October 26, 2014 – Transitions

10/26/14 Sheila Gautreaux, L.U.T.

Look at what’s going on—ebola and terrorism in our own country, even changes in our own congregation. The best book I’ve read on change is Robert Brumet’s Finding Yourself in Transition. He says that change is similar to rights of passage. It is inevitable and extremely painful. But the suffering is optional. When we have a drastic, unexpected change in our lives it is a kind of death. Something we had depended on, loved, and felt we needed is ripped away. Our impulse is to grieve it. But we can embrace it.

Like the Israelite’s journey out of Egypt and through the wilderness to the Promised Land, there are stages to our transitions as identified by Brumet. First is Endings. You’ve lost your feeling of safety, or your health. You retire or become an “empty nester”. There is disengagement, followed by disidentification—you are no longer a husband or wife, or part of a unit, or one of the healthy. You move into disenchantment, where you have lost your faith in love, or in your employability, and so on, even your faith in God. You feel lost, hopeless, discouraged. You don’t know who you are anymore. You are disoriented. But when you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hold on!

The second stage of transition is the Void. As the Israelites did, you are wondering in the wilderness. It doesn’t feel very good. Your only connection is to the God of your understanding. But know you are being guided. It is painful but it also has purpose. It is said that this is the point at which suicides occur. Don’t give up. The light is just around the corner. You are like a seed in the soil that has lost it’s covering, but now you can send down roots and grow into a strong new plant ready to bloom and bear fruit. You are being reborn into a more perfect self. You can appreciate the beautiful transition moving through you. You have the tools and ability to move forward into the unknown without giving up. In my Void, I was literally on the carpet with the pain, but then I saw clearly what it was for. I saw a new vision, a new way of being, the third stage of transition. It brought me to Unity.

Each time we set out on a journey that is pulling us away from what we feel we can’t live without, there is this divine spark within that will lead us through. It empowers us. Understand the power of transition. This is an inside job. You will know yourself more deeply than before. Keep making the effort to let go, to open to what Spirit has for you. Trust. Each transition lifts you to a higher level.

There is so much change in our lives right now. Expect the good, the Promised Land. What shows up isn’t what you prayed for, but what you expect. Trust. Expect. “…and goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life.”


October 19, 2014 – Where God Is, I Am

10/19/14 Rev. David McArthur
Where God Is, I Am

Years ago I was in a city on the West Bank. It was in a very very old part with stone walls and a bazaar. I heard shots and bullets hitting above me, and stone chips fell on me. Looking back at this I realize now that I had no fear in those moments, but a sense of connectedness and clarity. I knew what to do and how to do it. I got out safely. I see now that I didn’t even have to try to get to my heart and ask how. I had a divine connection that was real and there was no room for fear. I didn’t have to know how. It took care of me. When I needed it, it was there. It had been growing in my everyday activities for years. But how do you do that?

Prayer and meditation work, but I use another type of meditation more. Jesus said the greatest law is, “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” I was a teenager when I first thought about this: “Love the Lord thy God…” I didn’t even like Him—an arbitrary God who loved one club but not the other club that didn’t have “it”; a God really into punishment, who had a sense of emotional maturity that has now even been surpassed by my three year old granddaughter! Loving that God was too hard for me.

Jesus went on to say “…with all thy heart…” But loving can be hard even in a NORMAL family where there are many challenges to learning love. However, there is an easier way. Just enter into the feeling of love. Just remember loving. It’s a wonderful feeling. I often recall the magnificent mountains I’ve seen—the rivers, the animals. Or those glorious sunsets over a still ocean, or even the beauty of just a single flower, and the wondrous Creator of all of it. Or the beauty you see in friends, children, spouses. My heart can include that.

But Jesus also said “…and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind…” That’s a part of us that has no limit, far beyond this human body thing. Wow! Love with that! Bring the feeling up from the heart to the mind which then becomes clear, and the experience expands.

