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Compare 12/11/2017

What a child doesn't receive he can seldom later give.
  --P.D. James, novelist (1920-2014)

(177:2.4) "Your young friend Amos believes this gospel of the kingdom just as much as you, but I cannot fully depend upon him; I am not certain about what he will do in the years to come. His early home life was not such as would produce a wholly dependable person. Amos is too much like one of the apostles who failed to enjoy a normal, loving, and wise home training. Your whole afterlife will be more happy and dependable because you spent your first eight years in a normal and well-regulated home. You possess a strong and well-knit character because you grew up in a home where love prevailed and wisdom reigned. Such a childhood training produces a type of loyalty which assures me that you will go through with the course you have begun."

    Phyllis Dorothy James, known professionally as P. D. James, was an English crime writer. She rose to fame for her series of detective novels starring police commander and poet Adam Dalgliesh.
    James was born in Oxford, the daughter of Sidney James, a tax inspector, and educated at the British School in Ludlow and Cambridge High School for Girls.[3] She had to leave school at the age of sixteen to work because her family did not have much money and her father did not believe in higher education for girls.[citation needed] She worked in a tax office for three years and later found a job as an assistant stage manager for a theatre group. In 1941, she married Ernest Connor Bantry White, an army doctor. They had two daughters, Clare and Jane.
    When White returned from the Second World War, he was experiencing mental illness, and James was forced to provide for the whole family until her husband's death in 1964. With her husband in a psychiatric institution and their daughters being mostly cared for by his parents, James studied hospital administration and from 1949 to 1968 worked for a hospital board in London. She began writing in the mid-1950s. Her first novel, Cover Her Face, featuring the investigator and poet Adam Dalgliesh of New Scotland Yard, named after a teacher at Cambridge High School, was published in 1962. Many of James's mystery novels take place against the backdrop of UK bureaucracies, such as the criminal justice system and the National Health Service, in which she worked for decades starting in the 1940s. Two years after the publication of Cover Her Face, James's husband died, and she took a position as a civil servant within the criminal section of the Home Office. She worked in government service until her retirement in 1979.
    In 1991, James was created a life peer as Baroness James of Holland Park and sat in the House of Lords as a Conservative. She was an Anglican and a lay patron of the Prayer Book Society. Her 2001 work, Death in Holy Orders, displays her familiarity with the inner workings of church hierarchy. Her later novels were often set in a community closed in some way, such as a publishing house or barristers' chambers, a theological college, an island or a private clinic. Talking About Detective Fiction was published in 2009. Over her writing career, James also wrote many essays and short stories for periodicals and anthologies, which have yet to be collected. She revealed in 2011 that The Private Patient was the final Dalgliesh novel.
    As guest editor of BBC Radio 4's Today programme in December 2009, James conducted an interview with the Director General of the BBC, Mark Thompson, in which she seemed critical of some of his decisions. Regular Today presenter Evan Davis commented that "She shouldn't be guest editing; she should be permanently presenting the programme." In 2008, she was inducted into the International Crime Writing Hall of Fame at the inaugural ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards.
    In August 2014, James was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.
    James died at her home in Oxford on 27 November 2014, aged 94. She is survived by her two daughters, Clare and Jane, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

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Sunday Night Class 12/04/2017

Friends,

Sunday Night class remains intrigueing. We are discoving all over again about how the gloriuos heaven of our dreams is a reality so much more than we can imagine. The revelators do their best to tell us what it is like.

Come join our trip into the inevitible joys of our afterlife. It won't be long.

Tom

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Compare 12/04/2017

No amount of belief makes something a fact.
  --James Randi, magician and skeptic (b.1928)

(102:5.1) Although the establishment of the fact of belief is not equivalent to establishing the fact of that which is believed, nevertheless, the evolutionary progression of simple life to the status of personality does demonstrate the fact of the existence of the potential of personality to start with. And in the time universes, potential is always supreme over the actual. In the evolving cosmos the potential is what is to be, and what is to be is the unfolding of the purposive mandates of Deity.

