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.

Dear Miracle Workers,

I shared these thoughts with my Healing Team this morning and I’ve received the guidance that they deserve a large audience. I want to talk about sparrows and eagles. ACIM has two references to sparrows and eagles that are books apart – literally. One is in the Text and the other is in the Manual. However, they both illuminate the same teaching

In the Text we have this, "Ask not the sparrow how the eagle soars, for those with little wings have not accepted for themselves the power to share with you." (OrEd.Tx.20.31) This is an actual metaphor!! No one really believes that anyone is going up to birds and asking them for flying instruction (lol). Don't ask sparrows, those who fly low to the ground and in short bursts, how the eagle soars so high in the sky in long extended glides. The sparrow doesn't know. The sparrow will not be able to give you any important information about this.

What’s the practical application? Don't ask healing advice from those who have not manifested any healing. They don't know! The second sparrow / eagle teaching in the Manual says, "Who would attempt to fly with the tiny wings of a sparrow when the mighty power of an eagle has been given him?" (OrEd.Mn.4.4) Okay, so why be content with low to the ground short spurts of flying when you can ("Thank you" The Steve Miller Band) "Fly Like an Eagle?" (We need to sing that song at the Sunday Gathering!)

Healing is flying like an eagle. Accepting sickness and death as inevitable is flying like a sparrow. Really – is there truly any choice here?

"I want to fly like an eagle -
To the sea -
Fly like an eagle -
Let my spirit carry me."

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #292, Jun. 24 2021)

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For as long as I can remember there has been a discussion in the ACIM Community about how much, if any, we should involve the appearance of the body in our healing practice. For some any mention of the body, or any worldly form at all, brings up a “knee jerk” response about how ACIM isn’t being understood if the body or these forms enter in the discussion at all. Still we are left with many, many passages which actually do talk about body healing and to interpret all of these as literary metaphor doesn’t seem right either. Then there are passages like this too, "The happy dream about him (our brother) takes the form of the appearance of his perfect health, his perfect freedom from all forms of lack, and safety from disaster of all kinds." (OrEd.Tx.30.90) Manifesting the happy dream about our brothers, sisters, and others sure seems to mean that their bodies and the forms of their lives will appear to be healthy and abundant. If you complete the previous quotation the appearance of health and its association with a miracles is even more pronounced. "The miracle is proof he is not bound by loss or suffering in any form because it can so easily be changed." (OrEd.Tx.30.90) Are we denying miracles by moving our focus too far away from form? 31 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Sunday, 13 June 2021 06:42

06.13.21 Video "The Signs of Life"

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In the Workbook we are taught that miracles are like water that falls from Heaven transforming the dry and dusty world into a lush world of green vibrant life. "Now the world is green. And everywhere the signs of life spring up to show that what is born can never die, for what has life has immortality." (OrEd.WkBk.SpTp341.5) Signs of life are springing up in my home city of San Francisco too. Today I received a public service announcement saying that next Tuesday June 15 most of the pandemic restrictions on masks and social distancing will finally be lifted in San Francisco. "WooHoo!!" I am acknowledging this as miracle rain from Heaven bringing new life, energy, and abundance to the struggling hotel and restaurant business which employs so many. Maybe it’s finally time for the new Roaring 20’s! 25 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Tuesday, 08 June 2021 12:00

This Is the Day that WE Have Made

Dear Miracle Workers,

There is a popular Psalm passage that reads, “This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Ps.118.24) Psalms is a book in the Old Testament. The psalms are not merely spiritual poems. They are the lyrics to ancient Jewish songs that were sung at sacred religious rites. They date between the 9th and 5th centuries BC. They have been around a long time. Now, in the 21st century AD, the musical background has been lost but the words remain in the Biblical book of Psalms.

ACIM would not teach that the Lord, or God, made time. Saying that the Lord made the day is not absolutely ACIM consistent. However the Course also teaches that the Holy Spirit has a better use for everything the ego made, which includes time – so in spirit the lyric above from Psalm 118 is still a great thing to align with. Plus it gives a bridge to connect ACIM students with our more traditional Christian friends.

This is the day that the Holy Spirit will use us to heal and to bring joy and celebration to all our sisters, brothers, and others. ACIM encourages us to meet every day in a pure energy of rejoicing and celebration. "Why are you not rejoicing? You are free of pain and sickness, misery and loss, and all effects of hatred and attack. No more is pain your friend and guilt your god, and you should welcome the effects of love." (OrEd.Tx.29.12) In order to truly rejoice as the Psalm passage tells us to do, we must also embrace the guarantee of healing that ACIM gives us. I have done that. Is this the day that you will also? Healing is that effect of Divine love in this world.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #290, Jun. 8 2021)

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Sunday we will celebrate my physical birthday. Monday will be June 7 and the day that I (Rev. Tony) celebrate my birthday. It’s the date on my birth certificate! Have a piece of birthday cake ready (really) and we’ll all eat one together after the Gathering. A couple of years ago I stopped counting the years. I am an eternal, infinite creation of Spirit. At our wonderful live, virtual event last weekend I still heard some of our speakers talk about the inevitable debilitating aging and death process. I heard, "As I get older I find I can’t do what I used to be able to do anymore.” I heard, “Every body dies.” I reject these “mad" beliefs. I will not be “mad / crazy” this birthday. "Is it not madness to think of life as being born, aging, losing vitality, and dying in the end?" (OrEd.Mn.27.1) These are thoughts and thoughts can be changed. I like to say, “Every day I am getting younger, better looking and richer!” Get that piece of cake and join me. 26 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Dear Miracle Worker,

Last weekend 200 of us were together at the CMC’s first live virtual event Unblock! Unlock! & Rock! It was terrific. I believe most got a lot out of it. I was so glad to be standing (literally) in the middle of all that miracle energy. The new ability to reach people from all over the world was demonstrated.

Rev. Deb (my event co-chair) and I truly saw how much people appreciated the break-out groups when they got opportunities to share. People so want to participate. They like listening to the speakers but then they want to add their own thoughts too. People have important things to contribute. They don’t just want to be little sponges soaking up the miracle “juice.” They want to be giving back the juice as well. One never knows when what one shares is just what someone else needs to hear.

We are all in this together and we all have a part to play in the world’s salvation. I was especially moved by long time Course student and CMC Supporting Member Ron Zaleski (pictured below) when he shared about his work with vets who have PTSD. He walked across the country barefoot with a large sandwich board sign strapped to his shoulders to bring attention to the fact that, “18 Vets a Day Commit Suicide.” That is a message that only he can give and he gives it in such a unique way.

Today’s Workbook Lesson #154 says, ”The messages which they deliver are intended first for them. And it is only as they can accept them for themselves that they become able to bring them further and to give them everywhere that they were meant to be." (OrEd.WkBk.154.6) We all have something unique and wonderful to share and the message is intended first for ourselves.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #289, Jun. 3 2021)

Tuesday, 18 May 2021 12:00

Producing Time Miracles

Dear Miracle Workers,

I have manifested a life where I frequently (always?) have a lot to do. Maybe that’s just the nature of church work in general. My usual activities of the day are always more than I can actually do. However I am an ACIM student and I believe in miracles. "The miracle is the only device which man has at his immediate disposal for controlling time." (OrEd.Tx.85.51) Sounds grandiose. The miracle that will allow me to control time itself is under my immediate disposal! “Immediate!?!?” Like right now!?!?

Last week the CMC’s checking account, payroll account, PayPal account, email account, and even our office phone lines were hacked and compromised. We’ll probably never know how this happened. Someone must have gotten into something of ours and was able to log into multiple accounts with passwords or password reset credentials. The resulting business chaos was “time consuming” to say the least. Can time truly be “consumed?” Yet miracles continued to happen. We were able to freeze everything before any money was lost. Considering the comprehensiveness of the situation that was amazing! “WooHoo!!”

There was all the time it took, and still is taking, and here I am “short on time” because our ACIM Virtual Event is happening next weekend. Could the event still happen? Was there enough time? Someone had definitely “consumed” my time. They ate it all up and left me with an empty time cupboard. But miracles give me time mastery. “Time is a trick – a sleight of hand, a vast illusion in which figures come and go as if by magic." (OrEd.WkBk.15.84) The miracle is happening. Our virtual event is progressing “on time” and I’ve had another opportunity to prove to myself how valuable it is for me to be a person who practices ACIM and produces time miracles.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #287, May 18, 2021)

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As Rev. Deb Canja and I prepare for the upcoming Live, Virtual event, I am taking a moment to pause and to express gratitude. Yesterday we hit over 100 registrants and the numbers have gone even higher since then. Midnight Sunday will be the end of the “Early Bird” price discount so I’m excited to see where we reach by midnight May 9. I am grateful to Rev. Deb who is the newest member of the CMC Board for all of her valuable training in organizing and marketing – plus her boundless positive energy, intelligence & creativity. I am grateful to our wonderful Presenters who agreed to participate and help with publicity – and basically to trust Community Miracles Center (and me Rev. Tony) one more time! Of course I am grateful to Holy Spirit for allowing us to change the “lemons” of the Pandemic and two canceled in-person Conferences – Los Angeles in 2020 and Washington DC in 2021 – to the wonderful lemonade of our upcoming Virtual Event: Unblock! Unlock! & Rock. ACIM teaches us "All things work together for good. There are no exceptions except in the ego's judgment." (OrEd.Tx.4.69) This has certainly proved itself to me during these last 14 months. 25 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

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Are we off to see the Wizard? It takes courage to take on the world’s thought system. The “Sickness & Death” lobby do not accept being challenged. They fight back! The ego will be quite vicious when its foundations are shaken and we may often quake with "... the sweat of terror and a scream of mortal fear. " (OrEd.Tx.27.73) However courage does not mean the absence of fear. It means that we faced the terror and followed guidance regardless. "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. ... He would lead you safely through and far beyond." (OrEd.Tx.18.87) Remember The Wizard of Oz? The Cowardly Lion thought he didn’t have courage because he was frequently afraid. However he learned that just facing his fears WAS the proof of courage. At the end the Wizard gave the Lion a hero’s “Courage Medal.” Let’s claim our own Courage Medal this Sunday at the Sunday Gathering! The Wizard will be there. 25 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Thursday, 29 April 2021 08:07

The Courage to Confront the Ego

Dear Miracle Workers,
I am aware of the tremendous courage it takes to confront the ego. There is a profound bravery that we have to find when we challenge the the ego’s dark cornerstones – the sickness, aging, and inevitable death belief. There is an appearance of a very organized group of collaborators that I have labeled “the sickness and death lobby.” This group continues to advocate and argue for – lobby for – the reality of sickness and death.
We are living through the manifest example of the control the sickness and death lobby has. The current pandemic gives us examples enough. The divisiveness of the society – mask or not mask, vaccine or no vaccine – is just another example of the divisiveness we continue to see elsewhere (ie: government). The insanity of the world continues to manifest. “This is an insane world, and do not underestimate the actual extent of its insanity.” (OrEd.Tx.13.50)
Never underestimate the strength of the ego’s defense for its belief system. “The ego will begin to attack your motives as soon as they become clearly out of accord with its perception of you. This is when it will shift abruptly from suspiciousness to viciousness.” (OrEd.Tx.9.42) Just observe how vicious both sides of the pandemic debate can get when they see the “other side” as disagreeing. Watch them both resort to extreme guilt projection.
The best way for us to handle the seeming attack is to understand we not in this alone. We call on our Mighty Companions. All of us regular ACIM students gathering with the CMC are here for each other. We hold hands as we look at the ego. We find our courage; we find our sanity. “Only the sane can look on stark insanity and raving madness with pity and compassion but not with fear.” (OrEd.Tx.19.100)
(First appeared in *Miracles Weekly* #284, Apr. 27 2021)
Sunday, 25 April 2021 06:29

04.25.21 Video "It's Time"

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ACIM tells us quite clearly, "The emphasis of this course always remains the same—it is at this moment that complete salvation is offered you, and it is at this moment that you can accept it." (OrEd.Mn.24.6) If it always "at this moment" then …it’s time for us all to do it. I still witness many students putting their healing off into the future. I still witness many students putting their happiness off into the future. "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) IT’S TIME! It is time to heal and be healed. It’s time to save and be saved. It’s time to extend peace and to embrace peace for ourselves. And it’s time to be happy and have fun – to be glad! Let’s stop refusing those moments to gladden ourselves. This week's Sunday Gathering will be one of those moments. Don’t refuse to experience it! IT’S TIME!

