Reverend Tony Ponticello

Probably everyone in the USA is now aware that the federal right for women to have an abortion seems to be in serious jeopardy. As one would expect, this has triggered many passionate discussions on both sides of the issue. I choose to see this as a miracle in the making. Can we Miracle Healers offer the world a different perception? Can we show that it is possible to have a discussion without demonizing those with a different point of view? "Whenever anyone can listen fairly to both sides of any issue, he will make the right decision. ... Conflict can seem to be interpersonal, but it must be intrapersonal first." (OrEd.Tx.7.12) When we can heal the conflict within ourselves (intrapersonal) then we become the force for healing it in the world. Can we listen fairly to the other side of the discussion? 26 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Why do we practice A Course in Miracles? I am not referring to just why do we read the Text and try to understand it? That would be the question why do we study it? Nor am I speaking about why do we do the Workbook Lessons. I want to engage us in a discussion of why do we actually practice living as it asks us to live. Why are we miracle practitioners? The dictionary defines "practitioner" as: "a person actively engaged in an art, discipline, or profession, especially medicine." Why do we devote ourselves to healing, both ourselves and others? Why do we choose to forgive? Why do we choose to live as eternal, infinite beings in a world that seems temporary and finite? "I am a Son of God. And can I be another thing as well? Did God create the mortal and corruptible? What use has God's beloved Son for what must die?" (OrEd.WkBk.294.1) Leave behind the false temporal identity and embrace the Divine Self we all are. 21 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

We all know the Easter story. Jesus was brought up before Jerusalem's leader Pilate on trumped up charges of insurrection and sedition. Pilate sent Jesus to the Roman governor Herod, because Pilate didn't want to be the one to make the final call. Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate, basically signing off on whatever Pilate decided. Then Pilate, pushed on by the populace mob, condemned Jesus to death by crucifixion. So Jesus was crucified – but then something extraordinary happened, something MIRACULOUS. Jesus' body disappeared from the tomb where it was laid, and a resurrected Jesus started making appearances and giving advanced teachings. Eventually the resurrected Jesus was assumed bodily into Heaven and was seen physically no more. "Yet it is [the Teachers of God's] mission to become perfect here, and so they teach perfection over and over in many, many ways until they have learned it. And then they are seen no more, although their thoughts remain a source of strength and truth forever." (Mn.In.5) His apostles picked up Jesus' message of healing and love and eventually a new religious movement named Christianity formed. We ACIM students are modern day disciples of Jesus and we are carrying his updated message of healing and love to a new generation of humans. Celebrate and reconsecrate your dedication to this mission and message this Sunday with the Community Miracles Center at our Easter Sunday Gathering. Rev. Tony will give a modern day resurrection message. 25 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

I suppose there are very few people on the planet now who are not aware of what happened last Sunday night at the Oscar ceremony. Will Smith left his seat in the auditorium, walked up to the stage and slapped the presenter Chris Rock hard across the face with his open hand. By now this is literally, “The slap heard ‘round the world.” Chris Rock had made a joke about Will Smith’s wife and her shaved head. When Will Smith returned to his seat he shouted obscenities to Chris Rock loudly. ACIM teaches us, "Anger is never justified. Attack has no foundation." (OrEd.Tx.30.70) This Oscar incident has sparked a world wide conversation about violence and the appropriateness or inappropriateness of it. While the conversation following has been criticized by some – I believe it is a good conversation for us to have and that this is a teachable moment for the world. Let's bring miracles and healing to this conversation. 25 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

When many people think of “freedom" they may get images of extended vacations from work, and family responsibilities. Freedom? Perhaps from house work – who wouldn’t want to be free from every having to clean the bathroom again? Many people believe basic freedoms are getting challenged in the world today: freedom of speech, freedom to travel, freedom to work. There are important discussion to be had about all those things. However ACIM challenges us to see that the only true freedom is when we do here what God and the Holy Spirit are asking us to do. We are free when we accept our responsibility and heal the world, save the world. "Spirit am I, a holy Son of God, free of all limits, safe and healed and whole, free to forgive, and free to save the world." (OrEd.WkBk.97.9) 20 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Another school shooting – 19 elementary school children and 2 teachers bodies were killed. Plus the shooter's body was killed as well. The mind reels at the sadness and the horror of it all. The ACIM Practitioner struggles with the right Holy Spirit guided perception to claim. This is not a time for spiritual platitudes and correct “Course speak.” If God can weep then so can we. "God weeps at the 'sacrifice' of His Children, who believe they are lost to Him." (OrEd.Tx.5.93) What we can do is not descend into helplessness and disempowerment. We can help, and we can heal. We can be empowered because as ACIM teaches us, "There is nothing my holiness cannot do because the power of God lies in it." (OrEd.WkBk.37.7) 27 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

