Sunday, December 30, 2007

re-thinking Christmas

Spiritual resource to share: a pause and a reflection

Even though Christmas is over, it feels that the need for true Christmas has never been greater. I'd like to share a poem that helps me to take another look at the meaning of Christmas. The abrupt assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the growing extremism and intolerance in the headlines these last few days demand the peace and hope that Christmas stands for. It is a stand I hope to nurture the whole year through:

Blest Christmas Morn
by Mary Baker Eddy

Blest Christmas morn, though murky clouds
Pursue thy way,
Thy light was born where storm enshrouds
Nor dawn nor day!

Dear Christ, forever here and near,
No cradle song,
No natal hour and mother's tear,
To thee belong.

Thou God-idea, Life-encrowned,
The Bethlehem babe —
Beloved, replete, by flesh embound —
Was but thy shade!

Thou gentle beam of living Love,
And deathless Life!
Truth infinite, — so far above
All mortal strife,

Or cruel creed, or earth-born taint:
Fill us today
With all thou art — be thou our saint,
Our stay, alway.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What did you get for Christmas?

Spiritual resource to share: your gifts

One of the most touching messages I received this Christmas was from a friend who lost her husband earlier this year. In her Christmas message to friends, she recounted the wonderful gifts her husband gave to us all. Among them were the gifts of curiosity, joy, generosity and acceptance. These are the gifts that bring comfort year-round.

This made me reflect on all the gifts that I have been given all year - gifts that keep opening up!

  • peace and the promise of peace
  • companionship
  • atmosphere of vitality and creativity
  • healing
  • new and continually fresh views of God - daily!
The beauty of these gifts is that they are contagious and replenish themselves. In the Bible it says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."

So, what are your top five gifts that you got for Christmas?

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Comfort and Joy

Spiritual resource to share: joy and comfort!

Last week, I came across this idea from Science and Health that gave me a new way of seeing and celebrating Christmas:

The universe, like man, is to be interpreted by Science from its divine Principle, God, and then it can be understood; but when explained on the basis of physical sense and represented as subject to growth, maturity, and decay, the universe, like man, is, and must continue to be, an enigma.

It doesn't sound too Christmassy. But when our Sunday School kids and I were talking about the impact and importance of Christmas, this quote made lots of sense.

What is the importance of Christmas? To me it is that the Christ - the expression of God - is something that becomes tangible in our lives. We can feel the joy, comfort and dominion of God. That the whole world view of evil, disease, decay -- of things not making sense, of love not being returned, etc. - the whole enigma of how weary the world is - is all of a sudden broken! Broken! By this beam of living Love - the Christ.

It struck me of the incredible hope and yearning toward peace - something earnestly prayed for - that hope was fulfilled by the coming of the Christ.

And to know that Christ is not only accepted, but understood. And now that we can understand the teachings of Christ, we can practice those very same precepts. We can learn to heal.

The Christ ushered in a whole new world view, one that hearts have longed for, one that heals and redeems, one that we recognize immediately. It is intrinsically natural and innately familiar.

What profound joy was felt at the birth of Jesus -this whole scene bursting with meaning and possibilities, fulfillment and progress. People anticipated this coming, expected it to come and gave their consent that now all good is possible.

Even more profound that this joy is sustained thousands of years later.

As next year comes into focus, there will be more peace talks, and progress for human rights; there will be campaigns against hunger and poverty and campaigns for beauty and earth stewardship. All of this is fueled by the same hope for a more spiritual world view where infinite ideas are brought forth to heal and redeem. And we can continue to understand God as the divine Principle of all things and in so doing we fulfill our most profound hopes and experience true joy - the understanding of the ultimate triumph of life.

Merry Christmas, friends!

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Friday, December 21, 2007

celebrating Joseph

Spiritual resource to share: meekness

I've been doing a deep dive into the nativity story, my interest being piqued by the movie of that same name, popular some years ago. Prior to this, I don't know that I gave Joseph too much thought. The movie helped me see how crucial his role was as the meek and steadfast protector not only to the expectant Mary, as a birth partner, as a new father; but to a world hungry for hope. It's those qualities of thought that I want to nurture in myself -- they are crucial to our own ushering in of the Christ to our consciousness.

There was an article written in the Christian Science Journal (December 2002) that discussed his character in more detail. (These notes are taken from csdirectory's Bible Study resources). It says of Joseph's role:

"It couldn't have been easy finding out that the woman he was about to marry was mysteriously 'with child.' But he stood by Mary with unquestioning fidelity, perhaps realizing how crucial he would be to the fulfilling of Bible prophecy....

And this is the wonder of Joseph's fidelity: that nearly all he did to nurture/defend the special mother and child entrusted to his care had to be done just this way: in secret, in the humblest of circumstances, and totally without public recognition."

The other wonder about Joseph is how immediate was his recognition and acceptance to the messages of the angel Gabriel. No questions, arguments, or excuses.

It is interesting to remember Jesus' comments about his relationship to God who, at one point referred to God as "Abba" a Hebrew term of endearment meaning the equivalent of "daddy". It makes me wonder if it was Joseph's tenderness and closeness to Jesus that made it easy for Jesus to feel God's tenderness and closeness.

So today, I am grateful for all those 'Josephs' in my life: men and women and children whose meekness, alertness and guardianship of all that is good have led me to see more of the Christ in my life and in others.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Peace on Earth

Spiritual resource to share: all that is good

Another reason I like it here: the Ministerial Association.

We meet monthly -- this group that represents much of the spiritual leadership here in the Northwoods. There is a profound focus and regard for the religious and spiritual lives of the people in this community. Discussion usually centers around what can we learn about our communities, what are we doing for our communities, and what more can be done.

Recently, different members of the group collaborated and put on a series of talks about world religion. A Presbyterian minister gave these series of talks in the new Catholic church in which many churched, unchurched and seeking people came. As the classes on Shintoism/Buddhism/Islam/Judaism/Jainism/Christianity/etc rolled on, the instructor commented how many times, during each of the classes, he could see people waking up to the amazing number of similarities amongst the world religions. And they could see themselves from a new viewpoint as well.

This is a common theme among inter-faith groups. Respect and unity in diversity is their healing gift to the communities they serve and to those willing to be taught.

This made me think of a quote from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. I always thought about it concerning individuals, but this time I saw how it applied to the different disciplines of faith and worship.

Man is not absorbed in Deity, and man cannot lose his individuality, for he reflects eternal Life; nor is he an isolated, solitary idea, for he represents infinite Mind, the sum of all substance.

Healing through prayer as taught by Christ Jesus is what I bring to the table of this group. And I as lovingly embrace them, I feel that love right back.

