Monday, January 18, 2016


My assigned chore recently was pruning back the rose bushes surrounding our home.   How beautiful the roses are with their vibrant colors, their red and pink faces shining delicately out from the dark  green leaves, lovely to look at as they gently share their fragrance and loveliness. 
As I worked carefully among the branches an interesting  thought came to me. The roses display their beauty confidently and don't seem inclined to try to convince the other flowers to be just like them.  They grow alongside the other flowers around our home without comment, without competition, without criticism, without bragging or gloating.

I suppose these thoughts may have been triggered by a recent encounter where a gentleman was trying to convince me to embrace his  religious thought.   While there was no specific criticism of my own religious understanding or my view of God and Life, it was pretty obvious from the stern looks and rather harsh warnings about God’s wrath and my obvious unwillingness to understand that God punishes people like me, revealed a  contempt for my “obvious ignorance” and misguided faith and understanding.   

The experience sort of shocked me, made me wonder, Have  I done the same thing from time to time?  Surely not as harshly or pointedly,   accompanied by the stern looks and sense of judgement that I was receiving this day, but have I been so judgmental?   Being convinced of the truth and simple logic that Jesus revealed in his teachings and as taught in Christian Science,   and because of wanting to share the wonderful healing effects realized by my family and myself over the years through the application of those truths, I admit I may have been tempted to spend time convincing others of how wonderful it is.

But on this day, marveling at the beauty of the rose, I remembered Mary Baker Eddy's counsel that : " 
No reproof is so potent as the silent lesson of a good example. Works, more than words, should characterize Christian Scientists. Most people condemn evil-doing,evil-speaking; yet nothing circulates so rapidly: even gold is less current. " (1.)

I thought how silly it would be for that Rose to bend down to the beautiful Daylily to convince her to become a Rose, maybe something like this: 
“Well, yes Dear, you would have a few thorns but everyone would want to take you home and put you in a vase.  We roses are wonderful!!  We make lovely gifts for birthdays, anniversaries and are especially helpful to a young man courting a young lady!!   I expect we are responsible for many hugs!!  We are God's favorites!”  

No indeed, the roses seemed very content to glow their particular splendor in the midst of the variety of other fauna.  No conversion speeches needed!!  Just by being there, sharing their lovely fragrance and delicate beauty,  glorying in the sunshine, swaying in the gentle breeze, seemed to be quite enough to keep the Roses happy.  I could see and feel that simply by “Being” they were uplifting and demonstrating God’s presence as “all harmonious”.  

It is believed that roses have been around for over 35 million years, according to fossil evidence.   Maybe they have lasted that long by minding their own business, fulfilling their life purpose  just by being splendid and appealing.    

Matthew 5
That realization convinced me that it would be sufficient  for me, too,  to just do my very best to demonstrate the qualities that I am trying to live, those same qualities we find in the Beatitudes: humility,  love, mercy, purity, tenderness,  peace and righteous and  let the observer judge whether that is something worthy of emulating. I have found it is difficult enough to do that without also trying to drag reluctant others along.

The Bible tells us there are a diversity of gifts,  some teachers, some preachers, some prophets, some wise,  some interpreters, and so on.
 (2)    Apparently we can all do whatever we are called to do.   There may be others on the human scene that are better looking, wealthier, more talented, more spiritual, funnier , better educated.    But for each there is opportunity to be “the rose” in their own garden of life. 

In his rounds, Jesus of Nazareth walked through the countryside and was available to teach and preach. But the most fascinating thing about Jesus was that he demonstrated more than he talked.  He didn’t get on a platform and threaten people to listen, to change or to follow him.  He proclaimed that “ behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”  ( 3)

 His acts of healing, uplifting and supporting were so much more compelling than words could be. Although his Beatitudes contained in the Sermon on the Mount provided such wonderful inspiration, it would  have been all for naught  if he wasn't actually demonstrating the truth that he taught. In humility, meekness and purity, he gently demonstrated the healing effect of his understanding of God, and taught his disciples to do so as well.

In her Bible companion book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,  religious pioneer Mary Baker Eddy writes: 

“Love, redolent with unselfishness, bathes all in beauty and light. The grass beneath our feet silently exclaims, “The meek shall inherit the earth.” The modest arbutus sends her sweet breath to heaven. The great rock gives shadow and shelter. The sunlight glints from the church-dome, glances into the prison-cell, glides into the sick-chamber, brightens the flower, beautifies the landscape, blesses the earth.  Man,  made in His likeness, possesses and reflects God’s dominion over all the earth. Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God.” 

As we follow the spirit of Jesus’ Beatitudes, we can trust others to God’s loving care.

Jesus said: “Follow me.”  

(1.)     Miscellaneous Writings .. page 126
(2.)     I Corinthians 12:
(3.)     Luke 17:12
(4.)     Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures 516

Friday, January 1, 2016

Hee Haw

 Click to hear "Agony"!!!!!!!!!!
(Prepare Yourself!!!  It ain't purty!!!)

Recently while I was relaxing for a few minutes before the TV, a rerun of a silly old TV comedy show from some years back started playing.   Those who remember the late 1960s may remember Hee Haw as a show centered on country music, rural culture and corn pone humor  featuring country music and humor with fictional rural Kornfield Kounty as a backdrop.  
One of the weekly skits featured four  backcountry “hillbillies”  with their jugs  of moonshine  singing a depressing song expressing their gloom,  despair and hopelessness.   Years ago when I saw that show the scene was funny and brought down the house.  But through time and experience I have seen that it wasn’t too much of an exaggeration for some. 

You may remember the words:

Gloom, Despair, Agony on me;
Deep, Dark, Depression, excessive misery! (Ohhhh!)
If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all, (Ohhhhh!)
Gloom, Despair, and Agony on me…..

 What a contrast that gloom and misery is to our Christmas rejoicing, the promise of the appearing of the Christ spirit.… “Joy to the World!! The Lord is Come! 

As a sort of a wake-up call I wanted to shout out to all who are downhearted or fearful that there is no “decree” as from Caesar that we are sentenced to punishment, to suffering and distress.  No obligation to hang on to sad memories of the past, be burdened by worries of today nor fear the future.  And our lives need not be years of slogging wearily through daily life without joy in our hearts.  And we can sing happy songs without the support of “moonshine” or other material means to find  solutions which bring  peace and joy into our experience.

Throughout all time many have experienced those moments,  sometimes years of sadness, gloom and despair that seem overwhelming, particularly at Christmas and the turning of the New Year.   While many are celebrating the holidays, others sit alone, frightened,  maybe due to the loss of a loved one, a  break in a loving relationship, lack of employment, fear of the future or other thoughts that bring them down.

More and more we are realizing through our own experience and also with recent discoveries in Quantum Theory by physical scientists that we create our world in our own thought. Jesus consistently changed the human view, the gloomy conditions through understanding.  For example: Weizmann Institute of Science recent  highly controlled experiment in Quantum Theory demonstrated that observing actually changes the result of an experiment; that  the greater the amount of "watching," the greater the observer's influence on what actually takes place.

Centuries ago Jesus of Nazareth, who certainly faced many situations which would be discouraging,  overcame, uplifted, healed and blessed those he met. His counsel was “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”  (John 14)  

These were not just reassuring words, Jesus demonstrated what he taught or he would have been seen as just another philosopher.  His works of healing, were proofs of his understanding of God as our life.   At the tomb of his dear friend who had passed away, gloom seemed to overwhelm him for just a moment and… He Wept.  But,  death was defeated by  his understanding that gloom and despair are like ground fog, that when we rise up and lift up our head above the fog, we see more clearly where before we were blind to  our surroundings. As we lift up our thought we begin to understand  the eternality of life.  

His Spiritual view changed the material scene, Joy replaced the gloom, his understanding that Life is eternal replaced the shadow of fear and death; his Love, understanding and trust drove out the despair.

A friend of mine, as we discussed spiritual healing once said, “Well, that was Jesus.  We aren’t Jesus”!   Then I shared that Jesus not only healed but taught his disciples to heal and they went two by two out into the country and performed great works of healing and that we too were challenged to heal and uplift. 

The Bible tells of his direction to a group of seventy followers: 
After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.   
Therefore said he unto them….

And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:  And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.”   (Luke 10:)

 Mary Baker Eddy, religious pioneer and founder of the Christian Science movement discovered that as we develop Spiritual sense we can overcome a material sense of life and heal as Jesus and the Disciples did.  She said:
“Spiritual sense is intuition, hope, faith, understanding, fruition.
Material sense is human belief, fear, doubt, despair. “
(From Christian Science Journal Oct 1886) 

Jesus counseled:   “Don’t get lost in despair; believe in God, and keep on believing in Me.    I tell you the truth: whoever believes in Me will be able to do what I have done, but they will do even greater things, because I will return to be with the Father.”  (John 14) 

A poem by Eddy sums up the healing power of God on the human scene and leaving gloom, despair and agony  behind as we rise up into Spiritual sense:

Communion Hymn
Saw ye my Saviour? Heard ye the glad sound?
Felt ye the power of the Word?
’Twas the Truth that made us free,
And was found by you and me
In the life and the love of our Lord.

Mourner, it calls you,—“Come to my bosom
Love wipes your tears all away,
And will lift the shade of gloom,
And for you make radiant room
Midst the glories of one endless day.”

Sinner, it calls you,—“Come to this fountain,
Cleanse the foul senses within;’
Tis the Spirit that makes pure,
That exalts thee, and will cure
All thy sorrow and sickness and sin.”

Strongest deliverer, friend of the friendless,
Life of all being divine:
Thou the Christ, and not the creed;
Thou the Truth in thought and deed;
Thou the water, the bread, and the wine.

God Bless You and Happy New Year!!