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Get rid of 1st Day Jitters!  Your Father-Mother Mind is already there!
Metaphysical Application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Mind”
for August 25, 2013

by Rick Stewart, CS, Dresden, Germany
Tel. +49 351 312 4736
[bracketed inserts by Warren Huff]

 This week’s Bible Lesson is just great for the start of new adventures.  Maybe the start of school, even your very first school year!   Or maybe starting middle school, high school or university.  Or the start of a brand new job.  Or even the start of your Christian Science healing practice!  Whatever your new adventure, this Bible Lesson is the place to discover all the wonderful qualities of Mind that will make sure your new adventure is a success and lots and lots of fun.  And this lesson also teaches us how to get rid of all the doubts and fears that would try to limit us from embracing new adventures.

Every summer at CedarS we are reminded how important it is to start every activity with some thoughts about God.    We call these “mets,” and that simply stands for metaphysical or spiritual preparation.   Before each activity Cedars Campers, Counselors, and Staff take time to give the activity a spiritual foundation, to give thought to God.   For example, every morning after breakfast we always have a short “Prac Talk.”   These are supposed to be short, inspiring, and lots of fun.  Then there is the “Power Half-Hour,” (actually about 30 to 40 minutes)  which is our time together with our cabins when we explore the Bible Lesson.  And then there are short “mets” before each activity.  Each of these times of acknowledging and looking to God for help and inspiration really equips us to get the most out of every activity.  It is also a really, really good way to start every day, whether at camp or at home.

In one of the “Prac Talks” I gave this summer, I was reminded of one of my favorite articles from the Christian Science Journal, ”Presence” by Helen Spangler Moss in the August, 1945 issue.   It includes the story of a little girl who fell from a second story window.  “The mother anxiously called a practitioner and then ran downstairs to care for the little girl. When the mother opened the door, the child smilingly greeted her. Her mother asked if she was all right, and the child replied: "Certainly, Mother. I just said, 'Get under me quick, God,' and He said, 'I am already there.”  (This article is of course available in the Bound Volume, and also on JSH Online, http://journal.christianscience.com/issues/1945/8/63-8/presence )

Where do we look for the Mind we need in school, in life, in our healing practice, or on the new job?  Well, this week’s lesson includes several examples of people who learned exactly what that little girl learned, “I am already there.”  Mind, God is eternally present along with all the qualities of Mind we need.  But first let’s begin with a little assurance, a little encouragement!

Golden Text & B-30:   " . . . God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)
So the keynote of our Lesson is that we do not have to be afraid!  God has given us what we need to overcome our fears and the obstacles that confront us.  Some of the following translations sure back up that assurance of confidence.

(Amplified Bible) “God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. “

(New Living Translation)  “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

Responsive Reading:   Our introduction to the lesson comes from the Book of Job.  Job asks the important question, “Where do you look for Mind?”  Where do you look for the wisdom and understanding that you need?  Is it deep in the sea?  Can you buy it with gold or silver?  God knows.  God is in one Mind.  It does not say that God is in brain, does it?    Job 23:13, 14,  “. . . he is in one mind, and who can turn him?  For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.”  We begin to identify God as Mind, as the source of our wisdom, understanding, performance…

Section 1: God is infinite Mind.
Wow.  Citation B-1 tells us that God’s thoughts toward us are more than can be numbered.  You could say God loves to think about us, or loves to think us!   And citation B-4 tells us, “Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.”  

As Mrs. Eddy puts it: “God is Mind, and God is infinite; hence all is Mind.  On this statement rests the Science of being, and the Principle of this Science is divine, demonstrating harmony and immortality.”    (S-1, 492:25) And, “Immortal man was and is God’s image or idea, even the infinite expression of infinite Mind, and immortal man is coexistent and coeternal with that Mind.” (S-2, 336:9)

So it is not just little you against the world.  It is you and God, you and infinite Mind.  We talked about this concept like a math problem one morning at CedarS.  I asked the campers to give me an answer to this equation, “God + man = _________. “  At first a few said, “2?” Makes sense on one level.  But when we remember Jesus’ words, “I and my Father are one,” we realize the true answer is “One!”  God and man are one.  What a joy it is to remember that we are one, not two.  We are not separate from God, Mind.  The Mind we need to express is one with us at this very moment.  As Mary Baker Eddy puts it, “ As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being. “ (SH 361:16)

