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Wrestle with the A (Angel) Team till you Find your Identity in Soul, Not in Body!

Dan Carnesciali C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, May 19th, 2008

Wrestle with the "A" (Angel) Team till you Find your Identity in Soul, Not in Body!
Metaphysical application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Soul and Body," May 28, 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 or Tuesday 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.

Do you have a difficult task coming up, maybe a tough test? or a healing that's been delayed? You can accomplish it (without as much struggle) with help from your "A" team of Angels who are ready to bless you with a spiritual sense of your identity.

Golden Text:
Glorify God with your whole heart and with your whole being. "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Responsive Reading:
Soul is joyful, in tune, fluent, beautiful, youthful, happy, healed, satisfied, saved, unselfed, calm, encouraged, untouched, poised, creative, inspired, inspirational, refreshed, original, and glad. What other attributes of Soul can you think of?

Section 1 - Temples
Soul is the divine Being. Your identity is an expression of Soul, not a human creation. The human body is not your identity. Your individuality is maintained and preserved by Soul. (S3) Soul is eternally expressed and this is what gives God's idea permanent dominion over matter and material conditions. Would Soul be infinite if you were incomplete, or if you did not exist? (S4)

God wants you to know His true nature (Soul) and your true nature (spiritual selfhood, spiritual sense). (B1) While in Athens, Paul boldly declared that God does not need to be worshipped through anything made with hands. The Athenians worshipped in temples dedicated to their gods and erected statues to their gods. Worshipping things materially is worshipping material substance. It is idolatry.

You are an expression of divine Being. You are not a human mind/personality, or a mind in a structure. Soul is all. You are not a human mind having a spiritual experience. That would put matter into Spirit. (B2) As a spiritual idea, you live and move, and exist in Him. You are God-made. You are part of one heavenly family. Paul states that your purpose is to seek Him and find Him. (B3) Why isn't it more widely accepted that man is spiritual? First, material sense doesn't get it. It sees only itself. Second, the human ego is convinced that it, not Spirit, is a creator, a personality, identity. This is a denial of Soul. The purpose of every man and every nation is to express God-good to the fullest. (B5)

Are you wondering how life can be spiritual, when you live in a material body? Why do you see yourself as a living in a material form? Material man is not the embodiment, or manifestation of Soul. "Material sense defines all things materially, and has a finite [limited] sense of the infinite." (S6) Although mortal mind does not perceive anything beyond matter, that does not mean that Soul does not exist. Soul is eternal and matter is doomed to extinction. Does reality change, or does perception change? Originally, mankind believed that the universe revolved around the earth. In the 16th century Copernicus was able to prove that the earth and the other planets revolve around the Sun. Yep, perception came into line with science.

Put another way, if an eagle is raised with a brood of chickens it may think that it was made to peck the ground. What would keep it from stretching its wings and flying? Right, only the limited perception that it was a chicken. Soul gives you an infinite appreciation of your unlimited abilities. Stretch your wings and soar.

Section 2 - Jacob Restored by Wrestling with the "A" (Angel) team!
It was a rotten thing for Jacob to steal his brother's inheritance. Jacob sinned, and he suffered for it. He lived in fear that his brother was going to find him and end his life. Jacob suffered from the belief that evil can proceed from good, or good can proceed from evil. (See S&H 356:25) Jacob's deception made him deceivable. In Genesis 29, you can read about how Jacob worked for his father-in-law Laban seven years to be able to marry Rachel, whom he was in love with. However, Laban tricked him and Jacob found he was married to Laban's other daughter, Leah. Jacob worked another seven years to marry Rachel.

Although he was afraid for his family, Jacob decided it was right to seek reconciliation with his brother. The night before meeting his brother, he went off alone to pray. Jacob had lived with his guilt for a long time. Did the healing come easily? No! A mighty struggle was needed to throw off the belief of sin and gullibility. He fought for all he was worth through the night and His spiritual sense was restored by Soul. He was thoroughly cleansed of his mortal history and started over with a new name, Israel. (B7)

Are all thoughts that come to you real? How can you determine which thoughts to listen to? Do not accept thoughts based on how loudly or how often they come, but by their source and their effect. Sometimes the most important thoughts come to us as a whisper. Although quiet, they are valid, relevant, and good. (S8) Error presents the "mortal sense of life, substance and intelligence as existent in matter with its false pleasures and pains." (S9) It will ultimately become clear that man is not a material body and mind united, nor a mind in body. (S10)

Section 3 - Hearts on Fire
Ancient Hebrews had varied beliefs about heart. They believed it was the location of the self (soul) or the mind, the center of emotions, and where intelligence emanated from. (The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible) What does the Bible say about heart? "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:" In other words, you tend to experience what you believe. If this is true, then it would be wise to take the advice given in Philippians to keep our minds full of justice, purity, love, virtue, praise, etc. (B13) Understanding this, Mary Baker Eddy guided us, "Beloved Christian Scientists, keep your minds so filled with Truth and Love, that sin, disease, and death cannot enter them. It is plain that nothing can be added to the mind already full." (My 210: 2-5) Heart is the focus of your thought, your intent.

