This is reposted from a blog by Kay Stroud, Christian Science Media Representative and Liason for Queensland Australia. Find out What Christmas means to a Christian Scientist.
As I was digging out the Christmas tree and decorations from the cupboard, sorting out the tinsel and testing and replacing the lamps in the Christmas tree lights today I got to thinking about what Christmas means to me. There was a time when we were raising the children that the preparations for Christmas were nearly overwhelming – selecting the presents, putting them on lay-by and paying them off over several months, baking for and attending various Christmas parties and functions, buying presents for the children’s friends and teachers, supporting them in their end of year performances for school, ballet and music, double-checking that everyone in the family had just the right gift bought and lovingly wrapped and placed under the tree, and making preparations for Christmas holidays away at either the beach or with family, or both. The list went on, and on…..
Today, as a grandparent I have much more time for reflection and appreciation of the significance of Christmas. As a Christian Scientist, I place great importance on the life of Christ Jesus. The foretelling of the promised coming of the Messiah, the virgin birth, his ministry of teaching and healing and his later crucifixion, resurrection and ascension are key to Christian Science theology.
But to me personally, Jesus is my mentor and the guy who has shown me the way to health, happiness and harmony. Without his life and example the world would be quite a different place. He gave me a glimpse that:
- there is one, infinite God who is All and all-good, that God is not distant and unknowable, but that He/She is Father-Mother, all-embracing and always present;
- every individual is made in God’s spiritual image, loved by God and cared for by Him;
- every suggestion of sickness or disease is something I don’t need to accept. If Jesus could heal every possible instance of sickness or disease through prayer and the acknowledgement of God’s goodness and infinite Love for man than we can find solutions through prayer too;
- life is actually eternal and the suggestion of a death process is an illusion.
The book that has explained Jesus teachings and healings as recorded in the Bible andmade it clear enough to demonstrate myself is Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. Without the wisdom, spiritual understanding and practical science expounded in this book I wouldn’t have such a clear understanding of my relationship to God or know how to demonstrate this understanding, which when applied has such a tangible effect—such as restored relationships, financial well-being, physical healing, character transformation and so on.
For the record, now I’m not so inclined to be caught up in the window-dressing about Christmas. It’s now not so much about presents, Santa and worshipping a dear little baby as about emulating the works of the adult Jesus in my everyday life throughout the year. And that means that I have a choice every day! When I put into practice this Science of Christianity I feel the love and joy usually reserved for Christmas every day.
This is a repost from http://christiansciencetexas.com/2010/12/02/100-years-later/
In 1907, a New York newspaperman was sent, with other reporters, to dig up sensational stories about a woman in Concord, New Hampshire. It was said that they were a belligerent bunch of old-timers looking for a scandal. After staying in Concord for some time, they were surprised at the loving treatment they received from the woman’s workers and friends. They wanted to hold the woman up to scorn and ridicule.
The New York newsman was known as a hard-nosed reporter. For many years he suffered with a cancerous growth on his throat that left him unable to speak at times and in extreme pain. But the only scoop he took back to New York was knowledge of the healing power behind this women’s spiritual discovery. He had come looking for dirt about a woman. Yet, he went away cured because of the woman.
Here was a woman who wasn’t a punching bag, but a powerhouse, at a time when society considered men superior to women. Here was a woman who was the founder and leader of a worldwide religious movement at a time when women held only subordinate positions in Church and State. Here was a woman who was the founder and president of a teaching college at a time when women were denied equal access to education and kept out of most professions. Here was a woman who was front-page news at a time when women’s history was being suppressed. This woman was Mary Baker Eddy.
Throughout her youth and early adulthood, Eddy had struggled with poor health and financial and emotional hardship. Yet, she overcame these challenges to become, as Human Life magazine described her, “The most famous, interesting and powerful woman in America, if not in the world, today.”
One hundred years ago, December 3, 1910, Mary Baker Eddy passed away peacefully at the age of eighty-nine.
A century has passed, yet, today, her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, is still read throughout the world. The ideas in its pages continue to heal. One hundred years and still The Christian Science Monitor, the prize-winning newspaper she founded at the age of 87, is in print (and now on the Internet). One hundred years, yet, still, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, which Eddy founded and designed to “reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing,” is alive and active. A century later, the Massachusetts Metaphysical College she founded is still teaching, as well.
What a legacy. Yet, before there was a book, a newspaper, a church, or a college, Eddy discovered a Science. This Science of Christ, Christian Science, is still inspiring and healing people. Her writings explain her Science of spiritual healing. Her church promotes, protects, and publishes the Science. Her college prepares teachers of this Science. Her newspaper provides unbiased news reports that allow its readers to pray about world conditions.
Eddy’s life, love, and work influenced the world of her time. Right now, they are still touching lives.
