Thursday, June 23, 2011

To keep love flowing

We who follow Christ, who reverence the Name, can't allow the shame of feeling indifferent to others wherever in this world they may be.  I hope this fellow traveler is learning that when loving others starts to slip, it's more than a blip on the divine screen:  it's deadly serious and needs to begotten at as quickly as possible.

The worst thing about such blatant disobedience to what our Master taught?  A sense of estrangement from God--not that He ever stops caring about us.  But our heavenly Father who is all Love is not going to follow us out the door while we indulge in a little hate!  Do we want to lose the look of approval on His face?

If nothing else, a concern for our own well-being should impel a return to Him before it's too late.  (Not that it ever is, not divinely-speaking.)  But how many diseases can be traced to a lack of love being felt and expressed, a Canadian friend said.

With the armour of the Word, and no fooling praying, this need not be the case.  I John puts it clearly:  "God is love; and he taht dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God and God in him."

There is no safe or healthier place we can be.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Why I'm a Christian Scientist

I practice the teachings of Christian Science for this reason:  it is clear to me that only the truth of spiritual being which Jesus demonstrated can open and bring freedom to human consciousness.  This truth of spiritual being is now available to humanity in the religion Mary Baker Eddy discovered and founded.  And my life has been infinitely blessed by what it brings out about God and man.

Once an individual has felt the transforming touch of Christ--that cleansing of consciousness indescribably priceless--he or she isn't content with anything less than God's healing power.  This moment of spiritual quickening, of realizing the utter unreality of whatever is opposed to God's loving presence and power (whether it be sin, illness, lack, unhappiness), comes to everyone individually.  But it does leave one wanting to understand more of what has brought such freedom into his experience.  And this quest for more of the knowledge our Master had of God's allness leads one to deeper study, prayer, a fuller reliance on God when help is needed--a purer and more spiritually-minded thought and life.  St. Paul writes:  "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."

Actually, such all-out commitment to the demands of divine Spirit is the sine qua non of successful Christian Science pratice, for oneself and others.  We don't begin to realize the results we should until we are pursuing Science for growth Godward first, and only second for relief from our own woes.  Holding to the higher goal, we name the name of Christ.  Indeed, an unhealed condition could well indicate a need to get ourselves right with God, to conform more to His laws.

Nothing has such a purifying, liberating effect on us as an understanding of vital spiritual facts.  Regrding ourselves as mortals cut off from a God we have to struggle to reach would be working from an unreal basis.  This would subject us to frustration, weariness, and worse--leave us vulnerable to unnecessary false beliefs and fears.  On the other hand, putting on the scientifically accurate view of ourselves as evidencing Mind's conscousness of its own perfect self, enable us to feel Christ's transforming touch in divine healing.

There's nothing quite like it.  And to continue experiencing this blessing, which I have not found available from any other source, is what keeps me practicing Christian Science.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

You Want to Feel Close to God, Do You Not?

There is a way open to you: --

To take Christ Jesus at his word.

Jesus did not go around saying things

Because he had nothing better to do!

It's a fatal mistake for one to doubt

That what our Master said is true.

You must take the Son of God

Seriously and believe what he said

Applies specifically to you.

"Son, thou art ever with me,"

(Words so reassuring, words so true)

"And all that I have is thine"*

Ought to make you rejoice.

These wondrous words,

Among so many others,

Are meant just for you.

For you are God's, His very own,

And all the good to be found

Within the Father's house --

Just think about it! --

Now belongs to you.

*Luke 15:31

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Poet Still

(c)  By:  Sharon Slaton Howell

Carved platypus sits atop bookcase

Made from rare Tasmanian wood

By our dear Aussie friend --

WWII veteran of the Pacific campaign,

Devoted husband and father,

Generous friend to many,

And a follower of Jesus Christ.

What "puts me on another plane"

He used to say to us, is poetry

On eternal themes;

Reading, writing, and encouraging

Others to pursue this joyful

And heavenly occupation.

I feel he is writing still,

Life made even more fruitful

By that unseen felt Presence

So many poets know.

This poem refers to Paul Jones of whom a close friend and I were speaking this week.  It's from one of my books, "And Angels Smile". 

