Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Short but sweet...

...which is what this entry will be, but worth sharing with the world as it shows conclusively the  healing power of Christian Science.  Just emailed a friend about a quick healing I had a few days ago, which involved a painful ankle.  We were walking our dogs in a 16-acre park near our town's library, with trails that climb upward for 3 levels, and midway I thought, can I complete this hike or not?  Almost immediately a truth that I had read earlier by Samuel Greenwood, a Christian Science practitioner and teacher who lived in Victoria, British Colombia came strongly:  "You are an idea in Mind, with no other source or consciousness."  I reasoned, since God is not thinking this, it is not in my consciousness.  And voila, the pain left -- just like that.

I could never be grateful enough for all that Mary Baker Eddy brings out in her writings about the One Mind, God; that this is our Mind and always has been.  So many powerful statements from especially Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures could be cited here but it would take me all day, and I don't have time right now.

But I will end with a testimony emailed back to me from a Christian Scientist friend down in Georgia.  He wrote: "One time I had some pain in my leg, it appeared to be infected.  I remembered what Mrs. Eddy said about 'If disease moves, mind, not matter, moves it; therefore be sure that you move it off.'  So I mentally moved the pain off.  And it left me ! I have always related that statement to Jesus moving the insanity belief from the man to the pigs.

Can't push me around, no sir!!"

Sunday, December 16, 2012

"Press on, press on, ye sons of light"

                                          (By John Robert Howell)

        An understanding of basic mathematics (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) will satisfy the daily needs of most of mankind.  But one would have to be daffy to expect these basic skills alone would somehow carry him through to a degree in quantum physics.  So it is with the understanding of a few basic truths in Christian Science.  Mrs. Eddy tells us that Truth is so powerful that even a small understanding of it will produce salutary results, but what many of us need to oppose and overcome is the all-too-human desire to loiter in the placid vale of a few familiar and comforting truths because we have a chicken in the pot, a comfortable sofa, and our bills paid.

        Those aspiring to achieve "awakening" in Zen Buddhism take it for granted that long hours of meditation are essential.  Christian Scientists must see the parallel need of unrelenting prayer for themselves, their neighbor, and the world.  Because the sincere and honest Scientist is less caught up in the web of materiality than most people and because he knows something of Truth, his life is doubtless less stressed by the aggressive mental suggestions of mortal mind, but if he is not vigilant he can vegetate in the delusion that a dime's worth of prayer will always result in a dollar's worth of blessing.

        The ante needs to be upped, and greatly so.  Our understanding of the metaphors, parables, and truths that provided growth and support at an earlier stage of our experience needs to be deepened and transformed, else our thoughts become little more than ossified comforts like insects imprisoned in amber.  Psalms, Christ Jesus' sayings and parables, and the writings of Mrs. Eddy are a most welcome refuge and comfort, but we can't graze peacefully beside the still waters forever.  We must grow spiritually and Scientifically and increase our spiritual sense of Truth--if necessary, by geometric strides, not just arithmetic babysteps.

        Some might employ that tired old cliche, "we need to think outside the box".  The brilliant idea of adding stages to a rocket, which solved the problem of getting heavy objects into the earth's orbit and even out of earth's gravitational pull, was thinking outside the box for sure, but the genius required to do it was still an extension, however complex, of existing rocket technology.  What is needed is that a completely new mental state be experienced, a putting off of the old man and a putting on of the new and learning more and more what that means metaphysically.

        It is not a process of somehow doing a better job of mentalizing familiar metaphors, parables, and truths, piling them up into a multi-stage rocket, which may really be nothing more than raising the extension on one's mental ladder a few rungs.  What is needed is ever new and fresh levels of thought, ongoing revelations of Truth.  It takes--and how loath some of us are to give it--hours of quiet prayer, the kind of prayer Mrs. Eddy teaches us in "Prayer" in Science and Health.  But if we are humble, trustful, patient, and diligent we can achieve glorious experiences such as the woman in that wonderful testimony in "Fruitage" in Science and Health ("Born Again", pp. 667-69).  Christ Jesus, Paul, and Mary Baker Eddy aren't bad exemplars either.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Doing Things God's Way

If we do what God wants us to,
things go well with us.
If we don't,
they don't.
Isn't this the way it ought to work?
We can't His wishes shirk
and expect all to go well.
Disobedience will tell --
in vexation, disappointment,
things not unfolding as they should.
And could be,
if one were only obedient.
Think about this:
If Jesus had to be (and was) 100%
subservient to His Father's will,
where is there any escape for us?
How could the rules be waived,
God's will set aside, for you and me?
But if I don't do as I want,
I'll lose out, someone may say.
Oh no, you won't.
Our ever loving Father knows best,
and living to please and obey Him,
we gain in every conceivable way.
Not just words these.
I know what I'm talking about.
Try doing it the Master's way,
and good will flow into our life
such that you may want to shout,
Oh, why wasn't I doing this before?
God has for all His children
such infinite good in store.

Christ's "Not my will, but Thine"
can more and more be yours and mine.

Friday, December 7, 2012

In God's Presence

                                      (Written by John Robert Howell)

Each of us has always existed in the eternal now as God's perfect and harmonious idea.  The extent to which this is not being realized and expressed is the extent to which sin and aggressive mental suggestions occupy thought.  Through prayer, the righteous overcome sin and its attendant demons of fear, disease, and death.

Our world today seems awash in a Pandora's box of afflictions.  Nevertheless, every inharmony we experience, see, or just hear about--whether it is sin, disease, death, hatred, war, famine, loss, or poverty--exists entirely and exclusively in the only place it can--in the rag-and-bone shop of our own personal and mortal sense of existence.  If God, good, is really omnipresent (and He is), then there is no hidey-hole for such inharmonies to lurk in, no place for such a thing as a real inharmony.

Christ Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy have shown us how to experience being in God's presence.  They admonish us to enter our (mental) closets, close the door and pray to our Father in secret.  The door, we are told, shuts out sin:  sinful sense, the physical senses, the erring senses, the material senses (Science and Health 15: 4, 7, 10, 16).  Those false senses, facets of personal sense, blind us to the everpresent God.  The door must be shut, not just pulled to, since being even slightly ajar will allow false belief, which can never perceive God, to enter.  Then prayer becomes a wrangle with error instead of a communion with God, and tussling with error can have the effect of making its claims appear more real and formidable.  In that event what was intended to be standing in God's healing and uplifting presence devolves into a kind of mad hatter's tea party. Further, it is more important that our prayer be a knowing of Truth than a denial of error.

Why must we pray in secret?  Secret is being used in the sense of unseen, private, removed from sight.  "The Student's Reference Dictionary" gives this inspired definition of secret:  "Known to God only."  Daily growth in grace will enable us to pray more effectually, but the specific steps each of us takes will of necessity be the result of individual spiritual unfoldment.  Then we shall not just read, but know, that "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High [abides] under the shadow of the Almighty."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Effective Prayer

(John Wellsman is not only a longtime friend and devoted student of Christian Science; he is a gifted photographer as well.   His website is www.JohnWellsmanPhotography.com  He and his wife Jennifer live in Southern Arizona with their 2 dogs and 3 cats.)

Recently I was reminded of an incident which happened some time ago that illustrates the power of individual prayer to adjust human situations.  It was necessaray for me to interact with the bureacracy of the state in which I lived at the time.  This state has a reputation for brash, in-your-face individuals and surly civil servants to say the least.

When I arrived at the office where I needed to transact my business, it was immediately apparent that one of the clerks was far less than happy to be there that morning, and was taking more than a little satisfaction in sharing the mood with others.  As there were quite a number of clerks, it was not at first clear that I would have to deal with this individual.  Nonetheless, I felt a strong desire to keep my own thinking above the fray, so to speak.  Taking the necessary forms to the quietest corner of the office I sat down and closed my eyes briefly to reach out for some comforting thought.

