Recently I went online to purchase some sports items for my son-in-law Tim’s birthday. A few years ago I set up an Amazon-Smile account. Every time I need to shop for birthdays, holidays or any special event for my family, I can do something that has been very difficult financially for me to do in the past; I can support a cause. Raising my four children as a single parent made it nearly impossible for me to give to worthy charities and causes such as Urantia Foundation and all of their translation projects. Now Amazon helps me to accomplish this by taking 0.5% out of their profits for my total purchase amount, and then they send it to Urantia Foundation. When I need to shop for someone, first I check Amazon-Smile to see if they have something that would be an appropriate gift, and generally they don’t disappoint me. I appreciate the great variety available and reasonable prices.
I know some of my friends have set up similar accounts with Amazon-Smile to support Urantia Association International. I would encourage everyone to take advantage of this great opportunity. Many people acting as a large network collectively giving their resources and time can be much more effective than a few wealthy donors carrying the heavy load of expense and doing all of the work of planting the seeds for the fifth epochal revelation. Amazon is thanking their customers for all of the wonderful success they have had, and they are giving back to the community by allowing each customer to use their purchasing power to support one of their own passionate causes. We all have family and friends to shop for throughout the year, so it’s a perfect chance for all of us to make a big difference!
We all know how the Internet works – you go to your computer to shop or to look up something online and all of that intuitive marketing stuff goes to work behind the scenes to suggest your next item to click on. It’s a little creepy but the Internet is also a great source of information, so we all tend to be willing to pay the price of the intrusion of our privacy. Well, on this particular shopping occasion, a suggestion came up for the soft cover edition of The Urantia Book on Amazon. I noticed that there were over 500 reviews on that particular item so I decided to check them out. I ended up spending a couple of hours and barely made a dent in them. So many reviews had been added since I submitted a review of the book myself about three years ago. I was interested to see what the current reception and responses to the book Amazon was receiving from the general public nowadays. A few years ago Mo Siegel put out a request for all of the believer community to put a review of the book on Amazon, so there are many glowing testimonies that you would expect from long-time readers that we all know or have heard of. What I found most compelling was that there is a huge treasure trove of new reader comments revealing that these people have been greatly impacted and transformed by reading The Urantia Book. They might not have always ranked it as five stars, but I was inspired when I read through some of these brief reviews. All of the wonder, enthusiasm, and praise reminded me of my own feelings back in 1978 when I had the profound experience of reading the book the first time. It was the one great lasting influence that changed the course of my life. It was the basic foundation that I built my faith upon, and influenced the person I have grown to become. It is the reason I met the love of my life ten years ago, and together we use it as a powerful tool to renew our hope and faith each day. It provides a pattern for all loving healthy relationships, and a real vision of what the world can become; one where all mankind can live in peace. One five star reviewer expressed my sentiments exactly: “there aren’t enough stars to rank it – this book is epic!”
There are always going to be a few detractors who are critical, but you know I had to laugh out loud at one particular fellow that wrote: “This book will make you give up reading all together, don’t know what I was thinking.” That poor soul obviously didn’t know that he was tackling a 2097 page book when he ordered it! Too funny, but I was really astounded at the number of people who posted an honest review of the book admitting that it was more than they expected in size and difficulty, yet still many expressed that they felt it was worth the effort of reading through to the end of the book just because of the high praise it was receiving from other readers. They also had the feeling that it was something very important. One reviewer wrote: “Difficult to read, but fascinating…. makes you keep picking it up and reading.” Another person added: “Feels like truth. Answers to questions you didn’t even realize you had.” And one other reader said: “Most important book ever, even if some of it is difficult to comprehend.”
