Thank you for your loving support this Giving Tuesday!

[Give Gratitude for Everything About Reality & Immortality! See Warren’s end-note.]
CedarS Met (Metaphysical application ideas) for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

Mortals and Immortals
for May 19, 2013

prepared by John Biggs, CS, of Bend, Oregon
541.316.0809 / johnbiggscs@gmail.com

 [If you haven’t given thanks lately for CedarS free-given Mets, NOW would be a perfect time to do so! There's a need in May for $11k more for camperships, $7k more to fix horse pasture fences, $4k more for a truck, $300 more for a computer…  BIG THANKS in advance for MAKING A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE GIFT ONLINE, BY PHONE OR BY MAIL!]

[And, it's NOT too LATE to enroll or encourage others to enroll or to get CAMPERSHIP AID; but to hire a full staff, CedarS needs campers who are "on the fence to
SIGN UP ONLINE ASAP! 
We’re confident that FINANCIAL AID requested will be available as needed!]

What shapes us?  Hopes or ideals for the future, past experiences, present circumstances?  Are our lives stable, or do we essentially have to hope for “the luck of the draw”?  This week's Bible Lesson gives some glorious insights into who we are.

Not only is this weekly resource from CedarS a wonderful gift for seekers for Truth all over the world, but there are many other resources available as well for supporting your engagement with Sunday School, feeling like a part of this global community, or simply looking for fresh ideas on a topic you're exploring or struggling with.  Radical Acts (which you can explore at http://bit.ly/13KRiXy ) contains glorious examples of people leaving their old conceptions of themselves for a renewed sense, as they follow Jesus' teachings.  The “Question of the Week,” a new blog series on Time4Thinkers.com, provides opportunity for honest, inspiring support and fresh ideas on a variety of questions; you can find the archives of those here: http://bit.ly/13KRyG9 .  And of course, you can sign up for weekly email newsletters which highlight content specifically related to each week's Bible Lesson.  Please sign up for those newsletters at http://bit.ly/XZPuIS .  You'll also receive information about twice-weekly conference calls offered for Sunday School teachers and supporters – you can see that information on this page: http://bit.ly/TvNYKL .

Knowing all the wonderful resources you have at your fingertips, we can feel so confident to dive in to this week, knowing you are never alone as we discover how we are not limited mortals, but are the loved, immortal ideas of God!

Golden Text
What does it take to “put on the new man”?  Is it a willpower thing, or something else?  This Bible Lesson has examples, inspirations, and cautions about what is and isn't involved with that renewal.  This is our theme running through the whole Bible Lesson.

Responsive Reading
I love the idea of this request, this desire that “what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.”  Sometimes we might think of mortality as a lesser expression of life, or as 'just where we are right now.'  But mortality will NEVER be an expression of divine Life, because mortality includes death from the outset.  What would it take for you to have that same confidence spoken of here that “we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord”?

Section 1: Starting correctly:
We have to look to God if we want to know anything about ourselves.

To find out about the effect (man), we have to look to the cause (God).  Citation B2 clearly cancels out the supposition that we are a product of genetic heritage, past accidents, or anything other than God. “It is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves.” And citation S3 gives us a great reason to rejoice that we are seeking after Truth, where Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Man in the likeness of God as revealed in Science cannot help being immortal.”  As revealed in Science! The fact of man's likeness to God is already established, and Christian Science reveals it.  Thankfully, this is not a door only open to some; as a Science, this revelation is available for all.  Just like aerodynamics works for everyone – you just have to be willing to get on a plane to see its benefits – so, the revelations of Christian Science are illuminated for all; we just need to be willing to drop the unhelpful and incorrect premises of existence as being based on mortality.  This Bible Lesson has some wonderful clues as to how we can drop those premises.

Section 2: Where are we gathering evidence?
Looking to the sense evidence about man, we'll find nothing but chaos.  Mortality is the most passive-aggressive thing ever; from the moment someone is born, mortality essentially means “You're going to die someday.”  A conception of mortality would try to convince us to give up, because what is it going to matter anyway?  The book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible is a great illustration of the 'vanity' and uselessness inherent in looking purely to the evidence of the senses to find our worth and joy.  But!  The promise in citation B8 is so encouraging: “we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”  No matter how much it may seem we are stuck, that is not the sum total of our existence.

