Earth Day   Leave a comment

P1000127 (1)

My Earth Day prayer

Recently I came across the 2015 film “Dare to Be Wild,” which shares the inspiring and unique story of Mary Reynolds. ….. There’s a scene in the film where Reynolds looks out over a desert landscape in Ethiopia that was once green and thriving, and she suddenly imagines it completely filled in again with lush trees and plants. As the scene shifts to reflect her vision, I was reminded of a prophecy in the Bible, in the book of Isaiah. It says: “Thirsty deserts will be glad; barren lands will celebrate and blossom with flowers. Deserts will bloom everywhere and sing joyful songs.… Everyone will see the wonderful splendor of the Lord our God” (Isaiah 35:1, 2, Contemporary English Version).

Read literally, the imagery presented in Isaiah’s prophecy is something I’m sure most of us would love to see fully actualized. And the beautiful words might inspire us to wonder if the flourishing of our Earth in this way is really a possibility………

I’ve found it helpful to remember that the natural beauty of our planet has its source in the infinite and enduring design of our creator, God, and this design cannot truly be lost or obscured since the divine Mind and its ideas are eternal. “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy illustrates it this way: “Arctic regions, sunny tropics, giant hills, winged winds, mighty billows, verdant vales, festive flowers, and glorious heavens, – all point to Mind, the spiritual intelligence they reflect” (p. 240). Caring for our planet and preserving its natural beauty can seem overwhelming if we simply get caught up in the problems of desertification, pollution, waste management, etc. Fresh possibilities open up as we look to the reality of Spirit and the harmony, beauty, and balance that constitute spiritual creation.

The focus of this year’s Earth Day is to mobilize the world to end plastic pollution. We can each do our part in very practical ways to forward that goal. But we can also mobilize our thought, through prayer, to more clearly see how we all reflect our intelligent creator. Such a clear view of our relation to God can definitely improve human action.

As Isaiah promises, “You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands!” (55:12, New Living Translation).

This article from The Christian Science Monitor by Ingrid Peschke can be read in its entirety here

Children and self-government   Leave a comment

 

shutterstock_85436266“God has endowed man with inalienable rights, among which are self-government, reason, and conscience. Man is properly self-governed only when he is guided rightly and governed by his Maker, divine Truth and Love”

Mary Baker Eddy: Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

 .

There is no better way to raise a child than to help the child to think for himself or herself—in other words, to be a truly independent thinker.

And there is no better way to be a truly independent thinker than to be a spiritually minded thinker.

Does this surprise you? Do you think, well, perhaps this applies to teenagers, but does it apply to children, too, whatever their age? Mary Baker Eddy gives this specific advice: “Teach the children early self-government, and teach them nothing that is wrong” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 240).

Self-government, reason, and conscience are rights that are spiritually based, and they are ours because we are in truth the spiritual sons and daughters of God.

These “inalienable rights” are everyone’s birthright. They stem from the supreme intelligence, from the one parent Mind (see Science and Health,p. 336), and they promote our freedom and support unending progress. In daily life this is beautifully expressed in independent thought and constructive action.

This article by Annette Kreutziger-Herr from the November 14, 2016 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel can be found here.

Seeds of Love   Leave a comment

Loving All, Healing Hatred

P9100086.JPG

Expressing Christly love can begin humbly with a small, tender seed of spiritual perception that we all have the same Father, or origin, the one divine Spirit.

Each of us has the God-given ability to let the seeds of divine Love take root and flourish in our heart – and to help water them in the deserving hearts of others.

 

It’s certainly fulfilling to express love – to give generously, be supportive, and do unselfish things for family and friends. But it can be especially challenging – and especially important – to care for those who are struggling most to feel loved: the unlawful, the unruly, those who are dishonest or cruel. It can be tempting to think such individuals are not deserving of love.

I truly feel, though, that the genuine expression of heartfelt love – love that is derived from the Divine – has the power to permanently heal hatred in whatever form, whether it’s bullying on the playground or some other manifestation of harmful behavior on the larger world stage. “God is love,” the Bible states (I John 4:8)

When faced with evil deeds, we can strive to water the seeds of Christly love in our hearts – neutralizing any sense of revenge or indifference – so that we may more effectively reach out in prayer and compassion to those on whom evil appears to have made its mark. Right there God is seeing His children in their original, spiritual, sinless nature. And we can, too…..