I love to remember moments when I felt this oneness.  For example, one morning while I was on a lecture tour I had a plan.  I planned to wake up at 4:30 a.m. and get an early start on the day.  I needed to drive to my next lecture city.  So my plan was to get a very early start.  But I did not wake up early enough.  And by the time I had spent some prayerful time, you could say “did my Met,” it was much later than I had planned.  I left the hotel around 7:30 a.m.  I was feeling really guilty and disappointed with myself.  Then I turned to my oneness with Mind.  As I drove I prayed out loud, “All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation.” I emphatically affirmed this statement from page 468 of Science and Health.  Suddenly I began to glimpse just a little of this oneness with infinite Mind.  I knew that all creation was one with this Mind, and that included me.  All guilt faded away and I rejoiced in this fact of oneness with Mind and Mind’s creation.  And at exactly 8:05 a.m. I saw the most majestic, beautiful deer standing in the morning mist.  His breath was like a little cloud.  He was right next to the road and as I looked at him he looked right at me.  His rack of antlers was huge, about 8 to 10 points.  It was an awe-inspiring moment for me.  And I have always remembered that it was when I let go of my limited sense of personal planning and timing, and yielded to acknowledge a oneness with “Mind and its infinite manifestation.”

Section 2: Moses learns to handle fear with Mind.
I know we often think of Moses as a very powerful man.  After all he opened the Red Sea, set the children of Israel free, and all of this while facing perhaps the largest army on earth at the time.  But it was not easy for him to accept the new job God was giving him.  He had to have a little training in handling fear.  He was an observer.  He spent long hours alone watching sheep and observing nature.  God spoke directly to him and led him to an understanding of the infinite power of Mind over matter.  The snake and the feared disease of leprosy did not faze Moses any more.

Mrs. Eddy clearly explains Moses’ lessons in citation, S-6 (321:8)  “When, led by wisdom to cast down his  rod, he saw it become a serpent, Moses fled before it; but wisdom bade him come back and handle the serpent, and then Moses’ fear departed.”

Did Moses learn a little of difference between Mind and brain?  Now the brain of an experienced shepherd and desert nomad would tell him never to pick up a snake by the tail!  And brain or general common sense would tell him that the most feared disease of the day, leprosy, was not something that immediately appeared and disappeared.  But the Mind that is God taught him the true facts.

Section 3: Moses’ scary homework assignment.
In citation B-10 we read “And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. 11 And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth?  Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth,  and teach thee what thou shalt say.” (Exodus 4:10-12)

You know Moses was being asked by God to perform a rather daunting task.  God wanted Moses to go to perhaps the most powerful nation on earth and ask that nation to release the bulk of their slave labor force.  It was a rather scary assignment.  Remember our Golden Text that reminded us that God has not given us the spirit of fear?  Moses had to do some real confidence-building here.

Sometimes the practice of Christian Science has also been something that required great courage.  Here in Germany during the Nazi years many Christian Scientists faced persecution.  Practitioners were arrested, interrogated, and sometimes imprisoned.  Literature was seized, churches closed, and also seized.  The church here in Dresden was seized by the Nazi government.  As World War 2 ended and parts of Germany were under Russian administration some of the churches were allowed to hold services again. The members here in Dresden could once again use their old church building.  This was only for a few years.  But then as the East German state, the Deutsch Democratic Republic, was founded Christian Science was once again persecuted.  Churches were closed.  The public practice of Christian Science was forbidden.  (I personally have an original document identifying a local Christian Scientist.  It specifically forbids her from practicing Christian Science and threatens a fine and imprisonment if this order is disobeyed.)

The intimidation of the East German times specifically through the Secret Police known as the Stasi was a very real threat.  The result was that churches could not continue holding services.  And many individual Christian Scientists were also hindered from being able to practice their religion.  Some of these experiences are included in a recently published book, “Christian Science in East Germany, The Church that Came in from the Cold.” By Gregory W. Sanford.

Greg is a professor and head of the History Department at Principia College.  He served as a US Diplomat in East Germany and also conducted numerous interviews with Christian Scientists in the former East Germany.  He also researched in the archives of The Mother Church and in German governmental files.  He also conducted personal interviews with Christian Scientists who had lived through these times. Many of these interviews were conducted here in Dresden where I have lived the past 14 years.

One interviewee, Gisela Jung, is a dear friend and active member of our church.  Greg writes of Gisela’s experience as typical of many Christian Scientists during East German times.  Gisela “had married a non-Christian Scientist for whom the whole subject was “taboo,” and lacking any contact with others of her faith, she no longer felt confident that she understood what she was reading.  So she left all efforts to study or practice until the church was legal again in the 1990’s.”  (Page 35, Christian Science in East Germany.)

Since that time Gisela has been very active in church including service as Reader.  Also when we hosted a lecture and table in a book fair Gisela found herself healed of a long standing problem of speaking in public about Christian Science.  It was as Moses had described in that she was slow of speech.  She learned like Moses that “God would be with her mouth.”  With great delight she was thrilled to be able to share her love of Christian Science.  It was as if her tongue had been loosed.

Greg’s very interesting and inspiring book is available at Amazon:: http://www.amazon.com/Christian-Science-East-Germany-Church/dp/148498983X

Section 4:  Jesus heals but is falsely accused.
Citation B-13 comes from the third chapter of the Gospel of Mark.  At the beginning of the chapter Jesus heals the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath.  The result for the man is healing, hoorah, right?  Nope, not for all.  The Jewish legal experts, the Pharisees, are angry and plot against Jesus.  As his healing continues there is even more controversy. When he instructs the apostles and empowers them to heal these scribes accuse him all the more.  They even accuse him of working with Satan.  But as Jesus points out “a kingdom divided against itself shall not stand.”  It was not Satan but God that was evident in Jesus’ healing work.  As Mrs. Eddy notes in citation S-14 “Mind is God. The exterminator of error is the great truth that God, good, is the only Mind, and that the supposititious opposite of infinite Mind— called devil or evil — is not Mind, is not Truth, but error, without intelligence or reality.” (469:13-17) In Mark 3:21 (not included in the Lesson citations) “When his family heard what was happening, they came to take control of him. They were saying, “He’s out of his mind!”

The removal of sin and disease through divine Mind was the method of the Master and is the method of Christian Science healing today.  This healing work may be attacked by governmental authorities, but the facts remain.  It is the work of the Comforter, the Mind that is Love at work in human consciousness.

Christian Science was forbidden for approximately 45 years in the former East Germany (DDR) and identified as a threat to the public health there.  But years and years of courageous practice of Christian Science in the DDR and continued efforts for recognition did succeed. 

At the Annual Meeting of the Mother Church held in Berlin, Germany in 2003 a non-member of the Church was an honored speaker.   Gunther Behncke, a former communist official shared his initial impressions of Christian Science and of the man that led him to take sides with the Church, Kurt Hopp.  “At first, he said, he had no hope that his superiors would change their position…  But on the other hand, he (Kurt Hopp) was unshakable in his belief, and unshakably he worked for his church.” 

“Later, in an interview for this book, Behncke went out of his way to stress the importance of these same qualities shown by others as well: “As regards the recognition of Christian Science, it was in my opinion a success in the final analysis of Christian Science itself.  The Hopps, Wöbkes, Wendts, and many hundreds of others who were active here,… who despite persecution stood by their faith through all those decades, thirty or forty years, and who quietly but audibly were steadily working for recognition – they are actually the silent heroes.”

