Monday, April 25, 2011

"Feed My Lambs"

It wasn't a little lamb looking back at me just now as I opened the door to the garage to put out trash--but a little creature, very, very hungry.  It (a mother with young to feed?) had been drawn in by the bag of dog food, some of which we pile near our woods for the woodland creatures that visit each night--foxes, skunks, possums, coyotes now and then, and of course raccoons.  The night's supply had all been eaten obviously, or this animal was especially hungy. Soon this darling thing came back and fell on the food I put out.  With an ever-shrinking habitat, wild creatures have to find food wherever they can.

As satisfying as it was to, in its way, to help an animal in need, I couldn't help thinking of another kind of nourishment millions of people are hungry for, though they know it not.  Not yet.  And what is this life-giving nourishment?  The teachings of Jesus Christ.  What a privilege, what joy it is for you and me to be doing what we can to feed His lambs, to be carrying out something dear to our Master's heart--Jesus' solemn charge to Peter:  "So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?  He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.  He saith unto him, Feed my lambs."  (John 21)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Help Always With Us

The other day driving back from North Carolina, I happened to see a billboard with this message:  "In an emergency, experience counts."  What it referred to was a health care group. But the phrase stuck with me, and being a student of Christian Science, very naturally led to thoughts of God's help that is always with us.

Sometimes people, when learning that I'm a Christian Scientist and rely on God for deliverance, will ask, "But could you trust God's help in an emergency?"My answer to that is always "yes," because I've experienced God's everpresent intervention in many and varied ways in my life.  Who can imagine One more experienced than God Almighty?

One of the many passages throughout the Bible that reveal God as the tender, watchful guardian of all is, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.. (Psalm 46:1)  This has divine truth has come to my aid many times over the years.  It can come to yours, too.  One doesn't have to panic in emergencies, or accept as final the evidence of accident, injury, or illness.  Instead, he or she can rely on God's help with confidence and success.

And Christ Jesus who was ever conscious of God's unfailing care for His children, said:  "He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone."  (John 8:29)  God's constant love and support are still at hand for all who yearn for heavenly help.

Many who have felt alone and afraid before the challenges that come up in everyday life have found solace, support, and healing through the study of Christian Science.  Mary Baker Eddy,the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p.332):  "Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation.  As the apostle expressed it:  "For we are also His offspring.'"

I've often marveled that the creator of the universe, the Father of all things, is our Father who not only loves us unconditionally, but is always with us in every circumstance.  It is due to the teachings of Christian Science that I have this spiritual conviction, it must be said.

My religion shows that since man is God's offspring, His image and likeness, as the Bible reveals, man is spiritual and perfect, continuously reflecting the Father's love and care.  This spiritual identity, the true selfhood of us all, is not helpless before the mortal claims of accident, injury, illness.  These erroneous beliefs, which seem so real to the unenlightened thought, stem from ignorance of man's inseparable relationship to God, divine Love, and are corrected by spiritual understanding.

Mortal suffering is an illusion of the physical senses, a lie about God's perfect creation.  It is like the bad dream a child has at night--frightening to him, yet not real to the loved one awake at his side.  And what comfort the child feels when he wakes and sees that he is not alone, and there is nothing to fear.

When, through spiritual understanding, one arouses himself from the mortal dream of life in matter to the reality of the truth of spiritual being, he experiences the sense of security that comes to one who has a knowledge of spiritual reality.

This knowledge our great Master obviously had.  It is encouraging to note that when Jesus was  himself confronted with an emergency situation (an angry crowd had led him to the top of a hill to throw him off), "he passing through the midst of them went his way."  (This is from Luke 4:30)

As we gain an approximation of that rocklike spiritual recognition Jesus had that the loving Parent of us all is always caring for His children, we're empowered to demonstrate dominion in  emergencies.  It is divine fact that no situation which arises, whether it concerns the well-being of ourselves or those we love, is beyond God's omnipotent help.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


"Now ye are clean through the word

Which I have spoken unto you,"*

Our Lord and Master said.

It never fails; it never will.

Living Jesus' words,

Putting God's precepts out front,

Changes things for us.

Mental trash gets left by the curb;

Gossip -- harmful to ourselves and others --

Simply falls off.

Sickness-breeding states of thought

Give way to peace on earth, good will.

Relationships are transformed.

We can count on it --

Christ-following empowers.

Life becomes simpler,

Happier, healthy, free --

Just the way our heavenly Father

Wants it to be.

(*John 15:3)

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Way Out

When life has you at an impasse,

And things look downright grim,

And not knowing which way to turn,

You find yourself wondering,

"Whom can I take this problem to?"

Why not heed the angel who says,

"Take all your worries to Him."

You'll be eternally glad that you did.

Keep in mind, His help divine,

Is at our service--in every circumstance.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


(The following poem was just published in the Oak Ridge, Tennessee Humane Society newsletter, also that of a humane society in Scotland.  Why am I posting it on a religious website?  Because little, and big, creatures are God's creation and need all the love you and I can give.)