But what has prompted me to share this, and do this blog post this morning is gratitude for the religion Paul and I and my friend have been fortunate enough to practice--Christian Science.  I recall two memorable things this Australian told me along the lines of the help he got during the war years.  He was engaged in jungle warfare in the Solomon Islands and said what brought him through ferocious fighting was realizing that he was one with God, that he and God were not two, but one and that one was God.

This is brought out in something Mary Baker Eddy writes in her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page  18:  "Jesus of Nazareth taught and demonstrated man's oneness with the Father, and for this we owe him endless homage."

Paul also told us of an outstanding healing he had when he returned from the fighting.  Recurrent malaria was a challenge.  He was dramatically healed with the help of a dedicated Christian Science practitioner in the Melbourne, Australia branch church.  This instance of Christ-healing, along with those which thousands of others have experienced through the years, validate what Christian Science claims:  that a practical knowledge of the truths underlying the Master's healing works gets results.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Standing Fast for Christ

This being a soldier of Jesus Christ is not all charging up the hill, I have found.  At times, there is nothing that one can do but be still, hold the ground gained, until incoming fire has like trees in their majestic-ness who just stand there and take it.

Does not the Bible command us to "Hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown"? 
(Revelation 3:11)

And I'm also thinking this morning of this, from the Discoverer and Founder of my religion, Christian Science.  Mary Baker Eddy says:  "When the smoke of battle clears away, you will discern the good you have done, and receive according to your deserving."
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 22

It is a great thing to be willing to stand fast for Christ.  Given the crying need of  mankind for what the teachings of Jesus alone can give, can you and I think of doing less?

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Patience of Jesus

Just read the following statement from something Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Miscellaneous Writings (page 7), that "the loving patience of Jesus we must strive to emulate".  And immediately, couldn't help thinking of a Christian Science friend know who is such a shining example of this virtue. 

Her family concerns at the moment, and the extraordinary demands being made on her by a couple of relatives who require more care than most people can imagine, is patience exemplified.  Not only does she remain calm and longsuffering, she stays sweet through it all.

Were someone to mention what an inspiration she is to many who know her, she would probably reply in humility (another Christly attribute):  "Oh no, you can't be talking about me!"  And she would mean it.

In addition to the Holy Bible where patience is enjoined upon the follower of Christ, a book that has helped Christians through the years, The Greatest Thing in the World by Henry Drummond, lists patience at the head of the list of 9 qualities one must embody.

So, long and short of my blog post this morning:  I am thankful that we have among us those who are doers of what walking in Jesus' steps demands.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wild Weather and God's Help

We had never experienced anything like the storms that hit Farragut, Tennessee about a month ago.  There was one announcement after another from the weatherman to "take cover now!"  Tornado warnings kept rolling along, hour after hour, far into the night.  One particularly bad barrage of hail came through, but a really bad one was to follow.  Golf ball size hail rained down on us, with baseball size hail being reported just down the road.

At a time like this, when all one can do is get in a basement (if one has a basement) and get through the night, was I grateful for what I've learned in Christian Science.  And that is to pray, pray, pray--know that no matter how frightening things look, God is always in control.  I was affirming that we can never be in a place or a situation where God is not watching over and caring for us.  I thought of this verse from the book of Jeremiah:  "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him?  saith the Lord.  Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord" (23:24).

The next morning presented an almost unbelievable sight.  But no neighbors were injured or killed, no houses made uninhabitable.  Some windows broken down the street, and most roofs damaged.  But as one friend said, "My loved ones are safe, and we have shelter.  What more do we need?"

At one point, another Bible verse came to thought and gave me much comfort.  It's where Paul powerfully states:  "I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38, 39)

I reasoned,"Well, if all that can't separate man from his Maker, then fierce storms certainly can't."  Of course,we can't be blase about potentially destructive forces,  Still, there is no more reliable help than God.  There is actually no other power.  And realizing this, is a wonderful companion when we're going through a situation like we experienced.

As the man of God's creating, each of us is governed by God, the divine Mind, the only real source of power and activity.  Mary Baker Eddy points out in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (page  387):  The history of Christianity furnishes sublime proofs of the supporting influence and protecting power bestowed on man by His heavenly Father, omnipotent Mind, who gives man faith and understanding whereby to defend himself, not only from temptation, but from bodily suffering."

When anyone realizes God's all-power and everpresence with the conviction that comes of spiritual understanding, he or she can come through dangerous storms without fear or harm, with calmness and confidence that God is always in control.