After our meeting today, I went to hug my Unitarian friend goodbye and asked how should I wish her well for this season. The love, respect, working together, supporting one another through this group was all unspoken. But our greeting and well wishes for the season suited us both perfectly as we wished each other "Peace on earth."

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Monday, December 17, 2007

the hero in us all

Spiritual resource to share: humility and willingness

My son and I have just finished watching three movies recently: Hotel Rwanda, Schindler's List and The Nativity Story. And interspersed with these viewings was a neat Sunday School conversation about what it means to be a hero.

The three men in the stories actually had a lot of spiritual qualities in common: humilty, willingness, listening to that voice within that rose up against injustice, and courage. But all three men were vastly different: Paul Rusesabagina was a family man who just wanted to be a good employee, Oskar Schindler was a ladies' man and war profiteer, and Joseph was a single man soon to be married.

But each man was thrown into circumstances that changed the course of history in various degrees. Each man varied in how long it took for a transformation to take place: Joseph's was immediate after he learned of Mary's conception. Rusesabagina grew as the cirumstances grew more dire. And Schindler's transformation took well after the start of the war.

Does one have to be a certain type of person to be a hero? The profiles of these three men show that heroes aren't a certain "type."

So what does this mean about heroes and what does this mean about us?

In our Sunday School class, we talked about the nature of Truth. MBEddy writes that "....
Christian Science speedily shows Truth to be triumphant." And that Truth, expressed in integrity, honesty and a foundation of love for mankind will be expressed. It doesn't matter what kind of person we are. As a reflection of God, we already have these qualities and it is our willingness to be of help and our humility to listen that bring these qualities of a hero forth.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Friday, December 14, 2007

What we are born to do

Spiritual resource to share: hope

No doubt this was one of the most watched web videos this year.
Watch this and share why this inspires you so. Of course, I am assuming it will, simply because I have watched it numerous times and I still get a rush of inspiration every time I see it.

It reminds me that

  • beauty is everywhere.
  • achieving those things most secretly cherished is possible.
  • diligence and perseverance = success.
  • we can expect surprises.
  • we are all born with purpose to do great things.

The popularity of this video is so enouraging. It connects us with universal ideas that we ALL agree on. I just took a mere five minutes to find ideas from MBEddy's Science and Health to fine tune some of the inspiration I've felt from this clip. Five minutes! Think of how many more ideas I could share here if I did ten, fifteen, twenty!

Knowledge that we can accomplish the good we hope for, stimulates the system to act in the direction which Mind points out.

Mind is not necessarily dependent upon educational processes. It possesses of itself all beauty and poetry, and the power of expressing them. .... We are all capable of more than we do.

....self-denial, sincerity, Christianity, and persistence alone win the prize, as they usually do in every department of life.

Science reveals the glorious possibilities of immortal man, forever unlimited by the mortal senses.

Now, add your comments and then go out and shine! Also see my buddy blogger's post on this same clip.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Monday, December 10, 2007

the artist's hymn

Spiritual resource to share: our art

This hymn has been showing up all day yesterday and today. It makes me think of artists. One of its musical settings is set to a waltz.

Dance away!

Eternal Mind the Potter is,
And thought th' eternal clay:
The hand that fashions is divine,
His works pass not away.

Man is the noblest work of God,
His beauty, power and grace,
Immortal; perfect as his Mind
Reflected face to face.

God could not make imperfect man
His model infinite;
Unhallowed thought He could not plan,
Love's work and Love must fit.

Life, Truth and Love the pattern make,
Christ is the perfect heir;
The clouds of sense roll back, and show
The form divinely fair.

God's will is done; His kingdom come;
The Potter's work is plain.
The longing to be good and true
Has brought the light again.

And man does stand as God's own child,
The image of His love.
Let gladness ring from every tongue,
And heaven and earth approve.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Friday, December 07, 2007

the good news about bad news

Spiritual resource to share: uncovering sin

Our local newspaper headline today read: LUHS ( our local high shool) study describes 'toxic' culture toward Amerian Indians

The bad news is that racism exists in this idylllic setting of a rural community. But the good news is that it has been uncovered and widely acknowledged as something to be healed. During this past year, I have been involved with ongoing community meetings to deal with racism and its effects. I'm told that this has been a problem for decades and that this if the first time that so many community members have been so involved for so long to find ways to effectively deal with and diminish racism. So this newspaper headline is a helpful step.

I was inspired reading MBEddy's article called "The Way" in her book Miscellaneous Writings. In it, she says that in order for healing to happen, thought (or, as she states, mortal mind) must pass through three stages of growth: self-knowledge, humility and love.

Under the first stage of self-knowledge, she writes that we must know ourselves and that "error found out is two thirds destroyed, and the last third pierces itself, for the remainder only stimulates and gives scope to higher demonstration." This is the good news about bad news. Once it is exposed, it is on its way out. AND this exposure leads to healing.

As I continue working and doing my own prayerful work for our community, I'll be actively pursuing the self-knowledge, humility and love that are so necessary to this healing of racism that we are all earnestly pursuing. I'll keep you posted.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

innately demanding

Spiritual resource to share: force

I had a bit of an epiphany today -- and that was that life is demanding. Not as in an oh-I-have-so-much-to-do type of demand, but a deeper impulse that demands expression, like the life-that-sprouts-up-underneath-the-concrete-sidewalk kind of demand. It is a calling out from Love to be who we are created to be.

Life (as a synonym for God) is demanding. It demands to be expressed and understood. Likewise, Love is demanding, and all the other synonyms of God (Truth, Soul, Spirit, Principle, Mind).

I was talking to a friend recently who was struggling with despair. As we talked, we realized that if despair was her natural state of being, despair would feel comfortable and natural. But despair felt very uncomfortable. And this makes sense because our natural state is spiritual, and is one of feeling the satisfaction of Soul, the order and stresslessness of Principle, and the balance of Love. This idea that we already are comprised of these qualities comes from Genesis 1: 27, that says "... God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him...."

So when we feel despair, it can be seen as a desire- even a yearning or a striving - to feel more deeply those qualities of God that we inherently express. The hunger that we feel is a way to make room in consciousness to receive more understanding about God and our relationship to Him/Her.

This shifts the whole focus away from lack and identifying yourself with lack, to rightly identifying yourself with your innate spiritual nature - all of the qualities mentioned above which demand more and more expression. So, the despair that we feel has no power in and of itself to define us or to confine us. It is simply that desire to go higher. And with my friend's situation, we were able to shift thought from despair and lack to see all kinds of possibilities for her to go forward and find progressive activities.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Monday, December 03, 2007

lessons from an interior designer

Spiritual resource to share: home

Of all the thousands of things I love about the study and practice of Christian Science, one thing is that Christian Science applies to the smallest detail of life (like choosing an outfit!) to the healing of global issues. So, does Christian Science relate to interior design? Of course!

