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.