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Saturday, December 31, 2011

"Begin anywhere."

Spiritual resource to share: fresh starts
"Begin anywhere." This is one of two quotes that hangs around my office. Its only two words are attributed to John Cage, American composer and philosopher. It is a constant reminder that we are able to change thought, break through a lull, reverse directions at any time. We have that authority to start anew - right now.

Starting anew - right now.  What hope!  This newness and freshness can mark the beginning of our new year.  It can mark the beginning of our new week.  It can even happen in the littlest moments of the day.  A total turn around.  A fresh start.

After having a very bleary morning where interruptions threatened any advancement on a number of projects, I felt the day could have turned out totally unproductive. But these two little words "begin anywhere" provided enough of a jolt to encourage me to stop this fuzzy accommodation of blah to totally reverse direction. I literally closed the door on my little interruptions, forgave my wandering morning, and gave myself permission to have a great day! I jumped into one project at a time and completed what needed to be done.

This same principle of fresh starts that can turn our day around, can also turn our lives around. This principle can be seen in the remarkable lives of such people as Buckminster Fuller whose life took a 180 degree turn and continues to be a marvel, and to our own everyday lives. Mary Baker Eddy, another individual whose life proved this principle of fresh starts offers these words, written over a hundred years ago:


The purpose and motive to live aright can be gained now. This point won, you have started as you should. You have begun at the numeration-table of Christian Science, and nothing but wrong intention can hinder your advancement. Working and praying with true motives, your Father will open the way. "Who did hinder you, that ye should not obey the truth?"


Begin anywhere. Whatever your background, your history, or your prospects, you can begin - right now - to claim your inheritance as a child of God. All that is good, pure, true and fulfilling is at hand!  A happy new year?  Yes!  And a happy new week, a happy new day, and a string of happy new moments.





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, December 17, 2011

step by step

Spiritual resource to share: guest blogger - Leslie Larsen

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

There are 67 stairs out of this cave back into the world we are used to. That’s 67 steps out of the darkness and into the sunlight once again.

Metaphorically speaking, this cave of darkness could represent so many things. The phrase “one step closer” and “light at the end of the tunnel” seem somehow appropriate. For me, it symbolizes growth. Every challenge life presents allows you one more step towards the light. Every challenge means climbing another stair, whether with exuberance or exhaustion, the end goal of the light will not come any closer without conquering that stair, along with all of the others. Sometimes, a daunting task, sometimes a menial snap of the fingers.

But also notice, with every step, there is more light, more air, more to see and appreciate. It is not only about the task of the stairs, not only about the destination of getting to the light and wide open spaces, but also to appreciate the sights on the way there. What lesson is complete without the beauty of the journey? Things are laying there to be learned while you’re figuring out your challenge, neat little rewards of learning to supplement each step with something you would not have seen had you not come this far.

An interesting thought on the passageways of caves.

By Leslie Larsen



S&H 513:6
Advancing spiritual steps in the teeming universe of Mind
lead on to spiritual spheres and exalted beings. 
To material sense, this divine universe is dim and distant,
gray in the sombre hues of twilight;
but anon the veil is lifted, and the scene shifts into light.

Monday, December 12, 2011

considering Mary

Spiritual resource to share: humility and receptivity
Infinite possibilities by Misha
In this cornucopia of inspiration about Christmas flooding in over the internet, this one article, Mary's humble Christmas prayer asks the questions: what did Mary hear in prayer? What was she doing or thinking to receive so profound a message?

(from the article) "The words she heard from the angel Gabriel may have meant nothing without Mary’s precious humility and receptivity to the divine message that would change human experience forever."  

Understanding God's omnipresence and understanding that God is constantly communicating to us ( think of it as a continual stream), it makes sense that we are always capable of listening to and connecting to those right ideas that will bring out whatever glorifies God. Whatever glorifies God fills us with meaning and hope and joy! This is all very good!

This made me think about what it takes to listen. Two things: humility and receptivity

Humility – that genius of Christian Science – takes ego out of the equation. It is meekness, free of false pride; being unpretentious. To humble something is to cause a transformation. Humility reminds me of that place you can go to in prayer when the outward experience is aggressive, confusing, attacking or demeaning. You can lower yourself into that secret hiding place, take yourself out of the target's range and be quiet. In that stillness, the only voice that can be heard is Love, God. God's messages of light and love transform us.

Receptivity – goes hand in hand with willingness, readiness to receive; openness. Our receptivity is as focused on what we know of God as we are focused when we are tuning into a radio program.

God's tender love, infinite goodness, and intelligent care brings out all kinds of surprising solutions for us. How wonderful then to go into this holiday season knowing that we can tune in to the right responses we need for any situation. God is speaking to us, sharing those messages. It is our humility and receptivity that is picking up on these messages and showing us the way to be a blessing in the wide array of family situations, to be a blessing in our churches and communities, to bring the Christ light to our friends and acquaintances.

There is no end to the good in store and no end to the good we can do and the good we can be.

Monday, November 28, 2011

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Hi friends,

I'll be spending the next couple of weeks in  a redesign of my blog and my website making it into one seamless whole and I hope to launch before January 1st.



