Zachary chose this recipe for his birthday cake this year. We had so much fun putting this together. We chose to make the 2/3 recipe because a three layer cake seemed like too much. Afterthought: One could not get enough of this cake or the luscious frosting. Next time we will make the whole recipe and have three yummy layers instead of only two! We would keep the cake from slumping next time by inserting some chopsticks to hold it in place after frosting it with the creamy, buttery rich icing.
298. I Love You, Father, and I Love Your
My gratitude permits my love to be accepted without
fear. And thus am I restored to my
Reality at last. All that intruded on my
holy sight, forgiveness takes away. And
I draw near the end of senseless journeys, mad careers, and artificial
values. I accept instead what God
establishes as mine, sure that in that alone, I will be saved; sure that I go
through fear to meet my Love.
Father, I come to You today, because I would not
follow any way but Yours. You are beside
me. Certain is Your way. And I am grateful for Your holy gifts of
certain sanctuary and escape from everything that would obscure my love for
God, my Father, and His holy Son.
Today’s lesson reminds me of Psalm 23: The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…I love You, Father, and I love Your Son. The same cadence and intonation, it brings a peaceful sense of wellbeing to my soul this morning. For I am grateful, and I trust that my love is accepted without a trace of fear. When we come to know God as cherished children who take their parents’ love as their right and privilege, our real Selves are restored to us. There is no fear! We no longer believe the lies of this world, which would lead us to believe that God is a bad-tempered deity who would turn His back upon creation and demand blood and sacrifices to appease Him.
When we forgive the illusions of this world, the walk
through the valley of the shadow of death in which we must travel to reunite
with our Father becomes less hurtful and more joyful. He takes our meaningless journeys, insane
professions, and unhappy relationships we develop for people and things, and
gives us something new, which has been ours from before time began. We put down the separation, and we pick up
the Sonship of God. We content ourselves
no longer with substitutes; we must have the real deal! Nothing will tempt us to delay ourselves, for
we only seek escape from all that would hinder our love and devotion to our
Father and His Son.
The other day I shared with our study group how, for several years, I tried to be an atheist or at least an agnostic. All I knew is that I no longer wanted to spend my life seeking God or trying to please a deity that played hide and seek and other iffy games from me. The God I had learned about in the bible and in the church was not a God that I could love or respect. Streets of gold and gates of pearl did not seem like a good tradeoff for being expected to sing praises to a maker who would blame his creations for their faults, while those who were not among the elect would burn, forever, in a lake of fire. It did not add up! I was no longer willing to support institutions which taught this view. I stopped praying. I stopped reading the bible. I stopped singing hymns. And I stopped pretending that I felt otherwise. But here is the thing. I could not stop loving God! I could not stop loving Jesus. I could not follow any way but God’s because I am His and He is mine.
If you are like me, you, too, have prayed this prayer: “I
cannot find you God in church! I cannot
find you God in the bible. I cannot find
you, God, in my relationships or in my profession. I cannot find You in this doctrine or
that. But here You are inside of me. Loving me and accepting my love. Holding nothing against me because there is
nothing I could ever do or say or become that would change the fact that I am
Yours and You are mine. I love You,
Father, and I love Jesus. I do not know
how to stop loving You. I do not know
how to stop loving Jesus. And for this,
I am grateful now and forever.
 A Course
In Miracles, Workbook for Students, 298. I love you Father…Foundation for Inner
Peace, Second Edition, p. 447
If I could realize but this today, salvation would be
reached for all the world. This the
decision not to be insane, and to accept myself as God Himself, my Father, and
my Source, created me. This the
determination not to be asleep in dreams of death, while truth remains forever
living in the joy of love. And this the
choice to recognize the Self Whom God created as the Son He loves and Who
remains my one Identity.
Father, Your Name is Love, and so is mine. Such is the truth. And can the truth be changed by merely giving
it another name? The name of fear is
simply a mistake. Let me not be afraid
of truth today.
Afraid of love? The big, bad wolf – now that fills me with fear and anxiety! Shivers down my spine at picturing the dripping, fang-like teeth, the cold yellow-green eyes, the hungry intent. But I am more afraid of love – to put myself out there in the world and to love it, to realize my invulnerability, to not identify with the fear and the fight for survival in the ego world of limits and dwindling supply. Living in love requires me to rise above the news that would fill our minds with tales of murder, thievery, rape, and war. Living in love means I will find no entertainment in the substitutes that Hollywood offers to distract us from reality. Living in love requires a practice, a devotion, an ongoing commitment when the goal seems hard and nigh impossible!
Yet our lesson states that all it takes is for us to let our fear of love go today. When we are no longer afraid of love, the world is saved. When we choose to be no longer insane with our wars and deceits, our lust and greed, when we accept our Selves as God – our Father and our Source – created us, we are saved, and the world is saved. We make a momentous decision to awaken from the sickly, viscous dream of death and madness. We seek truth where it lives for always joyful in love. We can no longer identify with the ego body, for we find our true Identity in the Selves whom God created as His Sons – at one with God.
