Sunday Quotes 2024

Quotations Used in the Sunday Message

To find a particular quotation, press CTRL-F and enter a word or phrase from the quotation in the search box that appears. Additionally, the quotations are sorted from the most recent to the oldest. To Watch Sunday Services or Listen to Messages/Meditations, Click Here


“Everyday Life Vs Spiritual Life…Is There A Difference?” 07-07-24

Core Statement:
“Spiritual Living Is An Ongoing Practice Of Applying Truth Principles Daily” sv

James 1:25 (NRSV)
25 But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing.

Deuteronomy 6:18 (ESV)
18 And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may go well with you…

2 Thessalonians 3:13 (NIV)
13 And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.

Unity/Special Readings: 
All discovery is self-discovery and all knowledge is self-knowledge. Thus the greatest discovery in science is not the outward accomplishments, but the inward revelation and the Truth that sets us free to take the outer step. (p3)   
   --Eric Butterworth  Discover The Power Within You   

 Freedom is an important idea in spirituality. Freedom means people get to make their own choices and live their lives 
 how they want. True freedom comes down to freeing ourselves internally, moving past our fears, and embracing our 
 power to choose our path. When we do this, we open ourselves to living deeply fulfilling, purposeful lives. 
    --Spencer Deane

Freedom and security are precious gifts that we, as Americans, should never take for granted. 
   --Gary Sinise
Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of 
   --Sigmund Freud
I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom. 
   --Bob Dylan

Here & everywhere in the Universe, freedom must be protected and nurtured and supported. For everywhere in life, it is challenged. It is a gift. And it is a gift that you as an individual and you as a member of a Spiritual Family must advocate for, preserve and protect. 
   --Marshall Vian Summers
May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right. 
   --Peter Marshall

Understand this if nothing else: spiritual freedom and oneness with the Tao are not randomly bestowed gifts, but the rewards of conscious self-transformation and self-evolution. 
We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it. 
   --William Faulkner

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. 
   --Denis Waitley




“Unity…The Larger Picture”  06-23-24

Core Statement: 
“Unity…A Place To Explore Spirituality, While Connecting With Uplifting Community” sv

Romans 15:5 (NRSVUE)
5 May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another…
Psalm 133:1 (NRSVUE) 
1 How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!

Ephesians 4 (NIV) 2-3
2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

1 Corinthians 14:26  (NKJV)
26 …Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.
Hebrews 10:24-25  (ESV)
24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not 
   neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…

Special Readings:
Thriving 21st century spiritual communities are composed of many individual people who come together to create a deep and meaningful experience where everyone grows spiritually together and each person is valued for the unique experiences they contribute to the whole. 
   --Tracy Brown Spiritual Coach New Thought/Ancient Wisdom
According to Brené Brown, connection is “the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard, and 
valued.” This energy is the foundation of purpose and meaning in our lives. Brené believes that connection is why we 
are here, and that the medicine both individuals and the world needs is more meaningful connection. 
   --Regina Gee   Wellspring Coaching  

No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it. 
   --H.E. Luccock    

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.  
   --Helen Keller.  

We must become bigger than we have been: more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook. We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community.  
   --Haile Selassie 

Some people think they are in community, but they are only in proximity. True community requires commitment and openness. It is a willingness to extend yourself to encounter and know the other.  
   --David Spangler
One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn't as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing.   
   --Jean Vanier, Community And Growth

When we seek for connection, we restore the world to wholeness. Our seemingly separate lives become meaningful as we discover how truly necessary we are to each other.    
   --Margaret J. Wheatley




"Grateful For Fathers/Celebrating Juneteenth"  06-16-24

Core Statement: 
 “Gratefully We Celebrate Dad’s & Father Figures Who Exemplify & Teach Positive Attributes” SV 
John 5:19b-20 (NASB) (Jesus Talking…) 
19b…"For whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. 20For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing… 
James 3:13  (NRSV)  
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom.

Proverbs 20:7 (NRSV)
7 The righteous walk in integrity—happy are the children who follow them!

Galatians 5:1 (NKJV)  
5 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Special Reading: 
Divine Masculine Energy and Divine Feminine Energy are the energies that keep the universe functioning. They can be found everywhere, and they are represented by the opposites that allow the Universe to function – day and night, winter and summer, hot and cold, sun and moon, man-woman, and so on…  As the Universe is very complex, it needs both these energies to function… While the Divine Feminine is more oriented towards feelings, introspection, and emotions, the Divine Masculine is more oriented towards action and achieving goals.

Masculinity and femininity are not the same things as gender… they are two completely different things. It is time that society realizes that masculinity and femininity are not traits we associate with depending on gender, but instead depending on the character. To be balanced and better people, I believe we need to have both masculine traits and feminine traits.

Today’s father comes in many forms. Gone are the binary roles of male breadwinner and female homemaker. The father who spends the majority of time at work and sees their kids on the weekends only is a rarity nowadays. Today’s fathers have started to take on roles vastly different from fathers of previous generations. With many new fathers welcoming this change, they feel a strong desire to father their own children differently to how they were fathered…

The modern dad is more proactive, sensitive and engaged with the matters of the upbringing of their children… The changing gender roles in society have given birth to new-age super-dads… Fathers are now shedding their stoic, silent and disciplinary image to 
become more open and friendly with their children. More fathers are now participating in playtime, taking more interest in the kids` 
hobbies, and even becoming more vulnerable in terms of showing their own emotions to the kids.…

Fathers, grandfathers, and other strong male role models have the powerful influence to shape us into who we are become as adults. Filling the roles of protectors, supporters and teachers, fathers have an indelible role in our lives.  
   --Jeremy Goldman  
My dad has given me the best gift anyone has ever given me. He gave me wings to fly.   
   --Adria Arjona
Special Reading:  
Juneteenth — also known as Freedom Day and Black Independence Day — commemorates June 19, 1865. On this day, enslaved African Americans were granted freedom in Texas, the last Confederate state to abolish slavery. Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom and black culture, but it’s also an important reminder that black people in America fought (and, in some cases, are still fighting) for basic human rights decades after the Declaration of Independence was signed.

On this day, Black people’s complete personhood was acknowledged on a systemic level for the very first time. It dates the moment African-Americans, Caribbean-Americans, and Afro-immigrants alike could begin to, on some level, participate in and see themselves as part of a whole society.  
   --Brianna Taylor

In whatever way Juneteenth is celebrated, it has ultimately become a time of sharing stories of Black resilience, resistance, liberation, and joy. It also provides an opportunity for all of us to deepen our understanding of the United 
States’ history, empathize with & advocate alongside our Black neighbors, and pave the way to a brighter, more just 
future for all Americans.
   --Amanda R. Martinez



“Gay Pride Month…Raising Awareness, Honoring Human Rights”  06-02-24

Core Statement: 
“Let’s Actively Take Steps To Better Understand, Support & Honor Gay Human Rights” sv

Romans 8:35-37 (NIV) 
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

Galatians 3:26, 28 NRSVUE  
26 for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God…  28 There is no longer Jew or Greek; there is no longer slave or free; there is no longer male & female, for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.
1 John 4:7-8 (NKJV)  
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

Matthew 7:1-2 (NIV)
1“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged…
Matthew 22:37-39 NKJV  
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

Special Readings:
Pride Celebration Month  Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June, to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was considered to be a turning point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States… (The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous protests by members of the gay community in response to a police raid that began in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan in New York City). The riots are widely considered the watershed event that transformed the gay liberation movement and the twentieth-century fight for LGBT rights in the United States.  

Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of this month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history, both nationally and internationally. This Celebration is so important to so many in the community to get together and not be afraid to be who they are around each other. They have the freedom to express themselves, how they want and without judgement. 
   --Golda Duncan

Discrimination against LGBTI people undermines the human rights principles outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Yet discrimination and violence against people in the LGBTI community are all too common. Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic attitudes remain deeply embedded in many cultures around the world… Protecting LGBTI people from violence and discrimination does not require a new set of human rights laws or standards. States are legally required to safeguard the human rights of LGBTI people. This is well established in international human rights law… The core legal obligations of States with respect to protecting the human rights of LGBTI people include to: Protect individuals from homophobic and transphobic violence… Prevent torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment… Repeal laws criminalizing same sex relations and transgender people… Prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity… Safeguard freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly for LGBTI people  Office of The High Commissioner Human Rights-United Nation

It is revolutionary for any trans person to choose to be seen and visible in a world that tells us we should not exist… We are not what other people say we are. We are who we know ourselves to be, and we are what we love.  
   --Laverne Cox

At the heart of the claim that the Bible is clear "that homosexuality is forbidden by God" is poor biblical scholarship and a cultural bias read into the Bible…  
   --Myles Markham Christian Educator Master of Arts of Practical Theology, Columbia Theological Seminary
The entire ministry of Jesus destroyed walls of hostility, bringing near those who were once estranged. This ministry of  
reconciliation is one that should continue…
It is absolutely imperative that every human being’s freedom and human rights are respected, all over the world. 
   --Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir

Equality means more than passing laws. The struggle is really won in the hearts and minds of the community, where it really counts.  
   --Barbara Gittings

We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference, and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the 
diversity of humanity. 
   --George Takei




“Honoring Those Who Sacrificed All For Our Freedom”   05-26-24

Core Statement: 
“Remembering With Deep Gratitude Those Who’ve Given Their Lives For Our Freedom” SV     

Galatians 5:13 (CEV)  
13 My friends, you were chosen to be free. So don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do anything you want. Use it as an opportunity to serve each other with love.
Philippians 2:4-5 (NASB)
4 Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves… 

Proverbs 10:7a  (ESV)
7a The memory of the righteous is a blessing….

Presidential Proclamation: 
In honor and recognition of all of our fallen heroes, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, as amended, has requested the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer… President Biden has so proclaimed Memorial Day, May 27th, 2023, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and designated the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time when people might unite in prayer.

ALSO: In December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. All Americans are encouraged to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. In his proclamation, President Biden has further asked all Americans to observe the “National Moment of Remembrance” beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

Freedom does not come without a price. We may sometimes take for granted the many liberties we enjoy in America, but they have all been earned through the ultimate sacrifice paid by so many of the members of our armed forces.
   --Charlie Dent       
Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them. 
   --Franklin D. Roosevelt

For a soldier a lot can happen in one minute. Because when you choose service over self, one minute can mean the difference between living or dying. Between going home to your family and never seeing them again. Sacrifice means placing every minute of your life on the line for your country. And sometimes you don’t come home. 
Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices. 
   --President Harry S. Truman 

Memorial Day is important to me because I honor those who have sacrificed their lives and their family's lives in pursuit of freedom for our nation. What greater gift can one man or woman sacrifice to keep the U.S. free and maintain our way of life? 
   --Edwin Martinez  Army veteran
May we never forget our fallen comrades. Freedom isn't free.   
   --Sgt. Major Bill Paxton
Here and everywhere in the Universe, freedom must be protected and nurtured and supported. For everywhere in life, it is challenged. It is a gift. And it is a gift that you as an individual and you as a member of a Spiritual Family 
must advocate for, preserve and protect. 
   --Marshal Vian Summers                                                                                                                           

Taps- Played by John Wiseman




“’Graduating’ From Past Mistakes”  05-19-24

Core Statement: 
“Releasing The Burdens Of Past Mistakes Opens Us To Positive Experiences Now” sv

Psalm 38:4 (NIV)
4 My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. 

Hebrews 10:22 (NIV)
22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.    

Psalm 34:5 (NKJV) 
5 They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Isaiah 43:18-19a (NIV) 
18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! 

Special Reading:    
Mistakes…We’ve all made them. In fact, they’re a part of life. But the guilt over past mistakes can become paralyzing if it consumes us. Regrets can either burden your life or motivate you to move forward. You cannot undo or redo what has been done or not done. You can, however, take steps to get over the guilt and move past regrets. What would you do differently if you had the chance?        

Five Tips For Getting Over Past Mistakes:
1. Understanding Your Mistakes- It’s important to understand the source of your remorse and to acknowledge your rationale for doing, or not doing, whatever happened at the time.
2. Take Time To Grieve-Before you can accept that what’s done is done, you need to grieve the regrets that are presently holding you hostage.
3. Express Your Feelings-

Write your feelings out. Bring these remorseful feelings out of your head and onto paper. Do not make the guilty feelings more powerful by your fixation with them… write them on a piece of paper to destroy in a way that makes you feel more fulfilled – like burning it. 4. Accept Your Past Mistakes- Some regrets can be devastating and are not to be minimized. But there is no “delete” button for past actions or inactions. And while it may be very difficult, try to find some element of good that has come from that situation. 5. Learn From Your Mistakes Make changes in your behavior to avoid similar faulty situations and decisions that brought you guilt in the past. Consider what you could do differently today and start moving that way. Stop “beating yourself up” emotionally because of yesterday’s decisions and instead assess what choices you do have!…

Suffering is not holding you. You are holding suffering. When you become good at the art of letting sufferings go, then you’ll come to realize how unnecessary it was for you to drag those burdens around with you…  
The past should be a learning experience not an everlasting punishment. What’s done is done. 

Let go. Why do you cling to pain? There is nothing you can do about the wrongs of yesterday. It is not yours to judge. Why hold on to the very thing which keeps you from hope and love?  
   --Leo Buscaglia
You are more than your mistakes. You are more than your past. The present might be rough, but the future is always 
bright as long as you reach for it.  
   --K. Weikel
Think about any attachments that are depleting your emotional reserves. Consider letting them go. 
   --Oprah Winfrey

Asking ourselves, ‘Where am I right now?’ gives us a chance to step outside the internal dialogue for a moment of peace. Look around you, take a deep breath and notice what you see, hear and feel. Present moment awareness is the point of power and choice. It frees us from our compulsive thoughts.  
   --Laura Harvey
Stop being a prisoner of your past. Become the architect of your future. 
   --Robin Sharma
You're wiser than your last mistake. Congratulations!  
   --Chinonye J. Chidolue 

Renew, release, let go. Yesterday’s gone. There’s nothing you can do to bring it back. You can’t “should’ve” done something. You can only DO something. Renew yourself. Release that attachment. Today is a new day! 
   --Steve Maraboli




“The Divine Feminine…Love In Expression”   05-12-24

Core Statement:
“The Divine Feminine Exemplifies Love, Intuition, Patience, Empathy & Nurturing Comfort.” sv

Proverbs 31:25 (NASB)
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future…
Proverbs 31:31 (NIV) 
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise…

Proverbs 31:26  
26She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
Sirach 24:18 (NRSVUE-Ancient Authorities add verse 18)   
18 I am the mother of beautiful love…of knowledge, and of holy hope; I give to all my children; these things are eternal…

Proverbs 31:28 (NASB)  
28 Her children rise up and bless her…
Corinthians 13:13 (NASB) 
13 But now faith, hope, and love remain, these three; but the greater of these is love.

