Friday, March 20, 2009

Godwords: Getting to Know God in 5 Words a Day

Spiritual resource to share: the height, depth and width of God

Did you ever think that the boundaries of your life are created by what you know and understand of God?

Think of it this way - your understanding of God is the canvas on which your life is painted. The more resilient and broad your understanding of God is, the more your life experiences reflect that breadth and resilience.

"We know no more of man as the true divine image and likeness, than we know of God." writes MBEddy. So, reasoning as such, what we know of God is paramount to how we live our lives!

Let's accept that God is Principle, Life, Truth, Soul, Love, Mind and Spirit. So what does that mean? What does knowing that God is Principle - lawgiver, source of order, foundation - mean? When we understand God as Love - harmony, tenderness, selflessness, purity, all-inclusive - it adds another dimension to see that the Principle of Love is a law and is our very foundation.

When we see that the Principle of Love is the foundation for ourselves, we can see that it is the same foundation for all. Why? Because the principle of Love is all-inclusive. What a healing framework this supplies for working out issues of conflict or dis-ease! And what an infinite task to know and understand infinite Soul, forever Truth and omnipotent Love.

"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" writes Paul in his letter to the Romans.

I have been doing this for such a long time I can't even remember when I started: that is to start my day with about five synonyms for God. Join me! Take time to consider the infinite reach of God and God's insightful and pure tenderness. Listen. What five words describe God for you today? To increase our understanding of God helps to reveal the day's regular supply of blessings. Our God-words take us Godward!

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 17, 2009


Spiritual resource to share: our moral excellence

Good. What a word. We must say it dozens of times every day. “Good morning” Good bye!” What a good meal this is!” “Goodness!’ “Were you a good girl today?” “Good dog!" “Is this a good deal?” “Any good news today?” etc. etc.

But Mary Baker Eddy – a VERY careful wordsmith – says good is not helpless. “Evil is not supreme; good is not helpless; nor are the so-called laws of matter primary, and the law of Spirit secondary."

The term “Good” is a derivative of the word “God.” And so Eddy’s statement makes much more sense.

We practice good. Or, said another way, we do good things for ourselves and for one another and that makes up most of our day.

Goodness in life may get lost in the fabric of everyday life, but without that good life, the fabric of life unravels. The power of the good things we do keeps life going, and keeps life growing.

What about something that would threaten good. What about evil?

Evil has all the characteristics of a mistake. By stripping it of its identification with a person, place, or thing, evil is baseless. It is no thing.

That means –
It cannot claim the actions of someone.
It cannot be the animating force of anyone’s character.
It cannot take away good. (Darkness cannot take away light.)
It cannot fool you into thinking that good is weak or that goodness can easily be taken advantage of.

God is good. That means Good is principled, orderly, self sufficient, gracious, patient, all-powerful and all present. Right now we can claim that good is the only thing present, because God is omnipresent. Another aspect of moral excellence, or goodness, is honesty. "Honesty is spiritual power. " This is our basis and foundation for life.

Our day starts with goodness. And throughout our day, we can see this goodness everywhere.

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 13, 2009

Corrective purity and the power of innocence

Spiritual resource to share: innocence

(This post, written two years ago, also answers the dilemma of those who have felt they have made irrevocable mistakes. [See last post on the mistake about mistakes.] As spring is coming up here in the northern hemisphere, it is a timely season to clear thought of all residue of regret and cut to the core of our spiritual innocence. Drink deeply.)

Have you ever felt that something you lacked in life actually caused a problem? Like, "If only I would have prayed more, then I wouldn't have had this problem." Or "I am so ignorant, no wonder I got into this mess." Or even "I must have done something bad, because something bad has happened to me."

I think that the impulse to find a cause for things that go wrong or to blame someone (even one's self) or something is age-old. I recently came across this story from the Bible in John:

And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
Jesus lifted up the whole argument to show that these questions had nothing to do with what was going on! And the undercurrent to his remark denied that a person's sin could cause disease, or the sin of the others could cause disease in someone else.

What is going on is the daily opportunity we each have to prove the power of God in our lives to overcome anything unlike God -- "that the works of God should be made manifest...."

Whereas western medicine, psychology, self-doubt, even juicy gossip(!) may try to find a cause in matter or in personal inadequacies that leads to the effect of disease, Christ Jesus' healing work raises the platform to the spiritual and works from this basis:

The temporal and unreal never touch the eternal and real. The mutable and imperfect never touch the immutable and perfect. The inharmonious and self-destructive never touch the harmonious and self-existent.
The clear separation between what is real and unreal brings about healing and awakening. As our standpoint is that we are good, pure, intelligent, having abundance in all things, we have that strength and dominion to dismantle, dissolve and eliminate the error, discord or disease.

