Edna Lister’s Sermons 1957


















Fresh Manna Every Day

Edna Lister sermon outline|April 28, 1957|Tacoma, Washington|Scripture: John 6:28-35.

"Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." – John 6:28-35.

Today, despite everything Bible scholars have learned, we still lack understanding of the mystical teachings of Jesus. In those days, they understood even less than we do today. People were forever asking him questions, some to confuse and trip him up. Others were really seeking. They wanted to do the works of God, but did not know how. Some wanted a sign from God, to prove they should listen to him, and cited Moses' manna from heaven.

Jesus reminded them that the manna of Moses' day was for the physical body, but his manna was the spiritual bread from heaven, to be used with the physical. His statement, "I am the bread of life," is directed to us, to the world today as well. He promises, "He who comes to me shall never hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst." His promises work for us because when we look up to God, we ascend in consciousness, and faith descends. We are empowered to overcome the world in the instant we look to God.

Peter was the first disciple Jesus chose, and he named him the Rock of faith, the foundation on which love stands. Faith contains everything else just as love contains all else, but faith must be your first ingredient, uppermost and active. Faith is manna from heaven. Having no faith is unbelief, which reveals a vacancy in your being, where faith should live. It's like having an empty pantry and kitchen in an otherwise full house, nothing to eat, no nourishment. Spiritual manna comes as the bread of life, which is rich food. Only manna, the substance of faith, can provide the substance to fill your prayer molds. Faith holds every other ingredient you need for your continued growth, nourishment and expansion physically, mentally and spiritually. Faith is the manna that stills the cries of the hungry soul.

This lesson holds two ideas, which must become one in your life. First, I must be free. Second, I must do the greater works. To think or say, "I must be free," indicates that you feel a sense of bondage, and means that you already are a slave. No one can bind you, no one has power over you unless you permit them. Your declaration must be, "My soul is now free." If you insist on living with an idea of bondage, hugging your bondage, holding fast to your bondage-idea, you have no one else to blame. People claim not to do this, yet say, "You don't know what I have to live with. You don't know what my husband/wife/family/boss/job is like."

Such people take their problem with them to bed, to work and to play. They talk about their problem incessantly. A problem, well fed with emotions and well exercised with thinking and talking, thrives and grows. If you love God enough, exercise and nourish your faith instead. The problem that formerly held you in bondage melts away, bit by bit. Your choice is to accept your freedom, and faith as your life. Declare these truths as statements of principle to overcome the self and enter the kingdom of heaven. "I AM" consciousness is the kingdom of the bread of life.

To do the greater works means that all the works that need doing are yours to do where you are. You will do greater works when you see that what you are doing is great. As slaves to the world of illusion, your false gods blind you. Slaves grow old, dry out and go to seed. Going to seed is a common false god. Wilting, wasting, drying up, shriveling and shrinking into a hard-shelled unfulfilled promise is the condensed outcome of looking back and worshiping the past. As you turn to the bread of life for your sustenance, you are reaching for the stars. Your declaration must be, "I AM that bread of life." To overcome the past, spread your arms wide to hold yourself open to receive. Reach out to the substance of faith, the manna that is there. It is yours.

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for," waiting to fill your prayer molds. God then calls you by your new name, "I AM faith." Everything looks greater because "I AM" is doing God's greater works. Wherever Jesus looked, walked, spoke or loved, something happened because he was the bread of life. He was the manna from heaven for those who accepted him.

Truth is like an old-fashioned liniment. You must rub it into your consciousness, every hour on the hour. God has planned, schemed, enticed and sneaked up on you with His law, all your life. You have dodged and squirmed. Many have asked for truth then griped when He reveals it to them. You either enter the kingdom of heaven voluntarily, or law kicks you in. No matter which way, in you go.

The children of Israel gathered their manna every morning, and it was good only for that day, then it spoiled. They could not hoard it. Just as they received fresh manna, you receive the bread of life, fresh every day. You must embrace the all-encompassing magnitude of the fresh manna of faith. Full prayer molds become your evidence, your sign that faith is working. Faith is now your ecstasy, your soul delight — so much, so rich, so satisfying.

"Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass." – Psalm 37:5. "Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you know not." – Jeremiah 33:3. "Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." – Malachi 3:10.

You need increased clarity and scope of vision, and larger prayer molds. Declare, "I AM called. I AM fed. I freely gather my share of fresh manna every day. I AM that bread of life, I AM."

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Heavenly Manna

Edna Lister sermon transcript|September 22, 1957|Cleveland, Ohio|Scribe: Ruth Johnson|Scripture: John 6:28-34.

"Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? What dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread." – John 6:28-34.

All growth and development must arise from a base of desire, or no action can result. You can do nothing when desire fails or dies. Science has done the greater works, and we can easily see the results, from the first human who rolled a rock and called it a wheel, to electronics. Our climb has not been as steady in the metaphysical world as in the realm of technology. Why? Your capacity is limitless, but your results depend on the fervency of your desire. You must base your prayer on desire, and the degree of your desire determines the result of your prayer, a slow process, or instantaneous miracle. The secret is to love God enough.

The manna in the wilderness was of the same divine substance as hail. It fell to the ground to feed the tribes in the wilderness, yet they had to collect it and use it daily or it spoiled. Their need and the fervency of Moses' prayer brought Israel that manna, which deals with outer physical manifestation. All money or outer reward is the manna of Moses, which you receive today in your paycheck and pay out in exchange for goods and services.

We know about the manna of Moses' time, but we may not understand that Jesus descended as manna, the bread of life, which flows like milk from living divine Mind and registers on Christed consciousness as ideas and illumination. The manna of Jesus, which takes care of your inner needs, is Spirit, faith and love, and when combined with the manna of Moses, provides complete healing. Your lack of faith, desire or imagination prevents that manna from manifesting. You can buy high potency vitamins for the body, but you also need three soul potencies, faith, love and joy to function perfectly. Faith extends a line to the Source. Love vitalizes faith's substance, and joy brings the substance of faith into form for you to use.

Daniel in the lions' den is an example of the high potency of Spirit. The more he loved God, the more Light filled him. He saw only Light, not lions in the den, because no devouring thought lodged in his mind or heart. He extended a beam of faith, love and joy to God, whose love fed the seven hungry lions, and they retreated. When your love for God is fervent enough, it directs your affairs in harmony. Beauty arises from chaos, and health from illness when you become one with the almighty Love of God.

We would have peace, with all races, ethnic groups and creeds working together, if teachers, metaphysicians and religious leaders would do the same. This is the International Geophysical Year, and for the first time in history, no one is being left out. Scientists are now working together as one to penetrate the mysteries of space. Thus, we can say that science is now doing the greater works because it goes hand in hand with occult wisdom.

Aeronautical science has penetrated the troposphere, stratosphere, and ionosphere with aircraft and satellites, which will orbit earth with recording machines to transmit what they sense out there. A man pushes a button here and receives facts recorded on a transmission beam. They are measuring the universe in seconds, and designing ships to explore space.

Daniel's prayer in the lion's den penetrated forty-four spheres to the Source. You can break through to the Source, if your prayers are fervent enough. Daniel built a line to the Source, and Power returned over that beam in seconds to conquer the lions.

Your love of God is the Power that returns over that line of desire to manifest. A second is a universal unit of divine Power. One second can take you to the Source, and what you do in that second determines your answer. "Lord, evermore give us this bread." – John 6:34. Let Light as Power conquer through you as the heavenly manna of Moses and Jesus combined.

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God Is a Gentleman

Edna Lister sermon outline|September 29, 1957|Cleveland, Ohio|Scripture: Luke 6:27-38.

"But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? For sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." – Luke 6:27-38. These verses form a creed, containing every article needed to become a gentleman or gentlewoman. Each article is a law, needing no amendments. They outline the proper method for training a soul from crudeness to the attainment of Godlike qualities.

"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." – Luke 6:38. This verse sets the limit of the outer reward. Rewards are God's way of telling you how much He loves you. To say, "I'm not doing this for the reward," is no sign of humility but a sign that self is considering rewards. Similar verses follow so many laws. You can have no real desire to work just for a reward when you actually subscribe to this method and follow it. However, as you serve God here faithfully, this law covers several issues. Your service may earn the covering of all past debts, a reward of outer success, or an inner reward of ascension. This ebb and flow goes on in your life as the result of even the most meager surrender of self.

A gentleman exemplifies kindness, tenderness, moderation, is generous and courteous. "Love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." – Luke 6:27-38.

These verses describe the method and the reward. Each of these commands is a law. Obeying them will unfold various qualities in your soul. First, you must ponder four words, honor, loyalty, integrity and consideration, not their worldly interpretation, but in a spiritual sense. Honor, loyalty, integrity and consideration reveal the meaning of "according to the stature of the Christ."

You must pay honor to God above all else, and have loyalty to God above all else. Your integrity must be a zealous fire of the soul to become Godlike. Your consideration lies in thinking of others, not self. You unfold and develop these four soul qualities from obedience to the method outlined in this Scripture. Honor holds a high respect for glory; it is nobleness of mind, a high sense of responsibility and an outstanding allegiance to what is right. Honor is invincible and unconquerable.

Loyalty is true faithfulness to love, to all obligations, to method and to all vows to become. Soul-based loyalty is not concerned with earth's confusing petty loyalties that are always getting you into messes. Soul loyalty makes you immune to betrayal, treachery and broken vows. Such experiences may come, but your loyalty to God will prevent them from knocking you off balance.

Integrity is wholeness, being all in one piece, soundness and uprightness. Integrity of expression is living the method with no inner confusion. Your integrity is your pipeline of determination to succeed. It means doing your homework daily.

Consideration is a series of acts; it means to reckon with all, to make allowances for all, and to cover others' transgressions. Your purity of purpose influences your consideration in all relationships.

You must hold a conviction of rightness about what these four soul qualities, honor, loyalty, integrity and consideration mean. They are essential if you are to enter the high white City of Forgiveness. An ancient law says that every lesson is presented three times as love. In forgiveness, the Father says, "Feed My sheep. Feed My Lambs. Feed My sheep," three times.

You can make these dull-seeming ideas exciting enough to continue by formulating a new plan to dramatize and romanticize your life. Today's delays become tomorrow's glory when you declare them so. Love wins forever. God is forever a gentleman, with all wondrous qualities. God is triumphant as you.

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Edna Lister sermon transcript|September 29, 1957|Cleveland, Ohio|Scribe: Ruth Johnson|Scripture: Luke 6:27-38.

"But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? For sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." – Luke 6:27-38.

These verses are the articles of a perfect creed that leads from the creature stage to the image and likeness of God. You can trace this creed through the ages.

Archeologists have unearthed ancient tablets and scrolls bearing laws like these, which are necessary to practice as you ascend from the creature to the creator's realm. These articles lead you into the supreme qualities of God as a Gentleman, considerate, kind, moderate, tender, generous and courteous.

This text says, "Your reward will be great." People who say, "I'm not doing this for a reward," are making an egotistical statement, revealing that they have not yet surrendered to selflessness. Every admonition in the Bible is followed with a promise of reward, which is how God says that He loves you. If you do this, then I will do that.

God rewards you when He covers your spiritual debts with Light, and adds to your success in business, healing and strength. You can ask God to forgive you or another, and He does. However, if you recreate the mess by thinking or speaking about it, you pull the problem back into your lap. Love your enemies, because "All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." – Romans 8:28.

God never measures His generosity in teaspoons. The lowliest person in the world can kneel at the Master's feet and God will hear his prayers as quickly as those offered by a saintly soul.

God hears all prayers, foolish or wise, and always says yes, even when you say, "I am weak. I am poor. I am sick. I am tired." You set the vibration. You get just what you asked for. Yet God is merciful, and sees you as a prodigal child, perfect in your desire at the moment you pray. Your reward lasts while you obey law and remain high in consciousness, but no longer.

"Judge not, that ye be not judged." – Matthew 7:1. After you have erased the tendency to judge another, nothing negative will remain in your response when you face a difficult person or situation.

God demands your obedience, but rewards you with ascension of soul and illumination when you obey. Obedience to law will bring you to a state of honor, loyalty, integrity and consideration above all things.

Honor is holding the highest respect for God, humanity and law, a part of your whole allegiance to truth. Honor reflects nobleness of mind. Personal honor includes an intense sense of responsibility to accept that everything is possible under God, though you may not immediately see how it can be done.

Loyalty is steadfast allegiance to law. You are loyal to your Source if you have honor, though you may not count the small loyalties on earth as parts of this. You become loyal if you stand with allegiance to absolute truth, as a creator of harmony. You can stand in the midst of disharmony and say, "This is the truth," with deep love and respect for God. If you cannot speak truth, you can remain in your golden silence, and pray in selflessness and unconquerable faith.

Full integrity is invincible, invulnerable and unconquerable integration of self, soul and Oversoul. The zeal and enthusiasm with which you prosecute your so-called enemies will drain your allegiance to truth, so pray for Light to surround one who acts poorly, until he overcomes. Here is an incantation of the Spirit for agreeing with an adversary: "Darling, you are wonderful. I love you." You comply with law while love holds the other person in bonds until he ceases condemning or criticizing.

Consideration is thoughtful concern for others' needs. An earthly gentleman or gentlewoman lives in the image and likeness of God, and always considers others' needs. Is this crown too heavy to wear at times? Is the way too hard?

God is forever, and His love for you is greater than you can know. Your rewards are inevitable: You can become God's abiding invincible glory. Giving your love to God, you plan to be His radiance. Act as if you were born of nobility, for you are the sons and daughters of God.

