Thoughts on Lesson 246

To love my Father is to love His Son.

Let me not think that I can find the way to God, if I have hatred in my heart. 

This sentence as we begin this lesson is truer than true. If I hold grievances or grudges against another, then I cannot love God or myself. Judgment is a double-edged sword as it hurts us both. This is why forgiveness is so key. And if I can’t seem to forgive, I can offer blessing to another instead of the cursing I am used to. Blessing begins the process of forgiveness as it helps me shift my mindset.

Thoughts on Lesson 242

This day is God’s. It is my gift to Him.

I have found in my spiritual life it important to set the intention to do just as this lesson states, dedicating my day to Him. As I spoke with a student yesterday, it is inviting the Holy Spirit in for coffee first thing in the morning, doing chores with God, gathering around the water cooler with Jesus. We drive with Him in the car, and shop with Him in the store. It is important to keep God first and foremost in the mind. It’s easy to be swayed by the ego’s thoughts of judgment and fear. But I and you have strength within us that we do not realize. We can have a truly gifted day by keeping Him in mind. Peace comes to us when we make it our primary goal.

Thoughts on Week 34, Text, Chapter 19, IV. The Obstacles to Peace

This section is a long section so it will be covered this week and part of next.

The following if from a former post from 2014 on the First Obstacle to Peace: The Desire to Get Rid of It:

Would you really want to throw away peace? We say “No” but we do it all the time! This week’s reading has been in Chapter 19, IV. The Obstacles to Peace, A. The First Obstacle: The Desire to Get Rid of It. Whew, long title, right? Jesus really wants us to see that we have a desire for anything but peace. Peace is simple. We make a change of mind. We empty the fear, attack and judgment thoughts and voila! Peace! Not so easy it seems as it is demonstrated by how we feel and our resulting actions.

There is that ego part of us that wants to clutch on to the grievances with others and with ourselves. I know my past week (yeah, again) has been that. Clawing and clutching onto fear. When I grab onto that fear, it only increases. The very thing I say I don’t want, fear, is the very thing that barrels its way towards me.

You see, the desire to get rid of peace creeps in so slowly. Watch your language, what is it that you say?

It’s too quiet here something is bound to happen.

There’s always a calm before the storm.

When’s the other shoe going to drop?

We keep peace at bay. We keep it in the future. I’ll be at peace, WHEN, whatever the WHEN is to you. We keep peace away because of fear and wanting to be safe and secure, yet that fear driving us is literally driving us to hell and then some!

How mighty can a little feather be before the great wings of truth? Can it oppose an eagle’s flight, or hinder the advance of summer? Can it interfere with the effects of summer’s sun upon a garden covered by the snow? See but how easily this little wisp is lifted up and carried away, never to return, and part with it in gladness, not regret. For it is nothing in itself, and stood for nothing when you had greater faith in its protection. Would you not rather greet the summer sun than fix your gaze upon a disappearing snowflake, and shiver in remembrance of the winter’s cold?

We can think about this differently. That’s where we go to the subsection, The Attraction of Guilt, for one of my favorite passages in relation to what messengers do we send forth. This is how we can learn to keep the peace.

Any guilt that we feel produces fear of love. Remember that guilt is the guilt that we believe we are separated from God and that we have taken horrible strikes against Him. Yet love and peace is embedded in our memory. It is there. It cannot be taken away. We can follow the dictates of fear’s voice and most often we do.

When we listen and follow fear’s voice, we trumpet this fear outward. Toot, toot, toot, “Send out the fear” is the message to our kingdom. Fear is released and as Jesus so brilliantly paints the picture here, fear is as hungry dogs, looking for scraps of guilt, hungry and pouncing on every bit of guilt and fear that they can scrummage. They are frantic and in pain, knowing that it is only this they must return to their lord and master.

The imagery here is amazing and I remember first reading this section many moons ago and how it painted such an indelible picture in my mind. It was the perfect reading for this week as I realized my own fear and guilty thoughts were behind the skeletal witnesses that stepped forth, handing to me their silver platters of guilt and their mighty conquests of judgment.

