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Feel the Security of the Peace of God and Practice Undisturbed Living!

Kathy Fitzer, St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT
Posted Monday, December 10th, 2007

Feel the Security of God's Peace and Practice Undisturbed Living!

Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for December 10-16, 2007 on
"God the Preserver of Man"
Prepared by Katherine Fitzer, C.S. of
St. Louis, MO

Editor's Note:  The following application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for this week are offered primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp!  You can sign up to have them emailed to you free -- in English by Monday of each week.  Or by Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French or Spanish and maybe in German soon:  JUST SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters

Last week we read about the brotherhood of God's man.  This week we are given the tools to learn about peace - to understand what it is, how to feel and see it, how to practice it and how to realize it as possible for all.  Righteousness is also a theme.  But, let's not get hung up on whether we [or others] have always acted in a perfectly straight, morally upstanding way.  The question is one of where thought is NOW.  Are we willing to turn to God and find peace NOW?  Then, it is available NOW!  Walk undisturbed with God!

The Golden Text is from a letter Paul wrote to the church at Philippi.  The promise follows a directive.  The entire verse reads "Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you." (Amplified Bible) [Possible Uplifting Sunday School Homework (P.U.S.S.H.):  Practice being obedient to God's direction.  Consciously feel the security of God's peace.  Model its undisturbed composure.]

The Responsive Reading assures us that God is with us, guiding us and keeping us safe day and night.  [For upcoming happy holidays and travel even in wintry weather, you can confidently affirm that "God keepeth me from falling, Fulfilleth all my need; His love doth e'er uphold me In faithful word and deed. He keepeth me from evil, My onward way doth trace, My going and my coming He crowneth with His grace. (From The Christian Science Hymnal #189:2, our "CedarS Express" theme song that is derived from Ps. 121:8 in the RR)]   

God is also our shade - our shelter and defense.  In the desert, shade not only offers wonderful protection from the heat, but also offers protection from an enemy. The media tells us often enough about our need for protection from the sun (although a more spiritual sense of sun comes in the Science and Health Glossary, p. 595), but why protection from the moon? 

According to Dummelow, there is an almost universal superstition that the moon [with its monthly cycles] is an injurious influence on man.  I heard a teacher talking in the hall of a school, blaming the bad behavior of students on a full moon - and the moon wasn't even full!  The Interpreter's Bible translates "nothing shall offend them" in the last verse as literally, "they have no stumbling block."  No stumbling block to peace in the world, in the classroom, in families, in your heart!  [Possible Sunday School Topics (P.S.S.T.):  What stumbling blocks that "hinder (your) growth and taint (your) example" can you bypass by realizing God's presence and modeling its undisturbed peace?  To keep us from stumbling into ‘Taking Offense," Mrs. Eddy encourages us to live: "with the smallest expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful...;" with a friction-free temper; with a settled sense of "equanimity" (level-headed composure; self-control; poise); with a charity broad and sweet enough to neutralize bitterness and "determined not to be offended."  Miscellaneous Writings 223:20)  Which of these aspects of peace can you model better this week?]

Section 1:  ["Feel the unspeakable] Peace" that is of GOD!   (S&H 264:26)
It is God that keeps us safe, frees us from bondage, and brings us peace. (B- 1&2)  MyBibleLesson points out that the Hebrew word for peace is shalom.  It doesn't just mean the absence of fighting; it also means prosperity and fulfillment.  To the Hebrews, the prosperity of each member of a community depended upon how the group as a whole conducted itself.  [That why the communities of a loving church (and camp) are such valuable proving grounds for all to take part in.  A priceless gift to take home from your participation in church, Sunday School and camp is a solid understanding of God's control over EVERYTHING.  (See S&H 514:26)]   God is Mind. (S-2)  As we acknowledge God's complete control, we accept the fact that, in reality, ALL men are governed by one Mind - not partially, but wholly.  And we'll see the effects of this control. (S-3)  Mrs. Eddy notes that "human power" is "proportionate to its embodiment of right thinking." (S-4)  

You may want to check out some different translations for Bible citation #3, Proverbs 16.  We learn, in part, that if we want things to work out, we put God in charge of our work.  "Then what [we've] planned will take place." (The Message, v. 3)  Tempted to think you have to change someone ELSE?  Check this out:  "When the way you live pleases the Lord, he makes even your enemies live at peace with you." (New International Readers Version, v. 7)  We don't have to change our enemies - just our relationship to God.  It is all about how aligned our thought is with the one Mind.  Aligned with God, we are aligned with the might of brotherly love.   (P.S.S.T.  Check your thought to see how closely it lines up with Mind - perfect good.  Then, make adjustments one thought at a time.  Share the results.)

