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…………

Perfect means: Complete in moral excellencies…………….

Perfect means: Perfect Love…………………………………

Perfect means: Exactly fitting the need in every situation………….

Perfect means: Entirely without flaws or blemish……………

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.


"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.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Complete. We have infinite value.

Spiritual resource to share: our own worthiness

As part of the Complete series, I wanted to answer the question:

  • Is there a belief that we are blameworthy or unworthy?

  • Feeling unworthy is a definite distraction to experiencing life fully.  So how does the idea that we are blameworthy or unworthy get traction in our thought?

    Of course if you have committed a wrong, there is a need to correct that - and that is a big topic, worthy of its own blog posting - not to say its own sermon, book or seminar.  But I want to look at those times where there is a nagging doubt about one's own self-worth.

    Much of Christendom relies on the Adam and Eve story in the book of Genesis to be the basis for their theology.  Modern day Eves operate on this paradigm that they did something wrong and deserve to be blamed, that they have set up the archetype of woman as temptress, and that they came to life only because their husbands sacrificed a rib for them.  Modern day Adams operate on a paradigm in which they have to admit that they were duped, that they have to till the soil (and not like it) and that their primal origin was actually dirt.  This story is similar to other creation stories and may be an easy way to answer the difficult questions about the origins of evil and erratic behaviour of both men and women, but it does not allow for healing or a satisfying or sustainable sense of self.

    However, looking at the first chapter of Genesis, there is a whole new way of seeing ourselves:  made in the image and likeness of an all-powerful and all-loving God.  Male and female are created at the same time.  This highest creation is pronounced good.  (See the end of Genesis chapter 1).  This ultimate goodness, this pure concept of living Love is our origin. 

    If this is our framework for finding meaning and well-being in our lives, what can we find? 
    With our standpoint of purity goodness and love, we find we can heal, in a degree, just as Jesus healed.

    Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick.
    There is much in the Bible that helps us affirm this perfect and loved view of ourselves. Psalm 139 is one of my favorites and includes this line:

    Ps 139:14
    I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
    The bigger question is: can we accept that we are loved, cherished, considered precious? Or that we have infinite value because we are the beloved children of Love itself! Answering "Yes!" to this question will deliver an emphatic "NO!" to the question: is there a belief that you are blameworthy or unworthy?

    Accepting that you have no inherent lack, and that you are created wholy good and complete,  puts you on the right track for claiming the peace and confidence and poise you were always meant to have.

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    Complete. We are not in process.

    Spiritual resource to share:  the right starting point 

    As the third part in this Complete series, I wanted to answer this question:
    Is there a mistaken assumption that we need to go through something ( like a process, a period of suffering, a certified procedure) in order to be complete?

    Do any of these comments sound familiar?

    • Once I get my degree, then I will be able to do more.
    • If only I had more background on the Bible, then I would be able to contribute more.
    • Once I get over this cold, then I can get my work done.
    • Of course I am suffering now, I had to stay up all night to get the project done.
    What is similar in all these comments is a sense that one lacks something now, and has to go outside of self in order to gain something.  This lack - of time, of health, of intelligence, of skill - is a shaky place to try to build on.

    Mary Baker Eddy writes:

    Man is God's reflection, needing no cultivation, but ever beautiful and complete.

    The starting point here is that we are already complete.  Then it follows that our lives are the revealing of that completeness.  This eliminates the stress of believing we have to move ourselves from a position of a "have-not" to a "have." And this replaces it with a sense of exploring what God has already given us.

    When facing a challenge, we can approach it with eyes open to what we already do have.

    More education is definitely helpful, but now you can claim the intelligent ideas that God is constantly giving to you as ample to meet the need at hand.

    Health is more contagious than disease, and disease is cured in proportion as our understanding of Life, God's supremacy increases.

    Ideas from God are constant, and we kind find that accomplishing our tasks require less time when we are more open to the ideas that are already present.

    Our primal origin to intelligent good and robust Life is our starting point and these lead to good and timely solutions.  We find that we are complete, having all we need at all times, when we start out by seeing ourselves as the reflection of God, of infinite Love, Truth and Life. 

    Monday, August 08, 2011

    Complete. We are not vulnerable.

    Spiritual resource to share:  life answers to difficult questions

    Being complete and at peace is
    our natural state of being
    As part of the Complete series, I wanted to answer this question:

    Is there the thought that life includes vulnerability? a subtle argument that we are flawed? an unconscious acceptance that we are at fault and we should expect bad things to happen to us as if this type of punishment was justified?

