Saturday, December 28, 2013

Pick up that 'couch' and carry it yourself

I noticed something in this week's Bible Lesson that I had not thought about before. It was in the story of Jesus healing the man who was palsied or paralyzed. That man apparently had lead quite a sinful life and was suffering from his actions. But he had friends who dearly loved him - unlike the Prodigal Son whose so-called friends abandoned him. These four guys cared so much, were so determined that their friend get his healing, that they refused to be shut out from the source of that healing, Jesus.

So this man had been carried, who could not walk on his own, and set down before the Master, in front of the huge crowd gathered to listen to Jesus preach. The crowd included scribes and Pharisees who did not believe Jesus was the promised Messiah. They were further incensed when Jesus addresses this man, this sinner that they probably were familiar with, and tells him his sins are forgiven. We are told earlier in the Lesson that Jesus came, not to judge, but to save, and this is exactly what he was doing for this man and for his faithful friends.

He tells the man to 'arise'. Lift up that thought of the person you thought you were. Discover your true identity as the beloved and pure son of God. Come up out of the paralyzing thought that you have made poor choices, turned away from God and your loved ones, and must remain in this condition. One wonders how many others may have looked upon that man and thought or even said, 'serves you right, now lie there and deal with it'.

Jesus continues. Take up thy couch.  You who have had to carried by your friends, pick up that stretcher and you carry it away from here. You won't need physical therapy to reverse the palsy, you don't need time to recover from this. Get up right now and pick up that couch. Take control of your choices and actions. Lean only on God.

And he finishes with the directive 'go into thine house'. Go home. Now that may have been a further proof that all was forgiven and he who had been staying with his friends after choosing to be apart from his family could now return, as had the Prodigal Son. Or in an even higher sense, home could be consciousness, our spiritual awareness of who we really are as the very image and likeness of God, good. Change your thought about your status.

The man does as he is told and Luke tells us that he went his way rejoicing, glorifying God. One would like to believe that he will now live a better life and sin no more.

How encouraging to think that no matter what it is that might try to hold us captive or make it seem that we are unable to make any progress, divine Love can lift us up and set us on our way healed. Christian Science shows us how to heal both mind and body, as we understand the Principle in action on our behalf. God is with us. Always. Under all circumstances. The Christ is present and accessable, not to judge and punish, but to heal and save. That should send you on your way rejoicing.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Cradled obscurity

As we move closer to the start of a new year what are you anticipating, what unfolding of good do you expect to see, and what fruition of your prayers? How are you nurturing the 'new ideas' in your life, your family, your career, your church activities?

We all saw the world's view of the arrival of Jesus as told in the Nativity story. Many homes and places of worship set up scenes of the holy family welcoming the Christ child in the stable and later the arrival of the Magi who had travelled far to honor the new king. It may have been a gift of grace that there was no room at that crowded inn so the birth could take place in privacy in a quiet setting. Is that how you are nurturing the things you have been praying about? Have you set a new cherished idea in 'cradled obscurity' where it can be lovingly cared for and protected? Many of our demonstrations have humble beginnings as we pray for a clearer understanding of God and our relationship with Him as He very image and likeness.

As you look ahead to 2014 are you embracing a new thought about yourself, your family, your marriage, your job, a relationship, an opportunity to serve church? This may be a time for that 'cradled obscurity' as you quietly protect and nourish that spiritual growth. Let it have a humble beginning with your daily commitment to see it come into  being. Let's have a spiritual concept about it, a spiritual conception of what it stands for in your life.

As things move forward with this new idea, pray daily to see it 'grow and wax strong in spirit, filled with wisdom and grace. Let it 'emerge gently',  not necessarily slowly, but gently. There is no need to force growth. Let those roots go deep to support it.

Considering all Mrs. Eddy struggled with and overcame to write Science and Health and see it published, all she did to establish her church, giving us the Manual for guidance, and launching a world wide movement she named Christian Science, think about the humility she had to say that God had been 'graciously preparing her' for her accomplishments. She always put her hand in His and trusting His guidance and direction.

May each of us move forward in 2014 in our own spiritual growth, welcoming and nurturing the new ideas that come to live with us. May we cradle them and watch them grow strong in spirit and grace. May we feel graciously prepared for what lies ahead. And may we express gratitude in our thoughts and actions with joy and gladness.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Is your 'inn' full?

One of the most telling sentences in the New Testament, one that has always resonated with me during the busy holiday season is...there was  no rom for them in the inn. This couple, the wife heavy with child, has just completed an arduous trek from their home in Nazareth to the city of Bethlehem in accordance with a decree from Caesar that everyone was to be taxed. They travelled slowly because of her condition and by the time they arrived, all available rooms had already been taken. How did they end up in the stable? Perhaps the harried inn keeper took pity on them and offered the only place he could. In retrospect, it might have given them the most privacy at this most precious of times. At any rate, I suspect his was not the only inn that they had approached and perhaps they just couldn't go any farther.

What tugs at my heartstrings is that question...have I made room in my 'inn', my home, my consciousness, for the needs of others at this holiday season? Am I remembering why this is such a sacred time? Amid all the shopping, baking, wrapping, sending of Christmas cards, attending the 'grands' Christmas programs, keeping the radio on the station playing only Christmas music...all of those things a valued part of the holiday...have I paused often enough to listen so that I might hear the angels singing?

I have always  loved the details of the Nativity. It is interesting that Mrs. Eddy wrote in Miscellaneous Writings on page 374, "It is most fitting that Christian Scientists memorize the nativity of Jesus." She loved Christmas and wrote about it often. In one Christmas Sermon, beginning on page 164 of that same book, she says, "The vision of the Wisemen, this spiritual idea of the Principle of man or the universe, appeared as a star."  Our Bible Lesson this week is filled with references to light.

I shared with someone another way to work with the Bible Lesson and its references to 'light'. Not only is our thought illumined and uplifted as we grow in our understanding of God and our relationship to Him as beloved children, but our whole outlook is more 'light' and cheerful, not at all dark or depressed or anxious. We move through the holidays with a light and joyous step.

Christmas time is a reminder for me to make sure I am always putting God first, choosing to see good all around me and in everyone I meet. Making room, pausing, listening to angels sing, and looking up to see the star. All the rest will fall into line, the gifts purchased and wrapped, mailed off in time to those far away. The baking will be fun, writing the cards a time to reflect on friends and friendship. The moments at school and in church sacred. I don't ever want to lose the joy of the Nativity story amid all the hustle and bustle and preparations. My 'inn' should always have room for prayer,  one more quiet moment with God to express my deep love for Him and for His son.

Merry and blessed Christmas to you and yours.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lie with me ... the temptation to do something wrong and then lie about it

Our Golden Text in this week's Bible Lesson is from a letter Paul wrote to the Thessalonians. In it he prays that God will preserve them blameless. I love that. Imagine being preserved blameless, our honesty and integrity pure. There is nothing we need to feel guilty about, no reason for anyone to try to blame us for something, and we would not feel the need to blame anyone else. Blameless all the way around. In the Phillip's translation of the Bible this phrase is 'spotless integrity'.

In another letter, this one to the Corinthians, Paul worries that, as the serpent beguiled Eve, so this young church might be 'corrupted' from the simple Christian life. Corrupt means marked by immorality, dishonest. One who lies.

Reading the account of Joseph being sold into slavery, taken to Egypt, sold again to be a servant in the household of wealthy Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's officers, I saw something I had not picked up on before. Joseph is the beloved son of Jacob, who through his own spiritual growth, wrestled with error and took on the new name of Israel. He leads his people with a deep conviction that there is one God. Joseph, a favored son, sat at his feet learning about the Scriptures. Now he is far from his father and his home but those teachings give him courage and strength. Everything he does prospers. Potiphar is no fool. He can see the hand of God is on Joseph. He puts him in charge of his entire estate and household. He is now free to indulge in gluttony and neglect all else, including his wife. This woman 'cast her eyes' on Joseph and she finds a man who chooses to resist what is being freely offered and stick with his principles.

Here is the part that stood out to me. She says, "Lie with me".  She entices him to do that which she knows is wrong and then just lie about it. How often does life hand us the opportunity to do that very thing. Come misbehave and then we'll lie about it. It will be good. You'll see. No one will know, no one will find out. Don't believe that for a moment! Error loves to tempt us to some mischief and it often starts with small things. You might think some little indiscretion is harmless but it just makes it that much harder to resist next time. And there will be a next time, and soon you are caught. Then comes the lies.

Joseph refused. And continued to refuse day after day. He knew in his heart he could not commit this sin with her because he would not betray Potiphar's trust, but more importantly, he would  not dishonor God. To do this thing would be to sin against God. That's a pretty good thing to keep in mind when tempted to do wrong. This is a sin against God.

Infuriated by his stand for good, she plots to discredit him and those accusations cannot be ignored. But Potiphar sends him to Pharaoh's prison and the rest of the story is well known. Mrs. Eddy writes, "Christian Science reveals Truth and Love as the motive-powers of man. Will - blind, stubborn, and headlong - cooperates with appetite and passion. From this cooperation arises its evil. From this also comes its powerlessness, since all power belongs to God, good" (S&H 490)  Don't cooperate with evil!

