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Whole-heartedly Use Spiritual Sense and Gratitude to See and Remember Everything About Reality!

Rick Stewart, C.S., Dresden, Germany
Posted Monday, September 21st, 2009

Whole-heartedly Use Spiritual Sense and Gratitude to See and Remember Everything About Reality!
CedarS Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson
on "Reality" for the week of September 21-27, 2009
By Rick Stewart, C.S., of Dresden, Germany [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 -- 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]

The Christian Science Bible Lesson active in consciousness is the glue that holds things together. Our Movement, our churches, our families, our friends, our world, and even our bodies are embraced by the powerful spiritual truths contained in the citations from the Bible and Science and Health. Each Bible Lesson is unique, individual, and stands on its own for right now and for eternity.

But isn't it nice when we see a favorite Bible Lesson subject come up and are reminded of wonderful healings, insights, or instructions from past lessons? That is exactly what always happens to me with the subject, Reality. I vividly remember my Sunday School teacher, Iris Link, beginning our class with a question. "What is the real thing?" The class all laughed right away, because the then-current advertising campaign for Coca-Cola proudly indentified Coke as the "real thing."

Ever since that insightful Sunday School discussion, it has been easy for me to understand and remember, that the "real thing" is not some soft drink, some popular product, some trendy health care system, or anything material. The one and only "Real Thing" is God, Spirit, and Spirit's creation.

So let's get started in discovering what unique and individual aspect of "The Real Thing," is unfolded in this week's Bible Lesson on "Reality."

Golden Text
The Golden Text in one sense is a prayer to God asking for our eyes to be opened. So we can expect this Bible Lesson to show us ways that God opens our eyes to reality that may be obscured by the belief in mortal limitation. There is one Biblical experience I always think of when it comes to "eye-opening" experiences. It is the experience of Hagar in Genesis 21. She was lost in the desert, thought she and her son Ishmael would die of thirst, and an angel spoke to her in encouragement, opening her eyes to the present salvation, a spring of water. Let's let our eyes be opened this week to the salvation of "Reality" that is already at hand!!

["Gratitude outlaws blindness to present good." This one-liner by Miss Mary Kessler, one of Warren's Sunday School teachers, was shared by Kathy Fitzer, C.S. in her closing talk to the International Christian Science Nurses Conference, "Dwelling in the Light", held at CedarS last week. Ingratitude and blindness to the presence of the Christ among them was a problem for the Pharisees. To help keep such blindness from being a problem for us, the Bible Lesson Committee has - in at least three straight lessons (9-20, 9-27 & 10-4) - focused the Golden Text and lesson on eyes or sight.]

Responsive Reading
Our introduction to the Bible Lesson offers the encouragement that we should look to God as the source of our health, peace, and the truth we need. And we are assured that God's thoughts about us are thoughts of peace and not of evil and that we can be certain of a good result. We are encouraged that we should search for God with our "whole heart." So let's not approach this week's lesson half-heartedly, but give it our all. God tells us in the words of the prophet, Jeremiah, that if we do this we will find Him.

Section 1:
The Bible: The Responsive Reading encouraged us to look for God and find Him. And the first section continues this encouragement of actually being able to find God, to know God. Citation B-3 tells us that we are God's sheep, and that He has made us. In citation B-4 from Acts, Paul rebukes the concept of worshipping an "UNKNOWN GOD." He unfolds a God that is the very source of all we do: "in him we live, and move, and have our being." But isn't it great that Paul points out that local poets also hinted at that relationship? And he quotes them, "For we are also his offspring."

[Note also that Paul starts his amazing public speaking opportunity in a meeting of the Athenian Areopagus by complimenting his audience--not by criticizing them. Paul says that "in every way" he sees that they are "more religious than others"--not "too superstitious" as the King James interprets his Greek word "deisidaimonesteros" (#1174 in the Greek dictionary of Strong's Exhaustive Concordance). Paul's common-ground approach and laid-out logic help him win over to Christianity "Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others." (Acts 17:34 New International Version, or NIV) Mrs. Eddy illumines this passage further: "St. Paul said to the Athenians, 'For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.'  This statement is in substance identical with my own: 'There is no life, truth, substance, nor intelligence in matter.' It is quite clear that as yet this grandest verity has not been fully demonstrated, but it is nevertheless true. If Christian Science reiterates St. Paul's teaching, we, as Christian Scientists, should give to the world convincing proof of the validity of this scientific statement of being. Having perceived, in advance of others, this scientific fact, we owe to ourselves and to the world a struggle for its demonstration." Ret. 93:17]

Science and Health: So, we are being encouraged to find God, but where? Science and Health makes it clear that we find God as we correctly identify God. (S-2)  God as the Principle of all existence, Spirit, Truth, Life, Love. (S-3, S-4)  God that makes all and makes it good. And finally the great wisdom of not looking for God where God is not!! (S-5)  Don't look to matter when looking for God, Spirit.  It will close your eyes. Look to the "immortal idea of God." It will open your eyes to see things that others miss.  Wait till you see what happens in Section 2!

Section 2: Find God right where you are.
The Bible: Featured are Moses, the burning bush, and the first commandment. You can look at Moses' life [of 120 years on earth] in three equal parts. His first forty years he was in Egypt as a baby of slaves and then as a Prince of Egypt. But he was forced to flee that chapter of his life and came into the wilderness where he lived as a shepherd. Outdoors, observing nature, and reflecting on how in the world he got out there. As he became more observant and learned to open his eyes to protect his sheep, God called him to a new level of observation, a new level of consciousness. He didn't just observe matter, he saw through matter (B-6 Exodus 3:2-4). The bush burned and was not consumed. God assured Moses that right where he was God was, and that on that ground of spiritual understanding Moses would serve God, the one and only God, "the Real Thing."

Science and HealthMary Baker Eddy loved the First Commandment and like Moses she yearned to lead mankind out of slavery. Freedom from worshipping matter to the worship of the one God, Spirit.(See S&H page 226) Obedience to this law of divine Principle, Mind, frees from obedience to the false laws of material existence because these so-called laws are not laws, but false beliefs. (S-10, S-11)

Section 3: Reality revealed in stillness.
The Bible:
Elijah hears the "still, small voice" (Hebrew, "sound of soft, stillness"). We read earlier about Moses glimpsing reality in the wilderness. And now we read a compelling story of Elijah, another prophet of the one God. Elijah had a great success on Mt. Carmel in opposing the false prophets of Baal and standing for the one God.

[Cross country runners, check out the immediate prequel (in I Kings 18) to the Bible Lesson story in citation B-9. Elijah is so "strengthened mightily" by God's back-to-back answering of his prayers--first his call for "fire from heaven" to stop the royally-encouraged trend of idol worship, and then of his prayer for rain to break a long drought that "tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab's chariot all the way to Jezreel." (about 20 miles, in the rain!) NIV]

But the result was that Jezebel, the wife of Ahab the king, takes great exception to what Elijah had done and sends him a death threat. (B-9) Elijah is afraid and runs for his life ["to Beersheba, far in the south of Judah"]--another 95 miles, all in about a day [(I Kings 19, NIV, The Message)]. After all Elijah had done, he falls into a deep sleep and wakes up to find food and drink provided by an angel. He travels [40 days and nights] on the strength of these provisions, and comes to a cave in the Mt. Horeb mountain range where Moses [both saw the burning bush and] received the Ten Commandments. Elijah witnesses a great display of natural fury: wind, earthquake, fire: and only discerns God's presence in the "sound of soft, stillness." [Click here for today's "Daily Lift"--a two-minute tip by Christian Science Lecturer Ryder Stevens from this Bible story on how to be spiritually active versus humanly busy.]

Science and Health: Elijah's story is an interesting one to bring to the interpretation of the Comforter, "the Spirit of Truth, that leads to all truth." Elijah was confronted by the rage and opposition of a jealous queen and also by rampaging natural forces. He discovered or found God's reality in the "still, small voice." In these citations of Science and Health we find that we too must look past the reports of matter and so-called material law, in order to discover the reality of spiritual harmony. My son, Noah, used to often encourage me to tell patients telephoning for help, "Papa, tell them to listen for the "still, small voice." Noah was right. There is no limit to the effect of listening to this voice of Truth and Love. As our Leader writes, "The ‘still, small voice' of scientific thought reaches over continent and ocean to the globe's remotest bound." (Science and Health, 559).

Section 4: The Christ opens our eyes to the perfection of reality.
The Bible: Christ Jesus demonstrates what an understanding of the perfection of God's reality can accomplish. And he instructs the people to claim perfection that comes from our Father, God. (B-12, Matt. 5) Every disease is healed. To explain this phenomenon he asks his disciples, "Who am I?" To properly identify who was doing the work, the answer was the Christ. Have you ever heard the statement, "Well, nobody's perfect." What a different direction Christ Jesus took when he challenged us to be perfect, as our Father, God is perfect.

Science and Health: Jesus kept his eyes open to the perfection of God's creation as reality. When my mom wanted us to help her look for something she used to say, "Keep your eyes peeled!" Looking for perfection with this Science of reality we find God's creation intact. (S-17) Staying clear on who or what is revealing the reality is important. (S-18, S-19, S-20) As Mrs. Eddy writes, "Hold perpetually this thought, -- that it is the spiritual idea, the Holy Ghost and Christ, which enables you to demonstrate, with scientific certainty, the rule of healing, based upon its divine Principle, Love, underlying, overlying, and encompassing all true being" (Science and Health, 496).

Section 5: "Vision opening" to timeless reality.
The Bible:
We read of the wonderful examples in the lives of Moses, Elijah, and Jesus. Now it is revealed to us that the reality of Life is not limited to corporeality. Jesus speaks with both Moses and Elijah on the mount of transfiguration and Peter, James, and John witness this meeting. Their eyes are opened to the timeless nature of life and reality. A powerful article that communicates this sense of unending reality and individuality appeared in The Christian Science Journal, February 2001, Pages 32 -35. "Individuality -- Its Eternal Presence" by Barbara Cook C.S. (Now Barbara Cook Spencer)

Science and Health: Jesus told Peter, James, and John to keep what they had seen to themselves until the "Son of Man had risen from the dead." Mary Baker Eddy once wrote that she had found a work on Christian Science must first be proved or demonstrated before it could be profitably published. Is that what Jesus was asking of the disciples -- that first the final and complete demonstration of Life eternal, the unending reality of existence must be demonstrated before they could talk about this experience? The Master did subsequently rise from the grave. And can't we, as witnesses to reality, keep our "eyes peeled," keep our eyes wide open to the evidences of reality always present? Can we begin in simple obedience (S-25) to the marginal heading from Science and Health, "Vision opening."

Section 6: The Parable of leaven, its simplicity and surprise.
The Bible
: In almost one-third of Jesus' teaching he used the means of a parable--a story either true or fictitious that leads often to an unexpected or surprise ending. Different than myths, fables, allegories, or tales, a parable was a form of teaching in Jewish tradition. In the New Testament it is called "parabole," from "ball - to throw" and "bole - the other side." And in Jesus' parables it is interesting that although he was speaking of and to the simple, there was often a surprise element, and a link to a deeper reality. How appropriate for our lesson on "Reality."

And although parables were usually about very familiar-often simple, earthly--subjects to Jesus' audiences, there also could be a hidden depth of meaning, illustrating great spiritual truths. Every one of Jesus' listeners probably knew about leavening bread. And they most probably knew that a very little leaven can raise a huge loaf of bread. But Jesus was talking about the Kingdom of Heaven, about what we might call the ultimate spiritual reality, not about baking bread!

Earlier in our Bible Lesson we find Moses and Elijah having to look beyond sometimes frightening or startling material appearances. Moses looked and discovered a sense of substance beyond matter and saw the nature of God as indestructible, "the bush burned and was not consumed." (See S&H page 468, The Scientific Statement of Being.) Isn't that what Moses glimpsed? And Elijah had worked mighty wonders, powerful acts in defense of the true worship of God, Jehovah. But his great lesson in the cave required him to look beyond cataclysmic, material events in order to know God in the "still, small voice" ("sound of soft, stillness").

[How wonderful that Moses and Elijah (two of the Hebrew Bible's top heroes who may have ascended since their bodies were never found) could do some "time travelling" to share the great truths of eternal life with Jesus at this point! On the mount of transfiguration (B-15), shortly before Jesus faced a brutal whipping and crucifixion--possibly the hardest, noisiest and most destructive attack on life ever inflicted by man--Elijah showed his life to be eternal and surely shared the softness and stillness of "the still, small voice" that defused the threat to his life. Moses' presence also showed the indestructibility of his life as did the burning bush revealed to him by the great I Am.]

Science and Health: The citations in Science and Health tell us of another seeker of God, Mary Baker Eddy, who was also forced to look deeper for inspiration [to "our great Master and the lives of prophets and apostles." (S-29)] In turning to the Bible when all else had failed, her eyes were opened to a new reality. Here is how Mary Baker Eddy describes her seeking of God after what an attending physician called a serious internal injury: "On the third day thereafter, I called for my Bible, and opened it at Matthew ix. 2. As I read, the healing Truth dawned upon my sense; and the result was that I rose, dressed myself, and ever after was in better health than I had before enjoyed. That short experience included a glimpse of the great fact that I have since tried to make plain to others, namely, Life in and of Spirit; this Life being the sole reality of existence." (Miscellaneous Writings, 24).

This "glimpse," this [eyes wide-opened] peek at reality, healed Mary Baker Eddy. And as she dedicated herself to understand what had occurred in that healing, she found in the Bible the "Christian Science" that healed her. She recorded the insights that came through her dedicated seeking and published them in Science and Health. This glimpse of reality continues to heal humanity, transforming human thought just like the "little leaven" placed in the meal. (See S&H 118:13)

[Once you glimpse reality, give it your loving attention so that you magnify it and never forget it. If you start to Forget Everything About Reality, just get your Remembering Everything About Reality in gear with Gratitude for Everything About Reality!]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[This weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers & 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 providing camperships and otherwise-unavailable, inspirational opportunities. Your support is always tax-deductible and appreciated -- but your help this year is especially precious to us! This is the ideal time before winter to do "Maintenance Must" projects such as replacing some pool and grounds-keeping equipment and plumbing fixtures, yet our 5-year grant for this has expired. So 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 RIGHT AWAY TO SUPPORT CEDARS WORK!
Or, while your gratitude is fresh for freely receiving,
you can "freely give" a tax-deductible check payable to The CedarS Camps to the camp at 19772 Sugar Drive, Lebanon, MO 65536.

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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

[P.S.S.T. How to: love being law-abiding; put "1st things 1st"; not fall for optical illusions; live in the now!]
Possible Sunday School Topics for Sunday, September 27th - Lesson on "Reality"
by Steve Henn of St. Louis, MO
[with bracketed italics by Warren Huff]

This week's PSST installment approaches the lesson a little differently - instead of walking through the lesson section by section, this PSST will present things topically and then let teachers run with ideas based on listed passages. The topics chosen have particular reference to the lives of our young-people today and are well addressed in this week's lesson. [Please see P.S.#5 for a prayer request that was just forwarded to me from a church member in the Philippines. You may wish to apply the truths about God's laws, Reality and Timing in your individual response today and possibly in a collective-class response tomorrow.]

Laws/Rules -
High Schoolers are constantly coming up against rules and "laws" in their lives - yet this week's lesson presents rules and laws in a very different light. As you look at the following citations, consider asking your students about what it means to follow God's law -- how can following the rules really be "wondrous" or make our lives better? [Why did Mrs. Eddy expect Christian Scientists to be "the most systematic and law abiding people on earth"? -see Ret. 87:10 Check out a P.S.#1 at the end for ways to help your students work with the 10 Commandments as 10 laws of liberty--instead of resenting and resisting them--as if they were 10 restrictions on their freedom.]
References:
Golden Text (Ps. 119:12(to:), 18)
S-1 (275:10-14)
S-4 (335:7-12)
B-7 (Ex. 19:5)
B-8 (Ex. 20:3)
S-8 (340:16-22)
S-9 (112:16)
S-10 (171:25)
S-11 (184:3, 12)
S-19 (137:16-21)
S-20 (138:6-15)
S-27 (380:22-25)
S-29 (126:22)

Desire/Passion -
Every teenager wants something. Often it is freedom, or responsibility, or respect, or simply to have a good time. Look at what this week's lesson presents as being our primary desire/passion, and the result of putting God first. Will their other desires be left in the dust if they choose to put God first? What do your students think it looks like to truly put God first? [You may want to remind students that EGO could stand for Edging God Out. See P.S.#2 for a hands-on exercise to illustrate the importance of following the 1st Commandment of putting God first.]
References:
Responsive Reading (Jer. 29:13)
B-1 (Job 11:7)
B-3 (Ps. 100:3-5)
B-4 (Acts 17:27-28)
S-5 (262:9-14)
B-12 (Matt. 5:48) - also in the "Sermon on the Mount" - from which this citation is taken, is Jesus' discussion about desire - look at the end of Matt. 6 to see where treasure should be stored, as well as what we should "seek after".
B-14 (Ps. 27:4)
S-25 (428:6)
B-18 (Luke 11:9 Ask,10)

Reality -
It seems fitting that this would be a topic in a lesson entirely on "Reality" right? But how does it apply to our youth? Often they look at high school as being a precursor to the "real world". What does it mean to be a part of the "real world"? What is the reality they are looking to be part of? How can they discern between reality and unreality? [See P.S.#3 for how to quickly show students that what looks real, very often is not real.]
References:
S-3 (472:24-26 All)
S-6 (71:1-2 (to 1st .))
S-7 (200:4)
S-12 (207:27-31)
S-13 (298:4-15)
S-15 (495:20)
S-16 (353:16-17 Perfection)
S-21 (xi:9-14)
S-28 (109:4-6)

Pace and Time - ["Rushing around smartly is no proof of accomplishing much." Mis. 230:12]
Though not a major theme in this week's lesson -- it appears that our young people can use a reminder about the pace of the lives they lead. How often are they actually still? How often is their thought still? It would be a great help to them as thinkers, students, problem-solvers, brothers, sisters, athletes, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc...for them to take a lesson from a few citations in this week's lesson. [See P.S.#4 for more on how to live in the now.]
References:
B-9 (1 Kings 19:12)
B-10 (Ps. 46:10)
B-15 (Mark 9:2-8) [Mount-of-transfiguration time-travelling!]
S-28 (109:11-24)

[P.S. #1 on Liberating Laws: Here are several ways to help students transition from thinking of the 10 Commandments as 10 restrictions on their freedom to seeing them as 10 laws of liberty.
A. "Top Ten Ways to be Free" or ("The Top Ten Laws of Liberation")
-- Bible Scholar Barry Huff says in a TMCYouth podcast on the Ten Commandments for Sunday School: "obeying the commandments is ... a way to show gratitude for the freedom God has already given us and to continue to experience this freedom in our relationships with God and with each other. These top ten ways to be free are introduced by a verse that I used to always skip over, until I learned that it is traditionally identified in Judaism as the first commandment. Right before "Thou shalt have no other gods before me," God declares, "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery" (Ex. 20:2, NRSV). THIS is the first commandment in Judaism, establishing all the commandments that follow as laws not of limitation but of liberation. In Jewish tradition, the second commandment is "You shall have no other gods. You shall not make graven images." But first and foremost is the recognition that these laws are foundations for freedom, gifts from the God who led you from bondage under Pharaoh to bonding with God." Click here to listen to this as one of a series of audio podcasts on the cool,new TMCYouth website. How often do you seek to really bond with God in order to be led out of bondage into freedom?
B. "Ten lawyers brilliantly defending our dominion"
In the April 2002 Christian Science Journal, an article by Rebecca Odegaard describes the 10 Commandments as "lawyers brilliantly defending our dominion, liberating us from bondage." (TMCYouth podcast (above))
C. "Like laws of aerodynamics ... (that) enable us to soar"
"Pilots don't see the laws of aerodynamics as confining. Instead, understanding them enables us to soar." (ibid.) Has misunderstanding any of the Commandments caused you or a friend to "crash land?"
D. "A lifejacket, not a straightjacket."
"The 10 Commandments. ... are a lifejacket, not a straightjacket." (ibid.) Q. Does any Commandment feel like a straightjacket to you? Q. If so, which one(s)? How can you turn each into a lifejacket for you?
E. Like warning signs of thin spots on a frozen lake. "
The Ten Commandments have been compared to signs on a frozen lake, pointing out spots where the ice is thin. God is saying to these people who have just been freed from slavery that you can ice-skate on the whole lake of freedom except for these ten areas of thin ice which will abruptly end your freedom skate." (ibid.) Q. Which warning signs/commandments do your friends choose to ignore? Q. How can you help them without coming off as "holier than thou?" Q. Do you have an obligation to warn them of the danger? (A. Science & Health p. 571:12 & 452:10)
F. The Ten Commandments as Architectural Specifications created by God to guarantee the ongoing perfection of His masterwork, you and me.
These construction standards of "the great Architect," like all architectural specs, fall into ten sections or categories. Far from being "Ten Restrictions" on your liberty, they are more like Ten Guarantees to your lasting freedom and perfection. They're not merely "10 Suggestions." As specs, the 10 Commandments are a key part of your contract that must be totally upheld.
G. The Top Ten Laws of Healing:
Jesus said that he cast out devils, not by Beelzebub, but by "the finger of God." (Luke 11:20) Bible Scholar Cobbey Crisler pointed out that "the finger of God" was what wrote The Ten Commandments (Ex. 31:20). What a great hint Jesus gave us about the healing power of obeying the 10 Commandments! No wonder that Mary Baker Eddy writes that "Obedience to these commandments is indispensable to health, happiness, and length of days." ~ Mis. p. 67 Q. What problem(s) would you like to see healed ASAP? Q. Can you find a way to better keep each of God's laws (commandments) that will heal bring about healing by "the finger of God"?]

[P.S.#2 on a possible symbolic exercise to illustrate the 1st Commandment:
You may wish to try this hands-on exercise at home first. It could illustrate the importance of following the 1st Commandment to put God first. Then, if you wish, share it with your class as a demo or as a gift in whatever way comes to you. Ingredients to gather: a 3-tennis balls "can" (or plastic container) with a lid; a few cups of any variety of uncooked rice; a funnel (optional--folded paper could work); and a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients. Open the "can" of 3 Balls (possibly representing Life, Truth and Love). Pour the rice (possibly representing your daily "added-unto" joys and chores, homework, ...) into the can and around the Balls (ideally using a funnel). Shake and squeeze the plastic container so as much rice as possible fills in around the Balls. Then, put on the lid of the can -symbolizing the completion of a wonderful, God-center activity or day --with all needed duties done and joyous growth experienced. Then, dump all the ingredients into the mixing bowl. Now, try setting aside the Balls (Life, Truth and Love)--like unwisely starting your next "day" or activity by Edging God Out.. First, funnel all the rice back into the "can" (without thinking about God's central place in each event). Then, try to cram in all three Balls. Life and Truth should fit, but you'll have to leave Love out to fit on the lid. The next time you start an activity or your day, you'll remember the value of the proper sequence--to put no other gods before God in all we do!]

[P.S.#3 using optical illusions about "REALITY": Showing students an optical illusion or two can be a fun, hands-on way to demonstrate that what LOOKS real, usually is not real. One of my favorite optical illusions to show is a perfect circle that looks bent out of shape because all the background lines under and around it that bombard it from different angles. (I will be glad to send you a copy by email attachment if you request one.) You can assure students that they are like that perfect circle and never need to feel bent out of shape, no matter what angle arguments or temptations come at them. You may want to type "Optical illusions" at Google.com and print out a couple of others with spiritual significance that you can quickly share.]

[P.S.#4 on PACE, TIME and TIME TRAVEL:
As many Sunday School students have read in one of the Harry Potter fictional books, Hermione Grainger tries to solve the overloaded pace of school. She has so many things to do at the same time that she turns back the hands of a special clock to do daily time-traveling. This enables her to take two courses at the same time and to go back in time to fix glitches that alter the course of current and future events. This power is also featured in film in the current movie-book, The Time Traveler's Wife and the Back to the Future series. If you would like to have the ability to turn forward or "turn back the hands of time", how would you use your time-travelling ability? Since our God is "God. The great I AM"(S&H 587)-not God, "the has-been, I was"-or "God, the hopefully I will be"--we always have the power to give effective, retroactive Christian Science treatments to reverse any mistakes or error that seems to have occurred. The focus of the Christian Science Sentinel of August 3, 2009 is "Stop the clock! A spiritual approach to living in the NOW." A very interesting, feature article, called "TIME MASTERS" is a Jeffrey Hildner interview of physicists Laurance Doyle and David Carico ands shows how time is an illusion.]

[P.S.#5 Subject: A call to join us in prayer
Dear Friends,

I'm writing to invite you all to support all of us metaphysically and join us in prayer today. A flash flood caught Metro Manila and neighboring provinces unaware. It doesn't seem like this has really reached international media yet.

The rains we received today took a greater toll than expected and accumulated an amount within 6 hours that we would otherwise only accumulate in a month. All of us who are safe at home are supporting our church members in prayer. Some of the cities in Metro Manila are fully submerged in water by the time of this writing and our major expressways have become rivers. One of our church members have been sitting in her roof with her dog since noon waiting for a rescue team and two of our church members have already lost their houses (I will not say home, because our home is in God!). One of my Sunday School students is still inside his house in waist-deep water. In spite of all this, the faith that came through the communication I've had with these people have been truly inspiring. I am still waiting to hear back from someone from the Pateros church because the news says that Pateros city has been submerged in water as well.

I do not want to cause any alarm, and I, for one, have been doing my best all day not to "stand aghast at nothingness", but I felt impelled to write because I know that prayer has power, and even more so collectively. All the support you can provide in your own prayers will be very appreciated by all of us here.

Love from the Philippines,
Camille]

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

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