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Reason Rightly! Walk the straight path to live a lively Life!

Kathy Fitzer, St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT
Posted Monday, July 13th, 2009

Reason Rightly! Walk the straight path to live a lively Life!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the week of July 13-19, 2009 for the
Christian Science Bible Lesson on "LIFE"
Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, 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. JUST SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters

Life in Spirit is totally unlimited. This eternal Life, reflected in a lively life of freedom here and now is realized only as we are completely obedient to the law of God - as we have ONE God and love that God of good completely and fully!

Golden Text: The key to living a full and lively life is to love God fully - completely - with all our heart. How? God frees us to love fully because He WANTS us to live fully! The Message translation speaks of God cutting away the thick calluses of the heart in order to free us to love - and really live!

Responsive Reading:
God's promise: He will make us productive and successful.
Requirement: Listen to God's voice, obey His law, and turn to Him whole-heartedly. Choice (pretty obvious which one we should choose): life and good vs. death and evil. God's desire: That we love and obey, so that we can experience full and happy lives.

Section 1: Life is Spirit - Mind. The possibilities are endless!
It's fun to think about limitless life as God's gift to us - a blessing that God has commanded we have. (B-4)  Take advantage of the gift. Resist being self-entwined, and with open arms unwrap the package and really understand Life. Almost 2,000 years ago Paul began explaining spiritual creation to university scholars in Athens. According to Dummelow, some believed that material atoms were eternal, and others believed the creator was in the creation (pantheism.) Theories today continue to promote the belief that life is stuck in, and dependent on, matter. (S-3)   But, matter is just the outward appearance of material sense - and the material senses are in the business of deception. (Just think about how optical illusions can so easily trick us!) Paul quoted well-known Greek poets to support his understanding that God doesn't live in matter. "For in him we live, and move, and have our being." (B-2)  We read in Science and Health, "Life is divine Mind." Life is not a linear accumulation of events - with a beginning, a middle, and an end, but the continual unfolding of God's infinite thoughts. "Eternity, not time, expresses the thought of Life, and time is no part of eternity." (S-4)  Eternity literally means timeless. So, when you're tempted to feel the pressure of deadlines, age-limits, or feeling that you've "blown it" - that it's too late to do or fix something, or that you've missed an opportunity, remember that eternity (Life) is not limited!! Time is not a factor. As we approach everything we do from the standpoint of living in God and moving in accord with infinite Spirit, we discover the unlimited opportunities and blessings that God continually reveals to us - as His gift -- His command!

Section 2: Life is everlasting good!
Life is a fountain of pure good that never runs out! (B-8)  Evil is an error (a mistaken belief) and has no creator. (S-7)  It's important to be really clear about that fact!  The Psalmist said: "Taste and see that the Lord is good:" (B-9) The only way to really know if something tastes good is to taste it yourself!  The only way to really know who is at the door is to open it and take a look! Take the time to reason through what's true. When we focus on good, the evil MUST disappear! Mrs. Eddy asks if we're being irreverent towards sin when we say that God is almighty Life and Love. (S-6) Sin (the belief that there is a power apart from God) doesn't deserve respect! Can a mixed message of good and evil cohabiting ever be reliable? Look what happened when Adam and Eve tasted that apple! Accept the facts -- God is ALL good, so good never ends. Starting rightly, it's possible to demonstrate the goodness of God through healing. Be convinced that a good Principle can only produce a good idea. Then, let others know what you've discovered, as you demonstrate unselfish giving, health and happiness. It's only because others told friends, neighbors and children about the power of the Word that the good news got passed along from generation to generation and we have it today! (B-7) Keep it going!  Demonstrating good by healing every little error that crosses your path is the best sermon ever preached.