Who could look at a sleeping dog

And not feel his or her heart tug?

Someone who needs to feel love more,

A person whose soul has

Yet to be awakened, that's who.

Is there anything more disarming

Than one's bloved pet in repose?

I suppose.

Perhaps to a parent gaving at their child.

About this I wouldn't know.

I say to our doggie,

You are sometimes challenging when awake;

(Especially when it thunders).

You were as a puppy sometimes wild.

But when asleep on floor/bed or rug,

Your innocence moves me to the core.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

How Do I Apply Christian Science?

When someone asks me this important question, I always say, the place to begin understanding Christian Science better is Mary Baker Eddy's major work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures -- reading, studying, pondering the truths therein.  And using what you are learning.  Yes, starting right off applying divine facts to human challenges, which many newcomers have done with spectacular results.

And of course, the chapter titled "Christian Science Practice" gives many specific statements of divine fact that aid one in actually using what Christian Science brings out about God and man. 

For the many readers of this blog who are curious about my religion, and  who do not have this book at hand, the following may be of help.  First, let me say that Christian Science is science applied to Christianity, and with any science, how would you begin making it practical?  How would you start using what you have learned about music, or chemistry, or math?  By simply using that knowledge as the occasion presents itself.  There is nothing mysterious about this process, is there?  You apply the rules, laws, principles of the discipline in question, do you not?  And applying metaphysical truths to one's problems is no different than applying one's knowledge of the multiplication table, for example.

As its name implies, Christian Science is the demonstrable knowledge of Christ as a divine Principle, as the saving Truth, the Redeemer and "great Physician" of mankind.  For the lack of this knowledge, for the lack of knowing what Jesus knew, people have submitted to the despotism of a supposed evil power with its attendant miseries.  Christian Science, as many of us have found, supplies truths that free one from unnecessary limitation and suffering.  It brings the freedom of knowing God as always present, all-powerful, ever available to lift one out of human fears and false beliefs.

As Christian Science makes clear, matter is but the sense of not knowing God, Spirit, and this negative sense is, therefore, to be reckoned with only as error, as untrue, unreal, therefore non-existent.  Divine Science inspires one to look to and rely upon God as including all real causation, all real consciousness, law, substance, and power.

And a key point in understanding Christian Science more clearly and demonstrating what it teaches is recognizing that all which comes within the range of human consciousness is a mental state.  What we think, or what is contained in our thoughts, make up individual experience.  Things go wrong in one's life because human thought is first wrong, and things will continue to go wrong until this thought is set right, that is to say, brought into alignment with the divine facts about God and His man and universe. 

If one's thought is scientifically Christian, it is based on the absolute allness of God, good and the consequent powerlessness and nothingness of aught besides Him.  This is a Christian Science treatment, and from an unbiased study of the Gospels one must conclude that this was the Christ way.

Christian Science being based on Truth alone, on the absolute perfection of God and His creation, it follows that we cannot admit the opposite of this perfect Principle and the perfect idea, and at the same time practice Christian Science, any more than we could believe that one and one are both two and three and expect to do correct work in mathematics.  Man is not both matter and spirit, both evil and good.

Although material sense pictures man as discordant and imperfect, as poor or miserable or sick or helpless, what will this testimony weigh with one who knows material sense to be a lie?  What did it weigh with Jesus?  How far will the claim of evil deceive one who is convinced in his heart that God is infinite, All?  That God never made material conditions to afflict His offspring, that such are unreal?

Obviously the way we are thinking is the way we are treating ourselves; that is, we are mentally applying to ourselves what we hold to be true, and the result will be according to the truth or the error which makes up our thoughts.  It is plain that it isn't difficult to think that one and one are two.  In reality all that the student of Christian Science does is to remove from his thought whatever obstructs his realization of the allness of God.  Whatever would make him believe that there is any other power or entity.  As this is accomplished, his thought naturally takes in only the right view of things and shuts out the evil as unreal.

Christian Science does not create health, supply, opportunity, strength and so on.  It reveals these conditions as belonging to man as the very image of his Maker, God.  As the first chapter of the Holy Bible states:  And God said, let us make man in our image and likeness, and let them have dominion...over all the earth."

I've had people say to me," I could rely on God's healing power, if I just had the will-power you apparently have."  Will-power has nothing to do with Christ healing.  Nor it is the human mind over matter.  It is truth over error.  When you apply mathematical truths to a problem, do you will the equations to work?  No, it is your understanding that corrects the mistake and brings the right answer.  "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free", Jesus taught and proved for all time and for all mankind.  (John8:32)  Focusing on the error does not liberate.

I could give many examples of how I have dealt with a particular human problem.  But how I would pray, work metaphysically, will differ from what you are inspired to do.  But anytime we truly understand the divine fact about a given situation, anytime consciousness lights up with the truth of God's presence and power, and the lie fades from our thinking, does freedom and normality and healing come.

Mrs. Eddy points out in "Science and Health" on pages 476, 477 that "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals.  In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick.  Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy."

And this is the way one applies Christian Science.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Arcade Thrill Shows and Christian Science

(This was written by a longtime and loved friend, John Wellsman)

Have you ever gone to one of those multi-sensory"thrill" shows?  The ones with incredible audiovisual effects combined with bumping and jiggling seats to make the effects seem even more realistic?  My wife and I went to one some years ago and it has continued to provide me much food for thought regarding the practice of Christian Science.

Here's what happened:  We heard the sound effects--an obviously high performance automobile being raced--from a good distance away.  The floor and walls were actually shaking from it by the time we arrived!  It aroused our interest to attend the show so we waited in the fairly long line.  The show promised a "thrilling" ride through the Swiss Alps in a speeding sports car.  However almost immediately we began seeing signs announcing that this was a "really realistic" experience and if you suffered from any of the following...insert here a long list of both common and uncommon ailments, you probably shouldn't go any further.  Obviously "frightening" was intended to replace "really realistic" experience.  As we approached the door the sounds got more thunderous and the warnings more frequent.  When we got into the medium-sized theatre room we found not only the gigantic walls of speakers and large screen but a gallery of molded seating mounted independently of the room itself so it could zig and zag as well as bump and thump for the suggestion of added realism.  There were even "safety bars" that "held" us into our seats.  An attractive young woman even gave us a stern "safety" lecture about remaining in our seats and what to do if we felt ourselves becoming physically overcome by the experience; simply look away from the screen to the plain walls of the room and keep our gaze there until the show was over.

At one point with all this buildup I actually found myself starting to be taken in by all the wanmings with a sudden sense of fear rising.  Then the thought came very clearly:  Just remember this is ONLY A MOVIE!  And I thought, of course, it IS only a movie and isn't real at all!  Immediately I relaxed and began to appreciate the mechanical details of the room and to marvel at the obvious extent someone had gone to to make the experience SEEM real.

Then we were off!  The roaring motor noises, the movie itself being run at two or three times normal speed to make it appear we were hurtling through the narrow roads and around impossible hairpin turns.  When we came to a turn, the seats bumped us sideways and when the movie showed a bump in the road, the seats thrust us up and down in unison with screen image.  At each new danger or impossible situation on the screen, the room was filled with shrieks and screams from terrified viewers.  Yet I was simply noting the mechanical details and calmly reminding myself, "This is ONLY A MOVIE."  When the show was over it was apparent some individuals' idea of "thrilling" was actually "terrifiying."  Many individuals exiting the theatre appeared a tad green around the gills or had looks of obvious fright on their faces.  But of course all were saying how "wonderful" or "thrilling" it was.  In between exclamations of how frightened they had been.

Lest anyone think only wimps were fooled into being frightened, I had the opportunity to attend the same show some months later on a business trip.  An associate who had been a combat-trained United States Marine Corps Drill Instructor was with me on that visit.  Not too far into the show I felt an iron grip on my forearm and looked over to see my friend the Marine facing the screen in wide-eyed panic.  I calmly assured him it was ONLY A MOVIE.  Fortunately be quickly released my arm and began to relax.

While I did enjoy the show both times--as a young person I participated in club races, time trials and sports car rallies and have been involved professionally in photography and multimedia productions since--I found myself beginning to contemplate why I had been able to enjoy the show without being terrified.  And I began to see the parallels in the practice of Christian Scienc healing.  In the face of tremendous pressure to accept the show as "realistic" or something that was actually happening to me I had held steadfastly to the truth:  This was ONLY A MOVIE!  I clearly understood both who I was and where I was.  I simply didn't accept the fearful suggestions being presented.  Thus fear and panic couldn't enter my consciousness.

Interestingly this experience has helped me both to enjoy many other movies over the years without becoming fearfully involved and also gain a better sense of Christian Science practice and how healing is accomplished in Christian Science.  I contine to plumb the nuances of this experience relating to Christian Science when viewing a movie. It's increasingly helpful to clearly establish the fact that no matter how realistic the movie seems to be, whatever action is appearing on the screen has nothing to do with the actor's true identity.  Then to contemplate how that fact applies to any other situation that appears to present itself in my own life.  No matter what mortal mind presents through the physical senses, sights, sounds, thumps or bumps, those image are not true and thus not happening to me.  They are only suggestive illusions just like the preludes to that thrill show.  As Mary Baker Eddy states in her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p.418:5) "Stick to the truth of being in contradistinction to the error that life, substance, or intelligence can be in matter."

As that is done, one is freed from involvement in any inharmonious situation be it age, accident, disease or emotional entanglement. And one can say with Paul, "None ofthese things move me."  (Acts 20:24)

The works of Martha Wilcox, an early worker for the cause of Christian Science provide much amplification on this subject as well.  Particularly her Association Address of 1937 entitled, "The Word Made Flesh."