Monday, March 31, 2008

we are called - revisited

Spiritual resource to share: affirmation of our worth

When I originally wrote this post a couple of years ago, it was actually called: Pausing to feel the love of God. I came across this while looking for another post I did about peace. I thought you all would find it helpful, so here it is:

It seemed a bit odd to take a break and go to this retreat. But the prayer team that I have recently joined at our local hospital was putting it on, and I was drawn to it.

I have recently committed myself to learning one new thing about God every day, and this retreat was a good beginning point.

Central to the retreat was a study of the Exodus in the Old Testament. As we got to know one another, and settled in comfortable chairs, the retreat started. A nun with dark eyes and a wide smile, started talking about the Exodus story, slowly weaving into it current stories of her life and encouraging others to share stories from their lives and how it paralleled the Exodus story.

It was quite lovely --- sun streaming in and all.

To make the connection with Moses' life and ours, was to see that we are all called. We are called, invited, protected and nurtured by an infinite God , whom we know relatively little about and will spend most of our lives working to understand. This is big stuff.

In trust we move forward.
Sometimes reluctantly, like Moses, who apparently couldn't speak worth a darn. Or sometimes, with an ego that says, "It's about time I was called! I have QUALIFICATIONS!!" But it is the meekness that God seems to favor. The meek are those who KNOW they have to lean on God in order to get the job done.

To talk to God, Moses took off his shoes.
Taking off one's shoes, you feel the ground. It is a recognition of entering a sacred space. Isn't it encouraging to think that you can put yourself in the presence of God, just by recognizing that now - this time, right here, is a sacred space. When we are together, when I am with a patient, we are in a sacred space. "If I am present with the song" my friends can feel this.

God calls you.
Or as I saw it, God calls me. He calls me by my name. He knows me. God confirms me.
The idea that we each have a divine imprint is an idea that many spiritual thinkers have embraced. Even now, the idea of each person "being wired for spirituality", or having a divine imprint is being embraced in many forms of health care, as well as in organized religion and with independent spiritual seekers.

But regardless of the growing popular thought, the idea that God knows me hits home. I know that this is true. God treats each one of His ideas, His children as a world within itself. I also know, inexplicably so, that the key to understanding this is the key to understanding peace among individuals, and among nations.

Moses was called from something to something.
So we are called from something to something. I was recently laid off from a job from which I still feel a sense of awe. I also felt that when the job was done, it was done. If I was called from that one wonderful thing, I can see that I am now being called toward something. I gained a huge chunk of peace just knowing -- and affirming -- that God never stops calling us from one wonderful thing to another.

God loves us. Really, really loves us. The Sister's face was never more animated as when she explained how much God loves us. Meister Echkart, 12th Century Christian mystic, was quoted as saying that God is 1000 times more eager to give what we are much less eager to receive.

And on this note, we closed, each one pausing, then stating just how much God loves each one of us. It was affirming, it was nourishing. Then we all put our proverbial shoes back on and went out.

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, March 27, 2008

the power of apology

Spiritual resource to share: forgiveness

Nelson Mandela, Sir Ronald Wilson and Corrie Ten Boom
Click on picture for more information

As this community's commitment to heal racism deepens, our last Ministerial meeting involved an in-depth look at the power of an apology. There are volumes written on apology and forgiveness. But this discussion took on new meaning for me as I saw how profound our prayer, inspiration and actions could be for this community.

We looked at the line of actions that dismantled apartheid in South Africa, the public apology of the Australian government to the Aborigines, the apologies of several religious leaders and noticed they all had similar elements: there was an acknowledgement of the hurt, a promise of change and then the actual making of the change.

Acknowledging the hurt actually does more than just agrees on the wrongness of whatever actions were taken. There also is an affirmation on the wholeness and completeness of the individuals who were wronged. Going deeper into this, it followed that to acknowledge the hurt, one must:
  • affirm that no one deserves to be hurt.
  • agree that no one deserves to suffer under the idea of an imbalance of power - one can't be out of control with power or out of control with powerlessness.
  • understand that hurtful actions are not an inherent part of who we are; if it were, we would feel that hurtful actions are right and justified, and they are not.
  • conclude that we are all whole and complete, and can be unhurt, untouched and unimpressed by inferior acts of ignorance or maliciousness.

So, when there is a strong desire for someone or some group to apologize, the impulse behind it might be seen as a desire to be acknowledged as whole and complete, and worthy of right and healthy actions.