See you then!

Kim

Monday, November 14, 2011

the innocence and protection of a child - revisited

Spiritual resource to share:  power of purity



Last year about this time, facebook friends were asked to show their support for children and speak out against child abuse by posting their favorite cartoon character from their childhood. It was an invasion of memories!! What a blast to see who friends choose! And how fun to see one another as childlike! There is something pure about these cartoon characters that speaks to the purity in each of us.


I grew up being told that I was a child of God, and that this God is all powerful and all good. Now that I am much older, those first lessons have opened up a world of good to me.

Understanding our original relationship to God helped me to see what is changeless and what is all-powerful about me and about everyone. Purity is the basis of that relationship. And because it is from God, it is also powerful. Our innocence, then, is also our power. This is power that cannot be tainted, touched or manipulated. Purity is part of our original design.

This has been proved to me again and again. I did a lot of traveling as a college student through Latin America. And there were a number of situations where I experienced this protection. Whether it was in the middle of a military shakedown, as the only woman on a crowded bus, or driving along some treacherous roads, I was protected. Prayer was my constant companion during my travels, I can tell you!

But I have also seen this insistent prayer of purity rise up and be the impulse to protect friends of mine who had experienced abusive situations. Time and again, it was their purity which led them to find right solutions, and that led them to find the resources they needed. And in those cases where we prayed together, this same God-bestowed purity restored their confidence, gave them the realization that their spiritual identity (their only identity!) could never be touched, revealed their inherit nature as a child of God – totally loved and cherished, and gave them the courage to go forward with their lives.

Childhood and its accompanying joy, curiosity and goodness are everyone’s right. We can take this stand, full well knowing that we have divine authority to take a stand against violence. This song of King David, written in the book of Psalms, defines that authority that is timeless and timely.



Psalm 91 from the New Living Translation of the Bible


Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

This I declare about the LORD:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.

For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.

He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.

Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.

If you make the LORD your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.

For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.

They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.

You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Announcing! a new resource blog about Jesus' healing words and works

Spiritual resource to share:  lessons we can take from Jesus' healings

For all my Bible-loving friends who are in earnest to learn as much as they can about the how and what and who and where about Jesus' healings, I have put together a new blog as a resource anyone can use, and share their own comments and research if they want.

Check out: http://healinglessons.blogspot.com/

This is not a commentary about Jesus.  Simply, I have listed Jesus' healings chronologically and then tagged each healing in a way to share, quantitatively, the types of healings, how the healings were initiated, the context or environment where each healing took place, the directives Jesus used and the actions that were taken.  To learn how to use the tags, go here: http://healinglessons.blogspot.com/2011/02/how-to-use-tags.html

This is going out to all and especially those friends who are fellow healers and those in our local Ministerial group.

Enjoy!  And please feel free to write your own comments in with the posts.  If you have more to add, please contact me and I'll add it all in.

Monday, October 31, 2011

"A true friend is the best possession." - Ben Franklin

It's time to close my singing about friends series!

A lot of my friends are in the same boat with me - we all have children growing up and out of the nest. On a quiet Sunday afternoon, I cherished what doesn't go up and out - my friends.

Of course, there are friends that come and go, but I am happy for the friends who have stayed with me - through many moves, through births of our children, through crisis, loss, victories and elation.

In many cases, family members are my friends. But mostly, I count among my friends those who I have met along my journey, and our journeys crossed and intertwined and my life has been shaped and refined by their good graces.

Our capacity for friendship seems equal to our capacity to understand God. But what if there is a time when we are without friends? "Would existence without personal friends be to you a blank?" writes Mary Baker Eddy.  "Then the time will come when you will be solitary, left without sympathy; but this seeming vacuum is already filled with divine Love."  Even in times of seeming loneliness, there is Love.  It is the substance of life, it is its foundation. And from that foundation, we grow friends! 

Some gems on friendship:

My friends are my estate.
- Emily Dickinson 

Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.
-Woodrow Wilson

A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

A true friend is the best possession.
-Ben Franklin

Forsake not an old friend; for the new is not comparable to him: a new friend is as new wine; when it is old, thou shall drink it with pleasure.
- Sirach 9:10 

A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.
- Arabian Proverb


Love never loses sight of loveliness. Its halo rests upon its object. One marvels that a friend can ever seem less than beautiful.
-Mary Baker Eddy













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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The power of Paula

Spiritual resource to share: our home

Although Paula was much prettier,
this photo
 reminds me of her. 
When she would sing, her voice
filled up every single room
 in the house.
Thinking about friends for this FRIEND series, I knew I had to write about Paula.  I have lost track of her now, and writing this blog helps me put out there how much this older woman did for our family.  She was a true friend and wonderful mother for our family, she will never be forgotten.

Our family regularly included someone living with us for one of any number of reasons: to house sit or to help out, to wait for another house to open up, to have a place while going to college, etc.  So to have another person come and live with us was a normal thing. 

