A Study of First Thessalonians: The Model Chruch

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Demarest tells his readers that for help in spiritual formation we are to “turn to our Christian past – to men and women who understood how the soul finds satisfaction as we grow in God, and how His Spirit finds a more ready home in us.” [8] And just who are these people to whom we are supposed to turn?” Demarest suggests John of the Cross, Henri Nouwen, Francis of Assisi, Teresa of Avila, the desert fathers and mothers, and the Christians mystics. [9] Other highly touted mystics include Thomas Keating, Thomas Merton, Francis De Sales, Thomas Kelly, Madame Guyon, Theophan the Recluse, Ignatius of Loyola, Meister Eckhart, and Julian of Norwich.

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The Practice of Piety

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Even as we walk by faith and mature spiritually, the Holy Spirit witnesses to an ongoing, marvelous work of God, which is our adoption into God's family. "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba [Daddy], Father. Sacraments are generally held to have been instituted by Jesus Christ, although in some cases this point is debated. The search which often leads people to the New Age is a genuine yearning: for a deeper spirituality, for something which will touch their hearts, and for a way of making sense of a confusing and often alienating world.

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Finding God in Unexpected Places

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Many families are suffering from such issues as separation, turmoil, selfishness and for some, domestic violence. The question I ponder the most these days is �why?�� Why are we here?� What game are we playing?� Why this universe?� It is the unfathomable question.� All the same, many sources hint at it, although I wonder if they really know, either.� Virtually every mystical source agrees that beyond the physical plane, time and space largely do not exist.� They are artificial constructs used to create this dimension, which is ultimately illusory.� There is also plenty of firsthand human testimony regarding that phenomenon.� People who clinically die and are revived report reviewing their entire lives, in greater detail than is seemingly possible, in mere instants of Earth time. [29] � The further that physical beings �progress� on �the other side,� the less their existence has time-like and space-like attributes, to eventually be abandoned, much as a child bicyclist eventually abandons training wheels.� With that limitation acknowledged, I will write in time and space terms, as I live in a dimension where it defines our existence.� In the begin ning, the Creator gave birth to an immense number of beings, somewhere on the order of the number of stars in the observable universe (200 billion multiplied by one trillion), and perhaps a truly infinite number.� They were the Creator�s playmates, in a sense fashioned from the Creator�s rib.� There was no physical reality as we know it.� All beings had free will, and creation was one big celebration, and everyone laughed and played.� All were equal to the Creator, as everybody was made from the same �stuff.�� One day, a being played a game of creating a hierarchy, and said to his pals: �Give your will to me.� Free will can be burdensome, and I have a special ability to handle it.� If you give your will to me, I will take care of it, making your decisions for you, and making your existence easier.�� Some say that the being made his pitch at the Creator�s request. [30] � Others say that the being was an outside agent, seeming to come from outside creation.� That being�s sales pitch was well done, but about 99% of the Creator�s playmates replied with something like: �Thank you for your offer, but I think that my will is something I am supposed to manage by myself.� Yes, some decisions seem difficult, but if I do not make them, I think I will diminish myself (and hence creation) in some way.� Your offer is generous and noble, but I think that I am better off making my own decisions.� After eons of recruiting effort, that being welcomed about 1% of the creator�s playmates to his new program.� The new recruits gave their free will to that being.� A hierarchy was created, and that being managed the free will of that 1%, and other beings helped him.� It developed into a hierarchy, with that recruiter at the top, the helping levels below him, and those giving away their free will at the bottom.� Eventually, those at the bottom gave away virtually all of their free will to the hierarchy.� Free will was an essential component of the Creator, and when those beings gave away their free will, they also lost other given attributes, particularly their awareness.� In Judeo-Christian circles, that loss of awareness is known as �The Fall.�� That being who invented and recruited others to his hierarchy is known as Lucifer in those circles, and that time of carefree play is known as the Garden of Eden.� The tale has been greatly distorted in Genesis, with women being blamed for The Fall, the sin was seeking knowledge, the Garden of Eden was in today�s Middle East, and that tempter was in the form of a snake, as the serpent was the symbol of women thousands of years ago .� The Fall took a long time.� As everybody has free will, the Creator could not infringe upon what transpired, even if his playmates gave their will away.� Even though he cautioned that 1%, he had to watch them abdicate their will and gradually lose their awareness.� They devolved to a state that had not been seen before.� Whether Lucifer did it at the Creator�s bidding or not does not alter today�s situation.� If Lucifer did the Creator�s bidding, however, I am not currently happy about it, because I am a member of that fallen 1%. [31] � Was it a test that God invented?� Did we ask to take the test?� Did we think we could become creators, and God replied, �So, you think you want to be a creator?� I have a little test, to determine if you are ready.�� If it happened somewhat like that, at this time I question my wisdom.� Life on Earth is not my idea of a good time, having lost awareness and a seeming lack of free will, not continually bathing in the love that is a natural part of the �other side� and being at the mercy of forces seemingly beyond my control.

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Dance Lessons for Zombies

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The word of God then is our delight and counselor, as the last verse says. Prayer is one of the greatest privileges we have as a child of God. So it is that in the normal Christian life the believer needs regular spiritual nourishment if he is to maintain spiritual health. Protect your children from sensory overload, which means in particular, protecting them from too much television. Seth said that there is no division of the self, which is another way of saying that creation is one.� Nevertheless, each particle of creation has its individual integrity, and every atom has its divine awareness.� Seth says that the bedrock of our reality, its most elementary component, is a unit of consciousness, which is far, far smaller than an atom or any subatomic particle yet identified.� In the fragmentation of awareness of which physical reality represents the lowest level, many levels of awareness, wholeness, and fragmentation exist. �An electron in a squirrel�s toe has an awareness of itself, its role in the oxygen atom it is part of, its role in the water molecule it belongs to, the cell it helps comprise, the muscle it is part of, the squirrel it is part of, the squirrel species it is part of, the planet it is part of, the solar system it is part of, the galaxy it is part of, and the universe it is part of.� They all build upon each other, all part of the whole, similar to an onion�s skin.� The package of consciousness that concerns humans is commonly called the soul, which manages the growth of awareness through the physical plane for sentient beings.� Every human being is part of a soul, or as it is stated more commonly, each human has a soul.� Michael calls human beings fragments.� According to Michael�s view of creation, an earthbound human is generally one of more than one hundred lives that a soul experiences on the physical plane.� In the grand plan of regaining fallen awareness, souls help integrate the growing awareness.� Michael�s conception of a soul is probably not the same thing as those who gave away their free will to begin The Fall, but it could be considered close.� The entity that Paddy McMahon dealt with seems to equate the two. [32] � Virtually every piece of mystical material admits that reincarnation is a fact.� The mystical branches of the Judeo-Christian religions, specifically the Rosicrucians, Sufis, and Cabbalists (the mystical branches of Christianity, Islam and Judaism) all taught reincarnation as a fact, while their orthodox counterparts denied it.� On the other side of the veil, the closer a personality is to earthly life, the less it is aware of its soul, or other Earth lives its soul has lived.� Although the heavily edited New Testament removed more than half of Jesus�s life, and probably many references to reincarnation, Jesus�s statement that John the Baptist was Elijah returned to human form has survived. [33] � The plan to regain awareness is a vast one that no earthly awareness can fully comprehend.� Even the exalted awareness that Jesus and Buddha manifested can only hint at the big picture.� Physical reality is where awareness grows at its most elementary level.� The lessons learned at the physical reality level are essential for the progressing levels of awareness, similar to a three-year-old�s lessons of caring for himself being essential lessons that see him through his earthly life.� Everything on the physical plane has correspondence to �higher� planes.� The most beautiful tree on Earth is a drab reflection of how it appears in higher planes.� The most profound and intense love that we ever feel for our loved ones barely hints at the magnitude of love that permeates the higher planes, and it is as available as the air we breathe.� The physical plane is the most rudimentary manifestation of the higher planes� principles.� Numerology studies the mystical significance of numbers.� Numbers are not only for scientists and accountants, but a reflection of the higher planes, and today�s mathematics is merely one of many ways to deal with numbers.� There are perhaps an infinite number of valid mathematics systems, and we could glimpse many that would have little or no meaning to our minds.� Nevertheless, there are many significances to numbers that go well beyond what scientists think of them, with one, two, three, four and five having a great deal of mystical significance.� If there was a �divine� number, however, it might be seven.� There are many systems of thought in which the number seven has special significance (seven chakras, seven deadly sins, sacred seven prayers, seven days of the week, seven colors of the rainbow, etc.).� The Michael teachings are oriented around the number seven, and can be useful in helping understand the soul�s journey through the physical plane. � The Michael teachings define the soul as an entity that inhabits the astral plane.� The astral plane is the one just �above� the physical plane.