I just spent a weekend in my old neighborhood. On Sunday, I went to a church whose interior was totally designed by a friend of mine. She is very spiritually minded, and I knew that every single shade of color, every angle of a light fixture and every piece of furniture was decided on prayerfully. She uses the metaphysical principles of Christian Science in her work as an interior designer.

As I sat there in this church, I loved seeing how the color blended in harmoniously throughout the space, how the sound system was arranged so unobtrusively, how the light came in the perfectly arranged windows to maximize its effect.

Once she took my husband and I on a tour of International Market Square to show us around while teaching us about light, color, space, etc. The lessons I learned there had immediate relevance to healing and my healing practice!

Light is central to every room as a room can take on so many different nuances with the different plays of light.
Lesson learned: Light is the key ingredient to healing.

Boldness, subtlety, movement, distinction and harmony can be expressed in the choice of color.
Lesson learned: color, a quality of God, is an expression of Soul - a synonym for God. Each healing has its distinct color and tone. No two are exactly alike.

Spatial relationships
Things that are small can look big and things that are big can be broken down into small.
Lesson learned: there are infinite possibilities within seemingly finite resources.

Focus points
To begin work in designing a space, choose a focus point.
Lesson learned: In healing, all thought begins with one focus point: God

Art/fresh flowers
Good art, like fresh flowers, bring life, originality and freshness into a space. Good art should always make you think beyond the normal conventions of thought.
Lesson learned: Each healing brings fresh inspiration and spiritual growth. Each healing is an art form, a step of progress, helping us think further beyond a material sense of things to a spiritual sense where we can come home to the spiritual understanding of God and man.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Wilderness Experience

Spiritual resource to share: horizon-opening experiences

Today, I want to talk about the wilderness experience and how outright refreshing it can be.

I have had numerous wilderness experiences, both literally and figuratively. (You have had these too, as you will recognize further on down the blog).

My literal wilderness experiences have included those moments on mountains, whitewater rivers or lakes in the middle of nowhere. Experiencing the stillness and beauty of the northern lights, howling winds at high altitudes and whitewater stair cases have shaped me and have strengthened and inspired me.

There are always two sub-types of experiences in a wilderness experience and MBEddy captures them perfectly in her definition of Wilderness:

WILDERNESS. Loneliness; doubt; darkness. Spontaneity of thought and idea; the vestibule in which a material sense of things disappears, and spiritual sense unfolds the great facts of existence.
There is the first experience of loneliness, doubt or darkness. You feel separated from good, you don't believe you an accomplish anything, or the absence of light feels a little more real than light itself.

But, seeing through that experience, there is then this second experience of spontaneity - even playfulness with the universe! The material, limited sense of life falls away to reveal startling beauty, or a purifying rush of clean - of new beginnings and fresh starts, or an altitude of thought that makes all of the tediousness of human strife look, well, tedious and small and inconsequential in the light of the magnaminous nature of creation and its Creator.
This has been played out in my life like so:
  • Doubting my ability to run a whitewater rapid in a kayak, and then doing it, resulted in the thrill of dominon over fear and humble awe of the ability to play with a power so beautiful.
  • Being fearful of an impending storm on a mountaintop, but then overcoming that morphed into being a part of an amazing rescue effort that resulted in everyone's safety, and increased camraderie and joy!
  • Feeling very isolated from civilation and from our base camp while paddling across a huge lake with my husband when strong winds came down on us against the direction we needed to take. We persisted, shouted out enouragement to each other, and kept going, not letting up one second lest we lose more ground as we made our way, inch by inch to our base camp across the wide lake. And we did it! We were exhausted, happy ...and safe.
But it has also played out for me in my more unconventional wilderness experiences, where I felt I was alone, abandoned or too down on myself: like when I was alone in a foreign country for the first time, or starting a new job, struggling with a persistent challenge, or recovering after a traumatic situation.

In each of these experiences, I had to walk through that illusionary wall of self-doubt, fear, and loneliness to see that there is an answer. Some "great fact of existence" was there reminding me that good is not helpless, that God's ideas cannot exist alone or that there are infinite resources that God has with which to bless mankind.

So what does this mean for you all? You probably recognize a wilderness experience or two that you yourself have encountered. Or maybe you are in right now. I hope you can take heart, that the material, limited sense of things - or those suggestions that you are separated from good - are not based on God's reality. These things have a short shelf-life. They will fall away.

Open yourself up to the spontaneity of God's infinite goodness. Start with one fact based on God's love, goodness and abundance. Opening that door will lead you into blessings, healing and peace. And your wilderness experience will "blossom like the rose!*"

Some fav quotes to leave you with:

* The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. -Isaiah 35
As long as there are young people with the light of adventure in their eyes, or a touch of wildness in their souls, rapids will be run. -Sigurd Olson
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. -John Muir
Keep close to Nature's heart...and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean. -John Muir

Top photo by Gabe Korinek - copyright 2006

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

you are here

Spiritual resource to share: your place in the world

A little boy was once asked: "How do you know that God is here?" And he answered, "Well, because I 'm here!" I love that confidence in the inseparability of God and us!

MBEddy writes "As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being."

So where does this idea leave us? That we are in our right place. Why? Beause the omnipresent God is in Her right place and we are never separated from God.

We are always in our right place. That means that we have all we need where we are. So every opportunity for growth and every need for living is present right where we are. And, if these things don't appear, we will be removed from that situation and placed in a situation where growth and supply are available.

So not only are we assured we are never separated from God, but that it is confirmed that we have a purpose as well. Just as the number "42" always is in its right place in the numeric system, so does it also serve its purpose in keeping the whole numeric system working. Likewise, we are distinct and in our right place. Our purpose is to glorify God, in Her full expression. Each of us is needed to express the complete spectrum of God's goodness, intelligence and grace.

Our purpose is maintained by God and we are able to answer the question, "What am I?" with this response: "I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing." (from The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany p. 165.) And another fav from the Bible:

Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Monday, November 26, 2007

breaking through habitual thinking

Spiritual resource to share: logic and reasoning

Reason, rightly directed, serves to correct the errors of corporeal sense; but sin, sickness, and death will seem real (even as the experiences of the sleeping dream seem real) until the Science of man's eternal harmony breaks their illusion with the unbroken reality of scientific being. - MBEddy from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

Have you ever heard of the game Mastermind? It's one of my favorite games. It's a code-breaking game in which you use logic to deduce the code of your opponent hidden in a series of 4 beads of any combination of 6 colors. (You can go here to play it.)

The reason I have juxtaposed this game with MBEddy's quote above is because both deal with breaking certain patterns. MBEddy talks about the illusion of the "errors of corporeal sense" - an habitual pattern of material thought. The game also deals with patterns of thought and the success of the game is largely dependent on one's ability to break out of dead end patterns and see the winning pattern.

Here's the analogy: In the game, you start out with six colors and have eight attempts to break the 4 color code. I have been able to be consistently successful in this game if I recognize when I am exclusively pursuing one particular color pattern. When this happens, I consciously change my course, consider new alternatives and try a new pattern. Then I usually win at the fourth, fifth, or sixth attempt.

In play, the game Mastermind has taught me the value of recognizing habitual thinking and replacing it with new ways of solving the problems.

In life, I see the same thing. The downward tendencies of habitual thinking ( like old arguments re-surfacing, mindless repetition, sensual stimulation, thoughtless words or actions) can subtly enter thought and depress energy.

Once this is recognized, I can consciously decide to break this pattern. I give my consent to the fact that there are new ways to think, to act, and to be. I realize that Mind (another word for God) has "infinite resources with which to bless mankind." This "reason, rightly directed, serves to correct the errors of corporeal sense."

Understanding the infinite nature of God and man explains "the Science of man's eternal harmony" and this understanding "breaks (corporeal sense's) illusion with the unbroken reality of scientific being."

It is energizing to know we can break out of old patterns of thought and embrace the wider realm of God's thoughts that always refresh and bring us home to the right answers.

PS - And let me know if you know if you like this game! Or if you know of other games that have a metaphysical lesson, please share it here!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Light a candle/Encienda una vela

Spiritual resource to share: your gratitude, your light
Recurso para compartir: su gratitud, su luz

Light a candle and share what you are most grateful for with millions of others around the world. Click here to share!

In this season of gratitude, I just wanted to say how grateful I am that we can all connect and align our thoughts and hearts to greater and greater good. Thanks for stopping by.

Encienda una vela y comparte que es el más agradecido con millones de personas alrededor del mundo. ¡Haga clique aquí para compartir!

En esta estación de la gratitud, estoy feliz que podamos todos conectar y alinear nuestros pensamientos y corazones. Gracias por su visitas.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

An annotated look at The Daily Prayer

Spiritual resource to share: study

The "Daily Prayer" is actually a requirement made by MBEddy that all who join with The Mother Church pray this prayer each day. The prayer is short, to the point and covers the inner discipline of one's own thinking to the nourishing expanse of mankind's every feeling.

It reminds me of a sunrise.

This is it:

Thy kingdom come.
Let the reign of divine Truth, Life and Love be established in me and rule out of me all sin.
And may Thy word enrich the affections of all mankind and govern them.

I had a good time with (an online collection of dozens of dictionaries) to dive deeper into the meaning of the words, sometimes going to dictionaries as far back as 1913. Here is what I found:

Thy kingdom come
Thy kingdom (An extensive scientific division distinguished by leading or ruling characteristics: domain; The rank, quality, state, or attributes of a king; royal authority; sovereign power; rule; dominion; monarchy; environment, surroundings, all that is governed by God) is already here

Let the reign of divine Truth. Life and Love be established in me
Let the dominant authority (of Truth , Life and Love) be larger in number, quantity, power, status or importance in me

And rule out of me all sin
  • keep in check (Example: "Rule one's temper")
  • decide with authority
  • decide on and make a declaration about
  • exercise authority over; as of nations
  • be larger in number, quantity, power, status or importance (
The seven deadly sins are pride, covetousness, lust, wrath, gluttony, envy, and sloth.

  • Sin is a transgression against God; transgression of the law of God;
  • disobedience of the divine command;
  • any violation of God's will, either in purpose or conduct;
  • moral deficiency in the character; iniquity; as, sins of omission and sins of commission.
And may Thy word
Word: The spoken sign of a conception or an idea

Enrich the affections
Make better, richer, wealthy and improved affections those things we act upon; to produce an effect or change upon. To influence or move, as the feelings or passions.

Of all mankind and govern them.
  • direct or strongly influence the behavior of
  • exercise authority over; as of nations
  • bring into conformity with rules or principles or usage; impose regulation
In other words:
The dominant and divine authority of God is here, now.
Let this authority be enlarged and primary in my life and let it eradicate any suggestion of separation from God.
And may God's actualized presence permeate all that stirs mankind bring us into conformity with all that is good and true and eternal.

© Spurious -

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Monday, November 19, 2007

de las pequeñas bellotas crecen los robles poderosos crecen

(For the English version, please see the post below)

Semillas. He estado pensando sobre las semillas aunque es el otoño en el hemisferio norteño.

Es más sobre las semillas y su potencial para el crecimiento.

¿La pregunta se presenta - cómo sabe una semilla crecer? La respuesta: Su mapa ya es inherente en su diseño. (Oh, ¡éste es una analogía metaphysical perfecta!)

¿Cómo sabemos crecer? Confíamos en nuestro diseño inherente. Esto nos da otro punto de vista de la importancia de conocer a Dios y de la idea primero presentó en la Biblia en Génesis que nos hacen en la imagen y la semejanza de Dios.

Porque conocemos a Dios, nos conocemos a nosotros mismos.

Haciendo esto, podemos confiar en que nos equipan con todo lo que necesitamos cuando lo necesitamos.

Aquí están algunas ideas del diseño usadan por Dios:

Jehovah me ha aparecido desde hace mucho tiempo, diciendo: "Con amor eterno te he amado; por tanto, te he prolongado mi misericordia. -Jer. 31: 3

Los hombres y las mujeres inmortales son modelos del sentido espiritual, trazados por la Mente perfecta y reflejan aquellos conceptos más elevados de belleza que transcienden todo sentido material. - Ciencia y Salud con Clave de las Escrituras por Mary Baker Eddy p. 247:23 entretejiste en el vientre de mi madre. Te doy gracias, porque has hecho maravillas. Maravillosas son tus obras, y mi alma lo sabe muy bien. - Salmos 139: 13, 14

Sunday, November 18, 2007

from little acorns do mighty oaks grow

Spiritual resource to share: what we are drawn to be

Seeds. I've been thinking about seeds. And obviously not because it is planting season here in the northern hemisphere. Its more about seeds and their potential for growth.

The question arises - how does a seed know how to grow? An answer: Its map is already inherent in its design. (Oh, this is just so ripe with metaphysical analogy.)

How do we know how to grow? Trust our inherent design.

This gives another angle to the importance of knowing God. And of trusting the idea first presented in Genesis that we are made in the image and likeness of God.

