Rev. Joanie Schaeffer-Goss

Rev. Joanie Schaeffer-Goss

Rev. Joanie Schaeffer-Goss is CMC Minister #71. She was ordained on Feb. 16, 2014. She co-facilitates the "Southern Spirit Sisters" Fri. 4 p.m. (Pac.) Zoom! meeting. Zoom ID: 9424 662 0530

Tuesday, 14 June 2022 02:43

What the Heck?!

Dear Miracle Worker,

ACIM is so easy that there are times I simply refuse to do it. Refusing Spirit’s guidance is so ignorant and so insane that shame and guilt keeps me from returning. I have to admit that I still want “my way” in the dream. That’s what causes my insane decision for more insanity. But Spirit is never completely shut out. I’m still receiving guidance! It’s just quieter. That means I didn’t really choose insanity.

“Let Him be judge of what you are, for He has certainty in which there is no doubt …. Let Him be judge as well of everything that seems to happen to you in this world. … Let Him evaluate each thought that comes to mind, remove the elements of dreams, and give them back to you as clean ideas that do not contradict the Will of God.” (OrEd.WkBk.

Wait. What?! You mean that’s all I have to do? Just be willing? Just be willing to see things differently? Just be willing to hear the guidance? Just be willing to hear the Voice for God? What the heck! I forgot! I completely forgot! I’ve been rolling around in my ego garbage thinking there was more to do in order to return to God! There’s a part in the Course that says we’re apt to be personally insulted that we are not asked to do more. Hilarious when you really think about it! To do more is to interfere!

The Course says how to do it, “And we lift our hearts in true humility.” (OrEd.WkBk.152.10) Another part of the Course says to forget everything including this Course and come empty handed unto God. Easy! We can all do this. Let’s not let our mesmerizing stories stop or delay us. No shame and no guilt need stay with us anymore.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #341, June 14 2022)

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Tuesday, 01 February 2022 01:19

Faith and Simplicity

Dear Miracle Workers,

Don’t we all love the early lessons? I know I do.

They are so direct and so easy to apply. The only question is, how often will I apply them? "There is no problem in any situation that faith will not solve." (OrEd.Tx.17.65) And so, I remind myself to put faith in God’s interpretation of what’s going on instead of my own. I practice the lessons with faith that I will be shown or told exactly what to do or say. "Had you not lacked the faith it could be solved, the problem would be gone." (OrEd.Tx.17.65) Adding faith to my lessons has helped suspend my judgments.

I’m practicing more simply. “The practical application of the Holy Spirit’s purpose is extremely simple, but it is unequivocal. … Now He will work with you to make it specific [for application is specific]." (OrEd.Tx.17.57) Remembering not to interfere is the key to having miracles. Interferences from the fearful mind is what the ego does best. It’s constantly telling me some piece of a story and then I think and act as if it were true. It’s apparent that the ego does nothing but tell stories to justify its judgments, but I’m the one deciding to believe it or not. It’s not the judgments or stories that I fear but the making them seem real that’s terrifying. I’m being asked to apply the ideas to the fearful, not to decide whether or not to believe it. Just listening without reacting to the thoughts. Now that’s a lot simpler. I don’t have to admonish myself for having the thought but simply add a truth thought and watch how Spirit will do the work for me. I’m not to judge my judgments. And so, I’ll keep it as simple as I can.


(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #322, Feb. 1 2022)

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Thursday, 09 December 2021 05:45


Dear Miracle Workers,

Sometimes I forget to apply the Course. I think it’s because I know it’ll work, which means I’m willing to suffer some more. It’s okay that I’m willing to suffer and sacrifice, but I remind myself that I’m doing it. The ego has no power. The ego is not making me do or think anything I’m not willing to agree with. Since the ego is senseless and vicious I have to remember that I’m willing to listen to its siren song. It’s like an addiction.

However the goal of happiness is attainable if I remember that real power beyond my little self is in me. “God is indeed your strength. And what He gives is truly given. … Your passage through time and space is not random. You cannot but be in the right place at the right time. Such is the strength of God. Such are His gifts.” (OrEd.WkBk.42.2)

That’s true motivation! There are no accidents, and God goes with us wherever we go. It doesn’t matter why I’m still attracted to guilt, pain, and suffering. It only matters that there’s a way out. So, I’m determined to get out of my head space and into practicing. That’s where I’ll find God. And that, my friends, is motivation. When I remember why the heck I do A Course in Miracles then I’m immediately brought back to truth. “It is quite possible to reach God. In fact it is very easy because it is the most natural thing in the world.” (OrEd.WkBk.41.7)

I want it easy, and so when I’m in pain or any kind of suffering I remind myself gently that I do not need to go through this. There is another way. I choose once again the easy, simple way to God. And I practice.

Send CMC a tax-deductible donation via PayPal or your Credit Card to support this work. "Thank you!"

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #316, Nov. 7 2021)

Tuesday, 19 October 2021 03:57

Clear Guidance

Dear Miracle Workers,

If you started the lessons at the 1st of the year then you’re well into the second half of the Workbook. For whatever reason, I am less vigilant with these later lessons. Finally admitting that to myself, I clearly got the message to start them over. I mention this because I didn’t chastise myself for not being vigilant nor did I feel compelled to finish the lessons like they’re a homework assignment. I was just being completely honest. I let go of my concern and obligation to finish the lessons and remembered that "There are no small upsets. They are all equally disturbing to my peace of mind." (OrEd.WkBk.5.6)

I have happily started over. I seem to need the early clear cut ideas to remind me that getting guidance is easy all the time. I sometimes forget that. The goal is to ask and then to accept the guidance. The goal is not to finish the lessons.

“I am not worried about [ finishing the lessons ] for the reason I think.” (OrEd.WkBk.5.11) I am willing to see things differently. In that willingness I am free.

Of course we are supposed to use all the lessons all the time in order to free our minds, but I’ve had a lot going on lately with caring for my elderly father, renovating my house, and the sudden seeming death of a friend. So, getting clear guidance came as a relief.

“There is another way of looking at this.” (OrEd.WkBk.33.4) "My happiness and my function are one." (OrEd.WkBk.66) "Only God's plan for salvation will work." (OrEd.WkBk.71)

These ideas relieve my mind from all effort and remind me to keep it simple. I want to be happy, and I recognize that I’ve been miserable. Thank God for the lessons. They have brought me back to my one function.

Send CMC a tax-deductible donation via PayPal or your Credit Card to support this work. "Thank you!"

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #309, Oct. 19 2021)

Thursday, 29 July 2021 22:39

A Seeker No Longer

Dear Miracle Workers,

I have a friend who loves to talk about UFOs, strange phenomena and people who can channel. When we are together she shares what she has recently learned or recently read about these topics - all of which are interesting. It’s a lot of fun, but I’ll never forget what Holy Spirit reminded me of when she wanted to take me to see a medium, “You have found. You are a seeker no more.”

All of these various topics are interesting, but talking to your higher self supersedes everything. The Holy Spirit’s clarity and peace is beyond anything I have ever experienced.

I’m friends with a medium and friends with a psychic. I’ve even seen a UFO twice. But A Course in Miracles now that’s interesting!! It has taught me and shown me things and never ceases to amaze me. The sheer depth of its teaching is truly awesome. “God's blessing shines upon me from within my heart where He abides. I need but turn to Him, and every sorrow melts away as I accept His boundless Love for me.” (OrEd.W.1.187) Oh yes, I have found. It is my true path and my only passion. I am eternally grateful for this book and for the mighty companions who walk this path with me and in gratitude, I thank you all.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #297, Jul. 29 2021)

Tuesday, 25 May 2021 12:00

Your Practice Is Important

Dear Miracle Workers,

As I practice using the Course I sometimes forget why I’m doing it. Sometimes I get caught up in how often I have practiced and judge myself on whether or not I’ve had a miracle as often as I used to have them. All this is simply more madness from my ego. Recently, I was taking a walk and I was thinking again that I hadn’t had a miracle in a while. That’s when it popped into my head (thank you, Holy Spirit) that it was still important to practice the ideas. The ideas themselves are healing and upholding the One Mind. I had never realized that before. Simply repeating the ideas in my mind is helpful.

The miracle is always there, but I am still practicing whether I have a miracle or not. We are each here to help one another remember. My remembering is helping my brothers as well as myself. That thought has helped to release me from “trying” to have a miracle or judging myself about it. I know that’s my ego, but somehow I’ve been freed from all concern about it. Now I’m just willing to practice. “The overall aim of the exercises is to increase your ability to extend the ideas you will be practicing to include everything.” (FIP.WkBk.Intro.7) So, I am happy just to practice.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #288, May 25, 2021)

Saturday, 20 March 2021 21:24

This World Is a Dream

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.


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

Friday, 05 March 2021 23:57

The Purpose of the World

Dear A Course in Miracles Students,
The purpose of the world from the ego's view is to get whatever you can however you can and do it before you die. Oh – and you’re always right and everyone else is wrong. And compare yourself and your progress of "getting and knowing" (being right) to everyone you meet. Then ... you die. That's the ego’s purpose. The Holy Spirit gently asks that you change the purpose of the world to forgiveness or true perception. The Holy Spirit simply says, "You cannot change, because your function has been fixed by God. ... Forgiveness does not aim at keeping time but at its ending when it has no use." (OrEd.29.41)
I mention forgiveness specifically because of the presidential election next week. Apply these ideas to the winner whoever he may be. Do not allow your fearful ego to tell you that all is lost or that you're moving to Canada ... or that you hate anyone. We cannot hate. Hate, judgment, loss, comparison and "being right" are all part of the ego mentality that we came to heal. It's easily done if we give a new purpose to the world we see. That purpose is forgiveness. "Only my condemnation injures me." (OrEd.WkBk.198) We can do this. It is why we came. Blessings.
(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #263, Oct. 28 2020)
Friday, 05 March 2021 22:30

All Miracles Are the Same

Dear Miracle Workers,
Do you make hierarchies of your miracles? Do you define fear as more prevalent, or deeper, or more terrifying in certain circumstances than at other times? I do. It is this I feel I am learning. “There is no order of difficulty in miracles, for they are all the same.” (OrEd.Tx.19.44). Of course this idea is mentioned throughout the Course. I chose this quote because of the second part. “For they are all the same.” There is only one miracle. That miracle is the removal of fear to reveal the love that is already there.
I sometimes feel situations or people are more difficult at times than at other times, but that’s merely because I’m unwilling to ask for a miracle. I still believe in differences. I’m now beginning to remember that there are no exceptions to applying these ideas. There is no hierarchy. I made that up. Since I made it up I can ask Spirit to help me let it go. The easiest way is to apply the lessons to every situation and to everyone. Spirit waits only for our willingness to see things differently. In the new year with the early lessons I can easily see that there is no hierarchy in any situation, event or personality. “Thoughts are not big or little, powerful or weak. They are merely true or false.” (OrEd.W1.16.1) I am willing to dispose of the idea of hierarchies. I was wrong, and I’m so glad to remember that! “Make this year different by making it all the same.” (OrEd.Tx.15.112)
(originally published in Miracles Weekly #271, Jan. 27, 2021)

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