Saturday, August 15, 2015

WINGS OF HEALING



Your dearly loved one has gone.  Just slipped away with a calm, quiet departure.   Words can’t express the feeling of emptiness.
 
Just minutes after  my wife passed away some time ago,  I went into the next room where the radio was playing softly  what HAD been one of my favorite pieces, entitled   “Time to Say Goodbye.(1.    What horrible timing… a poignant, melancholy piece that kicked off a flood of tears.  I had never wanted to say Goodbye.   It gave a sense of finality to what had just happened.

Many of us have faced this situation,  the loss of a spouse, a child, a dearly loved friend or family member.  The sky seems dark and foreboding and it seems hard to envision Joy and Happiness ever reappearing  on the horizon.   

And then, ironically, the words of another favorite song tried to reach through my sadness. 

               “Blue Skies, smiling at me, nothing but Blue Skies, do I see” (2. 

That seemed so far from where I was. Those Blue Skies I had flown through for years  in countless aircraft were suddenly gray and dismal.

             “Nothing but Blue Skies from now on”.

 Those Blue Skies now a hollow promise.  


I felt a horrible sense of loss myself, but even more, I felt such a sadness for my dear lovely wife, life cut short, how could someone that wonderful be cheated out of a longer span of human experience. 

As a student of the Bible, a historical record of the impact of the Mind of the Creator on human thought going back centuries,  I sought in it's pages solace, comfort, a sense of peace.

As I  read on, and inspiring thoughts started to come to me, I found examples of how reaching out for a higher understanding of Life and the Truth of existence had brought comfort to the early Christians, and then to many others down through the years.  While there are many stories of death and disaster, illness and sin in it’s pages, the fact that the problems could not shake man’s confidence in God and the fact that they then found inspiration and comfort was reassuring.

 I read there in the Bible that even Jesus of Nazareth was brought down momentarily by the heaviness of the death of his friend, Lazarus.   But quickly he recovered and revived his friend through an understanding that spiritual life is truly eternal, as he had previously taught and demonstrated.

At that moment of despair, Jesus  … lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.   And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.”   (3.

 I read story after story of how, through turning to that spiritual voice within each of us,  the “still small voice” (4.  that speaks louder than “the earthquake, wind and fire”, thoughts were uplifted, sorrow was healed.   I started to understand more that Life is eternal  and that this illusion of life in matter is a temporary experience.  I liken it to a night dream that seems so real but when we awaken, we find it was never true.   In the book of Ephesians I found that awakening encouragement to awake from the material dream:  Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.


 In her Bible companion book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, 19th-20th  Century religious pioneer  Mary Baker Eddy, understanding how Jesus saw through the material view of life and saw the deeper spiritual meaning, said: Nothing we can say or believe regarding matter is immortal, for matter is temporal and is therefore a mortal phenomenon, a human concept, sometimes beautiful, always erroneous.  (5.

 I started to see Joy dispelling the clouds a little.

Then, true to what I knew the Father would do, that he would speak to me in that still small voice, that  He would deliver as the Bible promises in Malachi:   “ unto you that fear (respect) my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings;, (6.

And the “wings of healing”  it came on were the words of one of my very favorite poems, “High Flight”  which popped into thought.    As an Air Force veteran, one who has spent years  flying and enjoying the accompanying sense of joy and freedom, I could see “Spirituality” described in human terms, in terms of an Airman.  I felt uplifted, I could see above and beyond the belief in the passing of a loved wife.  I could feel the freedom of eternal life and Love.  

What was it that happened to my thinking?   Eddy has it this way: It was the gospel of healing, on its divinely appointed human mission, bearing on its white wings, to my apprehension, “the beauty of holiness,” — even the possibilities of spiritual insight, knowledge, and being.” (7.

I share that delightful uplifting poem with you here,  and pray that each of you feels the soaring sense of Spirit that has buoyed me up ever since that sad day.   God is still speaking to us all in the quiet times and invites your spirit to soar!!!


                  
 High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; 

Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds,-and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of

-wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence.

Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.... 

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark nor ever eagle flew- 

And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God 
Poem   John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
…………….
And an excerpt from one of my favorite hymns joined in to reassure me that God loves us and gives us Wings of Healing!!!!

Though storm or discord cross my path
Thy power is still my stay,
Though human will and woe would check
My upward-soaring way;
All unafraid I wait, the while
Thy angels bring release,
For still Thy presence is with me,
And Thou dost give me peace.

I climb, with joy, the heights of Mind,
To soar o’er time and space;
I yet shall know as I am known
And see Thee face to face.
Till time and space and fear are naught
My quest shall never cease,
Thy presence ever goes with me
And Thou dost give me peace.



(1. Time to Say Goodbye composer Francesco Sartori
(2. Blue Skies composer Irving Berlin
(3. The Bible – John 11:42-43
(4. I Kings 19:4
(5. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures - Mary Baker Eddy p 227:29
(6. Malachai 4:2
(7. Retrospection and Introspection – Mary Baker Eddy p 32
(8.  Christian Science Hymnal     Partial Hymn -  Hymn 136


NOTE:  
High Flight was written by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

     Magee, an American who became a Pilot Officer with the Royal Canadian Air Force was killed at the age of 19, while flying Spitfire coded VZ-H,
    Magee's posthumous fame rests mainly on his sonnet High Flight, which he started on 18 August 1941, just a few months before his death, whilst he was based at an air base in England. In his seventh flight in a Spitfire Mk I, he had flown up to 33,000 feet. As he orbited and climbed upward, he was struck by words he had read in another poem — "To touch the face of God." He completed his verse soon after landing.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Put Up the Sword – Replace the Ear



  

Driving down the interstate, perhaps the speed was a little above the limit, but car after car was passing at high speed. Then out of nowhere the state patrol vehicle with lights flashing pulled up behind the car and pulled it over.

The driver, Lee,  a dear family member was told that he had been stopped for speeding.   When he explained to the officer that every car on the road had been passing him at high speed and asked why he was being singled out,  the officer smiled wryly and said, “You were easier to catch.”  OUCH!!!

The very injustice of this made Lee’s blood boil.  It just wasn’t fair.

Maybe many of us have been faced with similar instances of  injustice on the human scene.  We often hear that “life isn’t fair”, but when it hits us personally,  witty sayings go out the window.   We just don’t understand why we are being singled out or punished!!

I have begun to see that the seemingly unfair, unjust act can actually be an opportunity to heal wrong thinking and bring us to a higher level of peace,  patience and loving thought.  

In an article called “Taking Offence,”  religious pioneer Mary Baker Eddy relates:     “There is immense wisdom in the old proverb,  He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty.”*     Hannah More, an English religious writer and philanthropist in the 1800s said,  “If I wished to punish my enemy, I should make him hate somebody.”  WOW. Hatred, harsh judgement, ill will are truly harmful to the “holder”!


A  great example of failing to react to injustice involves an incident from years ago.  A group of authorities and soldiers came to a small group of men  for the purpose of arresting one of them. One of the friends of the man to be arrested pulled out a sword and cut off the ear of  a member of the approaching mob.    The man to be arrested immediately told his friend to put up his sword, then he touched the severed ear and healed the man.  

Now the most  miraculous part of this is not that this man’s ear was replaced  without sutures or medical treatment, as amazing as that was, but the display of a very humble, fearless and  loving demeanor by the man to be arrested that resulted in a more peaceful confrontation  for all concerned, quelling  anger and retribution.

Of course, the Holy Bible contains that story. *   The man being arrested was Jesus of Nazareth and his friend with the sword was his disciple, Peter.  How unjust was this action by the High Priests against Jesus, a man of peace and goodness,  and certainly understandable was the anger and desire for retribution exhibited by Peter.   The desire to strike back, to “get even” and settle the score.   But as is so characteristic of Jesus of Nazareth, he explained to Peter that “people like us don’t do that”!!!

In that profound lesson that lives through time, Jesus showed how to replace a sense of injustice with healing kindness,  showing that evil and a sense of unfairness and  injustice does not deserve a violent  reaction, but only makes love and understanding more imperative.

Well, that was easy to understand!!
Guess I am outta here!
One occasion in my own experience stands out in my thought as a similar lesson.   I held a fairly high position in a large corporation and had a lot of responsibility. One day the Vice President called me in and told me I  was being terminated. Somehow we just had not seemed to click together as a management team and it had become obvious that something had to change. I wasn’t actually shocked, but felt such of sense of disappointment.  Certainly I wasn’t the problem, I thought,  and the temptation to strike out against my boss was very strong. I had worked very diligently  and effectively and the injustice of it all hit me hard.


