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Eight GEMs that shine light on the Immortal You!
Insights from Cobbey Crisler, Ken Cooper & others for The Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Mortals and Immortals"
for November 9-15, 2020

by Warren Huff, CedarS Executive Director
warren@cedarscamps.org 314-378-2574


GEM#1: "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (II Timothy 1:7, Responsive Reading)

Even though scholars agree that this was not really written by Paul, this pseudo-Pauline epistle does cast light on issues of today, even on the strengthening of mental health with a promise of everyone’s God-given “sound mind” (as the King James version puts it).

“Mothers Evening Prayer”— Mary Baker Eddy’s poem and Christian Science Hymn 207-212, contains a parallel and amplified treatment for the “spirit of fear” that is attacking mental health today as in Jesus’ day. The elements of God’s forever, "gentle presence" include “peace, and joy, and power.” These have a parallel relationship with this Bible verse. They enable us to tackle “daily difficulties” without “a spirit of fear”— but rather with a spirit “of power and of love and of a sound mind.” These go hand in hand with the "gentle presence" of our Father, Mother God, who Jesus called “Daddy” (or Abba in his native tongue).


GEM#2: Apply God promise of being upheld to all who serve to the delight of God’s soul!
“Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.” (Isaiah 42:1)

Cobbey Crisler on Isa. 42:1, 6 (Responsive Reading, RR), 7
“Chapter 42:1 is a prophesy of a servant who should come, the “elect of God” who would have “the Spirit of God upon him.” [W: In Verse 6 (in this week’s RR) there’s a shift from God calling this elect servant in the third person, to God calling YOU and holding your hand, and keeping YOU, to give YOU “for a covenant of the people, for a light to the Gentiles.” You will notice in Verse 7 – and in Isaiah 61:1 – what the assignment of this servant (YOU) would be, “To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, [and] them that sit in darkness out of the prison house (W: or out of a lockdown, shelter-in-place or quarantine).”

[Cobbey again:] “Isn’t it interesting that the prophet Isaiah foresees this prophesied individual in the terms of “a servant” when the Greek word most often in the New Testament for healing has the classical Greek meaning of “to serve.” You remember how Jesus defined his ministry in those terms, “I came not to be ministered unto but to minister” [Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45]. Healing is serving by definition in Greek. Serving whom? God and man.”
­“Heal the Sick”: A Scriptural Record,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**

[Warren:] These prophesies in Isaiah foretell the coming of Christ as God’s healing servant. But the verse in our Bible lesson also promises that YOU are the called this called and healing servant who will be upheld. That is a promise of protection that you can specifically affirm in your prayer walks and watches— not only for yourself, but also for all our brave workers in health care, law enforcement, food supply, election polling, and other essential lines of service. All the dear ones who seek to restore freedom and harmony to our communities, to our country, and to our whole world have been clad in Love’s complete protection as they (you, we) have “pictured this heaven and earth, inhabited by beings under the control of supreme wisdom” (SH 91:2).

Florence Nightingale, a famous wartime nurse in the Crimean war, was cited by Mary Baker Eddy as a great example of the endurance and immunity in the moment that God gives to all who provide care for and serve others. She wrote: “…Florence Nightingale and other philanthropists engaged in humane laborers have been able to undergo without sinking fatigues and exposures which ordinary people could not endure. The explanation lies in the support which they derive from the divine law, rising above the human. The spiritual demand, quelling the material, supplies energy and endurance surpassing all other aids, and forestalls the penalty which our beliefs would attach to our best deeds… Constant toil, deprivations, exposures, and all untoward conditions, if without sin, can be experienced without suffering. Whatever it is your duty to do, you can do without harm to yourself.” (Science and Health, p. 385:2)

[W:] MANY wonderful resources are being shared daily with great healing content for our Global Prayer Watch for World Health 2020. Check out on JSH-online an excellent Journal podcast by Janet Horton, a retired US Army Chaplain. It gives context to the above passage by sharing a brief biography of Florence Nightingale and her tireless labors for the soldiers during the Crimean War. She also shares an example of the pulling together and protection that she and others in the Pentagon demonstrated when it was struck by the high-jacked aircraft on 9/11.

