Archive for the ‘Thought’ Category

To Be Satisfied   Leave a comment

Every Wednesday at 6.00 pm a Testimony Meeting is held at the Christian Science church in Barton (corner of Macquarie and Bligh Streets).  At these meetings short readings are followed by time for members of the congregation to share how they have been helped and healed through prayer.  


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

The topic for the readings this week was: To Be Satisfied.

And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. (The Bible – Isaiah 58: 11)

 

This recording is of the readings on this topic of To Be Satisfied.

 

Health   Leave a comment

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

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Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, …  It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.  (The Bible – Proverbs 3: 5, 6, 8)

Stand porter at the door of thought.  Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously. (Science and Health p392)

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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:  Health

 

Clearing up “fake news” on every front   Leave a comment

fake newsThe recent disclosures about “fake news” in the media illustrate that we need to be more alert than ever to discern if what’s being said is fact or fiction.

We’re actively seeking truth, rather than blindly accepting everything we hear or read as fact. Even in the smallest of affairs, the power and effect of honesty are felt and appreciated.

Honesty is not only desirable in our dealings, it’s also linked to better health. Research* suggests that frequent lying, deceit, fabrication, or misrepresentation of the truth in our lives or in our conversations – or even accepting “fake news” as truth – can have unexpected ramifications, leading to stress and chronic pessimism.

One study at a university found that lying and cheating were common and even became quite acceptable as fellow-students were also seen to be lying and cheating. Furthermore, behavioural scientist, Professor Dan Ariely from Duke University, postulates* that we all lie to some degree, with rationalisations for our actions including the desire to look clever or cooler to others (to be the person we wish we were) or to obtain some reward.

However, in the study, cheating decreased dramatically when participants were asked to swear on the Bible or sign an honour code, or try to list the Ten Commandments before the test. Then, not one cheated!

The results suggest that, when the presence of a higher power is brought to bear on the situation, it spurs us to identify ourselves with the truthful behaviours we associate with divinity. And, this, lifts us out of poor behaviours.

Our better nature is evidently detectable despite the “alternative facts” arguing how flawed we are. When reminded of our diviner nature, our innate honesty and goodness quite naturally take precedence.

The “fake news” phenomenon is not unique to this period in history. The practice of accepting those “alternative facts,” and acting on them to our detriment, has been around since before the Adam and Eve story was first conceived; and, some surmise, is the basis for it. The allegory presents man “as mutable and mortal, – as having broken away from Deity and as revolving in an orbit of his own,” explains Christian reformer, Mary Baker Eddy.

“Spiritually followed, the book of Genesis is the history of the untrue image of God, named a sinful mortal. This deflection of being, rightly viewed, serves to suggest the proper reflection of God and the spiritual actuality of man, as given in the first chapter of Genesis.” Eddy saw that identifying the true record of creation is paramount to understanding our real nature. “And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good…”; it was honest and upright.

Having their origin in God, in Truth itself, these attributes are beyond human goodness. When claimed as ours, they give us dominion and heal what is not true or good in our lives – our poor behaviours, as well as our sick bodies.

When problems seem insurmountable, we’re basing our assessment on the fable that we can be separated from good, or God. That belief is literally and figuratively “post-truth.”

There was a time when I faced what seemed to be an insurmountable problem at work. I was appointed to a new role with managerial responsibilities in a large organisation, which also included working on a project with a team of other managers. Unhappily for me, one of them treated me with utter contempt in this new role, as she believed I was less than qualified and the appointment process had lacked integrity.

Feeling resentful wasn’t helping me or the situation, nor were efforts to try to prove myself. Events compelled me to turn from the Adam-dream outlook: meaning that every time I saw her or thought about her I worked hard to identify her divine nature; her honesty, integrity and kindness. It became no longer credible that meanness or prejudice could be part of this lady, or that I could be a victim of misunderstanding.

Gradually, she responded to my quiet effort to “see” what was true about us: her behaviour towards me changed so that there was no more friction, and we ended up having a respectful and harmonious working relationship over several years.

If we each learn how to be more spiritually discerning, we can prevent a loss of trust in the wider society. We won’t buy into fake news or images about colleagues, family, journalists and politicians; or, be tempted to copy them.

Research into lying: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/08/20/how-lying-affects-your-health

Video: (Dis)honesty-the truth about lies: http://netflixaustralia.org/movies/dishonesty-the-truth-about-lies/

This article was contributed by Kay Stroud, a life-long Christian Scientist, who is a freelance writer focussing on the undeniable connection between our thinking and our experience including our health.  She writes for metropolitan and regional news media throughout Australia and beyond, and is a regular contributor to Australia’s national forum, Online Opinion, and the APN regional network in Northern NSW and Queensland.

