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Let God--not enemies--control your every thought and move!

John Biggs, C.S., St. Louis, Missouri
Posted Monday, May 24th, 2010

[Let God--not "enemies"-control your every thought and move!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the weekly Christian Science Bible Lesson for May 24-30, 2010
"Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced"
by John Biggs, C.S., of Bend, Oregon [with a few 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, in Spanish thanks to Ana or in German thanks to Helga. YOU CAN SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters]
 
You might not think too much about necromancy. After all, since it's "the practice of supposedly communicating with the dead in order to predict the future" (American Heritage Dictionary, via www.dictionary.com), it may not be a common dinnertime-conversation topic. But in Biblical times, many cultures near the Israelites--including the Assyrians, Babylonians, and Egyptians--practiced necromancy (Encyclopedia Britannica, via dictionary.com); and so they had to deal with this much more frequently. In crafting the name of this week's lesson, Mary Baker Eddy declares that mesmerism and hypnotism are synonymous with necromancy. The whole foundation of mesmerism and hypnotism is that there are many separate minds running around, some more powerful than others, and that with subtle (or not so subtle) suggestions, one of these supposed minds tries to influence and shape another.
 
My freshman year of college, my roommate and I went to a hypnotist show on campus. The place was packed.  It was really interesting to see how many people were fascinated by letting someone else control their thought. The hypnotist started off by doing a mass hypnosis, to see who was susceptible to his suggestions so he could use them for his demonstrations. He simply asked us to put our arms straight out and imagine we were holding a bucket. He then suggested that this bucket was getting slowly filled with water and that our arms would naturally work harder to hold this heavier bucket. After a couple minutes of "filling" the bucket, he suddenly suggested that all the water was gone, and the bucket was now empty. About half of the people in the room had their arms suddenly fly upwards, since they had been pulling up so hard on that heavy bucket in their thought. The show then proceeded onto more and more involved hypnosis. This experience showed me that hypnosis, in whatever guise, is only a suggestion. Later, I asked my roommate (not a Christian Scientist) how he had managed to keep his thought clear, as I had. He said, "Well, I just didn't listen." Such a simple answer, and probably so easy to be clear about in a situation like this show! But can we be that clear every day, all day?
[A prayer that may help with this is phrased in verse 3 of Christian Science Hymns 324 and 457: "Take my every thought to use in the way that Thou shalt choose."  For more on the healing power of music join this week's spirituality.com "Live Chat ": The healing power of music-a conductor's perspective with conductor Alastair Willis Tuesday, May 25, at 2pm EDT]
 
Although we may not be in the practice of consulting with those who have passed on to foretell the future, perhaps we are glued to stock market feeds online, to see what our financial future may be. [Or, we may consult almost obsessively with the "living dead"-with the body-worship or carnal-mindedness that Paul defines as death. (Romans 8:6)]  Perhaps we get very impressed with "natural" or "man-made" disasters, and settle in for a long road to recovery. And maybe most common of all, perhaps we check in with our own past to see what we can do tomorrow. Have I worked out enough this past season to succeed in my sport? Have I made enough money to be safe in my retirement? Have I been near someone who seems ill, and so I'll be ill soon? These are all examples of being hypnotized or mesmerized by listening to outside suggestion [-"educated to gratification in personal pleasure.' With this mindset we unwittingly give control of our thoughts and actions to "a false sense of what constitutes happiness" which "is more disastrous to human progress than all that an enemy" could do "to obstruct life's joys and enhance its sorrows." See Misc. 9:25-10:3]
 
This lesson is all about learning how to keep on trusting and following God, no matter what suggestions appear. It deals with necromancy, mesmerism, and hypnotism primarily by symbolizing them in the form of enemies. We'll follow Nehemiah as he discovers that no enemy (or the suggestion of an enemy) can interfere with his work, as he focuses and commits wholly to God.
 
