Our first step in “defying gravity” is to give ourselves permission to listen (and to stop ignoring!) God’s guidance. Helen Keller understood this when she said, “One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.” Our second step is to realize that we have within us what we need when we decide that it is time to follow the divine direction to whatever that next level may be. Matthew 5:14 tells us “You are the light of the world.” And our third step is to practice the Courageous Co-Creation that will support us as we act on this guidance in partnership with God to soar to our “co-created best.” It takes courage and trust to do what Charles Dubois said, “Be ready at any moment to sacrifice what you are for what you could become.” But we can do it when we have the tools and the inspiration to take that “leap of faith” into a life of “defying gravity.”
Not too long ago I made a promise to myself that I was going to get serious again about my health, about eating right and basically about taking care of myself. I also said that I would make myself accountable to you and that I would report on a monthly basis. Well, I know it’s been more than a month, but I have dropped 11.5 pounds in the last 4 weeks. Thank you. And I am using this story to introduce the 5th Unity principle, which some people call, THE ACTION PRINCIPLE. In a nutshell, it goes like this: (PPT)
Knowing and understanding the laws of life, also called Truth, is not enough. A person must also live the truth that he or she knows.
This is foundational Truth that basically incorporates the 4 previous principles in a conscious way, incorporating them not only into our awareness, but into visible actions as well. Let us review quickly the 1st 4 principles that we have covered during this series.
(PPT) Principle One:
God is Absolute Good, everywhere present.
(PPT) Principle Two
Human beings have a spark of divinity within them, the Christ spirit within. Their very essence is of God, and therefore they are also inherently good.
(PPT) Principle Three
Human beings create their experiences by the activity of their thinking. Everything in the manifest realm has its beginning in thought.
(PPT) Principle Four
Prayer is creative thinking that heightens the connection with God-Mind and therefore brings forth wisdom, healing, prosperity and everything good.
And once again
(PPT) Principle Five
Knowing and understanding the laws of life, also called Truth, is not enough. A person must also live the truth that he or she knows.
So, we finally come to a place of putting this stuff into practice. However, I invite you to consider the following. These first four principles are about SHIFTING OUR CONSCIOUSNESS before we can change our behavior. That is why, it takes some work, because most of us have been programmed to believe different, about God, about ourselves, about how do we relate to God and about the use and the power of our minds.
But, hear me out, notice that the fifth principle talks about LIVING the truth. And the good news is that there is not way that you can NOT LIVE THE TRUTH because it is a spiritual law.
Because it is a spiritual law, they apply to everyone all the time. As God’s creation, we are expressing God al the time. We are creating our experiences, with every thought and feeling, every time, whether we know it or not. And we are communing in prayer, we are praying without ceasing and a loving Universe is responding all the time. So, what is the problem? The goal is to be doing these things CONSCIOUSLY and to TAKE ACTION as we are guided by our divine inner being, or, in traditional terms as we listen to the voice of God.
Ellen Debenport in her book about the five Unity principle says that
(PPT) Living the Truth is more about being than doing. It’s how we show up for whatever we choose to do, whether we are a business executive, stay-at-home mother, healer, teacher or homeless wanderer. When we are living the truth, any action we take will be from a consciousness of Spirit and oneness, with the ego in service to the soul.
Debenport, Ellen (2011-02-27). The Five Principles: A Practical Guide to Spirituality (p. 111). Unity Books. Kindle Edition.
I like this reference of EGO IN SERVICE of the soul, because that is what precisely the 1st 4 principles do. They take us into this JOURNEY from ego to soul, from personality to individuality, from flesh to Spirit, and from separation to oneness. You can say, it’s a JOURNEY IN UNITY. And because they are a JOURNEY and not a destination, it’s a constant work. It is about reaching into our spiritual arsenal and wielding our spiritual tools in every situation we encounter.
Now, a JOURNEY suggests movement. Whether that movement is a physical movement from point A to point B or a movement in consciousness, which implies a TRANSFORMATION, it does require that we take a NEXT STEP if we are going get from here to there.
I believe that we all want to experience transformation. I believe that we all want to experience more abundance and less stress in our lives. I was dragging my feet in the morning, and all day long, falling asleep at the wheel and not sleeping well at night. Well, guess what? I had to take action and stop eating junk, particularly sugar. Now, I am energized and I sleep well at night. I am even eating more, but I am eating the right stuff in the right amounts and combinations. BUT I TOOK A NEXT STEP.
The wisdom of Nike says, just do it. But before we can just do it, sometimes we need to look at the person in the mirror. I love the lyrics to that song Seandrea sang.
I’m Starting With The Man In
I’m Asking Him To Change
And No Message Could Have
Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
(If You Wanna Make The
World A Better Place)
Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change
(Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change)
This to me clearly says that way before we attempt to change the world, we have to change ourselves. Let it begin with me, we sing here every Sunday. Working on ourselves, requires action. Paul invites us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
I like for everyone, and I mean, everyone, to please take out your connection cards. In your connection card there are several opportunities for you to take the NEXT STEP in this JOURNEY IN UNITY. Please mark on the card, what is your NEXT STEP and then follow through by signing up in one of the lists that we have prepared for you.
You remember that back in June I took an introductory flying lesson. When you fly, you have to go through several checklists to assure your safety and the safety of others.
I believe that the first four principles provide us with a handy checklist BEFORE we take action.
1. Do I affirm divine intelligence and love in this situation?
2. Do I remember my own divinity and that of others involved?
3. Do I take responsibility for attracting this situation into my experience and know that its outcome for me will match my thoughts and feelings about it?
4. Have I aligned myself with God, the universe, the Good, and received guidance before I act?
When you ponder about what NEXT STEP in this JOURNEY IN UNITY you will be taking, the ego might tell you to allow your circumstances to pull you down like GRAVITY does. Well, you can DEFY GRAVITY. You want to know how? That is the title of Valerie Crabtree’s lesson next Sunday (Show PPT) Don’t miss it. And JUST DO IT. GOD BLESS YOU
In a few moments, we will have our moment of GIVING. Perhaps this is a good time to finish completing your connection card and depositing in the offering basket, GOD BLESS
We have been discussing the five foundational truths in which we base our Unity teachings. Some refer to the fifth foundational truth as the action principle. Usually we look at action as something we need to do. But, as you will see this coming Sunday, the doing needs to be preceeded by a conscious embodying of the previous 4 principles. How do we get to that, is the subject of this Sunday talk, The Wisdom of Nike. Seandrea Earls will be our guest vocalist.
This, has been an interesting week. It was filled with events, four specific events. Two of them planned and scheduled. The other two, were un-planned and unexpected.
First, I had a surgical procedure on Tuesday, to remove a cataract from my left eye. I am still having fun with this because for the first time, since I was 7 years old, I can see out of that eye, without glasses, colors are brighter, etc. The second event is a three-day pastor’s conference that took place in the Disney area. Alinda and I can’t wait to share with you some of the things that we learned there. But, more on that later. Unexpected was having to rush out of the conference on Friday to officiate at the funeral of friend who made his transition earlier this week. And the other thing was that the alternator of my car died, when I was coming back from that funeral
Why am I telling you this? Well, because this Life in which we live, move and have our being gives us the illusion of being a series of ups and downs. And when I say illusion, I know that those illusions appear very real, such as the pain we suffer, when we experience a loss. But that is part of our human experience. But the omnipresent LIFE itself is unchanging principle, and we are in IT and IT is in us.
H. Emily Cady, in her classic, Lessons in Truth has this to say about God:
(PPT) God is the name we give to that unchangeable, inexorable principle at the source of all existence. To the individual consciousness God takes on personality, but as the creative underlying cause of all things, He is principle, impersonal; as expressed in each individual, He becomes personal to that one–a personal, loving, all-forgiving Father-Mother.
Cady, H. Emilie). Lessons in Truth
Today, we are addressing the one of our 5 fundamental tenets and that is that God is Omnipresence, Omnipotence and Omniscience, meaning, everywhere present, all power and all knowledge.
Years ago when I identified myself to a patient as the chaplain, he tried to dismiss me by saying, “I don’t believe in God”, to which I replied, “I don’t either” We had a very nice conversation where we both agreed that neither one of us believed in the human God in the sky taught and portrayed by religion. Neither one of us believed in a God that punished some people while favoring other’s etc.
If you think about it. One one end you have one of the three major religions teaching that you are not allowed to pronounce the name of God. A whole theology was build around that concept.
They even came up with a name that is all consonants so God’s name cannot be pronounced.
Now, there are other religions that teach that the way to enlightenment is by spending hours at a time chanting the name of God.
But the bottom line is that any time that we utter the name of God is that we end up, creating a concept, creating and image, forming a visual, perhaps, of what God is.
And that visual is the result of filters implanted in our consciousness by our upbringing, the church that we grew up in and any experiences, positive or negative that we may have had, concerning the Divine.
To make things more complicated ALL MAJOR RELIGIONS teach that God is OMNIPRESENT. Now, either themselves do not know the meaning of the word omnipresence or they do not make any serious effort in explaining what that word really means.
Webster’s define omnipresence as present everywhere at the same time: the omnipresent god.
Perhaps one of the reasons that traditional religions have not emphasized God’s omnipresence is because that would necessarily put them in a position to admit that God is as much part of the other religions as it is part of their own religion.
Who knows? Maybe if they had that awareness, God would be a God of U N I T Y. No pun and no plug intended here.
It is sad to think that many if not all of the differences between the countries of the world, differences that have resulted in people going to war, are based on the premise that OUR GOD is better than your God. The Dalai Lama has said that before there can be peace in the world, there must be peace between the religions of the world.
So how do we solve this problem. How do we bridge this gap of separation that we ourselves have created.
What if the phrase “God is all that is” were literally true? This is what R. Buckminster Fuller must have understood when he said, “God, to me, it seems, is a verb not a noun.”
Now, I am not sure if Buckminster Fuller is the first one that thought of God as a verb. Probably not. As a matter of fact, that is precisely why the opening lines of the Gospel according to John read.
