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[Live up to your Specs! Choose wisely: Trick? or 10-Commandment-Treatment!]
CedarS MET, Metaphysical Application Ideas for:  Everlasting Punishment
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for October 24 – 30, 2011
by John Biggs, CS – Bend, Oregon 541.316.0809
[Bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS Director and Met, PSST & PYCL Newsletters Editor]
[Editor's Note: The following application ideas for this week, and the Possible Sunday School Topics (PSST) that will follow, are offered primarily to help CEDARS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp! You can sign up to have them emailed to you free — in English by Monday each week, or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French thanks to Pascal, in German thanks to Helga and Manfred or in Spanish thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio. YOU CAN SIGN UP at]
God's law is infinite! Since [His/]Her laws, [re-presented in the Ten Commandments,] are also infinite, encompassing all goodness and might, there is not one limited [or limiting] aspect to any of them. “Spirit and matter no more commingle than light and darkness.” (S&H 281:4-5)  [God's laws are “laws to live by”-see a great webpage and video by Christian Scientist Matthew Hoffman.  In this video, top celebrities and leaders share how specific spiritual truths from the Ten Commandments shaped them. A new Christian Science lecturer from Cameroon, James Bikai, wrote today's “Daily Lift” in French and English on how the 10 Commandments change daily lives and lead to good decisions and blessings. ] God's laws are completely substantial and never rest on foundations that can fail. As the direct outcome and image of God, man also rests on this sure foundation. This Bible Lesson is not a frightening prospect [or trick] where we'll learn about almost certain [punishment and] doom; we're going to learn more about the inherent love of God's laws[, and their everlasting treatments for our lives.]
Golden Text – God knows all
If God who is omniscient Mind doesn't remember [and record] sins and iniquities, they must never have [really] been! Let's remember this fact about ourselves [and about others] and realize man's ever-present ability to live freely, not weighed down by any supposed [mistake-marred] past or by a limited [, restrictive and bleak] future.
Responsive Reading (RR) – Justice & joy are present, the immediate gift of God
The first half of the RR sounds to me a lot like many pictures and stories presented in the world today. As I was reading some Christian Science Monitor articles, I was struck by how pervasive global financial, social, and political challenges are. Daily headlines seem like a pretty clear representation of this idea of “justice stand[ing] afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” I think one of the biggest challenges is a feeling that this is all too big: what can I even hope to do? And the resulting fears about our present woes and [dim] future prospects almost seem completely justified. But it's all a misconception of justice! It's a belief that justice, truth, and equality depend on human laws and lawmakers, CEO's and administrators. In fact, Truth is a synonym for God. This means that Truth is not just an aspect of God, not just a slice of the pie; God IS Truth. He also is Love, and Principle, and good. Every time we get a glimpse of that permanence, of the facts of being, we're like that “man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly…” because we're accepting and loving our dear Father-Mother, one God. The suggestion is a lie that we are immovably attached to [or stuck with] things like debt, instability, sickness, or fear – and it's a lie [or trick that] we don't have any necessity to fall for and follow. Let's view this week's Bible Lesson as learning to “delight…in the law of the Lord” [as outlined by the 10 Commandments] and to love how infinite Love leaves no room for any sort of limit [or permanent punishment.]
Section 1 -God decrees freedom. [Consider the 10 Commandments as God's top 10 “laws of liberation” as outlined by Bible scholar Barry Huff in a TMCYouth Bible chat. ]
In this section we get a preview of the whole Bible Lesson. We have a great blueprint for what our days can look like: praise and gratitude, recognition of what our days hold, and clarity about what we can do and need to do. An interpretation I've often loved of the Ten Commandments is that rather than looking at them as a list of limits [–a trick], we can see them as a [treat-ment and] description of what IS possible in the kingdom of heaven. For instance, rather than being bummed out about not being able to covet, and beating oneself up every time a glimmer of envy tries to slip in, we can rejoice that in heaven – (here!) -in all of God's ideas possessing all good, and no good being kept from any idea of good, so that we actually CAN'T covet. In this way, the Ten Commandments act as loving guidelines to show us how there is nothing opposed to good; and we can certainly expect and accept our daily lives to be filled with infinite joy. Citation B3 certainly illustrates, in a direct and loving way, how we can see the truth of the promises of the Commandments – it's re-stated in Micah 6:8 as: “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Sometimes people [are tricked and] feel that the Commandments are the laws of a wrathful God, or are even veiled threats. But citation B3 shows that it is through living in joy and humility that we fulfill what God asks, not through living in terror and in blind obedience to rules. Citation S4 shows the ever-presence of God, too, and illustrates the simple fact of [His/]Her presence. There's no need to fear, be defensive, or get all worked up about anything. If anything chaotic (or even mildly disturbing) tries to come up this week, let's turn more fully to embrace and recognize the likeness of God, rather than get flustered about any supposed absence.
Section 2 – Step by step, we love God all the way. [“Love God” is a summary of the 1st Commandment according to a TMCYouth animated podcast by Barry Huff.]
With this section we start going one by one through the Ten Commandments – a very loving move by our Bible Lesson Committee! I know I always appreciated it in school when my teachers were willing to go slowly with me through concepts, rather than just shoving it in all at once. Let's start right off by being grateful for the love expressed by the very act of putting this week's lesson together so well! [God the ultimate “master of assemblies” has given the Commandments as “specs” for your perfection. See P.S. & Eccl. 12:11]
In studying Christian Science, one of the first things we learn is that God loves us. This is so wonderful! Let's not forget to love God J –not so that He'll love you more, but rather because that's the way to fulfill this First Commandment. Love God, and let's learn to love [Him/]Her to the exclusion of any other supposed powers. “Love for God and man is the true incentive in both healing and teaching.” (S&H 454:17-18) Rather than being [just a ground] rule of a petty, jealous God, this Commandment (and Mrs. Eddy's beautiful inspiration from it) opens up the joy and perfection of loving God. [“The 1st Commandment is really the heart of all of them.” TMCYouth 2010 video interviewee on the 1st Commandment.]
