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Put on [or Invest in] Immortality--one thought at a time. Experience the New You!

Kathy Fitzer, St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT
Posted Monday, November 9th, 2009

Put on [or Invest in] Immortality--one thought at a time. Experience the New You!
Metaphysical Application Ideas (Met) for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Mortals and Immortals" for study during the week of November 9-15, 2009
Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, C.S., of St. Louis MO
[with bracketed italics by Warren Huff]

[Editor's Note: The following application ideas for this week and the 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 -- by Monday each week in English, or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French from Pascal or in Spanish from Ana. JUST SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters]

Hymn 49 offers this prayer: "Dear Lord and Father of us all, forgive our foolish ways; Reclothe us in our rightful mind; In purer lives Thy service find, in deeper reverence, praise." The fashion industry tells us we need new clothes to be happy and successful. But what we really need is a new sense of who we are as God's immortal man - His beloved son (and that includes male and female)! [Long ago the garment industry originated the term investment to encourage consumers to buy and put on new "vestments, outer coverings or layers." The reverse of that is divestment or divestiture-when the old is totally put off.] This lesson teaches us how to put off mortality (destined to death) and put on [or invest in] immortality (that which lives forever without decay.) As God's immortal man, we are not subject to [making poor investments of thought and time by focusing on] disease, death and limitation.

Golden Text: We tend to give a lot of thought to what we put on our bodies, but do we remember to check what our thought is wearing? That's the most important part! Are we satisfied with the same old thoughts we've been thinking -- and that everyone else seems to be thinking? Do we unconsciously think of ourselves as mortals with a beginning and an ending -- not only in the big picture of life, but in our day-to-day activities? Or do we consciously choose to think according to the pattern of Christ - [to invest fully in] putting on the new man that Jesus presented -- made in the image and likeness of God, innocent, pure, intelligent and strong! The message Paul was giving the Ephesians still applies -- "put on the new man!" [This investment guarantees many happy returns.]

Responsive Reading: Life -- lived according to righteousness -- doesn't necessarily mean an easy human experience. But, as Paul explained to the Corinthians, Christ has come to give us hope, confidence, and joy that God's grace is always here, leading us out of the limitations of mortality into the freedom that comes from clothing thought with immortality; freeing us to live in the knowledge that the Kingdom of Heaven is here and now -- and that unlimited life (eternally full and free) is the real essence of being! Focusing on the surface stuff (our earthly house) we miss the true picture. God has given us His house -- His consciousness -- to dwell in. The old mortal myths are swallowed up by Truth. So, just as you dress appropriately to protect yourself from the elements, dress thought in the understanding of your eternal nature as God's immortal idea to protect yourself from every erroneous suggestion of mortality! During the winter, you simply put ON your sweater, coat, hat, gloves, and boots, and the liability to be cold gets swallowed up. Rather than focusing on getting rid (unclothing yourself) of what appears as a mortal body, concentrate on putting on a clear sense of your immortal nature as the child of God. That knowledge of who you really are -- the full and eternal expression of Life -- swallows up the liability of shortage or limitation or ups and downs of any kind! You are free to go about your day, fully protected from the beliefs of mortality -- dressed in an understanding of the immortal NEW you, safe in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Section 1: Be the child of God -- Dress thought in immortality and be new!
Were you born of the flesh? No way! (B-5) We can't believe in two creators when we read, "I am God, and there is none else." (B-1) What does it mean to be the son of God? It means accepting the fact that God has created you of His Spirit -- in His image -- no matter how convincing the picture of a mortal, made of brain, blood, bones, and other material stuff is. There is only one you! There isn't a mortal (limited) us and an immortal (unlimited) us. We are who we are -- individual expressions of Mind's perfect idea, man. So, it's only a mistaken perception that would have us believe things about man based on the testimony of the physical senses -- that man is subject to limited health, income, beauty, intelligence, ability, wisdom, etc. That mortal picture is constituted only of material human beliefs. (S-4) False beliefs, stemming from ignorance or fear, have no power to become real unless we BELIEVE the false beliefs. A belief without a believer stops being even a belief! There is one man -- one you! Identify yourself rightly! Christ Jesus presented the TRUE man -- the man of God's creating -- and gave everyone who "received him" the "power to become the sons of God" -- with all the inherited rights he knew he had. (B-4) Mrs. Eddy gives a wonderful explanation of John 1:12,13 (B-4) in Miscellaneous Writings p.180-185. It's worth a read! We ARE the sons of God -- we ARE in the Spirit. That's just the reality of being. The sooner we start perceiving that we are inseparable from our Maker, the sooner we demonstrate the Principle that includes dominion over all limitations. Stop believing the limited testimony of material sense! Turn to God. Dress thought according to the model of immortal Spirit, and discover the new you that has always been. (B-1; S-2)

Section 2: Commit to the possibility of being born anew! BE the new you!
Nicodemus recognized that Jesus' power to heal came directly from God. But, he didn't understand that this power is available to all of us -- as we submit to the requirements of being born again. Nicodemus wasn't willing to commit to a rebirth. The original Greek word translated "again" also means "anew" or "from above." The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible translates Jesus' words this way: "Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above." (B-7) It struck me that healing is simply restoring a false view to the way things have always been in the Kingdom of Heaven. In digital photography, there is always the option of restoring an edited photo to the original. We have a similar option in our daily lives. Jesus understood his divine origin, and never left the kingdom of God. We've got to give up the model that we (and those around us) were born of the flesh -- into the realm of flesh and blood -- fearful and distant from God. Being born anew, we stop thinking that we were just plopped someplace and subject to being pulled out or withering at any moment (like a weed or a vulnerable flower.) We recognize that we are God's image! An image can't have a life separate from the original! (S-8) We don't go through material conditions (and death) and finally get to the freedom of Spirit and Life. We're there! (S-9)

[Whenever tempted to feel oppressively locked into mortality, remember today is the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Click here to hear how that Wall seemed like a forever fixture to Christian Science Lecturer Scott Preller when he lived in Berlin with his grandmother. As Scott quotes in today's "Daily Lift": "Citizens of the world, accept the ‘glorious liberty of the children of God' and be free! This is your divine right." S&H 227:24]

Shifting our perspective, we see what God is knowing and doing in His kingdom -- right now! All that shifts is thought. Throw out old thoughts. (S-6) [Tear down all seemingly-solid barriers that seem to be keeping you from your spiritual selfhood.] Starting fresh, you are free to entertain the angels -- God's thoughts that are continually presenting the true ideas of God. (S-7) Having accepted the freedom and challenge of rebirth, you start from the basis of holiness. Striving to be obedient to Truth in all things, you feel genuine love for others, and the new you is born anew -- of unlimited, indestructible Spirit! (B-8) [A great example of how a new you can quickly overcome homesickness and gain an enlarged sense of love and family is featured this week on page 8 of MyBibleLesson. It is an adaptation from Brian Asher's full January 5, 2009 article in The Christian Science Sentinel entitled "The Power of Home" where he says: "I protested thoughts of isolation, lack, or fear of living away from home. . . . In praying about how to connect with people, the thought came to me to treat every person I meet as if he or she were my brother, sister, best friend, father, or mother."]

Section 3: Move forward to the new you through humility and love
The story in this section is the same one that Mrs. Eddy devotes two pages to at the beginning of the chapter "Christian Science Practice" in Science and Health. (B-9) What can we learn about the quality of thought requisite for effective healing -- that enables the view to change from the mortal to the immortal -- and totally transform an individual? Whereas the Pharisee saw a sinful woman (the old man, so to speak), Jesus saw the man of God's creating. (S-10 & S-11) And the woman responded to this true view with a change of heart. In humility, she sought out Jesus and outwardly expressed her love for him. What a great example of embracing the concept of a "new you" that comes as we respond to the love of Christ. The Science and Health portion of the lesson spells out some things that help bring about reform (being born anew): flood-tides of love (S-12), changing priorities -- not constantly looking to the body for pleasure or pain (S-13) and understanding that lasting happiness doesn't comes from giving in to fleeting appetites, but from developing an affection for genuine, lasting good! (S-14) The Christ is the divine message always calling us out of the shadows of mortal limits. We have the choice of sticking to our old, limiting ways [and accepted barriers], or of responding and moving freely forward!

