Sunday, October 31, 2010

Following in Jesus' Steps

(Feeling as I do, that more Christians, not to mention adherents of my religion which certainly includes me, need to emulate the friend who led me to write the poem below, I post it for the inspiration and incentive of readers of this blog. This person who resides in the UK is so humble, would not want his name mentioned. Didn't include it in a book published last year, so won't do so here.)

A Shining Light

The wisest people

I'm blessed to know

At the Master's feet

No matter what bend low.

And I have observed,

These humble stay that way.

It's the way they live --

Not the words they say.

This city set on a hill,

This shedder of light,

Though resident of Scotland

Reaches far with Christ's might.

Christians such as he

Live not for wealth or fame,

But to follow in Jesus' steps.

May I, dear God, do the same.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Making Peace

Our heavenly Father can use any circumstance in the happenings of our day to day, to glorify His Son , I find. And just this morning, experienced a small example of this.

Yesterday a neighbor was more than a little inconvenienced by a mix-up at one of the local bookstores. He had driven there to get one of my books, and due to the, what seemed to me, incompetence of one of the employees, came away upset. I called, of course, to try to straighten things out. But the phone conversation didn't go smoothly. The result was less than good feelings on both sides.

Then, early this morning God made it clear that I was the one who needed to lead the way, go out of my way, to carry out what a follower of Christ must do: make peace.

I thought of Jesus' "Blessed are the peacemakers" as well as this from the Old Testament: "He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with they God?" (Micah 6:8)

Initially, "Humble is not something I can do this morning" I said to myself. It didn't seem to me that I needed to do anything. It was up to the other individual, I self righteously thought. But the prompting kept coming. So a letter wrote itself, which I just delivered to the store. And this was well received and smoothed things out--even got a warm hug from the girl. When we try to do what God expects of us, all concerned are going to be blessed. We can count on it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

But what would you do if...?

(Written by John Wellsman)

Some years ago a business associate and friend often queried me regarding Christian Science. I knew this individual was sincerely trying to understand what Christian Science was all about. More often than not, though, his queries came down to, "Okay, Christian Science may be good for little ailments--like colds or whatnot--but what would you do if you were really, really sick?" Many Christian Scientists have probably faced similar queries.

Though I always assured him that I knew I could trust Christian Science treatment under any circumstance and that I would always rely on prayer for healing, these encounters always left me feeling more than a little on the defensive no matter how vigorously I declared my faith. Quite honestly, I sometimes found myself almost dreading these interrogations. However, since this individual was a good friend and I was convinced of the sincerity of his quieries, I prayed to know how to respond in a way that would answer his need.

One day when he renewed his inquiry, I found myself responding by asking him a question: "I've toldlyou what I would do if faced with a serious health issue, now let me ask you: what would lyou do if you went to your doctor and he ran all sorts of tests and then informed you that you had some incurable terminal disease and there was nothing medical science could do for you?"

There was a moment or two of stunned silence. I could tell that this individual had never before had to come to terms with the possibility that anything like that could actually happen with medical treatment. Shortly he responded quietly, "I guess I'd pray." So I said, "Exactly."

Pondering this incident, I realized that this friend, and perhaps many who pursue this line of, "What would you do if...?" questioning are not really asking what we as Christian Scientists would actually do for ourselves, but rather they're asking if they could trust prayer for themselves. Unless brought up short by the realization of the medical field's shortcomings, they may not be able to grasp the real potential of prayer. Interestingly, despite the fact that over the intervening years, I have discussed Christian Science with many individuals, I have rarely, if ever, been subjected to this kind of "what if...?" questioning.

There is certainly Biblical precedent for this kind of response. For example, Jesus when confronted by the Pharisees regarding the adulterous woman could have responded with a discourse on the woman's prefect sinless identity, etc., etc. But would that have defused the situation? Probably not. Instead, Jesus put the ball squarely in the Pharisees' court by saying, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." This is found in John, chapter 8, verse 7. This broke the mesmerism of ignorant bigotry and hatred.


While watching a splendid PBS program last night on the building of the great catherdals, mainly in France, the following came to thought:

Jesus' "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8:12)

And from Mary Baker Eddy, "Immortal and divine Mind presents the idea of God; first, in light; second, in reflection; third, in spiritual and immortal forms of beauty and goodness." (Science and Health with key to the Scriptures, p. 503)

This documentary pointed out that what the amazing builders of those awe-inspiring edifices had in mind was to give men and women light. Their lives were so hard and dark that to go into one of the cathredals with their gorgeous stained-glass windows soaring above was an experience much like being lifted to heaven. One can believe it.

Thinking along further on the light that has its source in God, couldn't help but be thankful to Him for the light of spiritual understanding Christian Science has brought into my life. Well, what if it has, one may say. Good for you, but I don't feel much light in mine.

Let me tell you about someone I knew and what the light of divine truths did for him. This man just out of college was struck with some disease so serious, doctors feared he couldn't come out of it. He was bed-ridden for many, many months. Then someone told him about Christian Science and what it was doing for others. He got the book, "Science and Health" and began reading. His healing was not quick. It took months for him to get over his fear of dying, his weakness so much that finally, he said, to get to go for a brief drive in the car was wonderful. But his complete freedom came. And it came with a bang.

This man later skied, flew a plane,hiked, was one of the most active, healthy, radiant individuals I have been privileged to know. He immediately entered the full-time practice of Christian Science to help others find the spiritual light and freedom he had found. And he continued in this work until a very advanced (to human sense) age.

But what truly stood out to me about this worker was the light in his countenance. He glowed with love for God and man. The spiritual understanding he was getting from the Science of Christ which reveals the truths our Lord and Master healed by illumined his life and that of others. It was uplifting just to see his face.

My point in all of this: what Christian Science has done in my life, the light of joy and freedom and dominion it is bringing me, and what it did for this man who got up off his deathbed to a wonderfully useful and happy life, it can do for you who happen onto this website.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Is the Internet a good thing?

I've had some interesting conversations about this, and one can find those who say yea, and those who say nay. Some vehemently opposed. Speaking for myself, I would say that on balance, the Internet is a good thing. Especially is this true when it comes to getting Christ's words into cyberspace.

Something just this morning which underscores this for me. An individual contacted me who had read a poem I posted on another website. This is not unusual. But the website my poem was on was a near-porno site! I couldn't believe a poem dedicated to Jesus' words would show up there. Just goes to show that the web with all its downsides can do good things.

To go back to pre-blogging days. I was in Borders Books one day looking through the poetry section when what did I spy? A book of poems titled, "Talking Dirty to God"! This needs to be countered I thought immediately. And right then and there resolved to put out a book of poems of my own to offset this foul stuff. And my first book, "For Love of Christ" came out soon after. It is still being carried by Borders which goes to show, it isn't my writing I realize that accounts for this. It is the words of "him who spake as never man spake." (see John 7:46)

And the poem that appealed to the person running that website I wouldn't touch with a 20-foot pole?

Christ's Followers and Dignity

Jesus' 'Cast not your
pearls before swine'
is a command we as
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 our Saviour we adore,
groveling Jesus would deplore.

This is not to say we
loving our neighbor neglect.
But obedience to Christ demands
that we keep our self-respect.

Yes, we Christ's followers must obey
when we hear God clearly say,
thus far and no farther;
dignified, you are to stay.

I can hear some commenter already say, where's the dignity in putting your words out on something that can have such smutty stuff on it? I agree that there is much on the web that is repulsive. Don't I know when I see my name attached to porno sites. And along with many others cannot get Google (the worst offender in this) to remove the listings. But all in all, I still think getting the message of Christ's saving power out there through God's Word and the teachings of divine Science are worth it.

Would our Master blog? Would our Leader? Of course we do not know. But as my friend Hal pointed out in a comment left on this blog, telling others about the saving truths we Christian Scientists are learning is vital. We all (and this certainly includes me) could be making our religion available to others much more than we are. And in this use, to me, the internet is a good thing.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Jesus meant what he said!