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The Bond of Perfection

Edna Lister sermon outline|October 6, 1957|Cleveland, Ohio|Scriptures: Colossians 3:12-15, Colossians 3:23-25, and Job 32:8.

"Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful." – Colossians 3:12-15.

"Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that does wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons." – Colossians 3:23-25.

"[There is] a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." – Job 32:8. To inspire means "to breathe into or upon, to inhale, to infuse by breathing, to stimulate to action, to fill with a supernatural power or energy, to affect so as to enliven or to animate, to infuse into the mind, to motivate by divine influence." Great confusion results from using words with multiple meanings, and using slightly disparate terms interchangeably.

Spirit refers to universal substance. Soul, as the individual, refers to a portion of universal substance condensed to dwell in a sheath. The terms, I AM, Christed, son of God, and son of man each denote a different phase of the One expressing. Soul is spiritual substance brought together, condensed and endowed with active faculties. God provides soul with body vehicles through which to function or express.

Individual refers to character of the inner soul. Individuality describes your conscious identification, identity and character as an individual apart from the whole, yet forever part of it. Personality is how you personalize your soul. Personality refers to how your soul expresses in the outer world of form.

God has given soul the power to consciously direct and control itself and its own destiny. Soul has the power to think and plan, to nourish and sustain. The soul is called an individual or an embodied soul after it incarnates in an outer physical sheath. God has given soul the power of choice and free will, but only as choice between two great ideas. Soul may not choose which laws to obey. Soul can choose between Light and darkness, good and evil, soul or self.

Spirit is universal substance from which all else is created and formed. Spirit is always available to be acted on, to be drawn on for growth and expansion by all animate life forms, on land or in the oceans, plants, bushes, flowers, vegetables, trees, and by animals. Spirit becomes whatever soul chooses to decree. The bond of Spirit holds you to the right choice. A bond is a formal binding agreement, a covenant. The bond of Spirit is the fact of being of the one original substance of God. The bond of charity is perfection. Charity is love, as gratitude, forming a perfect relationship.

God has created us as souls bonded to Spirit, yet not as slaves. Soul is the servant to God, and Spirit is the servant to soul. Soul decrees and Spirit moves forth to fulfill that decree. Spirit is bonded to pay your debts when your soul is the surrendered servant of God. Both are bonded to serve God.

After you make a choice, new laws always emerge for you to follow. They can be laws of the wolf pack 1 or laws of the Christ. The power of choice has been misnamed as free will. God cannot free will from obedience to law, from wisdom or principle. You may not choose which laws go with your choice. You can choose only which direction you wish to go. The laws follow your choice as inevitably as doing the perfect works.

Once you choose under your bond, you cannot also choose what might have been had you chosen differently. You can always make a new choice, under law; however, you will remain responsible for any debts you in incurred under the former bond.

These verses contain a few laws. The bowels of mercies refers to fortitude in whatever debt our bond of perfection, or charity, demands of us. Meekness is agreeing to the point of having no enemies. Let others take the credit while you offer gratitude and receive comprehension.

Long-suffering is endurance in waiting upon the Lord while standing under the Light as you work out your salvation here below. Forbearing is bearing for; forgiving is giving for.

Humility is the perfect relationship between God and man. Outer humility seeks and knows only itself. It is always self-conscious of seeking to be humble, always mentioning humility and humbleness. True humility knows not self but seeks God on bended knees in love and devotion; it ever uses the words, humble or humility.

To achieve all this, you need to know whether this is true, does it work and how you shall apply it. The following four statements are four stages of moving up in consciousness: This I believe. This I know. This I comprehend. This I decree. "Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men." – Colossians 3:23. This means to make your best effort in everything as you walk with God.

Your inheritance is your reward of all added things, which you have invoked under the law of increase. Your resources of spiritual substance are limitless, waiting to come whatever mold your lavish decrees establish.

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The Bond of Perfection

Edna Lister sermon transcript|October 6, 1957|Cleveland, Ohio|Scribe: Ruth Johnson|Scriptures: Colossians 3:12-15 and Colossians 3:23-25.

"Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful." – Colossians 3:12-15.

"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons." – Colossians 3:23-25.

The Letter to Colossians says that to forgive means that you must put on charity, which is the bond of perfection. Job 32:8 says that a Spirit is in man and an inspiration of the Almighty that gives him understanding. Using disparate words interchangeably causes confusion. For example, we use the word Light in several ways: sunlight, moonlight, sidereal light (the light of the stars), which are all degrees of the physical light apparent in the electromagnetic spectrum. Physical light stems from the Idea called Light, from which springs the degree of supernal Light that radiates all lesser degrees of the One Light. This describes how the unmanifest becomes the manifest.

The Light of God is the Mind of God and is God's consciousness in all degrees; whether you access this is your choice and you must ascend in consciousness to do so. So, in a similar manner, we speak of God consciousness, Christ consciousness, I AM consciousness, the son of God consciousness, and the son of man consciousness. All are degrees of consciousness, but the world conflates their meanings. The world also conflates the meaning of spirit and soul this way. All degrees of soul are composed of Light as the one substance that the Father numbered and named at the beginning of this Day of Manifestation. These numbers are unique rates of vibration that God Himself has made into law that even He cannot deny. All Creation manifests from these original emanations of Light, composed of combinations of life sparks, the Light substance from which God has made everything.

The Son's vibration is the Father and the Mother as the Holy Spirit, Holy Ghost or Holy Breath substance, which is all that is, in the universe. Three rates of vibration act as one spiritual substance that we call Christ consciousness, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Breath, and this spiritual substance contains all Mind, Substance and Power.

Mind condensed the Holy Spirit into one Light, endowed it, and brought forth the faculties of soul. We call this degree of Light soul substance because God gives it conscious identity; it is but a secondary rate of vibration condensed from primary Light, but is not some different Light. Identity is the individual manifestation of soul that God condenses from spirit, which becomes you. Spirit is a part of God's original substance, like unto the whole, a primary rate of vibration, universal substance with only one Power and all qualities dispersed, not condensed. God gives soul a conscious rate of control over this Power called universal spirit. Thus, God forms miracles not of that Spirit that dwells in man, but of spiritual substance. You declare "Let this be," and spiritual substance becomes what soul or mind decrees.

Soul is that part of you that remains on the inner when you descend on involution. The individualized expression of God as a living soul is the same after God encases it in an outer sheath, incarnate in flesh. Thus, soul is spiritual substance filled with unconscious memory gained through all experience of evolution. The living soul has three qualities of consciousness — The Oversoul, untouched and untouchable, never soiled, is that part which continually says, "Come up." The embodied rational soul, the conscious identity, lives in the golden bowl and exercises the power of free choice. Self, which has evolved through all the kingdoms in answer to the call of life, constantly rebuilds the body.

God gave the living soul the power of free choice, a wonderful gift, misnamed as free will. God set the vibration, the number and name of principle because He could not allow His manifestations to change the capacity of these vibrations.

God gave all living souls the power to choose between opposites. You may not will which laws go with good and evil, light or dark, self and soul, because He has set them for the duration of the Day of Manifestation. However, you set the capacity of your vibration when you choose. For instance, a car's gas tank is set to a capacity of say 20 gallons. A broken mechanism would allow the gas pump to overflow the tank. Just so, you would smell if your emotional gases overflow a broken low pressure control valve that does not lift the excess. You set your vibration high to go home to the Father when you choose right. You may not look back after choosing, but you can change your rate of vibration as often as you want. Some people merely change their mind constantly.

"Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful." – Colossians 3:12-15.

A magnetic sheath protects the most vulnerable part of the body, the abdomen, from outside influence, but it quivers when you are angry. The abdomen symbolizes intestinal fortitude, which gives soul the power to exercise choice, not free will. Meekness is not soft self-indulgence, but sees God everywhere. Look through the outer personality to the person's spirit. You harm the other fellow when you are soft. Long-suffering means to endure in applying law until it becomes an unconscious soul quality. You bear and forbear, which means to lift another's burden until that Light fills you both.

"I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." – John 12:32. You bear the burden for God, not man, so your yoke is easy and the burden is Light.

"And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful." – Colossians 3:24-25. Humility can be true or false, which is conscious of self. Self-focused humility always acts humbly and says, "Oh, I couldn't do that." The soul of true humility never knows whether it's good or humble, but kneels as Spirit in complete love and devotion before God as its bondsman.

When you have become law, which is harmony, peace fills you with eyes to see, and ears with which to hear. You ask, "Is this true? Does it work? How do I apply it?" You take four steps from a wrong to a right choice: This I believe. This I know. This I comprehend. This I decree. We are all bondsmen of the Spirit. Soul is the bondsman, but your individual creations cannot bond Spirit. Spiritual substance is in the bond to soul to pay the soul's debts.

You create dark clouds when you misuse the Holy Breath, and are responsible for misuse of its substance by whomever breathes it later. You are in bonds to God and someone must pay the debt when you abscond with Mind, Power and Substance. Spirit pays the bond of perfection with love, which is the bond of perfection. The personal aura is not soul or Spirit, but the soul's rate of vibration fills the aura. Love, in this Scripture, is gratitude, expressing as man. It concludes with be thankful, which is a warning: A satisfied, smug soul dries up. To be a creator, you must consciously direct and control your plan of creation. Direction is the ability to make a choice. You can always make a new choice and set a new rate of vibration if you dislike the results of what you chose.

When God says that a Spirit is in you, He means that you have returned to your original vibration. Every rate of vibration is a law that you cannot change, but spiritual substance does become what you declare. Soul has its own rate of vibration and individuality, and the individual may consciously direct and control the faculties. Personality, which you see on the outside, can condense a vehicle through which to express. Spirit is perfect and untouched. Laws allow you to express, yet remain undefiled in Spirit.

"Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance, for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality." – Colossians 3:23-25. This text is a charge and promise. "Whatever you do, do it heartily" means that you must set that strong vibration with all your soul, mind and body.

The reward of the inheritance for seeking first the kingdom is that all things shall be added to you, soul, Spirit, mind, body and affairs. You cannot obey the law of increase unless you set your vibration to the capacity of Spirit. For example, a doctor cured a very rich patient, but only asked for golf clubs in return. The rich patient gave him five clubs, small payment for saving the man's life. Your ideas of wealth reflect your mental scope and choices about abundance. You may not demand the abundance of added gifts, but you can visualize it.

God has a set Plan of Creation, a great rate of vibration that must become perfect before the Day of Manifestation is finished. Your role in the plan requires that your gears mesh, and you mingle your soul substance with full spiritual substance. Tune into the vibration of the River of Life, which is the emanations operating as the principle of nonresistance. As you use your power of choice as a creator, Spirit bonds you, and you ascend the escalator of joy.

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Threefold Nourishment

Edna Lister sermon outline|October 13, 1957|Cleveland, Ohio|Scripture: Acts 3:1-11.

"Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering." – Acts 3:1-11.

Peter and John went to the temple together for prayer. A man lame from birth asks them for alms. Peter, fastening his eyes upon him, with John, said, Look on us." The man looked up in expectancy.

The sweetest words in any language are together and with. Together implies a companion to love. With implies a companion with whom to share. My sons were eight years apart in age, but raised together as brothers. They were always in and out of mischief, and when caught, always said, "We did it together."

Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up.

How do you reach this beautiful place where miracles can happen? You must first understand the meaning of awareness, acceptance, and expectancy.

Awareness is a conscious knowing, not vague uncertainty. Acceptance means "to consent to, to receive a gift, approval, or belief." To accept, you must make some sacrifice, give something up to make room. Expectancy means "to look forward to, a possession or inheritance, the prospect of awaiting, anticipation."

How can awareness, acceptance and expectancy nourish you? What is three-way nourishment? Three-way nourishment is feeding the physical, emotion-mental, and spiritual being. You must become aware with new life, and be awake, alive and alert. Then you never miss a detail, and are never bothered with after-thoughts, called hindsight.

Peter and John were going to pray together. They were praying with each other. The lame man became aware of them because they looked alive, with radiant light emanating from them. Peter and John became aware of him in response. Until then, they had just been two pairs of legs to him, but when he asked for alms, they became aware of his need. Then Peter said, "Look on us."

This created a two-way circuit of prayer, the lame man asked and Peter and John gave. It did not matter that the lame man asked for a material need. What he needed to get met their need to give, and a miracle resulted. Your need for something meets God's need to give and you have a miracle.

The lame man accepted the miracle physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. He walked, leaped and praised. He fulfilled the law. He acted as if he had it, he got up and walked, and he thanked God. This formed his three-way healing.

Peter and John had to accept the crowd, give up their time for prayers, and speak to the crowd. The lame man held onto Peter. He had asked for so little, but received so much more — he received life. He was starved, not knowing what he wanted until he had received it.

Nourishment came to meet his physical, emotional-mental, and spiritual needs. Peter, with John, expected a miracle. The lame man expected a gift. Peter and John's combined together and with invoked God's full giving.

Although you follow awareness, acceptance and expectancy, you can only prepare the way for your miracle. Spirit must fill the place you have prepared, and do the work. You prepare the right conditions.

Without expectancy, you have no miracle or only a long delay. With expectancy, you can set time aside or hasten it, and the miracle is now. Lukewarm expectancy creates delay and going through a long process. In a miracle, the process becomes an act under your fervent prayer of praise and expectancy.

Nothing is impossible to God, yet a miracle is not always instant in its action. First you must think about being aware. Then you accept and consciously expect a miracle. Finally, you do all this at once as an act. Your attitude must have an undercurrent of faithfulness, running strong and true, faithfulness to your awareness of God, acceptance of gifts, and expectancy of a miracle. These uphold your faithfulness as it rides forth to become your desire.

A miracle of spiritual nourishment is dependent on the quality of your expectancy. Your constancy in waiting for a miracle can die if you want peace too long, or go to seed. Go to work and do. Never count the cost as you watch, stand and expect. You know that it will come now, this very day.

Your heritage may be illness, debt, discouragement, despair, or wealth, position, family and fame. Either extreme can take you out into darkness away from God. You can go out from resentment for the hardship, or pride about the other.

You can return to the Light by becoming aware of God again. Accept a new place in God's kingdom. Expect miracle after miracle. Too often people become aware of God again only because they have no food, or because a oved one or they themselves are ill and fear dying. Some people have plenty of food, but no God — foolishly they starve their soul and lose their body. You need a three-way nourishment, and your awareness, becoming, accepting and expectancy must feed your emotions, thinking and imagination a good diet. Imagination is your most unruly faculty. It has itchy feet, runs away from you, and you must bring it home through awareness of God, to serve as soul vision.

Instead of making mountains of your molehills, train your emotions to make molehills of your mountains. Rather than thinking that you do not know enough to act, let expectancy declare that you can do this together with God. “With God, all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26. Making your mountains into tiny molehills is easy when you get together with God. Use that final push upward now. Apply more pressure to go over the top.

Do you know that your desire is yours right now? If not, you are like the little girl who wondered what she knew. She said to her mother, Mommy, "I can write my name." Her mother answered, "Well, write it for me." The little girl sat thoughtfully with her pencil poised and said, "Mommy, do you think that what I know is as much as what I do not know?"

Are you sure that you know, or are you just fooling around with belief and trying to believe? Are you aware that God is stronger than anything else? You can overcome all handicaps and limitations. You can nourish all starvation, physical, emotional-mental or spiritual.

Cover all limitations with a loving expectancy that overcomes all troubles, burns away pride, melts obstacles and absorbs illness. In their place is your awareness of God as the nourishment of Spirit, acceptance of His glory, and the full expectancy of a creator.

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Threefold Nourishment

Edna Lister sermon transcript|October 13, 1957|Cleveland, Ohio|Scribe: Ruth Johnson|Scripture: Acts 3:1-11.

"Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering." – Acts 3:1-11.

Consider the beauty of the words together and with. They hold the secrets of earthly happiness. We long for companions to be with, together. Everyone is seeking someone with whom to share life. One Christmas we had oyster stew for dinner and my sons shot the tree ornaments with the empty shells. Laughing, they said, "We did it together." They always said that. Together and with are beautiful assurances, and the keys to this scripture.

The lame man lay on the ground, and to him, Peter and John were just two pairs of legs nearby. They became aware of him as they heard his voice begging alms. Instantly Peter and John looked down together in expectancy. This passage unfolds three attitudes you must hold before anything can come to pass — awareness, acceptance and expectancy.

Peter and John became aware of the lame man when they heard his call. He became aware of them when Peter said, "Look at us." Their faith and devotion created a dual awareness — the lame man's need for help met the disciples' need to give, and a flash of Light and Power descended to heal him. It works the same way between you and God. The source of nourishment is spiritual. You need to have and God needs to give. It must always be so.

This man had begged his whole life, but had received only money. He asked Peter for tiny alms and received all strength. His healing was threefold nourishment of the physical, mental-emotional and spiritual. The explosion of Power through their dual awareness, when Peter and he looked at each other, healed the man physically. His emotional and mental balance returned as he walked and leaped with them into the temple. His praise evoked the spiritual nourishment as his soul descended. In another healing story, only one of the three lepers Jesus healed was grateful enough, and he received spiritual nourishment.

The lame man's awareness, acceptance and expectancy came together as one under the shock of glory that shone from Peter and John's faces, which describes the process of his miracle. Awareness, acceptance and expectancy, operating as one, bring the only instantaneous miracle, otherwise, you delay the miracle. Scientific achievements would be delayed for hundreds of years unless scientists' awareness, acceptance and expectancy led them to build on others' past work. The same is true of those who dislike another's icy vibration.

Let God's heat melt the ice. Expect that it will. If someone spits in your eye, wipe it out and declare it a healing power. To receive healing, you must become fully aware of God, accept God and expect the miracle from Him. The Three as One, Mind, Substance and Power, build the canoe you paddle down the River of Faithfulness, without turning aside for any lesser matter.

You can make your earthly heritage your exaltation, whether it was poverty or abundance. Those who inherit ill health, homeliness or lack of position may resent their legacy. Wealth, beauty and power inspire pride, but may work the same detrimental way. Move from the lock-step of heredity to awareness, acceptance and expectancy to receive God's threefold nourishment.

Imagination, thinking and emotional desires are your lines of supply. If nothing happens when you have been expectant, you have clogged your lines of Light. Imagination has itchy feet and can run away with you. A wandering imagination must come home to be healed, so bring it into line and turn it up to vision. Bring imagination back to awareness of God, acceptance of God, and expectancy of God.

Clean up your thinking if you are fiddling with knowing, or trying to know. A scientist would say, "We do not know everything, but we are learning." You can learn the Wisdom of the Almighty through comprehension. Throw out the old thoughts to make room for the new. Reach up your arms in desire for more Light, and an explosion of Light occurs.

God works on the plus plan. His need to give is greater than your need to receive, and He acts instantly in response to you. Most people really need to straighten out their emotional lives and desires. Many who complain about loneliness often say, "I do not like this," or "I can't stand that," decrees that box them in a self-made sarcophagus. You need not like the ugly things, but you may not hate them. God says, "Love Me."

Pour your compassionate love on the unwashed unpleasant one, out where he is. God needs you to stand and pray at the Beautiful Gate to miracles, yet a pin point's worth of self in prayer can neutralize the Power you invoke.

God wants you to have good things, but nothing happens without expectancy. Threefold nourishment heals all ills in all ways because enough Power moving in can heal anything. God, left alone to do His perfect work, heals all negative emotions and thoughts, burns away the dross for you and your loved ones. All things are possible when you are together with God until nothing can sway or touch you.

You must become a creator of perfection because you love God. Come on up. Reach out with arms of Light to heal the past now, and create a perfect future.

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Seeking Independence

Edna Lister sermon outline|October 20, 1957|Cleveland, Ohio|Scripture: Romans 5:1-11.

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." – Romans 5:1-11.

The only independence you can have is by faith. Only through faith can you stand unconquerable before the world in a state of grace, rejoicing in the glory of God. You can feel free only when you are rapturously shining with joy.

Independence to express as a creator is the only true independence. One person's idea of independence is to be left completely alone. He spends his time getting somewhere alone and fighting to be left alone.

All he wants is to be free from dictation about what to do and how to do it. He's running day and night escaping in mind and heart from all his obligations and responsibilities. He ends in frustration and loneliness, alone with less and less and no one to care.

Others seek after the opposite form of independence, to have someone else assume all responsibility for everything. Such persons want another to do the thinking and planning. They want to be told what and how, and are lost without someone to turn to for help. Their idea of independence is to be completely dependent.

All insecurity arises from complete dependence whether the state, government, someone or something. The only lasting security is your faith in God and your love of work, knowing who you are, where you are going and how to start on the work at hand.

All the unrest in the world results from seeking freedom and independence from the fear of bondage. People try to depend on other people and their ideas, nations depend on other nations, all without God. You want to attain this glorious place of God-sufficiency, God-Power. To do this, you must understand three stages of consciousness, repentance, reconciliation and atonement.

Repentance means to become aware of a misunderstanding or misrepresenting of law. You become aware of disobedience to any known law when something is wrong. Pain is an excellent trigger for repentance. If you overeat or eat the wrong foods you experience indigestion, a pain. If you buy shoes that are fashionable but hurt your feet, you repent from the pain.

We all know someone who has been caught in the act of disobedience, and they offer a shame repentance. When you hurt someone whom you love, you repent for having hurt them. You experience and witness many kinds of repentance and types of pain. You repent mainly because you hurt, not because you have broken the law. Finally, you grow into a sense of contrition. You think, "I wish I had not done that." This is your first soul repentance.

Reconciliation deals with relationships to God, other people and things. Under reconciliation you must make friends with tour enemies and submit to the disagreeable. Submission is not surrender or agreeing with the disagreeable. Instead you relate all the facts and actions. You learn many things.

Thomas Parker Boyd said, "Your right to stretch your arms ends where the other fellow's ribs begin." You may not involve another in your hurts or revenge ideas just to justify self. You learn that you may not force anyone to march with you to your goal. You cannot walk on broken laws or backs. Here you finally regret your past words and actions. You begin to pay your soul debts by sacrifice of self. You also learn that you may not involve anyone else in your sacrifices or debt-paying.

You learn to stand at peaceful ease through all tribulations, knowing that your tribulations are mellowing experiences. You would not want to miss a single one.

Atonement means to be at ease with your self, your soul and with God. Atonement also means "to set at one." This means that God Light resets you to your soul rate of vibration. Atonement opens true penitence, far beyond repentance. Penitence seeks to repair past failures, lack and damage. It makes amends.

Repentance works on the outer, but penitence works within; it is a state of rapport with your own Oversoul. You are no longer thinking of me and how it will affect me, but of how it will affect the world. You must be close to God at all cost to self.

All this is very interesting, but how do you know when you have received the atonement? In Moses' time, atonement was a blood sacrifice, a lamb, a goat, a ram, a bull. In Jesus' time, he was the sacrifice, his symbolic flesh and blood communion.

An ancient saying is that the initiate is unworthy until his feet have been washed in the blood of his heart. The feet represent understanding. The blood of the heart represents the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit, purifying you to give the sense of at-one-ment.

You will know when you can stand aside and watch lovingly when others commit some foolish wrong. You will know when you can pray and love each lesson and experience, even the tribulations, the tests, trials, and temptations.

No longer is it difficult to obey, because What is that to thee? has become your way. You know that to be lifted, is to lift, to bind up the hurts of others heals your own stripes. You become untouchable in gentleness, immovable in compassion. When you build up more love by broadcasting than the price of the gift, your boon will be added.

You will not need a charge account when you eagerly give God more devotion than He can give us in gifts. Then all things else shall be added; they can be added as fast as you make room to receive. This is the only true, lasting glory of independence. You are free to choose the path to your goal. And when you love enough, you pay as you go.

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Seeking Independence

Edna Lister sermon transcript|October 20, 1957|Cleveland, Ohio|Scribe: Ruth Johnson|Scripture: Romans 5:1-11.

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." – Romans 5:1-11.

The quest for independence is a great keynote of seeking, yet you cannot successfully pursue freedom outside yourself. Inner conflicts enslave you, for without faith, you experience fear, which is the faith principle turned upside down. Faith is the only independence you can ever have. Faith in God is part-time independence, but the faith of God is faith in action as freedom.

The soul filled with the faith of God stands serenely confident in a state of grace. You occupy a state of grace when you pray with a whole heart, as a mystic who communes directly with God. Yet you cannot turn to God without faith. A fall from grace is a fall from perfect love and faith of God into a lesser state of thought, emotion and action. You must comprehend the full faith of the living God.

First is the independent type, who wants complete autonomy to escape responsibility and obligations. He is the most dependent creature on earth. Next is the free type who prides himself on having no ties. Such persons are usually agnostic, admitting no relationship to God or humanity, receiving ever less from life, becoming more lonely. The martyr type seeks liberation from responsibility by depending completely on others, and will work their fingers to the bone for one who gives them this mistaken idea of freedom.

Nations seek to maintain their independence by inverted faith, which is fear. They build barriers for security, but God is the only security. We, as nations and as persons, must come to know this, and accept God as the ultimate.

The Mother's Love is the mustard seed of faith that grows into a mighty tree, the bit of leaven that ferments an entire barrel of meal. One person who loves God can leaven the Christed consciousness in humanity. Conversely, we can drain the world of evil by siphoning it into Light. The more people you see express hatred in the news, the more you can love God enough to declare it good. True love never measures itself. True love has no measure: It is limitless.

This chapter of Romans describes three states of consciousness — repentance, reconciliation and atonement. Repentance is to turn away from misuse of Power and misinterpretation of law, and to stop doing something because it makes you suffer.

You can repent in many ways. Dieting is food repentance. Women practice pain repentance when they discard fashionable shoes that cripple them. You practice shame repentance when you are found out or caught in the act.

Contrition is the first step in repentance, a continual round of I'm sorry until you become sorry enough. Finally, you regret, "I wish I hadn't done that," which is the second step in true repentance. Love-based repentance savors of a step higher, when you really desire to ascend, and do something about it.

Reconciliation begins when you regret your disobedience and desire to know what law means. You learn how far you can go by blundering and being forced to submit yourself to the disagreeable. The sacrifice is void if the martyr wears a long face. "I'll try" is tired of being uncomfortable, but is not yet motivated by the Love of God. You must reconcile yourself with God, law and others.

Atonement is a large word that means being at one, and its outstanding attribute is penitence, which takes you to the Master's feet. Since you cannot bear to hurt him, you work to become closer to God. You surrender, knowing you may not use Power, but must surrender so His Power may use you. With Paul you say, "This one thing I do now." Atonement is the magnificent description of how you set your vibration to God's high keynote of faith and love.