Special Reading:
Mother's Day is an annual holiday celebrated in the United States in May. It recognizes mothers, motherhood and maternal bonds in general, as well as their positive contributions to their families & society. It was established by Anna Jarvis, [to honor her mother who in pre-Civil War times helped start “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs" to teach local women how to properly care for their children, & to promote friendship & health]. The first official Mother's Day was celebrated through a service of worship at St. Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, on May 10, 1908. Within five years virtually every state was observing the day, and in 1914 U.S. Pres. Woodrow Wilson made it a national holiday.  

It's important that we work to broaden the lens beyond gender in the celebration of Mother’s and Father’s Day for all parents, not just gender-nonconforming parents. Mother’s/Father’s Days are wonderful opportunities to show parents, non-binary and otherwise, that they are appreciated and valued. It can also be a chance to show parents they are recognized as nuanced individuals and help model for children how to see beyond gender and not be limited by stereotypes.

Special Reading:
Humans have long and deep relationships with femininity and masculinity, but those qualities don’t start or end with us. They exist together in us and in all things. The sacred feminine energy is nurturing, soft, grounded with strong boundaries, and trusting of her intuition. The sacred masculine energy is present, logical, and focused with a deep desire to protect and build. When these two energies work together within us, they create a sweet union that allows us to embrace all that makes us human and holy.
   --Rachel Rossitto

The Sacred Feminine is the energy within us and in the universe that serves life itself. The qualities of unconditional   love, compassion, wisdom, beauty, gentleness, patience, accepting, forgiving, nurturing, welcoming, accessible, kind, intuitive and healing, and so much more, are carried by the Sacred Feminine. 
   --Cindy (Harpe) Hively

There’s no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one. 
   --Jill Churchill
Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation. 
   --Robert A. Heinlein

The Divine Feminine is an energy that has been with us since ancient times. Consciousness is basically divided up into the ‘masculine’ side and the ‘feminine’ side, and we need both to achieve our highest creative potential. The Divine Feminine represents the connection to the part of our consciousness responsible for nurture, intuition, and empathy…  
   --Suzanne Kingsbury   

Appreciation can make a day — even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.  
   --Margaret Cousins
We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.  
   --Cynthia Ozick




“Having Fun Renews Us Spiritually…Part 2: Engaging With Others”   05-05-24

Core Statement: 
“Laughter Is The Common Denominator That Brings Us Together To Uplift & Renew!” sv 

James 5:13b (NIV)
13b …Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.
Psalm 16:11 (NASB) 
11 You will make known to me the way of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy…
Job 8:21 (NLT) 
21“He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.”
Psalm 118:24 (NASB) 
24 This is the day which the Lord has made; Let’s rejoice and be glad in it.

Romans 12:15  (NKJV) 
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice… 

Psalm 47:1 (NASB) 
1Clap your hands, all you peoples; Shout to God with a voice of joy.

Special Reading:
Laughter…can boost happiness, alleviate depression, and reduce stress and anxiety. It can even give us a sense of optimism in life. It boosts human connection too. Laughter is a social emotion; we mostly tend to laugh with others. Laughing together for a common reason shows us that we are comfortable in the space together. It breaks down barriers and makes conversation freer. It can unite groups of people who don’t know each other and even those who don’t usually get on. 
   --Dr. David Hamilton
When it comes to relieving stress, more giggles and guffaws are just what the doctor ordered. Here’s why: A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling… Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system. In contrast, positive thoughts actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress… lastly, 
laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations, and it helps you connect with other people.   
   --Mayo Clinic staff 

Play keeps us vital and alive. It gives us an enthusiasm for life that is irreplaceable. Without it, life just doesn’t taste good.  
   --Lucia Capocchione

When we feel joyful, euphoric, happy, we are more open to life, more capable of seeing things clearly and handling daily tensions. 
   --Leo F. Buscaglia
The purpose of fun is to have it. 

Laughter is the highest spiritual path. It is the royal route to enlightenment. It is the easiest and most powerful way of connecting with the boundless energy of Existence. 
   --Paramahamsa Sri Nithyananda
With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health. 

At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.     
   --Jean Houston

Laughter connects you with people. It’s almost impossible to maintain any kind of distance or any sense of social hierarchy when you’re just howling with laughter. 
   --John Cleese
You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. 

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.  
   --Victor Borge

Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love… 
   --Mary Anne Radmacher

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.  
   --Helen Keller




“Having Fun Renews Us Spiritually…Part 1: Taking Time To Play”    04-28-24

Core Statement: 
“Through Laughter & Fun We Are Spiritually Uplifted & Renewed” sv 

1 Corinthians 3:16 (NRSVUE)  
16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
Psalm 51:10 (NIV) 
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Proverbs 15:15 (NLT)
15“For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.
Ecclesiastes 8:15 (NLT)  
15So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life…

Proverbs 17:22 (NKJV)  
22A merry heart does good, like medicine..

Isaiah 35:10 (NIV)  
10 …They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. 
Psalm 126:2 (NLT)  
2“We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy”.
Special Reading: 
The word 'silly' derives from the Greek 'selig' meaning 'blessed.' There is something sacred in being able to be silly.
   --Paul Pearshall 

Watching young children at play is joyous. They run around playing with such freedom, embracing silliness & laughing at themselves while their imagination takes them on one adventure after another. I am not sure at what age things change, but as we get older we seem to become more self-conscious & begin to worry about what others will think, we begin to fear looking silly & don’t want others to see us doing things that we have not already mastered. While play can look frivolous from the outside looking in – it actually serves several very serious & important functions. Play helps us rehearse the unexpected and stay flexible in our thinking. It also nurtures creativity and helps us practice learning new things.
   --Carl E. Josehart, MSW

Play is the exuberant expression of our being. It is at the heart of our creativity & our most carefree moments of devotion. It helps us live with absurdity, paradox, & mystery. It feeds our joy & wonder… Most of us don't play enough. We're either too "busy," a code word for workaholism, or we're too serious, mistaking earnestness for accomplishment. We're predictable, too, equating free-spiritedness with irresponsibility. The best treatment for these conditions is play. We need to lighten up. 
   --Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

Your body cannot heal without play. Your mind cannot heal without laughter. Your soul cannot heal without joy. 
   --Catherine Ripperger Fenwick
Laughter is a holy thing. It is as sacred as music and silence and solemnity, maybe more sacred. Laughter is like a prayer, like a bridge over which creatures tiptoe to meet each other. Laughter is like mercy; it heals. When you can laugh at yourself, you are free.  
   --Ted Loder

It is good to laugh. Laughter is spiritual relaxation. 
With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.

