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Gary

The Forum is dedicated to each week's lesson, and may be used to post questions, comments, and constructive replies that strive to uncover the inspired meaning of the text. The Bulletin Board is for gratitude for Christian Science and the Church, as well as timely excerpts from the Bible, the works of Mrs. Eddy, and the early workers that help and encourage. We are very grateful for all posts that conform to these guidelines, but will edit or remove anything that the Practitioners feel is not in complete accord with pure Christian Science or in any way disrespectful of it.

We also ask that you keep your postings as concise as possible; make two short postings of the long posts or send the lengthy ones for publication in our Magazine or Newsletter. If you quote the Bible, please use The King James Version, as this is what Mrs. Eddy used. Thank you!


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Viewing 85 posts - 1 through 85 (of 85 total)
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  • in reply to: The Parable of the Vine #13339
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you. This reminds me of Billy Graham saying that his only regret was that he didn’t have more disciples, rather than converts. Converts are nice, but it is the disciples that make things happen.

    in reply to: Jonah at once changes course. #11654
    Gary
    Participant

    This is a good lesson on the wiles of selfishness. It was selfishness that drove Jonah to take a boat to Tarshish. When he saw that his selfishness endangered the lives of others, his love for others took over, and he was willing to do whatever would save the rest of the passengers. But after delivering the message to Nineveh, and seeing God’s forgiveness of their sins, his pride and selfishness tried again, this time to persuade him he would be better off dead than alive. Mrs. Eddy emphasizes over and over the importance of humility. The Bible is full of it as well. Unless we are totally without pride, it will try everything it can to trip us up and prevent us from doing what is actually in our best interest to do.

    in reply to: Silence. #11256
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you. This explains very well the challenge we face as God’s children, or as His image and likeness. In the lesson, from Deuteronomy, it says, “Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee.” God made us all capable of hearing His voice so that He could instruct us. Mrs. Eddy refers to this ability as our “spiritual sense.”
    The challenge for us is to use it, to trust it, and to obey the voice when it speaks to us. As we learn in Science, that voice is always speaking! I find it useful to periodically take time out and examine what I allow to occupy my consciousness. Worry and fear give power to something other than God. Some people drown out their fears by having the TV on, or playing music constantly. Others medicate with drugs or alcohol. All of these are part of the “noise” that blocks out God’s voice.
    I saw an article recently that stated 40% of Americans are suffering from mental stress or substance abuse. Whether the number is accurate or not, it points to the great need of mankind for the truth of Christian Science and to learn to cultivate our spiritual sense so that He might instruct us. It is the only way!

    in reply to: Hand Washing. #11243
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you for this post. Kimball was giving the same rebuke as did Jesus to the state of thought that would be more concerned with surface appearance than to the things of God. Mrs. Eddy explains this well on page 382 of S&H:
    “If half the attention given to hygiene were given to the study of Christian Science and to the spiritualization of thought, this alone would usher in the millennium. Constant bathing and rubbing to alter the secretions or to remove the unhealthy exhalations from the cuticle receive a useful rebuke from Jesus’ precept, ‘Take no thought…for the body.’ We must beware of making clean merely the outside of the platter.”
    She then goes on to say, “He, who is ignorant of what is termed hygienic law, is more receptive of spiritual power and of faith in one God, than is the devotee of supposed hygienic law, who comes to teach the so-called ignorant one.”
    Here, Mrs. Eddy rebukes not only the washing of hands, but the study of hygiene rather than the study of Christian Science and the spiritualization of thought. Too many are proud of their secular education. Many others worship or admire those who have a PhD or a big house or a fancy car. Jesus, Mrs. Eddy, and Kimball are telling us that is not what matters. In fact, it will impede one’s true education in the right direction. So, don’t be impressed. And don’t waste time studying subjects that aren’t going to be useful in promoting Christ’s Christianity and the spiritualization of thought.

    in reply to: Is Christian Science "salvation by works" ? #9260
    Gary
    Participant

    This is a good sequence of learning, except for the last one. “Salvation” is not a belief, but an experience. It is the “infinite idea forever developing itself,” as you referenced Mary Baker Eddy. And it is evidenced by our works, not our words.

    There is a danger of thinking that one has “arrived” when he hasn’t. That is why we need to humbly thank God for the works and not think that we have done anything of ourselves. It looks like you got caught up in an intellectual squabble, which can only lead to confusion worse confounded. We gain salvation by faith in God’s grace. And we evidence that salvation by our works, not our words. And what is it that we need to be “saved” from? The false beliefs that sin, disease, and death are real, and have power derived either from God or in spite of God.

    Mrs. Eddy explains this very clearly. On page 51 of S&H, she writes, regarding Jesus, “his consummate example was for the salvation of us all, but only through doing the works which he did and taught others to do. His purpose in healing was not alone to restore health, but to demonstrate his divine Principle.” This divine Principle is the grace of God. It is what ‘saves” us from the belief that we are anything other than the image and likeness of God. But we have a responsibility to take this divine Principle and write it on our foreheads, obey its commands (the ‘still, small voice’), thus proving by our works that we are growing (obtaining salvation).

    When we experience the healing of sin, disease, or death, our salvation rests in recognizing that it is the power of Truth (the grace of God) in action, not the result of any human ability on our part, or that of anyone else.

    in reply to: Whosoever doth not bear his cross #9249
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you for pointing this out. This is one of the requirements that Jesus lists as necessary to be a disciple. Jesus bore his cross. When told to stop teaching and healing, he did it anyway, obeying God’s requirements in spite of the threats and, finally, crucifixion. And he left the world an infinitely better place for it. Mrs. Eddy bore her cross. When nearly penniless and told by family members to give up this ridiculous idea, she pursued it anyway and left the world a much better place for it.
    We each have a divine purpose. We have opportunities each day to stand for the truth, to offer a cup of cold water in Christ’s name, to rebuke the errors that confront us. And our willingness to withstand the opposition, whether it be ridicule, threats, loss of loved ones, or even bodily harm, is our cross to bear. It is the mental attitude that to obey God is the only thing that matters; that “with God, all things are possible”; and that “all things work together for good to them that love God.” It is the state of thought that has dominion over all the world. Mrs. Eddy refers to this moral courage as “the lion of the tribe of Judah.”
    I am so grateful to Mrs. Eddy for her bearing her cross and being the faithful disciple. She has blessed the world immeasurably.

    in reply to: Present and Represent the Ever-Present #8229
    Gary
    Participant

    You are raising a really good point, but this would be more helpful, if you stuck with the word “present” as a verb, not an adjective. When Mrs. Eddy wrote that Jesus..presented Christ, that means that he introduced Christ to the world. And when she describes his struggle as wanting “not the flesh, but the Spirit, be represented in me,” that means that he wanted to illustrate the Christ by his example. He “presented” Christ to the world by “re-presenting” that Christ in word and deed every day of his earthly life. And that is why his example is totally practical for each of us.
    Thank you for raising this very important point.

    in reply to: Ever-Present Mind #8228
    Gary
    Participant

    This is the source of all freedom and dominion over every trouble. When we are genuinely governed by God, we realize that, not only is there nothing greater, there is nothing else at all.

    in reply to: bind on earth question #8227
    Gary
    Participant

    Science and Health is the “key” to the Scriptures; therefore the understanding of Christian Science is the key referred to. And when we truly practice Christian Science, our experience on earth with be governed by divine law (heaven). Mrs. Eddy explains this in her spiritual interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer: “Enable us to know, – as in heaven, so on earth, – God is omnipotent, supreme.”

    in reply to: "This man began to build & was not able to finish" #8027
    Gary
    Participant

    In contrast, Jesus’ mission was to show us how to build correctly, on the “rock” of Truth. When John sent two disciples to ask him “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?”, Jesus’ answer was not a direct “Yes,” but, rather, an instruction on how to recognize the truth. He said, “Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk,…” Furthermore, Jesus told another audience “If ye continue in my word (Truth), then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
    This was the point of Jesus’ mission. The Jews were under the rule of Rome and were looking for freedom. Many were looking for a political or military saviour to free them from Roman rule. But Jesus had a higher, more permanent freedom to offer, — the freedom from the false beliefs of sin, disease, and death. The truth he was offering is not material or human. It is divine, and therefore spiritual. And it is recognized by its fruits, or, as Mrs. Eddy writes, “by demonstration, — by healing both disease and sin;…”
    We can be so grateful for Jesus and for Mrs. Eddy, who disregarded old false human beliefs to prove to us the power of Truth and the true freedom it brings, which is our divine right.

    in reply to: Nothing Can Separate Us #7050
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you for this point. I think many people have a great fear that God will not be there for them when they are in need, – that “he will not hear.” The fact is that God is everywhere, and knows all. All that is real and true, that is. So when we “sin,” or acknowledge as true that which is wrong, ungodlike, immoral, selfish, etc., we put our consciousness in the wrong place. We become unable to “hear.”