Paula came to our house when we heard she needed a place while going through a transition in her life.  Paula was the one who gave our sons and me voice and piano lessons.  So, when she moved in, she continued and added helping with dinners four evenings a week. For me, a working mom with a heavy travel schedule, it was heaven!
Paula lived with us for a year and a half. Paula was a gentle woman of amazing stories. These stories were shared with a humble heart that had experienced a side of life that was totally foreign to us. 

Through her, I learned what it was like to live growing up with great grandparents who were former slaves, living through the civil rights movement, and daily dealing with racism in her work, her church and her community.  Throughout her ordeals, she never lost sight of what she loved and found a way to actively pursue her first love: singing opera.

After a few months of music lessons, we had recitals at our house, and she would show off the boys' developing talents.  Then, at our insistence, she would sing.  She would sing in Latin, then German, and follow it up with pieces from opera in English and Italian. She would get herself in a corner (an effective acoustic strategy) and then open her mouth and fill that whole house with sound.  Her opera training gave her a set of lungs that blew us away. 

Into our house of men, she brought the beauty and drama of a life well lived. Her care of the boys was very parent-centered and her mild manner and humility made it easy to immediately claim her as family. Her stories of her great grandfather and her early battles with racism, were received with respect and awe.

The power of Paula was such that she had a steely reserve and a gentle touch: an abundance of talent and the humble willingess to share it with us rookies.  Meekness, might, humility and grace blessed our home and she became one of our dearest friends.  She opened my eyes to the depth of character we all possess, and how an earnest listening ear can bring out the brilliance in another.  She certainly brought out all that was good in our family. She gave our home a consistency of mothering for that year and a half,  teaching us compassion, how to cook and how to live by singing out our hearts.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"There is no one alive who is Youer than you." -Dr. Seuss


Spiritual resource to share: authenticity
  


Today you are you,
that's truer than true.
There is no one alive
who is Youer than You.

 from Dr. Seuss




What a thought!  What an idea!  There is no one in the world quite like you.  SO how does this figure into the grand scheme of things.  What makes you You?  What is it about you that makes you so unique?

For some it may not always be easy to discover your unique gifts, and then have the courage to share them. For others, it's a breeze. But it is such a worthwhile undertaking to make that discovery.

First of all, coming from the basis that we are all created in the image and likeness of God, and knowing that God is infinite, there is an infinite store of spiritual qualities each of us reflect. That we all have our own unique signature to give to the world, of this I am sure!

This was demonstrated to me early on in my career when I was studying dance at the University of Minnesota. I took an experimental class in Dance Improvisation. There, the teacher removed any guidelines, threw away all dance disciplines and asked us to start moving for most of the class period.

We all started out a bit intimated and feeling directionless. But one by one, we started experimenting with the moves that felt most natural to us. Pretty soon, as we took turns watching one another and dancing, it was becoming obvious that each dancer focussed his or her movements on a specific theme.

I loved exploring the spiral - movements rising, falling, turning inside then outside; another was fascinated with balance - each part of the body brought its own balance and imbalance to the rest of the body; another kept dancing within the theme of contrasts; another centered on the contraction and the movements that emerged out of that, and on and on. The point was that each of us had a strength that emerged and our own unique signature blossomed in an open and inviting atmosphere.

How can we do that today? Can we develop our own voice? Our own way of dancing through life? Can we identify our authentic self and give that to the world?

Sure.

Do this fun exercise. Leave aside all expectations, and put yourself in an open and inviting atmosphere. Now, write down everything that you are. Come up with at least, let's say, 20 things. Done? OK, now remove any titles or jobs you may have (like professor, award-winning pie eater), any roles you have or positions that define you in relation to others (mother, second cousin, etc), any thing that defines you physically (drop dead gorgeous, short and round, etc.) and finally remove any dead end quality (like boring, lazy, etc.)

Now that outside expectations, labels and dead end stuff have been removed, you should have a list of your primitive spiritual qualities. (For more ways of discovering your spiritual qualities, see past post on the Spirituality Matrix.)

This embodiment of spiritual qualities is you, your theme. Let's say what is left on your list is grace, order and spontaneity. Or strength, precision and tenderness. Or maybe it's warmth, intelligence, promptness. Taking this cluster of spiritual ideas (which is actually you, now understood spiritually) how would you respond in a variety of settings? How would Grace/Order/Spontaneity respond at a family Christmas dinner? How would Strength/Precision/Tenderness deal with a new challenging project at work? Or how would Warmth/Intelligence/Promptness deal with paying overdue bills?

You are unique. And you bring your God-given qualities with you wherever you go - bringing a unique dimension of God's love to every activity in the way that only you can.


Signing off as Curious/Adventurous/Embracing,

Kim





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 21, 2011

The foreverness of friends - revisited

spiritual resource to share:  Friends ( third in my series)


The northern lights right off Lake Superior's coast

With one son off to school, the other son and husband off to a ten day wilderness canoe trip, I planned to take three days off to a hiking, swimming, camping venture on an island on Lake Superior with a friend I hadn't seen in about six years.

The morning of our trip, I got a call from her and as we were making rendezvous plans, she blurted "I can't wait! You're my best friend!" And she is mine, too! We have had an almost twenty-five year history of paddling whitewater, wilderness camping and leading trips including co-leading a rafting trip on the Rio Grande down in Texas' Big Bend area, and had a memorable hike on the Superior Hiking Trail in Minnesota that she wrote about in a regional magazine (as well as writing a book about the Lake Superior area).

The first time we saw each other in the parking lot on Day One of our trip, it was like we had never been apart. I have heard about that with other people who have really good friends. Distance and time just don't cut the bonds of friendship.

She brought another friend along, and the three of us proceeded to have three days of really good food, great stories, hiking along the rocky shoreline and walking the boardwalk and swimming in the clear waters. We figured out one another's life problems, read some, sang some, and walked some more. Then our last evening together was topped off with the northern lights.

Mary Baker Eddy has some great things to say about friends:


Pure humanity, friendship, home, the interchange of love, bring to earth a foretaste of heaven. They unite terrestrial and celestial joys, and crown them with blessings infinite. (Miscellaneous Writings)



There are no greater miracles known to earth than perfection and an unbroken friendship. (Retrospection and Introspection)






For more information,
contact Kim or call her directly via skype!
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

seeing through Laura's eyes

Spiritual resource to share:  renewal
I was starting to feel a bit dull about my life here.  After all, I have lived here for over six years, and I haven't lived in one place for over six years for a long, long time.  I was looking for a change.  Not anything major, mind you, but I was just wanting something different.

Then, my buddy Laura came for a visit.  Laura and I met through work during one of the most exciting work projects I had ever been on.  Although we had different jobs pioneering different tasks, we were both working on the same goal.  It was thrilling.  But then our jobs ended, and that's when our friendship bloomed. 

Laura was always the one to get new ideas started and going, and she took on Herculean tasks. Her energy, focus and determination was palpable.  I could feel her jolt just talking to her on the phone when she called to see if she could come for a visit.

I wondered how she would repond to my quiet life up in the Northwoods.  This is where it got interesting. 
The day came when she arrived and entered my house.  "I love this house!" she burst out, "It is so you!"  I had to agree. Later, we hiked one of my favorite trails.  "Oh, this is just gorgeous," she commented looking over the lake reflecting its fringe of colored leaves.  I realized she was right.  Another time, we cruised the main street of my town known for its tiny shops of antiques, clothes, tea and chocolates, hand-made quilts from the Midwest, and imported pottery from Italy and art from local artisans and more.  "This is fascinating," she oohed at a hand thrown bowl.  I could see I was starting to wake up.  "Oh you are just so beautiful," she said.  Yes, I am, I nodded in agreement.

On one of our hikes, I pointed out the remnants of several art installations that were put on the trail years ago.  We were so engrossed in our talking that we missed a major art sculpture just two feet from the trail. After a couple of days of non-stop conversations, she left to go back home, leaving me with the reminder of how good life is, and how precious and connected we all are to one another.  She left me seeing things in sharper focus with a brighter light, and I got to see the wonder that lives right here with me right now.

One marvels that a friend can ever seem less than beautiful.
-Mary Baker Eddy


Mocha sits next to the art sculpture
on the Raven Trail in Minocqua
Part of the Forest Art Wisconsin Native/Invasive Events by Edgardo Madanes of Argentina right in my neighborhood
         

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My breakfast with Cori

Spiritual resource to share:  our art --- of books and healing

Sitting down in to an early morning send-off, my friend and I had breakfast at my favorite place.  Last month, she had just completed a month long artist's residency at the Anderson Center in Red Wing and wanted to share her latest project.

Cori is a book artist, and her work has stretched and opened my ideas as to what a book is and can be.

She has distilled the meaning of a book to three of its native elements:  it is a narrative ( each sentence, phrase or word has its own story), it is interactive (the reader is integral to the book  --  can you have a book if you have no reader?*) and it is on a time continuum (whether you read a book cover-to-cover, read a sentence, or one word, you have a starting point and ending point).   Her latest book project would involve the highlighting of our life journeys: the importance of seeing the entire landscape, while at the same time idenitifying the singular weed  by the road -- all in a way that crystalizes those moments and puts it on a pedestal to make each moment sacred.

Throughout her explanation, over tea and mango eggs, I had to ask her to stop until I was able to wrap my head around some of the ideas she was sharing.  I had to give up how I normally perceived a road weed, a life journey, not to mention what I thought a book was!  Once I abandoned my own assumptions, I was open to see things in a new way.

"I need this kind of mind-stretching," I said.  "It keeps my thought fresh and open to new ways of seeing things."

"Kim," she said, "that is exactly how I feel when you explain Christian Science to me."

I immediately got the connection.  In Christian Science, we see beyond the limited and the stereotyped to the most primal spiritual essence of things.  We strive to see things the way God sees them - as spiritual.  In doing so, we change the basis of thought - from the material to the spiritual; the limited to the unlimited; the dull to the brilliant; the academic to the inspirational.  Only when this is done, can we make real (realize) our original perfection.  And in the case of our art, only when we slough off the limited, etc., can we make original, transformative art!  Mary Baker Eddy summarizes it like this:



When understanding changes the standpoints of life and intelligence from a material to a spiritual basis, we shall gain the reality of Life, the control of Soul over sense, and we shall perceive Christianity, or Truth, in its divine Principle. This must be the climax before harmonious and immortal man is obtained and his capabilities revealed.






