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Exercise the power of the Spirit and feel the Christ within you!

Dan Carnesciali C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, August 4th, 2008

Exercise the power of the Spirit and feel the Christ within you!
Metaphysical application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Spirit"
August 10, 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 when her schedule allows. JUST SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters

You have the supreme right to voice Truth and exercise the power of the Spirit, to feel the Christ within you. Themes in this Bible lesson are: power, family, love and unity.

Golden Text:
Power/might is not personal. As you become aware of the presence of Christ, you become aware that you have the Mind of Christ, which is all powerful.

Responsive Reading:
You are strengthened by the might of Spirit in the inner man. You are rooted and grounded in love. You are filled with the goodness of God. His power is at work within you, making amazing things possible for His glory.

Section 1 - One Creator, One Creation
"The Universe reflects God." (S2) "Spirit, God, has created all in and of Himself ... Spirit is the only substance, the invisible and infinite God." (S1) Working from a material basis, some believe that the universe is self-existent and came into being on its own. If true, how did it start, what brought the original substance into being? Having studied the vastness and the order of the universe, some astrophysicists and astronomers have become very religious. To give you an idea of how large the universe is, there are an estimated 500 billion galaxies. Each of these galaxies contains between several million and several trillion stars each. Our galaxy has about 100 million stars. If you travelled at the speed of light it would take you 100,000 years to travel from one end to the other. (imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov) God's creation is awesomely vast!

Without a creator, there can be no creation. God is, so His creation is. In Genesis 1, God commanded there to be light, thought. And, creation, reality existed. (B1) When God sees something, He isn't just observing. He is causing these things to exist. His light is lighting up the universe, in effect causing it to be manifested. (S3) God has a purpose for every individual idea. He calls forth the grass, herbs, and trees. He calls forth the birds and the animals. The ever-active Spirit causes His creation to be full of activity and action. Since God is good, all there is, all that is going on, is good. It is impossible for there to be something beyond all! God-good is all-in-All. He is the creator of the universe.

Section 2 - There is None Else
God created the heavens. He stretched them out. His creation is infinite. (B3) The clay pots represent self-acting, self-evolving matter. Since His creation is infinite, it cannot be material. To make a material creation, God would have to make matter, Spirit's opposite. We know He wouldn't do that, couldn't do that, because it would deny Spirit. When something seems self-acting or self-evolving, that should be a wake up call that the source of that tale is error. Suggestion would have us believe that there are certain unquestionable facts. It would have you concerned about the havoc caused by these supposed facts, without questioning the validity of the "facts" themselves. Some of these so-called facts are: the economy is bad, I am aging, the church is in decline, or my spiritual understanding has failed me. Of course, none of these are true, but how often decisions are made from the basis that they are. The reality is that only God's thoughts are facts. In Truth, everything moves or acts because God calls it to act. The good news is there is no power, no force, no influence unlike God that is able to move a single leaf or pebble. "I ... made the earth, ... I am the Lord; and there is none else." (B4)

Although life appears to be a mixture of material and spiritual, there is in fact no such mixture. "Only impotent error would seek to unite Spirit with matter, good with evil," (S7) In biblical times, fans were used with threshing instruments to separate the edible part of the grain from the inedible part. Threshing separates the grain or seed from the stalk of the plant. A fan blows away the lighter particles of chaff and dust and leaves the seed. (B5) Spiritually speaking, a fan separates fable from fact. (S5) If you do not use your fan, your grain (good thoughts) will have impurities, such as fear, superstition, or false traits. The fan (Christian Science practice) blows those false beliefs fall away. A powerful way to use the fan is to ask yourself what God is seeing and know that only what God is seeing is going on. This is extremely powerful. The prophet Isaiah said that you can thresh mountainous problems out of your life. No matter what the evidence, Truth is the victor. In reality, you are always full of the buoyancy and vitality of Spirit. Spirit's ideas are sturdy, uplifted, and victorious.

Section 3 - Overcoming Storms
Ahab married Jezebel for political advantage. However, Jezebel was a fanatical worshipper of the cult of Tyrian deities Baal and Asherah. She was a wicked queen who imposed the worship of these deities, which included many practices considered very immoral, on the kingdom. Under Jezebel's leadership, the people turned away from God, neglected the covenant and worshipped Baal. Baal was a Canaanite cultic god of rain, thunder, fertility and agriculture. Ahab was worshipping both Yawheh and Baal. (www.cresourcei.org) Jezebel was having the prophets of Israel murdered. Her followers were closing in on Beersheba to kill Elijah. Elijah prayed about this and witnessed a windstorm, an earthquake and then a fire. But, he found peace. He knew that God was not in those calamities. Spirit came to him as a still small voice. Elijah trusted this still small voice of Truth and went on to destroy the prophets of Baal. He realized the great fact that, "I am the Lord God and there is none else." (Isa 45:18) God's word shields us and protects us. (B8) We sometimes treat the testimony of the body as trustworthy, but has mortal mind ever told us the truth? Spirit is solid and trustworthy. We find peace when we lean on Spirit. "The calm and exalted thought or spiritual apprehension is at peace." (S16) "Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace." (Ps. 37:37)

Section 4 - Born of the Spirit, Never Born Materially
Christian Science is not theoretical. It is practical. "Christ, Truth, was demonstrated through Jesus to prove the power of Spirit over the flesh, -- to show that Truth is made manifest by its effects upon the human mind and body, healing sickness and destroying sin." (S19) When Jesus travelled, he met lots of people. So many diseases were healed so quickly that there was recognition that Jesus of Nazareth was Christ, the Son of God, the promised Messiah. (B11) It is doubtful that Jesus thought, "Hmm, he is missing hands. I must figure out the spiritual significance of hands, pray, and then heal those hands." He was the Christ presence wherever he went. It was this Christly awareness of God that healed those he came into contact with. Likewise, wherever we go, we can be that Christ presence, too.

The gospel of John shows that some of Jesus' contemporaries did not understand the true meaning of Jesus' saying and actions. (Interpreter's One-volume Commentary on the Bible) Nicodemus knew that Jesus was a man sent by God, but he approached Jesus at night, apparently to avoid jeopardizing his place in the Sanhedrin, the Supreme Court of ancient Israel. Jesus told Nicodemus that he needed to be born again, translated by some as "born from above," or he wouldn't see the kingdom of heaven. Jesus also said that we must be born of the water and of the Spirit. To be born of the water alludes to the need to be baptized. To be born of the Spirit indicates that we must see ourselves as spiritual beings, not born into matter. Spirit's ideas are willing and courageous.

Section 5 - Dominion over Darkness
"Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them." (B15, Eph 5:11 NIV) What needs to be exposed? Divinization (telling the future through supernatural means), superstition, familiar spirits (familiar spirit identifies those who supposedly communicate with the dead; gotquestions.org), wizards, magicians (also known as illusionists), and astrologists. A common thread between these forbidden practices is A) the belief in evil and B) a belief that matter is a medium. (B13, B14) A medium is a conduit, a means of transferring good or evil. You don't need someone else, a priest or a pastor, for example, to communicate to God, do you? A medicated pill is believed to be a medium for health. Error would have you believe that the physical body is a medium for life, enjoyment, health and sickness. And, that's why we do not want to accept the belief that you experience life through a physical body. A medium suggests that life is material or a blending of matter and Spirit. "If Spirit, or God, communed with mortals or controlled them through electricity or any other form of matter, the divine order and the Science of omnipotent, omnipresent Spirit would be destroyed." (S22) God does not exercise control over His creation through the stars. Why would He bother with a medium? Why wouldn't He control creation directly? (Spirit's ideas are buoyant, and enthusiastic.)

