Friday, August 31, 2007

wherever you go, there you are

Spiritual resource to share: sense of self

As some of you may recall, about 2-3 years ago, a number of my colleagues, myself included, were laid off. We scattered far and wide - throughout the rural, suburban and urban areas of the US, Europe and Canada and Mexico. As many of us are still in touch, it is fascinating to see where we have all landed. People have started businesses or new jobs, gotten into the Christian Science practice, have become parents, and have started blogging....and more!

So after a period of transition, we are all in a very new place. So what is the lesson here? For me, it was to find that - like the title - wherever I go, there I am. And because I am there, God is there. We are inseparable.

Stripping away one's sense of identity from a specific job, a lifestyle, a geographical location, a family arrangement - can be a terribly de-nuding experience! It demands the question be asked - who are you and what defines you?

Here are some fav quotes from MBEddy that help to answer that question:

Goodness never fails to receive its reward, for goodness makes life a blessing. As an active portion of one stupendous whole, goodness identifies man with universal good. Thus may each ....rise above the oft-repeated inquiry, What am I? to the scientific response: I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing. -Miscellaneous Writings, p. 165

Breaking away from the mutations of time and sense, you will neither lose the solid objects and ends of life nor your own identity. Fixing your gaze on the realities supernal, you will rise to the spiritual consciousness of being, even as the bird which has burst from the egg and preens its wings for a skyward flight.

Principle is not to be found in fragmentary ideas. The material body and mind are temporal, but the real man is spiritual and eternal. The identity of the real man is not lost, but found through this explanation; for the conscious infinitude of existence and of all identity is thereby discerned and remains unchanged. It is impossible that man should lose aught that is real, when God is all and eternally his.

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.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Spiritual resource to share: loving each other

Just today, I got a call from my cousin letting me know that her father-in-law passed on earlier that night. To me, he was Pop - a mentor, friend and one who got me started in making Christian Science my own.

A few months ago, he and his wife and I took a trip and I blogged it. It was delightful. Here is the blog - revisited.

I love Pop. A born salesman and natural healer, he has been healing through Christian Science prayer way before I was born. He just shines on everyone he meets. He loves everyone - with a little laughter, good natured joking and a wiser-beyond-years knowing that we are all children of God. You feel good just being in his presence.

I had occassion to be with him and his new wife of two years, and, as a gift to them and to chip away at an indebtedness to Pop for helping me get my footing in Christian Science decades ago, I drove him and his new wife through three states, as they went visiting friends and family.

Most delightful was when Pop would read from the Bible and Science and Health during our long drives from one stop to another. He would read with such passion, such commitment, that at times, he would get teary, and I would get teary, as he hurrahed at what Zechariah had accomplished, or how MBEddy would develop her reasoning on God's omnipotence, or how it was explained that the whole reason for living was for God's glory. Ahhh!! This is the type of reading that heals.

This is the way Pop read, how he greeted people, and how he told stories. Over the top, maybe. But how alive!

A visit from Pop has filled me up, made me smile (and all its derivatives - giggle, guffaw, laugh, chuckle, etc) and given me some good inspiration to last a lifetime.

For another tribute, see Sandi's blog.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Spiritual resource to share: gratitude

Tom's Burned Out Cafe on Madeline Island

"A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle." James Keller

"The law of gravity cannot be held accountable for people falling in love." A. Einstein

"Your silence will not protect you." Audre Lorde

"If you harbour bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere."

And on and on and on. My family and I spent our last summer weekend biking and camping at Madeline Island and stopped at Tom's Burned Down Cafe before taking the ferry back to the mainland, and then back home. Tom's Burned Down Cafe is a piece of work - a northwoods tavern littered with the wisdom, satire and bloopers of the ages written all over its walls, bars, chairs and tables (see samples above). It was a fitting end to a full weekend and to a summer full of its own wisdom, satire and bloopers!

Really, it was a great summer. We all stretched - traveled farther than we have ever traveled, challenged ourselves beyond limits, stretched our budget, and stretched our ideas of what is possible in our lives. Mmmm....Wonderful.

