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

 Great Work
 Reverend Bernadette Voorhees
September 3, 2017

All Rights Reserved

 

 

MEDITATION

Humans often dream of meeting & talking to a famous person: A President, rock star, Hollywood celebrity, the Dali Lama & yet at every moment, God is available to talk to & to give you wisdom, guidance, healing power & prosperity. A human beings’ primary work is to use God’s creative power under divine direction. Prayer is your best investment. It’s a personal, spiritual retreat. A momentary vacation you can take regardless of time, place, or circumstances. An investment that doesn’t cost you a cent.” Let us pause from outer activity & focus our attention on the inner, restful activity of God. I invite you to close your eyes, turn within & feel your oneness with God. “You are a spiritual being enjoying a human experience” & now is the time to remember this & consciously connect with the power of God, within you & all around you; a power greater than any human level problem or situation you may be facing. It is time to remember ‘It is not I, but the all-knowing, all-providing, all-encompassing power of God with me that does the work. In the stillness of prayer, you feel close to God, for your awareness is focused only on Divine light, life, & love.

Feel a deep inner peace rising in you as you once again take time to remember who you truly are & that you are Divinely empowered. A peace that washes away all anxiety & fear. God is the Source of all. Align your mind & heart with God by affirming: “God’s peaceful power permeates my life. I live in serenity.”

With your heart, your emotional nature, peacefully centered in God, you are guided through the challenges & decisions of life. Centered in God, you free yourself from the darkness of doubt & indecision. Feel the radiance of God’s light shining within & through you revealing to you an illumined path. Feel its special glow within the situations of your life. If you have a decision to make, turn your full attention now to the light of God. Know God’s illumining power will guide & inspire you with ideas for you to use to help yourself & others. Affirm: God’s Divine light shines through me. I make wise choices. I know what to do & how & when to do it.

Now turn your thoughts to healing by knowing God as wholeness, which is greater than any illness your human mind can conceive. God is always at work within you, but you must invite thoughts of life into your human mind & use them to bless your body. Rest as I speak healing thoughts to your body: I am one with Divine life. This life flows within my mind & body as a steady stream of healing energy & strengthening power. Divine life is doing its perfect work within my body, right now. I know that there is no condition which Divine life cannot heal for God life is never sick or limited in any way. There is a steady inflow of perfect life energy into every atom, cell, tissue, & organ of my body. I have faith that healing is taking place in me, right now. Affirm: The life of God flows through me. I radiate God’s wholeness & energy.

God, we give thanks for peace, wisdom & health that are ours through You. We feel very prosperous. Your bountiful goodness comes to us as unconditional love. It is always with us, surrounding us & filling our lives with abundance for every need. We recognize, accept & give thanks for it. With joy & appreciation, we open our minds & hearts, completely, to divine love & the power it has to bless us. Centered in the wholeness of God’s presence, we no longer worry about the daily supply for our needs, for we see Your prospering power at work in our lives & in the life of our church home. Your love is our security, our prosperity, & our success. Affirm: “Abundant supply is now ours through God’s prospering love. We are grateful. We trust You, God, to continually meet our needs.” Rest in the silence of prayer & accept the good God has already prepared for you.

During this precious time of prayer, we have released our concerns & have felt the presence of God as Divine peace, life, light & love. As we move on to the activities of this Labor Day weekend, we keep our thoughts centered on God, in the faith that unlimited good is now coming forth to & through us. For we are God’s children. Amen.

GREAT WORK

In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus said, “Come to me all who labor & are heavy laden & I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you & learn from me, for I am gentle & lowly at heart. You will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy & my burden is light.”

Labor Day weekend is a time to bless the work of our minds & hands & the workers of our world. Charles Fillmore said, “The Father has sent each 1 of us out to do a certain work.” Are you doing that work? Have you asked God what it is? This morning I’m sharing the Unity Viewpoint about work.

Psalms 14:3, says this, “Oh magnify the Lord with me. Let us exalt his nature together.” Today the word magnify means to ‘enlarge something or increase it in significance’, but in a 1st century Christian world, it still had its ancient meaning which was ‘to advertise.’ So the Psalmist is saying, “I want you to God out & advertise God with me. This doesn’t mean going door to door telling people about God. They didn’t have doors. It means to become so God-like in your own life, that you advertise God wherever you go. It means to become so God-like in your work that you advertise God just by living your life.

