Clearing up “fake news” on every front   Leave a comment

fake newsThe recent disclosures about “fake news” in the media illustrate that we need to be more alert than ever to discern if what’s being said is fact or fiction.

We’re actively seeking truth, rather than blindly accepting everything we hear or read as fact. Even in the smallest of affairs, the power and effect of honesty are felt and appreciated.

Honesty is not only desirable in our dealings, it’s also linked to better health. Research* suggests that frequent lying, deceit, fabrication, or misrepresentation of the truth in our lives or in our conversations – or even accepting “fake news” as truth – can have unexpected ramifications, leading to stress and chronic pessimism.

One study at a university found that lying and cheating were common and even became quite acceptable as fellow-students were also seen to be lying and cheating. Furthermore, behavioural scientist, Professor Dan Ariely from Duke University, postulates* that we all lie to some degree, with rationalisations for our actions including the desire to look clever or cooler to others (to be the person we wish we were) or to obtain some reward.

However, in the study, cheating decreased dramatically when participants were asked to swear on the Bible or sign an honour code, or try to list the Ten Commandments before the test. Then, not one cheated!

The results suggest that, when the presence of a higher power is brought to bear on the situation, it spurs us to identify ourselves with the truthful behaviours we associate with divinity. And, this, lifts us out of poor behaviours.

Our better nature is evidently detectable despite the “alternative facts” arguing how flawed we are. When reminded of our diviner nature, our innate honesty and goodness quite naturally take precedence.

The “fake news” phenomenon is not unique to this period in history. The practice of accepting those “alternative facts,” and acting on them to our detriment, has been around since before the Adam and Eve story was first conceived; and, some surmise, is the basis for it. The allegory presents man “as mutable and mortal, – as having broken away from Deity and as revolving in an orbit of his own,” explains Christian reformer, Mary Baker Eddy.

“Spiritually followed, the book of Genesis is the history of the untrue image of God, named a sinful mortal. This deflection of being, rightly viewed, serves to suggest the proper reflection of God and the spiritual actuality of man, as given in the first chapter of Genesis.” Eddy saw that identifying the true record of creation is paramount to understanding our real nature. “And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good…”; it was honest and upright.

Having their origin in God, in Truth itself, these attributes are beyond human goodness. When claimed as ours, they give us dominion and heal what is not true or good in our lives – our poor behaviours, as well as our sick bodies.

When problems seem insurmountable, we’re basing our assessment on the fable that we can be separated from good, or God. That belief is literally and figuratively “post-truth.”

There was a time when I faced what seemed to be an insurmountable problem at work. I was appointed to a new role with managerial responsibilities in a large organisation, which also included working on a project with a team of other managers. Unhappily for me, one of them treated me with utter contempt in this new role, as she believed I was less than qualified and the appointment process had lacked integrity.

Feeling resentful wasn’t helping me or the situation, nor were efforts to try to prove myself. Events compelled me to turn from the Adam-dream outlook: meaning that every time I saw her or thought about her I worked hard to identify her divine nature; her honesty, integrity and kindness. It became no longer credible that meanness or prejudice could be part of this lady, or that I could be a victim of misunderstanding.

Gradually, she responded to my quiet effort to “see” what was true about us: her behaviour towards me changed so that there was no more friction, and we ended up having a respectful and harmonious working relationship over several years.

If we each learn how to be more spiritually discerning, we can prevent a loss of trust in the wider society. We won’t buy into fake news or images about colleagues, family, journalists and politicians; or, be tempted to copy them.

Research into lying: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/08/20/how-lying-affects-your-health

Video: (Dis)honesty-the truth about lies: http://netflixaustralia.org/movies/dishonesty-the-truth-about-lies/

This article was contributed by Kay Stroud, a life-long Christian Scientist, who is a freelance writer focussing on the undeniable connection between our thinking and our experience including our health.  She writes for metropolitan and regional news media throughout Australia and beyond, and is a regular contributor to Australia’s national forum, Online Opinion, and the APN regional network in Northern NSW and Queensland.

You can follow her blog at www.health4thinkers.com

or follow her on twitter:  www.twitter.com/KayJStroud

Posted March 29, 2017 by cscanberra in Kay Stroud, Thought, Values

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What is Truth?   Leave a comment

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACS Perspective by Keith S. Collins

It seems to have become a truism that Americans are living in parallel universes. What passes for truth on the “left” of the political spectrum becomes distortions or even lies on the “right.” And, of course, vice versa.

Large groups holding passionately to opposing versions of truth is clearly unsustainable for a country that wants to live in peace. Can anything be done to help bring order to the situation? From my own experience, I believe what’s needed is spiritual insight … Read more …

This article, What is Truth?, was originally published in the Christian Science Monitor.

Hearing the ‘Still Small Voice’ in the Face of the Storm   Leave a comment

shutterstock_78699079A Christian Science perspective:  Praying for safety during stormy weather.

by Allison J. Rose-Sonnesyn

On a cross-country move several years ago, a friend and I were driving across South Dakota when a weather report announced that a massive supercell thunderstorm was right behind us, following our route to the hotel we booked part way across the state.  The situation was quite serious, as tornadoes were expected to accompany the storm, and we were very exposed.

For a few moments, I felt afraid.  But I have learned through my study of Christian Science that as children of God – which all of us are – we are never truly helpless.  … Read more …

In this article, Hearing the ‘Still Small Voice’ in the Face of the Storm, Allison describes the prayer that brought a sense of peace and safety during a dangerous storm.  This article was originally published in the CS Perspective feature of the Christian Science Monitor.

Love is What Matters   Leave a comment

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shutterstock_155666645.

Daily Lift by Scott Preller

In this 3 minute talk Scott talks asks the question:  What would you do if you had just one day left on this planet?

Surprisingly most people come up with the same answer.  See if you agree.

Lost Phone Found   Leave a comment

dscn5602The Christian Science Church – a part of the Canberra community.  Members share testimonies and talk about their lives as Christian Scientists. 

This article, Lost Phone Found, is by a member of the Christian Science Church in Canberra.   In it the writer tells how her prayers calmed her fears and led to the recovery of the phone.

Last year my sister and I had the opportunity to spend a few days in a game reserve in South Africa.  It was a wonderful experience and we took advantage of the early morning and late afternoon game viewing safaris that were offered.  Between us we took many, many photos of the beautiful scenery and magnificent animals.

My sister was taking photos on her iPhone and I was using my camera.  On our last trip out, at our half-way stop my sister realised that her phone was missing.  We had been sitting in the very back seat which projected out over the end of the open safari vehicle.  The tracks were very bumpy and we guessed that at some point her phone must have bounced out of her pocket and fallen onto the road.  We thought back to the last time she remembered using it; she had taken pictures of buffaloes about 20 minutes back.

Our guide was wonderful and offered to return to the buffaloes in the hope of finding it.  Each of the seven passengers on the trip hung out of the vehicle watching on all sides as we slowly retraced our steps.  At first my sister seemed quite subdued.  Apart from her photos, the phone contained all her work contacts and other valued information.

My sister and I were brought up in a Christian Science family and it was natural for us to turn to God in prayer when situations like this occurred.  I knew she was praying.  In my prayer I claimed that God, who I know as infinite Mind, knew all things and that nothing could be lost to infinite Mind.  At first I found it difficult to get over the sense of disappointment for my sister.  I didn’t like to see her sad.  But then I realized that this was not about a phone or about my sister; it was about what I trusted.  Did I really believe that God was good and that we were safe in His care?  Did I really believe that God was the only Mind, the only power?  Did I really believe that God was love?  I have had so many healings and demonstrations of these truths that I absolutely had to say:  Yes!  I do believe!  As I came to this realization all sense of unrest left me and I felt totally comfortable in His love and care.  At the same time my sister said: “It’s only a phone, you know.  I can easily get another one” and she seemed relaxed and happy again.

Despite everyone’s concentrated efforts scrutinising the track we travelled all the way back to the buffaloes without finding the phone.  It was now late in the afternoon; the light was dimming and our guide said it was time to head back.  Still the comfortable feeling that all was well didn’t leave me, and my sister continued to be happy and relaxed.  I knew she was feeling the same.   About ten or twelve minutes down the track the young man at the very front of the vehicle called out for the driver to stop.  He jumped out and picked up the phone.  This was the very spot on the track where I had decided to trust and where my sister, through her prayers, had been released from all sense of loss.  We had actually driven over the phone but there was not a mark on it – it was perfect.

Situations like this teach me that it is safe to trust in God’s love.  I am reminded of Jesus’ statement:  Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free (John 8: 32).  The truth is that God is love (I John 4: 8).  This is a law that can be relied upon.

To read more testimonies of healing shared by members of the Christian Science Church in Canberra click on the archive headings on the left for May, June and October 2016.

 

 

Safe in God’s Care   Leave a comment

dscn1015The Christian Science Church – a part of the Canberra community.  Members share testimonies and talk about their lives as Christian Scientists. 

This article, ‘Safe in God’s Care’, is by a member of the Christian Science Church in Canberra.   In it the writer tells of protection from injury and a harmonious outcome after her car ran off the road.

God’s love and care are available to all mankind as man is God’s own child, whether that is accepted or not.  As a Christian I study the Bible, and as a Christian Scientist I also study the textbook of Christian Science, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, both on a daily basis.

Mankind have daily proofs of God’s care in many ways.  Sometimes these proofs come as beautiful angel messages, or perhaps guidance to do or act differently.  Other times they can be life-saving experiences.

Some years ago, I had a great need to reach out to God as I lost control of the car I was driving, and found myself spinning across the road with any loose items from my car flying round about me.

The road I was travelling on was very familiar to me – a curving slope in a rural area. Rain had caused a pot hole, which I did not see, to develop in the bitumen, and when the tyre of the car hit the hole the car spun around, rolled over and came to rest on the other side of the road facing in a different direction.  The spinning probably only lasted moments, but in that time I remembered turning to God and shouting out, “God is my life”.  I am not really sure if I shouted out verbally or in my thinking, but I do know that I was very vehement.

When the vehicle came to rest I was able to open the passengers door and climb out, entirely free from any damage or injury.  The next car that came along was driven by some neighbours and they were able to take me home.

I continued to pray by affirming passages from Science and Health.  One was about accidents and says, “Under divine Providence there can be no accidents, since there is no room for imperfection in perfection” (p 424: 9); and on page 207: 20 “There is but one primal cause, therefore there can be no effect from any other cause, and there can be no reality in aught which does not proceed from this great and only cause.”

There were no symptoms of shock or any other after effects, even though the car was written off by the insurance company.

How grateful I am to be able to share this experience and to give all glory to God.

To read more testimonies of healing shared by members of the Christian Science Church in Canberra click on the archive headings on the left for May, June and October 2016.

(Photo:  Christian Science Church, Canberra from the air)

 

Have More Patience! It’s Good for Your Health   Leave a comment

beverlys-picAt this time of year, life can be very hectic. Holidays are over. It’s back-to-school and back-to-work time for many families. Teachers are making preparations. Parents are working hard to establish a smooth daily routine that enables them to get their children up and out-the-door on time. Such an undertaking can be a challenge! As one father said, “Getting kids ready for school each day would test the patience of a Saint”. What’s the answer? Have MORE patience. It’s good for your health.

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HAVE MORE PATIENCE

Teachers, parents, and child-minding grandparents, often need truckloads of patience. Why? Because this relationship-smoothing, health-giving quality of thought produces well-balanced, harmonious, daily activity. It fosters calmness, and enables us to be tolerant of delays or problems, without becoming angry or upset. Patience is so valuable and needed these days that it’s considered to be a virtue – a character trait that’s not only morally good, but very desirable in every person.

TIPS

– Overcome frustrating family situations with patience. Stay calm. Don’t let anyone or anything upset you.

– Master the art of patience. Embrace it more fully. Patience helps build emotional and spiritual maturity. It produces a better balanced mental state and attitude to family life. It enables you to move through stressful times with grace and poise.

– Have patience with learning, and with learners. Be prepared to teach kids what they have to do as part of the daily routine. Establish a logical order for the day ahead. In time you’ll build helpful attitudes and practices, and achieve a smooth running household.

– In dealing with a difficult, or grumpy family member, resist the impulse to react. Stay calm-and-collected. “Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” Bible James 1:19

– Remind yourself that you have an abundance of self-control. You have patience. You’ve been created a cool, composed, unruffled person. You have equanimity – evenness of mind. You’re mentally balanced.

– If confronted with willfulness or disobedience, take a deep breath. Stay loving. A loving attitude helps you stay patient, calm. It helps you keep an emotional balance. Love “…is not easily provoked”. Bible 1 Corinthians 13:5

– Remember what’s most needed from all of us – parents, children and teachers, is “… growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds.” – Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health p.4

– Be calm. Resolve delays or problems without becoming angry or upset. Be proactive. Have MORE patience. You’ll find it’s good for your health.

This article was contributed by Beverly Goldsmith who is a former secondary school teacher and is now a health blogger and a practitioner and teacher of Christian Science healing.

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