So now, we are faced with moving forward to school, work schedules and a more regular rhythm of life.

In this transition time, I am so grateful for the summer. The good experienced and the spiritual growth gained will only continue. That is simply the nature of good and spiritual growth. Gratitude is so good for transition times.

I remember another major transition I went through a couple of years ago. For over a year, people at my work were being laid off, and it looked likely that my job would be cut as well. For more than a year, I started the practice of going to bed listing everything I was grateful for.

These gratitude sessions would be specific, and I would count the spiritual impulse behind each one of them. For instance, I was grateful for a specific project that I was on, because it taught me more about trust and patience than I had ever experienced. I was grateful that both our sons had made good friends, so they knew how to adjust to new situations and find that fun and loving companionship is everywhere. I was grateful for meeting so many people earnestly seeking out spiritual answers in their lives. I learned more about humility and universal brotherly love.

In practicing this gratitude, I was literally lifted above any kind of anxiety. I was so clear about God's progressive goodness, that there was no doubt that this progressive goodness would continue.

It turned out that I was laid off. But within about two weeks, my family and I found another home across the country, were able to sell our home and set ourselves up with new work.

How have you prayed during transitions in your life? This is a question being posed on's weekly question. Check out other's responses or add your own!

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, August 24, 2007

the contagious nature of unselfishness

Spiritual resource to share: letting go

This little story has been making the rounds on the 'net. It's a tearjerker. But one that inspires me to go a little farther with others in being kind and doing good things. It demonstrates these ideas of MBEddy when she writes:

If only the people would believe that good is more contagious than evil, since God is omnipresence .... (then) would faith in the power of God to heal and to save mankind increase, until the whole human race would become healthier, holier, happier, and longer lived. (Miscellaneous Writings p. 229)

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves learning-disabled children, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question: "When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?"

The audience was stilled by the query. The father continued. "I believe that when a child like Shay, physi cally and mentally handicapped comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child."

Then he told the following story: Shay and his father had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, "Do you think they'll let me play?" Shay's father knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but the father also understood that if his son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

Shay's father approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, "We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning."

Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. His father watched with a small tear in his eye and warmth in his heart. The boys saw the father's joy at his son being accepted.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat. At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact. The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.

The game would now be over. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.

Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, "Shay, run to first! Run to first!" Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.

Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second!" Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base. By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball ... the smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team. He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.

Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home. All were screaming, "Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay" Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, "Run to third! Shay, run to third!"

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, "Shay, run home! Run home!" Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team.

"That day," said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, "the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world." Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making his father so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!

Thanks to the lovely LL for sharing this story!
Bottom drawing "Baseball Love" from

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, August 20, 2007

when the desire to have a baby hits....

Spiritual resource to share: trust

I have had this conversation with mothers countless times. It goes like this: The woman wants to have a baby and tries everything she and her husband know to make this come about. When it doesn't happen, efforts are redoubled, new processes are introduced, and a period of grieving follows when the pregnancy doesn't come about. Then there is some letting go of this effort, adoption is considered or the idea is abandoned. Then, the woman gets pregnant.

A friend and I were laughing about this over the weekend. Both of us had this experience before getting pregnant with our firstborns. And we asked ourselves - what is it about letting go that seemed so powerful?

When I think of this, I'm reminded about a quote from Science and Health:

Thoughts unspoken are not unknown to the divine Mind. Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds.

Now the interesting thing is that some of the women went on from this experience to be mothers. Others went on to "mother" inspiring projects or careers. In each case, the desire was met in a most fitting and totally satisfying way for each particular person.

Being clear about what was being cherished becomes a prayer - and in these cases, it's an earnest plea to see the mothering qualities of comforting, creating, defending, loving and nourishing to take a front seat in our lives. As this desire loses its human trappings ( like - I want a baby at this time, to have my physical characteristics, etc.) it rises up to a level more unselfish, more receptive, and more at peace. We add to that a new level of trust in God. It becomes clear that God is good and has only good in store for us.

