Archive for the ‘spiritual identity’ Category

A boulder or a boat? Projects and divine Mind’s direction   Leave a comment

By Mara Purl

When you think about a large project you need to complete, what comes to thought? Do you picture yourself pushing a boulder up a steep hill? Or can you see yourself steering a graceful boat with sails full of wind?

Extraordinary breakthroughs are possible when we get glimpses of God, divine Mind, in operation, and commit to better understanding our relation to Mind.

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I was faced with a huge writing project… So extensive would be the research, so comprehensive the interviews, ….that the whole project seemed overwhelming, and I had no idea where to start. I reached out for help from a Christian Science practitioner, who basically told me that the project was already complete. 

At first, that seemed like the most bizarre thing anyone had ever told me! Of course, the practitioner had a great deal more of substance to say about God and my relation to Him. And as I began to grasp what she was saying, I realized that her bold opening comments would later come to represent a paradigm-shifting idea she was sharing.

Click here to read the entire article from the March 13, 2017 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

“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….

Changing course   Leave a comment

IMGP7100.JPGBy Michelle Boccanfuso Nanouche

A Christian Science perspective:  Hope to help heal the destruction and corruption of today can be gained through an inspired change of direction.

Patterns of destruction and corruption are at the heart of many problems today – from the abuse of power in politics to even the conflicts creating famine in Africa, as broadly discussed in a recent Monitor story (“UN says 1.4 million African children at risk in famine: Why there’s still hope,” Feb. 21, 2017). As we look for solutions, much of what’s needed is a change of course. But when answers require a redirection away from destructive behavior, is it reasonable to expect that we can see the change of thought needed for such a course correction?

This question is rooted in the fundamental and timeless inquiry of what we actually are.

 

In this article, “Changing Course“, Michelle explores what it takes to change major values and our perspective from a purely material view to a more spiritual one.  This article was originally published in the CS Perspective feature of the Christian Science Monitor.

Read the whole article:  Changing Course

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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Adaptation and Bouncing Forward   Leave a comment

shutterstock_145963115News can seem to be a nonstop narrative of tragedies and victims: an unceasing flow of children, women, and men routed by war, fleeing drought, epidemics, terrorists, repression. These victims need urgent help—first aid, food, shelter, recovery assistance, developmental know-how.

But while there will always be new tragedies and new victims, most of today’s victims will recover, rebuild, and get on with life. Read more

This article, Adaptation and Bouncing Forward by John Yemma, was currently published in the November 7, 2016 edition of the Christian Science Sentinel.  It can also be accessed at JHS-online.  In it he talks about the interesting and encouraging phenomenon of post-traumatic growth which is being witnessed in the majority of survivors of trauma. 

Conversation in a Taxi   Leave a comment

shutterstock_71230366by Kari Mashos

My taxi driver at busy Heathrow Airport met me with a friendly greeting, followed by an announcement that he was Muslim.  At first, I was unsure why he would feel the need to share his religion with me.  But then, sensitive to the fact that there were those who might feel fear and hate toward those of his faith in a climate of heightened security in England (and elsewhere), I reciprocated his handshake with a sincerely warm and friendly greeting.

…  At his prompting, we spoke of the urgent need to demonstrate the brotherhood of man.  Together we acknowledged God as the Father of all—making us all brothers and sisters. We spoke freely of our love for God, our children, and of our mutual desire to treat everyone as we would want to be treated.

Our conversation was evidence to me that despite the hatred and violence so often depicted between those of differing beliefs, there is a spiritual impetus that operates universally, ready and willing to impel every receptive heart to love. Read more

This article, Conversation in a Taxi, was originally published in the a June 2016 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.   It is also available on JHS-online.   In it Kari talks about how a pure love of God  unites rather than divides mankind.

Free from Anxiety   Leave a comment

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

This article, Free from Anxiety, is by Jen who is a member of the Christian Science Church in Canberra.  She describes how a change of thinking freed her from constant anxiety and gave her a sense of peace and harmony.

I love being a Christian Scientist, and diving deep into health, spirituality and identity, but it can be hard challenging ideas that are accepted as fact by the wider community.  Spiritual healing is seen as impractical and ineffective, and it is rare that I tell people that I rely on prayer when I am ill or injured. This is because it is assumed that I pray to a God who would create me capable of being in pain and then sometimes decides to award me a miracle and heal me.

For me, God is a creative, spiritual force that is completely good.   As Christian Scientists, we strive to look past sin, suffering and disease, and understand ourselves as primarily spiritual- as the representation of a higher creative power.  In asserting our spiritual identities, and understanding a higher creation, we unburden ourselves of thoughts that limit us to be inherently flawed and suffering.  As Mary Baker Eddy puts it, ‘Christian Science is the law of Truth, that heals the sick on the basis of the One Mind, Or God’ (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 482).  Instead of accepting that there is something ‘wrong’ with me, I turn my mind to spiritual truths, namely that I am primarily spiritual and free from ideas of pain or suffering.

I was healed from anxiety this year, and have felt a lightness and freedom.  I had accepted a very limited view of myself – I focused on the negatives in my life, and tried to physically control the environment around me to feel safe and secure in myself.  This started with my tendency to hide parts of myself that I feared other people would reject, and did everything I could to meet the expectations of those around me in school, during my gap year and later at university.  This obsession with control intensified when I lived in Indonesia, where I was constantly harassed by men in the streets and was actually assaulted at one point during my time there.  I learned to prepare for the worst case scenario, and was uptight and fearful.  This affected my personal life – I was scared that people would find out things about me that they might disapprove of, and I was very distrustful of new people, especially men.

I had a healing when I realised that the opposite of anxiety is to expect good.  This did not mean putting my head in the sand and pretending that nothing was wrong, but rather turning away from a limited understanding of myself and the world and focusing on spiritual facts.  A God that is all good could not create me fearful and vulnerable, and has not assigned me a future of fear and negativity in order to ‘test’ me.  Slowly, I concentrated on correcting fearful thoughts with an expectation of good, and gauging whether ideas coming to me were affirming my identity as a spiritual being or sending me into a negative spiral.  The strength I gained by trusting God has led me to be more open with friends and family, to forgive the men in Indonesia who seemed to threaten my safety, and to be relaxed in accepting opportunities that have opened up a whole new world for me.  I am so grateful for my background in Christian Science, and have used it as a practical tool in gaining peace and harmony in my everyday life.

To read more testimonies of healing shared by members of the Christian Science Church in Canberra click on the archive headings on the left for May and June 2016.

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