Golden Text: What a promise! Right off the bat, we're told how success comes: through God. He's the one who throws down our enemies - not our own power. But wait a second - what are these enemies? Is this promising that God will destroy real people who haven't been nice to us? No! Take a look at Mary Baker Eddy's article, "Love Your Enemies," found on page 8 of her Miscellaneous Writings. It's only 5-1/2 pages, and well worth the read! She describes how God "shall tread down our enemies:" (Ps 60:12)
 
"We have no enemies. Whatever envy, hatred, revenge -- the most remorseless motives that govern mortal mind -- whatever these try to do, shall "work together for good to them that love God.' Why? Because He has called His own, armed them, equipped them, and furnished them defenses impregnable. Their God will not let them be lost; and if they fall they shall rise again, stronger than before the stumble." (Misc. 10:4-12)
 
Our enemies are destroyed by an ever-growing sense of Love that shows us we have no enemies!  You may enjoy reading this article along with the Lesson. It's good to be reading about "enemies" in this lesson, because it's a great reminder that allowing oneself to be mesmerized is really the only enemy.
 
The Responsive Reading can be seen as a prayer for security. The Psalmist asks for safety from the evil actions of others, but he or she also asks to be kept free from doing anything wrong themselves. "Incline not my heart to any evil thing,..." The Psalmist goes into great detail about the traps that may be waiting, but then closes off by declaring that their own works shall collapse upon themselves. Again, Mrs. Eddy's article is a wonderful companion to this: "Even in belief you have but one [enemy] (that, not in reality), and this one enemy is yourself -- your erroneous belief that you have enemies; that evil is real; that aught but good exists in Science." (Misc. 10: 29-32) As we keep reading the Lesson, we'll see how some Bible characters have held to God and listened only to Him to find out their capabilities and prospects.
 
Section 1 - Fear's only "power" is in suggesting scary things for the future or from the past.
This section is a wonderful foundation for seeing through evil. One of the worst things about the bad things we see around us is the fear that comes with it. This whole Bible section declares that anything evil cannot be hidden. There's nowhere the darkness can hide. When you turn on the light, the darkness isn't chased away, it simply cannot exist. Fear is ALWAYS based in the future.
 
It's an old adage that you can't do anything if you're afraid. This became crystal clear for me in my first year as a counselor at CedarS. Never having gone to CedarS (or any other camp) before this, I had a simple relationship with horses: I got near one, and he or she kicked me, bit me, stepped on me, or threw me if I did manage to get on. I figured this wasn't a big deal; I could live with my fear of horses because when was I ever going to be near one? Well, CedarS has an amazing, beautiful, big herd of horses for both the boys' and girls' camps, and every camper has at least one opportunity to ride - in Main Camp, each camper gets at least one hour of riding every day! But this also meant that I would join them at the corral, as their counselor. My first scheduled hour at the corral, I got in the arena and instantly froze up. One of the riding staff asked me to help and I physically could not move. I believe that this staff member (who has become a dear friend of mine) requested that I no longer be sent to the corral! However, I realized that this was just not acceptable. I saw that the children loved the horses - these animals couldn't be evil. It was clearly just my fear making me respond this way, and not anything actually, presently happening. I had thought horses were an actual enemy, but I found that it was just my fear which was the enemy. With the generous support of the Program Director and the staff at the corral, I slowly learned to appreciate horses. Members of the staff even took the time to give me riding lessons during my hours off.  Starting with a CedarS Met every time, we progressed from just touching and brushing a horse, to saddling, to walking and even trotting! At the end of the summer I was even asked to be one of the staff for the overnight Pack Trip, which involved riding all day and getting to explore parts of camp property I had never seen before, enjoying the beautiful day with the campers and the other staff. I was so blessed to be encouraged in this by all the other counselors, and the campers loved knowing that we were learning together! This was such a full healing, dealing entirely with fear of a supposed enemy, that I ended up going to the corral at least 3 hours every day, every summer. Eventually I was able to work half the summer as an assistant riding director. It's been wonderful to discover that every enemy is just like this experience: there is no enemy! We just can't let ourselves be mesmerized by fear. [A helpful wake-up call for you or your loved ones today may be a favorite CedarS-acrostic for FEAR: Forgetting Everything About Reality.]
 
In the citations from Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy elaborates on this, saying "That evil or matter has neither intelligence nor power, is the doctrine of absolute Christian Science, and this is the great truth which strips all disguise from error." (S-4) Pretty clear stuff! Let's keep reading, and see how some Bible characters demonstrated their confidence in God [-how they leaned "on the sustaining infinite" and receive big blessings. (S&H vii:1--CedarS 2010 theme)]
 
Section 2 - God guides us, every step of the way
Citation B-5 is interesting because although Nehemiah has just been saddened with the terrible news about the waste of Jerusalem, he doesn't immediately rush off in a hurry to demand to be released to go to Jerusalem. He didn't plot how to get away from his responsibilities in the king's court, or be dishonest. He responded with empathy and compassion and his first action was prayer. Reading ‘outside the chalk' we see that Nehemiah recounts the promise God made to Moses, that if the children of Israel repent and turn whole-heartedly to God, He will "gather them from thence" and redeem them. He knows that this is the law of God who is Love. We can respond the same way, with trust in the ever-present Love of our Father-Mother, no matter what crisis seems apparent. [In Monday's "Daily Lift" by Ryder Stevens we get a precious reminder of how our Father-Mother God scoops up each returning prodigal to give them a spiritual sense of being cherished, safe, pure and whole.]
 
Citation S-7 elaborates on this by speaking of the great trust we can have in God. When we pray, we can ask God whatever's on our minds, and then we must be humble and patient enough to listen to whatever answer God has. Sometimes, a problem seems so big that we just ignore it or just assume that we couldn't do anything about it. But no one ever got anywhere if they didn't take that first step! Prayer is always that first step, and it attends our progress on the whole path.   A great basis for prayerful listening is being humble enough to trust that God has been directing us thus far and certainly won't stop now, or tomorrow. Check out a wonderful article in the First Anthology of Classic Articles (at your local Christian Science Reading Room) called "All the Way" by Milton Simon.
 
Section 3 - Be brave; keep trusting in God!
(B-7) Even when the king asks Nehemiah specifically what he wants, Nehemiah still takes a moment to pray - to be sure he is acting always in accord with God's divine law of harmony, and not just blurting out what he personally wants. This prayer undoubtedly inspired him to make those very wise requests for safe passage across the king's land, and even for timber to rebuild the gates. If Nehemiah had been in a fearful rush, he might have just gone running out the door only to be stopped along the way, or arrived in Jerusalem without any building materials! God truly directs the whole path, but we must be humble and listen for His word.
 
The citations from Science and Health speak of the confidence requisite to carry out God's command. This is not confidence in oneself, but a confidence in God. His love has already met "every human need" and we can rejoice to see what He has done. Citation S-11 encourages us not to be afraid when resistance crops up - we've been assured that evil has no power and we mustn't give it power in our own thought by being afraid of it.
 
Section 4 - No need to ask for human advice or support
We now return to Nehemiah's tale. Having reached Jerusalem, does he march in and tell everyone what he's doing to make sure he has tons of human power and design on his side? No! He stays very quiet, surveying the city at night, patiently watching with his men to see what lay before him. He didn't ask for advice about how to build the walls or who to call on first. Eventually he tells the rulers of the city what he hopes to do, and backs it up by saying that God's word was supporting him - he wasn't on an ego trip or trying to do this by himself. He is met with great support!
 
This section of the story is also helpful for us. Even when we have something planned that we KNOW is great and good, we don't need to take the reins and start trying to make it happen.  Give the "reign" to God! He will truly guide us. Remember Psalm 139:7,8 from last week's lesson - "Whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there." Even when we're feeling on top of the world, give the glory and direction to God!
 
Section 5 - Be vigilant!
This section is all about vigilance. Error is no power but we must constantly affirm this through our actions and thoughts. Some qualities mentioned through the Science and Health citations are: honest, consistent, wise, a law unto himself, virtuous, strong. These qualities are good signposts along the way as we demonstrate confidence and trust in God. As we discover ourselves expressing them more, we realize that we are putting our trust in God! At the end of citation 9 in the Bible, we read that the workers all carried weapons with them - at the end of this chapter, although it's not in the lesson, we learn that they even slept in their clothes and always had weapons at hand. This is symbolic of standing porter at the door of thought.
 
Citation S-18 reminds us that "Evil thoughts and aims reach no farther and do no more harm than one's belief permits." By staying armed at all times, the workers on the wall didn't permit the enemies of the people to think they might have an advantage. Spoiler alert! The men mentioned as enemies (Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem) don't get killed by the Israelites! Even though other people in our lives may seem to symbolize or demonstrate bad qualities, these individuals themselves are God's children, too! Again, from Mrs. Eddy's article "Love Your Enemies," we read "Love is the fulfilling of the law: it is grace, mercy, and justice.... Love metes not out human justice, but divine mercy." (Misc. 11:3-4, 14 only) By demonstrating vigilance in following God's word ourselves, we also can embody the promise of that Love that God has for all His children.
 
Section 6 - Never give in, no matter how popular the lie may be!
Nehemiah refuses to leave the work he has been appointed to do. He won't give in to fear or lies about his character. One way to apply this in the present could be to stand firm against the prevailing belief that things like childhood illnesses, downturns in the economy, and just plain bad days are a normal part of life. Outside the chalk, we read that even a fellow Jew tries to convince Nehemiah to commit sacrilege and hide in the Temple from his enemies. Nehemiah held firm to what he knew was right, even though it was his friend telling him otherwise. No matter who tells you that such-and-such a thing is right, you can always trust God to guide you clearly and lovingly. We don't need to give in to peer pressure!
 
Citation S-21 reminds us of the importance of being alert. Apathy is just as dangerous as the "real" evil! WE must be vigilant. It might seem hard to know what to watch out for, but citation S-22 shows us how to do this. "We should become more familiar with good than with evil..." Here's an example I've enjoyed: it's good to know that 2+2 isn't 5, or 7, or 2,906. But it's best of all to know that 2+2 IS 4. Knowing that one truth effectively removes any possible belief in anything else. 
 
(S-23) Through the natural action of Truth being all, error simply is nothing, and this will continually be revealed. We don't have to worry about making a big fuss over searching through every little thing. Stand on the rock of knowing that Truth is all - is the only power - and we will be divinely, gracefully guided to see God's true creation. This is healing!
 
Section 7 - No matter what, don't be impressed with anything but God!
In citation B-14 Jesus refuses to be impressed with the seeming severity of this evil called illness. Like Nehemiah, he stands firm on his knowledge that God, good, is all. Our absolute faith in this divine fact removes from our consciousness whatever doesn't reflect this. Even when the child seemed to be dead (suffering the belief of relapse or consequence) he simply put out his hand and raised him up. That's confidence! You can trust in the love of God the same way Jesus did - the Christ which strengthened him wasn't for him only, but was the effect of God always loving His children. Jesus didn't have a special super-power or super suit of armor; all his power was God's (B-12, B-13). The Christ comforter is here today, now, for you and everyone! (B-15)
 
Mrs. Eddy reminds us that Jesus certainly was firm in his refusal to give in to error (S-26). She also makes clear that we don't need to fear the many forms and guises that evil seems to come in (S-28). Hold vigilantly, humbly, and sincerely to the Truth of Life, and we will see the unfoldment of man - you and all those around you - as God's beloved children! (S-29) This is a promise we can truly count on.

[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 or through CS Directory.  But, current and planned gifts are much-needed to cover the costs of running this "free" 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!
 
Our top need
 is to put our efforts and money where our mission is--by raising--and spending--significant dollars to underwrite camperships for the hundreds of campers now applying for aid.
 
CedarS 1st Session, June 13-26 still has room, as do later sessions!  Please help us tell any and all Christian Science Sunday School students who you know that there will be plenty of funds available to help them to have their own CedarS Camps spiritual-growth-experience this summer!  

And then, make a charitable donation to our 501C-3 tax-exempt, charitable organization:
1)  Thank you for writing us a check payable to CedarS Camps and mailing it to: CedarS Office, 1314 Parkview Valley, Manchester, MO 63011;
or
2)  Thank you for calling 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, 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    (636) 394-6162

[PSST-- See the traps & don't be lured by sweet talk!]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for May 30th 2010:
"Ancient and Modern Necromancy Alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism Denounced"
By Tom Evans Jr., CedarS Outreach & Staff Development Director and Sunday School Teacher
 
P.S.S.T. for Golden Text & Responsive Reading
Are we "valiant" on our own? What is God's role in overcoming evil? Does evil exist? Do "Ancient and Modern Necromancy Alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism" exist in reality? Do they try to present themselves to you as facts of life? (Aging, physical attraction, dishonesty...) How does God "tread down our enemies"? In this week's CedarS Metaphysical Letter, John Biggs points out that God is not trampling people down, he is squashing bad thoughts-our only real enemies. Figure out how God is helping us overcome limited thoughts to see His creation. Recognize God's hand at work in the story of Nehemiah (Sections 2-6), in the portrayal of Jesus healing the boy (Section 7), recognize God at work in your life (Section right now).
 
