Post 2017 association fruitage
Two quick post-Association healings:
1. When we were meeting, I hit my arm hard on the chair arm. I refused to let it sit in my thought, thinking I can't possibly be harmed right after Association, especially not with you sitting right there! That worked for a bit, but it started to hurt again, so I had to re-assert: no harm can come to me. I was on a spiritual journey, and can't be in any way harmed from that. It's a lie. I had to re-assert again, especially after seeing a large bruise with a scratch down the middle, but I did, and it stopped hurting. Now there's just a little line on my arm, and I know that will disappear as well.
2. As I was at the outside door of my apartment to take Rico out, I had to adjust something on his harness. When I stood back up, I hit my head very hard on the door handle. I immediately began denying that any harm could come to me. I used the Scientific Statement of Being to assert my complete spirituality - no matter! I focused on God's love, no harm can come to me ever, especially since I am completely spiritual. I did touch my head to be sure I wasn't bleeding - I didn't want to run into anyone on our walk and have them freak out! But I wasn't, so Rico and I went on out, and had a lovely walk - no after effects!
I was so grateful for our meeting this year! The testimony about the immediate results of daily prayer for self hit home - although I KNOW it's very beneficial, it's been challenging to get myself to do it. Hearing another's experience is helping me be motivated to follow through.
Something else that was reinforcing after a tough year was to hear someone else say she dealt with a recurring claim in thought I've had too: “I can't do this.” I can't say the number of times that came to me in the past year. Although I don't wish hardship on anyone, it was nice to hear I'm not the only one dealing with that! And, WE can't, of ourselves. But, God can. So with Her help, we persevere.
I've had a problem with my left foot and ankle that has come and gone for months now. I've prayed about it off and on, and it would improve, but then I'd “overdo things” and it would get worse again. I resisted the idea of wearing a boot on it for many reasons, but kept using various braces for support. I'd decided if it wasn't better after Association, I'd wear the boot. It felt like a failure. So I prayed about it.
Two things came to me. One was that I was already looking to matter for help by using a brace or wrap, so it wasn't a huge difference in scaling up to the boot. More importantly, I realized I was afraid that the church board would make me stop working in the Reading Room while I was wearing it! I saw that thought as an imposition - seeing them as unloving and judgmental. So that helped me stop judging myself, too. I will keep working on healing while wearing the boot.
I am grateful that every year, my Association trip gets easier. The physical issues I've had after all the travel have lessened a lot, but are still there somewhat, and I'd left with things more chaotic than normal due to my trip being preceded by several days of refrigerator repairs culminating in its replacement, and having had to clear out under my bathroom sink so the trap could be removed and an item recovered that had fallen down the drain. I'd made a breakthrough over feeling overwhelmed before I left, but it seemed to be slipping away as I looked at how much further behind I'd gotten - plus, my foot was bothering me. I'd asked my brother to come over and help while he was in town, but got it in my head that he wasn't planning to do it, and started feeling worse. I started thinking he was judging me too, maybe thinking I didn't deserve help, that I should be able to do things on my own. Then I caught myself. I knew that was a wrong thought, it was wrong to see hm as judgmental - and, I'd have the help I need, God provides! My brother did in fact come over and help get a great deal done, including a project that's been outstanding for years. And, I did not allow those error thoughts to sabotage me any more!
It's always so great to be at Association! I'm so grateful for the spiritual uplift, including the chance to spend time with everyone, sharing our path in CS.
Post 2016 association fruitage
Spring is such a beautiful time of rebirth and renewal. The vegetation awakes from its dormancy of winter, the birds come back north full of song, and baby animals come forth to replenish the earth. Such is the case at our farm. The joy of seeing our cattle herd populate with calves banishes memories of caring for herd during the long cold winter months.
Calving season for us begins in late April though it has been slower this year. I usually check the cows twice a day during this time looking for any changes. One day I noticed a cow with two hoofs protruding from her hind end and knew she was in trouble. My husband, Dave, arrived home within a few minutes and we were able to get the cow into the barn and into the head gate to immobilize her.
The calf was breech and needed to be turned for a proper delivery. However, after reaching in to turn the calf, Dave could not reach the head or a front leg so asked me to call the vet. I tried two clinics and all the vets were out on farm calls. I grabbed some towels and the dish soap he had requested and went back to the barn. The cow had stopped pushing but remained upright.
When a calf needs help exiting the birth canal, calving chains are delicately used to pull it out. The chains are attached above the pastern area. Care is taken not to damage the legs or pull a hoof off. We both pulled to no avail so Dave went to get a come-a-long to help pull. At this point the urgency was to get the calf delivered to at least save the mother. Not knowing how long she had been in this condition, time was of the essence; we had to pull the calf out from the position it was in – back legs first.
My prayers went from random to the realization that this calf was a new fresh idea of God and nothing could stop God from being expressed. I remembered Mrs. Eddy had written about birth as a new idea coming forth and that the idea could not harm its surroundings in the process. I held to this thought as my husband came back and attached the come-a-long to the calf chains on the legs. He used the dish soap as a lubricant on the calf and we gently but firmly with the help of the come-a-long pulled.
Progress was evident so we repeated the procedure of lubing and pulling. All the while I kept affirming the truth of this calf's identity as an idea of God. It slipped out onto the floor having been in a stretched lengthwise position through its mothers body back feet first.. After cleaning its nostrils and mouth the calf was breathing on his own – a healthy bull calf. Dave dragged him to his mothers head and she took over cleaning him. What a wonderful blessing. Within 30 minutes he was standing and nursing and mama was doing her motherly duty. Last year this same cow had stepped on her baby and killed it. We were grateful to see her accept this baby.
