Seminary Program

This is where we post the essays from many of our Universal Life Church Seminary students. When students finish a ULC course, they write a comprehensive essay about their experiences with the course, what they learned, didn't learn, were inspired by, etc. Here are their essays.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Master of Religion

Universal Life church Christian StudiesI enjoyed this degree path: “Master of Religion”. It covered a lot of material from basic to advanced, and was done in a clear and logical way. The instructor is clearly knowledgeable and sincere.

I was intrigued by the two “versions” of Ten Commandments as given in Exodus and Deuteronomy.

And especially insightful was how the first few verses of the Protestant, Catholic and Hebrew versions of the 10 Commandments in Exodus differ (The Protestant and Catholic versions leaving out the context of who G-d was speaking to).

Also, the instructor said that the Jew and Gentile are saved the same way. 

However, some denominations teach the Jew was saved by keeping the law before the time of Christ (BCE, before Common Era), but NOW (CE, Common Era) the Law is done away and everyone is saved by faith.

1. The Dead Sea Scrolls have shed light that the Jews of BCE did not believe in salvation by works. They believed they were saved through the Covenant of Abraham, the covenant of faith. And the Law was simply the lifestyle of an already redeemed community. The giving of the Law (Torah), the covenant of Mt. Sinai, does not negate the covenant of Abraham. All of G-d’s covenants are eternal. As an Israelite they were born into the covenant of Abraham. And had a part in the Olam Haba (the World to Come) by virtue of this covenant of faith unless they did something heinous to lose this status. According to Jewish understanding gentiles could also be assured a place in the World to Come by obedience to the covenant they received from G-d through Noah. In which one was considered a Noachide Chassid, a Righteous of the Nations. It too is a faith covenant with the Noachide laws as the halachah, or lifestyle, of a righteous non-Jew.

“Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and [from] fornication, and [from] things strangled, and [from] blood. For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.” Acts 15:19-21

The Jewish Encyclopedia states that the Acts 15 reference is the first written example of the Noachide laws (outside of the Torah itself).

2. The denominations who claim the Law/Torah is done away cannot even agree on what parts of it are done away. In addition the Torah itself states that it is to endure as long as heaven and earth remains (which were the two witnesses G-d called on to witness the giving of the Torah in the first place). Jesus agreed saying “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17
Also, the Jews that believed in Christ (who constituted the first congregation) continued to keep the Torah/Law:
“And when they heard [it], they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:” Acts 21:20.
Paul is twisted by many to be interpreted that the Law is done away in Christ. I do not believe he taught that. If he in fact did, it would invalidate Paul since he would be contradicting the Torah itself as well as Jesus. Peter warned regarding misinterpreting Paul’s writings by those unlearned in Torah: “As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” 2 Pet 3:16

Also in the course Constantine is mentioned.
True he did stop persecution of the Christians. However, he was no sweetheart. He was the head of the Emperor Cult of his time being worshiped as God (Sol Invictus, the Unconquerable Sun). He merged the prominent state religion of Mithraism with the faith in Christ, creating a new religion. He was a Sun worshiper and murdered some of his family for fear that they might seek his throne. He outlawed the Biblical holy days of Sabbath (the 7th day) for SUNday (in honor of the Sun God), Passover for Easter (1st SUNday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox, the feast of Ishtar). The church then exterminated those who would not go along with it by abusing the power of the state.


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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Four Gospels Course

Universal Life Church Four Gospels Course Before I get to the main content of this essay for the Four Gospels Course, I would like to comment on a few points that I took note of, that arose during my study of the text provided, "The Unvarnished Gospels", translated by Andy Gaus, Shambhala Press. In the past three years, I have been blessed by being afforded the means and time to devote my waking hours, in their entirety, to the study of the entire Bible's central focus, New and Old Testament, specifically the life, purpose and works of the greatest man to ever walk the earth, Jesus.

During this time and in many courses, classes, seminars, private study,etc., I have read and compared many different translations of the same stories in each Bible and text. Although translated from the original Greek, to me, The Unvarnished Gospels reads like a novel you would read a few chapters before retiring for the night, with no landmarks such as chapters and verse numbering for easier comparisons and cross references with other published works. But more importantly, it seems to focus it's attention on a critiquing of Jesus with several views I feel are out right insulting to the name of Jesus, rather than being a text for educational purposes. Even with my limited education, with the opinion of several others I've shared this with agree, it falls short of being anywhere close to be an accurate description of Jesus, as we've come to picture Him today. Some of the points I will elaborate on as I progress. That being said I'll continue on the writing presented to us. I find it very difficult to believe that speech in the time frame when Jesus walked among us, people used slang so common today, e.g. "Hey, Buddy!".

Another quick example is His sermon on the mount with statements like "The weak are in luck!". Enough said on this topic.

The Gospels as a whole, I believe should be read as a single work, one book, to aid in the work of the Breath of GOD indwelling in each of HIS believers. To improve our senses of understanding, reading combined, to yield the true meaning intended, this combination approach of the four books and the Breath of GOD, motivates our gift of discernment to new levels.

Unhindered by petty differences, e.g. 'well Mathew said......but Mark didn't say it......but John was more of a poet, his stories don't match the synopsis.....on and on.....' But in reality to more or less greater degree, much criticism and differences between different camps exists as to content, speech patterns and the various stories in general. As substantiation supporting my theory, I paraphrase a statement made by the scholar and translator, C.I. Scofield, that he wrote in his somewhat debated work entitled "Dividing The Truth", which also includes some very interesting and notable views and covenants between GOD and Man through out man's history, which could be another essay in itself. Mr. Scofield states that "Anything can be proven by the Bible, is both true and false. If the passage is taken out of context (isolated), then the statement is true. But, if on the other hand, the same passage, is used in the context of GOD's divine plan for man, the entire Bible, then the statement is false." (paraphrased; parenthesis are mine). So if I'm to read one book, and not the entire four Gospels, constructing the message GOD intended for me to learn in my mind and heart, will be inaccurate by ignoring the other three books,(that would give me GOD's panoramic view for man, the entire picture), with no quibbling. Just the interpreted message that was intended for us to write in our hearts, as heavenly food.

In the past three years as I mentioned previously, I have been blessed, not only for the means and time to study, but also to acquire a meager library of over 70 texts, containing at any given time, 20 to 24 translations and versions of the Bible, all of which I've spent many hours in the study of most. One of the things that immediately caught my attention and I found curious was the variations, not just between the different versions, for instance between a KJV and a NIV version, but the minute but important differences between a KJV and another KJV by a different translator. To some this may give pause. But I have taken the stance that they are all the works of GOD inspired men, who wrote GOD-inspired messages! Why the differences, you ask? No one can know the mind of GOD, but the fact remains, HE knew each of us from the beginning of a time with no beginning. Each one of us has our steps in life, every effort, every work we perform, every action 'ordered' (put in sequence) by GOD who has loved each of HIS children from that same beginning of time in which there is no beginning.

We can quibble about differences and whose version is the correct version, to what end? My belief (since this is my paper) is they are all GOD-inspired for no other reason than to just simple challenge us, as Jesus did with parables and metaphors to the people and only revealed their meanings to HIS students (disciples) in private. I believe GOD still inspires those who write the 'new' versions, the 'new' translations throughout the centuries and HE's still at it today. Just as Mr. Scofield said, we need to view the entire panorama of the entire Bible, the 'true' messages hidden within. HE (GOD) would have us take interest in all versions, in all translations that we have access to, in an even larger overall view.

Life is not easy, so why would we consider the possibility that our 'instruction manual' GOD gives us, should be simple enough to be contained in only 'one' version, or 'one' book. We aren't to get hung up on the variations (which I am guilty of in my critique of 'The Unvarnished Gospels', I still exercise my GOD given gift of free will), but combine like chapters and verses from different versions and translations to reveal the "True Message" we are shown. As Jesus taught, when we have the Light, we should not hide it, but share it with others. In the last book of the New Testament, we are told no one is to add or subtract from the Scriptures. If taken literally, there are a lot of scholars and translators in deep trouble. That isn't what 'my' GOD wants. That's why HE sent HIS Son to walk among us, salvation..... That's what HE wants for us all. The different variations are to be read together as a whole just as one Bible should be read in its' entirety to get the full impact of its' messages. As to the parables and metaphors Jesus quoted, appear to be intended for those who were 1) needy enough i.e. the poor. 2) intellectual enough to grasp their meanings. 3) pre-destined by GOD to receive the messages. We can speculate but in the final Quiz, only GOD knows HIS reasons. Bottom line seems to be: If you don't understand the parable or metaphor, it probably wasn't yours to be had, for whatever reason GOD may have.

Many translators of the New Testament, along with papers by various scholars hold to the opinion stated in this text that John was 'Too poetic'. There again a judgmental stance. That he sounds like a 'traveling story teller. What were Jesus' students(disciples) when they were sent out in twos to spread the "Good News" with no provisions, no texts to read from, everything they needed provided by GOD? They were just that, 'traveling story tellers' with the additional fact being their story was true, and their messages were of a life and death decision for the people., salvation and all that Jesus taught that came to Him from the FATHER, or eternal death, separation from GOD. The lessons being valuable life lessons that were ignored by pagans, gentiles and many jews alike, (e.g. Love: Forgiveness; Good Works (being fruitful); To ignore the treasures of the earth; to focus on the treasures in heaven; Hope and Faith all head the list of what pleases our FATHER in heaven, all desired for HIS creations to possess. GOD is Spirit, to have GOD come into our life and have his indwelling in each of HIS children, we too must be Spiritual creations. It has been said that The Kingdom of GOD is within us, as are the answers to all of our questions, is all we have to do is open our hearts to Jesus, and to love GOD through the LIVING sacrifice of HIS Son..........loving simple.

How do these "lessons" from GOD through Jesus affect us today? How does their meanings relate to my life? And where do they penetrate society? Those words spoken by Jesus to the people over 2000 years ago, spoken to Jews and Gentiles alike, still possess their sting, their comfort, their warmth of a loving GOD today, if we heed the lessons and apply them "Love your neighbor as you do yourself". We do have to apply them, not just on Sunday with a profession riddled with 'show' for others, then oggle their neighbors wife the rest of the week. These lessons, many I've practiced without hesitation, others with some difficulty, and shamefully some not as I should, have taught me several important things in life. I've seen the result of prayer, when 'correctly' offered, answered in GOD's own time (even though time is something man has adopted, not GOD, Who can't have any attachments of time in HIS Kingdom). Sometimes the answer to my prayers has been "No", not what I wanted to hear, but I do realize our FATHER in heaven knows what we need and what we're going to ask for before we do, but always it's for our best interest like any doting FATHER. How do these lessons penetrate our society today? A current example is the outpouring of help, aid and rescue operations during 9/11, and more recently the hurricanes that devastatingly came ashore. Our GOD is alive and well and in full action over HIS creations. We have but to pause and listen to our hearts (another good research subject: heart and soul). HE's right there. Unfortunately, I personally see the corruption, the anti-Jew and anti-Minority movements and attitudes spreading like wild fire. Only GOD knows why. My answer to that is...I...don't...know. On the other side of the coin I see many church congregations and out-reach programs working so hard to help the needy in the inner city. We must maintain our faith and pray constantly for a reversal of the negative that thrives in the inner city also.

Jesus, in the text of this course, has been portrayed as being angry, frustrated, fearful, running away like an 8 year old child, I believe was the line......etc. I have great difficulty believing that the Jesus I've fallen in love with, and who is fully GOD and fully man, who existed from the same beginning without a beginning, with the FATHER, and the Breath of GOD (Holy Spirit; Holy Ghost), would have any reason to fear man, as He has told us to not fear the one that destroys the body only, fear the ONE who can kill the body and soul. Are we to fear GOD? I find no difficulty in believing GOD loves me enough to create me, a spirit with a body, and fear HIM (awe) at the same time. My parents who have already passed, loved me and my brother, yet we feared them because of their strict corrections born out of that love.

Through out the entire course, reference after reference alluded to Karma, or what goes around comes around is the common reference, e.g. in the Scripture writings (again paraphrased) 'if you have a problem with your brother, leave the alter, make things right with your brother, then return and make your offering; or the Golden Rule; love your neighbor as yourself. Judge not least ye be judged.' Was Jesus here to judge? He said "I came into the world not to judge (condemn) but to save it" In the end days we will all stand in front of the Great White Throne.

Here is another side note pertaining to the topic that Jesus appeared to only teach to those who were ready to 'hear'. Don't waste your time teaching those that already know or those who don't want to 'hear'. "Don't cast pearls before swine...". Did people understand (hear) Jesus' "Judge not....." as a teaching of forgiveness that is born of love and not intimidation. A case of Karma.

Another thought on Jesus' teaching (lessons) penetrating our society, is the known fact that if our belief system is based on a foundation of truth, love and hope, everything that stems from that will be strong and firm, which it is in every pocket (congregation) or group of believers joined together with one purpose, for the Glory of GOD and united as the Body of Christ.

Jesus' occasions of His ability to heal from Gospel to Gospel has two objectives apparent. 1) to give Glory to the FATHER, and 2) to ensure the sick and dying possessed true faith, which was the ingredient required for the healing to take place. The variances between descriptions of these incidents is of no import, if you understand the point of their presence in the text. All of Jesus' healings required that "Faith" admission be made from the person being healed or by someone closely associated to the sick person if they were unable to speak for themselves.

The comment was made that the people who happened upon this "Rebel" of a Jew, feared Him. This is not so unusual, as it has been throughout man's history and nature to fear what is new, different and unknown. Ignorance feeds fear. This is probably another reason Jesus spoke in metaphors and parables, those that would 'hear' probably were those who were least afraid of change and something or someone new and different.

What are we guaranteed of? The real beauty of Spirit, is there are no lies. If we speak up for Jesus and His teachings on earth, He will speak up for us in heaven before the FATHER. Deny Jesus here and He'll deny us in heaven. Jesus' wants true believers. He wants those who freely and without hesitation will give up their life for Him, and not those who believe as long as it doesn't cost them anything. If we are true believers that recognize the truth......that the Kingdom of GOD (the Light) resides in us, the Light can be seen in our eyes. If it doesn't show there, then all that exists in that person is loneliness and desolation. If the Light does reside in that person, great is their reward on the spiritual level.

Jesus in some gospels tells the person healed not to tell anyone who healed Him, why? Jesus knows the hearts and character of men (as shown repeatedly when He would hear what others were 'thinking). He was counting on the fact probably, that they would tell more people more quickly than if He had told them to tell everyone they knew, a human characteristic that 'occasionally' arises. Motivation? I'm not sure yet, other than in later Gospel passages Jesus says He does the FATHER's work in the open.

I found this next idea in the course text amusing, when the conclusion was drawn from Jesus' metaphor of the farmer sowing seeds, to be able to say "This is the basis of our judicial system. Better to let 1000 criminals go free than to convict one innocent." But not today, personally speaking, convictions are at an all time high and include the poor who can't afford representation, the mentally retarded incarcerated with all others without adequate care, both receiving a guilty conviction with the truth being the farthest thing from the mind of the judicial system. What is the focus of our judicial system today, you ask? It's very obvious not to weed out the good from the bad. It is however Satan’s old standby to steal souls and it works quite well. I'm sorry to say it's money. Bonus' given for convictions (so the poor and helpless who can't afford adequate counsel, are easy marks for plea bargains and that all mighty dollar for convicting not another human but just a body for bucks) and Federal Grants for more prisons justified by facts like local jails operating at 150% of their capacity to receive MONEY for more prisons and jails and jobs. So which is the cause? Either Satan is winning and stealing more souls or Jesus is failing to find ' workers' to harvest the fruit that is in abundance. I'm of the camp that believes Jesus will be the victor. Our so called "Judicial System" is a big money business and it doesn't matter whether you're innocent or guilty, maybe just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Let me be clear on this point. There are many who work in the judicial system who are of the mind they are making a difference in our system. That what they do, is removing Satan's soldiers from the streets, all with no regard for their salaries, which is indicative of Public Defenders Office who are over worked and the only saving grace, besides Jesus, that the poor, retarded or innocent have. To them, thank you.

Jesus was accused, in the course text of being 'spiteful' when he made the fig tree dry up. Is the intent of this passage made to show the person of Jesus, who is fully man and fully Deity, is capable of letting His human side rule over His Dieity side and loose His temper? I have great difficulty in believing Jesus would "loose His temper" particularly over something as insignificant as a fruitless fig tree. The compassionate, loving Jesus I've come to know would display infinite patience with everyone. He came to earth to be the WAY to our FATHER in heaven, our salvation.

We then see mention again the two great commandments always worth mentioning. 1) To love the FATHER with our whole being. 2) To love others as we love ourselves. Again alluding to Karma?

I'm of the opinion of the parable of the old wine skins and the new wine, that Jesus was implying exactly what would happen when the new (New Covenant) is put among the old (Jewish Pharisees), resulting in something giving way. Fulfilling prophesy, Jesus' work overshadowed the Law but didn't abolish it. He celebrated all the Jewish holidays. He did effect a change from a "legalist" approach, to one of "Grace". As spirits in bodies we are equal before Jesus and equal before all people. In light of that fact we shouldn't hesitate to "wash our brothers and sisters feet".

We read that Jesus cried out asking why the FATHER had forsaken Him on the cross. At this juncture, I accept the premise that the human side of Jesus did in fact overpowered the control and serenity of the Jesus Deity, when taken into account the immense, and unfathomable pain He was being subjected to. (So intense to cover the sins of all mankind that in all probability, as the legions of angels wept, FATHER GOD, in HIS anguish had to turn away-opinion). The question has been raised why He died so quickly when crucifixion of a human took 2-3 days before they died. From my research on this subject, briefly, I'm of the opinion, that by the intensity of the wounds that were inflicted upon Him by His tormentors, as described in Lee Strobel's book, "The Case For Christ", the ferociousness of His attackers and then the subjection to being 'nailed' to the cross (normally those sentenced were tied with ropes), the extreme damage to His frail body, was damage that no ordinary human could have withstood as long as Jesus did. Spiritually, He still new His purpose, and that should not be overlooked, His ultimate destination.......back to the FATHER! HOME! I also believe He suffered just enough to pay all 'mankind's tab' and then there most assuredly was intercession by the FATHER. What Father could refrain from interceding in the intense sufferings of His only Son if within His power to stop it. I would take odds not a single Father would hesitate to intervene. GOD just simply GAVE us our salvation.......HE said "Here's my Son......He's your's all I require is that you believe in Him......nothing else, just BELEIVE!" So Jesus expired when the bill was paid and His work completed. On the third day, and forty, He ascended to the FATHER, back home! All of our homes, eventually.

Another note before the main topic of my essay which I've chosen to be the Book of Thomas. At the crucifixion and death of Jesus, simultaneously, the huge curtain in the tabernacle was torn in two from the top to the bottom. In thetabernacle, only the priests were allowed to go behind the curtain that separated the people from GOD. When Jesus died with all of our sins draining His precious blood from His frail body, we were instantly given a High Priest, an advocate to the FATHER, if you will. So the torn separator, the curtain, signified to the people that they were no longer considered to be separated from GOD. Jesus paid the price for our transgressions. He became the open doorway directly to the FATHER and guaranteed salvation just for loving and believing in HIS Son. GOD loves us and wants a loving relationship with us. As I said previously, the Kingdom of GOD now resides in every true believer, of HIS Son, as does the all the answers to all of our questions. We have but to listen......He's there, in our hearts. Faith cannot be hidden. Truth cannot be hidden.

If you don't see yourself and others as spirits in bodies, what we truly are, how can you expect to be one with GOD, Who is SPIRIT also. People don't like change even if it's to their benefit. Change is not safe. It is uncomfortable. They resist it as much as possible. So for a non-believer to truly come to Jesus, is a great leap of faith, but His love and the love of the FATHER, relieve the fear of the experience in a heartbeat.

I can't forget a couple items about the Book of John before I go any farther. In this book we hear of Jesus 'taking some glory for Himself". People who judge those actions with a questionable view are forgetting a very important point. Jesus and the FATHER (and the Breath of GOD) are all existing in an eternal unity. GOD is in Jesus and Jesus is in the FATHER. So it follows that Jesus taking credit for His works for His own glory, is still GLORY for the FATHER.

"What's mine is mine, and what's yours is yours" can't exist if you keep the unity of the Trinity in mind, and again quit quibbling over insignificant details that I believe the FATHER did not intend for us to do. There's also the accusation that Jesus 'ran' away from some tormentors he met in areas where He was not received with open arms. It states He ran away 'like an 8 year old child'. That's not even close to being logical or an accurate description of the characteristic of the Savior. He had nothing to fear. He knew His purpose for being on earth and He knew it wasn't His time yet. So what is the rationale of Him supposedly running away like a child. Personally, I read that sentence and felt a little upset that the thought of Jesus even fearing men for a moment was even possible, much less like a 'child'. The Divine Architect of all creation,(in a more reasonable possibility, if Jesus didn't execute His escape from the angry mobs on His own), facilitated HIS Son's retreat HIMSELF. If we're going to speculate, since no one actually knows, I believe in a more logical light and probability, He walked away from the crowds in a casual walk, no fear. He was safe. His time hadn't come yet, so why would He run?

Referring back to the statement that the author of the Book of John sounded 'too' poetic, casting doubts on the accuracy of John saying he sounded like a traveling storyteller. I would like to reiterate the fact that I hold as truth. All the Disciples(students) Jesus sent out by twos to spread the Good News, relying on GOD alone for all their needs, were essentially just that, traveling storytellers. Entering briefly in the mist of this discussion, re-enters the topic of fear again. That was a very crude, hard and dangerous times that Jesus and His Disciples lived in. They were more possibly concerned with survival, than in making each story they told and retold, matching from town to town. The message was there, but the details varied because they had no written script they could draw from, which fuels the arguments man enters into about the problem of the differences between the Four Gospels, proving or disproving the credibility. Okay, I'm finished.

A point I would also like to cover is the type of people that were drawn to Jesus and His teachings. I would venture to say that besides attracting those who became the true believers, He most likely encountered people who just plain liked the idea of 'living forever'......that's all. These people, in wanting to live forever and that's all, were (are) exhibiting a desire of the body only. Our true nature, spirit, already will live forever, most certainly because of just being 'true believers'. Jesus came to us to provide salvation from eternal separation from the FATHER, an eternal hell. Salvation, the FATHER'S Grace (gift) through Jesus, and forgiveness, with Jesus paying the 'tab'.

The topic of Grace is only briefly inferred in the Four Gospels and really doesn't take it's place in the scriptures until the Book of Acts. The Breath of GOD that is an equal part of the Holy Trinity (Triune Spirit of GOD) sees a lot of action in the Gospels as well as the Epistles and Pauline writings.

The "Comforter", "Breath of GOD" or "Holy Spirit", we're told couldn't come to earth to be with us, to man, until Christ's work was completed, perfected, His crucifixion and three days in hell until His resurrection, His glorification and ascension into heaven to sit at the right hand of GOD. Then and only then, after He ascends to heaven does the Breath of GOD, the Comforter descend to His students (Disciples) on Pentecost, not before.

In closing on my comments centered on the Four Gospels, I would like to point out a statement in the closing text of the course, where it states 'Jesus was grandstanding' at the end of the Book of John! That constitutes an insult and attack on who Jesus is, no matter whether you're a true Christian or a non-believer. Jesus, because of who He is, is the last person that would ever need to 'pump up His ego', for the benefit of Himself or anyone. That statement actually baffles me. Was Jesus 'grandstanding' when He stayed where He was for two extra days before answering the request of the sisters, Martha and Mary, concerning their dying brother, Lazarus, before He went to them? Finding, when He arrived Lazarus, whom Jesus loved (this passage also contains, for those who don't know, the shortest verse in the Bible, John 11:35......"Jesus wept") was already entombed for several days. I'm of the opinion He hesitated on purpose, so He could raise Lazarus from the dead 'to the Glory of The FATHER and HIS edification." Someone asked me why Jesus told Mary and Martha and those in attendance to "remove the stone from the door of the tomb", when He, having all the powers of the FATHER, didn't just move it Himself? I believe this is a great point for discussion. My belief here is, we find a subtle lesson for all mankind, but is most certainly overlooked. Jesus wants us to do what we are capable of ourselves, not relying on the works of others as we stand by and watch. If we can accomplish a deed as a result of our own abilities, why should we pray for favors that we are capable of ourselves.

Now to the topic I chose (finally!), that interested me most, the extra chapters the course I received, The Book of Thomas. In 1945, in a digging in the sands near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, a stone jar was uncovered containing numerous papyrus manuscripts now called the Nag Hammadi Library. They are composed of 13 books containing 52 texts. Most display an esoteric, mystical movement termed Gnosticism. Gnostic Christians challenged the existing authorities, priests and bishops. They believed that a Spiritual Gnostic life devoted to a Spiritual Gnostic Christ allowed them direct access to approach and embrace GOD directly. Four of the most outstanding documents of the Nag Hammadi Library are 1) The Secret Book of James 2) The Gospel of Thomas 3) The Book of Thomas 4) The secret Book of John. The word 'Gnostic' comes from the Greek word gnosis; meaning knowledge. The Book of Thomas is claimed to be a list of sayings from Jesus as told to His reported twin brother Didymus Judas Thomas and recorded by Mathias (Mathew?). (For a vigorous discussion on whether Jesus had any siblings at all, bring the subject up to a Capuchen Catholic Priest). Most if not all, are determined to have been written as late as 140 A.D..

Why is the Book of Thomas considered Gnostic and not another Gospel? The first reason is basically because the Book's rejection by the Church as authentic. The second reason, by the dual definition of Gnostic, questions arise as to what Jesus was implying in the book to His claimed twin brother. First; The Book of Thomas is Gnostic if the origins are of a people who believe, as previously mentioned, that have a divine capacity within themselves that they can believe the Kingdom of GOD is already upon the earth giving them direct access to GOD. It's not considered Gnostic if the assumption is taken that it is in accord with the Gnostic Religion which the Nag Hammadi Library texts are based, a religion that differentiates the GOD of this world (the Jewish GOD) from a higher more abstract GOD. If this is the case then the Book of Thomas is not Gnostic. In any case the Church holds to their belief that it's a 2nd or 3rd century manuscript of heresy, to late in date with very little historical value in regards to Jesus. It will never be accepted into the Bible, because the subject has been closed, due to the biblical canon being formally closed from any debate. The Book of Thomas has sparked a new interest in other "Lost Books of the Bible", as another research topic.

I've discovered the following:
1) "The Secret Teachings of Jesus; Four Gnostic Gospels; translated by Marvin Meyers, which includes a) "The Secret Book of James"; b) "The Gospel of Thomas"; c) "The Book of Thomas"; d) "The Secret Book of John".
2) "The Gospel of Thomas; Hidden Sayings of Jesus"; Translated by Marvin Meyer.
3) "The Nag Hammadi Library"; Translated by James Robinson.
4) "The Gnostic Scriptures"; Translated by Bentley Layton.
5) "The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q; and Christian Origins"; Translated by Burton L. Mack.
The Book of Thomas has sparked a 'life long' interest in me. There is enough written on the subject to hold anyone's interest for quite awhile if so inclined. In contrast, during a conversation with a local pastor, he remarked "I read somewhere the Book of Thomas is heresy and worthless, not worthy of any time spent in it. If you really want to get to know Jesus our Savior, buy yourself a good Bible". Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Conclusion: "The Unvarnished Gospels" or any Biblical Books are not to be read as a three or four night read, upon retiring to put you to sleep. Any Bible deserves "study" not just read. They are and always will be a living, eternal, instructive entity that shouts out to be read over and over while applying Jesus' (and therefore GOD's) plan for the way we are to treat our brothers, sisters and ourselves while we are temporarily housed on earth (to 'practice' our lessons). We can never
cease to learn from them. Once Jesus has become (is) the Illumination, the Light, within us, we begin to burn for more and more, and to share it with others.

My favorite passage from the course is; "GOD's love doesn't need to be proven. It just is."

--Reverend Kipper T. Rowen


The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more.

Ordination with the Universal Life Church, is free,  and lasts for life, so use the Free Online Ordination, button.

The  ULC, run by Rev. Long, has created a chaplaincy program to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church materials.  I've been ordained with the Universal Life Church for many years and it's Seminary since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Universal Life Church

I can certainly echo those sentiments as they relate to confusion in religion.

I believe that like every other religion on Earth, Christianity is flavored and influenced by a multitude of factors:
Region, Culture, Tradition, social standards, interpretation of religious scripture, and individual spiritual focus.

"A pound is a pound the world around", does not necessarily apply to religious consistency. Much like the different types of Buddhism that have been influenced by important people or cultures through the years, so has Christianity. And Christianity also has an amazing range of beliefs for being based on similar scriptures and literature. The beliefs range from peaceful and accepting, to hateful and bigoted. Much like everything else in the world, our success depends upon our own best interpretation of what is right...not what is right in Reality.

Imagine Truth to be a candle in the middle of a room...It is solitary, independent, needing nothing. It stands under it's own weight and on it's own merits. Now, imagine that our interpretation is the precise distance and angle that we see the candle from. How bright or dim, how real or imagined it is will be based on your own cognizance of it. The candle does not change, it is up to us to move around the candle and examine it from all sides, from near and far, to have not a vision of truth...but a scope of it.

Now blow the candle out, and flip on a light switch, you're scaring me.

Good discussion.


The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive and affordable online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, a beginning course on  Wicca, as well as a beginning course on  Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more.

Ordination with the Universal Life Church, is a free and lifetime ordination, so use the Free Online Ordination, button. We also make available many free wedding ceremonies for your use, as well as funeral ceremonies and other types of ceremonies.

The  ULC, run by Rev. Long, has created a chaplaincy program where you can earn the coveted title of Chaplain. We also have a huge selection of Universal Life Church materials to help you with your professionalism and confidence.  I've been ordained with the Universal Life Church for many years and it's Seminary since the beginning and an amazed by the frequent upgrades and new functions of the seminary.
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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Universal Life Church

I was married in Las Vegas before I joined the ULC. Both my husband and I had been married before, so we decided to do something different.

It was very simple to get a license. For $35.00 more, we could have walked across the street to be married by a county official. We opted to get married at The Chapel of the Bells, of which I had heard before. We bought an inexpensive package deal which included use of the facility, a roll of pictures, an audio tape, a bouquet (silk flowers) for me. I had a coupon for a chapel marriage certificate and a bottle of "champagne" (it turned out to be non-alcoholic). The minister's honorarium was an additional $35.00.

It was a short, generic ceremony. When I received the certificate, I noticed that the minister had signed his name as "retired."I did not ask his denomination and he did not offer it.

Side note: While writing this reply, I decided to look at get our wedding pictures to see if my husband had been provided with a boutonniere. I can't find my pictures. However, I have enough other evidence to prevent my husband from trying to wiggle out on a technicality!:wink_smile:


The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive and affordable online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, a beginning course on  Wicca, as well as a beginning course on  Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more.

Ordination with the Universal Life Church, is a free and lifetime ordination, so use the Free Online Ordination, button. We also make available many free wedding ceremonies for your use, as well as funeral ceremonies and other types of ceremonies.

The  ULC, run by Rev. Long, has created a chaplaincy program where you can earn the coveted title of Chaplain. We also have a huge selection of Universal Life Church materials to help you with your professionalism and confidence.  I've been ordained with the Universal Life Church for many years and it's Seminary since the beginning and an amazed by the frequent upgrades and new functions of the seminary.
Try our new free toolbar at: ULC Toolbar

Friday, November 18, 2005

Universal Life Church

Universal Life Church
Universal Life Church
New Church Opening
Church to hold its first worship service

A new church in Springfield will hold its first worship service Sunday. Sammy and Debbie Waterman are pastors of Echo's from Calvary Family Worship Center at 2136 W. Atlantic St. The 10 a.m. service will include singing, preaching and fellowship. The 6 p.m. service will have singing and preaching. For more information, call 742-0052.
Evening of Gospel Music set for today

An Evening of Gospel Music will be presented at 6:30 p.m. today in the Mountain Grove High School auditorium.

The McCunes, a hometown women's trio, will be joined by The Lesters, a group featured on the Gaither Homecoming videos and tour. The Lesters are celebrating their 80th anniversary singing gospel music.

Duane Garren will serve as master of ceremonies. Admission is free, but an offering will be received. The school is located on Highway 95 South in Mountain Grove. For more information, call 1-800-503-1121 or visit

Community crusade planned next week

An area-wide community crusade will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in the Ozark Community Building on the Ozark square. The event is sponsored by a number of Baptist churches including First Freewill Baptist, Selmore Baptist and Victory Baptist churches, all of Ozark.

Presentation to look at life in heaven

The Nova Theater in Branson will host a free, two-day presentation, "Exploring Life in Heaven."

Rose Martin, president of Perfect Will Ministries, will present the multimedia presentations on what the Bible says about heaven. The presentations will be 2 p.m. Nov. 13 and 7 p.m. Nov. 14. The theater is located at 1840 Missouri 76.

Reservations are not required, but suggested. Call 739-2366


The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive and affordable online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, a beginning course on  Wicca, as well as a beginning course on  Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more.

Ordination with the Universal Life Church, is a free and lifetime ordination, so use the Free Online Ordination, button. We also make available many free wedding ceremonies for your use, as well as funeral ceremonies and other types of ceremonies.

The  ULC, run by Rev. Long, has created a chaplaincy program where you can earn the coveted title of Chaplain. We also have a huge selection of Universal Life Church materials to help you with your professionalism and confidence.  I've been ordained with the Universal Life Church for many years and it's Seminary since the beginning and an amazed by the frequent upgrades and new functions of the seminary.
Try our new free toolbar at: ULC Toolbar

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Master of Metaphysics

Universal Life Church Seminary

Thirty Lessons seems just right and at the same time, to short for this course. The student is advised to read and practice the exercises at least three times a week. This is indeed an important part of the study.

I liked the early lesson that included dropping an energy cord, draining off the excess and later learning how to run energy. I do this as a habit now when I feed harried or stressed or even a bit too jazzed over something. This causes a calming yet energizing effect.

It was difficult to work the forgiveness lesson and while I was not successful, I am aware of the effects.

The wrap up lesson bothered me a little. The idea of giving an uninvited embryo the boot, seems counter productive. I have come to accept that as preborns. we choose our families and our goals for the life we are about to experience. I never considered a baby not being welcomed. I am still assimilating this issue.

As far as creating a miracle for myself, I’m not sure, I did find new ways of calming myself, opened up to new ideas and learned of places where I need work. Personal growth may be considered a miracle of human evolution.

A change in the way I can drain off energy and recognize negative or competitive energy has been helpful. Being able to send people energy, just because I learned how to do it has given me some weird feeling of power. It is not a bad thing, it is something people generally don’t do. We want to know what’s in it for us.

Finally, I enjoyed this course. I recommend it to everyone, if only one of the thirty lessons takes root, the student will be a better human.


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My name is Rev. Amy Long and I've been a minister with the Universal Life Church for many years and it's Seminary since its inception. I've been a member of ULC for many years and my site has created a terrific ULC Forum. We also have the most extensive catalog of Universal Life Church materials.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A Course in Miracles

A Course In Miracles
Choices and Decisions - Dr. of Metaphysics Class
What if you could go back in time and “change” some of the decisions that you’ve made about money, friends, school, studies, jobs, or whatever? Would your life be any different today?

One of the greatest gifts we have is the power of choice. As we look back and see the not so good choices in our lives, with them came some valuable lessons and experiences. Know that each moment we are making choices that determine our next moments.

Are we still living life from our past stories or from the Truth of who we are? If we are not living from the Truth of who we are, then where are we making our choices from? Have you ever wondered from where you make most of your decisions?

Every decision you make stems from who or what you think you are and represents the value you place on yourself. All your choices are an evaluation of yourself. In choosing smallness you have judged yourself unworthy a poor gift to yourself. (Course of Miracles)

Go back and look at your life decisions and see which of your decisions were made from your god/goddess self or from your little self. Know this --- that all your suffering and sacrifice comes from accepting less that God’s highest gift.

If we are living from our past, we can quickly identify it by the conversations we have with ourselves and with others. What are some of your dominant conversations? Who are in your conversations? Why do you discuss it? (What’s your pay-off for talking about it?) What are you saying about yourself and what are you saying about others? Take one area of your life at a time and see what your conversations are around this area. If you are like me, then some parts of your life are going great, while others not so great and need some work.

Every time you speak you are creating your life. Notice what you say to whom and specifically what you say to yourself about yourself!! Pay attention to your constant inner dialogue. It gives you many clues about your past programming, your set of justifications you use to not do something, to not try something. It always amazes me how much we know about other countries we have never visited, foods we have never tasted, and activities we never took part in. Our mind thinks it has all the answers to everything. The best thing you can do for yourself is to stop thinking and do it!!!!

Most of us live from our interpretations of past experiences which in turn creates our fears—like what if they don’t like me or what will they think of me, or what if they find out who I really am. Identify where and when you feel threatened.

Once you make a decision or establish a belief, all your subsequent decisions are made from there – whether you are aware of it or not. Until you recognize and re-evaluate your beliefs you will continue to make the decisions from the same place—usually from fears that continue to run you.