It was not the witnesses fault. It was my own for first I portrayed this destructible scene in my own mind. They merely took their places and on their mark for this period drama of hatred, my own self-hatred.

In reading this throughout the week with our study classes and the radio show, I was able to be reborn in the words. No, it was not reborn in fear, but in love and peace. I learned (again) the power of Holy Spirit and His messengers of Love. Holy Spirit is loving, kind and gentle with me. He is a True Friend when everyone else seems to abandon you. You can always count on His Love to surround you, no matter the circumstances. You are safe in Him. The winds of hate may blow and whip wickedly around you, yet there in the center of it all is Love. Love can be trusted. Love is what sets you free.

All is as it should be. The lessons come for me at the perfect time and when they are needed, or if even simply reminded to me when the road ahead seems bleak. Ignore the naysayers of the ego, and trust in the glowing witnesses to Love who always offer me grace, just by that simple shift to a miracle.

Listen now to that softly joyous whispering that tells you too of the truth. Listen and be glad.

If you missed our show this week on this week’s reading, you can download and listen:

1st Obstacle to Peace

2nd Obstacle to Peace

Thoughts on Week 32, Chapter 18, V. The Happy Dream

The Happy Dream. I hear students speak of this quite frequently, as they strongly desire to live the happy dream. What if you were already living it, but just have forgotten? What if you retracted your judgments entirely so you can see how happy you truly are?

Some of your greatest advances you have judged as failures, and some of your deepest retreats you have evaluated as success.

It is my interpretation that is the issue at hand. And what part of the mind is doing the interpreting? I believe I have advanced when in fact it was not as I believed. This then comes to the “I don’t know” mind. When I can be in the “I don’t know” mind, I experience peace. “I don’t know” is withdrawing judgment and interpretation. “I don’t know” releases emotional attachments. In doing so, then yes, I am living the happy dream.

As I said, how do I know I’m not living the happy dream, if I surround myself with defenses, attack, judgment, reactionary responses, false interpretations and more. I cannot be happy if I choose the ego as my guide. The ego is not a fit guide for me, or you, or anyone.

Happy dreams come true, not because they are dreams, but only because they are happy.  And so they must be loving. Their message is, “Thy Will be done,” and not, “I want it otherwise.”

When I can live the truth of this statement by releasing my tight, iron fist grip of “I want, I want, I want!” then happiness is mine. I stop the games I play to manifest what I want and accept what is, the happiness of God. By doing so, my life is experienced different. Yes, it is happy. I thought of this when I stopped working so hard to make this ministry “work”. That is, the attempt to be “popular” (whatever that is) and receiving accolades and praise for the work we do. Now, this was all subtle in my mind and Holy Spirit had to show me this some time ago. It was so subtle in fact, that I, after all these years of practicing ACIM, did not realize it.

However, when I surrendered into following Holy Spirit’s plan for myself and the ministry, happiness became profound. I don’t have to DO anything. Certainly, I still promote our work, but now I do it differently. The thought behind it is different. Now I place all that we offer out there and freely and those who wish to partake will do so. I can’t describe the subtlety in my mind with the change, but it was a mere thought that changed. I’m still doing everything I did before but now being led even more so by the Holy Spirit. Those who come to our classes, do so. Small or large class, it does not matter. My love for this Course includes working with those who truly want to live this Course too. That is the prayer of my heart. When I set this desire then, I receive it and I have abundantly. For that, I am grateful.

You can also listen to a radio show program we recorded in September of 2013 on “The Happy Dream” here:

See our calendar at this link:

Thoughts on Week 30, Chapter 17, II. The Forgiven World

Can you imagine how beautiful those you forgive will look to you? 

How beautiful those we forgive will look to us? Yes, it is so. We see the beauty because that is all we now desire to see. This includes ourselves.  When we see with Holy Spirit’s Eyes,  no more are we focused on the wrongs or flaws of another.

I see this for myself with my recent diagnosis of fibromyalgia. It’s just a diagnosis made here in the world. It’s up to me to decide how I will see myself. Will I see myself as limited or unlimited? The body itself may be limited but my mind is eternal. As always, which teacher do I place my alignment?

