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Let the powerful example of Joseph be your guide to a Mind-inspired career and a peace-filled life!

Janet Hegarty, C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, February 16th, 2009

Let Joseph's powerful example be your guide to a Mind-inspired career and a peace-filled life!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Weekly Bible Lesson on the subject "Mind"
For the week of February 16-22, 2009
Prepared by Janet Hegarty, C.S. of St. Louis, MO

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 -- in English by Monday 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

Have you ever wondered if it's possible to be successful in your efforts and have any peace of mind, since we live in a world that is constantly changing? If you long for peace and consistency in your life, you'll find good, clear, guidance in this Bible Lesson. The story of Joseph is the main feature in the Lesson. Joseph's life included a number of sudden and unexpected changes. Yet, you will see, even though Joseph found himself in distressing situations more than once, he was able to gracefully move forward to success each time. Let's discover how he was able to do this.

Golden Text: Keep your focus on God and trust in Him. Then you will always be at peace. The Student's Reference Dictionary includes this definition of peace: "Freedom from agitation or disturbance by the passions, as from fear, terror, anger, anxiety, or the like; quietness of mind; tranquility; calmness; quiet of conscience." God is ever-present, but with all the distractions that swirl around us everyday we need to have a good plan in place to help us keep our focus on God, good. If we lose this focus we might be tempted, to accept limitations or to believe in the reality of evil. Then we could lose our sense of peace. The Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm are great tools to use to keep our focus on God. Where ever we are and whatever we are doing we can mentally search these prayers to refresh our awareness of what God is. Some people I know carry a paper in their pocket with a favorite Bible verse written on it to help them keep their focus on God throughout the day. What do you do to keep your focus on God? Are there some new ways you could strengthen your focus this week?

Responsive Reading: Don't be offended. Everybody knows it's not good to get offended. It doesn't feel good and sometimes it even consumes all our thoughts. We might go over and over the offending incident in our mind, becoming more and more hurt or angry. With our thought fixed on the offense we can easily be lured into believing that all evil is real. We can also become distracted from those things that are really be important to us. One's reaction to an offense can often hurt oneself more than the offense itself hurts. Most people who have felt seriously offended by the words or actions of others eventually decide that it would have been better not to be offended in the first place. But how can we do this? Just saying that we won't be offended the next time or trying to create this state of mind through human will power won't put an end to the problem. However, we can be freed from taking offense as we grow in our understanding of our relationship with God. This verse from Psalms in the Responsive Reading shows us how we can do this: "In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion." As we rely on God more and become more aware of His love for each of us, our confidence in the continuing power of goodness in our lives increases and the potentially hurtful actions of others stop having an effect on us. We know our good is secure in God. No human word or act can take our good away from us. Verse 112 from Psalm 119 reassures us that we can become even more secure as our motives for action become more spiritual. "I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end." When we are motivated to live for God, to choose our own words and actions in a way that we know would be pleasing to God, we stop worrying about what others are thinking about what we're doing. In Sections 2 through 5 of this lesson you will see that even though Joseph had enemies who tried to harm him, Joseph's trust in God and his God-motivated living gave him the ability to continue to go forward, even in the face of major setbacks. As a result, he was able to do a great deal of good for many people. I know his story will encourage you on your spiritual journey to peace and a rich, full life.

Section 1: Understand your relationship to God. "Omnipotent and infinite Mind made all and includes all." (S1) Because of this fact it is impossible to define yourself as a being separate from God. You exist because God, Mind thought you up. How could an idea ever be separate from the Mind that thought it up? "This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise." (B4) The relationship we have with our Maker gives each of us unlimited access to all that is good. (S2) We don't contain this good, as if it were something that was only for one individual and not for another. Everyone has access to this unlimited goodness because we all reflect the goodness of God. The human ego may try to tempt us with the suggestion that our goodness, our talents, our accomplishments, exist on their own entirely separate from God. But wouldn't this be as if a leaf claimed that it didn't need the tree? Or as if a sunbeam claimed that it didn't need the sun? Without the tree, there is no leaf. Without the sun, there is no sunbeam. Don't let this suggestion of the human ego fool you. This suggestion doesn't free you, it limits you. However, when we understand our perfect and indestructible connection to God we lose all sense of limitation. We realize that we all have unlimited access to infinite good. This blesses us and brings us closer to our fellow man. (S5) To learn more about your relationship to God be sure to read the article "God-empowered Prayer," written by Barbara Vining and published in the February 23, 2009 Christian Science Sentinel.