Today I will be alert to the many little ways error would try to say, 'lie with me'. I certainly do not want to dishonor God and being aware of where these suggestions are coming from gives me the power to resist and denounce them. No, error, I will not 'lie with you'. I will not choose to do anything with you but see that you are a liar. You have no power, no authority, no way to enforce your threats. You are nothing. I will listen for what God is saying, 'be truthful with Me', and follow and rejoice in the freedom and blessings that brings. God preserves me blameless.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hey Candace

Have your ever been in a crowded place and heard someone call your name? Didn't you look to see who it was? One thing I would love to improve on is remembering people's names. It is such a nice touch to address someone by their name in a conversation.

In this week's Bible Lesson, Soul and Body, God says, "I have called thee by thy name, thou art Mine". I love the idea that God speaks to me and He calls me by my name. I have seen the smiles that light up the 'grands' faces when they get off the school bus and I call out, "Ian! Katie Rose!" That seems to complete that long bus ride with the assurance that they are home and someone is so happy to see them.

On the other hand, I attended many conferences during the years I was involved with children's literature. Walking the crowded exhibition halls, people would read your name tag and call out to get your attention. So much for proper introductions. One has to be alert to this kind of familiarity that does not have your best interests at heart. As Jesus puts it in Luke 21:8, "Take heed that ye be not deceived:"  You need to know who is speaking to you and what it is they are saying.

In the Lesson Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers. He was taken to Egypt where a wealthy man, Potiphar, purchased him to serve in his household. Potiphar quickly saw that the Lord was with Joseph for all that he did prospered. He put him in charge of his vast household. Potiphar's wife was attracted to Joseph and pestered him day after day to lie with her.  But he refused her advances. He did not listen to or act upon her suggestions. She falsely accused him and Potiphar had him sent to the Pharaoh's prison where his good and pure behavior won him many friends. He eventually advises Pharaoh, is given a new position of even greater responsibility and saves the people from seven years of famine. Including his own family. Potiphar's wife may have called him by name but Joseph was always listening for what God was saying to him. And I'm sure God called him by name.

I recently misplaced my phone and turned the house upside down trying to find it. My 'grands' watched me getting more and more flustered, but they also saw me stop and sit down. "I'm going to be still and listen and God will tell me where my phone is", I announced. Within one minute it was as though a voice spoke to me, "Candace, its in the pocket of your bathrobe".  And it was. It was the first morning it was cold enough to use a robe and once I got dressed I hung it back in the closet where I could not hear it when we tried calling the number. God 'spoke' to me through that angel message and addressed me by name. It got my attention and assured me of His constant presence and care. "Call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me". God spoke to Joseph, God spoke to me, and if you listen, He is speaking to you, and addressing you by name.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thanks giving

Growing up in a different religion our family celebrated Thanksgiving differently. I grew up in what sometimes seems like a quieter, safer time. We did not have the technology that is everywhere now. Our family had one tv, no computers, no internet, no cel phones, no IPads, no texting, no twitter. We got together at my Aunt Juanita's house because she had the biggest dining room. It could seat 20 and we still ate in shifts and all day long. It was a time for generations to mix and we often met relatives we did not know we had. There was no church service, no grace before the meal. The Aunties all cooked for days and the kitchens were overflowing with dishes we did not have the rest of the year. This feast meant something to us because our usual fare was much simpler. The 'big' kids were expected to help with the 'little' kids and we all gathered at the end of the day to watch old home movies.

Christian Science has a been a blessing to me from the beginning. I found a religion that presents God the way I always thought He was, the Good Shepherd, a loving Father Mother, comforting, guarding and guiding His flock. I did not really understand much of what I read in our textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy. But I loved what I could understand, began to learn the spiritual interpretation of The Lord's Prayer, and had some healings. It was the people I meet at church who impressed me with their friendliness, their inclusiveness, their willingness to let me progress at my own pace. I also fell in love with the hymnal and sang out during the services, more than once with tears streaming down my face.

That first Thanksgiving celebrated among my new friends began with attending a church service where time was set aside to express gratitude, audibly or silently. Then we gathered at someone's house and I remember sitting with my infant son watching a brand new show called Sesame Street.
The meal was delicious and it began with a grace and a moment for silent thanksgiving. I felt so peaceful and happy.

This year will be a bit different as some of my household travel to visit with relatives in Texas. I will be staying here where two of my 'grands' are attending Principia College. One is not able to fly home for the Thanksgiving break so she will join me here and we will have so much fun in our fluffy pajamas watching tv specials, listening to holiday music and preparing a very traditional feast. The other 'grand' has invited several friends, who also could not fly home, to join us and it should be lots of fun. His girl friend and her Mom from Saint Louis will be busy helping prepare all our favorite foods. Her Mom is Jewish and this year Hannukah begins on our Thanksgiving Day. I look forward to blending traditions.

So much good in my life. Such richness. Great blessings. But right at the top of my list is finding Christian Science and the spiritual growth I have experienced the past 40+ years.
I can only echo the Golden Text from our Thanksgiving Bible Lesson:
O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Oh, I see... THAT man.

In this week's Bible Lesson we have the gospel account of the woman taken in adultery. The Pharisees and scribes were convinced that Jesus could not be the true Messiah and they were setting a trap for him, hoping to discredit him in front of his followers. They dragged a woman into the place where Jesus was sitting, teaching the people. They set her right in the middle and demanded that he decide her fate. Was she to be stoned as the Mosaic law decreed or not? Jesus took a few minutes, stooping down and doodling in the dust. I imagine he was given the whole situation a treatment, praying to see the powerlessness of hatred and animosity, turning to God for direction. As he remained silent, waiting for his answer, they continued to badger him. He stands up and tells them that 'he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her'. One by one, convicted in their own conscience, they slunk away, leaving the woman in the midst of Jesus' disciples. The gospel says 'Jesus was left alone'. I read that two ways. They had departed, but also that they left off badgering him. He was left alone.

What stood out to me today as I worked with this section of the Lesson were the corresponding citations from Science and Health and the references to 'man'. Jesus has asked her, "Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?". She replies, "No man, Lord." He tells her that neither does he condemn her and that she should go and sin no more.

No man. What man are we talking about here? The man that is God's idea, made in His image and likeness. Mrs. Eddy writes, "Man is the family name for all ideas, - the sons and daughters of God". This defines that 'man' or woman who does not condemn but sees his fellow man or woman as God's beloved sinless child. How does this help her? Again Mrs. Eddy points out, "The real man being linked by Science to his Maker, mortals need only turn from sin and lost sight of mortal selfhood to find Christ, the real man and his relationship to God, and to recognize the divine sonship". This is what the Christ helped her to see. Her ability to turn away from sinful choices by understanding her pure nature as God's child.

That is what I want to be doing in my every day encounters with those around me at home, at the college, around town. See as Jesus saw. Help others see their true identity. Let me never be the one that condemns. Let me only see each one, myself included, as His divine image and likeness. Let me be that 'man'.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Living water or troubled water? Your choice.

This week's Bible Lesson offers us a very clear choice. Will we choose living water or be mesmerized by trouble waters?

The man Jesus saw, waiting for his healing beside a pool of water, watched helplessly as others got to that troubled water before he did. He spent his time watching for the motion so he must have had some receptivity and expectation of good. But when Jesus asked him if he would be healed, he had a list of excuses he believed were in the way. Troubles. Troubles of all kinds, within himself, being physically challenged. Troubled, without, by being left there with no one to help him get to the pool. When we are faced with a problem, we must be alert not to accept the limitations our human experience would insist are getting in our way. The Christ is just a freely available to us as it was to that man. And when he opened his eyes, his healing of a 38-year-long problem was instantly and completely healed.

The woman fetching water at Jacob's well was surprised when Jesus spoke with her. Jews and Samaritans were bitter enemies. He asks her for a drink of water and tells her she could have asked him for a drink and he would have given her 'living water'. Like the man beside the pool, she sees limits and restrictions. She comments that the well is deep...the water appears to be out of reach...and he has nothing to bring it up. But Jesus knew the immediacy of supply and the infinite goodness of God, who is always prepared to meet the need for His children. Wouldn't we prefer to choose 'living water', a constant fresh supply of whatever is needed in our experience?

The Golden Text from Deuteronomy says, "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms:".  God is always present, good is always present. No 'enemy' can triumph over you. You need never feel trapped in some net. God redeems us. The dictionary defines 'redeem' as to pay off a note. Pay it off completely. Debt gone. His mercy is everlasting. We just need to do our part.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

This week's Bible Lesson includes Jesus' parable about the lost sheep. I am looking at it with fresh eyes to find something new and wonderful. To set it in context, he is addressing a crowd that included publicans and sinners who gathered close to hear him.

The publicans were despised and considered traitors who for financial gain had sided with the Romans and collected tribute for their treasury. Any money they gained would not be accepted as alms, they were not allowed to testify in court, and they were considered heathens. Sinners were those who were notorious transgressors. Jesus received both graciously and lived side by side with them in peace. This behavior greatly offended the Scribes and Pharisees. They were self-righteous and had neither love nor hope for them. Their murmurings lead Jesus to share this parable to warn them that there will be more joy in heaven over one of these penitents than over ninety-nine such as themselves.

They were to be as Shepherds of their religious flock. He came to seek and save that which was lost and so must they. And He seeks until he finds them. Or as with those who came to hear him, they found him. Then he gently carries them home, brings them back into the fold. And their is much rejoicing at their return.

