Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…….

Say: “I am filled with the peace, strength, power and decision of Sprit…. The all-powerful Mind of the Indwelling Christ in me dissolves and dissipates from my mind  all belief in indecision, anxiety.” Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind, page 245.

We all make decisions every day; some major, some minor. Do I put this old shirt in the Keep, Donate, or Toss bin? Or should I cut it up to use as cleaning rags? Should we sell our house and if we do, where will we move? Should we rent or should we buy a new place? What decision will yield the best outcome?

Some people have a harder time than others in making decisions. I learned to not ask someone with ADD (attention deficit disorder) an open-ended question such as ‘What do you want to eat?’ They function better with a clear choice – ‘Do you want chicken or spaghetti for dinner?’

Dr. Raymond Charles Barker was a long-time leader in the Religious Science spiritual movement. He wrote many books, including The Power of Decision, which provides a step-by-step program to overcome indecision. Its 270 pages are filled with spiritual mind treatments and affirmative messages to say to oneself. Dr. Barker thoroughly details how we use creative intelligence to effect positive changes. He writes, “A decision alerts the subconscious energies that a sound and solid idea is being accepted by the conscious mind. Upon that acceptance, the law of consciousness acts and a new event or situation is born….. A correct definition of a spiritually acclimated individual is one whose conscious mind, operating in the field of subconscious creative intelligence gives it creative decisions which it then produces as experience.”

His program relies on intention as he encourages that we:

• Make a depth decision to be happy

• Decide to live richly

• Decide to be healthy

• Decide to be creative

I found this book to be full of wisdom. It is clear that indecision is actually a decision. He points out that worry always begets indecision. How we think and feel determines our place in life. All intelligence exists in our consciousness and awaits our call upon it. At the center of our mind is the clear decision we should make. His most popular book, God is Money, states “Money is God in action, and it takes money to put God into action.”

One of his spiritual mind treatments:

There is one originating Intelligence, Mind, and Spirit, and I am Its action, Its outlet, and Its process of revealing Itself. It knows me as Itself, and I know myself as It. Therefore, I am never indecisive. I always have the right idea at the right time. Infinite Intelligence in me knows what to do, and this knowledge is mine at every instant. Original thinking pervades my consciousness, and I am correctly decisive regarding all matters. I know what I need to know at the instant I need to know it. The results of this correct knowing of original ideas bring forth new and improved situations in my life. For this I am glad.

–Linda Bullock

The Song of Life

Tamara Morrison illustration

Ernest Holmes Nature will not let us stay in any one place too long. She will let us stay just long enough to gather the experience necessary to the unfolding and advancement of the soul. This is a wise provision, for should we stay here too long, we would become too set, too rigid, too inflexible. Nature demands change in order that we may advance. When the change comes, we should welcome it with a smile on the lips and a song in the heart.

Over the last three years I have experienced a lot of shifts and changes. Mainly, where I have called home. Southern California, up until a couple of years ago, was where I was born and raised. In 2021 Tempe, Arizona, became a soft place to land until Tucson called my heart, and I now claim Rio Rico as my forever home. It is in this beautiful, rural, green, and hilly place I find Spirit in new niches of my re-established life. One of my favorite “new” daily spiritual practices is to sit on my patio in the early morning, with a cup of tea, looking at the mountains, noticing the light of the rising sun in the east, and how it begins to touch everything and awaken it into the new day. Taking a deep breath, and listening to the environment in which I live, there appears a slight breeze, along with the local wildlife emerging from their places of overnight rest. It is different living in a very rural area where I hear cows mooing, and birds singing, where once sirens were blaring, and the sound of cars going up and down a busy street just a few blocks away.

I would describe it as a different type of rhythm and music I now experience. All of it, I am grateful for. As I write this article, I reflected on the question of, “How many of us have a shift in our environment and recognize only the loss of an old way of being, instead of embracing the new?” As we shift, and settle in, the invitation is to release what was and rediscover the now present surroundings. This is applicable not just to our home but work, our spiritual home, eateries, or other places we visit as a routine. We can experience it as an opportunity to learn something new about what the new space has to offer. New friends, new outside resources, it is all inFinite possibilities.

Infinite possibilities is the invitation created by the shifts and changes in our lives. It is an opening for growth both spiritually and personally. So then why do we decline the ability to receive or do something different? Perhaps it is our comfort level, the routine we find safety in? Or maybe we just don’t want to put the effort into something that would push us into redirecting our lives? Whatever our case for defending our limitation, Spirit will eventually nudge us into submission. The submission part is Spirit opening our eyes to what will support us and create a better living experience.

Spirit is leading and loving us, singing to us a new song of joy and an abundant life daily. It is ours to listen to the rhythm of the universe. To step into a new beat and dance and celebrate all the good we can receive. It is accepting and knowing with a full and grateful heart we are loved. Eleanor Ratcliffe says that listening to a birdsong can lower stress and have positive impacts on mental health. “Birdsong is often a sign that there are no predators around. It’s a sign of safety. And way back in our primordial brain, we may recognize it as such, and relax a little.” How many of us listen to the birds sing? I challenge you to take a moment, stop, allow the air to Flow around and through you. Then listen to the sweet language of all that surrounds you. Yes, take time this week to feel and listen. Feel your heart strings of what your soul wants to sing and listen to that still and small voice of Spirit, singing you a love song of all that is, and all that will be, designed for your highest good. Namaste.

Affirmative prayer: Infinite Presence, I listen to the song of life, of my heart, resonating with the peace, beauty, and harmony that restores my soul. Thank you, God, and so it is. Amen.

–Rev Rhoni Tretsven

GOT PROCRASTINATION?

Well, I’ve done it again. Here it is, the late night of the day this article is due. I’ve had plenty of time to think about something really cool, profound or witty to write about but nothing much has come to mind. I do it every time as this isn’t my first newsletter article. I don’t know why I do this over and over (and expect different results), but I do it in all areas of my life. I am quite skilled at it. Is this something I desire to be skilled at? Not really. I procrastinate.

Why do we procrastinate? I say “we” because the likelihood is you too, procrastinate. If I have to be up late writing this, I’m going to keep you up too. Let’s discuss procrastination….

Google experts define procrastination as a self-defeating behavior pattern marked by short-term benefits and long-term costs. Many of us know it as putting off things that we need to get done, no matter the level of difficulty behind the task. Procrastination is caused by the same things it creates: stress and anxiety. We avoid tasks because they overwhelm us in the moment. This feels good momentarily-we get to do something we want instead, and we don’t need to address any obligations. As good as those sound, that’s the bad news.

The good news is there are solutions to procrastinating that takes some practice and perseverance:

• Reduce the number of decisions we need to make throughout the day. Every decision we make has an energy consequence.

• Develop a practice of using the Science of Mind Affirmative Prayers.

In our Science of Mind philosophy, affirmative prayer is a powerful practice that aligns our thoughts with the all-good of God. It helps shift our consciousness, making us open and receptive to the good that already exists in our lives. Let’s create an affirmative prayer specifically addressing procrastination-with a little help from Bing experts.

1. Recognition:

• Know that God is all there is.

• Recognize that the Divine Presence is within you, guiding and supporting you.

2. Unification:

• Know that you are one with God.

• Understand that your true nature is connected to the infinite wisdom and creativity of the Universe

3. Declaration:

• State your word for the circumstance you want to manifest.

• Declare your intention to overcome procrastination.

• Affirm that you are taking inspired action now.

4. Thanksgiving:

• Give thanks for your good as though it’s already yours.

• Express gratitude for the motivation, focus, and discipline that are flowing through you.

• Thank the Universe for supporting your efforts.

5. Release:

• Let go of any resistance or doubt.

• Release any thought of delay or hesitation.

• Trust the Divine Intelligence is guiding you toward productivity and success.

Remember, affirmative prayer is not about repetition; it’s about belief, acceptance, and direct communication with the Divine Presence with in you.

