David R. Kenney
My journey to a True relationship with God was, and is, a long, and erratic one. Not that, that was bad. Because all experiences tend to turn us, eventually, in the right direction. George Stokes said once that; “Our weaknesses, become our strengths and our strengths become stronger”
I was born to Marguerite and Russell Kenney in 1946, the first of seven children. They were both Roman Catholic. I was required to go to catholic schools the first 9 years of my school life, and the same for my sisters. My dad was in the military, so we moved frequently. I went to many different catholic schools. Some Dominican, some Franciscan, some Benedictian. I was exposed to many different priests and nuns. Some were very loving and dedicated to a spiritual life and to teaching. Some were mean and bullies. Just a cross section of human life.
Most schools that I went to Catechism was the first class of the morning, and often in some schools, we went to mass in the morning before regular, if you can call it that, classes started. Because with the exception of math and science, courses like history and geography were heavily slanted to the “catholic” influences in the world. I am grateful for the education that I did get. They sure were very structured and disciplined classrooms, and there was excellent communication between parents and teachers. So I received an excellent education the first nine years. So much so that when I started public schooling, the classes bored me so completely that I didn’t want to be there at all, which was one step further than when I went to parochial schools. I had studied most of the material many years before and with such a depth that most of the public school classes were years behind.
Anyway, first thing in the mornings, some of the things that I was introduced to were the concepts of “We are all created in the image and likeness of God” and “God is Love”. That our purpose was to “Know, Love and Serve God in this life and the next” and also “To Love God with thy whole heart, thy whole soul, thy whole mind and thy whole strength”. This of course with and from the churches view of the Gospels and Epistles of the Catholic Bible.
Of course with these were the doctrines and dogmas of the church and the mysteries of God and the church. Such as; the “holy trinity”, communion “The body and blood of Jesus”, baptism, confession, confirmation, etc. Enough to confuse anyone, much less a young child. I learned their versions of prayer. The Our Father, the Hail Mary prayers. But so often my prayers were just the repetitious kind, just to get through the rites, rituals and ceremonies, or, to do penance after confessions. But sometimes, I went to church to commune with God, or to seek intercession from Mother Mary, or Jesus, to ask for help and direction. These times I often felt a sense of connection to God, that my prayers were more “heartfelt”. Rarely, during these times did I say formal or repetitious prayers, but just talked with God from my heart. I did this because of the insanity and madness in my home life. My dad was prone to physically abusive outbursts towards my mother and me. My mother was prone to psychological abusiveness towards my dad, myself, and my sisters.
I have said all this not to be long winded, but to set a background to my spiritual experiences.
Often, spent a lot of time wondering, or daydreaming about what I was being taught religiously at home and at school. At about 9 or 10 I must have been agnostic. I didn’t really know whether or not their really was a God. One afternoon, I was by myself in a large field, wondering and daydreaming again, and I stopped and screamed at the sky, “I don’t know if you really are there, but I want to know!” in a desperate way.
Something immediately changed. I was not so aware of the material world around me. I was in some kind of an “altered state of consciousness”. I was aware of soft gentle voices in my head giving me information. I was flooded with it. To this day I do not recall everything that I was told. However, it was well established within me that God existed. That God was the Creator. The part that I do recall is, that it was pointed out to me, in a way of explanation, or something that I could relate to, that God had created the human body perfect. That not even doctors completely understood how it worked. I had a very clear perception of the Truth of the statement. That statement is as True today, 54 years later, as it was then. There are still greater understandings of the human body and the human being today.
After that experience, some of the kids at school started calling me “bright eyes”. It confused me why they were doing so.
At about 12 I was very strongly considering going to seminary and into the priesthood. After one 40 hour devotion, where I had volunteered for many time slots on the schedule for being on a kneeler in the chapel, and using the time to pray a lot, just the “talking to God from my heart” prayers, I had the strong impression not to pursue the priesthood. That was a little confusing as well, because I had a strong sense of “the calling” to serve God.
The next 7 years were mostly about adolescent growth. Then I went into the military service. Again a guided situation, as I volunteered for the Air Force, rather that get drafted into the army and war on the ground. With my new found freedom, began drinking and sexual exploration. These activities brought a beginning sense of emptiness and disconsolation. There was not very much of any spirituality in my life.
