Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My Very Own Editor

        Many are the blessings that flow from acknowledging God with us in the things we do. And of late, I've noticed something new:  it's as though in my writing I have my very own editor.

        For many years I've kept in thought (and learned to think otherwise) what Mary Baker Eddy points out in her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:  "Mortal are egotists.  They believe themselves to be independent workers, personal authors, and even privileged originators of something which Deity would not or could not create."

        More and more, as I'm doing other things--driving along, walking our dogs, gardening, grocery shopping, cleaning the house--something I've written comes to mind and it's as though someone is improving a phrase here and there, changing a word to something clearer, making the piece better. Quite exciting.

        I've been privileged to work with fine editors over the years, those connected with my books, as well as the Christian Science periodicals.  And certainly editors at The New York Times are very, very good. But God tops them all!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Dotting the "i", Crossing the "t"

        Is not the Creator of all things ever at hand to help us with any problem that comes up in our day to day? Yes He is, I sincerely believe.  God can clear the way--whatever the thicket appears to be.

        Our loving Father can bring to light solutions that we, unaided, just cannot see.  The Old Testament says, "In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Besides doing what an obedient child of His should be doing, it makes sense to me to be turning ever more to the One divine Mind for help.

        More than once lately when we've faced serious glitches and had no idea what to do, God showed us a solution that I'm sure we never would have thought of.  So thorough was the resolution, it was as though someone had dotted the "i" and crossed the "t, so to speak.

        I recall some years ago when a business situation had me in a tight corner.  I mentioned it to a close friend who happened to be a Christian Science practitioner.  "Whom can I take this problem to? I asked, sitting there in his downtown office.  This wise and experienced man said, "Why not take it to God?"  At that stage in my spiritual progress, this seemed like a radical step. But my friend was on the right track.  And in the intervening years, instead of turning to people first when problems arise, I've learned that superior--and quicker--answers come when we acknowledge God's all-presence and power.  And trust in Him to resolves issues for us.


Friday, April 10, 2015

God's Doing

        It is certainly true that God can do what we by ourselves could never accomplish.  And speaking personally, what I could not hope to achieve in a thousand years.  An example of this, National Libraries of the World which have in their permanent collections at least one of my books -- something that as I've rounded up the letters received over the years, leaves me in awe.

                                                      The countries, to date:

                                                       Albania (Tirana)
                                                       Argentina (Buenos Aires)
                                                       Armenia (Yerevan)
                                                       Australia (Canberra)
                                                       Barbados (Bridgetown)
                                                       Belarus (Minsk)
                                                       Bhutan (Thimpu)
                                                       Brazil (Rio de Janeiro)
                                                      Canada (Ottawa)
                                                      Chile (Santiago)
                                                      China (Beijing)
                                                      Colombia (Bogota)
                                                      Costa Rico (San Jose)
                                                      Czech Republic (Prague)
                                                      France (Paris)
                                                      Guyana (Georgetown)
                                                      Hungary (Budapest)
                                                      Iceland (Reykjavik)
                                                      India (Goa)
                                                      Ireland (Dublin)
                                                      Italy (Rome)
                                                      Japan (Tokyo)
                                                      Latvia (Riga)
                                                      Lithuania (Vilnius)
                                                      Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)
                                                      Moldova (Chisinau)
                                                      Nepal (Lalitpur, Katmandu)
                                                      the Netherlands (Amsterdam)
                                                      Pakistan (Islamabad)
                                                      the Philippines (Manila)
                                                      Portugal (Lisbon)
                                                      Russia (Moscow)
                                                      Scotland (Edinburgh)
                                                      the Seychelles  (Mahe)
                                                      Spain (Barcelona)
                                                      Ukraine (Kiev)
                                                      USA (Library of Congress) - Washington D.C.
                                                      Wales (Cardiff)
                                                      Africa, (Cape Town)  
                                                      Mongolia (Ulaanbatar)


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Honor From God -- or From People?

        As one observes the human scene, one can't help noticing that there are people who think they're free, but they're not.  The think they're their own man (or woman), but they're not.  What accounts for this?

        Jesus, speaking centuries ago, sums it up thus:  "I receive not honour from men.  How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? And lastly, "If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me;"

        And St. Paul asking, "Do I seek to please men?  for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ."

        These God-owned giants had it right.  It is having an eye toward getting people's approval and assistance, and not looking to God first for help, that is the problem.  And if this essay helps someone of this class, then I'm happy.

        False, material belief would convince one that he first has to satisfy mere human opinions, expectations, and desires before he can scale the ladder of success. But opportunity is within.  It is not contingent upon human contacts or favorable situations but on what we understand and bring out of our relationship to God. You and I ultimately determine our own advancing usefulness and success--and not people and circumstances, as is often  believed.  And we do this through wholehearted yearning to please God and put Him first, through helping on Christ's work in this world.

       Further, we must be willing to stand up for the real man, the spiritual man we actually are, and to declare unlimited ability for this man of God's creating.  In reality we exist as God's representatives. Consequently, each one of us is entitled to feel needed, to live confidently and unafraid of what others think, to see our talents employed in greater service to mankind.

              But, I can hear someone saying,"If I don't please so-and-so (or perhaps several so-and-so's), they can deprive me of opportunity and success."  That person may know in his heart that bowing to mere human power is not in line with his highest sense of right. Or what's worse, going along with what he knows is downright wrong. But he has to have his job, or keep his relationships, or whatever. He hasn't the courage to stand up and put God in first place.

          Of course, no one is expected to give up a right sense of employment and go live under a bridge somewhere in order to honor God.  No, we can do this whatever the human activity we may be engaged in.  And as we do this, we're honored, in a manner of speaking, with recognition and reward, and with a wonderful feeling of being really free. As Jesus says, "If any man serve me, him will my Father honour."

        Fortunately, our heavenly Father can (and does) adjust our lives such that we're able to be about His business.  And He certainly can (and does) bestow everything we need to do what He wants us to do with our lives.

        We all have our God-appointed place and purpose.  No one else can fill that place, nor can we carry out another's mission.  Mrs. Eddy writes, "Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity."Retrospection and Introspection, p. 70



Thursday, April 2, 2015

"Oh, give me the book...

        ...that can do that for me!" a close friend of mine said when she was in an extreme state of ill health.  This woman was teaching school in a small Kansas town when she contracted tuberculosis. Her father who was a medical doctor tried to cure his daughter, but could not.  She was sent to a sanatorium and there given only six months more to live.

        One day someone came to see her and told her about the wonderful healings taking place through the reading and pondering of the truths in Mary Baker Eddy's book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, whereupon my friend uttered the beginning words of this blog post.  The book was brought to her, and within a short time, this woman walked out of that sanatorium completely free of TB.

        Not only this, but she wanted others to have the glorious freedom Christ-healing had brought her. The rest of her life was devoted to the public practice of Christian Science. Thousands of men, women and children could testify to what this practitioner's understanding of God and man did for them.

        And what it did for them, and for my friend, it can do for all "honest seekers for Truth" (to use Mrs. Eddy's words.)


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Thinking Our Own Thoughts

        In line with what my husband posted earlier today, I have found the teachings of Christian Science to be invaluable in keeping out of consciousness thoughts that don't belong there.

        The only real antidote for the workings of mental interference and human willpower is in following Christ Jesus' precepts and practice.  As we make a consistent effort to conform to our Saviour's precepts, adverse mental forces have decreasing impact on our lives.  How so?  Because they cannot intrude on a consciousness full of reverent affection for Christ.  In Jesus' words, "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."  (John 14:23)

        In full support of everything our Master taught, Christian Science brings the assurance that what determines our invincibility to mental manipulation is what we know, what we live, of Truth. Mary Baker Eddy points out:  "If malicious suggestions whisper evil through the mind's tympanum, this were no apology for acting evilly.  We are responsible for our thoughts and acts; and instead of aiding other people's devices by obeying them,--and then whining over misfortune,--rise and overthrow both.  If a criminal coax the unwary man to commit a crime, our laws punish the dupe as accessory to the fact. Each individual is responsible for  himself."  Miscellaneous Writings, p. 119).

        It is  believing that we have a mind separate from the one Mind, God, that would lead us to feel afraid and susceptible to adverse mental forces.  As we hold to the fact that God is actually our mind, the only one there is, fearful concern about mental manipulation by others fades.  In this way we are scientifically depriving error of its supposed power and existence.

        The comforting fact is that we are the beloved ideas of the All-in-all, as unassailable and safe as God, our cause.  Recognizing and holding to this fact put us beyond the reach of suppositional material thoughts or mortal mind force.  Realizing that error, evil, is simply an assumed opposite to God, good, and never more than that, we won't be impressed by its claims to disrupt our forward march and well-being.  Evil cannot take form without our acceptance of it as reality.





On Being Watchful

                                                 By John Robert Howell

        "The only incentive of a mistaken sense is malicious animal magnetism, -- the name of all evil, -- and this must be understood."  First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany (357:8-10)

Incentive:  "That which kindles or inflames;...That which moves the mind or operates on the passions; that which incites or has a tendency to incite to determination or action; that which prompts to good or ill; motive; spur"  (Student's Reference Dictionary)

        I offer no apology for blogging on this subject, for I am more convinced than ever that Christian Scientists ignore it at their peril.  However, one's apathy toward the subject could be an indication of the secret and invisible influence of this malicious opiate. If you are a loyal, pure, sincere, and diligent student of Christian Science who is unreservedly loyal to Christ Jesus, Mary Baker Eddy, and the Church Manual this malignant evil wants you out of the way, as in, not to put too blunt a point on it, dead, or at least mentally dead.  If one is not most watchful and wise he could very well find  himself serving unconsciously an error which he wouldn't dream of serving consciously.  Color me barmy if you wish, but post a double watch just in case.

        There is a sentence relevant to this ongoing monologue in Miscellany which is so short -- and pungent -- that it can easily be overlooked in a distracted blink of an eye.  "That error is most forcible which is least distinct to conscience."  (197:2-4)  These are excerpts from the (SRD) definition of two words that show something of the depth and importance of that simple statement:

Forcible:  "Powerful; strong; mighty, violent, efficacious; active...acting with force; impressive."

Conscience:  "Internal or self-knowledge or judgment of right and wrong; or the faculty, power, or principle within us, which decides on the lawfulness or unlawfulness of our actions and affections, and instantly approves or condemns them...Conscience is called by some writers, the 'moral sense'..."

        It has been said that every tub must stand on its own bottom, but if the corrosive effects of stealthy, insinuating, aggressive mental suggestion has eaten it out one's present condition could be far dicier than he supposes.

        Summing up, as our beloved Christ Jesus puts it:  "What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch."                                                                   (Mark 13:37)