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The past year reminds me of the opening line in A Tale of Two Cities. “It was the best of time. It was the worst of times.” All over the media we hear continually how vulnerable we are, how we need to protect ourselves and stay “safe” with: masks, distance, vaccines, etc. Yet ACIM tells us, “Your safety lies in truth and not in lies. Love is your safety. Fear does not exist. Identify with love, and you are safe.” (WkBk.SpTp261.5) Identifying with love and keeping your heart open is the key. Those who have done this have connected, joined, and even prospered during this year. Now as the world begins to open up again we need these better tools to stay in our awareness of safety and even invulnerability. What are the main ways to do this? Rev. Tony shares his tips and tools for making this, and every time – “the best of times.”!! 26 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Wednesday, 07 April 2021 21:55

The Window Is Open

Dear Miracle Workers,

I believe that we are currently in a “window of opportunity” – "a favorable opportunity for doing something that must be seized immediately.” We in the USA appear to be coming out of the pandemic now. The New York Times reports that rates of death have been dropping steadily since reaching a high seven day average of 3,352 on January 12. Yesterday, April 5, the 7 day average was 794. I am not going to speculate at what is causing this. At the level of cause it is, of course, the mind. Apparently the mind has decided to let this pandemic go. In the illusion one can cite vaccine distribution and mitigation strategies – if we are guided to.

What I feel is that people have grown tired of thinking and worrying about sickness. I believe a certain percentage of them are looking for something else. They may, on the surface, be happy about a vaccine being available and life returning more to normal. But deep inside they have a knowing that another virus could be right around the corner any time, and vaccines and mitigation are only temporary fixes. These are the ones who are currently “ripe” for A Course in Miracles and the true healing that solid practice of it brings.

I feel the Holy Spirit is asking for our help now. He will send to us the ones who can hear the miracle healing message we have to share. Holy Spirit will tell us who they are, and what to say to them. However we have to be ready. We have to not interfere. "[Holy Spirit] will tell you exactly what to do to help anyone He sends to you for help and will speak to him through you if you do not interfere." (OrEd.Tx.9.28) The window is open.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #281, Apr. 6 2021)

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We hope to see many of you (all of you?) on Easter Sunday for a truly happy and festive Sunday Gathering! Please join us and bring an Easter treat to share for after the Gathering. A chocolate Easter bunny, Easter eggs, how about a plate of ham … or a glass of champagne!!! (We always had champagne at the CMC Easter Sunday pot-lucks). We’ll all share our Easter treat together after the Gathering is over. We’ll get happy! Rev. Tony is promising a truly JoyFull Easter Celebration. "The time of Easter is a time of joy and not of mourning. Look on your risen Friend and celebrate his holiness along with me. For Easter is the time of your salvation, along with mine." (OrEd.Tx.20.4) Do you have a new Easter hat (a bonnet?). Now is the time!! 25 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Thursday, 01 April 2021 12:00

Happy Easter — Time for Chocolate?

Dear Miracle Workers,

Easter is mentioned by name 12 times in the version of ACIM that I use. Christmas is only mentioned 5. Organized Christianity considers Easter to be the highest of holy days. Considering the frequency of mentions ACIM has, apparently Jesus considers it very important too. In the USA we tell people to be “merry” at Christmas, the usual greeting for Easter is “Happy Easter.” ACIM states, ”The time of Easter is a time of joy and not of mourning." (OrEd.Tx.20.4)

Considering the resurrection comes after the Good Friday crucifixion (aways made me wonder what was so “good” about it) the traditional Easter celebration was frequently tinged with the energy of torture and death. Plus organized Christianity tended to venerate the crucifixion itself. It made the cross the symbol of the faith. Many Christian churches have graphic, bloody, life size versions of Jesus (looking very much in pain) being crucified, prominently display in them. The one I grew up in did. Forty days of Lent focused on this painful event. Making a quick switch to joy and happy on Easter Sunday morning after 40 days of mourning was usually not very successful. ACIM spends lots of energy working to correct this misperception. "Let us not spend this holy week brooding on the crucifixion of God's Son, but happily in the celebration of his release. For Easter is the sign of peace, not pain." (OrEd.Tx.20.1)

Find something really fun to celebrate this Easter. The traditional Easter symbols are actually pagan fertility symbols – the rabbit, the egg. It’s associated with Spring and the birth of new life. While celebrating fertility might not be the most practical thing (maybe it is for some) a little happy chocolate indulgence might go a long way to bring some manifested joy to the faces of many.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #280, Apr. 1 2021)

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Select CMC Minister

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  • Deb Canja is a spiritual teacher dedicated to removing the obstacles that prevent us from experiencing self-love and inner peace.…
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