Section 3: Obedience to God's law leads to Life and light
Obeying God's voice - being obedient to God's laws - allows us to stay in the light of Life. (B-11) We are much less likely to get lost or stumble and fall with a light on, than with it off. We should think of correction (instruction) as someone loving us enough to turn on the light switch for us - to shine the flashlight on the path. Rather than responding to correction with resentment, self-justification, or embarrassment, we should be grateful for every opportunity to grow and see more clearly the path that leads to the rich rewards of eternal Life. (B-10) God is constantly giving us gifts of instruction.  Proverbs 4 describes someone with more experience trying to teach someone what they've learned about the blessings of obedience. Walking the straight path of obeying the 10 commandments (which can be summarized as loving God supremely and loving your neighbor as yourself) will lead to health and harmony. You'll be tempted to follow a different path. Don't take the detour -- you'll just have to retrace your steps! (B-12) HOW can we stay on that path of obedience to God's law in this world of temptation to veer left or right? How do we know we're recognizing which path is the right one? Get to know God (taste and see Truth and Love) and you'll find it easier to recognize the path that leads to Life. (S-8) It takes willingness to think things through - to reason rightly. In order to do that, keep ONLY spiritual existence in front of your thought. If "being is holiness, harmony, immortality," then those qualities become your model. Practice holiness and you'll discover harmony and immortality!

Section 4: Fearing (that is honoring and loving) God = eternal Life
The first commandment is that we love God with all our heart and soul and might. Obedience to this command makes sense. As we align thought with Life (God), Life is all we know. We are preserved - kept safe - always! (B-13)  When the children of Israel were threatened by serpents in the wilderness, Moses made a brass serpent, put it on a pole, and lifted it up. Looking up at this serpent, in faith - rather than down in fear - the people were saved. Jesus compared his being lifted up on the cross, and his ascension, to the lifting up of the serpent. As we look UP at the risen Christ - rather than DOWN at the distorted mortal picture of life in matter - we will discover what Jesus came to show us - and experience everlasting Life. (B-14) Acknowledge Life as the only life, and death loses its sting. Evil loses all power to influence. And we discover that life has never been in a mortal body! (B-15 & S-12) Jesus defined eternal life as "a present knowledge of his Father and of himself, - the knowledge of Love, Truth, and Life." (S-13) Eternal life doesn't have anything to do with time. Life isn't linear! Life is knowing man's unity with God, Mind. As the likeness of God, man is "the outward appearance" of the all-knowing and all-acting Mind, Life, Truth, Love, Principle, Soul, Spirit. We each have the Mind of Christ. (S-14) Staying focused on that Mind, you can't be pulled down by the influence of any other supposed mind!  And you discover Life!

Section 5: The living water of obedience to good!
Jesus wasn't afraid to uncover and destroy sin in order to bless another with the living water of Truth. He broke all the rules (as a Jewish Rabbi, i.e. teacher) when he stopped and spoke to a woman in public - let alone a Samaritan (with whom the Jews had been quarreling for 400 years) - and a woman who was living with a man who wasn't her husband. Jesus understood eternal Life to be available to all who are obedient to good - to God's law. Living water was water that ran - as from a fountain or stream - and was pure and limitless. In contrast, the water in a well was stagnant and had the potential to run out. The woman liked the idea of not feeling thirsty anymore and of not having to make the daily trip to the well, but Jesus also forced her to examine how she was living! Not included in this lesson is the woman's question about where to worship - as the Jews and Samaritans disagreed on that subject. [Think about how you can build bridges and heal schisms like Jesus did here.]  We can assume that she wants to go and offer a sacrifice in order to be purified.  But, Jesus indicates that the way to eternal life isn't about an outward worship, but whether or not we live in accord with God. That is the only way to "worship in spirit and in truth." (B-16) Being good - living a life that is in accord with the supreme good, and not making a god out of (or doing things because of) convenience, fear, popularity, ease, or pleasure in matter - is the only way to truly experience Life. (S-19) We need to continually challenge ourselves, as Jesus challenged the woman, asking often, "Am I living the life that approaches the supreme good?" Notice, it says "approach." That points to desire and motive. When we're doing our best, Love provides the living water (the fountain of life) that purifies and cleanses us from all evil and enables us to have the moral courage to obediently live in accord with good. Remaining faithful to God, and running the straight race with persistence, we are guaranteed the reception of the life-giving water of Spirit - and a victory over evil! (S-18)