You can follow her blog at www.health4thinkers.com

or follow her on twitter:  www.twitter.com/KayJStroud

Posted March 29, 2017 by cscanberra in Kay Stroud, Thought, Values

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Lost Phone Found   Leave a comment

dscn5602The Christian Science Church – a part of the Canberra community.  Members share testimonies and talk about their lives as Christian Scientists. 

This article, Lost Phone Found, is by a member of the Christian Science Church in Canberra.   In it the writer tells how her prayers calmed her fears and led to the recovery of the phone.

Last year my sister and I had the opportunity to spend a few days in a game reserve in South Africa.  It was a wonderful experience and we took advantage of the early morning and late afternoon game viewing safaris that were offered.  Between us we took many, many photos of the beautiful scenery and magnificent animals.

My sister was taking photos on her iPhone and I was using my camera.  On our last trip out, at our half-way stop my sister realised that her phone was missing.  We had been sitting in the very back seat which projected out over the end of the open safari vehicle.  The tracks were very bumpy and we guessed that at some point her phone must have bounced out of her pocket and fallen onto the road.  We thought back to the last time she remembered using it; she had taken pictures of buffaloes about 20 minutes back.

Our guide was wonderful and offered to return to the buffaloes in the hope of finding it.  Each of the seven passengers on the trip hung out of the vehicle watching on all sides as we slowly retraced our steps.  At first my sister seemed quite subdued.  Apart from her photos, the phone contained all her work contacts and other valued information.

My sister and I were brought up in a Christian Science family and it was natural for us to turn to God in prayer when situations like this occurred.  I knew she was praying.  In my prayer I claimed that God, who I know as infinite Mind, knew all things and that nothing could be lost to infinite Mind.  At first I found it difficult to get over the sense of disappointment for my sister.  I didn’t like to see her sad.  But then I realized that this was not about a phone or about my sister; it was about what I trusted.  Did I really believe that God was good and that we were safe in His care?  Did I really believe that God was the only Mind, the only power?  Did I really believe that God was love?  I have had so many healings and demonstrations of these truths that I absolutely had to say:  Yes!  I do believe!  As I came to this realization all sense of unrest left me and I felt totally comfortable in His love and care.  At the same time my sister said: “It’s only a phone, you know.  I can easily get another one” and she seemed relaxed and happy again.

Despite everyone’s concentrated efforts scrutinising the track we travelled all the way back to the buffaloes without finding the phone.  It was now late in the afternoon; the light was dimming and our guide said it was time to head back.  Still the comfortable feeling that all was well didn’t leave me, and my sister continued to be happy and relaxed.  I knew she was feeling the same.   About ten or twelve minutes down the track the young man at the very front of the vehicle called out for the driver to stop.  He jumped out and picked up the phone.  This was the very spot on the track where I had decided to trust and where my sister, through her prayers, had been released from all sense of loss.  We had actually driven over the phone but there was not a mark on it – it was perfect.

Situations like this teach me that it is safe to trust in God’s love.  I am reminded of Jesus’ statement:  Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free (John 8: 32).  The truth is that God is love (I John 4: 8).  This is a law that can be relied upon.

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, June and October 2016.

 

 

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.

Needs Met   1 comment

dreamstime_10874750The Christian Science Church – a part of the Canberra community.  Members share testimonies and talk about their lives as Christian Scientists. 

This article, Needs Met, is by Mary who is a member of the Christian Science Church in Canberra.  She describes how a change of thinking to a more spiritual perspective saw finance problems solved and employment found.

We lived in Germany for almost a year and during this time neither my husband or I was allowed to work there because we did not have the necessary permission.  Our funds had been used up on rent and living expenses.  Three of our six children were apprentices and the other three were at school. Things were very tight and our need was great.

One morning my husband asked me to look for a document in a cupboard where we kept all our paper work.  I was not looking forward to this task because there was so much paper in this cupboard.  Then the thought struck me that there must be a reason for this, and who knows perhaps I will find something else in the cupboard.  This was time to put into practice what I have learnt in Christian Science.

 My thought turned to a passage in Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy (p180: 25): “When man is governed by God, the ever-present Mind who understands all things, man knows that with God all things are possible”.  This made me sit back and take notice.  Here I was resenting the thought that I had to unpack the cupboard I kept the thought that “with God all things are possible” while I unpacked the cupboard.  Suddenly, there was my wallet which I had not used since flying to Germany.  I opened the back flap, and to my delight I found A$2000 of travellers’ cheques.  I could not stop thanking God for His guidance and love for his children.  I also found the document my husband was looking for.

