Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New thoughts on the Sower and the Seed

Studying this week's Bible lesson I found myself zooming through the parable of the Sower and the Seed. But a little voice cautioned me to pause and go back. This had been chosen for a reason and I needed to spend more time with it in the context of the subject. There are references all through the lesson to the Word of God and this parable is directly related to that with its explanation of the seed. I began to look deeply into how the Word of God, or the seed, affects each individual.

This Word is generously sown but we do not always seem to be receiving the blessings it promises. Error or mortal mind would try to confuse us or mislead us by saying the Word falls by the wayside. That our prayers are not heard or not effective, that we are dealing with something that Christian Science cannot heal or that we just aren't up to the level we should be. It would love to have us get discouraged and just it give up. Get tired. Fall by the wayside.

If that doesn't work, it tries to convince us that our prayers or the prayers of the practitioner have landed on rock. Perhaps that we are meeting resisitence, some problem that is just too hard for us. Or that we are too stubborn to give up a false idea about someone or something. Or even more subtle, that in our enthusiasm we feel some progress but when the full healing does not appear, we wilt. Our roots just don't seem to be deeply embedded in real understanding, just on the level of belief. When the sun beats down on seedlings, they cannot take the heat.

Just in case all that doesn't stop us, there is a third way error works. It would suggest that we are safe when we are sitting at home doing our studying, closed away from its temptations. Or that we can keep our thought on spiritual things during church services. But, once we are out 'in the world' we are vulnerable to the 'thorns' that seem to grow up around us, choking and stabbing. This can come in the form of criticism from family or friends as we choose to rely Christian Science . Those cutting remarks hurt! It can come in waves of trouble when things happen one after another and we feel overwhelmed. It is that 'what's the use' mentality. Why not just give in this once and take an easier route.

But the Sower keeps right on sowing the right ideas, nurturing us daily. The Word is accessible and right at hand. It is quick and powerful. Divine Love meets the human need. A clue is given where Jesus says that we must be patient in our efforts. A strong plant grows at the right pace, establishing good roots to give it stability and strength. It reaches upward to the light. It drinks in nourishment and refreshes itself with water. Then it is just natural for it to bring forth fruit.

I am so grateful for the gentle but persistent angel messages. It is easy to think we are so familiar with a passage or Bible story that there is nothing left to learn. But that is not true. We are in a new place than we were last time we worked with those ideas. So we are ready for new inspiration and growth. It is time well spent.

And fruitage will follow.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

This week's Bible lesson on Reality focuses on the Word of God and how we can make that relevant in our life. As I continue to study the idea of 'daily' communing with Him, I noticed that the Responsive Reading includes this thought: "O, how love I Thy law, it is my meditation all the day." All the day, or at least some part of it. I start the mornings with at least an hour of prayer, reading the lesson and other articles. Calls for prayer come later in the morning and during the day. I have conversations with divine Love often. Taking a moment to feel happy about something, to appreciate something I see or hear, to be grateful for a moment of peace or calm, to respond to a need knowing God is right there with me.

In this lesson there is a reference to the child, Samuel. His mother, in gratitude for bearing this boy after years of being barren, had promised to give him to serve the church, and she does that when he is still very young. He has not yet started his religious training when he hears his name spoken in the night. He gets up and goes to the priest, Eli, who sends him back to bed. This happens three times before Eli realizes that it is God who is calling the boy. Samuel would not have known that on his own. (How often has a thought occured to us several times before we realize it is a message from divine Love and heed it?) At that time there were no prophets, no one to speak to the people from the Lord. This boy would be special in so many ways.

I am giving a series of talks about Bible characters to the residents of a nearby assisted living facility. They are of many denominations and our discussions are interesting. I began with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The next session we went on to Joseph. Last time it was Moses. We are noting the journey these people embarked upon, traveling from Ur to the Promised Land. We are also aware of the journey as their concept of God and how He is to be worshipped grew more spiritual. Next time we will learn about Joshua, Deborah and Ruth. Before I get to David, we will spend time with Samuel, this important prophet, and study his life work.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if, like Samuel, we could become more aware of divine Love speaking so clearly to us each morning! If we could respond with childlike trust, communing with Him. Is God as real to you as your best friend? He should be.

with a grateful heart

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Gratitude and defense

An article I was reading this morning included the thought that as we truly forgive, all memory of the wrong will disappear. So it you think you have forgiven someone or something but the memory of it keeps returning, there is more work to do. The good news is that every attempt we make at forgiveness is seeing the allness of God right where the offense seems to have taken place.

Mrs. Eddy wrote in the church Manual that 'gratitude and love should abide in every heart each day of all the years. Gratitude opens ours eyes to the presence of good. A grateful heart has no place for complaints.

Try knowing that each day is the unfoldment of God's good plan and that you are a part of that divine plan. God's day does not include dull routine, wearing frustrations, ill health, lack. It does include the knowledge that nothing can oppose or restrain the unfolding of His good. No danger is present or lurking. Nothing dangerous exists in His kingdom.

Examine the thoughts they would try to suggest something else is present and has the power to just ruin your day. That is certainly not God speaking. So you don't have to listen, believe it, or argue about it. Just dismiss it because God fills all space, so good fills all space, and there is no place for anything else to be going on.

Be at peace.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

recent healings

It might have seemed like I 'put down the chalk' as I haven't blogged in a while. Not at all. But I have gotten a bit busier. Let me share a few recent healings.

After many years of avoiding driving near big trucks, I discovered that fear had completely left. It started with something that happened when I was a toddler and stuck with me all these years. What a wonder to find myself free of it.

A recent unexpected car problem was resolved quickly and it very little expense. The healing was the fear that tried to insist I might have to wait hours for help (they took me immediately), that it would involve costly repairs (it didn't), that the repairmen might not be honest with me (they were), and that it would take hours to fix (I was out of there in 20 minutes). More fearful thinking overcome.

While fixing lunch I was spattered with hot cooking oil on my face and hands. It also filled one eye causing loss of vision. The pain was handled within seconds, the resulting blisters disappeared in a few days. I am continuing to pray about this one to see that there cannot be a scar or even the memory of the incident remaining.

How grateful I am to have Christian Science to turn to at all times and under all circumstances. It will work for you, too!

Be at peace.