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Reason from (perfect) Cause to (perfect) effect!

Dan Carnesciali C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Reason from perfect Cause to perfect effect!
Metaphysical application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "God the Only Cause and Creator," June 8, 2008 by Dan Carnesciali, CS of Ballwin, MOfrom Cause to effect

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.

This Bible lesson helps us understand that God's creation is entirely Godlike. Human reason attempts to reason from effect to cause and the results are very, very confusing. In ancient Greece and Rome, it was understood that unseen forces rather then men were in control of events. (See 469:20-28)   Let us always start our reasoning from one perfect Cause to perfect effect - "perfect God and perfect man, -- as the basis of thought and demonstration!" (Science & Health 259:12)

Golden Text:
Fruit and works are themes throughout this lesson. Fruit means result, outcome, profit, and effect. It is the root of the word fruition, meaning the realization or enjoyment of desired results. Work means accomplishment, a productive activity. "Faith without works is dead." (James 2:26)

Responsive Reading:
Psalms 33 is a poem of God's trustworthy works. The earth is not full of danger, pollution, poverty and war. It "is full of the goodness of the Lord." This is God's Word (promise). God created mountains, hills, fruitful trees and cedars. God brings forth what is necessary to prosper the animals, plants, and man. Lebanon Cedar trees can reach 130 feet high! They were used by the Phoenicians for shipbuilding and by the Jews in King Solomon's temple in Jerusalem. God creates and renews the face of the earth. God is renewing your life, your hope, your health.

Section 1 - Good Cause, Only Good Effect
God did not create Earth and heaven in vain, without purpose. (Vain means empty.)  He brought the Earth forth to be inhabited, appreciated and nurtured.  He who created the Earth declares, "I am the Lord; and there is none else."  The Earth is his declaration, His fruit, His works.  There is no other entity, power or presence. (B1)

Good is God to all, and God is good to all. Just as the sun shines equally on good and evil people, God's love embraces everyone, not just those who love and praise him. Good is so great and infinite, that it cannot be measured. It cannot end. It keeps pouring forth from one infinite source. God is great (actual, powerful, mighty, and sovereign). (B2)

The earth is not the battle ground for God and the adversary. "God is Mind: all that Mind, God, is, or hath made, is good, and He made all. Hence evil is not made and is not real." (S&H 311:4) Evil cannot coexist with good. (B3) "Good cannot result in evil." (S3) Who says that doing something wrong or immoral can bring happiness or pleasure? Who says that you can get something (good) by lying, cheating, or stealing? Is it obvious that evil is real, so obvious that we shouldn't question it? Where did evil get authority? Jesus said that evil was "a liar (lie) and the father of it." (John 8:44)
God's creation cannot decay, decline, deteriorate, or die any more than eternal Love can. Every day we are challenged with the belief that good can morph into evil, or evil can result in good. "Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?" (B4) (NIV) This example would have been especially meaningful to those who lived in the desert areas, where potable (drinkable) water is scarce.

"So, my very dear friends, don't get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures." (The Message) (B5)
Let's not be deceived, there is only one Creator, and He is good.

Section 2 - Thy Faith Hath Made Thee Whole
Have you noticed the continuing references to fruit? Good fruit or works indicates a good source. "... by their fruits ye shall know them." (B6)

Why do you think the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years touched Jesus secretly? What was the big deal? Since the woman had a condition that caused her to bleed a lot, Jewish law labeled her unclean, meaning she was considered contaminated, filthy, or impure. In priestly thought, this unclean-ness was considered infectious. (Interpreter's Bible of the Dictionary) (B7)

If caught, she risked being banned further from society. Afraid she would be discovered, she blended into the crowd and touched Jesus without being seen. Or perhaps the reason she touched Jesus secretly was out of compassion and respect for Jesus, so that if she were caught he wouldn't be considered unclean.
Are we free of this belief of evil being contagious? Sometimes, certain people bring the mood down because they have a sad disposition. Have you noticed that when people mention that something has been going well in there life, they sometimes pause to say "knock on wood?" as if just talking about something going well could bring on bad times?

Although Jesus was an observant Jew, he could not bow down to a law that labeled a son or daughter of God as unclean when she had not done anything wrong! Knowing full well that he was going to reveal that an unclean woman had touched him, he announced to the crowd, "Who touched me?" The Master didn't want anyone else to be afraid or limited by the belief that belief ever again. He loved her and declared, "Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee who; go in peace." (B7)  Faith means loyal, unwavering, persistent, and trustful. (Synonym Collection)

The Bible says that she touched the border of his garment.  She touched a tassel that was hooked to the corner of Jesus' garment. "In Hebrew the word for tassel is tzitzit (plural, tzitziyot).  The Israelites were to wear tzitzit on the four corners of their garments in order to ‘remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them'. This tassel, or fringe, was the most important part of the basic four-cornered outer garment, called a tallit, worn by Israelite men on a daily basis. The tzitzit served as a constant reminder of the commandments of God, and symbolised God's authority, sovereignty and rule. The tassels were a continual reminder against sinning, or more literally in Greek, ‘missing the mark' - of not living up to the level of instruction given in Torah, or Law." (Haverim Study Community, http://www.jcstudies.com/touchinghemgarment.html)

Besides being made whole physically, this woman was restored morally and spiritually. This poor woman had been marginalized. She hadn't been able to participate in rituals, associate freely in society, she was forbidden from touching others, and they certainly would not touch her. Although she was shunned, she was faithfully believed that she would be healed. Perhaps she recognized that this miracle working rabbi from Nazareth was the Messiah! Jesus' name is derived from Joshua (Yeshu'at Elohim), literally God-saving or the salvation of God, Savior. (Haverim Study Community) She found Christ and Christ (the divine idea of God, the true idea of God, the present activity of God-good, God with us) touched her and made her whole.

Section 3 - Divine Mind, the Only True Cause
In humility, can any of us think that we can advise infinite Mind? For of Him literally means "out of Him", meaning everything real originates with God. For through him reminds us that what is real emanates, flows directly from God. (B10)

God sends rain to refresh the Earth and promote healthy growth in plants. He is not destructive. Therefore, nothing that is destructive is from God. Knowing scientifically that there "is none else," we refuse to give our consent to accidents or destructive storms. Vehemently declare, "Peace, be still" to storms, stormy relationships, and upset stomachs. Your tabernacle (your home and consciousness) is at peace. (B11)

The more you trust God, the more you realize He is trustworthy. Hope in the Lord and you will be filled with hope. "... blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him." (NIV)
Is a "natural" disaster natural? Mrs. Eddy says that harmony is natural (304:18), that nature voices natural, spiritual law, and that a tempest is a "blind miscalled force." (192:11) (S13). Pollution, habitat loss, and violent storms are unnatural. They are mortal mind's deviations from the standard of good. (S14) Love is meeting the world's need for safety, shelter, and food and no mortal ego is preventing or can prevent these needs from being met.

Section 4 - Opinions Not Necessary
Fruits of the Spirit include health restored, longevity, fearlessness, selflessness, peace, agelessness, safety, hope and gratitude. (S24)

To judge well we have to get our own opinion out of the way and listen for God's messages. We judge righteously when we wholeheartedly and consistently identify everyone, including ourselves as the image of Love, not physique. (See 475:13) (B13)
Out of God's mouth comes Godly wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. No matter how difficult the problem, there must have a solution. Every problem must have a solution. And, infinite Mind has this answer. If we can be quiet enough, still enough, we will hear what Mind knows and is sharing. (B14)

"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." (Hebrew Names Version) How can we hear God's thoughts? They may or may not come as a voice. His thoughts don't tend to be loud, but gentle thoughts. For this reason, it is much easier to hear angel messages when we are at peace. (B18)

Section 5 - Monitor the World
This section is a spiritual perspective on media, The Christian Science Monitor in specific. With the Internet, anyone can be a publisher, so this section applies doubly if you are posting on Myspace, Facebook, or a blog. What is your motive when you post? There is nothing wrong with entertaining comments. Having said that, what if all your comments were supportive? The motto The Christian Science Monitor is, "To injure no man, but to bless all mankind." (B21) Surely, this motto has guided Monitor staff over the last 100 years, and truly been a blessing to the world.

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen ... Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice." (B23) (NIV) What if we applied this standard to all communications with our friends, family members, teammates, and co-workers? What if we apply this to the internal dialogue we have with ourselves?

The first Bible quotation in this section appears at the top of the editorial page of The Christian Science Monitor. (B19) To avoid ambiguity, Mrs. Eddy approved the American Standard Version translation of this scripture, which replaces the word corn with grain.

