Monday, April 15, 2024

An introduction to a new blog on "Prayer." What is your favorite version of the Lord's Prayer?

[Editor's note: We will begin posting Tiffany's sharing on prayer here until we launch her blogsite.]

By Tiffany Loosvelt

As you may know, there are many versions of the Lord's prayer. We've shared some examples in a link here»

This one from New Zealand is one of my favorites:

O most Compassionate Life-giver, 
may we honor and praise you; 
May we work with you to establish your new order of justice peace and love; 
Give us what we need for growth, 
And help us, through forgiving others, to accept forgiveness.
Strengthen us in the time of testing, that we may resist all evil, 
For all tenderness, strength and love are yours, now and forever. 
Amen.    (Bill Wallace, Aootearoa/New Zealand)

Of course, The Lord's Prayer with its spiritual sense as written in Science and Health With Key To The Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy is the most inspiring to me.  I go over it silently or audibly, often and I'm very grateful to have learned it in Sunday School:

Our Father which art in heaven,
     Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious,

Hallowed be Thy name.
     Adorable One.

Thy kingdom come.
     Thy kingdom is come; Thou art ever-present.

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
     Enable us to know, as in heaven, so on earth, — 
is omnipotent, supreme.

Give us this day our daily bread;
     Give us grace for to-day; feed the famished affections;

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
     And Love is reflected in love;

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil;
     And God leadeth us not into temptation, but delivereth us
     from sin, disease, and death.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.
     For God is infinite, all-power, all Life, Truth, Love, over all, and All.

(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, pp. 16:26–15)

Do you know of another version of the Lord's Prayer that you've heard and appreciate, or have any other prayers you'd like to share? (Please add it to the comments.)

Next week, I'd like to share a prayer that I learned as a child from my best friend at the time, and I still remember today. 

Please share (in the comments) any children's prayers that still mean something to you and/or the little one's in your life!




Friday, March 29, 2024

Doubting Thomas (John 20:24-29)

 By Ken G. Cooper

I’ve been given this nickname:
Doubting Thomas.
It’s hardly fair. Don’t we all have doubts? Don’t we all need to have someone brave enough to share them, to bring them out into the open?
Why should it always be me?
Let me ask you: what proof do we have that Jesus has indeed returned and not just as a spirit? Is my question a lack of faith or a step towards advancing faith to a firmer understanding???
Looking back, and watching from afar, I saw Jesus crucified, yes, watched
him die, saw his body taken down, taken to a sepulchre.
It was an accepted fact. Jesus was dead and buried. His enemies had won.
Three years of building hope, witnessing miracles, suddenly all gone. Or has it?

On the third day after his crucifixion, Mary had gone to the sepulchre where he’d been lain, to anoint his body,
found the stone rolled away, and had come running back to tell Peter and John he wasn’t there! They also ran, - I wonder what were they thinking? Mary followed. They confirmed what she had said and returned, but Mary stayed. It was then that Jesus appeared, and told her to tell us that he was ascending to his Father, to his God and our God!
And that very evening he appeared to the other ten. Why was I not there and they were?? Was it left for me to challenge my rightful doubts? Yes, please consider, he appeared to them through locked doors, suddenly present with them all. A physical body can’t do that! But that’s what they all said. First Mary, now too the other disciples! Was it some spirit of their imagination and hope, but not the resurrected body! Dead flesh and lifeless blood is the cold fact, - that reality surely cannot change!

I told them straight, - unless I could put my finger in the wounds in his hands, thrust my hand into his side, I would not believe, and more to the point, nor would anyone else! I’m not going to be mesmerised by wishful thinking! I need proof!

What did they expect? What would you have thought, come on, what would you have said? Left it to me again?
As the days passed it seemed more and more likely that somehow this was just as I was thinking, some colossal
made up dream. And yet….
I was there when he fed thousands of people with just a few loaves and fishes.
I was there when we were nearly sunk in a vicious storm, - he just stood up and stilled the tempest, - and all the boats, all of us, were suddenly safe.
He even walked on the water to reach us right in the middle of the sea, - we’d left him on the beach and
suddenly there he was! We were all frightened, thinking it was a spirit. He saved Peter and got on board. Stayed with us. I now need him to say again: “Fear not, it is I”. How do you tell reality from a dream? A dream from reality?

The last three years kept spinning before me:
People healed of all kinds of sickness;
The deaf, the dumb, - hearing, speaking normally,
Those leprous as snow, suddenly with full flesh;
A withered arm stretched out, complete and whole.
The contrast between the joy he brought to so many people, and the persistent picture now in my mind of three
crosses, three deaths, the darkness.
But yes, he had brought the dead brought back to life!
That ruler of the synagogue’s daughter, - she was only twelve years old, - dead but now alive.
The widow’s son at Nain, - carried out quite dead on his bier. Yet Jesus speaks to him and up he gets.
And there’s the impossible resurrection of Lazarus, - dead four days and already half decomposed. Jesus spoke,
“Lazarus, come forth!” And he did, set free, restored..
But for Jesus to resurrect himself! When he died, when he was gone, who would speak to him and say “Arise”
how could he possibly promise to rise the third day?
So what do I believe?
Jesus turned upside down everything I’d ever learned..
Now he’s dead, can I really believe it ever really happened?
I tremble at the thought that if he does come back, if I do touch his hand, if he really is there again, what is the true explanation…And if he doesn’t, where does that leave us?

We have gathered again. We are together, but I feel left out.
It’s been over a week since they say they saw him. They still keep insisting, “Jesus is risen. Jesus is risen”.
But they haven’t seen him since, - so where is he? What’s he doing?
One of them cracks a joke, and they all laugh, looking at me.
Oh Jesus, if you really are there, please show yourself.
Help me believe.

The laughter suddenly stops.
I feel an overwhelming presence of love: it is tangible.
Dare I face this moment?

“Peace be unto you”

His words create the peace they speak of.
Memories return of his serenity, dominion, and most of all, his love.
But is this still a dream?

He turns to me:

“Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing.”

I look at his outstretched hands, there are the holes. He shows me his wounded side.
It takes me back to the wooden spikes, the thrust of the spear, I hear again the cheering crowd, so constant in my memory!
How is this possible? Is it really happening?
I know that I must do as I had demanded.
I reach out, touch him. Everyone is looking at me. His physical presence matches mine.
Flesh to flesh. I cannot doubt any further. It is no apparition.

My whole life with Jesus whips through my consciousness;
This really is the risen Lord. He’s done what he promised,
Proved life everlasting, a life unrestricted by matter.
Proved what he’s always said.
The kingdom of God really is within you, yes, within us all!
Life is everlasting! Not miracles, but divine revelations flood my being.
A reality I had been too scared to accept, and dared not believe.

It is Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth! Alive! Not a spirit, but resurrected in the flesh.
I have felt his hands, his body. Can I doubt anymore?

I sink to my knees.
“My Lord and my God”.

Jesus reaches down to me. His grip is warm, forgiving.
He lifts me up, both physically and mentally.
I now see. Everything he has said has moved from belief to understanding

“Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed
are they which have not seen, and yet have believed”


I have seen and touched him. Yes, he has conquered death! I have
witnessed the proof of true being. He once said: “The kingdom of
heaven is at hand.” Yes, he has shown it here and now!
The doubt has gone. I believe, yea, more, much more:


[Thomas was there when Jesus said to Peter: “Feed my sheep”, and went on to become a missionary in India]

© KenCooper2024

A Bible parable with a new analysis! (The Prodigal Son)

by Jeane Appell

2024 being an election year —with all the political variants, the claims, counter-claims, ads, campaign funding etc.—may seem like a long year!  Interestingly, the partial definition of “Year”  in the Glossary chapter of Mary Baker Eddy’s “Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures reads, “Year:…space for repentance” (page 598.) This is an appropriate consideration for all of us praying in support of the election process.   When asked about her politics, Mrs. Eddy  replied that she had none except to support a righteous government. (See  Miscellany, pg 276). This has become my response as well.  

Recently, while praying to support our country, an unusual interpretation came to me as I read the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15).  The parable as told by Jesus refers to our sonship with our Father, God. But I’ve adapted it to my consideration of citizenship and government. I’ve changed the characters into concepts.  I’ve substituted for the Father the concept of Righteous Government.  The younger son represents  special interest groups with fallacious goals, scrupulous lobbyist, egotists, selfish donors with ulterior motives . The elder son represents past and present patriots dedicated to preserving righteous government.  The Father’s wealth represents our U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Irreverent lobbyists, egoists, etc (the younger son) hope to take advantage of righteous government (the Father) by wasting its substance with porkbarrel projects,  unsustainable debt, false accusations, kickbacks, irresponsibility, etc. But eventually all these prove unfulfilling, dangerously robbing themselves of the benefits of a righteous government. Then, having found themselves defeated by difficult social, economic, and  personal troubles, they come to realize their need to return to a sense of righteous government (the Father’s house). Their false sense of entitlements has imploded and honest accountability becomes essential!  

The good news is that a Righteous Government (like the Father)  is always welcoming to those who wandered but now have honest desire to regain, maintain, and retain the blessings of good government.  The integrity of elections (the journey home) is critical to those who seek the “father’s substance.”  

