Monday, March 26, 2012

When we're up against it

Not long ago we happened to see a program on WWII, on the Pacific campaign.  The battle of Iwo Jima, to be exact.  Although I knew about the fierce fighting that went on there because of a close friend of my mother's who served in the Marines and shared some of his experience, something new came to light.  The narrator said that 1 out of 3 Marines was either killed or wounded.  1 out of 3! 

I couldn't help thinking about Frank who came through that murderous conflict with not a scratch.  Many pounds thinner, he said, but this was all.  And to what did this boy (he was only 18 when he enlisted) owe his deliverance?  To the conviction he had gained from Christian Science that God was always with him.  He was in fact a student in the Sunday School when he joined up, and what he had learned there brought him through intact, he said.

And the other WWII experience involved a friend of ours in Australia.  Paul served in the Solomon Islands and was also a lifelong student of Christian Science.  To what did he attribute his safety through months of intense jungle fighting?  It was this, he once told me.  I new that "God and I are not two, but one; and that one is God."

Where did this concept of God-ever-with-us come from?  Paul said it was primarily this statement from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: "Jesus of Nazareth taught and demonstrated man's oneness with God, and for this we owe him endless homage." (page 18)

As these two friends proved, when we feel up against it and the situation appears dire, one who trusts in God's care, who as the Bible assures us time and time again, is an ever-present, unfailing help in trouble, can come through unscatched.

Speaking of Christ Jesus, it is obvious that our Master fully realized the inseparability of man from God.  He taught that man is God's own child, safe in love of his Creator, regardless of appearances.  I've thought often of the time when Jesus was in a crowd.  Some of the people intended to throw him off a hill.  And yet, we read that he passed through the midst of them, totally untouched.

The Psalmist sang, "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations." (Psalms90:1)  It is for this reason that in truth we are eternally exempt from harm of any kind.  I like think about this:  we have actually never been apart from our divine source, God--not even for a moment.  As His offspring, living and moving in Him, we are and have always been preserved by His unerring laws of order, safety, exemption from dangerous conditions.  What a potent help this is in daily life, I have found.

Frank, who was highly decorated but wouldn't own up to his heroism if faced with a firing squad, lives near us, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  We see him from time to time.  And Paul, who has passed on now, has left us a lovely reminder of his friendship.  Atop a bookcase is a carved platypus he carved himself out of rare Tasmanian wood.  And we have his inspiring poetry.  I feel sure Paul is creating still, life for him and others made even more fruitful by that unseen, felt Presence so many God-trusting individuals know.

A Presence you, too, can know and rely upon.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Victory to Christ -- Always

We who live life at Jesus' feet

(In a manner of speaking)

can encounter this:

we may think we're

face to face with sure defeat.

But we never are.

We cannot be.

A thing is never the loss

it may appear to be,

but ultimately and only gain

in everything that makes

life worth living.

Power belongs to Christ,

and those of us who stand with Him

will always be victorious --

whatever we may encounter,


("If we suffer, we shall also reign with him;"

Paul in II Timothy 2:12)


"It is a great thing to be found worthy to suffer for Christ, Truth."

(Mary Baker Eddy in Miscellaneous Writings, page 157)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Just thinking...

...after reading something in a book that Mary Baker Eddy wrote, while having breakfast outdoors this morning at my favorite place, enjoying the cool, lovely Spring air.  I came across this passage, "In no other one thing seemed Jesus of Nazareth more divine than in his faith in the immortality of his words.  He said,'Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away;' and they have not.  The winds of time sweep clean the centuries, but they can never bear into oblivion his words.  They still live, and to-morrow speak louder than to-day.  They are to-day as the voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make straight God's paths; make way for health, holiness, universal harmony, and come up hither.'"  (Miscellaneous Writings, page 99)

I couldn't help feeling so thankful to God that I get to read these words, love them, and share my Master's immortal words with others all over the world.  What a privilege and joy!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

LIfe as it's meant to be

When one can honestly say, I am God's through faith in and love for Jesus Christ, life becomes a true adventure.  In the fullest meaning of that word.

Instead of making do with a shortfall of good, we should be seeing much more of it in daily life.  Our loving Father intends this for all His children.  As Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)  Abundant in all the ways that make life worth living.  Shouldn't we learn to loook more consistently to God for this?  After all, this is in line with His wishes:  "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else."  (Isaiah 45:22)

There are so many bonuses to doing this.  Not only increased peace of mind, energy for our activities, supply with which to meet our needs and help others, greater health and well-being, but joy.  Yes joy, which in my view, cannot be had in any lesser way.  Life  becomes a joyous thing that all real followers of Christ feel deeply and exhibit to others.

Am I suggesting that once we make Christ the focus of our life and look to God for all that makes life wonderful, all challenges will suddenly cease?  In no way.  There will be sharp struggles.  But as I've said, our day-to-day experience becomes through Christ much more alive -- happier, healthier, freer.  In the situations that once would have defeated us we now find ourselves having mastery.  Life becomes for us what it's meant to be.

