Monday, March 30, 2009

Bringing God into the Picture

"Bringing God into the Picture"

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

"Would you comment on
some poems I've written?"
yesterday asked a friend,
a man in our neighborhood.
I said I would.
Upon reading through several,
this thought stood out:
such beauty all around us,
but from whence this man wondered?
Aha! Do I an opportunity spy
to lead thought to the Creator,
Who, as most of us feel,
is responsible for earth's loveliness?
Backing this up, so many Bible statements,
like this one from Psalms 24:1 --
"The earth is the Lord's,
and the fulness thereof."
So, in my notations,
a connnecting of the dots, gently,
to give this budding poet
something to think about --
to bring God into the picture,
where He rightfully needs to be.
Truly can He make use of anything,
that glory may redound to Himself.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"If the Son therefore shall make you free..."

These words are those of Christ Jesus, as many of you will recognize. And they are found in John 8:36. And they are inspiring this entry. I owe to the teachings of the Science of Christ, Christian Science, lasting gratitude for many reasons. But one I'm thinking of right now is the way it frees us from relationships, from alliances, from mental influences, that are not for our good.

I could cite several examples of the way turning more and more to God, the one divine Mind, for guidance in all aspects of our lives, develops in us a discriminating consciousness. But the one that stands out involves an individual in my neighborhood. While well meaning, this lady became rather willful in deciding what I would do, and not do. The Discoverer and Founder of my religion points out in her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "Will-power may infringe the rights of man." One will find this on page 144. And certainly, if we allow ourselves to be drawn unnecessarily into someone else's mental orbit, it can play havoc with our harmony and peace. Our thinking belongs to us. It is our divine right to be controlled by God, and not individuals. As I have learned, we do not want others to interfere with God's government of our lives. Too much depends on our being attuned to our Father and what He sees is best for us

For those of you reading this blog for the first time, who are not acquainted with what Christian Science teaches about our relationship to God, the one Mind, the following might be enlightening and helpful to you:

It is sublime to think about, and it is divine fact, that God is actually our Mind and that we therefore include, as His expression, the unfoldment of all we need to stay free of adverse mental influences coming at us. It's our privilege to prove that no matter how subtle or compelling the mental force might claim to be, nothing can come between us and God. Our clear realization of this truth individualizes deific power in our lives.

You and I can learn to handle evil mental influences with increasing assurance, because we are really one with the all-knowing and always-directing Mind. Thus God's voice can be heard at all times, in any place, under any circumstance.

Growing rapport with God, good, brings us more of the remarkable ability Christ Jesus had to discern errors' claims, yet not be affected by them. Commenting on the Master's healing of the woman with an issue of blood, Mrs. Eddy says in "Unity of Good", "When Jesus turned and said, 'Who hath touched me?' he must have felt the influence of the woman's thought; for it is written that he felt that 'virtue had gone out of him.' His pure consciousness was discriminating, and rendered this infallible verdict; but he neither held her error by affinity nor by infirmity, for it was detected and dismissed."

I have found this so helpful in showing me that I should not be either fascinated with adverse mental influences trying to come at me, nor be fearful of them, either of which would render me spiritually undefended, weak. Neither "affinity nor infirmity."

Will an individual who possesses a strong mentality that may be at variance with ours always step back gracefully? No, they won't. Sometimes they will try to keep a hold on us, either through personal fascination or habit. Or, as I have discovered, a desire to turn one from Christian Science. Yes, this does happen, more than one might think. It may be hidden for a long while, but the real agenda does come to light when our desire is to follow in Jesus' footsteps and be as obedient to God's leading as we can. And we cherish prayerfully the Christ, Truth revealed to mankind by Mary Baker Eddy. God does adjust the human situation in the most amazing ways, and I cannot thank Him enough for His intervention along these lines.

The sublime words of our great Master, the divine teachings of Christian Science, are far too precious to not defend and perpetuate. Not only for us, but for millions in need of the freedom Christ alone can give.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Shun Self-pity

(Am posting a poem written expressly for the Internet a few months back in the hopes that it will give a lift to those who are struggling with depression and despair. My heart goes out to those who are finding life tough these days, and are sinking into self-pity. But we followers of Jesus have learned life is no picnic at times, and I tell myself, do not ever forget all those saintly souls who have trod the path before us, who endured far worse than anything we're liable to encounter. So, the following poem...)

