02.10.2021

Seek Cooperation

Wednesday, February 10. 2021
Featuring: Rev. Richard Rogers
Week #5 of the Series, "7 Habits of Highly Transformational People"

INTRODUCTION
Rev. Richard Rogers:  Hello! I’m Richard Rogers, and I want to welcome you to Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center – to the Wednesday night service. And I’m so glad you’re here!

I’m doing a series of services. I know what I’m doing! [Laughs] I am doing a series of services based on “The 7 Habit of Highly Transformational People”: people who are making the greatest difference in their life and their world by transforming the situations that are in front of them and around them, and creating the greatest level of good.

So before we get any further, let’s open with a time of prayer.

 

OPENING PRAYER
I want you to open your mind, your heart, your soul to the activity of God. That there is only one presence, one power, one God, one good manifesting and expressing through you tonight. That your soul is on fire with all the good that God is. That you are ablaze with the infinite goodness of Spirit. So tonight we say thank you, God; thank you, God; thank you, God! And so it is. Amen.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Alright! Couple announcements I want to call your attention to. The first one is our Circles of Joy. This is our Lenten small group activity. We’re going to start this month, run all the way through Easter, April 4th. This is a time of gathering in small groups to connect on Zoom or other social media platforms so that you can really connect with other members of our congregation and really deepen your walk in joy. So that’s where we’re going to be. You can sign up online and be a part of this.

And the other announcement is that we have a class by Jeanette St. Germain this Wednesday on communicating with your angels. And, you know, we all need spiritual support at this time. And I absolutely believe that if you can hear your angels speaking to you – if you can really hear that higher activity of God calling us to a greater level of truth – that it is going to make a difference in your life. If your angels say, ”Turn left!” I want you turning left! So if you want to communicate with your angels more, check it out: Wednesday night; you register online at unityphx.org.

Alright! That’s all the announcements! We’ve got fantastic music for you by Cerise. Let’s go!

 

SOLO
Guest artist Cerise Patron sings, “Stand Together”

Something great is happenin’,
love has taken hold and it won’t let go of us now.
Something here is callin’ us forward,
upward motion: we’re drops in one ocean, roll on.

Will you rise up with me today
Lift up your voice and boldly say,
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

Live the dream of your highest calling.
Be the hope of a new day dawning.
We’re the ones who can make a diff’rence.
Let’s stand together.

Share your gifts with a world that’s waiting,
For a change that we’re all creating.
It’s the moment for our greatness.
Let’s stand together now.
Right now.

Ev’ry day’s a chance you can do something amazing to feel
your passion blazing and shine.
Paint with ev’ry vision and dance in new directions,
explode to new heights in your mind.

I will rise up with you today.
Lift up my voice and boldly say,
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

Live the dreams of your highest calling.
Be the hope of a new day dawning.
We’re the ones who can make a diff’rence.
Let’s stand together.

Share your gifts with a world that’s waiting,
For a change that we’re all creating.
We’re the moment for our greatness.
Let’s stand together now.
Right now.

One dream, one voice, one heart, one world.
One dream, one voice, one heart, one world.
One dream, one voice, one heart, one world.

Live the dream of your highest calling.
Be the hope of a new day dawning.
We’re the ones who can make a diff’rence.
Let’s stand together.

Share your gifts with a world that’s waiting,
For a change that we’re all creating.
It’s a moment for our greatness.
Let’s stand together now.

Live the dream of your highest calling.
Be the hope of a new day dawning.
We’re the ones who can make a diff’rence.
Let’s stand together.

Share your gifts with a world that’s waiting,
For a change that we’re all creating.
It’s the moment for our greatness.
Let’s stand together now.
Right now!

 

MESSAGE
Rev. Richard Rogers: Alright. So the question that I have for you tonight [laughs] – and I really like this one! – the question I have for you [laughs] tonight is: Do you consider yourself a lone wolf or a team player? Right? And I wish you were in the room, because I wanted to see you raise your hands! I’d want to know how many of you consider yourself a lone wolf. Right? You like to do things on your own. You like to be your own boss. You don’t have to deal with people. Right? And how many of you think of yourself more of a team player. That you like community. You like being in groups. You like the socialization. You like the way things work.

How many of you think that you’re really a lone wolf? How many of you think you’re a team player? And how many of you refuse to decide? Right? That we just always want to be both. Right? If one is good, two is better, right?

