Category Archives: Bible

Webb Telescope, Audubon, Creation

A stunning, poignant picture can say a thousand words.

But ONLY a thousand. Pretty much.

Let’s compare photographs from the James Webb Space Telescope and the winning 2022 Audubon photography winners.

The first image from the James Webb Space Telescope speaks to a galaxy cluster as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago. Who knows what that cluster looks like today? The cluster could contain a dinosaur roaming planet.

The winning images of birds, honored by Audubon, speaks to a creation in existence now.  Who knows what those birds will look like tomorrow?

To be frank, even though I read history, I don’t know what the past was like or the future will bring. But in general, I keep up on the theories and speculations and evidence showing that yesterday resembles today and probably will resemble tomorrow in that creation exists and isn’t totally understood by human mind; not understood by even eight billion human minds put together.

Based on history, the questions arise. What happens if the James Webb telescope discovers a planet habitable by human beings? Will the same thing happen when we discovered any new territory on Earth? Take overs, rule making, regeneration, fighting, fence building, compromises, forgiveness?

What happens if, by the use of pictures, scientists are able to postulate and experiment with theories that combine and manipulate matter/energy into something useful to human beings? More inventions, mining, mass production, exploitation, restoration? Extinction? All possible because it’s happening now.

Human intents and habits are one and the same, repetitive and unable to resolve itself, while creation continues alive and infinite, self-sustained. Somehow, human beings and human knowledge are not in control.

The lesson to take from the cosmos and birds is that creation continues with the substantial and identifiable ideas of justice, mercy, peacemaking, divine righteousness, wisdom, beauty, self-control, joy, perseverance, living the now.

Now is the time to nurture family, Earth, lawfulness, our gifts to soar.

Jesus said, “Take a lesson from the fig tree. From the moment you notice its buds form, the merest hint of green, you know summer’s just around the corner. And so it is with you. When you see all these things, you know he is at the door. Don’t take this lightly. I’m not just saying this for some future generation, but for this one, too—these things will happen. Sky and earth will wear out; my words won’t wear out.”–Mark

“Think about it: we can detach from the body to a degree, unconsciously, when we become so absorbed in a movie or activity that we forget out body. So, detach instead from the body–as a form of human belief–and learn the meaning of God and creation.”–from science & religion to God: A narrative of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health

Giving credit where credit is due

Ask:

 Does the human mind consciously or unconsciously counteract these thoughts?
“Eat only what you need.”
“Forgive this person.”
“Exercise more.”
“Return their smile.”
“You can keep discovering the reality of divine Spirit.”

Does the human mind’s refusal to follow through on those thoughts mirror these bodily conditions?
Excessive blood pressure.
Persistent pain.
Lethargic digestion.
Unresponsive brain.
Depression.

Matthew 22:37
“And [Jesus] said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’”

21st Century Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: A modern version of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health:
“Citizens of the world, accept the “glorious freedom of the children of God,”[1] and be free! This is your divine right. The self-deluded idolatrous views, not divine law, has captivated you, made you arthritic, made you a procrastinator, weakened your body, and ruined your reputation.

“Sickness, sin, and destruction must at length recoil before the divine rights of intelligence, and then the power of Mind over the entire functions and organs of the human system will be acknowledged. It is proverbial that Mother Teresa,[2] and other philanthropists engaged in humanitarian work have been able to undergo, without weariness and danger, that which ordinary people could not endure. The explanation lies in the support which they derived from the divine law, supreme to the human law. The spiritual demand crushes the material demand and supplies not only energy but also endurance.

“We learn that divine Mind is the master of the human mind and physical senses and can vanquish sickness, sin, and loss. Exercise this God-given power. Take possession of your body and direct its feelings and actions. Advance in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made you capable of this and nothing can stop the ability and power divinely bestowed on your spirituality.

“We can never treat human mind and matter separately because they combine as one.

“Scientifically speaking, there is no human mind out of which to make incomplete beliefs proceeding from illusion. This misnamed mind is not an entity. What we call matter is only a false sense of substance, since its substance has no sensitivity. The one Mind contains no human opinions. All that is real is included in spiritual Mind.”

