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What's Love Got to Do With It?

by Rev. Tony Ponticello

Classic Tina Turner

lasic Tina Turner

Later on she says, "What's love got to do with it? What's love but a sweet old fashioned notion?" I hear this as Tina trying to ignore that there is something within her, that is loving, that wants to go to love. Yet she's afraid of it, and she wants to just make it this physical, biological thing. That she can handle – maybe, maybe not – but she's trying to make it strictly a physical thing. She's trying to ignore the love that is underneath that. However, you get the impression from the song that eventually she succumbs to the love. 

A Course In Miracles says, "The confusion of miracle impulses ..." or love impulses, "... with physical impulses ..." or maybe what feels like sexual impulses, "... is a major source of perceptual distortion because it induces, rather than straightens out, the basic level confusion .... Inappropriate physical impulses (or misdirected miracle impulses) result in conscious guilt if expressed and depression if denied. All real pleasure comes from doing God's will." (OrEd.Tx.1.104)

I like that it doesn't really give us much option here. (laughter)  If we feel these physical impulses they are misdirected love impulses, and I guess we only have two choices. One is to express them, and the other is to ignore them. If we express them we'll feel guilty. If we ignore them we'll feel depressed. I'll go for guilt. (laughter) I think I can handle the guilt. I can rise above the guilt. I don't want to be depressed. 

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CMC's 29th Birthday Celebration

by Seven CMC Ordained Ministers

Seven CMC Ordained Ministers

Reverends: Peter Graham, Tedosio Samora, Judy Junghans, Tony Ponticello, Dusa Althea Rammessirsingh, Brad Pethoud, and Rudy Colombini

29 years! When I first came to the Community Miracles Center I was at that time spiritually deprived. I didn't have any spiritual understanding, because I was drinking and taking drugs in those early years. I was doing everything you can imagine. Then I went to AA and got clean and sober. Then I had to find more spiritual stuff and I couldn't find it. I go back to 1989 when I first saw this blue book, not the blue book of AA (laughter) but this one. I saw this blue book in one of the booths at the Castro Street Fair. (Rev. Tedosio held up a copy of the Foundation for Inner Peace *A Course in Miracles*.) So I looked at the book but I was still drinking then. I said "Aw this is nothing but a cult." I threw it back at the guy. I said "I'll never read that book." But I think that was kind of a sign at that time because the next year I was walking down Haight Street. I was looking up from the street at this building and I saw the sign California Miracles Center. (Editors note: The CMC had only a small sign in the window on the second floor and it was not lit. Rev. Tedosio must have truly been destined to see it.)

I walked up and I met Reverends Tony and Larry. Larry scared me. (laughter) I was welcomed. I bought A Course in Miracles and I started reading it. I think it changed my mind, because I saw things differently when I read the first things in the Course. It made sense to me now. I think this was because I was sober and I wasn't looking at it the other way. So I was very glad to start. Then Community Miracles Center started the classes, and I went to the classes and I went to the parties at Larry's house. They were fantastic and I was ordained at Rev. Larry's house. That was fantastic too. I'm very glad that I got involved at what is now called the Community Miracles Center. I never knew that I would become a board member. I've been here for a while and I just like the organization. I like what we've accomplished. We have places to go like Las Vegas next month. Those are the things I see that have grown out of Community Miracles Center and I am very happy to be part of it. So I thank you all for letting me be here and talk to you because I love you all. That's one thing I learned – unconditional love to all.

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Along the Path to Enlightenment Crucifixion Happens - Then What?

by Rev. Peter Graham

3 Crosses on Calvary through Tomb Entrance

3 Crosses on Calvary through Tomb Entrance

In my own experience, what I've learned as an A Course In Miracles student, is that when I'm in my crucifixion moments I get a little more willingness then. What the Course says is that our miscreations have a limit. I think that's what Jesus tells us in A Course in Miracles  – you can miscreate but he and the Holy Spirit are only going to let you go so far. The more you grow as a Course student, the more you experience enlightenment, you experience those good feelings.You come to Sunday Service, and you feel the love here that is vibrating. Well I can have that or I can have my suffering. Which am I going to choose? 

Now, another thing that I sometimes want to do is what I call "spiritual bypass surgery." In essence this is the ineffective way in which we try to deal with our suffering using the cover of spirituality. I'm going to share with you some things that I have done. One thing I have done is to try to anticipate my ego. I'm a high school teacher, so in the summertime, because I have time off,  I tend to meditate more. I think about all the things in my workplace or in my life that bother me. Whatever, sometimes relationships, but a lot of times my workplace. I have several colleagues I work with who have been challenging. I pray for them, and I forgive them. I visualize this and that. Then I get back the first day at work and it's the same. I have the same kind of challenges. That has taught me that my healing usually needs to take place in the midst of the crucifixion. When the darkness is coming up I need to address it then. I need to pray then. I need to ask for the miracle. I need to use my spiritual tools and technology.

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The State of the Church

by Rev. Tony Pontiello

2 Actors Portray Pursah and Arten

2 Actors Portray Pursah and Arten for The Disappearance of the Universe TV Pilot

In another place in A Course In Miracles — it's actually talking about something else controversial that can't be proved, reincarnation. So, it's talking about reincarnation but it applies just as well to this. I'm going to substitute a few words to make this quotation a little more applicable. "For our purposes, it would not be helpful to take any definite stand on [the authenticity of The Disappearance Of The Universe.] A teacher of God should be as helpful to those who believe in it as to those who do not. ... Our course is not concerned with any concept that is not acceptable to anyone, regardless of his formal beliefs. His ego will be enough for him to cope with, and it is not the part of wisdom to add sectarian controversies to his burdens." (M-24.3.1-2,4-5) "It cannot be too strongly emphasized that this course aims at a complete reversal of thought. When this is finally accomplished, issues such as the validity of [The Disappearance Of The Universe] become meaningless. Until then, they are likely to be merely controversial. The teacher of God is, therefore, wise to step away from all such questions, for he has much to teach and learn apart from them." (M-24.4.1-4)

It's a sectarian controversy. The wisest thing would be to not get embroiled in it. To side step, away from it. Actually, I'm going to use the text of this sermon as my way to answer the whole question about The Disappearance Of The Universe. (Thus, this article in *Miracles Monthly.*) I think we should get on with the main task at hand which is teaching A Course In Miracles and not get so embroiled in this idea whether Arten and Pursah actually exist, because nobody can prove it either way. The author says it happened. That's just the way the situation is. We need to accept the situation.

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CMC Mission Statement

" The Community Miracles Center is a worldwide community for anyone who is interested in the spiritual teaching A Course in Miracles. We are on the "Great Crusade" in learning how to forgive the world that we are in. We do that by LISTENING to guidance from Holy Spirit or our Higher Power, LEARNING about true cause and effect, and actively DOING things to shift the errors in perception. Our mission is to transform the world we see into a reflection of Heaven and manifest the "Real World." We do this locally, nationally, and internationally "