writes: "Words are powerful! Sometimes you don't realize that when you are talking to yourself, silently or out loud, your words are impressed in your mind. When something is impressed on your mind enough times, sooner or later, it is brought into your experience."b

For example: Do you know someone who always says, "So-and-so gives me a pain in the back side!" (Or words to that effect.) Stick around that person long enough and you most likely will see that he is having back problems, in most cases, lower.

Why? you ask. What was the guy telling his brain every time someone upset him? Narrow it down to what is the usual focus point in his ranting and raving? His backside. It doesn't take a genius to realize his continual programming is working

Don't let that be you. Watch what you say. If you have to say something to your brain, at least make it something that won't hurt as much. "That guy gives me a pain in my little pinkie!" At least you've narrowed it down to something that doesn't keep you from walking, sitting, and lying down painlessly. And while you're at it, why don't you have it go somewhere other than to the pinkie in your dominant hand. Like: "That guy gives me a pain in my little left pinkie!" There. By now, you're laughing. It's ridiculous, isn't it? But you know what? Maybe some of the anger left. That would be terrific.

How about this? Do you call yourself stupid, or clumsy, or lazy, or weak, or afraid? If you do, are you beginning to realize that you are programming yourself, and, in effect, issuing a self-fulfilling prophecy? Even if you use such words about yourself in supposed jest, your brain is listening. So, if you do, STOP IT NOW! Become aware of what you say and think, of what you are programming into your life tomorrow and on into the future!

So, just to make sure you understand, if, for example, you make a mistake, and you call yourself stupid, what have you done? You've programmed stupid to show up again, because you've told your brain you are stupid. What? You didn't think it worked that way? Well, let's look at it again. You called yourself stupid, now the next day a test of some sort comes up. What is going to suddenly make you smart? Nothing. What is going to make you stupid? The fact that you told your brain you were, and your brain is remembering it. What can you expect your brain to do, EXCEPT what you've told it?

How about this. Why don't you say instead, "I made a mistake." Everyone makes mistakes, and most mistakes can be corrected. Making a mistake does not make you stupid, it makes you human. So, when you feel stupid, don't compound the problem by saying you're stupid. Alleviate the problem by saying you made a mistake. Keep it open maybe, by adding "but tomorrow I'll do better." That helps you look forward to tomorrow. Let this axiom work in your favor. Good, bad, or indifferent, the more you think it, the more you say it, the more you ATTRACT it! Do you want it in your life? You make your own future. You make the decision."

DONíT TALK ABOUT IT AND IT WILL GO AWAY?
Some people have mistaken this teaching to mean that if they don't talk about it; it will go away. Some have used the approach "to be careful with our words" by telling people never to talk about their fears, anger, sadness. They say, "That is negative. Don't give any power to it. Just say positive words."

However, human dynamics don't always work that way. We sometimes assume that feelings go away if we never talk about them, but we know that is not the case. They often build up, eat away at us and may come out as ulcers, rashes, headaches, or other physical problems.

So how do we use the power of words to heal, free, empower, care for ourselves and others?

FINDING THE WORDS
We need to be able to find the right descriptive words for our feelings. Sometimes we say, "I just can't find the words to tell you how I feel." It's important to know what those feelings are and to "find the words" to understand and help ourselves.

Telling of a fiancé who had left her for another, a young woman said dramatically, "He's killing me. He's just killing me!" These are real feelings of betrayal, anger, sadness and loss. The feelings need to be acknowledged, honored, shared, understood. The woman did that and, because of a good listener, came to release the feelings and realize that though her feeling of loss was intense, she knew that her statement, "He's killing me!" was not true. He couldn't "kill" her. He didn't have that power. She owned her own power (as we learned in the lesson May 1, "Own Your Own Power"). She started using her power of decree more truthfully and realistically, finding her words, "He chose to live his life differently than the way we had planned and vowed to do. He chose to marry someone else. It hurts, but I am healing and will live my life based on my deep power to recover, survive and thrive. I am alive. I will survive!"

