Category Archives: Bible

Foundation of Rock, #6

Road trip, 10

From the middle of the state of Washington, I practiced violin, worked on a historical fiction book, and we drove south to visit family.

Everyone tried not to talk about covid to the extreme.

The epidemic sure made me realize the value of taking into consideration, even when praying, the current world circumstances. Just as the great depression affected my grandparents for life, this epidemic too is shaping and reshaping our views. This is where my belief in God helps me. Because of a good God, I can lean on Love and Truth to make sure the “view-shaping” goes toward more spirituality, rather than fear or hopelessness.

Although, I was vaccinated against covid, I still wore a mask when it felt appropriate in certain public areas. No biggie, even if I have bad breath. I survive.

And the discomfort is piddly next to being able to talk, plant cantaloupe seeds, and goof off with children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, sis’s, and bro’s. It was a fabulous reminder that life goes on, life is real, love is real.

During the next month, I learned to play my violin without “cheat lines” and I finished my historical fiction. Now with an editor.

Doug drove home in the car and a few weeks later, I flew home. Yep. Another confirmation in the goodness of humanity. While a few bad airport/airplane situations make the news headlines, millions of people wait patiently, social distance, smile under masks, obey the hard workers who get us where we want to go.

“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge—” I Cor. 1:4-5 ESV

Road trip, 9

Have you ever seen a herd of 66 elk?

In your back yard?

I did a herd of elk, at my sisters house, in Washington, where we stayed after driving across the United States from New York.

My sister has a garden, which the elk are pros are getting into. The nine foot fence is a joke to the elk. So, I installed a solar-panel energized rope, wrapped twice around the fence.

I had to wait a few nights to see the results. At nightfall, the herd moseyed around the house and, sure enough, just the feel of moving electricity made the elk shy back away from the fence. A few elk were so interested in the garden on the other side of the fence, that their noses actually touched the rope, bringing about a startled response.

I thought, good.

To my chagrin, the next morning, I noticed that while I watched elk on the south side of the house, the herd had eaten the rose bush in the west side of the house. Well, I’m not going to wrap a rope around the house. And neither is my sister.

When she arrived, and I was back in New York, she snickered and said, the deer realized that the electric fence I put up around the garden, wasn’t very terrifying, so they broke a panel and ate the tops of the orchard trees. She is used to sharing her garden with the wildlife.

From Psalms, in The Message:

“What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations. Oh, look—the deep, wide sea, brimming with fish past counting, sardines and sharks and salmon. Ships plow those waters, and Leviathan, your pet dragon, romps in them. All the creatures look expectantly to you to give them their meals on time.”

Audio Bible Lesson

Christian Science Weekly Bible Lessons are now in audio, released every Wednesday at…

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Christian Science weekly Bible study, read from the Bible. With a spiritual interpretation from 21st Century Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, a contemporary version of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health, read by Cheryl Petersen, author and copyright owner.

Menus change, God does not

Listen to the following menu because it has changed. If you’re calling about Covid-19, press one, if you’re calling about racial injustice, press two…if you’re calling about economic failure, press nineteen.

Please wait, your call is important to us. All our representatives are busy.

Whereas we have the option to:

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” –Psalms 37:7

If time has less power than God, Love, then “waiting” isn’t a matter of waiting around for something to happen. To wait patiently is to wait on God with perseverance. To serve Love.

Looking Up

Blooming Dogwood trees. It’s happening around town. And for me, each tree causes a flush of memories and calm. I’m not talking about a calm that sits down with a cup of cocoa and good book to read. I’m talking about a calm that says, I know, I know, I don’t know.

The statement begins agitatedly, I KNOW. Then quieter, I know. Then in a whisper, admits, I don’t know.

I release all “my knowing,” look up and…calm. Even if for a second. It’s the calm of trusting goodness.

In Washington state, one Dogwood tree ornamented our orchard. One. One Dogwood tree on the outskirt of our forty-acre orchard. An orchard planted with about eight-thousand trees, all blooming delicate pinks and whites.

The one stood out.

While the fruit tree flowers came in bunches of nickel-sized florets, flailing every which way, the Dogwood flowers carried a look of independence. The Dogwood flowers were large, the size of saltines and they faced upward.

Each time this year, I’d walk to the one Dogwood tree and cut a few long stalks of flowers to take home, arrange in a vase, and put on top of the piano. The Dogwood flowers became my classic décor when hosting Easter dinners for family and friends and anyone else I previously bumped into in town to invite, no matter what their religious or nonreligious background.

We all had one thing in common, appreciation for, or at least getting a kick out of the dignity and uniqueness of the grandiose Dogwood bouquet.

But the next day, those flowers went to the compost pile, because they started stinking.

I know, I won’t be hosting a dinner anytime soon or bumping into people, because I hardly go into town and when I do, I avoid people.

I know, my typical way of seeing and celebrating this time of the year, full of renewal and friendship, has been contradicted and dashed.

It’s enough to make me look down and feel afraid, frustrated, weary. Apathy grabs me. But I shake it off and say, nope, I don’t know. Or rather, I admit that what I currently do know won’t last. I don’t need to hold onto what I know.

More knowledge will come. It is coming.

And every day of late, even when I’m not trying, glances of Dogwood flowers infuse me with increased knowledge of a trust in life and renewal.

I John 1:1-4
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.”

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.

Resting life and death in peace

First posted in September 2014

Our culture avoids it, fears it, is attracted to it, and uses it as a threat.

Death.

But every now and then, an anomaly shows up. I met a couple who raised 7 children, successfully, on a farm. The mother told me, “The farm life taught the children about life and death.”

Interesting. She spoke of life and death as equal, mortal elements that shouldn’t absorb so much attention when the true task is to live.

How can we live life and death?

By not making life and death something they are not.

Mortal life and death are not immortal or lasting.

Life isn’t a competition for wealth and fame and human approval. Death isn’t something we escape or dodge.

Life expresses itself through us as spiritual beings. Life is God, manifesting itself, in countless individuality, through us.

Death is the human interpretation of spiritual life unattached to mortality. Someone dies and we realize they are still alive in consciousness.

Human life and death can be beautiful, but it can also be ugly. We read in Matthew 16:21-23:

From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

I bet it was somewhat of a struggle, but Jesus didn’t focus on human life and death. Christ Jesus lived immortality; he expressed integrity, forgiveness, courage, and wisdom.

Added 2019, from 21st Century Science and Health:

“The complicated mis-creations must finally give place to the glorious forms which we sometimes glimpse through the eye of divine Mind when the mental picture is spiritual and eternal. 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.”

Four degrees

It’s Four degrees Fahrenheit outside. Thick ice covers the ground. Wind.

I’m inside a house with a temperature of sixty-four degrees. In awe. And telling myself not to take the warmth for granted. I feel fortunate. The warmth should humble me. Am I desiring humility?

Golden text: Proverbs 22:4*

The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.

21st Century Science and Health

Praying fervently for humility doesn’t always mean humility is desired.

The effective prayer is a fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, humility, love, and good deeds.

The Forgotten Prayer

Wake up, pray, wash laundry, get children to school, cook, pay a bill, wipe down the bathroom, interview an official and write an article, call to make a dentist appointment, care for the cats and dog, change a lightbulb, errands, get children from school, help with homework, chat with husband, more laundry, pray, fall into bed at 10:45 p.m. Rats, I forgot to pull the garbage can out to the curb.

The can will stink all week and overflow with more garbage.

Before sleeping, I wonder: is there a prayer I’m forgetting? Or not even thinking of?

The question of a forgotten prayer stays with me. For days. Weeks. Months.

As for the unforgotten prayers to love God and my neighbor, and for healing of sickness and sin, they bear fruit. Faith grows into understanding and I see God as reality. I see anything unlike God as unreality, illusion. God didn’t make hate or sickness and I pray that my human mind yields to reality.

It’s easier to yield to reality when confirming the unreality of decline, loss, aging, chaos, and forgetfulness. I practice expanding love, expressing gratitude for all I have, and maturing wisdom, order, and knowledge-with-no-end.

Then I read a prayer championed by Mary Baker Eddy about health-illusion. What is a health-illusion?

The illusion of healthy physical bodies. The illusion of a strong mind. The illusion of a healthy bank account. The illusion of successful human beings.

We read in 21st Century Science and Health, “Bear in mind, it is as necessary for a health-illusion, as for an illusion of sickness, to be instructed out of itself into the spiritual understanding of what constitutes health.”

Remember to pray the prayer that transcends healthy measurable units. For example, notice the uncomplaining organs and admit the illusion of uncomplaining physical organs. But don’t stop there. Confirm and understand Soul-sense, a sense of uncomplaining forgiveness and spiritual courage.

Remember to pray the prayer that transcends a healthy bank account. For instance, deny the comfort that comes from money. Confirm and share the riches of open-mindedness, spiritual comfort, and unbiased actions.

Remember to pray the prayer that transcends successful human beings. Avoid the tendency to adore a human. Stop living in past successes. Worship God, Truth. Practice truthfulness.

Too often, prayers are only directed at sickness, loss and fear, which is fine, but those prayers are more effective when also directed at health-illusions.

Health is spiritual. Universal. A force. Sustained by God, Spirit. Health is made of honesty, mercifulness, integrity, and joy.

From Romans 12: Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.  Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.  Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

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