Friday, July 27, 2012

a favorite revisited

Today I am revisited an old friend, first introduced to me years ago when I began studying Christian Science. It was a bit of a challenge then but over the years I have become more and more comfortable with it and embrace its wisdom. It is God's Law of Adjustment by Adam Dickey.

This is the sentence I am reading and rereading all day today. "When we reach the point where we can in confidence and in trust leave everything to the settlement of God's law of adjustment, it will immediately relieve us of all sense of personal responsibility, remove anxiety and fear, and bring peace, comfort, and the assurance of God' protecting care."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

struggling with angels

This morning I am thinking about the familiar story of Jacob wrestling with the angel. It is part of this week's Bible Lesson on Love. Jacob had gotten a vision from God directing him to go home. He had fled twenty years earlier after deceiving their father and stealing the birth right from his brother Esau. Esau had promised to kill him once their elderly father died so Jacob fled to stay with his uncle Laban. Now God has told him to go home and He will deal well with him.

The night before he is to cross over the river and into his brother's territory Jacob is having a mighty struggle. I think he was frightened of what Esau might do, he was worried that he was still accountable for his past actions, and he might even have been doubting that God would protect him.

At this point an angel comes to him. Mrs. Eddy defines angels as God's thought passing to man. So what Jacob was wrestling against was the message God had given him, would he and those he loved be safe? Could he face his brother unafraid? Here is a lesson for us. Have you ever felt you had prayed about something and gotten direction on how to move forward but then were struggling with fears? Then we are wrestling as he did with an angel message from God. When we come to see it for what it truly is, we are freed from any fear or hesitation or doubt. It has been sent to bless. We get our healing and we get a clearer understanding about God and man.

So don't wrestle with angels! Be grateful for the message and trust the source.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Quiet leavening

I am currently reading 52 Loaves, One man's relentless pursuit of Truth, Meaning, and a perfect crust by William Alexander. It is funny and interesting and I am learning a lot about both the process of baking bread and one person's search for answers. I have been baking bread for our family for years, a joyous pasttime which began in the early 70's when we moved to the Boston area and I met Bob Gates, then the sports editor of the Monitor. Bob used a very simple recipe to make bread and he taught me how to do it. He taught me lots of things about Christian Science as well, as I was just discovering it and had so many questions. When he began to list his name in the Journal as a practitioner I sent him flowers. He loved that.

The process of baking bread has always interested me and as I read and studied Science and Health I loved the references to leaven or yeast. That made sense to me. It is referred to in the second section of this week's Bible Lesson on Truth. Mrs. Eddy writes, "Ages pass, but this leaven of Truth is ever at work".

One thought that came to me this morning was that the action of yeast or leaven is silent. You cannot hear it at work. It makes no sound. But you can see it at work as the bread dough rises. You can clearly see the effect of the yeast working in the dough. Sometimes our prayers seem to require loud protests against some stubborn or painful condition. It is often the 'still, small voice' that comes to us in those situations and leads us to healing and peace. You never call upon God in vain. He is always present and working on your behalf. You might not see it right away but Truth is being effective.

Tuesday is my regular day to bake bread. Our current favorite is Rosemary Olive Oil bread. The 'grands' love to help and they get to sample the dough and the warm finished product. I love the process and having them there with me in the kitchen. It gives a deep and satisfying meaning to 'give us this day our daily bread'.

Monday, July 16, 2012

This week our Bible Lesson is on Truth. The Golden Text is very familiar to Christian Scientists as it is posted on the wall of many of our churches. "Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free". In the first section we start right off with an experience Moses had where he comes upon a strange sight. He sees a bush burning but not being consumed by that fire. When he moves closer to investigate, God speaks to him. I love what He says...take off your shoes, for right where you are standing is holy ground. Moses might have looked around at that desolate hillside wondering what in the world God meant but he just obeyed.

As you move through your day today remember that lesson, right where you are standing is holy ground. Why? Because right there you are in the presence and under the protection of God, who fills all space and is always present. That means at home, on the road, in the office, at school, doing your errands, at the movies, taking a morning run, no matter where you are, you are on holy ground.

