Archive for the ‘Natural Disaster’ Category

Fire on the mountain   2 comments

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

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.

Gratitude for Protection   Leave a comment

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

shutterstock_62922805This article, Gratitude for Protection, is shared by Barbara who is a member of the Christian Science Church in Canberra.  In it she describes her introduction to Christian Science and a significant instance of protection during a bush fire.

Recently I read a verse from the Bible which I will quote in part, “Whatsoever things are of good report; … think on these things” (Phil 4:8).  This verse reminded me of how much good I have to be grateful for in my life.  I have come to recognize that our Creator, God, (ever present good) is the one and only source of all harmony for all of His children.

In my case, this has come about through the teachings of Christian Science as given in the textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

Many years ago I became interested in these teachings through witnessing a remarkable healing which my mother had.  At this time, she was suffering from a nervous break-down with strong suicidal tendencies.  She herself had heard of Christian Science through her brother who had been healed of a broken neck, and was leading a normal life.  She sought the help of a Christian Science practitioner, one who prays, as Jesus did, for the recovery of the sick, or of any inharmony in one’s life.

Gradually literature such as the Christian Science Sentinel and Journal began to appear in the home, as well as the textbook.  At first I started to read these, wondering if I could help my mother, and to find out what it was that she was studying.  I was so taken by the logic of what I read, that I could not stop reading.  This was my introduction to the teachings of Christian Science, and since then I have had daily proof of the omnipotence and omnipresence of God, good.

Apart from daily blessings there have been potentially life threatening experiences where the acknowledgement of God’s law of harmony has saved me and others from grim situations.

One such situation which I would like to share with you is being protected in a bush fire.  My husband and I were living rurally at the time, and there were out breaks of fire in the district in a number of places.  On this particular day the fire was roaring up from the gully towards several properties and fanned by a wind that seems to drive the fire forward.

The usual precautions had been taken to protect the house, like the grass being cut short around the home, gutters filled with water and buckets of water in place.  The only water available was precious tank water.  The rural fire brigade must have been elsewhere attending to other fires, and the fire fighters on our property had only wet bags on the ends of long handles to beat the flames as they engulfed the bush and the grass.

The picture was so overwhelming that I did not seem to be able to get a thought that would calm me, and I well knew that it had to be a message from God.  I felt like a little child, and the prayer for little children written by Mary Baker Eddy, which I had taught to my children rescued me.  It says “Father, Mother, God, loving me, Guard me when I sleep, Guide my little feet up to Thee.”  What I got from that was a trust in God that He would guard and guide and all would be well.

Almost immediately we had people as it seemed, just come from everywhere, to assist.  Our house and the fire were a goodly distance from the main road, but people just came down the house road with all manner of helpful things.  One man came in a small utility truck with a tank on the back full of liquid which he sprayed from a pump.  We later found that it was an insecticide, but it helped douse the flames.  Others came just as they saw the smoke from the main road.  Another man who lived further along the road eventually left us to go and check out his own property, and there were others, and more stories.

Both properties closest to the fire were saved, and of course those further up the hill were also out of danger.  There was no loss of life in the vicinity, praise be to God.  To me, this is indeed “good report”, and I love to “think on these things”.

Nor the Smell of Fire   Leave a comment

shutterstock_112221542Nor the Smell of Fire – Readings from the Bible and the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker EddyThoughts to support prayers for those experiencing the force of natural disaster.

And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellers, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. (The Bible – Daniel 3: 23, 27)

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:  Nor the Smell of Fire.

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