As I was just saying in a letter sent to a new, and what will surely be dear, friend in Wisconsin, blogging for Christian Science is pure joy for me. And while I hope that what appears here provides something helpful to fellow students of Mary Baker Eddy's writings, my primary aim is to enlighten those who have yet to experience the tremendous blessings to be gained from her great discovery.

Just ran across something this morning from something Mrs. Eddy wrote that answers perfectly the question I've been asked more than once, "How can you be a Christian Scientist?!" This is found in "Miscellaneous Writings" on pages 192 and 193 from the section on Bible Lessons.

"'And these signs shall follow them that believe;...they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover,' This declaration of our Master settles the question; else we are entertaining the startling inquires, Are the Scriptures inspired? Are they true? Did Jesus mean what he said?"
She continues, "His words are unmistakable, for they form propositions of self-evident demonstrable truth. Doctrines that deny the substance and practicality of all Christ's teachings cannot be evangelical; and evangelical religion can be established on no other claim than the authenticity of the Gospels, which support unequivocally the proof that Christian Science, as defined and practised by Jesus, heals the sick, casts out error, and will destroy death."

As I have said to some of my friends in other Christian denominations, get a copy of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures . You won't be tossed in jail; I doubt that your pastor will disown you. See for yourself what I've been blogging about. You just may be blessed more than you know.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Power of Jesus' Words

Someone has said, if you want
to feel a llife-changing force,
put into practice what
Christ Jesus said to do.
This I have found to be true,
as have most of you, of course.
These sayings, merely read,
are sublimely glorious.
But the power that comes to one,
when they are literally done!
Living the Word has ever been
and it will ever be,
the true test of one
who is Christ's totally.
Not that His commands
are always easy to do,
as no one knows probably
better than I and you,
who may have walked the floor
and shed a tear or two, thinking
"This thing I just cannot do."
Yet, keeping on in the fight,
realizing if we put things off,
we'd delay with Him being right;
so we persevered and won our way.

As encouragement to one
who may feel off the track,
begin living as a child of God ought --
actually doing what Jesus taught
life-saving changes you will see.
Such is the power that comes
from taking Jesus seriously
Our Father wants you back.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Chaplain's Report of Healing and Progress

(This is from my dear friend, Hal Shrewsbury -- a man busy about the work he loves doing. His report is dated September 30 2010 and it's a privilege for me to put it on my blog this morning.)

Substance Abuse Training Facility:

I visited SATF 4 times where I conducted 8 Bible classes in both the men's and women's sections to 33 attendees, gave away 1 Science and Health and 20 Sentinels. In the men's section a man told of how grateful he was for his family's and girl friend's support, saying they saw more in him than he saw in himself. He has been praying about an anger problem and tells me he sees much progress as he understands how Jesus forgave because "they know not what they do". The women's section has an active group for the classes with new women coming in every week. They were asked to study the story of Abraham, Moses, and Joshua and we discussed how each was a story of man's search for his spiritual identity--the promised land--and how each relates to us today as we journey from sense to Soul for our spiritual identity as the Christ likeness. Like Abraham we must trust God and be renamed, leave Egypt--the slavery of material sense--like Moses, and like Joshua destroy the claims of mortal mind for which the tribes occupying Canaan are metaphors. Introducing the Bible stories as metaphors and allegories is the key which unlocks the Scriptures, making them relevant to ourselves. Even Paul calls the Abraham story an allegory (Gal 4:24). One woman said she didn't want to attend our classes but a voice told her to attend and she feels blessed every time she comes. Another woman who was not released on schedule said the Bible lessons were freeing her from disappointment as she now realizes she could never be separated from God. Several women expressed gratitude for being forgiven by their families for their drug problems. Two women having marital problems reuniting with husbands who are incarcerated found help in the chapter on Marriage in Science and Health where Mrs. Eddy reiterates Jesus' words, "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." One of the staff members whose father recently passed away asked for prayers and received help by recalling all the good things about her father and knowing those qualities can never die.

