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Nature inspires

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Moving an Alzheimer’s patient

Instead of trying really hard to heal spiritually, I’ve learned to stop myself. I’ve decided that If God is healing, then God is healing all the time. Nonstop. I don’t make healing happen. I don’t need to look for something to heal.

Instead of praying for healing, I pray to see God healing. It is right in front of me, part of my experience.

As the cloud’s shadow passes over me when out in the woods walking, or as an idea enlightens my thought, healing results.

???????????????????????????????Months ago, I’d planned to help husband/wife friends move from Arizona to Washington State. The husband has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and was in a wheelchair. The wife told me, “Cheryl, he responds to you without confusion.”

The morning before I needed to fly to Arizona, I got sick. Food would not stay down. My husband told me, “This healing is here because you are the one for the job.”

We were staying at my husband’s sister’s house and she nursed me with mother love. By that afternoon, an hour before my scheduled flight, I was well enough to pack. My brother-in-law took me to the airport early and we both agreed that if I felt I should cancel my traveling that he’d return to pick me up at the airport and take me back to their house for rest. “I don’t mind one bit,” he said. His trust in God, through his Latter Day Saints faith, held a purity I could feel.

Healing continued and I traveled to Arizona. The husband and wife were ready and waiting to travel and move to Washington. The flight went without a flaw.

I was grateful that the husband did respond to me. Though the airports were hectic and loud, he was calm and hopeful.

I pondered “spiritual Alzheimer’s,” living in the past with confidence, yet easily angered when asked to do more than what the limited perspective expects.

Then I read from Matthew 4:1, 8-10:

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry…[Then[ the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”

Though I believe that in spiritual reality there is no devil, there is a devil to contend with humanly. The devil of Alzheimer’s will be cast out and until then we can prove it step by step. The devil was rebuked during our travels and we did worship God, Love, resulting in a gracious experience. We hope to continue.

Springtime Cleaning

Many of you have already entered the spring season. Here in upstate New York, the snow finally melted last week. Needless to say, we all are pretty antsy about the slowly emerging flowers and leaves.

To be able to put a shovel in unfrozen ground, and to open the windows, and to clean the house is always a favorite springtime activity. It also becomes a time to wash the heavy blankets and put away the winter clothes.

While packing or unpacking seasonal clothing, I separate out the clothes that received little attention. The clothes are then donated to a local cause, or taken to a consignment shop.

When in that thought frame, I go through the house and select kitchenware, toys, and knick-knacks that I’ve outgrown and add them to the donation box. Some people have a garage sale.

It makes for lighter work when I contemplate a Bible verse such as, “Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness form the God of his salvation.” (Ps. 24, ESV)

I honestly ask myself when going through my stuff, do I really need this? Or, will it be better used by someone else?

Dropping the Bomb on Truth

Last night it occurred to me that “how” truth is discovered plays a large role in how the truth is used.

For example, although for centuries, matter was believed to be absolute, Einstein discovered the theory of relativity, due to the sheer fact that matter proved its unreliability and its provisional state.

Decades before Einstein’s revelation, however, in the 19th century, Mary Baker Eddy also discovered the relativity of matter, but “how” it was discovered was different from Einstein. Eddy wasn’t looking at matter for an answer. She was looking at God and realized the absoluteness of divine Spirit was true. And, because Spirit is not matter, or truth is not a mistake, the conclusion was made that matter is relative.

Interestingly, the “how” truth was discovered allowed for different opportunities. Although, Einstein was not directly related to the atomic bomb, his theory of relativity specified that a large amount of energy could be released from a small portion of matter. And, we all now know the effects of the atomic bomb.

How Eddy discovered the relativity of matter was diametrically opposed to Einstein’s.  Einstein worked with a mistaken belief until it proved itself a mistake. Eddy worked with a spiritual truth and it naturally revealed any mistake. With the mind on Spirit, the opportunity to pursue spiritual power and its healing effect is felt.

Teaching me the value of paying attention to “how” I learn truth.

 
“Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.” (Ps. 25:5, NIV)

Don’t Let Go of Progress

Born into an intolerant American society, when slavery was legal, Jane Pittman lived to see tolerance merge through gore and injustice. Miss Jane Pittman was born a slave and lived to become a part of the civil rights movement in the 1960’s.

I recommend the 1974 film, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, starring Cicely Tyson, Eric Brown, and Richard Dysart. The film is a stunning reminder that it wasn’t all that long ago that prejudice was believed to have a foundation. It requires courage to nurture the attitude that allows equal coexistence between people of competing beliefs despite the rhetoric of leaders.

Recently, the Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church in Kentucky voted to ban interracial coupling, drafted, proposed, and passed by a former pastor.

Yes, bigotry in the 21st century.

Fortunately, last week, the Sandy Valley Conference of Free Will Baptists declared the vote null and void and the new pastor of the Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church moved forward to promote peace and good-will.

Our sense of unity can outweigh our confessional differences.

“For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face.” (Ps. 11:7, NIV)

The Spirit that Watches our Back

Yesterday, Pete told me a story worth repeating. Not so much because we need to hear stories like this during this financial crunch, but because “the way” the story was told was poignant, done with respect.

Before Pete began his story, he was somber—no bragging, no thinking he deserved something special, but courteous to what he calls, “The Spirit that watches our back.”

Here’s the story: A while back, their family car was totaled and the insurance company gave them $4000. Pete stared at the check and wondered, do they use the money to buy a reliable used car or do they use the money to pay off the unpaid bills and then drive the clunker car parked in the back of the house?

The clunker car is not very well suited for their family of 4, but because it felt better to follow the intuition that led them pay off the bills, they quietly paid their bills and pulled out the car that did get them around even though with a lot of moaning and clacking.

Then a check for $1500 was given to Pete for work he had previously done. The same day, a friend from another state called and told him about a 1999 reliable car they had for sell. Pete asked how much the car cost. $1500 was the answer. So, they bought it.

Good things are happening and it is important to share the reasons for our hope because it helps to get rid of despair and complacency. The economy does not have the upper hand. Spirit has infinite resources of wisdom, ingenuity, humility, even health, that can be tapped into and experienced.

From I Peter 3:14, “give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

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