"Shun Self-pity"

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

If discouragement and self-pity
were from our heavenly Father,
we would do the best
we could with it,
and grow stronger thereby.
But it isn't from God;
it's from the devil,
and while we're wallowing in it,
and wallowing is not too strong a word,
(picture yourself doing this --
dignified isn't it?)
we're lost in self,
and can't be about our work
of loving and helping others.
Remember this:
it isn't primarily us evil is after;
it's to interfere with Christ
working in us to bless others.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yes, Mary Baker Eddy loved Jesus

With a desire to acknowledge what Mary Baker Eddy's Discovery, Christian Science, has done for me in making Christ Jesus' words and works practical/provable, and to tell the world up front that this remarkable woman did love Christ Jesus, (some people have a misconception about this key fact), I have included in a book of poetry a tribute to this God-inspired woman. Further, have been sending copies of this book to libraries all over the world, as a means of making this clear.

Much has evolved over the past several months in this regard. Doors do open when one's desire is to honor God's holy child, and to express gratitude for the religion that most honors Christ Jesus. To backtrack a bit, was inspired years ago by Andrew Carnegie's great work of funding free public libraries all over the world, and decided that helping libraries would be a worthwhile project for me. (On a vastly smaller scale, to be sure.) And hundreds of copies of my books of poetry have been donated to libraries throughout the US and in many foreign countries.

Letters, accepting "Heaven where we are" for their permanent collections, which contains the poem dedicated to our Leader, have been received from the following foreign places:

London, England
Cardiff, Wales
Dublin, Ireland
Inverness, Scotland
Budapest, Hungary
Warsaw, Poland
Hong Kong
Seoul, South Korea
Fort Saskatchewan, Canada
Paris, France
Tokyo, Japan
Valleta, Malta
Nicosia, Cypress
Bogota, Colombia
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Islamabad, Pakistan
Melbourne, Australia
Beijing, China
Copenhagen, Denmark
Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia
Edinburgh, Scotland
Windhoek, Namibia
Aberdeen, Scotland
Raratonga, Cook Islands
Limerick, Ireland
Beijing, China
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Dundee, Scotland
Bridgetown, Barbados
Manilla, the Philippines
Lisbon, Portugal
Riga, Latvia
Shanghai, China
Nanjing, China
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

And I expect to hear from more libraries. And to think that some receptive individual, in one of these places, may read this poem to our Leader, wonder who this woman is, investigate, and be led to her masterwork, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures". And find Christ-healing as I have done!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Supply Recession/Depression (anything)- proof

You know how it is with me. Something triggers inspiration and off I go with another blog post. What caused it this morning was reading our Master's assurance in the Sermon on the Mount where he says: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." I said to myself, how true this is. I have experienced Jesus' promise over the years, and I know other Christian Scientists have. But what I'm primarily interested in with this blog post is reaching out to those who will be coming across this blog for the first time, who are not yet acquainted with what our religion brings out about supply. To this end, I invite y'all (I do live in the south!) to contribute proofs you have had of God's unfailing supply--whatever the up and down economic cycles may be, or have been.

Way back in October, I think it was, posted a blog entry on our Father's supply being recession-proof. And in it, I quoted something the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science stated, which I feel is worth reiterating for anyone who may have missed it. This includes students of her teachings, as well as newcomers to the divine metaphysics which underpinned Jesus' demonstrations, and which Christian Science brings to light.

In the book We knew Mary Baker Eddy, one of Mrs. Eddy's pupils recalled a discussion in which she said: "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." (p. 134).

Now, of course, this does not mean that God's hands are full of money but that His goodness is inexhaustible. It means that God has made man in His image and likeness and loves His creation and gives us all good. It points to the unchanging spiritual fact that you and I don't have to live with nagging fear or insufficient income, since we have a loving Father whose care for His offspring is all-encompassing and eternally sure.

