Search This Blog

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Kin-dom of God

As I stated in my post last week, I have been inspired to adopt “Love – The Religion of Jesus” as the theme of my posts and Sunday lessons during Lent. This commitment has given me renewed motivation to explore what the Christian Scripture reveals about the message Jesus was attempting to convey through his parables and other lessons. With that intention in mind and with the inspiration of the following quote from the book, The Emerging Church by Rev. Bruce Sanguin, I am reading Jesus’ teachings from a different perspective.

“[Jesus’] mission is summarized in a single metaphor – the kingdom of God…I suggest that we drop the “g” and change it to kin-dom of God, reflecting the biological and spiritual truth of evolution that everything derives from common stock.

The metaphor suggests an ethic that reverses cultural norms: the last are first and the first last; the poor are lifted up and the rich sent away empty; the persecuted are blessed; rulers are servants; the well-being of the soul, not the size of one’s bank account, defines the person; true wealth consists not of accumulating money but in allocating it; spiritual wisdom, not political power is the hidden treasure; the humble, not the high and mighty, have access to wisdom; non-violence, not redemptive violence, is God’s way. God’s kin-dom makes for a topsy-turvy life.”

Jesus seems to have spent a great deal of time trying to help his disciples understand what he meant when he referred to the “Kingdom of God.” He compared it to growing seed, treasure hidden in a field, net cast into the sea, virgins who take their lamps to greet the bridegroom, as well as other references. He seemingly searched for every metaphor available as he attempted to convey his vision. We are often confused by those stories. I assume the disciples were, as well. They, however, had him to explain it to them.

He also said that the Kingdom is within us and among us.

Much of traditional Christianity, quoting the teachings of Jesus, placed the Kingdom of God somewhere in a faraway place called ‘heaven,’ a place we may only reach after laying down the earthly body. In their attempts to maintain power and wealth, the progenitors of the Christian church, in interpreting Jesus’ teachings for the mostly illiterate masses, convinced them that they should strive for their reward in the afterlife and not be concerned with their earthly condition, no matter how deplorable.

I do not believe that this was the religion of Jesus whom so many claim to follow.

Our Unity and other New Thought teaching asserts that when Jesus was speaking about the “Kingdom of God” he was primarily referring to a state of consciousness, not a location or a condition. As I read Jesus’ teachings today, through the lens of love, empathy, compassion, and equality for all, I see that he was not just speaking about the Kingdom of God as a consciousness which we can all attain and dwell within. He was also comparing what he called the Kingdom of God with the Kingdom of Caesar. He was not talking just about what is possible in consciousness, but also what is possible in manifestation when we live from Kingdom of God consciousness.

This manifest kingdom, or “kin-dom,” as Rev. Sanguin refers to it, is the vision that Jesus knew as a possibility upon the Earth. It was not his to manifest or to rule over as many believed. It was his role to bring the vision into the minds and hearts of his followers and to help us see that we have the power to bring it into demonstration.

For that to happen it is up to us, as Rev. Sanguin suggests, to return to the “biological and spiritual truth of evolution that everything derives from common stock.” It begins with our willingness to accept and embrace our “kinship” with all creation. And, to remember that the “Kin-dom of God” does not come by us looking for it, nor will it appear simply by us waiting for it. It is ours to manifest heaven upon the earth.

“Thy Kin-dom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven.”

We have the opportunity to embrace the prayer of Jesus, not as a plea to a God in a place called “heaven,” but a call from the heart of each of us to behold the vision and to act with wisdom, love and strength to bring the Kin-dom of God into manifestation right here and now.

This is Love – The Religion of Jesus in action. Now is the time. We are the ones.

Join us on Sunday at 10:00 for our service as we explore this idea further. My lesson title is “Love – The Power of Community.” I will explore how loving and supporting each other in community can help to strengthen our awareness of our kin-ship and empower us to work together to manifest a world that reflects the “kin-dom of God.”

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Love - The Religion of Jesus

Recently, I read an article which was shared on Facebook about a Baptist church in Texas who, after months of in-depth research, education and prayer, made the decision to openly welcome gay, lesbian and transgender persons as full members. Not surprising, they experienced some backlash from the Southern Baptist Convention and from some of their members. In fact, they lost some members over the decision.

I commented that I was thrilled to see the leadership of this church open to revelations of the truth in Scripture and willing to stand for what is in alignment with the fundamental teaching of Jesus - Love. I further commented that I hoped other conservative churches would follow their lead.

In response to my comments, a Facebook “friend” replied that I had no right to think that an institution with centuries of tradition based on Biblical teaching should change its stance on homosexuality just to suit me and help me feel better about myself.

I tried to explain that I believe that some of the tenets of traditional Christianity are based on misinterpretation of Jesus’ teaching and that the church has changed its position over the centuries on some issues. After several exchanges and rather than continue to debate, I realized that we were not going to agree, so my final response was, “You could be right.”

Last week, I attended the Unity Annual Summit, a gathering of ministers and other church leaders as well as representatives from Unity Worldwide Ministries and Unity World Headquarters. I was surprised when, during the open dialog session, one minister asked how others respond when the question, “Is Unity Christian? “comes up. Various opinions where expressed, both in favor of and opposed to Unity continuing to call itself “Christian.” It amazes me that we are still grappling with this question in 2018.

This past week I attended a funeral in a Baptist church. As I sat there listening to the sermon, yes, there was a sermon, but thankfully not an altar call, I was dismayed by some of the things I heard. No, they were not new to me, just reminders of what I have done my best to leave behind. I was reminded once again of some of the foundational doctrine of traditional Christianity that I now find absurd and often damaging.

All these experiences, while stimulating in their own way, provided the much-needed inspiration I was seeking for my lessons during Lent. I feel guided to do a series of lessons based on the teachings of Jesus, titled “Love - The Religion of Jesus.” 

This series will be based on interpretations by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, cofounders of Unity; Eric Butterworth, Unity minister and author; Emma Curtis Hopkins, founder of the Christian Science Theological Seminary and teacher of the Fillmores and others; Emmet Fox, author and philosopher; other leaders in the New Thought movement; and me, based on my own contemplation and discernment.

I invite us to explore what Jesus taught, not through the lens of Christianity, but with open minds and hearts ready to receive the truth. Christianity was not the religion of Jesus; it is the religion about Jesus. Love was the religion of Jesus.

In preparing for Easter, we will explore the Jesus teachings and how they call us up to a higher expression of love for ourselves, each other, and the One Life that lives as all.

Join us on Sunday at 10:00 as we explore the depth of teaching in the story of the Good Samaritan. I will share a lesson entitled, "Who's Your Neighbor?"

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Live Oneness

Living Oneness
“Oneness – the realization that all of life is one inseparably connected evolutionary process – is not an idea being put forth by any one particular organization. It is a growing movement of consciousness that is being increasingly embraced by individuals and organizations all over the world.”
– Taken from Humanity’s Team website

Along with many other New Thought spiritual centers, we at Unity Spiritual Center Denver are currently engaged in observing the Season for Peace and Nonviolence, a 64-day campaign co-founded by Dr. Arun Gandhi, son of Mahatma Gandhi, and The Association for Global New Thought ( It is a grassroots educational campaign intended to increase awareness of the philosophy of nonviolence as practiced by legendary leaders, Mohandas K. Gandhi, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar E. Chavez, and President Nelson Mandela, as well as living legends such as His Holiness, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet.

Violent actions and responses most often stem from our reactions to the beliefs we hold about God, ourselves and each other. We often allow our concepts to separate us and to stimulate conflict in our minds, which are expressed through our thoughts, words and actions.

The practice of nonviolence is based on the foundational teaching of Jesus Christ, which is that all is One – One in God, One with each other, and One with all creation.

In my lesson on Sunday, January 28, I spoke about Oneness, and how our realization of it shifts us from the experience of fear, stimulated by the belief in separation, into the experience of love for ourselves and others as ourselves. You may watch it here. Oneness is a concept that can be challenging to discuss, but certainly one worthy of further exploration.

The belief in Oneness is fully supported by Unity teachings. In fact, the first of Unity’s five basic principles states “there in one Power and one Presence active as the universe and as my life, God the Good.” 

We believe that it is a universal Truth, but how do we realize and practice Oneness? 

As stated very clearly in the quote above, Oneness is the realization that all creation is not just a part of the evolutionary process, but that all creation is the evolutionary process itself. All creation is an expression of the same source – the One. However, we are not always consciously aware of this Truth.

The realization of Oneness, as with all Truth, begins with each of us - the One [God] individuated as a localized point of intention and attention expanding in the conscious awareness of Itself, expressing Itself, experiencing Itself and reflecting Itself to Itself.

Until and unless we embody that awareness and live consciously from It, we will continue to see separation because we will continue to live in a mind of duality. In other worlds, one cannot truly realize Oneness until that one realizes Self as the One. We will only see the One as all that we observe when we truly know that nothing else exists. There is not ‘you’ and ‘me.’ There is not ‘God’ and me. There is not ‘God’ as me. There is only ‘God,’ the One.

The idea that the One can be separated from Itself is absurd. We cannot be separate from the One, thus we cannot be separate from each other or from any aspect of creation. Only in the ego-identified mind can separation appear to be a reality. Nothing separates me from you except my belief that there is a ‘me’ and a ‘you.’ When I believe that I am a body and you are a body, then my belief in ‘body’ separates us. When I believe I am a man and you are a woman, my concepts of ‘man’ and ‘woman’ separate us. When I believe I am a Christian and you are a Muslim, my belief separates us.

How do we demonstrate Oneness? 

Living Oneness begins with connecting deeply with our Essence through prayer and meditation and engaging with practical tools that help to connect us with the Truth in the every moment. We can then choose to behave in ways that acknowledge our intent to know ourselves as expressions of the One, and to see all humanity in that Truth as well until the point at which we no longer have to think about it. Instead, it becomes our way of being in the world.

We must question every belief of the ego-identified self. There must not be any “sacred cows” when it comes to our beliefs. When we question our beliefs, more often than not, we will find that they are limiting in some way, even those we hold to be most dear. The Work of Byron Katie® provides a simple and effective tool for questioning our beliefs. It consists of four questions and a “turn around.”  When practiced in earnest, The Work® can free us to a greater awareness of Oneness. If you would like to learn more about The Work® please visit You can watch videos that demonstrate the effectiveness of the process. You can also freely download worksheets and other valuable information that will assist you in engaging this tool for embracing Oneness consciousness.

We must also connect deeply with the pain and suffering – our own and others’ – caused by the ego-identified self. We share the “human condition” with more than seven billion people on the planet, each of us attempting to find our way back to the Garden of Eden, which is a metaphor for Oneness consciousness, not realizing that in Truth we never left.

Our belief in separation causes us to struggle to get the things we believe we are lacking. We must be willing to face our own pain and suffering, connect with the sense of lack that stimulates it, give ourselves empathy and compassion, and eventually come to the realization that we are that which we have been seeking – the One. And, we are not alone; we are in this together. When and only when we are willing to give ourselves empathy and compassion are we able to extend that to the perceived “other.” 

Through the practice of empathy and compassion, we connect deeply with ourselves and others and begin to recognize, and eventually realize, the possibilities of knowing and living from Oneness. Nonviolent Communication (NVC), a.k.a. Compassionate Communication, provides a foundation for facilitating Self-connection and connection with the “others” in our lives. There are many online learning opportunities available through There are also opportunities to learn more about NVC locally. Please visit to learn about classes and workshops offered in Denver and surrounding area. We also offer classes and workshops at Unity Spiritual Center Denver. Please visit our website often to keep track of upcoming opportunities.

Now is the time, and we are the ones who are here to remember our Oneness and live from that consciousness awareness. I suggest spending time today in quiet contemplation, meditation and prayer, questioning our beliefs, consciously choosing to hold on to only those that empower us, giving ourselves empathy and compassion and then extending that to all the "others" in our lives.

There is only One. You are that One.

Join us at 10:00 on Sunday as we explore this concept further and discover some practical steps, in addition to the ones mentioned here, that we can take to Live Oneness in our daily lives.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

I Am In You; You Are In Me

Today’s post is a follow-up to last week’s. As I was preparing for the lesson I gave this past Sunday (listen here), new insights came to me. I thought I would share them here to further elucidate the ideas I presented earlier.

“Unity is a link in the great educational movement, inaugurated by Jesus Christ. Our objective is to discern the truth in Christianity and to prove it. The truth that we teach is not new, nor do we claim special revelation or discovery of new religious principles. Our purpose is to help and teach mankind to use and prove the eternal truth taught by the master.” – Charles Fillmore, Cofounder of Unity

The foundational truth of Christianity is that we are one. The paradox is that even in our apparent diversity we are one. The master, Jesus, knew that. He knew it intimately. He not only knew it, intellectually, but he knew it energetically. He experienced it. He was not teaching oneness from learned knowledge, but from his own mystical experience of union. He knew his unity in the One, as the One.

When he said things such as, "The Father and I are one;” “Those who have seen me, have seen the Father;” and “I am in the Father and the Father is in me, as I am in you and you are in me” what did Jesus mean?

Traditional Christian interpretation is that Jesus was proclaiming his divinity; that he was claiming to be God incarnate - the word made flesh - as it says in John’s Gospel. Traditional Christianity would tell us that those claims can only be made by Jesus, and that our salvation lies in believing in Jesus as the only begotten son of God.

What Mr. Fillmore was saying in the above quote is that our purpose in Unity is to discern the deeper truth. And, not only learn it, but also apply it in our lives. In short, ours is to believe Jesus, believe what he said and taught, and live it, not just believe in Jesus.

What Jesus knew and was teaching is that God, the Father, is not somewhere out there living in a place called Heaven looking down and capriciously choosing who to bless and who to curse. God is not the consciousness of judgment and punishment. Rather, what Jesus called the Father, and often referred to as Abba, a term of endearment, is indeed the Source, the One Life Energy that imbues and infuses all that is. God, rather than a being, is a “beingness” of energy. We perceive God expressing as intelligence, order, harmony, divine law, or principle.

In New Thought, we sometimes refer to God as ‘Principle.’ Unity Minister Eric Butterworth, in his book "Breaking the Ten Commandments" says,

"Principle is principle, not caprice. In principle, every person is an eachness within the allness of God. This means that God is expressing as you. That was Jesus' great discovery. The divinity of humanity.”

I would extend that to include the divinity of all creation. Jesus knew that the Divinity of God is infused in all creation, not just in humanity. Humanity's gift is the ability to obtain conscious recognition of that truth. God is expressing as you -- that which is the real spirit and substance of you -- which is the same spirit and substance of all.

God is Spirit. When we say that God is spirit, we mean movement, life, energy, vibration, frequency. God is substance. Substance is that which stands under what we perceive as form. It forms the foundation for all creation. God is the foundational building block and the animating Life Energy of all; all that is in form and all that is formless.

Everything, or every so-called thing, is inextricably linked. Even in what we perceive as the empty space between things, God is present. We often say in New Thought, “There is no spot where God is not.” The Allness of God is present everywhere and in everything.

Everywhere, which is nowhere, and everything, which is no thing, when we consider that in Truth there are no things separate from the One; therefore, no distance between things. There is no you or me separate from the life of God. God is all life. All life is God. The Father is in me, I am in the Father. I am in you, you are in me.

Why does the understanding or the discernment of that truth and the use of that truth matter?

It matters because when we know it, intellectually first, and then take in into the depth of our being and experience it, that Truth shifts our perspective. As the apostle Paul might say, it renews our minds and transforms our lives. It returns us to a place of reverence, and respect, and value for all life. It restores us to a deeper connection with the Earth and all her inhabitants. It opens us to greater compassion for each other and ourselves. The truth of our oneness is the truth that sets us free.

Jesus said, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." Traditional Christianity would tell us that the truth which sets us free is that Jesus, the only son of God, died to save us and if we believe on him then we are free. In Unity, which we often refer to as a positive practical approach to Christianity, we say that Jesus came to teach us. It is up to us to learn and apply his teachings and by doing so we save ourselves. So, in a way we might extrapolate that Jesus is our savior, because he taught us the truth about salvation.

Why do we appear so different?

We appear to be separate from each other and everything around us because we, in our humanness, predominantly give our attention to what we perceive as form. This is normal. It is a natural aspect of our humanity. It's our primary focus in this dimension. Focusing on form and learning the names for things is how we learn to navigate in the world around us. It is how to have relationships with our environment and with each other. It's a part of our human experience.

We learn about the law of gravity so we don’t fall down and injure ourselves. We learn about heat, so that we don't burn ourselves. We learn our names, so we can interact with each other. We learn the names for things, such as ‘tree,’ ‘dog,’ and ‘snake.’ We learn all of this. We accept it as truth. We believe it. The trouble is that we allow all of those concepts of things to separate us from the world around us and to separate us from each other.

We forget that those are just concepts. They are names for things that are intended to help us, but none of that is real. I know you're going to say, "Yes, it's real. The tree is real." Yes, it is real and yet, what is real about the tree is the spirit and substance of the tree. It is all God. Our labels, our concepts, our names for things are not real. They are our way of relating and navigating. Everything is real, in the sense that it is Radiant Eternal Abundant Life - the life of God - the Life that is the only Life of all. Even our beliefs, our religions, are not real. They are concepts intended to connect us with the deeper reality of God.

We seem different because we are God showing up in different ways. Scientific research has shown that humans are 99.9% the same when comparing our DNA. While that is true, there are more than 3,000,000 differences between any two person’s genomes. We are born into different families, cultures, religions and races. Further, since we are in a never-ceasing relationship with everything and everyone around us, we develop different beliefs, traits, and cultural customs. Yet, who we are, what we are at the very core of us, God expressing as the Spirit and Substance of us, is the same. We are One.

When we know that basic Truth, we are free. The truth of our oneness sets us free from our own struggle with each other, nature or any aspect of creation.

How do we apply and integrate this Truth?

Spend time daily in prayer, meditation, and contemplation connecting consciously with the awareness that the Mind of God is your mind (your real mind), allowing Divine Ideas to fill your mind, and inviting the alignment of this Truth in mind, body and spirit. Connect with the reality of Life that lives as all life.

Also, actively question your concepts and beliefs. Do not accept that everything you have been taught is truth. Allow the connection with the One to reveal to you what is Truth. Let your mind be blown wide open by new insight and revelation. Write down what is revealed to you. Or, record it. You may be amazed and delighted.

Explore all that you perceive as form. Use something as simple and commonplace as a plant. Stare at it. Soften your gaze. Look beyond the form. Observe the movement of the energy and light that emanates from the plant. Allow the reality, the spirit and substance of the plant, to reveal itself to you. Then, see if you can observe the field of energy between what you perceive as your body and what you perceive as the plant. Notice that, in Truth, there is no empty space. There is no void between you and the plant. There is energy, there is life; there is God in the midst of all.

Why is it important for us to know the truth that sets us free?

Knowing the truth dissolves all that we allow to separate us from God, each other and all creation. It awakens us to our common bond. When we know the Life of God, the life that we are, is living itself in everything, in everyone, in every moment, we return to conscious union and a place of reverence. We embrace reverence for all life, knowing that all is sacred.

From that consciousness, we begin to create a world that reflects our awareness of oneness. “I am in the Father, the Father is in me. I am in you, as you are in me.” Take Jesus' words as your own. I am in the Father, the source, the substance and spirit of life. That substance and spirit of life is in me, and I am in you. Whatever the “you” happens to be. Whatever you are observing, whether it be another person, a plant, a dog; it can be the sun or a car, know that you are in it and it is in you.

I am in you and you are in me. There is no separation. There is only energy. There is only life. In that Truth, we are One.

Join us on Sunday for our 10:00 service as we further explore the bond that connects us and how it draws us together in community.