At a party recently I shared with a new acquaintance some tips to stay alert and safe while he travels in a South American country this summer. He had told me of this great opportunity to study in this country and experience travel and culture while he takes classes and furthers his education. I believed that I had some ideas to help him with his safety concerns. You see my daughter spent 4 months back packing through South America predominantly in a country with political unrest.
One idea to help him came from her and went something like this: Look around and change directions. The principle was to be alert of your surroundings and be willing to change your course if you suspected danger. My daughter attested that this message kept her from dangerous situations countless times.
I likened this to the quiet voice that speaks to us all the time. When we hear this message, it brings peace and comfort-when we obey the message. I told my new friend that he could listen for this intuitive voice, and even called it an Angel message. I believe we all hear these messages in the precise way we can understand. Also it is important to act on the message. I wanted to reassure him that his safety is not random, left to chance, but a law of sorts to protect us. He appeared relieved and grateful for these ideas.
As summer approaches and vacations are on the horizon, our safety ideas should be part of our preparations. Now go and soak up the adventures!
Written by Renee J. F. Sutton who loves traveling anywhere and lives in Austin, Texas
As wildfires continue to rage across the state of Texas, having already consumed more than one-million acres and left hundreds of homes in ruins, Governor Rick Perry Thursday asked Texans to pray for rain.
Yes, a contingent of raindrops storming in to aid the army of dedicated firefighters would certainly feel like a godsend. The drought conditions in the state have fueled the flames to a point that they truly seem to have their own evil and unstoppable life, one that rages out of control and without mercy, without any kindness toward the land or toward Texans.
This call by the Governor to pray is certainly a right one, for what but the power of God Himself could truly quench the seemingly unquenchable? And yet, rain may assist in some relieving things, but can it of itself show compassion? Can it reason with the flames? Can it undo what has been already done? A higher Mind is needed.
I’ve really been shocked to see videos and photos and to hear about the level of destruction, of people left without homes and with lost belongings. It’s been easy to get pulled into those stories, to ride the wave of fear and to fan the flames of helplessness and worry, and to feel grateful that I’ve been out of harm’s way. But the picture of despair or even of desperation, of being chased by a monster that moves too fast for us to outrun, is really not what I need to be seeing or attempting to fix. If we believe in the devil, he’ll always be around the corner with another trick up his sleeve, right? Trying to fight a nightmare doesn’t kill it. The solution is to wake up! As we come to know there is no devil, no out of control, destructive, evil force, then we are able, in our reasonable and wakeful state, to draw upon the power that moves mountains, quiets storms, and douses infernos. God.
As I was thinking a bit more about how I could pray about this massive “attack” on our state and its people, I was alerted to the word “animate.” Mary Baker Eddy defines “Creator” as “…the animating divine Principle of all that is real and good.” (Science and Health, page 583: 20-21) To animate, is to give life to, to fill with courage, to inspire to action. Our Creator, God, perfect Love, the Principle of all things, of every element, every creature, every aspect of the real universe grants a life only to that which proclaims, proves and abides by His Principle which is Life. Destructiveness is not of God’s Principle, so it can’t be animated. Fire can warm, bring light, inspire with beauty, purify, renew. It cannot take on a life that is not a quality or intention of the Creator. Every so-called force of nature is controlled by Principle, and in control because of Principle. Fire can give life or sustain it, but it can never destroy life or any aspect of it.
And the same must be true for the winds, the rain, and man. Nature is controlled by divine wisdom. It articulates harmony, beauty, active glory. It expresses God’s qualities. Neither can man be animated by terror, by worry, by desperation, by carelessness, hopelessness, or by evil. He is always given that life which is in harmony with God, therefore abiding in a place of peace, growth, safety, serenity, intelligence, poise, energy, authority, trust, faith, and perfect comfort.
I am utilizing these ideas in combatting in my own thoughts this catastrophic occurrence, knowing and holding to the fact that God’s creative Principle can easily and quickly stamp out unprincipled destructiveness. I am also taking hold of these ideas in my own life and for others in my experience and in the world, remembering that “Perfection does not animate imperfection.” (Science and Health, page 243: 31-32) No disease nor problem can take on a life of its own, growing and moving and developing while seeming to destroy our bodies or our peace of mind. Only that which is right and good is given Life! Only that Principle, God, which governs with control, goodness, and love, has any power over our land, our bodies, or our thoughts.
So, today I am doing my duty as a Texan and praying for rain– the refreshing and natural shower of Love’s animating, uplifting, and saving grace!
