Ed Rabel - Unity Authors - Charles Neal

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Well, before I tell you what author we’re going to deal with today, I want to say a little about him. He is English. He served in World War II as sort of an undercover political and military person.

I did not find this out until over a year after I met him that he wrote many of Winston Churchill’s speeches during World War II. I always assumed that Winston Churchill wrote all of his own speeches because he wrote all of those books. But, no, many of his speeches were written for him as I now realize is the custom with political leaders: presidents and kings and queens and prime ministers and so forth. But Charles would never mention this. Charles hardly ever talked about himself. I’ve known him since—I can’t even tell you how long I’ve known him, about 25 years. First, let me tell you how I know him.

Years and years and years ago, we did have not the ministerial training program like we have now. Back then, only selected male World War II veterans could be enrolled in a ministerial training program. You would come here a minimum of two years. You had to work for Silent Unity, where your salary came from, but you only had to work a half day, and you got a full day’s pay. The other half a day, you went to classes, very few classes I might add, nothing like the curriculum you have now, and nothing like the faculty you have now. Back then, whoever could be grabbed was put in the teacher’s platform. If they knew anything, they were hired to teach it or asked to teach it. But we were all so close, and those classes were so small. My class was 7 young men. The class ahead of me was 8 young men. The class behind me was 6 young men.

Women could become ministers but not in that way, only World War II vets. You had to be able to type. Women could become ministers, and so could men who aren’t veterans, by first of all completing the Unity Correspondence Course. That was a number one priority. Second, you had to have some involvement in a local Unity center. We did not call them churches then, that came much later, but center. You had to be involved somehow there and get a recommendation from that minister. These were the two basic things. Now, the other thing was you had to earn so many credits by attending classes here at Unity School, and these classes were conducted only in the summertime. You could attend them. You could attend no longer than one month each summer, and you could not earn enough credits in less than four years. But, if you did all of that, you could become, well, a licensed minister, and then later you would be ordained.

I’m glad that changed because so many very wonderful women missed out on becoming ministers because of having to take that long, roundabout route and so much time and spent so much money. We realize that we were missing the boat by not having women able to take the training and get the ordination more quickly and less expensively. That has all changed.

Even we in the ministerial training program, we had to attend the summer training school classes too along with the people that came in from the field. I was very near graduation when Charles enrolled as a new student in the summer training school, not the ministerial training school. I think Charles was the first and only person to set foot on Unity School grounds with an English accent. You know what I mean? He was instantly famous because, in this part of the country, at least back then, you did not hear English accents. That was odd. You heard “you all” accents. Charles had this celebrity even before his talents were known.

He was not in good health. His body, even back then and today, is rather misshapen. He will not talk about how this happened, which makes me suspect that he was injured doing something heroic. Hear what I’m saying, folks? He’s that kind of a person. If it was just an ordinary misfortune, he would talk about it, but he won’t talk about it, which tells me that, the kind of a man he is, he doesn’t want to boast about how brave he was. Anyway, we took to each other very quickly because I’ve always loved English accents. Ever since I was a little child, I fell in love with Greer Garson, that ilk. Charles and I got along right from the start ... I’m bringing myself into this too much. Well, I have to to tell you how I stand with Charles.

I went out in the field for a year, and then I realized I wasn’t ready to be a full-time minister yet. I had the talent, but I did not have the consciousness. You know what I mean. I was frightened, but I could put on a big act, and nobody knew I was frightened, but I was frightened because I realized I wasn’t mature enough spiritually, and so I gave up my ministry in San Diego and got permission to come back here and work for Silent Unity full-time this year and do some more studying.

Well, James Dillet Freeman, who was the director of the Unity ministerial program back then, had other ideas. I wasn’t here two weeks and had just settled down into, “Oh, boy. I can work in Silent Unity full-time now,” which is what I wanted. We were letter writers back then. Then, he comes up to my desk, and he tells me I’m on the faculty. He didn’t ask me, “Will you join the faculty?” He said, “You’re on the faculty.” I said, “Really? What is it that I am to teach?” “Well, metaphysical Bible interpretation, of course.” I said, “Of course?”

I said, “Jim, do you recall a little conversation you had with me in your office a little over a year ago?” He said, “Vaguely.” I said, “Well, I recall it vividly.” What it was all about, he called me into his office during working hours, he was our speech teacher also, and he said, “I noticed that all of your speeches lately have been Bible interpretations.” He said, “You’re pretty much into that, aren’t you?” I said, “All the way, Jim. All the way. Not pretty much, all the way.”

He said, “What are you going to do when you graduate and go out in the field?” I said, “I am going to inform the board of directors that, if they want me as their minister, they are going to get metaphysical Bible interpretation every Sunday.” He said, “Don’t do it. Don’t do it.” I said, “Why not?” He said, “People won’t come. People just won’t come. They’re not interested. They’ll stay away.” I said, “Well, that’ll be my problem. If the board hires me, then that’s my problem, and I’m not going to make it a problem before it even happens. If it happens, then it’s my problem, but I’m not going to make a problem now that it hasn’t happened.” He said, “Oh, well, just remember that I gave you fair warning.”

Well, here and now, he’s telling me I have to teach Bible interpretation after a year out in the field because, friends, people did come. They came in crowds, and the word got around that, if you want to get Bible interpretation in San Diego, there’s only one place you’re going to get it: the Unity center. Our attendance built and built and built. This is what scared me. The attendance grew too fast, and I wasn’t ready for it.

Anyway, I came back and found out that Charles still had not earned all of his credits. He took it very slowly. He was busy in a church, and he was doing his correspondence course, but very meticulously, very slowly. It would take him about six years to earn the credits which he could have gotten in four years. With his intelligence, he could have done it in one year, but the rules wouldn’t allow that.

Anyway, he asked me, when I came back and he found out that I was on the faculty now, he asked me if he could audit some of my classes while he was here, and I said, “Well, yes, Charles, you’re welcome, but you’ve got your hands full with the classes you’ve got to attend in the training school. Why add more on?” He said, “Well, we’re not getting metaphysical Bible interpretation. We’re getting straight Bible.” This is what the Bible says. Get it? Remember it. He said, “I want to hear some of these interpretations that I’ve been hearing about.”

He did audit some of my classes and became very interested, very, very interested. I’ll never forget these words. It was his last week here before he graduated, and he said, “You know, Ed, judging from what I’ve heard so far in the classes that I’ve audited, I’d give anything if I could be here when you tackle Revelation.” I said, “Forget it. I never, never will.” He said, “Famous last words.”

But he was right, because, when the cassette department was formed here at Unity School, Phil White was the first person to be in charge of that new department. Phil and I were co-ministers in Boston for about a year, and I stayed there for three years. Phil came back here to the education department. Phil and I used to take turns giving Sunday sermons. I would serve as his chairman; he would the sermon. Next week, he would be chairman; I would give the sermon. All I ever gave was metaphysical Bible interpretation.

Well, when Phil became head of the newly-formed cassette department, one of the first things he did was to call me into his office and assign me to make a series of cassettes on their new equipment. I didn’t know what was involved. I said, “Well, if you think I can do it, I’ll try it. I can’t guarantee the results.” He said, “We won’t worry about that.” He said, “You just get the material ready, and we’ll set up the recording dates, and you give it.” I said, “Can I pick my own subject?” He said, “Hahaha, no. I picked it already: the Book of Revelation.”

I spent many months preparing material for metaphysical interpretation, which means I had to read the darn thing a dozen times and look up in the dictionary and all that, but I got the material. They made the album. It cost $30, which was a lot of money in those years, and sold well. There was a good response to it. But the most enthusiastic response to me came from Charles. He just praised it to the sky. I remember him saying, “Some day, Ed, some day, when I feel capable, I’m going to write a book on that subject, Revelation.” Well, he did, and it’s wonderful.

