Author Archives: Cheryl Petersen

Being Faithful to Yourself: A rendering of Mary Baker Eddy’s, Fidelity, from her book, Miscellaneous Writings

An updated version from 2013

If we didn’t think and talk about worthless topics, we would be prone to more epiphanies, naturally expanding into experiences that make us feel a secret victory.

Experience is the winner, not the crushed.

In the battle of life, good and goodness, becomes more hearty and persistent, and reduces the activity of evil. Though the threats of evil rivet our attention and actions, we can reverse this and secure the good. We can become “faithful over a few things,” and be prepared to be “put in charge of many things.” (Matt. 25:23)

Are you a child learning not to worry your parents or care takers? Are you a husband or wife learning not to demand unrealistic expectations? Are you a partner learning not to take one another for granted? Are you an employee or employer learning to serve humankind with honesty?

Remember, for all the days you forget to take a stand for good, you alone will make amends.

Mistakes must be remedied with wisdom, not more mistakes.

Progress requires work, mental and physical work, and the time to work is now. Only with straightforward effort, undistracted by self-righteousness or self-pity, will you win.

Do not blame others if your spiritual progress is shallow and vague. To follow faithfully is to practice what the teacher teaches and not expect the teacher to do your work for you.

Every great woman and man can be found on the trajectory of patience and perseverance. Faithfulness is entered by first purifying your thought and then putting thought into words and words into deeds. These steps will be slippery or mucky, however your sincerity and humility will find reward and strength in exalted purpose.

Human hopes deceive. Human philosophy, ethics, and scholastic theology mislead. Physics and quantum energy fields are insufficient to enlighten. Having one God and an undivided affection for spiritual reality will draw you to that which is worthy and worthwhile.

Being faithful to God is being faithful to your spiritual light. Spending too much time on the cares of the world or on manipulating the pains and pleasures of the flesh will diminish your wealth of spirituality.

Truth will cost you your fears, false beliefs and devotions, and lame formalities. Be willing to pay the price of Truth so you can be move forward with God and feel the exclamation, job well done.

Individuals within the collective

A dance teacher told me, “When I teach a class, I teach each student individually according to their talent and skill.” Yet, she teaches a class, a collection of individuals.

This topic fascinates me.

I know I am an individual separate from other people, however, I also know we all are connected.

The fact we are connected shows me that unity or compromises are possible. The fact we are individual shows me we all are important and conform to God, good, not to other human beings.

The fact we are separate also shows me I must take each individual step to reach the goal of unity and peace.

When I only think about how we all are connected, I get fantastical notions and try to take on the world. I try to solve all the problems at once. It doesn’t work. I must respect and take each step on my life journey. I can’t expect someone else to take a step for me, although I can use their example to follow.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “Smothering Jesus with emotional affection, or claiming to be a devoted follower, will never alone make you like him. You must “go and do likewise,”[1] or you are not improving the great blessings that he worked and suffered to offer you. The spirituality of the Christ was made manifest in the humanity of Jesus.

“Spiritual harmony constitutes individual and collective happiness, strength, and permanence.”

[1] Luke 10:37

Increasing Bible literature

I think, humanity needs a new Bible. Not that I dislike the Bible of today, it’s just narrow in scope.

Why?

  • The Bible is limited by the inadequate human knowledge and language.
  • The Bible as we know it today, was written by men who presumed the values of patriarchal cultures.
  • Discoveries are constantly being made, and because Truth is ever revealing itself, to everyone, in all parts of the earth, a new Bible is possible.
  • Women need biblical literature. And children will too.

 

Children’s book available now!

This is a true story of hope and assurance, by Cheryl Petersen.

12 black/white illustrations. 26 pages

Purchase at Amazon

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Bathrooms for transgender

NPR reported that the Supreme Court will hear a case regarding the rights of transgenders to use their preferred bathroom.

In my half-century plus human experience, I’ve internalized the feeling that when I have to go, I have to go. I don’t care what sex the toilet, hole, or rock has been designated as set for.

I understand the dangers involved in this issue, but we are surrounded by dangers. A court ruling or sign will not stop the immoral rapist from entering a bathroom.

I pray to take a stand for humanity to express our highest ideal, to do to others as we’d want to them to do to us.

Quoting from science & religion to God, “The imperative aim of spirituality is to understand Life’s ideal and let the divine understanding impel your thoughts and actions as a part of humanity. Our ideal directs our lifestyles, not vice versa.

“Jesus is not God. He was born of a woman. His humanness caused his struggles in Gethsemane and on Calvary, but gave us an example we could relate to. His humanity negotiated rituals, stressing that life should be used to the advantage of spiritual growth.

“Don’t be confused. It will seem as though right and wrong are ever at strife in the mind, but victory rests on the side of invincible truth. We uncover backward thinking, not to injure humanity, but to destroy destructive thoughts.”

The monks were nice guys

The value of interfaith is being recognized and many of us are developing relationships with people from other faiths. This is good.

We also know the value of inter-cultures. School aged teenagers from different countries become exchange students. It adds to the realization that in general, we people are the same, though we look and act different.

Last week I noticed a blend between interfaith and inter-cultures. It all started when I listened to the third Presidential Debate between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. I was reminded of my childhood days when America truly distrusted Russia, during the Cold War.

The debate carried that odor of distrust toward Russia. I pondered, just how much should we trust Russians?

I didn’t beat myself up trying to answer that question, mainly because I know not all Russians are the same, either trustworthy or untrustworthy.Same with Americans.

Therefore, I put my trust in God. I pray my spirituality is clear enough to trust the trustworthy, no matter what ethnicity.

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In Jordanville, NY

Anyway, a few days later, I noticed an Open House invitation from the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Monastery, in Jordanville, New York. Jordanville is about an hour and half drive from my home.

I went to the Open House.

A little background from their website: “Holy Trinity Monastery was established in 1928 by Fr. Panteleimon, a Russian monk from St. Tikhon’s monastery in Pennsylvania.

“During World War II a group of a dozen monks came from Europe, bringing with them printing experience and a tradition which originated in the Pochaev Lavra in the Ukraine. Archbishop Vitaly was part of that group and became the head and Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery, and construction of the Church and other buildings increased.

“Archimandrite Luke was elected the new Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery on May 19, 2008.”

I met Abbot Luke. I listened to him and others speak.

I learned that during the Cold War, the Holy Trinity published church materials and smuggled them into Russia for the few surviving Orthodox members.

Millions of Christians were killed and imprisoned by Stalin.

Now that the Cold War is over, their printed material has adapted. “In the past, Holy Trinity published in the Russian language. After the Cold War, the decision was made to print in the international language of English, and our material is now being sent around the world, especially Asia, North and South America,” said Abbot Luke.

Moreover, Abbot Luke had just returned from a trip to Russia and was thankful to report, “There were six hundred Orthodox members at the church meeting, whereas there might have been ten when communism fell.”

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Iconography inside Holy Trinity

I was impressed. Not only by the byzantine frescos and icons in the cathedral, and the sizeable bookstore, but also by the demeanor of these people. I may not agree with their theology entirely, but their desire to cultivate spirituality was not only agreeable, but also a powerful wall blaster.

The wall between American and Russian, was gone. I sensed a wholeness. I didn’t feel some irresistible emotional notion to embrace every Russian, or American, but I felt a relief. Borders or religions can’t separate us because spirituality unites.

Quoting from science & religion to God: . “We don’t invent spirituality, but find our spirituality is inseparable from God.

“It’s wise and healthy to give less intelligence to materiality and more to spirituality. Don’t interfere with God’s government by thrusting in your own views as if they are better than God’s.

“Through inspiration and understanding, God reveals the spiritual knowledge that unlocks the resources of truth. Spirituality allows us to read the human situation correctly, with healing intent and power.

“Spirituality isn’t in limited supply. It isn’t controlled by a person or organization. The spiritual idea and its healing power can’t be monopolized. The widespread belief that only specific people are entitled to spiritual authority implodes in light of the Biblical stand that all believers “will be called priests of the Lord.”[1]

“Unity with God isn’t popular with the world, but it is fair to our self and merciful to others.”

[1] Ex. 19:6; Isa. 61:6; Rev. 1:6

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Fresco inside Cathedral at Holy Trinity

Fixing past mistakes

I make mistakes. Sometimes, I don’t know I make mistakes until much later in life.

Mistakes are blunders, gaffes, misprints, or errors. They can also be misunderstandings, over-estimations or underestimations. I’ve made the mistake of simply failing to appreciate true values as expressed by people around me.

From 21st Century Science and Health: If mortals are not progressive, past failures will be repeated until all wrong work is erased or corrected.

Some mistakes can be fixed. I can fix a misprint on a webpage.

But some mistakes can’t be tangibly fixed. I can’t return to the past and appreciate the true values as expressed by people around me. To doggedly try to fix that past behavior is vain. It leads to guilt and shame. But, to pretend my mistake didn’t happen also leads to guilt and shame. And guilt and shame clog our thinking. This is when it’s time to live in the now.

From 21st Century Science and Health: Take the time to look past the fading, sensational pictures. Gain the true sense of life. Rest your gaze on the unsearchable realm of Mind. Look ahead and act as possessing all power from Truth and Love in whom you have your being.

Thankfully, we are driven to seek something greater.

I want to yield to something greater than a humanlike power. And this requires unclogged thinking.

The humanlike God is presented oftentimes in the Bible. Paul recorded in the book of Acts:  “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill.  In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.  For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17: 29-31, NIV)

But this wording doesn’t make God humanlike. Just like my past failures to appreciate truth don’t reduce God to being unable to lift me up out of a past mistake.

God is Godlike, Spirit, Love, Truth and powerful to lift up. And Paul, along with millions of other spiritually minded, stretched their minds to be Godlike.

Paul distinguished between humanlike gods and Godlike God, between mistakable humans and us as understanding individuals. We read in Acts: When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!”  Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker.  The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.  But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting:  “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them.  In the past, he let all nations go their own way.  Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”  Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them. (Acts 14: 11-18, NIV)

It’s a struggle between the human ego and the desire to stand with the divine Ego, or God. But I can live in the now and appreciate the good around me, carry that appreciation to the past and the future. I can because God is divine Mind, all-knowing Mind.

From 21st Century Science and Health: It is the prerogative of the ever-present divine Mind, and of thought which is in alignment with this Mind, to know the past, the present, and the future.

 

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