Archive for April 2018

It’s never too late to experience healing   Leave a comment

Otama cliff top +When my daughter was still very young, joint problems developed in one of my hands. As the condition worsened and my knuckles became disfigured, I feared that perhaps it was too late to stop the degenerating process that seemed to have taken root.

As this problem emerged, I became very conscious of a spiritual hunger in me that I had been putting to one side for some years in the face of day-to-day life with school, a career, and then family. But I knew the Bible to be a source of healing, so I turned to the words of the prophet Isaiah and found a comforting message of God’s power to meet our need even when a situation seems beyond hope. Isaiah wrote: “He will not break off a damaged cattail. He will not even put out a smoking wick” (42:3, God’s Word Translation).

I thought of a flower blowing in the breeze until its stem is so weakened that the blossom head droops. And I considered a candlewick burnt until only a single plume of smoke remains to indicate the flame that once had been. These metaphors illustrate what would seem to be past saving. And the tendency may be to hasten the seemingly inevitable – to snap off the head of the flower or to quench the last ember.

But renewal is a reasonable expectation when we understand the healing and saving nature of the divine Spirit, God. ……..

At one point I looked down at the disfigurement and said aloud to myself, “That has nothing to do with me.” Nothing had changed physically, but my understanding of my nature had shifted from a material to a spiritual base. When I looked at my hand, it was as if I were looking at a dark shadow made by “a declining sun.” Unafraid, I knew the shadow was without substance or power to harm and would pass off me.

When I woke the next day, my knuckles were perfectly normal, smooth, supple, and painless, restored to normal color and function – in a word, perfect. And in the many decades since, no such symptoms have ever recurred.

The yearning to understand God, the immortal Spirit, as the source and maintainer of us all reveals what it means to be truly and fully spiritual as God’s creation – including experiencing the beauty, grandeur, and fullness of life that we at all times have every right to enjoy.

In order to read the full article by Michelle Boccanfuso Nanouche from the Christian Science Monitor’s A Christian Science Perspective and follow the transformation of the writer’s thought, click here

Photo credit: Maggie Johnson

Earth Day   Leave a comment

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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).


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