What is the Psalmist saying in Psalms 141:4? The Message articulates this verse in the following way: "Don't let me so much as dream of evil or thoughtlessly fall into bad company. And these people who only do wrong-don't let them lure me with their sweet talk!"
 
P.S.S.T. Section 1
Why is it that when evil is uncovered it is destroyed? (Nothing actually there, evil is just a suggestion...) Why should we take note of this fact? Why are Christian Scientists so interested in the destruction of evil? Here is B-4 according to the New Living Translation: "If a bird sees a trap being set, it knows to stay away." What traps do we notice and avoid? Do you intentionally open up Spam or virus-filled emails "just to take a look"? How do we recognize when a suggestion is a trap? What makes a trap noticeable? Give an example from school. Give an example of a "mesmerism and hypnotism" trap. (Cheating, bullying, lying, stealing...)
"...Exposure is necessary to ensure the avoidance of the evil" (S-1). You knew that, right? What is the difference between pointing out a lie in order to expose it and just plain nagging? [or focusing on inharmony in opposition to what "a real Christian Scientist is" supposed to "constantly accentuate." See Misc. 206:19 ] What is the difference between ignoring an event and proving its nothingness? In light of oil spills, terrorism, a torpedoed South Korean ship, and other "man-made" disasters, how do we "resist evil, overcome it and prove its nothingness" without sounding crazy to friends who are not Christian Scientists (i.e. "There is no oil polluting the Gulf, there are no bombs going off, the ship never sank...")(S-2). How do we respond to these headlines without sounding oblivious or naive? In S-6 we hear a readiness to recognize an error and then "overcome evil with good." How can we apply this to headline events?
 
P.S.S.T. Section 2
One of my favorite books in the Reading Room when I was growing up was "Nehemiah Builds the Wall," a 1978 illustrated children's book from the Christian Science Publishing Society. This is a great tool for Sunday School this week. Crying out to God is a good thing. Nehemiah couldn't act right away because he was not in Jerusalem (B-5).  All he could do was ask God for help.  When do you turn to God before taking material steps?  When faced with disaster, this was the prayer that came out (B-5).  Do we all respond like Nehemiah did?
We know from the rest of the story that Nehemiah was fully committed to his prayer.  Break down Marker 7 in Science and Health.  Are we as sincerely committed as Nehemiah to our prayers?  What do you desire?  Do we trust God to guide us and address our human needs?
Last week's lesson included an artist.  This week we have a sculptor.  What are you "moulding and chiseling in thought" (S-8)?  What model or image are you holding in your thought about your classmates, family, and friends?  How about terrorists?  How do you make sure it's a perfect model and not a false, worldly picture?
 
P.S.S.T. Section 3
Talk about the captivity. Did Nehemiah move to Persia because he wanted to? (No, the Israelites were captured and forced to serve the Persians.) What spiritual gifts do you have that can help others? Nehemiah was the one who could actually rebuild the wall. Why couldn't it have been someone else? (He was in a high position with a compassionate king, AND he had faith.) Nehemiah even says, "God was good to me, and the king did everything I asked" (Contemporary English Version).
Have you ever witnessed someone tell a lie and then lie more and more in order to cover up the original lie? What happens eventually? (S-12) Evil, lies, and bad things expose themselves for what they really are. How does this apply to Nehemiah? What is he overcoming? The length of time for the construction of the wall is debatable among theologians. The Abingdon Bible Commentary says the whole rebuilding process could have lasted as long as 5 years! Imagine a slave, Nehemiah, being relieved of his duties and supplied with all of the construction equipment and materials to reconstruct a fortified wall around Jerusalem for 5 years! Nehemiah knew what he was asking and that God would provide for him. How do we have the spiritual trust to move forward on big decisions in our lives without hesitation (S-11)?
 
