Monday, December 21, 2015

The Way To Go

I've tried it both ways,

and letting God lead

is the way to go,

no matter what the woe.

So, I've learned to pray

when foot first touches floor,

may this day be lived,

dear heavenly Father,

with Your all-wise will

its guide and core.

Friday, December 11, 2015


A lovely time Christmas,
A season of joy.
But whatever the
the time of year,
'tis the season,
always a reason
for God's gift of joy --
to share it all around us.
We had seen this jogger before,
A college girl she seemed,
On the path where
We walk our dogs.
But this morning,
Unlike the other couple of times
Running on past us,
She doubled back and stopped.
"You don't know what
Your happy faces do for me!"
Total surprise, and more,
A feeling of "who us?" -
Not one word of
Cheer having passed our lips,
Not knowing this girl,
Not knowing she needed
To see smiling faces.
But point taken:
The slightest thing can
Touch another's life for good.
So, resolved to cultivate joy,
Not paste it on.
              But feel it,
              Show it.


Sunday, December 6, 2015

My Goal For Today

        And not only for today, but beyond--way beyond:

        From Matthew, our beloved Christ Jesus' command
                        to his followers in all time to
                  "Go and teach all nations, baptizing them
                    in the name of the Father, and of the Son,
                              and of the Holy Ghost:
                    Teaching them to observe all things
                    whatsoever I have commanded you;"

                  And from Mary Baker Eddy's sublime poem
                                 "Christ My Refuge"

                            "My prayer, some daily good to do
                                        To Thine, for Thee;
                             And offering pure of Love, whereto
                                       God leadeth me."

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Our Power Source


        To use a seasonal illustration, while putting up outside Christmas lights this past weekend and making sure they were all connected to the power source, I thought about the source of our power, yours and mine.

        From my study and practice of Christian Science, I've learned to look on God as all-powerful, our divine source.  And you and I are never stronger than when we are connected to Him as our everpresent, sustaining influence.

        In the New Testament, Paul makes this striking statement:  "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13).  But how many people these days are trying to do all things without Christ!  This is sad, for  not only does such a spiritually weakened way of life go against God's will for His children; it would deprive us of utilizing the incomparable help of divine power.

        Why live another day this way?  Why--when looking to God as the continuous giver of ability, vitality, and intelligence is so energizing?  Depending on our Father, God, is the obedient thing to do.  It glorifies Him.  And in turn, it empowers us to get so much more done every day.

        Turning to God as the only power brings into manifestation the qualities already ours as His spiritual offspring.  The result is more physical stamina with which to carry out life's demands, increased mental sharpness, more creativity--in short, a greater expression of God's infinite capacities.  The Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures points out how natural it is for God's creation to express power.  "All that God imparts moves in accord with Him, reflecting goodness and power," writes Mary Baker Eddy (p. 515).

        Man is actually the very expression of divine, infinite Spirit.  Grasping this holy fact,  you start to realize that your real identity is not a material entity at all. It is spiritual, like your creator, and already includes such qualities as energy and inspiration.

        The purpose of Christ Jesus' life was to show us how to avail ourselves of spiritual power.  This power, the Christ-power, is always with us.  Christ is our Saviour from all that would limit and weaken us and keep us from being all that God created us to be.

        And for the committed follower of the Master, nothing is more important than a Christlike character and works. Here God's help is absolutely essential--as any one of us knows who has tried to correct character weaknesses.  It's a  hopeless proposition without the divine assistance of Christ.  But when we're leaning on the His power, and conforming to Jesus' precepts, it's a different story altogether.

        What are these precepts?  One way to think of them is as God's holy laws.  And when we take seriously these laws that Jesus taught and lived, we are spiritually strengthened.  Jesus lived to love God supremely and his fellow beings as himself.  The desire to do things God's way runs like a shining thread through the Master's life.  Put aside self to follow his example, and you'll find more Christlikeness coming out in your life.  You'll see the noble character the world so needs right now.

        Now, when it comes to putting off self for more Christlikeness, we may have to pray diligently at times.  It may take hard work to summon enough spiritual strength to do God's will.  But what of it?  Think of Jesus' struggles in the wilderness with the devil at the beginning of his selfless ministry, and at Gethsemane during the sublime and triumphant end of his career.  Actually following God's plan and not our own may take more selflessness than we think we have at times.  It can seem as if the devil is sitting on one shoulder, saying, "You're not actually going to do what God wants you to do, are you?  Where are your pride and self-determination?"  Fortunately, equally at hand and infinitely more persuasive is the potent Christ, Truth, voicing God's promise of blessedness and reward for those who keep His commandments.  As Christ Jesus once said, "If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be:  if any man serve me, him will my Father honour" (John 12:26).

        I've often observed that the "secret" of so many people of noble and enduring character is that they not only believed in the soundness of Jesus' teachings; they lived his precepts.

        Whatever area of our lives needs shoring up, God's power is ever at hand to do it.  Habitually relying on Him for what we need enables us to feel His loving presence more consistently.  And this is so wonderful that we may find ourselves thanking Him for challenging times that awaken us to the need to stay connected to the divine power always at hand.

        Conforming our thoughts and deeds, day by day, to the Christly model Jesus exemplified will not only strengthen our character; it will lead to the Christly works that humanity is so in need of. The Bible states, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God:  I will strengthen thee; year, I will  help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness" (Isaiah 41:10).




Monday, November 23, 2015

Answered Prayer


                                                 John Wellsman

        Not long ago I began experiencing intermittent periods of severe pain in my left hip area.  For some time I prayed rather dilatorily even as both the frequency and intensity of the pain increased.  Climbing stairs and just walking were becoming increasingly difficult.  Suggestions of incapacitation and other fears threatened to rob me of my independence and mobility.

        Gradually through prayer I felt I was gaining dominion over the fearful suggestions. However the period of pain continued to recur.  I got to the point that I could see the suggestions as only suggestions.  Each time one would come I would vigorously declare, "Get thee hence, Satan, though art a liar and the father of it!"  As this process was repeated, I gained confidence and my thought became more calm.  Yet the pain and discomfort continued--and even claimed to increase.

        Finally early one morning I reached out to God humbly yearning to know what else I needed to know about this situation.  Although no answer came immediately, a little later that morning as I was about to sit down at my desk I glanced down at my office chair and noticed the supplementary cushion on it was rather skewed.  The chair itself was of excellent quality and well-padded with a leather covering.  However, I had placed an extra cushion on it to protect the leather and add comfort in hot weather.  It was this extra cushion that then drew my attention.  The elastic straps holding it in place had long since deteriorated and the cushion itself had shifted on the seat and bunched up on one side.  It seemed inconsequential and I had ignored it for some time.

