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2021 Life GEMs and lessons: Find fresh ways to express and experience “God’s being"
insights from Cobbey Crisler, Ken Cooper & others from the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

for January 17, 2021

GEM#1: [Warren] Find fresh ways to express and experience “God’s being …(of) infinity, freedom, harmony and boundless bliss.” (SH 481:23) “Sing unto God a new song.” (Psalm 96:1, Golden Text) even “…a new song in … praise unto our God.” (Psalm 40:3, Responsive Reading)
When we fully embrace Life’s forever newness as outlined in the Bible Lesson this week, you and I will fully expect fun, fresh ways for God to supply answers to our every need. Examples of Love’s provision are the way that even ravens supplied Elijah’s needs (citation B8, I Kings 17:1-6) and in how Christ Jesus continues to give “living water” to us today as he did to the Samaritan woman at the well (cit. B21, John 4:7-26).

As our lives sing with ever-new manifestations of “infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss,” all their supposed opposites will be naturally ruled out of us, thereby enabling us to overcome: every lie of limitation; every seemingly enslaving habit; every inharmonious thought or unkind word of strife; and every unhappiness arising from disappointed human will.

And, what a relief it is to know that it’s by God’s “amazing grace” and will— not by any of our own efforts, other than that of leaning on God — that we are given lives “big with blessings.” As Mary Baker Eddy has proven and promised: “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings” (cit. S31, vii:1) And nothing could be a bigger blessing daily for us than demonstrations that the newness of Life in God is ALL-inclusive: “Behold, I make all things new!” (Revelation 21:5).

God making all things new, includes a whole new you!
Last week’s January 8, 2021 “Science Friday” program on NPR (National Public Radio) had as the featured guest Dr. David Sinclair, Professor of Genetics and the Biology of Aging at Harvard Medical School. He said “a new theory that is gaining a lot of traction is that the cells seem to forget how to function when they cannot read their original DNA correctly.” Since the mental nature of everything related to the body has been well-proven in Christian Science and in my experience, I always try to see things through the lens of “Divine Science, rising above physical theories, (that) excludes matter, resolves things into thoughts, and replaces the objects of sense with spiritual ideas.” (SH 123:12)

Therefore, the best thing we can do to prevent aging, and even reverse it, is to remember (or give our loving attention to) our original spiritual DNA to read it correctly and thereby to “sweep away the ‘dust bunnies’… to restore a more youthful state.” We mentally sweep away “dust bunnies” every time we understandingly affirm that man was not created materially out of dust (matter) as in the Genesis 2 myth, but was created and is ever newly created by the Spirit of God as the non-stop “image and likeness” of God as in Genesis 1:26 and in the “Scientific Statement of Being” on page 468 of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. It’s interesting that age-reversing experiments were with curing blindness in mice, since in John chapter 9 Jesus healed a man who was born blind by the process of showing contempt for the dust concept of man’s DNA heredity and instructing the man to wash it off.

Here are insights by Cobbey Crisler about that dust connection and the washing it off process, effectively saying that the dust man concept of man’s genesis Does Not Apply (DNA).
Like Jesus, we can show our contempt for the DNA-dust man and wash off every trace of the dust man!
[Warren on] Cobbey Crisler seeing the disciple’s question as a multiple-choice exam for Jesus in John 9:1-7
[Cobbey:] “John 9:2. “who did sin?
(A) This fellow over here? or
(B) his parents?”
John 9:3. Jesus had that paper before him as in the examination room on that point many times before. “He says,
C), none of the above… [Or as Warren proposes as another right multiple-choice test answer (D) DNA (Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid (DNA) (the molecule that supposedly carries encoded genetic instructions) Does Not Apply!)]
[Cobbey continues his (C) answer of:] “None of the above. Neither hath this man sinned or his parents.”

What’s that saying about origin? Where is that man? His roots are not in parents or in some reincarnated experience…”
Notice what he does in John 9:6 and what it may remind you of. “He spat on the ground, made clay of the spittle.” That reminds you of man being made of the dust in the Second Chapter of Genesis Verse 6 and 7, doesn’t it? Would Jesus ever [by spitting show disgust or contempt for or] mock God if he considered that was the real way that creation occurred? Yet, it almost looks like a mockery of that. He’s taking on that concept of the man of dust. He’s spitting on that ground, into the dust, making clay of it, and slapping it on the eyes of the blind man.
John 9:7. The man goes to the pool of Siloam. He can’t see his way there. He’s got mud all over his face. He doesn’t go seeing. “He comes seeing.” He comes only after he has washed off that symbolic making or formation of man out of the dust.
In a way, it might even give us a greater hint on what the true meaning of baptism is, the immersion in Spirit, nativity, and
washing off every trace of the dust man.
“Book of John, A Walk with the Beloved Disciple,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**

Check out a great reenactment of this healing at:

GEM#2: [Warren] “Try the New Let-us Diet for models” to quickly lose “a world” of weight!
Let-us give thought and action to the following divine directives from citation S10, 249:6-9.
[As a memory device, think of this happy call to higher thought and healthy action as our “New, Lettuce Diet for Models” or our “Let-us Plan for Excellence”]:

Let us accept Science, relinquish all theories based on sense-testimony, give up imperfect models and illusive ideals; and so let us have one God, one Mind, and that one perfect, producing His own models of excellence.”

Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no mortal nor material power as able to destroy. Let us rejoice that we are subject to the divine “powers that be.” Such is the true Science of being. Any other theory of Life, or God, is delusive and mythological.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 249:6)

I’ve amplified a foundational text from page 514 of Science and Health to help me deny the delusive myth that a divisive mob or a rampaging virus could ever be in control. This allow me to better understand and affirm the fact that we are only “subject to the divine powers that be” (cit. S10, 249:10-11). I’ve amplified the application of this favorite statement: “Understanding the control which Love held (holds) over all, …” we can feel as safe in uncertain times of transition and unrest as “…Daniel felt safe in the lions’ den” and can prove the virus to be as harmless, as “Paul proved the viper to be harmless.” (expanded application ideas from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 514:26)

Let-us joyously affirm together that God is in charge, not only of our country and leaders but also of the whole world and of its leaders and of every inhabitant. It’s uplifting to really understand and to feel without a doubt that “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” The imbedded link above to the original version shares a “spiritual” (new song) written first during World War II by Obie Philpot, a Native American of the Cherokee tribe. It speaks of God as our creator and protector. You might also enjoy an ever-new, soulful, add-on version of improvisation I found inspiring at )

Speaking of newness as it applies to the supreme wisdom that we ought to visualize being expressed by every inhabitants of the world, Mary Baker Eddy says: “The Revelator tells us of “a new heaven and a new earth.” Have you ever pictured this heaven and earth, inhabited by beings under the control of supreme wisdom?” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 91:1)
To remain faithful to a solemn oath to keep our “New Let-us Diet for models,” let-us “picture” all inhabitants of our “new earth” as “under the control of supreme wisdom.” (SH 91) This spiritual view of God’s creation should surely include picturing every individual serving in our judicial, legislative and executive branches of government as “under the control of supreme wisdom” (SH 91) and as subject only “to the divine powers that be” (SH 249:9). As the Bible declares: “…the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.” (Isaiah 33:22)

GEM#3: Like Jesus, stick with the only real power, the power of the Spirit!
When Jesus had finished 40 days of “sheltering in place” in the wilderness, he “returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee… and… their synagogues (churches) and laid his hands on everyone
(at least symbolically) and healed them.” (Luke 4:14…, B11) Let us, like Jesus, as we come out of our wilderness, waiting experiences, stick with the only real power, the power of the Spirit!
Cobbey Crisler on Luke 4:14, 40 (B11)

“Luke indicates that he understands that this [Jesus’ period of temptations in the wilderness has been a power test for Jesus. In Verse 14 he uses that word, "Jesus returned" not in any form of power that Satan had tried to impose upon him [“to take personal power, political power, and priestly power”]. But rather, "in the power of the Spirit into Galilee"— [“in the law that relates man directly to God, the source of the only power there is.]

“In Luke 4, Verse 40 as healing increases, we find that many healings occur, especially around the Sea of Galilee. Is it any more difficult for Jesus to heal collectively than it is individually? It doesn’t seem to take much more time, does it?

Who does Jesus say is responsible for the healing? If God is responsible for the healing, does He love all His creation as instantly as he loves each individual part of His creation? Can that love reach collectively? Is it present collectively? If that's the basis for Jesus healing, then we see that healing a multitude was just as normal and natural as breathing, and as healing an individual.

What is the atmosphere there? If the Holy Ghost is there, then we all can breathe that same air simultaneously.

The healings were apparently permanent. There was no standing in line. Jesus didn't say, "All right, all the ears, eye, nose, and throat people over here." He didn't deal with them as a specialist would deal with them. He dealt with them as a general practitioner, as if he could be consulted and he could join with others in prayer and to be at-one with God, whether it was one individual or hundreds or thousands. Remember, he fed thousands from that same point of view.”
“Book of Luke: Luke the Researcher,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**

GEM#4: For dominion, treat fear, not the flesh! Cobbey Crisler on Ps. 56:4 (citation B15)

“Speaking of fear, look at Psalm 56, Verse 4, “I will not fear what?” “What flesh can do unto me.” So, flesh isn’t the problem. But guess what is? Fear. It’s fearing what flesh can do unto me. Flesh is not the patient, then. One of the most radical discoveries in Biblical therapy: we’ve been treating the wrong patient. That’s not the problem in Biblical thought. [It] wants to be absent from the flesh, not even weigh it in, factor it in to Biblical healing. The flesh has naught to say, but completely submits to what the mental state dictates. That’s dominion.”
“Leaves of the Tree: Prescriptions from Psalms,”
by B. Cobbey Crisler**

GEM#5: Like Jesus take time out to pray for yourself!
Cobbey Crisler on John 17.1-3

“In Chapter 17 of John's gospel, Jesus is praying audibly. If we've ever wanted to be present when Jesus is praying, this is a very moving prayer indeed. It's divided into three sections. To whom does the prayer, represented in the first five verses, refer? Himself. It's a prayer for himself. Jesus did take time out for himself. This is just before Gethsemane. So you know what's in his thoughts.

John 17:1. It's in this prayer he says, "These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee."

John 17:2, "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him."

John 17:3, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

[BONUS, from Cobbey:] “Then John 17:20 begins the third section of the prayer. For whom? For us. That is, if we believe. "Those which shall believe on me through the disciples 'word."

Can you possibly envision the kind of character required to spend the very evening of Gethsemane praying for us? Is there a shepherd motive? Its ultimate is being exemplified there. "Those that believe on me through their word."

Has that prayer terminated? Has any communication between God and man, ascending or descending angels, terminated? Does that prayer still rest on the Son of Man, on you and me?

John 17:21. The prayer is, "that they all may be one." Look around and see what the major target is. To keep "all men from being one." If one can keep man from being at-one, then you're stuck with a divided God as well. It wrecks and ruins basic theology, that is, for the ones participating. No fragmentation, no separation. Jesus' prayer, as one of the hymns says, "For all his brethren, Father, that we may be one." That prayer extends way down to our age. If that were Jesus' prayer, it better be ours, especially if we claim to be his followers. The prayer "that we all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me." There's the standard of measurement. With that, Jesus ends his audible prayer.

