Lesson 182 I Will Be Still An Instant And Go Home

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 182 I will be still an instant and go home.

  1. This world you seem to live in is not home to you.  And somewhere in your mind you know that this is true.  A memory of home keeps haunting you, as if there were a place that called you to return, although you do not recognize the voice, nor what is it the voice reminds you of.  Yet still you feel an alien here, from somewhere all unknown.  Nothing so definite that you could say with certainty you are an exile here.  Just a persistent feeling, sometimes not more than a tiny throb, at other times hardly remembered, actively dismissed, but surely to return to mind again.
  2. No one but knows whereof we speak.  Yet some try to put by their suffering in games they play to occupy their time and keep their sadness from them.  Others will deny that they are sad, and do not recognize their tears at all.  Still others will maintain that what we speak of is illusion, not to be considered more than but dream.  Yet who, in simple honesty, without defensiveness and self-deception, would deny he understands the words we speak?
  3. We speak today for everyone who walks this world, for he is not at home.  He goes uncertainly about in endless search, seeking in darkness what he cannot find; not recognizing what it is he seeks.  A thousand homes he makes, yet none contents his restless mind.  He does not understand he builds in vain.  The home he seeks can not be made by him.  There is no substitute for Heaven.  All he ever made was hell.
  4. Perhaps you think it is your childhood home that you would find again.  The childhood of your body, and its place of shelter, are a memory now so distorted that you merely hold a picture of a past that never happened.  Yet there is a Child in you Who seeks His Father’s house and knows that He is alien here.  This childhood is eternal, with an innocence that will endure forever.  Where this Child shall go is holy ground.  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.
  5. It is this Child in you your Father knows as His Own Son.  It is this Child Who knows His Father.  He desires to go home so deeply, so unceasingly, His voice cries unto you to let Him rest a while.  He does not ask for more than just a few instants of respite; just an interval in which He can return to breathe again the holy air that fills His Father’s house.  You are His home as well.  He will return.  But give Him just a little time to be Himself, within the peace that is His home, resting in silence and in peace and love. 
  6. This Child needs your protection.  He is far from home.  He is so little that He seems so easily shut out, His tiny voice so readily obscured.  His call for help almost unheard amid the grating sounds and harsh and rasping noises of the world.  Yet does He know that in you still abides His sure protection.  You will fail Him not.  He will go home, and you along with Him.
  7. This Child is your defenselessness; your strength.  He trusts in you.  He came because He knew you would not fail.  He whispers of His home unceasingly to you.  For He would bring you back with Him, that He Himself might stay, and not return where He does not belong, and where He lives an outcast in a world of alien thoughts.  His patience has no limits.  He will wait until you hear His gentle Voice within you, calling you to let Him go in peace, along with you, to where He is at home and you with Him.
  8. When you are still an instant, when the world recedes from you, when valueless ideas ceases to have value in your restless mind, then will you hear His Voice.  So poignantly He calls to you that you will not resist Him longer.  In that instant He will take you to His home, and you will stay with Him in perfect stillness, silent and at peace, beyond all words, untouched by fear and doubt, sublimely certain that you are at home.
  9. Rest with Him frequently today.  For He was willing to become a little Child that you might learn of Him how strong is he who comes without defenses, offering only love’s messages to those who think he is their enemy.  He holds the might of Heaven in His hand and calls them friend, and gives His strength to them, that they may see He would be Friend to them.  He asks that they protect Him, for His home is far away, and He will not return to it alone.
  10. Christ is reborn as but a little Child each time a wanderer would leave his home.  For he must learn that what he would protect is but this Child, Who comes defenseless and Who is protected by defenselessness.  Go home with Him from time to time today.  You are as much an alien here as He.
  11. Take time today to lay aside your shield which profits nothing and lay down the spear and sword you raised against an enemy without existence.  Christ has called you friend and brother.  He has even come to ask your help in letting Him go home today, completed and completely.  He has come as does a little child, who must beseech his father for protection and for love.  He rules the universe, and yet He asks unceasingly that you return with Him and take illusions as your gods no more.
  12. You have not lost your innocence.  It is for this you yearn.  This is your heart’s desire.  This is the voice you hear, and this the call which cannot be denied.  The holy Child remains with you.  His home is yours.  Today He gives you His defenselessness, and you accept it in exchange for all the toys of battle you have made.  And now the way is open, and the journey has an end in sight at last.  Be still an instant and go home with Him and be at peace a while.[1]
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Personal Notes and Application:   This world is not our home, and when we are honest with ourselves, we know that this is true.  We are haunted by a sense of homesickness, a sense of longing, a persistent feeling that there is a world which has been snatched from us, a place of peace and love and joy that this world can only simulate in brief, rare moments sandwiched between blood, sweat, and tears of frustration and hard work. 

No matter how hard we try to make this world our home, to deny our unhappiness, to pretend to love its cruel games and its dark pleasures, its insane laws and unfair practices, all of us, if we are honest will admit that we know that this world is not our home.  We may not remember the other world where we experience certainty, oneness, joy, and wonder but we yearn for it.

In our efforts to recreate that world in this one.  Jesus tells us in verse three that in darkness we can make a thousand homes and yet find no rest.  Every story here, every search, every attempt to find meaning, joy, friendship, and certainty here in this world ends in the hell of death.  We simply cannot survive without our Source; in a world which is built upon saints and sinners, hopes and fears, love and hate, darkness and light, we will never experience anything but upheaval, uncertainty, and inequality. 

No matter how rosy our past looks and how far we go to return to it, it is gone.  It will never be again; in fact, it never really was.  No matter how fond you may be of your memories of the past, they are nothing but images of nothing that matters, nothing that truly exists, nothing that has made one bit of difference in the reality of God. 

Jesus teaches us today that we have an inner Child who has never been and never will be at home in this world where to survive it must take up arms against its brothers and alienate itself from love and survive on fear and defense against attack.  This innocent Child which abides in each of us, knows God as His Own and God knows as His Own.  This Child of God calls us and keeps calling us to let Him rest, to give Him peace and rest and joy from all the things of this world that weary Him and keep Him from His real home in God. 

This little Child calls to us to protect Him.  He is the baby Christ within each one of us – born into a world so dark and full of contradictions, knowing that He must go through the torments of darkness to get to the light from which He came.  He will go home, and we will go with Him.  It is why He is there inside of us, God-placed and never erased. 

It is during our quiet moments, our devotional practices, our times of putting aside this world and remembering the place from which we came, that we will hear the baby Christ within us.  Today Jesus tells us that His Voice will touch us in such a way that we will no longer be able to ignore it or resist it, and that it is in these moments of quietness and reflection, of meditation and our full attention in which this perfect Child takes us home.  Our lesson today reflects the innocence, the purity, the faith to believe in that which the world would distort and call crazy, the tenderness evoked by the holy Child.

For Christ, our brilliant Holy Brother who resisted darkness and temptation, was willing to become the little Child that we may learn of strength through defenselessness, how to offer love to those who would make us an enemy.  This Child holds all the strength of God’s eternal Kingdom; He is friend to all and calls us all as brothers and as friend.  This Child protects us as He calls to us to protect Him as well in this dark world far from reality and from which He can not return without us along with Him.  

Today Jesus teaches us that Christ is reborn into each one of us as we enter into this world, a world that we ended up in when we left the realm of love to explore the realm of darkness.  And it is this Child in which we must learn to protect because as a child He is defenseless, and it is our defenselessness which protects Him and protects us.  We build no defenses against God as we build no defenses against each other.  We lay them aside.  We take the Child by the hand and we walk with Him a while each day learning again to become as He is, to become Him.

This Child knows the love and peace and joy we have not entirely forgotten.  This Child knows that there is nothing in the world that He wants or needs.  This Child knows that this realm is for those who forgot who and what they really are and have lost their way.  This Child calls to us, leading us back to where we belong – exchanging all our ways of war and discord for the love and peace of God. 

Today we spend our “little while” with this Child.  We go Home with Him for a few moments.  We experience His peace, His Love, His Joy, His sense of wonder and appreciation.  We know that this is our heart’s desire.  We experience our innocence through the purity of this holy Child.  The shade of the trees, the green of the grass, the blue of the sky, the white clouds, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat are all a reflection of care of His Father and His love and devotion to us.   


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 182. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 181 I Trust My Brothers Who Are One With Me

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 181 I trust my brothers who are one with me.

  1. Trusting your brothers is essential to establishing and holding up your faith in your ability to transcend doubt and lack of sure conviction in yourself. When you attack a brother, you proclaim that he is limited by what you have perceived in him. You do not look beyond his errors. Rather, they are magnified, becoming blocks to your awareness of the Self That lies beyond your own mistakes, and passed his seeming sins as well as yours.
  2. Perception has a focus. It is this that gives consistency to what you see. Change but this focus, and what you behold will change accordingly. Your vision now will shift, to give support to the intent which has replaced the one you held before. Remove your focus on your brother’s sins, and you experience the peace that comes from faith in sinlessness. This faith receives its only sure support from what you see in others past their sins. For their mistakes, if focused on, are witnesses to sins in you. And you will not transcend their sight and see the sinlessness that lies beyond.
  3. Therefore, in practicing today, we first let all such little focuses give way to our great need to let our sinlessness become apparent. We instruct our minds that it is this we seek, and only this, for just a little while. We do not care about our future goals. And what we saw an instant previous has no concern for us within this interval of time wherein we practice changing our intent. We seek for innocence and nothing else. We seek for it with no concern but now.
  4. A major hazard to success has been involvement with your past and future goals. You have been quite preoccupied with how extremely different the goals this course is advocating are from those you held before. And you have also been dismayed by the depressing and restricting thought that, even if you should succeed, you will inevitably lose your way again.
  5. How could this matter?  For the past is gone; the future but imagined. These concerns are but defenses against present change of focus in perception. Nothing more. We lay these pointless limitations by a little while. We do not look to past beliefs, and what we will believe will not intrude upon us now. We enter in the time of practicing with one intent; to look upon the sinlessness within.
  6. We recognize that we have lost this goal if anger blocks our way in any form. And if a brother’s sins occur to us, our narrow focus will restrict our sight, and turn our eyes upon our own mistakes, which we will magnify and call our “sins.”  So, for a little while, without regard to past or future, should such blocks arise we will transcend them with instructions to our minds to change their focus, as we say: It is not this that I would look upon. I trust my brothers, who are one with me.
  7. And we will also use this thought to keep us safe throughout the day.  We do not seek for long-range goals. As each obstruction seems to block the vision of our sinlessness, we seek but for surcease an instant from the misery the focus upon sin will bring, and uncorrected will remain.
  8. Nor do we ask for fantasies. For what we seek to look upon is really there. And as our focus goes beyond mistakes, we will behold a holy sinless world. When seeing this is all we want to see, when this is all we seek for in the name of true perception, are the eyes of Christ inevitably ours. And the love He feels for us becomes our own as well. This will become the only thing we see reflected in the world and in ourselves.
  9. The world which once proclaimed our sins becomes a proof that we are sinless and our love for everyone we look upon attest to our remembrance of the holy Self which knows no sin, and never could conceive of anything without its sinlessness. We seek for this remembrance as we turn our minds to practicing today. We look neither ahead nor backwards. We look straight into the present.  And we give our trust to the experience we ask for now. Our sinlessness is but the Will of God. This instant is our willing one with His.[1]
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Personal Notes and Application:   Last year when I was first studying the Course lessons, I understood that, basically, my mind was being trained to think with love, acceptance, guiltlessness toward God, toward myself, and toward mankind.  By lesson 181, I had concluded that studying A Course in Miracles was not going to give me a magical experience; Jesus was not going to float down from the heavens, come into my heart, fill me with ecstasy, and transform me into a holy being.  I would have to ask, I would have to show, and I would have to practice my willingness to “give up” hatred, ill will, resentment, judgments, superiority/inferiority, jealousy, old wounds, imagined wounds, sad stories, sorrowful stories, false prophesies, a know-it-all attitude, bluff, arrogance, and littleness – and exchange it bit by bit for tiny holy instants of innocence, purity, goodwill, blessing, forgiveness, and Atonement. 

A Course in Miracles is the path that I chose to prepare our minds for the Kingdom of God.  A Course in Miracles explains why the traditional ways we have interpreted the gospel, revered some sages and “saints,” while castigating and torturing others, saved certain manuscripts and texts and called them holy, adopted and cherished false idols and wrongful images of God have stunted our minds, blinded our vision, and keep us in a prolonged state of separation from the very one Who promises us unity, love, and everlasting peace.  Today Jesus tells us that we must know the blocks to our attainment of the Kingdom of God in order to recognize them and put them aside. 

I had expected a miracle – as in a cloud of holiness, purity, and innocence that would sweep through me in an instant and change me, and I was a little disappointed that it was more than that – that I had to be prepared, I had to practice, I had to have things explained to me in a way that I could understand.  I thought that I was through with school, but here I was again, learning what had befallen us, the deception that has tricked and seduced and held us captive, and how we cannot escape it on our own.  Our human brains are designed to keep us trapped in this nightmare, and if we want to wake up and make our return to our Home, we cannot rely upon the very ideas, systems, and vision which has held us as slaves to its manipulations and dramas since time began.   

We must answer God’s call from within.  We have to reach for the truth.  God cannot come to a lie and make it real.  God does not come into a dream of death and despair and somehow work to take what is only a lie, an illusion, a nightmare and fix it up pretty so that it is more tolerable to us.  We must come to understand that the whole thing is a lie, that time itself is an illusion, that we are Sons of God and not sons of man. 

When we practice trusting in our brothers and seeing them as one with us, we are putting our faith in God and in God’s way of thinking.  In the world we are accustomed to seeing each other as separate beings, living separate lives, accomplishing separate things. We are used to building trust with those who look like us, think like us, and share the same values.  We are used to mistrusting those who look different, think different, and have a different set of values.  We embrace some brothers and take up arms against others.  This is how it is done here.  The harder you try to bring peace to this world, to change the nature of this world, to make the separation real and everlasting, the worse it becomes.  You trade one offense for thousands more. 

You can carry your signs and banners, you can lecture all your friends on Facebook about social justice and racial inequality, you can vote for this one and start a campaign of hatred and blame toward another for not agreeing with you, but you will only cause more unrest, more war, more injustice. 

When we focus upon the “sins” and failings of others, anger comes to block our return to God. We cannot enter into the peace of mind and the everlasting joy and love of God as long as we look upon the behaviors of those who do things that hurt, worry, and offend us through the eyes of fear.  We must embrace a new understanding of what this world is, what happens here, and why we are here. 

We are here to end the separation.  We are here to establish unity and oneness with God.  We are here to trust our brothers who are one with us.  This is not a fantasy, this is not mind games, this is not wishful thinking.  This is the reality of Christ.  When all we want to see is how holy and precious are our brothers, when we recognize the truth of Christ’s perception, this will become the only thing we see reflected in the world and in ourselves. 

Today practice this holy approach a little while.  Meditate upon it.  Ask Holy Spirit to bless your encounters and interactions with your brothers and teach you to trust in Him and in them.  Here our eyes are trained on attack and defense; in God we have the eyes of love and devotion.  Here we are steeped in thoughts of sin and shame; in God we know our sinlessness is His Will and God’s Will is done. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 181. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Introduction Lessons 181-200

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Introduction to Lessons 181-200

  1. Our next few lessons make a special point of firming up your willingness to make your weak commitment strong; your scattered goals blend into one intent.  You are not asked for total dedication all the time as yet.  But you are asked to practice now in order to attain the sense of peace such unified commitment will bestow, if only intermittently.  It is experiencing this that makes it sure that you will give your total willingness to following the way the course sets forth.
  2. Our lessons now are geared specifically to widen horizons, and direct approaches to the special blocks that keep your vision narrow and too limited to let you see the value of our goal.  We are attempting now to lift theses blocks, however briefly.  Words alone can not convey the sense of liberation which their lifting brings.  But the experience of freedom and of peace that comes as you give up your tight control of what you see speaks for itself.  Your motivation will be so intensified that words become of little consequence.  You will be sure of what you want, and what is valueless.
  3. And so we start our journey beyond words by concentrating first on what impedes your progress still.  Experience of what exists beyond defensiveness remains beyond achievement while it is denied.  It may be there, but you cannot accept its presence.  So now we attempt to go past all defenses for a little while each day.  No more than this is asked, because no more than this is needed.  It will be enough to guarantee the rest will come.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:   Today Jesus introduces us to the next 20 days of lessons which will firm our commitment and blend our scattered goal into one holy intent.  Patiently, Jesus awaits our full dedication to His goal for us.  Not too much is expected of us, we are only to practice each day loosening our affection for that which has no value and giving our full devotion to that which is everlasting. 

Our Course is designed to bring awareness to the falsities of the world, the ways in which the dream of separation has made our sojourn in time seem our only hope and our only chance to live, to breath, to enjoy our being.  Here we believe what we think we see with our physical eyes – but Jesus is asking us to get beyond this limitation.  To choose to see with the vision of Christ fills our beings with an unspeakable sense of joy, peace, freedom, and adventure.  The vision of Christ gives us the ability to know what we want and to know the difference between what has value and what has none!

The next twenty days we will start our journey to that which words cannot convey by focusing on the issues that are holding us back.  As long as we do not realize the impediments to our healed vision, as long as we hold fast to that which blinds us, as long as we are afraid to put our trust in God, or believe in His love and devotion toward us, we will never see or accept the great store of riches, the treasures, the everlasting love and joy and peace that He has in store for us. 

So from today – June 30th through July 19th, Jesus asks us to devote ourselves to the lesson idea for the day.  This will help us get past all the defenses that our egos, the usurper, the stranger within, has erected to block us from knowing who and what we really are, why we are here, and how we can return to our Creator. 

This is all it takes.  A little while each day, and the rest will come – and that is a guarantee. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Introduction to Lessons 181-200. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 180 Review of Lessons 169 and 170

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW V God is Love, and therefore so am I.

LESSON 180

  1. (169)  By grace I live. By grace I am released.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  2. (170)  There is no cruelty in God and none in me.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.[1]

Daily Prayer for Review V:

Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You.  We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our practicing as does a father lead a child along a way he does not understand.  Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

So do we bring our practicing to You.  And if we stumble, You will raise us up.  If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering.  We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

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Notes and Personal Application: As we say the words in Lesson 169’s lesson idea, realize that it is God’s Grace that has allowed us to leave His Kingdom in a dream state, but continue as we were created.  It is His Grace, not the world’s technology, that has simulated the separation so that we can dream and dream again the lessons we must learn from leaving His Kingdom of Love and making a world which grows old in time, a world where nothing lasts, a world of preying upon Creation instead of loving Creation. 

It is by God’s grace that the hell we have made is only a simulation, and it is God’s grace that we awaken to find that it is not real, that our lives do not end in death but in life everlasting, that we are released from the hell of our vain imaginings and return to our Father as pure and holy as when He created us. 

Be thankful for God’s grace.  Jesus tells us in lesson 169 that grace is not something that can be learned.  Grace is not the goal of A Course in Miracles.  However, the goal of our Course prepares us to accept God’s grace, to awaken from this dream of death and fear, to answer the call of God in our hearts and in our minds.  Our Course lessons and the text of A Course in Miracles helps us to become aware of things we do not know about ourselves, readies us to accept another state of being completely different from the experience of our humanity.  Our human brains cannot begin to grasp the meaning of oneness with God.  And yet it is God’s grace which calls to us, to waken from the dream of separation and specialness in which we made the world.  It is grace and the experiences that come from grace that allows us to live in the dream and be released from the dream; it is grace that allows us to share with others and see their release as well.

What better release than to realize the lesson idea presented in Lesson 170 – There is no cruelty in God and none in me.  There is no meanness in God.  The things we were taught about Him preparing a place of eternal happiness for the goody-goodies of the world and preparing a place of eternal fire and brimstone for the rest of us – are not the least bit true.  One of the main reasons that Jesus was crucified on the cross was because He told the truth about God.  He is our loving Father, the Good Shepherd, the One who cares about the sparrows.  Our Father never ordained that we prey upon each other’s flesh, let alone demand blood and meat sacrifices to appease His rage. There is no cruelty in God and there is no cruelty in us.

If you have been worshipping a cruel god, today Jesus urges us to look at our beliefs with dispassion.  Cruelty has no place in the character of God.  God is God and nothing can stand against Him.  If cruel god’s lips are smeared with blood and fire seems to burst forth from him, this god is an idol.  It will never bring you everlasting joy, peace, and love.  It cannot give you refuge.  It has no real power.  Cruel god is not your personal warrior and it will never vanquish your enemies.  Gods of cruelty are humanity’s nightmares, made to keep you in fear and bondage and keep you from your Father’s love.    

Recognizing this may be a shock to our systems, but it is our release from slavery.  For until we see the cruel god for exactly what it is, we can not lay it aside and recognize our true God and His great and abiding love for us.  We will continue to believe that cruelty can somehow defend us, save us, and make all our fears go away.  We will continue to believe in a god that makes enemies of his creations and does not accept responsibility for the ways in which they went wrong.  We will put our trust in fear and fear God instead of love Him. 

However, when we see God as Love, we are no longer burdened by the world; we no longer look through its blind eyes, but we see with the vision of Christ.  When we choose God instead of the false gods of cruelty and madness that the world’s religions offer us, our hearts and minds are filled with everlasting peace for when God is love, we are love.  We can trust in Him.  He will not let us to our own devices.  He has a plan and Creation is restored. 

Our prayer then becomes: 

Dear Father, we are like You.  We are not cruel because You are not cruel.  Your peace is ours.  When others point their fingers in accusation of how mean we are, how insensitive, how racist, and sexist and unjust – we are not tempted to agree with them, for we know who we are and what we are in You.  We bless the world.  We make our brothers one with us.  We fulfill our function in Your plan of salvation as we have received it from You.  We give thanks for all of Your creation because in Creation we see Your glory, and in Creation we find our peace.  We are holy because Your holiness has set us free from the deceptions and temptations of the world and all that would bind us to brutal humanity.  Thank you, Father.  In Jesus name.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 180. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 179 Review Lessons 169 and 170

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW V God is Love, and therefore so am I.

LESSON 179

  1. (167)  There is one life, and that I share with God.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  2. (168)  Your grace is given me.  I claim it now.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.[1]

Daily Prayer for Review:

Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You.  We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our practicing as does a father lead a child along a way he does not understand.  Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

So do we bring our practicing to You.  And if we stumble, You will raise us up.  If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering.  We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

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Personal Notes and Application:  As we review Lesson 167, There is one life and that I share with God, Jesus reminds us that it does not matter that there appears to be death in this world – it simply does not exist.  Nothing in time is real – it passes away into nothingness as soon as it begins – it is impossible for anything to really exist in time because time itself is not real.  Our whole experiences in the world of time then, can be likened to a dream, an imaginary state, a virtual reality where once awakened, the mind, our eternal spirits, continue as we always have – safe in the one life that we share with God. 

Jesus calls upon us to wake up to this fact.  We were created in unity of life, He reminds us, nothing, not even death can separate us from the Source of life from which we came.  As we wake up and accept the truth about ourselves, about God, about our Holiness in Christ we no longer need to be coaxed or persuaded into forsaking death in all its forms – we have no interest in it and we no longer believe in the reality of anything that does not pertain to our life in God.

In Lesson 168, we claim the grace that God gives us.  He is our Father.  He is available to us.  He answers when we call.  We call to Him because we know His Love and are certain of His devotion to us.  No longer do we try to serve a god we fear, someone we must grovel before and chastise our humanity.  There is no god who holds our mistakes against us, who terrorizes us with thoughts of hell and damnation, who would let His Son be tortured throughout eternity.  These are lies that are taught to us to control and manipulate us, to keep us from our true heritage in God, to keep us from knowing and experiencing His grace. 

God’s gift of grace restores the memory of Him to our sleeping minds, God’s gift of grace restores the certainty of the meaning of His love.  Ask Him today to give you the means by which this world will disappear, and vision will come.  And after vision, Jesus promises, we will know.  It is God’s grace that gives us light that covers our world with love.  We can watch every single fear disappear from every face as hearts rise up and take the light as their own. 

God’s grace is ours.  We claim it today. 

We come to you, Father.  And You come to those who ask.  We are the Son You love.  In Jesus name.  Amen.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 179. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 178 Review of Lesson 165 and 166

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW V God is Love, and therefore so am I.

LESSON 178

  1. (165)  Let not my mind deny the Thought of God. God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  2. (166)  I am entrusted with the gifts of God.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.[1]

Daily Prayer for Review:

Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You.  We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our practicing as does a father lead a child along a way he does not understand.  Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

So do we bring our practicing to You.  And if we stumble, You will raise us up.  If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering.  We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

Photo credit: http://www.123rf.com

Personal Notes and ApplicationAs we review Lesson 165 today, let us remember where our safety and peace, our joy and healing, our peace of mind, our rest, and our calm awakening abide!  In order to have the gifts of God, we must abandon all else as worthless in comparison to them.  To keep our blessings from our Father, we must make sure that we keep our mind focused upon and abiding in the Thought of God. 

All around our physical life in this world are temptations to deny the Thought of God.  On Friday, one of my cousins whom I was so close to as a little girl, was killed instantly in a head-on car crash.  Donnie was one of my best friends as a preschooler.  I can still remember spending the night at his house and getting off the school bus at each other’s houses.  We played for hours in the sandbox and sitting at the kitchen table playing with homemade dough.  In first grade, I got into trouble for helping him with his worksheets – I had been taught to help my neighbors and the teacher had not explained the concept of cheating to either one of us.  Donnie and I grew apart over the years – he had his life and I had mine, but once in a while, when we were outside working, he would stop as he was going by in his dark blue truck just to chat.  Now he has died, suddenly and what would seem like tragically.  His days on earth as a son, father, uncle, cousin, and friend are over and he will be missed greatly by those who loved and depended upon him. 

And yet, Jesus tells us that we are not to let thoughts of death and misery obscure the perfect happiness and eternal life that our Father has for us.  We are not to let the world tempt us to see through the eyes of the stranger, who would have us sob and groan over our dearly departed loved ones, but rather hold fast and be happy because we see with the vision of Christ. 

Heaven is ours for the asking – right now, today.  It comes whether we believe in it or not.  There is no trick to this.  Christ is not holding out Heaven and then taking it back because we do not believe in it enough.  We simply ask and it is given to us.  The faith lies in the asking.  We say to our Father, You are Reality and therefore this world and all that is in it, cannot be real.  The only thing that is real about this world is that it is a simulation, it is a trick to believe in a God we must fear instead of Love.  We want reality, Lord.  We want Heaven because we are tired of living in the lie of fear rather than the truth of love. 

When we accept God’s Heaven there is nothing on earth that can induce us to give it up.  The world has nothing that we want or need.  We see the world of time for what it is.  We are blind to its dark magic!  We know the end of every story here, every desire, every false judgment and harsh condemnation.  Like Christ, we become the saviors of the world.  We live in a state of such abundance that the depravities and the deprivations of this world can no longer trick us into denying thoughts of God. 

Our daily lessons helps us to remove all doubts which we have in God and in our certainty of His care.  We no longer fear our Father, for we know Him, and we love Him, and we know His love and devotion toward us.  We keep our thoughts fixed upon Him for our thoughts are meaningless without Him.  The worries and concerns, the births and the deaths, weddings and funerals, ups and downs and ins and outs of this world can no longer affect our trust in Him. 

As we review the next lesson idea, we realize that we can forego this world, because we have been entrusted with the gifts of God.  God’s trust in us has no limit.  He knows us as we really are.  He is not deceived by what the world has made of us.  He is not tempted to believe the lies of the ego or the ravages of time.  He knows that He is God and God’s Will must be done.  When we realize that He did not make this world, that this world is nothing but a simulation, a perverted dream, an imagined playground for all that can never be of God and therefore never be real – we have uncovered the truth of the matter. 

We know the world is not our home.  We may wander around in it for awhile until we come to our senses and like the Prodigal, head back to the place where we belong, where we are safe, where we are certain, where we know who and what we are now and forever. 

God calls to us.  He walks with us.  He knows who we are and what we are even when we have forgotten.  He knows Who He is in relation to us and knows that we are like Him.

This is the gift of God, and this is the gift we accept and share freely with Creation.  We share that God is Love.  We share that the world and all that is in it is not His Will and this is not His Creation.  We share that our humanity is not salvageable, and we do not want it to be.  We share that our spirits are made in God’s image and that happiness comes to us as we become one with Christ and recognize God’s gifts to us.  We are filled with joy, God’s joy, and now we go to share it with the world. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 178. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 177 Review Of Lessons 163 and 164

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW V God is Love, and therefore so am I.

LESSON 177

  1. (163)  There is no death.  The Son of God is free. God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  2. (164)  Now are we one with Him Who is our Source.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.[1]

Daily Prayer for Review V:

Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You.  We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our practicing as does a father lead a child along a way he does not understand.  Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

So do we bring our practicing to You.  And if we stumble, You will raise us up.  If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering.  We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

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Personal Notes and Application: In Lesson 163, Jesus calls for us to renounce death in all its forms.  Death is a thought that has taken different forms.  Jesus states that we often fail to recognize that in all things that tempt us to be unhappy, worried, envious, concerned with sin, with shame, with sorrow, we are reflecting upon the worship of death as savior and as a giver of release.  Thoughts of death seem mighty to the sons of man.  No matter what kind of life you live – whether you sit on your stoop and booze it up every day giving no thought at all to caring for your family or contributing to the larger community or if you go to work each day, mow your lawn, put your hard-earned money in a college fund for your kids, and donate to the church – the withered hand of death is waiting to take all life as hostage to itself. 

But Jesus calls death out as an idol, a mockery of the eternal God who promises life and love everlasting.  Death, the opposite of God, appears to be stronger than the will of God, His Will for life, eternal love, and the constancy of Heaven.  The idol we have made of death puts a headstone on the body of the holy Son of God each time any part of creation dies and seems to be no more.  No more can the dead sing praises to our eternal, loving Father, for the idol death has defeated him.  Every epitaph death writes is a witness that God is dead.  And all of those who worship death concur, bowing to the ground, whispering that death is right – God is dead, death reigns undefeated. 

There can be no compromise with such thinking.  Either death is total, and all things die, including God and His Creation, or else all things live and cannot die. 

Even the insane have a difficult time believing God is dead.  The thought itself implies that God was once alive and then willingly gave up the ghost or was defeated in battle, killed by a greater power, a stronger will.  Would God who is Life grow weary and tired and bored with it?  Could death overcome the eternal life of God and His creations as well?  This is a question that we must ask ourselves.  This is a question that bears answering. 

The worshippers of death in all its forms are filled with fear.  And yet, Jesus says there is only Life and no death.  When we see this, we are instantly released from the fear of death – we can renounce it in every form it takes.  God did not make death – death is part of the illusion of time, it is the milestone of the son of man’s perverted kingdom, made to keep the creation of God hostage to their bodies, distracted from their true identity in Christ, at home in a malignant, time-bound world ruled by dreams of madness and murder.

Pray that our eyes are blessed, that we recognize that we live and move in God alone, that we are not bodies, but rather eternal spirits.  We cannot die for death is not God’s Will.  We are like God; we are part of God forever.  Pray that we accept the Thoughts of God as our own; that our will and God’s Will are one now and forever. 

The response to this prayer is found in lesson review 164 – Now are we one with Him Who is our Source.  We are reminded that the past and the future do not exist in Christ.  The eternal present is the only time there is – for Christ looks past time.  Only faintly do the eyes of Christ behold the busy, purposeless, nothingness of the world because His sight is fixed upon the reality of Heaven. 

Christ’s vision is our vision.  Christ’s vision is His gift to us – for when we accept His gifts in our quiet practice, our time here in humanity, in the cycles of death and disease, of sin and shame, of bodies of flesh and lust for meat – grows dim while our eternal spirits that suffer no illnesses, tragedies or death, know no sin or shame, and have no vulnerable bodies with bloodthirsty tendencies – becomes us once again. 

In our quiet practice the illusions of the world fade away.  There is no holy war against its fears; its lip-smacking, back-strapping, bottom cracking desires for power, for control, for bondage, and blood simply vanish.  We need not vilify our brothers and blame them for humanity’s sorrow – we finally recognize the truth of the matter – we have made a big mistake, we followed a bad idea, we thought we could sustain ourselves on that which is not Love and Life eternal.  We thought we could make our own gods, serve our own purposes, do things our own way.  We thought we could take the love and life that belongs only to God and twist and pervert it into something else. 

Today, Jesus says our vanity is exposed for what it is.  We see the truth of the matter; the darkness is gone.  In the light of His truth, a world unfolds in perfect innocence.  Through the vision of Christ, we begin to recognize the valuable and the valueless for what they are.  We see that which is worthy of our love and devotion and all else fades away.  No worries and no fears remain.  All is made right. 

Today Jesus asks us not to judge with the mind of man but to receive judgment from beyond this world.  We take off our blindfolds.  We shake off our miseries – we realize is was only a glitch in time, a hard lesson but one that has come to an end.  We can bless the world and everyone in it for the part they played in teaching us what we needed to learn about separating ourselves from Love, cutting ourselves off from our Source, running away from our Father and thinking we knew better than He Who breathed His Life into our beings and made us His own. 

In our devotion this morning, we lay all of that the world has to offer us aside.  We clear a space in our mind to accept the vision of Christ, to accept the role that we play in the salvation of the world, to consent to God’s Way and not the highway of death, despair, and despotism.  Two by two we change the world as we acknowledge the gifts of God, as we practice in earnest, as we see through Christ’s eyes and not with the eyes of fear. 

Today we are one with Him Who is our Source again.  We return our trust to God, to life, to certainty.  We put down our arms against our brothers.  We bare our hearts to our Lord and Maker.  No more do we worship the dictates of death; we become one with God who is our life, our love, our meaning, our Source. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 177. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 176 Review of Lessons 161 and 162

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW V God is Love, and therefore so am I.

LESSON 176

  1. (161)  Give me your blessing, holy Son of God. God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  2. (162)  I am as God created me.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.[1]

Daily Prayer for Review V:

Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You.  We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our practicing as does a father lead a child along a way he does not understand.  Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

So do we bring our practicing to You.  And if we stumble, You will raise us up.  If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering.  We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

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Personal Notes and Application:  We are taking a stand against our anger toward others when we ask them for a blessing and refer to them as a holy Son of God.  In this lesson we learned that one brother stands for all brothers, for in God we are one.  In our bodies, we seem separate and distinct; in God’s eyes we are one and we are love.  In bodies, we are colored in different shades of skin, eyes, and hair.  Our body structures are all slightly different.  We are prone to like and trust others who look and smell and share similar traits; to dislike and distrust those who look and smell and have different traits than us.  Politically, people want to deny this, to say that this is a condition that must be learned, but this is simply not so, and we need to be truthful about it in order to face the truth about humanity.  We have evolved to protect and cherish that which is like us and to war against that which is not like us. 

Today Jesus is asking us to go beyond our evolved human forms – our cherished grudges, to step out of the fear and anger toward others whom we have blamed and projected all manner of evil upon.  He requires that we choose one brother in particular to symbolize those who have caused us pain and ask this holy Son of God to bless us.  When we ask this symbol for a blessing, we are asking of him our salvation.  As we picture his face, his hands and feet, his clothing, his gestures we are to recognize that the blame and shame we are imagining about him conceals Christ from us.  We are to say to our symbolic holy brother:  Give me your blessing, O Holy Son of God.  I would behold you with the eyes of Christ and see my perfect sinlessness in you.

There were all these people that I had grudges and resentments toward.  I blamed my mother for ruining me as a child with her madness and inappropriate practices and teachings. I blamed my sister for spreading discord in the family, holding me accountable for her own failings to love and to accept certain people.  I blamed my first husband for abandoning me and leaving me with a child to raise; I blamed my beloved niece for running off with her jailbird lover when my daughter died, leaving me worried, while beside myself with grief; I blamed an ex-boyfriend for misleading me with his vows of eternal love while all the while he was consorting with a couple of married women on the side!  There were countless others who paraded about in my mind as my sworn enemies, friends who had lied to me, family members who had mocked my efforts to become something, coworkers who took credit for my work, people who seemed intent on keeping me in a place where they could control and manipulate me.  There were those who had snubbed me, clubbed me, or dubbed me as less than.   It was difficult to find one person to symbolize them all, but I finally settled upon one and she became my savior, she turned from devil into Christ simply by performing this exercise.  When we see another with the vision of Christ, we realize that we are all the Son of God, at one with Christ, that salvation does not separate us, but rather unites us. 

So lesson idea 162, “I am as God created me,” naturally follows.  If those who have caused me to be angry and fearful are one with Christ, I am also as God created me – holy, pure, sinless, and good.  I am not my human form.  I am not the character that my human form became.  I am not the role that it performed.  Me and the stranger that would usurp my identity are not one!  I am innocent, not because I allowed the stranger to convince me to forget who I am or because I let the stranger’s wrong ideas lead me astray.  I am innocent because it is a simulation, God made time as a means for us to learn the lessons of separation without it affecting our eternal Selves.

Nothing can change the fact that I am as God created me.  These words dispel the dark night; dawn has come to bless the world.  When I recognize who I am in Christ, you recognize who you are.  When you recognize who you are in Christ, the world recognizes it as well.  This is how salvation works.  Let the words of today’s lesson ring through our minds and hearts – dispelling the dark dream and welcoming the light. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 176. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 175 Review Lessons 159 and 160

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW V God is Love, and therefore so am I.

LESSON 175

  1. (159)  I give the miracles I have received.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  2. (160) I am at home. Fear is the stranger here.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.[1]

Daily Prayer for Review:

Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You.  We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our practicing as does a father lead a child along a way he does not understand.  Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

So do we bring our practicing to You.  And if we stumble, You will raise us up.  If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering.  We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

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Personal Notes and Application:  This morning when I woke up, there were all the thoughts from dreams, the past, and all the chores waiting me for the day all in a jumble.  The aches and pains from yesterday still with me, the tired muscles, the sore back… Garden, they say.  It is so healthful, they say, but didn’t I go and get carried away with it?  Now coupled with all the other projects we have going on around this place, I am barely able to move without something hurting.

Yet beyond the pain is such happiness and joy and excitement.  There is this love of life, this deep forgiveness for all the taxes and levies against it, the respect and awe of the miracle of it all, the joy of the green sprouts pushing up through the dirt, the wilted leaves coming alive with a drink of water, the sweet green marbles tucked all in a row within a pod. 

In lesson 159, Jesus says that the only way we can understand that we are healed is when we heal others; the only way we accept forgiveness is when we forgive others, that miracles can only be experienced when we give them to others. 

The vision of Christ is the miracle in which all miracles are born.  Jesus tells us that the vision of Christ is the bond where giver and receiver are united here on earth as they are in Heaven.  When we look upon Creation, including ourselves, with the eyes of Christ, we are sinless.  There is no grudge. There is nothing but love and forgiveness.  This has been the most difficult thing for my mind to wrap itself around, but once I got it, I am free from the grudges, resentments, and stress that had plagued me for years. 

I knew that I wanted to love and to be loved, but I did not know how to love people – including myself.  I liked others when they behaved themselves and were nice to me; I did not like them when they misbehaved and disappointed me.  Simple and uncomplicated, it was the only way I could manage relationships.  To love people was to be in a constant state of forgiveness toward them, and try as I might, it seemed impossible; I could not cope.

The vision of Christ changes this completely.  We no longer require ourselves to go through the ups and downs of special relationships designed to keep us trapped in forms and fictionalized versions of “love.”  As we free ourselves of the tentacles of what poses for love in this world, we are free to love Creation in a state of forgiveness, for with the vision of Christ, we know that this world means nothing.  All of its “likes” and “dislikes,” its little hatreds, its wars and its peace, its marriages and divorces, its mean girls and bad boys, its high priests and lowly prophetesses, its dichotomies and opposites, its justice and injustice is only a distorted, perverted echo of what is real and holy and forever. 

As we ask for and receive the vision of Christ, the world can no longer get to us.  Oh, we might flare up now and again to drive the moneychangers out of the temple, but the aches and pains, the trials, and tribulations of a dream, stay in the dream.  We know it is not real.  We know that it is our desire for specialness and spite which is responsible for all this.  We know that giving up that desire and exchanging it for the vision of Christ is the wake-up call.  This is the source of all miracles.  This is what we share in order to experience.  Share this vision with someone today!

In reviewing lesson 160 we are reminded that fear is no longer the meaning of our being.  We are no longer driven to survive in the dog-eat-dog world of humanity, snapping and snarling over the limited resources, forming tribes and clans to war against those who are different from us.  When we give up fear, we give up our defenses against the world.  When we give up our defenses against the world, we forgive it for its idea of separateness, its desire to be special, to hoard, to form cliques and clubs, to love this one and despise that one.  We forgive it everything because it was all a mistake, a bad idea, a little wrinkle in eternity that evolved in time and will end in time.

In our minds then, fear is a stranger.  We are no longer afraid.  The shortages, the injustices, the struggles for dominance and power, the blacks against the whites and the whites against the blacks, the males against the females and the females against the males, the poor against the rich and the rich against the poor – none of it matters – it is a dream of death, and it ends when we open our eyes and see it for what it is. 

While our forms may be in the world, our minds are at home, at one with God.  At home with God, we begin to understand our experience in the separation through the eyes of Christ who has awakened us.  Our stint in the madhouse of opposites is over!  For now we know who and what we are in Him.   


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 175. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 174 Review Of Lessons 157 and 158

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW V God is Love, and therefore so am I.

LESSON 174

  1. (157)  Into His Presence would I enter now.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  2. (158) Today I learn to give as I receive.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.[1]

Daily Prayer for Review:

Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You.  We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our practicing as does a father lead a child along a way he does not understand.  Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

So do we bring our practicing to You.  And if we stumble, You will raise us up.  If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering.  We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

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Personal Notes and Application:  Today we teach this lesson to learn this lesson.  Lesson 157 reminds us that it is in quietness and trust that we experience the light of Heaven and hear the echoes of eternity.  In the clamor and glamour of the world our mind is beset by celebrations that end in death, but it is the joy of life we learn to feel in our silent practice, our sacred devotion, our love, and desire for God. 

Lesson 157 reminds us to clear the inner altar of our mind of all the cluttered thoughts and distractions that the world fills it with.  Our minds become a place of serenity and peace as we sweep its altar clear of the world’s senseless distractions. Its junky trinkets and false charms no longer hold any meaning to our quiet, holy minds and Christ’s presence becomes real to us; His face smiles upon us and does not fade away from our vision. He reveals to us, here in the world of form and fiction, that which transcends and goes beyond all words and vision.  These foretastes of Heaven cannot be shared – they were not taught to us, for they are our memories of the place from which we came before our earthly exile.  There we have no questions about who and what we are because we know our Maker.  We have no question of where we came from for we are home where we belong, no longer sifting through the shifting sands of human striving and conniving.  There the theme of Review V is a given:  God is Love and therefore so am I!

In review of Lesson 158, we learn to give as we receive.  When we receive God’s love, we give God’s love.  No longer are we who we thought we were, a blighted, bloated ego, an overripe fruit rotting on the vine, twisted with pain and sorrow, spite and vengeance.  We are the Sons of God, united with Christ. We are as God created us, our humanity is but a spell, an illusion of splintered brotherhood, unholy sonship at war with one another and ourselves.  When we recognize our true identity, we can no longer look to humanity for our answer, for the cure, to make right of all its wrongs.  We can no longer hold ourselves or others accountable for what we have done and what we continue to do in darkness – for we are groping about doing the best we can to survive another day in a world designed to grind our bones to make its bread.  With this understanding of the world forgiveness comes naturally and graciously.  We can say with certainty, “It is forgiven.  It never happened.  It never was,” because what happens in a dream stays in a dream and does not affect reality one iota. 

When we remember who we are and what we are, we remind others of who they are and what they are.  When we wake up; others wake up.  We do not have to shake them awake.  We have no need to scream in their ear, preach endless sermons, quote scriptures, or get down on our knees and grovel before God for their salvation.  Our salvation is a given; God never abandons His Creations, or He would not be Love. Our only choice in the matter is how long we choose to spend spinning our wheels in time, trying to find another way than Love’s way. 

We give as we receive, with grace and love and forbearance.  God is love, and therefore so are we. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 174. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 173 Review of Lesson 155 and 156

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW V God is Love, and therefore so am I.

LESSON 173

  1. (155)  I will step back and let Him lead the way.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  2. (156) I walk with God in perfect holiness.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.[1]

Daily Prayer for Review:

Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You.  We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our practicing as does a father lead a child along a way he does not understand.  Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

So do we bring our practicing to You.  And if we stumble, you will raise us up.  If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering.  We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

Photo credit: http://www.scottish-country-dancing-dictionary.com

Personal Notes and Application:  Dear Father, we thank you for showing us to step back and let You lead the way.  We cannot do this apart from You.  We know nothing except through You.  Thank you for showing us the way through this human experience, of being born into a physical form, of learning the ropes of a game that is not holy because it is not based upon love.  Thank You, Father, for reminding us of our identity in You.  Here we are as You created us; here Your love has never left our consciousness; here we are united with You and all Creation; here we walk with You in perfect holiness.  Christ leads the way to our return to You.  


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 173. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 172 – Review of Lesson 153 and 154

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW V God is Love, and therefore so am I.

LESSON 172

  1. (153)  In my defenselessness my safety lies.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  2. (154)  I am among the ministers of God.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.[1]

Daily Prayer for Review:

Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You.  We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our practicing as does a father lead a child along a way he does not understand.  Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

So do we bring our practicing to You.  And if we stumble, you will raise us up.  If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering.  We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

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Personal Notes and Application:  In Lesson 153, Jesus told us that it is in our defenseless where our safety lies.  In our study group recently we were talking about the defenses of the world.  When we come in to the world, vulnerable and at the mercy of our parents and all the older, stronger people around us, we must learn the ropes, the rules, the ways things roll in this confusing, upside-down version of the place from which we came.  Some of us learn the lessons of this world earlier than others, but we all must learn them because our very survival depends upon them.  Our defenses ensure that we are kept safe and feel secure in the face of those who would keep us unsafe and insecure.  We learn to play the game, we learn the perimeters, we learn skills and maneuvers, manipulations and techniques that help us to get what we want and need from the world. 

And then Jesus comes along and tells us that indeed it is our defenseless that saves us.  Salvation is a game that happy children play.  A game designed by a Creator who loves His Creations and who replaces all their guilts, fears, shame, and blame with a joyous game which bring an end to all their need of defense.  Everyone who plays the game of salvation wins and all who win ensures the gain to all.  Nobody who plays the happy game of salvation has any desire to play any other game – fear is gone, defenses are seen as needlessly cumbersome, and we realize that this world and all its disappointments, contradictions, lies, and shortcomings is nothing but a farce, a place where the Sons of God come until they remember who and what they really are.  The sea of humanity is but a mistaken dream, a simulated reality in which that which was and is and always will be one could be splintered, separated, and severed.   

Christ gives us our salvation; defenselessness is all we give in return.  We lay aside our need to protect that which we never were, to look on Christ and become one with God.

God is only Love and therefore so am I.

In lesson 154 we accept our function as ministers of God.  We no longer see ourselves as the sinful, shipwrecked fools that the ego would have us be, ashamed and sorrowful, contrite, and unworthy.  We are Sons of God and we are called, each and every one of us, to receive and to give the messages of God.  Jesus tells us in this lesson that we do not know that we have received the messages from God until we share them.  Many times we cause the time of sorrow and suffering to extend needlessly because we are fooled into thinking that we are not worthy to call ourselves ministers of God.  Who would listen to us after the mess we have made of things?  We may feel ourselves ill educated, unprepared, too worldly, selfish, and ruined to believe that God would have any use of us.  And yet none of that matters.  Our human experience does not define us.  There is nothing anybody could say or do to earn more or be meted less of God’s love.  God created our holy Selves and our holy Selves are in His safekeeping – nothing that we experience in the world can change this fact.  The world does its best to keep this fact from our awareness.  The world will tell us all kinds of lies about ourselves; the world will teach us perverted gospels and distorted holy books that promote God as a god of ill-intent, who would create a suffering world full of craven, fleshy creatures intent upon preying upon each other’s meat.  Many of our spiritual paths, intentionally or unintentionally, lead us down this same path – emphasizing our humanity, obscuring our true and godly Selves. 

We cannot be true ministers of God until we recognize that we are free of our humanity, our sinful natures, our lusty drives, our craven hungers, and thirsts that pose as pleasures and yet hold us captive to that which is doomed to decay.  In paragraph 13 of our lesson, we learn that our lesson is stated this way:

“I am among the ministers of God, and I am grateful that I have the means by which to recognize that I am free.” 

We have changed our mind about who and what we really are.  We will accept our only real function in the world and gladly share the gospel of Christ.  We are not flesh and blood; we are spirit and we are one with God. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 172. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 171 – Review V – Lesson 151 and 152

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REVIEW V God is Love, and therefore so am I.

LESSON 171

  1. (151)  All things are echoes of the Voice for God.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  2. (152)  The power of decision is my own.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.[1]

Daily Prayer for Review: Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You; we listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our devotional practices as a father leads his child along a way he does not understand.  Let us be that child that trusts in his father, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

This is our practice with You.  If we stumble, You will raise us up.  If we forget the way, You remind us.  Our minds may wander, but You will call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  We accept the Word You offer us to unite our practices, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

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Personal Notes and Application:  We are so thankful for this review.  We have been tempted to give up our practices – it is apparent that this is an all or nothing practice.  There is no reconciliation between the body, the world, the world system, the ego – and the Kingdom of God. We cannot have both and it will not be until we make the choice for the world beyond, contenting ourselves with the world of time and illusion no more, that we will know our place in the Kingdom of God. Although we know in our hearts and in our right minds that the seeming pleasures and temporary comforts of this world have no hold upon us, we thank our Father for leading us past temptation, for raising us up when we falter.   

Thank you so much for my teacher Linda whose insights and experiences have enhanced my own learning and kept this study fresh, filled with joy and laughter.  Thank you for James who studies and practices the Course concepts with me and helps me see things that I may have missed, forgotten, or ignored.  Thank you for our fellow teachers and students who are one with us and renew and refresh our resolve to seek the Kingdom beyond this world. 

God is love and therefore so am I. 

All things we experience here in the world are echoes of the Voice for God, and even the overflowed toilet, the flooded bathroom, the late night cleanup, and the inconvenience of digging up lines and forging new pipes is only an opportunity to see past the illusions of this world and remind ourselves of Your Kingdom where such things simply do not happen! 

God is love and therefore so am I. 

The power of decision is ours to make.  It is our response to our experiences in which we choose – it is how long we take to see the world for what it is, where we exercise our free will.  Do we respond in anger, spite, indignation, and defeatism or do we respond with laughter, goodwill, a shrug of the shoulders, and the optimism of good cheer and pitching in to do our part to correct an otherwise unpleasant situation?  Do we lend a hand or cast a judgment?  Do we react with joy and laughter or do we go into rages and sputter and swagger about with umbrage – feeling ourselves too special to endure such humble bumbles? 

That Love which becomes me in God and through God and as God awaits for me as I take my steps toward the Holy Self which awaits for me at the end of this journey.  Now though I stumble and fumble, God lifts me up because He is my Father. 

God is love and therefore so am I. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 171. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

REVIEW V – Introduction

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW V Introduction

  1. We now review again.  This time we are ready to give more effort and more time to what we undertake.  We recognize we are preparing for another phase of understanding.  We would take this step completely, that we may go on again more certain, more sincere, with faith upheld more surely.  Our footsteps have not been unwavering, and doubts have made us walk uncertainly and slowly on the road this course sets forth.  But now we hasten on, for we approach a greater certainty, a firmer purpose, and a surer goal.
  2. Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You.  We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our practicing as does a father lead a child along a way he does not understand.  Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.
  3. So do we bring our practicing to You.  And if we stumble, you will raise us up.  If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering.  We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.
  4. This is the thought which should precede the thoughts that we review.  Each one but clarifies some aspect of this thought, or helps it be more meaningful, more personal and true, and more descriptive of the holy Self we share and now prepare to know again: God is but Love, and therefore so am I. This Self alone knows love.  This Self alone is perfectly consistent in Its thoughts; knows Its Creator, understands Itself, is perfect in Its knowledge and Its love, and never changes from Its constant state of union with Its Father and Itself.
  5. And it is This That waits to meet us at the journey’s ending.  Every step we take brings us a little nearer.  This review will shorten time immeasurably, if we keep in mind that This remains our goal, and as we practice it is This to Which we are approaching.  Let us raise our hearts from dust to life, as we remember This is promised us, and that this course was sent to open up the path of light to us, and teach us, step by step, how to return to the eternal Self we thought we lost.
  6. I take the journey with you.  For I share your doubts and fears a little while, that you may come to me who recognize the road by which all fears and doubts are overcome.  We walk together.  I must understand uncertainty and pain, although I know they have no meaning.  Yet a savior must remain with those he teaches, seeing what they see, but still retaining in his mind the way that led him out, and now will lead you out with him.  God’s Son is crucified until you walk along the road with me.
  7. My resurrection comes again each time I lead a brother safely to the place at which the journey ends and is forgot.  I am renewed each time a brother learns there is a way from misery and pain.  I am reborn each time a brother’s mind turns to the light in him and looks for me.  I have forgotten no one.  Help me now to lead you back to where the journey was begun, to make another choice with me.
  8. Release me as you practice once again the thoughts I brought to you from Him Who sees your bitter need and knows the answer God has given Him.  Together we review these thoughts.  Together we devote our time and effort to them.  And together we will teach them to our brothers.  God would not have Heaven incomplete.  It waits for you, as I do.  I am incomplete without your part in me.  And as I am made whole, we go together to our ancient home, prepared for us before time was and kept unchanged by time, immaculate and safe, as it will be at last when time is done.
  9. Let this review be then your gift to me.  For this alone I need; that you will hear the words I speak and give them to the world.  You are my voice, my eyes, my feet, my hands through which I save the world.  The Self from Which I call to you is but your own.  To Him we go together.  Take your brother’s hand, for this is not a way we walk alone.  In him I walk with you, and you with me.  Our Father wills His Son be one with Him.  What lives but must not then be one with you?
  10. Let this review become a time in which we share a new experience for you, yet one as old as time and older still. Hallowed your name.  Your glory undefiled forever.  And your wholeness now complete, as God established it.  You are His Son, completing His extension in your own.  We practice but an ancient truth we knew before illusion seemed to claim the world.  And we remind the world that it is free of all illusions every time we say: God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  11. With this we start each day of our review.  With this we start and end each period of practice time.  And with this thought we sleep, to waken once again with these same words upon our lips, to greet another day.  No thought that we review but we surround with it and use the thoughts to hold it up before our minds and keep it clear in our remembrance throughout the day.  And thus, when we have finished this review, we will have recognized the words we speak are true.
  12. Yet are the words but aids, and to be used, except at the beginning and the end of practice periods, but to recall the mind, as needed, to its purpose.  We place faith in the experience that comes from practice, not the means we use.  We wait for the experience and recognize that it is only here conviction lies.  We use the words and try and try again to go beyond them to their meaning, which is far beyond their sound.  The sound grows dim and disappears, as we approach the Source of meaning.  It is Here that we find rest.[1]
Photo credit: Arthur Rackham (1932)

Notes and Personal Application:  Let our hearts soar with joy and happiness as we devote our time to the built-in reviews of our previous 20 lessons.  As we allow our lesson ideas to sit on the altars of our mind, as we see them applied in learning experiences that use the circumstances, relationships, and daily happenings of our life to teach us their truth, as we continue to step away from our egos and let the Lord lead the way, let the theme of this lesson review ring in our hearts and minds.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I. 

Today you may feel far from being one with God in His Holiness, His Love, His purity!  The joy and frustrations of our earthly relationships, homes, animals, passions, jobs, and hobbies may seem to occupy the altars of our mind, crowding out thoughts of God.  Personally, our gardens and the sunny outdoors is filling my mind with keen interest; for James, his ongoing projects with solar energy, home renovations and business demands often seem to crowd out the desire for or belief in the world beyond this one.  The media and those who see the world it represents as reality seems intent on blighting the light, warmth, and unity of God’s creation from our hearts and minds.  That said, it would be impossible to keep our altars clear of the attractions and distractions of this world if Christ did not lead the way! 

Taking time for our devotional practices, looking upon our review of our lesson ideas not as a duty or obligation but as a joy and the key to our release from bondage, quieting our minds and clearing our altars for these moments of dedication to the Lord raises our hearts from dust to life.  The path of light opens up to us, teaches us, and draws us back to our real and eternal Self one step at a time.  There we are one with God, we are part of the “we” and the “us” of Creation.  God did not create us to hold His power and authority and His gifts above us, to flaunt and taunt and make Himself to be worshipped and catered to for eternity.  He is not some earthly tyrant who wants to be placated with hypnotic chants and memorized phrases of how big and strong and beautiful He is.  He created us to share in His Gifts, His Will, to become Him as He became us.  Heaven is incomplete without each one of us.  Jesus is calling to us to wake up from this leave of our senses where we have feared instead of loved God, where we have made Him to be a split mind, a divided deity whose vengeance can only be appeased by blood or impossible demands.  Jesus calls to us to come forth from this “time-out” where we play out the dream of fear.  Wake up, He says. 

I am reminded of the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes – all it took was for one little lad to speak the truth, and then the others saw the situation for what it was!  Jesus is simply telling us be like that brave little fellow, refused to be taken in by the lies, to be bullied into silence, to let the voice for fear override the Voice for God.

