From Spirituality.com – a live audio chat with Christian Science practitioner Jan Keeler (May 3, 2011)
Today – we’re reposting blogs and articles with prayers and spiritual insight that will help combat these fires.
While this chat was going on, six wildfires involving at least 1100 firemen were also going on. Jan mentioned this while also noting the tornadoes that had struck southern states in the US and the floods in the Midwest. She said, “I hope we will bring expectancy to our prayers together today, that we will acknowledge the power of our collective prayers.” Citing a statement from Mary Baker Eddy’s book Science and Health, “…expectation speeds our progress” (p. 426), she encouraged site visitors to expect healing results. She also shared an experience in which an individual was healed of severe burn injuries.
Participants asked about how to restore balance to the weather system, the influence of world turmoil on weather patterns, how to find daily inspiration when a problem like the drought seems to be going on and on. Concerns about safety and how to respond to the expectation that certain destructive weather conditions prevail at certain times of year, were raised. Financial issues when people are already struggling to keep going were also on the agenda.
One morning, at the beginning of this year, as I walked down the stairs to breakfast I suddenly felt a lot of pain in one of my knees and could barely walk. This pain was a surprise to me because I hadn’t remembered injuring myself at hockey practice the day before. I immediately began to pray with a line from Science and Health that I love, “Become conscious for a single moment that Life and intelligence are purely spiritual,—neither in nor of matter,—and the body will then utter no complaints” (p. 14). I soon realized that it was not my knee that had a problem; I needed to change the way I was thinking about it. I was seeing my knee as unsupported, weak, unstable, painful, and injured. In order to see myself correctly, as “purely spiritual,” I decided to see the useful purpose my knee served and pray about the true spiritual qualities I expressed, such as strength, support, stability, and completeness. I then went off to school claiming my spiritual perfection in this way. In my third lesson at school, I suddenly remembered my knee. It had not hurt since I turned to God that morning. I was so grateful!
Next year, I finish high school and the topic of future plans comes up often at school. I find that I sometimes feel afraid when thinking about the future because I have not quite decided what I want to do and which university I want to attend. My Sunday School teacher recently pointed out this helpful passage to me from Science and Health:
“If you venture upon the quiet surface of error and are in sympathy with error, what is there to disturb the waters? What is there to strip off error’s disguise? Read More.
The Governor of North Carolina is prompting everyone to be fully prepared for Hurricane Irene. For some that means evacuating a vacation home, for others it may mean stocking up on water and food and hunkering down. How did Jesus deal with storms?
The paragraphs below are excerpted from an article that offers specific thoughts on praying about storms. Written by Martha Niggeman, the original article is titled, No reason for fear in Severe Weather and appears on Spirituality.com.
By Martha Niggeman
The Bible gives many accounts of how God’s great power and presence saved people in trouble. When Jesus and his disciples were caught in a storm at sea, the disciples were afraid of the storm’s destruction—of dying. With divine authority, Jesus said, “Peace, be still.” The storm of wind and raging sea stopped immediately, and there was a great calm. The law of God, infinite Life and peace, was far greater than the material forces, and immediately stopped the fear and destruction.
Each of us can prove God’s indestructible good in our lives. We are freed from the material view of destruction as we come to know God, Spirit, and to recognize ourselves as spiritual. Harmony, peace, and life are natural states of being in God’s universe, and they are as natural in our lives.
God, infinite Spirit, fills all space. What seem to be destructive, material forces are negated by thoroughly understanding that infinite Spirit has no element of matter. Understanding this spiritual concept protects and helps us… Click here to read the entire article.
Opinions, especially rigidly held ones, can get in the way of productive communication. On the other hand, keeping our own opinions open to reason and revision can do much to open up communication and move things forward in a productive direction. That doesn’t mean, however, that anyone should lose one’s bearings, become indecisive, and have no principle to stand up for.
The problem with opinions, though, is that they have no certainty of their own; they are inherently incomplete. They’re built only on what seems true according to one’s own knowledge and judgment. And when one regards his or her opinions as the right ones as opposed to others’ wrong ones, little wiggle room is left for productive discussion. To break the stalemate, something – human pride? – has to give. The place to start is with oneself.
There is a certainty we can latch on to that enables us to feel anchored while at the same time respecting, listening to, and thoughtfully considering the views of others. This certainty is found in the only Mind whose wisdom is always right; that is the divine Mind, or God, the eternal Principle of the universe and man (the generic term for men, women, and children). Read More.
