Monday, December 29, 2014

To Give More...

        ...of the redeeming truths of Christ's Divine Science is the plan for this blog during the coming year, and indeed the great need of humanity.  For how else can anyone learn of their true being as God's spiritual offspring, made and held in His image?  What Christ Jesus knew and proved for us of God's laws and our divine right to be free from all that would enslave us is the only way out of the mesmeric belief of life in and of matter, with its attendant limitations/suffering/dead-end. And God be thanked, the teachings of Christian Science make this saving knowledge available to every last one of us.

                                            May 2015 be the most

                                                         spiritually enlightened,

                                                                         God-pleasing year

                                                                                       we've ever had.




Tuesday, December 16, 2014

No One Exempt From God's Commands

                                                     This warning



                                           If we do what Jesus says,

                                           We build on rock.

                                           If we don't,

                                          We're on eroding sands.

                                          To imagine ourselves

                                          Exempt from God's commands

                                          Is supreme folly.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Deliverance From Mortal Minds' Curse

        I have pluralized "minds" because of where this blog post is going.  Recently we saw a program on drug addiction that caused me to think of the subject from the standpoint of Christian Science.  In it, several of the pitifully sad people battling what seemed to be hopeless addiction to various drugs all said essentially the same thing: their life had been cursed because of what a parent or in most cases, their parents did to them, or did not do for them. Try as they had, spending time in drug rehabilitation programs, they all had fallen back because of traumatic childhood memories they just couldn't get free from.

        Some things I've learned from my study of Christian Science can well lift up someone reading this, and awaken a desire to learn more of what this religion teaches about our God-given freedom as His children.

        Believing that we are born into matter is just as much an error as thinking we die out of it.  Both conditions are illusions.  If we adhere to the glorious truth given in Psalm 90, "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations," can we at the same time regard ourselves as having begun x number of years ago as a vulnerable, albeit cute, little bundle of matter that other mortals have damaged beyond repair?

        As Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "Divine Science rolls back the clouds of error with the light of Truth, and lifts the curtain on man as never born and never dying, but as coexistent with his creator."

        As one prays in Christian Science to heal emotional wounds and debilitating memories, it is imperative to view existence as it always has been---continuously harmonious because always in God, good.  Our heavenly Parent has never mis-treated us, has He?

        This further statement from Mrs. Eddy has been of solid help to many who were struggling to overcome toxic childhood memories.  "It is well to know, dear reader, that our material, mortal history is but the record of dreams, not of man's real existence, and the dream has no place in the Science of being. It is'as a tale that is told,' and 'as the shadow when it declineth.'  The heavenly intent of earth's shadows is to chasten the affections, to rebuke human consciousness and turn it gladly from a material, false sense of life and happiness, to spiritual joy and true estimate of being. Retrospection and Introspection.

        And finally, a poem from one of my books:


To longing deep and universal --
"If I could just be free!" --
Is this fact divine and comforting
That all can come to see:
Man is and ever has been in
God--His perfect child, eternally.
For we are not the slaves of
Influences hereditary or environmental;
Not helpless before circumstances.
Never under mortal mind curse
For a year, a day. an hour.
These are truths Christ Jesus knew,
And they gave him wondrous healing power.
This Christly knowledge Science imparts--
Saving knowledge so glorious--
That we're not held back by fleshly starts
But are right now the way God made us.
Fortunate world that there is revealed
Crucial things that all can claim and see,
(Things God has always known)
That now and through all eternity
We are His loved child, His very own--
Immensely blessed and whole and free.



Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Gift to Ourselves and to Suffering Humanity

                                                      (By John Robert Howell)

        Among the many somber events preceding Christ Jesus' crucifixion were the failure of the disciples, most notably Peter, to stay awake while with him at Gethsemane and Peter's denial shortly thereafter that he was a follower of Jesus, a particularly painful moment in light of his vehement denial that he would ever abandon the Master.  It is easy to "tsk tsk" these failings with perhaps a dash of smugness but we might ask ourselves "Would I really have acted more courageously?"  But then, a more basic question might be "Do I express enough real Christliness to have even been chosen as one of the twelve?"   For myself I'm pretty sure I know the regrettable answer.

        Not very Christmasy musings, I agree, but it isn't the birth of the infant Jesus which is of so much importance as it is the life of Christ Jesus.  Gift buying, wrapping and opening, tree decorating, carol singing (inspiring and beatiful as many of them are), gourmandising, and jolly festivities won't bring one noticeably closer to demonstrating the Truth, Life and Love Christ Jesus' works and words expressed.  While we are perhaps carving another turkey, ham, or goose this holiday season would it not also be wise to carve out some quiet time in our busy lives to contemplate the object lesson Peter offers and to be fervently thankful to God for His unspeakable gift to ourselves and to suffering humanity.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

When the Going is Rough

        This is written for the student of Christian Science, should you be one who needs this right now--not to depress you but to lift you up.  Those of us who are all-out for this religion of ours do not always find the going easy.  How could we, given the magnitude of Mary Baker Eddy's discovery and its tremendous importance to mankind?

        I recall awhile back one of our dedicated workers saying, "Discouragement has at times had me down for the count, not sure I could get up and continue the fight."  The carnal mind's attempts to shut down our work for the Cause can leave us saying, amen to this.

       But you know what?  God came to the aid of this person, as He always does for you and me.  And speaking personally, I have been brought right out of opposition so intense it seemed I could not endure it, by the blessed plain-speaking of our Master. Jesus never promised his followers a picnic on sunny days with balmy breezes.  We have only to consider words like these to know better:

        "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake."
        "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you."
        "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own;but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."
        "Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord.  If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you;"

        So comforting, so bracing I always find.

        So take heart.  Those of us who have named the name of Christ in Christian Science, will always have the victory over error.  Always.



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

My Hope For This Blog

        My hope for this blog in the coming months is that readers far and wide will be blessed as never before.

       Just imagine someone sitting alone in a darkened room, fearful, ill, almost in despair of ever being free.  Then someone comes into that room and opens the blinds.  A shaft of light shines through.

        Any comforting statement from the Holy Bible, anything our blessed Master said, any divine truth from the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, can be and has been to countless many, that shaft of light.

        And one can just imagine the joy that person feels when he or she learns, why I don't have to go on like this.  I can change my unenlightened, material thinking and replace it with spiritual understanding, with the healing light of Christ, Truth.  I do not have to go on in bondage.  God be praised, I don't have to suffer anymore!

        It comforts me to realize that through the teachings of Christian Science, this is taking place somewhere in our world every day.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Dealing With Christmas Pressure

        While at a Christmas gathering of relatives one year, my sister-in-law mentioned that their phone system was acting up, and the technician who was repairing it said, "You've got a lot of chaos on the line."  To which, Joannie replied, "Our whole house is chaotic right now!"

        This does not need to happen to us, at Christmas or any other time of the year, not when we can turn to what Christ Jesus said:  "Peace I leave with you, 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."  The number of men and women in the world who would give almost anything they own to feel some of this peace in their lives, must be in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions.  Calmness in the midst of life's disturbances, when we aren't experiencing it, can seem more important than food or drink.

        If you and I want to experience the deep peace the Master promised us and so obviously felt himself, a logical way to begin would be to cultivate the same awareness Jesus had that God is all-powerful and constantly in charge of our lives.

       God knows you and me not as stressed-out material beings but as His spiritual reflection, in possession right now of His dominion and peace--the same peace that Jesus manifested and said was ours.  Christ is always at hand to change turmoil into harmony.

        Abiding tranquility carries a price tag.  Through consistent, heartfelt communing with God, we feel the peace of our unity with Him as His beloved child.  God--the all-directing, supremely governing, intelligence of man and the universe--is indeed in charge of everything that concerns us.  

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Postscript to Poem (John Robert Howell)


        Someone from St. Louis has inquired about the (unintentionally) obscure last line of the Thanksgiving poem I posted.  As I read Mary Baker Eddy in Christ and Christmas, Sharon's rose is a reference to Christ Jesus.  There are a few Christmas carols which speak of the rose, but what is referred to varies.  Herbert Howell's fine carol "A Spotless Rose" seems to refer to Christ Jesus, as does the old German carol, "Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen.

       I emphasize, however, these are my quite possibly flawed reading of these carols and Mrs. Eddy. The term "rose of Sharon" occurs in Song of Solomon 2:1), of all places, but appears to have no prophetic intent.  There is also a general reference to the rose in Isaiah 35:1, 2.



Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Poem for Thanksgiving

                                   By John Robert Howell

Vain seasons ebb and flow.  The summer's heat

Now yields to coming dark and cold, a feat

Of nascent winter.  Dazzling roses fade

In dour display of floral pasquinade.

The wind dry petals fling into the air

Remind the hungry heart of earth's despair.

O loose eternally the mortal curse

And find hid sacred pearls to bless your purse.

Why not this day depart from fear and fade-

Less blessings gain, your tainted fleshly shade

Put off?  What blooms in holy solitude?

The Rose of Sharon, God's beatitude.


Thanksgiving 2014

        "You may have a daughter somewhere who is more grateful to You than I am for what You revealed to Mary Baker Eddy of what Jesus knew and taught and healed by", I often tell my heavenly Father.

        "But I doubt it," I always tell Him. 

        Of all the blessings that have come this year, first on the list has to be the  help my family and I have received from the teachings of Christian Science.  To say that I would not want to go a day without having God to turn to for comfort, healing, peace of mind, joy, guidance, purpose, supply--for everything--is an understatement.  Challenges would truly be overwhelming at times without having Him to rely on.

        In sum, it's as though I have a debt always being (working to be) paid off, but ever increasing.  And this makes life  such a joy!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Our Lord's First Commandment

People can laugh at me

(And no doubt many will)

But I just can't help

Feeling the way I do:

I'm growing more and more

        In love with You.

And of obedience, thankfulness,

               And love,

Love is what our heavenly Father

   Wants from His children

         Most of all.

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God

With all thy heart and with all thy soul,

And with all thy mind,

And with all thy strength."

         Christ Jesus

Thursday, November 6, 2014

We Who Write For Jesus

Why do we do it?
Because we can't not do it.
There is a song
from American Musical
"Show Boat" which goes:

"Can't help loving that man of mine."

We who love the Name
want others to do the same.
Having been--being--
blessed beyond measure
by Christ's oh so precious words,
we have to help others along
that path that leads to God.
Who can have such a treasure
and want to keep it hid?
As any true believer knows,
if any of what our dear Master
lived and said and taught
reaches the heart of someone,
that someone's life is going to change,
dramatically, permanently.

So, ours to write what God imparts,
assured He will see to it that it goes
where in this world it needs to go.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Culprits and Correction

                                                        John Robert Howell

        One culprit that can send the healing process into seemingly endless and unnecessary innings or overtime is a misapprehension of what it is that needs healing.  One cruelly puckish aggressive mental suggestion of the carnal mind is the red herring that it should even be obvious to a dolt that it is matter that needs healing when the body is in revolt, whereas we learn in Christian Science that it should be plain that there is no something in nothing (matter) eligible for healing despite a seemingly vivid, but vacuous, melee of afflictions.

        An eraser does not correct a botched computation.  Computation and correction are mental processes, which may be expressed on a sheet of paper, but these visible numbers, correct or incorrect, are not realities.  It is always wrong thinking that needs correcting, i.e., healing, not sensory evidence.  An errantly directed pencil point (I know, nobody uses pencils any more, but work with me on this) is innocent as a newborn babe, though the flawed human thought guiding it via the hand is not and needs to profit from the salutary effects of the operation of Christ, Truth in consciousness.

       And one's thought does, as this letter Mary Baker Eddy received from someone she had healed points out:  "I should have died, but for the glorious Principle you teach--supporting the power of Mind over the body and showing me the nothingness of the so-called pleasures and pains of sense. The treatises I had read and medicines I had taken only abandoned me to more hopeless suffering and despair.  Adherence to hygiene was useless. Mortal mind needed to be set right.  The ailment was not bodily, but mental, and I was cured when I learned my way in Christian Science."  Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pages 382, 383

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Never Out of God's Presence

(This verse from the Old Testament is something I like to think about, especially while traveling these days, and I hope it brings you peace of mind.)

                                  Jeremiah 23:24 says, referring to God:
                                       "Do not I fill heaven and earth?,
                                                    saith the Lord."

                                    (To which I always say, "Yes, I know You do.")

What a faith-lighted thought this --

That our loving Father is
Never apart from us.

Is this not glorious?--

That His perpetual care

Surrounds all those we love,

Beside them always, above --

And not only ones we greet,

But those we may never meet;

Never out of God's presence,

Whether night or day,

At home or when away.

What would mankind do

If this were not true?

Oh, but it is the case,

Something nothing can erase.

God with us -- what a treasure,

Its comfort beyond all measure.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Immunity From Contagion

        One could hardly be unaware of the concern  many people have these days over the Ebola disease and its possible spread.  Case in point:  I was talking with a mother and daughter a few days ago at a favorite breakfast place when the conversation turned to this topic.  Esther said, "We've cancelled our flight to California for Christmas (their former home).  My husband is afraid to fly right now. He doesn't want to endanger any of us."

        Later in the day, I turned to something Mary Baker Eddy wrote that has given me comfort several times.  "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."  Miscellaneous Writings, p. 229)

        In harmony with the Bible's spiritual meaning, Christian Science shows that man is inherently pure and whole--not a mortal, flesh-and-blood creature, who is subject to fear, contagious diseases, and death.  We are actually God's spiritual offspring, not at the mercy of whatever disease is  believed to be prevalent, not helpless before fear of becoming a victim of it.  Divine Love, the tender Father of all, by virtue of HIs allness, excludes whatever is unlike His pure nature.  This truth destroys any supposed evidence that we could be subject to disease, suffering, death.

        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 inferfere 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.  The greater our spiritual conviction that God is all-powerful and ever present, the greater will be our freedom from fear.

        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 powerful truths, we can prove the immunity that divine Love gives us from contagion and demonstrate our eternal unity with God, good.  In God--in divine Love, where each of us has his true, uninvadable being--there is no fear, no disease,to make encroachments on our health and well-being.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Christ...or Self?