What dawned on me this morning more clearly than ever before was this: it is actually a sin to believe in lack. It dishonors God when we make a god out of limitation. It flies in the face of all our Lord and Savior came to prove for us, of all he taught and made clear we are to believe without equivocation, without any doubt whatsoever. Yes, I know someone will say, it may be easy for you to say this. Perhaps you haven't just lost your job or your house, or much of your 401k account. Still, despite feeling like we're swimming upstream with millions of fishes coming down when we hold to divine facts about God and man, still they are the eternal truth. They worked in Jesus' time. And they produce results in ours. I have proved this. I know many others of you have done likewise.

Let me bring out something that will seem revolutionary to someone new to the teachings of Christian Science but is full of practical help and encouragement. Our experience is actually mental and what we hold in thought habitually does shape our human experience. Equipped with the divine truths Jesus knew and proved, equipped with the the teachings of divine Science, one holds salvation in the palm of his hand, so to speak. It isn't a matter of going anywhere to find better conditions, not primarily. It is lifting thought to behold divine reality, seeing what God has and man has through reflection. As someone once put it, with elevated spiritual understanding, you can demonstrate supply right where you are sitting or standing. A spiritually illumined consciousness is going to be manifested in improved human conditions. Actually, Christian Science does not create supply; it reveals it. It is already ours, as the Master's words make plain: "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is withi you." (Luke 17:20, 21)

Again, I invite you to contribute whatever God inspires you to say. There are people who will be reading this who really need your proofs that His supply is independent of whatever is going on the world today.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Guest Column - "The Ark"

(This is written by a dear friend of ours in Arizona--a faithful follower of Christ and Christian Science--who thought it might be helpful to many of you readers.)

There is a new computer tool available for serious students of Christian Science who wish to "mine" the early periodicals called "The Ark." The program is produced by It is a computerized reproduction of the Christian Science Journals from 1883 to 1922 (vols.1-40). The Christian Science Sentinels from 1898 to 1922 (vols. 1-25) and The Christian Science Quarterly from 1905 to 1922 (vols. 15-33). All the articles are public domain material and can be copied or used in any manner desired. The software is contained on a portable USB falsh drive which can be inserted into a computer's USB port (USB 2.0 preferred but supports USB 1.0) and installs easily on either a PC or MAC platform. The material is an exact reproduction of the actual volumes. Journal and Sentinel volumes can be searched by keywords including title and author. You can print the articles or selections for convenient study or you can e-mail them to friends. The Quarterlies are exact reproductions including the text of Golden Text and Responsive Readings with citations only for the body of the Lesson Sermon. (Citations can of course be typed into Concord for a full-text printout if desired.)

Purchase of the program includes authorization to use the program from the anywhere in the world. The program is available through Longyear Museum with a retail price of $250.00. Our copy arrived yesterday (3-12-09) and was easily installed in just minutes, including registration at the The User Guide is very complete and well laid out. We were able to use the program immediately to look up both specific articles as well as to search for particular authors. We easily e-mailed an article to ourselves and printed it out. Printing directly from the program is easy as well.

It appears The Ark will be invaluable in searching and studying the early periodicals and is highly recommended for any serious student.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Turning back to God, 2009

Just read a column by Frank Rich in the Sunday New York Times and it has sparked this blog post. It quoted the well-respected concentration camp survivor, Elie Wiesel who lost millions to Bernie Madoff, as saying, "We thought he was God." Note the capital "G". In case any of you do not recall who Madoff is, he's the man who ran the Ponzi scheme that raked in billions from trusting investors, which he never even invested. Trusting him speaks to precisely the mistake of millions who have been putting something else in the place God should--and it gets clearer and clearer--must occupy with us.

I raised some of these issues last year in this blog on the need to turn back to God/get first things first/heed Jesus' words on excess/build on rock instead of sand. One can think of all kinds of Biblical quotations--warnings--on the very topic. And I know, with the wonderful response you've just given to "Christian Science--What a Treasure" that you will have comments to make on this timely topic. I can't wait to see what you offer up from your own experience in striving to follow Christ as our Leader followed Christ.

