Saturday, December 27, 2008

Until next year...

While brimming over with thoughts I want to share on this blog, have another project at the moment, so they'll keep until 2009. But do want to thank all you people who have made this endeavor successful, so full of joy and blessing--to me above all else. Since mid-September when this began, have held to something one of Mary Baker Eddy's household workers at Chestnut Hill, MA--Martha Wilcox-- pointed out. And this is it, in essence: every right idea comes from God, the One Mind, and carries with it activity and power. (An un-diluting metaphysician there for sure!) And what could be more right than presenting to mankind our love for Christ and Christian Science?

I realize the Internet has its downside, with predators trolling it who are after people's money and/or their bodies. A lot of trash out there. But what an avenue for reaching "the globe's remotest bounds", as page 559 in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures has it. To feel inspiration, then post it, and have readers reached almost at once is a marvelous thing. And as I was just reading in Prose Works this week, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science would approve the Internet's right uses, I feel sure. On page 345 of First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, Mrs. Eddy says of modern inventions, "They light the way to the Church of Christ. We use them, we make them our figures of speech. They are preparing the way for us."

So, in signing off for a few days, I would encourage other of my fellow Christian Scientists to consider starting their own blog. It has vast potential for spreading the glorious Word of God. And for furthering the teachings of our dear Master, Christ Jesus, as given with such reverence through divine Science.

One last thought: for anyone launching a blog, you will need to pray for it/defend it mentally/cherish it. There are, unfortunately, those out there who visit such sites as this every single day to interfere with it and shut it down. This is to be expected where Christ is active. But anything God-given, God-approved, God-supported will go on blessing those who are ready for the good we have to share.

May the New Year be your most blessed and productive!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Why it is disease unreal

Queen Elizabeth I, as she sat in a church service one morning, was reputed to have called out: "To your text, Preacher!' Of course, she could do this without endangering her head. Thinking about the text I've chosen, trust I shall keep to it in this blog.

Having been in more than one discussion with those who have scoffed at what Christian Scientists contend -- the unreality of physical difficulties -- I have thought much about this. And the following words from Mary Baker Eddy's "Unity of Good", pages 9 and 10 have been one of my back-ups. She explains, "What is the cardinal point of the difference in my metaphysical system? This: that by knowing the unreality of disease, sin, and death, you demonstrate the allness of God. This difference wholly separates my system from all others. The reality of these so-called existences I deny, because they are not to be found in God, and this system is built on Him as the sole cause. It would be difficult to name any previous teachers, save Jesus and his apostles, who thus have taught."

Now, someone might be thinking, well, all this sounds good. But is it practical? Yes, it is. Not only have I proved it time and time again with various bodily challenges, but I'll cite another healing from my own family. I have mentioned my mother and what brought her into the study of Christian Science. It was, as I have said, a remarkable healing by all accounts.

Some time later, she began to experience a condition that needed to be met through Christ healing. She was leaving a Christian Science lecture one afternoon, where the power-house speaker had made clear the fact of man's true and only state as God's perfect child. He had discussed in detail what the first chapter of the Bible brings out, about man having been made in God's own likeness, in the likeness of Spirit--not matter. And something he said, to the effect that disease not having been created by God, good, it was in fact untrue, unreal, non-existent, so lit up her thought, that as she was walking back up the aisle out of that hall, she felt the healing taking place. She knew healing was going on, and so it proved. By the next day, the physical evidence that had seemed so real for so long had almost faded into nothing. And it was only a day or two longer she told us that the whole thing was as though it had never been. Which of course it had not, in reality. She said, in recounting this experience, I had some sense of what the lepers must have felt like when Jesus healed them!

So, not just airy words, this assertion of Christian Science that disease is unreal. To believe otherwise would be to deny God's perfect creation, and to see ourselves a way He did not make us. As a practitioner friend of mine says to patients, if you can find it in the first chapter of the Bible, then I'll believe it. As Genesis 1:31 states: "And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good."

