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For a secure foundation, build on the rock Christ, Truth

Janet Hegarty, C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, July 21st, 2008

For a secure foundation, build on the rock - Christ, Truth
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Weekly Bible Lesson on the subject "Truth"
For the week of July 21 - 27, 2008
Prepared by Janet Hegarty, C.S. of St. Louis, 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 when her schedule allows. JUST SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters

These words from Hymn 354 are like a correlative verse to this week's lesson: "God works in us to will, He works in us to do; His is the power by which we act, His be the glory too." CS Hymnal 354

Golden Text: Sing praise. The original Hebrew word, yahab, that is translated here as "ascribe," means - "to give." (Strong's) Also, in other Bible translations this word is translated frequently as "praise", and as "declare." God doesn't need our praise but it's natural for us to praise God. On page 203 of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy reminds us, "God is at once the centre and circumference of being." When we honor God by thinking about the greatness of God, singing about the glory and majesty of God, and expressing gratitude for the presence of God, we become more and more aware of the "center," the Principle and Truth, of our being. This helps us to see God more clearly. Since you are the image of God, the more you know about God, the better you will understand your own identity. A rock-solid foundation for spiritual progress is to know the spiritual truth about yourself. Join the "Hymn-of-the-Day" club this week, choose a hymn of praise to sing throughout the day. Here are a few great hymns of praise you're sure to enjoy: #10, #99, #117, #150, #280.

Responsive Reading: Oh, now I can see Him! A couple of years ago a friend and I visited Lassen Volcanic National Park in California. Many beautiful birds live in this park. Birds can be hard to spot; they don't sit still for long and they can move from place to place really fast. The leaves of the trees often hide them. Sometimes the only way you can find them is by first hearing them and then following the sound of their call. My friend and I were just getting started on our hike when we came upon two bird-watchers who had already been in the park for several hours looking for birds. At that moment, one of the bird-watchers had just spotted a bird high up in a tree. We could tell she must have been looking for this particular bird for a very long time. She had heard its call and then followed the sound until she spotted the bird. She was really excited and wanted her friend to see the bird, too. She whispered and motioned to her friend for several minutes until finally her friend, and my friend and I, too, saw the bird. Most likely, the bird had been in the park all day but if the bird-watcher, who recognized the bird's call, had not pointed the bird out to her friend, none of us would have ever noticed it was there.

God is Spirit. Because of this, God cannot be seen in the same way that we see the everyday objects around us. To see God requires spiritual insight. Jesus knew God better than anyone else and he loved God and mankind so much that he devoted his life to helping us be able to see God clearly. You might say Jesus was a "God-watcher." Jesus' healing works point out the perfect goodness and love of God. These works make it clear that God never made sickness and never even allowed for the possibility that His children could be sick at some future time. The gentleness and tender-loving kindness of Jesus words and actions bring the perfect love of Love into our sights. Follow the great God-watcher. Study Jesus life, follow his example, then the glory and presence of God will become more vivid to you each day!

Section 1: The great advantage of understanding the Truth. Most people believe that there is a God, though they might use different words to describe it. Also, most people believe that God is good. However, even though many believe in a good God, many also believe that evil is real. How can God be good and evil be real at the same time? This is a question that many people ask. However, if they understood the Truth that God is all powerful and is all good, they would understand that evil can not possibly be real. It is "false belief" that causes the discord. (S2)

This kind of faulty reasoning, based only on belief, is like children who are very good at memorizing things. When they start to learn math they might find that they can do addition very fast because they simply memorize the equations. The teacher writes 6 + 5 = 11 on the board and they believe this is true. They memorize it and repeat it. This method may work for a time but what happens when they come across the equation 5 + 5 = 9? If they simply believe this equation is true, memorize it and repeat it just like all the others, they will start to find red check marks on their homework papers, won't they? They might also start to get a little suspicious when they notice they have also memorized 5 + 5 = 10. Hopefully, at this point they will try to understand what the equations mean instead of just believing them to be true. If the teacher brought in a pile of apples and asked them to put 5 apples in a bag and then to put 5 more apples into the same bag, and then to count the apples in the bag, they would immediately understand why 5 + 5 is not 9.

Understanding is much more reliable than belief. If the facts you know about God and what is taking place in your life don't seem to add up, it's time to seek more understanding. Mary Baker Eddy promises, "a right understanding of Him (God) restores harmony." (S3) You can always talk about your questions with your Sunday School teacher or a practitioner. You can also search for your answers in the Bible and Science and Health; pay particular attention to the life and teachings of Jesus and before you know it, you will understand what is really true.

Section 2: Seek and find the only secure foundation.
If you have ever seen a house being moved on a truck you've probably gained a greater appreciation for what it means to have a secure foundation. When a house is taken off of its foundation, the house looks flimsy. It looks as if it could easily tip in one direction or the other at any moment and be damaged or destroyed. However, once the house is anchored to its new foundation all fear and danger of damage disappears. The house stands square and secure. If you are seeking a secure foundation for your life, remember that Christ Jesus is the most secure foundation-stone we can build on. (B4) He explained that his purpose was to "bear witness unto the truth." (B8) He taught the actual Truth of being. (S5) Jesus explained and demonstrated the true nature of God and man. He gave many practical proofs that God is Spirit and man is spiritual, not material, and so he revealed man's true spiritual identity. (S6) When we erroneously think of faulty material beliefs as our foundation we are like the house that is not connected to a foundation, flimsy and tippy. If we accept matter as our reality we have no foundation. (S7) Material opinions and theories are constantly changing. They have no fixity because they are not founded on the solid, secure, unchanging facts of Truth. All material ideas start with the false notion that matter is real. When the most basic part of an idea is incorrect, no matter how many times it is voiced or how many people believe it to be true, an idea based on falsity will never be Truth. Anchor your mental home to the "Science of divine Mind." This is the Truth that Jesus, your secure foundation-stone, taught and proved. (S8)

Section 3: Uh oh. We had better get out of here, there's no foundation under this house.
Christ Jesus taught us to turn away from the testimony of the material senses and instead to trust the testimony of spiritual sense, which is the only true testimony. In the parable of the house built upon the rock, Jesus' promised us that if we follow his life example and trust the Truth of being, we will be like a house with a reliable foundation. (B11) Nothing can knock that house down. However, he also warns us that if we try to build on the faulty testimony of the material senses, we are like a house with no foundation. Anything can knock that house down.
Let's join Mary Baker Eddy in her promise to, "plant [herself] unreservedly on the teachings of Jesus, of his apostles, of the prophets, and on the testimony of the Science of Mind." (B12)

Section 4: Material theories are built on a crumbling foundation. A friend of mine wanted to live near the water so she decided to buy a small home near Lake Michigan. The house was built among the sand dunes that follow the southern shore of the lake. It looked like a very nice house in a beautiful location. She applied for a mortgage and looked forward to moving in. Much to her surprise the bank refused to give her the financing. When the bank's home inspection team looked at the house they discovered that the shifting sands of the sand dune had pushed hard against the flimsy cement block foundation. The joints between the blocks had cracked and the foundation was crumbling. My friend had judged the house by its superficial appearance. But when the experts took a close analytical look at it, they discovered the weak foundation. The supposed laws of matter are just like this house. On the surface, material laws seem logical enough. But when you take a close look at these supposed laws, you discover that persistently they deny God and His perfect goodness and condemn man to perpetual suffering. (S13) Mary Baker Eddy encourages us to "forsake the foundation of material systems, however time-honored...." (S15) Be a Christian Science expert and examine your thoughts closely. Keep a sharp eye out for thoughts that might be very familiar to you, but are actually based on "material systems." Remove these weak, crumbling stones from your mental foundation and replace them with the strong, sound stones of spiritual Truth. Then you will have the kind of mental foundation that Jesus had that made it possible for him to heal the woman that many physicians had failed to heal. (B14)

Section 5: The rock that you can count on for all eternity. The image of the rock as a symbol of strength, stability, and protection, would have been very meaningful to the people of Jesus' time. "Rocks were found nearly everywhere in the hilly and mountainous districts of Palestine." (Westminster Dictionary of the Bible) Some rocks were so prominent they are even mentioned by name in the Bible.

When Jesus asked his disciples to identify who he was, Simon Bar-jona saw beyond the common belief that Jesus was the return of a prophetic spirit from the past. (S17) He also saw beyond the notion that Jesus' healing power was the personal possession of just one man. It was a great honor for Simon to receive the new name of Peter (the rock). Jesus rewarded Peter with this honor because Peter had perceived that it was "divine Life, Truth, and Love" that healed. Let's follow Peter's example and fix our sight on the healing Principle, rather than doubting the personal power of our own abilities. Let's be a faithful witness to the ever-present healing action of the Christ. This is the rock you can depend on.

Section 6: Freely ye have received, Freely give! The Cedars Camps theme from Matthew 10:8 is in the lesson this week! The translation of this same verse from The Message emphasizes the idea of generosity; "You have been treated generously, so live generously." Christian Science is the Truth of being, the real explanation of what man is and why we exist. This is truly a rock for all those who have it, an ever-present source of peace, confidence, direction and protection. Truly all who have been touched by the healing power of the Christ have been treated generously. Shouldn't everyone know the Christ, Truth? Isn't this what all the world needs? Perceiving the need of the world, Jesus gave us the command to "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils." (B20) In other words, he is telling us to generously share the Truth we have been blessed with. Don't be tempted by the thought, "I can't do that." This thought is a deceptive liar because you are not the one that does it. God does it, your job is simply to, shine a light on what God is doing and has always been doing. Check out the directions for healers in this section. To refresh you courage read hymn 172. Then pick a world topic from the news that needs healing and give a treatment.