Later Dave and I shared the thoughts we had prayed with during this time and were so grateful for the guidance Divine Mind gives us in a time of need. I looked up the thoughts I had been praying with in Science and Health. It is page 463 and is under the side bar “Scientific obstetrics.
“To attend properly the birth of the new child, or divine idea, you should so detach mortal thought from its material conceptions, that the birth will be natural and safe. Though gathering new energy, this idea cannot injure its useful surroundings in the travail of spiritual birth.”
The great benefit of studying Christian Science is that the right thoughts are with us when we need them and the results of prayer are dependable.
It's always right to do right
Since our Association meeting, I have continued working with the idea of obedience to God: “Thy will be done.” I have worked on letting go of outlining what I think should happen. That does not mean not generating ideas, or course; just following them with a willingness to change course when necessary, and not needing to plan every single detail.
While serving in the Reading Room (RR), a woman called who’d visited the downtown RR in the past. She wanted to talk with someone about CS who wouldn’t judge her. She has multiple medical problems, and at first seemed to be interested in CS primarily as an excuse not to take medicine others thought she should, but later she also felt it is the most correct of any religion she’d studied.
She and I have a lot in common. We both have backgrounds in Theatre, have studied a variety of religions and spiritual paths, have human histories of abuse and PTSD, and are both on disability due to health issues.
After talking with her a few times, she asked me to pray for her. What I perceived to be the main issue she wanted help with, was fear. (Of course that’s really the only issue, period!) She was afraid of losing control of her thoughts and life. The fear was resulting in exactly that happening! I worked with her on knowing God’s loving presence and protection, using that knowledge to break the fear spiral that had been gripping her. I continually prayed, asking God to tell me what to say and do to help her, and did what I was told. At one point I was led to a Time4Thinkers article about how practitioners can keep from doubting their work, which was great! I’d just spent time the previous night addressing exactly that issue, so I was able to contribute.
I’m grateful to say that, after a week or so, there was a distinct shift in her thought. She became able to stop herself from the accelerating fear obsessions that had plagued her, and started considering concrete steps to take to help herself.
I am so grateful for having a part in her healing! And, doing so helped me greatly as well. I am now looking at possibilities in my own life, trusting God to guide and protect me. I began seeing a wide range of possibilities for myself as well, and feeling much more secure in my own identity as God’s beloved child. I also started feeling more confident in my ability to trust God in any situation I am in.
At the moment, everything seems to be in a major state of flux. I do not know what is going to happen humanly. Among other things, it’s been over a year since I applied for membership at the church I attend, and I’ve been trying to get a paid position in the Reading Room. Membership requires a by-law change because current by-laws bar new members who take any medication, and while I have made huge healing progress, I still have issues with severe pain, so I still take some medicine. There seems to also be resistance to hiring someone who is not a member, so it’s all tied together.
I am very grateful to be at a point where I am secure in God’s love, and know that whatever happens, I am always in my right place. Whether at that church or another, in that position or another, I will continue to grow spiritually, and continue to share CS with others. I have been focusing more attention on Time4Thinkers postings, and have commented on some, including one on “Is Christian Science stilted by traditional thought?” here:
I realize I only have to be concerned with pleasing God, not with pleasing other people; and I know God is leading me where I need to go, at a sustainable pace. I do not need to be afraid! I am very grateful for the progress I’ve made since taking class, and the acceleration in progress since our last Association meeting.
Doctor who and the adam dream (2015)
I had gotten home from a trip recently, had been busy all day and decided to re-watch the Christmas episode of Doctor Who to wind down. In the episode, there were creatures called dream crabs that stuck to people’s faces and induced a dream state while slowly digesting their brains. Like sleeping dreams, it involved multiple instances of people waking up and thinking they were no longer dreaming, only to find after a while that they were in fact still in a dream.
I got a lot if inspiration from that episode! I saw it as a metaphor for mortal mind, which tries to appear real to us – but of course isn’t. As we progress spiritually, we have breakthroughs where we wake up and realize it’s been a dream; then we continue along until we have the next breakthrough, sometimes recognizing the unreality around us, but often being taken in by the appearance of truth.
As I watched, the mesmerizing claim of fatigue and physical pain started creeping in – claims that often follow trips for me. I saw what was happening, and thought to myself, I can wake up from this as easily as the people in the show woke up from their dreams! I asserted the realization that it was an unreal dream state, and claimed my dominion by telling myself to wake up! I immediately felt better, and easily took my dog out for his last walk and then went to bed, feeling fine.
I must add, after a much longer recent trip, I no longer had the same issue with extreme fatigue and soreness. I am so grateful for the lessons in Christian Science, including from non-traditional sources!
more 2015 fruitage
I made some great progress in March! I am very grateful for it, and wanted to share it.
I haven’t had a job in over ten years due to health issues, primarily chronic pain. After about the first year I was on Disability, they sent me a massive reevaluation questionnaire to fill out, asking minute details of my daily life. Filling it out was grueling. I knew they’d send me another one sooner or later.
I started studying Christian Science again about five years ago. I’ve made great progress, and feel much better. One fear I’ve worked on is a fear of healing, partly because I don’t know what I could do as a job, but also because if I am able to work, I will lose both my income, which would be replaceable; and my housing, which is not just my apartment, but a community – so not as easy to leave.
In February I finally got another form from Disability. Thankfully, this one was much shorter, but it still required me to look in detail at matter. It asked to list every appointment I’d had in the past two years, and the reasons. (I was glad Christian Science Practitioners could be included!) My answers didn’t fit easily into the “yes/no” format, so it was not easy to complete. I felt a lot of pressure about filling it out “right” – I was afraid if I said the wrong thing, they’d put me thought an extensive review, which I don’t want, then possibly cut me off and I’d have to move, and try to find a job before I felt able to do so. While I am making good progress, it’s at my own, sustainable pace – I don’t want to be forced back to work before I’m ready, and have a fear of getting worse again if that happened.