Then He said “Love thy neighbor as thy self.” Jesus’ focus was on those in need of compassion, as in the Good Samaritan. But feel you are connected with humanity as yourself; bring that love in and appreciate who you are. Let that in. Loving our neighbors and loving ourselves is a state of being. It is who we are, our true nature. And you know what? There is no fear in that. Breathe that feeling. It’s a simple place. My experience is the more I touch there, the more it touches me. So daily I use a line from the Prayer of Protection: “Where ever I am, God is.” “Where ever I am, God is.” “Where ever I am, God is.”

It creates that state of consciousness in us. Rumi said it this way: “The Lord is in me, and the Lord is in you… look for Him within you. When I sit in the heart of His world A million suns blaze with light, A burning blue sea spreads across the sky, Life’s turmoil falls quiet, All the stains of suffering wash away… This is the music Of soul and soul meeting… This is the music That transcends all coming and going.”

And it’s there! Where I am, God is. Feel that Presence! Where you are, God is—because you are! Bless you!


October 12, 2014 – From Fear to Wisdom

10/12/14 Rev. David McArthur
From Fear to Wisdom

We talked about letting go of the fear by saying I gently cherish God’s Presence in you. We have many chances to gently cherish God’s Presence in those who bring out our fear.

In the gospel of John, “God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them… If we love each other, God lives in us… There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” When seeing from the heart, there is intuitive, spiritual intelligence. It sees the Presence, the goodness, the love of God. There is no fear.

In Matthew, “For this people’s heart has become callous [we shut ourselves off from our heart with fear and hurt] and they hardly hear with their ears [we do not hear our guidance] and they do not see with their eyes [we do not see the presence of God]. Otherwise they might see with their eyes [see the beautiful abundance and caring which is the nature of the divine, and on a deeper level see the differences among us fall away]. If they turn I will heal them.”

Turn within, where the power, the wholeness, the wisdom, the Divine is. You’ve had that guidance that bears wisdom and direction again and again.

Lao Tzu said, “There is no greater illusion than fear, no greater wrong than preparing to defend yourself, no greater misfortune than having an enemy. Whoever can see through all fear will always be safe.” It’s amazing to have no fear. What a way to live!

We are beginning to know this. This is Breast Cancer Awareness month. The campaign has become a vision of wholeness and wellness. At first based on fear, the attitude changed, and that is what creates. They saw that this was something to be created on a higher level. Years ago a member of our community told me her doctors had given her a very short time to live. There was nothing more they could do. But she moved beyond her fear. She asked her internal guidance and got a clear message to go to another health care system, and now such an appreciation for God’s love and support flows through her! But first she got rid of the fear. So this week, focus on I gently cherish God’s Presence in me. Whether we’re afraid or not, it is there. It’s just sometimes it’s hard to hear it. We have open hearts that love is holding and unfolding. I am lovingly guided every moment. It is there. You are the presence and power of that wisdom. Fear is the illusion. We’re all here to transform the world and the whole world is set up to let us do it! So Have fun!


September 28, 2014 – Eeyore’s New Consciousness

9/28/14 Rev. David McArthur
Eeyore’s New Consciousness

Growing spiritually, you notice that “something is unfolding in me.” Questions come up as we’re drawn on the journey. So I looked at all kinds of scripture and ended up in the Hundred Acre Woods, and it’s Eeyore’s birthday.

Pooh walked up. “Good morning!” Eeyore answered, “If it is a good morning.” He commented about all the presents and cake he didn’t get. Some of us do Eeyore very well (“Ain’t it awful!” “Life’s so hard!”). Pooh realized everybody forgot Eeyore’s birthday, and tore off to his house to find Eeyore a present. He’d give him honey! He passed by Piglet and told him what he was going to do. Piglet had a balloon he could give Eeyore and he ran home to get it. He wanted to get to Eeyore before Pooh got back so Eeyore would think he had thought of Eeyore’s birthday himself, so he held the balloon very tightly and ran fast. He tripped, and BANG!, the balloon popped! Pooh was hurrying, too, but realized with a tingle that he was hungry, and look!—there’s a pot of honey under his arm! Yes, soon it was all gone. Then he realized he had no honey to give Eeyore, just an empty pot—Oh! He could give Eeyore the pot! When we start toward that new state of consciousness it doesn’t mean the old consciousness is gone. The old consciousness still affects our creation. Our balloons pop and honey is eaten.