With this state of thought, one is more open to the infinite ideas of mothering available to all. And being unconditionally open to the idea of mothering, we receive according to our asking.

It is a wonderful lesson for all those moments when we are in such earnest about a desire.

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, August 17, 2007

the dignity of taking responsibility

Spiritual resource to share: responsibility

Just got back from my son's convocation - the welcoming of new students and the formal start of the new school year. I am just so excited, encouraged and hopeful about this new school for many reasons and wanted to share this with you all. The name of the school is Conserve. It is a unique school whose leading edge environmentally based curriculum is growing around the country.

First, its curriculum and approach to academics is timely. But I am most impressed on how they deliver it. I recognized it the first time my son and I went to visit. Each child is treated with a dignity and an expectation that they have something life-saving to give to the world. There is an underlying expectation that they will grow up and take responsibility for caring for the earth. This is all done in an environment that demonstrates green in the physical plant, the staff and the programs.

All issues of adolescence also play out during this time. But the focus isn't necessarily on getting an education for their own individual purposes, but getting an education to help the larger community and the world. All of this sounds idealistic, until you see how this works. All classes include references to the environment, or the environment is the direct subject matter. Experiential, expeditionary, lab and classroom work follow.

I would like to explore this idea of dignity and taking responsibility. I love that in Christian Science, profession or status give place to what a person is willing to take on and demonstrate. There is no vicarious ride here, but only honesty and earnestness to follow the Master Christian - that is what it is all about. Mary Baker Eddy writes about Jesus mission and his style of teaching:
Jesus of Nazareth taught and demonstrated man's oneness with the Father, and for this we owe him endless homage. His mission was both individual and collective. He did life's work aright not only in justice to himself, but in mercy to mortals, — to show them how to do theirs, but not to do it for them nor to relieve them of a single responsibility.

Taking responsibility to take care of the earth, as well as to take care of oneself and one another have deeply spiritual roots of love, unity and wholeness. It is "both individual and collective." Expecting that of ourselves and our children gives us all a dignity worthy of respect and emulation.

Interesting resources:

Photos from Conserve School's Parent website

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, August 15, 2007

Beauty treatment

Spiritual resource to share: radiance

picture from the International Museum of Women

Today, I was thinking about beauty and how much it is pursued throughout the world. Mary Baker Eddy gives us a whole beauty treatment in Science and Health that I have worked with for years. Then I thought of all the interesting and inspiring blogs I have read on image, identity, weight loss, beauty, etc and thought it would be a friendly thing to share all of that here!

So, for those of you looking for a morning exercise on beauty and balance, enjoy!

From Evan:

From Laura:

From Julie


From me

  • Scroll down through this whole series to read these posts: Sparkle; Powerful womanhood; totally, absolutely perfect; beauty redefined; 50 is now the new 30; and - last post of this series - Beautiful and attractive
  • Also see the right hand column for ideas on beauty!

And, the treatment mentioned above from Science and Health:

Beauty, as well as truth, is eternal; but the beauty of material things passes away, fading and fleeting as mortal belief. Custom, education, and fashion form the transient standards of mortals. Immortality, exempt from age or decay, has a glory of its own,--the radiance of Soul. 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.

Comeliness and grace are independent of matter. Being possesses its qualities before they are perceived humanly. Beauty is a thing of life, which dwells forever in the eternal Mind and reflects the charms of His goodness in expression, form, outline, and color. It is Love which paints the petal with myriad hues, glances in the warm sunbeam, arches the cloud with the bow of beauty, blazons the night with starry gems, and covers earth with loveliness.

The embellishments of the person are poor substitutes for the charms of being,
shining resplendent and eternal over age and decay.

The recipe for beauty is to have less illusion and more Soul, to retreat from the belief of pain or pleasure in the body into the unchanging calm and glorious freedom of spiritual harmony.

Love never loses sight of loveliness. Its halo rests upon its object. One marvels that a friend can ever seem less than beautiful. Men and women of riper years and larger lessons ought to ripen into health and immortality, instead of lapsing into darkness or gloom.

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, August 13, 2007

On my knees

Spiritual resource to share: healing as worship work

It's not uncommon for people to ask me "Does Christian Science work?" when we get into a discussion about healing through prayer. I say yes, and then we are off to a neat discussion.

In these discussions, I try to lift thought above the idea that prayer is like a pill - something you can take to alleviate the pain, heal the wound, make the bad things go away, etc. The healing prayer I practice is not just about physical phenomeon, but about transforming the whole understanding until we see more clearly who we are as a child of God. When this happens, the whole body conforms. We shoot for the high goal of understanding God and our relationship to Her. Then everything falls into its natural place of harmony, balance and mobility.

About a year and a half ago, I had taken a tumble down the stairs and badly wrenched my knee. Not only that, but my dog started limping. Thinking it may be that something was lodged between her pads, we went to the vet to see what it was. There was no thorn, he said, It was her knee. So all two of us were limping around.

What started out as a desire to heal wrenched knees became a prayer to go beyond the complaint of the body to the praise of and communion with God.

I saw that God fills all space - that God is expressed in Her purity of affection and unconditional Love that is pouring out more than we can even comprehend. Love nourishes, supports and guides us, that is, God causes us to grow; God feeds, supports, preserves, encourages and strengthens us. Every ankle bone, knee joint, muscle and connecting tissue is an expression of the fluidity, agility and grace of God's creation.

I also reasoned that each of us is completely mobile with no obstructions, accidents or scar tissue to interefere with our expression of joy. Our movement and energy is indestructible.

We reflect light (light also means easy, agile and nimble). Now this line of reasoning was something that I needed to persist with. Seeing my dog limp and feeling the pain in my knee were discourging. But I did persist.

The end of the story is that now we are all moving about normally, running, working out, I even did a cross country ski race that following winter. Our dog runs, jumps and dances (it's like a running, twisting, tail wagging kind of combination).

But the glory of the healings is in knowing that through humble and persistent prayer, we can acknowledge and feel so much more than just an improved body. We have an improved understanding of who we are as a child (or dog) of God and can "glorify God in (y)our body, and in (y)our spirit, which are God's."

Please add your own comments or email this article to a friend.
For more information, visit or contact Kim directly via skype!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Our life as art

Spiritual resource to share: our calling

Cori (CB) and Regula and friend making books

We just had our second Science and Health discussion group meeting tonight. A question popped up about the necessity of problems - how they provide a necessary incentive to understand God more. One thought is that without problems, we would not want to take the time to explore what it means to be spiritual.

Although I wholeheartedly agree that problems have often catapulted me into understanding more about God, there was something about dignifying problems in this way that didn't sit right with me.

I think that there is something spiritually innate in us all, and that we are called to bring that forth in our lives. Ultimately, our purpose is not to overcome problems, but to glorify God. When problems show up, we get rid of them. The problem itself doesn't come because: we are not spiritual enough, we are being punished for bad thinking, or we need a boost to get us moving in the direction of God. A problem is a distraction from our calling and the whole purpose of the problem is to be corrected. It doesn't define us or confine us!

It is as if we have been given the full spectrum of colors on a palette and a blank canvas. We are free to create. If a bee comes by (aka the problem), we need to get rid of it, so that we can do what we were made to do.

I talked to my husband (an artist blacksmith) and a friend (a bookmaker) and saw how clear it was to them that they were called to do their work. They deal with whatever distractions may arise, but they have a clear focus on their calling and what their work is all about. They play with spiritual ideas and give them a tangible form. And there is great joy in this!

My husband shared: "Sometime in my late thirties, I did a little blacksmithing and the whole world opened up. It felt like I was coming home to something that just made sense. It is hard not to follow a path when it calls to you so strongly ---- and it is fun."

My friend Cori has been an artist of various mediums forever. She always stretches my ideas of things, like what it means to read a book. In her bookmaking work, she finds poems and prose and works with other artists to bring out the meaning of the words in a visual way and then makes the book become an interactive experience. Who would have thought that a book can be the vehicle - the context - for a poem?

It's easy to see that we are all called to be artists of sorts: of healing, of parenting, of planning, as well as of metal, of books and of color. I can see more clearly what Mary Baker Eddy says when she writes:
"Divine Love blesses its own ideas, and causes them to multiply, — to manifest His power. Man is not made to till the soil. His birthright is dominion, not subjection."

In answer to the question "What am I?" comes a response that could be true of all who are folowing their calling: "I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing."*

*First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany, p. 165
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, August 08, 2007

Deep dive into archetypal churches

Spiritual resource to share: understanding church

I've been giving tons of thought to church lately. So I was happy to see that that was the weekly topic of a weekly Bible Lesson Sermon that I study.

For those of you who attend a church, or have been giving the idea of church a working over, I hope you find these notes interesting.

One of my favorite Bible reference books is the Thompson Chain-Reference Bible - 5th improved edition.

In one section (p. 1692 to be exact) they take a look at the seven churches of Asia described in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 and give a comparative analysis of the virtues and sins of each one and then - most interesting to me - they use each of these churches as a type of archetype for modern churches today and give an analysis of these same conditions in today's churches.

In reviewing this list, I have also reviewed my individual actions and how they relate when I am sharing Christian Science with someone, giving treatments, etc. (my personal expression of church). It's also given me a helpful tool to look at the strengths and weaknesses of my own church of choice (my community expression of church). It's been very enlightening.

Enjoy and let me know what you have found surprising in this list! Here is the list:

NAME of Church: Ephesus – The orthodox church (Rev 2: 1-7)
VIRTUES commended: good works, patience, sound doctrine, church discipline, steadfastness, hatred of evil
SINS and weaknesses rebuked: Loss of love, backsliding
CONDITIONS in Modern Churches: Active churches over emphasizing orthodoxy, but lacking in spiritual fervor.

NAME of Church: Smyrna – the poor, rich church (Rev 2: 8-11)
VIRTUES commended: spiritual endurance, heavenly treasures
SINS and weaknesses rebuked: no reproof
CONDITIONS in Modern Churches: missionary and other churches enduring persecution

NAME of Church: Pergamos – the church with bad surroundings (Rev. 2: 12-17)
VIRTUES commended: steadfastness amidst evil environment
SINS and weaknesses rebuked: tolerance of corrupt doctrines and heretics
CONDITIONS in Modern Churches: churches supported by the government

NAME of Church: Thyatira – the church of the evil prophetess ( Rev 2: 18-29)
VIRTUES commended: charity, spiritual service, faith and patience
SINS and weaknesses rebuked: lax discipline, tolerance of a corrupt prophetess
CONDITIONS in Modern Churches: the development of numerous modern cults

NAME of Church: Sardis – the dying church (Rev. 3: 1-6)
VIRTUES commended: none for the majority of members; a few commended for purity
SINS and weaknesses rebuked: extreme formalism, spiritual death imminent, inactivity
CONDITIONS in Modern Churches: churches which manifest a growing formalism accompanied by spiritual declension (a downward slope or bend)

NAME of Church: Philadelphia – the weak but loyal church (Rev. 3: 7-13)
VIRTUES commended: Keeping of “the Word”, testimony
SINS and weaknesses rebuked: none recorded
CONDITIONS in Modern Churches: all earnest spiritual churches

NAME of Church: Laodicea – the rich, poor church (Rev 3: 14-22)
VIRTUES commended: none recorded
SINS and weaknesses rebuked: lukewarmness, spiritual conceit, no conscious need, spiritual poverty, spiritual blindness, spiritual wretchedness
CONDITIONS in Modern Churches: popular, self-satisfied, worldly churches

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.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

in the hollow spaces, there is hallowed ground

Spiritual resource to share: comfort in a crisis

This was a comment made by one of the hospital prayer team members at a recent meeting. It resonated with me, particularly in light of those involved in searching for eight missing in the collapse of the Minneapolis bridge and those who are trapped in the Utah mines.