Laura Moliter is a Christian Science practitioner, writer, and singer-songwriter living in Austin, TX
Getting more out of life is a desire most of us have. There are websites and books that espouse the power of positive thinking, goal setting, visioning and other approaches to having a healthier, happier, more prosperous and fuller life.
Many people find themselves challenged with settling for less, however. Coping, hanging in there, just getting through the day can become a way of thinking that becomes a way of life. While I have found some interesting and inspiring ideas in self-help resources, I find that the impact is limited and not lasting. Perhaps surprisingly, I find the best resources for expanding my vision, setting high goals, being productive and feeling hopeful are The Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. Why? Because the ideas and inspiration I get from these books work. The results last. The outcomes are reliable, life-changing, uplifting and permanent.
When I was a young adult, I would experience periods of depression and a general expectation that, even if things seemed to be going well at the moment, something bad was going to happen. While functional in my job, I was taking medications for depression, allergies, stomach problems and a host of other ailments. I was engaged in questionable relationships and feeling inadequate and incomplete. None of the medications or other strategies that I was using changed my health or lifted me out of the mental and emotional bondage I felt I was in. None of them made me happy or more secure.
After being in this condition for a number of years, I worked on a project with a woman who was happy, confident and who had a whole different way of approaching physical, emotional, financial and personal challenges. She shared casually that she was a Christian, a Christian Scientist, and that through this practice she had a reliable form of health care, a source of ideas for her personal and professional life and a solid foundation for growth and abundant living. To say that I was skeptical and highly critical is a HUGE understatement. I couldn’t believe that anyone could be relieved, let alone fully healed, of the things I was facing. I started asking questions and we didn’t stop talking until late that night. (That was the first change I noticed. I began to feel some hope that maybe there was a solution beyond just coping.) I continued interrogating her and found that these were explanations of how prayer heals and how God’s government works that made sense to me. And she shared many examples from her life and documented cases of many others’ lives where all sorts of problems had been overcome through prayer.
The overarching idea that stayed with me was that God was good, that I was good and that I didn’t have to settle for less than good. She told me that God was actually knowable like the Bible says. Getting to know God, good, through reading these books, would not only help me but heal me. She loaned me a copy of these two books with the promise that there were answers in them better than the answers I had tried.
That was a number of years ago and I have never been disappointed with the healing results I have gotten reading The Bible and Science and Health. I stopped settling for less, for just coping, and began experiencing so much more of what life has to offer. I will always be grateful to that friend for sharing these books with me.
Written by guest blogger Joan Lazarus who lives in Austin TX.
Austin, Texas. Music capital of the world. Great quality of life. Mild climate and sunny skies. Beautiful and inviting surroundings for recreation. A wonderful place to raise a family. Allergy capital of the world.
One of these things is not like the other!
Our city, Austin, repeatedly ranks top ten in the country in so many categories. People swarm to move here, and it continues to grow by leaps and bounds. It’s definitely an easy place to like and has no want for fans. But there is always that little alert that seems to come with the invitation to be a part of the Austin family: “Look out for the allergies! They are wicked! If they don’t get you right away, don’t get too comfortable. They will!”
Well, that’s kind of a mood breaker, isn’t it? Are we being set up for trouble, just opening that door wide for eventual problems, accepting them as a fact of life in this awesome city, as a necessary evil? Are we either bracing ourselves for an onslaught of personal challenges, small or large, or at the very least expecting others around us to suffer or feeling sorry for them when they seem to be sneezing, coughing, and sniffling through certain seasons?
Well, I say enough is enough! I’m now really ready to take that item off our list of Austin characteristics and add some refreshing new mottos and marks of distinction. How about these: Austin, Texas–Atmosphere Divine; Austin, Texas–Take a deep breath, relish the aroma of natural goodness, and smile!
When I came to Austin for the first time to go to college back in the late 1980s, I immediately fell in love with city’s charms, its eccentricities, its amusing weirdness, and its glorious beauty. It was my new home without a moment’s hesitation. I found something so right and satisfying about the air and its fresh scents and warm and inviting way. Even the hot summers somehow simply seemed to only be a wonderful expression of Austin’s warm and sunny embrace.
Then one day the romance died. Or at least the bloom was off the rose, so to speak. I had moved away for a few years. After I had been back a year or so with gratitude to be “home,” a new acquaintance came into my life, much to my annoyance: his name was Cedar Fever. Gosh, I had felt so superior, so exempt, so protected from such a thing. I’m not an “allergy person,” I thought, “I’m a Christian Scientist. And a Yankee! I’ve endured Wisconsin winters and New York City’s bluster. I’m untouchable by this silly stuff.”