Section 3 – Commit to God [instead of try to manipulate God per animated podcast]
Let's be clear about what we're worshipping. I don't think many readers of this weekly Met are in the habit of creating sculpted idols to worship, but how much time do we spend [worshipping the human body or trying to sculpt ours, or] in worry, frustration, or fear? These are no less “graven images,” but their supposed substance is [engraved in] thought, rumor, and limits, rather than in stone or in wood. The great thing is, as we love God, we naturally fulfill this Commandment. Loving God doesn't keep us from living full lives. [To think so would be a deception of material sense, a trick. The treat is that loving God] reveals how [incredibly] infinite divine Life is! Let's be clear this week about motive: why am I doing this / saying this / thinking this? Am I interested: in healing [or] in self-justification? In adoring [God, or] in pride…? Let's just practice loving God – fill your heart with adoration for just one minute today. Then do it for two tomorrow. And so on! You'll have a great week [as you let the 2nd and all commandments guide your life!]
Section 4 – Talk with a conviction of good [Mobilize God's presence per animation.]
Let's speak honestly, with purpose and in a straightforward manner. If we're loving God, and realizing our freedom from any limiting concept, then we'll naturally talk appropriately. We don't need to spend time on Facebook or other online sites bemoaning current situations [personal, political or global]. We don't need to get all heated up in personal conversations for or against something. Let's let our words be the manifestations and messages of God's love for all [His/]Her cherished ideas [as interviewees on this 2010 TMCYouth video shared to keep this 3rd commandment].  “Take my voice and let me sing, always, only, for my King! Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from Thee.” (Hymn 324) And if others around us are predicting things other than good, we don't need to go along with them. Whether it's your neighbor talking about his health, leaders in government using fear tactics to get folks to agree, or simply friends insulting folks who are a bit different, we never have to go along with mortal suggestions. We can always praise God. Let's practice!
Section 5 – Remember your freedom and love of God
I don't remember exactly where I heard this, but it's helped me become so much more grateful for the Sabbath-day commandment than I ever used to be! I'd always thought that this commandment was very much a “rules for rules sake” sort of thing – keeping rowdy folks in order, at least [for a day]. But then I learned that this was actually in honor of being freed from Egypt. As slaves, the Israelites didn't have their own schedules; if the Egyptians wanted them to work, they worked. They were always [“at the beck and call” and] under the thumb of another. This commandment is actually a reminder to be always grateful that man is free! By declaring that there was one day where no one had to work, which was actually devoted to the glory and love of God, the Israelites were realizing that God was their only authority. Through the ages, that joy seemed to get a bit dimmed down with ritualism and such, but it truly is a joyful decree in its substance. Pick a day this week (or a series of days, or a time, or whatever!) where you can consciously declare your love for God and His ideas [and for the completeness of the divine creation as on the 7th day in Genesis 2:2 and as people on a 2010 TMCYouth video on the 4th Commandment expressed it]. Don't let anything get in the way of this [of cherishing sacred Sabbath-moments daily!] Often the temptation is that you're too busy to take time to do this. Citation S12 is a great reminder of the falsity of this – if “God rests in action,” His ideas certainly do too. We are the manifestation of God, capable of expressing and seeing ALL His glory, goodness, and power. Let's not think less of ourselves!
Section 6 – [Appreciate God-ordained authority and] cherish God's children.
Our families, friends, co-workers, and all those you meet, are unique expressions of God, good. Let's honor those ideas. Don't just obey a request from your parents or children because “you have to” – follow with joy because you respect and love these treasured children of God. This isn't a personal thing. Let's honor motherhood and fatherhood this week. The Christian Science Monitor has wonderful back page articles, highlighting different individuals every week who've made a difference in their communities. Often, their qualities could be included under the broad umbrella of fatherhood and motherhood. Let's strive to express those qualities this week, and to make a point of cherishing them in others. Is there someone you don't like very much, or have much in common with, anywhere around? Let's work to recognize the mothering, fathering, brotherly, sisterly qualities in them. Don't worry about being best friends, but don't accept less than honoring who they are. Don't be abstract about it, either. Be very specific with each individual. Citation S15 assures us that Truth destroys whatever isn't of God's making. Let's agree to see Truth actively, rather than waiting till someone else changes. Honor who God made!
Section 7 – Dive deeper [–to anger banishment!]
This commandment seems like quite an obvious decree: don't kill folks. Not too hard to follow, I'd think! But this commandment has always raised an interesting question for me: how much of what I do or don't do is determined by the possible consequences? Now, I'm not saying I'd have killed someone before now if it wasn't illegal! But the point is, do we not kill because of a law, or because it simply isn't right? The question can be expanded to anything. Am I taking this action, only because of some consequence? This is a very future-oriented, and sometimes fear-oriented, worldview. What this commandment teaches me, is to be so aware of the present qualities of any action or thought, and to know that as an expression of divine Mind, I can always know what I should do or say. I never have to act in the fog [of being reactionary or] of hoping for another's approval or fearing another's criticism or anger. [In his Sermon on the Mount reinterpretation of this Commandment (Matt. 5:21), Jesus alerted us that we need to stop criticism and anger when they are little.]  This commandment awakens us to the present fact that we are the immediate expressions and effects of God, good and subject always to His joyful glory [and un-offended equanimity. To keep your cool this week remember to Q-T.I.P.! Quit Taking It Personally! And check out new insights in the graphic animation of this and the next two Commandments by Barry Huff.]
Section 8 – Do you have all good?
This is really neat, to look at Jesus' inspiration regarding this specific commandment. It might be nice to check out the rest of what he has to say about the other commandments, in the Sermon on the Mount (specifically 5:21-37) and of course throughout the rest of the gospels. Jesus' words push us to not just follow the letter, but to see the spirit of what is asked. Can we do that this week, too? Can we look deeper into a request someone has made of us, and do more than was asked specifically? Can we look deeper into a social situation, and reach out to the one who is hurting but won't speak up? Can we look beyond bickering political arguments, and see the substance of what people are saying?