Friends, I have read every book I could get my hands on dealing with the Book of Revelation. Every one I could find I would grab it and read it. Not one of them can hold a candle to this book, that is, from a Unity point of view. All of the others deal with a Christian persecution and Paul this and Paul that and church this and church that. I call that crap. Who cares? The historian cares, but a Unity truth student cares about other things. Do you understand what I mean? We don’t really care about academic historical details and church politics of ancient time. We’re supposed to be interested in that. Well, I ain’t. If I ain’t, I know a lot of my fellow students aren’t either. You have to act like you are to get your passing grades. Are you hearing me? You have to meet the requirement, academia requirement, but that doesn’t mean you have to really be sold on all of that.

But, metaphysics, friends, anybody who isn’t interested in correct metaphysics isn’t sane these days because metaphysics is all about people; God; divine ideas; people; consciousness; truth; timeless, eternal truth. Charles’s book is the only book on the Book of Revelation that deals completely on the metaphysical truth level and in simple language. Yes.

Did you say the last name of the author? Charles? Neal. N-E-E-L? N-E-A-L.

Charles is our minister in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is married to a wonderful woman named Nancy Neal, who was the head of Silent Unity for many months when there was an emergency over there, and she is an ordained minister. She is president of the Association of Unity Churches a few years ago. She’s a wonderful woman. How he ever got her I’ll never know. Well, I know how he got her: his consciousness; his wonderful, kind, friendly, loving disposition. That’s how he got a woman of that quality. He’s not good looking, but he must have a beautiful soul, beautiful soul.

He wrote this book, and I received a pre-publication copy of it. I was very happy to receive it. It says: “To Ed Rabel with appreciation - Charles Neal.” I thought, “Appreciation? Well, I didn’t even know you wrote the darn thing, so well am I being appreciation?” Well, I found out on the next page, the preface, and I’ll read it to you, if you don’t mind, just this sentence. He says, “The author,” that is himself, “acknowledges his debt to Unity’s co-founder, Charles Fillmore, and to numerous other Unity writers and ministry, notably Eric Butterworth, Winifred Hausman, J. Sig Paulson, Ed Rabel, and Elizabeth [Sandturner 17:46] for their writings and recordings.”

Right away, I’m hooked on this book. But it wasn’t a mistake to get hooked in advance because, the more I read this book, the more I admired it and loved it and appreciated it. My hope is that, some day, all of our Unity churches will include teaching this book in their schedule of classes.

Now, what I will do, I’ve read it about five times. Each time I read it, I get more out of it. But, on this last reading, I had planned it for this class. I made selections, excerpts, and that’s what I will share with you.

The beginning of his text contains something that I’m delighted to see, and it’s the last sentence I will read, but it begins,

“This work is an effort to present the last book in the Bible, the Revelation to John, in a light that is both understandable and helpful and allow it to be seen from a perspective that will aid all who seek spiritual growth. What is presented here is a metaphysical interpretation based on the belief that humankind is growing and unfolding in a spiritual way and one day will obtain recognition of its essential oneness,” now this is what I love so much, “essential oneness with the one creative Cause of the universe whom we call God.”

Did you see what he’s done in that sentence? He’s given a Unity viewpoint on what God is: not a person, not a man, not an entity, not a creator, but “the one creative Cause of the universe whom we call God.” Now, he chose the word “Cause” with a capital C, but that word could have many, many synonyms, couldn’t it? The great creative spirit, right? God is spirit. The great creative principal. God is principal. The great omnipresence. The great omniscient. The great—We have many synonyms for what he calls, capital, “Cause” but whom we call God.

Do you understand? God is not a thing. God is a word we are using to refer to something that we don’t really know or understand. We just intuitively realize it’s there. It is. What is it? We call it God, but there ain’t a critter whose name is God. Are you hearing me? There is no thing which has a name which is God. God is a human word which is referring to, not naming something, but referring to the unnameable, the unfathomable, the infinite. I think Charles caught that in that first paragraph right there.

Now, on the next page, he says, “Metaphysical is the recognition.” Oh, he’s talking about the various levels on which the Book of Revelation has been interpreted or written about so far. These are all of those crappy books that I had to read and rejected all of them. I got nothing out of them whatsoever. Obviously, he went through the same thing because he named the three that you’ll find in any library shelf, but then he names the fourth, which you’ll only find here or in my cassette album, which is I think out of print now, but they have it in the library.

He adds the fourth, and he said, “The fourth is metaphysical: the recognition that the message is timeless.” Get it? Not ancient Rome, ancient this, ancient that, but timeless, “And it is written in a series of symbolic pictures. Should be read for its inner meaning disregarding the literal meaning. That was bold right there, because, even here, we don’t teach disregard the literal meaning of the Bible because we’d probably get called on the carpet for it.

Many of us think that, but you can’t say it in a class. You hearing me? Folks, you hearing me? You can’t say this in a class because it will be reported that so and so said we must disregard the literal meaning of the Bible, and you’ll get in big trouble because there are still many, many people, friends—experts—who feel you should deal with the literal meaning of the Bible, and many of them get on faculty and assign papers, and they don’t want you telling them only the metaphysical meaning is of real importance, at least today to us. We have to use—What’s the word I want to use? “Tactfulness.” Get it? Don’t buck the tide, bend with the wind. Render onto Caesar, onto literalists, the things that belong to Caesar, literalists, and render onto God, spirit, that which is of God.

It was very bold for him to say “disregard the literal meaning.” Then, he must have realized he had gone a bit too far because notice how he compromises with this next sentence, tricky guy. He says, “So vast is God Mind that all interpretations in their place and context may well be correct.” See? He threw in the towel, but he made his statement first, so anyway.

Oh, by the way, I’ve had a chance to talk with him about this book, and anything I say to you would meet his full approval except about that I think his injury came from something heroic. He’d clobber me for that.

Now, Charles had to use the Revised Standard Version of the Bible for all the quotes printed in his book. This was not his choice, not his preference. He would much rather have used the only Bibles that I will use, which is the American Standard and King James. I will not touch the Revised Standard Version, and you can quote me on that. Well, I know that Charles agrees with me about this, but he wanted his book published. Can’t blame him. It’s his first book. If you want a book published by Unity, you’ve got to go by the Unity School editorial policies, or forget about being published by Unity. Have to find another publisher. Charles had to put up with having the quotes reproduced come from the Revised Standard Version. This displeased him, but it doesn’t spoil the book. I’m very glad to be able to say that.

Many of the quotes in this book will be different from the quotes that I put on my cassette album and which I use in any of my sermons or classes but are different from the Revised Standard Version. This is what happens in this book here, which gave me a bit of confusion at first, but then I realized the pattern, and now it doesn’t confuse me anymore.

He’s now dealing with the section of Revelation that consists of seven letters to the seven churches of Asia Minor. Here, again, the literalists all try to identify these seven churches as seven churches. You hear what I’m saying? The literalists, people who take the Book of Revelation as a historical, all want to know, “Where did Paul go here?” Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. They’ve got these maps and what’s the difference? Who cares?

The fact is, the truth is, that all seven of those churches are Greek words. Hearing me? These Greek words can be translated into English. When you know the English meaning of the Greek names of these churches, it’s very easy to figure out what they symbolize metaphysically. They symbolize seven intelligence centers in human individuality which are involved in worship of God, seven intelligence centers in your and my being which have become activated and are part of our method of worshiping God.

This is why they are not called cities but are called what? Churches. Not cities, churches. If you’re calling a symbol a church, it must have something to do with worship. Right or wrong? If it’s just a city, it may have a metaphysical symbolism but not necessarily of religious worship. But these are seven centers of intelligence in us which have become activated in our worship life, in our prayer life, in our truth thinking, you see.

Each of these churches, in Greek translated into English, have metaphysical meaning for us today. They are part of our worship nature, of our spiritual commitment. It’s wonderful to read these letters knowing what this church symbolizes. Each letter points out the virtues and the merits of that church and then warns that church about some mistakes and faults still going on in that church and the reward that will come if that fault is overcome in that church. Beautiful, beautiful stuff when you see the pattern of symbolism. You’ll find it’s writing about yourself.

He picks here, in the second chapter, he gives this quote from the letter to this church. This is the church of Ephesus, which is a symbol of your desire nature. He says, “Then, the loving spirit gives us this sure promise: ‘To him who conquers, I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.’” Now, that’s Revised Standard. In the King James and American Standard, it says, “To him who overcometh, I will do this.”

