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Build Strong! Choose a Foundation of Unfailing Spirit Rather than Crumbling Matter!

Kathy Fitzer, St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT
Posted Monday, March 15th, 2010

Build Strong! 
Choose a Foundation of Unfailing Spirit Rather than Crumbling Matter!
Metaphysical Application Ideas on the Christian Science Bible Lesson for "Matter"
for study during the week of March 15-21, 2010
Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, C.S. of St. Louis, MO [with 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. Soon a free German translation will be available again from Helga. SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters]

My husband's first job as an engineer was to be the architect's representative at a site where a high-rise office building was being constructed. Part of his job was to be sure all building materials were in line with the architect's specifications. He sometimes had to reject a load of concrete or insist that things be re-done. It took courage to make these demands, as he was decades younger than some of the foremen on the job. But, without a firm foundation, and proper materials there was danger of building a structure that would ultimately collapse. 
 
We are all in the building business -- building lives that fully represent God's design. It takes courage to reject popular opinions regarding the basis from which we're going to build.  But, building according to God's specifications, we know we are on solid ground and nothing can shake us! Christ Jesus showed us how. We read in Science and Health, "Sometime we shall learn how Spirit, the great architect, has created men and women in Science. We ought to weary of the fleeting and false and to cherish nothing which hinders our highest selfhood." (S&H 68: 6-8) This lesson on "Matter" teaches us to construct our view of life according to the design of this great architect - Spirit -- from the ground up, and to stop basing anything on the crumbling pretenses of suppositious matter.
[Much more on building your life on spiritual foundations await you, or young people you know ages 16-30, at the upcoming and uplifting Southeast Spiritual Activist Summit near Atlanta.  Just click here for more info and for a link to sign up for this event that TMCYouth has asked me to publicize, which will be held over the weekend of March 26 (8PM) to March 28 (4PM).  There will be talks by Christian Science lecturers including Q&A sessions and workshops all about your spiritual growth on topics such as Class Instruction, Answering Tough Questions about Christian Science, and Becoming a Full-time Healer.]
 
Golden Text: Stick with permanent Truth -- Build strong!
God's law is permanently fixed!  Understanding this law establishes our lives in harmony. As The Message puts it, "With your instruction, I understand life; that's why I hate false propaganda." Ever notice how often material theories, health laws, and human opinions shift and change?  The lures of matter and personality are always false propaganda, misguiding our best intentions! Building on misleading information dooms us to failure!
 
Responsive Reading: God reveals the crumbling nature of matter.
It may seem that teachers or bosses ask the impossible of their students or workers, but imagine how you'd feel if you were one of King Nebuchadnezzar's wise men! The king needed a dream interpreted. But, he wouldn't tell anyone what the dream was! The wise men -- depending on their own abilities -- had no clue. They faced the penalty of death. Daniel came along, though, and defended them, saying that only God could reveal such secrets. He then described the king's dream and interpreted it for him. Depending on human abilities is a crumbling foundation. AND, material empires (which the king's dream image represented) crumble. Only divine understanding and God's kingdom last forever.  Through this experience, King Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged the power of God and made Daniel governor of the province of Babylon. MyBibleLesson explains why and when this account was written in the Bible. 
 
Section 1: Matter -- an error of perception -- has no foundation. All is Spirit!
This section starts out proclaiming that God is all there is -- first, last, only! (B-1&2)  And that earth and heaven -- our eternal experience -- is built on this permanent foundation of God's "only-ness"! (B-3)  Then, we have the psalmist's prayer to understand God's creation and to turn away from anything that isn't God.  Remember to ask God for help!  Remember that the physical senses don't show us God's creation. (Paul quotes Isa. 64:4)  God reveals reality "by his Spirit." (B-5 -- New Living) We so often make the mistake of thinking that matter is something. But, Spirit being all, there isn't anything else. (S-1)  So ... think about matter as Mrs. Eddy defines it: the opposite of the real, a human concept; an error of statement; a mortal phenomenon (S-2); merely the objective supposition of Spirit's opposite (S-3); an illusion (S-4).  There is nothing in these descriptions worthy of building on. Matter is simply an error of perception -- that which seems very real, but isn't! Imagine looking down railroad tracks and trying to design a train to run on tracks that don't stay parallel! You have to start with the facts as they really are -- not as they seem to be!  Spirit (expressed as thought) is indestructible and permanent. To build solidly, get out of the "shallows of mortal belief." Go up; get a clear view; dig deep.  Don't get stuck on the appearances! (S-6)  Idolatry builds on the report of the mortal senses. (S-5)  You're not falling into that trap!
 
