The Minister's Weekly Message

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Rev. Mary Wood's Weekly Messages

Please note that Rev. Mary generally updates her message on Wednesday afternoons.  You can use the arrows to move back to previous months to explore more of her blog.

AUGUST 2017

Date Posted Post
2017-08-15
0:00 am

PATIENCE LEADS TO PEACE

Welcome to our third Sunday focusing on Ordinary People doing Extraordinary Things. 

John and Jeanette Murphy have filled their home with love and lots of children.   Along with four children of their own, they have adopted 24 children, one by one, all with special needs, many with serious health problems.  John, a licensed nurse, and Jeanette met while working at a group home for people with special needs, and from the time they married, they knew their calling was to care for children no one else wanted. 

 

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The Murphy’s explain that many special-needs children are raised with low expectations.  As a result, they can become over-dependent and self-centered.  “But,” John says, “we don’t make exceptions just because of their disabilities.  With loving authority, correction and patience, these kids can do almost anything.  And “almost anything” is not an exaggeration.

The younger children are home-schooled and learn American Sign Language so they can communicate with each other.  They take regular gymnastics lessons, and nine of them formed their own dance troupe.  They have also been taught to give back to the community.  Three children have moved out and are living on their own. 

Breakfast can take hours.  “All the kids want to cook their own eggs in the morning, says Jeanette, “so it can go on and on all morning.”  They cook 72 meals a day, 7 loads of washing a day, 660 pairs of socks are washed and sorted a month.  Staying financially afloat can be difficult as neither John or Jeanette work outside the home.  They live by – buy one, get one free!  They receive federal government funding because the children are disabled.  In 2008, they went from a 4,000 square foot to almost 7,000 square foot house when $300,000 was raised through Keenan’s Kids Foundation.  This is a house that rings with the sound of laughter, and love….

When I read this story, John’s words came to mind:  With loving authority, correction and patience, these kids can do almost anything.  Hence, our talk title today:  Patience Leads to Peace.

First of all, let’s look at what the definition of impatience is:  “A feeling or irritation or anger that comes when there are obstacles in the way of accomplishing something that one wants to accomplish, or in the way of getting to a situation that one wants to get to.”   Impatience comes from fear – the fear that if “it” doesn’t show up right now, it might never show up.  Impatience is our reaction when we sense another person, or the world, is moving more slowly than we want to.

I looked up “impatience” in Revealing Word and the Charles Fillmore Concordance, and it wasn’t there.  Maybe Charles didn’t experience it or write about it, but  that doesn’t mean that you and I don’t experience it.  Overcoming impatience is possible when we learn to be aware of our feelings and thoughts

Now let’s talk about patience.  We  can’t inherit patience – it can’t be given to us.   Charles Roth, Minister at the Unity Truth Center in Indianapolis, IN for 30 years, writes in his book A New Way of Thinking, Patience is an attitude of mind that you alone must develop and nourish until it becomes an established and automatic response when we seem to be faced with problems that seem to take an endless amount of time to solve.  He goes on to say that patience is a sign of maturity – gosh darn it – emotional and spiritual.

Jesus tells us that all things have to go through a process of growth.  Mark 4:26-28 reads, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how.  The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.”  Jesus is telling us that the answer to our prayers comes from the kingdom of God.  And it must confirm to the law of natural growth.  It is essentially a process – one thing follows the other in an orderly and necessary way.   Haven’t we all heard  -  Trust the process??

Interesting facts about the Chinese bamboo tree.  The Chinese plant the seed; they water and fertilize it, but the first year – nothing.  They second year they water and fertilize it – nothing happens.  The third and fourth years they water and fertilize it – nothing happens.  The fifth year they water and fertilize it, and sometime during the 5th year, in approximately 6 weeks, the Chinese bamboo tree grows roughly 90 feet.  So..  did it grow 90 feet in 6 weeks or did it grow 90 ft. in 5 years.  The obvious answer is that it grew 90 feet in 5 years because had they not applied the water and fertilizer each year, there would have been no Chinese bamboo tree…….

Revealing Word – “Patience is an attitude of mind, characterized by poise, inner calmness, and quiet endurance, especially in the face of trying conditions.”  Keep a True Lent – “Patience is a state of mind that beholds the world from the harmony of the Christ Mind, a freedom from personal thinking.”  We move from the outside to the inside.  We are willing to wait because we know deep within that everything will happen at the right way in the right time.  Even when we’re busy, our busy-ness radiates patience.  Patience requires a gentle willingness to let life unfold at its own pace.

Patience is an opportunity to appreciate each moment, and in this present moment, we are taken to a peaceful place.  Eckhart Tolle writes, “The moment your attention turns to the Now, you feel a presence, a stillness, a peace.  You no longer depend on the future for fulfillment and satisfaction – you don’t look to it for salvation.  Therefore, you are not attached to the results.  Neither failure or success has the power to change your inner state of Being.  You have found the life underneath your life situation.”

Here are Symptoms of Inner Peace by that famous author – Unknown.

  1. A tendency to think and act spontaneously, rather than based on past experience.
  2. An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
  3. A loss of interest in judging others.
  4. A loss of interest in judging self.
  5. A loss of interest in conflict.
  6. A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
  7. A loss of the ability to worry.
  8. Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
  9. Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.
  10. Frequent attacks of smiling through the heart.
  11. Increase susceptibility to love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.
  12. An increasing tendency to let things happen, rather than to manipulate them and make them happen.

The peace that we live is the peace that we give.  Peace thrives on our ability to keep our hearts open and to consistently act from love.  And so, let’s remember the Murphy family, the patience they have with one another that allows them to live, laugh and love together.  Let us too live with patience that leads to peace that leads to laughter, and most of all to love.

 

 
2017-08-09
0:00 am

AN UNLIKELY HERO

 Welcome to our second week focusing on Ordinary People doing Extraordinary Things.  I found this story in  Chicken Soup for the Canadian Soul….

 

 

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 Fred hated school.  He grew up on a farm near Alliston, Ontario, was a good worker, but felt uncomfortable and accepted in school.   An academic career just didn’t seem to be in the cards for Fred, but he had a persistent and strong will.  After he graduated, he studied to be a minister.  When that didn’t go well, he changed his direction to medicine, working strenuously to become an orthopaedic surgeon.  World War 1 arrived when there was a great need for field doctors, so many doctors graduated early, including Fred. 

After the war, Fred returned home to Alliston to set up his practice, but business was slow to nonexistent.  With lots of time on his hands, Fred read medical journals and began to focus on articles on diabetes, a disease that had claimed the life of a neighbour’s child.  Realizing that research might solve the problem of this disease, Fred decided he needed a laboratory, and he eventually convinced Dr. Macleod at the University of Toronto to support him. 

In 1920, he was given a young assistant named Charles Best.  In those days, there was no financial support for an unknown surgeon’s research, so they worked long hours without pay.  Fred sold his car to finance the needed experiments.  And then Dr. Macleod grew more interested in the team’s work and became involved in the research.  Fred and Charles worked endlessly, but early results in producing the hormone preparation they called insulin were discouraging.  Many of the animals they treated died, but finally one animal survived for several weeks.  It was time to move on to human subjects, so Fred and Charles tested the safety of their insulin on each other.  Their tests were a resounding success.  The year was 1921, and their first patient was Leonard, a 14 year old boy who had been on a starvation diet for diabetics that allowed only 450 calories a day.  This was what they said his treatment was.  He weighed only 75 lbs., and the new insulin treatment by Fred and Charles was a great success.  History shows that Leonard lived to adulthood.

The interest in insulin was growing rapidly and Charles developed methods for quick, large-scale production.  By the end of 1922, diabetics from near and far were coming to Toronto for treatment.  In 1923, the Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded jointly to Canadian doctors Frederick Banting and Dr. J. J. R. Macleod.  Fred gave half of his $20,000 prize money to his assistant and friend, Charles Best who he thought was more deserving than Macleod.  Then he put his share of the money right back into research.  He sold his patent for the production of insulin to the University of Toronto for one dollar so the drug could be marketed cheaply and thousands of lives could be saved and improved. 

Fred – Dr. Frederick Banting – was just an ordinary man from Alliston, Ontario in many respects, but he was a man with a vision and the stubborn will to pursue his goal.  And the words “stubborn will” – a quality that was always there in his journey – made me think of the Power of Will, the power of the month, one of our 12 Gifts from God.  Then I went looking on my bookshelf and was led to Paul Hasselbeck’s book “Power Up – The Twelve Powers Revisited as Accelerated Abilities.”    He’s suggesting we change the word Powers to Abilities….  Not too sure if I like this.  So, I offer these ideas and teachings from his book for your consideration….  Or not!

First of all a quote from Charles:  “The will moves to action all the other faculties of the mind.”  And a definition from Hasselbeck:  “Will is the ability to choose, decide, command, direct and determine.”  Let’s look at this first of all from the ego or personality.  This underdeveloped will results in indecisive, or wishy-washy choices, or no decision at all.  And an overdeveloped will results in willful people that must have their own way – my way or the highway.

Will from an elevated consciousness is the ability to choose, decide, command, lead and determine based on Ideas, Truths, Principles and Laws that are Divine in nature.  Will is used to choose and direct all our thoughts and actions to be the best person and/or Christ we can be.

We make an incredible number of choices every day, mostly without any conscious thought at all.  This is fine because we’d drive ourselves batty if we had to really think about every choice we made.  However, the problem comes when we make important choices the same way we decide what we’re going to eat for breakfast:  by default rather than intention.  Just imagine how powerful your life would be if you called on your most elevated level of consciousness to make the important choices in your life.  That is what the Ability or Power of Will is all about.

It’s important to point out that all of the Powers come into play in our choice-making.  However, the Power of Will is the one we use to actually make the choice.  It is often called the executive power of mind.  In addition to the ability to choose and decide, it is also the ability to command and direct.  It actually moves all the other powers into action, and hopefully, we’ve learned by experience how to make wise choices. 

And at this point, we’re going to take a bit of a side trip to clear up a common misunderstanding.  At times, there is a tendency to confuse the Power/Ability of Will what is called God’s Will.  We hear people ask “What is God’s Will for my life?”  This question comes from a belief that God has a specific will for you and I, a kind of Divine Plan or predetermination where God has already made all the choices for our lives.  From this perspective, our Power/Ability of Will would be limited and restricted to their capacity to make choices about whether or not they should follow the Divine Plan labeled as God’s Will.

This interpretation of God’s Will implies there is a separation – a sense of an anthropomorphic God out there, micro-managing our lives.  Hasselbeck writes, “In actuality, the Will of God is non-specific for any of our lives and circumstances.  The Divine Plan is for each of us to make the very best choices to express the maximum amount of Goodness, Godness, and Christ consciousness we can at our present level of awareness.  And we do this by using our Power/Ability of Will at its highest level.

And this is the Power of Will that I believe Fred was operating from because this ability, this power is always seeking good for ourselves and for all people.  

So, today and this week, let us be aware of the choices we are making.  Are they coming from the ego and personality, or from a higher consciousness, from our True Identity?  Are they good only for you and I or good for the whole of the Universe?  Now let us end this lesson with this affirmation:  I claim Will now.  I use Will to choose to be the best person and the best Christ I can be.

And so it is.  Amen!!

 

 
2017-08-02
0:00 am

IT'S ALL ABOUT POSIBILITIES

By his first birthday, he was sitting in his highchair playing the piano.  He would pick up the melody as his father played it on the violin.  By 2 years old, he was playing requests like You Are My Sunshine.  And by the time Patrick got to high school, he was playing the old standards and the blues.

 

 

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By his first birthday, he was sitting in his highchair playing the piano.  He would pick up the melody as his father played it on the violin.  By 2 years old, he was playing requests like You Are My Sunshine.  And by the time Patrick got to high school, he was playing the old standards and the blues.   He was born into an incredible family.  His father has played a major role in Patrick’s life.  He works for UPS from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., Monday to Thursday.  Comes home and sleeps until about 11 a.m. and is up in time for Patrick when he starts his day.  He sat beside his son in every class which can get to be an arduous routine at times, but has always been inspired and motivated by what Patrick accomplishes. 

Patrick’s mother, Patricia, works full-time, takes care of the household, Patrick’s medical needs, and his siblings.  The family used to wonder how things could possibly work out.  But Patrick taught them to see it all differently for he sees the world in a way that they couldn’t imagine.  Patrick sees it through the eyes of his heart. 

Patrick doesn’t ask “why me?”  “God made me blind and didn’t give me the ability to walk,” Patrick says smiling.  “Big deal!  He gave me the talent to play piano and trumpet, the opportunity to meet new people.  I can do anything I set my mind to.  I focus on the possibilities.  My faith has sustained me,” he says. “I think there are some days that have been a little stressing, but whenever I have those feelings and I really think there’s no way I can get out of them, I just turn to God and say a little prayer. ‘Lord, give me strength to get me through this.’

Patrick is a talented piano and trumpet player.  He attended the University of Louisville where he earned straight A’s and joined the marching band after the director suggested that his father push him in his wheelchair through the marching routines.. Patrick and his father decided “why not?”  That seems to be their standard response when anything new is suggested.  Patrick Henry says, “He does a pretty good job, typically doesn’t mess up too much. He hasn’t dumped me over yet, and we haven’t take out any musicians. So everything’s good so far.”

Patrick sees his blindness as a blessing and a gift.  “People have asked how I would describe my disabilities, and my answer typically is not disabilities at all, more abilities. Some people with sight tend to judge others by what they see on the outside, for example, skin color, hair length or the clothes they wear.  Of course I don’t see that and I never have. Because of this, I only see that which is within a person.”  Incredible!   He’s shared his incredible outlook on life at conferences, organizations and churches all over the United States, Canada, South America and Europe.  He’s appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America, been honoured by Disney Wide World of Sports.  He’s played the piano at the Kennedy Centre and the Grand Ole Opry. 

His parents used to ask, “Why us?  What did we do that this happened to us?”  Now they ask the same question in a whole new light.  “What did we do to deserve such a special young man who has brought us so much.”

Patrick Henry’s positive outlook on life is evident in his book, I Am Potential.  “I would like to challenge people to live their life to the fullest and to realize their potential. Life is a beautiful thing, and there’s so much to do in life. You’ve got today, but you’re not always guaranteed tomorrow.”

So, what can we learn from Patrick Henry Hughes and his family?  The first thing for me - They look at the possibilities there are, regardless of what the present situation is – they say “why not try this?”  Patrick is grateful for his life,  just as it is.  Matthew 19:26 reads, “With God, all things are possible.”  Then as WE know this to be true, we are aware there are infinite possibilities in every moment of every day.  Today is not the same as yesterday!  Life is consciousness, and when our consciousness is focused on possibilities instead of limitations, these are what manifest in our lives. 

John Marks Templeton, an investor, philanthropist, and author writes in Wisdom from World Religions:  “By following the humble approach to life, we keep our minds as open and receptive as possible because we never know what new opportunities are coming our way.”  So….. do our thoughts and our words affirm that we are open and receptive to infinite possibilities?  Or maybe just one possibility….  no matter how young or how old we think we are!  Patrick and his dad spend their lives saying “Yes.” “YES” stands for “Your Empowerment System.”  Are you and I willing to say YES to life and accept the possibilities?  The possibility of a new way of living, a different way of living… 

These words by Marianne Williamson came to mind once again.  “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?  Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your 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 all of us!  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.”

When we say YES to possibilities, then any perceived obstacles and difficulties we may have leave our consciousness because we are open to the possibilities.  We cannot entertain two thoughts at one time.  So, is it going to be Yes or No?  Our willingness to YES then leads us to an internal harmony that brings greater creativity, greater possibilities.  Once we say YES and are committed to one possibility, then others appear.

On December 7, 1892, Unity founders Charles and Myrtle Fillmore expressed into written words their personal commitment to the Spirit of Truth and through it, to the Society of Silent Unity.

We, Charles Fillmore and Myrtle Fillmore, husband and wife, hereby dedicate ourselves, our time, our money, all we have and all we expect to have, to the Spirit of Truth, and through it, to the Society of Silent Unity.  It being understood and agreed that the said Spirit of Truth shall render unto us an equivalent for this dedication, in peace of mind, health of body, wisdom, understanding, love, life and an abundant supply of all things necessary to meet every want without our making any of these things the object of our existence.

In the presence of the Conscious Mind of Christ Jesus, this 7th day of December A.D. 1892.

Charles Fillmore
Myrtle Fillmore

What an excellent example of “Once we say YES and are committed to one possibility, then others appear.”

Patrick Henry Hughes found the way to a rich and full life, surmounting perceived obstacles by allowing God’s infinite possibilities to fill and enrich his life so that he can share these gifts, these possibilities with others.  Let’s learn from this young man’s life and his father’s life:

  • With God, all things are possible.
  • No matter what our present situation is, let’s say “why not” to an opportunity, a possibility, as it presents itself.
  • As we say Yes to one infinite possibility, then this opens the way for others to make themselves known, the possibilities of health, love, prosperity in all areas, and peace for you, for me, and for the world.