Section 6 - All Together Now
God unites us. He puts us in families, and brings us into fellowship with those that are likeminded. He also unites us with Him. We are inseparable from God-good.
Paul addresses his letter to Theophilus. Who is that? Well, it is you. Theophilus is one who loves God. (Theo is God, philo is love that comes from a common bond.) In the Old Testament, Pentecost was originally the Feast of Weeks, or in Hebrew, Shavuot. (http://www.cresourcei.org) In this instance, the feast of Pentecost was celebrated 50 days after Jesus' resurrection. His disciples came together in unity and there was a wonderful wind (the tangible presence of Spirit). The barriers of language dropped and they felt the power of the Holy Spirit. To say that it was a moving experience is to put it lightly. The early Christians came together and lived communally. They sold their possessions and held the money in common. (See Acts 4:32-37) They had a deep love for each other.

Let us remember to be patient with each other. "I therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to and beg you to walk (lead a life) worthy of the [divine] calling to which you have been called [with behavior that is a credit to the summons to God's service, Living as becomes you] with complete lowliness of mind (humility) and meekness (unselfishness, gentleness, mildness), with patience, bearing with one another and making allowances because you love one another. Be eager and strive earnestly to guard and keep the harmony and oneness of [and produced by] the Spirit in the binding power of peace. (B19, Amplified Bible)
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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 help cover 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 could assure the attendance of all the 2008 campers who wished to come!
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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 for the Bible Lesson: "Spirit"
by Merrill Boudreaux

It might be helpful to ponder these words taken from an old Spiritual as we consider our discussion for this week's lesson:
Every time I
Feel the Spirit
Movin' in my heart
I will pray

Upon the mountain my Lord spoke
Out of his mouth came fire and smoke
When I looked all around me everything looked so fine
I asked my Lord if all was mine
http://www.free-lyrics.org

When my heart is open, I feel the Spirit
Oh yes, oh yes, indeed
He lives in my heart, oh yes, He does
Yeah, every time I feel it
I will pray

Every time I
Feel the Spirit
Movin' in my heart
I will pray

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. Golden Text] - What does the Golden Text call for us to set aside in order to feel the spirit active in our lives?

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. - Responsive Reading] - What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit, or the Fullness of God?
How does it feel? What do you see?
Underline from the RR what God, Spirit grants, then answer to whom, when, and for how long?

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. - Section 1] - List according to Genesis 1 what God created. What did God use from which to create all that you have listed?

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. - Section 2] - If you want to know how something is made, how do you find out? (Like Corn Flakes, or a cotton tee shirt) How do you find out what the ingredients are that make up you, your friends, those who wish to strive with you?
(See Isa. 45:11 - Marker B-4) What tool is available to sift error from truth? What is the S&H Glossary definition of "Fan"? (See S&H Marker 5)

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. - Section 3] - Review the story of Elijah in this section. How did the spiritual definition of "rock" benefit Elijah? What do those spiritual truths revealed to Elijah tell us about the spirit of God alive and active for man? Role play the characters in the story - Ahab, Jezebel, Elijah. (Teacher, research information on how many prophets Jezebel had, how they were different from the prophets Ahab and Elijah had. Why was Jezebel so angry? Why was Elijah the last prophet of his kind?)

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. - Section 4] - What was the result when Jesus returned "...in the power of the Spirit"? What does the word "imbue" mean? When one is imbued with the spirit for what else is there room? Do Christian Scientists believe in spiritual re-birth?
(See S&H Markers 20 & 21) What is the result of these re-births?

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. - Section 5] - What is a prophet? What is a false prophet? How do you know which one to follow? Can friends ever act like a false prophet and tempt you to follow their gods: gossip, anger, hate, bullying, lying stealing, cheating on tests, leaving out someone during a game or conversation, smoking, drinking, using drugs? On what can you base your ability to resist or say "No"?
(See S&H Markers 23 & 26)

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. - Section 6] - What happened to the disciples on the Day of Pentecost? Why? With what were they filled? Can we today be filled with the spirit? (See the Old Spiritual at the top of this page) What would be the result in the world if all were filled with the spirit? (See S&H Marker 29)


 

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