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Dear friends, I am grateful for the opportunity to connect with you all as we study this remarkable book.

I should begin by telling you a little about myself. I was until a year or so ago a fiery King James Only Fundamentalist Christian with leanings towards the Plymouth Brethren theology. I was very active in a few different established congregations and started my own fellowship when I found most of the churches I was involved with too lax in their outreach and welfare work. I believe the Master was serious when he commanded us to feed the poor, minister to the sick, widows, prisoners etc and I was continually vexed at the inactivity of these groups in this regard, I found most were more interested, indeed unduly focused on "worship" through sound and light show emotional manipulation rather than actual Gospel work as I understood it from Scripture.

After establishing a feeding program in my city for homeless folk, under the auspices of a small denomination whose identity I shall keep to myself, I became increasingly frustrated by the inability to combine Gospel preaching with what has been called the "works of mercy". The final break came when my group was forbidden to pray before a meal because "it may offend" the people who were accessing our resources. The "social gospel" as I saw it manifested was less about Gospel Work and more about Social Acceptance.

Having come to a spiritual crossroads, what I might term a "spiritual nervous breakdown", and at the same time enduring a significant health crisis, I revisited many of the faith traditions I had previously rejected in my search for Truth. There were many things in traditional, Biblical theology I could not reconcile myself to any longer. Primarily the doctrine of Hell.

During this time I felt very strongly spiritually led to revisit the Urantia Book, which I had at various times over a period of 15 years or so studied in a very perfunctory way. With a new urge to gain greater perspective, I began to study the book with an open mind and in earnest. Of course I was dazzled, bewildered, delighted and quite convinced of it's veracity and comforted by the Truths which it contains and explains so beautifully.

One thing which impressed me so very much was the continuing insistence of the Master of the need for, expectation and importance of, and the value to the individual of Service. Over and again the Master speaks of Service to humanity and it's spiritual value. My question (finally!!) is - how are other readers responding to this repeated injunction?

In my previous work I have set up food, clothing and toiletry banks, have done advocacy work for disenfranchised people, fought against such barbaric practices as Female Genital Mutilation, the use of child soldiers and a few other things I considered important.

Please be assured, I do not mention these things to seek attention or gloat about my spirituality - I firmly believe that the right hand should never know what the left is up to, also, I fail in many other ways! Rather I mention these things as an example of the types of Service opportunities that I think are worthwhile and "Gospel" based.

I am interested in how readers of the UB respond to the Master's injunction to be active in Service to our fellows, what kind of activities are participated in by fellow UB readers as methods of fulfilling the command to be active in Service.

I suspect that there are many different ways people are engaging in this practice and that those so involved are too modest and too busy to discuss publicly their endeavors, but I believe that discussion about these things can only be beneficial as encouragement and example to those who might be willing, able and resourced sufficiently to carry out the work I believe we are called to do.

I hope you'll forgive the length of my post - brevity has never been my strength!

Thank you for your time

Donovan Mann, Melbourne Australia.


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Greetings and welcome Donovan.

I wonder... is service an act or deed? Or is it the motive for any good deed? Isn't it our intent and purpose and priorities that determine, define, and deliver service - the action expression of love and altruism and caring and compassion?

Like art, isn't the expression of love the actual experience of love too? To soothe a fear or pain or ease a troubled heart is to feed another soul the light of eternity I think... but our own soul too!

Being kind and generous and caring is the way of faith and the family of creation. To love one another and serve others is the way of God's friendly universe. It is good to support organizational and institutional ministries of social service and upliftment to reduce the devastation of hunger and disease and disaster and hate and war and loss of family and home and security and health.

But service is something everyone can and must do in our daily life too, no matter our own situation or circumstances. To be kind and caring with one another is merely to demonstrate our personal Spirit connection. We receive mercy and love to the degree we bestow mercy and love. Service is simply the expression of our personal morality and spiritization and religious experience.

When I say "must do" I do not mean by commandment, but by nature!! To be filled with light is to radiate light. We must because service is the inevitable outcome of our own religious experience and relationship with God. It is the act of faith results. Service is simply a reality expression.

Service begins in the home and family and community and radiates outward endlessly. Who is our neighbor Jesus asked? Who is not? Morality and ethics are human nature by our Deity connections. Loyalty and duty and generosity and compassion and love and the Golden Rule are inevitable motives of the faith led children of time.

