Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Longyear Museum recently published a new book titled,”Paths of pioneer Christian Scientists.” I finished reading it last week, and if you are interested in how the Christian Science movement got started, this is an inspirational text.
The book reviews letters, correspondence and biographical information on four women who were taught by Mary Baker Eddy and made major contributions to the stunning growth and spread of Christian Science in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
The healing record of these women is very impressive. In hundreds of cases, healings were instantaneous of some of the worst forms of human suffering, illness and disease.
Emma Thompson, one of the practitioners documented, received patients into her home from early morning until late at night, day after day, the demand was so great for her treatments. She healed thousands and became regionally famous for her work.
The book is filled with nuggets of metaphysical truths that stick to you like gum on your shoe.
One quote from Eddy to Janette Weller that caught my attention was when Eddy wrote to her, “To leave all for Christ, is leaving nothing and finding all” (p. 71). Just super! I could relate. Prospective students of spirituality fear giving up “the important things in life,” to pursue the things of Spirit. It’s such an illusion. There is nothing in matter to give up. It’s all a fraud compared to the gain in Spirit.
Another story that stuck with me was a time when Emma Thompson was under special scrutiny by medical practitioners in Minneapolis. Thompson’s reputation as a healer was of celebrity status. Hundreds were flocking to her home and finding restoration.
One night Thompson was called to the home of a little girl suffering from scarlet fever. The family doctor said the girl was near death and offered no hope of recovery. Thompson arrived at midnight, gave treatment for an hour and left the child sleeping peacefully. The next morning the doctor returned to discover the girl perfectly well eating a hearty breakfast. When he found out a Christian Science practitioner had healed her he grew furious and out of spite nailed a quarantine sign on the front door of their house and said, “I am leaving on a fishing trip and I would like to see Mrs. Thompson get you out of quarantine.”
The child’s father relayed the message to Thompson later that day. She replied, “The same power that healed your child can remove the sign from you house.” That evening, a severe windstorm swept through town and destroyed the sign. No more quarantine (p. 26).
The book is full of fascinating anecdotes, stories and experiences, trials, tribulations and triumphs that serve to encourage the worker today.
If there is one message I picked up while reading the book, it was that victory is assured when a student stays faithful to the teachings.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Here’s an inspiring article about a young man who decided he didn’t have to be rich to make charitable contributions. At first, he didn’t think he had any money to give. With a closer look, he found funds. All it took was desire and a bit of self-sacrifice, which is healthy too.
“For microphilanthropist, donations are a part of daily life”
At the end of the article, an interviewee says the bulk of contributions given to charities come from large donors. His sentiment could discourage small donors from making the effort. But I disagree with the suggestion of futility. I believe many large donors start out as small donors and that’s why it is important to encourage and learn giving from a young age and with whatever one can afford.
When we give from the heart, our cash donation no matter what size will count.
It’s like the widow woman in the Bible who threw her one mite into the donation bucket but was commended by Jesus as having put in more than everyone else. She gave from the heart.
Giving is more for us than it is for the one who receives.
Generosity makes us better people. It’s possible that our community benefits more from the better person we become than the cash we give.
So never believe your contribution is small. If it's honest and sincere, it's huge!
“God loves a cheerful giver” (II Cor 9:7).
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Now here’s a new angle on sizing up the growing obesity epidemic engulfing population around the world. An obesity researcher is collecting evidence that show animals are getting fatter right along with people. And it’s not because they are eating more high-calorie junk food or skimping on their exercise.
Sharon Begley, a writer for Newsweek, reports about the phenomenon in her recent piece, “Fat Canaries in a Coal Mine.”
I was fascinated by the data because it implies a mortal mind mental force not only affecting humans in a negative way but animals too, to the end of growing fatter. This is an error of belief that needs to be checked!
There are studies of humans that suggest people who hang around with obese people tend to get weightier themselves. In Christian Science, there is no physical reason for this to occur. If it does, it’s not because of any material influence. It would only happen because a person unwittingly lets himself be influenced by the belief, “I can be obese like my friends.” And the belief becomes a reality to the believer.
So, if animals are experiencing a similar enlargement in girth that humans are, as these studies suggest, and through no negligent action of their own, it’s time to defend the innocent creatures from too much weight! They don’t need to suffer.
It’s time to break the mesmerism of uncontrolled weight gain for the benefit of man and beast.
