UNITY OF VANCOUVER
3814 FRANKLIN ST. 
VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON 98660 
360-696-0996

 “Think on These Things”
 Reverend Bernadette Voorhees
April 29, 2012
All Rights Reserved

 

 

MEDITATION

I invite you to close your eyes & enter into a time of prayer & yearning to serve the eternal, Fathering Source of all life. Feel the music moving, in & through you, moving all around you creating a wonderful environment of peace in your heart. Feel the music uniting you in prayer with everyone in this room creating a wonderful environment of peace & beauty that anyone who comes here will feel. Feel the peace, beauty & love stretching beyond this room, across America & beyond uniting your heart with all hearts in a prayer for peace so that all the world’s children will know only acceptance, love, & the support of a family of humankind. Dedicate your heart this Father’s day to the path of love & forgiveness, in the silence of prayer, bless your own father, wherever he may be, knowing that there is no time or space in prayer.

And now accept this thought as your Divine Father’s gift to you. My dear child, MEDITATION As we enter this special time, we focus our attention on God & know that God is always at work to express the highest & best for all. For people who really haven’t tried scientific prayer yet & learned to like it, these words can sound like a platitude; like some conditioning of mind that might bring temporary relief as an emotional placebo. But to Truth students like us, to practice the idea of thinking about God instead of about the problem & then experiencing the results that come from changing the direction of our thoughts allows a deep, abiding faith to be born in us, as the realization that we are IN TRUTH, never alone. God is always with us. If your challenge is one of health, think about the presence & power of God, in you, living as you. By thinking of God in this way, you instantly aligned yourself with the solution. A physical healing may occur instantaneously or another way God acts in your life is as an inflow of new ideas to guide & direct you to ask, seek & find a method of healing. In Unity, we say, “Go first to God & then to man as God directs. For a relationship problem, the same principle applies. Go to God within, where the activity of God is ever at work within us as wholeness, harmony & order. Think about these things & watch as they flow into your life & heal your relationships. Jesus said, “I cam that they may have life & have it abundantly.” These are not only the words of the Man Jesus, but also the words of our own indwelling Christ. For a prosperity challenge, remember, there is only one presence & power in the universe, God the good, omnipotent. God is already at work within you to bring about the solution & to demonstrate through your open mind & heart the abundant prosperity you are entitled to as a child of God. Think about God. Establish the right mental environment, give thanks & then go from your quiet time to meet life joyously & expectantly. Amen.

THINK ON THESE THINGS

The philosopher Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am.” For him the process of thinking was proof of his existence. If you think, then you are alive. You are here & you are conscious of that fact. It is said that one day Descartes went to tea at the home of a friend. As the man’s wife served him tea she said, “Would you like cream or sugar in your tea?” Descartes thought for a moment & said, “I think not,” & disappeared. It gives you the idea of how powerful thinking is, right?

Thinking is a very powerful. But in the words of an anonymous author, “The problem with thinking is that only 5% of people ever think, 10% of people ‘think they think’ & the rest would rather die than think.” Isn’t that true sometimes? Rather than really sit down & think things through, what do we do? We often just accept what has been given to us.We accept the cultural conditioning that is so strong.

Now, a lot of that conditioning is right & strong & good & we know that. A lot of the wonderful conditioning we received as youngsters & that was reinforced throughout our adult life was right & good & helped to bring us as far as we’ve come. But not all of that conditioning was right. Some of it needs to be reversed. Basically, this is one thing that Truth teaching attempts to do – correct our error thinking. It attempts to show us that some of those things we’ve learned & often learned with power simply aren’t true.

It was to the unthinking, the sleepers, the living dead that Jesus spoke when he said, “You shall know the Truth & the Truth shall set you free. The word “Truth” is interchangeable with God. We are going to examine some Truth ideas taught by Unity this morning & as we go through them I invite you to ask yourself, “What do I think about these ideas.”

1. The 1st idea is Unity’s foundation statement: “There is only one presence & one power in the universe—God the good Omnipotent." I grew up believing that there were at least a couple of powers running around. Oh, there was a power of good, but there wasn’t much emphasis on this during my early life teaching. There was however a lot of emphasis on the power of evil that is out there waiting to get you. It never really made sense to me, but I didn’t have any alternative. There was nothing else presented to me as a child. Nobody presented me with an assurance that there was really a power of good at work in my life at all times.

