Nature inspires

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Defies gravity with grace

My observation of how the spiritual laws of beauty, grace, and perseverance overcome the physical law of gravity.

God-centered model of existence

Foundation of Rock #8, Tender Almighty

Mental Health and Christ

First posted at Community of Christ, Scientist

Social Media and the dark side

First posted at Community of Christ, Scientist

Most of us have heard of the dangers of social media and internet addictions.

A new book, published 2022, author Bradley Staffens discusses this problem in the book, The Dark Side of Social Media.

The book is short and yet gives plenty of examples of how social media “tears at the fabric of society.” The information is, well, rather dark.

Very briefly, the subjects of enacting policies to restrict social media, and, treatment for those who are addicted, are addressed.

I’d like to address mental treatment from the standpoint of divine Spirit in control. From the standpoint of light, or enlightenment, being more real, more powerful than darkness.

I’ve started with what I know to be true. Many, perhaps millions of people, know and use the internet properly, for connecting with friends, for work, for school, for violin lessons, or for sharing ideas about a God of love.

A common thought behind this conflict between light and dark is that human beings have free-will.

Let’s take a look at free-will, as a theory. Defined as, the capacity to choose or act the way we want to, independently of natural or divine restrictions.

The history of free-will began, say three thousand years ago, with philosophers, who analyzed the complex issues of human desires and choices.

A thousand years ago, about twelve-hundred years after Christ Jesus lived, a churchy guy, Thomas Aquinas, began attaching this philosophical theory of free-will, to Christian theology.

In other words, the theory of free-will, didn’t begin with Christian theology.

And because, no matter how many laws or policies or internet restrictions are invented, people still find a way to become addicted.

So, I wonder, what the heck?

If we’re created in the image and likeness of God, does that mean God has free-will? Does that mean God randomly chooses to behave nefariously or act as an addict?

Well, those questions are answered when I mentally get my facts straight.

God isn’t the image and likeness of human beings.

God is Spirit, Love.

So, contrary to what my limited physical senses say is true, our true nature is the image and likeness of spirit and love.

From the Bible, I John, “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”

I think that free-will is better defined as the desires of the flesh.

Whereas, the will to do right by our true spiritual selfhood and by humanity, is the will that remains.

It’s not easy, doing the will of God, making rules to guide the vulnerable to freedom, using self-control to help humanity rather than harm humanity, loving our self and others the way Christ loves. But it’s possible.

The will of God. It’s ours. It’s free.

The Infinite and the Webb Telescope

First posted at www.Christ-Scientist.com

The James Webb Space Telescope launched December 25th, to travel a million miles to Lagrange Point 2, where it will capture images of old-time galaxies and stars that, 13 billion years ago, emitted light that has since stretched into the infrared region of the color spectrum.

In other words, the Webb Telescope will prompt discoveries that will modify our view of the universe and creation.

As scientists of Mind, what view do we have now?

Last century, with the aid of older telescopes, an infinite was revealed. We’re now learning about an ever-expanding cosmos. The problem is, for everything learned about the physical workings, we have two more questions.

To settle the mysteries, we can take analyze the mental workings behind the fabulous eccentric goals of the Webb telescope, the goals, to detect old light or to determine the origin of the universe up against the Big-Bang theory.

The Webb Telescope is a result of curiosity, creativity, and intelligence, working together. Whether the telescope works physically, or not, is to be determined, but either way, our curiosity, creativity, and intelligence will remain and expand with the courage that doesn’t quit learning. Infinite discovery.

Merriam-Webster defines, infinite, as having no limits, endless.

What if the Webb telescope shows no end to light?

If there is no end, is there no beginning?

No beginning, no end.

Jesus used the idea of an infinite to show our ability to forgive others, and our self, for transgressions or for quitting truth and love.

From the Gospel Luke, “Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

In the Hebrew language of the Old Testament, the word, “seven” resembles the word for wholeness or completeness. Infinite?

With our own mental telescopes, we search for enlightenment, sourced from infinite Mind, Spirit. With our spirituality, we express forgiveness, newness, self-control, gratitude, honesty, endlessly.

Peer reviews follow. Peer analyses of forgiveness and spirituality come with high approvals. We prove that unforgiveness limits us, whereas forgiveness removes limits.  

Epimenides of Crete, reputed as a sixth century seer, before the birth of Christ Jesus, has been credited with the saying, about God, “For in him we live and move and have our being.” Paul quotes the biblical words in Acts 17:28.

Winter Solstice and the meaning of Christmas

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, #7

FYI

New website: www.Christ-Scientist.com

%d bloggers like this: