A Delight of Father’s Day

In 1995, Dad died. I still hear him encouraging me to till the ground, plant, grow, and harvest. I have no problem remembering him on Father’s Day.

A good man, not always easy to get along with, Dad taught me how to identify plants and hoe weeds out of potato fields. I couldn’t help but wonder why sometimes, the same plant could be a weed in a potato field and a flower in a garden.

Morning Glory.

Morning Glory competes for nutrients in a potato field but provides vibrant delight in a garden.

That knowledge, of course, can be observed and applied. Everyday.

Dad didn’t compete for nutrients during my childhood but provided nourishment. I was raised on a steady diet of healthy food, work, and the constant nudging to complete jobs that need to be done and to correct my mistakes.

When I follow through on the nudging, vibrant delight.

After I got married and had two children, we started fostering children. The first child that came to live with us, Junior, had his second birthday during his stay. Junior was afraid of men. Afraid of most everything; vacuum cleaner, Shep the dog, the farm four-wheeler.

The job that needed to be done was introducing Junior to confident courage. I stopped vacuuming the house, just kidding, but vacuumed when Junior was in the other room. I also asked Shep to lay down and wait for Junior to come and pet him. Shep obliged many times over.

As for men, one day, my backup babysitter backed out and I needed childcare. Mom volunteered. Super grateful, I took our girls and Junior to Mom and Dad’s house before going to my appointment.

A few hours later, I returned to Mom and Dad’s house. I walked into the mudroom and was quietly astounded to see Dad, squatting on the floor with a knee up. Junior was perched on his knee, looking at a tool Dad had. Dad carefully put Junior on the ground to stand. Junior stood tall and held Dad’s hand as they went off to fix, nothing. With Dad’s guidance, Junior plied that tool to the air or maybe an engine in his mind’s eye, with sheer delight.

 

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A better understanding of Mary Baker Eddy

A better understanding of Mary Baker Eddy requires fact above falsehood. It requires admitting and correcting mistakes, rather than turning a blind eye or giving excuses.

Three examples:

  1. When Mrs. Eddy is accused of plagiarism, recognize the validity in this argument. Although 19th century writing wasn’t regulated by today’s copyright laws, Mrs. Eddy’s writings contain a glaring lack of referencing. If she was ahead of her time, she would have credited everyone she quoted with due respect. Mrs. Eddy didn’t even follow her own advice when telling other writers of her time to credit her when discussing ideas found in her Science and Health. What was considered complete in the 19th century is no longer complete to today’s human perceptions and as a result Mrs. Eddy is misperceived. But correction is possible by producing copies of her works with added references and proper crediting. Fact above falsehood also adds credibility to the “science” of Christianity. Scientific documents and texts are such because they’re referenced.
  2. The claim that Mary Baker Eddy was a charismatic leader of an un-Christian cult seems complex, however, the light of understanding shows that all leaders have charisma. Mrs. Eddy’s charisma shouldn’t be denied but admitted and then her followers should answer honestly: Do I talk and act as if Mrs. Eddy teaches exclusive (cultish) knowledge? Do I talk and act as if Mrs. Eddy had, or her writings have, all the right answers? Or, do I talk and act as if Mrs. Eddy was a significant servant to Christ? Do I place God and the Bible as sufficient to advance Christian Science, as stated in the first tenet given by Mrs. Eddy for Christian Science? Charisma isn’t the focus when God is.
  3. Misunderstandings of Mary Baker Eddy multiply and mangle when critics and admirers speak for her. When in fact we really can’t speak for her. No matter how well we know her history, our words shouldn’t speak for Mrs. Eddy as if we know what she “believed,” or “revered,” or “wished.” There can be no assuming or pretending we know what Mrs. Eddy would do today, because it’s not a point in Christian Science which deals with fact, evidence, and divine inspiration. We can actively admit the evidence that her church leadership was successful, however her outline for future church leadership lacked foresight and success. But based on the facts that Mrs. Eddy amended church bylaws as spiritual ideas unfolded and spiritual ideas are still unfolding, the bylaws can be amended again by people who take full responsibility for their action. Moving forward with God, rather than repeating or arguing opinions about what Mrs. Eddy wanted or didn’t want, would substantially aid in a better global understanding of her.

In today’s world of 7 billion inhabitants, Mary Baker Eddy is unknown. To the few who are acquainted with Mrs. Eddy, many are critics. Eddy has always been a controversial person, however, as with any controversy, it is opportunity to clarify and advance in understanding. In other words, if clarity and understanding aren’t given the upper hand, Mrs. Eddy will continue to be lost to history through misunderstandings. Clarity is not achieved by repeating “insider” language and behavior.

Clarity is achieved by representing that which is correct to human perception.

 

Reviewing Christian Science, Part 8

Question. What is Life?

Answer. Life is divine Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit. Life is without beginning and without end. Eternity, not time, expresses the thought of Life, and time is not a part of eternity. You know Life when you stop knowing time. Time is finite; eternity is forever infinite. Life has nothing to do with boundaries of any kind. Spirit doesn’t know the stuff called matter. Soul includes in itself all substance and is Life eternal. Matter is an inconsistent human concept or invention. Life is divine Mind. Life is not limited; death and limitation are unknown to Life. If Life ever had a beginning, it would also have an ending.

