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Jan 27th, 2008-

Rev. Wayne's Sermon

Everything happens for a reason…. Have you ever wondered if
everything does happen for a reason? When I was younger I often
wondered that. In my early childhood and as a young adult, I have
gone to different churches. I have been to Baptist, Non-
denominational, and Catholic churches. In all those churches I have
asked questions. And in every single one I always got the same
answers. "God has a plan" or "God works in mysterious ways". I have
even heard "God don't want you to know that". I refuse to accept that
as a reasonable answer. So I gave up on getting my questions answered
and also gave up on the church because nothing they told me made
sense. It was not until 2001 I was reading a Sylvia Brown book that I
found my answers. Now everyone knows Sylvia as a physic, but beyond
that she also has a doctorate degree in religion and founded her own
church called Novus Spiritus. Her church is a Gnostic church.
Now at the time I have never heard of Gnosticism. So I did
some research. I found the Nag Hammadi Library, the Dead Sea Scrolls,
the Gnostic bible, and other words of Gnostic wisdom. The information
was awakening because all my questions, now, have been answered. What
is the purpose of life? And why everything happens.
Our purpose in Heaven and on Earth is to perfect our souls,
for God, and ourselves. God is pure energy of everything that ever
was. Everything that is now. And everything that will be. Since he is
energy, he can not experience for himself. So, that's why he created
us. He experiences through us. We experience to perfect our souls and
at the same time God experiences everything that we experience.
In heaven everything is beautiful and perfect. There are no
human flaws. Such as anger, hatred, jealousy. No sorrow or anguish.
No pain and suffering. So to perfect our souls further, we choose to
incarnate here on Earth. We begin by charting out our lives we want
to live, here on Earth. We chart out everything from who we marry.
How many kids we have. How long we live, our parents, tragedies, even
our own death.
Life on Earth is often referred to as "boot camp" or "the
battle ground". When you sign up for the military. You know what you
are getting yourself into. You know that you are going to be pushed
to your limits, physically and emotionally. But you do it anyway, for
yourself and for your country. And choosing to come to earth is the
same thing. You know you are going to be pushed to your limits,
physically and emotionally. But you do it anyway, for yourself and
for God.
But no matter what you are going through. Remember, you are
going through it because you wanted to. For you own quest for
perfection. Everything does happen for a reason. The reason is
because you wanted to experience it. Whether it be winning the
lottery or losing everything that you love. Everything is done for
your perfection. And if you are one who has taken on more than you
can handle. You can ask for you chart to be changed. You can pray to
your spirit guide, your totem animal, pray to BOB. Or just ask god
for a little help.
Your goal in life is to fulfill your contract. It's that
simple. Just survive. Graduate this lifetime so you can go back home
to God.
If you are going through hard times. It is for your own
benefit. Just keep surviving, push through it. Ask for help from the
powers that be. And you will get through it. It will make you a
stronger person. To perfect your soul is simply to survive life.
In the church of Novus Spiritus. They live by the 21 tenets.
Kind of their commandments. Only they are words of wisdom instead of
commands.
Tenet 7 says: Know that each life is a path winding toward
perfection. It is the step by step that is hard, not the whole of the
journey.
And Tenet 13: God does not create the adversities in life. By
your own choice, they exist to aid in your perfection.


And I will end with a prayer.

Dear God,
Forgive us for what we have done to ourselves. Forgive us for
what we have listened to and absorbed and how we lost our way and
didn't realize that You were inside us all the time. Protect us, Dear
God, throughout this next year. Let us grow spiritually, let us grow
in faith ourselves, and let us love ourselves and others. Please help
us not to take everything so seriously, to be able to laugh and to
have fun and to bring about joy, and to nourish and nurture and care
about ourselves. Dear God we ask this in the name of the Father, the
Son, and the Holy Spirit, feeling bright, rejuvenated, full of love,
caring, and peace with resolution.

Amen

Jan 13th, 2008-

Rev. Mark's Message

Just the other, I saw a picture of our President. He was standing amongst a group of Greek Orthodox clerics in Jerusalem, the world’s hotbed of politico-religious animosity for the last 5 milennia. It’s a city that has been constantly wracked by violence, seemingly doe in the name of GID, Very few times has this land, a land which 3 major religions call the Holy Land, ever known peace of which all preach and present as their goal.

That’s it of course. Each believes that only peace can be achieved their way, with their dogma, their disciplines and their rituals. “Ah if only the world would listen to us,”  they say “everything would be calm and quiet”.