This is your promise from God, a promise of protection and freedom. Pause today and think about that wonderful promise. Feel free to take off your shoes, shake off the dust of your travels and be at one with your Father Mother God. Feels good, doesn't it!

Friday, July 13, 2012

famous but nameless

I am currently reading a book called 'Famous but nameless, lessons and inspiration from the Bible's anonymous characters'. Taken in chronological order it presents short essays about those men and women who, although nameless, are well known today. Today I read about Pharoah's daughter. She showed such compassion when she found baby Moses floating in the Nile. Much like Jesus' own experience an evil ruler wanted to destroy God's representatives, in this case all Hebrew male children. But Moses' mother takes her son and hides him in an ark made of reeds. His sister is to watch over him in the crocodile-filled river. Pharoah's daughter knew at once that this was one of those Hebrew children but she choose to save his life. She must have realized that it was no coincidence that the sister was close by and that she could recommend a woman to nurse the child.

We know so little of this un-named woman, how she dealt with others around her, but she lives on today as a symbol of a courageous and tender woman. Given the choice, she chose to save this child and he in turn would save hundreds of thousands, if not millions, leading them to freedom from slavery. She did the right thing.

May that be true of us. If offered a choice of showing condemnation or compassion, let's choose as she did. It appears that her father allowed her act of mercy and came to love the boy. There is no sense of her having been punished for disobeying his command. That reminds me of what Paul wrote in Romans 8:1 - There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A lesson from a spider

I was just reading an article that referred to a fable about a spider that was accidently shut in the back of a watch. Rescue appeared hopeless. But it did the one thing it could do, it spun a web. And that web gummed up the works so that the watch stopped working. The watch was opened for cleaning and the spider was freed. He was saved because he used his one talent wisely.

What would you consider to be your special talent? Everyone has one. It has been given to us by God and we are to use it. What would describe as your best quality? That might be your talent and you and should use it and practice it every day.

I am working on seeing only good present and operating around me. Summer has just begun and the 'grands' are already bored. There is much I would love to be doing but they need attention and guidance. So I am knowing that right activities and opportunities are present all around us. They are a gift from God and will bless.

Put your special talent to work today. It can bring freedom in unexpected ways.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

a new insight - that precious pot of oil

I am hoping to get back to blogging. Our family has recently left Texas to settle at Principia college in Elsah, Illinois. My Journal listing will reflect the new address and contact information. It is lovely here and we are all enjoyikng all the opportunities for fun activities here.

This morning I thought about the story of the widow facing poverty. She had already lost her husband and now creditors were threatening to take her sons, her only means of support and protection. She turns to the prophet Elisha, her husband's teacher. I wonder what she thought he could do. He does not offer to give her money, or to intercede with the creditors. He simply asks her what she has in her house. It appears that she has already sold off what she could for all that is left is a pot of oil. That is what struck me. That pot of oil must have been her most precious possession. It was the last thing she held on to. Imagine her concern when Elisha tells her to go borrow pots from all her neighbors (she might have already approached them for help) who might be reluctant to lend something that might be taken to pay her debt. She is to borrow 'not a few'. This probably set up an expectation of something happening. Once they had been gathered, she is to shut her door so no curious people could see what was going on. Her sons were allowed to see, perhaps this would be a strength to their faith. Would they become faithful followers of Elisha as their father had been?  Now she is to take what precious oil remained of her cherished supply and pour it out. Into those borrowed pots. What courage and faith it must have taken to be obedient to that. What a lesson for us.

Has there been a time when you seemed to be down to your last precious possession? That could be something material, like her pot of oil, a little something tucked away for a time of need. It could be your last chance for someone who has done you wrong in the past. It might be your treasured time, protected for time alone. It could be that last treat you allow yourself. Something precious to you that seems to be all you have left in a time of want. Are you willing to let go of it, if that is what divine Love is directing you to do? Do you trust that a blessing will follow? She was and she did. What flowed from that was only limited by her expectations. If she borrowed five pots, five were filled. If she borrowed fifty pots, fifty would have been filled. It was more than enough to meet the immediate need and repay the debt, as Elisah advised her to do first. Then she was able to live on the rest.

Think about about that precious pot of oil today and the lesson it might hold for you today. And the blessing.