Thanksgiving series 2017

November 20, 2017
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This is Part 1 of a 3 Part series about my ministry.  

This Thanksgiving week, I’m feeling extremely grateful.  I am grateful that I am grateful, because I haven’t always been grateful to be me.  There were decades of my life where things were very confusing to me and I felt lost in the delusion of the illusions that this life presents us.  

Since I was child, I’d had the belief that there was something very wrong with me.  I had so many years where I felt that life had such a dreamlike quality to it.  Much of life felt surreal to me.  So much didn’t make sense to me.  Most of all, I didn’t make sense to myself.  

I’m very aware of how much I have shifted and changed over my life, and the shifting is consistently occurring.  I feel that I am becoming more myself all of the time as I catch and release the old thinking that doesn’t feel right to me anymore.  

Some things you might not know about me and my journey:  

I went to Emerson College to study theatre and intended to take what I learned there and transition into the business of music.  It took me a while, but I finally got a great job in the music business, but I didn’t like it at all.  It wasn’t what I had hoped for.  The fantasy I’d had didn’t match my experience.

I got inspired and began working on a play with my brother, Michael, and we ended up writing and producing a play together that was done Off-Broadway and then for PBS’ prestigious American Playhouse series.  From there, I began writing screenplays and went to USC Graduate Screenwriting Program.  I really loved the writing.  I found it both fun and challenging and after years of work, I realized that as much as I loved writing plays and screenplays, I loved God more and decided to pursue becoming a minister in the Agape community in Los Angeles founded by Michael Beckwith.

It was nine years of study to become a licensed Science of Mind Practitioner and then a minister.  I finally finished all of that study in 2006.  All the way through those nine years, I felt that I was missing a key to truly knowing Spirit.  I began studying everything I could to try to find it, but it was elusive.

I had thought that ministerial school would at long last offer me the mystical keys to the Kingdom.  I was deeply disappointed to find out that the studies were mostly intellectual.  I knew how to be a good student and get straight A’s, but that wasn’t what I was looking for.  That didn’t matter to me anymore.

About 10% of my Practitioner and ministerial studies were of any real spiritual interest to me.  Almost no part of ministerial school touched my heart and opened me to connect with what I truly felt a minister is.  It was deeply disappointing to me and I didn’t know where to go with it.  I felt alone in my desire to truly know God.

Fortunately, all of that led me to a place of deep longing.  I began to realize how far the intellectual pursuit of spiritual studies had taken me down a road that wasn’t really fulfilling.  In a flash of awareness, I saw the choice that has made all the difference to me.  

I decided to go ALL-IN for God, for Love, and to live my life in Spirit.  

That choice led me to A Course in Miracles.  In 2006, I began to read A Course in Miracles and in 2007, I did the lessons.  In that period, I truly began to turn my life over to the Higher Holy Spirit Self.  My desire to truly live a life in service to the Light, with every choice, every word, every thought, and every action, opened doors in my awareness and I began to see the roadmap that had been there all along.

As much as I wanted to be single-focused, I found that keeping my attention on Spirit was impossible for me.  It was gut-wrenchingly difficult for me.  It was absolutely the hardest thing I ever set out to do.  For about three years, it felt like I was a very jagged stone constantly being subjected to sandpapering.  

For several years, I felt raw and rough.  It was like being assaulted all of the time.  ALL of the time.  It was exhausting to my ego.  Every day, I was letting go of the judgments and opinions that I had treasured for so long.  I was consistently giving up the identity I’d built for myself.  I was in a continuous state of shifting identity, chipping away at my ego foundation.  

Every day was disorienting.  It was uncomfortable, but it forced me to reorient myself in Spirit.  I felt very alone in what was happening in my awareness.  People who weren’t going through it couldn’t relate.  Fortunately, in the midst of that, I made new friends, in both the visible and invisible world, and any kind of loneliness disappeared.  I felt the Presence all of the time.  I began to know that “alone” is completely an illusion, but feeling alone is totally understandable.  

I began to recognize that I was being led and guided as to how to work with my mind in order to liberate from all the ways I was playing small in every area of my life. It felt like I was being led through a curriculum that was unfolding, and I was grateful to discover tips and tools that really worked to help me undo all the attachments, craving, aversion, needing and wanting that I felt.