I grew up with the idea that "there is no spot where God is not." My mother always assured me that God is love and is everywhere. This comforting thought helped ease me through many new situations, and it comforts me now. There is no hollow area where God's presence, comfort and love cannot be felt.

A line from Science and Health takes on another dimension: "...the time will come when you will be solitary, left without sympathy; but this seeming vacuum is already filled with divine Love."

In forced isolation from others, divine Love is already there, making itself known.

In the emptiness of grief comes a promise that life is eternal.

In the anxiousness of waiting for word of loved ones comes the angel thought that no one is ever alone.

An old hymn shares these ideas:

Where'er they seek Thee, Thou art found,
And every place is hallowed ground.
For Thou, within no walls confined,
Dwellest with them of humble mind;
Such ever bring Thee where they come;
And where Thou art they find their home.

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, August 06, 2007

how I put the 'real' into religion

Spiritual resource to share: seeking and finding the real thing

I'm blogging occassionally for now and wanted to share one of my recent posts from there (with some edits). This is part of a number of responses to a question posed about leaving and not leaving Christian Science:

I was born into the Christian Science and left it when I was about 19 -- when I felt the culture of Christian Scientists was too restrictive and I wasn’t seeing a whole lot of compassion, love, etc. So I left and went exploring.....

I just wanted to share where my journey took me. What I found out by exploring other faiths and talking to gazillions of people of faith and no faith was pretty amazing to me. I found Christian Science – the law of God – operating everywhere!

I found it in other churches who were exploring healing through prayer, in political groups passionately taking a stand against injustice and exploitive practices in developing worlds, in unselfish individuals doing humanitarian work in Central America. I found it at grad school: studying leadership and intercultural communication; applying principles of Love and Principle in community activism – I could go on and on.

I traveled a lot through the US, Central America and Europe during this time. What I learned about Love in Christian Science is that Love is universal and this was what enabled me to be safe, connect with a wide variety of people and feel such joy, even in the midst of severe challenges.

I felt I had found Christian Science on its own terms – operating unconditionally throughout the world. This was very freeing.

I found I could go back to church and see that we are all working things out the best way we know how. I was less judgmental. And I also realized that my concept of church could extend far beyond a single group of people in a certain building.

Churches are a lot like individuals. The more self-absorbed they are (like being overly concerned with what they can get out of church, focused on how they look, being proud, feeling their identity is tied to material things - like a building or a body, or a ritual or a drug, following the letter and not the spirit), the more they dwindle.

But the more selfless and focused on healing and serving and what they can give – either at church or in our individual lives – the more they soar—and bless, heal, and inspire anyone who comes across their path!

It is the selflessness and the focus on healing and serving that makes Christian Science so very real and relevant to me

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, August 03, 2007

ideas on Love

Spiritual resource to share: self-examination

How deep is your understanding of Love? I think that more than any of the seven synonyms of God related in the Christian Science textbook Science and Health (Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love), Love is the most intriguing to me. Love is such a common word. But in my study of Christian Science, I keep coming across more interesting and surprising concepts of Love that are as healing as they are inspiring.

Here is one instance where Jesus sums up what is most important in all things:

... Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

The Interpreter's Bible describes this kind of love mentioned above (mentioned in the intro to the Weekly Bible Lesson on Love)
  • Love is active goodwill
  • it is boundless and aggressive
  • it is extended to those who have no person charm for us
  • it may be beyond the boundaries of family, tribe or nation.
It moves me that in this work of healing, compassion and love are a prerequisite. If we cannot find a way to love and serve mankind, we cannot effectively love and serve God. "....if the unselfish affections be lacking, and common sense and common humanity are disregarded, what mental quality remains, with which to evoke healing from the outstretched arm of righteousness?"

For me to understand Love, is to undergo a self-examination of my own thought -- to challenge myself to get rid of ego and humbly ask for more understanding. This is not always easy. But I always feel freer for this exercise!

