Friday, October 31, 2008

whatsoever things are of good report.........

Spiritual resource to share: our reach

Phil 4: 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
I have always loved doing my own trends oriented scrapbooking, but now the internet makes it possible for me to team up with others and cull some of the most amazing and encouraging ideas happening world wide. I have to thank my blog readers and facebook friends for continuing to scour the 'net for some of the most cutting edge ideas that are "true....just....honest....pure....lovely....(and) are of good report." I will be posting them at the end.

Mary Baker Eddy, prophet-like in her ability to see the growth and development of mankind, wrote in her book Miscellaneous Writings (p. 232):

This age is reaching out towards the perfect Principle of things; is pushing towards perfection in art, invention, and manufacture.

The proliferation of innovation and invention has been growing exponentially since the mid-1800's. In addition, the need for global cooperation, interfaith dialogue and re-thinking the way we care for one another and for the earth have become prominent issues of our time. It is exciting to think of what is ahead for us all. Hopefully, many of us have asked and acted upon this question:

Why, then, should religion be stereotyped, and we not obtain a more perfect and practical Christianity?

To work out our own salvation and to be a blessing for our families, neighbors and others, I realize that

It will never do to be behind the times in things most essential, which proceed from the standard of right that regulates human destiny.

When I look for ideas and trends, I look to see what things are challenging the status quo, are more reliant on things of the spirit than material things and look to see the breadth of the blessings. Those are the ideas that give form and function to the way we live and love and lead to a future growing in peace, sustainable productivity and joy.

Proportionately as we part with material systems and theories, personal doctrines and dogmas, meekly to ascend the hill of Science, shall we reach the maximum of perfection in all things. Miscellaneous Writings p. 232

Here are some recent finds on the web that are brimming with hope, provocative awareness and intelligence.

  1. This week on, John Hodgman goes in search of lost time, while Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi helps us find our flow. Kristen Ashburn shares powerful, humbling images of AIDS in Zimbabwe, while Paul MacCready offers a soaring talk on his work to save the planet.
  2. Movies based on true stories that celebrate change agents:
    The Great Debaters
    Movie : The Music Within
  3. And speaking of music.............. Click on the above for a look at a documentary "Playing for change: Peace through music" A friend wrote, "....this is a beautiful piece of film and music. Here's the link to the program. The film and music start at about 4:00 minutes. I can't recommend this one enough."

    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, October 27, 2008

S N O W ! ! !

Spiritual resource to share: surprise

OK. I live far north. I should expect this kind of thing. But it is always a surprise. And I noticed that there is a special thing that happens here. The sun comes out when it snows. It's magic.

Here's a post I wrote when I first discovered this phenomenon:

Snowfall in the sunlight

I turned the corner into my living room and there it was...........beautiful glittering snow in the sunlight. And this against a backdrop of a field of snow bordered by black and white birch trees and evergreens and a semi frozen creek. I gasped. I have never experienced this sort of thing before (or never paid attention enough), that is, precipitation falling at the same time the sun is shining.

In this case, feathery round snowflakes were falling thick and fast, catching sunlight on every flake. Amazing.

I ran to get the video camera. The batteries were out. I rushed about to find the digital camera. My husband had taken it. Frustrated, I realized I couldn't capture this moment on anything but my memory.

I slowed down and looked out again. I took this time to take it in. A show of beauty, just for me. It would not last, but it did not matter. I was in a natural fantasy land of fat falling glitter-puffs. It was altogether lovely.

Beauty and love have alot in common - harmony, radiance, attraction. Listen to this juxtapositioning of beauty for love in this Bible verse from I Corinthians 13 ( New International Version - UK) and you get an idea of the gentle inspiration that I yielded to while watching it snow.

(Beauty) is patient,
(beauty) is kind.
It does not envy,
it does not boast,
it is not proud.

It is not rude,
it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.

Beauty) ... rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
(Beauty, like) Love, never fails.

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 22, 2008

there are no beige prayers

Spiritual resource to share: deep and profound desire

Have you ever approached your meditation time or spiritual study time feeling that this was getting old? Or read sacred writings and felt that you weren't getting anything out of it?

I was talking over these questions with a friend of mine who, in my estimation, is a brilliant designer. We had just finished talking about home design (her speciality) and I was amazed at how quickly she could draw conclusions as to harmonizing color, balancing mass, determining a focal point and incorporating green systems all synergistically coming together in a development called home. The overall effect was not about window size or trim color (although those were components), but it was about creating a home in which people feel, well, at home.

What was it about this creative process that was so energizing, surprising and satisfying? How can we apply these principles to our prayer?

Prayer and art are synonymous to me. Good art always expands and stimulates thought and moves you forward, transforms you to a degree. Likewise with prayer.

So, back to the questions. Stay with me while I work out an answer.

Let's take the word develop. "It's a good word," said my friend and she cited Webster's dictionary definition. Its etymology says it is from the Old French desveloper, desvoluper which means to unwrap, expose.

Other meanings:

  • to make visible or manifest
  • to work out the possibilities of
  • to create or produce especially by deliberate effort over time
  • to make active or promote the growth of
  • to move (as a chess piece) from the original position to one providing more opportunity for effective use
  • to cause to unfold gradually
and on and on.... really - there is a lot to be said for this word and how it relates to prayer. Read through this list again and think of applying it to prayer.

So to sum up, prayer is about unwrapping ourselves and growing into visible possibilities. OK. That's fresh! It is dropping whatever isn't working ( isn't Godlike) and seeing Life's possibilities unfold. Now I'm in.

There are times when I have set my schedule up so that I read one specific thing at this time, and give myself room to read other inspirational literature at another time. But I need to remember that this study in and of itself is NOT what makes good things happen. God's law (aka good things) is always happening. My prayer and study time are only effective if I see that it brings me in line with what already is.

God is in control. It is our yielding to God's Love, it is our shutting out whatever is distracting that brings us into prayer.

I remember seeing my friend at work. She had a direct approach to her work. She goes into a room and is quiet. During this time, her thought is actively engaged in seeing what already is there. Using her love of geometry and color, she is able to see what needs changing to bring the room in line with the more desirable qualities needed in a home. Suggestions follow, maybe to change the lighting, rearrange the furniture, add a color. It is never about the material objects themselves, but about the spiritual ideas that are behind them. For instance, it isn't about the angle of a light bulb, but it is about creating elegance and warmth.

Likewise in prayer. In that quiet sanctuary of thought, we are actively engaged in listening. Loving the purity of God's love and the omnipotence of God's laws, we see what needs to be changed to bring thought in line with the perfect principle of God and man. In dropping whatever is unGodlike, we reveal (unwrap or expose) who we are as a child of God - that unique combination of spiritual qualities that we reflect from God.

Prayer brings healing. Healing is a revealing of what already is. So it is not about walking or not walking - it is about movement. It is not about the light bulb - it is about light. It is not about the material thing - but the spiritual substance. The spiritual substance is what determines the outward and actual.

Prayer is transformational. It moves us from one position "to one providing more opportunity for effective use."

We would no more accept our prayer time to be dull than we would accept living in a beige room with mass produced cubes for furniture. This would be like accepting prayer to simply be "stereotyped borrowed speeches."

Prayer isn't beige. Prayer is desire. And prayer in Christian Science is aflame with divine Love.
Just as an artist goes from a blank canvas to one full of color, a blacksmith goes from a steel rod to a sculpture, a designer takes a mediocre home to a home of color and grace, so can we give our consent to prayer and we can expect our prayers to transform us.

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 15, 2008

The time for thinkers has come

Spiritual resource to share: intelligence

I felt a sigh of relief after I finished watching Frontline's program "The Choice 2008" that gave in-depth biographies of Obama and McCain last night. There was something about its attempt to be fair and to draw out the essential leadership qualities of the two candidates that appealed to me. As a viewer, I felt I was being recognized as a thinker, as someone who could think for herself and weigh the larger issues of today against each candidate.

Actually, I am for just about anything that appeals to our higher sense of intelligence, morals, compassion and responsibility. I get concerned when the lower sense of revenge, slander, pride and fear gets more play, not only in campaign ads, but all sorts of vehicles that attempt to influence thought.

I regularly read headlines from numerous sources (yes I can name them all if asked!) and dig into those headlines' articles based on my interest and need to know. But my favorite news source is The Christian Science Monitor. Founded by Mary Baker Eddy, who wrote "The time for thinkers has come", this newspaper has as its motto: "to injure no man, but to bless all mankind."

After watching Frontline whose approach to the program approximated this motto, I wondered if the Monitor's motto could be a standard for all media - even for all forms of information exchange!

Think of it - newspapers vetting their articles to ensure that they "injure no man, but to bless all mankind!"; Newscasters highlighting news that follows this theme; Campaign ads to adopt this standard!!

This might be interesting. As you know, the future of newspapers is being discussed. Last month, The Boston Globe ran an article "Monitoring the future of newspapers" by Alex Beam

"One place where the future remains unevenly distributed is the newspaper business. The country's most successful dailies are enduring draconian cutbacks in personnel and coverage. Some of the also-rans are disappearing altogether. What no one knows is: What will the newspaper of the future look like? Maybe it will look like The Christian Science Monitor."

Hmmm.... much to think about. I openly welcome this discussion and am looking forward to engage the best of what we can be to the urgent demands of today.

"The time for thinkers has come." Enough said.

Of special note:

The Future of Journalism
The arrival of the digital age has upended journalism. Old business models are broken. Newspapers are reeling. But we’re convinced there is a solution.
Hosted by:
The Christian Science Monitor
When: Thursday, November 6 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

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 10, 2008

a look at money - revised and revisited

Spiritual resource to share: circulation of progressive ideas

Throughout my life, I have come to situations where the threat of lack of funds needed to be met: going to college, starting out on my own and in raising a family. Each time it looked like I might come up short, I turned to prayer and my needs were met.

