Think for Yourself and Don’t Judge Others for Doing Likewise

We have never been in a time when more people have been as divided, it’s as if there were an underlying philosophical force at work to keep the world as separated as possible, but that is not our calling.

We have been called to be individuals celebrating individuality and the rights of others. You should,

Think for yourself and don’t judge others for doing likewise

How simple is that? The concept is simple, not unlike the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12). Right now, the attentions of the earth’s inhabitants are being controlled by the media, television, news agencies, entertainment industries of all kinds, and social media.

In the last few years, social media has proven to be the most effective tool for influencing mass consciousness in history.

While the COVID pandemic has all but shut churches down, and sent hundreds of millions of people home from work, social media has provided the world a way to communicate and express themselves via the Internet. These powerful social tools can be enormous in their ability to allow the world to connect and become one. In a sense, uniting humanity into a cohesive oneness.

Not unlike the prayer of Jesus, “That they may all be one, even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:21).

With laws passed during the pandemic to limit church gatherings, many of them took to the Internet, learning to use social media as a way to continue their ministries, while others just closed their doors and waited for a legal “all clear” to be sounded, so that they could resume their in-person gatherings and ceremonies with the State’s blessings.

You would think that with so many people swarming to use social media platforms and apps to connect, that oneness could not be far off, only the social media platforms are able to profit from your use of their services the longer they can keep you, their target audience, engaged on their app.

The people who run these platforms are brilliant. They know how to capture the attention of most, if not all, users. They monitor your every move. They know what you look at, for how long, and know what it takes to click or scroll.

And they have discovered that the average human being will spend far more time on their devices and using their platforms if they are upset or disagree with some concept. So, they place the news that upsets you prominently placed and match you up with posts and memes that you disagree with, the more upsetting or disagreeable the better, because they draw you into their web, and

they make you click and stay.

Same with the news media. It is all about all the bad things that are happening in the world today. It’s enough to make you think that there is nothing good going on in the world today.

These are actually the most prosperous and glorious days that the world has ever seen, but you would never know that because there is not a word of it being broadcast. The good news is being muted, and the bad news is being promoted because it is highly profitable. And we, most of us, fall for it every time.

Wait. The churches. Their members. They are online, now. What about them? Apparently, they ignore St. Paul’s admonition to, “accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions… Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” (Romans 14:1-4)

Instead, followers of God, believers, and faith-conscious people of all kinds are not thinking about the Golden Rule as much as they are falling into the trap of separation promoted by the media.

I believe that Jesus and St. Paul basically said the same thing as I have been saying,

Think for yourself and don’t judge others for doing likewise.

I am surprised at how hard this is to get seated into our hearts, and I know it runs against our instinctual survival mechanisms. We are all programmed to defend ourselves when there is danger near, and the media puppeteers know that, and that is where the money is.

Even so, there is a growing number of social media users who are exercising their right to be part of the solution and not to respond to negative news or media, to only spread good news, and to promote love and light.

Note: There is a hidden advantageous reward for you doing this. Have you ever commented on or reposted something you didn’t like with the intent to raise awareness of something that turned out to not be true? (They call that “clickbait.”) How embarrassing is that? Now, you will never have to worry about doing that again.

I like what Doctor of Ministry Tim Madding had to say today, “Come to your own conclusions. Believe what you are going to believe. Live what you are going to live because, in the end, you are going to stand before the judgment seat of God and be held accountable not to whether you believed this or believed this, but how you treated the other people that believed differently than you did. We should not let it divide us.”

Wise words for those of us who are attempting to take the high road, to avoid the trap, and to spread love and light only.

Just as there is a science behind the exploitation of media viewers and social media users, there is a science behind the heart-guided use of media platforms.

I think what I have been saying could be stated better as,

“Think for yourself and love others likewise.”

That may be a stretch from where we are now, but I think we can get there from here. I feel it in my heart that we can do this.

We know that when you react to or post negative media, you add energy to that which you do not want. If your desire is to have less of that thing, whatever it is, in the world, do not react to or repost it, and for God’s sake, don’t speak about or post anything about something that you have not proactively been a part of the solution for.