Whatever our work

In life happens to  be,

We should question

Ourselves regularly:

                  Am I doing what I'm doing,

                                            For His holy child, or --

                                                                    For personal homage?

"...all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.  He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him."

                                                         Christ Jesus

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Our Father Knows Best

And things go best for us

when we seek His direction.

Would you believe

only yesterday I was about

to follow through

on the very thing

I should not do!

But instead of striking off

on my own, as in the past,

I stopped long enough to ask,

"Dear Father, is this the thing

You want me to do?"

Almost at once came the

conviction that it was not.

This, another instance

of solid protection.

Had I followed through

on what I was about to do,

would it have been disastrous?

No, it wouldn't.  And yet,

a definite mis-step,

causing ripples across the pond

of  my life, un-recallable,

and in other lives,

possibly mis-construable,

Having our Father Mind's

guiding voice is glorious.

And we can always hear Him.

As Isaiah assures us:

"And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying,
 This is the way, walk ye in it,
when ye turn to the right hand,
and when ye turn to the left."

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Being Mary, Not Martha

        A busy day looms, like too many of late, and what do I need to do?  Leave some things by the way, and carry out the rest, so that more of His children may be blest.  Hope the following helps you.

        To help with this, this gentle rebuke Jesus made to a friend one day:  "Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:  but Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."  (Luke 10:41, 42)

        When I think of all the time wasted that could be devoted to better things!  Well, I can see, I must deal firmly with mundane things that get in the way, and with Jesus's pointed reminder before me, this day will be less taken up with non-essentials.

       Taking seriously what the Master said can't help but begin adjusting circumstances for you and me, as only God can do.  The result? A more productive day where it counts.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Some thoughts on "Man"

                                                              John Robert Howell

        Genesis l:27 reads:  "God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him".  It is worth noting that the Hebrew word here for "man" is "adam", which became, of course, the proper name of our putative forebear "Adam".  In Genesis 2:7 man is said to be formed of the dust of the ground, and that "man" is also "adam".  Around that fleshly axle theological material mindedness and slavish literalness to the text have been wrapped and tangled for over two millenia.

       Without Mary Baker Eddy and her glorious Discovery, we might never have known better.  Her inspired and inspiring definition on pages 475-77* of her "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" is alone worth the cost of that priceless volume.  Students of Christian Science are thus blessed with the knowledge that the man of our heavenly Father-Mother God's creating is something much more glorious than the descendant of a couple of wardrobeless sinners cavorting about the Garden of Eden skimpily clad only with "napkins" made of fig leaves.

*Let me quote for you some of the passages therein:

"Question. -- What is man?
"Answer. -- Man is not matter; he is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements.  The Scriptures inform us that man is made in the image and likeness of God.  Matter is not that likeness.  The likeness of Spirit cannot be so unlike Spirit.

A mortal sinner is not God's man.  Mortals are the counterfeits of immortals.  They are the children of the wicked one, or the one evil, which declares that man begins in dust or as a material embryo.  In divine Science, God and the real man are inseparable as divine Principle and idea.

When speaking of God's children, not the children of men, Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is within you;"  that is, Truth and Love reign in the real man, showing that man in God's image is unfallen and eternal.  ...Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy."


Friday, September 26, 2014

From the Land of the Near Aware To the Land of the Far Unseen

(A poem by Raymond Sutherland,
       Aberdeen, Scotland
From his book, "Life's Tapestry" 2008 -
Raymond is not a Christian Scientist)

In the land of the near aware
Where the present presses in
There is no feel for what's right or real
No consciousness of sin
A man is judged by his bankbook
A lady by looks or dress
Go with the flow
Keep in the know
Know which knuckle to press.
In the land of the near aware
We consider ourselves as sage
Cardboard men, cardboard lives
Dance on a cardboard stage.

In the land of the near aware
Heaven's voice is strangely stilled
Fighting the cause for he world's applause
Remaining unfulfilled
In this nether-land of self
It's said that there's no God
With lofty voice men make their choice
Careering down hell's road

Yet there is no need to stay
In the land of the near aware
For the land of the far unseen
Can be reached by just a prayer
Amazing though it seems

Yes, it's just a prayerful stroll
To pass from death to life
To the uplands of the soul
In the land of the near aware
It may seem but a distant dream
But Jesus has opened the door
To the land of the far unseen.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Person's Disposition

        When a neighbor asked us if we could recommend someone to help him with a landscaping project, we readily mentioned someone who helps us out from time to time.  This man, from Guatemala, is such a good, good man, honest and so hard-working.  It never dawned on us that there would be a disagreeable outcome.  But it seems that, once again, this neighbor was not pleased with Gaspar's work, as he too often is not with workmen.

        From a merely human standpoint, one would say that this individual has a disagreeable disposition that may well have come from a parent and that he can't help being the way he is.

        In thinking about this situation, I was helped by what Christian Science brings out about man.  And the command Christ Jesus gives us to love our neighbor.  First, from my religion, that man, all of us, are ideas of divine Love, created by God to express His nature, His disposition.  Second, that to truly love my neighbor, I have to view him or her in the right light, that is to say, as a right-thinking and acting expression of His heavenly Father who created him.

        Praying correctly about this neighbor freed me from pinning on him what most others around here do.  It isn't kind to him, who after all, probably doesn't want to go through life falling out with people, not finding anyone willing to work for him.  And seeing him as God's child, with all the lovely qualities of His maker, can't help but have a positive influence in his life.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Love the Essential Thing

We who follow Christ,
Who reverence the Name
Can't allow the shame
Of feeling indifferent
Toward our fellow man.
I trust this fellow traveler
Is learning when loving
Others starts to slip,
It's more than a blip
On the divine screen:
It's a dangerous, and
Deadly, mesmerism
And needs to be gotten at
As quickly as possible.
The worst thing about
Such blatant disobedience
To what our dear Master taught
Is a feeling of estrangement
From our loving Father,
Not that He ever stops
Caring about us, but
Our God Who is all love
Is not going to indulge us
While we indulge in a little hate!
Do we want to love the
Look of approval on His face?
If nothing else, a concern
For our own well-being
Should impel a return to loving
Before it's too late.
How many diseases can be traced
To lack of Christly love!
But this need not be the case,
With no-fooling praying,
With attention to what John
Puts so clearly:
"God is love, and he that
Dwelleth in love dwelleth
In God, and God in him."

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Healing of a Child

        My mother and I had just walked out of church for her, and Sunday School for me, when we encountered someone my mother knew.  She was a Christian Science practitioner.  I was only about 5 or 6 years old at that time, and was troubled with a childhood disease that had left sores all over my face.  What happened next left quite an impression on my mother who until her switching from Methodism to the teachings of Christian Science had been heavily mired in material remedies for healing.

        This woman after greeting us noticed my appearance.  But, and this is the unusual thing, the practitioner mother said, said nothing about the problem, but instead looked off in the distance as though she was thinking about something.  This continued for a time, then we went home.And when we got there, the disease was gone!  My face was completely clear.

        Whatever was the basis of this woman's thinking/praying, the source of it had to be the spiritual truths she had gained from her study of Christian Science.  These powerful truths are available to all through the book Mary Baker Eddy wrote:  Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.  They not only were the basis of my healing that day on the sidewalk of the church.  They have changed bodily ills into freedom and harmony for countless men, women and children since.

