Health Consciousness: Working Together

Health Consciousness: Working Together

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by Don Ingwerson

It seems to me that people’s attitudes are changing as they become more conscious of the need for health goals to be achieved through interrelationships and world connectedness. People are finding that personal health goals like losing weight, eating better, exercising, and quitting smoking, while very important to the individual, also need to be considered in the context of world health issues.Continue Reading

A Bible Scholar Shares Ideas on How to Promote Health

A Bible Scholar Shares Ideas on How to Promote Health

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A guest post written by Madelon Maupin from Newport Beach, California

There is a Scriptural guideline for how we build church – or spread the healing message of Christ – in the book of Acts 13:4 – 11. It’s the story of Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey and their encounter with two individuals that represent the types of people we may meet in our own healing journey.Continue Reading

Listen to an Audio Chat: A Spiritual Approach to Health Care

Listen to an Audio Chat: A Spiritual Approach to Health Care

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Gary Jones, Christian Science practitioner, teacher, and Manager of the Federal Office for the Committee on Publication in Washington, DC, answers questions about turning to a spiritual approach to health care – which was exemplified by Christ Jesus healing multitudes, and by Mary Baker Eddy, who wrote Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which opened the door of health and healing to millions who read it and practice what it teaches.

To listen to this chat, click here: mp3

To find this audio page on JSH online, click here: Health care: a spiritual approach

 

 

Do You Have Symptoms of Spiritual Awakening?

Do You Have Symptoms of Spiritual Awakening?

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A guest post written by Ginny Nilson from Monrovia, California.

This list of the 12 Symptoms of Spiritual Awakening has been posted on many, many web sites for quite a while now, but I just saw it for the first time a couple of weeks ago. A smile came to my heart and complete joy and gratitude filled my day as I thought about what the list meant to me. I had never thought before that I have ‘symptoms’ I would want to have and keep!

Having facilitated a twice-monthly reading club for two years, I have become familiar with spiritual healing approaches from twenty-plus authors and the discussions surrounding the books by a variety of religious adherents and spiritual seekers. The attendees love to talk about spirituality, but at the same time they have admitted that they have health challenges or problems that are resistant to healing.

When I introduced the idea of reading and discussing the chapter on ‘Prayer’ in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the book group agreed. When we met two weeks later, it was brought out in that chapter that “the highest prayer is not one of faith merely; it is demonstration” and that “such prayer heals sickness, and must destroy sin and death.” I felt that many recognized that this type of prayer “…distinguishes between Truth that is sinless and the falsity of sinful sense.” The group discussed the motives for prayer as mentioned in the chapter and the importance of gratitude, which comes as a result of “action more than speech.” The Science (God’s laws) underlying prayer as taught and practiced by Christ Jesus in his healing works stood out to the group when they read and discussed the author’s meaning in this sentence, “Who would stand before a blackboard, and pray the principle of mathematics to solve the problem? The rule is already established, and it is our task to work out the solution. Shall we ask the divine Principle of all goodness to do His own work? His work is done, and we have only to avail ourselves of God’s rule in order to receive His blessing, which enables us to work out our own salvation.” I felt that the group was introduced to a new and very specific, effective way of praying when they read this chapter on prayer.

When I sent the 12 Symptoms list to book club members, I’m happy to report that they have pretty much responded with comments like, “Hooray! I love living with those ‘symptoms’ as a result of living and practicing Christian Science.” I had forwarded the list believing it would be an affirmation of God’s love, power, and ability to reveal everyone’s sinlessness, wholeness, honesty, happiness, and a non-judgmental and non-reactive poise through the understanding and demonstration of healing prayer as taught in that short and clearly explained chapter.

Here are the 12 Symptoms of Spiritual Awakening from Recovery Trade Publications:

1. An increased tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.

2. Frequent attacks of smiling.

3. Feelings of being connected with others and nature.

4. Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.

5. A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fears based on past experience.

6. An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.

7. A loss of ability to worry.

8. A loss of interest in conflict.

9. A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.

10. A loss of interest in judging others.

11. A loss of interest in judging self.

12. Gaining the ability to love without expecting anything in return.

Originally published November 6, 2012.

Christmas Gift Viewed With Wonder

Christmas Gift Viewed With Wonder

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A guest post written by Anne Stearns Condon from Santa Barbara, California.