As a student of the Bible and its lessons, which are still so appropriate centuries later, I reached out for help.    The story of replacing the ear was like guidance direct from Heaven!!!    In the Bible companion book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the author wrote:  "Evil has no reality. It is neither person, place, nor thing, but is simply a belief, an illusion of material sense.” ***   Jesus demonstrated this.  He saw evil as separate from person, as when he healed the man who was possessed by “devils”, mental illness and healed all manner of disease and sin.   He saw that the problem was evil and had no real part in the man.   

I saw that I could separate my manager from the problem and that I need not be incensed, embarrassed or hurt by the illusion of the human sense of life and his actions.

Another helpful thought from the Eddy article was: 
To punish ourselves for others’ faults, is superlative folly. The mental arrow shot from another’s bow is  practically harmless, unless our own thought barbs it.   It is our pride that makes another’s criticism rankle, our self-will that makes another’s deed offensive, our egotism that feels hurt by another’s self-assertion. Well may we feel wounded by our own faults; but we can hardly afford to be miserable for the faults of others. ****

 I felt a peace and calm come over me.
 
      The arrow that doth wound the dove  
        Darts not from those who watch and love.******


When we begin to understand the deep love and humility that Jesus displayed, and become true followers, we may be able to " put up the sword" and to “replace the ear” and love one another.    



*           Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures - Mary Baker Eddy p 71
 **        Taking Offence,”  Miscellaneous Writings -Mary Baker Eddy  p 224
***        Luke 22
****      Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures p22
*****    Miscellaneous Writings  p 24  
******  Hymn 30 Christian Science Hymnal  



Wednesday, August 12, 2015








The media shouts out to us that the world today is an arena where there is strife, and trouble... where much help and comfort is needed, and wanted!!

Perhaps if you, like me, have often been tempted to be a "silent student"  of Christ Jesus'teachings and practice, to hide our light under a bushel,  the words of the Bible contained in Paul's Letter to Timothy, (II Timothy 4) are a wake up call... "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."  We are not here to hide what we understand of God, Love, Life!!! 

A message I read on the internet recently  prodded me to see that  "the season has started, the  game is underway", we are on the field and it's time to "get our game on", and to recognize the importance of always being ready to "Preach the word; be instant in season,".. as written in the text quoted above. And doing this, not as a self righteous, boasting hypocrite but as a humble sharer of the good news, tenderly and gently uplifting and comforting.

The message below was from Neale Donald Walsch who has a daily inspirational message titled "I Believe God Wants You to Know".    As I remembered our challenge to become  "fishers of men" the words of the message were particularly appropriate:  

 " ... you should always have your hook baited. In the pool you least think,    there will be a fish. “    "Ovid, the Roman poet, said that, and he was right. You  never know when and where your next miracle will appear. So be ready. Be open. Be cheerful, receptive, even expectant."


"And do not limit the shape and size in which your miracle can come. Sometimes the smallest keys turn the biggest locks."   "So be on the lookout today. Be ready."


I loved that quote. We never know when a friend, a stranger, or even someone with whom we have differed or are at odds for some reason, may need a tender word, Christian encouragement, a shoulder to lean on or someone to wipe away the tears.  

This is the day the Lord has made... let's participate in it fully!!!!    God has given us the light of Love, let it shine!!!



Thursday, July 16, 2015

Love One Another



As the world struggles to find peace and love amidst the thunder and lightening of threats of terror, human acts of  hatred, abuse, greed and  hurtful thoughts and actions... we find a promise of good, and love, symbolized by nature.   




When we finally realize that we are not actually little human individuals fighting each other for existence, but are actually reflections of God's goodness, all differences, divisions, opinions, terror, hatred, antagonism and selfish interests will cease and we will find that we are One with God, the divine Consciousness. 


"Love one another", as prescribed by the humble pastor from Nazareth, Christ Jesus, will be our watchword and our way of life.



NOTE: Mary Baker Eddy is the discoverer and founder of Christian Science and author of the bible companion book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.. ...