“Book of John, A Walk with the Beloved Disciple,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**

GEM#6: Have a spiritual sense mind-set that works like Christ Jesus' invisibility-cloak! Find it natural to be divine! Cobbey Crisler on Colossians 3:2, 3 (B18), 4
(Colossians 3:2) Have you heard the modern expression mind-set? Verse 2 is almost that literally in Greek. “That our mind-set must be on things above.” Can we have an inner spiritual sense entertained that provides the divine reason for our being, even when we’re living on the earth at a human level if we “set our mind on things above, not on things of the earth”?

(Verse 3, citation B17) “For ye are dead.” That’s exactly what the body is. If we are to be absent from the body, the body itself is now dead to our thought and our thought no longer responds to it. No longer worships it. The Greek word means to be away from something, to be separated from. “And your life,” we haven’t lost anything then. “Our life is,” or literally, “has been hidden with Christ in God.” (Hymn 370)

(Verse 4,) “When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear,” what about us? “We also will appear.”

“We are joint heirs with Christ,” Paul says [in Romans 8:17], inheritors of the divine being. We are sharers, “partakers of the divine nature.” “We will appear with him,” How? “In glory.” In imperishable radiance. That’s not an abstraction. It is supersensible, but it’s concrete being. It’s a sharing of the glorious liberty of the children who find it natural to be divine.”
“Glory: Divine Nature in the Bible, by B. Cobbey Crisler**

[W continued:] Colossians 3:8-11 (J.B. Phillips New Testament)

“But now, put all these things behind you. No more evil temper or furious rage: no more evil thoughts or words about others, no more evil thoughts or words about God, and no more filthy conversation. Don’t tell each other lies any more, for you have finished with the old man and all he did and have begun life as the new man, who is out to learn what he ought to be, according to the plan of God. In this new man of God’s design there is no distinction between Greek and Hebrew, Jew or Gentile, foreigner or savage, slave or free man. Christ is all that matters for Christ lives in them all.

[W.] Mary Baker Eddy refers to bringing “to light the true reflection of God—the real man, or new man, as St. Paul has it” (cit. S22, 300:9) Citation S25 also refers to the new man theme of this lesson and of St. Paul when she writes: “We cannot build safely on false foundations. Truth makes a new creature, in whom old things pass away and “all things are become new.” (cit. S25, 201:7–9)

GEM#7: Learn to yearn with all your heart for right thinking and acting! Hungry? bring out the spiritual importance of Christ Jesus' promise, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness." (citation B20, Matthew 5:6) Part 5 of 9 of the Beatitudes audio series.

This podcast by Bible scholar, Barry Huff (our son) and former Christian Science lecturer Susie (Rynerson) Jostyn is one of a nine-part, (TMCYouth) audio series on the spiritual basis of the Beatitudes. You can hear the other eight podcasts at

GEM#8a: Be eager receptivity to Christ’s living water—like the Samaritan woman at the well. Cobbey Crisler on John 4:5+ (cit. B21 & S27, 234:4 “giving living water to the thirsty”)
[Cobbey:] “John 4.6, Jacob’s well is here in Samaria. It’s concealed in a partially completed church.

You cannot see the mountain to which the woman of Samaria was pointing in the story. It has been measured and it's quite clear. Dr. Bull was the one who did the excavations at Telaras. He was the first scholar to announce that he feels he has discovered the Samaritan temple ruins on the top of Mount Gerazim which could be seen in Jesus time from the wellhead.

So, he Jesus, rests. It's about the noon hour…"He opens the conversation with the woman."

John 4:8, "the disciples have gone to the nearby city," which is probably Neapolis. It had been corrupted in Arabic as "Nablus," which you may see in the news because that's a hotbed of Palestinian unrest.

John 4:9, So, the woman of Samaria says, “How come you’re talking to me?"

A woman would naturally say that because she would not expect to be talking to him…

John 4:16. The woman, not comprehending thoroughly, but nevertheless bold enough to continue asking, finally gets the practicality of Jesus' message and says, "That’s a great idea. Give me this living water, and 1 won't take another step. Never will I have to come up with these heavy jugs and fill them with water.''

