Have you ever questioned if something is true or not? My colleague Eric Nelson, Committee on Publication for Northern California, posted a thoughtful blog on this subject that originally appeared on Communities Digital News. Eric writes: Continue Reading
by Don Ingwerson
I remember a few years ago when my wife and I ended a Disneyland visit without our usual family around us, which had never happened before. Because we weren’t preoccupied with entertaining the kids, we found we had the time to observe everyone else. And even though there were crushing shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, I noticed something interesting. There was no foul language, and no real pushing or shoving. When bumping did occur, there was an immediate apology. Although there was excitement in the air, people treated each other with respect.Continue Reading
by Don Ingwerson
Life coach Cheryl Hunter challenges her listeners to help others in order to help themselves. Her counsel suggests that by helping others you get rid of those purposeless, empty, and unfulfilling feelings that can affect health. She is not alone in that counsel; helping others can take countless forms and come from many motivations.
This is not new counsel. In the Bible we read similar statements: “Freely you have received, freely give.” – Matt 10:8
By Don Ingwerson
Here is another great Lives Lived video, featuring Jeremy. After being diagnosed with a parasitical illness, he spent seven/eight years searching for healing with medical treatment. At a low point, his father introduced him to Christian Science, where he found complete healing.Continue Reading
I had forgotten about this video explaining the Christian Science pastor in a humorous and effective way, until I recently saw it shared on Facebook. All of life’s concerns – including health problems – can be addressed by relying on this pastor. It’s a classic!Continue Reading
Are we willing to give up a limited outlook on life? Eric Nelson, a spiritual thinker, writer, and colleague from Northern California writes about exploring mental and physical fitness from a spiritual perspective in his recent blog about what ultimately could have an impact in solving the problem of teen suicide.Continue Reading
A guest post written by Ingrid Peschke, legislative liaison for Christian Science and spirituality in Massachusetts
This week kids (and adults) will disguise themselves in masks, makeup, and costumes to celebrate Halloween.
Whether or not you relate to this end-of-October tradition, it provides an interesting lesson on fear and reality. Because theoretically it’s the one time no one can truly be tricked by appearances.
We all know that behind every frightening or creative disguise is the real person–your neighbor down the street, your child’s friend from school, your grandchild. My son was instantly transformed in his white “Morph” mask, made with a fabric that allows you to see and breathe despite appearances. But it’s easy to see that when the mask comes off or the makeup is washed away, nothing has changed about the person behind it.
Isn’t it just as important to uncover the masks behind the issues of daily life? I often think of emotions, like anger or fear, as a bit like a Halloween mask. When a person is angry or afraid, they don’t act like themselves or even look like themselves sometimes. But when they’re peaceful again, it’s as if they’ve taken off the disguise.
Illness can be like a mask, too, covering up our typically healthy, whole, and peaceful identity. To me, that’s our true, authentic, spiritual self that really can’t ever be changed–just like Halloween makeup doesn’t permanently alter the trick-or-treater.
One aspect of this analogy is fear, which–like disease–if left untreated isn’t so healthy either. So finding solutions to dealing with it effectively is important. And since fear begins in your thinking, that’s a good place to start.
Some pretty influential people talked about this relationship:
In FDR’s first inaugural address, he famously said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Shakespeare said, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
In her recent blog, 5 Reasons Not to be Afraid Because We’ve Never Been Safer, Dr. Lissa Rankin writes, ” . . . fear itself is making us sick.” She warns of the problems of over-diagnosing and creating fear of a disease when it’s not even present. She cites for instance, “cancer-phobia” and the endless attention on cancer screening techniques and early diagnosis.
“What drives such obsessive testing?” Dr. Rankin asks. “Fear. Yet fear and anxiety may actually increase the risk of cancer. When was the last time your doctor screened you for cancer phobia and made recommendations for how you might reduce your fear as preventative medicine? Perhaps we must focus as much attention on becoming less afraid as we do on scheduling mammograms and colonoscopies.”
I heartily agree with Dr. Rankin. In fact, it echoes something Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy wrote: “As frightened children look everywhere for the imaginary ghost, so sick humanity sees danger in every direction, and looks for relief in all ways except the right one” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 371).
The “right” solution Eddy is referring to comes from the wisdom taught in the Bible, which offers this practical advice: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear” (I John 4: 18).