        The discovery Mrs. Eddy made, that matter is really a mental phenomenon, was and is revolutionary.  Though you may never have considered it in this way before, both the image of disease and its expression in the body are false beliefs about you and me--not actual conditions.  The understanding of this fact is a potent force in destroying disease.  

        It is by turning thought from an inharmonious physical condition and turning to God, contemplating man's real-spiritual selfhood as God's idea, that one is restored to health and well-being.  We can thank God for the eternal fact that we are His reflection, the expression of infinite, harmonious Spirit.  Being His offspring, we include only those qualities that Spirit imparts--wholeness, freedom, perfection. By abiding in this true consciousness, we see that the suffering which seemed so real has no actual power.  Disease is seen for what it is:  a misconception, a false state of mortal thought; it has no God-created reality.

        This everlasting truth was proved that day by the Christianly scientific praying of that  practitioner.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Staying Out of That Valley

Life for all at times is challenging.
But if we go down into
Discouragement, defeatism,
We eventually have to climb back up,
"But I've done all the good I can do"
Someone may be saying.
No, you haven't.
No one has.
We can all do more.
Truth to tell,
You may have done more good
Than you know.
And the smart thing to do
When that croaking devil tries
To make us quit
Is the very time to resolve
To do even more good.
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.
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 lift up others.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Where Our Talent Comes From

I say "our" talent

Since we all have it.

Do you think your Father God

Would give gifts to some

And leave you out?

No, not one.

Not one daughter,

Not one son,

Need go through life

Feeling discontent.

God made you,

Himself to reflect,

          to express,

What He is and has.

You are now endowed

With all you need

For limitless success.

Be in no doubt --

What Christ Jesus said

is operative for you.

"Son, thou art ever with me,

           and all that I have is thine."

Monday, September 1, 2014

Enslaved by False Beliefs

        While reading the testimonies of healing at the back of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, I couldn't help but think of what the divine truths in this volume did for those desperate for relief from suffering.

        Just some of the headings on testimonies are:  Rheumatism Healed, Substance of Lungs Restored, Cataract Quickly Healed, Valvular Heart Disease Healed, Cancer And Consumption Healed, Intense Suffering Overcome, Relief From Many Ills, Diseased Eyes Cured, From Despair To Hope And Joy, Many Physical And Mental Troubles Overcome.  I could go on as there are 100 pages of such accounts, but this gives my readers who are not Christian Scientists the idea.

        In many cases, these people who were pondering what they were reading in this book were healed almost at once.  Sometimes in a few weeks, and others over months of changed thought regarding their ailments.  But complete healing always came.  What they thought was solid reality, what heredity seemed to pronounce on them, what doctors who tried to do their best said was incurable, turned out not to be so at all.  Where did all these afflictions go?  Not being God-created who made all that was made, they disappeared into the nothingness disease always is.  When one's thought is radically enlightened by Christ, Truth, false beliefs are replaced with spiritual facts.  And this sets the sufferer free.

        The woman who wrote this book says on page 226:  "I saw before me the sick, wearing out years of servitude to an unreal master in the belief that the body governed them, rather than Mind."
        "The lame, the deaf, the dumb, the blind, the sick, the sensual, the sinner, I wished to save from the slavery of their own beliefs and from the educational systems of the Pharoahs, who to-day, as of yore hold the children of Israel in bondage.  I saw before me the awful conflict, the Red Sea and the wilderness, but I pressed on through faith in God, trusting Truth, the strong deliverer, to guide me into the land of Christian Science, where fetters fall and the rights of man are fully acknowledged."

        The contention of this blog post that bodily ailments are unreal may seem to some preposterous.  But they are unreal.  And thousands upon thousands of healings in Christian Science prove it so.

Blessings Bountiful

                                                         John Robert Howell

        When God is always first in our thoughts, He will be first in our lives, and we will not fail to obtain the continuing blessings which can only come by putting Him first.

        To reap God's blessings in health, security, protection, harmony, abundant supply -- we must to a degree demonstrate an understanding of our oneness with Him, and this is an eternal activity, not a one-time sprint to the door of consciousness to answer Christ's knock.  The gold in our character is only revealed as the dross is purged, but gold is not purified by gentle warmth, but  by the furnace fire of testing.

        We take great risk if we give casual lip service to our gratitude and loyalty to God while our real thoughts are elsewhere.  Woe to him who says, "I'm doing the bet I can" when what he really means is "I'm doing for God all my very busy schedule, pleasurable activities, and real desires will permit."  Let him who think this is a justifiable excuse picture himself saying it tete-a-tete to Christ Jesus.

        We should desire above all else to make ourselves vessels unto honor, as that chosen vessel Paul expressed it in II Timothy 2.  And recall what Jesus told Peter:  "Simon Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat" (Luke 22:31).  If so loyal a Disciple s Peter could not escape such words, can we?

        But this need not be the case with us students of Christian Science.  Being faithful to what God, Christ Jesus, and Mary Baker Eddy have given mankind enriches every area of our lives.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Letting Mind Direct

       "O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself:  it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps."
         (Jeremiah 10:23)

                                           Whether in matters material or ethereal,

                                           We need the wisdom of the one great Mind,

                                           Since none but the all-knowing Father

                                           Can direct our lives aright.

                                           We don't have to go through life hit-or-miss,

                                           And wake up one day to find

                                           Our footsteps have slid,

                                           Not when we seek God's perfect counsel,

                                           The way our blessed Master did.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Thinking About Ferguson

        Who can look at the violent scenes in this Missouri town and not feel stirred?  Instead of turning away from the whole picture and thinking, "What can just one person do to help?", there is something you and I can do.
         Our Master said:  "Blessed are the peacemakers:  for they shall be called the children of God."  As Jesus' followers, we have an obligation to help make peace.  And here Christian Science, with its emphasis on the teachings of Christ Jesus, helps us to bring peace to simmering urban problems.

        Finding solutions begins with the individual, with you and me.  Every time we bring harmony to a discordant situation or truly forgive an injustice; every time we love in the face of hate we are doing a very important part in defusing inflamed feelings in the community at large. Why?  Because the world's challenges are the culmination of unresolved individual problems and differences.

        Whatever the causes of society's misunderstandings and quarrels, the antidote is found in conforming to the divine standard brought out by Christ Jesus, who urged upon us the necessity to love one another.  "A fine ideal," someone may be thinking.  "But I'm not sure I can really do this.  I'm not good at dealing with anger and disrepect in others."

        Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "When we realize that there is one Mind, the divine law of loving our neighbor as ourselves is unfolded; whereas a belief in many ruling minds hinders man's normal drift toward the one Mind, one God, and leads human thought into opposite channels where selfishness reigns."  (page 269)

        We can do a lot to help promote healing in the world by realizing that there really is only one Mind, which man reflects, and that the traits causing conflict and violence are not part of anyone's genuine, God-created selfhood.  God is completely good and made all.  Remembering that even the worst wrong conduct and hostility do not belong to God's man enables us to look beyond appearances.  This empowers us with the Christly view of man which Jesus had.  And this view defuses inflamed feelings.