Today, especially, I believe you will enjoy exploring The Mary Baker Eddy Library for the Betterment of Humanity.
Peace and healing in the aftermath of the Fort Hood tragedy
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.
Reblog from http://christiansciencetexas.com/2010/09/29/spiritual-response-to-yesterdays-tragedy/ written by Keith Womack, CSB
As sad as this incident is, there is much to be grateful for. Thankfully, no one else was struck by the bullets nor did the young man ever take aim at anyone. The coordinated effort of all police organizations was wisely and swiftly carried out. Classes will all be resuming this morning.
Although there is much to be grateful for, there are questions. There are always questions when needless violent acts take place.
I’m finding that spiritual solutions will answer these questions. Yes, our communities need to be protected. Individuals with emotional problems need to be helped and healed. And, I believe, it is our collective spiritual growth and maturity that will answer our questions and make all the difference we yearn for.
Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, prayed constantly to find spiritual solutions to daily problems. In 1881, Eddy visited the prison cell of the assassin of President Garfield. The assassin had no sense of his crime. He thought he was a victim and his act of killing the President was simple justice. However, her few words had an immediate impact on the man. Apparently, sensing for the first time that he had done something wrong, the man sank back in his chair, limp and pale; his flippancy was gone. The jailer thanked Eddy, and said. “Other visitors have brought to him flowers, but you have brought what will do him good.”
I’ve found that spirituality not only helps me express more love and common sense, it keeps me safe. It enables me to see that evil’s temptations are not others’ thoughts or my own, and they can be prayerfully and mentally resisted.
Years ago, while I was performing with a band, just after a performance, I walked out the backstage door of an auditorium, headed to a parking area, and found myself right in the middle of a race riot. I was immediately surrounded by a group of men. And their anger turned on me. Everything happened fast. But, what came to my thought was the idea, “Love has no opposite sides.”
Love, I’d learned, is a name for the supreme being, so when the angel message, “Love has no opposite sides” came to my thought, my fear just drained away and I felt a deep spiritual peace. This sudden peace in the middle of a riot was surprising.
I was then poked in the back. When I turned around, a large man hit me in the face with his fist as hard as he could. But, it only felt as if I had been tapped with a balloon. My head didn’t move at all. The young man who hit me looked me in the eye, looked at the others, and then walked away. Every one of them followed after him.
If I had tried to fight back, the situation would have turned out quite differently. However, my non-reaction was an act of love. I’d learned that I could trust God. And by trusting God and listening to the angel message, “Love has no opposite sides,” the anger and danger disappeared.
I pray that the family and friends of the young man who took his life feel the peace and grace of God. God give them the strength to move past sorrow and fear and find the Love that knows no opposite sides.
Love is satisfied with how She has made all of us to be. We can be satisfied with Her. I pray we all learn to know this.
Written by Michelle Wigginton, CS
A report of a shooting taking place on the UT campus came across my newsfeed yesterday morning. I did not even take a moment to read the report. I turned to God in prayer. I humbly acknowledged His presence right here with me and right there on the UT campus 25 minutes from my home. I was remembering the assurance we find in the Bible that, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, . . . And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.”(KJV Genesis 1) As that statement flashed through my thought, I was suddenly struck by the command in that statement to all of us. More on that in a moment, I have always followed up Genesis 1 with Christ Jesus’ simplification of the 10 Commandments. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” He goes on to say, “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (NIV Matt 22:37-40) This is the clanging symbols, brick dropping on your head, car horn blaring, alarm clock buzzing, AK47 firing, wake up call to your true identity as the child of God. This is the “El Dorado” of how to think about and “do” life.
When I was learning Bible stories in the Christian Science Sunday School many moons ago, I thought anyone who healed was awesome and Christ Jesus was the epitome, the coolest dude to walk the planet. I’ve been trying to emulate the Christ idea he so perfectly expressed ever since. A statement that I learned while in Sunday School came to me while I was praying about the UT shooting. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discover and Founder of Christian Science in her landmark textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures makes this phenomenal statement, “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. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy.” Wow, wish I could do that . . . actually I can and so can you! Remember Christ Jesus also says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.”(NLT John 14:12) How in the world, you might ask, do I do that? That was the question I knew that needed to be answered.
