Is It Possible to Change the World for the Better?   Leave a comment

In a world of increasing tensions, where solutions can be hard to come by, and instability is often the norm, it might seem that there’s very little an individual can do to make things better. At every turn, it seems we’re up against circumstances, or people, beyond our control. But in this interview the guests talk about how they have found that a turnaround for the better is neither unlikely nor unusual, when problems are approached from a spiritual standpoint. Hear how troubling situations were reversed and resolved through the power of God.

Click here to hear this fascinating 25 minute discussion with guests: Riley Seay, Kathryn Jones Dunton, Nathan A. Talbot. This program is part of the Sentinel Radio series produced by the Christian Science Publishing Society.

Unity – Our Natural Inclination   Leave a comment

A Daily Lift from Warren Berckmann CSB

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In this 3 minute talk Warren talks about how he has solved problems of strife and disunity by focussing on the higher true nature of man.

A new 3 minute inspirational talk is shared each day Monday-Friday. To listen to more click on the Daily Lift tab in the menu above.

Love is the Liberator   Leave a comment

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“A few immortal sentences, breathing the omnipotence of divine justice, have been potent to break despotic fetters and abolish the whipping-post and slave market; but oppression neither went down in blood, nor did the breath of freedom come from the cannon’s mouth. Love is the liberator”.

Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p225) by Mary Baker Eddy

The Golden Rule and Peace on Earth   1 comment

by Lynne Buckley-Quirk

Recently I have been feeling deep gratitude for the multitudes who are praying for peace and harmony in the world. Even though cultures, faiths, and traditions may differ, this universal acknowledgment of the effectiveness of praying for peace gives me hope that unity among people and nations is a present possibility, even in the midst of what appears to be chaos, hostility, and polarization. 

My hope that this universal prayer can bring about harmony and unity comes from something I learned years ago—that there is broad agreement about the observation and practice of what is known as the Golden Rule. Today, according to several internet sources, this “rule” is at the core of over ten religions that span the globe. In other words, a very large part of the global community understands that if we want to be treated with fairness, compassion, and equality, we ourselves should treat others that way. 

As a follower of Christianity, I strive to practice the rule as Christ Jesus taught it in his Sermon on the Mount: “Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12, Revised Standard Version).

Lynne goes on to explain how she demonstrated that unity among people and nations is a present possibility. Click here to read the full article in the Christian Science Sentinel.

Our Prayers Are Still Needed   Leave a comment

Recent events in the United States call on all of us to reach deeper with our hearts to find the power of infinite Love. The world needs all of us right now—needs every prayer that acknowledges the all-power of divine goodness and genuinely desires what is best for all. Evil is not power. It falls in the face of Christlike, spiritual goodness that embraces enemy and friend alike.

Thank you for all you’re doing through your prayers on the frontlines of facing down anything opposed to honor, respect, and dignity of all people. Click below to read a response to this week’s events, “Counteracting chaos and disorder” from the Editors of the Christian Science Sentinel.

Counteracting Chaos and Disorder by Larissa Snorek.

What Still Governs – Right Now   Leave a comment

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A Daily Lift from Roger Whiteway CS

In this 3 minute talk Roger explains how government based on spiritual law underlies all good human government and is the basis for harmony.

A Promise for the New Year   Leave a comment

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A Daily Lift from Deborah Huebsch CSB

In this uplifting 3 minute talk Deborah talks about why she is hopeful about the new year. She shares the reasons her hope is not just wishful thinking but is based on Biblical promises.

A new 3 minute inspirational talk is shared each day Monday-Friday. To listen to more click on the Daily Lift tab in the menu above.

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The Reason for Existing   Leave a comment

by Allison W. Phinney

Good wins every time.  
Overcome evil with good. 
Together we are strong.

You might be asking, where did those statements come from? Was it from some new, contemporary translation of the Bible? The answer is that these comments just poured out from the hearts of ordinary people. They were written on cards, marked on store windows, printed on caps and T-shirts by people in Boston at the time of the Marathon bombing. 

Similar phenomena are occurring in response to terrorist attacks, shootings, and other dangerous situations around the world. In the United States, a high school teacher without a weapon tackles a shooter in the classroom as he reloads. In Paris, a twenty-two-year-old Malian immigrant spies a four-year-old child dangling from an apartment balcony five floors up. He scales the outside of the building with bare hands and saves the child while onlookers cheer. He says, “I didn’t think about it. I climbed up and God helped me.” 

Passionate solidarity, love for good, and care about each other are rising up again and again in the midst of mindless evil and danger.

Why is that? Because people, at bottom, are good? But then why is that the case? 

What if, instead of writing off these spurts of wondrous and inspiring good, we see something deeper about them—see that they could even be said to point to a scientific fact, the evidence of a universal principle? What if that principle is more significant than even what seems the basic impression of life—more capable of lifting us up out of our supposed mental and physical limits as human beings? 