        Taking the time each day to pray from the standpoint of only one Mind, and living Christlike love, bring healing power to bear on the fear and anger in our own surroundings.  And through this God-approved action, we contribute solidly to world harmony and peace.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Taking the Risky Out of Travel

        Wherever we happen to go in the world, whether into areas designated as "safe" or "risky", it is important to our peace of mind and freedom of action that we understand what really constitutes our exemption from harm. We can't do this without bringing God into the picture.

        For centuries, people in dangerous situations have turned to the Bible for reassuring promises of God's protecting care.  One of the most comforting and best-loved promises is the first verse of Psalm ninety-one:  "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."

        Many derive from this psalm a feeling of comfort and safety.  But in these times of heightened travel risks we need to have more than just a comfortable feeling about our well-being; we need to know beyond a doubt that we can be safe, wherever we happen to go.

        The teachings of Christian Science have been of great help to me and our family in this regard.  Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy points out:  "Understanding the control which Love held over all, Daniel felt safe in the lions' den, and Paul proved the viper to be harmless."  (p. 514)

        The five physical senses tell us that we are subject to the material conditions surrounding us, even to other people who can be put us at risk.  But from the Bible we learn that God, perfect Love, is the one infinite supreme power and that man is the beloved offspring of his Maker, never for a moment separated from God's all-encompassing care.

        Because our true selfhood is inseparable from the almighty Father, there's a very profound sense in which we can say that our safety isn't dependent upon where we are in the world.  Being God's child, you and I are never, for even a second, deprived of our Father's loving care, never out of "the secret place" of spiritual security.  Despite human predictions to the contrary, we can travel any place we need or want to go, aware of always being in God's powerful presence.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Healing Through Christ

        I am convinced that Christian Science is the religion of Christ Jesus, because Jesus has so plainly said, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."  (Mark 16:17, 18)  This my religion makes possible in our day.

        Thank God, healing through Christ is made available to anyone in need of His help.  This is explained fully and clearly in the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science.  The law of Spirit, God, is available for everyone to learn and use in his daily life.

        Many people gain inspiration and comfort from contemplating the human personality of Jesus.  How much better it is, though, to gain a practical understanding of the divine power he expressed.  The purpose of our Master's unequaled example was not merely to inspire mankind but to show us how to be free from every form of material bondage, physical suffering included.

        This is accomplished as one understands the spiritual laws underlying Jesus' words and deeds.  Would you or I expect to succeed in applying the laws of mathematics simply by admiring the professor's personality or even his instruction?  We wouldn't.  In like manner, the changeless Principle of Jesus' healing and teaching has to be learned.

        The first chapter of the Bible states that God created man in His own image and likeness. In accordance with this original, true account of creation, students of Christian Science pray with the understanding that man and the universe are spiritual and perfect, here and now.

        In the measure that one is able to see himself and others in this spiritual likeness, he is employing the Master's method, who healed through spiritual means alone.  Mrs. Eddy writes:  "The physical healing of Christian Science results now as in Jesus' time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation."  Then she continues, "Now, as then, these mighty works are not supernatural, but supremely natural."  (Science and Health, p. xi)

        I can't tell you how many times in my life this has been the case for me.  Healing through Christ has been my privilege and joy to experience in countless challenges to health and freedom.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Joblessness and God's Help

        Yesterday's Wall Street Journal had an excellent essay from the Republican nominee for Governor of California, Neel Kashkari.  His title is "Brother, Can You Spare a Job?".  I was impressed to read that this man took to the streets with only $40 in his pocket (no credit cards) and trudged off to find work.  He tried one place after another, but finding no job, ended up having to accept meals from a local shelter and sleep on the street.

        This made me think about joblessness from a spiritual standpoint.  Fortunately, whether one's present need is for work or simply for peace of mind concerning the future, help is at hand.

        Christ Jesus was always conscious of God's tender, loving provision for each of His children.  To teach his hearers of God's goodness, Jesus told the parable of the prodigal son, who left his father's house, wasted all his resources, and then returned in what he thought would be disgrace to his father.  Instead of condemning him, his father welcomed him warmly and said (Luke 15:31):  "Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine."

        Through the study of Christian Science and the spiritual understanding it throws upon the Scriptures, one glimpses the fact that man is God's perfect expression, inseparable from divine Love's eternal care. Therefore one sees that man cannot need anything; he already possesses all good. Our function is to show forth God's attributes in continuous, harmonious activity.  This is our real employment, satisfying and secure. It is work totally unaffected by material beliefs of hard times and is never at the mercy of economic cycles or human laws of supply and demand.

        Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p. 494), "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need."  Many who, through the study of Christian Science, have gained an enlightened understanding of God as tender, unfailing Love, can testify to the truth of this statement.

        My own father was unexpectedly let go from his job at an age generally considered to be too young for retirement but too old for employment with a new firm.  The weeks wore on, and his own efforts to find work were unsuccessful.

        Desperately he looked for help.  My mother, brother, sister and I were all Christian Scientists, and he had witnessed many of our healings over the years.  My mother helped him contact a Christian Science practitioner, who aided him in gaining a better concept of himself as God's beloved child. In their interview the practitioner pointed out man's real being as a spiritual idea of God, divine Mind.  She assured him that he was the recipient of inexhaustible good.  She spoke of his unity with divine Love and told him that as the reflection of God he could not lack anything he needed for happiness, usefulness, satisfaction, and supply.

        As my father listened to the practitioner, his doubt and fear lessened, and he found himself feeling hopeful.  During the days that followed he continued to hold to his understanding of completeness and satisfaction in God and found his thoughts being filled with peace and confidence.  In less than a week's time he located a job that provided happy, rewarding employment.

        Mrs. Eddy writes in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" (p. 5), "Wholly apart from this mortal dream, this illusion and delusion of sense, Christian Science comes to reveal man as God's image, His idea, coexistent with Him -- God giving all and man having all that God gives."



Sunday, July 27, 2014

Notes on Romans 12:1,2

                                                             John Robert Howell

        This Bible passage reads in part (King James Version):  " not conformed to this world:  but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God."

        J. B. Phillips has what seems to me an inspired translation of this passage:  "Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God remold you from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves toward the goal of true maturity."

        The New English Bible has in part:  "Adapt yourselves no longer to the pattern of this present world, but let your minds be remade and your whole nature thus transformed."

        A note on Romans 12: 1, 2 from the New Life Translation "Life Application Study Bible" reads in part:  "Our refusal to conform to this world's values, however, must go even deeper than just behaviour and customs; it must be firmly planted in our mind:  Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.  It is possible to avoid most worldly customs and still be proud, covetous, selfish, stubborn, and arrogant.  Only when the Holy Spirit renews, reeducates, and redirects our mind are we truly transformed..."

        "The Scriptures require more than a simple and feeble acceptance of the truths they present; they require a living faith, that so incorporates their lessons into our lives that these truths become the motive-power of every act."  (pp. 196-197 Miscellaneous Writings by Mary Baker Eddy)


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Which Shall It Be?

