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Praise God: “Get Clear” on True Cause!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
“God the Only Cause and Creator”
forNovember 28-December 4, 2011
By Craig L. Ghislin, C.S. of Glen Ellyn, Illinois 630-830-8683
[PS & Bracketed italics by Warren, CedarS Director & 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]
Humans have an insatiable desire to understand why they exist and how things work. Contemplating origins and purposes gives humans a sense that we can improve our experience based on our findings. If we can discover the laws of reality, we can use those laws to direct outcomes beneficial to our existence. The discovery of our origins is still a top priority for most of the disciplines in the sciences and humanities. For example, the PBS television series “Nova” is currently discussing the “Fabric of the Cosmos.” One of the possibilities they're considering is that rather than one Big Bang, there were several Big Bangs and that rather than being in a universe, we actually are part of a “multiverse.”
Not everyone considers things on such a grand scale, but even on a mundane scale, people make decisions based on their underlying beliefs of cause and creation. In earlier times people often made a majority of life decisions based on the likelihood of their going to heaven or hell.  In modern times, due to changes in theological beliefs about creation and cause, religion is often left out of the equation and people simply consider the social or personal ramifications.  How one viewed creation has played a part in science and philosophy as well.  Seventeenth-century thinker John Ray wrote a voluminous treatise meant to prove the existence of God based on all the complex natural wonders of the world as he knew it.  Eighteenth-century philosopher David Hume took a different approach surmising that religion itself evolved because mankind was looking for ways to explain the natural disasters and tragedies of life.  Regardless of the field of study or the time period, beliefs about cause and creation influence one's approach and one's findings.
So upon this backdrop of human endeavor in scientific and philosophical research and application, we consider the view that God is the only Cause and Creator.  Traditional theology supposes that God created everything materially.  Christian Science does not.  Christian Science declares that if God is Spirit, creation must be spiritual, and this view certainly alters how one approaches life and its challenges.
The Golden Text gets right to the point that God is the sole creator of all things.  It assumes God is creator by definition and that there is no other power to be considered.  It also emphasizes that creation has a purpose.  The earth was made to be inhabited.  The King James Version says, “he created it not in vain.”  The English Standard Version translates, “he did not create it empty.”  And The Amplified Bible offers, He “did not create it to be a worthless waste.”  The idea of purpose and value is something we sometimes overlook, especially where the environment is concerned.  At least in Western society, we seldom revere our environment as a valued gift.  More often than not, we take our environment for granted, and consider it almost as a right that we have everything we need rather than as a privilege.  Thinking about gratitude this past week, we can ask ourselves if we are really grateful for what we have, and if we really acknowledge that God is the source of all good.  If we cherish something gratefully, we do not waste it.
The Responsive Reading (RR) emphasizes praise.  The Hebrew word is the root for our English “hallelujah.”  Aside from the common meaning of “celebration,” the root word means “to be clear” (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance).  Therefore, the psalm is encouraging us to be clear that God is the creator of all things, and that all things are created spiritually.  The psalm is comprehensive in scope.  It calls upon all that is above the earth and all that is on the earth to be clear about their origins.  From the sun and moon-the most conspicuous heavenly bodies- to the farthest star, everything should praise-be clear-that God is creator.  God's law is fixed.  Everything from the mountains to the grass, from the largest beast to the tiniest organism, rich men, poor men, male, female, young, old, and in between, everyone and everything owes existence to God [as do “all cedars”. See PS on CedarS Camps: its Origin and Growth']
Every facet of creation “from the mental molecule to infinity” is governed in perfect order by God, and has specific purpose according to God's law.  How different that is from the multitudinous theories of cosmology, evolution, and all the other conjectures based on the evidence of the material senses.
Section 1: “Get Clear” About Our Surroundings
The Psalm in this section (B1) is patterned after the seven days of creation found in Genesis.  As noted above, our view of cause and creation determines how we act and think about everything we do.  The physical sciences, based on material observation alone, look for rules and laws that govern things.  While researchers and theorists sometimes find the laws of physics and nature awe inspiring, and even beautiful, they are not likely to say that there is a spiritual cause behind them, and they seldom give any credit to God.  As wondrous as laws of physics, quantum mechanics, biology, geology, and so on, can be, we still find ourselves looking into matter for cause, and then find ourselves at the mercy of material laws.  We try to use our understanding of them to work for our good, but we often find that there is nothing we can do about them if they appear to threaten us.  Additionally, some feel that we exist due to a random accident in the cosmos.  If we believe we're the result of random acts, we're not very likely to look to a source beyond ourselves for protection and sustenance.  The biblical approach to the cause of creation sees the laws that govern us as coming from God and always for our benefit.  These laws are benevolent and have a sole purpose of providing a safe and supportive environment for its inhabitants.  From this spiritual point of view everything has a good purpose, and everything works harmoniously.  Perfect form and perfect function is the rule.  The Amplified Bible's version of citation B2 urges us to turn our mind and heart away from material theories to God as the only cause.  There is none other.