I've chosen the theme of turning back to God--not turning to--purposely as even those who feel they've been apart from God all their lives, and have never turned to Him in the first place, are in fact His offspring, inseparable from Him, though materiality has hidden this from them. The Science of Christ, Christian Science, makes this plain in its teachings. "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" states that Jesus came to reveal our oneness with God and that it is sin--worldliness in all its subtle and tempting phases--which seem to come between a person and His Maker. Thank God, Jesus' teachings as reiterated in Christian Science are the way one may awake to his unbroken relationship with his heavenly Father.

And speaking of Mary Baker Eddy, one cannot leave out the By-law that calls for "wisdom, economy, and brotherly love." There was a time when that was not one of my favorite requirements, I can truthfully report. Like so many people, if pressed to choose between Jesus' God and mammon, I would have veered toward the latter. Had the mistaken notion that existence was about making money and leading the good life. Of course, as it always does if one is sincere in obeying God's commands, the day came when the "serving God" part moved in front of the "getting more mammon" part. And as happens with doing this, life has become more simple, less cluttered with things not needed, happier, freer. So much progress has been made along these lines, I actually see raindrops hanging from tree branches as riches from His hand, like tiny little diamonds to me. Would rather have these than jewels.

Albert Einstein was quoted as saying, "Can anyone imagine Jesus armed with the moneybags of Carnegie?" No, one cannot, and this only points to what should be uppermost, today as never before. And this is leading a life of Christly loving and giving--not getting for oneself.

I will turn this over to you for whatever you have to share on the vital topic of turning back to God in this what is bound to be momentous, course-correcting year.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Christ Alive in Us

I realize most of you aren't into poetry--at least not mine!--but I am (smiley face here) so since it's my blog, just have to send out a poem now and then to honor my Hero.

Christ Alive in Us

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

One doesn't need a weatherman
to know which way the wind blows;
when he comes across someone
who has Christ at the center,
he knows, oh how he knows.
And tell me it isn't a thrill
to find those like-minded.
But still,
the thing that drives us
is not solely to reach those
who already feel as we do--
though getting to live
for Him is wonderful--
but to so conduct our lives
that others may wonder,
what causes that person
to be radiating such
joy and lovingkindess?
And when they ask,
to be able to say,
what blesses us greatly--
to be this very day
that city set on a hill
that Jesus talks about,
which cannot be hid,
and just may cause one
to seek things higher,
ending up with a heart
for our great King on fire.
Can you think of anything
in this world more glorious?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Christian Science -- What a Treasure

What better way to start off a new month of blogging (and commenting) than to offer up praise to God for Christian Science. Life holds many treasures for most of us, and the greatest to me is an increasing sense of God's all-power and everpresence that my religion makes possible to anyone. Were I to enumerate all the ways God has blessed me and those I know, would take more time than I have, and more time than you have to read about it.

It goes without saying, there have been for me personally a multitude of healings--physical, emotional, financial from my study of the teachings of Christian Science. But what I value most is knowing that Mary Baker Eddy's great discovery was that of the truths our Master knew and practiced over 2,000 years ago. And to think these truths about God and man are accessible to us right now--that anyone can learn to trust the Saviour's promises as explained in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy.

Was reading only yesterday these words from her "Message to The Mother Church for 1900" where she states: "It should seem rational that the only perfect religion is divine Science, Christianity as taught by our great Master; that which leaves the beaten path of human doctrines and is the truth of God, and of man and the universe. The divine Principle and rules of this Christianity being demonstrable, they are undeniable; and they must be found final, absolute, and eternal."

It has occurred to me that contributions from you, dear readers, on just how Christian Science has made a difference in your life, have much potential for blessing the world. That we have this means of sending into cyberspace our inspired thoughts/accounts of healing/comments on so tremendous a topic is cause for rejoicing. And I invite you who love to support this blog and are so good at participating in its mission, to share away. I know from past experience with individuals who have come across this blog and learned of Christian Science for the first time that many out there are going to be blessed. It is, of course, up to God to send our messages where they will be best received, being that He is in charge of this enterprise. But our omnipotent and omnipresent Father can do it. And to think that you and I will be working for and with Him!

I will await all the wonderful things you have to say to those who want to know what Jesus knew about God and man and the universe!