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Thrive with Mathematical Certainty in Spirit's Business of Multiplying Blessings!

Dan Carnesciali C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Thrive with Mathematical Certainty in Spirit's Business of Multiplying Blessings!
CedarS Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on "Spirit" for August 3-9, 2009
Prepared by Dan Carnesciali, CS, of St. Louis, MO
[title & bracketed notes by Warren]

[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]

Do you know what day it is? It's God's day. God has responsibility for the whole day. (You get the day off from worrying.) Spirit is like a beautiful summer day that never ends. How great is that?

Golden Text:
What God does, God surely prospers. In actual fact, God made you and God made you to experience only abundance, laughter, peace and completeness. (You have no capacity to experience what is not from God.) All that is real is of God. All is blessed, because all that is real has its source in God, ["the sustaining infinite" S&H vii]. Wow, then God has already prospered you. So, if you think good is missing, that you are waiting for good's return, it's like you are saying part of God is missing. It's time to give God's thoughts room and let them change your perception about yourself.
[Our Greek for the week: mathetes, the root of our mathematics, means disciple. Our work as disciples--"learners who constantly practice what they learn"--can be done SURELY (without doubt) -"with mathematical certainty"--as Bible Scholar Cobbey Crisler would say. Cobbey translated parts of Jesus' "life work," summarized in the Sermon on the Mount, into mathematical formulas "that enabled Jesus to overcome every calamity and master the within." One is "SE=LB" or "Single Eye = Light Body," Matt. 6:22]

Responsive Reading:
God says that She takes care of you. She promises, but does She deliver? Before you answer that, how many times has God delivered a solution before you ask, before you knew you had a need? This week I needed something so I told God about it. Very soon after I received an email that the need was met. (Obviously, God knew about it before me, proving that God is the source of supply and demand.)
It's a fact that if you are wearing a red shirt, your reflection cannot be wearing a blue shirt, right? Well then, a reflection of God can never doubt or lack. With peaceful confidence you know that Spirit delivers!


Section 1 - Don't just "do the math"--BE the math-without a bit of stress!
  How about a little mathematics, multiplication specifically? "Spirit blesses the multiplication of its own pure and perfect ideas." (Science and Health citation 1 or S-1) "Divine Love blesses its own ideas, and causes them to multiply, -- to manifest (show plainly) His power." (S-4) On that basis who is responsible for your life? Who is responsible for your physical, mental and emotional development? Who is responsible for growing your business? Right, it has to be God because Spirit is the multiplier. What happens if by mistake you take on false responsibility? Stress. Disappointment. What happens if you turn back to God and give Her back the responsibility? Peace. Dominion. Rather than focusing on your concept of God, focus on God's thoughts (reality) about you. You are a complete, spiritual idea. "The seed is within itself." (S-3) You are not a separate entity; you are God's complete reflection. "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." (B-1 NKJV) It may seem like you are gaining an understanding of God, but note what's really happening (from God's perspective). "It is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God." (B-2 NRSV) You are "God caused." You are God's very expression, manifestation, reflection, witness, child, etc. "I have called you by your name; You are Mine." (B-3 NKJV) In Biblical times, the word name meant manner or quality. God named you. God created you for a purpose. [Have fun connecting these concepts in this section with applications of the 3rd and 9th Commandments--about not taking God's name (nature) in vain and about not bearing false witness.]

Section 2- Don't be Haunted by Spiritualism
There are TV shows where people search for ghosts at houses that are "haunted." Ghosts are supposedly people that have passed away, but are supposedly communicating with the living. Right there, that's spiritualism. Isaiah says, "Why not tap into the spirit-world, get in touch with the dead?" (B-7 The Message) He answers, "People who try [spiritualism] get nowhere - a dead-end! Looking this way and that, up and down, and sideways - and seeing nothing. A blank wall, an empty hole ..." (B-7 The Message) People practice spiritualism to try and see the future. Franz Mesmer put people into trances so they could contact supernatural beings. (wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritualism) Obsession with dark beliefs of mortal mind - familiar spirits, demons, witches, divination, necromancy, spiritualism - exists because mortal man tries to make sense of a mortal world. There's no making sense of mortality. Mortal mind is confused, incapable of understanding itself. Mortal man is merely a counterfeit of God's man. There is no way to understand what is truly going on by diving into what doesn't exist! That would be like attempting to clean a window by smearing mud on it.
The two cardinal points of Christian Science are that matter is not real, it's nothing, and that God is real, intelligent, and all powerful. (See S&H 52:19-23.) "Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other." (B-8 NKJV) "There is but one Spirit." (S-5) Jesus said that you can't serve two masters. It's impossible.

Section 3 - Vision as Spirit Sees It
Prophets in the Bible and even some people today have visions. Although the things that appear in visions can be dramatic and unlike anything you or I normally see, visions are evidently a way that God communicates with us. (B-10) Mary Baker Eddy says "Spiritual vision is not subordinate to geometric altitudes. Whatever is governed by God, is never for an instant deprived of the light and might of intelligence and Life." (S-10) When Mary Baker Eddy described St. John's vision recorded in the book of Revelation, she asked, "Through what sense came this vision to St. John? Not through the material visual organs for seeing, for optics are inadequate to take in so wonderful a scene." (S&H 572:25-28) Visions in the Bible are the Word of God. The "Bible Note" in section 3 of MyBibleLesson.com has an excellent description of visions. "In the Bible, having a vision usually meant seeing something that had never been seen before or understanding something that wasn't understandable before. Ezekiel's book has prophecies and visions that include strange, yet compelling imagery. Each image adds drama and interest to the message while conveying spiritual meaning and significance." How do you know when God is speaking? You know it's God's thought when the thought is accompanied by the presence and assurance of Love. "Spirit is symbolized by strength, presence, and power, and also by holy thoughts, winged with Love." (S-11) Ezekiel was experiencing the thoughts of Spirit in a tangible way. Ezekiel's vision included imagery of birds, wings, winged creatures, which are symbols of Spirit. The vision also featured a rainbow ("bow in the cloud"). In the Bible, rainbows are symbols of God's care or reminders that God keeps Her promises! The winged thoughts (Spirit) of Ezekiel's vision directed him to proclaim a message that Israel needed to hear, but didn't want to listen to. In subsequent chapters of the book Ezekiel, God told Ezekiel to tell Israel that it was rebellious. In order to avoid suffering it was time for Israel to stop being self-centered and be God-centered. (B-11)
Regardless of your current circumstances, you are safe. God is watching over you. When you realize and declare that you are blessed (happy in God), you will experience His strength. Then, you will be walking in the light of God. (B-12 and Hymnal Supplement #460) Perhaps you feel like there's something holding you back from responding to God? Don't hide those feelings. Address them with prayer. "Honesty is spiritual power. Dishonesty is human weakness, which forfeits divine help." (S&H 453:16-17)

Section 4- Spiritual Baptism
The gospel of Mark describes Spirit appearing in a softer way than the winged beasts of Ezekiel. In the first chapter of Mark, the author describes the Holy Spirit coming down on Jesus as he was being baptized in the Jordan River in the form of a dove. Why did Christ Jesus, the Messiah, need baptism or cleansing? Maybe he didn't need cleansing. Maybe he was making a point or connecting with God. Maybe he was showing he approved of what John the Baptist had been doing. (B-14) John had been travelling around the land telling people that the Messiah was coming and they needed to repent; that is, change their thought. John baptized people who wanted a new life, a life washed clean by God. (By baptizing them he put them under water to symbolize that they were washed clean of sin.)  Where did John get the authority to do this?  The prophet Zechariah predicted there would be a day when "a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity." (Zech. 13:1 NRSV) The prophet Ezekiel told of a day renewal when "I [God] will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I [God] will cleanse you." (Ezek. 36:25 NRSV) During John's ministry there was a great renewal going on in thought. John had been preparing the people's thought to accept and appreciate Christ. Right when the Holy Spirit descended like a dove on him, people who were there heard a voice from heaven saying, "You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (B-14 NKJV) [Wouldst that each of you and each of your children and Sunday School students should feel this "priceless sense of the dear Father's loving-kindness"-and feel cleansed and that you too are God's beloved child in whom He is "well pleased!" S&H 366:1]  By being baptized by John, Jesus showed that he was ready for his public ministry of teaching and healing.

After his baptism Jesus still faced challenges. Immediately after, he faced severe temptations while spending forty days in the wilderness. Being filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus overcame these temptations. Trials are often useful. They turn you to God and prepare you to rely on God in a future situation. Jesus refused to give into the belief that life is dependent on matter or that life is in matter. What difference does it make if you believe in life in matter? Jesus showed us when he showed up to heal and to raise people that had died.
Acknowledging his spiritual completeness in Spirit and the nothingness of the human mind, Jesus was invulnerable to evil. (Evil is an illusion of the human mind.) Being filled with the Holy Spirit, you are totally safe from harm. Know that "Christ presents the indestructible man, whom Spirit creates, constitutes, and governs." (S-20)

Section 5 - Fear not, Lack not
Say, "No" to world financial meltdown. No, to foreclosure. No, to bankruptcy. Speaking the Truth is powerful, so expect results. As Jesus proved by feeding 5,000-10,000 people, Spirit's supply is infinite and so is ours when we rely on Spirit. Christ is divinity embracing humanity. God cares and She meets your needs. It is an unalterable fact that Spirit is supplying more than anyone and everyone needs.

