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Smile and be healthy and prosperous in every way!

Dan Carnesciali C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, November 15th, 2010

[Smile and "be ... healthy and prosperous in every way"! (G.T.]
CedarS "Met"-- Metaphysical Application Ideas for the
Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Soul and Body"
for November 15-21, 2010 -- by Dan Carnesciali, CS, of 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 will 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, 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]
 
Are you in control? Are you healthy? Are you happy? Are you miserable? Have you been saved? What is soul? What is Soul? What is body? 
 
These are important questions and they are questions that this week's Christian Science Bible Lesson explores. We generally work in the paradigms (patterns of thought) that have been around for hundreds of years. We need to be transformed. Our conceptions of government, education, and economy need to be transformed. Let's invite God to transform us, our churches [and our patterns of thought into colorful and unique patterns of "God's kaleidoscope as mentioned in Monday's "Daily Lift" by Marceil DeLacy on ChristianScience.com]. 
 
Here is a tiny example. I mentioned to a friend that I had had a headache the last three weekends in a row and I didn't like that pattern. He said that I should let my life be patterned on the life of Christ Jesus. The moment he said that, I understood that my life must be transformed by Love. Love is the essence of Jesus' life. Well, it's been a very interesting week. Who knew Love was so active!  As a bonus, I was free of headaches this weekend. 
 
[Spread the word about a spiritual, drug-free approach to healing stress in next week's Spirituality.com audio chat: "A spiritual response to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)." If you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD as a result of serving in the military, experiencing an accident or some other trauma, please join this chat with Janet Horton. -Tuesday, November 23, at 2pm EST]
 
Golden Text:
"My prayer for you, my very dear friend, is that you may be as healthy and prosperous in every way as you are in soul." (Phillips)   III John is a letter, which begins with a standard greeting to one who is beloved. This beloved is Gaius, who may have been a leader of a small church in Asia Minor (western part of modern day Turkey). (J. B. Phillips)   [Spiritual life lessons from there and the rest of the New Testament will be explored on the north shore of the "Mediterranean S(k)ea" in CedarS Bible Lands Park.]  
 
Responsive Reading:
The word translated as soul in this passage, the Greek word psyche (ψυχ), has several meanings. It is translated as human soul, which is thought to be the breath of life, the vital force of a person. Or it is one's essence, which survives death. The human soul or self can be improved, but that's not what we are embarked on. We are becoming aware of God's essence. God's nature, the nature of the universe is Soul. We don't have to buy into the theory that there is another power, which is primary or secondary, do we? Let's follow Jesus' commands and refuse to be in sympathy with error.  "Let us be Christ's men [and women] from head to foot, and give no chances to the flesh to have its fling." (Phillips) Soul is really happy. And, this happiness has to be shared, expressed. That's where you come in. Soul expresses Her happiness through you.  Be happy. Praise God. Give God thanks. This is God's will.
 
Section 1 - God's Care for Us
If Soul is infinite power and presence, there can only be one power and presence. The infinity of Soul denies any other power. Deep down, you know that evil is not a power opposed to God. Evil is the illusion of "another". Sometimes when I pray, I ask myself whether I am treating it as a belief or as a reality. Or, I'll ask myself whether evil is primary or secondary. Of course it's neither. But, we have to wake up to that. God is One - the only power (B-1). On the human scene there are millions of souls (beings). But, is that what God is seeing? No? Then, are the millions of souls in reality? It's a counterfeit. A good counterfeit points to the original. It feels, looks, smells like the genuine or gets you to think it does. The human soul is a counterfeit. Do you exist? Of course! But, perhaps you exist in a much more wonderful way than you think you do. Perhaps you aren't busy, exhausted, worried, sad. It's a question of identity and Soul is the identity of God. Getting real, the actuality of your situation is that you have to eat, breathe, work. But, the reality is that God is pouring out a blessing through you.  (God has a purpose for you.)  Reality is that you live (spiritually) in Spirit.  Actuality is where we seem to be humanly. Reality is where God is, where we really are.  Christ is divinity embracing humanity. God is with you, always with you, right now. "There is none else" (B-1). "I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people" (B-2).  Campers, this is what is known as the "Covenant."  The Covenant is a promise made by God to you and me to have a relationship with us, and to care for us. God cares about you, right where you are. There are several places where the Covenant is repeated in the Bible. What happens is the children of Israel need God and turn to God. Then, things go well for them and they think that they don't need God. They like having God as a resource when a big battle is coming up, but they don't want to be tied down with all these rules. Have you ever heard of the term, "tea-bag Christian Scientist"? That's the Christian Scientist who doesn't need God until he/she gets into hot water. For fun, you might like to look up the other places where the Covenant exists in different forms in the Bible. (Exodus 6:7;  Leviticus 26:12;  Isaiah 40:1; 51:22;  multiple reminders in Jeremiah 7:23; 11:4; 24:7; 30:22;  the new covenant, Jeremiah 31:33; 32:38;  Ezekiel 11:20; 14:11; 34:30; 36:28; 37:23-27;  Joel 2:26-27;  Zechariah 8:8; 9:16;  2 Corinthians 6:16;  Hebrews 8:10;  Revelation 21) 
 
The Covenant is also in the book of Ruth. Remember when Ruth pleaded with Naomi, "Do not persuade me to leave you or go back and not follow you. For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you live, I will live; your people will be my people, and your God will be my God." (Ruth 1:16 - Holman Christian Standard Bible). See it there in the last sentence? You know how hard it can be to develop a deep relationship with someone. It takes effort, humility, perseverance, forgiveness. It doesn't happen overnight.   We shouldn't treat our relationship with God any differently.  Know this. God cares for you. God is here for you (B-2). God's Word (Christ) gives humankind light (vision, enlightenment) (B-3).  God wants us to be in relationship with God, and experience Christ - the full realization and understanding of divine good. It is in that relationship that we experience God.
 
Section 2 - The Human Soul in Pain
The Bible verses in this section talk about the pain of the soul (self, ego, sense). The little self gets so absorbed in itself that it loses the light of Soul. Then it says, "Hey, who turned the lights out?!"  It becomes so centered on itself, it thinks it is "the center".  Everything revolves around it. Everything is interpreted through it like a lens (B-6).  There was a righteous man named Job who loved God. Satan boasted to God that Job would curse God if Satan were allowed to make Job's life miserable enough.  Remember as you read, you know that Satan is the source of Job's troubles, but Job did not (B-7). When Job became sick with painful boils, he cursed the day he was born. Along with the physical pain, he was in emotional pain. That's the small self (soul) fixating on the problem. Have you solved a problem by focusing on the problem? Problems are solved by focusing on the solution, not the problem (B-9, B-10, B-11). To add to his hell, the story introduces Job's "friends".   They said things like, "There's a reason for your pain. So just what did you do wrong?"  
 
Here are some quotes from the American Standard Version (ASV) translation of Job to give you a sense of what happened to Job up to this point. 
     "Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, And life unto the bitter in soul" (3:20).
     "For my sighing cometh before I eat, And my groanings are poured out like water" (3:24).
     "According as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, And sow trouble, reap the same" (4:8).
     "If thou wert pure and upright: Surely now he would awake for thee, And make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous" (8:6).
     "Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, Neither will he uphold the evil-doers" (8:20).
     "For thou sayest, My doctrine is pure, And I am clean in thine eyes. But oh that God would speak, And open his lips against thee," (11:4, 5).
     "What ye know, [the same] do I know also: I am not inferior unto you (his accusers/friends)" (13:2).
 
"The beliefs of the human mind rob and enslave it, and then impute (blame) this result to another illusive personification, named Satan" (S-7).  "It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony" (S-10).
 