Section 5: Reaching out to the Mind that was in Christ Jesus.
In a paragraph with the marginal heading, “Mental Contact,” Mrs. Eddy writes, “Jesus once asked, “Who touched me?” Supposing this inquiry to be occasioned by physical contact alone, his disciples answered, “The multitude throng thee.” Jesus knew, as others did not, that it was not matter, but mortal mind, whose touch called for aid. Repeating his inquiry, he was answered by the faith of a sick woman. His quick apprehension of this mental call illustrated his spirituality.” (S-18, 85:30–8)   

This was the healing of the woman who had been sick for twelve years with an “issue of blood.”  She had spent all she had on physicians and was “nothing bettered, but grew worse.”  That is until the she reached out to the Master.  (B-15, Mark 5:25–34)

The New Living Translation puts it this way   “A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. 26 She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. 28 For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.  30 Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”  31 His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”  32 But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”

Section 6: Distance no obstacle to Mind healing.
When a nobleman from Capernaum came to Jesus it was in hope that the Master would come and heal his sick child.  But what we end up learning through this experience is that personal presence was not what was needed, but rather the presence of Mind. The child was healed at the very instant when Jesus spoke with the father. “The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.” (B-18, John 4:46–53)  

As Mary Baker Eddy writes in citation S-23   “Whoever reaches the understanding of Christian Science in its proper signification will perform the sudden cures of which it is capable; but this can be done only by taking up the cross and following Christ in the daily life.
“Science can heal the sick, who are absent from their healers, as well as those present, since space is no obstacle to Mind.”  (178:32–7)

I remember a time when Noah was one year old.  My wife, Susanne, had a three-week assignment to help care for a young autistic boy who was with his mother at a Mutter-Kind (Mother-Child)Klinik on the North Sea Island of Pellworm.  Susanne had an apartment provided, so Noah and I went along on holiday.  Although the physical setting was delightful, the atmosphere among the mothers and children was not good.  It appeared that most of the children had come down with scarlet fever.  One mother even left the island to seek other treatment.  And then Noah developed a high fever.  I was praying, but decided to call for additional prayerful help.  I rode my bike up to a nearby pay phone and called home.  I reached my older brother Gary and asked him and my mother to support my prayerful work.  My mother was a Journal-listed practitioner and my brother a class-taught Christian Scientist.  I ended up feeling a little like the nobleman from Capernaum.  When I returned to our apartment after the ten-minute bike ride I found Noah sleeping soundly and completely without fever.  He was healed.  And the next day the wave of scarlet fever had stilled in the entire clinic.  The kids were healthy and happy.

I had called from a North Sea island.  The practitioners were in Central Florida.  The patient, my son Noah, was far across the ocean.  The help was immediate. The Love of divine Mind knows no bounds.

Section 7:  “Till time and space and fear are naught…”     
This section really puts Mind forever in its place!!!  It is time to demonstrate that Mind is indeed God and that God and man are one, not two.  There is indeed no separation.  There is no lapse, nor return to harmony.  The passage of years in no way affects the functions or elements of Mind.  The Mind that is God is the mind of man.  As it is clearly stated in “the Scientific Statement of Being “on page 468 in Science and Health, “All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation.”

One of my first Christian Science Sunday School teachers. Dorothy Bierly, taught us in Sunday School the importance of claiming our freedom from false beliefs associated with age.  Whether believing we were too young or old.  And I remember her saying that we begin to handle these age beliefs immediately.  We do not wait until we are “old” and try to be young again.  We know that we are the ageless, the eternal ideas of God.

My mother’s Christian Science teacher taught until she was 100.  The founder of CedarS Camps, Ruth Huff, was actively and joyously “calling” one of our square dances at camp when the world said she was 98, well beyond the normal “Square Dance Caller” age.  One of my spiritual heroes in the Christian Science movement, Paul Stark Seeley, actually lectured in five decades.  His articles appeared in the periodicals in 1914 and he was still teaching when one of my best friends, Warren Wagner, went through class in the 1970s.

Our teachers, our examples, are all around us.  They demonstrate by their active, engaged lives and prayers that as our Leader says, “Manhood is its eternal noon.” (Science and Health)

Mr. Seeley wrote in an article entitled,” A Mighty Fact—the Oneness of Mind” in the  March 25, 1944 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

“Recently a man lay very ill in a hospital in a western state, afflicted with what is often classified as an incurable disease. He was fourscore years of age. The physicians had said he would soon pass on. Christian Science treatment was called for. In twenty-four hours, he was completely healed. Every symptom disappeared. There was no period of convalescence.”

