Part Two – Section Five: What Is The Body

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PART II.  SECTION 5.  WHAT IS THE BODY

  1. The body is a fence the Son of God imagines he has built, to separate parts of his Self from other parts. It is within this fence he thinks he lives, to die as it decays and crumbles. For within this fence he thinks that he is safe from love. Identifying with his safety, he regards himself as what his safety is. How else could he be certain he remains within the body, keeping love outside?
  2. The body will not stay. Yet this he sees as double safety. For the Son of God’s impermanence is “proof” his fences work and do the task his mind assigns to them. For if his oneness still remained untouched, who could attack and who could be attacked? Who could be victor? Who could be his prey? Who could be victim? Who the murderer? And if he did not die, what “proof” is there that God’s eternal son can be destroyed?
  3. The body is a dream. Like other dreams it sometimes seems to picture happiness, but can quite suddenly revert to fear, where every dream is born. For only love creates in truth, and truth can never fear. Made to be fearful, must the body serve the purpose given it. But we can change the purpose that the body will obey by changing what we think that it is for.
  4. The body is the means by which God’s Son returns to sanity. Though it was made to fence him into hell without escape yet has the goal of Heaven been exchanged for the pursuit of hell. The Son of God extends his hand to reach his brother, and to help him walk along the road with him. Now is the body holy. Now it serves to heal the mind that it was made to kill.
  5. You will identify with what you think will make you safe. Whatever it may be, you will believe that it is one with you. Your safety lies in truth, and not in lies. Love is your safety. Fear does not exist. Identify with love, and you are safe. Identify with love, and you are home. Identify with love and find your Self.[1]
Photo credit: http://www.gloryshift.com

Notes and Personal Application:  Hold tight!  Now that we are informed of the unreality of sin, we are being introduced to the concept of the unreality of the body.  In paragraph three, Jesus teaches that the body is a dream that sometimes seems to bring us happiness but can just as quickly snatch it away.  We learn that to cherish the body is to cherish death – it was not created in love and therefore cannot be truth.  We were born to be afraid.  To survive in this world, we must always be on guard against potential harms, shortages, abuses, and deprivations.  When we are young, our parents are about driven mad by thoughts of the dangers we face.  As our bodies grow old in time, we can literally lose our minds with worry over the dangers that face our children and grandchildren, not to mention ourselves as feebleness and loss occur in the already vulnerable body. 

The good news is that when we begin to accept the truth about who and what we are as Sons of God, we can change the very purpose the body.  We can use the body as a means to return to sanity.  We exchange the fear and bondage to its hellish purpose for the goal of Heaven.  We forgive one another the shortcomings and failures that occur from relating to one another as mere bodies, and we help one another walk along the road to God.  This is the way we bring our bodies to holiness.  This is the way that our bodies begin to heal the mind that is was made to extinguish. 

When we identify with our bodies, we are putting ourselves in a state of fear.  Our bodies are very much dependent on food, water, shelter, clothing, warmth, and sustenance.  We need activity and we need rest.  We need a sense of belonging to feel safe and to thrive in the world because alone we are not only an easy target for predators, but we cannot provide for even our most basic needs without the help and the contribution of a fleet of people.  We often forget this in our daily lives as we slurp down our smoothies, enjoy our warm, sudsy showers, perform equations on our computers, call for pizza delivery on our smart phones, but a brief meditation upon the many people with their knowledge, skills, and physical labor in the fields of agriculture, technology, plumbing, heating, cooling and so on will soon inform us that no matter how independent we may deceive ourselves into believing we are, we would not be able to exist without our fellows. 

Our bodies made as a fence to keep us from recognizing our oneness with the Whole, deceives us into thinking we have no use or need others.  We do not need brotherhood, fellowship, or forgiveness.  We protect what is ours and mine and let the rest of the world go to hell.  We can look after ourselves.  We can be the boss of me. 

Jesus points out that even though the body cannot really defend us, it is still proof that separation works to accomplish the goal of the ego.  For as the body fades away, those who place their identity in it, prove that the Son of God can be destroyed. 

Today we can make the choice to use our bodies as a means to return to the truth.  We who are in the body can no longer embrace thoughts of sin and separation, but rather extend our hand to reach our brothers who walk in the path back to God.  When we lay down our defenses against the other and walk in holiness, our bodies naturally follow.  Our bodies, Jesus says, now serve to heal the mind that it was made to kill.  Identify with what you think will make you safe, and that is what you will believe you are.  Simple logic and reason tells us that we simply are not safe with the body.  It will always fail us in the end.  Our bodies do not only fail us but fail all those who are entrusted to our care.  Our safety lies in the truth of God.  His Love is our safety.  Identify with the reality of love and we are safe.  We are home.  We have found our Selves.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Part two section five: what is sin? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 260 Let Me Remember God Created Me

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PART II.  SECTION 4:  WHAT IS SIN?

Lesson 260 Let Me Remember God Created Me

  1. Father, I did not make myself, although in my insanity, I thought I did.  Yet, as Your Thought, I have not left my Source, remaining part of Who created me.  Your Son, my Father, calls on You today.  Let me remember You created me.  Let me remember my Identity.  And let my sinlessness arise again before Christ’s vision, through which I would look upon my brothers and myself today. 
  2. Now is our Source remembered and Therein we find our true Identity at last.  Holy indeed are we, because our Source can know no sin.  And we who are His Sons are like each other, and alike to Him.[1]

Notes and Personal Application  Borrowing from last year’s post, I will once again write that I never believed in evolution.  I did not believe that we created ourselves.  Beyond my agnosticism, attempts at atheism, indignation and resentment at my plight as a human, trapped in a meaty, lusty, vulnerable body, accused of sin and destined to die, I remembered God.  I knew of His Love.  I remembered how appalled I was at the teachings of the church, the stories in the old testament, the ways in which preachers and teachers cherished the idea of God’s wrath, His vengeance, His playing favorites.   

What I have learned over this past year of studying the Course and completing and sharing each day’s lessons is that while I may not have believed in evolution, I did make a false sense in which to survive in this world.  This false sense, the ego me, posed as the real me.  I turned to it for protection, for power, for a sense of adventure, for a means in which to sink into and enjoy my humanity and forget my divinity.  Only when I began to see with the vision of Christ, did I notice the stark difference between the self I created and my real and holy Self that God created.  While the real and holy Self began to emerge and the ego self began to dissolve, I was the only one that could experience this happening.  The process feels like walking through the valley of the shadow of death mentioned in Psalms 23.  There is Holy Spirit guiding, protecting, walking with me, as I experience the death to the false self, while in the outer world there is Eckie pulling her weeds, planting her cabbages, making a sandwich, taking a shower, going to market, the same old girl doing her daily routine. 

When we remember our Source and begin to discover our true Identity, the false sense has to go in order to make room in our mind for our Real Self.  If we try to hold on to the false self, we will be trying to serve two masters, which is impossible.  We live then in a state of confusion.  For years, I had an on/off again approach to God.  I could not understand the plan of salvation.  I could not for the life of me understand why, if we were created beings, our tendency for wrongdoing was any fault of our own.  A car manufacturer takes responsibility for the mistakes made on the assembly line.  Our old Dodge Ram, our Jeep and even my little Mercedes coup has had manufacturer recalls correcting flaws in their construction.  My mind refused to believe in sin or the idea that God was out to punish us for a mistake that He made when He created us.  I tried to go to church, to read my bible, to pray to this God that the minister talked about each Sunday, but it all seemed a ploy, contrived, an attempt to pull together  a neat little theology, dignify it with meaningless rites and rituals, put a ribbon on it, call it salvation, and bestow it upon only those who were gullible enough to not question its validity and veracity.  In other words I experienced my spiritual process as a series of false starts and dashed hopes. I remember my sister scolding me for how often I changed my mind about my Christianity.  And I felt so ashamed of myself.  I felt so sorry for Jesus that He had such a wishy-washy, sometimes in and sometimes out of the fold, old mutton who kept wandering off on her own insisting that what was good for the rest of the sheep failed to hold her interest. 

And yet when the words of Christ came to me, to tell me that I was not lost, that I was not a special case, that in His eyes, I never left the fold, that I am not some stubborn old ewe who can’t buckle down with the rest of the old girls munching grass and filling my belly with small leafy greens.  I am His Son. I am His Creation.  I will only find myself in Him.  While I may find companionship, helpful tips, and earthly guidance in the religious institutions of the world, my salvation comes from accepting my true Identity, my oneness with Christ.  Here is where we cherish thoughts of sin no more.  It simply does not exist – it is erased from our consciousness and we are happy to see it go. 

We call on God today as His Son.  We let go of the false self and remember that God created us.  What God creates can only be wholesome, true, beautiful, and holy.  What God creates cannot be riddled with sin.  Today we join together from across the world and recognize the intelligence and logic of this thought.  God Who knows no sin creates no sin.  We are holy because He is holy.  We are as God created us.  Let not the lies of this world tempt us to believe we made ourselves separate and apart from Him Who is our Source. 


[1]A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 260. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 259 Let Me Remember That There Is No Sin

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PART II.  SECTION 4:  WHAT IS SIN?

Lesson 259 Let Me Remember That There Is No Sin

  1. Sin is the only thought that makes the goal of God seem unattainable.  What else could blind us to the obvious, and make the strange and disturbed seem more clear?  What else but sin engenders our attacks?  What else but sin could be the source of guilt, demanding punishment and suffering?  And what but sin could be the source of fear, obscuring God’s creation; giving love the attributes of fear and of attack?
  2. Father, I would not be insane today.  I would not be afraid of love, nor seek for refuge in its opposite.  For love can have no opposite.  You are the Source of everything there is.  And everything that is remains with You, and You with it. [1]
Photo by Bianca Salgado on Pexels.com

Notes and Personal Application Today our lesson informs us that the idea of sin is foreign to God.  Believing in sin is the one thought that makes us believe that the path to God is simply too much for us, in our human form, to attain. When we think of ourselves as sinful, fallen, cursed of God there seems to be simply no point in seeking God, holiness, or heaven.  Why would we want to serve such a harsh mean Fellow who would create a universe in which we were expected to worship grovel before Him forever in exchange for atonement, anyway?  Such a belief system traps the ignorant and unsuspecting in fear and superstition. It encourages fanatical, violent witch hunts against the true message and mind of Christ.  It seeks to turn our natural love and longing for God into fear and attack. 

Today we give up such insanity.  We no longer fear our devotion to God and for one another.  We are no longer afraid to say how much we love our Father and Creation.  We are no longer afraid to claim our holiness as His Son.  We are no longer afraid to accept our rightful place in His Kingdom as we stand with Christ.   Thoughts of sin no longer keep us from God or from our true identity in Him!  We do not weaponize the gospel of Christ against those who rise against us for sin and death and destruction is an image of the insane world’s perception and has no place in our eternal mind and home with God. 

Our hope, our peace, and joy is found in this:  Love has no opposite.  God is Everything.  God is Everywhere and Everlasting.  God is Reality.  All else that would try to establish itself against Him is a lie which cannot stand against the truth. 

When we realize that our salvation from sin is deliverance from a lie that presents itself as truth, our hearts and mind will leap in holy recognition of what has kept us from loving God and accepting our rightful place as His Son.  Suddenly the traditional teachings of the church, of the bible, of our established institutions and organizations will be seen through the eyes of Christ rather than with the eyes of the ego. 

When Jesus lived on earth in a human form, he did not pastor in a church, collect tithes and offerings, or establish a group of musicians to lead the participants in song.  He did not waste his time studying liturgy, ministry, biblical studies, and theology.  Jesus followed His heart, His holy mind, His calling.  He simply did what God told him to do and told his disciples to do the same.  He told stories that illustrated God’s love and devotion to Creation.  He gave people hope.  He delivered them from belief systems that purposefully trapped them in servitude and slavery, draining them of their sovereignty.  Instead of avoiding the lepers and outcasts, he ministered to them.  He told the people He healed “sin no more.”

There are all kinds of theories about what Jesus could have meant by this.  We are told in one section of the bible that it is impossible for us not to sin.  We are told that sin must be punished.  In the book of James we are told we are liars if we say we have no sin!  The idea that we are sinful, guilt-ridden creatures who are an offense to our Creator is the basis for nearly every religion in the world. 

Yet today in Lesson 259, Christ informs us to remember there is no sin.  Sin is not of God.  If God is Everything; then sin is only an idea that lifted itself up against Him.  It is something we do not give a second thought. We simply let the idea of sin go.  We cannot take that idea or any of the consequences of believing in its imaginary power with us to His Kingdom.  When the prodigal comes home, he does not bring the idea of sin with him, his sense of guilt and shame or his imaginary offenses are lifted.  He takes off his rags stained with pig dirt.  They are not put into an archive to keep forever as evidence of his having squandered his inheritance.  The grime from his journey is washed away, not kept in a jug to remind the sinner of how thankful he should be to be taken back in.  He is home!  He is grateful to have learned from his mistakes, welcomed with open arms and joyful heart to his rightful kingdom.   He is given a clean robe, a ring, and the best seat of the house while a feast is prepared in his honor.  The Father reproves any talk of sin, of punishment, of spite and vengeance and accountability.  Remember there is no sin!  He was lost.  Now he is found.  He made a mistake.  He learned a lesson.  He is back where he belongs. 

Let us go again and again to this simple but powerful story to remind ourselves of the insanity of believing in sin. The idea that we are born in sin obscures the fact that we are born in separation.  When we believe in our sinfulness, we believe that we have earned God’s wrath and condemnation.  We believe that the only way to return to our Father is through systems of fear that involve sacrifice, shame, guilt, and bloodshed.  Our relationship with Christ becomes tainted because we believe that our sinful natures caused our Lord to suffer.  We miss the point of His ministry and focus on the cross, His bloodshed and suffering rather than on His command to forgive and to seek God and His Kingdom.  We are taught that God cannot be appeased without blood, even that of His Own Son, while all God asks of us is our love, our devotion, our return. 

From around the world, we join as one in putting down our ideas of sin.  We have simply made a mistake.  We fell into a realm of separation.  Like the prodigal we thought to leave the sure thing of Everything and make our own way in a world of Unreality, of opposites, of love and hate, peace and war, gentleness and violence, truth and lies, courage and fear, health and decay, life and death.  We would set up our own Kingdom where we could be boss, only to find that without our Source we are lost, confused, driven mad with uncertainty, forgetting our way, and swamped in thoughts of sin.  We want to come Home!  We learned the lessons of separation.  We see that without our Everything we are nothing.  We have made of ourselves a hellish version of that which is Holy, Innocent, and Sublime. 

Today we pray:

Our Father Who is Everything, we love and devote ourselves to You.  We have made a mistake.  We want to come Home.  We want Your kingdom.  We want Your Will.  We miss Your Love, Your Holiness, Your All in All.  Deliver us from thoughts of sin, despair, and death.  Let us see this madness for what it is!  Let us no longer fill our minds with the Unreality which makes the strange and distorted seem real while blinding our eyes to Your Kingdom.  We give You our eyes in exchange for the vision of Christ.  We give You our divided minds for the unified mind of Christ.  We give You thoughts of sin and shame for thoughts of mistakes corrected by Your love, patience, and mercy.  Let the rest of our sojourn in time be devoted only to You.  You are the Everything and sin, which cannot be part of You, is nothing but a vain attempt to separate ourselves from Your Love.  In the name of Jesus, with Whom we are one.  Amen.    


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 259. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 258 Let Me Remember That My Goal Is God

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PART II.  SECTION 4:  WHAT IS SIN?

Lesson 258 Let Me Remember My Goal is God

  1. All that is needful is to train our minds to overlook all little senseless aims and to remember that our goal is God.  His memory is hidden in our minds obscured but by our pointless little goals which offer nothing, and do not exist.  Shall we continue to allow God’s grace to shine in unawareness, while the toys and trinkets of the world are sought instead?  God is our only goal, our only Love.  We have no aim but to remember Him.
  2. Our goal is but to follow in the way that leads to You.  We have no goal but this.  What could we want but to remember You?  What could we seek but our Identity?[1]
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Notes and Personal Application In our humanity, we have all manner of goals that really make no sense at all when we realize who we are in Christ.  One of the thoughts that we explored yesterday in our study group was the fact the ministry of Christ did not instruct men how to be good, godly husbands or women how to be respectful, loving wives. In fact Christ made it perfectly clear that the whole question of marriage and what is lawful and what is not within the realm of this most special relationship has no meaning at all in the kingdom of God.  The things that concern us as earthlings have no room in our consciousness when we practice the mind of Christ. 

When our goal is centered on what concerns our humanity, our time, focus, and efforts will be used to get that new promotion, to find a mate which is better suited to us than the one we have now, to make sure our kids get into a good college, or we will needlessly stress ourselves and everyone close to us in order to distinguish ourselves in some way before we die.  We will often plot, scheme, cheat, borrow, or steal to get what we want.  We will distress ourselves and depress ourselves over the humiliating realization that no matter what we do, how much money we have, what car we drive, how big and glorious our mansions, how important our job – we can never have it all.  Something will always be missing.  We may be married to the perfect mate, but our little darlings for whom we work so hard to provide all the luxuries and extravagances that we never had as children turn out to be major disappointments.  We may do everything right – live in the right neighborhood, go to the right church, pay our taxes, contribute to the community, show up in all the right places only to be falsely accused of horrendous crimes and our friends, reputations, and livelihood ripped away for no reason.  Earthquakes, fires, floods, hurricanes, landslides, lightning – acts of the gods of this world – all seem to be in cahoots against those who would make anything in this world their goal.

When our goal is to find a path to God, we no longer concern ourselves with that which can only leave us empty, unfulfilled, and disappointed.  Jesus tells us in the gospel of Matthew to seek the kingdom of God first, not to worry or fret about material needs or things that would bring us worldly esteem or status.  This is not something that happens unless we make it happen.  We are to seek God’s Kingdom, to train our minds to want God more than we want love and romance, more than we want that new car, or that promotion, or that cruise around the world.  Jesus promises us that when we put first things first, all our material needs will be met.  When we devote ourselves to the Kingdom of God, all other things that would take up our time, our thoughts, our energy will fall into their proper perspective.  We will realize that all that shines is not gold.    

The prayer offered in today’s devotional reminds us that we can never know who and what we really are unless we rigorously keep our goal of seeking God at the forefront of our mind.  This means we need a curriculum to keep our faith and our commitment strong.  We need a program that keeps our minds focused, addresses our weakness and temptations, explains and expounds upon what we need to know to see the world for what it is and why we need to be saved from it!

Join with me today in committing yourself to seeking God.  Find a spiritual path that speaks to you both as an individual and as part of the oneness of God.  For me, I have found a deep and abiding love for Jesus as Savior within the pages of A Course in Miracles.  The Course has defined Christianity for me in a way that makes sense to me, that rings true in my heart and mind, that fills me with peace and love and joy.  Each day I strive to keep my focus on seeking God.

In seeking God, we can avoid all the senseless aims that the toys and trinkets of this world would dangle in front of our physical eyes, to gratify for only an instant our physical senses, and then leave us full of despair, loneliness, and shame.  In seeking God we learn to love God and not fear Him.  We learn to know ourselves as His Son as we become one in Christ.  Finding and following our individual and collective paths to God we raise the consciousness of the whole world.  The world as we know it is transformed through the eyes of Christ.  We stand with Him.  We are one with Him.  And the Lord’s Prayer becomes our prayer.  God’s Kingdom Come! God’s Will be done – on earth as it is in Heaven. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 258.  Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 257 Let Me Remember What My Purpose Is

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PART II.  SECTION 4:  WHAT IS SIN?

Lesson 257 Let Me Remember What My Purpose Is

  1. If I forget my goal, I can be but confused, unsure of what I am, and thus conflicted in my actions.  No one can serve contradicting goals and serve them well.  Nor can he function without deep distress and great depression.  Let us therefore be determined to remember what we want today, that we may unify our thoughts and actions meaningfully, and achieve only what God would have us do this day.
  2. Father, forgiveness is Your chosen means for our salvation.  Let us not forget today that we can have no will but Yours.  And thus our purpose must be Yours as well, if we would reach the peace You will for us.[1]
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Notes and Personal Application The world is in a state of confusion.  It is unsure of what it is.  It is conflicted in its actions.  This morning I think of several situations which illustrate this point. We have God-loving, God-fearing people, for instance, who insist that abortion is murder, that once a woman is pregnant her body and what happens in her body and to her body is no longer of her concern alone.  That the fetus which she is carrying within her, belongs to the state, the government, to God.  In the eyes of many, the fetus is a viable human being from the time of conception whether or not it can exist independently outside the womb.  And yet many of these same people vocalize rabid resentment toward the government funds and welfare systems established to help poor families and single mothers raise their children.    

We have religious institutions that for hundreds and even thousands of years in some cases have perverted the gospel of Christ to suit their own greedy purposes.  Every good deed was offset by atrocity and cruelty.  Avarice, idolatry, and lust powered the spread of this twisted gospel around the globe.  Crimes against humanity, committed in the name of Christ, butchered the defenseless, tortured those who refused to bow down, and enslaved and raped the unfortunate boys and girls entrusted to their care.  And yet adherents to this ruthlessness would condemn and demonize a gospel that teaches love for God and for others, equality, forgiveness, sinlessness, holiness, freedom from shame and guilt! 

We have forgotten who we are.  It is to the best interest of the gods of this world that it remains so!  As long as we are trying to save humanity, we are serving contradictory goals.  As long as we are making rules for our bodies to live by so that we can all get along and live in peace and brotherhood here in the world, we are not cognizant of who we are and what we are about.  This world is not the place where we fight for our rights, force others to do things our way, get ourselves worked up into a lather over our political and religious beliefs, not to mention our favorite sports team or movie star. When we realize who and what we really are, there is no need to seek recompense for all the wrongs done to our people, bomb abortion clinics, or march for peace while screaming obscenities at those who promote war! 

This world is an illusion of madness.  All kinds of horrible things go wrong when we confuse our holy purpose with the body, with humanity, with this illusory kingdom.  While we think we are doing the work of Christ, we are contributing to the separation, we are supporting the futile attack on God, we are aligning ourselves with a miscreation that took what belonged to God and made something else out of it.  As long as we think our salvation can be found in this world, we are trapped in the cycles of time, the go-rounds of despair, disease, and death.  

Jesus was crucified for teaching this gospel.  He taught that all of us are Sons of God.  There is no special church or religion that has a special in with God.  He taught that we must lay down our humanity to truly live, to truly grasp the meaning of life.  He taught us that every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that He is Lord.  He taught us that God so loved the world, He gave His Son so that what went wrong can now be saved. 

Today we stand with Christ, in oneness with Him, we are that Son.  We practice our only function in this world.  We practice it wherever we are, whatever we are doing, no matter the color of our skin, the nature of our culture, the spiritual traditions of our family, tribe, or clan.  We unify from all over the world by simply remembering what we want today – we want the Will of God.  We want the peace of God.  We want salvation – not only for ourselves and our little band of believers, our little clan, our little bunch of those for whom we are especially fond – but for all. 

As we remember what we want, we are reminded that forgiveness is the chosen means for our salvation.  We forgive the world, we forgive ourselves, we forgive each other for thinking that there was another will than God’s.  We forgive our egos, the gods of this world, which would take that which belongs to God and make a lie, a fabrication, a nightmare.  

Today let our thoughts and actions be unified by devoting ourselves to what God would have us do and avoiding what God would have us not do!  We will speak words of forgiveness.  We will speak words of love.  We will not engage in corruption, finger-pointing, and blame.  We will not allow the world to distress us or depress us.  We will stand strong, single-minded, and committed lest we be conflicted in our aim and useless to His kingdom.    

Dear Father, Today we are determined to remember that we can have no will but Yours.  The gods of this world would convince us otherwise, but we belong to You.  You made us.  You made us like You to share Your glory and power and goodness with us.  Your purpose is our purpose.  Your peace is our peace.  Your mind is our mind.  Let this truth sink deep into our consciousness, Lord, so that we never forget who and what we are in You.  In the name of Jesus, with Whom we are one.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 257. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 256 God Is The Only Goal I Have Today

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PART II.  SECTION 4:  WHAT IS SIN?

