Friday, June 30, 2006

The Beautiful Game

The best way to watch World Cup Soccer is to watch it with a bunch of Brazilians. And since we have a Brazilian exchange student, this is easy to do. Soccer is called "The Beautiful Game" a term introduced by Pelé, one of soccer's most notable players.

I was never into competitive team sports, but I am becoming a convert under my Brazilian daughter's tutelage. As a former dance student, I can totally relate to the dance improvisation that goes on in the field, the footwork and the exhilaration that comes from the close teamwork unifying the team across the soccer field.

Such grace, unity and focus can be applied to any endeavor. Think of it! Your work experience can become "The Beautiful Game," your family relations can move with the grace of the game of daily life, your project that you have put off for months can achieve the focus of a "Beautiful Game" all of its own.

In my work as a Christian Science practitioner, I strive to make the practice of healing through prayer my own beautiful game. Mary Baker Eddy writes about this practice,

Whoever would demonstrate the healing of Christian Science must abide strictly by its rules, heed every statement, and advance from the rudiments laid down. There is nothing difficult nor toilsome in this task, when the way is pointed out; but self-denial, sincerity, Christianity, and persistence alone win the prize, as they usually do in every department of life. Science and Health

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

God is God is God is God

I was in Chicago last week showing off my home state and town to our son and Brazilian daughter ( actually an exchange student living with us for now).

The first day we arrived, and immediately got bumped out of our reserved hotel room due to overbooking and (with many apologies) moved to an upscale deluxe executive suite. Wow. It was gorgeous. Once we got settled, we ran out and cruised Navy Pier and then went to watch the Soccer World Cup between Brazil and Japan in a Brazilian/Peruvian/Japanese restaurant with dozens of other Brazilians and then topped it off visiting the theatre group Comedy Sports. It was a great first day.

The next morning I was called and was told that my car was vandalized.

The thing that didn't change in these two scenarios was God. I wasn't upset. I knew that what needed to happen was a series of events that I could do prayerfully. I didn't accept that this situation would alter our plans. Good is not interrupted. And God is good.

With the help of my cousin and insurance agent we made the arrangements that needed to be made. My son and daughter went on with their plans.

I was struck by the fact that God never changes. His qualities of poise, equanimity, balance, mercy, justice - shine on just as regularly as the sun shines. I am growing to know this more and more. "It is God's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" it says in the Bible.

It is natural for God's goodness to overflow in a continuous force. And I see it everywhere: in the intelligent design of the skyline, the dancing, yelling, joyful camaraderie of strangers at a soccer match, the energy, timing and connections in comedy. God is everywhere.

So when vandalism happens and hotels accidently overbook, God doesn't change. His law is changeless. We are either seeing this or -- if we aren't seeing this right away, we can affirm this law and see the human experience conform itself to this law. What changes is the chaos to order, the problem to resolution, etc.

I know that justice is more powerful than the chaos, selfishness and confusion of vandalism. And that the desire to serve one another is stronger than the narrowness of greed. God as Truth fills all space. We are either seeing this now, or we can acknowledge that all we see can be changed to conform to God's balance, harmony and joy.

The rest of the trip went just as well. As expected!

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

The intrigue of India

I used to work with teams of individuals in Asia, Latin America, parts of Europe and Australia and New Zealand to establish new distribution channels for our publisher's book on spirituality and healing - actually Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. This book found quite a receptivity in India, having been mentioned numerous times in the Bombay Times.

In India, I worked with an amazing woman from Bombay. I did not know India well. So I caught glimpses at the beginning, and through this woman’s eyes, I got to learn more and more about India's deep seated spirituality and its receptivity to spiritual ideas.

It is interesting when working with countries how similar the lessons learned about working with other cultures can be applied to living and loving ourselves and other individuals. Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health explains man (a generic term used for all individuals) as a compound idea. She also explains earth and the spiritual universe as a compound idea.

I believe that this is key to understanding that there is a direct relationship we have to the whole world.

When we are healed of anger, we are helping to heal war. When we are healed of an illness, we are contributing to the healing of plagues and when we are loving to ourselves and our neighbors, we are adding to the momentum of world peace. Likewise, when we hear of the power of prayer that has resulted in the freeing of hostages, the liberation of those under oppression and the victory of justice over injustice, we can claim that same law that brought about harmony for the many to be relevant to our own individual freedom.

What India revealed to me is the depth of spiritualty that is inherit in all of us. This is a spirituality that is ageless, beyond denomination and that rises up in us again and again. Like an ocean's swell, our spiritual nature is constantly renewed from a perpetual source.