Sometimes I wonder who benefits most by our loving service? And I wonder if those who are served do not benefit from both the service rendered and the loving motive that delivers that service which brings succor and relief and perhaps hope?

The expression of compassion releases an effect that radiates throughout the universes and eternity itself. It shifts reality and alters perception by its results. It is the actualization of potential realized and unleashed into new and greater potential!!


171:7.4 (1874.7) Jesus could help men so much because he loved them so sincerely. He truly loved each man, each woman, and each child. He could be such a true friend because of his remarkable insight—he knew so fully what was in the heart and in the mind of man. He was an interested and keen observer. He was an expert in the comprehension of human need, clever in detecting human longings.

171:7.5 (1874.8) Jesus was never in a hurry. He had time to comfort his fellow men “as he passed by.” And he always made his friends feel at ease. He was a charming listener. He never engaged in the meddlesome probing of the souls of his associates. As he comforted hungry minds and ministered to thirsty souls, the recipients of his mercy did not so much feel that they were confessing to him as that they were conferring with him. They had unbounded confidence in him because they saw he had so much faith in them.

171:7.6 (1875.1) He never seemed to be curious about people, and he never manifested a desire to direct, manage, or follow them up. He inspired profound self-confidence and robust courage in all who enjoyed his association. When he smiled on a man, that mortal experienced increased capacity for solving his manifold problems.

171:7.7 (1875.2) Jesus loved men so much and so wisely that he never hesitated to be severe with them when the occasion demanded such discipline. He frequently set out to help a person by asking for help. In this way he elicited interest, appealed to the better things in human nature.

171:7.8 (1875.3) The Master could discern saving faith in the gross superstition of the woman who sought healing by touching the hem of his garment. He was always ready and willing to stop a sermon or detain a multitude while he ministered to the needs of a single person, even to a little child. Great things happened not only because people had faith in Jesus, but also because Jesus had so much faith in them.

171:7.9 (1875.4) Most of the really important things which Jesus said or did seemed to happen casually, “as he passed by.” There was so little of the professional, the well-planned, or the premeditated in the Master’s earthly ministry. He dispensed health and scattered happiness naturally and gracefully as he journeyed through life. It was literally true, “He went about doing good.”

171:7.10 (1875.5) And it behooves the Master’s followers in all ages to learn to minister as “they pass by”—to do unselfish good as they go about their daily duties.

8)

I look forward to the discovery and discussion of such an important topic!!


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In this day and age when things are so complex and levels of litigation are high, I find that formally volunteering can be a daunting task. In my own experience, I might be very well qualified to help out an organization that helps individuals, but my application to volunteer, every bit as involved as a job application, was turned down because I was not a member of the “right” religion! This got me to thinking...what is service?

Jesus went about doing good to the individuals he encountered. He did not have to join an organization to do so. Even a chance smile or kindly greeting in passing can help lift a person’s day. I am not saying we need to limit ourselves to that, however, but could not kind encounters of all sorts also be considered as a form of service?

Humans on this planet are in this situation together. We must do what we can to help each other in our struggles for living and in our search for meanings. The struggle here is real and ongoing for each of us everyday. When I can encourage another person who is also struggling we are both uplifted.

In my opinion, service to humankind is being willing to give one’s time to the uplifting of another of God’s children. And that would encompass all ways of doing so.


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I came across this passage this morning. It occurs to me that one way of service is to be really present with everyone I meet in a day. To be a good listener...to sincerely care for each person.
It's tempting to think of service as a kind of planned, or orchestrated effort to touch the lives of many at once. And that is something that we all might wish for. But I think that learning this lesson of being present - giving "uniform and unvarying consideration" to each person can go a long way, too.

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138:8.9 The disciples early learned that the Master had a profound respect and sympathetic regard for every human being he met, and they were tremendously impressed by this uniform and unvarying consideration which he so consistently gave to all sorts of men, women, and children. He would pause in the midst of a profound discourse that he might go out in the road to speak good cheer to a passing woman laden with her burden of body and soul. He would interrupt a serious conference with his apostles to fraternize with an intruding child. Nothing ever seemed so important to Jesus as the individual human who chanced to be in his immediate presence. He was master and teacher, but he was more—he was also a friend and neighbor, an understanding comrade.


https://truthbook.com/urantia-book/paper-138-training-the-kingdoms-messengers#U138_8_9


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tek wrote:
In this day and age when things are so complex and levels of litigation are high, I find that formally volunteering can be a daunting task. In my own experience, I might be very well qualified to help out an organization that helps individuals, but my application to volunteer, every bit as involved as a job application, was turned down because I was not a member of the “right” religion! This got me to thinking...what is service?