For instance, if you are against cruelty to animals, and you are going to respond to a negative post about the cruelty to animals, you better be a regular contributor to the ASPCA, or have made a donation to a similar organization, elsewise you have no right to speak about the subject, and any response that you make will only promote the animal cruelty. And so it is for anything else you do not agree with. If you are not a part of the solution, you are only promoting the problem.

If what you want in the world are love and light, then react to those things positively, post, and share those things.

Use the tools that are available to you to achieve your highest and best. Live a better life, your best life, and make the world a better place.

~ David M Masters


Church as Sanctuary

Based on our commitment to answer to a higher calling and maintain the separation of church and state St. Paul’s Free Church considers offering sanctuary to those in need.

In recent years, undocumented immigrants have sought safe haven from churches and many churches have answered the call to provide sanctuary to these troubled people who have fallen through the cracks of our increasingly dominant government forces.

Does “sanctuary” actually exist? According to law, the idea of sanctuary does not exist in this country, yet the authorities do adhere to policies to avoid to create a scene at religious institutions, though this is more of a gentleman’s agreement or avoidance of creating harsh sensationalism which would not fare well in the media for the government agency who storms a church to drag out a defenseless mother and children.

Some churches have gone the extra mile to attempt to secure more separation of church and state in the type of entity they are registered as to operate within the borders of the United States of America. The general line of thought is that if the church is registered as a non-profit religious organization, this includes an agreement with the state to allow law enforcement to access the grounds if they possess a legally signed warrant.

Most Catholic and other churches are registered as a religious corporation sole, which reportedly offers more separation from church and state, allowing them more ability to protect the idea of sanctuary than other types of legally registered religious organizations.

Unfortunately, the corporation sole type of organization has come under scrutiny by the feds, specifically the Internal Revenue Service, as criminals were using this type of corporation to hide income and assets. States are being pressured by the feds (IRS) to limit or eliminate corporation soles in their states. Currently, only 7 states allow the creation of this type of religious corporation.

Over the years, the rights of the church have deteriorated but the church did see some relief with the passing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (H.R.1308) which became public law no. 103-141 on. November 16, 1993 states:

“Prohibits any agency, department, or official of the United States or any State (the government) from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except that the government may burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person: (1) furthers a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”

Regardless of the type of legal registration of the religious entity, law and immigration and customs enforcement (ICE) honor a respect of churches to allow a level of service and assistance to individuals, though no law exists which prevents law enforcement from breaching a church’s perimeter to arrest any offender. Likewise, if the law approaches the clergy with a properly issued warrant, it is highly likely that the church will reluctantly though respectively allow access to the presenting arm of the law.

How Does Sanctuary Work?

How does sanctuary work in terms of undocumented immigrants?

The church has an open line of communication with professionals serving the immigrant community. An immigrant rights or lawyer contacts the church regarding the individual at risk. If the individual meets the basic criteria of the church (for instance, no criminal record or whatever criteria the church might agree to) a member of the church will volunteer to sponsor the individual, then the church can go about providing services or sanctuary to the people in need.

Some churches have more resources to provide to certain types of sensitive immigrants than others. It needs to be a good match to work successfully for the provision of humanitarian aid to the people who are in need. In most cases, the assistance provided by the church is supportive, temporary, and transitionary in nature.

President and Reverend David M Masters of St, Paul’s Free Church insists, “It is our sacred responsibility to represent God Source Energy which supersedes all manner of life with respect to all other forms of life in this world. We take precautions to honor our higher calling, to answer to God’s law over the law of man.”

It is important for people who seek sanctuary at a church to understand that it does not preclude they’re being apprehended by law enforcement. The church will do everything they can to provide sanctuary understanding that law enforcement may elect to override the respect for religious sanctity under conditions relating to public safety, national security, or terrorism.

Masters says, “Every human deserves respect and dignity. It is not right to separate families, especially those with small children. For some reason, our current administration cannot see how this will affect these young people as they become adults. There is great confusion about which is the greatest crime.

“It is the charge of the church to minister to those in need, to avail ourselves to all people, including undocumented peoples.”

St. Paul’s Free Churches offer open membership or participation in church ministries to all regardless of immigration status and fully support the preservation of the family unit.

Sending Love to the World COVID-19

I know, we usually only run the Sending Love to the World call out during the holiday season due to the increase of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation at that time of year, but now is the time to be sending love to the world COVID-19 style.

