Ministers & Their Articles

CMC Active Ministers (41)

Thursday, 29 April 2021 08:07

The Courage to Confront the Ego

Written by
Dear Miracle Workers,
 
I am aware of the tremendous courage it takes to confront the ego. There is a profound bravery that we have to find when we challenge the the ego’s dark cornerstones – the sickness, aging, and inevitable death belief. There is an appearance of a very organized group of collaborators that I have labeled “the sickness and death lobby.” This group continues to advocate and argue for – lobby for – the reality of sickness and death.
 
We are living through the manifest example of the control the sickness and death lobby has. The current pandemic gives us examples enough. The divisiveness of the society – mask or not mask, vaccine or no vaccine – is just another example of the divisiveness we continue to see elsewhere (ie: government). The insanity of the world continues to manifest. “This is an insane world, and do not underestimate the actual extent of its insanity.” (OrEd.Tx.13.50)
 
Never underestimate the strength of the ego’s defense for its belief system. “The ego will begin to attack your motives as soon as they become clearly out of accord with its perception of you. This is when it will shift abruptly from suspiciousness to viciousness.” (OrEd.Tx.9.42) Just observe how vicious both sides of the pandemic debate can get when they see the “other side” as disagreeing. Watch them both resort to extreme guilt projection.
 
The best way for us to handle the seeming attack is to understand we not in this alone. We call on our Mighty Companions. All of us regular ACIM students gathering with the CMC are here for each other. We hold hands as we look at the ego. We find our courage; we find our sanity. “Only the sane can look on stark insanity and raving madness with pity and compassion but not with fear.” (OrEd.Tx.19.100)
 
(First appeared in *Miracles Weekly* #284, Apr. 27 2021)
Can we simply choose this? The answer is “Yes!”
 
I bring this up today as I have been observing a lot of discord in our world. People seem to be living in fear of losing their: jobs, homes, family, and freedom. I hear these concerns in daily conversations, in person and on social media. The appearance of a world divided is not what I know to be the truth. So instead of engaging with what I don’t believe or desire, I choose to trust in God, the All Good, All Love, and hear Jesus speak the truth through A Course in Miracles.
 
“I am determined to see things differently.” (OrEd.WkBk.21) First – choose this when experiencing something you don’t like. Know that what took place in your life before was perfect exactly as it appeared in your lifeline, and appropriately belongs in that spot of your evolution. But that moment is now past and you must make yourself available for the next moment’s vibrational pull today. No matter what was your life experience in the past, you can change it! The key to moving on from the past is letting go of the story that you repeat in your mind and stop sharing it out loud with others!
 
Lesson 132, “I loose the world from all I thought it was” teaches us this truth, “… that anyone is free to change his mind, and all his thoughts change with it. … You free the past from what you thought before. You free the future from all ancient thoughts of seeking what you do not want to find.” (OrEd.WkBk.132.2-3)
 
So now, embracing the vibration of Love, choose what you want to experience. How freeing it is to realize that the Divine Plan for us is whatever we choose it to be!
 
(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #283, Apr. 20 2021)
Wednesday, 14 April 2021 20:58

Are You Damn Well Ready?

Written by
Dear Miracle Workers,
 
It’s like momma not wanting to get outa that chair, not wanting to come outside to hear the birds singing, to see the green grass and feel the soft breeze. She’ll be the one that says when she’s damn well ready to get outa that chair!
 
That’s kinda how I’ve been about remembering who I am. I’ll be the one who decides when I accept who I am and thus end suffering. Why would I wait? Maybe this holds a false sense of power to be the one who decides? Maybe I’m not willing to quit suffering? Maybe even though there is some pain experienced in suffering, it still is a familiar and somehow odd comfort? “My death was meant to demonstrate that the end of suffering had come, and with it, eternal life.” (ACOL-D.Day2.24)
 
During Jesus’s time on earth most were not willing to accept the end of suffering. Jesus made his choice to end suffering.“We will crucify it upon the cross of time and space, bury it, so that it need be no more, and demonstrate that new life follows the choice to end suffering.” (ACOL-D.Day2:23) Now, we are willing to accept who we are. I hear this message of love everyday on the television, at the grocery store, in almost every song on the radio. I notice we are all speaking of love for one another. I know if I am experiencing these changes, you are too! "And in your willingness for this lies also your acceptance of yourself as you were meant to be." (OrEd.Tx.18.33)
 
What is stopping me or you from accepting our true Self? From accepting the end of suffering? The only thing stopping us is our choice. Maybe it is time to damn well make that choice!
 
(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #282, Apr. 13 2021)
Wednesday, 07 April 2021 21:55

The Window Is Open

Written by

Dear Miracle Workers,

I believe that we are currently in a “window of opportunity” – "a favorable opportunity for doing something that must be seized immediately.” We in the USA appear to be coming out of the pandemic now. The New York Times reports that rates of death have been dropping steadily since reaching a high seven day average of 3,352 on January 12. Yesterday, April 5, the 7 day average was 794. I am not going to speculate at what is causing this. At the level of cause it is, of course, the mind. Apparently the mind has decided to let this pandemic go. In the illusion one can cite vaccine distribution and mitigation strategies – if we are guided to.

What I feel is that people have grown tired of thinking and worrying about sickness. I believe a certain percentage of them are looking for something else. They may, on the surface, be happy about a vaccine being available and life returning more to normal. But deep inside they have a knowing that another virus could be right around the corner any time, and vaccines and mitigation are only temporary fixes. These are the ones who are currently “ripe” for A Course in Miracles and the true healing that solid practice of it brings.

I feel the Holy Spirit is asking for our help now. He will send to us the ones who can hear the miracle healing message we have to share. Holy Spirit will tell us who they are, and what to say to them. However we have to be ready. We have to not interfere. "[Holy Spirit] will tell you exactly what to do to help anyone He sends to you for help and will speak to him through you if you do not interfere." (OrEd.Tx.9.28) The window is open.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #281, Apr. 6 2021)

Thursday, 01 April 2021 12:00

Happy Easter — Time for Chocolate?

Written by

Dear Miracle Workers,

Easter is mentioned by name 12 times in the version of ACIM that I use. Christmas is only mentioned 5. Organized Christianity considers Easter to be the highest of holy days. Considering the frequency of mentions ACIM has, apparently Jesus considers it very important too. In the USA we tell people to be “merry” at Christmas, the usual greeting for Easter is “Happy Easter.” ACIM states, ”The time of Easter is a time of joy and not of mourning." (OrEd.Tx.20.4)

Considering the resurrection comes after the Good Friday crucifixion (aways made me wonder what was so “good” about it) the traditional Easter celebration was frequently tinged with the energy of torture and death. Plus organized Christianity tended to venerate the crucifixion itself. It made the cross the symbol of the faith. Many Christian churches have graphic, bloody, life size versions of Jesus (looking very much in pain) being crucified, prominently display in them. The one I grew up in did. Forty days of Lent focused on this painful event. Making a quick switch to joy and happy on Easter Sunday morning after 40 days of mourning was usually not very successful. ACIM spends lots of energy working to correct this misperception. "Let us not spend this holy week brooding on the crucifixion of God's Son, but happily in the celebration of his release. For Easter is the sign of peace, not pain." (OrEd.Tx.20.1)

Find something really fun to celebrate this Easter. The traditional Easter symbols are actually pagan fertility symbols – the rabbit, the egg. It’s associated with Spring and the birth of new life. While celebrating fertility might not be the most practical thing (maybe it is for some) a little happy chocolate indulgence might go a long way to bring some manifested joy to the faces of many.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #280, Apr. 1 2021)

Thursday, 25 March 2021 06:22

God Is the Love in Which We Forget

Written by
Dear Miracle Workers,
 
Lesson 46 teaches “God is the love in which I forgive.” For me, an easier way of doing this lesson is to say: “God is the love in which I forget.” The goal is to forget all that we think we need to forgive. Why?
 
We have God’s Love, but can’t know that Love until we make room for it. Every past thing that we remember as painful, whether small or large, done to us or by us, takes up space that Love could and would fill if the space were open. To open the space simply requires that we, in this present moment, completely drop the story we’ve been remembering about what happened. The present moment is the only moment. If we can keep the present moment free of the past, Love will fill the space. To allow Love to fill the space is forgiveness. Make a decision to simply forget.
 
Is it that easy? When we look at a tree or a bird or a flower, it is not hard to think of it as being in harmony with God. We do not think of the tree as thinking of itself as somehow separate from nature, from God. The tree does not think. It just is. It exists in harmony – as do the flower and the bird. To see others as God does, see them as a tree, or a bird, or a flower, existing in harmony with God. On a level that our eyes cannot see, that is the truth of who they are…and of who we are.
 
(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #279, Mar. 23 2021)
Saturday, 20 March 2021 21:24

This World Is a Dream

Written by

Dear Miracle Workers,

I’ve heard a few A Course in Miracles teachers throughout the years say that this world is a school. Apparently many different spiritual teachings say this. I understand if that’s helpful to them, but the Course makes it clear that the world is a dream. I guess I'm a purist. I find the Course to be very literal and very direct. We are here to forgive the dream. "I am upset because I see something that is not there." (OrEd.WkBk.6) Clearly I must be hallucinating. In fact, I think the whole Course is based on the fact that we are already home in God dreaming that we are separate.

So, how is it a school? We are here to remember our identity. "Your goal is to find out who you are." (OrEd.WkBk.62.2) "Your picture of the world can only mirror what is within." (OrEd.WkBk.73.5) I understand to a degree (pun intended) that these lessons make it sound like a school, but a school also implies that it takes time. And time is not real. Plus, the Holy instant can take you straight to God. "We will succeed today if you remember that you will salvation for yourself." (OrEd.WkBk.73.8) It means you can reach God today.

It's really not important whether you believe it's a school or not, except you might be tempted to relax your practice and coast a little. Getting your degree takes hard work and a lot of study, and although the Course takes discipline I'd like to remind us all that miracles are natural and happen without effort. Allow the Course to be easy, because in truth, it is. Use the idea of school only if it's helpful and drop it if it interferes with your progress.

Blessings

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #278, Mar.16 2021)

The Course message about absolute power is a challenging thing. Many shy away from claiming this, and usually approach the Course with the idea of incremental, and therefore limited, increases in power. However the Course is clear that there is nothing our holiness cannot do. In other words, our power is infinite, unlimited, and … absolute! "Your holiness, then, can remove all pain, can end all sorrow, and can solve all problems. It can do so in connection with yourself and with anyone else." (OrEd.WkBk.38.2) There is no time like the present moment (actually there is no time but the present moment) to claim our unlimited power. The world tells us that “absolute power corrupts absolutely” but ACIM tells us just the opposite. Absolute power saves us and heals us absolutely. Join us on Sunday as we allow the teaching here to transform our experience of self. "Your holiness reverses all the laws of the world. It is beyond every restriction of time, space, distance, and limits of any kind. Your holiness is totally unlimited in its power because it establishes you as a Son of God, at one with the Mind of his Creator." (OrEd.WkBk.38.1) 23m. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Thursday, 11 March 2021 22:50

Desire Is the Key

Written by
Dear Miracle Workers,
 
Recently, I was thinking about healing in life because some friends were experiencing life from the standpoint of grievances. You can feel their pain and suffering. I realized that when grievances rule your life, you can not receive the gifts of God. I thought about the years before I discovered A Course in Miracles when I believed that I was powerless over so many things in my life. I was powerless over my past, other people and wounds that seem to recycle in a persistent manner. I experienced periods of hell that is the ego’s gift to us and our perceived powerlessness. A Course in Miracles woke me up to another possibility!
 
The desire to be the Son of God is more powerful than our grievances! We must decide for ourselves that we have the power in our Minds to transform the seemingly intransigent pain from the past. We cannot embrace victimhood if we choose to be free. A Course in Miracles asks the Son of God, “Do I desire a world where I am powerful instead of helpless?” (FIP.21:VII:5:12) Well, do you? Sometimes, it’s a hard choice to stop “clinging to the old rugged cross.” (FIP.4:Intro:3:7) This willingness leads us to a better place.
 
The essential reality of our lives is that we must desire to change our thinking with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit! The desire to renounce bondage, rage, guilt and sin which counsels misery and fear preached by the ego appears impossible. When we decide to replace it the Holy Spirit’s still and gentle voice may be subtle, but it is enormously consequential. “You are not this littleness, my child ..." says the spirit. "You are love, joy, and peace eternal. It is your present and eternal future.” Pray for this desire when It seems impossible. Pray for this desire when it seems improbable. Pray for this desire until you experience peace and see innocence everywhere. Amen.
 
(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #277, Mar. 11 2021)

(Have a piece of birthday cake ready to eat on Sunday – Honestly!!) Sunday March 7th the CMC celebrates its 34th birthday. On the 1st Sunday of March in 1987 Rev. Tony Ponticello and Rev. Larry Bedini (our co-founders) met with a handful of others to have our first meeting as the new legal entity the Community Miracles Center! This Sunday we celebrate that momentous day. As a special celebration every one of our 8 CMC Board Members will take a part in the Sunday Gathering and also say a few words about what this day means for them. Rev. Tony will give the main address. After we sing "Happy Birthday" we’ll all eat a piece of cake together so have a piece of cake ready for after the Gathering. If you are thinking of getting us a “birthday present” consider a special $34 donation – $1 for every terrific year of service to the ACIM Community. A couple of people have already done just that that. 22m. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

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  • Rev. Paula Carpe is CMC minister #125. She was ordained Feb. 14, 2021. She teaches CMC's Wed. morning 9:00 a.m.…