A good place to start is to understand better that the one Mind controls the shape and figure of God’s creatures, not food, appetite, mindlessness or unknown so-called forces of nature. It’s natural to stay healthy and fit just the way divine law intends us to be.
Monday, December 27, 2010
I found some useful ideas and questions to ponder in this CNN interview of popular writer Phillip Yancey:
"Evangelical author Phillip Yancey asks: What good is God?"
I especially liked his observation about worship in China:
"In China, where you can be arrested and imprisoned for your faith, getting together with other Christians is a lifeline and you’ll risk anything for the privilege. No one attends church in China casually, or for a social advantage—quite the opposite." Yancey
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Looking for inner peace?
Here's a short piece describing symptoms to look for. It's wonderful.
When you click on the below link move your eye to column on the right side of the web page titled,
SYMPTOMS OF INNER PEACE, by Saskia Davis
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.
Finally, he decided the animal was old, that the well needed to be covered anyway, and that it just wasn't worth retrieving the donkey. So he invited all his neighbours to come over and help him.
They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement, he quieted down.
Several shovels full of dirt later, the farmer looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer's neighbours continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off!
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up.
~ Author unknown
Monday, December 20, 2010
This video will give you a few chuckles. Can you imagine the Nativity happening today through Facebook and Twitter?
This is presumably what it might look like...
"The Nativity story as told through social media"
Friday, December 17, 2010
It’s been known for years that antibiotics are losing their effectiveness. Stronger strains of bacteria continue to develop that are resistant to these drugs doctors took for granted in the past as being reliable. In many cases, they don’t work at all now.
Newsweek recently published a major article on the growing plight of antibiotic treatment. For those who trust in these drugs, the piece raises many red flags.
For instance, the article states, “Wealthy countries take for granted the triumph of science over bacteria, but increasingly doctors are coming up against infections that can be quelled only by the most powerful antibiotics known to medicine—or by none of them. ‘It’s already happening,’ says Spellberg, to the tune of roughly 100,000 deaths a year from antibiotic resistant infections in the United States alone. ‘But it’s going to become much more common.’ Imagine a world in which antibiotics resemble chemotherapy drugs—producing toxic side effects and unpredictable outcomes instead of the guaranteed cures we have come to expect…”
Akin to chemotherapy treatment! That sounds horrible…
If you are a believer in modern medicine, by the time you finish reading this article peppered with doom and gloom scenarios, you might be very depressed about the future of medical treatment.
But there is hope! The threat of infection can be countered and prevented with spiritual mindedness. Thought governs the body. If a fear or belief of infection does not get into thought, it cannot get into the body.
Antibiotics are failing today because they never eliminated the real cause of infection in the first place—fear and belief in disease.
Any perceived benefit from antibiotics never was from the drug. It was from people’s faith in the drug. It’s possible that a person’s faith in a medicine is greater than their faith in the infection. When that happens, the infection disappears. It’s called “medicine faith-healing.” But if an underlying fear of infection is not eliminated, it continues to grow. Over time, people’s fears of disease grow bigger than their faith in the medicine they take to counter it and the medicine ceases to work. Thus, the point we’re at today when many medicines that used to work, don’t work any longer. And the trend will continue.
The real need is to spiritualize thought, to eliminate the underlying cause of infection in the first place—the fears and false beliefs that open thought and body to invasion of harm.
And you can do that through understanding your spiritual individuality better.
You are a spiritual being living a spiritual life and endowed with permanent spiritual health. Bacteria cannot harm a spiritual child of God. Know this for yourself, and it will neutralize any fear or false belief that would convince you otherwise.
Understanding your spirituality is immunity against infection. Take heavy doses of this truth and you'll be safe whether at home or in the hospital.
“The transmission of disease or of certain idiosyncrasies of mortal mind would be impossible if this great fact of being were learned, — namely, that nothing inharmonious can enter being, for Life is God.” Mary Baker Eddy
Thursday, December 16, 2010
On the national news last night I watched a disgruntled citizen in Florida take aim and shoot a gun at members of a school board during a public meeting. On one hand, it was unbelievable. On the other, mindless killing of innocent people by mentally warped individuals who don't care about their own life, has been on the rise, and alarmingly so.
Suicide bombers in the Middle East are one of the worst case examples of this kind of senseless killing. How can you reason with it? How do you make sense of it? I pondered.
I can't make sense of it. It's evil, and evil never makes sense, I decided. But it does need a solution.
I don't have all the answers, but one thought that occurred to me, after praying for peace about the school board shooting, was that people need to value their lives more and not give into hopelessness.
With the incident in Florida, the killer was a grown man with a wife and family to care for. After the shooting, the wife said that her husband was overwhelmed by the depressed economy and their financial plight. She was a teacher and had lost her job at the hands of this very same school board. Evidently, the husband thought some kind of justice would be served by him murdering the school board. He failed to kill anyone, and when discovered by security, shot himself.
At any rate, one cure for society is to raise citizens who don't get into such a mental state of despair that they resort to such fatalistic endings.
There is a God. There is help. There is always hope, always a solution somewhere. And there are lots of people who want to help others in trouble too. Patience, humility, courage and persistence find answers.
It's too easy to become fearful and despondent about the direction our world is going right now with repeated incidences like the above in Florida. But don't! That is the last thing we should do.
There are plenty of positive things we can do.
We can raise children who know how to turn to God and find the help they need during trial. We can help our neighbor more with encouragement, love and compassion that helps them through the tough spots. We can be examples of how to deal effectively with challenges and overcome them.
Murder and mindless killing should not be seen as a last resort for dealing with a perceived injustice. Life is the solution, not death. And perhaps we all need to cherish it more.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Have you ever been told that you’ve reached a maximum level of accomplishment in some activity of your life and you shouldn’t expect things to get any better? Perhaps your career has hit a standstill, you’ve put up with a mediocre income, or you’re not improving as a musician, artist, athlete, mother or father? Or a health issue remains unchanged?
During my tennis lesson last week, my coach was teaching me how to improve my forehand. His tips were making a monumental difference. As I continued to hit balls back to him with grand success, I started to rejoice in how much improvement I was making. It felt really good to get better!
I’ve had three different coaches over the last six years of learning this sport. They come and go at the clubs. My first coach taught me all the basics. We were together for 3 or 4 years.
Before he left to get a Masters degree at a far away college, I asked him what I needed to work on. We had, and still do have, great respect for each other, but what I heard was, “You’ve about reached your level of accomplishment in tennis Evan.” I was a bit disheartened. I knew I was a slow learner, at least I felt that way, but I wasn’t ready to resign to no improvement from then on. “But maybe he was right,” I wondered. Maybe I just wasn’t going to get any better. And I plodded along for another year or two on my own.
Then I found this new coach who had a fresh approach and new ideas to improve my game. He didn’t see me as having reached my peak. He saw a huge opportunity to turn me into a better player. And he has succeeded, quite rapidly, actually.
So, at my lesson, I was grateful to have broken through the lie of “Evan, you’ve reached your peak. You aren’t going to get any better.”
Then I began to think about my patients, neighbors, friends, relatives, who might be laboring under the same lie of, “You’ve reached your peak. You aren’t going to get any better.” And I was repulsed by the suggestion. It just isn’t true. There are no limits on how much of God’s talent and skill we can reflect.
If we see ourselves as limited mortals, we unwittingly accept limitations into our lives and live them out. But if we are clear that we are unlimited immortals, we instantly rebel, protest and vigorously work to overcome any limitations mortal mind would impose upon us.
“With God, all things are possible,” Jesus Christ instructed. Believe and live the benefits! You CAN improve your game...
Friday, December 10, 2010
So, if you feel stuck, hopeless, or at the mercy of others, the problem is not "out there!" It's "in here." A change in heart, attitude, or perspective is required to find the freedom you desire.
Point the finger of accusation at mortal mind, human ego, pride, self-righteousness, and self-conceit. Sap those of strength and presence in your thinking, and your enemies will be Bye-Bye!
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
With the shopping rush in full speed now in preparation for Christmas Day, are you ever tempted to think, ‘This holiday is costing me a lot of money”? Or perhaps you don’t think about how much money you spend, and blindly rack up credit card bills willy-nilly only to suffer the dreaded one-two punch of receiving those mountainous bills in January and wondering how you’re going to pay them off?
If so, you’re totally NOT celebrating Christmas!
So, before you head off to the mall and prepare to “check off your list,” say a little prayer to remind yourself of the true meaning of Christmas and how to celebrate it properly.
Christmas is not about the money you spend, the expense of a material gift you offer, and whether everyone you love receives a material gift from you.
Christmas is about giving love, showing care, expressing gratitude, honoring God’s good, witnessing to the coming of Christ. These can all be done without spending a single dime. And, to be honest, is probably better done without using a material thing as a superficial substitute.
If you’re like me, though, you still like to give a gift to your most loved ones to show in practical outward ways they are on your mind and you care. But the neat part is that you don’t have to spend more than you can afford. It’s what comes from the heart with the gift that matters most.
Christmas done right, is a time of great moral and spiritual enrichment, a heavenly wealth building time that takes you and your neighbor to a better place in all ways.
Christ never required his followers to take on debt to mammon to follow him to Spirit. I’m not sure what religion that is. Worshipping the gods of consumerism and materialism, I suppose. Sounds like anti-Christ.
So, set yourself up ahead of time for an enriching Christmas this year. Spend within your budget. Enrich your family and friends with prayers of gratitude, love and kindness. They don’t want your things. They want your love. And if they do want your things, well, they have lots of opportunity to learn the true meaning of Christmas too. And you can help them find it!
At the top of your Christmas list of things to give this year, itemize the most important things first: gratitude, love, care, a smile, a hug, a prayer. Look for Christ in your neighbor and honor Christ’s presence with Christly love given in return. This approach will keep you out of debt to the world and in a better place with God.
Monday, December 06, 2010
Three CEOs of large hospitals in my region were quoted in my local newspaper last Saturday as expressing great concern about rising health care costs. The article in the Tri-City Herald stated that “According to data from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, health care spending per capita has grown from $2,800 per person in 1990 to about $8,000 per person currently and will rise to $12,800 per person by 2016.
Whoa! That is a whole lot of money, I thought. I couldn’t relate to the figures at all because my family has relied upon Christian Science for health care needs over the last 20 plus years, and healthcare expenses for us have been minimal.
I was raised in a home that practiced Christian Science healing, and it was natural to raise my own family the same way. It really works. It doesn’t take large medical bills to pray and be healed spiritually, just healthy doses of humility, sincerity, truly leaning on God, and consistent spiritual growth.
After reading the above article it was clear that anyone putting Christian Science into practice and living its healing truths consistently saves thousands of dollars. And the even better part is that the money saved can be used elsewhere other than paying high insurance premiums and astronomical hospital bills.
I did a quick sketch of how much money my family has saved by relying upon Christian Science over the last twenty years per the figures quoted in the above government report. I realize there are many factors involved with this kind of a calculation, but you have to start somewhere. For my wife and me alone, the savings came out to over $200,000. This doesn’t even begin to include the thousands of dollars we’ve saved on healthcare costs with our two children.
Think of what you can do with $200,000? You can give generously to charities, fund college expenses with ease, pay off the mortgage, buy a car for cash…. $200,000 is a boatload of money. You can also cover a major medical expense if one were to occur unexpectedly.
But my point being, Christian Science has its day coming. Society cannot continue to cope with rising medical costs indefinitely. There will come a time when people will wake up and realize “The medical model is not working. There has to be a better way.”
And there is a better way. Mary Baker Eddy saw it clearly and shared it with the world in her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” This book teaches one how to practice Biblical principles and stay healthy. The truths of Christian Science enable its student to cure ills at home. You don’t need expensive runs to the emergency room or endless prescriptions of expensive drugs. The spiritual way is the healthier way. It keeps tens of thousands of dollars in your pocket, heals you from the inside out rather than tinkering with outside symptoms, and enables you to experience more of the joys of life that expensive medical costs sap away.
I agree that it’s easier to write about it then actually do it, perhaps. But thousands of people have succeeded in the past, are succeeding today, and will succeed in the future. Christian Science definitely enriches its adherents in more ways than one.
Friday, December 03, 2010
It is a time of year to especially remember how God protects our children in school from contagion, colds, and flu.
When my kids head off to class each day, it helps me to remember that Christ goes before them. They do not venture off into a wild jungle of unknowns that may strike haphazardly. God’s vigilant and omnipresent Love greets them at the school door, walks through the hall at their side, sits with them in class and brings them safely home. They are not alone. God hovers over them, surrounds them, acts like an impenetrable bubble of protection to them, and ensures their enduring health and well being.
God’s children are God’s ideas. Each child is an idea conceived, cherished and upheld in divine Love. This fact never changes whether the child is at home, at the mall, outside in the weather, or with hundreds of other children. God’s idea is always God’s idea—healthy, immune, safe and protected.
So, have no fear. Gird your little ones with truth and love. See their spiritual immunity to any false belief of harm, and enjoy the winter with splendid good health and cheery disposition.
“When the condition is present which you say induces disease, whether it be air, exercise, heredity, contagion, or accident, then perform your office as porter and shut out these unhealthy thoughts and fears. Exclude from mortal mind the offending errors; then the body cannot suffer from them.” Mary Baker Eddy
Thursday, December 02, 2010
It wasn’t two hours after my family arrived at our cabin in the snowy Blue Mountains last weekend that my teenage son, Tyler, and one of his best friends, came back to the cabin on one snowmobile. They had left with two.
Tyler announced to me with a bit of trepidation in his voice, “Dad, we have some bad news.”
Uh-oh, I thought, this doesn’t sound good. Tyler’s eyes look a bit terrified and his friend was hiding skittishly around the corner where I couldn’t see his face.
Soon I learned that his friend had caught the side of a dead tree with his sled, had snapped the shock absorber in two on the left ski, snapped two steel rods that steer the ski, and disabled the snowmobile out in the wilderness.
The boys were safe. That was good. But how were we going to get a snowmobile back to the cabin with one ski? I didn’t have a clue. Tyler didn’t have a clue either.
The friend was very apologetic and horribly embarrassed. He was ready to make amends. He is a wonderful lad and I felt for him. It was easy to forgive him.
But what were we to do? We had a difficult dilemma to solve.
I was praying for insight and what I heard was, "God will show the way thought by thought."
We drove out to the disabled sled to figure out a plan.
When we got there, the situation looked about hopeless. We had no parts. The machine weighed 500 pounds. It wasn’t like we could pick it up and carry it home.
It was tempting to get bothered, angry, and upset over the whole ordeal. I had many other plans for the day other than fixing broken down snowmobiles! But I didn’t get upset. I thought of the times my dad saved me from trouble in yesteryears when I messed up. It was my turn to do the same.
I wanted to work with these boys in a healing way that brought us closer together and not turn a potentially wonderful weekend into an unhappy time. We could learn life-lessons together that taught us how to get out of difficult situations, and how to prevent them. A lot of my prayer was to have the right attitude, ensuring that I expressed patience, understanding, kindness and care.
After a couple of hours of experimenting, tying ropes here and there, and running to the shop for tools, we came up with a plan to hold the broken ski tenuously in place. Tyler managed to drive it a thousand feet, but kaput, off the ski slid again. We had a mile to go.
We tipped the sled on its side to look at the damage. We were all clueless on what to do. I looked up and said to the boys, “Think. Think. There is always a solution. We just need to think and hear it. No matter what problem you ever face in life, there is always a solution. Just think and you’ll hear it.”
After a few moments of silence, Tyler’s friend came up with an idea that sounded remotely hopeful. It included tying a tree branch between the two front skis to keep them parallel with each other. After a bit of scurrying in the forest, we found a branch, tied it on and hoped for the best.
And guess what? It worked!
Driving at a turtle’s pace, Tyler got the sled all the way back to our shed. It seemed like a miracle. The sled was a pretty hilarious sight, but hey, the plan succeeded! A full afternoon of praying, listening, and working together as one paid off. There was a solution and God gave it to us.
I still have to get the sled fixed, but that will work out. Tyler’s friend very safely, conservatively, and ably, drove one of our other snowmobiles the next two days of our time in the mountains, with nothing but joy and happiness to feel in the end. No more “bad news” to report.
We all learned some good lessons from the experience, drew closer together as a family, and are better people for it. God revealed a plan thought by thought...
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Alex Cook has a new CD out, "Kindness is a Mountain."
Alex is a very talented young man: a singer, musician, guitarist, painter, muralist and more.
His new CD is a collection of original music that speaks to the heart and gets the listener to thinking on positive spiritual messages.
I love listening to Alex because he is a thinker and artist free of pretense and show. He puts ego aside, listens for the truth and shares what he hears in colorful, clear and straightforward artistry that takes one's thought to new and better places.
"Kindness is a Mountain"