Dogma becomes the sole focus and humanity is brushed aside from its path. This blind acceptance if a institutionally-defined “truth” u what blocks us from seeing the real nature of ourselves, of our neighbors, or our faiths, and keeps us from achieving the peace our leaders pay lip-service to, but rarely so anything to truly achieve.

To gain peace we need understanding. We need respect. Without understanding and respect, we have nothing but world full of intolereant individuals, each concerned only with their own beliefs and ideals.

Proverbs 11:12 tell us HE THAT IS VOID OF WISDOM DEPISETH HIS NEIGHBOR: BUT A MAN OF UNDERSTANDING HOLDETH HIS PEACE’ (King James Version)

Understanding is achieved though wisdom, wisdom though learning, and learning through the willingness to look beyond that which is on the surface and to dig deeper, find out what is at the core, the heart of each religions teachings.  Pick up a book, search the internet, speak to someone of another faith. Open your ears and your minds and actually listen to what they have to say. Granted, it is hard to push aside your own beliefs, to not be judgemental, to not see things from your own point of view.  But, you don’t have to. The point isn’t to agree, the point is to learn. It is only through learning that we can truely be at peace.

AS it says in the apocryphal Book of Baruch, learn where is wisdom, where is strength, where is understanding; that thou mayest know also where uis length of days, and life where is the light of the eyes, and peace.

Come let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, that we may walk the paths of the MOST HIGH. And we shall beat our swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks.  Nation shall not lift up sword against nations____ neither shall they learn war any more.”  Isaiah

 

Dec 30th, 2007-

Rev. Mark's Message

Life, at times, can seem terribly dreary. Familiar patterns are repeated over and over again. Ruts appear. Dishes keep getting dirty. Bills keep coming. The house always needs something done to it. The car always needs a tune. We grow older and our bodies signal the passing of time.  Bad habits that we thought we had kicked for good come back stronger, harder and with a grip that we can’t seem to break.

Emotionally, we can feel trapped by what has gone on before. The specters of previous actions, mistakes and evils creep back in to our heads haunting us with thoughts of what was, what is and what could have been. The depressing patterns of petty frustrations and useless arguments scar and desensitize us. We become numb, trying not to feel the things we do. We push that ghost of old hurts under our skins, beneath the psyche, but it doesn’t leave. It takes up residence in our subconscious, gnawing at our souls, growing larger, letting itself out for awhile just to stir things up in the most ridiculous ways- a tiff with our loved ones over dirty socks, a flip of the finger to the guy who cut you off in traffic, verbal abuse of the grocery clerk because your buy-one-get-one Cheetos rang up at full price.  We begin to believe that all is lost, that life is a hopeless, winless affair.

But there is always a chance to start anew.

God has always given man another chance. At various stages in history, a prophet has been sent to speak to those cultures who have needed it most- Abraham and Moses to the Jews, Zoroaster to the Persians, Buddha to the Orient, Jesus to the Judeans, Muhammad to the Arabs, and Baha’ullah to those that would become the Baha’i Faith.  Though their cultures and languages may be different, the message each brings is clearly the same. Have faith and treat others as you would like to be treated. There is always a chance to make things right.

 If you look around you, even now as winter has just started to set in, there are new beginnings. The New Year is upon us and traditionally we make promises to ourselves to make changes in our lives- our New Year’s Resolutions.  The seeds dropped by plants in the fall are underground now, awaiting their times to grow, to become a new plant.

(John 12:24). Jesus says: “Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.”

We can learn from the cyclical periods of nature. Just as saplings sprout from the devastation of forest fires so do new opportunities arise from the chaos in our lives. Sometimes it is difficult to see them. We’re blinded by the pain. We’re deafened by the stress. They are there, though amongst the fog.

We can see these things by being mindful. The great Buddhist monk, poet, and peacemaker Thich Nhat Hanh tells us to ask ourselves “’What nourishes joy in me? What nourishes joy in other? Do I nourish joy in myself and others enough?’ These are questions about the cessation of suffering- well-being. We must enjoy the precious jewels we already have. We have eyes that can see, lungs that can breathe, legs that can walk, and lips that can smile. When we suffer we must look deeply at our situations and find the conditions of happiness which are already there.”

We must see that well-being, a new beginning is possible. To do this we have to acknowledge what it is that makes us suffer. When you want to garden, you must touch the soil.

In Buddhism, a bodhisattva is someone who is motivated by compassion and seeks enlightenment not only for him/herself but for everyone. Bodhisattvas suffer as we do. The difference between them and us is they know how to convert their suffering into joy. Like a good organic gardener, they do not show favoritism for the flowers or prejudice against the compost. They know how to transform the refuse into flowers. Don’t throw away your suffering. Touch it. Know it and learn to transform it into happiness. Cultivate joy. In this way we can find the way to start fresh, to begin life anew.