I’m sharing stories of real people who’ve advertised God. Wilma Rudolph was the 20th child born to a poor black family in a Tennessee slum. She was born with her right foot turned inside & deformed. Doctors told her parents that even though it caused excruciating pain, she had wear a leg brace for at least 6 years. They had to force her to walk on that brace. She was 11 when they finally took it off. But her ordeal wasn’t over. Now the doctors said she had to exercise that leg in every possible way. So she started to power walk & run & do everything she could do to exercise that foot & that leg. & she did something else, she prayed. She prayed that her leg could be healed & her family prayed with her.

As little Wilma prayed, she knew that she was God’s child & that there was a great & good Spirit in her & that nothing in the world could hold back. She put her faith in God to the test, thinking, if she could overcome the afflictions of her birth then others might see & do the same. She used just 1 affirmation, right out of the Bible, Philippians 4:13. “I can do all things through him, who strengthens me. She used it as she walked, ran & exercised & that leg started to strengthen & grow straight. So much so that she became a track star & in 1960, the 1st woman ever to win 3 gold metals in 1 Olympics.

I went to graduate school in Tennessee & lived near where she was born. For 1 of my sociology classes I had to go into the neighborhood she’d lived in to intervirew people & I witnessed unimaginable poverty, violence & crime. At the time I had 2 babies & I was in a very abusive marriage. Everyday was a struggle for me & everyday as I left campus, if I took a certain route home, there was a curve in the road so sharp that I had to slow down in order to make it. Right at that curve there was a huge billboard advertisement inviting people to attend a local Baptist Church, the 1 Wilma had grown up in. It pictured Wilma Rudolph, as a child wearing a leg brace, a teen in pain, as an adult & Olympian crossing the finish Line & wearing her 3 Gold metals with the words printed under her picture, “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.”

Everyday I left school, feeling exhausted & thinking I’d never finish & break free of what I’d gotten myself into, then I’d see that billboard. I’d read, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” & feel a surge of just enough energy to know I could keep going another day. Wilma Rudolph advertised God for me.

Several years later I moved to Virginia & found Unity & read these words in Jim Freeman’s book, “Prayer the Master Key.” “One of the highest forms of prayer is work. Give yourself to a creative purpose. Let your mind & hands become absorbed in bringing forth some good thing & you will draw very close to God.”

Everyone has a great work to do with his or her life; That work will be more mental effort than physical effort. Like Wilma Rudloph, you too can contribute a Great Work to humanity through how you live your life, IF you remember to keep a balance between the spiritual world & the physical world & you can IF you believe God is bigger than any human problem & IF you pray, believe & act as if you are a spiritual being. On page 168 of her book “Make Your Dreams Come True”, Unity author Stella Terrill Mann says, "The difference between work & play is that the 1st carries a feeling of ‘I must,” & is often done with resistance. The 2nd has a feeling of ‘I want to’ & is generally done with joy."

Recently, I watched a movie about the life of Eleanor Roosevelt on the history channel. After her husband was elected President, she said, “Ok, now what am I to do?” When Louie Howell answered, “Well, you have to go around the country, making speeches & personal appearances.” She said, “Me? Get someone else. I couldn’t possibly stand in front of a group of people & make a speech, not even if my life depended on it.” Louie Howell said that he had to figure out a way to trick her into doing it. One day he invited her to drive out to a labor camp & when they got there he said, “Mrs. Roosevelt, they are waiting for you.” She was trembling all over as she walked to the stage & took her place behind the podium. But with a prayer & a shaking voice, she gave the speech & they loved her. The story ended with her looking back at her life saying, “You must do the thing you think you cannot do, because there is that within you that will empower you to do it. Don’t be like the old man that stares at the grave & says, “What I don’t understand is how I ever can go over the hill without ever being on the top.”

In an archived Unity publication called “The Good Business Treasure Chest,” co-founder, Charles Fillmore said, “The sooner we all realize that we’re working for God, not for man, the sooner we shall find peace, success & happiness, in all of our affairs.”

At the turn of the century, a man with a dream of having a department store, borrowed money from family & friends & opened a beautiful store full of merchandise. But no customers came to buy & the man couldn’t understand what he was doing wrong. He had sales & promotions, borrowed more money, but still no customers. Finally, in desperation, he decided to pray about it. Isn’t that that way we often do life? We work & work at something & then only as a last resort, we pray.

