Thursday, December 26, 2013

My Goal For the New Year

A great woman once said,

"Each day I know Him nearer,

love Him  more, and humbly pray

to serve Him better."*

Is there a higher goal than serving God

Better to aim for in the year ahead?

I know, I know,  this is activity sublime,

But what better way to use our time

Than keeping this goal in thought.

Not for the blessings immense and

Continuous that will surely

Flow to you and me,

But simply because we're obedient

Children doing what we ought.

*Mary Baker Eddy in First Church of
      Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany

Enclosed in Him

"God is with you
In everything you do"* --
Words so very true,
Meant for me and you;
On a bookmark they are,
A friend sent from afar.
Whether night or day,
At home or far away,
Feeling up and cheery,
Or downhearted and weary,
A faith-lighted thought this is --
That our loving Father is
Never apart from us.
Is this not glorious? --
That His care does surround,
His loving arms around
All those we love
Beside them always, above --
And not only ones we greet,
But those we may never meet.
What would mankind do
Is this were not true?
Oh, but it is the case,
Something nothing can erase.
Enclosed in Him -- what a treasure,
Comfort beyond all measure.

*Genesis 2122

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Limited Horizons Dispelled

                                        John Robert Howell

        I've been thinking of spiritual progress in the upcoming New Year and hope the following will be of help to some student of Christian Science:

        A frisky horse in a corral may dash exuberantly to and fro, gallop about wildly, and kick up its heels.  By the end of the day it may have covered several miles, but it still ends the day where it started.  Dedicated Christian Scientists who are working daily for a greater understanding of God and His laws and an ability to demonstrate it better and more decisively may well do so with the zest and vigor of the horse in the corral and yet find themselves with little more insight and inspiration at day's end than they had at the day's beginning.

        One reason for this could be that one is mentally gamboling about too willy nilly, like the horse, without a methodical, focussed approach to study.  Another reason could be that one has unconsciously built over many years a sturdy, comforting, spiritual corral for himself, outside of which is thinking never ventures.  It may be that the mental corral is the evidence of a need for more childlike trust in God, more obedience to the duties and obligations one accepts as a Christian Scientist, or for more Christlike love for God and man.  But whatever the mesmeric error or errors, unrelenting working, watching, and praying will remove the fence around the corral and open the way out of stagnation and darkness into fresh pastures of light.

        In the words of Mary Baker Eddy, we can look forward to "new views of divine goodness and love" in 2014.



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

To My Readers Everywhere

        May your Christmas be filled with all the joys your hearts can hold. 

And I'm sure they will be, as you reflect on the unspeakable gift we've been

given in God's dear Son, who is (among many wondrous things):

Love's Pure Light
Prince of Peace
Bread of Life
Wonderful Counselor
Everlighting Light
Alpha and Omega
The Good Shepherd
The Way, the Truth, the Life
The Anointed

        Are not we followers of Christ Jesus blessed!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Harmony, Not Upheaval

If my experience is any measure,

Problems arise when thought

Is not enough on God --

Man's greatest treasure.

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,

Whose mind is stayed on thee"

Isaiah 2:3 points out:

"Stayed" on Him --

Not on earthly cares

And pointless pleasure.

We can keep things right,

By having Him

More in mental sight.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

We can do more

        Do we feel we're doing all we can to show our love for God and man?  I doubt that we are.  I know I'm not.

        But what I've learned from my study of the Bible and the teachings of Christian Science has helped me see that the incentive and enthusiasm needed for life's work is achievable.

        First as a source of help for greater activity along this line is Christ Jesus who illustrated for us that our reason for existing is to reflect God, to express the spiritual qualities comprising our true selfhood.  As I've  realized this, new opportunities for being about God's business have opened up, with what it takes to be doing more.

        And Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded my religion, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p. 89), "We are all capable of more than we do."  in the same book she also says (p. 258), "God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis."

        Christian Science teaches that man is not a restricted, incomplete mortal; he is God's spiritual, perfect likeness, as the first chapter of the Bible declares him to be.  God, infinite Mind, is never limited or depleted, and neither is His beloved reflection, man.  Limitation, which comes from ignorance of man's God-given capacities, is a false belief that fades as we become more conscious of our true, spritual being.  Joy, ability, energy, and inspiration are qualities everyone reflects abundantly and continuously.  And since they are spiritual--true substance --they cannot diminish, but are infinite, constantly available, forever fresh.

        Anyone reading this blog can learn to apply the spiritual truths Jesus employed so successfully.  This will increase his own outreach of good.  By consistently claiming our spiritual individuality as an unlimited idea of God, divine Mind, we will find our mental  horizons broadening and our capacity increasing to the extent that achievements for God and man once considered totally out of reach gradually become possible.

        There is no doubt about it; you and I can be doing more to show our love for God and man.  And given humanity's great need for what we all have to give, we should be.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

God's Way to Good Health

        For me the study of Christian Science offers many advantages.  Not the least is that through its spiritual truths we are able to heal ourselves and others of various physical troubles through prayer.

        Someone might be thinking, "So Christian Science works for you. But when you're sick why not just take some medicine or go have a doctor fix you up?  Wouldn't this be less trouble?"

        From the standpoint of Christian Science, I can think of at least two reasons for not taking medicine.  First, if I looked on myself as nothing more than flesh, blood, and bones--what the physical senses can see--then it might be just as well to depend on material means for regaining and maintaining health.  But along with most religions, Christian Science asserts the validity and reality of the spiritual, the unseen but nonetheless real world of God, divine Spirit.  Where my religion differs from these religions is that it takes the radical position that the spiritual is the actual, the substantial, whereas the material is illusory, transitory.  It asserts that if man is the image of God, made in His very likeness, as the Bible says, then man must, of necessity, be spiritual, perfect right now, contrary to material appearances.  The goal of Christian Science, then, is not alone the healing of bodily ills but the putting off of materiality and limitation in all its forms.  And this is done by striving consistently for full salvation in the way Christ Jesus taught.

        My second reason for sticking to spiritual healing as taught in Christian Science is that if I intend to follow in Jesus' steps, I can't do this unless I am fully obedient to all his commands:  and one of his most important injunctions is "Heal the sick."  (Matthew 10:8)  Since I know of no other religion that explains how Jesus healed on a divinely mental basis, on the basis of provable Principle and law, Christian Science has become, for me, the way to be obedient to this injunction and to heal by spiritual means alone.

        Jesus said:  "Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me:  or else believe me for the very works' sake.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also."  (John 14:11, 12)  He healed all kinds of physical conditions spiritually, as did his disciples, and these healings verified the truth of the doctrine Jesus preached.  Today Christian Science is making available the Master's method.  It deals with disease from the spiritual standpoint that Spirit is the reality of man's life.  It sees disease as primarily mental, not physical.  It holds that matter's apparent substantiality is actually an illusion, a creation of the phsycail sense arising from the belief that substance is apart from God, Mind.  As radical as these statements may sound, they are foundational to the spiritual understanding of God that overcomes the supposed reality of sickness, sin, and death.

        Mary Baker Eddy's writings accentuate this vital aspect of Christlike demonstration.  She states; "My insistence upon a proper understanding of the unreality of matter and evil arises from their deleterious effect, physical moral, and intellectual, upon the race."  She continues at the bottom of the next page:  "What is the cardinal point of the difference in my metaphysical sysstem?  This:  that by knowing the unreality of disease, sin, and death, you demonstrate the allness of God.  This difference wholly separates my system from all others.  The reality of these so-called existences I deny, because they are not to be found in God, and this system is built on Him as the sole cause."  ("Unity of Good", pp. 8, 9-10)

        Many people I know have proved through restored health and  normality that discord does not exist as a God-constituted reality but is an illusion of material sense.  As ignorance, fear, and false beliefs have yielded to the powerful, corrective Christ, Truth--to the recognition that God is perfect and man is now His perfect reflection--healing has come.  The action of Truth bringing light to one's consciousness destroys the darkness of fear and pain and lifts thought to see the all-presence of spiritual harmony.  It awakens us to see man as the exact likeness of infinite Spirit, spiritual and complete, governed by God's law of harmony and wholeness.

        At first it may seem difficult, if  not impossible, for one to believe that man can be anything other than the material person we see all the time--a flesh-and-blood mortal who is subject to suffering and disease.  Nevertheless, as so many men, women, and children have proved, there is power to heal in the spiritual understanding that one's real selfhood is inseparable from Spirit, God, good.  What's more a Truth-enlightened mental state is inevitably objectified in one's experience as increased freedom and normality.  As Jesus showed us conclusively, this is God's way to good health.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas, Without the Stress

Not enough time in the day

To do the thousand and one things

You feel you have to do

To get ready for Christmas?

This need not be your experience,

As I have found, with this time of year

Much more stress-free, simplified.

We need to keep our priorites right side up,

Take care to place God's demands above our own.

It  helps to consider Christ Jesus, someone

Who was never rushed or flurried,

Who was always on time for healing.

Why was this, do you think?

Could one reason have been

"I do always those things that please him"?

                  (John 8:29

A holy example, this.

But something all can shoot for.

Even our willingness to pray,

May this day be lived the way,

You heavenly Father, know is best

Will remove feelings of stress,

Begin adjusting circumstances

As only God can do.

There will then be enough time

For Him -- first don't forget,

And time enough for you

To do all those things

You need to do.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Daniel and Those Lions

        I have above my desk a picture of Daniel in the Lion's Den.  It is the version that shows Daniel facing the lions, instead of looking out a window with his back to them.  Quite striking to me is the fact that his hands are bound behind him, and he couldn't even raise them to try to ward off any blows.  What trust in God this portrays! 

        And the lions are interesting to study:  one looks ferocious, as though he would like to eat the prophet right up; one looks subdued; another looks confused; one lion looks curious; one is cowering in the background, and one looks like he knows he's been naughty.  I'm especially struck by the lion that looks amazed at the calm Daniel is showing, like he can't believe the great man is not overcome by fear.

        There is such a lesson to me in the way Daniel handled this situation, in the absolute and sublime trust in God he obviously felt.  And looking at this picture this morning, two inspiring statements come to thought that might give you something to ponder as you go about your day.

        The first is from Psalms 119:165, "Great peace have they which love thy law:  and nothing shall offend them."

        And from the pen of Mary Baker Eddy, "Understanding the control which Love held over all, Daniel felt safe in the lion's den and Paul proved the viper to be harmless."  Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 514.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Mind We Now Have

We are God's and have His Mind,
our thoughts from Him reflected.
Claiming and understanding this, we are
from mental intrustion protected.

There is no confusion in God
nor in His image, you and me.
Accepting this as gospel truth,
we cannot help but see
truth do what Jesus said it would:

        Expose discord's unreality,
                Strike off mental chains,
                         Make us feel oh so free!

Christ-informed, spiritually enlightened,
we can have now rightful demonstration
of the dominion that belongs to all
as divine Mind's own manifestation.
For man is Mind-created and
held with Love's arms all around,
and there is nothing in God's infinitude
to drag Mind's idea-you and me--down.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Joy of Giving

        'Tis the season when people feel something special in the air--an incentive to be more generous to others in need.  Christmas is such a lovely time of year, and even more inspiring, is seeing evidence of divine Love in action in so many ways.

        A Christian Science practitioner I know once said something I haven't forgotten.  She said that giving and receiving are one--and that one is giving.  There was a time when I thought, if I'm too generous with this or that, there won't be enough left over for me.  I've since learned that this is not so.  Not at all.  The more I have given, the more good has come back--which is just what the Bible tells us will  happen.

        Jesus says, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.  For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."  (Matthew 6:24)

        And I love these words from Mary Baker Eddy:  "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."  (From "First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, page 165)

        Coming into the right relation to the Christian requirement to be loving and giving toward mankind brings the supply we need.  And it even ensures enough left over to help others, as I have said.  Best of all, it brings us such joy in giving and receiving evidences of God's inexhaustibler resources, which makes this season truly wonderful.



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Lord of My Life

                  "Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of,

                                            before ye ask him."

                                               Christ Jesus

This assurance Jesus gave us, how glorious --

It more and more fills my waking thought,

Inspires me to trust in God's disposal of events,

As a child of His ought.

It frees me from the worry of

"How will such and such work out?'

"What will I do if this or that happens?"

It pervades my life with such peace!

And why ever not,

Since all that concerns us,

is in His hands?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

For Thee? -- Or For Me?

Whatever our work

In life may happen to be,

We should question

Ourselves regularly:

Am I doing what I'm doing

For His glory, or --

For personal homage?

To keep our lives un-cursed,

       our answer

          had jolly well

                 better be

                       the first.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Trusting God

        Below are some of the reasons why you and I should cultivate trust in our heavenly Father--and less and less in people.

        From Jeremiah 17, verses 5 and 6:  "Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.

        For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and  not inhabited."

        From Psalms 62:  verses 6 through 9:  "He only is my rock and my salvation:  he is my defence; I shall not be moved.

        In God is my salvation and my glory:  the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.

        Trust in him at all times; ye people  pour out your heart before him:  God is a refuge for us.

        Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie:  to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity."

        And from Psalm 146, verse 3:  "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help."

The wonderful fact is, that the more you and I depend on God, the more true independence we shall have!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Artist Extraordinaire*

                    Peach and rose and gold,

                    And cream and baby blue,

                    And rimmed with fire,

                    Clouds of slate,

                    A most spectacular sky right now.

                    I know I'm late,

                   But how can I be expected to drive,

                   And ooh and aah?

Meaning of course, God

Monday, November 11, 2013

How's the Tone of Your Voice?

        Every now and then I think of a lady I know, a Christian Science practitioner, who once shared something of value--certainly to me, and I hope to you. 

        She was taking care of her mother who required almost constant attention, and this at times caused the need for extra patience.  One of my friend's favorite quotations from the Bible is this:  "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer."  This is found in Psalms 19:14  And she learned to add, "And the tone of my voice."  It occured to her one day that that an impatient, frustrated, unkind tone of voice could hardly be acceptable to our loving Father, and that giving way to the same was something that needed prayerful work on her part.