Lesson 256 God Is The Only Goal I Have Today

  1. The way to God is through forgiveness here.  There is no other way.  If sin had not been cherished by the mind, what need would there have been to find the way to where you are?  Who would still be uncertain?  Who could be unsure of who he is?  And who would yet remain asleep, in heavy clouds of doubt about the holiness of him whom God created sinless?  Here we can but dream.  But we can dream we have forgiven him in whom all sin remains impossible, and it is this we choose to dream today.  God is our goal; forgiveness is the means by which our minds return to Him at last.
  2. And so, our Father, would we come to You in Your appointed way.  We have no goal except to hear Your Voice and find the way Your sacred Word has pointed out to us.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  Forgiveness means we put this whole human experience in its proper perspective.  We realize it is a dream of sin and shame.  We forgive all the participants in its unworthy version of Creation.  We no longer cherish our wounds and sustain ourselves on the blood and flesh of Creation.  We no longer doubt our holiness and our worthiness in God. 

Jesus tells us today that all we can do in this realm is dream, and yet we choose our dreams.  We forgive our fellow creatures for their part in the dream which separates us from our reality in God.  We forgive those who taught us to find our identity in our bodies, in our gender, in our intellect, and in our preferences.  We forgive those who lied to us and taught us to fear God instead of love Him.  We forgive those who wrote words of hatred and favoritism and called them holy.  We forgive our neighbor for not sharing our political and religious beliefs, we forgive our fellows for corrupting themselves and others with unwholesome practices.  We forgive God for He seems to have abandoned us in this god-forsaken territory.

We choose to dream of forgiveness because we choose to see this illusion for what it is – a counter creation, a twisted version, a stolen, turned upside down and inside out copy of all that is real, alive, and awake. 

To make God our goal, we must choose forgiveness.  This is our way to Him.  We must have no other goal before us; we must choose no other god to take His place.  We must take Him at His Word. 

Dear God:  Today we soften our minds and thoughts with forgiveness.  Today our minds and hearts reflect Your love.  Laying down our dreams of sin, shame, and separation, we dream of forgiveness because we are as You created us, sinless – without the mark of beastliness, depravity, and death.  Our only aim is to find our way to You, and it is with forgiveness we walk the path to make our way home.  Make this real in our minds and hearts today.  Let us not be deceived by the world.  Let not temptation keep us from our journey another day.  In the name of Jesus, with Whom we are one, Amen.    


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 256. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 255 This Day I Choose To Spend In Perfect Peace

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PART II.  SECTION 4:  WHAT IS SIN?

Lesson 255 This Day I Choose To Spend In Perfect Peace

  1. It does not seem to me that I can choose to have but peace today.  And yet, my God assures me that His Son is like Himself.  Let me this day have faith in Him Who says I am God’s Son.  And let the peace I choose be mine today bear witness to the truth of what He says.  God’s Son can have no cares and must remain forever in the peace of Heaven.  In His Name, I give today to finding what my Father wills for me, accepting it as mine, and giving it to all my Father’s Sons, along with me.
  2. And so, my Father, would I pass this day with You.  Your Son has not forgotten You.  The peace You gave him still is in his mind, and it is there I choose to spend today.[1]
Photo credit: http://www.christskingdom.org

Notes and Personal Application Today is a beautiful day in Pennsylvania.  The scent of early fall is in the air.  There are clouds promising us rain, giving us a respite from relentless heat and drought of summer.  Our grandson is coming over to do our weekly grocery shopping, enjoy lunch out at TGI Fridays, and help clean the chicken coops, trim back weeds, and work in the garden.  Tonight we invited our daughter-in-law over with us to have cheeseburgers and fries and spend some time together.  

And yet for James and I who had a bit of a party last night with some dear friends, we suffered brain fog, a dull headache, and a struggle to hold on to joy throughout the day.  We skipped our devotional in the morning, we trudged through our day the best we could, we snapped at each other a few times and contradicted each other’s memories.  I felt so much ego-resistance to our Course study that I did not even look at it during the day and was sorely tempted to give it up as being too hard for me and taking all the fun out of life. 

Throughout the day, the still small voice of Holy Spirit continued to be a presence in my mind, and yet I was very much aware of the other voice that yammered its chorus of distractions and downright delusions.  Instead of turning a deaf ear to its calls, I listened to what it was saying:  You have only one life to live.  You only have a decade or two left.  You should forget about this inner voice you listen to and let steal all your fun and interest and whoop it up.   Your life is over.  You are deceiving yourself, Eckie.  God is not interested in you.  God is not the least bit concerned about you or anybody else in the world.  This is all there is and ever will be.  You get one shot at life; Girly Girl and you should squeeze as much out of it as possible.

One of the biggest shocks and disappointments in my life has been that growing older does not make it easier to resist the false self.  It is still the same old girl it has always been a fun-lover, a prankster, a fibber, a flake. The false self that I made to take the place of my real Self has provided me with a life full of fun, adventure, drama, love affairs, reminders of fleeting fancies in the form of an inglorious past, all which add up to a big, empty, go-nowhere, build-upon-nothing zero without the transforming power of Holy Spirit. 

I know this false self to bring me nothing but that which is not peace, and yet today it was coaxing me, wheedling with me, enticing me with its giddiness, its puerile pluck, its yearnings to be back in control.  All through the day while outside me was shopping, chatting with my husband, grandson, and daughter-in-law, shoveling out chicken manure and taking it to the garden, weed whacking, harvesting, cooking, and cleaning – my thoughts were not on God.  I did not want to find what God wills for me for I was afraid that what God wills for me was going to be too hard, too much of a sacrifice, and all I wanted to do was have fun and enjoy my life as it appears in the illusion.  Other people seemingly enjoy their godless lives, it argued.  So can you, Eckie.    

Listening to this other voice, I was promised high adventure, an appetite and passion for things which failed to satisfy for more than a few moments in the past and fail to even interest me at all anymore.  You are not God’s Son, it sneered, but a human being made of flesh and blood.  You are going to die and be gone for good.  Do not waste your time in this go-nowhere spiritual quest when you only have a short time to live and enjoy the world, your family and friends.  It is not right for you.  Other people can devote their life to God because they do not have anything going for them.  But for you it is vanity.  It is useless.  You change your mind too much.  You get bored.  You do not really like people that much, and for good reason!  Quit promoting such insane ideas.  Stop these meetings, this blog – it is just a big waste of your time.  It gives you a false sense of hope that you should not be sharing with others

What I chose to watch on Prime and Netflix after dinner and before bed did not reflect peace or any form of godliness.  I did not forget God, I resisted Him.  I chose to go my own way, and instead of peace, I felt heavy, grumpy, despondent, and out of sync.  I ate too much. My stomach was jumpy.  Just about everything anyone said to me got on my last nerve.  I swore at the poor cat.  Our house seemed a heavy burden instead of a place of shelter, warmth, and love.  Restless sleep, bad dreams, and blaming thoughts revealed to me, not God’s Will for my life, but the ego’s desire for my life. 

We can learn our lessons through joy or suffering.  It is our choice.  We rule our destiny simply by the thoughts we choose to think; the Voice we choose to heed or to oppose.  Today I chose not to spend my day in perfect peace. In listening to the old self, I got a good taste of what I am missing in the world of separation.  I found the empty self full of disturbance, lies, false promises, and unrest.  This is not God’s Will for me, and it is not my will for myself. 

Today I pray our prayer in my own words, a prayer for the days we choose not to spend in perfect peace. 

And so our Father, we did not pass this day with You. We opposed our real Self who is one with You and chose our old selves, who offers us a different way.  We thought we could enjoy a day without You in it, and it was not a place we want to be.  We want to pass all our days with You.  We never want to oppose You and Your Will for us again, because it was quite apparent that what our ego wants for us is not what we want at all!  Thank you for Your patience, Your constancy and love.  In the name of Jesus, with Whom we are one, Amen.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 255. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit:  the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 254 Let Every Voice But God’s Be Still In Me

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PART II.  SECTION 4:  WHAT IS SIN?

Lesson 254 Let Every Voice But God’s Be Still In Me

  1. Father, today I would but hear Your Voice.  In deepest silence I would come to You, to hear Your Voice and to receive Your Word.  I have no prayer but this:  I come to You to ask You for the truth.  And truth is but Your Will, which I would share with You today.
  2. Today we let no ego thoughts direct our words or actions.  When such thoughts occur, we quietly step back and look at them, and then we let them go.  We do not want what they would bring with them.  And so we do not choose to keep them.  They are silent now.  And in the stillness, hallowed by His Love, God speaks to us and tells us of our will, as we have chosen to remember Him.[1]

Notes and Personal Meditation

Here in the early dawn, the rooster is crowing, the darkness is lifting, I am sitting in my office reading over today’s lesson, quieting my heart and mind from every voice and every call upon it.  Last night I attended a Core 52 meeting at Linda’s house, and the theme of last night’s message was worry.  We learned how worrying and fretting over anything here on earth is telling God that our trust is not in Him.  In yesterday’s lesson we learned that as God’s Son we are to accept our role as ruler of the universe with Him with Whom we are one. Worrying and fretting is hardly a behavior or a characteristic of a ruler who is sure of his position or ability. 

Today we will let every voice but God’s be quiet within our minds.  All those things that seem to catch us up – the concerns we have about money, about our houses, our pantries, our status in the world – we will put aside.  We will remind ourselves who we are in Him.  We will calm our minds, quiet our tongues, and rule our minds with perfect peace and trust in Him and in our Self Who is one with Him. 

We will simply step away from that other self, the ego, who is not one with God.  We will observe its futile attempts to take back our holy minds.  We will recognize its ridiculous postures and defenses.  It will not be a hardship to let it go.  There will be no sense of sacrifice involved.  We will be happy to let it go.  For now we know what the thoughts of the ego bring with them. 

For the most part, we dread being around others who have allowed their minds, words, and actions to be directed by the ego.  We have learned to recognize the craving need for constant attention and adulation, the jealous, watchful, guard-dog scowls of insecurity, the repetitive, condemning rants, and meaningless blather as stemming from an unrestrained ego seeking to stunt our minds and distract us from God.

Last night in Core 52’s video presentation, Mark Moore referred to the negative spiral of not thinking with God.[2]   According to research from University College London, dwelling upon the worries and wrongs in our life is strongly corelated to unfriendly protein deposits forming in the brain, which is linked to mental illness, loss of intellect, and a higher risk of dementia.[3]

Today we ask God to show us our true will in Him.  We ask that our minds be free from the calls to remember past wrongs, engage in fruitless endeavors, to worry and fret.  In all ways we pay no attention and give no heed to the multitude of ego voices which would distract us from our path to Him. 

Dear Father, that our consciousness be only cognizant of You.  As we draw our minds’ full attention to only You, we recognize that our Will is one with Yours; our will is one with one another’s.  We want the Everything that is You.  We give up nothing to accept Everything.  You are our all in all.  We praise You Father for Your love and Your patience with us as we grasp the true understanding of salvation’s plan.  Our hearts are lifted in holy gratitude as we offer our humanity to You in faith believing in the promise of Your Love, Your Peace, Your Joy.  In the name of Jesus, with Whom we are one.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 254. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2] Moore, M., (2019). Core 52. Waterbrook.  p. 331.

[3] https://www.healthline.com/health-news/negative-thinking-can-harm-brain-increase-dementia-risk (retrieved 9-11-20).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 253 My Self Is Ruler Of The Universe

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PART II.  SECTION 4:  WHAT IS SIN?

Lesson 253 My Self is Ruler of the Universe

  1. It is impossible that anything should come to me unbidden by myself.  Even in this world, it is I who rule my destiny.  What happens is what I desire.  What does not occur is what I do not want to happen.  This must I accept.  For thus am I led past this world to my creations, children of my will, in Heaven where my holy Self abides with them, and Him Who has created me.
  2. You are the Self Whom You created Son, creating like Yourself and one with You.  My Self, Which rules the universe, is but Your Will in perfect union with my own, which can but offer glad assent to Yours, that it may be extended to Itself.[1]
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Notes and Personal Application:  In today’s lesson Jesus teaches that when we accept our Sonship with Him, we rule the Universe.  Nothing can hurt us.  Even while we are still cloaked in flesh and blood, we rule what comes to us by what we invite into our lives.  By joining our consciousness with Christ’s, we go past our role as humans trapped in time, doomed to die, to return to dust, and accept our role as rulers of the universe. 

In today’s lesson Jesus teaches us that we are to assume responsibility for all things pertaining to our personal destiny not only in this realm but also the universe beyond.  We are here to correct our mistake, move past it, and return to the Kingdom that belongs not only to God, but to us as His Sons.  There in the real creation, all that was created is our own, for we are one with God.  We are not created as inferior beings to serve a God who demands worship, praise, and eternal adoration because of some very ungodly ego needs that we would foist upon our Creator.  We are created to be one with Him.  To join His consciousness, to rule the consciousness of the universe with standards of love, peace, and joy forever.

This is a lesson in getting past victimization.  We no longer think of others as having wronged us, even childhood abuses are not excuses to lick our wounds and blame upon our unhealthy, unwise choices.  Last year I wrote about how difficult I was finding it to agree with the concept that I chose my childhood:  losing my father at a tender age, dragged about the world on seeming goose chases for Jesus with my missionary mother, living with a strange assortment of charlatans, the deranged, and unwholesome.  Thinking of the struggle to find honesty, friendship, safety, and love in all that chaos still fills me with a sense of that old dread.  And yet Jesus states that this is what we chose when we separated from God.  We chose to come to a realm that would make us forget our identity, would tempt us to think of ourselves as helpless, powerless, and vulnerable.  We chose danger over security – doing things our way instead of God’s way excited our imaginations, presented itself as attractive, enticing, and fun.  And it is – at first!  Until it breaks our hearts.  Until it tears us to pieces.  Until the separation is exposed for exactly what it is – that which keeps us from the love of God and our Creation. 

In our prayer today we expand our minds to accept our oneness with God and with all of Creation.  We accept our power, our roles as rulers with Him.  We have changed our concept of God from a false deity who would create beings to worship and fear Him to a loving Father who created Sons to be like Him and be one with Him.  We stand with Him through Christ who woke us from our false identity in flesh and restored to us our identity as Sons. 

Lord of the everlasting universe – Who rules in love, order, benevolence, and goodwill – is our Father, Creator, and Friend.  We are one with Him, ruling in happy communion.  His creations are our creations.  Today we give our glad assent to wake from the stupor of humanity and accept our destiny in Him. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 253. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 252 The Son Of God Is My Identity

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PART II.  SECTION 4:  WHAT IS SIN?

Lesson 252 The Son of God Is My Identity

  1. My Self is holy beyond all the thoughts of holiness of which I now conceive.  Its shimmering and perfect purity is far more brilliant than is any light that I have ever looked upon.  Its love is limitless with an intensity that holds all things within it, in the calm of quiet certainty.  Its strength comes not from burning impulses which move the world, but from the boundless Love of God Himself.  How far beyond this world my Self must be, and yet how near to me and close to God!
  2. Father, You know my true Identity.  Reveal It now to me who am Your Son, that I may waken to the truth in You, and know that Heaven is restored to me.[1] 
Photo credit: http://www.guideposts.org

Notes and Personal Application Our Father knows us as He created us.  When we return to Him, we return to our true identity as His Son.  We do not recognize ourselves at first.  Gone are all thoughts of sin and shame, sorrow and grief, disenchantment and depression.  We are no longer defined by our mistakes, our failures, or our fumbling awkwardness and unease in the world of egos.  We are His, like Him – restored to our heavenly home. 

On a daily basis, I do not feel particularly holy.  I tend to be grumpy in the morning before I have my coffee.  While I know better than to harbor mean thoughts toward others, revisit old grudges, or build cases against others in my mind, there are times when I still identify more with the ego than the holy Son of God. 

And yet today Jesus reminds us of our holiness in Him.  He shares His Identity with each one of us.  Full of light and love beyond our ability to imagine, we are as constant and certain as God.  We are beyond the world and yet still of the world.  Our human experience is literally transformed by simply accepting our identity in Christ.  We accept Jesus to stand with Him and to be like Him, to be Him – for we are one.  

This is the message that saves the world.  This is the message that is as certain and constant as God.  It resolves every wrong; it forgives every mistake; it overlooks all crime, injustice, and ill-gotten gains.  We are God’s Son.  We have squandered our identity on that which brings decay, disease, and death, and yet God takes our humanity and restores our divinity because His love for us has no end. 

Today we thank Him.  We thank Him for not abandoning us to our own devices.  We thank Him for waking us from the nightmare of sin and restoring us to our heavenly home.  Today we praise Him for we are reminded of our ancient love for Him, Who deserves our devotion even as He is devoted to us.   

Join with me today in thanking God for our salvation from the pit of humanity and restoring us to who and what we really are in Him. 

Dear Lord, Let us never forget who we are in Christ who came for us, who suffered humanity, humiliation, and death in order to set us free.  Let us know Him, let us love Him, let us stand with Him and do our part in salvation’s plan.   In the name of Jesus with whom we are one.  Amen.   


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 252. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 251 I Am In Need Of Nothing But The Truth

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PART II.  SECTION 4: WHAT IS SIN?

Lesson 251 I Am In Need Of Nothing But The Truth

  1. I sought for many things and found despair.  Now do I seek but one, for in that one is all I need, and only what I need.  All that I sought before I needed not and did not even want.  My only need I did not recognize.  But now I see that I need only truth.  In that all needs are satisfied, all cravings end, all hopes are finally fulfilled, and dreams are gone.  Now have I everything that I could need.  Now have I everything that I could want.  And now at last I find myself at peace.
  2. And for that peace, our Father, we give thanks.  What we denied ourselves You have restored, and only that is what we really want.[1]
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Notes and Personal Application:  In the introduction to Section Four Jesus reminds us that as long as we are in the body we strive, we seek, we have eyes and ears and senses because we believe in sin rather than in the truth.  In the lies and illusion which we made up when we separated from the oneness of God, we made for ourselves flesh and blood bodies, we evolved into something apart from the rest of Creation, we set ourselves upon Creation to devour, deconstruct, and destroy it rather than to appreciate our oneness with it and God.  We sought God in forms that made sense to the ego – bloodthirsty gods of anger, wrath, jealousy, and ill will towards any who would fail to grovel before them. 

With truth, we have no more use for the false gods of the ego; our body’s senses are obsolete.  When we know who and what we really are – we no longer cling to our meager humanity because only in God do we find meaning, our divinity, the unity in which we denied ourselves.   

When these ideas dawn upon our consciousness we experience peace, our constant striving is over, we relax into the everlasting Arms of God.  We give thanks, not as a sacrifice, but as a natural bubbling up of deep gratitude for the tranquility of our minds.  We offer our humanity to God to use for His Service, not as a sacrifice, but as the only thing we can do with it. 

Today let your heart be gladdened and your mind full of the peace of God.  All the happiness we have denied ourselves is now restored.  All the ways in which we felt alone and adrift in a mean universe is ended.  We have the truth of God’s Love.  We are Sons of God restored to our senses, as one with Christ who set us free. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 251. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Part II: Section 4. What is Sin?

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PART II.  SECTION 4:  WHAT IS SIN

  1. Sin is insanity.  It is the means by which the mind is driven mad and seeks to let illusions take the place of truth.  And being mad, it sees illusions where the truth should be, and where it really is.  Sin gave the body eyes, for what is there the sinless would behold?  What need have they of sights or sounds or touch?  What would they hear or reach or grasp?  What would they sense at all?  To sense is not to know.  And truth can be but filled with knowledge, and with nothing else.
  2. The body is the instrument the mind made in its efforts to deceive itself.  Its purpose is to strive.  Yet can the goal of striving change.  And now the body serves a different aim for striving.  What is seeks for now is chosen by the aim the mind has taken as replacement for the goal of self-deception.  Truth can be its aim as well as lies.  The senses then will seek instead for witnesses to what is true.
  3. Sin is the home of all illusions, which but stand for things imagined, issuing from thoughts that are untrue.  They are the “proof” that what has no reality is real.  Sin “proves” God’s Son is evil; timelessness must have an end; eternal life must die.  And God Himself has lost the Son He loves, with but corruption to complete Himself, His Will forever overcome by death, love slain by hate, and peace to be no more.
  4. A madman’s dreams are frightening, and sin appears indeed to terrify.  And yet what sin perceives is but a childish game.  The Son of God may play he has become a body, prey to evil and to guilt, with but a little life that ends in death.  But all the while his Father shines on him and loves him with an everlasting Love which his pretenses cannot change at all.
  5. How long, O Son of God, will you maintain the game of sin?  Shall we not put away these sharp-edged children’s toys?  How soon will you be ready to come home?  Perhaps today?  There is no sin.  Creation is unchanged.  Would you still hold return to Heaven back?  How long, O holy Son of God, how long?[1]
Photo by Ricardo Esquivel on Pexels.com

Notes and Personal Meditation How does God get his point across to the common Joe who is willing to remain in sin, cherishes his body as his reality, and has no thought for the holy consciousness of God?  He simply allows time to tell the story, to get the point across, to bring His prodigal home to His everlasting love and life, joy and peace.  Sooner or later, it makes little difference to God, Joe comes home.  Tired of the exhausting, futile game of separation, bodies, faulty perceptions, lying tongues, and dashed hopes, Joe lays down separation, thoughts of sin, and fear of God, and returns to the holy Mind of God. 

There must be a better way, Helen Schucman exclaimed back in the 1960s, and Jesus came and showed her the better way.  That’s not how it is, we said as little ones, hearing the perverted gospel of sin and shame and sorrow, the angry vengeful God, the tiptoeing around His bad temper and unholy rages, the condemnation and curse.  We remembered Him then as our Father, loving and kind, and now we return to Him.  Our mistakes corrected, our minds turned from wrong, our hearts full of gratitude and devotion – we put down our thoughts of sin and disgrace and come to Him, our minds renewed in Christ, made one again.  His Son.  


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Part Two Section Four. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 250 Let Me Not See Myself As Limited

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PART II.  SECTION 3:  WHAT IS THE WORLD

Lesson 250 Let Me Not See Myself As Limited

  1. Let me behold the Son of God today, and witness to his glory.  Let me not try to obscure the holy light in him, and see his strength diminished and reduced to frailty; nor perceive the lacks in him with which I would attack his sovereignty.
  2. He is Your Son, my Father.  And today I would behold his gentleness instead of my illusions.  He is what I am, and as I see him, so I see myself.  Today I would see truly that this day I may at last identify with him.[1]
Photo by Emma Bauso on Pexels.com

Notes and Personal Application We all have characters in our lives who cause us to worry and give rise to concern.  While every single person we meet has their own particular set of virtues and vices, it is the foibles of our family members and close friends which bombard our peace and cause us the most consternation.  When those we hold dearest exhibit personality disorders, greed and selfishness, lack of direction, a tendency towards careless relationships, and bad manners it is difficult, if not impossible, for us to bear witness to their glory. 

Especially in the case of our children and grandchildren, it is all too easy to fall prey to our egos and expect them to be extensions of ourselves.  We interfere in their lives, we demand their allegiance to our traditions, we expect them to like our friends and despise our enemies.  Often we stand between them and learning the necessary lessons that they need not only to survive and thrive in this world, but the spiritual truths that Holy Spirit teaches throughout the natural unfolding of their development.  We demand they adopt our values, take over the family business, raise their children in the same religious dogma, and never bring shame or infamy on the family name.  We make it very clear that their joy fills us with happiness, their achievements and glory brighten our lives, while their heartaches give us pain, their dishonor and shame brings us sorrow, their unhappy mental states give us cause for alarm.  Many times our egos trick us into believing that we are to blame for every wrong choice they make, every heartache they experience, every setback or attack they endure.  We make the mistake of thinking of ourselves as God in their lives instead of brothers. 

Today we are to look past the specialness in the relationships we have in our lives.  We see them not as extensions of our ego. We put aside all our desires and wishes for them in the world, and we recognize them as brothers, as part of the Sonship in all its glory.  We will not interfere with their glory!  We will not focus upon their needs or their limitations.  We will not focus upon the ways in which we failed them, or they failed us.  Jesus tells us today to recognize His sovereignty and their sovereignty.  In other words, when we quiet our minds and hearts, put aside our human wants and desires for those who are special to us, we can recognize our oneness with Christ.  We can stop worrying and fretting.  We can stop blaming ourselves or wondering what we can do to alleviate their burdens or make up for past wrongs.  We can stop pressuring them to do things our way, to make the choices we think they should make, to avoid the pitfalls we made.  We can happily stand aside and allow them to lead their own lives, learn their own lessons, come to God their own way.  We do not have to preach at them, lecture them, or worry over them.  We trust in God; we trust in them. 