We claim to be his followers, we study the Lesson each week, we attend services and participate in church. How are we seeking and saving those among us who are struggling? Do we leave them in their wilderness or do we seek to see their true identity and know they can never be separated from their Shepherd. When they start coming back to church do we welcome them with open arms with no reference to the wandering, audibly or held in thought?

Soul can never be lost. Man, who is the reflection of Soul, cannot be lost either. I will examine my thinking today and be sure I am on the side with Christ, obeying the Rule for Motives and Acts and not condemning or judging another's journey.

Show me, Shepherd, how to gather and how to sow and how to feed your sheep.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The parable of the talents explained in a new way

I am so very grateful for an posting I read this morning that helped me see Jesus' parable of the talents in a whole new light. It always seemed like an odd story, one that cast the Master in a bad light. My sympathy was with the man who did not increase his talent but returned it unspent.  Over the years I have come to see a more spiritual way of  looking at that description of the kingdom of heaven but what I read today took it to a whole new level.

Think of the man 'travelling into a far country' as the Christ. Before he goes, he calls his servants, or those who choose to follow the Christ, and gives them shares of his 'goods'. In Jesus' time a talent was a sizable amount of money, more than a man could earn in twenty years. So this was no small responsibility. It was not an outright gift, but he was leaving it in their care until he returned. Think of that as our having received Christian Science, to the level of our present understanding.

While he was 'away' the wise servants improved those talents, grew spiritually, used that time of probation for progress in understanding more about God and themselves as His image and likeness. But one servant misunderstood Christ. He falsely believed him to be 'hard man', perhaps thought of God as punishing and formidable. Many religions view God that way expecting wrath and cruelty. This man was afraid of that God and he did not use the time to correct his wrong beliefs but hid them 'in the earth', saw himself as the man in Genesis Two, created from the dust of the ground and eventually banished from the kingdom of heaven. He hands back the gift of Christian Science unused and remains as he was when it came to him.

The Master chastised him for not seeking help, he could have called a practitioner or a Christian Science friend who would have gladly helped  and encouraged him to use that talent. We may all have had opportunities to seek and strive for a clearer understanding of some situation. We might have chosen to live with some challenge rather than use Christian Science to heal it. That option is there.

Mrs. Eddy writes much about our salvation resting on 'progression and probation' as we come to see that 'heaven is not a locality, but a divine state of Mind'. We can choose or accept the belief of ignorance but ignoring a situation never leads to healing. No matter how long you nurse a grudge, it will never get better. No matter how long you accept and live with error, it will not just go away.

Our 'work' is to improve our experience, use the talents, put into practice what we already know, even if that seems like just a little bit, and work daily to gain more. God works with us. Use your 'one' talent and watch it grow. Then the Christ will compliment you, well done, as you are faithful over the little things. They are preparing you to overcome and have dominion over the rest.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Today I must be a guest in your house

Yesterday I opened the Sentinel for the week of September 30th and read the lead article...God's children - responsive, not Glory Holzworth. The whole article is wonderful and I recommend reading it, but, I was blown away by her insight about Jesus' words to Zacchaeus. The tax collector was known for his ruthless and obsessive dealings with others and they considered him a sinner. But when he heard that Jesus was passing nearby, this little man dropped his dignity and climbed a tree to see over the crowd. When Jesus came to that place he looked up and saw him.

Now, let's take a moment with this week's Golden Text from John 7:24. "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment". Do not look on the outward appearance. Use your spiritual sense to bear witness only to truth. Jesus did this constantly, and he obviously saw something more to Zacchaeus.

Jesus was the center of attention and everyone wanted to be near him. He could have had dinner with anyone. But Luke records these beautiful words...Zacchaeus, make haste and come down for today I must abide at thy house. Imagine how that must have made Zacchaeus feel, to be so singled out for this honor. They have dinner together and Zacchaeus is so moved by the words of this great teacher that he changes his whole lifestyle and vows to make amends to those he has cheated in the past.

I thought about those words all day. Today I must abide at thy house. I imagined all day that the Christ was choosing to spend the day with me. Mrs. Eddy defines 'house' as 'spiritual consciousness'. The Christ is right there with me in my thinking all day. He doesn't just drop by for a few minutes, he abides. 

And with the Christ-consciousness we can always 'judge righteous judgment', we can be the spiritual see-ers mentioned in last week's Lesson. What an opportunity to go through the day seeing everyone as the Christ sees them. How quickly we sometimes judge a person or a situation and miss the blessing of Truth knowing.

So I had an especially sweet day, welcoming the Christ to my 'house'. I think I will continue affirming the presence of the Christ today.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Behold = look until you see. Be a spiritual see-er

The first word in this week's Golden Text is 'behold'. I recently read a comment that 'behold' means 'look until you see' and I just love that idea so what fun that it is the first word in the Lesson on Reality. I went through the Lesson and circled the places where 'behold' appears and worked with those ideas yesterday.

...behold, the kingdom of God is within you.  Look until you see, truly understand that this is the reality of your being, your true spiritual identity. And look until you see that the kingdom of God is all that is within you. There is no place for anything else to lodge or intrude.

...behold, your God will come with a vengeance, even God with a recompense; He will come and save you.  Look until you see that God , as the New Living Translation puts it, your God is coming to destroy your enemies, He is coming to save you.  Or as the Message Bible translates it, God is here, right here, on His way to put things right and redress all wrongs. He's on His way and He will save you!

God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.  Look until you see what God sees, all of His creation as very good.

Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law. What a simple and profound prayer! Open my eyes, let me see only what You see, and I will behold wonderful things all around me. That is the prayer Elisha prayed when his servant was dismayed to find them surrounded by an enemy army. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. Now that is how you look until you see. And the result? In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. Yes!

The same ( a man crippled from his mother's womb) hear Paul speak: who steadfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.  Paul beheld...he looked until he saw that man's perfection and that spark within him that was receptive to healing, even of a life long so-called birth defect.

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God:  Look until you see this great gift of grace bestowed on us unconditionally by our dear Father, God. This is read every Sunday at the church service and Sunday school meeting. It should never be so familiar that we don't pay attention to it.

Never stop beholding. Look until you see the reality of your oneness with divine Love.

Behold and be whole.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

She was bowed down....

I actually had this experience yesterday on campus.

Two of my 'grands' take the bus to St. Louis to attend the Lower School at Principia. I meet them coming back to Elsah every afternoon at 4:30. Yesterday I arrived early, prompted by some angel message to be there sooner. When I walked to the flag pole area I saw a student sitting on one of the benches. She has hunched over and seemed to be in distress. I sat beside her and asked if she would like some company.

She was distraught about how things were going in this fourth week of classes, unhappy with the work load and not getting her assignments done on time. This girl had always been an "A" student and now she was getting "C"s. At first she could hardly lift up her head and tears were dripping onto the sidewalk. But as we talked, and I shared some thoughts that came to me a I prayed, she was able to speak more freely.

The others who were arriving to meet students started to come over to say hello. We are a friendly bunch and usually get into conversations. But when they saw what we happening each one stepped aside and I could see that they too were praying.

The bus arrived and slowly the crowd of excited children and adults thinned out. I stayed with her until she felt she could go back to her dorm. When I got home I sent her an email with some other things to work with.

This morning I got an email back that was filled with light and joy. I had no doubt that she was 'straightened up' and ready to continue on with renewed enthusiasm and an expectation of good.

It fit so nicely with the incident in this week's Bible Lesson about the woman bowed down with a 'spirit of infirmity' who 'could in no wise lift up herself'. Jesus saw and stepped right in to offer the assurance that she was loosed from that claim. And she was.

I love what Mrs. Eddy writes about being 'bowed down'.  "We bow down to matter, and entertain finite thoughts of God like a pagan idolater". The paragraph heading is "Idolatrous illusions". And that is all we deal with, illusions that would suggest we are on our own and unable to overcome some 'spirit of infirmity', some attempt to limit us mentally or physically.  Elsewhere Mrs. Eddy writes about God's child as 'including all right ideas' and 'that which has no separate mind from God', with 'not a single quality underived from Deity'".  As we talked and exchanged emails we were affirming her divine right to those 'right ideas' available whenever she needed them. The Christ was just as accessible to her as to that woman.

Just another in the long list of reasons why I love Christian Science and am so grateful to see it in operation today just as effectively as it was back in Jesus' time.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

It isn't about getting to the pool

This week's Bible Lesson on matter includes the familiar story of the man waiting beside the Pool of Bethesda. He has suffered from some unnamed ailment for 38 years and is unable to get to the waters when they are stirred by an 'angel'. Others get there before he can. So someone has taken him to the pool but left him there unattended. Jesus singles him out from among the many hoping to be healed.

When Jesus speaks with him, asking if he wants to be healed, the man answers with all the reasons why he has not been so far. Jesus tells him to rise up, take up his bed, and walk. Immediately the man is made whole and he does just that.

Jesus did not tell him to go wash in the pool. He redirects the man's expectations from some healing that would come from the waters, as if they had the power to do that, and gives him instead a glimpse of the Christ, the activity of divine Love that brings healing. All healing comes from a change of thought. Jesus was showing that man that the healing resulted in choosing Spirit over matter. The answer was not to get to the water, but to look up to God. The following citation from II Corinthians begins....we look not at things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen'. Our reliance is not on the material, which may or may not be accessible to us, but on God who always is right at hand and ready to help and heal.

