Tuesday, October 27, 2015

"Bible Quotes" 2 Timothy 3:16,17

"Bible Quotes" are shared with Prayerful Living by Dave Herring.

The Trial and Error

By D. Michael Day


In the chapter on Christian Science Practice, Mrs. Eddy gives us the allegory of a trial. It occurred to me we might look at this from a different perspective and gain another valuable insight to be certain we are using our free time wisely.

Suppose you wake up in the morning exhibiting all the symptoms of a cold. We don’t have to list them, but we know what they are. Here is where we have to choose sides and our immediate choice is extremely important. Consider yourself at the accident scene and you are collecting the evidence. Have we “scene” error or choose to un-see it?

If this were a crime scene you expect it will go to trial and immediately start to work on the side of the defense or the prosecution/persecution, whichever side you want to win. Whichever provides overwhelming evidence usually wins.

If you immediately complain about the symptoms (how you feel, how the symptoms are affecting you, how they will continue to negatively affect you and others as you go on to your daily activities) you have already enlisted on the side of the prosecution/persecution. If you try to recall what you did to bring this on (I didn’t get enough sleep, I was out in the rain yesterday and got cold, I slept in the air conditioning, I was around what’s his face and got it from him, I didn’t wash my hands properly, etc. etc.) you effectively are pleading guilty to the crime and must automatically accept the punishment of the court without contest. You are arguing against yourself and thus divided you cannot win.

After you have admitted to the crime, it’s difficult to go back and plead not guilty, calling a defense attorney to represent you throughout the upcoming trial. You have already given the prosecution a motive and opportunity. In fact you have given your adversaries everything necessary to prosecute/persecute you. And you probably did all this in the first 60 seconds of noticing the symptoms. Creating a mess is much easier than having to clean it up. Ask any kid.

Then you come to your senses and say, wait, I am a Christian Scientist and I know how to handle this.  How much longer and harder are you going to have to work to defend your thinking against that first 60 seconds of self-condemnation? A stitch in time saves nine - Ben Franklin. How much more difficult have you made it for your defense attorney to overturn all the evidence you handed over to the prosecution on a silver platter? Error is the “charger” and this is not the time to lose your head. Even John the Baptist didn’t carry his own silver platter knowing the consequences error can adjudicate.

Remember you may continue to suffer with the symptoms as long as it takes to be proven not guilty. Thus you submit to be punished in advance, even before the trial begins and all during the trial, if you concur with the false belief that the symptoms will prevent you from going about your daily activities, even worse, that you are contagious (mentally or physically) to others and must avoid them. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure - ditto Franklin.

So the next time mortal mind wants to convince you that something is wrong based on error’s symptoms, remember your Miranda rights*, watch what you unwittingly claim for yourself (about yourself) and consult your defense attorney immediately,  Hymn 80, line 1 reminds us “God is our refuge and defense,”. This is like having an attorney in the family and since He is our refuge, our habitation, where we live, we don’t have to go anywhere to find Him. Instant access.

Don’t straddle the fence when you’re on trial, you want all your efforts to be on the side of the defense, not the offense.

Never admit guilt or make statements against your best interests, including mental statements since all is Mind and therefore mental statements are the most powerful. Deny error now and you won’t commiserate in misery with it later.

* What Are Your Rights? It requires that error’s symptoms (the first agent of the prosecution on the scene of the crime) advise you of certain facts before questioning you. You have the right “and ability” to remain silent. Anything you admit (submit to error) is used against you. You have the right to have a lawyer of Love present during questioning and one can be appointed for you. Get the best one, know your rights and stick to them rights so you won’t be left to struggle alone.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Shadows

By D. Michael Day


Fall represents a season of harvest. It is a time for bringing in the fruits of our labors in gratitude and Thanksgiving. It is a time of preparation, for the farmers understood the need to store and protect the good they had produced. The fields were harvested of their grains and produce. This often required separation like the chaff from the wheat, or cooking and preserving fruits and vegetables by canning or freezing. Such further preparations assured the blessings of the harvest would last through the dark and cold winter months to come.

It was an opportunity for friends and families to join together to share in the abundance. It was appropriate that no one was left out and that everyone’s needs were met. It was also marked by the unexpected, commonly known as Halloween. Here the homeowner had to prepare for the arrival of unexpected guests in the form of ghosts and goblins witches and warlocks, or the onslaught of a bevy of children with open hearts and hands crying, “Trick or Treat”. The homeowner was obliged to sacrifice some of his harvest to placate the cravings of these intruders or suffer the consequences. Usually a Snickers bar is sufficient because “you’re not yourself when you’re hungry”.