        This was quite impressive to me, and it has continued to be a reminder to me to watch my own tone of voice in everyday circumstances.

Shining Lights

The wisest people

I'm blessed to know

At the Master's feet

No matter what bend low.

And  I have observed,

These humble stay that way.

It's the way they live,

Not the words they say.

These cities set on a hill,

These shedders of light,

Have greatly touched my life

With the glow of Jesus' might.

Christians such as these

Live not for wealth or fame,

But to follow in Jesus' steps.

May I be sure to do the same.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

"It seems like only a dream now"

        A friend of ours expressed this some years ago after a challenging time involving his young family.  Frank was (and still is) a student of Christian Science and had naturally relied on its teachings to see them through the situation.

        In my own experience, I've found many worthwhile reasons for studying Christian Science, the law of God.  Of special significance to me has been the help received in waking up from the waking dream of life in matter, separate from God.

        Our Master, Christ Jesus, came to liberate human consciousness from this mental and spiritual darkness, and to this end he exposed and proved the falsity of any material sense.  He urged the recognition of man's perfection as a child of God, and taught no other origin.  Christian Science is a precise statement of the same Christ-way, for there is no other means or mode of escape from the illusions of materiality.

        The teachings of Christian Science stand on the eternal reality of life in and of God alone--in divine, infinite Spirit--as demonstrated by Jesus, who taught that God is Spirit.  Therefore Christian Science draws the logical conclusion that the offspring of God, Spirit--in other words, man--is entirely spiritual; he always has been and always will be.

        The Science of Christianity elaborates on our true, spiritual nature.  It helps us understand that belief in life in matter is an error, a mistake, ignorance of what God made and sees as real and present.  This so-called existence has its being in the darkness and restrictions of mortal thought, in a supposed material consciousness apart from the one, infinite, divine Mind.

        Mary Baker Eddy points out in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:  "Mortal existence is a dream of pain and pleasure in matter, a dream of sin, sickness, and death; and it is like the dream we have in sleep, in which every one recognizes his condition to be wholly a state of mind.  In both the waking and the sleeping dream, the dreamer thinks that his body is material and the suffering is in that body."  (p. 188)

        "Even so," someone might be thinking, "material existence is very pleasant for me right now.  Why would I want to wake up from it?"  Let's consider some of the reasons, although it isn't easy to detail what waking up to life in God does for us with so many blessings to choose from.

        There is the increased joy and vitality one experiences.  Better health, increased harmony in everyday relationships, and a greater sense of God's constant provision are also benefits of waking up from the waking dream. And a feeling of freedom that one has to experience for him or herself to fully appreciate.

        In Psalms we find this petition to God:  "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law."  (Ps. 119:18)  The teachings of divine Science show us how to witness the fulfillment of this petition.  Here is just one of the many clear explanations to be found the book I mentioned above:  "For right reasoning there should be but one fact before the thought, namely, spiritual existence.  In reality there is  no other existence, since Life cannot be united to its unlikness, mortality."

        "Being is holiness, harmony, immortality.  It is already proved that a knowledge of this, even in small degree, will uplift the physical and moral standard of mortals, will increase longevity, will purify and elevate character.  This progress will finally destroy all error, and bring immortality to light."  (p. 492)

        The night dream vanishes when we wake up from it--not by doing anything to it.  In a similar way, the waking dream of mortal existence begins to dissipate as we wake up spiritually through the exercise of spiritual understanding, not by trying to change or rearrange the illusion.  So-called material life is mental and just as much an illusion as the night dream.  The need is always for more spiritual enlightenment, for the knowledge Jesus had of divine reality.

        Waking up from the waking dream of life in the flesh to man's uninterrupted, entirely spiritual existence brings solid benefits.  It has shown, and showing, to many individuals more of the infinite good they have always had as God's child.  It can do the same for you.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Preventing Seasonal Suffering

        Happy to see  your favorite season roll around, but  unhappy to think of the ailments generally associated with it?  You can stop dreading certain times of the year.  Seasonal suffering can be prevented.  Freedom, ability, and health can be maintained the whole year through--without interruption.  The preventive art taught by Christian Science is available to all of us, and offers more than partial or temporary relief.

        I love this statement by Mary Baker Eddy, the woman who discovered and founded Christian Science.  She writes:  "A calm, Christian state of mind is a better preventive of contagion than a drug, or than any other possible sanative method, and the 'perfect Love' that 'casteth out fear' is a sure defense".  This is from an article titled "Contagion" and it is found in the collection of her writings, Prose Works.

        This assurance of immunity from suffering is not mere theory; I have experienced it many times over the years when symptoms of this or that ailment loomed.  I've learned to see that God's man is inherently pure and whole--not a mortal, flesh-and-blood creature who is subject to certain afflictions.  We are actually God's spiritual offspring, not at the mercy of whatever disease is believed to be prevalent, not helpless before fear or sickness.  Divine Love, the tender Father of all, by vitue of His allness, excludes whatever is unlike His pure nature.  This truth destroys any supposed evidence that we could be subject to suffering.

        The Science of Christ teaches the importance of realizing that matter, or physicality, can't talk or lay out conditions for us.  That which claims to possess power coequal with God does not; nor can it interfere with His governing of us.  There is no material intelligence to oppose God, divine Mind.  What's more, the loving Father is never telling us we're fearful, weak mortals in a vulnerable situation.  Throughts from the one Mind, the Mind we all uninterruptedly reflect, reveal our divine right to the wholeness that is continually ours as Mind's beloved manifestation.  These comforting, healing, redeeming ideas are pouring forth perpetually.  Our role is one of listening with humble, unclouded receptivity.  The more consistently we maintain this holy state of consciousness, the greater our spiritual conviction that God is all-powerful and ever present.

        Regardless of what disease outbreaks may be predicted, the fact remains that God is the only power and presence, and man is inseparable from His omnipotence.  Armed with these spiritual truths, we can prove the immuniyt that divine Love gives us from contagion and demonstrate our eternal unity with God, good.

        Because we are God's, Love's, offspring, we have a sure basis for living free of the fear of suffering.  In truth, we remain the way our creator conceived and constituted us.  When God finished His work, the Bible says, He pronounced it very good.  It is the material view of things that is incorrect, such as the belief that something is part of us that God neither put there nor sees.  In God--in divine, infinite Love, where each of us has his true, uninvadable being--there is no sickness, no pain, no fear, to make encroachments on our health and well-being.

        In summing up, you and I can prove for ourselves that true immunity from seasonal suffering and abiding peace of mind, are found in the consciousness of God's omnipresence and perfect control of our lives.  As one of the many passages in the Scriptures that offer a way out of fear of contagion states, "In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me."  (Psalms 56:4)


Monday, November 4, 2013

We Don't Need a Weatherman...

...thanks, Bob Dylan,

To know which way the wind blows;

When we come across someone

Who has Christ at the center

Of his thoughts and life,

We know, oh how we know.

And tell me it isn't a thrill

To find those like-minded.

                            But still,

The object of what we're doing

(I remind myself)

Is not solely to bless those

Who already feel as we do --

Though getting to live

For Him is wonderful --

But to so live our lives

That others may wonder,

What causes that person

To be radiating such

Joy and lovingkindness?

And when they ask,

To be able to tell them

What is  blessing us so greatly,

To be this very day

A reflector of that light

Jesus talks about,

Which cannot be hid,

And just may cause one

To seek things higher,

Ending up with a heart

For our great King on fire.

Can you think of anything

In this world more glorious?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Jesus' Promise to Us

                                            John Robert Howell

        I have said as much before and still strongly believe that error, animal magnetism, mortal mind, evil--pick the label you prefer--needs to be opposed and denied far more energetically and imperatively than many of us seem to. "Press on, press on, ye sons of light,/Untiring in your holy fight,/Still treading each temptation down,/And battling for a brigher crown."  (Hymn #290) 

        Christ Jesus saw clearly the need for Satan's eradication and assured his followers that each of them can utilize the talent or talents he has been given.  "Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy".  (Luke 10:19)  A good pair of metaphysical hobnail boots will be necessary.  This isn't delicate tweezer work, like building a ship in a bottle.

        A failure to energetically crush out each temptation to believe there is a power opposed to God may leave the woolgathering treader-down with a discouragingly long--and growing longer--work order.  But we have our Master's assurance that we can meet, upheld by divine power, whatever challenge we may face.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Holding Our Ground

This being a soldier of Christ

Is not all charging up the hill,

I have found.

At times there is nothing

One can do but

Do what the Bible


"Be still, and know
 that I am God."

During these times,

We need to hold the ground gained

Until incoming enemy fire

Has waned,

Until the battle field is quiet.

I often think

Of trees in their

Majestic majesty

Who during a storm

Just stand there and take it.

And this further from the Bible,

"Hold that fast which thou hast
That no man take thy crown."

When we're doing these two things,

You and I are doing more than we think.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Might of Christ

When I take stock of all that

God has brought me through,

I can't help feeling awestruck

At the saving things He can do.

Do with such love and grace,

Which helps me not to fear or fret --

As Jesus commanded us not to do --

Trusting God our needs will be met.

What are some of the things

That we can be delivered from?

Illness, fear, lack, bodily harm,

Just to give an idea of some.

Whatever the problems we face,

It is a proved, undeniable fact,

That our heavenly, loving Father

Can bring us through intact.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Friendship in Christian Science

                                       I've known a few loving

                                       Individuals in my day,

                                       But this man tops the list --

                                       A blessing to all

                                       Who are able to say,

                                       "He's my friend."

                                       What brings him through

                                       A life no less challenging

                                       At times than for you and me?

                                       I think it must surely be

                                       Living to encourage and help others,

                                       Living the love Christ Jesus

                                       Lived and taught.

                                      How much my husband and I

                                      Appreciate our dear Georgia friend.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Power Awesome and Immediate

        Just have to share with you something that happened to me last evening when I was reading in the New Testament, in Matthew.  One of Jesus' commands lit up for me as something I needed to pay special attention to.  And do.  Merely reading the words, then going about my business as usual, was no longer going to work, I could see.

        The relevance of this particular command and the way it applied to me kept coming to thought, and I found myself yearning to be aligned with it, to be fully obedient.  And God certainly heard my heartfelt prayer.  I asked Him for the spiritual strength to put our Master's words into practice, and viola!  The fall-out from this was so quick I was amazed. 

        And take it from me who just experienced something wonderful and hard to adequately describe, get yourself right with something Jesus said we are to do and you will see in your life power both awesome and immediate.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Healing the Way Jesus Healed

        In thinking about what it takes to truly be committed to Christ Jesus, it is clear to me that one must employ his divine method of healing.  Nor can we be obedient to his comand to "Heal the sick" in any other way.

        Mary Baker Eddy points out in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "Jesus never asked if disease were acute or chronic, and he never recommended attention to laws of health, never gave drugs, never prayed to know if God were willing that a man should live.  He understood man, whose Life is God, to  be immortal, and knew that man has not two lives, one to be destroyed and the other to be made indestructible.

      Christ's followers have not only the duty, but the privilege of proving God's healing power, even as our Master did.  And many are proving it, through clear-cut healings for themselves and others.

        It may be helpful to the newcomer to Christian Science to learn that this religion doesn't create health; it reveals it.  Proceeding from the concept of the divine Principle of creation found in the first chapter of the Bible, namely, that "God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good," Christian Science maintains that God's universe, including man, is now perfect, complete.  Our need is to realize this glorious fact. 

        Anything unlike God, good, is a false belief that would seem to temporarily obscure ever-present spiritual perfection.  But any erroneous condition that confronts us is corrected when its nothingness is spiritually discerned and demonstrated.

        For a thorough understanding of how Christ Jesus healed, and the spiritual truths that will give any earnest seeker for God's help practical means of obtaining it, the book mentioned above is the way to go.  A world of spiritual enlightenment and healing awaits you.  And me.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Committed to Christ Jesus

                                     Loving Christ Jesus as I do,

                                     Can't help wanting for Him

                                     What His Father wants --

                                     Honor, obedience, love.

                                     Do you want this

                                     For Christ Jesus too?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Planting Pansies and Praising God

        Just now, while putting in colorful pansies for fall color, and beauty into the spring, couldn't help thinking about a wonderful promise from the Bible I ran across recently in one of the Bible Lessons that serious students of Christian Science read/study/put into practice daily.

        I offer this to you, for comfort and an equal light upon your path today!

        "For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you."  (Deuteronomy 20:4)

        And as I have discovered over many years, the enemies referred to here cover the entire ground of mortal ills--sickness, lack, worry, inharmony--you name it.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

"who did hinder you...?"

                                             John Robert Howell

        A lump of coal in the sock of supplication instead of spiritual blessing?  A rivulet of sincere and hope-filled prayers which peters out ineffectually on mortal mind's dry alluvial plain?  If so, it is easy to become discouraged, or at least begin puttering about dispiritedly, while letting aggressive mental suggestions, instead of God, sit in the catbird seat.

        I have wondered more than once, regrettably not to my bitter enough chagrin, why I have even once thought I could scale the heights of heaven with less time spent in prayer than Christ Jesus or Mary Baker Eddy.  When error's skirmish line of adversity is advancing on one's lethargically defended position is not the time to chase one's tail in a tizzy, wondering how to get the pin out of his Scientific grenade.  If we are always as obedient to God as we know how, we are increasingly semper fidelis and semper paratus--and thus under His loving protection.