    God answers righteous prayer, but He does not answer unrighteous prayer. “Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” If I ever feel that God does not hear me, it is a sign that I am asking amiss, – that I am in the wrong mind and had better examine my thinking. Where am I allowing some ungodlike thought or desire to occupy my consciousness? If I want the protection and care of the Truth, I have the obligation to live in accord with the Truth, as best I can. And if I happen to stray from that “straight and narrow way,” it is not that God has deserted me, it is that I have deserted God.

    I find it a great comfort to know that God always does have an answer to every problem I may encounter, and that, by taking responsibility for my experience, I can learn to know God better, and improve my experience by each lesson learned.

    in reply to: Pray in Spirit #7018
    Gary
    Participant

    “For to allow mortal self to express itself is to smudge or besmear the transparency that God created me to be.”

    As we realize that we are nothing more nor less than God expressing Himself, we can and will discipline our thought to listen carefully to what He is telling us, and then follow that “commandment.” There is nothing human in this way of life, for the highest expression of Love and Principle to our brethren is a divine impulsion, not human will. This is the discipline of thought that we all must work for if we are to worship God in spirit and in truth. This is where a good practitioner can help us, by spotting pride, or animosity, or “mere personal attachment” in our thought, all of which “smudge or besmear the transparency that God created me to be.”

    Thank you for this post.

    in reply to: come out of the dark #6861
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you, this is a really important point. I find it useful to remember that Jesus is referring to the Christ whenever he says “I” in the Bible. His “light” was divine, not human. It was not a human doctrine or belief that he was trying to get people to understand. Rather, it was his expression of the Father that he was showing as the normal and natural state of man. He was always pointing people to the Father. The human mind, of course, either worshipped or hated him personally, both of which are wrong.
    This human so-called “mind” is incapable of understanding this. To follow Christ is to allow only the divine Mind to be my mind, and to judge (test) all things according to that standard. Is it of God or not? Is it God speaking or not? If it is not of God, it is darkness, not light. That’s why it is essential to recognize and appreciate those who set the right example for us and have the love and courage to teach us what they know of God.

    in reply to: A real atom is spiritual #6702
    Gary
    Participant

    This is a very important subject, and one we need to be very careful with. This is all about how one “sees” things. To see God at work in everything that we “see” is to see everything in its true nature. It’s not that there are two kinds of atoms, a “material” atom and a “spiritual” atom. The atoms that we “see”, that appear to us as material, do have a real substance, and that substance is Spirit, God. To recognize this, and not to be fooled into thinking that there is any life, truth, intelligence, or substance that is material, is the challenge facing each of us. Albert Einstein caught a glimpse of this, which explains why he recognized Christian Science as the “ultimate” science. He, and other nuclear physicists, recognize that the building blocks of atoms are not material at all, but are ‘forces.” Mrs. Eddy wrote about this many years earlier in S&H: “We tread on forces. Withdraw them and creation must collapse. Human knowledge calls them forces of matter; but divine Science declares that they belong wholly to Mind, are inherent in this Mind, and so restores them to their rightful home and classification.”
    Mrs. Eddy also realized that this was one of the points that was most difficult for the human mind to accept, and warned her students not to venture into explanations of this phenomenon, but rather work to demonstrate it. I find that this gives me plenty of challenging work to do every day. As Florence wrote in her blog, it’s good to be reminded that God is All.

    in reply to: Wake Up Man! #6064
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you, Florence, for this post.

    As I read it, I couldn’t help but think that Hezekiah was telling all of Judah to wake up. As King, he ordered the images (idols) to be broken, the groves (more idols) to be cut down, and the brass serpent to be broken in pieces. These were all meant to wake up the people of Judah to worship the one God, instead of their false gods.

    I have to believe that many people were not happy with him for doing that. I can imagine that the “establishment” of the time was very unhappy that their false little peace was being overturned. Since he was King, they may not have been able to complain in public, but I also have to believe there were many who would have liked to undermine his efforts or disregard his orders.

    It often-times takes great courage to obey God and wake up. Let alone, to wake up others.

    Interesting how history repeats itself.

    in reply to: Love, and the way #5914
    Gary
    Participant

    And this is why divine Love is the only true incentive in both healing and teaching. When someone is struggling, the divine Love that you express to them is the only thing that can open their heart to receive whatever they need to be lifted out of their misery or ignorance. No matter what the problem, divine Love “is a mighty spiritual force,” as Mrs. Eddy once wrote to a student. That is why the only remedy for a difficult situation is to love more – divinely, not humanly. I have seen the most unhealable diseases healed by an outpouring of divine Love. I have seen the most impossible human conflicts resolved by the outpouring of divine Love. I have seen extreme hatred and anger dissolved by the outpouring of divine Love.

    It is the most potent of powers (actually, the only power). Wield it like a sword in the face of all opposition and you will be amazed at the results. Nothing is impossible to God (Love)!

    in reply to: Devotion #5913
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you both. This is a really good test of whether my life has meaning or not. I believe that Mrs. Eddy referred to the “reflection and demonstration of divine love, healing sickness and destroying sin” as the substance of ALL devotion, because it is the only thing that matters. If I have a devotion (dedication, consecration, etc.) for anything else, I’m just wasting time and energy on something that will never satisfy or leave a lasting positive impression on anyone. Why? Because, as you implied, it has no substance.
    I just love the way Christian Science gives clarity to life (Life!) and all it’s meaning.

    in reply to: Whosoever layeth his earthly all #5612
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you, Mike. This is a good point. This whole idea of man having “free will” is really just an observation that we have choices and are capable of making choices. We can choose to follow our spiritual sense, take the path that seems right and good according to our highest sense of Right, or we can choose to be mesmerized by material appearance, and beliefs of limitation.

    We all have a desire to pursue truth, so as to make better choices. Jesus’ entire mission was to teach us the truth about God and ourselves and our relationship with Him, so as to enable us to make better choices. Strange how so many resist the truth, just because we can’t see it with our eyes, or feel it with our hands. It requires a respect for our spiritual sense in order to apprehend “truth.” We all have it, we just need to trust it, respect it, follow it, and be willing to suffer the persecution that the so-called human mind directs at those who choose to follow the true path. And, as you pointed out, the reward for making the right choices is greater than anything money can buy.

    in reply to: Galatians 5: 22, 23 #5162
    Gary
    Participant

    And the final, scientific fact, “against such there is no law.” These qualities of thought have all the power of God to heal and bless. They will always prevail, because they are the truth about who and what God created, and He created all! So when you get the thought that you can’t love someone, or you’ve lost your joy, or that you have to tolerate some inharmony in your life, these thoughts are the false mortal beliefs, illusions, that dog us, but have no power other than what we give them. There are no laws of matter! No laws that can undo the “fruit of the Spirit.”

    in reply to: Pharisee vs Publican: At-Two-Ment vs At-One-Ment #5157
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you. This helps explain the statement of Jesus in Mark 10: 31, “But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.” This has come to mean to me that many of those who achieve much by human standards are often the last to gain spiritual understanding. Human achievement can be so illusory, unless “the glory be to God.” For it is so tempting for those who seem to achieve to believe that “they” are something special or have special talents that set them apart from others. That is why we should never be impressed by well-known entertainers (athletes, actors, politicians). Unless they give the glory to God, they can often have the worst immoral sense of life.

    Alternatively, many of those who have achieved little and are struggling are often the first to find God. They tend to be the most reliable workers in God’s church.

    in reply to: A contrite heart and spirit #5156
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you for pointing this out. I think this is an important distinction. One can be “broken-hearted” for losing something or someone and feeling sorry for him/herself for the loss. This kind of broken-hearted is full of self. This kind of broken-hearted should, and does, lead us to desire something higher, holier, more substantial than the things of the world we might otherwise hold dear. As you wrote, the broken AND contrite heart is the one that has lost its connection with God, its moral compass so to speak, for having violated a law of God, and feels that loss. That is a healthy state, when you recognize that you have lost your connection with God and desire it more than anything.