The positive words of hope, optimism and empowerment did not come by ignoring her feelings and just forcing herself to say, "I'm fine. I'm wonderful. I release him and bless him." Her more hopeful affirmation of herself and her power to overcome the loss came by feeling and healing the loss. Then she turned more deeply optimistic as she accepted herself and others and grew through the experience.

When we do this, we don't just "make" our affirmations, but we live them powerfully and authentically. Our words have great power, then, as they emerge from deep convictions born out of our feeling and healing.

WE FIND TRUE POWER IN SILENCE
We can find true power in silence. In Jesus' time all the high priests, soldiers, police, magistrates, Roman officials, the mobs of people - all probably thought they had power. Their noise, interrogations, procedures, brutality, trickery, sell-outs, lies, violence, and outcries were not where the highest power could be found.

Pure, true power originates in the Higher Power. We discover this in the silence. Then we choose how we express this power with our voice, with our actions, by "walking the walk."

WE INVEST MANY THINGS WITH POWER
We tend to invest many things with power. Cultural anthropology shows us that we as human beings all share tribal rituals, "power" places, totems, sacred animal figures, sacred rocks and plants, power logos. We invest these with reverent names, powers and ceremonies. Look at names of sports teams and all the paraphernalia and cheers that show loyalty to "our team." Look at the names of cars, trucks, airlines, clothes, pets, towns, boats, military units, and parks. Cars are being given more metaphysical and spiritual names to appeal to our spirit and psyche.

But is this where we are going to actually find our Power? Where do we really find Power?

SILENCE IS POWER
Silence is power. The Silence is not just keeping our mouths shut. The Silence is found by turning within, relaxing, getting still, seeking God at our center, listening for God's ideas and direction, then just "being there," alone with what IS. There is a little book published by Unity called Meditation in the Silence. It is a great help in developing this dynamic and power-full practice of The Silence.

LIFE IS WHAT WE MAKE OF IT
Life is what we make of it. "Ask and you shall receive. Knock and it shall be opened to you."c These words are among the more challenging ones ascribed to Jesus. They suggest the possibility of scientific method: ask (experiment) and see what happens (record the results).

Julia Cameron wrote in The Artist's Way "Is it any wonder we discount unanswered prayers? We call it coincidence. We call it luck. We call it anything but what it is - the hand of God, or good, activated by our own hand when we act in behalf of our truest dreams, when we commit to our own soul."d

CHRIST POWER OR PILATE POWER
Pilate entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus, "Where are you from?" But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate therefore said unto him, "Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?" Jesus answered him, "You have no power over me unless it had been given you from above."e

Do we want to operate from Christ power or Pilate power? Pilate, the Roman authority, says to Jesus, in effect, "I have power over you. I am the ultimate power." Jesus tells Pilate, "No, I AM is the ultimate power." Pilate did not threaten Jesus because Jesus had contacted his Power over and over. He had given himself over to the Higher Power again in the Garden - "Not my will but yours be done."f Jesus knew his power, and he did not give his power away to Pilate or anyone else. He knew they did not have the power to set him free or kill him. Jesus told Pilate, "You have no power over me."g Only God has (is) the Power. Pilate is afraidh, Jesus is not afraidi. "I and the Power are one." "He has no power over me; but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go hence.j" Live empowered from within!

OCEAN WITHIN
Barbara Bergen wrote this poem called Ocean Within. That illustrates the power of the word and how it changes us:

In the vast eternal ocean
of thoughts that roam our mind,
Is the endless flow of passing thoughts
of each and every kind.

We let go of outworn thoughts
we choose not to believe,
Then embrace the new ideas
we willingly receive.

Silently the ebb and flow
continues endlessly,
Moving us from who we were
to who we want to be.k

MEDITATION
I'd like to end with a meditation. Through meditation we can leave this outer world and go into the joyous Reality of Life.

If you resist meditation; you may want to look at why that is so. Do you feel guilty to take time out from your busy day? Do you think you would be bored just sitting and doing nothing? Do you think that action is the answer to your problems? Do you think that inaction is just a waste of time? Do you believe that there is something sacrilegious about making direct contact with God? Are you afraid to look within for fear of what you may find there? Just gently notice what your reaction is to these questions - then let that be there.