In prayer an inspiration came to him, “Make God your partner. & Not only your partner, but the first partner. Ask, listen & let God direct this business.” He made a morning appointment for each day with God & kept that appointment & so did God & he received the inspiration he needed day by day. The store’s name is “Lord & Taylor’s.” But there is no ‘Mr. Lord.’ The ‘Lord is God’ & a reminder to everyone: “Put God first in your life & in your work.”

Work is often thought of in terms of receiving because we have been conditioned to place the Source of our good outside of ourselves. In his book “The Flow of Life”, Unity Minister, Eric Butterworth said, It is vitally important to carefully analyze your attitude toward your work. If you think of work as a place to make money, or to make a living, you are out of the flow of life. You are contradicting the fundamental metaphysical principal that life is lived from the within out. We need instead to form the habit of thinking of work in terms of giving. Working is simply letting God be God in you. God has no other hands to create with than your hands.”

In a later chapter, he writes “Work is a very important area of your life’s experience. It’s is an opportunity to grow. But many people will spend their lives looking for soft jobs or interesting work. This is an unrealistic approach to your life & misses the point of your spiritual life. The worker who gets into the flow of creativity is given the answer to all happiness & success. So no matter what your labors, if you allow that which is within you to come to the without, you are going to have a magical ingredient in your work. For the truth really is, as you give so you receive.”

A man born into a very poor Mennonite family in my home state of Pennsylvania. As a young boy, he worked as an apprentice to a candy maker. At 19, he tried to manufacture his own candies & went bankrupt. After many more failures, at the age of 43, he found a way to make a caramel in a new & less expensive way. A group of financiers bought his idea for 1 million dollars. After giving him the money, they asked, “What are you going to do with the money?” & he said, “The reason I had this success is I went to God. & I am going to use my life to better the world in any way I possibly can & I am going to begin by creating a 5 cent chocolate bar. They laughed at him because there was already a lot of competition in the chocolate industry. 3 years later, the man had built the world’s largest chocolate factory, all because he went to God daily for guidance.

H. Emilie Cady said, in her book “Lessons in Truth”, “Work is labor only when it is for self. Labor, not work, brings weariness to your life, sorrow & then sickness. Labor not for meat that is for any good for yourself. Working as God works inside of you does not cause weariness, for then the current of unlimited Divine Life is always flowing through you anew.” To this day, the Hershey’s of Pennsylvania give a percentage of the price of every candy bar sold, to a school for homeless boys & to help society out.

Ok, so now let me talk to someone in this room who is going through a failure right now. You are a Spiritual Being. You are not your failures. You do not work alone. You are a channel of God’s activity inspiring you & working through you, as you. You aren’t finished, because unless you’ve taken God as your 1st partner, you haven’t even begun yet, because God hasn’t been activated inside of you. & Your physical age doesn’t matter; Colonel Sanders didn’t start his Chicken business until he was 65. What appears to you as your work is in reality, what God wants you to do, what God wants to do through you. Do it with God & you will succeed & Advertise God with me & the people I’ve talked about in the way we are meant to advertise God!

This realization will remind you that you are a channel through which God works. These thoughts that I am sharing with you today are inspired by Myrtle Fillmore, the co-founder of the Unity movement, who wrote in her book, “Myrtle Fillmore’s Healing Letters”: "

We haven’t much to say, as to when the work called Unity was started & how it was done. Charles & I just received from the Father some ideas that proved wonderfully helpful in our own family & when we shared them with others, they too were helped.

We are doing what the Father has given us to do, according to our best light. Show God that you are ready to do your best & God will keep increasing your ability & will place you where you will be blessed & where your work will bless others. We know that faith, understanding & the determination to live according to the Creator’s plan will bring forth whatever is needed & will do this for everyone who puts his or her trust fully in the Father."

I’m going to close now with this poem by Elizabeth Landweir:

You came, and you made small talk with me.
You touched a cup, a chair.

You brought a book for me to see.
A merry joke to share.

You did not speak to me of God.
But after you had gone.

Within the firelight where you stood.
His presence lingered on.

Accept the challenge of the active presence of God in you & in your life & if you haven’t started it yet, begin today to do your great work with God. Let us Magnify God together so that after we leave our current jobs, after we leave our current life, may they say of us, God’s presence lingers on because she was there, because he was there in my life. Let us know & live the truth that set us free. Amen.

 

 



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