    Mrs. Eddy describes this experience well on page 266 of S&H: “Would existence without personal friends be to you a blank? Then the time will come when you will be solitary, left without sympathy; but this seeming vacuum is already filled with divine Love. When this hour of development comes, even if you cling to a sense of personal joys, spiritual Love will force you to accept what best promotes your growth. Friends will betray and enemies will slander, until the lesson is sufficient to exalt you; for ‘man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.'”

    in reply to: Tremble, thou earth… #4951
    Gary
    Participant

    It’s uncanny how God provides what we need, even months in advance of when we need it. This lesson was written in May.

    This Golden Text is a sharp rebuke to all “earthly” tendencies, such as materialism, envy, malice, hatred. These “earthly” states of thought tremble and fall in the presence of the truth. Jesus stilled the storm by rebuking the materialistic thought that condoned (caused?) it. Mrs. Eddy stopped approaching storms by looking into the sky and seeing only the face of God in control. These are invaluable lessons, for we have the same God, before which all limited, false, materialistic beliefs tremble and lose their influence over us. As Mrs. Eddy writes in S&H (368): “Error is a coward before Truth.” Anything unlike God, good, is error, and that includes damaging storms as well as disease.

    We have a tremendous power available in our heavenly Father. We really can thank Jesus, his disciples, and Mrs. Eddy for showing us what it is, and what it does for us.

    in reply to: The One Ego #4754
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you both. This is such an important point. Gaining the discipline of seeing the image and likeness of God in each individual, in spite of the outward appearance of personality, is essential to healing. Mrs. Evans used to remind us that when we see someone acting badly or sickly, we should separate the error from the person, love the person as the image of God and destroy the error impersonally. The error (personality) never belongs to anyone! This is having that mind which was also in Christ. This is practicing the science of Christianity. It may be a big challenge to discipline thought to do this, but it is the greatest freedom and joy.

    in reply to: But There Is A God…… #4753
    Gary
    Participant

    This relationship with God is so inspiring and a lesson for us all. It gave Daniel the courage to go to the king and ask for more time. He then told his friends about the need, – friends whom he knew had that same strong relationship with God. Then they all turned whole-heartedly to God in prayer for an answer. When he got the answer, he immediately thanked God. Then, when the king recognized the answer as the correct one, Daniel made it very clear that it was God who provided the answer.
    As a side note, I thought that this also said something good about Nebuchadnezzar. God gave him the dream in the first place and the king pursued the dream until he got an answer to it. The fact that he recognized the answer and then promoted Daniel in recognition of his relationship with the one God, shows some humility on the king’s part. It shows what one person can accomplish when he/she has a strong and clear recognition of God as the only Mind. He becomes a blessing to everyone around him.

    in reply to: Truth Is, Falsehoods Are Not #4549
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you for this important point. The last phrase of the responsive reading, “all his works are done in truth,” took on new meaning for me this week. Since all His works means everything that is real, this means that everything that is real is Truth manifest, a reflection of the laws that always govern the universe. Therefore, anything that is not of God is simply not true, — an illusion, error, a mistake.

    This is the basis of Christian healing. The fact that sin, sickness, and death are erroneous beliefs, also means that they have no power, or entity, other than to destroy themselves. Mrs. Eddy says that error comes to us for life, and we give it all the life it has. God does not give life to false beliefs! That is why our honest pursuit of the truth and a just acknowledgement of the truth, as much as we know, is a sure protection against the myriad false beliefs trying to gain entrance to our consciousness.

    in reply to: Eternal Truth, Eternal Life! #4511
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you for this post.

    This is why it is so important for us to strive to know the truth as best we can. And this can only be done by opening our hearts and paying attention to our spiritual sense, which is God (Truth) speaking to us. In S&H (p. 272) Mrs. Eddy writes: “The spiritual sense of truth must be gained before truth can be understood.” She emphasizes over and again the importance of relying on our spiritual sense alone to put into practice (demonstrate) what we know of the truth.

    And the best part is that we don’t have to know everything there is to know before we can start to demonstrate Truth. If we know one thing in Science to be true, that seed of truth contains all the power of the universe to accomplish whatever God has for us to accomplish, and to experience eternal life.

    in reply to: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? #4430
    Gary
    Participant

    Someone once asked me how God could be in hell, since Psalm 139: 8 says, “if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” In Science, we learn that “hell” is not a place, but a state of consciousness brought about by disobedience to God’s laws. So, no matter how messed up we might be, no matter how long we have disobeyed God’s laws or relied on other “gods,” the divine Mind that knows all and governs all is still everywhere and in complete control. And once we wake up to obey what is true, we find God (Truth, the all-knowing Mind) and benefit from His Life and Love and intelligence immediately. I love one of Peter Kidd’s songs in which he sings, “when I found God, I found me.”

    The Psalm goes on to say, “Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” No matter what state I may be in, Truth never stops leading me toward what is right and true, and Love never stops holding me up from that which is not in my best interest. This is why Mrs. Eddy describes the healing process as waking up out of the Adam dream to see the reality of all things. It is a warfare with the flesh, – with fleshly, selfish, limited beliefs which always lead us in the wrong direction. The warfare is to stop beating my head against the wall, – to wake up to what God is and what He makes, which is the only reality. I find it very comforting to realize that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, and that light is infinite!

    in reply to: According as his work shall be. #4386
    Gary
    Participant

    My wife recommended that I clarify something. When I wrote that the rewards of our works come quickly, I did not mean that the human rewards that we might expect or want for our actions will come quickly. They may never come in this life time. The reward for right doing is a clear conscience and a sense of dominion over evil, even though you may be humanly uncomfortable for years. The reward for disobedience to God is a disturbed conscience and a sense of fear, even though your human condition may feel “comfortable” by all human standards.

    When Paul began his mission after his conversion, he prayed to God to heal him of an infirmity. God’s answer was “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” The rewards that come quickly are those of the heart and conscience, but not necessarily of the flesh. It all depends on what best promotes your spiritual growth.

    in reply to: God My Preserver #4284
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you for this post. It really is our only preservation to realize that we are God expressing himself. Elisha had such a clear understanding of God as his preserver. When his servant became fearful of the Syrian army outside the city, Elisha told him not to fear, “for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” He knew that God is more than anything. Infinite, all-powerful, more in every way. What an example for us when we face what may seem to be an insurmountable problem.
    And because Elisha did not fear the enemy army, when God delivered them blind into his captivity, he did not seek to destroy them. Rather, he treated them civilly, as he would want to be treated himself. He led them to Samaria and fed them. When he sent them home, they were flabbergasted at their treatment. They must have been in shock that they were the object of divine intervention. They clearly got the message and relayed it to the Syrian king, for they never returned as long as Elisha was around.

    in reply to: Angels, God’s Thoughts Without Number! #4281
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you. This is a powerful fact of God’s presence and power in our behalf. This description of the infinitude of God’s angels is really a description of the thought of one who has a highly cultivated spiritual sense. When one so naturally follows his/her spiritual sense, God’s angel thoughts flow freely and naturally into consciousness, guiding and guarding us every moment of every day. It is only when we stop paying attention, listen to other voices, or lose our gratitude for His love and direction, that the angels don’t seem so plentiful.

    in reply to: God is the only Cause #4261
    Gary
    Participant

    In the responsive reading, David repeats the statement, “how excellent is thy name in all the earth.” It is common in the Bible for statements of profound truth to be repeated for emphasis. Here, the use of the word “name” also was used to mean “nature” in the original language. This puts a new light on the statement for me. To me, the statement means, “All the earth manifests the nature of God, and it’s all perfect.” This is why everything on earth is under God’s control. He is the laws that govern everything. There is no place on earth, and no circumstance anywhere, in which God is not present and in complete control. The only cause and creator.

    This is a wonderful promise, for it leaves nothing anywhere that cannot be healed by seeing God manifest and in control. The healing of sin, disease, and death, or weather or national strife, etc., is not a matter of changing a material condition, but, rather, a matter of seeing God’s perfection manifest already, and refusing to accept any other contrary, mortal picture. “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” is literally the key to all healing (Psalm 119: 18).

    in reply to: Sowing and Reaping #4210
    Gary
    Participant

    It’s instructive that the translator uses the verb “sow” to describe what we are doing. The common use of the word is in agriculture, where we “sow” seeds that grow into plants – either useful food or beautiful flowers on the one hand, or weeds on the other hand.
    Deep in our consciousness are seeds of thought that form the basis of our experience. That is why Mrs. Eddy encourages us to employ mental anatomy, to dig deep into our thought to see what is really there. What seeds do I allow to grow in my consciousness? Do I lust after beautiful material appearances? Do I look to human or material remedy for my daily decisions? Do I plant the seeds of limitation, envy, jealousy, greed, etc. in my thought? Or do I look through the mortal picture (planted in thought) and look to God for my sustenance and strength? Do I insist on the infinite resources of divine Love to support me? What do I have faith in?
    On page 250 of Mis., Mrs. Eddy writes: “I make strong demands on love, call for active witnesses to prove it, and noble sacrifices and grand achievements as its results.” Why does she write this? Because she understood that divine Love is infinite and all power and that no other seeds should be sown in thought. We have an infinite, all powerful, loving God as our Maker. When we plant that seed in thought, it shapes and molds our life, supports us, strengthens us, so that, just as with Joseph, we experience the immortal and harmonious reality of our divine destiny. And to think, it is possible right now and right here.

    in reply to: Jacob's Prayer #4174
    Gary
    Participant

    Yes! And it is worth noting that, although Jacob was tempted to stop wrestling, he refused to do so until he was blessed by the experience. Mrs. Evans taught us to “demand the blessing” from every experience. No matter how tough or painful the experience may be, there is always a blessing in it, and we should always demand to be blessed by every experience we have. This is consistent with having a positive expectancy, whether we are in prison, in sickness, or in a bad relationship, we can and should demand the blessing from our wrestling, and not stop wrestling until we are blessed.

    in reply to: the role of the feminine nature #4089
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you. Mrs. Eddy once wrote to a student “Love is a powerful spiritual force.” The emphasis on divine love in all her writings, and in the Bible, is for a reason. I remember years ago, we once had a member who was offended when Mrs. Evans stated that women were generally more spiritually minded than men. He didn’t last very long as a member of the church.
    This helps explain why those cultures in which “male” chauvinism is prevalent (Islam, Roman Catholicism, etc.) are the poorest, most ignorant and tyrannical. In contrast, those societies in which women have equal rights generally experience the greatest progress and stability.

    in reply to: Australiam Swim Team? #4088
    Gary
    Participant

    Very good! And, really, no different than the belief that God breathed life into Adam’s nostrils and caused his material body to be a living soul. This belief (Mrs. Eddy calls it “delusion”) that matter has life and intelligence causes men to do the craziest things, as Shakespeare well observed. Only extreme cases are considered “insane” by the psychiatric profession, but in Science, the whole human dream is revealed to be wrong.

    It was recorded that a mesmerist once tried to mesmerize Mrs. Eddy and stated that it was impossible to mesmerize her.

    in reply to: …shall not be careful in the year of drought #3793
    Gary
    Participant

    This is such an important point. The “year of drought” comes to each of us in different ways. Whether it appears as a lack of money, lack of joy, lack of purpose, lack of a job, lack of companionship, or lack of health, the list could go on and on.
    I looked up the word “careful” in Websters 1828 dictionary, and the first two definitions were “anxious” and “solicitous.” Interesting.
    This means that the man who trusts his welfare to God is not going to get anxious about an apparent lack and he is not going to solicit someone else to try to get what he thinks he needs. Learning to trust in divine Love, divine Principle, divine Life for our needs, our God provides them. Sometimes I am surprised to find God providing my need in a totally unexpected way. Other times I find that what I thought I needed, I did not need at all.
    This is the beauty of getting human will and material wants out of the way. A good and infinite God knows no lack and does not leave any of His creation without everything we need. We just need to open our eyes to this fact and trust Him only. This is the basis of Christian healing. Life can’t get any better than that.
    It is one of God’s promises that we can count on. It is also a warning not to make a god out of anything or anyone else. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

    in reply to: Honour the Lord with thy substance #3754
    Gary
    Participant

    This is the principle behind tithing. When we tithe the “firstfruits” of our income to our church, our synagogue, our clergy, practitioner, we are giving practical proof of our gratitude to God for our life. That practical gratitude shows no fear of lack; it shows complete trust in Him. It is not irresponsible. It is the confident knowing that God is the source of all substance. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” This is a law of the universe. When we give to God as he directs, and give to others as He directs, He supplies us with more to give. We don’t have to worry about where it comes from. All we need to know is that good is infinite, because God is infinite and the source of all good.

    I thank God for Mary Baker Eddy for clearly explaining these principles in practical ways.

    in reply to: what have we accepted? #3752
    Gary
    Participant

    This is why it is so important to have a correct understanding of what God is. Mrs. Eddy states in S&H (258): “We know no more of man as the true divine image and likeness, than we know of God.”

    I find that when I take the time to really get something from the lesson first thing in the morning, I have more confidence and dominion during the day. I can discern the false from the true more easily and discard the false more readily. I also find it true that when I have the right concept of God foremost in my thought, I can trust in it, receive its instruction, as we are told in Proverbs.

    This lesson is full of the practical instruction for trusting in the substantial things of Spirit, God, rather than believing the false supposition that there is substance in matter.

    We can be truly grateful to Mrs. Eddy for bringing these Biblical treasures to life and pointing the way to a consistent and disciplined way of thinking and living.

    in reply to: Love from God- an honor and a trust #3497
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you for this post. In the responsive reading, “He delivered me, because he delighted in me.” Here is a clear statement of God’s love for us. He delighted in me because He loves me, and He loves me unconditionally. God does not love mortal belief or unjust behavior or wickedness. He loves His creation. And the truth about each of us is that we are His creation. And His love for us is the only security we have. Which is why obedience to God and the moral laws which are God, is our only security. It will bless and free any individual or nation that puts their whole heart into obedience to God.

    in reply to: Renounce the hidden things #3454
    Gary
    Participant

    The sentence in the Bible citation goes on to give us some clues as to what is really at work to create the hidden things of dishonesty: “not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully;”

    Mrs. Eddy tells us that one of the requirements for practicing Christian Science is unselfed love. Selfishness is the downfall of every Christian. Those who strive to promote themselves, or to use Christian Science for personal gain or benefit, are “handling the word of God deceitfully.” It can’t work, because selfishness is a belief in many human minds, a belief that good is not infinite, and that it is material, not spiritual. This is all self-deception, handling the word of God deceitfully, which is ultimately dishonest for a Christian. The standard of Christian Science, is “perfect God and perfect man” (S&H, 259), which excludes selfishness.

    There is nothing more liberating than to take this truth to heart, burn out the darkness of selfishness, and walk in the light.

    in reply to: Evil should be regarded as unnatural #3341
    Gary
    Participant

    This is why we are taught to emphasize and remember the good and discard the evil as quickly as possible. The good is the only reality. It is also the only power. That is why it is the only contagion. I have noticed that when someone is aggressively emphasizing the good, it brings out the good in those around him. Whether in our homes, our schools, or work places, this influence is a powerful one that blesses everyone that comes into your presence. And why not? It is God manifest, and God is All. It is Truth, Life, and Love which are “a law of annihilation,” as Mrs. Eddy writes in S&H, “to everything unlike themselves, because they declare nothing except God.”

    in reply to: For Ever and Ever #3337
    Gary
    Participant

    “this understanding will expand into self-completeness, finding all in God, good, and needing no other consciousness.”

    This statement is actually more scientific than might appear. The reason we do not need any other consciousness than our merciful and everlasting God is because there IS NO OTHER CONSCIOUSNESS than God, the Mind that knows all and made all and governs all. If I am not listening to that Mind (in that Mind) and acting in accordance with my spiritual sense, I am actually un-conscious, not conscious. As in sleep when I am dreaming, the dream seems real, but I am actually unconscious until I wake up.