In Part Two, Section Three – What is the world, we learned that the world and all that is in it is God’s Son, making up a story of separation, seemingly trapped in an illusion of despair and death, in desperate need of salvation.  Today, let us awaken in Christ.  Today, let His holy light be our holy light; His strength be our strength; His sovereignty be our sovereignty.  Let us trade in our special relationships for holy relationships and see others as we see ourselves, as holy Sons of God, equipped with all we need to find our way to Him. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 250. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 249 Forgiveness Ends All Suffering And Loss

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PART II.  SECTION 3:  WHAT IS THE WORLD

Lesson 249  Forgiveness Ends All Suffering and Loss

  1. Forgiveness paints a picture of a world where suffering is over, loss becomes impossible and anger makes no sense.  Attack is gone and madness has an end.  What suffering is now conceivable?  What loss can be sustained?  The world becomes a place of joy, abundance, charity, and endless giving.  It is now so like to Heaven that it quickly is transformed into the light that it reflects.  And so the journey which the Son of God began has ended in the light from which he came.
  2. Father, we would return our minds to You.  We have betrayed them, held them in a vise of bitterness, and frightened them with thoughts of violence and death.  Now would we rest again in You, as You created us.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  In my first year through the lessons, I had no words for this lesson.  I had no real understanding of it.  I knew that forgiveness was critical to my return to God and I was willing and able to forgive myself and others as the Son of God, and yet I didn’t understand how the simple act of forgiving would end the world’s suffering, how it would bring back the dear ones in which death and estrangement had snatched away, how the madness of the world would stop.  Though my individual experiences with forgiveness gave me a deepened sense of peace, joy, and understanding, the hurts still lurked between times. I still missed our daughter, our parents, our friends and family members who had bit the dust in one way or the other.  There were moments, even days, that the sense of pain and misery would send me into a spiral of self-condemnation, depressing thoughts, and a flopping about feeling as if I had no where in which to put the gloomy shadows that darkened my mind.  Growing old with this miserable sense of loneliness and despair, depleted my life of all meaning. It did not seem a bad thing to die, to let my life be essentially over.  Temptation came at such times in the form of making lifestyle choices that would hasten my own death, such as overeating, becoming lethargic, developing a penchant for watching TV shows, reading novels, and shutting myself off from others in order to stop spreading the affliction that seemed to infect everything I touched.  Forgiveness did not seem to be working for me. 

Yet forgiveness is the key to end all suffering and loss.  Sticking with our Course and letting each day’s lesson teach us more, get through the willful resistance in our minds, taking down our defenses against the truth, letting the world teach us its falsity and lies all works together to bring this truth home to our minds.  When we develop the heightened sense of forgiveness, when it completely takes over our mind, we see the world for what it is.  We see ourselves for who we are in the flesh and we are filled with pity.  We are filled with tenderness.  We are filled with mercy. 

We are not called to deny that good and evil exist on this level of existence, we are called to deny that this level exists at all!  We are not called to despise our flesh and punish ourselves forever for choosing a realm of opposites, we are called to see the realm of opposites for what it really is – not a place of punishment, sin, and shame, but a virtual reality placed in time that teaches us the most important thing we will ever learn – we are nothing without the Everything of God. 

Forgiveness is the key because as long as we believe that death and estrangement, divorce and betrayals, murder, war, rape, cynicism, disease, decay, and death define our reality, we are in a state of constant offense or defense against that which is only a made-up story.  We are here to play our parts – parts that must be forgiven because we all took part in making up this story.  We all had a hand in making up the story of separating from God and from each other.  No matter how small or how large our role is in this story, no matter how seemingly insignificant – Jesus teaches us that those who are born here chose to take God’s Creation and put their own twist on it.

For those of us who are fond of blaming Satan on everything evil in the world, the Course teaches that the devil is our own egos.  There is no outside force involved.  The story of the world is the story we make up about it.  It is the lies we have believed about Creation that make our perceptions of the world seem real.  When we forget our Sonship, when we put aside our Brotherhood, we are floundering about lost and lonely in a world of shards, fragments, and pieces searching for a way to put it back together again in a place that harbors opposites and division, rather than wholeness, unity, and love.  The best we can hope for here is the special relationship, a tricky alliance complete with rules, expectations, and obligations that foster neediness, stress, and an ongoing sense of sin, shame, and fear. 

Once we see the world for what it is, we can forgive it.  We free ourselves from special relationships and seek only holy relationships, which focus on love, forgiveness, freedom, mutuality, and oneness with God.  We stop holding grudges toward this one or that one for failing us.  We stop holding ourselves accountable to the obligations and tiresome expectations that others would demand from us.  We forgive the past and all that it holds because we understand it is only a story, a chapter in our lives that is over, that we revisit only for purposeful exercises in understanding, illustration, and wisdom. 

This is how forgiveness paints a picture of a world where suffering is over, loss is impossible, and anger makes absolutely no sense.  We see it as the inglorious story of man, not the story of God.  God’s Kingdom has never and will never go to war because there is nothing to fight against.  A Kingdom with all power, glory, and honor cannot and will not seek more power, glory, and honor.  God’s kingdom is love, joy, and peace because it is Everything.  God’s Kingdom has no interest in this false kingdom except to bring His prodigals home.  Leave his-story, God says, and come back to My Story, which is your story, which is Our Story, which is the One Story that ever was, which ever is, which ever will be. 

Today forgiveness leads us to return our minds to God.  In holy humility, we admit to ourselves and to our Father how we have betrayed our holy minds.  We have filled them with bitterness.  We have cherished soured and perverted thoughts against Creation.  We have preyed upon and gorged upon that which was meant to be loved and cherished, held in reverence and awe.    We have infested our minds with thoughts of bloodshed, cruelty, derision, and death.  Forgiveness frees us of our blame and shame.  Our minds return to God – no longer riddled characters in the story of man – but beloved, everlasting Sons as God created us to be. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 249. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 248 Whatever Suffers Is Not Part Of Me

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PART II.  SECTION 3:  WHAT IS THE WORLD

Lesson 248 Whatever Suffers Is Not Part of Me

  1. I have disowned the truth.  Now let me be as faithful in disowning falsity.  Whatever suffers is not part of me.  What grieves is not myself.  What is in pain is but illusion in my mind.  What dies was never living in reality and did but mock the truth about myself.  Now I disown self-concepts and deceits and lies about the holy Son of God.  Now am I ready to accept him back as God created him, and as he is.
  2. Father, my ancient love for You returns, and lets me love Your Son again as well.  Father, I am as You created me.  Now is Your Love remembered, and my own.  Now do I understand that they are one.[1] 
Photo credit: http://www.bestlifeonline.com

Notes and Personal Application:  This morning, as I do every day, I ask the Lord to bring the lesson home to me, to give me personal application, to make the ideas, the concepts, the prayers and meditations real to me.  It is one thing to have a theoretical understanding of a concept, but to really get something and to experience it as truth, we must have something to pin it upon.

In today’s lesson, Jesus is reminding us that those who live in the flesh have disowned the truth.  In other words, we seem to exist and have our being in an alternative, temporal time warp outside the endlessness of eternity.  In this alternative dimension, truth does not seem to stand alone.  All that is true and lovely and of good report has an opposite.  There is the yin and the yang.  There is male and female.  There is light and darkness.  There is right and wrong.  In this world we are assured one thing and yet get quite another.  Everything that is true is tinged with untruth.  The promise of youth is answered with the inevitability of age, decay, and death.  In this hellish realm, we embrace that which abhors affection; we seek logic and reason where there is none; we glorify that which eats us alive.  Jesus tells us today, to stop cherishing this realm of falsity and deny its hold and power over us. 

This morning in our devotional discussion, James and I both went down a path that could have led to pain, suffering, shame, and unease.  We were talking about our past in the light of who we are now.  Memories of our former lovers, spouses, and romantic encounters, seen in the light of falsity fill us with sorrow that we had not been together, that we did not share those years, that we had been so foolish as to have tried to find love with anybody but each other. 

Through the physical eyes, through the condemning eyes of the world, our former relationships are a source of regret at best, shame, contempt, and spite at worst.  There is a much-rehearsed litany of all the reasons that this one and that one failed us, disappointed us, betrayed us, or in some way, shape, or form did not measure up to assuage our loneliness, gratify our desires, or respect our boundaries.  There is a less-rehearsed litany of all the ways in which we had failed ourselves, had gladly hopped into the sack with someone before we so much as knew their middle name or their favorite color, not to mention the nuances of their particular character.  While all our good sense was screaming silently at us to run, we obligated ourselves further to those who would only take advantage.  No wonder we wince at the memories!

Yet today Jesus is telling us that none of this suffering is real.  God has no use for pain or suffering.  It simply was not created by Him and it is not part of His Will or Nature to see us suffer, deservedly or otherwise.  When we see our past through the eyes of Christ, we can revisit it with love, with deepened understanding and forgiveness, with gratitude of all the lessons we learned.  When we take responsibility for our failed romances, marriages, and relationships, we no longer feel victimized by them or our former selves.  We can bless ourselves and the people with whom we shared that time frame.  We can remember the fun and excitement, the kindness and generosity, the ups and the downs in the light of God’s love.  Our story would not be complete without them in it!  Their story would not be complete without us.  It is simply that – a story about separation, a story about making something other than God’s Will. 

Once we recognize this key truth of the world, we can be free of it.  It is only a story, a dream, an illusion.  It is an illusion of the prodigal mind which has seemed to separate from its Source.  We save ourselves and the world from grief, pain, and suffering by recognizing what it is and what it is for – a story of separation, the story of us, finding our way back to God and our oneness with Him. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 248. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit:  the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 247 Without Forgiveness I Will Still Be Blind

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PART II.  SECTION 3:  WHAT IS THE WORLD

Lesson 247 Without Forgiveness I Will Still Be Blind

  1. Sin is the symbol of attack.  Behold it anywhere, and I will suffer.  For forgiveness is the only means whereby Christ’s vision comes to me.  Let me accept what His sight shows me as the simple truth, and I am healed completely.  Brother, come and let me look on you.  Your loveliness reflects my own.  Your sinlessness is mine.  You stand forgiven, and I stand with you.
  2. So would I look on everyone today.  My brothers are Your Sons.  Your Fatherhood created them and gave them all to me as part of You, and my own Self as well.  Today I honor You through them, and thus hope this day to recognize my Self.[1]
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Notes and Personal Application:  We blind ourselves to the truth of God when we continue to hold condemnation and unforgiveness in our hearts toward others.  When we look upon the world and the people, circumstances, and events as sinful, evil, and out to get us, to persecute us, to take away our sunshine, to steal Christmas, to deny us our pleasures and treasures, we are blind.  We still do not get what salvation is all about.  No matter how much we talk about Jesus, we do not know Him.  No matter how many people we drag to church, no matter how much we read our bibles, no matter how much we cry out to God, as long as we fail to see others as ourselves, as long as we are content that we get to go to heaven while others burn in hell, as long as we see God as the unloving father who prepares dungeons of torment for His prodigals, we have missed the point.

In today’s lesson Jesus urges us to see that the idea of “sin” stands for attack.  If I can call my coworker sinful and think of myself as holy, I am attacking my coworker.  I am not recognizing our oneness.  I am seeing myself as separate from him and therefore separate from the Lord. 

Years ago I was having such a struggle with a coworker.  I kept complaining about her in my prayers.  I cited her wrongdoing: the lies she told, the ways in which she cheated, stole, and used people to get what she wanted.  Sharing an office, I was privy to the personal phone conversations she took on company time.  I sat, dumb and seething, as she turned family members against each other; played favorites; lied to her husband in a soft, crooning voice, cajoled officials, wormed her way in to high places.  Our office was full of her secret purchases, boxes and files of bills and letters from creditors crammed our file cabinets, bookcases, and work closet.  Day after day I was regaled with the boring, trite ongoing drama of her out-of-control personal life. 

And yet everyone seemed to prefer her over me!  She was tall and thin and bleached her hair.  She was showy, sporting the latest fashions and trends.  I despised this woman but every time I went to God in prayer, God told me how much He loved her.  He would turn a deaf ear to all of her wrongdoing.  He did not want to hear the bad report.  His still quiet voice inside would ask me to forgive her, to love her, to learn what she was teaching me. 

I have come to realize that we were one – that her problems were my problems; that her mistakes were my mistakes.  While I thought of myself as more honest, smarter, and spiritual, I was blind to the truth of our oneness.  Her mistakes may have taken a different form than my own, but that did not absolve me from the attack and condemnation that I chose to perceive rather than her loveliness, her purity, her innocence, and goodness.  I was so caught up in my jealousy and superiority toward her that I was blinded to her divinity, and therefore to my own.  I could have offered her forgiveness, but instead I cherished the thought of her as a narcissist, a sociopath, a raving egomaniac.  If she was all that, then I mistakenly thought that I could be something else. 

But it does not work that way, Jesus tells us.  We suffer as long as we refuse the simple truth of His Vision.  Refuse the Vision of Christ for anybody and we deny it to ourselves.  We remain trapped in a dark pit along with all we see as different from ourselves.  What we see in our outer world is there to teach us lessons in separation and darkness.  I learned so much about myself from my coworker.  Perhaps her wrongdoings seemed more blatant than my own, but they brought to light my own tendency to be sneaky, to tell fibs, to exaggerate my own worth, to compete and push myself to the forefront, to rely on my charm and winsomeness, to nose in the affairs of others, to get ahead in a game that goes nowhere. 

As long as we are engaged in pointing fingers and blaming others for their godlessness, telling their stories of shame, and broadcasting their mistakes, we are causing our own suffering.  We are not healed, and we cannot offer salvation and healing to others.  We can invite people to our tabernacles and offer them a social “gospel,” a pleasant place to come and make friends with other nice people who try not to tell lies, cheat on their taxes, or covet their neighbor’s ass, but we are not recognizing our true function in Christ.  We are not standing with Him.  We are not accepting our role in the plan of salvation. 

We honor Christ every time we refuse to give place in our minds to sin in any form.  We honor Christ each time we deny the power of sin and shame to defeat us, to frighten us, or cause us to cower.  We honor Christ when we can look upon the world with forbearance and forgiveness because we recognize it as the farce it is. 

Today look on everyone through the eyes of the Father sure of His Sons’ return.  He created all of us, we are one with Christ, His beloved and truest, trusted Son.  We honor God when we honor one another and hold each other in our minds and hearts, not with our fallen, perverted natures, but our true natures in God.  Today we come before God not as the accusers, but as the forgivers.  We tell Him of how dear our brothers are to us, how worthy of our affection and love, how grateful we are to them for being part of us, our created being, our story incomplete without them. 

Today we honor God through His Creation and it is through His Creation that we come to know our true and everlasting Selves. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 247. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 244 To Love My Father Is To Love His Son

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PART II.  SECTION 3:  WHAT IS THE WORLD

Lesson 246  To Love My Father is to Love His Son.

  1. Let me not think that I can find the way to God, if I have hatred in my heart.  Let me not try to hurt God’s Son and think that I can know his Father or my Self.  Let me not fail to recognize myself, and still believe that my awareness can contain my Father, or my mind conceive of all the love my Father has for me and all the love which I return to Him.
  2. I will accept the way You choose for me to come to You, my Father.  For in that will I succeed because it is Your Will.  And I would recognize that what You will is what I will as well, and only that.  And so I choose to love Your Son.  Amen.[1]
Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

Notes and Personal Application  Until we are willing to lay down our hatred, grudges, spite, and resentments toward others, until we see others as the Son of God, we cannot find our way back to our Father.  Until we see our family, our friends, our enemies, our romantic and political rivals, our abusers, stalkers, murderers, and rapists as the Son of God, we cannot find our way to God.  For we are one with them.  No matter the special circumstances, we are one with all; they are one with us.  If one sins, we all sin.  If one is condemned, we all are condemned.  This is the message of Christ. 

Beyond all the modern posturing of Christianity, all the political leanings and self-righteousness stances, the weaponizing and defense, the pointing of fingers and sending to hell that goes on in the name of Christianity – this is the message of Christ.  It is inclusive, it is embracing, it is salvation.  It is offered to all.  It is guaranteed to all.  It has no enemies.  It is the truth and only the truth stands. 

When we see others in the light of Christ, we can offer only forgiveness.  Fear is gone because we see to the heart of the matter.  Fear is gone because the flesh is not who we are or what we are about.  Fear is gone because the love of God and the love of Creation has come to take its place. Although it feels like surrender to lay down our useless weapons, this is no sacrifice!  Although our egos will feel abased, there is no defeat involved.  We are Sons of God, not sons of man.  We give God our humanity – which is death; and we take on our true identity which is Life. 

We cannot do this on our own.  We cannot put freeing ourselves from hatred and unforgiveness on our daily to-do list and get anywhere with it.  Hatred is sneaky – we will think it is gone and it will creep back in – our past holds on to it for dear life.  Yesterday my friend and I were giggling together over a longstanding grudge that a brother has toward his elementary school teacher for paddling him in front of the whole class.  We are in our sixties and while his grudge seemed so infantile and amusing for us, when we examined our own minds we found much more trite and childish memories which we cherish and love to recall for one another.  The past lives on in such stunted memories.  They are instilled in our brains.  They come to haunt us, to remind us, to wake us up at night, to keep us distracted from the path to God.  No matter to what extent we are abused as children, teenagers, or adults, a one-time humiliation or an ongoing offense, our false selves, our humanity, our egos will cling to it, pet its little head, caress its cheeks, feed it gumdrops and bloat it on French fries all in an attempt to obstruct us from seeking God.  We will rehash it to our family and friends.  We may hold them tight and cherish them in the dark corridors of our mind until they turn on us and make us ill. We may turn to the medical professions.  We can take pills to drive those memories from us or drown them in substance abuse – but none of this will lead us to God. 

The only way we can rid ourselves of our hatred, our thoughts of vengeance and spite, our hugging and petting and making much over what keeps us from God is to recognize our oneness in Christ.  We must be willing to abstract ourselves.  We must be willing to lay down our personal story and realize we are all part of a much larger story of separation, despair, and death.  Chances are very good that if we were in the same position as our elementary school teachers we would have done far worse than paddle some undeserving little backsides.  We can all reflect upon the times in our lives in which we were not kind, we were not patient, we struck out in anger, retaliation, and blind assumptions of guilt and condemnation.  We must put ourselves as one with all of those who hurt us, robbed us, made light of our worth, were jealous of our achievements, begrudged our little triumphs, and gloated over our misfortunes.  We are all in the same rocky boat.  We are all the same story.  Flesh and blood attempting to make a separate kingdom.    

Today ask the Lord to release you from all that would obstruct your way to Him.  Lay down those burdens of hatred you may carry toward your sister, your brother, your parents, your former friends, and lovers.  Recognize how powerless you are to get over your past and present afflictions, sorrows, and blame.  When we see others as God’s Son, we have no desire to hurt them, get even with them, or teach them lessons.  When we see others as ourselves, we want only good things for them.  The things that they may have said or done, the lies that have told about us, the misunderstandings, the ways in which they betrayed our trust, damaged our bodies, stunted our development, and seemed to waste our time can be a thing in the past and no part of our present moment.  We can let it go when we are willing to take our “little me” out of the picture and embrace the majesty of our identity in God.  Jesus is calling to us to be saviors of the world with Him.  He is not calling us to stay in our humanity and lick our wounds and tell stories about our victimization, all the while keeping ourselves and our brothers in hell.  This is not the place to seek justice, to be recompensed, to demand reparation.  It is impossible to heal the wounds of the past.  Jesus says that the past is the land of Never Was, just as the present moment is already over and joins the Never Was from the eyes of eternity.  We are called to stand with Him.  Today.  In this present moment.    

Join with me in today’s prayer.  Put it into your words and speak it from the depths of your heart and mind.  Give it your full attention.

Dear Heavenly Father:  I will accept the way You choose for me to come to You.  I see my past for what it really is – a hallucination, a holographic personalized lesson in separation.  I forgive all the players who taught me the hard lessons of the hellish realm.  I choose Your Will for my life because Your Will is my will.  I am Your Son.  I stand with Christ.  Love reigns in my heart and mind.  I do not allow dislike for this one and that one to hinder my path to You.  I love Your Creation, Your Son as You love Your Son – with no specialness or favor.  I apply my mind to learn Your ways and teach my heart to will with You and Your Son.  In the name of Jesus, with Whom I am one.  Amen.    


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 246 To love my father is to love his son. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 243 Today I Will Judge Nothing That Occurs

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PART II.  SECTION 3:  WHAT IS THE WORLD

Lesson 243 Today I Will Judge Nothing That Occurs

  1. I will be honest with myself today. I will not think that I already know what must remain beyond my present grasp. I will not think I understand the whole from bits of my perception, which are all that I can see. Today I recognize that this is so. And so I am relieved of judgments that I cannot make. Thus do I free myself and what I look upon, to be in peace as God created us.
  2. Father, today I leave creation free to be itself. I honor all its parts, in which I am included. We are one because each part contains Your memory, and truth must shine in all of us as one.[1]
Photo credit: http://www.facebook.com (Lisa C.)

Notes and Personal Application Lately I have been have a D.H. Lawrence fest.  It started with rediscovering the book Sons and Lovers that my friend Janet had given me for my birthday years ago when we were living in Shanghai.  I reread the book and ever since have been reading everything I can get my hands on from the author.  What he has to say about the reduction to absurdity found in idealism struck me as I was reading over today’s lesson.  We want the universe to be something else and not what it is.  We think we understand the way it should be from our little bits of knowledge, our extremely limited perception, and from our stunted viewpoints of reality.  We think the cat is cruel for playing games of death with the mice, and yet we do not want the pests pooping in our silverware drawers and nibbling holes in our tableware.  In the House that Jack Built, as Lawrence refers to the world, people should have been different than they are, everybody should have been somebody else and not himself![2]

Today I was processing a lot of veggies from our garden.  I made a big jar of refrigerator dill pickles from our excess of cucumbers.  The okra was soaked in vinegar solution, dried, and set aside for a future fry.  The ripe tomatoes were made into an Instant Pot full of ketchup ingredients for James who does not like all the corn syrup in Heinz.  The eggplants were put up.  It was a lot of work, but I enjoy doing things like this.  While I was working my mind dwelled upon our grandson Jonathan who left for Air Force basic training yesterday.  I was trying my best not to feel bereaved.  It seems as if not only our own children, but now our grandchildren have grown up and left the nest before I am ready. 

Only yesterday he was our little blonde, blue-eyed cherub who toddled about and tramped through mud puddles with me.  I thought of our candy picnics, our rides to Hershey to see his cousin, Halie, the times he traveled with us to Chattanooga to see our Friar clan.  How the grandsons used to quarrel amongst themselves about who got to sit next to Grammy when we sat down to eat, who got to sit in the front seat with me when we went for a drive, who got to carry my luggage or help bring the groceries in.  And then he hit puberty and adolescence and he was gone even before he went off to the Air Force, always up to something with his friends, with sports, with other interests.  My heart cried for him – not because I am not proud of his accomplishments, his courage, his stalwartness, and bright plans, but because he felt gone from me.  Grammy is not a big figure in his life anymore.  I feel put on a shelf along with all the other things from his childhood.  He has his own life to start now and because he chose to go away, it will be months before we get to see him again. 

When I opened up about my thoughts to James, he was experiencing much the same thing.  The distance between us and our bootcamp grandson looms large and worrisome in our minds, yes, but there is also the feeling of time having slipped past us way too fast.  Jonathan’s childhood is over and with it the vital role that we played in his life.

Last weekend we hosted a send-off dinner for him and then a brunch before he left, but it just did not feel like enough.  We were at a loss for words to express to him our love, our deep affection, our hopes, and high regard.  And so we left the good food, laughs, and memories suffice.     

But when we are honest with ourselves, we understand that time and people are not meant for us to hold on to.  We are in no position to make judgments, to put our own needs and desires to be important, necessary, and made mindful of on others.  It does not matter that we have collected bits of hard-won wisdom over the decades of our lives, our grandchildren must learn their own way, enjoy their own adventures, accomplish their own dreams.  All we can see, and experience is that our grandson grew up way too fast and now he is off on his own preparing to serve his country, with dreams of manning great flying machines.  It is not for him to stick around making sure that grammy and grandpa know where he is and who he is with and what he is doing, assuring them of his safety, comfort, and companionship. 

We free ourselves when we give up these concerns and go with trust in God.  Worries, concerns, and a sense of neediness, despair, and grief are gone when we accept the peace of God.  How we honor our grandson is how we honor all of creation – we leave him free of our own ego demands and desires.  We recognize our oneness, our certainty in God, and the truth that shines in all of us the world over, no matter where we are, whom we are with, and what role we choose to learn our way back to God. 

Today walk in this freedom.  Refuse to judge no matter what occurs.  Do not put a right or wrong on it.  All roads lead back to God – here in the house that Jack built.   


