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.