On my desk at work, I kept an article from The Hindu - newspaper and online news source entitled: "The spiritual genius of India" It says in part:

The religious genius of India, rather than adjust itself to secularism, has brought about its redefinition in our multi-religious context....Indian spirituality is an inspired protest against confining God to places of worship.

The article then goes on to explain its marriage of Hinduism and Islam, the impact of Persian mysticism and the advent of Christianity which arrived in south India long before it arrived in Europe in 52 CE. It goes on:

It is a sign of the health and wholeness of India's spiritual genius that the advent of religious traditions resulted in...the revitalization of an already multifarious spiritual heritage. (click here to read entire article The spiritual genius of India.)

This is a sign to me that each one of us, as well as each nation, has a unique legacy that IS protected: Our spiritual richness and identity and our ability to see beyond the places of worship to recognize the complexities, the wonder or each one of us.

Each of our spiritual journeys is adding to and revitalizing the world's multifarious spiritual heritage.

And likewise, just as I know there is no end of learning about God's infinite grace, nor my own spiritual heritage, my lessons from working with India are only a small glimpse of an infinite richness.

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Friday, June 16, 2006


Resource to share: deep joy

I have seen it in pictures and in friends' eyes. It is a sparkle that goes back deep into the restful calmness of the eyes. Sometimes I have seen this look with parents as they balance their babies on their laps. Radiant.

I have seen this look in my Christian Science teacher who maybe was in her 80s or 60s (hard to tell). While teaching her class on Christian Science healing, she would occasionally look out the window, maybe pausing for inspiration. At those times, she looked liked she could have been 17 years old. Her love for God illumined her face.

I have seen this look in a friend's eyes as he held his grandson. And in a picture of another friend with her two newly adopted daughters with arms all tangled together. Inspired.

I like to think of God's love for each of us in this way. God -- seeing our inner beauty and radiance -- and being completely satisfied with a settled joy. "God gazes at you with love, because you were His idea. He loves you as if you were the only person on earth" echoes the Bible when it says "I have called thee by thy name. Thou art mine."

The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart says one of the Bible's proverbs.

Sparkle on.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

free fall - letting go and letting God

Have you ever felt so responsible for a project or a person, that you found yourself tied up in nervous little knots? Were you trying to tightly monitor progress, or trying to figure out a solution to a problem in a limited amount of time? Whenever I have been able to identify one of those gut-crunching sweaty-palm moments, I have also been able to recognize that I need to lean more on God. Even if the surrounding landscape looks threatening, I need to lean more on God.

One of those foundation learning lessons on what it means to let go and let God came while I was a rookie rock-climber.

After getting the initial instruction, safety talks and equipment, I started to climb. Key concepts saved me from physical over-exertion on the rocks.

  • Hang from your arms
  • Straighten your legs - let your bone structure carry the weight
  • Look at the hand hold/foot hold right in from of you. There always is one.

Increasingly, I grew in confidence that I had what it took to make the climb and I would TRUST this. This confident trust would silence the nervousness and fretfulness and clear the way for me to focus on the task at hand. I swear that as soon as I stopped trusting that I could make the climb, I would tense up, make mistakes, and get frustrated and scared. But learning a few key concepts was so important.

Even in rapelling, the descent side of rock climbing where you lean out from a rock face and literally hop down, there were lessons of trust and overcoming fear. The results are exhilarating! As you descend over a huge unmovable chunk of rock, you literally soar through space!

Letting go of a personal sense of accomplishment and letting God direct and control your life has the same impact.

  • You trust that you have all you need.
  • The solutions are right there in front of you.
  • Lean on the structure/confidence of what you know to be true about your inseparable relationship to God
  • God has you safely in His hands, on His ropes.

It is this "letting go" that makes it seem as if you are falling, but it is the "letting God" that gives you that freedom. Exhilarating!

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

world citizens on a spiritual journey

Amazing. All of you. Technology has indicated that the visitors from this site are from 34 countries. And you are all (as of today) from:

United States, Philippines, India, United Kingdom, Peru, Canada, France, Egypt, Brazil, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa, Morocco, Trinidad And Tobago, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Kuwait, Japan, Portugal, Kenya, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Mauritius, Chile, New Zealand, Switzerland, Australia, and Ghana.

And you are all interested in some degree in the effect of practical healing prayer. Some of you actually may just be passing through, while others have an active interest and some already have a disciplined and even professional approach to the practice of spirituality.

What is amazing to me is that we all are a microcosm of a greater global quest for spiritual answers. At the same time we are seeking to fulfill an inner hunger for spiritual things, we are also moving forward a world that is looking more towards spiritual solutions.

Take for example the elimination of poverty. CARE is a humanitarian organization whose one strategy is to work closely with women. Their motto "I am powerful" inspires women to dig deeply into their spiritual reserves in order to improve their lives, their children's lives and their communities.

Another spiritual approach to dealing with kids and drugs: encourages kids to consider themselves better - above - what drugs and illicit behavior can offer them.

In the workplace: In Patricia Aburdene's book Megatrends 2010, she puts forth the argument that now that we have spiritually transformed ourselves, we are now spiritually transforming our workplaces, stating that "spirituality is today's greatest megatrend." Websites like are growing as a response to the spiritual transformation of the workplace.

Over one hundred years ago, Mary Baker Eddy wrote, "This age is reaching out towards the perfect Principle of things; is pushing towards perfection in art, invention and manufacture." This reaching out continues today, as we reach out to each other, as we reach out to discover what prayer is, who God is, and why we are here.

It is amazing that we are all finding each other as we are all pushing forward toward that "perfect Principle of things." Please be sure to leave a comment and let us know about your spiritual journey! And thank you so much for being a part of this ongoing discovery and discussion.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

infinite and intimate

This morning, I was toying with the different qualities of God ( see blog on Spirituality Matrix), and put together two seemingly incongruous qualites: infinite and intimate. Consider that we are intimately involved with the infinite God! Wrapped up in infinity.

There was a time when I was deeply discouraged and felt I had very few prospects. Worse still, I felt that God had abandoned me. This was after a divorce, after a marriage that I felt I had prayed about and felt sincerely that I was led to. Now, I had nothing.

Some friends I had counted on for support kept insisting, however, that I was loved and had not lost my connection to God. This idea of light broke through curtains of shame and guilt and self-condemnation. And I swear, it was that little spark of an idea that kept me going.

It was like that spark was all I had to go on, really. As I accepted that I was still loved, I started gaining the confidence in my prayer and in God again. My life had not gone as I had planned, but there was still a purpose to my life.

I knew that my motive for my life was good and true, and that I could transcend this feeling of futility and sadness. I knew that I would be pursuing this goodness throughout my life, and could feel, that regardless of where it took me, I could be safe, cared for and move forward in my life.

These were small steps at first, but I started seeing more of the good that God was leading me to: in a friend's support, in getting a new job and car, in appreciating a walk around a lake. A glimpse of beauty, accepting that I am good, a better understanding that God is my infinite source of comfort. These steps kept leading me out of a deep sadness.

These steps were like angel messages, guiding me "to the divine Principle of all good." I understood just how close we are to God. We are "fearfully and wonderfully made" and there is absolutely no way we can ever be separated from God.

As I understood the purity and soundness of my relationship to God, and the intimate love and care that God had for every detail of my life, I would see more of the infinite possibilities that opened up to me. I was wrapped up in the intimate love of God showing me that there are infinite possibilities for me. It was a turning point in my life.

It was a long journey, but I now see how much I learned and deepened my understanding of God.

For another article re: going through divorce, click here .

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

ENter into JOY = ENJOY

Friend and healer Mario Tosto writes in his blog Godbert, "What gives you 'deep gladness?' What connects you to the universal spiritual law of goodness?"

Good questions. I have asked myself some version of this - how do I get to that point of deep gladness, how do I get to that point of joy? Usually these questions come after I have done some stupid, stupid, stupid thing, or have felt burdened by nagging concerns or doubts.

There are times when I could be singing with King David from the Old Testament:

Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit Psalms

Or the translation of the same song from The Message which is quite entertaining

Soak me in your laundry and I'll come out clean, scrub me and I'll have a snow-white life. Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing. Don't look too close for blemishes, give me a clean bill of health.

God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails! Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God, and I'll sing anthems to your life-giving ways. Unbutton my lips, dear God; I'll let loose with your praise.

Always, when I am singing this song, I have always been lifted out of whatever dump my thought was wallowing in. I don't use always flippantly. I mean always.

Prayer like this helps me recognize I can let go of anything that is limiting my joy and peace and acknowledge that God is the one source for joy and gladness. I can let loose with just being happy - happy to know that we can overcome the saddest of times, with joy. I can enter into joy, into peace, into goodness. And I can, once again, enjoy life.

Mary Baker Eddy, author, healer, (and one who lived the deep gladness and joy of life) writes in Science and Health,

Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea. Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear,--this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony.

Enjoy today!

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