So when I was a kid, I hated group projects. You know, when the teacher would divide you into groups. And it was like, “Oh, no! Not groups!” Like, I hated groups! And I like to talk! [Laughs] You all know I like to talk! I like to talk, and I hated group projects! Because I knew that a couple of us were going to do all the work, and everybody in the group was going to get the same grade. And I thought that was so wrong! I didn’t want all these “leeches” getting my grade, you know. And I like to talk! Right? But I know the only thing I like to do more than talk is get things done! I’m a “get-‘er-done” kind of guy! [Laughs] And I knew, in a group project … Arrrgggghhhh. I was going to have to listen to all these people: “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,” and their ideas were going to … Now, this is me as a child! I’ve matured a little bit! But I knew their ideas were dumb! Right? And I was going to have to listen to, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” And then we were going to … It was like, “Ahhhhh.” It’s like, “Please; just let me go do it! I’ll have it done! It’ll be over with!” Right?

And so I [laughs] … When I graduated from college, I wanted to get a lone wolf job. I did! I went into sales. Right? Lone wolf activity! I was the only one that was in control of my future. If I made commission – if I made target; I was in sales … I was happy. I can talk. It was, like, almost the perfect job for me. I could talk. And I was totally on my own, right? It was up to me to make things happen. And I was good at it!

And then I got this spiritual calling. I always knew I was going to go into ministry. And I kind of thought ministry [laughs] – I know this is going to be crazy to some of you! – I thought ministry was going to be a lone wolf activity! You know, like work on my talk. I’d work on my classes. [Laughs] And when I actually got into ministry – even in ministerial school! – I quickly learned it was a group project! Right? And the bigger the ministry became, the more it became a group project! And there were all these people! And everyone had an opinion! And it was about leading and directing and talking and sharing ideas. And I was like, “Oh. I am not sure I’m equipped for this! Like, I’m not sure this is … Like, I’m not sure I can do this!” Right? Because I kept thinking that I was supposed to be a lone wolf!

And the reality is: God wanted me to be in a group! God didn’t put me on this planet by myself. God wanted me in a group, and in a group I learned more about me. I learned to heal. I learned to be in relationships in a greater way. And I’m still … Relationships, for me, are the greatest way that I’ve healed my life. Like, I’ve healed the past. I’ve healed the scars that I came in with. Right? It’s really healed me at depth. And I absolutely believe that being in relationship – for most of us – is our primary path to spiritual evolution. It is our primary path to being the best version of ourselves.

You know, I’m doing this series on “The 7 Habits of Highly Transformational People”: people who are transforming their lives. People that are transforming the world. And I believe that they have habits. I think there’s things that they incorporate.

And the first one we talked about was the idea that whatever is in front of a highly transformational person is the thing they take on. They don’t resist their reality. They don’t resist the situation in front of them. They literally take it on. Some of us, we sometimes want to feel like victims; that it shouldn’t be this way. Or this isn’t right. And highly transformational people, whatever is in front of them is the ground. It is the place. It is the spiritual food that they are working on. And they don’t resist it; they just dive right into it. That was the first one.

Two: Highly transformational people have a vision for their life and for their future. Right? That they can articulate; that they can express. They have a vision for where they’re going. And that is why they’re in the process of transforming. They’re in the process of transforming energy, transforming their life, transforming society, transforming – so that – to move into the vision that they’re holding.

Three: They tend to focus on the infinite. They don’t get lost in the problem. They don’t get lost in the details. They tend to focus on the infinite. They tend to focus on the higher possibilities. They even tend to focus more on God and the infinite possibilities. And they don’t get lost in the details. They don’t get lost in the problem. They don’t keep their focus so on the problem that they don’t keep it high enough to really see the possibilities.

Last week we talked about expansion. That highly transformational people are always willing to expand in the moment. And I gave you example after example of those individuals who got bumped by life and, yet, expanded into the moment. They became more than they thought they could be. To really take whatever situation life brings them and they expand into it.

And today we’re going to talk about seeking cooperation. And what I believe is: highly transformational people are seeking – looking for – other individuals to cooperate with to actually move their life forward in a greater way. Like, we know that, as an individual, there’s only so much I can do. Right? But if I seek others – and if I’m open and receptive to joining with others – I’m going to get further down the road. It’s going to be easier, faster, better than every way possible. And so, highly transformational people seek cooperation. They seek people around them to move their life forward. They do not try to be a lone wolf!

Because there’s literally nothing wrong with being a lone wolf; it’s just not the best use of your time! That you’re actually more effective building strategic alliances – working in cooperation with others – to move your life forward.

Margaret Meade said it this way. She said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

And I love that idea! Right? Because when we’re in strategic alliance with others – when we’re working together for the highest good – we’re not limited by one another’s weaknesses. We can actually overcome one another’s weaknesses by each one of us giving of our strengths. And, for me, ministry is such an incredible example of that! Like, there’s a hundred things that I don’t know how to do, or don’t want to do, or don’t like to do in ministry. And yet, in ministry, there’s people that do it joyfully, easily. That that’s their walk!

I remember a time when we were moving from the old church to here. And a woman who was working at American Express came up to me and she said, “Richard, I’m a change consultant.” [Laughs] And I said, “I don’t know what that is!” And she said, “That’s obvious!” [Laughs] Right? And the whole point was that I was trying to move the church from the old little church to the big church, and that apparently I was making some “change consultant” mistakes that a change consultant expert would not do in trying to move a group of people from one situation to another. And she said, “Let me help you prepare these people to really move here.” And it was like, “I didn’t even know there was such a thing!” Right? And she knew; [laughs] she could tell that I didn’t know! And she could tell that I needed her help! And she volunteered to help move the church from where we were to where we could be. And it made all the difference in the world!

Over and over again, I want you to be looking for collaborative partnerships. I want you to be looking in your life for people around you who are moving in a similar direction you are, and work together. Whether it’s having a buddy to go work out with, or if you have a buddy to lose weight with, or if you have a buddy – or a group – that you want to begin to invest, because you know you want to start investing and using your money in a better way. Or if you want to learn a language. Like, whatever your strategic desire is, I want you to be looking for partnerships that actually move that forward. Right?

What I see over and over again is these people that are highly transformational: they are willing to actually move their life forward in ways because they work together! Highly transformational people: they know people, right? They call on people. They help people. They are building a network, right?

Because we’ve all heard of the “old-boys network.” And if you look at any group of people, those people that cooperate – that function together – actually get further down the road. There’s a reason that, for years and years and years, there was an “old-boys network.” Because, in the old-boys network, you knew somebody. And if you didn’t know somebody, you knew somebody who did know somebody, and that somebody … You could pick up the phone, and you could call them, and they would help you. They would assist you.

Now, could you do it by yourself? Yes, but why? If you needed a job, or if you need information, or if you needed a consultant, or you needed help, why not pick up the phone? If you know somebody, and you’re building your network – you’re building your friendships; you’re helping others – why not accept help from the people around you so that we can cooperate? We can seek cooperation to really move our life forward.

I want you to begin to really look at: Where are you trying to do your life alone? Where are you trying to do it on your own? Why do you not ask for help? Why don’t you build relationships that actually move your life forward in the greatest possible way? Because, I mean, there’s a reason there’s over seven billion of us on this planet! Because we were never intended to be alone! If God would have wanted only one of us on the planet at a time, well, there would only be one of us on the planet at a time! But you’re not here to learn alone! You’re not here to grow alone! You’re not here to create alone! You’re not here to live alone.

Now, you can choose any of those things. But I don’t think, by example, it’s what the will of God is for any of us. We’re here to be in relationship. And I can prove it. In the Bible, it teaches us to work together. Matthew 18:19; it says, “Again, I tell you, where two of you on earth agree about anything, it will be done in my Father’s name. For where two or more are gathered in my name, there I will be in the midst of them.”

Now, it doesn’t say that your prayers aren’t powerful. It doesn’t mean that you can’t create the kingdom of heaven right now in your own life. It just says it’s not as good as when two or three or four of you come together to work together. That’s why prayer groups work! That’s why MasterMind groups work! That where two or more of you gather together in relationship, it gets better! Because, in relationship, I’m not limited by my own weaknesses. Right? If I’m in relationship with you, and you’re better at this than I am, if I can park my ego, we can work together and you can take the lead in that area. And if there’s an area that I’m stronger in, if you can park your ego, that I can take the lead in that area. And, that way, we work together; each one of us is greater than the sum of our parts. It truly creates a symbiotic relationship. It creates a relationship that really moves us forward!

You know, there’s two great examples where Jesus shared this power. Both of them, Jesus was sending his disciples – first his disciples – out into the countryside to do the work that he was doing. And what’s interesting about that is: he didn’t send them out alone. He sent his disciples out two by two. And I’m going to share with you from Mark 6. “He called the 12, and he began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He ordained them for their journey, and said to accept no staff, no bread, no bread, no money in their belt.” He sent them out vulnerable! He sent them out with nothing to do the work that he was doing! But he sent them out together, knowing that God would provide everything they needed. But if he sent them out together, they were going to not be limited in their own level of faith. They weren’t going to be limited by their own level of fear. They knew that, if they had somebody else’s hand to hold on to, that they could overcome what they were going to face, and do it together. That they could actually create partnerships in faith.