And most important to me, our heavenly Father keeps opening up ways to bless others.  Which, after all, is why you and I are here, is it not?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Staying Safe

There is much going on right now to make any of us danger-conscious.  That is, unless we're equipped with assurances of God's ever-presence and care.

Proverbs points out, "Whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil."  (l:33)  In this God-given assurance, we can continuously rest.

Whether driving along, or flying, or just going into a store or bank these days, there are some things I hold in thought to feel secure that I've learned from my study of the Bible and the teachings of Christian Science.

God being All-in-all, He is governing not only in the spiritual world, but in the places where we dwell, the shops we may frequent, and the throughfares we travel.  God is here, there, and everywhere in full and undisputed operation. 

Such reasoning on our part doesn't breed carelessness, but it does instill a confidence which establishes our thought, directs our movements, and guarantees our safety.

If we think of ourselves as material man in a material world of unstable and conflicting forces, we are handicapped before we start.  But if we comprehend the marvelous fact of man's unity with God, good, this empowers us to experience His omnipotent care whatever the circumstances may be. No one is ever outside the sphere of divine Love's protecting, saving influence. 

The five physical senses report that we're not always in God's presence, that we can find ourselves beyond His help.  But Christian Science maintains the opposite view.  Man is spiritual, the beloved child of his Maker, divine Mind, never for a moment separated from God's all-encompassing care.  God's child is neither the victim nor the perpetrator of careless or harmful acts. 

God is the only power -- the all-wise, all-directing, and all-seeing divine Mind.  You and I (and everyone else in the world) are actually God's offspring, and so we must all continuously reflect His control.  Understanding our Father's universal government counteracts fear.

God maintains us in perfect relation to Himself.  And to each other.  Knowing this help us stay out of the range of accident or conflict, and in fact, it helps prevent such situations.  As stars fixed in their courses move harmoniously, so the ideas of God, Spirit, move harmoniously in His orbits.  God's orbits are spiritual, as are the movements of His ideas.  The motion and action of God's creation are, in fact, the reflection and expression of Truth, Life, and Love.

The Master, Christ Jesus, had the absolute conviction of being inseparable from his Father, our Father. This so thoroughly governed his thoughts and actions that he was able to demonstrate dominon over daily events.  Jesus said, "He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone."  (John 8:29)  Nor does the Father ever leave any one of us alone, unprotected.  God's wonderful care is at hand now and in all of our travels.  Thus we can count on staying safe.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

When things need changing

"If the Son shall make you free,
ye shall be free indeed"
our blessed Master said.
This promise perpetual,
realizable in ways
not only awe-inspiring,
but intensely practical,
has for me come true,
when there was need
to have things adjusted.
And what it has done for me,
it can certainly do for you.
Believe that what Jesus taught
applies specifically to you
With love for Christ,
and honest efforts to do
what He said you ought,
You can find escape/deliverance/a way out,
or peace and harmony where you are,
that can leave you praising God --
whatever your circumstances may be.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Stormy Weather

When we moved down here to Tennessee (I say "down" since we came from Boston, MA), our next-door neighbor told us what we could expect when spring rolled around.  She was from San Francisco, CA, which has potential weather problems of its own, but she was blown away (not literally) by the thunder storms that come up in the southeast USA.  "It can make your hair stand on end", she said.  And she was right.

Having lived through several now, what I think about and pray about when potentially damaging weather arises may help someone else confronting nature's fury.  I've gotten solid help from these spiritiually powerful words from Paul:  "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 have reasoned, "Well, if all that can't separate man from his Maker, then a fierce storm certainly can't."  And this description of wind, from the Glossary of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, has also reassured me.  Mary Baker Eddy writes:  "That which indicates the might of omnipotence and the movements of God's spiritual government, encompassing all things" (p. 597)

I love the thought that God's government is surrounding us all--not just me and our house but the entire community.  To really feel God's presence at such a time is wonderful, and any one of us can feel this.

While the physical senses tell us that we're subject to the natural elements around us, and that despite the precautions we may take, we are still potential victims of damaging weather conditions--and we certainly can't be blase about potentially destructive storms--still there is no more reliable help than God.  There is actually no other power.

Many passages throughout the Bible reveal God as the ever-present, tender guardian of all.  And 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).  Nor does the Father ever leave us alone and unprotected.  The Father's comfortin and powerful love is always at hand anytime we need His incomparable help.

In truth, we are not helpless victims of violence from weather.  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.  When we realize this fact with the conviction that comes of spiritual udnerstanding, we can come through stormy conditions without fear or harm.

Whenever weather threatens our well-being, we can meet it through an understanding of our oneness with God.  A spiritual understanding of this is extremely practical, and it's acccessible to anyone reading this blog.  You can begin right now to discern and put into practice those spiritual truths of God and man that will enable you to pass through storms with calmness and confidence that your safety under God's government is sure.