Challenge Overcome by Listening to God

One Sunday the disposal at the kitchen sink stopped working.  The dishwasher was also hooked into this disposal which meant I could neither wash dishes at the sink nor run the dishwasher.  Though I had a list of handy men, I knew I would not be able to get one of them to work on the weekend.  So I decided I would install a new disposal myself.  After all, how difficult can that be?  So I purchased a new disposal at Home Depot, brought it home and studied the directions for installation thoroughly.  Removing the old, “not working disposal” was easy, as it released easily, and simply dropped into my hands.  The directions for installation said simply that I must hold the new disposal up to the sink with my left hand and connect it with my right hand.  I was lying on my back on the floor of the cabinet, holding the disposal above my head.  However, no matter how many times I tried, I simply seemed to lack the strength needed.  So I quit for awhile, and decided to work metaphysically on the problem.  Again and again I affirmed that omnipotent God supplies whatever strength is needed, but it took me till the next day to recognize that mortal mind had convinced me that because I am a woman, I would not have sufficient strength.  I finally realized that I had not been listening, and I asked God to please tell me whatever I needed to know.  Almost immediately I knew to go to the garage and get the Tire Jack!!!  In no time at all the dishwasher installation was complete.  Surely God loves me!

Charlotte Petry

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Gratitude to God for Care, Protection and Love Which Surrounds Me

Desert View, a Christian Science Nursing Facility in Phoenix, Arizona, is a wonderful place.  They take wonderful care of their patients and the support for Christian Science treatment is solid.  Within three days I was well.  My son flew in from California and stayed at a nearby motel and visited each day.  At one point, I did experience a relapse, but soon received a firm healing.

If I were in Green Valley, I would be testifying at church about the wonderful healing experience at Desert View.  We Arizonans have a gem in our midst.  If you would like to testify for me that would be okay.

A number of members at the Green Valley church have sent cards and notes which have been forwarded to me.  What a delight to receive them.  I hope to answer them all soon.

Bet you are surprised at the return address on this letter.  My daughter lives about twenty minutes from here and wanted me close by.  This way we can see each other quite frequently.  As you know Wide Horizon, a Christian Science Nursing and Assisted Living  Facility in Colorado, is an exquisitely beautiful place.  Wonderful views – trees of all sorts, a little creek and plantings.  My daughter, Marsha, flew to Desert View and then we flew together to Denver for the move.

I have not words to express my deep sense of gratitude to God for the care, protection, and love that surrounds me.

Charlotte Petry, Member

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Innocence

Recently I found myself becoming annoyed with several people I knew.  In praying about the situation and knowing it wasn’t right to feel that way, the thought came to me that when our little cat does something not quite right, I usually say “Oh, you’re a good boy – you didn’t mean it”.  The same when a small child doesn’t do something right, it’s easy to say to the child, “You didn’t mean that – you’re good”.  I began to think about why it is so easy to show grace and forgiveness to small children or animals.  It’s because I think of them as innocent – harmless and needing cherishing and protecting.  Somehow I had accepted the belief that as we grow older we lose our innocence and childlikeness.

But what is the difference between children and older people?  There is none.  There is no time when we lose our innocence.  It is God-given – the same yesterday, and today and forever.  It cannot diminish or be taken away or hidden.  Innocence must be affirmed and cherished and protected in all of God’s children around the world.  Think what good would become apparent it I began every day affirming innocence in everyone I encountered or thought about.

Mary Lou, Member

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The Way it’s “Supposed to be”? Good!

Several years ago, after much prayer, I was inspired to place my house on the market to sell, with the brave intent of moving clear across the country.  However, months went by and there was no sale.  I lowered the price twice, and made some minor cosmetic changes to make the property more appealing.  Still there was no sale.  Then I wondered if maybe this failure to sell was a “sign” from God that I wasn’t supposed to move after all.  But then I thought more deeply about it.

If a student of mathematics has trouble solving an equation, that wouldn’t be a “sign” that the problem isn’t solvable.  The student knows that because the principles of mathematics are already established, the solution has already been established.  She also knows that she is fully capable of understanding and applying those principles correctly in order to find the right answer.

It was my deep and earnest desire to understand the principles of divine Science at work in my life.  I wasn’t seeking a specific human outcome to my housing situation, but an understanding of my true, spiritual home.  As I listened for divine Principle’s – God’s – guidance, I gained a wonderful calm clarity.  I realized that the fact that my house had failed to sell just meant that my house had not sold, and that believing that circumstance was a “sign” was a superstition.

To conclude that each event in our human experience – both good and bad – must have divine authority, is a misguided belief.  It is as unscientific as believing that the roll of the dice or the numbers on a lottery ticket are sanctioned by heaven, God, the all-knowing Mind, does not play games with His beloved creation.  Nor is “fate” another name for omnipotent God.