On the shore of the Sea of Galilee, a little boy felt secure enough in God's love and provision that he gave away all he had. I think he did this because he wasn't seeing lack. Today you have the choice whether to focus on lack or abundance. Doing this is extremely practical. Remember, what the disciple Philip saw? He saw great human need - he saw thousands of people without food. He was impressed with how far he would have to go to get food and how late it was getting. (B-18) How often do we, like Philip, think that God is over there and we're suffering with lack, with disease or with unpaid bills over here? God is not over there. God is right here. God is everywhere.

The authors of the Old Testament felt that God cares especially for the poor. (B-16) God, the actual, infinite, supreme Being knows all and possesses all power. Jesus said, "Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him." (S&H p.1; Matt 6:8 RSV)

Jesus took the loaves and gave thanks. If Christ Jesus gave thanks, shouldn't we? Unwillingness to be grateful is not our thought. It's the human mind's resistance to reality. Right now, you are the infinite, complete expression of infinite Spirit. That's not tomorrow, that's right now. Spirit being infinite has no limits. You are Spirit's reflection and are at this very moment expressing what Spirit is. You are free, independent, substantial, satisfied, and steadfast. In other words, you are everything you need to be to meet any situation. Our Leader said, "Insist vehemently on the great fact which covers the whole ground, that God, Spirit, is all, and that there is none beside Him." (S&H 421:15-18 to 1st .)

Section 6- Peace to the Struggling Hearts
The Jews of the Old Testament had faith that no matter how bad things were they really were OK as long as the temple in Jerusalem stood. Then things got really bad. In about 589 BCE, the army of Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem. The passage from Isaiah is a good description of what happened over the next 18 months. The city was sacked and burned. In about 587 BCE, the Babylonian army destroyed the city, including the temple, took the Jewish leaders and families captive and took them to Babylon. This is what is called the Exile. It is one of the most important events and themes in the Bible. While in Exile the Jews realized that even though they were in exile and the temple had been destroyed, there was one thing that couldn't be destroyed. God. Out of necessity, Judaism evolved - it became less material. (B-19)

During this period of discovery, the Jews found unexpectedly that it helped to be grateful and hopeful. That is why the author of Psalms is declaring gratitude. In the dark hour, he discovered the power of acknowledging gratitude. Rather than being impressed with the Ds (disease, desolation, depression, denial, disgust, death, and destruction) declare how great God is. Rather than believing that things are in decline, acknowledge what all-powerful Spirit is doing. Spirit is renewing, energizing, strengthening and changing your thought and this change in thought changes your experience. (B-20, B-21, B-22)

Recognize that lack or limitation of any sort is a mistaken concept of mortals. Mortal sense is totally unaware of good. It is oblivious to the abundant state of Spirit, which is your actual God-established actuality. Think of the chasm between the impoverished state of mortal thought and Spirit, which is only aware of its own unlimited abundance. Harmony and dominion are truly your state of Being, your state of Mind today. "Now and ever," God is your Saviour. (B-24)

[Last night CedarS staff of over 150 shared wonderful gratitude and fruitage from our best summer yet!  Your contributions are especially needed and appreciated at this time to help cover a couple thousand dollars in costs connected with hosting several, wonderful Christian Science lectures at CedarS. Click here to see Robin Hoagland and Susie Jostyn, both of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship, and each speaking to different sessions of 350 CedarS campers and staff.
CLICK HERE RIGHT AWAY TO SUPPORT CEDARS WORK (and Christian Science lectures at camp)!

Or, while your gratitude is still fresh in thought, you can send a tax-deductible check payable to The CedarS Camps to the camp at 19772 Sugar Drive, Lebanon, MO 65536.

This weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff members being blessed again this summer at CEDARS--as well as to thousands of 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 and otherwise-unavailable, inspirational opportunities. Please help us give to Christian Science Sunday School students from all over the world the inspiration and tools to become "future active workers in the Christian Science Movement." (CedarS 2nd Fundamental concept)
We continue to be 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. We still do have some openings for our one-week 5th session (Aug. 9-15) and for individuals of all ages at Family Camp as well as for single or married adults at our "Celebrate Marriage" weekend!  Please encourage all the friends and C.S. Sunday School students you know to be touch about the possibilities of attending one of these life-changing and blessing sessions!

It will also be VERY helpful to have help in covering transportation costs to get all dear ones to camp! Thanks for your donation (or your church's) of transportation funds and for your gift of earned airline tickets or frequent flyer miles.

Your support is always tax-deductible and appreciated -- and your help at this time is especially precious to us! You can always charge your gift or discuss any short or long-term gift that you are considering by calling Warren or Gay Huff at (636) 394-6162.

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
-possible ways for the disciple in you to better live and share the Spirit,
be free from slavery to gadgetry, ...
Possible Sunday School Topics for the lesson on "Spirit"
for August 9, 2009 by Amy Robbins, Co-Director of CedarS Staff Development

P.S.S.T. Golden Text and Responsive Reading
What are some of the ways that God blesses us? The Responsive Reading describes the supply that we get from God. What are some more examples of the ways that we see God helping and supporting us every day? The last two lines from the Responsive Reading are a continuation from last week. Why do you think the lesson committee chose to include this passage? What links do you see between the lesson on Spirit and the lesson on Love.

P.S.S.T. Section 1
God is calling you. How can you be sure to listen? If God saw everything that He had made and it was good (B-1), what does that mean for our everyday experience? What does it mean to be good? We are not slaves! How can you defeat suggestions that pop up by knowing that you cannot be a slave and you are free? What are some of the things that you can be free from?
[Have you become an involuntary or a voluntary slave to "a desire for (the) incessant amusement" of electronic gadgets and connectivity? (S&H 62:8-12) We have found that a Christian Science summer camp experience allows one be weaned away from such dependencies by finding one's ever-available connections with God and the ever-loving, loveable and fun family of man. "Who doth His will--His likeness still--is satisfied." CS Hymnal #160 ]

P.S.S.T. Section 2
Why do we trust God's directions? How do you avoid the distractions that might keep you from listening to God? What is the difference between spiritualism and Spirit? How do we communicate directly with God and remove intermediaries? What communication do we need to be prioritizing? How do we listen to God's directions and messages?

P.S.S.T. Section 3
What is "the joyful sound"? How do you know when you have heard it? Is it a sound or a state of thought, a way of life? What is spiritual vision? Why is it more important than what we see materially? Explain this to someone who does not study, or is new to Christian Science.
On the pack trip at CedarS, we discussed S-14. If the flight of a bird represents "soaring aspirations," then the unity of a rider and horse on the trail through CedarS' beautiful pasture was about finding the good, the harmony in one's environment. What other metaphors can you come up with? Try using Hymn 460 [Christian Science Hymnal Supplement] and substituting your own verb. "We are walking (dancing, singing, climbing, reading, playing, etc) in the light of God."

P.S.S.T. Section 4

Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist at the very beginning of his ministry, before he had healed anyone, or taught anyone anything. Yet, after he was baptized, God declared, "Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (B-14). What can we learn from this? Will God love us consistently, no matter what we say or do? Do we need to do any incredible things in order for God to be well pleased in us, or is He already loving and cherishing us? How can we be like Jesus and "preach the gospel..., heal the broken-hearted, ...and recovering of sight to the blind" (B-15).
What are some of the ways that we feel God's goodness and power in our lives? What does it mean for God to be omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient (S-18)? How do we witness this everyday?

P.S.S.T. Section 5

What are some ways that we feel supplied by God everyday? Jesus fed 5,000 men with just 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. What kind of faith and trust did that require of him? How can we trust and expect that type of supply in our experiences? Have you ever had an experience like feeding the multitudes? Remember that Jesus gave thanks before he handed out the food. Why was that important? Why do we give thanks to God?
What are miracles? When we see God's influence in our lives, is that miraculous, or a natural extension of God's love and compassion? What does it mean to know that "whatever blesses one blesses all" (S-24)? How does that help to get ourselves out of the way and be prepared for God's blessings?

P.S.S.T. Section 6

How does God protect us in challenges? How does He provide for us on a regular basis (B-22)? How does God help us to feel His peace? Can you give examples from your life? What is the result of having one God (S-7)? How do we trust ourselves to God's direction and peace? What do we need to do in order to "behold and understand God's creation" (S-30)?

 

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