    So it is when I am “physically” awake. If I am full of envy, greed, lust, I am full of pride, which is ingratitude and which is fatal. If I am full of fear of disease or sin, then I am full of superstition, which is a denial of Truth and is also fatal. These are the waking dreams Mrs. Eddy refers to. They are not states of real consciousness because they are not conscious of God, or reality.

    I used to think it was harmless to drift into an “unconscious” state of accepting the mortal picture, whether it is the belief of pain or pleasure in matter, or intellectualism, or acceptance of illness; but it is not harmless, because it is a denial of Truth, which Mrs. Eddy states is fatal. We always have experiences that “wake us up” out of this unconscious state, but it is a real challenge to keep ourselves awake and in our right mind. This is where a good church and good practitioners are so valuable. They don’t let us “sleep on.”

    in reply to: …wrought in God #3295
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you, Jeremy. This is a major step in our spiritual growth, — to appreciate that the power behind the works that Jesus is referring to is divine Mind, not a human being. Jesus didn’t do the healing, and neither can we! Jesus saw clearly the perfection of God’s creation. The healings followed as a result of his refusal to accept any false beliefs about God’s creation, and that is all that we can (and must) do. This is why humility is essential to follow in his footsteps. If I think that I have any power other than God, then I am on the wrong foot to begin with and will accomplish nothing. When I realize that God is the only power, and that power is my life, and I have nothing without the power of God, then I am able to see Him in control and my consciousness becomes more clear. Jesus refused to accept anything other than the perfection of God’s creation, and those who were receptive to that truth were healed. This shows the power of Truth to correct all errors.
    Our job is to have this line of demarcation in our own consciousness, and not let anything cross it. I am so grateful to be catching a glimpse of this powerful truth.

    in reply to: What Cannot God Do #3240
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you for this post, for this point is so important. In S&H (p.368), Mrs. Eddy writes, “When we come to have more faith in Spirit than in matter, more faith in living than in dying, more faith in God than in man, then no material supposition can prevent us from healing the sick and destroying error.” The question “what cannot God do?” applies to each of us, since we are, in reality, His image and likeness, the reflection of this infinite, all-power. When you realize that you are God expressing himself, and that there is nothing that God cannot do, you become empowered with something that no one can ever take from you.
    I am so grateful to be learning the real Science of Life and the power and dominion it gives us over everything that is not of God (no matter how big or small it appears).

    in reply to: What does “I am Alpha and Omega” mean? #3208
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you. This is an excellent post. It also speaks to the infinitude of the Love and the Truth which are God. God is without beginning and end. The Truth and Love which are God has no beginning and it will never end. Time and space and all the mortal sense of limitation that go along with it are meaningless to God. They should be meaningless to us as well. This is our divine authority for dropping all sense of limitation about ourselves and others. Mrs. Evans taught us to put “unlimited” after our name whenever we think of ourselves. I am Bob Jones, unlimited. Why? Because that’s what our infinite, good God created.

    in reply to: And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s. #3134
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you. I often find it very helpful to be reminded that I belong to God, that we all belong to God. It puts us all on equal footing in God’s sight. No differences due to education, background, color, gender, etc. in the eye’s of God.

    So, if I want to know who and what I am, the only way I will do that is to know more about God, in whose image and likeness I am made. Mrs. Eddy writes in S&H (p. 90), “At present we know not what man is, but we certainly shall know this when man reflects God.” Also, on page 258: “We know no more of man as the true divine image and likeness, than we know of God.”

    Thus the importance of learning as much as we can of who and what God is. This is why I enjoy the Bible Study and Roundtable so much. It helps me to discover who we all are.

    in reply to: Made all things for Himself #3133
    Gary
    Participant

    “then the only way for me to live unselfishly is to express Him as He directs”

    The great thing about this is that this is not a moral directive from a church or a human opinion. It is just the way things are. It is the way this incredible Creator made everything. Therefore, it is the only satisfying way to live, the only profitable, harmonious way to live. The liar will try to lure us into thinking that we could actually be happy being selfish or by pandering to the senses, but that is the trap that we are warned about. Thank you for sharing your “working this out.”

    in reply to: at once change your course #2990
    Gary
    Participant

    The lesson is also very instructive on how to change our course. It is to be “born of the water and of the spirit.” One of the things that meant to me is to fully trust my spiritual sense, and to really work at shutting out the personal, human, material picture that is thrown in our faces by the media. Paul is such an inspiration in this regard. He turned on a dime, literally, and became one of the most powerful forces for good the world has ever seen. Mrs. Eddy writes a lot about Paul for that reason. In S&H, “Saul of Tarsus beheld the way – the Christ, or Truth – only when his uncertain sense of right yielded to a spiritual sense, which is always right.”

    This is a tremendous, empowering point, that our spiritual sense is always right! But how often does it get overclouded by the personal, material senses? Mrs. Eddy exhorts us, “If the disciple is advancing spiritually, he is striving to enter in. He constantly turns away from material sense, and looks towards the imperishable things of Spirit.” Being born of water and of the spirit requires work on our part, because the devil does not stop trying to distract us from following our spiritual sense. But, “the battle is the Lord’s,” and when we fight the good fight, “whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world.”

    in reply to: Heavens and earth were finished #2931
    Gary
    Participant

    This was discussed briefly in our Roundtable last week. The “mist” coming up from the earth is the materialism that clouds our vision. When we put faith in what we see with our eyes or hear with our ears, we “see” things upside down and backwards. We totally miss the spiritual reality of things. It is only through our spiritual sense that we can see anything clearly.

    I thank Mrs. Eddy for explaining that this is what the entire second chapter of Genesis is all about. A fantasy picture of creation seen through the mist of material belief. That is why she calls it a myth. None of it is true. And the result of such clouded vision is that women shall experience pain and sorrow in childbirth and men are doomed to till the ground until they die. All of this is untrue.

    The Bible section finishes with John’s explanation that God sent Jesus “that the world through him might be saved.” It occurred to me that this “saving” is the clearing of our vision so that we might see things as they really are – spiritual, healthy, painless, sinless, diseaseless, and deathless.

    Jesus would not have told us to “be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” if it weren’t possible (and true).

    in reply to: Begins reign somewhat mildly #2928
    Gary
    Participant

    The exact statement at the Bible Study was “Grace is the law of God acting in our behalf unconditionally.” Yes, we can feel God’s grace in our hearts, but His law operates in our behalf to meet whatever the human need is. This is practical stuff! And His grace covers the whole ground!

    in reply to: God delivered them #2887
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you. Yes, this story has many lessons in it. Abijah was as true as he could be to the highest sense of right at the time. He had compassion for his Israelite cousins/brethren who were attacking him. He even warned them about attacking him, that they were attacking the Lord God, and that they would not prosper. But they did not heed the warning.

    Jeroboam, on the other hand, was rebellious. He rebelled against God’s plan for the Israelites. He gained power through deception. And the fact that the Israelites accepted him as their king showed where their thought was. Not a good place.

    I couldn’t help but think of the parallel for us today. We prosper when we elect representatives who write laws that are consistent with God’s plan for us, and who will enforce those laws. We fail when we elect representatives who write oppressive laws and/or fail to enforce God-ordained laws. And it requires clear spiritual sense to see the difference. Apparently there was enough spiritual sense in Judah for them to prevail against the materialism, deception, and corruption that was prevalent in Israel at that time.

    in reply to: The uses of His rod #2883
    Gary
    Participant

    “It is believed by many that a certain magistrate, who lived in the time of Jesus, left this record: ‘His rebuke is fearful.’” (S&H)

    This reminds me of our late practitioner and teacher, Doris Evans. Whenever she detected the human mind trying to interfere with God’s government (and that was often), she would rebuke it, and her rebuke was fearful. It wasn’t always easy, but I quickly learned that the “fearful” part of her rebuke was the error, latent in my thought, that was fearing the rebuke, because that rebuke was the beginning of the destruction of the error. It is always an erroneous belief that fears the rebuke of Truth, and causing me and others to feel uncomfortable.

    I didn’t always understand what needed to be corrected, but when I asked God to show me, I eventually learned a good lesson and changed with each rebuke. It took a little training, but I also learned to accept the discomfort as a necessary part of my spiritual growth. This was not easy for Mrs. Evans, as it was not easy for Mrs. Eddy or for Christ Jesus to give stern rebukes. But it was a sign of their great love for God and man that they were willing to make people feel uncomfortable in order to help them out of the mortal dream into a higher vision of the truth. We should all, as Scientists, be willing to take, and give, sharp rebukes to error.

    “Through the wholesome chastisements of Love, we are helped onward in the march towards righteousness, peace, and purity, which are the landmarks of Science.” (S&H)

    in reply to: let us alone #2759
    Gary
    Participant

    This is why Jesus told John’s disciples, “Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” Jesus rebuked error, not person, and some were healed of the error, yet some were not. The violent men were healed. Yet, Jesus rebuked the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and many of them became enraged. What was the difference? The violent men did not cling to their error. They did not see the error as “their” error. The Pharisees (some of them, anyway) took the rebuke personally and clung to the error. They were offended by Jesus’ rebuke and therefore did not learn the lesson and change.

    In each case, Jesus’ rebuke was out of love for the person. On page 53 of S&H, Mrs. Eddy writes: “He rebuked sinners pointedly and unflinchingly, because he was their friend; hence the cup he drank.” Those who were offended attacked him. They needed to burn their pride before they could see clearly (like Saul/Paul). Those who were not offended by his rebuke changed, and were blessed and healed.

    in reply to: Three Statements from the Christ #2758
    Gary
    Participant

    I think this is why Mrs. Eddy asks the question, “Why are the words of Jesus more frequently cited for our instruction than are his remarkable works? Is it not because there are few who have gained a true knowledge of the great import to Christianity of those works?”

    Every one of his works illustrated divine Principle, or law. So many then, and even today, regard his works as “miracles” that are beyond most of us, and therefore do not contain a useful lesson for us. However, thanks to Mrs. Eddy, we can see that these miracles illustrate divine Principle, and, as she did, if we strive to put into practice the Science of Christianity, we, too, can experience healing and progress in every way.

    The drug industry sees disease as physical, and tries to cure matter with matter. Jesus understood disease to be a product of wrong human thinking (“mortal” or “carnal” mind) and taught us that God alone (divine Mind) corrects that wrong thinking, and thus destroys disease. The drug industry is aggressive, but its premise is wrong, so it can only disappoint. And that disappointment can only serve to turn us to God – the mind of Christ (Mind).

    in reply to: Why criest thou for thine affliction? #2641
    Gary
    Participant

    This is a lesson we all need to learn and it applies to everything we do. How often do I feel fear over something in my home, in my job, in my work for church? Shortly after I arrived at the Plainfield church, I began to realize that I had developed habits of behavior that were based primarily on fear. That was a major eye-opener for me and was the beginning of learning to trust God and obey Him much more than I had.

    Jacob once gave us a good quote from Martha Harris Bogue: “Fear is faith in evil; courage is faith in God.” David had enough faith in God and love for God, which gave him the courage to continue the battle until good was victorious over evil. Wonderful lesson.

    in reply to: Matter A Belief Only #2537
    Gary
    Participant

    Jesus told the woman who was healed, “thy faith hath made thee whole.” Several places in the Bible Jesus is quoted as telling people that their faith is what has healed them. Interesting how in last week’s lesson, the theme was that faith in God, Spirit, is substance. Matter is not substance. This is a tough one for most people to wrap their head around. I know it was for me. Matter is always “in your face” appearing to be substance, yet over and over again, Jesus instructed us that it is faith that makes us whole; it is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing.

    And now, with Christian Science, we have the explanation of the truth, that “All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all.” We are the manifestation of infinite Mind. Matter is not a factor in that reality. This is the truth that heals. Knowing this, is the dominion that is promised in Genesis 1. To understand this truth is the greatest thing in the world, and is certainly worth striving for.

    in reply to: Deep Cleansing Needed #2270
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you.

    Jesus was quick to rebuke false appearances. It is not appearances that make the man, but, rather his state of thought. He saved his sharpest rebukes for the Pharisees that paraded around in their purple robes, appearing righteous, yet harbored hateful and lusting thoughts. “Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.”

    Jesus stressed over and again that it is our thought that determines whether we will be healed. It is our thought that determines our receptivity to God’s direction, and our ability to help others. Yet, how often do we concern ourselves with outward appearance? How do I look? How does my family look? Am I appearing to do the right thing? Am I hanging out with the right people? We should rebuke these thoughts when they come to us!

    Jesus had no patience with this hypocrisy. Neither did Mrs. Eddy. They both taught that the Science of Life is wholly spiritual, and that material appearances are deception, not reality. That is why they implore us to trust our spiritual sense only and not be deceived by the outward appearance of things (and not deceive ourselves or try to deceive anyone else).

    Do you aspire to the worldly measures of success? More money? More beauty? Fine clothes? Friends in high places? A bigger car? Does God care about any of this?
    The most important thing we can do is to guard our thought. “cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins.” (Psalm 19). “Stand porter at the door of thought” (S&H). Everything else follows.

    in reply to: Hearts made ready #2241
    Gary
    Participant

    I think that is one of the great lessons of the Beatitudes which Jesus gave us. They show what is required for the preparation of the heart. Every one of them speaks to a quality of thought that is required in order to be ready to accept the spirit of the Christ.

    “Blessed are the poor in spirit” is the state of thought that is tired of the materialistic and sensual beliefs, knows that it is lacking in spirituality, and really wants to grow spiritually. In order to gain holiness, you have to have a burning desire for it. If not, you’re kidding yourself. If the soil is still rocky or full of weeds, the seed will not grow.

    “Blessed are the meek” is the state of thought that has seen the human intellect fail at every step and is willing to give up all personal ambition, pride, and selfishness to accept what God wants for it and is willing to obey God, even when he doesn’t understand the total plan. Mrs. Eddy refers to this in S&H as the human mind “yielding to the divine Mind.” Only then do we begin to see things clearly, to have intelligence and wisdom.

    The list goes on, and covers every quality of thought that must be addressed in order to receive the spirit of the Christ. Enough to keep each of us very busy!

    in reply to: "…the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon" us all! #2216
    Gary
    Participant

    I doubt that anyone knows what all of it means, but I agree that it certainly is the only path worth being on. I have found that as I work to do these things, I see things more clearly, have more compassion for others, and have a clearer sense of my own life purpose. I also find that the worldly thought becomes more offensive to me, and antagonistic toward this blossoming truth.

    From John 15, “If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.” Christ Jesus. I have learned not to be surprised when some of those around me become bothered when I offer Christian Science. The worldly thought hates the Christ, for it is a rebuke to it. The Christ does not seek a fight. It just is. And since it is all that is true, the worldly thought has no chance to survive, but it puts up a fight within the thought of anyone who will subscribe to its lies, until it is finally destroyed by the Christ truth.

    This must be why Mrs. Eddy warns us, as did Jesus, to be minutemen and women, to be consecrated warriors, and to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. False beliefs do not go away quietly. They fight for their (false) lives. So, when you hear the dark voices, either within or from without, recognize that they are the false beliefs trying to kill your new-found inspiration. You have all the power of God to turn on the lie and tell it where to go!

    in reply to: ERROR CANNOT HIDE FROM GOD #2174
    Gary
    Participant

    As we grow in Science, this law is what governs every activity and enables us to recognize any mistake (error) for what it is and correct it. Whether the mistake is a belief in the reality of disease, a false belief about someone else (envy, hatred, etc.), or a false belief about yourself (too good, too bad, too old, too young, too poor, etc.), all these mistakes will come to the light of day and be corrected by what you know of the truth.

    Our job is to prepare our hearts for the law of God to work in us. It works in us through our spiritual sense, which as Mrs. Eddy writes, “this Soul-sense comes to the human mind when the latter yields to the divine Mind.” This yielding is the humility that is required in order to think clearly and to do anything correctly. It is the sense by which we can perceive the things of God, distinguish between the real and the unreal, and know right from wrong. It is the only safety we have.

    in reply to: Self-immolation #1812
    Gary
    Participant

    And it is the most rewarding work that anyone can do. The sacrifices of “self” are the burning off of selfishness, self-righteousness, self-love, etc. These are the things that prevent us from realizing our highest good, our greatest potential, for they keep us from hearing and obeying God. We should rejoice when we burn them away and let the light of Truth shine on our hearts.