–Madeline Pallanes

Divine Timing

I have always felt I have had my feet in two states, California where I was born, and Arizona where my brother Erik lives in Prescott Valley. Traveling back and forth for four decades I was as much at home in PV as I was in California. Now a resident of the great state 48, I often wonder why it took me so long to commit to something I knew in my heart was where I really wanted to be. All in Divine Timing.

One of several advantages I have learned living in the A-Z is not having to concern myself with time. I no longer must spend days, or even weeks adjusting all the digital clocks in my home, because there was always one, I would forget to reset. It all simply stays the same. Unlike our lives.

As the Spring Equinox approaches, I no longer think about “Springing Forward” but simply being still, and let time be. Spring Forward and Fall Back have now taken on more spiritual meanings. More of, “Divine time”, my time, our time with Spirit/God.

Spring has always represented a time where we spend our time cleaning out and sorting through things we no longer require. A time to create a fresh start. So, we simply spring forward in our actions to wipe our slates clean, moving forward into a new experience. Hopefully, not Falling Back into old habits, and collecting things that tend to anchor us.

Springtime is also when Passover and Easter are celebrated. Two holy-days in the metaphysical realm that often go unnoticed. Why? Because many metaphysicians consider themselves not to be Christian. However, there is more to these holy days than the Jewish tradition’s exit from Egypt, and a rabbit that hides colored eggs.

The current time we are in is referred to as Lent. Lent is an old English word meaning to “lengthen.” Our days during the Spring Equinox become longer. Usually with more daylight to enjoy our outdoor lifestyles. It often is associated with Jesus the Christ and his 40-day endurance and preparation for his trial, and crucifixion. We need not endure or prepare for Lent as a time where we are to give something up, as to suffer, as Jesus choose to do for himself.

Instead, let us reflect on the good, our highest good as Metaphysician’s we experience the time of longer days, as an opportunity of spiritual growth, and progressive unfoldment. It is not the experience of giving up. but having our minds firmly planted in the fertile soil of possibility.

It is a time of “rebirth”, to begin again. We roll away the stone on old ideas, and discover we walk into a new life. The garden of life is for us to enjoy through our human experiences. It speaks to us through restoration, rest, and taking our time, that being Divine time.

Ernest Holmes said, “There is something right within you and within me that is awaiting expression, and what we must learn to do is to get out of the way and let it express itself. Withdraw to ourselves, receive, and distribute this, Spirit.” Love and Law, pg. 95.2

When we understand this principle of Spirit working through us, as us, we realize we are one with the creative power. However, the second thing to understand is all things happen in Divine time. Our minds create in an instant, but it takes a little longer for matter to manifest. So, as we move forward, let us embrace all things new, working for us. Accepting love, and Spirit is our source from which all is created and, it’s not our time, but Divine time.

Namaste, Rev. Rhonda

Happy New Year!

After powering through the holidays. Celebrating with all sorts of foods. Then starting a new year, it feels like it is time to change something or other.

What is a reasonable change? Part of me wants to continue with uncontrolled eating and resting. But this is in direct conflict with wanting to feel healthy.

Part of me feels like wow it is time to really change things up and initiate some sort of paradigm shift change. Really shake things up and rise to the dreams that inspire fear and awe because things would be very different.

What are reasonable limitations? And what are my real authentic beliefs?

I know my life is reflecting my beliefs because that is what shows up. Change needs to align with who I am. Fortunately Science of Mind has given me unlimited resources to cope with and advance my future. Even if I experience fear, loss of focus, change my belief, lose steam, or experience cycles of old recurring ideas. I have an exceptional tool called Spiritual Mind Treatment.

With this tool alone my life can change in a way that aligns with those authentic beliefs. One understanding of the Mulitiverse that I adhere to is that Everything Everywhere is in constant eternal vibration. The Multiverse cannot ever be static.

So even when or if I feel off course. I can apply five simple steps and start a realignment.

Life is good and so it is.

–Chris Wheeler

We Plan and God Laughs….