Only a few days into state-wide and nation-wide lockdowns, there is an increased rate of those suffering from depression. Some people are barely on the edge of self-destruction and something like the coronavirus and its associated social distancing could be enough to push someone over the edge.

Many people who are barely getting by have been sent home. Likewise, marginal businesses who supported local families and were the only source of survival for their families are being shut down and may not be able to survive the length of time necessary to reopen when allowed by the government and its agencies.

People who initially looked forward to a little recreational time off, are now starting to get a bit of cabin fever, feeling cut off from family, friends, coworkers, and aren’t finding much relief from social media. People need people to survive.

It is for these reasons that we are campaigning for those who are so inclined to join us in sending love to the world throughout these difficult and challenging times.

Sending love to the world only takes a few minutes and can be done as often or as little as you like. Know that every time you find yourself sending love to the world that it does make a difference and may be that love-energy boost that will help someone to see the light, at least the silver lining, of this looming dark cloud of isolation.

The process is simple, all you need to do is to center yourself into a meditative, love-filled state, and send love to others, as you do so, this will also make you feel better because as you flow energetic thoughts of love from yourself to others, that flow infuses your cells with love as well. And you can feel the effects of doing so.

My name is David M Masters, and I discovered this method of sending love to the world when I was suicidal during the holidays. It helped me, and it helped others as well. I feel like I am here, today, because of my sending love to the world.

This is to say that you do not have to feel like you have any hope or love to give. You can feel as though this would be your last act in life, like I did, and you can help others, and receive the healing from the process, like I did.

This pandemic can be brutal as we go forward through the process.

Here is a simple guided meditation I’ve provided if it will help, but it is not necessary.

You can use any method which feels right for you for sending love to the world.

My heart goes out to those who have contracted the COVID-19 virus, those who have it now and don’t know it, and those who have yet to get it. I am sending love to them.

I am sending love to all those who continue to serve, willingly putting themselves at risk, in an effort to keep the rest of us safe.

I am also sending love to those who do not have the virus but are suffering just as much, if not possibly more, from being shut down or locked down and isolated from their support system. They, also, are in need of receiving love right now.

So, I hope you will join me, and others, in sending love to the world throughout the COVID-19 epidemic.

God bless you for all that you do,

Sending Love to the World

God Is Love And You Are Love

“Let all that you do be done with love. ” 1 Corinthians 16:14

In one last instruction, after facing many serious issues in the church, St Paul gives the church in Corinth this, he tells the people to “do everything in love.” Just love one another in everything you do.

To do things in love we need to look at our Creator, our Master of love, God. Always remembering, what is Love? God is love.  By loving everything and everyone around you, what you are doing when you do everything with love is honoring God and doing God’s work.

No matter what trials tribulations or sorrows we are bearing, no matter our enemies and how they have hurt us in the past or even how it is affecting you in the present.  It may be hard to understand how we can love these people who have hurt us, or caused a loved one so much pain.  “Love thy enemies.”

This goes back to forgiveness and to remember when we forgive, it is not necessarily for the person who hurt you, this process of forgiving with love is, of course, the opposite of hate so when we hate this only causes more evil around us, in turn, makes the pain in your heart and soul even more painful to bear.

In our daily lives, we may be busy with whatever may be happening at the time but let us remember the passage in the Bible when God said to “love thy neighbor as yourself.” This mean’s not only the person next door to you but everyone you come in contact with in your lifetime.

Most importantly love you. You are love because God lives inside of you. Remember this so your love can overflow to love others, and in doing so your ability to love the world and its people around you. When we love ourselves as God loves the world we can do God’s work all around us, spreading love to each and every part of the world as we live our lives.


Loving can be as simple as being courteous when walking through the grocery store and giving a smile to a person that looks like they may need it. Even if this person doesn’t return the smile you may have brightened their day without even knowing how or why. There are many examples of how to show love to the world but as we all know,  the heart connecting with your emotions will always let you know you when you’ve done the right thing.

Trust your instincts and the love you feel in your heart, your heart doesn’t know how to deceive you. Our heart is not blind to love. The heart sees what the eyes cannot see.

So the next time you feel that special feeling in your heart just remember to trust this gift that God has given you.

Go on and love yourself and the world around you. You are Beautiful God created you and God is love.

~ Sister Sherry Lynn Marie






Decisions Decisions WWJD?

“But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 (NLT)

As we travel our individual journeys on planet earth, we must make choices or face challenges requiring us to make a decision. Should I go this way, or that way? Should I do this, or that? How you make your decisions defines who you are as a person.

So, how do you make decisions?

To observe how someone makes decisions throughout their day, a simple review of their bank statement and time calendar should reveal all you could possibly want to know. Based on how one spends their money and time, will give you a clear indication on how someone determines what is important in his or her life.

If you really want to achieve something, be or do something, you must know where you want to go. Let’s say you have a goal of going from Seattle to New York. You can look at your starting place and your destination on a map and draw a straight line from here to there.

Now, in a perfect world, you would just step out your front door and arrive in New York in a few hours, but we live in an imperfect world with laws of motion and gravity which can have influential variances, routes with unexpected twists and turns, and a wide variety of distractions and delays along the way, when trying to get from here to there.

The slightest variance in direction, of only a few degrees, will land you in Miami, instead of New York; way off your intended destination.

So, if you want to get where you’re going in life, you may consider paying attention to the details. Often making an impromptu decision can result in your ending up lost on some godforsaken logging road or deer trail. It could take you a while before you get back on track.

What’s your rule of thumb in making decisions? I know, it wasn’t long ago and the acronym WWJD, which stands for “What would Jesus do?” was quite popular. But what a great sentiment it was. You could use this as your rule of thumb and replace Jesus’ name with any mentor, person or deity whose decision-making skills you respect. Just pausing for a brief moment to ponder, what would that person do if he or she were in my shoes, right now?

Choosing to engage in an activity that does not serve your best interests, further your cause, or lead you closer to achieving a goal is at the very least a distraction, but could very well derail your whole train (and not just your train of thought). It can leave you wounded and in a weakened condition that could take a great deal of time to recover from.

I kind of like the WWJD idea. I am okay with using Jesus as a role model because, well, I’m his biggest fan, and I’ve followed his work for the greater part of my life. I feel like he and I share a resonance. So, in that moment, when I ask, “What would Jesus do?” That works for me.

If you’re a businessperson and you admire and have followed the work of Steve Jobs, you might pause and ask, “What would Steve do?” And just taking that brief moment to consider the possibilities of looking outside of yourself, your life, and your circumstances, may be all that you need to keep on track.

Whatever works for you, do that thing. Try to make good decisions and stay the course to achieve your highest and best.

Whoever you admire and respect, look up to and inspires you, use the mind of that person to step into momentarily in the moment of your decision.

But for me and my family, we will ask, “What would Jesus do?”

~ Reverend David Masters, St. Paul’s Free Church

Do what is right without judgment

“Do what is right and good in the LORD’s sight, so that it may go well with you.” (Deuteronomy 6:18 NIV)

We are, each one of us, on our own individual path, and we take (or should take) responsibility for our own lives, how we live them and how we respond to that which we expose ourselves to.

For instance, I realized that when I exposed myself to negative media, it made me feel bad. One day, I decided I was no longer going to subject myself to feeling bad about someone else’s life. If I’m going to feel bad, it’s going to be about whatever is happening to me.

So, I went on a media hiatus, and stopped exposing myself to negative news. That was the first step. I immediately started to feel better. Then I really went all out there and started looking for good news. Believe it, or not, I was able to find sources for good news via the Good News Network, Sunny Skys, and Daily Good dot Org.

And for me, this was an excellent way for me to “do what is right and good.” Just by making that little tweak, the world became a much better place, and things began to go very well for me.

Then a friend of mine posted on facebook, “The world is such an evil place, there’s nothing but bad news every time I watch the news.” I thought my media hiatus might be just what the doctor ordered for my friend, whom I’d noticed does seem to be depressed a good deal of the time.

When I suggested that not exposing yourself to the news, particularly bad news, at all might be a better way to live a better life, you can already guess what happened; right?

I received a flaming response, accusing me of burying my head in the sand, and lacking in social responsibility, among other accusations.

It appears that in today’s socially respectable day and age, it is the duty of every American to subject themselves to a constant barrage of negative news from around the world. Elsewise, you are an ignoramus and a failure as an American, or possibly even a human being.

And, yes, my friend is also a believer.

I applaud everyone’s right to find their own way, so I support this person’s point of view, because they are passionate about their perspective, I love their position even more, as it applies to them.

But what works for one person, may not work for the next. I can certainly stand behind your opinion and defend your right to have it, if I chose a different point of view for myself in this moment.

It is upon each of us to determine what is right in the Lord’s sight for each of us. For me, my ministry is focused on planting and nurturing good seed, so it makes much more sense to create an environment that supports the work that I do.

For someone else, whose ministry is that of an advocate, political or spiritual warrior, they must remain focused on the news regarding victims, or the plight of others who are treated unjustly or unfairly, as they help make a stand against the darkness.

You see, there is no right or wrong in this issue of exposing one’s self to negative media. It’s up to you to decide what works for you, but you do not have the right to impose your view on another person or to berate someone else because they have a different opinion.

I know what it’s like to be passionate about what you believe in. When I first started serving in the ministry, I was very excited about my newfound beliefs, and I wanted to share it with everyone I could. What’s more is that I wanted to convince these people to understand and see things from my perspective, because I felt that this was the right thing to do.

So, in an attempt to persuade people to adopt my beliefs, I took up Christian debate, and I could logically interact with people, and brow beat them enough, that if they chose not to believe, like I did, sorrowfully, they had to concede they were going to hell. (Okay, I’m exaggerating, a bit. I know.)

But what I learned from my early experience in the ministry is this:

No one was ever converted by debate.

Oh, sure, you might be able to guilt someone into reciting the sinner’s prayer, but their experience would be shallow and not long lasting. Or maybe someone would do it, just so you’d go away and leave them alone.

A few years later, I discovered what does resonate with people, and it’s not how well you can recite scripture. Nor is it how well you can explain the deeper mysteries, or hidden facts within the smallest details of the bible.

No, what really resonates with everyone is love. That’s it. It’s that easy.

Love is what God is all about, and you are free to discover how that plays out in your life and how you are integrated with God’s love and the vibration of frequency which accompanies God’s love.

And you are invited to come and hang out with us in this loving vibration, if you like. If you come to appoint where this love vibration no longer serves you, feel free to move on.

Where we gather, you will find love. You will not find a platform to argue, because we will not enter into a debate with you. We honor your perspective and your right to it, and we can still hang with each other in God’s presence for as long as you like.

There is no judgment here, only love.

One day, we will all awaken and realize that we are all love, and that love is all there is. Everything else is an illusion. And some of us will enjoy the truth of love, as it is, here, on earth.

~ Reverend David Masters, St. Paul’s Free Church


About Us

Founded on September 11, 1989, St. Paul’s Free Church was the coming together of ministers from different faiths in an effort to create a truly nondenominational church. The founding faiths included Episcopalian, Disciples of Christ, and Pentecostal, a fairly diverse coming together of extremes, later joined by Roman Catholic and Orthodox Judaism to round out the rough edges.

The original churches were located in Portland, Gresham, Salem, and Eugene Oregon. Then churches splintered off to find their own niches, while St. Paul’s Free Church remained the nondenominationally focused core, remaining independent, and tolerant, welcoming all who dared to attend.

Setting a new standard for nontraditional freedom of faith within a single organization, St, Paul’s Free Church sets a new standard of freedom in worship and service spanning a wide spectrum of styles and combination of doctrines.

St. Paul’s Free Church as an inclusive faith-based church continues to tear down the walls and empower ministers and servants of all types to embrace their God-given strengths, talents, and abilities to further serve the greater good and make the world a better place.

Leading others in integrous freedom of expression and speech while encouraging them to take spiritual responsibility for their own lives while discovering and following their own path.

St Paul’s Free Church, a God Source Energy church, promotes higher education, science, and healing to empower believers to share their spiritual gifts in love for a better world.

Currently, St. Paul’s Free Church is in the process of returning from a sabbatical and is in search of participants to serve as the new re-founding members and ministerial staff.

If you are willing to put your denominational weapons down and serve God and the world at large in a greater, more tolerant way, contact us for more information on how you can be a part of this growing phenomenon for God.