Thursday, June 30, 2016

Giving, Serving

If giving from the heart
Can bring us so much joy,
Think how great God's bliss must be,
Who gave the world His Son beloved,
A Son who lived to serve His Father,
Who gave his all to set men free.
Lived to serve?  The King of Kings?
God's gift the highest?
Him who we gladly bow down to,
Adore and serve,
And count ourselves blessed?
Yes, lived to give, to serve,
As you and I must do.

"I am among you as he that serveth"
Our blessed Master says in Luke.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Letting the Problem Go


                                                  John Robert Howell

Come now.  You clutch that problem to you
           Like a mother might her only child.

You claim it imposed itself upon you,
          But then you say it's yours.

You possess only what God gives you,
          Not some error in your thinking.

Inspired prayer and patient listening
         Will calm and abate any affliction.

You are God's child, perfect now,
          Just the way He made you to be.

Open your thought to this healing message
          And see false beliefs fall away.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Do You Want to Feel Close to God?

"I've never once felt close to God"

Someone confided recently.

An amazing thing to hear

For those of us who do.

Could this be the problem,

That she, like so many others,

Are trying to find peace and joy

While leaving Christ Jesus out,

Whose essential role they doubt

(If they even think about it at all?)

Our loving Father does want

Us to feel close to Him,

To have all the good

He yearns to give.

But the path there is one --

The one given us all

By His beloved Son.

"I am the way, the truth, and the life:
No man cometh unto the Father,
But by me"
Our Lord and Master said.

          (John 14:6)

Take the teachings of Jesus,

Love them, live them,

And you can't help

But feel close to God.

Nothing concerns our

Health and safety,

Our over all well-being

More than this.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Making a Difference

You can make
Such a difference
In this world of ours.
       Yes, you.
Shall I tell you how?
Take the love Jesus
Lived and taught,
Pour it out
On all you meet,
A greater life purpose
Cannot be sought.
Its power makes
      Things go,
You and your world
      Will glow.
People need bread,
  Yes, they do.
But they need to
Feel God's love.
Oh, how they do!

Monday, June 6, 2016

A Remarkable Woman

       This Mary Baker Eddy was in my estimation.  She was an influential American author, teacher, and religious leader, noted for her groundbreaking ideas about spirituality and health which she named Christian Science.  She articulated those ideas in her major work Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.  Four years later she founded the Church of Christ, Scientist which today has branch churches and societies around the world.

        I wouldn't have the life I now have without the influence of this woman, and will be forever thankful she was brought through all she had to endure in her early years.  "I love Jesus more than any man who ever was or is" she once wrote.  And what drove her on through tribulation was an overwhelming desire to bring to mankind the laws of God that were the basis of Jesus' healing work, and that had saved her from death.

        At one point, Mrs. Eddy was to give a talk in a New England town and some people threatened to blow up the hall.  What did this nineteenth century, refined lady do?  She didn't seek human protection.  In her own words, "I leaned on God, and was safe."

        Of all the inspired words this woman has left, this to me is the most sublime:  "I can endure anything, if I just don't incur His displeasure."

         I'd like to think that my own experiences of deliverance from all kinds of problems, as well as those of thousands of thousands of men and woman who embraced her great discovery would have been enough to repay her for the years of  toil, opposition, friendlessness, poverty,  even hunger at times, as she pushed on to do what she was sure God had called her to do.

        What more can I say about a woman who certainly ranks right up there among heroic Christians in my view.  The indebtedness I feel for the freedom I've gained from physical afflictions alone  (and this is no small thing) gives some idea of how highly I regard this remarkable woman.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Study and Daily Progress

                                                        John Robert Howell

        Ever encouraged by Christ Jesus' life and teachings, who of us does not anticipate beholding each day fresh vistas in the Way to health and holiness, a greater sense of God's love and comfort, security, and a peaceful existence? 