What does a young child do under those circumstances? He or she grows up believing what he or she heard. There is nothing else to believe. It is a result of conditioning. But after a while we find out that some of those things are not true. I believe that there are certain basic Truths that we innately felt as children & times when we would feel a glimmer of absolute goodness & those moments brought us here.

Many of us grew up in life thinking there were 2 powers, God & a devil responsible for all the evil in our lives. A lot of Truth students say, “Well, I don’t believe in the devil anymore.” But every once in a while I think that even long time Truth students have difficulty explaining what is happening in our lives. & if you check yourself out, you might find somewhere down within you that there is still a tendency to blame something or someone outside of yourself for something that has happened. If you were conditioned strongly enough in the belief of the devil or Satan, down deep, you may still think there is some evil power out there at work. I don’t want to believe that any Unity student really believes that, but we all have to watch out for old conditioning. The Truth is, there is but one presence and power in my life—God the good, Omnipotent. Anytime I catch myself saying, even in jest, “The devil made me do it!” I have to stop a minute and realize it isn’t quite that way. I always remember the words of Gandhi, portrayed in the movie by the actor Ben Kingsley.

One time Gandhi was going to go to Pakistan because civil war was about to break out between India & Pakistan. His friends were trying to discourage him, telling him not to go because it was so very dangerous. & He said, “I’m going to Pakistan to show them that the only devils running around are those in our own hearts.” Does that sound familiar? If there’s a devil, that devil is of our own making. It is all our limited, negative thinking. It is the sum total of our negative thinking that we are giving power to. Just think about it. Could there be a system where there are 2 opposing powers? It may seem to be that way in our lives. But after you practice Truth for a little while, you know it just isn’t the truth any more. “There is only one presence & one power in our lives-God the good Omnipotent.”

2. We need to be thinkers & to give ourselves the opportunity to have our own thoughts. When we do this we’ll find that some of the things we were conditioned to believe simply aren’t true & that we have the power within us to change them. What we want to do, of course, is then think of the right things. Why? Because what you think, you become.

In Unity we call that the Law of Mind Action: “Thoughts held in mind produce in the outer after their kind.” Anyone who knows me as a teacher knows that I harp on that idea all the time. You & I truly are responsible for what we choose to think about. We think energy into manifest form as our experiences in the outer or physical world. We are continually processing thought energy with either fear or faith.

3. Thank God it is this way because what this means is that “No one ‘out there’ can determine the path of my life. I’ve been given free will. I’ve been given choice as to what quality of thought I hold in my mind & I choose to process it with fear or faith.” Going back to our first point, “There is only one presence & one power”, this means that always nudging me in the right direction is the presence & power of God as divine guidance; the activity of God, which is always moving us in the right direction for our highest & best. Think about it & after a while it’s the only thing that makes any sense. Otherwise this whole universe & the world we live in is a result of what? Chaos.

4. There is a system & order in this universe & we can align ourselves with that system & order. If we think about the right things, as Paul said to the Philippians, “Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Think about the big picture. Get your mind off the problem & get it onto God as the solution.

This is a process Emmet Fox called the Golden Key to answered prayer: He said, “The solution to whatever ails you is always to get your mind off the problem & get it on to God; the solution. In so doing, something will be revealed to you through divine guidance that will lead you into the right & appropriate steps as far as any action is concerned that you need to take. Then, once you take action & completely follow through with putting your guidance into action, what you do next is practice the great principle of Letting go & Letting God.”

Once you do that, then God steps in & brings to completion all the efforts you have set into motion.” In thinking about my own coming into Truth, I think this idea meant more to me at the time than any other Truth concept. It gave me a system by which I could live my life. There is truly system & order. You see it all around in the cycles of the moon, the tides, the seasons, all life has a system & order to function & live by. Charles Fillmore identified this system of thought & called it ‘scientific prayer.’ He talked about the Law of Cause & Effect; the Law of Mind Action. “Thoughts held in mind produce in the outer after their kind.” Unity’s concept of scientific prayer is simply to have a high enough realization of the presence & power of God at work in any situation. If you can get a high enough realization, the situation would solve itself. In effect, all you have done is turned it over to God.

