The Minister's Weekly Message

Rev. Mary Wood is in the office on
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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.

OCTOBER 2017

Date Posted Post
2017-10-16
0:00 am

JESUS' FORMULA FOR HEALING & THE MIRACLE OF ABUNDANCE

Welcome to our fourth Sunday with lessons based on Rev. Eric Butterworth’s book Discover the Power Within YOU.   First of all, let’s look at Jesus’ Formula for Healing.  Wholeness is our natural state as spiritual beings.  Jesus did not create spiritual healing, but He did understand it and demonstrate it at a level that no one had before Him.  Every time He healed someone, He was giving evidence of the divinity of the person who was healed.  His great faith woke the healing potential within the person and brought it to the surface. 

 

 

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The laws are the same for spiritual healing as for medical and surgical healing.  This Life within us is the energy that drives all forms into action.  Whether this energy is activated by meditation or medication makes no difference.  When we understand and accept all healing as divine law working out, we begin to think about life and health in new ways. 

We look beyond what appearances seem to be to the perfect, healthy, divine being within.  Jesus says, You are whole, even if you are experiencing sickness.  And you and I can be healed because we are whole.  We can be healed spiritually, emotionally, physically.  Our faith is critical because it is what allows us to intuitively feel the wholeness within us, even when our outer expression doesn’t seem so.  We are consciousness of our spiritual potential and are open to its healing in our lives.  This doesn’t mean all we have to do is sit back and wait for healing to manifest in our outer experience. 

It takes work and persistence and patience to change from our old, limited way of thinking.  We have to let go of thoughts or feelings that are leading us to accept anything less than wholeness.  We must be willing to “move our feet.  Butterworth says that “often the reason we’re not healed, even thought we have great faith, is that we sit waiting for the miracle.  We must be ready to act on divine guidance, no matter what direction it takes without allowing our “human self” to alter its course.

“Your miracle of healing can come to you.  But be sure you are not simply waiting for the waters to part.  You are a spiritual being.  Jump into the stream and know it.  Act as if you are already whole.  And be humbly receptive and responsive to the inner leading that will surely come. ‘Stretch out your hand.’”  I am a divine being, and wholeness is my natural state!!

And with that affirmation, let us lead into the Miracle of Abundance with an understanding how spiritual law works in matters of prosperity.  In Matthew 6:19, Jesus tells us to “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Once again, he’s referring to a metaphysical principle – when we think of money as a thing all by itself, and the accumulation of possessions as a goal in life, we are building life upon shifting sands.  First of all, we build an awareness of the opulent substance of Spirit.  This consciousness always attracts experiences that reflect the mental pattern, “as within, so without.”  Or as Martha says, “go within, or go without.”  

Our focus is on developing an increasingly strong consciousness of God as the source of our prosperity.  “Our greatest need is not so much to build great reserves of wealth ‘out here’, as to build up great faith that there will always be a flow of substance through us as ideas, and into our experience as money to meet every legitimate need.”  Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters, for a slave will either hate the one and love the other.  You cannot serve God and wealth.”

It’s important that we recognize where we’re focusing on.  Is having material wealth and possessions the most important thing in our lives or do we choose to center our thoughts on God and let Spirit take care of our needs?  In part, Matthew 6:25-34 reads, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Negative, worried thoughts cannot do anything to help our situation.  Anxiously fretting over how we will pay the bills is not going to contribute anything toward actually getting them paid.  As we learn to relax, release and let go and let Spirit be in charge, then divine ideas begin to flow through us.  We can do this when we see ourselves as a divine being.  We don’t need to worry about having things or getting things because what we need will come naturally as we focus on being the fullest expression of our divinity we can be.

Lao Tzu said “Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are.  When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

Life is eternal, and we are alive in this eternity right now where there is no lack; there is a constant supply of love, peace, health, wisdom and prosperity.  When we seek God first, the whole universe opens up to us.   The only possibility of separation from our true source is in our mind.  When we think we’re alone, separated from God, we close the doors to our good, and we can open them by focusing our thoughts on “asking, seeking and knocking.

Lack is an illusion; it is never the truth in any situation.  It is an attitude of mind.  And once this attitude is changed to one of unlimited good, the floodgates of the universe are opened to us.  Being open to limitless good simply means that we are open to the perfect working of divine principle in our lives.  “I am open and receptive to all good.”  There may be times when our good comes to us in very surprising ways.  And, it may come quietly as a divine idea that provides the answer to our prayer.  It’s really important that our mind remains open to all possible avenues of abundance.  God has ways we could never have imagined, and they will manifest in our lives if we are open to them.

Butterworth cautions us not to be distracted by the “how and the why,” the mechanics of the way principle works and refers to the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 when it seemed to be there was only one boy’s lunch.  It really doesn’t matter how the multitudes were fed.  All that counts is that the supply was manifest when it was needed, where it was needed, and in the amounts in which it was needed.

The divine potential that lives within each one of us also lives within every person on the planet.  As people become aware of their divinity, our possibilities for abundance in all things will be unlimited.

Robert Brumet’s book Living Originally: “The intention of this practice is transformation, not self-improvement.  We are not seeking a new and improved version of our old self.  We are seeking something beyond the present level of our understanding.  Self-improvement has a goal, an agenda.  Transformation is letting go of all agendas and standing in naked reality.  There is no “finish line.”  We have no prize imaged in the back of our mind.  Our intention is to radically be what we already are – but don’t know it!

 

 
2017-10-10
0:00 am

GIVING AND FORGIVING!

Welcome to the fourth week focusing on Eric Butterworth’s book Discover the Power Within YOU, a book that focuses on the parables and words of our teacher and way-shower, Jesus Christ.    The lesson this week – Giving and Forgiving - focuses on the Law of Compensation – we plant before we harvest (or we give before we receive)  -  and How God Forgives.

 

 

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Jesus taught through parables that we are already divine.  The divinity that Jesus saw within all people is just waiting to be expressed, to be brought from the inside out.  When we make the choice to enter into this divinity, we begin to know and experience life and wholeness.  This is the basis of prayer.  It is the key to healing, the principle of demonstrating prosperity, the way to overcome anything.  “Know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  We can decide to rise above our old, limited state of consciousness to a level of spiritual understanding where we know the Truth of who we are.  This sets us free to move forward without limitations of the past.  And sometimes the past creeps in!

Matthew 7:3-5 – “Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your neighbor, “Let me take the speck out of your eye’ while the log is in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye.”

This is talking about our limited state of consciousness.  We can get so caught up in our own spiritual discoveries that we think we have the answers to everyone else’s shortcomings – if only we could make them “see the light.”  However, this scripture tells us we need to be concerned only with healing ourselves, not others.  And Butterworth tells us that what we see in others is evidence of the level of our consciousness. When we uncover and bring forth more of our own divinity, we’ll be surprised at how it improves our perception of others!  There is no reason to try to change or correct anyone  because God sees only the divine potential within them and loves them without reservation – an invitation for us to do the same thing.

Matthew 7:7-8:  “Ask and it will be given you, search and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you.  For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”

This is about prayer.  When we pray, we’re working with divine law, the law of compensation.  We have to plant before we harvest – give before we receive.  Jesus is saying, “God will always respond to you.”  When we pray, we’re fulfilling divine law.  It is another way of giving that we may receive.   If we have a need in our life, we give that need to divine law in the faith and assurance that it will be fulfilled under divine law.  We will receive what we have asked for.    

God’s will for us, the will of our divine nature, can be good and only good.  Rather than asking for something specific such as a particular job, Butterworth says that following Jesus’ criteria under the law of compensation, you should pray only to release your creative potential and the opportunity to fulfill it.  Jesus is continually reminding us that our needs and desires have already been perfectly met in Spirit.   The principle of action and reaction is that we receive as we give.  Before every thought, word, and deed, we should ask ourselves, “Am I giving from the divinity within me?” and then proceed accordingly.  This may seem very challenging, but it will become automatic when we commit to making it a habit.

Matthew 7:24-27:  “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.”   Jesus is telling us we have to act on Truth, put it into practice.  Then Truth, the words of Jesus, become a strong a vital attitude of our being.

And in this truth of our being, let us look at forgiveness and “How God Forgives.”  Have you ever heard the words “God will forgive me, I hope.”  In Unity, we see sin as happening when we are unaware of our divinity and act out of our humanity.  We are frustrated, we think we’re alone and limited.  Our thoughts are completely focused on ourselves. Life seems to be chaotic and unpredictable.  It is not that the activity of God is not present.  It is that we are not aware of the presence of God within, so we don’t draw on this unlimited resource. 

We may wonder if God judges the evil and sin in an individual and the world.  The answer is simple – God does not!  God or Spirit sees only the divinity within us, whether we are expressing it at this moment or not.  “It is vital you get this point in your consciousness and never forget it:  God knows nothing of sin, nothing of want, nothing of lack, or any kind.”  This may be hard to accept because we have a carry-over in our consciousness of the old idea of God who sits up in the skies and looks down on us, changing His attitudes about us, rejoicing in our progress, angered over our weakness or indolence.  But when we expand our vision to contemplate the God of Universal Mind, God as principle, God as Spirit, we see that God knows nothing of sin.

The God-life, the loving energy, the Holy Spirit within us is unlimited and changeless.  God is love even when I am filled with hatred.  God is love as the potential in me even when I am angry and bitter.  The moment I release my bitterness, rise above my guilt, stop feeling sorry for myself, in that moment, Love sweeps through me, and I can love myself the way I am.   This is what has always been. 

The story of the Prodigan Son illustrates this.  The father is our spiritual nature, while the wayward son represents our human side.  When the son awakens to the Truth, when we become aware of our divinity, he is instantly received with open arms.  The father, our divine nature, doesn’t recognize our past misdeeds, so there is no need to forgive us for anything.  There is only love and joy.  The son took the first step that changed his life by returning home, just as must take that first step by connecting with the presence of Spirit before the good can flow freely through us. Jesus tells us repeatedly to practice forgiveness, not so much for the other person, but for ourselves.  By forgiving, we are raising our own consciousness to the level where we see the other person as divine just as Spirit does. 

Forgiveness allows us to move on to greater expression of who we truly are, to know that WE can give.  To be who we have come here to be…   -  This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine!!

 

 

 

 
2017-10-03
0:00 am

YOUR THOUGHT IS YOUR LIFE!

Welcome to the third week focusing on Eric Butterworth’s heart and mind opening book Discover the Power Within You.   Our minds are the bridge between us and Spirit, and as we cross over that bridge, we connect with the Infinite.  Our ever-deepening connection to source is what brings into our human consciousness what has always been in Truth. 

 

 

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The Sermon on the Mount tells us “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored.  It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled underfoot.”  Jesus is saying “You are radiating centers of the Truth in the world, but be mighty sure your awareness of the Truth is dynamic and not static.  Our knowledge of the Truth must first of all lead to self-knowledge, our self-awareness.  When we’re seasoned with the salt of Truth, our words and actions come from a center of love, peace, and divine understanding.   When we operate from this level of being, then our possibilities for attracting good are unlimited.

 “Let your light shine” is a statement we often use in Unity.  This isn’t about talking about what we know about Truth.  This is talking about what you and I do with the Truth that we know.  When we truly let our light shine, then we express what God is and that we are.  “And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” 

Jesus came to help us understand spiritual law.  His understanding of spiritual law was so great that it worked freely through Him, and seemingly amazing things happened.  This “miracle-working power is in every one of us, but we often block its expression by our thoughts, words and actions.  And…  we can choose to change our thinking at any time and, in so doing, proclaim our oneness with God, with Spirit, with Love…. With all that is.

When we awaken to our own spiritual consciousness, then we have a clear understanding of Jesus’ teachings.  Matthew 5:20 reads, “For I tell you, unless your righteousness (right thinking) exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees (thinking that’s lacking an understanding of the Truth), you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  Jesus is telling us that our right thinking has to rise to a higher place or else there will be no real growth of the awareness of the Christ within.   It is about becoming more aware and allowing the Christ presence that is already within. 

Dedication and discipline to our spiritual growth is important.  Why?  Because our thought is our life.  Challenges come and go.  If we make the choice to respond to them from our spiritual nature – love, peace – then our entire experience changes.  We come to look upon every person and circumstance as bringing us an opportunity to receive blessings and to continue to grow.

You and I have, at one time or another, experienced what happens when we don’t acknowledge and then deal with negative feelings.  When we stuff them down and deny them, the stronger they become.  Scripture tells us to “come to terms quickly with your accuser.”  This means to be aware of these negative emotions, let go of them, and feel the love and peace there when we do this.  Even if we’re not in charge of what is happening around or to us, we can be in charge of what we think about it.  Negative thoughts come when we want to resist the difficulties or experiences we’re having

Revealing Word says that resistance is “the greatest disintegrating element in the human consciousness.   A mental state of resistance indicates an unyielding personal will.”  Our personal will wants to get its own way.  We don’t want to look for the divinity within the other person or the situation.  But when we respond from our spiritual center, we get to let go of feelings and thoughts of resistance because we have learned to trust the divinity within us. 

Butterworth writes, “life is a great and continuous process of growth.  We move from classroom to classroom.  And in school, we expect to be tested.  School need not be an unhappy experience, but it is a happy time only if we are nonresistant to the process of growth and change. If we accept the ‘tests’ as blessings to us and are nonresistant to life’s demands upon us, we will forge happily ahead toward that ultimate graduation.”

One of the most profound messages of the Bible is in these words:  “If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile.  Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.”  Matthew 5:  40-42.

This is unmistakably the law of non-resistance.  Jesus tells us our divine nature knows our spiritual unity with God and all life, so it always responds from peace and love.  When we find ourselves upset over something or someone, it’s a signal we’re operating from the wrong state of consciousness.  When we choose to operate from spiritual consciousness, nothing can hurt our feelings or scare or threaten us. 

You and I may not be able to change or control the people around you, but we can determine the level of consciousness on which we meet them and react to them.  This is one of the most significant discoveries that man can make.  It will lead to a tremendous stability and confidence.  Let’s make the choice to turn on the light of our divinity and leave it on no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in.  “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.”