As this reading (Text, Ch. 17. II. The Forgiven World) we are using in this “Take a Vacation from the Ego” class states in paragraph 1. When we look upon ourselves or our brothers with loveliness, we are seeing the Son of God. We know that as the Son of God there is no separation, no divisions, and that includes the body. It’s not the body we look upon with love, it is the essence of Who we are. We see the Son of God in His glory and we are grateful that now we can truly see with eyes that are not our own.

Personally, I am not only practicing this with my own recent diagnosis but some individuals that have come to mind of late. The ego wants to stir the pot of judgment and criticism based on my own hurt and upset by what these individuals have either said or done. The pot can be stirred yet I can take what rises to the surface as my opportunity to purge it and replace it with the loving ingredients Spirit provides. All of course based on my own willingness.

It’s not hard to make this decision, it’s necessary. It is always looking within and asking myself, “Do I like how I feel right now?” If the answer is “No,” then I make a new choice. We have the ability to do so. It’s up to us to change our own mind. We can wish people and situations away, and sometimes they do “go away”, however, the baggage in the mind is still there. The guilt and judgment and resentment is still there. Freedom comes upon us when we take the slightest step to the side to see a new perspective.  Brother Tom, one of our MiraclesOne Board members stated after our Sunday Session yesterday, “In the Bible when it said to ‘Turn the other cheek’ it did not mean to take more punishment, it meant to see it from a different perspective.” We don’t have to sacrifice ourselves and further identify ourselves as victims. We can turn the other cheek and see it from a higher perspective.

Jesus asks us at the end of this reading, “How much do you want salvation?” As that of yourself, right here and right now, “How much do you desire it?” If you do, then meet with the Holy Spirit and allow Him to walk with you. Trust in Him, allow Him to lead the way. You will only be lead into the Light of Peace.

Rev. Deb

Originally Posted June 2015

Thoughts on Week 30, Chapter 17, I. Bringing Fantasy to Truth

Originally posted October 2011

An idea that we see in this section is that if we maintain that there is an order of difficulty in miracles, then it means that I am withholding some things from the truth. For some reason I believe that God or Holy Spirit cannot handle the issue at hand. I think that I can solve it myself. This is far from the truth. If I try to solve the issue, whatever it may be, by myself I am sure to be solving it from the ego’s point of view. With the ego in charge of the problem I am only bound to have more problems and round and round it will go.

If I make the decision to give the problem over to the Holy Spirit, then I can realize that I can receive relief. That is why the Holy Spirit is there within our mind, to help us be calm and clear-minded. We cannot do that from our ego perspective. When I do not give over the problem to the Holy Spirit I am desiring to stay in the pain, whatever that pain may be.

I shared a personal example during my Radio program on October 11th, 2011. I had started out the session with a meditation on the Review section of the first 10 lessons in the Workbook for Students.  We are told in these lessons that our thoughts do not mean anything, nothing I see means anything, and that we are never upset for the reason we think, and of course that we are preoccupied with the past. This is something that certainly comes up from time to time for all of us without really realizing it. It sneaks in there it seems  and then all of a sudden it is in our face with a problem or  someone who shows up in our life and I only say this because I had a recent experience.

As I prepared for the program and read through the ten lessons for the meditation, it put a lot of things in perspective for me. My eldest daughter is going through a life-challenging situation currently and is moving back next week to our original hometown in Pennsylvania. I came to observe that there is still a lot of anger from the past 20 odd years not only on my ex-in-law’s part, but also on my part. I had a rude awakening to see how much that was so.

I had received some messages from my ex-brother-in-law in response to something that I had said on my daughter’s Facebook page. I simply had offered her support with some comments that I made. I found some comments others made “interesting” and I said so. It is funny how a little thing like social media as this Facebook phenomena is and how in our lives it can be used as a tool to connect but it can be also be a tool to divide as well. And, mostly how it all can be misunderstood and misperceived.

Then I watched as my email inbox became littered with message after message from Facebook as my ex-brother-in-law kept posting what could be perceived as attacking remarks, 1, 2, 3, 12, 14, etc.  It became disturbing to me, yes, to my peace and I was already full from an emotional night dealing with my eldest daughter. For her it has been drama, drama, drama, and more drama. I was doing well on maintaining the calm and peace as I listened and talked with her earlier in the living room. I came down to my office, then all these e-mails from Facebook.

Yes, indeed, I perceived them as attacks. Yet remembering that I am the one perceiving the attack and I am indeed responsible for my own mind that I could choose peace with the Holy Spirit. However,  I did not choose peace right away and was not willing to give it up and all that I saw was all the grievances right there back in my face.

Everything from 20 odd years ago was right there right in my face again and certainly I was not seeing anything as it is now, and I was preoccupied with the past. I was seeing only the past and I was upset and I think the word upset wasn’t even the word I could use and I don’t know what the word to use here would be. I went from being very calm and helping my daughter to deal with her life situation drama to being in my own drama with all the old hurt and pain exploding like a volcanic reaction. I definitely can say I lost my peace and lost my mind. I yelled down here to myself here in my office everything that I had wanted to say for the last 20 years and then yelling and berating myself. Then I shifted to just sobs, uncontrollable sobs. Then as quickly as it started there was a sudden calm. Throughout as strange as it sounds, the whole time I was praying to the Holy Spirit to help me to see beyond this. Holy Spirit, help me to have peace and help me to forgive.

I return to Facebook and write to my ex-brother-in-law and say something to the effect, “Listen sometimes we say things we don’t really want to say because we are upset or angry but I think that we need to do right now is to lay down the sword and I offer you the olive branch of peace. Let’s just be in support my daughter and let all this past history go. Let’s let peace and forgiveness reign.” I knew that he was a devoted Christian and he did respond in kind. However the next day, the morning of the broadcast, I thought all had been resolved but I received more comments hurled my way. More fodder for Holy Spirit. I never responded.

The only way that we can come to peace is by bringing all that I believe, whether it is about myself or about the past or the guilt that I may be feeling or the anger that I am feeling or  the upset that I may be feeling, all of it, BRING THAT to the Holy Spirit to receive His gift. His gift is the gift of peace. I cannot solve anything myself. The only way to solve my perceived problems or grievances or judgments is to become still within. I step back and fully know that I cannot solve the problem from my own little mind.

The peace comes in simply by giving it to Him. I may not be perfect in giving it all to Him but when I do, I know that I feel relieved. The Holy Spirit would release me from the pain. We all have moments that come up like me, a 20-year-old hurt arising out of seemingly nowhere. But I know through my study of A Course in Miracles that I am not going to solve it by continuing the attack or the judgment. It is stepping back, several, many times if needed.

We have to remember as the Introduction to the Course tells us:

Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.

So we do not linger in the grand illusion of the situations and experiences of our lives. We ask for clearer judgment, the Holy Spirit’s Eyes to see perfection and Love everywhere. We ask ourselves would we be content with the pain or would we be content with being the wonderful children of God that we are. We can be content with His Plan. We can choose His plan and His meaning and not the meaning that we give.

We can stop giving meaning if someone raises an eyebrow at us, or if someone responds or doesn’t respond to an email or phone call. We can just file it in the God folder and let Him handle it and not file it in the ego folder where we give it meaning by our judgments. God’s folder deletes all judgments. It is simply a small step of willingness to forgive and to see all differently. Sometimes we will make mistakes and sometimes we will forget. However, our Father does not judge us as He loves us wholeheartedly. And that is something worth remembering, that is in fact the Truth.


Rev. Deb Phelps

Originally posted October 2011

Thoughts on Lesson 189

I feel the Love of God within me now.

Simply do this: Be still, and lay aside all thoughts of what you are and what God is; all concepts you have learned about the world; all images you hold about yourself. Empty your mind of everything it thinks is either true or false, or good or bad, of every thought it judges worthy, and all the ideas of which it is ashamed. Hold onto nothing. Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught, nor one belief you ever learned before from anything. Forget this world, forget this course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God.

I did just this in meditation this morning. I had been reflecting on an issue with a client and how I would proceed to make my needs known, yet honor theirs as well. I was guided again like the yesterday’s many times of meditation, to be clear in my priorities and my boundaries. In this I felt much peace. Spirit whispered to me that I need to put my oxygen mask on first before I can be helpful to anyone, be it family, friends, ACIM students, clients or others. With this a feeling of great love rushed in and filled my heart. I was experiencing the Love of God as I was loving myself.

I release judgment of everyone of whom I felt took time away from me, so to speak. It is I who was taking time away from “me.” Even though I know this and teach this, I can forget as well so I am quite thankful for the lesson and reminder that Love comes first above all. It is the honesty in accepting this, and then making a viable solution and communicating it to others.

Where it leads, I know not. Yet, if Love and Peace is my only goal. I can never fail.


Thoughts on Week 25, Ch. 14, VII. Sharing Perception with the Holy Spirit

What do I want? What do I want? I can only have one or the other. Light or darkness. Knowledge or ignorance. Why must I stay in the darkness when Light is handed to me freely without strings attached? Here in the world I have sought for truth, yet never found. Jesus suggests that the way to search for truth is to search out those things that stand in the way of truth. Mmm…

What stands in front of truth for me? My thoughts that I hide. Those falsities that I believe. I hide from Love because I fear it. That fear is keeping me from what would set me free.

“Bring what is undesirable to the desirable”

Today Holy Spirit I bring all those miniscule thoughts that I keep hidden. I think they are safely hidden until they arise like the Frankenstein monster clutching for me. I place Love’s face on that monster and say it is Love that is out to get me, to murder me in my path. That is the insanity of the ego. How could Love attack me? God knows only Love. He knows me only as Love. He does not see the “monster” I have created of Him. He placed the Holy Spirit in my mind, a gentle voice to lead me gently.

I need not be afraid for He is here. Joining with Him is the only way I can see differently. I can rise above the conflict in my mind and witness to Love’s Presence.

The Holy Spirit asks of you but this; bring to Him every secret you have locked away from Him. Open every door to Him, and bid Him enter the darkness and lighten it away. At your request He enters gladly. He brings the light to darkness if you make the darkness open to Him. But what you hide He cannot look upon. He sees for you, and unless you look with Him He cannot see. The vision of Christ is not for Him alone, but for Him with you. Bring, therefore, all your dark and secret thoughts to Him, and look upon them with Him. He holds the light, and you the darkness. They cannot coexist when both of You together look on them. His judgment must prevail, and He will give it to you as you join your perception to His.


Thoughts on Week 25, Ch. 14, V. The Circle of the Atonement

“The only part of your mind that has reality is the part that links you still with God.”

That link is changeless and it is present. I want that link as it is the safety line while I am climbing the boulders in this world. I imagine it in my mind as I did once many years ago in a meditation, that of a golden, shining, vibrational cord between me and the Divine. It has life as it is life.

I have my part to play in the Atonement and that is the remembrance that I am guiltless. Not only me but all my brothers here. Not just the ones that I cultivate affection. We are all guiltless. Sometimes I may not feel that I am as I recall and remember my mistakes, but it is the truth regardless. And I will remember the truth as that is a given.

The symbol of the circle has no beginning and no end. Thus is God. Thus is me. Thus is the Sonship. There is nothing to “atone” for as I have never stepped outside the circle except in my dreams. It is a holy circle where all is one.

To remember this when I go down the dark path of despair, self-condemnation, sadness and judgment is yet another task. It is for my doing as I am ready to be quiet and listen to the joy in the song of Spirit. That is when I release the binds and enter into pristine purity. I am blessed. I had merely forgotten.

Let Holy Spirit Be the Interpreter


Illusions serve the purpose they were made to serve.
And from their purpose they derive whatever meaning that they seem to have.

            Do you remember the “Whodunit” board game “Clue” or “Cluedo”? This happens to be one of my favorite board games. Why, you might ask? Because I’m very good at analyzing and deciphering clues and when I’m in my ego mind, I’m always ready to make an accusation.  Mmm…sound familiar?

In this game there is a murder to solve. One player chooses three cards, one from each category (Suspect, Weapon and Room) to place in the “Case File” set in the middle of the game board. The purpose of the game is to identify the suspect in the murder case, the weapon used, and the room in the game’s huge mansion in which the murder occurred. The remaining cards are distributed, as are detective notebooks. As the game is played, each player tries to determine “Whodunit” by occasionally seeing another player’s card and by powers of deduction.

Let’s keep “powers of deduction” in mind.

Toward the end of the game, each player may have an idea of the WHO, WHAT and WHERE. At this point, an official ACCUSATION is made.

“I believe that it was Colonel Mustard in the Conservatory with a rope.”

The player then opens the envelope and discovers … The accusation was wrong!

The player who made the incorrect accusation is then out of the game. The other players continue playing. It is later revealed that it was Professor Plum in the Study with a rope. The player above (who made the incorrect accusation) had one of the pieces of the puzzle correct, but he had the other two wrong.

That player had made an interpretation and thought that he held enough of the facts to make a judgment. And here Joe Schmo was holding Colonel Mustard’s card the whole time! The game is among my favorites because it is so illustrative of what we all do with the ego! We think we have all our check boxes filled in or in alignment with what we think. And if they are not, we just fill in the rest of the story.

God did not leave the meaning of the world up to us to interpret because there is no meaning to this world. The world’s “meaning” changes constantly and therefore cannot be true. Thank God He did not leave the assignment of meaning up to us! And, by the way, we have certainly written enough stories about Him, haven’t we? But Holy Spirit does not see things as we do. He sees beyond all of it and takes us directly to the Truth.

For example, we determine how we think our day should go. We then decide if we succeeded or failed by reviewing the day’s activities and interactions. But these truly have no meaning.

By setting in stone how our day should be, we cannot envision anything else. We have decided wrongly because we did not align ourselves with Holy Spirit. It is imperative, however, for our own peace of mind that we start our day with Him. We begin by stating the following as written in the Rules for Decision in A Course in Miracles:

“Today I will make no decisions
by myself.”

We learn to judge nothing that occurs over the course of our day. We are not going to strictly adhere to our plans for the day; we make the decision to allow Holy Spirit to lead the way.

We can relinquish any plans and thus relinquish judgment by our simple decision, “I do not want to be upset, see disaster and loss.” Or, we can affirm for ourselves: “I want to be at peace.” By doing this, we can now allow Holy Spirit to transform our stories into Truth.

Some of your greatest advances
you have judged as failures,
and some of your deepest retreats
you have evaluated as success.

            We want peace. Just because we have not experienced a failure in any given situation does not mean any perception of success is what we were truly looking for. We want peace, the middle road.

There is only one purpose. It is for us to heal, become One with God, remember God, join with our brothers and forgive.

Our interpretations are unstable, but Holy Spirit’s interpretation will always keep us safe. If you are in fear, join with the Holy Spirit. Let Him be the Interpreter. Let Him show you that all of the fear you have been experiencing means nothing.


~From “I am Entitled to Miracles!” by Rev. Deb Phelps




Originally posted May 2, 2015

Thoughts on Lesson 70

Thoughts on Lesson 70

WBNewsletterIt means that nothing outside yourself can save you; nothing outside yourself can give you peace. 

This is not to be taken lightly. It is true. It is a fact. Can you accept it now? You’ve searched long enough to find peace and salvation through the world –education, money, material possessions, relationships, ideologies, righteousness and judgment. Now let it go. Let go and relax into God. I think here of the trust exercises in a group atmosphere where a person is to trust and fall backwards into the arms of their co-workers. Fall back into the Arms of God. That is where we find peace.

As I practice this throughout the day, I will breeze past the clouds. I know I will not find any hope of the light in them. The judgments and grievances indeed cloud my vision. I appreciated Jesus saying to think of him extending his hand and leading me through. He does so as I imagined it and I know he will always lead me rightly. I am in charge of my mind. It is my decision for peace or not. I can save myself from the thoughts of darkness by being willing to grasp his hand.

Rev. Deb

Prayer of the Heart for 3/11/16

PrayersHeartSqI forgive that little stray thought that comes in that judges when someone else is being pretentious in what they share. Hmmm…who is the one that is being pretentious here? It is my judgment that I need to forgive. Heck with the other person. It’s me that has the problem! Thank You Holy Spirit!


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