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Have a substance-filled, profitable week by being prophet-able!

Dan Carnesciali C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, September 8th, 2008

Have a substance-filled, profitable week by being prophet-able!
Application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Substance" Sept. 8-14, 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 or in Spanish from Ana. (We no longer have a translator available for German.) JUST SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters


It is natural, exciting and rewarding for you to be a "spiritual-seer" or PROPHET (S&H, Glossary).  With the help of God and this lesson, you will be well able to keep your view of everything spiritual.  You are prospered by Spirit and nothing can take away your blessing.  Your life is a pure blessing from God.  "To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings." (S29, vii:1-2)

 

Golden Text:
You have a purpose - to be a blessing.  You have nothing to worry about.  "God can bless you with everything you need, and you will always have more than enough to do all kinds of good things for others."  (II Cor. 9:8, Contemporary English Version)

 

Responsive Reading:
It is your Father's good pleasure to bless you, to give you lasting treasure.  This treasure is worth far, far more than the substance of the world.  Your authentic relationship with your Father is substance.  You are blessed in part to bless others, especially those in desperate need.  Jesus said, "Give and it shall be given unto you;" Don't forget the stranger, the fatherless, the widow, the flood victim.  In life, often what you give or share "boomerangs" back to you in a different form.

Section 1:  You are God's Treasure
The Bible is the book of Life.  It teaches you what Life is, what Love is.  In practical ways, it corrects you when you are wrong.  It teaches you what is true and how to stay true to who you are.  It teaches you to do what is right, even if that is hard to do.  [Like the CedarS "Torchbearers" pledge.]  "God uses [scripture] to prepare and equip his people to do every good work." (New Living Translation) (B1)  God's wisdom and goodness are not "out there," they are within you.  Because you are God-made you have dominion and wisdom.  From last week's lesson, "Divine Love blesses its own ideas, and causes them to multiply, - to manifest His power. Man is not made to till the soil. His birthright is dominion, not subjection." (S&H 517:30-2)

 

God has given you wisdom so that you will inherit (possess and enjoy) substance.  Substance is the reality of being. (B2)   Christian Science teaches that God is real and knowable.  He is tangible (to spiritual sense).  He is constantly making Himself known.  To understand existence scientifically, credit God as the source, the substance of all that is real. (S2)  It is commonly believed that life is a mixture of good and evil, that Spirit and matter, God and evil are fighting for supremacy.  This belief comes directly from the constant suggestion that matter is substance.  When you really think about it, is matter substantial?   Matter is always changing - it grows, it decays, and dies.  Physicists point out that at matter's core there is a lot of empty space.  That is the opposite of substance. (S3)   "Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God." (S5)

 

Section 2: Untouched by Evil
The time you spend praying is not wasted, it is quite profitable.   It heals you, it protects you.  It gives you a knowledge that you are not subject to anything but good. (B4)   The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar threatened his subjects with harm if they did not worship an enormous pagan gold statue.  Nothing "out there" can really influence us or harm us.  Not anger, not a storm, or the threat of harm.  Our lives are governed and protected by Spirit, by Mind.  The three Hebrew teens had the moral courage to defy the unjust law, even though it could mean their death.  If Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had believed that their substance was material, they would have feared death and met an untimely end in the furnace.  Knowing that they coexisted with God they did not fear that their life could end.  They were entirely protected from the flames.   Can anything really end God, Life? (B6)  Does protection from fire sound like a made up story?  There is a Dutchman named Wim Hof, nicknamed Ice Man, who is able to walk in what is considered fatally frigid temperatures for extended periods wearing only shorts, not even shoes. Due to his state of mind, Mr. Hoff is unhurt by the cold.  This example challenges us to rethink what we regard as substance.   According to an ABC News article, scientists who have studied him are baffled. They cannot explain his ability to survive, even thrive, while exposed to frigid temperatures. (abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=4393377)  Is the body substance, or is it an objectification of mortal thought? (S6)   At no point can you be beyond God's care.  There is nothing out there, or anywhere, that can harm you.  Nothing that would threaten to harm you has any substance.  There is no point in trying to become spiritual.  You already are spiritual.  "The realization that all inharmony is unreal brings objects and thoughts into human view in their true light, and presents them as beautiful and immortal." (276:12-14)

Section 3: "Blessed are the Poor in Spirit"
In II Kings, we read about a woman whose husband loved God.  Unfortunately, when he passed, his debt fell to her and she had no way to pay it off.  If she did not pay off the debt, her sons would be taken as payment.  (This was legal at the time.)  You can easily understand the emergency of the situation.   Where could she turn to in this critical time of need?   She turned to the man of God, the prophet Elisha.  She probably knew from experience that Elisha's spiritual approach would resolve the problem.  Elisha willingly helped her.  He encouraged her to think about herself as having dominion over evil.  Notice that Elisha did not judge her or lecture her.  He did not moan this was a difficult case.  He just followed the leadings of Truth and asked her what she had in the house.  Since house can be symbolic of consciousness, he was also asking her to examine what she was thinking about.  Perhaps there was a long silence.  Was there any furniture, any dishes?  Anything?  She may have sold everything off already.  All she had was a pot with some cooking oil/lamp oil in it.  A little bit of oil did not have much value.  But, spiritually it was quite significant.  It represented deliverance, promise and charity - prayer.  Elisha instructed her to borrow as many jars as she possibly could and pour oil into those jars.  Elisha may not have known the details of how this was going to work out, but he obediently kept moving in the direction that God directed.  The neighbors did their part, too.  Expressing charity, they willingly loaned her jars.  Expressing fearlessness, willingness, charity, and obedience she demonstrated supply.  The oil multiplied.  The supply had always been there.  The misperception that lack was real/substantial was lifted off.  The woman sold the oil and was able to settle her debt with the profit.  You could say that Elisha was a "profit prophet."

Section 4: Balanced
During King David's reign, Israel fought a series of wars.   King Solomon used wisdom to stay out of wars and to use this period of peace as a time to build a great temple in Jerusalem.  Lacking skilled workmen Solomon turned to the Phoenician (Sidonian) King Hiram for help.   Hiram supplied Solomon with woodworkers and cedar lumber from Lebanon in return for wheat and oil.  Hiram's men cut the timber, dragged the logs to the sea, lashed them together and floated them down the Mediterranean coast to a port, where they were taken unlashed and dragged to the building site. (Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible) (B11)  The arrangement between Solomon and Hiram was mutually beneficial and there was peace between the nations.  Solomon's temple, the first of three to be built on this site, became the center of Jewish worship and sacrifices for almost 400 years.  It housed the Ark of the Covenant, which had been in a tent up to that time.  "If divine Love is becoming nearer, dearer, and more real to us, matter is submitting [yielding] to Spirit.  The objects we pursue and the spirit we manifest reveal our standpoint, and show what we are winning." (S19)

Section 5: Dominion
"It is the Spirit who gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing.  And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life." (B13) (New Living Translation) To start with mental causation seems simple enough.  (S22)   However, beware of thinking there is a "reason" that you are struggling with a problem, or you will be making the same mistake the man by the Pool at Bethesda made.   The man was sure the reason he had not been healed yet was because he could not move fast enough to get into the healing waters before others. (B14)   The reason became a justification for the problem.  If you feel that there is a reason that you are sick, you may find yourself struggling to heal yourself of sickness.  That is because believing there is a reason gives substance, in belief, to the problem.  Scientifically there is "no reason" for suffering, so stand with Christ and rebuke the reason/justification for the problem.  (S22)  The Holy Ghost or Christ enables you to heal with scientific certainty.  The more you see that your identity is totally Christlike, the more you will you will have the authority of Christ. (S23)

Section 6: All Together Now
In Jesus' time, the Romans occupied Jerusalem and taxed the Jews heavily.   The Jews hated paying taxes.  Who does like paying taxes?  Jewish males over 20 years old were required to pay an annual temple tax as part of the Roman census.  (Scholars believe that the temple tax was a continuation of the temple tax established in Exodus 30.)  Jesus realized that he was being watched by the Jewish leaders who were waiting for Jesus to offend the Romans.  If he did break a law, they would report him to the Romans so they could be rid of him and his troublesome teachings.  Jesus told Peter that just as earthly kings do not tax their children, the Son of God was not required to pay a tax.  Understanding that his followers could get into serious trouble by not paying taxes, Jesus set a good example and paid the tax.  In the process, he demonstrated that it did not have to be a burden to pay taxes or meet all right obligations.  (It is no challenge to infinite Love to supply what is needed.)  In order to pay the two-drachma tax, Jesus instructed Peter to catch a fish and pull a four-drachma tax out of its mouth and pay the tax for both of them.  Jesus liked giving Peter, the professional fisherman, "fishing lessons."

As you've noticed by now, every section has mentioned profit.  My Bible Lesson (MyBibleLesson.com) explains that the word translated as profit has various meanings.  It can mean: to contribute, to bring together, helpful, serviceable, valuable, useful, good, or to do good.

"Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go." (B7)  The following two citations summarize what we need to know about substance.  "A false sense of life, substance, and mind hides the divine possibilities and conceals demonstration." (S27)  "God's thoughts are perfect and eternal, and substance and Life." (S25)  God has given us wisdom to understand that substance is spiritual.  We are blessed.   We have dominion.
________________________________________________________________
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, and support for operations and special programs. Click http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving to read fruitage due to your help; to review current Operational needs; to see our Annual Appeal; and to find more about how you can give online or talk privately about how to make a special gift to help perpetuate CEDARS work.

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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 my Sunday School students and 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.
Enjoy!
Warren Huff, Camp Director, director@cedarscamps.org (636) 394-6162

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Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on "Substance"
For the week of September 8-14, 2008
Offered by anonymous camp staffers who teach Sunday School at Branch churches

Possible Sunday School Topic for the Golden Text: "more than enough" for needs - or for wants? In what ways does God bless us and supply us with what we need? What is the difference between what we need and what we want? When we have "more than enough" what are we to do with it?

Possible Sunday School Topic for the Responsive Reading: "Give and it shall be given unto you." Luke 6:38  What do you have that you can bless others with? How are we able to freely give without running out of what we need? What are some examples in the Bible of people who gave unselfishly of what they had?

Possible Sunday School Topic for Section 1: I will fill your treasures! (B3)
What does it take to acknowledge and receive the gifts from the Lord? (B2, B3)  If everything we need comes from God, why do we need jobs and money?   After reading the definition of Substance from the chapter of Recapitulation (S4), what more do we know about Spiritual substance?

Possible Sunday School Topic for Section 2 : Not even anger or the smell of smoke (from the bowling alley)  Why were Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego saved from the furnace? If you were Shadrach, Meshach or Abednego and a king [or a ruling medical system] said that you must worship this ruler each day, what temptations and challenges would you have to overcome? How would you work through those temptations?
[What "smell of smoke," or lingering reminders or after-effects are trying to cling to you from a past trial? Fumaro is the same Latin root word for smoke and for anger - so make sure no anger or resentment lingers. The three Hebrew teens had a complete demonstration of freedom from all reminders of evil. The only thing that they lost was their bonds. Let's follow their example!] After reading the Science and Health citations in this section, why do you think this story was included in this lesson?

Possible Sunday School Topic for Section 3: Let the oil flow! "He cares for thee past measure!" Hymn 361   Wasn't Elisha's proof of God's ever-flowing provision of oil for the widow woman, kind of like filling her car with gas at The Pump without a meter running? And then, in order to pay her debts asking all her friends to fill up their tanks from this divine source too? What other examples are in the Bible of infinite substance? What examples of infinite substance have you seen in your own life? When we see that the substance of our supply comes from God and not matter, what do we have to look forward to?

Possible Sunday School Topic for Section 4: "cedar trees out of Lebanon" (B11) used in Profitable Bartering -Trade your abundant items (or ideas) for needed ones. "God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies." Mis. 307:1 Does God bless only one group of people in the world, or does he bless all? (B10, 12) What about people who do not worship the one, true God, does he bless them too? How can God be both the center and circumference of something? (S15) How can God keep the balance of our physical and economic world when there seems to be so many factors that affect that balance? (S18, S19) This would be a great section to use with a discussion on economy, supply and demand, limited resources, world hunger, or any other belief of lack in the world.

Possible Sunday School Topic for Section 5: after 38 years, "immediately the man was made whole!" (B14)  What beliefs kept that man at the pool of Bethesda from being healed before he met Jesus? The man had this problem for 38 years, why would Jesus ask him, "Wilt thou be made whole?" (John 5:6) How would the story have ended if Jesus had simply carried that man to the pool and placed him in first after it was troubled? What is it that Mrs. Eddy says needs to be removed, in order for healings to take place? (S21)

The next time we see lots of skin in advertising, let's affirm that "the flesh profiteth nothing." (B13)

Possible Sunday School Topic for Section 6: You can expect "all sufficiency in all things," even coming from "fishy" places! (B18, B17) How did Jesus know there would be a coin in the fish's mouth? If he could command this to happen, why didn't he simply get money out of the mouths of fish all the time? How can we daily, and without fail, express infinite supply of all we need? Remember "God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies." Mis. 307:1


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