Look to God for Peace and Blessings

Look to God for peace and blessings

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by Don Ingwerson

Many times I have had the opportunity to share with you articles that were written by Christian Scientists and submitted to their local papers here in Southern California. Here is another article – of peace and blessings from God – written by Carol Hunt and published in the Desert Sun.Continue Reading

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

© GLOW IMAGES Models used for illustrative purposes only

A guest post written by Diana Colarossi from San Juan Capistrano, California.

Is Thanksgiving, a day, a holiday, or a state of mind? Does it matter if we celebrate Thanksgiving among friends, family, or alone?

Thanksgiving isn’t a day. It’s a state of mind giving gratitude to God. Thanks to God shouldn’t be confined to one special day of the year. Nor is it a time that must be spent with people, for joy can also be found in the quiet solitude of God’s presence.

Gratitude isn’t for what we had or have in human things, but to and for the provider of these things, God. God, in the goodness of His love, provides spiritually every idea, and the fruition of it. Therefore, while we are being grateful for the appearance of good in our lives, and this is important, the real denominator is the presence of God. Because God’s presence is universal, we can all be grateful.

Today, and everyday, let every heart unify in gratitude for not only everything we see here on earth that is good, waves in the ocean, blue sky and sun, for smiles from vibrant flowers, glorious creatures of God, for the very basic love of existence, and every perfect thought, but also for the cause and source of this goodness, God. Mary Baker Eddy, a nineteenth century Bible scholar, states these memorable words, “Gratitude and love should abide in every heart each day of all the years.”

This Thanksgiving isn’t a day; it’s a thankful heart, which is full every moment. Come let’s celebrate a day of thanks for His presence!

Article previously published November 22, 2012.

The Brain: Is it the Source of Health?

The Brain: Is it the Source of Health?

© GLOW IMAGES
model used for illustrative purposes

by Don Ingwerson

President Obama has pledged $100,000,000 in his 2014 budget for new brain research according to the New York Times Editorial Board.  The ultimate aim is to learn how the brain generates thoughts, dreams, memories, perceptions, and other mental images.  Is it possible to measure something that may not reside in the brain but in a form of consciousness outside the material substance called the brain? To look at that question, I am reposting an article originally posted 12/10/12:

As a life-long educator, I get excited when new discoveries are made that show how to maintain health and be freer from physical and mental limitations. My most recent encouragement came from the new book Super Brain, which supports the idea that the brain is important to our health in a number of newly discovered ways.

These new research findings, about how the brain functions under stressful situations that affect health, are almost surreal. They show that the mind has great power to maximize health, happiness, and spiritual wellbeing. The use of these findings could go a long way towards preventing illnesses that have plagued humans for centuries – such as aging, Alzheimer’s, and memory loss – and they point to something many researchers have been saying for some time: that the mind-body connection is more than theory.

What authors Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi do in Super Brain is take the data of mind-body connections to another level. Through scientific evidence they show how the brain functions and how this functioning affects health. In contrast to the “baseline brain” that fulfills the tasks of everyday life, they suggest that through increased self–awareness the brain can be taught to reach far beyond its present limitations. Beliefs about the brain that tend to be limiting can be overcome by combining cutting-edge research with spiritual insights.

One reason scientists continue to search for the source of consciousness, or this higher brain function, is that qualities of thought like forgiveness, humor, and love have a positive impact on the body. Yet to date the search to find the material source for these healing qualities has been unsuccessful. Limiting consciousness research to laboratory analysis of brain tissue (where measurements are more quantifiable) could be inhibiting a full exploration and understanding of consciousness.

But many top scientists continue to search for answers about consciousness. Australian researcher David J. Chalmers, in a video called The Conscious Mind, asks, “How does the water of the brain turn into the wine of consciousness? How is it that all of this matter adds up to something as complex, as interesting, and as unique as consciousness?” And evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins was asked, “What is the one question you most want to see answered?” He replied, “How does subjective consciousness work? How does it evolve?”

Is it possible there’s value in looking in a different direction than biomedical and body-based research to areas that are more subjective and metaphysical?

“In the areas of health and wellbeing, research shows that how we express ourselves spiritually definitely matters. Whom we affiliate with…whether we make time for regular devotion, what we believe, the strength of our faith…these things contribute to whether we become ill or stay well,” claims Jeff Levin in God, Faith and Health: Exploring the Spirituality-Healing Connection.