*As each reader brings his or her experience to the book, so no one can experience the book in the same way.  And the reader, who is always a dynamic, growing force him or herself, can never read the same book in the same way.  This explains why we always seem to get new ideas from books we love and re-read over and over again!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Godwords - revisited

Spiritual resource to share: synonyms

Just about everyday, I list a handful of defining words about God. For today, I am looking at the words: persistent, patient, purity, power, potential as ways to understand God.

This stems from a definition of God that comes from Mary Baker Eddy's classic book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

GOD. The great I AM; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence.


For a time, understanding God didn't really appeal to me. I didn't see the connection with the great I AM to my daily life - of having friends, enough money to cover rent and other necessities, and of school and work.

But slowly, I came to realize that it is our concept of God that gives us the parameters of our world view - that our world is as big as our God. Or in other words, God is our world.

So if my world is based on an understanding of God as punishing, erratic, and unknowable, my life may be characterized by a sense of caution, or maybe even distrust.

But if my world is based on an infinite God who is infinite good, my life might be characterized by more openness, less fear of the unknown.

Once I understood this, I made knowing God more of a priority. At first, my motive was oriented toward self. I wanted a bigger sense of possibilities for my life and a more confident world view, so I figured that knowing God would do that for me.

But as I continued to explore who God is, I found myself getting more and more curious to know God - just for the sake of knowing God. I mean, what does it mean that God is ALL power? God is Love and God is omnipresent. What does that mean that Love is always present? This was interesting quickly working its way into fascinating.....

To know the wholeness of God is a way to love God. Paul, writer of many books in the New Testament, was a passionate, adventurous and deeply loving man who wrote in his letter to the Romans:
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!

King David, poet and political and religious leader, wrote many songs in praise of God and his yearning to know God better:
O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is....

Like David and Paul, when we work to understand God, we are actually developing our spiritual sense, and " to understand God is the work of eternity, and demands absolute consecration of thought, energy, and desire."
I find some comfort in knowing that we will never get to a point where we say, "OK! Done! I got it. I now know God. Next topic!" What we know of God becomes an ever-growing storehouse of wisdom. Good is infinite. Brilliance is never-ending. Possibilities for wonder abound. Solutions are always at hand.
Knowing God, we know more of who we are - as we are made in the image and likeness of God. We know more of our neighbor, and it follows that we understand the fundamental nature of all mankind. Mary Baker Eddy shares more of the impact of understanding God:
                     To understand God strengthens hope, enthrones faith in Truth,
                      and verifies Jesus' word:
                      "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

Godwords for today: persistent, patient, purity, power, potential
Today, it is good to know that God loves for me is persistent and patient: the God's purity is the source of my health and well-being; that God has the power to maintain and sustain Her creation; and that God gives us the potential to understand all of what God is.

And I can't wait for tomorrow.


Friday, October 07, 2011

God is big.

Spiritual resource to share: a walk











Okay, walk with me on this one.  No, skip with me because that's how this fun little musing felt.  I kept thinking of ways to answer the question "Why do I love God?"  As I kept thinking about this and how I would answer, I kept bumping into different bits of songs from the book of Psalms.

I love God because.....
God is big.  Really, really big.  God includes everything that I love and everything that is worth loving.
God is about abundance, joy, triumph, satisfaction.  Everything that I love has its source in God and in what is infinite, eternal, substantial and real.
"I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being." Pslams 104

I love God because....
I can relate to God.   I relate to Love and God is Love.  I relate to harmony and balance.  I love those qualities.  I love structure and improvisation - evidence of Love's order and spontaneity.  I love these ideas because I am made of these ideas.  I can relate to God because I am the very evidence of God -an idea of God - a child of God!  In the most basic way, then, God has made me.
"I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." Psalm 139

I love God because....
God is always more.   Although there is an end to the search for God, there is no end in discovering how far-reaching and all-encompassing God is.  There is no end to knowing how intimate and exacting God's care is and how infinite and available God's resources are.  Knowing God even in a small way, I recognize God's love when in a new place, I recognize God's provision in the midst of seeming lack, and God's guidance when there once was doubt. 
"The Lord, the Mighty One, is God, and he has spoken; he has summoned all humanity from where the sun rises to where it sets. From Mount Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines in glorious radiance." Psalm 50

So it follows on this path, that I should ask you, Why do you love God?






Photo by Kim C Korinek
King James Version used in Psalms 104 and 139
New Living Translation used in Psalm 50

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

what Love does

Spiritual resource to share: poetry

I make strong demands on Love*
to dissolve divisions,
to clarify our connections to each other,
to soften our sympathies,
to teach beyond tolerance to tenderness,
to call for active witnesses, noble sacrifices and grand achievements*
to satisfy our searching.


Love inspires, illumines, designates and leads the way.
Oh, Love, show me what you love about me
and why You have chosen me for Your holy purpose;
Then show me how Your Love reveals what You love about each of Your children
and how each of Your children has his/her own Holy purpose.

Love is no respecter of persons.
God does not know the categories and qualifications of conditional love.
God's love runs through us like a river,
flushing away the false dams of
race, orientation, age, economic status, gender,
intellectual capacity,
and uniting us into
one
full force of sparking, brilliant achievement: 
we are all the loved of Love.



* See Miscellaneous Writings by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 250

Photos:  Top: Kim, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
Bottom:  http://bit.ly/rrpwKw, Arkansas River

Thursday, September 29, 2011

answering the call to compassion

Spiritual resource to share: our healing response

My two nieces recently posted on their facebook status, heartfelt calls for compassion to those struggling with an invisible illness and to those who have been targets of prejudice due to circumstances beyond their control.  Both of my nieces know what they are talking about and can share from first hand experience how deep is the demand for compassion.  I woke up this morning thinking over what Christ Jesus taught about compassion and how this compassion can lead to healing.

In the Bible's book of John, it says simply "God is Love."  Jesus' own healing works demonstrated how far-reaching and life-transforming that Love is.  What Jesus proved and taught his disciples to do can be done today.

The websites spirituality.com and christianscience.com are stocked with accounts of healing after healing of the power of Love. I'm listing just a few here.  Compassion starts and ends with love, and I love that my nieces have put the call out there. You can go to these sites and write in the search box for any of these compassionate and healing responses:

Healing of depression
Healing of obesity
Healing of chronic pain
Erasing prejudice
Prayer for rape victims
Healing of injury
Healing of cancer
Healing of arthritis

Of course, healing compassion is always the right response in every situation, whether it is opening a door for someone, listening attentively or sending a gracious note of thanks.  So I am sending a note of thanks to two very compassionate nieces.  Their love is touching and uplifting others' lives, I know.



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Healing happens at the point of letting go


Amazing.  It has been six years to the day that I started this blog.  It was a small group of Christian Science practitioners who got together over several conference calls and learned as much as they could to see how to further the word about Christian Science and its healing prayer through the internet.  Today, I have lost track of how many sites there are about Christian Science!  Each of us has a singular voice sharing with the world that most singular and universal love that can be demonstrated and practiced in Christian Science.  This post is six years old, but the ideas are ever new!  Enjoy!

Explore with me a minute what this means: healing happens at the point of letting go.

Healing through prayer can at times sound so simple as to seem simplistic, or as one of my friends said after hearing an explanation for the first time, it seems like magic. It is neither simplistic nor magic. The basis of healing through prayer, as taught by Christ Jesus, is sound. Its basis is comprised of three basic facts:

  • God (good) is All.
  • We are His reflection.
  • Anything unlike God (good) is unreal and powerless.
When I work with a patient, I listen and mainly work with these three ideas, whatever the situation is. For example:
  • What Truth calms an anxious thought about the future? Understanding that God is All.
  • What Truth dissolves low self-esteem? Knowing that we are God's reflection.
  • What Truth heals disease? Reasoning that anything unlike God (good) is unreal -- that is, powerless to impact who you are, as God's reflection, because God is All.
When the faith in God grows to be more than the faith in evil/disease/death/bad things happening to good people, we are more ready to trust God and let go of our concerns, arguments, and fears.(Click here to see Science and Health citation.)

When we understand that we can never be separated from God ( because we are His reflection) and that God is All ( good is always present) and we are safe ( bad things have no power to impact us/ anything unGodlike is unreal), we can let go and experience healing.

As a child, I grew up with some simple and profound ideas:
  • Let go and let God.
  • Don't outline good, because you can't outline good enough!
  • There is no spot where God is not.
  • Just Trust.
God is incredibly, powerfully, thoroughly good. His power dissolves and dissipates anything unlike Him, and we are safe in His care. (Click here to see Bible citation.) Understanding this - even in a degree - helps us to let go and experience healing.





photo from http://binged.it/rbMRrX

Friday, September 16, 2011

Decline or resurrection?

Spiritual resource to share: published articles
I am so happy to be able to share what I have learned and experienced about church in the last six years, all compiled and published into one neat little article! 

 
Reprinted from the September 2011 issue of The Christian Science Journal.
 
 
Here's how it starts:
 
I could sense the grief a friend felt as she recalled the days of church services filled with members, lots of children in the Sunday School, and a packed church parking lot. But afterward, I felt a need to answer what has been a question for me as well—What happened? Why aren’t churches as full now as they used to be?

There are plenty of reasonable explanations for the decline in the numbers attending church. It’s a trend in most “mainstream” churches and faith organizations. People maintain that churches simply are not responding to today’s need for more relevancy and practicality. (You can do a Google search on “decline in churches” and get millions of responses.)

And there are the not-so-reasonable explanations, where the drop in popularity turns into a blame game, pointing at the actions of others—church leaders, changes to the status quo, and so on—as the culprit for fewer people occupying the pews.

But answers like these don’t get to the heart of the matter. This brought me back to thinking how Jesus’ mission is something we can learn from.

.....



To read the rest, please go to: http://bit.ly/pU9ikg

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Beyond 9/11: rebuilding with forgiveness and love

Spiritual resource to share: special readings from the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy

On Wednesday, I'll be reading selected citations from the Bible and Science and Health, after which people attending can share inspiration and healing that they have gotten from their study and practice of Christian Science.

If you have a phone and can make the time, please feel free to join us!

Phone: 1-201-793-9022 Access Code: 7040344#

For more information, please go to the website: http://www.prayerfulgathering.com/
There has been a flood of healing ideas flying over the internet, and I am happy to be adding these inspiring readings!  (See below for some links.)

Beyond 9/11: rebuilding with forgiveness and love
From the Bible (book, chapter: verse(s)
  1. Psalms 130: 2-5
  2. Micah 4: 1-4
  3. Mark 12: 29-31
  4. I John 4: 16, 18, 20, 21
  5. Leviticus 19: 17, 18
  6. I Peter 5: 6-10
  7. Joshua 1: 9
  8. Ps 139: 9, 10, 11
  9. Acts 17: 28
  10. Isaiah 42: 6
  11. John 16:33
  12. Galatians 5: 19-23
  13. Romans 12:21
  14. I John 3: 13, 18, 19, 22, 23
  15. Luke 10:19
  16. Phil 4: 8
  17. I Corinthians 13: 13
  18. II Thessalonians 3: 5

From Science and Health (page: line)
  1. 225: 14
  2. 102:18-23, 30-2
  3. 96:31
  4. 572: 6
  5. 496: 5-9
  6. 43: 32
  7. 241: 9
  8. 327: 8-13
  9. 22: 30-32
  10. 542: 19-21
  11. 391: 17-18
  12. 36: 19-21
  13. 405: 5-11
  14. 9: 11-24
  15. 445: 19
  16. 374: 5-6
  17. 568: 1 (only)
  18. 201: 1-9
  19. 560: 13-19
  20. 454: 9
  21. 407: 6-16
  22. 264: 24
  23. 158: 24-25
  24. 96:12-20
  25. 233: 5-7
  26. 569: 6-14
  27. 55: 16
  28. vii: 25

with Hymns from the Christian Science Hymn book
Hymns 179, 163, 65
_________________________________________________________________________

Other articles and chats about 9/11:

Question of the week:  How have you been thinking and praying about the ten year anniversary of 9/11?
http://www.spirituality.com/question/index.jhtml

Ten years after the 9/11 attacks: a new day
http://www.spirituality.com/article.jhtml?ElementId=/repositories/shcomarticle/Sep2011/1315946408.xml&ElementName=Ten%20years%20after%20the%20September%2011%20attacks%3A%20A%20new%20day

9/11 - still a call for comfort
http://www.spirituality.com/article.jhtml?ElementId=/repositories/shcomarticle/Sep2009/1252683501.xml&ElementName=9/11%20%13%20still%20a%20call%20for%20comfort

and more.....
http://christianscience.com/healing/praying-about-911/



Thursday, September 08, 2011

We are all connected

Spiritual resource to share: continuing knowledge

I came across this delightful inspiring set of videos about how science proves our unity with all things.  As a Christian Scientist, I am constantly studying, discovering, practicing and proving from a scientific ( thus provable) basis of being.  I practice the laws of Life and of Love.  These are laws of God.

What thrills me is to come across other practicing scientists - whether they are physicists, astronomers, Christians - whose ideas jive with what I am learning and seeing.

I am not a student of the physical sciences, but Christian Science has led me to understand the basic premise of all sciences - the discovery and the proof of repeatable laws that lead to publicly verifiable evidence that lifts thought to a higher and more practical basis.

Some of the ideas in this video shares insights into our connectivity with all things biologically and chemically thus proving that we are made of the same stuff of stars, that the cosmos is actually within us and that there is still so much to be learned.


After seeing this clip, consider Mary Baker Eddy (a woman who discovered Christian Science in the mid 1800's), and her definition of man and of earth and of the universe.  What is exciting here is that we are hearing something now, although based on materiality, opens the way to a higher view that MBEddy was onto decades ago:


S&H 585:5
EARTH.A sphere; a type of eternity and immortality, which are likewise without beginning or end. To material sense, earth is matter; to spiritual sense, it is a compound idea. 


MAN.The compound idea of infinite Spirit; the spiritual image and likeness of God;
the full representation of Mind.  

S&H 475:6 
  Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique. He is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas.

S&H 507:15
The universe of Spirit reflects the creative power of the divine Principle, or Life, which reproduces the multitudinous forms of Mind and governs the multiplication of the compound idea man. The tree and herb do not yield fruit because of any propagating power of their own, but because they reflect the Mind which includes all. A material world implies a mortal mind and man a creator. The scientific divine creation declares immortal Mind and the universe created by God.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Lengthen your days - revisited

Spiritual resource to share: effiiciency, focus and genius

"Oh, if only there were more hours in a day!"

