Archive for the ‘Tolerance’ Category

Unity – Our Natural Inclination   Leave a comment

A Daily Lift from Warren Berckmann CSB

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In this 3 minute talk Warren talks about how he has solved problems of strife and disunity by focussing on the higher true nature of man.

A new 3 minute inspirational talk is shared each day Monday-Friday. To listen to more click on the Daily Lift tab in the menu above.

Love is the Liberator   Leave a comment

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“A few immortal sentences, breathing the omnipotence of divine justice, have been potent to break despotic fetters and abolish the whipping-post and slave market; but oppression neither went down in blood, nor did the breath of freedom come from the cannon’s mouth. Love is the liberator”.

Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p225) by Mary Baker Eddy

The Golden Rule and Peace on Earth   1 comment

by Lynne Buckley-Quirk

Recently I have been feeling deep gratitude for the multitudes who are praying for peace and harmony in the world. Even though cultures, faiths, and traditions may differ, this universal acknowledgment of the effectiveness of praying for peace gives me hope that unity among people and nations is a present possibility, even in the midst of what appears to be chaos, hostility, and polarization. 

My hope that this universal prayer can bring about harmony and unity comes from something I learned years ago—that there is broad agreement about the observation and practice of what is known as the Golden Rule. Today, according to several internet sources, this “rule” is at the core of over ten religions that span the globe. In other words, a very large part of the global community understands that if we want to be treated with fairness, compassion, and equality, we ourselves should treat others that way. 

As a follower of Christianity, I strive to practice the rule as Christ Jesus taught it in his Sermon on the Mount: “Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12, Revised Standard Version).

Lynne goes on to explain how she demonstrated that unity among people and nations is a present possibility. Click here to read the full article in the Christian Science Sentinel.

All Perfect Gifts are from God   Leave a comment

by Yvonne Prinsloo

At Christmastime I love to recall a Bible verse that is close to my heart: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

These words so beautifully express what I’ve learned from Christian Science about the Christly spirit of giving and receiving. When a gift is inspired by unselfish love that stems from an understanding that God is the true source of all good, it brings joy to both the giver and the receiver. 

But not every gift is a good one with pure motives behind it. Sometimes gifts are used as a means of controlling others, and they bring to the receiver not joy but a sense of oppression. 

Before my marriage, I found that my mother-in-law-to-be had a tendency to dominate, and I often sensed there were strings attached to the gifts she gave. For instance, my future in-laws told me that, as a wedding gift, they would like to furnish the one-bedroom flat my husband and I would be moving into. They made a date to join us at the shops to choose the furniture. 

On the surface this seemed to be a generous gift, but instead of feeling grateful, I felt imposed upon. I had been looking forward to furnishing our first home, and I worried that our freedom of expression would be encroached upon. Fear crept in as I thought of how different my mother-in-law’s taste was from mine. She always chose items that were elaborate and pretty, while I preferred things that were plain and tailored.

Yearning to find peace from the turmoil I was in, I turned to God with all my heart. What came to mind was the thought of two trees, an oak and a willow. Because the oak tree has only oak leaves growing on it, and the willow tree only willow leaves, it would be impossible to find even one willow leaf growing on an oak tree or one oak leaf growing on a willow. There is a law that maintains the individuality of each tree.

That made me think of a statement in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “The divine Mind maintains all identities, from a blade of grass to a star, as distinct and eternal” (p. 70). 

This calmed my fear. Just as I was certain that trees are individual and distinct, I could trust that God gives His children identities that are individual and distinct. This meant that my mother-in-law and I could not impose on one another’s identity. I realized with joy that our individual expression of God’s qualities is governed by divine Mind and is always safe from interference.

The next day we set out to buy the wedding present. I felt such peace, knowing that God was in control of everything and was maintaining the individuality of each of us. As we looked around the shops, I fell in love with a lounge suite—and to my joy, my mother-in-law liked it as well. We all did! Receiving the gift ended up being a happy experience. 

But soon, I again found myself harboring feelings of indignation at further offerings of gifts from my mother-in-law. They felt like an intrusion in my life and an attempt at control. 

Then one day I read this instruction in Mrs. Eddy’s Message to The Mother Church for 1902: “The Christian Scientist cherishes no resentment; he knows that that would harm him more than all the malice of his foes” (p. 19). 

I had to admit that cherishing resentment was exactly what I was doing, and it was only making things worse. I realized that to find my freedom, I had to let go of this negative attitude. But how? 

Again I turned to God for an answer. I thought about the perfection of God’s creation as described in the first chapter of the Bible, which tells us, “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Since there is nothing “very good” in being a victim or feeling annoyed, I had to conclude that this attitude did not truly belong to me as God’s child, and I prayed to be free of it. I also saw that God did not make an overbearing person, so I needed to correct my view of my mother-in-law and see her as God’s child, too.

I began to watch my thoughts and actions to make sure I wasn’t trying to manipulate or control others myself. For example, I decided to take each of my three little boys shopping individually when they needed new clothes, and let them choose their own outfits rather than me choosing for them. It was a wonderful experience, as each child picked clothes that suited his individuality. How happy and free we all felt! And how blessed I felt being led and governed by God.

My freedom from resentment toward my mother-in-law came one day when she arrived at our home to celebrate Christmas with us. I started to feel overwhelmed as the gifts being unloaded from the car never seemed to stop coming. They filled the fridges, the shelves, and the cake tins, and it wasn’t long before all my good intentions to watch my thoughts fell by the wayside. Again, I felt imposed upon. 

With a deep desire to be free from the feeling of oppression, I reached out to God for inspiration. Quick as a flash, a question came to me: “What is your mother-in-law’s motive for bringing you all these gifts?” 

Instead of attributing a selfish, controlling motive to her, I reasoned that as the spiritual expression of God, she could be motivated only by love. God was supplying every good thing to her, including right purpose and activity. Therefore, her gifts could bring only blessings. And I certainly did see that she loved us all and loved giving.

At that point, I recognized that these gifts she’d brought would free me from a lot of extra work and enable me to enjoy the holiday with the family. I felt humbled. All resentment faded and was replaced with love and gratitude. What a happy Christmas we celebrated together, just filled with love and joy!

However, there was another lesson I still had to learn. Eventually, instead of buying me gifts, my mother-in-law began giving me money to spend on a present for myself—but she would put a qualification on the gift. “You must buy something that you will remember me by,” she would say.

“Why can’t I buy something without a condition attached to it?” I thought. As I again prayed to find the truth that would free me, I gave deeper consideration to James 1:17: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

Then I saw my mistake. I had been personalizing gifts—seeing them as things coming from a person. But now I saw that in reality, gifts are not material but spiritual—such as love, joy, peace, harmony—and that the true source of these gifts is God. Since God is good, His gifts could not include one iota of that which is not good, and they could bring with them “no variableness” nor “shadow of turning.” 

With deep gratitude, I understood that my mother-in-law could reflect only Love’s impartial goodness, which supplies all our needs. I felt so released from the false belief that I was reliant on a person rather than divine Principle for what I needed. 

The next Christmas, I took my mother-in-law Christmas shopping, and you will not be surprised to hear that we had a lovely day together, filled with happiness and companionship. As we walked past a carpet auction, I noticed a lovely carpet being auctioned. 

“Isn’t that beautiful!” I remarked. 

“Let’s just watch here for a bit” was her response. 

The next thing I heard was “Gone to the lady at the back!” My mother-in-law had bought me something that I loved. Later she told me it would not have been her first choice, but she was happy that I liked it. Truly, it was God’s gift, and I felt nothing but joy at receiving it.

Now I am a mother-in-law, and I have found freedom when giving gifts by knowing that my husband and I are not the source of supply, the source of good. “All perfect gifts are from above,” as a hymn by L. L. Randall says (Christian Science Hymnal, No. 342). 

How comforting it is to know that the one who gives is not personally responsible for another’s good, nor can the one who gives be depleted as a result of giving. Since all true gifts are from God’s abundant goodness, they bless both the giver and the receiver. And nothing can stop us from receiving what is rightfully ours as the children of God.

Click here to listen to this article or to read it directly from the December 14, 2020 Christian Science Sentinel.

Thoughts on Peace   Leave a comment

$ dreamstime_12416220Peace – Readings from the Bible and the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:  But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.  (Bible – Matthew 5:  38, 39)

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth GodHe that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (Bible – I John 4: 7, 8)

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:  Peace

The Secret to Trouble-Free Travel   Leave a comment

$ dreamstime_3175501The Festive Season is kicking in once again and many are anticipating travelling for Christmas holidays and to visit family.

But it won’t always be plain sailing! Whether it’s by coach, train, plane or car we are affected by the actions of others.

I’ve had my fair share of travel difficulties over the years, missing interstate meetings because of flight delays, standing in long queues, losing luggage, battling with tired children, being stuck in traffic jams and losing my patience on more than one occasion.

However, although travelling can be frustrating at times, I’m finding there are always affirmative, upbeat things to notice: the excited faces of children, the courtesy of others, the patience of parents and travel staff.

And I’m increasingly realising that the presence of good in human affairs is not something that happens by mere accident, in a universe of chance. It is actually evidence that the underlying power that governs the universe is Love.

On a recent interstate short-break I was delighted and thankful not to experience a single hold-up, flight delay, argument or problem of any description.

Had I done something differently?

Yes, I feel I had. The truth is that I’m learning the more I consciously acknowledge the power of divine Love, governing me and everyone, the more harmony I experience. And that is what I had been doing on this trip – acknowledging and understanding that good governs in my life – not because of any personal entitlement, but because of the availability of that same abundant good for everyone.

I have also been learning that whenever we glimpse the truth about man’s divine nature, we have, in effect felt the Christ – “the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men…” – as spiritual thought-leader Mary Baker Eddy defines the Christ in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

That voice speaks to everyone, and at all times of the year. When we have done the right thing instead of the wrong, we have been directed by the Christ. When we have been patient instead of irritable, we have conceded to the dynamism of the Christ. When we have made a sound choice among several tempting options we have listened to the Christ and we have seen the true love that’s characteristic of Christianity in action. (See The love and dynamism of the Christ, by Geoffrey Barratt.)

During the Christmas Season many of us revisit the life of Jesus, who so perfectly demonstrated this power of the Christ to bring out harmony in our lives. The wonder of his virgin birth was not an isolated miracle but evidence of a spiritual law in operation that was confirmed by the healing works that animated his adult life. Today, more and more people are recognising that his life, although unique and especially blessed, points to a way of living and thinking that’s actually available to each of us.

Truly supranational, the message of the Christ in Jesus’ words was to be “of one mind,” “love your enemies,” “bless them that curse you,” and realise “the kingdom of God is within you” and within all.

From this viewpoint, we can claim that spiritual nature Jesus showed us as our own true nature, and that of every man, woman and child that we meet in our travels this Christmas.

There’s actually no secret to trouble-free travel. It may largely depend on how we think of ourselves and others.

 

This article was submitted by Kay Stroud who is a health writer drawing connections between consciousness, spirituality and health, and trends in that field. Blogs at www.health4thinkers.com

FOLLOW HER ON TWITTER www.twitter.com/KayJStroud

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. (I John 4: 20, 21)

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:  Love Thy Neighbour.

Feed the Hungry   Leave a comment

shutterstock_174641396Feed the Hungry – Readings from the Bible and the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

He that gives to the poor shall not lack (Proverbs 28: 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:  Feed the Hungry

Love – The Fulfilling of the Law   Leave a comment

$ dreamstime_209356Love – the Fulfilling of the Law – Readings from the Bible and the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way.  Right motives give pinions to thought, and strength and freedom to speech and action.

(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy p454)

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: Love – the Fulfilling of the Law.

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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