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Rejoice! Like God's Valentine You are planted in the Kingdom as the Guest of God.

Kathy Fitzer, St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT
Posted Monday, February 11th, 2008

Rejoice!  Like God's Valentine, You're Planted in the Kingdom -- the "Guest of God!"
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Bible Lesson on "SOUL" for Feb. 11-17, 2008
Prepared by Kathy 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 or by Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French by Pascal or in Spanish by Ana. JUST SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters

We are all familiar with the Psalmist's confident assertion, "I will dwell in the house [the consciousness] of [Love] forever."  [See the 23rd Psalm in the Bible and on p. 578 of Science and Health.]  In the column about this week's lesson in the Feb. 11th Christian Science Sentinel, Glory Holzworth brings out the theme that we are guests in the kingdom of heaven.  It is a dwelling place full of joy and comfort, where Soul reigns and has provided for every need.  

[P.U.S.S.H.]
   Let's examine, and learn from, each section how Soul's hospitality is evident.  JOY is the key ingredient -- never burden.  ["If you ever feel that your work is becoming burdensome, just stop and place the responsibility where it belongs - in your Father's hands.  Get rid of the sense of burden before continuing your work, for heaviness of thought cannot glorify God."  From Education at the Principia (EAP), page 222, an awesome, one-page treatment by Principia's Founder Mary Kimball Morgan, CS on how to be "deeply in earnest and at the same time spiritually light-hearted" and "equal to every demand placed on you." Paperback copies available for $3.50 at The Principia Bookstore (314) 434-210 x3309  P.S.S.T. Ask yourself -- and share the answers on -- how to "drop my burden at His feet, and bear a song away."  Christian Science Hymnal 124]

As we celebrate St. Valentine's Day, let's expand our focus on love to see that we all -- everyone and everywhere -- can feel the joy of being embraced in the hospitality of Love reigning universally and eternally in Soul.  And then [as you love yourself enough to "find deeper joy in your work" and "do not let your work drive you,"  (EAP, 222) you can much better love your neighbor and] look for ways to reach out and care for one another!

Golden Text:  "I will sing for joy in God, explode in praise from deep in my soul!" (The Message)  When feeling far from home (as this writer was) -- perhaps far from "the consciousness of Love" and without comfort, it is helpful to remember that, despite appearances, Good IS!   Rejoice -- be BRIGHT!  (according to the original Hebrew.)  [P.S.S.T.  When I feel "listless" or in mourning, what can I do to again feel joy and the praise of God exploding "deep in my soul?"  We have not been left listless!  Try reviewing and obeying the Beatitudes as the list of what Christ Jesus defined as an unlikely group of individuals appointed and anointed to be in the "supremely happy" set.  P.U.S.S.H.   Click here to listen to the Barry Huff's podcasts on The Beatitudes on the TMCYouth.com Website under Sunday School.  Find inspiring insights and unique answers to this question of where to find supreme happiness and share them with your class or church group.  See also the P.S.S.T. for Section 2]

Responsive Reading:  More brightness!  [Shown to E-Bible lesson subscribers in a video reading of the lesson by movie-star and Christian Scientist, Val Kilmer (Batman, Mark Twain, ...).  Anyone can buy this week's audio-visual version for $2.95 at https://csps.realtimepub.com/ebible/purchase.cfm ]   We have the command to get up and shine because the light IS come!  Light symbolizes fellowship with God -- our inseparable nature with God -- "in whom is no darkness at all."  At the time of Isaiah's writing, the world seemed very dark, but the prophet is urging the people to recognize the presence of God -- turn to Him.  Acknowledge God's command, "Let there be light, and there was light," in the first chapter of Genesis.  The promise is that the desert (those "dry-spells" in our lives when things do seem pretty dark) will bloom in brightness and joy as we reflect and respond to this light.  God has assured his people that they have inherited (been planted in -- New Living Translation) "the land."  In Christian Science we understand this land not to be a piece of real estate, but a state of thought -- the kingdom of heaven [ - or "the way of holiness."  Isa. 35:8 "The way of holiness" is the alias of The CedarS Camps whose mission was received by CedarS Founder Ruth Huff as the whole of Isaiah 35 which is featured extensively in the Responsive Reading.]   
We are planted in this land -- this state of harmony -- so that God may be glorified -- His goodness seen (made clear) -- forever.  Love is the eternal host in this
kingdom of Soul -- meeting our every need with the gracious, ["freely give"] hospitality [taught and practiced at "the CedarS of Lebanon." (B2)]   Certainly we can respond with joy [and so live CedarS 5th Fundamental Concept:  "We expect to make camping at CedarS FUN!" (as well as life back home)  I remind myself and our staff often: "If you're not having fun practicing Christian Science, you're not practicing Christian Science!"]