This is a vast subject, and can't be dealt with wholly in this brief blog post. But this may be a stepping-stone for someone getting a higher understanding of how it is that disease is actually unreal.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The textbook can sort it out

And by textbook, I mean Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the book Christian Scientists study in accord with the Holy Bible. A few lines on something that came up in a conversation the other day, with a lady who doesn't like "filling my body with all those chemicals and drugs" as she put it. But feels so steeped in medicine, so dependent upon it, that she doesn't think she could turn to Christian Science for her health and well-being. She regulary tells me, you are so healthy!

What I shared with her, I'll share with you. My mother who was suffering greatly from a condition kind doctors could not cure, though they tried for years and years, was talking to a neighbor one day who had noticed the suffering this young mother with two infants was going through. She happened to mention that many people had been healed through reading "Science and Health" and that she might like to have this book. Immediately mother told the woman, but I just could not give up all my medicine. The woman wisely said, don't feel pressured about doing this right now. Just take this book, begin reading, and let it all get sorted out. You may find that Christian Science is the thing for you, you may not. Just go along as you are, and it can get resolved for you. Well, would you know, that problem that had plagued her since high school disappeared! She was overjoyed with this dramatic healing. Guess what she did? Threw out all the pills and never looked back. And an enduring blessing for me is that I was brought up with no fear of getting sick. Just never entered my mind. Her freedom from fear and thinking about disease and expecting it was gone. And what a legacy for her children.

And lastly, will share a wonderful experience I had with God's mighty curative power when I was in the first grade. Was playing out in the backyard, happened to come down a swing set with bare feet onto a razor-sharp, unsealed tin can. It went almost through to the top of my foot. The neighbor ran around and got my father who picked me up and carried me into the house. Instantly, mother called a Christian Science practitioner to begin praying for me. She asked my father, who was not a follower of her religion, if he gave his permission which he did. It does sound nearly unbelievable but I felt God's presence, felt no fear, actually felt a cozy, cared-for sense I recall. The foot was washed and wrapped up in cloth. The bleeding stopped almost at once, mother later said. The next day I could put some weight on that foot, which had had not one stitch inserted, no medical attention whatsoever. And I was back in school, walking about normally within three days. Is it any wonder I feel such gratitude for God's healing help as made available to the world through the teachings of Christian Science!

The Discoverer and Founder of my religion points out in the textbook on page 217: "That scientific methods are superior to others, is seen by their effects." I can say Amen to this!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

God has need of you

In talking with a friend yesterday who has sent out what seems to him a thousand resumes with not one response, was understandably thinking, what am I'm going to do for work? This blog post came as a result of our conversation. Hope it helps someone out there. As a friend of mine in the UK has said, God is more interested in our availability than our ability. I like this thought.

And picking up on it, one who is faced with the need for gainful employment can get so focused on getting a call for an interview/ getting a job offer/ getting a salary that he misses out on something essential. Which is, how can I be more useful to God and my fellowman? How can I give? How can I serve?

Two spiritual truths have been of great help to me when one activity ceased and I wasn't sure was the next step was.

In the New Testament our Master says--no, Jesus commands--"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."
This is found in Luke, chapter 6.

And Mary Baker Eddy points out in her Message to her Church, 1901: " assured you can never lack God's outstretched arm so long as you are in His service

The key thing here is getting the "giving", the "serving" part ahead of the "what's in it for me?" part. And God does need you, my friend, to serve Him in so many ways. He truly does, though this may seem too good to be true, especially to someone new to Christ and Christian Science.

If someone is hearing about Christian Science for the first time (and I'm sure people are, the Internet reaching far and wide the way it does) it may be helpful for me to introduce some ideas you may never have thought of. The teachings of this religion ,which was founded to reinstate the words and works of Christ Jesus, bring out that you and I and everyone else actually exist to bear witness to God, our Maker, to reflect Him in everything we do. Further, Christian Science, along with Jesus' teaching that the kingdom of God is already within us, states that we are His loved and needed expression, that our purpose is spiritual; therefore it is always intact. Whatever happens -- or doesn't happen -- in the human scene has no effect on this, if we realize it. This puts greater usefulness and productivity within immediate reach. God needs all of us to express His nature and being, and in fact that's why He created us. Opportunity to lead a fuller and richer life can't really be absent. And once a person realizes this, it causes things to move.

