Why a Manger?   Leave a comment

A Daily Lift by Brian Webster

In this 3 minute podcast Brian comments that a manger is perhaps the most humble resting place for the child that was heralded as the Messiah that could be imagined. This, he says, is an example to us that if we are to draw close to God we too must be humble – humble enough to put aside our own wishes and listen to the divine message.

Click here to read or listen to the full article, Why a Manger?, by Brian published in the December 13 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

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.

Real Christmas – All About Love   Leave a comment

Christmas is one of the most important events in human history.  That’s a big statement to make. It’s a big statement because the real Christmas relates to Christians, Muslims, Eastern and Western religionists, believers and non-believers.  The real Christmas message is relevant all year round, not just on one day.  So, what’s so big and important and relevant about Christmas?

It’s all about the underlying message that Jesus’ birth ushered into the world.  Yes, the details of the story are important. That whilst Joseph and Mary were travelling she gave birth to Jesus in a stable (which was actually a cave rather than a barn).  His birth had been long prophesied – he was the one who would save the Jewish people from oppression.  But it’s the underlying message that’s of the greatest importance, both then and today.  It’s important because Jesus’ birth was the beginning of a life lived with such love and dominion that it transformed the experience of the people around him, and its legacy is still felt and celebrated over 2000 years later.

Jesus’ mission was to show us what makes life work right for us.  Maybe that doesn’t sound like such a big statement but look at the effect he had on the people around him. He turned poverty into overflowing abundance; ill health into full health; bad sinful behaviour into good honest character.  His life was entirely motivated by love – love for God and love for his fellow man.

Jesus was revealing a different dynamic aspect to life that was not obvious to the senses but one that could bring practical healing solutions to life’s problems. He understood the tangible power of spirituality.

What is spirituality?  Simply, spirituality pertains to things of the spirit, or the non-physical.  It’s all those qualities of thought that are good and true. It’s ideas that make life work right for us, like kindness, honesty, trustworthiness, intelligence, creativity, happiness.  

Spiritual thinking cares for all, never harming man nor beast nor the environment.  It’s living the Golden Rule, the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes that Jesus, Moses and others have given us.  These rules, when understood and lived, make our lives happy and successful.  But here’s the big difference in Jesus’ message to us.  If we think these are human qualities they are liable to human frailty and failure.  Jesus showed us that these spiritual ideas and qualities have a divine source, not human.  They’re sourced in God and so have divine authority and power.

The principle that Jesus continually turned to was divine, not material.  He revealed to the world a non-physical power; a spiritual force for good, that could and did meet all human need.  He revealed to us that the true governing harmonising power underpinning our experience was God, but he showed us an entirely different way of thinking about that term God.  He showed that the true concept of God was Love, as the Bible states.  He showed us the true power or Principle in our lives and in our world, that makes existence harmonious, well and peaceful, is Love, divine Love.

At Christmas, and all year round, don’t we all know, Christian, Muslim, Eastern, Western, believer and non-believer, that it is Love that makes the world go around.  It’s Love that makes life worth living, it is Love and only Love that can bring ‘on earth peace, good will to men.’

This article was contributed by Beth Packer a member of the Christian Science Church in Wollongong.  You can study these ideas in depth in the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.  You would be most welcome to attend our services (details are at the top of this page.)

Christmas Presents Recovered   Leave a comment

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

Christmas in Canberra is typically hot and dry, and this day—two days after the holiday—was a particularly hot one. Our son, 13 years old at the time, asked if we could drop him and his friend at the public swimming pool in town. My husband and I needed to do some grocery shopping, so we agreed to drop the boys off and pick them up in a couple of hours when we had finished. Both boys were confident swimmers, and we knew the pool was well supervised.

When we returned my husband ran in to collect the boys.  I watched them walk across the carpark towards the car.  The friend was dressed and carrying his sports bag. Our son wore only his swimmers; he did not have his bag, and he looked particularly dejected. He explained that he had rented a locker for his gear, but when he returned, he’d found his locker empty. Each locker has a separate code that is created afresh each time it is rented, which seemed a particularly safe system. I asked him what he’d had in his bag.

This Christmas had promised to be quite a lean one for us. My husband was between jobs, and although we usually don’t make a big deal of Christmas presents, this year all our son’s presents were of a practical nature since he would start high school in February. His grandparents had given him cash so he would have spending money for the summer break and outings at school; someone else had given him a new watch; someone else a wallet. A swimming towel, new joggers, sports bag, new summer clothes—all came as presents from the family. All his needs had been met, and he was thrilled with the generosity that had been shown. In his enthusiasm, our son had put all his gifts into his new sports bag and had even worn his new shorts and T-shirt to the pool. All now appeared to be gone.

My husband explained that he had had a conversation with the pool manager. The manager had concluded that the only way someone could have gained access to the locker was if they deliberately stood behind him and watched when he entered the code. My husband had offered to come back in the morning to see if the bag had been handed in, but the manager insisted that my husband should consider it gone.

It was a quiet trip home, but this gave me plenty of praying time.

My first thought was that it was too late to pray; that the bag was gone. Immediately, I realized that this line of thinking contained a number of errors. I reasoned that God never made a human timeline; with God there is only ever the infinite now. It was my duty to deal with whatever thoughts were being presented to me now. And, in fact, that is all I can ever do! Right now if the thought is coming that an injustice has been done to my family or me, then now is the time to deal with it. It is never too late to pray.

The next thought that came was one of indignation that someone could do this unkind thing to our son. Again I was alert and challenged this negative thought. I stood firm with the conviction that God’s man is honest, principled, kind.

A third and subtler suggestion intruded on my thought. I found I was beginning to add up the dollar value of the goods in the bag and feeling great concern about how we would be able to replace them before school started in a few weeks. But then I recognised that God is our source of supply—in fact, our source of all good. His abundance never runs out. I left off adding up the cost, knowing that with God, “My cup runneth over” (Psalms 23:5).

With these thoughts I felt peaceful.  I relaxed in God’s love, knowing that He was in control. The next morning, my husband announced that he was going back to the pool to check whether the bag had turned up. Our son went with him.

An hour later, two smiling faces arrived home. They explained that the manager had found the bag—to his great surprise—at the end of the day in one of the cubicles in the girls’ change room. On checking they found that nothing was missing. The wallet still contained all the Christmas gift money! Our son said that the manager kept saying that it was a mystery that someone would steal the bag and then just leave it intact.

This experience helped me to see more clearly that we are only ever dealing with thought.  Our thoughts and our beliefs determine our experience.  Mary Baker Eddy cautions us in the textbook of Christian Science to “Stand porter at the door of thought” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures p. 392).

She also writes, “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts” (Science and Health, p. 261). This experience allowed me to demonstrate the eternal truth of this statement. I am infinitely grateful for all that I am learning through Christian Science.

The Promise of Christmas   Leave a comment

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O peace of the world, O hope in each breast,
O Bethlehem star that ages have blest,
A day of fresh promise breaks over the land,
Gaunt warfare is doomed, and God’s kingdom at hand!

(Christian Science Hymnal 236 by Irving C Tomlinson)

To Defeat a Bully   Leave a comment

A young high school student tells how he overcame relentless bullying at his new school. He explains:

For the first two terms in my first year as a high school student, I was bullied relentlessly. Other boys my age experienced the same difficulties. Students in the upper classes would force us to wash their uniforms, make their beds, tie their shoelaces, and so on. Failure to do this led to a beating. In order to avoid that, I would always do whatever the big boys told me to do. When I enrolled in the school, my mum had told me to keep out of trouble, and I wanted to be obedient.

Jimmy goes on to explain how he prayed his way through this situation which resulted in long-term excellent outcomes for the school. He concludes with:

We have become friends, and after winning the position of school president, he (the original bully) has focused on eliminating the culture of bullying in our school.

This article by Jimmy Alfonce Owino was originally published in the Christian Science Journal. Click here to read or listen to his full explanation of how he handled this situation.

Safety for Everyone   Leave a comment

A Daily Lift by Tony Lobl

In this 3minute podcast Tony challenges us to think about how we identify ourselves … are we right-wing, left-wing, moderate? Or do we identify ourselves in more spiritual terms. How we see ourselves has an impact on the quality of our lives.

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.

My Father Has My Treasure   2 comments

Green pastures are before me,

Which yet I have not seen;

Bright skies will soon be o’ver me,

Where darkest clouds have been.

My hope I cannot measure,

My path in life is free;

My father has my treasure,

And He will walk with me.

(The Christian Science Hymnal – 148 by Anna L Waring)

Conference Rescued – Speaker Healed   1 comment

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

One of my roles in the years just before I retired was to organise the annual regional conference for the large state government department I worked for.  These events were attended by over 300 participants and included one main keynote speaker and approximately 48 breakout sessions.  Planning took many months.  In order to secure an exceptional keynote speaker, it was necessary to book at least twelve months in advance.

This particular year I managed to secure a booking with someone I knew to be not only at the forefront of his specialist area, but an excellent and engaging speaker.  He was pleased to be asked and at the initial interview we discussed a timeline for when he would give me details of his talk and materials for hand outs etc.  During the year we touched base a couple of times and all seemed to be going to plan.  However, when we were about a month out from the event he still hadn’t given me the material I was expecting and wasn’t answering my calls or emails. 

Eventually I managed to make contact with his support staff.  They said that he had been in hospital with a very severe case of pneumonia and even after a couple of months he was not well enough to be back at work.  I said I would make contact again in a week or so to see how he was progressing.  This time I managed to talk to the speaker himself.  He said that although he was still very ill and weak he felt sure he would improve enough to be able to do the talk.  We touched base several times over the next couple of weeks but his health was not improving.  He seemed keen not to let me down and said that he would bring his wife to support him and possibly do the talk sitting down. He thought then he might possibly manage.  This was still the situation, the day before the conference and it was extremely tempting to be very worried.  I did not want this dear man to jeopardise his health but I also knew that the opening address was a very important part of the conference.

I have been raised in Christian Science and I’ve learnt over many years that there are spiritual laws that can be relied upon when challenges arise.  So I prayed to see things from a spiritual, rather than a human perspective.  I knew that this conference was a right idea.  Among other things it was an opportunity for participants and presenters to share ideas that worked and to collectively rise to higher levels of performance.  I knew that all right ideas are God’s because I have come to know God as infinite Mind and the source of all good.  I have also come to know God as Love and that Love is not just a feeling but a divine law.  This law ensured the safety of all; this law held everyone in their right place and maintained harmony.  I thought on these and similar ideas until I felt a sense of calm – a strong sense that all was well.  The night before the conference I slept peacefully expectant of good unfolding.

The following evening was the meet and greet and the conference opening dinner.  When I arrived the hall was already abuzz with excited participants.  Quickly I noticed that there was quite a gathering of people over near the bar.  In the centre of this someone was holding the floor and entertaining a small crowd.  As I moved closer I realised that was my keynote speaker.   He greeted me with a huge grin. ‘You wouldn’t believe what happened’, he said.  ‘You know how I’ve been so sick for the last few months.  Well last night, it was like a switch flicked and instantly I was completely well.  I haven’t felt this well in years. Look at me now!’  His excitement and enthusiasm spilled over into the group and he continued to entertain them.  Needless to say his talk was a great success, as was the rest of the conference.

Every day I am grateful for what I am learning in Christian Science.  It teaches me to be calm in the face of challenges; it teaches me to turn away from the human scenario and to acknowledge the spiritual truths; it teaches me that there are spiritual laws that apply to all life and if understood and trusted these laws will adjust any discordant situation.

Grand and Noble Lives   Leave a comment

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We must form perfect models in thought and look at them continually, or we shall never carve them out in grand and noble lives.

(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy p248)

Life That is Spiritual   Leave a comment

Wednesday Testimony Meeting Readings

This recording is of readings on the topic: Life That is Spiritual

Never record ages. Chronological data are no part of the vast forever. Time-tables of birth and death are so many conspiracies against manhood and womanhood. Except for the error of measuring and limiting all that is good and beautiful, man would enjoy more than threescore years and ten and still maintain his vigor, freshness, and promise. Man, governed by immortal Mind, is always beautiful and grand. Each succeeding year unfolds wisdom, beauty, and holiness.

(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy p246: 17)

Every Wednesday at 6.15pm a Testimony Meeting is held at the Christian Science church in Canberra (corner of Macquarie and Bligh Streets, Barton). At these meetings short readings on a particular topic are followed by time for members of the congregation to share how they have been helped and healed through prayer.

Everyone is welcome.

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