My life felt like white-water rafting, but I was learning how to do it, and at times, it was thrilling.

In 2007, I began my A Course in Miracles study group on the phone.  My guidance was to do it on the phone so that people from anywhere could join us by phone.  I didn’t really know what I was doing, because I was just starting the Workbook myself.  I had a burning NEED to talk about ACIM and that was all that mattered to me – finding like-minded souls who had the same desire to live ACIM.  

Studying ACIM was thrilling to me, it still is.  THRILLING!  I love it so much.  I felt like I had finally found the teaching of how to unlock the door to the mystery.  There were many days when I would sit and weep out of such deep gratitude that I’d found the voice of my true teacher who felt so real to me.  More real than anything I’d experienced in the world.  I was sooooo grateful.

There are so many people I’ve connected with over the years, from all over the world, who, like me,  are looking to connect with like-minded souls.  For many, they have a true hunger for this healing conversation and they don’t have anyone locally they can talk to.  I’ve been grateful that year after year, we’ve been able to grow and offer more and more support at low cost, or no cost, so that people can find the offerings we have and they can participate.  

What I’d like for people to know is that there was a time when I felt so helpless and hopeless that I could ever accomplish any true spiritual success.  I was convinced that it wasn’t possible for me, and now I feel my awareness expanding every day.  

I feel called to dedicate myself to supporting others who, like me, are yearning for a more loving life and a closer connection with Spirit.  At times, things have been so intensely difficult for me.  I felt so alone in the midst of it.

And that’s why I started the Power of Love Ministry, a non-profit ministry that now offers so much to so many all over the world.  Almost every day, sometimes with tears streaming down their face, someone tells me how much their life is changing because of what we’re sharing.  That’s the true power of Love.  It’s the power to heal all our false beliefs.

There’s only one power, and it’s Love.

Long before I actually started this ministry, I aspired to live a life that was truly helpful and beneficial to others so they, too, could become inspired and committed to lead a loving life – and now, that’s exactly what’s unfolding.

It’s happening because we’re coming together, to support each other, and to practice forgiveness, compassion and being generous of heart.  Spirit is rising in us and our hearts are opening.  

I find myself being continuously so very grateful that I have learned to be a better listener to Spirit.

Back when I felt helpless and hopeless, I still wasn’t giving up – I couldn’t.  I have a lot more to share about that, and I’ll tell you why in Part 2.

Right now, a few days before Thanksgiving, I’m feeling so deeply grateful that I didn’t give up, and I’m inspired and impressed by the vision of Love that’s unfolding in this ministry.  It’s so breathtakingly beautiful at times that I cannot help but weep in gratitude that I didn’t give up.  I pray that what we share will keep others from giving up and will inspire them to share from their hearts.  

I pray that those who feel like giving up on Love, on family, on life or on God, will find something we offer and realize there’s a better way and it’s their way, because they are entitled to miracles, too. We all are.

Right now, I’m also grateful because some people who’ve been inspired to call forth miracles in their lives are sharing their blessings.  They’ve gathered together to put up $25,000 as a matching donation to inspire others to contribute to this outpouring of Love.  Until December 4th, every dollar that’s donated to the Power of Love Ministry will be matched, and therefore doubled.  I believe we can raise the full $25,000 to get the full match of $25,000.  We’ve raised $9,000 so far, and we have $16,000 to go.  Each dollar you give right now will be doubled.  I’m asking you to please consider giving a donation now to help us reach our goal and to offer more support to more people.  

Click here to make a contribution and support more people in going ALL-IN for Love.  

Stay tuned for Part 2!


 

This is Part 2 of a 3 Part series.  You can click here to read Part One and Part Two together, What you might not know about me,

At Agape in Los Angeles, studying to be a Science of Mind Practitioner, I learned that I LOVED to pray and I realized the power of Love is in the power of prayer. It was in my prayer practice that I discovered the Power of Love to heal our minds and shift our lives and our relationships.  

Since I had never prayed in my life before discovering Science of Mind, I hadn’t prayed about anything – I didn’t have to break a habit of praying to get stuff.  I hadn’t been disappointed because God wasn’t being my divine delivery service.  