Did you catch the brief but remarkable story about researchers who have concluded (once again) that more and more Americans are praying about their health? As striking as that is, it’s not the big surprise in the latest study.
Here’s what is: as of 2007 the percent of adults who are praying about their health is now at 49 percent — no kidding, about half of the adult population — up from 43 percent in 2002 and 14 percent in 1999. That’s a lot of prayers.
But what about the results? With all that lofty thinking going on are people actually satisfied with the outcome? Apparently so. The researchers commented in their report that a huge majority reported positive experiences. Read More.
Yesterday I was riding my bike. An intuition told me to pressure my breaks immediately. I didn’t do anything. But then i heard it again, to put on my brakes. And this time I listened. Just as I put my brakes on, a squirrel ran right in front of my bike. You should listen to intuition because if you don’t, bad things might happen. You might blame God for the bad stuff, but actually God is always telling us what to do that keeps us safe. Even if something bad does happen, you can pray to God and your prayer can act like an unwinding of the problem.
A girl was waiting for her friend in the friend’s mobile home during a heavy rainstorm. Without warning, a flash flood arose, shifting the mobile home from its foundation. Recognizing the danger of the situation, the girl stepped outside the home into four feet of water, and was immediately swept downstream. Unafraid, she sang a hymn as she went, and listened for God’s instructions for her safety. Soon a car floated by, and by climbing onto the roof, she was able to grab hold of the branch of a tree as the car floated by it. From there she rescued a man who was adrift in the flood, and orchestrated the rescue of several others in nearby trees.
“Good thoughts are an impervious armor,” explains Mary Baker Eddy in a short article in The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany. “…clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort. And not only yourselves are safe, but all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited.” (pg. 210)
You may not find yourself in such dire circumstances as a flood, but the knowledge that you are always safe in God’s care can be useful in lesser situations as well. The story above is told in a pocket-sized pamphlet titled “Safety” which you can purchase at the Christian Science Reading Room. Also included are articles about safety during an accident, in an explosion, and on a date where drugs and alcohol led to a police bust. You can also purchase The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany in convenient paperback form or on CD.
Before you take off for your next summer adventure, come visit the Reading Room and explore this idea of safety in these and other resources available at this bookstore for thinkers. Then have a SAFE summer!
There are two Christian Science Reading Rooms in Austin: 102 Trinity Street in downtown Austin (across from the Convention Center) and in Lakeway at 3575 RR 620. Elaine Ratliff writes ReadingRoomBuzz from Raleigh NC. You can read more of her blogs at www.csraleighsundayschool.com.
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.
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
Austin Pets Alive (APA), a local nonprofit dedicated to making Austin a no-kill city, today unveiled its first Adoption and Resource Center allowing for an increase in adoptions as well as improved resources for animal care. You can read more about the center by clicking here. Is there a way that we can contribute prayerfully to a solution to animal overpopulation, neglect or illness? You betcha! Below are several articles that provide a spiritual perspective on how the authors utilized prayer when seeking comfort and answers for animals.
*Caroline Martin, from Cape Cod MA, writes about a cold February evening when she came home to find the children “frantically calling, ‘Beau, Beau, where are you? Please, Beau, come home.’ Beau was a beautiful blue and green parrot.” Read more about how the family turned to God for answers. Click here: Missing? Impossible!
*Finding Ming is a testimony about how prayer helped comfort the new owners of an adopted feisty cat who was nowhere to be found in his new home. This family prayed and found peace, and…Ming. Click here: Finding Ming
*Unleased by Love. I absolutely love dogs. I know God gave man dominion “over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” (Gen 1: 26), but that doesn’t mean other creatures aren’t cared for by God. It is as much in their nature—as it is in ours—to express God’s great qualities, since He created them, too. So I had to disagree when I heard today that some people believe pets can’t be healed because they are lesser ideas of God. Read the rest of this article along with comments.
*Dog behavior issues? No problem! Permanent answers for this author started with the premise that “every creature is a distinct ‘right idea’ reflecting the divine intelligence that forms it. Read more here: Good Dog!
QUESTION: “Have you ever prayed for the protection or healing of a pet or animal? Read answers submitted by spirituality.com readers. Click here. Fell free to share your own experiences of turning to God for help in situations regarding animals by submitting a comment below.
Christian Science Churches in Austin, Texas, Welcome You!