To Soul, harmony is not an exception, it is the rule. (S12) Harmony in man is as beautiful as in music, and discord is unnatural, unreal. (304:20) The material body is a collection of human thoughts. There has never been a human body that was not the product of thought. There has never been thought that was not subject to divine Mind. (S14)

Section 4 - "Hold yourself superior to sin" (S&H 231:20, citation #21)
Proverbs is a book of wisdom. It is a very important book of the Bible. It has practical life skills, which have been handed down through centuries. This wisdom is a sacred trust handed down to the early Christians and now to us. (Interpreter's Commentary)

It is wrong to be self-absorbed. However, is it wrong to love yourself? No, it is wise to love yourself as God does. (B12) Sin causes one to injure himself. The human ego goes through cycles of self-love, self-hatred, and self-abuse. (B13) Jesus especially loved those who needed him most. He referred to them as sheep without a shepherd. He had compassion on them. Compassion means a "deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with a [desire] to relieve it." (American Heritage Dictionary) (B14) Jesus fed his flock with spiritual truths. Those truths continue to nourish us today.

Sin causes suffering. To overcome sin, there must be a desire to be free of sin, and a willingness to face it. It must first be seen and admitted. Then, it must be thoroughly forsaken. Then its nothingness can be seen. (B15)

"Therefore, prepare your minds for action, be sober and set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Yeshua the Messiah ... but just as he who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all of your behavior; because it is written, "You shall be holy; for I am holy."" (Hebrew Names Version) You can overcome judgmental, cynical, depressed, or critical tendencies, which are forms of self-hatred. (B16)

Section 5 - No Waiting For Healing
God does not abhor (despise, reject) you. Love loves you. Soul abhors anything unlike itself. Therefore, error cannot be allowed to go on unchallenged. Truth arrests error, and destroys it. (B17) Can an unclean life be cleaned up? "[I will] sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: And I will put my spirit within you and cause you to walk ... I will save you from all your uncleannesses." (B18)

Uncleanness can also be translated as pollution. Pollution can be thought of as disease. We can deny the dream of disaster for the victims of earthquake in China and of the cyclone in Burma. "Insist vehemently on the great fact which covers the whole ground, that God, Spirit, is all, and that there is none beside Him. There is no disease." (421:15-18 to second .)

Jesus said to the man who had been immobile for 38 years, "Rise, take up they bed, and walk." Was this man's immediate recovery a miracle? (B20) Our Master Christian healed paralysis, gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf by understanding Soul is a spiritual emanation of Soul. (S22) Jesus was not setting aside law. He was practicing the absolute law of Spirit. He was "[bringing] to light the scientific action of the divine Mind on human minds and bodies." (S22) God's existence is perpetual and He perpetuates these qualities in man. With this understanding, Jesus blew away the belief of chronic (long-standing, continuing, habitual, recurring frequently) disease. Stubborn fear and ignorance yielded to divine Being (Soul).

Section 6 - Be Ye Transformed
"No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, [has called us]. I hope all of you who are mature Christians will agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you." (New Living Translation) "The prize consists, not in a present achievement, but in the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Interpreter's Commentary)

Paul believed that full dominion over the body was a present possibility, and he practiced that. (B22) When bitten by the venomous viper, he shook it off, did not consent to venom. When faced with sickness, know with your whole heart that everything about you is completely Godlike, not subject to popular beliefs. (B23)

By God's grace we are all deserving of healing. Nothing real hinders healing. In Soul, there is nothing noxious, obstructive, or malignant. Having said that, we should be patient and compassionate towards those who are sick. Otherwise, we would make a reality of it and be on the same plane of thought.

"Man is the expression of Soul." The spiritual origin of man is Soul. Man is as perfect, as indestructible as Life, as joyful as Soul, as strong as Spirit. (S30)
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The weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers & staff blessed each summer at CEDARS, as well as to CEDARS alumni, families and 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.