[W:] As I was praying to see as divinely protected all the world’s front-line, health care providers, including all dear Christian Science nurses—and all patients as well, I continued to read page 395 in the chapter, “Christian Science Practice.” I found especially helpful the paragraph with the marginal heading of “Mental Quackery.” There it says: “It is mental quackery to make disease a reality—to hold it (the coronavirus) as something to be seen and felt—and then to attempt its cure through Mind…. Mental practice, which holds disease as a reality, fastens disease on the patient and it may appear in a more alarming form.” (SH 395:21)


GEM#3: Grow Priceless “*Pearls*” from Grit! Turn Trash into Beautiful Treasures of Truth and Love!
CedarS 2020 Theme partially in citation 5 in Science & Health, by Mary Baker Eddy, page 265:3-15:

"Man understands spiritual existence in proportion as his treasures of Truth and Love are enlarged. Mortals must gravitate Godward, their affections and aims grow spiritual, they must near the broader interpretations of being, and gain some proper sense of the infinite, in order that sin and mortality may be put off. This scientific sense of being, forsaking matter for Spirit, by no means suggest man's absorption into Deity and the loss of his identity, but confers upon man enlarged individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive love, a higher and more permanent peace."

We invite you to join us in "gravitat[ing] Godward." A CedarS-like camp setting, whether actual or virtual, is the perfect place to discover and enlarge your treasures of Truth. Every "met" (inspirational sharing before activities), every breakfast Christian Science practitioner talk, every Bible Lesson study, every Hymn Sing, every Sunday School class, and testimony meeting offers campers nuggets of Truth to make their own. And each activity offers opportunities to apply these Truths and prove their value – to really turn them into treasures for life!

The list in this passage is such a beautiful promise of the blessings realized through spiritual growth:
-Enlarged individuality
-A wider sphere of thought and action
-A more expansive love
-A higher and more permanent peace

We see this list as so contemporary, as so on-target, and as so timeless. This is as exactly what today's youth needs – and exactly what today's world needs.

*Pearls* are wonderful examples of the “treasures of Truth” and how they grow. A pearl grows in an oyster only because an irritant has entered its shell and the oyster responds by secreting on it layer after layer of an irritantsoother (the way that spiritual sense and love heal whatever irritates us and others). Let’s take that as a challenge to be like the oyster and turn everything that looks negative and ugly into a string of beautiful pearls by applying layer upon layer of love and spiritual sense to grow our treasures of Truth and Love!

Enlarging your treasures of Truth and Love will soon cancel the debt and make you “debt-free”— now that’s a higher view of what’s being called “cancel culture!” St. Paul simply describes this higher view of ultimate “debt-forgiveness program” of Love that freed him—as it will free you. It is to: “Owe no man anything, but to love one another” (Romans 13:8). Saul voiced this as one who “owed” Christ and all Christians BIG-time by being known as their most enthusiastic enemy and persecutor. Saul made up for it as Paul by becoming Christianity’s most advent advocate and most eloquent missionary after he was converted by a “virtual” meeting with Jesus. (So, don’t underestimate the power of virtual camp sessions, hymn sings or church services when the Christ is welcomed in!)

If you visit Saul’s road to Damascus in CedarS Bible Lands Park, you will be reminded to be like Ananias of the Damascus Christians. Like Ananias, you will be asked to stop “owing” any former enemy or persecutors and to stop “bearing false witness against” any and all Saul characters in your life—and instead to see them as if they’ve been on their “road to Damascus” and changed for good by the Christ. In the words of a young Sunday School student “Forgive us our “trash-passes” as we forgive those who “trash-pass” to us.” Had Ananias held Saul in the position that he’d outgrown after his “virtual encounter” with the Christ – if he had NOT obeyed God’s command to forgive Saul’s trash-passing and to restore his sight, the born-again Paul would not have become the most productive, treasure-passer of Christianity that the world has known. “Those unpretentious, yet colossal characters, Paul and Jesus” both did all they could to pass along the rich treasures of their resilient spiritual sense of oneness with God. May we each do the same with all the treasures of Truth that spiritual sense constantly gives us!


GEM#4: Let down your net for” a video and an abundant “draught” of Free Bible Images to bring Bible stories more to life for yourself and for those you love! Luke 5:4 (citation B5)
For example, click here to see a short video that sets in context the story about how Peter and his fishing partners become Jesus’ first disciples. It is from Luke 5:1-10 (citation B5) in this week’s Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson. Or, to view it you can also paste this URL address into your web browser: https://vimeo.com/160924345

Images await you sorted by character, by book & verse, theme & story — including 120 images just for Peter. For yourself, your family members or Sunday School students, you may want to explore or videos with downloadable text based on the Bible that this http://www.FreeBibleImages.org website freely shares along with Bible-based text called a “Story Planner” to go along with the pictures. Pictures range from more cartoonish to more realistic, depending on your “Target audience.”


GEM#5: Like Jesus & Peter, be eager to test your relationship to God’s infinitude that knows no limits.
Cobbey Crisler comments on Jesus and Peter walking on water…
(Matt 14:24-33, cit. B7)
… right after the famous loaves-and-fishes incident in which everyone is fed,” we
have the walking-on-the-sea incident.

(Verse 27). The disciples, not knowing how to cope with that, get told what the palsied man had been told (in Matthew 9:2) “Be of good cheer.” You’ll notice that Jesus says this at times when apparently he senses the great need of encouragement and the defeat of fear in thought. “It is I,” he said, "be not afraid."

[W: For a slide show illustration of Jesus and Peter walking on water check-out https://www.freebibleimages.org/illustrations/ed-peter-water/ Or, Download their Story Planner PDF and/or PowerPoint from the upper right of CedarS GEMs webpage.]

(Verse 28). Peter who (as usual) wants part of the action says, "That looks like fun, how about my coming out there and joining you?" Peter, not quite appreciating the consequences of his acts—fortunately for awhile—actually does it! He becomes the second one to walk on water.

(Verse 30). But then he begins to look where he is. "How did I get here?"

(Verse 31). At that point Jesus supports not only his own weight but also the weight of Peter in overcoming gravity, proving it is not a law of limitation for man. Man has dominion over gravity as well.

(Verse 32). Not only over gravity, but you will find that "the minute he gets into the boat, the wind ceases." In other gospel accounts (e.g., John 6:21), "immediately the boat is at the land." (They must have gone through the sound barrier and nobody was wearing helmets.)

So, even the so-called barriers to man's being where he needs to be, from a standpoint of transportation, communication, etc., were proven to be no barriers at all in the hands of one who comprehended with his eye single. His relationship to God had, within his infinitude, no such limitations.

(Verse 35). When he lands on the other side, "many come to be healed."

(Verse 36), "Many touch the hem of his garment." Apparently the word had gotten around about that woman (in Matthew 9:20 and Mark 5:25) from recent Bible Lessons) who had done that, "and many were made perfectly whole." Think of how many unrecorded healings occurred, or at least healings that we have yet to discover a written record about.”
“Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master, A Tax-Collector’s Report,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**

BONUS LINK to "RADICAL STEPS"a Poem by Richard Howard from the May 8, 1976 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel about Peter's Walking On Water (W.O.W!)
as recorded in Matthew 14:23-32, citation B7.

(See Verses 1 & 3 quoted below and the whole inspiring message at: https://sentinel.christianscience.com/issues/1976/5/78-19/radical-steps


"RADICAL STEPS"

Matthew 14:23-32

By Richard Howard

From the May 8, 1976 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

"You can call him what you like—
impetuous, brash, outspoken—
but once he recognized the Christ
and heard that command,
he did what the others didn't—
he stepped out onto the water and walked!
He didn't wonder, he didn't worry, he didn't wait—
he didn't even look to see if the others were behind him—
he just climbed out and walked.

(See verse 2 at https://sentinel.christianscience.com/issues/1976/5/78-19/radical-steps )

"And now, sailor, what about us?
When the going gets rough,
and the waves pile up,
and the wind is contrary,
and the command is "Come!" which shall we do—
remain troubled and huddled and crying out,
or take those radical steps?"

Richard Howard


GEM#6: Enjoy on YouTube Ken Cooper’s insights on events shared in this week’s Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson. To help make these familiar stories easier to visualize and relate to, Ken freely offers a custom poem called “Peter’s Faith and two monologues called Thou art the Christ,” and Tabitha.
[Ken writes:] “How beautifully this lesson unfolds the story of Peter’s awareness and proof of the Christ. When Paul wrote “Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come”, he may well have envisaged Peter’s journey as well as his own. The joy of immortality is the complete freedom from all the false claims of matter, including material history, while living wholeheartedly in Love’s atmosphere of Soul. Mortal mind believes its own lies, but cannot touch the spiritual. Faced with infinite Mind, mortality disappears, as it does faced with each of the synonyms of God. Life / Truth / Love announce the all-embracing vitality of God and the absolute nothingness of what God is not.