So I come back to that command in Genesis 1:31. It is so simple a command, so profound and yet I’ve overlooked its presence for years. “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” Do you see it? “BEHOLD” what a direct command! God has just informed us for all time that his creation, every aspect is not only good, but very good. If we are seeing something not good, then we are miscalculating, not being obedient to the first commandment, not honoring God’s word, not loving with all of our heart, soul and mind. We are given a direct command “behold”. Merriam-Webster Unabridged defines behold as: to look at: examine closely: watch: to receive the impression of through or as if through visual means: see intently and fully: apprehend, experience: look: used in the imperative as an interjection especially to call attention. I must line my thinking up with what God has already declared to be law. I must look at and examine closely how I am seeing each man and woman. How am I seeing this shooter? I followed God’s command to “behold, it (God’s creation) was very good.” I saw this man and everyone else in Austin and around the globe as “made in the image and likeness of God” and therefore good, despite what the outward appearance was saying. I knew in my heart if I had made a mistake I would still want to be loved, so I had to love this man. I have made plenty of mistakes in my life, but my true identity, as well as the UT shooter’s and yours, as the child of God is worth holding to, clinging to, examining closely, learning about, simply . . . LOOKING AT WITH LOVE.
Written by Robert Carswell, CS
National news reports about the recent shooting on the UT at Austin campus paint a picture of near tragedy for the purpose of emphasizing the danger on college campuses around the country, and its relevance to possible legislation allowing students to carry concealed weapons. The incident, and news responses quite naturally lead us to consider ‘protection’, of what it consists and its source.
Campus security has been enhanced over recent years at all levels of education, as has student and parent awareness of potential danger. Electronic surveillance, increases in manpower, and computerized information exchange are wise innovations intended to further protect the students and teachers. While human footsteps are comforting, no one would argue that these preventative measures afford complete protection. So where can we turn for such assurance?
The Bible unfolds and reveals the only source of complete, total security. In the book of Isaiah, we read this promise: “Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.”
For thousands of years, even before the birth of Christ Jesus, man has turned to our heavenly God for supply, discovering that human needs can be met in every circumstance. Jesus proved beyond all doubt that we could rely upon God’s loving protection, that our divine Father-Mother is with us no matter where we are, providing total security, meeting our every need whether if be for healing our bodies, nourishment, comfort, or protection from forces that seem beyond our control.
“Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you.” These words were written by the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy in her best-selling book, Science And Health With Key To The Scriptures, that begins with this assurance: “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings.”
Turning to God, attesting to His infinite Love for mankind brings into full view divine protection, a corrective element that allay fears, secures us from harm, defuses crises, and not just for us but also for all within our thought. Whether student, parent, or concerned citizen, we can turn to God with complete confidence, being assured of this Truth written by Mary Baker Eddy, “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.”
The University of Texas at Austin, the site of one of the worst campus shootings in US history, came close to another tragedy Tuesday as a ski-mask wearing gunman fired several shots on campus before taking his own life. No one else was hurt. Read the entire article here: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0928/UT-shooting-comes-just-as-Austin-campus-debates-concealed-weapons-law
What is a spiritual response to this news that our community can offer? How can turning to prayer bring safety and protection, peace and harmony? In an article on www.Spirituality.com, “Safe at school and everywhere else”, Robert Storm writes “as a principal, I would regularly visit classrooms and monitor the playground and cafeteria. I would regularly ask myself, ‘Do I feel safe on this campus?’ I could honestly answer, ‘Yes, I do.’ It wasn’t just because of all the updated safety devices and procedures added to the campus during my tenure as principal—I also felt safe because of an abiding confidence and conviction that God’s love is ever present and would not put any of His precious children in harm’s way.” Mr. Storm goes on to write about how his conviction of God’s ever present care was demonstrated during a school incident where a teenage intruder entered the campus with a gun and took several shots. The situation ended peacefully without any injuries. Mr. Storm continues that “prayer informs our practical actions in maintaining safety, and is an effective counter to error, which would terrorize us into believing that our children, or we ourselves, are vulnerable. God’s presence is a constant protection and source of comfort.” Read the complete article here http://www.spirituality.com/article.jhtml?ElementId=/repositories/shcomarticle/May2010/1272976858.xml&ElementName=Safe%20at%20school%20%13%20and%20everywhere
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.
USA Today recently published an article outlining the increase in Army medical discharges due to mental health issues (Mental Illness Costing Military Soldiers by Gregg Zoroya published on July 25, 2010).
According to the article, 1,224 soldiers were medically discharged last year due to post-traumatic stress disorder. “These numbers really just validate the mental health communities’ concern about multiple deployments,” says Adrian Atizado, who specializes in health issues as assistant national legislative director for Disabled American Veterans. “Mind and body are both taking a beating.”
In this audio webcast from Spirituality.com, Janet Horton, a 28-year Army veteran and former military chaplain, talks about the spiritual ideas that have inspired and supported her through her years of service in the armed forces, including her experiences at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. She shares healing experiences and answers questions about post-traumatic stress disorder, ways to pray for loved ones in combat as well as the victims of war, and how prayer in combat is possible and essential.
Click here to hear the entire discussion: www.spirituality.com