PLEASE TELL BOTH FRIENDS AND SUNDAY SCHOOL FAMILIES! HELP US LET A SPECIAL $29,000 NEED and CORRESPONDING SPIRITUAL GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES BE KNOWN: With the belief of an economic slow-down, home mortgage challenges and high fuel prices, about $80,000 more for campership will be needed this summer than was granted for 2007. Thanks to recent gifts from generous Board members and other supporters "only" $29k is still needed by June to assure the attendance of all the 2008 campers who are eager to come! PLEASE LET POTENTIAL CAMPERS KNOW OF THIS PROVISION OF LOVE that is daily being loved into view!
Your needed and very welcome, tax-deductible support can be mailed to:
CEDARS Campership Fund
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 the "Possible Sunday School Topics" and Homework options 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 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

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Possible Sunday School Topics and Application Ideas
by Warren Huff
for the May 24, 2008 lesson: "SOUL AND BODY,"
"Wrestle with the "A" (Angel) Team till you Find your Identity in Soul, Not in Body!"

P.U.S.H. Possible Uplifting Sunday School Homework: Take note of the "body worship" that is so widespread in today's advertising and culture, but do not let it dominate your thought. Wake up to this 1st Commandment challenge: "whatever you think about most is your God." Listen to your "A" team of Angels to stop thinking most about the size, shape, condition and weight of your body and its parts and about the bodies and body parts of others and refocus thought on what is lasting, real and substantial. Value each one's unique spiritual identity by staying focused on the expression of spiritual qualities.

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T - Golden Text]
Consider asking each Sunday School student (or church member) to share an example of how they were able to turn the focus of thought away from worshipping the human body toward glorifying and serving God.

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T - Responsive Reading] The body's main strength and weakness seems to be the heart, since heart disease is reported to be "still the #1 killer." This Bible lesson, that is designed to uplift and heal our sense of body, addresses heart issues in the 3rd section (B9, B10, S13, S16) and in the Responsive Reading: "The troubles of my heart are enlarged: bring ... me out of my distresses. . I will praise God with all my heart." (Ps. 25:17, 86:12) Identify and discuss your efforts that are only "half-hearted." Counteract and heal this most prevalent heart challenge early and often by expressing wholehearted joy from God and giving wholehearted effort in all that you do. ("Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily!" Col. 3:23) Come up with ways to "put your whole self in," because "that's what it's all about!" (from the "Hokey Pokey" song at CedarS Square Dances)

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T - Section 1] Sunday School students who are finalizing college plans, or just starting to think about them, might want to discuss:. "he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live." (B3, Acts 17:26 New International Version) How does "free choice" square up with this truth and with Mrs. Eddy's correlative statement that God "guides every event of our careers?" (Unity of Good 3:28) Knowing that "in him we live and move and have our being," (B3, Acts 17:28) we can confidently affirm that DNA's predestination and enslavement of the body Does Not Apply! List the ways that DNA and matter claim to govern us and read this passage in Science and Health: "This human view infringes man's free moral agency, ... The doctrine that man's harmony is governed by physical conditions all his earthly days, and that he is then thrust out of his own body by the operation of matter, -- even the doctrine of the superiority of matter over Mind is fading out." (S&H 150: 22)
All of us who are moving our bodies about and some of us who will soon be moving our offices and summer homes, will be blessed by the recognition that our whole being and all our movements are "in him." (B3) Discuss the freedom flowing from the idea that we are "not dependent ... upon muscles and bones for locomotion" ("the power of moving from place to place," Merriam-Webster Online)" (S&H 84:21)

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T - Section 2] Discuss the value of being very persistent in a challenging situation. (This life lesson is often learned at camp and in athletics.) Look at the results of Jacob holding out for his needed "makeover" and refusing to let an angel message go until it blessed him. (See S8 and "A Makeover with Soul," a great article about this Bible lesson by Jill Aaron on page 21 of the May 19, 2008 Christian Science Sentinel.) What angel has come to you this week that you too will refuse to release until you are permanently blessed and healed?

