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Daily Search God's "Face to face book(s)" to Really Connect!

Dan Carnesciali C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Daily Search God's "FACE TO FACE BOOK(S)" to Really Connect!
Metaphysical application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?" for April 13, 2008
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 each week, or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French from Pascal, in Spanish from Ana or in German by Gabriele. JUST SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters

Is it possible to conquer sin? Is it possible to triumph over death? Is there anything that cannot be healed? Let's find out!

Golden Text:
Jacob crossed the Jabbok River, a tributary of the Jordan with beautiful blue waters. He stopped for the night and had an encounter with "a man" (an angel). The two wrestled all night. It was a tough fight, but Jacob ultimately subdued his perception of himself as a sinful man. As you remember, acting out that false identity, Jacob had previously tricked his brother Esau and stolen his birthright, and then had been tricked by his father-in-law, Laban.

But, now all that was behind him. As the morning dawned, a realization dawned on Jacob. He was free. In recognition of this dramatic change, his name was changed to Israel. Possible meanings of the name Israel are successful, happy. (Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible) Jacob saw God face to face and his life was saved. He felt that connection to God, and to t"he divine idea or Christ" which "antedated Abraham."  (S&H 333:29-334:3)

What is stopping you from putting your mistakes behind you? As you can see, it is only a question of identity.

Responsive Reading:
The psalmist was so hungry to see God face to face, to be able to know his real nature. The following was inspired by the Responsive Reading.
I am seeking You and finding fearlessness. I am seeking You and finding freedom from matter. I am praising You and finding the delivering of my soul from death. I am ready to listen. Teach me; give me understanding. Hear my patient pleas for help. God, hear me. I'm seeking You. I know You are here. God, You rock!

Section 1 - God is First
Is your sense of life stuck in the subjective as reality, or is God's face present in your thought?
"Search for the Lord and for his strength, and keep on searching." (New Living Translation) (B1) God is declaring Himself. He is revealing Himself to us through the revelation of the Bible. He is saying "I'm a Savior, I am just. There is none like Me. I am infinite, so there is nothing unlike Me. There can't be." (B2) "You are mine. We're a family. Know that I love you. Don't worship other gods. You are made to worship Me, good." (B3) The word translated as witness can also mean evidence, so you are the eternal evidence of the eternal God.


How do the First and Second Commandments apply to life in the 21st century? When you really need redemption and healing, when you are at rock bottom, you sure don't want your perception of God to be vain, do you? Vain means hollow, empty, of no real value, ineffectual, unsuccessful. If you curse good, you are denying good. This commandment has a lot more to do with our state of thought than just our choice of words. (B4)

The First Commandment (putting God first) seems especially relevant in today's age of cellphones, texting, instant messaging, and facebook.com. We live in an age of abundant communication. We're more connected than ever before, but in a way we're more isolated. If we're not careful, our busy lives, including answer constant communications, leave us little or no time or desire to commune with our Father-Mother. Try to put everything aside and give Him five minutes of undivided attention today. (B4)

The Bible Lesson brings out our dominion over disease, death and sin. You have the divine right and ability to demonstrate health, holiness, and eternal life. (S1) It is amazing the shift that occurs when we let go of the belief that God makes evil or makes man capable of suffering from evil. (S5) (See 475:28)

Section 2 - Undefeated
Sometimes it is hard to discern our real self. In the Adam dream, we put on a material persona. That persona, or second self, acts out sin, disease, and death. Persona is Latin for "mask."
The world needs you, even if it doesn't know it yet, and even if you don't know it yet. Life has great purpose for you. "I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness." (B6) (Revised Standard Version)

What is it that tries to pull you down and accept problems? Isn't it the Adam dream, also known as mortality. In the Adam dream we struggle, we get sick, we lose our temper, we deny good. In the Adam dream we grow old and die. But wait, Christ shouts, "Child of God, wake up, you are not in that dream! You are not a dreamer. You are not in the pit of matter." In Christ shall all be made alive. Christ will triumph over every enemy. Thanks be to God which gives us, and will give us, full victory. (B8) If you feel you are a failure or are failing, do not despair. God is reassuring you that you are not a failure, that healing is possible. In fact, healing is inevitable.