Back to this specific commandment for a moment! Citation S19 may seem surprising to folks, but what is at the root of any temptation of adultery or lust? Lack. Or rather, an overwhelming BELIEF in lack that suggests that the grass is greener on the other side, or that that woman or that man clearly possesses something you don't have but need to get. Think of Psalm 17:15: “I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” This is such a tender message, far different from any coveting or lustful thoughts that may occur. True satisfaction is found in eternal good – and again, God does not hold back any good from His ideas. Let's actively resist any temptation to follow lack, or to give place to any thought that is less than good, even for a moment. Hard work? Probably! But let's go ahead and try! [Rather than be tricked by the lies of lust, try this treatment: “In God I have everything I need and I know it!']
Section 9 – [Affirm] the permanence of good – never stolen and steal-able
This section is a great example of something that has shown up elsewhere in the Lesson, as well: giving a commandment, and then giving a message of hope, welcome, and encouragement to someone who may have thought they broke that commandment. I haven't mentioned much yet about the tie-in to the subject for this week, but this is a perfect opportunity. These Commandments aren't about “ha-ha, gotcha! Everlasting punishment time!” No, they are reminders of our true nature. As God's children, the “need” for stealing would never exist or be relevant to us. At any time, we can realize this more fully – wake up more – and act in accord with the loving guidance on our Father-Mother. Let's refuse to accept any suggestion that God is less than infinite Love. These suggestions are sometimes pretty subtle: “I would have had this healing, if God really loved me. I would be more successful if Principle really was the truth.” Those little phrases– “would be” and “if”– can be pretty good clues that we're not actually speaking about God, ever-present good, and Her[/His] limitless ideas. Let's not think any good has been stolen from us, as well as not being thieves ourselves!
Don't lie. This is one of the very first lessons you teach a child. It is one of the first to be really relevant to a child's experience. It's also one of the easiest to sort of excuse oneself around, with “little white lies” or such things. There seems to be a good bit of moral relativism surrounding lying, especially lying to protect others. This can be a fascinating study in an ethics classes, or hypothetical thought processes to follow for oneself, but at the end of the day, what counts is how you actually lived and how you thought. I like to take it right back to this: Have I been truthful, with myself and others, about our spiritual nature? Have I engaged honestly with God's ideas? Or have I treated people as ______(sick, homeless, extremist, the ‘1%' or the ‘99%') mortals? This is an important commandment to be very honest about with oneself. Am I being honest in witnessing my neighbor truly, as God sees His[/Her] cherished idea? Let's not get stuck in the mud with the letter here – let's strive to live the spirit of being truthful with, and about, God's work.
Section 11 – Acknowledge that God is ALL good! A L L ! And He[/She] didn't leave anything out J
The coveting Commandment is a pretty long-winded one! Listing so many things not to covet seems a little odd, at first glance. But I love the clarity! Don't covet ANYTHING. There is no excuse for coveting ANYTHING. Today, the list might read, “don't covet your neighbor's car, or education, or free-wheeling lifestyle, or travel experiences, or bank account…” If we covet, we are actively engaging in a mindset that declares that God is not all good, and / or that He did not give all good to all. This is a lie from the beginning – and we've just been told not to lie! Funny how all these commandments wrap together, isn't it? 😉 Citation S26 is such a valuable reminder when thinking along these lines. Never let yourself believe you have less than someone else. It's a constant theme, I know, but here it is again: You are God's beloved child! Love this! I'm not asking you to sit down and sadly accept an unhappy situation. Let's rather work to recognize yourself as the outcome of God and Her[/His] joy. I was visiting with a friend recently, and he was taking care of a tiny Mini Australian Shepherd puppy. He was so small and cute! My friend couldn't stop smiling. He was just holding the dog all night long, looking down at him every so often and smiling the whole time. That's like us. God will never ever stop being all good, all joy, all power, all might, all freedom – and we are simply what happens as God is good. We're like the smile on my friend's face. No supposed power could ever separate us from the source of all good. So don't covet and trick yourself into thinking that you are separated from any good, whatsoever. You are so loved!
Section 12 – [Give] Glory to God! Always good, forever here!
What a wonderful conclusion to this lesson. Far from being a scary lesson about the hell that awaits us as miserable sinners, and far from being a list of threats to try and keep us on the straight and narrow, this lesson truly has simply been an illustration of who we are and what we naturally live like, as God's deeply cherished children [–and masterpieces as spelled out in the P.S.]. Let's never forget to bless and love God. Pick some times today, every day, to just love God. And make sure to do it when you DON'T think you want to, as well! Bless the Lord! Don't even worry about thanking God “for” something – just love. Learn to love our dear Father-Mother a little more each day – and nothing could ever keep you from loving Her[-Him]. It is in that love, and our acceptance of Love, that we see the unreality of sin. That is that. Sing citation S30 as an anthem if you like! Be free! “This is your divine right.”
Enjoy your gift of God's laws of freedom today!


[P.S. With our Bible lesson on “Everlasting Punishment” featuring the Commandments, you might enjoy seeing them as God's Architectural building specifications (or specs). Find new ways to live up to these specs of your true self as “God's building.”
“You are God's building!” (I Cor. 3:9)

Insights from Warren Huff, Missouri Registered Architect]


[Since The Master Architect and Builder made you, you must be a masterpiece! As “the noblest work of God,” (Hymn 51) you are designed to function flawlessly in every detail in carrying out Love's unique and perfect plan for you!  In preparing for my architectural registration exam, it came to me that the Ten Commandments were like Architectural Specifications created by God to guarantee the ongoing perfection of His masterwork, you and me.  Like all architectural specs these divine Specifications or construction standards fall into ten categories, and were written by “the great Architect” using “shall” and “shall not” language. Far from being “Ten Restrictions” on your liberty, they are more like Ten Guarantees to your lasting freedom and perfection. And they are not merely “Ten Suggestions.” As God's Specs, the Ten Commandments must be closely followed and upheld as a key part of your contract agreement to be God's masterwork.]