A last thought: I recall somewhere in the Old Testament is a statement to the effect, "Here I am, O Lord: send me". Don't know exactly where this is, but if any of you know, let me know in a comment. But it is the spirit in this that gets results, the willingness to be useful to God in the way He will open up. As that friend puts it, being available for God's use.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Losing fear of loss

In an earlier posting, I said the theme of turning back to God might well be one I would return to time and again, and in a way, this one fills the bill. Feeling awash in gratitude this morning for the infinite number of priceless raindrops--like diamonds to me--in Tennessee which still needs God's largess in this area. want to put down some thoughts about the pervasive fear of loss too many have right now.

Not surprisingly, am hearing from folks across a wide spectrum about the economy, from those in despair all the way to people sober and realizing they need perhaps to be more wise in their spending habits. Those at the panicky end of things, who have already lost a job and are understandably worrried, to those who have been through the wilderness and have learned to look to God alone for good, these comments center on Him as the Giver of all good. It is a hard lesson to learn, turning away from dependence on people, positions, stocks, bonds--you name it. But it does come sooner or later, and it looks like millions are being given the opportunity in these times. Some will be receptive to what I share, and the comments you are inspired to make to help them out.

I can never be grateful enough to God for the words and works of our blessed Master, Christ Jesus, who never relied on anything or anyone but his loving Father, and who said plainly: "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (Sermon on the Mount) And for the teachings of Christian Science, replete with wonderfully strengthening statements of divine truths that have lifted me out of fear of losing something good many times in my life.

In my spiritual journey over many years from turning to a clinging dependence on others, and always thinking, what if so and so doesn't come through, what if I lose this job, to absolutely knowing beyond a doubt that my well-being is in God's hands--bar no human circumstance whatever--I can tell anyone that it can be done. If God, Who is no respecter of persons and is the same loving Father yesterday, today, and forever can do this for me, He can do the same for anyone willing to knuckle down metaphysically and rise to the spiritual level required. The benefits in joy and peace of mind and plenty to bless others with, make the work required well worth it.

Our next-door neighbor said yesterday, if I had one dollar for every leaf I've raked, I'd be rich. One could not count autumn leaves in just one season. Likewise, God's supply is beyond counting, as are the channels He has for directing good to us. I've often thought, if there were not infinite avenues available for His supply to reach us, He could make new ones in an instant.

Probably will come back to this blog and refine, or add thoughts as they come. But I know many of you will want to make your needed contribution in comments, and I look forward to reading what you have to share. Thanks ahead of time, my friends!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Knowledge that heals

In thinking about some of the comments people have made on my "Obedience will cost us", the following comes to thought to share. Speaking for myself (and no doubt countless others around the world), knowing that I have through the teachings of Christian Science a means of gaining some of the spiritual knowledge our Master had and healed by fills me with awe. The conviction I have about this is on solid rock. There have been over the years some downright venomous expressions of feelings against both my religion and its Discoverer and Founder, Mary Baker Eddy. But I'm grateful to God for the strengthening and seasoning in standing up for what has blessed me and mine so enormously.

Came across in my morning reading of Prose Works by our Leader this from "First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany", page 190 where she states:

"Christians who accept our Master as authority, regard his sayings as infallible...Jesus gave his disciples (students) power over all manner of diseases; and the Bible was written in order that all peoples, in all ages, should have the same opportunity to become students of the Christ, Truth, and thus become God-endued with power (knowledge of divine law) and with 'signs following.' Jesus declared that his teaching and practice would remain, even as it did, 'for them also which shall believe on me through their word.' Then, in the name of God, wherefore vilify His prophets to-day who are fulfilling Jesus' prophecy and verifying his last promise, 'Lo, I am with you alway'? It were well for the world if there survived more of the wisdom of Nicodemus of old, who said, 'No man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.'"

Winter dusk

Since some of my regular readers enjoy poems, am putting on this crisp December morning with the stars still out, a poem originally published in a New England poetry magazine, the Aurorean, 1997...