March 1st was the Community Miracles Center’s (CMC) 35th birthday. I, (Rev. Tony) have been the President and CEO for the entire time. I am very grateful that we have stayed active and vital through all those years, and especially through the last 2 years of the pandemic. Many small churches or similar religious organizations have not survived. The fact that CMC is still here and meeting the needs of ACIM students around the world is a very noteworthy accomplishment. Our world situation is uncertain right now and the future is impossible to predict. However what one can bet on is the CMC being there to meet the future head on and continue providing spiritual community and study resources to the large, broad, and diverse ACIM community. 34 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

It is a well know fact that “Fear not,” “Be not afraid," or some other derivation of this thought is the most often repeated phrase in the Bible. It is a common thing for angels to say to people. An angel told this to Mary the mother of Jesus when she learned she was pregnant. An angel said this to the shepherds who were in fear of the light and “glory” all around them when the baby Jesus was being born. Of course Jesus said it frequently during his ministry too. He told this to his apostles when they panicked at seeing him walk on water. And he’s still saying it to us in ACIM. All throughout ACIM we hear this consistent “fear not” message. The lesson from the Workbook "There is nothing to fear." (OrEd.WkBk.48) comes to mind. I always like to remember that this can be also interpreted as that fear is vaporous and without substance, as in “fear – nothing to it.” Join me on Sunday as we explore our ego's favorite addiction – fear. 31 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

I felt the fear level in the USA lessen this week. There was a new feeling of freedom and release all throughout the land. I certainly felt it as I walked in the streets of San Francisco. I believe this was primed to happen and then when all the major airlines lifted their mask mandates on Monday and Tuesday. The fresh waters of peace and freedom began to flow from that primed pump. The airlines did this quickly after federal circuit judge Kathryn Mizelle declared the CDC’s recently renewed mask mandates unlawful. "The only thing that is required for a healing is a lack of fear. The fearful are not healed and cannot heal." (OrEd.Tx.27.45) Multiple media outlets showed amateur video of passengers and flight attendants in planes in the air when flight attendants announced that the mandates were over and everyone could take their masks off (if they wanted to). Most were jubilant – especially the airline crews. I saw one video of a singing, mask-less flight attendant walking the aisle with a trash bag collecting used and now useless masks. WooHoo!! 33 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

The 17th century French philosopher René Descartes made a famous proclamation "I think, therefore I am." In ACIM we have this similar statement "If I did not think, I would not exist, because life is thought" (OrEd.WkBk.54.3) which is saying the exact same thing. ACIM agrees with the 17th century French philosopher! For us ACIM students I would tweak Descartes famous statement into, "I heal, therefore I am." We are here to represent our Creator and we do that by healing. One of the final lessons of the Workbook is this, "Sickness is but another name for sin. Healing is but another Name for God. The miracle is thus a call to Him." (OrEd.WkBk.356) We heal. And healing is God's name and thus it is us calling to our Creator with every miracle that we perform.” Do you want to find God and thus our true Selves? God is not hiding, and neither are we. We find God, and we find our selves by healing. "I heal, therefore I am." 26 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Since the title of the book we study is “A Course in Miracles” one might think that, among the faithful, there was a general agreement about what a miracle is. There isn’t. Many people like to downplay miracles and say that a miracle is just a shift in perception. The problem is that there is no support for this in the ACIM book itself. ACIM never defines “miracle” as a "shift in perception." However miracles are defined several times as “expressions of love.” “Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love.” (OrEd.Tx.1.3) It is the belief of this author that these expressions of love are actual interpersonal gestures, or as ACIM says, “doings.” "And now in all your doings be you blessed. God turns to you for help to save the world." (OrEd.Mn.29.8) Join me as we get clear about the “miracles." 22 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

I recently was challenged by the appearance of having manifested Covid 19. I was actually told by the Emergency Room doctor, “I don't think you are going to make it.” (Exact words.) He told me he thought my body was going to die. That was a first. I have never had that experience before. However I am blessed because I am a 40 plus year ACIM veteran and I knew I had other guidance. ACIM tells us, "We will be told exactly what God wills for us each time there is a choice to make." (OrEd.WkBk.Ep.5) There were choices to be made and Holy Spirit and Jesus were with me. I made different choices. I chose NOT to be admitted to the hospital. I chose to return to my home and proceed with my ortho-molecular protocol that I had just started. That is what God’s Voice, the Holy Spirit, told me to do. I knew exactly. It made all the difference. I am well today, and I tested Covid negative last Sunday. I am so grateful that I am an ACIM student. I believe it saved my body’s life. 26 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

