From the BlogMeet Ron

AUGUST 22,2017 OUR GROUP 23 OF MORNING HOTSHOTS

AUGUST 22,2017 OUR GROUP 23 OF MORNING HOTSHOTS
DAILY
 
TURNING NEGATIVE TO POSITIVE 
Our spiritual and emotional growth in A.A. does not depend so deeply upon success as it does upon our failures and setbacks.  If you will bear this in mind, I think that your slip will have the effect of kicking you upstairs, instead of down.
AS BILL SEES IT, p.  184 
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VERNON HOWARD
 
“Spiritual teachings alone can give you what is lastingly
pleasurable, healthy, inspirational, and guiding. Now there’s
enough to think about for the rest of the evening and into the
weekend.
 
How many of you heard what I just said, or were you thinking
about something else or do you think that you know better than
that? You don’t know better than that, and if you unconsciously
think so you better bring it up so that you can see that you’ve
objected already in the first statement I made.
 
I’m not being cranky toward you. I want you to know that you’re
not listening to me. I can detect it right now that you’re not
hearing me and now you’ll hear a little better. I said spiritual
principles, teachings, ideas, facts, they alone can give you what
is pleasurable, authentically pleasurable, and will guide you — and
then I added the word lastingly, all the time.
 
Your TV program won’t give you everlasting pleasure, your dreams
about your future conquests and acquisitions can’t give you ever-
lasting pleasure. You can only have thoughts about them and inside
you know they are only thoughts and that’s why you live in despair.
Because you do not have a spiritual life and worse than that, you
think that what you now have is it and the only thing there is.”
from a talk given 7/10/1987
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DAILY REFLECTIONS

SEEKING EMOTIONAL STABILITY
When we developed still more, we discovered the best possible source of emotional stability to be God Himself. We found that dependence upon His perfect justice, forgiveness, and love was healthy, and that it would work where nothing else would. If we really depended upon God, we couldn’t very well play God to our fellows nor would we feel the urge wholly to rely on human protection and care.
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 116
All my life I depended on people for my emotional needs and security, but today I cannot live that way anymore. By the grace of God, I have admitted my powerlessness over people, places and things. I had been a real “people addict”; wherever I went there had to be someone who would pay some kind of attention to me. It was the kind of attitude that could only get worse, because the more I depended on others and demanded attention, the less I received.
I have given up believing that any human power can relieve me of that empty feeling. Although I remain a fragile human being who needs to work A.A.’s Steps to keep this particular principle before my personality, it is only a loving God who can give me inner peace and emotional stability.
From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by
Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
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“Never limit your view of life by any past experience.” 
― Ernest Holmes
 
The first thing I want to do is fight, 
I have these feelings that go to my brain. 
It takes years for them to get to my frontal lobe. 
Anonymous 
 
“Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.”
John Lennon
 
If you want to become  fearless choose love.
Rune Lazuli 
 
ACIM Workbook Lesson 235 Insights
“God in His mercy wills that I be saved.”
What God wills is what is true. What God wills is what is real. God is Love and Love extends only Love. We are all extensions of Love and only this is what is true. This is what is real. As we were created as Love, we are still perfect and innocent. This is God’s Will.
 
We are saved because it is God’s Will and what is not God’s Will cannot exist. Our remembrance of this brings to our awareness the truth that we are Love immersed in Love. We are safe in Love and this cannot change because only Love is real. Illusions of separation from Love could never be real. That is why we are saved.
 
In truth we were never lost. In illusions of separation we can believe we are lost. But as soon as we are willing to lay these illusions down, we will see that Love could never change and be the opposite of Love. Love is constant. Love is eternal. We are saved because we are Love and God’s Will ensures that this is true.
 
Let me remember this today. When I stray to thinking that something other than Love has really happened, let me return to remembering that only Love is real. Remembering the truth brings happiness, joy and peace. I will to align my will with God’s Will. I will to remember the truth.
 
One of the central ideas offered repeatedly in the Course is that thoughts do not and cannot leave their source. If their source is reality, they remain in reality. If their source is illusion, they remain illusions. If their Source is Love, they remain Love. That is why it is God’s Will that I be saved. It is simply another way of saying that I cannot leave my Source.
 
To be my Self I must remain Love as I was created and Which I am still one with. I cannot leave Love. God is happiness. I cannot truly leave happiness. I can be unaware of happiness if I believe in an illusion of being separate. But happiness still surrounds me and remains what I am.
 
Belief in illusion can make it appear that there is a force opposing the Will of God. Most religions of the world incorporate this idea of a dark side that opposes God.
This dark side is always engaged in battle and God must be constantly defending against it.
 
One of the essential ingredients for movies to be successful at the box office is that they must in some way incorporate conflict between the light and the dark. Without that conflict, it is not interesting enough to draw an audience. The ego thrives on conflict because conflict appears to make the dark side real. And so it appears in most religions of the world.
 
I am not aware of any other teaching that says the dark side, the fallen angel, any seeming force opposing God cannot be real. Yet it is the recognition of its unreality that brings us freedom. It releases us from illusions so we may once again know God’s Will for us is perfect happiness.
 
We have never and could never leave our Source. We remain in happiness, in Love, in God, untainted by any illusion of separation or guilt. This is so because thoughts leave not their source and I am grateful this is so.
 
© 2003, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
You may freely share copies of this with your friends, provided this copyright notice and website address are included.
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“If you don’t invite God to be your summer Guest,
He won’t come in the winter of your life.” 
― Paramahansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi

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The Urantia Book
Paper 187
 
The Crucifixion
187:0.1 (2004.1) AFTER the two brigands had been made ready, the soldiers, under the direction of a centurion, started for the scene of the crucifixion. The centurion in charge of these twelve soldiers was the same captain who had led forth the Roman soldiers the previous night to arrest Jesus in Gethsemane. It was the Roman custom to assign four soldiers for each person to be crucified. The two brigands were properly scourged before they were taken out to be crucified, but Jesus was given no further physical punishment; the captain undoubtedly thought he had already been sufficiently scourged, even before his condemnation.
 
187:0.2 (2004.2) The two thieves crucified with Jesus were associates of Barabbas and would later have been put to death with their leader if he had not been released as the Passover pardon of Pilate. Jesus was thus crucified in the place of Barabbas.
 
187:0.3 (2004.3) What Jesus is now about to do, submit to death on the cross, he does of his own free will. In foretelling this experience, he said: “The Father loves and sustains me because I am willing to lay down my life. But I will take it up again. No one takes my life away from me — I lay it down of myself. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up. I have received such a commandment from my Father.”
 
187:0.4 (2004.4) It was just before nine o’clock this morning when the soldiers led Jesus from the praetorium on the way to Golgotha. They were followed by many who secretly sympathized with Jesus, but most of this group of two hundred or more were either his enemies or curious idlers who merely desired to enjoy the shock of witnessing the crucifixions. Only a few of the Jewish leaders went out to see Jesus die on the cross. Knowing that he had been turned over to the Roman soldiers by Pilate, and that he was condemned to die, they busied themselves with their meeting in the temple, whereat they discussed what should be done with his followers.
 
1. On the Way to Golgotha
 
187:1.1 (2004.5) Before leaving the courtyard of the praetorium, the soldiers placed the crossbeam on Jesus’ shoulders. It was the custom to compel the condemned man to carry the crossbeam to the site of the crucifixion. Such a condemned man did not carry the whole cross, only this shorter timber. The longer and upright pieces of timber for the three crosses had already been transported to Golgotha and, by the time of the arrival of the soldiers and their prisoners, had been firmly implanted in the ground.
 
187:1.2 (2004.6) According to custom the captain led the procession, carrying small white boards on which had been written with charcoal the names of the criminals and the nature of the crimes for which they had been condemned. For the two thieves the centurion had notices which gave their names, underneath which was written the one word, “Brigand.” It was the custom, after the victim had been nailed to the crossbeam and hoisted to his place on the upright timber, to nail this notice to the top of the cross, just above the head of the criminal, that all witnesses might know for what crime the condemned man was being crucified. The legend which the centurion carried to put on the cross of Jesus had been written by Pilate himself in Latin, Greek, and Aramaic, and it read: “Jesus of Nazareth — the King of the Jews.”
 
187:1.3 (2005.1) Some of the Jewish authorities who were yet present when Pilate wrote this legend made vigorous protest against calling Jesus the “king of the Jews.” But Pilate reminded them that such an accusation was part of the charge which led to his condemnation. When the Jews saw they could not prevail upon Pilate to change his mind, they pleaded that at least it be modified to read, “He said, ‘I am the king of the Jews.’” But Pilate was adamant; he would not alter the writing. To all further supplication he only replied, “What I have written, I have written.”
 
187:1.4 (2005.2) Ordinarily, it was the custom to journey to Golgotha by the longest road in order that a large number of persons might view the condemned criminal, but on this day they went by the most direct route to the Damascus gate, which led out of the city to the north, and following this road, they soon arrived at Golgotha, the official crucifixion site of Jerusalem. Beyond Golgotha were the villas of the wealthy, and on the other side of the road were the tombs of many well-to-do Jews.
 
187:1.5 (2005.3) Crucifixion was not a Jewish mode of punishment. Both the Greeks and the Romans learned this method of execution from the Phoenicians. Even Herod, with all his cruelty, did not resort to crucifixion. The Romans never crucified a Roman citizen; only slaves and subject peoples were subjected to this dishonorable mode of death. During the siege of Jerusalem, just forty years after the crucifixion of Jesus, all of Golgotha was covered by thousands upon thousands of crosses upon which, from day to day, there perished the flower of the Jewish race. A terrible harvest, indeed, of the seed-sowing of this day.
 
187:1.6 (2005.4) As the death procession passed along the narrow streets of Jerusalem, many of the tenderhearted Jewish women who had heard Jesus’ words of good cheer and compassion, and who knew of his life of loving ministry, could not refrain from weeping when they saw him being led forth to such an ignoble death. As he passed by, many of these women bewailed and lamented. And when some of them even dared to follow along by his side, the Master turned his head toward them and said: “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but rather weep for yourselves and for your children. My work is about done — soon I go to my Father — but the times of terrible trouble for Jerusalem are just beginning. Behold, the days are coming in which you shall say: Blessed are the barren and those whose breasts have never suckled their young. In those days will you pray the rocks of the hills to fall on you in order that you may be delivered from the terrors of your troubles.”
 
187:1.7 (2005.5) These women of Jerusalem were indeed courageous to manifest sympathy for Jesus, for it was strictly against the law to show friendly feelings for one who was being led forth to crucifixion. It was permitted the rabble to jeer, mock, and ridicule the condemned, but it was not allowed that any sympathy should be expressed. Though Jesus appreciated the manifestation of sympathy in this dark hour when his friends were in hiding, he did not want these kindhearted women to incur the displeasure of the authorities by daring to show compassion in his behalf. Even at such a time as this Jesus thought little about himself, only of the terrible days of tragedy ahead for Jerusalem and the whole Jewish nation.
 
187:1.8 (2006.1) As the Master trudged along on the way to the crucifixion, he was very weary; he was nearly exhausted. He had had neither food nor water since the Last Supper at the home of Elijah Mark; neither had he been permitted to enjoy one moment of sleep. In addition, there had been one hearing right after another up to the hour of his condemnation, not to mention the abusive scourgings with their accompanying physical suffering and loss of blood. Superimposed upon all this was his extreme mental anguish, his acute spiritual tension, and a terrible feeling of human loneliness.
 
187:1.9 (2006.2) Shortly after passing through the gate on the way out of the city, as Jesus staggered on bearing the crossbeam, his physical strength momentarily gave way, and he fell beneath the weight of his heavy burden. The soldiers shouted at him and kicked him, but he could not arise. When the captain saw this, knowing what Jesus had already endured, he commanded the soldiers to desist. Then he ordered a passerby, one Simon from Cyrene, to take the crossbeam from Jesus’ shoulders and compelled him to carry it the rest of the way to Golgotha.
 
187:1.10 (2006.3) This man Simon had come all the way from Cyrene, in northern Africa, to attend the Passover. He was stopping with other Cyrenians just outside the city walls and was on his way to the temple services in the city when the Roman captain commanded him to carry Jesus’ crossbeam. Simon lingered all through the hours of the Master’s death on the cross, talking with many of his friends and with his enemies. After the resurrection and before leaving Jerusalem, he became a valiant believer in the gospel of the kingdom, and when he returned home, he led his family into the heavenly kingdom. His two sons, Alexander and Rufus, became very effective teachers of the new gospel in Africa. But Simon never knew that Jesus, whose burden he bore, and the Jewish tutor who once befriended his injured son, were the same person.
 
187:1.11 (2006.4) It was shortly after nine o’clock when this procession of death arrived at Golgotha, and the Roman soldiers set themselves about the task of nailing the two brigands and the Son of Man to their respective crosses.
 
2. The Crucifixion
 
187:2.1 (2006.5) The soldiers first bound the Master’s arms with cords to the crossbeam, and then they nailed his hands to the wood. When they had hoisted this crossbeam up on the post, and after they had nailed it securely to the upright timber of the cross, they bound and nailed his feet to the wood, using one long nail to penetrate both feet. The upright timber had a large peg, inserted at the proper height, which served as a sort of saddle for supporting the body weight. The cross was not high, the Master’s feet being only about three feet from the ground. He was therefore able to hear all that was said of him in derision and could plainly see the expression on the faces of all those who so thoughtlessly mocked him. And also could those present easily hear all that Jesus said during these hours of lingering torture and slow death.
 
187:2.2 (2007.1) It was the custom to remove all clothes from those who were to be crucified, but since the Jews greatly objected to the public exposure of the naked human form, the Romans always provided a suitable loin cloth for all persons crucified at Jerusalem. Accordingly, after Jesus’ clothes had been removed, he was thus garbed before he was put upon the cross.
 
187:2.3 (2007.2) Crucifixion was resorted to in order to provide a cruel and lingering punishment, the victim sometimes not dying for several days. There was considerable sentiment against crucifixion in Jerusalem, and there existed a society of Jewish women who always sent a representative to crucifixions for the purpose of offering drugged wine to the victim in order to lessen his suffering. But when Jesus tasted this narcotized wine, as thirsty as he was, he refused to drink it. The Master chose to retain his human consciousness until the very end. He desired to meet death, even in this cruel and inhuman form, and conquer it by voluntary submission to the full human experience.
 
187:2.4 (2007.3) Before Jesus was put on his cross, the two brigands had already been placed on their crosses, all the while cursing and spitting upon their executioners. Jesus’ only words, as they nailed him to the crossbeam, were, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” He could not have so mercifully and lovingly interceded for his executioners if such thoughts of affectionate devotion had not been the mainspring of all his life of unselfish service. The ideas, motives, and longings of a lifetime are openly revealed in a crisis.
 
187:2.5 (2007.4) After the Master was hoisted on the cross, the captain nailed the title up above his head, and it read in three languages, “Jesus of Nazareth — the King of the Jews.” The Jews were infuriated by this believed insult. But Pilate was chafed by their disrespectful manner; he felt he had been intimidated and humiliated, and he took this method of obtaining petty revenge. He could have written “Jesus, a rebel.” But he well knew how these Jerusalem Jews detested the very name of Nazareth, and he was determined thus to humiliate them. He knew that they would also be cut to the very quick by seeing this executed Galilean called “The King of the Jews.”
 
187:2.6 (2007.5) Many of the Jewish leaders, when they learned how Pilate had sought to deride them by placing this inscription on the cross of Jesus, hastened out to Golgotha, but they dared not attempt to remove it since the Roman soldiers were standing on guard. Not being able to remove the title, these leaders mingled with the crowd and did their utmost to incite derision and ridicule, lest any give serious regard to the inscription.
 
187:2.7 (2007.6) The Apostle John, with Mary the mother of Jesus, Ruth, and Jude, arrived on the scene just after Jesus had been hoisted to his position on the cross, and just as the captain was nailing the title above the Master’s head. John was the only one of the eleven apostles to witness the crucifixion, and even he was not present all of the time since he ran into Jerusalem to bring back his mother and her friends soon after he had brought Jesus’ mother to the scene.
 
187:2.8 (2007.7) As Jesus saw his mother, with John and his brother and sister, he smiled but said nothing. Meanwhile the four soldiers assigned to the Master’s crucifixion, as was the custom, had divided his clothes among them, one taking the sandals, one the turban, one the girdle, and the fourth the cloak. This left the tunic, or seamless vestment reaching down to near the knees, to be cut up into four pieces, but when the soldiers saw what an unusual garment it was, they decided to cast lots for it. Jesus looked down on them while they divided his garments, and the thoughtless crowd jeered at him.
 
187:2.9 (2008.1) It was well that the Roman soldiers took possession of the Master’s clothing. Otherwise, if his followers had gained possession of these garments, they would have been tempted to resort to superstitious relic worship. The Master desired that his followers should have nothing material to associate with his life on earth. He wanted to leave mankind only the memory of a human life dedicated to the high spiritual ideal of being consecrated to doing the Father’s will.
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Sincerely,
Ron Richey
 545 Queen St.#701
Honolulu, Hi 96813

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