One common thread among those people who praised The Urantia Book was the effort they had put into searching for the truth for many years, or that they had experienced bitter disappointments in life, or in general felt they were lost. They perhaps didn’t even know what they sought until they had found the peace and comfort of faith. One thing was for sure, for them, discovering the book seemed much sweeter because of the valleys they had walked through in their lives, and the dead ends that they had encountered in their search. One person spoke of their journey in this way:
“I am a new student of The Urantia Book and already, after a couple of years, my life has been transformed tremendously. This book will challenge you to examine what you think you know about the world, spirituality, God and all of Creation. It sure challenged me. Because of this I’d like to urge everyone who reads this book to read, lay it down, read, think and absorb and read again. It takes a while for the unusual language to flow through your mind but once I opened to the messages contained in this epochal revelation I’ve never been the same. I say this as someone who has held nothing but contempt for Christianity and as a life-long searcher for a faith I could commit to. Being a student of The Urantia Book has caused God to bloom in my spirit and love to guide my life. This book will change everything and answer many deep questions if you let it. I highly recommend reading this book. A wonderful companion book to this is Sheila Keene-Lund’s book Heaven Is Not The Last Stop which puts the nuts and bolts of The Urantia Book into plain language. Both have made my life rich and meaningful in a way I couldn’t have anticipated.”
One gentleman had such an unusual calm and poise when he was about to go in and face heart surgery – this calm “no fear” attitude he expressed in his review below is a common benefit associated with faith…
“About 18 years ago I came across this book, just a short time before I had to undergo heart valve replacement. When my doctor questioned my state of mind / anxiety the night before, I told him my only concern was having a stroke but that if I died on the operating table I wasn’t worried because I knew where I was going and what was in front of me. He had the most profound look on his face and I could almost read his thoughts, “Maybe I should operate on this guy’s head instead of his heart.” Do I fear God? No – why should I fear pure Love, Understanding and Mercy? Am I afraid of going to Hell when I die? No, why should I fear someplace that doesn’t exist? You’ve read about Lucifer, Satan, the Devil, Beelzebub, etc. and you think they’re different names for the same entity but they’re not – all different entities. Curious isn’t it? It’s pleasant to read about a Creator Son of God of the Michael Order who lived a mortal life here as Jesus of Nazareth (profoundly interesting the ‘why’ of it). In the middle of the book, just tucked away, is a description of the Star of Bethlehem which notes the birth of Jesus as August 21, 7BC. What the book states is that the ‘star’ was really the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter on May 29th, September 29th and December 5th. Well, I asked a computer literate friend to check that out for me and look from Cairo, Egypt. Using mapping software called Mystars he checked. His reply? “The conjunctions took place and are viewable at 0200 hours on May 29th, 1800 hours on September 29th and 1300 hours on December 5th.” Quite amazing! This might cause people to wonder why such a verifiable fact would be just ‘tossed in’ a tome of 2097 pages. Part III was a significant ‘validation’ for me in that the book was put together in the 1934/35 time frame, originally published in 1955, and every day, in ways too numerous to mention, that ‘old’ information is being validated by modern day science. Of course you don’t have to read it, but if you have a curious mind and are adept at using logic and reasoning, this book is a genuine Gold Mine.”
One story stood apart from the others in my opinion. Somehow in one paragraph, an American veteran of the Vietnam war era touched my heart and moved me to a better understanding of the tragic effects war has on our troops – good people who have all lived through the unimaginable – and then come home to realize that everything seems changed. But it is they who have changed, and they don’t know how to heal their pain or regain their peace. Their experience was earned and paid for with their blood, their injuries, and their innocence. It is too important to let go of, and therefore it is inseparable from their identity. This vet spoke of finding his way through a maze of many dysfunctional techniques that he used to deal with his pain, and literally – he moved my soul to compassion. His alternating strength and hope hammered out on the anvil of despair and hopelessness were a normal part of existence until he found the healing light of truth in The Urantia Book. I believe that we are creating a legion of brave heroes every time we go to war, but in the process we are creating an enormous painful reckoning of lost or broken lives. The cross they bear is one they carry all of the way home with them, indeed if they return home at all. We all know about the suicide rate for our returning troops because they cannot find a way through the pain to re-establish their lives. Read this story of a true American hero. What a victory of faith.