Citation S8 shines a very bright light on the importance of being unwilling to just wait around, thinking we'll just attain goodness someday.  “This mortal seeming is temporal; it never merges into immortal being…”  Let's be willing to throw off the preconceptions about age and the predictions based on personal history and genes, and instead shine.  In The Message translation of Luke 16, Jesus says, “Use every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials so you'll live, really live, and not just get by on good behavior.”  What do we think is stopping us from shining out?  You might enjoy checking out the Radical Act based on Jesus' teaching, “Let your light shine,” which you can explore at http://bit.ly/11qNe1D .  See if the stories there spark your own story… and then share it with the rest of the world on the site!

Section 3: Are you good enough at some things?
Am I willing to give up what I thought about myself, or others, and let Spirit renew my understanding?  If we're concerned about being 'good enough,' this video on Time4Thinkers.com gives some lovely insights.  You can watch it here: http://time4thinkers.com/adventures-in-the-good-life/

This section in the Lesson reminds me of a passage from HDF Kitto's book, The Greeks (http://bit.ly/15QkCA2). It says, “[The Greek heroes' sense of excellence] implies a respect for the wholeness or oneness of life, and a consequent dislike of specialization. It implies a contempt for efficiency–or rather, a much higher idea of efficiency, an efficiency which exists not in one department of life, but in life itself.”  The connection I'm seeing is that often, we think we are improving our lot in life by improving separate pieces of our lives.  But what if the whole model of a compartmentalized life is inherently limited, and therefore wrong?  What if our rebirth in Spirit includes EVERYTHING being renewed?

Is it enough to settle for being 'good enough' at something?  To be satisfied with being a good mortal?  Or can we let Spirit wash over us, and naturally remove anything which is not ours?  Citation S13 can seem like a hard task – correction always seems a little tough – especially when we're proud of what the senses tell us.  But if we want to claim and live our selfhood as the ideas of God, we have to put away any sense of being born into matter – whether we think it's 'bad' matter, or 'good enough' matter.

Last winter, I kept catching myself saying, “I snowboard and I can't ski.”  I've said similar things throughout my life, on any manner of subjects.  But I suddenly realized that I was laying down a fairly heavy law there – and this law, that I cannot ski, certainly wasn't founded on any actual divine law that I'm aware of.  Now, I can't say that I'm chomping at the bit to go skiing, but I've shifted my thought patterns to say, “I don't yet know how to ski,” as opposed to simply blocking off with “I can't.”  This is a pretty small example!  But it has been an avenue in which I've been discovering how important it is to not set myself up with limits of any kind.  I've enjoyed some wonderful healings recently because of this newfound willingness to only listen to God – to not even inquire of my body what's wrong, but to just lovingly follow God.

Section 4: Reacting to circumstance, or responding to God?
Am I praying out of a reaction to a disturbing scene, or am I praying because I love God?  Since 'the carnal mind is enmity against God' (B13), we'll never get an accurate report from any evidence that includes the carnal mind.  Jesus was not impressed by the report of the senses; he knew that man was invincible as God's idea.  He simply spoke – and lived – with authority.

Do our days resemble ping-pong balls, flung around by the different circumstances in our days?  We can get out of that reactive mindset by acknowledging that 'we have the mind of Christ' (B14) and then living like it.  And what if the situation doesn't turn around immediately or it seems like your prayer for a clearer sense of God's work isn't revealing anything new?  Do we stop?  Does anyone succeed at anything without persisting?  Certainly some things may come easier than others, but that's no reason not to keep going.  After all, we have the sweet promise of citation S18: “There is divine authority for believing in the superiority of spiritual power over material resistance.”  Anytime we think our rebirth, our healing, our activity… is dependent on human willpower or the support of others, remember that “[the] truths of immortal Mind sustain man…” (S19)  We were not cast out of heaven into mortality, to try and struggle back up.  Jesus' joy in healing others – no matter the claim before the senses – makes it clear that freedom is our natural right; it is not a special gift that some receive and others don't.

Section 5: Love for Life is our warm-up, not just our cool down.
I love to take note of the 'musts' in the Bible and Science & Health.  Check this out: “this mortal MUST put on immortality.” (B17)  We CANNOT be left in a false sense of things.  Again, remembering the question I posed about the Golden Text: is this statement about putting on immortality a personal willpower thing?  Or is it a statement of fact that we learn to yield to?