We are coming into September. Kids are back at school and summer toys are packed up. But that's not all that is getting packed. At a recent Ministerial meeting, others shared with a sigh how quickly their calendars are filling up as we tried to find a regular time to meet for our autumn meetings. How does one manage time and stay above the fray?
I came across these two ideas recently and was reminded of a time when I was really time crunched and how these two ideas helped pull me out and above that pressure:
 
That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days
The understanding that Life is God, Spirit, lengthens our days by strengthening our trust in the deathless reality of Life, its almightiness and immortality.
A number of years ago, I was hired for a wonderful job. As it required some post graduate education, I started out by working full time AND going to school full time. In addition, I was heading up the whole operation. People were looking to me for answers right away. Oh. I felt pressure. But I also prayed about the whole situation.
 
What I found was that when I felt the burden was on me to perform, that I needed to do everything and the demands were pulling me every which way, that is the time I felt like an accordion - squeezed to the max with hardly any breath to pull off much of a tune at all!
 
But when I could see that what I was doing was to be a help to people, that I was there to reflect God and respond to all requests and requirements with love, order, joy and peace, I could lean on God and the inspiration just flowed.
 
When I was obedient to God ( like not putting my ego out there, but being grateful and glorifying God), things flowed. Literally, if I had to do a paper or prepare a presentation to the Board, I was able to work efficiently - with very little wasted effort. I came to trust God in a new way. I trusted that all that needed doing could be done by trusting God's plan.

My days were lengthened - I could soon get everything done that needed to be done. Whatever brilliant ideas were needed were there. Whatever books I needed were easily located. Whatever energy I needed to get the tasks done was there.
 
What stays with me today is that I can expect schedules to blend, large jobs to be completed on time and harmony between everyone's coming and going. I can expect Love to lead my days.
We have all the time, ideas, strength, humor and joy we need every moment. Our days are lengthened -- we understand God's timing is always sufficient.  We can rest assured and trust that God's will is done. And we can all be blessed, rested and refreshed.










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 23, 2011

Complete. Perfect.

Spiritual resource to share: new-old inspiration
Well, this is my last in the series of "Complete" posts.  So to sum it all up, what does it mean to be complete? It has a lot to do with understanding that we are the expression of God, aka the children of God.

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), our very being is based on a perfect principle of God, who is Truth and Love.

So what is the basis of perfection?

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

Perfect means: Having everything that is required…………
So this means: YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED

Perfect means: Complete in moral excellencies…………….
So this means: YOU ARE NATURALLY KIND, GENEROUS, ACCURATE, HONEST, UPRIGHT

Perfect means: Perfect Love…………………………………
So this means: YOU ARE LOVED, LOVABLE, LOVELY and LOVING

Perfect means: Exactly fitting the need in every situation………….
So this means: YOU ARE IN YOUR RIGHT PLACE and SITUATION; YOU HAVE A MISSION AND A PURPOSE IN LIFE

Perfect means: Entirely without flaws or blemish……………
So this means: YOU ARE COMPLETE, CERTAIN, CONFIDENT, SURE, and PURE

From this basis of wholeness, we can meet any challenge with increased confidence.  We have all we need to meet any discord, disease, or lack.  And that is something for which we can be completely grateful!







Friday, August 19, 2011

Bird. A prayer.

Spiritual resource to share:  everyday gratitude

The nieces come for a visit

We have a family prayer before dinner that we have been saying....well ever since we've become a family, so that's over 21 years ago.  It starts out by addressing our Father-Mother God, thanks the people who prepared the meal, thanks the land that produced the meal and in its grand finale, blesses everyone.

Now that our two sons are in college, we thought this might be a good time to update our prayer.  Enter my nieces: The eight year old twins and the four year old.  They spent a day and a night with us, full of exploring the marshy areas and the beach in our neighborhood.  They got their fill of frogs, toads, ducks, deer, fox, and all kinds of birds - which especially caught the attention of Sophie - the youngest.

That night we ate pizza and a salad (that the girls helped make with the brocoli and tomatoes they picked from our garden).  We ate outside on the deck, waiting for the hummingbirds and chickadees that regularly show up at this time.  I shared our family prayer, saying it slowly so that they would catch how full of gratitude and how inclusive it was, and how simple and direct it was. Then I asked them if they could update our family prayer.

Sophie said she had a prayer she wanted to share.  "All right Sophie, let's hear it."  I said.

"Bird."

"Is that it?"

"Yes.  Bird."

"I see."

There is a song I rarely sing from the Christian Science Hymnal.  It's Hymn 284 with words written by James Montgomery.  It seems to set up the criteria pretty well for what a prayer should be.

Prayer is the heart's sincere desire, 
Uttered or unexpressed;
The motion of a hidden fire

That trembles in the breast.

Prayer is the simplest form of speech

That infant lips can try;

And prayer's sublimest strain doth reach

The Majesty on high.
Sophie's prayer was all that.  It was eloquent, simple, and included what she was most passionate about that day, and it was a recognition of some of God's most gloriest stuff.

Bird.  Our new family dinner prayer. 

One of the many sources of inspiration for Sophie's prayer.