Christian Science is based on the teachings of Christ Jesus, who said, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also...” (John 14:12). Mary Baker Eddy said, “these mighty works are not supernatural, but supremely natural...” (Science and Health, p.xi:14). This can mean resolving difficult challenges with health, relationships, employment, and other personal and global issues through prayer. People who practice Christian Science are free to make their own choices about what to think and do in each situation, including health care. But Christian Science is so much more than a system of self-help or health care. Ultimately, it is a way to draw closer to our loving Father-Mother, God, as well as all of humanity. More about basic teachings of Christian Science

Sunday, June 14, 2015

I HAD A SUGGESTION....




                             I Hear You Knockin!  (Click for Audio)

“You went away and left long time ago
Now your knocking on my door
I hear you knocking
But you can't come in
I hear you knocking
Go back where you been”

The words of that old song by Dave Edmunds kept going 
through my mind as I watched still
another pharmaceutical commercial during the evening news television broadcast recently. Commercial after commercial… offering up an array of frightening symptoms of one physical malady after another, each message planting seeds of doubt and worry to the receptive and unsuspecting thought.
I have seen and experienced the effect of some of these messages… “Do I have those symptoms, could that be what I have? I think I may have those symptoms, that horrible condition!”

Oh, the power of Suggestion!!! Suggestion is probably appearing in a venue near you… TODAY… TONIGHT… TOMORROW!!! See if you can identify and unmask him!!

Targeting a marketing pitch to a receptive client is very important in marketing and sales.  The motto seems to be to “Plant the Seed of Need! Then provide a solution or fix!” In other words… SUGGEST!!!

We should pity the physician who has to eventually answer to the fears and concerns resulting from the suggestive messages and eventually calm and overcome the patients’ concerns.

Pharmaceutical commercials are just one type of aggressive "suggestion" that we face from the media every day. Not al
l are fear based.  Some are enticements. Images of new
flashy cars, beautiful luxurious homes, scenes played out of beautiful men and women finding the good life in often far fetched circumstances, the allure of wealth and happiness based on material “things”, planting the seeds of discontent with our sometimes humble lives.

While many of these enticements are innocent enough, they often influence us to do what is not in our best interests, such as an enticing ice cream commercial often gets my interest and suddenly I need an ice cream “fix”!!

As a guy who really doesn’t NEED any more ice cream and has felt the influence of all of the above "suggestions", that old song, “I Hear You Knockin’ But you Can’t Come In” has relevance. Those lyrics magically appearing in my thought at some of the most tempting moments have saved me, helped me to close the door on intrusive thoughts and brought me back to more rational thinking,  guarding my thought.
                 

 When I was a young boy, a well-known hypnotist came to town and put on a show. This “mesmerizer” was very convincing as he went through his act, choosing one person after another from the audience. These folks, ordinary Main Street moms and dads, middle America Ohioans, arrived with innocent and open minds, eager to see what was coming next. There was no defense for them, as they were subject to every suggestion that the hypnotist made. 

One older lady who was told that she was very thirsty immediately began showing signs of light distress and drank several glasses of water while we watched, fascinated. When the hypnotist woke her up she had no idea of what she had done.

Another volunteer selected was a very distinguished looking, middle-aged man, bald and rather rotund. The

suggestion was made to him that he was a chicken and he immediately he began running around the stage clucking, waving his arms as though they were wings.  It was  a really good chicken imitation which I am sure he could never have imagined he would ever be doing in front of an audience.

From that very moment, even as a young boy, I knew that I never wanted to be put to sleep by suggestion in that way, nor be fooled into believing something that was not true. AND, most 
"suggestions" don’t come as easily identifiable as does a tuxedoed Hypnotist!! They come subtly as our own thoughts!!

Mesmerism, or hypnotism involves the mesmerizer making suggestions and his clients becoming absolutely mesmerized by him, convincing enough for them to act out the role that has been suggested.

AbbĂ© Faria was one of the disciples of Franz Anton Mesmer, an early experimenter in what was called “animal magnetism” in the late 1700s. Faria continued with Mesmer’s work and conducted experiments to prove that “no special force was necessary for the production of the mesmeric phenomena such as the trance, but that the determining cause lay within the subject himself;” In other words, that it worked purely by the power of suggestion.

Certainly we need no hypnotist to be affected.  We are bombarded by hypnotic suggestions every day, sometimes every moment.