The teachings of Christian Science agree that the there are laws governing creation and existence, and the more we find out about them the better.  But these laws are entirely spiritual, and matter or material observations do not enter the equation.  In Christian Science, God is All-in-all (S1).  God fills all space.  The nature of that “space” is divine.   It's important to understand that God does not “occupy” all space observed or inhabited in our visible universe, or if you prefer, “multiverse.”  Rather, all creation exists in Him.  God is the only, singular, primal cause (S2).  Some feel that the only way to “grasp the reality and order of being” is through mathematical equations.  But, Mrs. Eddy tells us if we want to achieve that goal “in its Science” we have to begin with the recognition of God as Principle (S3).  Every material observation may be quantifiable in mathematical terms, but the essence, the reality of things, is found in spiritual reflection (S4).  Everything that really exists is idea-not a product of molecular or atomic theories, as ethereal as they may be-but a spiritual idea existing only in and expressed by divine Mind.
Section 2: What about Man?
Even the psalmist saw man as quite insignificant compared to the wonders of the cosmos (B3).  How indeed is such a flawed, frail, and weak creature to be considered the crowning glory of God's creation?  Theologian Albert Barnes wonders at the thought of man having been given dominion over things even far out of his reach.  He has dominion over all the fish of the sea, and the fowl of the air, even though he may never come in contact with them.  How can this be?
Mrs. Eddy acknowledges all creation “from the infinitesimal to infinity” as spiritual ideas, and considers man, “the sons and daughters of God,” as “the highest ideas” (S5).  She explains that man possesses dominion over the rest of creation through reflection of God's dominion (S6).  She also explains that man is not simply the first in a series of spiritual ideas, but that man is himself “the compound idea of God, including all right ideas” (S7).  That infers that just as God's entire creation exists in Him-in Mind, all of creation is also included in man.  In other words, man doesn't share an environment, with other ideas less important than himself, but man, as a compound idea, includes the whole of creation-the environment and everything in it.  He has dominion because man is God's reflection and since all things exist in God, everything in creation is included in man.  The solution to understanding creation is found through the recognition of “man's spiritual being”-understanding what man really is (S8).  Then, our Leader promises, we'll understand everything-“all the glories of earth and heaven and man.”
Section 3: Reverse the Material View with Spiritual Reality
Material reasoning places everything upside down (B4).  The prophet asks, can the thing that is made, say the maker didn't make it?  Can the thing formed say of him that formed it, he doesn't understand?  Obviously, this is an absurd assumption, yet that's what mortals try to do.  The prophet continues, “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low” (B5).  This refers to making “the impassable” into something “passable.”  By the way, that's not a typo for “impossible.”  It meant that all roads that could not be passed, would be repaired and made passable.  Could this refer to all the questions that stump us now?  All the dead-ends we run into based on material theories will eventually be surmounted when we stop turning things upside down.  The text seems to support this view.  The prophet goes on to point out that God's ways are not ours.  His ways are higher than ours as the heavens are higher than the earth (B6).  God's laws accomplish exactly what they were established to do.  The text infers that when we yield our mistaken theories to God's higher view, we will see amazing results.
Mrs. Eddy explains that what we perceive as a material earth is a result of our material point of view (S9, S10).  To spiritual sense, earth isn't material, but a “compound idea.”  Material sense turns things upside down by accepting one of two theories-both of which cut us off from God.  The first theory, writes Mrs. Eddy, presupposes matter to be self-created and self-governed.  The second theory assumes that Spirit made matter (S12).  So either God has nothing to do with creation, or He is responsible for everything good and bad, beautiful and ugly.  Based on the understanding of God as all good, Mrs. Eddy saw only the good as real and everything evil as unnatural.  To material sense, all the deformities and dangers of nature are believed to be either the product of some natural law, or purposefully made so by God.  But the science of being shows them to be only products of mortal mind (S13).  If we base our understanding of being on Spirit, and subordinate the false material pictures to that understanding, we will see the material picture transform to the true likeness created by God (S14).  As Isaiah prophesied, “instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree.”