Section 2: Practice humility. In this section we begin to trace the spiritual progress of Joseph and his family. On page 115 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy describes three different degrees of human progress. As the story begins Joseph and his family appear to be in the first degree of progress. Mrs. Eddy labels this degree as "PHYSICAL" and notes that it includes a number of characteristics including pride, envy, hatred, and revenge. Israel, Joseph's father, took great pride in Joseph. He honored Joseph with a special coat. Because this was a long coat with sleeves it is likely that the coat indicated that his father did not expect Joseph to work as a manual laborer even though his brothers did work as laborers. The garments of laborers were shorter and they didn't have any sleeves. This allowed the arms and legs to move freely. (Interpreter 's One Volume Bible Commentary) Joseph's brothers were envious of the special status his father had given him. Joseph added to their envy and hatred when he boasted to them about a dream he had which suggested that all of the members of his family would bow down to him. His brothers planned to take revenge on him by killing him, but instead Joseph was sold into slavery. (B6) Nothing is gained through evil thoughts like pride, envy, hatred, revenge, and selfishness. These evil thoughts steal the goodness from our lives and hide our true selfhood as loving children united by the one Mind. (S7,S9) Let's take an honest look at our thoughts this week and carefully weed out any boastful, envious, or selfish thoughts that might be overshadowing our real status as the totally loved children of God.

Section 3: Do the right thing and never give up on God. Joseph has made great progress. He has advanced to the highest position in his Master's house and he has also grown spiritually. On Mrs. Eddy's scale of human progress (Science and Health, page 115) Joseph has advanced to the "second degree." Mrs. Eddy has labeled this degree, "MORAL," and she includes humanity, honesty, and temperance in her list of qualities. When his Master's wife tempts him, Joseph refuses. He explains that this would not be the honest or the right thing to do to his Master and that it would also be a "sin against God." (B10) The woman continued to tempt but Joseph quickly chose to do the right thing, he was "governed by Soul instead of sense." (S15) But his Master's wife lied about what had happened and as a result of her lie, Joseph was put in prison. Hymn 18 points to the source of Joseph's courage when he was faced with injustice. It begins, "Be firm and be faithful; desert not the right;" and continues with these lines in the second verse, "If scorn be thy portion, if hatred and loss, if stripes or a prison, remember the cross. God watches above thee, and He will requite (make compensation for); Forsake those that love thee, but never the right." Do you suffer from an injustice? Remember, God watches above you, too and He will put things right and replace anything you might have lost.

Section 4: Continue to use your abilities and always rely on Mind. There is a story about a spider that was trapped inside a Grandfather Clock. Even though the spider was trapped he did what spiders do. He began to spin webs. He worked day and night spinning webs inside that Grandfather Clock. Eventually, the spider had made so many webs inside the clock that the sticky webs caused the clock to stop working. When the owner of the clock opened the clock to see if he could fix it, the spider was able to escape. This is a lot like Joseph's experience. Joseph had continued to be in prison for years. But that didn't stop him from using his God-given abilities. While he was in prison, "he so gained the confidence of the jailer that all the prisoners were committed to his charge." (Westminster Dictionary of the Bible) He also became known for his ability to interpret dreams. It was this ability that finally won him his freedom. Joseph humbly acknowledged that this was not a personal ability when he said, "It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace." Through his many difficult experiences Joseph had apparently come to realize he could do whatever was needed in any circumstance by relying on Mind for guidance. With this uplifted understanding Joseph was now fully prepared to begin his new and demanding career. If you ever feel as if you're trapped in a limiting situation with no possible means of escape, don't give up hope! Lean on God and continue to let your light shine. This will surely open the way for progress.

Section 5: Forgive and forget. During the time that Joseph had been in Egypt, his brothers in Canaan were also making spiritual progress. They now understood the terrible mistake they had made by acting on their envy and throwing Joseph into the pit. They realized the grief that their actions had caused was more painful than their envy had ever been. They had grown in love and loyalty to their father and the family. The one Mind had been guiding the entire family to a greater understanding of love. When Joseph reveals himself to his brothers in Egypt it is evident that they have all progressed to the "third degree" of human progress which Mrs. Eddy named, "SPIRITUAL," and described as including the qualities of purity, spiritual understanding, and love. Joseph, lovingly forgives his brothers when he says, "....be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither; for God did send me before you to preserve life." (B15) Joseph's actions and words prove that it is possible to completely forgive and forget wrongs that have been done to us. Rest assured, the unfailing influence of the one Mind is at work in your thought and in the thought of your loved ones. This perpetual action is inspiring the spiritual growth of each individual. This growth will strengthen your relationships and inspire forgiveness whenever it's needed.