Section 4: Clothe yourself in your divine nature! You are a perfect you!
You have been given the promise of abundant grace and peace. All you have to do is accept the
[liberated] nature that God has given you! Your "divine nature" enables you to withstand any force that would try to bring you down, and assures your abiding place in the divine consciousness! Defend your true nature and develop it by exercising these qualities: faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, mutual affection, and love. (B-11 in NRSV) This kind of exercise will make you strong in thought AND body. Be careful that you don't cover up your wonderful, immortal nature with a lot of ill-fitting thought-clothes that would tie you to the limits of mortal belief. Your thought (and thus your experience) can expand to unimaginable possibilities if you just cut yourself loose from all the limits of mortal belief that are constantly trying to stuff you into a preconceived mold of what you can and cannot do. (S-16 & S-17) You are idea! You're not physique. You include ALL right ideas -- no limits! (S-20) Isn't that what Jesus proved over and over? So, anything at all limiting that you have previously thought about yourself -- anything that goes against your true nature -- needs to be put off! Just like you take off dirty clothes! Put on a fresh set of thought-clothes that are in line with what your Creator -- perfect Mind -- knows of you. (B-12) As God's idea, you are just right!

Section 5: Walk in the newness of Life! Death is swallowed up in victory!
When Jairus called Jesus to come to his home to help his daughter who was dying, Jesus didn't hesitate. He knew that Life can't produce death, so he wasn't intimidated by the false report. He did ask the father to believe, and not be afraid. He asked those in the room to stop crying, and when they responded to him with scorn, he put them out. He commanded the daughter to get up, and she did. (B-14) Jesus refused to be pushed around. He insisted that mortal man "part with error, ...put off itself with its deeds, and immortal manhood, the Christ ideal, ...appear." (S-23) How often do we put up with the impositions of imperfection, instead of sticking to the fact that "man is, not shall be, perfect and immortal"? We will overcome death -- as we will overcome all other material beliefs -- as we give up the belief and admit "the immortal facts of being." Then the evidence will change! (S-25) Be alert to not going along with general beliefs -- no matter how many people believe them. Mrs. Eddy tells the story of an experiment done by a group of English students. A felon believed he was bleeding, and died. The "blood" was only warm water. (S&H 379:9) A false belief cannot change the facts. The secret is to stay with the facts that Life -- and the image of Life -- can't die, and the suggestion of death must be swallowed up -- as darkness is swallowed up by the light! (B-13; S-24) We must obey Christ's command to believe, to not be afraid, and to rise up and walk! Nothing can prevent our putting on immortality. Take a stand to live as God's image! "Walk in newness of life." (B-16)

Section 6: The new you is coexistent with God -- no beginning and no end!
Did the principle of mathematics begin one day? Might it end? Is it possible for the number ten to be separated from the laws of math, and its life interrupted? How about the identity of a musical note? Does it begin and end depending on whether or not it is being sung at a particular moment? Can it be separated from its place in the scale? Perhaps Jesus' greatest gift was his demonstration of eternal life -- illustrating that our life doesn't begin or end, either. Jesus taught that it is God's will that we see the Son of God -- the Christ or ideal man -- and that we are able to truly believe Jesus' teachings. We can experience everlasting life. (B-17) Too hard? Scary? Don't think in terms of limited mortal experiences going on forever. The life that Jesus demonstrated was one of total dominion! The new you -- the only genuine you -- coexists with the divine Principle (Life) as reliably as notes and numbers coexist with the principle of music or mathematics. No decline, no aging, no exhaustion or limitation of any kind. You can experience this freedom as you start clothing [investing] your thought in one reality after another. Being coexistent with Life, we are coexistent with each other. That's why Jesus could say "before Abraham was, I am." (B-18 & S-26) He wasn't speaking of a linear relationship. He was identifying himself (as Christ) as forever one with God. Go back to the very beginning of the gospel of John and remember "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1) This Word -- or essential nature of God -- is the Christ that is forever coexistent with God, and so has no beginning and no end! Just as science revealed the truth of the relationship of the sun and earth, divine Science has revealed the true relationship of God and man -- man as IDEA, never born and never dying. (S-27) Don't fight the facts. Embrace them! Live them! Be the new you -- coexistent with Life, Truth, and Love!

