CMC Active Ministers (147)

Tuesday, 08 June 2021 12:00

This Is the Day that WE Have Made

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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)

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When I think of aliens, I think about how they’re portrayed in Hollywood movies. In many movies they look like fearsome, enlarged, insect-like creatures with really scary faces. The thought of making love to this depiction of an alien would repulse most people. A Course in Miracles describes an equally unpleasant image of the ego. It describes the ego using the imagery of blood, skeletons and pigs to name a few; still we often make love to its beliefs and idols. My talk will be about how we can use this imagery as a way to expose the ego and make love to the beauty, innocence, and oneness of our true reality. 26 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Tuesday, 25 May 2021 12:00

Your Practice Is Important

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Dear Miracle Workers,

As I practice using the Course I sometimes forget why I’m doing it. Sometimes I get caught up in how often I have practiced and judge myself on whether or not I’ve had a miracle as often as I used to have them. All this is simply more madness from my ego. Recently, I was taking a walk and I was thinking again that I hadn’t had a miracle in a while. That’s when it popped into my head (thank you, Holy Spirit) that it was still important to practice the ideas. The ideas themselves are healing and upholding the One Mind. I had never realized that before. Simply repeating the ideas in my mind is helpful.

The miracle is always there, but I am still practicing whether I have a miracle or not. We are each here to help one another remember. My remembering is helping my brothers as well as myself. That thought has helped to release me from “trying” to have a miracle or judging myself about it. I know that’s my ego, but somehow I’ve been freed from all concern about it. Now I’m just willing to practice. “The overall aim of the exercises is to increase your ability to extend the ideas you will be practicing to include everything.” (FIP.WkBk.Intro.7) So, I am happy just to practice.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #288, May 25, 2021)

Tuesday, 18 May 2021 12:00

Producing Time Miracles

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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)

Tuesday, 11 May 2021 12:00

Everyone Lives in a Small Town

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Dear Miracle Workers,

Remember that John Mellencamp song, "Small Town"? It came out in 1985 and some of the lyrics are:

Well I was born in a small town
And I live in a small town
Probably die in a small town…

 The point of the song is that there is a comfort and a familiarity and even a charm about his small town that makes him want to stay:

And I can breathe in a small town
Gonna die in this small town
And that’s probably where they’ll bury me.

It got me to thinking, don’t we all live in a small town? The people we grew up with, the experiences we’ve had, the limits we’ve learned, the memories we cherish, the judgments we’ve made – they are all still there – in the small town in our mind – where we still live.

Our habits of thought are comfortable and familiar. We like them. We believe in them. In fact, were we to suddenly have to give them all up, we would feel anchorless and fearful. That is why, in the Manual for Teachers, Jesus explains that most of us are given “a slowly-evolving training program.” (OrEd.Mn.9.1) We are also taught that how much time we spend in this training program before being born again, before we remember who we are and the innocent child we are, is up to us. We can choose to be buried in our small town, or we can choose to be born again into someplace really spectacular.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #286, May 11, 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

Tuesday, 04 May 2021 12:00

The One Thing That Worked

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Dear Miracle Workers,

Since becoming a published author I’ve heard a lot of advice on how to turn a book into “a money-making machine” and make “a six-figure income.” It always sounds so great until I remember I walked away from a six-figure income and a rewarding position because I’d had a nagging feeling I was being called to do something else.

And even though I didn’t know what I was being called toward, I knew what I was being called from. Jesus tells us there is a basic level confusion that underlies all attempts to seek happiness with the instruments of the world. He says, “A desert is a desert is a desert. You can do anything you want in it, but you cannot change it from what it is. It still lacks water, which is why it is a desert. The thing to do with a desert is to leave." (CE.1.43.12:2-5)

I left a desert for more alignment with A Course In Miracles. Even though I’d been studying the Course for years, I didn’t feel I was living its teachings. For starters, I hadn’t actually ever done the lessons the way they are supposed to be done. I’d read a lesson in the morning and not even remember it until the end of the day. And forget about that every half hour thing! I bought lesson cards and a reminder app for my phone. I taped things to my mirror. I’d like to say it all worked like a charm, but it didn’t.

Yet, one thing did –– the Community Miracles Center’s Workbook Lesson class. I almost didn’t take it. I remember saying, “There is NO WAY I am going to call a lesson buddy every day and do the lesson together! I am too busy! I don’t want to be that structured! I don’t even like talking on the phone!” But, folks, it’s the one thing that worked. And it was such a beautiful experience. I’m now on my third year of “lesson buddy-ness.” Looking for a fast track? This is it.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #285, May 4, 2021)

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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

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  • 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…