Like, I want you to really look at what you’re being called to do in your life right now. Maybe it’s a healing. You know, maybe it’s a career change. Maybe it’s a financial thing. Or maybe it’s a relationship thing. Where are you trying to do it alone? And do you have somebody else’s hand that you can hold on to that believes for you actually more than you believe for yourself?

The other example of this is when Jesus called 70 of his followers, and sent them out to the cities that he was about to go to. And, again, he empowered them to do the work that he was doing. And, again, he sent them out two by two. He said, “Don’t take anything with you, but I want you to go out and do the work that I’ve been doing, and I want you to do it.” And he actually named the cities. He sent them out ahead of him to do the work; to prepare the spiritual field for his arrival. And he sent them out two by two.

What I want you to see today: If you’re doing it by yourself, you’re making it way too hard. You are! You’re making it way too hard! I want you to actually strategic alliances. So how do you do that?

Let me start with the idea that YOU HAVE TO HAVE A VISION. Like, you can’t have an alliance if you don’t have a vision where you’re going. Because, if you enroll somebody in an alliance, you both need to know what your vision is. Right? So you need to have a vision for your life.

Then: two. I want you to begin to SHARE YOUR DESIRE FOR PARTERSHIP. First in prayer, right? But then I want you to be talking to people. Because, not only do they have to – they don’t necessarily have to have your same vision – but they have to have a vision that’s mutual or supportive of your vision. So it doesn’t have be going exactly the same place, but it’s got to be close. Right?

So, first, I want you to start with your vision. Two, then, I want you to invite and share and to move into partnership.

Three: I want you to BE MUTUALLY COMMITTED TO EACH OTHER WINNING. That, for this partnership – for this alliance – to be powerful, both of you have to get your needs met. It has to be 100% good for both of you. So, even though you may not be exactly the same thing, you both have to be willing to move in the same direction.

Four: you have to OPTIMIZE EACH OTHER’S STRENGTHS. Right? So that you don’t have to have the same skill set; but you need to be willing to share your strengths with each other.

And five. The last one is: I want you to really MEASURE IT TO SEE IF IT WAS MORE POWERFUL THAN YOU DOING IT BY YOURSELF.

You know, one of my favorite authors from years ago was Robert Fulghum. And he wrote a book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kingergarten. And there’s this story in there that I have loved from the first time I read it. Came out in the late ‘80s. And the story’s called “Giants, Wizards ad Dwarves.” So I’m going to share it with you.

“Giants, wizards and dwarfs was the game to play.

Being left in charge of about 80 children seven to ten years old, while their parents were off doing parenty things, I mustered my troops in the church social hall and explained the game. It’s a large-scale version of Rock, Paper, and Scissors, and involves some intellectual decision making. But the real purpose of the game is to make a lot of noise and run around chasing people until nobody knows which side you are on or who won.

Organizing a roomful of wired-up grade-schoolers into two teams, explaining the rudiments of the game, achieving consensus on group identity – all this is no mean accomplishment, but we did it with right good and we were on our way.

The excitement of the chase had reached a critical mass. And I yelled out, ‘You have to decide now if you’re a GIANT, a WIZARD, or a DWARF!’

And while the groups huddled in a frenzy, whispering, consulting, there was a tug on my pant leg. A small child standing looking up, asks the question, ‘Where do the Mermaids stand?’

Where do the Mermaids stand?

A long pause. A longer pause. ‘Where do the Mermaids stand?’ I said.

‘Yes. You see, I am a Mermaid.’

‘There are no such thing as Mermaids.’

‘Oh, yes! And I am one!’

She didn’t relate to being a Giant, a Wizard, or a Dwarf. She knew her category: Mermaid. And was not about to leave the game and go over and stand against the wall where a loser would stand. She intended to participate, wherever Mermaids fit into the scheme of things. Without giving up her dignity or her identity. She took it for granted that there was a place for Mermaids and that I would know just where.

Well, where DO the Mermaids stand?  All the ‘Mermaids’ – all those who are different, who do not fit the norm and who do not accept the available boxes and pigeonholes?

Answer that question and you can build a school, a nation, or a world.

What was my answer at the moment?  Every once in a while I say the right thing. ‘Mermaids?  Mermaids stand right here next to the King of the Sea!’ I said. (But I was thinking, ‘Really, I’m the King of the Fools.’)

So we stood there hand in hand, reviewing the troops of Wizards, Giants and Dwarfs as they rolled by in wild disarray.

It’s not true, by the way, that Mermaids do not exist. I know at least one personally. I have held her hand.”

See, what I want you to see today is: I believe that we need to be willing to reach out and hold more hands, especially in this time. This time – where we are going through so much: economically; there’s so much going on with our health; there’s so much going on politically – that this is not the time for us to isolate and go alone.

And even though many of us are spending more time alone than we’d like, this is not a time for us to be hiding and not reaching out. Even if it’s just virtually, this is a time for us to connect with the people around us. To build strategic alliances. To build support. To build prayer groups. To build MasterMind groups. To move out lives forward. This is a time for us to reach out.

So here’s your homework: I want you to decide what the most important thing in your life is right now. What is the thing that you want to transform in your life? Have you been trying to do it alone? Have you been committed to whatever your project – or whatever the idea is – or whatever the change you want? Have you been trying to do it alone? Today I’m going to invite you to reach out to a friend, to a family member, to someone – maybe Spirit will just give you a name – and to reach out to that person and say, “I’ve been struggling with this.” Whatever it is. Or, “I want to do better in this.” Or, “I want to master this; would you be willing to be my strategic partner? Would you be willing to do that with me? I want you more than just to pray with me; I want you to do it with me.” Right? “Even if we aren’t physically together, I still want you to be a partner in this choice, this decision, this activity, so that we can move forward.”

Today, take someone’s hand! Literally, figuratively: take someone’s hand and move your life forward. Seek cooperation, and watch – as you cooperate with other like-minded individuals – if your life doesn’t move forward in a greater way, because you’re not isolated. You’re not in fear. You’re not allowing your ego to keep you from reaching out to the people around you. We were never intended to be alone!

Will you take that into prayer with me?

 

MEDITATION
And I want you to open your mind, your heart, your soul to the activity of God that is right here. And I want you to feel the incredible level of support that is available to you today. That, whatever you set out to do, there’s a level of support available to you that is unbelievable. That God has placed people in your world, in your life, to help you. To move your life forward. And, as you reach out – as you have a clear vision of where you want to go and as you reach out to others – they will come to your assistance. They will come to your aid. They will move your life along.

That, in the hero in every story that we’ve ever read, there was always someone who came along in their hour of need to assist them. To come to their aid. Today I want you to ask for help. I want you to create greater and greater levels of partnership. I want you to be seeking cooperation for the people around you. I want you to be open and receptive to all the good that God has for you.

Today, God, I want help. I need help. I need to move my life forward. I do not want to stay stuck in yesterday’s story, in yesterday’s drama, in yesterday’s problems. I want to move forward! And I want to move forward in community. I want to move forward with like-minded people. I want to move forward with people who also benefit from me moving forward. I want to create a world that works for all.

Today we give thanks for partnership. For alliances. For friendships. For prayer partners. For MasterMind partners. For all the people that believe in us and walk with us into a greater life, we say thank you, God!

Take another deep breath. Thank you, God, that the work of the Holy Spirit is to move all of God’s children forward. Today we accept the hel0p – the assistance – of the Holy Spirit to move our life forward in greater and greater and greater ways. And so it is. Amen.

 

COLLECTION
Alright! This is the time of giving of our gifts and tithes. And I invite you to hold them in your hand as we bless together. Our offering blessing is: “Divine love, through me, blesses and multiplies all that I have, all that I give, and all that I receive.” Together: “Divine love, through me, blesses and multiplies all that I have, all that I give, and all that I receive.” So today we say, “Thank you, God; thank you, God; thank you, God!” For every gift and to every giver. We know that, as we give, our gifts come back to us 10-, 100-, 1,000-fold. That we put the spiritual principle of giving into action. That, as we act with faith and courage, and as we give today, we are richly blessed. And so it is. Amen.

 

CLOSING
Alright; our Prayer for Protection is: “Divine love…” No!

The light of God surrounds me;
The love of God enfolds me;
The power of God protects me;
And the presence of God watches over me.
Wherever I am, God is. And all is well! 

God bless you, friends! Have a great week! And the choir is going to sing us out!

 

Unity of Phoenix Choir sings:

Let there be peace on earth
and let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth;
the peace that was meant to be.

With God as Creator,
family all are we.
Let us walk with each other
in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me;
let this be the moment now.
With every step I take,
Let this be my joyous vow:

To take each moment
and live each moment
in peace eternally!

Let there be peace on earth
and let it begin with me!

Copyright 2021 Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center/Rev. Richard Rogers

 

 

Location and Contact Information

Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center

1500 E Greenway Pkwy
Phoenix, AZ 85022
Phone: (602) 978-3200

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