The gifts of the Master are these: freedom, life, hope, new direction, transformation, and intimacy with God. If the cross was the end of the story, we would have no hope. But the cross isn't the end. Jesus didn't escape from death; he conquered it and opened the way to heaven for all who will dare to believe. The truth of this moment, if we let it sweep over us, is stunning. It means Jesus really is who he claimed to be, we are really as lost as he said we are, and he really is the only way for us to intimately and spiritually connect with God again.
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The gifts of the Master are these: freedom, life, hope, new direction, transformation, and intimacy with God. If the cross was the end of the story, we would have no hope. But the cross isn’t the end. Jesus didn’t escape from death; he conquered it and opened the way to heaven for all who will dare to believe. The truth of this moment, if we let it sweep over us, is stunning. It means Jesus really is who he claimed to be, we are really as lost as he said we are, and he really is the only way for us to intimately and spiritually connect with God again.

-Steven James

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The VoyagerWe are all lonely voyagers sailing on life's ebb tide,To a far off place were all stripling warriors have died,Sometime at eve when the tide is low,The voices call us back to the rippling water's flow,Even though our boat sailed with love in our hearts,Neither our dreams or plans would keep heaven far apart,We drift through the hush of God's twilight pale,With no response to our friendly hail,We raise our sails and search for majestic light,While finding company on this journey to the brighten our night,Then suddenly he pulls us through the reef's cutting sea,Back to the place that he asked us to be,Friendly barges that were anchored so sweetly near,In silent sorrow they drop their salted tears,Shall our soul be a feast of kelp and brine,The wasted tales of wishful time,Are we a fish on a line lured with bait,Is life the grind, a heartless fate,Suddenly, "HUSH", said the wind from afar,Have you not looked to the heavens and seen the new star,It danced on the abyss of the evening sky,The sparkle of heaven shining on high,Its whisper echoed on the ocean's spray,From the bow to the mast they heard him say,"Hope is above, not found in the deep,I am alive in your memories and dreams when you sleep,I will greet you at sunset and with the moon's evening smile,I will light your path home.. every last lonely mile,My friends, have no fear, my work was done well,In this life I broke the waves and rode the swell,I found faith in those that I called my crew,My love will be the compass that will see you through,So don't look for me on the ocean's floor to find,I've never left the weathered docks of your loving mind,For I am in the moon, the wind and the whale's evening song,I am the sailor of eternity whose voyage is not gone.

-Shannon L.

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Suppose after all that death does end all. Next to eternal joy, next to being forever with those we love and those who have loved us, next to that, is to be wrapt in the dreamless drapery of eternal peace. Next to eternal life is eternal sleep.Upon the shadowy shore of death the sea of trouble casts no wave. Eyes that have been curtained by the everlasting dark, will never know again the burning touch of tears. Lips touched by eternal silence will never speak again the broken words of grief. Hearts of dust do not break. The dead do not weep. Within the tomb no veiled and weeping sorrow sits, and in the rayless gloom is crouched no shuddering fear.I had rather think of those I have loved, and lost, as having returned to earth, as having become a part of the elemental wealth of the world – I would rather think of them as unconscious dust, I would rather dream of them as gurgling in the streams, floating in the clouds, bursting in the foam of light upon the shores of worlds, I would rather think of them as the lost visions of a forgotten night, than to have even the faintest fear that their naked souls have been clutched by an orthodox god.I will leave my dead where nature leaves them. Whatever flower of hope springs up in my heart I will cherish, I will give it breath of sighs and rain of tears. But I cannot believe that there is any being in this universe who has created a human soul for eternal pain. I would rather that every god would destroy himself; I would rather that we all should go to eternal chaos, to black and starless night, than that just one soul should suffer eternal agony.I have made up my mind that if there is a God, he will be merciful to the merciful.Upon that rock I stand. –That he will not torture the forgiving. –Upon that rock I stand. –That every man should be true to himself, and that there is no world, no star, in which honesty is a crime.Upon that rock I stand.The honest man, the good woman, the happy child, have nothing to fear, either in this world or the world to come.Upon that rock I stand.

-Robert G.