By the time I was 26 I had been married, fathered a child, divorced, with a young lover who betrayed me, almost shot in a gunfight where a man got my gun out of my holster, and I had almost shot him with another gun. I became very conscious afterwards that I did not ever want to kill someone. Although, in my mind, I considered myself a coward, and experienced considerable shame. I must say here that during the whole surreal incident I was somewhat aware of my spirit guides or guardians guiding me and protecting me. I was fired from my job shortly afterwards.
And there I was, alone, as I thought. I began to drift through my life rather aimlessly. I was in great crises as to who I was, or what life was really all about. I began to drink more and more often, often being drunk. This went on for about a year, I becoming more and more depressed.
Then I went with my sister and her new boyfriend on a journey to the west coast. This was the beginning of almost 4 years of traveling around the country. During these four years some of the truth I was looking for, as an understanding of life, began to appear in my life. Mostly in the form of books, as I was not very socially inclined. I felt like a misfit.
The first book that had a profound influence upon me and was radically different from my religious or spiritual upbringing was the “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda. I also recall a book on soul travel called Eckankar. More and more often books would seem to appear right in front of me, or my attention was drawn to them. The books that i was attracted to, or guided to were of the nature of the following: The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Essene Gospel, The Fourth Way by P.D.Ouspensky, The Urantia Book (which I promptly put down), The writings of the “Ascended Masters” through Elizabeth Clare Prophet, some of the “White Eagle” channeling’s, The Seth material through Jane Roberts. I recall something about the writings of “The Great White Brotherhood”, and Carlos Castenada’s first book, which I promptly put down, and the writings of Meher Baba, and various other writings of the eastern philosophies.
Needless to say, my search for something, something that would give me answers, or make sense to me, were guided. Although I wasn’t always aware that it was what is called guidance. I didn’t call it a search for Truth, but more a search for meaning, or purpose.
In about 1975 my brother-in-law told me in Santa Cruz, Ca. that he had met some people who were talking about “Divine Love”. About a year later, Michelle and Marty took me to a church service in Ben Lomand, Ca. I was at the time about at the end of my wits, having spent another year of considerable drunkenness and depression. I don’t recall much of the talk, or sermon. What I do recall is that at the end of the service, about 70 people held hands in a circle and prayed “The Prayer Perfect”, as I soon learned it was called. I did not know the words to the prayer, but as I listened they inspired my soul. The power and force of the Love in the room was so palpable that I wept. I recall feeling like I had “come home”. This situation happened several times more during or after services, which I regularly attended. Marty and Michelle let me use their copies of “True Gospel Revealed Anew by Jesus” (Volumes I,II,III, IV). Upon reading the Messages from Jesus and Celestials that they contained, I had the complete sense that this was what i had been looking for. I couldn't put them down. Of course, the information was so different that i had many questions. However, through applying the suggestions contained in the messages, i have passed beyond all doubt as to their authenticity and the Truths that are contained. Also as to their overall accuracy.
They also introduced me to George and Kathryn Stokes. George always said that in studying the messages, that it was important, or necessary to pray for the “Divine Love” prior to studying the messages, as prayer would open up the souls perceptions of the Truth contained, and place the soul in ascendancy over the material mind, as the Truths could not be understood by the mind. That became my practice.
I do recall one day that I was hanging out on the cliffs above Capitola that I heard, very strongly the thoughts “go to East Cliff and see George". I almost didn’t believe it. The same thoughts were repeated, and then “You will have to hurry, they are getting ready to leave”. I hitched a ride straight to the East Cliff offices, and went in one of the front doors. George and Kathryn were sitting there with Amy and a young fellow by the name of Adam. I told George that the spirits had told me to come see him. He did a Neuro-Psychic check out on himself and then said to Kathryn “Its true”. He then told me of his vision as to my future. We did leave East Cliff very shortly afterwards and went to Rev. Michael and Deborah Holmes house.
To make a long story short, I continued to pray as often as possible throughout each day, as this was the advice given by the spirits in the messages. I longed for the At-Onement that the messages spoke about.