The waters had no power to heal. The healing came from the belief that they could. But that was an illusion. Such healings were based on faith in matter, not unlike taking a pill to 'heal' a headache. The headache goes away because of the individual's belief in it, one belief overtaking another. But it is not a permanent healing because it does not correct the cause. The headache can, and probably will, return. When one changes one's standpoint to a more spiritual view of God and man, the reliance is not on matter at all. The belief in material conditions yields.

What do we gain by turning to God for healing, abandoning material reliance? Mrs. Eddy says this 'confers upon man enlarged individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive love, a higher and more permanent peace'. Now that is worth considering.

Instead of putting yourself beside some inaccessible 'pool', waiting for an illusive solution, why not look up to the Christ, the ever-present solution. Find all in God, good. Part of Mrs. Eddy's Scientific Statement of Being reads, "All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation for God is All-in-all". No need to wait for help or healing. No need to rely on matter or some one else. God fills all space with His goodness. You are made in His image and likeness, perfect and whole, and live in that atmosphere. Turn from the illusion. It can't help you. See the reality and be free. Your answer is not in getting to the pool, it is in turning to God, divine Life, Truth and Love. That is where you should be looking. And you will find all you need.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Didn't you sow good seed?

Ah, there is the question.

Recently I started paying attention to the questions that appear in our Bible Lesson, both in the Bible passages and in the citations from Science and Health.  There are several good ones this week and today I will be working with one from the second section. It is found in the parable of the Sower and the Seed. A crowd has gathered around the Master and Jesus is teaching them about the kingdom of heaven. He chooses a familiar subject to make his point, the sowing of seed. This only appears in Matthew's gospel.

It was interesting to read in Dummelow's Bible commentary that perhaps Jesus foresaw the scandals and offences that would arise within the Christian movement; Peter's denial, the treachery of Judas, the quarrels among the apostles, the sensuality of the Corinthians, false brethren and false teachers, the love of members waxing cold. Couldn't some of that seem apparent in our churches and our lives today? Jesus was teaching them this parable that they (and we) might know how to deal with the tares and weeds that show up on our own spiritual journey. He was demonstrating it for himself.

That 'field' might be your own family, your body, your office, your marriage, your church. It is a call to let your own spirituality mature. Learn to respond with love rather than react with anger or frustration or blame.  Don't go on some rampage of weed removal. Be still and listen to God.  Those false beliefs and errors will become apparent and easily seen for what they are. Never people, places or things but just wrong thinking and acting. The Sower knew he was working with good seed sown in a good field. So did the Master. Anything that did not belong there would be recognized and removed, without damage to the good fruitage.

There is a wonderful letter Mrs. Eddy wrote to Frank Gale reprinted in Mary Baker Eddy, Healer, the amplified version. She tells him, "The tares and wheat appear to grow together until the harvest; then the tares are first gathered, that is, you have seasons of seeing your errors - and afterwards, by reason of this very seeing, the tares are burned, the error is destroyed. Then you see Truth plainly. and the wheat is "gathered into barns" - it becomes permanent in the understanding."  Seasons of seeing your errors. May these not be the result of dedicated prayer and study? Wrong thinking is revealed and can be replaced with right ideas. As you see it, it is destroyed in your thought and removed from your experience. The whole letter is worth reading, found on pages 398-399.

So if you are tempted to wonder, didn't I sow good seed, when some problem or challenge appears, think about this parable. Love guides us to make the separation at the right time. Nothing but blessing can be the result. That good seed will bear good fruit.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Idolizing and Idling?

This is going to be a great week to be studying our Bible Lesson on Matter. The Golden Text get right to the point, "...we know that an idol stands for something that does not really exist; we know that there is only one God." (I Cor 8:4)  This is a clear directive to be alert to idol worship, worshipping something that does not really exist, and to do that by understanding that there is only one God.

We might be tempted to shrug that off, I don't worship idols, I believe there is only one God.  And yet, we struggle with physical, emotional, financial, and other challenges. What are we idolizing? Are we giving in to some problem as real and letting it be a part of our experience? Are we idling along with a false belief about ourselves or others?

Think about graven images. They show up all the time and not just in places of worship. Stand in the check out line at the grocery store and 'idly' glance at the magazine covers. You will see images idolizing a certain body type or a certain celebrity. They are on the cover because it sells that issue and it sells that idea. What television shows do you watch regularly? Can they make you buy into some false picture of life or do you admire a certain character?  Do you actively reject it or do you take it in casually and not deny it reality. If you do it might show up as a temptation to be unhappy with your body or your job or your life style.

Mrs. Eddy writes, "The first idolatry was faith in matter".  Are we placing our faith in matter? Or are we starting each day with prayer to establish clearly in thought our true identity as the image and likeness of God, good?

I can hardly wait to dig in and work with the Bible stories in this Lesson. We have Jesus' parable of the tares and wheat, a challenge to see if a thought is spiritual or material, real or unreal, based on spirit or matter. Time to pull out those 'weeds' by the roots, clear them out of your thinking. There is the story of the man by the pool of Bethesda, waiting for his healing. Do you feel helpless to see a problem resolved?  And there is the story of the woman who had so accepted the reality of her problem that it had literally bowed her down for 18 years.  We can identify with these situations. Been there, done that. Or we can make the commitment to daily prayer for ourselves.

Familiar as they are there is always something new to learn from them. You are in a new place as you study them. You should be. Ask yourself, have I grown in my understanding and application of Christian Science since I last worked with this parable or story? What can I glean this week?

Discard an 'idol' this week. Stop 'idling' and get to work on an unhealed problem. Stand up for Truth.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Daily devotionals

I started reading devotionals years ago when a friend introduced me to Stream in the Desert by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman. It was written in 1925 and in it were thoughts, quotations, spiritual inspirations which had helped sustain Mrs. Colman during her years of missionary work in Japan and China. Reading each days passage was a great comfort and refreshment. Every once in a while I refer to it.

In 1996 I picked up a copy of Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, a daybook of comfort and joy.  In the foreword she wrote, "What I wanted to write was a book that would show me how to reconcile my deepest spiritual, authentic, and creative longings with often-overwhelming and conflicting commitments - to my husband and daughter, invalid mother, work at home, work in the world, siblings, friends, and community." She followed six practical, creative, and spiritual principles - gratitude, simplicity, order, harmony, beauty, and joy as she developed a manageable life style into a state of grace.  It made a good companion to Mrs. Cowman's book.

Last year a new friend suggested I read Daily Guideposts for 2013 which describes itself as a spirit-lifting devotional. It has brought out new editions for 36 years. The daily entries start with a short Scripture verse for reflection, a first person story of the ways God speaks to us, and a brief prayer. I was not as thrilled with this one but pick it up now and again. I did so this morning.

The Bible verse is Romans 12:6 from the New International Version...We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.  (It shows up right at the beginning of this week's Responsive Reading in our Bible Lesson)The story is about a woman attending a large gathering where everyone was wearing a name tag. She asked one woman, "What do you do?", and did not get the typical response she expected.  "I bring hope to people who are hurting."  Turns out she was a clerk in a local grocery store but she didn't see her job that way. She felt it was a way to use the gift of hospitality and love God had given her to make the world a better place. So she paid attention to people who looked sad or careworn and offered them a simple word of kindness.

That made the writer look at his own job, as a seminary dean, with fresh eyes. He felt if you met him today and asked him about his work he would have a different response now. Hhe would say, "I use my gifts of administration and teaching to help prepare people for ministry and build up the kingdom of God.

Imagine yourself in that room full of people. Imagine someone coming up to you and asking "What do you do?"  How might you answer? I know my answer will be different now than it might have been before I read this devotional entry. I will look at it as an angel message and a call to lift my thinking higher about what I do and how I would describe it to someone else.

The prayer at the bottom of the page reads, "Bless the work of our hands, Lord, that it may bring glory to You."

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Turning water into wine

I come from a large family and in my childhood attended many weddings and gathering. And the wine flowed freely. As a student of Christian Science I have a different perspective on many things now. But fond memories of being with family and friends for celebrations.

John's gospel is the only one of the four that records this incident, coming so early in Jesus' ministry. It is filled with personal and eye witness details. Jesus had gone off on his own as a grown man but his mother must have kept some tabs on him as she knew how to call him to attend this wedding. She invited his new disciples to the feast as well.

When I study Bible stories I often check to see what Dummelow has written in his commentary. He says, "St. John records it, because, spiritually interpreted, it forms a suitable introduction to our Lord's ministerial work." He also notes, "Christ changes the water of Judaism into the good wine of the Gospel." It showed Jesus as Lord of matter as well as of spirit.

Wedding feasts went on for days and by the third day they were running out of wine. Dummelow comments that it was perhaps caused by the presence of so man (five or six) of the disciples so Jesus had a natural motive for working this miracle.

Another wonderful source for information is the JSH (Journal, Sentinel, Herald) site where one can look up articles from the periodicals. I found one that I will work with today, written by Ralph E. Wagers, entitled Turning Water into Wine. Mr. Wagers, a renowned Christian Science teacher, makes some wonderful points. "Jesus' presence at this marriage feast, as well as his part in the festivities, may have been more important than appears on the surface. Could it be possible that his turning the water into wine called attention to and dramatized the transforming nature of his ministry, a ministry that was to elevate the human concept of existence to a higher - a spiritual - basis?"

