Thursday, October 30, 2008

Heaven --here and now

(Having just had a conversation with one of my dear Christian friends on the topic of heaven, bless her heart, feel inspired this lovely October 30th morning to put down some thoughts on same.)

Because so many people have not been taught the joy and practicality of developing their spiritual sense, they deprive themselves of a better and happier life, looking to some future heaven to provide them with fulfillment and happiness.

But Christian Science shows that it is unnecessary for any of us to wait before experiencing happiness, health, and well-being. You and I do not have to postpone good to some future time -- we receive it from God and reflect it now. God, divine Love, is constantly bestowing on His spiritual likeness, man, blessings that are satisfying and unending.

And just think of Christ Jesus who, when he was approached by someone in need, did not refer that person to a future paradise. Instead, the Master blessed the receptive seeker right then and there. Did he not say in Luke (17:21) "Behold, the kingdom of God is within you"? When we sincerely open our thoughts to the ever-present Christ, Truth, we are given the spiritual ideas to meet our present human need. Whether for a job, companionship, safety, a place to live, or release from pain or suffering.

And think about this, if you will. Does a loving human parent -- aware of his children's needs --intentionally withhold good? How much more, then, may we expect from our heavenly Father, infinite, ever-present, divine Love! Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures on page 494: "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need."

So many people out there consider existence a matter of sometimes "having" and more often of "not having." They mentally accept discord and deprivation, expecting and receiving only occasional benefits. They are taught to look to heaven as the only place where they will find constant good. I find this so sad. But the kingdom of God, all good, is within us. We already possess the joys of heaven--here and now. As Christian Science points out, the only change we have to make is from our acceptance of a mortal, solitary, incomplete sense of existence to the acknowledgment of spiritual existence, immortal, Godlike.

In that book I mentioned by Mrs. Eddy is this statement (page 171): "Through discernment of the spiritual opposite of materiality, even the way through Christ, Truth, man will reopen with the key of divine Science the gates of Paradise which human beliefs have closed, and will himself unfalllen, upright, pure and free."

Many men and women I personally know who had unknowingly resigned themselves to a life of pain, lack, despair, or unhappiness have found to their great joy that heavenly good is possible here and now. Through the teachings of Christian Science they have successfully eliminated mental barries to health, harmony and freedom.

Waking up to the divine fact that we are in heaven where we are does open the door to exciting possibilities. And I can say from my own experience, the more I am realizing this, not only is my life more blessed than I ever expected, people around the world are being helped in ways I never would have imagined.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

God's supply recession-proof

Sitting here this Saturday morning thinking about the economy, several thoughts come to mind: first, I happened to read in The Wall Street Journal the other night about some economic downturn in 1907, and it occurred to me, why the Leader of the Christian Science movement, Mary Baker Eddy, was on the scene working for her Cause during this time. I do not know the particulars of how severe the problems were, but it is apparent that she and her Cause came through it all. And I couldn't help thinking about the wonderful practitioners and teachers during the Great Depression, who through what they knew of God's laws came through it all intact, if not abounding in money. I can't say about this, but I do know they prevailed through what they understood of God's everpresent goodness and government.

Just some of the things that come to thought right now:

l) As Christ Jesus demonstrated for his followers for all time, God's supply is infinite. This Jesus proved time and again as readers of his parables know. God obviously knows nothing about lack or finite good, since there is no such thing in His universe. And His universe is actually the only one there is;

2) As Mrs. Eddy stated in something she wrote (and a Baptist friend of mine was greatly enlightened by when I showed her the statement) man is God's reflection, and since His hands are full, so are ours. Let me quote it in full for you. This is in the book We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, page 134: "When you stand before a mirror and look at your reflection, it is the same as the original. Now you are God's reflection. If His hands are full, your hands are full, if you image Him. You cannot know lack." This lady said, what that woman brought out is a brand new idea for me! I have never thought of myself as God's reflection. This is so neat to think about!

3) And picking up on the thought of our being God's image and likeness, His reflection, I have learned through the teachings of Christian Science that as the one Mind, God couldn't be less than whole or complete, less than infinite, less than finished and complete, man, His manifestation can't be incomplete or lacking any good thing. An understanding of the completeness of God's creation and of ourselves as His child, His always-cared for child, can be demonstrated by any one of us. And it so obviously has been through the decades by thousands of students of Christian Science who have proved in their own daily lives God's supply is recession-proof.

Hope some of this is a comfort to my readers. We don't have to sink under the current, and projected, conditions.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Our Master warns us

Whatever our work in life
may happen to be,
we need to ask; search
our motives regularly:

Is it for His holy child
that I do what I do? --
is a question to
which we need to hew.

For there is nothing that
so lights up the carnal mind's face
as seeing us putting ourselves
in dear Jesus' place.

