Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.—James 1:17
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Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
—James 1:17

Get spiritually fit

IMG_1657Let’s talk about how to get spiritually fit. But first, if someone knocked on your door and said to you, “You’re unworthy of good and you don’t deserve happiness” what would you do? Would you say, “Come on in and have some tea!”, or would you slam the door on their face?

We may, or may not, realize that thoughts that say the very same thing are much more subtle. However, rather than saying “you” they say, “I”. Often they’re just as demeaning and ugly, but we often let these thoughts in unwittingly. Not only that, but we entertain these ugly intruders—maybe not with tea—but we listen to them, and we accept their false statements or lies as true.

Getting spiritually fit begins by recognizing these thoughts and kicking them out, and resisting their intrusion. And the second part of your spiritual fitness regime, is by realizing you have Biblical authority to kick out these aggressive suggestions. The good news is that’s all they are — suggestions. They can’t make you accept them, but their sales pitch may sound persuasive by using the I or I’m in their lies.

How do we know we have Biblical authority? Well, Jesus showed and told us what he did. After John baptized Jesus, he faced very aggressive thoughts—so aggressive that the Bible described these thoughts as the Devil (see Matthew 4:1-11) .

Jesus didn’t accept these (d)evil concepts, rather he refuted them, one by one, with the Scriptures. And since Jesus is “the Way the Truth and the Life” we can do the same thing. It’s so precious that Jesus told us his prayer and what he did. Jesus gave us this powerful insight so that we’d know what to do when the same thing happened to us — to exercise divine Truth — the power of God to help us.

We can exercise God’s power by putting into action what is true and acknowledging that God made us good, holy, and perfect. We may not seem perfect, but starting with your thoughts, you can act with authority, like Jesus did, by acknowledging God’s is ever-present with you and that you can never be separated nor removed from God’s protection and love.

Another thing you can start putting into action — drop this concept that says “I’m a sinner.” You can drop this dead weight of a lie, now. Yes, we all may have made mistakes, but the notion that you’re permanently stained by a sin, or many sins, or that sin is literally who you are, is simply not true. That’s because what God made, including you and me, was perfect to begin with, not flawed.

Perfection and holiness require exercise — put these God-bestowed qualities into action. Resist making untoward mistakes that aren’t your highest sense of right. Anything that would be unkind to you or others, resist doing them, and at the same time seek more and new ways to do good to yourself, your family, and your community—co-workers, fellow drivers, or even people in your neighborhood.

Practice not profession, understanding not belief, gain the ear and right hand of omnipotence and they assuredly call down infinite blessings. Trustworthiness is the foundation of enlightened faith. Without a fitness for holiness, we cannot receive holiness.
—Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p.15

so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: … And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.
—Acts 24:14 so, 16

Dispute sickness with Science

Dispute sickness with Science

IMG_0765Dispute sickness with Science? Unlike physical and natural sciences, divine Science has its origin in God, the  divine. And the knowledge of it is spiritual and comes by understanding God as omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. It is divine law, and it disputes illness for you because it is God’s own law — it is what God literally knows is true about you and His entire creation.

To unpack…

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Understanding God is paramount

As a Christian Scientist, I’m learning that understanding God is paramount to Christian demonstration. The beautiful thing is that God supplies the understanding — it’s not something you and I are under pressure for its attainment. Rather, we’re participating in God’s supply of it — by gratitude for what we’ve learned and by putting what little we do understand into practice.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a lot to learn. And I feel very much like I’m in the kindergarten level of understanding since I first went into the public practice of Christian Science 8 years ago. But each day I’m learning a little more about God as divine Mind, and all that divine Mind has to offer.

But why is understanding paramount? Because, for me, understanding is like understanding your best friend — you love them and enjoy being on the same wavelength and when you know your friend appreciates you, it feels even more important to reflect that appreciation back to them and vice versa.

And understanding is like appreciation — its more than just intellectual. It means to me that there’s a deepening of value, trust, and love.  When you’re understood, you feel loved and trusted. And it feels wonderful being in sync with your friend when it comes to being of value.

So it is with God. Understanding God brings a deeper love and trust in God, and I can then trust that what divine Mind created remains eternally good, including all the people in God’s creation. So therefore, loving God and understanding God helps me see that loving and understanding my brother, or neighbor, is also equally important.

I remember when this first became apparent to me and understanding this healed me. I was in a snowboarding accident and hurt my wrist. For three days I was praying but seemed to not improve. Until I realized I was harboring some deep anger toward an elected official. I just couldn’t understand their decisions, nor could I appreciate this man’s very existence, let alone see him as a fellow child of God.

But when I uncovered this anger, I realized I required a change of thought. Loving this person wasn’t easy, but I started by being grateful for God. I also looked deeply at the Bible to understand what exactly God created and asked myself if God was capable of creating both evil and good people if God Himself is infinite good and creates only good. The answer was apparent. I needed to see God’s goodness in this individual. I needed to see the person as God created him — eternally good and innocent. I also needed to forgive this individual for actions that I thought made him evil.

After this change of thought, and by seeing this man as God created him, the physical healing came quickly and I was soon back to normal. But this could be explained only because my thought was healed and corrected.

This experience helped me see better that understanding God is not separate from the need to see everyone who comes into our experience — whether it’s a next door neighbor, a co-worker, a driver who cuts you off, or a politician — as God’s beloved child. The world needs our deep love and understanding of God, and our love for God’s creation, to help change it into the place we know it really is — heaven.

God governs our lives

Beautiful train tracksThis day and age it may seem easy who wonder who’s in control, and to ask if God governs our lives. It might feel like we’re governed by our bosses, teachers and professors, weather, governments, and so forth.

But who is it that really governs — those things or God?