Where we may be making our choices:
Needing approval
Not being good enough
Needing to be right
Needing to be in control
Security-fear of abandonment

Needing approval
At some point when we were young we may have decided that our parents didn't think we were okay unless we met their expectations. These expectations may have been perfectly reasonable for a child, but we concluded we weren't okay just as we were -- only when we performed according to our parents expectations. (Again, this is our story not necessarily the truth about what our parents thought)

Children who were harshly criticized and could rarely do anything right in their parent’s eyes, often did whatever is necessary to seek their parent’s approval or get their attention. Many of us have carried this pattern into our adult relationships. These people tend to be the people-pleasers. Their major motivation is to be liked and approved. They will often be workaholics, and always try to impress. In relationships they can be highly critical and judgmental of their partner and themselves. They may have low self-esteem and let others take advantage of them, because they don't want to upset anyone for fear of being rejected.

Needing other people’s approval comes from needing validation from others and not accepting yourself. Most of the opinions of what people might think of me are all made up – it has to do with me what I think about me - not what they think about me. You see what other people think comes from their own belief systems and how they view and accept me has nothing to do with me.

Guess what? Everyone has their own opinions, it’s part of being an individual and we have our own opinions. Some people will agree with us, while some will disagree. Being able to accept that our opinions may not always work for others or even ourselves is how we’ll change and grow.

In letting go of needing approval, you just opened the door to acceptance of yourself and others. The worst thing we do is that we withhold our approval from ourselves. Accept that your need for approval and self worth will never be met from outside of yourself. Learn to give yourself messages of approval, safety, trust and messages of endearing self worth. Realize that the mere fact that you are here on earth is validation that you are enough, for all of us are made up of the same god-stuff as everyone else and we all have a right to be here and to be happy.

When we become need-less we are free to choose from a higher and different set of options which opens up a whole other world for us and those we love.

Not good enough
Wherever did we get the idea that we are not good enough? That we have to do everything perfect. No doubt this is another trait that somehow developed during our childhood.

How many of us feel we have to do everything perfect—have the perfectionitis syndrome. And doing it perfect—there is only one way to do it? How many of you have children? Children have a way of teaching you that perfect does not always work. They have their own ideas about what is perfect for them.

How many times do we not do an activity because we don’t think we can do it perfect? How many times do we not get in a relationship or job because we can’t do it perfect.

This is a definite show-stopper we need to get rid of. Nothing in being perfect will serve us. Once we get that we already are perfect and need not do anything perfect, so many more choices will open up to us from an unlimited set of possibilities causing our lives to be so much happier.

Needing to be right
Where does needing to be right come from? Right and wrong are assessments. It’s the way it occurs for you according to your past experiences and your beliefs. Decisions are then made from the past experiences instead of what is possible. You give meaning to everything!! In every meaning or story you make up—you end up being right. How many more relationships do you need to sabotage in order to be right? How many more arguments do we need to have with our teenagers in order to be right? How many more wars do we need to fight to prove that we are right?

Where and when do you feel that you need to defend yourself or your point of view? Just become aware of when you begin defending your point of view. As you begin to notice, you can then begin to observe that everyone has their own point of view, based on their upbringing, their nationality and culture. That does not make it wrong or right, just different. Thank God for different. I would hate for everyone around me to be just like me, no matter how wonderful I think I am, it would be boring. Notice when you are defending your point of view—this will keep you stuck and is where we start giving our power away. The Truth never needs to be defended. What really matters in the long run is whether it is worth being right or whether you choose love and intimacy and to be happy.

Things are the way they are and anything else you give the meaning to it. In every meaning you make up-you end up being right in some way. There is no right or wrong way to do something—only endless possibilities of doing something.

Needing to be in control

Why is it so hard to allow our higher self to assist us? and why is it so hard to allow others some room to make decisions about their life? We are often secretly afraid that the other person may not make quite as good a choice as we would or worse yet that they won’t choose us. This then begins one of the endless games of manipulations.

Why then the need of "being in control"? We believe that we can control our world so that "bad things" will not happen to us. It is as if we believed that our control exercised in the human environment can protect us from the uncertainties of the natural and spiritual world. I think we have just seen an example where if we thought we had everything under control, and we absolutely didn’t. Katrina. How many people in New Orleans expected their day to end with loosing everything, being placed in frightful conditions, relying on others for assistance and being totally our of control.

It is possible that all of us have a bit of control freak in our nature. It is human nature to dislike being wrong, making mistakes or feeling out of control. But while some can handle “bad” situations which occur from time to time to everyone, to others, being in control of every situation and everyone involved in that situation becomes so important that not being in control leads some to a state of depression, addictive substances or causes some to act out in other negative emotional behavior patterns.

We may not have learned that so-called mistakes are a natural and acceptable part of life, that we should honor them because they offered us a chance to learn and grow. Again, mistakes are not right or wrong; just another experience.

One of the ways to let go of being in control is to let go of how things should be and surrender to the All knowing within us. Create an inner dialogue with yourself that gives you the space to allow everything to happen in divine order, that they don’t need to go just the way you wanted them to go. When divine order takes over, all possible outcomes are considered and the best one is chosen. Also, in your inner dialogue remind yourself that you are a part of the divine order process and that you are not separate—so ultimately you are choosing it.

Security is the need to feel safe, to feel assured that we know what is going to happen, to know ahead of time what the plans are. What constitutes Security can be different for different people.

The need for safety is a basic one, and according to psychologist Maslow and must be fulfilled before moving up the ladder of needs. But we live in an urban jungle, not an actual jungle, so it’s largely psychological. Safety doesn’t mean shelter from a predator; it has to do with securing stability and consistency in a chaotic world. Negative aspects of making decisions based on security: Overly cautious, fearful, paralyzed, indecisive, frozen in place, unable to function due to insecurity, retaliation against someone who they believe destroys their sense of Security.

Examples of how Security looks for different people:
Having lots of money in the bank
Having a planned savings/retirement program
Having a secure job
Having a house, home and family
Having a dependable car
Having excellent personal and family health, or health insurance that covers any possibility
Carrying a gun or having a way to protect themselves

All security involves trade-offs. Many times we make our decisions based on the need for security and feeling safe. We go into jobs and relationships with expectations of security. When that expectation is thwarted we then go into fear mode and make some more decisions based on security again and begin another downward spiral based on our insecurities. We become angry and begin resenting the people we are in relationships where we feel they have abandoned us or are not providing for us as we expected.

We resent going to jobs that are no longer serving us. So we go about changing jobs or partners, but our inner fear of insecurity still goes with us. Soon we find ourselves in a similar dilemma as before. How many of us have stayed in jobs or relationships where we felt that would provide us security? Did it last? We stay or get into jobs and relationships that really don’t serve us except and provide us with a temporary illusion of feeling secure. Of course change is a part of life so our security must come from inside us.

When we are young we need the security (which a home and family provides). However, as we become adults we need to tap into our inner security which tells us that nothing can destroy us and that there is an abundance of whatever we need in this world, that the people, places, or circumstances will appear as we need or desire them. We then begin to pay attention to synchronicities which surround us daily.

Fear of abandonment
This fear normally arises from childhood scenarios such as adoption or divorce. Many times a child makes up the story that it’s about them that they were not good enough for their parents to stay in their lives.

Some of us stay in unhealthy relationships rather than opening ourselves to being abandoned again. And then others are the first to leave a relationship, even one that could be saved, because we want to be the one who abandons, rather than be the one who is abandoned again. Others sabotage the relationship so the other person is forced to leave to make their childhood story right.

Fear of Rejection is another insecurity, many times an imaginary one. Because one person may have said no to us, we take it personally and assume everyone will say no to us. Guess what, we begin settling more and more—choosing someone who won’t reject us. Usually this means choosing someone we normally would not choose just because we feel we have more energy or power than they do.

We may not apply for jobs, for fear of being rejected. We don’t even go to first base so to speak. What about those of us who are in sales. How many times did we not make a phone call, go up and speak to a person, etc. just for the fear of rejection, which really is just no, not now, or no I am not interested in the product. Somehow we make up the story that the rejection is NO, I don’t like you and don’t want to buy from you. We may not try out for a team; we may not ask someone to dance, much less ask someone we are attracted to go out with us. How many times do we stop ourselves from doing something based on an imaginary personal rejection?

We have come to believe that our feelings are created by what others do and what happens in our lives. The reality, however, is that what others do or say or what happens are only the stimuli that trigger our programming and beliefs. Our beliefs create our emotions. We interpret events according to what we believe about ourselves and others. Those interpretations create our emotional reality. That my friend you can change. You can change your beliefs, which in turn changes your feelings and actions which will create a different or more desirable result.

Keller said, “Security is an illusion. Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing at all.” We say to choose life!!

Where should we make our choices from?

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. Ralph Waldo Emerson

The greatest human power is the power of choice. We are not automatic stimulus-response machines! - at least, we needn't be! We have power of choice. We can pause, and instead of reacting automatically, we can calculate our best response or action. We can then learn from the results or consequences produced by our actions.

The thing about decisions, though, is that so often there is no right choice. Often we can persuade ourselves that choices are either great or terrible. And yet, making no decision and hovering in limbo is deeply unsettling and grinds our lives to a halt. No Decisions - Theodore Roosevelt once famously said: "In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing."

We have to make choices even though we may feel unprepared to do so. And once you're over six, 'eenie meenie minie mo' is not a reliable strategy.

We make choices everyday to do this or that, and those decisions lead to others down the road, and so on and so on. The choices we make shape the person we will be. They form our character. There are no good or bad people. What's separates people is their pattern of choices.

Factors involved in choosing:
Responsibility: Responsibility evaluates cost, effects on others that could be detrimental, whether the decision has a long term or short term effect, evaluation of all possible choices, and the overall consequences of your decision. How will this decision affect your life, your finances, and your relationships?

Gut decisions – sometimes time will not allow us the luxury of evaluating every possible action. We may have to make a quick decision. Also, while there are some decisions that benefit mightily from thoughtful analysis, the big life choices require us to touch base with our intuition—no amount of data crunching will ever yield a satisfying answer. Freud said: When making a decision of minor importance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons. In vital matters, however, such as the choice of a mate or a profession, the decision should come from the unconscious, from somewhere within ourselves.

Bad Decisions – No such thing. Nothing is good or bad. Bad and good are assessments and then the question becomes – who’s assessments. Get rid of these labels – good or bad. One of the reasons many of us are so squeamish about biting the bullet and making the tough choice, is that we're panicked about making the wrong one. There's no way to guarantee a good outcome. Period. You can only do what you can do! After all is said and done, know that you have the power within you to change anything that does not serve you that you have the right to change your mind and choose another experience. Life is all about experiences—those that serve you and those that don’t.

So, the next time a big decision sits heavily on your plate, do the best you can, take comfort in knowing that there's no way to ensure the 'right' choice, that unexpected consequences will naturally occur simply because you have put the ball into play, and that, as Emerson said:

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.

God does not want us to be content with less than everything. (Course of Miracles) The more we let go, the more choices we will be able to tap into, because our mind won’t be so occupied with trying to change other people’s minds. Being in control as much as possible is a perfectly decent goal much of the time. However, there can be unexpected joy in keeping quiet and following the suggestions of others that just possibly may be BETTER than the ones we would have made.

When we are living from our Higher self, we are living from infinite potential and we can relinquish control to it.

Live life from THIS IS IT.—where-ever you are this is it—this will bring you into the present moment—the only moment where change can occur—the moment where you have enough energy to break up what is not empowering you. From this is it – decide what is important to you, who you are and who you want to be in this situation. Will it honor you and all those concerned? Is this choice being made from love? Is this choice made from knowing that we are all one – that what we do to another we do to ourselves. We are all one and are never separate from each other or from the ONE and when we are living life from that space it is all good!!!

Be grateful for all your experiences. They have provided much value to you and made you the great person you are today. You now have a choice to see every problematic area in your life as a valuable gift that you have given to yourself and others have given you. Every person and circumstance provided you with a unique gift to experience yourself to remind you of the greatness you have within you.

Choose in spite of your fears. Choose from pure potential instead of shoulds and have to’s. Choose in spite of what your conscious mind tells you can’t do. Choose from your highest vision of yourself.
We close with this quote from Deepak Chopra, “Every decision I make is a choice between a grievance and a miracle. I let go of grievances and choose miracles.” Choose your life of miracles now!!!

Rev. Evelyn Coulson


The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more. I have been a proud member of the ULC for many years and the Seminary since its inception.

The Universal Life Church offers handfasting ceremonies, funeral ceremonies and free minister training.

As a long time member of ULC, Rev. Long created the seminary site to help train our ministers. We also have a huge selection of Universal Life Church  minister supplies. Since being ordained with the Universal Life Church for so many years and it's Seminary since the beginning, I've watch the huge change and growth that has continued to happen.

Try our new free toolbar at: ULC Toolbar