"Winter dusk"

I love December days

When it's nearly dark,

When, eager, I await the hour

To go out in twilight's chill,

Up the big hill,

Then down our long street

To the cul-de-sac

And back.

Deepest-blue sky

Soon turns to black.

What glorious solitude --

Companioned by only

Serene bright host overhead,

And big black dog underfoot.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Obedience will cost us

One thing does seem to lead to another, and just after my most recent posting, began thinking of something along the same lines, namely, that doing what Jesus lays out for us will cost us plenty. If someone says following the Master is easy, then he or she just isn't doing it. It is a hard way, but the only way to go.

Couldn't help recalling an experience I had when we lived in the Boston area. I was working at the Church Center at the time, and was having a difficult time with a supervisor who I felt sure, had it in for me. Made my life not happy. About this time, while reading the Sermon on the Mount came to something that stopped me cold and it is where Jesus talks about forgiveness. I felt the time had come for me to get serious about this. I needed to forgive this person. But I just couldn't. While waiting for the train out to Wellesley, remember walking up and down that platform in actual tears, telling God, ask me to do anything else. But not this! Needless to say, over time I did make the grade, rose to the level I needed to be at spiritually, forgave from my heart. And we ended up friends, and I felt her absence when she retired.

In her article titled "Fidelity" Miscellaneous Writings, page 342, that follower of Christ Jesus, Mary Baker Eddy points out: "Seek Truth, and pursue it. It should cost you something: you are willing to pay for error and receive nothing in return; but if you pay the price of Truth, you shall receive all."

Do I think of myself as having reached land on doing what God required of us through Christ? Not even has land been sighted, in a way. But what a glorious adventure it is with self. And it can bring about healings of physical difficulties.

A case in point: a friend of mine, a former Marine, told me recently that for some time he had a troublesome problem with one arm. Nothing he could do metaphysically through his understanding of Christian Science alleviated the problem totally. Just nagged at him. Then one day he saw in some military publication the name of someone he had served with, who he felt had wronged him terribly. They had quite a blow-up on the ship one day and he had carried hard feelings toward this man. Well, he wrote him a nice letter, asked him for forgiveness for the things he said about him. The man wrote back a nice letter, and the whole thing was erased. The upshot: the impaired arm was made right and he has had no more trouble with it! This shows what conformity to Christ can do for us. There is a cost in putting self aside for obedience to Jesus' commands, but the reward is sure.

Shaking off complacency

In thinking about a comment "Presently...anonymous" made about getting God back into things in the American government, and I do agree, want to say two things this beautiful winter morning: I appreciate the excellent thinking this commenter is doing and it's fine with me if I never know who it is! Blogs are exciting when there is such interaction, and who is making a contribution isn't the important thing, in my view.

Second, if there is anything in this world I am motivated to do it is lead people's thoughts to God through our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. And this includes those of my own religious faith--especially so in too many instances these days. As Jesus says, no man cometh unto the Father but by him. So, my ongoing work is clear. The following lines have come to thought, so will share and hope something in them may offer someone out there something to ponder. Then act on!

"Shaking Off Complacency"

While settled down
with the status quo,
how is a Christian Scientist
really going to grow?

It's not a bad thing
to feel stirred, contrite,
when it's God doing it;
it can get ourselves right.

A self-satisfied Christian
doesn't deserve the name.
Let it not be said of us
that we are the same.

Though the most loving
man that walked the earth,
Jesus would have challenged
us for all we are worth.

Walking along with Him
on some dustry road,
would I have "manned" up,
and taken the goad?

Or have been offended
at the needed jolt,
and walked no more--
choosing instead to bolt?

That we'd have gone
with Him all the way,
we hope we would have,
but cannot truly say.

So, let me give more thought
to walking the Christly walk,
and much less to merely
talking Scriptural talk.

Jesus said the labourers
out there are few.
And one can't do much
while refusing to do.

Of course. the Word must
have believers, yes.
But Christ's work needs
doers, if it is to be done.

Are Jesus' poignanat words less
binding than when spoken?
Don't they need from us assent,
more than just token?