CMC Active Ministers (147)

Tuesday, 29 March 2022 03:23

The Truth Is Not Any of That

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Dear Miracle Workers,

As I watch the mainstream news and alternative news sources reporting the state of affairs playing out in our world, it seems that there is evil everywhere. How can this out-picturing of division, destruction, attack, death, pain and suffering, lack of food and water, confusion and displacement of millions of refugees, struggling in fear and despair, be real? It seems so unbelievable. Yet looking at our world history, it appears to be more of the same insanity, another story playing out with victims of yet another war. We see a world in chaos appearing so real and so sad.

My inner voice of reason, reminds me not to believe all that I hear and see, to know the truth is not any of that! I am instructed to allow the correction to take place, to stop watching and start listening within. In meditation I ask for guidance to facilitate miracles of peace and love in our world.

I remember this world is an illusion, the appearance of "evil" is of the ego thought system. It’s a dream we created, fear based habits and destructive beliefs of the sub-conscious mind that we can change.

"... it must be realized that it is you who dreamed the dreaming that you do not like. It is but an effect which you have caused, and you would not be cause of this effect." (OrEd.Tx.28.19)

"The miracle is the first step in giving back to cause the function of causation, not effect. For this confusion has produced the dream, and while it lasts, will wakening be feared." (OrEd.Tx.28.24)

We are divine beloved Children of God – one with that power, intelligence and source. We are as God is: love, peace, harmony, joy, grace, happiness, and abundance!

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #330, Mar. 29 2022)

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The world can often appear to be a noisy and dangerous place. Death, disease, war, and division abound through our corporate media. They counsel us to sate our fears and anxieties with sexy products sold through slick ads. We know of another Counselor who gently guides us to go within. My talk will be about how we can strengthen our determination to go within and follow our gentle Counselor back to our right mind where peace, and joy, and love abide. 27 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

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Tuesday, 22 March 2022 03:15

Spiritual And Religious

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Dear Miracle Workers,

I consider myself a committed spiritual person. I also consider myself a committed religious person. The two are not identical but are certainly intertwined. Modern society has been involved in the denigration of religion for decades. Religion is an authority challenge to those in power. Intellectuals love to talk about the atrocities of organized religions throughout the ages (the Crusades are a good example). Modern day organized religion is not spared (Catholic priest scandals about sexual abuse of children). However the many gifts from organized religion get ignored or marginalized. Religious charities have always helped those struggling in times of disaster and war. Churches, monasteries, and religious persons of all faiths are frequently the first to organize help when disaster strikes. Helping the needy is often woven into the spiritual beliefs of the religious and their organization into churches with active communities gives them just the kind of foundational organization needed when disaster happens.

The Course is not against church or religion and talks about church positively. “… only you can be the foundation of God's church. … Any church which does not inspire love has a hidden altar ... I must found His church on you because you who accept me as a model are literally my disciples." (OrEd.Tx.6.12) This is Jesus telling us to be his disciples, and thus the foundation for a church based on love. The Course also cautions us against “anti-religious” concepts. "This particularly unfortunate interpretation, ... has led many people to be bitterly afraid of God. This particularly anti-religious concept enters into many religions" (OrEd.Tx.6.12) The concept being called out is that God encouraged his Son to suffer because he was good.

Church is merely organized spiritual community. Secular organizations are just as fraught with problems as religious ones – maybe more. Just look at government.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #329, Mar. 22 2022)

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Tuesday, 15 March 2022 03:07

Ending the War

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Dear Miracle Workers,

Most people are troubled by the violent fighting in the Ukraine. It is estimated that more than 3 million people have already fled the country. The population of Ukraine was 41,300,000. Already more than 7% of the population have fled. The longer the war goes on this number will increase. I’m sure we will be at 10% soon. Take that in for a moment – 1 in 10 will have soon fled the war torn country.

ACIM has a lot to say about war, and it is never "good." It is never romanticized nor called "just." The Course wants us to know that in war both sides inevitably loose. "Yet peace is stronger than war because it heals. War is division, not increase. No one gains from strife." (OrEd.Tx.5.24) Many ACIM students believe they should look at the war as neutral. I understand that – but I don’t think broad neutrality is truly appropriate ACIM practice.