Because of the way I was taught to pray as a Science of Mind Practitioner, (which is very similar to what ACIM says), my prayer practice was about giving up the attachment to the things of this world.  My prayers were about knowing the truth, and removing any obstacles to Love in my mind.  My prayers were for clarity.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but my prayers were about giving up false idols and choosing to allow the Power of Love to rule my heart, my mind, and my life.  

People started calling me frequently for prayer.  I’d get calls from people who were worried and afraid, people going on job interviews and doctor’s appointments. After having a number of people tell me that they’d really wanted to call me for prayer in the middle of the night, but didn’t wish to wake me, I decided to find a way to record a prayer every day so people could listen anytime they felt like it.  

In 2007, I began to record my daily Prayer for Today so people could call me for prayer 24/7.   I recently realized that I’ve been recording a daily prayer for almost every day of the last 10 years or more.  It’s part of my spiritual practice and it’s important to me.  I have Prayer Partners all over the world and they’re important to me.

One memory of an encounter with a Prayer Partner sticks out in my mind:  When I lived in Los Angeles, for many years, I attended Agape’s services regularly and I was very involved in the community as a volunteer, a practitioner, a minister, and a member.  

One day, I was attending service, along with about 1500 other people and I was simply walking across the sanctuary to be seated, like I’d done thousands of times before, when a woman I’d never met before stopped me.  She leaned in close and I could see tears forming in her eyes.  She whispered in my ear, “Thank you. Thank you so much.”  

I knew she was a Prayer Partner of mine.  I hugged her.  We didn’t talk or say anything more.  What was communicated was plenty.  What was shared was a recognition of the Power of Love to heal and connect.  And for that reason, it’s so easy for me to happily record a new prayer every day – sometimes, even in an airplane bathroom!  I’ve recorded prayers in all kinds of places!  It’s not an obligation or a burden.  I am grateful that I GET to share a prayer with others each and every day.

The hardest thing I’ve ever done was to keep placing my faith in God when most of the evidence seemed to be against me and I know that many who call for prayer are in that struggle.  It was my decision to be ALL-IN that kept me going and surmount the struggle.  I had made the decision to be ALL IN and I wasn’t backing down, no matter how many times I failed.  No matter how many times I slipped and failed, I got back up again.  No failure was going to stop me.  Momentary setbacks wouldn’t stop me.

I’m grateful that technology has helped the birth and growth of this ministry.   In the years 2001 to 2005, I was blessed to be able to talk with people from all over the world, one-on-one, who were interested in having a healing in their lives.  

I was blessed with the privilege of speaking with many people who had just been given a terminal cancer diagnosis and were exploring healing options.  Many times, I spoke to people who hadn’t even told their loved ones yet.  Those people, who often felt isolated, alone, disconnected, but still willing and searching for God, taught me so much.  They inspired me to do what I do now – which is to create community and support for those souls brave enough to be willing to discover God in their heart, in their mind, in their relationships, and in their life.  

Along the way, I’ve learned that even people who live in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Dusseldorf, Athens, Sydney, and all over the world in big cities where there are many spiritual communities, there’s still a sense of spiritual loneliness.  People are yearning for authentic connection.  People have a deep desire to drop what is false and connect with what is real, but they aren’t sure how, when, or where.  And that’s why I was called to start this Power of Love Ministry – to give people a place, online, that transcends time, space, race, background, and all the seeming limitations of our human experience.

In 2008, I began offering my Finding Freedom Spiritual Bootcamp class, sharing the roadmap.  I was called to share some of the tools that I’d been given that worked so well for me, and that had made such a difference in my relationships and in my releasing the sense that there was something wrong with me.  I’ve been expanding this class ever since then, offering it several times per year.  

In 2009, I was guided to offer my yearlong Masterful Living Course, for those who are looking for a deeper practice, and more support to have a greater connection with Spirit.  I’ve continued to expand that curriculum, too.  

In 2010, I got inspired to start the Living A Course in Miracles website and series of classes, and in 2011, I started my A Course in Miracles Weekly Radio Show on unityonlineradio.org Online Radio.  This year, we passed the 300th episode mark.  

I always kept praying.  My decision to go ALL-IN for God shifted something in me.  It also brought to my awareness all the many, MANY ways I really wasn’t all-in.  I had to look at that and choose.  We all do.  And that’s where I’d like to support even more people.  

A Course in Miracles tells us that we have this fear to look within because we’re convinced that all we’ll find inside is trash.  ACIM tells us that within is where we’ll find the Altar of God – in our heart.  ACIM invites us to take all the false idols off the altar of our heart and to leave the space wide open for Spirit to fill.  

Seek first the Kingdom,
make room for the Kingdom,
and everything,
the full load of God Awareness will be added unto us.  

Releasing the false idols is releasing the attachments to the past, to our opinions, and to the meaning we’ve made of things.  I’ve learned that no matter how strong the attachments are they can be released in a single instant of willingness – or – they can be released after a thousand instants of willingness – it’s our choice.  

And it can be a journey that feels like sandpaper on our skin.  
It can be so intense.  
It can be so confusing.
It can seem like torture.
It can feel like being lost in an insane asylum.  

And yet, “even if I make my bed in hell, thou art with me.”  ACIM tells us that we have 100% support, 100% of the time, and yet we forget.  Having community helps us to remember.

I’ve had people who’ve never spoken to me before, who don’t know me at all, somehow be led to call me at the perfect moment and say things like “I’m trying to not kill myself before my son gets home from school, but I can’t find a reason not to, and I found one of your prayers somewhere, maybe on Facebook, and I decided to see if you might be able to help me.”  

Can you imagine how completely and totally blessed I felt that I answered the phone in that moment?  Of course, I didn’t already know what to say to this person, but I absolutely knew that Spirit would find a way to say it through me, because why else would the call have come through?

Of course, Spirit knew what to say.  I don’t even recall what it was, but that person called me back later that day, after having done the practice Spirit guided me to share with them to do, and they told me that it had shifted.  They understood what had happened.  The energy was released.  That part of their experience was done.  A healing had happened.  

I am not a healer.  
God is the healer.  
God IN us is the healer.
It’s not that hard, because our natural state is perfection.  
Our perfection is immutable.
We are, forever, as holy as holy can be.
It’s about remembering.
It’s about giving up the idea of searching for understanding so that we can have the time, energy, space, and the willingness to remember the truth (that sets us free).

And this is what the Power of Love Ministry is ALL about.

We’re training ourselves to remember to remember and stop trying to figure it out.

Every time we’re trying to figure it out, we’re affirming that we don’t know and we can’t remember, so we have to rely upon the ego’s ability to figure it out.  

It’s putting the fox in-charge of the hen house
and then watching it eat all the chickens.  
And then waiting for the eggs to hatch and doing it all over again.
No wonder it’s maddening and leaves us feeling helpless and hopeless.

There’s a MUCH better way and it’s here now.  It’s available to us now.  It’s written in our hearts.  It’s fully and completely pre-installed.  

We help each other to remember.

I have more to say about what’s unfolding for us and I’ll do that in Part 3.  

Power of Love Ministry supports brave souls all over the world who are willing to hold the Light, see the Light, and be the Light in their communities, families, and workplaces.  These brave souls deserve our constant Love and support.  And you are one of us.  We support each other.

Power of Love Ministry is having its first major fundraising effort right now, during this time of national Thanksgiving in America.  Right now, I’m grateful because some wonderful people have been inspired to support others, pay it forward, and share their blessings. A couple of generous good-hearted folks have put up $25,000 as a matching donation to inspire others to contribute to this outpouring of Love.  Until December 4th, every dollar that’s donated to the Power of Love Ministry will be matched, and therefore doubled.  

I believe we can raise the full $25,000 to get the full match of $25,000.  We’ve raised close to $10,000 so far, and we have $15,000 to go in 13 days.  Each dollar you give right now will be doubled.  I’m asking you to please consider giving a donation now to help us reach our goal and to offer more support to more people.  

Click here to make a contribution and support more people in having the courage to be ALL-IN for Love.  

Stay tuned for Part 3 tomorrow!


 

This is Part 3 of a 3 Part series.  You can click here to read the entire series, all 3 parts together, What you might not know about me,

In the first two parts of this series I’ve shared a bit about how difficult my journey has been.  Every day I support people for whom the journey is excruciatingly difficult, but they don’t give up, they have the courage to keep going.  They’re doing the work for all of us – we all are.

What I see, year after year, is people who, like me, are working through feeling helpless and hopeless.  Often, with spiritual students, with the ministers and practitioners, the counselors and coaches, the moms and dads, the grandparents and the single people, …

… there are two things we all have in common:

  • We desire a relief from suffering
  • We desire to know God and feel connected

Probably about 60% of the people this ministry serves are people who have been searching for many years.  The spiritual teachings they’ve been drawn to have helped them to understand spiritual principle and to recover from a religious upbringing or to discover something real after no religion in the family.

There’s a deep sense of longing for Spirit accompanied with confusion, and a sense of maybe being “spiritually stupid.”  I had this feeling so intensely for so long.  I felt that I was intellectually smart, but spiritually stupid because I kept making the same mistakes.  Just being consistently kind, loving and compassionate was SO challenging for me that it led me to feel like I was a monster inside.   It was as if my inner-self was a Hulk-like creature.  

Being such a good student all my life, on the dean’s list all through college, grad school, etc. I could ace any class, including any spiritual class – but I still knew I wasn’t “getting it.”  I was still out in the dark, floundering in the mystery.  It felt to me like a door was locked to me, but open to others.  

For the longest time, I truly believed that others could find God, but not me.  I wasn’t good enough.  I was bad.  There was something wrong with me.  I was so convinced of it.  God didn’t want me.

When I made that decision to go ALL IN I talked about in Part 1, I decided that it didn’t matter how long it took and it didn’t matter how many times a day I failed, this was what I was doing, I was making my life about connecting with Spirit.  That changed everything.  

Within a couple of years from that point, with simple shifts in my spiritual practice, and shifting my energy and attention from studying the teachings to living the teachings, I began to have more and more Peace.  I reached a point I call the “tipping point,” and things became mostly peaceful in my life.  I experienced tremendous relationship healing, emotional healing and mental healing.  And yes, I had some miraculous experiences of healing in my awareness.

What I’m seeing now, after 9 years of teaching my Finding Freedom Spiritual Bootcamp class, 8 years of teaching my year-long Masterful Living Course, 7 years of Living A Course in Miracles classes and radio show, is that people who do actually do this work, in a group, are coming along faster and easier than I did.  Amazing!

And that’s why myself and others are so dedicated to what this ministry is offering.  We’d like to be able to reach even more people and offer even more support.

People tell me these things again and again, week after week, month after month and year after year:

“I never thought to really live ACIM until I started listening to you – for years, I’ve only been studying it.”

“I always gave up on myself until I started in this class.  With so much support, I wanted to keep going.”

“My whole family is changing because I’m living these teachings now.”

“When I started this, I thought I would fail, because I always do.”

“You have completely changed my life.”

To that last one, I always say, “I didn’t change your life – you did.  I only have the power to change my own life, but I’m so glad to know that my sharing what I did inspired you to do something different.”

This year, like never before, I’ve had more and more people participating in the ministry who desire to be teachers, counselors, workshop leaders, and ministers – but they struggle with unworthiness.

I’ve had so many professional people – in business, in schools, in hospitals, and other clinical situations, plus parents and grandparents, telling me their ideas of how to take these principles into their workplaces and communities in ways that would really be effective and helpful for transforming the culture, the mindset and the attitude of the people they’re connecting with.

These people have so much courage.  They are willing to “come out from among them” in order to answer “the call.”

A Course in Miracles clearly tell us:  

I cannot choose for you, but I can help you make your own right choice.  “Many are called but few are chosen” should be, “All are called but few choose to listen.”  Therefore, they do not choose right.  The “chosen ones” are merely those who choose right sooner.  Right minds can do this now, and they will find rest unto their souls.  T-3.IV.7.

The ego tells us that it’s pure arrogance to think we’re called.  The ego turns it into specialness.  In fact, it takes tremendous humility and courage for people to say, “even though I feel unworthy and incapable, I’m going to answer this call I feel in my heart.  I’m going to stop saying NO to Spirit.  I’m going to follow my guidance.”