        Suddenly I recalled a time nearly 40 years previously when my dad, who was never a student of Christian Science, had asked me to drive him into Boston for a doctor's appointment at a large hospital.  He had been experiencing a problem similar to my current situation and his regular physician had been unable to find the cause or eliminate the pain he was feeling and therefore referred dad to a specialist.  Dad, of course, requested I drive him in his car.  Now this was the time before automobile manufacturers had begun to design auto seats ergonomically and the term "lumbar support" was essentially unknown.  Basically the rule then was "squishier is better."  My dad's car was by no means an economy model but neither was it a luxury vehicle.  So his seats, as I remember, were fairly "squishy."  We had scarcely driven ten miles before my leg and hip were beginning to feel decidedly uncomfortable.  So I asked my dad if his leg felt thus and so--basically describing the way my leg and hip were beginning to feel.  He replied that that was exactly the problem.  So I told him I thought we had discovered the cause and it was nothing more than his car's seat as my leg and hip were feeling that way and it had started only after I'd begun the drive.  Fortunately my dad listened to me and mentioned this to the doctor, who had been unable to find anything physically wrong with his leg or hip.  The doctor simply recommended getting some sort of supplementary cushion which my dad did immediately.  His "problem" eased very quickly and never recurred as long as dad had that vehicle and used the supplementary cushion.

        As these thoughts came to my consciousness I simply flattened out my extra cushion and sat down.  Getting up after a couple of hours at the computer, I realized the pain had gone completely.  I was able to go up and down stairs with no pain or discomfort.  The pain has never recurred.

        Now some might say this shouldn't be classified as a "healing" since there was no "disease" involved.  Some might even say, "Oh, big deal, he only had a sore hip!"  However if one defines "disease" as a lack of ease caused by pain, I can only respond that there certainly was a "lack of ease" manifested by the debilitating pain.  So, yes, to me it was definitely a "big deal" and yet the pain itself was not the cause of the problem as Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of the Christian Science religion defines disease in the following passage in her book Rudimental Divine Science: "Disease is a thing of thought manifested on the body; and fear is the procurator of the thought which causes sickness and suffering."  (p. 10:15)

        The problem was solved by rejecting lying suggestions and sincere prayer yearning to know what was needed to be corrected.  It is highly unlikely that anyone would have humanly put together two seemingly disparate events occurring nearly 40 years apart without resorting to divine guidance, certainly not while fear was focusing thought on suggestions of pain and disability.  When the fear was gone, my thought was prepared to receive the solution to the situation.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Only One Way

        Let's face it: There is only one way to stay safe in the world as it seems today -- steep oneself in what Christ Jesus knew, and Science divine reiterates, that God is always with us, no matter where we are, no matter what we do. 

        We could surround ourselves with a 24-hour security detail, but keeping aware of eternal truths do the job without fail. The Holy Bible and the teachings of Christian Science are filled with promises of divine help, but these 3 are ones that bring me peace of mind and confidence that I'll be safe as I go about my day-today:

                               "Lo, I am with you alway."

                                       Christ Jesus

                               "In him we live, and move, and have our being;
                                 ...For we are also his offspring."
                                                  St. Paul

                               "Man is, and always has been
                                        God's reflection."

                                         Mary Baker Eddy

Poem For Thanksgiving


                                            John Robert Howell

Does a famine of the spirit
        starve health and calm and ease?
Awake to the Master's promises
       and taste afresh the bread of Truth.
If of Love your loaf is made
       Life divine will fill emaciation's void.
But who's to grind and knead and bake
       before the grace and breaking?
If crust already cut and buttered you expect,
       turn rather to the garner first with gratitude.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Words They Live By

It isn't what they do,
It isn't what they say,
But when such people
Go on their way,
To other jobs, home,
Or whatever it is
They may be doing,
They leave behind them
A feeling, an atmosphere,
Not easy to put into words,
But we're happier, uplifted,
Decidedly better off.
I used to wonder,
What is it that could
Cause such a thing?
Then one day, very clear,
I saw what it is:
Why, they have Jesus
     In their heart --
           What He said,
                        And lived.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

God a present help

       Yes, our heavenly Father is a present help.  And the purpose of my blogging for Christ Jesus and Christian Science is to position people's thoughts and lives in God's direction.  People who are going about their daily lives without Him, of course.  Or are trying to do so.  What they are missing!

        To know that God's help is ever at hand, that we can turn to Him wherever we are, whatever we happen to be doing, is positively priceless.  And to think that anyone of us can gain the spiritual knowledge that enables us to do this.

        As those who love and revere Jesus know, the Master turned constantly to God for the healing of pain, disease, deformity, and even saving from death.  The Bible indicates that Jesus knew God would hear.  The Saviour's understanding of man's oneness with the creator must have assured him that God answers every call, and that God's will is always good, always for harmony, which includes harmony in every aspect of one's life. And Jesus promises, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also" (John 14:12).

        God's assistance can be accomplished as we understand the spiritual laws underlying Jesus' teachings and works.  These divine and unchanging laws are explained fully and clearly in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.  The book teaches how to put into practice the spiritual truths found in Jesus' words and acts.  They make it possible for any individual to overcome difficulties through God's supreme power, even as Jesus utilized God's power.

       You and I are actually spiritual, not material, not at the mercy of mortal problems, ills.  We can never, for even a moment, be deprived of our Father, God's care.  There are men, women, and children all over the world who are right now proving this, who are experiencing that God is a present help.  



Thursday, November 5, 2015

You Deserve to be Well

        Why do I say deserve?  Because you are God's loved child, made in His own likeness.  Furthermore, God never made bodily discords, and He has the power to remove them from your life. 

        The quickest, safest, and most potent remedy for any inharmonious physical condition is the Mind-science that Christ Jesus employed.  Our realization that God, good is All-in-all, and that whatever is unlike Him is therefore unreal and nonexistent, has healing power.

        Christian Science makes this knowledge available to any sincere seeker.  Its teachings explain and make practical the divine method of deliverance referred to in Jesus' words, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."  The study of divine Science turns the sufferer from the mistaken belief that God is far-off and unavailing, and lifts his thought to see that God is ever at hand to set him free.  The sufferer then has no need of drugs.
        In her search for truth, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, perceived that God is the source of all reality and being, and that whatever is contrary to His nature must be considered untrue and unreal, however tangible it may appear.  She writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "It is well to be calm in sickness; to  be hopeful is still better, but to understand that sickness is not real and that Truth can destroy its seeming reality, is best of all, for this understanding is the universal and perfect remedy."

        The religion I practice reiterates with precision and reverence the Master's mighty works.  For this reason it cannot be valued too highly.  Through scientic prayer we heal from a purely metaphysical standpoint, basing our work on the allness of divine Mind, God, and the nothingness, the nonexistence, of matter.

        Since bodily discord does not exist as a fact but is only an illusion of material sense, one is healed as his misconceptions yield to the powerful and corrective Christ, Truth, to the recognition that God is perfect and man is His perfect image and reflection, now and forever.

        The action of Truth bringing light to one's consciousness destroys the darkness of fear and suffering and lifts thought to be behold the all-presence of spiritual harmony.  This corrected mental state is then objectified in one's experience as health and freedom.

        You do not have to be ill; it is your God-given right to be whole and free.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

It's Not Where We Live...

's what we think.  We here in Tennessee have, and are having, a glorious fall season.  The air is so crisp and refreshing with the bluest, cleanest skies. However, far too many people feel they must suffer through autumn with allergies.  Instead of enjoying hiking, planting flowers for spring, raking leaves, mowing the lawn, activities are nearly shut down for the time being.

        Over and over I'm hearing individuals say, "I've tried every known remedy and nothing clears it up.  I'll just have to live with it." No, no one just has to live with suffering. My hope is that someone  in need of freedom from depleted health may come across my blog and be helped.

        Just yesterday, a worker I know at the local post office has decided the problem lies in living under the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains here in East Tennessee, in the valley as it is known.  If only she could move to another state, all would be dandy.
But would it be? Not as I see and understand it.

        It isn't where you and I reside; it's what we are thinking that tells the tale, that determines our health and freedom.  Or our needless suffering and restriction.

        Christ Jesus emphasized the effect of what we entertain in thought.  He said:  "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man...Those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart."  (Matthew 15:ll)

        When one learns that what he's thinking affects every aspect of his life, he sees the necessity of replacing fearful, sickly thoughts with spiritual truths that uplift, transform, and keep one healthy.  He sees the importance of conforming to the Christly standard Jesus established for all of us.  No matter what others may be falsely believing about allergies, no one has to abjectly surrender his health and harmony, but may instead exercise God-given power over suffering.

        Because you and I are actually the reflection of infinite, harmonious Spirit, and we include only those qualities Spirit imparts--peace, health, dominion--the suffering and fear that may seem so real have no genuine power over us.  They are misconceptions, false beliefs, not actually God-created conditions we have to live with.  And being misconceptions, they can be corrected with the truth of man's inseparable relationship to God, of his uninterrupted well-being as God's reflection.  This truth frees one.

        Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures :  "Instruct the sick that they are not helpless victims, for if they will only accept Truth, they can resist disease and ward it off, as positively as they can the temptation to sin."  She continues further along, "The fact that Truth overcomes both disease and sin reassures depressed hope.  It imparts a healthy stimulus to the body, and regulates the system.  It increases or diminishes the action, as the case may require, better than any drug, alterative, or tonic."  (p. 420)

        No, it isn't where our physical bodies happen to be; it's where our thoughts dwell.  Our experience is actually mental.  And being so, we can exercise our God-given right to exchange false, material thinking for the Truth that Jesus promised would make us free.



Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sickness and Overturning False Testimony

                                             John Robert Howell

        The false testimony of the five material senses, telling us we're experiencing physical discomfort, can be overturned with God's potent help.  I know it can.

        Several months while visiting friends in another city, my wife and I were taken out to dinner at a seafood restaurant.  The food seemed fine at the time.  However, later that evening I began having discomfort, which became more pronounced as the night wore on.  All signs pointed to food poisoning or something similar.

        Being a life-long student of Christian Science, I turned to its teachings for relief.  "I'm not helpless before this.  There's something I can do", came the comforting thought. 

        What were some of the truths I worked with prayerfully?  That God is the only genuine cause, the sole creator of the universe, including man, including me; that the true nature of creation is spiritual, wholly good, expressing God's nature; and that from the standpoint of absolute truth, all cause and effect are spiritual, and all is the perfect handiwork of God, divine Spirit.

        In particular, this statement from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy brought me a reassuring sense of God's healing power:  "Banish the belief that you can possibly entertain a single intruding pain which cannot be ruled out by the might of Mind, and in this way you can prevent the development of pain in the body."  (page 39l)

        After a short time, no more than a couple of hours, the discomfort had disappeared.  How relieved and thankful I was to be spared any more bodily suffering!  And how wonderful that anyone can develop and depend on this same spiritual understanding.

        Through the study of Christian Science we're helped to see what healing truth is, the truth found in the Bible's pages.  It's that God is omnipotent and entirely good and that man is the image of God.  As the likeness of his creator, man forever expresses the divine nature.  And because God is Spirit, man is spiritual.  To be sure, we appear to be merely flesh and bones and subject to suffering.  But physicality isn't the actual or ultimate substance of our being because it's not the substance of God.  Man as the image of God is incorporeal, untouched by debilitating physical conditions.

        Because you and I are God's offspring, we can't be deprived of our Father's care or robbed of the spiritual well-being He provides.  We are not actually at the mercy of whatever ailment happens to challenge us, not  helpless before it, as my experience illustrates.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Healings Far and Wide


        Thinking this afternoon about how many of us owe much to the woman who discovered and founded Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy.  The men, women and children around the world that have benefitted from what she revealed of divine truths! 

        And in thanking God for giving Mrs. Eddy what He did, my thoughts went to a dear friend of ours from Australia who shared a marvelous healing of malaria contracted during WWII.  Paul Jones was sent home from the jungle to convalesce and though it looked grim for a while, he told us, his complete healing did come.  A Christian Science Chaplain gave him prayerful treatment, for which our friend was ever after grateful.

        A poet and sculptor, Paul sent us the following poem written just after the war which I'd like to share with my readers.


I'm back.
I've been away at wars
but never without You
to guide and protect me.

Desert, dark jungle,
strife packed beach,
torrential river,
You were there.
Arid sand, sunless track,
safe landing or embarking,
engulfing, swollen stream,
claimed I was on my own.
Yet deep down
I knew that
You were always there.

And now I'm back,
back to rest in Your garden,
to gave on its loveliness,
its blossoms of promise,
it's awakening flowers
Your unfolding purpose
for my brother and me,
just as You always open
"the petals of a holy purpose
in order that
the purpose may appear" (1)

Father, now I know it was a dream,
I was never really away from You.
My 'returned' medal
of no real significance.
Just as You told my brother
"Son, you are always with me,
and all that is mine is yours." (2)

Father I am back.

                               (l) Mary Baker Eddy
                               (2)  Luke 15:31

Friday, October 9, 2015

Christ Freeing

                                            John Robert Howell

                    Christ Freeing

           What the Beloved knew
                     and taught,
               Science repeats,
           Through understanding
                   dearly sought,
            With fierce heartbeats;

             Forever present, bounteous,
            Christ comes in Father's grace
                  to heal you and me,
            To believing matter real
                   blessedly efface.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Healing Insight While Shopping One Day

        Several years ago, I was out hiking one beautiful October day through a wooded area some streets over from our house.  I jumped over a fence when nearly home.  The fence wasn't so high actually, it's just that I landed crooked.  The pain in my ankle was severe.  I managed to hobble into the house, and as my husband was standing there in the kitchen, I asked him to help me prayerfully with this problem.

        The rest of that afternoon and evening were challenging. But I knew from years of experience that God is always present to heal us.  I felt confident relying totally on His help, and prayed fervently to realize my selfhood as God's spiritual image and likeness.  I reminded myself that man as made by God--my true and only identity--was spiritual, not material, and not subject to physical suffering.

        To my relief, when I got out of bed the next morning, I could place a little pressure on this foot.  This encouraged me to keep praying.  Improvement continued all that day, and by evening, I found I could attend a homeowner's meeting around the next cul-de-sac.  I did have to go down some stairs to their basement for the meeting, which I had to take slowly.  And most interesting, our host was in a chair with one foot proper up on another chair.  He told us he had badly injured his ankle playing basketball.  And this is the part that stood out to me and made me so grateful for Christian Science:  the doctor said he'd be off that leg for about six weeks. 

        Feeling almost one hundred percent back to easy mobility, I decided to do some errands downtown.  I was shuffling along a street having just left a shop when something happened I've never forgotten.  A spiritual insight stopped me cold on the sidewalk.  With crystal clarity, I saw that the injury and pain were not part of me, had never been part of me.  "Why, I don't have to creep along with this difficulty.  There's no need for gradual improvement.  This never happened to me as God's reflection!"