Section 1:  Planted in the Kingdom of Universal Harmony -- Rejoice in what IS!  
Ever need reassurance that there is a God -- especially in the midst of illness, war, weather, loneliness, and destruction?  Look around at the beauty and order of nature.  Even though the sun comes and goes -- and the darkness of night can seem scary and difficult at times -- the glory (splendor -- brightness) of God is forever. (B-2 & S-4)  "The Lord will comfort Zion." (B-3)  Who or what is Zion?  It can stand for Jerusalem or the people of Jerusalem, but basically, Zion is anyone who follows God -- God's people.  This is not an empty promise: "God's people will be free from worries, and their homes peaceful and safe." (B-4, Good News Translation)   [P.S.S.T.]  Does being free from worry mean that we won't have challenges?  No.  But, it means that we can trust that God's covenant (His promise to provide good to the faithful) is in place and he has planted us in His land -- the land of Soul. (B-5)  [P.S.S.T.  In the land of spiritual sense, you too will be "full of sap," with all the strength and vitality of "the cedars of Lebanon." (B4)  Ps. 104:16 was one of Ruth Huff's first two Bible openings that directed her to start and name CedarS Camps and to name the Girls Camp cabins after birds "where the birds make their nests."  The fragrance of your spiritual nature, like the aroma of cedars, will resist rotting and repel "bugs."  As your spiritual study and roots support your growth, your stability will be like that of the cedars.  (See the myBibleLesson.com picture and Bible Notes on "the cedars of Lebanon.")  To material sense determine: what seems to be bugging you; what's breaking down your resistance to the degrading; what's causing you to settle for surface answers and appearances.  Use spiritual sense to see through and break those material sense-based cycles.] 

And we don't have to worry or be afraid.  As we accept that we coexist with (are planted in) Soul -- unchanging, eternal, harmonious -- we can see harmony, regardless of the seeming discord presented by mortal sense.  Mrs. Eddy explains, "It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony." (S-6)  There is a story of people afloat in what they thought was salt water -- dying of thirst -- ignorant that they were actually surrounded by fresh, drinkable water.  Understanding God reveals the ever-presence of His kingdom, and we discover that we are governed by the laws of this kingdom.  God is our host -- showering us with blessings.  We can experience the good that IS!  [P.S.S.T.  Miss Mary Kessler, my Sunday School teacher told our class: "Gratitude outlaws blindness to present good."  What blindness to present good will you heal today with your growing gratitude list?  Share this new way of seeing and the healing results with your class or congregation.]

Section 2:  Ask for Help --  Tune in to Soul!  Rejoice in Love's Ever-presence [and in doing!]   Depression.  It's nothing new.  We have reports of David suffering from it 3,000 years ago.  [P.S.S.T.  Another royal, King Arthur in the musical "Camelot," sought this answer in the song "What Do the Simple Folk Do?".  The song's simple yet clever answers lie in not just intellectually knowing the value of joy, but in actively expressing and simply sharing it.  As Jesus advises:" If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." John 13:17  What can you do to more simply express love and joy and leave behind being part of "the frozen chosen" who know and do not.]   Basically, depression is the belief of being cut off from good and not knowing what to do to get back.  The remedy is always at hand [in active doing, usually before you feeling like it -- in fulfilling your "reason for existing" -- "to impart truth, health and happiness."  Miscellany, 165:20.]  What good host wouldn't respond to a guest in need?  And God is a most gracious host!  David's prayer (as ours must be) was a sincere desire to feel [and share] the presence of God.  He knew that God would help him -  that God answers our prayers day and night.  (B-6)  Truly, the time of day has no impact on God's response to prayer, because God is ever present.  
Have you ever searched for a special game or program on the radio - only to discover that you are searching the AM stations when the program is being aired on FM?  The station's signal is consistent.  Day or night, the broadcast is there, just waiting for us to tune in.  But, we have to search in the right place.  Soul is always communicating thoughts of peace.  And we will get the message that brings us peace as we "tune in" through prayer. 
I love this promise of God, sent through Jeremiah ... "I will be found of you." (B-9)  God doesn't hide from us!  
[P.S.S.T.]  Is there value in disappointment and pain?  Absolutely ... if we learn that nothing lasting comes from matter, and if we "transplant the affections from sense to Soul."  (S-7)  Remember, you've inherited a planting place in God's kingdom.  That's where we will find lasting joy [and genuine growth.]  So, if there has been a temporary planting of the affections (the inclination of thought) in the shifting sand of physical sense (with its belief in good and evil , error, and pleasure and pain in matter) there is a need to transplant thought into the fertile soil of Soul.  Planted there, you are able to hear and respond to God's thoughts -- perfect and eternal -- leading you to eternal harmony. (S-8)  And, again, Truth loves us enough to "compel us all to exchange the pleasures and pains of sense for the joys of Soul." (S-10)  God -- being the good host -- ensures that we will reach the "expected end."  So, let's rejoice (even during the rugged way), ask for help, and get it! 
[P.S.S.T.  At camp Corde Hanzlik once demonstrated the benefits of transplanting a root-bound plant into a well-watered garden with the message that belief in any sense of material origin has the same stunting and depressing effects on us as it does on a root- bound plant.  What arguments of a "womb-to tomb" origin have you unwittingly been buying into and been discouraged and restricted by?  Have you accepted being "root-bound" by: the supposed hereditary problems of being born into matter?  By supposed genetic weaknesses or strengths?  By supposed family character traits -- good or bad?]

Section 3:  Soul Holds us in Life --  Rejoice in His Salvation and Deathless Being! 
To the uneducated eye, it would appear that God sends evil.  [P.S.S.T.]   God "sent" drought to Israel.  Or did He?  Where was the thought of the people - towards God? or away?  Under the influence of Queen Jezebel, the nation had turned from God and was worshipping a nature god named Ba'al.  Is it not possible that this change of direction "dried up" their ability to see the harmony that is ever present in God's kingdom?  The prophet, Elijah, was the messenger of this bad news.  Yet, he was not abandoned by God - the host of the kingdom of Soul.  He was directed to the home of a widow woman, who took care of him - a wonderful hostess, reflecting the hospitality of Soul.  In spite of all the good Elijah had witnessed, even he was tempted to believe that God could "send" evil.  [P.S.S.T.]  When the son of the widow died, Elijah was tempted to blame God.  "Did you do this, God?"  Don't we struggle with the same temptations, especially in the face of blatant injustice?  BUT, rather than wasting time on the "why," Elijah [a model for us] became refocused - re-centering his attention on Life!  Elijah took the child from the mother - away from the limited sense of mortal origin - to the elevated place (consciousness) of being in God's presence.  Elijah reached out to God and, of course, God responded.  The child lived.  (B-13) God is always responding.  It is our job to acknowledge the ever-presence of Life.
Elijah saw the spiritual evidence of Life, right where material sense claimed death. (S-11)  Rather than sending evil, the brightness of God's light reveals immortal good. (S-12)  It is logical - Soul is immortal, so man is immortal!  If man, God's reflection, could ever be separated from Life, it would mean that Life ceased to be expressed at that moment.  Suggesting there can be Life without expression is like proposing a childless Father.  That idea just doesn't work!  (S-13)  Just because the mortal senses testify to the possibility of death - stoppage of good - you don't need to believe it!  In fact, it is imperative to lose the false sense of soul (that can come and go) in order to bring to light the immortality of Life! (S-15)  Death is just one more part "of the dream that existence can be material."  Don't be fooled!  God is supreme - right here in the "so-called" physical realm, not just in an "eventual" spiritual realm.  Man is inseparable from Soul - his eternal host NOW!  If man lives (and he does), he can't die!  Life is fuller as a result of arresting the false belief that there is a material and spiritual realm - separate.  Accept NOW that "there is no death, no inaction, diseased action, overaction, nor reaction" - ever!  We will all discover this to be true at some point.  Why get sucked into the illusion?  Live now!  (S-14) 
[P.S.S.T.  As one way to demonstrate your dominion over the roller coaster ride of mortal emotions, pick out one area where you have tended to react angrily and from now on respond with the settling equanimity and understanding that "there is nothing in this world worth getting angry about."  Replace your initial reaction with a Christian Science treatment that exalts spiritual facts over surface appearances.] 