� The soul that Michael describes �gives birth� to about 120 personalities that inhabit the physical plane.� Some souls live only one earthly life, others live thousands, and some never do.� It is up to the soul.� Again, there is not time as it is thought of past the physical plane, and the soul�s 120 personalities all exist at once as far as the soul is concerned, similar to leaves on a tree.� However, the physical plane has been set up with linear time, so part of the soul�s awareness experiences those lifetimes in linear sequence, and each experience builds on the other, as the soul�s awareness �grows� through the physical plane.� The soul grows in awareness with each physical life lived.� The astral plane is where souls rest, learn, and plan between lives.� When people have NDEs, out-of-body experiences, or visions of heaven, they are generally describing the astral plane.� In a paradoxical fashion that earthly brains cannot fully comprehend, souls �invest� themselves in each earthly personality that they give birth to.� The soul experiences each physical lifetime and learns the lessons it provides, although the earthly personality has little or no conscious awareness of the soul that gave it birth.� On one hand, that does not seem very fair.� On the other, the �on its own� aspect of the earthly personality allows it to develop in its own right.� When the earthly personality leaves physical reality, it comes back to the astral plane and is eventually reunited with the soul, but it might take quite some �time.�� Just as every atom has its own awareness and �soul,� so does each human being.� The human soul is no �better� than the atom�s �soul,� as all are ultimately made of the Creator, and are the Creator.� Even so, the human soul is much �larger� and more complicated and evolved than the atom�s soul, just as the soul is a more evolved and complicated entity than an earthly personality.� That does not detract from the integrity of each atom or human personality, however.� Each soul eventually becomes part of a larger entity on the plane �above� the astral plane, called the causal plane.� Michael claims to be an entity composed of more than 1,000 souls.� With each soul living more than 100 lives, the Michael entity draws upon the experience of more than 100,000 human lifetimes to inform his perspective.� The further the entity integrates on its way back to the godhead and full awareness, the less �personality� it possesses, so Michael has a clinical detachment and dry sense of humor, mostly confined to puns.� Michael hails from the middle of the causal plane, and is thus called a mid-causal entity.� Seth has also been called a mid-causal entity.� Seth evidences far more personality than Michael does, perhaps partly because Jane Roberts is part of the Seth entity, as he is her �big brother.�� Many people channel the Michael entity, but each interacts with a slightly different facet.� One person may channel a facet composed of 50 souls of Michael�s 1050, while another person channels a �subgroup� of 40 others.� It, combined with different channels, gives the Michael material a slightly different flavor, depending on who channels it.� The Michael teachings correspond to many others, such as Gurdjieff�s, the Indian caste system, and others (the caste system being a badly distorted corruption of valid perspectives, as all systems in a world of scarcity tend to become).� When souls begin the long journey, they choose a �role,� which is a common theme in mystical material.� Seth discussed �speakers� as one of the permanent roles that some souls choose, while Alexander describes a system quite similar to Michael�s.� In Michael�s view, a soul will choose one of seven roles: artisan, server, warrior, scholar, sage, priest, and king.� Each has its own orientation and awareness, and each soul will always have its initially-chosen role.� Each role has its strengths and vulnerabilities.� Each role progresses through its ages and its awareness expands as it �grows� older.� Michael teaches that there are seven soul awarenesses, or �ages,� with seven levels within each �age.�� On the astral plane, the soul is aware of all of its physical lives, but as the physical plane journey progresses with its linear time, each personality is somewhat aware of its �earlier� lives, and builds upon that awareness with each succeeding life.� The �grand plan� to regain awareness has been designed so that no soul can �backslide� all that far.� We cannot really �fail.�� That is apparently part of the Creator�s compassion.� No soul can become so lost that it cannot get back home.� We have free will, but it is constrained by some fairly narrow parameters on the physical plane: we cannot remember our nightly trips back to the astral plane, we generally cannot recall our past lives, we must eat to sustain our bodies, gravity makes us earthbound, the love energy that comprises the very atmosphere on the higher planes is not obvious here, we feel pain, and must die one day.

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Every Believer's Guide To The Supernatural

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But an even higher percentage of Muslims (34%) were younger than 15. At Christian Life you will appreciate our high standard of Christ-centered academic excellence by dedicated, professional staff. We will feel the criticism but we will not be incapacitated by it. In some instances, “faith” is actually on a false foundation and not true saving faith after all. Subscribe to our Compelling Mail Newsletter: Spiritual growth is the process of becoming more mature in one's relationship with Jesus Christ.

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Enter through the Eastern Gate

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Indifference caused 5 virgins to be left outside of their wedding because they were unprepared. Clear away any negative thoughts or limiting beliefs standing in the way of your progress. Hence we cannot condemn anyone, and nobody needs forgiveness. Shaped by the Word: The Power of Scripture in Spiritual Formation. It will provide you with good information about the process/phases of both the education courses and application for certification. A sacred power spot by the American Indians, a former Shaker community and now home of Sufi Order International, Seven Pillars House of Wisdom, and Flying Deer Nature Center, as well as The Abode Retreat Center and community.

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Understanding The Call of God (God's Gifts and Calling

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Satan has “owned him” and has tortured him the whole of his life it seems. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. He chased me, threatening my life, I slipped in a hole and fractured an ankle. A series of laboratory tests were conducted which led to the attending physician is recommendation for a developmental pediatrician’s assessment. Congratulations, you have completed the Spiritual Gifts Test!

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The Second Most Important Prayer

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One can end with spiritual growth for both parties and a deeper understanding of scripture and the nature of God. I still get the majority of hits from ROL so improvements will only make that even better. But the great mystery is “Christ in you” is “the hope of glory.” I in you and you in me is the great principle. While it is inevitable that we will become distracted in life, it is most important that we remember to stay focused on God and His ways.

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The Seeing Transformation

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In the New Testament, Jesus treats the Old Testament as authoritative and says it "cannot be broken" in John 10:34–36. 2 Peter 2 Pet 1:20–21 says that "no prophecy of Scripture ... was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" That epistle also claims divine authority for the Apostles in verse 3:2 and includes Paul's letters as being counted with the Scriptures in verse 3:16.

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The Curious Christian: How Discovering Wonder Enriches Every

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This affirmation was expressed by participating in a nonjudgmental, supportive, “risk-taking ” endeavor to study the Scriptures, to pray together, and to seek the well-being of all for the glory of Christ. It has opened a way for scholars to examine and explore spiritual formation in different stages of our lives, our action and reactions, and how the church should equip us to face these issues (Fowler 2000; Hagberg and Guelich 2005). Omnipresence —That God is the supreme being, existing everywhere and at all times; the all-perceiving or all-conceiving foundation of reality.

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