20111226

"Man Seeks God: My Flirtations With the Divine."

 12/26/11 PBS Newshour - Ray Suarez interviews former NPR journalist, Eric Weiner about his book: "Man Seeks God: My Flirtations With the Divine."

"I always thought that religious people were somehow more narrow-minded or not as expansive in their world view as secularists. And I have totally changed my mind about that." ~Weiner



Religious conversation in the US seems totally polarized but in reality, there is a great tolerance for religious diversity. Weiner pointed to one survey that found about half of Americans think: "All religions are equally true and good"

He also noted that "G.K. Chesterton said the test of a good religion is whether we can make fun of it. And I think there's something to that." I agree.

Often when working in Science with individuals, I have found that at the extremity of a challenge, at its point of unbelievable absurdity is the hem of Truth that sets free - the erroneous belief is corrected and wholeness demonstrated. Some might call it a "paradigm shift" while others would call it healing.

.:.

The Nativity reflected in nativity


In Bethlehem some 2000 years ago, the skies are now quiet as a small family begins to establish its daily rhythm. The wonder of the night's event may seem a bit too awesome, more like a dream to those who watched the celestial choir at Christ's birth. So rubbing their eyes, they arise to set about their business - it is tax time and there are visitors to tend and to entice with their wares. 

Vendors push the night's song deep into the recesses of their hearts. With resignation while begrudging Roman rule, they say, "Carpe diem!" The narrow streets are already filled and the markets now display premium prices. Buyers are many and day rushes into dusk. Once  at home, will any vendors or buyers remember last night's song as they close their eyes to sleep?

Over the centuries, much has remained the same . For example, last yearI found this image that shows the transcendent quality of the Nativity captured in a contemporary nativity photo. It shows that the birth of a child is universally beautiful and true for every family, in every season. 

From "FORGOTTEN PEOPLE" by Giulio Di Sturco
GDS_ROHINGYA211209D3893.jpg
The place is not Bethlehem long ago but Kutupalong camp, Bangladesh. The spareness of the family shelter and their bodies silently inform us, of poverty, brutal rejection and lives uprooted. This nativity family is not Jewish, but Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority from Burma. 

The first time I saw this image, it was in color and tweeted by Doctors w/o Borders. This year in my search for that image to share with you, I discovered Giulio Di Sturco, the photographer of "Forgotten People." His photo galleries reach beyond my words. His images demand response. They call us to activate our capacity. 

For me that capacity is prayer. Prayer defies material limits of time, space and financial resources. Prayer flips a limited material picture far better than Bengal Jerome Simpson's front flip touchdown on Christmas Eve. Prayer bears witness to Love meeting every human need. It brings the reality of Love's power into human focus in such amazing ways it is mis-named a miracle. 



______
(1) Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 135:6-8 
(2) Ibid., p. 581:21
.

20111213

Ripens with vigor, I wrote


 Today, I spoke with Lillian Schwabe, C.S.(1) In her brisk voice she shared this fact:

"What you think about and what you thank about, you will bring about!"


Lillian was the guest of Mitchell Jay Rabin on his TV show, A better World, earlier this year.(2) At 101, this New Yorker, living in Greenwich Village, remains a sturdy and vocal spiritual thinker. She is not even slightly reticent but speaks emphatically and exactly about what she has proven time after time over the decades.


Her human experience is amazing. Early in life, at 7, she studied with Russian composer, Leo Ornstein(3). At 16, Lillian entered NYU where she studied with writer, Thomas Wolfe(4). She progressed as a pianist and played her recital in Carnegie Hall. The list goes on.


But all her human adventures gave way to her decades long spiritual adventure in Christian Science as a Christian Science Practitioner. one who is ever available to provide prayerful treatment to all who call for healing. She works in the way Christ Jesus taught and demonstrated and Mary Baker Eddy presents in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.


I thought of calling Lillian after reading a post by Q's Jain about interviewing mystery writer, PD James, 92, about Death Comes to Pemberley, her new book (5) and posting this comment:


"Love accounts like this one. They prove we have no expiration date on our capacities. The many ads that claim debility by aging is natural and necessary are untrue. PD James shows that thinking is not a physical activity operating according to material belief. She ripens with vigor."


And now, please meet and enjoy Lillian Schwabe.



