My Day With God

Awaking to gratitude.  In stillness opening thought to God’s guidance.  Letting in the light of spiritual understanding.  Arising with joy and inspiration and willingness.  Going forth into the fields – tenderly embracing, loving, appreciating, weeding and watering.  Seeing beauty unfolded – work well done.  Resting in peace and assurance of God’s allness.  Gratitude.

Mary Lou, Member of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Green Valley, Arizona

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God’s Children

My prayer for you is “Be still”.  Enjoy the sunshine and recognize God’s light all around you.  See that you are the reflection of God, sparkling with beauty and purity, showing your many colors – your never-ending potential, your God-given ability to bring goodness wherever you go.  Enjoy the rain as a symbol of God’s ability to wash clean and away all suggestions of discontent, inferiority, ugliness, aloneness, inability, fear.  See the sweetness of a new fresh view – joy, perfection, beauty, abundance, fulfillment, peace.  Enjoy the stars as the infinite array of angel thoughts from God – no room for destructive and hopeless thoughts.  Enjoy the certainty that spring follows winter – nothing can stop it.  You can bud and blossom no matter how harsh the time past.  Nothing can prevent or slow your progress, your growing and uncovering your natural beauty and innocence.  Rejoice in each day, each moment filled with opportunity and freedom.  There are no other masters or influences.  Rejoice also in evenings, your quiet times.  Await the new day with expectation of good – no violence, abuse, hunger or resentment to disturb you.  God is your Father and Mother – you are a blessed child.  Be still.

Mary Lou


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“At altitude” with ageless living

Published in the September 2011 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Years ago my wife and I traveled to the state of Washington to spend the summer as campground hosts at Mount Rainier National Park so that I could make the two-day climb of the mountain.  As a 30-year-plus resident of Colorado, I’d lived “at altitude” – most recently at 9,200 feet on a mountain near Denver.  Through the years, I’ve summited many of that state’s 14,000 foot peaks.  Mt. Rainier’s 14,410 foot elevation was no higher, so I wasn’t intimidated.  I’d always wanted to try climbing on ice and snow with ropes, ice axes, and crampons, but during my working career I never had had the opportunity or time available to undertake a major climb.  As a retiree, I had the time available to practice and train beforehand, and also the benefit of a climbing school and guide service.  It seemed a doable activity.

When the day came for our pre-climb training session out on a nearby glacier, I was somewhat surprised to find I was at least 25 years older than any of my climbing companions.  On the trail to the training site I had difficulty keeping up the pace, fell behind, and arrived late to the training site.  By the end of the afternoon, it was clear that I wasn’t able to perform at the level required – and to continue as part of a group could have been a hazard to the other climbers.  It was the hardest day of physical labor I’d ever experienced – and one of the most disappointing mental challenges.  The most difficult temptation to overcome was the belief that I was just “too old” to participate in a young man’s sport.  Interestingly, the experienced trainer/guide of our group – who had summited Mt. Everest eight times – never suggested age as a factor, but only the need for more and better training before I climbed again.

Later I discovered that a man of 83 years had climbed the mountain recently.  It was then I realized that age and the passing of years never govern my ability to live an active life.  Over time I began to fully understand the lesson from this experience.  It wasn’t enough for me to rely on a physical training program and a casual understanding that as the perfect reflection of infinite Life (God), I always express strength, agility, and stamina.  Just as I would need to go beyond getting into “condition” academically before taking an examination, I needed to go beyond physical conditioning and prepare metaphysically for the climb.

In the Christian Science textbook Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy advises her readers, “Never record ages,” and then goes on to explain:  “Except for the error of measuring and limiting all that is good and beautiful, man would enjoy more than threescore years and ten and still maintain his vigor, freshness, and promise” (p. 246).  Clearly, our thinking does have a major effect on our longevity.

During my college years I dated a young woman who lived in off-campus housing for Christian Scientists, and she told me about a piece of advice her housemother shared with the residents:  “Start right now to claim your immortality.  It may not seem important to you now, but it certainly will be later on.”  Years later, after that college student became my wife, we were reminded of this active, vital woman’s advice while reading a short biographical sketch at the time of her passing.  I was astonished to learn the human age of this seemingly ageless woman.  She had in fact practiced what she preached, and it was then that I began to more fully realize the wisdom of refusing to limit our range of activity by labeling ourselves by “years.”

Retirement is a time when one needs to be especially alert not to buy into the blatant (and insidious) predictions about aging.  Society tells us we’ve worked hard and now is the time to reap the rewards – but that illness and decay are the natural, inevitable concomitants of advancing years.  As an administrator of an organization offering assistance to “senior” Christian Scientists, I found that a big part of my job was to help those who came to our facility to see that it wasn’t a time for them to just sit back and let someone take care of them in a period of “decline.”  Instead, it was a time to heed Mrs. Eddy’s admonition:  “Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight” (Science and Health, p. 246).

After retiring, my wife and I traveled full time for five years throughout North America in our motor home, exploring on our own and sometimes leading caravan tours to Mexico.  One favorite passage from Isaiah continues to help me reclaim my spiritual heritage:  “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).  While I’ve never felt the inclination to take another shot at Mount Rainier, less strenuous hiking and climbing are still a part of my life – mountain hikes in the southwestern United States are often on my agenda.  Last year, while on a four-month extended trip to Alaska, northern Canada, and the Yukon, my wife and I both hiked an early portion of the strenuous 33-mile Chilkoot Trail, leading into the famous Klondike Goldfields (the trek was just long enough to gain an understanding of the extreme hardship endured by the gold-seeking miners back in 1897-98).  Our many experiences on the road have inspired our understanding of Christian Science, enabling us to overcome the beliefs associated with aging, including the need to repair or replace “worn out” joints, valves, and organs.  In our travels we have regularly met individuals who refuse to let the so-called limitations of “old age” curtail their active lives.  A woman we know spent her vacation exploring the Amazon River in a dugout canoe.  A septuagenarian we met made a bungee jump while on vacation in New Zealand – and then couldn’t resist taking a second free jump that was offered to so-called senior citizens who had successfully completed the first one.

Around the globe we are regularly asked to buy into the notion that increasing decrepitude and decay await us.  But now is the time – no matter what our age – to take our stand, as active, alert expressions of divine Life, Truth, and Love.    It is our rightful heritage as the children of God.

Larry Backus, Member of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Green Valley, Arizona


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Testimony of Healings in Christian Science

Published in the October 24, 1974 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

My family and I had an opportunity a few years ago to spend a holiday weekend on a private island accessible only by boat from the nearby mainland.  At dusk on the second evening of our stay, I was climbing a tree.  Suddenly the branch I was resting my full weight upon broke, and I fell a distance of about ten feet to the ground.  When I tried to stand, I discovered that three rusty spikes fastened to a two-by-four lying on the ground had been driven into my leg.

My first thought at that moment was, “There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter,” the first line of  “The Scientific Statement of Being” found on page 468 of Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy.  I had learned this statement in full by heart as a child in the Christian Science Sunday School.  With the help of another I was able to stand and limp back to the main cabin area.  I began praying to know my perfection as God’s child but became fearful of infection and death.  I repeated over and over, “God is my Life.”

In a short time a boat was brought, and a friend offered to drive us back to the city.  In spite of my prayers I was still afraid, and therefore on the way we stopped to call a Christian Science practitioner in a distant city.  My leg had become stiff and difficult to move.  Though it was one in the morning when the practitioner came to the phone, his calm patience and good nature were reassuring.

The practitioner referred me to Science and Health where Mrs. Eddy says (p. 151), “Fear never stopped being and its action.”  As we talked, the fear disappeared and I became more relaxed.  We discussed the fact that tetanus was nothing but a word for a temporal belief and that it had no power over me, but that Mind, God, was governing everything.

