Archive for the ‘Values’ Category

The Golden Rule and Peace on Earth   Leave a 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.

Our Prayers Are Still Needed   Leave a comment

Recent events in the United States call on all of us to reach deeper with our hearts to find the power of infinite Love. The world needs all of us right now—needs every prayer that acknowledges the all-power of divine goodness and genuinely desires what is best for all. Evil is not power. It falls in the face of Christlike, spiritual goodness that embraces enemy and friend alike.

Thank you for all you’re doing through your prayers on the frontlines of facing down anything opposed to honor, respect, and dignity of all people. Click below to read a response to this week’s events, “Counteracting chaos and disorder” from the Editors of the Christian Science Sentinel.

Counteracting Chaos and Disorder by Larissa Snorek.

What Still Governs – Right Now   Leave a comment

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A Daily Lift from Roger Whiteway CS

In this 3 minute talk Roger explains how government based on spiritual law underlies all good human government and is the basis for harmony.

Is God Real? Seek and Find   Leave a comment

Some thoughts on renewal in the New Year.

by Barbara Vining

I can tell you that God is real to me, and that I regularly experience God’s care—but that won’t be convincing to you until you yourself search for God, find Truth, and experience proof of God’s reality and care.

The major problem, through the ages, is that the human mind tries to find God within a material frame of reference. But the real God can’t be found that way any more than the real substance of good can be found that way. Good exists to be seen, loved, and expressed by anyone in spiritual qualities such as kindness, gentleness, purity, justice, and mercy. And it is universally available for everyone.

That’s one way I know God—as good itself, which is here and everywhere, even where evil claims to be the reality. Christ Jesus said we could find God as the actual and ever-present reality—the saving, healing, and redeeming power—by seeking God and loving God with all our heart (see Matthew 6:31–33 and Mark 12:30).

It’s natural to love good. So, perhaps a good starting point for a new year would be to look for God by nurturing within ourselves the goodness of pure, spiritual qualities, and by looking for opportunities to express these qualities. Everyone wants to see good expressed by others—and it’s heartening when we do. But sometimes finding expressions of good in human experience can be a really big challenge. That’s when we may be hard pressed to think of God, good, as real. But here’s a biblical promise that helps: “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13, New King James Version). With all our heart. Not halfheartedly, or with our eyes or our emotions or human will, and not out of fear, but with love.

It can help to start by searching for good in the ideas of goodness—the idea of justice, the idea of mercy, the idea of forgiveness, and so on—that you yearn to see expressed. These qualities are real. They have a creator, and they exist for you, and anyone, to love and express. I have found that in proportion as I love these qualities and strive to express them, I find God, good, to be real. And we all can set out on a heartfelt search for the unseen spiritual goodness that does exist in others, discern it, and love them on this basis. I’ve often been amazed and delighted when I’ve been cherishing the good discernible in another, and there is a spontaneous awakening within that one of an inherent goodness they previously had not felt or recognized. We can each love individuals this way day by day, in our home, our workplace or school, our community, and in our prayers for hungering human hearts throughout the world. 

This takes dedication, lots of it. But that’s how proof that God is real comes into human experience—in human needs being met, in hearts being comforted and encouraged, in physical healing, and in characters reformed. Mary Baker Eddy spoke from experience when she wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “The divine Principle of healing is proved in the personal experience of any sincere seeker of Truth” (p. x). God, good, is that Principle.

There is a lifetime of learning about God to be found in the Bible and in Science and Health: that God is Love, Spirit, Life, and Truth. That we are made in God’s image, spiritual and perfect. That we consist of beautiful qualities inherent in us as God’s reflection. And this learning and proof come to each “sincere seeker of Truth” through moment-by-moment, sincere seeking and finding.

Let’s start today, then, to seek God through our spiritual sense—through the constant, God-given ability we all have to be aware of and feel God’s presence and love. Where spiritual good seems absent in any instance, we can find it by knowing that it is present to be found right here and now. We don’t find spiritual good simply through observation of the physical world; nor can what the physical senses observe prevent us from finding divine good and seeing the power of God to improve what is seen and experienced. 

Jesus proved the presence and reality of God, good, right where evil was claiming reality in the form of sickness, sin, and even death. By knowing and loving the spiritual good that is always present, he healed the sick, redeemed the sinner, and raised the dead. That’s how he proved that God is real. And that’s how we can prove it.

So, look for good right where you are right now. Look for it with your heart—through genuine prayerful searching, and through discovering and loving the good that is discernible in others and in yourself. With sincere and persistent effort you will find it. And this will prove to you—and others—that God, good, not evil, truly is the living reality and power. And what a happy year that will be—one day at a time!

Click here to listen to this article by Barbara Vining or to read it directly from the December 19, 2019 Christian Science Sentinel.

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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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

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 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”.

Choosing Life   Leave a comment

shutterstock_164195771 - Copy (2)For some of us it’s a big jump to conceptualize that changes we want to make don’t start “out there” but in our own thought.  This is clear to me as I listen to my diverse range of friends, many of them of retiree age, over catch-up coffees and lunches.

All of my friends are beautiful people but there are marked differences in their attitudes towards ageing, and in particular how they talk about themselves.  For some the state of their body is front and centre of their thinking and their conversation is peppered with comments such as: “Oh well, what can you expect at our age.”

While other friends never mention health or age.  They are full of the adventure of life – of the joys of retirement or the fulfilment and challenges of a long working career.  Listening to these friends it’s clear they are less impressed with how their body is doing and more engaged with expressing the continuity of activity, progress, growth, energy, renewal, vigour, buoyancy.

These qualities start in our thought, and could be described as coming from a universal Mind.  Mary Baker Eddy, one of my favourite authors on ageing, wrote in her primary text, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: You embrace your body in your thought, and you should delineate upon it thoughts of health, not of sickness (p208).

She goes on to say:  Man is more than a material form with a mind inside, which must escape from its environments in order to be immortal. Man reflects infinity, and this reflection is the true idea of God.

God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis (p258).

Her premise is that our life reflects our thinking. In Science and Health again she writes: Your decisions will master you, whichever direction they take. … Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously (p392).

Choices are important in shaping our experience and so my personal challenge moment by moment is to choose these qualities of life, and then look for them in experience.  It certainly makes for livelier catch-up coffees with friends!

This article was submitted by Deborah Packer of Canberra.

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.

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