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.