Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Heavenly Generosity

Sitting here thinking about the attribute of generosity, essential for any of us who are committed to following in Jesus' steps.  Also, of a business associate who is one of the most giving people I deal with.  He heads a large company, and his employees, down to the most humble worker, all attest to what he does for them.  In fact, I just wrote a card thanking him for something extra he did for me with these words:  "You express such generosity.  One could almost say, a heavenly generosity."  Which it is.

Years ago when I was just starting out in the practice of Christian Science, with a regular paycheck in the rear window, I came across something its Discoverer and Founder writes.  Mary Baker Eddy says in "First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" (page 165):  "Goodness and benevolence never tire.  They maintain themselves and others and never stop from exhaustion.  He who is afraid of being too generous has lost the power of being magnanimous.  The best man or woman is the most unselfed." 

I would read this and at that point in my experience, feel "Why, I can't be generous.  The supply just isn't there."  Yet, over time I began to understand better that divine Love does give us all we need.  And enough left over to help others.  I credit the teachings of the Bible, Christ Jesus' assurances of God's love and care, and the truths of Christian Science for helping me overcome the false beliefs of lack and limitation.

And speaking of generosity, a lovely thing happened just this week.  A pet store owner was clearing out cans of dog food that weren't selling, and he happened to tell my husband he could have all 180, and all very high quality food, for 50 cents a can!  Well, given there is a wonderful humane society here in Tennessee that does heroic work in rescuing and helping animals--men and woman all volunteers--he bought them up and handed them off yesterday to a woman who drove many miles up here to Farragut.  She happened to say, "Sometimes I think we've undertaken more than we can handle."  Whereupon my husband told her, "But you're laying up treasure in heaven by all the giving you do on behalf of God's creatures."

How the generosity of one has blessed and will bless so many others.  This is indeed a heavenly quality for all to cultivate.

Warmth of Heart

Service done with cold formality

Is service best not done at all.

For feel ye love for one another

Is still Christ Jesus' call.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Never Baffling to Him

Only yesterday had another proof of what our heavenly Father does for His children, when they turn to Him for answers.  Facing a situation which called for a solution, and not seeing at all a way through the thicket, I turned to God as a little child would who can't see which steps to take.

It surprised me almost, how quickly the solution presented itself.  It shouldn't have, after experiencing many times in my life what an understanding of God as all-knowing Mind can do, and of ourselves as the reflection of the One Mind in fact. (This I have learned in my study of Christian Science.)  But it did, and I was so relieved.  Where I felt baffled, He did not.  And He never does.

Several years ago when confronted with a situation at work that needed a resolution, I made an appointment to go see a Christian Science practitioner for help.  As I related my conundrum, then said, "Who can I take this problem to?", he immediately answered, "Why not take it to God?"  Where I was thinking of relying on some person, this friend was thinking of going to the highest source possible for answers.  This I endeavored to do, and very soon, the whole thing was cleared up.

Often in the intervening years, what this devoted worker asked me has come to thought, and I can wholeheartedly recommend this step to anyone who doesn't know what to do with life's complexities. 

Nothing is too hard for our loving Father to figure out (as the Old Testament and Jesus' example point up).  God is everpresent, His help always available.  And when we take our problems to Him, He will figure out for us the right path to take.  And so often, do it amazingly fast!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Writing for Jesus Christ

What motivates one in so doing,

If not to honor God's dear Son? --

If not the hope that any of

What the Master said and taught

Shall become dwellers

In the hearts of men,

And so lodged,

Lead an individual to obey,

And obeying God's Word,

Find the joy and purpose in life

Obtainable in no other way?

Jesus said of his words that

They would not pass away

Though everything else perish.

And they have not.

And we adoring souls who do

What we can to pass along

Jesus' sublime teachings

Can see what we write --

If we listen well to divine direction --

Reach the hearts of those now living,

And those lives yet to be.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

And the little bird flew right off

Had another instance of what Christian Science can do in our lives just this morning, and I'm sure those who love God's creatures will rejoice with me.

Earlier this morning, I happened to notice a tiny little bird, a goldfinch, lying listless on the walk beside some of our bird feeders. It may have flown into a window and been knocked nearly senseless. I picked it up to see if it was still breathing and one wing seemed not operative. I placed it high up on a ledge so as to keep it safe, then began praying. It just wasn't right for this bird to pass away from shock and injury.

The truth that came instantly to thought which provided the basis for my metaphysical work was this: "Life is real, and death is the illusion." It's from Mary Baker Eddy's book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 428. Another reaffirmation that life is spiritual, not at the mercy of material happenings, is this statement also from her book where she defines "Death. An illusion, the lie of life in matter; the unreal and untrue; the opposite of Life." (page 584)

Until about noon, I prayed with these divine truths and just now when I went outside to check on the little bird, it was sitting up and instantly flew away, completely free. Can you imagine the joy I feel at seeing God's power in operation once again and my gratitude to Him for the teachings of Christian Science.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What Love Can Do

(Just got an email from a Christian Science friend in Texas, Susan, who is one lover of God's creatures. And it has inspired me to post the following one of my poems for other such benefactors of animals who read my blog)

 Faithful Companions

 (c) By: Sharon Slaton Howell

I believe nothing one can do
Can repay a dog's devotion,
Nor bring that emotion
Of being uniquely cared for.
There was this one day
When feeling quite ill,
I was flopped across the bed.
At once our dog came up beside,
Placed a big paw on my arm
And stayed with me for some time,
As if to say, "I understand what
You're going through."
Words, as any dog-lover knows,
Can't convey the peculiar comfort
And peace this brought me.
I actually felt better physically,
The love being shown so pure--
The love being shown,
A reflection of that love
God feels for all His creation.
It left me feeling quite sure
This aided in my recovering.
How could I not with
Such a companion hovering?