Section 7: Rejoice! You're not a stranger anymore! You're planted firm and secure on the unbeatable rock, Christ. You are a fellow citizen "with the saints" living all together in God's household. (B21) This is a safe household, set up on the invincible rock: the consciousness of God's allness: the confidence and proof that evil is not real and has no power. (B22) You are a "a sincere seeker of Truth." (S25) When you apply the Truth, you prove it and the light of this proof shines in the world. Remember to rely on God only, there is no personal power. Yet, you can be sure you can do your work with confidence because God has made you in His image. Humbly rely on God and you will realize your unlimited abilities. As Hymn #354 explains, "The work to be performed is ours, the strength is all His own." With confidence stand on the rock and fearlessly shine, shine, shine!
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This 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.
WITH GREAT GRATITUDE WE CAN SAY THAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED OUR GOAL of raising $80,000 more for campership than was granted for 2007. Thanks to gifts from many supporters and to generous Board members WE CAN assure the attendance of all the 2008 campers who wish to come! PLEASE LET POTENTIAL CAMPERS KNOW OF THIS PROVISION OF LOVE that has been daily loved into view, because we do have spaces and now camperships available for two our remaining 1-week sessions.
We would love to have another $1,200 in contributions to cover the special Christian Science youth lectures that are being given here for each of our two week sessions. General operations support and "maintenance must" projects are also ongoing needs.
Your always-welcome, tax-deductible support can be mailed to:
CEDARS Camps
19772 Sugar Drive
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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 by Merrill Boudreaux
for the Lesson on "Truth" for July 21-27, 2008

Throughout this lesson make a list of words used to describe God: rock, light of the world, fortress, good to all, nigh to them that call, full of compassion, gracious, longsuffering, plenteous in mercy and truth, leader. guide.

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. - Golden Text] - The references to "rock" are abundant in the lesson. What are characteristics of a rock? How large or small might it be? What is its purpose? How is it traditionally used? How are the records of Jesus' teachings and healings like rocks?

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. - Responsive Reading] - What is the primary purpose of a court of law? (To find the truth) What roles do the following play in a court of law: Plaintiff, Defendant, Judge? Which of those roles are evident in the RR and how?

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. - Section 1] -
Compare the difference between the result of being ignorant of God and the result of being controlled by God. This puts you in the role of being judge to weigh the evidence and choose to follow truth.

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. - Section 2] -
What are the results of Jesus bearing witness unto truth? What other courtroom terms are found in this section? (Witness, argument, evidence, facts) What evidence or facts would you like to have displayed at your trial, were you on trial to prove that you are a Christian Scientist and that Christian Science is the same truth that Jesus used?

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. - Section 3]
- Use a deck of playing cards or pop-cycle sticks and have students build houses with them. How sturdy are they? Could they ever stand more permanently? What could be added to them to give more permanence? (like glue or paste) What is our glue or paste to build a solid experience? (Honesty, teachings of Jesus and his disciples, writings of MBE)

 

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. - Section 4] - Recount the story of the woman healed from this section, could role-play it too. Was this woman going against the regular practice available to her for healing? Why did she choose to do so? (Out of desperation - she had this problem for twelve years, spent all of her money, and wasn't better) How did she know Jesus would be there and could heal her?

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. - Section 5] -
Help your students understand the difference between stone and the name change of Simon to Peter (petros, or stone) and the rock upon which Jesus built his church. (Not built on the man Peter - stone, but on the God power, or rock, behind Peter's declaration, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. - Section 6] - Does that rock remain the foundation of the Christian Science Church? What is the demand for the members of this church today? (See Matt. 10: 8) Where is this statement found and on which of our two rocks we use daily?
What other courtroom terms are used in this section? (pleading the case, witness, argument) What is the result? (instantaneous healing)

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. - Section 7] - What materials might one use to build a house? Let's say they were all dumped on your front lawn, what process might you use to get prepared for building? (Separate and organize the various types of building material.) What would be the order of your building project, what would come first, second, etc.? Why?
How would you know when you are finished? How would others know it is a house? If you were building a Christian Science treatment, what elements would you use? (Inspiration, gratitude, memory of past healings, Bible stories, ideas you know to be true.) Look to the S&H portion of this section for guidance. (Be sure to state that there is no formula for giving a Christian Science treatment.)


 

 

 

 

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