P.S.S.T. Section 4
Nehemiah protected the plan in his thought before sharing it with everyone in the city of Jerusalem. Why was this important? Why should someone hold onto an idea before sharing it with others? Even your "BFF" (that's "Best Friend Forever" for those non-text-messagers out there). What are some examples of good things that you don't tell everyone about until it is ready to happen or has already happened? (Moving to a new school or city, College applications, Class instruction, Marriage proposals) Teachers, decide if this is relevant for your class depending on age and experience. Look at S-15. How are you "Watchful, sober, and vigilant" each day (S-13)? Why does this matter? How can someone with absolute control, a despot, really be powerless (S-16)?
 
P.S.S.T. Section 5
Have you ever been distracted when you are accomplishing good work (B-9)? What steps do you take to finish a school project and stay focused? Two steps to healing are affirmation of the Truth and denial of the error. The builders of the wall were literally building and defending. How do you do this daily? Look at S-19 for ideas. What was the actual benefit of having a wall? Why did the conspirators try to halt forward progress? There are people in the world who are trying to destroy good. How do we handle this in our thought?
What does it mean to "be a law" to yourself (S-17)? What qualities will it take? (Persistence, honesty, love...) "All mental malpractice arises from ignorance or malice aforethought." Does this surprise you? Talk with your class. What is malpractice? How do you avoid mental malpractice? How do you stop it? What about when your closest friend is jealous of your date for the big dance?
 
P.S.S.T. Section 6
What is so important about Nehemiah turning down the invitation to meet at the plain of Ono? Why was it such a big deal for him to remain steady in his thought as well as his physical work on the wall?
 
S-21 talks about apathy. Error is not asking you to give up all hope (yet). Mortal mind wants you to simply care less than 100% about the truth of a situation. That way error can slip in and discourage. Guarding our thought is very important. How do we stay fixed on Truth and avoid apathy (S-22)? Give an example of "false charity" (S-23). How does that creep into our lives? "Truth is real and error is unreal" (S-24). Why does this simple statement bring us confidence? It should make complete sense. Work through the whole paragraph. A dictionary might be helpful.
 
P.S.S.T. Section 7
To believe or "see" is to fully comprehend God or the Christ at work in our lives (S-12). What is the difference between comprehending with the physical senses and with our spiritual sense? Describe what exactly is perceived when we "see" the Christ. How do we seek the will of God (S-13)? I have always wondered how to think about casting out a demon. This weekend I heard Ryder Stevens, CS, give a Christian Science lecture. He talked about casting out demons. He said a demon is any false belief which "possesses" one's thought. A military commander knows that he has won the battle when his troops possess the territory that was being fought over. How do we take possession of our thought and "cast out demons" (Matt 10:8, the cover of Science & Health) like Jesus? In S-15, why does Paul say the victory is ours? Hint: look at B-11, the Kingdom of Heaven is here; B-12, Believe in God; and B-13, Jesus didn't take credit for healings, he attributed good to God.
 
Are you polite and patient with a lie (S-26)? Are you courteous to something that tries to steal from you? You don't have to be nice to error. Read S-28 while keeping in mind the "light of Truth" or spiritual understanding. S-29 is so often the final paragraph in the lesson. Break it down. Do you recognize this paragraph? Have you memorized it?


Dear friends of Sunday School and Christian Science youth,
In honor of differentiated learning, we are sending you a link to enable you to see and print out some fun cards to share with your students who are visual learners. For the past several years I have worked with CedarS alumni Art Instructor Sid Bingham to send our Memorial Weekend Sunday School students home with fun reminders of meaningful truths shared in their classes. Click or paste in www.cedarscamps.org/secure and type in a Username of "BLP" and a Password of "fan". (BLP is short for Bible Lands Park.) This will give you access to two pdf files created by Sid who is a freelance Concept Artist who works for Disney and other clients. On side 1 Sid illustrates 6 common traps of today that hopefully you can print on heavy paper to be cut at the end. Next you could ideally print side 2 on the back of the page of these 6 traps to show the 6 truths that reverse them. We are planning for students to rotate between 7 stations, with one being a Lego building block station that will send students home with Legos labeled with the truths that expose the trap and "build a strong defense." (Science & Health 235:3)
Enjoy!
Warre
n and Sid (
sidbingham@mac.com)

Metaphysical

""Am I living the Life that approaches the supreme Love?"? - ... “flip the script.”...
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