God’s Kingdom

There’s a place beyond the universe that’s irresistible.  When people die they will be escorted there by angels.  And they will find eternal rest with their Supreme Being and the best of humanity.  This will be our eternal reward won for a life of grace, dedication, and service to Almighty God.  In this state there will be an everlasting celebration.  People presently live with angels watching over them and with visions of heaven.  But when they cross over into God’s territory there’s no looking back.  Eventually they will be face to face with God’s radiance, and his celestial forces of goodness.

Christopher Columbus (1451–1506), an Italian explorer, navigator and colonizer wrote, “Gold is a treasure and he who possesses it does all he wishes to in the world, and succeeds in helping souls into paradise.”  People often hear that gold – money if you wish, corrupts if not used wisely.  Columbus viewed gold positively as a means for winning souls.

Family & Friends

Heavenly goals must begin with family and friends.  Charles Kuralt (1934–1997), a journalist said, “The love of family and the admiration of friends are much more important than wealth and privilege.”  By honoring and obeying God’s will people know the truth, and are touched by love.  So when dark moments raise their ugly heads they would say like Aristotle Onassis (1906–1975), a Greek shipping magnate, “It is during the darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”  Onassis might have thought about our final destination that surpasses all understanding.

Light & Darkness

Before being called home most would have worn-out their bodies.   They would experience harrowing feelings in a troubled world.  Evil forces sought to influence them into doing evil deeds.  But do not be dismayed, just remain steadfast in the faith, and follow the narrow road of righteousness.

Harriet Tubman (1822–1913), an African American abolitionist wrote, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer.  Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach the stars to change the world.”  Tubman’s observation is true.   People must play their role in leading others – even if it’s only one person, to do what’s right.  This is a believer’s responsibility undertaken by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Mother Teresa (1910–1997), a Roman Catholic missionary said, “Be faithful in small things because it is in them your strength lie.”  In perseverance let’s all endeavor to do our very best.  So when people arrive at the finish-line in heaven they will hear the angels proclaiming: “Well done, true and faithful servants.”  Then they will gather at God’s heavenly banquet where there’s rejoicing as they are called to God’s Kingdom for their just rewards.

 

 

Living in Holiness

The spirit of holiness comes to believers after accepting God in all of his glory, and by doing his will.  These devout ones live disciplined lives.  They taste the true freedom of life, and love God with their whole hearts.  Every day these believers approach the Supreme Being and are blessed abundantly.  Shakti Gawain (b. 1948), a New Age and personal development author wrote, “Every time you don’t follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual darkness.”  These individuals who live triumphantly know security in the Lord.

Sickness of the Soul

 What are your motives in life?  Are you bogged down?  Do you feel rebellious?  Are you living in debt?  Are you morally bankrupt?  Do you suffer from sickness of the body, mind and spirit?  If you are worried about such matters you may be suffering from a sickness of the soul.  Marilyn Monroe (1926–1962), an actress, model and singer said, “I am good, but not an angel.  I do sin, but I am not the devil.  I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love.”  As Monroe puts it her main motive for living was to find love.  Her focus though shouldn’t be on false love, but rather on God’s gifts of true, and abiding love.

Moral Dynamism

 By the Creator believers are blessed with strong assurances to do good deeds.  They serve and each day,  pursue moral goals, and find richness in the Torah.  By their lifestyle they are enthroning the living God, for they have a childlike trust in him.  These righteous ones obey God’s commandments, and are blessed in deciphering the intricacies of life.  Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), an author and abolitionist wrote, “Aim above morality.  Be not simply good, be good for something.”  Thoreau wasn’t prepared to settle on a basic type of morality.  He wanted us to pursue meaningful lives.  People agree that we should endeavor to be the best we can by the way we live, and what we do.

Walk in Holiness

Peace and hopefulness should be a way of life for those walking in holiness.  Such a commitment brings self-fulfillment and blessings to our communities.  All of us have to be compassionate, repentant, and committed to daily prayer.  By the grace of God we’ll grow to know salvation and be saved from our misdeeds.  Roman Stoic philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BC–65 AD) said, “One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.”  Seneca could well be speaking about us today, for there’s much rancor in public discourse.  To have true understanding and live in spiritual holiness believers have to turn to God – the Provider of good gifts.  He loves those estranged from him, and we have the privilege to turn to him.

The Gift of Healing

The Gift of Healing

The Lord promised to heal people’s waywardness and to love them freely (Hos 14:4).  God was going to restore their health and heal their wounds (Jer 30:17).  A Dutch Catholic priest, professor and theologian Henri Nouwen (1932–1996) wrote, “Did I offer peace today?  Did I bring a smile to someone’s face?  Did I say words of healing?  Did I let go of my anger and resentment?  Did I forgive?  Did I love?  These are the real questions.  I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.”  Undoubtedly people can do many small things to be these miraculous gifts to others.  This means we don’t have to do big things to see great results.  Small ones are just as important.

Growth is essential when giving love.  This comes in different forms with abundant meanings.  Max de Pree (b. 1924), a businessman and writer said, “We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity.  We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.”  These lasting transformations are known in various ways.  When they contribute to growth and understanding, healing takes place.  These manifestations often take time, and ought not to be rushed.  People should persevere in doing good works.

Friendships

A vice president of the United States, Hubert Humphrey (1911–1978) wrote, “The greatest healing therapy is friendship.”  It’s ideal to have good friendships.  They enable us to interact freely, explain our personal concerns, and solve problems.  Good friends are able to give us honest opinions.  These are free gifts that bring joy to our hearts.  In times of worry their words soothe us bringing us comfort and hope.

These benefits are from people who appreciate us for who we really are.  They know our faults and accept us as blessings.  An Indian spiritual master Sai Baba (1835–1918) said, “Love one another and help others to rise to the higher levels, simply by pouring out love.  Love is infectious and the greatest healing energy.”  With love a healing balm encompasses us.  People come to know their brothers and sisters care about what they do, and count on them for support.  Such attributes nurture their welfare.

Positive Faith

People do hear good and bad things about religion.  But author and literary critic Christopher Hitchens (1949–2011) views were positive.  He believed, “Religion is part of the human make-up.  It’s also part of our cultural and intellectual history.  Religion was our first attempt at literature, the texts, our first attempt at cosmology, making sense of where we are in the universe, our first attempt at health care, believing in faith healing, and our first attempt at philosophy.”  People who are healed attribute these phenomena to their beliefs in a loving God.  Hitchens saw religion not only as important but having far-reaching consequences.  Many believers become recipients of these blessings that shape their lives for the better.

Unitarian Universalism (UU) Beliefs & Sacred Texts

According to Wikipedia, in 1961 the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) was formed through the consolidation of the American Unitarian Association (AUA), established in 1825, and the Universalist Church of America (UCA), established in 1793. The UUA’s headquarter is in Boston, Massachusetts, and serves churches mostly in the United States.

This is how UU’s website describes its symbol of the flaming chalice:
“A flame within a chalice (a cup with a stem and foot) is a primary symbol of the Unitarian Universalist faith tradition. Many of our congregations kindle a flaming chalice in gatherings and worships and feature the chalice symbol prominently.
Hans Deutsch, an Austrian artist, first brought together the chalice and the flame as a Unitarian symbol during his work with the Unitarian Service Committee during World War II. To Deutsch, the image had connotations of sacrifice and love. Unitarian Universalists today have many different interpretations of the flaming chalice, including the light of reason, the warmth of community, and the flame of hope.”

UU’s Beliefs
UU practices a creedless and non-dogmatic approach to religion. An attitude toward each congregant’s beliefs and tradition is one of tolerance and acceptance. They reject a belief in the Trinity as God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Instead they worship a unitary notion of God. They see believers will be eventually reconciled to God. So they reject preaching about hellfire and damnation. UU celebrates worship services on Sundays with a sermon and the signing of hymns.

Sacred Texts
Some of their sacred texts are from the Jewish and Christian traditions. However they look at additional sources for further religious and moral inspiration. These are drawn from the scriptures of the world’s religions. By so doing they recognize the wisdom teachings not only of the Bible’s New and Old Testaments, but also works like Dhammapada, or Tao Te-Ching, and other philosophers, scientists, poets, and sages.
On the pages of these writings UU trusts that their congregants to use reason and come to conclusions that speak to them. These goals they see necessary, since their membership, whether atheists, agnostics, Christians, Jews, Chinese, Hindus, Muslims, believers, and non-believers alike, would find meaning on their quest in seeking the truth.

YouTube Programs
1) Sermon “The Basics of Unitarian Universalism” – Rev. Aaron White, First Unitarian Church of Dallas 24:51
2) The Rise and Fall of Unitarianism in America 17:20
3) Interview with a Unitarian Universalist 53:21