Friday, August 28, 2009

Lights in This World

Lights in This World

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

How inter-connected we
all are, in a sense;
a next-door neighbor from
Brisbane, Australia named Gabby;
a new on-line friend in
Brisbane, Australia with
a family member named Gabby...
And thinking about the world's
citizens and how one we are,
the light that Christ gives
comes stsrongly to thought,
particularly Jesus' words that
"I am the light of the world:
he that followeth after me
shall not walk in darkness,
but shall have the light of life."
(John 8:12)
Picture this, if you will:
an ocean of darkness, and
someone lights one tiny candle.
All that blackness simply
cannot put it out,
which brings me to doing
what you and I do --
working to perpetuate
Christ's teachings.
We may be --
no, we're going to be --
somewhere in this
vast, wonderful world,
a light in someone's darkness.
We can count on it!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Friendship in Christ Jesus

Friendship in Christ Jesus

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

One of life's blessings
has just got to be
knowing others who
love Christ Jesus fervently.

To travel along life's path
with those who love the Word,
those who above all else
want to be worthy of the Lord;

this brings to each day
the joy of realizing that
we're not in the fight alone,
but are allied with those growing

in a desire to be of service
where it matters most;
these friends who yearn to be
filled with the Holy Ghost

that our Saviour's work go on
and increase more and more --
that those in need of Him
may be touched to the core.

These special men and women
we may not in person greet.
But we are united nonetheless,
and in thought and heart do meet.

Monday, August 17, 2009

FYI Readers

Eventually my second blog will be listed under search engines, I would imagine, but for
anyone who wishes to visit same, the address is:

Opened for the primary purpose of sharing poems and thoughts on nature, as well as God's creatures, great and small.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Angel Helpers

An interesting experience this morning while sitting outside with one of our dogs, enjoying the soft breeze and the scent of our neighbor's roses wafting in the air. Had the distinct sense that if I turned around, would see someone. A quiet feeling of a benign Presence. In fact, occurred a couple of times this morning. And given all the Scriptures bring out about angels, why should we not have this lovely feeling of being surrounded by invisible helpers? And though I had a solid experience of this while living in another city years ago, haven't spoken of it much. But did put it in my book, "And Angels Smile". Am giving it below for whatever help it may give some reader somewhere in the world.

Walking Down Huntington Avenue
(Boston, Massachusetts)

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

That angels can take the form of men,
I can attest.
For one day such a Being
Walked along with me.
It was some years ago now,
But as real and tangible
As you are, dear reader.
Whether male or female
I couldn't say.
But immensely tall and powerful it was.
Yet oh so gentle and reassuring.
And what others have said
About that dazzling white is true.
For its garment I could see
Out of the corner of my eye
As the angel walked behind my
Left shoulder -- the whitest white
I had ever seen.
What did it mean? Was I in danger?
I still do not know.
Perhaps someday I shall.
But that angels do appear as men
Is indisputably true.
Angels looked after Jesus.
And they take care of me and you.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Christ's Followers And Dignity

Was talking with someone this morning, and do I dare say it, a fellow student of Christian Science who mentally checked out on me when it came to meaty issues--namely the need to put Christ Jesus in first place in our lives, let Christ have the limelight and not be pushed off the stage by other things. I hung up the phone, reflecting on this. The following lines seem to me to bear on this vital topic, and are shared for what they may be worth to someone out there in cyberspace.

Christ's Followers And Dignity

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

Sometimes, not always, I can see
we walk a very fine line
when dealing with those
uninterested in things divine.

While we would crawl in the dirt,
or gladly mop the floor
for the Master we're devoted to,
groveling Jesus would deplore.

This is not to say we
loving our neighbor neglect.
But Christ empowers His servants
to keep their self-respect.

How often when dealing with mankind,
we hear God clearly say,
thus far and no farther; are to stay.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Blog Worth Checking Out

When one runs across a website dealing with Christian Science topics, and finds to his (in my case, her) delight, that it is unusually well-written, deeply thoughtful, and faithful to the teachings of the Bible and the writings of our Leader, it is something one wants to recommend to other searchers after inspiration and support.

This blog is read by people all over the world--I'm blessed that this is so--and you folks have a treat in store with the essays being posted on the blog I'm recommending for your perusal. The name is "The Broken Net" and it is get-at-able under most search engines. You don't even need to put quotations in the title, I have found. Or you may use this address:

This blogger is obviously a serious follower of our dear Master, Christ Jesus, as well as a committed Christian Scientist who is trying to do two things, in my view: help others demonstate God's all-power as Jesus did, and wake up the Field so that one not end up in a "state of semi-individuality, with a mental haziness which admits of no intellectual culture or spiritual growth." This is found in Prose Works, The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany by Mary Baker Eddy.

(To my Readers: As you will have noticed, I've decided to reinstate comments, subject to moderation. Will see how this works out for us all.)

Friday, August 7, 2009

A New Life, Starting Now

Just received a letter from a prisoner in Georgia who got my address from the Journal. He told me a bit about what caused him to be incarcerated and his desire to learn more of Christian Science. Am sending him a copy of a poem from one of my books, And Angels Smile. Thought I'd share it with my readers out there in cyberspace as well.

A New Life, Starting Now

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

You've done bad things;

You were seduced by the world,

And you're sorry you let yourself be.

But don't despair:

It's not too late for you.

You can begin again,

Wipe your slate clean.

Say to God right now,

And in your heart mean,

From this time on,

I intend to live my life

To honor Your Holy Son.

And look what awaits you:

"If any man be in Christ,

He is a new creature."

(II Cor. 5:17)

"Any man, the Bible says.

And that my friend --

Now right with God --

Covers you.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Safe--Wherever We Happen To Be

An acquaintance in Europe recently asked, "Don't you feel you're living in the wild west these days?" Given the news about all the gun deaths here in the US, it isn't hard to see how many can think this.

Which brings me to the point of this blog post: feeling, and being, safe no matter what the circumstances may be. It is comforting to learn we don't have to live with uneasiness, insecurity. We don't have to give in to fear for our well-being, for the well-being of those we love. Why is this? Because there is a reliable source of protection, and that is understanding God's ever-presence and man's inseparability from God.

For centuries, men and women in dangerous situations have turned to the Bible for promises of God's care. For example, Psalm 139 declares God's unbounded "everywhereness": "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me" (verses 7-10). And here's another promise: "The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders" (Deut. 33:12).

Of course, the five physical senses report that we're not always sheltered in God's care, that we can find ourselves somewhere He is not. But to mankind's everlasting benefit, Christ Jesus showed that this is not the case. Example: an angry mob once led him to the top of a hill with the violent intent of throwing him off. "But he passing through the midst of them sent his way," we read in Luke.

"But this is Jesus you're talking about!' someone may be thinking. "Little wonder he was able to escape harm!" Nonetheless, what our Lord and Master knew and proved of God and man, any one can discern, understand, and put to daily use.

Christian Science has helped me through the years do this. Following are just some of the truths one discovers from its teachings:

--Man is spiritual, the beloved child of his Maker, divine Mind, never for a moment separated from God's all-encompassing care.

--God is the only power, the all-wise, all-directing and all-seeing divine Mind. You and I (and everyone else in the world) are actually God's offspring, and so we must all continuously reflect His control.

--Our heavenly Father maintains us in perfect relation to Himself. And to each other. Knowing this helps us stay out of the range of accident or conflict, and in fact, it helps prevent such situations. As stars fixed in their courses move harmoniously, so the ideas of God, Spirit, move harmoniously in His orbits. God's orbits are spiritual, as are the movements of His ideas.

As Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (page 522): "Existence, separate from divinity, Science explains as impossible."

It's a wonderful thing to realize that we can't be out of God's presence, and so are safe--wherever we happen to be.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Some Thoughts on the Gates/Crowley Flap

By now most people are aware of the White House "summit" to defuse the tension between black Harvard professor, Henry Louise Gates and the white Boston policeman, Sergeant James Crowley. What transpired in their meeting isn't really known--at least by me--nor do I know all that the two said to each other on that unfortunate night a couple of weeks ago. But at minimum, there may well have been rude behaviour on the part of both men. And this episode has caused me to think about dealing with such circumstances, with which I've had some practice. I've been on the receiving end of rude comments and actions. And I've certainly have been on the sending end of same. Not to my credit, of course.

But the purpose of this blog is to say how thankful I am to have Christ Jesus' injunctions come to thought at times like these and defuse potentially explosive situations. Replacing a I'm-going-to-settle-this-right-now attitude with peacemaking isn't always easy. Initially satisfying to try to handle things oneself, but that's not what God requires. And for the earnest follower of Jesus' teachings, there is only way to go. No one can say the Christian warfare is not glorious.

One experience comes to mind. When we lived in New England, had to deal with lots of snow. We didn't mind shoveling. But after having cleaned up our long driveway, thinking we were through for the day or the night, our next-door neighbor would finish his driveway by flipping snow at the end of ours! Unnecessary work for us, and a thoughtless thing to do. At first, we tried marching next door and confronting the neighbor. This did not work. It only made things worse and finally got to a stalemate. Both sides were disgruntled. Not that either party was going to have the handcuffs slapped on, but something obviously had to be done since there was going to be plenty more snow to dispose of.

Being students of the Bible and of Christian Science, both my husband and I began doing serious praying about this. Can't say precisely what truths he worked with, but learning over many years my Christian duty to love one's neighbor, and practicing that whenever possible, gave me spiritual strength. Jesus' response to persecution was especially helpful--"Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not" (I Peter 2:23). This kept me from going next door or phoning the man once again.

And in the textbook of Christian Science was this helpful statement: "When we realize that there is one Mind, the divine law of loving our neighbor as ourselves is unfolded; where a belief in many ruling minds hinders man's normal drift towards the one Mind, one God, and leads human thought into opposite channels where selfishness reigns." (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 205)

Praying from the standpoint that the one Mind was governing and loving all, and that this was the intelligence we all reflected, began turning things around. Pleasant words were exchanged when we met. The neighbor stopped piling snow on our property. And believe it or not, we actually found ourselves offering to help him shovel!

In the long--and the short--run, dealing with discord Jesus' way is better. And it works.