Sometimes you have to drop the rake and play in the leaves. 
   --Vince Gowman                         

Laugh my friend, for laughter ignites a fire within the pit of your belly and awakens your being. 
   --Stella McCartney




“Earth Day 2024: Respecting Our Planet…Doing Our Part”  04-21-24

Core Statement:
“As Respectful Stewards Of Planet Earth Let’s Take Wise, Accountable Action” sv    

Jeremiah 2:7 (NRSVUE) 
7 I brought you into a plentiful land to eat its fruits and its good things. But when you entered you defiled my land…

Genesis 1:26  (ESV)
26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  (The Hebrew word for dominion does not mean “to dominate” or “to exploit.” Rather, it means “to take sacred responsibility for)
Galatians 6:9-10  (NKJV) 
9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good…

1 Corinthians 4:2 (NIV) 
2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 

Special Reading:
Since the start of human civilization, we’ve cleared 46% of trees globally… In 2022 alone, we lost 22.8 million hectares of tree cover to deforestation, logging and fires — equivalent to a soccer field of trees every six seconds.

Earth Month is an annual observance during the month of April that focuses on raising awareness about environmental issues — and promoting actions to protect the planet. It is a time for individuals, organizations, and communities to come together and take action to secure a more sustainable future. Small actions can create a big impact — and it can start with planting a tree. Trees provide a range of benefits, including cleaning the air we breathe, filtering the water we drink, providing habitat for biodiversity, and so much more! They play a crucial role in combating climate change and creating a greener, healthier planet for future generations.  

“Planet vs Plastics” Earth Day is a reminder of the importance of environmental conservation and sustainability, encouraging us to come together and take action for a healthier planet and brighter future… For Earth Day 2024 on April 22nd, EARTHDAY.ORG is unwavering in our commitment to end plastics for the sake of human and planetary health, demanding a 60% reduction in the production of ALL plastics by 2040.

To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them.   
   --Theodore Roosevelt
The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.   
   --Robert Swan

What do you need to solve the climate crisis? The answer is, everyone… If we don’t take care of this planet, who will?  
   --Katharine Hayhoe

You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.  
   --Jane Goodall
If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.  
   --Betty Reese
There is no such thing as ‘away’. When we throw anything away, it must go somewhere. 
   --Annie Leonard
The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.  
    -- Gaylord Nelson

A vibrant, fair, and regenerative future is possible — not when thousands of people do climate justice activism perfectly, but when millions of people do the best they can. We are on Earth to take care of life. We are on Earth to take care of each other.  
   --Xiye Bastida      



“Spiritual Community (Part 2)…Making A Difference”  04-14-24

Core Statement: 
“We Make A Difference Through Our Heartfelt, Choiceful Desire To Connect & Serve With Others” sv

Philippians 1:27 (NRSV) 
27b…You are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV)  
11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up…

1 Peter 4:10  (ESV)
10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace…
Galatians 6:10 (NRSV) 
10 So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all…
Philippians 2:4 (ESV)  
4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

James 2:26 (NRSVUE) 
26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead. 
1 Corinthians 3:8-9 (ESV) 
8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages… 9 For we are God's fellow workers.

Special Readings: 
Think back to the most important experiences of your life, the highest highs, the greatest victories, the most daunting obstacles overcome. How many happened to you alone? I bet there are very few. When you understand that being connected to others is one of life’s greatest joys, you realize that life’s best comes when you initiate and invest in solid relationships.  
   --John C. Maxwell
The person who is truly effective has the humility & reverence to recognize his own perceptual limitations and to appreciate the rich resources available through interaction with the hearts & minds of other human beings. 
   --Stephen Covey

Thriving 21st century spiritual communities are composed of many individual people who come together to create a deep and meaningful experience where everyone grows spiritually together and each person is valued for the unique experiences they contribute to the whole. 
   --Tracy Brown      

As we become increasingly aware of our global interdependence as a species, we can also deepen awareness of our 
spiritual interconnectedness. We cannot live in total isolation. The cross-cultural communion of awakened souls may be a key to co-creating a sustainable future and living in harmony with the earth.     
   --Frances Vaughan

It is not more bigness that should be our goal.  We must attempt, rather, to bring people back to...the warmth of community, to the worth of individual effort and responsibility...and of individuals working together as a community, to better their lives…  
   --Robert F. Kennedy
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It's not. 
   --Dr. Seuss
Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light.  
   --Norman B. Rice

In our hectic, fast-paced, consumer-driven society, it's common to feel overwhelmed, isolated and alone. Many are re-discovering the healing and empowering role that community can bring to our lives. The sense of belonging we feel when we make the time to take an active role in our communities can give us a deeper sense of meaning and purpose.   
   --Robert Alan Silverstein

Simply being with other people who are also seekers and who are involved in the same quest you are is very meaningful.    
   --Dan Wakefield  
In giving you are throwing a bridge across the chasm of your solitude.  
   --Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Interdependence is & ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being.
   --Mahatma Gandhi
I remind myself that I’m always more satisfied by human interaction than by a digital connection. 
   --Maulik Pancholy




“Spiritual Community…Connecting Together (Part 1)   04-07-24
…Making A Difference” (Part 2)

Core Statement:
“Living A Spiritual Life Is More Than A Solo Endeavor" sv

Matthew 18:20  (ESV)
20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.
1 Peter 2:5a  (NASB)  
5you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house… 

1 Corinthians 14:26 (NRSV)
26 What should be done then, my friends? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.
Acts 2:46-47  (NIV)    
46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,47 praising God…

1 John 1:7a (NKJV) 
7a But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another... 
Proverbs 21:21 (NRSVUE) 21 Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life and honor.

Special Reading: 
One of the greatest barriers to connection is the cultural importance we place on "going it alone." Somehow we've come to equate success with not needing anyone. Many of us are willing to extend a helping hand, but we're very reluctant to reach out for help when we need it ourselves. It's as if we've divided the world into "those who offer help" and "those who need help." The truth is that we are both.
   --Brene Brown The Gifts of Imperfection

It feels good to be in a community. Community, above all, is bigger than individuals–we are something much more than individuals when we are part of a community. 
   --Tony Blackshaw
The spiritual path is not a solo endeavor… We are in it together and the company of spiritual friends helps us realize our interconnectedness.    
   --Tara Brach   

We're losing social skills, the human interaction skills, how to read a person's mood, to read their body language, how to be patient until the moment is right to make or press a point. Too much exclusive use of electronic information dehumanizes what is a very, very important part of community life and living together.  
   --Cardinal Vincent Nichols

If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life; it is love, which gives your life meaning. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.  
   --Mitsugi Saotome
There is no true joy in a life lived closed up in the little shell of the self. When you take one step to reach out to people, when you meet with others and share their thoughts and sufferings, infinite compassion and wisdom well up within your heart. Your life is transformed.  
   --Daisaku Ikeda
We can bring positive energy into our daily lives by smiling more, talking to strangers in line, replacing handshakes with hugs, and calling our friends just to tell them we love them.  
   --Brandon Jenner

When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to   
develop inner happiness and peace.  
   --The Dalai Lama




“The Easter Message…A Story Of Transformation"   03-31-24

Core Statement:   
“Centering In Spirit Guides Us Beyond Challenges To Rise Up In Christ Consciousness” sv

Revelation 22:13 (NRSVUE)  
13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
Isaiah 40:28b (NIV) 28 
…The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

Matthew 28:1-2,5-6 (ESV)   
1Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 5But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here, for he has risen…
Luke 24:6-7 (NRSVUE)  
 6 Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be…crucified and on the third day rise again.”

Isaiah 60:1 (NKJV) 
1 Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.  
1 John 1:5 (NRSVUE) 5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.

Special Readings:
Rebirth is the main theme behind not only Christianity but other religions that have celebrated the resurrection mythology. The symbolic nature of Easter is the process of dying to the old self & being reborn in a spiritual sense. Beyond religious dogma lies a deeper meaning that can be utilized for anyone inclined to live a more fulfilling life. Easter can be a powerful metaphor, one that helps us to re-examine our current state of being & then decide how we need to evolve. 
   --Sonyo Zofia
History shows that the cross was used by many civilizations as a spiritual & mystical symbol (with “pagan” origins)…In Assyria, Babylonia, Egypt, Greece, Asia, India, centuries before Christ. The “cross symbol” is varied, and is much older than Jesus or Christianity. The "Christian" use of the cross did not begin until the time of Constantine, three centuries after the death Christ.   

The cross is a powerful symbol representing the connection between heaven and earth, a meeting point of death and rebirth and new spiritual awareness… The horizontal dimension represents the life of matter… The vertical dimension is the timeless spiritual plane. The cross is the expression of the meeting of the two...the best possible expression of human existence.

Like many Christian holidays [Easter] is connected to older mythologies…. You can tell this by the fact that Easter is a movable feast: The date changes each year because it is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring equinox. Easter is also the holiday of the pagan Germanic goddess Eostre, the goddess of the dawn. She is celebrated at springtime, when the light begins to return in the Northern Hemisphere to warm up the earth, bringing with it food, flowers, and the promise of a new season. The eggs and bunnies so often seen around Easter are actually symbols of the Goddess’ fertility. 
   --Julie Peters (MA, E-RYT, YACEP) 

The things we associate with the secular side of Easter — eggs, rabbits, etc. — are symbols that predate Easter itself. The traditions of the modern Christian celebration of Easter are directly tied to the traditions of the ancient pagans… as Christianity spread, Christian converts decided to coincide their holy day celebrations with pagan celebrations that already existed. They did this to escape persecution by the pagans… 
   --Peter Thunell 

The Holy Week message is one of preparation to rise to a new level of being. We prepare by releasing our limitations, doing our inner work to transform our consciousness to create a receptivity to the new. Then, we move through the “crucifixion” – whatever the personal challenge and discomfort are – and allow the inner change to gestate, finally rising as the new consciousness. In this way, we are transformed. The risen Christ Consciousness within is awakened and expresses as a new version of self…  
   --Joseph Campbell, Thou Art That  

Eastertide…the resurrection of the mind from the darkness of its doubts & false beliefs into the light of understanding… (paraphrased). The word crucifixion means the crossing out in consciousness of certain errors that have become fixed states of mind… the giving up of the personality in order that the Christ Mind may be expressed in all its fullness.    
   --Charles Fillmore Keep A True Lent 

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.  
   --Desmond Tutu




“Palms To Honor A Humble Journey”   3-24-24  Palm Sunday

Core Statement:
“A Heightened Spiritual Consciousness Reduces Egoic Actions & Repercussions” sv

Scripture & Quotes:
John 10:10b (NKJV) Jesus speaking:
 10b … I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Matt 21:6-9   
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,  “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
The symbolism of the donkey may refer to the Eastern tradition that it is an animal of peace, versus the horse, which is the animal of war. A king came riding upon a horse when he was bent on war and rode upon a donkey when he wanted to point out he was coming in peace. Jesus' entry to Jerusalem would thus symbolize his entry as the Prince of Peace, not as a war-waging king.    
The crowds looked for a Messiah who would rescue them politically and free them nationally, but Jesus had come to save them spiritually…Mankind’s primary need is spiritual, not political, cultural, or national salvation. 

James 3:13 (NIV) 
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
Psalm 37:11 (NASB) 
11 But the humble will inherit the land and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.        

Special Reading: 
In many lands in the ancient Near East, it was customary to cover in some way the path of someone thought worthy of the highest honour. Both the Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John report that people gave Jesus this form of honour. However, in the synoptics they are only reported as laying their garments and cut rushes on the street, whereas John specifies fronds of palm.

Unity Reading:
Spiritual consciousness puts all men and all things on a common level. In the sight of God there is no great, no small… Jesus taught & exemplified the willingness of divine love to serve in humble ways…this Christ cleansing through love is not only a teaching; it is also a life to be lived.  
   -- Charles Fillmore Mysteries Of John           

Humility/Humble Definition: Showing that you do not think of yourself as better than other people; not arrogant or falsely prideful

Most of the information about the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ comes from Bible books known as the gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These accounts are not exhaustive. They are not chronological. They do not have identical accounts of many events and they record them in a different order. This makes piecing together an exact timeline impossible. 

Humility leads to strength and not to weakness. It is the highest form of self-respect to admit mistakes and to make amends for them.    
   --John J. McCloy
A humble person is more concerned about what is right than about being right, about acting on good ideas than having good ideas, about embracing new truth than defending outdated position, about building the team than exalting self, about recognizing contribution, than being recognized for making it.  
   --Stephen M.R. Covey

Pride is the problem, humility is the answer. 
   --Joyce Meyer
While your arrogance may give you a sense of power, it may serve you better to put it aside. Those are the times you will be the light of the world.    
   --J 'son M. Lee
If one assumes a humble attitude, one’s own good qualities will increase. Whereas if one is proud, one will become jealous of others, one will look down on others, and due to that there will be unhappiness in society.   
   --Dalai Lama XIV

Humility is never about being small, unseen and unnoticed. Humility is really about expressing all the wonder you are in a way that all people see is the awesomeness and greatness of GOD.       
   --TemitOpe Ibrahim           




“Irish Music…Soul Language Of Ireland”   03-17-24

Core Statement: 
”Music Is A Universal Language Of Laughter, Love & Tears That Heals, Inspires & Uplifts” sv

Ephesians 5:18b-19  (NASB) 
18 …be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your hearts…

2 Chronicles 5:13  (NIV)  
13 The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals & other instruments, the singers raised their voices…and sang…

Special Reading:
Music is an essential aspect of all human civilizations and has the power to emotionally, morally, and culturally affect society. When people from one culture exchange music with each other, they gain valuable insight into another way of life. Learning how music and social bonding are linked is especially crucial in times of conflict when other lines of communication prove to be challenging… It can help in the healing process, dismantling walls and boundaries, reconciliation, and education. Around the world, music is being used as a vehicle for social change and bringing communities together… Music has the power to connect with and influence people in a way that feels fundamentally different from other forms of communication.

Music is a universal language. It has the unique ability to communicate with you and connect you to the Universe in ways you can’t find elsewhere… If you’re open to its healing powers, music often resonates on a level much deeper than cognitive comprehension; it reaches your soul… Whether you listen to classical, grunge, pop, singer/songwriter, alternative, rock, bluegrass, country, or folk, the music you’re listening to affects your mind, body, and spirit in substantial ways…  Music has a transcendent property that can connect you to something greater than yourself and has been proven to positively affect spirituality and quality of life.

