Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How God Does Direct

Recently a blogger in middle England happened to tell me, you are lucky to live in such a beautiful state. And so I am. And in thinking about what we owe to God for His wonderful leadings in life, thought I'd share the following poem, which has been published in a Tennessee state [publication, and in one of my poetry books. One never knows who may be searching for a lovely place to live.

The People of Tennesee

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

We never expected to see
The amazing creativity
Of the people down here.
(I say "down" being we
Came from Boston.)
Such diverse talent!
Behind every rock and tree
(It almost seems)
One is delighted to find
An artist of some kind --
Sculptor, photographer, painter,
Writer, poet, musician, craftsman --
Folks just doing what they
Were born to do,
Or those who get an idea
And just go out and do it.
How can one state have
So many with such ability?
Perhaps it's the air, or the water
Or the gorgeous scenery.
Anyway, if this wasn't enough,
Added to all the productivity
Is the warmth and hospitality
Southerners are noted for.
When all is said, Tennessee
Is sure one nice place to be.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Priceless Knowledge to Have

Sitting here this Sunday afternoon unusually aware of what I owe to the teachings of Christian Science, thought I'd share a poem written years ago and published in my first volume of poetry, "For Love of Christ"...


(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

To longing deep and universal --
"If I could just be free!" --
Is this fact divine and comforting
That all can come to see:
Man is and ever has been in
God -- His perfect child, eternally.
For we are not the slaves
Of influences prenatal or heriditary;
Not helpless before circumstances,
Never under carnal mind curse,
For a year, a day, an hour.
These are truths Christ Jesus knew,
And they gave him wondrous healing power.
This Christly knowledge Science imparts --
Saving knowledge so glorious --
That we're not hemmed in by fleshly starts
But are right now the way He made us.
Fortunate world that there is revealed
Crucial things that all can claim and see,
(Things God has always known)
That now and through all eternity
We are His loved child, His very own --
Immensely blessed and whole and free.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Daughter of the King

There are people in our lives who have blessed us greatly. And one I'm thinking of is a Christian Science practitioner who was of inestimable help in meeting life's challenges. And something he said to me one day when I was in his Boston office telling him my latest tale of woe, I've shared with a friend. This lady would like to write poetry to honor Christ but feels inferior to other people. The following poem resulted from our discussion.

Daughter of the King

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

You say you wish you had the
talent some other people do,
that you feel not confident,
sadly, not able to do.
Take God at His Word;
His tender love includes you.
No need to press your
pretty face to windowpane,
wishing you had the ability
and self-confidence others do.
You are now within the Father's house,
and all the good there belongs to you.
Refuse to doubt: accept with all your heart,
that what the Bible says is true.
God loves to bless His children all.
And all you need to give Him praise,
He can easily give to you.

"...Son, thou art ever with me"
(words so reassuring,
words so true)
"and all that I have is thine."
Christ Jesus

Rejoice! This wondrous truth
is meant for His daughters (and sons),
and let me stress, this means you.
As someone said to me years ago,
"Why, you're a daughter of the King.
Never forget this."
Did this make me sing.
And so, my lovely friend,
express what's in your heart.
Your heavenly Father/King
can help you start.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cathedral of the Trees

Cathedral of the Trees

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

I've had my share
of inspired, holy moments,
worshiping in a church
made of wood and stone.

But I do believe,
on a bench on the edge
of a still and lovely forest,
I am quite near the divine.
I sit here uplifted, all alone --
(except for the One
Who made all this, of course.)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Bonus That Goes With Obedience

A Bonus That Goes With Obedience

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

Let a person actually get down
to business about obeying
anything Christ Jesus requires
and one is going to be tested.
So, get yourself rested
I tell myself,
ready for temptation
to revert to former ways.
No sooner had I taken Jesus' words
in Matthew 12:36 to heart,
(translation to me: do not gossip!)
than along came our neighborhood's
chief tearer of tearing others down,
with the latest juicy bit.
But God be praised, this time around
Satan's bait was resisted;
didn't even want to take part,
kept my comments on topics good.
How grand it felt to escape sin,
and act the way I should.
The strength, of course
was not my own --
it was HIS.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Greed Not Good

Just now read Paul Krugman's excellent column in today's New York Times, and couldn't help thinking about--and being grateful for--words of our Lord and Master, Christ Jesus. As most people around the world know, Krugman is a Nobel prize-winning economist and he continues to point out dangers in the banking industry. Goldman Sachs' back to business as usual, it seems, is the latest worrisome trend.