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 243. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2] D.H. Lawrence, The Complete Novels…Kindle Edition.

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 242 This Day Is God’s. It Is My Gift To Him.

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PART II.  SECTION 3:  WHAT IS THE WORLD

Lesson 242 This Day is God’s.  It Is My Gift To Him.

  1. I will not lead my life alone today. I do not understand the world, and so to try to lead my life alone must be but foolishness. But there is One who knows all that is best for me. And He is glad to make no choices for me but the ones that lead to God. I give this day to Him, for I would not delay my coming home, and it is He who knows the way to God.
  2. And so we give today to You. We come with minds wholly open. We do not ask for anything that we may think we want. Give us what You would have received by us. You know all our desires and our wants. And You will give us everything we need in helping us to find the way to You.[1]
Photo credit: http://www.bibleinfo.com

Meditation and Thoughts for Today

The longer we live in the world, the less we understand it!  Everywhere we turn for guidance leads to more bewilderment and confusion.  We thought education would inform us, only to discover a relentless march of theories, suppositions, and feeble perceptions that lead nowhere.  Dedicating our lives to good causes, we find that all causes are dependent upon that which they stand against.  Joining charitable and religious organizations does not alleviate the burden of our selfishness for it is there we find only more egotism, greed, and vanity.   In standing against one source of unwholesomeness, we begin to perceive the world itself as vile. 

It happens to each and every one of us.  We finally are forced to admit that we simply do not and cannot (do not even want) to understand the world.  We stop thinking we know all the answers.  We realize that we are not experts.  The more we work to make the world true, the larger the external world looms in our own minds, filling our minds with fear, dread, and uncertainty.  We come to see how silly we were to think that we could fix that which is not fixable, that which has no reality, no life, no substance.  We arrive at the place of surrender.

Today James and I had the privilege to participate in a dear brother’s public surrender at a baptismal service.  What a festive ceremony the Christ Wesleyan Church provided – sacred music, surround sound, projections on twin screens, tents to provide shade, Rita’s Italian Ice, hot dogs and other goodies… it was quite an event.  As each of the recruits came to the submerging tank to receive their rite, they gave a brief testimony of what brought them to this place.  One by one, old and young, male and female, they spoke of their need for help in traversing the world.  They recognized how foolish it is to try to lead their life alone, adrift, and apart.

Today we surrender our egos, our separated splintered selves, to Holy Spirit within.  Holy Spirit leads us to God, and we become whole again. We become one.  We are tired of resisting our unity, our brotherhood, our Sonship.  We are done with the fleeting thrills, passing sensations, and theoretical suppositions that the world offers in place of God’s eternal love, certainty, and devotion.  Today we place all of our trust, our devotion, our hopes and dreams in His Hands.  We let Him lead the way because it is the only way to God. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 242. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 240 Fear Is Not Justified In Any Form

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Lesson 240 Fear Is Not Justified In Any Form.

  1. Fear is deception.  It attests that you have seen yourself as you could never be, and therefore look upon a world which is impossible.  Not one thing in this world is true.  It does not matter what the form in which it may appear.  It witnesses but to your own illusions of yourself.  Let us not be deceived today.  We are the Sons of God.  There is no fear in us, for we are each a part of Love Itself.
  2. How foolish are our fears!  Would You allow Your Son to suffer?  Give us faith today to recognize Your Son and set him free.  Let us forgive him in Your Name, that we may understand his holiness and feel the love for him, which is Your Own as well.[1]
Photo credit: popsci.com

Thoughts for Today

Jesus teaches that this world, the way we see it, experience it, and fear it – is impossible.  It cannot exist.  It cannot be true.  No matter how real it may seem it is simply a lie, an illusion, an intolerable, infeasible realm.  No matter what form the world’s madness takes, it can only be a strange, unholy, and twisted version of the truth. 

We are not to fear the world and we are not to fear God.  God did not make Creation to fear Him.  He made Creation as an extension of Himself.  He did not seek to be catered to – God has no need of servants.  He is a Spirit and not flesh.  He does not need anybody to scratch His back, trim His whiskers, or massage His shoulders.  God did not make Creation to kill it, torture it, or bully it.  God did not create because He longed to be admired, worshipped, or slavishly adored or praised.  He made Creation as an extension of His Love and Creativity.  He made Creation as a holy and equal companion to Himself.  He breathed His Life into us, He gave Creation to us.  He trusted us with Creation and He still trusts us with Creation.  

Today Jesus tells us we are deceived by fear no longer.  We are wise to it.  No longer does the world witness to our separation from God.  We do not worry about what the world thinks of us, because it is not real.  We have no concerns of what army may be raised against us, because it is not real.  When we know who and what we are there is no fear in us for our trust is in Reality, our Creator and our holy Selves, His Creation. Only when the truth of our identity becomes real to us, will we be able to see the folly of fear.  Today our lesson instructs us to ask God for the faith we need to recognize our true identity in Him.  In Him, we free ourselves of sin, suffering, and stupidity.  In Christ, fear is not justified in any form. 

Let our hearts and minds be full of courage!


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 240. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 239 The Glory Of My Father Is My Own

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Lesson 239 The Glory of My Father is My Own.

  1. Let not the truth about ourselves today be hidden by a false humility.  Let us instead be thankful for the gifts our Father gave us.  Can we see in those with whom He shares His glory any trace of sin and guilt?  And can it be that we are not among them, when He loves His Son forever and with perfect constancy, knowing he is as He created him?
  2. We thank you, Father, for the light that shines forever in us.  And we honor it because You share it with us.  We are one, united in this light and one with You, at peace with all creation and ourselves.[1]
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Personal Notes and Application:   The other day a holy brother referred to himself as a blabbermouth.  “You are not a blabbermouth,” I reminded him.  “You are a Son of God!”  Although I was quick to remind my brother of his holiness, there have often been times I have called myself the same thing.  In today’s lesson, Jesus asks us to abstract ourselves out of time, out of our process, out of our humanity and experience our divine natures.  As Sons of God we are without sin and guilt because God shares His glory with us. 

Would we call God and His Son a blabbermouth?  Would we refer to Jesus as a blabbermouth?  Of course not.  In describing ourselves we must be vigilant in that we do not ascribe the ego’s traits, its defenses and offenses, to our identity.  Instead we accept and appreciate the gifts our Father gave us!  He gives us the power to be quiet, to listen, to be still.  He gives us dignity and respect for ourselves and others.  He blesses us with discretion and entrusts us with not only our salvation but the salvation of the world.  We are not blabbermouths.  We hold our counsel until Holy Spirit leads us rather than jumping in ill-prepared, ready for attack, hot under the collar.  We have no spite, no vengeance, no overwhelming need to share or defend our opinion, our position, or our process.  We are blessed with a calm, still mouth devoted to the peace of God. 

Our mistakes do not define us.  In time we are in process.  We are going to fall back into the ego’s way of surviving and thriving in the world.  There may be times we forget who and what we are in Christ.  We may say things that would have better left unsaid.  We may interrupt others, butt in, and tell their stories for them.  We may tell people off or unwisely blather on about our spiritual insights.  No matter how vain, silly, rude, or unwise we may be at times, that is not who we are and that is not what we are.  We are Sons of God and nothing we do in our human is held to our account when we bring it to God.

When we are tempted to call ourselves names or define ourselves by our defenses and offenses, we can thank the Father for shining His light upon our hurtful, wrongful habit.  Instead of staying in the go-nowhere cycle of self-condemnation, we step out of the false humility and give our blabbermouth to God. 

Here it is, Lord.  Thank You for my beautiful mouth!  Thank You for letting me speak the words of the Voice for God!  I honor my mouth because You share it with me.  My mouth is Yours – at one with You and all creation. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 239. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

*Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 238 On My Decision All Salvation Rests

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Lesson 238 On My Decision All Salvation Rests

  1. Father, Your trust in me has been so great.  I must be worthy.  You created me, and know me as I am.  And yet You placed your Son’s salvation in my hands, and let it rest on my decision.  I must be beloved of You indeed.  And I must be steadfast in holiness as well, that You would give Your Son to me in certainty that he is safe Who still is part of You, and yet is mine because He is my Self.
  2. And so, again today, we pause to think how much our Father loves us.  And how dear His Son, created by His Love, remains to Him Whose Love is made complete in him.[1]
Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Pexels.com

Meditation Notes for Lesson 238

Today Jesus leads us to meditate upon our Father’s trust in us.  We are to see ourselves as worthy of His trust, a creature made by God who is forever pure, holy, and without blemish.  We did nothing to deserve eternal sin or punishment.  We made a mistake.  We fell for a lie, an illusion, a temptation.  I picture it like this:  We said, “Okay, God thanks and all for everything but now we want Creation for ourselves to do with it what we want done with it.  It is a good thing You have going here, but honestly all this purity, innocence, and peace could use some spicing up!  We want a world of opposites. We love Your love but give us a little hate.  We love Your Peace but give us a bit of war and friction.  We love Your abundance, but we want to scrounge and scarf and quarrel over limitations.  We love Your equality and oneness, but we want to be special, to make ourselves distinct, to have hierarchies and power struggles and popularity contests.  We love certain species of the animal kingdom, but we want to eat some of them, not pet them or be their friend.  We appreciate the flora and the fauna, but we want to build cities, barricades, and kingdoms.  Give us Creation and let us do with it what we want.  Let us take the laws of love and use them for our own devices.” 

And God said, “Okay.  But that is not your reality.  Your reality is in me.  Go ahead and have your illusions.  Do it your way.  I trust that You will come back to me, because you are mine and without Me, you do not exist.  Here is time.  Take as much as you want and need.  I will give you darkness and light.  I will give you joy and sorrow.  I will grant you your desire for opposites in a realm that will in no way affect your truth.  You are My Son, forever beloved, forever safe, forever pure and holy as the moment in which I created You.  You will awaken.  You will come home.”

And so we dream our dream of separation, of doing it our own way, of coming to know God only through coming to understand what He is not.   

Today Jesus asks us to meditate upon God’s love for us.  He trusts what He made.  He sent Christ to remind us that what is in us cannot be relinquished, cannot be killed, cannot be denied.  We are His and He is ours.  The world, time, and all that it holds is only a dream of death, of seeking but never finding, of false and fleeting satisfactions, thrills, and pleasures, of ups and downs, of ins and outs, changing moods and unstable temperatures.  Our Course teaches that every living creature who is born in time arrived here because of a choice we made to leave God’s Kingdom.  We are enchanted by the physical world.  Fallen nature and all of its bloodthirsty, predatory drives teach us to crave power over love.  We fasten our identity not on truth but on our gender, the color of our skin, our tribes, our culture, our countries, our religions and social clubs.  Instead of oneness, we find strength in numbers.  We learn the value of equality and oneness only through inequality and division.  We search for answers only to find more questions.  We turn to religion for comfort and solace only to find more terror.

And God trusts us through it all.  Our salvation is within us for we are His Son.  Nothing can take it away because it is invisible, it is irreplaceable, irrevocable, and forever. It is the one thing in this world that we can count upon.  This is the peace of God.  He did not create us in hate to get His jollies from our sorrow, torment, and penance.  He created us in Love, to be His Son and take our place in unity and oneness with Him forever.  This is who we are.  We are dear to Him.  He is completed in us as we are completed in Him. 

This is the message of Christ.  Let this truth ring in your heart and mind today.  Ask the Lord to reveal and seal His love and trust for you in your consciousness today.  Meditate upon the true lessons of Christ.  Refuse to be misled by fearful connotations of God and His hatred, condemnation, and war upon humanity.  He loves us.  He has not abandoned us.  We are not adrift in time forever.  He is not devising bloody ways in which to separate the good from the bad, the righteous from the unrighteous.  He has not declared war upon humanity.  He is not sending balls of fire to torment our flesh and make us rue the day we were born.  We are in time to learn, to remember, to seek Him and find Him.  There is absolutely nothing we can do or fail to do that will remove us from His Love.  When we awaken to His Love, all fear is gone.  All shame and sorrow is past.  We come Home to the place that technically we never left.  Jesus tells us in the Course that we do not have to wait for death in our bodies to experience coming Home.  We can be Home the moment in which we accept the truth of God’s great love and trust in us.  It is a state of mind, a tiny step, a blink of an eye, a portal in which we pass in our quiet devotion.  It is a state of calm, of peace, of tranquility that lengthens time and reaches to eternity. 

Ask the Lord to bring you to this place today.  Give your journey home all the time it takes and experience how time accommodates accordingly.  God blesses all of our awkward attempts, our false starts, our wayward seeking – do not give up your love and devotion because the way seems hard or others may not understand.  Go to your quiet, secret place today and with all sincerity ask God to reveal His love and trust in you.  Do not castigate yourself.  Do not feel as if your discomfort or pain will win God’s favor.  Do not bring God a sacrifice of any kind.  That God does not exist.  That God is an ego fabrication.  God’s Will is that you seek Him.  God’s Will is that you are happy.  God’s Will is complete in you, His Son.     


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 238. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 237 Now Would I Be As God Created Me

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Lesson 237 Now Would I Be As God Created Me

  1. Today I will accept the truth about myself.  I will arise in glory and allow the light in me to shine upon the world throughout the day.  I bring the world the tidings of salvation, which I hear as God my Father speaks to me.  And I behold the world that Christ would have me see; aware it ends the bitter dream of death; aware it is my Father’s call to me.
  2. Christ is my eyes today and He the ears that listen to the Voice for God today.  Father, I come to You through Him Who is Your Son and my true Self as well.  Amen.[1]
Photo credit: http://www.npr.com

Notes and Personal Application:   In the bitter dream of death, the “truth” about our humanity is what we hide from others – the lies we tell, the ways we devised to survive our childhoods – the bad habits we developed in order to get out of doing things we did not want to do or conversely the ways in which we manipulated the people and the environment to get to do the things we wanted to do.  That was the “truth” about us, and the world seems intent on exposing this awful truth about us.  Our egos are very fond and even addicted to uncovering the trashy elements of each others’ characters, personalities, and affairs both past and present.  Enquiring minds want to know – but what do enquiring minds really want to know?  How to save the world?  To know reality?  To know God as Father, Lord, and King?  How does knowing about the personal journeys of popular television stars, famous politicians, or other public figures inform us, help us to become more than mere avatars for a death-destined ego?

Jesus has such good news for us today.  Today, He urges, accept the truth about yourself.  Forget about the dark past, the hidden things that we have done that cause us to hang our head in shame and consternation.  Let the past and all its confusion, condemnation, and cacophony wash away and accept the truth about who we are in Him.  There we arise in glory – no longer willing to let thoughts of disgrace and dishonor obscure the light of Christ in us.  When God speaks to us we no longer run and hide ashamed of what we have done with His Creation, but we are drawn to Him, the sound of His Voice softens our hearts and floods our minds with the truth of His Love. 

When we accept Christ’s vision of the world, it is saved.  It is no longer a crowded, dirty, trashy planet full of lost and wretched creatures intent on chaos and wreaking havoc upon Creation.  As we become one with Christ, He becomes us.  We stand with Him in saving the world.  We step out of darkness and into light.  He is our truth, He is our reality, He is our identity.  It is only in Him that we recognize our true and everlasting Self.  In Christ, we put down our defenses and offences, we lay down our egos.  In Christ, we walk forever safe and secure, whole and holy and thus we end the bitter dream of death.   

Today commit your Self to the vision of Christ.  Read over Lesson 237, giving it all the time you need to allow the words of Jesus to saturate your consciousness and take root in your heart.  Come again to God today through our Lord and Savior, our Holy Brother and Guide.  Ask God to refresh your stand with Christ that your oneness with Him is alive in your awareness.  We find our truth, our identity, our Real and Everlasting Self in Christ.  We understand His holy mission; we see that He comes again through each one of us, calling to our hearts and minds to come Home, to rise up, to take on our true identity in Him. 

What we do in the world without Christ comes to naught. It is washed away in the sands of time as if it never were. What we do in Christ lasts forever.  Ask God to reveal this truth to you.  Meditate upon who and what you really are with Him compared to who and what you are without Him.         


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 237. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). 

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 236 I Rule My Mind, Which I Alone Must Rule

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Lesson 236 I Rule My Mind, Which I Alone Must Rule

  1. I have a kingdom I must rule.  At times, it does not seem I am its king at all.  It seems to triumph over me and tell me what to think and what to do and feel.  And yet it has been given me to serve whatever purpose I perceive in it.  My mind can only serve.  Today I give its service to the Holy Spirit to employ as He sees fit.  I thus direct my mind, which I alone can rule.  And thus I set it free to do the will of God.
  2. Father, my mind is open to Your thoughts, and closed today to every thought but Yours.  I rule my mind and offer it to You.  Accept my gift, for it is Yours to me.[1]
Photo credit: www.knoebels.com/ride

Thoughts for Today

Our mind is our kingdom.  We are its king.  When things come along to tempt us to choose thoughts that bring us unhappiness, unease, feelings of abandonment and bewilderment, we can choose to think only thoughts of goodwill.  When we think thoughts of goodwill, we think with God.  When we think thoughts that bring us sorrow and pain, worry and concern, we are not thinking with God.  In the kingdom of our minds, we rule supreme. 

Every single moment of the day we are faced with a decision about what we are going to think about, what thoughts we are going to allow in our mind, what people with whom we are going to give our ear, what books we are going to read, what movies we will watch, who we call on the phone, who we invite into our lives, where we go and who we go with.  Few of us have ever been taught to exercise vigilance with our thoughts and keep our minds whole and holy. 

Lest we think that this is a matter of burrowing our head in the sand, Jesus makes it very clear what we are to do with worries, cares, doubts, fears, and forms of attack and defense.  We are to look at them with perfect confidence that God can handle them.  There is nothing too big or small, too sinful, shameful, prideful, or sorrowful to give to God to take care of for us.  We identify all that is not goodwill and we bring it to God and trust in Him to work it out. 

In keeping with a tradition that started several years ago, my third grandson and I spent the day at Knoebel’s Grove, a local amusement park that I has been around since before I was born.  As a rule we do not invite other people to go along – it is something that we look forward to doing together.  Zachary encourages me to get out of my comfort zone and get on the more daring rides.  A few years ago, he had me ride the Impulse for the first time.  With its four upside-down turns and 90 degree drop, it was a thrilling ride which left my head spinning but only in the most exhilarating way.  Today the Impulse and several of our other favorite rides were closed.  Although disappointed, we did not let that stop us from having a good time.  We rode the Phoenix, Paratrooper, the Twister, the Giant Flume, and the carousel.  With only a minimum of coaxing, I braved a new (for me) and exciting ride called the StratosFear – a scenic ride to the top of a 148-foot-high tower and then a freefall back down. The Alamo where we had intended to eat lunch was not open.  So we each ate a delicious slice of pizza and shared a pickle on a stick.  We visited the carousel museum.  We stopped at the fudge and nut shoppe and bought Grandpa some dark chocolate covered cashews.  We tried some Turkish Delight for the first time.  The weather was perfect – sunny, breezy, and it did not start to drizzle until we were in the car pulling out of the parking lot.  It was a lovely day full of fun, adrenaline rushes, and laughter.   

We could have sulked and slunk about today, resenting the fact that our plans to ride the Italian Trapeze, the Impulse, the Fandango, the Downdraft, and the Flying Turns was closed.  We could have bemoaned how our plans to dine at The Alamo fell through.  In the afternoon when my energy levels were flagging and I ordered an iced coffee, it was the poorest excuse for a caffeine boost ever.  There were some people in line with us that were pushy, rude, and said dumb things that could have wracked our nerves.  Wearing the required mouth and nose coverings and breathing warm, damp, recycled air tends to nauseate me.  Instead of dwelling on any of this, we kept our kingdoms full of gratitude and goodwill.  We smiled at people.  We said please and we said thank you to the workers who ran the rides, provided refreshment, curated the museum.  We appreciated the free admission and parking that Knoebel’s offers to the public.  We liked that the prices of the rides and the food were reasonable.  We were grateful to the personnel who keep the park free of dirt and grime to ward off disease. 

This is how we manage to live in this world while not being of this world.  We focus on what is good, happy-making, kind, grateful, and nice.  We are vigilant about what we tune in and what we tune out.  We do not obligate ourselves to our own ego or the ego of others who would abuse or use us in ways that do not glorify God or bring His goodwill.  We practice mindful living – after I invited James to go along with Zachary and I to Knoebel’s last week, I was reminded by Holy Spirit that this was my Grammy time with Zachary.  There was no need to feel obligated to include Grandpa or anybody else in our time together.  We do not overtax ourselves with vain imaginings, worries about the future, or shame or sorrow from the past.  We rule our minds with the standard of God and His good Will, where we harbor only His thoughts and His kind and loving Words, and we let all the rest be washed away. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 236. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 235 God In His Mercy Wills That I Be Saved

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Lesson 235 God In His Mercy Wills That I Be Saved

  1. I need but look upon all things that seem to hurt me, and with perfect certainty assure myself, “God wills that I be saved from this,” and merely watch them disappear.  I need but keep in mind my Father’s Will for me is only happiness, to find that only happiness has come to me.  And I need but remember that God’s Love surrounds His Son and keeps his sinlessness forever perfect, to be sure that I am saved and safe forever in His Arms.  I am the Son He loves.  And I am saved because God in His mercy wills it so.
  2. Father, Your holiness is mine.  Your Love created me and made my sinlessness forever part of You.  I have no guilt nor sin in me, for there is none in You.[1]
Photo by Rifqi Ramadhan on Pexels.com

Meditation for Lesson 235

One of the foremost concepts that we take from our Course is that God does not will for us to be unhappy, tortured, persecuted, and humiliated.  God takes absolutely no delight in our suffering and there is no reason at all for us to take delight in it either.  God wills that we be saved from all the world’s disappointments, meanness, abuse, and scorn.  God does not rub our mistakes in our faces.  He does not get any satisfaction from an I-told-you-so stance.  When the prodigal returns home, the Father does not wag His finger or give him a lecture on the dangers of fast living.  A feast is prepared; a new robe is tenderly wrapped over his shoulders; a family signet slipped upon his finger. 

When the memories of our past would flood our mind, hurt us all over again, make us feel ashamed or guilty, filling us with sorrow and a sense of hopelessness, Jesus tells us to say, “God wills that we be saved from this.” Jesus tells us to watch the hurts disappear. 

There are days when shame, when guilt, when sorrow seem to be doing their best to reestablish themselves in my mind.  Today while James and I were preparing food and getting the house ready for a send-off dinner for our beloved middle grandson before he heads off to Air Force bootcamp next week, a flood of memories from past family get-togethers came to mind.  I remembered my mother and the delicious feasts that she would prepare for every occasion.  An endearing second-grade essay that my daughter Manda wrote about our Thanksgiving dinner came to mind.  That descriptive thesis of our tribe’s holiday circus inspired her teacher to enroll her in the gifted program where she excelled in writing her crafty, covert observations about said family for the remaining years of her life.  I thought of the fun my sister and I enjoyed putting on shows together over the decades.  I thought about how we would call and sing “Stand by Your Man” to each other back in our single days.  Along with the loving memories there were also not-so-tender ones posing as old snubs, bad manners, silent treatments, scorn, loss through death and estrangements.  They lurked about like slippery eels with gaping mouths in the backwater of my mind.  It was as if these beasts were doing their best to sink my sense of anticipation, happiness, and contentment into their yawning jaws.

God wills that I be saved from this!  My mind – fixed upon Him and His great and abiding love for me – is transformed into oneness with Christ.  There is no room in the flow of love, peace, and joy for stagnate backwater where such thoughts originate and seek to draw the mind, to darken its brightness, to drown it with sorrow, shame, and guilt.  We forgive the mistakes that are made outside the flow of God.  We forget them.  We owe them no affection, no glory, no place in our minds, our thoughts, our conversation.  We bring them to God and God wills that we are saved from them.  We learn what they taught us, and we watch them wash away along with the dead, brackish water in which they dwell. 

God’s holiness is our holiness!  God’s Love created us and made us sinless forever because we are like Him.  We have no guilt and there is no sin in us, for there is none in God.  Thank God for His mercy today.  We are not of this world, but while we are here, we can have a happy time of it, rejoicing in His great love, sharing love and affection and thankfulness with those whom we call our own. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 235. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 233 I Give My Life To God To Guide Today

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Lesson 233 I Give My Life to God to Guide Today.

  1. Father, I give You all my thoughts today.  I would have none of mine.  In place of them, give me Your Own.  I give You all my acts as well, that I may do Your Will instead of seeking goals which cannot be obtained and wasting time in vain imaginings.  Today I come to You.  I will step back and merely follow You.  Be You the Guide, and I the follower who questions not the wisdom of the Infinite, nor Love whose tenderness I cannot comprehend, but which is yet Your perfect gift to me.
  2. Today we have one Guide to lead us on.  And as we walk together, we will give this day to Him with no reserve at all.  This is His day.  And so it is a day of countless gifts and mercies unto us.[1]
Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

Notes and Personal Application: This morning when James woke up, he discovered that our coffee pot had bit the dust.  No matter what he did to resurrect it, our beloved mechanical servant who has faithfully made us a delicious brew each morning is no longer able to serve us.  So when I woke up, one of the first things that James asked me was if I wanted to go along with him to go shop for a new one.  Instead of deciding to just buy a new coffeepot, I wanted to make sure that we got one that met my specifications, I told him.  That is why he asked me to go along, he said.  We decided to make a morning of it, go shopping for a coffee pot, pick up some other things we wanted, and have a bite of lunch.  What fun!

But before we headed out, I sat down and thought about what I wanted in a coffeepot.  I wanted a glass carafe – I like seeing how much coffee is left in the pot.  I wanted a clear and removeable water reservoir, preferably dishwasher safe.  I wanted a flat-bottomed filter instead of a cone shaped one.  I wanted a coffeemaker that makes at least 12-cups at a time.  We really like our coffee here at the Friar Patch and most of our family and friends do, too.  I like the color red, too.  Our kitchen and most of our major appliances are stainless steel, grays and white and small appliances in red add an uplifting splash of color. 

We had our smoothies for breakfast; we quieted our minds and hearts to partake in today’s devotional and prayers.  I drank a cup of tea.  We got ready and we were off.  The sun was shining. The sky cerulean blue.  There were no dark clouds on our horizon except in our foggy, caffeine-deprived brains evidently, for God was not the source of our thoughts or our talk. Instead we crabbed about how we feel like stooges along with everybody else who puts on masks to go out in public.  We grumped about the economy.  We talked about Dr. So-and -So who was calling out the government for staging a highly exaggerated epidemic, making up reasons to arrest citizens, and take away even more of our freedoms and rights.  It is very clever, I said.  Instead of forcing people to take the mark of the beast, frighten them with a deadly disease, offer them a vaccine in the form of a chip, turning humanity into government-censored, government-controlled automatons.  Our projections onto the world came from a place of the fear-based religions in which we were raised.  I have always been sensitive to the effects of negativity and our Jeep was full of it this morning.  Before I knew it, I was wishing that I had stayed home and let James go get the coffee pot on his own. 

We both realized that if we wanted to have a good day we would follow the guidance of Jesus from our lesson today.  We have so much for which to be thankful, let us focus upon that.  We have each other!  Our kids and our grandkids are healthy, happy, and whole.  We have such nice friends.  We have a fridge and freezer full of food.  We have a garden.  We have chickens which give us fresh brown eggs everyday.  We have cats which help keep vermin off our property.  We have our health.  We have a nice house to live in.  We have vehicles that take us where we want to go.  But most of all we have God.  We seek God.  We are God’s Will.  We are as God created us.  Let our vain imaginings and opinions about the world be given to God.  Let God run the show.  Let us trust in Him the way we are called to do and have a good day.  And let’s not for one instant mistake our happiness, our peace, our sanity, security, and love as being based upon the changing tides of this world. 

Jesus tells us that we have one Guide to lead us onward.  We walk with Him, we give our wants to Him, our needs, our fears and dismay, our joys and our triumphs.  We hold nothing back from Him because this day, and all days, are His.  He knows when time will no longer serve the purpose for which it was made, and He will give us as long as we need to return our hearts and minds to Him.  Each day holds countless gifts and mercies which He gives to us.  Today we were blessed with a new coffeepot that we both liked.  We appreciated all of its fine features, most of which matched my earlier specifications.  We appreciated the fact that we did not have to search high and low for it – it was right there at our discount club, a special price, a limited edition. 

God’s Grace toward us knows no bounds.  Today give all your thoughts to Him.  Commit your mind, your words, your actions to God’s Will.  There is nothing that can happen in the world that worries God!  He will never forget His great love and tender mercy toward us.  As His Son, we have no business theorizing conspiracies or vainly preparing for the end times. Trump is neither our savior nor our enemy – as every other world leader, he is only a human being trying to do the best he can to run a first-world country which is moving in a multitude of different directions.  He deserves our love, our forgiveness, our patience, and our best thoughts and prayers. 

Jesus reminds us that God’s love toward us is so tender that it is impossible for us to comprehend in our current state, but it is His gift to us.  Today accept His Grace, let Him take first place. Surrender your humanity to Him and take on the divinity in which you were created. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 233. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). 

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 232 Be In My Mind, My Father, Throughout The Day

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Part 2:2 WHAT IS SALVATION

Lesson 232 Be In My Mind, My Father, Through The Day.

  1. Be in my mind, my Father, when I wake, and shine on me throughout the day today.  Let every minute be time in which I dwell with You.  And let me not forget my hourly thanksgiving that You have remained with me, and always will be there to hear my call to You and answer me.  As evening comes, let all my thoughts be still of You and of Your Love.  And let me sleep sure of my safety, certain of Your care, and happily aware I am Your Son.
  2. This is as every day should be.  Today, practice the end of fear.  Have faith in Him Who is your Father.  Trust all things to Him.  Let Him reveal all things to you and be you undismayed because you are His Son.[1]
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Meditation for Lesson 232

Today our prayer invites God to our minds from the time we wake up in the morning, we ask Him to shine on us all day long.  We ask Him to dwell with us every minute; every hour we lift our hearts in thanksgiving to Him for staying with us, always there to here our every call, for answering our heart’s cry.  We give this day completely over to the presence of God – taking us into the evening and putting us to sleep in safety, certainty, and happiness because we are His Son. 

Jesus instructs us today that this is how every day is designed to be – practicing the presence of God, which is practicing the end of fear.  This is how we build faith and trust in our Father.  We learn to trust Him in all things. 

When we lose something for example, instead of driving ourselves crazy looking for it, we quietly trust God to lead us to it. This is a wonderful way in which to build trust and deepen our awareness of God’s Holy Spirit which He gave to each one of us and will never take away.  When we have a worry or a care, we call upon God to calm our minds and help us deal with the matter in a wise and discreet manner rather than fretting, spreading needless alarm, or casting our burdens upon others.  When someone says something that hurts our feelings or betrays our trust, we thank God for revealing their hostility so that we know to ask for healing, so we know to examine ourselves to find where we have wounded them.  When we have a problem with running our mouths and being irresponsible with the confidences of others or talking over other people, we ask God to be the keeper of our lips, to give us the respect and kind regard that it takes to listen, to sit silently, to not feel compelled to add our opinions or tell long, blow-by-blow accounts that bore people or cause them to lose interest. 

From the time we come into this world, each of us begins making a false self, we develop a personality, defenses, quirks, habits, and ways to get out of doing what we do not want to do.  We decide if we want to be a “good” person and follow the rules and toe the line or if we want to go rogue and be a troublemaker, a risk-taker, a joker, a prankster, a bully, or freak.  We figure out the ways that we are going to draw attention to ourselves and how we are going to draw attention away from ourselves.  We figure out that turning on the water works may work with one parent but not with another.  We learn to either move toward all that makes us feel good and away from all that makes us feel otherwise, or we learn to ignore our good judgment and do the opposite.  We develop agendas.  We make plans.  We think we know what will make us happy and what will tear our hearts to pieces. 

But today Jesus is telling us to do things differently.  Instead of relying on our made-up self, our human, to make it through the day, clouding our holy vision, and asserting itself as our reality, we are to invite God in our mind, we are to ask God to help us when we encounter a challenge, a difficulty, a sorrow.  All through the day, instead of relying upon our false self to inform our decisions, to approve or condemn, to decide what we will do and where we will go – we go deeper.  We look to our Source, we say, “What is this for, Father?  What am I to learn?  Please stay in my mind and teach me all I need to know. Show me what to do in this matter.  Should I stay or should I go?”

We get to know God by spending time in His Presence and learning to listen to His Voice, Holy Spirit within. It is not in attending services at the tabernacle, doing good works, reading our holy books, or donating time and money to charitable causes that we come to know God.  As helpful, kind, and even gratifying as these activities may be, many times it is a poor substitute for keeping our mind stayed upon Him, learning to trust in Him on a moment-to-moment basis, experiencing His love and constant care as we become one with Him. 

When we become one with God we have nothing more to fear.  There is absolutely no cause for dismay.  We live and move and enjoy our being in Him, we trust all things to Him, and He tells us everything we need to know and He gives us everything we need to grow, to thrive, to prosper in this life and in the life to come.

Be in our minds, O Father, throughout the day!


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 232. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Part II:2 What Is Salvation and Lesson 231

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Part II:2 WHAT IS SALVATION?

  1. Salvation is a promise, made by God, that you would find your way to Him at last.  It cannot but be kept. It guarantees that time will have an end, and all the thoughts that have been born in time will end as well. God’s Word is given every mind which thinks that it has separate thoughts and will replace these thoughts of conflict with the thought of peace.
  2. The thought of peace was given to God’s Son the instant that his mind had thought of war. There was no need for such a thought before, for peace was given without opposite, and merely was. But when the mind is split there is a need of healing. So the thought that has the power to heal the split became a part of every fragment of the mind that still was one but failed to recognize its oneness. Now it did not know itself, and thought its own identity was lost.
  3. Salvation is undoing in the sense that it does nothing, failing to support the world of dreams and malice. Thus it lets illusions go. By not supporting them, it merely lets them quietly go down to dust. And what they hid is now revealed; an altar to the holy Name of God whereon His Word is written, with the gifts of your forgiveness laid before it, and the memory of God not far behind.
  4. Let us come daily to this holy place and spend a while together. Here we share our final dream. It is a dream in which there is no sorrow, for it holds a hint of all the glory given us by God. The grass is pushing through the soil, the trees are budding now, and birds have come to live within their branches. Earth is being born again in new perspective. Night has gone, and we have come together in the light.
  5. From here we give Salvation to the world, for it is here Salvation was received. The song of our rejoicing is the call to all the world that freedom is returned, that time is almost over, and God’s Son has but an instant more to wait until his Father is remembered, dreams are done, eternity has shined away the world, and only heaven now exists at all.

Lesson 231

Father, I Will But to Remember You.

  1. What can I seek for, Father, but Your Love?  Perhaps I think I seek for something else; a something I have called by many names.  Yet is Your Love the only thing I seek, or ever sought.  For there is nothing else that I could ever really want to find.  Let me remember You.  What else could I desire but the truth about myself?
  2. This is your will, my brother.  And you share this will with me, and with the One as well Who is our Father.   To remember Him is Heaven.  This we seek.  And only this is what it will be given us to find.[1]
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Meditation for Part II:(Section) 2 and Lesson 231

Salvation is simply undoing the separation, giving no energy to the things in darkness and focusing our minds and hearts upon the truth of God.  Salvation is God’s promise to each and every one of us.  None of us will be lost in time, in space, alone and vulnerable and cast out of His Kingdom forever.  None of us are destined to burn for our mistakes, but rather salvation blots out all thoughts that ever strayed from God.  Thoughts of disease, decay, and death will be no more when we no longer find them useful, when we recognize the lie, when we see that we have been deceived by our own arrogance and selfish desire for specialness. 

When our minds are healed, they will no longer be twisted by opposites.  We will no longer seek peace and war; we will no longer seek love and hate; we will no longer seek joy and sorrow.  My happiness does not ride upon your unhappiness.  Your worth does not depend upon my worthlessness.  We are one in God and with God and all for one and one for all. 

No longer do we have any concerns about who we are and where we came from.  We will not be concerned about what makes us different, but only what makes us one.  We will have no favorites at the expense of having those we dislike; there will be no popularity contests, unmet attention needs, and vying for distinction for we will recognize the gifts and talents of each person as being vital, irreplaceable, and of equal worth. 

Jesus encourages us to quiet our minds and still our beings to meditate upon these concepts.  Every day we are to set aside all the time it takes for us to give no thought to the ways of the world, but rather fill our minds with this vision of Christ – a dream of no sorrow, a reflection of the glory of God, a place of the earth being born anew in love and joy and peace.  We can behold nature that is peaceful, helpful, abundant, and kind.  No longer does Creation prey upon one another in lust, hunger, vengeance, or destruction.  Creation is kind, interdependent, loving, helpful, and productive – the grass, the trees, the birds – we are one with Creation and the Creator. 

These thoughts give Salvation to the world, it is in our peaceful, loving minds where Salvation is received.  This is our freedom from all thoughts of hate, fear, and reprisal.  This is a cause to rejoice that the time of death and darkness is coming to a close, and we have only a little while to wait until we remember our God fully, we awaken to the truth, we return happily and with wholehearted commitment back into the eternal Kingdom of God

As we meditate upon Lesson 231, we remind ourselves that our will is to remember God, our Father, Lord, and King.  We thought we wanted a lot of other things, but now we know, that it is only our Father’s Love we want, our Father’s Love we will have and share.  No matter what we called it, bottom line, it is God’s Love we sought, for in God’s Love we have everything we were looking for, everything we ever wanted, everything we ever dreamed.  It is in God’s Love we find our truth, our identity, our Everything. 

Jesus tells us today that to remember God is Heaven.  It is what we seek – even when we thought we were seeking other things to take His place; God is what we seek, and it is only God that we find at the end of all our seeking.  He is at the end of all our mistakes, our mistrials, our wanderings.  No matter how many wrong trees we bark up trying to find peace and satisfaction and bliss, God will not be replaced, forgotten, or lost.  We are His and He is ours. 

Let these words today be your comfort and your guide.  If you are given to feeling ashamed of the roads you traveled to find God, lift up your head and be thankful that those roads you traveled taught you everything you need to know to deliver you from the snares of time.  If you are given to being preachy and lecturing others on their sins and shortcomings, please note that there is not a one of us on this earth who is in a position to judge, condemn, or make rules for who gets in and who stays out.  If you tend to sermonize and weaponize salvation, understand that when we attack our brothers, we have attacked ourselves and have removed our minds from the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Today we get quiet, we get very still, we come to our Father with our altars cleared of thoughts of this world and ask Him to give us the vision of Christ.  We see the real Creation in our minds.  We let our hearts rejoice in the beauty of pure and holy nature where lion and lamb lay together in peace, where we are not preying upon nature, but loving it, tending to it, giving and receiving simultaneously in a virtuous cycle of expanding love, joy, and peace.  Dare to envision what can only be given by God.  Do not think for a moment that we can force this upon the world through politics, through shame, through pointing fingers and blaming one species over another, one race against another, one religion against another, one country against another.  We are all in this together.  We have all strayed from the glory of God and each one of us are called to bring our holy minds back to the place where they belong.  This is the way to Salvation, this is the Second Coming of Christ as each of us joins with our Savior, standing with Him and becoming one.    


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Part II:2 and Lesson 231, Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 230 Now Will I Seek And Find The Peace Of God

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Part II:1 WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?

Lesson 230 Now Will I Seek and Find the Peace of God.

  1. In peace I was created.  And in peace do I remain.  It is not given me to change my Self.  How merciful is God my Father, that when He created me He gave me peace forever.  Now I ask but to be what I am.  And can this be denied me when it is forever true?
  2. Father, I seek the peace You gave as mine in my creation.  What was given then must be here now, for my creation was apart from time, and still remains beyond all change.  The peace in which Your Son was born into Your Mind is shining there unchanged.  I am as You created me.  I need but call on You to find the peace You gave.  It is Your Will that gave it to Your Son.[1] 
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Personal Notes and Application:  Just as we are created by Love and for Love and to be Love, so were we created in peace.  We thrive on peace.  We live forever in peace.  Without peace we go insane, we lose our minds, we are stressed and tormented, we worry and fret, our sleep is troubled, there is a permanent scowl etched upon our foreheads, a downward turn to our mouths, a droop in our shoulders, a heaviness in our hearts.  One of the saddest things about being raised in an unpeaceful home is that kids grow up thinking that chaos, squabbling, noisiness, melodrama, and unrest is the norm and something in which to pattern one’s life after.  There are those who actually become addicted to the adrenalin rush of onslaught, who despise the quiet, the blissful, the serene.  We have all had the friend or family members in our lives that cannot stand when people are getting along, who thrive on stirring up trouble, bringing up old grudges, telling lies, and spreading rumors in order to keep peace at bay. 

When we lay down the selves we have made and take up our real Self in God, we begin to cherish peace.  No longer do we have to flit from one activity to the other trying to find meaning, purpose, or entertainment.  No longer do we have to find a cause in which to latch unto to give our life meaning and to keep our blood pressure up against a supposed enemy.  We embrace the peace in which we were created, the peace which was given to us when we were created, the peace which is still shining there inside our minds, calling to us to be still and know that we are one with God. 

Peace is where we find God.  We do not find God in our banners, in our war songs, in our patriotism, or in our politics.  We do not find peace in our denominations, our religious cults, or our spiritual leaders.  We find peace when we seek God, for God’s peace is the only peace. 

It is the duty of every single person to seek and find the peace of God.  There can be no troublemaking in God’s Kingdom.  There can be no competition over who is smarter, bigger, better, more evolved, or has the best ideas about how to run the planet.  In God’s Kingdom we must be completely committed to our original Creation, our holy Self.  We must recognize that any time we choose attack, defense, ill will, and affection for battle, we have proved ourselves not ready for the peace of God, we have denied our minds access to where we belong, and we are setting up camp in a realm which keeps us trapped in a very elementary level of being. 

Before I began studying A Course in Miracles, I was aware that I had an unhealthy attraction to unrest, to war, to retribution, to stirring up trouble.  However, I had no idea how addictive the thoughts of conflict, strife, and turmoil were until I began to seek the peace of God.  In my work in prevention, my mind was being fed a constant diet of injustice, abuse, child sexual abuse, human trafficking, violence, rape, victimization of every ilk.  At home, when I would relax in front of the television, the productions I was drawn to were not dramatic reenactments exemplifying acts of love, peace, and joy but rather tales of more violence, infidelities, vengeance, unsolved mysteries, crime and psychological thrillers.  In conversations with colleagues, family, and friends, I became aware of an alarming pattern of negativity that focused on what was wrong with others instead of what was right, none of which promoted peace in the environment, but rather incited conflict and discord. 

Only when I began to see the relationship between the work I was doing, the entertainment choices that I was making, and the conversations and relationships that I had going on in my life with my unhappy state of mind, troubled sleep, paranoia, suspicious nature, and condemning and unloving thought patterns, did I realize how deeply my mind was entrenched in forms of attack.  Daily and even hourly meditations, a prayerful state of mind, a deep desire to know and serve God is helping me to accept the peace that can come only from God. 

Our reality is apart from time, Jesus tells us in our prayer for today.  Peace is ours because it still shines the same as when God created us within its bright and glowing light.  It is not the Self that God created that would choose darkness over His light, that would choose attack and defense instead of His Love, that would fill my mind with visions of bloodshed, betrayal, injustice, and death in place of His Peace and Joy. 

Jesus tells us to call upon Him to find the peace of God.  We call upon God today as we align our will with His.  Today we join in prayer and unity from all over the world to welcome the quiet bliss and tranquility that calms our minds, heals our spirits, and loosens the bands of time. 

Let us find our Peace O Father!


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 230. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 229 Love, Which Created Me, Is What I Am

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Part II:1 WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?

Lesson 229 Love, Which Created Me, is What I Am.

  1. I seek my own Identity, and find It in these words: “Love Which created me, is what I am.”  Now need I seek no more.  Love has prevailed.  So still It waited for my coming home, that I will turn away no longer from the holy face of Christ.  And what I look upon attests the truth of the Identity I sought to lose, but Which my Father has kept safe for me.
  2. Father, my thanks to You for what I am; for keeping my Identity untouched and sinless, in the midst of all the thoughts of sin my foolish mind made up.  And thanks to You for saving me from them.  Amen.[1]
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Meditation for Lesson 229

Jesus reminds us today that love prevails.  Through every way in which the ego would have its way with us, each thrust of pain, of disappointment, of discomfort, and unpleasantness, through all the hard lessons we must learn in separation, love prevails.  Our Identity is unscathed by all the lies, the torment, the false promises, and betrayals that this realm has prepared for us.  Our Identity, which we sought to lose when we thought to separate from our Creator, remains love in a realm that attempt to exchange love for high adventure, the thrill of independence, the cavernous enticement of lust, power, and specialness, and the arrogance of doing it our own way. 

But we were created by the unchanging God to be constant as the One who made us.  No matter what we dreamed of doing with our holy Sonship, it remained unchanged.  We are the Love, Which created us, Jesus asserts.  You can turn away from it as long as you want, but this fact will never change.  We cannot escape our Identity in Christ, we cannot escape our holiness, our truth, the fact that no matter what we dreamed up to separate ourselves from Him, we will ever remain as Love created us.

Today take every opportunity to let the words of our lesson take root in your consciousness.  No matter how unloving you may feel toward others, no matter how much better you think the world would be if there were certain groups of people who were not getting in your way to make it so, no matter how many grudges, resentments, and feelings of ill regard you may feel you have every right to feel toward those who abused you, you are created by Love and that is what you are.  Love is waiting for you to come home; Love is waiting for you to wake up from the self you made in ego-land and come home to this everlasting truth.

Daily as we set aside time to seek God, as we allow the truth of our lessons to inform us of our reality in Christ, as we begin to develop the forbearance and spiritual rigor required for this process, the holy face of Christ becomes apparent in our mind and informs our every decision, our every thought, our every move.  As tedious as this may sound to the uninitiated, even getting one glimpse of our true Identity in Christ, our holiness, our wholeness, the peace, love, joy, and sense of ultimate reality is all it takes to make the world of lies, special relationships, sin, sorrow, and suffering commence to melt away.   

No matter where we are today, no matter who the world says we are, no matter if people love us or hate us, if we live in a palace or if we live behind bars, no matter the color of our skin, our religious or cultural background,  if we have a penis or a vagina or perhaps both or neither, we will no longer allow our bodies, the opinion of others, or the world tell us who we are.  We will not let the history of “our people” define us.  We will not let our privileges, or our disadvantages define us.  We will not align our identities with political parties or charitable organizations.  For now we know.  Love created us and that is what we are.  We are Love.

In our quiet time of meditation and devotion pray this prayer in your own words, from your own unique experience:

Dear Father, Thank You for keeping my Identity one of Love no matter the mistakes I make, the lies I believe, or how my family, friends, and affiliates may characterize me.  Thank You for seeing past what the world makes me out to be – a body, an old woman, white, an American, a Protestant, privileged in some areas, disadvantaged in others.  Thank You for not defining me by the scars I have collected in the world, the defenses I have built, the defiance I have exhibited toward Your Love and my reality in You.  Thank you for delivering my mind from a past full of abuse, mistrust, grudges, resentments, memories of hostility, opponents, meanness, and stupidity.  Thank You, Dear Father, for making me in Love, for Love and to be Love, for delivering me from all things that would vie to take the place of who and what I am in You. 

In the name of Jesus, with Whom I am one.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 229. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 228 God Has Condemned Me Not. No More Do I.

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Part II:1 WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?

Lesson 228 God Has Condemned Me Not.  No More Do I.

  1. My Father knows my holiness.  Shall I deny His knowledge, and believe in what His knowledge makes impossible?  Shall I accept as true what He proclaims as false?  Or shall I take His Word for what I am, since He is my Creator, and the One Who knows the true condition of His Son?
  2. Father, I was mistaken in myself, because I failed to realize the Source from Which I came.  I have not left that Source to enter in a body and to die.  My holiness remains a part of me, as I am part of You.  And my mistakes about myself are dreams.  I let them go today.  And I stand ready to receive Your Word alone for what I really am.[1]
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Today’s Meditation

It takes a lot of courage to accept our holiness in God.  When we think of ourselves as a body we are at the mercy of our hunger, our drives for sex, for power, for love and belonging.  We love the rush of adrenalin that surges through our brains when we are excited.  We love the sense of power and control we experience when we learn how to manipulate people and events to suit our own purposes.  Our unfulfilled needs and abuses lead us through strange and dark corridors, we develop addictions, perversions, and a warped sense of right and wrong.  At the very least, we are taught to fear God instead of love Him.  We are taught that God is out to punish us instead of waking us up to bring us home.  We are taught guilt and shame, sacrifice and bloodshed rather than accepting our true identity as God’s beloved Son. 