Think on this:

The life of God is totally opposite to the life of a human being. Except that we don’t fully understand either.

As smart as we are, we don’t fully understand how or why the physical body and mind works or reacts. Human knowledge is incomplete knowledge. And if God is complete then God did not create something incomplete.

We don’t say a chicken produces an egg shell. We expand the knowledge and say a chicken produces an egg shell filled with yolk and white. The white can feed a fertilized yolk as it develops into a chickie.

Genesis 1: 21-22

“So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.’”

This Bible verse and the chicken’s life shines a light on infinity, ongoing life, eternity. It busts boundaries, reduces limitations, and stops knowing time. But a lot goes on in the meantime. That’s why we’re careful about our thoughts and actions.

To say God created human beings is incomplete. Human beings have beginnings and ends. Human beings are restricted by time, boundaries, and the stuff called matter. Every time we learn something more about human beings, we have two more questions.

It’s better to say God created humane beings. This leads thought usefully. God created caring people, compassionate and civilized beings.

But we must not disregard the boundaries that come with human life. To transition from the human to the humane to the spiritual takes knowledge and experience. We can’t assume we are more humane or spiritual than we are human and expect spiritual healing.

It’s a tough call to aim for the life of Spirit while living the life of humans but in doing so, we advance with knowledge leading to completeness. In other words, we can’t aim for the life of Spirit while pretending we have no human life to work out the solution with.

When praying, acknowledge the life of Spirit, divine Life. Don’t try to prove something to yourself or other human beings. A full egg doesn’t try to prove something to an egg shell. Keep developing spirituality, feed on the knowledge of Life. Yet live the life you have to its fullest with regard for life, compassion, and growing completeness.

Reviewing Christian Science, Part 7

Christian Science Review, Part 7

Question: What is substance?

Answer: Substance is that which is eternal and incapable of disorder and decay. Truth, Life, and Love are substance as Scriptures use this word in Hebrews: “The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”[1] Spirit, the synonym of Mind or God, is the only real substance. The spiritual universe, including individual persons, is a united idea, reflecting the divine substance of Spirit.

Think on this:

Because it’s difficult to wrap our heads around the substance of Spirit, we take it a step at a time. Or, I should say, we take it a thought at a time!

When I wake up in the morning, my first thoughts of substance would be my bed and the sunlight. After a few minutes, I may think hunger is substance.

But after eating breakfast, hunger is gone, and satisfaction feels substantial.

By then, I’ve fed and cuddled my cats.

When I sit for a few minutes of quiet time, I realize that all those thoughts are similar, not really new or different from one another. I wait for another thought.

A thought of Spirit.

As for my morning, I separate the thoughts of rest, satisfied desire (hunger), and love, from bed, food, and my cats. This doesn’t mean my bed, appetite, and cats are forgotten.

I take the thoughts of rest, satisfied desire, and love and attach them to God, Spirit. To give Spirit substance. And because God created everything, even if I don’t completely understand all that God created, I’m then able to circle around and apply the rest, satisfied desire, and love to not only the bed, appetite, and cats, but also the rest of my day involving my job, expectations, and family.

[1] Heb. 11:1 (NKJV)

Reviewing Christian Science, part 6

Q. What is the scientific statement of being?

A. There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in separate minds. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is divine Truth; divisible matter is human error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and we are Spirit’s image and likeness. Therefore, individuals are not things, but ideas of one Mind.

Think on this:

The definition of scientific  involves a system or method. I think of it as a linear thought process. It can become unscientific when veering off with thoughts that don’t stay in line with a reachable goal.

Example: Mathematics is a science. To learn how to do math, we first learn numbers, then addition and subtraction. Then calculus. It’s a linear process starting out with simple ideas and leading to more complicated ideas.

To get to the moon, a lot of math is necessary.

If we started out learning numbers and then learned how to cook pancakes, the science of math still exists but the effort to get to the moon became unscientific. We may have pancakes to eat but the more difficult math problems probably won’t get figured out.

Same with the scientific statement of being. “Being” is defined as existence, actual life. Mind, nature. Self.

To get to the goal of staying with scientific being, the thought process doesn’t divert off to believe being is human or mortal. The thought process stays with Being as Spirit, divine Mind and us as spiritual and mindful.

We first learn qualities of God such as wise and loveable. Then we learn how to give forth those qualities. Then we learn about the qualities of patience and humility. The more difficult problems may be learning how to give forth all Godlike qualities during changeable, divisive, or horrible circumstances.

When we think about our self, we know our self as idea, image, of Spirit and intelligent Mind.

The situation becomes unscientific or broken when we treat our self as chaotic or broken. No doubt, things get complicated or broken but they ultimately have no scientific statement of being. But, that which is un-Godlike has no ultimate existence. That which is unspiritual or unwise is not a part of our being.

When we keep in mind, Spirit and our spirituality, Love and its reality, existence is, and we are. Being.

From the Bible, II Kings 5, we read about a little girl who was captured. She became a slave of Naaman’s wife.

