Archive for the ‘Thanksgiving’ Tag

Counting Our Blessings   Leave a comment

When I was growing up, the Thanksgiving Day service in the Church of Christ, Scientist, our family attended was the one we never missed. It wasn’t uncommon for that service to be a very moving occasion, and it still isn’t, as many who come give thanks aloud for their blessings, such as finding a home or job, experiencing a physical healing through prayer, or having good friends and neighbors. There are also testimonies about changes of heart and character—such as overcoming fears or anger, or making efforts to be more patient, honest, or wise—that have meant even more.

I’ve also heard testimonies from some who faced especially tough challenges, such as the sudden loss of a loved one, bankruptcy, crime, moral failings, severe illness. The gratitude from these speakers has seemed deepest of all—not for the losses or suffering, but because those hardships compelled serious searching for answers in heartfelt prayer and humble listening to God for direction and hope. You could tell this search for meaning and comfort was more important than anything else. So their gratitude went straight to God for God and for the love and goodness that are the very nature of ever-present divine Life and Spirit.

We’re living in a time when so many people are facing the most difficult situations they ever have, when sorrow has seemed to be everywhere and gratitude appears unreasonable. And yet this has also been a year of the most extraordinary courage and unselfishness, amazing generosity and love, strangers saving the lives of strangers, opera singers serenading quarantined neighbors, the Eiffel Tower doing a nightly light show thanking first responders, and school teachers and parents discovering new creativity and endurance in helping children.

When the chips have been down—very, very down—so many have intuitively looked up, risen higher, fought against oppressors such as disease, fear, self-centeredness, and hate by resorting to goodness and courage, grace and kindness, and turning heavenward. Where do these impulses come from? They come from realizing in some measure that we’re not the earthbound mortals we’ve assumed. We are, in fact, spiritual—made from Love and made to love by God, immortal Life. We are grander and holier and more like God than we’ve imagined or been taught by the world. The evidence of this, though not necessarily universal, has still been unmistakable. 

Knowing our need of God is a blessing, and brings a restoration of hope, as well as answers.

When circumstances turn us to the Divine, even as a last resort, we begin to discover that the deific Mind, the one Spirit, perfect Love, can do all things for us. The more we realize that we are able—not of ourselves but through divine Love—to solve our problems, see the way forward, and meet our needs, the more we know our need of God. This is a blessing, because we will find there a restoration of hope, as well as our answers. …

Click here to read the full text of this article, Counting Our Blessings, by Ethel A. Baker which is published in the November 23, 2020 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

Posted November 22, 2020 by cscanberra in Christ-ideas, Christian Science, Gratitude

Tagged with , ,

Want to be Healthier? Say Thanks!   Leave a comment

shutterstock_100186745A special day for thanksgiving hasn’t really caught on in Australia yet, although other parts of the world celebrate it around this time of year. However, it may be time to consider its inclusion as part of a preventative approach to health care, because gratitude is so good for you.

In his inspiring book, Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, psychologist Robert Emmons cites research that found saying “thank you” measurably increases our happiness and health. He refers to an earlier study published in 2003 in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that found that participants who kept weekly ‘gratitude journals’ felt better about their lives as a whole and were more optimistic about the coming week. They also reported fewer physical symptoms, and lower levels of depression and stress than people who are not grateful.

I’ve noticed that gratitude is often the catalyst that brings healing into my life, too. For instance, stress and anxiety have lessened when I’ve changed a resentful attitude to being thankful for someone’s creativity, intelligence or community-mindedness; or when I’ve stopped belittling myself and been grateful instead for my unique abilities.

To feel thankful, you must consciously stop the insistent negative whirring in your head, be still and replace that negativity. 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, suggests spiritual thinker, Mary Baker Eddy in her primary work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p261).

Like many others, I can relate to the connection between a grateful heart and a healthy body. But for me it goes even deeper than that.

As a practitioner of Christian Science, I’ve found that gratitude is more than now-and-then positive thinking or a verbal expression of thanks. To make a difference, it needs to be shown in greater patience, humility and good deeds.

As such, it forms part of a preventative approach to healthcare and becomes a natural, foundational part of life, inextricably linked to consistent health.

Could it be that we have more control over our health than previously thought? And, if so, are there other qualities of thought besides gratitude that we could and perhaps should be cultivating?

This article was contributed by Kay Stroud of Queensland. Kay is a freelance writer and researcher on the connection between spirituality and health. Her blog can be read at: http://www.health4thinkers.com/ .

If you are in Canberra on Thursday 19 November 2015 join us at 6.00 pm (corner of Macquarie and Bligh Streets, Barton) for our annual Thanksgiving Service.  Everyone is welcome.

%d bloggers like this: