Friday, March 26, 2010

Guest Column

(Sharon, this is my "stand up". Feel free to add it to your blog...HMB, Connecticut)

Christian Science is a way of Life, for those of us who have relied on its messsage of Love for ourselves and others. No columnist or sense of hatred for good can tear us down. There is no other way to the real essence of existence than what Mary Baker Eddy has revealed through her discovery of Jesus' life, his gift to us and his sonship with his and our Father. This discovery has resulted in healing for multitudes who were seeking good, and it is doing so today, right now. This powerful healing message is here with us now and thoughtless words can never diminish its effect.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Speaking up for Christian Science

Having just finished reading the hatchet job in The Times a Mr. Vitelli did on Christian Science, I owe it to my religion to speak up in its behalf. I would not be here today without the wonderful truths taught me by Christian Science, nor the terrific help I've received from dedicated practitioners through the years.

My mother turned to CS when I was not even in kindergarden when she was healed of a condition that had been with her for many years and doctors (though they tried ) could not give her relief. Does anyone wonder why, after experiencing an instantaneous example of Christ-healing, she turned to the religion she had found help from and brought up her son and daughter in her new faith. All through my childhood years, I was not not even once neglected when physical problems arose. And the healings I had as a child you don't have time to read.

Now, onto something else I just read on-line on some website devoted to former CS's for Christ Jesus (for heaven's sake) by some woman named Kramer. Let me say to this that an unbiased individual who wishes to be fair and just need only turn to Mary Baker Eddy's masterwork, Science andHealth with Key to the Scriptures to the chapter titled, "Atonement and Eucharist" to see what followers of the religion she founded feel about our Lord and Master, Christ Jesus. She has this phrase, "While we adore Jesus..." and believe me all you out there in the world who will be reading this blog post, we do!

Were I to be silent before such mis-information as the two instances related above, the stones would cry out. And I would not be doing what God wants me to do.

A New Life

(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,

I intend to live my life

Doing what Jesus tells us to do.

And look what awaits you:

"If any man be in Christ,

He is a new creature."

(St. Paul's words)

"Any" man the Bible says,

And that my friend --

Now right with God --

Covers you.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The substance of a flower

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

"How do you grow such flowers?"

My neighbors would ask.

I used to say, "feeding and watering?"

Lest they think I'm a bit odd.

But now I come right out and say,

"I talk to them,

Tell them how pretty they look,

How well they're doing."

After all, don't you like a little praise

Every now and then?

But in the final analysis,

It is truly feeling that

It is God Himself who is

The substance of a flower.*

*Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
p. 508, by Mary Baker Eddy

Are we going to do what Jesus says...or not?

A(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

Christ Jesus was not a man
Who went around saying things
Because had nothing better to do!
This being so, we need to
Take him at his every word --
Not do like some people
Who pick and choose
Among his teachings,
People who only use
What they consider
Easier things to do,
Ignoring all the rest.
Let us believe that all
Our Master said is true.
Are we not admonished
To go forth, teaching others
"To observe all things whatsoever
I have commanded you."*
All things.
Let one then acquaint himself
With all our Lord has said,
(If he hasn't already),
Love these sublime sayings,
Trust them, live them.
The outcome cannot
help but be immense.

*Matthew 28:20

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Knowledge that heals

Many people gain inspiration and comfort from contemplating the human personality of Jesus. How much better it is, though, to gain a practical understanding of the Christ, or Truth, he expressed.

The purpose of Jesus' 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, verily, 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. Would we 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's 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.

The first chapter of the Bible states that God created man in His own image and likeness. In accordance with this original, true account of creation, students of Christian Science pray with the understanding that man and the universe are spiritual and perfect, here and now.

In the measure that one is able to see himself and others in this spiritual likeness, he is employing the Master's method, who healed sin, disease, and discord through spiritual means alone. 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 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)

I've experienced more benefits from Christian Science than I have time to relate to you. If I had merely felt admiration or reverence for Christ Jesus' teachings (which I do in great abundance, let it be said), this would not have freed me from difficulties. But spiritual understanding and application of the scientific, spiritual rules of Jesus' teachings have had power to bring a return to normalcy and freedom for me countless times. I believe with all my heart that well-being is normal for every one of us. And the religion I am happy to practice makes this possible for you!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What would Jesus do? (Guest column)

What would Jesus do when...

...confronted by a raging maniac?
even as he did with Legion
he would cast out (deny) the false belief and heal the man.

...caught at sea in a small ship during a violent storm?
even as he did as the ship began to sink, he would acknowledge the harmonious presence of God's protecting power to still the raging waves.

...meeting a man blind from birth?
even as he did do with the man by the wayside,
he would deny the power of sin to cause blindness and heal him.

...seeing a chronically-crippled man or woman?
even as he did do with the man at the pool of Bethesda or the woman "bowed together" eighteen years
he would recognizethat God never made a cripple,and heal them.

...faced with financial lack or famine?
even as he did with the 5,000,
he would recognize God's loving care and feed them.

...all others around saw only death?
even as he did do with the synogogue ruler's daughter or Lazarus,
he would silence all claims of death and recognize the everpresence of Life.

...met by ten lepers?
even as he did do with the ten,
he would recognize the present perfection of the image and likeness of God and heal.

So, you ask, what would Jesus do?
Jesus would heal no matter what the situation.
And what can we, who claim to be his followers, do?
Even as Jesus commanded us, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature", and "these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." (Mark 16:15-18)

By acknowledging Jesus' example, we can do likewise even as he said: "Verily, verily, I say unto you,He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do;because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." (John 14:12,13)

An empty or nebulous promise? I don't think so!
Jesus wouldn't do that to his followers!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Remaining Christlike--No Matter What

Was just talking to a dear friend who lives in Tucson, Arizona and we were quite struck by that Wall Street Journal article I put on my last blog about the son of the Hamas leader who found Christ through a copy of the New Testament a British cabbie gave him. Anyway, we both wondered, since this man probably has to fear for his life so ostracized is he for converting to Christianity, would we take that stand for what we believe. We agreed probably wouldn't have any choice and would have to take whatever came along.

This conversation led me to recall something so uplifting to me which I read about the Founder of the Methodist denomination, John Wesley when he was preaching outdoors in England to help bring more Christliness to the Church of England. This one day the crowd became unruly because of a few rowdy troublemakers and one person picked up a brick. This struck Wesley in the head and knocked him cold. His brother was there and helped him up when he regained consciousness. And this is the sublime part: this gentle, little man did not retaliate, did not lose his Christly composure, stayed sweet and loving through it all. Several eye-witnesses testified to how Wesley automatically behaved at this provocation. I marvel at this to this day and must admit I would not be up to this level. Probably not in this life at least. But what an example of living the love our great Master, Jesus, lived and enjoined upon all his followers.

God is so good to us to give us such examples!

(Oh, I told a lady I see sometimes at my breakfast place who sits there and reads the Bible about the Wall Street Journal piece and she was thrilled to hear that Christ has gained another follower.)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

For the willing and obedient...

...Jesus' commands are liberating. To the unwilling and disobedient, however, they are liable to be a torment. Such dear souls who are in bondage to dead-end materiality need to be set free. And what motivates my reaching out through this website, through the poetry books I send all over the world to free public libraries and university libraries is one thing and one thing only: to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ, Son of God to those who sit in darkness and have not yet experienced the peace and joy and purpose in life obtainable in no other way.

I just read in today's Wall Street Journal an interview with a Palestinian who to great distress to his family has converted to Christianity. This man is the son of the leader of Hamas. I was thrilled to see this. What caused this man's entrance into a wonderful new world? Being given a copy of the New Testament by a British cabbie, starting to learn more about Christ Jesus, coming to love Jesus' unconditional love for others, he said. Being overwhelmed by the Master's words and example.

Think of the millions in this world of ours who have yet to discover Christ Jesus. Is not playing a part in this holy enterprise worth everything we can give it?

Friday, March 5, 2010

For His Holy child

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

Whatever our work

In life may happen to be,

We should question

Ourselves regularly:

Am I doing what I'm doing

For His holy child, or --

For personal homage?

(This poem was inspired by reading one of my favorite passages in
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy where she states: "Jesus of Nazareth taught and demonstrated man's oneness with the Father, for for this we owe him endless homage." page 18)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

To keep our dignity

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

Jesus' "Cast not your
pearls before swine"
is a command His
servants need to mind.

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 adore,
groveling Jesus would deplore.

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

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

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Energy for life's work

Was just talking to a close friend on Monday who is newly interested in the teachings of Christian Science and when I asked her what she was currently working on in her life, told me more energy for the things she has to do. This lady keeps a full schedule, and unlike many people who think a candy bar here and there will boost their output, eating chocolate (which she dearly loves) completely shuts her down. I couldn't help reflecting on something Mary Baker Eddy points out about how unreliable are man-made theories (which are ever changing) relating to one's health. It made me so grateful to have a religion that turns me to God for help in every aspect of daily life. Even for needed stamina to get through what I have to do.

As a help to some others, I'll give some of the truths I shared with my friend, truths I've learned from my study of the Bible and the teachings of Christian Science. The Bible invites us to learn of God as inexhaustibleSpirit, which is never limited or depleted. In Isaiah, the prophet asks, "Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?" (Is. 40:28)

When we come to realize that man is God's child, the very expression of Spirit, we begin to see a spiritual basis for overcoming fatigue. We begin to see that our real identity is not material; it is spiritual, because our creator is Spirit. This spiritual selfhood is characterized by such God-derived qualities as inspiration, energy, strength, and vitality. It is refreshing to realize that our real nature already includes all these qualities. And knowing how natural it is for man to express the strength and dominion God imparts can take the strain out of work. It can lift the sense of burden and heaviness from our day-to-day responsibilities.

Mrs.Eddy refers to the true source of energy in the Christian Science textbook where she writes, "When we reach our limits of mental endurance, we conclude that intellectual labor has been carried sufficiently far; but when we realize that immortal Mind is ever active, and that spiritual energies can neither wear out nor can so-called material law trespass upon God-given powers and resources, we are able to rest in Truth, refreshed by the assurances of immortality, opposed to mortality." Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 387.

When we look prayerfully to God as the origin of our strength and joy and well-being, we get a bonus. Not only is our physical and mental stamina increased; putting off material limitations forwards us permanently in the working out of our salvation in the way Jesus taught.

The import of Paul's striking statement "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Phil. 4:13) can be felt right here and now. Acknowledging God as the sole cause of action, ability, and intelligence glorifies Him, and it does wonders for our whole life. We'll not only find ourselves demonstrating the staying power we need for life's work; we'll keep our joy and vitality in the process.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Heaven Where We Are

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

People go from place to place
(Or yearn to)
To find what they hope is Paradise,
While the heaven they seek
Is right before their face.
Did not Christ Jesus teach,
The kingdom of God
Is within us?
(See Luke 17:20, 21)
The kingdom of God!
What greater heaven could one reach?
Not moving to another state,
But lifting thought to see
What our dear Master meant.
(After all, was Jesus not God-sent?)
Is the heaven-prescribed way.
One may well need
To be in another location.
But first things first --
Taking our Lord
At his Word,
And learning what he knew
About God and His creation*,
We see more of heaven
Right where we are.

*And speaking for myself, this knowledge is being made available in my life through the teachings of Christian Science, especially via Mary Baker Eddy's masterwork, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.