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[Walk More Boldly in the Footsteps of Truth!]
Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson

“Truth”
for January 26, 2014

Rick Stewart, CS   Dresden, Germany
RickStewartCS@aol.com     Tel. +49 351 312 4736

[Bracketed italics by CedarS Director Warren Huff.  With Early Enrollment ending 1-31-14, please help reach out to eligible campers in your family & community to let them know a best summer yet awaits them! Special thanks for making the gift of a life-transforming campership!]

The footsteps of our two-year-old, Martha, have become more sure and more certain in recent months.  Especially when she climbs the stairs to our apartment.  We live on the “erste etage” (Germany) or second floor (US).  Sometimes she likes to climb these stairs all alone.  And sometimes, like after a day at kindergarten, she hesitates to climb at all.  She might ask to be carried, or she might actually cry to be carried.  So I have started a little game with her.  I give her my hand and I invite her, “Okay, let’s count.”  And with each step we take, we count.  And we count in English.  She loves the game, sometimes it breaks her out of an “I can’t do it” belief, and we are getting really good at counting to nine.  Three times counting to nine, three times nine steps, and we are at our apartment door.

It is not a long way to our apartment door, but when Martha thinks she can’t make it, it takes a really long time to get there.  It does not matter how near the goal might be, “Ich kann nicht,” will never get us there.  Realizing that we can do something, remembering the goal, and having a little fun with the footsteps brings us to our destination much quicker and with more joy. 

And so it is with our Bible Lesson on “Truth.”  Fact is God, Truth, is always close at hand, but sometimes we just have to remember the footsteps of Truth that bring us to the recognition that He is already there.  That is the way I like to think of the Golden Text this week.

Golden Text (GT):  Thou art near, O Lord; and all thy commandments are truth.” Psalms 119:151
Amplified Bible (AMP) You are near, O Lord [nearer to me than my foes], and all Your commandments are truth.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)  You are close by, Adonai  (Master, Lord));  and all your mitzvot (precepts, commandments) are truth. 

 Contemporary English Version (CEV)  but you are with me and all of your commands can be trusted. 

The Message       “ you’re the closest of all to me, God,  and all your judgments true.”

It might be that I am not the first father that has thought of a little game to help bring his child to a desired goal.   It is possible that quite a few years ago a skilled musician and poet wrote a special Psalm to teach his son.  It is a traditional story that King David used Psalm 119 to teach his son Solomon the alphabet along with the statutes of the God they served.  http://shareaverse.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/an-explanation-of-psalm-119/

This Psalm is referred to in Hebrew by its opening words, “Happy are those whose way is perfect.”    Although the author is unidentified in the Bible, many scholars attribute it to David, Ezra, or Daniel.  The thought is that it is definitely written by someone has faced some great challenges, sometimes fierce opposition, and had found salvation in the steps that lead to the understanding that God is at hand and helping.  http://www.gotquestions.org/Psalm-119.html

This Psalm is also written in a style that is very familiar to CedarS campers, counselors, and friends.  It is an acrostic poem.  Each stanza begins with one of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet!  Our Camp Executive Director would be thrilled with this style; Warren loves acrostics!  [Especially when they help us remember spiritual truths!]  What a wonderful central theme for our Lesson; God is near and His commandments will keep us on the path of Truth.

Responsive Reading
This Responsive Reading is so clear and encouraging.  God is, “He is the Rock,” “his work is perfect:”  And we continue in learning that God’s words, commandments, judgments, counsel, thoughts lead us to Him.  This is the concept that the Jews had of the teachings of Torah.  Learning the ways of Truth, keeping them in thought and walking the walk.

We walk in Truth.  “Judge me, O Lord; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore, I shall not slide. …For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.”  Psalm 26: 1,3

Now when I think about walking I always think of a song that I heard from the time of my older brother and sister.  It is a fun, hand clapping way to remember that we walk the walk to God and we always find He is already there.   For a little lively way to begin the walk with this Lesson take a couple minutes to listen to Fats Dominoes walking:    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVQm6yu9tMc

Section 1:   “”ye shall seek me, and find me” (B-2) Jeremiah 29 (your path is certain!)
Here is citation (B-2) from the NLT, Jeremiah 29:13, 14 (to 🙂 –“ If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord.”