Jesus lived this love with breathtaking boldness. He reached out to the destitute, the social outcasts, and the morally straying to heal them and restore hope and spirituality to their lives. Articulating a new precedent for humanity, he said, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:44, 45).

In speaking of the capacity of good to triumph over evil, the Bible gives this promise: “The desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose” (Isaiah 35:1). Each of us has the God-given ability to let the seeds of divine Love take root and flourish in our heart – and to help water them in the deserving hearts of others.

 

These excerpts come from the article by Laura Clayton in  The Christian Science Monitor’s  A Christian Scientist’s Perspective and you can read or listen to the entire article here.

Gethsemane Love   Leave a comment

A Daily Lift – 3 minutes of inspiration by Nate Frederick

DSCN3880.

In the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed in the hours before his crucifixion he demonstrated a higher kind of love for mankind, a love that carried him through his impending ordeal, and allowed him to forgive and bless.  In this 3 minute talk Nate shows us how this kind of love is available to us all.

.

Photo – 2012: 2000 year old olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane

Easter and its infinite possibilities   Leave a comment

$ dreamstime_12416220“He is risen”! This joyful exclamation marked Jesus arising from death after his crucifixion (see Mark 16:6). It was first spoken by the angel at Jesus’ empty tomb to the women who came to look for him, and quickly became the happy greeting of the early Christians as a triumphant reminder of Jesus’ proof of everlasting Life.

Easter is the commemoration that nothing is impossible to God—that there is no fear so great, no obstacle so big, no darkness so absorbing, nor any death so final that God can’t redeem it. All this, Jesus’ teachings and works have proved and his resurrection has confirmed.

Jesus’ resurrection initiated a sea change of thought, which proved Life to be eternal and triumphant over death, and proved Love to be triumphant over hate. The resurrection changed lives with its promise of salvation for all—not only from sin and disease, but from death. It gave his disciples the necessary and convincing proof for them to continue Christ’s work in the way Jesus had shown them. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy wrote: “Through all the disciples experienced, they became more spiritual and understood better what the Master had taught. His resurrection was also their resurrection. It helped them to raise themselves and others from spiritual dulness and blind belief in God into the perception of infinite possibilities” (p. 34).

But does it seem naive or even presumptuous to think that Jesus’ resurrection could be our resurrection? What if one’s life seems to have caused or suffered irreversible harm? The aggressive argument that one is stained for life on account of some disgrace or tragedy may try to hang over one’s head like a curse or a personal Chernobyl…..

This path of life is described well in the definition of resurrection, given in Science and Health: “Spiritualization of thought; a new and higher idea of immortality, or spiritual existence; material belief yielding to spiritual understanding” (p. 593)

I felt God’s redeeming love and better understood the profound implication of Jesus’ resurrection on my life. I felt that “great sanity” that Mary Baker Eddy writes about in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany: “A great sanity, a mighty something buried in the depths of the unseen, has wrought a resurrection among you, and has leaped into living love….

“… Man lives, moves, and has his being in God, Love. Then man must live, he cannot die; and Love must necessarily promote and pervade all his success” (pp. 164–165).


An Easter Talk by Bible Scholar, Madelon Maupin   Leave a comment

The Week That Changed The World

P3260007.JPG copy

Dear Friends,

We invite you, our global family, to experience a special Easter talk, entitled, “The Week That Changed The World” by bible scholar, Madelon Maupin, at Third Church of Christ, Scientist, in New York City. Our special Easter talk will take place on Friday, March 30th, Join us for festive organ music at 6:45pm, (NSW Australia this is 9:45 a.m Saturday) followed by musical performers at 7:00pm (10.00 a.m) Madelon’s talk will begin at 7:30pm. (Australia 10.30 a.m)

Is a 2000+ year old story relevant to an age of nuclear threats and nation-state saber rattling? How did Christ Jesus challenge the prejudices of his time to forever alter the freedom of mankind? Christ Jesus declared, “I came not to send peace, but a sword” (Matt. 10:34). This man of unspeakable love that knew no gender, age, racial or ethnic biases was nonetheless ready to bring a sword to whatever would limit, imprison or undermine anyone. Our special Easter talk given by Madelon Maupin will delve into this remarkable story and its place in our lives today.