In the beginning was the word
WORD – LOGOS VERBO
Let’s explore this a little bit deeper. As long as we think of God as a Noun, we are establishing a Gap between Creator and created.
However if instead, we think of God as a verb then, we think in terms of this awesome SPIRIT, HIGHER POWER, ENERGIZING FORCE that is at work everywhere, in everything and in every person. And if we enter into the realization that this SPIRIT is LOVE, LIFE, WISDOM, UNLIMITED, POWER AND SUBSTANCE, then we must also enter into he realization that those attributes, are also present and active everywhere, in everything and in every person. How about if we saw and felt this HOLY PRESENCE in the very air we breathe, in the words we hear, in everything we do and say We we be consciously aware that since, we are part of the essence of of God, we would be lost without it.
This realization would bring us to the conclusion that anytime we perceive a lack of any of those things, a lack of love, a lack of life, a lack of wisdom or lack of unlimited power and substance, is precisely our OWN PERCEPTION OF LACK of these attribute. There cannot be lack of any of these things in the Omnipresent Spirit that God is.
You, know we can go on and on trying to come up with and explanation of what God is and that of itself is not possible.
But the thought of this has led me to revise my own mission of a minister and ultimately the mission of this church.
You know, traditional churches say that their mission is get people to repent and make a decision for Jesus Christ and get saved. Well, the interesting thing is that people come to traditional churches and some, end up repenting or changing their ways and their lives are changed for the better, most of the time. I hope. And churches, measure that by the number of baptisms, conversions, etc. We do not have a lot of that here, but hear me out.
I can translate that some of that to Unity terms, very easy.
The word repent literally means, “to change your thinking”.
Yes, our mission is to get us to change our perception and stop thinking of God as a human God and us as separate from God. As far as a decision is concerned, how about if our mission was: (PPT) “To awaken Truth seekers to a full awareness of their divine nature and to equip them with the tools necessary to think, feel, and act from that awareness.” Now the question might be, can we measure our effectiveness as a church. Are lives being touched and transformed here? That is a question to ponder
I submit to you, that awakening to this full awareness requires action on our part. It’s bringing the activity of God (The Verb) into full awareness into our lives. How do we act from our divine awareness? How do we interact from each other from our divine awareness? How do we handle our finances from our divine awareness?
So here is the Next Step we all need to take this week.
The Next Step
1.Commit to praying a minimum of 5 minutes every day about God as omnipresent Spirit in your life.
2. Meditate on the question: How can I act from the awareness of God being in me, around me and in everyone and everything.
3. Plan to attend next Sunday lesson and bring a friend to church.
Nike was right when they came up with the slogan, JUST DO IT. An that is the title of next Sunday’s lesson (Seandrea)
Have you ever wondered how did you form your present concept of God or the Divine? Most likely it has been a combination of culture, church, family tradition, etc. For some, the concept of God has not changed much since we were children. Others cannot accept that concept anymore. So, the question is: Is there a concept of God that will suit spiritual grown ups? I hope to address that question this Sunday in my talk, My Karma Ate Your Dogma. See you Sunday at 10. Angie will be our guest artist.
Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore defines prayer as the most highly accelerated mind action known. Prayer synchronizes one’s consciousness with the One Mind. It is the language of spirituality through which we align with the creative power of the divine. We pray in order to experience an elevating of consciousness that our hearts and minds might open to receive guidance, healing, and a greater awareness and experience of the divine that is our truest nature. Join us this Sunday as we explore Unity’s third principle. Cindy will be our guest vocalist.
The fictional character Popeye the Sailor Man frequently sang, I am what I am, and that’s all that I am. Wow! Was Popeye into metaphysics or spirituality? Just imagine if we constantly our divine identity (The I AM) and added to it, “that’s all that I am”. The last stamen would exclude all the externally, and some times internally, imposed labels about who we are. This Sunday we will explore our divine nature and the lessons learned from the sailor man. Cindy will be our vocalist.
We all have heard how important is to develop healthy eating habits, exercise and get plenty of sleep. Only when taking good care of our bodies becomes an actual habit are we able to enjoy the benefits of more energy, sleep better and improved appearance.
I was wondering if there were any habits that would help us achieve a more conscious awareness of our divine nature and our connection with the Infinite Mind of our Creator. I believe there are, and that will be the subject of our Message on July 6 titled, Don’t Get Excited. Angie Aldarondo will be our guest vocalist.
Last week we broke down Thoreau’s famous quote, “…if a man advances confidently in the direction of his dream…”, etc. However, towards the end of that quote from his classic, Walden, he wrote: “Until now you have built castles in the air; and there is where they should be. Now, go and put a foundation under them. What is that foundation and how to build it is the theme of this Sunday’s talk, Building a Solid Foundation. Angie Aldarondo will be our guest vocalist.
When, Henry David Thoreau suggested that “if a man advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he would meet with success unexpected in common hours,” he established what I am calling the ground rules of the law of mind action. Yet, the remaining part of the quote, which is not as popular, unlocks the key for that “unexpected success. Join us this Sunday at 10 AM as we explore, The Wisdom of Thoreau. Cindy will be our guest singer.