Rev. Tony Ponticello

Rev. Tony Ponticello

Rev. Tony Ponticello is CMC Minister #20. He was ordained on Oct. 17, 1997. He is Executive Minister of Community Miracles Center and serves on the CMC Board as President. He is the Master of Ceremonies for the CMC Sunday Gathering and teaches 2 other CMC classes.

Tuesday, 21 September 2021 05:58

I Always Side with Freedom

Dear Miracle Workers,

I see now that everything in my life was always on purpose. It is so clear to me now. I took part in a civil disobedience movement in my high school called “Student Activists for Reform” which was protesting a strict dress code rule. Thank you Canastota High School for the training. In college I participated in anti-war demonstrations and camped outside on a cold sidewalk in front of a building take over to lend support to those inside. We were protesting Cornell University’s numerous defense contracts and funding. It was the era of the Viet Nam war.

I’ve spoken against laws that discriminated against single people by giving huge financial breaks and tax incentives to those who are legally married. I have always been happily “single” and don’t think it is right that I should be discriminated against for my life-style choices. I have stood for LGBTQ rights because I am actively bisexual and knew that being ostracized because of one's sexual orientation was wrong.

While some of my ACIM friends have challenged me for being too involved with the world, I stand by my choices to side with freedom whenever it is being limited. I find great support in ACIM with this quotation: "You have heard many arguments on behalf of 'the freedoms,' which would indeed have been freedom if man had not chosen to fight for them. That is why they perceive 'the freedoms' as many instead of as one. Yet the argument that underlies the defense of freedom is perfectly valid. Because it is true, it should not be fought for, but it should be sided with." (OrEd.Tx.7.11) Freedom is one.

Whenever freedom is being challenged I will probably be guided to side with it. It is my special function and – I’m pretty good at it. (lol)

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(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #305, Sep. 21 2021)

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One of the things I’ve always liked about ACIM is the strong emphasis it has on just being happy. It tells us twice in the Text not to miss opportunities to simply “gladden yourselves" and that this easy technique to achieve happiness is an important key to healing! "To heal is to make happy. I have told you before to think how many opportunities you have to gladden yourselves and how many you have refused. This is exactly the same as telling you that you have refused to heal yourselves." (OrEd.Tx.5.1) Think of our current medical industry. Do you see any focus on happiness and joy? Mostly we see health as a very “serious” and somber business, when it should be light hearted and full of joy and laughter. No wonder we’re so sick as a society. I (Rev. Tony) recently received the guidance to carve out some personal happiness for myself, and perhaps the guidance is for you all as well. Would you like to accept more opportunities to gladden yourself? Then join me and dedicate yourself to stop refusing them. Now is the time to be glad, be happy, and to heal! 23 Min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

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I had already been a dedicated ACIM student for 20 years when 9/11 happened. On that day, twenty years ago, Rev. Larry, my partner in the CMC, called me up early in the morning and told me to turn on the television. I did – just in time to see North Tower collapse 7:28 a.m. Pacific. My ACIM training kicked in and I quickly remembered the quote, "God did not create that airplane crash, and so it is not real." (OrEd.WkBk.14.5) I was watching an hallucination from the collective mind. The 9/11 event put our country and maybe the world into a heightened fear state that has yet to abate. The current pandemic and our reaction to it has been a recent manifestation. The continual admonitions to “Be safe” are another symptom. On this anniversary I am asking myself what I have learned in the past 20 years while living in the shadow of this event and the fear that still pervades our society. "The only thing that is required for a healing is a lack of fear. The fearful are not healed and cannot heal." (OrEd.Tx.27.45) Join me. 32 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

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Thursday, 09 September 2021 05:42

The 20 Year Anniversary of 9/11

Dear Miracle Workers,

This week we will have the 20 year anniversary of 9/11. There is an entire new generation that grew up after 9/11 now. They grew up in the shadow of it, in the climate of fear that was manifested after it. Remember the terror threat levels continually broadcast at airports? It was always orange (high) or yellow (caution). It never was green (safe). Just what I wanted, projections of fear every time I was getting ready to fly. I just got back from flying across the country and back. Now we are all masked and shielded. Everyone you look at brings reminders of the fear most people live in constantly.

We ACIM students bring a different message, but can we live the fearless message we are learning? "The only thing that is required for a healing is a lack of fear. The fearful are not healed and cannot heal." (OrEd.Tx.27.45) How are you living fearlessly today? That is the same as asking how are you a miracle worker today?

Unless you have been in media isolation (actually probably a good place to be) you know that Afghanistan is now back in the hands of the Taliban. What was that all for? $2,261,000,000,000 (2.261 trillion) was spent on the war in Afghanistan. We could have ended world hunger for that. Without world hunger there would be no political extremists, no “terrorists”, no hijacked planes.

For those ACIM purists who will think this missive too worldly focused please remember that ACIM tells us that we must look at the suffering if we are going to heal it. The suffering of the world is our suffering. The world is not separate from us. The world is us. "Look about the world, and see the suffering there. Is not your heart willing to bring your weary brothers rest?" (OrEd.WkBk.191.12)

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(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #303, Sep. 9 2021)

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Occasionally when I walk around and look at my sisters, brothers, and others in the world I am acutely aware of how tired and weary many are. I could look away and towards the more pleasant images, but occasionally I am guided to take a moment and feel the pain of the world. I believe Jesus did that, and this is why so many connected with him. He was compassionate. I believe Jesus’ tendency to do that is reflected in what he instructs us to do in ACIM, "Look about the world, and see the suffering there. Is not your heart willing to bring your weary brothers rest?" (OrEd.WkBk.191.12) “Yes" it does move my heart. “Yes” I want to bring them rest. The next line after the above quotation tells us exactly what we must do to alleviate the suffering we witness. "They must await your own release. They stay in chains till you are free." (OrEd.WkBk.191.13) So it comes back to our freedom, to our choices. Confronted with some very hard personal choices for freedom lately, I am grateful to my many brothers for giving me so may signposts along the way. 25 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Send CMC a tax-deductible donation via PayPal or your Credit Card to support this work. "Thank you!"

Thursday, 26 August 2021 05:24

There Truly Is No Excuse

Dear Miracle Workers,

I am frequently hearing excuses from the ACIM community. I hear excuses about why NOW isn’t the time to start a dedicated ACIM class. I hear excuses about why NOW isn’t the time to extend healing the way Jesus is asking us to. "I would not ask you to do the things you cannot do, and it is impossible that I could do things you cannot do. Given this, and given this quite literally, there can be nothing which prevents you from doing exactly what I ask, and everything which argues for your doing it." (OrEd.Tx.8.88)

I hear excuses about why NOW isn’t the time to join the CMC Healing Team. When is this bizarre and so different from now “future” that people are always waiting for? "What time but now can truth be recognized? The present is the only time there is. And so today, this instant, now, we come to look upon what is forever there – not in our sight, but in the eyes of Christ." (OrEd.WkBk.164.1) That future that they are waiting for is – never.

What are YOU waiting for? Hopefully nothing. We can do everything we CAN do NOW. If we can’t do it now, then it’s not supposed to be done now. But there are always things we can do now, so let’s start doing them. “Listen, learn and DO.” (OrEd.Tx.1.31) We need to let go of our excuses and realize that “future” day when you will truly do the Workbook lessons is here NOW! If there is a program that will help you to do them, then the time to join that program is NOW. "For the past is gone, the future but imagined. These concerns are but defenses against present change of focus in perception. Nothing more." (OrEd.WkBk.181.4) Do it now. No excuse.

Send CMC a tax-deductible donation via PayPal or your Credit Card to support this work. "Thank you!"

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #301, Aug. 26 2021)

Sunday, 22 August 2021 04:23

08.22.21 Video "The Mechanics of Healing"

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A Course in Miracles is an amazing manual, teaching us how to heal at the level of cause (the mind) and, thus, heal at all levels, since the body and the entire physical world is being projected by the mind. But, after 35 years of working with students, I find that people are still confused about how this is done, the mechanics of it. Underneath this seeming confusion is an active resistance to the process, which many students don’t want to look at. I addressed this issue in a recent workshop for Miracle Network the main ACIM organization in the United Kingdom. This Sunday I am going to share some of the highlights from that 3 hour workshop. 27 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

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Thursday, 19 August 2021 22:49

Receiving the Promise of ACIM

Dear Miracle Workers,

Being dedicated ACIM students takes dedication and discipline. While people can certainly use ACIM for random inspiration, I believe to truly receive the promise of the Course requires much more from a person. "You want salvation. You want to be happy. You want peace. You do not have them now because your mind is totally undisciplined" (OrEd.WkBk.20.2) The promise referred to in this passage would be salvation, happiness, and peace. So ask yourself, do you feel saved, happy, and peaceful? If your answer to any of that is not as much as you would like — then it’s time to look at you dedication and discipline.

