Sunday, May 26, 2013

Credit Where It's Due

        It wouldn't be difficult for me to fill volumes with all the ways in which God has proved an ever-present help in trouble in our lives.  Any of us who rely on our heavenly Father for help could probably do the same.  But this one incident shines out for me, even after several years now.

        One of our dogs was apparently stung by a spider or some poisonous insect one evening while on our back porch.  It's screened-in, but the insect must have come up through one of the floorboards.  We knew immediately something was terribly wrong with him.  He could scarcely walk and was quite ill it was clear.  We managed to get him up on a bed.  Although we love the veternarian we have who takes care of the legal requirements covering dogs and cats, he wouldn't have been available that late at night, and we didn't want to take our dog to an emergency place we weren't familiar with.

        More than this, we are accustomed to turning to God at once when trouble arises, so my husband and I both reached out for divine aid.  I sat down on the rug next to the bed, and prayed for all I was worth to see the condition unreal, powerless.  John went to his office so he could turn away from the challenging picture while he prayed with his Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

          For me, the human scene was daunting and my fear was nearly overwhelming at first.  But soon, I felt divine Love's presence surrounding us all, and after several hours the dog became quieter, and eventually fell asleep.  To our immense relief the next morning, our dog could get down from the bed under his own steam.  We took him out for a short walk in our woods.  What joy we felt to see him recover so quickly and completely.

        As it happens with most pet owners I would imagine, there have been other episodes where God's help was greatly needed.  Dear, sweet, innocent little creatures are so often quite receptive to treatment in Christian Science we have discovered.  And for what we've experienced in this regard, we give heartfelt credit to the inspired teachings of the Bible and of Christian Science.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Helping others, through Christ...

                                    what a friend
                                             of mine lives to do.
                                             And to this high calling,
                                             he is consistently true.

                                             Not just in what
                                             this man writes,
                                             but he helps others to
                                             reach in theirs new heights,

                                             in knowing the right
                                             and timely thing to say,
                                             which encourages and
                                             brightens another's day.                                                                                        
                                             In a world where people
                                             will tear other people down,
                                             how refreshing to see
                                             such building up abound.

                                              A kind word here and there,
                                              friendly support given,
                                              and viola, someone's
                                              discouragement is riven.
                                              When living Christlike love
                                              is where one's heart is set,
                                              this holiest of goals
                                              is certain to be met.

                                             And it will always
                                             other's lives affect                                 
                                             more beneficially
                                             than one may expect.

                             (Written for a friend who lives in Scotland)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What Motivates My Blogging?

It is to advance the kingdom of Christ,

It is to  honour God's dear Son,

It is the hope -- no, the assurance --

That something the Master

Said and lived and taught

And Christian Science reiterates,

Shall become dwellers

In the hearts of men,

And so lodged,

Lead them to understand

What Jesus knew about God and man,

And with this Christly knowledge,

Find health, harmony, and heaven

Obtainable in no other way.

We adoring souls who do

What we can to advance

The kingdom of our dear Saviour

Can see our writing --

If we listen well to inspiration divine --

Reach the hearts of those now living,

And those lives yet to be.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Two Haiku


                                                  Christ Healing

                                             God and we are one

                                        God is our Mind and being

                                            Knowing this frees us


                                                  Sonata Celestial
                                    (A scene somewhere in Tennessee)

                                               Golden harp standing

                                         Alone in springtime meadow,

                                             God's winds performing.       

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Thank you, dear Father

                                              "You may have a

                                               Daughter somewhere

                                               Who thanks You more

                                               Than I do

                                               For making Christ's

                                               Divine Science

                                               Available to this age",

                                               I often tell my heavenly Father.

                                               "But I doubt it",

                                               I always tell Him.



Monday, May 13, 2013

Achieving Quicker Healings and Help

                                         (By John Robert Howell)

        Our loving Father-Mother God never leaves us confortless, not for one second, and is a solid fortress in which we can always find refuge.  We therefore can and should expect quick and permanent healings.  Truth, Life, and Love correctly understood and applied are all-powerful and instant in action.

        In thinking about achieving quicker healings and showing more rapid and vigorous spiritual growth and progress in my own life, something I was reading from Christ Jesus' Sermon on the Mount stood out:  He says:  "You are the earth's salt.  But if the salt should become tasteless, what can make it salt again?"  (Matthew 5:13, The New Testament in Modern English, J. B Phillips).  I could see that if my prayers and thoughts lost their inspiration, freshness, purity, and meekness--their saltness-they became flat and ineffectual.

        It is easy to allow prayer, thought, and study to become perfunctory, uninspired, and rote, even if one seems to be allowing adequate time for these activities.  For myself I am seeing the need to imbue each day's prayer and study with the listening and receptivity to God's angel thoughts which cannot help but unfold healing and progress.

        A feeling of spiritual ennui is not necessarily the result of a failure to work, watch, and pray, but often, rather, the result of a failure to keep proper ward over the quality of one's thinking.  It is easy, in short, to fall into any of a variety of mental ruts.  These ruts invariably lead back to waymarks one passed long ago or to stale, stereotyped conclusions.

        Many years ago I worked in some old oil fields.  I was told that oil from the wells had contributed to the World War I efforts of the United States.  After a few decades so much oil had been pumped that the original extraction methods were no longer economical.  At this point what are called secondary extraction methods were employed.  These involved the pumping of water or natural gas into strategically located injection wells, thereby "washing" or pushing the remaining oil towards the production wells.

        This worked well for many years, but in time this method too failed to yield economical results.  What began to happen was that the injected water or gas began to cut a channel in the subterranean sand directly to the producing wells.  The result was, of course, that the producing wells began to retrieve little more than the water or gas injected a few hours or days before.  It became a kind of giant, unproductive circulation system.

        The same thing can result, I  have learned, if one mechanically returns to truths, thoughts, and prayers which have proved helpful in the past.  Over time one's thought and understanding naturally change and develop, and so must one's prayer and thinking.  Adults seldom read for their own pleasure the nursery rhymes and children's stories that produced so much pleasure and delight when they were children.  They have outgrown them.  The Word of God, though, is ever fresh, apprehensible, and effectual, and as one is willing to humbly accept his innate unity with God, good, he can and will partake of this daily bread.

        Christ Jesus' own disciples apparently hit one of these spiritual flat spots in their work then they failed to heal an epileptic child.  Jesus attributed it to their unbelief or lack of faith, or, one might say, to their need for greater spiritual understanding and inspiration.  This higher state of thought was obviously attainable since the Master had already proven it so by healing the boy.  (Matthew 17: 14-21

        The discoverer and founder of Christian Science and author of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,  Mary Baker Eddy, provides an answer as well for a question a young mother I was helping asked me, why does it sometimes take so long for Christian Science to give relief?   "It is often asked, Why are faith-cures sometimes more speedy than some of the cures wrought through Christian Scientists?  Because faith is belief, and not understanding:  and it is easier to believe, than to understand spiritual Truth."  (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 54:1-5)  If one substitutes "a pill" for "faith-cures", for after all medicine is a form of faith cure, the query is answered.  The solution may not be so apparently effortless as pill taking, but it is lasting and spiritually scientific.

        If unopposed and unchallenged, mortal belief would seem to impose on man a sort of spiritual entropy, a belief that everything eventually runs down.  How am I learning to counteract and overcome this false claim?  By striving to make my study of the Bible and writings of Mary Baker Eddy more fresh, humble, and insightful.  By striving to imbibe what I am learning and live it, thus keeping the study of Truth from becoming merely an abstract and theoretical exercise in metaphysics.

        I am also seeking to attain and maintain a purer, more spiritually elevated thought, to put new wine into fresh skins, to get more spiritual traction in my daily experience.  I have learned that thinking about God and good is not the same thing as actually gaining an understanding of and expressing Him.

        At times the steps of progress are very small and the advancement almost imperceptible, but the Master Christian has outlined the way all Christians must go.  In time, my healing work too will be instantaneous, and progress will come not in baby steps, but in leaps.



Sunday, May 12, 2013

Just thinking...

...about a conversation I had earlier today with someone we knew when we lived in Boston and would have dinner with occasionally. We moved to Tennessee, this couple moved to Michigan, so we were in touch only now and then.  But her phone call brought the news that her husband had passed on recently.

At the close of our conversation, our friend made a comment that caused me to ponder the subject of peace, and where it is we find peace.  She said, "I only hope he now has the peace he so long sought."  She is not of my faith, and perhaps of no faith at all.  I don't know.  But her words brought to my thought two statements which I want to share with any reader likewise seeking a greater sense of peace.

First, the Bible recommends:  "Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee."  (Job 22:21)

And Christ Jesus assured us:  "My peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:  (John 14:27

Becoming acquainted with God, learning more about Him and His wonderful love and power and ever-presence is certain to bring one sense of peace.  And the same with Jesus.  To believe what the Master taught, to be loving his teachings and living in accord with them, brings into any person's life ever-deepening peace --  as Paul put, "peace that passeth all understanding."  (Philippians 4:7).

We can count on this happening, and what a comforting thought this is.

Another Must-Read Book

Readers of my blog know how much I treasure Mary Baker Eddy's masterwork, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.  Awhile back, I strongly recommended it as something people should read to find out more about God and their relationship to Him, and the infinite good that comes from this.

This morning I'm recommending another book by the same author -- "Prose Works".  It is equally rewarding, and can open up wonderful new vistas spiritually for those who delve into its pages.  Some of the publications in this collection are:  "Miscellaneous Writings", "Retrospection and Introspection", "Unity of Good", "Pulpit and Press", Rudimental Divine Science", "Christian Healing", and  "The People's Idea of God-- Its Effect on Health and Christianity".

When my husband and I were first married, only 2 months or so, John gave me a copy of this volume, with the inscription -- "For your studies, and the enrichment of our lives far beyond all imagination" (among other sentiments which don't concern you!).  And I can truly say, this book that I read to this day has certainly done this for us.  And for me.  And it can enrich your life more than you have any idea.

Friday, May 10, 2013

How My Heart Leaps

How my heart leaps
when I see the Name
That is above all other names --
I hope with you it is the same.

Loving Jesus as I do
Can help wanting for Him
What His Father wants --




                   Do you want this

                   For Jesus, too.



Thursday, May 9, 2013

May Light

Candy-pink roses blow in cool breeze.
Care-free birds dart in and out of hedges.
Someone mows his lawn in the distance.
Of all the May delights that confront me
As I sit here on stone garden bench,
It's setting-sun rays that get me most --
Light shines on forest floor.
Light plays on trunks of trees.
Light glints off rusting wire fence
A farmer put up long before we moved in.
But there's a thought much higher
Than enchanting light of earth --
It's something Christ Jesus once said:
"I am the light of the world:  he that
Followeth after me shall not walk in darkness,
But shall have the light of life."
                (John 8:12)
The beauty of this Light
Can never fade to black.
Its presence and its power
Followers of His can never lack.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Divine Draughts

                                            By John Robert Howell

                               Fish or cut bait,
                                          So the saying goes.

                                Patent pills and puissant prayer
                                         Do not unite in health.

                                Choose your medicine with care--
                                         From the pharmacy or one Mind.

                                The first only tampers with the evidence;
                                        The second absolves the crime.

Monday, May 6, 2013

What Peace We Feel...

...when something Jesus
 said to do
is at long last done.
And of all our Master's
sayings sublime
there has been this one
harder for me to carry out
than all the rest,
"Love thy neighbor as thyself",
when some neighbor has been unkind.
Such struggling and praying
to get this right,
but obviously with
loving God supremely,
one of the two best.
Talk about looking up
at Mount Everest
and thinking,
"I've got to scale this?"
But when said neighbor
is finally, truly, really
loved and we want for them
the good we want for ourself,
what joy and freedom
this never fails to bring.
We feel so clean.
Beyond a doubt,
what God gave Jesus
to give to all of us
is for our right now
and everlasting benefit.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


This woman I admire*,

Rather than just retire,

Her heart on fire

To reach others with

What had set her free

After years of suffering --

God's divine method of healing --

Prayed and toiled, leaned on God,

And wrote down what He revealed.

This lady loved many things,

But she loved Christ best,

More than all the world, she said.

And her lifework to make clear

What Jesus knew about God and man

Has made the Master's words and works

Understandable and potent for me.

*Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder
of Christian Science

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Living Your Own Life

                                            (John Robert Howell)

        One of the great sci-fi movie classics is the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  Many of you may remember the scene in which the human "blanks" which have emerged from the pods are discovered in the greenhouse.

        These generic bodies, without facial features or fingerprints, are ready to assume the individuality of the person whose body they will "snatch".  This chilling story symbolizes, at least in part, the growing pressures on us by society to conform, to give up our indivduality.  This "invasion" is still occurring, and we need to be sedulously vigilant to recognize and avoid succumbing to the many blandishments of contemporary life and society.

        One of the ways our true self and individuality can be taken from us is through forms of vicarous living.  Without realizing it we can find we are so busy living or minding the lives of others that we lose control of our own lives.  This abandonment of our real, God-give selfhood and individuality may have even been done with the best of intentions.  We may have become so concerned with the life and welfare of a child, spouse, parent, or even celebrity that we have begun living that life at the expense of our own.  Even the slightest neglect of our own well-being can leave us vulnerable to illness, accident, disappointment, and turmoil.

        Daily prayer for ourselves enables us to comprehend our selfhood.  In his epistle James likens this to a man regarding his own face in a mirror and then living, expressing, the man he sees.  James continues by writing:  "whoso looketh unto the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the word, this man shall be blessed in his deed."  (James 1:23-25)  We can't allow what we know as true of ourselves to be lost.

        We also cannot afford to let another's life, growth, job, or family, even our child's, to become a substitute for our own progress and welfare.  Living via others can become a form of self-denigration, even when intended as self-sacrifice.  This doesn't mean we shouldn't love and support our children, spouses, or parents.  To the contrary.  But we should not allow our lives to become submerged by or absorbed into theirs.  We love others best and help them as we understand more clearly and express better the individual God made us.

        Perhaps the reason this vicarious living occurs at all is that we don't really realize who we are.  Just who do you think you are?  Your answer should be that you are a unique son or daughter of God with a role to fill unlike anyone else's.  As Voltaire would say, when you're tending another's garden you're neglecting your own.  Mary Baker Eddy says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "...Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:  love God and keep His commandments:  for this is the whole of man in His image and likeness."  (S & H 340:9-12)

        As we gain a surer understanding of who we really are, we are able to contribute substantively, unintrusively, and unselfishly to the lives of others.  Rather than seeking satisfaction and fulfillment through the lives of others, we will be blessing their lives through the abundance, health, peace, and completeness of our own.  Our lives will have become an expression of God's man, not a doomed human searching for fulfillment through others.

        As we rely more and more on God and Christian Science for help and healing we will naturally be interested in the experiences of others.  We draw inspiration and encouragement from others' healings, but should not be tempted to live them as if they were our own.  We cannot reexperience others' healings or growth, but should derive reassurance from them.  If we try to use another's  healing as a formula or paradign we may become discouraged or disillusioned if our results are not the same.  God will lead each of us, through prayer, to the unique truths, enlightenment, and growth we need to meet any problem or difficulty.  That is what others' healings should clarify and reinforce in our thinking and living.

        Nothing can deny each of us his God-given heritage of individuality, health, happiness, and peace.  Once this is grasped we will no longer have the desire or need to live vicariously.