Friday, June 27, 2008

don't always believe what you think - revisited

Spiritual resource to share: discernment

Have you ever heard this? That most of the thoughts that come to us aren't original. We may pick up another's thought ( example: they cry, so we start crying). Fear, the constant commercialism around us and even sympathy can lead us to adopting thoughts that are not our own.

I remember going to meet someone for the first time, and when I did, my first impression was not favorable. I had no reason to feel this way. Fortunately, I was able to catch that and literally disclaim that thought as my own. This helped establish this working relationship on a good basis and we had a very productive experience together. I was able to catch the thought of incompatibility right away, and replaced it with the idea that all God's ideas move together harmoniously.

In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes,

Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously.

This in itself was pretty mind-blowing to me! We have the ability to discern what is an original thought and what isn't - and then to reject the stereotyped/fraudulent thought right out of consciousness!

Determining what is original thought and what isn't is important to our happiness and well-being. Original thought comes in the form of inspiration and even revelation. Being able to detect the origins of our thoughts helps to protect us from contagion, fear and group-think. It fine-tunes our ability to listen to innovative solutions. Original thought is refreshing.

Ideas that feel tiresome, repetitive, induce fear, envy or doubt are not original, - they do not stem from the Origin or Principle of life, God. Ideas that cause you to grow, to see things in a new way, that surprise, delight, anad inspire are.

It's a discipline worth knowing!

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, June 25, 2008

What intrigues me most about Christian Science - revisited

Spiritual resource to share: a holy curiosity about all things good

Recently I was talking to a number of other Christian Science practitioners and we were all asked this question. Their answers were clear and varied. One practitioner loves the sound reasoning of Christian Science. Another practitioner loves how effective Christian Science is at problem solving. Another practitioner commented how Christian Science taught her to move through the world with dominion.

As for me, not only do I love the fact that Christian Science is so many things to so many people, but I am most thrilled to know that Christian Science spells out the universal law of Love and shows how to apply it to every situation imaginable.

Let me break this down as I understand it.

Christian Science is the science or the "how to" of Christianity.

Science is all about a system or method reconciling practical ends with scientific laws or the application of certain principles that bring about a consistent result.

Christianity is based on the teachings of Christ.

Christ is all about the expression of an omnipotent and omnipresent God (Love) in our human experience. So, Christian Science explains "how to" do universal love, how to be loving, and be loved, and how to heal and harmonize with divine Principles of Love.

So the thrilling part of this again is that these principles of Love find receptive hearts everywhere: with your immediate family members with whom you live and in situations a half a world away. Regardless of any human category you put yourself into or any situation you find yourself in, there is a principle, a law of Love, which when applied, brings the human picture into harmony.

To practice Christian Science requires humility and selflessness, a spiritual curiosity and expectancy as much as it requires discipline. It means a never-ending discovery into the depths of understanding infinite Love and feeling the effects of Love's harmonizing influence. It has an impact on our individual lives. Christian Science has an impact on communities and nations.

It seems to me that Christian Science explains the science of genius, of all that is brilliant and good and enduring. Through the science of Christ's teaching, we can all experience the promise that "with God, all things are possible."

Another friend commented that when she first read Science and Health, she was left breathless. It still does that to me, even after years of reading and practicing the ideas in it.

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, June 23, 2008

ENter into JOY = ENJOY (revisited)

Spiritual resource to share: JOY!

I was once asked "What gives you 'deep gladness?' What connects you to the universal spiritual law of goodness?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy today!

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, June 16, 2008

the unity of the cause erases all flaws

Spiritual resource to share: unity in surprising places

I loved this ad that came across my email recently:

For whatever differences we may have, it is easy to put them aside when the "Cause" is so compelling, that we are willing to drop our differences and align our forces to work together.

There are times when I have worked with others, and our united purpose was so clear and so loved, that minor hiccups in the process of furthering our purpose were easily forgiven, corrected or adjusted.

But there have been other times when I have worked with others and the purpose was not so clear or compelling. It has been those times where the little annoyances would flare up into major problems.

These experiences have caused me to look deeper than the organization's purpose to see what our deeper purpose and mission is in life. And that, I believe, is to glorify God. For that purpose, I work even harder to dive through conflicting human opinions to the bedrock of our spirituality. We are all children of God. God is good. God is all-powerful. God loves each of us. And in this light, I find I can forgive more easily, help others more selflessly and help to sharpen the focus of our work towards more loving and productive ends. The unity of the Cause - to glorify God - helps to erase all flaws.

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, June 13, 2008

restorative justice

Spiritual resource to share: healing our communities

To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;
To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;
To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

-Proverbs 1

In this community group that has been meeting in an effort to support youth and dismantle racism, we regularly share possibilities and stories of how to go about accomplishing these aims.

This story is an incredible example of how establishing restorative justice can do much to heal the hurt and bring understanding to those who have committed hate crimes. Restorative justice has its roots in native American and Aborigine culture. It basically provides a way for the victim and the perpetrator to come together to address the wrongs done and find a healing solution for themselves and their communities.

In this story, Nick and Charlotte, from the Ojibway nation, are the ones whose property was vandalized and who set up a jail time alternative for the perpetrators. These notes were taken from one of our community meetings:

As many of you remember, five (white) local Lakeland area boys vandalized and burned the Hocking’s Waswaagoning Village (a remake of an Ojibway village) a few years ago. It was a terrible act of hatred fueled by drinking. The boys were eventually caught and faced 35 years in prison-each.

Nick and Charlotte both felt that sending these boys to prison was not going to accomplish anything good-that in fact they might come out more prejudice than when they went in.

They did something really quite remarkable in order to try and make sure these boys lives were not destroyed-they offered the 5 boys a path through Restorative Justice-the option to fulfill certain requirements over a two year period instead of going to jail for arson felony.

They spent a great deal of time working with these boys and developed a path for them to follow: the boys had to read 4 books, write reports, answer 5 questions about racism, pay fines and complete 250 hours of community service.

They also had to make a video describing what they did to share with others-in the hope that others would learn from the mistakes these boys made and not do such things. This process had a powerful impact on these boys and the Hocking’s, through their actions, have shown the rest of us that there are other options for enforcing consequences while helping teach youth to learn from their mistakes. We watched the first two interviews of the boys and then took time to talk and share responses......

In the end, the process was successful for those boys who went through the restorative justice process.

From this meeting came all kinds of ways to further the role of restorative justice in our own local courts, as well as discussion on how the video could be used as a teaching tool. Other ways to spread this message of restorative justice were discussed.

The impact of the patience, dignity, understanding and trust the Hockings had that this situation could be healed is an inspiration.

For more on restorative justice practices, click here.

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, June 11, 2008

comments on "decline or resurrection?"

Spiritual resource to share: inspired comments

I had a couple of exchanges on the posting about church two days ago that I loved and wanted to bring it out in a post of its own. Please add your comments on this important topic below.

Comments on "Decline or Resurrection" from Monday:

Anonymous said...
While I enjoyed awhat you wrote, I could not help wanting to respond immediately. I like to visit other churches from time to time, and I have seen first hand how the Christian Science churches are ALWAYS the smallest in #. Rather than getting a tad too metaphysical about it, I realized that thelesson -sermons can be boring,there isn't a lot of liveliness or simply a response to the world as it out pictures today. I myself avoid church yet dig into my lesson daily. I find that our churches have lost something and to overlook it by explaining it away metaphysically is to miss an impotant opportnity for positive growth and change.

Kim said...
Thanks anon - you bring up such a great point! Thank you so much for writing.

Effective prayer leads to action - exactly to those opportunities for positive growth and change. I have found some great conversations and positive solutions coming through some discussion groups on Check it out and do a search for "church services" or whatever specific topic you want to get in on. Click here for one such topic.

I love that you keep digging into the lesson. That is the heart and soul of church. I have found my practice of church goes beyond church walls. And as more people start talking about church, finding ways to make the services as vital as our practice of Christian Science, we will see our communities blessed more and more. (Because healing and blessing is what church is about. Church has never been about numbers - it's about enlarging the healing and blessing in our communities)

Did you check out the link to at the end of my post? It's got more interesting thoughts about this topic. Oh I so agree. We cannot explain it away metaphysically. We need thoughtful humble insight, a willingness to jetison the baggage of pride and tradition, and a willingness to run to the increasing opportunities there are right now to share Christian Science and to heal. In my small community I have found so many receptive hearts..I could go on and on........but I am very encouraged by your remarks.

Take heart. Resurrection is happening and it happens with individuals who demand a vital, healing and practical expression of Christian Science from themselves first and then from their churches.

Kate said...
Perhaps church is going to look very different today...could the connections, philanthropic opportunities, service netowrks, etc. that we are finding online and IN our communities...not just near them...becoming our church without walls.

I remember one Sunday in particular, when I was conducting the service in our small branch church, some 15 years ago. All week I had been thinking and praying with the statement from II Kings: "And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha." I suddenly could look out at the small congregation and SEE a full church. And I decided to take that view outside of the walls with me.

Where as inside I could see vibrant, inclusive, active thinking members, outside I could see droves of scientifically Christian (kind, compassionate, patient, loving, honest) thinkers and DOERS...I am more fully discovering EVERYDAY that this is the only real "treatment" of any situation...Dear Father, open my eyes to what you have already created, ARE already doing, and already are to (and for) me, and mine, and all. Our churches ARE already full when we take down the walls....just a thought that has been helpful to was nice visiting your "church" today you, K

Kim said...
Thanks Kate for your comments! It reminds me of a verse from the Bible - from John - "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest."

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.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

in and out

Hello friends!

Other obligations have taken over this week, so my blogging has been adjusted. I'll be back to my Mon-Wed-Fri blogging sometime next week. Until then, I'll be in and out sporadically.

Please check out my other blogging friends and favorite sites on the right hand column!


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Golden Rule

Spiritual resource to share: universal Truth

In order to apprehend more, we must practise what we already know of the Golden Rule, which is to all mankind a light emitting light. - MARY BAKER EDDY Miscellany p. 282

The direct rule for practice of Christian Science is the Golden Rule, "As ye would that men should do to you, do ye." - MARY BAKER EDDY Miscellaneous Writings p. 282

In the hospital where I occasionally volunteer, there are large posters with numerous variations of what we know as The Golden Rule written in the world's main religions and translated into English. It is an everyday reminder for those who work there to be kind, thoughtful and inclusive of all.

I was intrigued by this video clip from the website that details the beginning of a project called "The Charter for Compassion" that is solely based on the Golden Rule. Enjoy!

(from the TED site:)
"As she accepts her 2008 TED Prize, author and scholar
Karen Armstrong talks about how the Abrahamic religions -- Islam, Judaism, Christianity -- have been diverted from the moral purpose they share to foster compassion. But Armstrong has seen a yearning to change this fact. People want to be religious, she says; we should act to help make religion a force for harmony. She asks the TED community to help her build a Charter for Compassion -- to help restore the Golden Rule as the central global religious doctrine. "

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.