Halloween was always marked by shadows and the unexpected of the night. The darkness limited man’s ability to see and often his imagination and fear was greater than the actual reality of what was there. To enhance the mystery, and their chances for getting treats, children wore disguises to emphasize their powers and abilities, to make themselves look bigger and more menacing or foreboding. Sure sounds a lot like mortal mind trying to aggrandize itself.

This leads me to appreciate the shadow hand puppet. In this example, the fingers and hands are arranged in such a manner to portray a rabbit. It takes a while to develop this talent of creating lifelike shadow puppets, but the technique always involves the manipulation of the hands and fingers. If you wanted to change the representation or figure on the wall you didn’t try to alter the shadow, you understood the need to rearrange the positions of the fingers. Thus the shadow was the result of something else and to change the shadow you had to change something else. The key is controlling your false concept of the “something else”.

It’s also interesting to note all the elements must be present in order to create the illusion of the rabbit. First of all you needed a good source of light, next you needed a talented mortal to manipulate the light and finally you needed a blank white wall to receive the projected image which is always larger than the original. So in a sense you have gone from the light of Truth, through a mental barrier, to project a false larger-than-life image or outline of the absence of light on a blank wall (mortal receptivity). A great definition of error. It is important to realize that you only see the shadow if you look away from the light, because when you look towards the light shadow cannot be seen and disappears behind you.

Let’s explore more about the shadow which somehow seems so real to mankind that we spent all our life trying to change the shadow, materiality.

Is the shadow a real, sinister figure, intent on evil, lurking in the background when your back is turned and your attention is drawn away from the truth, always seeking an opportunity to pounce upon you and steal your goods? One of the definitions of shadow as a verb is to follow someone about in hiding. This is the Trick to rob you of your goods, your peace of mind, your being in the presence of God. 

Do you know anyone with a shadowy character or past? Someone who lives in the shadows that is argumentative, accusatory, a bully, your opposite alter-ego? Do previous actions or reputation overshadow their true self to such an extent that you can no longer see the real but only absence of light? We are told that shadows disappear in the light of Truth and this happens when we remove the material impediment that blocks the light. We no longer live in the shadow of the Valley of Death and its influence, but become free to live under the jurisdiction of the Almighty and under the shadow of his mighty wings. That’s the Treat!

"Bible Quote" John 4:23

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Bible Quotes: John 14:12

"Bible Quotes" are shared with Prayerful Living by Dave Herring.

Your Job is to Mirror Me

By Anthony Whitehouse CS

That is to say that you are to have no thoughts of your own but to reproduce and show forth my thinking rather than being concerned about your own situation.

You must be my image and likeness but you will not be that you if you are preoccupied with yourself.
To mirror forth my Mind, to the be the Christ you must faithfully reflect My being. To be my mirror, to be My likeness means only showing forth the nature of My being.

A perfect mirror does just that. It reproduces exactly the model before it. It has not concerns of its own. It possesses nothing of its own. Its only preoccupation is reproduction.

Many would like to emulate the Christ and heal the way that he healed but few are ready to abandon their own thoughts and preoccupations. That was the genius of both Jesus and Mrs Eddy. Total sublimation of self. Their only concern was to mirror forth the beauty they saw in the Divine Mind.

Authors note : After writing this note I realised that we do not do a good job of mirroring the Divine nature because we are too preoccupied with human concerns. Of course, the issue here is that such preoccupation , being mesmerism, stops the mirroring activity.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

God is the Truth

By Anthony Whitehouse CS

Taken out of a metaphysical context the statement, “God is the truth," seems like one of those overarching edicts which sound nice but don’t seem particularly relevant to day-to-day living. Even Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor given the job of examining Jesus’ guilt seemed totally non-plussed by the whole question.

The issue of truth arose, as we read in the Gospel of John, in the following exchange which took place between him and Jesus.


John 18:37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
John 18:38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?

As one says in today’s parlance: Pilate just did not get it. He did not understand the significance of Truth in its metaphysical context. To be honest neither did I appreciate the real importance of Truth until a rather remarkable healing occurred recently.

At the end of 2014 a lady (not a member of our church) visited our reading room. We had several discussions about Divine Science and how it effects healing. She was assiduously reading and studying both the lesson sermon and Mrs Eddy’s text book, Science and Health with key to the Scriptures. On one occasion she remarked to me that she was concerned for her daughter. Despite being very well qualified she was unable to find work. My response to her was quite simple. “Your daughter has qualities given to her by God, so someone is going to find those qualities attractive.” And that is where the conversation ended.

A few weeks ago she reappeared in the reading room, her face covered smiles, indicating that she had some good news. I assumed that her daughter found a job. “Not at all”, she replied. “She became pregnant, and she is thirty-seven.” I rejoiced with her and marveled at this news but then she added “But you have no idea how much of a blessing this is. The doctors had told her that it was physically impossible for her to conceive”.

Again I rejoiced, but after she left the reading room I began to consider carefully the whole unfoldment that had just taken place, the sharing of truth and the subsequent blessing which had occurred. My quandary was that the sharing had been effortless, without any intent on my part save to share the truth as I knew it. I knew this daughter had to be blessed but I had not outlined what the blessing would be, but the healing nonetheless occurred. Furthermore none of actors on this stage could claim it was «their» healing because it had occurred without a specific directed effort to overcome sterility. That it was God’s work was very clear to all!

For several days I prayed hard to understand the lesson of this healing because this blessing had occurred whereas other issues I had been working on had not been resolved. What lessons could I take away from this occurrence which I could apply in the future?

After a couple of days I was able to see this healing in its correct light. It became clear to me that Truth had been shared and Truth had implemented itself. I had not been concerned with its implementation because I had no consciousness of the challenge of infertility. I was uniquely concerned, as was her mother, with the Truth of this daughter’s true being and her God given talents as they were bestowed by God.

But I then had to ask myself “Why is just the knowing of Truth so powerful”. Immediately the answer came back “Because God is Truth”. Then I understood: when we know Truth we know God. If we have the Truth, we have God. This is the point that Pilate had not been able to see. Neither had I , up until this point. The widow of Zarapheth understood the importance of truth when she saw her child healed by Elijah declaring “Now I know by this that thou are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth” 1 King 17:24.

Up until the arrival of Jesus on the human scene God was seen as some superhuman mensch who appeared from time to time to effect miracles and behaved in a somewhat mysterious manner. Jesus however cast God is a very different light indicating that God was entirely spiritual and not the slightest bit human or whimsical. He was a perfect state of Mind which just did not countenance error in any form. All of which help us understand Jesus’ admonition «Be ye perfect , even as your Father in heaven is perfect». Mrs Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science church defines God in her textbook Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures as Life, Truth and Love. A man is not Life Truth and Love but he reflects Life, Truth and Love. We are like musicians who play music but in our spiritual construct the music we express is these spiritual qualities. And guess what? If we are to be children or expressions of God that is exactly what is required of us, the expression of Life, Truth and Love.

What makes the expression and understanding of Truth especially important and critical to healing is that it enfolds the operation of divine law. Mrs Eddy came to understand that if you understood the nature of God it would displace, as a matter of law, the apparent claims of evil which appear as sin , sickness and death. Why? Because Mrs Eddy realised that these errors could not stand in the place of God, Truth as a matter of law. For example, if you know you have money in the bank no one could ever convince you that you were poor. The truth is that you are wealthy and no counter argument could prevail precisely because you knew the truth about your financial situation.

You can take the same logic and apply it to metaphysical facts. If, for example ,you understand the truth that God is the exclusive power in your life ( which is a divine truth ) then you not only understand that no other power can operate to your detriment but you understand this as a matter of divine law. A conviction then appears which is supported by truth and by law and this necessarily heals. Many find this difficult to take on board because it appears to be slightly strange but it is no more strange than the truth that boats float. There is a law of buoyancy there to support boats even though it is somewhat curious. But why question the existence of the law? The point is that we should take advantage of it.

Hence we begin to understand why Truth is a vital element in the healing process. The object of Christian Science practice and healing is to understand or figure out the particular truth or nature of God which displaces error. Sometimes we are only too well aware of the truth because we have encountered the problem before. Sometimes it appears to be a novel issue we have not come across before but we have at our disposal two great books in the Bible and Science and Health which help us unpack the truth we need to know. Anyone who has ever read the fruitage section of Science and Health will realise that there are few problems which have not been healed in these pages.

However in all travails we must never forget that the understanding of God ,which necessarily involves the truth about His nature, is what we are really all about. If we understand God then we necessarily understand the nothingness of sin, sickness and death because they have nothing to do with His nature. It is for this reason Jesus advised «3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.» John 17 Jesus understood the truth about God’s nature and it was this understanding which made him the Christ. By the same measure it is our understanding of Truth of the nature of God which also blesses and gives us the kingdom, free from sin, sickness and death.