Nothing can rise higher than its source. Love and joy have an infinite source, that source being God. Healing and truth have an infinite source. Images of sickness, financial troubles, and relationship problems do not have any such source. (S7)
Mortal man, presented by the Adam dream, is fleshly. He continually struggles with sin, disease, and death. Thankfully you are not a mortal! You are spiritual man, which Christ presents. This man is in full harmony with his Maker and by reflection has dominion over all the earth. (S11)

Section 3 - Sin Does not Have Dominion Over You
Right where the face of sin seems to be, discern the face of God instead.
"I have gone astray like a lost sheep;" Sheep are meek, blameless creatures. However, on their own they are helpless. So, they need protection and guidance. They know their need and listen for the voice of their shepherd and follow him. The loving shepherd seeks the sheep that are lost, and leads them back to the flock. (B10)

To overcome sin, know that you are deeply loved. Don't fear, but through Christ be strong. (B11) God does not judge you. He supports you. He didn't give sin dominion over you. He gave you dominion over sin. He made you free of sin, and wants you to realize that you are free of sin. (B12) "And because we belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death." (B13) (New Living Translation)

"When speaking of God's children, not the children of men, Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of God is within you;'" (S13) Science and Health truly presents the inspired Word of the Bible. Jesus' statement that the kingdom of God is within us makes so much more sense when you understand that he was talking about God's child, not a mortal.

Sin and mortality are without origin or existence. They exist only in the ignorance of the human mind. Sins do not have a Principle; they are not permanent. You will ultimately learn this and be free. (S14) "To fear sin [sickness, and death] is impossible, when you fully apprehend God and know that they are no part of His creation." (S16) "I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken from it. God does [it], that men should fear before Him." (Eccl 3:14 - New King James Version)

Section 4 - Lives of Authority
God's blessing, his face, is shining on us. This presence of love is dissolving the hold disease seems to have on us. (B14) Praise good (God). Put your trust in good (God). Honor good (God); do not fear flesh (matter). Know that your enemies (doubts and fears) are done. When you do these things know that your enemies (doubts and fears) will run away. You will see that the Almighty is on your side! (These steps require great willingness on our part.) (B15)

The author of the book Matthew was very interested in Jesus' healings. So widespread were these healings that many people witnessed God's healing power. (B16) Jesus gave his disciples power "over all devils and to cure diseases." One could take the view that Jesus anointed the twelve to heal. Or, one could take the view that it was Christ's teachings that authorized and empowered them to heal. (B17)

"One disease is no more real than another." (S17) What we call disease is not a condition of matter, but a state of human thought. Being thought, it can be changed and corrected by the power of Love. Whether the condition is a toothache or tumor, the same Principle, Love, is present and in effect to dissolve it. That same Principle has been in operation in every Christian Science healing. Mortal mind, the mind which experiences disease, which created the disease, is more alarmed by certain images than others. Yes, as illogical as it sounds, mortal mind is afraid of itself. However, reason is rightly directed, corrects the errors of human ignorance. (S19) One way to break the illusion is to pause, wait on God. (See S&H 323:10)  Rather than praying up a storm, let God direct your prayers. Even if you feel like your prayers are right on track, pause frequently and wait a moment for God's direction. This helps you find spiritual solutions much more quickly. As the believability of sickness fades away, healing comes to light. (S20)

Section 5 - Death Healed

The "darkness" the people were walking in is described in the preceding chapter of Isaiah. The people were resorting to magic and conjuring up the spirits of the dead (spiritualism) to attempt to reveal the future, or influence future events. In other words, the people were looking to the dead for guidance, instead of to the living God. (B18) How do you typically start your day? What if you focused on being conscious of God (looking at His face), when starting your day? Can being good satisfy you, or do you need something beyond God? (B19)

Being a ruler of the synagogue, Jairus was taking a risk to come to Jesus and ask him to come to his house. However, he was at the end of his rope. His only daughter, who was 12 years old, was dying. Jairus fell to his knees and begged Jesus to come to his house. Jesus comforted Jairus and told him not to afraid, but to believe and she would be healed. (B20) What did Jesus mean by "believe?" The Greek word is "pisteo," which means to place confidence in, to be persuaded something is really true. "You may vary the arguments to meet the peculiar or general symptoms of the case you treat, but be thoroughly persuaded in your own mind concerning the truth which you think or speak, and you will be the victor." (S&H 412:5)

"Life is real, and death is the illusion." (S23) That's a bold statement. In the superb biography Mary Baker Eddy: Christian Healer you can read about several instances when Mrs. Eddy brought people back to life. These healings were often witnessed by several different people. She related the following experience to Henry Robinson. "One little child was put into my hands. I did not come soon enough. Utterly helpless, utterly prostrated, and the doctors said he was gone. The little arms hung down, and it looked limp as a corpse, no appearance of life. I could not feel the pulse. The mother was crying and said, ‘He is dead; you have come too late.' I said, ‘Go out a little while.' She did and that little creature rose right up, yawned and rubbed his eyes. I set him down. He walked to the door and his mother took him." (Mary Baker Eddy: Christian Healer, pg. 229)

Section 6 - Life is Your Life
God made us. He is our Life. All that is good and true is Life. (B21) We are saved by His grace. His face is shining on us. His good is coming to us and unfolding to our consciousness. (B22)

"I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress, and my deliverer, ... I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies." (New American Standard Bible) (B23)

"I love you, God- you make me strong. God is bedrock under my feet, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight ... I sing to God, the Praise-Lofty, and find myself safe and saved." (The Message) (B23)

Like St. John, let us witness this "new heaven and new earth" where there is no parting, no pain, where the former things have passed away and all things are new. (S30) Man puts off experiencing heaven, however, didn't Jesus say, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand?" However, the tense of the Greek "egizzo" means that it "describes an action which is viewed as having been completed in the past, once and for all ..." (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance) [Rejoice! We are fighting a defeated foe!]

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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 here to read fruitage due to your help; to review current Operational needs; and to see our Annual Appeal. Click http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving for more about how you can give online or 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, 1314 Parkview Valley Drive, Manchester, MO 63011

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 I put my "Possible Sunday School Topics" and Homework options on the following page - after the practitioner's application ideas.) 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 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. Have fun unwrapping, cherishing and sharing your special, spiritual gift(s)! Enjoy!
Warren Huff, Camp Director, director@cedarscamps.org (636) 394-6162

Possible Sunday School Topics, Homework & Application Ideas for 4/7 -4/13/08 offered by Warren Huff, Director

Possible Sunday School Topics [P.S.S.T. -Golden Text]   A large number of our older Sunday School students join their peers each week in spending a significant amount of time and effort seeking connections with new and old friends on Facebook.com or other social networking sites. Let's each challenge ourselves this week to first spend uninterupted, face-to-face time with our "best. ... ever Friend" (CS Hymnal #224:1) Your best and ever, all-networked Friend is also "all-knowing, all-acting, all-wise, all loving" and eager to bless you with supreme happiness. (See definition of God -S&H 587:5 for more views of God's face) 

You might want to give your Sunday School class a roll of Cherry or Wint-o-green "Life Savers" this week. Challenge them to put one in their mouth only after they have paused to catch a glimpse of God's nature (face).  You can remind them that the sweetness and invigoration they'll experience from prioritizing "face time" with God lasts far longer than anything put in their mouth.  (GT "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved (saved)." (Gen. 32:30) 

Possible Uplifting Sunday School Homework (P.U.S.S.H.)  As part of your "spiritual profile update," daily feel and affirm that it is God's "Facebooks" (The Bible & Science and Health) and the Word  contained therein that truly "enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them." ("Daily Prayer," Church Manual 41)  We can find deliverance from the many masks or false faces of  "sin, disease and death" by affirming the "Lord's Prayer and its spiritual interpretation."   (S&H 16:28 - 17:15)  Picture how the "all-harmonious, Adorable One" is reflected in individual ways by you and your friends. You'll treasure the "grace for to-day" you receive so you can "feed the famished affections."   (Feeding famished affections is an underlying goal of social networking sites that cannot truly be fulfilled on a merely human level.)  God's "grace for to-day" will enable you to freely give and receive compliments ("Superlatives") and hugs and feel the inner fullness and steady, warm glow of seeing God face to face, and yourself as His/Her "Divine Image And Likeness."

Possible Sunday School Topics (P.S.S.T. - Responsive Reading)  -- Think about what it means to have God as the leader of your fan club.  "God is for you"  (Ps. 56:9, RR and B15)  On many CedarS T-shirts is printed the shorthand version of this, as said by God directly to you: I M 4 U ("I am for you."   Ezekiel 36:9)    Knowing how much God loves you will make you want to "seek His face" throughout each day.  With this perspective, try seeing and discussing the Commandments (RR and B4, Ex. 20) of "the great architect" (S&H 68:5) as divine specifications meant to guarantee the lasting quality of his creation.   See 1st section.   

(P.S.S.T. -1st s.)  One way to "seek his face continually"  (B1, I Chron. 16:11) is to celebrate as freedoms (not bemoan as restrictions) the wonderful guarantees and laws that God gives us in the 10 Commandments (B4, Ex. 20:2-5) The 1st Commandment to the Jews is verse 2 of Exodus 20 about bringing them out of the house of bondage.  It precedes the commandment that Christians regard as the 1st commandment.  To gain new insights and application ideas about this, listen to the podcasts about each of the 10 Commandments at http://www.tmcyouth.com/downloads/audio/huff-commandments-00.mp3. 

Think about the fact that many facebook profiles focus on images that can become obsessive on the body and so become "graven images"  (Forbidden by the 2nd commandment)   You may want to challenge yourself and your Sunday School class with this statement and question by one of my SS teachers:   "Whatever you think about most is your God."  What are you thinking about most, and so worshipping?

