Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Peace Fighters

Peace Fighters

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

If you and I aspire to be

Soldiers of peace and harmony,

We must ask God for and cultivate

A daily watchful humility;

Shun strife and self-assertiveness

When discord's banners we see;

Let Christly love confront the foe,

And show the way to tranquillity.

Living truths Christ Jesus taught

Is waging battles God's own way.

It brings us strength from Him;

Without fail it saves the day.

Keeping peace for Christ's sake,

Keeps evil from having a say;

Potential conflict is averted;

Sin's wages we do not pay.

Friday, June 19, 2009

When We Need Words

When We Need Words

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

Whether comforting a person
who has lost someone dear,
or being asked to write something
that needs to be made clear,

by looking to the Source
of all inspired thought,
we will be led to speak or write
the Christly words we ought.

Speaking to his disciples
Jesus told them one day,
don't worry ahead of time
what you're going to say.
(see Matthew 10:18-20)

Being brought before judges
for His name's sake,
while no doubt daunting,
His counsel did they take.

While neither you nor I
will face anything that dire,
wanting to help where we can
and lift the atmosphere higher,

when we look to God for thoughts,
it will be as Jesus said:
we'll have the words we need;
we will by Mind be led.

Friday, June 12, 2009

"Feed My Lambs"*

"Feed My Lambs"*

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

It wasn't a little lamb
looking back at me just now
as I opened the door to the
garage to put out trash,
but a little masked creature,
very, very hungry.
It (a mother with young to feed?)
had been drawn in by the dogfood,
some of which we piled near
the edge of our woods.
Soon this darling thing came back
and fell upon the food.
With ever-shrinking habitat,
this happens with woodland
creatures more and more.
As satisfying as this
always is, in its way,
to feed an animal in need,
now to food of another kind --
the spiritual nourishment
so many are starved for
(though they may know it not) --
the life-giving Word of God.
What a privilege it is
for us to be doing what
we can to feed His lambs,
to be carrying out Jesus'
charge to Peter.

Our Master's heartfelt plea --
what purpose for you and me.

*John, chapter 21

YOU Are Needed

YOU Are Needed

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

(Written for someone to
Christian Science brand new)

This potentially life-changing
thing I'm going to say.
While you may never have
been told such a thing,
the title of this poem
should make your heart sing.
"Oh, that couldn't apply to me.
It sounds too good to be true."
Oh no it isn't, not at all.
God specifically needs you.
There is so much good
that needs to be done.
And many worthy deeds
can be by you--just one.
Since I don't know
where this poem will go,
let me say again, my friend...
God not only loves you so,
He has need of YOU.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Bold for His Holy Child

Were I not already committed to standing up for Christ Jesus in every way God opens up, I would be now after reading two things: first, the book of Acts, chapter 4 lifted me out of my chair this morning. I had read this before, but never had it affected me with such power. The gist of it to me is that Peter and John, in the most stirring words, are calling on their Master's followers to be bold in his behalf. This has made my day, so inspiring and energizing it was to read.

Then, a few days ago happened to come across something the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "Meekly our Master met the mockery of his unrecognized grandeur." This went right through me, and caused me to say, Ohhhhh! It renewed (if it needed renewing) my resolve to present Jesus' words and works to every man, woman and child his Father and our Father makes available. And that He can and is going to do it, I have not the slightest doubt.

I know there are so-called Christians, and Christian Scientists, who are for accomodation with those who hold other beliefs, even those clearly with no reverence for Christ. It can't be done. It shouldn't be tried. This to me goes against what we are expected to do--be bold for our Saviour. Given all Christ has done, and is doing for mankind, can we not show all-out fervor and devotion?

Regardless of what other religions may believe, we unashamed followers of Jesus agree with what Acts 4 says, that "there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

And Mary Baker Eddy in reiterating I. Timothy states: " 'There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.' " (Science and Health, p. 332)

God forbid that any of us should fail to exhibit boldness for His Holy Child.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Christ's Healing Power

Two things are coming together this morning, and inspiring this blog post. Both center around the book Mary Baker Eddy published in 1875, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures--a book that has meant the world to me in my spiritual progress. A book that has made our Saviour's words and works potent for me, to an increasing degree.

Earlier this week, a friend in Christ, a Baptist lady who began reading this book because of tuning in to my blog, said to me: "All Eddy wrote in her book is full of Christ's power. She wanted more than all else, it seems to me, to let the world know what Christ can do for us." I thought this quite perceptive from someone who has been poring over this book for only a couple of months now.

And yesterday got in the mail the latest book of poetry from a dear friend in Christ, an award-winning poet from the Chicago area (not a Christian Scientist) I met when contributing poems last year to a website. She said more than once, your poetry makes me think of so-and-so (a best-selling televangelist). I didn't go into what I thought about this similarity (to her) because I don't push my religion on anyone. But it did occur to me that perhaps this man has come across Science and Health in his reading. It could be so. At any rate, it just reinforced my everlasting gratitude for Mrs. Eddy's book, and all the wonderful demonstrations of Christ's healing power it has brought to me and so many I know.

As is Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Eddy, I'll say again. For someone out there in cyberspace who is learning of this life-changing volume for the first time, you may obtain one in almost any public library, purchase one from any Christian Science Reading Room, or get ordering info from the Internet. You have no idea what spiritual blessings await you.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

He Can Figure It Out

He Can Figure It Out

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

When life seems a thicket,
and we can't see a way through,
we can look in God's direction.
He always knows what to do.

Can anything that comes up
in our day to day
baffle the Creator of all?
No! He can clear the way.

"In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct thy paths"
we are told in Proverbs 3:6

Doing this can bring solutions
we, unaided, just cannot see.
Then let us, dear Lord,
be turning ever more to Thee.

Being Serpent-Wise

Being Serpent-Wise

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

Wherever a person goes,
whatever he happens to do,
he needs, I find, Jesus' words
to have guidelines true.

In Matthew 1016*, for instance,
Jesus shows his followers how
to intereact with others
in the necessary here and now,

something one does not
always pick up in school,
but absolutely must have
to avoid being a fool.

So easy at times to do
the harmless, loving part.
But exhibit always
a watchful, prudent heart?

This our Master's command
is helping me cultivate,
which how often--obeying--
gave warning before too late.

Learning to listen to God
as dear Jesus always did,
one will less and less find
that his steps have slid.

Essential is the wisdom of our
Father--the One great Mind,
in order to be the greatest
blessing we can to mankind.

*Be ye therefore wise as serpents,
and harmless as doves."

Butterfly Exquisite

Butterfly Exquisite

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

Sitting on bench in
the garden just now,
watching a butterfly
perched on the edge of a
birdbath getting a drink,
made me think.
I couldn't help but marvel
at God's love and care
for something so fragile.
That He does take account
of all that He has made
we know from Jesus'
Sermon on the Mount,
where he speaks of even
the fowls of the air
being provided for.

To our wonderful Father,
awe and praise do soar.

Holding Our Ground

Holding Our Ground

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

This being a soldier of Christ

is not all charging up the hill,

many of us have found.

At times there is nothing

one can do but be still,

hold the ground gained,

until incoming fire has waned;

be like trees in their majestic-ness

that just stand there and take it.

Does not the Bible say,

"Hold that fast which thou hast,

that no man take thy crown?"

(Revelation 3:11)

Doing this, you and I

are doing much.

With Us Everywhere

"With Us Everywhere"

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

"God is with you
in everything you do"* --
words so very true,
meant for me and you;
on a bookmark they are,
a friend sent from afar.
Whether night or day,
at home or when away,
feeling up and cheery,
or down and weary,
a faith-lighted thought this --
that our loving Father is
never apart from us.
Is this not glorious? --
That His care does surround;
His loving arms are around
all those we love,
beside them always, above;
and not only ones we greet,
but those we may never meet--
what would mankind do
is this were not true?
Oh, but it is the case,
which nothing can erase.
God with us -- what a treasure,
comfort beyond all measure.

*Genesis 21:22

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Must-Read

Being a lover of good books, there are many I could recommend. But at the top of my list -- next to the Bible -- is Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. The teachings contained in this unique volume stress that Christ Jesus' life purpose was not only to inspire, but to show how to be free from every form of material bondage, physical suffering included. He promised, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also" (John 14:12).

Thousands upon thousands of readers of Science and Health can attest to this. To their great joy, they've found (and am I one of them) that when the divine facts that Jesus illustrated and practiced are brought into contact with one's fears, beliefs, and attitudes about disease, the result is a change of thought, a spiritualization of thought, a removing of the mental state causing the physical difficulty. The Christian Science textbook explains: "The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus' time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation. Now, as then, these mighty works are not supernatural, but supremely natural" (p. xi).

Take it from me, through the understanding that Christian Science affords, anyone may gain a correct, spiritual view of man as the image of God. One comes to realize that sickness is not any part of our real and only selfhood as made in God's likeness. This spiritual concept of man is basic to scientific Christian healing, and this is why it is helpful to go back time and again to the Bible record that man is made in God's own image (see Genesis 1:26). Accepting the premise that God is perfect Spirit, as the Scriptures teach, (how could we think otherwise?) one recognizes the fact that the creations of Spirit can only be spiritual, perfect. And this is the reality of our being, despite appearances to the contrary.

As I have found, the need in healing is always for a change of mental standpoint. As Science and Health points out: "Mortals must change their ideals in order to improve their models. A sick body is evolved from sick thoughts" (p. 260). Christ Jesus himself emphasized that what we entertain in thought has its effect. He said, "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man" (Matthew 15:11).

The discovery Mary Baker Eddy made, that matter is really a mental phynomenon, was and is revolutionary. Though you may never have considered it in this way before, both the image of disease and its expression in the body are false beliefs about you and me -- not actual conditions. The understanidng of this fact is a potent force in destroying disease.

It is by turning thought from an inharmonious physical condition and turning to God, contemplating our real, spiritual selfhood as His idea, that one is restored to health and well-being. We can thank God for the eternal fact that we are His reflection, the expression of infinite, harmonious Spirit. Being His offspring, we include only those qualities that Spirit imparts -- peace, joy, wholeness, dominion. By abiding in this true consciousness, we see that the fear and suffering which seemed so real have no actual power. Disease is seen for what it is: a misconception, a false state of mortal thought; it has no God-created reality. Since we are inseparable from our heavenly Father, God, our well-being as God's reflection has never been interrupted.

Christ-healing is dependent on the removal of disease beliefs and fears. And it is the activity of the Christ in human consciousness that removes these false beliefs we don't have to put up with. As the divine facts of existence displace mortality's lie in our thought, a more normal, harmonious sense of being inevitably appears.

To yield to God as the only power governing us, is to realize the power of Jesus' words "The kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21). This is where sound health is as well. Intact within you and me right now are unimpaired wellbeing, unchanging God-given harmony, and freedom.

I have experienced this more times in my own life than I can tell you about. And you dear reader of this blog--wherever you may be in the world--can be equally as blessed.