Remember, there are not too many conversations that are recorded between Jesus and anyone so this one really stands out. …

John 4:17 He says call thy husbands…He’s testing again…

What is he after in this Samaritan woman (and also in) … a Roman centurion…a ruler of the synagogue? …

What is he looking for? Receptivity. That is the universal access. It means we all have the same access if we’d only use it. Whose fault is it if we aren’t using it? It's ours. So, it has nothing to do with status, culture, sex, or whatever. He's not really saying that womanhood is the best way to get to God. Or childhood, or any of those. Wherever we find receptivity it counts.

"So, '' the woman says, hedging a bit, "I don't have a husband."

John 4:18, "Whereupon Jesus said, 'How right you are. As a matter of fact, you've had five husbands, and the one you're living with right now can't exactly be called your husband '" Boy, that has a nice twentieth century ring to it

John 4:19. All the woman can say in response to that is, "Sir, I perceive that you're a prophet.” The woman is really beautiful. Jesus wouldn't spend all this time with her if he didn't see behind all this label and this stereotyped thing. There was a receptivity here that he wasn't running into regularly. He was after that. He was after womanhood as a type to replace this femaleness as a stereotype. He continued to probe in order to do this.

John 4:20. The woman said, "Our fathers worshiped in this mountain.'' Boy, did that have a meaning. She's pointing to the Samaritan temple, and guess who had destroyed it? The Jews. The Maccabean rulers had destroyed the Samaritan temple which was built to resemble the Jerusalem temple. It's occupied territory. It's a little difficult to dig in an area that Jordan still claims but Israel occupies.

It was destroyed by the Jews, so you can see the irony behind what the woman said, "Our fathers worshiped … “It’s past. It's through. The Greek word that is used there is well in the past, "all wiped out." We worshiped in this mountain, but the implication, guess who stopped us, or ruined the temple? Your fathers. We have a divisive thing. We, the Samaritans, worshiped here. You, the Jews, destroyed it. That's the same thing that's going on today in the same location.

John 4:21, "Jesus said, Woman.” this is his general address to womanhood, "Believe me. the hour cometh, " still somewhat ahead, "when you won’t worry about geography in worshiping God. ··

John 4:23, ''The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. “Look at the definition of worship. “Worship is spiritual," not structural, not geographical, not ritualistic. Why? Because worship of God can only properly be done by partaking of God's own nature.

John 4:24 tells us that "God is Spirit. Therefore, worshiping Spirit can only be done spiritually." There's no other way to do it. How basic. By the way, when you see "a Spirit" in there. It shouldn’t be there.

Listen to what God says about it. Notice the strong tenor of his words. To translate "God is a Spirit" is the most gross perversion of the meaning. "A Spirit" implies one of a class of "pneumata," the Greek word for it. There is no trace, in the fourth gospel, of the vulgar conception of a multitude of spirits. “God is Spirit.” Mathematically one can only derive from Spirit included in it. Namely, spirituality is the derivation. Worship must be that.

Notice what is done as this woman's thought. Women weren't supposed to discuss the Scriptures. There was a first century rabbi, Eleazar, who said, "To teach a woman Scripture was like teaching her lasciviousness." That's some extreme. That was the kind of thought that was at some rabbinical extremes in the first century, not necessarily the general Jewish view, but Eleazar is considered quite a great rabbi.

Jesus is discussing intellectual problems of Scripture with a woman. This is unheard of!

John 4:25 "That woman suddenly comes to him and says, I know That Messiah is coming.” How about that for recognition! “I know that the Messiah is coming which is called Christ.” … he will tell us all … he said, “I that speak unto thee am he"

John 4:27, '"When the disciples come back, their only problem is that he's talking with the woman. "

John 4:28, "The woman leaves her water pot. "That's what she'd come for, but she went away with living water. "She ran into the city"

John 4:29, "She said to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did. It’s got to be the Messiah. "

John 4:30, "The men came out," reluctantly, because they didn't want to look like they were coming out because a woman suggested it.