Section 2:  Realize God's Ever-Presence and Put an End to Error's Ambush
It's a lot easier to defend against an enemy that you are prepared for, than against an ambush.  This story about Elisha's spiritual discernment, which allowed him to: warn the king of Israel of pending attacks; recognize and open the eyes of his servant to the presence of God's enveloping and protecting care;  deliver the Syrian army to Israel; and, broker a peaceful agreement between them all illustrates the power of keeping thought aligned with God. (B-7)  After this victory
[and the feeding and release of a vulnerable enemy], the raiding bands of Aram no longer bothered Israel.  However, the Syrian attacks did not cease - in fact there is evidence that for a period they became more devastating.  Ambushes ceased; open attacks began; ultimately Israel was victorious. 

The point is, when we recognize the ever-presence of God's care - hovering over us as a mother bird hovers over her nest to protect it, delivering us as he delivered the children of Israel at the Passover (B-6), we are equipped to meet and defeat the enemy.  It doesn't mean we won't experience trials and attacks.  We may feel ambushed at times.  Other times we may see the approaching enemy. Either way, the attack feels very real.  But, we are given in the Bible the "recipe" to heal whatever comes our way. (S-10)  None of the good that happened in this Bible story happened by human design.  The word used to describe the army's blindness indicates a type of blindness that was ascribed to divine action.  To not kill the captured army went directly against the customs of the day, but Elisha pointed out that Israel wasn't responsible for the capture - God was.  When tempted to be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the physical evidence facing you, take to heart Elisha's directive to his fearful servant, "Fear not:  for they that be with us are more than they that be with them." 

As you are faced with any problem, align your thought with God - claim the REAL consciousness that sees the solution right where the problem seems to be - see the chariots of fire surrounding you!  How?  Mrs. Eddy explains that "the realization that all inharmony is unreal brings objects and thought into human view in their true light ..." (S-6)  We're surrounded by optical illusions that are generally accepted to BE illusions.  But, to see that all inharmony is truly an illusion (as Elisha and others in the Bible demonstrated) we have to accept the divine Mind as the only Mind and "put off" the human mind which "is opposed to God." (S-8)  Accepting that your eyes CAN be open to the reality of God's ever-presence is half the battle.  Defeat fear and you find safety.  (P.S.S.T.  What situation is in your life - or in the world - demands that you open your eyes in order to see God's power and might right where something really bad and scary appears to be?  Practice seeing!)

Section 3:  Don't Leave Mind's Home! - Keep God's promise of longevity & uninterrupted peace.
"He who lives as a resident in Mind's dwelling place, constructed to elude detection (by evil or erroneous belief), remains in a stable or fixed state, sheltered from danger by the Almighty God."  (My paraphrase of the first verse of the 91st Psalm (B11), based on definitions from Webster.)  God assures those that keep their thought in that fixed state of safety, "I will give him a long and full life.  I will save him." (B-11, NIRV) 

Look at the next promise of longevity and peace for the upright in Ps. 37. (B-12)  Think about uprightness in terms of a vertical connection with God - taking thought straight UP to God, without wandering in the to-and-fro of mortal appearances.  The world tells us that our peace and our longevity (living a full life) depend on outside factors - chance, our health, economic or social status.  But, the Bible is clear that if we STICK to the wisdom that God gives, that this understanding will keep us safe. (B-13)  It is never too late to take this approach.  "Life is eternal!"  It is not linear - measured by beginning, middle, end, and measured by years.  "Life and goodness are immortal."  So, they can't be limited, nor can anyone be excluded from them.  Mrs. Eddy directs us to "shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity ..." (S-15)  It is never too late to SHAPE!  No matter where your thought has been for years, or was a minute ago, concentrate on molding and shaping it NOW to conform to (be aligned with) the divine Consciousness. 

Pack up your bags and move into the "Secret Place."  It is a great place to live - and a totally secure "witness protection plan."  The more closely you stick to that home (Mind's consciousness of Love) the more confident you will be that you are safe - even when evil, disease, accident, war, etc. parade past your window.  Refuse to go out and play!  (P.S.S.T.  Be aware of where your thought is abiding and how you are shaping it.  Share the fruitage.)

Section 4:  Cherish your Health Preserved by Christ's rebuke of all "unclean spirit(s)."
Paul wrote to the Thessalonians his prayer that God would purify them completely (sanctify them.)  And that they would be blameless (innocent) in their spirit (by which man maintains communion with God) and soul (the feelings and emotions) and body until the advent (the appearance) of Christ. (B-15, Dummelow)  This should be our prayer for ourselves and ALL every day!  The story of the healing of the epileptic boy (B-16) demonstrates what happens when Christ appears.  In context, this story follows the transfiguration.  Jesus had been away, and perhaps the scribes were taking advantage of his absence to undermine the influence he was having on the multitude.  (Dummelow)  The disciple's inability to heal this situation could have raised great doubt.  But, when Christ Jesus appeared, he rebuked the apparent lack of faith AND the "unclean spirit" and healed the young man. 

Remember the reference in the Responsive Reading about the inability of the moon to smite us?  In ancient time, epileptics were believed to be affected by changes in the moon.  In fact, in the Matthew version of the story the man is referred to as being "lunatic."  Luna refers to the moon.  Christ, Truth, frees us from the belief of our health being able to be influenced by ANYTHING but God.  Where human will may be mixed with fear and doubt, Truth (Christ) speaks to disease with authority, "Peace, be still." (B-17 & S-18) 

We can confidently practice Christian healing today as we "maintain the facts of Christian Science." (S-21 & 22)  If a case isn't yielding, we need to be sure to maintain the innocence and purity of the spirit, soul, and body, and acknowledge the presence and power of Christ (Truth) - here, NOW!  [That's a "Maintenance Must" that comes with daily costs, but with much greater rewards!  In the Church Manual (p. 40:11), Mrs. Eddy requires church members to "daily watch and pray to be delivered from ... being influenced erroneously."  P.S.S.T. Are you unthinkingly not maintaining your guard against outside suggestions that are influencing you?  We can stay unreceptive to the flu (short for influenza) as we neutralize the supposed influence of aggressive, mental suggestions.   Exercise your Christly nature by rebuking anything that isn't good and claiming your purity and total immunity!  Share the effects.)

Section 5:  Listen and Follow Your Calling to Take Part in Church
Church is more than a place we go on Sundays and Wednesdays - more than something we are involved in because we are supposed to be, or something we feel responsible for making successful.  More than a denomination!  Church is Truth's and Love's structure to which all of God's children are CALLED!  It embraces us as a community of thought and rouses our understanding in order that all error is cast out and the sick are healed. (S-27)  St. Jude was writing to a church in turmoil, yet begins by asserting the purity of the members, reinforcing that they have been CALLED by God.  "To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ: Mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance." (B-18)  [Paul promises "that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."  Romans 8:28]

Paul's letter to the church at
Corinth also speaks of the members being called and urges them to guard against division within their group. (B-19)  Later Paul asserts that God isn't the author of confusion, but of peace!  "When we worship the right way, God doesn't stir us up into confusion; he brings us into harmony." (B-20, The Message)  How should we respond to God's calling?  By being willing to "be of one mind." (B-21)  Being of one mind has to start with acknowledging only one Mind!  And then we act it out by living in accord with Christ - expressing patience, tolerance and kindness, never judging, and turning the other cheek when necessary.  (S-25)  

To a large degree, the conflicts in our world (and seen within our own borders to a greater or lesser degree) stem from "sectarian bitterness."  We have to stop letting differences of approach poison and weaken the structure of Church.  (S-24)  Spirit knows no conflict - it moves freely, touching all equally, like the wind.  Rather than thinking we are responsible for forming or defending a specific brand of "church," let's remain within the borders of the spiritual structure (the secret place of the Most High) and recognize all true being as abiding there in peace.  (P.S.S.T.  Think about what it means to be CALLED to serve God, and the role church plays in that calling.  Do you still think in terms of Christian Scientists and NON-Scientists, or according to denominations, or Christians and NON-Christians?  How can you support [greater tolerance of diversity and] an atmosphere of peace where you are?)

Section 6:  Let Righteousness Lead You  to Peace
The prophet Isaiah taught that God's law includes peace for his creation. (B-22)  How do we experience that peace?  Through living righteously (acting in accord with divine or moral law; free from guilt or sin.)  "The effect of righteousness will be peace [internal and external], and the result of righteousness will be quietness and confident trust forever." (B-23, Amplified Bible) 

Again, regardless of what has gone on before, righteous living is possible for all of us starting at any time.  Jacob had messed up big time, and was returning to face his brother because God had told him too; but he was scared.  The night before they were to meet, however, Jacob saw God face to face (something that ancient belief said was not permitted) and his life was transformed.  Even his name was changed.  (B-24) 

It is never too late to change.  God's promise of peace is perpetual!  Because, in reality, we live and move and have our being in God, we are able to put down the false testimony of discord and see God as He is.  Existence which is the reflection (the thought) of Mind imparts the peace and permanence of Life, Truth, and Love. (S-28 & 29)  (P.S.S.T. Practice keeping your thought aligned with God - think vertically.  How does seeing God face-to-face help your vision of everyone and everything else around you?)

Camp Director's Note: The above sharing is the latest in a series of CedarS Bible Lesson "mets" (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians [with bracketed, italicized notes and "Possible Sunday School Topics" some offered by the authors and others offered by me as editor]. This document is intended to initiate further study as well as to encourage the application of ideas found in the Weekly Bible Lessons as printed in the Christian Science Quarterly and as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms. * Originally sent JUST to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study, application and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson "mets" are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way a substitute for daily study of the lesson. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension, background and daily applicability to some of the ideas and passages being studied. The citations referenced (i.e. B1 and S28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "met" (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the King James Version of the Bible (B1-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. (S1-30) The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist. The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one. We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of these ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor. Have fun unwrapping, cherishing and sharing your special, spiritual gift(s)!  
Enjoy!
Warren Huff, Camp Director       director@cedarscamps.org       (636) 394-6162
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The weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CedarS, as well as to CedarS alumni, families and large community of friends who request it.  However, current and planned gifts are needed to defray the costs of running this service and of providing camperships, programs and operations support.  Click http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving for more about how you can give online or get information to talk privately about how to make a special gift to help perpetuate CedarS work.

Your needed and very welcome, tax-deductible support can be mailed to:
The CedarS Camps Office        THANKS TO YOU PRECIOUS DONORS
1314 Parkview Valley Drive                        FOR YOUR ONGOING SUPPORT
Manchester, MO 63011                              OF CedarS IMPORTANT WORK!

FYI: Thanks to gifts from many of you and to a recent foundation pledge, we are celebrating reaching our "Maintenance Musts" Matching Grant goal of raising $25,000 before year end to receive $25,000.   Other ONGOING NEEDS include:
1) Unrestricted Gifts to allow CedarS to allocate funds where most needed.  Tuition only cover about 75% of the cost of running camp and all of the costs of providing Christian Science youth lectures and of subsidizing Summit meetings as needed.
2) 
Campership funds to underwrite camp experiences for over 300 worthy campers (~1/3 of our 2008 campers)  The actual costs for a week of Main Camp is $800.
3)  "Adopt the Herd"
Matching Grant funds to help us take advantage of a offer from generous donors who are aware of the ongoing needs to help CedarS riding program measure up to its mission!  Our goal is to raise $50,000 by 5-31-08, for $50,000 more to help cover the costs of a maintaining a quality herd and riding program for 1,200 campers and staff. 

Click here to see campers grateful for your support, to read their read fruitage and to review current needs in our year-end Annual Appeal!

Click here to see an overview of our Operational needs and details of gift recognition levels in our year-end Annual Appeal!

A new, special way to give to CedarS as well as to receive gifts in time for Christmas is to order either one or both of the books written by CedarS Founder, Ruth E. Huff.  ALL PROFITS GO TO THE CEDARS CAMPS.  Ruth's latest book, out just in time for holiday giving is "Laughing Eyes."  It is beautifully illustrated by Carol Boemer Napper and shows simple but profound ways to give happiness, love and life lessons to children of all ages.  IT'S FOR CHILDREN TO READ, OR FOR CARING ADULTS TO READ TO CHILDREN.  The cost is $14 plus a $1 mailing charge.  You can email the author for more details or to rush shipment at:  ruthehuff@aol.com   

Please send your checks for either or both books to "Ruth Huff," 1311 Turtle Cove, Ballwin, MO 63011 
Ruth's first, colorfully illustrated book,
"CedarS Camps: Its Origin and Growth" is $14 softback/$20 hardback, plus $1 shipping/book.

Go to www.myBibleLesson.com to check out a visually-oriented and very helpful study resource for the weekly Christian Science Bible Lesson.  It's being produced by The Christian Science Publishing Society.  What a great auxiliary to lesson study - and to reading beyond citation markers using the handsome new student books now in Reading Rooms.  MyBibleLesson contains word definitions, Bible background Notes, fun topical cartoons, timelines and translations, plus many healing ideas to use.  Why not check out this vehicle to help bring new meaning and life to each beloved Bible lesson and so bless the youthful thinker and Sunday School student (and teacher) in us all!

You can receive or stop your free subscription to CedarS weekly newsletter in your email box by Sunday or Monday of each week by subscribing - or unsubscribing via left menu at  www.cedarscamps.org/newsletter

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