Saturday, September 26, 2009

Our Master An Afterthought?!

Didn't think I'd have anything to blog about today, but seems I do.  In contrast to the heartwarming conversation I had with someone yesterday morning, an afternoon phone call brought something quite different.  Was talking to a long-time Journal-listed Christian Science practitioner about things religious and the challenges our world faces today whereupon at the close, I fell silent for a moment.  In the context of what we were talking about, something was missing.  She and I have been friends long enough, that very quickly she realized why the pause on my part, and added, "Oh, and Christ Jesus" ! 

As  sad for her as I felt, it was clear she gave a nod to our Lord and Saviour only because she was talking with me.  Just wasn't in her heart or thought.  Did I say anything?  No, because it could well be I have not presented Christ winningly enough (probably the case).  Or she is just not feeling the need to take Jesus seriously yet. 

So, in such cases, one just moves on doing what one must do.  I couldn't help thinking about the dear friends I have who are devoted Christians who, if I were to say, "Now, don't leave Christ Jesus out of things" would be supremely insulted.  When someone has love for God's Holy Child uppermost, it speaks loud and clear, even if there are no words.  God be praised there are such as these.

Could end this posting with so many strong statements from the Bible and from the teachings of Christian Science.  But will just say, for those who read this and may be at a pivotal, receptive point in their lives, consider this soberly:  our Master cannot be just tacked on, cannot be merely an afterthought.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Our Attitude Toward Jesus

It is always deeply rewarding to hear from someone we are helping in matters spiritual, to get the news
I just got!  I mentioned a friend who is yearning to feel God's love more.  Well, this earnest Christian Scientist just told me, "I have a new attitude toward Jesus.  I feel more progress than I've felt in a long time." Such a joy for me to hear, and for this person to be experiencing.

Whereupon I shared something I came across years ago, written by a British Bible writer and commentator,
I guess one would describe David Lloyd-Jones.  He was focusing on the Sermon on the Mount and he wrote substantially:  if you want to experience spiritual TNT in your life (he was writing years ago), then want to obey something you read in these sublime teachings, begin doing just something Christ says to do.  You will see changes you cannot imagine right now.   You will be tapping into awesome power.  And the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, certainly stressed the power of these "sublime" teachings in her statement that this Sermon read each Sunday from the pulpit and lived during the week would be enough for Christian practice, in her opinion.

In my humble way, I can attest to the truth of what these authorsl have stated.  Even the desire to carry out God's requirements,  followed by the smallest effort on our part, will begin transforming any one's life.   This constitutes a divine adventure that only gets better and better--for the genuine student of Christian Science who has the deepest reverence for Christ Jesus.  And for those who don't yet have the attitude toward the Master they need to adopt as soon as possible.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

On Not Grieving Our Father

Picture this, I said to a friend who so wants to feel God's presence more in his life, really wants to feel himself a loved child of God: when I was a little girl, was fortunate in having a daddy who loved me and to the best of his limited income, met the needs of his family. Now, what if I had doubted this love, felt he wasn't to be trusted to take care of me, turned aside to others when I had a problem.  Can you imagine how this would have grieved my human father?

And yet, when we doubt Jesus' assurances of our heavenly Father's love for us, it is much like this. To reject our Saviour's teachings as passe is a slap in our Father's face, is it not? How can we please God when we are, in effect, turning our back on Him by dismissing the glorious promises He gave to His Son to give to us? I read once that God is not going to force Himself upon us, that we have to be willing to turn to Him for all the blessings He awaits to pour out on us. And how do these infinite blessings come to us? Only through taking Christ at His word, only through accepting wholeheartedly what Jesus came to reveal to mankind.

And this leads to an all-important point: we have to accept that God's love applies to us individually.  We have to believe that God's love covers us, covers you and me--not just people generally.  I well recall when it finally dawned on me that all the wonderful statements I had read for years about God's love and care covered me.  I had just come out of a phonebooth in Wellesley, MA from calling to see if my husband's plane was on time, to meet him at the train station when like a thunderclap, I saw:  why these promises mean me!  God really will help me.  I am worthy of His help -- me, myself and I.  Of course, words can't describe what that felt like, but I wanted to skip down the street with the joy of it all.

