Archive for the ‘Religious Conflict’ Category

Brothers and Sisters Forever   1 comment

A Daily Lift by Joel Magnes

In this 4 minute talk Joel tells of the sense of unity and cooperation that he felt living in New York in the days following the 9/11 attack. He describes how not religion, ethnicity nor background seemed to separate people – there was deep feeling of pulling together for the common good.

Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? (The Bible – Malachi 2: 10)

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Safe Evacuation from Afghanistan   2 comments

The members of the Christian Science community in Canberra share their experiences and thoughts on Christian Science:

About two weeks ago, along with others around the world I watched on TV the fall of Kabul and the urgent rush for people to get on a plane out of Afghanistan.  The scenes were horrific and prompted me to pray about the presence of Love and order operating right there, even though it only looked like chaos.

A couple of days after I was prompted to pray this way, on Monday 16th August, I received a text message from a friend of one of my daughters.  She knew I was a Christian Science practitioner and she asked me if I could pray for the safety of the wife and baby daughter of a good friend of hers.  The friend worked for the Australian government and was in Canberra but his wife and daughter were in Kabul, in all the mayhem, trying to get out on a Defence plane.

I texted back immediately reminding her and her friend that Allah, being another word for I AM or God, was with the little family and I would pray to see evidence of this.  I also assured my friend that she had the spiritual capacity to recognise God’s protective love and we could catch a glimpse of this together.

Later the same day, they received an email from the Australian Government saying that the application for citizenship had been escalated and steps were being taken in Kabul to forward the administration.  I knew that ‘red tape’ didn’t have more power than the divine law of good.  

The next contact was two days later, to tell me that the little family had been told by government to wait at home till instructed to go to the airport.  This was a period of quiet trust in God and hope that safe passage to the airport was being organised.  My friend texted me “divine law is operating despite appearances” – I was thrilled to see this tone of her thought.  

A few days later a text came at 2:30 am to tell me that the mother and baby were safely inside the airport.  As I lay in bed I thought further about the safety of the mother and child and the tender care God was taking of all His creation. Even in the best of circumstances I’ve flown long flights with babies and young children and it can be challenging.  Seeing the images of those fleeing Afghanistan crushed into defence planes, I prayed specifically for the baby to feel at peace.  Later that morning another text came to say they were on the plane and close to landing in Dubai.  I shared with my friend a Bible verse I often use when travelling: “Behold I send an angel before you to keep you in the way’ (Exodus 23:20).  We were gratefully watching this promise from God being fulfilled.

The next text told of how the mother and child had had a couple of nights at a military base in Dubai.  Accompanying this message was a photo of the smiling baby girl in a little pink dress, looking very much at peace.  Next they let me know they were in Melbourne in quarantine and the friend of my friend, who had sparked this prayer journey a week earlier, was on his way from Canberra to meet up with his wife and child.  He had official permission to be with them during their COVID quarantine period.  

When the request came to pray for someone trying to escape from Kabul under those chaotic circumstances, I was grateful that Principle, the law of Love, was powerful enough to respond.  Once I started giving focussed prayer to the danger as the Taliban took over, I felt the power of prayer from around the world.  There was a palpable sense of God being on the field.  These last couple of weeks have brought into focus for me a little more of what Mary Baker Eddy hoped for Christian Scientists:

During this final conflict, wicked minds will endeavor to find means by which to accomplish more evil; but those who discern Christian Science will hold crime in check. They will aid in the ejection of error. They will maintain law and order, and cheerfully await the certainty of ultimate perfection.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy p96:31)

With humility and gratitude I’m glad I could contribute to some modest ‘aid’ and I “cheerfully await the certainty of ultimate perfection”.  There is so much to be grateful for, as bit by bit I learn of the joy and relief of those involved in this escape from danger.

How Are You Praying for Afghanistan?   Leave a comment

Barbara Cook Spencer, a writer for the Christian Science Sentinel, shares her prayers for Afghanistan. She writes …

Like many others, I have been praying in recent days about the challenging situation in Afghanistan. The task of safely evacuating thousands of people seemed overwhelming to me. But as I earnestly prayed, the twenty-third Psalm suddenly came to thought in a totally new way, strengthening and comforting me. It begins, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (verse 1 ). In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy presents a spiritual interpretation of this line. She writes: “[Divine love ] is my shepherd; I shall not want” (p. 578 ).

At that moment, I saw divine Love, God, as the all-embracing, all-powerful, ever-tender, and disciplined Shepherd of every individual needing to leave Afghanistan. …

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Click here to read the full article where Barbara shares how her prayers brought her a sense of peace and hope. This article was originally published in an August 2021 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

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PSALM 23

       [Divine love ] is my shepherd; I shall not want. 
       [Love ] maketh me to lie down in green pastures: [love ] leadeth me beside the still waters. 
       [Love ] restoreth my soul [spiritual sense]: [love ] leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. 
       Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for [love ] is with me; [love ’s] rod and [love ’s] staff they comfort me. 
       [Love ] prepareth a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: [love ] anointeth my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 
       Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house [the consciousness] of [love ] for ever.” 

(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy p578)

Words to Live By   Leave a comment

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston

There is immense wisdom in the old proverb, “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty.” …

We should remember that the world is wide; that there are a thousand million different human wills, opinions, ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different history, constitution, culture, character, from all the rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless action and reaction upon each other of these different atoms. Then, we should go forth into life with the smallest expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful, great, and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction of the world shall not wear upon our sensibilities; with an equanimity so settled that no passing breath nor accidental disturbance shall agitate or ruffle it; with a charity broad enough to cover the whole world’s evil, and sweet enough to neutralize what is bitter in it, — determined not to be offended when no wrong is meant, nor even when it is, unless the offense be against God.

These words are taken from an article titled, Taking Offense, by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. They were published in her book, Miscellaneous Writings 1883-18896 pp223-224.

Love Thy Neighbour   1 comment

peer tutoringLove Thy Neighbour – Readings from the Bible and the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? … he who loves God must love his brother also. (John 4: 20, 21)

Every Wednesday at 6.15 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:  Love Thy Neighbour.

Help to heal our world; conquer fanaticism   1 comment

shutterstock_111413969What I most love about my country is our general lack of fanaticism – a startling contrast to recent high-profile instances of it here and elsewhere. I started thinking about this subject before the terrorism events in Paris, but those events have made dealing with fanatical thinking seem even more imperative.

A fanatic expresses excessive, irrational zeal. Far from taking an intelligent and well-informed stance on an issue, their passion and manic obsession with a cause or way of doing things colour their decision-making ability negatively.

Fanaticism about a political or religious philosophy that makes us feel superior; holding obsessively to a non-proven hypothesis; belief that there is only one way to play football and there’s a single worthy team; prejudice about what foods we should eat and the best way to cultivate them; or uncompromising belief that we only need to attend to the physical body to be healthy, are all too common habits that lead us down a slippery slope of intolerance. Fanatical beliefs are nearly always built on fear.

A red flag should go up if we find ourselves extremely sensitive about our viewpoint or hating anyone who opposes it.

Alternatively, common sense based on a positive stance, sure of a solution becoming apparent that will be good for everyone, is a better viewpoint. This demeanour is not just a good-old Aussie “she’ll be right” attitude, but grows out of a well-informed and caring approach to the world.

This is a spiritual approach that begins with ourselves – that is, feeling and accepting the love that comes from our divine source. It’s so much easier to love, when we’re feeling loved.

What will help the world through this current fermentation is our individual commitment to choosing love and understanding over hate and apathy.

I find it’s useful to ask myself: could I be a little more thoughtful and kinder with my comments? I’d have to confess that the answer is usually, “well, maybe.”

Try this scenario. If you could go back in time, would you choose to continually belittle our ancestors’ beliefs about a flat earth? Wouldn’t you instead gently nurture and point out bridges of understanding to help them comprehend the reality?

American Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, president of the Minaret of Freedom Institute was interviewed about possible motives for the killings at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Married to a Christian, Mr Ahmad holds a unique perspective on cross-cultural understanding (or misunderstandings) between Muslims and non-Muslims. He pointed out, “…it is one thing to make a joke about a rich man or a powerful man who slips and falls. It is something entirely different and not funny to make a joke about your poor old grandmother slipping and falling. To the Muslim people, jokes and cartoons about the faith of an oppressed people are not funny. They hurt.”

We all know how humiliation hurts, and most of us at some time have been down the road of wanting to lash out at a perceived enemy.

So, if we can empathise, we can forgive and work towards healing our world.

Academics and experienced change-managers in the field of terrorism psychology are stepping forward this week to share with the world some common patterns for success in de-radicalising regimes and terrorists. (http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2012/0525/Are-terrorists-beyond-redemption)

Surprisingly, these don’t include retribution but active, solution-based change-management, such as recognizing the needs of jihadists; finding them vocational education, jobs and even wives; and, recognizing the importance of their social network (http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2014/11/05/the-3-step-guide-to-de-radicalizing-jihadists/)

Whether or not you have a direct hand in these compassionate measures, you can begin to make a difference in the health of our wonderfully promising world by de-radicalising your own thinking.

Utilise this good advice to start the healing movement within your own circle:
•  “Hate no one; for hatred is a plague-spot that spreads its virus and kills at last…
•  If you have been badly wronged, forgive and forget…
•  Never return evil for evil;
•  and, above all, do not fancy that you have been wronged when you have not been.” (Mary Baker Eddy)

None of us have all the answers to the world’s problems right now, but today you can at least be a law to yourself to give up any fanatical beliefs you may be harbouring. This self-regulating action is also good for your stress levels, heart, immune system and much more.

This article is by Kay Stroud.  Her articles on the link between consciousness, spirituality and health appear regularly in APN print and online publications. For more information on these trends or answers to questions about Christian Science visit www.health4thinkers.com

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