Tag Archives: official

Video on survival or salvation

This is a sermon I gave at the local Unitarian Universalist Church in Oneonta, New York.

The Vision of Revisions

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. (Prov. 3:5, The Message)

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Prov. 3:5, KJV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; don’t rely on your own intelligence. (Prov. 3:5 Common English Bible)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. (Prov. 3:5, Revised Standard Version)

Cling steadfastly to God and His idea, if the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you. Let nothing but His likeness abide in you. Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of Being—as it eternally is—can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Being is not.(Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy’s 1894 copyrighted Edition)

When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought. Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious—as Life eternally is—can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not. (Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy’s 1908 copyrighted Edition)

When the curse of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and Spirit’s idea. Allow nothing but Soul’s likeness to prevail in your thought. Do not let fear or doubt eclipse your clear sense and calm trust in Truth. (21st Century Science and Health, copyrighted 2006)


Seriously God?

Just when I have a perfect excuse to get upset, God goes and fixes the situation so that I no longer have an excuse.

Yesterday I drove to a distant town to meet a person who wanted to be interviewed. As a local newspaper reporter, and a mediocre writer, I set up these kind of appointments regularly. Most people make it, and on time.

While waiting, my neighbor walks in.

Adam Riva head shot

Our neighbor

I love this neighbor. We hug. Within 14 seconds he learned I was waiting and I learned he had just finished a 25 minute public presentation at college. He says, “Hey, let’s sit down, I have time.” So we sit down and start laughing and catching up.

My interviewee never shows up. Could I be annoyed? Nope.

I drive home happy. My neighbor is doing well, and we always talk about God and how important it is to focus on God and keep an open mind, always asking questions yet looking for progressive answers, because there is no complete truth in the human realm. But, we can identify with the spiritual realm and spiritual truths. Seriously.

I hear a lot of talk about forgiving and living love. It must have validity, because serendipitously things work out and circumstances allow me to do so.

I can even remember a time when I was came down with the flu. Nauseous. Aha, I covertly thought, now I won’t have to volunteer tomorrow. But, a few minutes later, I prayed and sure enough, within 30 minutes the illness was gone. Seriously God, what’s this, the 30 minute flu? I guess so, but I was happy to volunteer the next day, feeling good.

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Tim. 1:7, ESV

A Christian Scientist versus Christian Science

Are you a Christian Scientist?

When I am asked that question, more often than not, I answer, “I study Christian Science.” A Christian Scientist is not the same as Christian Science. They are as different as a computer programmer and programming. One is a title while the other is an activity. A Christian Scientist is a person who may or may not digress into a conventional lifestyle or culture. Classic Christian Science is a system of divine Mind-healing that can be applied to everyday life.

Rather than observe detached traditions, I study Christian Science as defined by Mary Baker Eddy in the 19th century in her book Rudimental Divine Science, “The law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony.” There is no mystery to Christian or divine Science. It circulates quietly in consciousness in every corner of the world, interpreting itself in languages and forms understood by people in all walks of life.

Back in the day, while taking a scientific approach, Mary Baker Eddy studied the power of mind and its ability to heal. Her research was quick to reveal an inconsistency within human minds. Eddy then pushed the boundaries of research past the human mind and discovered an active healing force, greater than any human mind. She dubbed it divine Mind.

Working within the framework of her Christian upbringing, Eddy theorized this healing divine Mind was God. Moreover, the prophets and Christ Jesus healed through the power of God, Mind. Eddy developed the theory and discovered spiritual rules, that when followed, would result in spiritual healing. She wrote a book, outlining Christian Science, titled Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Although years later, Eddy established a religious organization, Christian Science is still autonomous. The healing power of God is unaffected by human beings and/or religious organizations.

When applying the spiritual rules as outlined in the Bible and Science and Health, I’ve experienced profound physical and emotional healing. But, I’m careful not to mechanically connect Christian Science to a church, a dogma, or a human way of life. The propaganda surrounding Christian Science, or any religion for that matter, needs to be dismissed, in order to embrace the inspiration that correctly interprets its spiritual rules.

