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Holidays? Xmas? Christmas? What is This Season Anyway?

Presented by Niánn Emerson Chase

Holiday Issues

I recall that in December 2005, President and Mrs. Bush came under much criticism from certain conservative Christians who were unhappy with the wording on the card sent from the White House. These critics complained that since the Bush’s are Christians and Christmas is a Christian holiday, they should have used the word Christmas on the card rather than holidays. In the seven years since then, there has been an increasing conflict between the conservative Christians whose agenda is to keep the holidays “Christian” and the non-Christian religionists and non-religious to keep all signs of Christianity out of the holidays.

This is a season that Christians as well as those of other religions enjoy their particular traditions, and the citizenry of the United States is comprised of people of many religions, nationalities, and subcultures. Regardless of religious and cultural leanings, most people (including the nonreligious) in this country celebrate this season, for almost every aspect of society is permeated with utilizing the “holiday season” that starts around Thanksgiving and ends after New Year’s Day.

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Unselfishness as a Tool to Find Happiness, Peace, and Fulfillment. The Secrets That Everyone Hears About But Few Practice

Presented by Gabriel of Urantia & Niánn Emerson Chase

to members and guests of Global Community Communications Church at a World-Wide Sunday Service

Teaching by Niánn Emerson Chase

The Disease of Self1

The conclusion that individuals with spiritized (not necessarily religious) minds come to is that most problems in our world come from selfishness, on a personal level as well as on all societal levels. I realize that sounds too simple for a multi-layered, complex, highly technical dominant society, but sometimes, in order to get to the root of those numerous, overwhelming problems, going to the very basic foundation of what something is built upon is the beginning of moving towards real, deep problem-solving. Let’s face it, we live in a profit-motivated, selfish civilization that, frankly, strongly influences the rest of the world, and, in reality, controls most of what goes on in the world. Yes, yes, there are individuals, groups, organizations, and facets of government whose motives are less selfish and based more on service for the betterment of all of humankind, but they don’t seem to rule the world, not yet anyway. And of course there are businesses and corporations that contribute much to the well-being of individuals and civilization, and there are those who indeed use money as a tool for improving the lives of others. But, as long as laws are formed and implemented that protect people in “high places” of power from having to be morally and socially responsible, personal and societal corruption will just become more entrenched in the consciousness of most people, for selfishness (with all of its manifestations) will be the accepted norm.

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Responsibility is the Foundation-Block of Spiritual Ascension

Presented by Gabriel of Urantia & Niánn Emerson Chase

to members and guests of Global Community Communications Church at a World-Wide Sunday Service

Teaching by Niánn Emerson Chase

Some Thoughts on Personal Responsibility

This morning, I didn’t want to get up. I wanted to crawl up in a little ball and try to go back to sleep. Sometimes, when those responsibilities come up we just want to pull the blanket over our heads, and that happened to me this morning, briefly, but then my sense of duty and love of my work plummeted me out of bed.

________

The word responsibility, what does that mean? What are your responsibilities? I want you to think a moment about what you see your responsibilities are right now. Would anyone like to just share very briefly what they see their responsibility as being? [Niánn addressed this question to the group present at CosmoService, and the following are answers from members of Global Community Communications.]

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Overcoming

Presented by Gabriel of Urantia & Niánn Emerson Chase

to members and guests of Global Community Communications Church at a World-Wide Sunday Service

Teaching by Niánn Emerson Chase

When I started thinking about the topic of overcoming, I realized immediately that I could go in many directions on this. There’s so much that all of us human beings have to overcome in order to have a life of dignity, purpose, fulfillment, and happiness. In many places on the planet millions of people have much to overcome in order to merely stay alive; they don’t even consider the quality of their lives, just that they survive another hour or another day.

In considering my own overcoming processes throughout the years, I have come to the conclusion that the largest blockage to my peace of mind and enjoyment of life has been myself.

The Smeagol-Gollum Syndrome

For you who have watched the last couple of years the Lord of the Rings series of films, I’m sure, like me, you will remember for a long time the creature Gollum who was consumed with getting his “preciousssss” back. When the good and sincere hobbit, Frodo, met Gollum, he recognized something in him. Frodo recognized that at one time Gollum had been a more comely, kinder, lovable personality. In fact, Gollum belonged to a people similar to the gentle hobbits. What happened to Gollum? What circumstances and choices led to Gollum’s monstrous physical appearance and his pitifully devious and deadly ways?

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Having Faith, Hope, and Thanksgiving in the Midst of Realism on a Suffering World

Presented by Niánn Emerson Chase

to members and guests of Global Community Communications Church at a World-Wide Sunday Service

For the past twenty-five years I have had conversations with several men and women who have spent a decade or more in the public school system, giving of their love, energy, and talents. Every time I listen to their expressions of disappointment, disenchantment, and exhaustion, I am reminded of my own experiences as a highly motivated public school teacher who gave my creativity and inspiration to the students I loved.

When I graduated from college and returned to the San Carlos Apache reservation to teach, I was full of enthusiasm, hope, and expectations. Like the individuals just referred to, I retained my idealism and optimism for many years, thinking that great changes could happen for my students as long as I inspired them with my great teaching and encouraged them with my genuine love for them. And, like these individuals, I grew exhausted and frustrated, for there seemed to be so little to show for so much work.

A friend of mine who recently retired after a thirty-year career as a history teacher expressed to me his extreme disappointment in the public school system. Though he enjoyed the interaction with his students and was considered one of the more outstanding teachers in the school, he chose to take early retirement because he could no longer work in a system that he believed had become compromised and almost defunct.

Many teachers have considered using their talents outside of the public school system but feel trapped with few options, and even though my history-teacher friend was struggling for many years, he hung in there until he had thirty years of service so that he could have a decent pension. Most considered his move very practical, and it was for him, as it is for many dedicated but very tired and disappointed teachers.

More than twenty-five years ago, I took a leap of faith after fifteen years of teaching in public schools and simply quit with no concrete plans of what I was going to do. When I just up and resigned, most people considered my move to be impractical and downright irresponsible, for I was a single mother with three children, though their father was very active in parenting them too.  

Many people come to a crossroads in their lives where they want to change their line of work and try something that would be more healthy and sustainable for them, their family, and for the world. Should they take a leap in faith and try something outside of the mainstream or should they be practical and continue as they have for so many years because at least they would have guaranteed income?

Why I was able to just up and quit my position in mainstream society was because I had faith and hope, faith that God was indeed guiding me to take a “road less traveled,” and hope that I would find my way on that path with no financial security and no practical plan of where I was going to live or what I was going to do for work.

Twenty-seven years later here I am, alive and full of gratitude for my lot in life. As I so often express, I believe that I am one of the richest persons alive, and that feeling of prosperity has very little to do with the material aspect of my life, though I am very thankful for my lovely surroundings and my many physical blessings. As I recently told a friend who lives a fairly luxurious life-style, I would feel at spiritual peace and full of thanksgiving if I lived in a shack, for I believe I am walking in my God-given destiny, doing work I love, living with a community of loving, intelligent, and service-minded people in an environment that provides boundless opportunities for growth in virtues and wisdom.

I am saddened by my materially wealthy friend’s lot in life, what she has settled for. Though she appears “successful” by the standards of the dominant culture (what I refer to as “the third dimension”), she told me that she has had to compromise her own deep longings and higher values in order to remain in the work, lifestyle, and personal relationships she is currently in. It is her choice at this time to stay in the life she has composed, even though she expresses that she is deeply disappointed, frustrated, and unhappy.

I have learned over the years to be realistic in my hope for others. Many years ago when I was still teaching in the public school system, I recall an epiphany I had. I was fervently praying that God would help me with my expectations for my students. I could see their potential; I had great hopes for them, and I poured my heart, mind, and soul into being the best teacher I could be. I worked hard at providing opportunities that would inspire them, expand them, encourage them, turn them on to a life with many doors for them to open. But it seemed that no matter my motives, no matter my plans for them, no matter how hard I worked, not much really happened. Most of my students still seemed shut down, shallow, and disinterested in what I had to offer. During this time of pouring out my discouragement in prayer, after moaning and groaning, mumbling and grumbling about how hard I worked for these kids and not much seemed to happen, I finally quieted down to rest in the Universal Father and listen. I received a very clear message:  “Continue in your good work and be not attached to the outcome.”

Be not attached to the outcome. Those words hit me like a sledge hammer. I suddenly realized that I was too attached to my expectations of how things would turn out. From that moment on, I have continued to be challenged with situations where I have to let go of my personal expectations, to be not attached to the outcome, to continue in my day-to-day work in God’s will, letting go of false hopes, being realistic in a spiritized mind.

I am a naturally optimistic person, and for many years I was falsely hopeful and optimistic in third-dimensional institutions. I learned, in my participation in various religious, political, and social movements to not place so much confidence in them. I actually came to realize, through my own experiences, this truth stated in The URANTIA Book [Paper 195, Section 8, Paragraph 12]:  “Secular social and political optimism is an illusion. Without God, neither freedom and liberty, nor property and wealth can lead to peace.” The peace referred to here is not only peace between human beings but the inner personal peace of individuals.

I think that many individuals who are dissatisfied with their status in life will not find the inner peace and meaningful work they are looking for as long as they do not have faith in God and hope in His/Her outworkings in their lives. Many who are not spiritually inclined and more materialistic in their perceptions of reality are optimistic, hard-working, and well-meaning people, but their realism is still based on secular values, not realizing that many of those values are divine in origin. As long as those values are applied without the spiritized implications, then they turn rank, as can be seen in so many revolutions that started out with hope for something much better but turned out just as problematic as what was in place previously.

The URANTIA Book refers to realistic and false hope. What I began to realize in that epiphany I had, when I received the message to have no attachment to the outcome of my endeavors, was to be realistic as well as hopeful from a spiritized perspective. As long as I am doing the best I can in God’s will, good will come out of my endeavors, even if I may not see the manifestation of my work immediately. I remind myself of another truth I learned from The URANTIA Book, that the act is mine but the consequences are God’s.

Jesus had no interest in the outcome of His interactions with people; He just gave of Himself and moved on. So though I love those I interact with, I am learning to not place false hope in them; I place my hope in the fragment of God within them, for it is the leading of the Spirit of God that empowers any of us to transform ourselves and our lives.

The URANTIA Book indicates that true, realistic hope is only attained through the God fragment within us (known also as the Thought Adjuster). With that hope we harmonize our attitudes and thoughts with the Thought Adjuster’s leadings and can then realize the transforming power of all of the living spiritual forces available to us. It is only through divine hope that we experience transformations of human character. [See Paper 5, Section 2]

My hope is to attain, at the highest degree possible, the perfection of character that Jesus acquired in His short life on Urantia. I cannot do this without cooperating moment-to-moment with divine spiritual influences. I also hope to attain the practical optimism that Jesus had, His realism, which is founded on faith, hope, and love.


In the earthly life of Jesus, religion was a living experience, a direct and personal movement from spiritual reverence to practical righteousness. The faith of Jesus bore the transcendent fruits of the divine spirit. His faith was not immature and credulous like that of a child, but in many ways it did resemble the unsuspecting trust of the child mind. Jesus trusted God much as the child trusts a parent. He had a profound confidence in the universe, just such a trust as the child has in its parental environment. Jesus’ wholehearted faith in the fundamental goodness of the universe very much resembled the child’s trust in the security of its earthly surroundings. He depended on the heavenly Father as a child leans upon its earthly parent, and his fervent faith never for one moment doubted the certainty of the heavenly Father’s overcare. He was not disturbed seriously by fears, doubts, and skepticism. Unbelief did not inhibit the free and original expression of his life. He combined the stalwart and intelligent courage of a full-grown man with the sincere and trusting optimism of a believing child. His faith grew to such heights of trust that it was devoid of fear.
[The URANTIA Book, Paper 196, Introduction, Paragraph 11]

Jesus led persons to feel at home in the world; he delivered them from the slavery of taboo and taught them that the world was not fundamentally evil. He did not long to escape from his earthly life; he mastered a technique of acceptably doing the Father’s will while in the flesh. He attained an idealistic religious life in the very midst of a realistic world. Jesus did not share an apostle’s pessimistic view of humankind. The Master looked upon humans as the sons and daughters of God and foresaw a magnificent and eternal future for those who chose survival. He was not a moral skeptic; he viewed people positively, not negatively. He saw most persons as weak rather than wicked, more distraught than depraved. But no matter what their status, they were all God’s children and his brethren. [The URANTIA Book, Paper 196, Section 2, Paragraph 9]

In the various teachings on prayer and worship, The URANTIA Book states that prayer is many things, and a very important form of prayer is the expression of thanksgiving. (I highly recommend reading and reflecting on Jesus’ discourse on prayer and worship found in Paper 146, Section 2.)

As I continue to grow spiritually, I experience less of the lower human emotions and more of the higher emotions. I experience the most joy and peace with what The URANTIA Book calls the highest human feelings, the worshipful emotions of gratitude, awe, reverence and humility. [Paper 62, Section 5, Paragraph 4]

I am grateful for so much, but what dominates my gratitude is the realness of God’s presence in my life. No matter how discouraged I get, how frustrated, how tired, I know that God is with me and with this world. I cannot remember ever not knowing of the reality of God’s presence. I just continue to experience it more fully, more completely as each day passes. My faith just gets bigger.

Where did my faith come from? The URANTIA Book states that faith, hope, and assurance are all related; as you live in realistic faith in God, you attain hope in real things of eternal value, not in false illusions, not in temporary fleeting things. With hope in that which is real, you begin to experience assurance, assurance in the presence of God, assurance in the power of truth, beauty, and goodness over evil.

One of the truths taught is that in order to accelerate our ascension we must use faith and be dependent upon revelation. [Paper 19, Section 5, Paragraph 12] I am so thankful for the epochal revelation, for even though I have always had faith in God and have experienced His/Her presence in many ways, since I have begun to study and experience the truths in The URANTIA Book and Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation (found in The Cosmic Family volumes), I have progressed psychospiritually in leaps and bounds, which has resulted in much more personal courage, happiness, and inner peace.

Soon citizens of the United States will celebrate Thanksgiving. Various celebrations of thanksgiving have been practiced through the eras in almost all cultures and religions, for there is innate in human beings a need to express gratitude for that which is good in life. For me, my celebration of thanksgiving is daily.

Father’s Day is Every Day

Presented by Niánn Emerson Chase

to members and guests of Global Community Communications Church at a World-Wide Sunday Service

The State of the Planet

This past Friday-Saturday the Coast to Coast radio program hosted by Art Bell focused on various prophecies that predict the end of most life on this earth. The people calling in especially talked about the predictions of a woman who had been a guest on the show earlier in the week. Though I did not hear her speak on the previous show and am unfamiliar with her writings and teachings, it is my understanding that she claims that in 2003 there will be some kind of catastrophe caused by what she calls “Planet X” which is headed towards our earth. According to her predictions, as a result of the close proximity of Planet X, most of life as we know it will be destroyed.

What stood out for me was that throughout the night, as I drifted in and out of sleep, the individuals that I did hear call in seemed to calmly accept this prophecy and indicated that humankind deserved to be wiped out, that the nature of humans was basically evil, that the terrible state of our planet was due to the bad choices of people throughout the history of humankind, that the evil done by human beings over thousands of years had culminated in the predicted destiny of doom for our world.

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The Universal Father, Mother, and Son are the First Family of the Earth and of the Worlds of Time and Space; They Are the First Environmentalists of the Master Universe, the First Green Team

Presented by Gabriel of Urantia and Niánn Emerson Chase

to members and guests of Global Community Communications Church at a World-Wide Sunday Service

Teaching by Niánn Emerson Chase

In April 2002 many of us enjoyed an inspiring slide show with music, photos, and poetry that focused mainly on the beauty of nature. There were four parts the first a series of pictures of persons and landscape accompanied by a song that praised the presence of God seen and experienced in so many places in life. The second vignette was composed of photos of Yosemite Park with classical music that enhanced our appreciation of the beauty of divine pattern that can be seen in natural settings as well as heard in the notes of music created by one of nature’s products human beings. Framing the scenes and music were the words of the great naturalist and environmentalist, John Muir, who with his words painted pictures of the natural world which a blind person could have seen in his or her mind’s eye while we with sight saw it on the screen. The third section was a result of the “9/11″ tragedy and was a plea in music, photos of people in love and in war, and verbal expression for peaceful avenues in solving the problems of terrorism rather than the violent methods presently being used. The fourth was more personal, with photos of the red rocks of Sedona, works of art found at Cathedral Rock Lodge done by Global Community Communications’s CosmoArtists, and pictures of some of the community members. These local scenes on screen were accompanied by the live flute playing of our own Jeru and a poem read that was written by another of our family, Tarenta. The poem spoke of: love for God; a relationship with Him as a divine Father; joyful appreciation for life and destiny He has given us human beings; and the desire to continually grow in compassion and stewardship for all of life, especially other human beings.

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Communion, Crucifixion and Resurrection

Presented by Niánn Emerson Chase

to members and guests of Global Community Communications Church at a World-Wide Sunday Service

The first thing I want you to do is turn to the person sitting next to you so you’ll be facing them. Take both of the hands of the person you are facing; look into each other’s eyes, and each take a turn sharing with the other what you love about him/her that reflects an aspect of God’s personality. [Some time passes as this activity is done.] Now I want each one of you just to think silently for a couple of seconds. How did that experience make you feel? How did you feel as a the receiver? How did you feel as the giver?

What you all just experienced was a form of communion. What does communion mean? According to the tenth edition of Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary communion means:

mutual participation; the act or instance of sharing; intimate fellowship or rapport. A Christian sacrament in which consecrated bread and wine are consumed as symbols for the realization of a spiritual union between Christ and the communicant.

Derivatives of communion are commune, which means “to communicate intimately;” communicate means “to share, to transmit information, thought or feeling, so that it is satisfactorily received or understood. To open into each other; to connect.” And community means “a unified body of individuals; a body of individuals having something in common. A fellowship.”

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Fear, A Mental Poison

Presented by Niánn Emerson Chase

to members and guests of Global Community Communications Church at a World-Wide Sunday Service

Throughout my life I have observed bright and gifted individuals never really manifest much of their potential because they are afraid. I’ve seen people literally fold up into little psychological balls because of their fear. What do they fear? They fear many things: failure, rejection, abandonment, loneliness, ridicule, being wrong, being ostracized, losing their identity, growing old, and dying. Some fear the uncertainty of the unknown or any kind of major change in their lives; they want everything to stay very much the same. The URANTIA Book has much to say about fear, but I want to briefly focus on two fearful people whom Jesus encountered.

Fortune, the Young Man Who Was Afraid

Jesus was twenty-nine years old at the time and had not yet gone into His public ministry. He had spent a couple of years traveling with a father and seventeen-year-old son from India Gonod and Ganid. This particular day Jesus and young Ganid were walking in some mountains in Crete when they met up with a troubled youth named Fortune who was seeking the solitude of the hills. Fortune was probably near Ganid’s age and was a loner, having difficulty socializing with other people. Words used to describe this teen-ager are: downcast,  fearful,  having a sense of helplessness and inferiority,  experiencing discouragement  and despair.  Read the rest of this entry »

Do You Find God or Does God Find You?

Presented by Niánn Emerson Chase

to members and guests of Global Community Communications Church at a World-Wide Sunday Service

Lately we’ve been watching with the kids documentaries about different animals. Last evening we watched a National Geographic special on wolves. Frankly, often when looking for something worthwhile to see on television we select a program that portrays animal life because the portrayals of human life are not as interesting and or as uplifting. We humans are in a terrible dilemma if the only thing that is worthwhile to see on television many nights are programs about animals. I have often expressed my own disappointments in the mass consciousness of human beings and in the highly complex, technically-developed dominant culture that perpetuates many values not too far above animalism. In fact, at times animals have displayed more humane characteristics than many humans.

In studying the patterns of a pack of wolves, we can see many things that humans have in common with them a strong urge to survive, the ability to adapt in order to stay alive, the tendency to create some form of a society with a group, a hierarchy of leadership within society, the ability to work and play as a team as well as functioning as individuals, displays of concern and tenderness for others of their species as well as actions of extreme cruelty and viciousness. In the program I recently watched, I even observed what I would consider jealousy displayed in some of the wolves.

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