Almost immediately this passage from Mary Baker Eddy's work, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" came clearly to my consciousness:  "divine Love cannot be deprived of its manifestation or object:" (p. 304:10)  Just as suddenly came the clear understanding of the absolute truth and power of that statement to prevent me--or anyone else for that matter--from believing otherwise.  Without giving further thought to the situation I proceeded to fill out the necessary paperwork and await my turn.  By this time, it was obvious to many in the room that there had been a change in the mental atmosphere surrounding that particular clerk's window.  Within a few more minutes it was obvious that I would be dealing directly with this individual.  As I stood in the line awaiting my turn I could clearly see the change in attitude.

When I ararived at the window, I greeted the individual with a warm, "Good morning!"  After a brief but intense look, the clerk returned the greeting with warmth and sincerity.  We transacted the necessary business quickly, exchanged a couple of humorous observations and as I turned to go, I wished the clerk a good day which elicited a smiling, "Thank you!  You too!"

In the first chapter of the above-mentioned book, "Science and Health" entitled "Prayer" Mary Baker Eddy defines prayer thus:  "Desire is prayer," and she goes on to say"...no loss can occur from trusting God with out desires that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds."   (p.1:11)  The foregoing incident illustrates to me the truth of that statement.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Scotching Satan's Serpentine Seductions

                                           (By John Robert Howell)

Mrs. Eddy tells us that the nothingness of nothing is plain, but nowhere that I recall does she say, or even imply, that the subtlety of subtlety is plain.  Would that it were.  It is the nature of the beast, animal magnetism, to anesthetize consciousness, in somewhat the pernicious way carbon monoxide acts--silent, odorless, and unseen.  Thus the necessity that our watch be wakeful, spiritually active, and imbued with a keen sensitivity to anything that is unlike God, which of course means we had better be well acquainted with Him.  Other things than gentle lambs come in lamb's clothing.

If the old westerns are to be believed, one of the tricks employed by Indians attacking a circled wagon train was to hang off the side of their horses on the side away from the beleaguered defenders so that only a horse was visible to them.  The Indians would then shoot either under the neck or over the back.  (That paleface's speaking with forked tongue--or worse, much worse--invited retaliation, is beside the point here.)  A horse is all mortal mind, animal magnetism, wants us to see.

Mrs. Eddy sounded the tocsin repeatedly in her writings on the dangers of a flaccid sentinel.  There is the well-known citation on page 442 of Science and Health, lines 30-32:  "Christian Scientists, be a law unto yourselves that mental malpractice cannot harm you either when asleep or when awake."  It should also be remembered that a sentry or porter is posted at the front door, not the bedroom door or closet door.  The discovery of an intruding evil in the act of ransacking our mental drawers or snuggling up with us in bed is not the ideal time or place to deal with it, though we grow from those kinds of experiences too.

As our great Master, Christ Jesus, has admonished us:  "What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.  (Mark 13-37)

Squaring accounts with Love

Since I just told a close friend an experience I had this morning, thought came, why not put it on my website?  Might just be helpful to a reader somewhere in the world.

There is a woman at the Farragut Post Office who has, over the months, been quite unpleasant to customers.  Almost insulting to us, at times.  Not happy with her work, it seems, always complaining about having to wait on people.  I toyed with the thought of calling her downtown supervisor to criticize, but never did.

Then this morning the angel thought came, why not get a donut or something at the local grocery store and take it to her?  I put a Christmas tag on it, and just delivered it, saying, "For your coffee break later."  She was so surprised, looked pleased to get it.

So, the harsh thoughts I had been harboring toward this lady are gone.  And it feels so good!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Honouring our Saviour

Happened to read a column in a local newspaper yesterday, wherein the mother wrote about teaching her 2 young children that Christmas is not essentially about presents and such, but is a time to honour Christ Jesus.

In thinking about this, let me share a quick healing I had last week that, to me, pays the greatest respect to our Saviour.  I am an adherent of Christian Science, which is clear in its mission and that is to reinstate the words and works of Christ Jesus.  This is pointed out in Mary Baker Eddy's masterwork, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.  I firmly believe from years of experience, that the divine truths found in this volume make available to us those truths that were the basis of Jesus' wonderful proofs of God's everpresence and all-power.