This part of the story of Job dramatized the effect of ignorance of Soul. Through this whole trial, Job did not blame or curse God. Job didn't give in to what his friends were dishing out. That is a really important point for healing. Refuse to buy into the overall picture that mortal mind is painting. I'm sure you noticed how often Mary Baker Eddy groups Love and Principle together. There is a good reason for that. If God cursed God's creation, God would become un-Love, and would cease to be God. God's Soul (identity) is Love. God is always Love. It is our opportunity to become aware of how that power, named Love, fills the universe. God is in every detail of your life. This is the infinite expression of Soul.
 
Section 3 - Climbing Out of a Slump
"When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you,...  Then God promises to love me all day, sing songs all through the night! My life is God's prayer... Fix my eyes on God - soon I'll be praising again.  He puts a smile on my face. He's my God." (B-12 The Message)  God's presence lifts you up and out of a slump. God knows no slump and "God didn't make no chumps."   If you hear a voice telling you are in a slump or in a painful transition, don't buy into it. 
 
In Job 16:2 (ASV), Job says this of his friends, "I have heard many such things: Miserable comforters are ye all." Question. Has what we call mortal mind ever told you the truth?  Ever?  Then why continue to listen to it?  
 
In chapter 19, Job reaches a turning point. He turns away from sense/soul, and he sees what God is seeing. The hand (power and presence) of God touches him and he knows that God is saving him (from himself) (B-14). This reminds me of a song by a Christian Scientist Alex Cook named "You Can't Take My Life Away" (www.stonebalancer.com/music).
 
[Mary Baker] Eddy said we are like window panes. The more transparent we are, the more we let Truth through.  Nothing about Soul is limited. We are the infinite flowing of Soul, like sunlight pouring through a window. Let's keep the flow of Soul going by keeping our windows clean. Christian Science is the window cleaner revealing Soul and its infinite expression.
 
Section 4 - Losing the False Self
"The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple" (B-16).  That sounds pretty, but let's figure out what it means. The word translated as 'convert' is the word that means to turn back to God. The author of this Psalm is telling us that the perfect law of God (Science) causes us to turn back to our Source (to repent). The word translated as 'perfect' means: complete, whole, entire, sound, entire, sound, healthful, unimpaired, innocent, having integrity, in accord with truth and fact (Strong's Lexicon).  It sounds like wholeness, health is the will of God and is unavoidable.
 
In B-17, the original just has a word that means Almighty. The translators of the KJV [King James Version] added 'Touching'; it is not in the original text. The New International Version (NIV) translates this passage as "The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress." A common erroneous belief is that God sends sickness to teach us a lesson. Rest assured that your loving Parent would never do that. And, if Love did that it would have destroyed itself (become un-Love).
 
The next passage from Job asks us, "What made you so smart? Do you understand how the Earth and the universe were created?" (B-18)  The next passage (B-19), as paraphrased in The Message says: "Job answered God: 'I'm convinced: You can do anything and everything.  Nothing and no one can upset your plans. You asked, 'Who is this muddying the water, ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?'  I admit it.  I was the one.  I babbled on about things far beyond me, made small talk about wonders way over my head. You told me, 'Listen, and let me do the talking.  Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.' I admit I once lived by rumors of you; now I have it all firsthand - from my own eyes and ears!  I'm sorry - forgive me.  I'll never do that again, I promise!  I'll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.' "
 
Are we ready to give up rumors about Soul? (S-18) "The foundation of mortal discord is a false sense of man's origin" (S-19).  A false sense of identity (Soul) holds up healing. Today, re-think what your identity is. Perceive the Christ in yourself. Your wholeness and perfection is not a future state. Eddy said, "The great spiritual fact must be brought out that man is, not shall be, perfect and immortal" (Science and Health 428:22-23).  Then, perceive that same Christ identity in others. ["And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends:..." Job 42:10]  When you do this, healing isn't far off.
 
Section 5 - Jesus Heals
When I am preparing to write ideas on the Bible lesson for CedarS, I read through it, looking for themes and concepts. Before I write a single word, I pray about my motives. I pray for humility for God's Word to be heard. Then, I take a day or two to let the concepts from the Bible lesson germinate.   To prepare this Met, I went on a series of long walks, thinking and listening about the messages in this Bible lesson. I recognize that this is God's work and that God does and did the work. And, God brings ideas at just the right time. At church, we are exploring Christianity through readings and discussion.  This week we read a chapter on healing from a book Christianity for the Rest of Us. That chapter is an engaging discussion of healing in mainline churches. As I read about healing I ran across a paragraph about salvation, which I remembered was in the lesson. "In the biblical tradition, harmony manifests salvation, from the root word salvus, meaning ‘to heal'. Throughout the scriptures, harmony is way of life practiced by a community with healing at its center" (Christianity for the Rest of Us by Diane Butler Bass, p.104).  Healing comes from God. More than that, healing is God. God doesn't just give you health. God is your health. That's why your health is perfect. (B- 20) 
 
In the healing of the man at the pool of Bethesda, there are several characters. The man in need of healing. Jesus, the healer. The other sick people at the pool. And the water. And, there's one more. There was an angel, which represented the superstition that healing could be postponed or put just out of reach. A superstition is "a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge...."  Eddy says, "We must not continue to admit the somethingness of superstition, but we must yield up all belief in it and be wise. When we learn that error is not real, we shall be ready for progress, ‘forgetting those things which are behind' " (Science and Health 353:20-24).  That which holds up healing is a notion. If it's anything else, sickness would be a force or a reality. Jesus saw the man of God's creating, not a mortal with a history. Let's see ourselves that way too.
 
Section 6 - Soul Heals
In our quest to understand who we are, stillness and peace are great allies. We find them when we are present with God. In that space, time fades away and we experience eternity. Soul is the great I AM. The Supreme Being is joy-full, rejoicing over all spiritual creation (B-23). "Knowing that Soul and its attributes were forever manifested through man, the Master healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, feet to the lame, thus bringing to light the scientific action of the divine Mind on human minds and bodies and giving a better understanding of Soul and salvation. Jesus healed sickness and sin by one and the same metaphysical process" (210:11-18).

Have a week full of salvation!
 

Possible Sunday School Topics by Merrill Boudreaux
for the Christian Science Bible Lesson:
"Soul and Body"   for study November 15-21, 2010
 
P.S.S.T. -  Golden Text:  What is it that God desires for us? Prosperity, health; ask students to list other desires God has for us. If God desires it, isn't that then a command and shouldn't we then be expectant of receiving? Look to the rest of the lesson for God's desires for us.
 
P.S.S.T. -  Responsive Reading:   More desires of God. Ask students to search the Responsive Reading and make a list: salvation, light (illumination or inspiration), comfort, edification (intelligence, instruction, education), good, rejoicing, thanks giving, sanctification, preservation, blameless, grace.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 1:  Where is God? Ask students to share an experience where they felt God's presence in their lives. Further opportunity to list God's desires for us: We are Her people, grace and glory, no withholding, understanding. Ask students to complete the phrase, "Divine Love always...." ("...has met and always will meet every human need.") How does Divine Love meet every human need? In, as, and through man. Not in, as, and through a physical body, but in, as, and through man as the reflection of Soul. Ask students to find the answer to the question "What are body and Soul?" See citation S-6.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 2:  Has God condemned mankind? If not then who would, could or should condemn mankind? See S&H 340:28 for the phrase, "...annuls the curse on man..." What curse was it that was annulled? The Adam dream, the belief of life in matter. What applies to Job and by extension to us? Did God curse or condemn Job? See citation B-12. Is Job a child of the darkness or of the light?
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 3:  What did God desire for Job? Answers from the Bible portion: God's lovingkindness, a touch, strength in him, one mind (oneness of mind and idea). Answers from S&H portion: transformation, seeing God, hope, healing, clad not in material flesh but in celestial perfection, illumination, yielding to Divine Mind, spiritual understanding (that is, the understanding that we are spiritual beings), and all things (which are brought to Life). Apply some of these desires of God - which are commands, to assist in preparing a spiritual based prayer for the people of Haiti, or those affected by the volcano in Indonesia.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 4:  What was Job's answer to God's question? See citation B-19. What was God's desire and blessing for Job in citation B-19?  Why was that so? Was Job a special or unique case? OR, does God shower us all with blessings? Are these blessings perpetual? What are fetters? A chain or shackle placed on the feet. Have you ever seen an elephant with a chain around one foot attached to a stake in the ground? Isn't the elephant stronger than the chain? Couldn't the elephant get away? Why does he stay attached? The elephant was trained that way as a young elephant, when he wasn't strong enough to pull away. His belief or training keeps him fettered. How about mankind? What is the predominant fetter? Citation S-22. What is stronger and better than the belief in finite capacity? See citation S-22, 223:11-12. 
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 5:  What was the fetter to the man at the pool of Bethesda? What saved him? What was more substantial, the infirmity of 38 years or "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk."? What other fetters are foisted on man in citation S-25? What is the solution or freeing agent in citation S-26?
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 6:  What are the desires of God for us in this section? Nearness to God, and God to us, rest, bountifulness, deliverance, loosed our bond (like removing the chain or fetter from the elephant's foot), joy, rejoicing, unlimited divine beauty and goodness, harmony, spiritual existence. What is your identity? Based on all the desires of God identified here, ask students to write a one-sentence paragraph made up of one syllable words that speak to their unique self. Such as: God good knows, loves, cares, sees me as whole just like Him/Her; joy is mine, life is mine, ........

[Important Matching Fund Grant Offers Recently Renewed for Year-End Givers:
Donors made a recent pledge, that if CedarS can raise $25,000 by year-end for "Maintenance Musts", they will matching those gifts to cover the whole need! And, thanks also to a recent pledge from other donors, if CedarS can raise $50,000 by next summer for our "Adopt the Herd" Riding Fund, they will match those gifts to cover the needs of feeding, shoeing and caring for our large and precious herd!] 
AND OF COURSE, donations are also always needed and welcome for camperships because without campers there would be no camp! Funds are also being gratefully realized daily to help complete CedarS Bible Lands Park and its "Mediterranean S(k)ea". We will be happy to share more details if you wish to help any of these divine ideas come to fruition! 

[Thanks in advance for GIVING ONLINE! Just click here to use a credit or debit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover card) or a virtual check to make monthly and one-time donations to CedarS' "Mediterranean S(k)ea", Bible Lands, Camperships, "Maintenance Musts", "Mets", Unrestricted, or Endowment Funds as you specify.

Your support is tax-deductible and always welcomed--but during the economic downturn, your generous, unrestricted gifts have been and continue 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.
Writing a monthly check would be an answer to prayer. Please make it payable to "CedarS Camps" and mail it to: CedarS Camps Office, 1314 Parkview Valley, Manchester, MO 63011; or call Warren or Gay Huff at (636) 394-6162 to discuss gifts of securities or property you are considering giving to help underwrite all the spiritual growth and progress at CedarS.]
 
[CedarS weekly Metaphysical Note Newsletters are provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff who have been blessed each 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 deserving youth; and to help our facilities keep pace with our mission. (Click on --http://blog.cedarscamps.org/-- for pictures and write-ups on CedarS Bible Lands Park part of this mission.)

 [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.]
 
[You can now click on the pdf symbol (at the right of the webpage) to download a pdf version of CedarS Lesson mets for easier printing and for better reading from mobile devices.

Enjoy!     Warren Huff, Executive Director   director@cedarscamps.org]
 

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