Fire on the mountain   1 comment

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

Update: Demystifying Spiritual Healing   Leave a comment

beth-packerA Webinar by Beth Packer of Berry, NSW, Australia

Date:  Monday 19 March 2018 (Canberra time)

Time:  10.30  – 11.30 (Daylight saving time Canberra)

Please note that this webinar was previously advertised as 11.30 am Canberra time.  10.30 is now the correct time.

To register for this webinar click here:  Demystifying Spiritual Healing

See the post below for more details.

Free Web Lecture with Beth Packer CS   Leave a comment


In her capacity as a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship, Beth has been invited to lecture around the world, talking with audiences in such diverse situations as the hallowed halls of London to the inmates in provincial prisons in Africa and Asia. All receive the same message of divine love and healing.

But it is through her practice of Christian Science healing that the words and ideas she shares in her talks are proven true. Beth says, “that if an idea is true, it is universal, impersonal and provable. Spiritual healing as recorded in the Bible is as available today as it was then. And the understanding Christian Science brings to us all, makes that healing accessible to everyone, everywhere, always to bring help and healing to our daily life.”

Demystifying spiritual healing

This is a lecture full of heart and practical application.  Through analogies and healing examples, in ‘Demystifying Spiritual Healing’ we discover where genuine security in our lives really comes from.  The knowledge that there is a divine Principle underlying our lives that, when relied on, consistently brings peace and goodness to our lives, has been known and proved for centuries.  We see that, by looking to God, Spirit, instead of materiality, the people in the Bible found reliable peace, healing and solutions to their everyday needs.  And the discovery of the Science of Christ, by Mary Baker Eddy, shows how we too can experience this same peace, security and healing, in our lives.  It brings us to the realization that we can no more run out of the good that we need than we can run out of God’s love for us.

First Church of Christ, Scientist, Ashland, Oregon invites you to a free Web Lecture with Beth Packer, CS, from Berry, New South Wales, Australia.

Webinar on Mon, Mar 19, 2018 10:30 AM – 12:30 AM NSW time,  register here


Universal womanhood   Leave a comment

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8, is #PressforProgress. This call for action reminds me of a time when I saw, in a modest way, how each individual can be a part of pressing for, and forwarding, such progress.


It was my first time traveling in a particular country where sexual harassment of foreign women was not uncommon. Our group wanted to respect the customs of modesty for women in this country, so even though it was quite hot during that season, we wore clothing that completely covered our arms and legs. Nevertheless, the harassment occurred.


I have always found prayer to be reliable in addressing challenges, so I turned to God. I wanted to understand more fully the purity of all women and men – a quality that’s part of everyone’s real identity as God’s spiritual idea, or child. In the Bible’s book of Genesis, we read, “Male and female created he them” (1:27).

…..There’s no conflict between these masculine and feminine qualities. In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Christian Science discoverer Mary Baker Eddy describes “man” (a generic term for all of God’s children) in part as “the compound idea of God, including all right ideas;…that which has not a single quality underived from Deity” (p. 475).

I was so reassured by this view that God’s pure and perfect creation includes everyone. …..This gave me a conviction that even if someone isn’t being respectful or appropriate, there is a solid basis for a change in course and hope for progress.

We can all take a mental stand for the expression of universal womanhood and manhood in all of us – the right of each man and woman everywhere to express qualities of strength, goodness, and purity. Because that is how we are made!

This article from A Christian Scientist’s Perspective in The Christian Science Monitor by Susan Booth Mack Snipes. To read the full article with the experience she shares, click here

“there are no outsiders”   Leave a comment

Beyond skin color

Today’s contributor reflects on lessons he learned as he prayed about prejudice after moving from Congo to Norway – and how those lessons continue to shape the way he sees others.

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……..My first thought was, “I’m going to deny his request just so he can feel what it’s like to be rejected!” But just as I heard my own answer, I immediately thought, “Of course you’re not going to do that.” From the very first day we’d lived in Norway, my parents had urged us to look past differences, look past color….

One of the biggest lessons it taught me is that we really are all brothers and sisters. The spiritual reality is that we aren’t material beings divided into separate races and living in separate nations; we all live in God’s kingdom – the kingdom of heaven, which Christ Jesus told us is right here, right now. Prayer to better understand God as the true creator of us all can open our eyes to the presence of this kingdom, helping us realize there are no outsiders. No one is outside good, outside divine Love. It isn’t being of the same race or culture that makes us “in” with others. It’s God. It’s knowing that we are living in God’s kingdom as God’s offspring, because that’s God’s truth. This is a very effective way of combating prejudice, because it starts from the basis of oneness, rather than divisions.