Isaiah 12:4
“And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted.’”


[1] Rom. 8:21

[2] Mother Teresa (1910–1997) Albanian Roman Catholic nun.

Christian Science Sermon, Subject: Creator

Spirit Alive

Sermon Subject: Christian Science

What is Christian Science mental treatment?

Mobilized to do something about current world events, I offer the following prayer/affirmation and strive to use their principles in the home, on the job, and on the road:

The substance of divine Spirit interprets elements of heartbreak and indignation as the universal intent, not to destroy, but to fight for, repair, build upon, and care for each manifestation of the wisdom and spirituality that governs humanity. A higher truth allows the courage to sacrifice intimate opinions that distract me from acknowledging the divine Love that exposes and heals fears. Soul-sense reveals a striking manifestation of the one cause and effect, Good and goodwill. Divine Mind is all-in-all, so powerful, it bends human knowledge to show the seriousness and peacefulness of our conscious understanding of the reality of life, alive to no hidden truth. The spiritual history of Good overcoming evil, is our future.

From the Bible, The Message, Proverbs 3:

“Good friend, don’t forget all I’ve taught you;
    take to heart my commands.
They’ll help you live a long, long time,
    a long life lived full and well.

3-4 Don’t lose your grip on Love and Loyalty.
    Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart.
Earn a reputation for living well
    in God’s eyes and the eyes of the people.

5-12 Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
    don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
    he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
    Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
    your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor God with everything you own;
    give him the first and the best.”

Women’s History in Courage

If an alien visited Earth and read the Bible, and words represented people, the aliens could believe that the human population from 4000 BC–100 AD, consisted of 1 female per every million males.

I get that figure from a count, made in year 2013, by the Rev. Lindsay Hardin Freeman, an Episcopal priest. She conducted a count and learned that out of the 1.1 million words in the Bible, only 1.1 per cent came from women.

We know there is a better balance between the sexes. And yes, humanity today, takes measures to correct that void of understanding by revisiting the reality of equality.

It was a hundred years in the making, but in 1987, the United States Congress instituted Women’s History Month to flesh out contributions made by women. We’re trying to write women back into history but this is the trick. We can’t just “tell” or “repeat” what they did or how men treated them as sex slaves or they were barren or had fifty-two children.

We must absorb the participations of women. What were they thinking, and how did it affect mass consciousness? We need to assess the viewpoints of women, their perceptions, the depth of their views.

So here goes, with a story from the Bible.

From the book of Judges, chapter 4, “Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, now that Ehud was dead. So the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor.

“Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided.

“Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”

She sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali and said to him, “Has not the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you, ‘Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking 10,000 from the people of Naphtali and the people of Zebulun. And I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you by the river Kishon with his chariots and his troops, and I will give him into your hand’?”

 “Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 There Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali, and ten thousand men went up under his command. Deborah also went up with him.”

Here’s a translation: The tribe of Israel is living their lives. They got distracted by worldliness, materialism, blaming others or themselves, whatever, and when they argued, they went to the Judge.

At the time, the one and only woman judge was Deborah, a prophetess. She strives to direct and redirect the Israelites to a God of love and a truth of self-control. “Come on people, get your act together.”

When we neglect our spirituality, we feel as though we’re losing control and Deborah was correcting that by fighting for the control of spirituality upon humanity.

Problem was, next door, King Jabin of Canaan, seeing their vulnerability, wanted to control the Israelites.

Deborah doesn’t ignore King Jabin but takes on the challenge. She calls on Barak, a man she could trust, and told him to gather 10,000 men, for an army, to defeat King Jabin’s army, which was led by Sisera.

Barak said, “I’ll only do this, if you come with me.” Deborah rolls her eyes and agrees to come and fight.

A huge rainstorm commences, and the fighting begins. Deborah and Barak’s men defeat the army, the whole army is dead except Sisera the leader, who escapes, and runs to the tent of Heber, one of his buddies, who, from a different nation or tribe, appeared neutral on the whole fighting between Canaan and Israel.

So we have the sight of bloody, weary, self-seeking Sisera, coming to Heber’s tent but its Heber’s wife, Jael, who courageously invites Sisera inside the tent, hides him under a blanket, gives him milk to drink, and waits until the army commander is snoring. Then she acts. Jael drives a tent peg through the man’s head. Defeating the last vestige of the army who attacked Israel.

What was Jael thinking?

Empathy for the Israelites?

Or distrust of those who oppress others?

Jael must not have thought there was a reason why King Jabin should bully the Israelites. She didn’t believe it possible to be neutral.

Jael probably knew that we either add to, or take from, ideas. And the idea of hurting others for a show of power, was not the side Jael stood on.

One question I ask? After Sisera’s army was destroyed, why worry about the lone leader?

But I look at the mind of Jael, through the lens of a wise, quick-acting, all-knowing, powerful divine Mind.

Yes, human beings get distracted away from the God of Love and feel vulnerable, stifled. We bicker. We get frustrated. And most of us try to do better. But every single thought must stand on the side of trying to do better, on the side of rationality, innocence, inner strength, respect, and wellbeing.

We have no idea if Jael knew Deborah or if this was a case of one woman standing up for another, but I doubt it. I think both women stood on the side of a God who created and maintains a sense of completeness. While life goes on, each success in our recognition of a meaningful life, is complete.

Deborah entertained and acted on thoughts of bravery, helping others, and justice. Jael inspired and acted on thoughts of purity, wholeness and the completeness of a job well done.

God-centered model of existence

Christmas Story and Cast

This was originally posted online at the Community of Christ, Scientist

By Cheryl Petersen

The Christmas Company celebrates Christ’s birth, December 25th.

Listed below is the cast of characters, with backstage embellishments.

Herod (37—4 B.C.). Eldest son of Antipater, a civil servant appointed by Julius Caesar, the emperor of Rome. Under his father’s influence, Herod grows up with an intense loyalty to the emperor and is appointed governor of Judea at the age of twenty-eight. Herod displays a capacity to fight brutal battles and cleverly uses diplomacy to climb the ladder of power. He is appointed king of Judea and gains the title, Herod the Great, protecting his territories from enemies and promoting economic and cultural growth in his region, ruled by a central bureaucracy. To guarantee his kingly position, Herod kills his male heirs and his wife, Marianne. Mid-life, personal and domestic problems begin compounding as Herod’s fear outrivals his future ability to help the people. When visited from the east, by Magi, looking for the king of the Jews, Herod, stoked by jealousy, orders all males under the age of two, killed. After his own death, Herod’s will was disputed in Rome and his territory was divided among other leaders.

Joseph. A widowed carpenter who repairs a gate at King Herod’s palace and thinks, “I’m too old to work for uppity-ups with so much drama. I miss having a wife and family.” Being a devote man of God, Joseph visits the temple and breathes in the smell of incense, burned earlier by, Zechariah, a good friend who sits down, listens to Joseph, and writes on a piece of papyrus, “My wife’s cousin, Mary, needs a husband.” Joseph meets Mary, likes her, but feels discombobulated over the fact that Mary is pregnant. But when hand-drilling a peg hole in a future pillar, the world around him fades and Joseph feels wrapped in a dreamy love. He hears a voice that says, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” That night, Joseph tells an understanding Zechariah that he will wed Mary and plans for a quiet ceremony begin.

Zechariah. A descendant of Aaron and priest of the Abijah division, serving in the temple during King Herod’s rule. The elderly couple, Zechariah and Elizabeth, are childless. When burning incense alone, six months prior to Joseph’s mid-life crisis visit to the temple, an angel appears and promises Zechariah, “Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.” (Luke 1:13) Zechariah snarks at the idea of impregnating his wife and looses his ability to speak. Nonetheless, Elizabeth gets pregnant and six months later, Elizabeth’s cousin, Mary, pregnant herself, comes to live with them. Eight days after Elizabeth delivers their child, Zechariah writes on a piece of papyrus, “His name is John.” With those written words, speech returns to Zechariah, and he prophesies audibly that John “Will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,because of the tender mercy of our God.” (Luke 1:76-78)

John. The son of Zechariah and Elizabeth. John is raised in the wilderness with sobriety and in his late twenties, he begins baptizing others and preaching repentance, earning the title, John the Baptist.