(189:2.6) The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus has been based on the fact of the "empty tomb." It was indeed a fact that the tomb was empty, but this is not the truth of the resurrection. The tomb was truly empty when the first believers arrived, and this fact, associated with that of the undoubted resurrection of the Master, led to the formulation of a belief which was not true: the teaching that the material and mortal body of Jesus was raised from the grave. Truth having to do with spiritual realities and eternal values cannot always be built up by a combination of apparent facts. Although individual facts may be materially true, it does not follow that the association of a group of facts must necessarily lead to truthful spiritual conclusions.

    James Randi is a Canadian-American retired stage magician and a scientific skeptic who has extensively challenged paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. Randi is the co-founder of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), originally known as the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP). He is also the founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). He began his career as a magician under the stage name The Amazing Randi and later chose to devote most of his time to investigating paranormal, occult, and supernatural claims, which he collectively calls "woo-woo". Randi retired from practicing magic at age 60, and from the JREF at 87.
    Although often referred to as a "debunker", Randi has said he dislikes the term's connotations and prefers to describe himself as an "investigator". He has written about paranormal phenomena, skepticism, and the history of magic. He was a frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, famously exposing fraudulent faith healer Peter Popoff, and was occasionally featured on the television program Penn & Teller: Bullshit!
    Prior to Randi's retirement, JREF sponsored the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge, which offered a prize of one million dollars US to eligible applicants who could demonstrate evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event under test conditions agreed to by both parties. The paranormal challenge was officially terminated by the JREF in 2015. The foundation continues to make grants to non-profit groups that encourage critical thinking, and a fact-based world view.

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Compare 11/27/2017

Friends,

Beth is leading us through the administration worlds of the local universe, constellation and local universe. What a great destiny we all have together!

Come next week for more insight and love.

Tom

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Compare 11/27/2017

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.
  --Herman Melville, novelist and poet (1819-1891)

(140:8.15)  Jesus worked, lived, and traded in the world as he found it. He was not an economic reformer, although he did frequently call attention to the injustice of the unequal distribution of wealth. But he did not offer any suggestions by way of remedy. He made it plain to the three that, while his apostles were not to hold property, he was not preaching against wealth and property, merely its unequal and unfair distribution. He recognized the need for social justice and industrial fairness, but he offered no rules for their attainment.

(133:0.3) One day while resting at lunch, about halfway to Tarentum, Ganid asked Jesus a direct question as to what he thought of India's caste system. Said Jesus: "Though human beings differ in many ways, the one from another, before God and in the spiritual world all mortals stand on an equal footing. There are only two groups of mortals in the eyes of God: those who desire to do his will and those who do not. As the universe looks upon an inhabited world, it likewise discerns two great classes: those who know God and those who do not. Those who cannot know God are reckoned among the animals of any given realm. Mankind can appropriately be divided into many classes in accordance with differing qualifications, as they may be viewed physically, mentally, socially, vocationally, or morally, but as these different classes of mortals appear before the judgment bar of God, they stand on an equal footing; God is truly no respecter of persons. Although you cannot escape the recognition of differential human abilities and endowments in matters intellectual, social, and moral, you should make no such distinctions in the spiritual brotherhood of men when assembled for worship in the presence of God."

(143:1.5) True, the poor and oppressed of this generation have the gospel preached to them. The religions of this world have neglected the poor, but my Father is no respecter of persons. Besides, the poor of this day are the first to heed the call to repentance and acceptance of sonship. The gospel of the kingdom is to be preached to all men—Jew and gentile, Greek and Roman, rich and poor, free and bond—and equally to young and old, male and female.

    Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet of the American Renaissance period. His best known works include Typee (1846), a romantic account of his experiences in Polynesian life, and his whaling novel Moby-Dick (1851). His work was almost forgotten during his last 30 years. His writing draws on his experience at sea as a common sailor, exploration of literature and philosophy, and engagement in the contradictions of American society in a period of rapid change. He developed a complex, baroque style; the vocabulary is rich and original, a strong sense of rhythm infuses the elaborate sentences, the imagery is often mystical or ironic, and the abundance of allusion extends to biblical scripture, myth, philosophy, literature, and the visual arts.
    Melville was born in New York City, the third child of a merchant in French dry goods. His formal education ended abruptly after his father died in 1832, leaving the family in financial straits. He briefly became a schoolteacher before he took to sea in 1839 as a sailor on a merchant ship. In 1840, he signed aboard the whaler Acushnet for his first whaling voyage but jumped ship in the Marquesas Islands. He returned to Boston in 1844 after further adventures.
    His first book was Typee (1846), a highly romanticized account of his life among Polynesians. It became such a best-seller that he wrote the sequel Omoo (1847). These successes encouraged him to marry Elizabeth Shaw, daughter of a prominent Boston family, but the success proved hard to sustain. His first novel that was not based on his own experiences was Mardi (1849), a sea narrative that develops into a philosophical allegory—but it was not well received. He received warmer reviews for Redburn (1849), a story of life on a merchant ship, and his 1850 description of the harsh life aboard a man-of-war in White-Jacket, but they did not provide financial security.
    In August 1850, Melville moved his growing family to Arrowhead, a farm near Pittsfield, Massachusetts where he established a profound but short-lived friendship with Nathaniel Hawthorne, to whom he dedicated Moby-Dick. This novel was another commercial failure, published to mixed reviews. Melville's career as a popular author effectively ended with the cool reception of Pierre (1852), in part a satirical portrait of the literary culture at the time. His Revolutionary War novel Israel Potter appeared in 1855. From 1853 to 1856, Melville published short fiction in magazines, most notably "Bartleby, the Scrivener" (1853), "The Encantadas" (1854), and "Benito Cereno" (1855). These and three other stories were collected in 1856 as The Piazza Tales. In 1857, he traveled to England where he reunited with Hawthorne for the first time since 1852, and then went on to tour the Near East. The Confidence-Man (1857) was the last prose work that he published. He moved to New York to take a position as Customs Inspector and turned to poetry. Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866) was his poetic reflection on the moral questions of the American Civil War.
    In 1867, his oldest child Malcolm died at home from a self-inflicted gunshot. Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land was published in 1876, a metaphysical epic. In 1886, his son Stanwix died and Melville retired. During his last years, he privately published two volumes of poetry, left one volume unpublished, and returned to prose of the sea. The novella Billy Budd was left unfinished at his death but was published in 1924.
    Melville's death from cardiovascular disease in 1891 subdued a reviving interest in his work. The 1919 centennial of his birth became the starting point of the "Melville Revival." Critics discovered his work, scholars explored his life, his major novels and stories have come to be considered world classics, and his poetry has gradually gained respect.

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Compare 11/20/2017

I want to walk through life instead of being dragged through it.
  --Alanis Morissette, musician (b. 1974)

(174:5.13)  Walk while you have this light so that the oncoming darkness and confusion may not overtake you. He who walks in the darkness knows not where he goes; but if you will choose to walk in the light, you shall all indeed become liberated sons of God.

    Alanis Nadine Morissette is a Canadian alternative rock singer-songwriter, musician, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actress. Morissette began her career in Canada in the early 1990s, with two commercially successful dance-pop albums. Afterwards, she moved to Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, and in 1995 released Jagged Little Pill, a more rock-oriented album which sold more than 33 million units globally and is her most critically acclaimed work. Her following album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, was released in 1998.
    Morissette took up producing duties for her subsequent albums, which include Under Rug Swept (2002), So-Called Chaos (2004), and Flavors of Entanglement (2008). Her eighth studio album, Havoc and Bright Lights, was released in 2012. Morissette has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide. Morissette is also known for her powerful and emotive mezzo-soprano voice. She has been dubbed the "Queen of alt-rock angst" by Rolling Stone.