There is an exact, dependable, invariable, and loving divine Principle governing our lives, including housing decisions.  And that divine Principle is God.  Turning away from human speculation about what was “supposed to be”, I focused on gaining an understanding of what is.  I began to see that it actually didn’t so much matter where in the world I lived.  My true sense of home is not a geographical spot on Earth, because I am always at home in the all-inclusiveness of God’s love.  Restlessness or mere thrill-seeking adventurism also had no place in this settled spiritual home.

Such peace followed these realizations!  All confusion and uncertainty vanished as spiritual reasoning based on divine Principle overcame human reasoning in my thought.  Within a month, the house sold, I moved and settled into a new place.  My peaceful understanding of my spiritual “home” stayed with me, much like a snail has its shell everywhere it goes.

What truly is “supposed to be” already is and ever was.  It requires no anxious waiting for tea leaves to reveal a pattern or for unseen mysterious forces to come into play and coalesce a plan.  The fact is that God, good, is the only cause.  Harmony and order are the effects.  Speculation about what is humanly “supposed to be” must give place to these divine facts.

We may become sidetracked by imagining scenarios of chance or failure, but when we look out from the mountaintop of spiritual understanding and keep this higher view, we find no need to join the game of guessing and weighing outcomes.  This higher view is based on the allness of God, good.  And we can surely expect God’s goodness in our lives.  This is not watching with sheer optimism, to see how the wind blows, and equating that with God’s will.

This “whatever happens is supposed to happen” or “everything happens for a reason” thinking entertains the possibility that bad outcomes and uncertainty are God’s will.  We may start to ask God multiple choice questions like “Will I find my right home, or not”? or “Will I be healed, or not”?  God’s will has no either/or when it comes to our care.  God’s will is invariable good, and can have no other conclusion but good in our lives.

Mary Bakes Eddy writes:  “Immortal Mind is God, immortal good; in whom the Scripture saith ‘we live, and move, and have out being’.  This Mind…is the divine intelligence, or Principle, of all real being; holding man forever in the rhythmic round of unfolding bliss, as a living witness to and perpetual idea of inexhaustible good”.  (Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896, pp. 82-83)  Understanding this true condition of our existence gives us a foundation upon which to build our expectations of the right resolution to any questions we face.

Earlene Cox

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Computer Problem Fixed Through Prayer

The annual audit was immanent for the financial records for which I was responsible.  I also had an annual Treasurer’s Report due.  The problem was the records did not balance.  I had imputed all the expense and income information correctly as I had reconciled with the bank statement for each month.  I had taken a lot of time going over the records and could not find the problem.  The software program I use is good except it has its own way of doing things and I couldn’t find out what needed to be done.  I walked around the yard and said to myself that there is a solution.  There is a solution and it comes from listening to God.  I knew that God as Principle had everything under control.  Mrs. Eddy’s definition of God on Page 587 of the Glossary of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures states “God.  The great I AM; the all-knowing, all- seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal;…”  That was my solution and it was to center my thoughts on God.  As I did this I was led to open the program again and read the headings and found the discrepancy.  I spent a few hours going back and redoing the reconciliation which the program let me do.  It was also a comfort to me that the software had made an entry which I was unaware of and even though it seemed my error, there was an answer.  The problem was corrected and the records were correct.  All was well.  I am so grateful to know that God is ever with me to guide my thoughts and actions.

Jane, Member

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A new student of Christian Science healed of severe back pain

Account of Testimony

This is a message of gratitude to Mary Baker Eddy, and her students and followers; who are diligent to understand their path of spirituality, and in helping others. Although I am not a member of this church I do believe the principles and messages of Truth professed. It parallels the path that I do follow. The fact in this relation is the response of Christian Scientists to an outside believer. You responded to me. You are set to deal with circumstances which arise abruptly in peoples’ lives, whereas no one else I contacted was able to respond or understand.

I left home on a car trip to a family reunion in another state, which had been planned a few years in advance. A friend of mine had passed on just a few days before I left, making the departure a bit of a dilemma. My husband had passed on only a year before.

The trip was basically good. There was a lot of forest fire smoke through every state I passed through. I met up with my sister and nephew and we caravanned in two cars to our destination, meeting there other close relatives with whom we shared a lake cabin. We enjoyed being together with each other and getting reacquainted with forty or so other relatives at the reunion. I lingered a couple weeks longer after most had left, and then proceeded to drive home by a different route, and continue to stop here and there to visit other relatives and friends as part of my trip home. I allowed three or four weeks for the whole vacation.

Entering a big city, I stayed with friends a few days and then checked into a nice downtown hotel where I had stayed previously, after my husband’s death. A day after checking in, something happened. I had planned to stay in this hotel just a few days, and continue on with the trip. But everything changed…

I was sitting down in my hotel room; and as I stood up from where I was seated, I felt such a sudden very sharp pain in my back, hip and leg that I almost fell to the floor. That pain got worse and worse and lingered and finally just stayed in my body and became unbearable. I had to lie down in bed and find a position of stillness to get relief. This continued day and night for many days, and I was stuck, suffering extremely in the hotel room, unable to dress, walk, or barely move. I could get up for only about a minute or two at a time to try to accomplish anything, and make it back to the bed to squirm around trying to find a position in which I could relax my body from the intense pain, and just be as still as possible until I gathered enough strength to get up again to make phone calls, order food, eat the meal, wash, use the bathroom, anything. I thought it would go away because I had never gone through this before. Even to use the phone or look up a phone number was a complicated and painful chore.

I called the desk and got a reference for a massage person to come to the room; and she came three days in a row; but it wasn’t helping, and she couldn’t come a fourth time because it was by then Sunday. I was starting to feel exhausted. Friends and relatives whom I had called told me to go to a doctor, get x-rays, and get an MRI. I would have had to go in an ambulance. But I wouldn’t have gone in the first place because after observing my late husband several times in different hospitals, I refused to put myself in any similar vulnerable such place ever, and just continue with alternative approaches to healing, and not be subjected to those drugs and pain killers.

Days were going by and there arose in my mind visions of dying in a hotel room from pain and exhaustion. I was informed there was a clinic one block away. I didn’t know how I would get there. I needed help and support. My thinking was less clear. How could anyone understand this situation? No one did. I called the front desk to bring Excedrin and Tigre balm ointment from the pharmacy. Excedrin had been recalled off the shelf, so the girl brought Advil or something which didn’t work at all. I hadn’t got dressed in all this time, and I couldn’t figure out how to manage dressing or getting out of the room, or walking. I called the clinic and requested an acupuncturist come to my room, which of course didn’t happen – they don’t provide that – I would have to go to their office. I called a friend in my far away home state that belonged to the Christian Science Church to recommend a practitioner where I was.

Edified by the practitioner with reminders and quotes and advice of determination and conviction, I knew this is God. God is omnipotent so it will work. God enfolds me in loving care. God is omnipresent, and if God is everywhere, there is no room for aught else – only God. To me, this I determined to be a choice. Gritting my teeth and screaming, shouting, swearing these affirmations, I forced myself to take a shower, and I forced myself to dress and I decided to get out of the room and just explore the hotel as an experiment without going any further. I pressed my fist against my hip. With anguished expression on my face I took on a personal tour of the elegant old hotel. In the elevator I would force the affirmations under my breath and whimper and cry.

Next day I was determined to make it one block to the acupuncturist on the eighth floor of another building across the street. Would you believe it, I got lost. I crossed the wrong street and ended up on the fifth floor in a culinary institute. I was so dismayed. The patient secretary there computed a map and printed it out. Still in great pain I just couldn’t think clearly. On the map there was a one-inch line showing me how to cross the street again and go one block. I didn’t think I could make it to two places in one day, plus make it back to the hotel.

God enfolds me in His loving care. God enfolds me in His loving care. I’m gritting my teeth crying, pressing my hip and leg, managing carrying my purse; not thinking of this hideous image presenting itself to the public as I somehow make my way, found the entrance, the elevator, the eighth floor, the office number, so desperately, and I break down, shaking, crying uncontrollably as I entered. The poor receptionist, he just didn’t know what to think or do, but the doctor appeared and ignoring the bed table, she just sat me down in the nearest recliner and instead of directly addressing the affected area of pain she put acupuncture needles in my arm and feet.

Next day, knowing which street to cross, I went back again for more acupuncture, hobbling the whole one block again. Pain kept persisting. I called the practitioner again. She encouraged me and supported me again and explained that it was important to allow God to do it all. I tried one more alternative: chiropractic. I confessed afterwards to the practitioner. She again advised me that God is All in All. Rely on that, and drop all else.

I thought about everything deeply that the practitioner had advised. I thought hard, and understood about God. I abandoned all of my long-time use alternative medications and methods named above in exchange for trust and faith in God alone. It’s working still. I read the entire book Science and Health, and I’m reading it a second time to keep my faith and understanding of its message. And I wanted a Christian Science nursing center.

I was also determined to continue my planned route home. It took me another month to accomplish driving home. By the time I arrived home I was able to sleep and move in bed normally, without pain.

I sincerely appreciate my home-town friend, who is herself an amazing, accomplished person of attainment.

— DK

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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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