I liked what Mr. Wagers said about the wine. "The first wine, the wine of intoxication, might be said to typify the unreal material basis of things. The better wine, the wine of inspiration and understanding, might typify the spiritual foundation and superstructure that is real, right, and eternal. Turning water into wine could point to a more divine sense of human relationships, the result of purification and spiritualization of thought."

This also resonated. "Gratification of the senses, the pride of possession, and the competitive influences of self-will are not conductive to a happy, enduring home life. but when the participants
replace that wine with the wine of inspiration and understanding, purified, unselfed motives and aims bring to home and family of taste of heavenly bliss."

This is a reminder to me to see what it is I am 'drinking in' each day and to be aware and alert to always seek the wine of inspiration and understanding. It is also worth noting that following that miracle 'many believed on his name when they saw the miracles which he did', but he didn't want them to just be impressed, he wanted their thinking to be elevated to become more spiritually based. Inspired. Our Lesson says all things become new, then all thoughts can become new as well. We can demonstrate that same control over the nature of matter to see it purified so we can see the real man and his relationship with God.

Try it today, turn those watery thoughts to the pure reality of your status as the image and likeness of God, good. Be inspired.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Wear your pearls today

My inspiration this morning came from an article in this week's Sentinel, A pearl of great price. That is a reference to one of the ways Jesus described what the kingdom of heaven is like. It is found in Matthew 13. A merchant is 'seeking goodly pearls'. When he found 'one pearl of great price' he went and sold all he had so he could buy that pearl.

When I was a teenager my father bought me a string of pearls for my 16th birthday. It was small but lustrous and beautiful and I loved it. I still have it. But many years later I have a different string of pearls.  It is priceless to me.

When I started to study Christian Science, it was if I finally found something I had been searching for just as diligently as that merchant, the way to worship God with a religion that saw Him the way I did, as the Good Shepherd, loving His flock. On my 'spiritual' necklace that is the central and most beautiful pearl. I've added 'spiritual' pearls in the form of healings. Joining The Mother Church, then my first branch church, class instruction, serving as Second Reader, giving my first Association Address, all more 'pearls'. I would also consider some of my favorite Bible passages as well as things from Mrs. Eddy's writings, as 'pearls'. 

In nature pearls are formed when a bit of grit gets into the shell and causes irritation. A substance is secreted that covers it with a smooth layer. Layer upon layer is added and a beautiful pearl is formed. What a spiritual lesson for us as we deal with life's irritations through prayer, turning some intruding problem into a healing. Handled this way with prayer and understanding we come through the experience with our 'pearls', proofs of God's unfailing grace and loving care.

Too often I leave that 'string of pearls' hidden away. Today's article inspired me to take it out and think about how it has grown over the years. When I get dressed, I will mentally slip it on and go through the day smiling.

Be sure to take a look at your own and appreciate those pearls.

Friday, August 30, 2013

I just love the parable of The Good Samaritan

This is one of my favorite parables and I always find something new to love about it when it appears in our Bible Lesson. The theme and focus of this section of the Lesson, for me, is the importance of obeying the 'new commandment' to love one another. This parable points out just who it is we are to love. Everyone!

Today I was thinking about the inn  keeper. The Samaritan took compassion on the man who had been beaten half to death. He did not judge, wondering what that man was doing heading for the Las Vegas of his day. He did not worry about whether he knew him. He did not wonder if they went to the same church or worshipped God in the same way. He went to him where he was and met the immediate need, then set him on his own beast, not leaving him where he found him. He took him to an inn, probably a place where he himself had stayed in the past. For the inn-keeper must have known him well enough to trust that the Samaritan would stand by his word when he promises to repay any further expenses.

Another inn-keeper once denied shelter to Jesus' family when they needed a place for Mary to have her baby. That man did not choose to make room for them. We do not know what this one thought about the unfortunate 'guest', but he seemed to have some faith in the goodness and integrity of the Samaritan.  Wouldn't we all like to have others feel that way about us? How nice to be perceived as someone who would willingly go the extra mile to help someone in need, even a stranger. That is mercy. That is loving one another unconditionally. Even someone you don't know, someone who may have not been where they should have been. Just showing compassion without any concern about repayment or gratitude. One cannot help but wonder what the inn-keeper might have learned from this experience. 

What might I learn from it? When I am given the opportunity to help in some situation can I be loving enough to trust that only good will unfold? That I won't be stuck with some unresolved issue?

Earlier in this Lesson, in Hebrews 4, there is a reference to the 'thoughts and intents of the heart'.
Is my thought pure? Is my intent to bless and see healing? We were also reminded that 'unto every  one of us is given grace', it is the gift of the Christ.

I'll be thinking about all this today as I keep my own 'inn'.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Why I love the Christian Science Monitor

I sent off an email this morning to the paper is praise of the latest issue. I love the Monitor and love sharing it with others. Here's what I wrote.

I simply has to email you about the latest issue of the Christian Science Monitor Weekly. I almost always find at least one article to share but this issue was jam-packed. I have sent my son, a Taco Bell fan, the Good Reads article about 'Innovations at Taco Bell'. We'll see what he thinks of the breakfast waffle tacos.  My granddaughter just started college classes this week and she will get "Note taking without paper', an excellent article with five apps for note taking, highlighting a PDF, and organizing your thoughts.  One grandson will love the article from Tokyo about 'A giant leap for robotkind' and Kirobo, a robot that can function at zero gravity that was launched into space August 4th and will take up residence at the International Space Station where the first Japanese captain of the ISS will activate it in November. I am a great fan of mystery novels and appreciated the Books for Global Readers article, 'Murder in Quebec', about Louise Penny and her mystery series featuring Chief Inspector Gamache. What intrigues me is this: "Armand Gamache had always held unfashionable beliefs. He believed that light could banish shadows. That kindness was more powerful than cruelty, and that goodness existed, even in the most desperate places." I will look forward to reading those books and my thanks to Yvonne Zipp for her great article. The issue was rounded out by the Christian Science Perspective article, 'The timeless power of 'I have a dream', exactly what I wanted to pray with yesterday on the anniversary of that historic speech. Many thanks to everyone at the Monitor for this wonderful issue!

The Monitor needs our support and we all know it was dear to Mrs. Eddy's heart, the culmination of her devotion to the cause of Christian Science. I do miss the daily paper but these new weekly issues always yield something I can share with others or something informative for myself.

Have you shared the Monitor with anyone recently?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New beginnings

This is a very special day for me. Last Friday we celebrated the final day of Camp Grandma, the summer program I set up to keep Ian (9) and Katie Rose (6) busy and happy all day during school vacation time. We called it Camp Grandma, made decorated tee shirts, added 'badges' on the back as we completed cooking and gardening projects (our sunflowers are over 8' tall and smiling down on the driveway), and did our weekly themes; adventures with rocks (finding geodes in a nearby stream bed), exploring space (lots of Lego ship building), knights and castles (complete with a Castle Cake), the first annual Camp Grandma Olympics (held on the Principia college campus), Ocean Week (we got out our sea shell collections) and Pirates! (which included a cruise on a pirate ship on the Mississippi River). We finished up with Spy Week. All in all it was lots of fun and  the kids did some writing projects to family and friends and received post cards from all over the country. We started each day with the flag salute and a short chapel. There was a lunch break and then some afternoon activities usually 'dismissing' around 3:00. I wonder how much of it they will remember later but I certainly have wonderful memories of it.

Sunday we went to an ice cream social on the St. Louis campus where we had a chance to visit their classrooms and meet their teachers. I loved it as I can now picture where they will be and some of things they will be doing. I am especially interested in what they will be reading.

Today they grabbed their lunches (we practiced packing lunches all last week) and their back packs and headed off for the bus at 6:35. Mike and Kristen returned to get ready for work and left just before 8:00. And suddenly here I am is a quiet house with the freedom to plan my day with lots of uninterrupted prayer and study. I will head over to campus for the CSO service and testimony meeting at 11:40 where I hope to meet up with our Lauren. How I wish all of you could experience that, a chapel filled with hundreds of CS college kids singing with gusto. And those testimonies are remarkable! Many given in the accents of students from around the world.

Tomorrow I am back on campus from 9-11:30 serving in the practitioners office. Local Journal-listed practitioners take turns there and are available to students and faculty and to pray for the campus. It is a very special time and I look forward to being there without Ian and Katie Rose who find the two and half hours a bit long. (Last week they took off their shoes, hung them on their ears and stared to see who could go the longest without laughing)

So this is a week of new beginnings for all of us here in Elsah and I so appreciate this week's Bible Lesson on Christ Jesus, as he shows us the pathway for our spiritual journey and how to be Christ-like along the way. It says in the Bible that 'the Lord was with him' and it is great comfort to remind myself that the Lord is with me too! All day and every day.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Graven on the palms of my hands.

I love this image. It is in this week's Bible Lesson on Love, a synonym for God. It is in Isa 49:16.

"Behold, I have graven thee upon the palm of My hands."

Isaiah is picturing a mother and her son,. the son being far away. Neither of them is literate but the mother wants some token to remind her of her child while he is away. She has a way to do that. She goes to a man who makes tattoos and has something inked onto her palm. The scripture doesn't say if it is his likeness or his name but it will never wash off and she can look at it at any time and be reminded of him. Isaiah represents God as speaking to Israel but it could certainly be applied to each of us as well. "Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands."