What if that group or that individual does not apologize? One's own acknowledgement of one's wholeness and completeness still happens. One can release the resentment and anger and be freed of that burden. A Bible study website explains it: 'Corrie Ten Boom called this after-effect of forgiveness "a flood of joy and peace". The burden of bitterness is removed...conflict is replaced with resonance, and love floods in where hatred once ruled.'

As we are children of God, we can look to God for our own affirmation of good. Looking to God for our strength and identity, we are safe from depending on others to define who we are.

The power of apology lifts the burden of shame from the one apologizing. The one accepting the apology has the opportunity to accept the agreement that we are all worthy of love. The one is washed clean and the other is affirmed and strengthened.

Your thoughts?

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, March 25, 2008

raising your sons by raising your eyebrows

Spiritual resource to share: loving and respectful discipline

We're back from a great vacation in Chicago! The time spent together - just the four of us - was wonderful. We hit up theatres and museums and different ethnic restaurants - everything we can't get up here in the northwoods- and had a blast! But my favorite part was just hanging out together in our rented apartment. We are family and we love each other, but it is especially nice to know we like each other. It reminded me to be grateful for the respect and love we share. In an old draft of a post written a couple of years ago, I wrote about raising kids with respect. Here's that post:

Two of my good friends are also parents of two boys. They explained that the dad had gotten the discipline thing down really well. He could just raise his one eyebrow, and the boys would know that they needed to stop whatever it was they were doing, re-think and re-group.

I love this idea! Although I don't think my eyebrows do this, the idea of disciplining gently and respectfully when our kids are caught doing something, well, not exactly right -- is certainly part of living the
Golden Rule.

I remember visiting my cousins when I was a kid. Once or twice, the youngest crossed some line of good behaviour. My uncle quietly took him aside, talked with him, and then my cousin could join us again. I remember the love and respect the whole family had for one another. Definitely a good role model for me.

So, the next time I want to yell out -- "Who left the door open!!" or "Get back up here and do the dishes!" I'll remember that perhaps more would be accomplished if I could just raise my eyebrows.
Love, respect and the expectation of good from one another go a long 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.

Friday, March 14, 2008

back on March 25th!

Spiritual resource to share: time with family!

It's time for us to leave this beautiful wilderness area of fresh air, starry black nights, lakes and pines and take a vacation! My family and I are hitting the big city for a week of theatre, museums, Thai food, and very tall buildings. Yea! I'll be back online next week.
New York at night - 2008 copyright - photo by Gabe Korinek

we all belong

Spiritual resource to share: persistent love

Trailer from the movie: Martian Child

I am still basking in the glow of one of the most beautiful movies I have seen recently: Martian Child. It is the story of a recently widowed man who tries to adopt a "difficult-to-place" child. The lessons about the strength of love to overcome the feelings of being outcast and loneliness are powerful and tenderly portrayed.

It reminded me of a time when I felt alone and outcast. I was encouraged by MBEddy's idea from Science and Health "Would existence without personal friends be to you a blank? Then the time will become solitary, left without sympathy; but this seeming vacuum is already filled with Love." It was a solitary time, but I got to feel a whole new concept of God as Love. There were mornings where I woke up feeling loved. This became the basis for all the new friendships that developed after that experience. It helped me to see that my happiness was not so much dependent on another person as it was about my relationship to God.

These few verses have helped me see how thoroughly we are loved by God, and how satisfying that Love is:

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is the doctrine of Christian Science: that divine Love cannot be deprived of its manifestation, or object; that joy cannot be turned into sorrow, for sorrow is not the master of joy; that good can never produce evil; that matter can never produce mind nor life result in death.

Unfathomable Mind is expressed. The depth, breadth, height, might, majesty, and glory of infinite Love fill all space. That is 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.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Open Position: Christian Science Practitioner

Spiritual resource to share: my unique job description

I've been thinking about how my work as a Christian Science pratitioner has evolved over the last few years. I love how each practitioner I know develops their practice in a way that is unique to them. And so it is with my practice.

As I was seeing how much I have grown in understanding, I also saw how much I was involved working with the community alongside working with individuals. If I were to write my own job description, this is what it would look like:

Christian Science Practitioner


A Christian Science practitioner strives to heal as Christ Jesus healed. In one of MBEddy’s letters to her student James Neal, CS, she writes: “A real scientific healer is the highest position attainable in this sphere of being. It includes all that is divinely high and holy…. To achieve this you must have one God, one affection, one way, one Mind.”

A Christian Science practitioner aligns work with MBEddy’s highest ideals:

  • My weary hope tries to realize that happy day, when man shall recognize the Science of Christ and love his neighbor as himself, — when he shall realize God's omnipotence and the healing power of the divine Love in what it has done and is doing for mankind. -from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
  • ….drink with me the living waters of the spirit of my life-purpose, — to impress humanity with the genuine recognition of practical, operative Christian Science. - from Miscellaneous Writings p. 107


  • Is available 24/7 to the sincere seeker for Truth.
  • Is ever alert, expectant and joyful.
  • Maintains a vibrant ability to listen and talk with God; thoroughly studies the letter and imbibes the spirit.
  • Heals the sick, raises the dead, casts out demons, freely receives God’s inspiration, freely gives. (See Matthew 10: 8)
  • Responsible to respond to God’s ability to love and care for His own.
  • Is watchful—keeping an eye on the news, discerning trends in public thought, discovering and seeking stories and individuals that give evidence of the spiritual leavening of thought.
  • Writes articles, blogs and editorials as inspired.
  • Takes graduate courses in Christian Science healing annually


Reporting Relationships
Supervisor: God
Mentor(s): authorized teachers of Christian Science
Supervises: Self: “reflecting God’s government, man is properly self-governed”

Regular Contacts

  • Be in contact with thinkers and Truth seekers from all over the world; Christian Scientists throughout the field (especially youth), professionals, cultured scholars, students, parents, local and worldwide public.
  • Participate and support those larger community efforts toward healing: in this vicinity, keep abreast of community hunger for healing via local hospital, the Ministerial Association, and community efforts to heal racism.
  • Participate and support Christian Science activity via media and lecture work; give regular metaphysical, practical and financial support locally and globally; involvement with and writing for the periodicals; work with Christian Science Committee on Publication; work with and support the work of Christian Science nurses.
  • Be in the marketplace: A Christian Science practitioner is not an isolated nor a solitary idea. Involvement in the community (schools, libraries, community services, etc) at some level is encouraged.


First and foremost, a Christian Science practitioner has a deep love for God and for all mankind. In addition:

This position requires Primary Class Instruction with an authorized teacher of Christian Science. Annual participation in Association (a graduate course in Christian Science healing) is required. Ongoing Bible study, classes in the Spanish language, writing, and communication are recommended.

The position requires a solid understanding of literary English and learning a second language. The individual in this position must demonstrate ability as a writer for blogs, and magazine articles and the internet.

Technology Skills
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) skills and blogging skills are required.

Work Environment
A practitioner works in an atmosphere of Love divine. This can be anywhere at anytime so that 24/7 accessibility is assured.

Christian Science Information
Mother Church membership and Primary class instruction are required.


Your thoughts????

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, March 10, 2008

elevator conversations

Spiritual resource to share:
explaining the practice of Christian Science

I probably have had more quick conversations about Christian Science and my work as a Christian Science practitioner than long conversations. It happens everywhere - at a party, at my son's school, being introduced to another parent, in an elevator, while waiting in line to vote, etc. It goes like this:

Q: What do you do?
A: I'm a Christian Science practitioner.
Q: Oh, what's that?

And then we are off. So here are some of my favorite responses that I've given. Sometimes these responses have led into longer conversations, sometimes not.

A Christian Science practitioner is one who heals through prayer.
I work with people who are experiencing difficulties and we pray until there has been a healing, a resolution or cure.
I practice the type of healing Christ Jesus taught and I do this full time.
It is called Christian Science for two reasons:

  • It is Christian in that we study and practice the way that Jesus healed
  • It is scientific in that the principles that Christ Jesus established in his
    healing work can be applied with healing proofs.

And then when people have asked how do you pray in Christian Science? these short responses have helped:

Rather than thinking about God, we can know we are what God is thinking. We are His thoughts made manifest.
Rather than believing in God, we believe God.
Our standpoint of healing is not to find out what is wrong with us, but what is right with us.

For those of you who practice Christian Science, what have your elevator conversations been like?

For those of you interested in the practice of Christian Science, what questions would you ask?

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, March 07, 2008

International Women's Day

Spiritual resource to share: woman

women celebrating International Women's Day in Iran


"The thing I loved about the movie Juno was to see how absolutely confident and outspoken Juno was. It was a surprise to me that girls could be like that." commented my friend Zhongli. Her upbringing in China was far from anything that Juno's story told. But in her country, technological advances and a booming economy are pressing toward rapid social changes. And the changes have a direct and empowering impact on women.

And so it is with activity throughout the world. "Each year on 8 March, hundreds of International Women's Day events occur all around the world. IWD events range from small random informal gatherings to large-scale highly organised events. All celebrate women's advancement and highlight the need for continued vigilance and action."