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Compare 11/16/2017

It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.
  --J.K. Rowling, author (b. 1965)

(158:7.3-4)  In answer to Andrew, Jesus said: "My brethren, it is because you have confessed that I am the Son of God that I am constrained to begin to unfold to you the truth about the end of the bestowal of the Son of Man on earth. You insist on clinging to the belief that I am the Messiah, and you will not abandon the idea that the Messiah must sit upon a throne in Jerusalem; wherefore do I persist in telling you that the Son of Man must presently go to Jerusalem, suffer many things, be rejected by the scribes, the elders, and the chief priests, and after all this be killed and raised from the dead. And I speak not a parable to you; I speak the truth to you that you may be prepared for these events when they suddenly come upon us." And while he was yet speaking, Simon Peter, rushing impetuously toward him, laid his hand upon the Master's shoulder and said: "Master, be it far from us to contend with you, but I declare that these things shall never happen to you."
    Peter spoke thus because he loved Jesus; but the Master's human nature recognized in these words of well-meant affection the subtle suggestion of temptation that he change his policy of pursuing to the end his earth bestowal in accordance with the will of his Paradise Father. And it was because he detected the danger of permitting the suggestions of even his affectionate and loyal friends to dissuade him, that he turned upon Peter and the other apostles, saying: "Get you behind me. You savor of the spirit of the adversary, the tempter. When you talk in this manner, you are not on my side but rather on the side of our enemy. In this way do you make your love for me a stumbling block to my doing the Father's will. Mind not the ways of men but rather the will of God."

    Joanne Rowling, who writes under the pen names J. K. Rowling and Robert Galbraith, is a British novelist and screenwriter who wrote the Harry Potter fantasy series. The books have won multiple awards, and sold more than 400 million copies. They have become the best-selling book series in history and been the basis for a series of films, over which Rowling had overall approval on the scripts and was a producer on the final films in the series.
    Born in Yate, Gloucestershire, England, Rowling was working as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International when she conceived the idea for the Harry Potter series while on a delayed train from Manchester to London in 1990. The seven-year period that followed saw the death of her mother, birth of her first child, divorce from her first husband and relative poverty until the first novel in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, was published in 1997. There were six sequels, of which the last, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was released in 2007. Since then, Rowling has written four books for adult readers: The Casual Vacancy (2012) and—under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith—the crime fiction novels The Cuckoo's Calling (2013), The Silkworm (2014) and Career of Evil (2015).
    Rowling has lived a "rags to riches" life story, in which she progressed from living on state benefits to multi-millionaire status within five years. She is the United Kingdom's best-selling living author, with sales in excess of £238M. The 2016 Sunday Times Rich List estimated Rowling's fortune at £600 million, ranking her as the joint 197th richest person in the UK. Time magazine named her as a runner-up for its 2007 Person of the Year, noting the social, moral, and political inspiration she has given her fans. In October 2010, Rowling was named the "Most Influential Woman in Britain" by leading magazine editors. She has supported charities including Comic Relief, One Parent Families, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain and Lumos.

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Compare 11/13/2017

Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.
  --Eric Hoffer, philosopher and author (1902-1983)

(110:4.5) There exists a vast gulf between the human and the divine, between man and God. The Urantia races are so largely electrically and chemically controlled, so highly animallike in their common behavior, so emotional in their ordinary reactions, that it becomes exceedingly difficult for the Monitors to guide and direct them. You are so devoid of courageous decisions and consecrated co-operation that your indwelling Adjusters find it next to impossible to communicate directly with the human mind. Even when they do find it possible to flash a gleam of new truth to the evolving mortal soul, this spiritual revelation often so blinds the creature as to precipitate a convulsion of fanaticism or to initiate some other intellectual upheaval which results disastrously. Many a new religion and strange "ism" has arisen from the aborted, imperfect, misunderstood, and garbled communications of the Thought Adjusters.

    Eric Hoffer was an American moral and social philosopher. He was the author of ten books and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in February 1983. His first book, The True Believer (1951), was widely recognized as a classic, receiving critical acclaim from both scholars and laymen, although Hoffer believed that The Ordeal of Change was his finest work.

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Compare 11/09/2017

I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, "Mother, what was war?"
  --Eve Merriam, poet and writer (1916-1992)

(52:6.1) The bestowal Son is the Prince of Peace. He arrives with the message, "Peace on earth and good will among men." On normal worlds this is a dispensation of world-wide peace; the nations no more learn war. But such salutary influences did not attend the coming of your bestowal Son, Christ Michael. Urantia is not proceeding in the normal order. Your world is out of step in the planetary procession. Your Master, when on earth, warned his disciples that his advent would not bring the usual reign of peace on Urantia. He distinctly told them that there would be "wars and rumors of wars," and that nation would rise against nation. At another time he said, "Think not that I have come to bring peace upon earth."

(54:1.10) Evolutionary man may have to contend for his material liberties with tyrants and oppressors on a world of sin and iniquity or during the early times of a primitive evolving sphere, but not so on the morontia worlds or on the spirit spheres. War is the heritage of early evolutionary man, but on worlds of normal advancing civilization physical combat as a technique of adjusting racial misunderstandings has long since fallen into disrepute.

(70:2.21) But even in passing, war should be honored as the school of experience which compelled a race of arrogant individualists to submit themselves to highly concentrated authority—a chief executive. Old-fashioned war did select the innately great men for leadership, but modern war no longer does this. To discover leaders society must now turn to the conquests of peace: industry, science, and social achievement.

(159:5.6) "Neither shall the nations learn war any more."

    Eve Merriam (July 19, 1916 – April 11, 1992) was an American poet and writer.
    Merriam's first book was the 1946 Family Circle, which won the Yale Younger Poets Prize.
    Her book, The Inner City Mother Goose, was described as one of the most banned books of the time. It inspired a 1971 Broadway musical called Inner City and a 1982 musical production called Street Dreams. In 1981 she won the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. She published a total of 88 books.
    Born as Eva Moskovitz in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After graduating with an A.B. from the Cornell University in 1937, Merriam moved to New York to pursue graduate studies at Columbia University. She was married for a time to writer Leonard C. Lewin. She later married screenwriter Waldo Salt and was actress Jennifer Salt's stepmother.
    Merriam died on April 11, 1992 in Manhattan from liver cancer.

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Compare 11/06/2017

The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace.
  --Carlos Santana, musician (b.1947)

(166:3.7)  Nevertheless, to all who are honest of heart and sincere in faith, it remains eternally true: "Behold, I stand at the doors of men's hearts and knock, and if any man will open to me, I will come in and sup with him and will feed him with the bread of life; we shall be one in spirit and purpose, and so shall we ever be brethren in the long and fruitful service of the search for the Paradise Father."

(140:3.10)  Happy are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.

(140:5.18) "Happy are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God." Jesus' hearers were longing for military deliverance, not for peacemakers. But Jesus' peace is not of the pacific and negative kind. In the face of trials and persecutions he said, "My peace I leave with you." "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." This is the peace that prevents ruinous conflicts. Personal peace integrates personality. Social peace prevents fear, greed, and anger. Political peace prevents race antagonisms, national suspicions, and war. Peacemaking is the cure of distrust and suspicion.

    Carlos Santana is a Mexican and American musician who first became famous in the late 1960s and early 1970s with his band, Santana, which pioneered a fusion of rock and Latin American music. The band's sound featured his melodic, blues-based guitar lines set against Latin and African rhythms featuring percussion instruments such as timbales and congas not generally heard in rock music. Santana continued to work in these forms over the following decades. He experienced a resurgence of popularity and critical acclaim in the late 1990s. In 2003 Rolling Stone magazine listed Santana at number 20 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. He has won 10 Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards.

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