        Instantly, I felt something being adjusted physically.  The remaining discomfort disappeared.  While it's hard to put into words, I knew and felt that I was completely healed, right then and there.  I walked on freely and normally.  This experience showed me the mental nature of recuperation.

        Mary Baker Eddy writes in Unity of Good, "Jesus required neither cycles of time nor thought in order to mature fitness for perfection and its possibilities."  Time does not actually enter into Christian Science healing.  Why is this?  Because what appears to be a physical problem is, in reality, wholly mental.  It is but a phase of mortal belief, objectified.  As it becomes clear that we're not dealing with a real condition that needs to be changed but only with an erroneous mental state, a misconception of man's true spiritually-intact selfhood, we stop being afraid of or impressed with debility.  What appears real to erring human belief is not a reality to man in God's likeness. It has never been real at all. Our need, therefore, is always for a change of consciousness from a material to a spiritual basis, to the recognition that God is perfect and that we are His perfect, spiritual reflection--now and forever.  This enlightened mental state is then objectified in our experience as healing, as normality and freedom.

        As it was for me in this experience I've shared.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Most Rewarding Activity

        And the rewards from doing this can be life-changing.  What is she driving at here, some of you may wonder.  A review of what Christ Jesus said and taught, or a reading of these sublime words for the first time.

        Every so often I make it a practice to get my Bible with Jesus' words marked in red, and start at the beginning of all he said as though it's for the first time I've seen them.  And given that one's understanding of God gets clearer as he or she goes along, if that person is seriously committed to knowing God better, Christ's teachings can light up in new ways.  We may feel, why I didn't see this before.

        So powerful are these words that we cannot ponder and practice them without blessings in our everyday lives, many of which can leave one amazed.  But being that divine fire is behind what Jesus said and taught, why should anyone wonder at what they can do?

God's Help, Wherever We Are

                                           John Robert Howell

                                    (Written for the those new to
                                             Christian Science)

        As one outgrows the carefree, happy days of childhood and encounters the responsibilities and challenges comprising maturity, he may at times long for the love, comfort, and counsel afforded him as a child.  Since it is not possible to turn back the clock to those years of dependency, must one forgo loving support in his present day-today life?

        One of the many passages throughout the Bible that reveal God as the tender, watchful guardian of all is "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).  And Christ Jesus, who was ever conscious of God's unfailing care for His children, said:  "He that sent me is with me:  the Father hath not left me alone" (John 8:29).  God's constant love and support are still at hand for all who yearn for heavenly help.

        Many who have felt alone and afraid before problems of lack, fear, sin, or sickness have found solace, support, and healing through the study of Christian Science.  Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 332):  "Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation.  As the apostle expressed it in words which he quoted with approbation from a classic poet:  'For we are also His offspring.'"

        Christian Science shows that since man is God's offspring, His image and likeness, as the Bible reveals, man is spiritual and perfect, continuously reflecting the Father's love. This spiritual identity, the true selfhood of us all, is not helpless before the mortal claims of fear, lack, sorrow, and discord.  These erroneous beliefs, which seem so real to the unenlightened thought, stem from ignorance of man's inseparable relationship to God, divine Love, and are corrected by spiritual understanding.

        Mortal suffering is an illusion of the physical senses, a lie about God's perfect creation.  It is like the bad dream a child has at night--frightening to him, yet not real to the loved one awake at his side.  And what comfort the child feels when he wakes and sees that he is not alone and there is nothing to fear.

        When, through spiritual understanding, we arouse ourselves from the mortal dream of life in matter, to the reality of the truth of spiritual being, we experience the sense of security that comes only from a knowledge of spiritual reality.

        Anyone can be free now, the moment he awakes to Truth, and can know the comfort and assurance of man's God-bestowed peace, joy, and security through realizing that man is ever with his heavenly Father.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Light, Lovely Light

Light is seen in so many lovely ways:

        --In ducks gliding across a pond,
                  Leaving long streaks of
                  Shining in their wake;

        --In a little child's happy eyes;

        --In a face glowing with love,

        --The setting sun in a forest.

        But exceeding all that God's
        Wondrous creation can show
        Is that light Jesus promises:

        "He that followeth me shall
          Not walk in darkness, but
          Shall have the light of life."

                           (John 8:12)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Keeping Thoughts Where They Belong

On, God, Mind -- Our source and being.

If my experience is any measure,

Problems arise when thoughts

Are not enough on Him --

Man's greatest treasure.

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,

Whose mind is stayed on thee"

Isaiah 26:3 points out:

"Stayed" on Him --

Not on earthly cares

And pointless pleasure.

One can keep things right,

By having our dear Father

More in our mental sight.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Safe On the Rock

                                             John Robert Howell

        Sometimes just remaining afloat on the turbulent ocean of material existence is a victory and cause for rejoicing, but eventually a vigorous effort will need to be made to get to the shore and the "Rock of Ages...Safe above life's raging sea."  (Hymns 293-95).  Some humble, receptive students of Christian Science may surf in on a wave hanging ten, if that's the correct term, with maddening ease while others may flounder and half drown for a time before being cast up like grateful Jonahs upon "Life's shore."

        One way to speed up the journey to the beach is to begin thinking much more deeply and prayerfully about every word and sentence in Science and Health.  Mary Baker Eddy's rich and precise vocabulary was not a prideful display of erudition.  She knew the difficulty of expressing pure metaphysics and Science in human language, and therefore chose her words with inspired foresight.  A failure to properly discern these shades of meaning and let them lead one on in their "Kindly Light" may have one adrift on the frothy whitecaps of opaque or meaningless expressions and sentences.

        To allow oneself to be happily deceived into a false sense of security about the requirements of obedience and way-marks of real progress is to risk being abandoned on the becalmed and dispiriting waters of that "Ancient Marriner" of whom Coleridge wrote, "Water, water, everywhere,/Nor any drop to drink."

        But this need not happen to the dedicated student of our Leader's inspired writings. How blessed we are to have them.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

In His Care, Always

"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 when away,
Feeling up and cheery,
Or downhearted and weary,
A faith-lighted thought this --
That our loving Father is
Never apart from us.
Is this not glorious? --
That His care does surround,
His loving arms are around
All those we love,
Besides them always, above --
And not only those we greet,
But those we may never meet.
What would mankind do
If this were not true?
Oh, but this is the case,
Something no one can erase.
God with us  -- what a treasure,
Comfort beyond all measure.

*Genesis 21:22

Monday, August 17, 2015

Stagnation Or Progression?

Too many people think,
What other people do or don't
Can make one's progress stall,
Legitimate projects sink.

This need not be the case,
If we employ what Jesus knew --
Which Science divine reiterates.
This does stagnation erase.

It's what we claim, really know,
Of potent truths divine,
That operates in our behalf
And makes activities go.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Advice Worth Taking

"Seek the Lord, and his strength",

The writer of Psalms admonishes.

His strength -- our strength,

Yours and mine,

Through divine reflection.

And when we do,

The result astonishes;

An amazing amount of work

Is more easily done;

Good things accomplished

In the right direction.

And those things not worth

Wasting our energy on?

They simply fall away.

And we say to ourselves,

Why wasn't I doing this before?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Christly Knowledge That Heals

        There are many ways a Christian Scientist who is confronted with a troubling physical condition might pray.  But such prayer would certainly encompasses these spiritual facts:

-- God is the only creator, and what He creates is good.

--Man is God's perfect child, the image and likeness of Spirit, and has never changed from this original, spiritual state of being.

--Nothing can interfere with man's harmony and wholeness as the image of divine Love, God.

--Disease can't be real because God never made it.  It is unknown to perfect, all knowing, divine Mind.

--As God's image, man can know and experience only what Mind knows; unchanging perfection.

        Christian Science teaches that such knowledge expresses "the mind of Christ," spoken of in the New Testament.  With such Christly knowledge empowering us, the evidence of a particular physical challenge is seen to be false, and it disappears.  Yet, actually, nothing real--that is, nothing God made--has been changed or healed.  Rather, the light of divine reality has replaced the darkness of the belief that evil or disease is powerful and real.  The power of God and His Christ, welcomed and acknowledged, through prayer, has destroyed belief in that which previously seemed to be real but never truly was.  Then comes the wonderful recognition that we are whole and complete (because man always has been), and the body conforms to that recognition.  This is Christian Science healing.

        Now, pain and suffering may, of course, seem very real and formidable at times.  A particular trouble may require our wholehearted, persistent prayer.  But the most wonderful sense of freedom and well-being comes when we turn away from fears about the body and gain some perception of spiritual truth, when we spiritualize and purify thought. And this does bring healing.

        Our state of thought is critical to good health.  These words of Christ Jesus point to the significance of what we entertain in thought:  "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man...those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart."  It is highly important to replace fearful, sickly thoughts with spiritual truths.  These uplift, transform, purify, and keep us whole.  They keep out thinking in line with the Christly standard Jesus established, and this empowers us to exercise our God-given right to be free of physical suffering.

        Disease has a mental basis; it's a false belief in a power apart from God, not a God-bestowed reality.  Therefore, freedom from it, in the truest sense, is found through spiritual means, not physical. The answer for physical ills lies in a recognition of spiritual facts about ourselves as the image of perfect Mind.  This spiritually mental activity is potent.  It lessens and eliminates the misconceptions and fears of the human mind that underlie disease.  And this leads to an improvement of the body's condition.  Again, man already, actually, is the immortal, spiritual manifestation of God.  Christian Science treatment, by regenerating and spiritualizing thought, simply causes this reality to be seen and experienced in healing.

        In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, with the marginal heading, "Disease powerless",Mary Baker Eddy writes:  "Disease is not an intelligence to dispute the empire of Mind or to dethrone Mind and take the government into it own hands.  Sickness is not a God-given nor a self-constituted material power, which copes astutely with Mind and finally conquers it.  God never endowed matter with power to disable Life or to chill  harmony with a long and cold night of discord." (p, 378)

        These words have proved true in thousands of Christian Science healings over the years.  The healing Christ, manifesting God's omnipotent power, is able to both reveal and remove whatever fears and false beliefs need to be dealt with in any case.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Said the Serpent to Eve

                                                        John Robert Howell

 Serpent.  Yo toots!  I saw you taking a gander at the fruit on this handsome tree.  Words can't describe how good and sweet the fruit is.  You need to taste it for yourself.

 Eve.  He said we weren't even supposed to touch it, but it's sure yummy to look at.  I'll give you that.

 Serpent.  Why would He put it there if you weren't meant to nosh on it?  He may have gotten bored and wanted to test your reaction to my complimentary schmoozing and chipper talking up.

Eve.  Yes, and maybe there is good and then there is GOOD, and just maybe that fruit is only a tempting knockoff sort of good, something to appeal to "channels of sense, intellect, and aspirations."
[Dummelow via time warp.]

Serpent.  Sweetie, the fruit on this tree has more delights than a swiss army knife.  Talk about good!  You can whip up a fruit salad from this tree that would be the envy of a platoon of North Korean generals.  Irresistible, I'm sure you're going to find.

Eve.  Well, I can't deny I get a goose-bumpy tingle when I look at that tree, and every coruscating fruit has, I see, a little seal of approval from someone (in microscopic print.)  Still, He said don't think about touching it.

Serpent. Pshaw!  Quit being such a dweeb.  With an attitude like that you'll never get invited to a wingding or tapped for your own Reality show.  Maybe the Lord God only said, "Hands off" until He could open a Wal-Mart and you and that palooka over there could rustle up some duds to cover up the petty annoyance of guilt and shame.

Eve.  Guilt?  Shame?

Serpent.  Bon appetit!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

All Power

                   "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions,
                                          and over all the power of the enemy;
                                                   and nothing shall by any means hurt you."

                            "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."

                                                          Christ Jesus

                            "We must look where we would walk,
                                                  and we must act as possessing
                                                               all power from Him
                                                                         in whom we have our being.

                                                    Mary Baker Eddy

                                All power.  May we use this power that is ours, and help

                                                 a world so in need of it.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Our Master's Words


        What Christ Jesus said, taught, and lived are so many things to me.  More than I have the time to say.  But what I would liken them to this morning here in Tennessee, USA is a cup of cold water when running along on an HHH day (hazy, hot and humid.)

        How refreshing, how revivifying these blessed words are. They never fail to pick me up, get me going, keep me in the race, so to speak.

        The woman who founded my religion recommends in her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "Millions of unprejudiced minds -- simple seekers for Truth, weary wanderers, athirst in the desert -- are waiting and watching for rest and drink.  Give them a cup of cold water in Christ's name and never fear the consequences."  (page 570)

        And when we do this, God has infinite channels through which those in need of Jesus' words are reached. On this we can rely.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Letting Mind Lead

        How much smoother the day when I let Mind pave the way--Mind, God--who is always present to show me        

                                      what to think,
                                      where to go,
                                      what to do

                                      (or what not to think,
                                       where not to go,
                                       what not to do,
                                       as the case may require).

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

        The teachings of Christian Science back this up.  I, like so many before me have found, and so many now are finding, that what it brings out about God and man is invaluable in the daily life.  The truths it makes available are priceless.  And this is one: that you and I are children of God, that we have His Mind, and none other.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

O Book Most Holy


        And the book I'm referring to is the Bible.  Just recently I came across something my readers will find interesting: The British Library,what they term the most important book published in the English language, (just think of this!) paid a little over one million pounds for it. And the book? William Tyndale's translation of the Bible. Any lover of the Holy Scriptures who reads this book in the English language is not surprised at its worth. In a real sense, it is beyond price. Where would you and I be without it?

        That God's Word was made available to English-speaking and reading people everywhere was a stupendous achievement. And to the God-inspired and God-upheld man who actually did this, I offer up endless thanks.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Children of the CEO

        (You'll see in half a second why I have "the" in the title of this post.)

        I just got off the phone with a dear friend and happened to share with him something that occurred to me recently. What if we were the children of a powerful CEO whose company ran the world?  Would we want for anything, materially speaking?  Of course, the man in charge of such a vast enterprise would have to be loving.  Not all human CEOs are of course. Probably many don't care for their offspring that much. But the CEO I'm thinking about is our heavenly Father, who does love us and want us to have more than we can imagine.

        Jesus says, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."  The kingdom! What more could we want than this?

        Several years ago someone said to me, "Don't ever forget. You are the daughter of the King." And you and I are daughters,and sons, of not only a CEO, but a King--God Almighty, who gives us everything that makes life worth living.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

If Only

        If only I  had been stronger in my Christian beliefs back then, my life would have had far fewer challenges.  Perhaps for many of us this is true.

        I recall one incident in my college days when Jesus' teachings were just beginning to speak to me.  A misunderstanding erupted with a relative and I wanted to apologize to her, say I was wrong, make peace with her.  But another aunt said, "Oh, don't do that! She'll think you're weak." So I let the moment pass and didn't discover until years later the peace, the joy, that comes to us when we practice the humility and love Christ enjoins upon us.

        Anyone who thinks Jesus' words are for weakings doesn't know what he's talking about, is all I can say. Obeying them calls for nothing short of the most manly manliness one can imagine who hasn't yet tried it.

        Am I suggesting that once we get down to serious business about following in Jesus' steps our life will suddenly be challenge free?  In no way. There will be sharp struggles. But our day-to-day becomes much more alive -- happier, healthier, freer.  Just the way our wonderful Father wants it to be. He didn't send us this unspeakable gift for nothing.

       Life becomes for us a real adventure. And in the situations that once would have defeated us we now find ourselves having the mastery.

       Does this not make doing things Jesus' way worth it?


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Handling Malign Influences

                                                       John Robert Howell

        Error sometimes makes it felonious overtures and suggestions with blatant obviousness.  The sinister insinuation of evil into consciousness, however, can be devilishly difficult to detect, especially if such suggestions are administered discretely in carefully measured doses by a skilled and depraved mental malpractitioner--and they do exist.  There are now and have always been institutions and individuals who hate Christian Science and Christian Scientists and work to destroy both, quietly and unobstrusively over the humdrum landscape of years and decades if necessary.  To induce in the unaware and unwary even modest mental perturbation or a growing spiritual coolness will almost certainly accomplish more than a bold rush at the mental gates. This would, or should, produce a quick and one hopes, effective defense and repulsion.

        It is wise to remember that the serpent is subtle, subliminal. The hugger-mugger corruption of a human mind over years can be far more effectual. We should not ever doubt or dismiss foolishly the possible influence of invisible and silent mental animal magnetism or aggressive mental suggestion.

        When such a miasma settles over a Christian Scientist, often the good that should be done isn't, but the wrong that should not be done is--or the Scientist simply goes "a fishing".  He should rather take comfort in an assurance that he is never a helpless victim of animal magnetism error, or any mortal belief. While there is no simple step we can take to get on a "do not call" list for the devil's incessant callings, Christ Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy have taught us everything we need to know to uncover and tread each temptation, whether bold or subtle, down.  To be victorious over malign influences.

        God be thanked, there are many wide-awake, working students of Christian Science doing this every day.  They are proving that evil under whatever flag it is flown has no power because God, divine Mind, has it all. They are experiencing what Jesus assured all his followers, that they have been given all power over all power of the enemy.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Two Oceans

        Recently I was talking with a friend who happened to serve our country in WWII, in the Pacific theater of war.  This boy was still in the Christian Science Sunday School when he enlisted in the Marines.  He was with the Marines when they landed on Iwo Jima in 1945 and has told us a lot about his experiences.  Even then, he was devoted to the teachings of Christian Science and owes his religion much in saving his life.

        As they were going ashore, his DUKW which is what they called the vehicles they were being transported in, turned over in the high waves, almost crushing him. He very nearly drowned. And as he was in that water, something from Mary Baker Eddy's book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures came to thought:  It's from The Scientific Statement of Being, and this is what our friend recalled:  "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter.  All is infinite Mind, and its infinite manifestation."  Needless to say, he was divinely protected that day.

        And what brought oceans to my thought was something I remembered from reading about Mrs. Eddy's early years when she was writing her book.  She would take a break from work, and walk down to the rocky shore of the Atlantic Ocean in Lynn, Masssachusetts, and sit on Red Rock for awhile. Whatever she was thinking about, how could this woman have known that years later a young Marine there across the vast Pacific Ocean would recall some of her words and find help.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Why That Color?

        In an earlier blog this month I sent,  in a manner of speaking, a bouquet of roses to all the dedicated workers out there who are giving so much of themselves to our wonderful Cause.  And the reason "pale pink" came to thought, was due to a poem in one of my books.

Pale Pink Roses

I can see them still,

Masses of pale pink roses

Spilling over a white picket fence

Surrounding three sides of

A quaint old house

Off a narrow country road.

Talk about your eye-popping scenery --

Roses covering every available inch,

Quintessential New England spring.

I never did stop and smell those flowers;

Just seeing was overload enough.

And these years later,

 I can close my eyes,

And there they are.

But you know how it is,

Some scenes in nature are going

To escape time's mental eraser.

If ever a picture ought to be

In a nature calendar

For the pleasing month of May,

It is this one.

But who knows, maybe it has been.

"The smile of God", indeed!*

*As Mary Baker Eddy puts it in her book,
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Bible in Public Places

Whether somewhere close to home,
or while traveling abroad,
how nice to see people
reading the Word of God.
Waiting in an airport,
dining in some cafe,
how inspiring to see
the Bible on display.
That one cares enough
to spend time this way,
obviously devoted to Him,
always lifts my day.
And who knows?
Seeing the Holy Book
being pored over bold,
may lead someone else to
The Greatest Story
       Ever Told --
the prophesying,
the coming,
the hallowed life,
of Jesus Christ,
God's beloved Son,
and our forever Lord.

Monday, June 1, 2015

A Bouquet of Pale Pink Roses

         Was just sitting here in my office feeling awash in love and gratitude for all the Christian Scientists through the years who have given their best to this religion of ours. How much less blessed my life would be without the dedicated work they did for this Cause of ours.

        While I can't personally thank each one of those who furthered Mary Baker Eddy's sublime purpose for her Cause--to reinstate the words and works of our dear Master, Christ Jesus--I can say thank you to those of you who are giving out so much now.

               So to each one of you, a bouquet of pale pink roses.

Proof of God's Presence

        "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble", the Holy Bible assures us. (Psalms 46:1)

        "Well, suppose He is", someone may be saying back to me.  "What good does that do me?  I need to have some sign, some proof that God is present." Absolutely.  We shouldn't, and don't have to, settle for less.

        This is the beauty of Christian Science, that through its teachings you and I can experience that help that is ever at hand. While comforting statements of God's love and care are wonderful, and we Christians couldn't do without them, how much better it is, and this Jesus showed in his healing work, to have actual demonstrations of God's all-power.

        To achieve this, one could not do better than to get a copy of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy and ponder its inspired truths.  But on the way to this, for the readers who are not acquainted with what my religion teaches, let me share some of the things I've found that help me realize God's power and presence.  These are illustrated for us in the life of our Master, Christ Jesus.

        First, voluntary, fervent aloneness with God, divine Spirit.  A keener awareness of His ever-presence has to be patiently cultivated, even as effort has to be expended to deepen a human relationship.  When we wholeheartedly reach out to divine Mind, we hear what God is revealing about His infinitely loving and powerful nature.  From this we gain a priceless awareness of our unity with God, divine Love.

        Once we've complied with the command in Psalms, "Be still, and know that I am God," (Psalms 46:10) then what?  Again, observing Jesus' example and how he was always glorifying his Father, we naturally think of using our solitude to the same holy end.  The Scriptures abound with admonitions to give God the glory He is due, and as we advance spiritually, we find that praising Him is something we cannot do enough.

        Christian Science shows that the ability to feel God's presence in our day-to-day is inseparably interwoven with sanctification of thought.  Reflecting on the way Jesus conducted his life shows that purity was a "given" for him.  Purification is the price we must pay if we would prove our true spiritual nature.  As Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." (Matthew 5:8) And since purity is the natural spiritual state and birthright of you, me, and all God's children, it can progressively predominate in our thoughts and our daily lives.

        Turning to God with mere wishful thinking, hoping He will hear but feeling underneath that He is inaccessible, too far away, or indifferent to our needs is a little like our putting an opaque covering in front of a window through which sunlight has been streaming.  We don't cause the sun to be any less near to us, nor do we stop it from shining. But we do cut ourselves off temporarily from its invigorating warmth.  You can see this, can't you?

        But learning to go to God as Jesus did saves one from this futile exercise.  It enables us to feel our Father's tender, powerful presence that is always right where we are.


Friday, May 29, 2015

One Lie

                                                            By John Wellsman

                                             (John is a life-long Christian Scientist and he
                                                             lives in Arizona.)

        It has been reported that Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of the Christian Science religion--much as did Christ Jesus--taught her students and followers important lessons with apparently simple analogies and parables.  For example Mrs. Eddy reportedly once asked one of her household workers something like this:  "If you had a beautiful piece of jewelry pinned to your dress and went before the mirror, that jewelry would be visible in the reflection, wouldn't it?  And if that jewelry was pinned to your dress, it would be impossible to remove it from the reflection wouldn't it?"  We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, Third Series p. 71)  Of course the worker agreed with her. However Mrs. Eddy continued penetratingly: "Are you perfectly clear about that?" indicating she felt this point required deeper thought than most would give it.  Many overtly simple examples are like that.

        For instance, the commonly used statement of 2x2=4 as a demonstrable and provable truth versus the untrue 2x2=5 lie (any untruth uttered, is in fact a lie regardless of motive) can provide much food for thought.  An experienced Christian Scientist once brought that home to me by pointing out that while 2x2=4 is the truth, if someone claims 2x2=3 or 2x2=6 or anything else they are actually speaking lies.  Moreover he continued, all such statements are in fact the same lie. Admittedly this took more than a little mental juggling on my part.

        It was perfectly clear that all of these statements were untrue or, in fact, lies.  However initially my thought was distracted by the obvious claim that the statement 2x2=3 is clearly not the same as 2x2=5 so how could these be the same lie?  Different numbers had to be different lies.  Obviously deeper thought was required.  Starting back with the true statement, 2x2=4, I pondered how these apparently different statements could be one and same lie.  Suddenly it dawned on me that while these different statements were in fact lies, they were THE lie in this case.  In fact the ONLY lie about 2x2=4 is something that says 2x2 is NOT 4.  Therefore THE LIE or one lie, in this case is ANY statement that 2x2 is not 4 regardless of how they are presented.  Simple, yet with profound applications to the practice of Christian Science.

        To heal most quickly and effectively in Christian Science it is necessary to directly address the lie behind what claims to be the problem.  Otherwise one is just lopping off the branches of the claim and leaving the root untouched.

        Suppose, for example, one were struggling with a claim of disease.  It would not matter whether that claim presented itself as a "common" cold, an infection or a case of heart trouble or even cancer. The actual lie to be handled was and is always the suggestion (and the lie always presents itself first as a suggestion) that there can be anything unlike God, good, the perfect principle of man.  See this fact (truth) with spiritual understanding and the symptoms--whatever they claim to be--must disappear.

        Why?  Because as Mrs. Eddy showed her student in the above example, it is impossible for the reflection in the mirror to differ from the original standing before the mirror.  In the Christian Science Textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p. 515:30) she explains it this way:

"Your mirrored reflection is your own image or likeness.  If you lift a weight, your reflection does this also.  If you speak, the lips of this likeness move in accord with yours.  Now compare man before the mirror to his divine Principle, God.  Call the mirror divine Science, and call man the reflection. Then note how true, according to Christian Science, is the reflection to its original.  As the reflection of yourself appears in the mirror, so you, being spiritual, are the reflection of God."

        This was demonstrated to me a number of years ago when a serious accident threatened to prevent me from performing an important function.  Almost immediately as the accident still claimed to be in progress the suggestion came that this would prevent me from participating in this most important task the very next day.  Immediately this was recognized for what it was: an attempt to disrupt the next day's events.  Instantly I shouted out a very vigorous, "NO!" in rejection of the suggestion. Not in rejection of any claim of accident, pain or injury, but in rejection of the suggestion that the harmony and effectiveness of the upcoming event could be in any way disrupted.  The lie in this case was not the accident, injury or pain but the suggestion that anything could disrupt this upcoming event. As my wife and I prayed we did not refute claims of pain, injury or disfigurement but merely rejoiced in God's ever-present protection from all harm.  It was clear that this lie of disruption could not take the form of an accident or injury.  Very quickly in the next few hours all evidence of an injurious accident disappeared completely.  The next day I was able to perform the needed activity without anyone other than my wife knowing there had been even been a claim of an untoward event.

        In the years since this healing, I have continued to ponder the effectiveness of discerning the lie behind the apparent situation.  Mrs. Eddy speaks of this activity thus:

"When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea.  Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought.  Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious--as Life eternally is--can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not.  Let Christian Science, instead of corporeal sense, support your understanding of being, and this understanding will supplant error with Truth, replace mortality with immortality, and silence discord with harmony."  (S&H p. 495:14).

        Thus as we cling steadfastly to the true idea and our likeness to God, we are able to see not only the truth but also discern the lie that would claim to obscure that perfect reflection.  We can see that the beautiful jewel that is our perfect being in God cannot be removed from the reflection--us.




Thursday, May 21, 2015

Why Pray in Secret?

                                                       By John Robert Howell

        Each of us has always existed in the eternal now as God's perfect and harmonious idea.  The extent to which this is not being realized and expressed is the extent to which sin and aggressive mental suggestion occupy thought.  Through prayer, the righteous overcome sin and its attendant demons of fear, disease, and death.

        Christ Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy admonish us to enter our (mental) closet, close the door, and pray to our Father in secret.  The door, we are told, shuts out sin:  sinful sense, the physical senses, the erring senses, the material senses (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures 15: 4, 7, l0, 16). Those false senses, facets of personal sense, blind us to everpresent God.  The door must be shut, not just pulled to, since being even slightly ajar will allow sin and false beliefs, which can never perceive God, to enter.  Then prayer becomes a wrangle with error instead of a communion with God, and tussling with error can have the effect of making its claims appear more real and formidable. In that event what was intended to be standing in God's healing and uplifting presence devolves into a kind of mad hatter's tea party.

        It is more important that our prayer be a knowing of Truth than a denial of error.  We cannot permit sin to enter the closet with us to be purged there from our thinking.  The closet is not a portal, like the storied magic wardrobe, through which one passes into some enchanted kingdom.

        Why must we pray in secret?  Secret is being used in the sense of unseen, private, removed from sight.  "The Student's Reference Dictionary" gives this inspired definition of secret:  "Known to God only".  Daily growth in grace will enable us to pray more effectually, but the specific steps each of us takes will of necessary be the result of individual spiritual unfoldment.  Then we shall not just read,  but know, "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High [abides] under the shadow of the Almighty."

