Rev. Denese Shellink
A Journey of Awareness based on Gary Simmons’ book, The I of the Storm. Rev. Shellink explores the Search for Wholeness. No One is Against You.
09/25/16 Rev. David McArthur
“What Matters Most”
Look at the ways we’ve touched the fabulous spiritual teachings in our world: the Bhagavad Gita, and Tao te Ching and the Hebrew scriptures and the Gospels—the beautiful presence of Jesus’ teachings. I want to complete by going to one of my favorite teachers, Winnie the Pooh.
Oh that Hundred Acre Woods! That beautiful place which shows us in such simple terms our own spiritual journeys. In the forest we see parts of us. Rabbit has to keep busy all the time, and there’s a part of you that is Eeyore. There’s Piglet—you know, eager, but then afraid of everything bigger than he is and everything is bigger. And then there’s Pooh, the picture of the soul unfolding, discovering and open to what life has. We’ve been going along, discovering.
Winnie the Pooh and Piglet discover their own tracks in the snow and believe they’re from woozles and wizzles. And there’s Christopher Robin, the Christ Bearer, that delightful symbol that in tradition we call the Christ, but also the Atman, the I Am, the Buddha Mind. We discovered the universal laws, that the woozles we are following and kind of afraid of are really ourselves! It is us that’s been creating our experience and our fear; it’s us who have been journeying. Wow! What beautiful understandings.
Then we had a heffalump experience here. You know how Pooh sets a trap for a heffalump. We set a heffalump trap—we decided to build a building. And what we heard were things that were kind of frightening and go bump in the night. The whole world had decided to be afraid of lack, and some of us did a very good job of making that deeper. And then we ran into this insane statement by this guy named Charles Fillmore, “Pour your living words of faith into the omnipresent substance and you will be prospered though all the banks in the world close their doors.” And they just had! And we decided, “well, wonder if he’s telling the truth.” So we took on our heffalump, and we discovered it was just our fear. And the building got built. And there was more than enough, because more than enough is the truth of that divine love for each of us.
I looked at these beautiful teachings and I thought, “Wow! What in these last few minutes do I get to share with you? What is most important?” The times we ventured into prayer and meditation? Prayer is so important, but it’s not most important. And meditation is tremendously valuable, but it’s not most important. And the great teachings that focus on God in magnificent ways are not most important. What is most important is so simple: in this moment, do I choose love? That’s it. That is what’s important. If you choose love and you don’t know anything about the great scriptures, it doesn’t matter. They were just there to say, “Choose love.” If you gave up prayer because you spend more time arguing with God than listening, but you choose love, then it didn’t matter. God is right there, because the truth is, God IS love. Choose God and suddenly this amazing thing happens. Instead of seeing this world through this brilliant mind that we developed, this fabulous brain that figured it all out, we see that it was lying to us. It was saying, “That’s separate, and that has control over you.” It’s still a wonderful tool. It’s just a lousy boss. So we learned, didn’t we? We learned how to go. We learned how to make the choice.
It was the reality that touched me when I was young and in that place of pain and not knowing, and suddenly I was overwhelmed by love, and then there was peace and forgiveness and understanding. What happens is we are suddenly experiencing life from the truth, from a greater reality. So I tried to figure, “How do I get back to that place?” When I first started in ministry, I knew choosing love was the answer. I just didn’t have a clue how to do it. I looked around at all the spiritual students I knew and realized they didn’t either. They could love real well all those folks that loved them, but it was not their response when someone got in their face.
So we have spent years learning how to choose love. You know how. You know where it is. You know how to make that connection and move this power, this energy out of the magnificent instrument in your head down into that place where we connect with that spiritual being we really are. You know how to turn on the love. It’s in feeling—not in thoughts. It’s in the feeling, when you can remember that moment when you felt love. Might have been that puppy dog when you came in the door, shaking so hard, wanting to lick your face. Or a granddaughter giving you a hug. Or looking out and seeing that sunset over the water and feeling that magnificence of this divine love that surrounds you. It doesn’t matter what it was. When you feel it, you hit the access code. You’re in that place of love. At that moment it’s different, isn’t it? All those things we were struggling with, we aren’t struggling anymore. The things that were overwhelming that we didn’t understand, we understand. The anxiety we carried looks a lot more like peace. So simple. God is love. We just chose God.
Last Sunday we had Patricia Grabow here for a workshop. She had had an interesting experience. She was driving her car and got hit head on by a truck and died. And she came back to life. And she remembered what she had experienced. The only way she could describe it was “Love to the millionth power.” It is what is true. It is who you are. It is the only true reality of being. I find I go back to the amazing experience of Anita Moorjani. She had died after four years of cancer, her body completely depleted. After a time her body awoke. She left her hospital just a few weeks later cancer free. But she remembered what had happened in between. “I understood that at the core our essence is made of pure love. We ARE pure love, every single one of us. How can we not be if we come from the whole and return to it? I know that realizing this meant never being afraid of who we are. Therefore, being love and being our true self is one and the same thing.” That’s all we’re doing, just learning how to be who we really are.
When the critters found that Christopher Robin was leaving, Eeyore comprised a poem. As Christopher Robin was reading the poem all the critters seemed to fade away. As you’ve been doing this love thing, have you noticed how some of those “creatures” kind of fade away? There’s a little less Piglet/insecurity. There’s a little less Eeyore/grumpiness. So Winnie the Pooh, this beautiful unfolding soul, and Christopher Robin, this greater divine presence, go off. “By and by they go to this enchanted place on the very top of the forest. Sitting there they could see the whole world spread out until it reached the sky. And whatever there was all the world over was with them in Galleon’s Lap. (That enchanted place where they could see and understand it all.)”
There’s a teacher I love that talks about the same thing. She said, “…the secret place of the most high where each one of us may dwell and be safe from harm and fear of evil is the point of mystical union between man and Spirit, or God in us. Where we no longer believe but know that God in Christ abides always at the center of our being as our perfect health, deliverance, prosperity, power, ready to come forth into manifestation at any moment we claim it. We know it. We know it. We feel our oneness with the Father and we manifest that oneness.” —the wonderful Dr. Cady.
The access code to Spirit, to the “secret place of the most high”, is just love. The access code to Galleon’s Lap, just love. It’s very simple, that’s the only thing that matters. As we awaken we begin to step into who we are, that amazing experience of love. A wonderful man called me this week, a Unity minister who had had a brain aneurysm. His name is Gregory Guice. He was just calling to say, “Congratulations on your retirement.” I’d followed his recovery. He had spent three months in a coma. He said one of the beautiful things that happened during that time was that he got to connect with his daughter. She had died a number of years before. They got to be there in that heart to heart connection with each other. He told me it meant so much. He said he knew such peace! He knew that love. It’s who you are. That choice to choose love is the only real choice and all of you make that choice again and again. I know that because I’ve had the opportunity to see, to hear, to be aware of that, and how it touched those around us. What a difference it’s made in those who love you and struggle with you.
What a magnificent thing it is to see the light and the love that all of you are. I choose love. Again. I choose love. I choose love. This is when you might not have to be quite as attached to being right. I choose love. And this is for when you’re really really pissed off: I choose love. It’s for when you remember that you didn’t choose love and you start to do the guilt thing: I choose love.
You have made this world more filled with light, more filled with wholeness. The choice of your love has touched the fabric of humankind and it will never be the same. The power and the beauty of who you are is magnificent! There’s something that I like to remember. “Where ever they go, Pooh and Christopher Robin, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the forest, a little boy and his bear will always be playing.” In that little place, secret place of the most high, your soul and the very light and power of God will always be playing. And did you notice it ends by having fun?!! I love you all!
Rev. Sheila Gautreaux, L.U.T.
“The Art of Letting Go”
A mountain climber was playing Pokemon Go when he fell off a cliff. He grabbed at a branch sticking out from the mountainside. It stopped his fall. He looked down. He looked up. He cried out, “God, please save me. I’ll do anything!” The clouds parted and he heard a deep voice. “Do you trust me?” “Yes! I’ll do anything!” God repeated, “Do you really trust me?” “Yes! Yes!” “If you trust me, then let go.” The man looks down, and then looks up. “Is there anyone else up there?”
We do that. Sometimes our guidance can be a stretch. We don’t trust it. If the mountain climber had let go there was a ledge just a few inches below his feet, but he couldn’t see it.
There is so much going on in the world now we get confused. Charles Fillmore, in “Dynamics For Living”, said that it is essential we learn to let go to learn something new; that there is a balance between receiving and giving. It’s important we learn to let go.
The scripture I quoted on your handout is from Isaiah 43, “Remember not the former things…” which are the things that no longer serve that we’ve carried from childhood and young adulthood. They have shaped our lives, but a hand closed on the old isn’t open to the new. In Isaiah, God says, “I am doing a new thing…I will make a way in the wilderness (our uncultivated errant thoughts) and rivers (the flow of our vitality) in the desert (those dead things we carry that no longer serve but take up energy in our spirit and body of affairs).” Take for example, an old relationship or job that is no longer fulfilling, yet we stay and are miserable.
My favorite instructor in ministerial school was Dr. Robert Brumet, “Finding Yourself In Transition.” He wrote that each transition in life begins with an ending. But before the new beginning we must first let go. That brings the next stage, the void. We wander until we get to the new beginning. Many transitions are happening in our world and we are called to let go of old judgments, old habits, patterns and prejudices. Many of you are experiencing transitions in your lives right now. Right here, our Rev. David is leaving. We want to hang on, but God is doing a new thing. We must let Rev. David move forward on his new path. If we don’t let go we will be left in “the desert”.
Rev. Denise is coming but can only take us to the door. The ministerial search team is finding our new minister; our new minister will go through the door with us. So we have to let go. We have to prepare for this new thing God is placing in our path.
How do we release? How do we let go? I suggest several steps in the handout.
In step 1, if you have only a little willingness, give it to the Holy Spirit, who will take the necessary steps for you, (ACIM). In step 2 remember to do your work; you don’t want to get more of the same thing you had before. Step 3, there is really nothing to forgive because, as spiritual beings we learn on our spiritual path, and therefore nothing wrong really ever happened. Everyone can find good in those things we need to forgive. Step 4 is the void. It’s ok. Step 5, is ok. Get your cry on, your mad on; beat a pillow. In step 7. Celebrate!
We must Let go; let God. Let go; let God. Let go; let God.
I see for all of us an amazing future! I believe that you and I have the power to create infinite possibilities out of the challenges we are facing. I trust you and I trust God!
09/11/16 Rev. David McArthur
“A Jedi’s Guide to Growth in Consciousness”
Our story tellers so often give us information about our spiritual growth, like what it takes to grow into a higher consciousness, to change from the 3rd dimension to the 4th, to move from power to love. As we grow into a greater consciousness it is time to understand the way of the Force.
In a galaxy far, far away, the desire to control others is shown when the storm troopers show up. The need to control comes from our fear. It’s like our thoughts are sent out to tell everyone we are right! You know you are “in” power when you want to control those around you. But when we move into greater consciousness we perceive ourselves as wanting to empower those around us.
In the latest Star Wars episode, when a storm trooper is shot another trooper responds with compassion and removes his own helmet, and we have a personal experience with him as he sees he has to free himself from the thought of control. The thought is the male aspect. In another place a young lady, a scavenger (which is the lowest of their society) responds with compassion to a droid. This is the feminine aspect, the feeling of stepping into a greater consciousness.
Emilie Cady was deeply rooted in her spiritual knowledge. But she had a situation she was unable to transform. Her father, although innocent, was isolated, condemned, and, it’s my guess, incarcerated for years. In all her work she wasn’t able to free him of this. She wrote,
“One day while sitting alone in my room, my hands busy with other things, my heart cried out, “O God, stretch forth Thy hand and deliver!” Instantly the answer came “I have no hands but human hands. Your hand is my hand; stretch it forth spiritually and give whatsoever you will to whomsoever you will, and I will establish it.” Unquestioningly I obeyed… Within a few days my dear father came home a free man, justified, exonerated…”
We have to grow up. The spiritual power is expressed through us, our thoughts and feelings. It’s different from control. It’s what love does.
Emilie Cady had a weak ankle. Her understanding was that any place where her body was not whole was a place of unknown spirituality. So she stepped up to the perception, “There is only God. All else is a lie,” withdrawing any power she had given to a lesser perception (“evil” or the 2nd force), “because God is all that there is.” She was healed.
There is only God; there is only love. Again, There is only God; there is only love. Again, There is only God; there is only love. …for any situation in your life…to live in a place where there is only love, infinite love everywhere present…infinite power everywhere present…for every need, in every situation. When that feeling exists there is silence. We were in the Silence a short time ago. From the Silence thoughts and feelings flow out in infinite love. It’s an amazing journey and we’re all on it. May the Force be with you!