Naaman was a captain of the army of Aram. He was a great man, valiant, well-liked and respected, however he had a disease called leprosy.

The little girl told the wife that there was a man in Israel, Elisha, who could heal Naaman.

After a bit of negotiation between leaders, Naaman did go to Elisha, along with his horses and chariots, to be healed. Before he got to Elisha’s house, Elisha sent a servant out to tell Naaman, “Go wash in the river Jordan seven times, and you’ll be healed.”

But Naaman was disgusted and angry. He wanted a big show. He wanted Elisha to come out and call upon God and make Naaman look like a grand hero. Or at least go wash in a nicer river than the Jordan.

But a servant calmed Naaman down and told him the point isn’t doing something great in the world but following humility and health. So, Naaman did wash himself seven times in the Jordan and he was healed.

Scientific being remains in God.

 

snowy tree march 2019

Raising Children Without Church: new book

Introduction to my newly released book: Raising Children Without Church: Finding God in Everyday Activities.

Raising Children Without Church introduces children to God through everyday activities. It’s not a pushback on religion or a push-forward to raise trendy spiritual kids. It simply accepts faith and meaning as alive and everywhere, unconfined to physical places of worship or churchy systems.

Raising Children Without Church uses information you have, or can easily get online, and translates it on the side of God. It addresses the individual and social needs of children affected by stresses that come with the demands of relationships, work, nature, technology, and yes, religions of the world.

This book faces the fact that religion formed the past, influences the present, and will reach far into the future. We can deal with faith rationally and for the benefit of family. To get the most out of reading Raising Children Without Church, it may help to see religion as a method, used like other methods to discover and understand, such as the methods of science, art, mountaineering, and parenting. Who hasn’t learned from a child?

Raising Children Without Church focuses on skills that nurture and build reputable individuals and lifestyles. I didn’t invent these skills. They’ve been tested and modified for millennia and produce transcending results even when up against damaging forces.

Forces aren’t meant to dominate or scare us. They do, however, require a fight or at least an effort on our part to translate the forces to the side of divine purpose.

Topics covered in this book:

  • Eating together
  • Music
  • School
  • Gardening (you don’t need land)
  • Pets
  • Art
  • Walks
  • Bible ABCs
  • What about God?

Raising Children Without Church carries the language of Christianity because that is my background. Don’t make it a big deal. You can adapt my words to fit your needs; for example, the word God can be replaced with Good, Truth, or Love.

Exploration takes time, just as it takes time to read this book. And because your time is valuable, I wrote concisely. When reading, highlight parts that speak to you and write your own thoughts on the pages. Cherish and grow meaningful thoughts right along with the children and family.

Cheryl

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Reviewing Christian Science, 5

From 21st Century Science and Health:

“Question. What are the requirements of the Science of Soul?

“Answer. The first requirement of this Science is, “You shall have no other gods before me.”[1] This me is Spirit. Therefore, the command means this: You shall have no intelligence, no life, no substance, no truth, and no love, except the unlimited. The second command, you shall “love your neighbor as yourself”[2] is like the first.

“It should be thoroughly understood that all people have one Mind, one God and Parent, one Life, Truth, and Love. The fulfillment of real identities will be realized as that fact is understood. War will cease and true sisterhood and brotherhood will be established. When we have no other gods and turn to no other but the one perfect Mind to guide us, we then experience our God-likeness, pure and eternal, having that Mind which was also in Christ.

“Science reveals Spirit, Soul, as reflected by spiritual beings. Soul is not in a body, but is reflected by spiritual beings. The belief that the eternal reality can be constrained in relative matter is an error that creates problems. A leading point in the Science of Soul is that Principle is not controlled by its idea. Spirit, Soul, has never been confined to human beings. If we reason from effect to cause, we will believe God created mortal humans, and sure enough, physical existence and God becomes a mystery. We cannot interpret Spirit, Mind, through inconsistent perceptions, different for different people. So, improve the thought process; reason from cause to effect and Spirit will be found giving the true mental perception.

“Reasoning from cause to effect in the Science of Mind, we begin with Mind, which must be understood through the idea which expresses it and cannot be learned from changeable ideas. We arrive at Truth or intelligence, which evolves its own complete idea, when we don’t equate reality with human illusions. If Soul sinned, it would be mortal. Sin is mortal because it kills itself. If Truth is immortal, error must be mortal, because error is unlike Truth. Because Soul is immortal, Soul cannot sin, for sin is not the reality of being.

In thinking about this…

A definition for science is knowledge. The knowledge of Soul or Spirit has one intelligence, life, substance, truth, and love. It is content in circular love.

Up against the common images of separate bodies and beings, the knowledge of Soul presents images of one Mind, getting along with constructive purpose. The body of Soul reflects essence and spirit, liveliness.

The body of Spirit has no boundaries. It doesn’t droop. The body of Soul embraces sinless cause and effect. The knowledge of Soul naturally eliminates human illusions and emotions because Soul’s ideas are substantial.

[1] Ex. 20:3; Deut. 5:7

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[2] Matt. 19:19, 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Rom. 13:9; Gal. 5:14; James 2:8

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