[Spec #1–General Conditions: “Spirit, the great architect,” (S&H 68:5) lays down one precondition that governs all other conditions: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Spirit). With such a prevalence of body worship these days, one applicable adaptation of this commandment might be: “You should worship and focus thought on no other “Bods” (your own or another's) before me and your embodiment of unselfed Love.”  Live up to your contract and spiritual identity as upheld by your divine “builder and maker” (Heb. 11:10)]
[Spec #2–Selective Removals: Our Creator rules out of you and me all obsessions, addictions, false dependencies and weaknesses. To be rid of these and a false sense of lack that would make us dwell on graven, media images, we must treat them as unwelcome impostors and impositions.  Let go of whatever must go in order to make way for the building your best self, God's masterpiece!]
[Spec #3–Concrete: He that “set the foundations of the world” has established your foundation and superstructure with all the divinely-natural ingredients you need to withstand every worldly pressure and tension.  Built on the Rock of Christ's example, you will not fall for or cave into pressure from peer or anyone.  Reinforced with (re-bars of) humility and flexibility, you will never get bent out of shape and are naturally immune to tension and its headaches.  Your 3rd Commandment Spec, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain,” might translate, “You shall not (be able to) take God's nature in vain, or without positive, CONCRETE results!” Consistently affirm and prove the solid, quick efficacy of Christian Science treatment!]
[Spec #4–Masonry:  When your life feels burdened and things seem to be in pieces or falling to pieces–fragmentary and incomplete–remember your high goals and that your Mindful Mason has already used an “ever-faithful mortar” that will invariably bind each building block of your experience in place as part of a cohesive and finished whole. Commandment Spec #4, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,” reminds us to find rest by keeping our undivided attention on the Genesis 1 record of a seven day completion of a creation that is “very good.”  Seek real rest by consistently seeing the big picture of completeness–by beginning “with the end in Mind”-with “perfect God and perfect man, — as the basis of thought and demonstration.” (S&H 259:13)]
[Spec #5–Structural Steel and Metals: Ever feel unstructured? Overloaded? Living in a structure (or body) that's sagging and ready to collapse?  Dishonoring authority in its many God-given forms brings about this kind of weak conditions.  You will always find stability, direction, renewed strength and longevity as you “honor your (human & divine) father and mother (and all right expressions of authority) that thy days may be long.” (Exodus 20)  Find spiritual stability by acknowledging the role of proper authority and structure in your experience.]
[Spec #6–Carpentry: Jesus the Master/Carpenter prepared for his remarkable healing ministry by seeing that all events, including all human relationships, were “fitly framed together” by a divine plan and hand.  (Eph. 2:21) Jesus proposed stopping murder by healing the attitudes that led to it. (See Matt 5:25-26)  Worse than a wood butcher, a “would butcher,” makes fun of those around him lest they would draw attention away from him.  Beware of the prevalent trend of seemingly innocent humor that makes fun of others.  This is a subtle form of disobedience to “Thou shalt not kill” that really injures the bully more than the bullied.  Refuse to tear others down. And stop the futility of anger and banish it with a settled equanimity that knows “there's nothing in this world worth getting angry about.”]
[Spec #7–Thermal & Moisture Protection: No one would want to live in a home that leaks like a sieve and that fluctuates uncontrollably between being too cold and too hot.  Yet, that's what it's like to be “absent from the Lord” and “at home in the body” (II Cor. 5:6) with its gnawing incompleteness and inner lack called lust.  We can insulate ourselves from the hot flashes of lust and the cold disappointments of self-contempt and broken promises by daily reveling in God's view of true manhood and womanhood.  Jesus warned that living with lust in your heart is what leads to adulterous actions. (Matt. 5: 27-28) “Tempted in all things like we are,” Jesus showed us how to deal with temptations in Matt. 4:3-11.  In the face of temptations, “that original man, Jesus” didn't reinvent new ways to deal with them, but instead quoted scriptural references that negated each temptation to “lie with me.” (Gen. 39:7, 12) Memorize at least one citation per week so you too can “throw the book” at any lie, even when you don't have your textbooks with you.  Use truths you know to establish an insulated firmament without lust or leaks.]

[Spec #8–Windows & Doors: (The “Eyes, Nose and Throat” of a building.)  Taking what does not belong to you by divine reflection, such as taking a cold, is breaking this commandment or Spec.  Such stealing of what doesn't belong to you is like living in a home without the security and comfort of windows and doors.  Properly seal up ways that your sense of God's allness could be taken from you.  Then, “stand porter at the door of thought” (S&H 392:24) and admit only what truly belongs to you.  Accept the security and sufficiency of your divine identity and refuse to “take cold” or anything that doesn't belong to you.]

[Spec #9–Finishes: Bearing false witness and gossiping about others is like striping your walls and floors down to the substructure and living in an unfinished shell of your home without the refinement of wall coverings or the comfort of floor coverings.  An atmosphere where others are cut down will always feel bare and unrefined, never homey. Thrive in earth's “finishing school” for your character that always bears true, spiritual witness to those around you and to all of creation.]
[Spec #10–Specialties: Coveting the specialties of others (like their nice homes & cars, good friends & grades, honors & opportunities…) is actually arguing for one's lack of these right ideas.  This hurts instead of helps one as in the Bible story of a jealous Saul seeking to hurt David.  Instead, use the dynamite idea of “TYG! TMT!” (“Thank You God! That's Mine Too!”) A disposition to rejoice in the good of others–as if happened to you–is an awesome attitude that makes Tibetans outlive others by 20-30 years.  Rejoice in all of the good specialties of others as advance proofs that such good is universally available to be demonstrated in your experience as well. This guileless attitude, sincerely delighting in another's good, will always result in blessings all around.]

[Like you, “fitly framed together”* and “founded on the divine rock”** of Christ,

*Ephesians 2:21
**Science and Health 297:27]

[NEW MATCHING FUND OPPORTUNITY FOR MAINTENANCE MUSTS!  A precious donor has just pledged a matching grant of $25,000 if we can raise that amount by year-end for “Maintenance Musts” work on buildings and vehicles before next summer.  So, if you have been blessed by any of CedarS 3 weekly inspirational newsletters (our Mets or our PSSTs and PYCLs for Sunday School teachers), NOW would be a wonderful time to share your appreciation. Your 50th Anniversary gift–as generous as divine Love directs-will play a needed part in CedarS important, year-round work for Christian Science Sunday School students.]
[Sharing the applicable principles of Christianity in CedarS Bible Lands Park: This new Fall-season outreach
(that is fostering a proper understanding of Christian Science) is in giving tours of our new Bible Lands Park that shows Bible-loving churches and youth groups of other denominations how Christian Scientists love and “take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life.” (S&H 497:3)  We are currently working in our Bible Lands Park to expand our ability to share applicable New Testament insights by building a trail with activity, learning stations that follow Paul's teachings and trips from Antioch to Ephesus, Corinth, Athens, Rome … We welcome all gifts to enable such inspiring “Home Improvements” to be made NOW before it gets too cold and snowy to work outside.]
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 [Camp Director's Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 11-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 or 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.]
 Enjoy!    And, please contact us for more info about any and all things about CedarS! 

[PSST: Discover everlasting Love in God’s everlasting laws to live by!]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on the subject of “Everlasting Punishment” for the week of October 30th 2011
By Amy & Tom Evans, St. Louis, MO &,
former CedarS counselors & Staff Development Directors
What does “Everlasting Punishment” conjure up for readers today?  What do you think it means for many Christians?  Does it really apply to people?  Is Everlasting Punishment real?
PSST for Golden Text:
Whose laws?  The Golden Text includes the following from God: “I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”  How does that compare to everlasting punishment?  Do you believe God can forgive this way and punish forever?
PSST for the Responsive Reading:
Why are we reading about God’s hand and his ear?  If God is capable, what does this say about God’s love?  What about God’s tendency to be wrathful?
Explain how “iniquities” or “sins” could possibly separate someone from God.  Is God separated from us?  Is God the one who decides to leave or stop paying attention to God’s beloved child?
“And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.”  This sounds very much like the toddler in China who was left to die in the street.  How can we pray for what appears to be an amoral society when “judgment is turned away backward”?  How do we pray to know that all are loved in God’s kingdom when to material senses “justice standeth afar off: for truth (innocence, right action…) is fallen in the street and equity cannot enter”?  Talk with older classes if you feel comfortable about praying for the world.  Mrs. Eddy asked Christian Scientists to handle the false notion of everlasting punishment because this idea of a wrathful, unyielding God it is so prevalent in Christianity.
PSST for Section 1
What do you know about Horeb (Mt. Sinai)?  What happened there?  (That’s where God gave Moses the 10 commandments.)  Do you have any memories that strengthen your resolve or remind you of God’s presence?  The Israelites in the Bible and people today are inspired and reminded of God’s love when they think of the 10 commandments and God’s tangible presence at Mt. Sinai (a.k.a. Horeb).  Do you know the 10 commandments?
B3: Think about the word “fear.”  One of the definitions of fear is “apprehension” and another is “awe.”  Moses says, “And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God” (Deut 10:12).  If we replace “fear” God with “understand” or “apprehend” Him what insight do you get from the passage?  How can this help you understand the rest of the passage in citation B3?
If you are focused on sin, what is so destructive?  Paul believed in a “day of wrath”, a day of revelation.  This is the final test, the final judgment.  Is there such a day?  What do you think Mrs. Eddy meant when she quoted Paul, “heap up wrath against the day of wrath?”
“Corporeal sense defrauds and lies; it breaks all the commands of the Mosaic Decalogue to meet its own demands” (S2).  Do you like to be lied to?  Do you believe lies, especially when you know it’s a lie?  When error says you have a stomachache, do you stand up and say, “I KNOW THE TRUTH, I don’t believe this lie”?  In this way you are standing up for the 10 commandments which say, Thou shalt have no other gods before me.  Do you think about the commandments or the “Mosaic Decalogue” on a regular basis?
PSST for Section 2
How did the Israelites get into the house of bondage in Egypt?  What might be a house of bondage in the world today? How about in your life today?  How has God brought you out of that “house of bondage”?
What does Mrs. Eddy say about the first commandment (S5)?  What is the result of one God?  Look at the list that she makes.  Can you come up with anything else that happens when we have only one God?
PSST for Section 3
What is a graven image?  Grave can mean: Engrave (an inscription or image) on a surface. Image: “Noun: A representation of an external form of a person or thing in sculpture.”  Why is it such a big deal to avoid making graven images?  Is it wrong to draw things in art class or make sculptures?  It was a real temptation 3000 years ago to make images, sculptures, which were seen as gods and try to worship them.
What does Mrs. Eddy mean when she says, “The idols of civilization are far more fatal to health and longevity than are the idols of barbarism.”  According to, barbarism is defined as an act, trait, or custom characterized by ignorance or crudity.  Think about Mrs. Eddy’s statement.  Why are the idols of civilization worse than the idols of barbarism?  “Mortal belief is all that enables a drug to cure mortal ailments.”  Do drugs cure?  [or just relieve symptoms?] Is this permanent?  What are people’s “constitutions?”  What does citation S8 have to do with human thought?  How does it relate back to the second commandment (graven images)?
PSST for Section 4
People in ancient times believed that knowing someone else’s name gave people power.  It meant a person could tell someone else what to do.  If you use God’s name in vain, asking for things which were unnecessary (like praying for money, etc.) you are breaking the third commandment.  Jesus encourages us to have faith (B8).  Using God’s name with a purpose, not just saying “Oh my God” for emphasis is also important.  The commandment does not tell people to refrain from using God’s name, but rather to understand that there will be a result to right prayers.  How can we pray with sincerity?  What kinds of prayers or statements do we make that are really insincere?  (“God is Love” can be powerful and effective, but sometimes it is just a blanket statement that people make which is not really believed or applied at all).  How are you making sure that you aren’t using God’s name in vain.  What can you do differently?  This commandment is a lot more than just not swearing.  Why is it so important?  One definition of vain is producing no result, or useless.  Can you think of the commandment as saying, Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God uselessly.  When you call on God for healing, expect results!  Are you?
Mrs. Eddy addresses the idea of expecting results in citation S9.  What is the point of praying if we don’t expect healing to happen?  There is a story about a church that agrees to come together during a drought to pray for rain.  On the night that everyone meets, only one member has brought an umbrella.  Do we pray with the expectation that our prayers will be effective?  If not, why are we praying?  What needs to change in order to expect results of your prayers?  How do we have more faith in the “truth of being” than in mortality (S10)?  What will be the result when this happens?
PSST for Section 5
What is the point of remembering the Sabbath day?  How do we rest and hallow the Sabbath day like God did (B9)?  What types of activities keep the Sabbath holy?  Is this commandment only for Sunday?  What are we expected to do the rest of the week?  What did Jesus encourage us to do on the Sabbath?  Is healing work?  What about the rest of the time?  How is the Sabbath day similar to all other days?  How is it the same?
What does it mean to rest?  Are there multiple and different kinds of rest?  Is holy work [better than] sleeping (S12)? The passages from Science and Health in this section appear to disregard the Sabbath day at first glance.  They are all about “rest” and “resting in action” (S12).  Can you expand the concept of a holy Sabbath day to the rest of the week?
PSST for Section 6    
How do we honor our parents?  What if we have an argument with them?  What happens when we honor and respect them (B11)?  Notice that both citation B11 and B12 answer the “why” question (Why should I?).  Have you ever been on a dark path at night?  Imagine what it is like to have a “lamp” or a flashlight (B12).  How can a written set of 10 commandments be a lamp on the “path” of life?
What do you think about Mrs. Eddy’s statement that “insubordination is an evil” (S14)?  Do you agree?  Why or why not?  What else stands out to you in this citation?  What makes us happy and good?  Do we gravitate to those things?  Why do you think this happens?  When are the most powerful lessons taught to us (hint, when did you first start learning foundational skills like reading, writing, tying your shoes, talking, etc)?  Think about citation S15. How is “Truth demonstrated” “eternal life”?
PSST for Section 7
The definition of “kill” on is “to deprive of life in any manner; cause the death of; slay”.  Also, “to destroy; do away with; extinguish:”
Citation B13 says “Thou shalt not kill.” To kill (on a mortal plane) is to stop life.  Have you ever thought of calling people names, hurting people in some way, taking a friend away from another, bullying, etc. as stopping life (happy living) in a little way?  We don’t want to kill or stop good in any way.  Who was harmed by the actions of the wicked man in citation B14?  When someone does something wrong, who is really harmed?  (Hint: the person who did what was wrong.)  Do you agree with this?  What needs to happen for the person who makes a mistake to find good in their experience (B15)?
Explain citation S16:  What is jurisdiction?  What do our courts have jurisdiction over?  Mrs. Eddy poses a number of questions in this citation.  What do you think?  Citation S17 reads, “Sin kills the sinner and will continue to kill him so long as the he sins.”  This is straight-forward.  Sin is bad; stop sinning.  Is this a complex concept?  Why does it seem so hard to stop sinning?  What helps us stop?  What is the result (S18)?  What kinds of blessings will we witness when we turn away from sin?
PSST for Section 8
What does Jesus say about committing adultery?  How is Jesus’ direction more demanding and challenging to follow than the 7th commandment?  What is Jesus directing his followers away from?  Is lust as bad as adultery?
Look at citation S19 with older classes.  Compare the role of adultery and murder in society.  What point is Mrs. Eddy making?  It seems like adultery is so prevalent in today’s culture through TV, magazines, movies, and everyday conversation.  What do you make of the statement, “‘Thou shalt not commit adultery’ is no less imperative than the one, ‘thou shalt not kill'”?  Do you agree?  What about “chastity is the cement of civilization and progress”?  What is chastity?  What does the statement mean to you?  She goes on to say that without chastity there is no stability in our society.  Do you agree?  What makes chastity so vital to our society and progress?  How are you keeping your thought clear and pure?  “The thunder of Sinai and the Sermon on the Mount are pursuing and will overtake the ages, rebuking in their course all error and proclaiming the kingdom of heaven on earth”. (S21)  What does this sentence have to do with adultery in this section?  What about the implications for the world?
PSST for Section 9
In citation B19 Paul writes to the Ephesians telling them in order to stop stealing and reverse the sin, the thief has to do good work with his hands.  How can you relate this to your life?  How do you destroy sin?  How can you avoid the temptation to take even something small?  How is recognizing that thieves are capable of good helpful in forgiving and changing them?
How do we correct our mistakes?  How do we address the idea that we gain by stealing?  What needs to change within us to recognize that this is untrue?  Citation S23 is often discussed by Christian Scientists.  The only way to be truly pardoned by God is to stop sinning.  Theft is one of the clearest examples of sin that can be stopped.  Either someone is stealing or not, and stealing can stop immediately.  How are pardon, forgiveness, and the destruction of sin similar?  What is the importance of each of these actions?
PSST for Section 10
What does it mean to “bear false witness” against our neighbor?  What stands out to you in citation B21?  What about the statement, “he that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul”?  What commandment is being referred to? (Hint: think promise.)  Is there more than meets the eye in our experience when we lie?  How about when we consciously decide not to lie even if it seems hard to tell the truth?
Honesty is so important.  What does Mrs. Eddy say about honesty? (S24)  Do you agree?  How does lying feel?  When you lie, do you feel like you are forfeiting “divine help”?  There are clear directions in citation S25.  “Choke these errors in their early stages”.  Why is this so important?  If you don’t address the lie right away, what happens?  Do you agree that “sin’s necessity” is to “destroy itself”?
PSST for Section 11
Why do you think this commandment identifies what specifically should not be coveted?  Why is this such a challenging commandment?  Do we ever wish for something someone else has?  How does Jesus’ direction in citation B23 show that we don’t need to covet?  What kind of treasure is Jesus referring to here?  Is it something that we can ever lose?  Are we interested in someone else’s treasure when we have our own already?  Of course not!
“Evil thoughts and aims reach no farther and do no more harm than one’s belief permits.” (S26)  What’s the key point in this statement?  Is there anything to fear from these thoughts?  What do we need to remember?  Don’t permit those thoughts in our experience!  How are we purifying ourselves?  Why is this important?  What does purity have to do with protection?
PSST for Section 12
Identify all the amazing things that God is and does in citation B24.  Add more to this list.  What have you witnessed this week?  What covenant do we have with God? (Hint: we just spent 11 sections going over it!)  Why is that covenant so important?  We are blessing and praising God in this citation.  Why?  What are you grateful for?
Citation S28 echoes citation S23: “The pardon of divine mercy is the destruction of error.”  Why is this so important that it is repeated?  Citation S30 ends with the statement, “this is your divine right.”  What is the difference between a right and a privilege?  What is our right?  Why?  What are we free from?  Why is this important to us?  What do we experience as a result?  This is an incredible lesson that really ends on a high note.  
What inspiration did you get out of this week’s study and application of the 10 commandments?

[PYCL: Re-use 10 Building Blocks! They're in our hearts! Put ‘em into meaningful context!]
CedarS PYCL–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
Everlasting Punishment“–The Christian Science Bible Lesson for Oct. 24-30, 2011
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041
[bracketed intros by Warren Huff, CedarS Director & Editor of Mets, PSSTs & PYCLs]

[PYCL -Keep a copy of this lesson for future forays into the Ten Commandments:]
We are so fortunate to get such a wonderful view this week of the Ten Commandments, one of the building blocks of our Sunday school education!  I think it would be a great idea to keep a copy of this week's lesson on file for future forays into Sunday School lessons where you plan to look at any Commandment, just so you have some extra resources on hand.  It is so wonderful that we get some great insights into each Commandment and accompanying citations from other places in the Bible and in Science and Health.  I don't want to be found pointing out the obvious in each section, so I'll really try to just offer a smattering of ideas that hopefully may not have occurred to you!
[PYCL -Discuss the Subject:]
Maybe first thing, you could ask about the subject. What does this subject refer to? What do the Commandments have to do with it?
[PYCL -Golden Text: These laws are already in our hearts!]
I find this passage so exciting! God has already put these laws in our minds, where we know them intrinsically and in our hearts where we love them too! They are a part of our nature, of the perfect divine creation. They aren't boring or restrictive rules that we have to learn and struggle to obey. They are part of who we are, so we naturally express an affinity towards them, and know them as we know our true selves. Have the kids that are about third grade and up take a look at this passage in this light. Can they see this as a statement about how God has created us?
[PYCL -Responsive Reading (R.R): Trees by the river-draw it out and act it out:]
This symbolism from Psalms is so beautiful and meaningful.  See if they have ever noticed it or thought about what it means to be planted by the river.  What does it mean that you are unaffected by drought?  (What is drought?)  What is the Psalmist getting at?  Can you come up with something in your life that parallels this analogy?  If you do this for yourself so they have an example, it will help.  For example, if we are tempted to be happy only when it seems that good things are happening, then we are only going to be happy sporadically.  If we strive to see God's goodness everywhere and to rejoice in this goodness even when it isn't apparent to our senses, then we are going to be much more consistently happy (and coincidentally a lot more fun to be around!).  This is dwelling by God's “river” of good that never dries up; this is being happy even we are apparently surrounded by evidence of “drought”.  This analogy represents what awaits us in our lives as we follow the Ten Commandments.  Obedience to these laws brings satisfaction, prosperity, inspiration, protection, love and more.  These are some of the ideas that I think that “river” represents, but you can really dig into this idea and draw a large river on paper and fill it in with “ideas” that the “river” brings to us as we “grow” by its banks.  Littler ones may enjoy the idea of being a “tree” by such a river.  What flows from God to be sucked up by our “roots”?  With the littlest ones you can explain that the roots of a tree are like straws, they suck up the moisture and food that's in the soil, and if they are near a river, they will never be thirsty and dry up and have their leaves fall off in the middle of summer!  If we stay near God and His constant flow of good ideas and love, we will always prosper.  Even if all around us seems barren and dry, this river is much too deep to ever dry out and leave us without Love and Love's inspiration!  If you are in a big enough space and your students are wigglier, you can try outlining a big river on the floor and put ideas from God on larger pieces of paper.  The kids can lay the ideas in the river and be the trees next to it.  What will they do with those ideas that they “suck” up?  Will they put them into action right away?  You can talk about how “joy”, for example, would be shown in their lives.  I'm sure there are any number of workable ways that you can take off from here!
[PYCL -An overview of these laws, and examples of how to live by them today:]
In the first section you get all the Commandments spelled out.  It may be a good idea to talk about how these Commandments might be applicable to our lives today.  If you have more than just one student, perhaps you could assign a couple of Commandments to each one and ask them what they think the ones they chose mean for them.  Give them some time to come up with their thoughts on this.  These laws are designed to be applicable to everyone (written in our minds and hearts, remember?), so they have a vital/living meaning to everyone.  If you aren't about to go out there and murder someone, well then, what does that Commandment mean for you to do?  Is it simply not killing anyone?  If we can't put them into meaningful context in each of our lives, then they truly could be looked at as outmoded rules of conduct, just humanly moral guidelines.  What makes them vital, spiritual laws?  Have them look for the “vitality” in each law; and for what makes it live today.
[PYCL -Favorite text:]
Why is the First Commandment Mrs. Eddy's favorite text? Give that some time to sink in and maybe see if each student has some thoughts on this. Why should it maybe be a favorite text for each of us? Can we each come up with some ways that we tend to “have other gods”? Can we come up with some ideas for how we can focus on eliminating some of these other “gods” and seeing what this will bring into our experience? Maybe make a short list of “other gods” and then list some ways we want to see improvement in removing them from our thought.
[PYCL -Identify what you think about most and rule out the idols of civilization.]
I love that Mrs. Eddy points out (S6) that the idols of civilization are far more fatal…than the ones of barbarism.  I never noticed this passage (S6) as a kid, and idolatry seemed such a silly concept to me.  In fact we used to joke about it in Sunday School.  But, again, the Bible is a living document.  What does idolatry mean today?  If it were as silly as bowing to a golden calf would be to us today, then it wouldn't be a living commandment.  Talk about citation S6, and help them understand the language there.  Then see if they have some ideas about what an idol of civilization might be.  It is easy to “demonize” medicine here if we are not careful.  This challenge isn't obvious to most young children if they are raised in Christian Science.  What is at the root of depending on medical science for our safety?  If they have never been challenged by wanting to rely on the “standard” Western methods of health care, then this may not be a subject that is approachable in a sincere way.  Try viewing it more perhaps from the thinking that our body can appear to be what defines us and we might be tempted to worship what it tells us and fear what it tells us when it is hurt or not feeling well.  How can we deal with that temptation?  I just think it's important to address only the issues that are sincerely a challenge to the kids where they are in their experience or the discussion will smack of insincerity.  So really think about what idolatry is for a little person!  They are often focused on themselves; they haven't quite learned to see a bigger world.  Our job as parents and educators is to gradually help them see beyond their view of life as egocentric.  So this may be a gentle angle with which to approach the second commandment.  How do we worship God rightly?
[PYCL -What's in a name? Sincerely believe your prayers will be answered.]
I found this section so inspiring in its living approach to the third commandment!  I read citation B8 with new “eyes” when I first saw it in this context this week, even before I got to citation S9.  See if some of the kids that are just a bit older can see these citations in the context of the third commandment.  Do they understand that it is “taking God's name in vain” to pray and then doubt that anything good will come of it?  Maybe you can talk about what kind of prayer yields results… (not asking for “things”, for example).  I love the phrase “…believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”!  Is this just blind hope?  There is good food for thought and discussion here. points out that saying “God is Love” without really believing it is an example of taking God's name in vain.  I tell ask my little guys after their nightly prayers before bed “where's God?”; if they are just saying “right here” without really knowing that …well then, that's probably not a sincere prayer.  So let's make sure we are constantly moving forward in our understanding of prayer!
[PYCL – Teach pupils from your own inspiration of applying rules to live by yourself.]
I just want to say that this document will be about 8 pages long if I keep going commandment by commandment.  I think that we can choose a few to focus on and dig into deeper and save other commandments for another class (which is why I think keeping a print-out of this lesson would be a fantastic idea).  Or it could be great fun to move right through them as a class and see them in the setting of the subject for this week's lesson.  Find the commandments that seem most compelling to you this week.  Whenever we teach from a standpoint of being inspired by our own study, this is transmitted to our students, whatever the topic!  The commandment “Thou shalt not steal” is an interesting study.  What does someone gain through stealing?  What is our job as the apparent “victim”.  Can we “steal” someone's joy or peace?
[PYCL – Encourage pupils to always go up higher.]
In the commandment about the Sabbath day: how is that a living commandment?  Mrs. Eddy speaks of “ascendancy” in citation S20.  Is this the demand of the “Sabbath”?  Are we to think in terms of constantly ascending/going up higher as obeying this command?
[PYCL – To bear true witness help pupils see as God sees.]
The commandment about bearing false witness is an excellent one to discuss with kids because it can be applied in a living way to any age.  What does it mean to “bear false witness”?  How about if we see someone that isn't feeling well, can we see them as God sees them?  What about if they seem to be behaving in a mean way, can we see them then as God sees them?  How does God see us?  In citation S24 what does “forfeit” mean and why do we forfeit God's help if we are being dishonest or bearing false witness?  What does it feel like to have “spiritual power”?
[PYCL – Help little ones to combat envy early.]
Finally, coveting is a really important concept to cover.  This seems to be a challenge even for the littlest ones when it comes to toys and the like.  So learning why we don't need to covet or want something that someone else has, is a great stepping stone to a happy satisfied life.  I love that Warren has always shared the thought that rather than envy, we can say “that's mine too!”.  This commandment is the only one that is purely dwelling in our thought without any obvious actions or indications to others that we are breaking any laws.  The other commandments all seem to be related more to actions, though it is obvious that they are stemming from challenges to our thought.  Why is it true that we can say “that's mine too” when we look at someone's life and want what they have?  I mean, clearly, it doesn't mean that if they have a shiny new bike, we can have that too.  What does it mean?  As we lay the groundwork of understanding why all good is available to us here and now, we can help these little people build a strong foundation to combat the “bigger” envies that crop up as they grow into adulthood.  If, as Jesus says, the pure in heart see God, then it is the purity of our heart that contains our treasures in life.  We can guard and nurture and rejoice in these spiritual treasures so that we have a life of satisfaction and joy in Spirit.  
Great to be able to help these children on their way and help ourselves in the process!  


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