Pioneer in Christian Healing, Mary Baker Eddy, in her Book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, realizing that disease is fear made manifest on the body, wrote:

 “Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously. When the condition is present which you say induces disease, whether it be air, exercise, heredity, contagion, or accident, then perform your office as porter and shut out these unhealthy thoughts and fears. Exclude from mortal mind the offending errors; then the body cannot suffer from them. The issues of pain or pleasure must come through mind, and like a watchman forsaking his post, we admit the intruding belief, forgetting that through divine help we can forbid this entrance.”( 1 


The Bible describes  “planting suggestions” in a 
parable  about a farmer who planted good wheat seed but an enemy came along and planted tares, or bad seed,
among the wheat. To me this parable typifies the bad “suggestions” being planted in our thought to battle the good seeds in our thought. Some Bible scholars agree that in the story in Matthew 13, the enemy who planted the seed was actually the farmer himself, unwittingly letting the evil, the temptation, the bad seed take root.

These downward pulling hypnotic “suggestions” aren’t a new thing! Jesus was tempted by that “knocking at the door” after some long period of meditation and prayer, alone on a mountain when intrusive thoughts identified as “Satan” suggested that Jesus could turn rocks into bread, throw himself off of a mountain, even be King of the Jews. Jesus, realizing that Life is Spiritual,  quickly identified the thoughts as evil 
"suggestions", and "Satan" disappeared.

Recently. I went through a rather lengthy siege of attacks from 
"suggestions". It seemed like one thing after another came to me and as soon as I prayed and overcame one thing another, even more serious,  hit me. There seemed to be no consistency, rhyme or reason in the attacks. The problems ranged from not being able to form sentences, not able to voice the words that were in my thought,  to instability in standing and walking, back pain, loss of vision, extreme anxiety, and so on and so on.

Letting down my guard,  my reactions ranged from fear of the symptoms, to the thought that I was passing on, to mental confusion and looking for a cause on one side… to laughing out loud when I realized (as one who has practiced Christian Science healing for many ailments and life problems for fifty years),  how utterly ridiculous the whole scene was. These material suggestions were so exaggerated,  I was acting like a tennis player running around the court hitting back the ball… backhanded, forehanded, in bounds and out of bounds!!! 

Then I remembered Mary Baker Eddy's clear direction in times of distress:  "Take possession of your body, and govern its feeling and action. Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man." (2.

Apparently I was believing the "suggestions".  It became clear that the more I looked at myself, my body, my personal situation for health and happiness while suffering from a deep sense of loneliness after the recent loss of my spouse, the more problems I would find.

Then, after a short while of listening for God's guidance, that old song,  a reminder to "stand porter at the door of thought"  came to me once again and I sang out loud… "I hear you knockin’, but you can’t come in”.  
Remembering that we are here to reflect God's infinite goodness and Love replaced the fear and negated the suggestion.   And “the devil”, identified, disappeared.”

Whatever your religious or moral beliefs and convictions, we can all be alert to these 
"suggestions" and consider where they are coming from. Understanding that the only real, true, inspired and eternal Truths are from our Father, we regain our sense of  health and happiness.     Keep Singing!!!!!

(1.   Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures... Mary Baker Eddy   page 392
(2.    IBID  393

Thursday, May 28, 2015

MOLLY and DISTRACTIONS AND DECEPTIONS







Sitting in the control tower at United States’ northernmost Air Force Base, two o’clock in the morning and very dark, the blue lighted taxiways provided a surreal dim glow, almost hypnotic, across the field. With little air-traffic it was difficult to stay awake. Of course it didn’t matter the time of day because at this base, a little south of the true North Pole and almost due east of magnetic north, the sun didn’t come up at all in these winter months. After a sunset in late October, the sun wouldn’t show it’s beautiful smiling face again until early in the next year. You get used to the 24 hour darkness.

Beautiful classical music was playing over one of the air traffic control speakers in the tower. I didn’t know how that was happening since there were no radio stations, actually no people, for a thousand miles or so and certainly no known radio stations. Then, unexpectedly a voice came on announcing the world news. It started off blandly with a soft female voice but quickly escalated as she began describing one of our U.S. Senators as a “known war monger”. I sat up and really paid attention at this point as she unreeled a story that was VERY un-American about one of our Senators and the treacherous intent of the United States. 