Another study guide for the Weekly Bible Lesson gives some good self-examination questions born out of a study of Love. It is so good, I have copied it here:
(Jesus') washing the disciple's feet provided an example of the humility and selflessness that would be necessary to further his cause. Rivalry and ambition would have no place in true Christianity. Jesus did more than serve at the table - a task not unusual for a host. He chose to perform an act usually done by slaves - washing feet. (Dummelow) He acknowledged that he was their master, and he reminded them that God was his.

Do you ever balk at doing menial tasks for others? Or do you sometimes feel that a particular job ... is beneath you? True Christian Love is not concerned with a return, status, or acknowledgement. It just gives unconditionally.

Mrs. Eddy eloquently points out that Jesus' humane deeds and unselfish approach were the evidence of his oneness with God. His life demonstrated and defined Truth, Life and Love. She asks, "Who is ready to follow his teaching and example?" Are you ready? How do we respond to the needs of the world? Do we neglect the poor? Sometimes (we may) have the mistaken notion that providing practical assistance to mankind is (beneath us).

Jesus met the human need practically, as well as metaphysically. Mrs. Eddy herself gave to many charities and at one time provided needy children of the town with shoes. She rightfully counsels us to examine ourselves to see where we really stand in our Christian practice. Bluntly, she states that pride is useless. "Meekness and charity have divine authority." Yet one more time, we are reminded that our power is proportionate to our goodness. If we want to be Christians, we have to follow Jesus' example. There is no other way.

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, August 02, 2007

To Minneapolis with love

Spiritual resource to share: confidence in times of crisis

My son and I just left Minneapolis and St. Paul in the late afternoon yesterday. It was on our way home that my husband called with the news about the collapsed bridge. We were just there hours ago. It seemed unreal. My son called a number of our friends in the Twin Cities and we were happy to hear that they were safe. But we both started praying. Here are some of the ideas

God is bigger than any disaster. What does this mean? That the capacity for love and comfort is omnipresent - always available. It is always operating day and night. God's power includes the power to make His presence known and felt. To anyone, everywhere. Trapped in a car or waiting to hear from a loved one: God's power includes the power to be known. I have felt this presence in dangerous situations and in anxious times. I know that this power is present now with every person involved.

To share your thoughts on this please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

when the party is over

Spiritual resource to share: continuity of good

I am on a Twain kick as of last posting. Here is another one of his quotes that just made me laugh. "There is no unhappiness like the misery of sighting land (and work) again after a cheerful, careless voyage."

My one son had a very quiet couple of days after his trip to Germany, and today, I called my other son to arrange an airport pickup tomorrow. Both aren't too happy about leaving their adventures behind. Both of them would probably agree to Twain's sentiment.

I understand. After a trip, I have felt a shift when returning to all that is familiar and sometimes a let down or downright depression. But it happens much less. Here are some ideas that have helped me see that Life is always full, and always an adventure. (And no doubt, ideas that I'll share with my boys!)
  • There are no big events in Mind.
  • God, Mind, always operates constantly, harmoniously and efficiently. There is never more good at one time and less good at another time. Good flows continuously.
  • "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
  • There is a time to be bold and raucous, and a time to be still. After particularly wonderful times, it is allright to have some quiet time to digest the richness of those experiences. There is a time for expression, and a time for reflection.
  • "In Christian Science there is never a retrograde step, never a return to positions outgrown. "
  • The good in new experiences expands your sense of self. You can never return to what you once were. You have grown. Perhaps limitations were challenged, you took on more responsibility than ever before, or you realized that you had a new talent or a latent skill that blossomed. You bring these new perspectives to your day to day experience and find that everything may look a little brighter.
  • Life doesn't end. It keeps getting better.
  • MBEddy sums this all up nicely. "Life is eternal. We should find this out, and begin the demonstration thereof. Life and goodness are immortal. Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity...."

Our lives are a continual exploration of infinite good. Whether we are in a quiet time or a crowded and rowdy all round happy time, God's goodness continues. And there is always more to learn, more to love and more to grow. It is never really over.

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.