What does love have to do with ending a pandemic?   Leave a comment

Photo by cottonbro

In the context of the current pandemic, I’ve been asking myself if it’s not only our love for God and a deeper appreciation of His love for us that hold the key to ridding the world of this disease, but also a more consistent commitment to love one another—that is, to be sure that our thoughts of others reflect God’s thought of us. Jesus said: “ ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ ” (Matthew 22:37–39, New Living Translation).

Of course, conventional wisdom would argue that it’s going to take a lot more than a group hug, no matter how heartfelt, to rid ourselves of something as challenging as a pandemic. I would agree. But conventional wisdom is also reluctant to recognize the mental nature of disease—to acknowledge the significance of Jesus’ practical demonstration and Mrs. Eddy’s explanation of that Christly love that strives to see only the goodness that God, good, sees. After all, if “unselfed love” heals disease, then it stands to reason that any opposite state of mind, such as fear, anger, hostility, and so on, would tend to precipitate disease—or rather, present itself physically as disease, as Christian Science teaches. Conventional wisdom also refuses outright to admit the all-power of God, divine Love, to heal disease. 

What’s required of us, then, is to not only acknowledge Love’s allness as the ultimate antidote to disease but also to see others and ourselves as Love’s essential expression, naturally and inevitably inclined to love. As it says in the Bible, “We love because [God] first loved us” (I John 4:19, New Revised Standard Version).

This doesn’t mean that loving others is always easy. For instance, there are times when we find ourselves falling for the devilish lie that someone or some circumstance—our neighbors, our coworkers, our politicians, a pandemic—has somehow managed to deprive us of God’s goodness; that there’s some legitimate reason for our being unable to express all that God has given us to express, to enjoy all that He has given us to enjoy. When this happens, we face a crucial choice between accepting or rejecting the notion of a power opposed to God.

Ironically, it’s at moments like this that we are perhaps most receptive to Truth, a synonym for God that Mary Baker Eddy in her writings often couples with Christ. It’s this ever-present Christ, “the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness,” as Science and Health describes it (p. 332), that reveals God, divine Love, as the only true power. We especially need to know this in regard to the powerlessness of hatred, a state of thought that Mrs. Eddy associates with the virulent nature of contagious disease. Her Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896 emphatically states, “… Hate no one; for hatred is a plague-spot that spreads its virus and kills at last. If indulged, it masters us; brings suffering upon suffering to its possessor, throughout time and beyond the grave” (p. 12). 

Whether we feel a temptation to hate other people or are seeing hatred in others, this claim of a power apart from God needs to be met head on……

The conviction of God’s love for us is often what motivates our love for one another. And on the flip side, it’s our love for one another that opens the door more widely to feeling God’s love for us. This ceaseless cycle of Love—“Love is reflected in love,” as Mrs. Eddy puts it (Science and Health, p. 17)—inevitably lessens fear, dissolves hatred, and enables us to do our part in bringing an end to this pandemic.

Eric D. Nelson also shares a personal healing in this article from the Christian Science Sentinel which you can read or listen to in its entirety when you click here: https://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/pe971zapv8?s=e

A NEW VIEW OF GOD AND ITS EFFECTS ON WELL-BEING   Leave a comment

Photo by Simon Matzinger

You are warmly invited to an ONLINE WEB LECTURE

by Phillip Hockley CS

sponsored by First Church of Christ, Scientist, Waverley

“Divine Love erases from our lives both the fear of disease and the effects of isolation as naturally as sunrise banishes night”                                                           

Click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu4G_MbAlnY&feature=youtu.be



Begin with the solution   Leave a comment

Sharing how she was in limbo waiting for a visa application with no hope of getting on her flight, Larissa shares: ” I turned away from the fixing-planning-doing mentality that urgently wanted to outline a Plan B. Instead, I focused wholly on feeling the power of the divine presence. 

This was not to avoid a problem or to escape from dealing with it. Christian Science shows that it is the nature of God, divine Mind or intelligence, to enlighten us with spiritual good. Even before a solution arises, a situation resolves, or a difficulty ends, this spiritual good calms and strengthens us, and opens our thought to possibilities. 

Praying this way—to know and feel spiritual good—removes anxiety and brings an awareness of divine power and presence. And yet, there often is a tension between the human desire to control, fix, and problem-solve and a willingness to yield to the power of divine goodness and Love already governing. Feeling this divine goodness is a natural result of understanding God as infinite, divine Mind. Then the human mind—our limited thinking—drops all the striving for what doesn’t satisfy and exchanges flawed, human concepts for the divine consciousness of what is real and enduring. Moments of prayer enable us to yield to the awareness of divine Mind as the one divine consciousness, and to become willing to let events unfold in front of us. 

The textbook of Christian Science states it this way: “Christian Science presents unfoldment, not accretion; it manifests no material growth from molecule to mind, but an impartation of the divine Mind to man and the universe” (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 68). …..Scientific prayer begins with the solution—our oneness with God—and reasons out from there to see more of this reality in our experience. By removing fear, anxiety, doubt, ignorance, or pride, this prayer uncovers what’s already, and always, there, in divine consciousness. Our true being is always at one with this divine consciousness. And prayer helps us work out this spiritual conclusion in daily life. 

Read about the perfect solution in this article by Larissa Snorek from the Christian Science Journal here

Undisturbed after a break-in   Leave a comment

“We are undisturbed.” These were the words of assurance I spoke to my neighbours. My husband and I had just arrived home from a trip to see our house in a shambles after a break-in. 

In times of trouble, I’ve also found something that Christ Jesus said in the Gospel of John to be very helpful. We read that he calls the devil, evil, “a liar, and the father of it” (8:44). This puts “error”—the mistaken assumption that another power besides God is in control—immediately behind us and enables us to go forward while listening to what the Christ is saying. ….

I then realized that it was very important not to give in to the temptation to sit in our house that evening feeling anxious that something else might happen, because, as the Bible instructs in Psalm 62, “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him” (verse 5). God’s all-power meant that there had been no actual disturbance in the harmony of His ever-present government. ….

Above all, I felt that our home had never actually been broken into at all, because our true home is the inviolable consciousness of divine Love.

Read the entire story about the break-in and the author’s inspirational response told by Eleanor Winyard in The Christian Science Journal https://journal.christianscience.com/shared/view/1eao5ojlqwy?s=e

The Power of One   Leave a comment

Photo by zydeaosika

As I entered the subway station, I noticed a man begging for money. About 15 minutes before, it had occurred to me to use my walk time to pray instead of just mulling over my workday. Right away I had recalled this from the Bible: “God created man in his own image” (Genesis 1:27). So I’d been pondering this idea as I walked, thinking deeply about this spiritual pronouncement of the divine nature of each individual (man). The holiness of everyone grew palpable to me in an undeniable way—and I rejoiced in it. 

When I reached the bottom of the station stairs, I heard someone calling out, and when I looked up, there was the man I’d seen, coming toward me and loudly apologizing because he had spoken “terrible words” to me. Though I had not heard those words, I accepted his apology, and we talked for a time, including about God, before we said goodbye.

On the rest of my commute home, I thought about what had happened. Why had I not heard those words? And why had the man made such a point of apologizing? It occurred to me that the spirit of divine Truth and Love that had been filling my thought at that moment didn’t leave room for anything else, the way the presence of light makes darkness impossible. And it had eliminated both an offense and an offender. In a moment, this man and I had experienced our brother-and-sisterhood as fact—God as our source and each of us as God’s likeness—and were changed. 

This gave me my first real taste of the power of divine consciousness, and made me glimpse the capacity each of us has, as the reflection of divine, limitless Mind, to affect collective human experience for the better. 

Thought is the essence of our lives. And when thought is allied with divine Spirit, God, we partake of that Spirit, the source of all good, and become a vehicle for it. We also find we cannot behold ourselves spiritually without doing the same for our neighbor, because in the universality of infinite Mind, everyone is the spiritual idea, the child, of that one Mind, God.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science and founder of this magazine, described just how significant this spiritual-mindedness can be in the world: “Is not a man metaphysically and mathematically number one, a unit, and therefore whole number, governed and protected by his divine Principle, God? You have simply to preserve a scientific, positive sense of unity with your divine source, and daily demonstrate this. Then you will find that one is as important a factor as duodecillions in being and doing right, and thus demonstrating deific Principle” (Pulpit and Press, p. 4).

A duodecillion is a gargantuan number. Depending on where you live, it’s the number one followed by either 39 or 72 zeros. (By comparison, a trillion includes only 12 zeros.) Such ability, authority, or influence is inconceivable from a human standpoint, regardless of how much wealth or what influence one person might attain. But as a daughter or son of God, as the expression of infinite Love and Truth, our reach is as vast as our understanding of God.

When we grasp even a little of our permanent oneness with God, we naturally feel and exhibit more of God—more love, integrity, purity, intelligence, peace. 

In this time of pandemic, political upheaval, social self-examination, and financial uncertainty, “one” can seem not only the loneliest number, to echo an old song, but also, the least important. But this is only what we perceive from a material standpoint. Through divine Science, each of us can make a tremendous difference on the side of right and good. Every time we “preserve a scientific, positive sense of unity with [our] divine source, and daily demonstrate this,” we are weighing in on the side of progress, healing, and justice.

To read the entire article by Ethel A. Baker click here

Prayer: A powerful resource now and anytime   Leave a comment

science-and-health-cover“During the current pandemic, many people around the world have turned to prayer. Research by Jeanet Bentzen, an economist at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, found that internet searches on prayer skyrocketed during the period of time when COVID-19 began to rapidly proliferate around the globe.

After analyzing data from Google searches across 95 countries, she found, “In March 2020, the share of Google searches for prayer surged to the highest level ever recorded, surpassing all other major events that otherwise call for prayer, such as Christmas, Easter, and Ramadan” (“In crisis, we pray: Religiosity and the COVID-19 pandemic,” CEPR Press, May 20, 2020).

People are praying for the general population of their own and other countries; for key workers, such as nurses, custodial staff, and grocery store clerks; for public health officials; and even for national recovery plans. But what is the best way to pray? Over several decades, I’ve found Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures to be a wonderful resource, filled with practical ideas about how to pray—and how to pray specifically regarding disease.

Our present spiritual nature as God’s expression is a dependable basis for prayer that brings healing, as the first chapter in Science and Health, “Prayer,” brings out. Such prayer isn’t asking God for something we don’t have, but an awakening to what we already do have and what we forever are as God’s creation. True prayer isn’t repeating a set of words or pleading for God to intervene; it’s realizing and understanding present spiritual reality.

The book says, “Tell the sick that they can meet disease fearlessly, if they only realize that divine Love gives them all power over every physical action and condition” (p. 420). Going far beyond being a compendium of prayer techniques, Science and Health offers valuable insights into who and what we are as children of God and the dominion that this affords us over fear and illness. Whatever we face, we have the most powerful resource of all, God’s ever-present, never-failing love.”

Read or listen to the complete article by Lyle Young who also gives an example of healing prayer when he faced sickness whilst trying to return from Africa when flights were being cancelled here

LIFE’S MASTER PLAN   Leave a comment

2+Giants(10)

Photo and work by Alex Cook: http://www.stonebalancer.com/

WHEN I WAS in my early 20’s, just out of college, I felt a deep personal responsibility to do something with my life that would make the world a better place.

……..I began to realize that I would never find my peace in a place or in my career. I began to see that I could only find answers to my questions through facing myself and learning more about God and my relationship to Him.

This marked the beginning of my real journey.

But during this time, I felt guided by the strong, prayerful conviction I had gained when my father passed on a couple of years earlier. Through my prayers at that time, I had heard the very clear communication from God: “Nothing has changed.” Even though the human picture had changed, I knew in my heart that to God nothing had changed—my father lived on because God was his Life. And I really felt the spiritual, eternal nature of life in a way I hadn’t before.

Over the next few years I prayed and listened for God’s guidance, gradually gaining confidence. Many times I looked to this line from Psalms for comfort and support: “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (139:14). That was talking about me!

As I prayed through this experience, I gained some valuable insights. First, that spiritual answers provide the only permanent solutions in life. Second, that trying to avoid problems rather than facing them is like being in school and refusing to do the homework. I would just keep staying in the same grade. I also learned that when I approached challenges with humble gratitude and joy, I was able to see, feel, and hear God much more clearly.

Slowly the depression and dark thoughts receded, and I began to feel a real sense of joy again….The murals I painted evolved from a personal venture into a community venture, involving whole neighborhoods. This was a career path I could never have outlined on my own. But it grew very naturally once I accepted my pure, Soul-inspired identity.

Ultimately, God is our Life. We can spend years and years searching out ways to give meaning to our lives. But until we see clearly that God, eternal Love, is our life, I don’t believe we will ever quite be home. When we do arrive at that understanding, we’ll see clearly that each life is eternal, precious, adventurous—and very much worth living.

Read many more helpful ideas in the entire article by Alex Cook from The Christian Science Sentinel here

Don’t let it harden your heart   Leave a comment

pensive grandmother with granddaughter having interesting conversation while cooking together in light modern kitchen

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

I cherish my alone time with God each day. I look forward to digging into the scientific truths that are uncovered during my study of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. I’ve always found such comfort during my study—even as a child….Never could I have imagined a time when I would feel that all was lost, when I wouldn’t want to reach out for those comforting truths.

However, not long ago both of my parents passed away, rather suddenly and only a few months apart. I felt completely gutted. I was unprepared to handle what seemed like such a monumental loss. Rather than turn to the Bible and Science and Health for comfort, I found myself pushing them away. I didn’t want anything to do with God. I felt betrayed by everything I’d ever known. It was very lonely and disorienting.

A year after my dad passed, I took a trip to see a friend of mine in another state. While there, I also had a visit with some dear family friends whom I hadn’t seen in many years. It’s hard to describe what happened next, because it was so unexpected. During my visit with these dear ones, I felt myself open up again. I felt loved in a way I hadn’t since before my parents passed. I could feel that these dear friends didn’t see me as overwhelmed by grief and loss; instead, they saw my unbroken identity as a spiritual expression of God—they saw me as I really am.

I can’t possibly lose anything good, because God is divine Love and He alone is my Father and my Mother.

One of these friends also said something to me that completely broke through all the resistance I was feeling and woke me up. After I shared how difficult it had been without my parents, this friend reached out to hold my hand and said in the most loving, mom-like voice, “Don’t let it harden you.” Whoa. That hit me right between the eyes. I felt as if all the wind had been knocked out of me—almost as if my own mom had just spoken. That was exactly what had happened—I’d let myself become hardened. I had been so mesmerized by the sense of loss that I had forgotten the scientific fact that I can’t possibly lose anything good because God is divine Love and He alone is my Father and my Mother. This was a turning point. Once uncovered, the lie of separation from good simply dissolved into dust. Isn’t that what Jesus taught when he said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32)? I was free!

I felt lighter than I had in months. It was so clear to me that God was talking to me through those dear ones. It was as if He were grabbing my hand and saying, “I am always with you and you are so very loved.” It reminded me of one of my favorite passages from the Bible: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God” (Isaiah 41:10). I truly had nothing to fear because God was with me every step of the way. And the mothering and fathering qualities I had been yearning for from my parents were being so tenderly expressed by those friends, it was a powerful reminder that these qualities can never be lost. 

Since then, my sense of family has expanded and lifted. I understand more clearly that all of us express the mothering and fathering qualities of our Father-Mother, God. None of us can ever lack anything good when we see ourselves and others as we truly are. No longer do I claim loss for myself—I know that my parents’ love always had its source in God, and therefore continues on. And God’s love isn’t abstract; it’s forever active and tangible!

Read the full article written by  Emily Nofsinger Kuhl for the Christian Science Sentinel here

How to be resilient in tough times   1 comment

anonymous woman walking near waving sea
Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV 

Knowing how to be resilient in tough times is a huge benefit and a blessing. You can recover from setbacks quickly, readily find your feet again, and easily bounce back with a better frame of mind. Practicing resilience is empowering. You’re able to stay confident, optimistic and buoyant in the midst of difficult situations.

In emerging from home isolation, schooling and work, parents, kids, and workers have again been feeling the stress of adapting to new regimes. Feelings and finances are being stretched to the limit. However, there is good news. When life seems out of control, resilience helps you stay firmly on-track, keeps you mentally balanced, and in charge of your daily activities.

HOW TO BE RESILIENT

To be a resilient person means to have a bend-not-break attitude at home, school or work. It’s being flexible and adaptable, not thinking or acting in a rigid, inflexible manner. The key to being resilient is to embrace and practice bendability, flexibility and bouncebackability. These thought-qualities allow you to easily rebound from tough situations and recover readily from stress.

While the ability to rebound quickly and easily is sometimes thought to be a quirk of nature or to be inherited, it actually isn’t. Resilience is a spiritually mental capability which we all can express. It comes from a divine Source – the Bestower of all that’s good, and everyone has access to it.

TIPS TO HELP YOU BE RESILIENT

– Be a bend-not-break person. When faced with hardship, draw on spiritual resilience to help you overcome it. Have the flexibility to bend with the winds of adversity and then expect to recover quickly and easily from trouble.

– Boost your resilience. In the morning and during the day, affirm that you’re a resilient, flexible person who has been created to triumph over hard times and be successful at home, school or work.

– Have confidence. Don’t stay rigid with fear or despair. Take the next step forward with courage. “We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don’t know what to do, we never give up.” Bible.  II Corinthians 4:8.

– Be strong. Bounce back from disappointment or discouragement. Get up each day mentally stronger than the day before. “The very circumstance, which your suffering sense deems wrathful and afflictive, Love can make an angel entertained unawares.”  Mary Baker Eddy. Science and Health p.574.

– Practice being resilientEmulate the humble rubber-band, which being both pliable and elastic can stretch a l-o-n-g way without breaking. You can do likewise in tough times. No matter how far you’re stretched, with inner resilience you’ll be able to recover and rebound with ease whenever times are tough.

Beverly Goldsmith writes on the connection between spirituality and health and is an experienced Christian Science practitioner and teacher.

DEMYSTIFYING SPIRITUAL HEALING   Leave a comment

2020 Lecture_01

To listen to the recorded webinar

Here is the link: https://youtu.be/zkVhK_UxSlg

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