_________________
(1) http://goo.gl/eOe7w (CSPS Practitioner Directory)
(2) http://goo.gl/0UFZo (Schwabe's interview audio and video formats)
(3) http://bit.ly/sV2Wxw (Ornstein's biography with link to audio dowload files)
(4) http://bit.ly/IEUG3 (Wolfe's Wikipedia entry)
(5) http://goo.gl/zauMF (PD James post)


.:.

20110811

Beauty, the Nature of Soul


The growing sense of affection that Africans have for their country's beautiful natural resources, both fauna and flora, helps to sustain them. One example is Lake Niassa in Mozambique. It is home to 1,000 species of cichlids and freshwater fish and is treasured and now protected.  WWF - Coastal East Africa   

When severely challenged in a thousand ways and places, beauty and wonder bring out the hope and fortitude in people. These qualities are so needed in every part of Africa. The pain of war, hatred, corruption, ignorance, fear, drought and famine are too much to bear without the restoration a moment or glimpse of beauty brings.
 


Ye are all the children of light...
Rejoice evermore...
In every thing give thanks.
[see beauty around you]
Quench not the Spirit...
~Paul

Beauty nourishes the soul of man.
The slightest beauty in the desert is a feast.
Thus fortified, man does the incredible until victorious.
The Soul of Spirit impels man to express it.


No man, male or female, will fail.


Faithful is he that calleth you,
who also will do it.

~Paul



____
quotation:  I Thessalonians 5


20110810

AHT decision born of integrity defies pragmatic logic


Anishnawbe Health Toronto (AHT)
The Anishnawbe(1) Health Toronto (AHT) decision is a beautiful lesson on "Love reflected in love"(2) and The Golden Rule. 



[After] a call recently letting them know that a prime spot for a new health center could be part of the city’s oldest Catholic burial ground, they felt they had no choice but to walk away.
'The irony is not lost on us,' 
Anishnawbe Health Toronto 
Executive Director Joe Hester told The Toronto Star. At the same time, it’s something of a no-brainer. 'It’s a burial site.' ~Indian Country Today Media Network

To read about people being true to their sense of Principle inspires me. Being true to yourself and what rightly informs your behavior is integrity. Integrity allows you to live freely and without disconnect. It is graceful power.

Maintaining and safeguarding your integrity is necessary. Not letting another commandeer your integrity requires clear understanding of what you hold true. It takes alertness and discernment about what you admit into your consciousness. What you admit into your thought will take root. Rooted good and beauty will bring you a harvest of good and beauty. It will bring you peace and joy - naturally and without pain, loss or fatigue. This is law, therefore, admit only what you want to harvest.

Then should adversity or injustice or evil of any form come to your door, you are prepared. You will not admit it. It will not take root. You will remain untouched and serene in your life and affairs. The storm may roar but it will be powerless to disturb you. You will know it is not Truth and must fall. You will continue undisturbed doing what is yours to do. You will find success. This is the immutable Science of Life.

The Anishnawbe Health Toronto leadership have modeled the idea below and they cannot suffer consequences for their decision:

To punish ourselves for others' faults, is superlative folly.
Well may we feel wounded by our own faults; but we can hardly afford to be miserable for the faults of others. ...we should go forth into life ...with a charity broad enough to cover the whole world's evil, and sweet enough to neutralize what is bitter in it.
 ~MaryBaker Eddy(3)

Thank you for lighting our common way more brightly and caring that none should continue to stumble in the dark.

________
(1)  Ojibwe call themselves Anishinaabe or "men made from nothing" by Gitchi-Manitou, the Great Spirit 
(2) from the Lord's Prayer with its spiritual sense on page 17 of Science andHealth with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy 
(3)  from "Taking Offense" pg. 223-4 of Miscellaneous Writings (1883-1896) by Mary Baker Eddy 

20110803

What OS are you using?

INSTALL Love OS
by Unknown* and adapted by Carolyn St.Charles


Tech Support: Customer Care. How may I help you?
Customer: Well, after much consideration, I've decided to install Love OS. Can you guide me through the process?
Tech Support: Yes. I would be happy to help you. Are you ready?
Customer: Well, I'm not very technical, but I think I'm ready. What do I do first?
Tech Support: The first step is to find and open My Heart. Have you found My Heart?

20110726

Healing prayer for Norway




LIVE CHAT with 


that aired

Thursday, July 28, 2011

is archived for replay




The bombing of government buildings as well as the shooting rampage at a youth summer camp that killed 76 has brought sorrow to many Norwegians and to others around the world. Fear of Muslims and multiculturalism are cited as primary motivations for the attacks, which were carried out by a Norwegian man. 

20110722

"Harmonious co-existence a fact in Science"

Re-post of Joseph's 7/22/2011 blog post:

Somalia children
by LM TP-Demographics_of_Somalia-original in fotopedia.com



The belief that existence
is contingent on matter must be met and 

mastered by Science, before Life can be understood and harmony obtained.

- Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy pg. 427



Have you, too, been thinking of the children in Somalia who are struggling in this time of drought?

20110720

Remembering: 1848 Women's Rights Convention @ Seneca Falls

Frederick Douglass
Today, July 20, marks Day 2 of the 1848 Women's Rights Convention held in the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls, NY. On that day, the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions were read and a vote called. All Resolutions were agreed upon with one exception.

All of the resolutions were passed unanimously except for woman suffrage... The eloquent Frederick Douglass, a former slave and now editor of the Rochester North Star, however, swayed the gathering into agreeing to the resolution. ~Smithsonian Institute National Portrait Gallery

FrederickDouglass, the only African American at the meeting, stood and spoke eloquently in favor; he said that he could not accept the right to vote himself as a black man if woman could not also claim that right. ~Wikipedia  

Thank you, Mr. Douglass for taking your stand 15 years before the Emancipation Proclamation was formalluissued by President Lincoln in January 1, 1863.

While 300 men and women attended the Convention, 100 signed the Declaration of Sentiments. The signatures were signed in two groups according to gender:

68 women signed below this statement:
Firmly relying upon the final triumph of the Right and the True, we do this day affix our signatures to this declaration.

32 men signed below:
...the gentlemen present in favor of this new movement

For a record of the Convention proceedings see the minutes of the Convention printed by Mr. Dick in the Douglass print shop in Rochester, NY.

After Seneca Falls, the women's movement picked up steam.

20110710

Horn of Africa drought


One-day-old Iisha's name loosely translates as "life"
(linked from bbc.co.uk news site)
.'.
Yesterday I watched a drought(m) report from a refugee camp(v) in a village in East Kenya. People had walked for days, even weeks stirring up dry dust clouds with every step. By material standards, they did the impossible. They walked, they hungered, they gave birth, they mourned, they arrived.  


One sign of Love’s presence in the midst of this extremity is how families meld after parents are lost. Children are, without hesitation, embraced by another family with too little to share.

July 5th is not just the day after...

Like the song says: People just want to be free!


But if hearts knew the immensity of what lies ahead, would they declare? A Declaration of freedom or independence is only the first step. The work that follows a Declaration is always a surprise - it waits around the corner. But having taken that first step, the direction is clear and the outcome is inevitable.

Declaring Independence is a radical, decisive act. It does not matter whether the arena is national politics or individual health. It is a watershed moment requiring faith and courage. Independence, freedom from oppression, is a right idea carrying the right of way within it. It draws an indelible line of demarcation.

July is the month when I celebrate the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America but I am not alone. To others in other nations who celebrate their Independence in July:  
Happy Independence and Godspeed.

20110629

bullying and injustice treated prayerfully.

How would you pray about bullying?
How would you pray about injustice?

Asking about bullying is a hot topic today. It has become a very common problem and few suggestions offer immediate help. The case of injustice is similar in the sense that it involves unequal relationships and has no easy solution. In both cases, claims of fear and lack are evidenced by imbalances between material and spiritual qualities. It seems that one party has power over the other and misuses that power. And it seems that the other party is helpless and without rescourse. Both cases indicate imbalance and neither has a readily available resolution.

However:

If Love is infinite, can these cases be as they appear to be?

What is real and what is a dream...


A friend who loves swimming once said that sometimes she wondered whether she was a fish dreaming of being a girl or a girl dreaming of being a fish. With that, the seeming dilemma hidden within that ancient question came into to my thought. I remembered several quotes from well known thinkers and some casually shared views. Several of them are shared below.

20110628

Tis the season for election promises and spiritual discernment...