(P.S.S.T. -2nd s.)  Christ Jesus gave us an "about face" (a complete turnaround) from the Adam-dream with its nightmarish masks of "original sin, sickness and death"  (S9). He showed us that we are created and forever "linked  by Science"  to "our divine sonship," as  the "Divine Image And Likeness."   (B8, S9, S10,. S11)  Are you earnestly seeking new views of your divine nature (true face) that will bring grace, healing, love and joy to you, your friends, family and groups?  If not, why not?  Jesus didn't want us to keep our gifts to ourselves.  He said, and Mrs. Eddy choose to remind us as our cross & crown motto: "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give"  (B9, Matt. 10:8, CedarS 2008 theme)

(P.S.S.T. -3rd s.)  Welcome to a camp archery class!  In Greek "missing the mark" (target) is called sin, our first mask to remove.  It's more desirable and easy to remove this mask when it is seen as just an off-target mistake.  Practice of proper technique keeps our arrows true, in a tight cluster around the "bullseye" (and our balls in the hoop or in the strike zone).  Dedicated practice with uninterupted focus, smooth motion and consistent release all lead to repeatable success in every area of life.  There's a related Greek sports term ("diabolos") that literally means "to try to throw or shoot something in opposites directions at the same time."  An imaginary devil, "Diabolos," would have us attempt such an impossible task.  Imagine a basketball player at the "charity stripe" trying to make a free throw at opposite ends of the court at the same time!  How would sin have us divide our focus and oppose our true "face?"

(P.S.S.T. 4th s.) Here's one way to more easily peel off the mask of dis -ease,  or lack of ease in the body.  Physical scientists say that the human body would fit on the head of a pin, if all the space is removed between ts electrons, neutrons and protons.  And these atomic particles are themselves made up of 99.9% space. So, on that pinhead, can you pinpoint the pain or trouble in a physical body part?  In short it is not a physical problem, because you are a spiritual idea, not a material being.  As Mrs. Eddy brilliantly puts it the "Scientific Statement of Being,"  "Man is not material, he is spiritual."  (S&H 468:8-15)    She also says: "Matter disappears under the microscope of Spirit."  (S&H 264: 21)  This unmasking brings healing by seeing God Face to face.  Remember God tells you:  I M 4 U  (B15, Ps. 56:9)

P.S.S.T. -5th s.)  Here's a fun, personal proof that the face of death is unreal!  When our daugther was in grade school, she had a rabbit named Jane. Just as we were moving back home from camp, Jane stopped breathing and was cold and stiff for several hours.   In the lesson that week was this Science and Health citation: "A blundering despatch, mistakenly announcing the death of a friend, occasions the same grief that the friend's real death would bring. ... Another despatch, correcting the mistake, heals your grief, and you learn that your suffering was merely the result of your belief."  (S&H 386:16)  We had talked about this idea during the week and so didn't go into grief mode at all.  Instead, on the drive home Holly held Jane and sang to her as we all affirmed her life to be ongoing and uninterupted, "perfect, undefiled, an avenue for everything good and pure and true."  (From the "Treatment Song" mentioned in a recent  PSST).  Not only was Jane restored to life during our drive home, but she also had a major character transformation to become very sweet instead of being the vicious, "attack rabbit" that she had always been before.   

Cobbey Crisler pointed out that Jesus exercised a wise method in making the paid  mourners laugh.  They were then able to be fired and put out when they laughed instead of cried. This elevated the atmosphere of thought for the raising of the dead.  This week how can you use humor to break any dull and dead-end moods and help bring about healing?
 
(P.S.S.T. -6th s.)  Mrs. Eddy told us how John stayed focused on the true (facebook) images of his friends and even of his supposed enemies.  She challenges us to visualize perfection here and now, as did "the Revelator:"   "Have you ever pictured this heaven and earth, inhabited by beings under the control of supreme wisdom?"  (S28, 91:1)   Picture all drivers in traffic this way.  Who else do you need to see in this way today?  Have fun in face to face encounters with "Immortal Mind" (that) "feeds the body with supernal freshness and fairness, supplying (uploading)it with beautiful images of thought and destroying the woes of sense which each day brings to as nearer tomb."  (S&H 248:8)

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The Spiritual Activist Summits sponsored by the Mother Church (TMCYouth) on April weekends are an important part of the "one grand brotherhood" of the Christian Science Movement. Please help spread the word and support them "with one heart and one soul." (Acts 4:32) Encourage and even underwrite the attendance of all the 12-30 year olds who you know! You can find the details at a new webpage link http://www.tmcyouth.com/blogs/events/four-spiritual-summits/ Or, for a downloadable PDF flyer about the 3 remaining events in LA, DC and London click on or go to http://www.tmcyouth.com/docs/spiritual-summits-upcoming.pdf]

Go to www.myBibleLesson.com to check out this 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 Monday of each week by subscribing - or unsubscribing via left menu at http://www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters

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CedarS 2008 theme: "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the leper, cast out demons: Freely you have received, freely give!" (Matthew 10:8)

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