This idea that spiritual thought affects health was shown recently when a friend of mine, who was suffering from terror dreams, decided to use prayer as his alternative medicine. The biblical statement, “Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust” (Psalms 16:1) was very meaningful and helpful. This spiritual thought, along with, “The divine Mind that made man maintains His own image and likeness,” expressed in the book, Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures, gave him the prayerful strength to overcome this mental suffering. He was healed from the condition overnight and hasn’t had a relapse. Of course, there are many who would say that the correlation between his healing and prayer is too subjective. How can we be sure how he got better? But many, including Chopra, Tanzi, and my friend, are convinced that there is a link to a source – my friend would call it God, others might call it consciousness – that produces positive healing results.

Many individuals are turning to alternative and complementary medicines in their own search for healing. They, like researchers and others, may not be able to identify the source of their healings, but they tend to know when they are physically and mentally well. Maybe researchers will find proof that consciousness is more than matter, evolved from a higher source, and Dawkins’ question will be answered.

Step by step, physicians and material scientists such as Chopra and Tanzi, as shown in Super Brain, have been prodding us to ask what constitutes the qualities we deem healthy by demonstrating that qualities of thought have a positive impact on bodily wellbeing. But if faith in matter is a barrier to the kind of thinking that heals, could that suggest why solely a search of matter for consciousness keeps coming up short?

Article first published in Blogcritics

Unselfish Health

Unselfish Health

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Models used for illustrative purposes

A guest post written by Robin Collins

To take good care of my health I am learning the value of self-examination, not by investigating my body, but instead my thoughts. When in urgent need, I’ve found a pure, unselfish outlook helps cure discomfort, pain, and disease. In practicing Christian Science, I take a close look at my motive. I ask, “Is this just about me? Or is it about God, all-present Love. Am I equally interested in the welfare of others?” This prayer brings good results.

Here’s an example. One night one of our young children came to my bedside, complaining of pain. At first it was difficult to arouse myself out of sleep, but as he persisted I realized his serious need. I went with him, got him back to bed, and listened closely to know what else to do for him. He cried inconsolably. I wanted him well and happy, so I became quiet and prayed silently. Soon my heart asked an earnest question: “Dear God: How can I possibly love him more than I already do?” An answer came, but not in words. Purely unconditional love for him flooded my thoughts. It washed away my fear and anguish. Then came the conviction that he was safe in the “arms” (power) of the universal Love that was maintaining everyone and everything. I thought of other mothers across the world—of African mothers in the full light of day, going about their lives—perhaps feeling in desperate need of immediate comfort and cure for their children. I felt a conscious, tender yearning for each of them to obtain health for their their children. Soon a deep serenity settled over the room. My son was sleeping peacefully. I stayed there for a while, in awe of the power of God’s presence embodied in pure unselfishness.

The next morning while I was showering, he bounded gleefully up the stairs. He had awakened completely well. How natural for him to pronounce his exuberant thanks. An unselfish response to a night filled with love.

The underpinnings of this spiritual practice are in the biblical commands to love God, and to love my neighbor as myself. A modern day Christian, Mary Baker Eddy, brings it home in this statement from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “The test of all prayer lies in the answer to these questions: Do we love our neighbor better because of this asking? Do we pursue the old selfishness…?” Applying this test to my prayers for health has produced undeniable results.

Put a “Be” Before Healthy

Put a "Be" Before Healthy

© GLOW IMAGES
Model used for illustrative purposes

A guest post written by Ingrid Peschke, health blogger, legislative liaison for Christian Science and spirituality in Massachusetts

So often the emphasis is on the “doing” not the “being” when it comes to caring for one’s health. People do all sorts of things, from taking daily medications to undergoing treatments and procedures to find out if they are healthy or not. Yet despite all these efforts, health can still be illusive.

All this emphasis on the doing is adding up to a high-cost health care system in the U.S. According to a recent New York Times article, “When it comes to medical care, many patients and doctors believe more is better. But an epidemic of overtreatment — too many scans, too many blood tests, too many procedures — is costing the nation’s health care system at least $210 billion a year, according to the Institute of Medicine, and taking a human toll in pain, emotional suffering, severe complications and even death.”

I know a woman who juggles a busy family life and active career, while staying physically fit and involved in her community. She recently went through several routine cancer screenings that resulted in a very stressful few weeks. She had a hard time sleeping and concentrating while she waited for the results. They came back negative–a relief, but to which she said, “At least for now…”

According to the Times article, many of these tests create unnecessary complications and a climate of concern. Don’t we all deserve to live life fully without the fear of “what if’s” hanging like a noose around our lives? What about the importance of allowing people to enjoy simply being healthy? Think about it: the state of being means you are participating in the process. It means you are alive, whole, active, thoughtful, present, aware. In a word: Healthy.

As someone who regularly practices spiritual care from what I’ve learned through my study of Christian Science, I’ve gotten used to thinking about maintaining health as a “be.” My daily prayer practice (which to an observer can look a lot like I’m not doing anything) involves quiet contemplation of the spiritual and biblical principles that support good health.

I’ve discussed many of these guiding principles on this blog–and they’re ones others, including medical practitioners, recognize for their health value as well. Practices like choosing forgiveness over resentment, patience over anger, calm instead of stress, happiness instead of gloom. I’ve found that having a deep conviction in Spirit as a guiding power and presence in my life allows me to express these qualities with consistency and confidence.

Placebo studies offer another window into the “doing” culture that has become mainstream in our health care industry. Even sham procedures or sugar pills can produce positive outcomes. Why? In large part because something was “done”–even if it was nothing!

This week I came across a nurse practitioner’s view of spiritual care (see Nursing Course Puts Focus on Spiritual Care). Her comments relate directly to this topic. For the past 10 years, Carol Bradford Mayfield used her skills as a nurse to be a faith community nurse for her church. “As nurses, we are used to doing,” Bradford said. “We’re very task oriented. As faith community nurses, we have to learn how to be (rather) than to do.”

Now she’s putting that experience to work in the classroom, teaching an online continuing education course in faith community nursing at Western Kentucky University. Her course “puts a primary focus on the spiritual care of a patient” where students “learn to listen, rather than talk, as well as provide prayer when appropriate.”

Listening is a key ingredient in effective prayer. Guided by intuition and divine inspiration, prayer is really the doing so we can just be.

The Brain: Is it the Source of Health?

The Brain: Is it the Source of Health?

© GLOW IMAGES
model used for illustrative purposes

by Don Ingwerson

As a life-long educator, I get excited when new discoveries are made that show how to maintain health and be freer from physical and mental limitations. My most recent encouragement came from the new book Super Brain, which supports the idea that the brain is important to our health in a number of newly discovered ways.

These new research findings, about how the brain functions under stressful situations that affect health, are almost surreal. They show that the mind has great power to maximize health, happiness, and spiritual wellbeing. The use of these findings could go a long way towards preventing illnesses that have plagued humans for centuries – such as aging, Alzheimer’s, and memory loss – and they point to something many researchers have been saying for some time: that the mind-body connection is more than theory.

What authors Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi do in Super Brain is take the data of mind-body connections to another level. Through scientific evidence they show how the brain functions and how this functioning affects health. In contrast to the “baseline brain” that fulfills the tasks of everyday life, they suggest that through increased self–awareness the brain can be taught to reach far beyond its present limitations. Beliefs about the brain that tend to be limiting can be overcome by combining cutting-edge research with spiritual insights.

One reason scientists continue to search for the source of consciousness, or this higher brain function, is that qualities of thought like forgiveness, humor, and love have a positive impact on the body. Yet to date the search to find the material source for these healing qualities has been unsuccessful. Limiting consciousness research to laboratory analysis of brain tissue (where measurements are more quantifiable) could be inhibiting a full exploration and understanding of consciousness.

But many top scientists continue to search for answers about consciousness. Australian researcher David J. Chalmers, in a video called The Conscious Mind, asks, “How does the water of the brain turn into the wine of consciousness? How is it that all of this matter adds up to something as complex, as interesting, and as unique as consciousness?” And evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins was asked, “What is the one question you most want to see answered?” He replied, “How does subjective consciousness work? How does it evolve?”

Is it possible there’s value in looking in a different direction than biomedical and body-based research to areas that are more subjective and metaphysical?

“In the areas of health and wellbeing, research shows that how we express ourselves spiritually definitely matters. Whom we affiliate with…whether we make time for regular devotion, what we believe, the strength of our faith…these things contribute to whether we become ill or stay well,” claims Jeff Levin in God, Faith and Health: Exploring the Spirituality-Healing Connection.

This idea that spiritual thought affects health was shown recently when a friend of mine, who was suffering from terror dreams, decided to use prayer as his alternative medicine. The biblical statement, “Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust” (Psalms 16:1) was very meaningful and helpful. This spiritual thought, along with, “The divine Mind that made man maintains His own image and likeness,” expressed in the book, Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures, gave him the prayerful strength to overcome this mental suffering. He was healed from the condition overnight and hasn’t had a relapse. Of course, there are many who would say that the correlation between his healing and prayer is too subjective. How can we be sure how he got better? But many, including Chopra, Tanzi, and my friend, are convinced that there is a link to a source – my friend would call it God, others might call it consciousness – that produces positive healing results.

