Wednesday, March 30, 2011

OK, this might hurt a bit.....

Spiritual resource to share:  self-examination and relationships

I was reading a self-help article in a popular magazine the other day.  It suggested that the way out of a snarly relationship issue may be to write a letter to that person (the snarler, no doubt) and share all your concerns and hurts and criticisms.  Then after you have written it all down, you (the snarlee) are to erase that person's name and replace it with your own.  Then re-read it with your name at the top.


But I saw that there was great merit to this.  It is based in part by the timeless idea of casting the log out of one's own eye before removing the speck in your neighbor's.  Many of you will recognize this from Christ Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.  (See the Bible Matthew chapters 5 to 7.) We won't see what is snarly unless we know it.  And we may know it because we may already be acting a bit snarly ourselves. This little letter writing exercise helps to uncover that in thought.

But Christ Jesus' work takes us farther than this exercise.  His healing work was based on the principle of perfect God and perfect man.  He could see "the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals."  In Christian Science, we are taught to see the perfect man, and this starts with ourselves.  We are made in the image and likeness of God.  We are not a mass of unresolved issues, reactions and temptations.  We are made to be the expressed likeness of all that is good, pure, productive and brilliant.

And so are others.

The deepest self-examination takes humility to pierce the self-imposed justifications and condemnations  that may be jamming the systems of our thought to reveal God's very loved and lovely man or woman (or child).  Letting go of the log of false and hurtful view of ourselves frees us to be at peace with the child whom God has created.  This brings more freedom - because now we can see others - without a speck - and in the clearer light of God's creating.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

answering the world's call for Church

Spiritual resource to share: healing spiritual ignorance and isolation
This was part of a chat with other church workers who are preparing for a large regional conference in Chicago on the vibrancy and relevancy of church.  Here is a part of my contribution.

Mid January, I was a part of a national conference call with others who were seeking comfort and understanding after the tragic shooting of Rep. Giffords and others. I wanted to listen so I could target my prayer more effectively.

The many speakers who contributed thoughts, ideas, suggestions and fears and concerns showed me that there was an earnest call for healing - although this call was not put out under any religious name.

One woman on the call said this horrendous act proved that our nation needs to combat two things: spiritual ignorance and isolation.

Why, I thought, this is what church does! Church - in its most elemental form -  combats spiritual ignorance - by rousing the dormant thought and casting out error, it removes isolation by elevating the race and healing the sick.

There is such a call for Church! Libya needs our healing prayer, perfected in the discipline and education of our Church; our neighbors need our healing prayer, softened by the elbow to elbow work we do in Church. There is a need to feed the hungering heart, heal the broken-hearted and to bring into community those who feel isolated or marginalized.

When I look at how I can love, help and heal mankind, I am not concerned about the changing forms of our churches. Although there are studies that show a decline in church memberships throughout the country, other studies show a strong majority of those who believe in God and in prayer. This suggests to me that Church is a demand that is outgrowing its present forms and that we be open to those forms of Church that will most effectively and directly heal the sick and sinning and be the blessing it is meant to be.

The world is still in need of healing and it is calling out for what Church has to offer: healing, comfort, community, love, forgiveness, progress.

Definition of Church from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy:

CHURCH. The structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle. The Church is that institution, which affords proof of its utility and is found elevating the race, rousing the dormant understanding from material beliefs to the apprehension of spiritual ideas and the demonstration of divine Science, thereby casting out devils, or error, and healing the sick.

This photo was taken of my family in Costa Rica.  We are displaying our jungle juice bracelets - bracelets that were "made" from the juice of one of the trees of the rainforest we had just hiked through near Puerto Viejo in Costa Rica.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Never trapped

Spiritual resource to share:'s timely inspiration, and have all been running (and continually run) blog posts, articles and chats dealing with global issues.  This one blog posting is from and is one of the streams of healing prayers targeted to Japan.

When I heard about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, my heart immediately went out to those who were trapped. And I’ve been praying ever since. My life has shown me that despite grim human circumstances, God is on the job communicating to those who need help exactly what they need.

How can I be so sure? When I was trapped underwater, I remember that timeless feeling of calm and the clear guidance I felt that led me to do what I needed to do to get free.


to read the rest, go to

Friday, March 11, 2011

a flood of witnesses

Spiritual resource to share: stability and peace for Japan

Watching the swirls of water and destruction on video as the reports about Japan flowed in, I reminded myself that God is right there.

Whenever I am faced with the news of something of this magnitude, I go back to the basics of what I know and have proved for myself.  I know that if I have proved even a little of one of God's laws of Love, I can realize that same law magnified for mankind.

When I was trapped underwater, I remember that timeless feeling of calm and the clear guidance I felt that led me to do what I needed to do to get free.

When I experienced waves of nausea while I was conducting a church service, I remember the calm and warm feeling of God’s love wrapping me up and melting away the sickness that helped me get back up to finish the service.

When the students at a school I was working in broke out into fighting and yelling, I remember feeling the power of God’s governance helping me to keep my classroom quiet, obedient and patiently waiting for the peace to be restored, which it quickly was.

My teacher tells of the time she would practice patience and feeling God’s omnipresent peace during bomb raids during World War II in London, enabling her to help and comfort others.

God is always there. No earthquake, fear, or shock can ever trump God’s omnipresence. God is right there for each individual covering them with God's warmth, guiding and strengthening them.

Mary Baker Eddy writes that “physical force and mortal mind are one” and that “… mortal mind, when instructed by Truth, yields to divine power, which steers the body into health” and chaos into calm (See Science and Health 484: 15 and 425:32).

I am so grateful for all the communications and prayers rapidly covering the world. These help instruct mortal mind out of chaos and fear to right responses, intelligent care and intuitive decisions.  This flood of witnesses to God’s ability to meet every human need is out there in full force, healing, comforting, finding and helping.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

powerful womanhood

Spiritual resource to share: timeless ideas on true womanhood

Because we are celebrating National Women's History Month and, today, we are celebrating Internnational Woman's Day, I'd like to join in by sharing some thoughts about womanhood.   I go to the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. Here are some of my finds:

The ideal woman corresponds to Life and to Love. 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.
Eddy's take on Eve (of the Adam and Eve story in Genesis) is radical. Recognizing Eve's ability to see and admit the mistake she made, Eddy points out a most important point: Eve is first to abandon the belief of sensuous life and to understand our spiritual origin.

She [Eve] has already learned that corporeal sense is the serpent. Hence she is first to abandon the belief in the material origin of man and to discern spiritual creation.
So what resources do we have that will empower a woman ( as well as a man)?

God is the only power. And we can reflect Her in many ways. My all time favorite Bible verses are in Proverbs 31. This chapter has a wealth of resources we all can draw on to understand what it means to be powerful and has defined the virtue and strength of woman thoroughly!
Excerpts from Proverbs 31: Verses 10-31
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

12 DEPENDABLE: She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13 SKILLED: She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14 RESOURCEFUL: She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15 FULL of CARE: She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16 ENTREPRENEURIAL: She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 STRONG: She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
18 INSIGHTFUL: She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
19 PREPARED: She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20 COMPASSIONATE: She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21 FEARLESS and DIGNIFIED: She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 BEAUTY: She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
23 COMPANIONED WITH NOBLE IDEAS/IDEALS: Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 EXCELLENCE: She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 CONFIDENT: Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 WISE: She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 KIND and INDUSTRIOUS: She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 ACKNOWLEDGED: Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her....Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
What are your thoughts on true womanhood?

Here are some select readings on True Womanhood taken from the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy's classic textbok on spirituality and healing: Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

Proverbs 11: 16

Picture taken from's website highlighting their campaign on empowering women.

Proverbs 31: 10-31

Ruth 1: 3-5, 8, 14, 16-18, 22

Ruth 2: 1, 2, 5-8, 11, 12

Ruth 3: 10, 11

Ruth 4: 13-15

II Peter 1: 5-8, 10

2 John 1 : 1-6, 8

Phil 4: 1-9

from Science and Health

516: 21

517: 8

508: 13

246: 11-16

57: 4-11, 15

239: 5-10

63: 5-27

514: 10-19

28: 32


268: 6

533: 21-8

248: 26

200: 16

Monday, March 07, 2011

"I believe...."

Spiritual resource to share: morning reflection

Waking up before the sun this morning, I had time reflect on all of what nature has taught me about God. I have played on some of earth's most glorious playgrounds: whitewater rivers, 14,000 foot peaks, wide expanses of snow covered fields, and mountains and hills. Rainforests and pine forests; lakes and oceans. Awesome.

And nothing can speak of God's infinite love and care like an ink black sky covering the earth with bright dots of light. And nothing can speak of God's beauty like the northern lights. And to think we have been given all of this.

I believe this, I know this, I understand this: Everything has its own beauty and purpose and its own season of blessing.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

filling up the empty nest

Spiritual resource to share:  permanent relationships

Micah and Gabe and I coming home from our time in Costa Rica
It's been the year of the empty nest for my husband and me. Both of my sons are off to college and a high school study abroad program and make casual references to "visiting" home from time to time. Although their grandpa (my dad) shares our household, there are still two empty bedrooms in our house.

For a while, I was fine.  I totally understood and was happy to see my sons take off, show some creativity in securing work and educational programs on their own.  "What cool kids," I said to myself, proud of them for their initiative, and happy to see their confidence and compassion in their choices. 