Anyway, these warning words from our Wayshower seem right to the point. If only mankind would pay attention!

Luke 21:34 is spot on: "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting..."

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What's Between Us and God?

There was Howard's smiling face when we walked into the restaurant we visit regularly. Because of a previous conversation about religion (he's a very sincere Christian man), I was armed with a quotation from the textbook of Christian Science, "Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy. It's from page 332 where she states: "As Paul says, 'there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus'". I handed the piece of paper to him, and said, this may put your mind at ease. We had discussed not having anything between us and our heavenly Father, and we could tell he was misinformed about what Christian Scientists believe about the Discoverer and Founder of our religion.

As we sat there and visited with him (things were slow at that early lunch hour) I felt led to say, "But Howard, think of all the people who have drugs between themselves and God. " We talked about Jackson's demise and his documented way-over-dependence on prescription drugs. I could see Howard was thinking about this aspect of worshipping--not God--but chemical substances.

This is a vast topic and one that could not adequately addressed over lunch. Or even in this blog. But the upshot is, for me, increased appreciation for the teachings of Christian Science that have enabled me to live free of reliance on drugs/pills/medicine for my physical and mental health. I can never thank God enough for that neighbor who spoke to my despairing mother whom doctors had given up on, about what Christian Science might be able to do for her. It did! And I am the beneficiary of what she learned about God's healing power in our lives.

Is living in fear of, what if I can't afford my 14 prescriptions each day, actually living?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Why No Comments Presently

A friend in Seoul asked me, "why are you blocking comments on your blog?" As my readers know, I am reachable via 2 different email addresses when they wish to comment on something I've posted. But this system is working better for me in this way: people who are sympathetic to my activities do not feel constrained to post a favorable comment, to be a cheerleader for me before the world, as it were. And I personally feel freer not being complimented too effusively. Yes, this is true! The rather hostile sentiments that were sometimes posted before I blocked them were not the problem: criticism I'm accustomed to given the work I'm in. Commitment to Christ Jesus and Christian Science does stir some people up, and they will, and have, hit out at me because of it. So, that I can take and even respond to when necessary. But leaving out the sometimes too personal element feels the right step for me, for now. And I can imagine for friends and acquaintances, as well.

As I've said, there are ways to reach me -- or And for those of you who are being in touch, happy to hear from you, always.

The Joy of Blogging

And besides bringing joy personally speaking, I find it's so liberating. To be able to come in here and send off some bit of inspiration or sentiments about this or that current topic is one of the blessings of the Internet, in my view. And commenting on fellow bloggers' offerings in various parts of the world is rewarding, with some new friendships being formed. For years while restricted to being published in the print media (was grateful for the outlet, of course--in most cases, that is), it's the difference between night and day to send out thoughts immediately, as many as I have time and inspiration to get together. And with no one to say, such and such doesn't measure up to our standards.

So topping my list of things to be thankful for today -- blogs. If you don't yet have one of your own, think about getting one. Being free to express what you feel just may expand your horizons more than you imagine.

This Woman I Admire*

(The following is from my book of poems, "Heaven Where We Are" and since new visitors throughout the world are stopping by this site all the time, thought I'd post it below.)

This Woman I Admire*

Rather than just retire,

Her heart on fire

To reach others with

What had set her free

From years of suffering --

God's divine method of healing --

She prayed and toiled, leaned on God,

Wrote down what He revealed.

This lady loved Christ Jesus

More than all the world, she said.

And her lifework to make clear

What he knew about God and man

Has made Christ's words and works

Understandable and potent for me.

*Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder

of Christian Science

Sunday, July 12, 2009


And following right along on that excellent segment with Paul Solman on Jim Lehrer the other night, these thoughts that might offer spiritual light and hope to some reader.


(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

One may have abilities
he would like to share.
He may wish to contibute
to society's welfare.

But he puts aside his aspiration
because he doesn't see the way.
And he just sits around,
waiting for a better day.

Sooner or later we learn
it's too much self blocking good--
keeping us from doing
what we otherwise could.

But putting God's demands first
will produce the needed fruits;
one will find himself serving
in an area that better suits.

When done for Christ's glory,
both he and others gain.
When done unselfishly,
the work he does will remain.

Our forever Master
gives us guideline sure.
It will help any of us
have motivation more pure.

"If any man serve me"
Jesus does assure,
"him will my Father honour"* --
this for frustrated hopes a cure.

We then no longer sabotage
our highest good,
by doing what the tempter
tells us we should.

We're empowered to
put out of thought "me",
and our great King
is honoured increasingly.

*John 12:26

Cutting Through the Gloom

After seeing a segment on the Lehrer News Hour the other evening about former executives trying to find a job and feeling way down about no follow-ups to their efforts, the following lines came to thought. Perhaps some thought therein will give readers in similar circumstances a lift.

Cutting Through the Gloom

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

Nothing cures depression
I have found
like thanking God
for everything around.

When news or who-knows-what
begins to get me down,
I thank Him and my joy
begins to rebound.

And before I know it,
by expressing gratitude,
I find very soon
a whole new attitude.

Giving way to thanks giving
makes the day much brighter;
it lifts mental darkness,
makes the step much lighter.

And more -- being grateful
is infectious I have found.
It can help get someone
else's chin up off the ground.

No wonder Jesus commended
the leper -- that only one
who came back to give God thanks
for all that He had done.

So, whenever you start
feeling downhearted/blue,
begin thanking your Father,
which is only His due.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Living Drug Free

With the wall-to-wall coverage these past few days of Michael Jackson's passing, with accounts of his widespread use of prescription drugs, many have aired their views on society's overuse of drugs to alleviate problems. It is my feeling that far too many people have a near worship of-- not God Almighty--but of pills/medicine/drugs, and certainly rely too heavily on them. Instead of dealing with life's challenges, they just escape through over-dependence on drugs. Easier to just dope themselves up, they mistakenly think. And in Jackson's case (what a sweet, innocent, appealing child he was), the end is so sad. All of this has made me intensely grateful for being able to live my life without thinking, what if I become addicted to drugs?

What enables me to do this? It is having gained some knowledge of spiritual truths that heal. And by spiritual truths I mean the divine laws that Christ Jesus understood and healed by.

I have many friends in the Christian faith who gain inspiration and comfort from Christ Jesus. And certainly I yield to no one in my adoration of Jesus. But how often I have thought, how much better these people would be if they had a practical understanding of the healing power he demonstrated so wonderfully. Their lives would be richer, freer--definitely more healthy in many cases, if they relied on God's healing power instead of a mindless drug.

It is my understanding that the purpose of our Master's unequaled example was not merely to inspire mankind but to show us how to be free from every form of material bondage, physical suffering included. He promised, Verily, veirly, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also" (John 14:12).

This can be accomplished, however, only as one understands the spiritual laws underlying his words and deeds. One would not expect to succeed in applying the laws of mathematics simply by admiring the professor's personality or even his instruction. In like manner, the changeless Principle of Jesus' healing and teaching has to be learned.

This is explained fully and clearly in the textbook of Christian Science, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science. The law of Spirit, God, is available for everyone to learn and use in his daily life. When the spiritual truths are brought into contact with one' particular problem through prayer and purified living -- and it makes no difference whether the problem is physical, financial, emotional, or moral -- the result is the restoration of harmony, healing.

Mrs. Eddy writes: "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 as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation." Then she continues, "Now, as then, these mighty works are not supernatural, but supremely natural." (Science and Health, p. xi)

Further in this book, the author points out: "If drugs are part of God's creation, which (according to the narrative in Genesis) He pronounced good, then drugs canot be poisonous. If He could create drugs intrinsically bad, then they should never be used. If He creates drugs at all and designs them for medical use, why did Jesus not employ them and recommend them for the treatment of disease?" (page 157)

I couldn't recount all the healings I've had through the years by turning to God and relying on His power alone. When challenged by illness--sometimes severe--had I merely felt admiration for Jesus' teachings, this would not have freed me from the problem. But spiritual understanding and application of the scientific, spiritual rules of his teachings have had power to bring a return to health and normalcy. And to think, I haven't had to be afraid of becoming addicted to some prescription.

As I and countless thousands of others have learned, it is possible to live one's life drug free. God be thanked that this is so.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

To Save Someone From Sin

(As most of us here in the US--actually throughout the world probably--can't help being aware, the plight of the Governor of South Carolina is heart-stirring. If a man looks to be in hell, it is Mark Sanford who has suffering etched on his face. And thinking about helping someone who may be strugging with temptation not go into that abyss has produced the following thoughts.)

To Save Someone From Sin

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

Mercies new every morning,

our Bible tells me and you."

And this includes what we need

to help save others, too--

not only in the early hours,

in this needed work we do,

in this very holy,

but noon and night as well.

To help a fellow traveler

not have to enter hell,


we are more than able.

In this saving work divine

we Christ's own are about,

turning to God for know-how,

He is sure to help us out.

That our loving Father wants all

to be saved, there is no doubt.

*Lamentations 3:22, 23