Men atoned by sacrificing animals in Moses' day, but have made symbolic sacrifices since Jesus became the atonement. Atonement is at-one-ment. M is God as the Mother of Love. E is mother love on earth. N is the Holy Spirit. T is the ladder you climb back to God, your Source. You'll know you've made atonement when you stand without desire to retaliate, no matter what happens. You'll love, want to cover others' offenses, and agree with your adversary quickly.

An Eastern adage says that a student may not enter the Holy of Holies until he bathes his feet in his own heart's blood. The bloodstream houses the soul. The Son's red ray of energy permeates your bloodstream when you breathe the Holy Spirit deeply. Breathe the sevenfold Holy Breath deeply, to possess your bloodstream in the morning while still in bed, or you'll feel like a zombie. Send a fretful child back to bed to breathe and get up on the right side of bed.

Everyone wants independence. They leave their parents or guardian for husband or wife, yet exchange one kind of dependence for another. Often you cannot speak of truth to your loved ones because truth is a rebuke to those who are still in the contrition stage. You will find no independence in thinking about how mean or inferior they are. You feel free only when you are at one with God and declare them perfect right where they are.

Learn to surrender, close your heavenly charge account, and pay as you go. When you quit praying on the run or telling God you'll give it more time tomorrow, you'll desire to pray and love Him more. Making each day better than the last is the way to joy consciousness. Prayer is how to stay up in the Light and know God.

Give to God after you have made repentance, reconciliation and atonement. Pray, not to get, but to see how much praise and love you can give God. One day, you will want to embrace the whole world in love, and say, "This is good," even in the midst of death. Declare, "Everything happening among the nations is good and according to God's plan." God credits those who are most evil for bringing evil into the open to be cleansed. God uses them to bring utopia to pass just as He uses your prayers.

Many people can repent without penitence. You can tell who they are because they say, "He loves me in spite of what I do." Penitence desires to be loved because. A penitent soul lifts the whole matter to an altar in surrender. Freedom that resets your vibration to the high keynote of faith and love of God is your glory of independence.

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God Is a Gentleman

Edna Lister sermon outline|November 3, 1957|Buffalo, New York|Scripture: Luke 6:27-38.

"But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." – Luke 6:27-38.

Condensed within these verses are the articles of a complete code of honor for a gentleman or lady. Each article is a law, needing no modifying to suit the individual. The traits of a gentleman or lady, a gentlewoman, include kindness, tenderness, temperance, generosity and courtesy. Jesus taught God's method to man:

"But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." – Luke 6:35-38.

How does God express as a gentleman? As all perfection, of course, summed in the stature of the Christ. First, honor above all things, loyalty, second only to honor, integrity, a zeal and fire of the soul, and consideration, thinking of others, not self.

Honor is nobleness of mind, a high respect for glory, a high sense of responsibility, and an outstanding allegiance to the right. Loyalty is a true faithfulness to God, including vows to become Christed, assuming all obligations to do so, using Christed methods.

Loyalty as a soul quality does not refer to the petty loyalties of men to political parties, to clans, tribes or nations. Loyalty to God uses an oil can to pacify, and an olive branch to please others. True loyalty is using enough love and compassion to make one invincible and unconquerable.

Integrity is wholeness, being all in one piece, without confusion or inner conflict. Integrity shows itself in a constant unwavering soundness of expression. Consideration is an act of the soul, to reckon justly with all, to make allowances when needed and cover the transgressions of others. God, as a gentleman, always says, yes.

Laws govern your outer expression among humanity, regardless of degree or kind. Such laws deal with your actions and are called laws of doing. The laws governing being are higher in their nature. When your goal is honor, you must take inner steps to cleanse the soul of self to be honor. You begin with three great steps that we call initiations — repentance, reconciliation, and atonement. We use these steps to reach the stature of Christ.

Repentance means to become aware of when you are breaking a law. You experience pain repentance when you eat the wrong foods or wear tight shoes. You cover what you did with, Oh, I'm so sorry it happened. When someone catches us or finds out what we have done, we may experience shame repentance. We say, "Oh, I'm so sorry I did that." Yet you begin to know love repentance only when you hurt a loved one. Then your first sense of contrition awakens.

Reconciliation is the period of your greatest lessons. Yet just to feel or say, "I wish I hadn't done that" is not enough. Reconciliation deals with discovering your true relationship with God, others and with things. Under reconciliation, you find that you must submit to the disagreeable in fact, people and policy. You learn that you cannot involve others or force others to do things your way.

To submit to the world's facts of life is the first vague awakening to what you later experience as surrender to God. You end up with, "I regret my actions," which really means, "I regret I got caught." To say, "I'll never do that again," or "They'll never catch me on that again," proves that you are still in the I'll try stage.

This leads to the third step, atonement, which is to be at ease with God because your self and soul have become one. Atonement opens a state of true penitence of the soul. Outer contrition and regret are still self moving up in consciousness to soul direction and control. Penitence is a state of rapport with one's own Oversoul. You convert "I wish I hadn't" and "I'll try" into "This one thing I do."

"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." – Philippians 3:13-14.

Now you reach that final stage of rewards — "But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest." – Luke 6:35.

God is the increase. Some find that they receive no reward because they have given nothing. They blame God, which is silly. If you never go fishing, you will never catch a fish. In Scripture, every verse that carries an admonition is always followed by a reward for having the courage to do or to obey law. Reward covers all past debts and brings all outer present success and inner rewards of ascension.

A doctor once cured a very rich patient, but only asked for golf clubs in return. The rich patient gave him five clubs, small payment for having saved the man's life. Your need to receive meets God's need to give and a miracle occurs. The miracle is good measure, pressed down and running over.

"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." – Luke 6:38.

In these verses are four admonitions — do good, love your enemies, judge not unrighteously, and condemn not — which comprise the first steps through soul initiations. Repentance says, "I wish I hadn't." Reconciliation says, "I'll try." Atonement says, "I do."

Your goal is to reach God through honor above all things. Your outer expression of honor is soul cleansing. Honor and loyalty mate and their firstborn is integrity, the zeal and fire in your soul. Consideration is integrity in action, which leads you to your goal. As you persevere, one day you shall attain your goal of being a gentleman or gentlewoman of God, living before high thrones.

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Familiar Guests

Edna Lister sermon outline|November 10, 1957|Cleveland, Ohio|Scripture: Acts 12:1-16.

"Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished." – Acts 12:1-16.

Peter was bound with chains between two men. Keepers, guards, stood before every door of the prison. Yet Peter was freed. When God says, Yes, no man can say, No, or stand in the way of fulfillment.

"And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands." – Acts 12:7. The angel smote Peter to wake him up, and said to "Arise quickly" to cast off his chains. Then the angel ordered him to do four things: Gird himself, bind on his sandals, put his robe on and to follow him.

These steps are the perfect instructions for being fully conscious. First, inhale deeply and reach for the stars to meet any difficulty. Second, secure your understanding without asking why before you act. Third, cast your garment about you, or robe yourself in love to protect yourself. Finally, follow the Light, your angel, into a sphere of fire, alive with the Light of the Christ.

Peter was in a daze as the angel led him to freedom. When he came to himself, he thought he had been dreaming. You, too, may walk around in a dream-like state half the time, being vague, uncertain, unable to make up your mind. Three gates led out of the prison, fear, doubt and self. Self is the final gate that opens at your own accord, or by your choice. The angel escorted him one street farther and left him.

When Peter arrived at Mary's house, Rhoda, the servant, recognized his voice when he asked admittance. Yet, being only half-awake herself, she left him standing there and ran to tell the others. They thought he was dead and one said, "It is his angel."

Peter had accepted his position of being in prison. He entertained no resentment. We know this because he was freed, released by a miracle. Peter's familiar guests were his love of God, his faith, his confidence in God and his ability to forgive. We entertain two types of familiar guests. Let me outline them in this little allegory.

Imagine two coaches, poised on a rise above the beautiful City of Desire, which lies in the distance, like a mirage. Both coaches roll downhill over a meadow to a fork in the road. The way right enters hilly country, while the left road enters beautiful terrain. Apathy drives the team, Opinion and Prejudice, as they dash along, taking the easy way at the fork because Apathy confounds their sense of direction. Doubt and Fear ask for a ride. Prudence says no, but Apathy says it doesn't matter, pushes Prudence off and Fear sits in his place. They pick up Self-Pity and Gossip, then stop for Intolerance, Pride, Revenge, Confusion and I Don't Care, a four-year-old who says "I won't. I can't." Worry, who's always hungry, sits between Sorrow and Tears. The team begins to lag with the load, and the coach finally gets stuck in the Bog of Despair.

Reason and Imagination drive the other coach pulled by Desire and Will. They choose the rough and stony way, but reorient themselves on every rise. Their passengers are Faith and Understanding, and Poise and Power, newly married couples. They meet Beauty, Strength, Joy, Ecstasy, Rapture and Delight, who surround the coach, singing. Comprehension, the gate keeper, welcomes them at the City of Desire. We meet these familiar guests in life, and choose the guests we invite to ride in our coach. We have all faced the choice of whether to take the easy way or the hard.

It's time you stopped prowling in the outer world and became a true searcher and finder in the inner realms of reality. Become enthralled with love of God through prayer without ceasing. Stop specializing in bondage. How dare you allow desecration of God's Holy Temple? To allow guests of ugly character does defile it. Wake up and specialize in glory and the joy of glory.

Jesus gave his life for all your tomorrows! Now gird yourself, bind on your sandals and robes and give your tomorrows to God as love. Jesus taught one thing well. This group and the early Christians all had it. They prayed without ceasing for Peter's deliverance. They had no time for enemies. They were forgiveness.

Keep going to your mountain top to hold your vision, your sense of direction toward the great golden City of Desire. Your password to its gates is forgiveness through prayer.

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Familiar Guests

Edna Lister sermon transcript|November 10, 1957|Cleveland, Ohio|Scribe: Ruth Johnson|Scripture: Acts 12:1-16.

"Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished." – Acts 12:1-16.

This story is outstanding. Peter had slept in prison, which proves that he was not worried. The disciples were all trained in sacrifice of self, so through prayer without ceasing, made sacrifice of their fears. Honor-bound to make their Christian faith pay dividends, they forgave all their detractors and persecutors. They did not consider that they had enemies, but that God had enemies. Thus, Peter had a miracle through the power of prayer and the power of acceptance. Peter was bound with two chains. We often live with spiritual and material chains of bondage, the greatest being doubt and fear.

"Behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and knew not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him." – Acts 12:7-10.

Peter's acceptance and unconquerable faith opened the iron gate of wisdom and comprehension. The angel told him to gird himself, to reach up and draw a breath from the Source. When you must meet a challenge, draw a breath and mentally reach up to lift your emotions. Your breath draws from the magnetic currents of earth and pulls to the heart to strengthen your magnetic sheath of protection, a wall of Light. To bind on your sandals means to strap on understanding so it does not let imagination get away from you. After you have girded yourself, enfold yourself in a protective robe of Light. Light made Peter invisible, even after the angel left him. Only then, when he was no longer in bonds in prison, did he know that he had a miracle. His miracle probably shocked him.

"And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished." – Acts 12:11-16.

Rhoda lacked the common sense to let Peter into the house, to safety. Nobody there believed it was Peter. The others said it must be his angel, or his ghost.

Imagine, if you will, two coaches poised on a rise, overlooking a beautiful city in the distance, like a desert mirage. They go down the hill and over a smooth meadow to a fork in the road ahead, on the way to the City of Desire. The way to the right enters hilly country. The road to the left leads to beautiful terrain.

The twins, Lukewarmness and Indifference hold the reins to the team of Opinion and Prejudice. They dash along through the meadow and take the easy road at the fork because Apathy's whining confounds their sense of direction. Doubt and Fear ask for a ride. Prudence says no, but Apathy says it doesn't matter, pushes Prudence off and Fear sits in his place. They pick up Self-Pity and Gossip, then stop for Intolerance, Pride, Revenge, Confusion and I Don't Care, a four-year-old who says I won't. I can't. Worry, who is always hungry, sits between Sorrow and Tears. The team begins to lag with the load, and the coach finally gets stuck in the Bog of Despair.

Reason and Imagination drive the other coach, pulled by Desire and Will. They choose the rough and stony way, but reorient themselves on every rise. Their passengers are Faith and Understanding, and Poise and Power, a newly married pair. They meet Beauty, Strength, Joy, Ecstasy, Rapture and Delight, who surround the coach, singing. Soon, Comprehension, the gate keeper, welcomes them at the City of Desire. You meet these familiar guests in life, and choose which mystery guests you invite into your coach. We have all stood on that rise and decided whether to take the easy way or the hard.

No matter how often you begin the journey, you must finally choose the rapture of knowing God. You can enter God's City of Desire only through the Gates of Comprehension, traveling with determination. If you want to cast off your chains of bondage, the angel touches you on the heart side. You must cast off the bondage of low characters. Allow nothing of outer negativity to touch our heart. For example, never allow words spoken in hatred to enter the heart. To do so is like inviting a negative guest to your coach. You blaspheme God when you allow negativity to defile your inner temple, body or mind.

If you are girded, shod and mantled in Light, nothing can touch you. Tolerance and understanding are your sandals, and rapture is your mantle. Cross your arms across your solar plexus, with your thumbs in the inner joint at the elbows, to create a magnetic wall to protect you from the arrows that fly by day.

Invite Peace and Patience, Poise and Power to travel in your coach. That way, when you stand on the plaza of the City of Desire, you will have the valid passport, complete forgiveness through unceasing prayer.

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Your Capacity for Freedom

Edna Lister sermon outline|November 17, 1957|Cleveland, Ohio|Scripture: Luke 15:11-32.

"A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found." – Luke 15:11-32.

We all know the story in the parable of the prodigal son, two brothers with very different types of disposition, but who were both in bondage to self. The younger son was in bondage to gratification of the senses as pleasure, and the older son was in thrall to greed as his pleasure. Oh, yes! Greed is counted as a pleasure.

The younger brother's bondage was joyously irresponsible — he had more fun, and was always ready for change. The other son was rigid and stiff, always driving himself and others.

The story itself is interesting. The father had so indulged the younger son that he was free to enjoy his laughing open nature. He, in turn, loved his father. The older son was dour, and had no time for self-indulgence. He spent his time tending his investments in the farm. He never ceased finding fault with his brother.

The younger son decided to be free of his brother's complaints and unasked-for advice. He claimed his inheritance and immediately took off for the city to do as he pleased, just as he had dreamed of doing. He found out the hard way that pleasuring self brings no freedom.

He loved his father and missed him, so his thoughts kept turning toward home. He remembered the family's well-kept farm, the good food and how everyone always had enough to eat. Since he had been reduced to herding swine and eating husks, he was in a worse state than the lowest of his father's servants.

Thinking of his brother, he knew the sneers he would have to endure. Swallowing his pride, he reached for the true freedom he needed. He said, "I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants." – Luke 15:18-19.

He sacrificed his old ideas of self-centered freedom for his father's love. He had learned the hard way, through loss, lack and hunger. He admitted, "I have sinned." His father was starved for his younger son's love. He received none from his older son who had little time for anything besides making money. Seeing his youngest, he ran to meet him, and ordered a feast prepared.

The older son was angrier than ever, incensed by the generous treatment of his wastrel brother. He refused to attend the feast. All his self-credited goodness was as nothing since he was unjust in his opinions and worked only for the self. His enslavement was as deep as his brother's had been.

No common meeting point is possible between such opposites, other than through great love. The elder son did not know how to love as personality. He loved on principle only, treasuring things and the farm.

What is freedom? True freedom comes with acceptance of full responsibility as an ascending creator god. The only true measure of your capacity for freedom is the measure of your ability to surrender self and become the full-time servant of all God's Power.

No bondage exists in Light, love's power — self is the only bondage. Under Light, the soul soars. You follow a threefold path to complete freedom of the soul when you use the faculties of discernment, discrimination, and discretion. Your use of the mental-soul faculties also frees you in body and in your affairs.

Discernment is the ability to see the truth, the keenness of your perceptions. You use perception to realize the relationship of outer things to your inner life of emotions and thinking. Discernment gives you the ability to penetrate the veils of illusion, the mist that veils the Light.

By using discernment as insight, you can see around corners and through the masks people wear. Lies and deceits become obvious to you. Thus, you can be aware of something happening before news of it arrives.

Discrimination is the ability to observe, to notice fine distinctions, and make observations applied to actions. Observation is discrimination raised to its highest pinnacle. The resultant fine sense of balance and timing gives you the power of discriminating taste and choice. It is the basis of all true choice — how you make up your mind.

Discretion is watchful prudence over your emotions, thinking and imagination. It is your restraint, the brakes on what you think and feel. Discretion is the ability to distinguish between the fine shadings of truth, and confers the full liberty of deciding what you think as you think it. It is the basis of being able to hold to your choices. Further, discretion is the art of diplomacy. All tact stems from discretion. By applying discretion, you never have to eat your idle words, since you speak none. You give no one a verbal club to wield on you, or a mesh to trip you.

As the younger son in this parable, you must learn to discriminate between good and poor choices, to recognize and accept your need to surrender self. To know the right pathway, you must seek first the kingdom of God. You must learn to use discretion as wisdom in your speech and actions. To do this, you must avoid the appearance of evil. Count the cost of your transgression, take your discounts and give up all pride of self to be fed of Light.

Finally, you must practice that beautiful discernment that enables you to declare everything good and as all love because love does fulfill the law. As the younger son, you may then arise! Ascend from the Land of Egypt and travel through the Promised Land into your Garden of Eden. Arise! Move! Accept God's promises for your destiny.

Remain in the Garden of Eden, in the refuge of the soul, the Light. Give up any old patterns of a frozen heart center, rigid muscles, or fiery burning nerves to be possessed by the love of God, the faith of God. Permit no weeds in your Garden of Eden — no sitting and waiting, resting or grieving for self, which freezes your body and affairs. The thaw begins the moment you declare that everything in form is good. Your capacity then becomes limitless.

Acting in discernment, discrimination, and discretion is your glorious freedom from darkness. As you arise, you grow silvery white wings of joy. Declare, "I arise! And God, my Father, prepares for me a table, a feast in the midst of all my loved ones."

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Your Capacity for Freedom

Edna Lister sermon transcript|November 17, 1957|Cleveland, Ohio|Scribe: Ruth Johnson|Scripture: Luke 15:11-32.

"A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found." – Luke 15:11-32.

We can all relate to the famous parable of the prodigal son. We have been as lukewarm to love as the older brother was, and as selfish as the younger son. These brothers were both in bondage to self.

The older son was a slave to his greed. He loved adulation of his virtues, thrived under it, but would not offer a cent to feed his flatterers. He must have heckled his younger brother. He probably loved that people told him, "Your brother is no good, but you are wonderful."

The younger son was irresponsible, but he loved greatly. Since he had no idea of the value of money, he thought his portion would last forever. He was a joyous sinner. He had a great time. Finally, the inevitable happened. The younger son tired of it all. He ran out of money and was demoted to feeding swine, a degradation and defilement.

Suddenly, he had a vision of his father, and knew he had to change. He determined to return to his father, to accept any lowly position, even to be his father's goatherd. He gave up all pride and went home. Only the joyous sinner can give up sin all at once. Greedy ones can give up sin only an inch at a time because they love God only an inch at a time.

The father saw his son coming with Light on his face, and knew he was free of sin. So he called for a ring, robe and sandals to be brought, and had a fatted calf killed for a celebration feast. He wanted everyone to know that his son loved him enough to come home.

The older son had given his father only a lukewarm love, but now he was furious. The father said, "You are with me all the time, son," to end his griping. "But he who was dead is alive." It was a joyous moment.

This parable is the history of a soul coming home to Light, returning to the heavenly Father. You can find many ways to do it. Religion, ministers and books so easily bore us. Suddenly a sunset or symphony excites us to hold fast to new found inspiration.

You have to awaken three great faculties, discernment, discrimination, and discretion. You never get bored if you use these three with logic and reason.

What is freedom? The Prodigal Son found no freedom in his wild spending. The older son had no freedom in his love of being a miser. True freedom is the greatness found in your capacity to surrender self to become a servant of all Power. This is not bondage to self.

You become a creator god walking earth, a servant of God's Power, Love and Wisdom. This is how you stand on earth as a creator god, looking, being, and acting the part.

Each brother had to learn in his own way. The younger son was an irreverent wastrel, but loving and lovable. The older son was good, but that was not enough, for he was self-consciously so. He never killed the fatted calf for a good friend, but people loved him in spite of his selfishness. These two sons reflect the difference between letting Power use you (as the younger son) or using Power (as the older son).

Through observation, you develop that fine sense of timing and balance. You must watch where you step and what to say to keep your balance. Discernment is the art of high vision and is based in perception, or insight. With discernment you may say no or yes correctly. Heed it. You have no admirable way to explain a lack of discernment.

Discrimination is the art of observation raised to its zenith and pinnacle of power. If you live life blindly, you have no perception of the other fellow and his feelings. You let the chance slip to do fine, little things, to love, to praise. With discrimination, you speak the right word at the right time. Discriminatory abilities are your entree to a limitless capacity to enjoy freedom. Discrimination gives the power of right choice.

Discretion is the art of reaching the highest point of diplomacy; without it, you have no tact. All tact and diplomacy stem from discretion. Diplomacy is the perfect training for the stamina and ability to make the right choice.

Discernment, discrimination, and discretion must back all logic and reason or they are useless. You have all these faculties in the golden bowl, your computer mind. Your garden is in the golden bowl, your head. It is your divine instrument, a broadcasting station gathering in divine Wisdom to make you a servant of all the Power. The Land of Egypt is below the heart. Soul moves through the Land of Promise (stomach of assimilation, heart of love, and lungs of inspiration), but only to ascend to your Garden of Eden.

You discern that which is good. God wants all His sons and daughters to come home. He awaits His children to discern their qualities and to lift them, whether we like them or not. Discrimination gives you compassion. Discretion gives you the right words, leads you from the pit of others' accusations and avoids the appearance of evil.

If you believe someone can harm you, you still believe in enemies. Who can harm you save the self? You must discern and declare everything good if you want to arise from bondage to self. Do you love enough? Are you the selfless servant of God? Are you free enough in His service?

Is a third-grader who misses a math problem a sinner? You dare not call the world's third-graders sinners. You soil your soul by spoiling the other fellow's credit card. Reach out with arms of Light and cover him with a cloud of glory. Let no weeds grow in your Garden of Eden. The weed killers are DDD, discernment, discrimination, and discretion. Use them constantly.

Ascend to God's Powerhouse, where you cannot lay the lash of your tongue on another. Remain in that Powerhouse where your least favorites cannot harm you, if you do not entertain their negativity.

The prodigal son's robe was the reward for discrimination, the ring was for discretion, the sandals were for discernment. The robe, ring and sandals cannot fail. Remember the silver wings of glory that lift you before God. Maintain your golden silence to remain still.

Declare, "Thou, oh God, preparest a table before me in the midst of my loved ones. Thou hast placed a great dish of the fruit of love before me" — or anything your heart desires on that table.

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God As Little Things

Edna Lister sermon outline|November 24, 1957|Cleveland, Ohio|Scripture: Psalm 23.

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever." – Psalm 23.

The soul's reverence for The All touches this one chapter in the Bible. Psalm 23 is a paean of praise from the soul of man to the soul of God. Immediately it picks one up and sets a keynote, a new vibration rate of joy. Joy is the one vibration of earth's perfection. Repeating these glorious words of praise without becoming assured and grateful is almost impossible.

"The Lord [who is the law] is my shepherd; I shall not want." – Psalm 23:1. How can this be? "For in Him we live and move and have our being." – Acts 17:28. We dwell in the midst of this vast River of Life, flowing from and back to the throne of God, at the Source. You have no place else to go, no other place to come from, for God is everything. God is all that is. This creates a picture of our Father, a tender shepherd watching over us.

How much can you want? You will receive little or much according to your faith in God's ability to supply. God cannot take care of you when your imagination, thinking and emotions are too cluttered with little things that pass away, negative thoughts and idle words. How can He take care of you if you are busy thinking, "I'm not worthy. I might misuse it. If I could get off the path, do not let me have it." You must choose what you want, and how much.

"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures." – Psalm 23:2. Sometimes we do not recognize the place as a green pasture. For example, one woman, who wanted to write, had a lovely home and children. Yet she said, "I have no time to write." Her husband bought a little farm, and still she said, "I'm too busy. I have no place to write."

So, you make your own pasture green through knowing, accepting and using your own place in joy and love. To think that changing your surroundings will change you is an illusion. Sometimes you really lie down to rest in indifference and lukewarmness, until the green turns brown and dry. Thus, your life has dried up while you waited for God to do it for you.

"He leadeth me beside the still waters." – Psalm 23:2. If you make no effort, you become buried by little things. If you cannot decide what to do, where to start, or how to act, you never get to the still waters. The still waters are the place of I AM consciousness, of nonresistance, where no inner conflict remains. God leads you, but you must make the move into it. Declare, "I surrender my life to His leadership."

"He restoreth my soul." – Psalm 23:3. Do you awaken deflated, dangling above your physical body? You can move in on a breath, and choose to have, to be and to do. You must learn the meaning of I AM THAT. We are all seeking to know what I AM is — Deathless, ageless and abiding Oversoul, which descends to possess little me, changing all the silly little things into the all of God as they grow and expand.

You hear the Voice, soft and low, but I AM consciousness hears loud and clear, "Come up higher. Ascend unto Me." All the silly little things of self become the glorious little things of God. They pave your path of righteousness, which is high vision in action.

"He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake." – Psalm 23:3. If you have accepted the invitation, you are now up in consciousness. You have become one with God. He does lead you onward in the high vision of your service for God, to become His ensample of life and Light. You have found your new pattern of life.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me." – Psalm 23:4. The shadow of death is being lifeless, to turn from the Light into darkness. Yet, you fear no evil when you have found your I AM place. God is with you. I AM leads little me.

Now you choose the design for your weaving, for you know the shape. Will your fabric be satiny or dull, smooth or bumpy? You are weaving the threads of all your changed little things, the place you occupy, the games you are playing, which are your present supplies. You must weave it all together in joy and love.

"Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." – Psalm 23:4. How can you let the rod of Power use you? The Master said that if you open your door, he will come in and sup with you. Power descends the spine as life and rises up through the vital centers to sublimate the creative fire in illumination. Your spine is as flexible as you are toward life.

Thy staff is a coverall of Light, covering feet, legs and torso, under the arms for support and protection. You are no longer buffeted by little things, idle words and thoughts, lukewarm, indifferent, floating, but in conscious direction and control of your life.

"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies." – Psalm 23:5. Today say, "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my loved ones," since you have no more enemies. Invite them in to become friends.

Now you have a table, but no food. What will you feed your loved ones and friends? Bowls of nauseous gray self-pity, poison pride, hatred or revenge? Feed them the gold and silver apples of illumination and intuition. Offer them strawberries, vibrant with the red ray of energy, bowls of joy, sincerity and truth, sent on a table with white love flowers in the center.

"Thou anointest my head with oil." – Psalm 23:5. The oil of Spirit, poured on your head opens the lotus centers with flaming love for seeing, hearing and comprehension. You can make new decrees, let go of petty things, and let Power do the work, because God is so great. All else is turned to life, Light, love and glory. You meet life's challenges in joy. I AM consciousness has taken over little me. I am surrendered, possessed by soul power.

"My cup runneth over." – Psalm 23:5. You have become a chalice of love, overflowing with joy. Now you remain undisturbed, undismayed.

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever." – Psalm 23:6. Your table is full of all good things. Your loved ones move in and dwell with Oversoul I AM in the house of the Lord forever.

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God As Little Things

Edna Lister sermon transcript|November 24, 1957|Cleveland, Ohio|Scribe: Ruth Johnson|Scripture: Psalm 23.

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever." – Psalm 23.

People quote Psalm 23 more often than any other. The faith, glory and exaltation of its verses arouse all who repeat it. David's soul touched the Source when he wrote this song. Its six short verses contain the magnificence of great poetry, and its rhythm is unequaled.

"The Lord [who is the law] is my shepherd; I shall not want." – Psalm 23:1. The Lord here is a shepherd, not a Father. Helpless lambs need a shepherd who guards against predators day and night, so David spoke of God as a shepherd, always there for you and me. We can depend on a Father who neither slumbers nor sleeps. We can knock on His door anytime, and He will invite us to enter.

Justice demands a balance of Love and Wisdom, and the law shepherds and guides you. No child appreciates a father who treats him over-indulgently or carelessly. Children hold permissiveness against us, for it produces dry rot in their souls. You must train children in how to conquer self. Everyone wants a Father he can depend on, atheists, agnostics and the religious alike. Devout souls know that God is always there, but seldom mention their faith.

Atheists fear God and constantly repudiate Him. Agnostics, who do not understand God, continually question His existence. Atheists and agnostics discuss God much more often than do the religious. You worship whatever you believe in, an image, the void of atheism, the confusion of agnosticism, or the true Source of all Light.

Everyone must live by the laws of the material world, and we all have wants and needs. Yet many have rested themselves to death on "I shall not want." Most people do not know what they really want. Those who say, "I do not care for wealth," are often just too lazy to go out and earn it. Have you organized your wanting? Do you have incentive and a deep desire to gain your goals?

God fills your Oversoul star with substance, heated to the degree of your desire. Do you fill your prayer molds and spend full time praising God at white heat for their outer manifestation? Then, do you do all you possibly can on the outer?

"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures." – Psalm 23:2. You can lie down in only one green pasture at a time, and sometimes it is only pseudo-green Astroturf [artificial turf for playing surfaces in sports]. Your pasture will dry out and die if you never take time to love it, care for it and water it.

Green represents peace, harmony, tranquility and expansion, and you must expand your soul to emancipate yourself into a greener pasture. "Maketh" means more than God guiding you to achieve the glory. To lie down is to take time to become quiet, to ascend in consciousness to the golden silence.

"He leadeth me beside the still waters." – Psalm 23:2. The still waters symbolize the absolute tranquility of vital living in Christ.

Tranquil emotions and still waters, clear all the way down, take you to a burning desire to know Christ. Wipe all clutter from the subconscious mind to hear the voice of Spirit and reach the River of Life's still waters. Love God enough to be completely devoted to Him. You never find the still waters if you wander in the wilderness of confusion.

"He restoreth my soul." – Psalm 23:3. Many people have divorced their souls for the world's dubious pleasures, have become listless, and so negative that their souls need restoring. God restores your soul by returning your misused soul substance.

"He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake." – Psalm 23:3. You must learn how to be, to become and to do. Nothing is small, and all the little things that you choose pave your Path of Righteousness. Righteousness is your highest vision in action, and you must apply it in all situations. Righteousness means right use of Power, which is letting the Power use you. He leads you in right use of His Power.

Let the Power move forth, first for the glory of God, then the healing. You can ascend in consciousness only by praise, joy, and love, so glorify God, praise Him, and give Him all the credit. Make your pattern one of surrender to become the servant of all God's Power, and He changes your lukewarmness to the glory of devotion. Become conscious of I AM THAT I AM, God's greatest name.

If you wrote all the idle words you spoke for a month, you would realize how you build a highway of unrighteousness. "I didn't mean it. I'll try. I'm sorry. I'm tired. I'm dead. I'm bored. I'm angry. I'm hurt." I'm is a contraction of I AM. You clutter your speech, mind and the very atmosphere with every such remark.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." – Psalm 23:4. You face a valley of shadows when you turn from Light. The gate is self-pity: "I'm alone. No one understands me. No one loves me." Death is the absence of enough Light and life. God loves you and is always there. Reach for the stars, and you will find no more valleys of the shadow.

The sacral plexus is the lower pole of your rod of Power, and the brain's frontal lobes are on the higher pole of Wisdom. Breathe and declare, I AM that glory, I AM. I AM that Power, I AM. Power descends and ascends your spine, creating an ecstasy of soul. You become weightless because you have established your rod of Power on an axis of Light. The rod of Power is absolute protection.

The shepherd's staff provides guidance and protection in a different form, as the saving grace of God, against negative traits, any little self desire for blame or criticism that has not been conquered. God's children are sheep who move blindly as He guides them with His comforting staff of Power.

God's comfort is a coverall that blankets you with an immovable mantle of Light. That Light holds the heavy law of gravitation and earthy vibrations below the breastbone, so they cannot touch your wings of Light.

"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies." – Psalm 23:5. Enemies are doubts, fears, opinions, prejudices, resentments and idle words. You no longer sit with your enemies when you conquer, but in the presence of your loved ones.

What cloth do you use to cover your table? How have you woven your pattern? With the glory of God, you can weave an old, dark pattern into one of beauty. This verse does not say that anything is on the table. You yield to lukewarmness or indifference when you yield to enemies, to anger that can give you poisoned apples or spoiled gravy.

Now, what sort of feast will you prepare for the world as you release God's Love and Power? Fill the table with a bowl of glory, a barrel of wheat for substance, anointed by the oil that fails not. The silver and golden apples of illumination and intuition will nourish you.

"Thou anointest my head with oil." – Psalm 23:5. Some people use rancid oil, but God gives you the glorious oil of Spirit that fills your pattern of life. He anoints the golden bowl with the oil of glory and the lotus petals glow. The Master is knocking at your door. Open to him, for he brings his chalice of Light that runs over to bless you.

"My cup runneth over." – Psalm 23:5. Light spills out when you ascend in the Light and become the chalice of the living God. Declare The Power moves in, and your cup runs over. Be a creator god on earth, your feet on ground, your conscious mind looking straight ahead. Hold your vision high.

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever." – Psalm 23:6. He says, "Come with Me and dwell in My house forever." Your real home is in God's green pasture. God now anoints and purifies you with the oil of Spirit.

Thou, oh God, hast prepared a table before us in the midst of our loved ones. Thou hast placed on that table a great platter of Love's many fruits and everything our hearts desire.

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Triumphant You

Edna Lister speech outline|November 25, 1957|Prayer Circle Washington, D.C.|Scripture: Romans 13:10.

"Love does no harm to a neighbor: therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." – Romans 13:10.

God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. God is deathless, ageless, and abiding. These statements set a keynote vibration for life, and to them, we add, "Love is the fulfillment of the law." – Romans 13:10. Your capacity for comprehending these three statements determines your capacity for life. What do they mean to you?

First, How long do you want to live? How old is God? Do you let love fulfill the law, or do you want law to fill love? Your life's whole pattern depends on your answers. The physical body you occupy is new today, not the same as it was a year ago. Do you really know and remember this?

Your body recreates every cell, according to science. Yet you either rebuild it anew, or according to the same old pattern. God has made you in His image and likeness, which is eternally self-renewing. But do you hang onto yesterday's old habits and today's patterns forever? The forever pattern you choose depends on your idea of God's age. If He is deathless, ageless, and abiding, this pattern is yours now.

Love fulfills the law, but do you love God enough? You cannot get hot about God as principle, but just worship and obey. God as personality is different, and can excite the rapture of love. You may choose to have love burst as a flame and a glory within you. Do you live by little me-made laws, and want them to fulfill love, or by the laws of I AM consciousness? Who is taking you where, "I AM" or little me? Is your love of God greater now than it was a week ago? Why not?

The River of Life is always flowing Home. The nearer the Source it draws you, the greater the love flowing through you, and you are walking in it. Since greater love must fill you to revitalize you, you must love more.

Three imperative soul faculties — discernment, discrimination, and discretion — form laws that you must follow. For example, Boy Scouts must take an observation test to graduate in rank, and their survival skills depend on how well they observe their surroundings.

Discernment is the high art of keenness in perceiving the whole inner and outer picture at once, now. Discrimination is the art of observation, raised to its highest pinnacle of perfection. Discrimination is a fine sense of timing, through love enough, which is the timing of the universe. Discretion is the highest art of diplomacy. Without a fine sense of discretion, which is based in the timing of love, you lack diplomacy and tact.

How do discernment, discrimination and discretion concern you as a triumphant soul? These three faculties can and do make your relationships with others a triumph. Add honor to God above all else, and loyalty to principle. The mating of high honor and loyalty produce the firstborn offspring, integrity of heart, mind and purpose. Consideration then operates as integrity in action.

When love times your use of discernment, discrimination and discretion, it fulfills the law of your choice to overflowing. Your creations become visible with condensed love substance. With such love, you, the triumphant soul you are, do the greater works. Your new pattern of life appears as a youthful body, and success.

You have ascended to the House of the Lord, deathless, ageless, abiding, the secret place of the Most High. In this place, God has prepared a table for you in the midst of your loved ones. You are becoming triumphant.

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What Money Cannot Buy

Edna Lister sermon outline|December 1, 1957|Cleveland, Ohio|Scripture: Acts 27: 21-29.

"After long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island. But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country; and sounded, and found it twenty fathoms: and when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms. Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day." – Acts 27: 21-29.

Before Saul's conversion to Paul on the road to Damascus, he was wholly driven by self. Paul moved from self-indulgence to ascension of self. He moved from self identification to soul identification, from self confidence to soul confidence. (Tell the story of Paul's arrest and trial.) Paul was a Roman citizen who demanded to appear before Caesar. Winter was coming on. The sailors wanted to reach a larger city port.

Under self's rule, you experience hurt, strife, struggle, and delay, always an inner conflict. Under soul's command, your burden is easy, your yoke is Light as comprehension, and always an abiding inner peace. Confidence is firm trust, assured expectation, unwavering boldness, and understanding, which is standing under the Light. Paul had confidence in the Power and the Word of God because he had been visited by an angel:

"I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee." – Acts 27:22-25.

For fourteen days their ship was driven and tossed by storms. Fearing that they would be shipwrecked, they cast out four anchors, symbolizing faith, trust, responsibility, and obedience. The anchor of faith is a substance, a Power, an energy. Faith is a trinity of creation that includes the Father and Mother principles and vitality for the action of the Son. Faith moves law into action instantly.

The second anchor of trust enables you to believe in, to loose what is worn out, and to let it go. Your share of the work is to wait upon the law. Trust is the ladder between self-based confidence and soul confidence.

The third anchor is responsibility, but to what and to whom? You are each responsible to principle in obedience to the Father and Mother as protectors. You are also responsible to make up your mind to remain up in consciousness, unwavering and steadfast. Further, you are responsible to care for, to shelter, to protect your ideas, your path, your principles, and to be an ensample of their glory.

The fourth anchor is obedience to law. Under obedience, faith becomes bold, fearless, and daring. Like Paul, you dare to proclaim our principles. You can have no expectancy unless you are obedient. Expectancy dies when you become lukewarm. It needs a warm atmosphere in which to gestate and grow.

These four anchors are soul-confidence and assured expectancy in the faithfulness of God. Self-based confidence is a sign of the creature consciousness. Soul-based confidence is the sign of a creator. Self-based confidence inducts from the outer, but soul-based confidence conducts from above. A creator comprehends. Soul confidence is faith in action, which turns defeat into success. Every experience pays you dividends in knowing what to do or not to do next.

Fearing that the ship would wreck on the rocks, the sailors lowered a life boat. Paul cautioned them to stay with the ship for safety and urged them to eat to increase their strength. Well fed and cheered, the sailors cast out the remaining weight and ballast, raised the anchors and headed for shore. Their ship was torn apart in a cross-current, but all were saved because they swam to shore using broken bits of boards. When you persevere, you are a conqueror, bold, courageous, and faithful. Declare, "I do know what to do next."

"There stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee." – Acts 27:24-25.

An angel of God always stands nearby to remind you that you, too, must be brought before the law. Yet your obedience unleashes your God-given soul powers which act on your body and life, bringing perfection.

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What Money Cannot Buy

Edna Lister sermon transcript|December 1, 1957|Cleveland, Ohio|Scribe: Ruth Johnson|Scripture: Acts 27:21-29.

"After long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island. But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country; and sounded, and found it twenty fathoms: and when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms. Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day." – Acts 27: 21-29.

Money buys self-confidence for many people, but it will not buy you out of spiritual poverty. You cannot buy God with money.

