Category Archives: Food

Food and God

A deer near our home

A deer near our home

On a whole, I eat fairly healthy. But, evidence shows that food isn’t all it claims to be.

I live in upstate New York, where weather is hovering around zero degrees lately. Deer are a natural part of our environment. You can’t help but take pictures of them. Currently, they are so fuzzy, I stop the car, dig out my camera and take a shot.

I wonder, how can the deer stay healthy, strong, and warm during these winters? They eat bark, leaves, no meat, and dry grass.

I’m not going to stop eating healthy, and I’m not going to stop eating, but my mind can move past thinking food has more power than God. I can grasp better what I read about food in the modern Science and Health, first written by Mary Baker Eddy. We read in 21st Century Science and Health, “Semi-starvation or anorexia is not acceptable to wisdom and it is equally far from Science in which being is sustained by God, Mind. Food has less power to help or to hurt us after thought has transformed to the spiritual. Without the consent of human mind, food and the stomach can’t make you suffer. This new-born understanding brings with it another lesson, that self-indulgence, gluttony, or bulimia, are sensual illusions and can’t give you satisfaction. It is a human deception to believe you have to eat if you feel hungry. It is another deception to believe purging food will help you stay thin. As human deceptions disappear we better understand our spiritual existence and ascend the mountain of a balanced life.

“Food affects the body only as fleshly mind has its material methods of working. One method is to believe that proper food supplies nutriment and strength to the human system. The human mind’s recipe for health never gets it right, whereas Truth regenerates this fleshly mind and feeds thought with the bread of Life.”

Tweaking the approach to healing

uncooked rice in fieldAfter getting married, I began teaching myself how to cook. I made cookies when I was a kid, however, as much as I’d like to, I figured my husband and I couldn’t live off cookies. So, out came the rice.

Looked simple enough. I filled a pot with water, threw in rice kernels and brought it to a boil. I boiled it until it was done. Always turned out rather mushy, but my husband knew better than to complain.

Then one day, we had dinner with my brother and sister-in-law. I watched them make rice. After bringing the water to a boil, they turned the burner to simmer. Thinking this was a waste of time, I mentioned my technique of keeping the water at a rolling boil.

cooked riceMy brother showed me the directions on the back of the bag. Hmmmm. Yes, indeed, the recommendation was to lower the heat to a simmer and leave on the stove for 30 minutes.

The rice turned out better than I’d made. So, I took up this method of cooking rice in the future. The end result is not nearly as mushy.

It’s amazing what a little change in technique can do.

When I’m praying for healing, I refer often to something Christ Jesus was credited to saying, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48)

Logic has it that if God is perfect and God made me in His likeness, then I too must have access to this perfection.

But all too often I pray with the intent to be perfect now, rather than aim for perfection, which impacts the effect of my prayers differently.

If I try to be perfect, pray to be perfect, I become discouraged, for the mere fact that there is no perfect human being or human existence. So, I tweak my prayers.

I can feel a sense of perfection when I am aiming for perfection.

The success of a willingness to exist amid uncertainty

arbor of vine Science and Health encourages readers to be obedient to God, and also to be observant, flexible, and intuitive. Because Christian Science, as explained in Science and Health, is a living thing, there are no hard and fast rules for its management. Success in the practice of Christian Science demands a certain amount of negative capability—a willingness to exist amid uncertainty.

The unwillingness to exist amid uncertainty, by default, assumes it can use Christian Science to define and dictate the human circumstances. It falsely reads into Science and Health a precise set of instructions on a trajectory toward fundamentalism. It over-processes certain guidelines and spiritual truths in such a way as to actually render them detrimental to their practice; similar to over-processing flour to make it pure white, but ending up with a product void of all nutrients.

Christian Science is a metaphysical system of divine healing, grounded on one God, Spirit.

Science and Health offers a fairly open-ended set of guidelines, along with specific knowledge of God and us. While making a full statement of Christian Science, the narrative leaves a lot up in the air, with ample allowance for the vagaries of human circumstances, backgrounds, economics, and even one’s personal schedule.

The reader can identify, not with conforming human beings, but with a God that loves us all and blesses us no matter what situation we find ourselves in. We can discover a divine Truth that can set us free whether we are plastering a wall, praying, traveling in a car, or typing information into a computer.

Dealing with mercury

pink fish“The tests reveal I have mercury poisoning,” said Kathy.

Her mother wasn’t surprised. Kathy was a vegetarian who ate a lot of fish. “I’m sorry honey, but let’s be glad you now know to change your diet, and hopefully your health will return.”

Did mercury cause Kathy’s health problems? Yes and no.

Mercury, released into the air from industrial pollution, has been recognized to accumulate in streams and oceans in the form of methylmercury. Fish such as tuna, swordfish, and marlins absorb high-levels of methylmercury. Although most people do not eat enough fish to be in danger, fish eaters become at risk of mercury poisoning. Pregnant women are advised to restrict their consumption because of possible risk to the unborn child.

To act as though mercury-infused-fish is a cause will not eliminate the health problems. Benefits only come when the situation is seen in the light of effects. Unquestionably, it’s a trick to identify what looks like a cause and work with it as though it is an effect, but that is how we progress.

Let’s take a crop destroyed by weather—a drought. We presume the drought caused the crop destruction. In an effort to stop the destructive cause, weather is altered or manipulated, and we irrigate. However destruction continues because drought is an effect. So are frost, hail, pests, disease, or lousy farming techniques.

We can alter our diets, however health problems still exist. Because mercury pollution is an effect.

Human beings are tied to a long standing history of pollution, poisoning, and health problems. It’s enough to make us want to sit down and quit life. But we don’t We are resilient. We constantly become aware of who and what we are.

We are effect. Everything is effect. As we probe deeper into cause, we can learn good, God, is the natural and ultimate cause.

We are evolving. We have the right to eat healthy. We can have a balance. When dreadful conditions arise, we can forge ahead with a conviction that health is God created and God sustained.

Where to draw the line

As a mother of 2 daughters and a past foster mother, I noticed that while raising the children, I had to draw the line. I drew the line when it came to their vocabulary, what clothes they wore, and how late they could stay out. But, the line was drawn at different places for each child.

It almost seemed unfair.

But, when I drew the line too close or too far from what the child could handle appropriately there was a hint of rebellion or weirdness. When I moved the line with artistic mindfulness, things worked out.

Each child was unique. I treated them all the same in that I treated them different.

For example, I could offer all kinds of food to one child and there was never any over eating. But, this was improper with another child who overate. So, I drew the line with myself and offered a healthy amount of food, and that’s all.

This drawing the line method of working with others requires me to look past myself. I can’t do what makes me feel good. I don’t want to enable another to over-do or under-do their potential.

draw lineIt reminds me of the Letter of Paul to Titus.

Titus was left behind in Crete, signifying that a line was drawn by Paul. Even if Paul wanted Titus to come along with him, Paul somehow knew Titus was to stay behind. Titus was to “set in order the things that are lacking,” in church. Titus went to draw lines himself that would help people discover their best character.

With reference to “liars, evil beast, lazy gluttons,” in the church, Titus was to draw a tight line that would allow them to “be sound in the faith.”

Knowing God as one Mind, I believe I can pray to hear Godlike thoughts that respond to others in the way that is best for everyone. Mind shows us where to draw the line. It might look unfair to the human mind, but to the divine Mind, God is allowing us all to express our full potential in a way we are ready to do so. God knows what we can handle.

I was able to draw the line with the children to keep them safe and balanced. I draw the line in my relationships to ensure they are pure and productive.  I want to draw the line each day to keep me focused on God, rather than the world.

How to Help

Getting-Through-a-BreakupPeople are helping all the time. We like helping.

Everyone wants to be a hero. Disaster hits, and heroes fly in for the landing.

But some crash land.

Those who come ill-prepared need rescuing themselves.

Those who come enamored with desperation make poor judgments.

Those who come to help, but lack common sense, however brave, run around without a plan and get in the way of those who really are helping.

Then there is the help that is no help at all. After a crisis, they helper comes with outdated or unneeded aid.

Does the church want to help? Then remember, it is not the churches need that needs helping.

To help: be prepared. Have common sense. Act accordingly. Offering outdated words about God is the same as offering outdated medicines and rotten food.

Moreover, when people are starving, we must give real food, not Twinkies. When people are battling disease, we must give them accessibility.

When in a crisis yourself, do you want someone to give you Viagra or a truckload of basketballs?

Empty churches are churches that give useless sermons, or that have forgotten how to help. The same principle holds in helping as in healing: First, do no harm.

Pebbles can be hard

???????????????????????????????After sliding my boot on my foot, I wrap the laces around the rivets and tie a double bow. Walking out the door, I feel the pebble, small enough to ignore, but large enough to have an effect.

If I keep walking on the pebble, a small callous could form on the bottom of my foot. Or, the pebble could wear a raw hole into the flesh.

So, I sit on the ground, unknot my laces, take off my boot, dump out the pebble, and reboot myself before going on the walk.

The puny size of the pebble made me smirk. And, think.

What puny things do we carry around in our thinking that makes us callous to some part of life? What tiny assumptions or expectations do we carry in our minds that make us raw and sensitive?

  • I deserve to be able to use plastic wrap rather than a recyclable container to hold leftovers.
  • I want to avoid a neighbor.
  • I eat one bite too many at meals.
  • I think someone else is clumsy.
  • I think I look and act like my grandmother.

None of these thoughts can be ignored for a long time. All thoughts, hidden or materialized, have an effect.

However, I can dump them out and see less impact on the earth as I use recyclable containers. I don’t have to be the neighbor’s best friend, but I can smile at the neighbor.

One bite of food too many calls for an increase in weight over the years. I don’t need one bite too many at meals. And, I don’t want to think someone else is clumsy because it opens the door for me to be clumsy.

Even if I did resemble my grandmother, and even if I wanted to be like my grandmother, this pebble keeps me from being me.

I can dump out the pebbles and walk with a strong free mind.

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