"Take heed that ye do not your alms before men,
to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no
reward of your Father which is in heaven."
Matthew 6:l

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Jesus on excess

A friend just emailed me about a very well written editorial/opinion by Maureen Dowd in today's New York Times on the AIG wasting of taxpayer dollars -- again! And I can't help revisiting one of my blogs, on the topic of being economical done a few blogs back. And George W., wherever you are, read the Times as well. I doubt that you can take up for these guys a second time.

But back to what matters and that is something Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 266 to the effect that we must follow all the sayings of our Master, Christ Jesus. What safety there is for us when we do this!

And speaking of Jesus, let me end this Sunday bit with his sublime statement about greed: "Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting." (Luke 21:34)
Isn't this wonderful and timely though. But why should one be surprised at this, when it is through living the Word of God--especially in these crucial times--that one has the way out of every problem that may come his way.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mighty -- but meek

One may be a daughter
of the South,
yet not all sweetness and light,
a person who is weak,
lacking might,
reluctant to fight
when the Cause is right.
How to balance standing
up for oneself
with acting meek---
what a challenge.
With me, it's a
work in progress.
After centuries of
half the race being
put down, told to
be seen and not heard,
(with a few exceptions)
can make one want
to go overboard
to oneself express.
Thank God for the Word--
which helps many
of us to keep words in,
and not commit the sin
of not being loving enough.
Sometime this is tough.
But there is our Hero
for all time,
our Exemplar sublime,
who though his rebuke
was soemthing one would
not have wanted to be
on the receiving end of,
was the most loving man
that ever walked the earth.

Being daughers (and sons)
of the King,
should we not be able to
express might and meekness?
This followers of Christ
and Christian Science
will increasingly need to do.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It takes Christ Jesus and Christian Science

Having taken as my text for this blog the following statements from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, here goes something very important to me. In fact, it is the impetus for this blog I've started. And I'll no doubt be re-visiting this topic time and again.

First, from page 269: "The testimony of the material senses is neither absolute nor divine. I therefore plant myself unreservedly on the teachings of Jesus, of his apostles, of the prophets, and on the testimony of the Science of Mind. Other foundations there are none. All other systems -- systems based wholly or partly on knowledge gained through the material senses -- are reeds shaken by the wind, not houses built on the rock."

And from page 569: "Alas for those who break faith with divine Science and fail to strangle the serpent of sin as well as of sickness! They are in the surging sea of error, not struggling to lift their heads above the drowning wave."

Having had many a discussion with Christians who love Christ Jesus but know nothing of Christian Science, and on the other hand, with Christian Scientists who are trying to live with Christ Jesus a footnote to their lives, it is my conviction that one must have both. To try to get along with only one or the other, is fatal to understanding God and having dominion over evil. It just cannot be done. And it is not being done in too many sad instances.

Regarding the first quotation above, I recall one Wednesday evening testimony meeting at the Wellesley, MA church when I gave a testimony, quoted most of that statement, inadvertently left out "the testimony of the Science of Mind" whereupon a wonderful practitioner rose and said in a loving and gentle way, "let me add to the good lady's remarks the last part of that quotation. " And then, he gave a wonderful testimony as to the power of Christian Science.
I was glad he corrected me. And it reinforces what I'm driving at, that one must have the full package, Christ Jesus and Christian Science for spiritual progress and well-being.

I've had oh so many talks with Christians on the subject of religion, and recall one when we were moving down South. The mover, a devout Baptist, saw a painting of Daniel in the Lions Den over my desk which opened a most inspiring conversation. Finally, he asked, are all members of your church as reverent toward Christ Jesus as you are? I had to answer, unfortunately they are not. And this in my view is the reason for the stagnation, the deadness in too many churches and lives today.

And this, too, reinforces why I say, and Mrs. Eddy knew and founded her Church to reinstate Jesus' words and works, that Christian Scientists cannot make the grade, cannot have the joy and peace and rightness with God they should be enjoying if they think Jesus is obsolete. Shocking that many think so? It is to me. But with more than one patient I've helped who have told me, "I have never once felt close to God", (and you think there is not an unsettling thing to hear!) it is clear to me that the problem is absence of love for Christ Jesus in their hearts and thoughts. Just reading great articles, listening to splendid lectures, taking class instruction, being brought up in Christian Science--the whole nine yards--is not all that is required. It takes living the Word, having Jesus' teachings at the core of one's life. And without this love for Christ as well as Christian Science, how can they experience God's blessings? They can't. No one can. Why would one expect God to look favorably on someone who has no reverence for His holy child?

I well realize this is not popular to point out, but if you and I are not boldly standing up for Christ and Christian Science, what are we taking up space for?!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Our adorable God

So many thoughts about God crowd in this lovely October morning still dark, and while not in any particular order, since they center around the One, are worth sharing, I think. What joy to have a way to express instantly the inspiration one feels! What freedom to not have to wait around for others to read/evaluate/ and edit one's heartfelt thoughts!