How is your daily lesson practice? If you are doing the lessons in the yearly sequence, then Thursday’s lesson is number 231 “Father, I will but to remember you.” In this 2nd part of the Workbook we are supposed to read the special topic that precedes each group of 10 lessons every day before the day’s lessons for all 10 days. Today started “What is Salvation?” (OrEd.WkBk.SpTp231) Did you read it before reading the lesson? Will you do that for the next 10 days? How long are you spending in quiet meditation after reading both the special topic and the lesson? Try upping the time. I am currently doing 15 minutes. I know many think they do not have the time but think of the time we waste doing unimportant things. How much time do you waste on social media every day. "Time can waste as well as be wasted. The miracle-worker, therefore, accepts the time-control factor gladly" (OrEd.Tx.1.87)

I certainly don’t want to be wasted. I’m into waste management! (lol) Did you remember to think about the many thousands of other ACIM students doing the day’s lesson along with you. No? Do it now.

Send CMC a tax-deductible donation via PayPal or your Credit Card to support this work. "Thank you!"

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #299, Aug. 19 2021)

Tuesday, 10 August 2021 22:45

A High School Reunion When the Past Is Gone

Dear Miracle Workers,

Tomorrow, Wed. Aug. 11, I fly from San Francisco, CA to Syracuse NY. I was born and raised in a small town named Canastota near there. I went to Canastota High School there. Sat. Aug 14, I will be attending my high school reunion. The last reunion I attended was 15 years ago.

While I have been “Rev. Tony” for many years I have never gone home wearing a cleric shirt and collar before. I sought guidance on if I was indeed going to show up like this. Eventually got a clear “yes” – so here I go.

ACIM tells us many times, “The past is gone.” (OrEd.Tx.16.73) I did pull down my old high school yearbook and took a look through. I felt very disconnected from it all. It seemed remote and held little interest. In truth that past IS gone and it doesn’t interest me.

What does interest me are the relationships I have and can have with some of these people now in the present. There were 144 people in my senior class. I believe over 30 of them have already made their transition from earthly life with a couple passing this past month. I have felt a certain openness from some as they accumulate years and witness classmates pass. Perhaps I can bring a new perspective. I am interested in experiencing the Holy Encounters I can have with the ones who remain and who will be experiencing me for the first time as not only “Rev. Tony” in name but also in appearance. They have no past reference for that. "When you have learned to look upon everyone with no reference at all to the past, either his or yours as you perceived it, you will be able to learn from what you see now." (OrEd.Tx.12.46)

Send CMC a tax-deductible donation via PayPal or your Credit Card to support this work. "Thank you!"

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #299, Aug. 10 2021)

Tuesday, 03 August 2021 05:57

Now More than Ever

Dear Miracle Workers,

One thing the current pandemic has shown me is that a vast majority of people walk around with a huge amount of fear and rely almost exclusively on external guidance. The belief in sickness and death is very strong for most, and unfortunately the belief in healing through spiritual connection is very weak. Sickness, the fear of it, and the defense from it preoccupy the many minds which are still listening a majority of time to the ego. Alas this is exactly what ACIM teaches the ego wants to do. "Sickness is a way of demonstrating that you can be hurt. It is a witness to your frailty, your vulnerability, and your extreme need to depend on external guidance. The ego uses this as its best argument for your need for its guidance." (OrEd.Tx.8.76)

What this means for us ACIM people is that the world needs us now more than ever. The world needs us to be walking and living demonstrations of another way. The world needs us to be fearless. No wait – it is so much more than just being fearless. The world needs us to be walking, living demonstrations of people fully engaged and experiencing the joy and abundance of life. We need to be the embodiment of this ACIM message. "Very gently [God's teachers] call to their brothers to turn away from death. Behold, you Son of God, what life can offer you. Would you choose sickness in place of this?" (OrEd.Mn.5.9)

I do that every day and in every way I can. I know that I may need to improve a bit on the “very gently” part (lol), but I do see the results. I witness the others I connect with reflecting the joy of life too, especially when with me. We all heal each other.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #298, Aug. 3 2021)

Sunday, 25 July 2021 06:54

07.25.21 Video "As It Is in Heaven"

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Most people recognize this oft repeated phrase as from The Lord’s Prayer. Many ACIM students want to separate earth and Heaven with a gulf so great it can never be bridged. Yet that famous phrase from The Lord’s Prayer is in ACIM too, and not just in a reference to the Bible or even the Lord’s Prayer directly. "The Holy Spirit is the way in which God's Will can be done on earth as it is in Heaven." (OrEd.Tx.5.26) Actually ACIM talks several times about the separation between earth and Heaven disappearing. "'Heaven and earth shall pass away' simply means that they will not continue to exist as separate states." (OrEd.Tx.1.34) "It is His holiness that lights up Heaven and that brings to earth the pure reflection of the light above, wherein are earth and Heaven joined as one." (OrEd.WkBk.182.4) Join Rev. Tony Sunday as he brings earth and Heaven closer together for all of us. 25 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Dear Miracle Workers,

As of Tuesday, July 20 we entered a section of the Workbook that said the minimum amount of quiet time after reading the lesson needs to be 15 minutes. It’s in the introduction to Review VI, "Besides the time you give morning and evening, which should not be less than 15 minutes …” (OrEd.WkBk.RvVI.1). I read that this morning and said, “Oh crap!” I have made a commitment this year to up my game and truly do the lessons to the best of my ability the way they are put forth. There is no reason why I could not give 15 minutes – so I did. It helped that I had a lesson partner keeping me accountable as well.

I have never been much of a meditator and was always glad that ACIM didn’t seem to have a focus on meditation. In fact – it seems to say it wasn’t necessary in a couple of places. "Nor is a lifetime of contemplation and long periods of meditation aimed at detachment from the body necessary." (OrEd.Tx.18.56) The rest of that passage talks about how tedious and time consuming these meditations could be. That was certainly my experience.

Still, I couldn’t get past today’s instruction and how clearly stated it was. I certainly don’t want to reinforce an idea that I do not have enough time by choosing to NOT do the 15 minutes asked. If my belief is that I do not have enough time then I will continue to manifest a life experience where I don’t have enough time. I’ve done enough of that in my life and I am willing to let it go. I do have enough time. I have an abundance of time. How are you all doing with your lesson practice?

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #296, Jul. 20 2021)

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I hear many ACIM students arguing for their limitations. They are quick to say how they are not “there” yet. (Never quite sure where “there” is since we are all always here and now.) Healing and salvation keep getting put off into an imagined future. In short, the students lack confidence because they don’t see that they have mastered miracle working yet. "Confidence cannot develop fully until mastery has been accomplished." (OrEd.Tx.2.104) These students keep waiting for outer manifestations, and they don’t find them – or not enough of them. Since the inner is the cause for the outer, healing manifestations and mastery have to begin at the level of cause – the mind. The mind is the kingdom we rule, so let’s start ruling! Let’s decry that we will start collecting and focusing on all the perceptions which show us our mastery of miracles, and not collect and focus on perceptions which reinforce a separate and weak ego self. "... however much I seem to be impelled by outside happenings. I choose to see what I would look upon, and this I see and only this.” (OrEd.WkBk.335.1) We can choose to see our mastery of miracles and thus we can be confident. 24 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Sunday, 11 July 2021 06:48

07.11.21 Video "Stay the Course"

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I (Rev.Tony) have been an ACIM student since 1980, and an extremely dedicated one since 1981. Many people talk about how they threw the book in the trash, or against the wall … but I never had those experiences. Once I accepted the Course as my spiritual path in 1981 I never rejected it or moved away from it. That is not to say that I didn’t have “bad” or fearful times. I DID!! But I never gave up the Course when those were happening. I used the Course to help me through them. "You will need [the Workbook lesson ideas] most in situations which appear to be upsetting, rather than in those which already seem to be calm and quiet." (OrEd.WkBk.Rv1.4) I stayed the Course – and that has made all the difference. 22 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Tuesday, 06 July 2021 20:13

Discernment — The Greatest Achievement

Dear Miracle Workers,

A difficult challenge of being a miracle worker is the lack of support one gets for thinking differently. The world can deal harshly with the innocent, guiltless, free thinking miracle workers, “… for is it not a well-known fact the world deals harshly with defenseless innocence?" (OrEd.Tx.31.46)

Often times the world does not support the guidance one receives. Sometimes the guidance is in direct opposition to what touted world authorities are advising. This can thrust miracle workers into conflict, opposition, and even embarrassment. "... what he hears [from Holy Spirit] may indeed be quite startling. It may also seem to be quite irrelevant to the presented problem as he perceives it, and may, in fact, confront him with a situation that appears to be very embarrassing." (OrEd.Mn.21.5) I find students read this teaching without truly taking it in. What is says is that guidance from the Holy Spirit might seem startling, irrelevant, and embarrassing! People who like to simplify ACIM with platitudes like “The guidance from the Holy Spirit will always feel peaceful” tend to dismiss this teaching from the Manual believing that it must have been meant for someone else – not them.

ACIM tells us that guidance from Holy Spirit may actually lead us to terror. "Yet God can bring you there if you are willing to follow the Holy Spirit through seeming terror, trusting Him not to abandon you and leave you there." (OrEd.Tx.18.87) “Seeming terror” certainly isn’t peaceful so to say Holy Spirit’s Voice can be discerned by the peace it gives you is misleading. Learning to distinguish the Holy Spirit’s Voice from the ego is an on-going challenge. Our traditional Christian friends call this “discernment.” If we are going to deal with the challenges of being a miracle worker then discernment will be our greatest achievement.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #294, Jul. 6 2021)

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