Section 2: The pride of human knowledge is a worthless foundation. Attempting to build on it leads to confusion and scattered thought.
The story of the building (and destruction) of the tower of Babel was probably written in an effort to explain why people speak different languages and how mankind became dispersed. For the builders in ancient Babylon -- the construction of the tower appeared to be for the purpose of building acclaim for themselves -- not for the purpose of glorifying God.  The Jews viewed the project as evidence of idolatry and later told this story from the perspective of God's displeasure with His people. But, what does the tower of Babel have to do with us? Confusion (how to proceed, where to go, what to do), as well as scattered (unfocused) thought and division amongst people, are things we hear people dealing with all the time!  So, how do we overcome these problems?
 
Think about the difference between the approach taken by the builders of the tower in Babylon -- the center of civilization after the flood -- and the prayer of the Psalmist in Ps. 71? (B-6&8)  Where is the reliance being placed -- on human ability and understanding (even pride) OR on God? Before starting a project -- or communicating with others -- it's good to ask, "What's my motive, what's my starting point, and is this being done to glorify God?" Our motive for WHATEVER we're doing needs to be to praise God -- not draw attention to ourselves. Effective communication comes from praying in the language of God (Spirit) -- in other words, listening for Love to inspire and motivate us -- and then speaking in a way that will be understood by those around us. (B-9)  Do that, and your foundation will be firm and the building strong. Your work will be focused and successful. We have to be alert not to think success is the result of personal skills and cohesive personalities, or fall into the trap of pride of accomplishment. According to Mrs. Eddy's definition of Babel, false knowledge based on the evidence of the material senses is at the core of the shaky foundation, leading to downfall every time. (S-8) We all have one Father. That's the basis (foundation) of effective communication and efficient working together. (S-12) Respond to God's revealing of Himself in you -- rather than working to assert yourself. True Science puts God at the center! (S-9,10 &12)
 
Section 3: Building on solid rock, rather than shifting sand, yields good fruit.
We're all so familiar with Jesus' parable of the man who built his house on the rock instead of the sand -- and remember that your house is your consciousness. But it's easy to overlook the details that come just before -- who the builder is being compared to. He says the man on the rock is anyone who hears what Jesus is saying and does what he says to do.  Jesus warned his followers of false prophets that come in the disguise of sheep (humble and obedient) but were really selfish wolves. (B-12)  Think about this in terms of the empty promises of matter-based solutions today. We are bombarded with the suggestions that alcohol, sex, food, lots of friends, or hours in front of the TV and computer will make us happy; or that a pill is an easy fix for a headache or for cramps. Seems innocent enough, but what kind of permanent fruit do these things bear?  A sound foundation will provide a sense of security that no matter where you are or what happens, you know God's love and grace are there to meet your need, and you know how to tap into that love and grace. A consciousness that can't be shaken -- no ups and downs -- is one that is planted "unreservedly on the teachings of Jesus, of his apostles, of the prophets, and on the testimony of the Science of Mind." (S-15) To learn how other young people are planting themselves on these foundations, check out the videos and podcasts on TMCYouth.com.
 
Section 4: Act boldly! Select the rejected cornerstone of Christ.  Your perfect relationship with God forms the foundation for health, happiness, and prosperity.
Choosing moral standards or ways of treating disease that don't go along with society's general train of thought isn't always easy -- and won't necessarily make you popular. Jesus wasn't popular with the "in-crowd" at the temple. But, having the courage to stand up against the accepted notions of the time -- and stand up to the "laws" of matter, including the claims of disease -- enabled Jesus to overcome every obstacle. (S-18) Those who "got it" recognized his works as evidence that he was the promised Savior, "The son of David."   Jesus' teachings and example became the cornerstone --the indispensable and fundamental basis -- for Christianity to build on. The Pharisees couldn't deny that Jesus was performing "miracles", but they came up with their own explanation for the works he was doing. Jesus looked and acted very different than the Messiah they had expected, They accused him of healing by means of Beelzebub --one who ruled the malign spirits or demons that supposedly filled the air. Although exorcists and wizards commonly performed miracles at this time, Jesus' works were different.  Everything Jesus did was good, and went beyond what others did. Jesus explained: (1) If demons were destroying what they had caused, Satan's empire would soon fall apart. (Same thing could be said today about matter healing matter.)  (2) Jesus knew that others (including some of the Pharisees' students) performed miracles. Were they of Satan, too?  Jesus' works were evidence that God's kingdom had come. (B-14)
 
Jesus started from the model of perfect God having created perfect man. (S-19) He healed scientifically by challenging the validity of discord in the face of perfection. It is not the human mind that does the healing, but the divine Mind.  Mrs. Eddy makes it clear that we can't "gain control over the body in any other way." (S-20) All are free to choose whatever form of treatment they feel they can rely on at any given moment.  But, doesn't "radical reliance on Truth" indicate that if we are to heal by relying on Mind, we can't give power to anything else? (S-20)  Jesus proved our spiritual senses to be permanent - eternal -- because "their reality and immortality are in Spirit and understanding." (S-22) Insist on this fact -- no matter what matter says (good or bad.) You can bring healing to our world!
 
Section 5: Walk over the waves of mortal sense. Don't be afraid to trust Spirit!
By walking on the waves -- and inviting Peter to do the same -- Jesus showed that the laws of physics are really not laws at all -- but only accepted beliefs! (B-17)  This wasn't the first or only time Jesus disproved material laws. He turned water into wine, multiplied the loaves and fishes, healed the sick, and raised the dead. (S-24)  Peter witnessed these miracles and was eager to give it a try himself. What caused him to sink? It had nothing to do with the water. It was just FEAR.  He let what he heard and saw get to him.  Have you ever found yourself doing something without thinking? Then, realizing that you don't know how to do what you're doing, you get scared, and down you go. Nothing changed except your thought!  "The law of Christ, or Truth, makes all things possible to Spirit ..." (S-25)  If it is possible for Spirit, it is possible for Spirit's idea -- you and me! Don't let the noise and sight of symptoms or the opinions of others throw you!  Check out what Mrs. Eddy says in Unity of Good, page 11.
 
What forces govern us -- whether taking a vertical jump or just walking down the street, doing something we've done a thousand times or trying something for the first time? Our success is assured as we recognize the governing power of divine Principle -- the law of God! (B-16 & S-26)  We need to resort to Mind -- as Jesus went up to the mountain -- to see what is true. Then, we need to follow the directions given on p. 495 of Science and Health that tell us what to do "when the illusion of sickness of sin tempts" us. Fear or doubt can't derail us (as it did Peter) as we realize that the recognition of the eternal harmony of Life that is ever-active in ourlives, destroys any painful sense of, or belief in that which Life (God) is NOT. (S-27) We aren't afraid that the principle will fail when working a math problem.  Knowing what 2 + 2 IS, will automatically destroy any belief of what 2 + 2 is NOT. Trust the Principle! Resort to Mind -- not matter. As you work it out from the right basis -- you'll discover your unlimited possibilities and ultimate safety!
 
Section 6: You are God's building!  Use only enduring materials to build your house (your consciousness).
The most important building project any of us are engaged in is building our own lives according to God's specifications. A very firm foundation has been laid for us in Christ.  Paul taught the Corinthians the basics of Christianity -- what Jesus taught and how they needed to live in order to share in his glory.  We all have been taught -- through Sunday School, church, the Bible-lesson, our periodicals, the Bible and Mrs. Eddy's writings. Now .... what are we going to do with this wealth? Will we build with it, or try to use "easier" -- but flimsier -- building materials? As Paul said, only time will determine how dependable the building materials are. What happens in a fire? Silver, gold, and stone will survive; wood, hay, and stubble (while probably easier and less costly to build with initially) will go up in flames. (B-18) It takes effort on our part to build our house (our consciousness) according to God's specifications.  It requires thinking through every thought and action, rather than just doing what seems easiest at the moment or what everyone else is doing. It means making your spiritual growth a priority -- setting aside some time each day to pray and commune with God -- to study and gain new insights about your real nature. It requires being alert -- standing porter -- and truly judging whether each thought that comes to you is worthy of being part of your home (your thought.) But .... if we make it a habit to turn to God and follow His design, we will be ready for whatever comes our way. No matter how hot the fire gets -- how severe the problems seem -- we're ready and we will come out smoke-free. Don't let anything separate you from seeing God -- not ease, not fear, not peer-pressure. Build on the foundation Jesus established, and you'll see God as Jesus saw Him -- no separation! Starting from the basis of matter, a veil is immediately put up which distorts, and hides reality from our eyes. But, when we turn to God (when building according to God's specifications becomes a priority) the veil is removed. "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." (B-20, New Living Translation) Happy building! Nothing is too hard for God -- or for you!

[This weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff who were blessed last summer at CEDARS--as well as to thousands of CEDARS alumni, families and friends who request it, or who find it weekly on our website.  But, current and planned gifts are much-needed to cover the costs of running this service and of providing camperships for ongoing inspirational opportunities.  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!  
Two ongoing needs are to raise significant dollars:
     1)  to underwrite camperships for the hundreds of campers now applying for aid; ($800/week) and,
     2) to provide care for our large herd of horses and feed them until grass starts to grow again in our pastures.  "Adopt the Herd" donations will be matched!
 
To make a charitable donation to our 501C-3 tax-exempt, charitable organization:
1) Write a check payable to CedarS Camps and mail it to the office:
           1314 Parkview Valley, Manchester, MO 63011; or
2) Call Warren or Gay Huff at (636) 394-6162
to charge your gift using a Visa or Mastercard or to discuss short-term or long-term gift of securities or property that you are considering; or
3) CLICK HERE RIGHT AWAY TO SUPPORT CEDARS WORK
with an online gift using PayPal.com, which can be funded using a Visa or Mastercard account.]
 
[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 "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    (636) 394-6162

PSST- Watch soon for Possible Sunday School Topics by Merrill Boudreaux

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