Jesus went about doing good to the individuals he encountered. He did not have to join an organization to do so. Even a chance smile or kindly greeting in passing can help lift a person’s day. I am not saying we need to limit ourselves to that, however, but could not kind encounters of all sorts also be considered as a form of service?

Humans on this planet are in this situation together. We must do what we can to help each other in our struggles for living and in our search for meanings. The struggle here is real and ongoing for each of us everyday. When I can encourage another person who is also struggling we are both uplifted.

In my opinion, service to humankind is being willing to give one’s time to the uplifting of another of God’s children. And that would encompass all ways of doing so.


Hey tek!! I obviously agree... however, I must say I have enjoyed and benefitted much from being part of a team and an enterprise effort in service too!! Another universe reality and norm is working with others and learning cooperation and compromise and coordination as part of a group of like minded folks - the male/female couple and the team and the corps unit of configuration all have far greater potential for effect than does any individual.

I have been blessed by such associations of partnership and teamwork and enterprise!! Don't let any bad experience prevent you from the joys of teamwork!!

7:1.6 (82.5) Spirit-gravity pull and response thereto operate not only on the universe as a whole but also even between individuals and groups of individuals. There is a spiritual cohesiveness among the spiritual and spiritized personalities of any world, race, nation, or believing group of individuals. There is a direct attractiveness of a spirit nature between spiritually minded persons of like tastes and longings. The term kindred spirits is not wholly a figure of speech.


16:6.3 (191.6) The fact of the cosmic mind explains the kinship of various types of human and superhuman minds. Not only are kindred spirits[b] attracted to each other, but kindred minds are also very fraternal and inclined towards co-operation the one with the other. Human minds are sometimes observed to be running in channels of astonishing similarity and inexplicable agreement.

16:6.4 (191.7) There exists in all personality associations of the cosmic mind a quality which might be denominated the “reality response.” It is this universal cosmic endowment of will creatures which saves them from becoming helpless victims of the implied a priori assumptions of science, philosophy, and religion. This reality sensitivity of the cosmic mind responds to certain phases of reality just as energy-material responds to gravity. It would be still more correct to say that these supermaterial realities so respond to the mind of the cosmos.

8)


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Hello fanofVan:

I do not disagree with you either. I am all for working in groups, unfortunately it would appear it is not to be in my case. I have no clue why. But this scenario has happened more than one might like to admit. So, I was only saying not to limit ourselves to working through an organization for those like me who seem (for whatever reason) unable to.

I think a workgroup, as described, would be a privilege in which to serve.

39:3.5 (432.6) Social architects do everything within their province and power to bring together suitable individuals that they may constitute efficient and agreeable working groups on earth; and sometimes such groups have found themselves reassociated on the mansion worlds for continued fruitful service.


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maryjo606 wrote:
I came across this passage this morning. It occurs to me that one way of service is to be really present with everyone I meet in a day. To be a good listener...to sincerely care for each person.
It's tempting to think of service as a kind of planned, or orchestrated effort to touch the lives of many at once. And that is something that we all might wish for. But I think that learning this lesson of being present - giving "uniform and unvarying consideration" to each person can go a long way, too.

Quote:
138:8.9 The disciples early learned that the Master had a profound respect and sympathetic regard for every human being he met, and they were tremendously impressed by this uniform and unvarying consideration which he so consistently gave to all sorts of men, women, and children. He would pause in the midst of a profound discourse that he might go out in the road to speak good cheer to a passing woman laden with her burden of body and soul. He would interrupt a serious conference with his apostles to fraternize with an intruding child. Nothing ever seemed so important to Jesus as the individual human who chanced to be in his immediate presence. He was master and teacher, but he was more—he was also a friend and neighbor, an understanding comrade.


https://truthbook.com/urantia-book/paper-138-training-the-kingdoms-messengers#U138_8_9


Hi Maryjo!