Today we accept our holiness with valor, quiet happiness and delight.  We know now who and what we are and who and what we are not.  We realize our mistakes.  We accept that all those mistakes are part of a dream of being separate from God, of being who and what we made instead of who and what God made.  Today we look at our mistakes and let them go.  We no longer want to be anybody but whom God created.  We no longer want to confuse our bodies with who and what we really are.  We remember the God in us today.  We take His Words and make them our own. 

Remind yourself often throughout the day that God is holy and what He creates is like Him.  A holy God makes holy creations.  Accept your holiness and do not let it frighten you.  Holiness is real; unholiness is not.  Holiness is forever; unholiness exists in a realm of time that passes away and is no more.  No matter who you are or what you have done in the flesh will change who and what you are in the eyes of God.  The mistakes we make in the flesh, no matter how seemingly trivial or vile have no lasting value.  When we bring them to the light, learn all we can from them, confess and give them to God, they melt away and are remembered no more. 

When we are plagued by guilt and shame, sorrow and sadness, we must stand strong and remind ourselves of who we are in Christ.  We are one with Him as God’s Beloved Son.  Ask the Lord to reveal to you what He wants you to do with the guilt and shame, the sorrow and sadness.  Perhaps He will lead you to reach out to someone you have hurt in the past to express a sincere apology. 

Several years ago, Holy Spirit led me to ask forgiveness from my first husband for not being kind, for being emotionally and physically abusive, for playing mean tricks on him, for blaming him for things that I was guilty of myself.  So many people told me not to apologize to him – they felt as if his sins had so outweighed my own that he deserved all the ways I had devised to get even with him.  They thought that to apologize to him would be encouraging him to see my faults while not acknowledging his own.  It was his third wife who picked up the phone when I called.  Even she did her best to talk me out of apologizing to him.  She told me several things about him that convinced me that I must have been wrong – surely Holy Spirit would never have me apologize to such a man.

Sadly, I followed her advice rather than obeyed the leading of Holy Spirit.  A few years later, Kenneth died a painful, lonely, premature death leaving a wake of hurt and pain and bitterness behind him.  I will never know how a simple apology for my own shortcomings and failings may have led him to surrender his own.  All I know is that I allowed others to convince me not to go with God’s Will and therefore I did not accept my own holiness. 

Let us continue in our daily practices to align our wills with God’s Will.  We will make mistakes, but we will not let them discourage us or tempt us to give up our return to God.  Our mistakes do not define us, they do not hold us back, they do not have any real substance, they only last as long as we need them to learn the lessons we must learn.  Today we know that God does not condemn us for any mistakes we make in the dream of separation.  So we will not condemn ourselves either.  Just as we are to forgive others, we forgive ourselves for we know Who made us as our God, our Father, our King.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 228. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 227 This Is My Holy Instant Of Release

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Part II:1 WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?

Lesson 227 This Is My Holy Instant of Release

  1. Father, it is today that I am free, because my will is Yours.  I thought to make another will.  Yet nothing that I thought apart from You exists.  And I am free because I was mistaken and did not affect my own reality at all by my illusions.  Now I give them up, and lay them down before the feet of truth, to be removed forever from my mind.  This is my holy instant of release.  Father, I know my will is one with Yours.
  2. And so today we find our glad return to Heaven, which we never really left.  The Son of God this day lays down his dreams.  The Son of God this day comes home again, released from sin and clad in holiness, with his right mind restored to him at last.[1]
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Meditation for Today

In today’s lesson Jesus leads us in a prayer of surrendering the self we made in exchange for our real Self in God.  Until we realize that an alien will has made us at animosity toward God, we are trapped in a state of nothingness.  It looks real, it tastes real, it seems real, but it is death and decay.  Nothing apart from God lasts forever, and until we exchange our temporality for eternity, we are trapped in a state of illusion, a mass enchantment, a dream of separation, sorrow, and uncertainty. 

Jesus tells us to pray this prayer of release as we put the self that we made before God and accept His Will, our true Will, our true Self in Him.  This is the way of return to His Kingdom.  We surrender all the trinkets of time for the treasures of eternity.  We recognize the difference between what has value and what is valueless.  We exchange a state of sin and shame for wholeness and well-being.  We exchange the wrong mind of the ego for the right mind of Christ. 

Join with me in faith as we free our minds and join our wills with God’s.  As we continue our practice, aligning our will with God’s Will, surrendering the final remnants of the false and fickle ego that would still cling to our minds, we are liberated.  Ask God to reveal the meaning of this lesson to you.  Find your still and quiet place and meditate upon the words and sentences.  With sincerity and no pretentions pray the prayer of release found at the beginning of this lesson.  Our spiritual eyes can be opened in the dream and we can awaken others. 

Let this be our holy instant of release!


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 227. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 226 My Home Awaits Me. I Will Hasten There.

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Lesson 226 My Home Awaits Me.  I Will Hasten There.

  1. If I so choose, I can depart this world entirely.  It is not death, which makes this possible, but it is change of mind about the purpose of the world.  If I believe it has value as I see it now, so will it still remain for me.  But if I see no value in the world, as I behold it, nothing that I want to keep as mine or search for as a goal, it will depart from me.  For I have not sought for illusions to replace the truth.
  2. Father, my home awaits my glad return.  Your Arms are open, and I hear Your Voice.  What need have I to linger in a place of vain desires and of shattered dreams when Heaven can so easily be mine?1
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Notes and Personal Application:  When we realize that the world has nothing to offer us, our minds can be released into the mind of Christ.  We may still be here in our flesh and blood bodies, but our minds are made one with Christ.  No longer do we see the world as having something for us to chase – instead we see the world as our training ground, our university, the place in which we learn all we need to know about our reality in God by experiencing what is not reality in God. 

One of my favorite things in the world is ice cream.  From my first taste of it as a baby until this very day – ice cream is a real treat to me.  When I was a kid going out to get an ice cream cone was a big occasion.  One day I was with my dad on the way back from one of his TV repair jobs and he stopped at a local dairy farm store to get us each an ice cream cone.  “Do not eat the bottom first,” he said to me when he handed me my chocolate cone.  To this day I have no idea why he told me that.  It did not even make sense to eat my cone from the bottom, but once he told me not to do it, that pointy little triangle at the bottom of my cone proved irresistible.  I kept imagining what it would be like to bite it off, and I just knew that my dad was telling me not to bite it off because he was withholding some wonderful sense of privilege and taste treat from me.  So what did I go and do?  I bit it off and it was not the tasty little morsel I had imagined it to be.  It was just a plain little piece of dry wafer cone.  You can probably guess the rest of the story – the ice cream melted in the hot work van and began trickling down my arm and on to the seat faster than I could lick it.  Finally my dad grabbed the sticky mess and threw it out the window. 

While a big disappointment to me, I could not hold a grudge against my dad.  He warned me – he knew that if I attempted to enjoy my ice cream cone by eating it bottom up, I would be in for a rude awakening.  The ice cream cone was no good to me dripping down my arm and congealing  in waxy puddles on dad’s nice, clean vinyl car seat.  As much as I hated missing out of the cold creamy treat, throwing it out the window was the best thing to do.

And that is what Jesus is telling us to do today.  He is telling us to throw the illusions about the world out of the window of our minds.  He is saying, you thought you would find your happiness by looking at the world as a place you would find your reality, some physical form to fasten upon for identity, worth, and value.  But when we perceive the world in any other way than as a facade designed to obscure the Kingdom of God, we fail to get its real meaning. 

Heaven can be ours today.  We do not have to die to experience the peace and love and joy that come from seeking God.   By ridding ourselves of the sticky mess we made of things when we thought the world was something else, we free our minds to experience the bliss and tranquility of heaven right here and right now. 

1 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 226. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992)

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 225 God Is My Father, And His Son Loves Him

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Lesson 225 God is My Father, and His Son Loves Him.

  1. Father, I must return Your Love for me, for giving and receiving are the same, and You have given all Your Love to me.  I must return it, for I want it mine in full awareness, blazing in my mind and keeping it within its kindly light, inviolate, beloved, with fear behind and only peace ahead.  How still the way Your loving Son is led along to You!
  2. Brother, we find that stillness now.  The way is open.  Now we follow it in peace together.  You have reached your hand to me, and I will never leave you.  We are one, and it is but this oneness that we seek, as we accomplish these few final steps which end a journey that was not begun. [1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  We love God because He first loved us.  We were made in love and by love and for love.  Is it any wonder that we suffer so much in a world that talks about love, sings about love, makes so much of love, and yet has no idea what it really is? 

Jesus teaches us that giving and receiving are the same.  It does not seem that way in our world.  If we text someone and they do not respond to our text, we feel as if we gave something and did not receive anything back.  It feels like a threat or at the very least a sadness, a disappointment.  No response is a clear message that says – I do not care about you enough to respond to your effort at communication.  If it happens only once, if it happens only once in a great while, we are willing to overlook it – technology fails us, people get busy and forget, perhaps our message got erased or lost in the flush of others.  Otherwise this seemingly slight discourtesy can cause trouble in even solid relationships. 

In God’s Kingdom the only way to receive what is already yours is to give.  In God’s Kingdom it is impossible to receive without first giving; it is impossible to give without first receiving.  It is natural, it is simultaneous, spontaneous, and certain.  When God gives us His Love, He knows that we can do nothing but give it back – it is a continual virtuous cycle of giving to receive, receiving to give.  As long as we live in a realm of separation, our minds are uneasy waiting to receive before we can give, waiting to see who we can trust to play fair, to repay what they receive. Here in time the love of God is experienced as alien to our natures and our wills can resist loving Him in return.  When we begin to lay down our defenses, we see how worthless our efforts to seek anything but God, because we recognize the value of His great love and devotion to us.  We recognize who we really are in relation to Him and to each other.  We can do nothing but love Him. 

How do we love God?  We love Him by seeking Him.  We love Him by stilling our minds and hearts and asking Him to talk to us, to lead us back to Him, to return our minds and hearts to His Kingdom where we are one now and forever with Him as His Son.  Jesus assures us in this lesson that the way to God is open and that we follow the way hand-in-hand with Him.  We are delivered from the enchantment of separation, illusion, and despair.  Today let His peace quiet your mind and calm your spirit.  Today we walk with Jesus on the path to our reality in God. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 225. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 224 God Is Father, And He Loves His Son

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Lesson 224 God is Father, and He loves His Son.

  1. My true identity is so secure, so lofty, sinless, glorious and great, wholly beneficent and free from guilt, that Heaven looks to It to give it light.  It lights the world as well.  It is the gift my Father gave to me; the one as well I give the world.  There is no gift but This that can be either given or received.  This is reality, and only This.  This is illusion’s end.  It is the truth.
  2. My Name, O Father, still is known to You.  I have forgotten it, and do not know where I am going, who I am, or what it is I do.  Remind me, Father, now, for I am weary of the world I see.  Reveal what You would have me see instead.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  Today is the anniversary of my earthly father’s death.  Although it has been 61 years ago, and I was a girl of ten at the time – I will never forget my dad.  He was everything a little girl dreams of in a dad – kind, smart, funny, and fun-loving – I never heard him say a curse word, grumble about how hard he had to work, or show my mother anything but love, adoration, and appreciation.  He was the kind of man who cried when his Brittany Spaniel died.  He loved the ocean.  He liked Sunday drives and taking his family out for dinner after church.  He read the funnies to me at night while mom prepared supper.  He taught me good manners and insisted that I use them.  He loved a good story and always had a stack of books next to his bed and favorite chair. 

My earthly father gave me his DNA, he gave me his name, he gave me sustenance, love, and provided as safe and happy home for me as he was able.  Because of this, it is not difficult for me to accept our heavenly Father’s love.  For others who have suffered abuse, inappropriate sexual touches and incest, witnessed or been a victim of domestic violence at the hands of their earthly fathers, it can be a real challenge to accept God’s Love.  The other night at our meeting, Linda shared the story of how she has finally be able to know the love of God in spite of what she suffered growing up at the hands of her own father.

The fact that she shared her story set my own heart free at last.  For I had kept her secrets for her when we were little kids.  I held them in my heart and never told anyone, never went for help for her, had no way to know how to make what she was going through stop.  She came over to stay at our house when things got too rough – thankfully, my parents were the kind of people who loved having kids around, who did not mind an extra mouth to feed, who always made room for one more. 

I had known the role that Linda played in my life as a child but I had always felt as if I had failed her – there is a sense of guilt and shame that comes with helplessness, with keeping secrets, with knowing that something wrong is taking place and not knowing how to make it stop.  Harking back to last year’s post, in Chapter One, Jesus tells Helen that a miracle is the maximal service one can render to another. It is a way of loving another as yourself.  It is recognizing your own and another’s worth simultaneously.  I knew that Linda had done that for me throughout our troubled childhoods, but I had always believed that I had failed her.  And yet tonight when she shared her story and it opened up the hearts and minds of others in the room, we both recognized that I had understood her worth and that I did what I was supposed to do at the time.  I held her hand.  I loved her.  I gave her a safe place.  I was a little girl and I was giving her my best. 

No matter if we have been blessed with a loving father or a wounded father here on earth, we will experience the unreality of the world and the inability of our fathers to protect us from a world that is designed to teach us cruelty, subterfuge, and death.  We will come to realize that there has to be a better way and we will seek for it – first in the better ways that the world offers and then, weary of the inconstancy and false promises of the world, we will seek for the better way and return to our Heavenly Father to find our truth in Him.   

God is our Father and He loves us as His Son.  Be blessed by this thought and turn to it often today, cleansing your mind of all that would try to define you by your body, by your mistakes, by your gender, family, country, culture, class.  God is our Father and He loves us as His Son. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 224. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 223 God Is My Life. I Have No Life But His.

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Part II:1 WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?

Lesson 223 God is my life.  I have no life but His.

  1. I was mistaken when I thought I lived apart from God, a separate entity that moved in isolation, unattached, and housed within a body.  Now I know my life is God’s.  I have no other home, and I do not exist apart from Him.  He has no Thoughts that are not part of me, and I have none but those which are of Him.
  2. Our Father let us see the face of Christ instead of our mistakes.  For we who are Your holy Son are sinless.  We would look upon our sinlessness, for guilt proclaims that we are not Your Son.  And we would not forget You longer.  We are lonely here, and long for Heaven, where we are at home.  Today we would return.  Our Names is Yours, and we acknowledge that we are Your Son.[1]

Notes and Personal Application: Today while I was filling my gas tank with fuel a beautiful little boy peeked around the other side of the gas pump, looked up into my eyes and smiled. I smiled back, and we did not stop.  Even after his father took him by the hand and led him into the convenience store, he twisted his head around and kept smiling at me.  It was a very precious encounter, innocent and pure, expressing friendly curiosity and warmth between a gray-haired grandmother and a little brown-eyed boy with a cute afro.  Yet I was well aware that we live in a world where suspicions and fears could have given his father a sense of alarm.  This is what we call life here in this realm – a place where little children must be warned against smiling at strangers, even harmless looking matronly types like me! 

But this is not our life, and this is not our home.  We live with God.  We do not live apart from Him in a world of misgivings, unfulfilled yearnings, and fear.  We live where we can smile openly and for as long as we want at all living things without worries and concerns.  Our minds are free of thoughts of sin.  We are innocent, tender, and pure without intentions of harm or worries of ill will.  Here the face of Christ takes the place of the mistakes we made toward each other.  Here we are one with Christ, and we stand with Him as God’s Son, whole and holy. 

Here on earth we long for our heavenly home where we belong.  There we are not separated from one another and uncertain of one another’s motives and secret intentions.  In God we hold no grudges or selfish conceits.  In God we have Everything – leaving our human form behind to embrace our beautiful Oneness in Christ, we have no concerns about poverty and disadvantage, race and culture, lust and perversion, limited resources and the struggle to survive.  Today in the quiet and still time we give to God, we return to this place.  We remind ourselves; we are not a body, we are free.  We are still as God created us.  God is our life.  We have no life but His. 

It is in this thought we linger – taking as much time as it takes to let this prayer, this meditation, this lesson take root in our minds and release us from our bondage to the ego and the external world.  When we begin to experience our life in God, our hearts are filled with joy and happiness.  We can smile upon all of Creation as all of Creation smiles upon us.

Let us keep our minds and hearts a place of warm welcome to today’s idea.  We do not have to earn God’s Love.  We are not unworthy of God’s love because of our sins, our laziness, our lack of commitment or drive.  We are made holy and whole simply by seeking Him, inviting Him to take our darkness and fill us with His Light. There is nothing we can do or fail to do that would earn God’s Love for us.  Our will and God’s Will have become one.  We are no longer lonely or full of despair.  He is our life!  We have no life but His. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 223. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).  p.403.

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 222 God Is With Me. I Love And Move In Him.

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Lesson 222 God is with me.  I live and move in Him.

  1. God is with me.  He is my Source of life, the life within, the air I breathe, the food by which I am sustained, the water which renews and cleanses me.  He is my home, wherein I live and move; the Spirit Which directs my actions, offers me Its Thoughts, and guarantees my safety from all pain.  He covers me with kindness and care, and holds in love the Son He shines upon, who also shines on Him.  How still is he who knows the truth of what He speaks today!
  2. Father, we have no words except Your Name upon our lips and in our minds, as we come quietly into Your Presence now, and ask to rest with You in peace a while.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application: When we begin to perceive our world through the eyes of Christ, we realize that God is with us, that we live and enjoy our being in Him.  No longer are we concerned about the things that the world is concerned about – our water, our air, our food, our home, our thoughts and attitudes – everything that we thought was separate from God, has now become one with Him. 

Now that we are in Part II of our Course lessons for this year, we come in quietness and stillness to our lessons.  We clear the inner altar of our minds of all that would distract us, and we invite our Father to visit with us.  We call to Him.  We read our lesson in this quietness.  We linger over the words and let the meaning of the sentences sit upon the still water of our mind.  We sit in the stillness without words and immerse ourselves in the presence of God, knowing that He is Everything.

Do not forget that our theme in section one of Part II of our lessons is “What is forgiveness?”  Forgiveness is simply sitting still and quietly doing nothing.  We do not seek out the guilty culprit.  We do not seek to punish or to take vengeance.  We let our human desire to give someone a good taste of their own medicine sit there in the quietness and stillness of God with us and melt away in the peace that comes with forgiveness.  It is a lovely and loving experience.  We remove ourselves from that which would hurt us, get us all worked up, turn us inside out with pain and remorse and wrench our guts with sorrow.  We let it go.  We look at it.  We wait upon the Lord.  We let heal that which never occurred in God’s Kingdom and only seemed to occur here in the serfdom of separation. 

When we know God; when we take the time to get to know God within us; when we live and move in Him, we are guaranteed all safety from pain. We are assured of everlasting kindness and care.  The Light of His Love shines upon us forever. 

Ask the Lord to open your mind to this teaching today.  Bring all your worries, cares, fears, and concerns to Him and ask Him to shine His truth upon them.  Sit still in His Presence and let His peace come to commune with you in the secret garden of your mind.  Ask Him to fill your mind with His fruits, give no thought, time, or energy to the weeds that would come in to crowd out His tender love, joy, and peace.  We can think of our devotional practice as entering that secret garden.  In that secret place where we abide with Him no evil can befall us, no plague can touch us, all weapons formed against us will simply melt away. 

In Part II’s introduction, Jesus tells us that we had a wish to go a separate way from God.  We made a God who was angry, vengeful, full of wrath and jealousy.  We made God out to be a deity who loved the smell of roasting flesh and desired sacrifices of blood.  We believed that our precious Father would burn us forever with the flames of hell for our sins, humiliate us, and felt loved only when we suffered.  We said that He played favorites, that He set creation against itself, that He would move heaven and earth to take his revenge upon us.  Then we taught ourselves and others that these insane ideas we held about Him were the truth. 

But now we know better because the memory of His Love shines upon our minds.  He has never forgotten us.  He has not forsaken us.  He abides in us.  He gives us life and love and laughter. 

Today let everything that disheartens us fall away as we remember God is with us.  We live and move in Him, in this world and in His.     


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 222.  Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 402.

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 221 Peace To My Mind. Let All My Thoughts Be Still.

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Part II.1 What is Forgiveness?

Lesson 221

Peace to my mind.  Let all my thoughts be still.

  1. Father, I come to you today to seek the peace that You alone can give.  I come in silence.  In the quiet of my heart, the deep recesses of my mind, I wait and listen for Your Voice.  My Father speak to me today.  I come to hear Your Voice in silence and in certainty and love, sure You will hear my call and answer me.
  2. Now do we wait in quiet.  God is here because we wait together.  I am sure that He will speak to you, and you will hear.  Accept my confidence, for it is yours.  Our minds are joined.  We wait with one intent, to hear our Father’s answer to our call, to let our thoughts be still and find His peace, to hear Him speak to us of what we are, and to reveal Himself unto His Son.[1]
Photo credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Notes and Personal Application:  In yesterday’s devotional discussion, James and I talked about how challenging it is to accept that we are not bodies in a world in which just about everything we do is for our body and the bodies of others.  We also discussed how the Course has given us both much inner peace and a sense of certainty of God’s love and devotion toward us, how we have come to understand the role of Jesus in salvation as a role model for forgiveness, as a brother who never forgot His Sonship with God and came to earth to experience humanity to reclaim us who have split from the Kingdom in a simulated reality caught in time. 

Still, there are days that we both have a keen concern that while we practice in faith, faith does not necessarily make it true.  And no matter how much we think something is true, it does not make it true in the sense of making us or anybody else an authority on God, on Jesus, or Holy Spirit.  We know only that the Course rings true in our hearts and minds when we put it into a daily practice and that on a high spiritual plane, it makes sense.  For the first time in our lives, we found a practice that we can do every day no matter how much it challenges us, no matter how much we may resist it, that when we do it, it begins to make perfect sense and gives us a kinder, calmer, and more forgiving approach toward God and all of Creation. 

While practicing the Course and doing a lesson each day has changed our minds and attitudes in a positive way, it really has not changed the outward appearance or behaviors in ourselves and it has not necessarily solved our problems.  While it is love and peace and joy in the relationships we keep in our lives, we have had to let a lot of other relationships go.  The only thing that has changed is that we have practiced forgiveness with ourselves and with others.  We are both loners and get deeply and perhaps even obsessively involved in our projects, and that has not changed.  While my addiction to darkness is not the driving force in my life that it once was, I still am drawn at times to the meaningless tales of death, vengeance, and injustice that fill our Netflix and Prime Video offerings.  And there are days I get a little bored and find our daily devotional irksome and farfetched. 

Here then is what keeps drawing me back to the Course.  This is what keeps me loving Jesus and opening my mind to the Reality of God.  God gives me peace that goes past my body, my understanding, and all my experiences.  When I quiet my mind and sit still before Him, when I ask Him for peace, I am given peace and it does not go away – ever.  

If you were a constant onlooker in my life, it may appear to you that the peace of God leaves me.  I get up awful cranky in the morning at times.  The other day I growled at Zachary and told him not to even say my name or look in my direction until I had my first cup of coffee.  I scowled at James and curled up in a ball on the corner of the sofa and it was not until the caffeine hit my system that I could look at either one of them with affection or appreciation.  There are times I will think of someone from my past and remember how much I simply do not like them.  It does not mean I have not forgiven them, mind you.  It just means that I do not like the role they played as a human.  I do not like the way they borrowed money off of me and never paid me back.  I do not appreciate the lies they told me.  I do not enjoy the fact that they took credit for my work.  It was not nice.  It did not seem to serve me well at the time, but oh the lessons I learned from what they did.  There is nothing like experiential learning, and I remember to thank God for what they taught, to bless them for being my teacher, to absolve them in my mind from all that would otherwise protect projection and crush reality in my mind.   

No matter how much I struggle with my humanity there is that Self within that knows that I am loved and cherished by God.  I know that there is nothing I can do in my body that will make God love me more or less.  His Love is constant and forever and is not dependent upon my actions – it is dependent upon who and what I am. 

Peace be to your mind today.  Bring your questions and concerns about the Course to Him.  Jesus promises that when we ask for truth we will not be given lies.  When we ask for Holy Spirit, we will not be given an unholy guide.  Let all your thoughts be still as you come before our Father and seek the peace that can only come from Him.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 221. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Part II. Introduction & Section 1. What Is Forgiveness?

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Part II.1 What is Forgiveness?

Introduction

  1. Words will mean little now. We use them but as guides on which we do not now depend. For now we seek direct experience of truth alone. The lessons that remain are merely introductions to the times in which we leave the world of pain and go to enter peace. Now we begin to reach the goal this course has set and find the end toward which our practicing was always geared.
  2. Now we attempt to let the exercise be merely a beginning. For we wait in quiet expectation for our God and Father.  He has promised He will take the final step Himself. And we are sure His promises are kept. We have come far along the road, and now we wait for Him. We will continue spending time with Him each morning and at night, as long as makes us happy. We will not consider time a matter of duration now. We use as much as we will need for the result that we desire. Nor will we forget our hourly remembrance in between calling to God when we have need of Him as we are tempted to forget our goal.
  3. We will continue with a central thought for all the days to come, and we will use that thought to introduce our times of rest and calm our minds at need. Yet we will not content ourselves with simple practicing in the remaining holy instants which conclude the year that we have given God.  We say some simple words of welcome, and expect our Father to reveal Himself, as He has promised. We have called on Him, and He has promised that His Son will not remain unanswered when he calls His Name.
  4. Now do we come to Him with but His word upon our minds and hearts and wait for Him to take the step to us that He has told us, through His Voice, He would not fail to take when we invited Him. He has not left His son in all his madness, nor betrayed his trust in Him. Has not His faithfulness earned Him the invitation that He seeks to make us happy? We will offer it, and it will be accepted. So our times with Him will now be spent. We say the words of invitation that His Voice suggests, and then we wait for Him to come to us.
  5. Now is the time of prophecy fulfilled. Now are all ancient promises upheld and fully kept. No step remains for time to separate from its accomplishment. For now we cannot fail. Sit silently and wait upon your Father.  He has willed to come to you when you have recognized it is your will He do so. And you could have never come this far unless you saw, however dimly, that it is your will.
  6. I am so close to you we cannot fail. Father, we give these holy times to you, in gratitude to Him who taught us how to leave the world of sorrow in exchange for its replacement, given us by you. We look not backward now. We look ahead and fix our eyes upon the journey’s end. Accept these little gifts of thanks from us, as through Christ’s vision we behold a world beyond the one we made and take that world to be the full replacement of our own.
  7. And now we wait in silence, unafraid and certain of Your coming. We have sought to find our way by following the Guide you sent to us. We did not know the way, but You did not forget us. And we know that You will not forget us now. We asked but that Your ancient promises be kept which are Your Will to keep. We will with you in asking this.  The Father and the Son, Whose holy will created all that is, can fail in nothing. In this certainty, we undertake these last few steps to You, and rest in confidence upon Your Love, which will not fail the Son who calls to You.
  8. And so we start upon the final part of this one holy year which we have spent together in the search for truth and God, who is its one creator. We have found the way He chose for us and made the choice to follow it as He would have us go. His Hand has held us up. His Thoughts have lit the darkness of our minds. His Love has called to us unceasingly since time began.
  9. We had a wish that God would fail to have the Son whom He created for Himself. We wanted God to change Himself and be what we would make of Him. And we believed that our insane desires were the truth. Now are we glad that this is all undone and we no longer think illusions true. The memory of God is shimmering across the wide horizons of our minds. A moment more, and it will rise again. A moment more, and we who are God’s Sons are safely home, where He would have us be.
  10. Now is the need for practice almost done. For in this final section, we will come to understand that we need only call to God, and all temptation disappears. Instead of words, we need but feel His Love. Instead of prayers, we need but call His Name. Instead of judging, we need but be still and let all things be healed. We will accept the way God’s plan will end, as we received the way it started. Now it is complete. This year has brought us to eternity.
  11. One further use for words we still retain. From time to time, instructions on a theme of special relevance will intersperse our daily lessons and the periods of wordless, deep experience which should come afterwards. These special thoughts should be reviewed each day, each one of them to be continued till the next is given you. They should be slowly read and thought about a little while, preceding one of the holy and blessed instants in the day.  We give the first of these instructions now.

1.  What is Forgiveness?

  1. Forgiveness recognizes what you saw your brother did to you has not occurred. It does not pardon sins and make them real. Is sees there was no sin. And in that view are all your sins forgiven. What is sin except a false idea about God’s Son? Forgiveness merely sees its falsity, and therefore lets it go. What then is free to take its place is now the Will of God.
  2. An unforgiving thought is one which makes a judgment that it will not raise to doubt, although it is not true. The mind is closed and will not be released. The thought protects projection, tightening its chains, so that distortions are more veiled and more obscure; less easily accessible to doubt, and further kept from reason.  What can come between a fixed projection and the aim that it has chosen as its wanted goal?
  3. An unforgiving thought does many things. In frantic action it pursues its goal, twisting and overturning what it sees as interfering with its chosen path. Distortion is its purpose, and the means by which it would accomplish it as well. It sets about its furious attempts to smash reality, without concern for anything that would appear to pose a contradiction to its point of view.
  4. Forgiveness, on the other hand, is still, and quietly does nothing. It offends no aspect of reality, nor seeks to twist it to appearances it likes. It merely looks, and waits, and judges not. He who would not forgive must judge, for he must justify his failure to forgive. But he who would forgive himself must learn to welcome truth exactly as it is.
  5. Do nothing, then, and let forgiveness show you what to do through Him who is your Guide, your Savior and Protector, strong in hope, and certain of your ultimate success. He has forgiven you already, for such is His function, given Him by God.  Now must you share His function, and forgive whom He has saved, whose sinlessness He sees, and whom He honors as Son of God. [1]

[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Part II. Introduction Section I. What is Forgiveness.  Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 398-401.

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 220 Review of Lesson 200

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REVIEW VI I am not a body. I am free.  For I am still as God created me.

Lesson 220

  1. (200)  There is no peace except the peace of God. 

Let me not wander from the way of peace, for I am lost on other roads than this.  But let me follow Him Who leads me home, and peace is certain as the Love of God.

I am not a body. I am free, for I am still as God created me.[1]

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Meditation

Today is our last lesson in Review VI.  We open our devotional today with the main thought:  I am not a body; I am free.  For I am still as God created me.  In our last lesson review, Jesus urged us to practice these words and hold this thought in our daily practice because it not only guarantees our freedom but the freedom of every living thing in the world.  And so today we recognize our way to freedom – we accept our salvation; we know our Sonship with God.

When we look up the definition for peace in the dictionary we are informed that peace means no fighting and no wars.  In God then we have no fighting and no wars.  We are not looking to God to fight our earthly battles for us, to defeat our enemies, and to slay the dragons in our life.  To have the peace of God we must give up all thoughts of fights and wars.  We are called to love our enemies, be good to those who hate us, and recognize at the deepest level of consciousness that to defend or attack is to make this world real in our minds and God’s Kingdom not. 

In this world we can only experience shards of peace, splinters of peace, a bit of peace here and a bit of peace there.  If we wake up before everybody else in the house and quietly get a cup of coffee and still our minds to hear the Voice for God within, we can call this peace, but it is not really peace because we are expecting this time to end.  We are prepared for disturbance when the ruckus of demands and calls upon our attention can start at any moment!  We can experience a state of harmony with our mates, our friends, our children, our animals but we know that there is going to come a time when any harmony that we seem to be enjoying will be disrupted by something disagreeable.  Our mate will say something gruff and unkind, our friends will fail to recognize our contribution, our kids will whine, our animals will have an accident on the new rug.  Or if you are like me, you will long to be alone and intentionally or unintentionally do or say something that will guarantee that people will give you the wide skirt for a while!

God’s peace is a state of eternal quiet and calm.  It cannot be disturbed by anything.  It is the still waters.  We will save ourselves a lot of trouble by not looking for it elsewhere.  If we look for peace where it cannot be found we will get misery and pain. 

When we come to understand that there is no peace except the peace of God, we are ready to go home.  We know that our happiness is not in a body, in the world, or in any of the meager offerings of the ego.  When we experience today’s idea as truth we know that we are God’s Son and it is impossible for us to make a will that opposes God’s.  We know that everything that appears to be apart from God is simply not reality.

God gives us a bridge of peace to leave this world – the world is no longer our enemy or the enemy of God for we have seen that in forgiveness we are set free from its lies and illusions.  God gives us peace as the answer to the fights we had with our loved ones, the wars we had to establish dominance or defend our rights, our failed relationships, and all those meaningless endeavors – we are not worthless, there is no cause for guilt, we lift up our eyes, there are no apologies demanded or expected – because we have God’s peace.

Today Jesus asks us to stop losing our way.  Stay on the straight path to Heaven, he tells us. When we put our sights upon God, we have the sure thing.  When we put our sights on the body and the world apart from God, we have uncertainty and falter on the thorny byways.  On the straight path to Heaven, we recognize peace and value it.  Softly peace embraces our hearts and minds in comfort and with love.  No more do we chase after the idols of the world for the peace of God is ours.  Peace is our way out of ambiguity, of shifting goals, and our loneliness and despair.  Peace unites us with God, and we want nothing else.  We draw nearer, Jesus says, each time we say:

“There is no peace except the peace of God, and I am glad and thankful it is so.”

Today we bring Review VI to a close by repeating our main thought:

I am not a body, I am free.  For I am still as God created me. 

Go in peace today, recognizing that there is no peace except the peace of God.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 220. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). 

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 219 Review of Lesson 199

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REVIEW VI I am not a body. I am free.  For I am still as God created me.

Lesson 219

  1. (199)  I am not a body.  I am free. 

I am God’s Son.  Be still, my mind and think a moment upon this.  And then return to earth, without confusion as to what my Father loves forever as His Son.

I am not a body. I am free, for I am still as God created me.[1]

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Meditation

Today our meditation focuses on both our theme for Review VI and our review of lesson 199.  Today we will focus our thoughts upon perceiving ourselves not as a body but as a spirit, a free mind, serving Holy Spirit and being unlimited in every way forever.  When we review Lesson 199, we read that thoughts that attack others cannot enter such a mind because it is given over to the Source of love, and there is no fear in love.  Our minds rest in God, and so how can we be afraid?

Hold today’s idea very close to your heart, Jesus tells us.  He goes on to tell us to meditate upon the idea today and every day.  This is the world’s call to freedom.  We are no longer slaves to our bodies and without the power to enslave us, our bodies become worthy servants of the freedom in which our minds united with Holy Spirit seek.

We are free.  And we are meant to share this freedom with others who believe that they are enslaved within a body.  No more are we bound and helpless and afraid.  Love replaces fear through those of us who have practiced and come to know this idea as truth.  This is our salvation and once we accept God’s gift of salvation, we return the gift of salvation by sharing this freedom with all who are sent to us or whom we are sent to share it with. 

We are not bodies.  We are God’s Son.  We live forever.  Think about this today.  Practice it.  When we look upon others let us see past their flesh and blood and perceive their immortality rather than their humanity, releasing them from certain death and despair.

Jesus tells us that God extends His Love and happiness each time we say today:  I am not a body.  I am free.  I hear the Voice that God has given me, and it is only This my mind obeys.  As we quiet our minds and still our hearts, we ask:

Dear Father, Let me hear the Voice for God inside of me today.  Let the Voice for God lead and guide and comfort me.  Give me a mind agreeable to Your Truth.  Let me not doubt, cast aspersions, or hold on to any thought that is not acceptable to Holy Spirit.  I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as You created me.  In the name of Jesus with whom we are one.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 219. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 217 Review of Lesson 197

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REVIEW VI I am not a body. I am free.  For I am still as God created me.

Lesson 217

  1. (197) It can be but my gratitude I earn.

Who should give thanks for my salvation but myself? And how but through salvation can I find the Self to Whom my thanks are due?

I am not a body. I am free, for I am still as God created me.[1]

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Morning and Evening Meditation:

This morning we sit in quietness and stillness. We go to the inner altar of our minds and bow our humanity before it.  This is what we made, O Father, to take Your place and here we offer the multitude, the diverse, the different to Your Holy Spirit to restore to us the one Self of Christ, Your Son.  Our true and everlasting Self.  The One which never left us since You breathed life and love and laughter into Your image of You, extending God forever.  We are not bodies; we are free.  We are still as You created us. 

Find the words, the phrases, the images that Holy Spirit gives to each of us to complete the wholeness and holiness of God to understand our refrain for Review VI.  Wait before Him who created us until you know in your heart who and what you really are – past your body, past your ego, past all the calls and causes of our shared humanity to that true Self, the Son of God. 

This is the Self that we give our gratitude to for restoring us to oneness in Christ.  This is the Self who has been calling to us, the wayward splinters who have found themselves trapped in time, in a body, in an ego – lonely, desperate, not knowing how to live in a world seemingly separated by time and space, sin and shame, fear and disaster, darkness and death from our Loving Father.  We offer gratitude to our Self for remembering who and what we are in Christ.  Sons of God.  The whole and magnificent, the powerful and holy “we” instead of the timorous, tiny, terror-ridden shard of a “me.” 

No more do we believe the ego’s lies of our Father.  He is not vengeful.  He has no spite toward us.  He yearns for us as much as we yearn for Him.  He will never forsake His Creation although His Creation seems to have forsaken Him.  He has prepared a feast to celebrate our return, to rejoice in our salvation from a hallucination of adrift and alone, of castoff and forsaken.  As we choose our true identity in Him, we have only our truth, our Self in Christ, the Son of God to give our gratitude. 

This is not a hard concept to get our mind around once we accept Christ as our Savior and realize that the parable of the prodigal son in our own life that stands as a symbol for all of Creation.  We left our Father’s Kingdom where we were one in Sonship to make our own way in a world that promised adventure, independence, satisfaction, and fulfillment.  Jesus tells us in our Course that those of us who ended up in this world are the ones who wanted to take Creation and make something else of it, to do it our own way, to separate from the “we” of God’s Sonship and become a “me.”  We were wooed away from the Everything of God to the nothingness of the world in which we would make up lies to take the place of truth.  We would live out the lies, we would make them so real in our minds that we would be caught in this web of fiction with no apparent escape. 

And yet there was and is and always has been an escape.  God has never left us.  Our salvation resides within each of us because we belong to Him, He will never leave us, His Kingdom resides in us in all its glory.  It is there where it has always been – it is our true and only Self, yearning for His oneness, homesick for His Kingdom, knowing that this world, this body, this substitute for all we are will never take His place. 

When the prodigal left his father’s house, his father did not preach at him, quote scripture at him, shout dire warnings to him as he tramped down the road to get away.  His father gave him his inheritance.  His father knew that the world would take from his son everything and give him nothing in return, and yet the father did not lock him up, the father did not strip him of his wealth, or take away his family name. The father did not try to get his son the right kind of friends or get him involved with sports or bible camps or other forms of healthy alternatives to the call of the wild.  The father knew that for this son, the only thing that would do was for him to experience for himself, the world.  To be stripped bare, to experience the emptiness, the nothingness, the false friends, hopes, and promises that separateness assures.  And then when he came back – there were no whips and chains.  There were no lectures.  There was no “I told you so.”  There was a feast, a robe, a ring, a resounding and loving welcome.  The son who had separated himself into a lonely, lost, and lustful “me,” had come home to take his place in the “we” of family, friendship, and fidelity.

He came back because he remembered who he was.  He remembered the truth about himself.  He belonged to his father and nothing that he had done could ever take that away.  He got up and out of that pigsty.  He found his way home.  He had only himself to thank – his father had not left; his father had not changed; everything was there where it always was, but the son had to make his way back, his son had to make the plan, he had to put one foot in front of the other.  It was not magic.  His father did not come and pick him up and bring him home.  He had to find his own way.  And he had only himself to thank for remembering who he was and where he belonged. 

Today our lesson reminds us “it can be but my gratitude I earn.”  When we hark back to the original lesson we are reminded that the world is not pitted against us, it is our own thoughts about the world that we transfer to God that trap us in the pigsty of sin, shame, and that deep sense of unworthiness.  Like the prodigal, let us remember today who we really are!  Sons of God.  Let us make our way back to Him, putting off our fear of God and embracing Him with the assurance of His Son, as we forgive the world and all who are in it for not being able to keep its promises, to show its gratitude, to be pure and righteous and holy.  Now we know.  Without Him it is a ruse; it is a freak show; it is a battleground; it is death.  With Him we are saved and the world with us.  Let us thank ourselves for making our way back to our Father’s love.  We are not bodies, we are free.  For we are still as God created us.[2] 


[1]A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 217. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2] Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 218 Review of Lesson 198

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REVIEW VI I am not a body. I am free.  For I am still as God created me.

Lesson 218

  1. (198) Only my condemnation injures me.

My condemnation keeps my vision dark, and through my sightless eyes I cannot see the vision of my glory.  Yet today I can behold this glory and be glad.

I am not a body. I am free, for I am still as God created me.[1]

Photo credit: https://www.rogerebert.com

Today’s Meditation

Here we are this morning nearing the end of Review VI.  By this time, our review theme should ring resoundingly in our minds:  I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.  We can take this with us throughout the rest of our journey home and let the words guide us, refresh us, remind us, and so let our light shine from within.

It is only our condemnation toward others that leads us down a path of forgetting who we are in Christ.  When we raise up our defenses against others and rail against the bad examples they are setting themselves up to be, the poor life choices they are making, air their sins and rage over the minimum sentences that they receive for their crimes against humanity – we allow our minds to be filled with the lies of the world instead of the glory of God.  In other words, we are valuing the valueless, cherishing thoughts of fear and discord which blinds us to our freedom, liberty, and magnitude with God. 

The other day I enjoyed about as perfect of a day as I can have in this world.  I woke up with a sense of energy, quickness, and gratitude long before the sun came up.  I had a sweet, creamy cup of French roast coffee and a quiet time with God before James roused from sleep.  When he had his coffee, we sat on our sunny, spacious deck and enjoyed our Course lesson and time of devotion together.  Later we went on a little shopping spree, indulged in a delicious lunch at Cracker Barrel, enjoyed our ride, our conversation, the little treasures and good things to eat that we bought while we were out and about.  When we got home and had everything put away, we stretched out and took a little snooze, got up and had a glass of iced coffee, some more conversation and then both of us got to work.  I worked in the garden and harvested a big basketful of juicy red tomatoes, green peppers, zucchini, and some green beans.  James tiled our retaining wall on the south side.  Later we had a light supper and James asked me for a date in the hot tub. 

All day long I enjoyed a sense of peace, well-being, and communion with God and with James. My mind was filled with gratitude for our lives, health, blessings, and even for our trials and that which challenges us for I saw them as lessons designed for our spiritual growth and deepening of our understanding.  For the first time in my life I am experiencing on a daily, moment-to-moment basis a sense of security, well-being, a release from fear, anxiety, and condemnation.  It has been a journey to get to this, it is not magic, it has taken a full-fledged commitment and daily practice to free my mind from all that had warped, distressed, and caused me both mental, social, and physical torment. 

So there I was after our dinner – wiping off the counters, rinsing off the plates, putting the dirty dishes and glasses in the dishwasher – not hurrying necessarily but certainly not poking around.  I was looking forward to getting in the hot tub, laying back in the warm water and gazing at the stars and moon, talking, and extending the sense of comradery and closeness that we had enjoyed all day.  Except a dark shadow crept into my consciousness in the form of a video clip stored in my mind: Tony Soprano lurking in the backyard waiting to exact bloody vengeance upon a former mobster living under an assumed identity.  For years I had been hooked on The Sopranos and to this day hearing the opening theme, remembering the plot lines of the troubled characters, salivating over Carmela’s Italian dishes, and shivering over the Pine Barrens episode thrills my mortal senses.  And yet tonight I did not want to think of the Tony’s in the world, creeping into my joy and love and peace, rekindling a smokescreen of menace and danger while Lover and I sat under the stars soaking up the bubbles in our spa. 

With thoughts of the fictional Tony, my mind traveled to a decade’s old tale of home invasion, arson, torture, rape, and death.  The tragedy that befell Dr. William Petit and his first wife and two daughters stands in my mind for all the horror and evil in the world.  For years Dr. Petit’s story haunted me, kept me awake at night, drawing me out of bed to check locks, investigate suspicious noises, and live in fear.  Now the ego was inviting me to take up its cause again, to give up the peace of God, to fill my mind once again with thoughts of danger, vulnerability, and fright. 

Fear would have paralyzed me at one point in my life. Always having been afraid of the dark, the lonely, unanswerable questions evoked by the endless black of the night sky above, there was no way I would have sat outside in the hot tub without all the lights on, with no safeguards against wild dogs, midnight prowlers, or things that go bump in the night. 

Never again!  I have had my fill of interrupted sleep, mental fatigue, distrust of others, the lack of peace and joy and well-being.  Only my condemnation injures me. I forgive the world for its crooked paths, its predatory nature, its horrors, pains, cruelties, and caprice.  In paragraph four of Lesson 198, we read:  Forgiveness is the only road that leads out of disaster, past all suffering, and finally away from death.  I will never again oppose this plan of God. I will not argue with it.  I will not try to find ways in which it would fail or must be wrong.  I will not look for another way.  I will not seek to punish, to condemn, to hold accountable, to take up arms, or call for war.  I will forgive!

Only my condemnation injures me.  Only my own forgiveness sets me free. Let our words for today free us from all that would haunt us, torment our minds, give us cause to worry, fret, or be afraid.  Stand along with me as we resolve to never oppose, argue with, or find fault with God’s plan of freeing us from all that is not of love.  We can stop searching for other solutions for there is no other way.  When we forgive and hold no condemnation toward the world all we fear is washed away. 

Thank you for listening and have a forgiving and forgiven day!2


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 218. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). 

2Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 216 Review of Lesson 196

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REVIEW VI

I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.

Lesson 216

  1. (196) It can be but myself I crucify.

All that I do, I do unto myself. If I attack, I suffer. But if I forgive, salvation will be given me.

I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Morning and Evening Meditation

In our Course study today we went over today’s lesson.  We sat with the thought I am not a body, I am free.  For I am still as God created me.  We let our minds ponder this, imagining if you will the freedom we experience from the demands of our physical forms.  We let our minds rest in the state of sinlessness, purity, and innocence in which we were created and the state in which we find ourselves in Christ.

As we reviewed and discussed Lesson 196’s main idea, we shared how often we have experienced “It can be but myself I crucify.”  Last year at this time, I had been keenly drawn up about some of the ways in which even at day 216 in our Course study I was still crucifying myself by an ongoing habit of crucifying others in my mind, unforgiving of their process, picking at their faults and weaknesses and holding others accountable for that which I was doing myself.  I would love to say today that I no longer engage in such behavior.  That the Course teachings have taken root in my mind and that no longer do I crucify myself by gloating over or cherishing the sins and shortcomings of others.

Honestly, it happens far less frequently than last year but there are times I still find myself tempted to nail others to the cross.  The only difference now is that now I know better!  I know that if I nail you to the cross, I am the one that experiences the nails, the crown of thorns, the gaping wound, the shame and humiliation of nakedness, thirst, suffering, and vulnerability.  I am the one that wakes up in the night and feels the whip lashes of my own condemnation.  I am the one that ends up lonely, despised, and depressed.  Loveless and alone, the only way I can escape is to offer forgiveness to all who have offended me, including my own sorry self. 

As Linda read over the lesson review and Lesson 196, Jesus spoke to my mind and heart through her words.  It is a dreary, hopeless thought to think that we can attack any part of creation and escape the attack we made on that with which we are one.  This puts us in a hellish realm where we are attacking God Who is one with His Creation and every single part of it.  When we set ourselves against another – call them names, make fun of them, mock their efforts to better themselves, judge them for their mistakes and wrongdoing – we are attacking God.  This puts us in a precarious position in our minds for when we make an enemy of God, it really does scare us on a deep, unconscious level.  We find ourselves in a hellish realm, a state of madness and insanity.  We go from person to person trying to find allies to boost up our self-image, to justify our outrage and indignation, but nobody – no matter how nice they are to us, no matter how many times they pat us on the back and take our side, no matter how many drugs they give us, no matter what they do to drown out our pain and sorrow – will ever stop the sense of crucifixion that we bring upon ourselves. 

Until we realize that the only one who can deliver us from the cross upon which we crucify ourselves is ourselves we will live in a hellish realm of blaming God for giving us a raw deal,  Maybe He didn’t give us the right kind of mother and father, sisters and brothers.  We will blame God for making us black in a world that prefers white or making us white in a world that holds whites accountable for every crime against humanity ever committed.  We will blame God for letting us marry the wrong person or giving us rotten kids.  We may not be aware that we are blaming God, but when we blame other people for our own unhappiness, our hurts and sorrows, our disappointments, trials, and tribulations, we are saying: “God gave me a raw deal.  He made me suffer.  He gave someone else a far better life than the sorry excuse He gave me.  He must hate me for giving me a sister who would break my toys, flirt with my husband, and steal the affection of my only daughter.” 

This idea sounds difficult and perhaps a little bit like self-condemnation until we realize that when we learn that it is not other people we hurt with our attack, but only ourselves, we do not have to worry about vengeance and pursuit.  We thought we hurt others, we thought that our cruel words, our mean jabs and our angry thrusts hurt God and His Creation, but nobody is coming to take us away, nobody is coming to get us, nobody is plotting our demise –  because we only hurt ourselves.  When we recognize the strength and the freedom that today’s idea holds, we accept our salvation from the mad idea that we hurt others when we attack them. 

In God’s Kingdom, He is our Father and we are His Son along with Christ.  We lay down our arms, we put down our defenses, we are no longer afraid.  God has got us in the palm of His Hand, in the center of His Heart.  We have nothing to fear.  His kindness and mercy envelope us forever.  As we accept the mind of Christ as our own, we become one with Him who created us.  Nothing can induce us to speak evil or harbor ill will in our hearts toward His Creation.  When we see someone use their powers stupidly and cruelly our hearts and minds well up with pity for we know that they are only hurting themselves.  They cannot hurt us because we offer them forgiveness, we offer them mercy, we give to receive that which lasts forever.

We are not a body, we are free.  For we are still as God created us.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 216. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 215 Review of Lesson 195

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI

I am not a body.  I am free. For I am still as God created me.

Lesson 215

  1. (195)  Love is the way I walk in gratitude.

The Holy Spirit is my only guide.  He walks with me in love.  And I give thanks to Him for showing me the way to go.

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Morning and Evening Meditation

As we open today’s devotional practice we let our mind linger for a while on our refrain:  I am not a body; I am free.  I am still as God created me.  In Lesson 195, we learn to thank our Father for only one thing – that we are united with Him and with every living thing – nothing could take away from the wholeness, the unity, our completion in God.  We are still as God created us. 

Many times when we say to be grateful to God we thank Him for our food.  We thank Him for our clothes, our houses, the beauty of nature, our cars, our mates, our blessed family.  And yet today’s lesson says to only thank God for this one thing which covers all things – He makes us one with all living things and with Him. 

When we no longer fail to recognize what this means, gratitude takes the place of anger, bitterness, and thoughts of vengeance. All the thoughts of fear and sorrow, malice and ill-will are replaced by a deep and abiding gratitude that God cares for us and calls us His Son.  What more could we possibly want?

Jesus tells us that gratitude goes hand-in-hand with love, and where there is love, there is gratitude.  Gratitude is an aspect of the Love that brought forth Creation.  In Christ, our hearts and minds are full of gratitude toward our family members.  We no longer hold spite and thoughts of bitterness toward them for the ways in which they took more than their fair share, the ways in which they withheld their love and affection, the ways in which we were used and abused, misunderstood and thwarted.  With gratitude that comes from Love we remember the delicious meals we shared, the fun games we played, the funny pranks we pulled on people.  With gratitude we remember our trips in the car, the nature hikes, our quirky little habits, the ways in which they supported us and came to us in our hour of need.  We will remember the lessons they taught us, the skills they shared with us.  We will remember their gentle touch, their kind words, their soft, warm hugs, their deep chuckles.  We will remember their forgiveness and their love.  We will remember with grateful hearts and minds that they are our Savior even as we are their Savior for we are one with Christ. 

In reviewing Lesson 195, we come to understand that we have no rivals, that we seek no vengeance, that we make no comparisons – we are only joined in love. 

This is why we train our mind to forgive for when our forgiveness is complete we will experience total gratitude; we will see everything and everyone – including our Selves – with love.  If this frightens you, do not allow the ego to put you off the Course.  You do not want bitterness.  You do not want a self-perception that puts you in a place of callously chasing after that which never satisfies and leaves you depressed, lonely, stricken, and ashamed.  You do not want to feel bullied and sullied, surrounded by those who care nothing about you and where your future looks bleak and empty of love and solace.  If your ego is trying to convince you that forgiveness is for saps, take this time of devotional practice and meditate upon the Love of God.

Love can walk only in the way of gratitude, Jesus tells us.  This is the way we walk to God – with grateful hearts and minds, forgiven and forgiving, giving Him thanks even as He thanks us for being what we are – His Own completion, the Source of Love along with Him. 

Today we close our meditation with this refrain:  I am not a body, I am free.  For I am still as God created me. 

Walk in gratitude for this is the way to God.    


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 215. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch at http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 214 – Review of Lesson 194

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI

I am not a body.  I am free. For I am still as God created me.

Lesson 214

  1. (194)  I place the future in the Hands of God.

The past is gone; the future is not yet.  Now am I freed from both.  For what God gives can only be for good. And I accept but what He gives as what belongs to me.

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Morning and Evening Meditation

As we say our refrain today – “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.”

Last year at this time, I wrote: “Today’s lesson idea reminds me to place the future in the Hands of God.  Isn’t the future already in His hands anyway?  Well, yes and no.  The gift of free will allows us, evidently, to either place the future in the Hands of God or be otherwise adrift in the ego’s illusion – never knowing what the future holds and not being able to entrust it to anybody or anything because who, other than God, would have a clue as to what is coming next in this chancy world of ours?” 

“Placing the future in the Hands of God then, frees me from my past – and with that out of the way, the past can no longer affect my future.  And trusting in God with that allows me to live in the peaceful, blessed present.  For what God gives can only be good, our lesson today states, and what God gives is what truly belongs to me.  This statement is the ultimate de-stressor.  I can relax.  Nothing is up to me – the future is in the hands of Someone much smarter and bigger and knowledgeable than I am!”

As I read these words today, I realized that throughout the past year, as I have consciously trained my mind through each day’s prayers, meditations, and refrains (with many lapses, periods of forgetfulness, and ego resistance to Course expectations, mind you) I have learned to relax, to not worry and fret, to put down the reins of control and the shield of defense, and to put all of my trust in God.  When I make a mistake, I trust in God to forgive me.  When others make mistakes, no matter how much my ego wants to build a case and cherish my hurt feelings – I let it go, bless them, and offer empathy toward them for our shared humanity, our stabs in the dark to find a way other than the path God has prepared for us. 

Practicing the future in the Hands of God releases us from depression, pain, grief, and worshipping and nurturing sorrows of every kind.  When we place the future in God’s Hands, we no longer strive to make things happen.  We no longer have to put our nosy beaks where they do not belong.  We accept people and their processes through time instead of trying to save them by bullying them into doing things the way we think they should.  We are delivered from the zombie-hood of what we call life here in the body and on this planet. 

Lesson 194 tells us in paragraph four that as God holds our past and present as one, so should we.  No matter how the temporal process tempts our minds to think of it as real, we are asked to put the future in the Hands of God.  When we do this, our checkered past can no longer hurt us!  When we put the future in God’s Hands, the dread of what the world is coming to, old age, disease, abandonment, estrangement, misery, and death no longer have any meaning. 

This is our freedom from bondage to the illusions of the world.  This is our freedom from a past that would run its predictable, ruthless, disease-ridden course straight into our future.  When thoughts of social insecurity, age-related illnesses and complications, being put in a nursing home and ill-cared for in our decrepit old age would come to haunt us, to tickle our imaginations with future woes and disadvantages we can laugh because our future is in God’s Hands.  The future in God’s Hands rules our mind, we pull it from our problem-solving toolbox, we use it as an immediate reaction to any temptation to travel down a path of woe-is-me and what-is-the-world-coming-to?  Jesus tells us in Lesson 194, as we learn to see salvation in all things, the world will perceive its salvation. 

When our minds form the habit of placing our future in the Hands of our Loving Father, all thoughts of sin and evil are replaced by peace and the love of God.  We no longer concern ourselves or fix our expectations upon the shaky systems of the world.  No matter how many mistakes we make, no matter how we may choose to see things wrong, we know that God will correct us and set us aright. If we fall into deception, we choose again with no worries about our Father’s wrath and indignation and dire punishment for our mistakes. 

Today let us lay aside the sick illusions of the world and offer the peace and trust of God.  In God’s Hands, our minds are untroubled.  We can be certain that only good is in store for us.  If we start to needlessly worry and helicopter our loved ones thinking that we can stand between them and the lessons that they need from the world, we can be gently reassured that our future and their future is in the hands of God.  When we entertain resentful thoughts in our minds, God will replace them with ones of forgiveness and blessing.  When we are tempted to arm ourselves and go into attack, we can put down our flimsy weapons and appeal to the One Who would laugh at our defenses and teach us that the world is not our enemy, but the place we have come to remember who and what we really are in God. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 214. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch at http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 213 – Review of Lesson 193

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI

I am not a body.  I am free. For I am still as God created me.

Lesson 213

  1. (193)  All things are lessons God would have me learn.

A lesson is a miracle which God offers to me, in place of thoughts I made that hurt me.  What I learn of Him becomes the way I am set free.  And so I choose to learn His lessons and forget my own.

I am not a body.  I am free. For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Morning and Evening Meditation

Today we open our practice with the theme of Review VI:  I am not a body, I am free.  I am still as God created me.  Referring to Lesson 193, we learn that God wills nothing except our happiness, that our happiness be undisturbed, forever expanding, and without limit in Him.  This is the Will of God.  The mere fact that this is God’s Will guarantees that this is not only possible, but that it is done.

Last night James and I ate dinner with our dear friends, Roger and Peggy.  On the way to their house, we started to discuss some of the troubling issues that keeps our news media afloat.  Before we became too deeply ensnared into a conversation that had no earthly resolution, we quickly reminded ourselves of the beautiful day that we were experiencing.  The sky was clear and deep with a wordless blue; the sun was shining; we had had a productive day.  We were driving through abundant farmland and then through shaded woods.  We had a good bottle of wine in the cooler, a six pack of Mexican beer, and four individual tubs of ice cream to share with our friends.  In other words we had absolutely no good reason to concern ourselves with that which is not real, true, virtuous, or of good report.  So instead of talking about that which could only disturb our peace and steal our joy – we talked about that which is true and beautiful and lets the light of Heaven through.  Our ride there was fun, we arrived with light hearts and untroubled minds, and we were set to enjoy a wonderful evening of good food, conversation, and fellowship with one of our favorite couples. 

Our evening could not have been nicer.  Roger and James manned the grilled corn and boiled the lobsters.  Peggy and I set the picnic table, dished the slaw and cantaloupe, and made a rich dill and cotija cheese topping for the grilled corn.  We drank champagne and strawberries, sipped at a delicious white wine, and we talked about all our exciting (to us) house projects.  Peggy has just finished designing and turning her old bathroom into a dream bathroom with gleaming new tiles, chrome, and glass and her artistic touches.  We had just finished pouring the cement pad for our kitchen patio which runs the length of our house in back. 

However, later as we sat curled up on the papasan chairs, the conversation turned toward worldly events that brought no spirit of joy or peace to the blissful evening.  We forgot our lesson idea for today; we forgot our resolve to know that all things that happen or seem to happen in the world are lessons that God would have us learn in forgiveness.  Instead of reflecting God’s loving kindness in our words and thoughts, instead of practicing forgiveness and seeing the circumstances differently, we allowed the outside world to become real to us.  We forgot that we could simply practice forgiveness and see the whole thing differently.  We forgot that the peace of God is what we really want, and instead we thought we wanted defense, we thought we wanted attack and counterattack.

Jesus tells us that to all that speaks of terror, answer thus: “I will forgive, and this will disappear.”  To every apprehension, every care, and every form of suffering, these words will dissipate any disturbance to our happiness.  These words hold the key to Heaven’s gate!  These words bring the Love of God the Father down to earth and raises the consciousness of the whole earth heavenward.  Every time something comes up to make us quiver in our shoes, raise our voices in outrage and indignation, point our fingers in blame and shame, say mean, condemning words against others – we are to practice forgiveness and make it disappear.  We are to train our minds to hold nothing but the reality of God. 

Every single thing that happens in our lives is a lesson in forgiveness.  There are no trivial events that have no purpose and no meaning.  We allowed our minds to be bullied by the fears and worries of a media that is intent on disturbing the peace, creating wars and discord, making people afraid of one another in order to be more easily controlled by the dark prince of this world.  When we refuse to let the bad news alarm us and practice forgiveness, we literally undo all effects and intentions of harm and ill will.  This does not just work for us, but it benefits everybody.   

Good news does not sell in this world.  While the media would have us believe that our differences tear us apart, Jesus teaches us that we are one with one another, that our differences are only superficial, temporal, and a lie. 

Today we discussed our lapse into engaging in temptation, into making the illusion real, into letting our minds be disturbed by the lies of the separation.  Just as we nipped our own conversation in the bud on our way to visit our friends, so could we have nipped the conversation with them in the bud.  When whoever started the first jabs in that direction, one of us could have easily refused to take the bait.  “Let’s talk about the goodness of God!” we could have said.  Life is full of love, health, goodwill, truth, peace, joy, and good times.  There is no end to the goodness of God and His love and devotion towards us.  When we focus our attention upon God’s goodness and truth, we encourage others to do the same.  We raise the standard – we offer forgiveness and undo all that would steal our joy and upset our well-being. 

This is God’s Will for you and for me.  Every single thing is a lesson that we are to learn and to learn well.  James and I learned an important lesson last night.  It does not bring us happiness to spout off judgments and condemnation about the upsets of the world, the dastardly deeds of the unrighteous, the outrageous acts of rabble rousers.  It is not God’s Will for us to hold anger or mean thoughts toward others in our minds, it is not God’s Will for us to come up with surefire ways in which to defend our bodies, our country, our belief system.  It is God’s Will that we are happy, secure, and that our peace has no end.  The only way to experience this is through our minds as one with the mind of Christ. 

When we can take all the thoughts that we have about something that hurts us, frightens us, lays us low and turn them into a lesson from God in forgiveness, in undoing the wrong, in setting things right – we experience miracles.  Our minds are transformed.  We realize that we are not a body.  We are free of all that would bind us and confine us and scare the living daylights out of us.  We are still as God created us – His Son, loved, safe, secure forever. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 213. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch at http://www.eckiefriar.com

 

Lesson 241 This Holy Instant Is Salvation Come

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Part Two: What Is The World?

Lesson 241 This Holy Instant is Salvation Come.

  1. What joy there is today!  It is a time of special celebration.  For today holds out the instant to the darkened world where its release is set.  The day has come when sorrows pass away, and pain is gone.  The glory of salvation dawns today upon a world set free.  This is the time of hope for countless millions.  They will be united now, as you forgive them all.  For I will be forgiven by you today. 
  2. We have forgiven one another now, and so we come at last to You again.  Father, Your Son, who never left, returns to Heaven and his home.  How glad are we to have our sanity restored to us, and to remember that we all are one.[1]
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Today’s Meditation

When we forgive the world, we are forgiving Christ, for all of us belong to Him and are one with Him.  Jesus tells us today that all sorrows are washed away, and pain and suffering are gone for good as we forgive one another and come at last to God.  All the splintered, separated, shards of Creation who had thought to build a kingdom on a lie have given up the foolish dream and surrendered to the simple, everlasting Truth of God.  The Sons of God who chose to become the sons of man stand together now.  War is no more.  We put down our weapons which attacked the Sonship and we take up the glory of salvation, that which sets us free, the forgiveness that Christ came to teach and to ask of us. 

No longer do we blame one another for the problems in the world.  No longer do we attack, build defenses, or devise weapons of mass destruction.  We do not build walls or fortresses; we do not send our sons and our daughters off to the armed services.  We have no worries about safety, security, or the wrath of God.  In forgiveness we come to our Father again, united, forgiven and forgiving, we come Home.  The insane calls of the lost world no longer hold any attraction to us.  No longer do we wade in the conflicted sea.  No longer do our feet falter.  No longer can the waves and the storms fill us with fear.  We are one with Christ who came to give life to all who were doomed to die. 

Today we stand with Christ.  We shake off the floppy, dicey, mischances of our egos.  We ignore the calls to take up arms, to put our trust in feeble defenses, to kill, to maim, to terrorize.  We stand with Christ.  We trust in God.  Our sanity is restored to us.  We are One in Him. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 241. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Part 2:3 What Is The World?

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Part 2.  Section 3:  What is the World?

  1. The world is false perception.  It is born of error, and it has not left its source.  It will remain no longer than the thought that gave it birth is cherished.  When the thought of separation has been changed to one of true forgiveness, will the world be seen in quite another light, and one which leads to truth, where all the world must disappear, and all its errors vanish.  Now its source has gone, and its effects are gone as well.
  2. The world was made as an attack on God.  It symbolizes fear.  And what is fear except love’s absence?  Thus the world was meant to be a place where God could enter not, and where His Son could be apart from Him.  Here was perception born, for knowledge could not cause such insane thoughts.  But eyes deceive, and ears hear falsely.  Now mistakes become quite possible, for certainty has gone.
  3. The mechanisms of illusion have been born instead.  And now they go to find what has been given them to seek.  Their aim is to fulfill the purpose which the world was made to witness and make real.  They see in its illusions but a solid base where truth exists, upheld apart from lies.  Yet everything that they report is but illusion which is kept apart from truth.
  4. As sight was made to lead away from truth, it can be redirected.  Sounds become the call of God, and all perception can be given a new purpose by the One Whom God appointed Savior to the world.  Follow His Light and see the world as He beholds it.  Hear His Voice alone in all that speaks to you.  And let Him give you peace and certainty, which you have thrown away, but Heaven has preserved for you in Him.
  5. Let us not rest content until the world has joined our changed perception.  Let us not be satisfied until forgiveness has been made complete.  And let us not attempt to change our function.  We must save the world.  For we who made it must behold it through the eyes of Christ, that what was made to die can be restored to everlasting life.[1]
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Prayer and Meditation

Dear Father, Redirect our sight, and lead us to truth.  Let all sounds be a call to God; let all perception be given a new purpose in Christ, our Lord and Savior.  Let us follow the Light of Christ and give us His vision.  We want to hear only His Words so that peace and certainty is ours again.  Complete the work of forgiveness in us. O Father.  Give us holy minds that understand our Course, that do not resist Your Truth.  Save the world through us as we stand with Christ, that we may see all that was made for death and despair be given everlasting life and joy and love.

Today we lift our hearts and minds to You.  We surrender the ego and all its insinuating calls for our allegiance, attention, and love and put them down before You.  We no longer need its false protection, the meager, solitary, selfish defenses that lead to isolation, despair, and death.  Give us the courage, the intelligence, the truth, so that we may place our trust entirely in You to stand with Christ and restore the world to everlasting life. 

In the name of Jesus, with whom we are one.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Part 2:3 What is the world. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 212 Review of Lesson 192

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI

I am not a body.  I am free. For I am still as God created me.

Lesson 212

  1. (192)  I have a function God would have me fill.

I seek the function that would set me free from all the vain illusions of the world.  Only the function God has given me can offer freedom.  Only this I seek, and only this will I accept as mine.

I am not a body.  I am free. For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Morning and Evening Meditation

In keeping with the instructions for Review VI we open and close our devotional with the theme:  I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.  We begin our day with this; we end our day with this thought.  Every hour, every time we can, without any pressure or stress, we gently train our mind back to this refrain throughout the day.  We consciously and deeply relinquish all the vain illusions of the world – the promises of happiness and meaning and gratification in a world where everything that has the least amount of satisfaction attached to it is both costly and fleeting. 

As much as we can, we will get beyond words today.  We will not use any special postures or forms of practice.  We will instead be quiet and still.  We will put aside all we thought we knew and understood and trust in God to bring us light and truth.  When our thoughts stray to judgment and condemnation, to resistance against the reflection of God’s love, we can simply say, for example: “I do not want this thought against my friend.  I choose instead to forgive her, to bless her.”  And then we will repeat “I have a function God would have me fill.”

Jesus asks us in paragraph eight of Lesson 192, “Who can be born again in Christ but him who has forgiven everyone he sees or thinks of or imagines?”  So let us today dwell upon this question and practice conscious forgiveness toward everyone we see, the people and situations that come to mind, the stories we make up about others in our minds, the memories that tempt us to hold grudges and bear ill will toward others instead of forgiving them. 

Practicing this deeply, reverently, and diligently is our function in Christ.  It is the function that God would have each one of us fill, dear brothers.  No matter how many people we see, no matter how the world tries to stir us against one another, to hold grudges and arm ourselves against those who seem dangerous and insane, our function is to offer forgiveness, to bless them, to hold no one prisoner.  We are here to loose instead of bind, for this is what sets us free. 

We are not asked to do much.  All that God asks of us is to give up our anger.  To give up our spite.  To offer forgiveness.  It involves no sacrifice.  It frees our tortured minds of all the images of pain and shame.  We give up our anger and we are given everything by God.

I have a cousin who has riddled herself with insanity because of the hatred and anger and spite she is unwilling to give up toward her sister.  Everywhere she goes, she spreads vicious tales about her sister’s past wrongdoings, her faults, her vanities.  She wants to remind everyone that her sister is nothing but a whore, a thief, a usurper – from the time she came home from the hospital as a baby the little brat stole all the attention, broke her toys, and sucked up all the air in the room.  Now over 70 years later, the woman has made herself a pariah.  She has so distorted herself with hatred, jealousy, and unforgiveness that those who held her dearest now dread to respond to her calls, visit her, or have much at all to do with her.

There is absolutely no justification for holding another person prisoner in one’s mind.  My cousin’s younger sister is her savior, Jesus says.  She owes her sister thanks instead of pain.  When she learns to show mercy, she will be set free.  Until she sets her sister free, until she accepts her function in God, she is not born again in Christ.  In God’s eyes, it does not matter how much more virtuous she was than her sister.  It does not matter that she went to Bible College, saved her virginity for marriage, and taught Sunday School while her sister was whooping it up in the world.  As long as she is unwilling to forgive her sister for her feckless flirtations and frivolous forays – she is prisoner to the ego, she is not showing mercy, she is denying her function.  She is keeping herself in hell.

This is a very precious and highly personal process and we must never make light of it.  My cousin’s call to forgive her sister is as real to her as an other’s struggles to forgive rape, child molestation, or mass murder.  All of us have people in our lives that we hold prisoner in our minds, that we disparage, look down upon, build cases against, and condemn.  Our way to freedom is to fulfill the function given to us by God.  We are to set them free.  We forgive them.  In the world it is impossible to know love, Jesus tells us.  No matter how much we talk about it, say it, attach the word to all kinds of physical acts, we simply do not understand love.  Forgiveness is the only thing that reflects Love in a world where it is too far beyond our simple grasp. 

Today let our minds reflect God’s Love.  We have a function God would have us fill.  It does not cost us anything.  There is no sacrifice involved.  We simply give up our anger, our hatred, our resentment toward those who have not met our expectations.  Every time we see someone today, think of someone today, imagine someone today – we offer them forgiveness for not being who and what they really are in Christ.  We bless them.  We understand that they are struggling with their humanity even as we are struggling with ours.  We see them, not as flesh and blood, but as Sons of God, here for the same reason we are – to awaken from a dream of separation, in a time-bound process of accepting who and what we really are, to return to the place where we belong.  We look upon them gently, we see that all their faults, their weaknesses, their cruelty and stupidity are all unknown in Heaven, and so should not be remarked upon and made real here.  Forgiveness wipes our slates clean so that the Word of God can replace all the marks and smears the world had written there before. 

Jesus calls to us to be merciful today.  As the Son of God, we deserve mercy.  As one with Christ, when we refuse to forgive our brother, we refuse to forgive Christ.  All of us on earth are called to forgive each other, to accept each other as our own identity, to recognize that there is no difference between me and you because we are all as God created us.  I am what you are, and you are what I am.  Forgiveness shows us we are one.[2]


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 212. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2] Audio credit: The Friar Patch at http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 261 God Is My Refuge And Security

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PART II.  SECTION 5:  WHAT IS THE BODY?

Lesson 261 God Is My Refuge and Security

  1. I will identify with what I think is refuge and security. I will behold myself where I perceive my strength and think I live within the citadel where I am safe and cannot be attacked. Let me today seek not security in danger, nor attempt to find my peace in murderous attack. I live in God. In Him, I find my refuge and my strength. In Him is my Identity. In Him is everlasting peace. And only there will I remember Who I really am.
  2. Let me not seek for idols. I would come, my Father, home to You today. I choose to be as You created me and find the Son whom You created as my Self. [1]
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Meditation for Today

Our Father, Today we come home to You.

We no longer make of our bodies idols that would take the place of You.

We not longer look to our bodies to shield us from Your Love and devotion to us.

We place our idols on the inner altars of our mind.

We place our bodies to be used in holy service to You.

We live and breathe and enjoy our being in You O Lord.

In You is where we find our refuge and strength.

In You is where we find our identity, our true and holy Self.

In You is where we find the peace that passes all understanding.

In You is where we remember who and what we really are.

In the name of Jesus, with Whom we are.

Amen.


[1]A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 261. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992)

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com