Today, after reading Don Ingwerson's repost of Fran Esser's post, PRAYER FOR GOOD GOVERNMENT, I began to think. And for me thinking usually starts with a question, so here it is.

Why are we taught to avoid certain topics like politics in our social conversation? 
Isn't it because those discussions often trouble our hearts? But, consider this: Does a topic have power to cause us heart troubles? Isn't it rather how we speak to it?

20110410

Ngochoni Petals of Africa & Meridian School of Grenada

...it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven,
that one of these little ones should perish.
 (Matthew 18:14)*

...whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones 
a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple,
verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
(Matthew 10:42)*

Ngochoni Petals of Africa School

20110409

A question about Life reflected in life...

"I was wondering about something:
 If we are all eternal with no stop date, 
do we have a start date? 
If so, does it pre-exist our current life?"

How would you answer these questions? 

Here are thoughts that came to me starting with my favorite fact.

There is no Day 1 Eternal Life. 

God declared: I am the Lord, I change not. (Malachi 3:6)*

Time is not knowable to the Eternal since time is a measure of change. God, Life, is ever present now. And Eternity, by definition, has no beginning or before and no ending or after.

20110315

Embracing struggling hearts





It has been a while since I have blogged to you. Responding to the events throughout the world has lead me to post and comment elsewhere.  Here one recent post:
.


.
Peace to struggling hearts in Japan and
everywhere there is a feeling of loss.


20110219

Flowers at the door

Flowers at the door are the first sign you are welcome. 

Whether you are returning home or are a visitor just arriving, flowers set the stage. Whatever happens next is impacted by their vitality, hue and shape.

A reply to GB Shaw quote post

The post:

Revolutions have never lightened the burden of tyranny:
they have only shifted it to another shoulder
~ George Bernard Shaw

My comment:

GBS speaks from the perspective of the human and in that context speaks more truly than is understood during the time of revolution. However, when governed by God, man needs no other government. Man (mankind, male and female) is free to obey the 2 great commandments. He will naturally and rightly love his neighbor as himself as he loves himself, not as self-made but as God's image and likeness.


20110206

"AROMA of SPIRIT"

A Bible study can cut an interesting new path in thought. And that is exactly what happened today while I was studying the weekly CSBL on Spirit. One citation from Science and Health arrested my attention. As I read it, I took a detour in order to explore the word, aroma. My detour may interest you.


20110119

The CSBL


Add your thoughts about the Christian Science Bible Lesson 
either in this post or in the chat window in the left sidebar.
Look forward to your insights.


20110111

The King's Speech - a fine and worthy film


I left with a happy glow after watching “The King’s Speech” on Sunday .

Watching through the lens of Christian Science made the film all the more interesting. I noticed a variety of behaviors that fit with the public practice of Christian Science. Logue rejected idolatry (rank, role, etc.) at the start (to begin rightly...). His creative understanding and skill came from within (Mind) not from academics. He showed an quiet but uncompromising respect for his capacity. Logue spoke with authority (he knew that he knew). He used a teaching (prayer) closet to protect himself and his pupil and their work. He didn't keep assessment records. And he definitely honored the ethics of confidentiality.


Considering: "Rampage in Arizona: Thinking Differently About Evil"

This post is a response to some current calls for comfort and understanding. The shootings in Arizona and the flooding in Australia are two requests. Another is from those in the unmet aftermath in Haiti. Requests come from the people of Ivory Coast, the Coptics in Egypt, Church-goers in Nigeria, followers of minority faith traditions in several other countries, school children in Kenya and inner cities here, even Muslims sharing the same umbrella of Islam - the list of requests continues. Un-named people cry out from prisons of hard human experiences.

In spite of a multitude of forms of evil there is really one fearfilled question: 

Where is God - does evil have the power to destroy me or you or us? 


20110107

a REFERENDUM and a PRAYER...

With the arrival of the Wise Men (Epiphany) remembered, Christmas season is complete. But, its light continues as ignited hope shining in Juba, South Sudan. Take a morning drive.

The South Sudan Referendum or Secession vote is a human footstep on the path toward autonomy. It follows the Sudan 2010 Election. Expectancy fills their hearts and the very air. From a picture it seems that their voting finger ink is the calming blue green of a quiet sea.