AXIS Sally - Mildred Elizabeth Gillars
What a wake-up call!! We soon discovered that the station was referred to as Radio Moscow, a propaganda station somehow using a harmonic to reach our VHF Control Tower frequencies and the speaker was a person known as Moscow Molly. Molly was a cold war replica of World War II propagandists Tokyo Rose and Axis Sally, who broadcast misleading information in an attempt to frighten, dishearten and confuse their enemies and to plant seeds of distrust. 

It almost worked for me as Molly began to address the base where I was stationed. I felt that she was talking directly to me, the senior controller in the Tower as she noted, for our information, that the fourth runway light on the right-hand side on our main runway was out and alerted us that it should be fixed.  We turned the runway lights on and she was correct. She even seemed to know what we were having in the chow hall during the week

This little seed of distraction did momentarily make me question our security there, how did this information get out. But recognizing this for what it was, a distraction intended to undermine, to deceive, we quickly dismissed it as the propaganda that is was.

Isn’t that the secret to handling distraction? How
alert we must be to the downward pull of materiality,? This is not a new trick of baseless evil thinking. We remember the “Sirens of the Sea”,  dangerous yet beautiful mythological creatures who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island.

In the Bible Jesus faced the same kind of distractions and temptations. As he was in the wilderness praying, Satan came to his thought, tempting him, distracting him from his prayerful vigil by suggesting that Jesus could rule the world, could turn rocks into bread, could throw himself off of the mountain without being hurt if he would only listen to the Deceiver. Of course Jesus had the understanding and alertness to cast out the suggestions immediately.

Responding confidently, Jesus answered the suggestions and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan” and then, “when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. “ (I noticed that Satan left him “for a season”. Good idea for us to remember that because sometimes when we least expect it, the “season’ is over and he comes back with his bag of distractions and deceptions!!!!

Even today we face those distractions that would turn us away from our “mission”, our efforts to follow a life of Love, kindness, helpfulness, purity and healing, to follow Jesus’ encouragement to “Love one another”.

FaceBook, a wonderful social media tool for
communicating with friends and sharing ideas, can result in friendly people being pulled into meaningless arguments, sometimes becoming vicious. I know because I have fallen into the trap over and over. The distraction, planting seeds of discord, injustice, person against person arguments leave us feeling bitter. And often disappointed with ourselves for being “tricked” once again.

Political discussions can also bring hatred, resentment, nasty attitudes which undermine not only friendships, but peace of mind, and cause misunderstandings, stress and heartache.

Drug advertisements on TV… suggesting illnesses… are another distraction. Like the story of the wheat and the tares in the Bible, these ads often “plant the seed” of the fear of disease in a “healthy field” , often leading folks to become concerned, looking closely for the symptoms described… “Oh dear, I did feel a pain last week, I wonder if I have that!!!!” There is plenty of evidence that these ads and their suggestions can actually cause the disease to appear. (http://www.naturalnews.com/023656_body_cancer_stress.html–– and there are many more references.)

Jesus gave us the mandate to be alert, to watch and pray to identify the distractions and deceptions, as he did. He said : Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. John 14:12

In her companion book to the Bible, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy encourages us to be alert to duty: “Every day makes its demands upon us for higher proofs rather than professions of Christian power. These proofs consist solely in the destruction of sin, sickness, and death by the power of Spirit, as Jesus destroyed them. This is an element of progress, and progress is the law of God, whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfil.”

Further guidance in that same book cautions: "In a world of sin and sensuality hastening to a greater development of power, it is wise earnestly to consider whether it is the human mind or the divine Mind which is influencing one."

So, alert to the worldly thoughts and influences that would distract us from our mission to 
Love One Another… 
 we can say to distraction, Get Thee Behind Me!!! And move forward reflecting Love and Truth in health and happiness.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

PEACE... OR... WE WOULD RATHER NOT - POLITICS IN AMERICA




The world is an amazingly complex place with different cultures, national interests, religions, levels of thought and widely diverse goals, strategies, human opinions, and constantly changing patterns of war and peace. 

Perhaps the most frightening attitude of earth’s peoples  is one that has been extant over the centuries, that war is necessary to achieve national goals and objectives; to protect a way of life;  and, to further a nation’s goals, religious or secular.  This attitude rejects efforts towards forgiveness and peace.  

In other words, throughout history  many nations and their leaders have taken the approach that “only war will win the day”. 

As political campaigns and the heated rhetoric they will generate start to build for the next presidential election in the United States of America,  we will hear such attitudes expressed by candidates for that office as they discuss the myriad of conflicts and potential threats in the world today.