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We read the pagan sacred books with profit and delight. With myth and fable we are ever charmed, and find a pleasure in the endless repetition of the beautiful, poetic, and absurd. We find, in all these records of the past, philosophies and dreams, and efforts stained with tears, of great and tender souls who tried to pierce the mystery of life and death, to answer the eternal questions of the Whence and Whither, and vainly sought to make, with bits of shattered glass, a mirror that would, in very truth, reflect the face and form of Nature's perfect self.These myths were born of hopes, and fears, and tears, and smiles, and they were touched and colored by all there is of joy and grief between the rosy dawn of birth, and death's sad night. They clothed even the stars with passion, and gave to gods the faults and frailties of the sons of men. In them, the winds and waves were music, and all the lakes, and streams, and springs,—the mountains, woods and perfumed dells were haunted by a thousand fairy forms. They thrilled the veins of Spring with tremulous desire; made tawny Summer's billowed breast the throne and home of love; filled Autumns arms with sun-kissed grapes, and gathered sheaves; and pictured Winter as a weak old king who felt, like Lear upon his withered face, Cordelia's tears. These myths, though false, are beautiful, and have for many ages and in countless ways, enriched the heart and kindled thought. But if the world were taught that all these things are true and all inspired of God, and that eternal punishment will be the lot of him who dares deny or doubt, the sweetest myth of all the Fable World would lose its beauty, and become a scorned and hateful thing to every brave and thoughtful man.

-Robert G.

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Like the most of you, I was raised among people who knew - who were certain. They did not reason or investigate. They had no doubts. They knew that they had the truth. In their creed there was no guess — no perhaps. They had a revelation from God. They knew the beginning of things. They knew that God commenced to create one Monday morning, four thousand and four years before Christ. They knew that in the eternity — back of that morning, he had done nothing. They knew that it took him six days to make the earth — all plants, all animals, all life, and all the globes that wheel in space. They knew exactly what he did each day and when he rested. They knew the origin, the cause of evil, of all crime, of all disease and death.At the same time they knew that God created man in his own image and was perfectly satisfied with his work... They knew all about the Flood -- knew that God, with the exception of eight, drowned all his children -- the old and young -- the bowed patriarch and the dimpled babe -- the young man and the merry maiden -- the loving mother and the laughing child -- because his mercy endureth forever. They knew too, that he drowned the beasts and birds -- everything that walked or crawled or flew -- because his loving kindness is over all his works. They knew that God, for the purpose of civilizing his children, had devoured some with earthquakes, destroyed some with storms of fire, killed some with his lightnings, millions with famine, with pestilence, and sacrificed countless thousands upon the fields of war. They knew that it was necessary to believe these things and to love God. They knew that there could be no salvation except by faith, and through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.Then I asked myself the question: Is there a supernatural power -- an arbitrary mind -- an enthroned God -- a supreme will that sways the tides and currents of the world -- to which all causes bow?I do not deny. I do not know - but I do not believe. I believe that the natural is supreme - that from the infinite chain no link can be lost or broken — that there is no supernatural power that can answer prayer - no power that worship can persuade or change — no power that cares for man.Is there a God?I do not know.Is man immortal?I do not know.One thing I do know, and that is, that neither hope, nor fear, belief, nor denial, can change the fact. It is as it is, and it will be as it must be.We can be as honest as we are ignorant. If we are, when asked what is beyond the horizon of the known, we must say that we do not know. We can tell the truth, and we can enjoy the blessed freedom that the brave have won. We can destroy the monsters of superstition, the hissing snakes of ignorance and fear. We can drive from our minds the frightful things that tear and wound with beak and fang. We can civilize our fellow-men. We can fill our lives with generous deeds, with loving words, with art and song, and all the ecstasies of love. We can flood our years with sunshine — with the divine climate of kindness, and we can drain to the last drop the golden cup of joy.

-Robert G.

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A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands; How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he. I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven. Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord, A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropt, Bearing the owner's name someway in the corners, that we may see and remark, and say Whose? Or I guess the grass is itself a child, the produced babe of the vegetation. Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic, And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones, Growing among black folks as among white, Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the same, I receive them the same. And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves. Tenderly will I use you curling grass, It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men, It may be if I had known them I would have loved them, It may be you are from old people, or from offspring taken soon out of their mothers' laps, And here you are the mothers' laps. This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old mothers, Darker than the colorless beards of old men, Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths. O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues, And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths for nothing. ...What do you think has become of the young and old men? And what do you think has become of the women and children? They are alive and well somewhere, The smallest sprout shows there is really no death, And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it, And ceas'd the moment life appear'd. All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses, And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.

-Walt Whitman

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A friend of mine commented yesterday that she has experienced similar insights that I talked about that all enlightened Masters and founders of religion are actually talking about the same ocean, the same invisible life source, the same God. She also said that she worked in a Christan environment at the time that she received these insights, and when she tried to share these insights with the Christians she was accused of being "impure" and of being associated with the "Devil". Christians hold on to the idea that Jesus was the only son of God, without realizing that we are all son's and daughter's of God. By holding on to the idea that Jesus is the only son of God, they do not either to realize that all enlightened Masters are talking about the same God. Jesus did not talk about faith, he talked about trust. He talked about discovering a trust in yourself and in relationship to God. Jesus said that the kingdom of God is within you. In Christianity, the church has become the intermediate between man and God, and people who claim that they have found a direct relationship to God are accused of blasphemy. The Christan church has become a barrier between man and God, and anyone who has declared that he has found a direct relationship to God are immediately banned by the church, for example Master Eckhart and Franciskus of Assisi. I have always had a deep love for Jesus, but it is not the picture of Jesus that the Christian church presents. I was a disciple of Jesus in a former life, and was thrown to the lions in Colosseum in Rome as one of the early Christians. Jesus had many more disciples than the twelve disciples mentioned in The Bible. In this life, I resigned my automatic membership in the church as soon as I could think for myself when I was 15 years old. I was also disgusted with an organization that said that they preached love and which has murdered more people than Hitler. My experience with these rare and precious insights are that they expand our consciousness of reality. They are gradual initiations into reality. They may fade away, but we will never be the same again after receiving them. They will also come more and more, the more committment we have to our spiritual growth.

-Swami Dhyan

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Amy: Oh, typical bloke. Straight to fixing his motor.The Doctor: Well, that's the thing, Amy. I am not a typical bloke.Amy: Sorry, did I do something wrong? 'Cause I'm getting kind of mixed signals here!The Doctor: Mixed signals? How?Amy: Oh, come on. You turn up in the middle of the night, get me out of my bed in my nightie, which you then don't let me change out of for ages, and take me for a spin in your time machine? No, no, you're right, no mixed signals there. That is just a signal! Like a great, big Bat-signal in the sky. "Get your coat, love, the Doctor is in."The Doctor: ... No! No! Nonononononono, it's... not like that. That's not what I'm like!Amy: Then what are you like?The Doctor: I dunno, Gandalf. Like a space Gandalf. Or that little green guy in Star Wars... [spins around, making a lightsaber sound effect]Amy: [stifles a chuckle] You really are not. You. Are. A bloke.The Doctor: I'm the Doctor.Amy: Every room you walk into, you laugh at all the men and show off to all the girls.The Doctor: Do not.Amy: What about Rory? [the Doctor snort-laughs, gesturing toward his nose] You laughed!The Doctor: No, that was just an involuntary snort... of... fondness!Amy: You are a bloke and you don't know it. [puts her arms around him] And here I am to help.The Doctor: [pushing her away] That is not why you're here.Amy: Then why am I here?The Doctor: Because! [lowers his voice] Because I can't see it anymore.Amy: See what?The Doctor: I'm 907. After a while... you just can't see it!Amy: See what?The Doctor: Everything! I look at a star and it's just a big ball of burning gas and I know how it began and I know how it ends and I was probably there both times. After a while, everything is just stuff! That's the problem. You make all of space and time your backyard and what do you have? A backyard. But you, you can see it. And when you see it, I see it.Amy: And that's the only reason you took me with you?The Doctor: There are worse reasons.Amy: [snorts] I was certainly hoping so. [pause] Does that mean I'm not the first, then? There've been others travelling with you?The Doctor: [chuckles nervously] Yeah, sure. Loads of 'em, but just friends. You know, chums, pals, mates, buddies--not mates, forget mates.Amy: And out of all those friends, how many would you say, just out of curiosity, were girls?The Doctor: [getting increasingly uncomfortable] Oh... some of them, I suppose. Must have been.Amy: "Some?"The Doctor: It's hard to tell. It's a grey area.Amy: Under half, over half?The Doctor: Probably... slightly... a little bit over?Amy: Hmm. Young?The Doctor: Everyone's young, compared to me.Amy: [chuckles] Hot?The Doctor: No, no no no no no no, none of them. Not really. Not at all. Probably not... [scratches his cheek nervously] ... maybe one or two. I didn't really notice.Amy: Well, this big ol' machine must have some kind of visual records.The Doctor: Oh, god, I mean no--and anyway, they're voice-locked!Amy: [laughs] Oh, voice-locked. So I'd just have to say... "Show me all visual records of previous TARDIS inhabitants?"The Doctor: No, nonono, I mean voice-locked. I would have to say, "Show me all visual records of previous TARDIS inhabitants."Amy: A Thank you.The Doctor: No, no! No! No![The TARDIS makes some noises as pictures of past female companions flip by on the viewscreen]Amy: Ha-ha! Ooh, Gandalf!The Doctor: [to the TARDIS] Thanks. Thanks, dear. Miss out the metal dog, why don't you?Amy: Is that a leather bikini? [pictures of Leela start to flip by]The Doctor: Right! That's it. Rory. We're going to find Rory, and we're gonna find him now!Amy: He's at his stag night.The Doctor: Well, then. Let's make it a great one.

-Toby Whithouse

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