Friday, November 6, 2015


Halloween, a sort of mish-mash of pagan customs and a derivative of a Christian holiday in celebration of the dead has come and gone in the United States.   Children in costumes impersonate and take on the character of ghosts, angels, superheroes and monsters, going door-to-door looking for treats..

I still remember how years ago, as a young and impressionable youngster, I wanted to dress as the Frankenstein Monster.  I was transfixed during, and frightened long after seeing, the movie version of author Mary Shelley’s story of Dr. Victor Frankenstein who created a monster from body parts.  He was obsessed by the desire to create a man using body parts from cadavers and giving it life.


We shivered in our seats as the strange Doctor and his assistant went to cemeteries at night, secretly dug up graves, scavenged body parts and then reassembled them in the scariest castle and the most frightening environment imaginable to a young boy.

 In the years since that time, I have often thought that in some fashion we, today, still try to achieve what Dr. Frankenstein dreamed of.  What seemed so eerily outlandish and impossible those years ago are now becoming possible. Medical science has witnessed the development of artificial replacements for body parts including legs, arms, hip and knee joints, even growing skin tissue and manufacturing replacement hearts. While these dedicated doctors may not be visiting cemeteries to harvest parts, they do use cadaver bones for grafting and organs donated by thoughtful givers upon their death, to be given to fortunate recipients.

For many who are in need of these new techniques, the replacement of defective or injured body parts with working replacements must be a wonderful blessing. So many people today are enjoying freedom and relief as the result of these technological advances.   But it is well, while being grateful for the progress made, to also be aware of what life is really all about and not to dwell too much on the body as the key to happiness.

As Dr. Frankenstein discovered, seeing life as merely a collection of body
parts, an “assembled” material body without a "soul" or reflection if the Spirit, can backfire.  The spiritual essence of the real man is not seen by the eye.   While his own creation, a huge ugly creature, was not at all attractive and had a disastrous end, even a beautiful body, perfectly proportioned, all parts running smoothly, though we all may desire that, doesn’t insure happiness, success and joyful existence.   We too must beware of creating a “Monster”, the belief that happiness is found in the material body.!!

As usual, the Holy Bible gives guidance.  It is incredible that a record two thousand years old can still guide us today.   With his deep insight, and understanding the need to see through the seeming physical attributes of man, Jesus of Nazareth said:   “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? (1)
Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? “(2)

His understanding of man as spiritual, a reflection of God expressing in a tangible way God’s love, tenderness, goodness, intelligence, peace and joy, none of which are physical, took him to a higher plane.  His own pure thought, uplifted and reflecting God’s perfection, healed and restored the body through a spiritual understanding of reality.

In her Bible Companion book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy counsels: “If we look to the body for pleasure, we find pain; for Life, we find death; for Truth, we find error; for Spirit, we find its opposite, matter. Now reverse this action.  Look away from the body into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and immortality. 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.” (3) 

Maybe a better way of thinking of the body then is as a “delivery vehicle” for spiritual qualities such as love, tenderness, caring and sharing.  We can appreciate the body parts as implements to heal, to serve others as we look beyond the “Monster of Self”, and begin seeing body parts as spiritual tools, avoiding the constant “taking thought for our body” as the source of life and happiness.


We can start by asking, “Are my hands helpful to others?
Are my arms embracing others in Love?
Are my eyes seeing the good, the pure and the beautiful or are they critical and judgmental? 
Are my feet running to help another? 
Are my ears hearing God’s direction and guidance in that “still, small voice”?
Is my heart the center of love?
Do I live and move and breath the atmosphere of Spirit?

As found in Isaiah, "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" (4)

This loved hymn spells it out!!

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.

Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my every thought, to use
In the way that Thou shalt choose.
Take my love; O Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
I am Thine, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.  (5)

1.)  Matthew 6:31
2.)  Matthew 6:27
3.)  Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures – Mary Baker Eddy  p 260
4.)  Isaiah 2:22

5.)  Christian Science Hymnal 324

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Finding Peace at the Al Bustan Palace

Al Bustan Palace Hotel - Muscat, Oman

Ofttimes lessons and uplifting ideas come to us most unexpectedly.   It seems that when we are least prepared for inspiration or the opportunity to learn new lessons, they come quickly and have tremendous impact..

Some years ago, managing an information technology consulting company out of Kuwait, an opportunity arose to establish a startup office in Oman, in the capital city of Muscat. Coincidentally, soon after we opened that office Oman held its first ever computer and information technology show.  

Jumping at the opportunity to be at the show and to demonstrate several innovative products that we were marketing in the Middle East, we agreed to participate.    . One such product was a circuit board for personal computers  that facilitated the keyboard switching between Arabic text and English text. It was quite novel and we had tied it with a very popular database software which were also marketing, in addition to our consulting services.

The first eye-opener of the day came while  speaking to the Minister of
Awni, Pat and Peter with the Minister of Information
Information and his entourage. As we told them about our technology, a sort of a bird's eye view, an overview of the multi-cultural scene came to my thought.  Standing there with me, an American student of Christian Science,   were Peter,  a Lutheran from Copenhagen Denmark,  Awni, a Palestinian Christian resident of Bethlehem who partnered with my company, and Omani officials, Muslims,  and other attendees from India, Pakistan and other countries. 

As we conversed, sharing thoughts on technology and describing our
products to the Omanis and other attendees of different religions and nationalities in the group, it seemed like a wonderful harmonious example of how people of different backgrounds can actually live and work together.

Later that day, not having yet moved into my apartment in Oman, we checked into the Al Bustan Palace Hotel,  a beautiful facility, sort of the pride of Oman.    

Dinner in the hotel in the evening featured huge buffet tables set in the area by the swimming pool and close to the beach.  Many people were already there and surprisingly there was a long line of people, all wearing tuxedos, and there were few people with the traditional Omani dress, the "dishdasha" and mussar or kummah headdress.    

Joining the buffet line at the very end, behind the line of tuxes,  I was intrigued by the man ahead of me.  Very distinguished looking and a commanding presence, he looked so familiar.   I couldn’t recall where I had seen him.   Perhaps he had been here before on a previous visit it was obvious he was with the snazzy group and there hadn’t been a bunch of tuxedo-ed people here on my previous visits.   

Curiosity won out and as I reached out to shake hands, told him that  as someone who  had visited this hotel a number of times I was curious about the  group who are now serving themselves at the buffet.  He smiled kindly and introduced himself as the conductor of the Israeli Symphony. He was a very well-known man and had performed in the United States many times and familiar to classical music lovers around the world.   I KNEW it!!  That’s who he is!!!

Imagine, the entire Israeli Symphony was here, in Oman, in an Arab
Sultan Qaboos bin Said
country.  The conductor smilingly told me that Sultan Qaboos,  the Ruler of Oman, loves classical music and invites the Symphony to play occasionally.    Sultan Qaboos who was educated at Sandhurst Military Academy in England,  is very forward thinking and apparently a music lover.

After a pleasant but brief conversation I took my plate and sat down by myself. Reflecting on the unusual happenings of the day, thought wandered and pondered.   

Couldn't it be this way all over the world?   Does war and terror have to be practiced in the world?  How could the events of today be replicated throughout?  Can mankind “get over” the belief of many gods, many creators, different gods, no gods, “my god not your god”?   

Can man ever adapt the understanding that there is ONE creative force and learn to live harmoniously?  

Can we ever overcome contention, hatred, selfish interests? 

Can we demonstrate in a practical way the plea of Malachai (2:10)  ... Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?

Can we begin at home and then spread love throughout the world?

In every religion of which I am aware, there is this understanding that God is Love and Peace.  Stated differently perhaps.  Different words.  Different interpretations.   But in each there is this longing to reach love, purity, peace.   So why do we have such a hard time harmonizing?

In her Bible companion book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy,, knowing that there is, can be, only one Creator regardless of human strife, petty contention, differing beliefs and  views of God, gave this encouraging view:

“One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, "Love thy neighbor as thyself;" annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, — whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed.”
Science & Health 340:23-29

As I sat there in the mild evening heat of Oman, enjoying a delicious buffet, joyous that I was having dinner with the Israeli symphony, in an Arab country, where Christians and Muslims and Israelis all were together harmoniously today, marveling at God’s goodness, I recalled  a hymn that we used to sing in the Methodist Church when I was young.  Written by William A. Dunkerley, under his pen name of John Oxenham, the hymn is as follows:

The United Methodist Hymnal

In Christ there is no east or west,
in him no south or north,
but one great fellowship of love
throughout the whole wide earth.

In Christ shall true hearts everywhere
their high communion find;
his service is the golden cord
close-binding humankind.

Join hands, disciples of the faith,
whate'er your race may be.
All children of the living God
are surely kin to me.

In Christ now meet both east and west;
in him meet south and north.
All Christly souls are one in him
throughout the whole wide earth.

As I retired for the evening in this beautiful hotel I was profoundly grateful for the demonstration that East and West met, and we are one!! 

Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift!!  ( II Corinthians 9:15)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

And the Best is LOVE

If you ever feel down and out, in a difficult relationship, facing medical problems, confused by the political static, the economy, frightened by the threats of terror, gun violence and war, or just wish for comfort and reassurance,  consider this message.  When Jesus of Nazareth encouraged us to "love one another" and counseled  "thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength" (Mark 12) it was not just a soothing placebo, it was practical truth for us to practice.  He taught that God IS Love... a real, operative, demonstrable and practical, active science that gives our lives meaning. And he promised that we can do the works that he did, and even greater.  (John 14:12) 

These selected verses that have helped me are from a poem by Christopher Wordsworth (1807–1885) and put to music in the Christian Science Hymnal (Hymn 173). A wonderful prayer for Love....

"Love is kind, and suffers long,
Love is meek, and thinks no wrong,
Love, than death itself more strong;
Therefore, Give us Love.

Prophecy will fade away,
Melting in the light of day;
Love will ever with us stay!
Therefore, Give us Love.

Faith will vanish into sight;
Hope be emptied in delight;
Love in heaven will shine more bright;
Therefore, Give us Love.

Faith and Hope and Love we see
Joining hand in hand agree;
But the greatest of the three,
And the best, is Love."

An excerpt from a wonderful daily blog by Christian Science Practitioner Laura Moliter, this morning brought that wonderful hymn to mind. Her words follow:

"We may feel at times as if we have thoughts and ideas that feel inspired and right, and yet they also seem unclear to us, confused, or fraught with challenges to their realization. Don’t give up on those right aspirations. Neither should you feel as if your life is without a distinct purpose, a right reason to keep walking forward with joy and expectation.

The seed doesn’t know what the flower will look like, and yet within that seed is the purpose to be a glorious flower, as nature would reveal. Trust Spirit, God, to know what the finished product of your goals and of your very life must look like. It must look like Him! Your Life is intended to reveal God’s qualities in a unique and wonderful and necessary way. It already is doing so and will continue to bloom, to surprise, and to delight.

Rest your worries and your frantic need to know exactly what tomorrow must bring, and let God reveal the very right thing at the very right time in the very right way. Enjoy this moment, treasuring God’s loving care for you and your goals. It is safe to pause with God, divine Love. His purpose is a promise and it is always natural to us, and yet holy, powerful, successful, and beautiful."


Thanks Laura and Christopher for the wonderful comforting messages of God's Love!!  And to Christ Jesus for proving that Love is not just a word but a healing spirit.

Too late to contact Christopher but you can read more from Laura at:

Laura Moliter, CS

Saturday, September 26, 2015


I saw her again today. She is always in the same place every day, right at the edge of the roadway  when I go past on my walk.

I expect that most people don’t even notice her as they rush by in cars and trucks, and I wonder if that makes her sad.  She’s a beautiful little thing, even sort of perky with her yellow hair and uplifted face and it’s a pity that those who miss seeing her have lost a wonderful opportunity to experience true loveliness.

It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve passed by. I always stop and look, sometimes standing there for a few minutes just staring down at her, giving her well deserved admiration, a lot of smiles and a few compliments. Yes, I talk to her and a few of her friends growing nearby.  

What a wonderful example she is of persistence,  beauty and vitality. Her "home" is a dirt berm  within a few feet of the roadway, no fancy garden, no beautiful amenities.  I’m not even sure what type of little flower she is but she doesn't seem to worry about that and never complains..

Looking at her my thoughts are momentarily  lifted above worldly concerns, worry slowly vanishes. 
A peaceful feeling washes over me and I begin to realize that God is reflected in her little face, a promise that no matter my material sense of existence, the view of a world in conflict, sometimes sadness, sometimes  struggles, the sense of urgency in day-to-day situations that would argue "Hurry, Hurry, Worry, Worry"  fades away and a more tender view of God's endless Love fills my heart.

 I see her as a  sort of  a poster child for those dear ones that  are passed by every day as we rush about, self absorbed, often too busy to see and feel the beauty that surrounds us or the need to be noticed and appreciated by those who are ignored, almost invisible and unnoticed .

I am tempted to pick her and take her home, but she speaks silently to me. She insists that she is there for a purpose, well rooted in her mission.  She is a “sentinel” with a job to do,  not there to be a “possession”,  but a symbol of God’s everpresence, a beautiful idea  to remind us of Love’s  constant blessings.  She sings sweetly, "There is more to life than you know.  Life is eternal and beautiful.   Stop and smell the roses... and the little yellow flowers too"!!!

After our conversation, I bid her goodbye,  turn and keep walking down the road, refreshed. Thanks little friend!  Thanks Father.

Thursday, September 3, 2015


Well he was certainly dirty. This man, a rider on the
Stand-in for Eugene who was
unavailable for photo at this time
subway, was filthy and his hair stood out in all directions, unshaven and shabbily dressed. People were avoiding him, moving away to take seats farther from him. 

We were traveling downtown, my wife my daughter-in-law and her husband and their two children. We were sitting in the last car of the rapid transit train to go into Center City Atlanta for the day. 

I confess that in spite of my wanting to love this man, I had second thoughts and a little trepidation as he smiled back at me and came over to sit by my family. 

As we spoke with him we found this man to be charming,
and as we rode along at high-speed, he pointed out to the children points of interest as we sped by, places I had often passed by en route to and from the airport on business trips and had never really noticed. 

This man's name was Eugene. He was delightful and we all became fascinated by him and his stories. We all engaged in conversation and laughed and talked. There was no barrier, no difference we were all one in the lovely conversation and the children adored him.   What a wonderful lesson in overcoming “fear of differences” this was for all of us. It turned out that simple affection and open hearts turned into a wonderful experience and I was sad to say goodbye to Eugene as we reached our stop.. 

I learned once again the lesson of Affection, Love one another” the medicine prescribed by the Great Physician, Christ Jesus. 

Religious pioneer, Mary Baker Eddy writes: “As a human quality, the glorious significance of affection is more than words: it is the tender, unselfish deed done in secret; the silent, ceaseless prayer; the self-forgetful heart that overflows; the veiled form stealing on an errand of mercy, out of a side door; the little feet tripping along the sidewalk; the gentle hand opening the door that turns toward want and woe, sickness and sorrow, and thus lighting the dark places of earth.” (1 

It seems that in our daily walk we often lean towards
self-interest and are often blind to the needs of our fellow man. I have caught myself in the past, passing by opportunities to reach out with help and I always regretted it later. Even when I’ve had the best of motives, it has been easy at times to justify passing by when others may just need a hand to help them along, a smile or a friendly acknowledgement of their presence. The old excuses come up: Too busy right now; Someone else will stop and help; Next time;  I HAVE to be at that meeting!!