Section 4:  Soul Satisfies --  Rejoice in blessings abundant!
The crowd that had gathered to hear Jesus was huge.  The session may have gone longer than expected.  Stomachs may have been grumbling, but no one had left for lunch.  Surely, they didn't want to miss any of the good news being preached that day.  But it was getting late.  They must have been getting really hungry.  The disciples suggested the party disperse in order to get food.  But, Jesus, being the good host, insisted on feeding this multitude right there in the desert.  He had been feeding them spiritually all day, and healing them.  Now he would demonstrate that Love meets all our human needs.  Rather than looking at how LITTLE he had and wondering how to divide it in order to make it stretch, he looked at the abundance of what he HAD and multiplied it.  The crowd was satisfied (in every way) and there were left-overs [that were truly "loved overs!" (B-15)   [P.S.S.T.]  Are Soul's resources ever limited? (S-16)  No!  So, we need to get into the habit of turning to Soul (the ultimate host) for all of our needs, knowing that it is Love's great pleasure to give to Her children.  (S-17)  We never need to compete for Soul's infinite resources.  Our good is another's, and their good is ours.  Rather than coveting it, we need to recognize another's good as evidence of the good provided to ALL by Principle.  Principle never blesses just one  - but ALL!  It is scientific!  Matter is always limited.  Spirit is totally unlimited.  Spirit supplies, not matter!  Plenty of good for all! (S-19 &20)  [P.U.S.S.H.  Tibetans rejoice that if any good happens to anyone in their village, it's as if it happened to them - and they live an average of 30-40 years longer than others with a possessive and jealous mindset.  Rather than cutting yourself off from demonstrating any desired good with a jealous affirmation of "they have it and I don't" -rejoice with every advanced demonstrator of good and mental affirm "Thank You God!  That's Mine Too!"]

Section 5:  Capabilities Infinite --  Rejoice in your Unfailing Abilities!
Paul traveled extensively, apparently never tiring of sharing the good news he has learned of Christ.  We see evidence, in this particular report regarding his ministry, of his grace, his inclusiveness, and his acknowledgment of the benefit of prayer.  We begin with a benediction - may the God of hope fill all with hope that good works may be done with joy.  Paul then confirms the goodness of those (the church in Rome) whom he is addressing, expressing his confidence in their abilities.  How important, when instructing or helping others, to acknowledge their abilities to receive the Holy Ghost - to acknowledge their completeness.  Paul has journeyed many places that previously knew nothing of Christ and looks forward to visiting the Roman Christians on his way to Spain.  But, for now he is required to go to Jerusalem (not something he is excited about doing) and asks his friends in Rome to prayerfully support him.  (B-18)  Paul knew that everything he did was done through Christ -- the power of God -- and done for the purpose of glorifying God.  Shouldn't that be our motive for doing what we do, too?  And, if it is, we can expect to demonstrate the renewed strength and unlimited ability -- just as Paul did.  
Mrs. Eddy must have been speaking from personal experience when she wrote, "The highest and sweetest rest, even from a human standpoint, is in holy work." (S-22)  Holy work can take many forms.  It is doing whatever you are doing from the standpoint of bearing witness to God's infinite abilities.  Whether we are in school, on the athletic field, in business, at home, in church, or amongst strangers, as we "shape our views" [of whatever we are doing] "into loveliness, freshness, and continuity" -- rather than seeing limitation and struggle -- our work becomes holy and we are rested and refreshed by infinite Mind. (S-24)  "God rests in action." (S-22)  So, keeping thought actively engaged in bearing witness to Truth in every situation and place we find ourselves, we are continually rested - ready for the next adventure of Life!  
[P.U.S.S.H.  Whenever time in your bed is cut short, seek a higher and better rest upon your C.O.T. (Consciousness Of Truth) "The consciousness of Truth rests us more than hours of repose in unconsciousness." Science & Health 218:8]  
Our ever-present host in the
Kingdom of Soul is continually providing right ideas, the motivation to carry them through, and every detail necessary to complete the tasks before us.  [P.U.S.S.H.]  Whether apparently young or old - dismiss the "finity of error."  Proceed with joy!  [Accept the fact that] God has plans for you -- grand plans!

Section 6:  The Kingdom is HERE --  Rejoice!
Old Testament prophets told of the coming Kingdom.  Jesus teaches -- and Paul proclaims - that the Kingdom HAS come!  It is here, within the realm of consciousness.  The phrase, "kingdom of heaven" means basically "the kingship of God" or "the kingly rule of God." (Interprepter's Bible, vol.9,  p. 626)  It is the knowledge that all things are governed by God.  Understanding that "the reign of harmony in divine Science" (S-26) is present here and now, we can challenge whatever contradictory evidence the physical senses would throw at us -- whether war, destruction, disease, or discord and limitation of any kind.  Paul greets the Thessalonians with a wish of peace.  He acknowledges that they KNOW the absolute truth of things (the gospel) -- not because they have learned the right words, but because they have been touched by the power of the Holy Ghost, by the power of Love, and are filled with the assurance of Soul's government. (B-21)  Paul and his fellow missionaries gave entirely of themselves, asking for nothing in return.  They knew that those they ministered to would naturally walk "worthy of God" because it is God that had called them to HIS kingdom. (B-22)  God (Soul) has called us all to His kingdom.  We are the "guest of God." (S-30)  How natural, then, being planted in heaven, to experience the atmosphere of heaven reigning within us -- unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, and love. (S-28)  The physical senses testify to all kinds of other stuff being present in our experience, suggesting we can be uprooted and subject to the "reign of discord."  But, there can only be one supreme ruler.  You are a citizen in the Kingdom of Heaven.  You are permanently planted.  That is the FACT!  And this fact defeats the opposition - regardless of how strong it appears to be.  Stick to the facts and rejoice in the loving care of your Heavenly Host!  (S-27)  "The kingdom of heaven IS at hand"!  (B-23)  [P.S.S.T. A Merriam Webster online dictionary definition of pilgrim is "one traveling to a shrine or holy place."  It's wonderful that Jesus told us that that holy place, "the kingdom of God is within you!"  (Luke 17:21)  Choose a goal for today from your pilgrim marching orders in Christian Science Hymn 278:1-3
1. "
Pilgrim on earth, home and heaven are within thee,  Heir of the ages and child of the day.  Cared for, watched over, beloved and protected, Walk thou with courage each step of the way."
2. Truthful and steadfast though trials betide thee, Ever one thing do thou ask of thy Lord, Grace to go forward, wherever He guide thee, Gladly obeying the call of His word. 
3. Healed is thy hardness, His love hath dissolved it, Full is the promise, the blessing how kind; So shall His tenderness teach thee compassion, So all the merciful, mercy shall find.
"]

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" and Homework offered by me as editor and sometimes by the author]. 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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