Many individuals are turning to alternative and complementary medicines in their own search for healing. They, like researchers and others, may not be able to identify the source of their healings, but they tend to know when they are physically and mentally well. Maybe researchers will find proof that consciousness is more than matter, evolved from a higher source, and Dawkins’ question will be answered.

Step by step, physicians and material scientists such as Chopra and Tanzi, as shown in Super Brain, have been prodding us to ask what constitutes the qualities we deem healthy by demonstrating that qualities of thought have a positive impact on bodily wellbeing. But if faith in matter is a barrier to the kind of thinking that heals, could that suggest why solely a search of matter for consciousness keeps coming up short?

Article first published in Blogcritics

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

© GLOW IMAGES
model used for illustrative purposes

A guest post written by Diana Colarossi

Is Thanksgiving, a day, a holiday, or a state of mind? Does it matter if we celebrate Thanksgiving among friends, family, or alone?

Thanksgiving isn’t a day. It’s a state of mind giving gratitude to God. Thanks to God shouldn’t be confined to one special day of the year. Nor is it a time that must be spent with people, for joy can also be found in the quiet solitude of God’s presence.

Gratitude isn’t for what we had or have in human things, but to and for the provider of these things, God. God, in the goodness of His love, provides spiritually every idea, and the fruition of it. Therefore, while we are being grateful for the appearance of good in our lives, and this is important, the real denominator is the presence of God. Because God’s presence is universal, we can all be grateful.

Today, and everyday, let every heart unify in gratitude for not only everything we see here on earth that is good, waves in the ocean, blue sky and sun, for smiles from vibrant flowers, glorious creatures of God, for the very basic love of existence, and every perfect thought, but also for the cause and source of this goodness, God. Mary Baker Eddy, a nineteenth century Bible scholar, states these memorable words, “Gratitude and love should abide in every heart each day of all the years.”

This Thanksgiving isn’t a day; it’s a thankful heart, which is full every moment. Come let’s celebrate a day of thanks for His presence!

Great Expectations

Great Expectations

Photo illustrated by Rick & Brenda Beerhorst

A guest post written by Keith Wommack, a legislative liaison for spiritual healing and Christian Science in Texas.

I am intrigued by the power of expectations; by the impact they have on our well-being.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Thomas Curry, a licensed Texas psychotherapist about this phenomenon.

Dr. Curry explained, “Expectations are a hot topic in healthcare practice and research. It is widely recognized that an individual’s, or group of individuals, expectations either help or hurt healthcare outcomes. Why this is so, and how it happens, unfortunately remains a mystery. However, what is not mysterious at all is the fact that expectations play a very pivotal role in the progression of mental and medical disease, as well as it has a strong role in any treatment effect.”

This makes me wonder: Do expectations of decline and illness allow for unchecked fear to manifest as disease on the body where it can develop and spread? Are expectations of health possibly divine urgings that animate us to discover more than we are accepting of life at a given moment?

One family’s experience, detailed in full in Robert Peel’s Spiritual Healing in a Scientific Age, suggests that what we truly expect, we get.

In 1947, Elmer and Doris Wiederkehr agreed to adopt an unwanted child. Prenatal tests indicated that the child would be born handicapped, but the Wiederkehrs were not deterred. Unfortunately, the child, Les, was born with multiple handicaps, including unformed vocal chords, a damaged heart, serious bone and blood conditions, and cerebral palsy. Doctors predicted that Les would live no longer than eight months.

Doris had been healed of a curvature of the spine through prayer, and had learned to trust God, to expect healing. So she prayed and cared for the baby’s physical needs as best she could. The doctors felt that Les was too frail for either surgery or medication.

In 1983, Doris explained: “The medical prognosis at that time was that [Les] would never be able to speak, stand or walk properly, or receive an education. We were told that he would continue to suffer convulsions, that he had a blood deficiency which inhibited coagulation, and that the condition of his heart made survival past early childhood unlikely.”

When asked, “What happened when you took [Les] home?” She replied, “Well, he had a difficulty in breathing. It was hard for him to eat. He couldn’t walk. He was in bed most of the time the first few years… I’ll have to admit that the physical deformities didn’t bother me. I really didn’t see them the way some others did. He had beautiful blue eyes. He responded to love. And I fully expected — I never doubted that he wouldn’t find his complete freedom.”

As a Christian Scientist, Doris read the Bible, prayed, and shared with Les what she was learning about God’s care and Les’ spiritual nature. Her expectancy of betterment had been forged by her own experiences. Even though Elmer was not a Christian Scientist, he was supportive of Doris’ expectations of progress for Les. Doris said, “[Les] just kept me trusting and expecting. You could see awareness in his eyes and that he was grasping [what] we were telling him.”

“[When he was almost three years old, Les] was standing upright. He fell a great deal and we did have to pad the doorways and our furniture to keep him from harming himself. But there was a lot of progress after that. And we, everyone in the family, talked with him whether he answered or not. We gave him time to answer. And we could tell by the expression on his face what he was thinking. We just never treated him as though he didn’t talk.”

“We took a six-or eight-week trip at one point because the children were beginning to tease him a little in the neighborhood… On the way back, he improved. He gained weight… And on the day we came home, the boys were tired… and took a nap… I decided to lie down too. My husband had taken the car to a garage.”

“We were all asleep when a man entered our home… I heard my son, Les, saying in a shaky voice, ‘No other gods before you. You don’t belong in here.’ No, these weren’t the words of the first Commandment, but the power of the first Commandment was in the words. And then he repeated it again in a very firm, strong voice. And the man… never touched anything… and walked out of the house.”

“When he got back into bed, he said, ‘Mommy can I come lay with you?’ And I said yes… I would have liked to have taken him in my arms and danced around the house with him…”

“My husband came home… And I said, ‘Dad, what we’ve been expecting and knowing would happen has taken place. Les can talk.’ And he said, ‘Well, its not going to make any difference. We always gave him time to talk. So we can just go on.’ …Les is going to walk, he’s going to skip, he’s going to run, he’s going to do all the things.’”

“The heart condition was healed when he was eight years old. He rang the doorbell because he needed help, and when I opened the door he fell in. He was unconscious. I did call the hospital…  They came out with a portable cardiograph, and they didn’t think he would last… When he awakened he was not exhausted like he had been from other attacks. He was just as though nothing had happened. He never had another attack after that.”

“And then he began to swim, and set a record in an ocean race when he was only nine. And still, I would say, he didn’t have complete use of the right arm and right leg. He was about fifteen before you’d say he no longer fell without warning. He was the catcher on the Little League team that whole season. He loves all sports.”

“I always told him that God had need of him. And that meant He had need of his thinking. And that if he wasted time resenting or having hurt feelings over people’s unkindness, why, he wouldn’t hear God’s voice. And he wouldn’t recognize his healing and his freedom when it came. He’d be too busy feeling sorry for himself. Or angry, you know. So he learned to forgive and he learned it so well that it’s helped him in later life.”

When Doris gave this interview, in 1983, Les was then happily married, physically sound, and fully employed in a plumbing firm.

The Wiederkehrs’ experience causes me to further wonder: Do our expectations cause what we yearn for to take place or do they cause what has always been available and possible to be uncovered?

As well: What molds our expectations? What causes us to expect good health or healing? What makes us expect illness and suffering?

The answers to these questions will have a tremendous impact on our health for better or worse, now and in the coming years.

Dr. Curry concluded his comments to me about expectations by stating, “The reality is that our thoughts, and our expectations have a real effect on our physical experience.”

I know that Elmer, Doris, and Les would certainly agree.

Link to Keith Wommack’s blog.

Lasting Health Benefits of Religious Attendance

Lasting Health Benefits of Religious Attendance

Guest post written by Keith Wommack, Committee on Publication for Texas

You say you were dragged to church every week? You didn’t want to go? Your mother insisted it was good for you?

Well, she was right. And in even more ways than she imagined.

Turns out, if you’re concerned about your health, church is the place to be.

Jeff Levin in his book, God, Faith, and Health: Exploring the Spirituality Healing Connection, explains:Continue Reading

Remove God? Impossible!

Remove God? Impossibe!

A guest post written by Fran Esser

Very often in the news we hear or read about one or more people wanting to remove God or any reference to God from the Pledge of Allegiance, from schools, government facilities, courtrooms, etc., claiming separation of church and state.

How can God be removed from anything since God fills all space? We are fully covered and protected by His law of love and this law does not need amending. It’s free, a gift from our creator, because we are His offspring. What an insurance policy!Continue Reading