“For many years after my return from Vietnam, I searched for a way and a means to try and restore my peace and my sanity. Something that could help me make sense of what I had just experienced. I went down many paths, self-destruction and denial being the longest running. I made attempts at finding answers through many means, none of them were right and I knew it in my heart. I struggled with depression, self-medication and a feeling that something needed to be right in my soul; I thought that I had lost a piece of myself. One day I entered a public library not knowing what I was really looking for, no real purpose in mind. As I walked the aisles my eyes locked on a book with concentric blue circles. I can only say that I was drawn to it, I knew instinctively there was something important about it. I opened it randomly and settled on a paragraph from a paper and began to read. Immediately and without a doubt I knew I was reading truth. It’s hard to describe the feeling that went thru me, it was like slowly dying from thirst and suddenly being saved by a clear cool spring. I read no more than that first paragraph and immediately went to the counter and checked it out. When I arrived home, I opened it and began to read; what I found was so profound and so intense I realized there was no way I could ever complete this book in the normal two week check out time. I then went to the contact information, called the Foundation and ordered my own copy. I believed I needed to start at the beginning which I did and read every written word. I have fairly rapid reading skills yet I could not read more than a few paragraphs at a time without falling asleep totally exhausted by the effort. It took me one year to finish the book reading it nearly every day. Almost all of what I read seemed nearly incomprehensible to me at the time but I knew instinctively that it was truth. By the time I had finished it I realized I had read the most profound book of my life … and yet I felt as if I had hardly absorbed it at best. I immediately went back to the beginning and began reading it all over again, the second time it took approximately six months to complete. I began to understand more and more as time and pages went by. That was many years ago now and I read a paper or a portion of one from the website every day. The reading of The Urantia Book is a life journey, to become a part of your everyday existence. I think of portions of it at all hours of the day, often times as I wake each morning. To say it changed my life would be an understatement. Some of you will find it to be the same.” By Zane Gregg, October 11, 2015
I believe this is not only an opportunity, but a sacred obligation for the Urantia community, to help in whatever way we can. I invite you to read through the reviews on Amazon. You will see that the seeds we have planted over the course of many years are beginning to take root and grow. We are seeing results in our own lifetimes, something we may have doubted would ever happen as we ministered to others as we passed by. Enjoy reading as many of them as you like, I hope you will take the time to be blessed, and then go wherever your heart leads you to serve our human community. Forget not those who are in prison, the sick, the helpless, and the poor. Sharing the truths and facts of The Urantia Book is important when there is receptivity, but there are so many who are in need (like our veterans) and we have the recipe to help them find a full recovery to live a life with bountiful fruits of the spirit. We really only need to share the recipe with them, and then I believe we will begin to see a marvelous transformation in their lives!
FEAST OF BROTHERLY LOVE – INGREDIENTS
1. A generous helping of our loving and merciful Heavenly Father – one-on-one, a personal connection.
2. A thick slice of the “Bread of Life”– the true Jesus that everyone needs to know.
3. A full pitcher poured out of the Spirit of Truth – ready for one and all to receive.
4. A caring community who serve and give our hearts to all who are hungry or “weary and heavy-laden.”
Stir with love. Make sure to allow enough time to bake to golden perfection, and soon your kitchen will be filled with the most delightful spiritual fragrance.
Of course I am preaching to the choir, but just like you would expect everybody you know to line up for a gift if you hit the Powerball jackpot, for years it has puzzled me why those same people don’t eagerly read a book that we tell them will absolutely change their lives? How many ways can we say it? I hit the lottery of truth in 1978. This book is a true gift from heaven. Fear not, God has seen our need and He has literally responded to it. He is alive and powerfully involved in this world. We are not alone or forgotten. God has spoken in a modern way that is brilliant, compelling, and accessible to everyone. He is our Heavenly Father just as Jesus told us 2000 years ago. If only people would realize what a profound experience they are cheating themselves out of by ignoring The Urantia Book. We who have read the book know that what seems impossible and unbelievable is possible, and thankfully, our referrals on Amazon are beginning to be heard by others. It is so encouraging to know that people all over the world are beginning to awake and discover this transcendent gift of truth.