The same afternoon I went to the bank to change the cheques and we could pay our rent and buy what we needed for the rest of the month.

Within two weeks both my husband and I found work and got our permissions to work in Germany.

How grateful I am for Christian Science and Mary Baker Eddy for giving us this practical and demonstrable religion.

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.

Silencing Chronic Pain   1 comment

shutterstock_69214975The four-hourly doses of morphine were such a welcome relief to the intense pain I was experiencing following major surgery.  What could possibly make me give them up?

I found there was something that could persuade me to do so.  And that’s why, I want to share my experience with sufferers of chronic pain.

In Australia, one in five people live with chronic pain, including adolescents and children.  This prevalence rises to one in three people over the age of 65.  Chronic pain is linked to depression and suicide and is Australia’s third most costly health condition.

To manage it, a range of treatments such physio and physical therapy, medical acupuncture, thinking strategies, lifestyle changes, nutrition and traditional prescription opioids, are employed.

Despite this, pain is often long-lasting and continues for years with no foreseeable end.

However, I’ve joined a groundswell of people that believe it’s time to do more than simply manage pain.  We are convinced it can be reduced, and even healed.

According to a 2011 report, “one reason pain is so hard to treat is that it isn’t just physical.”  Our thinking can actually have an impact on the amount of pain we feel.

The power of our expectations is illustrated in a series of trials into the relationship between pain and the placebo effect.  Hundreds of patients treating irritable bowel syndrome, migraine and back pain experienced similar or better results from placebos than from strong pain killers.

While it’s agreed that placebos are not a universal panacea, placebo research leads us to think about how much influence thought actually has on our health.

Reasoning from a more spiritual perspective, author Mary Baker Eddy, reached a similar conclusion, explaining that pain is always a mental image or state.

“… the human mind is all that can produce pain,” she wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

But can pain really be relieved just by thinking differently?

Yes, but in my experience I have found that it needs more than just positive thinking to free us from pain.

So, back to my stay in hospital.  In my late-teens I was “on fire” with enthusiasm about a couple of unique books which I had recently revisited.  They answered so many of the questions I had about why we are here and whether what our senses perceive is all there is to existence.

The Bible, so comforting to so many people, didn’t seem all that relevant to me until I started reading Science and Health, which brings out its spiritual meaning and explains how and why not only Jesus, but also his early disciples and many of the Old Testament prophets, were able to heal all kinds of physical needs.

I learned that there was a spiritual science in place based on a divine consciousness of being.

My studies had shown the importance of addressing the spiritual need as an aid to recovery, a standpoint now supported by medical research.

I started reading the thought-changing book again right there in hospital, and called a Christian Science practitioner to pray with me by helping me to understand more consistently my real, spiritual nature.

I can still remember the feeling of love and wholeness that engulfed me soon after.  No more drugs were needed, and worrying digestive difficulties painlessly dissipated that day.

On this basis, many have been healed of acute and chronic pain, and demonstrated that such pain need not last forever.  Peace and health are a present possibility for those willing to dig deeper into the understanding of their spiritual identity.

This article was contributed by Kay Stroud, a life-long Christian Scientist, who is a freelance writer focussing on the undeniable connection between our thinking and our experience including our health.  She writes for metropolitan and regional news media throughout Australia and beyond, and is a regular contributor to Australia’s national forum, Online Opinion, and the APN regional network in Northern NSW and Queensland.

You can follow her blog at www.health4thinkers.com

or follow her on twitter:  www.twitter.com/KayJStroud

Step Out of Your Story and into Healing   Leave a comment

shutterstock_169648079Step Out of Your Story and into Healing a lecture by Jon Benson. 

Jon is a full-time Christian Science healer and an international speaker.  In this lecture he shares his understanding of this reliable method of spiritual healing.

In Step Out of Your Story and into Healing  Jon discusses the necessity of letting go of a sense of our own personal history – our sense of ourselves as flawed mortals – to find our true spiritual identities and in doing this healing is realised.  His explanations are clear and logical and his presentation dynamic and engaging.  Click here to listen.

 

How to Achieve a Win-Win Election   Leave a comment

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There are complaints that the campaigns of the leaders of the two major parties in our upcoming Australian federal election have been downright dull.

But could that be something to be grateful for?

While there have been some negative comments towards other’s policies, let’s hope that every candidate keeps the negativity to a minimum, especially personal criticisms.