Jesus came to prove the Christ, and commanded us to do so as well. The story of Peter shows how his receptivity won through. He was asked to follow Jesus, and how it transformed his life, and the lives of those around him! In this week’s lesson, in the midst of a threatening storm, Peter saw the possibility of doing as Jesus, and walking on the water. Jesus said with Christly authority, “Come”, and Peter did, taking the first step onto the water, and then the second. Without the first step the fulfilment of dominion is not possible. That first step is in the very presence of the Christ, for the Christ-presence is always at hand, taking care of our every step. The last two lines of the poem “Peter’s Faith give this confidence “For I will remember, undoubtedly, When I saw the Christ, I walked on the sea”. When we are called to walk on the sea, tread on the belief of matter and material evolution, we prove our absolute dominion with Christ. The invitation to “Come” is always present, and the joy of dominion ever provable.

It was after this that Peter was again first to respond to Jesus’ question as to who they thought Jesus was. Peter said: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”. This declaration of understanding was blessed by Jesus, “Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”. We have the assurance right now that the Christ is always with us, and this is the key message in the monologue link given, that when we walk with Christ we are empowered. Simon was just an ordinary fisherman, but, renewed, became Peter, kept taking the first step, – sometimes in the wrong direction!, – but his inherent desire to do the right thing blessed him. Because he was empowered by Life, Truth and Love he fulfilled his mission.

Peter not only stated what the Christ was, he proved it. How far this fisherman had now travelled! Whatever his doubts, his denials, he was always nurtured by his love of Jesus, a carpenter! He responded to the call of Christ, “Feed my sheep”. He was clearly “joined to Christ”, and did what Jesus asked. In the monologue “Tabitha” read by Sue, we experience the impact of Peter’s love on one of Tabitha’s best friends. When Peter said “Tabitha, arise” we could insert our own name, and get up from the old dream of life in matter, to the realization of our ever-new life in Spirit, God.

When Jesus said “Come”, Peter had to drop all mortal reasoning, and replace it with his new faith in Christ. The Christ-power is with us all. Our first step too is to forsake matter and mortality. They are not of God. We are. With Christ we walk on the sea! The word “first” predicates “second”, the expectancy of progress. Thank you Peter for showing us how, for being first.”

PDF copies of the monologue, "Tabitha"— in color and B&W—are available on the top right of this week's ONLINE metaphysical article for CedarS Camps


GEM#7: Prove nothing’s impossible when you totally deny every lie & affirm every truth of the case.
Cobbey Crisler on the same case of epilepsy
that’s healed in Matthew 17:14-21, citation B10 (as described originally in Mark 9:17-29 where Jesus addresses the parent’s thought first):
“We have healings throughout Mark which require your study. We have an epileptic child healed in the next few verses, 17 through 29.

Verse 21. Jesus recognizes that the first patient is the father and his thinking. [“and he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.”… ]
Verse 23. He turns and deals with the father, his parental thought. [“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe: help thou mine unbelief.”]
Verse 25-27. Jesus then deals with the young man.
Verse 29 says, “This kind of healing.” Because the disciples had failed, this healing required two things, “prayer and fasting.” You can say this in another way using two other words: “No” and “Yes” [as Mary Baker Eddy titled one of her works on scientific, mental healing.] Fasting is what we say “no” to and prayer is what we’re affirming. Once again, we see that we are given the rules of healing.”
“What Mark Recorded” by B. Cobbey Crisler**


GEM#8: Follow the Master’s method, like Peter did, to clear out funereal thought & raise the dead!
Cobbey Crisler on Acts 9:36-42 (cit. B12) & how Peter raised Tabitha who all others believed had died:

[As a prequel to the raising of Tabitha, nearby] “at Lydda, Peter heals a man named Aeneas who for eight years has been paralyzed, unable to move. It didn’t take long for the news to get around that this kind of healing work was being accomplished by the early Christians [and for Tabitha’s friends to send for Peter].

“In a neighboring “town of Joppa we find a woman named Tabitha. … She had had an exemplary life, had done much good for many.” (See Acts 9:36) …

Acts 9:39 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.

“Do you recall back in the narratives of the gospel where a similar situation occurred, and Peter was there? (Mark 5:22, 36-42, Matt. 9:24, 25) It was the raising of Jairus’ daughter… Do you remember when Jesus came into that environment that you could almost cut it into square blocks of moisture, the grief was so thick? There were paid mourners at that point. As a matter of fact, we are told that even the poorest individual was entitled to at least three instruments at the funeral service. You can imagine Jairus, being a ruler of the Synagogue, the extent of noise, and activity, and mourning that must have occurred at the passing of Jairus’ daughter.” [Clearly Peter remembered what Jesus did and followed the Master’s method—starting by clearing out the funereal thought of the mourners.]

Acts 9:40 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.

Acts 9:41 And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.

Acts 9:42 And it was known throughout all Joppa;
“After the Master, What? – The Book of Acts,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**

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