The New International Reader’s Version translates  citation B-3: “You do wonderful things.  You alone are God… I will follow your truth.  Give me a heart that doesn’t want anything more than to worship you.”

Mrs. Eddy writes in citation S-1, “When we wait patiently on God and seek Truth righteously, He directs our path.“ (254:10)

Keeping on the path of Truth is so important.  But what joy to know that even if we appear to slip in our journey to Truth, we shall not utterly fall, God holds us tight even on the most slippery slopes of error.   

In 1974 I was in the Cordillera Oriental of the  Andes Mountains, near Cucuta, Colombia.   Four of us were underway on mule back for several hours.  We were travelling to a remote coffee plantation, a judge, his secretary, an attorney, and an aspiring American journalist, me.  We were going to be taking an affidavit and making a land survey.  Before we left I had prayed quite a bit.  We would be travelling through areas known for conflict between the army and guerillas, and the paths were somewhat treacherous.  Our guides had assured us the sure-footed mules could handle the terrain.

At one point, after three hours of riding we were climbing a very steep, muddy slope.  I was the last in the line and I was filming as our mules climbed through  knee-deep mud.  Suddenly, up ahead, one of the mules slipped and he and his rider began a head-over-heels roll down the slope.  It was fifty meters and a few seconds of mouth-open adventure.  I immediately changed from photographer to practitioner.  I was praying with great intensity.  “No one shall utterly fall” are the words that came to thought.  After seeing precipice after precipice on our ride, I knew the fall had to stop, and now.  And it did.  The mule and the Judge’s secretary stopped sliding and rolling and got up unhurt.  My friend the attorney asked excitedly, “Ricardo, did you get a picture?”  I could not believe the question, but I did say, “No, I was too busy praying.”  I had not even thought of my camera. 

Maybe there was another path involved in this experience.  Actually a path change.  A couple years later I was walking more in the direction of practitioner and less as journalist.  The basis for the words that had come to me was assures “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.“  (Psalms 37:23, 24)

Section 2:  Gabriel and Michael leading Daniel to Truth!
Wow, I do not think I have ever read the story from citations B-8 and B-9,  Daniel 9 and 10.   Daniel is inspired in prayer by Gabriel and Michael, two angels.  That is so cool. 

Are you struggling, worried, afraid, seeking, praying?  Citation B-10 Isaiah 30:21 assures, “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.”

Citations S-8 and S-9 clearly share what our textbook has to say about angels.  “pure thoughts from God winged with Truth and Love, no matter what their individualism may be.”  (S&H 298)  “Michael’s characteristic is spiritual strength.”  “Gabriel has the more quiet task of imparting a sense of the ever-presence of ministering Love.  These angels deliver us from the depths.” (S&H 566)

A few years ago I had planned and hoped to travel to the Annual Meeting of the Mother Church in Boston.   I was really praying about it.   A young friend in my home town of Ocala, and another friend from England planned to join me.  We were making plans to stay together in a Boston youth hostel.  There was a room for four available so we included someone travelling from Washington state in our plans.  He was a complete stranger.

As the time grew closer it became clear to me that I needed to be at home with my family at that time.  So I was no longer planning on making the trip but I stayed on in prayerful support of the unfolding plans.  My friend from England, Richard, was having some great struggles in his work and we were praying together on these issues.  We were both expecting guidance, assurance and direction to appear.  When Richard arrived in Boston we were still in the midst of whole-heartedly praying about his work issues.  And we both expected God to assure him that all was well.