International Women's Day started in 1908, the same year Mary Baker Eddy started The Christian Science Monitor as a way to uplift the standard of journalism with the mission to "injure no man but to bless all mankind." In fact, blessing all mankind was a driving force for so much of what Mary Baker Eddy accomplished.

Her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures is full of compact and revelatory ideas that are still edgy today. Edgy and true. She starts out her chapter on "Science of Being" with a thought-provoking paragraph:

In the material world, thought has brought to light with great rapidity many useful wonders. With like activity have thought's swift pinions been rising towards the realm of the real, to the spiritual cause of those lower things which give impulse to inquiry. Belief in a material basis, from which may be deduced all rationality, is slowly yielding to the idea of a metaphysical basis, looking away from matter to Mind as the cause of every effect. Materialistic hypotheses challenge metaphysics to meet in final combat. In this revolutionary period, like the shepherd-boy with his sling, woman goes forth to battle with Goliath.

Now Mary Baker Eddy is a hard person to categorize, and she does not easily fall into the category as a feminist. But I have read this, understanding that her idea of woman is defined spiritually, not anatomically. As she says in her book Unity of Good (p. 51) : "Man is the generic term for all humanity. Woman is the highest species of man, and this word is the generic term for all women; but not one of all these individualities is an Eve or an Adam."

So today - we are hearing the voice of the woman more loudly - the voice of peace for all nations, of care-taking of the earth, of creation, and of family. It is a voice that is becoming more confident and outspoken and requires of us all more vigilance and action.

Happy International Women's Day all!

ooh - this just in! of special interest from The Christian Science Monitor: "Can women find unique ways out of war?"

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, March 05, 2008

totally, absolutely perfect - revisited

This blog was written close to a year ago. I have found myself going back to this blog many times - in fact, so many times, I thought it was worth a second viewing!

Spiritual resource to share: contemplation

I have been working this idea of what it means to be perfect over and over the last few weeks, so I thought I would share it here. Large as that idea is, I'll share just a few gleanings.

Mary Baker Eddy writes, "Unless you fully perceive that you are the child of God, hence perfect, you have no Principle to demonstrate and no rule for its demonstration." (From The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany p. 242:8 )

Accepting this and the principle that we are made in the image and likeness of God ( ie perfect), I reason that our very being is based on a perfect principle of God, who is Truth and Love.

So what is the basis of perfection?
(This follows the format of "Perfect means….. So this means…. ")

Perfect means: Having all parts present………
So this means: YOU ARE WHOLE

Having everything that is required…………

Complete in moral excellencies…………….

Perfect Love…………………………………

Exactly fitting the need in every situation………….

Entirely without flaws or blemish……………

So when we work out a problem from the standard of perfection, we are not looking for perfect matter, but for that principle of harmony out of which all human activity is expressed. The starting point is not matter. The starting point is perfect God, perfect man.

For example - struggling to get to the right weight to look just perfect is very different from understanding that your very nature right now includes beauty, balance and radiance. Out of that understanding comes an expression that may come in any form, but beauty, balance and radiance will naturally be expressed.

The study and application of this idea goes on and on. (There simply is no end to understanding infinite God, infinite Truth, Life and Love!) I hope this gives you a thoughtful nudge to contemplate what is infinitely good and infinitely perfect in our lives 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, or email this article to a friend.

Monday, March 03, 2008

step by step and dot by dot

Spiritual resource to share: seeing the big picture

A friend of mine shared this analogy to prayer which I just loved. Prayer leads us step by step, truth by truth, until we can see the big picture/the larger plan.

We trustingly take each step, knowing that God is in control of His whole creation. Even if our initial steps into prayer seem disjointed or ineffective, we can trust that God will lead us into those paths most productive and healing and good -- much like a random series of dots, which, when connected, bring into view a whole new picture.

Now some may get the whole picture between dots # 21 and 23, another at #48 and yet another at #13, but we will all arrive at the full answer.

Here are some encouraging ideas to keep praying:

Wait patiently for divine Love to move upon the waters of mortal mind, and form the perfect concept. Patience must "have her perfect work.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

The rays of infinite Truth, when gathered into the focus of ideas, bring light instantaneously....

Step by step will those who trust Him find that "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Individuals are consistent who, watching and praying, can "run, and not be weary; . . walk, and not faint," who gain good rapidly and hold their position, or attain slowly and yield not to discouragement.

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

Emerge gently from matter into Spirit. Think not to thwart the spiritual ultimate of all things, but come naturally into Spirit through better health and morals and as the result of spiritual growth.

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.