By knowing God, we know ourselves. Doing this, we can trust that we are equipped with everything we need at the time we need it.

Here are some design ideas used by God:

The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

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.

Thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Just Trust

Spiritual resource to share: yielding to God

“Nothing I do has any impact.” Have you ever said that to yourself? The answer to that may be “You’re right!” Christ Jesus’ remark “I can of mine own self do nothing” has helped me overcome discouragement, disappointment and situational depression a number of times. The simple understanding that God (all-powerful and all-knowing) is the One who is governing shifts thought away from the small ego or self and moves it over to God.

Some years ago, I was increasingly getting tired and it was getting harder and harder to be inspired about the day and even get out of bed and go to work. Soon, I simply felt depressed and depleted. It was subtle at first, but I later realized that I had accepted that there was some opposing force to the work I was doing. Believing this to be possible had a demoralizing effect. MBEddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures By conceding power to discord, a large majority of doctors depress mental energy…” I’m not a doctor nor was I going to a doctor at that time, but I could so relate to that sentence. It continues… “Knowledge that we can accomplish the good hoped for stimulates the system to act in the direction Mind points out.”

As I continued praying, I didn’t dive into reasons why I continually felt this way, or try to change those things or people I thought were opposing me. I dropped the focus on me and attempts to sleep or find other ways to flee from this gnawing negative feeling.

I focused instead on the nature of God as Truth and Love. Truth is the quality most associated with purity, steadfastness and stability. I thought about (and still do think of ) the nature of God as Love: it is inclusive, intimate and works unconsciously in the human heart.

Love and Truth are forces always operating, always transforming, and always expanding from a permanent basis. Much like light entering a darkened room.

I could trust the light of Truth and Love. I gained a better understanding of MBEddy’s statement that “(evil) is neither person, place or thing.” In the omnipotence of Love I saw that there were no lesser minds spewing out opinions that could ever obscure Truth. I realized I could not be targeted nor could I target any one thing or person.

It was my trust in Truth that helped me see that good works are possible. In another idea from Science and Health, MBEddy writes, “Truth overcomes both disease and sin and reassures depressed hope…It imparts a healthy stimulus to the body and regulates the system.” And in the organization I was working in, there soon grew a healthy stimulus to the organizational body. And I could go forward trusting Truth and Love to regulate the system.

So my answer to the feeling of futility and depressed thought? Just trust. Amazingly simple. Profoundly effective.

Picture by Sonja Maneri "Omnipresent" copyright 2004

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Looking at healing from a scientist's perspective

Spiritual resource to share: synergy

I love this group! When I get together with my Science and Health discussion group, I always find new insights into some of my most favorite and familiar passages. (We are reading Science and Health slowly - about 30 - 50 pages every 2 weeks. This allows for a deep dive into its ideas.)

Yesterday's meeting, we were discussing the first section of the chapter "Science, Theology and Medicine" and the first section dealt with the science of Christian Science. We have some good science background in this group: a PhD in biological sciences, a licensed engineer, and a former student at IIT (many years ago).

Here are some of our insights:

Mary Baker Eddy uses the pronoun "I" significantly more in this chapter than in other chapters. This makes the chapter more autobiographical. It also speaks of her experiences in testing and trying out various assumptions. The whole section outlines how she made the discovery, tested it and established underlying principles.

"Science," the engineer in the group explained, "is more about a process of discovery than the end in and of itself."

"And there needs to be tangible evidence of this Science. It can't only be theory." was another comment.

This aligns with MBEddy's own statement:
The term CHRISTIAN SCIENCE was introduced by the author to designate the scientific system of divine healing.
The revelation consists of two parts:
1. The discovery of this divine Science of Mind-healing, through a spiritual sense of the Scriptures and through the teachings of the Comforter, as promised by the Master.
2. The proof, by present demonstration, that the so-called miracles of Jesus did not specially belong to a dispensation now ended, but that they illustrated an ever-operative divine Principle. The operation of this Principle indicates the eternality of the scientific order and continuity of being.
Reading the first section of this chapter has given me another dimension on my practice of Christian Science. I re-read the chapter from the perspective of a scientist, from the perspective of how I have "discovered" Christian Science on my own.

We are always discovering more about the infinite nature of God. We are all proving - healing by healing - the very nature of our relationship to an all-loving, omnipotent Principle.

More to come.......

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

eliminación del conflicto

Recurso espiritual a compartir: humildad con gratitud

¿Esta usted envuelto en una tormenta de opiniones en conflicto? Esto me ocurrió recientemente. Y no podía conseguir liberarme de esos argumentos mentales silenciosos que continuaban repitiendo una conversación reciente y cómo debería haberla manejado mejor.

Sin embargo, las discusiones pararon.

Y qué paró estas discusiones? Fue mi disposición de silenciar estos argumentos mentales y escuchar profundamente, cómo Dios podía estar percibiendo toda esta situación.

Escuchar significó poner a un lado mis opiniones, reconocer que no soy personalmente responsable de hacer que la gente escuche mi punto de vista sobre las cosas, y entender que Dios es el único poder que controla toda Su creación. Con humildad podía aceptar todo eso.

La humildad me salvó. Eso y la gratitud por lo que la otra persona hizo. No podría decir lo suficiente sobre cómo una perspectiva humilde me ha salvado de otros momentos difíciles, y me trajo más progreso y amor.

MBE habla de la humildad como una virtud que triunfa sobre la carne, y es el genio de la Ciencia Cristiana. Ella escribe que la humildad, junto con el conocimiento de sí mismo y el amor son fuerzas divinas. La humildad es un peldaño hacia un reconocimiento más alto de la Deidad. (véase "El Camino" de Escritos Misceláneos. p. 355).

Más tarde esa misma semana, se dió una oportunidad para compartir con este individuo una expresión sincera de la gratitud que sentía por el trabajo y el progreso logrados. Había una sensación de alivio. Quizás ambos nos sentíamos liberados de la idea de que necesitábamos mantener cierta postura. Sentí serenidad y cariño, y creció mi confianza en que nunca existe una situación tan fuera de control, en que el Amor divino no pueda volver nuestros pensamientos y vidas a su estado natural de armonía, progreso y amor.

To read the English version click here.

first snowfall

Spiritual resource to share: redemption

Last night it fell -- all over our yard, driveway, rooftops, everywhere. I woke up to see this perfect blanket of snow. "The first snowfall always makes me feel as if we are all redeemed," said a friend once, and I am reminded of it every first snowfall of the season.

I am reminded of God's love for each of us. "Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love. Therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee." I am reminded that there is a tender loving kindness that is all powerful - God. God draws us to Him.

