Archive for the ‘Brotherhood’ Category

Love is Powerful   Leave a comment

 

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Deborah shares with us a powerful solution that dissolved a scary situation through the power of brotherly love.

 

 

 

 

 

Listen to this Daily lift by Deborah Huebsch:

“Dinner” with the enemy   Leave a comment

By Jenny Sawyer

My group of friends and I really didn’t like the way this one girl was acting. She was rude, and she put others down to make herself look good. She’d also singled me out for particularly bad treatment. …

IMG_1310Even though Christ Jesus lived two thousand years ago, I still think of him as my go-to expert on relationships. So in considering how I could think more constructively about this girl, maybe even learn to love her, I took a look at the New Testament in the Bible to see how Jesus treated people who weren’t behaving their best. What I noticed was that Jesus willingly spent time with these individuals whom the Bible calls “sinners.” He even had dinner with them!

Are we willing to sit down, really take the time, and be witnesses to the God-created, good, spiritual nature in those we feel we dislike, even despise? I’ve taken to inviting one person each day to dinner—metaphorically speaking—be it an authority figure I’m unhappy with, or someone I feel hasn’t treated me very nicely. Then, in that quiet place of prayer, I sit with my concept of them until it’s polished, transformed….

Practice ‘dissolving’ hate!   Leave a comment

By Luisella Jaques-Deraney

Hate is like sediment in water. It builds up layer upon layer to “clog” the natural flow of relations between individuals or groups till situations explode. There is, however, a way to permanently remove hate. It is to dissolve it with another element—to break it down to the point that, first, it can no longer resist, and then isn’t there anymore. This hate-dissolving element is the love that accompanies the recognition of God’s presence even in desperate situations.

I haDSCF2483ve seen it work over and over again.

At one point I worked as a delegate of the International Red Cross in countries where internal troubles existed. My main work was to visit political prisoners and to ensure protection to civilian populations according to the Fourth Geneva Convention.*

It’s not easy to cope with the stress of this kind of job. When potential danger and fighting become your daily bread, you can get caught in the circle of hatred.

How do you keep safe, sane, and helpful in such conditions?

Click here to keep on reading and find out more:

Love’s Triumph Over Hate   Leave a comment

Silhouette of people watching sunset at lakeOne of mankind’s worst enemies is hatred.  It may be discomforting to be hated, but it’s injurious to do the hating.  One who hates, harboring intense animosity against another, sometimes feels the bad effects physically in tension and other unhealthy stimulation of the body.  These symptoms should warn him of the danger he is courting by hating.

Mary Baker Eddy quotes Hannah More as saying, “If I wished to punish my enemy, I should make him hate somebody.”  And elsewhere Eddy warns:  “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.”  Yet she also reassures us, “Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you.”

This article, Love’s Triumph Over Hate by Naomi Price, was originally published in the Christian Science Journal.  It is currently available on-line at JHS-online.  In it she examines the question:  How can we love when others hate? 

Easter Reminds Us that Religious Values Can Benefit Society in More Ways than Have Yet Been Explored   Leave a comment

shutterstock_72790753We love to celebrate Easter.  And it’s not just the chocolate eggs, feasting and four-day weekend many of us enjoy.  There’s a national feeling of entitlement about this holiday.  Taking quality time to enjoy our “promised land” is as much a part of our collective psyche as is our propensity to forthrightness and our “she’ll be right” attitude.

Quaint as this may sound, the sense of being part of this wonderful country, which has historically upheld democracy, law and order, freedom of speech and religion, and equal access to opportunity, is integral to who we are.  Although we’re currently experiencing challenging repercussions from the overturning of some outdated attitudes about ourselves and our environment, these guiding principles continue to be borne out in our acceptance and mutual respect for people of every race, culture and religion.

To illustrate how this is evolving, a few weeks ago I sat at a table between an old friend, who is a Buddhist nun, and a Muslim Imam, who became a new friend.  Around the table were also Christians of several denominations, and men and women from the Jewish, Hindu and Baha’i faith communities.  We had come together at Parliament House, Sydney, under the auspices of APRO (the Australian Partnership of Religious Organisations), which comprises national representatives from the various faith communities in Australia, to discuss the benefits of religion and its key values to secular society.