Do you remember when the women disciples told the men disciples that Jesus was risen? The men thought they were idle tales!

John 4:31, "In the meantime his disciples asked Jesus to eat the groceries they had bought.”

In John 4:34, "Jesus announces his meat is to do God’s will." Remember that. That is what his food is, literally, in Greek. So, when he breaks bread and distributes it to his disciples later, you know what his definition of food is. It "is to do God's will." That's the nourishment. "And to finish his work."

“John, The Beloved Disciple,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**

GEM#8b: Hear on YouTube two, custom Ken Cooper poems related to this week’s Bible Lesson. They are called “The Fall of Jericho” and “The Woman of Samaria”.

[Ken wrote:] “Life is not concerned with the past or the future, for all that exists is in the I AM THAT I AM of now. It is matter, a false belief, that ages, has problems, histories, fears. The living waters of the Christ wash away the earth of materiality, revealing our present oneness with the Father-Mother, giving infinite blessings. No wonder we can and necessarily sing with joy! The spirituality of our life in God’s kingdom of heaven takes away the strife of riot, disease, comparison, for they have no place. God is our Life, present perfection, our source and constant flow. There is no other life. We are right now inseparable from His infinity, the song and joy of Soul. I proved this many years ago when I succumbed to the epidemic of mumps that affected the city where I worked. I was healed when I got out of bed and sang all of Mary Baker Eddy’s hymns. (Journal article: "The Fall of Jericho") (Poem “The Fall of Jericho”)

The poem “The Woman of Samaria” tells of the transformation of a Gentile woman with a sinful background. She was responsive to the unconditional love of Jesus. Although Jesus noted her material lifestyle, he saw no reality in it. There was no recrimination, “I am better than thou”, just the recognition that as God is Spirit so we all are spiritual. In the oneness of God and man, it is Spirit / Life itself that does the reflecting, Life is the cause, man the result. Man does not decide to reflect, he is the reflection of Life. This is the revelation of the Christ, the living breath and water of all life, – a living vibrant water that flows for ever as man. We sing the joy of Life, of Soul, His Word magnified.

The poem ends: “The living water just o’erflows, In Christ the flood of Life just glows.” In other words, the abundance of Life and Love glow as man. As Isaiah says “Arise, shine, for the glory (abundant blessing) of the Lord is risen (reflected) upon thee”. This present reality is “life for evermore”.

The related PDFs of Ken’s Lesson-customized offerings are attached to CedarS online version as upper right Downloads. **

GEM#9: Call upon the Lord! It will never be in vain! CedarS campers, staff and families love it when what we call “The Rock Song” is in the Bible Lesson because it reminds us of a favorite CedarS camp song by that name. Part of this song is found in Psalm 18:46 (citation B24) of this week’s Bible Lesson. If you want to see a video with the traditional CedarS motions along with the audio, below is a link to Stephen Hanlin, a CedarS counselor and a CedarS 365 Hymn Sing leader, doing the motions while singing “the Rock Song” (in a round) as found in Psalms 18:46. Here’s the link:

“The Rock Song” was also selected by former CedarS counselor, Erin Williams, for “CedarS Round-the-Clock” Trilogy of CDs that she put together as a campership benefit project for CedarS 50th anniversary summer of 2011. Erin sang and played the prelude and opening hymn for CedarS June 7, 2020 Zoom Hymn Sing. You can hear Erin leading this call-and-response song by clicking on: (You can skip the ad.)

** Bible Talks by Cobbey Crisler:

Both audio recordings and transcripts of Cobbey Crisler’s popular Bible talks are now available from the Crisler Library at Oxford. You can contact the library at or contact Janet Crisler directly at

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