I’m going to let Halloween be my reminder to see the person behind the mask this year. Just like my son without his Morph mask on.
A guest post written by Suzie Sandberg
I was part of a process to combine two well-functioning middle schools with declining enrollment, one affluent and one with two minority groups. To work through this process, the school board formed a committee that included parents from each neighborhood and the new school’s personnel. As the first meeting approached there was distrust, apprehension, and fear in the minds of those participating parents and the communities they represented.
For me, it was first necessary to find some peace about what was taking place, a quiet sense of trust that good was achievable here. As a person who prays to find solutions to any challenge, I turned to the Bible. Opening it at random, my eyes fell on this passage: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
Here was my answer. Others would be attending who also relied on God to direct their lives. There were more than two or three of us. So then, that Christ-thought Jesus promised would be there as we gathered together to make this a smooth transition. I realized that this Christly presence was rather like a light bulb. When you turn on a light in a room, the objects in that room do not choose whether or not they are in the light, they are just in it. Likewise, if I (or anyone) took this awareness of the Christ presence into the meeting, it was there, and everybody was just in it.
As the meeting came to order, the tension was obvious, with each side intent on defending and protecting the needs of the children from that neighborhood. Now was the opportunity to acknowledge the presence of that Christly light in our midst. What was really going on here? Were we two groups of uncompromising parents at war with one another, or was there some middle ground? As I listened to the comments, demands, and responses, it was so clear that we were simply a group of parents who each loved his or her child. This was what we had in common! We were all searching to create a school that would provide a safe and nurturing atmosphere for the children we loved.
Voicing my observation, the other participants readily acknowledged this truth. Quickly the misconceptions and distrust melted. At the close of the meeting several parents expressed appreciation for my being able to focus so clearly on what was really being said, and thus finding and summarizing common goals. The presence of the Christ had brought out the best in each of us, building something good and filled with love for our children. As we parents came to feel at peace, our children saw it; and that is what they took back to school with them in September.
Is this applicable beyond this particular setting? Of course – wherever there is distrust or apprehension or misunderstanding or fear. Christ Jesus has promised to be the light in our midst whenever we are gathered together, whether it be relating to health, finances, jobs, relationship, politics, or even combining schools!
A guest post written by Noie La Rue
Now don’t panic! I don’t expect you to sit down and read these books (Science and Health and Bible) from cover to cover right this minute! In fact, maybe you will just put them on the shelf for a while. I have been serving in our church bookstore/reading room and thought I would send these to you because I just love them with their inspiring, healing, and happy truths about us as God’s beloved children. Why do they mean so much to me?
For starters, sometimes I may not feel or act like “God’s beloved child.” When this happens, I can remember Paul’s words when he said, “We are more than conquerors through him that loved us…nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God.” (There’s more to this – see Romans 8:36!) Are these just empty, theoretical words from Paul? No. Paul and everyone he was with survived a shipwreck. He was unharmed from a deadly snakebite. When unjustly thrown in prison, his chains literally fell off and he walked out of prison…and there’s more! (See the Book of Acts in the Bible.)
Then, of course, Christ Jesus told us about “perfect God and perfect man” (Matthew 5:48) How priceless to know this. Instead of feeling that I am this imperfect being trying to be better, I can realize I am OK. In fact – better than OK – Perfect! I just need to get rid of all the garbage the world suggests about me and about the rest of mankind.
When the author of Science and Health studied the Bible, she began to realize that all the amazingly good happenings and healings in the Bible must not be just chance, but must have a scientific, timeless law available to all. Yes, after lots and lots of prayer and trial and error, she began to heal and correct all the problems she encountered through acknowledging that man is spiritual as God’s creation. She realized the “science of Christianity” or Christian Science – the provable science of Spirit, not matter. Now, when you start reading this book, you will find some ideas that are absolute – principles from which to proceed: “…let us have one God, one Mind, and that one perfect, producing His own models of excellence.” (page 249); and there are some ideas that are more relative: “When we wait patiently on God and seek Truth righteously, He directs our path.” (p. 254)
Anyway, it’s a great adventure to read these books together. I hope you love their messages as much as I do. Couldn’t do without them!
p.s. Hope you don’t mind – I highlighted and tabbed some of my favorite sentences!