    And if it seems painful at times to have these “self” hindrances burned off, that only shows that we are clinging to them and need to let go. Whenever I react to a rebuke, I now recognize it as a sign that something has been hit that needs to be burned away. It wasn’t always so. And if I seem to be “losing” something or someone that I cherish, put it in God’s hands and let Him determine what is really best for me. This is how selfishness and all the other “selfs” are burned away – self-immolated.

    This is a process that is definitely worth practicing, for the rewards are unspeakable.

    in reply to: Seeking God #1698
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you. And unless we ever believe that this striving is just too much work or too hard to sustain, let’s not forget why we are instructed to do so. From Deuteronomy: “And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, FOR OUR GOOD ALWAYS, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.”

    This work is not for God’s benefit. He may be a jealous God, but he is certainly not a selfish God. This work is for our own benefit, “that he might preserve us alive.” We are the ones who benefit when we strive to know God better and to obey him every minute of every day. It may seem like a challenging discipline at times, but it’s worth it, as we are discovering. God is the most loving, forgiving Father. We should feel that love when we strive to seek God. He is not a hard task-master. He is Love.

    in reply to: We Are Not Of Ourselves #1676
    Gary
    Participant

    And we can have utmost gratitude for those who have gone before us, heard the correct thoughts, and taught them and/or wrote them down for us. Moses, Jesus, Mrs. Eddy, all gave us the divine principles by which we can recognize God’s right thoughts and thereby spot the counterfeit. Our task is to “take them to heart.” Moses instructs us in Deuteronomy, “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart.”

    Science is not an intellectual exercise. Which is why our spiritual sense is the only sense that can perceive and appreciate it. The so-called human intellect cannot help us recognize God or anything right. This should put to silence any sense of pride (or regret) that any of us has a superior (or inferior) mind. Or that anyone is better or worse than anyone else. All of mankind’s problems can be traced back to the belief that each of us has a mind distinct from God. It just isn’t true! And if we can demonstrate what is true, we can change the world.

    in reply to: Our Completeness #1516
    Gary
    Participant

    This is why men should never fear being tender and kind. And women should never fear being strong, and taking charge when it is the right thing to do. Those who know themselves as the likeness of God have no trouble expressing whatever is needed to heal, whatever the situation requires.

    in reply to: Liberating power of God #1506
    Gary
    Participant

    You just cannot be held in slavery (mental or otherwise) if you know who you are as the likeness of God. This is the answer to every form of slavery — whether it is called Islam, mesmerism, wife-beating, sex slavery, or the repression of freedom in any way. The more obvious forms of slavery are coming to the surface and seen in all their ugliness. But the more subtle forms of mental slavery are still rampant; and their only freedom is found in knowing God and one’s self as His likeness. Horace Greeley is quoted as having said “It is impossible to enslave, mentally or socially, a bible-reading people. The principles of the bible are the groundwork of human freedom.”

    Those who want to enslave us will start by taking the Bible out of our schools, or by making it a crime to read it.

    in reply to: Creation Rests On A Spiritual Basis. #1450
    Gary
    Participant

    This is the fallacy of Darwin’s theory of evolution. It presupposes that each of us is a material body subject to birth, decay, and death, and then goes on to theorize how we got to where we are. It deals strictly with effect, not cause. It totally avoids all the important questions: How did we get here in the first place, and why are we here? And this theory is taught in our schools as if it were fact, when it is totally fiction. It’s no wonder so many of our children are confused. “Searching for the origin of man, who is the reflection of God, is like inquiring into the origin of God, the self-existent and eternal.” (S&H 555)

    This is why we have to take radical steps in our homes with our children to make it clear that not all they hear in school is true. They need to learn to “Try the spirits.” And their spiritual sense needs to be respected. After all, it’s only with our spiritual sense that we can appreciate creation on a spiritual basis.

    in reply to: With well doing #1411
    Gary
    Participant

    For those of us with children, the example we set in our homes is a much stronger influence on them than the words we say to them. Children see everything, and the example of a life well-lived will do much to equip them for dealing with the worldly influences they will encounter.

    in reply to: eye be single #1356
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you, both.

    Another way that this applies to us is not to have any grey zones. With God, all is perfect and right. This should be our standard as well for what we allow in our lives. It should govern our homes, our professions, our churches, and our government. The idea that there are “50 shades of grey” is pure wickedness, as it implies a standard other than God, which is delusional. Living in “grey zones” is the sure downfall of any individual or society. It is creeping into our schools, our government, and into our churches. It is the “enemy from within,” and it is up to us to see it for what it is and to stand “unflinchingly” as Florence wrote.

    This will feel very radical at times, but it clears the air, puts one on safe ground, and it heals.

    in reply to: Discernment #1284
    Gary
    Participant

    This distinguishing between the mortal and the immortal thought requires a strong mental discipline, and that discipline is explained in the verse from II Corinthians: “For we walk by faith, not by sight:”

    It is our physical senses (sight, hearing, touch, etc.) that testify to the presence and power of evil and the reality of sin and sickness. Those physical senses are incapable, however, of testifying to the truth. It is only our spiritual sense (faith) that can testify to the truth that all is Good (God) and appreciate the power of that truth. Hence the importance of cultivating trust in our spiritual sense. We all have it. We either listen to it, respect it, and go up higher, or we drown it out with the nonsense of human conjecture and medication.

    The readings last night brought out so well that it is the “still, small voice” within us that guides us correctly. Whether we hear it verbally or mentally, it is the voice of our Father guiding us. The more we obey that voice, the easier it becomes to discern the wrong from the right.

    in reply to: Pride, Jealousy, Envy #1241
    Gary
    Participant

    In contrast, Mrs. Eddy provides us with a definition of Abel, which is a state of thought that is approved of God.
    “Watchfulness” – Ever watching for those selfish, mortal thoughts. Not letting them take root in thought.
    “Self-offering” – Offering himself in service as God, as divine Principle directs. Putting his service to God and mankind above his own needs.
    “Surrendering to the creator the early fruits of experience” – This is a state of gratitude to God for what he has and being content with it. It is a surrender of the false beliefs that man creates or man accomplishes what God has created and what divine Love has accomplished. This state of thought gives to mankind without thought of receiving anything in return. It tithes willingly without fear of not having enough.

    in reply to: Believeth Thou This? #1104
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank you for pointing out that we must be willing to leave the old for the new, to be as little children in our willingness to obey our heavenly Father, to try the spirits, whether they be of God or not, etc.

    By this time, Jesus had spent three years teaching and demonstrating the laws of the universe by healing all sorts of disease. He was nearing the end of his mission, and he was expecting some people to begin to understand the Principle of his work. Afterward, he admitted to his disciples that there were some things he could tell them, but that they were not ready to hear them. It was left for Mrs. Eddy to discover the “Science” of Christianity. Now that we have the textbook, how serious am I to really learn this science and live my life in accordance with it? How willing am I to test it in my life and to prove Jesus’ assertion that “the works that I do shall ye do also, and greater works than these…”?

    In last week’s lesson, we read “For true happiness, man must harmonize with his Principle, divine Love;” (S&H) In order to harmonize with our Principle, we must know what it is! And since we are all looking for happiness, why not trust Mrs. Eddy and Jesus when they tell us to look for happiness in divine Principle. This must be what Jesus meant by his use of the word that is translated “believe.”

    in reply to: "Jesus and Compassion" #920
    Gary
    Participant

    I like to think of compassion as unselfed love which can never be turned off. A divine quality, as opposed to the “human” concept of love which is often possessive, selfish, and turns on and off. Compassion heals, whereas the human concept of love does not. Mrs. Eddy emphasizes this in S&H: “The vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science, is Love.” Love with a capital “L” signifying God, divine Love. Good reminder that without Love in our heart, nothing we do or say really matters.

    Paul uses the word which is translated into “charity” to express this same truth, devoting an entire chapter in his letter to the Corinthians (I Corinthians 13) to its importance.

    in reply to: Be ye therefore perfect #872
    Gary
    Participant

    This is similar to the instruction from Paul to Timothy, to study the scriptures, “That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” The idea of perfection can be a tough one, especially when we see human imperfection all around us. And I guess that’s the point. Perfection is not a human quality, it is a divine quality which we experience as we live in obedience to the laws of God. Mrs. Eddy assures us that “man’s perfection is real and unimpeachable,” and Jesus instructed us to “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

    It starts by being perfectly honest, with myself and with others. Be up front with God and with my own heart. Be perfectly humble. Get my own will out of the way. This is a tough one! But it means to get rid of all will and pride. Have a perfect motive for everything I do. Does this bless others? Does it express the love that God has for me and for all His creation, or is it selfish? Be perfectly principled. Is this in accordance with my highest sense of right?