And some people say animals are dumb.
Yeah, right!

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Testimony (Cynthia)

I'm so grateful for Christian Science, which is helping me in so many ways. I first heard of the Eddy book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" about a year ago through reading this blog.

I've had many physical healings from studying this book and using the truths I am learning from it. But what I'm thinking about now is how Christian Science has helped me the past few months deal with a stressful relationship. My husband began seeing a fall off in his store customers some months ago, and things became so bad his disposition changed dramatically. He would get so irritated with me and the girls, we were almost afraid to speak to him. Our home was not very happy.

He is not a student of Christian Science, but I tried to see him as God's perfect child, as the way God had made him, when things would get their worse. I do believe that this is what has turned things around. He is now more like himself than in many months. And just Saturday he said to me, "I need to get back to God"! This means more to me than anything else, and I know without Christian Science in my life now, our marriage might have been permanently harmed because of the severe challenges he was facing in his business.

All I can say is, praise God for all He has done for us.

(Note to my readers: the way this girl has taken to Christian Science is wonderful, and the way she turns to God for everything is a continuing inspiration.)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Christian Science Remedy for Fatigue

Just read in the weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal an interesting piece on the chronic fatigue that challenges so many people. I couldn't help thinking of the answer my religion gives to this problem.

For those who read my blog who are not practicing Christian Scientists, and for those who will come across these postings, the following may be informative and helpful.

To begin at a sublime level, Christ Jesus' life of service--his example of giving God the glory in everything he did and the reliance on God that characterized all he said and did and taught--can lift one's thought about his or her endeavors to a higher, more spiritual level.

To follow Jesus, we need to see God as the source and purpose of whatever it is we're doing. The Bible invites us to learn of God as inexhaustible Spirit, 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?" (Isaiah 40:28)

When one comes 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. The 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 everyday living. It can lift the sense of burden and heaviness from our day-to-day responsbilities. We don't have to be tired all the time.

Mrs. Eddy refers to the true source of energy in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She writes, "...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, oposed to mortality." (page 387)

I and so many others have learned that God, divine Mind, unfailing Love, does sustain His child in every right activity. And this fact, when understood and applied in one's daily life, is energizing, uplifting. It can wipe out fatigue in the best way, through our humble dependence on our heavenly Father God, the source of all stamina and productivity. Our recognition of the everpresence of this divine power overrules mortal suggestions of weariness, unfinished work, or penalty for overexertion.

As the book mentioned above states: "Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no mortal nor material power as able to destroy. Let us rejoice that we are subject to the divine 'powers that be.'" (page 249)

The import of Paul's striking statement "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13) can be felt right here and now. If anyone put these words to the test, it was this servant of Jesus Christ. Acknowledging God as the sole cause of action/ability/get up and go glorifies Him, and it does wonders for our whole life. We'll not only find ourselves demonstrating the staying power we need in order to fulfill a demanding schedule; we'll keep our joy and vitality in the process!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Only One Cause

Sometimes we mistakenly consider the occurrence of illness, accident, or misfortune to be synonymous with adverse aftereffects, such as a slow or only partial recovery. This, however, does not have to be the case. By discovering the true, or spiritual nature of cause and effect, we can cope with the situation.

Christian Science, in accord with the inspired Word of the Bible, teaches that God is the only cause, the sole creator of the universe, including man, and that this creation is spiritual, wholly good. As the Bible declares in the very first chapter, "God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good". Accepting this revelation of the divinely spiritual nature of all being, Christian Science reasons that all cause and effect are spiritual and that all is the perfect handiwork of God, divine Mind.

What of the evil, sickness, accident, and lack that appear so real? Christian Science shows these are manifestations of the misconception that there is a power opposed to God, infinite Truth. But because God's all-encompassing good neither creates erroneous conditions nor recognizes them, they cannot affect His perfect reflection man. These illusions of material thinking are powerless, unreal, without substance. They have no power over the one who spiritually understands and claims this.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures on page 207: "There is but one primal cause. Therefore there can be no effect from any other cause, and there can be no reality in aught which does not proceed from this great and only cause."

My own experience bears this out, and has done so many times. I remember one instance when we were living and working in Seoul, Korea. As I was leaving the office one day on the way to meet friends for lunch, I walked through two large plate-glass doors just as one door came partially unhinged. The door struck me on the side of my head, and knocked me backwards. At first I was too stunned to do anything. But as soon as my thought cleared, I began declaring some of the spiritual truths learned in my study of Christian Science. People gathered around and offered help, but they were asured I was all right.

I continued silently knowing different truths that helped me realize man's unity with God, divine Mind. These divine facts lifted my thinking to the recognition that in reality, nothing had happened to separate me from God's omnipresent care. I knew that in His kingdom, where man always abides, there could be no accidents, and therefore no painful effects.
During lunch, I kept pondering spiritual truths, and by the time I returned to work, the pain had stopped, and there were never any aftereffects.

Christ Jesus knew God as the source or originator o fall things, the loving creator of the universe , including man. In healing the sick, stilling the tempest, feeding the multitudes, and raising the dead, our great Master demonstrated that cause and effect are spiritual.

Any person tuning into this blog can gain a demonstrable understanding of God as the only cause and creator, and succesffully apply this knowledge to his every human need. Such knowledge is not only powerful; it is practical. It enables anyone to prove that man is subject only to God's beneficent laws, that in reality, there can be "no effect from any other cause."