Section 6: Have the Mind of Christ. Joseph demonstrated the power of humble reliance on the one Mind throughout his life. This was the source of his purity, perseverance, wisdom, and discernment. (B19) Christ Jesus humbly proved the complete rule of Mind when he revealed the power of Mind to heal the sick. (B21) Jesus understood and proved that only the thoughts of God, divine Mind were actually real. He revealed that all other thoughts are false, including those thoughts that insist that man has a mind of his own and that this mind can be burdened with fear and false concepts about life. (S26) Through his healing work Jesus proved that there is only one Mind and that this Mind is "the eternal God, good." (S27) What kind of thoughts might you find in the mind "which was also in Christ Jesus" the Mind that is all good? There would have to be beautiful thoughts, kind, loving, and generous thoughts, intelligent, inspired, and gracious thoughts, honest, upright, and loyal thoughts, along with thoughts that were both courageous and gentle. Can you think of some more kinds of good thoughts that are in the one Mind? Always remember, this is the one and only Mind, the perfect, intelligent, inspired and peace-filled Mind that you reflect.


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. Click http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving to read fruitage due to your help; to review current needs; 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, 8-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 on a following page or 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, 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 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



Possible Sunday School Topics for CedarS families and friends by Merrill Boudreaux
for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Mind" for February 22, 2009

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T.] Golden Text - Please define the word, trust.
List some everyday items in your experience on which you have come to trust: car, door locks, drinking fountain, signal lights, sunrise each day, cycles of seasons, parents, friends, sister(s), brother(s).
Why do you trust in these? Perhaps they have been proven over time experienced results to be reliable.

Responsive Reading - What is a result in Ps. 71: 1 of trusting in the Lord? Name at least 3 Old Testament and 3 New Testament bible characters who trusted in the Lord and tell their stories focusing on the results derived from that trust. Was persistence an element needed to support the outcome?

Section 1 - In this Bible section what is the result of looking unto God in Marker 3 (Isa. 45:22)? What are some other terms for God found in the S&H portion of this section? Which of those terms do you reflect?
How can you apply any of those terms in a statement like this: Because God is ___(The Great Unifier)___, and because I reflect _____(the Oneness which is God)_____, I can trust _____(that there is no separation between Mind and idea)_____. When I trust in _____(the Oneness of God and man)_____ then I can act _____(as beholding my fellow ideas as also united with this Mind and us in harmony with each other)_____.

Section 2 - Review the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors. State the results of Joseph's trust in God. Who else benefitted? How? Trusting God is like throwing a pebble in a pond - the blessing ripples out to bless others, even those on the outside edge of the pond, or even at a distance from you.

Section 3 - More of the Joseph story is in this section. Because his master trusted him how was Joseph empowered? What happened when the master thought he was betrayed by Joseph? How was Joseph betrayed? When there seems to be this conflict between two opposite sides or points of view, or when one is bullied by someone, what recourse does one have? Serve time in prison, complain to friends about how unfair it is, run away and hide. What did Joseph do? Trusting in a Lord higher than the human man-made laws has impact. See S&H Marker 14 - 232:30 for a statement of such results.)
What is the science of being referred to in Marker 15?
(See S&H 468: 8.)

Section 4 - More of the Joseph story is included here. How was Joseph's trust in God repaid? Joseph was not advanced in age (years), but he was "advanced in Science.") See Marker 16 - S&H, 84: 7. Joseph is regarded as one of the ancient prophets. What did trusting in God allow Joseph to see in advance of others? Is it possible for us to see the steps to take when trusting in God? Have the students share their own story of seeing something before others, or seeing the steps to take before it was clear to others.

Section 5 - What is the result when one is in synch with the One Mind, not only trusting God, Mind, but also feeling, hearing, acting upon that Mind's direction? What did Joseph do? What can be the result in our lives, our world? See S&H Marker 23.

Section 6 - Which of the Tenets of Christian Science is part of our prayer to have that Mind in us?
See S&H 497: 24. Make a short list of how we all get blessed/benefitted when we have that mind in us that was also in Christ Jesus?
See Marker 23, (Phil. 4: 7)

Warren Huff, Executive Director

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