Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Today's animal photo reminded me of how easily we can be deceived by the material senses. This little dog seems convinced that there is a real treat hiding in that picture!!

Of course, the Bible is full of examples of how people throughout history have been fooled by the material senses. From Abraham to Moses and from Elijah to Jesus of Nazareth, the material senses have been proven to be "deceivers".

Seeing through the deception of the material senses, Moses led his people to safety through the Red Sea, Jesus of Nazareth made water into wine, gave back sight to the blind, and he and his disciples healed many other people who suffered the illusion of disease and death.

This hymn reassures us that even though the material senses still try to deceive and fool us, God is ever present and ready to deliver us from our worst fears.

In atmosphere of Love divine,
We live, and move, and breathe;
Though mortal eyes may see it not,
’Tis sense that would deceive.

The mortal sense we must destroy,
If we would bring to light
The wonders of eternal Mind,
Where sense is lost in sight.

For God, immortal Principle,
Is with us everywhere;
He holds us perfect in His love,
And we His image bear. **

Better give up believing the deceiving illusion, Doggie. Go for the Alpo!!!

** Christian Science Hymnal #145

Monday, October 2, 2017

Mr. Peanut and the Closet

It's funny how things suddenly come to mind, out of the blue, mostly in my case, glimpses of the past.   Many times we are suddenly reminded of childhood experiences, workplace situations or memories of wonderful family memories.   It seems we are somehow able to put mainly hurtful, painful experiences behind us  and recall fondly the good times.

Last week it was my Mr. Peanut memory that came to thought.. 

There were, in the 1940s, exciting daytime radio shows for younger people.  Captain Midnight,  Superman. Roy Rogers and others were broadcast in the afternoon hours after we returned home from school.  We were glued to the radio in the living room, awaiting each new episode and of course we were always tempted by the trinkets and gifts promised by the sponsors, all crafted to entice young listeners.  Young kids are great targets for advertisers!!!

 As I recall it was from one of these programs that I ordered this special gift, a genuine “glow in the dark” replica of Mr. Peanut, the advertising symbol of Planters Peanuts.   

Oh the way they described it…  Colorful, Authentic…  Unbreakable they said; it glows in the dark, they promised!!  Be the first in your neighborhood to have this wonderful Mr. Peanut, they suggested.  Impress your friends, they touted!

I waited eagerly for this trinket to arrive, watching hopefully for the mail carrier to come down the street; maybe TODAY would be the day it arrived.

And eventually the day came!!! 

And, true to my expectations,   Mr. Peanut gave me much joy.  I was consumed with wonder about how he could possibly glow in the dark.  Science hadn’t made that much progress back when I was small and “glow in the dark” was a strange concept!!   In order to see the little guy glow, I would go into the tiny closet under the stairway in our small house, close the door  and spend long periods standing in the dark just looking at the glowing figurine.  

I soon discovered that my mother was a little worried about a son that would go into the closet for long periods of time just to look at a plastic peanut.  I took quite a teasing from my family, even from  my dear Mother, about being Closet Peanut Man, and hiding in the dark. , I guess that concern was understandable!!

As I look back on that time I can see how childlike innocence made the whole world a fantastic and interesting place.   Maybe it was because I learned that in that dark closet I was able to shut out the outside  world, drop all distractions and let my mind listen, dream and permit my imagination to soar, see things I couldn't see outside. When I was not in the closet,  Mr. Peanut just looked like another piece of white plastic.

As an adult I can now see that being in the closet helped me close off the distractions of the “outside world”.  There was no light, nothing to pull my thought away.  I could totally concentrate on “my little glowing man” and marvel how it could glow in the dark.

Imagine my surprise years later when I was introduced to Christian Science as a way of living, and began to study the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, and  found out that centuries ago Jesus of Nazareth even RECOMMENDED going into the closet!!!   (Take that all of you teasers who made fun of me for being a little weird!!!)

Apparently Jesus knew that the “outside world” can be a noisy, hectic place.  There are wars, rumors of wars, jealously, hatred, selfishness, cruelty.  On his daily walks he encountered those who were blind, deaf, suffering from illness, crippling disabilities, hunger and sin and disease. 

He, himself,  was not wealthy in worldly terms and traveled the area on foot.  BUT, he was rich in wisdom and understanding.   He knew the power of quiet communion with God, the Divine Mind,  that guided and uplifted him.  

He knew how to pray and that being closeted in a quiet environment helps us to listen more closely to God’s direction. 

He said:  “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Matthew 6:6

He knew that even if the storm may roar and the problems of the world seemed overwhelming, peace and joy can be achieved through quiet  communication with God in the “closet” of thought.

He also promised:   “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

Now we may not always be able to actually be in a real closet like the one in my old house on  Jefferson Avenue when I was a child, but we can enter the quiet “mental closet” of our own thought.   We can be in THAT closet anywhere…  in the car in traffic, in the midst a crowd, at the office, at school,  really anyplace where we can shut out the noise of materiality and listen for a moment. 

In the Holy Bible, that treasure trove of “Life Instruction”, we find that even thousands of years ago God was leading our ancestors into quiet closets to pray.   In the Book of Psalms we find wonderful reassurance:  

1. He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

2. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

3. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. Psalms 91:1-3

I love to think of that “Secret Place’ referenced above  as the closet of my thought!!!   And the “refuge” in the next verses as the “closet of refuge.”

1.  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2.  Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 
10. Be still, and know that I am God:  Psalms 46

To me, these verses are saying:  Be Still… Be in the Closet.   Listen in the Silence.  We may not have a Mr. Peanut in there with us but we will definitely feel a glow from God’s presence.  We need only enter, listen and make sure the door stays closed.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science counsels in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:  

  “Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously.”    SH 392:24

Because the closet is our thought, we can exercise our authority,  shut the door and block out unwanted entrance.  We can keep  erroneous thoughts out of  closet by standing “porter”, or guard , at the door. 

Today, as the news media goes about their business of broadcasting stories of threats of war, terrorism, murder, political strife, questionable ethics in government, poverty and  man’s seeming inhumanity to fellow man, it is good to keep our thoughts affixed on the Truth of God’s flawless kingdom. 
Is that irresponsible?  Should we be knee deep in the world’s problems and personally dive head first into the muck of human tragedy due to a false sense of responsibility?   Or are we more helpful by praying to see and hear God’s direction and feel His healing presence.  

I love to think of what Jesus did when he faced difficulties.  He went up to the mountain to a place apart… and prayed.  He certainly didn’t shy away from problems but he knew his best help was quiet prayer.

Here is a quick recap of the quotes above from our mentors from centuries back:

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; 
I have overcome the world.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Thanks Mr. Peanut for showing me the importance of discovery in the closet. Your gentle glow has helped me find the rewards of quiet observation and prayer.