        No doubt if we consulted more regularly and faithfully the map and counsel found in the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, this would occur more frequently.  Paul says in his second epistle to Timothy "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."  (2:15)  J. B. Phillips translates this passage:  "concentrate on winning God's approval, on being a workman with nothing to be ashamed of, and who knows how to use the word of truth to the best advantage."  (The New Testament in Modern English)

        Whether we call it concentration or "trying hard" (The New English Bible) spiritual understanding and progress requires effort to attain.  Consecrated, diligent, prayerful study is the way we replace misleading material beliefs with spiritual understanding.  Study is one important way we prime the pump which is our thought.  If this pump isn't primed and kept primed, it won't be able to draw the living, healthful waters of Truth and Life when we need them.  And, thus, we might find it necessary once more to retrace our steps and regain the right path.

        Through individual, habitual study we make the necessary and exciting metaphysical discoveries that reveal the grand truths of God and Christian Science in a way that makes them our own, bases for our thoughts and actions.  This invigorating study also helps to develop our innate spirituality and spiritual sense.  Christians and Christian Scientists are not metaphysical skimmers, those birds who fly just above the water's surface with their long lower bills skimming just beneath the surface for a fish.  Not all fish or knowledge swims so conveniently near the surface, and thus we must often launch out into the deep and cast our nets there.

        Understanding, spiritual growth, and progress do not come through casual effort or even from frequent soaking in refreshing spiritual showers.  The Word must be thoughtfully engaged in quiet hours of "seeking and find."  ("The Mother's Evening Prayer", Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings 389:20)  Such study may not, to some, seem appealing or rewarding at first, but it will bear the rich rewards of health, happiness, peace, and satisfaction and become easier and more natural as one persist in it and makes it habitual.  Mrs. Eddy writes:  "Take divine Science.  Read this book from beginning to end.  Study it, ponder it."  (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures 559:20-21)

        It might be helpful to touch briefly here on some possibly attractive and less demanding alternative approaches to spiritual growth and progress.  One of these might be called the osmosis/absorption method, whereby one simply dips or immerses himself in truths by attending church services, reading over perfunctorily what others have written on metaphysical topics, and thereby absorbs all the spirituality he thinks or need or can handle.  These are obviously helpful and desirable activities, but to understand and live Truth one needs active, continuing study, a hungering and thirsting for God that will not be denied.  We are not strips of unexposed film which need but one brief exposure to light to imprint Truth, Life, and Love indelibly upon our consciousness.

        Mysticism, mystical revelations, Zen-like meditation, and being prayed for are also not substitutes for study.  Study needs to be an organized, methodical process, a step-by-step, precept by precept understanding of the Science of Christianity, using the Bible and the Christian Science textbook Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy as the primary source works.  It should also be evident that Christian Scientists do not have gurus or spiritual mentors to whom they turn regularly for wisdom, instruction, and knowledge.  Having someone pray for us may be a necessary and welcome aid to healing or help with some problem, and this prayerful support may have an educational benefit as well,  but we cannot be prayed for or grow vicariously as a substitute for our own study and praying to God.

        Perhaps the best known and easily one of the most significant equations of the 20th Century was Einstein's famous E=mc2.  It helps explain, for example, the enormous power within the atom.  Yet,
ridiculously simple as this equation may appear, it could easily take years of study to understand even partially its implications

.            Mrs. Eddy states:  The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is all-in-all, and that there is not other might nor Mind.--that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle."  (S&H, 275:6-9)  The idea that God is All-in-all also seems fairly easy to grasp intellectually, and yet it can be said that the whole mighty oak of Christian Science grows from this simple acorn of spiritual fact.  A human lifetime of study and thought will not uncover the full import of this one sentence.  Which is but to say that today is none too soon to begin in earnest this study.

        We need to see ourselves as spiritual athletes who work our daily and hourly to increase our spiritual strength and endurance through deep study, consecrated prayer, and calm reflection.  It is in this way the Kingdom of Heaven, harmony, begins and continues to be manifested irrevocably today in our lives, bringing blessings which will exceed our fondest earthly hopes.