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.