Now, do you see the contrast here, why I prefer the other? I don’t want to conquer my churches. I want to overcome. The word “overcome” has a different meaning from “conquer.” Conquer means to put down. To overcome means to rise above. You don’t have to put down something to rise above it, do you? No. But, when you conquer, you put it down. I’m just giving you this as an example of why I reject the new translation, but he uses it.

Now, he says, “Who are we to conquer? Why, ourselves, of course.” Now, you see how he captures a reader’s interest right there in simple, simple language. “Who are we to conquer? Why, ourselves, of course.” Now, I’m interested. I can visualize a reader out there. “Yeah, that’s me. What is it?” Then, they go on. He said,

“Our own moodiness, our impatience, our sense of disappointment, our demand for instant gratification to eat of the tree of life means to know that every experience feeds us, that we can gain spiritual nourishment and strength from every happening, both from seeming adversity and from everything that we call fortunate. Whatever happens, if we will take every event in our stride and declare that it is only good, good it will prove to be.”

Now, Charles and I talked about this, and I said, “Charles, I wish you had added something here, but you didn’t, but I want to tell you what it is and get what you thought on it.” I said, “You have given only the strictly positive side of what it means to eat from the fruit of the tree of life,” which means to gain nourishment from everything that happens or everything that you observe. I said, “That’s true. But I think you would have done the reader more service if you would have also given them a glimpse of the negative side of that,” which is true about everything. Try to avoid giving only one side of an issue that you bring up in your talk. Be aware that there is polarity of everything, and you often strengthen your presentation greatly not by taking sides but by revealing both sides and then let it be known which side you prefer or which side you’re recommending.

Now, Charles gives only the positive side here. I said to him, “You would strengthen your presentation by showing the reader or revealing to the reader the alternative to that.” At first, he didn’t know what I meant. I said, “Now, you figure it out, Charles. You have told the people what it means to be able to eat of the fruit of the tree of life. Now, what is the option to that? What does it mean to not eat of the fruit of the tree of life?” Do you understand? If the teaching is, “You can eat of the fruit of tree of life,” that automatically also says, “You also can fail to eat of the fruit of the tree of life.” If you can succeed, you have to be able to also ... You do not use the word “succeed” unless there is the possibility of failure. See, if there’s no possibility of failure, you don’t call it success.

I said, “Now, if you are not eating of the fruit of the tree of life, there’s only one other thing that could be happening to you. What is it?” He sat for a while, and he went, “Why, life is eating me. Got to be one or the other. Either I am eating of life or life is eating me.” Friends, this has to do with this church of Ephesus. The church of Ephesus is your desire nature, and the criticism given to that church is: I have something against you. You have left your first love.

Now, what should be the first love of all of our desire nature? What should we love first in our life? God, the good omnipotent. When we are loving anything other than God the good, God is no longer our first love in that church, and our priorities are faulting. Therefore, we will not be able to get good out of everything that happens to us because we haven’t put who first? God first. When we put God first, everything that happens in our life nourishes us, teaches us, strengths us, helps us in some way. Even if it hurts for a while, good comes out of it. It’s a matter of: Am I eating of the tree of life or am I letting what do what to me? Life eating me?

Now, you know yourself. You have friends. They’re going through a period in their life where what’s happening is taking something out of them, taking more and more out of them. You notice this, and you become alarmed, and you come to this person. You care for them. You say, “Honey, what’s eating you?” Have you ever said that or have that said to you? Something somebody realized. Life is wearing you out. Life is eating you up because you’re not taking it right or your priorities are too mixed up.

When we put God first in our life, life no longer eats us up. We eat the tree of life. We find that we don’t grow old. We just get larger. That’s all. We live longer. We don’t get old. We live longer. Do you see the difference between getting old and living longer? They’re not the same thing, and you only grow old when you’re letting what eat you? In Greek mythology, the god of time, Father Time, eats his children, and he travels backwards and eats his children, which is what many people are letting time do to them. Okay. Let’s go on.

The other letter that he did such a good job on is the letter to the church of Smyrna. The word “smyrna” means flowing, distilling spiritus. Metaphysically, you can guess the symbolism of it. It’s our consciousness of substance: flowing, distilling spiritus. It is the basis of our prosperity life, isn’t it? The letter to that church has a lot to say about where we are in our prosperity consciousness at this stage.