But there was also this niggling thought that I lost something... that I should have done more of this, that or another thing to make sure that they were fully equipped for life. Thoughts kept recurring like "Did I teach them enough about money management, laundry...did we share too much/too little about politics....did I teach them enough about God...???"  No area of concern was left untouched.  But this left me feeling adrift.  I mean, how do you answer those questions?

Studying Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures one morning, I came across this idea:

The relations of God and man, divine Principle and idea, are indestructible in Science; and Science knows no lapse from nor return to harmony, but holds the divine order or spiritual law, in which God and all that He creates are perfect and eternal, to have remained unchanged in its eternal history. 

This was my answer!  I know my relationship with God is intact, and the same is true with my sons' relationship to God.  I know that they have a direct line to God as Love, to God as Truth.  Because of that, my relationship with my sons is indestructible, unchanged and eternal.  It follows a principle in mathematics*:  if a=b and c=b, then a=c.  If my relation to God is indestructible, and their relation to God is indestructible, then my relation to them is indestructible.

The impact of this truth was immediate.  I stopped worrying whether or not I should call or intervene in a certain issue, unsure if I may step on their growing independence.  I stopped overly checking up on them via facebook.  (Yes - I was bad here.) I trusted God to direct them and guide them and I trusted their ability to discern their paths themselves.

I am still very much available to them to help out in any way that is needed and am their biggest fan, as is their dad.  But this inspiration and the ability to move forward was a big step for me, and a big relief. 

My role as a mother has changed.  All things grow.  And now I am looking forward to the next chapter in life with the same enthusiasm and awe at the infinite possibilities ahead for me and my husband, that I have for my sons.

*one of my newest areas of independent study is to understand the scientific concepts behind Christian Science which has led me to understand more mathematical concepts like the transitive equivalence relation. It's been enlightening! 

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Prayer: speaking Truth to power*

Spiritual resource to share:  trust in one power, God

I woke up this morning thinking of the Lord's Prayer and how important it is to the healing of all oppression and conflict, whether we are talking about Libya, the protests in my home state of Wisconsin, or personal struggles.

Oppression seems to be about fear of limited power.  Its extreme forms must come from an extreme fear that power is limited to only a select number of people.  Fear of losing power is one side of the coin and feeling powerless is the other side.  The whole coin needs to be tossed aside.  When we pray, we recognize only one power, infinite God, and that prayer can unify men and nations. 

I took the Lord’s Prayer and its spiritual interpretation as found in Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures and used that as my guide. The Lord’s Prayer is considered the most succinct prayer that Christ Jesus gave us, and covers all human needs. Mary Baker Eddy also said of this prayer “Only as we rise above all material sensuousness and sin, can we reach the heaven-born aspiration and spiritual consciousness, which is indicated in the Lord’s Prayer and which instantaneously heals the sick.”

Here are my thoughts that ran parallel to the Lord's Prayer.

Our Father-Mother God, whose nature is all good, the source of Truth, the place of Love and the origin of all Life.
All that is sacred and all that animates life is found in You.

The blueprint for justice comes out of Your design for all of Your creation. The signs and the seeds of justice, mercy, honor, dignity and peace are everywhere.

We can trust Your supremacy to guide all our actions, all our thoughts in times of joy and in times of strife. Truth is inevitable and has the only power there is. Your law of order and calm is pervasive and supreme.

Your grace feeds our hungering hearts. We are fed with the assurance of seeing Your design of Love demonstrated in our present day experiences.

Our forgiveness melts and gives way to blessing. We drop the burden of anger and offensiveness and Love is revealed. Your love for Your creation blossoms into brotherly love. We forgive and are forgiven and harmony prevails.

We are no longer tempted to indulge in appetites of revenge, disorder, fear and hatred but are naturally compelled to the freedom of finding and the hope of discovering infinite ways to bless mankind. Love leads us to solutions.

In the final analysis, Truth is always the victor and Love never fails. God’s justice and mercy trump all. God’s justice, mercy, Truth and Love are everything.

Note:  Here is the full Lord's Prayer and its spiritual interpretation (in italics) given by Mary Baker Eddy:

Our Father which art in heaven,
Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious,

Hallowed be Thy name.
Adorable One.

Thy kingdom come.
Thy kingdom is come; Thou art ever-present.

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Enable us to know, — as in heaven, so on earth, — God is omnipotent, supreme.

Give us this day our daily bread;
Give us grace for to-day; feed the famished affections;

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And Love is reflected in love;

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil;
And God leadeth us not into temptation, but delivereth us from sin, disease, and death.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.
For God is infinite, all-power, all Life, Truth, Love, over all, and All.

*speaking Truth to power is a phrase attributed to the American Friends Service Committee in Speak Truth to Power : A Quaker Search for an Alternative to Violence (1955)