Sunday, May 23, 2010

A happy (true) story

Two weeks ago, we noticed our Hindu neighbors out in the street, looking very worried. "Have you seen our dog?", they called out. "She got out, never does this. We can't find her anywhere!" We joined the search, with other friends, looked high and low--no little dog. A storm was coming, the forecast said, with high winds, rain and large hail. So, we kept on looking. Soon, Sumita and her husband decided to drive around other neighborhoods to see if they could find Shemi.

Not long after, good news. They found their dog. We were all so relieved. What had happened was this: a woman saw her in the middle of a busy thoroughfare, picked her up and took her to her house some distance away. Just as our neighbors were driving down that street, this woman happened to be standing in her front yard. She called, "Are you looking for a dog?" "Yes, oh yes!" our neighbors replied.

The next morning, Sumita came by with her dog. She thanked us again for helping to look. I felt led by God to say: "I don't know how my husband was praying about this, but I absolutely knew Shemi could not be out of God's presence." The look I got.

Some months earlier, Sumita had said, "You are Christian, aren't you? I know Jesus is your guy; he isn't mine." But she said this kindly.

Am I saying that it was our praying that saved the day? This I couldn't say. It probably helped; I like to think it did. With no collar on the dog, no identification chip, this was not to me mere coincidence. Our Hindu neighbors could not believe the timing of all this. They were amazed. But those of us who know out of God's presence we cannot go--are not.

Friday, May 21, 2010

One who is just

I just finished reading an excellent column by a New York Times writer (though being such a conversative do not go along with this paper's editorial slant) -- David Brooks. In it he writes about an imaginary "Ben" who worked hard all his life, played by what he thought were the rules only to discover that it isn't working by and large in this once-great country of ours. He has seen that it isn't what you do, what you are, how hard you yourself work, but who you know in power. Primarily these days, in Washington or on Wall Street.

This column made me so grateful we in Christian Science are encouraged to rely on God--for everything. Just as its great Discoverer and Founder, Mary Baker Eddy did. Of course, having no money or influence or even friends at first to help her in your lifework of founding a religion, she had no choice but to lean on the One who is always just, always loving, always ready to help His children--if they will only acknowledge His power and depend upon Him for all they need.

I feel so blessed!

Monday, May 17, 2010

An exemplary Christian

Was just having a conversation with a friend in Georgia who shares my high regard for General Robert E. Lee -- someone I think of as one of my heroes. It isn't for his military expertise of which I know very little, but for his reverence concerning our dear Master. Lee was not ashamed to lift up the Name that is above every name, and more than one eye-witness records a prayer he would pray while the war was going on. "Have I thanked You enough today for Your unspeakable gift?" he would pray. Just think of the influence for good on the men under his command who heard him say it. And all those who have read his stirring words since.

Lee's example of devotion to Christ Jesus inspires me to not overlook any opportunity that comes my way to acknowledge God's great gift to mankind. I say, God be thanked there have been men among us such as this exemplary Christian.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Christian Science Heals

I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge God's healing power as made available in my life through the teachings of Christian Science. Just last week had yet another proof of the practicality of the truths I'm learning in my religion.

Woke one morning with a very sore throat, could scarecely swallow. Almost at once, I began praying with some statements of divine Science pointing out facts about God and man. The one that seemed to stand out to me most vividly was this one from Mary Baker Eddy's book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: This is from page 393. "Take possession of your body, and govern its feeling and action. Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man."
She conoinues, "Be firm in your understanding that the divine Mind governs, and that in Science man reflects God's government. Have no fear that matter can ache, swell, and be inflamed as a result of a law of any kind, when it is self-evident that matter can have no pain nor inflammation."

Working mentally along these lines, praying to realize my true being as God's spiritual reflection as His image and likeness, the problem was gone in just a couple of hours. I was free!

It's a joy and privilege to be able to attest to the fact that Christian Science does heal, and is healing now.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

And "self" goes down to defeat

When criticism gives way to compassion,
score one for Christ.

When angry frowns melt into loving smiles,
score one for Christ.

When living for self-enrichment
rises to living to give,
score one for Christ.

When "I'm always right" bows low
before humility,
score one for Christ.