At the outset, it can seem that the path is so different it will lead them away from everything they know and feel accustomed to and that’s really scary.  For some people it means that they risk losing their friends and family.  Sometimes when we begin to shift in our relationships others are threatened and it creates a stir, on the way to having a healing.

It takes strength and courage, faith and trust to do what Peter did when he stepped out of the boat and walked on the water with Jesus.  For people who are on this path, it can feel that scary.

Now that there are people who have been on this path with me for years, they are holding out their hand to those who are coming along.  Each year we remark at how the new people joining us are of a higher degree of willingness and openness than we ever were.  It’s because we share the same mind.

The willingness of each one shifts us all.  

It’s a WHOLE LOT easier to be willing when there’s a hand to hold in the darkness.  

Those who are involved in this ministry are interested in being able to support more people to have the courage to follow their heart and answer the call – whatever that means for them.  We’re all on the same path, and we each have unique aspects of the curriculum.

Being an online ministry we can reach people all over the world – more than 100 countries.  Because of the contributions of many we’re able now to transcribe all of the classes and radio shows.  We are able to offer daily support at no cost.  

For years, people in other countries and people who are deaf were asking for things like transcripts for the radio shows and transcripts of my daily prayers.  I had no way to do it on my own.  We didn’t have the money.  For years I had to say “someday we’ll do that, it’s on the list.”  

Now, I feel called to offer forgiveness workshops all over the world at no cost.  I feel called to train people from every country to teach forgiveness workshops in their community and to train more to do it so that the powerful healing practice of forgiveness – the core of ACIM – is known and practiced all over the world.  

Because anyone who TRULY does this inner work knows, proves, demonstrates and can testify to the Power of Love transforming their workplace, their family and their community.  We seek to change our heart and mind about ourselves, and the world and that’s what ripples out and touches everyone in our lives – and all humanity – because we share the same mind.  It’s the only way that works.  

20 years ago, 1997’s when I was first involved in the classes at Agape, on a Wednesday night Service, I heard Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith say that he’d read an article about people who had achieved amazing and extraordinary feats.  He said that they all had said one thing that impressed him.  They said that if they’d known that it was even possible to achieve what they set out to do, they would have set their sights even higher.  They just didn’t know it was even possible.  And then he paused, and he said “Internet, baby!!!!”  

And I felt it go through me like a lightening bolt.  I loved the possibilities of the internet.  Everyone thought I was a nut, but I knew, I could feel the global ministry forming in the ethers.  I knew it was mine to do, but I had no idea how to do it, and I felt completely unworthy of the task.  

I just didn’t let how I felt stop me.
I gave Spirit the heavy lifting of figuring out what I was to do.
And that’s still how I operate.  

I follow Spirit’s guidance in deciding what to do and when to do it.  It’s thrilling.  Every day is challenging and every day is rewarding.

That’s what I’m sharing with others.  It works.
There are more people being called to share this way of living.

And I’m asking you to please support us now.  Right now. Today.  

We have a matching grant – and if we don’t raise the money to match it, we’ll lose it.  Let’s not let that happen.

Power of Love Ministry is having its first major fundraising effort right now, during this time of national Thanksgiving in America.  Right now, I’m grateful because some wonderful people have been inspired to support others, pay it forward, and share their blessings.  A couple of generous good-hearted folks have put up $25,000 as a matching donation to inspire others to contribute to this outpouring of Love.  Until December 4th, every dollar that’s donated to the Power of Love Ministry will be matched, and therefore doubled.  

I believe we can raise the full $25,000 to get the full match of $25,000.  We’ve raised $10,000 so far, and we have $15,000 to go in 12 days.  Each dollar you give right now will be doubled.  I’m asking you to please consider giving a donation now to help us reach our goal and to offer more support to more people.  

Click here to make a contribution now and support more people in having the courage to be ALL-IN for Love.  Let’s support forgiveness being taught all over the world so that we can truly live ACIM.

Thank you for sharing this time with me.  I have felt you as I’ve written this and I pray for everyone in this ministry every day. All boats rise on this tide of Love!

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