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T - Section 3] Is what you think (your mental and metaphysical fitness) important to your body and your physical fitness? Consider the tagline at the end of a friend's emails: "Thoughts become things... choose the good ones!" Unhandled fears and worries lead to stress which is one of the hardest things for the body to endure day-in and day-out. "Sickness, disease and death proceed from fear." (S15, S&H 260:21) With those who learn from object lessons and parables, share a bar of Dial soap and the concept that "there is nothing more stress-free than a reflection, or a Divine Image And Likeness, because it doesn't have to originate anything." (CedarS 1980 theme) Stop the stress of worry by keeping your heart and thoughts full of gratitude, since "worry is nothing but ingratitude in advance." (W. Huff) How can you follow Paul's guideline to the Philippians for thinking on "whatever is true," when there are so many lies out there? How can you only stick to "whatever is honest," when it sometimes seems easier or even kinder to tell "a white lie?" How can you focus on "whatever is just," when there seems to be so much injustice? How can you cherish "whatever is pure," when sensuality, body worship and impurity seem to be what your peers think is cool? How can you stay optimistic only featuring "whatever is of good report," constantly accentuating harmony," when bad news and inharmony steal the headlines and our attention? (Misc. 206:20 and B11, Phil. 4:8)

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T - Section 4] As CedarS has its first archery classes of the season over Memorial Weekend Family Camp, there will be impersonal discussions of "sin," the Greek archery term for "missing the mark" and of how to avoid the frustration of stray arrows. Let's make sure that our Sunday School discussions of how to avoid the sins of the day are just as open, non-judgmental, and helpful as are a counselor's tips for keeping archery efforts on-target. Let's regard the Ten Commandments as ways to consistently hit the target of freedom from moral slavery, rather than as reprimands for "missing the mark." In TMCYouth.com Sunday School podcasts on the "First Lessons," Barry Huff likens the Ten Commandments to signs saying you have freedom to skate on any part of the frozen lake, but you'd better watch out for these 10 areas where the ice is thin. To avoid the thin ice of any type of lack-based lust or adult-ery (7th Commandment), many students have found a helpful and frequent "A" (angel) team reminder to be: "In God I have everything I need, and I know it!" Remember this part of Mrs. Eddy's definition of "Angels. God's thoughts ... counteracting all ... sensuality." (S8, S&H 581:4)

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T - Section 5] Discuss the unique "A" (Angel) team ideas in this section that: 1) all "ailments" are "not bodily, but mental" (S26, S&H 382:32); meaning that, to metaphysicians, 2) healing comes from the inside out, not from the outside in, as "matter-physicians" (Mis. 81:6) think; and that 3) not hygiene, but God alone "will save you from all your uncleannesses." (B18, Ezek. 36:29) These ideas fit with Jesus' advice to the crippled man who he healed instantaneously after the man had waited for 38 years next to the pool of Bethesda: "Go and sin no more lest a worse thing come unto thee". (B20, John 5:14) Do you have a delayed healing that you are working on? Or that a friend is working through? In a passage left out of this part of the lesson, Jesus asks the longtime cripple: "Are you really ready to be well and made whole," (John 5: 6) leaving behind comfortable patterns of dependency and support? Let's refuse to get stuck in a rut, which is just a grave with the ends kicked out! (Read "Say Goodbye to Allergies" by Gwen Beacham on page 8 of myBibleLesson.com to see how an "A" team message instantly healed her of a longtime allergy.)

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T - Section 6] CedarS created a "Tire Traversal" play element over Crown Lake to illustrate the one essential element of a perfect mindset: "forgetting those things that are behind, and reaching forth unto those things that are before." (B21, Phil. 3:13) CedarS "Tire Traversal" is composed of 29 tires hanging on long ropes from an aircraft cable stretched over a cove of the lake. The only way to get from one bank of the cove to the other is to start swinging and be ready to release (forget) your present tire at the exact moment that you can reach out and grab the next tire. Remember the bodily benefits and overall blessings of forgiveness, the next time you seem content to just hang in there and "stew in your own juices."

This lesson features the awesome closure of three letters (B21, B22, B23) written by Paul, the most well known, "makeover" character in the New Testament. Like Jacob in the Old Testament, he changed his name right along with his nature. Our Saul to Paul transformer urged the Romans and us: "Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould." (B22, Rom. 12:2, J.B. Phillips translation) How is the world trying to squeeze you into conformity with its matter-based expectations and standards? Are you resisting the constant pressure of music, conversation and visual images to influence your moods, values, standards, and ideals in ways that contradict your real spiritual identity? If not, these attitudes, that seem to be expressing the nonconformity of your generation, affect your conduct in ways that lead to the ultimate conformity of being squeezed into the world's mold. So, keep wrestling with the "A" (Angel) team messages till you find your identity in Soul, NOT in body!
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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!

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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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