This article is also available online at JSH Online.

http://sentinel.christianscience.com/issues/1944/3/46-13/a-mighty-fact-the-oneness-of-mind

In the Christian Science Hymnal we find an inspiring hymn 136, written by Christian Scientist, Violet Hay, entitled, “I Love Thy Way of Freedom Lord.”

I love Thy way of freedom, Lord,
To serve Thee is my choice,
In Thy clear light of Truth I rise
And, listening for Thy voice,
I hear Thy promise old and new,
That bids all fear to cease:
My presence still shall go with thee
And I will give thee peace.

Though storm or discord cross my path
Thy power is still my stay,
Though human will and woe would check
My upward-soaring way;
All unafraid I wait, the while
Thy angels bring release,
For still Thy presence is with me,
And Thou dost give me peace.

I climb, with joy, the heights of mind,
To soar o'er time and space;
I yet shall know as I am known
And see Thee face to face.
Till time and space and fear are naught
My quest shall never cease,
Thy presence ever goes with me
And Thou dost give me peace.

So, let’s remember whether it is our first day of school or our eternally unfolding walk in the oneness of Mind, that we never need to fear. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  (2 Timothy 1:7, Golden Text & S-30, from beginning to end.)


[The above application ideas are from a Christian Science Practitioner who has served as a Resident Practitioner at CedarS Camps. They are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of studying and applying the Christian Science Bible lessons throughout the year, not just at camp!  YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share Bible Lesson applications with older, as well as younger, Sunday School classes by clicking the "Subscribe Now" button (lower left) athttp://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/

 [Happy results and thanks from our recent LETTING NEEDS BE KNOWN:  
CAMPERSHIPS: Wonderful contributions needed for camperships have recently been given! CedarS was just able to fulfill its top priority of having a camp filled with (over 1,200 different) Sunday School students this summer having fun experiences in applying Christian Science to take home in transformed lives to 40 states and 16 countries!  
Warren Huff, CedarS Director & editor of these notes & of the bracketed, italic additions.]


[Please support CedarS Matched “Maintenance Musts Fund” for buildings & equipment, our Matched “Adopt the Herd” for year-round horse care and/or our LIVESTOCK FENCING NEEDS:
Over $37,500 has been given recently by a foundation & by several individuals who saw the need to do more than just “band-aid” long sections of our dilapidated pasture fencing for our herd of wonderful horses that serve our campers every day.  Won’t you match their generous support (as you are able) to help provide even a small part of the remaining $12,500 needed to finish upgrading the fences around our horse pastures and our riding rings?  Just write either “Maintenance Musts, Matched” , "Adopt the Herd, Matched" or “fencing for horses, pre-matched”]

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[Additional Director's Note: You can sign up to have these application ideas emailed to you free — by Monday each week in English; or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION: in German, thanks to Helga and Manfred; or in Spanish, thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio, or in Portuguese, thanks to helpers of Orlando Trentini in Brazil.  A voluntary French translation by Rodger Glokpor, a Christian Scientist from Togo (West Africa) has just been offered.  Thank you, Rodger and all translators! Go to http://www.cedarscamps.org/ and click "Newsletters" to sign-up for a free translation into these languages.  This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 13-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "Mets" (Metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians.  (Ask and look for "Possible Sunday School Topics "and "Possible Younger Class Lessons" in emails to follow.) These weekly offerings are intended to encourage further study and application of ideas in the lesson and to invigorate Sunday School participation by students and by the budding teachers on our staff. Originally sent JUST to my Sunday School students and to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study, application and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson "Mets "and Sunday School ideas are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way serve as a substitute for daily study of the lesson. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension and background as well as new angles (and angels) on the daily applicability of some of the ideas and passages being studied. The weekly Bible Lessons are copyrighted by the Christian Science Publishing Society and are printed in the Christian Science Quarterly and in a variety of useful formats as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at eBibleLesson.com or myBibleLesson.com. The citations referenced (i.e.B-1 and S-28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "Met" (Metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the Bible (B-1 thru B-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-30). The Bible andScience and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist.  The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one.  We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of the ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.]

 

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