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.

Monday, July 8, 2013

God Needs You and Me

        That we need God has always seemed clear to me.  But that He needs us, well this has seemed too wonderful to contemplate.  Yet it's true. God does need us.

        In assuring mankind of God's tender relation to each of His offspring, and of man's value, Jesus said, "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?  and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows".  (Matthew 10:29-31) Each and every one of us is vital and needed because we are all God's offspring.

        I've learned from my study and practice of Christian Science that our reason for existing is to reflect God, to express the spiritual qualities that make up our true selfhood.  When we realize this, and act on it, we find the unselfish love required to be useful to our heavenly Father, divine Love.  Instead of living only to receive good things, or to have other people serve us, we see that our primary purpose is to give unselfishly and to serve others.  And doing this is never beyond the reach of any of us, wherever in life we may be situated.  Circumstances can't impede the love our loving Father yearns to express through us.

        Every time we bring harmony to a discordant situation, or forgive an injustice, every time we love in the face of  hate, every time we understand others by realizing that man's true being is God's spiritual creation and reflection, we are expressing our own worth and importance.

        Nothing brings opportunity to our door more quickly than the desire to be useful to God and to our fellowman.  With this holy aspiration, we find our lives blossoming into activity that blesses more widely than we could have imagined.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Unwelcome Visitors

 Don't wish a visit from
"the prince of this world"
and his ugly tribe?
Then there's this
we must imbibe:
feelings of good will
toward those who would
incur our displeasure.
Not enough to not
give them back in kind,
keep resentment out of mind.
For as Jesus revealed,
a room with a devil rid --
if left unfilled --
is soon going to
find itself with devils more.
Active love for those
who have done us wrong
will keep us strong,
aligned with Love divine,
safely out of evil's way.
Christ alive in us
is the price we must
be willing to pay.


        Sometimes it's not the earthshaking troubles that disturb our peace; it may be common everyday worry that keeps us stirred up.  It's no wonder Jesus spoke against our being anxious or fearful about anything, because anxiety selfishly fosters that which is anti-Christ and makes tranquility impossible.

        However, by adopting our Master's attitude of always seeking God's will, of doing all to the Father's glory, we will find that there is less and less left in human consciousness that responds to "the prince of the world" -- to doubt of God's omnipotence, to self-will and worry.

        "Peace I leave with you," Jesus said, "my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."  (see Luke 8:22-25)  It's comforting to know that you and I can experience the deep peace our Saviour promised us.

        Existence free from anxiety is vastly more than lack of emotion.  There ae people who, to keep some measure of control over their experience, suppress joy, warmth, acts of kindness to their fellow travelers on life's road.  But this isn't the way Jesus dealt with everyday living.  And it has the tragic effect of depriving us and others of feeling the presence of divine Love, which would enhance our peace and well-being.  This negative approach to life yields through our stricter attention to Christ's command not to be anxious.

        Abiding tranquility carries a price tag.  Through consistent, heartfelt communing with God, we feel the peace of our unity with Him as His image and likeness.  This scientifically Christian way of praying brings great reward.  As Mrs. Eddy points out in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:  "Undisturbed amid the jarring testimony of the material senses, Science, still enthroned, is unfolding to mortals the immutable, harmonious, divine Principle, -- is unfolding Life and the universe, ever present and eternal." (p. 306)

        The measure of our mental equilibrium is the measure of Christ expressed in us.  The more we think and act in accord with Jesus' words and works, the more our lives will be increasingly free from those things that would disturb our tranquility.

        And still more wonderful, we can, through God's directing, help others find peace.  They may want to know, "How is it you always look so composed?  How do you stand up to things the way you do?" And when people ask, we can tell them about the glorious peace that comes as we give ourselves to Christ's teachings.


Friday, July 5, 2013

Guest article (Betty Gillingham)


(This was contributed by a dear friend of mine who lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida)

                                           Ever-fresh Opportunities

        Occasionally this thought comes to many of us:  "If only I could live my life again."  We think of what we'd do better the second time--be more  kind, loving, friendly, forgiving to everyone.

        But one doesn't need to live his life again.  All he needs to do, really, is just keep on living it now, but from a better basis.  Nothing is stopping us from being kind, friendly, thoughtful, loving, and forgiving right now, right where we are.

        Man is the spiritual reflection of God, the very expression of His being, coexistent with Him.  He reflects God gloriously and without interruption, for God alone is his Life.  Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science writes, "God is at once the centre and circumference of being."  Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 203-204  When we realize this, we can see that we need never, even for an instant, feel separated from our divine source.  Every moment provides us with fresh opportunities for reflecting Godlike qualities.

        Christ Jesus pointed out to his disciples the ever-fresh opportunities available, when he said, "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest?  behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest."  (John 4:35)

        In my work as a teacher in a public elementary schol I found that statement true and provable many times over.  One incident stands out.  A little girl, from the beginning of kindergarten days, had acquired the reputation of being an exceptionally naughty, mean, and destructive child.  By the time she had reached third grade her poor behaviour and reputation seemed to be getting worse.  This was particularly evident one day at recess.  She kicked me repeatedly, and ripped from my coat a belt sewed to the back of it.  While this was going on, I realized I had an immediate opportunity for "harvesting"!

        I decided that throughout the school year I would claim immunity for myself and my pupils from the belief of a mortal past and future by consciously acknowledging, accepting, and trying to live my spiritual at-one-ment with my heavenly Father, ever-present, eternal Love.  I refused to be persuaded by the child's reputation and the suggestion that I could expect little if any improvement.

        I continued clarifying my own thought by realizing that since Love is God, Love is the infinite giver, tender, understanding, and wise. I realized that children--in reality, the ideas of Love--reflect Love's qualities and express their true nature as God's children through gentle, considerate, thoughtful actions. through love, unselfishness, and joy.

        Gradually, throughout the year, the little girl began to show more signs of reflecting the good thoughts that belonged to her as a child of God.  Discord was silenced and replaced with harmony.  Hatefulness gave way to kindness and love, and an unacceptable reputation to a desirable one.  These results, to me, underlined the fact that our recognition of Truth blesses others with whom we are in contact.

       We can rejoice that we are able to take advantage of the ever-fresh opportunities available to us each day to help others wherever we are.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Freedom from Hereditary Influences

To longing deep and universal --
"If I could just be free!" --
Is this fact comforting and divine
That all can come to see:
Man forever has been in God --
His perfect child, eternally.
For we are not the slaves
Of influences hereditary;
Never under carnal mind curse
For a year, a day, an hour.
These are truths Christ Jesus knew,
And they gave him wondrous power.
This knowledge Science imparts --
Saving knowledge so glorious --
That we're not hemmed in by fleshly starts
But are right now the way He made us.
Fortunate are we that there is revealed
Freeing things that we can claim and see
(Things our Father knows us to be)
That now and through all eternity
We are His loved child, His very own --
Immensely blessed and whole and free.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Dismissing the Personal Adam Dream

                                               John Robert Howell

        If we neglect or relax for a moment our spiritual defenses, we can be quickly swept over by the seemingly overwhelming array of tribulations presented by mortal mind via so-called material existence.  In desperation or resignation, we may retreat into the comforting confines of our home sanctuary and assume that at least the "out there" isn't "in here" and can't get in.

        Yet not only would this be disobeying the command of Christ Jesus and Mrs. Eddy to resist the devil, but an important lesson would be delayed:  that the only "out there" is always "in here", within our own thinking.  We only experience what we admit into, and what therefore exists in, our consciousness, and once there, false belief has no difficulty coming home with us as an unwelcome houseguest.  The work of silencing or resisting error's claims is a full-time task, and the mental ground may have to be carefully gone over many times to assure the adversary's full and final eradication.  We must destroy, not merely ignore or parley with, what Mrs. Eddy calls "personal sight or sense".

        To see, hear, or experience anything but God's omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience, and omni-action is to entertain and rehearse something that never did, or even could, exist.  This may be easy to grasp intellectually, but it must be sedulously demonstrated spiritually, metaphysically, if we are to free ourselves from the nothingness "out there".  That is why ceaseless study, prayer, and practice are essential, and if it is sickness that herds us into the schoolroom and directs us to Christ, we should be grateful for the experience.