Unity Service Notes for July 24

>> Monday, July 25, 2011

This Sunday's Guest Speaker was Rev. Rob Robinson.  The topic was titled To Be or Not To Be.

Each of us has a choice, every day of our lives, every minute, every second, to be living in alignment with Truth (God), or not.  

Rob started our morning prayer with the request that we let go of every thought we have, each piece of energy, that is not God.  I thought this was pretty profound.  The anxiety I was holding onto for not having any money to donate this week was not God.  The frustration I felt about running late again was not God.  God is the energy of Yes! of Pure Love, and those niggling worries and angers and fears I held inside were definitely not God.

Rob then relayed the story of Peter walking on water with Jesus, from Matthew 14:22-33

 22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 

 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

   29 “Come,” he said.

   Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” (NIV)

What Rob invited us to do was consider how Peter got back to the boat.  There are 3 options, Rob says:

  1. He swam back to the boat.
  2. Jesus pulled him back to the boat.
  3. He walked back, once Jesus had his hand.
The most logical answer, Rob says, is number 3:  Peter started to fall as he lost his faith.  Jesus grabbed his hand and steadied Peter, and the two of them walked back together.  You might be asking 'What's the significance of this?'  How is it related to living in alignment with Truth?

Sometimes we don't have faith.  It's true.  Sometimes I feel like giving up entirely.  We all go there.  When we feel like we're floundering, we have a lifeline.  We can grab on to someone nearby who has the faith to shoulder us both.  Another way of looking at it is this way:  Peter couldn't see/identify the Christ presence within him, but he saw it in Jesus Christ.  We can grab on to Jesus when we can't see our own Christ inside of us, or we can grab onto those around us, because we know the Christ is within them.  That's what Sundays are about anyways, Rob says.  To be around others, to help us be in continual awareness that we are surrounded by and are the Christ.

And faith is what allows us to believe that we are who we are, that we are Truth in human form, and we are here for a reason.

You can listen to the talk in it's entirety at Unity of Olympia's audio page.

Short notes this week--Rob was very vibrant and entertaining, so I mostly just sat back and took it all in.  Unfortunately retaining more than a couple of highlights was difficult.

I also want to put a plug in to listen to Rev Sue Oliver's "The Power of Imagination" talk from July 10th. It was very inspiring!  I've misplaced my notes and won't be posting a writeup until I find them.  You can also follow her on Twitter.


Unity Service Notes, June 12 [archive]

I'm a little (okay, a lot) behind on the notes I wanted to share from Unity of Olympia services, so I'm going to try to catch up a bit.  

This entry's post is from Sunday, June 12 (44 days ago, holy crap), with guest speaker Rev. Marla Mason.  

I wanted to share it because it is essentially on the same topic as Rev. Sue Zeal Oliver's, which I posted about here, Walking the Talk of Faith.   I believe Marla's topic was called Moving from Fear to Faith.  To listen to it, you can visit Unity of Olympia's Audio page.

(As a side note, this is one downside to having perpetual guest speakers; they aren't aware of each other's topics...so there's the potential for repeats.  I know each guest has a different spin on similar topics, but it sometimes feels like there's no meta-topic, no through-line.)

There are some eternal, unchanging facts:

Faith Doesn't change.  God doesn't change.  Spiritual Law Doesn't Change.

What we put our faith in changes.

We dread fear--we try to avoid it at all costs, but it can actually be a tool.  Fear is positive, a motivator towards faith.  If you feel fear, this is good!  It means you've stopped relying on your coping mechanisms (or they've stopped working for you) and are now facing reality.  This is the first step toward manifesting your good in this life.  

When we feel our fear, it gives us the opportunity to focus on what we hope for.  This is how it happens:  We're uncomfortable in our fear.  We want to stop being fearful.  We start hoping for things to be better.  We picture what 'better' looks like.  It becomes brighter, more vibrant, more tangeble-seeming.  Our hope becomes a possibility.  

Focusing on our hope moves us toward using affirmations to move toward achieving our hopes.  Then we slowly move from Hope, to Faith.  Faith that what we hope for will happen.  

Marla's summing up:

Stop using our coping strategies, so that we can manifest our good.
Attention is the mechanism that calls forth our faith.  Coping shifts our attention away from reality.
The same thing that makes you sick will heal you.
If you don't have faith, borrow it.*  

*We'll go back to this concept in a future entry.

To learn more about Rev. Marla Mason, visit her website at www.marlamason.com.


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