In the Lord's Prayer there is a section that says:

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil;
Mary Baker Eddy gives its spiritual sense and writes:

And God leadeth us not into temptation, but delivereth us from sin, disease, and death.

God has created us in Love. God would no more lead us into temptation as Love would lead us to death. God's love for us continually guides us. And we are all redeemed: forgiven, loved, cleansed -- white as snow.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Monday, November 05, 2007

How to pray about anything!

Spiritual resource to share: creative solutions

This is such a wonderful resource! I'd like to introduce you to a series of WONDERFUL tips and thoughtful cards written out for you to take with you and read during the day. These are developed by one of my mentors and a fellow practitioner Beverly G!


In one section of Bev's website, there is a series of short articles that presents each of its topics with seven points of how to pray about each of them. They deal with tips on safeguarding thought, calm contented rest, affordable housing and safe travel and more.

In another section, there are printable cards that are downloadable to help you throughout the day. They have helpful healing ideas about relationships, hope, financial resources and more.


photo by Gabe Korinek 7/07 ©

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Movie night!

Spiritual resource to share: meaningful movies

Did you ever wish there were a list of movies that were thought-provoking, engaging, that celebrate the human spirit, and made you laugh and cry? Movies that stretched you and kept you thinking about it afterwards? I think I found such a list!

My son's school is hosting a Respect and Diversity Film Festival this weekend with a great line-up of films. So, here's the list! I have seen most of these, but not all.

Would love to hear comments from you all -if you have seen these movies, what you liked about them and what movies you would add to this list.

Check these out (if you want more details on these movies, go to Yahoo Movies or Movie Review Query Engine and type in the name of the movie):

  • One Giant Leap
  • Babel
  • Born into Brothels
  • What's Eating Gilbert Grape?
  • Milagro Beanfield Wars
  • Real Women Have Curves
  • Billy Eliot
  • Mask
  • Bend It Like Beckham
  • White Men Can't Jump
  • Children of a Lesser God
  • School Ties
  • Erin Brockavich
  • Life Is Beautiful
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Smoke Signals
  • The Dinner Game
  • Motorycle Diaries
  • Osama
  • Remember the Titans
  • Napolean Dynamite
  • Children of Heaven
  • Hotel Rwanda
  • Good Will Hunting

plus some of my favs:

  • Monsieur Ibrahim
  • Casa de los Babys
  • Water
  • Lagaam
  • L'Auberge Espagnole
  • My Life as a Dog

    To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

FASCINATING conversation with a physicist.....

Spiritual resource to share: brilliant friends!

Two friends (one who is a physicist) and I were talking about the decades old rash of studies dealing with the effect of thought and prayer on healing. The physicist started out the conversation with a couple of things I would like to share here:

He asked what the difference is between
Brain over body
Mind over matter
Spiritual healing?

It seemed easy to answer on the basis of MBEddy’s outline on the scientific translation of mortal mind. Each of these three approaches to the different medical studies could be defined in the context of that definition! (Note: MBEddy’s translation of mortal mind is in bold and my comments are in italics.)

Scientific Translation of Mortal Mind

First Degree: Depravity. (Marginal heading: Unreality)

PHYSICAL. Evil beliefs, passions and appetites, fear, depraved will, self-justification, pride, envy, deceit, hatred, revenge, sin, sickness, disease, death.

Brain over body deals with a wholly material basis, proposing that thought is a result of reactions of the brain and works to manipulate matter to produce healthy effects
Brain over body studies deal with the physical: passions, appetite, and the analysis from a material basis of sin, disease and death.

Second Degree: Evil beliefs disappearing. (Marginal heading: Transitional qualities)

MORAL. Humanity, honesty, affection, compassion, hope, faith, meekness, temperance.

Mind over matter deals with thought as well as body; seeing that thought has an impact on health and works that idea toward healthy conditions
Mind over matter studies deal with the moral qualities of honesty, affection, compassion and humanity; these are transitional qualities

Third Degree: Understanding. (Marginal heading: Reality)

SPIRITUAL. Wisdom, purity, spiritual understanding, spiritual power, love, health, holiness.

Spiritual healing deals with absolute spiritual principle coming from an infinite and omnipotent Mind, God; the application of these principles bring about harmony resulting in health
Spiritual healing studies deal with understanding: This is the basis for reality.

So what’s the point here and why is this important for us to understand?

Whereas these studies and theories point to an increased discussion (and elevated discussion) about the role of thought and prayer on health, it is only the ones that deal with the moral element that bring the discussion to that “transitional level” and may open the way for more inquiry to and practice of spiritual healing. Other studies are looking for a way to reduce God to a neurological impulse – keep God at a material basis.

Here are some examples that could be categorized into the three degrees of Mortal Mind as defined by MBEddy:

Brain over Body: God as a Physical phenomenon

Emotional Intelligence By Daniel Goleman
“…we are wired for compassion and concern” There is a new field of science called neurotheology, which applies the methodology of neuroscience to study the “God experience,” or GE. A National Institutes of Health study showed that one third of Americans had an experience in which they felt “a divine and wonderful spiritual power.” Scientists are now interested in studying and measuring what is going on in the brain during these experiences. They want to know, “Is spirituality genetic?"

Mind over Matter: God as the source of Moral Qualities

What Happy People Know By Dan Baker and Cameron Stauth
What one reviewer wrote: "Dr. Baker engages and entertains by writing in a conversational style sharing inspirational experiences and insights. The book takes a "positive psychology" approach teaching the reader what actions one should take to be happy and suggests that simply talking at length about a person's problems in a private office can't get you as far as going out and taking action. He says love is the answer - we should practice altruism, appreciation, and forgiveness. This great book is easy reading but unbelievably interesting and thought-provoking."

Spiritual healing: God as universal principle

"Intelligence is everywhere. And the deeper you go beneath the surface, the more intelligence, the more dynamism, the more awareness, until at the foundation of the universe there is a field of pure abstract universal existence-universal Consciousness…the unified field.”
From: “Consciousness in the Unified Field” John Hageli, Light of Consciousness(Spring/Summer 2006)

So, would love to hear comments on this! Especially with those of you who have backgrounds in the sciences. (PS - Thanks to my Association mates who researched the above books and quotes!)

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Friday, October 26, 2007

how to change a culture

Spiritual resource to share: vision and achievement

"If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it!" Jesse Jackson

"The devotion of thought to an honest achievement, makes that achievement possible." Mary Baker Eddy

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

This is an ongoing blog about the dynamic of our community meetings. Just to sum up for those new to this blog, we are a group of people representing various voices in our community. We have been meeting to address the need to forge together a community that focuses on healthy kids, families and communities and in so doing, create a community wide prevention plan that alleviates or reduces racism, violence, and alcohol and drug abuse. These problems have been around a long time and lately have escalated.