As I worked on the form, I started feeling worse. Pain increased dramatically; then my stomach started hurting too, and I couldn’t eat.
With practitioner support, I worked on letting go of my fears, got the form completed and sent in, but I still felt very bad. The breakthrough came when listening to a Sentinel Audio Chat, “Healing for every illness – even ‘incurable’ disease” with Barbara Vining. At the end, a woman had written in who had a disabled son. He had started studying Christian Science, and was concerned about losing his disability benefits by finding healing. Her response was exactly what I needed to hear! She talked about how God is always providing for us; that of course we want to be productive and help others, and part of healing is finding ways to do that; and as we do, avenues which we haven’t even imagined will open up, and we will be compensated for those. It’s a natural progression – God always meets all our needs!
Hearing it spelled out so clearly was the breakthrough I needed. I was able to relax and go to sleep. I let go of that fear, and quickly felt much better. Physical and emotional tension melted away, inflammation subsided, and congestion drained. I felt my place as God’s beloved child. I have been much more relaxed ever since, and open to my next steps (which have included working on a spreadsheet to determine how any income will affect my current benefits). The practitioner also reminded me that, no matter my situation, I can always work by praying for others, so I am focusing more on doing exactly that. I am so grateful to know I can count on God to meet all my needs!
What is gratitude but a powerful camera obscura, a thing focusing light where love, memory, and all within the human heart is present to manifest light. - Mary Baker Eddy (Mis 164:10)
We are all gathered together in what the Bible calls a the “cloud of witnesses" - I think of teachers and practitioners, and fellow students, without whose faithfulness to Christian Science, I can truly say, I would not be here today.
But today I want to express gratitude for one particular practitioner who introduced my mother to C.S.
Back in the 1950s before she went into the practice, and she and my mother worked in the same bank - they had become friends - and she invited my mother to join her on Sunday at church. My mother spontaneously said, “You’re one of those Christian Scientists!” - Well, she said that she was and when she wondered how my mother had figured it out, Mom said, "You look like those people I see coming out of the church across from the bus I take to the beach on Sunday mornings - you’re always so full of joy”.
Because of this woman, my mother joined that church and later, after she had gone into the practice, it was because of her work that my mother was healed of a condition that was medically thought to make it impossible to have children.
Twenty six years later, I made a visit to her office because I was in a desperate state. I’d left Christian Science, but when the man who was later to become my husband had been given a potentially fatal diagnosis, I was led back to the place where I knew I would find honesty and hope. It was just an office visit - I only wanted to ask questions - but she met my despair and fear with an uplifted understanding of Life (with a capital L) and her radiant spiritual sense lifted ME. It cast out the fear, it reminded me of what I knew in my heart. I left her office feeling like a different person. And the next day I learned that the symptoms that had led to my future husband’s diagnosis had all disappeared.
I’ve been thinking this week about her faithfulness, the way she kept her thought so transparent to divine Love. Action is more powerful than speech. Her witnessing healed us both. I am so grateful to be part of this part of witnesses.
When I think of the people who were healed when Mrs. Eddy merely passed by in her carriage, I think of this practitioner and the way she let God shine through, wherever she was. I can imagine how many other lives were blessed and transformed by her willingness to live Christian Science 24/7 and she remains, for me, an example of what my own life should be. - Caryl
Thanksgiving is a daily occurrence; I recognize and appreciate good things as they occur. But, as I contemplated your e mail, I considered the bigger picture I am thankful for.
I am truly grateful for Christian Science and all that it does for me . Christian Science means there is a better answer, or, there are better answers and explanations for life. And it leads me to be grateful for the Mother Church and the many practitioners scattered around the world. Sometimes I see one name for a whole country and I think, “Wow, there is one brave person.” And that is what gives me confidence that the movement of Christian Science may seem slow and tiny in its numbers but it will not disappear. Taking it closer to home, small, individual Christian Science Churches may struggle but we need not worry that Christian Science will disappear if a local church does.
I need to add that a wonderful part of my life that I am constantly thankful for is Charley; he is my “boyfriend”, my “best friend”, and he is a wonderful person who is always loving and available to me. I cannot fail to mention him in my Thankful E Mail. - Louise
Although raised in Christian Science, I started pursuing other paths (both spiritual and health-wise) in college after I could no longer attend Sunday school. After many years, I developed a long list of health problems. While this was happening, I asked my doctor if I was a hypochondriac; he said no because I really did have the problems, they weren’t just imaginary. But I realized on some level that I was creating them – often (thank goodness not always) when I read about a problem, I would end up having it; but I could not seem to stop. Then the doctors started coming up with other diagnoses as well. To be honest, my life wasn’t working well, and the main way I got positive, compassionate attention was through caring health care professionals (which I am sure is true for many people).
After numerous diagnoses, multiple surgeries, and a large number of prescriptions (even in the doctors’ views), I remained in constant pain, no longer able to work (or do much of anything, for that matter). I began turning back to God first by attending Al-Anon, which was helpful, and a Unity Church, which was not so helpful (I tended to fall asleep during the sermons – they lacked the metaphysical depth to keep me interested). I left the unhealthy situation I was in, and (after 20 years) moved back near my parents because I needed their help.
I finally admitted to myself that the only hope I had of finding true healing was through Christian Science; anything else was just symptom management. So, I started reading selections from Science and Health, then added the Bible and other works; shared ideas with Mom; began attending church again, and worked with several practitioners; and of course took Class Instruction!
