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Sunday Message for October 16, 2022


A few weeks ago I gave out little blue ribbons - because I wanted you to know that I believe that "Who you are makes a difference." Without you this church would not exist. Each of you contribute your unique personalities to making this Church Family what it is. I also gave you ribbons to pass on to someone else. Would anyone like to share what happened with those ribbons? Who did you give them to and why? And then, who did they give theirs to, ... and why?

This month we are studying Zeal or Enthusiasm. The title of my talk today is "Alive, Alert, Awake, & Enthusiastic About Life." What we want to learn and practice this week is to keep our enthusiasm for life alive and well. The fun is in the going, not just the arriving. Stay awake to opportunities and possibilities. I am alive, alert, awake, and enthusiastic about life and living.

I AM ALIVE! Who do you think you are? Our lives are summed up (supposedly) in the words droned at gravesides by clergy who tell us that we are "dust returned again to dust." Well, maybe we are not just "dust" but are "stardust!" Have you had enough of the dusty image of who you are? The great seers and teachers of the world saw beyond "dust returned again to dust." Moses, Isaiah, Buddha, Mohammed, Jesus, Paul, John, Eckhart, Emerson, plus a whole host of other visionaries knew that we are stardust. Why not stay in their good company? Live empowered in the truths they taught and lived.

Lawrence M. Krauss, in his book, A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing wrote:

"The amazing thing is that every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. You couldn't be here if stars hadn't exploded, because the elements - the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution - weren't created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way they could get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today."a

In the Bible Moses symbolizes the progressive or drawing-out process. This is the upward trend of all things in the Universe.

Isaiah represents the higher self - that in us which discerns the reality, the real character, of spiritual man.

Emerson wrote about, "that great nature in which we rest ..., that Unity, that Over-soul, within which every man's particular being is contained and made one with all other; that common heart of which all sincere conversation is the worship..." He said that "this deep power in which we exist and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one."b

And of course, Jesus, symbolizes the I in man, the self, the directive power, raised to divine understanding and power - the I AM identity.

It is the dawn of a New Age - the entrance into a new millennium. Take your rightful place on the twelve thrones told by Jesus in Matthew 19:28: " Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, ..."c

And this is really talking about developing the twelve powers that are within you. It is about becoming the master of them, the King of them. When you do this then you embody the Christ within - you become the Christ Being - the I AM of God

I AM ALERT! Enthusiasm went out of style for some people during a time when we were supposed to be "cool." We didn't say to each other, "I'll be seeing you - be enthusiastic!" We said, "I'll be seeing you - be cool." (Play it cool and you may freeze!)

Betty Friedan, an advocate of women being empowered, advised against prim and proper be-havior or being cool: "A good woman is one who loves passionately, has guts, seriousness and passionate convictions, takes responsibility and shapes society. I'm horrified by the word, 'cool.' Coolness is an evasion of life... I'd rather be committed than detached."d Let's stay alert, caring, considerate, committed, involved, paying attention.

There was a man who ran into a middle-aged buddy who was loaded down with packages. He was astonished to note from the labels of the boxes that his buddy had bought flowers, perfume and lingerie. "Who are you buying all this for?" he asked impulsively. Then, horrified at himself, he started to apologize for prying. His buddy said, "Hey, it's okay. Some men, when they get to middle age, start looking for greener pastures but I... well, I thought I'd just fertilize the one I have!"

Enthusiasm is not only starting "fire" to get us moving forward into new ideas, interests, projects, relationships, accomplishments. Enthusiasm is staying power. It is the ability to follow through on what is worthwhile. Edna LeShan wrote in The Wonderful Crisis of Middle Age: "Erich Segal (author of Love Story) is a coward; it's a real cop-out to kill off the young wife while they are still in the first blush of romance - it would have taken a lot more courage to let them live through marriage - in middle-age!"e

I AM AWAKE! Am I fully awake or only somewhat awake? In (Ephesians 5:14) it says:
"Sleeper, awake!
Rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you."f

Sometimes in the Bible, sleep and drunkenness are mentioned together - what we would call today, "sleeping it off." However, we know there are many "dry drunks" that may affect us. Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan wrote a helpful book, Money Drunk/Money Sober, dealing with compulsive spending, binge buying, unsecured debt, poverty addiction, mood-altering with money, prosperity consciousness, and spiritual understanding.

The raising of Lazarus signifies the restoring to consciousness of the idea of youth, which is asleep in the subconsciousness, or tomb of the body. People grow old because they let the youth idea fall asleep. This idea is not dead, but is sleeping, and the understanding I AM (Jesus) goes to awaken it.

The outer senses say that this vitalizing force is dead, that it has been dead for so long that it has gone into dissolution, decay, but the keener knowledge of the spiritual man proclaims, as Jesus did in John 11:11 .., "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him."g

Bringing this sleeping life to outer consciousness is no easy task. Jesus groaned in spirit and was troubled at the prospect. Jesus said in John 11:39 "Take away the stone."h The "stone" that holds the sleeping life in the tomb of matter in subconsciousness is their belief in the permanency of present material laws. This "stone" must be rolled away through faith.

The person who wants the inner life to spring forth must believe in the reality of spiritual powers and must exercise his faith by invoking, in prayer, the presence of God. This reveals to consciousness the glory of Spirit, and the soul has witness in itself of a power that it previously did not know.

Those who are putting on the new Christ body perform this raising of Lazarus every day.

Let us wake up, "arise from the dead," and let the Christ light shine more fully through us.

I AM ENTHUSIASTIC! Here is a well-known piece that has inspired many people to live more enthusiastically:

"If I had my life to live over, I'd try to make more mistakes next time. I would relax, I would limber up, and I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I know of very few things I would take seriously. I would be crazier, I would be less nervous, I would take more chances, and I would take more trips. I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets. I would eat more ice cream and fewer beans. I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones. You see, I'm one of those people who have lived their lives sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I've had my moments and if I had to do it over again, I'd have more of them. In fact, I'd try to do nothing else, just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I've been one of those people who never go anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a gargle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had to do it over, I'd start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way until late in the fall. I'd play more hooky. I wouldn't get such good grades except by accident. I'd ride more merry-go-rounds. I'd pick more daisies."

Cora Fillmore wrote in the book Christ Enthroned In Man, "I am established in spiritual consciousness, and I am zealous to serve God, to serve humanity." "I am one with the ever-unfolding, ever-increasing Spirit of infinite courage, enthusiasm, and zeal." "The quickening, vitalizing, free-flowing enthusiasm of Spirit is working in me mightily, transforming me into newness of life."i

You know that Life cannot withhold Itself from you. All that Life is and has is fully given to you to enjoy. The Life of God is perfect and eternal. It is the essence of everything that is. Life is God's gift to you. It is always ready to manifest Itself through you in Its entire fullness.

The time has come to open your inward vision and look out upon a newer and broader horizon. You are at that place in your growth when there is complete certainty before you. You shall continuously expand and experience more and more of that Life that is already perfect. There is no reason why this awakening will not come now, for you are not waiting on God - God is waiting on you. All nature awaits your recognition and even the Divine Spirit must await your cooperation with It.
Life fills all space and Spirit animates every form. But since you are an individual, even the Spirit cannot make the gift of Life unless you accept it. Life may have given everything to you but only that which you accept is yours to use. So let your mantra be:

I am alive, alert, awake, and enthusiastic about life and living.

Let it be your way.

aLawrence M. Krauss A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing
bRalph Waldo Emerson
cMatthew 19:28
dBetty Friedan
eEdna LeShan The Wonderful Crisis of Middle Age
fEphesians 5:14
gJohn 11:11
hJohn 11:39
iCora Fillmore Christ Enthroned In Man

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