Well, did I end up eating crow or what? And I kind of felt like I was literally eating it, to be honest! The experience was awful.
That was my original bout with cedar fever several years ago, and while it was eventually conquered by prayer (and endurance!), it tortured me for several long weeks. I remember on that New Year’s Eve going out to a fancy dinner with my family, dressed to the nines, with my eyes gummed together so I could barely open them, croaking all the way. Happy New Year! Whoopee!
Again, I had certainly diligently prayed about it, found inspiration, kept my practice going in spite of the loss of my voice for period of time, and emerged victorious in the end. A few years went by and while I’d get a little scratchy feeling in my throat once in a while, the suggestion got beaten back very quickly by acknowledging God’s power over all, and I was back to my sunny Austin business.
Well, this year, the arrogant cedar came back for a rematch. After having just helped a family member conquer her short-lived bout with this aggressive demon, I found myself croaking and sniffing, sleeping little and feeling depleted and disappointed. On top of it all (and perhaps most challenging to me) I had an upcoming performance with a band that I sing with, a special surprise for some family members who were in town briefly. Other invitees included a bunch of friends, with the list of expected attendees continuing to grow along with my fear. It was a very special event, and I wanted it to be just right. The pressure was on!
Well, I immediately starting praying about it, acknowledging the rightness of the activity, and my exemption from a belief that “this atmosphere of mortal mind [could] be destructive to morals and health when it is opposed promptly and persistently by Christian Science.” (Science and Health 273: 31-1) As rehearsals and the performance came closer, I called a practitioner to help support me. She eased my fear, and reminded me that breath and breathing was inspiration, and letting go. That seemed important. Especially the “letting go” part. I started to gain some mental freedom, and enough physical freedom to croak through a rehearsal. I thanked God and then went back to fretting about the show, tossing and turning to find comfort in the night, and along the way gratefully receiving inspiration and assurances that in spite of appearances, all was well. I kept trying to “let go.” The “trying” part kind of defeated the purpose!
On the day of the performance, I had one of my busiest practice days. I was almost constantly on the phone, sharing truths with those in need, praying with them, and enjoying every energizing moment of it! I was grateful that MY practitioner was continuing to support me, and that my family members—one who was hosting the event and another who was my singing partner–remained absolutely confident that I would nail it! Okay, I think I can let go now.
Performance time came. I had hardly sung in days. I had no idea what to expect, but I was mentally ready, charged up, grateful to God, for the work that kept me voicing Truth all day long, and countless miles away from complaint, excuses, and fear.
The first notes that came out as I sang the first song were lovely and free! I felt like I was listening and not singing at all, just hearing God’s approving and tender and powerful voice. Victory! The rest of the show only got better—more joyous, more inspired, and more free. I was elated, and so grateful that my only struggle was trying not to cry mid-song for the sheer love of God’s goodness and power. I recognized as I was singing and looking back later, that the love in the room, the appreciation for being there, was the reflected love of God, and it, along with that love I had felt all day in the work that I was doing for others, absolutely negated the allergy and its aggressiveness. Love just cancelled it out. It was a true atmosphere divine. Love was the motive and the recipient. Love was the reason and the expression. Divine Love had its day and its way!
Well, that was the end of the allergy, although the cedar count has seemed to go up and down again in this wonderful town of ours. I just sang it away with praise!
I want to mention how thankful I am, too, that the readings in church on the Wednesday before our Thursday performance were right on target. God was definitely lining all things up for a significant healing. The citations handled the very suggestion confronting our city and me, and reminded me that the breath of the Almighty is the very substance of life, all life. It is invariable and not localized. It’s neither confined to a place nor reliant on a physical structure or mechanism for proper expression.
No percentages and readouts and media predictions can have more power than God and His presence, action, and Love. The report from heaven is consistently heavenly! And we are always dwelling there– not in a city with some necessary evil, but in the city of God, always safe, comfortable, satisfying. I love that I was able to celebrate this abiding truth in song, and I intend to keep on singing! Won’t you join me, Austin, Texas?
Laura Moliter is a practitioner, writer, and singer-songwriter living in Austin, TX.