About two years (I had been without a drink or a drug during this time) into this journey I had made it a practice to go for long walks on the beach from 17th Ave in Santa Cruz, Ca., around the bay to Seacliff Beach and then back to Capitola, Ca., rather than go to the community potlucks after Sunday services. One Sunday I was getting back to Capitola Beach. There was a very large piece of driftwood (about 3 ft high) sitting on the beach. As I walked by it, after praying most of the day, I started to feel the spiritual energy, the Divine Love very strong. All of a sudden, I recall feeling my spirit body. It was like a big goose down parka, all around me, a feeling that my body was expanding. (It is very difficult to express experience, but I’m doing the best I am able). The energy of the Divine Love was increasing. Then I was in my spirit body and out of my physical body. I was in this very intense silver-white light. I was being escorted by a very bright spirit. I seemed to recognize the presence of Jesus, but it was too bright to see. Further and further into the Light we went. It seemed like I was going straight to God. At some point we seemed to stop. I was very conscious that this energy was from God. My prayers had been answered. I don’t have any idea how long this journey lasted, but when I came back into my physical body and a semi “normal” state of consciousness, leaned up against the driftwood, the front of my shirt, and my face, was completely wet from the tears of Joy. I had the impression that this was the Pentecost, that I had heard about since my youth.
I will not tell you that this state persisted. I will tell you that for some time afterwards, weeks or months, I was in a state of perfect peace, or as some say a state of grace. I was completely happy for the first time since my childhood days of playing outside and a condition of wonder and awe, that I often had, despite the chaos inside our home.
About six months afterward I began to think that since I hadn’t had a drink for about 2 ½ years, and had learned techniques in Neuro–Psychics for attempting to get to the truth of negative beliefs and motives, that it would be alright for me to have a drink now and again. That I was somehow immune to getting drunk. See what “thinking” will do for you. I was off again on periodic episodes (they were months apart for quite a while) of drinking, and when I drank, I got drunk. Let me tell you that this effected my ability to pray and stay in a spiritual condition.
By 1982, about 2 ½ years later, I had been drinking everyday for about 3 months or so. In great dispare, I attempted to take my life. But once again the angels intervened. It was a failed attempt. I made some calls and asked for help. I also did my best to start praying again as often as I could. I got help and began to practice the 12 steps (a spiritual outline for spiritual progress based upon moral principals, and prayer and meditation). I have not had a drink in over 28 years.
I have found, in my experience, which I feel is the only True teacher, or way to really learn anything, that even with the Great Power of the Divine Love and daily communions with God, that for the Greatest Happiness to be achieved and maintained as a constant spiritual condition, that it is necessary to practice a process of “false ego” death. A thorough way of asking ourselves the Truth of our motives, and removing or “renunciation” of the false beliefs and attitudes learned in life. This would be “integrating the Divine Love in our minds”. Application of both the Principals of Natural Love and Divine Love growth at the same time. Learning, through experience, what Love actually is. Developing an ability to manifest that in our everyday actions and interactions. I have found the 12 Steps to be an excellent way to do self-examination, or self inventory, as to the mental "false ego" and blocks to self love, the love of others, and the Love of God. The power of prayer for the Divine Love makes the process ever more quick, and effective, as the Divine Love develops the souls perceptions of Truth and the conscience.
The Peace is with me now almost all of the time. I continue to study the Messages from Jesus and Celestials after prayer for Divine Love. I continue to grow and expand my consciousness, and therefore my happiness. I am so grateful to God and my Celestial Guides and Guardians, that I really do not have words to express the spirit of it. God, Truly is Love. I know, beyond a doubt of mind that God, in His Love is Personal, Merciful, Caring, Response-able in a direct Personal way to all His Children.
In all this time, I have learned that our helping others is most effective when we share our very most personal experiences, when necessary, in the most truthful and vulnerable way. It creates an atmosphere of genuineness, authenticity, transparency, and warmth, empathy and compassion. These are found in psychotherapy to be the actual qualities, or attributes, that create human connection, and help others to have hope, or belief that if someone else has risen from the depths of depression and despair, that they might also, by using the same tools. They may then inquire as to the tools and experiences of the person sharing. Pretentiousness, lectures, teaching and sermons in the most authoritative way are not effective.
Another brother and friend, Dave K.