The study of Christian Science has been interesting and effective. Revisions of the Bible and Science and Health allow the study of Mind-healing to express their full voice.  However, the spirit of Mind-healing  is detected in places where people are unfamiliar with the Bible and Science and Health, because the law of God is not locked into words, churches, Christian Scientists, or time and space.


Researching what we read

21st Century Science and Health is now in its fourth edition.

Click here for, 21st Century Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: A modern version of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health, sixth edition.

Click here for youtube video

Martin Luther King’s Dream is Being Fulfilled

With a poignant sonorous voice, Reginald Brunson recited Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. “Every Friday before the Martin Luther King, Jr.  Holiday, I recite the speech at South Kortright Central School,” said Brunson. “I also delivered the speech at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ceremony in Oneonta on Sunday.”

South Kortright Principal, John Bonhotal, includes Reginald Brunson as a regular guest to recite King’s speech every year at the school. The audience for the Friday production at South Kortright School consists of Kindergarteners through fifth graders. Students from the fifth grade participated with poster cards that illustrated a timeline. “Important events from 1929 to 1983 were written on each poster card,” said Azalyn Brunson, fifth grade student and introducer of Reginald Brunson.

Brunson stands before the listeners, commanding attention as he draws in his breath. The words are familiar yet so potent they require concentration. Brunson comes to the part of the eight minute speech, repeating with appropriate intonation: “It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

“But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

“We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.”

“Every time I recite the speech, the audience has my attention,” said Brunson. “To touch hearts is my goal. I work with the fact that the audiences in upstate New York are non-minority.” Brunson grew up in South Carolina and was the minority. He remembers the signs clearly stating, “For White’s Only.” “There were seven of us kids in y family and at first we went to a segregated school.” Brunson was in the seventh grade when school segregation was diminished.

“Growing up in central South Carolina was totally different from growing up here in the north,” said Brunson. “There is no comparison and I chose to raise my kids in the north. They didn’t have to be exposed to the prejudices more common in the south. A lot of progress has been made, I love my country, but more progress yet needs to be made.”

Brunson and his siblings were growing up at the tail end of what is now known as The Great Migration, the relocation of more than 6 million African Americans from the rural South to the cities of the West, Midwest, and North from 1916 to 1970. The Migration was one of the greatest numbers in history. African Americans left their homes to relocate where there were more satisfactory economic opportunities and less segregationist laws. The burgeoning industrial age was a resource for employment especially during the World Wars. The Great Migration came with problems however such as poor working conditions and competition for living space. Racism and prejudice still existed but African Americans began building their own niches of black urban culture that grew to exert enormous influence. “I remember the marches and the day Martin Luther King Jr. was killed,” said Reginald Brunson. “I was eight years old when I watched King die. I don’t forget it.” Years later, Brunson was asked to recite the “I Have a Dream” speech and he memorized it. “I don’t forget it,” said Brunson. “The words and meaning are in my long term memory to stay.”

“I’ve torn apart the speech, realizing what to emphasize,” said Burnson. “I’ve watched videos of Martin Luther King Jr. giving the speech.” Burnson utilizes his background in theater during the oration. He realized his love of theater while in High School. He went on to study accounting and theater at what is now Winthrop University, in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Since moving to Hobart, he has been involved in many productions in and out of Delaware County. Plays of notice are: Witness for the Prosecution, Twelve Angry Men, and Out Town along with a one-man act at Franklin Stage.

“Martin Luther King Jr. had given the speech 5 or 6 times before the Washington D.C. event,” said Brunson. “I recite the final version which King had developed to a full power.” Martin Luther King Jr. gave the final speech August 28, 1963, fifty years ago this year. Brunson has given the speech at a multitude of places. “I will recite it next month when our family goes to Carolinas for vacation,” added Brunson who is scheduled to give the address in Charlotte, North Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, and his hometown of Sumpter, South Carolina.

“I’m excited to visit South Carolina, it’s been a while since we’ve been back,” said Brunson. “But, this is home. I love Delaware County. The people in Bloomville, Hobart, and South Kortright are the salt of the earth. They’ve always had my back and they are my family.” Reginald and his wife, Cynthia Hillis Brunson, have a home in Hobart. They have six children and three grandchildren. “I love them all,” adds Brunson.

A fulfilled promise to Martin Luther King Jr. who said, “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

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