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.

JANUARY 2019

Date Posted Post
2019-01-21
0:00 am
THE FOUR SPIRITUAL LAWS OF PROSPERITY

For the next four weeks, we’re going to be focusing on Edwene Gaines’ powerful book The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity.   It isn’t a book of tips, tricks or quick fixes, but it guides us through the laws and principles that have brought prosperity to people since the beginning of time.

 

 

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Edwine Gaines writes, “Years ago, my days were filled with fear and deprivation.  I had holes in my shoes.  I was working two jobs, 16 hours a day, and still I couldn’t make ends meet.  Then she cried out to God to help her turn my life around.  She went to her dusty old Bible that she hadn’t looked at in years.  When she picked it up, it fell open to the book of Malachi, Chapter 3, verse 10:  “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house, and thus put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing.”  This verse became her mantra, the foundation for her journey.  As a result, her life has been completely transformed. 

Gaines defines prosperity as:

  • A vitally alive physical body to provide a comfortable worldly home for the spiritual beings that we are.
  • Relationships that are satisfying, nurturing, honest, and work all the time.
  • Work that we love so much that it’s not work – it’s play.
  • All the money we can spend.

Prosperity isn’t just about money.  Simply having money is not the goal.  The goal is to use it to do whatever your heart leads you to do, and to do what fulfills your divine purpose.   But, for many, this definition of prosperity is an elusive dream  As we listen to the lessons, let’s remember the old saying “you can have anything you want in life if (1) you know what you want’ and (2) you’re willing to pay the price.  If you’re willing to step out in faith, in God, and take action…

Unity teaches that our outer world reflects our inner world.  So, if we want out here to change, we must change what’s going on in our consciousness.  Why?  Because life is consciousness.  Edwene says these are the principles we follow:

  1. Tithe 10% of all that we receive to the person, place or institution where we have received our spiritual food.
  2. Set clear-cut, tangible goals.  We must have a vision, an intention.
  3. Forgive everyone, especially ourselves.
  4. Seek, discover and follow our divine purpose.

The sub-title for our lesson today is titled Trust and Tithing and focuses on the first principle.  And let me say right off the top – tithing for me refers to our time, our talents, and our treasures.  The scripture from Malachi says to “put me to the test”, to let God prove it to you.  Psalm 3:5-6:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Ernest Holmes in the Science of Mind writes, “To trust in the law of good – to trust in God – is to constantly believe that we are surrounded by a Power which can and will cast all fear from our minds.” 

Remember - tithing is not about money.  Charles Fillmore, Unity’s co-founder, writes this about tithing in Revealing Word:  “Tithing is a tacit agreement that man is in partnership with God in the conduct of his finances.  This leads to confidence and assurance that whatever is done will bring increase of some kind.  As we give, so we receive – no matter what you’re talking about.  It is the surest way ever found to demonstrate plenty.” 

The purpose of the tithe is not to build churches or to pay the minister.  The real purpose of the tithe is to acknowledge that God is the source of our good and that we are aware and grateful for the good in our lives. Tithing increases our faith and pushes us through conscious fear.  We come to learn that we cannot outgive God.

tt has been suggested that you might start at 1% or 5% and then work your way up to 10%....  this is slowly stepping out of your comfort zone.   As we study prosperity and tithing, we begin to understand that tithing is a critical foundation to prosperity.  Unity’s third basic principle is “we are co-creators with God, creating reality through thoughts held in Mind.”  If we think “I don’t have enough time or money to tithe” then we will get what we think – not enough.  Tithing must be done from a sense of abundance. 

How do we overcome our fear of tithing?  We move through our fears by doing.  Just tithe, in spite of your fear, and focus on the promise that the windows of heaven are opening for you and that you are proving that God is the source of your good – that opens up many windows.  Find another person with whom you can pray.  Go back and read Jim Rosemergy’s book Even Mystics Have Bills to Pay, talk to other people who tithe and let their stories inspire you.  Pray.  Study.  Believe.

After you’ve been tithing for a while, supply will start to come from all sorts of strange places you would never have expected.  Prepare yourself to receive.  Be open to receiving.  Donna Easter said, “You have to take God with you when you go shopping because he knows where all the bargains are!!!!!!!”    During life, you’re going to get gifts, and even if you don’t want them, you have to receive them.  It doesn’t mean you have to keep them – you can pass them along to someone else – but you do have to receive them. 

You are invited to give tithing a try.  Make a 6-month contract with God as Edwine did.  You have nothing to lose and absolutely everything to gain. 

Let’s remember:

  • Tithing is not about money.  It’s about consciousness.  We overcome our fear of tithing by trusting God, knowing that we’re in good hands with God.
  • It is the surest way ever found to demonstrate plenty for it is God’s own law and way of giving.

The second law of prosperity is setting a goal….  Or as I like to put it – setting an intention.  That’s the lesson for next week.  And I look forward to having interesting and lively conversation at our Wednesday night class this week.

 
2019-01-07
0:00 am
WHITE STONE CEREMONY

Welcome to the white stone ceremony (that can be done in your home.)  This is an ancient ritual.  Back in Jesus’ time, when someone was released from prison, they were given a white stone to signify their freedom.  We can relate to this as we release ourselves from our mental prisons.  This ceremony today is based on the Revelation to John 2:17:  “Let anyone who has an ear listen to what Spirit is saying to the churches.  To everyone who conquers, I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give a white stone, and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.”

 

 

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The ear isn’t referring to our outer ear, but our inner ear of the soul that hears that still small voice.  And we develop this inner ear by getting out of our intellect and into our heart through prayer and meditation, denials and affirmations.  Then the Bible verse says, “To everyone who conquers, I will give some of the hidden manna,” (the bread of Life, the word of God.)  To all who see beyond appearances, beyond our stories, I will give all that is needed to live.  This is the first promise.

 Only in an awareness and surrender to our fears, those negative thoughts and feelings, is there victory – what a paradox!  By surrendering we are victorious. 

As the people wandered in the wilderness with Moses, God sent down manna each day.   And as we surrender to Spirit, we’re aware of manna that’s not visible to the world; the peace that passes all human understanding, a new source of energy and nourishment.  This manna comes from our higher consciousness.  First it nourishes the soul, then the body.  Jesus alludes to this when he says to his disciples, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.”  Revealing Word says “manna represents the realization that divine substance is everywhere present, in every part of our consciousness.”  So this is the first part of the promise - To all who see beyond the appearances, I will give all that is needed to live.  When you go within, you will never go without.

The second part of the promise is: “And I will give a white stone, and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.”  Many people in the Bible were given a new name. Saul which metaphysically means personal will was struck to his knees on the way to Damascus.  Have you and I ever been down on our knees when we decided to follow our personal will?  Saul was blind for 3 days, and had to look within.  He was given a new name at the time of his awakening.  Saul (personal will) was transformed to Paul (enlightened will)   He went from persecuting Christians to helping them.  As the Apostle Paul, he spread the word and changed the world.  A name change signifies a change in consciousness.  In Biblical times, a name was very sacred and represented a quality. 

White, the colour of the stone, metaphysically represents joy, victory, purification.  So, in this white stone consciousness, we are joyous, victorious and purified..  We receive the spiritual manna, our full potential, by consciously surrendering – like we did in the burning bowl last week.  And as we do this, we create space in our consciousness, we open ourselves to unlimited possibilities, unlimited potential in 2019.  We step out of the way

And so now I invite you to consciously invite the Holy Spirit, the activity of God, into your heart and your mind.  Perhaps there’s a new way of being, a new intention, a new career that Spirit is pressing out through you.  Allow your Divine Holy self to come through and know you have a new name.  Whenever we ask, there is an answer.

Now let us become still, breathe, and know this breath is the presence of God, and allow God to express through you and as you.  I invite you to take the white stone in your hand and see it as a symbol of a new way of life.  Put your hand on your heart if that’s comfortable for you, and feel the love that is there, feel the presence of God.  You are supported and loved by the presence of God, and by this spiritual community, by your fellow spiritual travelers.. 

The Christ presence in each one of us says, behold I make all things new.  This white stone is the symbol of a clean slate.  We are free from the prison of limiting thoughts about ourselves, each other and the world.  We move forward with faith, and meditate on our new name, for each of us here has overcome adversity.  We have freed ourselves to live more fully, conscious of the spirit of God in our lives. 

Every time you look at your white stone, realize each day is a new beginning.  Realize you have the gift of choice; the gift to live differently; you are free to begin again, to connect and co-create with God.  No one in the entire universe except you and God knows what this new name is.  It is what God is calling you to be or do.   Mother Teresa said, “I do nothing of my own.  God does it.  I am a pencil, a tiny bit of pencil with which God writes what he likes.” 

Begin to reflect on a new name, one that marks your new beginning.  Let it come to you easily.  Spirit has decreed a name to you to be written on the stone in your hand.  What will your life be called?    It may be a title, it may be something like published author, clean and sober, grateful, abundant.  If a proper name has come to you, you might ask for a deeper understanding; what that name means and the quality it symbolizes.   God in me reveals my next step.  God as me lives a joyous, peaceful fulfilling life.  Whatever it is, let’s take a few moments to do this as we rest in the silence.

Behold I make all things new, for you are my beloved in whom I am well pleased.  We are grateful as we receive our new name, and the power and the guidance to achieve all we desire.  We are on the path to gaining greater insights and awareness that mark a new beginning.  It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  Accept this consciousness, this gift of ever increasing good in your life.  Carry this white stone as a reminder of that promise.  Amen and Amen!

 

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