Section 4: Find the Truth of the Spiritual View in Healing
So if we are to change our view, if we are to put God in charge, and recognize only His government, and God as the only creative and causative power, what effect would that have on our lives?  The works of Christ Jesus give us a preview.  If we believe that we are the helpless stepchildren, at the mercy of an unforgiving, random, and harsh universe, we probably won't think we are worth very much.  As my wife's grandmother once said, “Oh, God doesn't have time for little old me.  He's got all those people in China to worry about.”  That's not a very encouraging outlook.  Jesus tells us that even a seemingly worthless sparrow is not forgotten by God, and that God numbers every hair on your head (B8).  A stressed-out father brought his son to Jesus.  The boy had a history of illness, and even the disciples failed to cure him.  Jesus healed him on the spot, and told the disciples that they didn't have enough faith (B9).  No doubt, the disciples were taken in by the display before their eyes and the apparent tenacity of the illness.  Have you ever been tempted by something like this?  I have.  The disciples had seen Jesus heal, yet their effort failed.  Theologian Adam Clarke ponders this: “Are we preachers of the Gospel?  Do the things of God rest upon our minds with a deep and steady conviction?  Can we expect that a doctrine which we do not, from conviction, credit ourselves, can be instrumental in our hands of begetting faith in others?”
What's the solution?  Jesus put aside all material causation (S15), and he did it with utter conviction.  Our textbook indicates that the answer is in getting a correct, clear sense of our origin.  If we believe the material story, we are destined for problems.  But if we begin with God we will have a right result (S16).  We need to see God as the only cause-period.  If God made man, he cannot be sick.  Disease has no cause and no history.  If we build on the fact that God is the only cause and hold our ground with conviction, we are promised victory (S18).  This Christly viewpoint allows us to see the perfect man; and this is the man that has dominion over the earth and is never subject to laws of sickness (S19).
Section 5: Apply of Truth to Overcome Lack
Material laws suggest a limited source of supply.  It assumes a finite quantity of goods, resulting in not enough to go around.  Christ Jesus, starting from a higher standpoint, assures us that every bird and flower gets just what they need (B10) and if we extend our earlier discussion about man's dominion, that means, every need of man is also supplied.  Jesus proved again, the difference between the disciples' limited material view and his own.  They saw lack, but he saw infinite opportunity.  He was neither hindered nor impressed by material circumstances.  He knew God was the only source.
Mrs. Eddy calls Jesus “the most scientific man that ever trod the globe” (S20).  We might be tempted to give a such a nod to Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, or Steven Hawking; but I think we'd be safe to stick with Mrs. Eddy's statement.  Jesus went way beyond even quantum physics.  He truly “plunged beneath the material surface of things.”  His proofs of dominion over laws of physics and nature demonstrated that he knew more about the true laws of creation and causation than anyone before or since (S21).  While modern man struggles to feed, clothe, and house the needy, Jesus saw that God alone sustains man (S22).  Jesus didn't see creation as a one-time event, but as an ongoing unfoldment of spiritual ideas that are always available for man's use (S23).  It is promising for us to understand and apply to good use this view of creation as an ongoing unfoldment of spiritual ideas.  The author of Science and Health foresaw that we too, will see things in a new way when we understand the divine law (S24).  Again, it is a higher point of view that brings the change.  When we look beyond material testimony and so-called laws of limitation, and realize that matter has nothing to do with Spirit or reality, we will find ready access to the reality of things.
Section 6: Learn from Observing God's Creation
While man has been given dominion over all the earth and its inhabitants that does not mean he has no responsibility toward it.  Remember, that to praise is “to get clear,” and since all creation is included in man, to neglect or mistreat any facet of creation is counterproductive to man's well-being.  All the varied expressions and ideas of God have something to teach us about ourselves.  “All thy works shall praise thee…” (B12).  There is a consistency in God's government.  The context within the story of the citation from Job (B13) is actually on the negative side of things.  Commentators suggest that Job's argument is to prove that, even for the beasts, life “isn't always fair.”  But we can take the converse view and see that the marvelous capacities found in the animal kingdom-agility, strength, power, endurance, and so on, are consistently available to us as well.  Everything in creation can teach us something about God and our relationship to Him.  For example, Isaiah uses the garden to exemplify God's power.  Plants spring up in response to God's word, and mankind too, naturally responds to God's divine direction and care (B14).