This preoccupation with our own self-interest is not a new one. In still another example of how the lessons from centuries ago, as contained in the Bible are relevant today, the story of the good Samaritan as described by Jesus is another example of the Christly compassion that we can embrace in our own lives. In this story a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho, “fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.” 

While many passersby, perhaps even proclaiming their love for God, maybe even hurrying on their way to Temple to pray avoided the poor injured man on the side of the road. But one man with compassion had mercy and stopped to help. From the Scripture: 

“And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 

And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 

But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 

And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.” (2. 

A recent photo of Pope Francis embracing a man who was horribly disfigured with tumors and kissing him on the head was a wonderful example to me. I’m sure that many people in the crowd averted their eyes from this man, walked on the other side of the street, avoiding him at all costs. 
The Pope seemed to see into the man’s heart and embraced him with love and kindness. True love sees through the blemishes and the exterior to find the spiritual idea. 

When I saw the picture, I thought of Jesus compassionately and fearlessly touching the leper , and my heart asked my head: Do I turn away from what seems horrible to look at? Do I embrace the homeless, the poor, the distraught? Do I look away from those with physical or mental problems? Do I offer love and compassion? 

These thoughts prompted me to go back to read once again my favorite poem, Teach Me to Love. That poem with it’s compelling sentiment has become my lighthouse to help me stay focused on what is really important in a world seeming filled with rhetoric, self interest, self will and self importance. I invite you to read it.

And... Thanks Eugene for the Lesson!! Benefit  Safe Travels!!

 Teach Me to Love
Louise Knight Wheatly Cook

There was a time when in my daily prayer
I asked for all the things I deemed most fair,
And necessary to my life,—success,
Riches, of course, and ease, and happiness;
A host of friends, a home without alloy;
A primrose path of luxury and joy,
Social distinction, and enough of fame
To leave behind a well-remembered name.
Ambition ruled my life. I longed to do
Great things, that all my little world might view
And whisper, "Wonderful!"

Ah, patient God,
How blind we are, until Thy shepherd's rod
Of tender chastening gently leads us on
To better things! To-day I have but one
Petition, Lord—Teach me to love. Indeed,
It is my greatest and my only need —
Teach me to love, not those who first love me,
But all the world, with that rare purity
Of broad, outreaching thought which bears no trace
Of earthly taint, but holds in its embrace
Humanity, and only seems to see
The good in all, reflected, Lord, from Thee.

And teach me, Father, how to love the most
Those who most stand in need of love— that host
Of people who are sick and poor and bad,
Whose tired faces show their lives are sad,
Who toil along the road with footsteps slow,
And hearts more heavy than the world can know—
People whom others pass discreetly by,
Or fail to hear the pleading of that cry
For help, amid the tumult of the crowd;
Whose very anguish makes them cold and proud,
Resentful, stubborn, bitter in their grief—
I want to bring them comfort and relief,
To put my hand in theirs, and at their side
Walk softly on, a faithful, fearless guide.

O Saviour, thou the Christ, Truth, ever near,
Help me to feel these sad ones doubly dear
Because they need so much! Help me to seek
And find that which they thought was lost; to speak
Such words of cheer that as we pass along
The wilderness shall blossom into song.
Ah, Love divine, how empty was that prayer
Of other days! That which was once so fair,—
Those flimsy baubles which the world calls joys
Are nothing to me now but broken toys,
Outlived, outgrown. I thank Thee that I know
Those much-desired dreams of long ago,
Like butterflies, have had their summer's day
Of brief enchantment, and have gone. I pray
For better things.
Thou knowest, God above,
My one desire now—Teach me to love.   

 ( 1.  Miscellaneous Writings  p 250    by Mary Baker Eddy
 (2.    The Holy Bible   Luke 10:30-36

Saturday, August 15, 2015


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

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!!!