A Healthy Holiday Season

A Healthy Holiday Season

© GLOW IMAGES Models used for illustrative purposes

by Don Ingwerson

Thanksgiving is almost here and Christmas has already made it onto the stores’ shelves. For some this means extra stress and pressure to create that perfect holiday experience. How do we avoid past holiday mistakes and create a healthy and happy holiday?Continue Reading

Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

© GLOW IMAGES

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

Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

© GLOW IMAGES

A guest post written by B. B. Prest

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!

Steps to a Healthier Christmas

Steps to a Healthier Christmas

© GLOW IMAGES

by Don Ingwerson

I shared “12 Spiritual Steps to a Healthier Christmas,” written by Tony Lobl (UK Committee on Publication), last year, but I thought it was definitely worth sharing again because Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away and then we will be into the Christmas season. Also, check out the comments at the end of Tony’s article, especially Bob Eklund’s haiku! He’s the assistant committee for the Inglewood-Westchester church.

Click here to read Tony’s article: 12 Spiritual Steps to a Healthier Christmas

Christmas Every Day

Christmas Every Day

photo by Thomas & Dianne Jones

A guest post written by Mary Lou Forbes (originally posted June 2011)

I love Christ Jesus’ example of sonship to God. He taught us that we are all God’s children, and showed us what that means. He spoke of himself as the light of the world, and encouraged all of us to let our light shine too. Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, wrote in her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, this statement about our oneness with God: “As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and Man, Father and Son, are one in being.”

One Thanksgiving several years ago, I received some news that resulted in a deep sadness that seemed impossible to overcome. A few weeks later, I received a Christmas card from a cousin with the handwritten inscription, “May Christ’s precious love fill every corner of your Christmas.” I thought of that love as light, chasing away all darkness, and determined to let it fill every corner of my consciousness. The deep sadness vanished. The realization that Christ’s precious love is ever-present, governing every situation, brought with it a natural abiding joy that could not be shaken.

That joy remains with me today. The more we let Christ’s precious love fill our consciousness, the more light, love, and harmony we express, the more it is seen and reflected by others. This way we can celebrate Christmas, the dawning of the Christ in consciousness, every day of the year.

Safe This Holiday Season

 

Safe This Holiday Season

photo illustrated by Beatrice Murch

A guest post written by Blake Windal

I work in the retail business, so I am very aware of the warnings to be vigilant about criminal threats while shopping and traveling. The volume of these warnings seems to increase during the holiday season and fear abounds that criminals are lying in wait to steal gifts, or that terrorists are threatening people in public gathering places. In praying about this, it occurred to me that not only is vigilance needed, but also an understanding of our unlimited protection through understanding God’s nature as all good and of man as His expression.

Although crime occurs when people feel an apparent lack, I find it’s good to recall that no ill motive, no chance, bad luck, statistics, or circumstance can play a role during the holiday season. Holding to the idea of God’s ever-presence and his infinite supply and compassion, I affirm that no other power exists to interject violence or fear into His harmonious creation. This idea of no other power is also helpful when dealing with terrorism, where there is the idea of two opposing powers at play, with a good power that you hope wins, and a bad power that you hope loses.Continue Reading

In the House of God

 

In the House of God

A guest post written by Sheila Kelly

On a blustery afternoon six days before Thanksgiving I was serving in my local Christian Science Reading Room when I was introduced to a lady near the sales counter who was listening to hymns on earphones.

As she asked for a CD called Jubilation, we discovered that we had a mutual interest in Bel Canto singing. She asked me to sing something, and then I asked her to sing, too. She had an absolutely beautiful voice. She continued to sing along to the CD she was listening to, which I really enjoyed. While she was singing, I went to see what the librarian had prepared for visitors. Among the articles was one in which readers submitted their experiences about memorable Thanksgivings.Continue Reading

Steps to a Healthier Christmas

Steps to a Healthier Christmas

Photo illustrated by Vector

by Don Ingwerson

In keeping with the holiday spirit, I just finished re-reading “What Christmas Means to Me” written by Mary Baker Eddy at the request of The Ladies’ Home Journal, when I received a copy of an article published in the Huffington Post UK by Tony Lobl, Committee on Publication for Greater London/District Manager/Euro Rep. Tony’s article “12 Spiritual Steps to a Healthier Christmas” is very practical and uplifting.  Just click on this link and enjoy fresh insights that can’t help but make your Christmas more joyous.

The Whos Knew!

The Whos Knew!

Photo illustrated by Mykl Roventine

A guest post written by Stormy Becker Falso, Committee on Publication for Georgia

Turns out the Whos down in Who-ville had it right. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” by Dr. Seuss spins the story of the Grinch, who decides to deprive the Whos of their Christmas celebration by stealing their presents and decorations. But, to the Grinch’s surprise, the Whos continue their observance without the gifts. This prompts the Grinch to experience a change of heart, return the Whos Christmas gifts and even join their celebration.

While this holiday classic points out that Christmas is more than all the commercialization, it also illustrates that bitterness melted away brings health. After all, the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes. It’s not just fiction though. Dr. Charles Raison, association professor of psychiatry at Emory University School of Medicine and CNNHealth’s Mental Health expert doctor, observes, “Bitterness is a nasty solvent that erodes every good thing.” Research included in a new book, “Embitterment: Societal, psychological, and clinical perspectives,” surveys current embitterment research and draws the line between mental outlook and health. And, that health can change for the better when bitterness is rooted out. Continue Reading

Upstaged

Upstaged

Photo illustrated by D. Vincent Alongi

by Don Ingwerson

I’ve always loved Christmas and all the festivities. Of course, I have always had a pretty solid family around me to share the times when the changes in life brought sadness or loneliness during that season. Because of these times of sadness, which can create a sense of loneliness, my wife and I have always tried to share these special times with those that needed support.

During a recent Christmas, my wife and I invited a military family stationed in Camp Pendleton to spend Christmas with our family of thirteen. We weren’t told much about the family of three, and I don’t think they were given much information about us. I must admit that it was a little hard to get through the stiffness at first, but as the day wore on the military formality began to ease. Especially when the marine was asked what he did in the marines and he responded, “I’m an expert sniper.”Continue Reading