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Savor the satisfaction of spiritual Substance and so stop the “substance abuse” of believing matter to be substantial!*
Metaphysical Application Ideas on the Christian Science Bible Lesson: “Substance” for Sept. 13, 2009, by Dan Carnesciali, CS, of St. Louis, MO [Title and bracketed italics by Warren Huff]

[Editor’s Note: The following application ideas for this week and the Possible Sunday School Topics that 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 from Pascal or in Spanish from Ana. JUST SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters]

If something isn’t real, it isn’t worth a thing. It doesn’t have any substance.
[*Knowing this heals “substance abuse” and is a good start on how to pray about struggles with addiction –“The Question of the week” found on spirituality.com. See “the Scientific Statement of Being” for a full and profound answer. (S-26, S&H 468:9)]

Golden Text:
Put your treasures in heaven so they will not be snatched away from you. Where you put the desires of your heart is where the substance of your heart is.
[Since heart disease is said to be “the number one killer”, finding in heaven the heart’s desires and most precious treasures can be “the number one healer” and restorer to full life.]

Responsive Reading:
Although the Responsive Reading was written thousands of years ago, it could have been written yesterday. The author knows that we all need things, so we stock up on things. But when thought is busy getting or defending possessions it often blocks out God. Jesus said if you focus on God, you get God and He knows your need and supplies it. In fact, it’s your Father’s good pleasure to give you what you “need”. But, when you are doubtful or fearful of your Father’s attention, your Father’s help is forfeited. “Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom!” (Amplified Bible)
[Hymn 455 from the new Hymnal Supplement puts Jesus’ “mathematical” message of “all these things shall be added unto you” into memorable music accompanied by a delightful descant.]

Section 1 – “There is None Else”
[Hymn 444 in the Hymnal Supplement is based on Isa. 45, B-4]
Jeremiah says, “Earth … hear the word of the Lord (God).” (B-5) “Thus saith the Lord. [I Myself] created the heavens and formed the earth and made it. I didn’t go to all this trouble to leave it empty. I made it to be lived in.” (B-4, paraphrased) If God, who is entirely good, made the earth he made it for an entirely good purpose. The person that thinks that everything s/he sees and feels is real is always on edge, never at peace. S/he experiences life as a combination of good and evil. But, that experience is not yours, but the physical senses’. To them, life is a mixture of good and evil. The human mind thinks that if God exists, and He knows everything, well then He made both good and evil, matter and Spirit. But, that’s reasoning backwards from the appearance, from the physical senses perspective to God. It’s not very reliable. It makes God responsible for evil. Relevant to this discussion, substance becomes material and short-lived. Isn’t it ironic, substance becomes insubstantial?
What if substance were spiritual instead of material? That is in line with what Isaiah said, “I am God, and there is none else.” (B-4) If God is Spirit and only Spirit, then only Spirit exists. Then good would be a permanent reality, not an elusive dream. This makes better sense, because matter and Spirit are opposites and cannot coexist. It also makes sense because substance is restored to its original meaning, which the essential, lasting, durable, spiritual essence of divine Spirit. Mary Baker Eddy discovered that “All substance, intelligence, wisdom, being, immortality, cause and effect belong to God.” (S-3) This changes everything. Be still and know that you are not a struggling human attempting to understand an invisible God. You are God’s awareness of Himself. You are God’s spiritual idea living and moving in Spirit.

Section 2 – Seeking Understanding
Reading the passages from this section you have no doubt how valuable understanding, wisdom and truth are. The question is why are they so valuable? Whenever you see God doing something, look for what purpose God is doing it. In Proverbs it says that God gives you understanding [and the ability to choose wisely] to preserve you, to keep you. (B-8)  The original meaning was to observe, to watch. Isaiah says that God gives you wisdom for your sure abundance of salvation, for a sure foundation. The NIV translation puts it this way: “He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.” The fear of the Lord is being in great awe of God. It is an attitude of humble respect that makes you want to please Him. (B-9) Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (S-6) In the New Living Translation (NLT) this is translated, “Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be.” Why do you think that translation added “thoughts”? It may be because in Judaism, the heart, not the brain, was considered the center of emotions and thinking. (The New Testament was written in Greek, but I think that Hebrew meaning still comes through.) Note how citations 8 and 10 from Science and Health, begin with the word “When”. It’s setting up a conditional statement.  When this happens, then that happens. What happens when we fully understand our relation to the divine? (S-10) What happens when we don’t? (See citation 9 from S&H for answer.) What happens “when understanding changes the standpoints of life and intelligence from a material to a spiritual basis”? (S-8) Mary Baker Eddy says that when we will gain the reality of Life, we shall truly perceive Christianity and Truth. I like how she uses the word “gain” there. Unless our thought changes from a material basis to a spiritual basis, we will not gain (profit, win, or reach) the understanding of the reality of Life. We’ll wander in the wilderness like the Children of Israel.

Section 3 – The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand
Listen to the power of Jesus’ statement as translated in the NLT. “‘At last the time has come!’ he announced. ‘The Kingdom of God is near! Turn from your sins and believe this Good News!’ ” A sin is a thought that misses the mark. Jesus tells us that when a bad or incorrect thought comes, we need to choose again. That’s one way to think of repent. Don’t stay with the wrong thought. Choose the correct God-given thought. (B-10) Jesus once had a conversation with “a certain man who was a ruler.” This man was very spiritual and Jesus wanted the man to come and follow him. When Jesus asked the man to sell everything and follow him, the man couldn’t. He cherished his possessions and chose them over the kingdom of heaven. (B-11) “A great sacrifice of material things must precede this advanced spiritual understanding.” (S-14) Now is the time to give up thoughts that hold you back. Pursuing God’s plan in part, giving Her our leftover thoughts, we won’t progress to the understanding of God’s allness. How does Mary Baker Eddy say we will gain the true sense of things? We gain that true sense when our thought changes. That is, when we look beyond fading finite forms or when we gain more correct views of God and man. (S-16)

Section 4 – Treasure Found
When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment of all was, he responded by quoting the Mosaic law as found in Deuteronomy 6:4. Then, he expanded on the Mosaic law by adding that to truly love God we must love our neighbor. He showed how to live the Mosaic law in a practical, healing way. (B-14) Throughout this Lesson Sermon, watch for examples in Mary Baker Eddy’s writing connecting with the teachings of Jesus. She asks whether we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind. (S-19) She asks this in such a meaningful way. She really wants us to pause and think about this, doesn’t she? We truly love God when we have surrendered all merely material sensation. We solely love God, when we are recognizing only the divine control of Spirit. If we’ve truly done this, Soul, not matter, is our master. She shows us the way that we can do it without effort — by reflection. “Starting from a higher standpoint, one rises spontaneously, even as light emits light without effort; for ‘where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.'” (S-18)
[The Lesson Committee must really want us to realize where to start to effortlessly heal instantaneously since they put this S-18 citation in two consecutive week’s lessons. (S-13 last week)]

Section 5 – You are a Healer (even if you haven’t admitted it yet)
“News about [Jesus] spread far beyond the borders of Galilee so that the sick were soon coming to be healed from as far away as Syria. And whatever their illness and pain, or if they were possessed by demons, or were epileptics, or were paralyzed–he healed them all.” (B-17 NLT) Next, the Bible says that Jesus gave his disciples power to heal. Let’s talk about how Jesus did this. As his disciples (students) daily observed his miraculous healings, they surely gained confidence that all things are truly possible to God. Imagine traveling with Jesus and his disciples to different towns. Imagine how Jesus might have mentored them. He helped them to understand that they had a right to heal. He encouraged them to be much more confident in God’s willingness and power to heal. (Remember how he told them to have faith at least as big as a mustard seed?) He was probably patient with their failures and misunderstandings. (Remember how when the disciples couldn’t heal the boy that would fall into the fire, he showed them how the case could be healed?) But at some point, Jesus knew they were going to have to be on their own. So, he sent them out, without him, to “heal all manner of sickness” and to preach that “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (B-18) You might call this the “sink or swim” period of the disciples’ training. Their mission was not solely to heal, but to spread the news that the kingdom of heaven was at hand. They shared the gospel that God’s son, the Messiah, had come and that his Father was loving, not judgmental. (B-18) When we follow his example, we realize that because God is Spirit, substance is spiritual, not material. Then, all mortal thought and conditions are subject to God. Wow! If substance is truly spiritual, then nothing can hold up healing. Not time, not mesmerism, not doubt. That means that through Christ we are not subject to anything unlike God. Are we subject to stress? No, stress is subject to us! Are we subject to hatred? No, hatred is subject to us! (Children of God have dominion over all evil.) “Hold perpetually this thought, – that it is the spiritual idea, the Holy Ghost and Christ, which enables you to demonstrate, with scientific certainty, the rule of healing, based upon its divine Principle, Love, underlying, overlying, and encompassing all true being.” (S&H 496:15 and S-28)  Question. Do you identify yourself more as a sufferer or as a healer? Remember, Jesus gave you the authority (power and right) to heal.
[Mary Baker Eddy gives a huge tool to us as spiritual healers in her “scientific statement of being” (S-26) that Albert Einstein called “the most profound statement ever uttered by mankind”.(Physics, Metaphysics and God, Jack Geis, p. 220) It is fascinating to follow the 8-version progression of this statement as historically documented by the Mary Baker Eddy Library on page 9 of this week’s MyBibleLesson].

Section 6 – Unselfishness
In the second letter to the Church at Corinth, the apostle Paul says, “You are familiar with the generosity of our Master, Jesus Christ. Rich as he was, he gave it all away for us – in one stroke he became poor and we became rich.” (2 Cor 8:9, The Message) This was the teaching of Jesus. Live unselfishly, so others can be blessed. Simon Peter confessed that he made a lot of sacrifices; his family had made a lot of sacrifices for him to truly follow Christ. Jesus said more than once that the sacrifice would be well worth it in the end. (B-21) Does God ignore the human need? “God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (B-20 NASB) What does it mean to follow Christ? Why would you do follow him when it involves sacrifice? Answering that involves uncovering your purpose and the meaning of your life. And that involves understanding what substance really is. “Spirit, the synonym of Mind, Soul, or God, is the only real substance.” (S&H 468:21)
[Prove today that you get the message that we don’t live to get–as most people think–but that we live to give!  One of my favorite passages in Miscellany details the ways that we can best give (impart): “I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing.” (p. 165:20) So, have fun fulfilling your “reason for existing” by sharing “truth, health, and happiness” today! Click here to hear the latest in a wonderful, 2-minute, online, audio series called “Your Daily Lifts” by Christian Science Lecturers. Today’s mini-lecture by Ricardo Saldivar is called “This is the day the Lord hath made!” So, rejoice, give thanks and go give a happy day to all you encounter! ]

[This weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers & staff who were blessed this summer at CEDARS–as well as to thousands of CEDARS alumni, families and friends who request it, or find it weekly on our website. But, current and planned gifts are much-needed to help cover the costs of running this service and of providing camperships and otherwise-unavailable, inspirational opportunities. Your support is always tax-deductible and appreciated — but your help this year is especially precious to us! This is the ideal time before winter to do “Maintenance Must” projects such as replacing some doors, shingles and plumbing fixtures, yet our 5-year grant for this has expired. So we look to God–and to friends like you–for help. You can always call Warren or Gay Huff at (636) 394-6162 to charge your gift or to discuss any short-term or long-term gift that you are considering. CLICK HERE RIGHT AWAY TO SUPPORT CEDARS WORK!
Or, while your gratitude is fresh, you can send a tax-deductible check payable to
The CedarS Camps to the camp at 19772 Sugar Drive, Lebanon, MO 65536.

We still have nice accommodations for either single or married adults at our “Celebrate Marriage” weekend, September 25-27!  Click here to find out more and please encourage all the C.S. friends you know to be in touch about the possibilities of attending this spiritually-enriching weekend!

Benevolence is available for the International Conference for Christian Science Nurses being held at CedarS Sept 16-20.

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Camp Director’s Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 9-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson “mets” (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians. (To keep the flow of the practitioner’s ideas intact and to allow for more selective printing the “Possible Sunday School Topics” come in a subsequent email.) This weekly offering is 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” 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 on the daily applicability of some of the ideas and passages being studied. The weekly Bible Lessons are copyrighted by the Christian Science Publishing Society and are printed in the Christian Science Quarterly as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at eBibleLesson,com or myBibleLesson.com. The citations referenced (i.e. B-1 and S-28) from this week’s Bible Lesson in the “met” (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the Bible (B-1 thru B-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. (S-1 thru S-30) The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist. The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one. We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of the ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.
Enjoy!
Warren Huff, Camp Director director@cedarscamps.org (636) 394-6162

Possible Sunday School Topics (P.S.S.T.)
How to: find heavenly treasures; go all-out to make them your own; be free from pride…
for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on “Substance” for Sept. 13, 2009
by Amy Robbins
[with bracketed italics by Warren Huff]

P.S.S.T. for the Golden Text (G.T.) and Responsive Reading (R.R.)
[Count your treasures: You may wish to suggest to your students, and to the student in you, that “treasure” is a key word in this lesson on “Substance.” Consider offering a simple treasure or reward to the student who– after a 60-second “open-book” test–can come the closest to saying how many times the word “treasure” or “treasures” appears in the lesson. On my first read-through, I counted 15 times.]
What do you treasure? What is precious to you? How do you hold on to and protect the things that you cherish? What does it mean to “lay up your treasures in heaven”? [The fun practice of Christian Science is a treasure to cherish because: “If you’re not having fun practicing Christian Science, you’re not practicing Christian Science!” Four Christian Science friends from “Down Under” had fun dressing up and speaking as pirates to teach spiritual lessons on an entertaining treasure hunt. Click http://tmcyouth.com/lesson/true-treasure to follow (and maybe share with students) the pirates’ hilarious search to find true treasure and the Kingdom of Heaven “only to realize it’s not a locality, but within each of us.”]

The rich man [who tore down his barns to” build greater” in Jesus’ R.R. parable] had everything that he wanted, but he forgot about what was really substantial. How do we make sure that we are putting our focus on holding on to gifts from God? What right now are your most valuable treasures [-the ones you think about most and are grateful for from “the bottom of your heart”? This is a key question and concept since 5 times in the lesson this quote of Jesus appears: “where your treasure is there will your heart be also”-G.T., R.R., S-6, S-12, S-18]

Section 1 [Find in all of earth’s treasures their heavenly foundations.]
What foundations are we talking about? Describe the “foundation of the earth” that God made for us. What does that mean for us, that God himself formed the earth (B-4)? Think about S-3. What does it mean for no wisdom to be wise but God’s wisdom, no good, but the good God bestows? How does that apply to what you experience everyday? What does that mean about all the good things that happen to you each day? [Ask the student in you as well as those in your class to compare the God-given treasures of true joy and peace with the vain joys “that end in sadness” as mentioned in CS Hymnal #263 (“Only God can bring us gladness”) and in Hymnal Supplement #444 (“I am the Lord, there is none else”) Consider making a point about the spiritual substance behind material symbols by giving each student an envelope containing a dollar bill (or as large a denomination bill as your budget will allow). Crumple one envelope and show that the bill will still be redeemable for the value that we trust it to have. Open another envelope that has dirt in it, showing that even though smudged, the bill will still be redeemable for its full value. If you can find a bill that is worn or torn, place it in an envelope and open it to show the same point about its spiritual substance. Like those dollar bills, you and “every good gift and every perfect gift” -such as sight and hearing-are “from above, and come down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17 ]

Section 2 [Go “all-out” to “make your own” the treasure of Christian Science!]
If you find something incredibly valuable, to what lengths would you go to make that item your own? It’s the same way with [Christian Science and] the kingdom of heaven, that Jesus says is like a field that you would sell everything that you own in order to buy that one field (B-6). [“So, whenever a man renounces the thing that is closest to him, … each is selling what he has that he may buy the field that contains the treasure.” Notes on the Parables of Our Lord, R.C. Trench, p. 47) What are you willing to eagerly part with to “buy for yourselves” true treasure? “If you pay the price of Truth, you shall receive all.” Misc. 342:24]  
What makes the kingdom of heaven so precious and valuable [that we are willing to trade all for it]? Look at Mrs. Eddy’s definition of “KINGDOM OF HEAVEN” in the glossary (S-7) [and in S-21]. Is there any part of those definitions that you wouldn’t want to witness in your experience? [Click on http://tmcyouth.com/lesson/kingdom-of-heaven to see Ben Gladden share the fun insight of Jesus describing the kingdom of heaven as a verb, and an active one, in our lives.]  What is substantial in our lives, what we identify with our material senses, or what we feel with our spiritual senses?

Section 3 [Find Christ’s humble treasures–freedom from pride and possessiveness!]
[Note the exemplary humility of him who accomplished all when: “Jesus said, ‘Why are you calling me good? No one is good-only God’.” (B-11, The Message); and “I can’t do a solitary thing on my own.”(John 5:30, The Message) Remember “There’s nothing more humble–or stress-free–than a reflection!” How will being just a humble, Christ-like reflection help you accomplish all the good you want to do?] What is “good” to God? Are you ready and willing to give all of your possessions up to follow God [as Jesus asked the rich man to do]? (B-11) What qualities does that take? What direction are you walking? Is it easy to walk in the opposite direction that you are looking at? (S-12) How can you make sure that you are staying focused on your final destination? What if you don’t know what your final destination is? How do you keep looking in the direction you want to be heading? What do we need to do in order to stay focused?

Section 4
[Grow your “treasures of Truth and Love” (S-17) to wholeheartedly love God and man.]
What is so significant about loving God and loving your neighbor that Jesus ranked those two commandments above all others (B-14)? What are some ways that we follow these commandments? What did you do today or this week to love God with all your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself? Think about what the result of that kind of selfless love is. What types of blessings will we see in the world if we make that choice? What are some things that you can do right now to make a difference?

Section 5 [Find and share treasures of spiritual being to “feed the famished affections.” S&H 17:5]
Look at the command that Jesus gives his followers (B-18). This verse has been in the lesson throughout the summer and year. Why is it so important [to freely give]? What are you doing to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils and cleanse the lepers? This was a clear directive from Jesus. How are you following him?
The description of the person who was cured of dyspepsia [regular upset stomachs] is actually an account of Mrs. Eddy’s healing work (S-24, S-25).
[According to Wikipedia.com, the “Graham system” (S-24) or diet (invented by Reverend Sylvester Graham) included Graham crackers as “digestive biscuits.” Over CedarS campfires we “feed …famished affections”-partly with “S’mores” when we combine patience, care, Graham crackers, roasted marshmallows and melting chocolate. S&H 17:5]
What is significant about the S-24 healing of dyspepsia? How do we take less thought for what we eat and drink? (S-25) Take a look at “the scientific statement of being” (S-26). Why do we read it at the end of every Sunday service? What stands out to you about it?

Section 6 [Find the bountiful treasure of “thanksgiving to God” (B-24) that meets every need!]
Where does your supply come from? Jesus sent his disciples out into the world to preach and heal, and not to be concerned with the amount of money that they had in their pockets. (B-22, B-23) Are we ready to follow, trusting that there is no lack at all? Think about all the good around you. What supplies your needs? How do you determine whether or not you are supplied with everything you need? Are you grateful for all that you have?
Think about the questions that Mrs. Eddy asks in marker 28. Are you? What are some examples of how the way is growing brighter “unto the perfect day”? Restate S-29. Why is it so important to be willing to give. What are some examples of how you can give unselfishly, or have given unselfishly? What about if you feel lack in your life? How can you still give? What is the result? How will you go out, ready to follow Jesus’ directions and God’s commands?


[Warren Huff,
Executive Director The CedarS Camps Website: www.cedarscamps.org Email: warren@cedarscamps.org Tel: (636) 394-6162]

 

 

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