On Friday evening at the stroke of midnight the old year 2021 ended and the new year 2022 began. Of course all of this is arbitrary, nothing really “happened” at the stroke of midnight. It was all just another now moment in a seemingly endless string of them. On previous years I have hosted a fun New Year’s Eve party which would culminate in an adventurous trip to Pier 14 on the San Francisco Bay to watch the amazing fireworks display synched to music. This year there were no fireworks for the second year in a row because the fireworks were canceled just last week due to surging Covid19 cases. Plus I (Rev. Tony) was in no shape to host or organize anything because I was feeling very poorly with a fever above 102 plus at the stroke of midnight. Apparently I was manifesting one of those Covid surge cases they were talking about. Feeling better today, but still a little off, I am thinking about the new year, possibly the 3rd year in the pandemic and what perspective the Holy Spirit has for me to embrace and share. 25 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

We’re deep into the holiday season. Thanksgiving and Chanukah are behind us and Christmas is coming ‘round the corner. While looking up references in ACIM to Christmas I found this one and realized that it was not in the FIP blue book. "Christmas is not a time; it is a state of mind. The Christ Mind wills from the Soul, not from the ego, and the Christ Mind is yours." (OrEd.Tx.4.41) Wow! What a teaching to leave out! Are we all claiming the Christmas state of mind? Reminds me of the old Billy Joel song, “New York State of Mind.” (1976) Let’s explore this state and see what its characteristics are: love, abundance, giving, peace, joy, – family & friends, comfort food, Christmas carols, … Let’s all claim a Christmas state of mind. 26 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

I have had a growing realization recently that when I read about power in ACIM I was still relating to it in a limiting fashion. While I had challenged my perception of power for years, I never truly got that what ACIM was clearly stating was – we have all the same power God has. Perhaps it is more accurate to say – I read the words, understood them intellectually, but didn’t feel it the core of my being. Recently I saw videos of New Zealand men in the indigenous Polynesian Maori tradition, doing their power dance and chant “The Haka,” in protest to the severe, draconian measures being instituted by their government. Standing up to their government in this manner triggered something in me and I began to understand power in a different way. When ACIM tells us “My Father gives all power unto me” (OrEd.WkBk.320) it truly means ALL power. Our Creator withholds nothing from us. The New Zealand protestors were taping into something. I want to learn how to dance The Haka. 26 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

I love that A Course in Miracles always tells us that salvation is now, and not in the imagined future. We do not have to wait to connect with our unlimited power. We can sit in that presence now and everyday. Actually connecting to that unlimited energy multiple times every day is a GREAT idea. The thought that this power is a future achievement is actually meaningless since there in no future. "Be not content with future happiness. It has no meaning and is not your just reward. For you have cause for freedom now." (OrEd.Tx.26.76) Many ACIM students are resistant by the idea of this much power available to them now, but confronting this resistance is a large part of the ACIM teaching. This is why sitting in our unlimited power as often as possible is such a great idea. Join me right now and on Sunday too. "Your holiness, then, can remove all pain, can end all sorrow, and can solve all problems. It can do so in connection with yourself and with anyone else." (OrEd.WkBk.38.2) 24 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

I have frequently talked about how while peace is not always in my awareness, a positive and profound perception of my purpose in life always is. Many years ago when asked at a Sunday Gathering what I believed the greatest gift ACIM had given to me was, I said (without thinking about it at all) “Purpose.” There is a passage in ACIM that has always resonated powerfully with me. "Do you want happiness, a quiet mind, a certainty of purpose, and a sense of worth and beauty that transcends the world?" (OrEd.WkBk.122.1) That describes exactly how I constantly feel. I have a certainty of purpose that transcends the world. Nothing going on in the world ever makes even a dent in my positive, profound, perception of purpose. 26 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

The world has bamboozled us. That’s my new favorite word. It means, "thrown into a state of confusion or bewilderment especially by being deliberately fooled or misled.” The world is deliberately fooling and misleading us. It is not a random or capricious thing. It is by ego design. The world is throwing us into chaos and confusion so that we rely more and more on the ego for guidance. Thus the bamboozle strengthens, "... you believe that misery is happiness. This has so confused you that you have undertaken to learn to do what you can never do, believing that unless you learn it, you will not be happy." (OrEd.Tx.13.54) We must free ourselves from this confusion in order to take our rightful place in The Great Awakening. Without us taking our place, we will never truly be awake ourselves – which means we will never be truly happy. The bamboozle has to end. 20 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Thinking of the world as a school is a common New Age idea. The idea has a lot of merit. However ACIM takes this idea and gives it a twist. Our proper role in this metaphor is not that of the perpetual student. Our proper role is that of the teacher. “Yes” we do go through a student training, but that training in ACIM is conceptualized as being only a year. After that we are supposed to consider that we are now "Teachers of God,” and we should be assuming our role as living demonstrations of the Divinely realized. Are we doing that? Let’s not get stuck in the role of the perpetual student. 24 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

For love to reign, to rule – we have to be that love. We will never be love if we live in fear. We think defenses protect us but they only make the fear worse and and harder to uncover. "Defense is frightening. ... You think it offers safety. Yet it speaks of fear made real and terror justified. " (OrEd.WkBk.135.4) The true defense is to be in love. The true defense is to rain love over everyone and everything in your life and then be witness to the reign of love being firmly established in the world. Many are challenged by seeming dangers in their world. To them I say “Let my love rain on you, and usher in the true reign of love in the world." 21 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

I had already been a dedicated ACIM student for 20 years when 9/11 happened. On that day, twenty years ago, Rev. Larry, my partner in the CMC, called me up early in the morning and told me to turn on the television. I did – just in time to see North Tower collapse 7:28 a.m. Pacific. My ACIM training kicked in and I quickly remembered the quote, "God did not create that airplane crash, and so it is not real." (OrEd.WkBk.14.5) I was watching an hallucination from the collective mind. The 9/11 event put our country and maybe the world into a heightened fear state that has yet to abate. The current pandemic and our reaction to it has been a recent manifestation. The continual admonitions to “Be safe” are another symptom. On this anniversary I am asking myself what I have learned in the past 20 years while living in the shadow of this event and the fear that still pervades our society. "The only thing that is required for a healing is a lack of fear. The fearful are not healed and cannot heal." (OrEd.Tx.27.45) Join me. 23 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

I had already been a dedicated ACIM student for 20 years when 9/11 happened. On that day, twenty years ago, Rev. Larry, my partner in the CMC, called me up early in the morning and told me to turn on the television. I did – just in time to see North Tower collapse 7:28 a.m. Pacific. My ACIM training kicked in and I quickly remembered the quote, "God did not create that airplane crash, and so it is not real." (OrEd.WkBk.14.5) I was watching an hallucination from the collective mind. The 9/11 event put our country and maybe the world into a heightened fear state that has yet to abate. The current pandemic and our reaction to it has been a recent manifestation. The continual admonitions to “Be safe” are another symptom. On this anniversary I am asking myself what I have learned in the past 20 years while living in the shadow of this event and the fear that still pervades our society. "The only thing that is required for a healing is a lack of fear. The fearful are not healed and cannot heal." (OrEd.Tx.27.45) Join me. 32 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Occasionally when I walk around and look at my sisters, brothers, and others in the world I am acutely aware of how tired and weary many are. I could look away and towards the more pleasant images, but occasionally I am guided to take a moment and feel the pain of the world. I believe Jesus did that, and this is why so many connected with him. He was compassionate. I believe Jesus’ tendency to do that is reflected in what he instructs us to do in ACIM, "Look about the world, and see the suffering there. Is not your heart willing to bring your weary brothers rest?" (OrWEd.WkBk.191.12) “Yes" it does move my heart. “Yes” I want to bring them rest. The next line after the above quotation tells us exactly what we must do to alleviate the suffering we witness. "They must await your own release. They stay in chains till you are free." (OrWEd.WkBk.191.13) So it comes back to our freedom, to our choices. Confronted with some very hard personal choices for freedom lately, I am grateful to my many brothers for giving me so may signposts along the way. 25 min. 25 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

A Course in Miracles is an amazing manual, teaching us how to heal at the level of cause (the mind) and, thus, heal at all levels, since the body and the entire physical world is being projected by the mind. But, after 35 years of working with students, I find that people are still confused about how this is done, the mechanics of it. Underneath this seeming confusion is an active resistance to the process, which many students don’t want to look at. I addressed this issue in a recent workshop for Miracle Network the main ACIM organization in the United Kingdom. This Sunday I am going to share some of the highlights from that 3 hour workshop. 27 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Most people recognize this oft repeated phrase as from The Lord’s Prayer. Many ACIM students want to separate earth and Heaven with a gulf so great it can never be bridged. Yet that famous phrase from The Lord’s Prayer is in ACIM too, and not just in a reference to the Bible or even the Lord’s Prayer directly. "The Holy Spirit is the way in which God's Will can be done on earth as it is in Heaven." (OrEd.Tx.5.26) Actually ACIM talks several times about the separation between earth and Heaven disappearing. "'Heaven and earth shall pass away' simply means that they will not continue to exist as separate states." (OrEd.Tx.1.34) "It is His holiness that lights up Heaven and that brings to earth the pure reflection of the light above, wherein are earth and Heaven joined as one." (OrEd.WkBk.182.4) Join Rev. Tony Sunday as he brings earth and Heaven closer together for all of us. 25 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

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Created 1 year, 11 months ago.

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Category Spirituality & Faith