Money cannot buy soul-confidence, which Paul epitomizes in this text. Saul of Tarsus had received illumination about love in the blinding light on the road to Damascus, and had moved from self-confidence to soul-confidence as Paul.

The temple council in Jerusalem had tried him for desecrating the temple and gave him to the Roman commander for scourging. Paul told them he was a Roman citizen and claimed the right to be brought before Caesar for trial in Rome.

They took him to the Roman governor at Caesarea, who held him prisoner for two years, hoping for a bribe, a situation where money would have worked. Porcius Festus heard Paul's case and bound him over to the king of Judea, who would have freed him had Paul not appealed to Rome.

Paul sailed for Italy with a Roman centurion, at the onset of the autumn equinoctial storms. The winds were contrary, and storms frequently forced them to stop. Yet they continued, hoping to reach Rome before winter.

Confidence is trust or faith in what you believe, your ladder as you climb from the old to the new. The sailors' self-confidence so easily became a self-doubt because they did not add soul-confidence, or know where they were going.

They were in the storm fourteen days and nights. Fourteen is the number that represents the freedom to choose under law, and to separate yourself from what does not profit your soul.

"After long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship." – Acts 27:21-22. Paul loved to exhort, to say, I told you so. We all do.

You must face the goal of your vision, be brought before some heavenly Council, and be asked, Where do you keep your vision? In moth balls? In a deep freeze? In a safe, warm place? The angel of God said, "Fear not, Paul. You must be brought before Caesar; and, lo, God has given you all those who sail with you." He was showing him the vision and goal. To hold a vision, work out your salvation where you are, and divine law brings you to that goal. The use of force only delays attainment of the goal.

Paul made them cast out anchors after fourteen days, and they ate bread and meat. The sailors dropped four anchors of faith, trust, responsibility and obedience, which protect the ideal of giving enough.

No one owes you anything beyond payment of his just debts, but we all owe God our love. Faith is divine substance, a rod of power that establishes you with the Source, and filled with the principle of energy. Wisdom, Love and Energy are the Source principles that are necessary to faith, the bridge across the abyss, the way to success.

Trust imparts untouchable serenity and soul-confidence. The contrast between self and soul-confidence is like the difference between light and dark. Faith's power moves through your trust to build real soul-confidence.

The winds blew them on the rocks, and the ship broke in half. The soldiers wanted to kill Paul lest he should escape, but the centurion refused. Some clung to boards and pieces of the wreckage, but all got to shore safely because Paul took responsibility for them.

Responsibility is protective, taking full advantage of faith, a positively working active peace, a divinely active soul-confidence, vitalized by the Light of the Son. Vitalized words invigorate brain cells.

To protect and keep your own life inviolate, just pour out love with no demands. Declare, "I love you just where you are." A black cloud permeates one who rages, and only love can penetrate it. "I love you where you are now" pierces rage. Obedience requires balance.

Let nothing offend your pride. Take pride in your ideals and be too proud to become unbalanced in any stupid temperamental way. Such is the only legal pride.

"I'm only human" is the creature stage of consciousness. Only the creature consciousness lives by emotions. You might as well say, "Take me back to the jungle to swing from the tree tops."

You live in glory and happiness when you live by soul-confidence. What is the quantity of your love? How much do you give? Is the quality of your love Godlike and beyond measure? Love burns away all dross.

Water the love seed in your heart with love until it envelopes you, moves through you in greater quality and quantity, and you become a love millionaire. Money cannot buy the love of God.

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Soul Integration

Edna Lister sermon outline|December 8, 1957|Cleveland, Ohio|Scripture: Ephesians 6:10-20.

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak." – Ephesians 6:10-20.

Integration is "the complete addition of all parts, combining parts into a whole," a sense of wholeness. You must put on the whole armor of God to be whole. If your armor is incomplete, you have no protection, but are unable to stand or to withstand. To stand and to withstand is mentioned three times in this passage. Having done all you are to stand. What is this all?

The armor of God protects you against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness in high places. This can mean different things in different times and places. For instance, it could mean espionage, sabotage, Communist dictators and other enemies to freedom.

This text lists six distinct things to do — gird your loins with truth, put on the breastplate of righteousness, shod your feet with the preparation of peace, hold the shield of faith, put on the helmet of salvation, and carry the sword of Spirit.

Gird your loins with truth: You are vulnerable to blows between the ribs and hips. The loins include the liver, which symbolizes sincerity, and the spleen which represents loyalty. You defend both by surrendering to be the servant of all God's Power. Draw in or clench the abdominal muscles for strength and poise. When you are tired, weary or feel that you need rest these muscles sag, your body and soul "sag at the seams" like a worn out burlap bag.

Put on the breastplate of righteousness. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness." – Matthew 6:33. You must obey the dictates of your high soul vision. You cannot receive credits in two places at once, above and below, inner and outer. The breastplate of righteousness covers the stomach, heart and lungs, organs that must operate on a common respiratory rhythm for health. Your loins support the stomach, heart, and lungs, holding them safe from injury or prolapse when you keep them girded. Look up in consciousness, hold all your lines of Light up to God, and become the law.

Shod your feet with the preparation of gospel of peace: To prepare the way for the gospel is to learn law, agree with law, and to obey law. The ankles represent flexibility in your stance, and the feet symbolize understanding. The left foot signifies peace, the right foot patience. Desire lifted, and mated to will becomes the Christ consciousness that results in peace and patience. Burning feet result from irritation and impatience. You need peace, and the cure is to agree with the adversary, quickly.

Hold the shield of faith to protect the loins and the lights of the breastplate. The spiritual side is the left arm and hand. Unconquerable faith confers a magical strength. "What is that to thee? Follow thou me" means making no harsh judgments or criticism when, cautions, encouragement, and suggestions will do.

Put on the helmet of salvation. Salvation means to be saved from, and you can best prepare for this by avoiding the appearance of evil. The "I AM" intuition and illumination faculties are then covered and protected.

God does not ask you to call evil wrong, but to declare it good. "This is good to lift." The wrong a person is doing is good to lift. This is good to gather up for burning, and consuming. Declare, "Let the soul of you come forth." "I AM, the mind of Christ, leads you and protects the golden bowl when you let it, so avoid letting the little self use words that drag the I AM Oversoul consciousness down, or break vows.

Carry the sword of Spirit. "By their fruits shall ye know them." – Matthew 7:20. The world knows you not by your words, but by your works. Hold the sword in our right hand, which gives out. All individual substance goes forth. This sword cuts the not-truth from truth, which is the way Christed comprehension dispels illusion and confusion.

You are an ambassador in bonds representing the mysteries of God. The priesthood of Israel was all bonded to God. The high priest entered the Holy of Holies only on the Day of Atonement to renew the Light of the twelve stones in his breastplate. The stones, one each for the tribes, carried messages from God and glowed when he emerged. If a person needed healing, the glow of certain lights of the breastplate became rays that shone on him and healed him.

If any member of the priesthood had been disobedient, the breastplate appeared "dead" and lightless. A decadent high priest would blame the people for any effects of the priests' shortcomings. The rays shone differently when a soul was lying or had sinned. Such a soul put on his own "robe of death" when called before the high priest. The lights turned black if he had broken a law. If he was innocent, the lights turned white. The people, not knowing this was God-ordained, marveled at the high priest's ability to discern truth.

You earn a personal breastplate with the first Rebirth of soul, when you are reborn of Spirit. The lights become twelve rays of repulsion when you stand steadfastly straightforward, not backwards, or sideways. When you seek to become the twelve virtues of the gates into New Jerusalem, the lights of your personal breastplate become rays of repulsion against evil. When you face the Light of God, the Light you bear on earth is so great in quantity and high in quality that no earthly matter (substance) can stop its flow. You can stand and withstand because evil cannot move against the breastplate. God gives you the gift of twelve rays of the conqueror. Declare, "I AM now an ambassador of Light, bonded to God."

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Soul Integration

Edna Lister sermon transcript|December 8, 1957|Cleveland, Ohio|Scribe: Ruth Johnson|Scripture: Ephesians 6:10-20.

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak." – Ephesians 6:10-20.

Integration is "joining all parts together for perfect wholeness." You must integrate yourself to ascend to God because He wants every unit of His Creation back home. Like the prodigal son, your desires send you forth on the path to gain experience. Young people are eager to experience varied phases of education in college and new aspects of social life. Yet no earthly school can touch the wisdom you find in the College of Ascension in the Mental Realm.

The burned child dreads the fire of experience, but God uses those hard experiences for your own good. He uses your self-interest to draw you home, no matter what angle of it you express. The harder you seek, the closer you get, because God reels in the line and pulls you to Him. As as wife, mother, husband or father, you must send out enough love in prayer to lift your loved ones' load of spiritual debt.

To integrate your own scattered parts, you must put on the whole armor of God. Four times these verses say to stand, not to sit or lie down but to stand, to face the Light as it permeates and flows through you. To withstand requires that you stand with God.

Putting on the spiritual armor involves six steps: Gird your loins, put on the breastplate of righteousness, cover your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace, carry the shield of faith, put on the helmet of salvation, and carry the sword of Spirit, the Word of God.

Gird your loins: The loins represent the Land of Egypt, the abdomen. Most physical weariness results from forgetting to gird your loins, and the result is a pot-bellied profile. Unless you tighten the abdominal muscles, the internal organs, including the heart, sag and pull on the spine. If your loins sag, you droop physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. To gird means to bind up, to hold up, to look up, and to lift up. When you let your consciousness sink, you close the thousand petaled crown lotus that enfolds the brain nerves and endocrine glands. You could close out the River of Life until only a dead, dried out stump of the lotus blossom remains.

Put on the breastplate of righteousness: You must live up to your highest vision of righteousness to wear the breastplate, and the only way is to look up in surrender and become the servant of all Power. The breastplate descends over your girded loins, covering the stomach, heart and lungs, which should work together in rhythm with your breath. Its twelve stones focus rays of Light that can keep you from taking in others' negative emotions, yet the protection your breastplate provides depends on what you choose to do. You must be reborn in Spirit every hour. Stop excusing your idle words. You meant them or you would not have said them. Power flows in and refills you whenever you lift your lines of responsibility and Light.

Cover your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace: Cover your left foot with peace, and wear patience on the right. As you ascend your personal desires they mate with your will to become the Oversoul "I AM" of Christ consciousness, begetting the soul faculties of intuition and illumination. These faculties, in turn, create the great gift of poise, which is love and wisdom in equal measure. Peace and patience are the firstborn twins of poise and Power.

Wear your shield: Wear your shield on the left arm for spiritual protection, leaving your right arm free for worldly action. The shield covers you from head to toe so faith can uphold you, protect the physical body, and your emotional-mental life. Give unconquerable faith a free rein to use you to the greatness of its capacity. The crown lotus opens as you consciously carry your shield, and the Light of its petals becomes your helmet of salvation. Athena and Aphrodite, the Greek goddesses of wisdom and love, both wore helmets. A halo appears to clairvoyant sight when your lotus petals open. The helmet of salvation saves you from intellectual crystallization and opens you to intuition and illumination.

Hold the sword of truth: Hold the two-edged sword of truth in your right hand. Spirit is God's universal substance as Light, and the sword shines with that Spirit as you separate the sheep of Light from the dark goats in life. Good thoughts are sheep, but negative thoughts smell like goats. Sever the idle words from your soul and life, gird your loins, and lift everything to a cloud continent of Light.

Integration gathers your scattered parts and harmonizes them with God to ascend and be at one with Him. Do you want to be an ambassador in bonds able to stand against principalities, powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places? Stand under the Light and let it use you as God's ambassador in bonds.

At night, count how often you thought of self versus remembering and loving God. Send out enough love in prayer to lift your loved ones' load of spiritual debts. Recognize their flaws in love, but do not be soft. Do not burden people beyond what they can carry. For example, telling a secret to a weak person, who is like a sieve, tempts him, and you must take the blame for his failure. You may not expect another to do what he is unable to do. Yet, a just and loving appraisal to lift into the Light is not an unrighteous judgment.

Declare, "This is good to lift. I put it in the consuming fire to free another of God's children. Let the Power of God, which consumes all darkness, move through me as an ambassador of Light to overcome the darkness remaining in this world." Finally, constantly remember that we really are one great family marching home to God.

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The Point of No Return

Edna Lister sermon outline|December 15, 1957|Cleveland, Ohio|Scripture: Luke 3:1-6.

"Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; as it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God." – Luke 3:1-6.

The world waits to have a "way to heaven" made plain and practical. Research along the lines of telepathy, reincarnation, and extra-sensory perception points to the need of a balanced knowledge that will relate the visible material to the invisible abstract. Some, of course, declare their pride in what they term their "realistic" attitude toward life. The fact that they are proud of their intellectual view of life shows their interest in it.

Every man must become his own High Priest. He must know what he believes and be able to prove it. We are moving up in consciousness. As atomic radiation is burning out disease in the physical body so the mental power is burning out our old life. It is a cleansing time for old ideas.

We are moving up, out of tune with the world of self, and into tune with the Power of God, with God as a personal Father. The old idea of a remote God sitting on a throne with a club in one hand and an oil can in the other is gone. We now know that we are responsible for oiling our own squeaky points.

We worship God as both personality and principle. We have devotion for God and love of God as a Father. All your life, you've been enthralled with body, things, and your affairs. You take them to bed with you. You may become so enthralled with your own voice that you become a hollow loud-speaker, with self always on parade before friends and world.