Well, in fact, that Principle is always there, always at work in us and everyone else, but we’re so preoccupied with a self and its history and likely future prospects, we often don’t notice until something truer gets our attention and takes over.  It’s then we realize that we’re part of something much larger—that whatever good we’re expressing isn’t our own possession, so to speak.  Therefore it’s not something we can lose through long, preoccupied periods of business-as-usual attitudes or spoil through persistent unworthiness. It may get temporarily obscured, but in fact it never goes away because behind it is universal Principle. 

This was made apparent in the experience of a friend, who was overwhelmed by the passing of several people he worked with in his industry. They had died of drug overdoses. He then obtained a handgun with which to end his own life. He felt he couldn’t believe in God anymore because of what had happened. But nevertheless, he asked a Christian Science practitioner for treatment through prayer. Day by day he found himself going forward in spite of what seemed his own despair and loss of reason for living. He’d also fallen into taking the same drugs that had caused the death of his friends. But finally, he threw the gun into the ocean. 

It was a new beginning, in a more radical sense than he at first realized. He changed careers, excelled in learning new skills, completely lost any drug dependence. And a new, powerful, and lasting sense of purpose in serving the Cause of Christian Science showed up in his life. 

That sense of purpose was far greater than some psychologically recognized shift of mood or an attempt at positive thinking. It was, in fact, “finding himself,” as is sometimes said. Even more than that, it was finding his actual identity and that identity’s natural part in something larger—in the expression of the universal, divine Principle that is the source of good.

Expressing a love that isn’t just unselfish but is also unhampered by a mistaken personal sense of identity leads us to the real nature of humanity.

A passage in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, spells it out: “As an active portion of one stupendous whole, goodness identifies man with universal good. Thus may each member of this church rise above the oft-repeated inquiry, What am I? to the scientific response: I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing” (p. 165).

Simply put, expressing a love that isn’t just unselfish but is also unhampered by a mistaken personal sense of identity leads us to the real nature of humanity, and of individual identity, too. The Bible’s been saying that for centuries, of course. 

Job, in the Bible, after running into the disasters and evils of human experience, cried—and probably pretty literally—“My days are past, my purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart” (Job 17:11). But he was finally, through persistent obedience to God, able not just to hear words about God but to “see,” or feel, the presence and comforting of God, good.

You could say Job felt what the prophet Isaiah wrote down: “The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand…. This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth” (Isaiah 14:24, 26).

Recognizing this all-encompassing purpose of good, which we’ve glimpsed in the worst of human circumstances, we’re more apt to respond to the divine purpose that takes us forward, despite all the vivid “reasons” of a negative human outlook. With the help of Christian Science, we discover the untruth of the material sense of existence, and instead begin to get the true idea of God and His spiritual creation that Christ Jesus promised sets human beings free of all sorts of troubles, whether despair or sin or disease. 

We find that not only do we naturally feel a greater love for others, but we’re also impelled by more joy and a sense of definite purpose beyond anything we might have thought we had. Each experience of healing makes this divine Principle, the Love that is God, more readily apparent. And it brings an eye-opening new understanding of what life is truly all about.

This article, by Allison (Skip) Phinney, was originally published in the Christian Science Sentinel. Click here to read it directly from the Sentinel or to listen to the spoken version.

Think New Thoughts   Leave a comment

by Amy Richmond

Q: How can I deal with old memories that keep popping randomly into my thoughts?

A: “That’s the restaurant where my ex and I had that fight.” 

“There’s the shopping mall I went to with my family.”

“That’s where we had the big lunch after the funeral.” 

The things I remembered from this particular stretch of roadway weren’t all bad, but every time my car made its way past the various stores and restaurants, I’d routinely go over some of the memories I had from the area. What was silly about this was that either the memories were so mundane it was pointless to think about them, or I’d already dealt with the emotions from the incidents I remembered—I’d forgiven what needed forgiving and moved past any resentments. In other words, these memories were actually pretty pointless; but still, back they came.

It didn’t seem like a big deal. But one day, as I was driving along ticking off the same old recollections, what I heard felt like God talking to me. The message came out of nowhere and grabbed my attention—in a good way. 

“Think new thoughts.”

As I thought about what this meant, it occurred to me that most of these memories involved things that had been healed as I’d understood more about God’s love and care for me and everyone. So now I could move on even more fully and accept complete healing. The message “Think new thoughts” indicated that I could build on what I’d learned about God and let the past go.

What’s great about these kinds of messages from God is that God never gives us something to do without the ability to do it, because God is good. So in that moment, I knew I didn’t have to be sucked into thinking about stuff that wasn’t contributing anything to my life today. Each moment is fresh and new, so my thoughts could be, too.

My study and practice of Christian Science have shown me that the ability to hear God’s thoughts comes from God and brings blessings. As I’ve learned to live more in the present with these good thoughts instead of the past—or the future!—I’ve experienced quicker healings and had a more satisfying life all around. It may seem like we don’t have power over the thoughts that come to us—especially ones that repeat themselves! But I’ve learned that anything that God wouldn’t and didn’t create, like repetitive, unproductive thoughts, can be seen for what it is—useless and powerless—and we can be free from it. For the first time, I realized I had a choice: I didn’t have to allow my thoughts to go on in a mindless loop that would prevent me from listening to productive thoughts from God and experiencing the benefits of learning more about what God is.