God, divine Mind, is thinking about us, reflecting on us, constantly and continually. We are always on divine Mind, being see as His perfect and whole beloved child. We are the sons and daughters of
God, the perfect Father Mother parent. God is Love and that is where we dwell, in a tender relationship with Him/Her.

There have been times when I have written a note to myself on my palm.  It was put there to remind me of something I didn't want to forget. Now I am tempted to make a note there that God loves me so that I see that all day and remember to thank Him/Her and love God back. Keep God graven on the palm of my hand as well. See our hymn #76...In My hand thy name is graven, I will save both thine and thee.

It goes so well with this week's Golden Text....We love God because God first loved us.

And that love is as permanent as any tattoo.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Otherwise minded

As I read the Bible Lesson on Truth this morning I was watching once again for questions that show up in the text. Section Four has a powerful one - who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?  Who indeed. Especially when Paul continues with this wonderful assurance.  "I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded."

Otherwise minded.

The New Living Translation says, "I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings." The Message Bible reads, "Deep down the Master has given me confidence that you will not defect."

The Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, includes a wonderful definition for God. Among the synonyms given is Mind. God is Mind, the one Mind, and we reflect that Mind. There is no other. So it is not possible for us to be lead astray or to have a mind of our own. We must be like-Minded.

Despite all the suggestions and claims presented to us, we cannot be otherwise minded. We can always choose Truth and follow God obediently, trusting in His tender care and loving kindness. He loves us.

Jonah tried to be otherwise minded when called to go to Ninevah. He did not think those people so flagrantly ignoring God deserved to be saved. He was otherwise minded to head in the other direction. But one cannot ever be out of God's presence. Even when tossed overboard and ending up in the belly of a whale. Jonah reconsidered, prayed and promised to do as God directed. God speaks to the whale and Jonah is brought to shore unharmed.

Obedience can be a hard lesson if we choose instead to be otherwise minded, to listen to medical opinions, to give in to temptations that lead us down the wrong path, to ignore God. Mrs. Eddy asks that same question on page 326. She tells us, "Working and praying with true motives, your Father will open the way." The way that leads to health and prosperity and happiness.

Watch today and be sure you are listening to  and obeying divine Mind. Know that you cannot be otherwise minded. Don't believe false teachings. Don't defect. Obey God and great spiritual growth will follow.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The hand of the Lord was on Elijah

One of my favorite lines from this week's Bible Lesson on Truth is from I Kings.  "And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah."  That just resonates with me. Elijah had been severely tested with a confrontation. He challenged the 450 priests of Baal and soundly defeated them. Queen Jezebel threatened his life and he ran. He took refuge in a cave and stayed there until he heard God speak to him. "What doest thou here, Elijah?"  What a momentous question. You just faced down 450 and won. You are my chosen prophet and should be out leading the people. Why are you cowering in this cave?

Have you even felt like hiding from the world? Did something happen that drove you to just pull the covers over your head and want to stay in bed? How quickly Elijah seemed to lose faith, especially since he had called on God and been shown His power in such an awesome way.

What I love is this beautiful image of the hand of the Lord resting on Elijah. I have felt that. I have prayed long and hard about something and felt as if God rested His hand on my head in blessing. I have felt the arm of divine Love around my shoulders with such grace when I was grieving. I have felt the hand of the Lord firmly holding me up when I thought I was going to fall backwards down a flight of stairs. The hand of the Lord is upon us. Blessing. Comforting. Guiding. Supporting. No matter what the circumstances appear to be.

God listens to Elijah's pity party and then tells him to 'go forth' and to 'stand upon the mount'. For me that means to rouse myself, to get out of bed, to tackle whatever it is that seems so overwhelming, to obediently face the Jezebel-like though, which in truth cannot harm me. And to do it from the mount of inspiration. To uplift thought to see my oneness with God, who is right with me, His hand upon me. Who can frighten or intimidate me when I know that all the power of God is right there on my behalf?

Elijah was shown that God was not in the earthquake, wind, or fire. Nothing can shake our firm foundation, nothing can blow us over, nothing can cause us to burn with shame or embarrassment or seem to put us through some fiery trial. God is not behind any of that. God is the 'still, small voice' that whispers to our mind and heart. I AM God and you are My beloved child, under My protection, experiencing My divine plan for you.

The hand of the Lord was on Elijah and it is on me....and it is on you.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Trust your Life preserver

We live on the Principia College campus and have access to their beautiful indoor pool. Our summers are hot here in Elsah, Illinois and it is very refreshing to go take a swim. Our Katie Rose, just turned six, has not yet conquered swimming on her own so she suits up in a swim vest. When she is wearing this life preserver she cannot sink. She floats buoyantly and with complete confidence.

God's love for us is like that. It surrounds us in a loving embrace and keeps us afloat. Within that Love you simply cannot sink, become depressed or feel like you are going under. Our Bible Lesson on Life includes the definition for Abraham given in the glossary of Science and Health.

"This patriarch illustrated the purpose of Love to create trust in good, and showed the life-preserving power of spiritual understanding."

Wow. What a powerful life preserver the spiritual understanding of God as Life brings into our experience. We can trust this life preserver to hold us up effortlessly. It is God doing the preserving. Our part is to trust in His goodness and His always present love for us. Even if we feel like we have strayed into deep or dangerous waters. Especially then. God, Life, is right there keeping us safe.

This is a spiritual life preserver we wear all the time. Think about that as you go about your day and be grateful for this uplifting gift from God. He loves you every moment, has his eye on you like the perfect parent He is. You cannot be out of His reach. He is preserving your life because He is Life.

You can trust in that!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Mourners, it calls you

This week's Bible Lesson opens with the Good News translation of the Beatitudes. Then the sections expand on those nine 'attitudes we should be' to be blessed. This morning I am struck by the second Beatitude...Happy are those who mourn; God will comfort them!

I love all of our hymns and often turn to the ones that are based on poems by our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy. In one of those is a verse about mourners. We are assured that Love wipes our tears all away. What a beautiful picture of the Motherhood of God, holding us close and comforting us, wiping away our tears. Lifting the shade of gloom. Making radiant room to see the glories He has prepared for us right where we seem to be sorrowing or accepting loss.

Are you mourning? Is there something causing you to feel unhappy. Do you feel like you have suffered a loss? Right there and right then Love is with us to bring comfort. We never need to feel unhappy. God is never unhappy and as His expression we are always whole and complete. There cannot be anything missing or any good withheld. Nothing has been taken away or lost forever.

Spirit, God, blesses all times and under all circumstances. The sick are healed. The sorrowing are comforted. The sinner is  Our spiritual growth is assured. We can always demonstrate our power over any evil suggestions.

It is your right to express completeness and joy. Soul is joyous. You have a wonderful life with Life. If you seem to be struggling with a sense of unhappiness or loss, if you are being tempted to mourn about something, know that is not coming from divine Mind. See it for what it really is and dismiss it. You have no reason to mourn in the kingdom of heaven. If you are sad Love will wipe those tears away. If you are depressed Love will lift that shade of gloom. If you feel lost or alone Love will make radiant room for good.

Our Lesson ends with what we think of as the morning meal, when Jesus comes to the disciples by the Sea of Galilee. They had returned to fishing after the resurrection. Jesus had risen but they had not seen him for several days and were feeling lost and confused. That night they caught nothing. Fishermen without a catch. Disciples without a clear sense of direction. Jesus calls to them and tells them to cast their net on the right side. When they obey that can hardly draw it in for the multitude of fishes.

Cast your net on the right side. See the wonderful blessings waiting for you. Mourner, he calls you.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Is anything too hard for the Lord?

What a week this is going to be! Our Bible Lesson on God expands on the question, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"  We are being given absolute assurances that nothing is impossible to God. Nothing is too hard for our Father Mother who loves us.

The Lesson tells the story of Nebuchadnezzsar's foolish decree, all men must worship him alone, or be cast into a fiery furnace. Three Hebrew men, captives in Babylon when that nation attacked Jerusalem, do not obey this law. They had been given an education so they could serve the king and had been serving him so well that they had been 'set over the affairs of the province of Babylon'. This led to envy and hatred against them and the jealous officials run to the king to tattle tale that the men were not bowing down to the golden image or worshipping it. In a rage, Nebuchadnezzar orders them thrown into the furnace. But to his astonishment they are not instantly incinerated but move around in the flames unharmed. And they are not alone. There is a fourth figure with them, 'like the Son of God'. When he calls them forth they are completely unharmed, the only thing that burned were the ropes that had bound them. Their clothes are not burned, their bodies and hair unburned. Not even the smell of fire clung to them. Nothing is impossible to God.

This week, should you find yourself being persecuted because you refuse to bow down to some silly material, medical, financial, or any other kind of law, rejoice knowing that no matter what appears to be threatening you, you can come through that 'fiery furnace' unharmed, without even the smell of smoke lingering. Because God is with you, always, at all times and under all circumstances.

This summer I have been creating a small garden with the 'grands'. We stood back to gaze at our little patch of baby plants and the kiddos decided that what we needed to finish it off was, not one, but two scare crows. So they donated old clothing and we built one for each of them. The thing about a scare crow is that is may look threatening but it cannot actually do any harm. It is powerless to move or act. Treat your 'enemy' as a defeated and powerless scare crow. That's what the fiery furnace appeared to be for those Hebrew men. The raging storm of jealousy and deceitful actions could not engulf them. What Mrs. Eddy refers to as 'all that is selfish, wicked, dishonest, and impure'. God is good and the source of all good. There is no other power present or operating. No matter how real the furnace seems to be, no matter how hot the flames, no matter how threatening the scare crow.

