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Sunday Message for June 11, 2023


Let's talk about seeing God in everything and knowing that we really are all One. How often do we look away from God by saying "yes, this is great, BUT..."? Today we will look at getting that "but" out of the way.

Have you ever attended a tractor pull? Anybody ever participate in one? Well, for all the city people let me describe it . . .

Virtually, they are glorified tugs of war in which school-aged children are replaced by tons of farm equipment, with each piece of machinery attempting to pull the weaker one into a giant mud hole. So, imagine then, two tractors, each with the EXACT amount of horsepower in their high-powered engines, facing in opposite directions. Both vehicles are equally equipped with gargantuan treaded tires and sturdy chassis. Each one with a skilled, experienced driver at the wheel.

In between these equally powerful monsters is a steel chain strategically hooked to the backside of each tractor. This chain is connected in such a manner that it evenly distributes the balance between both vehicles. In this way, no tractor has a jump on the other.

So, it's moments before the competition begins and the driver of Tractor 1 begins to rev the engine more and more until it reaches maximum RPM's. The driver of Tractor 2 does the same, as each driver tries to psyche out the other. A referee motions the pit crew to finish their final tasks, they scurry out of the way, and he waves the starting flag.

With that each driver lets it rip! The tractors accelerate and begin to pull against each other with all their might. Diesel fuel and the smell of burning rubber fill the air as the engines roar. Mud flies in all directions, but nothing much happens. One tractor perhaps gains a few inches and then in seconds, the other one has gained a microscopic lead.

Back and forth; back and forth, with that steel chain holding the tractors in a tug-of-war in perfect balance. The contest goes on for a good ten minutes before the referee calls an end to the non-winning twosome, both covered in mud and exasperated from their efforts.

In the end, the crowd is frustrated to see that the two tractors are pretty much sitting in the exact same spot they started, give or take a few inches.

After all their effort, all their hard work, all their planning and implementing, all their grunting and groaning, huffing and puffing, they are both basically in the same place as they started.

So what does this have to do with anything? -- you might be asking. Well, do you ever feel like you exert a lot of effort, a lot of hard work, planning, implementing, perhaps even some grunting and groaning, huffing and puffing to expand your life, to live from a deeper place of Spirit - to see God in everything, as is our theme today -- yet you don't seem to make much progress? You don't seem to get anywhere?

If your answer is yes, well then you may have been unwittingly engaged in a Consciousness Tractor Pull! And today could be your day to put an end to the contest.

A. BUT...
Without realizing it, we think and talk in contradictory ways about the things that are most important to us in the same sentence or action. A few examples: A woman says something like,

* "I want a relationship, BUT all the good men are taken."

Or, a man might say,

* "I want a relationship, BUT who in the world can ever understand women?"

Or either might say,

* "I want a relationship, BUT I'm afraid I'll get hurt."

On another topic: money. We say or think things like:

* "I would really love to do that, BUT I can't afford it."

* "That sounds like a great opportunity, BUT where would I get the money?"

* "I sure would like to have more abundance in my life, BUT I'm just not willing to work that hard."

Or, we've fallen into some version of this:

* "I really would love to be in a greater flow, BUT money is the root of all evil you know."

Or - another topic - As a group of spiritual people, it is important to us to have a relationship with God. Yes? And then we say and think things like,

* "I really want to experience more of God in my life, BUT I just don't have the time/discipline/inclination/fill in a blank to meditate."

Or, how about this. . .

* "I want to play bigger in this world, I want to make a difference, BUT who am I to think I can do that?"

The examples could go on and on, but I hope you're seeing that within each of these examples, there is a Consciousness Tractor Pull going on. And here are the players . . .

Tractor 1 = Our desire - a heartfelt, soul level, God-ordained desire

Tractor 2 = Our contradictory belief or negating statement

The chain holding the Tractors in a static state = our BIG BUT

Just for the record, that's spelled B - U - T -- not B-U-T-T!

So we have our deeply felt, sincere, God-ordained Desire vs. our opposing belief or negating statement being held together in a perfect stalemate by a big BUT!

So long as we play this game, engage in this contest of Consciousness Tractor Pull, we aren't going to go very far, and we certainly aren't giving God any room to work through our lives.

Emerson said: "We must get our bloated nothingness out of the way of the Divine Circuits."a

The word "but" is practically invisible. It is one of the smallest and seemingly non-threatening words in the English language. The chain that binds our desires and contradictory beliefs is virtually unseen and often unheard, because we think the word BUT, we say the word BUT and we act upon the word BUT so often that it goes unnoticed.

As in the commotion of the tractor pull, all eyes and ears in the audience are fixed on either the tractor of Desire or the Tractor of Belief fighting against each other while hardly anyone in the stands pays much attention to the BUT chain that binds them in an unending stalemate.

We have inherited unseen habits of speech and thoughts. For the most part, we are the byproducts of our ancestors, and we will more than likely follow in their footsteps, UNLESS we make a conscious decision to change our beliefs.

Thomas Troward called the effects of race consciousness the Law of Averages.b We will be susceptible to the Law of Averages unless we make a choice to consciously rise above it.

The moment we lose our BIG BUTS, we automatically emanate a series of pure, refined energy signals from within us into the Law. In return, the Law can finally bring us what we do want instead of more of what we do not want.

In the book of Romans, New Revised Version, modified by me, Paul said, "For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, [it is the 'big but'] that dwells within me. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, [it is the 'big but'] that dwells within me."c

I know that all of us are here to create our personal greatness and to joyously carry that greatness in our heart, body, language and spirit. We are here to come from God and go to God in every action and interaction. So, how do you get your big BUT out of the way so that can happen? Let me give you a new acronym:

B - Be Aware of the BUT

U - Undo the BUT belief

T - Transcend the BUT and begin again.

Step 1 is to just be aware. Be aware of the moments you contradict your desires with your beliefs in the same frame of thought or breath. As I already said, more often than not, these BUTS slip by unnoticed.

So realize it after the fact. That's OK -- it's a start. Becoming aware does not mean to be self-critical or hard on yourself. It simply means that being aware of your BIG BUT habit now will get you closer to living a life filled with ease.

I want to give you an opportunity to become aware this morning -- if you're willing to go with me on something. Yes?
Find a partner.
Turn to your partner.
Pick Partner 1 and 2.
Partner 1 -- when I say go, you begin telling Partner 2 all the things that are really, really GREAT about your life, and don't allow a single BUT to enter the conversation. If you start to get your BIG BUT in the way, simply be aware of it, and keep going. Partner 1 - you continue talking until I tell you to switch.
Partner 2, you just lovingly receive the information. Don't say anything. And remember, don't switch until I tell you to. (Give each partner 2 minutes.)

I did this exercise at a conference and was shocked to see how many BIG BUTS I had. "I have such an incredible dog, BUT she's at home and I miss her." "Our church is such a loving community BUT we are struggling financially."

Step 2 is to undo the but beliefs. Immediately undo the BUT belief by diffusing it with a feel good behavior or something that is supportive. Laughing, music, affirmations, feeling loved are just a few tools. The more you begin to feel good the faster your BIG BUT is defused, leaving you powerfully in the flow of life.

Step 3 is to transcend and begin again. Transcend your BUT Belief into an AND Avalanche. Reframe your initial BIG BUT statement to an AND statement that fits, supports and promotes your desire. This gives the Law consistent signals on which to work!

"I desire a relationship in my life, AND I am willing to be the person it will take to attract it into my life."

"I desire greater flow of abundance in my life AND I know I deserve it."

"I choose to make a difference in the world AND I am up for the task!"

Ernest Holmes in the Science of Mind at p. 30 writes: "We must think correctly and become a living embodiment of our thoughts."d

Let me give you a personal example of how this works. All of my life I have had dogs. I love dogs and love having them around. But for many years I was without a dog.

I thought about getting a dog BUT the place I was living didn't accept animals. I wanted a dog BUT I didn't know if I could find a place that did accept animals. An apartment would never work BUT I surely couldn't afford a house with a yard. BUT, BUT, BUT. I had a lot of big buts.

Well, whenever I get stuck with all my BIG BUTS God manages to force me out of my stuck place. My landlord told me that I would have to move because she was going to rent my place to her daughter.

Well, after I got finished with my 'poor little me' routine and got down to looking for a place that might take a dog - a friend of mine told me about a house with a yard that I might want to rent.

It turned out perfectly once I got my big buts out of the way of the Divine Circuits. And of course I got my dog.

So, my friends, you are invited this morning to quit being a player in the Consciousness Tractor Pull. It is time to get your BIG BUT out of the way -- once and for all so that God can be God in, as and through you and so that you can see, feel and experience God in everything!!!

aRalph Waldo Emerson
bThomas Troward
cRomans 7:14-20
dErnest Holmes in the Science of Mind

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