First, read yesterday afternoon what the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy says about "Wind" in her major work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "That which indicates the might of omnipotence and the movements of God's spiritual government encompassing all things." I love this thought of God surrounding us, and couldn't help thanking God mightily while sitting in the cool grass with one of our dogs, just letting that crisp autumn wind blow over us, making colorful leaves twirl and dance. So much more than just lovely nature, the whole scene conveyed Him to me, as nature is increasingly doing, I find.

And, read recently in Mrs. Eddy's Miscellaneous Writings, page 106 a most beautiful sentence (boy, could that woman write!): "It has long been a question of earnest import, How shall mankind worship the most adorable, but most unadored, -- and where shall begin that praise that shall never end?"

To me, this adoration for God, this earnest desire to share with the whole world what He had done for her in the healing He wrought, explains why her Cause prospered in the early days, and why it still lives, and cannot be lost. Gratitude for Christian Science and what it is doing right now for us is stronger than it has ever been for many people I know, and I rejoice in this fact. What so many of us faithful to the Cause owe to our loving Father, God is eternal and will be with us forevermore.

Truly is our God the most adorable!

Friday, October 10, 2008

A follow-up to being wise about spending

A sense of compassion compels me to add some further thoughts to what I posted yesterday, on the wisdom of conducting our lives economically: someone I was talking to said, that's cold comfort for me! I've already been unwise, lived beyond my means. It's too late now.

But it's never too late--provided one turns to God to show him the way out of troubling circumstances. Along this line, two things have come to mind today.

First, the Old Testament (Jeremiah 32:17) which states: "Ah Lord, God! Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee."

And interestingly enough, an experience a friend of mine had who served in WWII in the Solomon Islands. This was published some years ago in the Christian Science periodicals, and it bears on the subject of feeling up against great odds, and can be transposed to a financial situation, I think.

This soldier was waiting to be evacuated when a round of mortar fire whistled past. He jumped into a foxhole. Because he knew the target-ranging system being used, he expected the next bomb to land very near. He heard it coming. Then, he said, time seemed to stop and he thought of his loved ones at home and of himself, feeling this could be the end. Then, came a divine message of assurance: "What are you worrying about? You are God's child, and God's child cannot be destroyed." That bomb landed on the edge of the foxhole, but didn't go off.

I've always found this example of just what turning to God in a desperate circumstance can do most inspiring, and applicable to anything we might face in our daily lives. As bad as things may look today in the stock market, the economy will turn around. Has anything happened to God's all-power and love for His children? Of course not!

And in conclusion, the Bible has this eternal assurance: "With us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles" (II Chronicles 32:8). What a comfort to you and me to know that we always have instant recourse to the Father's ever-present love, that whatever our particular battle may be -- even a scary financial picture -- we can ask God for help, confident that He will adjust circumstances, open up new opportunities, and show us the right and wise and economical steps to take. By taking refuge in almighty God, one can end up better than he was before.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The wisdom of being economical

Sure I'm not the only one who heard about the AIG executives who blew a whole lot of taxpayer money at that California spa--after just being helped to the tune of 85 million dollars. People are rightly aghast at this, and it made me think about excessive spending. And only yesterday came across something Jesus mentions which I don't recall seeing before, in Luke 21:34 on not being overcharged with surfeiting. How up-to-the-minute this is!

And it made me appreciate more than ever what the leader of the Christian Science Church calls for in her by-law in The Manual of The Mother Church, namely "wisdom, economy, and brotherly love." I find this absolutely wonderful, such a guideline in our own daily lives and doing.

And lastly this morning, a note of thanks to my own dear father who lived through the Great Depression and always told us kids, don't ever spend more than you take in. If you have a dollar, spend only 90 cents of it. Daddy, who was single at the time, said he was always last to be hired (if he got hired at all) because they took the married men with children first for the jobs open. He more than once had only potato peelings in his lunchbox, and did not want any of us to go through what he had survived.

So, how wonderful those of us who love Christ and Christian Science have the words of our great Master, Jesus and of Mary Baker Eddy to show us how to live in these times.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Taking up the cross

Just read in my morning review of the Master's words marked in red in one of my Bibles this statement: "He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me." This is from Matthew 10:38. And this ties in with something I'm giving deeper thought to because of a comment a friend in New York state just made to a poem I posted earlier today. Her, along with so many others, heartfelt commitment to Christ Jesus really moves me. She said, on the subject of Jesus' words above, that most mainline churches today no longer bring up the cross at all! Just isn't popular to demand anything of their attendees. Nominal Christians don't want to hear about sacrifice/giving their all to Christ/following in his footsteps. Too much work required, too much selflessness to even think of doing this. So many only want a feel-good, promise people instant wealth and success (even health without doing a thing themselves) religion. Of course, this is not the Christianity Jesus left us.

