Monday, November 23, 2009

God can solve it

At this season of giving thanks, I especially appreciate what my religion brings out about the allness and oneness of Mind, God and of man as the reflection of this omnipotent, omnipresent Mind.  In so many ways, small as well as in issues of great import, praying from this standpoint has brought solutions to all kinds of daily problems

By turning to God for guidance, by identifying myself as His reflection, realizing that nothing is too hard for Him to figure out, (or too mundane) has enabled me to skip several steps at times and just arrive at the right solution. It can seem almost miraculous sometimes, but there it is.  It has happened time and again.  And experiencing His everpresent know-how and help encourages me to turn more readily to the one Mind when faced with "what do I do now?" when no one is around to help, when I need an answer right away.

The Old Testament has this reassurance many of you will recognize.  "Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee."
(Jeremiah 32:17)

And our blessed Master, Christ Jesus, certainly turned to his Father and our Father in every last thing.  In words the epitome of humility, Jesus said:  "The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works."  And, the woman who discovered and founded Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures that Jesus "claimed no intelligence, action, nor life separate from God."  (page l36)  What a sublime example to look up and strive to emulate.

Without the teachings of Christian Science, would I think of man as the reflection of God, the ever-present, all-knowing Mind?  Would I think of myself in this light?  Would I have the conviction that having no Mind but His I have a constant recourse to God when difficulties arise?  I  can't believe I would.  And so, my heart is filled with gratitude for what my religion has taught me.  I would not want to be without it for the world.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Expect a blessing"... what a wise friend said after I'd come through a hard time.  "You're better off for having passed through the fire."  (You could have fooled me!)  This thought of expecting to be blessed by tribulation was something new.  But I've seen since that what Romans 8:28 says is true, that it does cover me and you.  As Paul put it confidently:  "...all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

So many of us haven't had good handed to us on a silver platter, but when we choose that thing that matters most --  loving and trusting our heavenly Father more, we do emerge from trials with a lasting gain.  To me, it's worth more than gold itself to feel God's presence more, to be turning to Him first when hard-pressed by this or that.  The spiritual (and human) blessings not evident at the time usually, but in retrospect crystal clear.

Mary Baker Eddy (who knew what she was talking about) wrote in her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 4l0:  "Every trial of our faith in God makes us stronger.  The more difficult seems the material condition to be overcome by Spirit, the stronger should be our faith and the purer our love."

A high goal this, but one that can steadily be attained.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What Jesus Says, Goes

(c)  By:  Sharon Slaton Howell

It's a sin for one to doubt
That what the Bible says is true.
You must take Jesus at his word
And believe that all he said
Applies specifically to you.
"Son, thou art ever with me,"
(Words so reassuring, words so true)
"And all that I have is thine"*
Ought to make you rejoice.
These wondrous words,
Among so many others,
Are meant just for you.
For you are God's, His very own,
And all the good He has to give --
Just think about it! --
Now belongs to you.

*Luke 15:31

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Staying Safe

With two house break-ins in our very neighborhood this past week, and seeing all the news reports of people doing bad things, I have naturally been giving a lot of prayer to staying safe.  Not only for those I love, but for everyone.  As a neighbor said, not only do I have to worry about going into a bank these days, but now I'm threatened in my own home?

There are things one can do to stay out of crime's way, I have found.  It is to the wonderful assurances of God's care throughout the Holy Bible as well as the teachings of my religion that I have a growing sense of security and freedom to go about my daily life as usual. 

The first verse of the ninety-first Psalm sets forth a solid basis for security in these comforting words:  "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."  I love that image of having a spiritually secure "secret place" right in God's shadow.  And an understanding of man's spiritual selfhood, a recognition of our unity with God,  man's loving Father, enables us to find that "secret place" and dwell in it.

Jesus' conviction of being inseparable from his Father empowered him to demonstrate his dominion over evil.  This is indicated in his words, recorded in John's Gospel:  "He that sent me is with me; the Fahter hath not left me alone."  And as we follow his example to the best of our ability, we, too, can rely on God's powerful protection.  Jesus showed beyond a doubt that the Father never leaves us alone or unprotected; He keeps us continuously secure in His all-seeing, all-present, all-powerful care.

This isn't to suggest that we can blithely go about our daily activities unmindful of circumstances that would threaten our safety.  We need to obey God's guidance in every aspect of our lives if we're to take the right steps to avoid danger in the first place.  Staying safe involves listening for God's directing right through the day.

And in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures its author Mary Baker Eddy writes:  "The history of Christianity furnishes sublime proofs of the supporting influence and protecting power bestowed on man by his heavenly Father, onmipotent Mind, who gives man faith and undestanding whereby to defend himself, not only from temptation, but from bodily suffering."

Through prayer and Christlike living, we gain the wonderful assurance of being safe--wherever we are.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Albert Schweitzer on Humility

(Along the lines of my previous blog post, want to share some beautiful words on the importance of humility written by Albert Schweitzer.--one of my heroes, next to Christ Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy)

"To content oneself with becoming small:  that is the only salvation and liberation.  To work in the world as such, asking nothing of it, or of man, not even recognition, that is true happiness. There are things which one cannot do without Jesus.  Without Him one cannot attain to that higher innocence--unless we look to Him in the disappointments of life, and seek in Him the strength to be childlike and small in that higher sense. Whoever has gone through the world of smallness has left the empire of this world to enter into the kingdom of God.  He has gone over the border as one goes over the border in a dark forest--without taking note of it.  The way remains the same, the surrounding things the same, and only gradually does he realize that whilst everything is familiar, it is different, that life is the same and yet not the same because of the clarity which lights up in him, and because of the peace and strength which have taken possession of him because he is small and has finished with himself.

L'humilite est la gloire de toutest les vertus."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

To Esteem Others Above Ourselves*

(c)  By:  Sharon Slaton Howell

Real heroes conduct their lives
in the way Jesus would applaud.
Never themselves do they laud,
but turn the conversation
to their buddies, to others,
and what great things
they have done, are doing.
Of such stuff is a friend
of my parents--a WWII vet who
fought on Iwo Jima, battle hot,
yards away when the flag was raised,
and world-famous photo taken;
someone highly decorated, praised.
Does this man ever puff himself up?
A firing squad couldn't make him do it.
Willing to give his all for country,
he very nearly did.
And all these years, his
wonderful deeds he has hid.
(Or tried to, but those he
has helped have not.)
Self-sacrificing, Christ-following,
credit to others he gives out,
and takes none for himself.

there are among us
such as he.

*Phil. 2:3