______________________________________________________________
[This weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff who were blessed this summer at CEDARS--as well as to thousands of CEDARS alumni, families and friends who request it, or find it weekly on our website. But, current and planned gifts are much-needed to help cover the costs of running this service and of supporting operations and providing camperships. Your support is always tax-deductible and appreciated -- but this year, especially in the coming months, your help is very much needed and precious to us! This is the ideal time to donate to CEDARS Campership Fund that was needed by half of our full camp of campers last summer. Also, before winter it would be great to fund needed "Maintenance Must" projects. We look to God--and to friends like you--for help. You can always call Warren or Gay Huff at (636) 394-6162 to charge your gift or to discuss any short-term or long-term gift that you are considering. CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT CEDARS WORK RIGHT AWAY!
Or, while your gratitude for freely receiving is fresh, you can "freely give" a tax-deductible check payable to CedarS Camps mailed to the office: 
1314 Parkview Valley, Manchester, MO 63011.]

[Camp Director's Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 9-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" come in a subsequent email.) This weekly offering 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 and background as well as new angles on the daily applicability of 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. B-1 and S-28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "met" (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the Bible (B-1 thru B-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. (S-1 thru S-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 the 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
________________________________________________________________

[ PSST --ways for the student in each of us to find new ways to apply truths from the lesson, such as: Invest in an immortality wardrobe; shed mortality's counterfeit snake-skin; bless Ft. Hood]

Possible Sunday School Topics on "Mortals and Immortals"
(the Christian Science Bible Lesson for the week of Nov. 9-15, 2009)
by Merrill Boudreaux [with bracketed italics by Warren Huff]

P.S.S.T. Golden Text (GT) - [Newness!]
Explore with [yourself and] your students the concept of "newness". Ask how many ideas of something new they can come up with and make a list: new year, new bike, new piece of clothing, new puppy, [new sports season, new school term]. What is so special about "new"? Never been used before.... How does one put on the new man, the new idea of you? What do you do with the old man?

[You and your students might like to see a Sunday School student from Michigan share a TMCYouth Bible Lesson video
on how shedding the counterfeit, snake-skin of mortality enabled him to choose to express his immortal, spiritual self in a district soccer game. See citation S-2 for more on "counterfeits from the beginning".]

P.S.S.T. Responsive Reading (RR) - [The Light of Spiritual In-sight!]
What is the purpose of the light in the RR? Bring a flashlight to class and have several coverings for the lens with varying size holes. Have students observe and comment on how much can be seen with the varying openings. What is the corollary to opening our thought to receive the light of truth about our true nature?
[Let's pray that Ft. Hood families can see their loved ones as "eternal in the heavens" although gone. Click here for a helpful spirituality.com article on shootings and 9-11 by Caryl Farkas.]

P.S.S.T. Section 1 - [Spiritual Identity!]
Ask students to list three to five things that Jesus taught. Are those teachings "alive and well" and relevant today? Ask students to share how they have seen or how they have put Christ ideas about their spiritual identity into practice.

[On spiritual identity: "Innocent one, sinless and pure, Nothing can ever divide thee, Governed by Love, you're safe and secure; I am forever beside thee. So rest and know where-e're you go, Home and heaven cannot be denied thee, For I am the Lord. There is none else; There is no God beside Me." (B-1 & Hymn 444:3 Christian Science Hymnal Supplement)  Campers at CedarS Hymn Sings love this Desiree Goyette adaptation of Isa. 45. (B-1)]

P.S.S.T. Section 2 - [Born again-from above!]
Why did Nicodemus come to Jesus by night? What is the connection in this section to putting off the old man implied in the GT? What is used in this section to rid oneself of the old man? [Christa Kreutz offers insights in a Christian Science Sentinel article of November 9, "Carry Your Immortal ID."]   Why water? What are the qualities of water that make it an ideal agent for this job?

What is the definition in S&H of Baptism? (p. 581:23) How is the Christian Science definition of baptism different from other churches' approaches? [Dick Davenport said in part: "Some churches baptize by full immersion and others by sprinkling, but Christian Scientists baptize by dry cleaning..."]

P.S.S.T. Section 3 - ["from the summit . . with oil . . perfume . . . tears . . . & those hairs" See S&H 367:10 for details of these 5 ingredients needed to seek Christ like Mary did --as spelled out in a CedarS 3rd session Youth lecture by Christian Science lecturer, Susie Jostyn.]
Where is the story in B-9 located in S&H? (Opening of the chapter "Christian Science Practice"- p. 362) What are guidelines in this story about how we are to practice Christian Science? [See S&H 367:10 for the 2 no's and the 5 yes' above.]

P.S.S.T. Section 4 - [When we focus or invest thought on the body ("mortal vestures"), our investment-s in our "immortal nature" are lost! (S-16) Instead, put on-invest in-faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity. (B-11)]
What is the listing of qualities in citation B-11 that are indicators of how we practice being followers of Christ Jesus? This requires us to step up and be willing to "drop off their mental swaddling clothes..." (S-17). What are swaddling clothes, where else in the Bible do we read about them? What is the purpose of swaddling clothes for a baby? If we remove these restrictions from our thinking what could be the result of an expanded thought? "Willingness to become as a little child and leave the old for the new...." S&H 323:32 and "...let us labor to dissolve with the universal solvent of Love the adamant of error, - self-will, self-justification, and self-love, - which wars against spirituality and is the law of sin and death. S&H 242:16

[Help yourself and your students see the value of investing in spiritual selfhood that is ageless-always zero-seconds old and putting on new -not old- growth. This eliminates so-called childhood diseases as well as many problems connected with adolescence and with aging.]

P.S.S.T. Section 5 - [Jairus' daughter raised from the dead!]
What other Bible stories also reveal the demonstration of life eternal? Please ask students to share those and look them up in the Bible.

[Four examples of resurrection are included in a humorous, 6-minute sketch about Jesus putting a Jerusalem undertaker out of business. We acted out this skit in a "Reader's Theater" format with three 5th-6th grade Sunday School classes a couple weeks ago when the raising of Lazarus was in the lesson. The raising of Jairus' daughter from the dead (Luke 8:41-55, B-14 this week) is included in the sketch as is the resurrection of the widow's son at Nain (Luke 7, B-19 in the upcoming Dec. 6th lesson.) For $10 you can download the copyrighted script for "Death Doesn't Become Them" by Martha Bolton from the lillenas.com website by clicking here. The tenor of the text conveys the certainty of immortality when the Christ is present. Q. Where have you lost hope? Felt that good has died? Q. Will you let a Christ view raise you and others from dead hopes and from belief in the termination of good?]

P.S.S.T. Section 6 - [Pre-existence revealed! "Before Abraham was, I am." (B-18)]
What are the sayings of Jesus referred to in citation B-18? What is the result of keeping those sayings? Is it a matter of memorizing and "saying" Bible quotations or is it the meaning behind those sayings? (S-28) If one wants to look at the sayings that reveal the nature of God and man see Matthew: Chapters 5, 6, 7, which are considered the Sermon on the Mount. Ask your students who do they consider their role models? What is it about the individuals that are worthy of emulation? Do your role models "work the works of God"? (B-17)

[Are you willing to "work the works of God"--to make an all-out investment in your immortal, spiritual existence-one thought and one deed at a time? If not, why not? All else is wasted.]

Warren Huff, Executive Director The CedarS Camps
Website: www.cedarscamps.org    Email: warren@cedarscamps.org
Tel: (636) 394-6162


 

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