I have a favorite poem by Godfrey John called "This Moment of Your Living" and an excerpt reads:

The innocence of what you are flares through the guilt of what you are not.

This mirrors Mary Baker Eddy's statement:

Innocence and Truth overcome guilt and error.

Our purity is a fixed fact. I can see how powerful this fact is. This corrects a preoccupation that we lack something or the mistaken view that this lack can cause something bad. God, Truth is the only Cause. We are the effect of that Cause. Our Truth is our innocence, and it burns through anything unlike good, God enabling us to stand strong and free.

© Nikolay Okhitin - FOTOLIA

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 12, 2009

persistence wins the prize

Spiritual resource to share: persistence

This has been a month that has erupted into story after story, incident after incident that tells of people's stories of overcoming adversity to achieve progress and justice. And I am seeing a pattern here.

In this month that celebrates women's history, there are stories around the world of women who stood up for their rights, and the rights of others, in order to establish equality, justice and freedom from violence.

My favorite author and one whose teachings I follow closely is Mary Baker Eddy. Her story as founder, discoverer, religious reformer, leader of a religious movement, healer and more has filled many books and has been a source of inspiration. I am reading - again - my favorite biography of her - Christian Healer.

This last month, I've seen two movies which highlight the true stories of two individuals who fought to uncover injustice: The Changeling and Flash of Genius.

I keep seeing this theme of one hand holding tightly onto Truth and one hand open to see new possibilities revealed.

On one hand each person had a strong hold on what they held as Truth. Whether it was the right identification of their child (as in the movie The Changeling) or the discovery of a law of spirituality (as in the case of Mary Baker Eddy's discovery), their clear sense of what was right kept them going through whatever obstacles presented themselves.

On the other hand, each person kept listening, kept open to whatever possibilities presented themselves.

The two qualities of openness and persistence each led the individuals to a remarkable end. And the clearer they were about their Truth, the more far-reaching and beneficial was their solution.

It struck me that this is much the way I practice Christian Science healing. There is a similar Principle here in that we are all about establishing Truth, which will, by its own nature- like light dispelling darkness - transform justice, discord and dis-ease. It is all about self-denial, sincerity, Christianity, and persistence. Mary Baker Eddy brings this out:

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.

The other similarity I see is that the nature of the Truth that we hold to must be free of ego or material elements. To the degree that this is done is the same degree by which the blessings come. I find this Bible passage affirming just that!

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

When I was a young girl, I always thought that I was destined to do some great thing. I feel I have done some incredible things in my life. But now I realize that the one great thing I can do in my life is to hold tight to my understanding of God, of Truth and stay open to how that will play out in my life and in the lives of those I love. My self-denial, sincerity, Christianity, and persistence in holding to Truth is that great thing to do.

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.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

International Woman's Day - Rising to the "altitude of true womanhood" revisited

Spiritual resource to share: true womanhood

When the Christian Science movement was very young in the mid 1800's, women had few rights, including lacking the right to vote. In addition, it was considered out of place for a woman to address congregations, much less start whole movements, write books and lecture. Nonetheless, this was the atmosphere in which Christian Science got a foothold.

One of my favorite stories of this early time was an incident in which Mary Baker Eddy had enlisted a number of her students, both men and women, to become lecturers. One of them, Annie Knott, had her doubts if she would ever be called upon, believing that people preferred to have a man lecture for them. She went to Mrs. Eddy with this concern who immediately and thoroughly turned down that argument. She said to Annie Knott,
"You must rise to the altitude of true womanhood, and then the whole world will want you...."*
To me, that comment is a call for all time.

In Science and Health, Eddy writes, "the union of the masculine and feminine qualities constitute completeness." I remember coupling that with an idea read from a book Footsteps of Israel that said one can gauge a nation's progress by the status of their women.
Rising to the altitude of true womanhood, we complete the expression of our full humanity. We get a clearer idea of God, who is the basis of our being. Again, from Eddy,

"In divine Science, we have not as much authority for considering God masculine, as we have for considering Him feminine, for Love imparts the clearest idea of Deity."

This is what brings full fledged progress to our individual lives and to our nations and our world.

As International Woman's Day is celebrated all over the world, I am so encouraged to see that more women's voices are being heard through protests, marches, songs and celebrations and through quiet prayer, affirmations and daily deeds. Hidden issues are coming to the surface, milestones are being celebrated and young men and women are growing into a world demanding a complete humanity where both masculine and feminine thought are honored.

from Canada, China, Turkey, Brazil and Afghanistan - pictures from the International Women's Day site

Happy International Women's Day!

*from the book We Knew Mary Baker Eddy p. 82 Christian Science Publishing Society
post first written March 8, 2007

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Friday, March 06, 2009

"Even the wind is veined with light."*

Spiritual resource to share: seeing the light

To understand God is to understand the allness of Her power, the intimacy of His might. This story gives an insightful glimpse of the nature of this enlightened understanding.

The wind, the rain and the light were talking one day. "Oh the darkness is creeping up on us. It seems to be everywhere." said the wind. Then the rain went to investigate, but came back with the same report. So the wind and the rain only sporadically showed themselves, fearing the darkness.

But the light couldn't believe it. It went to the most hidden places in the crevices of the caves and it went to the deepest parts of the ocean. It went into the night sky. It wasn't afraid to go anywhere.

"I simply cannot see any darkness anyhere." said the light. And the light stayed constant and true.

Happy light-filled weekend everyone!

*poet Tom Sexton
photo by Gabe Korinek - copyright 2008

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 04, 2009

the mistake about mistakes

Spiritual resource to share: corrections

I was thinking about mistakes today and realized that there are a few mistakes about mistakes that need clearing up.

1. The first misconception to reverse is that mistakes define us.

Have you ever thought that something you did caused enough harm to define you for life? An article was written by an individual who was freed from the idea that her life was forever marred by the past mistakes made when she realized that God created her life -- it was ever new. Mistakes don't define us. God does. God is the one who maintains and sustains us. Our "willingness to become as a little child" and to honor God's constant creation helps us really get what is new! Our decision to live aright can begin now and this claim of our God given authority over sin, disease and death defines us.

2. The second misconception is that mistakes confine us.

Have you ever felt that some mistake that you or another has made severeely limited your experience? A couple years ago, I made a major mistake with my son’s airline ticket and it looked as if his longed for trip overseas would have to be cancelled. But when I was able to see that all things are possible to God and to forgive myself for making such an error, I was able to move on and listen for ideas that helped restore the trip. And in three days, he was able to go on that trip overseas.

God governs our lives. God is the source of all activity, harmony and bliss! The only activity that comes from a mistake is the adjustment or correction that is needed.A mistake is by definition an absence of something good. Let’s shorten that. A mistake is an absence – a nothingness. So there is really nothing that can confine us.

3. The last misconception to tackle is that mistakes refine us.

Sometimes there is a notion that God sends us obstacles to strengthen us. This seems incongruous with a loving God. It isn't the mistake or the obstacle that causes us to grow. It is the yearning for more of our freedom that causes us to grow.

The only activity required of a mistake is its correction! If we are trying to find a cause for some mistake we will either tire of this line of reasoning, or realize that the correct answer (or correct view of man) is the only answer and the only way out of the most perplexing questions. Our patience, persistence and grace refine us.

Mistakes can be corrected. Forgiveness helps to wipe away whatever influence we have given to these mistakes and clears our path to see God working on our behalf to restore justice, well-being and health.

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 02, 2009

Praying for the world...healing conflict

Spiritual resource to share: our insights has got some great conversations going -- on all kinds of topics! Check them out here. A weekly poll asks visitors how they are praying for the world on a variety of issues. This is mine about healing conflict.

Conflict anywhere can be boiled down to a belief in limitation or division fueled by fear.When there is the thought of limited resources (which could be land, money, inheritance, homes, opportunity, time or people, etc.), there can be conflict among two people or groups to get this resource.The belief of division arises when there is a conflict of opinions, a fear of being separated from something good or rightfully one’s own, deterioration of meaning (which could be one’s identity or sense of belonging, physical well-being, mental health).

MBEddy instructs that we “always begin (our) treatment by allaying the fear of patients . And we handle fear by our growing confidence in understanding Love’s accurate, active and thorough power to annihilate anything unlike God, good. Love and Principle have all power. That means hatred, conflict, fear, doubt do not.

I found this quote helpful: “The greatest wrong is but a supposititious opposite of the highest right".

When I read about conflicts such as the Palestinian/Israeli one, I can replace the conflict, violence and hatred with the highest right of God’s governance. By not empowering evil, I open thought to affirm God’s power. I recognize that, right where conflict seems to be, there is the Christ, actively and persistently claiming victory. Truth always triumphs and Love never fails. And that is where I take my stand.

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.