Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Drawing God (time for fun)

(drawings of God from 8 - 11 year old kids from

This little story recently came to me from a good (and funny) friend:

A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing.
She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work.
As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.
The girl: replied, "I'm drawing God."
The teacher: paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like."
Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl: replied,
"They will in a minute."

How would you draw God?
Like the wind? Like the stars? an infinite solar system?
What colors would you use? Would it be three dimensional?
What qualities/ideas would your picture have?
You choose ( here's a blurt of ideas if I ever saw one!):

Clarity, wisdom, reason, form outline Strength, power Originality, creativity identity Intuition, unity,spiritual vision Beauty, home unselfish-ness creativity peacesubstance goodness expectancy inspiration glory,color individuality complete-ness praise wonder Orderliness, standard, law rules obedience Intelligence, focus, one authority, government Origin, freedom Cause wholeness Discipline, might action movement immortality Honest, integrity, justice protection Harmony, music, giving divine foundation Intelligence, omniscience, eternal creation Genius, structure, education, spiritual discernment Kindness, intuition, perception, spiritual under-standing Principle, Mind, soul spirit, life truth and love!,Imagination, quality/quantity Wisdom, understanding Purity, spiritual discernment Tenderness, harmony, joy, calmness Discipline, righteousness Thoughtful, abundance, exhilarating influence Balance, Substance, spirituality, holiness, grace meekness Humorous, free, progress vitality performance, goodness, infinite individuality, productive Courage, goodness, happiness, freedom Inclusive, unlimited, self – completeness activity, zeal, omniaction Being growth progress energy Uniquenesswarmth Vigor, being health wholeness Eternal, infinite health Force, energy, strength, permanenceSpontaneity, activity, effect honesty accuracy validity Purity, innocence precision devotion constancy equanimity underlying oneness strength power delight connection oneness spontaneity all-embracing

....and finally, how do you think God would draw you?

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The comfort of God with us, with those in Indonesia, and with those everywhere

When I left home, my mother and I still maintained a very close relationship. I started realizing that when she would call me on the phone, I would know that it was her before I answered. And many times when I would call her, she would answer the phone with "Hello Kim!"

I also noticed that when I was in trouble, my mom would later tell me that she felt I was in trouble of some kind and would either start praying or try to get in touch with me.

This phenomenon became quite natural and it just was the way we operated.

I came to see how much of this was a direct reflection of our infinite Father-Mother God - God who is always knowing our needs, always there to comfort, guard and guide us. God is constantly talking to each one of us. God is constantly sharing with us ideas that help protect us, provide for us and comfort us.

The recent earthquake in Indonesia threatened to tear open a wound just newly healing from the effects of the tsunami of 2004. But I quickly countered that with a prayer that did not drag me down into feeling a sense of hopelessness and futility.

God is omnipotent. That means that there is no power greater than God, and no power that can obscure God's tender ministrations to His/Her children.

God is not in the earthquake. His omnipresence can lift us out of any storm, any strife, into feeling peace.

God's ideas nourish us, bless us, strengthen us and allow us to take care of one another.

All we do is listen for His voice and respond.

Every single person has a direct connection with God. God is constantly talking to each one of us. We all have this connection - we did before we showed up on this planet, we do while we are here and we continue to have this connection with God after we leave. Before birth, during our lives here and after death, God is right here, comforting and providing for us.

There is great reason for hope. What I learned at an early age, with my mom, is that when there is love, there is always communication. This is a spiritual law. The larger demonstration of this rests on our acknowledgement that God loves us. Tenderly, intimately, right-there-with-us kind of love. This love communicates to each of us all that we need to know.

See special section on Prayers for Indonesia

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Beautiful and attractive

It wasn't until I had an accident with my face that I started thinking about beauty in a far more spiritual meaning.

I was in Mexico, staying with some friends while visiting a boyfriend. In order to heat the water for a shower or bath, I had to climb up on the roof and light the heater. Well, when I did this, I turned on the gas full blast ( instead of just the pilot setting), and then lit the match. The whole thing exploded in my face, burning off my eyelashes, brows and forehead hair and scorching my skin with second degree burns.

Immediately my friends came to help. They knew that I would be relying on Christian Science for healing, so helped me get comfortable and then left me alone to pray and be quiet. My face was so hot, I kept applying wet cloths to it. This would relieve the pain temporarily, until I had to get new cloths.

I called on a Christian Science practitioner who lived in Chicago. It is very common in Christian Science that the practitioner, or healer, live someplace other than where the patient lives. Prayer has no boundaries and the important part in Christian Science is that a person connects to the patient, as prayer impacts thought and thought determines the physical. Distance does not hinder healing.

We prayed using a Bible story of protection from fire. In this story, three individuals were falsely accused and thrown into a furnace as punishment. The story goes on to explain the confident prayer of these three and their understanding that God is there protecting them. The spiritual law illustrated in this story was that I too am protected, under God's care at all times. Fire is not more powerful than God.

Another spiritual law applied to the situation was that I am a spiritual idea, not material. Just as the number 5 cannot be altered when "put" into a fire, who I am as a child of God cannot be altered.

Another spiritual law applied to this situation was that thought governs experience. Thought, aligned with good, has its foundation in omnipresent, omnipotent God. There is no room for pain, deterioration, or disfiguration in God's kingdom. As His child, I cannot reflect anything unlike Him.

The result? The pain went away immediately, once I stopped putting cold compresses on my skin. It no longer made sense to try to accommodate the physical once I was clear about my spiritual identity. My hair grew back naturally and the skin healed with no marks.

But my concept of beauty took a major shift. Here I was visiting a boyfriend and definitely wanting to look hot -- but NOT this way! I saw that beauty is a spiritual quality, not one that can be determined by manipulating the appearance of eyes, losing weight, styling one's hair a certain way. All that is fun, but the deeper reality of beauty lies in the spiritual qualities it radiates.

"Beauty is a thing of life....." Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. "Immortal men and women are models of spiritual sense, drawn by perfect Mind
and reflecting those higher conceptions of loveliness which transcend all material sense...."

She goes on to write an entire beauty treatment. Start here and just keep reading!

The lesson about God's protection and immortal beauty still intrigues me today. My concept of beauty is much more universal, far less restrictive and as a result, I see more beauty around me everday.

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

The DaVinci Discussion

Oh - major delight! I have been following the book sales of The DaVinci Code (called the "brain candy" of books by The Chicago Tribune) ever since it came out, monitoring its impact in largely Catholic countries. (Prior to my new job now, I was in publishing - working in international sales of spirituality books.) Now that it is out on the screen, I 've been keenly aware of the second wave of hoopla, this time in the USA. To me, it is fascinating.


This book of fiction has touched on a raw nerve:

  • There are growing groups of earnest seekers for Truth pushing the envelope of what is means to be religious and dumping old unresponsive creeds.
  • The emergence of the role the feminine in the church is l o n g overdue for a major makeover.
  • Spiritual activism is on the rise.
  • Pentecostalism has taken off in the southern hemisphere. This is a result for the search for a practical Christianity and includes people and loves them.

Drop into these currents of thought "The Da Vinci Code" and one doesn't even have to stir - it provides its own stirring!

There are two things that help me watch this scramble and emergence of articulated arguments and positioning at a distance:

1. "Wherefore, by their fruits, ye shall know them" I have been studying Jesus' works and committing myself to learn to heal as Jesus did. I am understanding this method of healing more and more. It is the inspiration from Jesus Christ and the fact that what he has taught is still very relevant today that is central to my faith and practice.

2. I grew up praying to Father-Mother God. In Christian Science, God is understood as a Love, Spirit and Principle. These qualities are expressed with the tenderness of a mother and the authority of a father. I always felt and experienced that the role of the feminine in church is natural.

But the biggest delight is that all of these issues are out in the open marketplace being discussed. is all over this issue for those of you who want to get right in the thick of the discussion.

The DaVinci Code and the resulting discussions are like being in a thunderstorm against a backdrop of the northern lights: awesome power, releases of tension, clarifications and the beautiful and arduous working out of what it means to be a seeker of Truth on this planet.

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Church is not a building

On Friday afternoons, I have been getting regular visits from a Jehovah's Witness, who has now become my friend. Early on, we talked about not trying to convert each other and laughed about the goofy stereotypes of our respective religions. I have appreciated a deeper look into her religion and she has listened thoughtfully to my explanations and stories about healing and prayer, often inserting Bible passages that support the ideas.

I asked her once why Jehovah's Witnesses call the building that they meet in a hall and not a church. Her response was refreshing.

"A church is a gathering of people, but the Kingdom Hall is the place where they meet. It is important that we see that church is not about buildings."

"Brilliant!" I said. Then I envisioned a church business meeting in which the majority of time wasn't spent about roofs, air conditioners and snow shoveling, but about healing, loving and supporting our community, and loving and supporting each other. Wow.

I whipped out a copy of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy and read the definition of church.

CHURCH. The structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle. The Church is that institution, which affords proof of its utility and is found elevating the race, rousing the dormant understanding from material beliefs to the apprehension of spiritual ideas and the demonstration of divine Science, thereby casting out devils, or error, and healing the sick.

"Wonderful!" she said. "You don't believe that church is a building either!"

Hmmm... I thought. This was a pretty good reminder.

In the Christian Science church, its pastor is the Bible and Science and Health. The only other religion I know that has books as their spiritual leader is the Sikh religion. The last of the ten Gurus to lead the Sikh faith, Guru Gobind Singh, announced that he would be the last personal Guru and that thereafter, Sikhs were to regard the sacred book Adi Granth as their teacher which is a consolidation of the wisdom of all ten Gurus.

I have a tiny Bible and Science and Health set that was once used in WWII. I used it whenever I was backpacking and whenever I traveled, which was often. A friend and I used to hitchhike down to another friend's farm in Missouri. One day, we found an old abandoned church on an adjacent property, sat down and had our church right there. I could have my pastor with me wherever I went.

My favorite word in the definition of church is "whatever." "Whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle." I don't think that the concept of church could be explained any more broadly, Having the foundation of Principle and the expectation of dynamic action "rousing, elevating, healing" gives church a vital dynamism.

No building can even come close to containing such a force.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Serenity and prayer

I had an interesting healing of pain recently where I prayed and could see so clearly the omnipresence of God, that the whole claim of pain was, really, nothing. Pain simply was not on my radar screen, it did not impress me, it was nothing. The whole thought of God had my complete attention. This was where the story is, this was where life is and the idea of God, only being good, was so very impressive that it totally obliterated anything unlike good. Thus the pain disappeared into a hush like a dying ember, and then nothing.

The healing came of course, but it also impelled me ( as healing through prayer always does) to understand the power of God even more. (It seems I can never get enough of this -- understanding God. The more I understand, the more I see there is to understand.)

As I was browsing the net a couple of days ago, I came across this news piece about Yale theologian Jaroslav Pelikan, one of the world's foremost scholars of the history of Christianity, who recently died. "For a man as talented and accomplished as he was, he was also exceptionally kind and genuinely humble," said his son, Michael. "The more he learned, the more amazed he was by how much he did not know." (See AP article) This struck a chord.

This is also something my Christian Science teacher once said - "the more I study Christian Science, the more I realize there is to know." My teacher was a wonderful healer and taught her students to heal with humility, love and great kindness.

Getting to that secret place of prayer that leads to healing happens serendipitously. Here are two poems that help me go there - one poem that I have loved for years, and the other I have just discovered, written by a very good friend.


by William Lynch

I want
the words to flutter
you and land softly
on your shoulders in peace.
I want you to hear them
tell you of heaven.

Stand still
and they will gather.

by Mario Tosto

Waiting with patience
Is resting in the
Of that which never changes
For the change that
Must come.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Freedom, flow, growth and an infinite vista

Decision - making time. We've been pondering over an important decision my family needs to make regarding our oldest son's schooling: which school will he go to next year.

A compass that I have used for years is prayer. In praying about this next step, I place my son's future in God's hands and then talk to God until I feel confident in taking one direction or the other. This usually comes in the way of feeling a sense of freedom, flow and growth.

All along this prayerful path ( which I am on right now as I type), I am dropping my own prejudices, preferences and assumptions. I can see some of my preferences have a bit of a selfish motive ( this school offers what I want him to do, the other school is where he can be close, this school allows a course of study that I have found important, etc.). These are dropping like moths. The biggest moth is my own emotion. I am incredibly sad because I will miss his company so much, but am reminded that we always knew that he would be launching one day. This is what children do.

My son is a child of God. So am I, so is his dad. We are now entering the arena of all of us, the dad, mom and the soon-to-be-launched kid - all of us are children of God. All of us can hear God's voice, and follow God's leading.

That feels like we just cleared the runway. Now, we can look again at our choices. But prayer gives me a different set of questions:
Which channel offers the greatest freedom, the greatest growth, empowers him to learn with humility, give unselfishly, and still feel safe, connected and strong.
What direction feels logical, has a flow to it and gives one a feeling of infinite possibilities.

Sometimes in prayer, I have distinctly heard a small voice saying (something like) "This is the way". Other times, I follow my highest sense of right and trust that if it isn't the right way, I will be listening and make whatever adjustments needed.

Now, as I share these ideas with my husband and son, I trust even more that God is talking directly to each of them, and our collective prayer will lead us all in the right choice for my son.

(more to come....)

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Start with the right answer

How do you heal?

This is the million-dollar question. Ask any scientist this question and you will get some answer that basically boils down to this: start with the right answer.

This makes such simple sense. In any math problem, you know from your experience and what you have learned that the principles of addition are reliable, understandable and bring about the right solutions.

So, along your day, you come across this math problem: 5 + 7 = 10.75 This doesn't look right. You check it. It isn't right. So do you

1. Try to find out how this incorrect answer could have ever made it this far
2. Guess and see what other numbers might work and hope that you may hit on the correct answer
3. Acknowledge the foundation of mathematics and its principle, and then erase the wrong answer, apply the principle of addition and work out the right answer.

Did you choose #3? I would. Now taking this scenario and applying to a situation that needed healing, this is how this principle has worked out in my life.

Before explaining this situation, I knew from my intuition, experience and understanding that God created everything in His image and likeness and that He created it to be all good. Besides, it says so in Genesis 1:31) So everything that He creates is maintained in a natural state of harmony and goodness. The harmony has the authority of God, omnipresent and omniscient Principle.

The situation: I was just hired as manager to replace the outgoing well-loved manager. I was given his assistant to be my assistant. She loved her old boss, and didn't like me.

What I didn't do was

1. Try to figure out how someone with this attitude could ever had made it this far.
2. Try out a variety of strategies to win her over, hoping that one would do it.
But what I did do was #3

Start with the right answer
First, I knew from my intuition, experience and study that God created everything in His image and likeness and that He created it to be all good. So everything that He creates is maintained in a natural state of harmony and goodness. The harmony has the authority of God, omnipresent and omniscient Principle. Nothing can obstruct this harmony.

Acknowledge God’s governance and erase the problem
It was obvious harmony was not operating here right at the start. Because we are all children of God, we naturally are attuned to harmony. Disharmony is unnatural. It is not Godlike, and therefore can have no lasting impact. The problem itself has no power to attach itself to person, impress others, or grow.

Apply the principle
The principle I applied was that God's ideas are not in conflict with one another. I prayed quietly, making sure I was not entertaining any thoughts but good toward my new assistant. I literally stood at the door of my thoughts. As Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health " Stand porter at the door of thought....."

Working out the right answer
I had thought of a variety of ways to deal with this situation, but when a number of them backfired, I resolved to handle this situation prayerfully first, until I was unquestionably confident that God was directing every aspect of my career and this woman's career. Working out the right answer meant loving consistently and expectantly. I didn't outline the outcome, but focused on being loving.

What resulted?
Of her own accord, she came to me one day and said that she realized that I managed in a different way than the other manager, and so I needed an assistant who could help out in new ways. She earnestly wanted to be a help and apologized for what had happened before. What followed was a work relationship that lasted for years and was productive, happy and just plain fun.

When Mary Baker Eddy gives helpful guidance to the question “How do you heal?” In Science and Health, she writes

By the truthful arguments you employ, and especially by the spirit of Truth and Love which you entertain, you will heal the sick. (p.418)

The truthful argument started with the right answer - man is governed by God. I found that when i start with the right answer, I end with the greater understanding of the right answer.

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Monday, May 08, 2006

Stop believing in God -- just believe God

"In" is one of the entries in the Glossary of the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

In. A term obsolete in Science if used with reference to Spirit, or Diety.

So what is the difference between believing in something and just believing something?
Thinking this through, I have come up with this:

The word "in" is best understood when you use the word "out." It is a relative word. Although "in" brings you in the presence of something, it also implies that you can be "out" of a presence of something. "In" sickness, "in" health -- connotes a relative state. Being "in" the house, "in" the kitchen, lets you know that you are talking about an enclosure.

Another example: When you say "I believe you" it takes in the whole person - their past history, future hopes and current presence. When you say "I believe in you" this usually refers to the person's ability to carry out some task, requirement or obligation.

So, I believe God. This takes in the whole experience -- the timelessness of God, the omnipresence of God with no boundaries, no conditions, and all I know about God and all I trust God to be. It is absolute.

I believe God -- hook, line and sinker. God is All. And that's it.

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Why I love Brazil

We have just welcomed into our family a high school student from Brazil, and her name is Aline. In a house of men, she is a welcomed delight!! Not only am I happy to have some more girly things in the house, but I love that Aline brings stories of her home. I have so many wonderful memories of my time working with a team of Publisher Representatives throughout Brazil.

One memory was in a hotel in Sao Paulo. My contact and I were sitting in the front hotel lounge working on a training program. A man was playing bossa nova on his guitar, entertaining the guests who would browse and pause for a while before gathering their belongings and checking into the hotel. The wide doors of the hotel kept opening, letting in gushes of sweet smelling rain-soaked breezes.

Another memory was walking with this same contact on the beach in Rio de Janeiro. Favelas behind us and luxury hotels stretched out in front of us, we were deep in conversation about how we could pray for peace in the Middle East. She stopped me mid-step as I almost stepped on a perfectly round and clear jellyfish. How strange and beautiful that early evening walk was.

Another reason I love Brazil is because of the energy. Planning meetings with my team in Brazil were whirlwinds of ideas. Because I speak Spanish and English and not Portuguese, the meetings regularly were held in three languages with everyone translating their messages into at least one other language, if not two.

Once an idea was put on the table, it quickly gained momentum as one person would start an idea, another would interject and develop the idea and yet another would finish it up. All this while simultaneous translations were going on. I would literally get dizzy from these meetings. Energy high, ideas flying and keeping up with the languages. I loved it!! I would tease this team that once they heard half of an idea, they were off - having already thought of it, developed it and improving it to fit their multi-layered culture.

My experience with the people there was just as refreshing, elegant, graceful and spontaneous in the middle of such marked contrasts.

It doesn't surprise me that their reputation for innovation has brought forth some ground breaking ideas like charting " a course to energy independence by powering their cars with ethanol. Better yet, they're not using ethanol made from corn, which is not the most effective option for Brazil; they're making it much more efficiently from sugar." (See Christian Science Monitor). The fervor for a practical, living Christianity is surging forth in the growth of Pentecostalism. And Brazil is moving forward as a major economic player on the global scene.

To me, Brazil is the definition of diverse. With the spread of wealth one of the braodest and most notable in the world ( the spread between the most wealthy and the most poor), the heartbreaking favelas and breathtaking and mysterious Rain Forest, plus having one of the top five cities in the world, you can find just about anything here.

Movement is what Brazil is all about. You have to check out these sites: Dance Brazil and

If all nations were described with one of the attributes that Mary Baker Eddy gives for God - Brazil's attribute would have to be Spirit.

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