Political Discussions

We already see early criticism of efforts of the President and other world leaders who seek peaceful solutions  and rational negotiations,  and there will undoubtedly be loud shouts for military action over compromise and finding an acceptable pathway to peace.

 As we stand by awaiting the inevitable chest beating,  calls for “protecting our liberty and national honor” and derogatory comments about those peace seeking leaders, and even efforts to defeat their negotiations,  it would be well to remember the words of one of our country’s most successful generals, a respected president and a humanitarian of great intelligence.

General Dwight David Eisenhower


President (and General) Dwight D Eisenhower was certainly a brilliant military man, a 5 star General, Commander in Chief of the Allied Forces for the invasions of Italy and Normandy in World War II and the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO.   Great military credentials without a doubt.  But as a man of substance, goodness and humanity he also realized the futility of continued warfare. We need only look back over the past 3,000 years to see that warfare does not end warfare. The players change, the situations change but the inexplicable  inner desire of man to obliterate man is still seen across the centuries.


We should entreat our politicians and, indeed, all Americans to heed the call of President Eisenhower and consider his words as we are urged to turn aside peaceful efforts and support conflict today and in the future.

He said: "Every gun made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This is not a way of life at all. Under the cloud of threatening war it is humanity hanging from across of iron."

And about our forefathers as they established America, Eisenhower said:
"The real fire within the builders of America was faith – faith in a provident God  whose hand supported and guided them: faith in themselves as the children of God… Faith in their country and its principles that proclaimed man's right to freedom and justice."

This man, powerful in war and government, but with a deep appreciation of  life and peace,  understood freedom, democracy and the importance of trusting God for the providence of all mankind.

A recent visit to the Eisenhower Museum several years ago in Kansas revealed  even more clearly that the choices of mankind are: Do we love, or hate?  Do we seek war or can we trust peace?  Are we fearful without carrying a weapon?   Are we humble enough to seek peace and understanding as a solution or must we be pumped up, arrogant and dominate the world?  

The founders of America came here to establish a nation built on peace... are we truly in tune with that spirit of peace and love today?  Have we betrayed those early settlers who saw America as a place where people could go to bed at night in peace, who didn't fear for their children's lives, who were tolerant of others? 

Yes, America has always defended itself and well it should, decisively and effectively.   "Ike" was certainly not one to bow down to oppression, nor should we let down our guard.   But we must not let the voices of fear and arrogance block efforts to live harmoniously with other nations and seek peace as the first and most desirable alternative.   As a case in point,  history reveals that many of the trusted  allies of the United States were at one time in conflict with us.  If we can be partners and work with countries that were at one time enemies, why can’t we cut out the “middle man” of armed conflict and go right to peaceful relations.  

Christians, should recall the words of the Master Christian, Christ Jesus when he said:
 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it  be afraid.”   John 14:27
We pray that our leaders will remember that one huge assignment that Jesus left for his followers:  Love One Another! John 13:34.  

 Religious Leader Mary Baker Eddy, author of Science and Health with  Key to the Scriptures wrote the definitive answer:   "Bloodshed, war, and oppression belong to the darker ages, and shall be relegated to oblivion.  (1   War will end when nations are ripe for progress.  (2      And when are politicians are ripe for progress, when they are ready to seek peaceful solutions whenever possible, they will be ready for office. 
 
 First Church of Christ Science and Miscellany Mary Baker Eddy  
1) 285:10

2) 281:28

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

THE HILL CLIMB - TALKING OR DOING!






I sat there staring at the hill in front of me. The engine of the hill climbing dirt bike was sputtering as they are wont to do at very low idle speed. That hill straight ahead looked very steep, and… intimidating.   The churned up dirt track leading up the hill in what seemed like a near vertical climb was awaiting my hesitant self. Sure,  other bikes  ahead of me had made it to the top, maybe more experienced hill climbers,  undoubtedly less cautious, but most had made it to the top.

My dilemma had started a week earlier. As a Sunday school teacher working with a teen age class it seemed like every week I was the one learning lessons.   Not a bad thing, but not the way I had envisioned things when I volunteered to teach.