In paragraphs two and three we have an opening prayer for our morning and evening reviews.  Putting this prayer into our own words, we use this prayer to clear the altars of our mind, knowing we cannot keep our mind from meandering on our own.  Here in the miscreation of time, our neurons serve fear, cherish conflict, and keep our minds occupied on things of this world, geared for attack and defense against the mind of Christ.  We have no need to be ashamed of this or beat ourselves up for not being more holy.  Being human is not and never will be a holy experience.  Jesus asks us only to recognize this fact.  When we practice the quietness and stillness required to hear the Voice for God, we begin to make it ours.  When we stumble, He helps us get up again.  When we forget, He reminds us.  When we meander off, He calls us back.  Our true and eternal Self is at the end of this dream of time, beckoning to us to not delay, to not get caught up in the world of time, to see it for what it is and return to God, Who is Love and to the Self Who is one with Him. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Review V, Introduction. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 170 There Is No Cruelty In God And None In Me

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 170 There Is No Cruelty in God and None in Me

  1. No one attacks without intent to hurt.  This can have no exception.  When you think that you attack in self-defense, you mean that to be cruel is protection; you are safe because of cruelty.  You mean that you believe to hurt another brings you freedom.  And you mean that to attack is to exchange the state in which you are for something better, safer, more secure from dangerous invasion, and from fear.
  2. How thoroughly insane is the idea that to defend from fear is to attack!  For here is fear begot and fed with blood, to make it grow and swell and rage.  And thus is fear protected, not escaped.  Today we learn a lesson which can save you more delay and needless misery than you can possibly imagine.  It is this: You make what you defend against, and by your own defense against it is it real and inescapable.  Lay down your arms, and only then do you perceive it false.
  3. It seems to be the enemy without that you attack.  Yet your defense sets up an enemy within; an alien thought at war with you, depriving you of peace, splitting your mind into two camps which seem wholly irreconcilable.  For love now has an “enemy,” an opposite; and fear, the alien, now needs your defense against the threat of what you really are.
  4. If you consider carefully the means by which your fancied self-defense proceeds on its imagined way, you will perceive the premises on which the idea stands.  First, it is obvious ideas must have their source, for it is you who make attack, and must have first conceived of it.  Yet you attack outside yourself and separate your mind from him who is to be attacked, with perfect faith the split you made is real.
  5. Next, are the attributes of love bestowed upon its “enemy.” For fear becomes your safety and protector of your peace, to which you turn for solace and escape from doubts about your strength, and hope of rest in dreamless quiet.  And as love is shorn of what belongs to it and it alone, love is endowed with attributes of fear.  For love would ask you lay down all defense as merely foolish, and your arms indeed would crumble into dust.  For such they are.
  6. With love as enemy, must cruelty become a god.  And gods demand that those who worship them obey their dictates and refuse to question them.  Harsh punishment is meted out relentlessly to those who ask if the demands are sensible or even sane.  It is their enemies who are unreasonable and insane, while they are always merciful and just.
  7. Today we look upon this cruel god dispassionately.  And we note that though his lips are smeared with blood, and fire seems to flame from him, he is but made of stone.  He can do nothing.  We need not defy his power.  He has none.  And those who see in him their safety have no guardian, no strength to call upon in in danger, and no mighty warrior to fight for them.
  8. This moment can be terrible.  But it can also be the time of your release from abject slavery.  You make a choice, standing before this idol, seeing him exactly as he is.  Will you restore to love what you have sought to wrest from it and lay before this mindless piece of stone?  Or will you make another idol to replace it?  For the god of cruelty takes many forms.  Another can be found.
  9. Yet do not think that fear is the escape from fear.  Let us remember what the text has stressed about the obstacles to peace.  The final one, the hardest to believe is nothing, and a seeming obstacle with the appearance of a solid block, impenetrable, fearful and beyond surmounting, is the fear of God Himself.  Here is the basic premise which enthrones the thought of fear as god.  For fear is loved by those who worship it, and love appears to be infested now with cruelty.
  10. Where does the totally insane belief in gods of vengeance come from?  Love has not confused its attributes with those of fear.  Yet must the worshippers of fear perceive their own confusion in fear’s “enemy;” its cruelty is now a part of love.  And what becomes more fearful than the Heart of Love Itself?  The blood appears to be upon His Lips, the fire comes from Him.  And He is terrible above all else, cruel beyond conception, striking down all who acknowledge Him to be their God.
  11. The choice you make today is certain.  For you look for the last time upon this bit of carven stone you made and call it god no longer.  You have reached this place before, but you have chosen that this cruel god remain with you in still another form.  And so the fear of God returned with you.  This time you leave it there.  And you return to a new world, unburdened by its weight; beheld not in its sightless eyes, but in the vision that your choice restored to you.
  12. Now do your eyes belong to Christ, and He looks through them.  Now your voice belongs to God and echoes His.  And now your heart remains at peace forever.  You have chosen Him in place of idols, and your attributes, given by your Creator, are restored to you at last.  The Call for God is heard and answered.  Now has fear made way for love, as God Himself replaces cruelty.[1]
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Note and Personal Application:  Today Jesus expounds upon the idea that there is nothing to fear in God for God is love.  Loving God and fearing God is not the same thing – in fact, it is impossible to love and fear God or anyone else at the same time.  There is no cruelty in God and therefore nothing to fear in Him.  God’s Will is always for our supreme happiness, our comfort, our joy.  He gives us peace.  There is no peace outside of God’s Will.  Outside of God’s Will is the god of fear.

When we worship the god of fear we may say we love God, but the truth is far from us.  For we have smeared God’s reputation with the blood of our brothers whom we would smite in God’s name and call it holy.  When we worship fear as god, we devise cruel ways in which to kill our brothers, to attack them, to cause them sorrow and shame and we call it defense.  When we embrace fear and call it love, we subjugate others to our will and call it God’s Will.  We get ourselves into a frenzy and point fingers and blame others, taking up placards and marching against those who are evil, because we are afraid to look at our dirty, cluttered altars and bring our own darkness to light.  We are so afraid that God will deny us heaven, will send us to the fiery pit, will abandon us to those who would make our lives a living hell, that we forget that none of this can be true.  There is no cruelty in God, and all we must do to escape this illusion of fear, of darkness, of attack and defense taking the place of love is to remember this.

Today Jesus is urging us to put aside all these vain ideas about God once and for all.  God is Love; His thoughts toward us are of love and we have no need to worship a god of fear, of bloodshed, of vengeance, and spite.  These hateful ideas of our Creator are insane; they bring sorrow and suffering to those who believe in such lies, who practice cruelty in the name of God, and lead others into paths of bondage and oppression.  We will no longer sing hymns or recite scriptures that depict our Father as making enemies of the brotherhood of Christ, who craves bloodshed, demands sacrifices, and has favorites.  We will no longer blame our Creator for the unholy world, a blip in time, devised by the wayward minds of God’s wayward sons, who have taken on a human form to make a world of fear and limitations in place of the kingdom of God.  We will no longer form allegiances with the princes of this world who would lead us to fear God instead of love Him, who would bid us take up arms against another rather than seek to unite and remember our brotherhood. 

We bring our love for cruelty and hostility to our inner altar, Father, and we lay it down once and for all before You.  We are like You.  No cruelty abides in us, for there is none in You.  Your peace is ours.  We bless the world with the love we have received from You alone.  Once again, we choose to love our brothers, knowing that no matter what it may appear, they are one with us, we are not whole without them.  When we are saved, they are saved.  We are not saved alone.  And for this we are so grateful, for Your Kingdom would be incomplete without all of us.  Instead of seeing enemies in our brother, we see Your glory.  Instead of going to war, we find in them Your peace.  We are holy because we are like You, and holiness has set us free from our identity in the flesh to one of spirit and wholeness.  Thank you, Father.  In Jesus name.  Amen.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 170. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). 

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 169 By Grace I Live. By Grace I Am Released.

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 169 By Grace I Live.  By Grace I am Released.

  1. Grace is an aspect of the Love of God which is most like the state prevailing in the unity of truth.  It is the world’s most lofty aspiration, for it leads beyond the world entirely.  It is past learning, yet the goal of learning, for grace cannot come until the mind prepares itself for true acceptance.  Grace becomes inevitable instantly in those who have prepared a table where it can be gently laid and willingly received, an altar clean and holy for the gift.
  2. Grace is acceptance of the Love of God within a world of seeming hate and fear.  By grace alone the hate and fear are gone, for grace presents a state so opposite to everything the world contains, that those whose minds are lighted by the gift of grace can not believe the world of fear is real.
  3. Grace is not learned.  The final step must go beyond all learning.  Grace is not the goal this course aspires to attain.  Yet we prepare for grace in that an open mind can hear the Call to waken.  It is not shut tight against God’s Voice.  It has become aware that there are things it does not know, and thus is ready to accept a state completely different from experience with which it is familiarly at home.
  4. We have perhaps appeared to contradict our statement that the revelation of the Father and the Son as one has been already set.  But we have also said the mind determines when that time will be and has determined it.  And yet we urge you to bear witness to the Word of God to hasten the experience of truth and speed its advent into every mind that recognizes truth’s effects on you.
  5. Oneness is simply the idea God is.  And in His Being, He encompasses all things.  No mind holds anything but Him.  We say, “God is,” and then we cease to speak, for in that knowledge words are meaningless.  There are no lips to speak them, and no part of mind sufficiently distinct to feel that it is now aware of something not itself.  It has united with its Source.  And like its Source Itself, it merely is.
  6. We cannot speak nor write nor even think of this at all.  It comes to every mind when total recognition that its will is God’s has been completely given and received completely.  It returns the mind into the endless present, where the past and future cannot be conceived.  It lies beyond salvation, past all thought of time, forgiveness, and the holy face of Christ.  The Son of God has merely disappeared into his Father, as his Father has in him.  The world has never been at all.  Eternity remains a constant state.
  7. This is beyond experience we try to hasten.  Yet forgiveness, taught and learned, brings with it the experiences which bear witness that the time the mind itself determined to abandon all but this is now at hand.  We do not hasten it, in that what you will offer was concealed from Him Who teaches what forgiveness means.
  8. All learning was already in His Mind, accomplished and complete.  He recognized all that time holds and gave it to all minds that each one might determine, from a point where time was ended, when it is released to revelation and eternity.  We have repeated several times before that you but make a journey that is done.
  9. For oneness must be here.  Whatever time the mind has set for revelation is entirely irrelevant to what must be a constant state, forever as it always was; forever to remain as it is now.  We merely take the part assigned long since, and fully recognized as perfectly fulfilled by Him Who wrote salvation’s script in His Creator’s Name, and in the Name of His Creator’s Son.
  10. There is no need to further clarify what no one in the world can understand.  When revelation of your oneness comes, it will be known and fully understood.  Now we have work to do, for those in time can speak of things beyond, and listen to words which explain what is to come is past already.  Yet what meaning can the words convey to those who count the hours still, and rise and work and go to sleep by them?
  11. Suffice it, then, that you have work to do to play your part.  The ending must remain obscure to you until your part is done.  It does not matter.  For your part is still what all the rest depends on.  As you take the role assigned to you, salvation comes a little nearer each uncertain heart that does not beat as yet in tune with God.
  12. Forgiveness is the central theme that runs throughout salvation, holding all its parts in meaningful relationships, the course it runs directed and its outcome sure.  And now we ask for grace, the final gift salvation can bestow.  Experience that grace provides will end in time, for grace foreshadows Heaven, yet does not replace the thought of time but for a little while.
  13. The interval suffices.  It is here that miracles are laid; to be returned by you from holy instants you receive, through grace in your experience, to all who see the light that lingers in your face.  What is the face of Christ but his who went a moment into timelessness, and brought a clear reflection of the unity he felt an instant back to bless the world?  How could you finally attain to it forever, while a part of you remains outside, unknowing, unawakened, and in need of you as witness to the truth?
  14. Be grateful to return, as you were glad to go an instant, and accept the gifts that grace provided you.  You carry them back to yourself.  And revelation stands not far behind.  Its coming is ensured.  We ask for grace, and for experience that comes from grace.  We welcome the release it offers everyone.  We do not ask for the unaskable.  We do not look beyond what grace can give.  For this we can give in the grace that has been given us. 
  15. Our learning goal today does not exceed this prayer.  Yet in the world, what could be more than what we ask this day of Him Who gives the grace we ask, as it was given Him?

By grace I live.  By grace I am released.

By grace I give.  By grace I will release.[1]

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Notes and Personal Application:  By grace I live.  By grace I am released.  By grace I give.  By grace I will release.  This lesson speaks of time as if it has already ended, that all the things to come are already over and done with and yet there is work to do here, in time, and that I have and you have and everybody has their part to play.  It is as if the story is unfolding to be re-enacted until all have received that holy grace that the lesson is talking about.  Verse 14 reminds me of my own experiences with the world beyond, the precious love that I experienced in 1992 and for months thereafter, that experience of divine and everlasting love that changed my life, exposed the ego for what it was, and gave me an eternal longing for something that was beyond this world.  And the vision I had of Manda who said she is working day and night and developing words for us to express most subtle feelings and emotions and thoughts. “Be grateful to return, as you were glad to go an instant, and accept the gifts that grace provided you.  You carry them back to yourself…” Jesus says. 

He is saying, Eckie, be happy to return to the world of time, as happy as you were to go an instant and accept those precious gifts that grace provided you.  You carry them back to yourself…”  And then He goes on: “Revelation stands not far behind.  Its coming is ensured.  We ask for grace and for experience that comes from grace.”  (Experiences that come from grace reminds me of those visions and encounters that give us hope and reality – for example, the vision of myself as the older and certain mother who had had breakfast that morning with the lovely Manda.  It was so real that I just knew that it had happened and that this older version of myself was, with grace, giving me a present, and telling me about it.[2]  Jesus goes on, “We welcome the release it offers everyone.”  It is not for ourselves alone.  Each time we share the stories of these experiences, another mind is enlightened and released! 

“We do not ask for the unaskable.  We do not look beyond what grace can give.  For this we can give in the grace that has been given us.”  And I think that this is critical for me to get and you to get and all of us to fully understand.  We do not ask for the unaskable.  We do not have to know everything, because it is not for us to know everything yet.  We would have no experience and no capability to understand it all – all we must know is that we are to forgive and to be happy with the gifts of grace that have been given us.  We do not have to exceed this prayer.  We can trust that we are given exactly what is needed and to be faithful with that and do not sit about and waste our time trying vainly to figure out how things are that have not yet been given us.  We can say and pray and share this all we can today until our oneness with God is complete:  BY GRACE I LIVE.  BY GRACE I AM RELEASED.  BY GRACE I GIVE.  BY GRACE I WILL RELEASE.

And so for today – for what is pertinent to me this very day, by grace I live, by grace I am released from all that would trouble and torment here on earth.  The fear of lifelessness, meanness and rejection that would cower in my heart and mind when I think of family members and friends who are estranged from me. Grace releases me from the fear of racism, of privilege, of poverty, of prosperity, of old age, of youth, of suffering and sickness, of health, of not being as good as others, of being better than others.  I am released by grace from every mean and fearful thought that I held toward others for the loveless things they have said and done.  I am released, forgiven, and my slate and their slate is clean.  I am released because I live by the grace of God.  The grace of God releases me from the world of hate and fear.  By grace only love, peace, and joy, the good and salvageable will be remembered; all else forgotten never to be brought up again.  By grace we live in a realm where no memory except that which has everlasting value and worth will be cherished..  It is by this grace we give and by this grace we release ourselves and others who would fear, hate, and hide from the oneness and holiness of God.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 169. Foundation of Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2]A spiritual encounter of my older self visiting my younger self – coming to the door, presenting as an older, wiser, more astute version of myself.  She greeted me with warmth and kindness and told me not to worry about my daughter.  This older me had had breakfast with Manda that morning.  The older me assured me that Manda was lovely beyond words and happy doing what she was created to do.  Manda understood the loops of time and was able to send the future me to tell the present me of her love, joy, and liberty.

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 168 Your Grace Is Given Me. I Claim It Now.

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 168 Your Grace is Given Me.  I Claim It Now.

  1. God speaks to us. Shall we not speak to Him? He is not distant. He makes no attempt to hide from us. We tried to hide from Him and suffer from deception. He remains entirely accessible. He loves His Son. There is no certainty but this, yet this suffices. He will love His Son forever. When his mind remains asleep, He loves him still. And when his mind awakens, He loves him with a never-changing love.
  2. If you but knew the meaning of His Love, hope and despair would be impossible. For hope would be forever satisfied, despair of any kind unthinkable. His grace His answer is to all despair, for in it lies remembrance of His Love. Would He not gladly give the means by which His Will is recognized? His grace is yours by your acknowledgement. And memory of Him awakens in the mind that asks the means of Him whereby its sleep is done.
  3. Today we ask of God the gift He has most carefully preserved within our hearts, waiting to be acknowledged. This the gift by which God leans to us and lifts us up, taking salvation’s final step Himself. All steps but this we learn, instructed by His Voice. But finally He comes Himself and takes us in His arms and sweeps away the cobwebs of our sleep. His gift of grace is more than just an answer. It restores all memories the sleeping mind forgot; all certainty of what Love’s meaning is.
  4. God loves His Son. Request Him now to give the means by which this world will disappear, and vision first will come, with knowledge but an instant later. For in grace you see a light that covers all the world in love, and watch fear disappear from every face as hearts rise up and claim the light as theirs. What now remains that Heaven be delayed an instant longer? What is still undone when your forgiveness rests on everything?
  5. It is a new and holy day today, for we receive what has been given us. Our faith lies in the Giver, not our own acceptance. We acknowledge our mistakes, but He to whom all error is unknown is yet the One who answers our mistakes by giving us the means to lay them down and rise to Him in gratitude and love.
  6. And He descends to meet us, as we come to Him. For what He has prepared for us He gives, and we receive. Such is His Will because He loves His Son. To Him we pray today, returning but the word He gave to us through His Own Voice, His Word, His Love:

Your grace is given me. I claim it now. Father, I come to you.

And You will come to me who ask.

I am the Son you love.[1]

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Notes and Personal Application:  God does not hide His face from us.  We do not need technology to get in touch with Him.  We do not have to be in a church or a synagogue, a special place designated as holy, sacred, or serene.  Nothing can keep me from communicating with God.  Held in a dungeon or sitting on a throne, God loves me, and I am His Son forever.  When we do not live up to our promise, when we falter and fail, when we fumble and stumble upon our way – when we know the meaning of God’s Love, we would neither hope nor despair in God’s proposed mercy,  His love,  His devotion to us for we would simply know it. 

Today Jesus emphasizes that by acknowledging God’s grace, we receive it.  It is ours!  He will give us the means to make the world of separation, the dream of death and despair, disappear from our perceptions and give us first, the vision of Christ and then the knowledge of His Love and what it means. 

God loves us, His Son.  We are one.  All we must do is ask Him for the grace that covers the world in love and washes away the fear from every face as hearts rise up and claim God’s light as theirs.  When our forgiveness covers everything, time and all its heartbreak, its atrocities, its snakebites, and sorrow is not simply over, it is undone! 

There is nothing for us to do but have faith – not in accepting God’s Grace, but in God who gives His Grace.  As we acknowledge our mistaken identity in ego, as we acknowledge our mistakes of the flesh, as we acknowledge our mistakes of separation built upon lies and illusion, God gives us the means to lay them down, to rise to Him in gratitude and love.  In this state of holy apology, we meet Him as He comes to us and as we rise to Him.  He gives us what was ours all along, and now we take it and claim it as our own.  He loves us!  He does not want our measly sacrifices, our paltry offerings.  He does not want us to grovel, plead, and beg as if we were scroungers – we are His Son, at one with Creation.   He wants us to return to Him as His Son, united and whole. 

In your own words and in your own way, pray this prayer today.  Whether you think you are ready to claim your Sonship or not, saying the words will renew your mind and draw your heart and mind out of the world and into the light of His Love. “I accept Your grace, dear Father.  I come to You and You come to me because I know I am the Son You love, at one with Christ, with all of creation, and with You.  In Jesus name.  Amen.” 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 168. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 167 There Is One Life, And That I Share With God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 167 There is One Life, and That I Share With God.

  1. There are not different kinds of life, for life is like the truth. It does not have degrees. It is the one condition in which all that God created share. Like all His thoughts, it has no opposite. There is no death because what created shares His life. There is no death because an opposite to God does not exist. There is no death because the Father and the Son are one.
  2. In this world, there appears to be a state that is life’s opposite. You call it death. Yet we have learned that the idea of death takes many forms. It is the one idea which underlies all feelings that are not supremely happy. It is the alarm to which you give response of any kind that is not perfect joy. All sorrow, loss, anxiety, and suffering, and pain, even a little sigh of weariness, a slight discomfort, or the merest frown, acknowledge death. And thus you deny life.
  3. You think that death is of the body. Yet it is but an idea, irrelevant to what is seen as physical. A thought is in the mind. It can be applied as mind directs it. But its origin is where it must be changed if change occurs. Ideas leave not their source. The emphasis this course has placed on that idea is due to its centrality in our attempts to change your mind about yourself. It is the reason you can heal. It is the cause of healing.  It is why you cannot die. Its truth established you as one with God.
  4. Death is a thought that you are separate from your Creator. It is the belief conditions change, emotions alternate because of causes you cannot control, you did not make, and you can never change. It is the fixed belief ideas can leave their source, and take on qualities the source does not contain, becoming different from their own origin, apart from it in kind as well as distance, time, and form.
  5. Death cannot come from life. Ideas remain united to their source. They can extend all that their source contains. In that, they can go far beyond themselves. But they can not give birth to what was never given them. As they are made, so will their making be. As they were born, so will they then give birth. And where they come from, there will they return.
  6. The mind can think it sleeps, but that is all. It cannot change what is its waking state. It cannot make a body, nor abide within a body. What is alien to the mind does not exist, because it has no source. For mind creates all things that are, and cannot give them attributes it lacks, nor change its own eternal, mindful state. It cannot make the physical. What seems to die is but the sign of mind asleep.
  7. The opposite of life can only be another form of life. As such, it can be reconciled with what created it, because it is not opposite in truth. Its forms may change; it may appear to be what it is not. Yet mind is mind, awake or sleeping. It is not its opposites in anything created, nor in what it seems to make when it believes it sleeps.
  8. God creates only mind awake. He does not sleep, and His creations cannot share what He gives not, nor make conditions which He does not share with them. The thought of death is not the opposite to thoughts of life. Forever unopposed by opposites of any kind, the Thoughts of God remain forever changeless, with the power to extend forever changelessly, but yet within themselves, for they are everywhere.
  9. What seems to be the opposite of life is merely sleeping. When the mind elects to be what it is not, and to assume an alien power which it does not have, a foreign state it cannot enter, or a false condition not within its source, it merely seems to go to sleep awhile. It dreams of time; an interval in which what seems to happen never has occurred, the changes wrought are substanceless, and all events are nowhere. When the mind awakes, it but continues as it always was.
  10. Let us today be children of the truth, and not deny our holy heritage. Our life is not as we imagine it. Who changed his life because he shuts his eyes, or makes himself what he is not because he sleeps, and sees in dreams an opposite to what he is? We will not ask for death in any form today. Nor will we let imagined opposites to life abide even an instant where the thought of life eternal has been set by God himself.
  11. His holy home we strive to keep today as He established it, and wills it be forever and forever. He is Lord of what we think today. And in His Thoughts, which have no opposite, we understand there is one life, and that we share with Him, with all creation, with their thoughts as well, whom He created in a unity of life that cannot separate in death and leave the source of life from where it came.
  12. We share one life because we have one Source, a Source from which perfection comes to us, remaining always in the holy minds which He created perfect. As we were, so are we now and will forever be. A sleeping mind must waken, as it sees its own perfection mirroring the Lord of life so perfectly it fades into what is reflected there. And now it is no more a mere reflection. It becomes the thing reflected, and the light which makes reflection possible. No vision now is needed. For the awakened mind is one that knows its Source, its Self, its Holiness.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  Today’s lesson idea “There is one life that I share with God,” brings us out of the dream of separation and into the oneness of life.  In this one life that we share with God there is no death.  Since God is everything, He can have no opposite.  Anything that looks like an opposite to life and to love is part of the dream of separation, the time we spend in the loopholes of time, a world where the Sons of God come to remember who and what they really are. 

In this world, we have death and we have it most abundantly.  We feast upon death.  We gorge ourselves upon the flesh of what we call lesser forms of life.  In God’s Kingdom there is no such thing as lesser forms of life, life has no degrees, but here in the realm of separation, we have no such qualms about looking upon our fellow creations and judging them in degrees of their importance to us – do we eat them, attack them, defend ourselves against them, or form alliances with them?  Do they look like us, worship the same way we do, share the same values, and have something that they can offer us?  Or are they different looking, godless, heathen, the great unsaved who will burn in hellfire because they do not worship the same way we do, share the same values, and have little to nothing to offer us? 

We think that death is just something that happens to the body, but Jesus teaches us today that death is an idea in the mind.  As we change our minds about who and what we really are, as we realize our oneness with God and with all of creation, we are no longer content to live in any other state than one of supreme happiness.  To live in a such a state, we must be willing to give up our attachment, our addiction to and fondness for the world of sorrow, loss, sickness, and death. 

In order to be healed from this magical realm which keeps up spellbound by its bloodthirsty dramas of all that is not of God, of life, of joy and eternal happiness, we must accept our Sonship with God.  We must recognize the simple fact that death cannot come from life.  Life is life – and it continues to be life and it can never die.  Life is spirit, life is mind which creates all things that are and makes them like itself.  Jesus tells us with no uncertainty that what seems to die is a mind that sleeps.  Death then is part of the illusion of separation – not the opposite of life, but rather a demented dream held in time – a wrinkle of eternity where what seems to have happened has never really happened at all. 

Our Course study is a curriculum in awakening from the dream, realizing that we are children of truth, no longer being the least bit willing to hide or be ashamed of the call of God within.  What we experience in the flesh is imagined; when we open our eyes from this dream in time we are as we always were – dearly beloved, worthy of God’s trust, His love, and His devotion. 

Today Jesus is asking us to keep this in our minds.  We are to train our minds to disengage from thoughts of death in all its tempting forms.  With today’s lesson I realize that I must bid so long to one of my new Netflix favorites, Hell on Wheels, where characters are savagely murdered, plotted against, and offered no rest for the weary one addictive episode after another.  Training my mind to love life, to love truth, to love joy and happiness, peace and kindness is renewing my love and devotion to God and His Kingdom, understanding that there is one life that we share with God and with all of creation.  Saying good riddance to bloodshed and bluster, plotting, and plunder as a means to entertain myself puts me in touch with the pure, wholesome, holy intelligence of the Source of life from where I came, where I belong, and where I will always be. 

Jesus says that a sleeping mind must wake up as it sees its own perfection reflecting the Lord of life until finally it becomes what is in the mirror.  Let this be our minds today – that we be the children of light, that we may know our Source, our Selves, and become one with God.    


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 167. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 166 I Am Entrusted With The Gifts Of God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 166 I Am Entrusted With the Gifts of God.

  1. All things are given you. God’s trust in you is limitless. He knows His Son. He gives without exception, holding nothing back that can contribute to your happiness. And yet, unless your will is one with His, His gifts are not received. But what would make you think there is another will than His?
  2. Here is the paradox that underlies the making of the world. This world is not the Will of God, and so it is not real. Yet those who think it real must still believe there is another will, and one that leads to opposite effects from those He wills. Impossible; indeed, but every mind that looks upon the world and judges it as certain, solid, trustworthy, and true believes in two creators; or in one, himself alone.  But never in one God.
  3. The gifts of God are not acceptable to anyone who holds such strange beliefs. He must believe that to accept God’s gifts, however evident they may become, however urgently he may be called to claim them as his own, is to be pressed to treachery against himself. He must deny their presence, contradict the truth, and suffer to preserve the world he made.
  4. Here is the only home he thinks he knows. Here is the only safety he believes that he can find. Without the world he made he is an outcast; homeless and afraid. He does not realize that it is here he is afraid indeed, and homeless, too; an outcast wandering so far from home, so long away, he does not realize he has forgotten where he came from, where he goes, and even who he really is.
  5. Yet in his lonely, senseless wanderings, God’s gifts go with him, all unknown to him. He cannot lose them. But he will not look at what is given him. He wanders on, aware of the futility he sees about him everywhere, perceiving how his little lot but dwindles, as he goes ahead to nowhere. Still he wanders on in misery and poverty, alone though God is with him, and a treasure his so great that everything the world contains is valueless before its magnitude.
  6. He seems a sorry figure; weary, worn, in threadbare clothing, and with feet that bleed a little from the rocky road he walks. No one but has identified with him, for everyone who comes here has pursued the path he follows and has felt defeat and hopelessness as he is feeling them. Yet is he really tragic, when you see that he is following the way he chose, and need but realize Who walks with him and opens up his treasures to be free?
  7. This is your chosen self, the one you made as a replacement for reality. This is the self you savagely defend against all reason, every evidence, and all the witnesses with proof to show this is not you. You heed them not. You go on your appointed way; with eyes cast down less you might catch a glimpse of truth and be released from self-deception and set free.
  8. You cower fearfully lest you should feel Christ’s touch upon your shoulder, and perceive His gentle hand directing you to look upon your gifts. How could you then proclaim your poverty in exile? He would make you laugh at this perception of yourself. Where is self-pity then?  And what becomes of all the tragedy you sought to make for him whom God intended only joy?
  9. Your ancient fear has come upon you now, and justice has caught up with you at last. Christ’s hand has touched your shoulder and you feel that you are not alone. You even think the miserable self you thought was you may not be your identity. Perhaps God’s Word is truer than your own. Perhaps His gifts to you are real. Perhaps He has not wholly been outwitted by your plan to keep His Son in deep oblivion and go the way you chose without your Self.
  10. God’s Will does not oppose. It merely is. It is not God you have imprisoned in your plan to lose yourself. He does not know about a plan so alien to His Will. There was a need He did not understand, to which He gave an answer. That is all. And you who have this Answer given you have need no more of anything but This.
  11. Now do we live, for now we cannot die. The wish for death is answered, and the sight that looked upon it now has been replaced by vision which perceives that you are not what you pretend to be. One walks with you who gently answers all your fears with this one merciful reply, “It is not so.”  He points to all the gifts you have each time the thought of poverty oppresses you, and speaks of His Companionship when you perceive yourself as lonely and afraid.
  12. Yet He reminds you still of one thing more you had forgotten. For His touch on you has made you like Himself. The gifts you have are not for you alone. What He has come to offer you, you now must learn to give. This is the lesson that His giving holds, for He has saved you from the solitude you sought to make in which to hide from God. He has reminded you of all the gifts that God has given you. He speaks as well of what becomes your will when you accept these gifts, and recognize they are your own.
  13. The gifts are yours, entrusted to your care, to give to all who chose the lonely road you have escaped. They do not understand they but pursue their wishes. It is you who teach them now. For you have learned of Christ there is another way for them to walk. Teach them by showing them the happiness that comes to those who feel the touch of Christ and recognize God’s gifts. Let sorrow not tempt you to be unfaithful to your trust.
  14. Your sighs will now betray the hopes of those who look to you for their release. Your tears are theirs. If you are sick, you but withhold their healing.  What you fear but teaches them their fears are justified. Your hand becomes the giver of Christ’s touch; your change of mind becomes the proof that who accepts God’s gifts can never suffer anything. You are entrusted with the world’s release from pain.
  15. Betray it not. Become the living proof of what Christ’s touch can offer everyone. God has entrusted all His gifts to you. Be witness in your happiness to how transformed the mind becomes which chooses to accept His gifts and feel the touch of Christ. Such is your mission now. For God entrusts the giving of His gifts to all who have received them. He has shared his joy with you. And now you go to share it with the world.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  This afternoon as I finally set some time aside to pray and read my lesson, I was overtaken with gratitude and joy that God would entrust me with His gifts.  Many times I let the ego talk me out of who and what I really am and let it convince me for a while that I am nothing but a leaky valve, a wishy-washy Christian wannabe, a laughable excuse for a Son of God.  What a wonderful message to know that God knows me and that all that is His is given me.  God not only knows me, but He trusts me, and He holds nothing back that would make me happy.  If I choose to believe otherwise, it is not because God has forsaken me, but simply because I have left the dispiriting lies of the ego persuade me that the world that was made without God is real, that God would make a world that is uncertain, chancy, untrustworthy, and full of hate and sorrow, disease and death. 

When we choose to get caught up in the world that our medias blather about on the news, we are choosing this world instead of the real one in which all is love and peace and joy.  When we allow the upside down thinking of this world fill our minds with fear, with hostility, with choosing sides, with turning upon ourselves and each other with gnashing teeth and audacious accusations, pointing fingers and projecting our self-hatred and condemnation to this one or that one, we are making of ourselves outcasts, forgetting where we came from, where we are meant to go, and who and what really are. 

No matter what we say or do, God’s gifts go with us.  Whether we embrace them or ignore them, we cannot lose them.  Whether we look upon them with gladness or with disdain, they never leave us – there is nothing we can ever do or say that can change who and what we are. 

Last year at this time I was struggling with some guests that we had in our home who had invited themselves to stay with us during a time when we were simply not prepared for guests.  James, in an attempt to be a gracious host, told them to make themselves at home, and before we knew it, they were preparing all the meals, clattering about in our kitchen, banging the hot iron skillet down on our newly installed quartz countertops, and cluttering nearly every surface in the house with their stuff.  On top of this, they were speaking Chinese to one another and rarely included us in conversations unless they had a request.  It was a most trying visit, and we were both only too happy when it came to an end. 

As teachers of God, we are not to get our identity from the world and what the world would ask of us.  There are some people who do not want to be reminded of who and what they are in Christ.  We are not meant to cater to the earthly needs of people who are quite capable of meeting their own needs.  We are not asked to let spongers suck up our resources or to treat our homes like hotels.  The motto of the ego is to take as much as it can get and give as little back as it can get away with.  As Sons of God, called to minister the truth to others, we withhold true happiness to ourselves and others by draining ourselves of energy and joy by pouring ourselves out to those who have no interest in the things of God. 

In paragraph 13, Jesus says that God’s gifts are ours, entrusted to our care, to give to all who chose the world over the Kingdom of God.  We are to spend our time teaching the happiness that comes to those who feel the touch of Christ and recognize God’s gifts.  This means to share the good news of Christ.  It does not mean we are to feed, house, and chauffer people around to worldly events and activities.  There are plenty of people who are happy to do just that – there are hotels, rental cars, and buses that the world provides to cater to the needs of people intent on making the world real.  As Sons of God, doing these things will only wear us down and bring us unhappiness.  We are not to be deceived into thinking any good can come out of such so-called generosity. 

Individuals and collectives alike will often get caught up in providing meals, clothing, and shelter for the lost and sincerely believe that they are doing the work of Christ.  While there is nothing inherently wrong with helping our brothers in their time of need, our true ministry is not one of meeting the physical needs of others.  We are called to share God’s gifts which are spiritual and everlasting, which transforms our minds, healing us so that we can bring truth and healing to others.

We are entrusted with the world’s release from pain.  Jesus asks us to become the living proof of what Christ’s touch can offer everyone.  When we get caught up in the old ways of making friends and catering to others, we are asking for what the world offers, special relationships, drained resources, and energy ill-spent.  When we bear witness to the happiness that comes with accepting God’s gifts and experiencing the touch of Christ in our hearts, we are filled with joy and we share that joy with all the world. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 166. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 165 Let Not My Mind Deny The Thought Of God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 165 Let Not My Mind Deny the Thought of God.

  1. What makes this world seem real except your own denial of the truth that lies beyond? What but your thoughts of misery and death obscure the perfect happiness and the eternal life your Father wills for you? And what could hide what cannot be concealed except illusion? What could keep from you what you already have except your choice to see it not, denying it is there?
  2. The Thought of God created you. It left you not, nor have you ever been apart from it an instant. It belongs to you. By it you live. It is your Source of life, holding you one with it, and everything is one with you because it left you not. The Thought of God protects you, cares for you, makes soft your resting place and smooth your way, lighting your mind with happiness and love. Eternity and everlasting life shine in your mind because the Thought of God has left you not, and still abides with you.
  3. Who would deny his safety and his peace, his joy, his healing, and his peace of mind, his quiet rest, his calm awakening, if he but recognized where they abide? Would he not instantly prepare to go where they are found, abandoning all else as worthless in comparison with them?  And having found them, would he not make sure they stay with him, and he remain with them?
  4. Deny not Heaven. It is yours today, but for the asking. Nor need you perceive how great the gift, how changed your mind will be before it comes to you. Ask to receive, and it is given you. Conviction lies within it. Till you welcome it as yours, uncertainty remains. Yet God is fair. Sureness is not required to receive what only your acceptance can bestow.
  5. Ask with desire. You need not be sure that you request the only thing you want. But when you have received, you will be sure you have the treasure you have always sought. What would you then exchange for it? What would induce you now to let it fade away from your ecstatic vision? For this sight proves that you have exchanged your blindness for the seeing eyes of Christ; your mind has come to lay aside denial and accept the Thought of God as your inheritance.
  6. Now is all doubting past, the journey’s end made certain, and salvation given you. Now is Christ’s power in your mind, to heal as you were healed. For now you are among the saviors of the world. Your destiny lies there and nowhere else. Would God consent to let His Son remain forever starved by his denial of the nourishment he needs to live? Abundance dwells in him, and deprivation cannot cut him off from God’s sustaining Love and from his home.
  7. Practice today in hope. For hope indeed is justified. Your doubts are meaningless, for God is certain. And the Thought of Him is never absent. Sureness must abide within you who are host to Him. This course removes all doubt which you have interposed between Him and your certainty of Him.
  8. We count on God, and not upon ourselves, to give us certainty. And in His Name, we practice as His Word directs, we do. His sureness lies beyond our every doubt. His Love remains beyond our every fear. The Thought of Him is still beyond all dreams and in our minds, according to His Will.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  Lately I have been taken up with gardening.  James built me a little greenhouse and I started hundreds of seedlings – tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, peppers, marigolds and sunflowers, basil, oregano, eggplants, chives, green beans, squash, cabbage, and cilantro.  Growing things has become somewhat of a passion for me – never having had a “green thumb,” now here in my senior years I suddenly have a keen interest in tending to plants.  This year I have been especially enamored of lavender and it has proved to be a real challenge to get the seedlings started, and yet I keep buying seed packets and trying again until now I have finally started four tiny plants after many failures. 

The first thing I want to do when I wake up in the morning, after enjoying a cup or two of coffee and going over the lesson and devotional, is run out to the garden.  The weather has been beautiful – sunny, hot, breezy.  The air smells so good and being outside, I get to chat with the neighbors who ride by on their horses and bikes, or out taking a walk or working in their yard.  People ride by and beep their horn and wave and sometimes stop for a bit.  In other words it all seems very real.

Going to bed at night, I am sore from head to toe.  My back aches, my legs hurt, my shoulder, neck, and arms are fatigued.  It is hard to get comfortable to sleep.  My head hits the pillow and before I have time to quiet my mind and say my evening prayers, I am in snooze mode.  Still, even with the aches and pains, life in time seems real and heaven does not seem that real to me.  Today in particular, we had such a lovely day, quiet, serene, going from one little task to the next, going for a long ride on country roads, revisiting scenery from the past, eating southern fried chicken at Cracker Barrell, and watching two episodes of Hell on Wheels…life here seems too real to turn my back on it and call for Heaven.   

Which makes me all the more appreciative that all I must do is sincerely and desirously ask for Heaven.  I do not have to be sure and I do not have to be beyond doubt.  I do not have to know that this is the only thing I want and make any seeming sacrifices to ask for Heaven.  All I must do is ask for it with my heart and with my mind and with desire and passion for what is real.  So when Heaven seems distant and this world feels that it is all I want, when I receive Heaven, I will be sure and certain and know that it is the only treasure in which I could ever want.  Thank you, Jesus!  The other way which required such play-acting, weeping, and self-denial is false, mean, and stupid.  I would much rather be honest – yes, I want what is real – but this seems very real to me right now Lord.  Please give me Heaven anyway – I want what is real, everlasting, and does not fade away.  Here the fruits of my labor only bloom for a season, soon the harvest bounty is decay…I want what is real.  Let not my mind deny the thought of the everlasting; let not my mind choose that which is temporal over that which is forever

There is nothing we can do to give us the certain faith in what we can not see with our eyes or experience in our flesh.  This we count on God to do for us.  We do not have to make bold faith statements, deny our love for the world, and sacrifice our affection for the things which enamor and capture our imagination.  We count on God to stir our hope, to free us from our doubts and fears, to clear our inner altar which gets so- cluttered with the distractions of the world.  God has never left us – our thoughts may seem to be far from Him, but they are always there, beyond this world of dreams and passing fancies, and eternally placed in our minds, according to His Will.  We rest our hopes on God and His Will. 

Let us lift our hearts in praise. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 165. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 164 Now We Are One With Him Who Is Our Source

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 164 Now Are We One With Him Who Is Our Source.

  1. 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.  He looks past time, and sees eternity as represented there.  He hears the sounds the senseless, busy world engenders, yet He hears them faintly.  For beyond them all He hears the song of Heaven, and the Voice for God more clear, more meaningful, more near.
  2. The world fades easily away before His sight.  Its sounds grow dim.  A melody from far beyond the world increasingly is more and more distinct, an ancient Call to Which He gives an ancient answer.  You will recognize them both, for they are but your answer to your Father’s Call to you.  Christ answers you, echoing your Self, using your voice to give His glad consent; accepting your deliverance for you.
  3. How holy is your practicing today, as Christ gives you His sight and hears for you, and answers in your name the Call He hears!  How quiet is the time you give to spend with Him, beyond the world.  How easily are all your seeming sins forgot, and all your sorrows unremembered.  On this day is grief laid by, for sights and sounds that come from nearer than the world are clear to you who will today accept the gifts He gives. 
  4. There is a silence into which the world can not intrude.  There is an ancient peace you carry in your heart and have not lost.  There is a sense of holiness in you the thought of sin has never touched.  All this today you will remember.  Faithfulness in practicing today will bring rewards so great and so completely different from all things you sought before, that you will know that here your treasure is, and here your rest.
  5. This is the day when vain imaginings part like a curtain, to reveal what lies beyond them.  Now is what is really there made visible, while all the shadows which appeared to hide it merely sink away.  Now is the balance righted, and the scale of judgment left to Him Who judges true.  And in His judgment will a world unfold in perfect innocence before your eyes.  Now will you see it with the eyes of Christ.  Now is its transformation clear to you.
  6. Brother, this day is sacred to the world.  Your vision, given you from far beyond all things within the world, looks back on them in a new light.  And what you see becomes the healing and salvation of the world.  The valuable and valueless are both perceived and recognized for what they are.  And what is worthy of your love receives your love, while nothing to be feared remains. 
  7. We will not judge today.  We will receive but what is given us from judgment made beyond the world.  Our practicing today becomes our gift of thankfulness for our release from blindness and from misery.  All that we see will but increase our joy, because its holiness reflects our own.  We stand forgiven in the sight of Christ, with all the world forgiven in our own.  We bless the world, as we behold it in the light in which our Savior looks on us, and offer it the freedom given us through His forgiving vision and our own.
  8. Open the curtain in your practicing by merely letting go all things you think you want.  Your trifling treasures put away, and leave a clean and open space within your mind where Christ can come, and offer you the treasure of salvation.  He has need of your most holy mind to save the world.  Is not this purpose worthy to be yours?  Is not Christ’s vision worthy to be sought above the world’s unsatisfying goals? 
  9. Let not today slip by without the gifts it holds for you receiving your consent and your acceptance.  We can change the world, if you acknowledge them.  You may not see the value your acceptance gives the world.  But this you surely want; you can exchange all suffering for joy this very day.  Practice in earnest, and the gift is yours.  Would God deceive you?  Can His promise fail?  Can you withhold so little, when His Hand holds out complete salvation to His Son?[1]
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[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 164. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 163 There Is No Death. The Son Of God Is Free.

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 163 There Is No Death.  The Son of God Is Free.

  1. Death is a thought that takes on many forms, often unrecognized.  It may appear as sadness, fear, anxiety or doubt; as anger, faithlessness, and lack of trust; concern for bodies, envy, and all forms in which the wish to be as you are not may come to tempt you.  All such thoughts are but reflections of the worshipping of death as savior and as giver of release.
  2. Embodiment of fear, the host of sin, god of the guilty, and the lord of all illusions and deceptions, does the thought of death seem mighty.  For it seems to hold all living things within its withered hand; all hopes and wishes in its blighting grasp; all goals perceived but in its sightless eyes.  The frail, the helpless, and the sick bow down before its image, thinking it alone is real, inevitable, worthy of their trust.  For it alone will surely come.
  3. All things but death are seen to be unsure, too quickly lost however hard to gain, uncertain in their outcome, apt to fail the hopes they once engendered, and to leave the taste of dust and ashes in their wake, in place of aspirations and of dreams.  But death is counted on.  For it will come with certain footsteps when the time has come for its arrival.  It will never fail to take all life as hostage to itself.
  4. Would you bow down to idols such as this?  Here is the strength and might of God Himself perceived within an idol made of dust.  Here is the opposite of God proclaimed as lord of all creation, stronger than God’s Will for life, the endlessness of love and Heaven’s perfect, changeless constancy.  Here is the Will of Father and of Son defeated finally and laid to rest beneath the headstone death has placed upon the body of the holy Son of God.
  5. Unholy in defeat, he has become what death would have him be.  His epitaph, which death itself has written, gives no name to him, for he has passed to death.  It says but this: “Here lies a witness God is dead.”  And this it writes again and still again, while all the while its worshippers agree, and kneeling down with foreheads to the ground, they whisper fearfully that it is so.
  6. It is impossible to worship death in any form, and still select a few you would not cherish and would yet avoid, while still believing in the rest.  For death is total.  Either all things die, or else they live and cannot die.  No compromise is possible.  For here again we see an obvious position, which we must accept if we be sane; what contradicts one thought entirely can not be true, unless its opposite is proven false.
  7. The idea of death of God is so preposterous that even the insane have difficulty in believing it.  For it implies that God was once alive and somehow perished; killed, apparently, by those who did not want Him to survive.  Their stronger will could triumph over His, and so eternal life gave way to death.  And with the Father died the Son as well.
  8. Death’s worshippers may be afraid.  And yet, can thoughts like these be fearful?  If they saw that it is only this which they believe, they would be instantly released.  And you will show them this today.  There is no death, and we renounce it now in every form, for their salvation and our own as well.  God made not death.  Whatever form it takes must therefore be illusion.  This the stand we take today.  And it is given us to look past death and see the life beyond.
  9. Our Father, bless our eyes today.  We are Your messengers, and we would look upon the glorious reflection of Your Love, which shines in everything.  We live and move in You alone.  We are not separate from Your eternal life.  There is no death, for death is not Your Will.  And we abide where You have placed us, in the life we share with You and with all living things, to be like You and part of You forever.  We accept Your Thoughts as ours, and our will is one with Yours eternally.  Amen.[1]
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[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 163. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 162 I Am As God Created Me

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 162 I am as God Created Me

  1. This single thought, held firmly in the mind, would save the world.  From time to time we will repeat it, as we reach another stage in learning.  It will mean far more to you as you advance.  These words are sacred, for they are the words God gave in answer to the world you made.  By them it disappears, and all things seen within its misty clouds and vaporous illusions vanish as these words are spoken.  For they come from God.
  2. Here is the Word by which the Son became His Father’s happiness, His Love, and His completion.  Here creation is proclaimed and honored as it is.  There is no dream these words will not dispel; no thought of sin and no illusion which the dream contains that will not fade away before their might.  They are the trumpet of awakening that sounds around the world.  The dead awake in answer to its call.  And those who live and hear this sound will never look on death.
  3. Holy indeed is he who makes these words his own, arising with them in his mind, recalling them throughout the day, at night bringing them with him as he goes to sleep.  His dreams are happy and his rest secure, his safety certain and his body healed, because he sleeps and wakens with the truth before him always.  He will save the world, because he gives the world what he receives each time he practices the words of truth.
  4. Today we practice simply.  For the words we use are mighty, and they need no thoughts beyond themselves to change the mind of him who uses them.  So wholly is it changed that it is now the treasury in which God places all His gifts and all His Love, to be distributed to all the world, increased in giving; kept complete because its sharing is unlimited.  And thus you learn to think with God.  Christ’s vision has restored your sight by salvaging your mind.
  5. We honor you today.  Yours is the right to perfect holiness you now accept.  With this acceptance is salvation brought to everyone, for who could cherish sin when holiness like this has blessed the world?  Who could despair when perfect joy is yours, available to all as remedy for grief and misery, all sense of loss, and for complete escape from sin and guilt?
  6. And who would not be brother to you now; you, his redeemer, and his savior.  Who could fail to welcome you into his heart and with loving invitation, eager to unite with one like him in holiness?  You are as God created you.  These words dispel the night, and darkness is no more.  The light is come today to bless the world.  For you have recognized the Son of God, and in that recognition is the world’s.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  When we remind our minds that we are as God created us, the ugliness and filth that defined us, that kept us awake at night, that hindered our walks with God and kept us from giving our all are washed away from our perceptions.  We no longer believe the lies, the delusion, the dream.  We recognize the truth of the matter.  God is God and it is only His Kingdom that could possibly be real; this stretch of time is merely a dream of separation – a nightmare of creation turned against itself, taken from its source, founded upon that which is not love, and therefore not real.  We no longer invest in flesh and blood; in darkness and decay; in unstable systems based upon falsity, frailty, and futility.  We are free of the world’s perception of humanity; we are pure and holy, beautiful and beneficent, everlasting and invulnerable.  We are as God created us.

Today remind yourself often, “I am as God created me.”  Throughout the day, see the world for what it is – an illusion that passes from moment to moment, a death trap, an enchantment, a trance, a stupor.  Do not be afraid.  As we open our eyes to the truth, we begin to see the real world beyond this one. We begin to catch glimmers of a world where love and peace and joy are the givens; where there is no fear, no need for defenses, no ugly battle scars, no demented minds, no battlefields lay waste the landscape.  As we say to ourselves, “I am as God created me,” the reality of our true identity in Christ begins to appear.  We are only too willing to lay the trinkets and gaieties of this world aside, to see how cheap and tarnished are the trappings of the world which would stand in place of the grandeur and magnificence of our reality.  When we remind ourselves, “I am as God created me,” we can put down our signs and placards, we can walk away from our futile attempts to bring peace to chaos, joy to sorrow, light to darkness.  Our minds begin to understand who and what we really are, and we can no longer invest in that which would blemish our beauty, steal our joy, or dim the light that leads our way.  We no longer fight meaningless battles with ghosts from the past; we live in the holy instant where all is everlasting and pure. 

This is the state of mind in which the world is saved.  When our minds are full of the love begot of our creation, we see nothing but love in others.  We step away from the stranger, the ego, the shadow self of fear and hostility, and into our truth.  We are as God created us. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 162. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 161 Give Me Your Blessing, Holy Son Of God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 161 Give Me Your Blessing, Holy Son of God.

  1. Today we practice differently, and take a stand against our anger, that our fears may disappear and offer room to love. Here is Salvation in the simple words in which we practice with today’s idea. Here is the answer to temptation which can never fail to welcome in the Christ where fear and anger had prevailed before. Here is atonement made complete, the world passed safely by in Heaven now restored. Here is the answer of the Voice for God.
  2. Complete abstraction is the natural condition of the mind.  But part of it is now unnatural.  It does not look on everything as one.  It sees instead but fragments of the whole, for only thus could it invent the partial world you see.  The purpose of all seeing is to show you what you wish to see.  All hearing but brings to your mind the sounds it wants to hear.
  3. Thus were specifics made.  And now it is specifics we must use in practicing.  We give them to the Holy Spirit, that He may employ them for a purpose which is different from the one we gave to them.  Yet He can use but what we made, to teach us from a different point of view, so we can see a different use in everything. 
  4. One brother is all brothers.  Every mind contains all minds, for every mind is one.  Such is the truth.  Yet do these thoughts make clear the meaning of creation?  Do these words bring perfect clarity with them to you?  What can they seem to be but empty sounds; pretty, perhaps, correct in sentiment, yet fundamentally not understood nor understandable.  The mind that taught itself to think specifically can no longer grasp abstraction in the sense that it is all-encompassing.  We need to see a little, that we learn a lot.
  5. It seems to be the body that we feel limits our freedom, makes us suffer, and at last puts out our life.  Yet bodies are but symbols for a concrete form of fear.  Fear without symbols calls for no response, for symbols can stand for the meaningless.  Love needs no symbols, being true.  But fear attaches to specifics, being false.
  6. Bodies attack, but minds do not.  This thought is surely reminiscent of our text, where it is often emphasized.  This is the reason bodies easily become fear’s symbols.  You have many times been urged to look beyond the body, for its sight presents the symbol of love’s “enemy” Christ’s vision does not see.  The body is the target for attack, for no one thinks he hates a mind.  Yet what but mind directs the body to attack?  What else could be the seat of fear except what thinks of fear?
  7. Hate is specific.  There must be a thing to be attacked.  An enemy must be perceived in such a form he can be touched and seen and heard, and ultimately killed.  When hatred rests upon a thing, it calls for death as surely as God’s Voice proclaims there is no death.  Fear is insatiable, consuming everything its eyes behold, seeing itself in everything, compelled to turn upon itself and to destroy.
  8. Who sees a brother as a body sees him as fear’s symbol.  And he will attack, because what he beholds is his own fear external to himself, poised to attack, and howling to unite with him again.  Mistake not the intensity of rage projected fear must spawn.  It shrieks in wrath and claws the air in frantic hope it can reach to its maker and devour him.
  9. This do the body’s eyes behold in one whom Heaven cherishes, the angels love, and God created perfect.  This is his reality.  And in Christ’s vision is his loveliness reflected in a form so holy and so beautiful that you could scarce refrain from kneeling at his feet.  Yet you will take his hand instead, for you are like him in the sight that sees him thus.  Attack on him is enemy to you, for you will not perceive that in his hands is your salvation.  Ask him but for this, and he will give it to you.  Ask him not to symbolize your fear.  Would you request that love destroy itself?  Or would you have it be revealed to you and set you free?
  10. Today we practice in a form we have attempted earlier.  Your readiness is closer now, and you will come today nearer Christ’s vision.  If you are intent on reaching it, you will succeed today.  And once you have succeeded, you will not be willing to accept the witnesses your body’s eyes call forth.  What you will see will sing to you of ancient melodies you will remember.  You are not forgot in Heaven.  Would you not remember it?
  11. Select one brother, symbol of the rest, and ask salvation of him.  See him first as clearly as you can, in that same form to which you are accustomed.  See his face, his hands and feet, his clothing.  Watch him smile and see familiar gestures which he makes so frequently.  Then think of this:  What you are seeing now conceals from you the sight of one who can forgive you all your sins; whose sacred hands can take away the nails which pierce your own, and lift the crown of thorns which you have placed upon your bleeding head.  Ask this of him, that he may set you free: Give me your blessing, holy Son of God.  I would behold you with the eyes of Christ and see my perfect sinlessness in you.
  12. And He will answer Whom you called upon.  For He will hear the Voice for God in you, and answer in your own.  Behold him now, whom you have seen as merely flesh and bone, and recognize that Christ has come to you.  Today’s idea is your safe escape from anger and from fear.  Be sure you use it instantly, should you be tempted to attack a brother and perceive in him the symbol of your fear.  And you will see him suddenly transformed from enemy to savior, from the devil into Christ.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  Today Jesus outlines how complete abstraction is natural to our created minds.  It is only in the separated dream world that we see in specifics, in parts, and not as the whole.  Seeing in parts, we judge one another and ourselves by our processes through time.  We carry hatred and judgment, spite and vengeance which keep us trapped in a dream of time, a nightmare of ego battles, a dicey universe where there is no certainty but death and taxes.  Seeing in part, we are in a state of near constant temptation to attack one another and see in each other symbols of fear.  The separated world teaches us that we can be either victims or victimizers, that if we do not attack first, others are out to get us, to use and abuse us, to steal our stuff, to mock our efforts, to greedily glut themselves on our generosity and warmth. 

These are the lessons that the dream of separation teaches us.  It does not make us evil – but rather stupefies us, keeping us trapped in a false universe of pain, of fear, of all that is not love.  The heavy armor we carry about in our minds, weighs it down, torments it, making it sick with a sense of heavy-heartedness and world weariness.  It is a seemingly inescapable nightmare of uncertainty, because once the blinders come off about the nature of this world, we know that nothing here can protect us – not our wealth, our ancestry, our good genes, our intelligence, good looks, or optimistic personality, or positive self-talk.  We survive today to die another – time keeps chewing up its own tail, turning itself inside out and outside in, spewing forth its same old, twisted formulas to keep us blinded to our true Selves.    

Today Jesus says to stop letting it get to us.  Let us use the ploys of separation for holiness. Let us take a stand against the anger and the fear we feel toward others and use it to bless us, to save us, to snap us out of the trance of hostility and vengeance that fuels the separation and keeps us trapped in time.  We will take one brother from the pack; we will pick him out of the crowded crevices of our mind where those who deserve our spite replay all their cheap and crummy deeds. This enemy who hurt us, who stole our peace and joy, who tried to push us around and belittle us, who spoke ill of us to others and repeated confidences, this one will stand for the rest of the killjoys who rob us of a sense of safety and security, of love and blessing in a world where no truth can be found. 

This one person, this one brother is standing in the way of Christ, who can forgive all of our love for darkness, for spite, for vengeance, and grudge keeping.  When we refuse to forgive and see our brother as ourselves we refuse the holy hands which take away the nails we pierce ourselves with, we crown ourselves with thorns and thistles which we press upon our bleeding heads. 

It is when we see our brother as ourselves, when we offer him the forgiveness and love we seek for ourselves, when we bless and ask him for his blessing, seeing him with the eyes of Christ, seeing him as Christ, that we get a glimpse of our own perfect, spotless Self.  We are as God created us; flesh and bone do not define us; nor mistakes we make in darkness change our Sonship with God.  We are set free when we set our brothers free.  We are saved, when all are saved.  We return to God, when we all return to our everlasting joy walking hand-in-hand, heart-to-heart, as one. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 161. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 160 I Am At Home. Fear Is The Stranger Here.

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 160 I Am at Home.  Fear is the Stranger Here.  