 Today’s patriot (like the elder son) needs to guard against anger, revenge, envy, disappointment, and jealousy so that he, too, doesn’t  lose sight of his  father’s substance— which guarantees the generational inheritance of a righteous government. The patriot is not the indentured servant of the government, rather a Righteous Government supports and protects the patriotic citizen’s inheritance.  Both the younger and elder son must learn to value and preserve the Father-son relationship in order to protect their inherited wealth — a Righteous Government!!



Thursday, September 7, 2023

Friendships that bless

 By Kathy Ball - for the St. Helena Star - September 5, 2023

I’ve been thinking a lot about friends lately — what they mean to me and what it means to be a friend. A friend is someone you can trust; someone who is loyal, compassionate and forgiving; someone who makes you feel loved. And for me, there is no better example of what it means to be a friend than the master Christian himself, Jesus Christ....

 Love distinguished everything Jesus did. He taught love for God, for ourselves as God’s children, and for others both in what he said in his sermons and what he did with his life. He uncovered the divine law of Love, or God, that inspires and impels us all to love. As the author of First John describes it, “We love each other because (God) loved us first” (4:19, New Living Translation)....

Click here for complete essay»

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Mind-Wholeness Reigns

By Julio C Rivas, CS

 “Next, the Lord commanded Moses, “Put your hand inside your shirt.” Moses obeyed, and when he took it out, his hand had turned white as snow—like someone with leprosy. “Put your hand back inside your shirt,” the Lord told him. Moses did so, and when he took it out again, it was as healthy as the rest of his body.” — Exodus‬ ‭4‬:‭6‬-‭7‬ ‭CEV‬‬

“When we fully understand our relation to the Divine, we can have no other Mind but His, — no other Love, wisdom, or Truth, no other sense of Life, and no consciousness of the existence of matter or error.” — M B Eddy 
“Love-Intelligence saturates, generates and holds all existence.
As we awaken to the provable fact that we are Wisdom-Grace’s perennial effulgence, we pierce evil’s mirages, and rebirth our human system with omnipotent health, pulchritude, plenitude, and excellence.” — Julio C Rivas, CS

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Love's Christ-birthing

 By Julio C. Rivas, CS

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” — Isaiah 9: 6, KJ
“The time cometh when the spiritual origin of man, the divine Science which ushered Jesus into human presence, will be understood and demonstrated.” “The life of Christ Jesus was not miraculous, but it was indigenous to his spirituality, — the good soil wherein the seed of Truth springs up and bears much fruit.” — M B Eddy 
“In our Love-impregnated mentality/sentiments there is a holy birthing going on of more Christly intelligence, joy, health, vim, purity, and might. 
This is Truth-germinating, and it is healing us and all humanity.” — Julio C Rivas, CS


 By Patti C. Christopher

Since the beginning of my experience in Christian Science, I have read in Matthew 5:13 “Ye are the salt of the earth….” Recently, while reading the gospel of Mark, I encountered the concept of being salted or having salt within us (Mark 9: 49 For everyone shall be salted with fire…. Mark 9: 50 …Have salt in yourselves and have peace one with another.)

Being too embarrassed to admit that I did not understand the phrase, or ever ask a Bible scholar what it means, I have wondered for years what being “salt” or “salted” meant.  So I asked God recently, and this is what He said: “To be salted is to be filled with all goodness, purity, and Love, and to live this way eternally.”

Over the years I have learned that salt has 4 uses:

  • it gives flavor (goodness, Love)
  •  it cleans (purity)
  • it preserves (eternal life)
  • it was used as payment (worthiness)

These are all qualities of our original status when God created us as ideas made in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26, 27). For one to be the image of God, good, one must have goodness inherent in him.  Since there is no evil in God, good, one must be pure as His image and likeness.  God is eternal, so His ideas must be eternal as well. Mrs. Eddy says, “…man is immortal and lives by divine authority.” (SH 76:20) The divine authority of God gave man dominion, which speaks to our worthiness. 

But what does it mean to be “salted with fire” (Mark 9:49)?  To this God answered, “To be salted with fire is to be brought to that point where your light shines brightly.”  This reply brought forth a memory from my childhood.  As a kid sitting in front of our fireplace, I loved when dad put a piece of driftwood on the fire because it burned with beautiful colors of turquoise, purple, and green.  Also, the fire glowed brighter if salt itself was thrown on the fire. 

From this I perceive that, if we are salted with fire and are the salt of the earth, then we are to bring goodness, Love, peace, and purity into every aspect of our lives, and to burn so brightly with our salted-ness that we become a beacon of the Christ for all mankind to see.