Being fully present in the present is not as easy as it seems to be, is it? LOL

So what is present in the present - there's you and then there's all that...? Picture me sweeping my arms to point out "what is all that?".

Maybe I have come to depend on the lucidity of the Fifth Epochal Revelation too much when I do what I always do, take stock of what I have to work with to get the job done - it's the work that is important, not the ego.

So what are we working with here - what is the you, and all that - what needs servicing?

After having encountered a handful of massive egos in love with their brainiac tendencies, I got the greatest satisfaction in learning about The Seven Adjutant Mind Spirits - intuition, understanding, courage, knowledge, counsel - animals have these five, humans, also, but we separated out when we connected to the worship and wisdom spirit circuits. Yes, I am coming out as a "human", sorry to disappoint if someone was hoping for something else. But who knows, maybe I really was the first human someone encountered back in the day...?

Anyway, the point is "service". I thing we humans need a "Be nice to the animal in human day" without expressing it by licking and sniffing each other's butts. That kind of social experimenting without "gods", man as god, goes on all the time at the local Church of Bacon in Vegas. So I hear you, Brother, about what passes for "worship" these days can safely be ascertained to not even be pretending to be about "service" in the Christian traditions. And it's not about art.

Nice people don't have to try to be nice. But they also know who isn't because of "instinct".

You could have knocked me over with a feather if you had told me that I would get so involved with defending "First Human Father" in a bona-fide religious war that erupted with the advent of telegrams and telephones. Sure, people always sent the person who wanted to talk about something "weird" over to talk to me - "She will listen." - but this whole FER thing is - wow - granting the head of the table over to the Lucifer Manifesto.

Worship and wisdom spirit circuits are under direct and personal mind-gravity control of the "Divine Minister on Salvington, being a personal experience of the Universe Mother Spirit", so it's personal, like "service" is person to person.

So maybe here is an attempt at "worshipful problem solving" - 1. First do no harm. 2. Keep it personal and give it some privacy. 3. Look all around you at "all that" that is present in the present with you, what choices for service are there in every moment to choose to see the truth, beauty and goodness in every person? The Vulcan "My mind to your mind" being "My TA to your TA". God is not in hiding.

We discover, as a human, like the "First Father" did. So there's my case for a "Be Nice to the Animal in Human Day".

What services are needed?


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Hi fellow Student,

My life adventure began to be a bit more predictable (and simple) when I realized that before trying to change the world with the brilliance of epochal revelation, a good first step was to be good at being a good animal. Eating healthy, being clean; getting to work each day, on time, day after day; being friendly and polite, with no ulterior motive. From such a clear and simple base, love could begin to do its thing: "Love is the desire to do good to others." (56:10.21). From such an uncluttered base of operations, wilful loving service just tends to happen.

Right place, right time, right action.

Enjoying your posts!
Nigel


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My life adventure began to be a bit more predictable (and simple) when I realized that before trying to change the world with the brilliance of epochal revelation, a good first step was to be good at being a good animal. Eating healthy, being clean; getting to work each day, on time, day after day; being friendly and polite, with no ulterior motive. From such a clear and simple base, love could begin to do its thing: "Love is the desire to do good to others." (56:10.21). From such an uncluttered base of operations, wilful loving service just tends to happen.

Right place, right time, right action.


I wish we had a "like" button here. I would use it for this post...thanks, nunn!


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nnunn wrote:
Hi fellow Student,

My life adventure began to be a bit more predictable (and simple) when I realized that before trying to change the world with the brilliance of epochal revelation, a good first step was to be good at being a good animal. Eating healthy, being clean; getting to work each day, on time, day after day; being friendly and polite, with no ulterior motive. From such a clear and simple base, love could begin to do its thing: "Love is the desire to do good to others." (56:10.21). From such an uncluttered base of operations, wilful loving service just tends to happen.

Right place, right time, right action.

Enjoying your posts!
Nigel


Hi Nigel!

Right place, right time, right action...still always going to be "NOW" when it comes to "right time" - LOL

After reading Part I, it seemed ridiculous to me to entertain "changing the world" when it's not the "world" that needs changing....

So back to "service" - "Eating healthy, being clean" - never discount what the "farmer" knows about Life Forms on a cosmic Nursery of Life Forms....


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