    After I had gone through a difficult time in my life, I called a Christian Science practitioner (a healer) and asked her point blank:  "Is there something wrong with me?  If you could just tell me what is wrong wth me, then I will gladly fix it, and I could get on with my life."

    She paused and said slowly, "There is nothing wrong with you."

    This shocked me.  It also made me realize how deeply imbedded was the idea that there was some hidden subtlety that had caused the one difficulty that I just emerged from.

    But even deeper still, was her conviction that I was not inherently flawed.  She saw - what I was learning to accept -  "the perfect man."  Mary Baker Eddy explains this in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (See S&H 476:28 ) 

    "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick."

    As I grew to understand God as invariable Love,  and as a purifying and transformative Truth about my life,  I grew to accept that I was a direct result of Life, of God.  And as I grew to accept that the very nature of my being is a reflection of God, I could affirm with authority my own goodness and virtue.  I grew to see that I was created in the image and likeness of God - pure and free - and that was my natural state!

    However, just as an engine that is miscalibrated cannot function, neither could God's creation function if it were flawed.  But God's creation does function, so it follows that it cannot be flawed.

    Yes!  This all made sense!  I saw myself more clearly as a child of God.  Whatever was discordant or irritating or painful was not in the original plan, and needed to be rooted out.  Actually, I saw that whatever was unGodlike could not attach itself to me.  So the self-doubt or the belief that I could be vulnerable or lacking in anyway was flushed away in light of the freeing Truth that I was created complete.  I realize that I have the strength, confidence and authority to heal, to live life fully and to be  joyful! 

    And if this is true for me, it is true for everyone.  Wonderful!

    Thursday, August 04, 2011


    Spiritual resource to share:  perfection

    One statement says everything. It creates the most sustainable, viable and purposeful framework in which to understand who we are in the largest possible context.

    We are complete, made in the image and likeness of God (pure Love, Life, Spirit).  Or as it says in Genesis :

    Gen 1:26
    And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:
    And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. 
    If this were understood in its entirety, we would see more stability, development and joy in our lives. In fact, you can read story after story of healing in all aspects of life from people who have experienced life more fully because of their understanding of this very idea.  (See any of the posts on

    So, if this is indeed so wonderful and true, then what would try to keep us from really embracing this key sustaining principle of Life itself!

    It is good to note that whatever would try to keep us from understanding our completeness can be corrected.

    • Is there the thought that life includes vulnerability? a subtle argument that we are flawed? an unconscious acceptance that we are at fault and punishment is justified?
    • Is there a mistaken assumption that we need to go through something in order to reach harmony ( a process, a period of suffering, a certified procedure)?
    • Is there a belief that we are blameworthy or unworthy?

    I'll be exploring the answers to those questions in a series of posts.  Please add your comments below and I'll keep posting during the next two weeks!

    Tuesday, August 02, 2011

    the everyday infinite

    Spiritual resource to share: awe

    A few months ago, I went to a little mountain town in the cloud forests of Costa Rica to see my son graduate from high school and to visit his host family.  One night, I was walking with a friend under a rare and almost clear night.  Some thin wisps of clouds were brushed across the sky and I commented on it.

    My friend loves stars so much that she can name them all, and there is even a star with her name on it.  She later wrote me:  "The universe ... is almost certainly infinite and expanding in all directions so no matter where you are in the universe (or whichever galaxy you are in) it appears that you are at the center and the universe is expanding around you.  What we were seeing that clear night in Costa Rica was the Galactic Center, the center of our own galaxy which is called the Milky Way. "

    What appeared as a simple, wispy cloud was actually an innumerable amount of stars swirling, twirling in their own orbits.  My thought was letting in the infinite and started expanding itself. 
    Inspired that night? Yes.  And reminded of the everyday infinite that we can brush right by if we're not alert.  Things have more complexity and order than it may first appear.  People have more compassion and capacity for good than it first may appear.  Everyday we can experience what is infinite:  It's in the pure darkness and breadth of the sky as readily as it is in the intimate tenderness and depth in the eyes of the person right next to you.

    This everyday infinite is the stuff we are made of.  There is no end to the infinite possibilities and love we each carry within ourselves.

    There is beauty and revelation everywhere.