Pooh gave Eeyore the pot without any honey in it, and told him he could put things in it and also take them out. Piglet dropped the piece of balloon in the pot, and Eeyore took it out and put it in, and took it out and put it in, quite delighted to have a pot to put things in and take things out of, and delighted too to have something to put in it and take from it. He was as happy as can be, in a new state of consciousness.

The truth is they thought they wanted Eeyore to have balloons and honey, but they really wanted to change his unhappy state to a happy one. They brought connection, care, and love. A new consciousness was born.

From Corinthians, “Love is patient. Love is kind.” Take care of yourself in your growth, with patience and kindness. We’re good at giving these to others, but how do we treat ourselves? Instead of looking at yourself harshly, do it with patience and kindness.
I grow with patience and kindness. I grow with patience and kindness. I grow with patience and kindness.

Eeyore figured it out. It was his choice to accept love and care on his journey. The love and care lets us choose for ourselves to go where our heart is telling us to go—where that amazing state of consciousness calls us to grow.


September 21, 2014 – Send Healing Love

9/21/14 Rev. David McArthur
Send Healing Love

Today is the UN’s International Day of Peace and is our chance to join in prayers for peace with others of all religions around the world. All people share an understanding, a consciousness, like an energy grid. The more we fill it with the consciousness of peace, the more we will see a greater consciousness of peace in the world. Our prayers and intentions are a part of that. However, I was watching the news about ISIS and the beheadings, and when I asked myself then what I was contributing to the grid, peace was not a part of my contribution.

One of those wonderful mystics we have been gifted with, Black Elk, wrote,“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 … [that] at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that its center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.” I was forced to admit it is there in those people in the news. And in me. How can I get there?

I can start by being aware that I contribute to the lack of peace, but also that I have choice. I can focus my awareness, and respond with a state of peace within myself. But then I remembered my favorite spiritual leader didn’t say “Send peace to your enemies”; He said “Love your enemies”. Wow! That’s bigger than peace. How do I do that? I looked at how I perceived the people in that violence. I could find nothing to love. I knew that conflict comes out of pain, and I saw great pain and fear in these people with swords and guns. I also saw that peace does not heal pain. But when we step into the flow of love there is power there that changes us all.

I’d like to send love to those people in violence, in pain. Let’s go to the tremendous love in our own hearts. Now turn your attention to those people on TV with the swords and guns. Black Elk said the presence of the Great Spirit is within each of those. To them say, “I do not know your world, your pain, your fear, but I know that within you is the presence of Divine Love which loves you just as you are, without limit or condition. It can flow through you and heal your pain. We ask that for you. Mother Father God, we ask that their fear dissolves and they discover Your Divine Love and that it flows through them.

“We do not wish you suffering. We do not ask for justice. We ask the grace of God flow through your lives and that you are healed and free. We know this Divine Love can heal your hearts and we ask it be so here and now. Amen.”

There might be others at home, at work, who do not find peace in their worlds. When you see them with pain, send them God’s love. I send you God’s love. I send you God’s love. I send you God’s love. That is the moment when peace is created!


September 14, 2014 – Where Am I?

9/14/14 Sheila Gautreaux, L.U.T.
Where Am I?

