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“Know that I AM” by Rev. Karen Laughman

Know That I Am

Reverend Karen Laughman

From the beginning of humankind, we have sought to understand the mystery and the meaning of life and death. Every culture has traditions, rituals and beliefs to recognize the human yearning to feel connected to, guided by and protected by a higher power. We call this higher power God… and we know that God has many names. In Unity, we honor all the ways and paths to finding and being with the Spirit of God.

My message today is based upon the well- known verse in Psalm 46:10 which says, “Be Still and know that I Am God.”  I have been drawn to this verse as I contemplate on how we can apply this simple message in our daily and spiritual lives. “Be Still and Know that I Am God.”  Chapter 46 of Psalms tells us that God is always with us. The chapter begins with “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” We are told we need not be afraid, even if the earth is shaken and mountains fall into the ocean depths; Nations can rage and kingdoms can totter, but we are given the assurance that God is always with us. As we affirm in our Unity Prayer of Protection, Wherever we are, God is and with God’s Presence, All is Well. We describe God in our Unity tradition as ever- present Spirit, ever powerful, the Source of all good.

In Psalm 46: verse 10, we are asked to be still and remember who God is as we do in our first principle in Unity when we say there is only one Presence and Power in the Universe, the Source and Creator of all, God the Good. A fundamental Unity teaching is that the Spirit of God’s presence, goodness and power dwells within us. God as Spirit is powerful and good. We are created in God’s image as Spirit, and therefore we are divinely powerful and good. This knowing of our Divine Being is what we can call the I Am. The I Am in us is God’s Eternal Presence. The I AM is our essence in our deepest places. It is our Christ Presence, our Buddha Nature, our Atman, which is the Sanskrit word for the inner self and soul. As spiritual Divine Beings, we are unlimited and infinite.. as God is. We have the most powerful force of the Universe inside us, and therefore, we have unlimited possibilities!

The key to God’s Kingdom is knowing we are One with Divine Mind. There is no separation between our consciousness and the consciousness of God. Just as there is one Presence and one Power.. there is one Consciousness. This awareness of our Divine Consciousness happens when we become still…for me when I am aware of this consciousness, it is a rush of tranquility in my mind, body, and spirit. And, at the same time, I feel alive. This is what I call Divine Spirit. It is always there, but when I can become still, it looms in my Being as tranquility and aliveness. With an open mind and receptive heart, we can become still and feel the peace, joy and love of Divine Presence. This can happen when we meditate and pray, when we are silent in nature, when we look silently look into the eyes of someone we love. Be still and know I AM God.

It is important to remember who we are in Spirit as we each have our own divine destiny to fulfill with our individual gifts and interests. Each of us are created to be exactly who we are, and we can confidently say I AM Divine Expression… (let’s say this out loud).

 I AM is a powerful statement to focus your beliefs and attract the power of the Universe on your behalf. The words that follow I Am become an important part of our consciousness. In Unity, we believe we create our reality with our thoughts and our words. Positive affirmations about ourselves and our lives create positive outcomes. And, what we give our attention to grows.

You may know of the Native American legend about a grandfather who is teaching his grandson about life. He tells the boy that there is a fight going on inside us between two wolves. One wolf is angry, envious, greedy, arrogant, dishonest, hateful and has negative thoughts about itself and others. The other wolf is joyful, peaceful, loving, hopeful, kind, humble, generous, truthful, and faithful. The boy asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins the fight?” The wise grandfather simply replied “The wolf you feed is the winner.” We need to be aware of what we are feeding our minds and hearts. Positive thoughts and actions metaphysically attract goodness and blessings in our lives.  

As I prepared for this talk, I read Joel Osteen’s book titled, “The Power of I Am” because I liked the title. When his father died, he took over his Dad’s ministry. In the beginning, Joel had self-doubt, but felt he had a calling. He made an intention to only say positive I AMs to himself, and he built a large and successful church serving many people’s spiritual needs.

He encourages others to practice positive I AMs, which he says is a magnet for blessings. He writes that “each of us are anointed.. meaning we have received a calling from God which empowers us to live the best life we can.” Anointing is receiving the power and Presence of God which Joel states “can destroy sickness, poverty, depression, addiction, oppression and fear.” This philosophy though it is stated in different ways is similar to what our Unity co-founders, Charles and Myrtle Fillmore taught, which became the foundation of our Unity faith.

Joel Osteen suggests that “We prophesize our future with positive, I AMs which plant seeds to our greatness and open doors to infinite possibilities.” We know in Unity when we speak positively of ourselves and our possibilities, we become the best that we can be for our best life. Joel encourages us to make a statement of faith when we start our day and become a magnet for blessings. One of those statements can be “All is Well and I invite God’s goodness in my day. We can make declarations of faith.. believing in ourselves and our possibilities. “I am powerful, I am valuable, I am smart and talented. I am victorious.”

I AM Affirmations can transform our consciousness and our lives…. This is how powerful they are.

We all have setbacks and make mistakes, and these are opportunities to learn lessons and mature and grow with patience, persistence and develop character. We need to remember we are bigger than our obstacles and there is a Universal force within us that is more powerful than any difficulty. Everything that happens to us prepares us for our ultimate purpose. There was a man who worked for a home improvement company for 30 years and was let go due to a corporate restructuring. Imagine how he felt, but he didn’t let this defeat him. He gathered some friends and created a new vision. He and his friends started their own company. They called it “Home Depot.” This is what creative thinking and confidence can do. This is what persistence can do.

When we persist with our positive I AMs, we open ourselves to the power within us to manifest our dreams. Joel declares, “You cannot talk lack and expect abundance. You cannot speak doubt and overcome obstacles.” In Unity we are encouraged to use denials if we have negative recordings in our thought patterns. Deny those negative thoughts and replace them with positive affirmations and positive I AMs.

With faith, everything is possible, and every day is a new day. When we are having a challenge and may feel discouraged, we can shift our perspective and affirm the glass is half full instead of half empty. Do as Unity minister and teacher Revered Paul Hasselbeck suggests, “Faith it ‘til you make it.” Isn’t that better than ‘fake it until you make it?” Faith it ‘til you make it.”  Remember, God’s Presence is always with you. Affirm you can do all things through your powerful inner Christ. Pray for guidance, be still and listen for guidance. Allow Spirit to support you. Hebrews 6:12 confirms “I am going to be still and know good will come my way.” And Jesus said “Seek the kingdom and all good things will be added unto you.”  

Trust in Divine Order. Trust the Universe is showing up for you with the right people and opportunities for goodness in your life. Start thinking, talking and acting as if it is happening now. Faith creates energy for victory. Declare I AM smart, confident, joyful, loved and loving. Declare freedom from anything holding you back whether it may be health issues, addiction issues, money issues, pain, relationship issues. Believe you are stepping into the fullness of your destiny, and be everything you were created you to be.!

Each of us has incredible potential. In her lessons on the series, “Keys to the Kingdom”  Sandy has talked about vision. What is your vision for your life? How do you want to make a difference in the world? What are your short and long term goals? Are you investing your time wisely and purposely pursuing your dreams?  None of us need to stay in a job we don’t like and doesn’t use our gifts. None of us need to stay in a relationship that doesn’t meet our needs or make us happy. None of us need to be stuck in negative thought patterns which cause us to be stuck in ways that harm our well-being. Each of us has divine energy to open new doors. Each of us can dare to believe we are powerful beyond measure.

This positive energy moves us forward. Joel Osteen declares, “We have God’s DNA. Greatness is in our genes. Dream Big, Believe Big, Pray Big.” And, I remind you…You are Divine Expression. Jesus affirmed in John 14:12, “You will do great things.” What is the next level you want to go to in your life?  Often all we need is creative thought and imagination, which are a part of our divine power. I heard somewhere that there are three kinds of people: quitters, campers and climbers. You may have quit in the past. You may be camping now. You can be a climber and go for what you truly want. You can step into the fullest of your destiny with your Divine Power knowing and declaring your I AMs.

In Summary:

Be Still and Know The Power of I AM 

Recognize, Affirm and Realize Your Divine Potential

Imagine Your Possibilities

Step Forward in Faith

I want to end with some thoughts for Meditation:  

I AM Peace. Peace is the Truth of My Being. I feel the spirit of God flowing through me and  I am calm and serene. I am an expression of God’s perfect peace. Peace begins with me. My peace helps create harmony around me and in the world. My mind is poised and my heart is serene as I respond to life’s circumstances peacefully from my Christ nature. Peace be Still.

I AM Love: Love is the Truth of My Being. The love of God enfolds me. God is Love and My Divine Christ Presence is Love. I see and behold the Divine in every person and experience oneness and unity with all.  I am kind, generous and compassionate toward others. I listen with an open heart. I radiate love to myself, my family, friends and to every person everywhere, known and unknown.

I AM Joy:  Joy is the Truth of My Being. Spirit is the Source of my joy, and innate joy is mine. I feel exuberant and excited about my life and my possibilities. I celebrate goodness, love and beauty. I live each day with joy and gratitude, receptive to God’s infinite good and supply. My joyful energy creates more joy in me and for those around me.

I AM Powerful: Power is the Truth of My Being. I claim and embody my Divine identity with inherent spiritual powers. In the midst of shifting circumstances, I remain confident, courageous and tenacious. I see and know what is mine to do. I face my future strong, wise and unafraid. I choose and determine my destiny.

I AM Healthy:  God’s Presence is in me as health and well-being. Every cell of my body is filled with Divine life. Divine healing power strengthens and revitalizes me. Centered in the Spirit of life, I am vibrantly alive and whole. I appreciate and honor my body and care for my spiritual, mental and physical well-being.  I am in perfect balance.

I AM Prosperous:  I am created in the image of God with unlimited possibilities. All I need is within me. I trust Divine wisdom and Divine order in my life. I receive Divine ideas and imagine my dreams fulfilled. I focus on the good of God and I expect abundance. I am grateful and give thanks for the stream of good in my life. I know that infinite blessings are coming to me right now.

And, so it is. Be Still and Let us go into Silent Meditation.

Key #3 “Build a New Awareness”

GREAT MORNING BELOVED!!

Welcome to week three of the David Owen Ritz series, “The Keys to the Kingdom – an advanced course in prosperity consciousness building” We have discussed Key #1 – Make the Commitment. How have you been dealing with the big “C”? Some of us do have an issue with commitment. I hope that it has been resolved, at least to some degree, by now.

The second Key is Hold the Vision. One of the best quotes from David’s text is “…none of us will rise higher than the vision we hold for ourselves.”

Think about that….how does that make you feel?

The questions from last week…anyone have something they wish to share?

  1. How do you sense the Divine urge to grow within your own life?
  2. What fears or doubts come to the surface when you seek your new vision?
  3. What new feelings and beliefs would you like to have in place of those doubts and fears?
  4. Do you really feel deserving of true abundance in every area of your life? If not, explore the part of you that does not feel worthy.
  5. Which area of your life is presently the most abundant? Least abundant? Why do you think this is?

What might be standing in the way of that vision you imagined last week?

The next Key is “Build a New Awareness.” How do we do that?

One way is to ask questions. Some like to think of it as ‘comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable.’ In other words, we keep asking you to step further into your authentic personage…who you truly are and sometimes THAT is uncomfortable, at least for a little while.

Think about this scenario…

You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you or shakes your arm, making you spill your coffee everywhere.

Why did you spill the coffee?

“Well because someone bumped into me, of course!”

Wrong answer.

You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup.

Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea.

Whatever is inside the cup, is what will spill out.

Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which WILL happen), whatever is inside you will come out. It’s easy to fake it, until you get rattled.

So, we have to ask ourselves… “what’s in my cup?”

When life gets tough, what spills over?

Joy, gratefulness, peace and humility?

Or anger, bitterness, harsh words and reactions?

You choose!

Hopefully, the first list, Joy, gratefulness, peace and humility, are a huge part of your core beliefs.

So, today, let’s work towards filling our cups with gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation, and kindness, gentleness and love for others.

After all, the best way to show love to others is to start by loving yourself and today, LOVE is on the menu.

Have you questioned your core beliefs lately? I am sure you have done so during your lifetime, or I doubt you would be attending Unity or following Unity Principles.

Your core beliefs color your perceptions of life and can actually create our experiences.

As I was doing my research for this lesson, I came across a post by someone, Victoria was her name, and she likened this coloring of our perceptions by our core beliefs to wearing colored glasses.

Consider this…suppose you always wore glasses tinted a specific color. Say I’m wearing yellow tinted glasses and you are wearing green tinted glasses, and another is wearing rose tinted glasses. And finally, we have a person who wears clear glass in their glasses.

Now if we all looked at the sky on a clear sunny day, we would all say that the sky was a different color – yellow, green, etc.

This is an example of how our core beliefs ‘color’ our perceptions. These ‘unconscious’ beliefs feel real to us. Our fears, frustrations, self-esteem, etc. could all be stemming from these colored perceptions.

Feelings, especially strong feelings, are an indication that it’s time to check where does that thought come from? Where does that feeling come from?

The Don Miguel Ruiz book, “The Fifth Agreement” goes into this process deeply. He says to question everything but to be open, as to new ideas and possible changes in your beliefs.

And Byron Katie asks, “Is what I’m believing true?” Especially, is it true NOW?

Some of us may have spent time over the years consciously constructing a personal belief system through study and research. Others have simply accepted our parents’ or family’s views of life, usually unconsciously. We must make sure our beliefs are actually our own and not a story that’s put on us by somebody else.

These beliefs will determine how much prosperity and abundance you allow in your life.  Yes, allow.

How do we know if we have limiting beliefs?

By our thoughts, like “nothing ever seems to work out for me’, there’s never enough’.

Our thoughts constantly reinforce and confirm our limiting beliefs.

By our feelings and emotions, energizing those thoughts with fear, worry, unworthiness.

By our behavior. Behavior follows thoughts and feelings and emotions. Things like performing below our true ability at work, withholding giving and sharing,

Sometimes the degree to which we are willing to challenge our belief systems determines the success of our inner economy.

As you can see, a simple idea, accepted by your mind as true, has the ability to become your own personal reality by dictating your thoughts, feelings, speech, and behavior. Your mind is a powerful cocreator.

Deeply held beliefs are hard to identify and to change.

Our personal vision is actually an inner awareness of our true spiritual self and highest human and spiritual potential.

Something within you knows the truth of who and what you are. This Higher Self knows the power of your unlimited potential. This is your vision.

Know that your emerging new vision of true abundance is more powerful than your old beliefs because your new vision is an inner revelation of truth.

Every circumstance or condition in your life that has been created by a false belief can be healed and transformed by an awareness of the truth.

So how do we get to our core beliefs? The suggested ways are –

  1. Journaling, of course. Nothing like writing your thoughts, especially if you just let them flow from you, even through you.
  2. Be a witness to the belief as it shows up in your speech, feelings, behaviors. One of the class members on Tuesdays asks herself, “Is this who I want to be in this situation?”
  3. My metaphysics instructor would always say, “Watch your language.” Examples: “Some people have all the luck.” “I can’t afford that.” “I’m not worthy of success.” These are all affirming limited thinking. Can you think of more? Are you saying or thinking them? Check yourself.
  4. Rituals like the Burning Bowl. You can make your own ritual if there is something you wish to release that no longer serves your highest good. No need to wait until the New Year to do it.
  5. Affirm your relationship with the God of your understanding, by whichever name or word you use to identify that essence that we all are.

Ritz says, “The personal vision that you are building is for more than just a new belief or about abundance. It is actually an inner awareness of your true spiritual self and highest human and spiritual potential, it is a set of wonderful new possibilities that the Universe wants to express through and as you.”

Our higher self knows what to do. Work with your vision.

As for your vision – work on it. Envision it. Write it out. Meditate on it. Affirm it daily. DREAM!

Dream it, hold the vision ceaselessly, in great detail. Forget about the how! That is God’s business. You choose the ‘what’ and focus your energy on the feelings you would feel if you were living that dream.

Do not limit the Universe. How BIG is your GOD? Then believe that! God is unlimited!

Hear your inner Christ saying Isiah 43:19 “I will make a way.”

Stephen Kosmyna, Unity minister: “I hold my very own key to the kingdom of good to my very own field of dreams. I look only to God as my source and the ceaseless activity of Divine Mind as my supply. I am blessed beyond measure and profoundly grateful for this rain of good and plenty I am now experiencing.”

THAT is a pretty good affirmation!

David lists 7 Truths that build that awareness and acceptance of the good we are all claiming in our vision. They are:

  1. God is the one and only source of our good. We do have channels for that good like jobs, investments, etc., but the SOURCE is all God. To live this truth, we must continually remind ourselves to look to and depend upon the God Source above all else. Place your highest faith in God alone.
  • Abundance is a here-and-now reality. Don’t confuse a temporary event with TRUTH. You are surrounded by and immersed in abundance. Lack and limitation are temporary human experiences we create. We sometimes create a temporary experience that can block our abundance…temporarily. To live this truth, we must affirm the presence of God’s abundance-even in the face of appearances to the contrary-until we train our mind to look beyond appearances.
  • Abundance is inexhaustible. The Universe is constantly expanding. God’s creative process is an endless dance between form and formless. Everything visible originates in the invisible side of life. True abundance is found in the movement of Spirit from the unformed to the formed, from invisible to the visible. Abundance is inexhaustible because the flow of Spirit is ceaseless. Whatever you may spend, lose, or give away today can be replaced tomorrow…perhaps with something better. To live this truth, you must embrace and rejoice in the inexhaustible flow of good through your life. 

Practice nonattachment to temporary physical things.

  • God is meeting your every need at every moment according to your own acceptance. “Our level of acceptance depends upon what you give to life and how you give it. What – time, talent, treasure, energy, attention, love. How – attitude, intention, awareness that accompanies what you give. Give to life with joy, integrity and love.

You always determine how abundantly God meets your needs through your own level of acceptance.

To live this truth, you must practice giving yourself fully to life. Don’t look around for the payoff to your giving. Live and give with joy, generosity, and abandon. Learn to trust in the inexhaustible resources of Spirit. The void you create by giving will be filled.

  • Everyone deserves abundance. We need to see ourselves and others as God does. Love unconditionally and forgive self and others. Lack and limitation are still a part of our human condition, though one day they will disappear in the exact proportion to our understanding that all people deserve abundance.

You can help this along by healing your own consciousness of that belief in limitation. You deserve unlimited abundance.

To live this truth, you must learn to love yourself completely and unconditionally.

  • Your vision is your inner awareness of your naturally abundant self. You were not created to live in lack and limitation; to struggle against adversity all your life. You were created to discover who you are; to grow, love and live in unlimited abundance. As you identify with and activate your vision, you will find yourself growing and changing in many, many wonderful ways. And your potential goes beyond this present vision, you are infinite in your ability to expand and grow.

To live this truth, you must be willing to risk personal greatness. Continue to hold and expand your vision. It is the truth that can lead you away from false beliefs.

  • Your inner guidance will lead you toward the fulfillment of your vision. Every idea contains all the power and intelligence necessary to bring it to fruition. This ‘seed idea’ knows how to grow with the sunshine and rain of your prayers and visioning.

To live this truth, you must recognize that the fulfillment of your vision is a natural process that is under Divine direction.

Everything necessary is contained within the vision and when we nurture ourselves via spiritual practices, we affirm the Truth of our vision, and we build a new awareness. We need to listen and follow inner guidance.

We can learn to trust our heart’s desires and our instincts to guide us, questioning any beliefs that stand in the way of our ability to fully invest in ourselves. As we withdraw energy from limiting ideas about what is possible, we free up the resources that have the power to make our inner economy thrive.  

This weeks’ questions for contemplation:

  1. What evidence of your own limiting beliefs do you find in your thoughts and feelings?
  2. What evidence of your own limiting beliefs do you hear in your speech?
  3. What evidence of your own limiting beliefs do you observe in your behavior?
  4. Can you pinpoint some of your limiting beliefs? If so, can you see why they are not really true?
  5. Which of the Seven Spiritual Truths of Abundance seems most important for you to grasps? Why?

Here’s your closing thought for today:

“Stay as you are, and you will stay as you are.” (Science of Mind”, January 2016)

2nd Key – “Hold the Vision”

GREAT MORNING BELOVED!!

Last Sunday I introduced a prosperity series “The Keys to the Kingdom – an advanced course in prosperity consciousness building.” And I talked about the first Key, “Make the Commitment.”

We noticed that making a commitment is sometimes not an easy thing to do, but as we grow on our journey to wholeness and authenticity, we find that committing to do what is important to us is easier. It fits into our integrity, which is an important aspect of my life, and I hope yours.

And we all see that commitment here every Sunday as our various volunteers prepare for Service, work through the Service and clean up after the fun is done.

I love our volunteers. It makes Sundays so much easier and inspiring for everyone, most especially me. So, thank you again and again and again.

So, did you question your commitment? That was your ‘assignment’ from last week.

Let’s go over your questions from last week…

  1. How would you define true abundance for yourself?
  2. What do you worry about?
  3. Do you feel your worries are well founded and reasonable?
  4. What would you like to think and feel instead?
  5. Where and when are you most aware of the presence, guidance, or activity of Spirit in your life?
  6. Have you noticed the Law of Circulation operating in your life before now? If so, when and how?
  7. What are your greatest fears about the commitment to tithing that you have made?
  8. What could you do to address these fears?

Anyone want to share?

This week we get to look at the second Key, “Hold the Vision.”

What exactly is vision? Merriam-Webster defines it, in part as ‘a thought, concept, or object formed by the imagination, a manifestation to the senses of something immaterial’.

We all talk about manifesting our dreams. This is about that process.

This week is about creating and holding a Vision for our higher possibility. David reminds us of this simple Truth: None of us will ever rise higher than the vision we hold for our lives … None of us will ever lead a greater life than we can conceive of!

Think about that for a minute.

What does that statement bring to mind for you?

Our vision is only as possible as we allow it in our lives.

There is a Divine “urge” behind all of creation “urging” everything into greater and greater expression. My early mentor would say, “God is in the yearning.” And we have mentioned that every cell has what is called a “God Code,” even science agrees that this is so!

This Divine “urge” is SPIRIT urging everything to evolve into greater complexity and greater levels of expression. Within every one of us there is a deep-seeded urge to move forward, be more, expand, and to grow.

When you follow that Divine Urge into greater expression and do something you’ve never done before, there is a sense of “aliveness” that comes with it. Sometimes we translate it as an urge to “have more,” but what we really want is the “experience” those things will give us. It’s actually an “urge” to BE more; to BE something greater than you’ve ever been before.

We are reminded through this process that we have free will. We mentioned that last week. We have all these wonderful thoughts and ideas during Sunday Service and maybe after Service for a bit, but are we choosing to put them into practice during our daily lives? THAT is free will. THAT is choice. And THAT is the effect to our cause.

Our response to the Urging that comes from our Divine Self is where we CHOOSE to COMMITT.

Or not.

Rumi, the Sufi poet said, “Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”

So, if we have made the commitment to continue on this journey, what does your vision look like?   Where do we even start?

An interesting thing happened to me as I was attempting to sell my house back in Camp Hill. The real estate market was not very good at the time, but I felt I needed to commit more to what I was doing for Unity in Frederick.

My thought was to move closer to Frederick, MD. where I was doing my Leadership work to become licensed. That was an hour and a half drive one way for me. You see why a move seemed like a great idea.

And most of you know that story. If you don’t, ask me. My point in bringing it up is, I made a vision board…not as most people do, cutting out pictures and words to paste on a poster.

I made mine on my computer. I forgot about it and life went on. I finally moved here. One day I was reminded of it, so I went to find it and there was the house I had envisioned very similar to the one I was living in, I had dreamed of a place with the beach out one door and trees out the other. Well, I had water out the front door and trees all around the back.

Of course, I forgot about LEAVES in the fall….

David Owen Ritz says: “God has provided the means and the motivation for our growth and evolution, but the details are up to us.” In other words, the Divine Universe is the “big picture” entity… the details are up to us!

And THAT is your vision. Your Vision is the “roadmap” that you’re giving Spirit saying: “This is what I want my life to look like!”

“Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.” (Matthew 7:7) Jesus uses the spiritual meaning of this as a part of a creative process by which we are to bring the Good that is God into manifestation in our lives. In this sense, “asking” is more about choosing what you desire. It’s an expression of the power of imagination. We cannot fulfill our role in the creative process unless we are willing to imagine the Good that might express.

Then we seek. We brush away distractions, dissolve apparent obstacles so that we can truly feel and know our Oneness with God. Then we knock. We consciously become a free and open channel through which the infinite potential of God can express according to what we have imagined. We don’t ask and wait for an answer. We choose, we imagine, and then we become the answer.

We put feet to our prayers.

So, with that in mind, our vision of what we want is the start of the creative process. It is the first step.

How do we vision? Have you ever daydreamed? Of course, you have! Sometimes we do it too much, maybe at the wrong time…and nothing in our physical world gets accomplished!

Sometimes we get real serious about creating something in our lives and we create a vision board, or Treasure Map, as I mentioned earlier.

Sometimes we make lists, what we wish for, what we do not wish for…

And sometimes we have a visioning. We get together with our chosen group, those people who have an interest, an investment in what we wish to manifest, and we talk, we meditate, we pray. And through all this we come up with those things that are important to us as a community. We have done that here a few times.

Yes, I did mention fears. We do that. We limit the Divine by our own limitations. How are you limiting yourself by your fears? What’s that Marianne Williamson quote?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. You’re playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

It takes courage to live your vision. Don’t let fear stand in your way.

“The dreams and possibilities that bring you the greatest joy, happiness, and sense of aliveness are the vey potentials that bring Spirit desires to express through you.”

When we talk about true abundance, it  touches every area of our lives, not just our bank account.

Let’s look at these 5 areas:

Health – your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Abundance in your health might include the God Qualities of balance, harmony, wholeness, beauty, vitality, and peace.

Finances – the flow of money and material good through your life. Abundance in your finances might include the God Qualities of freedom, ease, order, givingness, balance, and growth.

Relationship – the quality of your interactions with others: family, friends, neighbors, lovers, mates, and co-workers. Abundance in your relationships might include the God Qualities of love, wholeness, growth, harmony, authenticity, acceptance, and wisdom.

Career and Creative Self-expression – how you express your special gifts and talents, whether for income or not. Abundance in your career and self-expression might include the God Qualities of creativity, joy, love, freedom, givingness, and confidence.

Spiritual and Personal Growth – your relationship to yourself, your experience of life, and God. Abundance in your spiritual and personal growth might include the God Qualities of unity, growth, wholeness, self-love, joy, confidence, awareness, and power.

To form your vision, take each area into meditation. Focus on seeing and feeling yourself whole, complete, joyful, and uninhibited. Allow images and feelings to create your abundant life in each area. Let the vision be as realistic as possible.

Give yourself plenty of time to truly envision what each part of your life would look and feel like. Do this this week and let me know how you did.

How about Unity? Who are we, Unity Spiritual Center of Coastal Delaware, but a powerful, compassionate, peace-loving group of people praying for love to find its way into the hearts of ALL. We are here to do that. We are here to reach out to the folks in this area and show them by our love and light, just what Jesus really WAS teaching….Loving is the way.

Let’s do this same visioning for Unity Spiritual Center of Coastal Delaware. Let your imagination go as you dream of what this Center will look like, feel like and what importance we will have in our Community, both internally and in the greater Community.

Let me know what you come up with.

In the end, most people don’t regret the things they do. They regret what they failed to do. …we don’t want to be in that category.

We strengthen and develop our courage by using it. Don’t let it go to waste. Trust in who you are and be all you were created to be by living a courageous life. Choose to live courageously.

Your questions for this week:

  1. How do you sense the Divine urge to grow within your own life?
  2. What fears or doubts come to the surface when you seek your new vision?
  3. What new feelings and beliefs would you like to have in place of those doubts and fears?
  4. Do you really feel deserving of true abundance in every area of your life? If not, explore the part of you that does not feel worthy.
  5. Which area of your life is presently the most abundant? Least abundant? Why do you think this is?

Keys to the Kingdom – part 1.

GREAT MORNING BELOVED!!

Keys to the Kingdom – part 1.

This week we start a Prosperity program. This 7-week program by David Owen Ritz titled ‘The Keys to the Kingdom’ is one of several programs that many Unity Centers and churches use to have us take a look at what we think about prosperity and abundance.

As we come out of our worldwide ‘pause’ also known as the pandemic, we need to look at what we wish to let go and what we wish to change or bring forth in our lives. Prosperity programs help us to do that.

I found this definition – “true prosperity is the power to satisfy our needs and make our dreams come true.”

What do you think of that definition?

A prosperity mentality is part of what helps us manifest those things and relationships that we long for. Money alone does not have the ultimate power over our happiness and success. It’s our attitude about money that holds the true secret of happiness.

The goal is oneness with God, nothing more, nothing less. The idea is not to aim for healing or prosperity or better relationships or any of the other “things” – deserved as they may be, since their seeming absence is merely a symptom of a deeper problem, a straying from the path. Rather, the goal is the experience of the presence of God in us and in our daily lives.

Here’s an example of perspective regarding prosperity…as seen through the eyes of a child.

“One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live.

They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.

On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, ‘How was the trip?’

’It was great, Dad.’

‘Did you see how poor people live,’ the father asked.

‘Oh yeah,’ said the son.

‘So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip,’ asked the father.

The son answered: ‘I saw that we have one dog and they had four.’

‘We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden, and they have a creek that has no end.’

’We have imported lanterns in our garden, and they have the stars at night.’

‘Our patio reaches to the front yard, and they have the whole horizon.’

‘We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.’

‘We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.’

‘We buy our food, but they grow theirs.’

‘We have walls around our property to protect us; they have friends to protect them.’

The boy’s father was speechless.

Then his son added, ‘Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are.’”

I hear a hint of gratitude in that simple statement.

When we believe that our good can come only from material and exterior sources, we approach life with a ‘getting’ or ‘taking’ consciousness, looking to the world, people, places, and things to supply us with our good. This consciousness inhibits spiritual growth, blocking the awareness of God.

And we have noted many times that prosperity – abundance, is not money. Oh, it includes money. But it is so much more. Energy comes in many forms, and that is really what it is about. And energy cannot be destroyed…changed yes, destroyed – no.

“The belief in limitation must be healed in order to enjoy true abundance. In its place we must build a greater belief in God as the ultimate source of our good and an attitude of joy and freedom for living in the flow of the Divine current. We must learn to trust in the circulation of money through our lives just as we trust in the circulation of blood through our bodies.”

“We shall not fully discover our own spiritual nature until we learn to become givers also, re-enacting the loving givingness of God in our own lives.”

The Law of Circulation says that the universe, infinite in nature, functions like a closed circulation system, what we give out comes back to us in kind, establishing us in the natural flow of good.

“We never lack money, we lack ideas – positive, truth-centered ideas. Ideas are a gift from Spirit.

Our visions, beliefs, thoughts, and attitudes shape the flow of abundance.”

“Our first and highest desire must be to have a greater realization of Spirit and our own creative nature.”

“The Keys to the Kingdom – an advanced course in prosperity consciousness building” was developed by David Owen Ritz.

Each week we will discuss a different Key. They are:

1. Make the Commitment, the world was not given to you; you were given to the world. Step into the natural flow of abundance by committing yourself to becoming a giver to life.

2. Hold the Vision, you will not rise higher than your personal vision for your life. Expand your vision and follow your bliss. Believe in your highest potential and you will realize it.

3. Build a New Awareness, your limiting beliefs have always held you back. A new awareness of the truth of your being will set you free.

4. Make Room for the New, the Law of Circulation works to the benefit of those who understand its operation. When you create a vacuum in your life, the universe always moves to fill it.

5. Let Go of the Past, holding on to regrets and resentments from the past saps your creative energy. Release your energy through forgiveness of self and others.

6. Count the Blessings, you always attract what you focus upon. The daily practice of gratitude focuses your creative energy on the good in your life, thereby multiplying it.

7. Live in the Flow, abundance is not just a spiritual quality; it is a way of life. Incorporate the principles of abundance into your daily living, and abundance will be your way of life.

This week we will take our own look at the 1st Key…Make the Commitment. Nice that it follows last weeks’ Message on Commitment.

So, why do you think David called his course Keys to the Kingdom?

My thought is “It is Gods good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.” And what do we need to do to receive God’s gift? “Seek first the Kingdom.”

I found this on-line- “A life that reflects the quality of true abundance is a life spent pursuing a greater awareness of the God of our understanding and our true spiritual nature.”

So, what would you wish your life to be like?

Let’s take a few moments… and now send those energies out to the ethers.

Just respond to that question… what would you wish your life to be like?

————————–

And we Bless those prayers, this or something better – and so it is.

So, what is the next step to manifesting those dreams.

MAKE THE COMMITMENT! Now is the time!

There it is – the big C…..commitment. Lots of people have an issue with the word and what it means to them. So, ask yourself, what does it mean to you?

Well, to me it means getting everything ready for Sunday Service and for Tuesday class. And making sure that all the organizing is done so everything runs as smoothly as possible for our Celebration Service, especially now that we are Streaming as well as in person. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes and the Board, volunteers and I work to make things go smoothly.

And I am committed to my dogs…my little fluffy ones. And maintaining the house as well as I can, and including others where I can’t, like Tommy and his maintenance of the yard.

Of course, I am committed to my family and friends back in PA. I try to see them as I can get away.

And committed to me means when I say I am going to do something, I am there, unless something happens to keep me away, and then I call and give my apologies.

Even after the accident 7years ago, going home to visit family, believe it or not, I called from the ambulance to let my sister know I was going to miss lunch with Mom! I think the paramedics were thinking, what’s with this person…she’s bleeding, has broken bones and who knows what else, and all she worries about is canceling a lunch date and making sure her dogs were going to be taken care of a bit longer than planned!

Commitment. You say you are going to do something, and you do it. It’s an integrity thing to me.

Eric Butterworth, Unity Minister and author has written, “If you want routine living to become abundant living, you must give more.”

Going the extra mile sometimes is what is needed. You know, as the Jews were required to carry the Roman burdens for a mile; Jesus suggests going the extra mile to break away from the ‘slavery mentality.’ Going beyond what is required sets your own standards.

Think about it….

Commitment means you are taking ownership of something. It might be a cause, like committing to being there when MERR calls about a stranded seal. Or meeting someone who needs a helping hand. Or fostering a dog or cat when asked.

Or volunteering at Unity, YOUR Spiritual Community. We have mentioned this before…taking ownership of YOUR Unity. And we say it at the beginning of each Service…doing what is mine to do.

Tithing is a commitment, giving of your time, talent, and treasure. Somewhere along the way, someone understood the Bible to say tithe 10%.  Have you done that? I know some people think they can’t afford to tithe 10% of their income, and yet, most money experts tell us we cannot afford to NOT tithe.

Recall the Law of Circulation…keep in the flow. And we do that by tithing TIME, TALENT and TREASURE.

David Owen Ritz says we look at how we think about the things we want and need wrong. Worry and negative thought affirm lack mentality and limitation rather than abundance. So, if we are fearful of committing to doing something or if we think it’s ok to not show up when we say we will be there, we are out of alignment.

We need to move in alignment with the natural flow of creation.

How do we do that? By seeking the Kingdom, that divine connection we talk about every Sunday.

In 1st Corinthians Paul talks about this, saying if we are still ‘worldly’, that is with envy, strife, and divisions, we are not discerning the way of the Christ.

But what do you do about that connection after the Sunday Lesson? What is your day or week like after Service? In other words, what happens after you walk out that door?

This is another place where the commitment comes in. This is where choice enters our lives. We are given choice, free will. That freedom to choose what we wish to do, say, think….BE.

What are you doing with your free will?

Are you BEING the person you wish to be?

Where are your thoughts today? How do they change when you leave here?

Being committed to your Spiritual Growth is probably the most important commitment you can make. It means that you are ‘seeking the Kingdom first’ as we are asked to do in the teaching of our Way-shower, Jesus.

How do we seek the kingdom? I truly believe a huge part of that journey is self- discovery. What makes you, you? Eric Butterworth says in “Discover the Power Within” – ‘Your knowledge of the Truth must first of all lead to self-knowledge.’

Who are you really, behind all the walls we put up and the domestications we have learned through our years? Do you know?

People come to Unity and say, “It feels as if I came home.” And maybe we have. A real home is a place where we can feel safe enough to say who we are, and what we want truly in our lives.

Back in the late 90’s, I make a commitment to myself and to the God of MY understanding, that I would seek the Kingdom, inside me, using learning about Unity principles and about metaphysics and that leads to learning about Sandy. I started going through the layers of domestication and hurts and boundaries that we all put up, and I am still at it.

But you know, it feels good. I’m liking the person I am becoming…

Are you liking you?

Remember, the quality of our lives is shaped by the consciousness with which you approach life. Our deeply held beliefs as well as thoughts, feelings and attitudes create our daily experiences and shape the circumstances and conditions we encounter in the world.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to further your exploration of this topic of commitment and the Law of Circulation:

  1. How would you define true abundance for yourself?
  2. What do you worry about?
  3. DO you feel your worries are well founded and reasonable?
  4. What would you like to think and feel instead?
  5. Where and when are you most aware of the presence, guidance, or activity of Spirit in your life?
  6. Have you noticed the Law of Circulation operating in your life before now? If so, when and how?
  7. What are your greatest fears about the commitment to tithing that you have made?
  8. What could you do to address these fears?

These questions will be listed in the Wednesday email. I hope you take the time to use them to question yourself, for a greater understanding of who you are and where you wish to grow. We will have questions after each Key to aid your discovery of self.