I received a message from Richard.  He had just been to the church service in The Mother Church.  He was thrilled as he sat in the auditorium and listened to the reading.  One of the Lesson sections included the assurance that God would send his angels, Michael and Gabriel.  Now, remember Richard was still really worried about his work and really needing the assurance that God was guiding him.   And suddenly he realized  who he was sitting with, on his left side was my friend from Ocala, Gabriel, and on his right was the stranger, new friend from Washington, Michael.  At that point Richard stopped worrying about his job, he knew if God could sit Gabriel and Michael right next to him in The Mother Church, He could do anything.  And everything with his work was harmonized.

Section 3: Honesty and humility can’t be beat.  Pharisee and the Publican
Virtue, truth good qualities to include, right?    But if we are smugly thinking that they are ours and only ours, and forgetting that they are sourced in God?  How important to think and know what we all express and include, by reflection!  Without struggle.  Without exception.  I was just reminding a dear friend of seeing the moon so beautifully shining last week.  But all that glorious light was sourced in the Sun, and simply reflected.  And all our glorious Light, sourced in the Son, is simply reflected.

Have you ever noticed the face of someone that is thinking of something really, really funny.?  They cannot keep themselves from smiling, from sometimes even laughing out loud.  Their face just radiates the joy and happiness they are considering.

This section is about what we are keeping and considering in thought and how it affects our appearance, our path.  J.B. Phillips talks of this mindset of what we “fix your minds on“…  My brothers I need only add this.  If you believe in goodness and if you value the approval of God, fix your minds on whatever is true and honorable and just and pure and lovely and admirable.“   (B-13, Philippians 4:8)  Or as our Leader puts it, “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts.” (S-14, 261:4)

Section 4:  Walking with works, and even greater works! John 14:12
Jesus walked and healed.  Jesus walked and loved.  Jesus walked and worked the works of God.  How about you?  How about me?  “Well, Jesus walked, he had time, I’m driving!”

Don’t worry if you are willing to be obedient , God will put you where you need to be to heal.  It does not matter if you are walking, riding a bike, riding a horse, in a train, plane, bus, car, or ship.   And he strongly encouraged us, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also.”

My mom was seated in a plane flying to her Christian Science Association in Chicago.  She had been praying for the crew, the flight, for everyone.  That was always her practice.  At one point the passenger  sitting in the seat next to my mom asked, “What are you?  Are you some holy lady or something?”  And then this lady explained, “I have always been a white-knuckled flyer.  I have been terrified.  And for the first time in my life I am completely comfortable.”  And this lady had identified that it was because of my mom. 

So mom explained about her prayer and how she prayed.  She explained about Christian Science after her simple, prayerful thought had healed her fellow passenger.

We can do the same as Jesus, after all we do have the promised Comforter, guiding and inspiring us.  What fun this is going to be for your next trip by foot, bike, bus, car, plane, train, ship, or CedarS Zipline.  Oh, and don’t forget to tell me about the greater works accomplish on your journey.
[See Christine Irby Williams‘ commentary in Greater Works P.S.]

Section 5:  Knowing Truth, simple, powerful, effective:  Peter and John
The world is waiting.  The world is expecting something from you.  All eyes are on you.  What do you do?  Look away?   Or look them in the eyes, address the thought with Love?

In the story of the healing of the lame man at the gate of the temple, who does the staring?  As I read this story this week I got it wrong at first.  I thought, oh, I know this story.  I like this one.  There is even a great solo about it.  And I thought, “the man fixes his eyes on Peter and John.”  Wrong.    I read, (B-19) Acts 3:1-9, “And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.  And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.”

Let your eyes be directed by the courage of Love, the courage of conviction in Truth.  Eat up Science and Health citations S-20 to S-24 and embrace the world and those whom you come in contact with in the look of Love.  Those hungering for healing are tired of the world looking away.  We have something very substantial to give, so give it.  [Check out Live 2 Give“—CedarS 2014 Metaphysical Theme.]