When we arrived home that night, the wounds were washed and bandaged.  No medication was used.  I was able to sleep peacefully through the rest of the night.  In the morning I was able to walk without difficulty, and by evening I was entirely free and able to engage in a strenuous series of business and personal activities during the next five days.

I am grateful for the privilege of being a Christian Scientist, and particularly for the strength and courage it gives one as a parent.  Our family is especially thankful for a rapid healing of our three-year-old daughter when she was bitten on the cheek while kissing a dog, and for her quick recovery from what appeared to be pneumonia, though it was never so diagnosed by a medical doctor.  The latter healings occurred when my wife and I were able to fully realize that this little girl was God’s child and He was loving and protecting her better than we ever could as her human parents.

Larry Backus, Member of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Green Valley, Arizona

As the wife and mother referred to, I would like to verify my husband’s testimony.  In all three cases cited it was so very clear that as soon as we quit being fearful and fully trusted the child, and my husband, to God, the healing quickly followed.  The healing of what appeared to be pneumonia occurred when our daughter was about eight months old.  We were very fearful, and I began wondering if we should take her to a doctor.  As I thought about my various friends who went to pediatricians, I knew I wanted the very best physician.  As I mentally considered this, the thought came to me clearly that God is the best physician.  Class instruction in Christian Science followed this experience and gave us both a clearer understanding of the application of Science and a stronger conviction than ever of God’s presence and power to heal and bless us.  I am very grateful for Christian Science.

Cene Backus, Member of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Green Valley, Arizona



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Pet Healed

Healing of our pet quail

One of the great blessings Christian Science brings to my life is hope. My experience as a life-long Christian Scientist has taught me that it heals anything no matter how hopeless the situation seems.

On time my husband hatched a quail from some eggs that were going to be discarded at his work. The tiny bird that came out was wet and weak and we had to feed it baby bird formula on a toothpick. We set up a warm nest with a heat lamp for her but she didn’t look like she was going to make it.

I had recently learned in my Christian Science Class Instruction that there is no death because God is All and God is Life. So every time I went in to check on the little bird or feed her I affirmed “there is no death.” She didn’t have a name yet so I thought of that as her name. She grew to be a wonderful part of the family, she loved to jump up on laps, steal food or lay an egg in visitors’ shoes.

One day I was sitting on the couch reading and realized I hadn’t seen her for a while. (She loved to be wherever you were). I jumped up with the terrible realization that I had been sitting on her for a long time.

She got up but fell over immediately on her side and lay still. I called my Dad horrified at what I had done and asked him to pray for her. “I sat on my bird” I said. He agreed to pray for her. Later I read in Miscellaneous Writings, “And remember…calm strength will enrage evil. But the very heavens shall laugh at them and move majestically to your defense when the armies of earth push hard upon you. p.338*

She sat up but she was still breathing sporadically. My mom played a Christian Science lecture over the phone for me which was very comforting. It kept my attention away from the mesmeric picture of a dying bird. When my Dad called to check on her progress I told him she wasn’t breathing well and he continued to pray. Soon after that second phone call she hopped up and started her normal chirping and walking around (probably looking for food). Until that time I hadn’t looked at the couch where there were two large stains of blood. But this was even clearer proof that “The power of Christian Science and divine Love is omnipotent. It is indeed adequate to unclasp the hold and to destroy disease, sin and death.” S&H 412:13

“Love giveth to the least spiritual idea might, immortality and goodness,” S&H 518:19.

When I called her practitioner, Dad, to report the good news we rejoiced together. And I didn’t have to tell my husband that I crushed his bird.

*Misc Writs p.338:15 “And remember a pure faith in humanity will subject one to deception; the uses of good, to abuses from evil; and calm strength will enrage evil. But the very heavens shall laugh at them and move majestically to your defense when the armies of earth push hard upon you.”

Alice, daughter of church member



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