To the five physical senses there is no doubt that God is not really around. But the five physical senses also tell you that parallel train tracks will eventually collide and the world is flat.

However there is another way to rationally and logically reason things out — spiritually. To do so, one has to reason from the basis that Spirit, God, alone is infinite, all-powerful, eternally good, and fills all-space. Mary Baker Eddy’s book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures shows that in order to know God correctly, we must know God spiritually.

Understanding God from a spiritual basis enables us grasp the concept that God alone governs our lives and does so harmoniously. What is more, this also leads to improved well-being, health, and peace.

I have found this true in countless situations. I recently saw proof of this fact when driving up a narrow side street in Boston when SUV suddenly pulled out from another side street very fast, right in front of me. From what it looked like, the SUV probably should have hit me, or vice versa. But both of us were kept safe.

Prior to this moment I was cherishing the idea that God alone governs my life — that I’m kept safe in God’s care and could never be put in danger. Moments later, when the SUV pulled out in front of me, I mentally said, “No!” to the imposing fear that a collision could happen. I was able to quickly break and maneuver away from the SUV, while also being kept from hitting parked cars on the side of the street.

I felt so blessed by this experience. I consider it an inspiring proof that God, divine Love, is always with us, keeping us safe no matter what circumstances we face.

Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the Lord: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand.
—Jeremiah 42:11

Only by understanding that there is but one power, — not two powers, matter and Mind, — are scientific and logical conclusions reached. Few deny the hypothesis that intelligence, apart from man and matter, governs the universe; and it is generally admitted that this intelligence is the eternal Mind or divine Principle, Love.
—Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p.270

Now

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Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ:
—Revelation 12:10

Investing spiritually — in your spiritual identity

Invest spiritually in who you really are — your whole,  good, and wonderfully God-made identity. God, Spirit, saw this perfection when He created all of us and all of the infinite (see Genesis, chapter 1) and declared it “very good.” When He finished creating, His creation was and is complete. God the Creator of all made a perfect creation and it’s eternally good, and that includes you—now and forever.

Genesis 1 chronicles the only creation — the complete, whole, and perfect creation. It is the true history about our origin because we are all spiritually and beautifully created by Spirit itself—the one, infinite God, good.

What am I getting at? Read Genesis 1 and see if there’s any mention of God creating sin, directly or indirectly. Spoiler alert: you won’t find any.

What does this mean? Don’t buy into sin, or  rather the opinion and belief that you were made a sinner, that you come from sin, or that you’re capable of sin. If God isn’t capable of sin, you aren’t either.

Jesus proved to us that we have complete dominion over the flesh. He showed us not only that he redeemed us from sin and the flesh, but our true being is wholly spiritual. He  showed us — proved to us — this truth through his resurrection, his raising the dead, his healing of both the sick and those who were called sinners.

Rather than buying into sin, invest, spiritually, by understanding yourself as Spirit’s image and likeness.  Invest in this eternal goodness that is who you are. Acknowledge and subscribe to this goodness — honor, declare, protect it. Don’t boast about anything, especially sin, mistakes, or error. But love the good that is in you — that good comes from God. When you love the good, you’re loving God, and you’re loving yourself. This is the very opposite of narcism. You’re acknowledging the perfection of God, thereby acknowledging the goodness that makes you who you are.

Invest all of your time, thought, and energy in loving this God-derived goodness. You will see dividends and returns like nothing you could ever imagine — joys, freedom, health, bliss — all of which are unbreakable and holy.

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
—Galatians 5:16, 22-25

The material body and mind are temporal, but the real man is spiritual and eternal. The identity of the real man is not lost, but found through this explanation; for the conscious infinitude of existence and of all identity is thereby discerned and remains unchanged. It is impossible that man should lose aught that is real, when God is all and eternally his.
—Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p.302

Christ Jesus and his works

IMG_1479.JPGAnd John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?
And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight. Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.

—Luke 7:19, 21, 22

Jesus’ works established his claim to the Messiahship. In reply to John’s inquiry, “Art thou he that should come,” Jesus returned an affirmative reply, recounting his works instead of referring to his doctrine, confident that this exhibition of the divine power to heal would fully answer the question.
—Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

Reach for mastery through Christ

Imagine you’re in her shoes — in pain, bleeding, and desperate for healing. So certain that a single touch of the Christ will heal her. So she does — she reaches out touches the hem of Christ’s robe and instantly feels whole, complete, and her health is back to normal. But there’s a surprise. Jesus senses this yearning desire, even her thought, that reached out for help. Not only that, but he knows that “virtue went out of him.” He knows the healing power of God was enacted and experienced — all within seconds. What is more, Jesus doesn’t rebuke her, but says, “Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.”

Powerful.

So how does this relate to you, 2,000+ years later? Your desire to reach out and touch Christ is not in vain, nor is it impossible. The Christ is more than just a personal ability, it’s the reflection of God, or man created and seen as God’s image and likeness (see Genesis 1:26-27) — a present fact that is true about all of us. This Christ heals — it is God’s healing power present with us, eternally.

The Christ isn’t far away. It’s not locked into one person who walked the earth two millenniums ago. The Christ — God’s healing power — is present, here and now, and Christian Science defines it as practical, ever-present, and unchanging divine law.

Through this divinely bestowed power you can overcome and master things that hold you back, make you feel guilty, angry, sad, or unfulfilled. This good or plausible healing isn’t far away, nor is it only miraculous or “pie in the sky” thinking. Rather God’s power — even the Kingdom of God — is within you as Jesus said (see Luke 17:21).

He that touches the hem of Christ’s robe and masters his mortal beliefs, animality, and hate, rejoices in the proof of healing, — in a sweet and certain sense that God is Love.
—Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p.568:11

behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
—Matthew 9:20-22