The entire world and, in fact, all creation, is under God's control (S25).  The plant, and animal kingdoms are obedient to the laws of God, and we are responsible for their care (S26).  Remember in the Golden Text, that God didn't create the earth to be wasted.  Neither should we lay our environment to waste.  Mrs. Eddy tells us understanding the usefulness of all God's creatures was “a source of strength to the ancient worthies.”  [See in the PS a Riviere etching of Daniel-“understanding the control that Love held over all”-turning his back on the lions with peaceful conviction. S&H 514:26] Mrs. Eddy also says understanding the usefulness of all of God's creatures “supports Christian healing” and enables us to “emulate the works of Jesus” (S27).  This suggests to me, that there is an area of discovery we have yet to explore.  Earlier, we spoke of the innate desire to figure out how things work.  Perhaps as research continues, we can learn from all aspects of creation more about our true relation to God, and use this understanding toward an improved healing practice.  If “Mind governs all, from the mental molecule to infinity,” (S28) we can find in studying the quantum or the macro level of nature, not rules of matter, but expressions of the divine being that will teach us more about ourselves and our true relationship to our Creator.  It all begins though, with the premise that God is the cause and creator of all.  If we give God the “glory, honor, dominion, and power” (S29) due His name, we will begin rightly.  Then we'll really be clear about cause and creation, and sing praises with conviction.

[PS Application ideas from Warren Huff, CedarS director and Newsletter editor:
1. The prelude to citation S27, S&H 514:26 shows the importance of singing praises to God with understanding while doing your own daily defensive work with conviction,
even three times a day like Daniel did. Daniel's prayers made him very calm as portrayed by a contemporary of Mary Baker Eddy (Briton Riviere) in his Daniel in the Lions' Den illustrations. In one scene where Daniel is put — hands bound– into the den, I imagine him courageously looking each crouching, snarling lion in the eye with a fearless smile of radiant love. In the subsequent scene, Daniel is looking up to the light, answering the kingthat God protected him — his back to the now-admiring and curious lions — turning only to his all-powerful God who “guides every event of our careers.” (Unity 3:28)]  
2. Application idea for citation S28, 507:25 that got Warren into Princeton University: “The divine Principle of all expresses Science and art throughout His creation…” My affirmation with conviction that I expressed the only Cause and Creator whose aptitudes are equally excellence in both (mathematical) sciences and (language) arts caused a raising and equaling of my SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) Math and SAT Verbal scores that had been 100 points off the first time around.]
3. To connect God as the origin of “all cedars” (RR, Ps. 148:9), you may want to read an inspirational and educational book by CedarS Founder, my mom, Ruth E. Huff called CedarS Camps: its Origin and Growth, 1962-2001. Just click on this title to download an order form for a beautifully illustrated and substantial $15-$20 gift. Ruth tells in the book about seeking God's guidance and her direct Bible openings where the first words she saw were “the cedars of Lebanon” (Ps. 104:16 and Ps. 92:12). Seeing that divine direction in print inspired our camp name since CedarS is located just outside Lebanon in the beautiful Missouri Ozarks. 

4. Citation B4 features the headline for CedarS annual fruitage report: “Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field.” Isa. 29:17 Click here for recent samples of this fruitage that appears fresh — one piece of fruit(age) at a time — below the slideshow on CedarS webpage.] 


[“NEW” MATCHING FUND OPPORTUNITY FOR MAINTENANCE MUSTS!  A precious donor has recently re-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.  After our Board meeting and recent email appeal we now have “only” $8,000 to go this month; 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.


To send an actual check please mail to:
The CedarS Camps Office
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Ballwin, MO 63011

[Your 50th Anniversary gift to CedarS–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: Our new Fall-season outreach
(that is fostering a proper understanding of Christian Science) is giving tours of our new Bible Lands Park that clearly demonstrate to 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)  As shown in video clips 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.]
[CedarS recurring needs are listed at Just click here to use a credit or debit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover card) or a virtual check to make very helpful monthly donations to CedarS (or to give one-time gifts) in support of spiritual growth.  International supporters can give to CedarS via PayPal using built-in currency exchange rates by filling in an amount under International Donors and clicking on the “Donate Online” button.  

[Lastly you can help by telling “un-camped” children and families about CedarS being a wise and happy place for them to glimpse and demonstrate more of their spiritual natures!  We'll gladly send anyone a DVD and info on CedarS financial aid forms; programs for all ages; 2012 session dates & rates; 2012 online enrollment; transportation… to help get them or anyone in your extended church family to camp!]
 [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!

[P.S.S.T. – State the counterfact to counteract a counterfeit belief of lack …]
Possible Sunday School Topics by Merrill Boudreaux of St. Louis, MO
for December 4, 2011 on the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson:
“God the Only Cause and Creator”
P.S.S.T. – Golden Text – According to the Golden Text, God was intentional when creating the heaven and the earth; He intended that it be inhabited or occupied. What is your role as an inhabitant, how do you occupy your space/place? How should one act as an inhabitant/occupier? Should one act as a tyrant or protector? Ask students to make a [to-do] list for their role.
P.S.S.T. – Responsive Reading – One can think of praising God verbally. Are there other ways to praise God? Perhaps with one's actions, one's life? Take the list in the Responsive Reading of those praising God and state how each entity praises God.
     Example: stars of light=permanent light, even when the stars “disappear” during the day. Stars give light so bright we can see them although they are many light-years away. Imagine how bright that brightness is. How does a king or prince or judge praise God? Do you know of any kings, princes, or judges in the Bible who praised God in their lives of action? Tell one of their stories.
P.S.S.T. – Section 1 –     Here is a wonderful listing of some of God's actions as creator. Think about the law of permanency associated with that which is created. This is a direct counterfact to the counterfeit belief of lack or diminishing supply. Help students see the connection between supply and demand and renewal. This works because God created all from God's self and is not dependent on any other source. S-4 and B-2
P.S.S.T. – Section 2 – How many creators are there? Of what does creation consist? S-5
     What is unfoldment? When does it happen? Unfoldment can give rise to amazement and wonder to one who is viewing that which is created. Ask students how they are amazed or what they wonder about. Can we understand the role of unfoldment? Yes. How? See S-8. Another benefit of being a Christian Scientist. If you have a computer available for your class, you all might look together at some NASA or Oceanic websites that give a hint of creations unfolding in the universe.
P.S.S.T. – Section 3 – When things seem upside down or disastrous, look to citation B-5 as an accurate statement of what is so: “…the word of our God shall stand forever.” Please read aloud citation B-6 as to the permanency of the results of the word of God. What is it that each one of us is to decide? S-11
     Take a side with that which is transient or that which is permanent, S-13 and S-14.
P.S.S.T. – Section 4 – How many hairs are on your head? How many grains of sand are on the beach? How many stars occupy the night sky? If these numbers seem overwhelming, ask students to count to infinity. When they begin to count, stop them at the number one. All that they need to know of infinity is one: One God, one creator and one creation. Man and the universe is indestructible and ever one with God. S-19   How cool is that? Because Jesus knew and was certain of this oneness, what did he do in citation B-9? Was there anything impossible to Jesus? Is there anything impossible to you?
P.S.S.T. – Section 5 – Why do you think Mrs. Eddy refers in citation S-20 to Jesus as “the most scientific man that ever trod the globe”? What is a scientist? What kind of a scientist was Jesus? What evidence do you have that he was a scientist? He did turn water into wine, he did still the stormy sea, he did raise the dead, he did feed multitudes. B-11 and S-21   Jesus understood the law of infinity and shared that law with his followers, and his followers shared it with us. Does that make us part of the multitude who got and get fed? You have available Jesus' law books in the Bible and Science & Health. They reveal infinity to you. Are you using these law books, these scientific journals?
P.S.S.T. – Section 6 – Read aloud all the entries from S&H in this section. What do they tell us of the creator and the creation? Ask students to memorize the first sentence in citation S-27. Tell them, “That is you, you are one of the all of God's creatures moving in the harmony of Science.” (514)
     Read aloud together Hymn 275 as a way to close your class. Praise God.

[PYCL: Share healings!…a full basket! As a compound idea, be firmer AND softer.]
CedarS PYCL–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
“God the Only Cause and Creator”
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for December 4, 2011
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041
[Bracketed titles by Warren, PYCL Editor]
[PYCL: Think together about what things are caused by God, what are not. Share healings]
Talk about what it means to “cause”. It may seem obvious, but my second grader answered this very confidently and totally incorrectly, so it's probably worth checking out what causing something might mean. I think this is an interesting concept to dig into for a Sunday School lesson. You may very well be able to spend the whole class thinking about what things are caused by God, what are not. If they are not caused by God then did they happen? Are they real? This may seem simplistic, and if you leave it in the realm of sweeping statements it can become more like doctrine. The best way to keep this from happening is to make sure you base these statements on demonstrations of this truth. Do you have a healing that shows how something that seemed like it happened was proven false, thereby illustrating that it was not “caused” by God? See if they can come up with examples in their own lives of this kind of healing after they've heard your healing. Citations S16 and S18 are good citations to use with this, also Jesus' feeding of the multitudes illustrates God's causal power very beautifully. [B11, Matt. 14:14-21]
[PYCL: “Begin rightly.” Be firm: “Hold your ground”. Be “stubborn”. “silence the witness”]
In citation S16 you can talk about beginning and ending rightly, how good comes from God and must bless. What happens when we aren't feeling well or experience an injury?  Are we starting with “right” thoughts, or with what is right?  In this citation they use the synonym Principle which also means “source”.  The principle of a river is its source, just so, God is the source and only good flows from Him…  I love the “directions” in citation S18 about what we are to “maintain”.  What does it mean to “hold your ground”?  Talk about that imagery and how we are being asked to be “stubborn” in Truth!  And what does it mean to “silence the witness against your plea”?  What is the “witness”?  How do we silence it?  Can you draw on examples from a healing that someone has shared to illustrate this silencing?
[PYCL: Show sandpaper making the rough smooth … Cherish softer actions, character]
There is so much beautiful imagery in this lesson.  It is worthwhile to take some time to read something beautiful from the Bible and ask what they think it means.  How would they put that into “modern” terms (if it needs modernizing!).  Look at citations B4 and B5.  What does it mean that “Every valley shall be exalted…the crooked straight…”  Look at Mrs. Eddy's definition of valley [“Depression; meekness; darkness.” S&H 596] and think about that [and about reversing sadness to gladness…] as well as about what “straightening” might “look” like in our lives.  How about rough places being made “plain”?  You could talk here about how a prairie plain is flat, ideally suited for agriculture and building.  Or you could bring in a block of wood that is unfinished and give everyone a chance to try a block plane or even some sand paper to see what they do to the rough surface of the wood.  What can we do to our actions and character that are similar to this process of “smoothing” out the wood?  How is God “causing” us to see our “smoothness” of character?  In citation B6 we see that He is active in His creation, not passive.  He is “watering”, cultivating and “accomplishing” His goodness!  Why do you think that the Bible is filled with this lovely imagery?  and why do we have so much in this week's lesson?  Is it maybe because plain old words are inadequate to express the wonder of His creation?  Look at the description of Elanor's in the back of the My Bible Lesson where she describes the way she felt seeing the variety and beauty of the insects she was studying in Guatemala!  [Ellie Stevens is a longtime CedarS staffer!]
[PYCL: Fill a basket (or whatever) with the sustaining ideas of the Christ on pieces of paper.]
The story of the multitude being fed is one of the stories in the lesson that seems not only literally wonderful but figuratively wonderful as well. [B11] For the littler ones you could share the story and then talk about what else Jesus was “feeding” them.  What is he still “feeding” us today?  You could even talk about Christmas in this context as we still celebrate his birth all these centuries later, there must be a contemporary importance to the Christ presence!  Give the kids a basket (or whatever you have around) and have them fill it with the sustaining ideas of the Christ on pieces of paper.  Then they can hand them out to classmates, or to different Sunday school classes.  Are these ideas limited?  Can you run out of them?
[PYCL: Share how, as compound ideas of all right ideas, we’re each like a perfect smoothie!]
If you want to focus on man then study the definition of man in citation S7.  Talk about what a “compound idea” is.  Later in the lesson in citation S10 Mrs. Eddy talks about earth as “compound idea” to spiritual sense.  Everything in citation S7 focuses on man whose source is God.  This keeps us from engaging in the seeming complexities of matter and focusing on the power and dominion that is given us as we see past what the physical senses are telling us (see citation S14, “subordinate the false testimony…”).  
[PYCL: “Say it with flowers!” and appreciation of beauty.]
Check out all the passages about how He has “…numbered the hairs of your head…” and also the references to the sparrows and the lilies of the field–more imagery!–and see if that helps to illustrate how natural man's wholeness, provision and dominion are.  I think even the littlest ones can have fun thinking about how the flowers are so beautiful and they don't “do” anything to “cause” themselves to be pretty or to come out of the soil and grow.
Have a great class! 
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