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." Today we are going to do a Jack Addington meditation.

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.

Claim for yourself: I am relaxed. Every muscle, every cell, every atom of my body is relaxed. I am letting go and letting God direct and maintain my life and affairs. I am resting on the Everlasting Arms. I am taking dominion and giving the following orders to my body.

My toes are relaxed. (flex the toes, tense them, turn them up toward the head and then consciously release and relax them.)
My toes are relaxed.
My toes are relaxed.

My ankles are relaxed. (tense the ankles and then consciously relax them)
My ankles are relaxed.
My ankles are relaxed.

My calves are relaxed. (tense the calves and then consciously relax them)
My calves are relaxed
My calves are relaxed

My knees are relaxed. (tense the knees and then consciously relax them)
My knees are relaxed.
My knees are relaxed.

My thighs are relaxed. (tense the thighs and then consciously relax them)
My thighs are relaxed.
My thighs are relaxed.

My hips are relaxed. (tense the hips and then consciously relax them)
My hips are relaxed.
My hips are relaxed.

My fingers are relaxed. (tense the fingers and then consciously relax them)
My fingers are relaxed
My fingers are relaxed

My hands are relaxed. (tense the hands and then consciously relax them)
My hands are relaxed.
My hands are relaxed.

My arms are relaxed. (tense the arms and then consciously relax them)
My arms are relaxed.
My arms are relaxed.

My diaphragm is relaxed. (tense the diaphragm and then consciously relax it)
My diaphragm is relaxed.
My diaphragm is relaxed.

Now I am letting my shoulders relax, letting go of any burden I have been carrying. I am relaxing my neck muscles (tense them and relax them).

I am relaxed.
My scalp is relaxed...
my head is relaxed...
my brain is relaxed...
my mind is relaxed...
my eyes are relaxed...
my face is relaxed (let your expression go limp)

my whole body is relaxed.

Now in this relaxed state, I surrender myself to the Perfect Power within me. I realize that all of life continues without my doing anything about it

I AM LETTING GO AND LETTING GOD!

I will be still and know the Spirit of God within me.

I am still and know that the I Am of God lives in me.
I am still. I am centered in perfect peace.
I am still. I know that the I Am of God within me lives my life.

The I Am of God within me lights my path,
directs my way,
and accomplishes all that is given to me to do.
I know the wonder of God lives through me.
I rejoice in the knowing that of myself I can do nothing;
the Father within me doeth the work.
I let go and let the I Am of God live through me in Its perfect way.

I know the Joy of God is my joy;
the life of God is my life;
the Love of God is my love.
All that God is, I am.

I love the Life of God within me.

God is the only Power and the only Presence.
I am a divine, perfect, spiritual being,
forever one with my Source.
I love the Life of God within me.

I love the Life of God within me.
I love the Life of God around me.
I love the Life of God in everyone.
I love the Life of God everywhere present.

I love the Life of God within me.
I am one with the Life of God.
All of Life loves me.
I am immersed in God's Love.
I melt into the Oneness of Life.

Not only do I hear your message God,
but I am now beginning to see your Truth.
It is within that the Kingdom is gained and won.
It is within that I find your Peace that passes all understanding.
It is within that the wonders and the glory of your perfect Love are found ... not withdrawn from the world ... but at the very center of Life. I thank Thee Father for revealing Thyself, Even a glimpse of Thyself to me.

When you are ready bring yourself back to this room and open your eyes.



aDr. Mark P. Cosgrove The Amazing Body Human, God's Design for Personhood
bJan Tincher, Hypnotherapist and Master Neuro-Linguistic Programmer
cMatthew 7:7
dJulia Cameron The Artist's Way
eJohn 19:9-11
fLuke 22:42
gJohn 19:11
hJohn 19:8
iJohn 14:1-3
jJohn 14:30-31
kBarbara Bergen Ocean Within



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