        Prayer, watching and working are always, Mrs. Eddy tells us, required for growth in grace, and the onset of error's floodtide is not the time to dust off the life-boat kit and begin reading the instructions for assembly.  Christ Jesus and Mrs. Eddy both are very clear on the necessity for and how of spiritual progress.  The Bible and the writings of Mrs. Eddy will not keep the false claims of mortal mind at bay if they are only used as impromptu scotches at the bottom of our mental doors.  But thank God, with all the  help we get in the inspired Word and the teachings of divine Science, it's good to know we have more than enough metaphysical tools to do what He requires of us.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Cathedral of the Trees

                    I've had my share

                    Of inspired, holy moments,

                    Worshiping in a church

                     Made of wood and stone.

                     But I do believe,

                     On a bench on the edge

                     Of a still and lovely forest,

                     I am quite near the divine.

                     I sit here uplifted, all alone --

                     (Except for the One

                     Who made all this,

                     Of course.)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Safe--Even When Home Alone

        In talking with a friend I hadn't seen for awhile, the conversation turned to the recent home invasions in our city.  "Now that my daughter is away at college, I've decided to buy a gun to defend myself", she told me. As I thought about this later (a concept foreign to me), it made me grateful for yet another way in which my religion has been of practical benefit in my life.

        Several years ago and for many years, my husband traveled a lot and I was home alone.  Our house didn't have a security system, and we lived in a somewhat wooded area with neighbors not what one would call close by.  Of course, I didn't have a gun, and wouldn't have wanted to shoot a burglar if someone broke into our house.

        What I did have to feel safe and have peace of mind at nights was an understanding of God's ever-presence.  The Bible says, "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations."  This is from Psalms.  To really comprehend this glorious fact of our perfect unity with our heavenly Father is to enjoy His protecting care under every conceivable human circumstance.  We can never for a moment be outside the sphere of divine Love's protecting, saving influence.  As Mary Baker Eddy writes:  "Existence, separate from divinity, Science explains as impossible."  This is from her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

        It was this sense of being always in God's presence, feeling certain that He was in control of every aspect of my life that gave me the assurance I wouldn't even be confronted with someone trying to break in and do me harm.  It was wonderful to come and go at nights when necessary, and to be home alone, without the crippling fear and anxiety that too many women have in these times. 

        The spiritual truths I had learned from a study of Christian Science empowered me to not have to live my life in fear.  This practical understanding of God's ever-presence gave me the assurance that I was completely secure in divine Love's 24-hour a day protecting care.  For this, I will always be thankful.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Poem - John Robert Howell

        Old seems are unrelieved by discord's strain.

        The fish are reft which nets fail to contain.

        False threadbare tares await the Fisher's touch

        That tunless strings made whole may sing and


        'Tis not enough to ply the prayerful seine.

        Dear Christ must point the way and Mind


        So nothing's lost that He has giv'n a place

        And broken thoughts are healed by Love's pure


Friday, September 13, 2013

Say No to Self-pity!

        A conversation earlier this week with a neighbor who lives down the street from us started me thinking about feeling sorry for oneself.  She told me, despite having nothing outwardly to feel self-pity about, still there are times she gets overwhelmed with discouragement, et al.  She will sometimes spend hours feeling blue, she confided.

        This woman is not a follower of Christian Science, indeed is not even a Christian but a Hindu, so I could only talk with her at a certain level.  But I did try to let her know how detrimental such a practice was--giving way to thoughts of "oh, what's the use in trying?"  In addition, I brought up the fact that such states of thinking have an adverse impact on our health as well.  Just not thinking that should be indulged for any time at all.

        Why is self-pity so harmful?  Beyond what it is does to us mentally/ emotionally/physically, this blocks the good we otherwise might do in this world.   If discouragement and self-pity were from our heavenly Father, we would do the best we could with it, and grow stronger thereby.  But it isn't from God; it's from the devil.  And while we're wallowing in it, and wallowing is not too strong a word, (picture yourself doing this--dignified, isn't it?), we're lost in self, and can't be about our business of loving and serving others.

        Remember this:  it isn't primarily us the devil is after; it's to interfere with Christ working in us to bless others.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Decisions, Decisions

        "In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct they paths", the Holy Bible admonishes.  (Proverbs 3:6)  In this business of living, we all have to make constant choices every day between one course of action and another.  Most decisions we have to make are not critical, of course.  But when they are, we need the best guidance available.  And this, I am learning, is why turning to God for His infallible guidance is vital!

        Through doing this, any one of us can hear God's voice.  Why?  Because you and I, contrary to appearances, are actually spiritual in nature, the reflection of God.  Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, written by Mary Baker Eddy, gives a helpful description of God as "the great I AM; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul, Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence."  With an understanding of what Christian Science reveals of God's tender, ever-present care for His children, many have found they can turn confidently to God, to the spiritual source of our help, for the inspired ideas they need in order to make right decisions.  I know I have.

        The unerringly intelligent Mind, God, who has made man and the universe, hasn't left His creation to govern itself.  He holds His ideas in the harmony and peace of perfect understanding.  God, perfect Mind, is ever present to guide us.  If decisons actually rested on our shoulders, we might indeed feel overwhelmed at times.  But we are in reality the eternal reflection of tranquil, infinitely resourceful Mind, which directs and impels all right activity.

        The judgment, initiative, wisdom, and spiritual discernment we need for every choice in daily living are divine qualities that man reflects.  They are already established in the spiritual consciousness God gives.  And so they are always available to each of us. They give us the abiliity know what to do, as well and when and how to do it.  We become much more decisive--not foolishly so, but fruitfully.  Having experienced God's direction so many times in my life when things seemed a thicket and I couldn't see a way through, I like to think of His management of every situation as dotting the "i's" and crossing the "t's".  His guidance is that comprehensive.

        Our loving Father, God always knows what is best.  We never lose anything by seeking and trusting His guidance.  Rather, we--and those who may be affected by our decisions--come out ahead in every conceivable way. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Someone Special

I've known a few selfless

Individuals in my day,

But this lady tops the list --

A blessing to all

Who are able to say,

"She's my friend."

Despite a life

No less challenging

Than at times for you and me

(I could not walk in

her shoes for a single day!),

She goes out of her way

To add a Christly touch

To caring note, gift, or call

Tailored to the particular her or him.

Nor is she blase about the

Nice things others do for her.

In an age (sadly) when few

Take time to express thanks,

This friend is indeed a gem.

What brings her through

A life far from easy?

I think it must surely be

Living to encourage and help others,

Putting into practice

What Christian Science reiterates,

Of Christ Jesus' words and works.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

To Help the Whole World

        The title to this entry sums up what it is that keeps me at this blogging.  I started this website in September of 2008 and throughout all the months of steady contributions, have received great joy from the activity. 

        And five years down the road of doing this, my gratitude to our loving, heavenly Father has only deepened, as has my adoration of His Holy Child, Christ Jesus.  And my appreciation for (not worship of, as some of my detractors would try to pin on me) Mary Baker Eddy shines even more brightly today than then.  Where would I be today without the help I've had, in more ways than I can count?

        Beyond blessings for myself, of course, is the hope that others around the world have been helped in some small way.  I trust that they have.  So, here's to continuing to give out what God gives me.


                                                 John Robert Howell

        For the visitor to this blog who is brand new to Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, I can highly recommend Chapter XVIII, "Fruitage" as a source of inspiration.  And for the seasoned student of Christian Science as well.  I never avail myself of the material contained in this chapter without experiencing spiritual uplift.