  1. Fear is a stranger to the ways of love. Identify with fear, and you will be a stranger to your Self. And thus you are unknown to you. What is your Self remains an alien to the part of you which thinks that it is real, but different from yourself? Who could be sane in such a circumstance? Who but a madman could believe he is what he is not and judge against himself?
  2. There is a stranger in our midst, who comes from an idea so foreign to the truth he speaks a different language, looks upon a world truth does not know, and understands what truth regards as senseless. Stranger yet, he does not recognize to whom he comes, and yet maintains his home belongs to him, while he is alien now who is at home. And yet, how easy it would be to say, “This is my home. Here I belong and will not leave because a madman says I must.”
  3. What reason is there for not saying this? What could the reason be except that you had asked this stranger in to take your place, and let you be a stranger to yourself? No one would let himself be the dispossessed so needlessly, unless he thought there were another home more suited to his tastes.
  4. Who is this stranger? Is it fear or you who are unsuited to the home which God provided for His Son? Is fear His Own, created in His likeness? Is it fear that love completes and is completed by? There is no home can shelter love and fear. They cannot coexist. If you are real, then fear must be illusion. And if fear is real, than you do not exist at all.
  5. How simply then, the question is resolved. Who fears has but denied himself and said, “I am the stranger here. And so I leave my home to one more like me than myself and give him all I thought belonged to me.”  Now is he exiled of necessity, not knowing who he is, uncertain of all things but this; that he is not himself, and that his home has been denied to him.
  6. What does he search for now? What can he find? A stranger to himself can find no home wherever he may look, for he has made return impossible. His way is lost, except a miracle will search him out and show him that he is no stranger now. The miracle will come. For in his home his Self remains. It asked no stranger in, and took no alien thought to be Itself. And It will call Its own unto Itself in recognition of what is Its Own.
  7. Who is the stranger? Is he not the one your Self calls not? You are unable now to recognize this stranger in your midst, for you have given him your rightful place. Yet is your Self as certain of Its Own as God is of His Son. He cannot be confused about creation. He is sure of what belongs to Him. No stranger can be interposed between His knowledge and His Son’s reality. He does not know of strangers. He is certain of His Son.
  8. God’s certainty suffices.  Who He knows to be His Son belongs where He has set His Son forever. He has answered you who ask, “Who is the stranger?”  Hear His Voice assure you, quietly and sure, that you are not a stranger to your Father, nor is your Creator stranger made to you.  Whom God has joined remain forever one, at home in Him, no stranger to Himself.
  9. Today we offer thanks that Christ has come to search the world for what belongs to Him.  His vision sees no strangers but beholds His Own and joyously unites with them.  They see Him as a stranger, for they do not recognize themselves.  Yet as they give Him welcome, they remember.  And He leads them gently home again, where they belong.
  10. Not one does Christ forget.  Not one He fails to give you to remember, that your home may be complete and perfect as it was established.  He has not forgotten you.  But you will not remember Him until you look on all as He does.  Who denies his brother is denying Him, and thus refusing to accept the gift of sight by which his Self is clearly recognized, his home remembered, and salvation come.[1]
Photo credit: http://www.spotern.com

Notes and Personal Application:  Yesterday while I was mulching and watering the peas and tomatoes in the garden, I began to be aware of the voice of the stranger in my mind, lying to me about my brothers, building cases against others, remembering unkind things that people have done and ways in which others have not played fair.  I stopped for a moment and went to sit in the shade and sip some of my cold water from the jug.  Just as Jesus says in today’s lesson, love seemed an alien to me, while this other thing, this stranger in my mind which was doing its best to poison my relationships and unity with my neighbors and friends posed as if it were me.  How easy it would have been to listen to its lies and deceptions and believe that they were my own!

Last year we had guests from China who decided to come and stay with us for a few days.  They had been to our house on several other occasions and we had enjoyed their visits very much.  But this time was different.  This time the guests had brought another guest with them and instead of speaking to us, they spoke largely to each other, in Chinese. Although James and I lived in China for a few years, much to our chagrin, we never learned more than the most elementary words and phrases.  As hosts, we felt awkward and at a great disadvantage in the social arena.  When we had a conversation, our guests, who all spoke fluent English, understood us, however they chose to have mostly private conversations between themselves. It became obvious to us that they were only using our house and our hospitality as a place to stay.  Needless to say, we did not appreciate feeling the strangers in our own home!

Today Jesus instructs us not to fall for the stranger who would interpose itself upon us and take up residence in our minds, drowning out the Voice for God.  God knows us as His creations – we are created by Love, with Love, and for Love.  No matter how much the ego has darkened our minds with its shadowy fears, defenses, and discord, we are to hold fast to the Vision of Christ, which is our reality.  We were made to walk in light.  The stranger will fill our minds with negativity, grudges, false memories, and distortions of the truth.  It will take any incident in our personal life or in the world at large to use as an excuse to hate each other, to go to war, to cast judgment, to take sides, to keep us from loving, uniting, and returning to God.  This stranger will use any means it can to keep the quiet Voice for God, our reality, our true Self, out of our awareness.  The stranger’s worst fear is that we will come to know the truth about ourselves, that we will recognize our Sonship, our holiness, our sinlessness, and purity, but most of all our great and abiding love for God and for one another. 

Christ calls for us to see past the stranger in ourselves and in others.  We are not here to lash out, to reel back, to play spiteful games, to take vengeance, or seek justice in a world that is not real in any sense of the word.  We are here to wake up, to recognize the Sonship of God, to see the stranger for what it is – a lie, a deception, a nightmare encased in time, the prince of darkness, the would-be usurper of love.  When we bring all those lies and deceptions to God, all those hurts and pains, those betrayals and disappointments, those abuses and abandonments – whether we think we did it to others or they did it to us – when we are willing to step out of unreality and into the light, we are bidding the stranger good riddance and taking up our true Self in Christ. 

Do not be afraid.  When the stranger tells its lies and spreads its poison and strategizes its games in your mind, take it to Christ.  Do not let it deceive you by shaming you or making you feel dirty and unworthy.  Christ will never abandon you or anybody else.  Salvation is not for the elect, for the few, the proud, the chosen.  Salvation is for those of us who have been deceived, who have forgotten who and what we are in Christ!   

Jesus reminds us in the last paragraph of today’s lesson – Do not make the mistake of thinking of others as different from ourselves.  We are to look on all as our brothers.  Those whom the ego would have us hate and despise, are our holy brothers in Christ.  Those whom the ego would have us idolize and possess, are only our holy brothers, nothing more and nothing less.  We cannot see Christ until we fully accept this fact and devote ourselves to teach it to others.  We must look on all with equality and love.  This does not mean we must subject ourselves to the cruelty or injustice of others, be the butt of their pranks, or wear ourselves out with do-gooderism.  It is simply accepting the Vision of Christ, holding no ill will, and refraining from condemnation and judgment.  By recognizing our oneness, by opening our heart to love, by seeing with the eyes of Christ, we remember our home, we know our Selves, and we are saved from this pit of despair!


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 160. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Lesson 159 I Give The Miracles I Have Received

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 159 I Give the Miracles I Have Received  

  1. No one can give what he has not received. To give a thing requires first you have it in your own possession. Here the laws of Heaven and the world agree. But here they also separate. The world believes that to possess a thing, it must be kept. Salvation teaches otherwise. To give is how to recognize you have received. It is the proof that what you have is yours.
  2. You understand that you are healed when you give healing.  You accept forgiveness as accomplished in yourself when you forgive. You recognize your brother as yourself, and thus do you perceive that you are whole.  There is no miracle you cannot give, for all are given you. Receive them now by opening the storehouse of your mind where they are laid and giving them away.
  3. Christ’s vision is a miracle. It comes from far beyond itself, for it reflects eternal love and the rebirth of love which never dies but has been kept obscure. Christ’s vision pictures Heaven, for it sees a world so like to Heaven that what God created perfect can be mirrored there. The darkened glass the world presents can show but twisted images in broken parts. The real world pictures Heaven’s innocence.
  4. Christ’s vision is a miracle in which all miracles are born. It is their source, remaining with each miracle you give, and yet remaining yours. It is the bond by which the giver and receiver are united in extension here on earth, as they are one in Heaven. Christ beholds no sin in anyone. And in His sight the sinless are as one. Their holiness was given by His Father and Himself.
  5. Christ’s vision is the bridge between the worlds. And in its power can you safely trust to carry you from this world into one made holy by forgiveness. Things which seemed quite solid here are merely shadows there; transparent, faintly seen, at times forgot, and never able to obscure the light that shines beyond them. Holiness has been restored to vision, and the blind can see.
  6. This is the Holy Spirit’s single gift; the treasure house to which you can appeal with perfect certainty for all the things that can contribute to your happiness. All are laid here already. All can be received but for the asking. Here the door is never locked. And no one is denied his least request or his most urgent need. There is no sickness not already healed, no lack unsatisfied, no need unmet within this golden treasury of Christ.
  7. Here does the world remember what was lost when it was made. For here it is repaired, made new again, but in a different light. What was to be the home of sin becomes the center of redemption and the hearth of mercy, where the suffering are healed and welcome. No one will be turned away from this new home, where his salvation waits. No one is stranger to him.  No one asks for anything of him except the gift of his acceptance of his welcoming.
  8. Christ’s vision is the holy ground in which the lilies of forgiveness set their roots.  This is their home.  They can be brought from here back to the world, but they can never grow in its unnourishing and shallow soil.  They need the light and warmth and kindly care Christ’s charity provides.  They need the love with which He looks on them.  And they become His messengers, who give as they received.
  9. Take from His storehouse, that its treasures may increase.  His lilies do not leave their home when they are carried back into the world.  Their roots remain.  They do not leave their source, but carry its beneficence with them, and turn the world into a garden like the one they came from, and to which they go again with added fragrance.  Now are they twice blessed.  The messages they brought from Christ have been delivered and returned to them.  And they return them gladly unto Him.
  10. Behold the store of miracles set out for you to give.  Are you not worth the gift, when God appointed it be given you?  Judge not God’s Son but follow in the way He has established.  Christ has dreamed the dream of a forgiven world.  It is His gift, whereby a sweet transition can be made from death to life; from hopelessness to hope.  Let us an instant dream with Him.  His dream awakens us to truth.  His vision gives the means for a return to our unlost and everlasting sanctity to God. [1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  Lately I have been struggling with keeping up with the daily lessons.  We were sailing along having our devotions, our grandson Zachary was here with us, then our grandson from Georgia came for two weeks.  We were in the middle of some big projects, and as much as we love and appreciated our grandsons, and took many opportunities for fun and relaxation, the one-on-one tutoring sessions with the youngest, extra meals, dishes, laundry, supervision, squabbles, and dirty fingerprints all over everything took a toll on old gramps and gram!  Days passed where I did not open my daily journal or do little more than go through a quick review of the daily Course lesson.  I began to resent being the spiritual leader of the house.  While not exactly pressuring James to start taking more of a lead, I backed off of sharing the Course lessons with them believing it was too far over their heads and I am not placed here on the earth to shove my spiritual path down anybody’s throat. 

Taking too much on, falling into bed at night in a physically exhausted stupor, listening to the voice of ego rather then the Voice for God, I began to question my role in God’s plan for salvation.  I felt too worldly, too old, too jaded, and tired, pulled in too many different directions, too trapped in the things of the flesh to be of much use to God’s Kingdom.  It seemed impossible to put the Course concepts to any practical use in the daily calls for my attention.  At one point I got so grumpy I told the kids in no uncertain terms that I didn’t want to hear the word Grammy for the rest of the day, and I told Coltin who was studying poems in his second-grade workbook that I didn’t even want to hear a word from him that rhymed with Grammy! 

And yet in all that weariness, in all that ego chatter that would drown out the quiet Voice for God, in all the muscle fatigue – there were the miracles of love, of happiness, of everlasting joy and peace.  The quiet moments when Coltin shared with me how he lays in bed at night thinking of God and wanting to shake His hand and thank Him for all His gifts.  The love and devotion the older cousins had for the younger, watching him get over his fear of the water and not only go tubing with them, but become quite an aggressive tube rebel, jumping from tube to tube, wresting those great blown up rafts from the grip of his much older cousins.  Yelling for Uncle Jared to make the boat go faster and then faster.  They taught him to dive.  They gathered eggs, saved their leftovers for the chickens and ducks, shoveled holes in the garden for the peas and tomatoes, watered the seedlings, and washed Colette’s Land Cruiser until it shined like new.  It seemed a miracle to see the responsible and trustworthy nature Zachary displayed tooling around on the DMV, making sure his little cousin was buckled up, loading and unloading mulch, plants, and rock, growing biceps and triceps instead of sitting on the couch wrapped up in YouTube and games.   They helped dig ditches, learned about electricity, solar energy, and geothermal cooling simply by shadowing their Grandpa, asking questions, and pitching in when extra hands were needed.  When we started to eat meals without saying a blessing, one or both would remind us to first pray.  Tucking them in bed at night with blessings along with their kisses and gratitude along with fatigue was a gift that contributed greatly to our happiness as grandparents.  Another gift from the Holy Spirit’s treasure house is the gratitude we have toward our grown children for being able to send the grandkids home when we long for the peace and quiet of having the house to ourselves again!  

There are times when writing truthfully about my struggles with A Course in Miracles wears thin with me. I would so love to share what a breeze it has been for me to sail through the lessons and dismiss the ego from my life, and how love, joy, and peace fill my life with the cool salt air as I navigate the waves of life’s sea.  In our meeting yesterday, I asked my teacher to pray with me, to show me, to encourage me to want to keep sharing as Holy Spirit has directed me to do, because there are times that exposing the struggle, the calling out of egos, the bringing them to light seems as perilous as handling serpents and exorcising demons.  As much as I love the truth; I am all too aware of my addiction to darkness, how much easier it seems to accept this dream as reality and dismiss the Vision of Christ. 

Yesterday I asked the Lord if it was necessary for me to keep bringing my darkness to light on a public forum.  I told him that I did not think that anybody appreciated me gutting myself anyway – what good could it possibly do to expose my ego struggles to others? We all have the same bullshit to deal with – there is nothing that unique or inspiring about mine.  Wouldn’t the brothers be more inspired by my victories than my struggles?  If He wanted me to keep doing this, I would, but it would be nice to hear from someone – not a general email with questions or gratitude which are always welcome, but a specific indication that sharing my struggles with the ego were helpful, that disclosing my awkward, sometimes painful processes is required.  I would take this as God’s way of telling me to keep on writing about the struggles and forget about trying to make myself look good! 

So Patty cakes UK you were the answer to my prayer.  Bingo! You wrote.  And now I say it, too.  Thank you for being an answer to my prayer.  In this morning’s devotion, I shared your comments with James.  I often think of what it must be like for him, with a mate who discusses her darkness so openly.  He is such a private person who rarely talks about his feelings, emotions, or troubles.  Today we compared our resistance to bringing our darkness to light to the cluttered, junky closets, cupboards, and sheds we have determined to empty, examine, and organize.  What a chore, but how satisfying the results of our labor – for only when we clear the clutter can we appreciate and make room for our treasures. 

When we expose the ego, when we bring it to light, when we are no longer willing to dress it up pretty and put a fake smile on it, our minds are no longer the home of separation, of sin, of shame; they become the center of redemption, the hearth of mercy, a place where our illnesses are healed and we offer healing to others. 

Today we pray for the Vision of Christ.  Today we not only share the miracles we have received; we share the tedious, sometimes excruciating process that brings us to salvation. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 159. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 158 Today I Learn To Give As I Receive

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 158 Today I Learn to Give as I Receive 

  1. What has been given you?  The knowledge that you are a mind, in Mind and purely mind, sinless forever, wholly unafraid, because you were created out of Love.  Nor have you left your Source, remaining as you were created.  This was given you as knowledge that you cannot lose.  It was given as well to every living thing, for by that knowledge only does it live.
  2. You have received all this.  No one who walks the world but has received it. It is not this knowledge which you give, for that is what creation gave. All this cannot be learned. What, then, are you to learn to give today? Our lesson yesterday evoked a theme found early in the text. Experience cannot be shared directly, in the way that vision can. The revelation that the Father and the Son are one will come in time to every mind. Yet is that time determined by the mind itself, not taught.
  3. The time is set already. It appears to be quite arbitrary. Yet there is no step along the road that anyone takes but by chance. It has already been taken by him, although he has not yet embarked on it. For time but seems to go in one direction. We but undertake a journey that is over. Yet it seems to have a future still unknown to us.
  4. Time is a trick, a sleight of hand, a vast illusion in which figures come and go as if by magic. Yet there is a plan behind appearances that does not change. The script is written. When experience will come to end your doubting has been set. For we but see the journey from the point at which it ended, looking back on it, imagining we make it once again; reviewing mentally what has gone by.
  5. A teacher does not give experience, because he did not learn it. It revealed itself to him at its appointed time. But vision is his gift. This he can give directly, for Christ’s knowledge is not lost, because He has a vision He can give to anyone who asks. The Father’s will and His are joined in knowledge. Yet there is a vision which the Holy Spirit sees because the mind of Christ beholds it too.
  6. Here is the joining of the world of doubt and shadows made with the intangible. Here is a quiet place within the world made holy by forgiveness and by love. Here are all contradictions reconciled, for here the journey ends. Experience—unlearned, untaught, unseen—is merely there. This is beyond our goal, for it transcends what needs to be accomplished. Our concern is with Christ’s vision. This we can attain.
  7. Christ’s vision has one law. It does not look upon a body and mistake it for the Son whom God created. It beholds a light beyond the body; an idea beyond what can be touched, a purity undimmed by errors, pitiful mistakes, and fearful thoughts of guilt from dreams of sin. It sees no separation. And it looks on everyone, on every circumstance, all happenings, and all events, without the slightest fading of the light it sees.
  8. This can be taught; and must be taught by all who would achieve it. It requires but the recognition that the world cannot be given anything that faintly can compare with this in value; nor set up a goal that does not merely disappear when this has been perceived. And this you give today: See no one as a body. Greet him as the Son of God he is, acknowledging that he is one with you in holiness.
  9. Thus are his sins forgiven him, for Christ has vision that has power to overlook them all. In His forgiveness are they gone. Unseen by One they merely disappear, because the vision of the holiness that lies beyond them comes to take their place. It matters not what form they took, nor how enormous they appeared to be, nor who seemed to be hurt by them. They are no more. And all effects they seem to have are gone with them, undone, and never to be done.
  10. Thus do you learn to give as you receive. And thus Christ’s vision looks on you as well. This lesson is not difficult to learn, if you remember in your brother you but see yourself. If he be lost in sin, so must you be; if you see light in him, your sins have been forgiven by yourself. Each brother whom you meet today provides another chance to let Christ’s vision shine on you and offer you the peace of God.
  11. It matters not when revelation comes, for that is not of time. Yet time has still one gift to give, in which true knowledge is reflected in a way so accurate its image shares its unseen holiness; its likeness shines with its immortal love. We practice seeing with the eyes of Christ today. And by the holy gifts we give, Christ’s vision looks upon ourselves as well.[1]
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[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 158. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 157 Into His Presence Would I Enter

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 157 Into His Presence Would I Enter.

  1. This is a day of silence and trust. It is a special time of promise in your calendar of days. It is a time Heaven has set apart to shine upon and cast a timeless light upon this day when echoes of eternity are heard. This day is holy, for it ushers in a new experience; a different kind of feeling and awareness. You have spent long days and nights in celebrating death. Today you learn to feel the joy of life.
  2. This is another crucial turning point in the curriculum. We add a new dimension now; a fresh experience that sheds the light on all that we have learned already and prepares us for what we have yet to learn. It brings us to the door where learning ceases, and we catch a glimpse of what lies past the highest reaches it can possibly attain. It leaves us here an instant, and we go beyond it, sure of our direction and our only goal.
  3. Today it will be given you to feel a touch of heaven, though you will return to paths of learning. Yet you have come far enough along the way to alter time sufficiently to rise above its laws and walk into eternity awhile. This you will learn to do increasingly, as every lesson, faithfully rehearsed, brings you more swiftly to this holy place and leaves you, for a moment, to your Self.
  4. He will direct your practicing today, for what you ask for now is what He wills. And having joined your will with His this day, what you are asking must be given you. Nothing is needed but today’s idea to light your mind, and let it rest in still anticipation and in quiet joy, wherein you quickly leave the world behind.
  5. From this day forth, your ministry takes on a genuine devotion, and a glow that travels from your fingertips to those you touch and blesses those you look upon. A vision reaches everyone you meet, and everyone you think of, or who thinks of you. For your experience today will so transform your mind that it becomes the touchstone for the holy thoughts of God.
  6. Your body will be sanctified today, its only purpose being now to bring the vision of what you experienced this day to light the world. We cannot give experience like this directly. Yet it leaves a vision in our eyes which we can offer everyone, that he may come the sooner to the same experience in which the world is quietly forgot, and Heaven is remembered for a while.
  7. As this experience increases and all goals but this become of little worth, the world to which you will return becomes a little closer to the end of time; a little more like Heaven in its ways; a little nearer its deliverance. And you who bring it light will come to see the light more sure, the vision more distinct. The time will come when you will not return in the same form in which you now appear, for you will have no need of it. Yet now it has a purpose and will serve it well.
  8. Today we will embark upon a course you have not dreamed of. But the holy One, the Giver of the happy dreams of life, Translator of perception into truth, the holy Guide to Heaven given you, has dreamed for you this journey would you make and start today, with the experience this day holds out to you to be your own.
  9. Into Christ’s presence will we enter now, serenely unaware of everything except His shining face and perfect love. The vision of His face will stay with you, but there will be an instant which transcends all vision, even this, the holiest. This you will never teach, for you attained it not through learning. Yet the vision speaks of your remembrance of what you knew that instant and will surely know again.[1]

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[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 157. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 156 I Walk With God In Perfect Holiness

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 156 I Walk With God in Perfect Holiness.

  1. Today’s idea but states the simple truth that makes the thought of sin impossible.  It promises there is no cause for guilt and being causeless it does not exist.  It follows surely from the basic thought so often mentioned in the text; ideas leave not their source.  If this be true, how can you be apart from God?  How could you walk the world alone and separate from your Source?
  2. We are not inconsistent in the thoughts that we present in our curriculum.  Truth must be true throughout if it be true.  It cannot contradict itself, nor be in parts uncertain and in others sure.  You cannot walk the world apart from God because you could not be without Him.  He is what your life is.  Where you are, He is.  There is one life.  That life you share with Him.  Nothing can be apart from Him and live.
  3. Yet where He is, there must be holiness as well as life.  No attribute of His remains unshared by everything that lives.  What lives is holy as Himself, because what shares His life is part of Holiness, and could no more be sinful than the sun could choose to be of ice; the sea elect to be apart from water, or the grass to grow with roots suspended in the air.
  4. There is a light in you which cannot die; whose presence is so holy that the world is sanctified because of you.  All things that live bring gifts to you and offer them in gratitude and gladness at your feet.  The scent of flowers is their gift to you.  The waves bow down before you, and the trees extend their arms to shield you from the heat and lay their leaves before you on the ground that you may walk in softness, while the wind sinks to a whisper round your holy head.
  5. The light in you is what the universe longs to behold.  All living things are still before you, for they recognize Who walks with you.  The light you carry is their own.  And thus they see in you their holiness, saluting you as savior and as God.  Accept their reverence, for it is due to Holiness Itself, Which walks with you, transforming in Its gentle Light all things unto Its likeness and Its purity.
  6. This is the way salvation works.  As you step back, the light in you steps forward and encompasses the world.  It heralds not the end of sin in punishment and death.  In lightness and in laughter is sin gone because its quaint absurdity is seen.  It is a foolish thought, a silly dream, not frightening, ridiculous perhaps, but who would waste an instant in approach to God Himself for such a senseless whim?
  7. Yet you have wasted many, many years on just this foolish thought.  The past is gone, with all its fantasies.  They keep you bound no longer.  The approach to God is near.  And in the little interval of doubt that still remains, you may perhaps lose sight of your Companion, and mistake Him for the senseless, ancient dream that now is past.
  8. “Who walks with me?”  This question should be asked a thousand times a day, till certainty has ended doubting and established peace.  Today let doubting cease.  God speaks for you in answering your question with these words: I walk with God in perfect holiness.  I light the world; I light my mind and all the minds which God created one with me.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  Today Jesus is urging us to deeply consider who and what we are in God.  God has breathed Himself into us.  We are part of Him as He is part of us.  In God there is no sin, no guilt, no shame.  As part of God and His holy creation, we, too experience no sin, no guilt, no shame.

For those who cherish the idea of sin, of guilt, of shame, this is not good news.  This is not the gospel of Christ for those who choose to make the world – and all that is done it – a reality.  Flesh and blood are their reality – and the world then is the proving ground for those who are worthy of God’s Kingdom and for those who have so little value that they will burn in hell.  All manner of strange and insane dogmas are devised to make the world real, to make unholiness an option for the creation of God. 

In our lesson, Jesus states that the light within us cannot sin, cannot separate itself from God, cannot die.  The light within each of us is holy.  It is the only real thing about us – it is everlasting, it offers salvation to the world, all of creation caters to the light within us, because we are of God. 

Salvation works by letting the self of this world go and letting our oneness with God, the light within each of us, step forward and lead the way.  In this holy light our whole perception of God changes from that of a senseless, ancient dream full of rage, vengeance, banishment, and punishment to the reality of His love and devotion to us.  The light within us calls to us and draws us to Him as He really is – not what the world’s self has made Him out to be. 

When we give up the thoughts of sin and shame, we recognize who and what we really are in Christ!  We do not have to change our ways, live by a code of ethics, follow a bunch of rules, worry about letting the wrong words escape from our mouth, or try to win souls for Christ.  We are not required to fast, pay tithes and offerings, build cathedrals, or go on holy treks.  We can do all of that if we choose to do it, but do not kid yourself – God is not requiring this from us.  We are freed from all the man-made prescriptions that would pose for our salvation as soon as we realize that the world is only a dream.

The Voice for God is calling us to open our eyes, to wake up.  If you have concerns about your holiness, rest assured, you will never be holy in the flesh; any attempts to please God with your world self will come to naught.  Whatever you do in the dream world stays in the dream world.  It is God Who walks with us in perfect holiness.  We are one with Him.  Through Him, we light the world.  When we wake up, we wake up others without even trying.  We light our minds and all the minds God created are lit as one. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 156. Foundation for Inner Peace. Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 155 I Will Step Back And Let Him Lead The Way

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 155 I Will Step Back and Let Him Lead the Way.

  1. There is a way of living in the world that is not here, although it seems to be.  You do not change appearance, though you smile more frequently.  Your forehead is serene; your eyes are quiet.  And the ones who walk the world as you do recognize their own.  Yet those who have not yet perceived the way will recognize you also, and believe that you are like them, as you were before. 
  2. The world is an illusion.  Those who choose to come to it are seeking for a place where they can be illusions and avoid their own reality.  Yet when they find their own reality is even here, then they step back and let it lead the way.  What other choice is really theirs to make?  To let illusions walk ahead of truth is madness.  But to let illusion sink behind the truth and let the truth stand forth as what it is, is merely sanity.
  3. This is the simple choice we make today.  The mad illusion will remain awhile in evidence, for those to look upon who chose to come, and have not yet rejoiced to find they were mistaken in their choice.  They cannot learn directly from the truth because they have denied that it is so.  And so they need a Teacher Who perceives their madness, but Who still can look beyond illusion to the simple truth in them.
  4. If truth demanded they give up the world, it would appear to them as if it asked the sacrifice of something that is real.  Many have chosen to renounce the world while still believing in its reality.  And they have suffered from a sense of loss and have not been released accordingly.  Others have chosen nothing but the world, and they have suffered from a sense of loss still deeper, which they did not understand.
  5. Between these paths there is another road that leads away from loss of every kind, for sacrifice and deprivation both are quickly left behind.  This is the way appointed for you now.  You walk this path as others walk, nor do you seem to be distinct from them, although you are indeed.  Thus can you serve them while you serve yourself and set their footsteps on the way that God has opened up to you, and them through you.
  6. Illusion still appears to cling to you, that you may reach them.  Yet it has stepped back.  And it is not illusion that they hear you speak of, nor illusion that you bring their eyes to look on and their minds to grasp.  Nor can the truth, which walks ahead of you, speak to them through illusions, for the road leads past illusion now, while on the way you call to them, that they may follow you.
  7. All roads will lead to this one in the end.  For sacrifice and deprivation are paths that lead nowhere, choices for defeat, and aims that will remain impossible.  All this steps back as truth comes forth in you, to lead your brothers from the ways of death, and set them on the way to happiness.  Their suffering is but illusion.  Yet they need a guide to lead them out of it, for they mistake illusion for the truth.
  8. Such is salvation’s call, and nothing more.  It asks that you accept the truth, and let it go before you, lighting up the path of ransom from illusion.  It is not a ransom with a price.  There is no cost, but only gain.  Illusion can but seem to hold in chains the holy Son of God.  It is but from illusions he is saved.  As they step back, he finds himself again.
  9. Walk safely now, yet carefully, because this path is new to you.  And you may find that you are tempted still to walk ahead of truth, and let illusions be your guide.  Your holy brothers have been given you, to follow in your footsteps as you walk with certainty of purpose to the truth.  It goes before you now, that they may see something with which they can identify; something they understand to lead the way.
  10. Yet at the journey’s ending there will be no gap, no distance between the truth and you.  And all illusions walking in the way you travelled will be gone from you as well, with nothing left to keep the truth apart from God’s completion, holy as Himself.  Step back in faith and let the truth lead the way.  You know not where you go.  But One Who knows goes with you.  Let Him lead you with the rest.
  11. When dreams are over, time has closed the door on all the things that pass and miracles are purposeless, the holy Son of God will make no journeys.  There will be no wish to be illusion rather than the truth.  And we step forth toward this, as we progress along the way that truth points out to us.  This is our final journey, which we make for everyone.  We must not lose our way.  For as truth goes before us, so it goes before our brothers who will follow us.
  12. We walk to God.  Pause and reflect on this.  Could any way be holier, or more deserving of your effort, of your love and of your full intent?  What way could give you more than everything, or offer less and still content the holy Son of God?  We walk to God.  The truth that walks before us now is one with Him and leads us to where He has always been.  What way but this could be a path that you would choose instead?
  13. Your feet are safely set upon the road that leads the world to God.  Look not to ways that seem to lead you elsewhere.  Dreams are not a worthy guide for you who are God’s Son.  Forget not He has placed His Hand in yours and given you your brothers in His Trust that you are worthy of His Trust in you.  He cannot be deceived.  His Trust has made your pathway certain and your goal secure.  You will not fail your brothers nor your Self.
  14. And now He asks but that you think of Him a while each day, that He may speak to you and tell you of His Love, reminding you how great His Trust, how limitless His Love.  In your name and His Own, which are the same, we practice gladly with this thought today: I will step back and let Him lead the way. For I would walk along the road to Him.[1]                      
Photo by Krivec Ales on Pexels.com

Notes and Personal Application: When we step back and let God lead the way, we are accepting our reality.  We are being our honest selves.  Jesus teaches us in the Course that the world is for those who have chosen to be an illusion.  We come to the world to escape reality only to find that even illusion offers us no real escape from who and what we really are. 

No matter how hard we try to renounce the world, as long as we think it is real, we will view our rejection of it as a sacrifice.  When we dream the ego’s dream, we are enslaved by its enchantment, intrigued by its devices, complications, and rites.  We fall prey to its magic, potions, prescriptions, and therapies.  We are swept into its currents by unnatural drives for money, sex, status, and power.  We hold dear our specialness and distinctions, our history, our accumulations.  We find satisfaction in worldly pursuits and pleasures. To give up the world then is suffered as a loss. We chant mantras and sing hymns calling forth our common battle against the world.  We raise defenses, imagine battles, tribulations, apocalypses from our imaginary enemy which we make real by our beliefs.  As long as we think the world is real, our salvation is based upon fear, sacrifice, and an all-powerful God who rains vengeance upon His imperfect creation.   

Today we are called to let truth be our guide – to recognize the world as a deluded dream, an upside-down version of reality in which the Sons of God and God Himself are no longer one.  When our mind is firmly fixed upon this truth, the world can no longer lead us about by the nose.  It can no longer tempt us to exchange our love and devotion for God and each other for fear and blame.  When we realize the truth, we are no longer willing to fight the world’s imaginary battles between right and wrong, to wave its banners, or join its causes, to cheer its exploits or be astonished at its technologies. 

We walk to God.  The world gives only to snatch it away; God gives us everything and we get to keep it forever.  We cannot be His and ever be content with less that Him.  There is no other path we would choose instead. The world will hold on to us as long as we believe in its reality; Jesus is calling to us today to not put our trust in dreams – our pathway is certain and our goal secure. 

When the world tempts us to get caught up in its pleasures, its demands, its chaos and confusion, this thought will gently bring our minds to the truth of Christ:  I will step back and let Him lead the way. For I would walk along the road to Him.


[1]A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 155. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 154 I Am Among The Ministers of God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 154 I am Among the Ministers of God

  1. Let us today be neither arrogant nor falsely humble. We have gone beyond such foolishness. We cannot judge ourselves, nor need we do so. These are but attempts to hold decision off, and to delay commitment to our function. It is not our part to judge our worth, nor can we know what role is best for us; what we can do within a larger plan we cannot see in its entirety. Our part is cast in Heaven, not in hell. And what we think is weakness can be strength; what we believe to be our strength is often arrogance.  
  2. Whatever your appointed role may be, it was selected by the Voice for God, whose function is to speak for you as well. Seeing your strengths exactly as they are, and equally aware of where they can best be applied, for what, to whom, and where, He chooses and accepts your part for you. He does not work without your own consent. But he is not deceived in what you are and listens only to His Voice in you.
  3. It is through His ability to hear one Voice which is His Own that you become aware at last that there is one Voice in you. And that one Voice appoints your function, and relays it to you, giving you the strength to understand it, do what it entails, and to succeed in everything you do that is related to it. God has joined His Son in this, and thus His Son becomes His messenger of unity with Him.
  4. It is this joining, through the Voice for God, of Father and of Son, that sets apart Salvation from the world. It is this Voice which speaks of laws the world does not obey, which promises Salvation from all sin, with guilt abolished in the mind that God created sinless. Now this mind becomes aware again of Who created it, and of His lasting union with itself. So is its Self the one reality in Which its will and that of God are joined.
  5. A messenger is not the one who writes the message he delivers. Nor does he question the right of him who does, nor ask why he has chosen those who will receive the message that he brings. It is enough that he accept it, give it to the ones for whom it was intended, and fulfill his role in its delivery. If he determines what the messages should be, or what their purpose is, or where they should be carried, he is failing to perform his proper part as bringer of the word.
  6. There is one major difference in the role of Heaven’s messengers, which sets them off from those the world appoints. The messages that 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. Like earthly messengers, they did not write the messages they bear, but they become their first receivers in the truest sense, receiving to prepare themselves to give.
  7. An earthly messenger fulfills his role by giving all his messages away. The messengers of God perform their part by their acceptance of His messages as for themselves, and show they understand the messages by giving them away. They choose no rules that are not given them by His authority. And so they gain by every message that they give away.
  8. Would you receive the messages of God?  For thus do you become His messenger. You are appointed now. And yet you wait to give the messages you have received. And so you do not know that they are yours, and do not recognize them. No one can receive and understand he has received until he gives. For in the giving is his own acceptance of what he received.
  9. You who are now the messenger of God, receive His messages. For that is part of your appointed role. God has not failed to offer what you need, nor has it been left unaccepted. Yet another part of your appointed task is yet to be accomplished. He who has received for you the messages of God would have them be received by you as well. For thus do you identify with Him and claim your own.
  10. It is this joining that we undertake to recognize today. We will not seek to keep our minds apart from Him Who speaks for us, for it is but our voice we hear as we attend Him. He alone can speak to us and for us, joining in one Voice the getting and the giving of God’s Word: the giving and receiving of His Will.
  11. We practice giving Him what He would have, that we may recognize His gifts to us. He needs our voice that He may speak through us. He needs our hands to hold His messages and carry them to those whom He appoints. He needs our feet to bring us where He wills, that those who wait in misery may be at last delivered. And He needs our will united with His Own, that we may be the true receivers of the gifts He gives.
  12. Let us but learn this lesson for today: we will not recognize what we receive until we give it. You have heard this said a hundred ways, a hundred times, and yet belief is lacking still. But this is sure; until belief is given it, you will receive a thousand miracles and then receive a thousand more but will not know that God Himself has left no gift beyond what you already have; nor has denied the tiniest of blessings to His Son. What can this mean to you, until you have identified with Him and with His Own?
  13. Our lesson for today is stated thus: I am among the ministers of God, and I am grateful that I have the means by which to recognize that I am free.
  14. The world recedes as we light up our minds, and realize these holy words are true. They are the message sent to us today from our Creator. Now we demonstrate how they have changed our minds about ourselves, and what our function is. For as we prove that we accept no will we do not share, our many gifts from our Creator will spring to our sight and leap into our hands, and we will recognize what we received.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application: Our lesson today is of utmost pertinence to our identity.  For it is only when we recognize who and what we really are that we can accept that God’s Will has always been and always will be our true will.  I have always been scared to pieces of God’s Will!  It frightened me to no end to think of what God would do with me if I accepted His Will instead of my will for my life.  Learning to fear God rather than accepting His love and devotion to me, my biggest worry was that He would make live amongst foreigners who looked different than me, spoke a different language than I did, ate strange foods, and walked about with their breasts and genitals openly swinging in the breeze.  I would have to prove my love for God by being exposed to extreme weather conditions, adhere to strict dress codes, deny myself all of the world’s pleasures, and castigate myself for every unholy thought that crossed my mind.  God had been presented to me as an angry, vengeful deity who designed my flesh in order to torment it, make me regret the day I was born, and like a demented, jealous, overbearing lover, demand every thought be centered upon Him, giving me no room for creativity, liberty, and relationship with others.  Though my heart yearned to answer the call of God, I had been taught to put my trust in an insane, childish, demanding, green-eyed, monstrous version of God which could have only been devised by ego. 

It is high time to move past such erroneous concepts of God who created us in love; holds only goodwill toward His creations and plans only for our happiness.   Naturally, our wills are truly aligned with God because all of us seek to love and be loved, enjoy goodwill, and desire to be happy.  God’s Will and our will are one.  God does not set up roadblocks to our happiness.  His love and devotion to us has no limit.  If we suffer in our walks with God; if the path to our Father is torturous and fraught with despair and heartache, it is only because we cling to that which is not love – embracing death and darkness over life and light. 

There is no arrogance or false humility in accepting our roles as ministers of God.  God has called us.  It is not our job to judge ourselves and list the reasons why He should choose someone else.  Before answering God’s call, I tried to convince Him that I was simply not good enough to be His minister.  I had ruined my reputation, I told Him.  For years I had mocked and made fun of people who had preached holiness while living lives riddled with meanness.  I hated people, I told him.  I was full of lust and a desire for vengeance, no good at public speaking, afraid to stand up in front of a crowd.  I had sincere doubts about His goodness.  Perhaps even the call of God itself was a product of an erratic, overactive imagination.  I had little to no training in ministry.  And do not forget what the Bible says about women keeping their mouth shut in church and not being preachers, I reminded the good Lord. 

This arrogant, falsely humble resistance is the way we hold off deciding for God and delaying our holy function.  It is simply not our job to judge ourselves as being fit to be messengers of God.  It is not God’s Will that we worry and fret over where He is going to send us or who He will send to us.  We are to trust in His goodwill toward us and His devotion to who and what we are.  God knows I have no desire to be a superhero, to be on-call 24/7 to go and save people from disasters which they have largely brought upon themselves.  There are such people in the world; my mother was one of them.  In her zest and zeal for God, she thought it her privilege to deliver people from the very processes that were designed to teach them important life lessons.  Not me.  Let me sleep the few hours of the day I get to rest my bones; I am not the least bit interested in drama, and if you drag me out of bed in the middle of the night it better be for a damn good reason!   

Seeing myself as too selfish to follow in my mother’s footsteps, I have avoided the call of God for my life by failing to understand what I saw as a weakness and flaw in my nature, was a spiritual strength.  Many times, trusting in God looks like selfishness and lack of concern because when we truly trust in God we do not meddle in human affairs, get worked up over illness, injustice, or ill-intent.  We do not build defenses against supposed attacks or feel compelled to add our two cents to concerns that no longer concern us.  When we put down the toys of the ego, step out of special relationships, train our sights on the world beyond we loose the world’s hold upon us and become ministers of God – it is a natural process that involves no sense of sacrifice or battle of wills.  It becomes the only thing we want to do as we recognize that sharing God’s gifts to us is the only way we could possibly enjoy them and keep them as our own!

Everyday my postman delivers the mail – it is not his business to rifle through my mail, open my letters, or keep anything for himself.  God’s messengers, on the other hand, receive the message first, accept it as their own, and then deliver it to whom the Voice for God directs.  As God’s messengers we are not in the business to collect “likes,” to get into theological debates, to defend our philosophies, or to amass converts, keep statistics, or make soulful pleas for donations.  It is fulfilling our function that sustains us; it is pleasing God, not impressing humans, that lifts and warms our hearts and draws others, not to us, but to God. 

As God’s messenger, I share my function with you, so that you, too, will become God’s messenger.  As the world is undone, one by one, hand-in-hand we realize God’s Kingdom.  In the meantime, we have dreams of happiness, games of joy, and experience a foretaste of the world beyond.  Do not delay, Jesus urges us.  Do not argue with the Voice for God Who is calling to you to share the reality of Christ with those with whom He directs.  As we share the truth as we are given it, we recognize it for what it is – God’s inestimable gift to us – our salvation and the salvation of the world. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 154. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Lesson 153 In My Defenselessness My Safety Lies

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 153 In My Defenselessness My Safety Lies

  1. You who feel threatened by this changing world, its twists of fortune and its bitter jests, its brief relationships, and all the “gifts” it merely lends to take away again; attend this lesson well. The world provides no safety. It is rooted in attack, and all its “gifts” of seeming safety are illusory deceptions. It attacks, and then attacks again. No peace of mind is possible where danger threatens thus.
  2. The world gives rise but to defensiveness. For threat brings anger, anger makes attack seem reasonable, honestly provoked, and righteous in the name of self-defense. Yet is defensiveness a double threat. For it attests to weakness and sets up a system of defense that cannot work.  Now are the weak still further undermined, for there is treachery without, and still a greater treachery within. The mind is now confused and knows not where to turn to find escape from its imaginings.
  3. It is as if a circle held it fast, where in another circle bounded, and another one in that, until escape no longer can be hoped for, or obtained.  Attack, defense; defense, attack, become the circles of the hours and the days that bind the mind in heavy bands of steel with iron overlaid, returning but to start again. There seems to be no break nor ending in the ever, tightening grip of the imprisonment upon the mind.
  4. Defenses are the costliest of all the prices which the ego would exact. In them lies madness in a form so grim that hope of sanity seems but to be an idle dream, beyond the possible. The sense of threat the world encourages is so much deeper, and so far beyond the frenzy and intensity of which you can conceive, that you have no idea of all the devastation it has wrought.
  5. You are its slave. You know not what you do, in fear of it. You do not understand how much you have been made to sacrifice, who feels its iron grip upon your heart. You do not realize what you have done to sabotage the holy peace of God by your defensiveness. For you behold the Son of God as but a victim to attack by fantasies, by dreams, and by illusions he has made; yet helpless in their present, needful only of defense by still more fantasies, and dreams by which illusions of his safety comfort him.
  6. Defenselessness is strength. It testifies to recognition of the Christ in you. Perhaps you will recall the text maintains that choice is always made between Christ’s strength and your own weakness, seen apart from Him. Defensiveness can never be attacked, because it recognizes strength so great attack is folly, or a silly game a tired child might play, when he becomes too sleepy to remember what he wants.
  7. Defensiveness is weak.  It proclaims you have denied the Christ and come to fear His Father’s anger. What can save you now from your delusion of an angry God, whose fearful image you believe you see at work in all the evils of the world? What but illusions could defend you now when it is but illusions that you fight?
  8. We will not play such childish games today for our true purpose is to save the world, and we would not exchange for foolishness the endless joy our function offers us. We would not let our happiness slip by because a fragment of a senseless dream happened to cross our minds, and we mistook the figures in it for the Son of God, its tiny instant for eternity.
  9. We look past dreams today and recognize that we need no defense because we are created unassailable, without all thought or wish or dream in which attack has any meaning. Now we cannot fear, for we have left all fearful thoughts behind. And in defenselessness we stand secure, serenely certain of our safety now, sure of Salvation; sure we will fulfill our chosen purpose, as our ministry extends its holy blessing through the world.
  10. Be still a moment, and in silence think how holy is your purpose, how secure your rest, untouchable within its light. God’s ministers have chosen that the truth be with them. Who is holier than they? Who could be sure that his happiness is fully guaranteed? And who could be more mightily protected? What defense could possibly be needed by the ones who are among the chosen ones of God, by His election and their own as well?
  11. It is the function of God’s ministers to help their brothers choose as they have done. God has elected all, but few have come to realize His Will is but their own. And while you fail to teach what you have learned, Salvation waits, and darkness holds the world in grim imprisonment. Nor will you learn that light has come to you, and your escape has been accomplished. For you will not see the light, until you offer it to all your brothers. As they take it from your hands, so will you recognize it as your own.
  12. Salvation can be thought of as a game that happy children play. It was designed by One who loves His children, and who would replace their fearful toys with joyous games, which teach them that the game of fear is gone. His game instructs in happiness because there is no loser. Everyone who plays must win, and in his winning is the gain to everyone ensured.  The game of fear is gladly laid aside, when children come to see the benefits Salvation brings.
  13. You who have played that you are lost to hope, abandoned by your Father, left alone in terror in a fearful world made mad by sin and guilt; be happy now. That game is over. Now a quiet time has come, in which we put away the toys of guilt, and lock our quaint and childish thoughts of sin forever from the pure and holy minds of Heaven’s children and the Son of God.
  14. We pause but for a moment more, to play our final, happy game upon this earth. And then we go to take our rightful place where truth abides, and games are meaningless. So is the story ended. Let this day bring the last chapter closer to the world, that everyone may learn the tale he reads of terrifying destiny, defeat of all his hopes, his pitiful defense against a vengeance he cannot escape, is but his own deluded fantasy.  God’s ministers have come to waken him from the dark dreams this story has evoked in his confused, bewildered memory of this distorted tale.  God’s Son can smile at last, on learning that it is not true.
  15. Today we practice in a form we will maintain for quite a while. We will begin each day by giving our attention to the daily thought as long as possible. Five minutes now becomes the least we give to preparation for a day in which Salvation is the only goal we have. Ten would be better; fifteen better still and as distractions ceases to arise to turn us from our purpose, we will find that half an hour is too short a time to spend with God. Nor will we willingly give less at night, in gratitude and joy.
  16. Each hour adds to our increasing peace, as we remember to be faithful to the will we share with God. At times, perhaps, a minute, even less, will be the most that we can offer as the hour strikes. Sometimes we will forget.  At other times, the business of the world will close on us, and we will be unable to withdraw a little while and turn our thoughts to God.
  17. Yet when we can, we will observe our trust as ministers of God, an hourly remembrance of our mission and His love. And we will quietly sit by and wait on Him and listen to His Voice and learn what He would have us do the hour that is yet to come, while thanking Him for all the gifts He gave us in the one gone by.
  18. In time, with practice, you will never cease to think of Him, and hear His loving Voice guiding your footsteps into quiet ways, where you will walk in true defenselessness.  For you will know that Heaven goes with you. Nor would you keep your mind away from Him a moment, even though your time is spent in offering Salvation to the world. Think you He will not make this possible, for you who chose to carry out His plan for the Salvation of the world and yours?
  19. Today our theme is our defenselessness. We clothe ourselves in it, as we prepare to meet the day. We rise up strong in Christ, and let our weakness disappear, as we remember that His strength abides in us. We will remind ourselves that He remains beside us through the day, and never leaves our weakness unsupported by His strength. We call upon His strength each time we feel the threat of our defenses undermine our certainty of purpose. We will pause a moment, as He tells us, “I am here.”
  20. Your practicing will now begin to take the earnestness of love, to help you keep your mind from wandering from its intent. Be not afraid nor timid. There can be no doubt that you will reach your final goal. The ministers of God can never fail, because the love and strength and peace that shine from them to all their brothers come from Him. These are His gifts to you. Defenselessness is all you need to give Him in return. You lay aside but what was never real, to look on Christ and see His sinlessness.[1]
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Notes and Personal ApplicationIn today’s lesson we learn there is nothing in the world that is safe or secure.  The more defenses we would devise, the more we engage in a world designed to trap us in fear, distress, and anxiety.  It is only by knowing God and His love for us that we can put down our defenses and recognize the world and all that it seems to hold as a dream.  We can have a dream full of peace and happiness and devotion for truth or a dream fraught with danger, terror, and chaos, fearing God and denying His goodwill toward us. 

When we accept our salvation we are making the choice to live defenseless in the world.  We do not have to worry about wars, riots, plunder, and blunders.  That world does not exist in our minds because we are looking at the world beyond the one that we made to take the place of God’s Creation.  We no longer obligate ourselves to fix this world, because this world has proved itself to have no meaning and no everlasting value.  Because we no longer entangle ourselves in special relationships, we have no need for defense – holy relationships accept no allegiances, no accusations, no excuses, no demands for favors, attention, flattery, lies, or sacrifices. 

When we devote our minds to God, we no longer want anything at all to do with that which is not true, loving, good, and everlasting.  Why bother with anything at all that needs defense?  God does not want us to fight battles, argue causes, build walls, carry signs, or demand justice.  When our trust and allegiance is only to God, we will not make situations for ourselves that can be opposed by that which is not true and everlasting.  Therefore we do not get into mouth battles with those who would oppose us, but simply hold our tongue or share the truth with them. 

If someone insists that two plus two equals anything but four, there is no need to cut off their head, plunge daggers through their heart, or run about telling other people how stupid they are.  Neither is there any need to fight battles for truth.  It needs no defense.  It is in putting down our defenses and trusting in God in which our safety lies forever and ever. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 153. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 152 The Power Of Decision Is My Own

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 152 The Power of Decision is My Own.

  1. No one can suffer loss unless it be his own decision. No one suffers pain except his choice elects this state for him. No one can grieve nor fear nor think him sick unless these are the outcomes that he wants. And no one dies without his own consent. Nothing occurs but represents your wish, and nothing is omitted that you choose. Here is your world, complete in all details. Here is its whole reality for you. And it is only here Salvation is.
  2. You may believe that this position is extreme, and too inclusive to be true.  Yet can truth have exceptions? If you have the gift of everything, can loss be real?  Can pain be part of peace, or grief of joy? Can fear and sickness enter in a mind where love and perfect holiness abide? Truth must be all-inclusive if it be the truth at all.  Accept no opposites and no exceptions, for to do so is to contradict the truth entirely.
  3. Salvation is the recognition that the truth is true, and nothing else is true. This you have heard before but may not yet accept both parts of it. Without the first, the second has no meaning. But without the second, is the first no longer true. Truth cannot have an opposite. This cannot be too often said and thought about. For if what is not true is true as well as what is true, then part of truth is false. And truth has lost its meaning. Nothing but the truth is true, and what is false is false.
  4. This is the simplest of distinctions, yet the most obscure, but not because it is a difficult distinction to perceive. It is concealed behind a vast array of choices that do not appear to be entirely your own. And thus the truth appears to have some aspects that belie consistency, but do not seem to be but contradictions introduced by you.
  5. As God created you, you must remain unchangeable, with transitory states by definition false. And that includes all shifts and feeling, alterations in conditions of the body and the mind, in all awareness and in all response. This is the all-inclusiveness which sets the truth apart from falsehood, and the false kept separate from the truth, as what it is.
  6. Is it not strange that you believe to think you made the world you see is arrogance? God made it not. Of this you can be sure. What can He know of the ephemeral, the sinful, and the guilty, the afraid, the suffering, and lonely, and the mind that lives within a body that must die? You but accused Him of insanity, to think He made a world where such things seemed to have reality. He is not mad. Yet only madness makes a world like this.
  7. To think that God made chaos, contradicts His Will, invented opposites to truth, and suffers death to triumph over life; all this is arrogance. Humility would see at once these things are not of Him. And can you see what God created not? To think you can is merely to believe you can perceive what God willed not to be. And what could be more arrogant than this?
  8. Let us today be truly humble and accept what we have made as what it is. The power of decision is our own. Decide but to accept your rightful place as co-creator of the universe, and all you think you made will disappear. What rises to awareness then will be all that there ever was, eternally as it is now. And it will take the place of self-deceptions made but to usurp the altar to the Father and the Son.
  9. Today we practice true humility, abandoning the false pretense by which the ego seeks to prove it arrogant. Only the ego can be arrogant. But truth is humble in acknowledging its mightiness, its changelessness, and its eternal wholeness, all-encompassing, God’s perfect gift to His beloved Son. We lay aside the arrogance which says that we are sinners, guilty and afraid, ashamed of what we are; and lift our hearts in true humility instead to Him who has created us immaculate, like to Himself in power and in love.
  10. The power of decision is our own. And we accept of Him that which we are, and humbly recognize the Son of God. To recognize God’s Son implies as well that all self-concepts have been laid aside and recognized as false. Their arrogance has been perceived. And in humility the radiance of God’s Son, his gentleness, his perfect sinlessness, his Father’s Love, his right to Heaven and release from hell, are joyously accepted as our own.
  11. Now do we join in glad acknowledgement that lies are false, and only truth is true. We think of truth alone as we arise, and spend five minutes practicing its ways, encouraging our frightened minds with this: The power of decision is my own. This day I will accept myself as what my Father’s Will created me to be. Then will we wait in silence, giving up all self-deceptions, as we humbly ask our Self that He reveal Himself to us. And He Who never left will come again to our awareness, grateful to restore His home to God, as it was meant to be.
  12. In patience wait for Him throughout the day, and hourly invite Him with the words with which the day began, concluding it with this same invitation to your Self. God’s Voice will answer, for He speaks for you and for your Father. He will substitute the peace of God for all your frantic thoughts, the truth of God for self-deceptions, and God’s Son for your illusions of yourself.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application: Today we come to the Lord in all humility to accept our Sonship, to acknowledge that we have believed in a lie, have dishonored our inheritance, have been taken in by the enchantment of this world.  We take full responsibility for having been duped by the dispirit of the lie.  As Sons of God we were only too willing to exchange our invulnerability for a meat and flesh body; our everlasting power, light, and love for a desire to be special and compete to “survive” in a dog-eat-dog world, relying upon the unreliable to light our way.  With no shame and no regret, with only the humble confidence of a dearly beloved child who is ever certain of its Father’s love, we return our minds to what can only be true. 

In Part I of our yearly lessons, we devote ourselves each day to one more step in undoing the way we see things now.  Now we see the world and experience this world and all the atrocities that seem to repeat themselves down through history as our “reality.”  However, Jesus urges us to recognize that none of this is real, it cannot be real because only truth is real.  Truth cannot have an opposite – and our God of Love would not and could not create an atrocity.  This is a world of our own doing – a godless, loveless world founded by minds which believed in what could never be true.

This may seem like a difficult concept to grasp until we consider the simple equation of two plus two equals four.  Two and two more can only equal four.  Any other answer than four is simply wrong.  It is not true.  We do not have to quarrel, get into spats, create cults and denominations based upon the truth of four.  If we do not want to accept the truth of four but would choose to spend our lives debating all the other supposed and possible outcomes we will enter into a false state of division, confusion, and upheaval.  No matter what we do within that state of believing the answer to two plus two is three, five, six, or seven, we are not operating upon reality. The believers of two plus two equals three can argue until the cows come home with the believers of two plus two equals seven, but only until all believers of that which does not add up to four lay down their resistance to the truth will there be anything but chaos, arguments, and debates.  Any other equation that is built upon the concept of two plus two equals anything other than four will never be true, stable, or dependable.  One seemingly harmless mistake will have upset the very foundation of math learning.  We can expect only fractious, irrational results from all mathematical theories based upon such error. 

Jesus emphasizes to us in today’s lesson idea that this is the basic problem of the world we experience with our senses.  Because it is based upon a lie, the fear of God instead of the love of God, none of it can be true. Our very salvation depends upon recognizing that God did not create this place of separation, sacrifice, and suicide. We did.  Our sojourn in time is an illusion which we made in place of truth.  No matter how real it may seem, it simply cannot be true – its foundation is built upon the shifting sands of time, everything fades and shifts as soon as it begins because we believed in lies.     

We are the only ones to make the decision for truth.  We lay aside the humanity we have made to replace our Sonship and humbly acknowledge our immortality.  We let everything we learned about ourselves as bodies go and see that the arrogant conceptions we held about ourselves was deception.  With everlasting joy we accept the gentle radiance, the holiness, the everlasting love of our Father which releases us from the hellish dream.

Today we spend at least five minutes morning and evening acknowledging the truth of this lesson.  We encourage our minds, to give up its frightened hold upon traditions of lies and false practices, by repeating this prayer:    

The power of decision is my own. This day I will accept myself as what my Father’s Will created me to be.

Silently throughout the day we give up self-deceptions.  We accept the world’s delineations no longer. The world we made can no longer define or discount our love for God.  We ask our true Self, our oneness with Christ, our holy and everlasting Spirit to reveal Himself to us. Jesus says that as we pray this unpretentious prayer, our Self in Christ will come again to our awareness, so full of gratitude that His home is restored to God as it was always meant to be!


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 152 The power of decision…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 150 All Things Are Echoes Of The Voice For God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 151 All Things Are Echoes of the Voice for God.

  1. No one can judge on partial evidence.  That is not judgment. It is merely an opinion based on ignorance and doubt. Its seeming certainty is but a cloak for the uncertainty it would conceal. It needs irrational defense because it is irrational. And its defense seems strong, convincing, and without a doubt because of all the doubting underneath.
  2. You do not seem to doubt the world you see. You do not really question what is shown you through the body’s eyes. Nor do you ask why you believe it, even though you learned a long while since your senses do deceive. That you believe them to the last detail which they report is even stranger, when you pause to recollect how frequently they have been faulty witnesses indeed! Why would you trust them so implicitly? Why but because of underlying doubt, which you would hide with show of certainty?
  3. How can you judge? Your judgment rests upon the witness that your senses offer you. Yet witness never falser was then this.  But how else do you judge the world you see? You place pathetic faith in what your eyes and ears report. You think your fingers touch reality, and close upon the truth. This is awareness that you understand and think more real than what is witnessed to by the eternal Voice for God Himself.
  4. Can this be judgment? You have often been urged to refrain from judging, not because it is a right to be withheld from you. You cannot judge. You merely can believe the ego’s judgments, all of which are false. It guides your senses carefully, to prove how weak you are; how helpless and afraid, how apprehensive of just punishment, how black with sin, how wretched in your guilt.
  5. This thing it speaks of, and would yet defend, it tells you is yourself. And you believe that this is so with stubborn certainty. Yet underneath remains the hidden doubt that what it shows you as reality with such conviction it does not believe. It is itself alone that it condemns. It is within itself it sees the guilt. It is its own despair it sees you.
  6. Hear not its voice. The witnesses it sends to prove to you its evil is your own are false and speak with certainty of what they do not know. Your faith in them is blind because you would not share the doubts their lord cannot completely vanquish. You believe to doubt his vassals is to doubt yourself.
  7. Yet you must learn to doubt their evidence will clear the way to recognize yourself and let the Voice for God alone be judge of what is worthy of your own belief. He will not tell you that your brother should be judged by what your eyes behold in him, nor what his body’s mouth says to your ears, nor what your fingers’ touch reports of him. He passes by such idle witnesses, which merely bear false witness to God’s Son. He recognizes only what God loves, and in the holy light of what He sees do all the ego’s dreams of what you are vanish before the splendor He beholds.
  8. Let Him be judge of what you are, for He has certainty in which there is no doubt, because it rests on Certainty so great that doubt is meaningless before Its face. Christ cannot doubt Himself. The Voice for God can only honor Him, rejoicing in His perfect, everlasting sinlessness. Whom He has judged can only laugh at guilt, unwilling now to play with toys of sin, unheeding of the body’s witnesses before the rapture of Christ’s holy face.
  9. And thus He judges you. Accept His word for what you are, for He bears witness to your beautiful creation, and the Mind Whose Thought created your reality. What can the body mean to Him who knows the glory of the Father and the Son? What whispers of the ego can He hear? What could convince Him that your sins are real?  Let Him be Judge as well of everything that seems to happen to you in this world. His lessons will enable you to bridge the gap between illusions and the truth.
  10. He will remove all faith that you have placed in pain, disaster, suffering, and loss. He gives you vision which can look beyond these grim appearances and can behold the gentle face of Christ in all of them. You will no longer doubt that only good can come to you who are beloved of God, for He will judge all happenings, and teach the single lesson that they all contain.
  11. He will select the elements in them which represent the truth and disregard those aspects which reflect but idle dreams. And He will reinterpret all you see, and all occurrences, each circumstance, and every happening that seems to touch on you in any way from His one frame of reference, wholly unified and sure.  And you will see the love beyond the hate, the constancy in change, the pure in sin, and only Heaven’s blessing on the world.
  12. Such is your resurrection, for your life is not a part of anything you see. It stands beyond the body and the world, past every witness for unholiness, within the Holy, holy as Itself. In everyone and everything His voice would speak to you of nothing but your Self and your Creator, who is one with Him. So will you see the holy face of Christ in everything, and here in everything no sound except the echo of God’s Voice.
  13. We practice wordlessly today, except at the beginning of the time we spend with God. We introduce these times with but a single, slow repeating of the thought with which the day begins. And then we watch our thoughts, appealing silently to Him who sees the elements of truth in them. Let Him evaluate each thought that comes to mind, remove the elements of dreams, and give them back again as clean ideas that do not contradict the Will of God.
  14. Give Him your thoughts, and He will give them back as miracles which joyously proclaim the wholeness and the happiness God wills His Son, as proof of His eternal love. And as each thought is thus transformed, it takes on healing power from the mind which saw the truth in it and failed to be deceived by what was falsely added. All the threads of fantasy are gone. And what remains is unified into a perfect thought that offers its perfection everywhere.
  15. Spend 15 minutes thus when you are awake and gladly give another 15 minutes before you go to sleep.  Your ministry begins as all your thoughts are purified.  So are you taught to teach the Son of God the Holy lesson of His sanctity. No one can fail to listen, when you hear the Voice for God give honor to God’s Son. And everyone will share the thoughts with you which He has retranslated in your mind.
  16. Such is your Eastertide. And so you lay the gift of snow-white lilies on the world, replacing witnesses to sin and death. Through your transfiguration is the world redeemed, and joyfully released from guilt. Now do we lift our resurrected minds in gladness and in gratitude to Him who has restored our sanity to us.
  17. And we will hourly remember Him who is Salvation and deliverance. As we give thanks, the world unites with us and happily accepts our holy thoughts, which Heaven has corrected and made pure. Now has our ministry begun at last, to carry round the world the joyous news that truth has no illusions, and the peace of God, through us, belongs to everyone.[1]
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Notes and Personal ApplicationThis morning as we spend our first fifteen minutes in devotion with the Lord, we teach ourselves the holy lesson of our sanctity in Christ. We do not believe what the ego has painted us out to be – a fallible body, a soulless avatar, motivated by hunger, thirst, and greed for pleasure.  We honor ourselves as the holy eternal spirits God created.  We are as God created us – and God only creates that which is good and that which lasts forever. 

We do not believe the false report.  And in today’s lesson Jesus teaches us that whatever our physical senses report is false.  It is fake news.  We can rest assured that the thoughts we hold of ourselves are the thoughts we hold of our brothers.  For we are unified in our minds; we are not separated by the color of our skin or by our gender, we are not separated by time or space, we are not separated by political beliefs or religious practices.  There is no difference at all if you come from the South or if you come from the North.  We are one creation.  What we believe of others is what we believe of ourselves, no matter how the ego wants to play games with our head and make us think otherwise! 

We are no longer witnesses to death and sin; we are witnesses to life and holiness.  This is our calling – we are transformed, and the world is transformed by our transfiguration.  We set ourselves and the world free when we refuse to believe the false report.  When we begin to stir from the stupor in which the ego has enslaved our minds, we are no longer willing pawns in the soap operatic games of the ego. No guilt.  No sin.  No separation.  It was all a big mistake in identity, a child’s blustering stab at autonomy and specialness, a journey through the dark valley of let’s-do-it-my-way-and-not-God’s-way.

We no longer give faith to the loveless tales, the spiteful judgments, the thousands upon thousands of curious ways in which the ego has dreamed to kill us off and terrorize our minds, poisoning us against one another.  We love with the love of God.  We see with the eyes of Christ.

Jesus tells us that we will see the love beyond the hate, the constancy in change, the pure in sin, and only Heaven’s blessing on the world.  We will no longer doubt that God has planned only goodness for His creation, for we will know Him not only as our Lord and King, but as our loving and devoted Father.   

Throughout the day today we remember Christ – our Salvation and our deliverance.  When we give Him thanks, the world is no longer our enemy, but our friend who joins happily in our wholeness and our correction.  This is our ministry in which we all have a part.  We share this joyful message of truth.  We no longer believe the false reports of death and decay, of sin and shame, for we share the only the blessed peace of God which resonates through us one and all. 


[1] https://acim.org/workbook/lesson-151/

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 150 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Review IV

Lesson 150 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God.

(139)  I will accept Atonement for myself.

(140)  Only Salvation can be said to cure.1

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Notes and Personal Application: Today is our last day in Review IV.  We spend five minutes in the morning and evening contemplating the theme of our review – My holds only what I think with God.  The thoughts we think in the world that revolve around survival, pleasures, avoiding pain, and planning our defenses against all of the world’s woes are only temporary.  We must think them in time, but now that we have made the decision for Heaven, we know that these thoughts are not our own.  They are thoughts generated by a world separated from God, from truth, from reality.  We do not need them where we are going.  We do not want them.  We are willing to loose them.  While we are in time, we may enjoy our food, our clothes, our means of transportation.  We may like our hobbies, excel at our jobs, enjoy the companionship of our mates and children and friends, but we no longer cherish the thoughts of the world; we cherish only the thoughts of God.

In lesson review 139, we tell our minds firmly and with certainty that we accept Atonement for ourselves.  We have made the decision for Heaven.  We no longer accept the world’s version of ourselves.  No matter how much we love our bodies, we know that we are not our bodies!  We know that we are not our occupations.  We know that we are far more than what we have in the bank, or how much we do for our families or communities.  We no longer question who we are!  We have accepted the Atonement for ourselves and we know who we are – we are God’s perfect Son, part of the Brotherhood of Christ, the Sonship of God.  Atonement is the remedy for any question about our identity.  We have no concerns about our ancestry, evolution vs. creation, or our DNA.  We are not made of flesh and blood.  We are born of God, we are the Mind of Christ, everlasting spirits dedicated to the cause of unity. 

Atonement clear our minds of all the cobwebs the world weaves around our identity and gives us the certainty of God.  Atonement exposes the world’s mockery and spite it would use to keep us from knowing who and what we are.  As we accept the Atonement of Christ, we become one with Christ.  It is our salvation.  And salvation is the cure for all that ails the world.

When we are saved, we are cured.  Our minds no longer accept the world’s label of what and who we are.  We are whole, we are holy, we are free of condemnation, of sin, of guilt and shame.  God abides in us and where God abides sin and sickness cannot be. 

It is this thought that cures us – it makes no distinctions.  It is not magic – it does not involve spells, potions, or sacrifices.  It does not call upon a special someone to perform a costly operation or exorcism or provide a miracle.  It is simply truth applied.  We listen for the Voice for God, the Voice for healing, the Voice for sanity.  There is nothing else can heal except this quiet Voice for God.  When we quiet our minds and still our bodies, we listen.  We clear our inner altars of all the chatter, the demands, the chores that pile up and clamor for our attention.  We stop all interfering thoughts as one and lay them aside.  We come to Him now with nothing to offer him except our quiet hearts and open minds. 

We say with the earnestness of an unblemished child, “Only salvation can be said to cure.  Speak to us, Father, that we may be healed.”  For all of our mental anguish, stress, and sorrow we say this prayer.  For all of our aches and pains that strain and weary our earthly domains, we pray these words. 

Jesus says that as we pray this prayer, our salvation covers us softly, protecting us with a peace so deep the world can no longer deceive us or tempt us to believe in its dreams.  Give it a go.  As we get past our skepticism, our irrational affection for pain and suffering, we call upon our Father, believing in our salvation to not only save our souls but keep our earthly bodies functioning in health and wellness.  His Will is our happiness, here in this dream and in the world beyond.  When we know this, we can accept it as gratefully and as expectantly as a most treasured child, His beloved Son. 

1A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 150. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 277.

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Lesson 149 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Review IV

Lesson 149 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God.

(137)  When I am healed, I am not healed alone.

(138)  Heaven is the decision I must make.[1]

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Notes and Personal Application:  Today we open with the prayer that our mind holds only what we think with God.  This is not a prayer request; it is a prayer of confirmation.  All other thoughts in our mind fade away – we are left holding only what we think with God.  When we meditate upon this lesson idea for five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening, we are setting ourselves free from troublesome worries, cares, and concerns – everything is in God’s capable hands.  We are His and only what we think with Him means anything at all.  There is no need to fight off ungodly thoughts; we simply recognize them for the big nothing that they are and gladly let them go.  Unholiness is a thing of the past – it is gone, as if it never were. 

While yesterday’s last lesson review was “sickness is a defense against truth,” today’s idea pulls us away from the idea of sickness and assures us that as we choose truth over sickness, our healing heals not only ourselves, but our brothers as well.  While sickness operates on laws from this world, healing operates on laws from the world beyond this one.  Sickness splinters our wholeness with others; healing makes us one again.  Healing is wholeness, and we are whole only through our oneness, the Brotherhood of Christ, the Sonship of God. 

Jesus reminds us that in the world Anti-Christ becomes more powerful than Christ to those whose body seems more stable and solid than the mind.  In the world, the message of Christ is nothing but a dream, a false hope.  Those who seek the world beyond are despised here as insipid and foolish, while salvation’s cynics are seen as shrewd and smart, the ones who have a firm grip upon a reality which can be witnessed, defended, examined, judged, condemned, and justified.   Yet these world views sicken our minds, cause our bodies to fail us, and cement our minds in fear and separation. 

When we allow our minds to grasp the truth, we are healed.  And we are not healed alone!  In paragraph 10, Jesus tells us that all of those around us, who cross our minds, the ones we touch, and even those with whom we have lost touch with, who no longer speak to us or appreciate our gifts, are healed along with us.[2]  We have no need to go out in the highways and byways and convert others to our way of thinking.  We simply focus upon our own healing and the healing of others naturally follows. 

In our second review idea, we contemplate the idea that Heaven is the decision that we must make.  It is not “a” decision, it is “the” decision, the one decision we must make while we are under the mesmerism of time.  In reality, the decision has already been made for us.  There is no choice.  God has made us and has not abandoned us.  But in the dream-like enchantment of separateness, we are here to make the conscious choice for heaven.  Consciously, we must consider the alternatives, to understand what we are up against, we must look upon the darkness and the shadows and to judge it with the help of Heaven.  We must be willing to have our perceptions be corrected; we must want the truth, and only the truth.  We must give up our love for darkness and the lie.  We choose heaven when we recognize how all else lacks meaning, has no value, and ends in death. 

Choosing heaven ends not only the fear of hell, but the fear of God.  Choosing heaven means we no longer value the valueless – we no longer insanely attempt to make meaning where none can be found.  Our attachments, our idolatry, our bad habits, the false affections and affectations that loomed so large are seen for what they truly are – dumb and trite mistakes, easily forgiven, long forgotten, of no lasting effect.  We are free of terror, spite, and lies forever.  We are free of the world of opposites, of specialness, of death.  Heaven is the decision that we make.  We never change our minds, because when we make that conscious choice, it is the only thing we could possibly want. 


[1]A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 149. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 277.

[2] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 139. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 265.

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Lesson 148 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Review IV

Lesson 148 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God.

(135)  If I defend myself, I am attacked.

(136)  Sickness is a defense against truth.[1]

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Notes and Personal Application:  In Review IV, our theme continues to be “My mind holds only what I think with God.”  Let us be thankful that this is true!  Our mind can only hold what we think with the everlasting – all else passes away when our lives in time are over.  We return to God without any of the trappings of the world, and we no longer live by the laws of the world. 

Here we love other people who are special to us, we love them because they are family, or friends, our husbands or wives, our bosom buddies, or our classmates.  In God’s Kingdom we love one and all because we recognize our equality, our unity with God, and our brotherhood with Christ.  Here when we give something away, we are poorer and those whom we contribute to are richer.  In God’s Kingdom what we give, we receive – in fact, the only way to keep what we want is to give it away.

Today as we review Lesson 135, we learn that to defend ourselves invites attack.  When we first read this concept, it seems a riddle of sorts.  Defense and attack are two separate things in our world.  Yet Jesus is saying that only when we defend ourselves are we under attack.  In other words, we are to think with God we do not even recognize the feeble efforts of others to harm us or steal our joy as attack.  The pure in heart and mind, though not simple-minded, do not enter into defense, simply because they see the world in time as already over.  They see no need to defend that which can not be attacked.  They see no need to beat a dead horse. They see no need to plot and plan on how to succeed over their enemies.  They see no need to disturb their peace – they are just too busy being happy, loving Jesus, and enjoying the certainty and freedom of God to collect arms, put up shields, and insist on their righteousness, salvation, or innocence.

Lesson 136 would suggest that sickness is no accident, but rather a device of the ego used to deceive us.  Sickness attempts to cast a shadow upon our holiness, our Sonship, our well-being, and wholeness.  It is just one more way in which the ego defends against reality.  Jesus tells us quite bluntly that we choose sickness when the truth becomes unbearable to us.  We would rather believe in what we can see, rather than what is forever. While it may be difficult for us to believe or to confess that we choose sickness to defend against the truth, truth has power while defenses do not.   When we are willing to lay down our defenses and cease to play with the “rewards” that sickness offers, healing will cleanse our minds of all the ill wishes that tempted it to sanction our bodies to obey.  Lesson 136 offers us two prayers that whether we believe this concept or not, is helpful in our journey to God, and in our desire to have healed minds and bodies that serve us without pain and suffering.  The first follows:

Sickness is a defense against truth.  I will accept the truth of what I am, and let my mind be wholly healed today.[2] 

Today as Coltin and I were doing his reading, comprehension, spelling, and math worksheets, he tearfully whined about how stupid he is.  He was giving me a lot of grief for expecting him to do schoolwork during his summer vacation!  It simply did not match his picture.   Somewhere along the line, our grandson had picked up the notion that learning is too hard for him, that it is a dull enterprise, and a useless journey.  He would much rather be looking at his IPad or watching TV!

It was not until we had a conversation about truth that Coltin realized that God does not make stupid people.  He began to see that learning can be fun.  He started to see how believing the truth about ourselves helps us get over any false messages that we may have made up from comparing ourselves with others, failing tests, or being put in special classes in school.  While calling himself stupid may have won him pity and sympathy from others and lowered expectations, the truth does not coddle any such whims and wishes.  

Throughout our lives, we can choose to be special cases in order to avoid facing the truth about ourselves, or we can lay aside all the purposes we gave to our body and receive the strength it needs to serve all useful purposes.  Jesus says that our body’s health is fully guaranteed – it is not limited by time, weather, fatigue, by food and drink, or any laws of the world.  Jesus says that as our minds are healed, as we remember who and what we are, we do not have to concern ourselves with our bodies at all, in fact sickness becomes impossible.

Do we dare to believe this, to reach for this, to experience this?  Lesson 136 states with certainty that sickness comes from harboring attack thoughts, judging others, and making plans without God – in other words, as having forgotten who we are, for sickening our minds. 

But the ending prayers offers an immediate remedy when this occurs.  We do not have to allow our defenses to hurt us a moment longer or be in a state of confusion about what needs healed when we tell ourselves:

I have forgotten what I really am, for I mistook my body for myself. Sickness is a defense against the truth.  But I am not a body.  And my mind cannot attack.  So I can not be sick.[3]


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 148 My mind holds only…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 276

[2] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 136, ¶15. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 259.

[3]A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 136, ¶20. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 260.

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Lesson 147 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Review IV

Lesson 147 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God.

(133)  I will not value what is valueless.

(134)  Let me perceive forgiveness as it is.[1]   

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Notes and Personal ApplicationWe thought we would take our minds from God, but it is impossible to take what belongs to God.  What belongs to God will always remain as God’s.  We belong to Him.  In time, we may experience what feels like a separation, but Jesus assures us throughout our Course study, that our humanity is a hoax – we are not bodies, we are spirits, made in the image of God.  We belong to Him and we are one with Him.  Our minds cannot exist without Him; our minds can hold only what we think with Him.  Everything else is a fabrication.  It dies and is no more.  Good riddance!

Today we give five minutes to contemplating this truth.  We give back to God that which never left Him, for we have always belonged to Him, heart, mind, and soul.  He never left us go, He never abandoned us to a cruel world.  He never kicked us out of His Kingdom.  Once we recognize this truth, we are no more willing to value the worthless dream.  We can only value that which is of God.  We can only be drawn to that which speaks of God, for we no longer value the nightmare of separation when we remember our oneness and unity with God. We can only hold in our mind that which we think with God.

In lesson review 134, we ask to perceive forgiveness as it is.  True forgiveness cannot be found in the world.  The world does not understand true forgiveness because when the world forgives it makes wrongdoing real.  It does not correct.  It does not undo.  True forgiveness undoes any wrongdoing by simply recognizing that it is not real.  When someone steals from me, what they stole is not real, the alter self which would take that which does not belong to them is not real, nor is the justice system that is set up to judge, punish, and condemn real in the everlasting sense of the word. 

It certainly feels real enough.  Even as I sit here and write this blog I am thinking of how much I despise a thief.  I can hardly bear the thought of someone stealing from me.  I honestly think that thieves are as bad as killers, and I have every right to protect my stuff from someone’s sticky fingers!  But no matter how real it would seem to me if someone stole my car or my tractor or my homemade potholders, it simply is not real.  As much as it might bother me, it is just a glitch in time, it passes, it means nothing, and it is nothing.  The only way to undo the thievery is to forgive it.  We do not value the valueless.  We let it go.  We trust in God and we hold everything here in this world with an open hand.  Forgiveness then goes deep.  This was something we discussed in yesterday’s ACIM meeting.  When we first started this path, forgiveness was highly personalized – one by one we went through our past and forgave (as best we could) those who we had formerly condemned for disappointing or hurting us.  The list seemed endless.  Sometimes the forgiveness would “take,” and other times we would have to keep doing it.  But now forgiveness is more abstract.  It is less personal.  We forgive because we have no expectations here.  We no longer value the valueless.  We forgive it because the world cannot be any other way. 

While I enjoy my stuff and am happy with what our hard work and sacrifices has brought into our existence here, I understand that it has no eternal value whatsoever.  I cannot take any of it with me to the world beyond!  I would not want to.  I want to hang on to what brings me joy and pleasure here as long as I can, but if someone steals it from me, they will not be stealing my joy, my freedom, or my salvation.  When I forgive the world, I undo all the effects it has on me, I loosen its hold upon me, I am liberated. I am saved! 

Throughout the day remind yourself of the lesson review ideas.  Seal them in your mind and heart by asking Holy Spirit to reveal their truth to you.  Nothing we go through in separation is real or has any meaning or worth.  We do not take it with us.  When we go to the world beyond this one, we go pure and holy and unencumbered.  We do not take our wounds, our sorrow, our grief, our pleasures, or our belongings.  We return to God in our right minds and with our eyes awakened from the enchantment of the world.  We do not return groggy, drunken, or in a drug induced stupor.  We have looked at the world with opened eyes, we are deceived no more.  We no longer value the valueless. We forgive it and everything and everyone in it for being the big nothing it has proved to be.  This is forgiveness as it is.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 147. Kindle Edition.

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 146 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God

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Review IV

Lesson 146 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God.

(131) No one can fail who seeks to reach the truth.

(132)  I loose the world from all I thought it was.[1]

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Notes and Personal ApplicationToday during our ACIM meeting, I shared how much the theme of Review IV means to me.  One of the most difficult struggles that I have had throughout my life is holding loving and trusting thoughts in my mind.  I always felt as if I were not a good enough person to be a Christian because no matter how hard I tried I could not control the thoughts that were in my mind.  They seemed to just pop into my head and many times out of my mouth before I even had a chance to process them.  Thoughts seemed to be my responsibility even though they seemed to be coming from everywhere.  But the onus for thoughts are not ours, Jesus informs us.  Thoughts are from one of two sources – the thoughts of the ego which are not true thought but only random and chaotic distractions to keep us from the truth, or the thoughts of God which are the truth.  Our mind holds only what we think with God.  Everything else fades in time.  I have no reason to be ashamed of them, to take responsibility for them, to try to change them.  They are not mine!

Knowing that they are not mine, that there is no reason to act upon them, knowing that they are not true or real or hold any promise at all, sets me free.  I am free to forgive, I am free to hold thoughts of God, I am free to be creative and to fulfill my God-given function. 

My God-given function here in time is to seek the truth.  And today’s lesson review assures us that no one who seeks the truth can fail.  We can not fail.  This means that every path, even those which seem to lead us astray, always ends in truth.  We tend to judge ourselves and others by our process, but the process is only the means, and not the end.  The end for all of our seeking is truth.  We cannot fail.

The second review idea has proved to be the biggest illusion-buster of all.  When we loose the world from all we thought it was, we are free of it.  The world’s battles are not our battles.  The world’s worries are not our worries.  The world with all its calls and causes, its chaos and consternations, its proposals and plans is recognized for the shadowlands it is, and we let it go. It was not what we thought it was.  We thought we could find happiness, meaning, love, certainty, and security, but the world cannot give what it was meant to take away.  We see it for what it is, a death trap, a network of lies, centuries of war, purges, plunder, rape, and despair.  We loose it.  We forgive it.  We get over it.  No more whining and complaining about it.  No more thinking others have got a better deal than us, no more demanding our rights or clamoring for justice.  We no longer seek for what will never be found here.  When we loose the world, we are free! 

Today we ask Holy Spirit within to inform us, to make these concepts real to us, to bring them to life.  We let them light our path and bring peace to our hearts.  We repeat them often and memorize their truth.  We share these concepts only with those who desire to hear them for they are precious and of great value and not to be broadcast indiscriminately or given to those who are not prepared.  Our mind holds only what we think with God.  With certainty we reach for truth as we loose the world from what we thought it was. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 146. Kindle Edition.

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 145 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Review IV

Lesson 145 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God.

(129) Beyond this world is a world I want.

(130) It is impossible to see two worlds.[1]

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Notes and Personal Application: Each day in Review Four, as we focus upon the main theme of “my mind holds only what I think with God,” our eyes are opened to the reality of God’s Kingdom, our everlasting home.  In the world, our brains are constantly firing off random and not so random thoughts – calling for us to do this and to do that, to come here and go there, to chase this cause or trash that one, to love him or to hate her.  This continues while we sleep – our evolved brain manufactures dreams that we cannot help but ponder.  Are their hidden messages, signs and omens of unforeseen events or happenings in our nighttime fables? 

Our personal concerns and cares loom large in our brains; we chew our nails and gnash our teeth with worry and fret; and then they pass, and our brains go on to gnaw upon fresh cartilage.  But our minds!  A completely different story.  Time cannot steal the thoughts we think with God.  The thoughts we think with God are forever.  And so it is with this understanding, this keen awakening to its truth, that we begin to remember the real world.

Beyond this world, is the world we yearn for and long for, the world we really want.  Here we have an upside down, twisted version of that one.  Here we have the polluted nightmare – the fear of God, and not the love of God.  Here we have the special relationships, which the world substitutes for holy relationships.  Here we learn in bits and parts and scattered, disconnected pieces; there we learn holistically because everything and everyone are unified.  Here we chase after that which will never satisfy; there we have no need to pursue, strive, or stress ourselves over what we have freely, abundantly, and forever.  You get the picture.  This is the world we want.  This world is the tormented reflection of the world that lies beyond.  Throughout the day, we are to remind ourselves that the world beyond this one holds everything we want.  To want anything in this world is to doom ourselves to constant repair, regret, and dissatisfaction; to merely want the world beyond this one sets our feet upon the right path and heals our minds in the here and now. 

And then we learn that we cannot see two worlds.  We are either totally bamboozled with this one, or we see it for what it is – a sham, a perversion, a matrix of opposites.  We either continue to seek for that which cannot be found here in this world, or we seek for the happiness which can only be found in the world beyond.  We identify ourselves and others through egos, personality, and bodies or we identify through our brotherhood in Christ, our Sonship with God, our everlasting spirits.  We judge ourselves and others by the past, or we set each other free in the present moment as we recognize our wholeness, our holiness.  We cannot have it both ways.  We either awaken in the nightmare and bring it to truth, or we continue to dream the dark dreams of death, seeking for truth where it cannot be found.

Giving our minds to thoughts of God and with God only seems unnatural in time.  While in this world we need to set times for devotion, for times of quiet and contemplation, for times of remembering and refreshing our minds – in the world beyond we are one with God.  We are plugged in, so to speak, to our Source at all times.  Nobody has to remind us; no temptations would come to knock us off our paths or steal the truth and twist it to alarm and stress us.  As we awaken in this world, do not let the calls for five minutes in the morning and in the evening distress us, do not let the calls for hourly reminders of our lesson review ideas weigh upon us.  Ask God to help us learn to stay as one with Him throughout the day.  The quiet Voice for God is within us, is one with us.  As we begin to practice quietness, we will realize how full our minds are of thoughts with God.  It becomes then, unnatural, and shocking even, to imagine ever wanting any other world then the one beyond the one in which we dream. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 145…Kindle Edition.

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 144 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God

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Lesson 144 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God.

(127) There is no love but God’s.

(128) The world I see holds nothing that I want.1

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Notes and Personal Application: This morning we spend five minutes reflecting upon the ongoing theme of Review Four: “My mind holds only what I think with God.” When this concept becomes clear to our understanding we begin to get a glimmer of what the whole intention of A Course in Miracles is all about – there is God who is Everything, and there is nothing which is not everything.  When we say we are afraid of nothing, we should mean that we are sincerely afraid of that which is not God!  For that which is not God, is the nothingness of time where we cannot even begin a sentence and complete it without it disappearing into the past. 

It is not a matter of willpower then to hold thoughts with God in our mind – it is simply a matter of recognizing all other thoughts are only meaningful in time and that they all end up as nothing in the end.  There is a certainty and a freedom that comes with realizing that while it feels like a choice for God, in reality there is no choice to be made, it is simply a matter of how much time it will take for our minds to realize that God is the One and Only and we are one with Him. 

We see how this serves as a framework for our two lesson ideas.  When we grasp our oneness with God, we experience the truth of “There is no love but God’s.”  The attachments that we have in this world are the closest we get to experiencing love, but Jesus tells us that nothing that can turn to vengeance, to spite, to hate, suspiciousness, jealousy or possessiveness is love.  All of us know how very possessive we are toward those we love in the flesh.  We want them to all to ourselves.  In time we are limited by our separation – when my friend runs off to the other side of the world and meets new friends, I am left behind and cannot help but feel abandoned.  When our mates lick their chops over someone else, we feel jealousy like stabs to our heart.  When our little ones start to grow up and do not want to spend as much time with us, we are bewildered and feel a bit lost and may grow petty and possessive and put unnatural demands upon them.  We say we love this one and that one but say mean things behind their backs and judge and condemn and get jealous when things turn out better for them than they do for us.  We have experienced our own capricious natures – how we can be so in love one day and fall for someone completely different the next.  We can always find reasons to love and reasons not to love – it feels like a choice.  But there is no love, but God’s and God’s love is not fickle.  His love does not change, falter, dim, and betray.  It is certain, it is constant, it is forever.  We can bank on it.  It does not die, it does not cheat, it does not demand, or manipulate.  God’s Love is the only love – if we do not have forever love, we do not have love – we have something else that we may call love, but it is a counterfeit, a stand-in, an imitation.  The world would have us believe that love is a bitch, a torment, and sorrow, but the world knows nothing of love. 

Once we understand that there is no love but God’s, we stop trying to find it in the world.  We no longer have to bark up the wrong tree!  We are free.  We forgive the world and everyone in it for not loving us the way in which we craved to be loved.  We can forgive ourselves for not loving others the ways in which they demanded they be loved from us.  We can absolve everyone and everything for failing, because the world and everyone in it is only here to teach us who and what we really are.  As we review lesson idea number 128, “The world I see holds nothing that I want,” we know what it means!  We know that it is true!  We know that no matter what we gain in the world, it ends, it comes to naught, it lasts for a fleeting moment and then is gone.  All we want is God’s Love, God’s certainty, for we are one with Him. 

Reflect upon these ideas often today, memorize them, recite them.  Ask Holy Spirit to make them real to your mind and heart, open your spiritual eyes to see the lessons that He will use to illustrate the truth of your salvation, your unity with God, your Sonship.  Our minds belong to Him and only Him.  There is no love but His.  The world does not compare!   

1 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 144. Kindle Edition.

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 143 Review IV My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God

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Review IV

Lesson 143 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God.

(125) In quiet I receive God’s Word today.

(126) All that I give is given to myself.1

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Notes and Personal ApplicationThe concept of “My mind holds only what I think with God,” stayed with me throughout the day as I prepared our house for our grandson’s visit.  We rarely get to see Coltin who lives in Georgia and so it is with particular excitement that we get to have him all to ourselves for a week or so.  Since he is highly allergic to cats, my intention was to leave no trace of fur or dander behind as I de-felined the whole place.  Our Velvet was moved to the older, unused section of our house where she curled up on her favorite chair and got extra treats in exchange for her temporary isolation. 

As I ran the vacuum cleaner, mopped the floors, made up his bed and emptied drawers, dusted, and shined – I thought so much of our Manda.  It was 20 years ago today that our daughter died.  It is only the thoughts I think with God that enables me to accept that Manda has and always will be far more than my earthly daughter.  She came into the world through me, but never belonged only to me in that “special” way that the world thinks. If my mind held such thoughts, I would not be able to bear her death.  I would not be able to “get over” it.  I would not be able to forgive those who would expect me to carry on.  However, I do think with God and I know that none of this is real; that death and sorrow is an illusion that passes with time, and that Manda and all my other loved ones who have passed from this space in time are as God created them, safe in His arms, and in His loving care. 

Just as I welcomed my husband and grandsons home today, enjoyed their warmth, their love, their sweet presence after a few days of solitude and taking care of things at home, so is God waiting in the thoughts we think with Him.  Just as I did not go anywhere, but await their return, so is God staying exactly where He has always been – Everywhere, awaiting for us to realize that He is always there in the thoughts we think with Him.  In quietness, in reflection, in meditation, and in devotion that is where we hear His Voice and receive His Word. 

In this morning’s devotion we also discussed lesson review 126:  All that I have is given to myself.  We talked about what happens in the world when we give something away.  If I give Coltin one hundred bucks, I am a hundred bucks poorer and he is a hundred bucks richer.  (His eyes lit up at the very idea!)  But if I give Coltin love, we are both richer.  If I give Coltin peace, we are both more peaceful.  If I give Coltin joy, are we not both full of happiness?  And he got this lesson at eight years old.  We had a lovely discussion about this concept and gave many examples – the world of an eight-year old boy to a sixty-six-year-old Grandpa is full of examples of this concept. 

Conversely, if I try to take another person’s joy, rain on his parade, usurp the love of his friends and family and try to make it my own, I end up with no joy, no parade of my own, alone and friendless, estranged from others and full of despair.  We talked about the difference between special relationships in the world that are based up exclusivity, jealousy, demands, and bargains versus the holy relationships of God which are based upon freedom, love, mutuality, and inclusion with no demands because in God we already have Everything – there is no demand for apologies, or sacrifices, or proving someone’s love and devotion because love and devotion are simply a given! 

Today we are memorizing our review concepts and saying them together throughout the day, encouraging one another.  This week I purchased two lovely perpetual calendars for our study group members who have completed their lessons to compliment their devotional spaces and remind them of our ACIM daily concepts.  When I look upon today’s date, an anniversary that in the past stabbed me with a fresh blade of keenest sorrow, is now only a day to remember that my mind holds only what I think with God.  It is in quiet that I receive God’s Word today.  All that I give is given to myself.  Let these words bring comfort and joy to your sorrows, heal your wounds, and quicken your vision in Christ. 

God bless and have a wonderful day!

1 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 143. Kindle Edition.

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 142 Review IV – My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Review IV

Lesson 142 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God.

(123) I thank my Father for His gifts to me.

(124)  Let me remember I am one with God.[1]

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Notes and Personal Application: As we start our day today, let us take five minutes to meditate upon the idea that our minds hold only what we think with God. Yesterday as I contemplated the main idea, I realized that only what I think with God is everlasting and therefore real. Everything else I think about ends up in the past, swallowed up in time, never to be restored to me. Throughout most of my life I have kept a daily journal in which I record not only my thoughts, dreams, concerns, and spiritual yearnings, but also a chronological account of my day – what I ate, wore, accomplished, thought about, where I went, when I got back, who I saw and my impressions and observations about human nature, relationships, intimacy, and love. A few years ago, I decided to take all my handwritten journals and transcribe them to Word documents. It seemed like it would be an interesting journey through the past, I could reconnect with my younger self, and I would have an ongoing chronicle of my life to leave for posterity.

Here is the thing: It was not nearly as interesting as I thought it would be.  In fact, it was downright boring.  No doubt, all the pressures of single motherhood, the enrapturement I had for my son and daughter, the on and off again affairs, trips and travel, fine dining, the striving, and conniving which fill the pages of dozens of college-ruled notebooks held meaning for me at the time.  But now when my life is rich with love and security, the scribbles of my past self fill me with a sense of meaninglessness.  It is gone.  The kids no longer kids; the struggles not the same, the affairs long forgotten, the places visited only a faded memory, the jobs changed form but not content, the food long gone, the long blonde hair now short and gray, the clothes so outdated as to be laughable.  It is easy for me to see that “my mind holds only what I think with God,” because that is the only thing that remained the same throughout all the years of writing – the Voice for God within, calling to me, guiding me, keeping me, assuring me of His Love. 

Today on the hour we simply thank our Father for His gifts to us. Today we can thank Him for Holy Spirit Who speaks for Him within our minds and hearts and never leaves us. Let us remember we are one with God. He made us in His image, a spiritual being without end, a co-creator, a beloved Son. In truth we are one with Him, and as we reflect upon our lesson reviews throughout the day, let this fact become real to you. We are one with God. This truth sets us free; it untethers us from the world. Today when someone tried to make me feel bad, to draw me into his drama, to hold me accountable for his happiness, I could just smile and go on as if nothing were said. It felt almost cheeky to be so free, but I liked it. We are one with God, and God is not alarmed by what happens here; He has no time for blame and shame, for guilt and reproach. God is Love, and we are one with Him!


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 142. Kindle Edition.

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Review IV Introduction

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REVIEW IV Introduction

  1. Now we review again, this time aware we are preparing for the second part of learning how the truth can be applied. Today we will begin to concentrate on readiness for what will follow next. Such is our aim for this review, and for the lessons following. Thus, we review the recent lessons and their central thoughts in such a way as will facilitate the readiness that we would now achieve.
  2. There is a central theme that unifies each step in the review we undertake, which can be simply stated in these words: My mind holds only what I think with God. That is a fact and represents the truth of what you are and what your Father is. It is this thought by which the Father gave creation to the Son, establishing the Son as co-creator with Himself. It is this thought that fully guarantees Salvation to the Son. For in his mind no thoughts can dwell but those his Father shares. Lack of forgiveness blocks this thought from his awareness. Yet it is forever true.
  3. Let us begin our preparation with some understanding of the many forms in which the lack of true forgiveness may be carefully concealed. Because they are illusions, they are not perceived to be what they are – defenses that protect your unforgiving thoughts from being seen and recognized. Their purpose is to show you something else and hold correction off to self-deceptions made to take its place.
  4. And yet your mind holds only what you think with God. Your self-deceptions cannot take the place of truth. No more than can a child who throws a stick into the ocean change the coming and going of the tides, the warming of the water by the sun, the silver of the moon on it by night. So do we start each practice in this review with readying our minds to understand the lessons that we read and see the meaning that they offer us.
  5. Begin each day with time devoted to the preparation of your mind to learn what each idea you will review that day can offer you in freedom and in peace. Open your mind, and clear it of all thoughts that would deceive, and let this thought alone engage it fully, and remove the rest: My mind holds only what I think with God.  Five minutes with this thought will be enough to set the day along the lines which God appointed, and to place His mind in charge of all the thoughts you will receive that day.
  6. They will not come from you alone, for they will all be shared with Him. And so each one will bring the message of His love to you, returning messages of yours to Him. So will communion with the Lord of Hosts be yours, as He Himself has willed it to be. And as His own completion joins with Him, so will He join with you who are complete as you unite with Him, and He with you.
  7. After your preparation, merely read each of the two ideas assigned to you to be reviewed that day.  Then close your eyes and say them slowly to yourself. There is no hurry now, for you are using time for its intended purpose. Let each word shine with the meaning God has given it, as it was given to you through His Voice. Let each idea which you review that day give you the gift that He has laid in it for you to have of Him. And we will use no format for our practicing but this:
  8. Each hour of the day bring your mind the thought with which the day began and spend a quiet moment with it. Then repeat the two ideas you practice for the day unhurriedly, with time enough to see the gifts that they contain for you and let them be received where they were meant to be.
  9. We add no other thoughts but let these be the messages they are. We need no more than this to give us happiness and rest, and endless quiet, perfect certainty, and all our Father wills that we receive as the inheritance we have of Him. Each day of practicing, as we review, we close as we began, repeating first the thought that made the day a special time of blessing and of happiness for us; and through our faithfulness restored the world from darkness to the light, from grief to joy, from pain to peace, from sin to holiness.
  10. God offers thanks to you who practiced thus the keeping of His Word. And as you give your mind to the ideas for the day again before you sleep, His gratitude surrounds you in the peace were in He wills you be forever and are learning now to claim again as your inheritance.1
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Notes and Personal ApplicationLet our hearts be thankful for the instruction for our spiritual enrichment we gain from reviewing lessons 121-140.  For today and the next nine days, we will set hourly reminders to take a few moments to let the concepts of each lesson idea once again rest upon our minds, refreshing it and loosing it ever so gently from the illusions of the world. Let this time be a time of gratitude and quietness.  We will not argue with the lesson ideas, no matter how far from reality they seem to be.  We will let each one speak for itself.  Only truth is true.  If it is not true, our Father, who honors our seeking, will protect our minds from that which would lead us astray. 

As we devote ourselves to the instructions for our review, we plan our day with God.  We let the plans and unfolding of the world for our designated times go for these moments.  Physically, we remain in the world.  We do not have to leave our cells, homes, jobs, responsibilities, relationships, our pleasures, or our sorrows.  For these few minutes we set our minds free.  We do it with diligence, discipline, and devotion.  We are like monks in the world, except our monastery is that quiet call within that reverberates as a gong reminding us of God’s Kingdom. 

Begin each day with at least five minutes refreshing our minds with each concept, let our minds rest in the freedom and peace that each idea offers to us.  This is God’s Will for us, and here we are given an opportunity to experience what lies beyond this world, has always been and ever will be, never fades away, disappoints, dies, or brings us anything but that which we strive and connive for our entire lives here in the body realm.  As we open our minds, we let go of thoughts about what we are going to eat, what we are going to wear, where we will have to go, and what we must do for the day, all the thoughts that seem so important to our happiness and survival, all thoughts that deceive us into thinking that this world has any bearing upon our souls.  Instead, we take this thought to fill our minds:  My mind holds only what I think with God.

For the first five minutes of our days, we think this thought, we pray this prayer that will set the day along the lines which God appoints.  This is how we place His Mind in charge of all the thoughts we will receive.  If troubling thoughts come our way, if harrowing circumstances seem to befall, we immediately give our minds over only to God and His Peace and His Joy. 

It is in this state that we review the two lesson ideas assigned for each day.  We repeat them slowly to ourselves with closed eyes – there is no hurry – this is the best use of time we can offer.  Our lesson says that it is for this reason that time even exists, so that we can return to God.  Let each word shine – these words are from God and are given to us through the Voice for God, Holy Spirit.  There are gifts in which each idea offers to us if we recognize and accept them as such. 

As many hours of the day we possibly can, we will remind ourselves of the thoughts we began the day with and spend a quiet moment with it.  Maybe we can write them on a slip of paper, repeat them in a voice memo, or best yet engrave them upon our minds – but no matter how much or how little we review the two ideas, there is no anxiety, no hurry, no obligation or spite attached to our learning.  These are gifts that contain freedom, peace, and joy, the certainty of God, the unreality of the world, and we can experience these gifts as little or as much as we feel able.  We let them be received by remembering them, by reviewing them, by letting our minds rest upon the truth they offer to us.   

Let these messages be whatever they are to us.  Let them bring happiness and rest, endless serenity, perfect certainty, our inheritance that we have in our Father, our God, our Creator.  If we encounter resistance, a stumbling block to our understanding, a feeling of anger, irritation, or unbelief, determine to choose a light-hearted, experimental, playful approach.  Lies are lies and truth is true – we are only on this path because something or someone called to us.  There are no whippings asked of us.  There are no pleadings for your hard-earned cash to support a ministry or to lay down your life, donate your blood, or sacrifice your animals.  We would not have come this far, if something were not ringing true to our hearts, assuring us of a path that leads to remembering who and what we really are! 

End each day as closely as possible to the way we began – in five minutes of meditation, repeating the lesson concepts, and recognizing how each idea made the day one of learning, blessing, and growth for us.  Our faithfulness to our holy practices restores the world, brings it from darkness to light, from grief to joy, from pain to peace, from sin to holiness as one by one our minds are saved from the dark illusions of sin, death, and decay. 

God thanks us for applying the keeping of His Word.  His gratitude surrounds us in the peace wherein He wills us be forever.  He thanks us now for consciously learning how to claim again our inheritance in Him through oneness with Christ, our Savior, Holy Brother, and Friend.  It fills His heart with happiness and joy as He sees us awakening from our nightmare of separation and devoting our time to remembering our rightful place in His Kingdom.  Imagine His joy and his happiness as we return to Him, willingly, happily, grateful to Him and all of Creation – so relieved that the unholy world we made in time was only a dream! 

1 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Review IV Introduction, Kindle Edition.

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 140 Only Salvation Can Be Said to Cure

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 140 Only Salvation Can Be Said To Cure.

  1. “Cure” is a word that cannot be applied to any remedy the world accepts as beneficial. What the world perceives as therapeutic is but what will make the body better.  When it tries to heal the mind, it sees no separation from the body, where it thinks the mind exists. Its forms of healing thus must substitute illusion for illusion. One belief in sickness takes another form, and so the patient now perceives himself as well.
  2. He is not healed. He merely had a dream that he was sick, and in the dream he found a magic formula to make him well. Yet he has not awakened from the dream, and so his mind remains exactly as it was before. He has not seen the light that would awaken him and end the dream. What difference does the content of a dream make in reality? One either sleeps or wakens. There is nothing in between.
  3. The happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings are different from the dreaming of the world, where one can merely dream he is awake. The dreams forgiveness lets the mind perceive do not induce another form of sleep, so that the dreamer dreams another dream. His happy dreams are heralds of the dawn of truth upon the mind. They lead from sleep too gentle waking, so that dreams are gone. And thus they cure for all eternity.
  4. Atonement heals with certainty and cures all sickness. For the mind which understands that sickness can be nothing but a dream is not deceived by forms the dream may take. Sickness where guilt is absent cannot come, for it is but another form of guilt. Atonement does not heal the sick, for that is not a cure. It takes away the guilt that makes the sickness possible. And that is cure indeed. For sickness now is gone, with nothing left to which it can return.
  5. Peace be to you who have been cured in God, and not in idle dreams. For cure must come from holiness, and holiness cannot be found where sin is cherished. God abides in holy temples. He is barred where sin has entered. Yet there is no place where He is not. And therefore sin can have no home in which to hide from His beneficence. There is no place where holiness is not, and nowhere sin and sickness can abide.
  6. This is the thought that cures. It does not make distinctions among unrealities. Nor does it seek to heal what is not sick, unmindful where the need for healing is. This is no magic. It is merely an appeal to truth, which cannot fail to heal and heal forever. It is not a thought that judges an illusion by its size, its seeming gravity, or anything that is related to the form it takes. It merely focuses on what it is and knows that no illusion can be real.
  7. Let us not try today to seek to cure what cannot suffer sickness. Healing must be sought but where it is, and then applied to what is sick, so that it can be cured. There is no remedy the world provides that can affect a change in anything. The mind that brings illusions to the truth is really changed. There is no change but this.  For how can one illusion differ from another but in attributes that have no substance, no reality, no core, and nothing that is truly different?
  8. Today we seek to change our minds about the source of sickness, for we seek a cure for all illusions, not another shift among them. We will try today to find the source of healing, which is in our minds because our Father placed it there for us. It is not farther from us than ourselves. It is as near to us as our own thoughts; so close it is impossible to lose. We need but seek it and it must be found.
  9. We will not be misled today by what appears to us as sick. We go beyond appearances today and reach the source of healing, from which nothing is exempt. We will succeed to the extent to which we realize that there can never be a meaningful distinction made between what is untrue and equally untrue. Here there are no degrees, and no beliefs that what does not exist is truer in some forms than others. All of them are false and can be cured because they are not true.
  10. So do we lay our side our amulets, our charms and medicines, our chants and bits of magic in whatever form they take. We will be still and listen for the Voice of healing, Which will cure all ills as one, restoring saneness to the Son of God. No voice but This can cure. Today we hear a single Voice which speaks to us of truth, where all illusions end, and peace returns to the eternal, quiet home of God.
  11. We waken hearing Him, and let Him speak to us five minutes as the day begins, and end the day by listening again five minutes more before we go to sleep.  Our only preparation is to let our interfering thoughts be laid aside, not separately, but all of them as one. They are the same. We have no need to make them different, and thus delay the time when we can hear our Father speak to us. We hear Him now. We come to Him today.
  12. With nothing in our hands to which we claim, with lifted hearts and listening minds we pray: Only Salvation can be said to cure. Speak to us, Father, that we may be healed.
  13. And we will feel salvation cover us with soft protection, and with peace so deep that no illusion can disturb our minds. Nor offer proof to us that it is real. This will we learn today. And we will say our prayer for healing hourly, and take a minute as the hour strikes, to hear the answer to our prayer be given us as we attend in silence and in joy. This is the day when healing comes to us. This is the day when separation ends, and we remember Who we really are. [1]
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Notes and Personal Application: When we remember who and what we are, we are saved.  This is our salvation.  No more guilt, no more shame, no more cherishing that which is sin, or believing that any kind of separation from God could offer what is real and everlasting.  Salvation holds our only cure.  The world offers cures, but the cures of the world can only seem help us because the world’s cures do not awaken or enlighten us.  They may ease the pain, take away the discomfort, stitch the wound, but we remain ensconced in the ego, in the body, in the time-based world of death.  When we accept God’s plan for salvation, as we heed the Voice for God, as we practice forgiveness, our dreams becomes happy because they herald in the truth upon our sleeping mind.  We are gently awakened to reality.  We are cured forever! 

When we come to understand that sickness is part of the dream of separation, we can no longer be deceived by it.  We recognize that the thoughts of sickness are another form of guilt.  Atonement does not merely heal the sick – it cures it – it makes sickness impossible because it takes away the guilt.  No guilt, no sickness. 

Jesus says that cure must come from holiness, the place where sin is not cherished.  We are forgiven. We are forgiven by offering forgiveness.  We offer forgiveness because we recognize the world for what it is, an illusion to teach us separation, to teach us who and what we are, to teach us that lies can never stand in the face of truth no matter how real they may appear or how many people believe in them. 

This is not magic – it is simply the truth.  Bringing our illusions to the truth, we go beyond appearances.  There can never be a distinction between this form of sickness or that form of sickness – sickness is false, and it can be cured because no sickness is true. 

We let the truth speak to us today.  We lay our thoughts aside.  We practice our lesson concept.  We can not cure sickness with any prescription, therapy, or magical practices.  We cure it by letting it go, like we do all illusions.  Ask God today to cover us with the soft blanket of salvation, to envelop our minds in His peace so deep that no lie can enter in.  Today we accept our healing; today we know that we are one with God, because we remember Who we really are.      

[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 140. Only Salvation can be said to cure. Foundation for Inner Peace, (Second Edition). pp.

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 139 I Will Accept The Atonement For Myself

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 139 I Will Accept Atonement for Myself.

  1. Here is the end of choice. For here we come to a decision to accept ourselves as God created us. And what is choice except uncertainty of what we are? There is no doubt that is not rooted here. There is no question but reflects this one. There is no conflict that does not entail the single, simple question, “What am I?”
  2. Yet who could ask this question except one who has refused to recognize himself?  Only refusal to accept yourself could make the question seem to be sincere.  The only thing that can be surely known by any living thing is what it is. From this one point of certainty, it looks on other things as certain as itself.
  3. Uncertainty about what you must be is self-deception on a scale so vast, its magnitude can hardly be conceived. To be alive and not to know yourself is to believe that you are really dead. For what is life except to be yourself, and what but you can be alive instead? Who is the doubter? What is it he doubts? Whom does he question? Who can answer him?
  4. He merely states that he is not himself, and therefore, being something else, becomes a questioner of what that something is. Yet he could never be alive at all unless he knew the answer.  If he asks as if he does not know, it merely shows he does not want to be the thing he is. He has accepted it because he lives; has judged against it, and denied its worth, and has decided that he does not know the only certainty by which he lives.
  5. Thus he becomes uncertain of his life, for what it is has been denied by him. It is for this denial that you need Atonement. Your denial made no change in what you are. But you have split your mind into what knows and does not know the truth. You are yourself. There is no doubt of this.  And yet you doubt it. But you do not ask what part of you can really doubt yourself. It cannot really be a part of you that asks this question.  For it asks of one who knows the answer.  Were it part of you, then certainty would be impossible.
  6. Atonement remedies the strange idea that it is possible to doubt yourself and be unsure of what you really are. This is the depth of madness. Yet it is the universal question of the world. What does this mean except the world is mad? Why share its madness and the sad belief that what is universal here is true?
  7. Nothing the world believes is true. It is a place whose purpose is to be a home where those who claim they do not know themselves can come to question what it is they are. And they will come again until the time Atonement is accepted, and they learn it is impossible to doubt yourself, and not to be aware of what you are.
  8. Only acceptance can be asked of you, for what you are is certain. It is set forever in the holy mind of God, and in your own. It is so far beyond all doubt in question that to ask what it must be is all the proof you need to show that you believe the contradiction that you know not what you cannot fail to know. Is this a question, or a statement which denies itself in statement? Let us not allow our holy minds to occupy themselves with senseless musings such as this.
  9. We have a mission here. We did not come to reinforce the madness that we once believed in. Let us not forget the goal that we accepted. It is more than just our happiness alone we came to gain. What we accept as what we are proclaims what everyone must be, along with us. Fail not your brothers, or you must fail yourself. Look lovingly on them, that they may know that they are part of you, and you of them.
  10. This does Atonement teach and demonstrates the oneness of God’s Son is unassailed by his belief he knows not what he is. Today except Atonement, not to change reality, but merely to accept the truth about yourself, and go your way rejoicing in the endless love of God. It is but this that we are asked to do. It is but this that we will do today.
  11. Five minutes in the morning and at night we will devote to dedicate our minds to our assignment for today. We start with this review of what our mission is: I will accept Atonement for myself, for I remain as God created me. We have not lost the knowledge that God gave to us when he created us like Him. We can remember it for everyone, for in creation are all minds as one. And in our memory is the recall how dear are brothers are to us in truth, how much a part of us is every mind, how faithful they have really been to us, and how our Father’s Love contains them all.
  12. In thanks for all creation, in the Name of its Creator and His Oneness with all aspects of creation, we repeat our dedication to our cause today each hour, as we lay aside all thoughts that would distract us from our holy aim. For several minutes let your mind be cleared of all the foolish cobwebs which the world would weave around the holy Son of God. And learn the fragile nature of the chains that seem to keep the knowledge of yourself apart from your awareness, as you say: I will accept atonement for myself, for I remain as God created me.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application: Today Jesus is urging us to accept Atonement for ourselves.  Atonement teaches and demonstrates that no matter what we say, do, believe, or disbelieve, we cannot change reality.  The reality is that we are one in Christ.  By accepting this glorious fact, we can go our way rejoicing in the endless Love of God.

When we remember who we are, others remember who they are – for in creation are all minds one.  The memory of our beloved brothers, how much a part of us is everyone, how close and warm and intimate they have really been to us, and how our Father’s love contains us all is returned to us.  This morning as I was standing at my kitchen sink, ruminating over some old wounds, Holy Spirit spoke to my mind and heart – encouraging me not to despise my teachers, but to thank them for the incredible lessons that their actions had taught me, how their intended unforgiveness, spite, blame, and mockery had proved to spur me to turn my back on the ego, to seek God, to accept Atonement not just for myself, but for all.  How dear they are to me!  Seeing them and the situations they had seemed to cause, as the catalysts which worked the much-needed changes in my life, filled my heart with tenderness, gratitude, and goodwill toward them.  I blessed them.  I sent them love and joy and peace.  I recognized how our Father’s Love contains us all!

This is the gift of Atonement.  Today no matter how the ego tries to reinsert itself into our holy minds, to convince us that we are mortals and not spirits, to live for this world instead of the world beyond, to close our eyes and let the worldwide web weave its enchantment on our separated minds, to content ourselves with uncertainty, sadness, and death, we can say:  “I will accept Atonement for myself.  For I remain as God created me!”  No matter how weary our bodies, how shaky our beliefs, how ambiguous our stout claims – nothing can change the will of God.  Nothing can change what He created.  We are as God created us.  This is the truth that sets us free. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 139 I will accept Atonement…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 267-269.

Lesson 138 Heaven Is A Decision I Must Make

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 138 Heaven is the Decision I Must Make.

  1. In this world Heaven is a choice, because here we believe there are alternatives to choose between. We think that all things have an opposite, and what we want we choose. If Heaven exists there must be hell as well, for contradiction is the way we make what we perceive, and what we think is real.
  2. Creation knows no opposite. But here is opposition part of being real. It is this strange perception of the truth that makes the choice of Heaven seem to be the same as the relinquishment of hell. It is not really thus. Yet what is true in God’s creation cannot enter here until it is reflected in some form the world can understand. Truth cannot come where it could only be perceived with fear. For this would be the error truth can be brought to illusions. Opposition makes the truth unwelcome, and it cannot come.
  3. Choice is the obvious escape from what appears as opposites. Decision lets one of conflicting goals become the aim of effort and expenditure of time. Without decision, time is but a waste and effort dissipated. It is spent for nothing in return, and time goes by without results. There is no sense of gain, for nothing is accomplished; nothing learned.
  4. You need to be reminded that you think a thousand choices are confronting you, when there is really only one to make. And even this but seems to be a choice. Do not confuse yourself with all the doubts that myriad decisions would induce. You make but one. And when that one is made; you will perceive it was no choice at all. For truth is true, and nothing else is true. There is no opposite to choose instead. There is no contradiction to the truth.
  5. Choosing depends on learning. And the truth cannot be learned, but only recognized. In recognition its acceptance lies, and as it is accepted it is known. But knowledge is beyond the goals we seek to teach within the framework of this course. Ours are teaching goals, to be attained through learning how to reach them, what they are, and what they offer you. Decisions are the outcome of your learning, for they rest on what you have accepted as the truth of what you are, and what your needs must be.
  6. In this insanely complicated world, Heaven appears to take the form of choice, rather than merely being asked what it is. Of all the choices you have tried to make this is the simplest, most definitive, and prototype of all the rest, the one which settles all decisions. If you could decide the rest, this one remains unsolved. But when you solve this one, the others are resolved with it, for all decisions but conceal this one by taking different forms. Here is the final and the only choice in which is truth accepted or denied.
  7. So we begin today considering the choice that time was made to help us make. Such is its holy purpose, now transformed from the intent you gave it; that it be a means for demonstrating hell is real, hope changes to despair, and life itself must in the end be overcome by death. In death alone are opposites resolved, for ending opposition is to die. And thus Salvation must be seen as death, for life is seen as conflict. To resolve the conflict is to end your life as well.
  8. These mad beliefs can gain unconscious hold of great intensity and grip the mind with terror and anxiety so strong that it will not relinquish its ideas about its own protection. It must be saved from Salvation, threatened to be safe, and magically armored against truth. And these decisions are made unaware, to keep them safely undisturbed, apart from question, and from reason, and from doubt.
  9. Heaven is chosen consciously. The choice cannot be made until alternatives are accurately seen and understood. All that is veiled in shadows must be raised to understanding, to be judged again, this time with Heaven’s help. And all mistakes in judgment that the mind had made before are open to correction, as the truth dismisses them as causeless. Now are they without effects. They cannot be concealed because their nothingness is recognized.
  10. The conscious choice of Heaven is as sure as is the ending of the fear of hell when it is raised from its protective shield of unawareness and is brought to light. Who can decide between the clearly seen and the unrecognized? Yet who can fail to make a choice between alternatives when only one is seen as valuable; the other as a wholly worthless thing, a but imagined source of guilt and pain? Who hesitates to make a choice like this?  And shall we hesitate to choose today?
  11. We make the choice for Heaven as we wake and spend five minutes making sure that we have made the one decision that is sane. We recognize we make a conscious choice between what has existence and what has nothing but in an appearance of the truth. Its pseudo-being, brought to what is real, is flimsy and transparent in the light. It holds no terror now, for what was made enormous, vengeful, pitiless with hate, demands obscurity for fear to be invested there. Now it is recognized as but a foolish, trivial mistake.
  12. Before we close our eyes and sleep tonight, we reaffirm the choice that we have made each hour in between. And now we give the last five minutes of our waking day to the decision with which we awoke. As every hour passed, we have declared our choice again, in a brief quiet time devoted to maintaining sanity. And finally, we close the day with this, acknowledging we chose but what we want: Heaven is the decision I must make.  I make it now, and will not change my mind, because it is the only thing I want.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application: It is only after we begin to understand that all that we see and experience in the flesh is not reality, cannot be true, has no eternal value, that we can make the choice for Heaven.  Creation has no opposite; Jesus reminds us today.  Truth has no opposite.  A lie is unreality, and no matter how much we choose to make it true, it never will be anything but an illusion.  No matter how real this realm of time seems to be, it is only a dream of opposites, a nightmare of separateness, a struggle for survival to but die another day!

The world makes it seem as if there are multitudes of choices from which to choose, thousands of religions, doctrines, theories, dogmas complete with rituals, rites, and shamanistic practices.  But there is no division, no partial truths and obscure veracities, no parts scattered between warring factions – there is only truth.  God’s Kingdom is the only reality, the only thing we really want, the answer to our heart’s cry, and all of our human striving and conniving.  Nobody can make that decision for us – to awaken to the truth is a decision that we all must make sooner or later – today Jesus is calling to us to understand this truth. 

When we realize that nothing outside of truth is real, we can walk away from our wheelbarrows full of muddied hopes and shitty sorrows.  We recognize that these heavy loads were nothing but a means for demonstrating that nothing was something.  Life is no longer a conflict; nobody has to die to escape– we can leave the sense of panic, anxiety, and sadness behind and see it gently fade with the past.  We see the world for what it is; we understand its purpose, and we make the decision for Heaven.  No longer can the world torment us or fill us with despair.  It has no more effect upon us; we have nothing to conceal because we know nothing never changed the truth, it never changed our reality, it meant nothing because it is nothing.  We had a dream of sin; we awoke to our oneness with God. 

Until we recognize our sojourn in time for what it is, we are unable to make the decision for heaven.  There is no point trying to convince someone of the unreality of the world – while it happens for some early in life, others in midlife, it happens for most of us later in life when we recognize the meaninglessness of mortality, as the ashes of those we love are sifted through our fingers, as one by one the sweet enchantments of the world go to seed, as a lifetime of sins and sorrows fill our minds with anguish, we finally begin to heed the Voice for God within.  In verse 9, Jesus says, All that is veiled in shadows must be raised to understanding, to be judged again, this time with Heaven’s help…They cannot be concealed, because their nothingness is recognized.

It is impossible to teach the truth – the truth is only recognized.  When we recognize something is true, we accept it.  We have no need to have it forced upon us – it makes sense.  It adds up.  It simply is.  No matter how we cling to the past, harbor old grudges, keep careful account of long-ago wounds – we cannot make it real.  It has no everlasting value.  It means nothing outside of time.  Conversely, no matter how we hope for the future, plan for every circumstantial occasion, force our body to behave and practice good ethics, sacrifices, and abstinences, we cannot give our good works substance or use them as barter to get into God’s Kingdom.   We simply cannot change the truth of the matter.  We are as God created us and nothing we do, good, bad, or ugly can change this fact. 

Today as we begin to understand this truth, we choose Heaven simply because there are no alternatives.  God is Everything.  We choose Everything or we choose nothing.  And nothing is not a real choice. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 138 Heaven is the decision…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 264-266.

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 137 When I Am Healed, I Am Not Healed Alone

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Lesson 137

Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 137 When I am Healed, I am not Healed Alone.

  1. Today’s idea remains the central thought on which Salvation rests. For healing is the opposite of all the world’s ideas which dwell on sickness and on separate states. Sickness is a retreat from others, and a shutting off of joining. It becomes a door that closes on a separate self and keeps it isolated and alone.
  2. Sickness is isolation. For it seems to keep one self apart from all the rest, to suffer what the others do not feel. It gives the body final power to make the separation real, and keep the mind in solitary prison, split apart and held in pieces by a solid wall of sickened flesh, which it cannot surmount.
  3. The world obeys the laws that sickness serves, but healing operates apart from them. It is impossible that anyone be healed alone. In sickness must he be apart and separate. But healing is his own decision to be one again, and to accept his Self with all Its parts intact and unassailed. In sickness does his Self appear to be dismembered, and without the unity that gives It life. But healing is accomplished as he sees the body has no power to attack the universal oneness of God’s Son.
  4. Sickness would prove that lies must be the truth. But healing demonstrates that truth is true. The separation sickness would impose has never really happened. To be healed is merely to accept what always was the simple truth, and always will remain exactly as it has forever been. Yet eyes accustomed to illusions must be shown that what they look upon is false. So healing, never needed by the truth, must demonstrate that sickness is not real.
  5. Healing might thus be called a counter-dream, which cancels out the dream of sickness in the name of truth, but not in truth itself. Just as forgiveness overlooks all sins that never were accomplished, healing but removes illusions that have not occurred. Just as the real world will arise to take the place of what has never been at all, healing but offers restitution for imagined states and false ideas which dreams embroider into pictures of the truth.
  6. Yet think not healing is unworthy of your function here. For anti-Christ becomes more powerful than Christ to those who dream the world is real. The body seems to be more solid and more stable than the mind, and love becomes a dream, while fear remains the one reality that can be seen and justified and fully understood.
  7. Just as forgiveness shines away all sin and the real world will occupy the place of what you made, so healing must replace the fantasies of sickness which you hold before the simple truth. When sickness has been seen to disappear in spite of all the laws that hold it cannot but be real, then questions have been answered. And the laws can be no longer be cherished nor obeyed.
  8. Healing is freedom. For it demonstrates that dreams will not prevail against the truth. Healing is shared. And by this attribute it proves that laws unlike the ones which hold that sickness is inevitable are more potent than their sickly opposites. Healing is strength. For by its gentle hand is weakness overcome, and minds that were walled off within a body free to join with other minds, to be forever strong.
  9. Healing, forgiveness, and the glad exchange of all the world of sorrow for a world where sadness cannot enter, are the means by which the Holy Spirit urges you to follow Him. His gentle lessons teach how easily Salvation can be yours; how little practice you need undertake to let His laws replace the ones you made to hold yourself a prisoner to death. His life becomes your own, as you extend the little help He asks in freeing you from everything that ever caused you pain.
  10. And as you let yourself be healed, you see all those around you, or who cross your mind, or whom you touch or those who seem to have no contact with you, healed along with you. Perhaps you will not recognize them all, nor realize how great your offering to all the world, when you let healing come to you. But you are never healed alone. And legions upon legions will receive the gift that you receive when you are healed.
  11. Those who are healed become the instruments of healing.  Nor does time elapse between the instant they are healed, and all the grace of healing it is given them to give. What is opposed to God does not exist, and who accepts it not within his mind becomes a haven where the weary can remain to rest.  For here is truth bestowed, and here are all illusions brought to truth.
  12. Would you not offer shelter to God’s Will? You but invite your Self to be at home. And can this invitation be refused? Ask the inevitable to occur, and you will never fail. The other choice is but to ask what cannot be to be, and this cannot succeed. Today we ask that only truth will occupy our minds; that thoughts of healing will this day go forth from what is healed to what must yet be healed, aware that they will both occur as one.
  13. We will remember, as the hour strikes, our function is to let our minds be healed, that we may carry healing to the world, exchanging curse for blessing, pain for joy, and separation for the peace of God. Is not a minute of the hour worth the giving to receive a gift like this? Is not a little time a small expense to offer for the gift of everything?
  14. Yet must we be prepared for such a gift. And so we will begin the day with this, and give 10 minutes to these thoughts, with which we will conclude today at night as well: When I am healed I am not healed alone. And I would share my healing with the world, that sickness may be banished from the mind of God’s one Son, who is my only Self.
  15. Let healing be through you this very day.  And as you rest in quiet, be prepared to give as you receive, to hold but what you give, and to receive the Word of God to take the place of all the foolish thoughts that ever were imagined. Now we come together to make well all that was sick and offer blessing where there was attack. Nor will we let this function be forgot as every hour of the day slips by, remembering our purpose with this thought: When I am healed I am not healed alone. And I would bless my brothers, for I would be healed with them, as they are healed with me.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application: Last year while meditating upon this lesson and the concepts of healing that it taught, I began to understand our Father’s Love.  I turned my back forever on the false teachings of a god who would fashion fallible, sin-prone bodies made of dust, of a god who would curse his creation, play favorites, be jealous and throw temper tantrums, demand sacrifices of animals, and enjoy the smell of roasting flesh.  Jesus teaches us that these disassembled facts and partial actualities pose as truth and are used by the ego to keep us in a state of fear.  Accepting these fables and myths as truth makes our minds sick, our hearts weep, and our bodies fail us.    

Healing, like forgiveness, is an illusion-buster.  Healing proves that the ego’s lies have no power over us.  Healing is proof that we have accepted the truth; we are spirits, not bodies; we are holy, not sinful; we are all-powerful, not vulnerable.  We accept our Sonship with God.

Our hearts leap in gladness at the profundity of verse nine.  Here Holy Spirit encourages us to follow Him through healing, forgiveness, and exchanging the world of sorrow for the Kingdom of God.  He teaches us the easy path of salvation, how no great sacrifice, needless rituals, and meaningless self-denials are asked of us.  Let go of grudges, grief, and greed.  Let go of fear and self-abasement.  Let go of sickness and ill-intent.  Let go of false doctrines and insufferable dogma that would lower God to fight and pitch fits against mere mortals and lesser beings.  Letting go of our defenses against the truth frees us from pain, suffering, sickness – not only in the spirit world, but here in the body as well.   

Separation from God and from each other, makes us sick.  Separation from God and from each other isolates us and causes loneliness and despair.  The world seeks only to separate, to estrange, to seek to gain at someone’s loss.  Some people may go to heaven because they are particularly good; but the rest of us go to hell and burn forever.  Our myths and fables are true; their myths and fables are lies.  Our divisions and denominations make us sick – spiritually, mentally, and physically.  

Thank God we do not have to accept the world’s ideas of separateness, specialness, and sin! When we realize that what we are experiencing in the physical realm is a trick of the ego, we can finally see it for the scam it is.  We can finally accept our Sonship with God, our Brotherhood with Christ, our Oneness in Spirit.  In this oneness is forgiveness for the illusion of separateness, healing from the sickness which results from segregation and specialness, and the promise of healing for all. 

Jesus promises us today that as we become one with Spirit, we allow ourselves to be healed.  And as we let ourselves be healed; others will be healed along with us.  For in oneness, we are all forgiven, all healed, all saved. We offer that oneness to all. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 137 When I am healed…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 261-263.

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 136 Sickness Is A Defense Against The Truth

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 136 Sickness is a Defense Against the Truth

  1. No one can heal unless he understands what purpose sickness seems to serve. For then he understands as well its purpose has no meaning. Being causeless and without a meaningful intent of any kind, it cannot be at all. When this is seen, healing is automatic. It dispels this meaningless illusion by the same approach that carries all of them to truth, and merely leaves them there to disappear.
  2. Sickness is not an accident. Like all defenses, it is an insane device for self-deception. And like all the rest, its purpose is to hide reality, attack it, change it, render it inept, distort it, twist it, or reduce it to a little pile of unassembled parts. The aim of all defenses is to keep the truth from being whole.  The parts are seen as if each one were whole within itself.
  3. Defenses are not unintentional. Nor are they made without awareness. They are secret, magic wands you wave when truth appears to threaten what you would believe. They seem to be unconscious but because of the rapidity with which you choose to use them. In the second, even less, in which the choice is made, you recognize exactly what you would attempt to do, and then proceed to think that it is done.
  4. Who but yourself evaluates a threat, decides escape is necessary, and sets up a series of defenses to reduce the threat that has been judged as real?  All this cannot be done unconsciously. But afterwards, your plan requires that you must forget you made it, so it seems to be external to your own intent; a happening beyond your state of mind, an outcome with a real effect on you, instead of one effected by yourself.
  5. It is this quick forgetting of the parts you play and making your “reality” that makes defenses seem to be beyond your own control. But what you have forgot can be remembered, given willingness to reconsider the decision which is doubly shielded by oblivion. Your not remembering is but the sign that this decision still remains in force, as far as your desires are concerned. Mistake not this for a fact. Defenses must make facts unrecognizable. They aim at doing this, and it is this they do.
  6. Every defense takes fragments of the whole, assembles them without regard to all their true relationships, and thus constructs illusions of a whole that is not there. It is this process that imposes threat, and not whatever outcome may result. When parts are wrested from the whole and seen as separate and wholes within themselves, they become symbols standing for attack upon the whole; successful in effect, and never to be seen as whole again. And yet you have forgotten that they stand but for your own decision of what should be real, to take the place of what is real.
  7. Sickness is a decision. It is not a thing that happens to you, quite unsought, which makes you weak and brings you suffering. It is a choice you make, a plan you lay, when for an instant truth arises in your own deluded mind, and all your world appears to totter and prepare to fall. Now are you sick, that truth may go away and threaten your establishments no more.
  8. How do you think that sickness can succeed in shielding you from truth?  Because it proves the body is not separate from you, and so you must be separate from the truth. You suffer pain because the body does, and in this pain are you made one with it. Thus is your “true” identity preserved, and the strange, haunting thought that you might be something beyond this little pile of dust silenced and still. For see, this dust can make you suffer, twist your limbs, and stop your heart, commanding you to die and cease to be.
  9. Thus is a body stronger than the truth, which asks you live, but cannot overcome your choice to die. And so the body is more powerful than everlasting life, Heaven more frail than hell, and God’s decision for the salvation of His Son opposed by a decision stronger than His Will. His Son is dust, the Father incomplete, and chaos sits in triumph on His throne.
  10. Such is your planning for your own defense. And you believe that Heaven quails before such mad attacks as these, with God made blind by your illusions, truth turned into lies, and all the universe made slave to laws which your defenses would impose upon it. Yet who believes illusions but the one who made them up? Who else can see them and react to them as if they were the truth?
  11. God knows not of your plans to change His Will. The universe remains unheeding of the laws by which you thought to govern it. And Heaven has not bowed to hell, nor life to death. You can but choose to think you die, or suffer sickness, or distort the truth in any way.  What is created is apart from all of this.  Defenses are plans to defeat what cannot be attacked. What is unalterable cannot change. And what is wholly sinless cannot sin.
  12. Such is the simple truth. It does not make appeal to might nor triumph. It does not command obedience, nor seek to prove how pitiful and futile your attempts to plan defenses that would alter it. Truth merely wants to give you happiness, for such its purpose is. Perhaps it sighs a little when you throw away its gifts, and yet it knows, with perfect certainty, that what God wills for you must be received.
  13. It is this fact that demonstrates that time is an illusion. For time lets you think what God has given you is not the truth right now, as it must be. The Thoughts of God are quite apart from time. For time is but another meaningless defense you made against the truth. Yet what He wills is here, and you remain as He created you.
  14. Truth has a power far beyond defense, for no illusions can remain where truth has been allowed to enter. And it comes to any mind that would lay down its arms and cease to play with folly. It is found at any time; today if you will choose to practice giving welcome to the truth.
  15. This is our aim today. And we will give a quarter of an hour twice to ask the truth to come to us and set us free. And truth will come, for it has never been apart from us. It merely waits for just this invitation which we give today. We introduce it with a healing prayer, to help us rise above defensiveness, and let truth be as it has always been:  Sickness is a defense against the truth. I will accept the truth of what I am, and let my mind be wholly healed today.
  16. Healing will flash across your open mind, as peace and truth arise to take the place of war and vain imaginings. There will be no dark corners sickness can conceal and keep defended from the light of truth. There will be no dim figures from your dreams, nor their obscure and meaningless pursuits with double purposes insanely sought, remaining in your mind. It will be healed of all the sickly wishes that it tried to authorize the body to obey.
  17. Now is the body healed because the source of sickness has been opened to relief. And you will recognize you practiced well by this: The body should not feel at all. If you have been successful, there will be no sense of feeling ill or feeling well, of pain or pleasure. No response at all is in the mind to what body does. Its usefulness remains and nothing more.
  18. Perhaps you do not realize that this removes the limits you had placed upon the body by the purposes you gave to it. As these are laid aside, the strength the body has will always be enough to serve all truly useful purposes. The body’s health is fully guaranteed, because it is not limited by time, by weather, or fatigue, by food and drink, or any laws you made it serve before. You need do nothing now to make it well, for sickness has become impossible.
  19. Yet this protection needs to be preserved by careful watching. If you let your mind harbor attack thoughts, yield to judgment, or make plans against uncertainties to come, you have again misplaced yourself, and made a bodily identity which will attack the body, for the mind is sick.
  20. Give instant remedy, should this occur, by not allowing your defensiveness to hurt you longer. Do not be confused about what must be healed but tell yourself: I have forgotten what I really am, for I mistook my body for myself. Sickness is a defense against the truth. But I am not a body. And my mind cannot attack. So I cannot be sick.[1]

Personal Notes and Application:  What purpose does sickness seem to serve?  Jesus tells us today that healing is a natural outcome of realizing that sickness has no meaning and no cause.  It is simply a matter of not accepting the truth.  It is a defense against the truth.  When we choose sickness we choose to see ourselves as separate from spirit, as separate from the mind of God. 

Who among us would choose sickness?  I hate being sick.  I have been struggling recently with some health issues and nothing can convince me that I would choose illness over wellness.  I do not care what the Course says, I know that I would never choose to be sick in any way, shape, or form.  I am a big baby when it comes to being sick.  The least little bit of pain or discomfort, I am ready to die.  It is terrible to be bedridden, to not be able to pull one’s weight, to be a helpmate.  I have a lot of ego resistance to the ideas of yesterday and today’s lesson, but I am going to do my best to understand and practice these ideas today.  So many lessons have helped me in my return to God, surely this one will have something that I can hark in my efforts to be well. 

Jesus emphatically states that yes, indeed we choose sickness, we actually decide to get sick, in order to escape the truth about ourselves.  Then we forget that we made this decision in our efforts to believe that our sickness happened to us, that our illness is beyond our control. Jesus says do not make the mistake of believing in this self-fabrication. 

Defenses are purposefully devised against wholeness.  They are made from deconstructing the truth and taking misused parts and misaligned pieces and presenting this as truth.  This is what we choose to believe instead of the truth.  The wholeness of reality frightens us, gives us pause, makes the world we made appear to totter and prepare to fall.  And so we shrink back from truth, accept the broken bits that would stand in its place, because we would rather be sick that truth may leave us be and threaten the lives we built upon lies no longer! 

Sickness proves the body is not separate from us.  We suffer pain when the body suffers pain, and we are never more at one with the body than when we are sick.  When we choose sickness we choose to identify with this little pile of dust rather than our oneness with God. 

When we plan for our own defense of the body, whether in sickness, in our attempts to make our bodies holy, or against the strange and unpredictable fates of the world, we tell ourselves that our bodies are more powerful than everlasting life, heaven can be beat by hell, and God’s plan for salvation opposed by a stronger decision than the one He has made.  God’s Son is dirt, writhing in pain, seeped forever in separation, the Father is incomplete and does not get what He wants, and chaos sits in triumph on His throne.  These deconstructions and fabrications are what our religions and holy books teach to us as truth.  Enslavement to this dogma sickens our minds and bodies.  It fills us with despair that our Father would make us frail, vulnerable, destined to rot and decay. 

When we accept who and what we really are, refuse to shrink back from the truth, face the fact that this kingdom is not God’s Kingdom and we are not bodies but everlasting spirits, we lay down our defenses against the truth.  We put down the substitutes, the deconstructions, the fabrications.  We loose ourselves from the dogma of despair and we lay claim to our worthiness, our Sonship, our true inheritance.  We need no defense against the truth.  We want to know the truth of what we are, and let our minds be wholly healed – today and always. 

When we get past our body identification, we no longer are attached to it for its appearance, its stations, its excesses, and drives.  Jesus promises that when we practice putting down our defenses against truth, we will not experience our bodies as anything but useful – nothing more.  No pain, no pleasure – just there as a tool, an appliance, a means and not an end.  As we lay aside our defenses, our self-imposed limitations, our attack thoughts, condemnation, and making our own way in the world, our bodies health is fully guaranteed – sickness becomes impossible.  It will serve until we die, and we will not have to maintain it in any particular way. 

This takes vigilance – for when our minds relapse into its own defense, we misplace our identity and our sickened, separated minds will attack our bodies. 

We are given the key to our mental health and our physical health throughout our sojourn on earth.  We are given an instant remedy to all that would take us off the path and sicken our minds and bodies.  But we must stay on our toes and disallow any kind of defensiveness to hurt us.  It is important that we not confuse this issue and think that we have caught a disease from another person, that our childhood trauma is causing our illness, or that an accident or natural disaster took away our health.  Instead we take full and immediate responsibility for all that comes our way, and we say:

I have forgotten what I really am, for I mistook my body for myself.  Sickness is a defense against truth.  But I am not a body.  And my mind cannot attack.  So I can not be sick. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 136 Sickness is a defense…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 257-260.

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 135 If I Defend Myself I Am Attacked

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 135 If I Defend Myself I am Attacked.

  1. Who would defend himself unless he thought he were attacked, that the attack were real, and that his own defense could save himself? And herein lies the folly of defense; it gives illusions full reality, and then attempts to handle them as real. It adds illusions to illusions, thus making correction doubly difficult. And it is this you do when you attempt to plan the future, activate the past, or organize the present as you wish.
  2. You operate from the belief you must protect yourself from what is happening because it must contain what threatens you. A sense of threat is an acknowledgement of an inherent weakness; a belief that there is danger which has power to call on you to make appropriate defense. The world is based on this insane belief. And all its structures, all its thoughts and doubts, its penalties and heavy armaments, its legal definitions and its codes, its ethics and its leaders and its gods, all serve but to preserve its sense of threat. For no one walks the world in armature but must have terror striking at his heart.
  3. Defense is frightening. It stems from fear, increasing fear as each defense is made. You think it offers safety. Yet it speaks of fear made real and terror justified. Is it not strange you do not pause to ask, as you elaborate your plans and make your armor thicker and your locks more tight, what you defend, and how, and against what?
  4. Let us consider first what you defend. It must be something that is very weak and easily assaulted. It must be something made easy prey, unable to protect itself and needing your defense. What but the body has such frailty that constant care and watchful, deep concern are needful to protect its little life? What but the body falters and must fail to serve the Son of God as worthy host?
  5. Yet it is not the body that can fear or be a thing of fear. It has no needs but those which you assign to it. It needs no complicated structures of defense, no health-inducing medicine, no care, and no concern at all. Defend its life, or give it gifts to make it beautiful or walls to make it safe, and you but say your home is open to the thief of time, corruptible and crumbling, so unsafe it must be guarded with your very life.
  6. Is not this picture fearful?  Can you be at peace with such a concept of your home?  Yet what endowed the body with the right to serve you thus except your own belief?  It is your mind which gave the body all the functions that you see in it and set its value far beyond a little pile of dust and water. Who would make defense of something that he recognized as this?
  7. The body is in need of no defense. This cannot be too often emphasized. It will be strong and healthy if the mind does not abuse it by assigning it to roles it cannot fill, to purposes beyond its scope, and to exalted aims which it cannot accomplish. Such attempts, ridiculous yet deeply cherished, are the sources for the many mad attacks you make upon it, for it seems to fail your hopes, your needs, your values, and your dreams.
  8. The “self” which needs protection is not real. The body, valueless and hardly worth the least defense, need merely be perceived as quite apart from you, and it becomes a healthy, serviceable instrument through which the mind can operate until its usefulness is over. Who would want to keep it when its usefulness is done?
  9. Defend the body and you have attacked your mind. For you have seen in it the faults, the weaknesses, the limits and the lacks from which you think the body must be saved. You will not see the mind as separate from bodily conditions. And you will impose upon the body all the pain that comes from the conception of the mind as limited and fragile, and apart from other minds and separate from its Source.
  10.  These are the thoughts in need of healing, and the body will respond with health when they have been corrected and replaced with truth.  This is the body’s only real defense.  Yet is this where you look for its defense?  You offer it protection of a kind from which it gains no benefit at all, but merely adds to your distress of mind. You do not heal, but merely take away the hope of feeling, for you fail to see where hope must lie if it be meaningful.
  11. A healed mind does not plan. It carries out the plans that it receives through listening to Wisdom that is not its own. It waits until it has been taught what should be done, and then proceeds to do it. It does not depend upon itself for anything accept its adequacy to fulfill the plans assigned to it. It is secure in certainty that obstacles cannot impede its progress to accomplishment of any goal that serves the greater plan established for the good of everyone. 
  12. A healed mind is relieved of the belief that it must plan, although it cannot know the outcome which is best, the means by which it is achieved, nor how to recognize the problem that the plan is made to solve. It must misuse the body in its plans until it recognizes this is so. But when it has accepted this as true, then it is healed, and lets the body go.
  13. Enslavement of the body to the plans the unhealed mind sets up to save itself must make the body sick. It is not free to be the means of helping in a plan which far exceeds its own protection, and which needs its service for a little while. In this capacity is health assured. For everything the mind employs for this will function flawlessly, and with the strength that has been given it and cannot fail.
  14. It is, perhaps, not easy to perceive that self-initiated plans are but defenses, with the purpose all of them were made to realize. They are the means by which a frightened mind would undertake its own protection, at the cost of truth. This is not difficult to realize in some forms which these self-deceptions take, where the denial of reality is very obvious. Yet planning is not often recognized as a defense.
  15. The mind engaged in planning for itself is occupied in setting up control of future happenings. It does not think that it will be provided for unless it makes its own provisions. Time becomes a future emphasis, to be controlled by learning and experience obtained from past events and previous beliefs. It overlooks the present, for it rests on the idea the past has taught enough to let the mind direct its future course.
  16. The mind that plans is thus refusing to allow for change. What it has learned before becomes the basis for its future goals. Its past experience directs its choice of what will happen. And it does not see that here and now is everything it needs to guarantee a future quite unlike the past, without a continuity of any old ideas and sick beliefs. Anticipation plays no part at all, for present confidence directs the way.
  17. Defenses are the plans you undertake to make against the truth. Their aim is to select what you approve, and disregard what you consider incompatible with your beliefs of your reality. Yet what remains is meaningless indeed. For it is your reality that is the “threat” which your defenses would attack, obscure, and take apart and crucify.
  18. What could you not accept, if you but knew that everything that happens, all events, past, present, and to come, are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good? Perhaps you have misunderstood His plan, for He would never offer pain to you. But your defenses did not let you see His loving blessing shine in every step you ever took. While you made plans for death, He led you gently to eternal life.
  19. Your present trust in Him is the defense that promises a future undisturbed, without a trace of sorrow, and with joy that constantly increases, as this life becomes a holy instant, set in time, but heeding only immortality. Let no defenses but your present trust direct the future, and this life becomes a meaningful encounter with the truth that only your defenses would conceal.
  20. Without defenses, you become a light which Heaven gratefully acknowledges to be its own. And it will lead you on in ways appointed for your happiness according to the ancient plan, begun when time was born. Your followers will join their light with yours, and it will be increased until the world is lighted up with joy. And gladly will our brothers lay aside their cumbersome defenses, which availed them nothing and could only terrify.
  21. We will anticipate that time today with present confidence, for this is part of what was planned for us. We will be sure that everything we need is given us for our accomplishment of this today. We make no plans for how it will be done but realize that our defenselessness is all that is required for the truth to dawn upon our minds with certainty.
  22. For fifteen minutes twice today we rest from senseless planning, and from every thought that blocks the truth from entering our minds. Today we will receive instead of plan, that we may give instead of organize. And we are given truly, as we say: If I defend myself I am attacked. But in defenselessness I will be strong, and I will learn what my defenses hide.
  23. Nothing but that.  If there are plans to make, you will be told of them. They may not be the plans you thought were needed, nor indeed the answers to the problems which you thought confronted you. But they are answers to another kind of question, which remains unanswered yet in need of answering until the Answer comes to you at last.
  24. All your defenses had been aimed at not receiving what you will receive today. And in the light and joy of simple trust, you will but wonder why you ever thought that you must be defended from release. Heaven asks for nothing. It is hell that makes extravagant demands for sacrifice. You give up nothing in these times today when, undefended, you present yourself to your Creator as you really are.
  25. He has remembered you. Today we will remember him. For this is Easter-time in your salvation. And you rise again from what was seeming death and hopelessness. Now is the light of hope reborn in you, for now you come without defense, to learn the part for you within the plan of God. What little plans or magical beliefs can still have value, when you have received your function from the Voice for God Himself?
  26. Try not to shape this day as you believe would benefit you most. For you cannot conceive of all the happiness that comes to you without your planning.  Learn today. And all the world will take this giant stride and celebrate your Easter-time with you. Throughout the day, as foolish little things appear to raise defensiveness in you and tempt you to engage in weaving plans, remind yourself this is a special day for learning, and acknowledge it with this: This is my Easter-time. And I would keep it holy. I will not defend myself, because the Son of God needs no defense against the truth of his reality.[1]

[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 135 If I defend myself…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 252-256.

Lesson 182 I Will Be Still An Instant And Go Home

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 182 I will be still an instant and go home.

  1. This world you seem to live in is not home to you.  And somewhere in your mind you know that this is true.  A memory of home keeps haunting you, as if there were a place that called you to return, although you do not recognize the voice, nor what is it the voice reminds you of.  Yet still you feel an alien here, from somewhere all unknown.  Nothing so definite that you could say with certainty you are an exile here.  Just a persistent feeling, sometimes not more than a tiny throb, at other times hardly remembered, actively dismissed, but surely to return to mind again.
  2. No one but knows whereof we speak.  Yet some try to put by their suffering in games they play to occupy their time and keep their sadness from them.  Others will deny that they are sad, and do not recognize their tears at all.  Still others will maintain that what we speak of is illusion, not to be considered more than but dream.  Yet who, in simple honesty, without defensiveness and self-deception, would deny he understands the words we speak?
  3. We speak today for everyone who walks this world, for he is not at home.  He goes uncertainly about in endless search, seeking in darkness what he cannot find; not recognizing what it is he seeks.  A thousand homes he makes, yet none contents his restless mind.  He does not understand he builds in vain.  The home he seeks can not be made by him.  There is no substitute for Heaven.  All he ever made was hell.
  4. Perhaps you think it is your childhood home that you would find again.  The childhood of your body, and its place of shelter, are a memory now so distorted that you merely hold a picture of a past that never happened.  Yet there is a Child in you Who seeks His Father’s house and knows that He is alien here.  This childhood is eternal, with an innocence that will endure forever.  Where this Child shall go is holy ground.  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.
  5. It is this Child in you your Father knows as His Own Son.  It is this Child Who knows His Father.  He desires to go home so deeply, so unceasingly, His voice cries unto you to let Him rest a while.  He does not ask for more than just a few instants of respite; just an interval in which He can return to breathe again the holy air that fills His Father’s house.  You are His home as well.  He will return.  But give Him just a little time to be Himself, within the peace that is His home, resting in silence and in peace and love. 
  6. This Child needs your protection.  He is far from home.  He is so little that He seems so easily shut out, His tiny voice so readily obscured.  His call for help almost unheard amid the grating sounds and harsh and rasping noises of the world.  Yet does He know that in you still abides His sure protection.  You will fail Him not.  He will go home, and you along with Him.
  7. This Child is your defenselessness; your strength.  He trusts in you.  He came because He knew you would not fail.  He whispers of His home unceasingly to you.  For He would bring you back with Him, that He Himself might stay, and not return where He does not belong, and where He lives an outcast in a world of alien thoughts.  His patience has no limits.  He will wait until you hear His gentle Voice within you, calling you to let Him go in peace, along with you, to where He is at home and you with Him.
  8. When you are still an instant, when the world recedes from you, when valueless ideas ceases to have value in your restless mind, then will you hear His Voice.  So poignantly He calls to you that you will not resist Him longer.  In that instant He will take you to His home, and you will stay with Him in perfect stillness, silent and at peace, beyond all words, untouched by fear and doubt, sublimely certain that you are at home.
  9. Rest with Him frequently today.  For He was willing to become a little Child that you might learn of Him how strong is he who comes without defenses, offering only love’s messages to those who think he is their enemy.  He holds the might of Heaven in His hand and calls them friend, and gives His strength to them, that they may see He would be Friend to them.  He asks that they protect Him, for His home is far away, and He will not return to it alone.
  10. Christ is reborn as but a little Child each time a wanderer would leave his home.  For he must learn that what he would protect is but this Child, Who comes defenseless and Who is protected by defenselessness.  Go home with Him from time to time today.  You are as much an alien here as He.
  11. Take time today to lay aside your shield which profits nothing and lay down the spear and sword you raised against an enemy without existence.  Christ has called you friend and brother.  He has even come to ask your help in letting Him go home today, completed and completely.  He has come as does a little child, who must beseech his father for protection and for love.  He rules the universe, and yet He asks unceasingly that you return with Him and take illusions as your gods no more.
  12. You have not lost your innocence.  It is for this you yearn.  This is your heart’s desire.  This is the voice you hear, and this the call which cannot be denied.  The holy Child remains with you.  His home is yours.  Today He gives you His defenselessness, and you accept it in exchange for all the toys of battle you have made.  And now the way is open, and the journey has an end in sight at last.  Be still an instant and go home with Him and be at peace a while.[1]
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Personal Notes and Application:   This world is not our home, and when we are honest with ourselves, we know that this is true.  We are haunted by a sense of homesickness, a sense of longing, a persistent feeling that there is a world which has been snatched from us, a place of peace and love and joy that this world can only simulate in brief, rare moments sandwiched between blood, sweat, and tears of frustration and hard work. 

No matter how hard we try to make this world our home, to deny our unhappiness, to pretend to love its cruel games and its dark pleasures, its insane laws and unfair practices, all of us, if we are honest will admit that we know that this world is not our home.  We may not remember the other world where we experience certainty, oneness, joy, and wonder but we yearn for it.

In our efforts to recreate that world in this one.  Jesus tells us in verse three that in darkness we can make a thousand homes and yet find no rest.  Every story here, every search, every attempt to find meaning, joy, friendship, and certainty here in this world ends in the hell of death.  We simply cannot survive without our Source; in a world which is built upon saints and sinners, hopes and fears, love and hate, darkness and light, we will never experience anything but upheaval, uncertainty, and inequality. 

No matter how rosy our past looks and how far we go to return to it, it is gone.  It will never be again; in fact, it never really was.  No matter how fond you may be of your memories of the past, they are nothing but images of nothing that matters, nothing that truly exists, nothing that has made one bit of difference in the reality of God. 

Jesus teaches us today that we have an inner Child who has never been and never will be at home in this world where to survive it must take up arms against its brothers and alienate itself from love and survive on fear and defense against attack.  This innocent Child which abides in each of us, knows God as His Own and God knows as His Own.  This Child of God calls us and keeps calling us to let Him rest, to give Him peace and rest and joy from all the things of this world that weary Him and keep Him from His real home in God. 

This little Child calls to us to protect Him.  He is the baby Christ within each one of us – born into a world so dark and full of contradictions, knowing that He must go through the torments of darkness to get to the light from which He came.  He will go home, and we will go with Him.  It is why He is there inside of us, God-placed and never erased. 

It is during our quiet moments, our devotional practices, our times of putting aside this world and remembering the place from which we came, that we will hear the baby Christ within us.  Today Jesus tells us that His Voice will touch us in such a way that we will no longer be able to ignore it or resist it, and that it is in these moments of quietness and reflection, of meditation and our full attention in which this perfect Child takes us home.  Our lesson today reflects the innocence, the purity, the faith to believe in that which the world would distort and call crazy, the tenderness evoked by the holy Child.

For Christ, our brilliant Holy Brother who resisted darkness and temptation, was willing to become the little Child that we may learn of strength through defenselessness, how to offer love to those who would make us an enemy.  This Child holds all the strength of God’s eternal Kingdom; He is friend to all and calls us all as brothers and as friend.  This Child protects us as He calls to us to protect Him as well in this dark world far from reality and from which He can not return without us along with Him.  

Today Jesus teaches us that Christ is reborn into each one of us as we enter into this world, a world that we ended up in when we left the realm of love to explore the realm of darkness.  And it is this Child in which we must learn to protect because as a child He is defenseless, and it is our defenselessness which protects Him and protects us.  We build no defenses against God as we build no defenses against each other.  We lay them aside.  We take the Child by the hand and we walk with Him a while each day learning again to become as He is, to become Him.

This Child knows the love and peace and joy we have not entirely forgotten.  This Child knows that there is nothing in the world that He wants or needs.  This Child knows that this realm is for those who forgot who and what they really are and have lost their way.  This Child calls to us, leading us back to where we belong – exchanging all our ways of war and discord for the love and peace of God. 

Today we spend our “little while” with this Child.  We go Home with Him for a few moments.  We experience His peace, His Love, His Joy, His sense of wonder and appreciation.  We know that this is our heart’s desire.  We experience our innocence through the purity of this holy Child.  The shade of the trees, the green of the grass, the blue of the sky, the white clouds, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat are all a reflection of care of His Father and His love and devotion to us.   


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 182. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 181 I Trust My Brothers Who Are One With Me

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 181 I trust my brothers who are one with me.

  1. Trusting your brothers is essential to establishing and holding up your faith in your ability to transcend doubt and lack of sure conviction in yourself. When you attack a brother, you proclaim that he is limited by what you have perceived in him. You do not look beyond his errors. Rather, they are magnified, becoming blocks to your awareness of the Self That lies beyond your own mistakes, and passed his seeming sins as well as yours.
  2. Perception has a focus. It is this that gives consistency to what you see. Change but this focus, and what you behold will change accordingly. Your vision now will shift, to give support to the intent which has replaced the one you held before. Remove your focus on your brother’s sins, and you experience the peace that comes from faith in sinlessness. This faith receives its only sure support from what you see in others past their sins. For their mistakes, if focused on, are witnesses to sins in you. And you will not transcend their sight and see the sinlessness that lies beyond.
  3. Therefore, in practicing today, we first let all such little focuses give way to our great need to let our sinlessness become apparent. We instruct our minds that it is this we seek, and only this, for just a little while. We do not care about our future goals. And what we saw an instant previous has no concern for us within this interval of time wherein we practice changing our intent. We seek for innocence and nothing else. We seek for it with no concern but now.
  4. A major hazard to success has been involvement with your past and future goals. You have been quite preoccupied with how extremely different the goals this course is advocating are from those you held before. And you have also been dismayed by the depressing and restricting thought that, even if you should succeed, you will inevitably lose your way again.
  5. How could this matter?  For the past is gone; the future but imagined. These concerns are but defenses against present change of focus in perception. Nothing more. We lay these pointless limitations by a little while. We do not look to past beliefs, and what we will believe will not intrude upon us now. We enter in the time of practicing with one intent; to look upon the sinlessness within.
  6. We recognize that we have lost this goal if anger blocks our way in any form. And if a brother’s sins occur to us, our narrow focus will restrict our sight, and turn our eyes upon our own mistakes, which we will magnify and call our “sins.”  So, for a little while, without regard to past or future, should such blocks arise we will transcend them with instructions to our minds to change their focus, as we say: It is not this that I would look upon. I trust my brothers, who are one with me.
  7. And we will also use this thought to keep us safe throughout the day.  We do not seek for long-range goals. As each obstruction seems to block the vision of our sinlessness, we seek but for surcease an instant from the misery the focus upon sin will bring, and uncorrected will remain.
  8. Nor do we ask for fantasies. For what we seek to look upon is really there. And as our focus goes beyond mistakes, we will behold a holy sinless world. When seeing this is all we want to see, when this is all we seek for in the name of true perception, are the eyes of Christ inevitably ours. And the love He feels for us becomes our own as well. This will become the only thing we see reflected in the world and in ourselves.
  9. The world which once proclaimed our sins becomes a proof that we are sinless and our love for everyone we look upon attest to our remembrance of the holy Self which knows no sin, and never could conceive of anything without its sinlessness. We seek for this remembrance as we turn our minds to practicing today. We look neither ahead nor backwards. We look straight into the present.  And we give our trust to the experience we ask for now. Our sinlessness is but the Will of God. This instant is our willing one with His.[1]
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Personal Notes and Application:   Last year when I was first studying the Course lessons, I understood that, basically, my mind was being trained to think with love, acceptance, guiltlessness toward God, toward myself, and toward mankind.  By lesson 181, I had concluded that studying A Course in Miracles was not going to give me a magical experience; Jesus was not going to float down from the heavens, come into my heart, fill me with ecstasy, and transform me into a holy being.  I would have to ask, I would have to show, and I would have to practice my willingness to “give up” hatred, ill will, resentment, judgments, superiority/inferiority, jealousy, old wounds, imagined wounds, sad stories, sorrowful stories, false prophesies, a know-it-all attitude, bluff, arrogance, and littleness – and exchange it bit by bit for tiny holy instants of innocence, purity, goodwill, blessing, forgiveness, and Atonement. 

A Course in Miracles is the path that I chose to prepare our minds for the Kingdom of God.  A Course in Miracles explains why the traditional ways we have interpreted the gospel, revered some sages and “saints,” while castigating and torturing others, saved certain manuscripts and texts and called them holy, adopted and cherished false idols and wrongful images of God have stunted our minds, blinded our vision, and keep us in a prolonged state of separation from the very one Who promises us unity, love, and everlasting peace.  Today Jesus tells us that we must know the blocks to our attainment of the Kingdom of God in order to recognize them and put them aside. 

I had expected a miracle – as in a cloud of holiness, purity, and innocence that would sweep through me in an instant and change me, and I was a little disappointed that it was more than that – that I had to be prepared, I had to practice, I had to have things explained to me in a way that I could understand.  I thought that I was through with school, but here I was again, learning what had befallen us, the deception that has tricked and seduced and held us captive, and how we cannot escape it on our own.  Our human brains are designed to keep us trapped in this nightmare, and if we want to wake up and make our return to our Home, we cannot rely upon the very ideas, systems, and vision which has held us as slaves to its manipulations and dramas since time began.   

We must answer God’s call from within.  We have to reach for the truth.  God cannot come to a lie and make it real.  God does not come into a dream of death and despair and somehow work to take what is only a lie, an illusion, a nightmare and fix it up pretty so that it is more tolerable to us.  We must come to understand that the whole thing is a lie, that time itself is an illusion, that we are Sons of God and not sons of man. 

When we practice trusting in our brothers and seeing them as one with us, we are putting our faith in God and in God’s way of thinking.  In the world we are accustomed to seeing each other as separate beings, living separate lives, accomplishing separate things. We are used to building trust with those who look like us, think like us, and share the same values.  We are used to mistrusting those who look different, think different, and have a different set of values.  We embrace some brothers and take up arms against others.  This is how it is done here.  The harder you try to bring peace to this world, to change the nature of this world, to make the separation real and everlasting, the worse it becomes.  You trade one offense for thousands more. 

You can carry your signs and banners, you can lecture all your friends on Facebook about social justice and racial inequality, you can vote for this one and start a campaign of hatred and blame toward another for not agreeing with you, but you will only cause more unrest, more war, more injustice. 

When we focus upon the “sins” and failings of others, anger comes to block our return to God. We cannot enter into the peace of mind and the everlasting joy and love of God as long as we look upon the behaviors of those who do things that hurt, worry, and offend us through the eyes of fear.  We must embrace a new understanding of what this world is, what happens here, and why we are here. 

We are here to end the separation.  We are here to establish unity and oneness with God.  We are here to trust our brothers who are one with us.  This is not a fantasy, this is not mind games, this is not wishful thinking.  This is the reality of Christ.  When all we want to see is how holy and precious are our brothers, when we recognize the truth of Christ’s perception, this will become the only thing we see reflected in the world and in ourselves. 

Today practice this holy approach a little while.  Meditate upon it.  Ask Holy Spirit to bless your encounters and interactions with your brothers and teach you to trust in Him and in them.  Here our eyes are trained on attack and defense; in God we have the eyes of love and devotion.  Here we are steeped in thoughts of sin and shame; in God we know our sinlessness is His Will and God’s Will is done. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 181. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Introduction Lessons 181-200

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Introduction to Lessons 181-200

  1. Our next few lessons make a special point of firming up your willingness to make your weak commitment strong; your scattered goals blend into one intent.  You are not asked for total dedication all the time as yet.  But you are asked to practice now in order to attain the sense of peace such unified commitment will bestow, if only intermittently.  It is experiencing this that makes it sure that you will give your total willingness to following the way the course sets forth.
  2. Our lessons now are geared specifically to widen horizons, and direct approaches to the special blocks that keep your vision narrow and too limited to let you see the value of our goal.  We are attempting now to lift theses blocks, however briefly.  Words alone can not convey the sense of liberation which their lifting brings.  But the experience of freedom and of peace that comes as you give up your tight control of what you see speaks for itself.  Your motivation will be so intensified that words become of little consequence.  You will be sure of what you want, and what is valueless.
  3. And so we start our journey beyond words by concentrating first on what impedes your progress still.  Experience of what exists beyond defensiveness remains beyond achievement while it is denied.  It may be there, but you cannot accept its presence.  So now we attempt to go past all defenses for a little while each day.  No more than this is asked, because no more than this is needed.  It will be enough to guarantee the rest will come.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:   Today Jesus introduces us to the next 20 days of lessons which will firm our commitment and blend our scattered goal into one holy intent.  Patiently, Jesus awaits our full dedication to His goal for us.  Not too much is expected of us, we are only to practice each day loosening our affection for that which has no value and giving our full devotion to that which is everlasting. 

Our Course is designed to bring awareness to the falsities of the world, the ways in which the dream of separation has made our sojourn in time seem our only hope and our only chance to live, to breath, to enjoy our being.  Here we believe what we think we see with our physical eyes – but Jesus is asking us to get beyond this limitation.  To choose to see with the vision of Christ fills our beings with an unspeakable sense of joy, peace, freedom, and adventure.  The vision of Christ gives us the ability to know what we want and to know the difference between what has value and what has none!

The next twenty days we will start our journey to that which words cannot convey by focusing on the issues that are holding us back.  As long as we do not realize the impediments to our healed vision, as long as we hold fast to that which blinds us, as long as we are afraid to put our trust in God, or believe in His love and devotion toward us, we will never see or accept the great store of riches, the treasures, the everlasting love and joy and peace that He has in store for us. 

So from today – June 30th through July 19th, Jesus asks us to devote ourselves to the lesson idea for the day.  This will help us get past all the defenses that our egos, the usurper, the stranger within, has erected to block us from knowing who and what we really are, why we are here, and how we can return to our Creator. 

This is all it takes.  A little while each day, and the rest will come – and that is a guarantee. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Introduction to Lessons 181-200. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 180 Review of Lessons 169 and 170

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW V God is Love, and therefore so am I.

LESSON 180

  1. (169)  By grace I live. By grace I am released.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  2. (170)  There is no cruelty in God and none in me.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.[1]

Daily Prayer for Review V:

Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You.  We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our practicing as does a father lead a child along a way he does not understand.  Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

So do we bring our practicing to You.  And if we stumble, You will raise us up.  If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering.  We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

Notes and Personal Application: As we say the words in Lesson 169’s lesson idea, realize that it is God’s Grace that has allowed us to leave His Kingdom in a dream state, but continue as we were created.  It is His Grace, not the world’s technology, that has simulated the separation so that we can dream and dream again the lessons we must learn from leaving His Kingdom of Love and making a world which grows old in time, a world where nothing lasts, a world of preying upon Creation instead of loving Creation. 

It is by God’s grace that the hell we have made is only a simulation, and it is God’s grace that we awaken to find that it is not real, that our lives do not end in death but in life everlasting, that we are released from the hell of our vain imaginings and return to our Father as pure and holy as when He created us. 

Be thankful for God’s grace.  Jesus tells us in lesson 169 that grace is not something that can be learned.  Grace is not the goal of A Course in Miracles.  However, the goal of our Course prepares us to accept God’s grace, to awaken from this dream of death and fear, to answer the call of God in our hearts and in our minds.  Our Course lessons and the text of A Course in Miracles helps us to become aware of things we do not know about ourselves, readies us to accept another state of being completely different from the experience of our humanity.  Our human brains cannot begin to grasp the meaning of oneness with God.  And yet it is God’s grace which calls to us, to waken from the dream of separation and specialness in which we made the world.  It is grace and the experiences that come from grace that allows us to live in the dream and be released from the dream; it is grace that allows us to share with others and see their release as well.

What better release than to realize the lesson idea presented in Lesson 170 – There is no cruelty in God and none in me.  There is no meanness in God.  The things we were taught about Him preparing a place of eternal happiness for the goody-goodies of the world and preparing a place of eternal fire and brimstone for the rest of us – are not the least bit true.  One of the main reasons that Jesus was crucified on the cross was because He told the truth about God.  He is our loving Father, the Good Shepherd, the One who cares about the sparrows.  Our Father never ordained that we prey upon each other’s flesh, let alone demand blood and meat sacrifices to appease His rage. There is no cruelty in God and there is no cruelty in us.

If you have been worshipping a cruel god, today Jesus urges us to look at our beliefs with dispassion.  Cruelty has no place in the character of God.  God is God and nothing can stand against Him.  If cruel god’s lips are smeared with blood and fire seems to burst forth from him, this god is an idol.  It will never bring you everlasting joy, peace, and love.  It cannot give you refuge.  It has no real power.  Cruel god is not your personal warrior and it will never vanquish your enemies.  Gods of cruelty are humanity’s nightmares, made to keep you in fear and bondage and keep you from your Father’s love.    

Recognizing this may be a shock to our systems, but it is our release from slavery.  For until we see the cruel god for exactly what it is, we can not lay it aside and recognize our true God and His great and abiding love for us.  We will continue to believe that cruelty can somehow defend us, save us, and make all our fears go away.  We will continue to believe in a god that makes enemies of his creations and does not accept responsibility for the ways in which they went wrong.  We will put our trust in fear and fear God instead of love Him. 

However, when we see God as Love, we are no longer burdened by the world; we no longer look through its blind eyes, but we see with the vision of Christ.  When we choose God instead of the false gods of cruelty and madness that the world’s religions offer us, our hearts and minds are filled with everlasting peace for when God is love, we are love.  We can trust in Him.  He will not let us to our own devices.  He has a plan and Creation is restored. 

Our prayer then becomes: 

Dear Father, we are like You.  We are not cruel because You are not cruel.  Your peace is ours.  When others point their fingers in accusation of how mean we are, how insensitive, how racist, and sexist and unjust – we are not tempted to agree with them, for we know who we are and what we are in You.  We bless the world.  We make our brothers one with us.  We fulfill our function in Your plan of salvation as we have received it from You.  We give thanks for all of Your creation because in Creation we see Your glory, and in Creation we find our peace.  We are holy because Your holiness has set us free from the deceptions and temptations of the world and all that would bind us to brutal humanity.  Thank you, Father.  In Jesus name.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 180. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 179 Review Lessons 169 and 170

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW V God is Love, and therefore so am I.

LESSON 179

  1. (167)  There is one life, and that I share with God.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  2. (168)  Your grace is given me.  I claim it now.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.[1]

Daily Prayer for Review:

Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You.  We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our practicing as does a father lead a child along a way he does not understand.  Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

So do we bring our practicing to You.  And if we stumble, You will raise us up.  If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering.  We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

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Personal Notes and Application:  As we review Lesson 167, There is one life and that I share with God, Jesus reminds us that it does not matter that there appears to be death in this world – it simply does not exist.  Nothing in time is real – it passes away into nothingness as soon as it begins – it is impossible for anything to really exist in time because time itself is not real.  Our whole experiences in the world of time then, can be likened to a dream, an imaginary state, a virtual reality where once awakened, the mind, our eternal spirits, continue as we always have – safe in the one life that we share with God. 

Jesus calls upon us to wake up to this fact.  We were created in unity of life, He reminds us, nothing, not even death can separate us from the Source of life from which we came.  As we wake up and accept the truth about ourselves, about God, about our Holiness in Christ we no longer need to be coaxed or persuaded into forsaking death in all its forms – we have no interest in it and we no longer believe in the reality of anything that does not pertain to our life in God.

In Lesson 168, we claim the grace that God gives us.  He is our Father.  He is available to us.  He answers when we call.  We call to Him because we know His Love and are certain of His devotion to us.  No longer do we try to serve a god we fear, someone we must grovel before and chastise our humanity.  There is no god who holds our mistakes against us, who terrorizes us with thoughts of hell and damnation, who would let His Son be tortured throughout eternity.  These are lies that are taught to us to control and manipulate us, to keep us from our true heritage in God, to keep us from knowing and experiencing His grace. 

God’s gift of grace restores the memory of Him to our sleeping minds, God’s gift of grace restores the certainty of the meaning of His love.  Ask Him today to give you the means by which this world will disappear, and vision will come.  And after vision, Jesus promises, we will know.  It is God’s grace that gives us light that covers our world with love.  We can watch every single fear disappear from every face as hearts rise up and take the light as their own. 

God’s grace is ours.  We claim it today. 

We come to you, Father.  And You come to those who ask.  We are the Son You love.  In Jesus name.  Amen.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 179. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 178 Review of Lesson 165 and 166

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW V God is Love, and therefore so am I.

LESSON 178

  1. (165)  Let not my mind deny the Thought of God. God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  2. (166)  I am entrusted with the gifts of God.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.[1]

Daily Prayer for Review:

Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You.  We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our practicing as does a father lead a child along a way he does not understand.  Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

So do we bring our practicing to You.  And if we stumble, You will raise us up.  If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering.  We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

Photo credit: http://www.123rf.com

Personal Notes and ApplicationAs we review Lesson 165 today, let us remember where our safety and peace, our joy and healing, our peace of mind, our rest, and our calm awakening abide!  In order to have the gifts of God, we must abandon all else as worthless in comparison to them.  To keep our blessings from our Father, we must make sure that we keep our mind focused upon and abiding in the Thought of God. 

All around our physical life in this world are temptations to deny the Thought of God.  On Friday, one of my cousins whom I was so close to as a little girl, was killed instantly in a head-on car crash.  Donnie was one of my best friends as a preschooler.  I can still remember spending the night at his house and getting off the school bus at each other’s houses.  We played for hours in the sandbox and sitting at the kitchen table playing with homemade dough.  In first grade, I got into trouble for helping him with his worksheets – I had been taught to help my neighbors and the teacher had not explained the concept of cheating to either one of us.  Donnie and I grew apart over the years – he had his life and I had mine, but once in a while, when we were outside working, he would stop as he was going by in his dark blue truck just to chat.  Now he has died, suddenly and what would seem like tragically.  His days on earth as a son, father, uncle, cousin, and friend are over and he will be missed greatly by those who loved and depended upon him. 

And yet, Jesus tells us that we are not to let thoughts of death and misery obscure the perfect happiness and eternal life that our Father has for us.  We are not to let the world tempt us to see through the eyes of the stranger, who would have us sob and groan over our dearly departed loved ones, but rather hold fast and be happy because we see with the vision of Christ. 

Heaven is ours for the asking – right now, today.  It comes whether we believe in it or not.  There is no trick to this.  Christ is not holding out Heaven and then taking it back because we do not believe in it enough.  We simply ask and it is given to us.  The faith lies in the asking.  We say to our Father, You are Reality and therefore this world and all that is in it, cannot be real.  The only thing that is real about this world is that it is a simulation, it is a trick to believe in a God we must fear instead of Love.  We want reality, Lord.  We want Heaven because we are tired of living in the lie of fear rather than the truth of love. 

When we accept God’s Heaven there is nothing on earth that can induce us to give it up.  The world has nothing that we want or need.  We see the world of time for what it is.  We are blind to its dark magic!  We know the end of every story here, every desire, every false judgment and harsh condemnation.  Like Christ, we become the saviors of the world.  We live in a state of such abundance that the depravities and the deprivations of this world can no longer trick us into denying thoughts of God. 

Our daily lessons helps us to remove all doubts which we have in God and in our certainty of His care.  We no longer fear our Father, for we know Him, and we love Him, and we know His love and devotion toward us.  We keep our thoughts fixed upon Him for our thoughts are meaningless without Him.  The worries and concerns, the births and the deaths, weddings and funerals, ups and downs and ins and outs of this world can no longer affect our trust in Him. 

As we review the next lesson idea, we realize that we can forego this world, because we have been entrusted with the gifts of God.  God’s trust in us has no limit.  He knows us as we really are.  He is not deceived by what the world has made of us.  He is not tempted to believe the lies of the ego or the ravages of time.  He knows that He is God and God’s Will must be done.  When we realize that He did not make this world, that this world is nothing but a simulation, a perverted dream, an imagined playground for all that can never be of God and therefore never be real – we have uncovered the truth of the matter. 