Welcome 2024 and thank you CSLT for the opportunity to serve as your Spiritual Leader. In the words of Socrates, “The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Or, a simpler statement might be, “we plan, and God laughs.”

A year ago, I had no idea walking through the doors of the LTW last March would place me on a trajectory path of becoming your new minister. What I knew at the time, is I fell in love with a spiritual community, and I hoped I would be asked back to speak. Over the course of last year while you were creating your covenant of intention, I was playing the role of a teacher in a Montessori school in Tempe. (Having left my pulpit and Center of 12 years in California, because I decided to get married.) I thought being a schoolteacher was my “new ministry” working with kids and I was okay with my new role.

However, my 5-year plan of the Montessori assignment was to be cut short after only a year, as “God was calling” again. I received two “nudges” during this last year from “the universe” to go back into ministry. It’s as if God gives me a few hints of where I should be, and I often have chosen to say, “eh, later” and push it aside.

Not the right answer, you don’t ignore the universal “I have this for you.” In my experience, the third nudge is usually a drastic change when the spiritual 2 x 4 hits me, sending me flying into my purpose.

The positive side of my flying lesson was everything began aligning for my husband Charles and I to be here near Tucson. A home we had admired for months became available for purchase, and we did. As we went through the process, I began looking at the school district to teach within a Montessori school.

However, the next nudge came in a call to action from a dear friend and colleague telling me, “Tucson is waiting for you, you need to apply for their pulpit.” After many heart-leading discussions, Charles, a retired UCC minister encouraged me to apply as the window of opportunity was closing quickly. In September, with a week left, I did.

As I filled out the spiritual leader documents to be sent to the search committee, I discovered the God presence within me was calling me to my highest good. My heart has always been in ministry, and it took a small but mighty spiritual community to be that light of “this is your purpose” leading me out of the dark hallway of “what’s next?”

It is with a grateful heart, I look forward to being your spiritual leader, teaching not just the principles of Science of Mind, but other faith traditions, and how all interact together in the great metaphysical beingness in our daily lives. Religious Science is truly a philosophy of how to live in unconditional love and be unconditional love to all we interact with.

Ernest Holmes our Founder wrote in his book, Can We Talk to God? “Of what value would a religion or philosophy be to the world which simply taught it a few laws of cause and e8ect, or how to heal a pain? This is good and wonderful, but unless it teaches how to live and how to be, unless it gives something which is a divine certainty of life and being, it is useless.” (p.11.2)

I look forward to our relationship of not just Sunday celebrations but classes, holidays, and the unknown unscripted adventures of the heart. Please know my door is always open when I am in my o]ice at Craycroft, and reachable through email if you require support for any life situation. I love you all, and thank you for all that you are, and all that you are becoming. I look forward to getting to know every one of you!

–In love and gratitude, Rev. Rhonda

Additional Thoughts on a New Minister

I’ll be honest. When our previous minister announced to the Board of Trustees that she was retiring, I was shocked and disappointed. Reverend Janis was the first person I encountered when I showed up over 10 years ago at the Gregory School looking for the meditation meeting. She was a practitioner then and obviously a leader in the congregation.

My negative reaction came from fear of what would happen to CSL Tucson and the pain of losing a caring, intelligent minister, whom I liked. Of course, I didn’t stay in fear and sense of lack. I calmed down, remembered I am at choice and accessed my faith. Ernest Holmes states, “We know that thought is constantly changing, forever taking on new ways of expression. It cannot possibly remain permanent. It has to change. Can we not, accordingly, change it to a better state instead of to a worse?” (Science Of Mind 216.3)

I have enjoyed and benefited from our visiting speakers in the last few months. Yet something has been missing. Last December I was attending a Christmas chorale with a friend and ran into Reverend Janis. It was a comfortable feeling to introduce Reverend Janis to my friend as “my minister.”