Several years ago I invited my ten-year-old grandson to come along for a visit to Rome. He was at that time already an “expert” on Roman history, so we had to visit every historic site, and the best way to get to know a city is by walking. read
More than 20 years ago, I was troubled with a condition of internal pain and hemorrhaging, perhaps much like what the woman in the Bible who had “an issue of blood” might have been experiencing (see Mark 5:25–34). This was not a constant condition, but it would happen frequently, and I was sometimes very fearful. read
Several months ago, as I was on a transatlantic flight, I was confronted with severe sinus pressure. The pain was incredibly intense. I had no idea how I was even going to make it through the rest of the flight, even though we were almost there. read
Recently, while sorting through a folder I’d saved of cards, letters, and drawings from my children, I found this note, written by my son in wonderful childlike handwriting, from when he was eight years old: “Dear Mom, thanks for healing my wart and other things we healed by Christian Science. I love you.” read
About a year ago, I woke up and was in so much pain I couldn’t even move. This seemed to be related to my monthly menstrual cycle. Every month, I’d just sort of ignored some discomfort, but this was unbearable, unlike anything I’d experienced before. read
One bright winter morning I eagerly bundled up to take a brisk walk through my neighborhood. As I headed out, pain surged through one leg from top to bottom, making me a little unsteady on my feet. read
During a morning walk with a neighbor several years ago, one of my feet just seemed to give out. My neighbor carefully helped me up from the ground. A passage in Science and Health immediately came to me. read
I’m learning that there is never a void in God’s kingdom. All space is already filled, and every need is met through precious moments of communion with God. We can find peace and healings right in the midst of adversity. read
Earlier this summer, while concerned with work and personal responsibilities, I found myself trying to ignore a nagging discomfort in the side of my back. What first appeared as an annoying ache morphed into a burning sensation in my rib cage as well. read
In an article excerpted from www.Spirituality.com, Linda Bargmann writes about being a new foster mom and caring for a baby boy who was classified at birth with positive toxicology and had a long list of diagnosed and anticipated problems. She shares how she and her husband turned to God for guidance and healing. “Every morning and evening as I held Eddie and rocked him, I would sing hymns to him from the Christian Science Hymnal. I felt such peace and inspiration from those times, and it helped me see past some of the seemingly unsolvable diagnoses we were continually facing.” Linda goes on to state that “within three years, the diagnosed and anticipated conditions we’d been given were healed. The visiting nurse came only a couple of times, and then decided she was no longer needed. The symptoms of drug withdrawal Eddie experienced were quickly gone. He went from being stiff as a board to being cuddly and affectionate.” Read the entire article here: http://www.spirituality.com/article.jhtml?ElementId=/repositories/shcomarticle/Aug2010/1281989286.xml&ElementName=A%20young%20life%20restored
Peace and healing in the aftermath of the Fort Hood tragedy
Excerpt from www.Spirituality.com
The November 5th shootings at Fort Hood in Texas, the worst military on military attack on American soil, have stirred a number of reactions and emotions around the world. Grief for the 13 lives lost and the 42 wounded, anger, and speculation about the alleged gunman’s motivation have left people searching for answers. For ideas about how to pray, listen as Sentinel managing editor Ingrid Peschke speaks with Ginny Luedeman, a Christian Science practitioner and lecturer, who once lived on the Fort Hood base with her husband, a retired military chaplain. Click on the photo to go to the audio discussion.
It’s almost the end of summer and folks are taking in their final vacation plans. Below is a compilation of articles and audio talks that offer uplifting thoughts about safe travel, rest and relaxation, vacations.
The author of a recent article from the Christian Science Monitor, kept several Psalms close at hand when starting on a family road trip. Assuring safe travels, Psalms 191 reads “The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” Read more
“Travel Safely in God’s Care” is the topic of this hour long audio web chat that dives into a discussion and examples of how prayer can make a difference when traveling. Listen here
Are you looking for rest during your vacation? In this article from spirituality.com “It’s Vacation Time – more work or real rest”, the author writes, “During that flight to Orlando, and more than a few times since, I considered what it means to take a break from my daily routine. I began to wonder—the way a child might—if God takes a vacation….” Read more
You’ll find numerous inspiring articles and testimonies of healing related to vacations and travel at www.spirituality.com.
It’s amazing how a change of thought alone can change one’s circumstances. I was helping a friend last week who was having a pounding bad headache all day and had missed work because of it. He couldn’t stop talking about the pain. We decided right there and then to turn out thoughts away from the pain and consider what God had to say about his head. Together, we reasoned that since divine Love [God] had made him in Love’s image and likeness and that God declared all that he had made to be good (Genesis 1), then my friend could claim all of that inherent goodness right now. His true state of health was based on God as Spirit and Good. His well being is dependent on God, not a material head. We were both so inspired at that moment, and the headache immediately left. My friend enjoyed the rest of his evening filled with family activities. What changed? It was thought alone – gaining a better understanding of his natural and permanent spiritual qualities healed him.
Christian Science Churches in Austin, Texas, Welcome You!