As the class discussed the Bible Lesson for the week, we talked about fear.   One boy, about 16 years old, had shared with the class that he was going to do some hill climbs on his dirt bike. He told us of how it was a great bike and that he wanted to do it but that he had become fearful of climbing the steep hills.  He wondered if truly understanding  God’s love and protection the way that Jesus described Him could really help overcome fear?   Sure, Jesus urged us to “Be Not Afraid”, but how?   

I of course took the cue, jumped in and assured him that he was safe in God’s care.  I thought sharing my own experiences would help and the whole class shared instances of how they had experienced God’s protection in their lives.

With all of my talk, encouraging him to trust and to be courageous, I had no idea that this young man would invite me to come the next week to enjoy the sport, to give him encouragement and to actually ride his cycle up that steep hill, an opportunity for me to  demonstrate strength,  courage and trust in God’s protection.  Oh Dear!!!  Now what had I done?

Now, I was a motorcycle rider myself but not really into off road riding. Here again, as my dad used to say, I had talked myself into a pickle.  It is easy to “talk the talk” as some folks say, to make claims, to maybe go beyond what we actually want to demonstrate! 

So, sitting there, having gotten myself into this situation,  facing my challenge, I did reach out to the Father.   I was truly going to have to "Trust in the Lord" !    I asked for the silent voice to speak to me in thought and give me courage. And, He did.  

The story of David and Goliath, a familiar one to many, and one that has special meaning to me, came immediately to thought.   The exciting story is told in the Bible in  I Samuel 17  where the  Philistines gathered together their armies to battle  King Saul and the men of Israel.     The Philistines had a champion, Goliath , of Gath.  He was a huge man and was suitably armed.  Rather than array all of the armies in another bloody battle,  Golaith proposed that  the Israelites  send forth one man to do battle to determine the contest.    Whichever one  lost, their armies would be the servants of the other nation. 

The Israelites were afraid and only one, a young shepherd boy, David, had the courage to fight the giant.  While the Israelites were milling around in confusion, talking bravely perhaps but not willing to join the battle, David took the challenge.  To me this Goliath's very presence evoked fear and dread.    

Young David was undeterred, his confidence in the power and presence of God to protect him undiminished.   He cried out to Goliath,  “ Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.”  Now THAT is Trust.  Not just talking, but demonstrating!

Needless to say this young lad defeated the giant, symbolizing the defeat of error, the striking down of fear, as David relied on God for strength, wisdom, understanding and courage.  Sort of David’s version of a hill climb.

So, with the story of David’s courage in my thought, seeing the hill as my Goliath,  I grasped the bike’s hand grips, hit the throttle and went churning up that hill. At times when the bike seemed to waver and wallow, I opened the throttle even wider,  trusting that God would deliver me to the top. After all, my Sunday school class was counting on me!  What a wonderful feeling it was as I reached the top, exhilaration and a sense of victory over fear.  Doing instead of talking!!

Mary Baker Eddy, early American religious pioneer, Christian healer, preacher and teacher noted the importance of demonstration.     She said:   
While respecting all that is good in the Church or out of  it, one’s consecration to Christ is more on the ground of demonstration than of profession.   1.)  Practice not profession, understanding not belief, gain the ear and right hand of omnipotence.   2.)
 Every day makes its demands upon us for higher proofs rather than professions of Christian power.  These proofs consist solely in the destruction of sin, sickness, and death by the power of Spirit, as Jesus destroyed them. This is an element of progress, and progress is the law of God, whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfil. 3.)

Jesus himself required proofs of God’s power. He knew that talk alone would not sway the world,    His overcoming sin, sickness of every type, death, lack, insanity, were all key to his acceptance by the world as the “son of God”, the example of the Christ.  Not words, but WORKS!

To confirm his conviction that the proofs were important, he said:  “ Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?   the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.   Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.  4.)

We can trust God.  And we will not be afraid to replace talking with doing!! My student proved his own trust by joyfully making it up the hill too!  Several times!!

A favorite hymn gives us a gentle reminder of where we should put our trust:

O he who trusts in God’s protection
And hopes in Him when fears alarm,
Is sheltered by His loving-kindness,
Delivered by His mighty arm;
If ye God’s law can understand,
Ye have not builded on the sand.

O wait on Him with veneration,
Be silent in humility;
He leads you after His own counsel,
His will is done and still shall be;
All good for you His wisdom planned;
O trust in God and understand.  

Christian Science Hymnal  216

4.  John 14:11-12