But how many of us can get a high enough realization of being in the presence of God while in the midst of our challenge? What we have to do is work with God at different levels. Once you listen to Divine Guidance & go with whatever realization you have, you will in some way be instructed & guided to take certain action. If you have a high enough realization, the healing could be instantaneous. Haven’t you noticed in life that is sometimes exactly what happens? Before you can blink your eyes, as soon as you’ve turned it over to God, the situation rights itself in some way.

There is a system & order in this universe. We are co-creators with God. You do your part as you listen to divine guidance & follow through on it & get to the point where you can let go & let God, then you find out for yourself that the system really works. Everything we have set into motion as a result of our following God’s guidance is brought to completion. As Jesus said, “I work & the Father works. & What I begin in light that father completes in darkness.” It’s a wonderful, systematic, orderly & friendly universe that will support & nurture us & we can align ourselves with it by thinking about it. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul (Ch.1, verse 6) says: “And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” The day of Jesus Christ can be right now; anytime of completion.

5. Unity interprets the Bible metaphysically. This means that we look for the ideas ‘behind’ the literal meaning. Each one of us can find meaning & insight for our personal lives & struggles. If you just interpret the Bible literally, you can get into trouble. Words & idioms from the past don’t mean the same thing today & it’s always going to be a matter of blind faith, how far you’re willing to go with it.

For example: The idea of resurrection. Literally: Jesus was resurrected. You either believe it happened or not. Metaphysically: Resurrection is the presence & power of God within us, through which we can lift ourselves up & out of the dark tomb of any condition or situation of adversity or defeat. “Through the resurrecting presence & power of God in & all around us no matter what the problem, we have the power to release God activity, through the thoughts we think, the emotions we feel & to demonstrate God in services we render.

Since you’re here this morning, I assume you’re in some way connected with Unity & have heard some of these Truth thoughts before & have even experienced them in your own life; some of you in miraculous ways. Many of you already know that this stuff we call Truth really works. Know that you can lift yourself up & out of any adverse condition simply because you don’t have to wait for someone or something out there to act upon you or fix it for you.

6. I think that 1 of the biggest contributions to humanity that Jesus made & that our co-founders, Charles & Myrtle Fillmore continually stressed was simply to say, “God is good. God is love.” God doesn’t punish us. We punish ourselves by misusing the power of thought. Many people go around saying, God is good, but then add something else to it. They say, “God is good & love, but if …you don’t’ do the right thing & think like me, look like me & worship like me…if you don’t shape up, then God will do this, that or the other bad thing to you.” Too many of us grew up ‘conditioned’ with that type of thinking & we didn’t get the results out of life we wanted.

We walked around as if on egg shells all the time, wondering if we were ever doing or saying the right thing fully & completely enough so that God wouldn’t zap us into a grease spot. Thank God we’ve found out, as the Fillmore’s did, that what Jesus taught was true. God is good; God is love. & After living this way for a while, after you’ve gotten demonstrations in Truth, you begin to say, “You know, that’s really the way it is.

7. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “You get out of life what you put into it.” I know I did. But I really didn’t pay much attention to it, which means I didn’t give it much thought power. It sounded like one of those little emotional placebos everybody throws out once in a while to make you feel better or to give you some system of order in the universe. But you find out that it really is true. What you put into life will determine what you’re going to get out of life.

8. “How about the idea that life is eternal? That’s a biggie for many people. The so-called final obstacle in life is physical death, isn’t it?” We look to that & wonder whether or not there is really life after death even though Jesus taught that life is eternal. The idea that “There is only 1 presence & power, naturally leads to the belief that life is eternal.” It just makes sense that energy doesn’t begin or end. It changes form & the only cost is our interpretation/what we think of the event as energy changes. We are 3 fold beings, Spirit, Mind & Body in the same way that Steam, water & ice are all H2O. After you think about it for a while, the idea that life is eternal is the only thing that makes sense. Nobody can prove it to you. We have to prove it to ourselves through our own personal experience.

9. As I began to think about & practice Truth Principles & really got into it, I saw that it was working I came upon another major concept that is near & dear to my heart. If you think that Truth is going eliminate all the challenges in your life forever, you’ve got another thing coming. I would overcome 1 challenge & there would be another challenge right behind it & another right behind it. I awoke from non-thinking & became hyper aware of the pain of limitation. After a chain of over comings I started to wonder if Truth would really work this time the way it worked last time.” But the thought came to me, “God brought you this far, God won’t abandon you now.” It just wouldn’t make any sense that God would work on your behalf all this way & then all of a sudden leave you on your own, would it? There is a system & order in the universe. The presence & power of God is always at work in our behalf. Sometimes it may feel like God has deserted us, that is not the case. It is only our own feeling of fear. God never moves. I move toward or away from God & good by moving the direction of my thought. We all do this. The next time you get into a situation & you tend to forget all the wonderful demonstrations you’ve had in the past in Truth, just take time to stop & think about the last big demonstration you had. If God worked on your behalf back then, God will certainly continue to work on your behalf today.

In the Old Testament, the people of Israel had to be constantly reminded, “I am the Lord your God brought you up out of the house of bondage.” The Israelite Exodus from Egypt is the main event of the O.T. & you can see time & time again that the later writers never let the people forget that. In Psalms 78:11 it reads: “They forget what He had done & the miracles that He had shown them.” Then the Psalmists begin to recount all the miracles God had preformed for the children of Israel when He brought them out of that big problem in Egypt. That all applies to you & me. The next time you have a big problem, remember what God has done for you in the past. Remember that Truth worked then & no matter what the challenge or the problem is today, God will again work on your behalf at all times. Isn’t that wonderful to know that you & I have the power to determine what kind of a life we’re going to live. Very few people grow up believing that. Most people think life is determined by the situation you are born in & whether you get the right or wrong breaks in life. Most people grow up thinking that life is determined by what happens to you out there & you can’t do anything about it. Thank God, it just isn’t that way. When you finally get hold of the realization that you are responsible for your life, that the thoughts you think & the feelings you hold not only will manifest, they are already manifesting according to the law of mind action – it is a wonderful, freeing thing. At one time in my life, I really thought I was the only person who had gone through a certain experience. Have you ever felt that way? Now I know that we all go through the same experiences. Everybody has hopes & fears. Everybody has faith & doubt. We experience this & that –good or bad. As Shakespeare said, “Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” As we look at the situations in our lives, we have the power to name them good or bad. If we determine to think that there’s God & good in each & every experience, then we’ll find God & the good & build a better life on it.

When I was in my early 20’s, I was sure that I was the only one to experience some situations. Then I found Unity & I realized I was not alone. Everybody basically goes through the same types of experiences in earth life; the only things that differ are the details. Think about it as being on a large boat called life & everybody is on it with you & going on the same journey. And there is somebody else in the boat with you—the Christ. When the storm came up on the sea in the New Testament & Jesus was asleep in the boat, all the disciples woke Him up, turned to him & said, “Still the storm.” & he did. This story shows the power of the Christ can still the storms in our lives. But you have to remember that Jesus was right there in the boat with them. So the Christ is always right there within us, always accessible to us.

10. My last point is that there is only one way to live life & that is by putting God first. Live life on a spiritual basis. We’ve all tried to live life on some other basis & we’ve found out that it doesn’t work. To live life on a spiritual basis simply means to put God first. Put Spirit first & then mind & body will naturally follow. That’s 1 of the primary lessons of the Bible, PUT GOD FIRST. As Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God & all things will be yours as well.” Quit worrying about every thing. Quit worrying about the details of your human experience. Get your mind off the problem & get it on God.

As Truth dawns in your consciousness, you realize that the idea of putting God first & living life on a spiritual basis is the only thing that makes sense because it is the only thing that always works.

Living a spiritual life is just a matter of having good old common sense if you stop to think about it. & I hope you did with me today. God bless you! remember, your presence is a present to the world. You’re unique & 1 of a kind. Your life can be what you want it to be. Take the days just 1 at a time. Count your blessings, not you troubles. & you’ll make it through whatever comes along. Within you are so many answers. Understand, have courage, be strong. Don’t put limits on yourself. So many dreams are waiting to be realized. Decisions are too important to leave to chance. Reach for your peak, your goal, and your prize. Remember, nothing wastes more energy than worrying. The longer 1 carries a problem, the heavier it gets. Don’t take things too seriously. Live a life of serenity, not a life of regrets.

Remember that a little love goes a long way… a lot…goes forever & that friendship is always a wise investment. Life’s treasures are people…together.

Realize that it’s never too late. Do ordinary things in an extraordinary way. Have health, hope & happiness. Take the time to wish upon a star. And don’t ever forget, even for a day…how very special you are, that you are my child and I love you. & now as you prepare to return your attention to this time and place take a moment & give thanks for this special Father’s Day blessing.

Amen.

 



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