And so today we let our fears of
this world behind. Identifying with love
and love alone, we will not fear or despise our brothers but uphold them in the
holy instant. Our minds will dwell upon our
love for our brothers and their love for us.
When ego tempts us to interfere in the processes of our brothers, we
will give our interference to the Holy Spirit, while we keep focused on our
journey, keep our noses in our own business, and put any concerns for others in
the capable hands of God!
When ego would fill our minds with distrust of friend and foe alike, we will remind ourselves that God is Love and Love alone. When ego distracts us from devotion and holy practice with selfish, go-nowhere activities that only delight for the moment, we will acknowledge our wrong choice, for the Name of our Father is Love and so is ours; Holy Spirit will use everything to teach us and bring us home. Being afraid of love, finding ways to avoid it, to fall under the ego’s spin, is not a sin – it is only a mistake. We will accept Love’s call today and not be afraid. Amen.
 A Course
In Miracles, Workbook for Students, 282. I will not be…Foundation for Inner
Peace, Second Edition, p. 438
I am not a body. I am free.For I am still as God created me.
(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
Love is the way I walk in gratitude. When I choose love, I am undermining the insane complications of the ego. The ego will never lie entirely – it would be too easy to see through – instead it blends truth and lies so cleverly that the lies and the truth look appear as one. Every special relationship in my life – family, friendships, professional, and carnal alike – have been poisonous smoothies the ego offers to take the place of the love relationship.
The relationships of the ego drive us insane. Sometimes
people seem genuine; the next time you run into them, they won’t meet your eyes
or smile. You’ll share some good news with them, and they will find a way to
deflate you. They remind you of the
past; building cases on long-gone trespasses in the interval between reunions;
they don’t like the way you look, or you do not measure up in one way or the
other. It could be a thousand different things, and yet you are in the dark,
not knowing, – bewildered, wondering – what in the world did I do or say that
turned them against me?
We are lovers and givers, according to the Course, being Sons of God, having the spirit of God, how could we be otherwise? At 34, I realized that somewhere along the line, I could no longer consider myself either. Silent treatment, lies, mind games, digs, mockery, manipulation, and outright hostility – at home, at work, in all my relationships, had worn me out. Eventually, it was too-dah-fucking-loo to liars, manipulators, cheaters, users, and those who hid hostility behind silence, and sly, hooded looks. The joy and freedom of stepping out of those so-called relationships far outweighed the semblance of love and affection that they sometimes offered.
Nasty emails, blatant accusations, suspicions, and dark
insinuations – although a slap in the face – still seem like gifts. When you
know the case, you can at least try to correct it. The clincher, however, is
this: Truth and falsehood artfully combined – are impossible to sort through.
There is no saving it, no matter how special.
On Thursday, I planned to make smoothies for the
brothers at our Course study group. The iced coconut milk, frozen coffee cubes,
and heavy whipped cream blended into a thick, frosty answer to the heat and
humidity. However, in my distraction, I put two heaping teaspoons of salt in
the blender instead of sugar. One sip, and I was forced to toss the whole
delicious-looking thing. Having no more coconut milk, a new coffee smoothie
with substitute ingredients replaced the original, but oh the pangs of regret!
This homey example is a good lesson on the reasoning
behind why all relationships, special and otherwise, must start new. When the
ego poisons our love, we must start fresh. We cannot sort through the lies and
the truths, the envy and resentment, the joys and sorrows, any more than we can
remove the salt out of an otherwise delicious smoothie.
Apostle Paul writes in II Corinthians 5:17,
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new has come: The old is gone, the
new is here!” A cross-reference provided by biblehub.com, recalls Isaiah
43:18: “Do not call to mind the former things; pay no attention to things
of old.” The Course teaches that the meaning of forgiveness is choosing to
remember only the loving thoughts from the past – the ones you gave and those
given you. The rest is forgotten, undone by Holy Spirit, as we bring darkness
to light and show our willingness to forgive.
Forgiveness, another word for love, is selective remembering. It is based not on the ego’s dark and fearful shadows of the past, but the Holy Spirit’s selection, which is always loving, pure, and innocent. For me, the exercises provided in our lessons exposed hurts, fears, projections, and resentments that had sullied my relationships for years, especially the relationship with my Self. When I first started this Course study, I thought how simple and easy it would be. I would study the Course and finish another novel in my spare time. However, to expose the ego in oneself, to bring all that darkness to light, is one of the most arduous, time-consuming tasks imaginable. One brother from our study group says it reminds him of rooting out dandelions!
Let us learn to walk in gratitude with forgiveness, which is synonymous with Love in this realm. Let us become new and accept our brothers as new. Loving them and forgiving them so we can receive and keep the love and forgiveness offered to us. It sounds fairly undemanding, but the ego’s resistance makes the practice of this at least a one-lifetime endeavor.