The Christian Science Monitor has set a standard for quality, impartial domestic and international reporting. It is having a far-reaching effect on humanity. (B22) In 1988, the Monitor published an editorial calling for Nelson Mandela's release. At that point, Nelson Mandela had been imprisoned for 25 years by the South African government for his vocal opposition to Apartheid (separateness in Afrikaans), which was a legalized separation of races in South Africa. (New York Times)
While imprisoned, Nelson Mandela had access to and read The Christian Science Monitor. On his first visit to the United States after his release in 1990, he made a special visit to the Christian Science Publishing Society in Boston to tell the Monitor staff just how much the Monitor had meant to him while in prison. (The Christian Science Monitor, The Mary Baker Eddy Library)
"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper the thing wherto I sent it." (B22) A good goal is to read one article a day, then pause and identify the beliefs that the situation involves, and then pray about them. By being alert, destroying error and loving all mankind, we are fulfilling our purpose and the purpose of the Monitor.

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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" 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 proposed by Warren Huff for the lesson: "God the Only Cause and Creator," June 8, 2008

Possible Uplifting Sunday School Homework [P.U.S.H. from the Golden Text & Responsive Reading]: Keep evaluating what you truly need and love in life until you can honestly say, "In God I have everything I need, and I know it." That is being "satisfied with the fruit of thy works" (Ps. 104:1). If you allow your satisfaction to depend on person, place, or thing (to come from the outside in, instead of from the inside out), your happiness will quickly come and go and mood swings will be likely. Instead, find right within you a spiritual sense of happiness that won't let you down. Stop postponing your happiness with preconditions like "I will be happy when ABC (I get a car, am with him/her. . . " or "I will be happy if XYZ. (I get into that college, dorm, program. . . )" List the ABCs and XYZs that have come to you as preconditions to your happiness. Stop the futility of futurity. (Living in the future (or past) is futile, in vain.) Find the great satisfaction of fully enjoying the NOW! Study Mary Baker Eddy's poem called "Satisfied" which ends with "Who doth His will -- His likeness still -- is satisfied" (CS Hymnal 160, with links to Ps. 17:15).

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T - Golden Text] Ask each Sunday School student (teacher and potential teacher) to share an example of how they have been fooled into postponing their happiness or letting it depend on a person, place, or thing. Ask each one to share when they have felt the happiest and most satisfied.

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T - Section 1] Examine how the first passage in the Bible which states, "he created it not in vain," relates to the 3rd commandment, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain." This commandment does not only restrict us from swearing when surprised or slipping an "oh my God" into most every sentence. The commandment also promises that when you take on the nature of God, you can and should expect quick and powerful results. When have you felt frustrated, like your efforts have been in vain? Apply this commandment to those situations.

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T - Section 2] Consider Christ Jesus' healing from the perspective of the woman who was healed. What risks did she take? Why do you think she was willing to take these risks? What risks are you willing to take in order to reach out to the Christ and stand up for what is right in social settings? What do you think Jesus' final words in verse 48 meant to her? What can this woman's example teach us about reaching out to the Christ?

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T - Section 3] Create a table with two columns. One column should represent how popular media such as The Weather Channel portray the weather and natural environment and the other column should represent how The Bible and Science and Health teach us to approach the weather and natural environment. Using the passages in section 3, answer the following questions for each column: Who or what governs the weather and environment? What weather forecast can and should we expect throughout this summer and why? What is the relationship between our thinking and the natural environment? Then, make a conscious decision for which model of the weather you will choose. How can you apply this spiritualized view of the natural environment to the recent earthquakes in China?

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T - Section 4] Passage 24 contains Mary Baker Eddy's only mention of the word "pressure" in all of Science and Health. What is the pressure that Christian Scientists must experience? When have you embraced the kind of pressure that Mary Baker Eddy describes? How can this kind of pressure help you to overcome peer pressure?

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T - Section 5] Citation 28 in Science and Health tells us that "we are all sculptors."  (S&H 248) To understand this concept better, you could take a clump of "Play-Doh" and attempt to make it resemble as closely as possible a picture that you have in front of you. Or, you could make a grid with the same number of boxes as students and ask them to sketch their section of a picture in their part of the grid. Notice how strongly the model picture guides and influences your "Play-Doh" sculpture or drawing. Then, consider what Mary Baker Eddy writes about mental models and the way they shape our lives. What are the results of paying attention to "imperfect models?" What are the results of choosing and paying attention to "perfect models in thought?" Identify an imperfect mental model that you will reject this week and a perfect model that you will look at continually, and listen to God's angel messages for how to mould the sculpture of your life.

 

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