The universe conspires to lead us in the direction in which we will be fulfilled. It’s our curriculum as souls for evolving to our highest consciousness. It’s our spiritual journey. When you are on your journey of spiritual evolution, your old belief systems just don’t disappear. In the parable of the new wine in the old wine skins, wine means the essence of life; old wine means our old belief systems. Putting the new wine in the old skins bursts the old skins. So, like in the parable of the weeds sown with the wheat, let the new beliefs grow to maturity along side the weeds. Then the weeds, like the old wine skins can be discarded.

Emily Cady, in Lessons In Truth, asks if we are in liberty or bondage. Most of us were raised in a church other than Unity. Many of us needed to be free of those beliefs. Something happened to propel us to a new thought teaching. It was something which punctuated our equilibrium (an interruption in your balance). It interrupts the normal flow of our lives. It changes something in the brain, which is wired to then seek a new balance, some place within for dealing with the situation. This is in a natural order to allow us to get to the next level of consciousness. These things aren’t to hurt or harm us. As we evolve, the universe evolves. The greater our consciousness, the greater the consciousness of the universe. Then we find a new balance in our lives. But “punctuating equilibrium” won’t stop until we’re dead.

Our evolution is within. Be in the present moment. If you are in the past or in the future, you are nowhere. Your point of power is in the present. Each of these situations is a learning experience. If you are willing to see that, you are 90% toward resolution of a situation. Each offers another opportunity for healing. So ask, “What is this for?”

Then forgive; forgive the other person for bringing this, and forgive the person before who brought it. And forgive yourself. We judge our experience by the past and project it into the future, thus carrying it with us all the time. The key is to be in freedom, to be in the now. My point of power is in the present moment. My point of power is in the present moment. My point of power is in the present moment.

The power within me is greater than the situation before me. The power within me is greater than the situation before me. The power within me is greater than the situation before me.

That’s your freedom and evolution! Affirm Be still. Let it go. And let it be.


September 7, 2014 – Prayer of Connection

9/7/14 Rev. David McArthur
Prayer of Connection

Early one morning this week I was on the road in redwood country. The beauty of the trees and hills in the fog and then in the dappled morning sun was almost overwhelming. When you’re in the middle of so much beauty, look at how gorgeous our world is and the amazing Presence we find ourselves in. It is easy to touch such beauty. It opens my heart and invites me in. But the blessings that flow through our lives, moment after amazing moment are so much more. There is something else—a connection. We are one with it. Our minds are quite incapable of knowing it, but we feel it—a oneness with the connector.

The mind goes to the most concrete thing; it’s how it works. The mind makes the connection, but the heart experiences the connector. It’s always there. I say, “Thank You God!”, but then the mind says who are you talking to? What are you talking to? At times it’s Jesus or God, or even Mary or Krishna, but it doesn’t matter. Whatever we want to call It, It is there! As long as I allow the connection, it’s just fine. The focus on prayer brings us closer. Pray, Thank You God! Thank You God! Thank You God!

Angela Tucker, in the “Daily Word”, awakened from a coma of six weeks to find herself in a hospital bed, and that her husband had not survived their automobile accident. Her survival, as well, was in question. And then she found her ability to function was in question. So she drew on her love for her family and friends, and theirs for her. It was a couple of years before she returned to her home in New York. There she formed prayer connections with others, particularly a prayer partner. They don’t focus on circumstances, but instead, “We focus on knowing the truth that God is always present, no matter the situation or need.” She began to go beyond the simple awareness of the presence of God to a conscious connection with the Presence in every moment.

I know we all have done it, and I know too how hard it is at times. I do know the more we do it in those times of beauty when it is easier, the easier it is in the times of darkness. So when I wake up in the morning, I say, Thank You God! Thank You God! Thank You God! And then there’s a hot steaming cup of coffee, Thank You God! Thank You God! Thank You God! And there’s a computer crash and I don’t have to check email, Thank You God! Thank You God! Thank You God!

We are in the presence of unlimited goodness, infinite eternal pure love constantly poured into us! It’s morning! There’s coffee! It’s beautiful! It’s pure love!