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Destroy dragons to allow your real existence as a child of God to come to light.

Phebe Telschow, C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, October 4th, 2010

Destroy dragons [drag-on beliefs] to allow your real existence as a child of God to come to light.
CedarS Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson "Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?" for 10-10-10
By Phebe Telschow, St. Louis, MO [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 thanks to Pascal or Denise, in German thanks to Helga or in Spanish thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio. YOU CAN SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters]

If we had asked just about anyone before the days of Christopher Columbus if the world was flat, they would have said, "Of course!" So it is these days when we approach the question, "Are sin, disease, and death real?" Most folks will answer that question with a resounding "yes!"

There are plenty of times in life when the truth is the exact opposite of popular opinion. Have you ever noticed that popular opinion is usually based on a material sense of things? Long ago, people thought the earth was flat because it LOOKED flat to them. As far as they could tell, earth stretched to the horizon and that's where it ended. In fact, many old maps labeled uncharted areas - especially in the ocean - with the warning, "Beyond this point there be dragons." It's an apt metaphor for a common belief about the so-called timeline of mortal life. The mortal senses argue that life only extends to a certain point, and then it stops, and then it's as though we find ourselves in an uncharted place surrounded by dragons. (Check out the 6th section of this week's lesson and then we'll talk about dragons!) [--and about drag-ons or drag-on beliefs!]

But, just like the world has always been round despite material sense testimony and popular opinion, so it is with the fact that sin, disease, and death are unreal. Of course it's one thing to say this, and it's another to feel and know and prove this in our own lives. How exactly are we going to reason through the question in this week's subject and get the right answer? Speaking of maps and charts, Mrs. Eddy tells us that the Bible is "our chart of life." (See Science and Health, p 24:4)
Remember Jesus' example? When he was tempted by the devil in the wilderness, he answered every false suggestion with a statement of truth, of divine law directly from Scripture - from God's own Word. Mrs. Eddy did the very same thing. They did this because they both knew that there's no arguing with God's Word. It's simply the absolute truth.

We need to deal with a question like "Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?" in exactly the same way. This week's lesson sermon offers us a very solid approach. Here are some study questions to help us dig in and do our own work on this important topic. You will want to have your lesson sermon close at hand as you read through these questions.

Golden Text (GT) and Responsive Reading (RR):
You'll notice these passages from Psalms talks a lot about "enemies". Who or what are the enemies? ["flesh" (sin) GT; "the sorrows of hell ... the snares of death; and "an evil disease" (RR)] What are we learning about who and what God is from these passages? How would you define God based on what you're reading here? What does that understanding of God do for all of us in relation to our enemies?   

[In Ps. 18:3 and B-2 we find the answer to this question and CedarS campers and alumni will recognize the opening verse of "The Rock Song": "I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies." The refrain (not in the RR) is where this call-and-response song gets its "Rock Song" name. "The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted."  (Ps. 18:46)  Each verse-that we will videotape and share next summer--has hand motions and is repeated 3 times, each time in a higher key. This song and this lesson give us a higher way to answer to the frequently-asked question: "Have you been saved?" In the Glossary of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy's definition of "SALVATION" ends with "sin, sickness, and death destroyed."  In Miscellany she defines her "rock of salvation and ...  reason for existing"-her sustain-ability-by her ability to Impart the spiritual antidotes to death, sickness and sin: "I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is the rock of my salvation and my reason for existing." (My. 165:18)  Let's have fun--this week and beyond-in finding and sharing our solid and "scientific ... reason(s) for existing"!]
 
Section 1
The name, nature, and activity of God are all one. What happens when we turn our thought to God, to call on His name and praise Him?
Notice a "call and response" theme in the Bible citations of this section. When we pray, (call on God) how does God respond? What changes when we pray: God, or our thinking? What's the outcome of that change?   
We always want to pay special attention whenever the Bible says, "and God said..." or "thus saith the Lord".  You might find it interesting in keeping a running list of the things that God says throughout this week's lesson. 
 
Section 2
(B6) This passage is one of the most profound in the entire Bible. Which of the seven days of creation is being described here? When you think of the order of creation and what was created on each day, when were all those things created which were for man's "meat"? What day was man created? What conclusions can you draw from this order of creation? What is the significance of the fact that everything man needed for his meat and maintenance preceded him in the order of creation? 
(B7) Notice what mortal mind would like to argue in Genesis 2, right on the heels of the absolute perfection in Genesis 1. What do we do when these kinds of arguments come to us? 
It has been said that "Error may be a problem, but it's not a power." Where do we want to rest our focus - on the problem, or on the solution?  

(SH 5 and 6) Why would Mrs. Eddy describe "knowledge" in this way? What's the difference between knowledge and understanding? Which would you like to pursue, and how do we go about doing that? 
(SH 7-9)   It has been said that the very first argument of error is that it exists, and the second argument is that it can act, and the third argument is that it can have an effect. What does Christian Science teach us about how to address these arguments? 
 
Section 3
After you've read the Bible citations in this section, ask yourself, "Is there such a thing as a "talking serpent" in the animal kingdom?" (See Science and Health, p 529 "Whence comes a talking, lying serpent to tempt the children of divine Love? The serpent enters into the metaphor only as evil. We have nothing in the animal kingdom which represents the species described, - a talking serpent, - and should rejoice that evil, by whatever figure presented, contradicts itself and has neither origin nor support in Truth and good. Seeing this, we should have faith to fight all claims of evil, because we know that they are worthless and unreal.")

(SH 11) What is one of the most wonderful and little known benefits of overcoming a belief in the reality (power, desirability, inevitability) of sin? 
 (SH 12-14) What/whose example is our mainstay as we overcome a belief in sin? Why and how is this the case? 
 
Section 4
(B16) Even if you've read this story many times before, read it again for the first time and remember that even now, "the Christ is here, all dreams of error breaking, unloosing bonds of all captivity." (Christian Science Hymnal, 202)

(SH 16)   What's the basis of reality according to the material senses?   How does divine Science determine reality?  
(SH 17) What's the role of the Christ in overcoming sin?  
(SH 16-18) Based specifically on what you're reading in the citations in this section, what's the relationship between the Christ and Truth and all of us?  
(SH 18) What's the outcome of "learning [our] way in Christian Science?"
 
Section 5
(B17) Was the crucifixion necessary? Why or why not? What was the ultimate outcome of the crucifixion and what did that prove? What are some of the things we learn from Jesus' crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension? 
(B19) Explain what this statement means to you: "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."

What's "the last enemy"? Has it been destroyed? If so, how? Who destroyed it? 
(SH 20-21) What was it about Jesus or what he did that made him, "the Way"?  
 
Section 6
Is there any relationship between Spirit and matter? Is there any relationship between the real and unreal? 

(B24) What are "the leaves of the tree" and why are they so healing? (Read on to the citations in Science and Health for this section...)

(SH25) Remember the tree in the 2nd chapter of Genesis at the beginning of the lesson?   Compare, contrast, and describe "the tree" in Revelation. What is the tree in Revelation and what does it symbolize? 
(SH26-28) Remember the serpent in the 2nd chapter of Genesis. Compare and contrast the serpent in Revelation? What form is it in now, and how did it get to be that way? What does that creature symbolize? 
(SH 29) What's the active ingredient in the destruction of error, and what does it mean for all of us when error is destroyed? 
Here's to letting our real existence [and our "reason for existing"] as children of God come to light this week and every week!  
PS So sorry that technical and scheduling difficulties delayed the below PSST for last week's lesson. Amy and Tom inserted great ideas and links to cool resources that hopefully will still prove to be helpful to you and your classes.


PSST for "Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?" for October 4-10, 2010
by Amy and Tom Evans, St. Louis, MO


Of course not! We are daily confronted with this question. Don't forget the right answer. Name some subtle ways in which this question is posed to you each day (Fatigue at school, jealousy towards a peer, a sneeze...).

PSST for the Golden Text
"I will not fear what flesh can do unto me." Wow, that's bold! What is behind this trust in God? What pact exists between people and our Father-Mother God which allows us to trust Her so fully? What simple commands can you apply to a situation which allow you to say without doubt that God is in control and protecting you?

PSST for Responsive Reading
What is it like to "walk before God in the light of the living"? Is that the way you always walk/act? Are there any requirements to live your life that way? Does it require a great deal of effort to follow God's bright light? Are there physical light waves coming from God or is this a light of understanding? Are you creating any light or witnessing God's provision in your life? Here is a little flash video from a former CedarS Counselor, David Bates, on TMC Youth to get you thinking about light-like ideas to banish the darkness of sin, disease, and death.

PSST for Section 1
B3 God is a transforming power. How has divine Mind touched your life this week, today? Are you paying attention? Do you ever get so caught up in the sorrow that you are not open to the good? How do we get rid of the "sackcloth" attitude? (Teachers, explain what sackcloth is, how it was always used to mourn publicly and attract attention to one's sense of loss read more). How does our reliance on God turn us from sorry to joy?
S3 Do you think of Divine Mind as your best friend? Is this surprising? What kinds of things does your BFF do for you? How do you feel supported by your best friend? What does it mean for God, Mind, to be your best friend? How do you think about God? How do you talk about God? Do you always say "Him, Father, God..."? How do you hear others describe God? Is there an "official" Christian Science way to talk about God?

PSST for Section 2
When B6 says that "God created man in his own image," what do you think the image of God is? What does it look and act like? The first "but" in the Bible appears in B7, the second chapter of Genesis. What does that mean to you? What does the word but signify? What happens before "but"? Think about the definition of knowledge in S6. What is true knowledge? What kind of knowledge are we seeking? What is the difference between knowledge and understanding?

PSST for Section 3
The serpent in the Garden of Eden was described as more subtle than any other creature. How do we guard against subtlety? How is sin subtle? How do you make sure that you aren't being fooled by subtle thoughts that are completely unlike you? Think about S14. How do you change your course and do right when you've been doing wrong? Think of someone else you has done that. What needs to change in order to turn away from doing wrong and immediately doing good? Do you think it's possible? What laws can we declare to be unsound and unable to govern us?

PSST for Section 4
What does in mean in B15 when it says "I have found a ransom"? How does God protect and preserve us from "going into the pit"? What is the pit that Job is describing? Why don't we need to be concerned or afraid of it? S17 states that the "same power which heals sin also heals sickness." Why is this? Is there are difference between lies? When you see through the nothingness of one lie, is it difficult to see through the nothingness of another lie? The following tmcyouth video challenges us to think differently about sin, disease, death, and evil. What stands out to you in it?

PSST for Section 5
What are some ways that we are preserved by God? Give an example of how you have trusted God completely, without any idea of how He would lead you. What do you think Paul means when he says that the "last enemy to be destroyed is death" (B19)? How have you witnessed the destruction of death? What kind of dying thoughts can you get rid of, and keep out of your experience? Look at S21. Think about the importance of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. Why do we value those events? What do most religions recognize as the significance of the crucifixion (hint: think about sin)? In Christian Science, we go one step further and recognize the significance of the resurrection. What did Jesus prove the nothingness of with his resurrection? How does this make Christian Science unique from other religions?

PSST for Section 6
How many times is the word salvation found in this section? What is salvation and why is it important to us? When John refers to a "wonder in heaven" in B22, is he talking about the kingdom of heaven that Jesus spoke of? How is the tree described in B24 different from the tree in the garden of Eden? Is there a choice of fruit for you to select from? Good or evil? Do we really choose? Is the right (moral, uplifted) choice always clear? How is the red dragon "ripe for destruction" (S27)? What does that mean? Apply this to your own life. Think about the talking serpent in Genesis 2. How is it different from the great red dragon in Revelation? Is there a difference between 1 x 0 and 1,000,000 x 0? How does man's existence (S29) come to light? What is this light? What does real existence look like?

 

[CedarS weekly Metaphysical Newsletters are provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff who were blessed this summer at CEDARS--as well as to thousands of CEDARS alumni, families, Sunday School teachers and friends who request it, or who find it weekly on our website or through CS Directory. But, current and planned gifts are much-needed: to cover the costs of running this "free" service; to provide camperships to make inspirational opportunities possible for our deserving youth; and to complete Stage2 of Bible Lands Park (BLP).   (Click on --http://blog.cedarscamps.org/-- for past and upcoming pictures and write-ups on CedarS Bible Lands Park.)

Special Announcements:

1) Registration has now opened for Cedars 50th anniversary jubilee over the August 19-22, 2011 weekend, and all Cedars alumni and supporters are warmly invited! To learn how you can participate in this special celebration, please visit www.cedarscamps.org/50th
Your support is always tax-deductible and welcomed--but during the economic downturn, your help has been and continues to be especially needed and appreciated! To support CedarS work you can make a charitable donation to our 501C-3 tax-exempt, charitable organization in many wonderful ways.
Thank you for considering writing a monthly check payable to CedarS Camps and mailing it to: CedarS Camps, 19772 Sugar Drive, Lebanon, MO 65536; or for calling Warren or Gay Huff at (636) 394-6162 to discuss gifts of securities or property you are considering giving to benefit CedarS.
  
[Camp Director's Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 10-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 "Possible Sunday School Topics" come in a subsequent email.) These weekly offerings are 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 (and angels) 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, Executive Director   director@cedarscamps.org]

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