Section 6 - Overcome the lusts of the flesh - to reach the goal of life in God
This section of the lesson is very straight-forward as it talks about the need to control the demands that our bodies try to make on us. Think about this bigger issue when considering whether or not (or with whom) you will engage in sexual activity. What should your relationship be with your body? Do you govern it, or do you allow it to govern you? Mrs. Eddy speaks of "the warfare with the flesh." In order to "reach the goal of Spirit, or life in God," she tells us that we will have to conquer every phase of sin, sickness, and death.  And this requires constant watchfulness! (S-20) It is popular today to treat sexual relations very casually - to think it is absolutely okay to have sex before marriage or with someone other than your marriage partner. But, it is not okay to be "conformed to this world" - to simply go along with what "everyone" says is okay. Paul wrote to the Romans (who you will remember are well-known for their licentious lives) that they needed "to be transformed by the renewing of [their] mind." The English Standard Version puts it: "be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (B-20)  Again - the demand is to think and reason rightly! Spirit is limitless Life. Matter (the flesh) is always limited! So, why indulge limitation when you can experience limitlessness? Why let the "demands" of the body push you around? We're not wild about being pushed around when we feel "sick." So, why tolerate yielding to sexual demands - or other false appetites? The Bible tells us to flee or avoid fornication. Taken in its most general sense, this is a command to avoid sexual relations outside of marriage, but in early Webster dictionaries, it also referred to any kind of idolatry. We need to keep stretching ourselves to express more and more purity in every area of life. Then, we are ready to receive the blessings of infinite good and eternal Life. Marriage is a wonderful protection for the relations of two people. Both the Bible and Science and Health indicate that once we fully understand spiritual creation there won't be a need for marriage. But, for now, it needs to be cherished and defended. When the focus before (or within) marriage is on satisfying each other's physical needs, great opportunity is lost for getting to know each other at a deeper level - that enables a relationship to continually grow. "Chastity is the cement of civilization and progress. Without it there is no stability in society, and without it one cannot attain the Science of Life." (S-22) According to early Webster definitions of chastity, it is simply purity - including purity of the body; freedom from sex outside of the marriage covenant; freedom from obscenity; and freedom from bad mixture (mixing good and not-so-good thoughts). That covers a lot of ground!  But, it seems a worthy goal if we are seeking to build a solid foundation - bringing our world closer to the freedom of Life in God. This life without limits comes only from holding thought in obedience to God - pure good!

Section 7 - Demonstrate eternal Life - Heal!
Healing isn't about making us more comfortable in matter. It is much more important. It is the demonstration of the fact that "Life is continuous and harmonious." (S-28)  Healing is evidence of putting off the old man (with its limiting lusts and obedience to the flesh) and putting on the new man (obedient only to God, good) - as demanded in Paul's letter to the Ephesians (B-22). In order to heal, the healer must watch that his/her own thoughts are kept pure and spiritually strong. We all have things we're working to improve. The important thing is to demand that erroneous thoughts are uncovered and destroyed. We can't get overwhelmed by physical or moral "errors" in either ourselves or others. We DO need to remain clear that "Life is God and God is All." (S-25) In so doing, we recognize that what doesn't belong to Life (sickness, accident, false appetite, dishonesty, despair, comparison, etc., etc.) doesn't belong to (and is not attractive to) Life's (Mind's) idea. That which is foreign to man (as God's idea) is not to be feared or claimed, but quickly dismissed as illegitimate. In the example of Mr. Clark (suffering from hip-disease), the matter-physician looked at the evidence and believed it to be real. He saw no hope for Mr. Clark. Mrs. Eddy saw through the outward appearance to the man of God's creating -- whole and free. She saw "that Life is God and that the might of omnipotent Spirit shares not its strength with matter or with human will." So, matter or human will cannot take away that strength. The man was healed instantly. (S-26 & 27). We can all practice having that pure vision all the time - unadulterated by the acceptance of impurity as belonging to ourselves or others. As Christians, and as Christian Scientists, we have received (through the teachings of Christ) the understanding that God is Life and Life is good, and man reflects this good life.  Having freely received this knowledge, we must share it by freely giving - by healing EVERY ill of the flesh that comes before our thought. (B-24) There is ONLY good. We can bear witness to that and free ourselves and our world from the impositions of material belief! Live LIFE fully!

This weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff we hope to bless again this summer at CEDARS--as well as to CEDARS alumni, families and friends who request it, or find it on our website. But, current and planned gifts are much-needed to help cover the costs of running this service and of providing camperships.

CLICK HERE RIGHT AWAY TO SUPPORT CEDARS WORK ONLINE!
We are thrilled and extremely grateful that some large, hoped-for FOUNDATION GRANTS came through on top of several small and large individual gifts, so that we have enough campership contributions to guarantee that any Christian Science Sunday School student who wants to come to CedarS this summer can do so. Please encourage all the C.S. Sunday School students you know to attend a camp for Christian Scientists this summer! To also help cover transportation costs to get these dear ones to camp, you or your church's donations of transportation funds or your gift of earned airline tickets or frequent flyer miles would be VERY helpful.
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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 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

Possible Sunday School Topics by Merrill Boudreaux
for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Life" for July 13-19, 2009

P.S.S.T. - Golden Text - Have students read Hymn 135 which begins,
"I know no life divided, O Lord of life, from Thee."
Also read Psalm 51:7-12 as a baseline for this week's lesson.

"Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit."

Now, what are the action words in the Golden Text that shows God as active in our lives? "will change"

P.S.S.T. - Responsive Reading - What are the action words in the RR that indicate the requirement that we be an active partner with God, Life, with the result for us being "life eternal"?

• Hearken to the voice of God

• Keep his commandments

• Turn unto the Lord thy God

• Love the Lord thy God

• Walk in his ways

• Live and multiply

• Choose life

• Obey his voice

• Cleave unto him

P.S.S.T. - Section 1 - What did the Lord command for you and all ideas of God? (B-4 Psalm 133:3) Make a list of your blessings. Using the Bible and Science & Health, complete this phrase, "Life........" Examples: "life for evermore," "Life and being are of God," "he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things."

P.S.S.T. - Section 2 - What does Habakkuk tell us of God in B-5? Who was Habakkuk? What is a prophet? Are you a prophet? Would you like to be one? Again, there are action words in this section indicating requirements for us to be an active partner with God. What actions of ours are listed in B-7? Do you trust God? Why? Look to S-7 for some key truths about God that can foster our trust in God.

P.S.S.T. - Section 3 - We return to a theme of God making us plenteous in every work of our hand. This does not indicate that we are all the same, but our divine gifts or talents come from the same source.

See 1 Cor.12:4-11: "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will."

Look again to B-12 (Prov. 4) and list those action words for us: take fast hold, let her not go, enter not into, avoid, turn, pass, attend, etc.

P.S.S.T. - Section 4 - What is the result of keeping God's sayings? See B-15 (John 8:51). Make a list of the sayings in this section that results in life eternal. What is the commandment urged by Jesus? (S-11) Which Tenet of Christian Science aligns most closely with this urging of Jesus? It is the one in which we make a solemn promise (#6).

P.S.S.T. - Section 5 - Can you live without goodness in your life? (S-15) What is required of us? What must we take up arms against? (S-18) What is the result if we take up this cross and continue this warfare? (S-18) Where on Science and Health do you find the cross and crown intertwined as a symbol of Christian Science and of Christianity?

P.S.S.T. - Section 6 - What does it mean to present your bodies as a living sacrifice? (B-20) See one answer given following the question in S&H at the end of section 5 (S-19). What is God's will for you and for all mankind? How do we discern God's will for us? (See S-20) See also - again - the 6th Tenet.

P.S.S.T. - Section 7 - What does it mean to practice Christian Science? What does it mean to watch? To watch out? What was the result of Mary Baker Eddy's watching with Mr. Clark of Lynn, MA? What did Mary Baker Eddy demonstrate with this healing? (S-27 - 193:32: "Life is God...")
Questions: Is Life God? Is God Good? Is Life Good? Is Life eternal? Is Life continuous? What therefore, must we experience in our lives, as reflections of God, Life? Life, Good, continually, eternally.

 

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