JOIN US ONLINE

photo[1]Madelon Maupin is a dedicated Christian Scientist and spiritual thinker who has traveled worldwide sharing her love of the Bible. She has devoted her life work to unwrapping the history, politics, and culture of the books of the Bible that lead listeners to their own spiritual alignment with a fuller understanding. She does this by providing Bible study resources, including online courses and workbooks. She also tours extensively giving talks on the Bible through her organization, BibleRoads.

Madelon’s training includes a Masters Degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Adventure Unlimited, a Christian Science Youth organization, the New Theological Seminary of the West in Southern California, the Southern California Faith and Order Commission, and she is a member of the national ecumenical team of The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, MA.

Madelon Maupin combines a strong business career of 35+ years with a great love for biblical principles. She has written over 70 articles on spirituality, including 35 articles for the Christian Science Journal and Sentinel, with the goal of helping people uncover and apply biblical guidelines to today’s challenges.

JOIN US ONLINE

Posted March 27, 2018 by cscanberra in Christian Science Lecture, Easter

Tagged with , ,

Fire on the mountain   2 comments

shutterstock_62922805“Look!” My brother put his arm around my shoulder and pointed beyond the outdoor arena. Willie Nelson had just arrived on stage at the 2000 Mountain Music Fest in Red Lodge, Montana, but the unmistakable plume of a mountain wildfire burst up behind him. A motorcycle had skidded on gravel at high speed and crashed, exploding the gas tank and quickly spreading flames in the tinder-dry grasses and trees at the side of the road (the cyclist survived and mended).

It was late August in a summer plagued by wildfires. Our family’s summer cabin was in the exact spot where the smoke was visible. I raced to a quieter place outside the arena to phone a Christian Science practitioner, since I felt as out of control as the fire appeared to be. I remember saying to him how I couldn’t look at this horrible scene unfolding in front of everyone. Every time I looked at the stage, I was only aware of the fire, which I assumed might be consuming our cabin right then.

The practitioner met my distress with rock solid vehemence, “Don’t you turn away. Look right into that smoke until you can see the face of God.” To me, seeing the face of God meant being able to perceive that God, good was present, right where the evidence of destruction seemed to be. The practitioner reminded me of the time Mary Baker Eddy saw a cyclone coming right toward her home and with amazing firmness and conviction asked everyone in her household to look right at it and realize that there are no destructive elements in God’s creation (We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, Clara Knox McKee, p. 193). The cyclone changed course and headed toward the mountains, doing hardly any damage.

I went back to the concert, but the sight of the raging fire was so overwhelming, I found it difficult to pray. I had been taught to always start with God, so I thought, God is All, which seemed ridiculous in the face of this destructive fire, so opposite to goodness.

Wasn’t it just too late for prayer to change the scene? The fire had already started, worsening by the minute, there was nothing to stop it. How could I see God’s face in any of this? I wondered.

Then I thought of the three young Hebrew men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and the fiery furnace they were thrown into. According to the Bible, the fire was heated seven times more than usual, yet the men’s safety was not dependant on the size, shape, placement, or intensity of the fire.

I realized the safety of my cabin and other properties in the area was not dependant on those factors either. God was still there, God was still All, and God was still governing this situation, regardless of its appearance, just as He had for those three Hebrew men. As I continued to insist in prayer that God’s presence and power alone were in control, I began to grasp that if it was possible to be unaffected in the middle of flames in one instance, it was possible in all instances.

Around this time, however, the winds began to pick up from an incoming weather front, blowing new life into the fire and new fear into the crowd. But another thought occurred to me, a variation of the Bible verse from I Kings 19:11: God is not in this wind and God is not in this fire–God IS in the still small voice of Truth. I knew, too, that the Bible says God holds the winds in His fists. I decided I could trust God to control the wind, and not see it as some capricious act of nature with power to destroy.

While all these spiritual ideas calmed me, I still didn’t feel I’d seen the face of God in that fire yet. I began to wonder, if God was not in the wind or fire, but in the still small voice, what was that voice saying to me? These words from the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, immediately came to mind, “There is no power apart from God. Omnipotence has all power and to acknowledge any other power is to dishonor God.” For me, that was the face of God. I knew in that moment that no matter what else happened or what the results of the fire were, I would not dishonor God by acknowledging another power.

 

Read on to find out how this recognition helped in this situation here

This article was shared by Patti Waddell the Christian Science Sentinel – March 18, 2008

%d bloggers like this: