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God deeply cares about you!

Dan Carnesciali C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, December 8th, 2008

God deeply cares about you!
Metaphysical application ideas for CedarS campers and friends from the Christian Science Bible Lesson December 14, 2008: "God The Preserver of Man"
by Dan Carnesciali, CS of Ballwin, MO


Editor's Note: The following application ideas for this week and Possible Sunday School Topics that follow 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 or Tuesday each week, or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French from Pascal or in Spanish from Ana. (We no longer have a translator available for German.) JUST SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters

Think of this Bible lesson as a love letter from God to you. God is "a very present help in trouble." God is there for you when you don't feel like you need help and when you don't feel like you deserve God's healing grace.

Golden Text:
What kind of God would take the time to count all the hairs on your head?  A God that deeply cares about you.   A God that cares about the smallest details of your life.  Are you worthy of that level of care?  God thinks so.

Responsive Reading:
Jesus said, "Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously." (Matt 10:8 The Message)  When Jesus selected 12 disciples (students), he gave them a mission and the authority to carry it out.

Section 1 - Choose Good
The Psalmist says that God has given us an inheritance that cannot be taken away. Our Godly inheritance endures.  This inheritance includes the right to recognize our Christly selfhood, the right to make good choices, to choose life, the right to be harmonious, and the right to be healed.  God saves and keeps us.  To save and keep are synonyms of preserve.  From the Science of being, we know that Mind never sees us as lost or unhealthy.  As we see ourselves as Mind does, then obstacles will be removed. (B2)  God is doing many good things in your life.  By His power the violence of fire is stopped, lion's mouths are shut and order is brought to politics (kingdoms).  Fear pretends to be a king.  But it's not.  It is a coward.  It has no kingdom. (B3)

The word "preserve" has several meanings. It means to defend from evil, to keep or save from injury or destruction, to save from decay, to keep in a sound and uncorrupted state.  God protects humanity.  He removes thoughts of fear, anxiety, hatred and heaviness.  He saves us from influence that would try and invade our thinking.  He keeps us from believing lies.  God will not abandon His/Her people.  How could He?  He cares for you.  God can eliminate overdue bills.  God can get papers in on time.  God can bring peace to the worlds' economies.  In Biblical times, to "fear God", meant to respect, honor and love God.  We can honor God by being more grateful and more awake to good and the power of good. (B4)  "Step by step will those who trust Him find that ‘God is our refuge [protection, shelter] and strength, a very present help in trouble.'" (S1)

Section 2 - Humanity is Evidence of Divinity
In the story of David, David called out to God in distress and God heard his voice. God delivered him out of many waters.  In the Old Testament, water is often symbolic of chaos, turbulent mentality.  Here the imagery is a drowning man being pulled out of the waters "from above." (The man was saved by a divine hand.)  God delivered David because God delighted in him.  The eternally good God wholeheartedly loves us.  He rejoices over us.  We are his anointed.  To anoint something means to pour oil on it.  In Old Testament times, pouring oil some oil on someone was a way of showing that someone was "chosen" for God's service. (B6)  In the opening of the chapter of "Christian Science Practice", Mrs. Eddy talks of Mary Magdalene anointing Jesus' feet with expensive, fragrant oil.  (The word Christ literally means "anointed.")  Mrs. Eddy urges Christian Scientists to be like Mary.  She intended us to strive to practice the Science of Christianity "with the oil of gladness, the perfume of gratitude, with tears of repentance and with those hairs all numbered by the Father." (S&H 367:14)  "There is divine authority for believing in the superiority of spiritual power over material resistance." (S6)  What if God were unexpressed?  Would infinite power be infinite if it were not entirely expressed?  Without the expression of man, God would be non-existent. (S8)

Section 3 - A Cup of Cold Water
Remember how David was saved from the image of turbulent waters in the 2nd section?  This section has quite a bit of imagery related to water, too.  Can you find them all?  God calmed the storm (meteorological and mental);  He stilled the waves (indecision, backtracking, anxiety).  God sent His word and healed us.  He delivered us from destruction. (Note that God has already done this.  It's past tense.)  God is worthy of praise now.  Waiting for human perfection can be perfectionism.  During the Christmas season, the airwaves are abuzz with the "perfect gift."  As Mrs. Eddy said, we need to be grateful for what we have before we can receive more.  Don't outline what you need or want - be grateful for Love's present provision, even if to human sense it isn't perfect.  Be grateful for the "imperfect gifts" around you.  In our home, we have a black cat named Mocha.  When we took in this stray cat, we were hoping for a friendly cat, but when she sees people, she usually runs the other direction.  We recently decided to be grateful for this cat, our imperfect gift, and two things happened.  We were much more grateful for her, and she became much more affectionate towards us. (B8)  The covenant is one of the most enduring themes in the Old Testament.  It is the establishment of a permanent and lasting relationship between God and man.  To the prophet Isaiah, the God of the covenant opened the blind eyes and the freed the prisoners. (B9)

Jesus recognized the need for more workers in this Cause.  How did he attract followers?  One way was with unconditional love. (B10)  Jesus appointed 70 followers to spread the gospel (good word) and to heal.  The 70 returned and reported, "Even the devils are subject unto us through thy name."  In the Bible, name often means the "nature" of the person. (B12)  "Our Master cast out devils (evils) and healed the sick.  It should be said of his followers also, that they cast fear and evil out of themselves and others and heal the sick.  God will heal the sick through man, whenever man is governed by God." (S12)

Section 4 - Laws
"I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me.  In my integrity [innocence, perfection, completeness] you uphold me and set me in your presence forever." (B14)  God preserves [saves, delivers, upholds, keeps, defends] those that love [honor, respect, serve, are obedient to] him. (B15)  "Love for God and man is the true incentive in both healing and teaching.  Love inspires, illumines, designates and leads the way." (S16)  The Psalmist said, "Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments."  He was asking for the wisdom to purify his motives.  "Working and praying with true motives, your Father will open the way." (S&H 326: 20, 21)  We have assurance that "if" we purify our motives, our Father will open the way.  "A wrong motive involves defeat.  In the Science of Mind-healing, it is imperative to be honest [sincere, frank, honorable], for victory rests on the side of immutable right." (S17)  Right desire, love for good, and humility, lift us out of sin and sickness.  "Christian Science silences human will, quiets fear with Truth and Love, and illustrates the unlabored motion of the divine energy in healing the sick." (S18)

Section 5 - Dominion, Demonstration

According to tradition, Acts of the Apostles is attributed to Luke, the author of the gospel of Luke and a travel companion of Paul.  However, this is probably doubtful because the writing style is unlike that of an actual eyewitness of Jesus' ministry.  (The Interpreter's One-Volume Commentary of the Bible)  "I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews."  (Acts 20:19 NIV)  "Now I'm turning you over to God, our marvelous God whose gracious Word can make you into what He wants you to be and give you everything you could possibly need in this community of holy friends.  (Acts 20:32 The Message)  Supporting "the weak" is an Old Testament theme. It's how God treated Israel.  God saved Israel from slavery in Egypt. He saved Israel from extinction in the Wilderness.  As God's agents, we ought to support the weak and those that need help.  If you are interested, read verses 36-38, which are not in this week's lesson. Paul prays with the leaders of the church at Ephesus and tells them that he will not be back.  They embrace him and cry.  They knew the depth of his love and support. (B17)

"The substance of all devotion is the reflection and demonstration of divine Love, healing sickness and destroying sin.  Our Master said, ‘if ye love me keep my commandments.'"  The substance of all devotion is Love. (S22)  "The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother's need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another's good." (S&H 518:15-19)  The prayer that heals the sick and reforms the sinner is an unselfed love. (see S&H 1:1-4)  Mrs. Eddy said, "Prayer, watching, and working, combined with self-immolation [self-denial] are God's gracious means for accomplishing whatever has been successfully done for the Christianization and health of mankind." (S23)

Section 6 - Your Right To Healing
This brief passage from the beginning of the book Joshua is the period when the children of Israel were about to embark on quite a daunting task.  They were preparing to cross the Jordan River and begin a conquest of Canaan, a land occupied by other peoples who were stronger than they were.  Do you think they were afraid?  You bet they were.  Dismay means to have a sudden or complete loss of courage in the face of trouble or danger [illusion]. Intuitively, we know that being fearless, courageous and steadfast is important, but sometimes we're not sure how to be fearless.  Fearlessness and courage are His gifts - they cannot be taken from us.  Fear and doubt were never created by God, so God preserves you from these thoughts.  God gives you dominion (complete power and authority over) evil. (B18)

There is no disease in God and there is therefore no disease in us, His ideas.  Then, where does disease exist?  It can only exist in the unenlightened human mind.  When we are willing to let go of our frightened and uncertain sense of things and allow the divine Mind govern, that's when rightful adjustment takes place.  When we are willing to relinquish annoyance, frustration and doubt and let the law of good replace cherished beliefs, obstructions to healing break up and disappear.  Every quality, every thought we need for healing is provided by our God.  We are already in possession of the right thoughts by reflection.  Let us see ourselves and our divine Parent does. (B19)

If God is your strength, you cannot run out strength.  If God is your song, that song is always in your heart.  If God is your salvation, your help is right here.  Celebrate God.  Your joy, compassion and confidence come from God's "wells of salvation." (B20)  The supply of healing, saving thoughts is not limited.  As the child of God, you have the right to healing.  God cares for you and keeps you safe.  God protects you and loves you.

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Camp Director's Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, seven-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "mets" (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians. (To keep the flow of the practitioner's ideas intact and to allow for more selective printing the "Possible Sunday School Topics" come on a following page or subsequent email.) This weekly email (and website posting) is intended to encourage further study and application of ideas in the lesson and to invigorate Sunday School participation by students and by the budding teachers on our staff. Originally sent JUST to my Sunday School students and 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 new angles on daily applicability to some of the ideas and passages being studied. The weekly Bible Lessons are copyrighted by the Christian Science Publishing Society and are printed in the Christian Science Quarterly as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at eBibleLesson.com or myBibleLesson.com. 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.
Enjoy!
Warren Huff, Camp Director, director@cedarscamps.org (636) 394-6162

-------------------------------------------------------------
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "God the Preserver of Man" for the week of December 8-14, 2008 offered by CedarS Sunday School teachers, Merrill Boudreaux [& Warren Huff]

Possible Sunday School Topics [P.S.S.T. - Golden Text] - How many hairs do you think you have on your head? How many grains of sand do you think are located on your favorite beach? How many stars do you think exist in the night sky? Does God know them each? How about you, does God know you, unique you, special you, one-of-a-kind you? What does God know about you? Name three things?

Possible Sunday School Topics [P.S.S.T. - Responsive Reading] -  What is listed here as provided by God? Therefore, what should we not do? Fear. Think of some possession you have that is of most value to you. How would you care for it or preserve it? How does God care for you? How long will God preserve you? Why?

Possible Sunday School Topics [P.S.S.T. - Sections 1] - Which biblical characters or heroes are mentioned in this section? What do you know of "Moses, Gedeon, Barak, Samson, Jepthae, David, and Samuel?" (B3) [Learn how Gideon defeated a larger army by reducing the size of his army and training them with trumpets, lamps and pitchers. (Judges 7) Learn how Barak worked with "Warrior Princess"/Judge Deborah to defeat Sisera (Judges 4). Discover the secret of Samson's birth to a barren woman, of his great strength and how he used it, lost it and regained it. (Judges 13-16) How Jephthah went "from zero to hero" (Judges 11) How Samuel anointed David and their amazing adventures (I Samuel 16:13 thru 2 Samuel 24 and beyond.] How was God a "...refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" for them?  [In what areas has God been "a very present help" to you and your family? Do you have any present troubles in which you want God will be there for you?]

Possible Sunday School Topics [P.S.S.T. - Sections 2] - [What a delight to know that "God is my strength and power: he maketh my way perfect." (B6) Doesn't that means that He makes: your test faultless; your shot just right; your next move in wrestling timed and executed perfectly; your solo right on; your gift and word selection ideal?]
Here is a good memorization opportunity in Section 2
(S&H Marker 9, 470:32)
"The relations of God and man, divine Principle and idea, are indestructible in Science; and Science knows no lapse from nor return to harmony, but holds the divine order or spiritual law, in which God and all that He creates are perfect and eternal, to have remained unchanged in its eternal history." (S9)

Possible Sunday School Topics [P.S.S.T. - Section 3] - List the actions taken by The Lord in this section, what about the actions taken by the prophets on behalf of The Lord? Are you a prophet of The Lord, or is that just for old-time bible stories? Define prophet. (See S&H 593:4)
"PROPHET. A spiritual seer; disappearance of material sense before the conscious facts of spiritual Truth."

[To be a prophet is to be a healer too, since "God will heal the sick through man whenever man is governed by God." (S12) In what areas are you seeking healing? Being a spiritual seer will bring into view what's already true.]

Possible Sunday School Topics [P.S.S.T. - Section 4] - [The psalmist declares: "thou (God) upholdest me in mine integrity." (B14) In what areas can you express your God-given integrity today? How about by believing & following "thy commandments" (B13) which are like an architect's specifications to guarantee the integrity of His product -- you. Obeying the 9th commandment about not bear false witness is like being sworn in on a Bible "to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God." Not even a little white lie is allowed, or will help. When are you most tempted to fudge on the facts?] What are the benefits of resisting such evil? (See S&H Markers 17 and 19 for hints.) [Ask yourself often how I stack up as a woman or "man of integrity" as described by Mrs. Eddy: "at all time the trusty friend, the affectionate relative (son & daughter), the conscientious man of business (homework), the pious (devout) worker (SS student), the public-spirited citizen. ... Not one part of his character at variance with another." (Misc. 147: 14-148:3) That fulfills the 1st commandment. (S19)]

Possible Sunday School Topics [P.S.S.T. - Section 5] - What is the promise in the Bible, Marker 16? [How does having "God ... supply all your need" relieve you of worry and encourage you to give? See S20] In Acts 20: 36 for what do you think Paul prayed? (B17) Use Acts 20: 16-19, 32, and 35 to decide. (B17) How did Paul give to the churches he established? (Epistles, or letters, of guidance.) [How can you more freely give today to bless those around you? How will such giving bless you? S24 "store"]

Possible Sunday School Topics [P.S.S.T. - Section 6] - Make a list of all the things in your life you can trust to God. Are you confident that you can turn them over to God, or trust God with them, or have God preserve them for you?
Begin to think now about the gifts given to you by your heavenly Father-Mother. What non-material gifts can you give to others this Christmas Season? Make your list, check it twice. Be confident in your decision.

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