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.