Life has not been the same after this, and I would say to any person reading this:  keep at it until the same heavenly sense dawns on you.  It will bring blessings you can only imagine. Some things have to be taken on faith, because of Who it is that said it.  And if the Father's love for you  is one of them, take Jesus' words on faith until they light up your life.  God has made it crystal clear through His beloved Son whom He wants us to heed.

A New Phase

Have been thinking since my posting yesterday, and it feels to me that this blog is entering a new phase--one in which customary comments from you are not quite appropriate. Why is this? Because I may well be writing things that are better discussed one on one, as in privately between us. Not that topics have not been serious before. But what is coming feels different to me.

The beauty of having a blog like this is that it frees me to go full speed ahead with encouraging all who read this blog--whether followers of my religion or not -- to believe what Christ Jesus said applies to themselves.

So, go to my next posting for an interesting conversation I just had with a student of Christian Science...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A King That Loves Us!

I really really don't know how this is going to turn out, but it must be shared. It will no doubt have to be gone over many times, but the key thing for me always is when I am inspired by some spiritual insight, to get it out quickly.

As the title indicates, I've been thinking about the King of the Universe, our heavenly Father, God. An earlier blog post spoke to this topic when I described a visit I had with a wonderful Christian Science practitioner in Boston, at a low point in my life. As I left his office, he said, "Never forget, you are the daughter of the King." Of course, at that time it went primarily past me, but I did think about it later. It began to take on force.

And more recently, when I received a lovely, gracious reply to a book I mailed abroad -- from her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II -- I've been pondering this a lot. We had been delighted with the PBS series on life at Buckingham Palace, especially the scenes of this most admirable lady with her adorable little Corgis, and I had written her about this. I couldn't help thinking about being children of someone who could, and no doubt does, give her children all good things. I expounded on this in my thinking to reflect on Whose children we are--the King of Kings. Naturally, the infinite blessings that accrue to us because we are God's offspring, we all know. Or should know. But only last evening, the most marvelous insight dawned: that not only are we sons and daughters of the King; this King loves us! Words cannot do justice to what this is making me feel. It is, to me, the whole ballgame.

To go back as a student of Christian Science for many years, I along with too many others, have agreed with the statements of truth that my religion brings out. Uplifting, healing truths about our oneness with God, good. And I've had so many proofs of what this spiritual understanding (in the small degree I have of it) can do for any person. But there was always something missing, and that was that I myself felt really loved of God. I knew intellectually I must be, but just didn't feel it sufficiently. And problems of course arose from this insufficent sense of His everpresent love, this lack of conviction of what Jesus stated.

Now what I'm going to address will prove stirring to many of my readers. But it must be said. And as many who are not Christian Scientists can attest, their own religion probably has many who are not taking Jesus at His word, who do not believe the eternal things He brought out about God's love for us, about God being willing to give us the kingdom. And this doubt of our Lord and Saviour, this considering rather obsolete what He came to teach us, has caused great suffering. As well it should.

But right now, I am focusing on followers of my own religion, too many of whom are just not getting the blessings and healings they should from Christian Science. I, for some time now, have been coming to a clear grasp of why this is so. Just the other day, someone I am helping in the practice said she had never once in her life felt God's love for her. This almost shocked me. But sadly, think of how many could say the same thing.

If what I've written here causes even one of you out there to get Christ Jesus back in first place where He belongs, then mission accomplished. I will post something here that will not be pleasant to some of you, but here goes. After all, it is my blog. Samuel Greenwood, one of the most sublime writers on Christian Science I have ever encountered (next to its Discoverer and Founder of course), said in an earlier address: "I think Christian Scientists need to be on guard, lest they let their thought of Jesus slip into the background. It is a fatal mistake to relegate Jesus to a secondary place, in the divine plan of human salvation. Christian Science is not another kind of Christianity; it is the same one."

This man whose writings all glow with love for Jesus, began the study of Christian Science in Canada at the end of the 19th century when he was almost blind from a problem. He was an accountant and had to leave his work because of failing eyesight. He sat for years in a mainly darkened room. One day, a neighbor told him about Mary Baker Eddy's book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures", the reading and pondering of which was healing many. He got the book, read it with what little sight he had left and was marvelously healed. He couldn't do enough to help others find the freedom he had found. He began a little church there in Victoria, became a practitioner and teacher and wrote a multitude of wonderful articles that are blessing many to this day.

Now, to close this, two things: Believe Jesus' promises with your whole heart and soul. Feel God's amazing love for you. And as this is going to be controversial I already know, will not post comments on this one. Call me or email with whatever you wish to air. This will treat as private what will be probably very interesting reactions to this.

God bless you all.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Language Universal

(Just reflecting this afternoon on how with love in our hearts, others' hearts are reached--no matter the differences in the languages we speak. Hope this poem captures some of what I was thinking.)

A Language Universal

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

People may not understand
the words we may say.
But with love in our hearts,
they feel, he, he's okay.
(Or she.)

Christian warmth toward others --
what barriers this does span.
It's a language universal
that all instantly understand.

It was the love in Jesus' heart
that made his hearers yearn
to hear more, to follow this man;
that caused them from sin to turn.

So, wherever in this world
I may happen to go or be,
radiating more Christ-love
is the vital work for me.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Loving Our Supposed Enemies

Loving Our Supposed Enemies

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

"Do you really want to be free?"
a Christian Scientist said to me,
upon hearing my tale of woe,
about a fellow worker who tormented me so,
who, I felt sure, got up each day
to place obstacles in my way.

"Of course I do", I finally said.
"Then, 'Love your enemies' can't just be read:
it is for you the only way out."
So this difficult task I set about,
not without many a struggle and tear.
But, quite a change within the year.

Lesson through all this acquired?
Attention to what Jesus says required:
not enough to be Christian only in name.
And by the time her retirement came,
this lady and I were such good friends.

And so, this true story ends.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Poem From a Friend

Was talking to a longtime and dear friend yesterday, John Wellsman, about the practice of Christian Science. He happened to share the following little poem, which I have his permission to share with my readers. A friend gave it to him when he was reading in a church in New Jersey. She didn't know the author, nor do we. But if the one who penned this sees this blog, let us know.

Whatever fears have dimmed the years,

However deep the scars,

to Him thou art as perfect now,

as when He formed the stars.

This is so simple, yet speaks to a powerful truth I have gained from being a student of Christian Science and learning some of what our great Saviour knew about God and man and what I believe Jesus came to show mankind. And what is this? that you and I are God's own child, His very likeness, that we are as perfect and intact now as when He created us. I can attest to more than one healing from understanding and praying from this spiritual standpoint--perfect God and perfect man being the very basis of demonstration in divine Science. And just one statement from "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy has helped me time and again in realizing my freedom from some difficulty:

"The relations of God and man, divine Principle and idea, are indestructible in Science; and Science knows no lapse from nor return to
harmony, but holds the divine order or spiritual law, in which God and all that He creates are perfect and eternal, to have remain unchanged in its eternal history." (pages 470, 471)

The non-Christian Scientists who read my blog may well find this startling, too good to be true. Nevertheless, it is. And God be praised that He is holding us intact in our perfect state, I say.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Our Influential Helper

The tiny saying contained in the fortune cookie had a thought-provoking statement: "The respect and help of influential people will soon be yours." While amusing to read these things sometimes, these words pointed me in the direction of Scriptural truths. It made me thankful for the teachings of the Old and New Testaments. And for the writings of the woman who discovered and founded my religion--Mary Baker Eddy.

Everyone I suspect yearns for a fulfilled, fruitful life in expressing his or her abilities. It is so gratifying to be at work in something that is helping the world be a better place for others. And the beauty of it all is that as God's offspring, we all can enjoy the assistance of an Influential One. In a sense, we are in business with Him, and who could ask for a helper with more know-how and resources?

II Colossians 9 has this marvelous promise which one is wise to take to heart: "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work."

And at the highest possible level, our Lord and Master states in his parable known as the Prodigal Son: "Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine." (Luke 15) We can't desire more than all. And we know that if Jesus said it, it is true--for all time and for every single individual who follows his commands faithfully.

And lastly, I love these words from one of Mrs. Eddy's messages to her church in Boston: " assured you can never lack God's outstretched arm so long as you are in His service."

Isn't it comforting to realize you and I have such a Friend to help us succeed in all right endeavors!