I am thrilled to say I have made wonderful progress with Christian Science. Long-time issues, some considered incurable, have fallen away as I shift from what had been a pretty extreme pursuit of medical solutions to my problems, to focusing on Spirit (“from sense to Soul”), and learning to rely on God to meet my needs. I have also developed a close relationship with my father; something I never thought would be possible.
I am so grateful for Christian Science, for helping me begin to recognize and understand both God’s allness and omnipotence, and my status as Her beloved child (along with everyone else’s). Among other things, this is helping me be happier; to let go of the past, and forgive both myself and others, with the recognition that others do not ever have power over me, and God forgives any mistakes I may have made. It is also enabling me to help others in many ways. One example: recently I called an acquaintance I’d never called before, to see if she wanted to go to a show with me, and it turned out she was in the hospital. She’d gone in for an outpatient excisional biopsy, and it turned out far more severe than they’d thought, and they’d kept her in the hospital. She asked me to pray for her, and I got right on it. A few days went by, and I was planning to call her, but hadn’t gotten her number back out of my computer yet; then I saw on Facebook that she was back at home, and the results were benign. When I messaged her, she was so glad for my prayers!
Christian Science is awesome! I now know I will have a positive and productive life, something that did not seem possible a decade ago. And I am so grateful! - Ellen
Over the years, I've come to realize that the expression of gratitude is more than simply saying “thanks” for something I've gained or learned. It is the acknowledgement, acceptance, and understanding that God is All. I once had a conversation with a friend who was a self-proclaimed and very proud agnostic. She was involved in a vehicle collision that turned out to be minor, though it could have been very serious. When she realized how badly things could have gone and didn't, her response was, “I am so thankful everything turned out okay!” I asked her, “When you are expressing your thanks, who do you think you are thanking?” It caused her to take a step back a reevaluate her “agnostic” viewpoints.
This Thanksgiving, it might seem I don't have a lot to be thankful for. Our little branch church lost two dear members this year, very suddenly, and another member lost an infant child unexpectedly. The membership is drastically and viciously divided over the usage of “this version” versus “that version” in terms of bible translations, to the point where individual members are being targeted. I was elected at First Reader in the midst of all this and the malpractice directed towards the Reader's Platform has been, to put it lightly, jaw-dropping. It's really tempting for mortal mind to make a laundry list of all that is wrong, or could go wrong, and to ask myself why I keep putting myself through all this.
But I find myself turning to God and prayer in the way Jesus taught, even as I'm asking, “what is the point?” There really is nowhere else to go, no place as comforting, satisfying, welcoming and inclusive as the table in the wilderness. What I have learned, what I've gained through the weekly bible lessons, the preparation of the Wednesday lesson, the in-depth study and consecration needed to be a Christian Scientist cannot be undone or underestimated.
So, I must begin by expressing my sincere and heart-felt gratitude for our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy. Where I would be without her gentle, but firm insistence that I deserve more than the pitiful offerings of error, (which are no prize), I cannot fathom, and do not want to. I humbly thank Jesus, our great Teacher and Exemplar, who taught us not only how to use the bounty of the table, but how to share it. I would follow him to the ends of the world. And I am finally and unreservedly grateful to God, my Father and Author. I joyfully walk “in the way Thou hast, be it slow or fast.” I'm so grateful for each individual idea, expressing God, and to God Himself for opening my eyes to the bounty around me. I'm most grateful for Association and the treasure we have there, for the honest and pure teaching we have received and continue to receive.
Much Love and Gratitude to you all - Genia
I am so grateful for the beauty and harmony that are unfolding
as my daughter and I are knowing and seeing the truth about a very challenging
situation. I am very grateful for your help and it is a joy to see my daughter really
"getting it." There is so much for which to be grateful in God's wonderful reality
and this current situation allows no exception. We are both having a true expectancy
of good the Thanksgiving and filled with gratitude for "the evidence of things not seen.” - Nancy
Some of the things for which I am grateful include
glimpses of spiritual understanding that enable me to look deeper than the surface image,
being able to see and appreciate that which is good
watching a gorgeous sunrise,
my daily time of prayer and meditation when I get up early every morning,
being able to go out for a run in the morning before I start work,
having enough work that I am not hungry and can pay the bills,
usually being able to see good, that of God, in every person, regardless of human circumstance,
being able to teach,
having the understanding to be able to comprehend and explain many ideas in physics and math,
being handy enough that I can do most needed upkeep and repairs on my home, as I have no way to pay others for their help,
being able to express joy and love regardless of circumstance,
being close to nature and able to spend time there every day,
being able to talk and share with the homeless while riding my bike to/from home every day- they enjoy talking with me also,
being able to communicate with others in several languages
having a 30+ year old car that still gets me there,
living in an adequate home with a great view,
being able to cook... and many other blessings that attest to creature comforts. - Tom
I feel I have never felt such resistance to the expression of gratitude than I have when given this assignment! How ridiculous! Of course man's natural state is one of gracious giving, humility, appreciation, and awe for the kingdom, power, and glory of God. Nothing can stop man's divine right to recognize good and to love it freely. The 'stubborn will' and 'callous breast' are not part of man's spiritual expression. Rather, there is sweetness, willingness, obedience and grace.
I am delighted to give thanks for my ever-developing relationship with God as defined in Christian Science. To know God as my Father-Mother, my Love, Life, Mind, and more recently as 'my best, my ever friend', is to know ceaseless joy. Specifically within the past few months I've found myself turning to God as intimately as one turns for love to a parent or close friend, and I am hugely grateful to feel present comfort when doing so.
I am also deeply grateful for the tools I received from taking Christian Science Class Instruction. These tools are have immense utility and purpose everyday and I am so thankful to know that. When I find myself thinking, 'How do I pray about this?!' I often turn to the "magnifiers" Mary Baker Eddy used to divine God, which we studied in Class--Infinite, Eternal, Divine, Supreme, Incorporeal. These words have been particularly strong pillars for constructing and elevating prayer. I've also thought a lot about a phrase repeated in Class Instruction that, as Christian Scientists, we're not in the business of decorating but of moving out. I love that! It reminds me to stay sharply in the realm of Spirit and not mess around trying to 'fix' matter to make it look or feel better. There's nothing good where God is not, so why bother looking for something where it will never be found, or fixing something that was broken from the start? Move out!
Having Mary Baker Eddy as a role model is endlessly inspiring. That we can get to know her through her life and work is the biggest blessing for which I am so thankful. I am still so inspired by our Association assignment to read We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, Vol II and all that I learned about her as a spiritual pioneer, businesswoman, mother, teacher, and healer.
Lastly, I am grateful that our living honestly as Christian Scientists means we are continually pushing ourselves into higher and higher mental realms. I love the often-challenging but phenomenally rewarding requirement for us to give all to God. The endless learning opportunities God gives us comprise a most amazing grace. - Hilary
Two weeks age I was on my way to the Chicago area for an ethnic association meeting when I received a call on my mobile phone. It was my mother's care facility calling to inform me that they had called paramedics to take Mom to St. Mary's Hospital for a suspected stroke. I turned around and headed to St. Mary's, Madison, and fortunately I had a copy of Science and Health with me. When I got there I was directed to the room where Mom was laying on a hospital bed connected to all the electronics that hospitals are accustomed these days to connecting their patients to. She babbled incoherently a bit, then went unconscious, although her vital signs were fairly normal. In the flurry of nurses and physicians that flowed through in the ensuing couple hours, they could find no medical answer for her condition...many theories, but no sound answer. I sat reading Science and Health with a very calm mind, and I was not worried in the least; perhaps that seemed odd to the medical personnel, but that is how I felt. She was in God's hands. So I sat and watched her sleep for about 6 hours, and I ministered to the medical personnel (they were worried; they did not know what to do) assuring them that everything would be fine. They could not wake her up, even trying an injection that did the exact opposite. I eventually went home, taking the nurse's station phone number with me so I could call later.
In the morning, I called and her nurse told me Mom had awakened and was hungry, so they promptly fed her. I went to St. Mary's, and Mom was her 'old self', didn't remember what happened, but she was hungry and lucid...no problems whatsoever, so they released her that afternoon.
Next morning; deja vu; again paramedics were called for the same symptoms, and I was promptly informed by facility staff that Mom was again going to St. Mary's.
I took out my Science and Health and began reading, about 10 minutes worth before I left for the hospital.
I got to the emergency room and Mom was there, just fine, chatting away with the nurses. I noted that the paramedics had left a chart from the heart monitor in the ambulance; it showed a time sequence with 'atrial fibrillation' that stopped right about the time I picked up S & H.....they fed Mom lunch and released her two hours later.
I am grateful for Mrs. Eddy's guidance and for your instruction, Caryl, that helped me know how to approach this situation, and I am grateful to God for Mom's healing. Proof positive... - Will Lesnjak
This Thanksgiving season I feel grateful for many "small" insights I've gained from a more serious study of Christian Science recently. Each insight by itself seems small, but when taken all together, I notice a definite sense of increased spiritual progress and demonstration.
The first thing I've noticed is that my spiritual discernment or intuition has sharpened and increased noticeably in the last couple years. I can discern more easily when family members or friends are sick or upset or worried about something without them saying so directly. As a result, I've often been able to provide a comforting thought or share an idea with someone more quickly than usual and that goes right to the situation and provides a lift to their thought. It also serves to remind me over and over that I am not responsible for any of the answers or solutions myself. God is the source and originator of these angel thoughts and inspirations. I'm just grateful to be more receptive to them and willing to pass them on to whoever has a need.
Another thing I'm grateful for is "rediscovering" the church Manual and reading through it as if it were the first time. I've become much more interested in what's contained in the Manual and thinking about why Mrs. Eddy might have felt it necessary for a particular bylaw or rule or commentary that appears there.
It was a surprise to me to read the particular statement at the front of the Manual that touches on what the reader could expect by following these rules. I had really never paid the Manual much attention up until now and even felt content to let others worry about the bylaws and rules because it didn't really seem necessary to me or relevant. I was willing to just go along and let others be the "enforcer" of conduct. As long as I was following the Commandments faithfully, I figured I was doing okay. It says in brief ".....Of this I am sure, that each Rule and By-law in this Manual will increase the spirituality of him who obeys it, invigorate his capacity to heal the sick, to comfort such as mourn, and to awaken the sinner."
That really got my attention. Could it be that I could actually increase my spirituality and ability to heal just by reading and following this little Manual? I have discovered that since I began to read it more earnestly, I've widened my perspective on many things and become much more consistent in my own personal prayer time and focus. I'm more conscientious of including the rule for motives and acts, the daily prayer, and alertness to duty in my morning communion with God and throughout the day. These tend to stay with me in thought longer each day and in turn I've felt more calm and peaceful and loving throughout my day no matter how busy my workday might be. I always feel more grounded starting each day when I've spent quality time pondering and practicing these guidelines first thing in the morning.
I'm also grateful for the chance to read about the early workers in the movement chronicled in We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, Vol. II this last year. It was invigorating to read their keen observations of Mrs. Eddy as they knew her and feel their raw enthusiasm for Christian Science. In my readings, I discovered that Mrs. Eddy encouraged and expected Christian Scientists to pray about the weather just like any other claim or condition. I've begun to do that more regularly and have been happy to witness that prayer bringing about calm and protection during periods when destructive storms had been predicted and seeing that no destruction was evident in the region afterwards. As I think about the law of God behind those demonstrations, I've been led to consider the idea of balanced divine mental atmosphere. In Love's atmosphere, there couldn't be extremes of weather because God, Spirit is perfectly balanced and orderly. God is pure harmony. Extreme conditions don't have reality within the universe of Spirit. When I remember that God is the only cause of true, harmonious mental atmosphere which is expressed in peace and calm and mild climate conditions, not extremes, I witness the physical atmosphere around me adjust accordingly.
This idea also applies equally perfectly to balanced weight, balanced global resources, balanced checking accounts, balanced temperaments, balanced personalities or identities, balanced government, balanced justice, balanced employment.
All these ideas have been a joy to discover and a blessing for which I am very grateful. - Margie
post association 2014 testimonies
For many years, I have worked diligently on gaining a more spiritual view of church, especially as it relates to membership in a branch church. I have made great progress in this area. However, in June 2014, I withdrew from all church activity, and made a commitment to re-take class on my own at home, reread and study Science and Health and the entirety of Prose Works. I yearned for a deeper life and felt that going into the closet for a year with the idea of deep study would help me achieve it. This work was satisfying and was bringing me new insights.
Then, during the first week of January 2015, my closest Christian Science friend and my Christian Science teacher, both relationships of many decades’ duration, passed away within 3 days of each other. Over the next few weeks I began to experience deep healing around the concept of “Father-Mother”. These two individuals I had been close to had nurtured me as a father and a mother during my relationships with them. Now I was called upon to understand in a new and deeper way that my Father and Mother (God) were always with me and could not die. This brought a healing of residual grief about the passing of my own human parents, in addition to the passing of these two significant individuals. This healing was vivid, not simply intellectual. I felt I was at home with my parents throughout every day.
However, over the next months, I began to experience times of grief and also physical challenges. It became clear that this grief had to do with my teacher’s Association. I worked with a practitioner daily. Deep healing began to unfold within my consciousness over the true meaning of the concept of Association. During this time I re-read one of my old Association addresses from the 1970s entitled “The Church Militant and Triumphant”. In the meantime, attending the Emra Farkas Association in May began to come into focus as the right step for me. There were several periods of healing of grief around not being able to see my own teacher at his Association from now on. This sense of loss was completely healed during the first few words which Caryl read at the May meeting. I began to feel grief once again and my eyes began to fill with tears. I thought, “Oh no, not now”, and then I felt the presence of my teacher behind me saying, “I’m right here.” The healing of grief was instantaneous. Once again, I was able to fully realize that there can be no separation between the ideas of Divine Mind, and that the arrangement of God’s ideas, and the bonds between them, are held permanently within Divine Mind. A Christian Science Association is an expression of these spiritual arrangements and bonds.
After the May Association meeting, I quickly experienced a major shift in my consciousness around church. I realized that Association is a Manual activity, and that the Manual is part of the Revelation of Christian Science. Therefore, I cannot be separated from Association or teaching. This brought me to a realization of my present membership in the Church Triumphant. I am now, have always been, and will always be a member of this church. This brought healing of a sense of division with The Mother Church. I was able to watch the Annual Meeting for the first time. The thoughts expressed perfectly aligned to my own view of our mission as Christian Scientists. The next day I listened to the online Mother Church service for the first time. That same day I subscribed to the periodicals for the first time in decades and began to read them. Again, I experienced inspiration. Then came subscribing to The Monitor, with like results.
A few weeks later, as I was struggling with another challenge, I heard a voice speaking to me during my daily treatment, which said, “You are on the Rock.” I began to reason scientifically about this statement. Mrs. Eddy writes that the church is founded on the Rock, Christ. If the Rock is Christ, and Christ is Man (my true self, your true self, and all of spiritual creation), then the Rock is Man including all of spiritual creation. Therefore, The Church Triumphant being on The Rock, means that the Church is within Man, not Man within the Church. This Rock excludes everything unlike God. It includes all that is the image of the Creator. Therefore, whatever challenges I face, or anyone faces, including governments, individuals, the planet, and so on, have no place on The Rock. These challenges or limitations cannot exist there.
Again, this expanded a few days later to the concept of Sanctuary. I realized as I worked with my own problems and the challenges in the world, that everyone was seeking sanctuary, a safe place. Obviously, this concept is central to the history of church, which was a place one could go to claim sanctuary, even as a criminal, and not be touched. It also relates to the “holy of holies”, the deepest part of the temple, or in more recent times, the room where church services are held. As I read about Cecil the lion being drawn out of the sanctuary in Africa and killed, I began to apply this concept to the entire spiritual creation. We are all in a state of Sanctuary, dwelling on the Rock AS the spiritual creation. I also related this to Mrs. Eddy’s definition of Ark.
I am so grateful for the May Association meeting. The journey that began for me in June 2014 with my desire for a deeper sense of my own being and my own life has been filled with challenging situations that required a deeper response. The May Association meeting and my preparation for it in following through with all of the assignments, has played a central part in the answer to my desire, and it continues to do so on a daily basis.
I had a huge demonstration on the way to Association this year. The main health issues I’ve been dealing with for over ten years are back: pain and “fibromyalgia” which results in full-body aches and amplifies other pain. It has been very difficult to ride in a car for very long, and requires much stopping and stretching. I plan my trips to Madison in two steps, with a day of rest in between each way (which also gives me a chance to visit my brother).
The preceding Friday, I’d ridden about three hours each way to visit my aunt, who had come in from Albuquerque. As part of our visit, we walked around the zoo. There was also a lot of in-town driving. After I got home, I was in a lot more pain, and although it wasn’t bad during the day, sleep was very difficult. The day before I left, I called a practitioner for help and it finally yielded.
The first leg of my Association trip found two major construction delays on top of rain delays. I further stressed myself by worrying about arriving during rush hour which was allayed somewhat when my brother told me it wouldn’t be an issue. I spent the whole trip praying an listening to hymns and Christian Science music - barely keeping my stress at bay. When I arrived at my brother’s, two hours later than planned, I was exhausted and in a lot of pain - unable to go hear him read the Wednesday meeting. Instead I stayed home and gave myself a treatment. I called a practitioner, but was actually glad she didn’t call me back because it forced me to step up and address the situation myself, and rely more directly on God.
I spent more time in prayer the next day, but basically felt fine - I’d stood up to and broken the mesmerism.
Which was a good thing, because on the second leg of my trip, I wasn’t paying close attention and my new GPS decided that going through Chicago rather than around it was the shortest way. I was enjoying the drive and the interesting sights, thinking "this doesn’t look familiar…” The upshot was a nearly two hour stretch with no break. I finally just had to get off, so I thought, I just have to trust God to keep me safe! It turned out to be a nice little neighborhood and I was able to figure out where I was, walk Rico, eat lunch, and proceed on. By the time I got halfway to Madison,I’d expected to be there already, but I held on to gratitude that I was at a point where the detour did not have to mean suffering. I finally arrived about two hours later than planned, and am happy to say I suffered no ill effects.
Taking the time to write down my thoughts isn't always an easy demonstration for me when many other demands and voices seem so much louder, but I received a big gift today. Sam offered to watch Jesse for me for an hour while I was able to consecrate myself to deep study. It was so harmonious that this will become a daily event in the Allard household. At one point, Jesse came running up the stairs to ask me something, saw I was studying and said, "Oh, you're doing church." (Surprisingly, after that he didn't interrupt me again.) I was so moved that he recognized this, and loved the way he put it.
Let's all do church!
June 21, 2012
I'm grateful for continuing fruitage since our Association Meeting in May. I love the First Commandment “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me,” but was rather appalled to realize how many ways I've been unthinkingly breaking it. Accepting any power beside God seems to happen in a number of ways. This heightened sense of alertness has resulted in much unfoldment of truth.
About two weeks ago, following a church testimony meeting, I returned home so inspired that the thought came strongly, “It's time to move.” My husband and I have had our home listed for sale since January with apparently no prospect of selling. We had been waiting to move to a new home that we purchased at that time until our young son could finish school. The end of school came and went, and still I was afraid to let go of the old house, feeling I was leaving unfinished business behind. Much of our furniture and possessions had been at our new home for months; moving would be fairly simple and fast, but still I persisted in holding on, feeling I could do more good right there in the old house.
Mrs. Eddy's definition of church helped me to see that home is more than a structure of brick and mortar; it is an expression of Soul. Soul, as another name for God is ever complete and perfect, needing no cultivation. I did not need to dwell in the material structure to recognize the divine structure of Life, Truth and Love. And God certainly did not need me to stay and clean windows and vacuum the floors endlessly in the false hope that I was somehow helping His divine work to be more complete. It was time to move on. I didn't question the dictum.
The next morning, within hours, my husband located a local moving company that didn't require a 6-week reservation and was experienced in professionally moving our piano. Many other small details fell into place as we prepared to move the last of our possessions the following week.
However, in the midst of this began a terrible physical struggle for me. (As in Genesis, “But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.”) It seemed that the busier I became, the more persistently mortal mind asserted its false testimony. I was healed of an aggressive illness following a fainting spell. During this period of great discomfort, I knew that this was not a bodily ailment but mental malpractice. It was very difficult for me to quietly focus on Truth when I felt pulled in many directions at once so I worked with a Christian Science Practitioner in the week before the move. This very great citation from Romans is one I'll never stop using: “...but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Romans 5: 3-5) Healing came when I realized that despite the testimony of error, I completely trusted God, no matter what mortal mind's predicted outcome might be. It had no authority over the Word of God. In order to see that thoroughly, I had to take up the cross. And it is never shameful to seek higher things. I passed through this struggle unharmed.
I'm very grateful for the physical healing and the swift and harmonious move to our new home. There is a great sense of freedom in letting God's work show with the selling of our old house, knowing that despite mortal predictions and excuses, God already knows the outcome. My only job is to listen (be still and know that I am God).
This week's Bible lesson on Christian Science has been so helpful to me. I was very inspired by the story of Jesus' healing of the nobleman's son. The nobleman was obviously under great duress and desperate at the physical condition of his son when he begged for Jesus' help. The nobleman put all trust in Christ believing that his son lived, even though he was not in the sick room to witness it. Trust and belief and understanding were there, without any physical evidence. Healing was inevitable. I am not so different from the nobleman: we both desire something that to the physical senses seems impossible. But I know that my move to a new home (despite uncertainty about the future of the old home), and the nobleman's faith in Christ despite all evidence to the contrary are examples of the first commandment. I'm so grateful to recognize this.
God is Love!
December 2011 fruitage
A Look Back at December 2011
December is a month when charity is in many people’s thought. There are many obvious ways for charitable giving as organizations put out the need for donations, bell ringers sit in often very cold conditions with their red kettles, angel trees stand in our malls, and even the grocery stores offer pre-packed bags of groceries one can purchase for donation. There were touching stories in the news of people anonymously paying balances on lay-a-ways for strangers. All of these are loving activities that helped so many in need in our communities. Even our Christian Science Society got involved with a much needed donation to the local Salvation Army. It’s a good feeling to express charity. And, of course, we have our personal lists of ways to express charity to our family and friends. All in all, December can be a very busy time for decisions and preparing for the holidays.