Nothing is impossible to God. No spontaneous combustion for you. No smell of smoke to insist you had ever been in danger. Trust God and rejoice in His  power. Isn't that the best thought to start your week!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Chariots of fire

Chariots of fire. What does that mean?

Elisha, the prophet of Israel, had foreseen the plans of the King of Syria. He warned the King of Israel and he was able to prevent that confrontation. The King of Syria was 'sore troubled' about this and looked among his people for a spy. They assured him they were all loyal, it was Elisha's prophetic ability to know what the King was planning in secret council. The King sends soldiers to find out where Elisha wass staying and when they report back that he was in the village of Dothan, the King sends an impressive army, complete with horse drawn chariots to capture him.

They arrive in the night and completely surround the village. The next morning, Elisha's servant gets us early and steps outside to see that they are surrounded. He panics. "Alas, my master! how shall we do?"  But Elisha is unruffled. "Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them." Elisha prays and asks God to open the servant's eyes, that he might see. Now when the servant looks again he sees that they are surrounded with horses and chariots of fire.

The army of the King of Syria was impressive, but the army God sent was awesome. Not just horses and chariots, but chariots of fire. I could not find information in various translations or Bible commentaries about just what those chariots of fire were. I'm not sure they were visible to the enemy. But Elisha knew that he was safe and completely protected by the mighty power of God. And his servant could see it as well. The rest of the story is not in this week's Bible Lesson but Elisha solves the problem without firing a shot and eventually sends the Syrian army back to their King unharmed and well treated. The account ends by saying that they did not try to war against him again.

So what were those 'chariots of fire'?  I think they were spiritual messages and spiritual messengers sent by God to assure Elisha, His chosen prophet, that no power can go up against God and be victorious. The battle is the Lord's and He always wins. Bright and shining thoughts of God as the only cause and creator. God as the preserver of man. God as the great I AM.

Today I will watch for my own 'chariots of fire' whenever something appears to suggest that I am completely surrounded by error of some kind, encircled by a threat to my health or well being. In the past I once felt surrounded by a host of unpaid bills long overdue and dealing with a flood of unpleasant and threatening phone calls. It was time to choose. I could just say, "Alas, how am I ever going to pay all these debts? What is going to happen to me"?  Or I could pray to have my eyes opened to God's ever present and unfailing supply. I got astounding proof of the 'chariots of fire' coming to my aid as I was able to meet each and every one of those debts without harm to myself or to those who needed to be paid. I never got into financial trouble like that again.

Nice to be reminded of that experience as proof of God's care. Each of us is His beloved child, made in His image and likeness, under the protection of His generous love.  Should you ever feel surrounded by a hostile situation just remember those 'chariots of fire', those heavenly assurances that the answer is right at hand. They are really quite beautiful.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

We will 'find' the help we need as we trust God

This week's Bible Lesson on God the Preserver of Man continues on with a recounting of the
Exodus experience as Moses lead the children of Israel out of Egypt and slavery. What I will be working with today is the question God asks Pharaoh through Moses. "How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before Me?" To me that is applicable to any challenge we might be facing as well. How long are we going to argue with God? How long are we going to argue for the reality of the condition or situation and then ask His help resolving it? In Christian Science we come at things from a different direction. We begin by seeing that there is no such condition or situation that has been described or presented to us or to anyone else. There is no such thought as that which has seemed to produce the condition or situation, but only a complete consciousness of the presence of good, perfect Mind and its perfect manifestation. It is never a physical condition or situation that needs to be corrected, only a false belief or mistaken idea that there is such a condition. And we correct that suggestion through recognition of Truth.

God finishes the thought by saying, "Let my people go that they might serve Me." That is what we should be doing, letting go of false beliefs, letting go of inharmonious situations. Instead, we seem to cling tighter and try to justify things. Who are we serving when we do that? Isn't it much better to realize that God is bringing us forth with joy! You can feel joy right in the midst of what appears to be a wilderness experience. It will only bless you to overcome this belief in being separated from divine Love. It is always a reminder to be careful of just what we are worshipping. No one needs to be in bondage to illness, lack, limitation. No one needs to feel under the domination of a hard task master. No one needs to feel lost and alone.

Section Three contains a very familiar statement from Science and Health. "Step by step will those who trust Him find that "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."  Today I will focus on that word 'find'. As we trust our Father Mother God we will find our refuge, our freedom, our strength, the answers we need. Just as He lead the children of Israel out of bondage and slavery He is leading us today...with joy.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

See and acknowledge. Yield. Follow.

I have always loved how this week's Bible Lesson topic, God the Preserver of Man, follows so naturally God the Only Cause and Creator. There is so much to work with this week! It opens with a promise from Psalm 121 assuring us that God guards and protects us from all dangers. The Responsive Reading has quite a bit of Psalm 91 to reinforce this promise.

I have often reminded myself that God has assigned His angels to watch over me. I love the image of those messengers and their messages keeping me safe all ways and always. They lift me up, uphold my thinking, and sometimes literally hold me up when I seem to be confronted with a 'stone', something that would cause me to stumble in my study and application of Christian Science. Something that seems too hard for me to understand. Something that comes in the form of resistance to Truth and its healing power. The Responsive Reading continues with Psalm 40 with a reference to 'an horrible pit' and 'miry clay'.

I was reminded of our former home in Texas. Not that my home or my time there was horrible. It was not at all. It was a wonderful time of spiritual growth. But that growth came as the result of working through some challenges that seemed like a deep pit or depression, a low point. We bought a home in a new housing development. It was great fun to go over and visit the site as they laid the foundation. The yard backed up to acres populated only by the occasional cow. Later on Ian and I discovered fossils lying around on the ground. One day we went over after it had rained and their was a patch of perfectly smooth ground in one corner. Only after we stepped in it did we realize it was clay, clay that stuck to our shows in an inches thick layer and was hard to remove. Miry clay. We felt like dinosaurs caught in a tar pit! Miry clay would try to keep you stuck in place. But the Psalmist assures us that God lifts us out of situations like that and sets our feet on a rock, a firm foundation that will not sink under us.

The first section continues on with Noah and the flood. Safety and preservation came in the form of an ark. This is an assurance that we can survive and overcome any flood of suggestions about our health, our finances, our relationships and ride above any storm in harmony. I will be working today with three ideas in the final citation from Science and Health for that section. "All that really exists is the divine Mind and its idea, and in this Mind the entire being is found harmonious and eternal. The straight and narrow way is to see and acknowledge this fact, yield to this power, and follow the leadings of truth.  See and acknowledge. Yield. Follow.

See and acknowledge. All that really exists is the divine Mind and its idea. Harmony is the reality.
Yield. So many applications. Cultivate, as in agriculture. Bring in the harvest of your good work and prayers. Give over possession of. To give forth the natural product of. To produce a return for effort. These are all so positive, no negative connotation to yielding.
Follow. To go after. To move along the course of. Follow and rejoice.

This is going to be a great week!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The curse causeless shall not come

How wonderful that Mrs. Eddy gives us this topic, God the only cause and creator, to study in depth twice a year. This particular lesson includes a passage I often found puzzling. It is from Proverbs. As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come. This morning I decided to look that up in some different translations of the Bible. Here is what I found.
The curse causeless does not alight.
An undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim.
You have little to fear from an undeserved curse.

God is Love and Love would never curse its beloved child. Divine Love is constantly blessing us. We learn in Genesis One that God fills all space with His own creations. His work is complete and each of us appear to Him as very good. He is pleased with us. He wouldn't change a thing. We already have every thing we will ever need to be happy and healthy. We can rejoice and be grateful.

Are you feeling like you are cursed with some problem? Something that occurred in your past, that lingers in the present and threatens your future? Do you think you have caused this, or worse, do you think God is punishing you? This 'curse', no matter what form it might try to take, is causeless. Your innocence is intact, your purity unstained. Whatever it is trying to make you believe is real has no basis in God's kingdom. If it is not real to God, how can it be real to you?

Know that it is not real, it is causeless, without authority to hurt you in any way. It cannot attach itself to your thought or your body. Just know it is without cause and therefore must be deprived of any effect. In truth, it was never there at all and so when you realize that, it disappears and can leave no scars, physical or emotional or financial or any other way.

This 'curse' does not alight or land on you. Let it just slide off. Without a mark.
This undeserved 'curse' will on not touch its intended victim. Like the so-called 'curse' on woman, it cannot cause you monthly cramps or discomfort. Like the so-called 'curse' of heredity, it cannot make you lose your hair or make you susceptible to being over weight or to some inherited disease.
You have nothing to fear from an undeserved curse.

Rejoice! And go about your day with gratitude! No curse will ever land on you, touch you, or bring you down. It cannot.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

necromancy - is it only in the past?

Our Bible Lessons are based on 26 topics Mrs. Eddy has given us, presented in order and repeated twice a year. But the content of the Lessons is always fresh, a new set of citations put together from the Bible and Science and Health. Some topics are simple and easy to work with. Others seem a bit strange, and some are in the form of questions. This week's Lesson is one I used to think odd. Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced. But as my study of Christian Science continues and deepens I see the wisdom is providing this study.

There are examples in the Bible of Ancient Necromancy. Necromancy is defined in the Merriam-
Webster online dictionary as conjuring the spirits of the dead to reveal the future or course of events. It is black magic based on a belief in evil. How relevant is that today? Very. Is it a term people know? Apparently. On Monday as I browsed through the news I spotted this...."The media necromancy of the web has resurrected yet another dead and decaying television show." The writer was familiar with the word necromancy and assumed readers would be as well.

That got me thinking. What other ways might one be using necromancy today? Do we sometimes wish we could summon up a loved one who has passed on to give us advice? Do we look at some character trait we seem to have and believe that it has been passed along to us by a relative? Do we dredge us memories of an unpleasant past event and continue to dwell over it wishing we could change what happened? Do we look to things in the past and believe they are having an adverse effect on the present, or the future?

Mrs. Eddy put necromancy on equal footing with mesmerism or hypnotism. Both of those terms were very much in the news in her day. Are they today? How about those commercials that attempt subtly and not so subtly to mesmerize you into wanting and purchasing things? I took the 'grands' grocery shopping yesterday and it was quite startling how many things they identified on the shelves. They wanted those products because they had seen commercials designed to brand them into their minds so they would have a favorable reaction when they saw them. Have you ever gotten so attached to a television series that everything else must be put aside to watch it? Do the characters and events provoke a reaction? Is it hard to wait for the next episode? Careful, you are being used.

This week's outstanding Lesson includes the story of Nehemiah rebuilding the destroyed walls and gates of Jerusalem and the attempts of his enemies to keep that from happening. I look forward each morning to finding more and more spiritual inspiration. This seems like the exact opposite of necromancy. It is turning to the Word of God for light and blessing. It is all about how not to be fooled or influenced erroneously. It's going to be a great week!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Watching for the questions

One of our recent Bible Lessons was filled with questions....and provided answers. That alerted me to something new I could be doing with our weekly lessons, look for questions and their answers in the text. This week we get the first question in the Responsive Reading, "Is there a God beside Me?"  It is easy to just say, "No, of course not" but how many times a day are we challenged with a suggestion that there is some other power present or at work in our lives? (another question) Today I am paying attention to the questions in the Lesson and may even write them out to use in my prayerful work.

Is there a God beside Me?
What are body and soul?
O Lord my God, hast Thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, to slay her son?
Does God send sickness, giving the mother her child for a brief span of years and then taking it away by death?
Can there be any birth or death for man, the spiritual image and likeness of God?
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?
Who touched my clothes?
And now, Lord, what wait I for?

I am sure these questions and their answers, found in the Bible and Science and Health will prompt a deeper study of Christian Science today and a clearer application of Truth. I can be expecting healing all day long. Please let me know if this was a helpful idea for you. Was it helpful?

That's another question. :)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Master Architect and His perfect blueprint

This week's Bible Lesson, Soul and Body, is packed with great ideas. I love having this Lesson ready and waiting each week. It has helped me be a better student of the Bible as we read and study different citations and get to  know many of the Biblical characters. The full-text edition is a wonderful way to share Christian Science with others but I still mark my books as well. There's so much pleasure in turning to the different citations and being able to see what comes before and after them for deeper study. The ideas in Science and Health continue to provide fresh inspiration although that book was written in the 1890's. As part of my spiritual journey I am continually reading it. When I get to the end I just go back to the beginning and start over. There is always more to learn and I am in a new place every time as my understanding grows.

This week we have three stories that illustrate the Golden Text, are God's building. We are like a house built to His plan, His blue print and God is the Master Architect.

During an extended drought the prophet Elijah gets a message from God telling him to go to a certain city where a widow woman will sustain him. Elijah stays in her home and that is when the cruise of oil does not fail, in fact, it provides enough to sell the extra. the drought ends and another crisis occurs when her son falls ill and dies. Elijah takes the child from his grieving mother's arms and carries him up to the loft. There he prays and the child is restored to life. Elijah brings the child to his mother. It is not in the Lesson but her response is "Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth."  It seems like she should have been convinced of his connection with God by the demonstration of the oil. When he arrived she was preparing a final meal for herself and the child and then fully expected to starve to death. I believe that drought had been in effect some time before Elijah arrived and it is not clear how long it continued but the biblical account says 'many day'.

Maybe she felt the supply was to save Elijah and she got the benefit of it by hosting him. But when they survived that challenge only to have the child die from illness she must have been sorely tested. She refers to some past sin and thinks that having Elijah there has brought her to God's attention. The restoration of her son, her only son, was a turning point.

What I am learning from studying this lesson is how important it is to daily affirm our true heritage as the child of God. God is our parent, our Father Mother, our creator. We exist as an idea in divine Mind. We have a spiritual identity. We did not have a birth, will not pass through stages of life, and then end with death. No birth process into matter at all.  God is Spirit and 'man is not material, he is spiritual.' God is Soul and Soul is never found in a limited mind or a limited body. Much to ponder today.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Talked with any serpents lately?

This week's Bible Lesson on Adam and Fallen Man begins with the spiritual account of creation given in Genesis One. Lots of nice animals in that one. The lesson continues with the second account of creation given in Genesis Two, where the Lord God makes man from the dust of the ground and woman from Adam's rib. Another change is the appearance of the Tree of the knowlege of good and evil. Adam and Eve are forbidden to eat the fruit from that tree. Along comes a talking serpent. That was certainly not in the spiritual account. And what does he want to talk about? Rules. Restrictions. Is God being fair? Is He misleading you, keeping something back you might enjoy? Do you really have to obey Him? Notice that he goes after Eve, not Adam.

She should have just turned and walked away.

But she didn't. She listened.

Don't get sucked into those conversations initiated by evil with the intent to undermine your faith, your confidence in God's protection and loving care. You know the things you should actively avoid. Don't argue...get out of there.

Evil will try to put it in attractive packaging, promising all kind so benefits. Why would we ever choose to know about evil! Are you tempted to read those magazines filled with gossip and inuendos about the rich and famous? Why? Are they telling the truth? Are they offering prayer and healing?

What was presented to Eve was something that appeared to be good to eat, good to take in, good to swallow. Run your eye over the magazine stand and see how every issue has some new diet plan based on eating or not eating certain foods. Eat this or don't eat this and you will be beautiful. How did that work out for Eve? How does it work out for anyone who bases happiness on food or diet?

What was presented came in an attractive package. It was pleasant to the eye. Temptation usuallly is. Do you think it might be good because it is attractive? Think again. Just in case she was still not convinced there was a further lie.

What was presented would make her wise. Who says she wasn't wise already? Are we made wise by learning something evil wants to show us? Be sure you watch and pray not to be pursuaded, not to be influenced erroneously by the 'talking serpent' appearing on your tv, computer screen, or other device.Or in casual conversations at work.  It's trying to sell you something as if God is not already meeting your every need.

I'm glad we read this account side-by-side with Genesis One. How brilliant of Mrs. Eddy to make this so clear. Which version are you going to believe in today? They teach you a jingle in Sunday school that goes something like this, "Which of these version is all about you, Genesis One or Genesis Two?"  Don't listen to the talking serpent, listen to your Father Mother God. He will not make empty promises or tempt you with evil.

Friday, May 3, 2013

5 favorite words

This week's Bible Lesson on Everlasting Punishment contains a phrase of five words. The phrase is 'the accuser is not there'. It is from Science and Health, by Mary Baker Eddy, and is found on page 568. Discussing the 'paean of jubilee' that will rise to heaven for the victory over all sin, Mrs. Eddy describes 'a louder song, sweeter than has ever before reached heaven'. The reason for this rejoicing is that 'the accuser is not there'.

The accuser. That which is not a person, place or thing but just a lie, a suggestion, a false idea trying to pass itself off as real. It has no authority, no power behind it to enforce its claims. It can only attempt to trick us with illusions. Pay no attention to that man behind the screen! Just as the man who is creating the illusion of Oz, the Great and Powerful, is unmasked by Dorothy, exposed as a humbug, so we can awaken to find that 'the accuser is not there'.

That which accuses us of being sick or depressed or helpless or hopeless. That which claims to have dominion over our body or our home or work place or relatioships or branch church. That which whispers nothing but negative thoughts to frighten or enrage or discourage. That very accuser is nothing but emptiness posing as something-ness. Open your eyes! That accuser is not really there.

With that realization will come a throng of angel messages, straight from divine Love. Messages of comfort and assurance. You are not sick. You are not alone. You are not burdened. You are innocent. You are loved. You are inseperable from your Father-Mother God. You have all you need. You are blessed. You are a blessing to others.

The accuser is not there. God is. God, the source of all goodness, is right there. Give thanks and magnify Him with all your heart. Tell Him you love Him and listen for His assurance, "I love you back".

How do we know this really works? Look at the last 100 pages of Science and Health and read documented healings of those who were healed of 'all manner of sickness' just by reading this remarkable book. Pick up this week's Christian Science Sentinel or this month's Christian Science Journal and read more healings from all over the world, healings happening in our time. Visit a Christian Science Wednesday service and listen to your neighbors tell of their own healings. Sit down with a friend who is a Christian Scientist and ask them about their healings. Call a Christian Science practitioner and ask for prayer and treatment.  "A change in human belief changes  all the physical symptoms, and determines a case for better or for worse. When one's false belief is corrected, Truth sends a report of health over the body". (S&H p.10) Want to know more? Pick up a copy from your local Christian Science reading room or on line.

You'll see. The accuser is not there!