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What's Love Got to Do With It?

by Rev. Tony Ponticello

Classic Tina Turner

lasic Tina Turner

Later on she says, "What's love got to do with it? What's love but a sweet old fashioned notion?" I hear this as Tina trying to ignore that there is something within her, that is loving, that wants to go to love. Yet she's afraid of it, and she wants to just make it this physical, biological thing. That she can handle – maybe, maybe not – but she's trying to make it strictly a physical thing. She's trying to ignore the love that is underneath that. However, you get the impression from the song that eventually she succumbs to the love. 

A Course In Miracles says, "The confusion of miracle impulses ..." or love impulses, "... with physical impulses ..." or maybe what feels like sexual impulses, "... is a major source of perceptual distortion because it induces, rather than straightens out, the basic level confusion .... Inappropriate physical impulses (or misdirected miracle impulses) result in conscious guilt if expressed and depression if denied. All real pleasure comes from doing God's will." (OrEd.Tx.1.104)

I like that it doesn't really give us much option here. (laughter)  If we feel these physical impulses they are misdirected love impulses, and I guess we only have two choices. One is to express them, and the other is to ignore them. If we express them we'll feel guilty. If we ignore them we'll feel depressed. I'll go for guilt. (laughter) I think I can handle the guilt. I can rise above the guilt. I don't want to be depressed. 

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A New Year from the Time of Christ

by Rev. Tony Ponticello

San Francisco New Year's Eve Fireworks at Pier 14

San Francisco New Year's Eve Fireworks at Pier 14

 I do want to make one thing clear. This is a little pet peeve of mine. The time of Christ is about the Christ nature being born within us. It's not truly about the time of Jesus' birth, though we usually associate it with Jesus, or our society associates Jesus' birth with the celebration at this time of year. But A Course In Miracles is really clear that the time of Christ is about the Christ being born within us. I think that is important.

I also think it's important for Course students to practice not confusing the word "Jesus" with the word "Christ." That is what society has done, and that is the way traditional Christianity has done it for years. The words have become synonymous for most people. When people are referring to Jesus they say, "Christ," meaning "Jesus." However I think we ACIM students could serve ourselves, and serve others who we talk to, better if we really got clear on the fact that "Jesus" is not synonymous with "Christ." When ACIM says "Christ," it's not referring to "Jesus." If we want to refer to Jesus, we should say "Jesus" and not say "Christ." I'm going to be on that this year. I've been through this issue before. Especially for us here at the Community Miracles Center, can we be aware of this, think about it, and try not to mix those words up? I think it's important.

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Along the Path to Enlightenment Crucifixion Happens - Then What?

by Rev. Peter Graham

3 Crosses on Calvary through Tomb Entrance

3 Crosses on Calvary through Tomb Entrance

In my own experience, what I've learned as an A Course In Miracles student, is that when I'm in my crucifixion moments I get a little more willingness then. What the Course says is that our miscreations have a limit. I think that's what Jesus tells us in A Course in Miracles  – you can miscreate but he and the Holy Spirit are only going to let you go so far. The more you grow as a Course student, the more you experience enlightenment, you experience those good feelings.You come to Sunday Service, and you feel the love here that is vibrating. Well I can have that or I can have my suffering. Which am I going to choose? 

Now, another thing that I sometimes want to do is what I call "spiritual bypass surgery." In essence this is the ineffective way in which we try to deal with our suffering using the cover of spirituality. I'm going to share with you some things that I have done. One thing I have done is to try to anticipate my ego. I'm a high school teacher, so in the summertime, because I have time off,  I tend to meditate more. I think about all the things in my workplace or in my life that bother me. Whatever, sometimes relationships, but a lot of times my workplace. I have several colleagues I work with who have been challenging. I pray for them, and I forgive them. I visualize this and that. Then I get back the first day at work and it's the same. I have the same kind of challenges. That has taught me that my healing usually needs to take place in the midst of the crucifixion. When the darkness is coming up I need to address it then. I need to pray then. I need to ask for the miracle. I need to use my spiritual tools and technology.

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Serious About Relationships

by Rev. Tony Pontiello

Rev. Beatrice and Jon Franklin

Rev. Beatrice Theodorou and Jon Franklin Hold Hands During Their Recent Wedding Ceremony

A Course In Miracles says, "Teach no one that he is what you would not want to be. Your brother is the mirror in which you see the image of yourself as long as perception lasts." (T-7.VII.3.8-9) That's the new perception. The person we thought we were having a relationship with is not another person. It's us! This person is reflecting some aspect of ourselves. If there's something about this other person that we don't like, that's something in ourselves that we need to: look at, re-perceive, forgive, shift our perception on, and offer up to the Holy Spirit. And, we're not supposed to get involved with showing someone how they are, in some way, something that we would not want to be.

I spent most of my life doing that. I spent the first 27, 28, 29 years doing just that. I did it with my sisters; I did it with my parents. I did it with all of my early relationships. All those relationships were very problematic — until I got into the Course. It wasn't that I didn't love those people. I had love for those people but they just needed to do something a little bit different for me to be happy. My mother needed to be different; my father needed to be different. My sisters needed to be different. All my early relationships needed to be just a little bit different. If they would only listen to me. I was bright. (laughter) Why wouldn't they listen to me!? (laughter) I tried to prove to them how bright and educated I was so that they would listen to me! They just did what they did. (more laughter)

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CMC Mission Statement

" The Community Miracles Center is a worldwide community for anyone who is interested in the spiritual teaching A Course in Miracles. We are on the "Great Crusade" in learning how to forgive the world that we are in. We do that by LISTENING to guidance from Holy Spirit or our Higher Power, LEARNING about true cause and effect, and actively DOING things to shift the errors in perception. Our mission is to transform the world we see into a reflection of Heaven and manifest the "Real World." We do this locally, nationally, and internationally "