I've started taking Turbo Kick exercise classes at our community fitness center, and my latest workout was especially challenging.  What was really interesting for me, though, was that every time I started to think, “OK, I'd better take it easy for a minute,” it was so clear – like a flash of light – that that 'listening to my body' was never going to show me anything about my strength, capability, or health.  In this class, along with other activities I'm involved in, I've been seeing more of how I am not trying to develop strength by throwing off weakness; I am persisting in expressing strength (or joy, alertness, health… ) and seeing it be revealed.  Just like the world was never flat; the explorations of brave seafarers simply revealed the fact of the world's spherical nature to the rest of humanity.  So, we are not truly mortal, weak, sick, poor, lacking intelligence… we simply have countless opportunities to discover what is already true, by persisting in being willing to discover what's true.  Remember, we're following Jesus' example of unconditionally giving gratitude and love to God.  We're letting love and gratitude be our warm-up in our daily exercise of divine Life!  We're not going to discover anything about Life and its expression by believing in death, or any limits.  Let's stick with Life, and live.

Section 6: Free from fear:
If we find ourselves being afraid of the limits of mortality, we can rise out of that with the confidence of knowing that God didn't give us the ability to be afraid in the first place! (B18)  So, if we're afraid, that's an instant clue that both the fear AND the reason for the fear are a lie.  Remember, either God made it and it's real and good, or He didn't and it's a misconception that is irrelevant to you.  [See endnote.]

I love the gratitude springing through this whole section.  When you're grateful for something, that means it was an entirely good thing.  Similarly, when we express our gratitude and love for God, we are declaring that we know that He did not make a bad thing – that He didn't conceive of us with limits or being destined to die. Our gratitude and prayers don't make this fact true; they simply allow us to see more clearly that “The harmony and immortality of man are intact.” (S27)  Already intact! You are already strong, capable, energetic, courageous, kind, healthy… We are starting on a perfect foot… so let's be willing to know it and live from there. [More at endnote]

Enjoy this beautiful week!


[Warren’s endnote: An acronym that I coined to help campers push the boundaries of their comfort zones is FEAR is Forgetting Everything About Reality.  And, of course, the antidote to Forgetting about reality is Remembering about reality by giving Gratitude for it.  So, we have no FEAR (Forgetting Everything About Reality) when we get our REAR (Remembering Everything About Reality) in GEAR (Gratitude 4 Everything About Reality)!  We put this on a CedarS T-shirt in the 1990s.]

[The application ideas above 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 study and application of 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) at http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/

Warren Huff, CedarS Director & editor of these notes & writer of its bracketed, italic additions.]

[Check out CedarS Camps in the beautiful Missouri Ozarks with Unique Features that transform lives through:

  • Role-model activity and cabin counselors, 1 per 2-3 campers, aiming to follow our Founder’s 5 Fundamentals to give “an appreciation of spiritual sense & an abundance of wholesome, joyous activity”;
  • Unique RECREATIONAL RESOURCES (shown in a Lego sculpture) with:
    2 miles of private “onshore assets” and the state’s only Cable Watersports (Walking On Water) Park;
    *50mph Ziplines to and from Bible Park’s “Answered Prayer Theater”
    * A 310 ft long Waterslides in an Aquatic Center w/ Lap & Dive Pools;;
    * “Mediterranean” Island-hopping on kayaks & Stand-Up-Paddleboards;
    * 7 Tournament Ski Boats & a pontoon for Ski Camp, CIP, Jr. Leadership…
    * Services for 20-400 at Summits, Retreats, CS Nurse Conference, BluCamp…;
    90 Horses, a Covered Arena & 850 acres of woods, creeks, & trails to explore!
  • Yummy Food for soul AND body!  Click to see testimonials in writing!

Explore easy ONLINE Enrollment for campers & families as well as for Parents, Grands or Sponsors  to join our team in home-like accommodations!]

[Our priority need now is filling camp with Sunday School students who are ready for a fun, life-transforming experience in applying Christian Science!  So, our main funding goal this Spring is to raise funds for CedarS campership applicants. Also greatly appreciated are operations support and our herd of horses still needs your "adoptive" support 
If you'd rather not give online, thank you for mailing your checks to:
CedarS Camps Office,
1314 Parkview Valley Dr.,
Manchester, MO 63011

Or for calling us at
636-394-6162 to give a monthly pledge or a single, credit or debit card gift.]

[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.  A voluntary French translation by Pascal or Denise cannot be guaranteed due to their busy schedules. An "official" version of the weekly Portuguese translation is now available for CedarS Mets, thanks to helpers of Orlando Trentini in Brazil.  Go to http://www.cedarscamps.org/ and click "Newsletters" to sign-up for the Portuguese version.  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 subsequent emails.) 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 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 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 and Science 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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