Marine Recruits in Sunday School

Yesterday, seven US Marine Recruits from San Diego joined our Sunday School in Austin TX – thanks to laptops, web cameras, wifi and Skype.  Steve W, a retired Navy pilot and English High School teacher, fielded questions from the recruits about God, spirituality, healing and sexuality.  The feedback from both sides afterwards was that the hour long class was a huge success.  The recruits took away several key spiritual ideas that will help them during their demanding physical and emotional training.

So how did this come to be, you might ask? Carolyn S. is a local Christian Science Practitioner who for the past 5 years has joined other faith-based volunteers and chaplains in providing religious services and spiritual support to the MCRD-SD recruits for 3 hours each Sunday morning. Carolyn contacted us several weeks ago because our church worship services are being teleconferenced with easy Skype access AND we are in a time zone that matches the early morning Sunday free time when the recruits are encouraged to reach out and learn about different faiths.

We talked about different ways that we could support the recruits and their interest in spirituality and healing. The first venture occurred two weeks ago when we arranged for Carolyn and the recruits to Skype into our Sunday worship service at 11am CST (9am PST).  We were fortunate to have Chris C., a recently retired US Army Chaplain, join us in person at the Austin church. Chris video-chatted via Skype with the recruits, making introductions before the church service and answering questions afterwards.  This initial dialogue led to yesterday’s Sunday School class in which the recruits, most of whom are 17-19 year olds, participated in a Q&A discussion format.

Carolyn later emailed feedback,  “…The fact that they are responsible for their decisions in the most challenging situations is amazing. But then they are made in the image and likeness of God and have all that God knows at hand (omni-Science) – so all is well! The point of needing to lift the weakest member for the good of all was especially relative. [After Sunday School] we continued to consider how to apply the Science Jesus demonstrated – one Recruit shared how that has worked in his platoon. He has been “healing” that challenge over the past few weeks.”

It seems fitting that this experience is being written today, Memorial Day, a national day of remembrance for those who have sacrificed so much for the ideals of freedom and sovereignty. Here is a link to an article published on www.Spirituality.com on topic for today, “Remembering our Heroes”.

Dear Home Seller

Dear Home Seller:

What I have seen over and over is this: when the seller is really ready to emotionally let go of the house, the house sells.  Based on our time together today, I don’t think you’re there yet.  Financially you see the need.  But you haven’t been able to emotionally let go yet.  You’re hanging tight onto memories, possessions as well as the house.  It’s like having a leg in two opposite camps – you have to commit to one position in order to move forward and make progress.  Once this happens, you’ll be goal-oriented, the house will get ready quickly and be more appealing to buyers, you’ll readily give up the excess stuff, and the buyers will materialize.

You’ll eventually find that you carry your home in your heart.  The physical home you’ve known to love and cherish over so many years is just a symbol of what’s in essence a spiritual concept that can never be lost, broken, destroyed, unloved, diminished, taken away, torn down, become a burden or lose value.  So in the end, this process of selling a home is a giving up what you cannot keep (the symbol of home) in order to cherish what can never be taken away.  Rather than working hard to support your home so that it (and your stuff) owns and controls you – you’ll find that your home can become something that supports you and your purpose in life.  And there’s great freedom in that true concept of home.

Hope these thoughts are a help as you consider next steps.

Economic Freedom NOW

The answer to economic freedom isn’t in waiting for abundance or balance or control. In matters of the home, the community, the state, and the world, the only lasting, right, satisfying solution is always spiritual. Because it is spiritual, it is ever-present and active, readily available and ours to claim right now!

It seems that in these challenging economic times, the biggest culprit to our realizing our freedom may be fear.

Listen to what Mrs. Eddy tells us in Science and Health: “Always begin your treatment by allaying the fear of the patients. Silently reassure them as to their exemption from disease and danger. Watch the results of this simple rule of Christian Science, and you will find that it alleviates the symptoms of every disease. If you succeed in wholly removing the fear, your patient is healed.” (Science and Health 411:27-1)

Doesn’t this statement necessarily apply to every claim to a lack, be it of health or of substance of any kind? The healing is revealed as we remove the fear. It’s a simple rule, she says. We can’t very well take a stand for Truth and go forward with generous living and giving if we are still afraid. We are not really standing with Truth, then, are we?  Matter still has our attention and at least a portion of our affection. We still believe it has power that God might eventually overtake, rather than realizing its powerlessness, now and always. What we need is to get all our news from God, and really be at peace in that. It isn’t going to get better. All is well. Full. Complete. Right now.  No waiting.

So how do we conquer fear? First of all, we keep the spiritual idea before out thought, rather than the blinding and confusing illusions of material things and circumstances. But, the real answer to fear is always Love. “Love casteth out fear.” God requires us to be loving and to feel loved.  And He made us capable of this. Of course, we start by loving God– His tender love, presence, wisdom and control.

Then how else can we realize love more? We need to get rid of blame. There’s no love in that. Are we blaming ourselves or others? We have to absolve ourselves of guilt over past decisions in order to begin witnessing a present abundance.

Or are we assuming a government’s action or inaction has done us or our nation harm, or that it can save or doom us? Maybe there is even a righteous indignation that we’d like to hang onto toward some group or individual. Remember, nothing has been done to us. God is the only Cause. The effect of His authority is always good.  The government is on His shoulder alone and is steady. It’s never been anywhere else.  There needs to be a conscientious forgiveness of things– administrations, self, and circumstances. No political party or financial organization is to blame nor is it responsible for improvement of something that hasn’t been broken. God is All. He is not in an organization or limited by it. We know we “are not hurt and understand the reason why.” (Science and Health 397:17) Mrs. Eddy is talking about accidents, random acts. We aren’t subject to unreasonable surprises. God’s not like that! There’s nothing to repair. No guilt. No blame. No fixing. The adjusting that is God’s law is revelation, not material action, although it appears as a righting of things humanly. We have to get past the idea that we have to fix something. We are not broken. Life is not broken. Life is God, perfect good.

I love how Mrs. Eddy describes Christian Science—“Jesus said, ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ This truth is Christian Science.” (Science and Health 442: 27)

Christian Science comes announcing our fearless abundance. It comes reminding us that we have not given anything up or earned it or lost it along the way, nor can we at any point.  It is God’s pleasure to give it to us, and to keep on giving it to us. He has enough goodness and enough Love. So, indeed, we have all and we have it now and without a fear of losing. God is the keeper of all good, our good, not a bank, or a boss, or even ourselves. God’s substance is in secure hands, and it is ours by reflection, not personal possession. We all have it equally and sufficiently and without fluctuation. God’s flock is always loved with a Love that is boundless, controlled, perfect, and more than enough!

A Field Trip of Gratitude

Yesterday I went with my son on his 4th grade field trip.  I was surprised how ungrateful his classmates and he were.   They complained about the bus ride; complained about the length of time they had to look at the museum; complained about eating outside; complained about minor(!) cuts and bruises.  At first I tried to contradict them, “It’s a lovely day for a picnic.”  But, then I realized I need to not combat materialism with more materialism: “arguing whether it was a nice day for a picnic or not.”   What I really needed to do was to realize that as God’s spiritual children, they are not only perfect, but they can realize that perfection.    They could not be anything less than perfect, grateful children.  So, I was quiet, and I started seeing myself as God would see me…. patient, kind, humble…. Then I started seeing the children as God sees them…. patient, kind, humble.   Sometimes it was hard to see them as humble…. but after a while it became easier.  I started to see them as patient, kind and humble.  The gratitude soon followed.

The Healing Power of Music – a Conductor’s Perspective

We’re here in Austin, right? The Live music capitol of the world!  It’s not too difficult to think of music in terms of spirituality. I’m sure many of us have found comfort, inspiration and maybe even healing from a song.  When I find my thoughts spinning with worrisome noise, I love to listen to favorite hymns. Their soft and simple tunes shut out that noise and their powerful and poignet lyrics about our heavenly divine creator and her creations (us) fill my thoughts with a calm trust that Christ is at the helm and God’s care is constant and ever present for all. I’ll frequently drift to sleep while listening to these gentle prayers on my i-pod.

Next week, Spirituality.com is hosting a live audio chat with Conductor Alistair Willis who will be sharing his thoughts on “The Healing Power of Music – a Conductor’s Perspective”.  From Spirituality.com, “A new songlist on your iPod, a favorite hymn in church, a Bach concerto…music has a way of opening all of our hearts to greater possibilities and joy.” You can log on live thru www.Spirituality.com and join their chat room during the talk – scheduled for Tuesday May 25, 1-2pm CST. Feel free to come back to this blog and share with us your thoughts on the topic and the talk.   To subscribe to this and future spirituality.com podcasts, click here http://feeds.feedburner.com/spirituality_eventpodcast

a Spiritual perspective to bullying

Several weeks ago my 9 year old son was at a park where several other 9 year olds that he didn’t know called him profane names and tried to pick a physical fight with him.  Besides feeling a need to console and love, I was surprised at how young this aggressive behavior started. Although friends counseled me that this is part of growing up, I could only think that there’s an opportunity from this experience to lift humanity’s thought somehow. I wanted to be part of the solution, not part of the cycle. I couldn’t help but feel that there are ties between a childhood park altercation to an abusive marriage to gang violence to genocide. I wanted to use the opportunity to help my son and myself find a spiritual perspective that would add to the “stop the cycle of violence and hatred”.  Thoughts lead to action – and if we can help direct our thoughts towards the divine power that made each of us, then we’re individually adding to a more spiritual attitude on things which in turn helps lift humanity out of the ugliness of bullying and violence. This is an ongoing process for me as I continue to pray for more answers and also to watch my own consciousness – weeding out thoughts of stereotyping, hopelessness, and aggression.  I find that I speak more gently to my children and husband; and I have renewed compassion for inclusiveness.  Unwilling to give into the “it’s a normal right of passage/growing up,” I’ve found some great articles on the subject of bullying that provide an uplifted perspective.  Here’s a recent article from the Christian Science Monitor that discusses a spiritual take on bullying – I hope you find it helpful.  Compassion and Hope for the Bully and the Bullied.

Pray & Play Dates – Summer 2010

Looking for something to do with the kids this summer that continues their spiritual education? We’ve planned a number of Wednesday Play & Pray dates over the summer.  We’ll meet up at the downtown Austin church (1309 Guadalupe Street) for the Wednesday meeting of healing and inspiring testimonies; then head out for a fun place to eat lunch and play. Check the Calendar for upcoming events as they get scheduled.  PS – the kids love the testimony meetings in which they frequently contribute their own testimonies of healing to. This activity is sponsored by Discovery Bound.

DiscoveryBound!

DiscoveryBound is an interactive international community for Christian Scientists and their friends where they see Christian Science in action. It’s fellowship that doesn’t replace church, but supports it, by providing an environment where everyone is free to share how they are studying and living Christian Science and develop relationships that nurture this commitment.  Get involved at www.discoverybound.org.

For event details and a link to the online registration form, visit http://www.discoverybound.org/Page.aspx?pid=416
Please contact Crystal Reynolds for more information, 512.680.3217 or crystalkreynolds@yahoo.com

Summer Bible Camp for kids: Aug 2-6

Come and have fun learning the Bible with games, crafts, skits, and other activities! Jesus’ Parables and The Lord’s Prayer will be the focus of our 2010 Summer Bible Camp – August 2-6 from 10:00-1:00 daily.  Pre-school age 4 to 5th grade.  Location: Third Church in Lakeway 3575 Ranch Road 620 South. To register or volunteer, please contact Cary Heroy at 671-8072, ckheroy@yahoo.com or Jeri Tippetts 249-8756, jtippetts@austin.rr.com.  You can also download the registration form here. 2010 Registration Form-SUMMER BIBLE CAMP


Christian Science Churches in Austin, Texas, Welcome You!