Category Archives: Spiritual journey

A prayer

All-wise, God. Healthy Mind of all.
Knowing presence that I seek.
Relieving, restoring. Receiving, giving.
Forgiveness, honesty, and trust in good.

–Cheryl Petersen

Springtime Poetry

Moving.
Bursting through the cold hard ground.
Flowers. Grass. Weeds.
Unstoppable.
Spring.

Moving.
Cultivating. Weeding.
Bursting through cold hard minds.
Faithfulness.
Unstoppable.
The living Mind. Us.

Psalm 85
“Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
    and righteousness looks down from heaven.
The Lord will indeed give what is good,
    and our land will yield its harvest.
Righteousness goes before him
    and prepares the way for his steps.

“Don’t be startled at the brisk claims of evil. Evil is the belief that good is absent. Instead, think it natural to love good. Cultivate the reality of health and spiritual power.”—from science & religion to God: A narrative of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health, by Cheryl Petersen

April is National Poetry Month.

Translating matter into Spirit through Christian Science

New book! Now published

Click here for “The Second Husband,” a historical fiction by Cheryl Petersen, in kindle or book format, at Amazon

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.

Nature inspires

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Foundation of Rock, 1-4

New audio book released

Audio book available at www.Audible.com

from science & religion to God

A conversation about divine mind-healing at your fingertips.

This book, From Science & Religion to God, is a briefer, modern, narrative of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, written by Mary Baker Eddy in the 19th century.

Ideas in From Science & Religion to God discuss how to use timeless spiritual truths to filter information and discover spiritual knowledge. You learn how to give mental treatments to balance mind, body, and spirit.

©2016 Cheryl Petersen (P)2021 Cheryl Petersen

Changing characters, unchanging spirit of life

I spent the last year writing a historical fiction book. It was a self-imposed doable project that fit the time and space of Covid-19. The book’s setting is northeastern United States so, I could drive my own car, bring my own food, and stay at triple cleaned rentals for the night, while investigating the protagonist’s landscape. But I didn’t have to do much traveling, because most of my research was done from home through the internet. Let me say that in another way. It wasn’t the internet that supplied the bulk of my collected information, it was the services of historical societies and libraries.

Although I have memories of me walking through Saco Cemetery in Maine, last autumn, feeling embraced by the yellows, oranges, and reds of falling leaves while searching for the gravestone of my main character, Daniel Patterson, and memories of me getting lost while driving in circles looking for historical markers, I have a gazillion more memories of me standing in my office at my standup desk, with grandchildren bursting in the room and saying, “Grandma, I made this for you.” I have more memories of me speaking over the phone with, or contacting through a webpage, people who work at historical societies and libraries.

Although I used the internet, it was not the internet that supplied the historical information. It was the people who wrote history books, the people who worked in historical societies, the people who worked in libraries, the people who updated webpages with information who supplied what I needed.

It was the people who haven’t stopped thinking and working, simultaneously.

I know we all get excited over different things. I don’t get excited about shopping or eating anything else other than oatmeal for breakfast, salad for lunch, and potatoes for supper but get me on the phone or online with a historian and I get excited.

“Daniel Patterson, you say, when did he die?” asks Mrs. Elder from the Dyer Library in Saco, Maine. “I’ll call you back.”

Time passes.

But I get excited as I see in my head, Mrs. Elder walking pass the history section to the research department, closed to the public because of Covid, and making efforts to peruse microfiche or digital newspapers. While waiting at home, I write about something else or organize all the paper craft projects made for me by little innocent grand-fingers. Sure enough, Mrs. Elder will call me back with a found obituary that leads me to the United States Patent Department, where a Mr. Salis assists me. He emails me a court documents that sheds light on more of Daniel Patterson’s story.

Daniel Patterson was a man who grew up in Maine during the emergence of the industrial age. He became a dentist in New Hampshire, paid royalties on a patent for vulcanized rubber dentures (superior to wood or metal dentures), escaped Salisbury Prison during the Civil War and walked 400 miles during the night to safety in the north, married and divorced a woman who would later become famous for incorporating spirituality into healing.

What else did I learn? To always double or triple check information.

While most of the historians and libraries were smack-on delightful to work with and sharp-as-tacks, a few were lax and only repeated what they read on the internet, which I already could do from home with a grandchild sitting on my desk saying, “I’m drawing a fairy picture for you, Grandma.”

Although websites such as Ancestry dot com or Find A Grave dot com are amazing, they contain errors. Human errors. No biggie, mere reminders that human beings make mistakes, including the characters in my book. So, I politely thank and disconnect from the person who repeats what they read on the internet, all the while failing to countercheck the information on another website themselves.

Don’t bother getting disgusted, I remind myself. There are nearly three hundred thirty million people in the United States, someone else will make the effort to help me. And this is where I learned to use the internet to contact municipal offices for vital records. It was another place where I exercised my right to give people a break. Let me say that in another way. It was another opportunity to act on the fact that someone will help me, I just have to make an effort also.

I pretty much count on it because, if Covid teaches me anything, it is that the same spirit that motivated a Union man to escape prison and traverse his way over the Blue Ridge and Alleghany mountains, living off the land, wearing the same clothes he was wearing when captured seven months prior, is the same spirit that motivates us today. And I do see people helping people.

What I learn from others

Have you ever traveled to Marrakesh, Morocco? If it wasn’t for our eldest daughter, I probably wouldn’t have traveled to this imperial city, sometimes spelled Marrakech. But many years ago, our daughter wanted to visit Marrakesh. With me.

She was living in southern France at the time. I, in New York.

“After seeing some of France, we’ll fly to Morocco,” she emailed me.

Why not, I thought.

Before leaving New York, I went to the closet and pulled out the big green book. The World Atlas.

Thank goodness for indexes but searching and aligning cartography coordinates still required patience on my part to locate where I was going. France I could point to on the map but not Marrakesh. Not even Morocco. I learned its basically south of France, flying over the Alboran Sea.

Marrakesh sits west of the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. The description was vague. Words in my head. But off I went.

In southern France, we galivanted through historical spots for a few days then headed to the airport to catch a plane to Marrakesh. The particular airline we booked with didn’t bother to assign seats. It was a race of the fittest and the fittest got to the plane first and selected all the isle seats. The rest of us had to climb over them to get a seat. 

After arriving in Marrakesh, we took a cab but were dropped off in a tight spot and told we’d have to walk the rest of the way. A boy, looking about nine years old, confidently offered to lead us to our place of stay. We followed and gave him a tip.

I’ll add here that our daughters know how to travel affordably. We don’t go to touristy (read, expensive), places of stay. I’m the forty-, or fifty-year old staying at hostels with a bunch of young backpackers. Fortunately, they don’t give a hoot and we all eat macaroni and cheese together.

In Marrakesh, we stayed at a place in the medina, the older part of town with narrow, maze-like walkways paved in brick. The medina was built before cars. A long time before cars. Therefore, the reason the cab dropped us off outside the area.

During the week, we listened to prayers throughout the day, amplified over loudspeakers throughout the town. We admired gardens, palaces, mosques, and got lost while sharing walking space with donkeys and carts and vendors. We took a cooking class. The teacher made us go to the market to buy our ingredients and spices.

After forming bread dough, we carried it to the local baker. A man, situated down a few stairs, adeptly moving in front of a large stone oven. He wielded a long-handled paddle to put bread dough in the oven and twenty minutes later bring out baked loaves.

“Return in an hour, after cool, get loaf,” he said.

It was a community oven. One oven for surrounding neighbors.

Surely, it saves on air-conditioning personal spaces. Marrakesh became more than words in my head. It became a genuine place of interesting experiences, knowledge, and traditions. My souvenir? Images of hardworking, sincere people, willing to take stands for safety and understanding one another.

Trust in the Lord, and do good; so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.–Ps. 37:3

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