When I thought of all the blessings the Season brings I wanted to take the time to go a bit deeper into what all this activity means and brings to me. I read in Miscellaneous Writings where Mrs. Eddy explains charity as love. I knew this as we often substitute the word love for charity in the beautiful verses in I Corinthians chapter 13. Verse 13 summarizes the chapter saying “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity [Love].” Since God is Love, charitable acts are expressing God. Since man is made in the image and likeness of God, expressing Love is a natural quality we all can embrace. When my daughter was young and would ask if Santa was real, I would tell her that Christmas was about Love. Christmas was a time to give thanks to God and cherish His great gift to us, “Jesus the way-shower”. S&H 30:7
I decided to look up in Prose Works what Mary Bake Eddy wrote about Christmas. A passage I found in Miscellany, page 262 reads “Christmas to me is the reminder of God’s great gift, - His spiritual idea, man and the universe, - a gift which so transcends mortal, material, sensual giving that the merriment, mad ambition, rivalry, and ritual of our common Christmas seem a human mockery in mimicry of the real worship in commemoration of Christ’s coming.” Well, this gave me thought and moved me to consider how I can bring more of the Christ into planning for, receiving and sharing a Christmas “in commemoration of Christ’s coming.”
First I realized I needed to begin each day with prayer asking God how I could express more love and giving in my day. It didn’t take long before an opportunity arose to help a friend with a service project she had signed up for at her church. It was helping at a local nursing home with the weekly bingo session. Now I am not a fan of bingo so my first reaction was to decline. However, I turned it over to God and then saw it as an opportunity to bring love, light and a sense of joy to the residents. I brought a gift of love to the nursing home and left with a gift of thanks and their dear sweet smiles.
Second I realized that prepping for a family Christmas didn’t have to be overwhelming, rushed, or stressful. We were expecting nine family members for the holiday weekend and 12-16 for Christmas dinner. As I went about the traditional activities of selecting and wrapping presents, decorating the house and preparing the menus, I wanted to express gratitude that God has blessed me with a large and loving family to share Christmas with. My husband and I look at our home as a sanctuary of harmony where all can feel welcome and comfortable. It turned out we had an opportunity to apply this idea of welcome to our church service Christmas Day. My husband and I were the only members of our Society that would be in the area for service. We could make the decision to close and simply have service in our living room with the family or we could present open doors to the community and keep our regular Sunday schedule. Reminded that Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus, we felt a need to have open doors at church. My husband invited his eldest daughter to be Second Reader and on her delighted acceptance, I became Sunday School teacher to our four grandchildren who would be in attendance. What a blessed opportunity to work with the little ones in Sunday School. And it gave my husband who is normally Second Reader, the experience of preparing and being First Reader, and his daughter to ‘get her feet wet’ in reading as Second Reader. Though it was all family in attendance, it was a holy, blessed service. And the children expressed joy and patience all morning as they waited until afternoon to open their presents.
Another delightful blessing was out of the mouth of our three year old granddaughter. On the night of their arrival, the two little cousins were put to bed. The two year old started to cry. After a minute or so the older child said “Mary, listen up. I’m only going to say this once: You are not alone. I am here with you.” More tears. The three year old again: “God is here with you. You can’t see Him but He is here right now so go to sleep!” It was a peaceful rest of night.
Christmas was filled with joy and love. It was a beautiful lesson in how consciously keeping the Christ in thought brings out the order, harmony and fulfillment of each activity. On the day of departure we all agreed that it was a special Christmas filled with so much harmony and affection. Truly Love as present at our table. Our “cup runneth over” with Love.
december 2010 frutage
A week before Christmas I began experiencing flu-like symptoms, which continued on for the next several days. After having a lovely healing of the flu a month prior, I admit I was rather discouraged to be slumped in bed feeling ill all over again, so I set about treating myself and working with the Lesson. One morning I tuned in to the continual audio loop of Science and Health on my iPhone (http://www.spirituality.com/science-and-health/audio-new-window.jhtml). When I hit the 'play' button, the chapter on Physiology was being read aloud . Never before has the chapter brought me so much inspiration! Since reading many biographies of Mary Baker Eddy earlier in the year, I've been much more aware and in awe of Mrs. Eddy's profound love for her patients and students when studying her writings. Her love particularly struck me when I listened to Mrs. Eddy's two accounts of healing the woman with consumption and Mr. Clark in Lynn. It moved me to ponder how it must have felt to be a patient in Mrs. Eddy's presence. I thought about her grace, her expression of womanhood, and her strength. It was particularly evident to me just how essential Love's role is in healing, and how Mrs. Eddy's expression of divine Love brought immediate healing. I was so inspired and uplifted by that understanding of Love that everything else in the room just faded away! At that moment I knew clearly I was completely well. It was the truest sense of wellness that I felt. Far beyond feeling humanly better, it was a strong conviction in the unchanging intactness of my being. I got out of bed, dressed, and carried on with the rest of my day with energy and enthusiasm.
I've since continued working with one citation in 'Physiology' that also resonated with me that morning: "A patient under the influence of mortal mind is healed only by removing the influence on him of this mind, by emptying his thought of the false stimulus and reaction of will-power and filling it with the divine energies of Truth." (185:32 - 4 p.186) At the time I focused more on the first half of the sentence—there was an obvious connection between the belief of influenza and 'the influence of mortal mind' I had to removed. Now I am focusing more on second half of the sentence; How am I filling thought with the 'divine energies of Truth'? Am I removing all willpower? Am I denouncing its seeming power to react and stimulate thought? —These are the tasks at hand! I'm so grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate further the efficacy of Christian Science healing.