        Christ...or self?  For those of us who are followers of Christ Jesus, who are confronted daily with so much that plays up the personal "I", this is a question that needs to be answered, and answered rightly.
        Which is it going to be with you and me?  Christ..or self?  The worldly man doesn't think so, but anyone who has found out what it takes to actually carry out Jesus' teachings, will know that what I say now is true:  the less there is of me, myself, the better for all concerned.

        Jesus said, "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples."  (John 15:8)

        Nothing blocks the needed good you and I otherwise might do, nothing interferes with the "fruits" manifested in a Christlike character the world needs so much, like too much self.  And the sooner we're delivered from it, the sooner will we be carrying out what our blessed Master required.

        Am I suggesting that putting Christ first, living to see our Father glorified, makes life terrific, with no longer any challenges?  In no way.  There will be sharp struggles.  In some ways, more than before. But our day-to-day experience becomes, because of making the bearing of fruit for God's glory, much more alive -- happier, healthier, free -- for others and ourselves.  Just the way our loving Father wants our lives to be. The blessings that await are more wonderful than one can possibly imagine.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Writers who used their talents

In the service of their King

Had so little say

In whether they wrote or not;

Thoughts began to flow,

Words were set to go.

And inspiration had to be attended to,

With singleness of heart.

Those who did this gathering

Of ideas from above,

Inhabited a universe they were in,

But all too often not of --

Men and women who dwelt apart.

You and I are richer far,*

     That these beings were, and are,

                            They way they were, and are.

(I have no doubt they're at it still.)

*"...individual good derived from God, the infinite All-in-all,
              may flow from the departed to mortals;"

(Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Full With Love

        A recent letter from someone in Nepal has caused me to think more about expressing the love Jesus requires of his followers.  This man who had just read some of Christ's words said that they left him feeling "full with love".  (English is not his first language.)  This was such a fresh way of putting it, I thought.

        Then this week while talking with a shop owner in town, he happened to mention one of his employees who was always thinking of her fellow workers.  He said, "She is always spreading love around here." Again, "spreading love around" was a lovely way to put it.

      Finally, just yesterday in an email from a friend he happened to speak of "unqualified love" pouring out of an acquaintance.  Yes,I  said to myself, love must be "unqualified",  expressed not only to our dear heavenly Father, but to all we encounter in our daily walk.

        Love is always revealing itself in the most wonderful ways!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Getting Rid of Pain

        The other day while standing in the checkout line at the grocery store, I  happened to overhear one woman telling another about a report she had just seen in a magazine.  According to her, on any given day in North American alone, millions of people suffer with bodily pain in some degree.

        I couldn't help thinking about a remedy that is always available--one that does not involve  becoming dependent on pain-killing drugs.

        The remedy I'm talking about is the healing power of Christianity that Jesus practiced and that is explained in Christian Science.  Its teachings make practical the divine method of deliverance referred to in Christ Jesus' words "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."  The study of divine Science shows us how to heal from a purely metaphysical standpoint, through following the Master's example.

        As one studies this Science with a humble, open mind, with consecration, the way of healing through spiritual means becomes clear.  It is important to realize that what one refers to as a physical condition is actually the objectification of thought.  And so as one purifies, or spiritualizes, his thinking, it naturally follows that the body becomes more harmonious.

        Because our  body is an expression of thought, the great need is for a change of mental standpoint.  Through prayer we need to gain a correct, spiritual view of man as the image of God.  In other words, we need to realize that pain and suffering are not a part of our real selfhood made in God's likeness.  The spiritual concept of man is basic, and this is why it is helpful to go back time and again to the Bible record that man is made in God's image.  Accepting the premise that God is perfect Spirit, as the Bible teaches, we realize that the creations of Spirit can only be spiritual, perfect.  And this is the reality of our being, despite appearances to the contrary.

        A person might be thinking, "But I've had this trouble for so long.  Nothing will help me." Yes, there is something.  Chronic disability and pain are not beyond the reach of Christ, Truth, as Jesus' healing work illustrates.  For example, the Gospel of Luke tells about "a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself." She was completely healed.

        Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:  "Become conscious for a single moment that Life and intelligence are purely spiritual,--neither in nor of matter,--and the body will then utter no complaints.  If suffering from a belief in sickness, you will find yourself suddenly well."

        The last one hundred pages of Science and Health are devoted to healings that resulted from studying this book.  Among those wonderful experiences is a healing of severe back pain.  Christian Science has lifted countless thousands out of painful physical conditions.

        As one learns that man, created in God's own image, is the perfect expression of the one divine Mind, it becomes clear that man must be spiritual and harmonious--that he cannot, in reality, be impaired in any way. He must function perfectly because he is governed by the one God.  Not matter how real it appears to be, infirmity has no true existence in God's sight, because God never made it.

        The need is not to ignore pain but to turn thought away from the view of man as material and suffering and toward the understanding that he is actually spiritual and perfect right now, untouched by pain.

         In proportion as we make this Christlike understanding the basis of our prayer, we are bringing thought into accord with Jesus' command "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."  And this results in healing.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Such Tender Love

Sitting on a bench in

The garden just now,

And watching a butterfly

Perched at the edge of

A birdbath getting a drink,

                Made me think.

I couldn't help but marvel

At God's love and care

For something so fragile.

That He does take account

Of all that He has made

We know from Jesus' words

In the Sermon on the Mount,

Where he speaks of even

The fowls of the air

Being provided for.

Reflecting on our dear Father's

Tender love for all His creatures,

How my thoughts of thanks

And praise to Him do soar.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

On Defense

                                                             John Robert Howell

        I was brought up short once again by an article by Mortimer Carr (otherwise unknown to me) in the May 1946 Journal, "Protection and Defense."  Perhaps I alone have too often let my mind drop into a rut when attempting to do my duty as required in Article VIII, Sect. 6, "Alertness to Duty", in the Church Manuel.  Mrs. Eddy there demands, in fact, that each member of The Mother Church "defend  himself daily".  It was easy for me to interpret this as donning, or at least clattering around vigorously with an armor of truths daily.  Carr points out that that would be protecting, not defending, myself.

        He quotes a dictionary definition as stating:  "the inmates of a fortress are defended by its guns, protected by its walls, and guarded by sentries against surprise."  Hosing ourselves down daily with a shower of the letter isn't defending ourselves daily against aggressive mental suggestions.  I find the defintion of defend in the Students Reference Dictionary stronger than those in my desk dictionary.  It (SRD) reads, in part, for defend:  "To drive from; to thrust back; hence, to deny; to repel a demand, charge, or accusation; to oppose; to resist...To drive back a foe or danger...To secure against attacks or evil, to fortify against danger or voilence..."  One certainly doesn't do that with a feather duster of words or a sprinkling of positive thoughts.  Protection is defined, in part, from SRD:  "shelter from evil, preservation from loss, injury, or annoyance."  

        This article of the Church Manuel is much too important to handle with butterfingered notions of what the word defend means.  And Mrs. Eddy tells us that each by-law of the Church Manuel obeyed and lived will contribute to our growth in grace and worthiness to be called genuine Christian Scientists.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Quickly Healed

        A friend of ours who lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts mentioned in a letter recently a healing of his daughter, which could well be of benefit to some of you:

        "My daughter called me as she was on her way home from work one evening.  She complained of severe stomach pains, but this belief was met and eliminated in about 15 minutes by reminding her of her exemption from such suggestions. In my prayerful work, it was clear to me that she had always been one with God, and that we didn't need to work towards perfection, but that she already was so."

        I called him to thank him for his letter and he further elaborated that the basis of his Christian Science treatment were these two statements by Mary Baker Eddy:

        "Jesus of Nazareth taught and demonstrated man's oneness with the Father, and for this we owe him endless homage." Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 18

And from Miscellaneous Writings, page 173:

        "If Mind, God, is all-power and all-presence, man is not met by another power and presence, that--obstructing his intelligence--pains, fetters, and befools him.  The perfection of man is intact; whence, then, is something besides Him that is not the counterpart but the counterfeit of man's creator?  Surely not from God, for He made man in His own likeness."


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Whence Heaven?

People go from place to place
           (Or yearn to)
To find what they hope is Paradise,
While the heaven they seek
Lies before their face.
Did not Christ Jesus teach
The kingdom of God
Is within us?
(See Luke 17:20,21)
What greater heaven
Could one reach?
Not moving to another state,
But lifting thought to see
What our Master meant,
(After all, was he not God-sent?)
Is the heaven-prescribed way.
One may well need
To be in another location,
But first things first --
Taking our Lord
At his Word,
Finding out what
Christian Science reinstates,
We see more of heaven
Right where we are.

Property of Christ

I am Christ's,

            and I've had

                       the encounters

                                         (not for the easily daunted)*

                                                                            to prove it --

                                              But this is another poem or essay

                                                       for a later time.

*As the New Testament states:

"All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution"
                       (II Timothy 3:12)

And Mary Baker Eddy in "Miscellaneous Writings" (page 157):

"It is a great thing to be found worthy to suffer for Christ, Truth."

Thursday, June 12, 2014

If Christ Can Deliver Me...

        ...then Christ can deliver you, from any of the strongholds of the prince of this world.  Our Master's warning I just have to share.

          "Ye cannot serve God and mammon", Jesus said one morning while teaching on a hillside. I struggled over this passage for years, with tears at times, since I was primarily concerned with getting daily bread, with things material.  In short with achieving/getting/having--not wholly with giving.  As a lifelong student of Christian Science, I knew better than this, knew that God made us to be living expressions of infinite, divine Love.

        I'll never forget the day the real awakening came.  Happening to pass by the headquarters of a major charity in Boston where we lived, I turned in to give a small amount to their work.  Surprised, the loving lady at the desk ushered me upstairs to the man in charge, who wanted to thank me personally.  For $20!  There behind a well-worn desk in a rather shabby office (these people do not enrich themselves, nor spend money on putting on a show), was a man with the most full of light, Christlike countenance I had ever seen--rich in a way I wanted to be but was not.

        Having just come out of a nice office, with salary to match, the contrast was striking--the beginning of a yearning to obey Jesus' words.  And joy to the world, having made it over this hump once and forever all, God did not leave me in need, begging in the street.  He never will who obey His words. Of this, we may be sure.


Doers of Jesus' Words

One day Jesus to his
surprised disciples said,
"I was an hungred, and ye
gave me meat", to which
they replied:  "When saw we
thee an hungred,
and gave thee bread?"
And here words that have
rung down the centuries,
to glorious deeds have led:

"Inasmuch as ye have done it
unto one of the least of these
my brethren, ye have done it
unto me."
(Matthew 25)

His answer, of course
for all Christians professing --
               not just finessing.
When our Master's words cause
in you and me an ouch!,
we know we're going to
get up off that couch.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Mark Well

                    With Christ,

                                We shall prevail.

                    Without Christ,

                                 We're bound to fail.

                            "I am the vine, ye are the  branches:  He that abideth in me,

                                        and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit:

                                              for without me ye can do nothing."

                                                             Christ Jesus

Sunday, June 1, 2014

When Life Gets You Down

When life in general gets you down,

(Or specifically speaking,

Those misguided souls

Who want to see you down),

Lift your thoughts higher,

To help backed up by divine fire:

"Your joy no man taketh from you."

                 Christ Jesus

          It will work every time!

Acting Decisively

        Watching World War II documentaries during the Memorial Day observances here in the United States, I was impressed with how decisive the Generals were.  And no doubt had to be.  They couldn't afford to dither.

        While not prosecuting a war, there are many times when you and I are faced with situations that call for immediate action.  We don't have time to consult everyone in sight as to what steps to take.

        God can give us the ability to reach right decisions quickly.  Christian Science offers a purely God-centered remedy for confusion and indecisiveness.  It declares that man is spiritual, the reflection of the all-seeing, all-hearing, all-knowing divine Mind, God; that therefore the wisdom we need for every decision is already established in the spiritual consciousness--the true being--of each of us, and that we can prove this.

        Jeremiah exclaimed, "Ah, Lord God!  behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee."  (Jer. 32:17)  It's comforting to realize that you and I are never alone before intricate issues that need resolving, weighty decisions that have to be made.  The flawlessly intelligent Mind that has made man and the universe holds these ideas in harmony, peace, and the dominion of perfect understanding.  If decisions actually rested on our shoulders, we might indeed feel burdened at times.  But we are in reality the eternal reflection of tranquil, unerring Mind, which gives man every thought and impels all activity.  Understanding that divine Principle lawfully sustains, legitimately directs, and perfectly controls the real universe including us, we have a working basis for demonstrating divine guidance in human affairs.

        Wisdom, intelligence, and spiritual perception are divine qualities that man reflects.  Therefore they are always available to us to claim as our own.  They constitute our ability to know what to do, and when and how to do it.  There can be no indecision or uncertainty in the consciousness where these Godly qualities actively abide.  You and I, as in truth the very image of God, exist forever at the standpoint of absolute certainty and perfect assurance, and we can act decisively when situations call for such.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Christian Science Healing

        While reading this morning from the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, I couldn't help but think of a marvelous healing a friend of ours had through relying on God's power.

        In the section known as the trial in which mortal man is condemned to illness and death by fear and material law, Christian Science becomes the man's attorney, argues for the supremacy of the Bible regarding the rights of man, and the man is completely healed.

        It is this part that stood out to me:  "The Jury of Spiritual Senses agreed at once upon a verdict, and there resounded throughout the vast audience chamber of Spirit the cry, Not guilty.  Then the prisoner rose up regenerated, strong, free.  We noticed, as he shook hands with his counsel, Christian Science, that all sallowness and debility had disappeared.  His form was erect and commanding, his countenance beaming with health and happiness. Divine Love had cast out fear."  (Page 442)

        This describes beautifully the experience of a friend of ours we knew in Massachusetts who became ill as a young man.  He was bedfast for many years.  It was here that a neighbor mentioned Christian Science to his family.  They got a copy of Science and Health which the man began reading.  Heretofore he wasn't even able to get out of bed with help and take a short drive in the car.  But all this changed, slowly at first, but it changed.  Complete freedom came.  And the striking part of this to us, and to all who know him, was the remarkable energy, good posture, beaming face, joy in living that he expresses.

        He, like so many others in the world, is a walking advertisement for the healing power that comes to one as he understands divine laws as made plain by the teachings of Christian Science.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The 3 Greatest Things

It  has been said,
I know I've read
That the 3 greatest things
In the Christian life
Are humility/humility/humility.
If you and I intend to be
Soldiers of Jesus Christ,
Purveyors of peace and harmony,
We must ask God for and cultivate
A daily watchful humility;
Shun self-assertiveness and strife
When discord's banners we see;
Let Christly love confront the foe
And show the way to tranquility.
Living the truths Christ Jesus
Taught his warriors to believe
Is waging battles God's own way.
It brings us strength from Him to not react.
This keeping peace for Christ's dear sake
Achieves a victory upheaved thought cannot:
We come through potential conflict
With Godlike nature intact.

Friday, May 16, 2014

To Bring God to the World*

"I've never once felt close to God"
A friend confided recently --
An amazing thing to hear
For those of us who do.
Could this be the problem,
That she, like so many others,
Are trying to find peace and joy
While leaving Christ Jesus out,
Whose essential role they doubt
(If they even think about it at all)?
God does want His children close to Him --
To have all the good He has to give.
But the path there is one --
The one given the world
By His beloved Son.

"I am the way, the truth, and the life:
No man cometh unto the Father,
But by me"
Said our Lord and Master dear.
          (John 14:6)

*This, the reason I blog for Christ Jesus and Christian Science.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Whether in matters material or ethereal,

We need the wisdom of the one great Mind,

Since none but the all-knowing Father

Can direct our lives aright.

We don't have to go through life hit-or-miss,

And wake up one day to find

Our footsteps have slid,

Not when we seek God's perfect counsel,

The way our blessed Master did.

So,when foot first touches floor,

Is not one moment too soon

To turn to God and pray:

"May this day ahead be lived

With Your will its guide and core."

Thursday, May 8, 2014

God Be Praised

        While driving back just now from buying some flowers to plant for summer, happened to hear Handel's anthem, "Sing to God", with verses from 3 different Psalms.  Very uplifting.

       It brought to mind a conversation I had yesterday with a friend from Florida, also a Christian Scientist. We both expressed the thought, where would we be today without Christian Science?  What would we do without its teachings?  Implied was, with the access it gives us to God's glorious restorative power.

        Of course, my friend and I (and everyone else) aren't faced with having to go through life without God's help when up against it.  God be praised that Mary Baker Eddy discovered His divine laws that Christ Jesus knew and proved for mankind's everlasting benefit.  And that she founded the Christian Science Church which goes out all over the world, making available divine truths that set us free.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Safe Travel

        The Old Testament says, "The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him, and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders."  (Deuteronomy 33:12)  Statements from the Bible, this among them, always give me a feeling of safety when I have to take a trip.  It's wonderful to know that we can be safe, wherever we happen to go.

        The five physical senses tell us that we are subject to the material conditions surrounding us, even to other people who can be irresponsible, dangerous.  But from the Bible we learn that God, perfect Love, is the one infinite supreme power and that man is the beloved offspring of his Maker, never for a moment separated from God's all-encompassing care.  And neither the victim nor the perpetrator of violent acts.This God-created man is the true selfhood of each of us.  The demand is to realize clearly what is true of God and man, despite appearances that would contradict that truth.

       Because our true selfhood is inseparable from the almighty Father, there's a very profound sense in which we can say that safe travel isn't dependent upon where we happen to be.  God's child is never, for even a second, deprived of Father's loving care, never out of this place of spiritual security.

        As I have found, a practical understanding of our unity with God is available for all.  Through the study of Christian Science one learns those spiritual truths that empower him to conduct his life without fear and uncertainty.  Through prayer and the knowledge Christ Jesus had that "He that sent me is with me:  the Father hath not left me alone", we can stay safe, wherever we happen to travel.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Our Father's Preserving Care

                                                             John Robert Howell

        (With the recent storms here in the South, have been thinking about this subject, and feel these Bible verses will offer comfort to readers.)

        Psalm 40:11   "...O Lord:  let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me."  This from New Living Translation, "Lord, don't hold back your tender mercies from me./Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me."

        Jeremiah 31:3, the last phase of which reads "...therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn the.."  NLT has:  With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself."  English Standard Version has:  "...therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you."

        Psalm 121:8:  "The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore."  NLT has:  "The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever." Holman Christian Standard Bible has:  "The Lord will protect your coming and going/both now and forever. ESV preserves the King James version.

        Psalm 116:6 says "The Lord preserveth the simple:  I was brought low, and he helped me."  NLT has:  The Lord protects those of childlike faith;/I was facing death, and he saved me."  New International Version has:  "The Lord protects the unwary;/when I was brought low, he saved me:  The "NIV Study Bible" has this note on the verse:  "unwary.  Those who are childlike in their sense of dependence on and trust in the Lord." Part of that note reads:  "the simple:  The childlike, those whose understanding and judgment have not yet matured..."

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Safe From Harm

       The Psalmist sang, "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations." (Ps. 90:1)  It is for this very reason that in truth you and I are eternally exempt from harm of any kind.  I like to think about this:  we have actually never been apart from our divine source, God--not even for a moment.  As His offspring, dwelling in Him, we are and have always been preserved by His unerring laws of safety and exemption from dangerous conditions.  What a present help in everyday life I have found many times, through the teachings of Christian Science, which fully endorse these divine facts.

        It is obvious that our great Master, Christ Jesus, fully realized the inseparability of man from God.  He taught that man is God's own child, safe in the care and love of his Creator, regardless of appearances.  I've often thought of the time when Jesus  in a crowd.  Some of the people intended to throw him off a hill, but he went he passed through the midst of them, totally safe from harm.

        Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes:  "How blessed it is to think of you as 'beneath the shadow of a great rock in a weary land,' safe in His strength, buildling on His foundation, and covered from the devourer by divine protection and affection." (Miscellaneous Writings page 263.)



Friday, April 18, 2014

Life Unending

        "Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die", John points out Jesus said.  The Master said it, not I; Jesus' words, not mine.  And how they do put us in touch--here and now--with things divine.  And that word "liveth" to me shows that I must put into practice our Saviour's teachings in the everyday things I do.

        What purpose this does give to me, to you.  It takes out of existence the gloom and sigh, and brings instead such incentive and joy; makes out spirits soar, spreads before us an adventure in living that just gets better and better, one that will go on--just think about this, dear readers everywhere--FOREVERMORE.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Oasis (Raymond Sutherland)

(Raymond is a Christian poet and friend in Christ who lives in Aberdeen, Scotland.  He is not a follower of my religion, as many of my readers are not.  "Oasis" is from his book, Life's Tapestry, 2008)

I found amidst the bustling throng

    The busy grind of city life

    That offers such unrestfulness

    And steals away all calm repose

    While walking in the urban  hour

When teeming masses swarm abroad

    And vehicle voices roar and rail

Stretched nose to tail and road to road

     A place?  For lack of better word

   A spread of peace?  What can I say?

      An acreage of restfulness

      An area of tranquility?

   Well anyway, I found a bench

That in its day had once been brown

   And sat and ate some sandwiches

    There in the middle of the town.

Now in that place a peace came down

    Or maybe it had always been

  At any rate it wrapped me round

   And ah!  I felt a sense of Him.