We have come to an exciting junction in the road in these meetings. It started with people getting frustrated. At our last meeting (the eighth one) people had time to voice their concerns and opinions. It was feeling like we had little traction with what we had accomplished so far.

Several times "plans" had been presented as a way of organizing thought. Some of it has gelled, some have not. I love watching the dynamic of organization ebb and flow. And the meeting started out not flowing. I kept praying, establishing in my thought the oneness of Mind, intelligence, and recognized that it was being expressed with clarity.

This is what happened.

People stayed to the end of the meeting.
People's grievances were heard.
THEN came the boom. "We are trying to do too much. This is over-whelming." said one therapist who shared some of his reasons for saying this. "If we can't perceive what it is we are trying to do, we will never achieve it."

Yep. We had taken on trying to reverse a cultural footpath that has been so thoroughly documented and trod on, that it would appear to be an intractable rut. We were really asking now, how can we change a culture? How can we lift a culture of low expectations and abuse to a culture of tolerance, progress, and a celebration of diversity?

Then came the reversal of the boom: "HOWEVER", said a counselor who worked in a drug prevention program, "look at what happened with cigarettes! How did they do that? I don't know, but they did it. Now, everyone is aware of its health hazards. We can do this, too."

From there, various people commented on what worked in other programs, another recognized that success builds success, another saw how large of an umbrella we could be to give more focus to all those willing to buy in to the idea of building healthy communities.

A tribal elder commented, "In all the years we have been trying to tackle these problems, there has never been this many people willing to work for a solution. I've never seen this happen before now." He added, "By coming together like this, each of us from different walks of life, we form a formidable power. We are already having an impact. We are already moving forward."

Several agreed and a number of them mentioned certain steps that were taken in the high school that were progressive and responsive to the community - and were directly in line with what this group is hoping to achieve.

We are now on a success and possibilities track. This is good.

How do you change a culture? Culture is defined as the context of our human experience. To change the culture is to change the context. And changing the context from a limited, material basis of things (which breeds limitation, abuse and division) to a spiritual basis (which nurtures peace, unity, progress and innovation) is the way to change a culture. And it can be done.

Success in life depends upon persistent effort, upon the improvement of moments more than upon any other one thing. -Mary Baker Eddy

A deep sincerity is sure of success, for God takes care of it. -Mary Baker Eddy

With God, all things are possible. - Christ Jesus

....and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.... -The Book of Hebrews

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

la lengua del corazón

Recurso para compartir: sinceridad

Me gusta mucho todo que es inclusivo cuando aprendía una segunda lengua (mi segunda lengua es español). Ha sido siempre expansiva para mí en saber que hay mundos de maneras de percibir las cosas que van más allá de nuestra lengua materna.

¿Por ejemplo, usted sabía eso en japonés, hay una palabra para la esencia de una roca? Y en alemán, el "zwischenraum" es una palabra que explica el espacio entre las cosas..

Necesita humildad para aprender otra lengua. ¡He visitado muchos países hispanohablantes para utilizar mis habilidades de lengua y para haber encontrado que también necesita una buena voluntad de hacerse un poco vulnerable tan bien! he tenido que ajustar mi español académico al español hablado diario de ese país.

Pero la compensación es que usted está entrando en otro mundo, otra manera de considerar cosas. Y si hay amor en su corazón para ese país y el respecto por su gente, las puertas se abrirán para usted. Vale el esfuerzo.

En Las Escrituras Misceláneas, Mary Baker Eddy escriba:

Cuando el corazón habla, no obstante es simple las palabras, su lengua son siempre aceptables a las que tengan corazones.

Pensé en esto siempre que encontrarme a mí mismo en una situación donde no estoy familiar con la "lengua" sea una visita a otro país en donde el inglés no se habla, una fiesta de la gente yo no conozco todavía o siendo parte de una discusión sobre un tema desconocedor. Si traigo un corazón - sincero entender, conectar y contribuir - hay siempre un nivel de la aceptación.

For the English version, click here and scroll down to "The language of the heart"

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

bright skies

Spiritual resource to share: brightness in times of change
I have sung this hymn so many times when my life was going through some change. I think the first time I ever struck out on my own, this hymn was right with me, comforting me and assuring me of God's progress and Her tender care.

I have two boys, teenagers now, and this hymn comes into thought again as one is planning for a year abroad and the other is pursuing the fall and winter sports: football/wrestling/hunting - sports I never would have been involved in - except for now and only because of my son. So they continue their steps and leaps forward toward their own lives. It is exciting to see them take on challenges, future plans and their own laundry.

I see more clearly that these guys have come to us, complete with a mission and purpose - their Father -Mother God has their treasure. Nothing changes about my relationship to them because nothing changes about our relationship to God. And God keeps walking with us all.
Enjoy the poem!

In heavenly Love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear;
And safe is such confiding,
For nothing changes here.

The storm may roar without me,
My heart may low be laid;
But God is round about me,
And can I be dismayed?

Wherever He may guide me,
No want shall turn me back;
My Shepherd is beside me,
And nothing can I lack.

His wisdom ever waketh,
His sight is never dim;
He knows the way He taketh,
And I will walk with Him.

Green pastures are before me,
Which yet I have not seen;
Bright skies will soon be o'er me,
Where darkest clouds have been.

My hope I cannot measure,
My path in life is free;
My Father has my treasure,
And He will walk with me.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A thought about St. Francis of Assisi as reformer

Spiritual resource to share: spiritual activism

St. Francis

Oh, it is that hospital prayer team again. Their monthly program of inspiration has hit again, giving me yet another thought-provoking look at another topic to blog about. This time it was about St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and the environment.

There is much to say about him, but there was one thing in particular about St. Francis' work and mission resonated with me: he sought to reform the church from within the church, always working within its discipline. He was bold, uncompromising and true to God - consistently - without fear of failure or fear of being outcast. He spoke his truth and was not afraid to stay within the discipline of his chosen church. AND neither did his chosen church limit his truth.

The danger of organization is that it can get you to stop thinking and to go along with whatever is convenient. The power of organization is that it can unify thought toward a higher more spiritual purpose.

St. Francis' involvement must have been of that higher sort. He stirred thought - radically - and influenced an entire movement.

It's given me much to think about.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Community Table

Spiritual resource to share: nourishing home-cooked prize-winning food !

Church: whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle

In my newfound expansive expression of church, I am so happy to share an activity that my family and other area churches are involved in. It is called The Community Table. The idea behind it is a community meal to all, with a focus to invite those who need to stretch their dollars at the end of the month.

The watchword is dignity to all, and no one should know who comes from the food pantry or is homeless and who isn't. The instigator of this project is a Franciscan Catholic and I so admire her vision - a divine Principle - to bring the sense of equality and dignity to the community.

In order to do this, she has set down some ground rules:

  • We use china and real cups and silverware
  • Breads and desserts go directly on the tables
  • It's a buffet style feast that includes 3-4 host churches' best foods: Gramma's famous potato salad, Fred's silky chiffon cake, Al's mouthwatering squash casserole and on and on.
  • Host churches are assigned for set up and clean up, but everyone serves everyone.

I love this activity for its simplicity. It is so......pleasant! There are no agendas, no sermons, just the community taking care of the community. There are a number of ideas that are relevant to this activity that I am reading in a Bible Lesson this week, including these two:

  • Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
  • The cement of a higher humanity will unite all interests in the one divinity.
There is something wholesome and real about serving others, and joining with others to do good works. The Community Table is one vehicle that makes me feel good about the higher concept of church which is to elevate the race and rouse the dormant thought to a more spiritualized understanding of who we are to God and who we are to each other.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Muy pronto - ¡artículos en español cada semana!

Recurso espiritual a compartir: Español (una lengua del corazón)

    Pronto (estoy esperando por la semana próxima) fijaré los artículos en español por lo menos una vez por semana. ¿Déjeme saber qué temas usted quisiera leer?
    Hablo español en un nivel intermedio, ¡pero con más practica, mejoraré!

    También, usted puede utilizar este sitio para traducir las páginas. AltaVista da una idea general de un artículo, no una traducción exacta. Vea la información de AltaVista a la derecha o abajo.

    Para compartir sus pensamientos, por favor contactome, agregar sus propios comentarios abajo, manda este artículo a un amigo.
      To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, or email this article to a friend.

    Monday, October 15, 2007

    does thought evolve or revolve and why should we care?

    Spiritual resource to share: hope and progress

    Once while I was in grad school, two of my favorite professors were in my tiny office and got embroiled in a debate about whether or not mankind is revolving or evolving. One was a retired Senator who was practical and tactical. The other professor taught global issues/future studies and was insightful and delightful.

    One argued that mankind is destined to repeat history and one can project trends into the future based on the past. (This was the ex-Senator.) The other argued that mankind constantly grows into higher levels of consiousness and pointed out the impossibility of ever going back to the past to determine the future. After all, can we go back now and say that the world IS flat? (I mean this literally, not figuratively, Mr. Friedman.)

    The debate ended when it was time to eat, and it was resolved that mankind is evolving in an upward spirally type way, making some of the same mistakes amidst an ever evolving and improving background. Think of a metal spring wire on end.

    So why should we care?

    We care because care makes us hope. Hope gives us the juice to rise above our present situations and to grow. Growing means living. MBEddy writes
    The fact that Truth overcomes both disease and sin reassures depressed hope. It imparts a healthy stimulus to the body, and regulates the system.

    I think that this applies to all systems - not only bodily systems, but organizational systems, education systems, and other methodologies. To understand - not just believe - that Truth is our basis for reality, principle, wholeness and order is a happy thought. And restored hope in the possibility of progress is powerful!

    To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

    Friday, October 12, 2007

    Points to ponder: Take no prisoners

    Spiritual resource to share: authority of the Christ

    Be still (Mark 3:49)
    Get thee behind me (Luke 4:8)
    Get thee hence ( Matt 4:10)
    Come out of him (Mark 9:25)

    I have been giving the idea of authority a working over lately. When you are studying and learning more about the omnipresence of God and good, it doesn't leave any room for discord, dis-ease or despair.

    Jesus' sharp and concise directives to evil (see above) given with such finality could only be fueled by an unquestioned sense of the authority of omnipotent Truth. I thought - this is the mind of Christ - the authority and dominion given to us by God to overcome anything unlike good.

    I have to include this whole quote from Science and Health. It is such a perfect explanation of the ability of the Christ to thoroughly destroy error or evil. The paragraph heading is "divine severity":

    Jesus uncovered and rebuked sin before he cast it out. Of a sick woman he said that Satan had bound her, and to Peter he said, "Thou art an offence unto me." He came teaching and showing men how to destroy sin, sickness, and death. He said of the fruitless tree, "[It] is hewn down."

    It is believed by many that a certain magistrate, who lived in the time of Jesus, left this record: "His rebuke is fearful." The strong language of our Master confirms this description.

    The only civil sentence which he had for error was,"Get thee behind me, Satan." Still stronger evidence that Jesus' reproof was pointed and pungent is found in his own words, — showing the necessity for such forcible utterance, when he cast out devils and healed the sick and sinning.

    And this is the example we have been given to follow and "do likewise." Whoa.

    To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

    Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    an enlightened look at hell

    Spiritual resource to share: dominion

    Perhaps you have heard this modern day parable: A little girl is running away from a big hairy monster. It follows her down streets, across bridges, through the trees. Finally, she is cornered in an alley. Frightened almost to death - she turns to the monster and asked "Wh-wh-what are you going to do?" The monster stops, furrows its brows, thinks for a moment and then says, "I don't know. This is your dream."

    I thought about this story after reading an exerpt from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. Page 588 carries the definition of hell:

    HELL. Mortal belief; error; lust; remorse; hatred; revenge; sin; sickness; death; suffering and self-destruction; self-imposed agony; effects of sin; that which "worketh abomination or maketh a lie."
    The "self-imposed agony" was what got me thinking. Science and Health also uses "self-imposed" in this way:

    The human thought must free itself from self-imposed materiality and bondage.
    (Written about a person healed in Christian Science) He learned that suffering and disease were the self-imposed beliefs of mortals, and not the facts of being;

    Reasoning on this, I asked myself, where does the thought of disease come from? It can only be entertained in thought if I agree to give it access to my thought. The thought of disease doesn't have its own agenda. In that way, I am imposing on myself the thoughts of disease because I allow myself to let those thoughts in and I dwell on them! So this puts me in the driver's seat of my own thinking. I can determine what goes in and out of my thoughts. I can ...

    Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously.
    Once, when mulling over and over again a disagreement I had with an individual, I realized that I had uncomfortably created for myself a little corner of hell by entertaining less than lovely thoughts about this individual. I realized that these were totally self-imposed! Nothing in my little mental argument had anything to do with the individual as a child of God. I was making up the whole unpleasant disagreement. With that old slap of spiritual reasoning hitting me in the face, it freed me from these "mortal beliefs" and I felt at peace.

    Lesson learned: the antidote to hell is a disciplined thought that stops discord, dismay, disease in their tracks! We are the ones who determine whether or not we stay in the dream of material thinking.

    To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.