Some of you might remember when Noah healed me when he was only two years of age.  I had an ugly scratch on my nose.  Noah asked, “Papa, what happened?”  “Well, you scratched me when we were playing the other day.”  Noah simply said, “I’m sorry Papa.”  And he touched my nose and began to sing, Jingle Bells.  It was the only song he knew all the words to.  He must have remembered I often sang hymns to him to comfort him.  So he sang.  I felt Love like I had never felt, I cried, and the next morning I woke up completely healed.  All scary beliefs that had been clouding my thought and hindering the healing had just melted in his direct gaze of Love. [For more on the melting and freeing power that the sunlight of Truth“ brought to my body by Christian Science (as in citation S-22, 162:4) see my Thanksgiving 2009 PS. It shares more about my healing of what seemed to be a cancerous growth.]

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (B-18, John 8:32)

Section 6:   ”Go, stand and speak… all the words of this Life.”
In chapter 5 of Acts (B-20) the Apostles were healing and the authorities did not like it.  They were jealous.  They put the apostles in prison.  An angel opened the prison doors and encouraged them to preach the gospel of this life, this truth. *[You can click Download on CedarS website version for a 10-page long play script for a later prison break by Paul thanks to nighttime singing and prayers in Acts 16.]  Now, Peter and the other apostles had already been arrested and imprisoned once.  But they obeyed the angel in courage and conviction.  And then a Pharisee, Gamaliel, basically said, Leave them alone, if this is only the word of men it will accomplish nothing, but if it be of God you cannot overthrow it. (Acts 5:12-42)

The three Science and Health citations in this section offer great insights, encouragement, and wisdom.  Mrs. Eddy explains, “A Christian Scientist occupies the place at this period of which Jesus spoke to his disciples, when he said, “Ye are the salt of the earth.”  “Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.”  Let us watch, work, and pray that this salt lose not  its saltness, and that this light be not hid, but radiate and glow into noontide glory.” [S-27, 367:17]

What good is salt in a salt shaker?  It offers no flavor to your food if it stays in the salt shaker, right?  And light?  What good would it do to light a candle and then place it in a candle holder that was completely covered?  Simple message is don’t hide what we have to share.  Let it flavor.  Let it light things up.

Section 7:   The awesomeness of the Ahh someones, that means you!
I am so grateful that you are reading this.  I am in absolute awe and gratitude for those who are embracing this walk of Truth in today’s world.  God appreciates you all so much.  All of CedarS’ friends; campers, counselors, directors, volunteer moms and dads, uncles, grammas and grampas, the workers in the Christian Science movement, fellow Christians and fellow spiritual seekers around the world.  I am writing this and you are reading this because we have glimpsed a portion of this wonderful path of Truth. 

As Bible citation B-21 states the case, “I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.”  (I John 2:21) Or as J. B. Phillips puts it, I write because your eyes are clear enough to discern a lie when you come across it.”

God has not gone anywhere.  God is not absent.  God is not removed from His creation.  God’s Word has not faltered over the years.  God is near.  (See our Golden Text.)  And we are sticking with the footsteps of Truth that bring us to that realization.  It is not getting God to  come back to us; it is walking a path that continually leads us to Him.  A parallel path with our Master, Christ Jesus.  A path shared with all disciples of the Truth.

Our Bible Lesson began with, “ Thou art near, O Lord; and all thy commandments are truth.”  (Psalms 119:151)  This Psalm is the longest chapter in the Bible.  This Psalm was among the writings that were found written on parchment in a cave in the hills above the Dead Sea, and became known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.  For thousands of years these words of Truth have guided and guarded the path of the seekers of Truth that keep finding their way to the Light.

The next time someone tries to convince you that Truth’s day is done, are you going to listen?