So what have I arrived at from all the thinking I've been doing? That we are not really Christ's until we are willing, yea, even eager, to pick up whatever our cross happens to be, and carry it all the way. To be joyful about going the whole distance. It seems clear to me one who reaches this point--and it is a sublime one-- is on ground the safest, ground most holy, ground that takes him very near to things divine.

And to conclude, came across a statement made by Mary Baker Eddy in First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, page l66 where she says: "Life's ills are our chief recompense; they develop hidden strenth." You may be thinking, how could she write this?! How can you endorse it?! Because I do feel accepting this premise, and grasping what is being said here, is essential if we're to be real followers of Christ. Too many churches are anemic, not attractive to people any longer. They offer nothing people can't get from the world. So, in a sense, they are irrelevant, dead above ground. Churches no longer offer what can only be achieved as one hears about the cross and is willing to take it up--eagerly, joyfully.

Monday, October 6, 2008

We're not promised a picnic

The beauty of having one's own blog is that, whatever the thoughts rattling around, one can give them out almost the moment they occur. Thinking on a gorgeous autumn morning just now about something a friend said recently: trying to live what Jesus taught and demonstrate the spiritual truths he knew is no easy proposition. How many of us can say Amen to that! But we consider Christ and Christian Science well worth the work required, or we'd go off to something else.

To start with the sublime, I often think of the time Jesus told his disciples that there would be those who, if they killed them, would consider they were doing God a good turn! Doesn't get much clearer than that. One doesn't enter the narrow path that leads on and up to God, the path our Saviour walked for us, without having been warned what awaits him.

And just thought and looked up something Mary Baker Eddy states in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 26 which lays it out: "While we adore Jesus, and the heart overflows with gratitude for what he did for mortals -- treading alone his loving pathway up to the throne of glory, in speechless agony exploring the way for us, -- yet Jesus spares us not one individual experience, if we follow his commands faithfully; and all have the cup of sorrowful effort to drink in proportion to their demonstration of his love, till all are redeemed through divine Love."

Personally, I find these words glorious as they show just how much reverence the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science had for Christ Jesus. And to end this little entry, I have thought of the time when she was about to give a talk and some threatened to blow up the hall where she was to speak. Did she turn and run? No, sir. In her own words, (paraphrased), I leaned on God and was safe.

So, you have my thoughts for the day...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Jesus' words -- how timely

Our Master's words -- how timely,
a way out of all difficulty.
Consider what he says in Luke 15:
how much one can find
in these economic times to mind,
about a man who lived life profligate,
brought through want to his knees.
Imagine being hungry enough
to eat the food pigs ate!
Would this not get one's attention?
And if it takes harsh conditions
to turn people in God's direction,
to begin thinking-- instead of myself--
how can I my Maker please,
is this not a good thing?
As a friend said,who works
where we now and then eat,
people can't keep leaving
God out of the picture,
and go on prospering.
On this, he and we did meet.
will get mankind only so far.
And if the time has come
for at least some
to consider God's demands
in these times so tough,
to start obeying His commands,
then I say,
it can't happen soon enough.

Our heavenly Father awaits
with such a loving welcome.

"Why not take it to God?"

Some years ago,
a colleague dealt
me quite a blow,
leaving me feeling
very low, confused,
my world about to fall.
Did I to my Father go?
I am sorry to say, no,
not strong in faith enough.
Finally, I did seek out
an experienced, wise friend
and asked him, "Who can I
take this problem to?"
And his inspired counsel?
"Why not take it to God?"
I have learned to heed
since this angel advice,
thus saving myself remorse
at not turning to God first,
when difficulties arise.
And I strongly recommend
this superior course.
How much better it is
to turn to Him first,
as His offspring should --
an all-loving Father who
wants for us such good.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

To God goes the credit

They told me not to even try writing poetry.
"You're not intellectual enough",
the wise and published ones said.
So I didn't try --for too many years.
Then, one wonderful day unforgettable,
poems began to flow,
poems that have warmed people,
made them laugh and weep,
enlightened, inspired, and in some cases,
made them want to amend their lives.
So take it from me:
don't ever let anyone convince you
to keep your words bottled up.
Express what you feel -- boldly.
That's all there is to style.
Isn't what you have to share
as valid as anybody else's?
Don't let people's opinions
stand in your way.
Have your say.
If it's in your heart,
it will reach the hearts of others.

Above all this, for my writing,
I humbly give Him the credit.
As the Bible says,
"So shall my word be that goeth forth
out of my mouth: it shall not return
unto me void, but it shall accomplish
that which I please, and it shall prosper
in the thing whereunto I sent it."
(Isaiah 55:ll)