        The letters/testimonies in "Fruitage" are healings based solely on each writer's own reading and assimilation of Science and Health.  The humble, trustful, childlike receptivity to Truth these letters exemplify should be ever encouraging to anyone in need of God's help.

        There are also "Letters from those Healed" in Miscellaneous Writings, also by Mrs. Eddy.  Two that stand out are probably by the same person, Sam in one and S.G. (in the other) Schroyer of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (pp. 435-36 and 439-40).  Mr. Schroyer's modesty, faith, humility, and demonstrations of wha Christian Science teaches are most affecting and should be an object lesson for any struggling heart.

        Both groups of testimonies also reinforce the importance of gratitude to God for His gift to this age of Divine Science.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

We have a right to be well

        Most people are aware that they have certain rights as citizens, consumers, workers.  But these same people might be surprised to learn they also have a right to health--a God-given right.

        Proof of this is found in the healing work Christ Jesus did and promised that  his followers would do.  The Master healed countless individuals who were being deprived of their physical well-being, showing that sickness is a violation of our inherent right as children of God to experience harmony in every aspect of our lives.

        An example of this is given in the thirteenth chapter of Luke, which tells of a woman so infirm she couldn't even lift herself up.  Even though she had been in this condition for eighteen years, Jesus restored her to complete freedom through his understanding of God's law.  Would Jesus have used his knowledge of divine law to remove physical ills if we had no God-derived right to be free from them?

        You and I can avail ourselves of the healing power Jesus employed.  What we need is a demonstrable grasp of what he knew about God and man, and here the teachings of Christian Science are invaluable.  Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of this Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:  "Christian Science raises the standard of liberty and cries:  'Follow me!  Escape from the bondage of sickness, sin, and death!'  Jesus marked out the way.  Citizens of the world, accept the 'glorious liberty of the children of God,' and be free!  This is your divine right."

        Underlying Jesus' words and deeds was eternal divine law, which we all can learn to apply.  Through prayer that springs from an understanding of God as the perfect, totally good Principle of the universe, and of man's actual nature as His spiritual image, we can experience genuine health.

        The concept of man as spiritual and indestructible is contrary to what the five material senses would have us believe is true of ourselves and others.  Man's spiritual status may seem far-fetched and unattainable.  But the fact remains that the true selfhood of us all is incorporeal, diseaseless, never helpless.  Our real being is the offspring of God, infinite Spirit.  We live in Spirit and are eternally above and apart from physicality and suffering.  Wholeness is the very esssence of God's nature, and it is individualized in His image, man.  We demonstrate sound health as we progressively give up through prayer the materialistic, mortal concept of man and awake to the spiritual reality.

        Even when a physical condition is severe and has gone on for many years, freedom can come.  Someone I know had been troubled since she was a teen-ager with a skin condition covering her hands and arms, which not even specialists had been able to treat successfully.  She was a young mother with small children, and the suffering seemed almost unbearable at times.  This woman had just begun studying Christian Science and knew something of the spiritual truths contined in its textbook, Science and Health.

        One evening she was thinking about some of these truths, and it suddenly became clear to her that this disease couldn't have been created by an all-loving God, that His law of only good for His children didn't support it.  And she gained this important insight:  the condition had never been part of her true, spiritual being!  The illumination was so great, and the recognition of herself as she actually was--eternally whole and free--so vivid, that the disease began disappearing that very evening.  Within a week there wasn't a trace of the problem she had struggled with for so many years.  This healing occurred over thirty years ago and has remained permanent.

        Healings like this (and they are taking place today) encourage us to claim and prove our God-given right to be well.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Prayer and what God can do

                                            John Robert Howell

           (Written for readers new to Christianity and Christian Science)

        One time I worked in a cafeteria with a cook whose first name I have never forgotten--Elijah.   He was as imposing physically as his biblical counterpart must have been.

        Something else I've never forgotten:  he tasted what he was cooking by sticking his finger into the boiling liquid.

       Most people couldn't do that.  Yet, how many of us do venture into the day equally unprotected from what Hamlet calls "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune?"  Sometimes, it seems, you need to manage your affairs with the same wisdom and care you'd give to picking up a hot ember that popped out of a fireplace and onto the floor.

        There are things you can do to make it easier.  In my own life, I've found it is possible to be more prepared for what comes at me--by praying.  To me, this means communing, talking silently, with God.  Getting my thoughts in line with Him.  God is always (not usually or sometimes, but always) prepared to help.  Each one of us is the child of God.

        What we need to do in order to receive His direction and protection, I'm finding, is direct our thoughts to Him.  But what if you're at a loss as to how to begin praying for yourself?  The Lord's Prayer, as given in the Gospel of Matthew, is one good place to start (see Chap. 6:9-13).  This prayer Christ Jesus gave has the power to transform lives.  The truths it unfolds to a person who studies it and ponders it regularly are inexhaustible and fresh.  They come immediately, to help with all the needs of each day.

        What else?  A lot of people have also received great comfort over the centuries from Psalm 23 ("the Lord is my shepherd...") and Psalm 91 ("He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High...")  The Holy Bible is a mother lode for nuggets of truth--thoughts about the power of God in our lives--which can carry us through the day and provide the comfort and assurance we often need.

        As you search for good in your life, God will guide you to encounter fresh, new thoughts and truths.  They will help your prayer to be targeted more specifically to the needs of that day.  For example, if you're going to take a trip, safety is important.  These words also from Psalm 91 are appropriate:  "He shall give  his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways."  Or if you have had an injury or are sick, you can pray to gain a deeper understanding of Gods's healing power by considering the verse from Jeremiah that says, "I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord" (Jer. 30:17).

        You can put to use any verse that says something about who God is or who God made you to be.  Like stripping decades of grime, wax, and varnish off a piece of furniture--in order to reveal what it really is made of and looks like--prayer helps reveal our real identity as blessed of God.  It uncovers what God is and how He cares for us.

        The woman who discovered and founded the religion I practice, writes in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:  "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."  (page 387)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Our Master meant it

        Christ Jesus was not a man who went about saying things because he had nothing better to do!  And when he commanded us, "Go ye therefore, and teach all observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you", I believe he meant all things.  (Matthew 28:19, 20)

        And the word all I take to include Jesus' "Heal the sick".  (Matthew 10:8) And heal others as he did, by relying on God's mighty power -- not material means.

        Many people gain inspiration and comfort from contemplating the human personality of Jesus, the awesome things he said and did (and I am certainly one of them).  How important it is, though, to gain a practical understanding of the spiritual truths he expressed and proved.

        The purpose of Jesus' unequaled example was not merely to inspire mankind but to show us how to be free from every form of material bondage, physical suffering included.  Did not he promise, "Verily, Verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me the works that I do shall he do also"?  (John 14:12)

        This can be accomplished, however, only as one understands the spiritual laws underlying his words and deeds.  We would not expect to succeed in applying the laws of mathematics simply by admiring the professor's personality or even his instruction.  In like manner, the changeless Principle of Jesus' healing and teaching has to be learned.

        This is explained fully and clearly in the textbook of Christian Science, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy.  The law of Spirit, God, is available for everyone to learn and use in his or her daily life.  When the spiritual truths are brought into contact with one's particular problem through prayer and purified living--and it makes no difference whether the problem is physical, emotional, moral, or financial-- the result is the restoration of harmony, healing.

        The first chapter of the Bible states that God created man ins His own image and likeness.  In accordance with this original, true account of creation, students of Christian Science pray with true understanding that man and the universe are spiritual and perfect, here and now.

        In the measure that one is able to see himself and others in this spiritual likeness,  he is employing the Master's method, who healed sin, disease, and discord through spiritual means alone. 

        Mrs. Eddy writes:  "The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus' time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation."  Then she continues, "Now, as then, these mighty works are not supernatural, but supremely natural."  (Science and Health, p. xi)

        For the readers of my blog who are not acquainted with Christian Science, I can assure you that many are the times in my life that I have experienced this.  And so can you.  It's a wonderful thing to be following in Jesus' footsteps through a reliance on God for healing.

Friday, August 16, 2013

"King Christ, the world is all aleak" -- e.e. cummings

                                            John Robert Howell

        As part of a recent religion in America report on the evening news a reporter stopped a placid looking middle-aged man who had apparently just stepped out of the church where he had attended a service.  He was thrown a sissy pitch and asked to name the first four books of the New Testament.  Sad to say, instead of knocking that one confidently out of the park he whiffed--whiffed!  From his reaction to the question, nonplussed silence, one might have thought he had been asked to state and prove on the spot Fermat's last theorem.  Studies show America to be one of the most "religious" nations on the planet, but "religious" seems to be a Brodbingnangian garment commodious enough to fit any wearer who chooses to mark X in the box which asks him if he is religious.

        Unfortunately, many religions, churches, and assorted Elmer Gantrys lick their chops at the prospect of a flock of these obedient, unquestioning, and pliable sheep who seem to welcome with relief being led around by the nose (and don't mind paying for the privilege) by any Pooh-Bah with a rope and a will.  For far too many it is a comfort to turn over the burdensome task of serious study, thought, and prayer, to someone else, and there never seems to be a shortage of someone elses.  It was to better than many among us to whom our Master Christ Jesus spoke when he said, no doubt with a leaden heart:  "Sleep on now, and take your rest:   behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners."

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Christian Science Healing

"I know how that leper must have felt" my mother said when she was healed of an extreme skin condition that had plagued her for years.  She had attended a Christian Science lecture and upon walking back down the aisle of the church afterwards, one of the spiritual truths that the speaker had shared lit up for her.  Suddenly, with great clarity, it dawned on her, "Why God never afflicted me with this problem!  It is unreal!  It has always been unreal!"  Almost at once, the healing began.  And in a few days time, she later told me, there was not a trace of the condition.  Her joy knew no bounds, as you can well imagine. Before she was introduced to the teachings of Christian Science, she had had help from caring doctors.  Unfortunately, they just weren't able to offer any relief, and her suffering, with two small children, was very challenging.

This wonderful proof of God's healing power which Christian Science makes possible for any earnest seeker (thanks to the discovery and founding by  Mary Baker Eddy) came to my thought this week when I read a powerful poem by someone who posts on another website.  In it, he describes Jesus' healing of the lepers.  This is found in Luke 17:12-19.  For those readers who don't have a Bible at hand, it is as follows:

"And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests.  And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God.
And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed?  but where are the nine?
There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole."

How thankful my mother was, and I am, that the divine healing practiced and taught by Christ Jesus is available in our day.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Loving and Its Relation to Good Health

        Some years ago, I happened to read something most arresting, written by one of my favorite writers on Christian Science -- Samuel Greenwood.  As you may know, this man was a teacher and practitioner living in British Colombia.  In this particular address, he said that in his many years of helping others through his practice he had found that back of nearly every physical, mental, financial, or emotional problem he had dealt with was a lack of love, both expressed and felt.  And a poet friend in Scotland, when I shared this, replied:  "Not just many, all!"  And he is not an adherent of my religion.

        Whether or not one believes lack of love to be the cause of ill health, I also have noticed this phenomenon in my practice of Christian Science.  And certainly, it has been the case in my own experience when loving my fellowman had started to slip.  I recall one occasion when I foolishly let myself become quite disturbed over some neighborhood controversy.  Opinions, pro and con, were flying all around.  Instead of the love and goodwill I should have been filling thought with, quite the opposite was taking up space.  Who said what got mulled over and over. Not surprising, I began to feel quite ill one afternoon.  Finally, in praying to know what state of thinking needed correcting, an angel thought made it clear:  more love!  It didn't take long when thinking got aligned with divine Love, God for complete freedom to come.  As it always will, when consciousness is cleansed of un-Christlike thoughts.

        The woman who discovered my religion, Mary Baker Eddy, points out in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures in her definition of "man" found on page 475:  "Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique."
And being the idea, the reflection, of God, Love, should we not be loving?  It is being the opposite, taking in resentment, self-righteousness, ill will, et al that disturbs the harmonious functioning of thought and eventually, our sense of body.  The way out is always available to us, and it involves letting divine Love fill thought to the exclusion of all unlike itself.
What can impact a consciousness flooded with the love Christ Jesus lived and enjoined upon every one of his followers?

        Going around entertaining un-loving thinking can be deadly, and it needs to be gotten at as quickly as possible. The worst thing about such blatant disobedience to God?  A sense of estrangement from Him Who is all Love.  Not that He ever stops caring about us, but God is not going to indulge us while we indulge in a little hate, now is He?

        The Bible makes it clear that to stay connected to our heavenly Father the following is required:  "God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him."  (1 John 4:16)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Jesus - Love's Pure Light

Light is seen in so many lovely ways:

        -- In ducks gliding across a pond,
                      Leaving long streaks of
                      Shining in their wake;

        -- In a little child's happy eyes;

        -- In a face glowing with love.

        But exceeding all that God's
       Wondrous creation can show
        Is that light Jesus promises us:

        "He that followeth me shall
         Not walk in darkness, but
         Shall have the light of life."

                 (John 8:12)

Think of being able to walk in the footsteps

                Of Love's pure light!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Energetic and Patient

For the person
with get-up-and-go,
being patient enough
can be tough,
as some of us know.
But for followers of Christ
it must be done.
Mary Baker Eddy once wrote:
"The loving patience of Jesus,
we must strive to emulate."*
And strife it will
sometimes seem.
But we can take heart
that we don't tackle alone
this heavenly demand.
If we do our part,
God will give us
the strength we need
to carry out this comand.
And the fall-out from doing this?
it makes life go better for us,
But more important,
it blesses our fellowman
more widely than we can tell.

*Miscellaneous Writings
          (page 7)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Replying on God, Not People


        Learning to cast our cares on God, not other people, is in line with what our heavenly Father expects of us.  The Bible says, "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)

        Christ Jesus, of course, did this in every difficulty that confronted him.  And he consistently urged everyone else to seek God's help, while at the same time he demonstrated the vast blessings that come from enlightened reliance on God.

        The human mind looks for support from without but in spiritual reality there is no without.  All is within divine Mind and Mind's reflection, or idea, man.  One idea doesn't need to be an intercessory for another.  In the long run salvation must come to us through our own efforts, and not hoping to sidestep spiritual work that is legitimately ours to do. 

        The teachings of Christian Science support this.  Mary Baker Eddy points out in Miscellaneous Writings, "Each student should, must, work out his own problem of being; conscious, meanwhile, that God worketh with him, and that he needs no personal aid." (page 283)

        What about the individual who isn't inclined to seek divine aid when troubles arise?  God simply does not seem real or close to him, so turning to Him for answers to life's challenges is not readily done.  Happily, a feeling of separation from our divine source can be overcome.  And it should be, since nothing can come close to comparing with the heaven of experiencing God's immediateness.

        Several states of thought are indispensable in this direction, but what I'm thinking of right now is gratitude to God for all we owe Him for His endless benefits.  Our creator is due all the reverence, adoration, and gratitude His children can give Him.  Jesus' life, as well as passages all the way through the Bible, make this clear.  In addition, I've learned from my study of Christian Science what healing power comes when we thank God for creating us in His own likeness and maintaining us this way. A recognition of this wonderfully uplifting divine fact lets in the light of Christ, Truth. It pierces the darkness of mortal thinking (and it doesn't matter what the challenge is), and it begins at once to obliterate everything unlike itself.  It restores harmony.  It sets us free. 



The Bitter and Sweet of Error's Deliquescence

                                              John Robert Howell

        Which is it:  a hair shirt or a silk shirt, shad roe or beluga caviar, agony or ecstasy?  A reader of Psalm 23 might easily conclude that the way of the righteous is pretty nice indeed.  The same reader of Mary Baker Eddy might find her margin heading on page 40 of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures "Suffering inevitable", a good deal less enticing.  Christ Jesus said:  "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me...For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."  (Matt 11:29-30)  Hmm, not too frightening.  Mrs. Eddy says:  "Jesus spares us not one individual experience if we follow his commands faithfully." (S&H 26:5-6)  That can be a "Maybe some other time" kind of statement to grapple with.

        So which is it?  "A paradox, a paradox/A most ingenious paradox!" (Gilbert and Sullivan, "The Pirates of Penzance)  Not really.  It is true Christ Jesus often presented with the bark on the challenges which await the potential disciple, as in "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."  (Luke 9:23)  And as a result of his uncompromising life and words "many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him." (John 6:66)  To paraphrase Thomas Paine, "The summer Christian and sunshine disciple will, in...crisis, shrink from the service of his Cause."

        But neither Christ Jesus nor Mrs. Eddy said it would be all one or the other.  Psalm 23 is a comforting promise.  It describes the pilgrim's respite from the conflict between the flesh and Spirit.  It offers the certainty of an interlude in the struggle from sense to Soul.  Until all is accomplished and the tumult has passed, permanent peace will not be ours, and "many are called, but few are chosen."  (Matt 22:14)  So, in short, putting off the old man and putting on the new involves both sufferings and triumphs.

        We might wish or hope that those three great trailblazers, Jesus, Paul, and Mary Baker Eddy, had done most of the heavy lifting and suffering for us and that we could proceed effortlessly in their giant footsteps like the child following good King Wencelas through the snow.  But our knowledge and demonstration of spiritual perfection do not arrive neatly preassembled in some one-off epiphany.  Our textbooks are much clearer than some of those risible instructions accompaning products from China, but each of us is still responsible for whatever it takes to achieve perfection in his or her individual experience.  Those of us who are in for the duration accept this.

Monday, July 29, 2013

What Controls Our Lives?

        It sometimes seems that our everyday experience is subject to forces beyond our control.  The Bible offers this reassurance to counter such a feeling:  "The kingdom is the Lord's, and he is the governor among the nations."  (Psalm 22:28)

        I've been grateful many times for what Christian Science teaches about this, that the sole governing force of the universe, including man, is God, divine Principle.  He maintains His creation in perfect peace and harmony.  There is never a moment when His divine law is not operating, nor can  you and I be deprived of its power.  Man, God's child, is not subject to laws of chance, misfortune, insecurity, or discord.  God's law is good, surpeme, and all-inclusive; He does not share His power with another creator, for there is none.

        Christ Jesus furnished convincing proof of God's unerring government.  In accordance with divine law, he fed hungry thousands on a few loaves and fishes, stilled a raging sea, healed disease, insanity, and immorality, and even raised the dead -- all in opposition to material law.  To be free from the insecurity, fear, and dread of a mortal outlook, we need to know, as did Jesus, that we are always under God's government.

        Christian Science shows that because God, divine Principle, created all things in His own likeness, therefore spiritual and perfect, as the first chapter of the Bible points out, each idea reflects His all-wise and loving jurisdiction.  An understanding of this eternal fact in increases trust in God and banishes fear.  Acknowleding God's all-encompassing rule, we experience increasing joy, health, supply, and strength.  And we find greater harmony in even the smallest details of day-to-day activities

       Mary Baker Eddy writes in "Rudimental Divine Science" on page 10:  "You must learn to acknowledge God in all His ways.  It is only a lack of understanding of the allness of God, which leads you to believe in the existence of matter, or that matter can frame its own conditions, contrary to the law of Spirit."

       How comforting it is to know that each one of us is God's beloved child, continuously governed and upheld by His law.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Serving God, Not Money

To the follower of Christ,

Jesus' words offer such comfort.

To the self-seeking materialist, however,

They're disturbing,

Actually impossible to obey --

Until priorities are straightened out.

Take Matthew 6:24 for instance.

Our Master warns:

"Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

Coming into right relation

To the Christian requirement

To serve God, not selfish interests,

Brings the supply we need.

And it even ensures enough

Left over to help others.

Best of all, it replaces fear

With joy and trust in

God's dear love --

The greatest treasure there is.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Puppy jumping all over

Delighted little boy --

Heartwarming picture,

Vividly impressive,

The warmth and affection

Of dog and child

Radiating across the street to me.

No worry resting heavily,

No jaded view of life there.

Just sheer joy in the moment.

No wonder Jesus called for us

To be like a little child.

(Matthew 18:3)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Keeping Our Priorities Straight

Not enough time in the day
To do the things you need to do?
Your priorities are out of whack.
Begin placing God's demands
Before other people's and your own.
Consider Christ Jesus someone
Who was never flurried or worried,
Who was always on time for healing.
Why was this, do you think?
Could one reason  have been,
"I do always those things that please him."?
(John 8:29)
A holy example, this,
But something all can shoot for.
Even the willingness to pray,
May this day be lived the way,
Heavenly Father, You know is best
Will begin adjusting circumstances
As only God can do.
There will then be enough time
For Him --first don't forget --
And time enough for you.