I was putting up Christmas lights when I tripped over a string and fell with one finger bent back.  It wasn't broken I soon decided, but the pain was something to be handled right then.  Almost immediately, I began praying from the standpoint of what I've learned from my religion.  Many statements of divine fact from the Bible and from the writings of Mrs. Eddy flooded into thought, and the one that stood out to me the most was this:  "The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea, -- perfect God and perfect man, -- as the basis of thought and demonstration."  This is from the book I referred to above.

I did my best to look away from the persistent feelings of pain and to realize my painless, perfect being as the child of God.  As I held thought to the spiritual, correct concept of man, the throbbing began to subside, and in less than 2 hours the pain had completely disappeared.  And I could use my finger freely.

There is nothing more important at this season, nor at any time whatsoever, than paying homage to our Saviour, Christ Jesus.  And I'm grateful to have had this opportunity to do so.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The prayer Jesus gave us

                              (This was written by my close friend, Lynn,
                                    who lives here in the South, USA)

Recently I was waiting in my vet's office while one of my dogs was geting a required annual shot.  That office was rocking with people, their dogs and cats, their kids, and staff members -- it was wild.

I was trying to pray for a family member who appeared to be seriously ill and had asked for Christian Science treatment.  I couldn't seem to focus for more than a few seconds before I would become distracted by everything that was going on around me.  I felt the need to pray but how to do it?  It came to me to pray the Lord's Prayer, which our Master Christ Jesus gave us.  I knew I could focus on the Lord's Prayer, because it was so familiar to me.  Mary Baker Eddy tells us in her great work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures that it is the prayer that covers all human needs, and which instantaneously heals the sick.  So, very slowly while thinking about each line, keeping my eyes closed, I began to pray.  I especially love the Lord's Prayer because when you pray, you are not only praying for yourself, but for people all over the world.  The prayer starts, Our Father -- not my Father!

I was in my third repetition when I heard a huge crash!  I opened my eyes and to my surprise, I was totally alone in the waiting room.  The crash was a 2-car accident on the street right outside.  Two little girls who had been playing on the sidewalk while waiting for the folks in the vet's office, ran inside crying.  I was able to comfort them and lead them to the room where their parents were located.  I alerted the staff to call 911.  A young man entered the office who had seen the accident, saying all involved were fine.  He volunteered to wait for the police and to direct traffic.  The state police showed up within minutes, even though the vet was located out in the country.  If ever you could call an accident gentle and harmonious, this was it.  I was so grateful I was praying just when the accident happened, and that I was praying the prayer that meets all human needs.  Oh and my family member?  -- she was completely healed in a couple of days.

I am so grateful for Christ Jesus, and for the insight and understanding of God's healing presence that Mrs. Eddy provides us in her writings.

Seeing Things Correctly

(This was written by my husband,
         John Robert Howell)


Either God is the absolute All or He is not.

That He is a starting point, one without fault.

Any middle muddle is another wife of Lot,

Hesitant, unsure--and then a pillar of salt.

That error out there is but an error within.

Faults found in others start out from our home.

God, pure and everywhere, knows only what is akin

And makes us insensible to mortal mind's drone.

Friend where enemy seemed to be

Okay, so the other guy started it,
And you're going to finish it.
While giving back to him
May be satisfying, for a time,
Don't do it.
Returning evil for evil
Is like putting Miracle Grow
On your flowerbeds.

There's a better way to
Get along with people --
The way God expects.
"Love your enemies, bless them
That curse you, do good to them
That hate you, and pray for them
Which despitefully use you,
And persecute you"
Our blessed Master said.
        (Matthew 5:44)

Doing what the Prince of Peace
Says to do never fails;
It stops strife in its tracks,.
Leaves everyone better off,
And you know what?
Even makes a friend where
An enemy seemed to be.

Christmas Thoughts (Poem) - John Robert Howell

The muezzin of the infinite and light-
emblazoned firmament
Marked the nightly vigil's silent and meditative
Of those wakeful, watchful shepherds, scientific
Who pondered not dusty constellations of
earth's deceptions,
But the higher lessons witnessed in God's
Thus to behold the glow of that edritch eastern
Herald of Jesus' nativity, Light's advent in the
That event was once and not to be repeated,
Yet for those whose receptive hearts wander
Among the darkly lighted trails and travails of
The promise of that holy dawn blesses all