Charles takes up the idea of that church symbolizing substance, and he says this:

“Substance is the secret of true prosperity. Substance is one of the ideas of divine mind. It is the invisible mind essence of God out of which everything is made. It is formless, invisible, unlimited, everywhere equally present. We are told in Genesis that, in the beginning, when the universe was without form, God mind moved on itself. In other words, the active element of divine mind, the logos, moved on its passive element, substance, and said, ‘Let there be.’ Out of this substance, the universe came into manifestation.”

Remember this, friends, about substance. Substance makes all form possible, but substance does not turn into form. Substance does not become form. Substance also remains what it is—as is true of all divine ideas. Divine ideas do not change into something else, but divine ideas generate energies which the mind of man brings into form: the law of mind action, the formative power of thought. When you are becoming prosperous, substance is not changing into money for you. You hearing me?

Your mind, your consciousness, is receiving the energies of the substance idea, and it is your manifesting power that causes these energy patterns to become supplied, prosperity, but substance is always what? Always what it always is. Always is omnipresent, unlimited, [un]depletable. But form changes. It can come and go. It can be increased; it can be depleted because form is under the jurisdiction of the consciousness of man, both individually and also what? Come on. Race consciousness collectively.

You and I don’t go around creating trees, but race consciousness produces something called nature, mother nature, and mother nature has processes which result in trees, come on, viruses, cockroaches, mountains, oceans. Friends, this is collective consciousness, has been pulled, and has been matured, has been cooked, and has produced something to make this environment proper for us. We call it mother nature. But you could not have mother nature if you did not have consciousness. Believe me, please. Believe me, this is occult teachings, but it’s true. Now, and remember this, substance always responds to human thought about it. When you’re thinking about prosperity is correct, substance will always do the most correct thing possible for you, which is to enrich your life and keep you secure and prosperous.

Now, Charles was very, very good at telling stories. This is one of his great talents. He could keep a large group of people entertained for hours just by telling anecdotes and jokes and stories. He does a lot of that in this book. I’m going to give you an example of it. He’s so delightful in that way. He says,

“This process is illustrated by the story of the small boy who prayed, in effect, ‘Father God, please send me a pony. I want a pony very much, but I realize Mother does not want me to have one, and I also know that Father does not want to build a stable, and the chances are he can not afford a pony. Then, there’s the question of who will clean up after the pony. So, Father, I guess it’s hopeless, but I would still like a pony.’”

That’s Charles. He would always come up with things like that. How are we doing? Okay.

Charles also is very down on fad following. He and I had that in common right from the beginning. We both detest buzzwords, current gimmickry, mind conditioning shortcuts, and things like that. I knew he was going to get some of that into his book. Somehow or other, I knew he was going to get it in, and he did. Now, I don’t know how accurately this relates to Revelation, but I know it relates to Charles Fillmore and my feeling. He’s talking about people who are looking for shortcuts and gimmicks and following buzzwords and thinks that safety in numbers and all of that. He said,

“And some fall into the trap of placing on a pedestal certain gurus, earthly teachers, healers, ministers, ascended masters, and the like, believing that they have some special relationship with the deity. Others place great credence in channeled writings, believing that these are the product of some entity of high spiritual eminence. Again, these beliefs may indeed be valid.”

I’m glad he said it that way. Who has a right to say channeled writings are a fake? Nobody has a right to say that because we have a right to choose whether we believe in channeled writings or not. Are you with me? But we have no right to say they are genuine or they are fakes. That’s a matter of individual choice. I’m glad he did that because how do I know that Jesus didn’t write A Course in Miracles? I hate A Course in Miracles, but I have no right to say Jesus didn’t write it. Maybe he did. I don’t know, but I wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole. You may quote me on that. He says,

“These beliefs may indeed be valid, but we question whether they assist the pilgrim in spiritual growth. We are on this plane to develop our own mastery, individuality, mastery, and we are not helped by relying on intermediaries or giving them special authority.”