    The result of all this is perfect health, perfect sanity, and a perfectly useful life. Certainly worth striving for. And the best part of it is that it is real and unimpeachable!

    in reply to: Recognize Man's Spiritual Being #866
    Gary
    Participant

    I believe that this is an important part of what Paul meant when he wrote to the Romans: “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Yes, it is work, but to transform myself by renewing my mind (bringing it back to its original state, a reflection of God, the only Mind) is the only way I can see what is real and true.

    One important point is not to covet or compete. The good that others have is theirs, and there is infinite good to go around. If I am doing what God wants me to do, He gives me everything I need with which to do it, and that is sufficient. Spirit, God is All, and is the source of everything good and real, and when I keep that in thought, I can never lack anything good.

    in reply to: all glory to God #856
    Gary
    Participant

    And it’s wonderful how Christan Science makes all this practical. To live to the glory of God is not some ethereal thing. It is to respect that which is true, to do everything out of love for mankind, to encourage everything that respects life, to be absolutely principled in every relationship and activity. This glorifies what God is and what God makes.

    I find it very helpful at times to go back to synonyms to get the practical sense of what the Bible is telling us.

    Mrs. Eddy did mankind the greatest service in giving us her revelation of the science of Christianity.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by Gary.
    in reply to: Our daily needs #747
    Gary
    Participant

    This is why Jesus rebuked the young man who wanted Jesus to tell his brother to divide his inheritance. “Beware of covetousness.” “Thou shalt not covet” is one of the Ten Commandments. Yet, look at how far our society has drifted from obeying these simple commands. Instead of encouraging everyone to turn to God for their daily needs, we have a welfare system that steals from the haves and gives to the have-nots. Instead of every man and woman being responsible to God for their lives and for their daily needs, many are taught to covet what others have, elect government officials to steal what others have, and redistribute the wealth. The system takes God out of the picture, and fails to recognize spiritual qualities as our substance.

    This is not a political issue; it is a question of proper governance; whether our human government mirrors God’s government or whether it is governed by human greed, envy, and other false beliefs. We are on dangerous ground when we, individually or collectively, covet what others have and turn to a human government, rather than God, for our daily needs.

    in reply to: Being made whole #686
    Gary
    Participant

    In Jesus’ parable of the nobleman and the talents, those servants who used their given talents (in the case of the parable, money, but in life, any God-given talent) were rewarded. They represent the state of thought that is ready to do whatever God requires of them and, as a result, they are given more with which to do. But the one servant who, out of fear, failed to use his talent, was punished. He represents the state of thought that fails to do what God requires, and as a result, punishes itself. This may seem harsh, but it represents the facts of life.

    When we express the love of God, He provides more for us with which to love more. When we fail to express divine Love, we fail to recognize and feel God’s love. This leads to depression, lack, addictions, everything wrong. Those who fall into that hole often have a difficult time crawling out. Mrs. Eddy writes, “the one unused talent decays and is lost.” What a waste!

    Yes, we all have been given some talent. If you want to feel good about yourself, then use those talents for the benefit of mankind. Train your children to do the same.

    in reply to: For The Glory of God #630
    Gary
    Participant

    I like this topic, for it brings out that when we ask honestly, there is no separation between us and God. And what does it mean to “glorify God”? It could mean to show the wisdom of Truth and honesty, to show the joy of spiritual Life, the power of divine Principle, the satisfaction of unselfed Love. These should be present in everything I do. In my home, my church, my business, in everything! Otherwise, I’m drifting aimlessly, and what’s the point of that?

    in reply to: Pride and Fear Unfit #629
    Gary
    Participant

    How true. Pride and fear only harm the person being prideful and fearful. And so unnecessary.

    in reply to: Understanding #628
    Gary
    Participant

    There is a reason why Jesus was patient with his disciples. He appreciated that in order for us to begin to understand, it required a change of base in our thinking which comes only through experience. It is not an easy change for some of us to accept that life is spiritual and not material. It is not that we can understand everything there is to know about God. That is a bad misconception, yet it is what too many people try to do. I find it most useful to understand the qualities I must maintain in order to live the life God intended for me (the reality of what He created). Jesus was humbler than anyone. He trusted God and followed God in everything he said and did. To me, that is the first step in beginning to understand anything. He was wise beyond measure because He saw what God showed him. He was loving because he was obedient to God, and our loving God could do no other. He healed because he could not accept anything other than God’s perfect creation in his experience. These are the lessons Jesus taught. We understand them as we follow them. Pretty challenging at times, but so rewarding…

    Gary
    Participant

    Interesting how Pharaoh initially consulted all his local experts to interpret his dream. He must have felt that the dream was very important because, when his butler remembered that Joseph had interpreted a dream in prison, the Pharaoh pulled Joseph out of prison to ask him. Joseph, of course, knew where wisdom comes from. He had proven it several times. I’m sure that this is what gave Pharaoh the confidence to put a foreigner in charge of the project. Joseph had impersonalized the whole situation and put it in the hands of God, which Pharaoh had the wisdom to recognize. If Joseph had not given God the credit I wonder if Pharaoh would have put him in charge.

    in reply to: God's remedy #320
    Gary
    Participant

    That’s a good way to think about it. I can remember many times asking for help with a problem, and with the Truth and Love that were given me by a practitioner, not only was the problem healed, but other things in my life were made better as well. “Truth is an alterative in the entire system, and can make it ‘every whit whole.'” (S&H, p. 371)

    in reply to: Ananias, with Sapphira his wife #318
    Gary
    Participant

    Yes, this story of Ananias and Sapphira is a tough one, but it should speak volumes to every Christian today. Ananias and Sapphira weren’t ready to serve. They got caught up in the excitement of the times. The new doctrine, the new churches; they saw the healing and the changes, and wanted to be part of it. Yet, their hearts weren’t there. They wanted to dabble with Christianity, so they held back just in case it didn’t work out for them. They knew the deal. Give all for Christ. They said they would, but they didn’t. They lied to God and to Peter and the error destroyed itself. They were in a very hot, rarified spiritual atmosphere in which error was not allowed a foorhold! They should have told the truth and admitted they weren’t ready.

    Think of Gideon’s band. The dabblers were not allowed to fight in the battle. Think of the workers in Mrs. Eddy’s home. The dabblers were sent home immediately.

    Mrs. Eddy tells us “We are not Christian Scientists until we leave all for Christ.” She further warns us: “It is not wise to take a halting and half-way position or to expect to work equally with Spirit and matter, Truth and error.” We can’t serve two masters! If we try to sit on the fence, with one foot on one side and one on the other, we will get torn in half or fall off. We should not profess that which is not 100% in our hearts. The consequences are not pretty.

    Yes, I guess they eventually learned their lesson. But why not learn it here and now? Why not be honest? After all, “Honesty is spiritual power. Dishonesty is human weakness, which forfeits divine help.” Our greatest fear should be to forfeit divine help.

    in reply to: The cross #165
    Gary
    Participant

    What do you think Jesus meant? What does it mean to you today? A lot of people go around wearing a cross on their necklace. What’s that all about?

    in reply to: LOVE #150
    Gary
    Participant

    I used to wonder what point Jesus was making when he told Peter that “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.” Peter had just told Jesus that he would not allow Jesus to wash his feet.

    Here, Jesus was expressing great and humble love toward his disciples. He was washing them, cleansing them. We have spoken many times of the importance of feeling God’s love for us as a requisite for our being able to love others. If I don’t allow myself to feel God’s love, I am shutting God out. Why? Because God IS Love. Love is the power that governs the universe. It is the power that heals. Without Love, life is empty.

    Also, if I don’t allow the Christ message to wash me clean, I am shutting God out. I need to allow the Christ to destroy incarnate error wherever it may be. This is the result of divine Love. That’s why, as God’s reflection, it is what we should be doing for one another.

    It’s wonderful how this gives purpose to life when you let the Christ get all the personal ambition out of the way.

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Love is the liberator.