We know the world is not our home.  We may wander around in it for awhile until we come to our senses and like the Prodigal, head back to the place where we belong, where we are safe, where we are certain, where we know who and what we are now and forever. 

God calls to us.  He walks with us.  He knows who we are and what we are even when we have forgotten.  He knows Who He is in relation to us and knows that we are like Him.

This is the gift of God, and this is the gift we accept and share freely with Creation.  We share that God is Love.  We share that the world and all that is in it is not His Will and this is not His Creation.  We share that our humanity is not salvageable, and we do not want it to be.  We share that our spirits are made in God’s image and that happiness comes to us as we become one with Christ and recognize God’s gifts to us.  We are filled with joy, God’s joy, and now we go to share it with the world. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 178. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 177 Review Of Lessons 163 and 164

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW V God is Love, and therefore so am I.

LESSON 177

  1. (163)  There is no death.  The Son of God is free. God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  2. (164)  Now are we one with Him Who is our Source.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.[1]

Daily Prayer for Review V:

Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You.  We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our practicing as does a father lead a child along a way he does not understand.  Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

So do we bring our practicing to You.  And if we stumble, You will raise us up.  If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering.  We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Personal Notes and Application: In Lesson 163, Jesus calls for us to renounce death in all its forms.  Death is a thought that has taken different forms.  Jesus states that we often fail to recognize that in all things that tempt us to be unhappy, worried, envious, concerned with sin, with shame, with sorrow, we are reflecting upon the worship of death as savior and as a giver of release.  Thoughts of death seem mighty to the sons of man.  No matter what kind of life you live – whether you sit on your stoop and booze it up every day giving no thought at all to caring for your family or contributing to the larger community or if you go to work each day, mow your lawn, put your hard-earned money in a college fund for your kids, and donate to the church – the withered hand of death is waiting to take all life as hostage to itself. 

But Jesus calls death out as an idol, a mockery of the eternal God who promises life and love everlasting.  Death, the opposite of God, appears to be stronger than the will of God, His Will for life, eternal love, and the constancy of Heaven.  The idol we have made of death puts a headstone on the body of the holy Son of God each time any part of creation dies and seems to be no more.  No more can the dead sing praises to our eternal, loving Father, for the idol death has defeated him.  Every epitaph death writes is a witness that God is dead.  And all of those who worship death concur, bowing to the ground, whispering that death is right – God is dead, death reigns undefeated. 

There can be no compromise with such thinking.  Either death is total, and all things die, including God and His Creation, or else all things live and cannot die. 

Even the insane have a difficult time believing God is dead.  The thought itself implies that God was once alive and then willingly gave up the ghost or was defeated in battle, killed by a greater power, a stronger will.  Would God who is Life grow weary and tired and bored with it?  Could death overcome the eternal life of God and His creations as well?  This is a question that we must ask ourselves.  This is a question that bears answering. 

The worshippers of death in all its forms are filled with fear.  And yet, Jesus says there is only Life and no death.  When we see this, we are instantly released from the fear of death – we can renounce it in every form it takes.  God did not make death – death is part of the illusion of time, it is the milestone of the son of man’s perverted kingdom, made to keep the creation of God hostage to their bodies, distracted from their true identity in Christ, at home in a malignant, time-bound world ruled by dreams of madness and murder.

Pray that our eyes are blessed, that we recognize that we live and move in God alone, that we are not bodies, but rather eternal spirits.  We cannot die for death is not God’s Will.  We are like God; we are part of God forever.  Pray that we accept the Thoughts of God as our own; that our will and God’s Will are one now and forever. 

The response to this prayer is found in lesson review 164 – Now are we one with Him Who is our Source.  We are reminded that the past and the future do not exist in Christ.  The eternal present is the only time there is – for Christ looks past time.  Only faintly do the eyes of Christ behold the busy, purposeless, nothingness of the world because His sight is fixed upon the reality of Heaven. 

Christ’s vision is our vision.  Christ’s vision is His gift to us – for when we accept His gifts in our quiet practice, our time here in humanity, in the cycles of death and disease, of sin and shame, of bodies of flesh and lust for meat – grows dim while our eternal spirits that suffer no illnesses, tragedies or death, know no sin or shame, and have no vulnerable bodies with bloodthirsty tendencies – becomes us once again. 

In our quiet practice the illusions of the world fade away.  There is no holy war against its fears; its lip-smacking, back-strapping, bottom cracking desires for power, for control, for bondage, and blood simply vanish.  We need not vilify our brothers and blame them for humanity’s sorrow – we finally recognize the truth of the matter – we have made a big mistake, we followed a bad idea, we thought we could sustain ourselves on that which is not Love and Life eternal.  We thought we could make our own gods, serve our own purposes, do things our own way.  We thought we could take the love and life that belongs only to God and twist and pervert it into something else. 

Today, Jesus says our vanity is exposed for what it is.  We see the truth of the matter; the darkness is gone.  In the light of His truth, a world unfolds in perfect innocence.  Through the vision of Christ, we begin to recognize the valuable and the valueless for what they are.  We see that which is worthy of our love and devotion and all else fades away.  No worries and no fears remain.  All is made right. 

Today Jesus asks us not to judge with the mind of man but to receive judgment from beyond this world.  We take off our blindfolds.  We shake off our miseries – we realize is was only a glitch in time, a hard lesson but one that has come to an end.  We can bless the world and everyone in it for the part they played in teaching us what we needed to learn about separating ourselves from Love, cutting ourselves off from our Source, running away from our Father and thinking we knew better than He Who breathed His Life into our beings and made us His own. 

In our devotion this morning, we lay all of that the world has to offer us aside.  We clear a space in our mind to accept the vision of Christ, to accept the role that we play in the salvation of the world, to consent to God’s Way and not the highway of death, despair, and despotism.  Two by two we change the world as we acknowledge the gifts of God, as we practice in earnest, as we see through Christ’s eyes and not with the eyes of fear. 

Today we are one with Him Who is our Source again.  We return our trust to God, to life, to certainty.  We put down our arms against our brothers.  We bare our hearts to our Lord and Maker.  No more do we worship the dictates of death; we become one with God who is our life, our love, our meaning, our Source. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 177. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 176 Review of Lessons 161 and 162

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW V God is Love, and therefore so am I.

LESSON 176

  1. (161)  Give me your blessing, holy Son of God. God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  2. (162)  I am as God created me.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.[1]

Daily Prayer for Review V:

Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You.  We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our practicing as does a father lead a child along a way he does not understand.  Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

So do we bring our practicing to You.  And if we stumble, You will raise us up.  If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering.  We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

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Personal Notes and Application:  We are taking a stand against our anger toward others when we ask them for a blessing and refer to them as a holy Son of God.  In this lesson we learned that one brother stands for all brothers, for in God we are one.  In our bodies, we seem separate and distinct; in God’s eyes we are one and we are love.  In bodies, we are colored in different shades of skin, eyes, and hair.  Our body structures are all slightly different.  We are prone to like and trust others who look and smell and share similar traits; to dislike and distrust those who look and smell and have different traits than us.  Politically, people want to deny this, to say that this is a condition that must be learned, but this is simply not so, and we need to be truthful about it in order to face the truth about humanity.  We have evolved to protect and cherish that which is like us and to war against that which is not like us. 

Today Jesus is asking us to go beyond our evolved human forms – our cherished grudges, to step out of the fear and anger toward others whom we have blamed and projected all manner of evil upon.  He requires that we choose one brother in particular to symbolize those who have caused us pain and ask this holy Son of God to bless us.  When we ask this symbol for a blessing, we are asking of him our salvation.  As we picture his face, his hands and feet, his clothing, his gestures we are to recognize that the blame and shame we are imagining about him conceals Christ from us.  We are to say to our symbolic holy brother:  Give me your blessing, O Holy Son of God.  I would behold you with the eyes of Christ and see my perfect sinlessness in you.

There were all these people that I had grudges and resentments toward.  I blamed my mother for ruining me as a child with her madness and inappropriate practices and teachings. I blamed my sister for spreading discord in the family, holding me accountable for her own failings to love and to accept certain people.  I blamed my first husband for abandoning me and leaving me with a child to raise; I blamed my beloved niece for running off with her jailbird lover when my daughter died, leaving me worried, while beside myself with grief; I blamed an ex-boyfriend for misleading me with his vows of eternal love while all the while he was consorting with a couple of married women on the side!  There were countless others who paraded about in my mind as my sworn enemies, friends who had lied to me, family members who had mocked my efforts to become something, coworkers who took credit for my work, people who seemed intent on keeping me in a place where they could control and manipulate me.  There were those who had snubbed me, clubbed me, or dubbed me as less than.   It was difficult to find one person to symbolize them all, but I finally settled upon one and she became my savior, she turned from devil into Christ simply by performing this exercise.  When we see another with the vision of Christ, we realize that we are all the Son of God, at one with Christ, that salvation does not separate us, but rather unites us. 

So lesson idea 162, “I am as God created me,” naturally follows.  If those who have caused me to be angry and fearful are one with Christ, I am also as God created me – holy, pure, sinless, and good.  I am not my human form.  I am not the character that my human form became.  I am not the role that it performed.  Me and the stranger that would usurp my identity are not one!  I am innocent, not because I allowed the stranger to convince me to forget who I am or because I let the stranger’s wrong ideas lead me astray.  I am innocent because it is a simulation, God made time as a means for us to learn the lessons of separation without it affecting our eternal Selves.

Nothing can change the fact that I am as God created me.  These words dispel the dark night; dawn has come to bless the world.  When I recognize who I am in Christ, you recognize who you are.  When you recognize who you are in Christ, the world recognizes it as well.  This is how salvation works.  Let the words of today’s lesson ring through our minds and hearts – dispelling the dark dream and welcoming the light. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 176. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 175 Review Lessons 159 and 160

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW V God is Love, and therefore so am I.

LESSON 175

  1. (159)  I give the miracles I have received.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  2. (160) I am at home. Fear is the stranger here.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.[1]

Daily Prayer for Review:

Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You.  We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our practicing as does a father lead a child along a way he does not understand.  Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

So do we bring our practicing to You.  And if we stumble, You will raise us up.  If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering.  We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Personal Notes and Application:  This morning when I woke up, there were all the thoughts from dreams, the past, and all the chores waiting me for the day all in a jumble.  The aches and pains from yesterday still with me, the tired muscles, the sore back… Garden, they say.  It is so healthful, they say, but didn’t I go and get carried away with it?  Now coupled with all the other projects we have going on around this place, I am barely able to move without something hurting.

Yet beyond the pain is such happiness and joy and excitement.  There is this love of life, this deep forgiveness for all the taxes and levies against it, the respect and awe of the miracle of it all, the joy of the green sprouts pushing up through the dirt, the wilted leaves coming alive with a drink of water, the sweet green marbles tucked all in a row within a pod. 

In lesson 159, Jesus says that the only way we can understand that we are healed is when we heal others; the only way we accept forgiveness is when we forgive others, that miracles can only be experienced when we give them to others. 

The vision of Christ is the miracle in which all miracles are born.  Jesus tells us that the vision of Christ is the bond where giver and receiver are united here on earth as they are in Heaven.  When we look upon Creation, including ourselves, with the eyes of Christ, we are sinless.  There is no grudge. There is nothing but love and forgiveness.  This has been the most difficult thing for my mind to wrap itself around, but once I got it, I am free from the grudges, resentments, and stress that had plagued me for years. 

I knew that I wanted to love and to be loved, but I did not know how to love people – including myself.  I liked others when they behaved themselves and were nice to me; I did not like them when they misbehaved and disappointed me.  Simple and uncomplicated, it was the only way I could manage relationships.  To love people was to be in a constant state of forgiveness toward them, and try as I might, it seemed impossible; I could not cope.

The vision of Christ changes this completely.  We no longer require ourselves to go through the ups and downs of special relationships designed to keep us trapped in forms and fictionalized versions of “love.”  As we free ourselves of the tentacles of what poses for love in this world, we are free to love Creation in a state of forgiveness, for with the vision of Christ, we know that this world means nothing.  All of its “likes” and “dislikes,” its little hatreds, its wars and its peace, its marriages and divorces, its mean girls and bad boys, its high priests and lowly prophetesses, its dichotomies and opposites, its justice and injustice is only a distorted, perverted echo of what is real and holy and forever. 

As we ask for and receive the vision of Christ, the world can no longer get to us.  Oh, we might flare up now and again to drive the moneychangers out of the temple, but the aches and pains, the trials, and tribulations of a dream, stay in the dream.  We know it is not real.  We know that it is our desire for specialness and spite which is responsible for all this.  We know that giving up that desire and exchanging it for the vision of Christ is the wake-up call.  This is the source of all miracles.  This is what we share in order to experience.  Share this vision with someone today!

In reviewing lesson 160 we are reminded that fear is no longer the meaning of our being.  We are no longer driven to survive in the dog-eat-dog world of humanity, snapping and snarling over the limited resources, forming tribes and clans to war against those who are different from us.  When we give up fear, we give up our defenses against the world.  When we give up our defenses against the world, we forgive it for its idea of separateness, its desire to be special, to hoard, to form cliques and clubs, to love this one and despise that one.  We forgive it everything because it was all a mistake, a bad idea, a little wrinkle in eternity that evolved in time and will end in time.

In our minds then, fear is a stranger.  We are no longer afraid.  The shortages, the injustices, the struggles for dominance and power, the blacks against the whites and the whites against the blacks, the males against the females and the females against the males, the poor against the rich and the rich against the poor – none of it matters – it is a dream of death, and it ends when we open our eyes and see it for what it is. 

While our forms may be in the world, our minds are at home, at one with God.  At home with God, we begin to understand our experience in the separation through the eyes of Christ who has awakened us.  Our stint in the madhouse of opposites is over!  For now we know who and what we are in Him.   


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 175. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 174 Review Of Lessons 157 and 158

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW V God is Love, and therefore so am I.

LESSON 174

  1. (157)  Into His Presence would I enter now.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  2. (158) Today I learn to give as I receive.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.[1]

Daily Prayer for Review:

Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You.  We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our practicing as does a father lead a child along a way he does not understand.  Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

So do we bring our practicing to You.  And if we stumble, You will raise us up.  If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering.  We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

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Personal Notes and Application:  Today we teach this lesson to learn this lesson.  Lesson 157 reminds us that it is in quietness and trust that we experience the light of Heaven and hear the echoes of eternity.  In the clamor and glamour of the world our mind is beset by celebrations that end in death, but it is the joy of life we learn to feel in our silent practice, our sacred devotion, our love, and desire for God. 

Lesson 157 reminds us to clear the inner altar of our mind of all the cluttered thoughts and distractions that the world fills it with.  Our minds become a place of serenity and peace as we sweep its altar clear of the world’s senseless distractions. Its junky trinkets and false charms no longer hold any meaning to our quiet, holy minds and Christ’s presence becomes real to us; His face smiles upon us and does not fade away from our vision. He reveals to us, here in the world of form and fiction, that which transcends and goes beyond all words and vision.  These foretastes of Heaven cannot be shared – they were not taught to us, for they are our memories of the place from which we came before our earthly exile.  There we have no questions about who and what we are because we know our Maker.  We have no question of where we came from for we are home where we belong, no longer sifting through the shifting sands of human striving and conniving.  There the theme of Review V is a given:  God is Love and therefore so am I!

In review of Lesson 158, we learn to give as we receive.  When we receive God’s love, we give God’s love.  No longer are we who we thought we were, a blighted, bloated ego, an overripe fruit rotting on the vine, twisted with pain and sorrow, spite and vengeance.  We are the Sons of God, united with Christ. We are as God created us, our humanity is but a spell, an illusion of splintered brotherhood, unholy sonship at war with one another and ourselves.  When we recognize our true identity, we can no longer look to humanity for our answer, for the cure, to make right of all its wrongs.  We can no longer hold ourselves or others accountable for what we have done and what we continue to do in darkness – for we are groping about doing the best we can to survive another day in a world designed to grind our bones to make its bread.  With this understanding of the world forgiveness comes naturally and graciously.  We can say with certainty, “It is forgiven.  It never happened.  It never was,” because what happens in a dream stays in a dream and does not affect reality one iota. 

When we remember who we are and what we are, we remind others of who they are and what they are.  When we wake up; others wake up.  We do not have to shake them awake.  We have no need to scream in their ear, preach endless sermons, quote scriptures, or get down on our knees and grovel before God for their salvation.  Our salvation is a given; God never abandons His Creations, or He would not be Love. Our only choice in the matter is how long we choose to spend spinning our wheels in time, trying to find another way than Love’s way. 

We give as we receive, with grace and love and forbearance.  God is love, and therefore so are we. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 174. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 173 Review of Lesson 155 and 156

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW V God is Love, and therefore so am I.

LESSON 173

  1. (155)  I will step back and let Him lead the way.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  2. (156) I walk with God in perfect holiness.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.[1]

Daily Prayer for Review:

Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You.  We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our practicing as does a father lead a child along a way he does not understand.  Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

So do we bring our practicing to You.  And if we stumble, you will raise us up.  If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering.  We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

Photo credit: http://www.scottish-country-dancing-dictionary.com

Personal Notes and Application:  Dear Father, we thank you for showing us to step back and let You lead the way.  We cannot do this apart from You.  We know nothing except through You.  Thank you for showing us the way through this human experience, of being born into a physical form, of learning the ropes of a game that is not holy because it is not based upon love.  Thank You, Father, for reminding us of our identity in You.  Here we are as You created us; here Your love has never left our consciousness; here we are united with You and all Creation; here we walk with You in perfect holiness.  Christ leads the way to our return to You.  


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 173. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 172 – Review of Lesson 153 and 154

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW V God is Love, and therefore so am I.

LESSON 172

  1. (153)  In my defenselessness my safety lies.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  2. (154)  I am among the ministers of God.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.[1]

Daily Prayer for Review:

Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You.  We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our practicing as does a father lead a child along a way he does not understand.  Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

So do we bring our practicing to You.  And if we stumble, you will raise us up.  If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering.  We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

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Personal Notes and Application:  In Lesson 153, Jesus told us that it is in our defenseless where our safety lies.  In our study group recently we were talking about the defenses of the world.  When we come in to the world, vulnerable and at the mercy of our parents and all the older, stronger people around us, we must learn the ropes, the rules, the ways things roll in this confusing, upside-down version of the place from which we came.  Some of us learn the lessons of this world earlier than others, but we all must learn them because our very survival depends upon them.  Our defenses ensure that we are kept safe and feel secure in the face of those who would keep us unsafe and insecure.  We learn to play the game, we learn the perimeters, we learn skills and maneuvers, manipulations and techniques that help us to get what we want and need from the world. 

And then Jesus comes along and tells us that indeed it is our defenseless that saves us.  Salvation is a game that happy children play.  A game designed by a Creator who loves His Creations and who replaces all their guilts, fears, shame, and blame with a joyous game which bring an end to all their need of defense.  Everyone who plays the game of salvation wins and all who win ensures the gain to all.  Nobody who plays the happy game of salvation has any desire to play any other game – fear is gone, defenses are seen as needlessly cumbersome, and we realize that this world and all its disappointments, contradictions, lies, and shortcomings is nothing but a farce, a place where the Sons of God come until they remember who and what they really are.  The sea of humanity is but a mistaken dream, a simulated reality in which that which was and is and always will be one could be splintered, separated, and severed.   

Christ gives us our salvation; defenselessness is all we give in return.  We lay aside our need to protect that which we never were, to look on Christ and become one with God.

God is only Love and therefore so am I.

In lesson 154 we accept our function as ministers of God.  We no longer see ourselves as the sinful, shipwrecked fools that the ego would have us be, ashamed and sorrowful, contrite, and unworthy.  We are Sons of God and we are called, each and every one of us, to receive and to give the messages of God.  Jesus tells us in this lesson that we do not know that we have received the messages from God until we share them.  Many times we cause the time of sorrow and suffering to extend needlessly because we are fooled into thinking that we are not worthy to call ourselves ministers of God.  Who would listen to us after the mess we have made of things?  We may feel ourselves ill educated, unprepared, too worldly, selfish, and ruined to believe that God would have any use of us.  And yet none of that matters.  Our human experience does not define us.  There is nothing anybody could say or do to earn more or be meted less of God’s love.  God created our holy Selves and our holy Selves are in His safekeeping – nothing that we experience in the world can change this fact.  The world does its best to keep this fact from our awareness.  The world will tell us all kinds of lies about ourselves; the world will teach us perverted gospels and distorted holy books that promote God as a god of ill-intent, who would create a suffering world full of craven, fleshy creatures intent upon preying upon each other’s meat.  Many of our spiritual paths, intentionally or unintentionally, lead us down this same path – emphasizing our humanity, obscuring our true and godly Selves. 

We cannot be true ministers of God until we recognize that we are free of our humanity, our sinful natures, our lusty drives, our craven hungers, and thirsts that pose as pleasures and yet hold us captive to that which is doomed to decay.  In paragraph 13 of our lesson, we learn that our lesson is stated this way:

“I am among the ministers of God, and I am grateful that I have the means by which to recognize that I am free.” 

We have changed our mind about who and what we really are.  We will accept our only real function in the world and gladly share the gospel of Christ.  We are not flesh and blood; we are spirit and we are one with God. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 172. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 171 – Review V – Lesson 151 and 152

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REVIEW V God is Love, and therefore so am I.

LESSON 171

  1. (151)  All things are echoes of the Voice for God.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  2. (152)  The power of decision is my own.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.[1]

Daily Prayer for Review: Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You; we listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our devotional practices as a father leads his child along a way he does not understand.  Let us be that child that trusts in his father, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

This is our practice with You.  If we stumble, You will raise us up.  If we forget the way, You remind us.  Our minds may wander, but You will call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  We accept the Word You offer us to unite our practices, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

Photo by Yaroslav Danylchenko on Pexels.com

Personal Notes and Application:  We are so thankful for this review.  We have been tempted to give up our practices – it is apparent that this is an all or nothing practice.  There is no reconciliation between the body, the world, the world system, the ego – and the Kingdom of God. We cannot have both and it will not be until we make the choice for the world beyond, contenting ourselves with the world of time and illusion no more, that we will know our place in the Kingdom of God. Although we know in our hearts and in our right minds that the seeming pleasures and temporary comforts of this world have no hold upon us, we thank our Father for leading us past temptation, for raising us up when we falter.   

Thank you so much for my teacher Linda whose insights and experiences have enhanced my own learning and kept this study fresh, filled with joy and laughter.  Thank you for James who studies and practices the Course concepts with me and helps me see things that I may have missed, forgotten, or ignored.  Thank you for our fellow teachers and students who are one with us and renew and refresh our resolve to seek the Kingdom beyond this world. 

God is love and therefore so am I. 

All things we experience here in the world are echoes of the Voice for God, and even the overflowed toilet, the flooded bathroom, the late night cleanup, and the inconvenience of digging up lines and forging new pipes is only an opportunity to see past the illusions of this world and remind ourselves of Your Kingdom where such things simply do not happen! 

God is love and therefore so am I. 

The power of decision is ours to make.  It is our response to our experiences in which we choose – it is how long we take to see the world for what it is, where we exercise our free will.  Do we respond in anger, spite, indignation, and defeatism or do we respond with laughter, goodwill, a shrug of the shoulders, and the optimism of good cheer and pitching in to do our part to correct an otherwise unpleasant situation?  Do we lend a hand or cast a judgment?  Do we react with joy and laughter or do we go into rages and sputter and swagger about with umbrage – feeling ourselves too special to endure such humble bumbles? 

That Love which becomes me in God and through God and as God awaits for me as I take my steps toward the Holy Self which awaits for me at the end of this journey.  Now though I stumble and fumble, God lifts me up because He is my Father. 

God is love and therefore so am I. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 171. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

REVIEW V – Introduction

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW V Introduction

  1. We now review again.  This time we are ready to give more effort and more time to what we undertake.  We recognize we are preparing for another phase of understanding.  We would take this step completely, that we may go on again more certain, more sincere, with faith upheld more surely.  Our footsteps have not been unwavering, and doubts have made us walk uncertainly and slowly on the road this course sets forth.  But now we hasten on, for we approach a greater certainty, a firmer purpose, and a surer goal.
  2. Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You.  We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our practicing as does a father lead a child along a way he does not understand.  Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.
  3. So do we bring our practicing to You.  And if we stumble, you will raise us up.  If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering.  We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.
  4. This is the thought which should precede the thoughts that we review.  Each one but clarifies some aspect of this thought, or helps it be more meaningful, more personal and true, and more descriptive of the holy Self we share and now prepare to know again: God is but Love, and therefore so am I. This Self alone knows love.  This Self alone is perfectly consistent in Its thoughts; knows Its Creator, understands Itself, is perfect in Its knowledge and Its love, and never changes from Its constant state of union with Its Father and Itself.
  5. And it is This That waits to meet us at the journey’s ending.  Every step we take brings us a little nearer.  This review will shorten time immeasurably, if we keep in mind that This remains our goal, and as we practice it is This to Which we are approaching.  Let us raise our hearts from dust to life, as we remember This is promised us, and that this course was sent to open up the path of light to us, and teach us, step by step, how to return to the eternal Self we thought we lost.
  6. I take the journey with you.  For I share your doubts and fears a little while, that you may come to me who recognize the road by which all fears and doubts are overcome.  We walk together.  I must understand uncertainty and pain, although I know they have no meaning.  Yet a savior must remain with those he teaches, seeing what they see, but still retaining in his mind the way that led him out, and now will lead you out with him.  God’s Son is crucified until you walk along the road with me.
  7. My resurrection comes again each time I lead a brother safely to the place at which the journey ends and is forgot.  I am renewed each time a brother learns there is a way from misery and pain.  I am reborn each time a brother’s mind turns to the light in him and looks for me.  I have forgotten no one.  Help me now to lead you back to where the journey was begun, to make another choice with me.
  8. Release me as you practice once again the thoughts I brought to you from Him Who sees your bitter need and knows the answer God has given Him.  Together we review these thoughts.  Together we devote our time and effort to them.  And together we will teach them to our brothers.  God would not have Heaven incomplete.  It waits for you, as I do.  I am incomplete without your part in me.  And as I am made whole, we go together to our ancient home, prepared for us before time was and kept unchanged by time, immaculate and safe, as it will be at last when time is done.
  9. Let this review be then your gift to me.  For this alone I need; that you will hear the words I speak and give them to the world.  You are my voice, my eyes, my feet, my hands through which I save the world.  The Self from Which I call to you is but your own.  To Him we go together.  Take your brother’s hand, for this is not a way we walk alone.  In him I walk with you, and you with me.  Our Father wills His Son be one with Him.  What lives but must not then be one with you?
  10. Let this review become a time in which we share a new experience for you, yet one as old as time and older still. Hallowed your name.  Your glory undefiled forever.  And your wholeness now complete, as God established it.  You are His Son, completing His extension in your own.  We practice but an ancient truth we knew before illusion seemed to claim the world.  And we remind the world that it is free of all illusions every time we say: God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  11. With this we start each day of our review.  With this we start and end each period of practice time.  And with this thought we sleep, to waken once again with these same words upon our lips, to greet another day.  No thought that we review but we surround with it and use the thoughts to hold it up before our minds and keep it clear in our remembrance throughout the day.  And thus, when we have finished this review, we will have recognized the words we speak are true.
  12. Yet are the words but aids, and to be used, except at the beginning and the end of practice periods, but to recall the mind, as needed, to its purpose.  We place faith in the experience that comes from practice, not the means we use.  We wait for the experience and recognize that it is only here conviction lies.  We use the words and try and try again to go beyond them to their meaning, which is far beyond their sound.  The sound grows dim and disappears, as we approach the Source of meaning.  It is Here that we find rest.[1]
Photo credit: Arthur Rackham (1932)

Notes and Personal Application:  Let our hearts soar with joy and happiness as we devote our time to the built-in reviews of our previous 20 lessons.  As we allow our lesson ideas to sit on the altars of our mind, as we see them applied in learning experiences that use the circumstances, relationships, and daily happenings of our life to teach us their truth, as we continue to step away from our egos and let the Lord lead the way, let the theme of this lesson review ring in our hearts and minds.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I. 

Today you may feel far from being one with God in His Holiness, His Love, His purity!  The joy and frustrations of our earthly relationships, homes, animals, passions, jobs, and hobbies may seem to occupy the altars of our mind, crowding out thoughts of God.  Personally, our gardens and the sunny outdoors is filling my mind with keen interest; for James, his ongoing projects with solar energy, home renovations and business demands often seem to crowd out the desire for or belief in the world beyond this one.  The media and those who see the world it represents as reality seems intent on blighting the light, warmth, and unity of God’s creation from our hearts and minds.  That said, it would be impossible to keep our altars clear of the attractions and distractions of this world if Christ did not lead the way! 

Taking time for our devotional practices, looking upon our review of our lesson ideas not as a duty or obligation but as a joy and the key to our release from bondage, quieting our minds and clearing our altars for these moments of dedication to the Lord raises our hearts from dust to life.  The path of light opens up to us, teaches us, and draws us back to our real and eternal Self one step at a time.  There we are one with God, we are part of the “we” and the “us” of Creation.  God did not create us to hold His power and authority and His gifts above us, to flaunt and taunt and make Himself to be worshipped and catered to for eternity.  He is not some earthly tyrant who wants to be placated with hypnotic chants and memorized phrases of how big and strong and beautiful He is.  He created us to share in His Gifts, His Will, to become Him as He became us.  Heaven is incomplete without each one of us.  Jesus is calling to us to wake up from this leave of our senses where we have feared instead of loved God, where we have made Him to be a split mind, a divided deity whose vengeance can only be appeased by blood or impossible demands.  Jesus calls to us to come forth from this “time-out” where we play out the dream of fear.  Wake up, He says. 

I am reminded of the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes – all it took was for one little lad to speak the truth, and then the others saw the situation for what it was!  Jesus is simply telling us be like that brave little fellow, refused to be taken in by the lies, to be bullied into silence, to let the voice for fear override the Voice for God.

In paragraphs two and three we have an opening prayer for our morning and evening reviews.  Putting this prayer into our own words, we use this prayer to clear the altars of our mind, knowing we cannot keep our mind from meandering on our own.  Here in the miscreation of time, our neurons serve fear, cherish conflict, and keep our minds occupied on things of this world, geared for attack and defense against the mind of Christ.  We have no need to be ashamed of this or beat ourselves up for not being more holy.  Being human is not and never will be a holy experience.  Jesus asks us only to recognize this fact.  When we practice the quietness and stillness required to hear the Voice for God, we begin to make it ours.  When we stumble, He helps us get up again.  When we forget, He reminds us.  When we meander off, He calls us back.  Our true and eternal Self is at the end of this dream of time, beckoning to us to not delay, to not get caught up in the world of time, to see it for what it is and return to God, Who is Love and to the Self Who is one with Him. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Review V, Introduction. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 170 There Is No Cruelty In God And None In Me

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 170 There Is No Cruelty in God and None in Me

  1. No one attacks without intent to hurt.  This can have no exception.  When you think that you attack in self-defense, you mean that to be cruel is protection; you are safe because of cruelty.  You mean that you believe to hurt another brings you freedom.  And you mean that to attack is to exchange the state in which you are for something better, safer, more secure from dangerous invasion, and from fear.
  2. How thoroughly insane is the idea that to defend from fear is to attack!  For here is fear begot and fed with blood, to make it grow and swell and rage.  And thus is fear protected, not escaped.  Today we learn a lesson which can save you more delay and needless misery than you can possibly imagine.  It is this: You make what you defend against, and by your own defense against it is it real and inescapable.  Lay down your arms, and only then do you perceive it false.
  3. It seems to be the enemy without that you attack.  Yet your defense sets up an enemy within; an alien thought at war with you, depriving you of peace, splitting your mind into two camps which seem wholly irreconcilable.  For love now has an “enemy,” an opposite; and fear, the alien, now needs your defense against the threat of what you really are.
  4. If you consider carefully the means by which your fancied self-defense proceeds on its imagined way, you will perceive the premises on which the idea stands.  First, it is obvious ideas must have their source, for it is you who make attack, and must have first conceived of it.  Yet you attack outside yourself and separate your mind from him who is to be attacked, with perfect faith the split you made is real.
  5. Next, are the attributes of love bestowed upon its “enemy.” For fear becomes your safety and protector of your peace, to which you turn for solace and escape from doubts about your strength, and hope of rest in dreamless quiet.  And as love is shorn of what belongs to it and it alone, love is endowed with attributes of fear.  For love would ask you lay down all defense as merely foolish, and your arms indeed would crumble into dust.  For such they are.
  6. With love as enemy, must cruelty become a god.  And gods demand that those who worship them obey their dictates and refuse to question them.  Harsh punishment is meted out relentlessly to those who ask if the demands are sensible or even sane.  It is their enemies who are unreasonable and insane, while they are always merciful and just.
  7. Today we look upon this cruel god dispassionately.  And we note that though his lips are smeared with blood, and fire seems to flame from him, he is but made of stone.  He can do nothing.  We need not defy his power.  He has none.  And those who see in him their safety have no guardian, no strength to call upon in in danger, and no mighty warrior to fight for them.
  8. This moment can be terrible.  But it can also be the time of your release from abject slavery.  You make a choice, standing before this idol, seeing him exactly as he is.  Will you restore to love what you have sought to wrest from it and lay before this mindless piece of stone?  Or will you make another idol to replace it?  For the god of cruelty takes many forms.  Another can be found.
  9. Yet do not think that fear is the escape from fear.  Let us remember what the text has stressed about the obstacles to peace.  The final one, the hardest to believe is nothing, and a seeming obstacle with the appearance of a solid block, impenetrable, fearful and beyond surmounting, is the fear of God Himself.  Here is the basic premise which enthrones the thought of fear as god.  For fear is loved by those who worship it, and love appears to be infested now with cruelty.
  10. Where does the totally insane belief in gods of vengeance come from?  Love has not confused its attributes with those of fear.  Yet must the worshippers of fear perceive their own confusion in fear’s “enemy;” its cruelty is now a part of love.  And what becomes more fearful than the Heart of Love Itself?  The blood appears to be upon His Lips, the fire comes from Him.  And He is terrible above all else, cruel beyond conception, striking down all who acknowledge Him to be their God.
  11. The choice you make today is certain.  For you look for the last time upon this bit of carven stone you made and call it god no longer.  You have reached this place before, but you have chosen that this cruel god remain with you in still another form.  And so the fear of God returned with you.  This time you leave it there.  And you return to a new world, unburdened by its weight; beheld not in its sightless eyes, but in the vision that your choice restored to you.
  12. Now do your eyes belong to Christ, and He looks through them.  Now your voice belongs to God and echoes His.  And now your heart remains at peace forever.  You have chosen Him in place of idols, and your attributes, given by your Creator, are restored to you at last.  The Call for God is heard and answered.  Now has fear made way for love, as God Himself replaces cruelty.[1]
Photo by Josh Willink on Pexels.com

Note and Personal Application:  Today Jesus expounds upon the idea that there is nothing to fear in God for God is love.  Loving God and fearing God is not the same thing – in fact, it is impossible to love and fear God or anyone else at the same time.  There is no cruelty in God and therefore nothing to fear in Him.  God’s Will is always for our supreme happiness, our comfort, our joy.  He gives us peace.  There is no peace outside of God’s Will.  Outside of God’s Will is the god of fear.

When we worship the god of fear we may say we love God, but the truth is far from us.  For we have smeared God’s reputation with the blood of our brothers whom we would smite in God’s name and call it holy.  When we worship fear as god, we devise cruel ways in which to kill our brothers, to attack them, to cause them sorrow and shame and we call it defense.  When we embrace fear and call it love, we subjugate others to our will and call it God’s Will.  We get ourselves into a frenzy and point fingers and blame others, taking up placards and marching against those who are evil, because we are afraid to look at our dirty, cluttered altars and bring our own darkness to light.  We are so afraid that God will deny us heaven, will send us to the fiery pit, will abandon us to those who would make our lives a living hell, that we forget that none of this can be true.  There is no cruelty in God, and all we must do to escape this illusion of fear, of darkness, of attack and defense taking the place of love is to remember this.

Today Jesus is urging us to put aside all these vain ideas about God once and for all.  God is Love; His thoughts toward us are of love and we have no need to worship a god of fear, of bloodshed, of vengeance, and spite.  These hateful ideas of our Creator are insane; they bring sorrow and suffering to those who believe in such lies, who practice cruelty in the name of God, and lead others into paths of bondage and oppression.  We will no longer sing hymns or recite scriptures that depict our Father as making enemies of the brotherhood of Christ, who craves bloodshed, demands sacrifices, and has favorites.  We will no longer blame our Creator for the unholy world, a blip in time, devised by the wayward minds of God’s wayward sons, who have taken on a human form to make a world of fear and limitations in place of the kingdom of God.  We will no longer form allegiances with the princes of this world who would lead us to fear God instead of love Him, who would bid us take up arms against another rather than seek to unite and remember our brotherhood. 

We bring our love for cruelty and hostility to our inner altar, Father, and we lay it down once and for all before You.  We are like You.  No cruelty abides in us, for there is none in You.  Your peace is ours.  We bless the world with the love we have received from You alone.  Once again, we choose to love our brothers, knowing that no matter what it may appear, they are one with us, we are not whole without them.  When we are saved, they are saved.  We are not saved alone.  And for this we are so grateful, for Your Kingdom would be incomplete without all of us.  Instead of seeing enemies in our brother, we see Your glory.  Instead of going to war, we find in them Your peace.  We are holy because we are like You, and holiness has set us free from our identity in the flesh to one of spirit and wholeness.  Thank you, Father.  In Jesus name.  Amen.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 170. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). 

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 169 By Grace I Live. By Grace I Am Released.

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 169 By Grace I Live.  By Grace I am Released.

  1. Grace is an aspect of the Love of God which is most like the state prevailing in the unity of truth.  It is the world’s most lofty aspiration, for it leads beyond the world entirely.  It is past learning, yet the goal of learning, for grace cannot come until the mind prepares itself for true acceptance.  Grace becomes inevitable instantly in those who have prepared a table where it can be gently laid and willingly received, an altar clean and holy for the gift.
  2. Grace is acceptance of the Love of God within a world of seeming hate and fear.  By grace alone the hate and fear are gone, for grace presents a state so opposite to everything the world contains, that those whose minds are lighted by the gift of grace can not believe the world of fear is real.
  3. Grace is not learned.  The final step must go beyond all learning.  Grace is not the goal this course aspires to attain.  Yet we prepare for grace in that an open mind can hear the Call to waken.  It is not shut tight against God’s Voice.  It has become aware that there are things it does not know, and thus is ready to accept a state completely different from experience with which it is familiarly at home.
  4. We have perhaps appeared to contradict our statement that the revelation of the Father and the Son as one has been already set.  But we have also said the mind determines when that time will be and has determined it.  And yet we urge you to bear witness to the Word of God to hasten the experience of truth and speed its advent into every mind that recognizes truth’s effects on you.
  5. Oneness is simply the idea God is.  And in His Being, He encompasses all things.  No mind holds anything but Him.  We say, “God is,” and then we cease to speak, for in that knowledge words are meaningless.  There are no lips to speak them, and no part of mind sufficiently distinct to feel that it is now aware of something not itself.  It has united with its Source.  And like its Source Itself, it merely is.
  6. We cannot speak nor write nor even think of this at all.  It comes to every mind when total recognition that its will is God’s has been completely given and received completely.  It returns the mind into the endless present, where the past and future cannot be conceived.  It lies beyond salvation, past all thought of time, forgiveness, and the holy face of Christ.  The Son of God has merely disappeared into his Father, as his Father has in him.  The world has never been at all.  Eternity remains a constant state.
  7. This is beyond experience we try to hasten.  Yet forgiveness, taught and learned, brings with it the experiences which bear witness that the time the mind itself determined to abandon all but this is now at hand.  We do not hasten it, in that what you will offer was concealed from Him Who teaches what forgiveness means.
  8. All learning was already in His Mind, accomplished and complete.  He recognized all that time holds and gave it to all minds that each one might determine, from a point where time was ended, when it is released to revelation and eternity.  We have repeated several times before that you but make a journey that is done.
  9. For oneness must be here.  Whatever time the mind has set for revelation is entirely irrelevant to what must be a constant state, forever as it always was; forever to remain as it is now.  We merely take the part assigned long since, and fully recognized as perfectly fulfilled by Him Who wrote salvation’s script in His Creator’s Name, and in the Name of His Creator’s Son.
  10. There is no need to further clarify what no one in the world can understand.  When revelation of your oneness comes, it will be known and fully understood.  Now we have work to do, for those in time can speak of things beyond, and listen to words which explain what is to come is past already.  Yet what meaning can the words convey to those who count the hours still, and rise and work and go to sleep by them?
  11. Suffice it, then, that you have work to do to play your part.  The ending must remain obscure to you until your part is done.  It does not matter.  For your part is still what all the rest depends on.  As you take the role assigned to you, salvation comes a little nearer each uncertain heart that does not beat as yet in tune with God.
  12. Forgiveness is the central theme that runs throughout salvation, holding all its parts in meaningful relationships, the course it runs directed and its outcome sure.  And now we ask for grace, the final gift salvation can bestow.  Experience that grace provides will end in time, for grace foreshadows Heaven, yet does not replace the thought of time but for a little while.
  13. The interval suffices.  It is here that miracles are laid; to be returned by you from holy instants you receive, through grace in your experience, to all who see the light that lingers in your face.  What is the face of Christ but his who went a moment into timelessness, and brought a clear reflection of the unity he felt an instant back to bless the world?  How could you finally attain to it forever, while a part of you remains outside, unknowing, unawakened, and in need of you as witness to the truth?
  14. Be grateful to return, as you were glad to go an instant, and accept the gifts that grace provided you.  You carry them back to yourself.  And revelation stands not far behind.  Its coming is ensured.  We ask for grace, and for experience that comes from grace.  We welcome the release it offers everyone.  We do not ask for the unaskable.  We do not look beyond what grace can give.  For this we can give in the grace that has been given us. 
  15. Our learning goal today does not exceed this prayer.  Yet in the world, what could be more than what we ask this day of Him Who gives the grace we ask, as it was given Him?

By grace I live.  By grace I am released.

By grace I give.  By grace I will release.[1]

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Notes and Personal Application:  By grace I live.  By grace I am released.  By grace I give.  By grace I will release.  This lesson speaks of time as if it has already ended, that all the things to come are already over and done with and yet there is work to do here, in time, and that I have and you have and everybody has their part to play.  It is as if the story is unfolding to be re-enacted until all have received that holy grace that the lesson is talking about.  Verse 14 reminds me of my own experiences with the world beyond, the precious love that I experienced in 1992 and for months thereafter, that experience of divine and everlasting love that changed my life, exposed the ego for what it was, and gave me an eternal longing for something that was beyond this world.  And the vision I had of Manda who said she is working day and night and developing words for us to express most subtle feelings and emotions and thoughts. “Be grateful to return, as you were glad to go an instant, and accept the gifts that grace provided you.  You carry them back to yourself…” Jesus says. 

He is saying, Eckie, be happy to return to the world of time, as happy as you were to go an instant and accept those precious gifts that grace provided you.  You carry them back to yourself…”  And then He goes on: “Revelation stands not far behind.  Its coming is ensured.  We ask for grace and for experience that comes from grace.”  (Experiences that come from grace reminds me of those visions and encounters that give us hope and reality – for example, the vision of myself as the older and certain mother who had had breakfast that morning with the lovely Manda.  It was so real that I just knew that it had happened and that this older version of myself was, with grace, giving me a present, and telling me about it.[2]  Jesus goes on, “We welcome the release it offers everyone.”  It is not for ourselves alone.  Each time we share the stories of these experiences, another mind is enlightened and released! 

“We do not ask for the unaskable.  We do not look beyond what grace can give.  For this we can give in the grace that has been given us.”  And I think that this is critical for me to get and you to get and all of us to fully understand.  We do not ask for the unaskable.  We do not have to know everything, because it is not for us to know everything yet.  We would have no experience and no capability to understand it all – all we must know is that we are to forgive and to be happy with the gifts of grace that have been given us.  We do not have to exceed this prayer.  We can trust that we are given exactly what is needed and to be faithful with that and do not sit about and waste our time trying vainly to figure out how things are that have not yet been given us.  We can say and pray and share this all we can today until our oneness with God is complete:  BY GRACE I LIVE.  BY GRACE I AM RELEASED.  BY GRACE I GIVE.  BY GRACE I WILL RELEASE.

And so for today – for what is pertinent to me this very day, by grace I live, by grace I am released from all that would trouble and torment here on earth.  The fear of lifelessness, meanness and rejection that would cower in my heart and mind when I think of family members and friends who are estranged from me. Grace releases me from the fear of racism, of privilege, of poverty, of prosperity, of old age, of youth, of suffering and sickness, of health, of not being as good as others, of being better than others.  I am released by grace from every mean and fearful thought that I held toward others for the loveless things they have said and done.  I am released, forgiven, and my slate and their slate is clean.  I am released because I live by the grace of God.  The grace of God releases me from the world of hate and fear.  By grace only love, peace, and joy, the good and salvageable will be remembered; all else forgotten never to be brought up again.  By grace we live in a realm where no memory except that which has everlasting value and worth will be cherished..  It is by this grace we give and by this grace we release ourselves and others who would fear, hate, and hide from the oneness and holiness of God.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 169. Foundation of Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2]A spiritual encounter of my older self visiting my younger self – coming to the door, presenting as an older, wiser, more astute version of myself.  She greeted me with warmth and kindness and told me not to worry about my daughter.  This older me had had breakfast with Manda that morning.  The older me assured me that Manda was lovely beyond words and happy doing what she was created to do.  Manda understood the loops of time and was able to send the future me to tell the present me of her love, joy, and liberty.

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 168 Your Grace Is Given Me. I Claim It Now.

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 168 Your Grace is Given Me.  I Claim It Now.

  1. God speaks to us. Shall we not speak to Him? He is not distant. He makes no attempt to hide from us. We tried to hide from Him and suffer from deception. He remains entirely accessible. He loves His Son. There is no certainty but this, yet this suffices. He will love His Son forever. When his mind remains asleep, He loves him still. And when his mind awakens, He loves him with a never-changing love.
  2. If you but knew the meaning of His Love, hope and despair would be impossible. For hope would be forever satisfied, despair of any kind unthinkable. His grace His answer is to all despair, for in it lies remembrance of His Love. Would He not gladly give the means by which His Will is recognized? His grace is yours by your acknowledgement. And memory of Him awakens in the mind that asks the means of Him whereby its sleep is done.
  3. Today we ask of God the gift He has most carefully preserved within our hearts, waiting to be acknowledged. This the gift by which God leans to us and lifts us up, taking salvation’s final step Himself. All steps but this we learn, instructed by His Voice. But finally He comes Himself and takes us in His arms and sweeps away the cobwebs of our sleep. His gift of grace is more than just an answer. It restores all memories the sleeping mind forgot; all certainty of what Love’s meaning is.
  4. God loves His Son. Request Him now to give the means by which this world will disappear, and vision first will come, with knowledge but an instant later. For in grace you see a light that covers all the world in love, and watch fear disappear from every face as hearts rise up and claim the light as theirs. What now remains that Heaven be delayed an instant longer? What is still undone when your forgiveness rests on everything?
  5. It is a new and holy day today, for we receive what has been given us. Our faith lies in the Giver, not our own acceptance. We acknowledge our mistakes, but He to whom all error is unknown is yet the One who answers our mistakes by giving us the means to lay them down and rise to Him in gratitude and love.
  6. And He descends to meet us, as we come to Him. For what He has prepared for us He gives, and we receive. Such is His Will because He loves His Son. To Him we pray today, returning but the word He gave to us through His Own Voice, His Word, His Love:

Your grace is given me. I claim it now. Father, I come to you.

And You will come to me who ask.

I am the Son you love.[1]

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Notes and Personal Application:  God does not hide His face from us.  We do not need technology to get in touch with Him.  We do not have to be in a church or a synagogue, a special place designated as holy, sacred, or serene.  Nothing can keep me from communicating with God.  Held in a dungeon or sitting on a throne, God loves me, and I am His Son forever.  When we do not live up to our promise, when we falter and fail, when we fumble and stumble upon our way – when we know the meaning of God’s Love, we would neither hope nor despair in God’s proposed mercy,  His love,  His devotion to us for we would simply know it. 

Today Jesus emphasizes that by acknowledging God’s grace, we receive it.  It is ours!  He will give us the means to make the world of separation, the dream of death and despair, disappear from our perceptions and give us first, the vision of Christ and then the knowledge of His Love and what it means. 

God loves us, His Son.  We are one.  All we must do is ask Him for the grace that covers the world in love and washes away the fear from every face as hearts rise up and claim God’s light as theirs.  When our forgiveness covers everything, time and all its heartbreak, its atrocities, its snakebites, and sorrow is not simply over, it is undone! 

There is nothing for us to do but have faith – not in accepting God’s Grace, but in God who gives His Grace.  As we acknowledge our mistaken identity in ego, as we acknowledge our mistakes of the flesh, as we acknowledge our mistakes of separation built upon lies and illusion, God gives us the means to lay them down, to rise to Him in gratitude and love.  In this state of holy apology, we meet Him as He comes to us and as we rise to Him.  He gives us what was ours all along, and now we take it and claim it as our own.  He loves us!  He does not want our measly sacrifices, our paltry offerings.  He does not want us to grovel, plead, and beg as if we were scroungers – we are His Son, at one with Creation.   He wants us to return to Him as His Son, united and whole. 

In your own words and in your own way, pray this prayer today.  Whether you think you are ready to claim your Sonship or not, saying the words will renew your mind and draw your heart and mind out of the world and into the light of His Love. “I accept Your grace, dear Father.  I come to You and You come to me because I know I am the Son You love, at one with Christ, with all of creation, and with You.  In Jesus name.  Amen.” 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 168. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 167 There Is One Life, And That I Share With God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 167 There is One Life, and That I Share With God.

  1. There are not different kinds of life, for life is like the truth. It does not have degrees. It is the one condition in which all that God created share. Like all His thoughts, it has no opposite. There is no death because what created shares His life. There is no death because an opposite to God does not exist. There is no death because the Father and the Son are one.
  2. In this world, there appears to be a state that is life’s opposite. You call it death. Yet we have learned that the idea of death takes many forms. It is the one idea which underlies all feelings that are not supremely happy. It is the alarm to which you give response of any kind that is not perfect joy. All sorrow, loss, anxiety, and suffering, and pain, even a little sigh of weariness, a slight discomfort, or the merest frown, acknowledge death. And thus you deny life.
  3. You think that death is of the body. Yet it is but an idea, irrelevant to what is seen as physical. A thought is in the mind. It can be applied as mind directs it. But its origin is where it must be changed if change occurs. Ideas leave not their source. The emphasis this course has placed on that idea is due to its centrality in our attempts to change your mind about yourself. It is the reason you can heal. It is the cause of healing.  It is why you cannot die. Its truth established you as one with God.
  4. Death is a thought that you are separate from your Creator. It is the belief conditions change, emotions alternate because of causes you cannot control, you did not make, and you can never change. It is the fixed belief ideas can leave their source, and take on qualities the source does not contain, becoming different from their own origin, apart from it in kind as well as distance, time, and form.
  5. Death cannot come from life. Ideas remain united to their source. They can extend all that their source contains. In that, they can go far beyond themselves. But they can not give birth to what was never given them. As they are made, so will their making be. As they were born, so will they then give birth. And where they come from, there will they return.
  6. The mind can think it sleeps, but that is all. It cannot change what is its waking state. It cannot make a body, nor abide within a body. What is alien to the mind does not exist, because it has no source. For mind creates all things that are, and cannot give them attributes it lacks, nor change its own eternal, mindful state. It cannot make the physical. What seems to die is but the sign of mind asleep.
  7. The opposite of life can only be another form of life. As such, it can be reconciled with what created it, because it is not opposite in truth. Its forms may change; it may appear to be what it is not. Yet mind is mind, awake or sleeping. It is not its opposites in anything created, nor in what it seems to make when it believes it sleeps.
  8. God creates only mind awake. He does not sleep, and His creations cannot share what He gives not, nor make conditions which He does not share with them. The thought of death is not the opposite to thoughts of life. Forever unopposed by opposites of any kind, the Thoughts of God remain forever changeless, with the power to extend forever changelessly, but yet within themselves, for they are everywhere.
  9. What seems to be the opposite of life is merely sleeping. When the mind elects to be what it is not, and to assume an alien power which it does not have, a foreign state it cannot enter, or a false condition not within its source, it merely seems to go to sleep awhile. It dreams of time; an interval in which what seems to happen never has occurred, the changes wrought are substanceless, and all events are nowhere. When the mind awakes, it but continues as it always was.
  10. Let us today be children of the truth, and not deny our holy heritage. Our life is not as we imagine it. Who changed his life because he shuts his eyes, or makes himself what he is not because he sleeps, and sees in dreams an opposite to what he is? We will not ask for death in any form today. Nor will we let imagined opposites to life abide even an instant where the thought of life eternal has been set by God himself.
  11. His holy home we strive to keep today as He established it, and wills it be forever and forever. He is Lord of what we think today. And in His Thoughts, which have no opposite, we understand there is one life, and that we share with Him, with all creation, with their thoughts as well, whom He created in a unity of life that cannot separate in death and leave the source of life from where it came.
  12. We share one life because we have one Source, a Source from which perfection comes to us, remaining always in the holy minds which He created perfect. As we were, so are we now and will forever be. A sleeping mind must waken, as it sees its own perfection mirroring the Lord of life so perfectly it fades into what is reflected there. And now it is no more a mere reflection. It becomes the thing reflected, and the light which makes reflection possible. No vision now is needed. For the awakened mind is one that knows its Source, its Self, its Holiness.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  Today’s lesson idea “There is one life that I share with God,” brings us out of the dream of separation and into the oneness of life.  In this one life that we share with God there is no death.  Since God is everything, He can have no opposite.  Anything that looks like an opposite to life and to love is part of the dream of separation, the time we spend in the loopholes of time, a world where the Sons of God come to remember who and what they really are. 

In this world, we have death and we have it most abundantly.  We feast upon death.  We gorge ourselves upon the flesh of what we call lesser forms of life.  In God’s Kingdom there is no such thing as lesser forms of life, life has no degrees, but here in the realm of separation, we have no such qualms about looking upon our fellow creations and judging them in degrees of their importance to us – do we eat them, attack them, defend ourselves against them, or form alliances with them?  Do they look like us, worship the same way we do, share the same values, and have something that they can offer us?  Or are they different looking, godless, heathen, the great unsaved who will burn in hellfire because they do not worship the same way we do, share the same values, and have little to nothing to offer us? 

We think that death is just something that happens to the body, but Jesus teaches us today that death is an idea in the mind.  As we change our minds about who and what we really are, as we realize our oneness with God and with all of creation, we are no longer content to live in any other state than one of supreme happiness.  To live in a such a state, we must be willing to give up our attachment, our addiction to and fondness for the world of sorrow, loss, sickness, and death. 

In order to be healed from this magical realm which keeps up spellbound by its bloodthirsty dramas of all that is not of God, of life, of joy and eternal happiness, we must accept our Sonship with God.  We must recognize the simple fact that death cannot come from life.  Life is life – and it continues to be life and it can never die.  Life is spirit, life is mind which creates all things that are and makes them like itself.  Jesus tells us with no uncertainty that what seems to die is a mind that sleeps.  Death then is part of the illusion of separation – not the opposite of life, but rather a demented dream held in time – a wrinkle of eternity where what seems to have happened has never really happened at all. 

Our Course study is a curriculum in awakening from the dream, realizing that we are children of truth, no longer being the least bit willing to hide or be ashamed of the call of God within.  What we experience in the flesh is imagined; when we open our eyes from this dream in time we are as we always were – dearly beloved, worthy of God’s trust, His love, and His devotion. 

Today Jesus is asking us to keep this in our minds.  We are to train our minds to disengage from thoughts of death in all its tempting forms.  With today’s lesson I realize that I must bid so long to one of my new Netflix favorites, Hell on Wheels, where characters are savagely murdered, plotted against, and offered no rest for the weary one addictive episode after another.  Training my mind to love life, to love truth, to love joy and happiness, peace and kindness is renewing my love and devotion to God and His Kingdom, understanding that there is one life that we share with God and with all of creation.  Saying good riddance to bloodshed and bluster, plotting, and plunder as a means to entertain myself puts me in touch with the pure, wholesome, holy intelligence of the Source of life from where I came, where I belong, and where I will always be. 

Jesus says that a sleeping mind must wake up as it sees its own perfection reflecting the Lord of life until finally it becomes what is in the mirror.  Let this be our minds today – that we be the children of light, that we may know our Source, our Selves, and become one with God.    


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 167. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 166 I Am Entrusted With The Gifts Of God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 166 I Am Entrusted With the Gifts of God.

  1. All things are given you. God’s trust in you is limitless. He knows His Son. He gives without exception, holding nothing back that can contribute to your happiness. And yet, unless your will is one with His, His gifts are not received. But what would make you think there is another will than His?
  2. Here is the paradox that underlies the making of the world. This world is not the Will of God, and so it is not real. Yet those who think it real must still believe there is another will, and one that leads to opposite effects from those He wills. Impossible; indeed, but every mind that looks upon the world and judges it as certain, solid, trustworthy, and true believes in two creators; or in one, himself alone.  But never in one God.
  3. The gifts of God are not acceptable to anyone who holds such strange beliefs. He must believe that to accept God’s gifts, however evident they may become, however urgently he may be called to claim them as his own, is to be pressed to treachery against himself. He must deny their presence, contradict the truth, and suffer to preserve the world he made.
  4. Here is the only home he thinks he knows. Here is the only safety he believes that he can find. Without the world he made he is an outcast; homeless and afraid. He does not realize that it is here he is afraid indeed, and homeless, too; an outcast wandering so far from home, so long away, he does not realize he has forgotten where he came from, where he goes, and even who he really is.
  5. Yet in his lonely, senseless wanderings, God’s gifts go with him, all unknown to him. He cannot lose them. But he will not look at what is given him. He wanders on, aware of the futility he sees about him everywhere, perceiving how his little lot but dwindles, as he goes ahead to nowhere. Still he wanders on in misery and poverty, alone though God is with him, and a treasure his so great that everything the world contains is valueless before its magnitude.
  6. He seems a sorry figure; weary, worn, in threadbare clothing, and with feet that bleed a little from the rocky road he walks. No one but has identified with him, for everyone who comes here has pursued the path he follows and has felt defeat and hopelessness as he is feeling them. Yet is he really tragic, when you see that he is following the way he chose, and need but realize Who walks with him and opens up his treasures to be free?
  7. This is your chosen self, the one you made as a replacement for reality. This is the self you savagely defend against all reason, every evidence, and all the witnesses with proof to show this is not you. You heed them not. You go on your appointed way; with eyes cast down less you might catch a glimpse of truth and be released from self-deception and set free.
  8. You cower fearfully lest you should feel Christ’s touch upon your shoulder, and perceive His gentle hand directing you to look upon your gifts. How could you then proclaim your poverty in exile? He would make you laugh at this perception of yourself. Where is self-pity then?  And what becomes of all the tragedy you sought to make for him whom God intended only joy?
  9. Your ancient fear has come upon you now, and justice has caught up with you at last. Christ’s hand has touched your shoulder and you feel that you are not alone. You even think the miserable self you thought was you may not be your identity. Perhaps God’s Word is truer than your own. Perhaps His gifts to you are real. Perhaps He has not wholly been outwitted by your plan to keep His Son in deep oblivion and go the way you chose without your Self.
  10. God’s Will does not oppose. It merely is. It is not God you have imprisoned in your plan to lose yourself. He does not know about a plan so alien to His Will. There was a need He did not understand, to which He gave an answer. That is all. And you who have this Answer given you have need no more of anything but This.
  11. Now do we live, for now we cannot die. The wish for death is answered, and the sight that looked upon it now has been replaced by vision which perceives that you are not what you pretend to be. One walks with you who gently answers all your fears with this one merciful reply, “It is not so.”  He points to all the gifts you have each time the thought of poverty oppresses you, and speaks of His Companionship when you perceive yourself as lonely and afraid.
  12. Yet He reminds you still of one thing more you had forgotten. For His touch on you has made you like Himself. The gifts you have are not for you alone. What He has come to offer you, you now must learn to give. This is the lesson that His giving holds, for He has saved you from the solitude you sought to make in which to hide from God. He has reminded you of all the gifts that God has given you. He speaks as well of what becomes your will when you accept these gifts, and recognize they are your own.
  13. The gifts are yours, entrusted to your care, to give to all who chose the lonely road you have escaped. They do not understand they but pursue their wishes. It is you who teach them now. For you have learned of Christ there is another way for them to walk. Teach them by showing them the happiness that comes to those who feel the touch of Christ and recognize God’s gifts. Let sorrow not tempt you to be unfaithful to your trust.
  14. Your sighs will now betray the hopes of those who look to you for their release. Your tears are theirs. If you are sick, you but withhold their healing.  What you fear but teaches them their fears are justified. Your hand becomes the giver of Christ’s touch; your change of mind becomes the proof that who accepts God’s gifts can never suffer anything. You are entrusted with the world’s release from pain.
  15. Betray it not. Become the living proof of what Christ’s touch can offer everyone. God has entrusted all His gifts to you. Be witness in your happiness to how transformed the mind becomes which chooses to accept His gifts and feel the touch of Christ. Such is your mission now. For God entrusts the giving of His gifts to all who have received them. He has shared his joy with you. And now you go to share it with the world.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  This afternoon as I finally set some time aside to pray and read my lesson, I was overtaken with gratitude and joy that God would entrust me with His gifts.  Many times I let the ego talk me out of who and what I really am and let it convince me for a while that I am nothing but a leaky valve, a wishy-washy Christian wannabe, a laughable excuse for a Son of God.  What a wonderful message to know that God knows me and that all that is His is given me.  God not only knows me, but He trusts me, and He holds nothing back that would make me happy.  If I choose to believe otherwise, it is not because God has forsaken me, but simply because I have left the dispiriting lies of the ego persuade me that the world that was made without God is real, that God would make a world that is uncertain, chancy, untrustworthy, and full of hate and sorrow, disease and death. 

When we choose to get caught up in the world that our medias blather about on the news, we are choosing this world instead of the real one in which all is love and peace and joy.  When we allow the upside down thinking of this world fill our minds with fear, with hostility, with choosing sides, with turning upon ourselves and each other with gnashing teeth and audacious accusations, pointing fingers and projecting our self-hatred and condemnation to this one or that one, we are making of ourselves outcasts, forgetting where we came from, where we are meant to go, and who and what really are. 

No matter what we say or do, God’s gifts go with us.  Whether we embrace them or ignore them, we cannot lose them.  Whether we look upon them with gladness or with disdain, they never leave us – there is nothing we can ever do or say that can change who and what we are. 

Last year at this time I was struggling with some guests that we had in our home who had invited themselves to stay with us during a time when we were simply not prepared for guests.  James, in an attempt to be a gracious host, told them to make themselves at home, and before we knew it, they were preparing all the meals, clattering about in our kitchen, banging the hot iron skillet down on our newly installed quartz countertops, and cluttering nearly every surface in the house with their stuff.  On top of this, they were speaking Chinese to one another and rarely included us in conversations unless they had a request.  It was a most trying visit, and we were both only too happy when it came to an end. 

As teachers of God, we are not to get our identity from the world and what the world would ask of us.  There are some people who do not want to be reminded of who and what they are in Christ.  We are not meant to cater to the earthly needs of people who are quite capable of meeting their own needs.  We are not asked to let spongers suck up our resources or to treat our homes like hotels.  The motto of the ego is to take as much as it can get and give as little back as it can get away with.  As Sons of God, called to minister the truth to others, we withhold true happiness to ourselves and others by draining ourselves of energy and joy by pouring ourselves out to those who have no interest in the things of God. 

In paragraph 13, Jesus says that God’s gifts are ours, entrusted to our care, to give to all who chose the world over the Kingdom of God.  We are to spend our time teaching the happiness that comes to those who feel the touch of Christ and recognize God’s gifts.  This means to share the good news of Christ.  It does not mean we are to feed, house, and chauffer people around to worldly events and activities.  There are plenty of people who are happy to do just that – there are hotels, rental cars, and buses that the world provides to cater to the needs of people intent on making the world real.  As Sons of God, doing these things will only wear us down and bring us unhappiness.  We are not to be deceived into thinking any good can come out of such so-called generosity. 

Individuals and collectives alike will often get caught up in providing meals, clothing, and shelter for the lost and sincerely believe that they are doing the work of Christ.  While there is nothing inherently wrong with helping our brothers in their time of need, our true ministry is not one of meeting the physical needs of others.  We are called to share God’s gifts which are spiritual and everlasting, which transforms our minds, healing us so that we can bring truth and healing to others.

We are entrusted with the world’s release from pain.  Jesus asks us to become the living proof of what Christ’s touch can offer everyone.  When we get caught up in the old ways of making friends and catering to others, we are asking for what the world offers, special relationships, drained resources, and energy ill-spent.  When we bear witness to the happiness that comes with accepting God’s gifts and experiencing the touch of Christ in our hearts, we are filled with joy and we share that joy with all the world. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 166. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 165 Let Not My Mind Deny The Thought Of God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 165 Let Not My Mind Deny the Thought of God.

  1. What makes this world seem real except your own denial of the truth that lies beyond? What but your thoughts of misery and death obscure the perfect happiness and the eternal life your Father wills for you? And what could hide what cannot be concealed except illusion? What could keep from you what you already have except your choice to see it not, denying it is there?
  2. The Thought of God created you. It left you not, nor have you ever been apart from it an instant. It belongs to you. By it you live. It is your Source of life, holding you one with it, and everything is one with you because it left you not. The Thought of God protects you, cares for you, makes soft your resting place and smooth your way, lighting your mind with happiness and love. Eternity and everlasting life shine in your mind because the Thought of God has left you not, and still abides with you.
  3. Who would deny his safety and his peace, his joy, his healing, and his peace of mind, his quiet rest, his calm awakening, if he but recognized where they abide? Would he not instantly prepare to go where they are found, abandoning all else as worthless in comparison with them?  And having found them, would he not make sure they stay with him, and he remain with them?
  4. Deny not Heaven. It is yours today, but for the asking. Nor need you perceive how great the gift, how changed your mind will be before it comes to you. Ask to receive, and it is given you. Conviction lies within it. Till you welcome it as yours, uncertainty remains. Yet God is fair. Sureness is not required to receive what only your acceptance can bestow.
  5. Ask with desire. You need not be sure that you request the only thing you want. But when you have received, you will be sure you have the treasure you have always sought. What would you then exchange for it? What would induce you now to let it fade away from your ecstatic vision? For this sight proves that you have exchanged your blindness for the seeing eyes of Christ; your mind has come to lay aside denial and accept the Thought of God as your inheritance.
  6. Now is all doubting past, the journey’s end made certain, and salvation given you. Now is Christ’s power in your mind, to heal as you were healed. For now you are among the saviors of the world. Your destiny lies there and nowhere else. Would God consent to let His Son remain forever starved by his denial of the nourishment he needs to live? Abundance dwells in him, and deprivation cannot cut him off from God’s sustaining Love and from his home.
  7. Practice today in hope. For hope indeed is justified. Your doubts are meaningless, for God is certain. And the Thought of Him is never absent. Sureness must abide within you who are host to Him. This course removes all doubt which you have interposed between Him and your certainty of Him.
  8. We count on God, and not upon ourselves, to give us certainty. And in His Name, we practice as His Word directs, we do. His sureness lies beyond our every doubt. His Love remains beyond our every fear. The Thought of Him is still beyond all dreams and in our minds, according to His Will.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  Lately I have been taken up with gardening.  James built me a little greenhouse and I started hundreds of seedlings – tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, peppers, marigolds and sunflowers, basil, oregano, eggplants, chives, green beans, squash, cabbage, and cilantro.  Growing things has become somewhat of a passion for me – never having had a “green thumb,” now here in my senior years I suddenly have a keen interest in tending to plants.  This year I have been especially enamored of lavender and it has proved to be a real challenge to get the seedlings started, and yet I keep buying seed packets and trying again until now I have finally started four tiny plants after many failures. 

The first thing I want to do when I wake up in the morning, after enjoying a cup or two of coffee and going over the lesson and devotional, is run out to the garden.  The weather has been beautiful – sunny, hot, breezy.  The air smells so good and being outside, I get to chat with the neighbors who ride by on their horses and bikes, or out taking a walk or working in their yard.  People ride by and beep their horn and wave and sometimes stop for a bit.  In other words it all seems very real.

Going to bed at night, I am sore from head to toe.  My back aches, my legs hurt, my shoulder, neck, and arms are fatigued.  It is hard to get comfortable to sleep.  My head hits the pillow and before I have time to quiet my mind and say my evening prayers, I am in snooze mode.  Still, even with the aches and pains, life in time seems real and heaven does not seem that real to me.  Today in particular, we had such a lovely day, quiet, serene, going from one little task to the next, going for a long ride on country roads, revisiting scenery from the past, eating southern fried chicken at Cracker Barrell, and watching two episodes of Hell on Wheels…life here seems too real to turn my back on it and call for Heaven.   

Which makes me all the more appreciative that all I must do is sincerely and desirously ask for Heaven.  I do not have to be sure and I do not have to be beyond doubt.  I do not have to know that this is the only thing I want and make any seeming sacrifices to ask for Heaven.  All I must do is ask for it with my heart and with my mind and with desire and passion for what is real.  So when Heaven seems distant and this world feels that it is all I want, when I receive Heaven, I will be sure and certain and know that it is the only treasure in which I could ever want.  Thank you, Jesus!  The other way which required such play-acting, weeping, and self-denial is false, mean, and stupid.  I would much rather be honest – yes, I want what is real – but this seems very real to me right now Lord.  Please give me Heaven anyway – I want what is real, everlasting, and does not fade away.  Here the fruits of my labor only bloom for a season, soon the harvest bounty is decay…I want what is real.  Let not my mind deny the thought of the everlasting; let not my mind choose that which is temporal over that which is forever

There is nothing we can do to give us the certain faith in what we can not see with our eyes or experience in our flesh.  This we count on God to do for us.  We do not have to make bold faith statements, deny our love for the world, and sacrifice our affection for the things which enamor and capture our imagination.  We count on God to stir our hope, to free us from our doubts and fears, to clear our inner altar which gets so- cluttered with the distractions of the world.  God has never left us – our thoughts may seem to be far from Him, but they are always there, beyond this world of dreams and passing fancies, and eternally placed in our minds, according to His Will.  We rest our hopes on God and His Will. 

Let us lift our hearts in praise. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 165. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 164 Now We Are One With Him Who Is Our Source

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 164 Now Are We One With Him Who Is Our Source.

  1. 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.  He looks past time, and sees eternity as represented there.  He hears the sounds the senseless, busy world engenders, yet He hears them faintly.  For beyond them all He hears the song of Heaven, and the Voice for God more clear, more meaningful, more near.
  2. The world fades easily away before His sight.  Its sounds grow dim.  A melody from far beyond the world increasingly is more and more distinct, an ancient Call to Which He gives an ancient answer.  You will recognize them both, for they are but your answer to your Father’s Call to you.  Christ answers you, echoing your Self, using your voice to give His glad consent; accepting your deliverance for you.
  3. How holy is your practicing today, as Christ gives you His sight and hears for you, and answers in your name the Call He hears!  How quiet is the time you give to spend with Him, beyond the world.  How easily are all your seeming sins forgot, and all your sorrows unremembered.  On this day is grief laid by, for sights and sounds that come from nearer than the world are clear to you who will today accept the gifts He gives. 
  4. There is a silence into which the world can not intrude.  There is an ancient peace you carry in your heart and have not lost.  There is a sense of holiness in you the thought of sin has never touched.  All this today you will remember.  Faithfulness in practicing today will bring rewards so great and so completely different from all things you sought before, that you will know that here your treasure is, and here your rest.
  5. This is the day when vain imaginings part like a curtain, to reveal what lies beyond them.  Now is what is really there made visible, while all the shadows which appeared to hide it merely sink away.  Now is the balance righted, and the scale of judgment left to Him Who judges true.  And in His judgment will a world unfold in perfect innocence before your eyes.  Now will you see it with the eyes of Christ.  Now is its transformation clear to you.
  6. Brother, this day is sacred to the world.  Your vision, given you from far beyond all things within the world, looks back on them in a new light.  And what you see becomes the healing and salvation of the world.  The valuable and valueless are both perceived and recognized for what they are.  And what is worthy of your love receives your love, while nothing to be feared remains. 
  7. We will not judge today.  We will receive but what is given us from judgment made beyond the world.  Our practicing today becomes our gift of thankfulness for our release from blindness and from misery.  All that we see will but increase our joy, because its holiness reflects our own.  We stand forgiven in the sight of Christ, with all the world forgiven in our own.  We bless the world, as we behold it in the light in which our Savior looks on us, and offer it the freedom given us through His forgiving vision and our own.
  8. Open the curtain in your practicing by merely letting go all things you think you want.  Your trifling treasures put away, and leave a clean and open space within your mind where Christ can come, and offer you the treasure of salvation.  He has need of your most holy mind to save the world.  Is not this purpose worthy to be yours?  Is not Christ’s vision worthy to be sought above the world’s unsatisfying goals? 
  9. Let not today slip by without the gifts it holds for you receiving your consent and your acceptance.  We can change the world, if you acknowledge them.  You may not see the value your acceptance gives the world.  But this you surely want; you can exchange all suffering for joy this very day.  Practice in earnest, and the gift is yours.  Would God deceive you?  Can His promise fail?  Can you withhold so little, when His Hand holds out complete salvation to His Son?[1]
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[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 164. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 163 There Is No Death. The Son Of God Is Free.

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 163 There Is No Death.  The Son of God Is Free.

  1. Death is a thought that takes on many forms, often unrecognized.  It may appear as sadness, fear, anxiety or doubt; as anger, faithlessness, and lack of trust; concern for bodies, envy, and all forms in which the wish to be as you are not may come to tempt you.  All such thoughts are but reflections of the worshipping of death as savior and as giver of release.
  2. Embodiment of fear, the host of sin, god of the guilty, and the lord of all illusions and deceptions, does the thought of death seem mighty.  For it seems to hold all living things within its withered hand; all hopes and wishes in its blighting grasp; all goals perceived but in its sightless eyes.  The frail, the helpless, and the sick bow down before its image, thinking it alone is real, inevitable, worthy of their trust.  For it alone will surely come.
  3. All things but death are seen to be unsure, too quickly lost however hard to gain, uncertain in their outcome, apt to fail the hopes they once engendered, and to leave the taste of dust and ashes in their wake, in place of aspirations and of dreams.  But death is counted on.  For it will come with certain footsteps when the time has come for its arrival.  It will never fail to take all life as hostage to itself.
  4. Would you bow down to idols such as this?  Here is the strength and might of God Himself perceived within an idol made of dust.  Here is the opposite of God proclaimed as lord of all creation, stronger than God’s Will for life, the endlessness of love and Heaven’s perfect, changeless constancy.  Here is the Will of Father and of Son defeated finally and laid to rest beneath the headstone death has placed upon the body of the holy Son of God.
  5. Unholy in defeat, he has become what death would have him be.  His epitaph, which death itself has written, gives no name to him, for he has passed to death.  It says but this: “Here lies a witness God is dead.”  And this it writes again and still again, while all the while its worshippers agree, and kneeling down with foreheads to the ground, they whisper fearfully that it is so.
  6. It is impossible to worship death in any form, and still select a few you would not cherish and would yet avoid, while still believing in the rest.  For death is total.  Either all things die, or else they live and cannot die.  No compromise is possible.  For here again we see an obvious position, which we must accept if we be sane; what contradicts one thought entirely can not be true, unless its opposite is proven false.
  7. The idea of death of God is so preposterous that even the insane have difficulty in believing it.  For it implies that God was once alive and somehow perished; killed, apparently, by those who did not want Him to survive.  Their stronger will could triumph over His, and so eternal life gave way to death.  And with the Father died the Son as well.
  8. Death’s worshippers may be afraid.  And yet, can thoughts like these be fearful?  If they saw that it is only this which they believe, they would be instantly released.  And you will show them this today.  There is no death, and we renounce it now in every form, for their salvation and our own as well.  God made not death.  Whatever form it takes must therefore be illusion.  This the stand we take today.  And it is given us to look past death and see the life beyond.
  9. Our Father, bless our eyes today.  We are Your messengers, and we would look upon the glorious reflection of Your Love, which shines in everything.  We live and move in You alone.  We are not separate from Your eternal life.  There is no death, for death is not Your Will.  And we abide where You have placed us, in the life we share with You and with all living things, to be like You and part of You forever.  We accept Your Thoughts as ours, and our will is one with Yours eternally.  Amen.[1]
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[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 163. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 162 I Am As God Created Me

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 162 I am as God Created Me

  1. This single thought, held firmly in the mind, would save the world.  From time to time we will repeat it, as we reach another stage in learning.  It will mean far more to you as you advance.  These words are sacred, for they are the words God gave in answer to the world you made.  By them it disappears, and all things seen within its misty clouds and vaporous illusions vanish as these words are spoken.  For they come from God.
  2. Here is the Word by which the Son became His Father’s happiness, His Love, and His completion.  Here creation is proclaimed and honored as it is.  There is no dream these words will not dispel; no thought of sin and no illusion which the dream contains that will not fade away before their might.  They are the trumpet of awakening that sounds around the world.  The dead awake in answer to its call.  And those who live and hear this sound will never look on death.
  3. Holy indeed is he who makes these words his own, arising with them in his mind, recalling them throughout the day, at night bringing them with him as he goes to sleep.  His dreams are happy and his rest secure, his safety certain and his body healed, because he sleeps and wakens with the truth before him always.  He will save the world, because he gives the world what he receives each time he practices the words of truth.
  4. Today we practice simply.  For the words we use are mighty, and they need no thoughts beyond themselves to change the mind of him who uses them.  So wholly is it changed that it is now the treasury in which God places all His gifts and all His Love, to be distributed to all the world, increased in giving; kept complete because its sharing is unlimited.  And thus you learn to think with God.  Christ’s vision has restored your sight by salvaging your mind.
  5. We honor you today.  Yours is the right to perfect holiness you now accept.  With this acceptance is salvation brought to everyone, for who could cherish sin when holiness like this has blessed the world?  Who could despair when perfect joy is yours, available to all as remedy for grief and misery, all sense of loss, and for complete escape from sin and guilt?
  6. And who would not be brother to you now; you, his redeemer, and his savior.  Who could fail to welcome you into his heart and with loving invitation, eager to unite with one like him in holiness?  You are as God created you.  These words dispel the night, and darkness is no more.  The light is come today to bless the world.  For you have recognized the Son of God, and in that recognition is the world’s.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  When we remind our minds that we are as God created us, the ugliness and filth that defined us, that kept us awake at night, that hindered our walks with God and kept us from giving our all are washed away from our perceptions.  We no longer believe the lies, the delusion, the dream.  We recognize the truth of the matter.  God is God and it is only His Kingdom that could possibly be real; this stretch of time is merely a dream of separation – a nightmare of creation turned against itself, taken from its source, founded upon that which is not love, and therefore not real.  We no longer invest in flesh and blood; in darkness and decay; in unstable systems based upon falsity, frailty, and futility.  We are free of the world’s perception of humanity; we are pure and holy, beautiful and beneficent, everlasting and invulnerable.  We are as God created us.

Today remind yourself often, “I am as God created me.”  Throughout the day, see the world for what it is – an illusion that passes from moment to moment, a death trap, an enchantment, a trance, a stupor.  Do not be afraid.  As we open our eyes to the truth, we begin to see the real world beyond this one. We begin to catch glimmers of a world where love and peace and joy are the givens; where there is no fear, no need for defenses, no ugly battle scars, no demented minds, no battlefields lay waste the landscape.  As we say to ourselves, “I am as God created me,” the reality of our true identity in Christ begins to appear.  We are only too willing to lay the trinkets and gaieties of this world aside, to see how cheap and tarnished are the trappings of the world which would stand in place of the grandeur and magnificence of our reality.  When we remind ourselves, “I am as God created me,” we can put down our signs and placards, we can walk away from our futile attempts to bring peace to chaos, joy to sorrow, light to darkness.  Our minds begin to understand who and what we really are, and we can no longer invest in that which would blemish our beauty, steal our joy, or dim the light that leads our way.  We no longer fight meaningless battles with ghosts from the past; we live in the holy instant where all is everlasting and pure. 

This is the state of mind in which the world is saved.  When our minds are full of the love begot of our creation, we see nothing but love in others.  We step away from the stranger, the ego, the shadow self of fear and hostility, and into our truth.  We are as God created us. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 162. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 161 Give Me Your Blessing, Holy Son Of God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 161 Give Me Your Blessing, Holy Son of God.

  1. Today we practice differently, and take a stand against our anger, that our fears may disappear and offer room to love. Here is Salvation in the simple words in which we practice with today’s idea. Here is the answer to temptation which can never fail to welcome in the Christ where fear and anger had prevailed before. Here is atonement made complete, the world passed safely by in Heaven now restored. Here is the answer of the Voice for God.
  2. Complete abstraction is the natural condition of the mind.  But part of it is now unnatural.  It does not look on everything as one.  It sees instead but fragments of the whole, for only thus could it invent the partial world you see.  The purpose of all seeing is to show you what you wish to see.  All hearing but brings to your mind the sounds it wants to hear.
  3. Thus were specifics made.  And now it is specifics we must use in practicing.  We give them to the Holy Spirit, that He may employ them for a purpose which is different from the one we gave to them.  Yet He can use but what we made, to teach us from a different point of view, so we can see a different use in everything. 
  4. One brother is all brothers.  Every mind contains all minds, for every mind is one.  Such is the truth.  Yet do these thoughts make clear the meaning of creation?  Do these words bring perfect clarity with them to you?  What can they seem to be but empty sounds; pretty, perhaps, correct in sentiment, yet fundamentally not understood nor understandable.  The mind that taught itself to think specifically can no longer grasp abstraction in the sense that it is all-encompassing.  We need to see a little, that we learn a lot.
  5. It seems to be the body that we feel limits our freedom, makes us suffer, and at last puts out our life.  Yet bodies are but symbols for a concrete form of fear.  Fear without symbols calls for no response, for symbols can stand for the meaningless.  Love needs no symbols, being true.  But fear attaches to specifics, being false.
  6. Bodies attack, but minds do not.  This thought is surely reminiscent of our text, where it is often emphasized.  This is the reason bodies easily become fear’s symbols.  You have many times been urged to look beyond the body, for its sight presents the symbol of love’s “enemy” Christ’s vision does not see.  The body is the target for attack, for no one thinks he hates a mind.  Yet what but mind directs the body to attack?  What else could be the seat of fear except what thinks of fear?
  7. Hate is specific.  There must be a thing to be attacked.  An enemy must be perceived in such a form he can be touched and seen and heard, and ultimately killed.  When hatred rests upon a thing, it calls for death as surely as God’s Voice proclaims there is no death.  Fear is insatiable, consuming everything its eyes behold, seeing itself in everything, compelled to turn upon itself and to destroy.
  8. Who sees a brother as a body sees him as fear’s symbol.  And he will attack, because what he beholds is his own fear external to himself, poised to attack, and howling to unite with him again.  Mistake not the intensity of rage projected fear must spawn.  It shrieks in wrath and claws the air in frantic hope it can reach to its maker and devour him.
  9. This do the body’s eyes behold in one whom Heaven cherishes, the angels love, and God created perfect.  This is his reality.  And in Christ’s vision is his loveliness reflected in a form so holy and so beautiful that you could scarce refrain from kneeling at his feet.  Yet you will take his hand instead, for you are like him in the sight that sees him thus.  Attack on him is enemy to you, for you will not perceive that in his hands is your salvation.  Ask him but for this, and he will give it to you.  Ask him not to symbolize your fear.  Would you request that love destroy itself?  Or would you have it be revealed to you and set you free?
  10. Today we practice in a form we have attempted earlier.  Your readiness is closer now, and you will come today nearer Christ’s vision.  If you are intent on reaching it, you will succeed today.  And once you have succeeded, you will not be willing to accept the witnesses your body’s eyes call forth.  What you will see will sing to you of ancient melodies you will remember.  You are not forgot in Heaven.  Would you not remember it?
  11. Select one brother, symbol of the rest, and ask salvation of him.  See him first as clearly as you can, in that same form to which you are accustomed.  See his face, his hands and feet, his clothing.  Watch him smile and see familiar gestures which he makes so frequently.  Then think of this:  What you are seeing now conceals from you the sight of one who can forgive you all your sins; whose sacred hands can take away the nails which pierce your own, and lift the crown of thorns which you have placed upon your bleeding head.  Ask this of him, that he may set you free: Give me your blessing, holy Son of God.  I would behold you with the eyes of Christ and see my perfect sinlessness in you.
  12. And He will answer Whom you called upon.  For He will hear the Voice for God in you, and answer in your own.  Behold him now, whom you have seen as merely flesh and bone, and recognize that Christ has come to you.  Today’s idea is your safe escape from anger and from fear.  Be sure you use it instantly, should you be tempted to attack a brother and perceive in him the symbol of your fear.  And you will see him suddenly transformed from enemy to savior, from the devil into Christ.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  Today Jesus outlines how complete abstraction is natural to our created minds.  It is only in the separated dream world that we see in specifics, in parts, and not as the whole.  Seeing in parts, we judge one another and ourselves by our processes through time.  We carry hatred and judgment, spite and vengeance which keep us trapped in a dream of time, a nightmare of ego battles, a dicey universe where there is no certainty but death and taxes.  Seeing in part, we are in a state of near constant temptation to attack one another and see in each other symbols of fear.  The separated world teaches us that we can be either victims or victimizers, that if we do not attack first, others are out to get us, to use and abuse us, to steal our stuff, to mock our efforts, to greedily glut themselves on our generosity and warmth. 

These are the lessons that the dream of separation teaches us.  It does not make us evil – but rather stupefies us, keeping us trapped in a false universe of pain, of fear, of all that is not love.  The heavy armor we carry about in our minds, weighs it down, torments it, making it sick with a sense of heavy-heartedness and world weariness.  It is a seemingly inescapable nightmare of uncertainty, because once the blinders come off about the nature of this world, we know that nothing here can protect us – not our wealth, our ancestry, our good genes, our intelligence, good looks, or optimistic personality, or positive self-talk.  We survive today to die another – time keeps chewing up its own tail, turning itself inside out and outside in, spewing forth its same old, twisted formulas to keep us blinded to our true Selves.    

Today Jesus says to stop letting it get to us.  Let us use the ploys of separation for holiness. Let us take a stand against the anger and the fear we feel toward others and use it to bless us, to save us, to snap us out of the trance of hostility and vengeance that fuels the separation and keeps us trapped in time.  We will take one brother from the pack; we will pick him out of the crowded crevices of our mind where those who deserve our spite replay all their cheap and crummy deeds. This enemy who hurt us, who stole our peace and joy, who tried to push us around and belittle us, who spoke ill of us to others and repeated confidences, this one will stand for the rest of the killjoys who rob us of a sense of safety and security, of love and blessing in a world where no truth can be found. 

This one person, this one brother is standing in the way of Christ, who can forgive all of our love for darkness, for spite, for vengeance, and grudge keeping.  When we refuse to forgive and see our brother as ourselves we refuse the holy hands which take away the nails we pierce ourselves with, we crown ourselves with thorns and thistles which we press upon our bleeding heads. 

It is when we see our brother as ourselves, when we offer him the forgiveness and love we seek for ourselves, when we bless and ask him for his blessing, seeing him with the eyes of Christ, seeing him as Christ, that we get a glimpse of our own perfect, spotless Self.  We are as God created us; flesh and bone do not define us; nor mistakes we make in darkness change our Sonship with God.  We are set free when we set our brothers free.  We are saved, when all are saved.  We return to God, when we all return to our everlasting joy walking hand-in-hand, heart-to-heart, as one. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 161. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 160 I Am At Home. Fear Is The Stranger Here.

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 160 I Am at Home.  Fear is the Stranger Here.  

  1. Fear is a stranger to the ways of love. Identify with fear, and you will be a stranger to your Self. And thus you are unknown to you. What is your Self remains an alien to the part of you which thinks that it is real, but different from yourself? Who could be sane in such a circumstance? Who but a madman could believe he is what he is not and judge against himself?
  2. There is a stranger in our midst, who comes from an idea so foreign to the truth he speaks a different language, looks upon a world truth does not know, and understands what truth regards as senseless. Stranger yet, he does not recognize to whom he comes, and yet maintains his home belongs to him, while he is alien now who is at home. And yet, how easy it would be to say, “This is my home. Here I belong and will not leave because a madman says I must.”
  3. What reason is there for not saying this? What could the reason be except that you had asked this stranger in to take your place, and let you be a stranger to yourself? No one would let himself be the dispossessed so needlessly, unless he thought there were another home more suited to his tastes.
  4. Who is this stranger? Is it fear or you who are unsuited to the home which God provided for His Son? Is fear His Own, created in His likeness? Is it fear that love completes and is completed by? There is no home can shelter love and fear. They cannot coexist. If you are real, then fear must be illusion. And if fear is real, than you do not exist at all.
  5. How simply then, the question is resolved. Who fears has but denied himself and said, “I am the stranger here. And so I leave my home to one more like me than myself and give him all I thought belonged to me.”  Now is he exiled of necessity, not knowing who he is, uncertain of all things but this; that he is not himself, and that his home has been denied to him.
  6. What does he search for now? What can he find? A stranger to himself can find no home wherever he may look, for he has made return impossible. His way is lost, except a miracle will search him out and show him that he is no stranger now. The miracle will come. For in his home his Self remains. It asked no stranger in, and took no alien thought to be Itself. And It will call Its own unto Itself in recognition of what is Its Own.
  7. Who is the stranger? Is he not the one your Self calls not? You are unable now to recognize this stranger in your midst, for you have given him your rightful place. Yet is your Self as certain of Its Own as God is of His Son. He cannot be confused about creation. He is sure of what belongs to Him. No stranger can be interposed between His knowledge and His Son’s reality. He does not know of strangers. He is certain of His Son.
  8. God’s certainty suffices.  Who He knows to be His Son belongs where He has set His Son forever. He has answered you who ask, “Who is the stranger?”  Hear His Voice assure you, quietly and sure, that you are not a stranger to your Father, nor is your Creator stranger made to you.  Whom God has joined remain forever one, at home in Him, no stranger to Himself.
  9. Today we offer thanks that Christ has come to search the world for what belongs to Him.  His vision sees no strangers but beholds His Own and joyously unites with them.  They see Him as a stranger, for they do not recognize themselves.  Yet as they give Him welcome, they remember.  And He leads them gently home again, where they belong.
  10. Not one does Christ forget.  Not one He fails to give you to remember, that your home may be complete and perfect as it was established.  He has not forgotten you.  But you will not remember Him until you look on all as He does.  Who denies his brother is denying Him, and thus refusing to accept the gift of sight by which his Self is clearly recognized, his home remembered, and salvation come.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  Yesterday while I was mulching and watering the peas and tomatoes in the garden, I began to be aware of the voice of the stranger in my mind, lying to me about my brothers, building cases against others, remembering unkind things that people have done and ways in which others have not played fair.  I stopped for a moment and went to sit in the shade and sip some of my cold water from the jug.  Just as Jesus says in today’s lesson, love seemed an alien to me, while this other thing, this stranger in my mind which was doing its best to poison my relationships and unity with my neighbors and friends posed as if it were me.  How easy it would have been to listen to its lies and deceptions and believe that they were my own!

Last year we had guests from China who decided to come and stay with us for a few days.  They had been to our house on several other occasions and we had enjoyed their visits very much.  But this time was different.  This time the guests had brought another guest with them and instead of speaking to us, they spoke largely to each other, in Chinese. Although James and I lived in China for a few years, much to our chagrin, we never learned more than the most elementary words and phrases.  As hosts, we felt awkward and at a great disadvantage in the social arena.  When we had a conversation, our guests, who all spoke fluent English, understood us, however they chose to have mostly private conversations between themselves. It became obvious to us that they were only using our house and our hospitality as a place to stay.  Needless to say, we did not appreciate feeling the strangers in our own home!

Today Jesus instructs us not to fall for the stranger who would interpose itself upon us and take up residence in our minds, drowning out the Voice for God.  God knows us as His creations – we are created by Love, with Love, and for Love.  No matter how much the ego has darkened our minds with its shadowy fears, defenses, and discord, we are to hold fast to the Vision of Christ, which is our reality.  We were made to walk in light.  The stranger will fill our minds with negativity, grudges, false memories, and distortions of the truth.  It will take any incident in our personal life or in the world at large to use as an excuse to hate each other, to go to war, to cast judgment, to take sides, to keep us from loving, uniting, and returning to God.  This stranger will use any means it can to keep the quiet Voice for God, our reality, our true Self, out of our awareness.  The stranger’s worst fear is that we will come to know the truth about ourselves, that we will recognize our Sonship, our holiness, our sinlessness, and purity, but most of all our great and abiding love for God and for one another. 

Christ calls for us to see past the stranger in ourselves and in others.  We are not here to lash out, to reel back, to play spiteful games, to take vengeance, or seek justice in a world that is not real in any sense of the word.  We are here to wake up, to recognize the Sonship of God, to see the stranger for what it is – a lie, a deception, a nightmare encased in time, the prince of darkness, the would-be usurper of love.  When we bring all those lies and deceptions to God, all those hurts and pains, those betrayals and disappointments, those abuses and abandonments – whether we think we did it to others or they did it to us – when we are willing to step out of unreality and into the light, we are bidding the stranger good riddance and taking up our true Self in Christ. 

Do not be afraid.  When the stranger tells its lies and spreads its poison and strategizes its games in your mind, take it to Christ.  Do not let it deceive you by shaming you or making you feel dirty and unworthy.  Christ will never abandon you or anybody else.  Salvation is not for the elect, for the few, the proud, the chosen.  Salvation is for those of us who have been deceived, who have forgotten who and what we are in Christ!   

Jesus reminds us in the last paragraph of today’s lesson – Do not make the mistake of thinking of others as different from ourselves.  We are to look on all as our brothers.  Those whom the ego would have us hate and despise, are our holy brothers in Christ.  Those whom the ego would have us idolize and possess, are only our holy brothers, nothing more and nothing less.  We cannot see Christ until we fully accept this fact and devote ourselves to teach it to others.  We must look on all with equality and love.  This does not mean we must subject ourselves to the cruelty or injustice of others, be the butt of their pranks, or wear ourselves out with do-gooderism.  It is simply accepting the Vision of Christ, holding no ill will, and refraining from condemnation and judgment.  By recognizing our oneness, by opening our heart to love, by seeing with the eyes of Christ, we remember our home, we know our Selves, and we are saved from this pit of despair!


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 160. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Lesson 159 I Give The Miracles I Have Received

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 159 I Give the Miracles I Have Received  

  1. No one can give what he has not received. To give a thing requires first you have it in your own possession. Here the laws of Heaven and the world agree. But here they also separate. The world believes that to possess a thing, it must be kept. Salvation teaches otherwise. To give is how to recognize you have received. It is the proof that what you have is yours.
  2. You understand that you are healed when you give healing.  You accept forgiveness as accomplished in yourself when you forgive. You recognize your brother as yourself, and thus do you perceive that you are whole.  There is no miracle you cannot give, for all are given you. Receive them now by opening the storehouse of your mind where they are laid and giving them away.
  3. Christ’s vision is a miracle. It comes from far beyond itself, for it reflects eternal love and the rebirth of love which never dies but has been kept obscure. Christ’s vision pictures Heaven, for it sees a world so like to Heaven that what God created perfect can be mirrored there. The darkened glass the world presents can show but twisted images in broken parts. The real world pictures Heaven’s innocence.
  4. Christ’s vision is a miracle in which all miracles are born. It is their source, remaining with each miracle you give, and yet remaining yours. It is the bond by which the giver and receiver are united in extension here on earth, as they are one in Heaven. Christ beholds no sin in anyone. And in His sight the sinless are as one. Their holiness was given by His Father and Himself.
  5. Christ’s vision is the bridge between the worlds. And in its power can you safely trust to carry you from this world into one made holy by forgiveness. Things which seemed quite solid here are merely shadows there; transparent, faintly seen, at times forgot, and never able to obscure the light that shines beyond them. Holiness has been restored to vision, and the blind can see.
  6. This is the Holy Spirit’s single gift; the treasure house to which you can appeal with perfect certainty for all the things that can contribute to your happiness. All are laid here already. All can be received but for the asking. Here the door is never locked. And no one is denied his least request or his most urgent need. There is no sickness not already healed, no lack unsatisfied, no need unmet within this golden treasury of Christ.
  7. Here does the world remember what was lost when it was made. For here it is repaired, made new again, but in a different light. What was to be the home of sin becomes the center of redemption and the hearth of mercy, where the suffering are healed and welcome. No one will be turned away from this new home, where his salvation waits. No one is stranger to him.  No one asks for anything of him except the gift of his acceptance of his welcoming.
  8. Christ’s vision is the holy ground in which the lilies of forgiveness set their roots.  This is their home.  They can be brought from here back to the world, but they can never grow in its unnourishing and shallow soil.  They need the light and warmth and kindly care Christ’s charity provides.  They need the love with which He looks on them.  And they become His messengers, who give as they received.
  9. Take from His storehouse, that its treasures may increase.  His lilies do not leave their home when they are carried back into the world.  Their roots remain.  They do not leave their source, but carry its beneficence with them, and turn the world into a garden like the one they came from, and to which they go again with added fragrance.  Now are they twice blessed.  The messages they brought from Christ have been delivered and returned to them.  And they return them gladly unto Him.
  10. Behold the store of miracles set out for you to give.  Are you not worth the gift, when God appointed it be given you?  Judge not God’s Son but follow in the way He has established.  Christ has dreamed the dream of a forgiven world.  It is His gift, whereby a sweet transition can be made from death to life; from hopelessness to hope.  Let us an instant dream with Him.  His dream awakens us to truth.  His vision gives the means for a return to our unlost and everlasting sanctity to God. [1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  Lately I have been struggling with keeping up with the daily lessons.  We were sailing along having our devotions, our grandson Zachary was here with us, then our grandson from Georgia came for two weeks.  We were in the middle of some big projects, and as much as we love and appreciated our grandsons, and took many opportunities for fun and relaxation, the one-on-one tutoring sessions with the youngest, extra meals, dishes, laundry, supervision, squabbles, and dirty fingerprints all over everything took a toll on old gramps and gram!  Days passed where I did not open my daily journal or do little more than go through a quick review of the daily Course lesson.  I began to resent being the spiritual leader of the house.  While not exactly pressuring James to start taking more of a lead, I backed off of sharing the Course lessons with them believing it was too far over their heads and I am not placed here on the earth to shove my spiritual path down anybody’s throat. 

Taking too much on, falling into bed at night in a physically exhausted stupor, listening to the voice of ego rather then the Voice for God, I began to question my role in God’s plan for salvation.  I felt too worldly, too old, too jaded, and tired, pulled in too many different directions, too trapped in the things of the flesh to be of much use to God’s Kingdom.  It seemed impossible to put the Course concepts to any practical use in the daily calls for my attention.  At one point I got so grumpy I told the kids in no uncertain terms that I didn’t want to hear the word Grammy for the rest of the day, and I told Coltin who was studying poems in his second-grade workbook that I didn’t even want to hear a word from him that rhymed with Grammy! 

And yet in all that weariness, in all that ego chatter that would drown out the quiet Voice for God, in all the muscle fatigue – there were the miracles of love, of happiness, of everlasting joy and peace.  The quiet moments when Coltin shared with me how he lays in bed at night thinking of God and wanting to shake His hand and thank Him for all His gifts.  The love and devotion the older cousins had for the younger, watching him get over his fear of the water and not only go tubing with them, but become quite an aggressive tube rebel, jumping from tube to tube, wresting those great blown up rafts from the grip of his much older cousins.  Yelling for Uncle Jared to make the boat go faster and then faster.  They taught him to dive.  They gathered eggs, saved their leftovers for the chickens and ducks, shoveled holes in the garden for the peas and tomatoes, watered the seedlings, and washed Colette’s Land Cruiser until it shined like new.  It seemed a miracle to see the responsible and trustworthy nature Zachary displayed tooling around on the DMV, making sure his little cousin was buckled up, loading and unloading mulch, plants, and rock, growing biceps and triceps instead of sitting on the couch wrapped up in YouTube and games.   They helped dig ditches, learned about electricity, solar energy, and geothermal cooling simply by shadowing their Grandpa, asking questions, and pitching in when extra hands were needed.  When we started to eat meals without saying a blessing, one or both would remind us to first pray.  Tucking them in bed at night with blessings along with their kisses and gratitude along with fatigue was a gift that contributed greatly to our happiness as grandparents.  Another gift from the Holy Spirit’s treasure house is the gratitude we have toward our grown children for being able to send the grandkids home when we long for the peace and quiet of having the house to ourselves again!  

There are times when writing truthfully about my struggles with A Course in Miracles wears thin with me. I would so love to share what a breeze it has been for me to sail through the lessons and dismiss the ego from my life, and how love, joy, and peace fill my life with the cool salt air as I navigate the waves of life’s sea.  In our meeting yesterday, I asked my teacher to pray with me, to show me, to encourage me to want to keep sharing as Holy Spirit has directed me to do, because there are times that exposing the struggle, the calling out of egos, the bringing them to light seems as perilous as handling serpents and exorcising demons.  As much as I love the truth; I am all too aware of my addiction to darkness, how much easier it seems to accept this dream as reality and dismiss the Vision of Christ. 

Yesterday I asked the Lord if it was necessary for me to keep bringing my darkness to light on a public forum.  I told him that I did not think that anybody appreciated me gutting myself anyway – what good could it possibly do to expose my ego struggles to others? We all have the same bullshit to deal with – there is nothing that unique or inspiring about mine.  Wouldn’t the brothers be more inspired by my victories than my struggles?  If He wanted me to keep doing this, I would, but it would be nice to hear from someone – not a general email with questions or gratitude which are always welcome, but a specific indication that sharing my struggles with the ego were helpful, that disclosing my awkward, sometimes painful processes is required.  I would take this as God’s way of telling me to keep on writing about the struggles and forget about trying to make myself look good! 

So Patty cakes UK you were the answer to my prayer.  Bingo! You wrote.  And now I say it, too.  Thank you for being an answer to my prayer.  In this morning’s devotion, I shared your comments with James.  I often think of what it must be like for him, with a mate who discusses her darkness so openly.  He is such a private person who rarely talks about his feelings, emotions, or troubles.  Today we compared our resistance to bringing our darkness to light to the cluttered, junky closets, cupboards, and sheds we have determined to empty, examine, and organize.  What a chore, but how satisfying the results of our labor – for only when we clear the clutter can we appreciate and make room for our treasures. 

When we expose the ego, when we bring it to light, when we are no longer willing to dress it up pretty and put a fake smile on it, our minds are no longer the home of separation, of sin, of shame; they become the center of redemption, the hearth of mercy, a place where our illnesses are healed and we offer healing to others. 

Today we pray for the Vision of Christ.  Today we not only share the miracles we have received; we share the tedious, sometimes excruciating process that brings us to salvation. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 159. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 158 Today I Learn To Give As I Receive

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 158 Today I Learn to Give as I Receive 

  1. What has been given you?  The knowledge that you are a mind, in Mind and purely mind, sinless forever, wholly unafraid, because you were created out of Love.  Nor have you left your Source, remaining as you were created.  This was given you as knowledge that you cannot lose.  It was given as well to every living thing, for by that knowledge only does it live.
  2. You have received all this.  No one who walks the world but has received it. It is not this knowledge which you give, for that is what creation gave. All this cannot be learned. What, then, are you to learn to give today? Our lesson yesterday evoked a theme found early in the text. Experience cannot be shared directly, in the way that vision can. The revelation that the Father and the Son are one will come in time to every mind. Yet is that time determined by the mind itself, not taught.
  3. The time is set already. It appears to be quite arbitrary. Yet there is no step along the road that anyone takes but by chance. It has already been taken by him, although he has not yet embarked on it. For time but seems to go in one direction. We but undertake a journey that is over. Yet it seems to have a future still unknown to us.
  4. Time is a trick, a sleight of hand, a vast illusion in which figures come and go as if by magic. Yet there is a plan behind appearances that does not change. The script is written. When experience will come to end your doubting has been set. For we but see the journey from the point at which it ended, looking back on it, imagining we make it once again; reviewing mentally what has gone by.
  5. A teacher does not give experience, because he did not learn it. It revealed itself to him at its appointed time. But vision is his gift. This he can give directly, for Christ’s knowledge is not lost, because He has a vision He can give to anyone who asks. The Father’s will and His are joined in knowledge. Yet there is a vision which the Holy Spirit sees because the mind of Christ beholds it too.
  6. Here is the joining of the world of doubt and shadows made with the intangible. Here is a quiet place within the world made holy by forgiveness and by love. Here are all contradictions reconciled, for here the journey ends. Experience—unlearned, untaught, unseen—is merely there. This is beyond our goal, for it transcends what needs to be accomplished. Our concern is with Christ’s vision. This we can attain.
  7. Christ’s vision has one law. It does not look upon a body and mistake it for the Son whom God created. It beholds a light beyond the body; an idea beyond what can be touched, a purity undimmed by errors, pitiful mistakes, and fearful thoughts of guilt from dreams of sin. It sees no separation. And it looks on everyone, on every circumstance, all happenings, and all events, without the slightest fading of the light it sees.
  8. This can be taught; and must be taught by all who would achieve it. It requires but the recognition that the world cannot be given anything that faintly can compare with this in value; nor set up a goal that does not merely disappear when this has been perceived. And this you give today: See no one as a body. Greet him as the Son of God he is, acknowledging that he is one with you in holiness.
  9. Thus are his sins forgiven him, for Christ has vision that has power to overlook them all. In His forgiveness are they gone. Unseen by One they merely disappear, because the vision of the holiness that lies beyond them comes to take their place. It matters not what form they took, nor how enormous they appeared to be, nor who seemed to be hurt by them. They are no more. And all effects they seem to have are gone with them, undone, and never to be done.
  10. Thus do you learn to give as you receive. And thus Christ’s vision looks on you as well. This lesson is not difficult to learn, if you remember in your brother you but see yourself. If he be lost in sin, so must you be; if you see light in him, your sins have been forgiven by yourself. Each brother whom you meet today provides another chance to let Christ’s vision shine on you and offer you the peace of God.
  11. It matters not when revelation comes, for that is not of time. Yet time has still one gift to give, in which true knowledge is reflected in a way so accurate its image shares its unseen holiness; its likeness shines with its immortal love. We practice seeing with the eyes of Christ today. And by the holy gifts we give, Christ’s vision looks upon ourselves as well.[1]
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[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 158. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 157 Into His Presence Would I Enter

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 157 Into His Presence Would I Enter.

  1. This is a day of silence and trust. It is a special time of promise in your calendar of days. It is a time Heaven has set apart to shine upon and cast a timeless light upon this day when echoes of eternity are heard. This day is holy, for it ushers in a new experience; a different kind of feeling and awareness. You have spent long days and nights in celebrating death. Today you learn to feel the joy of life.
  2. This is another crucial turning point in the curriculum. We add a new dimension now; a fresh experience that sheds the light on all that we have learned already and prepares us for what we have yet to learn. It brings us to the door where learning ceases, and we catch a glimpse of what lies past the highest reaches it can possibly attain. It leaves us here an instant, and we go beyond it, sure of our direction and our only goal.
  3. Today it will be given you to feel a touch of heaven, though you will return to paths of learning. Yet you have come far enough along the way to alter time sufficiently to rise above its laws and walk into eternity awhile. This you will learn to do increasingly, as every lesson, faithfully rehearsed, brings you more swiftly to this holy place and leaves you, for a moment, to your Self.
  4. He will direct your practicing today, for what you ask for now is what He wills. And having joined your will with His this day, what you are asking must be given you. Nothing is needed but today’s idea to light your mind, and let it rest in still anticipation and in quiet joy, wherein you quickly leave the world behind.
  5. From this day forth, your ministry takes on a genuine devotion, and a glow that travels from your fingertips to those you touch and blesses those you look upon. A vision reaches everyone you meet, and everyone you think of, or who thinks of you. For your experience today will so transform your mind that it becomes the touchstone for the holy thoughts of God.
  6. Your body will be sanctified today, its only purpose being now to bring the vision of what you experienced this day to light the world. We cannot give experience like this directly. Yet it leaves a vision in our eyes which we can offer everyone, that he may come the sooner to the same experience in which the world is quietly forgot, and Heaven is remembered for a while.
  7. As this experience increases and all goals but this become of little worth, the world to which you will return becomes a little closer to the end of time; a little more like Heaven in its ways; a little nearer its deliverance. And you who bring it light will come to see the light more sure, the vision more distinct. The time will come when you will not return in the same form in which you now appear, for you will have no need of it. Yet now it has a purpose and will serve it well.
  8. Today we will embark upon a course you have not dreamed of. But the holy One, the Giver of the happy dreams of life, Translator of perception into truth, the holy Guide to Heaven given you, has dreamed for you this journey would you make and start today, with the experience this day holds out to you to be your own.
  9. Into Christ’s presence will we enter now, serenely unaware of everything except His shining face and perfect love. The vision of His face will stay with you, but there will be an instant which transcends all vision, even this, the holiest. This you will never teach, for you attained it not through learning. Yet the vision speaks of your remembrance of what you knew that instant and will surely know again.[1]

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[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 157. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 156 I Walk With God In Perfect Holiness

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 156 I Walk With God in Perfect Holiness.

  1. Today’s idea but states the simple truth that makes the thought of sin impossible.  It promises there is no cause for guilt and being causeless it does not exist.  It follows surely from the basic thought so often mentioned in the text; ideas leave not their source.  If this be true, how can you be apart from God?  How could you walk the world alone and separate from your Source?
  2. We are not inconsistent in the thoughts that we present in our curriculum.  Truth must be true throughout if it be true.  It cannot contradict itself, nor be in parts uncertain and in others sure.  You cannot walk the world apart from God because you could not be without Him.  He is what your life is.  Where you are, He is.  There is one life.  That life you share with Him.  Nothing can be apart from Him and live.
  3. Yet where He is, there must be holiness as well as life.  No attribute of His remains unshared by everything that lives.  What lives is holy as Himself, because what shares His life is part of Holiness, and could no more be sinful than the sun could choose to be of ice; the sea elect to be apart from water, or the grass to grow with roots suspended in the air.
  4. There is a light in you which cannot die; whose presence is so holy that the world is sanctified because of you.  All things that live bring gifts to you and offer them in gratitude and gladness at your feet.  The scent of flowers is their gift to you.  The waves bow down before you, and the trees extend their arms to shield you from the heat and lay their leaves before you on the ground that you may walk in softness, while the wind sinks to a whisper round your holy head.
  5. The light in you is what the universe longs to behold.  All living things are still before you, for they recognize Who walks with you.  The light you carry is their own.  And thus they see in you their holiness, saluting you as savior and as God.  Accept their reverence, for it is due to Holiness Itself, Which walks with you, transforming in Its gentle Light all things unto Its likeness and Its purity.
  6. This is the way salvation works.  As you step back, the light in you steps forward and encompasses the world.  It heralds not the end of sin in punishment and death.  In lightness and in laughter is sin gone because its quaint absurdity is seen.  It is a foolish thought, a silly dream, not frightening, ridiculous perhaps, but who would waste an instant in approach to God Himself for such a senseless whim?
  7. Yet you have wasted many, many years on just this foolish thought.  The past is gone, with all its fantasies.  They keep you bound no longer.  The approach to God is near.  And in the little interval of doubt that still remains, you may perhaps lose sight of your Companion, and mistake Him for the senseless, ancient dream that now is past.
  8. “Who walks with me?”  This question should be asked a thousand times a day, till certainty has ended doubting and established peace.  Today let doubting cease.  God speaks for you in answering your question with these words: I walk with God in perfect holiness.  I light the world; I light my mind and all the minds which God created one with me.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  Today Jesus is urging us to deeply consider who and what we are in God.  God has breathed Himself into us.  We are part of Him as He is part of us.  In God there is no sin, no guilt, no shame.  As part of God and His holy creation, we, too experience no sin, no guilt, no shame.

For those who cherish the idea of sin, of guilt, of shame, this is not good news.  This is not the gospel of Christ for those who choose to make the world – and all that is done it – a reality.  Flesh and blood are their reality – and the world then is the proving ground for those who are worthy of God’s Kingdom and for those who have so little value that they will burn in hell.  All manner of strange and insane dogmas are devised to make the world real, to make unholiness an option for the creation of God. 

In our lesson, Jesus states that the light within us cannot sin, cannot separate itself from God, cannot die.  The light within each of us is holy.  It is the only real thing about us – it is everlasting, it offers salvation to the world, all of creation caters to the light within us, because we are of God. 

Salvation works by letting the self of this world go and letting our oneness with God, the light within each of us, step forward and lead the way.  In this holy light our whole perception of God changes from that of a senseless, ancient dream full of rage, vengeance, banishment, and punishment to the reality of His love and devotion to us.  The light within us calls to us and draws us to Him as He really is – not what the world’s self has made Him out to be. 

When we give up the thoughts of sin and shame, we recognize who and what we really are in Christ!  We do not have to change our ways, live by a code of ethics, follow a bunch of rules, worry about letting the wrong words escape from our mouth, or try to win souls for Christ.  We are not required to fast, pay tithes and offerings, build cathedrals, or go on holy treks.  We can do all of that if we choose to do it, but do not kid yourself – God is not requiring this from us.  We are freed from all the man-made prescriptions that would pose for our salvation as soon as we realize that the world is only a dream.

The Voice for God is calling us to open our eyes, to wake up.  If you have concerns about your holiness, rest assured, you will never be holy in the flesh; any attempts to please God with your world self will come to naught.  Whatever you do in the dream world stays in the dream world.  It is God Who walks with us in perfect holiness.  We are one with Him.  Through Him, we light the world.  When we wake up, we wake up others without even trying.  We light our minds and all the minds God created are lit as one. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 156. Foundation for Inner Peace. Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 155 I Will Step Back And Let Him Lead The Way

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 155 I Will Step Back and Let Him Lead the Way.