The celebration of the birth of the Christ child is a momentous event in all of history, and it appeals greatly to the childlike thought. The wonder of its happening, the simplicity of its setting, the humble surroundings of the manger, all of these factors capture the attention of children’s sweet innocence.

And a child is naturally drawn to a heroic figure. No one was more of a hero in his brief life on earth than Jesus Christ. He came into the world as the Son of God, and his great mission was to be the Savior, bringing to all, salvation from sin, sickness, and death.

In his day, children easily harmonized with Jesus because he loved them. They felt his tender care and were receptive to it. Infants and children were brought to him for blessing, and he healed them. He truly valued their worth, for he “called them unto him and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Luke 18:16). He obviously knew them well, and in every generation, they also should have the privilege of knowing him.

Children love to learn. This is another reason why they’re a good fit with Jesus. He was the greatest of teachers. The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5,6, and 7) contains some of his most famous teachings: the Beatitudes, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Golden Rule. And his two commandments sum up Moses’ ten: love God and love your neighbor as yourself.

As a little girl, I eagerly looked forward to hearing the Christmas story. I especially loved how the angel of the Lord told the shepherds that the Christ child had been born, and they came in haste to bring gifts to this unique child. I used to think about what gifts I would bring to such a special baby.

Attending a Christian Science Sunday School in my formative years, it was there that I learned about the gifts I could give in Christ’s name. In one Beatitude he said that those who were merciful would receive mercy and be blessed. He showed everyone how by his kindness to children, and when others wanted to send them away, he welcomed each one with open arms.

The Beatitude about being a peacemaker is important, because Jesus said the peacemakers shall be called the children of God. And that’s an excellent thing to be!

These early teachings reached my child’s heart, and I discovered that the best gift I could give to Jesus would be to follow him in all that he said and did. When living by his instructions, a feeling of quiet joy and unselfish love would come over me. This helped me understand that Christmas wasn’t about what I would get, but about what the Master gave to the world.

There are no greater gifts to give than to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself. This is the essence of Christmas to me and the highest honor that can be bestowed on the man called Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, the Prince of Peace, the Son of God.

Children who are taught these truths can bring great hope to a waiting world.

Article originally published in the Ventura County Star: Birth of Christ Brings Special Appeal to Child in All

Unwrap the Gift of Health this Holiday

Unwarp the Gift of Health This Holiday

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Merry Christmas to all in Southern California and around the world! I wanted to share with you an article my colleague, Keith Wommack, wrote about a very special type of gift you can give and receive that has health benefits – the kiss!

Most kisses are motivated by love, and research shows that it is actually love that promotes health. It is love, not the kiss, which leads to healthy outcomes.

Perhaps, the kiss could be considered a symbol, an act that reminds us of the love that is truly medicinal. Danny Deza in a Foxnews.com article recently wrote, “Love does indeed impact our bodies in measurable ways. You feel different and are different.”

If love changes bodies, this medicine’s ingredient is more than human emotion. It must be something divine, spiritual, for love cannot be squeezed from a flower or synthetically created.

At the Christmas season, love motivates us to give gifts. Christians do this in honor of God’s gift to mankind, the gift of His son Jesus. They believe Jesus’ compassionate example set the standard for what love is and can accomplish. The spirit of Christ that Jesus so naturally reflected heals.

Maybe you have experienced love’s healing benefits. I have, several times.

Read the entire article in The Washington Post.

Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). All of Keith’s columns can be found at: KeithWommack.com

What if We Celebrate the True Meaning of Christmas?

What if We Celebrate the True Meaning of Christmas?

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A guest post written by Donna Clifton from Whittier, California.

“Christmas is all about getting exactly what you want!”

Believe it or not, those were the actual words in a radio advertisement I heard, and they dismayed me. Although the normal mantra is that Christmas is about giving, not getting, this sentiment is belied by the questions we often hear right after Christmas: “What did you get?” “Was Santa good to you this year?”

The desire to get what we want is natural, but to make that the focus of Christmas obliterates the real meaning of Christmas. We protest that we know it’s all about giving. Unfortunately this kind of giving mainly means shopping, shopping, shopping.

Traditional Christmas gift giving probably won’t change any time soon, but what if we make a more concerted effort to shift the focus back to the true purpose of celebrating Christmas – the birth of Christ in this world? What if we did that instead of making Christmas mainly about giving gifts to each other? What if We Celebrate the True Meaning of Christmas?

One thing my family has done to minimize the gift giving is to have a “secret Santa” exchange of gifts. Rather than everyone buying a gift for every member of the family, we each draw a name and then only get that one person a gift. Even children can participate in this type of giving. This has helped our family focus less on the material aspect of Christmas and more on the spiritual message.

And this spiritual message – the true spirit of Christmas – is to thank God for giving us Christ Jesus. This kind of gratitude is best expressed in deeds, not words – and also leads to a healthier outlook on life.

19th-century health researcher and theologian, Mary Baker Eddy, writes in Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures: “Action expresses more gratitude than speech.” She goes on to say: “What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds. To keep the commandments of our Master and follow his example, is our proper debt to him and the only worthy evidence of our gratitude for all that he has done.”

This Christmas season I have been thanking God for all the good in my life, especially the healings I’ve experienced through reliance on God. I believe God gives us everything we really need – such as His ever present, all-encompassing love. Isn’t that much more meaningful than a new red sweater, a DVD, or an iPad?

I am not just thanking God with words but am striving to express gratitude with unselfish deeds and a more patient, understanding heart. The giving of loving kindness to each other is the most meaningful gift of all. And giving gratitude to God for Christ Jesus is expressing the real spirit of Christmas.

Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

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A guest post written by B. B. Prest from San Diego, California.

Ready for that turkey dinner this year? And what about giving thanks – will that be on the menu? For many of us it will be. But for others, it may not.

In thinking about giving thanks, I am reminded of the Biblical account from Luke about the ten lepers who were healed, and Christ Jesus’ question to the one (a Samaritan) who returned to give thanks, “Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?”

Good question.

How sad it would be to be counted as one of the “nine” who never returned to give thanks. Let’s face it; this is Christ Jesus we’re talking about.

This passage ties healing to faith and gratitude, according to J. R. Dummelow’s Bible Commentary. Christ Jesus never speaks of healing, but instructs the lepers to “go show themselves to the priests.” Their obedience and faith become instrumental to their healing. And although the nine did not return, I’m sure they were grateful that they were healed. But the Samaritan’s gratitude seemed to exceed that of the others. He took action. He returned. Not just to give thanks to Christ Jesus, but to acknowledge God.

It’s no coincidence that in the next passage the Pharisees question when the Kingdom of God should come. Jesus answers that it does not come with observation, neither “here” nor “there,” but is “within you;” that the Kingdom of God is a spiritual power and source of good already at work in our lives, not simply a physical location, object, or circumstance.

Celebrating Thanksgiving before Christmas and New Year’s seems so fitting and parallels this account and its surrounding passages. It reminds us that faith and gratitude to God can result in blessings and new beginnings in our lives. A faith that can realize the impossible, and gratitude that recognizes the good already present within us, based on our spiritual relationship to God as His expression.

Mary Baker Eddy speaks of this in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more.” And on November 29, 1900, when asked by the Boston Globe for a sentiment as to what Thanksgiving should signify, Eddy replied that “divine Love, impartial and universal, as understood in divine Science, forms the coincidence of the human and divine, which fulfils the saying of our great Master, ‘The kingdom of God is within you;’”

So this holiday season, before we open that holiday gift or draft up our New Year’s resolutions, let’s first give gratitude for and have faith in God’s ever-present source of goodness and grace already in our lives, our families’ lives, our communities, and our country. Not only will we have a fulfilling Thanksgiving, but we’ll also experience the true meaning of giving and receiving this Christmas, and realize a spiritual sense of renewal for the coming New Year.

Now that’s something to give thanks about. Happy thanks giving!

Article previously published November 20, 2012

Tenderness and Healing

Tenderness and Healing

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Guest post written by Stewart Moses

One of the best known healings performed by Jesus Christ in the New Testament is the recovery of a young girl from a mortal illness.  The version of this act in the Gospel of Mark is particularly vivid. The local religious leader, Jairus, is desperate to have Jesus come and heal his daughter, but Jesus is delayed while healing a woman suffering from a hemorrhage of long duration. In the meantime a messenger comes and informs Jairus that his daughter has died and he should not bother Jesus anymore.

But Jesus insists on proceeding to Jairus’ house and is met by a scene of tumultuous grief and despair.  Jesus tries to reassure the household that the girl is not in reality dead, but they misunderstand him and find his remarks offensive. The grieving people heap scorn on Jesus, who is then forced to order them out of the house.

Accompanied by his disciples and the girl’s parents, he enters the place where the child’s body is lying. This is how the King James Version of the Gospel of Mark (5:41) describes what followed:

“And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.”

Mark then reports that she arose and walked to the astonishment of everyone — except, we assume, Jesus. Personally, I have read and heard this healing many, many times and find it quite moving. But I recently learned something new about Mark’s account that got me thinking about the nature of healing.

The primary language of Mark’s Gospel is Greek and that is the language that is translated into English in the King James New Testament. However, here Mark includes a phrase in a different language. “Talitha cumi” is Aramaic, the common language in use in the place and at the time of Jesus. So Mark is very likely giving us Jesus’ exact words. To help readers not familiar with Aramaic, Mark also provides a translation in Greek.

But I recently learned that “talitha”, the word translated as “damsel,” can be translated more accurately from the Aramaic as “little lamb.” To me this made Jesus’ words more than an authoritative command; it made them tender and gentle. Mark informs us that the girl was twelve years old, by the customs of her community on the verge of womanhood.  Jesus is talking to her as a loving father, uncle, or older brother would.

Isn’t this what we all are looking for in times of sickness or distress? We want a cure, but we also want comfort, tenderness, and compassion. Jesus is showing us that these are part of spiritual healing.

Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, sought to understand and practice Jesus’ method of healing, and concluded that the power to heal came from God’s love, which she called Divine Love in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. For example, on page 367 she provides the following advice to spiritual healers:

“The tender word and Christian encouragement of an invalid, pitiful patience with his fears and the removal of them, are better than hecatombs of gushing theories, stereotyped borrowed speeches, and the doling of arguments, which are but so many parodies on legitimate Christian Science, aflame with Divine Love.”

What she is saying, in the language of her day, is that we need tenderness, patience, and comfort to heal spiritually, just as Jesus demonstrated. This is not just human affection, but an expression of the spiritual Love that God gives His children, us. Jesus showed us that this Love is more powerful than even death, and Mrs. Eddy showed us that it is still available for healing here and now.

Mom’s Open Secret

Mom's Open Secret

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A guest post written by Sheila Kelly

I found Junior High exciting. For the first time I experienced having a different teacher for every class and being able to choose electives for the first time, as students were encouraged to start making choices about what was important in their lives. Friends started talking about their ideals, and I really started thinking about happiness – which for me meant not only happiness for myself but also everyone else being fulfilled and happy, too.

It was then that I realized that my mom always seemed happy. So I asked her, “Mom, you used to be happy most of the time, but how can you be happy all the time?” She looked at me with the most loving and appreciative smile and said, “Dear, I just see love everywhere I look!”

At my perplexed look, she gave me a simple example: when she looked at the lines in the sidewalks, she thought of the love that made provision for the expansion and contraction of the cement by changes in temperature, so it would not crack; and how perfectly the workman had made them. Each recognition of love for her led to another, such as the love of the people planning for the city to provide nice sidewalks so there was a clean, safe place to walk, and a separate paved road for the cars and bicycles. So her thoughts were continually filled with love and gratitude.

I was amazed at this inspired way of looking at everyday things, which could make someone happy all the time. So the next day on my mile walk to school, I decided to try it. There was a house on a corner that always had lots of bright flowers. It was easy to see the evidence of love there. This time, instead of just looking at the pretty flowers, I thought about the owners who had planted and cared for them, and the beautiful colors of all the different kinds of flowers greeting everyone who came by. It filled me with happiness and love for them.

But at the corner, there was a 4-way stop. I used to wish there was no stop sign there when riding my bike – having to stop and start up again, especially when no cars, bikes, or people were there. Now I was going to have to see love there, too. So I thought about the reason the signs were there – to be sure everyone got safely across the street by stopping and taking turns, even though I rarely saw anyone else there. Suddenly, I was as grateful for the stop signs, as I was for the flowers! And after three days of consciously choosing to see love everywhere, it became nearly automatic. I loved seeing what was really there all along.

My mom also read one section of the Christian Science Bible Lesson to us at breakfast and reminded us that everyone was created in the image and likeness of God, so each one was a unique combination of God’s qualities – all good. And that we could discover these wonderful qualities in everyone and to remember that every single person was needed! It was such a joy to see everyone this way! I loved the nature of God that Mary Baker Eddy found in the Bible and her definition of God in the Glossary of her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “GOD. The great I AM; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence.”

I’m so glad Christ Jesus lived the nature of God for us to see. Following his example brings true happiness.