We’d been set the task to identify shared values or ideals embraced by our own faith traditions, which, if employed more widely by individuals, groups and governments to tackle issues, could have a real bearing on the progress of society in measurable ways and help heal its divisions.

We discussed how these spiritual values profoundly influence and enter the minutiae of the lives of people of faith.

For instance, participants told of how they feel compelled to practise honesty and equity over seeking unfair business or personal profits as they obey the Golden Rule, doing unto others as they would want others to do to them.  They shared how religious values teach non-partisanship rather than taking sides; how their beliefs give them strength to more often choose spirituality over sensuality, brotherly love over self-interest, and humility over self-promotion.  We found we each had experienced more peace in our lives as an open-minded approach that trusts in a higher power was adopted, rather than letting fear or outrage manipulate our actions.  And we collectively acknowledged that when we cherish the value of forgiveness, we promote healing.

While these values can’t be co-opted by any one group, religious or not, there is tremendous consequence in championing their utilisation by society in general.

Consider how these kinds of spiritual values could practically assist construction of the budget, social services policy or our asylum-seeker program.

The forum identified the need for increased interfaith dialogue and willingness to engage with secular society and institutions.  Many of us went away with a deep desire to examine our own faith traditions and practices, and to root out evidence of intolerance, discrimination or prejudice.

My Christian faith reveals that the overarching need for individuals and for societies is “the fruit of the Spirit” found in “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance,” as St Paul discovered.  When we seek these first, ideas that meet our current need will be revealed, as my recent experience illustrates.

After weeks of searching, I’d settled on the perfect new home; it ticked all the boxes.  The thing was, it would cost every dollar we had and much more, so my husband was not keen to proceed.  Tension was escalating between us, as circumstances dictated that a decision be made over the upcoming weekend.  Taking a moment to acknowledge a higher power as governing, it struck me that a solution that benefitted us both equally could only appear as I ditched the general belief in conflicting minds and personal agendas.

In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Christian reformer, Mary Baker Eddy, explains the science of this changed perspective: “When we realize that there is one Mind, the divine law of loving our neighbor as ourselves is unfolded; whereas a belief in many ruling minds hinders man’s normal drift towards the one Mind, one God, and leads human thought into opposite channels where selfishness reigns.”

Previous experiences I’d had where solutions resulted from a similar spiritual approach meant that I was not really surprised when a new home came on the market that day in the right area and at the right price. The agent met us there within the hour.  My husband and I were both moved – as if we had one Mind – to decide there and then to purchase it.  I was in awe of the power of humility and patience.

As a Christian Scientist, Easter speaks to me of Jesus, our great example; of a life that expresses God and enfolds everyone in honesty, love, humility, patience, healing.

This article was contributed by Kay Stroud who writes about the connection between consciousness, spirituality and health, and trends in that field.  She practices Christian Science healing www.health4thinkers.com

 

Hate Loses Power   1 comment

shutterstock_90543814Daily Lift by Skip Phinney

Governments around the world are adopting very different strategies to deal with a growing sense of the differences between us.  Many of these strategies exaggerate the differences and diminish our similarities, and fear is often the outcome.

In this 3 minute talk Skip talks about how valuing the good in each individual and appreciating our common worth breaks down barriers and promotes the kind of peace and security we are all looking for.

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Healing Persecution and Discrimination   Leave a comment

shutterstock_75022426Healing Persecution and Discrimination – Readings from the Bible and the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

Have we not all one father?  hath not one God created us?  why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother? (Malachi 2: 10)

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar:  for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen how can he love God whom he hath not seen? (I John 4: 20)

Every Wednesday at 6.00 pm a Testimony Meeting is held at the Christian Science Church in Canberra.  Each meeting begins with readings selected from the two books designated as the Pastor of Christian Science:  The Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.  A new topic for the readings is selected each week.

At the conclusion of the short readings the congregation is invited to share thoughts on this topic and relate how they have used the principles of Christian Science to solve life’s problems and bring physical healing.

If you are in Canberra on any Wednesday please join us.  Everyone is welcome.

This recording represents the readings on the topic:  Healing Persecution and Discrimination.

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