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.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cool to Jesus' Words?

God forbid,

And God forbid that such a thing

Should continue with us uncorrected.

Without a keeping of these words,

How can we hope to be protected

From the inevitable devils

Of misfortune and suffering?

Besides an act of sheer disobedience

To what God expects us to do,

There is this,

Something we can't afford to miss:

"If a man love me, he will keep my words:
and my Father will love him,
and we will come unto him,
and make our abode with him".

Jesus was not a man who went about

Saying things because he had nothing

Better to do!

What our Master said,

He meant,

Meant it to be loved, lived

By each and every follower.

So, in our daily praying

For mankind, and for ourselves,

Let us ask God to help us not forget,

                                  never neglect,

Christ Jesus' holy sayings --

A heaven-bestowed treasure,

Priceless beyond all measure.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Love For One's Neighbor

Jesus' command is alive and well on our street.

We dogs ought to know; we get a lot of love,

Especially from Glenda, who gives us

Treats and  is always glad to see us.

She brings her pretty dog Abbie

Around to our house to play.

My name is Dylan Howell,

And when I was a tiny puppy,

Our neighbor brought me a stuffed toy

I would chew on in the cool grass.

I still remember this.

And since Sasha's come along,

She's had the same love and attention.

Of course Glenda helps people, too.

She doesn't talk about religion;

This woman lives it.

We dogs know love when we see it in action.

And we think this is what Jesus was talking about.

"Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
                 Matthew 19:19

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Love That is Not Shadowboxing (John Robert Howell)

        He prayeth well, who loveth well

        Both man and bird and best;

        He prayeth best who loveth best

        All things both great and small;  

        For the dear God who loveth us,

        He made and loveth all.

        These lines, which come near the end of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's marvelous poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner", undoubtedly state a major theme of the poem and a  theme well worth pursuing in our lives.

        It is imperative,  however, that our sense of love rises above Peter's at that luminous morning meal on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias when the risen Jesus asks Peter if he loves (agape) him.  Peter's more limited view of love answers "yes, Lord, you know I love (philos) you".  Responding to Jesus' exact repetition of the question, Peter replies the same.  When Jesus questions Peter the hauntingly significant third time, he uses Peter's own word for love (philos), "are you really my friend?" and almost certainly Coleridge's.  The point is not simply a pedantic one, for if our sense of love never rises above that of brotherly love, we will not be attaining that sense of divine Love (agape) which is so essential.

        One might reasonably equate the three avatars of love--eros, philos, and agape--with the three degrees of mortal mind Mrs. Eddy defines on pp. 115-116 of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Obeying the second degree isn't bad or undesirable per se, it simply isn't good and pure enough to lift our thinking to a fuller and more complete understanding, reality, which must take place if we are to demonstrate our oneness with divine Love, our spiritual perfection as God's idea and reflection.

        Only a flaneur or naive Micawber passively waiting for something good to turn up could ever think the attainment of a spiritual sense of Love is going to come without many Jacob-like wrestlings or wilderness sessions with the devil like that Christ Jesus experienced in Matthew 4.

        God is All and created all.  His creation is Love expressed as an eternally present fact.  To understand this, even in small measure, requires that we develop a greater spiritual sense, to the degree of embodiment, of Mrs. Eddy's inspired Revelation of Truth, Life, and Love.