I lived part-time in Lake Havasu City for 5 years from 2014 -2018. I had become ‘Grammy’ and was blessed to experience the joy of spending time with my grandson. I attended CSL there regularly. There was no permanent minister and available classes were rare. The population of Lake Havasu City swells substantially in the winter months and declines in the hot summer. Visiting ministers from Las Vegas and the Phoenix area were Sunday speakers much of the time. One Sunday, Reverend Janis was the visiting minister, and I was thrilled to see her. From time to time, especially in the summer months, a local lay member would talk. This had mixed results. One Sunday a local was speaking and, in my judgment, his talk was self-centered rambling and offensive in a couple of comments. I spoke to two Board members to express my concern. A handful of people who attended regularly walked out early in the talk. Unfortunately, one of them wrote to the local newspaper’s Orchids and Onions column, complaining about the speaker and by connection the Center. Awkward.

A Position Description for CSL Tucson states, “The Senior Minister is the spiritual leader, ecclesiastical head, and administrative executive officer of the church. S/he is responsible for expressing the vision of the church through its ministry and through teaching and embodying the principles of Science of Mind as expressed by Ernest Holmes…” Specific responsibilities are described.

Your Board of Trustees and Minister Selection Committee strongly recommend that members vote on Sunday, December 17, to affirm Reverend Rhonda Tretsven as our new minister/spiritual leader. She has experience and qualifications too numerous to mention here. In interviews we found her to be sensitive to the needs of our community, capable of wise leadership of a congregation, authentic in presence, strong, yet charismatic. She is also a musician who sings, plays the guitar and other instruments.

I envision Reverend Rhonda as both coach and cheerleader for our community. I look forward to getting to know her and her getting to know us. There is potential for intimate connection, trust, and respect in our interactions. We all experience challenging life events and would benefit from the compassion Reverend Rhonda demonstrates. Her previous talks are available to watch online through links in our newsletter. I believe that Spirit delivered the perfect candidate for our new Minister. I encourage all members to vote in favor of this next adventure for our Center.

–Linda Bullock

Co-Creation in Action

Back in March we began the co-creation process to call in a new minister after Rev. Janis retired. Dr Kathy Hearn started us off on the exercise with a community meeting from which we agreed “wholeness” was how we wanted Spirit to express Itself through our new minister. Dr Kathy then facilitated the process by which the Selection Committee along with all Board Members created the Sacred Covenant Prayer, every word of which was analyzed and agreed upon. Words become things and we wanted to be precise in what we were asking to be made manifest. On March 26th, this Covenant was presented to the congregation, and we began reciting it aloud together each Sunday since. One congregant told me this was exactly what she had been wanting. We put the intention into Law.

The Selection Committee worked then diligently to create a CSLT video and PowerPoint presentation which was uploaded to Open Pulpit on July 18th. Open Pulpit is a site where ministers can search for various openings and apply to the ones they are interested in.

After speaking as a guest on March 12, 2023, Rev. Rhonda Tretsven knew she wanted to be a part of CSLT in some capacity. She and her husband Charles Barfoot, began exploring Tucson and liked what they found. In January of this year, they decided to look for a house in the area and have recently closed escrow on a property November 20, 2023.

Rev. Rhonda had been the Senior Minister with CSL Hemet, in California, a position she held until December 2021 when she decided to get married and relocate to Tempe with her husband. She soon realized how much she missed having a ministry. Finding our call for a Senior Minister on Open Pulpit, and after getting the third nudge from Spirit, she applied for the position.

Just as we have been exploring her, she has been researching us: reading the newsletters and board meeting minutes, investigating our financial status, watching YouTube videos, etc. She impressed the Selection Committee and Board Members with her knowledgeable responses during extensive interviews. Her Reminders and Prayers as guest speaker here at CSLT over the past several months have been well received. We were excited to announce her as our CSLT Senior Minister Candidate.

There was some surprise expressed that many more did not apply for this position. I realized we didn’t need multiple applicants to choose from, only THE right one to apply. I personally see Rev. Rhonda as the joyful, vibrant community leader we have been declaring. I believe Spirit was guiding Rev. Rhonda to us as we were calling her to us.

The CSL theme for December is “Wholeness” and the talk title for December 10 is “Recognizing Wholeness”. Rev. Rhonda has a workshop prepared that she will be facilitating entitled “Revealing Wholeness”. More signs of Spirit working with and for us, and through Rev. Rhonda.

Now it is your turn to get to know her better. This Sunday, December 10th, there will be several opportunities to do this. (See first article for details.) Please let the office know if you plan on attending the workshop. A vote on Rev. Rhonda’s candidacy will be held on December 17th by Members in attendance in-person at Service and on Zoom.

–Janet Salese

GOT CLUTTER?

Clutterers Anonymous (CLA) is a fellowship of compulsive clutterers who practice a 12-step and 12-tradition program modeled after AA (Alcoholics Anonymous.)

What is clutter? Clutter is anything we don’t need, want, or use that takes our time, energy, or space, and destroys our serenity.

I know I am a clutterer and I know I am not alone. I have created physical, mental/emotional, and paper/email clutter to name a few.

Physical: This is the behavior that results in the stacks piles and objects and unfinished projects that fill my home. Whether organized or thrown about, it is all so overwhelming. I have become owned by my possessions.

Mental/Emotional: This is the mental clutter I carry in my mind-resentments, unfinished thoughts, emotional baggage, worries about the future, regrets about the past. My mind and thoughts often are often filled with clutter. Paper/e-mail: Unprocessed mail, notes written on scraps of paper, endless books and e-mails not yet read all add to the clutter. It’s so overwhelming.

What I really want is to be in surroundings of beauty, order, and serenity; a balanced life; and harmonious relationships.

How do I achieve this?

By following the 12-step program of CLA along with the teachings from our Center for Spiritual Living.

They complement each other beautifully.

–Madeline Pallanes

Got A Reverend?

Ahh, now that caught your attention.

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a pastor and a reverend? I have.

Many years ago, I attended a church and “Pastor Tom” went on vacation. While he was gone “Reverend John” filled in for Pastor Tom giving the Sunday talk. When Pastor Tom returned, I asked him, “what’s the difference between a pastor and a reverend?” Pastor Tom paused, thought for a moment, and said, “a pastor has his own church, a reverend doesn’t.” I think that was the short answer to what could be a complex answer that varies based on the religion. That settled my curiosity at the time.

Bing says “The key difference between a pastor and a reverend is the roles & scope. A pastor specifically leads a congregation and provides spiritual guidance, while a reverend is a broader title used for ordained ministers across different roles and denominations.”

Google defines reverend as, “used as a title or form of address to members of the clergy.”

As we call in our new minister, we see our new minister revealed before us as our joyful vibrant community leader. We know that they will be revealed in a way that will express Spirit and serve the highest and greatest good of all who are touched by their Presence.

You can strengthen our calling by reading the Covenant Prayer frequently.

There is only One Life! That Life is God’s Life! That Life is Perfect. That Life is my Life Now!

In knowing that I am ‘one’ with this Life that is God…I therefore know that I am ‘one’ with all of its blessed expressions, which includes the Presence of a New Minister for My beloved Spiritual Community.

Because I know that the highest Purpose of my New Minister is to express Spirit, I therefore know that my New Minister is a Revelation of Spirit as: Wholeness. I further know that my New Minister is the fulfillment of that which has been promised by God, for it is written:

Happiness and Wholeness fill my entire being with the realization of Love and Perfection.

As I stand in agreement with my beloved Community, I see my New Minister revealed before me as my joyful, vibrant community leader.

I now intend to experience my New Minister in full cooperation and agreement with my Community, knowing this Truth about myself, for …

I am inspiring and motivating the experience of wholeness and love

I am revealing the divinity and wisdom within me

I am leading in the realization of truth and love I am facilitating, supporting and expanding a diverse selection of classes

I am providing a nurturing, vibrant community welcoming all

As I now accept the highest expression of a New Minister into my life, I know that they will be revealed in a way that will express Spirit and serve the highest and greatest good of all who are touched by their Presence.

I am grateful God is gracious.

And so It is.

–Madeline Pallanes

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