Songs and melodies have the power to inspire people, guide their actions, and aid in the formation of identities. Music can unite people, capture your imagination, and boost creativity. A person who has been affected by music is not alone.    
   --Lia Peralta   

Folk music is often a form of oral history, retelling the stories of families, communities, and generations. For diasporic 
communities, these songs serve as a reminder of their ancestors’ hardship and a way of expressing their heritage. In 
Ireland I think they are a reminder of those who left and a way of explaining an important part of Irish history. While 
these songs are about the Irish experience, the sense of loss, hope, and resilience they express are universal…  
   --Alexandra S. McKeever

Every Irish person’s heart sings when they hear the soaring melodies of traditional Irish music. The singsong vocal runs, pipes, and fiddle represent a rich history dedicated to the resilience, and beauty of our ancestors… Irish music and dance are part of our cultural inheritance, handed down through an oral tradition over centuries… Over 2,000 years ago, during the Iron Age Era, Celtic people settled in Ireland and started creating their own music in about 500 BC. Because they were immigrants from Austria, Switzerland, France, and Spain, they added an Eastern flair to their new musical tradition… It was there that traditional Irish music was born, and was handed down through the generations… Musicians would learn by ear, and they never formally wrote down the music or lyrics… Irish folk music evolved over the centuries and became an important thread running through Irish history…  Irish music is distinct from any other culture or genre, for a variety of reasons. It features specific instruments such as the fiddle, harp, flute, whistle, pipes, accordion, banjo, mandolin, bodhrán, and more.                                                   
Emigration resulted in large populations of Irish decent in areas of North America such as Boston, New York, Chicago.
The majority of those who emigrated from Ireland to America in the 18th Century settled in the Appalachian mountains. They brought with them a rich tradition of song and dance tunes which merged with the music of other settlers including European, British and African to become Appalachian "old time" music.  American country music originated in Appalachian music and there were other links to bluegrass and rock n roll.

Music has the power to culturally, morally, and emotionally influence our society. Thus, the more intentional we 
become with the sounds, messages, and moods we create and release through our music, the more powerful we will 
become in making deep positive impacts.  
   --Belinda Huang 



“How Is Lent Relevant Today?”  03-10-24

Core Statement: 
“Fasting From Negative Thoughts & Beliefs Shifts Us To Higher Christ Consciousness” SV

Joel 2:12a (NASB)
12a “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “Return to Me with all your heart, And with fasting…”

Mark 1:12   (NKJV)
12 Immediately the Spirit sent Him into the wilderness. 13 And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.

Isaiah 58:6 (NKJV)
6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness (false, erroneous beliefs), to undo the heavy burdens…
Job 17:9 (TLB)
9The righteous shall move onward & forward; those with pure hearts shall become stronger & stronger.

Unity & Informational Reading:
It is commonly believed that the Lenten period has to do with the events of the 40 days preceding the Resurrection. This is an erroneous idea. Lent is a church institution, and there is no authorization for it anywhere in the New Testament. The idea, however, has a sound spiritual basis; Moses, Elijah and Jesus himself set a precedent for it. Each observed a 40-day period of prayer and fasting as a preparation for Spiritual work…  The ancient Hebrew writers made a practice of using numbers to symbolize ideas… the number 40 is frequently used in the scriptures to indicate a completed preparation for something to follow. When we consider lent as a “completed” season of retreat from the things of the world for the cleansing of the mind and the recollection of the things of spirit, it becomes a true season of preparation… 
   --Georgiana Tree West (Forward in Keep A True Lent)   

The earliest mention of Lent in the history of the Church comes from the council of Nicaea in 325 AD… The council issued twenty canons of a practical nature, dealing with various aspects of church life, and the fifth of these canons speaks of Lent. The word used for Lent in this fifth canon is tessarakonta (in the original Greek), which means ‘forty’. For the first time in recorded history, we have mention of this period of preparation for Easter as lasting forty days… The length of time was adopted in imitation of the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert at the beginning of his public ministry. 

Ancient texts reveal that Jesus spent 17 years in the Orient. They say that from age 13 to age 29, Jesus traveled to India, Nepal, Ladakh and Tibet as both student and teacher. The five major milestones in the New Testament narrative of the life of Jesus are his Baptism, Transfiguration, Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension. In the gospels, the ministry of Jesus starts with his Baptism by John the Baptist, when he is about thirty years old.

  -- Elizabeth Clare Prophet

You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but 
your own soul.  
   --Swami Vivekananda

The English word ‘Lent’ has another, very beautiful derivation. It comes from the Anglo-Saxon word meaning to ‘lengthen’. Lent comes at a time when the hours or daytime are ‘lengthening’, as spring approaches, and so it is a time when we too can ‘lengthen’ spiritually…   
   --Father Norman Tanner S.J.  

From a Metaphysical, Spiritual perspective, Lent stands for a voluntary retreat from the world to prepare for our resurrection from false beliefs, error thinking, and the denial of our innate divinity… It’s the meaning, not the ritual that is important… when the ritual becomes more important than the meaning behind it, we have lost our focus. From a spiritual perspective, there is only one kind of fasting: abstaining from error thoughts which dampen our awareness of our oneness with Spirit. 
   --Revs., Drs. Bil & Cher Holton

Release what no longer serves you to create a space for that which does… 
   --Randy Gage



“Instead Of Freaking Out…Try Prayer!”  03-03-24

Core Statement:
“Prayer Is Actively Aligning Ourselves In The Universal Flow Of Divine Energy & Oneness” sv    

Luke 11:9  (ESV)
9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

John10:30 (AMP) 
30 I and the Father are One [in essence and nature].     

Ephesians 4:4,6 (NASB) 
4 There is one body and one Spirit…6 one God…who is over all and through all and in all.
1 Corinthians 3:16 (NKJV) 
16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

Hebrews 4:16a (ESV)  
16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace… (Center in/become one with Divine Pure Being & Allness)
1 Corinthians 2:12-13 (NIV) 
12We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God… 13This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.

Special Reading:
Traditionally, and almost universally, prayer is understood as a solemn request or a statement of thanks addressed to a deity or higher power. It presumes human powerlessness and divine intervention toward a desired outcome…  Affirmative prayer is a completely different form of prayer. The teaching of oneness - meaning there is only one divine power and therefore God and humanity are one in absolute Truth - changes prayer. Rather than presuming the power we seek is outside and separate from us, affirmative prayer empowers us to respond to life's circumstances by drawing upon the Truth of oneness. We can recognize, claim, and embody the full­ness of our divinity in the midst of our human experience… What we achieve through means of affirmative prayer is not a specific outcome, but a spiritual authority to claim and realize our own spiritual power. Affirmative prayer doesn't change the Divine. Affirmative prayer changes us.
   --Linda Martella-Whitsitt/DeeAnn Morency Discover Your Divinity

The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays. 
   --Soren Kierkegaard 

Sometimes we pray to a God outside of ourselves. It is the God in the midst of us that frees and heals… Prayers aren’t sent out at all! Sometimes that is our trouble. Where would we send our prayers? We should direct them to our minds & hearts… so that God’s omnipresent good may fill our minds and hearts, and manifest in our lives. 
   --Myrtle Fillmore   Healing Letters

In Revealing Word, Charles Fillmore defined prayer as: An affirmation of Truth that eternally exists; the act of affirmation…the declaring of Truth; the mental movement that asserts confidently and persistently the Truth of Being in the face of all appearances to the contrary.
   --Charles Fillmore Revealing Word

Affirmative prayer offers an empowering framework for transformation. It is not attempting to get anything from God or even speaking to God. Affirmative prayer is rooted in the radical idea that each of us is a spiritual or divine human. It invites us to speak from our divine nature and to tell the Truth to our human circumstances.
   --Linda Martella-Whitsitt & DeeAnn Morency

Our work is to shift from human, or relative, thinking to spiritual, or absolute thinking. We pray because we feel power­less in some circumstances and we seek a remedy, solution, or improvement. Affirmative prayer is a quest for and fulfillment of spiritual power. To be effective in affirmative prayer is to elevate human thinking to the level of oneness, where we have access to absolute Truth. 
   --Linda Martella-Whitsitt & DeeAnn Morency 

The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.   
   --Black Elk 



"Love Is The Key Part3: 
Connecting With Others, Growing In Spiritual Community" 02-25-24

Core Statement: 
“Connecting Together In Spiritual Community Enriches, Uplifts & Inspires Us” sv

Romans 8:39 (NIV)
39 Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God…
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NRSV) 
13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

Romans 1:11-12 (NRSV) 
11 For I am longing to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 or rather so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours & mine.
1 John 1:7 (NKJV) 
7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another…

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV)
11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
Romans 12:6 (NKJV)  
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them…
Ephesians 2:10 (ESV) 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Special Reading: 
Whether a biological family or an extended family of people attracted to each other based on heart resonance and mutual support, the word "family" (Community) implies warmth, a place where the core feelings of the heart are nurtured. While we have differences, we remain "family" (Community) by virtue of our heart connection. Family provides necessary security and support, and acts as a buffer against external problems. A family (Community) made up of secure people generates a magnetic power that can get things done. They are the hope for real security in a stressful world.  
  --Doc Childre and Howard Martin, The HeartMath Solution                                                                               

Love is the greatest force of healing that exists in the universe. Love heals everything it touches.  
   --Ian Somerhalder
Love is within us. It cannot be destroyed. Denying love is our only problem, and embracing it is the only answer. Through the power of love, we can let go of past history and begin again. Love heals, forgives, and makes whole.  
   --Ernest Holmes

Simply being with other people who are also seekers and who are involved in the same quest you are is very meaningful.
  --Dan Wakefield  
When we seek for connection, we restore the world to wholeness. Our seemingly separate lives become meaningful as 
we discover how truly necessary we are to each other.    
   --Margaret J. Wheatley
This is the power of gathering: it inspires us, delightfully, to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful: in a word, more alive. 
   --Alice Waters

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. 
   --Pablo Picasso
We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth. 
   --Mitsugi Saotome
The soul is awakened through service. 
  --Erica Jong

Community is first of all a quality of the heart. It grows from the spiritual knowledge that we are alive not [only] for ourselves but for one another. 
   --Henri Nouwen



“Love Is The Key Part 2:
Black History Month…A Time To Remember & Honor"  02-18-24

Core Statement:  
“Using Universal Love Principles We Live Into Healing, Inclusivity & Oneness ” sv

1 John 2:9-10 (NIV)
9Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. 10Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.
Galatians 3:28 (ESV) 
3There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one…

Hebrews 10:24 (ESV)
24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works… 
Galatians 6:10 (NRSV) 
10 So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all… 

2 John 1:6b (NIV)    
6b …As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

Romans 13:8b (NIV) 
8b…for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 

Special Reading:
The Black History month honors African American people’s rich range of experiences, struggles and achievements throughout history and into the modern day… It’s a tribute to African American men and women who have made significant contributions to America and the rest of the world in the fields of science, politics, law, sports, the arts, entertainment, and many other fields. 
While Black History Month is synonymous with prominent figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., there are countless other African Americans who've made a profound impact in history: self-made millionaire Madam C.J. Walker, astronaut Mae C. Jemison, open-heart surgeon Daniel Hale Williams, inventor Garret Morgan, media mogul Oprah Winfrey and "Father of Black History" Carter G. Woodson, who lobbied extensively to establish Black History Month as a nationwide celebration, among many others.

Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination & forgiveness. Your willingness ro wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. 
   --August Wilson 
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.   
   --Martin Luther King Jr.

There is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.
   --Amanda Gorman 

Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.  
   --Wilma Rudolph

We must never forget that Black History is American History. The achievements of African Americans have contributed to our nation's greatness. 
   --Yvette Clarke 

Won't it be wonderful when Black history and Native American history and Jewish history and all of U.S. history is taught from one book. Just U.S. history.  
   --Maya Angelou
Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
   --Martin Luther King Jr.

We should emphasize not Negro History, but the Negro in history. What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice. 
   --Carter G. Woodson
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. 
   --Desmond Tutu




“Love Is The Key…Forgiving Self & Others” Part 1  02-11-24

Core Statement:   
“Releasing Anger, Hurt & Shame Opens Us To Love’s Healing Power”  sv

1 John 4:16b (ESV)
16 …God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
Mark 12:31 (NRSV) 
31 The second [commandment] is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 

Proverbs 28:13 (NASB) 
13 One who conceals his wrongdoings will not prosper, But one who confesses and abandons them will find compassion.
Proverbs 10:12 (NRSV) 
12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.

2 Timothy 1:6-7   (NKJV)
 6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you… 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love…  
1 Peter 4:8 (NCV)  
8 Most importantly, love each other deeply, because love will cause people to forgive each other…. 

Special Readings: 
A lack of forgiveness comes in many forms. Unexpected breakups, family trauma, or betrayal of any kind can easily cause resentment to take root in our hearts. It can be an unimaginably hard task to choose to let go of past hurts and begin to heal, but the decision to forgive will ultimately lead to a happier and more fulfilling life. It's important to understand that deciding to forgive doesn't mean you're dismissing or justifying the pain someone has caused you; it will however create space in your mind and heart for true joy.
Learning to forgive has benefits that are far greater than we may think. Grudges are like toxins within our emotions. When you learn to eliminate these toxins, your body begins to heal… Forgiving and healing are gifts we give to ourselves in the forms of internal peace and stability… Forgiveness triggers healing automatically.

Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.  
   --Lucille Ball
If you can learn to love yourself and all the flaws, you can love other people so much better.  
   --Kristin Chenoweth

Forgiveness is for you—not the other person. It’s something you do inside yourself that you feel in your body and heart that releases you from your past and frees you to live life fully.    
    --Barbara J. Hunt
I think the first step is to understand that forgiveness does not exonerate the perpetrator. Forgiveness liberates the 
    victim. It’s a gift you give yourself.    
   --T.D. Jakes
Forgiveness is a reflection of loving yourself enough to move on.  
   --Dr. Steve Maraboli

Love is our essential nutrient. Without it, life has little meaning. It’s the best thing we have to give and the most valuable thing we receive…  You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery. Be a warrior for love. 
   --Cheryl Strayed
By doing the work to love ourselves more, I believe we will love each other better.  
   --Laverne Cox

Let the good in me connect with the good in others, until all the world is transformed through the compelling power of love.  
   --Nachman of Breslov




"The Power Of Creative Visioning”   02-04-24

Core Statement: 
“Aligned In Oneness With All Creative BEING, We Manifest Our Vision” sv

John 10:30  (NRSV)    
30”The Father and I are one.”
Ephesians 4:4-6 (NASB)
 4 There is one body and one Spirit… 5 one Lord, one faith… 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
Acts 17:28  (NKJV)  
28 For in Him we live and move and have our being…
Matthew 6:33 (ESV) 
33 But seek first the kingdom of God & his righteousness, & all these things will be added to you.
Charles Fillmore on Matthew 7:7-8  (NKJV)
The highest exercise of the mind is prayer, and prayer is accumulative… This is the teaching of Jesus, and we find that it is good metaphysical law, 7"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8"For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” 

Hebrews 11:1 (NASB) 
11 Now faith is the assurance of things expected, the evidence of things not seen.
Deuteronomy 28:12  (NIV) 
12 The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands…

Unity Reading: 
We find there is in man a knowing capacity transcending intellectual knowledge … When we discover in ourselves a flow of thought that seems to have been evolved independently of the reasoning process (intellectual brain), we are often puzzled about its origin. In its beginnings this seemingly strange source of knowledge is often turned aside as a daydream…  One should give attention to this usually faint whispering of Spirit in man. It is not of the intellect and does not originate in the skull (brain). It is the development in man of a greater capacity to know himself and understand creation.  
   --Charles Fillmore The 12 Powers Of Man
Prayer is dynamic and accentuates the spiritual ethers that interpenetrate all substance. Prayer is related directly to the 
creative laws of God, and when man adjusts his mind and body in harmony with those laws, his prayers will always be 
effective and far-reaching…   
   --Charles Fillmore Jesus Christ Heals  

There is only One Presence and One Power active as the Universe & in My Life, God All Good Omnipotence.
   -- Unity/Truth Principle
All things are linked with one another, and this oneness is sacred; there is nothing that is not interconnected with everything else.  For things are interdependent, and they combine to form this universal order.  There is only one 
universe made up of all things, and one creator who pervades them; there is one substance and one law… 
   --Marcus Aurelius

Through prayer and meditation, we align our heart-mind with God. 
   --Unity/Truth Principle
Affirmative prayer is a completely different form of prayer. The teaching of Oneness - meaning there is only one divine power and therefore God and Humanity are ONE in absolute truth - changes prayer(Envisioning). Rather than presuming the power we seek is outside and separate from us, affirmative prayer empowers us to respond to life circumstances by drawing upon the truth of oneness. 
   --Linda Martella-Whitsitt
We are co-creators with God, creating and manifesting through thoughts held in Mind.
   -- Unity/Truth Principle
Faith talks in the language of God. Doubt talks in the language of man.  
   --E.W. Kenyon
Nothing happens unless first we dream. 
   --Carl Sandburg
It's not your work to make anything happen. It's your work to dream it and let it happen… Within the seed of your desire is everything necessary for it to blossom to fulfillment. And Law of Attraction is the engine that does the work. Your work is just to give it a fertile growing place in order to expand.
   --Abraham (Hicks)

Create the highest grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.  
   --Oprah Winfrey




"Greater Soul-Self…Letter To God 2024" 1-28-24

Core Statement: 
“Let Your Soul-Self Fly Free, Unencumbered By Should’s, Have-To’s, & Doubts” sv 

1 Corinthians 3:16 (NRSVUE)
16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
Psalm 139:14 (NASB)
14 I will give thanks to You, because I am awesomely and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.
2 Corinthians 9:8 (ESV)
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all contentment in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
2 Timothy 4:7 (NASB) 
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith…

John 15:5 (NRSVUE)
5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit…
Philippians 4:8 (NASB)  
8 …whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence & if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.

Unity Quote: 
Metaphysicians have discovered that words which express thanks, gratitude and praise release energy of mind and Soul… Let your words of praise and thanksgiving be to Spirit… The resources of Spirit are beyond our highest flight of imagination.   
   --Charles Fillmore    Jesus Christ Heals 

There is a place in you where there is perfect peace. There is a place in you where nothing is impossible.
There is a place in you where the strength of God abides.  
   --'A Course In Miracles'  Foundation For Inner Peace

Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward with the life that God intended for you with grace, strength, courage, and confidence.    
   --Og Mandino
Dream and give yourself permission to envision a You that you choose to be. 
   --Joy Page
Our imagination is God’s ingenious gift that hands us the privilege of romping and playing in realities that we can’t see only because we’ve yet to create them.   
   --Craig D. Lounsbrough
Envision possibility. Don't worry who else believes in it; the universe is only looking for instructions from you. 
   --Marianne Williamson




“Visioning Forward: A New Name…The White Stone Experience”  01-21-24

Core Statement: 
The White Stone Experience… 
“Visioning Your New Design & The Forward Expression Of Your Greater Soul Being” sv

Romans 7:6  (ESV)
But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit...

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)
10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Romans 12:2a  (NRSV) 
2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds…

Revelations 2:17  
17He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says... To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.

Proverbs 1:5  (NIV) 
5 Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance…
Psalm 143:8b (NASB)  
8…Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.

Unity Quote:  
We find there is in man a knowing capacity transcending intellectual knowledge …p.88  ….One should give attention to this…whispering of Spirit in man. It is not of the intellect and does not originate in the skull. It is the development, in man, of a greater capacity to know himself…  
    --Charles Fillmore 12 Powers Of Man 

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. 
   --Lao Tzu
We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come. 
   --Joseph Campbell

The visionary starts with a clean sheet of paper, and re-imagines the world. 
   --Malcolm Gladwell
A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.
   --Rosabeth Moss Kanter
In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into 
crystal clearness. 
   --Mahatma Gandhi
If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise. 
   --Robert Fritz

Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements. 
   --Napoleon Hill 




“The Unity Movement…Current Day Spirituality (Encore)” 01.17.24

Weekly Statement:

“Current Day Spirituality Focuses On Inner Self-Awareness & Positive Life Changes.” sv


John 13:34 (NKJV) 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Ephesians 4:2-3 (NIV) Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit…

1 Corinthians 16:14  (ESV) 14 Let all that you do be done in love.Anchor

Acts 17:27-28  (ESV) 27 …They should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’…

Proverbs 3:3  (NASB) Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.Anchor

Matthew 23:26 (NIV) 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

Colossians 3:14  (ESV)  14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Special Reading:

In general, modern-day adherents of New Thought believe that "God" or "Infinite Intelligence" is "supreme, universal, and everlasting", that divinity dwells within each person, that all people are spiritual beings, that "the highest spiritual principle is loving one another unconditionally, teaching and healing one another, and that our mental states are carried forward into manifestation and become our experience in daily living. New Thought also believes that each person is divinely endowed with the right to happiness and the power of choice, enjoying equal access to the creative potential of spiritual and metaphysical laws.


My impression of the Fillmore family, Charles, Myrtle, Lowell, Rickert and Royal…They were not exceptional people following an ordinary pattern, but ordinary people dedicated to a pattern exceptionally extraordinary. Marcus Bach The Unity Way 

The teaching of Jesus as presented in the New Testament, was the central building block of the Fillmores work. It constitutes a great deal of how “Unity” differs from other “New Thought” and Eastern Spiritual teachings.

“Truth is not the formulated doctrine of any church, nor the creed of any sect…Truth is written in the inner sanctuary of every soul, and all know it without external formulas. It is the intuitive perception of what is right...’” Charles [Fillmore] referred to this inner knowing as “The Spirit of truth”. Eric Butterworth

Your mind cannot possibly understand God.  Your heart already knows.  Emmanuel

Religion commonly refers to an institution that has a set of organized practices and a structured belief system shared by and among those who are members of the institution. Their beliefs, are based on either a formally documented creed or established cultural practices.

Spirituality is about one's soul and inner self. Being spiritual involves holding one's personal set of beliefs and practices and searching for the purpose of life. Each person's own definition of spirituality can vary throughout their lifetime… The goal of spirituality is to realize one's inherent power to combat life's challenges, and connect with something greater than oneself.

Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose.  There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from.  Elizabeth Kübler-Ross

The great awareness comes slowly, piece by piece. The path of spiritual growth is a path of lifelong learning. M. Scott Peck