  1. There is a way of living in the world that is not here, although it seems to be.  You do not change appearance, though you smile more frequently.  Your forehead is serene; your eyes are quiet.  And the ones who walk the world as you do recognize their own.  Yet those who have not yet perceived the way will recognize you also, and believe that you are like them, as you were before. 
  2. The world is an illusion.  Those who choose to come to it are seeking for a place where they can be illusions and avoid their own reality.  Yet when they find their own reality is even here, then they step back and let it lead the way.  What other choice is really theirs to make?  To let illusions walk ahead of truth is madness.  But to let illusion sink behind the truth and let the truth stand forth as what it is, is merely sanity.
  3. This is the simple choice we make today.  The mad illusion will remain awhile in evidence, for those to look upon who chose to come, and have not yet rejoiced to find they were mistaken in their choice.  They cannot learn directly from the truth because they have denied that it is so.  And so they need a Teacher Who perceives their madness, but Who still can look beyond illusion to the simple truth in them.
  4. If truth demanded they give up the world, it would appear to them as if it asked the sacrifice of something that is real.  Many have chosen to renounce the world while still believing in its reality.  And they have suffered from a sense of loss and have not been released accordingly.  Others have chosen nothing but the world, and they have suffered from a sense of loss still deeper, which they did not understand.
  5. Between these paths there is another road that leads away from loss of every kind, for sacrifice and deprivation both are quickly left behind.  This is the way appointed for you now.  You walk this path as others walk, nor do you seem to be distinct from them, although you are indeed.  Thus can you serve them while you serve yourself and set their footsteps on the way that God has opened up to you, and them through you.
  6. Illusion still appears to cling to you, that you may reach them.  Yet it has stepped back.  And it is not illusion that they hear you speak of, nor illusion that you bring their eyes to look on and their minds to grasp.  Nor can the truth, which walks ahead of you, speak to them through illusions, for the road leads past illusion now, while on the way you call to them, that they may follow you.
  7. All roads will lead to this one in the end.  For sacrifice and deprivation are paths that lead nowhere, choices for defeat, and aims that will remain impossible.  All this steps back as truth comes forth in you, to lead your brothers from the ways of death, and set them on the way to happiness.  Their suffering is but illusion.  Yet they need a guide to lead them out of it, for they mistake illusion for the truth.
  8. Such is salvation’s call, and nothing more.  It asks that you accept the truth, and let it go before you, lighting up the path of ransom from illusion.  It is not a ransom with a price.  There is no cost, but only gain.  Illusion can but seem to hold in chains the holy Son of God.  It is but from illusions he is saved.  As they step back, he finds himself again.
  9. Walk safely now, yet carefully, because this path is new to you.  And you may find that you are tempted still to walk ahead of truth, and let illusions be your guide.  Your holy brothers have been given you, to follow in your footsteps as you walk with certainty of purpose to the truth.  It goes before you now, that they may see something with which they can identify; something they understand to lead the way.
  10. Yet at the journey’s ending there will be no gap, no distance between the truth and you.  And all illusions walking in the way you travelled will be gone from you as well, with nothing left to keep the truth apart from God’s completion, holy as Himself.  Step back in faith and let the truth lead the way.  You know not where you go.  But One Who knows goes with you.  Let Him lead you with the rest.
  11. When dreams are over, time has closed the door on all the things that pass and miracles are purposeless, the holy Son of God will make no journeys.  There will be no wish to be illusion rather than the truth.  And we step forth toward this, as we progress along the way that truth points out to us.  This is our final journey, which we make for everyone.  We must not lose our way.  For as truth goes before us, so it goes before our brothers who will follow us.
  12. We walk to God.  Pause and reflect on this.  Could any way be holier, or more deserving of your effort, of your love and of your full intent?  What way could give you more than everything, or offer less and still content the holy Son of God?  We walk to God.  The truth that walks before us now is one with Him and leads us to where He has always been.  What way but this could be a path that you would choose instead?
  13. Your feet are safely set upon the road that leads the world to God.  Look not to ways that seem to lead you elsewhere.  Dreams are not a worthy guide for you who are God’s Son.  Forget not He has placed His Hand in yours and given you your brothers in His Trust that you are worthy of His Trust in you.  He cannot be deceived.  His Trust has made your pathway certain and your goal secure.  You will not fail your brothers nor your Self.
  14. And now He asks but that you think of Him a while each day, that He may speak to you and tell you of His Love, reminding you how great His Trust, how limitless His Love.  In your name and His Own, which are the same, we practice gladly with this thought today: I will step back and let Him lead the way. For I would walk along the road to Him.[1]                      
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Notes and Personal Application: When we step back and let God lead the way, we are accepting our reality.  We are being our honest selves.  Jesus teaches us in the Course that the world is for those who have chosen to be an illusion.  We come to the world to escape reality only to find that even illusion offers us no real escape from who and what we really are. 

No matter how hard we try to renounce the world, as long as we think it is real, we will view our rejection of it as a sacrifice.  When we dream the ego’s dream, we are enslaved by its enchantment, intrigued by its devices, complications, and rites.  We fall prey to its magic, potions, prescriptions, and therapies.  We are swept into its currents by unnatural drives for money, sex, status, and power.  We hold dear our specialness and distinctions, our history, our accumulations.  We find satisfaction in worldly pursuits and pleasures. To give up the world then is suffered as a loss. We chant mantras and sing hymns calling forth our common battle against the world.  We raise defenses, imagine battles, tribulations, apocalypses from our imaginary enemy which we make real by our beliefs.  As long as we think the world is real, our salvation is based upon fear, sacrifice, and an all-powerful God who rains vengeance upon His imperfect creation.   

Today we are called to let truth be our guide – to recognize the world as a deluded dream, an upside-down version of reality in which the Sons of God and God Himself are no longer one.  When our mind is firmly fixed upon this truth, the world can no longer lead us about by the nose.  It can no longer tempt us to exchange our love and devotion for God and each other for fear and blame.  When we realize the truth, we are no longer willing to fight the world’s imaginary battles between right and wrong, to wave its banners, or join its causes, to cheer its exploits or be astonished at its technologies. 

We walk to God.  The world gives only to snatch it away; God gives us everything and we get to keep it forever.  We cannot be His and ever be content with less that Him.  There is no other path we would choose instead. The world will hold on to us as long as we believe in its reality; Jesus is calling to us today to not put our trust in dreams – our pathway is certain and our goal secure. 

When the world tempts us to get caught up in its pleasures, its demands, its chaos and confusion, this thought will gently bring our minds to the truth of Christ:  I will step back and let Him lead the way. For I would walk along the road to Him.


[1]A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 155. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 154 I Am Among The Ministers of God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 154 I am Among the Ministers of God

  1. Let us today be neither arrogant nor falsely humble. We have gone beyond such foolishness. We cannot judge ourselves, nor need we do so. These are but attempts to hold decision off, and to delay commitment to our function. It is not our part to judge our worth, nor can we know what role is best for us; what we can do within a larger plan we cannot see in its entirety. Our part is cast in Heaven, not in hell. And what we think is weakness can be strength; what we believe to be our strength is often arrogance.  
  2. Whatever your appointed role may be, it was selected by the Voice for God, whose function is to speak for you as well. Seeing your strengths exactly as they are, and equally aware of where they can best be applied, for what, to whom, and where, He chooses and accepts your part for you. He does not work without your own consent. But he is not deceived in what you are and listens only to His Voice in you.
  3. It is through His ability to hear one Voice which is His Own that you become aware at last that there is one Voice in you. And that one Voice appoints your function, and relays it to you, giving you the strength to understand it, do what it entails, and to succeed in everything you do that is related to it. God has joined His Son in this, and thus His Son becomes His messenger of unity with Him.
  4. It is this joining, through the Voice for God, of Father and of Son, that sets apart Salvation from the world. It is this Voice which speaks of laws the world does not obey, which promises Salvation from all sin, with guilt abolished in the mind that God created sinless. Now this mind becomes aware again of Who created it, and of His lasting union with itself. So is its Self the one reality in Which its will and that of God are joined.
  5. A messenger is not the one who writes the message he delivers. Nor does he question the right of him who does, nor ask why he has chosen those who will receive the message that he brings. It is enough that he accept it, give it to the ones for whom it was intended, and fulfill his role in its delivery. If he determines what the messages should be, or what their purpose is, or where they should be carried, he is failing to perform his proper part as bringer of the word.
  6. There is one major difference in the role of Heaven’s messengers, which sets them off from those the world appoints. The messages that 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. Like earthly messengers, they did not write the messages they bear, but they become their first receivers in the truest sense, receiving to prepare themselves to give.
  7. An earthly messenger fulfills his role by giving all his messages away. The messengers of God perform their part by their acceptance of His messages as for themselves, and show they understand the messages by giving them away. They choose no rules that are not given them by His authority. And so they gain by every message that they give away.
  8. Would you receive the messages of God?  For thus do you become His messenger. You are appointed now. And yet you wait to give the messages you have received. And so you do not know that they are yours, and do not recognize them. No one can receive and understand he has received until he gives. For in the giving is his own acceptance of what he received.
  9. You who are now the messenger of God, receive His messages. For that is part of your appointed role. God has not failed to offer what you need, nor has it been left unaccepted. Yet another part of your appointed task is yet to be accomplished. He who has received for you the messages of God would have them be received by you as well. For thus do you identify with Him and claim your own.
  10. It is this joining that we undertake to recognize today. We will not seek to keep our minds apart from Him Who speaks for us, for it is but our voice we hear as we attend Him. He alone can speak to us and for us, joining in one Voice the getting and the giving of God’s Word: the giving and receiving of His Will.
  11. We practice giving Him what He would have, that we may recognize His gifts to us. He needs our voice that He may speak through us. He needs our hands to hold His messages and carry them to those whom He appoints. He needs our feet to bring us where He wills, that those who wait in misery may be at last delivered. And He needs our will united with His Own, that we may be the true receivers of the gifts He gives.
  12. Let us but learn this lesson for today: we will not recognize what we receive until we give it. You have heard this said a hundred ways, a hundred times, and yet belief is lacking still. But this is sure; until belief is given it, you will receive a thousand miracles and then receive a thousand more but will not know that God Himself has left no gift beyond what you already have; nor has denied the tiniest of blessings to His Son. What can this mean to you, until you have identified with Him and with His Own?
  13. Our lesson for today is stated thus: I am among the ministers of God, and I am grateful that I have the means by which to recognize that I am free.
  14. The world recedes as we light up our minds, and realize these holy words are true. They are the message sent to us today from our Creator. Now we demonstrate how they have changed our minds about ourselves, and what our function is. For as we prove that we accept no will we do not share, our many gifts from our Creator will spring to our sight and leap into our hands, and we will recognize what we received.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application: Our lesson today is of utmost pertinence to our identity.  For it is only when we recognize who and what we really are that we can accept that God’s Will has always been and always will be our true will.  I have always been scared to pieces of God’s Will!  It frightened me to no end to think of what God would do with me if I accepted His Will instead of my will for my life.  Learning to fear God rather than accepting His love and devotion to me, my biggest worry was that He would make live amongst foreigners who looked different than me, spoke a different language than I did, ate strange foods, and walked about with their breasts and genitals openly swinging in the breeze.  I would have to prove my love for God by being exposed to extreme weather conditions, adhere to strict dress codes, deny myself all of the world’s pleasures, and castigate myself for every unholy thought that crossed my mind.  God had been presented to me as an angry, vengeful deity who designed my flesh in order to torment it, make me regret the day I was born, and like a demented, jealous, overbearing lover, demand every thought be centered upon Him, giving me no room for creativity, liberty, and relationship with others.  Though my heart yearned to answer the call of God, I had been taught to put my trust in an insane, childish, demanding, green-eyed, monstrous version of God which could have only been devised by ego. 

It is high time to move past such erroneous concepts of God who created us in love; holds only goodwill toward His creations and plans only for our happiness.   Naturally, our wills are truly aligned with God because all of us seek to love and be loved, enjoy goodwill, and desire to be happy.  God’s Will and our will are one.  God does not set up roadblocks to our happiness.  His love and devotion to us has no limit.  If we suffer in our walks with God; if the path to our Father is torturous and fraught with despair and heartache, it is only because we cling to that which is not love – embracing death and darkness over life and light. 

There is no arrogance or false humility in accepting our roles as ministers of God.  God has called us.  It is not our job to judge ourselves and list the reasons why He should choose someone else.  Before answering God’s call, I tried to convince Him that I was simply not good enough to be His minister.  I had ruined my reputation, I told Him.  For years I had mocked and made fun of people who had preached holiness while living lives riddled with meanness.  I hated people, I told him.  I was full of lust and a desire for vengeance, no good at public speaking, afraid to stand up in front of a crowd.  I had sincere doubts about His goodness.  Perhaps even the call of God itself was a product of an erratic, overactive imagination.  I had little to no training in ministry.  And do not forget what the Bible says about women keeping their mouth shut in church and not being preachers, I reminded the good Lord. 

This arrogant, falsely humble resistance is the way we hold off deciding for God and delaying our holy function.  It is simply not our job to judge ourselves as being fit to be messengers of God.  It is not God’s Will that we worry and fret over where He is going to send us or who He will send to us.  We are to trust in His goodwill toward us and His devotion to who and what we are.  God knows I have no desire to be a superhero, to be on-call 24/7 to go and save people from disasters which they have largely brought upon themselves.  There are such people in the world; my mother was one of them.  In her zest and zeal for God, she thought it her privilege to deliver people from the very processes that were designed to teach them important life lessons.  Not me.  Let me sleep the few hours of the day I get to rest my bones; I am not the least bit interested in drama, and if you drag me out of bed in the middle of the night it better be for a damn good reason!   

Seeing myself as too selfish to follow in my mother’s footsteps, I have avoided the call of God for my life by failing to understand what I saw as a weakness and flaw in my nature, was a spiritual strength.  Many times, trusting in God looks like selfishness and lack of concern because when we truly trust in God we do not meddle in human affairs, get worked up over illness, injustice, or ill-intent.  We do not build defenses against supposed attacks or feel compelled to add our two cents to concerns that no longer concern us.  When we put down the toys of the ego, step out of special relationships, train our sights on the world beyond we loose the world’s hold upon us and become ministers of God – it is a natural process that involves no sense of sacrifice or battle of wills.  It becomes the only thing we want to do as we recognize that sharing God’s gifts to us is the only way we could possibly enjoy them and keep them as our own!

Everyday my postman delivers the mail – it is not his business to rifle through my mail, open my letters, or keep anything for himself.  God’s messengers, on the other hand, receive the message first, accept it as their own, and then deliver it to whom the Voice for God directs.  As God’s messengers we are not in the business to collect “likes,” to get into theological debates, to defend our philosophies, or to amass converts, keep statistics, or make soulful pleas for donations.  It is fulfilling our function that sustains us; it is pleasing God, not impressing humans, that lifts and warms our hearts and draws others, not to us, but to God. 

As God’s messenger, I share my function with you, so that you, too, will become God’s messenger.  As the world is undone, one by one, hand-in-hand we realize God’s Kingdom.  In the meantime, we have dreams of happiness, games of joy, and experience a foretaste of the world beyond.  Do not delay, Jesus urges us.  Do not argue with the Voice for God Who is calling to you to share the reality of Christ with those with whom He directs.  As we share the truth as we are given it, we recognize it for what it is – God’s inestimable gift to us – our salvation and the salvation of the world. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 154. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Lesson 153 In My Defenselessness My Safety Lies

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 153 In My Defenselessness My Safety Lies

  1. You who feel threatened by this changing world, its twists of fortune and its bitter jests, its brief relationships, and all the “gifts” it merely lends to take away again; attend this lesson well. The world provides no safety. It is rooted in attack, and all its “gifts” of seeming safety are illusory deceptions. It attacks, and then attacks again. No peace of mind is possible where danger threatens thus.
  2. The world gives rise but to defensiveness. For threat brings anger, anger makes attack seem reasonable, honestly provoked, and righteous in the name of self-defense. Yet is defensiveness a double threat. For it attests to weakness and sets up a system of defense that cannot work.  Now are the weak still further undermined, for there is treachery without, and still a greater treachery within. The mind is now confused and knows not where to turn to find escape from its imaginings.
  3. It is as if a circle held it fast, where in another circle bounded, and another one in that, until escape no longer can be hoped for, or obtained.  Attack, defense; defense, attack, become the circles of the hours and the days that bind the mind in heavy bands of steel with iron overlaid, returning but to start again. There seems to be no break nor ending in the ever, tightening grip of the imprisonment upon the mind.
  4. Defenses are the costliest of all the prices which the ego would exact. In them lies madness in a form so grim that hope of sanity seems but to be an idle dream, beyond the possible. The sense of threat the world encourages is so much deeper, and so far beyond the frenzy and intensity of which you can conceive, that you have no idea of all the devastation it has wrought.
  5. You are its slave. You know not what you do, in fear of it. You do not understand how much you have been made to sacrifice, who feels its iron grip upon your heart. You do not realize what you have done to sabotage the holy peace of God by your defensiveness. For you behold the Son of God as but a victim to attack by fantasies, by dreams, and by illusions he has made; yet helpless in their present, needful only of defense by still more fantasies, and dreams by which illusions of his safety comfort him.
  6. Defenselessness is strength. It testifies to recognition of the Christ in you. Perhaps you will recall the text maintains that choice is always made between Christ’s strength and your own weakness, seen apart from Him. Defensiveness can never be attacked, because it recognizes strength so great attack is folly, or a silly game a tired child might play, when he becomes too sleepy to remember what he wants.
  7. Defensiveness is weak.  It proclaims you have denied the Christ and come to fear His Father’s anger. What can save you now from your delusion of an angry God, whose fearful image you believe you see at work in all the evils of the world? What but illusions could defend you now when it is but illusions that you fight?
  8. We will not play such childish games today for our true purpose is to save the world, and we would not exchange for foolishness the endless joy our function offers us. We would not let our happiness slip by because a fragment of a senseless dream happened to cross our minds, and we mistook the figures in it for the Son of God, its tiny instant for eternity.
  9. We look past dreams today and recognize that we need no defense because we are created unassailable, without all thought or wish or dream in which attack has any meaning. Now we cannot fear, for we have left all fearful thoughts behind. And in defenselessness we stand secure, serenely certain of our safety now, sure of Salvation; sure we will fulfill our chosen purpose, as our ministry extends its holy blessing through the world.
  10. Be still a moment, and in silence think how holy is your purpose, how secure your rest, untouchable within its light. God’s ministers have chosen that the truth be with them. Who is holier than they? Who could be sure that his happiness is fully guaranteed? And who could be more mightily protected? What defense could possibly be needed by the ones who are among the chosen ones of God, by His election and their own as well?
  11. It is the function of God’s ministers to help their brothers choose as they have done. God has elected all, but few have come to realize His Will is but their own. And while you fail to teach what you have learned, Salvation waits, and darkness holds the world in grim imprisonment. Nor will you learn that light has come to you, and your escape has been accomplished. For you will not see the light, until you offer it to all your brothers. As they take it from your hands, so will you recognize it as your own.
  12. Salvation can be thought of as a game that happy children play. It was designed by One who loves His children, and who would replace their fearful toys with joyous games, which teach them that the game of fear is gone. His game instructs in happiness because there is no loser. Everyone who plays must win, and in his winning is the gain to everyone ensured.  The game of fear is gladly laid aside, when children come to see the benefits Salvation brings.
  13. You who have played that you are lost to hope, abandoned by your Father, left alone in terror in a fearful world made mad by sin and guilt; be happy now. That game is over. Now a quiet time has come, in which we put away the toys of guilt, and lock our quaint and childish thoughts of sin forever from the pure and holy minds of Heaven’s children and the Son of God.
  14. We pause but for a moment more, to play our final, happy game upon this earth. And then we go to take our rightful place where truth abides, and games are meaningless. So is the story ended. Let this day bring the last chapter closer to the world, that everyone may learn the tale he reads of terrifying destiny, defeat of all his hopes, his pitiful defense against a vengeance he cannot escape, is but his own deluded fantasy.  God’s ministers have come to waken him from the dark dreams this story has evoked in his confused, bewildered memory of this distorted tale.  God’s Son can smile at last, on learning that it is not true.
  15. Today we practice in a form we will maintain for quite a while. We will begin each day by giving our attention to the daily thought as long as possible. Five minutes now becomes the least we give to preparation for a day in which Salvation is the only goal we have. Ten would be better; fifteen better still and as distractions ceases to arise to turn us from our purpose, we will find that half an hour is too short a time to spend with God. Nor will we willingly give less at night, in gratitude and joy.
  16. Each hour adds to our increasing peace, as we remember to be faithful to the will we share with God. At times, perhaps, a minute, even less, will be the most that we can offer as the hour strikes. Sometimes we will forget.  At other times, the business of the world will close on us, and we will be unable to withdraw a little while and turn our thoughts to God.
  17. Yet when we can, we will observe our trust as ministers of God, an hourly remembrance of our mission and His love. And we will quietly sit by and wait on Him and listen to His Voice and learn what He would have us do the hour that is yet to come, while thanking Him for all the gifts He gave us in the one gone by.
  18. In time, with practice, you will never cease to think of Him, and hear His loving Voice guiding your footsteps into quiet ways, where you will walk in true defenselessness.  For you will know that Heaven goes with you. Nor would you keep your mind away from Him a moment, even though your time is spent in offering Salvation to the world. Think you He will not make this possible, for you who chose to carry out His plan for the Salvation of the world and yours?
  19. Today our theme is our defenselessness. We clothe ourselves in it, as we prepare to meet the day. We rise up strong in Christ, and let our weakness disappear, as we remember that His strength abides in us. We will remind ourselves that He remains beside us through the day, and never leaves our weakness unsupported by His strength. We call upon His strength each time we feel the threat of our defenses undermine our certainty of purpose. We will pause a moment, as He tells us, “I am here.”
  20. Your practicing will now begin to take the earnestness of love, to help you keep your mind from wandering from its intent. Be not afraid nor timid. There can be no doubt that you will reach your final goal. The ministers of God can never fail, because the love and strength and peace that shine from them to all their brothers come from Him. These are His gifts to you. Defenselessness is all you need to give Him in return. You lay aside but what was never real, to look on Christ and see His sinlessness.[1]
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Notes and Personal ApplicationIn today’s lesson we learn there is nothing in the world that is safe or secure.  The more defenses we would devise, the more we engage in a world designed to trap us in fear, distress, and anxiety.  It is only by knowing God and His love for us that we can put down our defenses and recognize the world and all that it seems to hold as a dream.  We can have a dream full of peace and happiness and devotion for truth or a dream fraught with danger, terror, and chaos, fearing God and denying His goodwill toward us. 

When we accept our salvation we are making the choice to live defenseless in the world.  We do not have to worry about wars, riots, plunder, and blunders.  That world does not exist in our minds because we are looking at the world beyond the one that we made to take the place of God’s Creation.  We no longer obligate ourselves to fix this world, because this world has proved itself to have no meaning and no everlasting value.  Because we no longer entangle ourselves in special relationships, we have no need for defense – holy relationships accept no allegiances, no accusations, no excuses, no demands for favors, attention, flattery, lies, or sacrifices. 

When we devote our minds to God, we no longer want anything at all to do with that which is not true, loving, good, and everlasting.  Why bother with anything at all that needs defense?  God does not want us to fight battles, argue causes, build walls, carry signs, or demand justice.  When our trust and allegiance is only to God, we will not make situations for ourselves that can be opposed by that which is not true and everlasting.  Therefore we do not get into mouth battles with those who would oppose us, but simply hold our tongue or share the truth with them. 

If someone insists that two plus two equals anything but four, there is no need to cut off their head, plunge daggers through their heart, or run about telling other people how stupid they are.  Neither is there any need to fight battles for truth.  It needs no defense.  It is in putting down our defenses and trusting in God in which our safety lies forever and ever. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 153. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 152 The Power Of Decision Is My Own

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 152 The Power of Decision is My Own.

  1. No one can suffer loss unless it be his own decision. No one suffers pain except his choice elects this state for him. No one can grieve nor fear nor think him sick unless these are the outcomes that he wants. And no one dies without his own consent. Nothing occurs but represents your wish, and nothing is omitted that you choose. Here is your world, complete in all details. Here is its whole reality for you. And it is only here Salvation is.
  2. You may believe that this position is extreme, and too inclusive to be true.  Yet can truth have exceptions? If you have the gift of everything, can loss be real?  Can pain be part of peace, or grief of joy? Can fear and sickness enter in a mind where love and perfect holiness abide? Truth must be all-inclusive if it be the truth at all.  Accept no opposites and no exceptions, for to do so is to contradict the truth entirely.
  3. Salvation is the recognition that the truth is true, and nothing else is true. This you have heard before but may not yet accept both parts of it. Without the first, the second has no meaning. But without the second, is the first no longer true. Truth cannot have an opposite. This cannot be too often said and thought about. For if what is not true is true as well as what is true, then part of truth is false. And truth has lost its meaning. Nothing but the truth is true, and what is false is false.
  4. This is the simplest of distinctions, yet the most obscure, but not because it is a difficult distinction to perceive. It is concealed behind a vast array of choices that do not appear to be entirely your own. And thus the truth appears to have some aspects that belie consistency, but do not seem to be but contradictions introduced by you.
  5. As God created you, you must remain unchangeable, with transitory states by definition false. And that includes all shifts and feeling, alterations in conditions of the body and the mind, in all awareness and in all response. This is the all-inclusiveness which sets the truth apart from falsehood, and the false kept separate from the truth, as what it is.
  6. Is it not strange that you believe to think you made the world you see is arrogance? God made it not. Of this you can be sure. What can He know of the ephemeral, the sinful, and the guilty, the afraid, the suffering, and lonely, and the mind that lives within a body that must die? You but accused Him of insanity, to think He made a world where such things seemed to have reality. He is not mad. Yet only madness makes a world like this.
  7. To think that God made chaos, contradicts His Will, invented opposites to truth, and suffers death to triumph over life; all this is arrogance. Humility would see at once these things are not of Him. And can you see what God created not? To think you can is merely to believe you can perceive what God willed not to be. And what could be more arrogant than this?
  8. Let us today be truly humble and accept what we have made as what it is. The power of decision is our own. Decide but to accept your rightful place as co-creator of the universe, and all you think you made will disappear. What rises to awareness then will be all that there ever was, eternally as it is now. And it will take the place of self-deceptions made but to usurp the altar to the Father and the Son.
  9. Today we practice true humility, abandoning the false pretense by which the ego seeks to prove it arrogant. Only the ego can be arrogant. But truth is humble in acknowledging its mightiness, its changelessness, and its eternal wholeness, all-encompassing, God’s perfect gift to His beloved Son. We lay aside the arrogance which says that we are sinners, guilty and afraid, ashamed of what we are; and lift our hearts in true humility instead to Him who has created us immaculate, like to Himself in power and in love.
  10. The power of decision is our own. And we accept of Him that which we are, and humbly recognize the Son of God. To recognize God’s Son implies as well that all self-concepts have been laid aside and recognized as false. Their arrogance has been perceived. And in humility the radiance of God’s Son, his gentleness, his perfect sinlessness, his Father’s Love, his right to Heaven and release from hell, are joyously accepted as our own.
  11. Now do we join in glad acknowledgement that lies are false, and only truth is true. We think of truth alone as we arise, and spend five minutes practicing its ways, encouraging our frightened minds with this: The power of decision is my own. This day I will accept myself as what my Father’s Will created me to be. Then will we wait in silence, giving up all self-deceptions, as we humbly ask our Self that He reveal Himself to us. And He Who never left will come again to our awareness, grateful to restore His home to God, as it was meant to be.
  12. In patience wait for Him throughout the day, and hourly invite Him with the words with which the day began, concluding it with this same invitation to your Self. God’s Voice will answer, for He speaks for you and for your Father. He will substitute the peace of God for all your frantic thoughts, the truth of God for self-deceptions, and God’s Son for your illusions of yourself.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application: Today we come to the Lord in all humility to accept our Sonship, to acknowledge that we have believed in a lie, have dishonored our inheritance, have been taken in by the enchantment of this world.  We take full responsibility for having been duped by the dispirit of the lie.  As Sons of God we were only too willing to exchange our invulnerability for a meat and flesh body; our everlasting power, light, and love for a desire to be special and compete to “survive” in a dog-eat-dog world, relying upon the unreliable to light our way.  With no shame and no regret, with only the humble confidence of a dearly beloved child who is ever certain of its Father’s love, we return our minds to what can only be true. 

In Part I of our yearly lessons, we devote ourselves each day to one more step in undoing the way we see things now.  Now we see the world and experience this world and all the atrocities that seem to repeat themselves down through history as our “reality.”  However, Jesus urges us to recognize that none of this is real, it cannot be real because only truth is real.  Truth cannot have an opposite – and our God of Love would not and could not create an atrocity.  This is a world of our own doing – a godless, loveless world founded by minds which believed in what could never be true.

This may seem like a difficult concept to grasp until we consider the simple equation of two plus two equals four.  Two and two more can only equal four.  Any other answer than four is simply wrong.  It is not true.  We do not have to quarrel, get into spats, create cults and denominations based upon the truth of four.  If we do not want to accept the truth of four but would choose to spend our lives debating all the other supposed and possible outcomes we will enter into a false state of division, confusion, and upheaval.  No matter what we do within that state of believing the answer to two plus two is three, five, six, or seven, we are not operating upon reality. The believers of two plus two equals three can argue until the cows come home with the believers of two plus two equals seven, but only until all believers of that which does not add up to four lay down their resistance to the truth will there be anything but chaos, arguments, and debates.  Any other equation that is built upon the concept of two plus two equals anything other than four will never be true, stable, or dependable.  One seemingly harmless mistake will have upset the very foundation of math learning.  We can expect only fractious, irrational results from all mathematical theories based upon such error. 

Jesus emphasizes to us in today’s lesson idea that this is the basic problem of the world we experience with our senses.  Because it is based upon a lie, the fear of God instead of the love of God, none of it can be true. Our very salvation depends upon recognizing that God did not create this place of separation, sacrifice, and suicide. We did.  Our sojourn in time is an illusion which we made in place of truth.  No matter how real it may seem, it simply cannot be true – its foundation is built upon the shifting sands of time, everything fades and shifts as soon as it begins because we believed in lies.     

We are the only ones to make the decision for truth.  We lay aside the humanity we have made to replace our Sonship and humbly acknowledge our immortality.  We let everything we learned about ourselves as bodies go and see that the arrogant conceptions we held about ourselves was deception.  With everlasting joy we accept the gentle radiance, the holiness, the everlasting love of our Father which releases us from the hellish dream.

Today we spend at least five minutes morning and evening acknowledging the truth of this lesson.  We encourage our minds, to give up its frightened hold upon traditions of lies and false practices, by repeating this prayer:    

The power of decision is my own. This day I will accept myself as what my Father’s Will created me to be.

Silently throughout the day we give up self-deceptions.  We accept the world’s delineations no longer. The world we made can no longer define or discount our love for God.  We ask our true Self, our oneness with Christ, our holy and everlasting Spirit to reveal Himself to us. Jesus says that as we pray this unpretentious prayer, our Self in Christ will come again to our awareness, so full of gratitude that His home is restored to God as it was always meant to be!


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 152 The power of decision…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 150 All Things Are Echoes Of The Voice For God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 151 All Things Are Echoes of the Voice for God.

  1. No one can judge on partial evidence.  That is not judgment. It is merely an opinion based on ignorance and doubt. Its seeming certainty is but a cloak for the uncertainty it would conceal. It needs irrational defense because it is irrational. And its defense seems strong, convincing, and without a doubt because of all the doubting underneath.
  2. You do not seem to doubt the world you see. You do not really question what is shown you through the body’s eyes. Nor do you ask why you believe it, even though you learned a long while since your senses do deceive. That you believe them to the last detail which they report is even stranger, when you pause to recollect how frequently they have been faulty witnesses indeed! Why would you trust them so implicitly? Why but because of underlying doubt, which you would hide with show of certainty?
  3. How can you judge? Your judgment rests upon the witness that your senses offer you. Yet witness never falser was then this.  But how else do you judge the world you see? You place pathetic faith in what your eyes and ears report. You think your fingers touch reality, and close upon the truth. This is awareness that you understand and think more real than what is witnessed to by the eternal Voice for God Himself.
  4. Can this be judgment? You have often been urged to refrain from judging, not because it is a right to be withheld from you. You cannot judge. You merely can believe the ego’s judgments, all of which are false. It guides your senses carefully, to prove how weak you are; how helpless and afraid, how apprehensive of just punishment, how black with sin, how wretched in your guilt.
  5. This thing it speaks of, and would yet defend, it tells you is yourself. And you believe that this is so with stubborn certainty. Yet underneath remains the hidden doubt that what it shows you as reality with such conviction it does not believe. It is itself alone that it condemns. It is within itself it sees the guilt. It is its own despair it sees you.
  6. Hear not its voice. The witnesses it sends to prove to you its evil is your own are false and speak with certainty of what they do not know. Your faith in them is blind because you would not share the doubts their lord cannot completely vanquish. You believe to doubt his vassals is to doubt yourself.
  7. Yet you must learn to doubt their evidence will clear the way to recognize yourself and let the Voice for God alone be judge of what is worthy of your own belief. He will not tell you that your brother should be judged by what your eyes behold in him, nor what his body’s mouth says to your ears, nor what your fingers’ touch reports of him. He passes by such idle witnesses, which merely bear false witness to God’s Son. He recognizes only what God loves, and in the holy light of what He sees do all the ego’s dreams of what you are vanish before the splendor He beholds.
  8. Let Him be judge of what you are, for He has certainty in which there is no doubt, because it rests on Certainty so great that doubt is meaningless before Its face. Christ cannot doubt Himself. The Voice for God can only honor Him, rejoicing in His perfect, everlasting sinlessness. Whom He has judged can only laugh at guilt, unwilling now to play with toys of sin, unheeding of the body’s witnesses before the rapture of Christ’s holy face.
  9. And thus He judges you. Accept His word for what you are, for He bears witness to your beautiful creation, and the Mind Whose Thought created your reality. What can the body mean to Him who knows the glory of the Father and the Son? What whispers of the ego can He hear? What could convince Him that your sins are real?  Let Him be Judge as well of everything that seems to happen to you in this world. His lessons will enable you to bridge the gap between illusions and the truth.
  10. He will remove all faith that you have placed in pain, disaster, suffering, and loss. He gives you vision which can look beyond these grim appearances and can behold the gentle face of Christ in all of them. You will no longer doubt that only good can come to you who are beloved of God, for He will judge all happenings, and teach the single lesson that they all contain.
  11. He will select the elements in them which represent the truth and disregard those aspects which reflect but idle dreams. And He will reinterpret all you see, and all occurrences, each circumstance, and every happening that seems to touch on you in any way from His one frame of reference, wholly unified and sure.  And you will see the love beyond the hate, the constancy in change, the pure in sin, and only Heaven’s blessing on the world.
  12. Such is your resurrection, for your life is not a part of anything you see. It stands beyond the body and the world, past every witness for unholiness, within the Holy, holy as Itself. In everyone and everything His voice would speak to you of nothing but your Self and your Creator, who is one with Him. So will you see the holy face of Christ in everything, and here in everything no sound except the echo of God’s Voice.
  13. We practice wordlessly today, except at the beginning of the time we spend with God. We introduce these times with but a single, slow repeating of the thought with which the day begins. And then we watch our thoughts, appealing silently to Him who sees the elements of truth in them. Let Him evaluate each thought that comes to mind, remove the elements of dreams, and give them back again as clean ideas that do not contradict the Will of God.
  14. Give Him your thoughts, and He will give them back as miracles which joyously proclaim the wholeness and the happiness God wills His Son, as proof of His eternal love. And as each thought is thus transformed, it takes on healing power from the mind which saw the truth in it and failed to be deceived by what was falsely added. All the threads of fantasy are gone. And what remains is unified into a perfect thought that offers its perfection everywhere.
  15. Spend 15 minutes thus when you are awake and gladly give another 15 minutes before you go to sleep.  Your ministry begins as all your thoughts are purified.  So are you taught to teach the Son of God the Holy lesson of His sanctity. No one can fail to listen, when you hear the Voice for God give honor to God’s Son. And everyone will share the thoughts with you which He has retranslated in your mind.
  16. Such is your Eastertide. And so you lay the gift of snow-white lilies on the world, replacing witnesses to sin and death. Through your transfiguration is the world redeemed, and joyfully released from guilt. Now do we lift our resurrected minds in gladness and in gratitude to Him who has restored our sanity to us.
  17. And we will hourly remember Him who is Salvation and deliverance. As we give thanks, the world unites with us and happily accepts our holy thoughts, which Heaven has corrected and made pure. Now has our ministry begun at last, to carry round the world the joyous news that truth has no illusions, and the peace of God, through us, belongs to everyone.[1]
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Notes and Personal ApplicationThis morning as we spend our first fifteen minutes in devotion with the Lord, we teach ourselves the holy lesson of our sanctity in Christ. We do not believe what the ego has painted us out to be – a fallible body, a soulless avatar, motivated by hunger, thirst, and greed for pleasure.  We honor ourselves as the holy eternal spirits God created.  We are as God created us – and God only creates that which is good and that which lasts forever. 

We do not believe the false report.  And in today’s lesson Jesus teaches us that whatever our physical senses report is false.  It is fake news.  We can rest assured that the thoughts we hold of ourselves are the thoughts we hold of our brothers.  For we are unified in our minds; we are not separated by the color of our skin or by our gender, we are not separated by time or space, we are not separated by political beliefs or religious practices.  There is no difference at all if you come from the South or if you come from the North.  We are one creation.  What we believe of others is what we believe of ourselves, no matter how the ego wants to play games with our head and make us think otherwise! 

We are no longer witnesses to death and sin; we are witnesses to life and holiness.  This is our calling – we are transformed, and the world is transformed by our transfiguration.  We set ourselves and the world free when we refuse to believe the false report.  When we begin to stir from the stupor in which the ego has enslaved our minds, we are no longer willing pawns in the soap operatic games of the ego. No guilt.  No sin.  No separation.  It was all a big mistake in identity, a child’s blustering stab at autonomy and specialness, a journey through the dark valley of let’s-do-it-my-way-and-not-God’s-way.

We no longer give faith to the loveless tales, the spiteful judgments, the thousands upon thousands of curious ways in which the ego has dreamed to kill us off and terrorize our minds, poisoning us against one another.  We love with the love of God.  We see with the eyes of Christ.

Jesus tells us that we will see the love beyond the hate, the constancy in change, the pure in sin, and only Heaven’s blessing on the world.  We will no longer doubt that God has planned only goodness for His creation, for we will know Him not only as our Lord and King, but as our loving and devoted Father.   

Throughout the day today we remember Christ – our Salvation and our deliverance.  When we give Him thanks, the world is no longer our enemy, but our friend who joins happily in our wholeness and our correction.  This is our ministry in which we all have a part.  We share this joyful message of truth.  We no longer believe the false reports of death and decay, of sin and shame, for we share the only the blessed peace of God which resonates through us one and all. 


[1] https://acim.org/workbook/lesson-151/

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 150 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Review IV

Lesson 150 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God.

(139)  I will accept Atonement for myself.

(140)  Only Salvation can be said to cure.1

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Notes and Personal Application: Today is our last day in Review IV.  We spend five minutes in the morning and evening contemplating the theme of our review – My holds only what I think with God.  The thoughts we think in the world that revolve around survival, pleasures, avoiding pain, and planning our defenses against all of the world’s woes are only temporary.  We must think them in time, but now that we have made the decision for Heaven, we know that these thoughts are not our own.  They are thoughts generated by a world separated from God, from truth, from reality.  We do not need them where we are going.  We do not want them.  We are willing to loose them.  While we are in time, we may enjoy our food, our clothes, our means of transportation.  We may like our hobbies, excel at our jobs, enjoy the companionship of our mates and children and friends, but we no longer cherish the thoughts of the world; we cherish only the thoughts of God.

In lesson review 139, we tell our minds firmly and with certainty that we accept Atonement for ourselves.  We have made the decision for Heaven.  We no longer accept the world’s version of ourselves.  No matter how much we love our bodies, we know that we are not our bodies!  We know that we are not our occupations.  We know that we are far more than what we have in the bank, or how much we do for our families or communities.  We no longer question who we are!  We have accepted the Atonement for ourselves and we know who we are – we are God’s perfect Son, part of the Brotherhood of Christ, the Sonship of God.  Atonement is the remedy for any question about our identity.  We have no concerns about our ancestry, evolution vs. creation, or our DNA.  We are not made of flesh and blood.  We are born of God, we are the Mind of Christ, everlasting spirits dedicated to the cause of unity. 

Atonement clear our minds of all the cobwebs the world weaves around our identity and gives us the certainty of God.  Atonement exposes the world’s mockery and spite it would use to keep us from knowing who and what we are.  As we accept the Atonement of Christ, we become one with Christ.  It is our salvation.  And salvation is the cure for all that ails the world.

When we are saved, we are cured.  Our minds no longer accept the world’s label of what and who we are.  We are whole, we are holy, we are free of condemnation, of sin, of guilt and shame.  God abides in us and where God abides sin and sickness cannot be. 

It is this thought that cures us – it makes no distinctions.  It is not magic – it does not involve spells, potions, or sacrifices.  It does not call upon a special someone to perform a costly operation or exorcism or provide a miracle.  It is simply truth applied.  We listen for the Voice for God, the Voice for healing, the Voice for sanity.  There is nothing else can heal except this quiet Voice for God.  When we quiet our minds and still our bodies, we listen.  We clear our inner altars of all the chatter, the demands, the chores that pile up and clamor for our attention.  We stop all interfering thoughts as one and lay them aside.  We come to Him now with nothing to offer him except our quiet hearts and open minds. 

We say with the earnestness of an unblemished child, “Only salvation can be said to cure.  Speak to us, Father, that we may be healed.”  For all of our mental anguish, stress, and sorrow we say this prayer.  For all of our aches and pains that strain and weary our earthly domains, we pray these words. 

Jesus says that as we pray this prayer, our salvation covers us softly, protecting us with a peace so deep the world can no longer deceive us or tempt us to believe in its dreams.  Give it a go.  As we get past our skepticism, our irrational affection for pain and suffering, we call upon our Father, believing in our salvation to not only save our souls but keep our earthly bodies functioning in health and wellness.  His Will is our happiness, here in this dream and in the world beyond.  When we know this, we can accept it as gratefully and as expectantly as a most treasured child, His beloved Son. 

1A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 150. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 277.

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Lesson 149 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Review IV

Lesson 149 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God.

(137)  When I am healed, I am not healed alone.

(138)  Heaven is the decision I must make.[1]

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Notes and Personal Application:  Today we open with the prayer that our mind holds only what we think with God.  This is not a prayer request; it is a prayer of confirmation.  All other thoughts in our mind fade away – we are left holding only what we think with God.  When we meditate upon this lesson idea for five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening, we are setting ourselves free from troublesome worries, cares, and concerns – everything is in God’s capable hands.  We are His and only what we think with Him means anything at all.  There is no need to fight off ungodly thoughts; we simply recognize them for the big nothing that they are and gladly let them go.  Unholiness is a thing of the past – it is gone, as if it never were. 

While yesterday’s last lesson review was “sickness is a defense against truth,” today’s idea pulls us away from the idea of sickness and assures us that as we choose truth over sickness, our healing heals not only ourselves, but our brothers as well.  While sickness operates on laws from this world, healing operates on laws from the world beyond this one.  Sickness splinters our wholeness with others; healing makes us one again.  Healing is wholeness, and we are whole only through our oneness, the Brotherhood of Christ, the Sonship of God. 

Jesus reminds us that in the world Anti-Christ becomes more powerful than Christ to those whose body seems more stable and solid than the mind.  In the world, the message of Christ is nothing but a dream, a false hope.  Those who seek the world beyond are despised here as insipid and foolish, while salvation’s cynics are seen as shrewd and smart, the ones who have a firm grip upon a reality which can be witnessed, defended, examined, judged, condemned, and justified.   Yet these world views sicken our minds, cause our bodies to fail us, and cement our minds in fear and separation. 

When we allow our minds to grasp the truth, we are healed.  And we are not healed alone!  In paragraph 10, Jesus tells us that all of those around us, who cross our minds, the ones we touch, and even those with whom we have lost touch with, who no longer speak to us or appreciate our gifts, are healed along with us.[2]  We have no need to go out in the highways and byways and convert others to our way of thinking.  We simply focus upon our own healing and the healing of others naturally follows. 

In our second review idea, we contemplate the idea that Heaven is the decision that we must make.  It is not “a” decision, it is “the” decision, the one decision we must make while we are under the mesmerism of time.  In reality, the decision has already been made for us.  There is no choice.  God has made us and has not abandoned us.  But in the dream-like enchantment of separateness, we are here to make the conscious choice for heaven.  Consciously, we must consider the alternatives, to understand what we are up against, we must look upon the darkness and the shadows and to judge it with the help of Heaven.  We must be willing to have our perceptions be corrected; we must want the truth, and only the truth.  We must give up our love for darkness and the lie.  We choose heaven when we recognize how all else lacks meaning, has no value, and ends in death. 

Choosing heaven ends not only the fear of hell, but the fear of God.  Choosing heaven means we no longer value the valueless – we no longer insanely attempt to make meaning where none can be found.  Our attachments, our idolatry, our bad habits, the false affections and affectations that loomed so large are seen for what they truly are – dumb and trite mistakes, easily forgiven, long forgotten, of no lasting effect.  We are free of terror, spite, and lies forever.  We are free of the world of opposites, of specialness, of death.  Heaven is the decision that we make.  We never change our minds, because when we make that conscious choice, it is the only thing we could possibly want. 


[1]A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 149. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 277.

[2] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 139. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 265.

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 148 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Review IV

Lesson 148 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God.

(135)  If I defend myself, I am attacked.

(136)  Sickness is a defense against truth.[1]

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Notes and Personal Application:  In Review IV, our theme continues to be “My mind holds only what I think with God.”  Let us be thankful that this is true!  Our mind can only hold what we think with the everlasting – all else passes away when our lives in time are over.  We return to God without any of the trappings of the world, and we no longer live by the laws of the world. 

Here we love other people who are special to us, we love them because they are family, or friends, our husbands or wives, our bosom buddies, or our classmates.  In God’s Kingdom we love one and all because we recognize our equality, our unity with God, and our brotherhood with Christ.  Here when we give something away, we are poorer and those whom we contribute to are richer.  In God’s Kingdom what we give, we receive – in fact, the only way to keep what we want is to give it away.

Today as we review Lesson 135, we learn that to defend ourselves invites attack.  When we first read this concept, it seems a riddle of sorts.  Defense and attack are two separate things in our world.  Yet Jesus is saying that only when we defend ourselves are we under attack.  In other words, we are to think with God we do not even recognize the feeble efforts of others to harm us or steal our joy as attack.  The pure in heart and mind, though not simple-minded, do not enter into defense, simply because they see the world in time as already over.  They see no need to defend that which can not be attacked.  They see no need to beat a dead horse. They see no need to plot and plan on how to succeed over their enemies.  They see no need to disturb their peace – they are just too busy being happy, loving Jesus, and enjoying the certainty and freedom of God to collect arms, put up shields, and insist on their righteousness, salvation, or innocence.

Lesson 136 would suggest that sickness is no accident, but rather a device of the ego used to deceive us.  Sickness attempts to cast a shadow upon our holiness, our Sonship, our well-being, and wholeness.  It is just one more way in which the ego defends against reality.  Jesus tells us quite bluntly that we choose sickness when the truth becomes unbearable to us.  We would rather believe in what we can see, rather than what is forever. While it may be difficult for us to believe or to confess that we choose sickness to defend against the truth, truth has power while defenses do not.   When we are willing to lay down our defenses and cease to play with the “rewards” that sickness offers, healing will cleanse our minds of all the ill wishes that tempted it to sanction our bodies to obey.  Lesson 136 offers us two prayers that whether we believe this concept or not, is helpful in our journey to God, and in our desire to have healed minds and bodies that serve us without pain and suffering.  The first follows:

Sickness is a defense against truth.  I will accept the truth of what I am, and let my mind be wholly healed today.[2] 

Today as Coltin and I were doing his reading, comprehension, spelling, and math worksheets, he tearfully whined about how stupid he is.  He was giving me a lot of grief for expecting him to do schoolwork during his summer vacation!  It simply did not match his picture.   Somewhere along the line, our grandson had picked up the notion that learning is too hard for him, that it is a dull enterprise, and a useless journey.  He would much rather be looking at his IPad or watching TV!

It was not until we had a conversation about truth that Coltin realized that God does not make stupid people.  He began to see that learning can be fun.  He started to see how believing the truth about ourselves helps us get over any false messages that we may have made up from comparing ourselves with others, failing tests, or being put in special classes in school.  While calling himself stupid may have won him pity and sympathy from others and lowered expectations, the truth does not coddle any such whims and wishes.  

Throughout our lives, we can choose to be special cases in order to avoid facing the truth about ourselves, or we can lay aside all the purposes we gave to our body and receive the strength it needs to serve all useful purposes.  Jesus says that our body’s health is fully guaranteed – it is not limited by time, weather, fatigue, by food and drink, or any laws of the world.  Jesus says that as our minds are healed, as we remember who and what we are, we do not have to concern ourselves with our bodies at all, in fact sickness becomes impossible.

Do we dare to believe this, to reach for this, to experience this?  Lesson 136 states with certainty that sickness comes from harboring attack thoughts, judging others, and making plans without God – in other words, as having forgotten who we are, for sickening our minds. 

But the ending prayers offers an immediate remedy when this occurs.  We do not have to allow our defenses to hurt us a moment longer or be in a state of confusion about what needs healed when we tell ourselves:

I have forgotten what I really am, for I mistook my body for myself. Sickness is a defense against the truth.  But I am not a body.  And my mind cannot attack.  So I can not be sick.[3]


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 148 My mind holds only…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 276

[2] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 136, ¶15. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 259.

[3]A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 136, ¶20. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 260.

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Lesson 147 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Review IV

Lesson 147 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God.

(133)  I will not value what is valueless.

(134)  Let me perceive forgiveness as it is.[1]   

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Notes and Personal ApplicationWe thought we would take our minds from God, but it is impossible to take what belongs to God.  What belongs to God will always remain as God’s.  We belong to Him.  In time, we may experience what feels like a separation, but Jesus assures us throughout our Course study, that our humanity is a hoax – we are not bodies, we are spirits, made in the image of God.  We belong to Him and we are one with Him.  Our minds cannot exist without Him; our minds can hold only what we think with Him.  Everything else is a fabrication.  It dies and is no more.  Good riddance!

Today we give five minutes to contemplating this truth.  We give back to God that which never left Him, for we have always belonged to Him, heart, mind, and soul.  He never left us go, He never abandoned us to a cruel world.  He never kicked us out of His Kingdom.  Once we recognize this truth, we are no more willing to value the worthless dream.  We can only value that which is of God.  We can only be drawn to that which speaks of God, for we no longer value the nightmare of separation when we remember our oneness and unity with God. We can only hold in our mind that which we think with God.

In lesson review 134, we ask to perceive forgiveness as it is.  True forgiveness cannot be found in the world.  The world does not understand true forgiveness because when the world forgives it makes wrongdoing real.  It does not correct.  It does not undo.  True forgiveness undoes any wrongdoing by simply recognizing that it is not real.  When someone steals from me, what they stole is not real, the alter self which would take that which does not belong to them is not real, nor is the justice system that is set up to judge, punish, and condemn real in the everlasting sense of the word. 

It certainly feels real enough.  Even as I sit here and write this blog I am thinking of how much I despise a thief.  I can hardly bear the thought of someone stealing from me.  I honestly think that thieves are as bad as killers, and I have every right to protect my stuff from someone’s sticky fingers!  But no matter how real it would seem to me if someone stole my car or my tractor or my homemade potholders, it simply is not real.  As much as it might bother me, it is just a glitch in time, it passes, it means nothing, and it is nothing.  The only way to undo the thievery is to forgive it.  We do not value the valueless.  We let it go.  We trust in God and we hold everything here in this world with an open hand.  Forgiveness then goes deep.  This was something we discussed in yesterday’s ACIM meeting.  When we first started this path, forgiveness was highly personalized – one by one we went through our past and forgave (as best we could) those who we had formerly condemned for disappointing or hurting us.  The list seemed endless.  Sometimes the forgiveness would “take,” and other times we would have to keep doing it.  But now forgiveness is more abstract.  It is less personal.  We forgive because we have no expectations here.  We no longer value the valueless.  We forgive it because the world cannot be any other way. 

While I enjoy my stuff and am happy with what our hard work and sacrifices has brought into our existence here, I understand that it has no eternal value whatsoever.  I cannot take any of it with me to the world beyond!  I would not want to.  I want to hang on to what brings me joy and pleasure here as long as I can, but if someone steals it from me, they will not be stealing my joy, my freedom, or my salvation.  When I forgive the world, I undo all the effects it has on me, I loosen its hold upon me, I am liberated. I am saved! 

Throughout the day remind yourself of the lesson review ideas.  Seal them in your mind and heart by asking Holy Spirit to reveal their truth to you.  Nothing we go through in separation is real or has any meaning or worth.  We do not take it with us.  When we go to the world beyond this one, we go pure and holy and unencumbered.  We do not take our wounds, our sorrow, our grief, our pleasures, or our belongings.  We return to God in our right minds and with our eyes awakened from the enchantment of the world.  We do not return groggy, drunken, or in a drug induced stupor.  We have looked at the world with opened eyes, we are deceived no more.  We no longer value the valueless. We forgive it and everything and everyone in it for being the big nothing it has proved to be.  This is forgiveness as it is.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 147. Kindle Edition.

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 146 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Review IV

Lesson 146 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God.

(131) No one can fail who seeks to reach the truth.

(132)  I loose the world from all I thought it was.[1]

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Notes and Personal ApplicationToday during our ACIM meeting, I shared how much the theme of Review IV means to me.  One of the most difficult struggles that I have had throughout my life is holding loving and trusting thoughts in my mind.  I always felt as if I were not a good enough person to be a Christian because no matter how hard I tried I could not control the thoughts that were in my mind.  They seemed to just pop into my head and many times out of my mouth before I even had a chance to process them.  Thoughts seemed to be my responsibility even though they seemed to be coming from everywhere.  But the onus for thoughts are not ours, Jesus informs us.  Thoughts are from one of two sources – the thoughts of the ego which are not true thought but only random and chaotic distractions to keep us from the truth, or the thoughts of God which are the truth.  Our mind holds only what we think with God.  Everything else fades in time.  I have no reason to be ashamed of them, to take responsibility for them, to try to change them.  They are not mine!

Knowing that they are not mine, that there is no reason to act upon them, knowing that they are not true or real or hold any promise at all, sets me free.  I am free to forgive, I am free to hold thoughts of God, I am free to be creative and to fulfill my God-given function. 

My God-given function here in time is to seek the truth.  And today’s lesson review assures us that no one who seeks the truth can fail.  We can not fail.  This means that every path, even those which seem to lead us astray, always ends in truth.  We tend to judge ourselves and others by our process, but the process is only the means, and not the end.  The end for all of our seeking is truth.  We cannot fail.

The second review idea has proved to be the biggest illusion-buster of all.  When we loose the world from all we thought it was, we are free of it.  The world’s battles are not our battles.  The world’s worries are not our worries.  The world with all its calls and causes, its chaos and consternations, its proposals and plans is recognized for the shadowlands it is, and we let it go. It was not what we thought it was.  We thought we could find happiness, meaning, love, certainty, and security, but the world cannot give what it was meant to take away.  We see it for what it is, a death trap, a network of lies, centuries of war, purges, plunder, rape, and despair.  We loose it.  We forgive it.  We get over it.  No more whining and complaining about it.  No more thinking others have got a better deal than us, no more demanding our rights or clamoring for justice.  We no longer seek for what will never be found here.  When we loose the world, we are free! 

Today we ask Holy Spirit within to inform us, to make these concepts real to us, to bring them to life.  We let them light our path and bring peace to our hearts.  We repeat them often and memorize their truth.  We share these concepts only with those who desire to hear them for they are precious and of great value and not to be broadcast indiscriminately or given to those who are not prepared.  Our mind holds only what we think with God.  With certainty we reach for truth as we loose the world from what we thought it was. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 146. Kindle Edition.

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 145 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Review IV

Lesson 145 My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God.

(129) Beyond this world is a world I want.

(130) It is impossible to see two worlds.[1]

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Notes and Personal Application: Each day in Review Four, as we focus upon the main theme of “my mind holds only what I think with God,” our eyes are opened to the reality of God’s Kingdom, our everlasting home.  In the world, our brains are constantly firing off random and not so random thoughts – calling for us to do this and to do that, to come here and go there, to chase this cause or trash that one, to love him or to hate her.  This continues while we sleep – our evolved brain manufactures dreams that we cannot help but ponder.  Are their hidden messages, signs and omens of unforeseen events or happenings in our nighttime fables? 

Our personal concerns and cares loom large in our brains; we chew our nails and gnash our teeth with worry and fret; and then they pass, and our brains go on to gnaw upon fresh cartilage.  But our minds!  A completely different story.  Time cannot steal the thoughts we think with God.  The thoughts we think with God are forever.  And so it is with this understanding, this keen awakening to its truth, that we begin to remember the real world.

Beyond this world, is the world we yearn for and long for, the world we really want.  Here we have an upside down, twisted version of that one.  Here we have the polluted nightmare – the fear of God, and not the love of God.  Here we have the special relationships, which the world substitutes for holy relationships.  Here we learn in bits and parts and scattered, disconnected pieces; there we learn holistically because everything and everyone are unified.  Here we chase after that which will never satisfy; there we have no need to pursue, strive, or stress ourselves over what we have freely, abundantly, and forever.  You get the picture.  This is the world we want.  This world is the tormented reflection of the world that lies beyond.  Throughout the day, we are to remind ourselves that the world beyond this one holds everything we want.  To want anything in this world is to doom ourselves to constant repair, regret, and dissatisfaction; to merely want the world beyond this one sets our feet upon the right path and heals our minds in the here and now. 

And then we learn that we cannot see two worlds.  We are either totally bamboozled with this one, or we see it for what it is – a sham, a perversion, a matrix of opposites.  We either continue to seek for that which cannot be found here in this world, or we seek for the happiness which can only be found in the world beyond.  We identify ourselves and others through egos, personality, and bodies or we identify through our brotherhood in Christ, our Sonship with God, our everlasting spirits.  We judge ourselves and others by the past, or we set each other free in the present moment as we recognize our wholeness, our holiness.  We cannot have it both ways.  We either awaken in the nightmare and bring it to truth, or we continue to dream the dark dreams of death, seeking for truth where it cannot be found.

Giving our minds to thoughts of God and with God only seems unnatural in time.  While in this world we need to set times for devotion, for times of quiet and contemplation, for times of remembering and refreshing our minds – in the world beyond we are one with God.  We are plugged in, so to speak, to our Source at all times.  Nobody has to remind us; no temptations would come to knock us off our paths or steal the truth and twist it to alarm and stress us.  As we awaken in this world, do not let the calls for five minutes in the morning and in the evening distress us, do not let the calls for hourly reminders of our lesson review ideas weigh upon us.  Ask God to help us learn to stay as one with Him throughout the day.  The quiet Voice for God is within us, is one with us.  As we begin to practice quietness, we will realize how full our minds are of thoughts with God.  It becomes then, unnatural, and shocking even, to imagine ever wanting any other world then the one beyond the one in which we dream. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 145…Kindle Edition.

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com