 We will close with a prayer:

(Interfaith Prayer Book, Foreword, Page ii)

Lead me from the real to the unreal

Lead me from darkness to light

Lead me from death to life

From falsehood to truth

Lead me from despair to hope

From fear to trust

Lead me from hate to love

From war to peace

Let peace fill our heart

Our world, our universe

Peace. Peace. Peace

-Mother Teresa, adapted from Upanishads

Nov. 18th, 2007-

Tom Krattenmaker's USA Today article "A Force for Good" was discussed.

Rev. Wayne C. Seaman's Sermon

Eleven score and eleven years ago our fathers brought forth on this
continent a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the
prosperity that all men are created equal. Endowed by their creator
with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness…Our forefathers had the belief that
everyone had the right to their own religious beliefs. And because of
that they declared us our first amendment right. Freedom of
Religion, Press, and Expression. And it states that Congress
shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or
prohibiting the free exercise therefore' or abridging the freedom of
speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to
assemble, and petition the government for the Redress of Grievances.

Our government believes that in rights for our beliefs, however,
religion does not allow the rights for our beliefs. Ancient and all
the way to modern religions does not allow for Rights of Belief. They
believe there is one way. You have to believe in everything they tell
you to believe or if you don't believe what they tell you then you
will go to Hell.

Good evening, welcome to the Free Spirit Fellowship. Please turn your
bibles to Genesis 1:26. Then God said "Let us make man in out image
according to our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of
the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the
Earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth" So God
created man in his own image in the image of God He created him, male
and female, he created them.

Is there one God? Is there a Mother and Father God? Are there many
Gods? In all there are 26 versions of the bible and in every single
one it is written identical. They all say "Let "us" make man in "our"
image. I know in Christianity they say the "us" and "our" is
referring to the Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
But that does not justify in whose image the female was created. But
if you look in Deuteronomy 6:4 it says "Hear O Israel, the Lord our
God, the Lord is One." Then again Deuteronomy 6:14 it says "You shall
not go after other Gods, the Gods of people who are all around you"
THE GODS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE ALL AROUND YOU. Also in Exodus 20:3
says "You shall put no other Gods before me." So is this God
acknowledging other Gods?

Many cultures and religions believe in a Mother God. In ancient times
there was Inanna in Sumer, Ishtar in Babylon, Anat in Canaan, Isis in
Egypt, and Aphrodite in Greece. We can find a female God in Polynesia…
Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and even in North America. We
hear this here all the time. How many of you have cursed Mother
Nature for cold weather. How about Mother Earth?

In Hinduism, Buddhism, Paganism, they all believe in female
Goddesses. There are Feminine principles all over the world. The
Hebrew word "Shekinah" means "Divine Manifestation" which is a
creation of life from a higher power and it is interesting to note
that "Shekinah" is a feminine word in Hebrew.

Many cultures believe in many Gods, for many different
purposes. The Greek believe in Gods such as Zeus, Hera, Posiedon, and
Hades. Now the Romans have the same Gods but with different names.
Like Jupiter, Juno, Neptune, Pluto. "So that's where they got the
names for the planets?" The Hindus worship Gods like Brama, Vishnu,
Shiva, and Ganesh. The Egyptians have Gods like Ra, Khons, and
Pharoah who was worshiped as a God.

There are 10,000 distinctive religions on earth. Don't you
think if God wanted everyone to believe in one thing he would not
have given us so many choices. It does not matter what path you take
to get to God as long as your path gets to Him. There are no wrong
choices. Don't worry about making mistakes on your path. God loves us
all and He knows that we are not perfect. It's okay to make mistakes
in your life. There's no need to repent or confess your sins to
anyone. Most people do not know that "sin" means "to make mistakes".
And repent means "to change your mind." Sinning and Repenting based
on those definitions are a part of your souls perfection, you are
allowed to "make mistakes" and allowed to "change your mind about
those mistake". It does not mean you are going to Hell if you make
mistakes or if you change your mind. It does not mean that you will
not be accepted into the kingdom of Heaven for doing either one of
those. God knows we are human. Making mistakes are part of our
spiritual development.

And remember when you are investigating the mysteries of the
bible read it as it is written. Do not read it the way someone tells
you to interpret it. All you have to do is live the best life that
you can, love your God or Gods, and when you graduate from this
lifetime you will go back home to God.