When coldness toward someone who
has wronged us gives way to
"Peace on earth,
goodwill to men",
score one for Christ.

One could go on and on,
but in all of these,
"self" goes down to defeat,
and Christ gets the victory.

Can we call ourselves Christian,
children of a loving God...
and think and live any other way?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Healing -- without drugs

"I am the Lord that healeth thee" (Exodus 15:26)

"If drugs are part of God's creation, which (according to the narrative in Genesis) He pronounced good, then drugs cannot be poisonous. If He created 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?"
(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy)

How fitting that this is Mother's Day which gives me an opportunity in my blog to say how grateful I am that my mother took up the study of Christian Science when I was not even in kindergarten. Being brought up by a parent who relied on God for healing of various difficulties that can come up in childhood was such a blessing. My mother had great faith in the Scriptural promise I quoted above, and in the divine truths found in the teachings of Christian Science, having been dramatically healed herself of a condition kind doctors could not cure. Her reliance on divine power for all kinds of challenges was and continues to be an inspiration to me.

I can't imagine my life any other way than health without having to resort to drugs.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Light Everlasting

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

Candy-pink roses blow in cool breeze,
Carefree birds dart in and out of hedges,
Someone mows his lawn in the distance.
All of the May delights that confront me
As I sit here on stone garden bench,
It's setting-sun rays that get me most --
Light shines on forest floor,
Light dances on trunks of trees,
Light glints off rusting wire fence
A farmer put in long before we moved in.
But there's a thought much higher
Than enchanting light of earth.
It's something Jesus once said:
"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)

The beauty of this Light
Can never fade to black.
Its presence and its power
Followers of His can never lack.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Checking our thought

Before we enter a foreign country, our belongings are always checked through customs in order to prevent us from bringing in harmful or illegal items. How much discord could be avoided if one had to pass through a "mental" customs occasionally to have his thoughts checked before they become part of everyday experience!

I'm grateful to have learned of a way whereby one may examine and control his own thoughts before they become acts; and that is by "bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (II Corinthians 10:5). This spiritual method of purifying thought, which Paul advociated centuries ago, is today explained by Christian Science.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, points out the way to maintain harmony in our daily life in Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures. She writes (p. 392): "Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously." How much wiser -- not to mention easier -- it is to stop fearful, angry, anxious, impatient thoughts at the mental gate before they become regretted words and deeds.

Christian Science teaches that one's daily experience is really the outcome or objectification of his thinking. On this basis it shows the importance of conforming motives and desires to the Christly standard Jesus set out for all mankind. It is never conditions outside ourselves or the actions of others that cause us distress, but the thoughts we entertain about them. We are each the master of our own thinking and, consequently, of our experience.

Man, made in God's likeness, is the perfect idea or reflection of infinite, harmonious Mind, and he possesses only those qualities Mind imparts -- peace, joy, abundance, and dominion. The inharmony, confusion, and fear that appear so real do not actually come from God, divine Love, and have no power over us. Such erroneous conditions are only mortal misconceptions, false beliefs, and being so, they can be eliminated or healed by replacing them with the truth of man's inseparable relationship to God.

Recognizing, removing, and replacing harmful, unloving, matter-based thoughts with the evidence of spiritual sense in our personal life does bring healing. I can attest to this as it has happened time and again through the years I've been a student of Christian Science.

And I can assure any reader of this blog that through the spiritual knwoledge that the study of my religion brings, he or she too may successfully control the self-centered, fearful, irritated thinking that so often mars one's health and freedom.

Let me end with something Mrs. Eddy says in Pulpit and Press (p. 3): "Know, then, that you possess sovereign power to think and act rightly, and that nothing can dispossess you of this heritage and trespass on Love."

And as our dear Master, Christ Jesus, commands us: "What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch." Never has this been so important for each one us. Our very well-being depends upon it.

Words that last

(c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

"Heaven and earth shall pass away

but my words shall not pass away"

our blessed Master said.

(Matthew 24:35)

Those who love what Jesus said

naturally want others to feel the same.

And some write poems to honor Him,

in the hope that any of what

He said and taught

Shall reach the hearts

of those now living,

and those lives yet to be,

and so lodged within a person,

lead to obedience of God's Word --

to peace and joy and purpose

obtainable in no other way.