Juvenile Hall:

I visited the hall 4 times where I conducted 9 Bible classes to 31 attendees and gave away 1 Bible. With each unit I focus on how to listen to God, based on Jesus' command to "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matt 5:48) and then go to the Ten Commandments and Jesus' summary: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. When introduced to listening to God, one boy excitedly opened his Bible to Philippians 4:8 where it says, "Whatsoever things are true...think on these things" whic he had just read the night before. I have been impressed with the childlike receptivity the youngsters have to a God who knows only good, but have also encountered those who can't accept a God who only knows good because of being schooled in the literal interpretation rather than the spiritual understanding of the Bible. Occasionally, I enter the unit where girls with self-destructive problems are clothed with padded jackets to prevent them from harming themselves. Sometimes a girl will be eating lunch and not be appearing to listen although she will ask for the Bible class. One girl wearing such a jacket did listen and told me she sometimes became angry and did not want to live. Last week I found her in the "normal" girls' unit and as we discussed listening to God, I asked her how she was doing. She spent some several minutes excitedly telling us she is no longer angry and doesn't want to kill herself because she knows God loves her and she has a lot to live for!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


More and more I'm coming to see,
if for God's guidance I pray,
and earnestly want to stay
in tune with things divine
by realizing God is
the only Mind, and mine*
that things do not merely happen--
whether involving circumstances
or events seemingly brought
about merely by man.
I find there is at work
God's incomparable plan.
And how appropriate it is
to seek His right-on direction,
they way our Lord and Master did.
Thus doing, less and less will one
wake up one day to find
his footsteps, alas, have slid.
So, in matters material or ethereal,
I'm learning it's worth the bother
to seek counsel from our loving
always-with-us, all-knowing Father.

*"The children of God have but one Mind."
Mary Baker Eddy,
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
(page 470)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Help from Christian Science

It's always a joy to see how new students of Christian Science are applying the truths they are learning. And getting such solid results.

Some months ago, a girl who knew nothing about CS came across this website and began noticing all the references to Mary Baker Eddy's great book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She was interested to learn more about this, and obtained a copy for herself. As they say, a duck to water. She couldn't leave this book alone, kept reading and very soon began using what she was learning about God and man.

Then in talking with her on Monday, heard about 3 ways in which Christian Science was helping her--the most recent having occurred early that morning. She was out jogging, when she stepped on a cone from a tree and tripped. A pain shot up her leg and she thought, uh oh, did something break? But quickly, she began praying with the Scientific Statement of Being found in the book mentioned above. It reads as follows: "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance, in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; mater is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual."

This girl got up, walked a few steps, and continued on her way, completely free of the pain. She was so thankful to God.

Then in another instance of what CS can do for us. She was helping a lady with a project, who seemed to be such a perfectionist, this girl dreaded going over to her house. The woman gave the impression nothing was quite good enough. Working there was a strain. Then one day, this new student of Science was thinking about what she was learning, about being made in God's image, being His likeness. It dawned on her, why I don't have to feel inferior. I don't have to be afraid I won't measure up. I, and this woman I'm working for, are God's children, made in His own image. The situation changed dramatically, and now it's a pleasure to be working with this woman.

The 3rd instance of what a growing spiritual understanding can do came in this way. This girl had grown up quite poor, and when they finally got their own home, was always anxious lest they lose it somehow. "What if we can't keep this house?" was always at the back of her mind. But this fear just disappeared (she can't say exactly when). She attributes this to the continuous, deep, exciting study of the Eddy book, as she calls it. Perhaps it was learning more about God's great love for us, and the infinite ways He has of meeting our human needs, she thought.

These are just some of the examples among thousands taking place everyday in the world of the benefits to be gained from Science and Health. Reading and using in our everyday lives what Christian Science brings out about God and man--divine truths Jesus knew and applied in his ministry--will do for you what it has done and is doing for this very happy girl.