New Book: A Study Guide for Christian Science

I am thoroughly pleased and intrigued with this study guide for Christian Science. And now I am thrilled to announce, A Study Guide for Christian Science is published and available for the public online at Amazon.

This study guide roots in the Bible and includes twenty-four exercises that follow the pattern of instruction through questions and answers as presented by 19th-century spiritual leader, Mary Baker Eddy and found in the book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, both, the old version and new.

Eddy revised her Science and Health until she died in 1910 and Cheryl Petersen modernizes Science and Health today, titled 21st Century Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: A modern version of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health.

The Study Guide for Christian Science brings clarity to the application of spirituality, as it stays one step ahead of changing human history, language and technology.

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Roadkill Collectors

I’ve never met a Roadkill Collector, but I know these workers exist in this world. I know all too well, and yet not well enough. It’s a weekly, if not daily, event for me to drive the roads and pass the carcasses of racoons, possums, deer, squirrels, chipmunks, skunks, and cats, recently hit by traveling vehicles. But soon cleaned up.

I’ll never forget the day I discovered my cat on the road, dead, after being run over by a car. I picked up and carried our cat home for a personal burial. Then I cried for three days. It was unfortunate, awkward.

Death and accidents are part of the human condition and I thank the individuals who treat them with care and realism. Your work pushes my mind into curiosity and wonder.

Curiously, while treating death, birth happens. Birthing occurs in the trees, under bushes, and in places around the world. I may not see or feel the births especially when avoiding or dealing with death, but my interest eventually piques, and I wonder, is it life and death, or birth and death? While life goes on?

I sometimes want to smack the adage, life goes on, especially when daily circumstances stink, are boring, or irritating. But, as my husband points out, I’m too easily irritated and should cultivate more patience. Of course, his “pointing out,” irritates me, but after more than thirty-five years of hanging with the guy I see tads of progress in patience. Like last week after the high winds.

Well, high winds, is relative. When we lived in southeastern Washington state, winds came rolling over the Horse Heaven Hills at twenty to forty miles per hour, bringing tons of dirt, for three days. So, a day of fifteen to thirty miles per hour of winds here is a breeze. But I wake up and go outside to flipped over patio furniture, thank goodness the glass didn’t shatter, and a damaged chicken shelter.

Irritation bubbles inside me.

“Come on, Cheryl, I’ll get a rope and we’ll flip the chicken roof back into place,” said Mr. Patience.

“That won’t work,” I retort, like an unfortunate accident.

He says nothing and we mosey out to the chicken residence, which by the way is luxurious because I demanded a commodious insulated hen house with double-paned windows, secure locking doors, and an outside roofed shelter with fenced in acreage for free-range. It took weeks for my husband to construct.

Anyway, working together after the wind, it didn’t take long before we flipped the cover back into place for my husband to re-secure. He also put away the patio furniture while I tried patiently to wonder. I wondered about life and death.

I used to think life and death were counterparts. But I don’t anymore. I think, birth and death are counterparts, and neither have bearing on the life that goes on. The life of patience, care, and realism. So, I’ll be more patient when driving and take care to watch for passing animals.

Hudson Valley apples

One of many jewels found in Warwick Valley is apples. The gem comes in assorted colors and varieties. And because 2019 is a bumper crop year, we can enjoy and invite others to enjoy apples. A local farmer recently told me, “Apple picking will go into November.”

While living in southeastern Washington state, my husband and I grew Granny Smith and Gala apples. Tart to sweet. Couldn’t be beat. Just ask the horses that lived with us on the orchard.

We brushed, saddled, and mounted our horses for afternoon walks that took us through the orchard and up into the Horse Heaven Hills. I know, it all sounds like I’m making this up, but I’m not.

If you have a minute, search online Wikipedia, Horse Heaven Hills. Skip the site linked to American Viticultural Area, unless you’re interested in todays booming wine grape business in the northwest.

But Horse Heaven Hills stretches through three counties in Washington (we lived in Benton county). The hill range is a ridge that folded upward a gazillion years ago (give or take a few years).

Notice on Wikipedia, the photo mentioning Wallula Gap? Those Horse Heaven Hills is the view from the cemetery where we buried my mother and father-in law. We also had an orchard in Wallula.

The history of Horse Heaven Hills has it that early pioneer, James Gordon Kinney was romping around the hills in 1881, and while admiring the native grass that fed large herds of feral horses, he said, “This is surely a horse heaven.”

But that version of history daggers me. Like Columbus Day.

Columbus Day commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492, however, up against the facts, conscience calls out the blindness associated with this holiday. Blind to the poor behavior toward humanity on the part of Columbus and the fact that native Americans were settled here long before the Italian-born explorer plodded the ground.

I’d like to know what the native Americans called the hills, that I call Horse Heaven Hills. For centuries, probably millenniums, before others came from afar, native Americans used the land as hunting ground and boundaries between tribes. Maybe they called the hills Pantry.

“Your shelf in the pantry is looking pretty good.”

“Ah, yes, but if need be, I’ll rustle up some of the food for your shelf.”

Either way, I understand why some cities and states in the United States replace Columbus Day with alternative days of remembrance, such as, Indigenous Peoples Day.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Proverbs 25:11.

So back to our valley rich in apples. Eat up. Tell your friends from the City, or wherever, to bring their families, buy a bag and pick apples for eating fresh or using in applesauce, crisps, cakes, pies. Heck, it’s worth the bucks to just enjoy visiting an orchard, walking outdoors through rows of trees, reaching out to nab and munch on a natural delicious snack. Right there on the spot. That’s what our horses did.

The friend of contentment

Last month, I ventured a business in Florida, New York, that provides ample opportunities to cross paths with individuals I wouldn’t otherwise meet. The crossings last about ten minutes or thirty and usually spark conversations.

It reminds me of family reunions, when finally meeting spouses or children of distant, but known, relatives. Conversations begin with a mission to acknowledge parallels and oftentimes, similarities click, and fun ensues.

At the business, I cross paths with people on a quest to find a specific item. As if we’re on a treasure hunt together. We start yakking it up and before we know it, we’re practicing friendliness.

When it comes time to parting ways, I blurt, “Come back again and bring you friends.”

Naturally, many reply “I will.” But a few reply “I don’t have any friends.”

The statement, I don’t have any friends, may sound funny,  but I don’t laugh. I don’t doubt them. I don’t call them back to probe their psyche. I don’t argue with them.

I nod at the revealing implication. It carries a tone of contentment, as if contentment is their friend.

To have the friend of contentment with one’s self and purpose at hand, goes against today’s definition of friend as broadcast by social media, which imposes the burden of numbering or trying to keep others happy.

Whereas, friends of contentment appear content with working and discovering, rather than with numbers or persons. This appearance begs the question, how do contentment and being solo connect?

Now, I’m not an etymologist but I feel as though the word solo is related to the word solitude. And when I think of solitude, I think of loneliness, however the statement, “I don’t have any friends,” can rebuke the lonely image of solitude.

I can feel lonely in a jam-packed audience of Elton John or at a family reunion where I feel misunderstood.

So, at and after these crossings, I continue mulling the statement, “I don’t have any friends,” as a sign, pointing to the friend of contentment with good-old fashion work and discovery. Whether I’m solo or surrounded by people.

 

Cheater of exercise, confesses

I have a confession. I did not watch television for more than thirty years. That’s not the confession, but the prelude into the confession. I now watch television and am addicted to the show, The Good Witch, starring Catherine Bell.

When unplugging the television decades ago, I knew I wasn’t missing out on anything important in life. It was fine that I couldn’t answer television clues in crossword puzzles. We found other activities and low and behold, a lot of things around the house got done. Hobbies were taken on. And we developed the gift to gab.

We weren’t complete luddites. Remember VCRs and DVD players? We had a VCR then a DVD player and would watch a movie once a week.

But last winter, our children, now young adults, did their magic with our old television set and a thing called a Rooku, or maybe it’s spelled Roku, either way, it feels like I’ve been rooked by streaming movies.

Streaming appears easy. Until we’re searching for a movie we like. Not easy. Nearly impossible. Fortunately, options come up and we can test a movie. If, after three minutes, we’re bored of the cussing, lust, and morbid curiosity, we switch it out and find script featuring intelligence, respect, and good humor.

Coming across television shows happened by chance. In July, when the weather turned hot and humid, I stopped going outside for my daily walk. Still wanting to exercise, however, I started walking in place in the sitting room and powered on the television.

Most of the TV shows confirm that we didn’t miss a blooming thing the last thirty years. But finding The Good Witch was lucky. Mainly because walking-in-place tempts exercise cheating.

When I walk outside, time flies. Wondering happens. Inspirations flood my mind. I relish the fresh air, birds, trees, bushes, nice lawns, decorative mailboxes, cloud color schemes, meeting neighbors.

Walking inside, in place, is another story. Time drags. Five minutes feels like crossing the Atlantic in a rowboat. I “exercise cheat” big time. So, I make myself watch one show. The Good Witch keeps me honest. And entertained.

The shows fictional character is Cassie Nightingale. She wears $899 dresses and high heels. Good humor right there. Her clothes have no ketchup stains and her house and car are always sparkling clean.

The characters manage to stuff so many adages or truisms into forty-two minutes that I feel as though I’m in a room with prophetesses, prophets, Confucius, any Dalai Lama, Margaret Fuller, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Eleanor Roosevelt, and my grandmother. But I don’t mind training my brain with wise and positive words to help discover and communicate the good in human nature.

My TV watching isn’t to disregard the bad in human nature. Bad things happen. And I hope to goodness we all get through it victoriously. In the meantime, the weather is cooling, and I’ll be walking outside soon. Wondering.

Hmmm, Did I ever see Cassie watch television?

New audio book

Newly released audio book:

Raising Children Without Church: Finding God in Everyday Activities

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Mindful Bridges

Well I must say, the newly repaired bridge over Wawayanda Creek in the Village of Warwick is pretty dandy. For the month of July, the bridge was closed off and vehicles detoured around the work area. When driving, I didn’t mind. The detour brought to my attention offices and businesses only a couple of blocks off the beaten path and are good to know.

Nice work on the bridge though. Smooth groove now. And safe I’m sure.

I think bridges are one answer to the dares of water. Water dares us to cross its mighty power or use its motion for power.

As for bridges, I was dazzled by the book, The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge, by David McCullough. The bridge’s design was conceived by John Roebling and built late 1800s. The suspension-cable bridge spans 1,595 feet and opened in 1883.

When riding my motorcycle across the United States a decade ago, I drove over the Mackinac Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the Americas, spanning 8,614 feet. Its total length is 5 miles and links Michigan’s Lower and Upper peninsulas. The Mackinac Bridge opened in 1957. Another tribute to competence and command.

I can still feel the grooved surface and movement of the bridge under my wheels. And the height? Two-hundred feet above the water.

The bridge was built to flux with temperature, winds, and weight. The deck can sway right or left as much as 35 feet in the center. You get the idea. It’s a feeling that impresses the soul when hovering over the bridge, with nothing but farm boots between the surface and my feet, six inches off the ground. Forget the facts I had no seatbelt and balanced on two wheels.

That soul impression of competence and command ranks up there with the type of humanity that leaves me humbled. Like when I make a stupid mistake and my husband quietly helps me fix it. Compassion is a bridge.

The bridge over Wawayanda Creek is one of about 17,450 highway bridges in New York State. How many times do you cross a bridge?

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