Death of the body, and especially violent death at the hands of our fellow man, is not a valueless or meaningless thing. "Living is joy, but death can only weep." (OrEd.Tx.20.5) This kind of fighting and death only bring tears. ACIM teaches this kind of death is an inherently grim image and will never reconcile with God. "The grimness of the symbol is enough to show it cannot co-exist with God." (OrEd.Mn.27.3) ACIM fundamentalists have trouble with my more "fuzzy" ACIM practice, but being rigid is how one breaks instead of bends.

ACIM also identifies the war we have against ourselves, and ultimately any external war must just be a reflection of that. Instead of sending love and peace energy to Ukraine, why not work at ending our internal wars. How can we forgive ourselves today? What forgiveness could we extend to others?

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #328, Mar. 15 2022)

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It is a well know fact that “Fear not,” “Be not afraid," or some other derivation of this thought is the most often repeated phrase in the Bible. It is a common thing for angels to say to people. An angel told this to Mary the mother of Jesus when she learned she was pregnant. An angel said this to the shepherds who were in fear of the light and “glory” all around them when the baby Jesus was being born. Of course Jesus said it frequently during his ministry too. He told this to his apostles when they panicked at seeing him walk on water. And he’s still saying it to us in ACIM. All throughout ACIM we hear this consistent “fear not” message. The lesson from the Workbook "There is nothing to fear." (OrEd.WkBk.48) comes to mind. I always like to remember that this can be also interpreted as that fear is vaporous and without substance, as in “fear – nothing to it.” Join me on Sunday as we explore our ego's favorite addiction – fear. 31 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

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Tuesday, 08 March 2022 02:59

I Am a "Freedom Sider"

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Dear Miracle Workers,

I have always been a “freedom sider,” a term I just made up. I am not a freedom fighter. The world has celebrated freedom fighters throughout history, but a few “freedom siders” have managed to catch the world’s attention too. Mahatma Ghandi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. come to mind. ACIM calls us to be “freedom-siders.” “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. ... 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) The quotation is provocative because it states that once we start fighting for freedom it is not even freedom anymore, hence it must be slavery.

There is much going on in the world that inspires these thoughts in me today. The People’s Convoy of USA truckers with 1000s (possibly) of trucks and other vehicles circling the Washington DC beltway (Interstate 495) because they are siding with freedom from medical mandates (vaccine and mask etc). Some people call these medical mandates, medical tyranny.

There are the images of regular Ukrainian citizens in the Russian occupied Black Sea port city of Kherson protesting the Russian occupation in the town square and city streets unarmed and peacefully right alongside and in front of Russian military vehicles and tanks – a wonderful demonstration of siding with freedom.

However there were disturbing images of the Ukrainian government arming the civilian population with automatic rifles and teaching them how to be snipers so that if they need to they can kill occupying Russian troops. That is fighting for freedom and remember ACIM says that is not even freedom anymore when it gets to that.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #327, Mar. 8 2022)

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March 1st was the Community Miracles Center’s (CMC) 35th birthday. I, (Rev. Tony) have been the President and CEO for the entire time. I am very grateful that we have stayed active and vital through all those years, and especially through the last 2 years of the pandemic. Many small churches or similar religious organizations have not survived. The fact that CMC is still here and meeting the needs of ACIM students around the world is a very noteworthy accomplishment. Our world situation is uncertain right now and the future is impossible to predict. However what one can bet on is the CMC being there to meet the future head on and continue providing spiritual community and study resources to the large, broad, and diverse ACIM community. 34 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

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Thursday, 03 March 2022 02:52

Assisted Living Mysteries

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Dear Miracle Workers,

Assisted living is full of mysteries. My mom is 94 and in assisted living. The thing they don’t tell you when you are taking the nice tour, or after you’ve paid your deposit and are going through orientation, is that your loved one’s “things” are going to disappear. This is especially true with clothes, towels, sheets – you name it. You can go through a whole Sharpie putting names and initials on things and they will still disappear. It’s a mystery.

Some people go into assisted living because they need physical assistance. But some, like my mom, are in various stages of dementia and a lot of her neighbors are like that, too. So, who knows? Things might be “borrowed,” or “found,” or “collected.” Some go into the laundry room never to be seen again. And anything new or of value might walk out the door with a temporary worker. Mom’s wedding ring disappeared that way – I think.

I pretty much take this all in stride – thanks to ACIM. “All things are lessons God would have me learn.” (OrEd.WkBk.193) I can only feel lack or loss, or even annoyance, if I feel I have been deprived. And I can only feel deprived if I have forgotten who I am and what this world is. My attachment to concepts such as order, future needs, history, the past, possessions, and judgments of right and wrong, will become powerful anchors to the illusion, if I let them. Instead, “... there is a way to look on everything that lets it be to you another step to Him and to salvation of the world." (OrEd.WkBk.193.17) So now I try to be like Byron Katie. Wedding ring missing? I look forward to that happening again! – so I can continue to learn.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #326, Mar. 3 2022)

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Rev. Paula Carpe helps you to shift your thinking, open your heart, inspire, guide, and support you on your journey. From the depths of our own being, God speaks to us through a medium of our own dreams, our imagination, and visions. What we believe is manifest as our experience in the world. By Knowing our Divinity, and choosing an open and receptive state of being, Divine Guidance comes through loud and clear. Find out how you can tune into the power within, pause and find the cause, allow a shift in consciousness, rewrite your story and move the invisible to the visible. Rev. Paula shares personal experiences, spiritual principles and lessons from: ACIM, ACOL and other spiritual teachings. 28 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

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Wednesday, 23 February 2022 01:35

As the CMC Turns 35 Years Old – Patience

Written by

Dear Miracle Workers,

On March 1, 2022 the CMC turns 35. We will be completing our 35th year, beginning our 36th. I have been the Executive Minister the entire time and in these last few days of year 35 I am guided to pause and contemplate.

At this moment, more than others in the past, I truly have no idea what is in store for the future. Of course I never truly knew, but there were Holy Spirit given plans. "[A healed mind] carries out the plans which it receives through listening to Wisdom that is not its own." (OrEd.WkBk.135.12) Now Holy Spirit's guidance is, “There are no future plans.” It’s all day to day right now. Each day I approach work with what is the most important thing to do today. “Steady as it goes” seems to be another thing I hear. At the moment there are no conferences to plan (either in-person or virtual) and they were huge undertakings for the previous 20 years. The world itself seems to be on hold.

I have no office assistant right now. At first I saw this as a “lack” that needed to be filled, but my perception has changed. “All is well as it is” is what I hear. A leaner CMC is a more viable CMC right now. We are being prepared for something. What it is has not been revealed.

We have our Sunday Gathering. (Have you joined us lately?) There are 5 other drop-in groups happening weekly. Plus we have 4 classes people register and enroll for. Miracles Monthly continues to go out. I’m working on the last issue of Volume #35 now (420th issue). Our web site is expanding. I am open to receiving new guidance. At this moment, "Patience is natural to those who trust." (OrEd.Mn.4.20)

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #325, Feb. 23 2022)

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Select CMC Minister

  • Rev. Tony Ponticello is CMC Minister #20. He was ordained on Oct. 17, 1997. He is Executive Minister of Community…
  • Rev. Peter Graham is CMC Minister #40. He was ordained on Feb. 23, 2002. He serves on the CMC Board…
  • Deb Canja is a spiritual teacher dedicated to removing the obstacles that prevent us from experiencing self-love and inner peace.…
  • Rev. Joanie Schaeffer-Goss is CMC Minister #71. She was ordained on Feb. 16, 2014. She co-facilitates the "Southern Spirit Sisters"…
  • Rev. Paula Carpe is CMC minister #125. She was ordained Feb. 14, 2021. She teaches CMC's Wed. morning 9:00 a.m.…
  • Rev. Kim Wilson is CMC minister #85. She was ordained Mar. 15, 2015. She teaches CMC's Tue. evening A Course…
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