Elizabeth. A descendant of Aaron and barren of child until her pregnancy with John. Six months into her pregnancy, her cousin, Mary, pregnant herself, comes to live behind the temple with her and Zechariah. The women discuss breast feeding, potty training, and God’s promises. Elizabeth blesses Mary’s faith in God to fulfill His promise of a Messiah. After delivering the infant, though elderly, Elizabeth and Zechariah remain spiritually committed to raising John in a sheltered environment.

Mary. The daughter of a peasant and hard worker. A virgin who realizes that there is more to life than toil and flitting joys. When milking the cow, Mary entertains a message from God via the angel Gabriel, who says, “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.” Not quite understanding this message, Mary asks, “How?” Further prayer reveals that the Holy Spirit is the source of the child. Mary answers, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38) Mary goes to live with her cousin, Elizabeth, and becomes betrothed to wed the aged but financially stable Joseph. When big with child, Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem to pay taxes. The town is crowded and noisy. The no-nonsense, farm-girl Mary tells Joseph to find an animal stall for lodging. They settle down. Birth contractions start. Water breaks. Mary yells at Joseph to get her dry clothing and breathes erratically until she gets on her hands and knees and a baby drops from between her legs. She wraps the baby Jesus in cloth (Joseph pulled through by repurposing corn seed sacks) and lays the baby in the empty water trough. She cleans up, helps Joseph prepare a clean bed of straw and they settle down for the coming days. The infant Jesus latches on hungrily and Mary’s nipples callous up. They stay on-site another twelve days, take in visitors, present the helpless baby Jesus in the temple, then obey an angel message to go to Egypt to live for a couple of years. Joseph introduces the toddler Jesus to a hammer and Mary encourages Jesus as a governing manifestation of the Child of a God, fulfilling God’s promised Messiah.

Angel Gabriel. Messenger from God, declaring God’s favor and spiritual sense of life and truth.

Shepherds. Caretakers of sheep, living in the fields, staying awake at night to protect the flock from accidently following each other over a cliff or getting eaten by bears. On the night of Jesus’ birth, the shepherds stop to admire the stars, but the sky becomes luminous, and the stars disappear. The shepherds’ eyes get big as frisbees, but they say nothing until after hearing an angel say, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:12) The sky darkens, stars re-appear and sure enough, one star is bigger than all the rest. The shepherd with the longest beard says, “I bet that star is leading us to the baby.” They find Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, give them some bread and sheep’s milk, talk for a while about herding flocks and carpentry, then return to the fields, but tell everyone they meet about the baby, a Saviour.

Simeon. A devout Jew who, when sweeping the porch of the Temple, saw Mary carrying the baby Jesus toward him. And he knew. Simeon knew that an earlier prayer was being answered. The living prayer was presence of the Holy Spirit, promising him that he would not die before seeing the long-awaited Messiah. He followed Mary and Joseph into the temple court and approached to bless Jesus, saying, “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace,” bewildering and bedazzling Joseph and Mary.

Anna. The daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher; a widow for fifty-two years and woman who didn’t leave the temple. She watched Simeon follow Joseph and Mary into the temple and put it together what was going on. Anna approached and “gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:38)

Magi. Members of a priestly caste of ancient eastern Persia who were inspired to search for the king of the Jews. They stopped in Jerusalem first and asked around, even asking King Herod, “Where is the king of the Jews?” Getting no answers and feeling as though the people didn’t want to consider new ideas and governing body, the Magi walked on, following a bright star, to find the baby Jesus in the manger. They gave the child, “Gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11) But didn’t stay long because the animal stall was small and smelly.

Jesus. A representative of life, truth, and love. Born to magnify Christ, the true idea of God as divine Spirit, as presence and power itself. Jesus spent the first few years in Egypt then moved with his family to Nazareth. He became a carpenter but at the age of thirty, transitioned into preaching and teaching about God. Jesus’ ability to live and behold the child of God, the image of God, brought about restorations of hope and health.

Foundation of Rock, #6

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