Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Cast off that false identiy - the Bartimaeus example

Blind Bartimaeus, living on the fringe of society, clothed in the garment that identified him as a beggar, realized this was not just another day sitting by the highway. A huge crowd was passing by and in its midst was Jesus. Even though he could not see Baritmaeus knew that this was the promised Messiah, the son of David, who had come to heal and save.

Bartimaeus raised his voice, shouted to be heard about the tumult. And his cry was heard. Always aware of the receptivity of those around him Jesus paused. When the cry was repeated he commanded that the man should be called to him. Those who had shushed him now changed their tune and said, "Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee."

Now Baritaeus arose, lifted himself from the dirt and cast away his beggar's garment. He was not going to identify himself with that belief but stand up and go to the Master just as himself.

Imagine the joy he must have been feeling. No self pity, only humble expectation. Although it had not been done before Jesus' ministry, others were being healed of blindness. So when Jesus asks him what he wants him to do for him, he asks to receive his sight.

His faith is rewarded and immediately he could see.

When we turn to the Christ for healing, do we drop away any sense of imperfection, any suggestion of lack, any troubling discord in our life? Do we leave it behind with a joyful heart, fully knowing that nothing is impossible to God and this challenge, this false suggestion about our experience has no part in our oneness with God, good?

Once we are aware of just how close we are to the Christ,  once we understand that healing is right at hand, we need to rise up, as Bartimaeus did and run joyfully and expectantly to meet him.

What a wonderful and practical experience is provided in this short passage in the Gospel. It should be studied and put into use without delay. Don't stay by the wayside asking others to provide for you. See that God is right here, right now, ready to supply all human needs.

Receive your healing.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Why did he leave the 99?

The parable of the lost sheep is familiar to us and it resonated with Jesus' listeners so many centuries ago.

From the days of Abraham down to modern times, sheep have abounded in the Holy Land. The shepherd had many duties such as finding them food and water and a shaded place to rest. And to watch diligently against thieves, 2 legs or 4. In this parable the shepherd is responsible for 100 of them. At some point in the day he must have taken count and realize one was missing. The sheep know their shepherd's voice and come when called. But the missing sheep does not answer.

These animals were beloved of their families who called them by name. They must not stray from his protection for they are utterly helpless. Being responsible for them he will spend hours  searching for one, usually found in some desolate mountain ravine. It will be frightened and exhausted and he will carry it home on his shoulders.

Mrs. Eddy assures us with this from Science and Health: "Spiritual man is the image or idea of God, an idea which cannot be lost nor separated from its divine Principle." (303:28-30)

If you think you have wandered away from God, if you seem to have lost your way remember that "Love inspires, illumines, designates and leads the way." The way out, the way home, the way forward it always available to you. God loves you as one of His own flock.

I've been thinking about this thought expressed in the Novembe4r 29, 1993 Sentinel by Right Reverend Desmond Tutu:

"...God is like the good shepherd who goes out looking for the lost sheep. We are misled by the religious pictures which depict Jesus as the good shepherd carrying a cuddly white lamb on His shoulder. A lamb will  hardly stray from its mother. It is the troublesome, obstreperous sheep which is likely to go astray, going through the fence, having its wool torn and probably ending up in a ditch of dirty water. It is this dirty, smelly, riotous creature which the Good Shepherd goes after, leaving the good, well-behaved ninety-nine sheep in the wilderness, and when He finds it, why, He carries it on His shoulder and calls His friends to celebrate with Him."

In times distress we should listen for our Shepherd's voice. We know it. We know him. And when he calls, we answer, 'here I am!' and he carries us safely home.

Monday, August 22, 2016

What might she have said?

We know very little about the raising of Jairus' daughter from her perspective. She was 12 years old, much beloved by her parents, beyond any help they could provide to restore her from illness. Her father turned to Christ Jesus to heal his child. In the crush of people surrounding him, another had come seeking healing, humbly but bravely, she reached out and got her healing, But was it too late for the child? One of his household came running to say she was dead and he need not trouble the Master.

Jesus heard what was said and immediately denied this claim of death telling her father, Fear not, believe only, and she shall be made whole.  Think of that. Not only brought back from death but restored whole and healthy, free from whatever had tried to take her life.

We know the scene they faced on their arrival - much noise by professional mourners hoping to be hired for the funeral. But Jesus dismissed them. They would not be needed. He put them out, removing further insistence on the child's passing. Those who remained, her parents and his disciples, wept and bewailed the loss. He now puts them out as well. Perhaps so the childlike thought could better hear him and respond.

I love this account in Luke. Luke was himself a physician and always interested in recording Jesus' healings. As he gathered material for his two-volume writings - the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts - he interviewed eye witnesses and spoke with those who survived. Imagine if he had been able to talk with this girl, now grown to womanhood. What would he ask? What would I have asked? 

What did you say when he called to you?
What do I say when he calls to me, when he comes to me in my hour of need?

He called her Little Maid.
He tells her to arise.
And when she does, he commands them to feed her meat. She does not need broth, she is fully restored and should eat what any normal child her age should eat. Imagine if the claim had been about digestion or food allergies. They'd never have to deal with that again. Healed both child and parents.

If Jairus' daughter had spoken
Marjorie Macarthy
August 1986 Journal

Jesus said I was not dead.
He knew the light of Life shone in my heart.
The voice of Truth, with awakening touch,
Spoke with dominion, "Maid, arise."

That Word of God brought me, not back,
But forward to the revelation of where I'd always been,
Always am, always will be - living in God.
I did not  live again but never died.

The warmth of resurrection melts the frost of fear.
Love is the pasture where His lambs skip fearlessly.
Only the myth of mortality is consumed,
Never the one, the ever-present Life.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

As small as a mustard seed

Often when Jesus preached and taught he was surrounded by a crowd. He certainly did not have access to microphones or speakers, not to mention the internet tools we have now. So it maybe that some of those farther back did not hear what he was saying. It may have been that later on those closer to the front were able to share what they had heard and because Jesus used such familiar objects and taught in parables they were able to impart his message to others.

In one instance he used the example of the lowly mustard seed. His disciples had been unable to heal an epileptic child. The distraught father brought the child to Jesus. He rebuked the devil - the false belief in disease - and it departed out of him and he was cured from that very hour.  The disciples took Jesus aside and asked him why they had been unable to accomplish this healing.  His response was, "Because of your unbelief; for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove to yonder place, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you." (Matt 17:18-20)

Faith as small as a mustard seed. The mustard seed is no larger than a dot made by a pencil. The largeness of a plant grown from seeds so small illustrates the increase of the kingdom of heaven from a very small beginning. The mustard plant Jesus referred to grew wild in that area attaining a height of a horse and rider. Birds rested on its branches.

Even a tiny quality of faith is sufficient to accomplish grand results. It includes within itself the potential for growth, expansion, and fulfillment. A full expectancy. The kind of faith required to move mountains must include an expectancy of results. It is more than a passive belief or blind hope.

How does a seed develop into a full grown plant? It grows into that particular plant because its identity is already within. Man, made in the image and likeness of God as explained in Genesis One, includes everything he needs with a unique spiritual identity already complete.

You might feel your faith is small and it is hard to glimpse the possibility of healing through spiritual power alone. Through study and prayer, that prayer that acknowledges the allness of God, good, you grow into understanding. Truth is revealed and any false suggestions or illusions fade away.

Seed of faith
Matthew 13:31,32
Virginia Young Townsend
June 2, 1986 Sentinel

Tiny see of mustard plant,
who would have thought
you would have caught
the Master's eye,
to give a lesson to all mankind?

When sown, you spread your branches wide
where fowl or coney may abide
under the shadow you provide.

Like you, our mustard seed of faith,
though beginning small, must grow,
sown in Mind, its branches spread and flourish.
Each tender thought to humbly feed and nourish
not only self but all mankind.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

No coincidence that Chariots of Fire is in this week's Lesson

I wonder if it is not a coincidence that this week's Bible Lesson on Mind includes the story of Elisha and the Chariots of Fire. In 1981 a movie by that name came out and it featured two runners who competed in the 1924 Olympics in Paris.

One athlete, Harold Abrahams, experiences anti-Semitism from the staff of Cambridge University. He achieves an undefeated string of victories in national running competitions. Eric Liddell, born in China of Scottish missionary parents, plans to pursue competitive running as a way to glorify God before returning to China to work as a missionary.