So I changed my answer. I began thinking of this individual with love. I thought: “As God’s son, he could never harm me; he can only reflect goodness.”

What if we did this for everyone we met? What if we let God show us the true individuality of each of His ideas – as spiritual, uniquely colorful, and wonderful?

This article from The Christian Science Monitor’s : A Christian Scientist’s Perspective was written by Christian Kongolo. Read or listen to the entire article here

The connection between sports and spirituality is natural   2 comments

As we talked through the half-time state of play of his soccer match, my grandson expressed an openness to some helpful ideas I shared with him. He went back on and scored a goal immediately, and soon after I saw him patting a team-mate on the back following a similar success.

Rather than counselling on techniques or from a sports psychology perspective, I’d focussed his attention on the spiritual nature of the game: had he noticed that when they worked together as a team quite a big change occurred? I shared how love for individual team members and joy in the game itself is what brings success. When he felt a teammate wasn’t working as a team-player my grandson could go out of his way to applaud his efforts, even if his mate wasn’t reciprocating yet. On this otherwise unremarkable Saturday morning, a spiritual approach to his soccer match had transformed his game, and the score.

The extensive scholarly literature about sport and spirituality reports experiences by many thousands of athletes, with and without religious affiliations, that are frequently described as spiritual. They are collectively called “being in the zone.” Sports psychologist, Mark Nesti, has identified that spiritual experiences in sport have much in common with feelings of intense love.

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Learning how love, joy, compassion, strength, balance and respect lead to sports success is important. Even more important, is to know that the source of our ability to express them is divine. Athletes who know this might practise these five essentials.

Always start with stillness. Your affirmation could go like this: Divine Life and Love, God, you are with me right there on the field (or court or track or slope or wave). As Mind (another name for God), you are helping me to know exactly what to do during the game.

Discover true strength. Knowing that we reflect the infinite strength, flexibility and quickness of the divine, we’ll experience less physical limitation in sports. Mary Baker Eddy, in her ground-breaking book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, sheds light on this connection. “The Scriptures say, “They that wait upon the Lord . . . shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” The meaning of that passage is not perverted by applying it literally to moments of fatigue, for the moral and physical are as one in their results.”

Let love lead you. You’re not there to impress people but to express goodness and love. God is Love and doesn’t take sides; so, show sportsmanship towards the opposition and wholeheartedly love the game.

Enjoy yourself. Know that your confidence, freedom and success depend entirely on ever-present divine Mind. This relieves us from feeling that pressure is squarely on us to perform. Getting pumped is not what’s needed either, implying that we’ll eventually need to come down from a false high. It also stands to reason that the short-lived benefits of cheating or sports fixing cannot compete with the health-giving, joy-enhancing effects of honesty, courage and integrity in sport.

Stay safe. Spiritual ideas move in harmony – complementing each other, instead of hurting each other. “We live and move and have our being in God,” the Bible quotes Paul as saying. Knowing this, we are always safe.

Kay Stroud writes about the connection between spirituality and health, practices Christian Science healing and is spokesperson for Christian Science in NSW, QLD, ACT and NT

Heaven: It’s not only real, it’s here   Leave a comment

Live audio chat with Mark Swinney, C.S.B.


In this inspiring chat, Mark explores two major themes about heaven. The first is the encouragement people find from near-death experiences and the abundance of books on the market today chronicling accounts of people having “died” only to “come back” and talk about their perception of heaven. The second is about heaven itself: What is the nature of heaven? And is it something that can be experienced here and now by any one of us?

Mark answers questions about how near-death experiences can make “the afterlife” seem so much better and happier than life on earth; whether these so-called near-death experiences really show life beyond death or whether they are just a state of consciousness; if we can know what actually happens after we pass on; whether anyone experiences hell after death; how we can all know we deserve to “live in heaven” right now; and what we can do to wake up and feel the present reality of heaven right here with us.

 Click here to listen

Also mark the date for a free lecture by Mary Bothwell CSB

Experiencing Heaven Now

Sunday 4 March 2.00 pm
Where: The Reception Room, Legislative Assembly Bldg, London Circuit, Canberra City


mary-bothwellFrom childhood, Mary Bothwell has pursued a quest to understand the universe.

Mary earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Principia College and an MBA from UCLA. She was employed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for 34 years. During her time at JPL, she participated in and managed the development of technology and scientific instrumentation for earth, planetary, and astrophysics missions, earning NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal for her work on an experiment which flew on an early space shuttle mission.

Now, in her work as a Christian Science practitioner, Mary prays with people of many faiths to achieve healing through prayer as taught by Christ Jesus and described by Mary Baker Eddy in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

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