Perhaps surprisingly, that’s not only good for the sake of civil discourse, science says it’s also good for the candidates.

study published in The Journal of Politics notes that “there is no consistent evidence in the research literature that negative political campaigning ‘works.’”  The report goes on to say, “While attacks probably do undermine evaluations of the candidates they target…they usually bring evaluations of the attackers down even more.”  A lose-lose situation for all concerned.

The mood of the public always dips during negative political campaigns.  Normal people with the best of motives can get caught up in the anxiety and anger of opposing sides.

There’s substantial research that suggests political sledging and nastiness can cause emotional extremes and unpleasant physical symptoms.   And the worse the negative campaign becomes, the more anxiety and illness may be experienced.

It seems that a more effective political campaign is built on honesty.  Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science and a leading thinker on the connection between spirituality and experience wrote in her primary work, Science and Health: “Honesty is spiritual power,” a viewpoint that brings health and harmony to all aspects of our lives and the world around us.  “Dishonesty is human weakness, which forfeits divine help” (p453) – forfeits success, peace and happiness.

Irrespective of our beliefs, most of us seek morally upright and harmonious government.

Apart from the obvious benefits to the electorate of honest politicians, another research study discovered that honesty is good for the politician too – the less people lie, the better they feel, both mentally and physically.

The constant barrage of human opinions also seems to play an exaggerated role during the lead up to an election.  We’d be better off if we rejected the kind of thinking that takes offense at harsh opinions or perspectives, or reacts in fear that they can harm us or our country.

Disciplining our own thought, refusing to dwell on another’s personality or personal opinions and their amplification in the media, is possible and will add to our continued wellbeing.

A spirit of fair play suggests that we give candidates space to have their say, and then it’s our task to discern their motives and look at their record.

For me, as a Christian, that means prayerfully listening for and being guided by universal, divine intelligence and wisdom that discerns the very contents of each heart.

I’d have to say that I’ve found it to be quite a challenge to set aside my past allegiances or political inclinations and to open-mindedly vote, according to the above guidelines, for the individual who I feel will do the most good for the electorate at any particular time.

As a Christian Scientist, specifically, I think we can aim for a win-win result in the 2016 elections, whatever our political stance, by considering this view expounded by Eddy:

“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…” (Miscellaneous Writings p224, Mary Baker Eddy).

This article was contributed by Kay Stroud, a life-long Christian Scientist, who is a freelance writer focussing on the undeniable connection between our thinking and our experience including our health.  She writes for metropolitan and regional news media throughout Australia and beyond, and is a regular contributor to Australia’s national forum, Online Opinion, and the APN regional network in Northern NSW and Queensland.

You can follow her blog at www.health4thinkers.com

or follow her on twitter:  www.twitter.com/KayJStroud

Gratitude for Healing – Headaches No More   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_171402770This article, Gratitude for Healing – Headaches No More, is by Barbara who is a member of the Christian Science Church in Canberra.  She relates how she has found permanent freedom from headaches through prayer and spiritualisation of thought.

Recently I read a beautiful expression of gratitude from a student of Christian Science who related how he had been healed of headaches.

It reminded me that I too had been healed of headaches so many years ago that I had really almost forgotten about it, and that healing has been permanent.

I was a fairly new student of this Divine Science at the time, and had never before experienced an instantaneous healing.  My job was such that I was continually dealing with the public, and it was important to be pleasant and attentive at all times.  That is not easy with a throbbing head.

I thought about God, the one and only power, and asked myself if I thought that He could have a headache.  The answer was no, I did not believe He could.  So then I asked myself again if I could possibly have something that God did not have, and certainly could not give me, and remain pure and loving.  The answer was still no, and at that moment I was entirely free of any pain.  That freedom has been mine for more than fifty years now.

Having said that, I cannot claim that the feeling of a headache coming on has not knocked at the door of my consciousness, but it has gained no admittance.  I have confronted it in various ways, such as “get thee hence, Satan”, to use the words of Jesus (Matt 4:10).  Satan is a Hebrew word signifying an adversary, an enemy, an accuser; or simply I would say, “I don’t do headaches” which is not very scientific, but I know that I do not have to cover the same ground again, and what God has done is done forever.

In obedience to the teachings of Christian Science I take the advice given in the textbook Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy where Mrs Eddy says, “Stand porter at the door of thought.  Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realised in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously” p392: 24-27.  Similarly, to quote the Bible again, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7).

Through the study of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook I am assured that ‘with God, all things are possible’.

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