It is time to stop prowling in the outer and become a searcher, interested in the ascension of your soul. To fall in love with God is to be enthralled with divine ideas, radiance, beauty and joy. This is all true, but what can you do about it?

Ask yourself three questions: First, your present desire — What have I asked for? Second, your prayer pattern: How have I asked? Third, your ultimate goal: Is this what I really want?

Concerning your desire, What have you asked for? Where is your attention fixed? On just survival in a mad world, just getting by? Or is your attention on your relationship with God? Do you compare yourself with your past and pat your own back on what you've done as an excuse for not hitting the high mark?

A self-congratulatory "I'm doing so much better" is no goal to set your heart on fire. Or do you compare yourself to your Begotten Father and "Be ye as perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect"? Does God come first in your life? "Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight." – Luke 3:4.

Your prayer pattern: As an Adept, you make statements and chant mantras. Under the Master, Priest, and Christos Degrees, you lift, praise, and let, in three steps. If you are interested in your relationship to God and comparing yourself to Him for ascension, then declare, "I am preparing the way for the Lord, making His paths straight." God can walk with you on a straight path. You walk alone when it gets crooked.

You must believe that you have it, believe to see "it," whatever it is, without half demanding, or half doubting. First, put everything in your life on a cloud of Light. Keep your love ones, affairs and the world lifted up, in the Light.

"Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill brought low." – Luke 3:5. Second, praise God, saying, I love You, Father. Constantly review how much you do love Him, and the measure of your devotion to Him. "The crooked places shall be made straight and the rough ways smooth." – Luke 3:5. Third, let Power, love, joy, and faith express to melt, dissolve darkness and fill your prayer molds with life and Light.

Your ultimate goal: What do you really want? Under delay, are you finally bored with the whole thing? This goal deals with the ascension of the soul. The nearer you come to the Light, the lighter, brighter and more powerful it becomes. The nearer you draw to Power, the more powerful it becomes. It cannot be less, unless you huddle under old doubt and fear.

Defend your position and creed of love. God told the children of Israel that they owned every foot of ground they stepped on in the Promised Land. Yet they had to defend it to hold it. How do you defend your point? Not with passive faith and love, but with active, dynamic faith and love. Your plan of life must thrill you. Let life pursue you. When you love it lavishly, it will run after you.

Love enough fulfills the law. Stingy love does not fill your prayer mold with a heaped up, pressed down, and running-over measure. When your love is great enough, "The crooked places shall be made straight and the rough ways smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God." – Luke 3:5-6. The keynote word is now. Your present desire deals with unconquerable faith. Your prayer pattern deals with lavish love. Your ultimate goal deals with soul ascension now.

Don't be a "put-off, waiting until another day. Make your resolutions of responsibility now, and start testing them. Make your own personal Plan of Salvation right now. Do not be a voice crying in the wilderness of unpaid debts that the self charged to God's Credit Department. You may not put off payment of your debts of love, of joy, and of faith into the future. People say, "I've tried to love her. I've done all these things." How fervently did you try? One degree above freezing?

Prepare now for your miracle year. ascend in consciousness, ascend and stand in the heart of the fire. The nerve ends in your head will be set afire from above, and you will see and hear spiritually. All it takes is a burning desire, flaming imagination and unconquerable faith now. Imagination turned upward becomes soul vision.

Remember, every day you discover some lost paradise. An angel with a flaming sword always stands at the gate, so you cannot turn back. Each day you reach a point of no return, so stop sagging at your soul seams about it.

It's good to be kicked up and out of a worn out consciousness. The undergrowth, even in a paradise, contracts until it pinches everywhere. You outgrow last year's loves and clothes. It was good and beautiful last year.

Every new decision closes a paradise behind you. You are permitted no looking back, but must go on. Yes, let whoever will stay behind do so, but you must go on. A new paradise always lies ahead.

If you stand still, looking backward, the future rushes by so fast that it knocks you down without ever becoming the present. You cannot afford any riotous spending while bewailing some lost paradise. Too much of life still lies in the future.

Look ahead and lo! A vision of a new paradise is calling, the wafting fragrance of rare flowers, birds singing in ecstasies of joy. You enter, and find all the best of your lost paradise, plus all you can vision for your new paradise.

The angel with the flaming sword is your guardian protector, and you are safe in your own Garden of Eden with God. Because you love Him so, you can see your path of salvation clearly.

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The Point of No Return

Edna Lister sermon transcript|December 15, 1957|Cleveland, Ohio|Scribes: Ruth Johnson, Ross Whitehead|Scripture: Luke 3:1-6.

"Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; as it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God." – Luke 3:1-6.

The kingdom of heaven is open to all believers. Heaven is a place, a destination. Whether you get there in consciousness, depends on how much you want it, and how much ballast of self you are willing to sacrifice to reach your goal.

The world is starving for an understandable, plain and practical, yet highly mystical way to reach heaven. Practicality alone does not satisfy the soul, which yearns to envision the mystery of God.

The minds of the masses are set in a new vibrational groove, and people want a more personal contact with God. Today's trend is toward experiments in telepathy and extrasensory perception. Most of earth's population believes in God, an afterlife, miracles, angels and healing. Their silence about these subjects means that they believe.

Most people do not object to God as personality, but to the contemporary religious picture of Him. God does not need an oil can to fix the squeak, but people do. We have no common world theology because religion must satisfy so many grades of earthly intelligence.

You all stand equal in that you each have the right to breathe twenty-four hours a day, and to ascend in consciousness. However, each must prove truth for himself, since each sees and comprehends the facts differently. No two people are alike: Each must witness the glories and prove it himself.

You are the result of millions of years of development. God gave you brain cells according to a divine pattern, but you can assimilate only what you accept on earth. You are all free to choose, but each occupies a different degree. Those who say, "I learn through illumination, not study," are using their trust fund from past incarnations. Do not be lazy, but work to open and develop new brain cells.

You must have a great desire to receive much. Yet you must conform to principle and obey law, for God cannot set them aside for anyone. You may worship God as personality in a vast setting, the whole of the kingdom of heaven. One who works on principle only says, "God understands me." Yes, He knows what you need, but that may not be what you think you need.

Earth's vibration is constantly ascending, and people need to ascend their bodies, too, to meet today's challenge of atomic radiation, to assimilate the food that radiation has raised in vibration. The atomic bomb is an expression of God's good.

We might not have needed to develop atomic weapons if our prayers had been fervent enough to overcome the world's fears. Fears kill more people than atomic radiation does. We are using radiation to burn out illness, and when we desire to enough, we will wipe out disease.

Prayer has three facets that are vital to your daily needs, as desire, pattern and goal. Your present desire, have you asked for it? Your prayer pattern, how have you asked for it? Your goal, what is it? You must ascend your desires.

Question yourself: What kind of desires do you have? For survival only? Are you interested in God first? Do you want to know more and go higher? Should you compare yourself with neighbors, family, friends?

"I'm doing better than they are" is cold comfort. The average person talks about nothing, but you must discuss about how desire applies in your life. Do you desire illumination and comprehension, to know the law of growth?

Isaiah describes the true way of fervent prayer: "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." – Isaiah 40:3-5.

Everything depends on the fervency of your prayers. How zealous is "Well, I tried"? How hot are your prayers? Below zero? Ten degrees above? How high do they go? To the ceiling, or the stars? How do you straighten your path? God cannot find you on a winding path up a mountain of negative emotions, or walk a crooked path with you. Every path straightens when you turn desire upward to God.

How have you prayed? Half demands, half doubts? Most metaphysical truth statements are demands. Yet when you demand in prayer, you use inner credits on the outer. You then have nothing left to lift you if you stub your toe, and you fall into the ditch. Decide what you want. Once you believe to see divine Power in action, it pulls you back on the path. Every valley is an emotional low that you must fill with Light, so take your share. Why be a martyr or give up the portion of Light meant for you? Darkness uses the energy you waste.

Anyone who is conscious of giving is living under self-imposed martyrdom, which depletes vitality. A noble martyr makes a great show of suffering to arouse sympathy, yet earns no soul credits. Any virtue used to exalt the self becomes a form of viciousness.

You must bring every mountain-lump and hill-growth low, and straighten the path to the goal. People who claim, "This is my last incarnation," have many more ahead. You could do it in a year, a day, or in a single prayer, if you loved God enough. Worry quickly dissipates energy, so quit imagining your spiritual debts. Today is cleanup time under prayer. Do it now and make the rough ways smooth. How long do you put off making vows or decisions? Why wait? Eat what's on your plate, like it, finish paying your debts and ascend.

The perfect process of prayer is lifting, praising and letting. Tune out the world vibration and tune in the Power of Almighty God. Surround your loved ones with Light in prayer, and nothing but love can enter.

Cold principle does not warm you. You need warm personality to draw forth the flowering of love. Melchizedek, the King of Peace, still walks earth, and in your Garden of Eden at eventide. Praise God in an ecstasy born of soul rapture that replenishes you. Know that Light moves forth and that you can ascend with no self, as a perfect servant of all Power. Let God use you and do the work, and let Power fill the world through you. Declare, "I am all that health and abundance, Father. Let Your health manifest as me." After praising God enough, no self remains to limit how far you can extend your consciousness.

God has designed your threefold extension of divine Mind to operate from the golden silence, where your super-conscious mind of Oversoul forever kneels in prayer before high thrones. Subconscious mind handles all automatic needs in the physical world when you, who are the creator, remain on the mount of illumination. Seek first the kingdom of heaven, your goal: God and His Power. Walk with God and awaken your brain cells. Walk in the Light only and it will shine on you.

Why refuse complete ascension? Take your body with you, and dedicate it as a servant of Power for God to use until He adds all else to you. You may experience delay, sometimes years of it, but a thousand years are only a day in God's sight. Your hopes, and the high visions God gives, do come to pass.

What is your goal? Never confine it to years, months, weeks, days or minutes. Make your goal limitless. Many decide to follow Jesus, then refuse to ascend. You are gods and it does not appear what you shall be. You could lift and declare that everyone you contact is God's perfect agent, if you have an ascension goal in mind.

Mr. Anyone was happy until he saw the doctor, whose diagnosis was negative. He fearfully believed this, followed the doctor's advice, but became worse. If you roll in mud, you get dirty. Mr. Anyone could have bathed in his tower room of Light if he had once declared that he walked the Path of Ascension.

He could have said to the doctor, "God works through you. I declare this is a miracle of God," and walked out whole and perfect. A doctor has every reason to believe the worst if the patient is negative. Declare that divine illumination fills your doctor's brain cells and o'ershadowing Light drips from his hands. Any doctor can heal if he accepts that Light will use him.

Ascend to the life of God, who can recreate whatever He created, which is the basis for believing in miracles. An angel with a flaming sword bars the gate to every past paradise. Today is your point of no return, and you will not be happy with the results when you act or think or speak negatively again.

You cannot relive the past, but you can start living right today. You must grow, face the Light and make the future the present. Even today's paradise will eventually squeeze like tight shoes, because you are always ascending to a higher octave. You can ascend while facing old negativity, or a new paradise.

The Voice still cries in the wilderness. Enter your Garden of Eden and dwell in the House of the Lord forever. Let God's beauty walk the earth as you.

Endnotes

2^

The Law for the Wolves
Now this is the law of the jungle, as old and as true as the sky,
And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must die.

As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the law runneth forward and back;
For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.

Wash daily from nose tip to tail tip; drink deeply, but never too deep;
And remember the night is for hunting and forget not the day is for sleep.

The jackal may follow the tiger, but, cub, when thy whiskers are grown,
Remember the wolf is a hunter-go forth and get food of thy own.

Keep peace with the lords of the jungle, the tiger, the panther, the bear;
And trouble not Hathi the Silent, and mock not the boar in his lair.

When pack meets with pack in the jungle, and neither will go from the trail,
Lie down till the leaders have spoken; it may be fair words shall prevail.

When ye fight with a wolf of the pack ye must fight him alone and afar,
Lest others take part in the quarrel and the pack is diminished by war.

The lair of the wolf is his refuge, and where he has made him his home,
Not even the head wolf may enter, not even the council may come.

The lair of the wolf is his refuge, but where he has digged it too plain,
The council shall send him a message, and so he shall change it again.

If ye kill before midnight be silent and wake not the woods with your bay,
Lest ye frighten the deer from the crop and thy brothers go empty away.

Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates, and your cubs as they need and ye can;
But kill not for pleasure of killing, and seven times never kill man.

If ye plunder his kill from a weaker, devour not all in thy pride,
Pack-right is the right of the meanest; so leave him the head and the hide.

The kill of the pack is the meat of the pack. Ye must eat where it lies;
And no one may carry away of that meat to his lair, or he dies.

The kill of the wolf is the meat of the wolf. He may do what he will,
But, till he is given permission, the pack may not eat of that kill.

Lair right is the right of the mother. From all of her years she may claim
One haunch of each kill for her litter, and none may deny her the same.

Cub right is the right of the yearling. From all of his pack he may claim
Full gorge when the killer has eaten; and none may refuse him the same.

Cave right is the right of the father, to hunt by himself for his own;
He is freed from all calls to the pack. He is judged by the council alone.
Because of his age and his cunning, because of his gripe and his paw,
In all that the law leaveth open the word of the head wolf is law.

Now these are the laws of the jungle, and many and mighty are they;
But the head and the hoof of the law and the haunch and the hump is — Obey!
– Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 – 1971
The original Christian Pioneering Mystic,
Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.


Edna Lister


References

International Geophysical Year.

Kipling, Rudyard. "The Law for the Wolves." A Victorian Anthology, Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1895.

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