The grand finale from Science and Health certainly reflects that certainty of Truth’s eternal presence. 
“We walk in the footsteps of Truth and Love by following the example of our Master in the understanding of divine metaphysics.” (S-28)
“Truth and Love enlighten the understanding, in whose “light we shall see light,” and this illumination is reflected spiritually by all who walk in the light and turn away from a false material sense.” (S-29)
“Truth makes man free.” (S-30)


[Greater Works P.S. (from my Met on Christian Science for 12-29-13):
“Jesus said… Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father…” (B-17, John 14:12)
Christine Irby Williams nicely tackled the tough question of what works could possibly be greater than what Jesus did in a wonderful precamp inspirational talk to CedarS staff this May as well as in part of an inspirational address for the Christian Science Nurses conference at CedarS this September. She essentially said, in part: “Have you ever wondered what in the world Jesus meant by greater works?  It does sound a little daunting.  We read almost every week in the Bible Lesson something such as Jesus “went about…healing ALL manner of sickness and ALL manner of disease among the people.”  He fed 5,000 men plus women and children with what had appeared to everyone else as a few loaves and fishes.  He walked on water and suspended time and space.  He raised to life a child who appeared to have just passed away, a young man who was on his way to be buried, and Lazarus, who had been in the grave four days already.  And then, of course, he raised himself after the crucifixion, and he ascended. So what could possibly be greater than any, much less all, of that?  I’ve often wondered, and I’m still pondering his promise… There has been one particular area in which it’s likely that we’ve all been aware that there is plenty of room for “greater works,” and that is working together, or what might be called collective demonstration: in families, church work, any kind of organizational work—in a church context or otherwise, in neighborhoods, in governments of all sizes, in nations, among the people, and in the world at large.  Would you agree with me that these are areas that could benefit from the light of Truth, the touch of the Comforter—the healing and saving ministries of divine Love? Might we be so bold as to think about tackling the environment? World peace? World hunger?  If not, why not?  If so, let’s get on with it!  Let us “then up and be doing,” as our hymn [#18] says!” You can read more inspiration on this and other topics from Chris that she shared at the 2012 Fern Lodge Annual Meeting at http://fernlodge.org/2012/11/jesus-promise-you-will-do-greater-works/ ]


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

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

[GREAT NEWS!  CedarS met its $25k Maintenance Musts Challenge Grant, THANKS to all you dear givers! It also looks like donations will cover the re-building of all the old fences for our horses, including a $6,000 riding arena.  Now, during a record cold and snowy winter, thanks in advance for supporting CedarS Matched “Adopt the Herd” fund for year-round horse care; and/or our need to underwrite daily incoming applications for 2014 Camperships!]

And, HUGE THANKS to our current Monthly Donors of all amounts.  See a recent video from 4 monthly donors about how significant your support is! 
THANK YOU in advance for 
MONTHLY MAKING A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE GIFT ONLINE,
BY PHONE at 636-394-6162
OR BY MAIL at:
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[Check out CedarS with its Fundamental Concepts, Unique Facilities and Features designed to transform lives! Click to see testimonials in writing!]

[Additional Director's Note: You can sign up to have these application ideas emailed to you free — by Monday each week in English; or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION: in German, thanks to Manfred and Jeanette; or in Spanish, thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio, or in Portuguese, thanks to helpers of Orlando Trentini in Brazil.  A voluntary French translation by Rodger Glokpor, a Christian Scientist from Togo (West Africa) has been contributed.  Thank you, Rodger and all translators! Go to http://www.cedarscamps.org/ and click "Newsletters" to sign-up for a free translation into these languages.  This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 13-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "Mets" (Metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians.  (Ask and look for "Possible Sunday School Topics "and "Possible Younger Class Lessons" in emails to follow.) These weekly offerings are intended to encourage further study and application of ideas in the lesson and to invigorate Sunday School participation by students and by the budding teachers on our staff. Originally sent JUST to my Sunday School students and to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study, application and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson "Mets "and Sunday School ideas are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way serve as a substitute for daily study of the lesson. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension and background as well as new angles (and angels) on the daily applicability of some of the ideas and passages being studied. The weekly Bible Lessons are copyrighted by the Christian Science Publishing Society and are printed in the Christian Science Quarterly and in a variety of useful formats as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at eBibleLesson.com or myBibleLesson.com. The citations referenced (i.e.B-1 and S-28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "Met" (Metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the Bible (B-1 thru B-26) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-32). The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist.  The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one.  We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of the ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.]

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