When they first race against each other, Liddell beats Abrahams who takes it poorly. The two athletes, after years of training and racing are accepted to represent Great Britain in the Olympics.
Boarding the boat to Paris Liddell learns that his 100 meter race will be on Sunday. He refuses to run the race because his Christian convictions prevent him from running on the Sabbath. Hope appears when one of his teammates, having already won a silver medal, proposes to yield his place in the 400 meter race on the following Thursday and Liddell gratefully accepts.

He delivers a sermon that Sunday and quotes Isaiah 40: "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles: they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

Liddell competes and wins a gold medal.

Our Bible Lesson tells how Elisha was able to warn the king of Israel about where the army of Syria was waiting in ambush. The king of Syria sends his army with horses and chariots to capture him. Elisha and his servant awake to find themselves surrounded. It is inspiring to see how Elisha handles the situation.

First he calms his frightened servant, assuring him that 'they that be with us are more than they that be with them'. He prays and asks God to open the servants eyes that he might see and he saw. Behold! The mountain was filled with horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha.

Researching the idea of Chariots of Fire I found this poem:

Mabel Stuart Curry
October 18, 1941 Sentinel

Elisha's servant cried to him in fear
when armies came and compassed them by night,
an enemy so strong that morning brought
no hope of safety there, no way of flight.

His master turned from fear to God in prayer.
"Open his eyes that he may see," he prayed:
"For they that be with us are more than they
that be with them." For he was not afraid.

So sometimes in our fear and deep distress
we turn to one whose words of Truth inspire;
then looking towards the mountains, may we see
the horses and the chariots of fire!

Monday, August 15, 2016

My hero - the poor wise man

This week's Bible Lesson on Mind includes a short but powerful story that deserves deep consideration.

There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it: Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; wisdom is better than weapons of war.  (Ecclesiastes 9: 15, 18)

This Bible story is paired with words of wisdom from Science and Health:

     Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man.
     Be firm in your understanding that the divine Mind governs, and that in Science man reflects God's government. (Science and Health 393: 12 - 18)

     There have been times when I have felt a bit like that poor wise man, just one person against what seemed to be overwhelming odds. I see in this story a wonderful and inspiring deeper meaning. When one feels relentlessly besieged by the claims of evil, disease, or lack, one can face it with calm and poise.

...Mary Baker Eddy faced many such threats as she discovered and founded Christian Science. In her time, the mid-1800's, it was unheard of and frowned upon for a woman to be an author, lecture publicly, and manage her own affairs. By her reliance on God, she expressed the wisdom to establish a church, write its bylaws, and heal all manner of sickness.

     She wrote: 'Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need".

     An article was published in the Christian Science Journal about the poor wise man. I loved these ideas:

     Many Christian Scientist the world over that taken the role of the "poor wise man" and known the truth in the face of aggressive phases of error. On many occasions the thoroughness and devotedness of this prayerful work have resulted in a positive healing to others.

     The study and practice of Christian Science bestow the priceless blessing of spiritual understanding. This understanding enables one to go on his daily round with peace, joy, and clarity of thought, bringing healing to confusion and discord.

     ...that which saved the little city was not the person, but the wisdom of the Christ, bestowed by divine Love.
(The poor wise man who saved a city by Harry E. De Lasaux, Journal, April 1947)

     I'll be thinking about and appreciating that poor wise man today and giving thanks for the many times the Christ has been there to 'save the city' for me.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

the gate opened of its own accord

Today I am working with something that happened to Peter. He had been arrested and imprisoned and was awaiting what would be a nasty outcome. That night an angel visited him and his chains were struck off. He followed the angel until they came to what appeared to be an impossible barrier, the iron gate leading into the city. But, the account says that "opened to them of his own accord". (Acts 12:10)

Divine Love was with Peter during that difficult time. He send an angel to release his chains and lead him to freedom. No one stopped them. No alarm was raised. But Peter had to be willing to trust this rescue and move forward. Just when it seemed he would escape, an 'impossible barrier' seemed to be blocking the way.

Sometimes as we are praying for help with some situation that seem to have us bound and chained, physically, financially or emotionally, things look pretty bleak. But right there, right then, God sends His angel message of love and protection with encouragement to rise up and move forward with confidence. So far so good. But just as things seem to be going well, some barrier appears in the way. Something seems to be between us and healing.

That barrier has no authority or power to stop God's plan. We are just required to follow and obey the angel messages and God with do the rest. We trust in that. When we let ourselves worry over things we are not trusting.  That may be the lesson we need to learn.

I heard a story about a Bishop who had a sense of humor concerning himself. So he tells humorously of a time when he sat in his study worrying over many things. He relates that finally the Lord came to him and said, "You go to bed.  I'll sit up the rest of the night."

I love that gentle reminder to trust God.
He'll sit up the rest of the night whenever you need Him to.
That 'gate' will open of its own accord.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Those wonderful summer preserves

I am awestruck by this week's Bible Lesson! It is filled with inspiration and examples of how God is the preserver of man.

When I was a little girl my mother spent lots of time and effort each summer preserving fruits and vegetables. What a pleasure to open one of those jars in the winter months and smell and taste the freshness of that summer produce. She was so careful to only preserve those that were at the point of perfection, without blemish.  That is what God does for us. He created us perfect, whole and complete and He preserves as at that level. No deterioration. No blemishes. Nothing less than that original perfection as His image and likeness.

We are given three examples in the Lesson: David facing Goliath, a woman approaching Jesus with her incurable issue of blood, and Paul healing Eutychus after the young man appeared to fall to his death.

What do those people have in common? A deep and abiding faith in God as the preserver of man.

David was offered a full body armor and lethal weapons. He chose not to use them and to instead rely on his unshakable faith in God's power. David faced his adversary alone but with the armies of both nations watching.

The woman with the issue of blood knew that although all material methods had failed to heal her, contact with Jesus, with the Christ, would stop the loss of blood. She dared to approach the Master although the laws of her people forbade her to have any contact with anyone while she was ceremoniously unclean. She hid in the crowd but Jesus called her forth and her faith was rewarded. She had already received the healing, he just confirmed it.

Paul had been preaching and teaching this new Christianity to a huge gathering of people. One young man had fallen asleep and fallen three stories to the floor below. Paul now had the opportunity to prove what he had been telling them, God is the preserver of man. His faith in God's sustaining love allowed all of them to see the truths demonstrated.

The Bible Lesson also includes the beautiful 23rd Psalm, written by David along with excerpts from Psalm 91 and Psalm 139. Some of our most cherished sentences from Science and Health are also there.

Like opening up those beautiful and fragrant jars of preserves, this Lesson will be a special feast all week as I look to my own faith in divine Love and the promise that divine Mind maintains and sustains His own ideas.

Friday, May 27, 2016


I am always delighted when our old friend Nehemiah shows up in our Bible Lesson.

This week's topic has rather a long title: Ancient and Modern Necromancy, Alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced.  This was a hot topic during Mrs. Eddy's time and it is very applicable to the challenges we face today with world wide media and instant access - whether you want it or not - to horrific events. Basically, it is how not to be fooled. Two examples are given, Nehemiah's experience and Jesus encounter with the insane man in the tombs.

Nehemiah has gotten permission from the King to return to Jerusalem, which is lying in ruins. He sees the importance of rebuilding the walls as a defense from the surrounding peoples who want her left defenseless. It is heart breaking to read about the many peoples around the world who are faced with a similar situation today with their cities left in ruins by war.

Before taking any action Nehemiah prayers and waits for divine guidance. In each instance he knows just what he needs to do or say.

When he first arrives he doesn't tell anyone what he is doing there. This is a wise course of action as there will be instant resistance, even from some who he wants to help, and especially from those who want his project to fail. This is sound practice for us to follow as we choose to take the higher path during challengse and decide to handle it with prayer.

His enemies try everything they can think of to discourage him and turn the people against him. They plan an attack against the work. They try to distract Nehemiah and get him to stop working.  They spread malicious rumors. None of it works and the building project is finished in an incredible 52 days. Almost as incredible as getting all those citizens to willing do the hard work.

There is much to study and appreciate in Nehemiah's story and much of practical use for our own challenges. Is there a 'wall' in your experience that needs rebuilding?  A 'wall' that is malfunctioning within your body? A 'wall' that seems to be blocking your progress?

Some walls need to come tumbling down. Some walls need to be rebuilt. Whatever the situation appears to be, take a Nehemiah approach and pray first. Turn to God, trusting in His goodness, His willingness to comfort, guard and guide you.

hymn 105 - first verse:

Help to help each other, Lord,
Each other's cross to bear;
Let each his friendly aid afford,
And feel his brother's care.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Them's fighting words

That's what we used to say as kids when the neighborhood divided into teams and had mock battles.
This week's Bible Lesson is full of ammunition to use against the attempt of error or mortal mind to fool us into accepting its suggestions that there is another power than God, good, and that it can control and harm us.

Here are some of the words used in the Lesson to describe how Truth deals with lies and liars:

Exterminates = get rid of by destroying completely
Despoils = to deprive something by force
Excision = to remove
Open siege = surrounding and blockading
Render fruitless = render is to surrender or relinquish = no fruitage
Annihilate = to destroy completely

Fighting words indeed.

There are those out there who would try to fool and deceive with the intent of frightening or overpowering. A wise person is not fooled by these lies and illusions. It's so easy to see right through them when we are intimately familiar with just who and what God, good, is and understand the allness of His presence. He is God alone and there is none else, no matter how loud or how often the lies are repeated. We don't have to listen to them, much less obey them. We do not bow down to deception. We have our guard up and our eyes open.

Mesmerism and hypnotism can no power or effect on us, no matter how subtle or blatant the attempt. But we need to guard our thoughts and actions faithfully. Recognize what a liar the illusionist is and you see right through the trick.

I look forward to spending time with Nehemiah this week as he faces just such attempts as he leads the people in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. And I love the story of Jesus and the insane man running loose in the tombs.

Those took place long ago as related in the Old Testament and the New but that type of thing is still here today weaving webs meant to snare  and ensnare those who do not keep their defenses active. We have a mighty arsenal available to us from the Bible and Science and Health.

It is up to us how we use it.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

flowers and birds

The Responsive Reading in this week's Bible Lesson on Soul and Body has given me much to think about today. This new train of thought was sparked by reading the excellent metaphysical article posted by CedarSCamp. Kathy Fitzer CS always has in interesting and inspiring take on the Lesson and I love what she says about birds and flowers.

"Jesus reminds his listeners of what a great job God has done of taking care of His creation. Looking around at nature, we don't see the flowers and birds worrying about how they look, comparing themselves with others around them to see how they match up, or fearing how their needs will be met the next day. Surely God is providing for our needs just as abundantly and beautifully!".

Jesus has just pointed out that none of us can serve two masters. There are only two kinds of people, those who serve God and those who serve the world. You can't do both. A worldly person is weighed down with care (having trouble with your weight?) and fearful that his plans for the future with go awry or something he loves will be taken away or his source of income will vanish. His undivided devotion is with material things and not centered on God.

This is not to condone sitting back and just waiting for good things to happen. Jesus says that we must seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness first and foremost.

God provides for the birds without expecting them to labor on their part. Dummelow says in his Bible Commentary: "Have you ever seen beast or fowl that had a workshop? and yet they are fed without trouble of mind. He also says: "Our Lord regarded cheerfulness and joy and the absence of care and anxiety as the mark of a true Christian who puts his trust in God".

We recently put out our hummingbird feeders and refilled the rest of the feeders as well. So as I stand in the kitchen I can see lots of birds, chipmunks and squirrels in the backyard feasting. And they reward us with sweet songs. It is a reminder to me to be more joyful and appreciative as I go about my day alert to all the good God is providing. For me and for everyone else.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Beginning the study of Psalm 91

I just got back from giving an Association address in Washington DC, the fourth in four years. Each one was different and brought me much spiritual growth. I am so very grateful for this time of study and prayer. Nothing else is scheduled at this time so I was listening for what I could be doing to continue a daily focus. The answer that came was to study Psalm 91 one of the  most beloved of the Psalms.

When I begin a study in the Bible I like to get a sense of where it fits in the overall search for God. Psalms is placed just about in the middle of the Old Testament. It is a collection of 150 compositions described as prayers and praises addressed to God, not used for sanctuary worship. From The Reforming Power of the Scriptures I learned: "From the time of Moses through the tribal confederacy, the elements of this faith was transmitted orally, in the form of stories, hymns, prophetic oracles, poetry, and the wise sayings known as Proverbs. Although the art of writing had been practiced in the fertile crescent as early as 2000 BC these oral traditions weren't written down until later. The poetic psalms clearly sprang from deep feelings toward Yahweh. There were hymns of exultant praise, laments reached out to Yahweh from the depths of despair, and songs expressing the pure joy of life in Yahweh's courts.

Finally, a generation after the crucifixion of Jesus, militant Jews rallied for one last all-or-nothing effort to throw off Roman rule. The result was crushing defeat. The Temple was destroyed, never again to be rebuilt. Most Jews left Jerusalem for other lands in what has seen been called the Diaspora. Only a few stragglers remained. The only way to preserve any sense of national identity or unity in the face of these overwhelming odds was to preserve for all time the Holy Scriptures - the writings that recorded the unique love covenant between the Hebrew people and Yahweh. The Jews selected which of the many texts available  would stand in the final Hebrew Biblia, or group of 'little books.' And they arranged these books in an order approved by their Rabbis or teachers. So the Hebrew Bible, known to Christians as the Old Testament, was complete, as far as the Hebrew people were concerned.

In A Commentary on the Holy Bible edited by Dummelow, XXL is an abbreviation for The Septuagint, an ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament. It attributes Psalm 91 to David.

Psalm 91 describes the safety of those who trust in God, and may have a special reference to the nation of Israel at a time when other nations were involved in calamity. The dangers that threatened Babylon toward the end of the exile have been suggested as a probable occasion for it.

Psalm 91 was very dear to our Leader. In 1898, Mrs. Eddy used the 91st Psalm for an address she delivered at Christian Science Hall in Concord. One of the local newspapers, People and Patriot, reported: "When the time came for Mrs. Eddy to speak, she stepped forward gracefully to the desk designed for her, and read the 91st Psalm, without using glasses. . . . She spoke extemporaneously, bringing out especially the theory of Christian Science applied to practical life, and she explained the doctrines of her faith with such simplicity, and yet with such choice language and richness of illustration, that the address was pronounced one of the most instructive and ennobling ever delivered in this city. (From the collection of The Mary Baker Eddy Library for the Betterment of Humanity)

I look forward to spending quiet time with this Psalm and will study each verse, listening for inspiration and guidance for ways to make it a part of my life. I welcome any insights you might wish to share!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Three important points to ponder today

This week's Bible Lesson contains the story of Jesus raising Lazarus. Three things stand out to me and give me direction for my own prayerful work today.

Where have ye laid him?
When Jesus arrives at Lazarus' village Mary comes to him greatly grieving the loss of her brother. Jesus seems saddened by her reaction and asks a very pertinent question. Where have ye laid him? I believe that is much more than just a question about where Lazarus was buried. It was a wake-up call to Mary. Where have you placed him in your thought? Mary was one of his favored disciples. She seemed to have understood much of his teachings. He would need her to be clear about the concept of death as very shortly Jesus was to go through the ordeal. Where would she place him in her thought? Was she understanding his teachings of eternal Life? Was she so overwhelmed by the picture that she could not see the truth? When we are faced with serious physical situations are we careful to be sure of where we place that person in thought? Mrs. Eddy writes: "Had Jesus believed that Lazarus had lived or died in his body, the Master would have stood on the same plane of belief as those who buried the body, and he could not have resuscitated it."

Take ye away the stone.
Remove what appears to stand in the way of healing, that which blocks out the light of Truth, that which seems an immovable object or unresolvable condition. Take it away, take away any power or reality it claims to have to affect anyone or anything. It is but a dream, an illusion, and once we see right through it - take the stone away - it no longer has any effect. The stone did not move of its own accord. We need to remove it from thought.

Loose him and let him go.
The loved one is now free. Loose him or her from any bonds still remaining. The 'what ifs; or the 'buts' what would try to weaken the healing. No fear of relapse. No scars. No lingering weakness or symptoms. Totally free. Let him or her go.

How grateful I am to be a student of the Bible and Mrs. Eddy's writings. Every day brings fresh opportunities for continued spiritual growth and a clearer understanding of God and my relationship to him. The goal is to put this to practical use and apply God's laws of ever present good for myself, my loved ones and to love my neighbor as myself.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


hesitate = slow to act or decide, reluctant.

I was thinking about hesitation as I read the account in I Kings 17 about Elijah and the widow in Zarepath.

King Ahab has abandoned God and followed the gods of his wife, Jezebel. Elijah, the prophet, is sent by the Lord to tell Ahab there will be no rain or dew for the next few years. God tells Elijah to leave the area and go to Zarepath where a widow will take care of him.

When Elijah arrives at the entrance to the city he sees her gathering sticks so he calls to her and asks for a drink of water. The drought, far-reaching,  has affected even this area but she does not seem to hesitate to fetch him some water, probably from the community well. However, as she is going, he also asks for a bit of bread. Now she does hesitate. her reluctance may have stemmed from the explanation she gives him: "As the Lord thy God liveth (his God not hers), I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks (it is all she would need to cook so small a bit of bread), that I may dress it for me and my son (already feeding two people), that we may eat it, and die". They would finish all that was left and then starve. But is was a great breach of hospitality not to offer to share with a guest. So this second request, unlike the water in the well, takes directly from her household.

Elijah reassures her that the Lord God of Israel has said her barrel and cruse shall not fail until the drought is ended. She no longer hesitates, but did as he has asked. And the barrel and cruse did not fail.

How often do we act on the opportunity to share with someone when it is easy and convenient, but hesitate when we would be drawing upon our own resources, perhaps having to make a meal stretch for an extra guest? Tricky enough under normal circumstances but she was asked to give all she had to this stranger on the word of his God that she and her son would not starve as a result.

God, the source of all supply, substance and good, does not withhold that supply. Spiritual substance is always available, usually with enough to meet the need and even some left over to help others.  Mrs. Eddy writes: God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you your daily supplies. Never ask for tomorrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help: and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment (Miscellaneous Writings 307)

I printed this out and taped it on the front of my check book. It is II Corinthians 9:8

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. (KJV)
God is able to bless you with ample means so that you may always have quite enough for any emergency of your own and ample besides for any kind act to others."

There is never a need to hesitate to be generous.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Lending pots

I am working on an Address, Loving your neighbor and yourself, and have been delighted to see how often this has been appearing in our Bible Lessons and in our periodical articles. There is another one in this week's Lesson on Life.

It is in the familiar story of Elisha and the woman who comes to him in a panic because her husband has died, leaving her and her two sons with a large unpaid debt. I have always loved the way Elisha responds. He does not offer her money. He does not say he will go to her creditor and plead on her behalf. He asks her a question: "What hast thou in the house"?  In Christian Science we think of 'house' as 'spiritual consciousness', so he was redirecting her thought from material lack to spiritual supply and substance.  She tells him all she has is a pot of oil. He doesn't commiserate, he gives her direction. "Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbors, even empty vessels; borrow not a few".  She obeys and is able to fill all the vessels from her one pot of oil, sell enough to pay off the debt, and still have what she and her sons need to live on.

What I was thinking about this morning were those neighbors. It may have taken much courage on her part to go to them and ask for the loan of pots. Surely they were aware of her circumstances. She might even have asked them for help before. They might have chosen to refuse her the use of the pots as there was a good chance they would be confiscated to pay her debt and they would lose them. But it appears that those neighbors lent her pots and not a few.

What I am taking away from this today is the response of those neighbors in the face of the woman's situation. I would hope I would be gracious should any of my neighbors ask for help. We all willingly lend that 'cup of sugar' but what if the need is not material?

Suppose you are aware that your neighbor can't get to the store. Do you remember to ask if you can pick something up for them on your next trip into town?

What if one of your neighbors suffers the loss of a loved one? Do you make time to drop by with flowers or a casserole and stay to bring them comfort?

If a neighbor has shown even the slightest interest in your study of Christian Science have you shared a Sentinel article, introduced them to the reading room, invited them to a Wednesday evening meeting or a lecture?

I must do a better job of 'lending pots' right here in my own neighborhood.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

About your tear bottle

This week's Bible Lesson includes the story of Mary Magdalene washing Jesus' feet. It says she washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. That's a lot of tears.

I got to thinking about that and did a little research. While tears are mentioned frequently in the Bible, the tear bottle is mentioned only once. In Psalm 56 David prays, "Put thou my tears into thy bottle" (v.8). This was a prayer of David's when he was a fugitive fleeing from King Saul and had been captured by his nation's worst enemy, the Philistines. His tears were numerous.

Tears are the result of sorrow or suffering. In Persia and Egypt, tears were wiped from the cheeks and the eyes of mourners and carefully preserved based on the belief that these tears would prove to God that the person had been righteous during his lifetime and God would reward him mercifully. The tear bottles were buried with them at death.

It is possible Mary Magdalene brought her bottle of tears to Jesus. She washed his feet, a very meaningful act to both of them. She gave her most precious items - her tears and an alabaster box of ointment - to the Christ. She poured them out as a token of her love and gratitude for his mercy.

All this made me wonder if I was keeping a mental tear bottle, filling it with tears shed in sorrow or pain. Actually, I find that I am more likely to shed tears of joy from moments of happiness. But I can see how easy it would be to let such a mental tear bottle collect memories of unhappy times. To 'bottle' up those moments and hold on to them, maybe even expect God to bring justice to an unfair situation, forgiveness to harsh words or acts (my own or someone else's). See Lord, see how many tears I have shed over this!

Should you be so inclined you can purchase a tear bottle on for under $30.00. But I think I will be treasuring up moments of joy, blessing and healing instead. There have been plenty of those. How much better to go through the day expecting the unfoldment of good, a feeling of peace and happiness secure in God's love for me, His very own image and likeness. My divine Parent sees me as His beloved child with all the rights that includes.

Mary Magdalene gave Jesus the things that mattered most in her life. She repented of her past choices and received his benediction to 'go in peace'. That might mean she could go forward without any painful feelings about her past, no guilt, no self-condemnation.

And no further need for a tear bottle.

As we commune daily with the Christ, as we strive for right thinking and Truth knowing, as we move forward expressing a more spiritual outlook and understanding, we can leave behind any 'tear bottle' thinking as well. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Keep those 'spiritual wipes' handy

Like many parents and grandparents I keep a small packet of wet wipes in my purse and in the car. You never know when you  might be called upon to use them.  Do you keep some 'spiritual wipes' handy in thought? Are you ready and willing to wipe away evidence of accident or 'dirt', the claim of mortality? Are you willing to look beyond the material picture and see the man of God's creating?

This week's Bible Lesson on Sacrament includes two examples of this spiritual 'wiping away'. Today I am taking time to think about how those people prepared themselves to do that.

Simon the Pharisee invited Jesus to be his honored guest at a feast. Mary Magdalene, a notorious sinner, came uninvited to the same feast. Simon sought to honor Jesus as his personal guest. Mary sought only to honor him with her repentance and devotion.
1. She willingly and bravely came to him, knowing full well what people would think and say about her.
2. She brought with her costly oil.
3. She showed her respect for him by doing the job of a slave and washing his feet, kissing them, and drying them with her own hair.
4. Her actions were proof of her repentance and her sins were forgiven, washed clean.

Jesus and the disciples were keeping the Passover in what has been called The Last Supper. Jesus knew what was about to happen to him and he chose this act to demonstrate his love for them and as an example of the love they were to show one another.
1. He rose up from dinner. He didn't wait until the meal was finished but left the table, ready to give the this lesson.
2. He laid aside his garments. and wrapped a towel around his waist. He removed the seamless robe that identified him and kneeled before them unclothed.
3. He washed their feet, much to their astonishment.

Was there ever a more gracious man? I studied 'grace' for a year once and gained much from praying to be more gracious, more graceful, and to see how God has poured grace out on my life. Mrs. Eddy writes: "What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds (S&H 4:3-5).

Jesus has given us a commandment, to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Mrs. Eddy continues: "Outward worship is not of itself sufficient to express loyal and heartfelt gratitude, sine he has said: If ye love me, keep my commandments (S&H 4:9-11).

Let's work on keeping his commandment. Let's keep those 'spiritual wipes' handy and use them as the opportunity presents itself to show love for our neighbors, washing away the suggestions that man is a sick or a sinner. Let's seek to reveal the perfect child of God, made in His image and likeness, that cannot be covered with 'dirt'. We are not part of the Adam dream, made from the dust. We are pure and whole and undisturbed.

Let's be spiritual foot washers.