Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Give of your heart's rich overflow

This week's Bible Lesson on Matter includes the story of Peter and John healing the man who was born lame. How often do we come upon a scene that touches something in us. We are moved by what we are seeing. And we want to give or do something. We can always give...our prayers, our love, our attention, encouragement. Peter 'fastened his eyes' on the man. He did not look away, embarrassed for a man who had spent his whole life begging. He did not shrink from the picture, he addressed the situation. He was not overwhelmed by the great need, he responded by giving what he had, a clear understanding of that man's true identity, his completeness, his ability to rise up from a lifetime of limitation. Right where the need seemed to be, Peter offered the healing solution.

The man must have been looking around to all who entered into the temple, not really focusing on those passing by. Peter tells him to 'look on us'. He got his attention. and then he prepared thought to be receptive for the healing. Certainly that was not what the man was expecting. He just wanted some money. But Peter lifted his thought and then took him by the hand and lifted him right out of that lie.

We know how the man responded. He felt strength where there had never been strength before. He was, for the first time in his life, able to stand on his own two feet. Did he run home to share this amazing thing? No. He went with them into the temple, where he had not been able to go before, walking, leaping and praising God. Giving loud and joyous gratitude to God. I have to think Peter and John were feeling pretty happy as well.

Christian Science allows us to change any false picture because it is not us doing it, but God. He is the only cause and Creator. And all He creates and does is good. Constant unconditional love from Love. The truth of our identity as Truth is always being expressed. How wonderful to see thought stirred from a wrong concept to a change of base. Our spiritual foundation. The bedrock that cannot be shaken.

Today I will work with hymn 139. It begins...I walk with Love along the way. And in the third verse it says....give of your heart's rich overflow.

Come walk with Love today.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

what are they among so many?

Often when I am studying our weekly Bible Lesson, especially when I am going to be teaching Sunday school, I like to go through and notice the questions. They make good conversation starters and a good jumping off point for further study and prayer.

This week's lesson on Substance contains several good questions. The Responsive Reading includes the story of Jesus feeding the multitudes. A large crowd of over 5,000 people had gathered to hear Jesus teach. He asked his disciple Philip 'where shall we buy bread that these may eat'? They were far from any markets. Jesus already knew what he was going to do but he was making this demonstration so that his students would see the unlimited supply provided by divine Love. Another disciple, Andrew, asks him a question in return. A lad had offered to share his five loaves and two fish but 'what are they among so many'?

Have you ever sat down to pay your monthly bills and there seemed to be a whole  multitude accumulated? Maybe about $5,000 worth? I have. It can seem daunting, especially if you don't have that much money in your check book or savings account. You can pay some of them, perhaps five loaves and two fishes worth, but 'what is that among so many'? Faced with a tall pile of bills I just took the one off the top and gratefully wrote a check.  I took a moment to thank God that I was able to pay that one and expressed gratitude for the paycheck I was currently getting and the job that I loved. There was about 'five loaves and two fishes' worth of money left so I wrote out a few more bills and mailed them off. But 'what was that among so many'? Before I left my desk I took each one of those unpaid bills and was truly grateful for what each represented. It was right for those obligations to be met, I wanted to meet them, especially the one that was from a practitioner. I prayed until I was confident that Love would answer the need, just as it did that day Jesus fed his multitude. Later that day an unexpected check arrived in the mail and I was able to send off a few more bills. By the end of the week, all of them had been paid from different sources. And I had some left over!

Another question I am pondering comes from section two where David and his men return to the city of Ziklag to find that his enemies have attacked and taken everyone captive, including two of David's wives. David was upset and his men were angry with him because their families and property had been taken. David found encouragement when he prayed. He asks God (here's the question), "Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them?'. This is a response to a problem that yields a healing solution. God assures him that he will overtake them and will recover all. And that is exactly what happens. Do we have that same type of response when faced with a sudden situation? Pray first, take it to God. Then follow His directing. You, too, can 'recover all'.

There are several more excellent questions in this Bible Lesson and all lead to a clearer understanding of true substance and a promise that ... the goodness of God endureth continually. Or as it asks in Isaiah 14:27...The Lord of Hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

What about migraines? Well, Aunt Tootsie, let me tell you about that.

Last night I gave a testimony in our church service and I'd like to share it here as well.

Christian Science came into my life when I was in my early twenties. I had not been studying it long when I knew I wanted to join The Mother Church and a local branch church. But at that time I was still holding on to some bad habits and long held beliefs. It was not hard to give up drinking alcohol as I had never done much of that. It was also fairly easy to stop smoking. Again, I had not been doing that for very long and mostly because I thought it made me seem older and sophisticated with my co-workers. But choosing to rely completely on Christian Science for my health and well being was another matter altogether.

I had been a very sickly child, often at the doctor's office for shots and prescriptions for medicine. My relatives were familiar with my missing lots of school and dealing with frequent ailments. So they were quite surprised at my new direction. And not a little worried. I was reading Science and Health and gaining so many new and wonderful insights about God and my  relationship to Him as His beloved child, made in His image and likeness, perfect as the Original I reflected. The reading room was nearby and I spent many hours studying and asking the librarians questions. They were patient and loving and met me where I was in thought. But the two most helpful avenues at that time were the Christian Science Monitor and the Wednesday evening church services.

When the Monitor arrived in our mailbox I eagerly turned to the metaphysical article that appeared daily. While Science and Health seemed difficult to grasp, these articles were written at such an accessible level that I was always inspired. I looked forward to them and cut many out to save and ponder. Nowadays I love sharing current Monitor articles with others who are new to Christian Science and/or those who want to pray about world issues.

The Wednesday evening meetings were such a revelation! Ordinary people, friends I was just getting to know, would stand up and share experiences and remarks about how they were applying the teachings of Christian Science to any and all problems or challenges. And they were getting healed! I also fell in love with the hymnal and found so many both simple and profound ideas in the hymns. I work with a different hymn every day and keep a paperback hymnal in the car.

As I would go back to family gatherings, my relatives could see how my life was being changed for the better. But they had reservations. Some of them had been able to stop drinking or smoking by one means or another so that was not so spectacular. But all of them relied on medicine and they just couldn't imagine how I could get by without it. One of my aunties, who had sat in a darkened room with me many a time in childhood, asked how I was able to bear my migraine headaches. I told her I had not had a migraine in twenty years. (If she were still around I could extend that to forty years now) I shared with her how I had worked with a Christian Science practitioner and being healed of those migraines and this was the best part. Once healed, they never returned! That impressed her.

Sometimes I forget how truly blessed I am in all the freedom I experience and express in my life. So many limitations overcome. So much spiritual progress. My life is anything but dull and it is good to understand that God is the source of all the goodness and blessings.