One idea that I kept working with was from MBEddy's Miscellaneous Writings:

God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for tomorrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment.
What a glorious inheritance is given to us through the understanding of omnipresent Love! More we cannot ask: more we do not want: more we cannot have. This sweet assurance is the "Peace, be still" to all human fears, to suffering of every sort.

What hope this instills. Even more hope-full, it leads to practical and satisfying results. When the stock market is looking critical, and credit reports dismal, housing market in crisis, there is another report. God, as omnipotent good, reports a balance and steady flow of productive, progressive ideas. The fresh circulation of ideas is never interrupted by fear, speculation, manipulation or ignorance.

When I run up against the idea of lack, I have been able to respond in a way that I not only have what I need, but usually it is done in a surprising and totally satisfying way. Here is what I have learned along the way about demonstrating supply:
  • Value every idea that comes to you
  • Trust the provision and abundance of God's love -- Love also includes nourishment, harmony and balance, contentment and satisfaction
  • Be grateful -- and you will see just how rich you truly are
  • Discipline your wants -- Know where your desires come from and where they are leading you
  • Clarify your needs
  • Square each of your accounts/debts
  • Be honorable and honest -- Honesty is spiritual power and integrity is "more valuable than riches"
  • Be generous
  • Don't be afraid -- act on behalf of the ideas and inspiration you are receiving
  • Trust the provision and abundance of God's love -- Worth mentioning twice.

Truly we have a glorious inheritance! We can move forward knowing that God, Love is always supplying the ideas that, when acted on, are meeting our needs.

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 02, 2008

prayer signposts among the financial crises

Spiritual resource to share: targeted prayer

we're all in this together

This just in -
News Alert 1:34 p.m. ET Friday, October 3, 2008 U.S. House Passes Financial Rescue Legislation
By a vote of 263 to 171, the House of Representatives has approved a $700 billion bailout plan in the hopes of propping up the nation's economy, which has been besieged by the fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis.

Cruising the news on the financial situation, some words and phrases keep popping up -- standing out almost highlighted, saying - this is where you need to pray! Here are some of those highlighted words (and thanks to the friends who continue to circulate articles, posts and videos on these issues that give me these words!!):

Let love, not fear, rule

Thomas Friedman from NYTimes distilled the financial crisis problem down to two key areas that I have decided to take up in prayer: confidence and the need to realize that we are all connected. It is the distrust and fear that is stagnating and blocking the flow of the exchange of value. And, he pointed out, we cannot get away from the fact that we are all connected. So when we set up policies that hurt others, we are hurt; when we set policies to bless and help others, we are helped.

From the UK's Evening Standard came another helpful direction for prayer: Hank Paulson practices this precept from his religion – “… a religion in which you emphasize love rather than fear," he says.

Contrast that with a recent interview overheard on public radio with a psychiatrist. He suggested that people find great reward in revenge, and so, as a way to cure this crisis, economic policy should in some way cater to this need for revenge and find a way to craft in punishments that others can give. This was not a restorative justice approach to the problem, but more of “an eye for an eye” approach. I winced. Nothing like solving a problem at the same level at which it developed. I think we are capable of a far more noble approach. And that noble approach is love.

So what are we dealing with here? This all adds up to a demand to practice the Golden Rule; to let Love govern instead of fear; open thought to possibilities.

“It is well to be calm in sickness
; to be hopeful is still better; “ writes Mary Baker Eddy in her classic book: Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. “Knowledge that we can accomplish the good we hope for, stimulates the system to act in the direction which Mind points out.”

We can take the steps to remove the distrust and fear, envy, malice and greed from the problem and from the solution. We can step up to the demand to have confidence in Truth (all that is fair, just, reasonable, balanced) instead of chaos. We can emphasize love instead of fear, and make the Golden Rule* our basis for interactions.

We are all in this together. And today's step will continue to draw out of us all the intelligence, justice, honesty, compassion and nobility that God has given us.

(Recommended: Check out Karen Armstrong's talk on and her efforts to 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.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Rise up!

Spiritual resource to share: a higher hope

Hope. Change. Freedom. It is not surprising in an election year how powerful these words are……and how often they are used.

But these words can be used to generate fear and division and ridicule as much as they bring out the most cherished human ideals. So how to sort through the emotions on the human scene in this campaign season in the US - full of news headlines of division and lack and fear?

We rise up - letting our thought rise to the level of what is spiritual. Then we see that there is a spiritual basis for hope, for change and for freedom.

MBEddy writes under the heading of “Higher hope:”

The human mind will sometime rise above all material and physical sense, exchanging it for spiritual perception, and exchanging human concepts for the divine consciousness. Then man will recognize his God-given dominion and being.

Check out this article that explains more about a spiritual basis for hope in "The power of resurrection brings hope" 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.