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

"How Come You're a Christian Scientist?"...

        ...someone recently wanted to know. Believe me, I wouldn't be if it didn't "work" as some people might put it.  It works for me, and has all these years.

        Why would anyone stay with Christian Science if it didn't deliver benefits not obtainable elsewhere?  Common sense tells one that we are receiving help from our religion or we wouldn't still be its grateful followers.  That I have it to turn to in every conceivable circumstance is a joy for me. This is why I feel privileged to be able to speak up for the effectiveness of Christian Science whenever asked. I can never thank God enough for Mary Baker Eddy's discovery of Christ Jesus' healing method.

        Many people think of the healing of physical ills alone with they hear the words "Christian Science". While healing is actually the lesser part of my religion, healing of physical challenges has proved to be a stepping-stone for thousands to a higher understanding of our loving, heavenly Father who as Psalms puts it, "healeth all thy diseases."  But what I'm most indebted to it for is being drawn closer to God, for understanding Him better, for knowing more about the divine laws my dear Master knew.

        This is why I'm a Christian Scientist.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Safe - Wherever We Are

        Just ran across some beautiful words in the Old Testament, to keep in thought today,
tomorrow, and always.  Isaiah has our heavenly loving Father saying, "I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand."  (51:16)

        To think that wherever we go in a given day, whatever we may be doing, we're completely, constantly out of harm's way.

        Do you believe this applies to you?  Well, do you?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Presenting Christian Science, Not Debating It

        Having just been contacted about speaking on a national radio program on Christian Science healing with an individual who holds a decidedly opposite viewpoint, it may be helpful to any others who would want to have me on a similar program to learn my thoughts on such.

        It is always a joy for me to speak up for what God can do for us through the spiritual understanding of His laws that my religion makes available, Sharing some of the healings I have experienced through Christian Science is a privilege.  However, I have learned through the years that discussions with those who minds are closed, profits nothing. And one can quickly discern what the underlying motive is when someone asks about my religious beliefs.  If the individual is honestly interested in the subject, and wants to know how they, too, can benefit from what Christian Science has to offer, then let the talking begin, I say.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Practicing Christian Science

                                                        John Robert Howell

        At times of need, many Christian Scientists turn to the chapter "Christian Science Practice" in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures faster than a hungry dog to a favorite buried bone, and for good reasons.  How many of us, however, return to the same few well-chosen pages for a deeper understanding of how to demonstrate divine Science?  There will come a time--and probably sooner than we might wish--when we  need t begin chewing on all of it, the whole chapter, and not just those comfy pages we like best.

        For some the trial on pages 430 - 442 may smack too much of boiled mustard greens to be engaging, but people have been healed by gaining a more inspired grasp of it.  It is saturated with important and some might add, subtle points.  Mrs. Eddy presents a "mental case", as mental as a case of insanity, which it is at bottom.  A temptation could be to view the trial as just an example of how a physical problem--in this instance "liver complaint--is met and the physical body returned to its normal functioning.  Yes, on one level it is that, but since disease can only exist in some false belief of one's personal sense, he needs to begin understanding that matter, nothingness ,can never be well or ill and therefore never really healed of anything.  We possess a body, but it is not a physical something.

        Another aspect of the trial worth noting is that it is the healing of a "Mortal Man" who felt ill in the course of doing good for a friend. Could this imply that a condition for healing or continued healing is to be always doing good for one's fellow man?  Mrs. Eddy certainly chose the scenario and every detail of the trial carefully.  This query may have a partial answer in the statement and two questions in the chapter "Prayer" (S&H 9:5-11).  Does it not appear that the only way for us to consistently express and demonstrate our God-given health and harmony is first to see and love our neighbor as His flawless reflection?

        The above is by no means an attempt to present a definitive statement, or even more than a well-meant first thought on the trial, but nothing in Science and Health should go unpondered and certainly not the trial.  One would not exhaust its message with fifty prayerful readings.  It, like all of our textbook is a wellspring of inspiration, and we need all of it in order to attain and continue in harmony and health.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Freedom From Fearing Disease

        People who take as Gospel media predictions of disease do not have to live with the fear of "Will I be  next?"  TV ads for drugs and pills can be especially vicious.  The intent may well be to save consumers' health, but in many cases it appears the motivation is to cause fear and create a demand for the product they're pushing.

        Fortunately, no one has to live with such tormenting worry.  There is a way not only to eliminate fear of these maladies but to prevent them from occurring.  Through the study and application of Christian Science, one may learn to defend oneself from disease and suffering.  The Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, written by Mary Baker Eddy, contains many things one can do mentally, prayerfully, to safeguard his physical harmony.  For example, it tells us:  "Stand porter at the door of thought.  Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously.  When the condition is present which you say induces disease, whether it be air, exercise, heredity, contagion. or accident, then perform your office as porter and shut out these unhealthy thoughts and fears.  Exclude from mortal mind the offending errors; then the body cannot suffer from them."

        The Bible speaks of the all-power of God, Spirit.  It tells of men and women through the ages who have proved God's uplifting and protective power.  One of the many passages in the Scriptures that offer a way out of worry is this one from Psalms:  "In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me."

        To overcome fear is not to ignore disease but to undermine its very foundation.  Many are mastering fear and the discord associated with it through applying the liberating, strengthening, spiritual truth found in Christ Jesus' teachings and works.  The Maser understood fully the inseparability of man from God.  He knew that man is God's child, eternally safe in Him.  Discerning something of our real being as God's spiritual image, and expressing the purity that characterizes that being, we can come to feel the assurance of His care.  We can prove for ourselves that true immunity from disease and abiding peace of mind are found in the consciousness of God's omnipresence and perfect control.

        You and I as actually created in the likeness of Spirit, are not fleshly mortals at the mercy of whatever disease happens to be prevalent, not helpless before it.  God's child can never, even for a moment, be deprived of God's care, never robbed of his God-provided spiritual well-being.

        Everyone has the right to live without fear of becoming ill.  Yet Jesus emphasized the effect of what we entertain in thought.  He said:  "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man...Those things which proceed out of mouth come forth from the heart."

        Understanding that thought affects every aspect of daily life, we realize the necessity of purifying our thoughts, of bringing them into harmony with the spiritual, perfect model of man as created by God.  Sickness, incapacity, suffering are not the immovable, objective realities they seem to be but are false states of thought that can be healed through prayer.

        Because you and I are actually the offspring of infinite, harmonious Spirit, and we include only those qualities Spirit imparts--health, joy, peace, dominion--the suffering and fear that may seem so challenging have no genuine power over us.  They are misconceptions, false human beliefs, not actually, God-created conditions.  And being misconceptions, they can be corrected through prayer, with the truth of man's inseparable relationship to God, of his uninterruptible well-being as God's own likeness.

        The Old Testament counsels us, "Be not afraid of sudden fear..."  No person needs to dread being overpowered  by some disease. The determining factor in each one's well-being is what he understands of his unity with God.  Equipped with the understanding of God's supreme government of all His creation and our uninvadable wholeness as His beloved child, we have a divine right to go about our daily lives without fear of getting sick.