I’m going to be honest: I didn’t immediately abandon the old thoughts. I had a few drives when those memories came flooding back. But now that I was aware of them, whenever the old, boring thoughts presented themselves, I made an effort to listen instead to new ideas from God. And what I heard was really great. Sometimes I heard expansive spiritual ideas that opened up my concept of God in big, beautiful, healing ways. Other times I could just move on to thinking productively. It wasn’t long before the repetitive thoughts stopped entirely, and I was blessed with a powerful awareness of all the divine goodness that was mine, right here in the present.

The new year often prompts us to think about change—about doing and thinking about things in new ways. But fresh thoughts from God are a beautiful gift to each of us that are available every single day, every moment. These fresh spiritual ideas bring healing, too! If there’s something in your life that you need to deal with that seems routine or detrimental, there’s a fresh, spiritual perspective available right now to help you do so. Why not embrace it?

Click here to listen to this article or to read it directly from the January 2, 2020 Christian Science Sentinel.

Is God Real? Seek and Find   Leave a comment

Some thoughts on renewal in the New Year.

by Barbara Vining

I can tell you that God is real to me, and that I regularly experience God’s care—but that won’t be convincing to you until you yourself search for God, find Truth, and experience proof of God’s reality and care.

The major problem, through the ages, is that the human mind tries to find God within a material frame of reference. But the real God can’t be found that way any more than the real substance of good can be found that way. Good exists to be seen, loved, and expressed by anyone in spiritual qualities such as kindness, gentleness, purity, justice, and mercy. And it is universally available for everyone.

That’s one way I know God—as good itself, which is here and everywhere, even where evil claims to be the reality. Christ Jesus said we could find God as the actual and ever-present reality—the saving, healing, and redeeming power—by seeking God and loving God with all our heart (see Matthew 6:31–33 and Mark 12:30).

It’s natural to love good. So, perhaps a good starting point for a new year would be to look for God by nurturing within ourselves the goodness of pure, spiritual qualities, and by looking for opportunities to express these qualities. Everyone wants to see good expressed by others—and it’s heartening when we do. But sometimes finding expressions of good in human experience can be a really big challenge. That’s when we may be hard pressed to think of God, good, as real. But here’s a biblical promise that helps: “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13, New King James Version). With all our heart. Not halfheartedly, or with our eyes or our emotions or human will, and not out of fear, but with love.

It can help to start by searching for good in the ideas of goodness—the idea of justice, the idea of mercy, the idea of forgiveness, and so on—that you yearn to see expressed. These qualities are real. They have a creator, and they exist for you, and anyone, to love and express. I have found that in proportion as I love these qualities and strive to express them, I find God, good, to be real. And we all can set out on a heartfelt search for the unseen spiritual goodness that does exist in others, discern it, and love them on this basis. I’ve often been amazed and delighted when I’ve been cherishing the good discernible in another, and there is a spontaneous awakening within that one of an inherent goodness they previously had not felt or recognized. We can each love individuals this way day by day, in our home, our workplace or school, our community, and in our prayers for hungering human hearts throughout the world. 

This takes dedication, lots of it. But that’s how proof that God is real comes into human experience—in human needs being met, in hearts being comforted and encouraged, in physical healing, and in characters reformed. Mary Baker Eddy spoke from experience when she wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “The divine Principle of healing is proved in the personal experience of any sincere seeker of Truth” (p. x). God, good, is that Principle.

There is a lifetime of learning about God to be found in the Bible and in Science and Health: that God is Love, Spirit, Life, and Truth. That we are made in God’s image, spiritual and perfect. That we consist of beautiful qualities inherent in us as God’s reflection. And this learning and proof come to each “sincere seeker of Truth” through moment-by-moment, sincere seeking and finding.

Let’s start today, then, to seek God through our spiritual sense—through the constant, God-given ability we all have to be aware of and feel God’s presence and love. Where spiritual good seems absent in any instance, we can find it by knowing that it is present to be found right here and now. We don’t find spiritual good simply through observation of the physical world; nor can what the physical senses observe prevent us from finding divine good and seeing the power of God to improve what is seen and experienced. 

Jesus proved the presence and reality of God, good, right where evil was claiming reality in the form of sickness, sin, and even death. By knowing and loving the spiritual good that is always present, he healed the sick, redeemed the sinner, and raised the dead. That’s how he proved that God is real. And that’s how we can prove it.

So, look for good right where you are right now. Look for it with your heart—through genuine prayerful searching, and through discovering and loving the good that is discernible in others and in yourself. With sincere and persistent effort you will find it. And this will prove to you—and others—that God, good, not evil, truly is the living reality and power. And what a happy year that will be—one day at a time!

Click here to listen to this article by Barbara Vining or to read it directly from the December 19, 2019 Christian Science Sentinel.

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