We can learn from them, but we must not worship. We must not have- What do they call that? Co-dependent, co-dependency. Dangerous. Very dangerous. Accept the good that is shared with us but rely only on one source of understanding, which is Christ within. Christ within.

We’re a little bit behind time. Okay. As I read this book, getting near the end, I got to page 206, and Charles writes about many experiences he had in the various churches that he served in the field. He served in many churches. They’re all interesting, but I came to this one that begins on page 206. I started reading it, and chills went up and down my spine because he relates a story concerning a woman in his church which is detail for detail exactly what happened to my own mother. When I read it, I thought, “Did he find out about my mother and give her a fake name and put her in this book?” because every word he says about this lady is exactly what happened to my mother.

Another rather strange coincidence is he gives the name of this particular person, which is unusual. Usually, when we write about somebody, we just call them “somebody.” But, here, evidently he got permission because he does use actual names sometimes. The woman he writes about, her first name is Roslyn. Guess what my mother’s first name is? Rose. That made it doubly spooky. When I read this to you, which we’ll quote, I’m reading about a person in Charles’s church, and my own mother duplicated this experience word for word.

“There are times in the lives of some people when it appears that truth does not work in their lives. After a long period of praying effectively of correct use of the mind and imagination, there arises a difficulty of great size. It seems as if the beast is to be released after the 1,000 years of being chained. Such a one was Roslyn Kay, who I knew as a member of my congregation. She was a sunny, ongoing, healthy, joyous person who practiced the Unity way of life. She was a dedicated, generous, and compassionate individual whom we all felt was bound to live a life of special blessedness. Suddenly, she was stricken with cancer and underwent a colostomy.”

I’ll just add here, friends, I didn’t even know what the word “colostomy” meant until it happened to my mother. She underwent a colostomy.

“As her minister, I asked myself, ‘Where had I failed? Where had she failed? Had she harbored secret malignant thoughts? Was there a secret tragedy or disappointment in her life?’ Anyway, we were all for another surprise. Her recovery was astonishingly rapid. Her attitude was triumphant and confident. Her reactions were completely positive. She remained a happy woman throughout.”

Afflictions come, but afflictions can be overcome when you take them right. When my mother realized ... Now, my mother didn’t have cancer, but she had polyps, P-O-L-Y-P-S, in the colon, which were bleeding. They can develop into cancer. There is an operation where a large segment of the colon is removed, and then a tube is inserted into the abdomen, and the person is able to eliminate through this tube into a chemical-filled bag. No unpleasantness. Of course, it’s kind of shocking when it first happens.

My mother did go through with trauma at first, but, just like this lady, she pulled herself together and remembered the truth and put God first, and she came through that surgery with flying colors. She healed so fast the hospital was angry at her. They lost money on her. Then, she decided that, with her new condition, that it would be better for her to give up keeping the large house that she lived in. She sold her house at a big profit and went to a nursing home, and she’s in a nursing home, and she’s treated like the Queen of Sheba. She’s Miss Popularity of 1993 in this nursing home, and she loves it.

When I called Charles, and I said, “Hey, did you make up that story about Roslyn Kay?” He said, “I don’t make up stories when I say they’re true.” I said, “Well, you know my mother, don’t you?” He said, “Yeah. I know Rose.” I said, “Well, did you know that exactly what happened to your Roslyn, exactly, is what happened to my mother?” He was thrilled. He was thrilled. I said, “Now, whenever I teach your book in class, this is one of the things I’m going to tell the class.” He was delighted.

Okay, friends. Let’s just take a moment, and let’s bless our co-worker Charles Neal and his wonderful wife Nancy. Let’s see them happy, successful, prosperous in their beautiful Unity ministry in Tulsa Oklahoma. Tulsa finally has an English accent in its midst, and we bless them, bless their work, but, most of all, we give thanks for that spirit of truth which speaks through Charles and through all of us. We give thanks in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Is today your birthday?

Yes.

Sure. Remember, I’m not getting older. I’m living longer.

There you go.

Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday, dear Ed. Happy birthday to you. God is blessing you now. God is blessing you now. God is blessing you, you’re wonderful. God is blessing you now.