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Experience the Blessings of God!

Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn (Bartlett), IL
Posted Monday, August 30th, 2010

Experience the Blessings of God!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on "Man"
for study during the week of August 30 - September 5, 2010
by Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn, Illinois [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 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]
 
The Golden Text tells us that we are "blessed of the Lord."
Are you blessed?  As I've walked through the day rooms of correctional institutions, and I ask how people are doing, they often respond, "I'm blessed."  Several Bible translations substitute the word "happy" for "blessed."  But it has been pointed out that happiness is generally the result of earthly conditions, whereas blessedness comes only from God.  We may not always be happy about our situation, but we are always blessed, because our blessing comes from God.
 
The Responsive Reading tells us of man's spiritual origins.  The first thing God does after creating man (male and female) in the first chapter of Genesis is to bless them.  He gives man authority to be productive and to enjoy dominion over the all the earth. Here is man portrayed in his perfect state of blessedness.  Wesley embellishes this concept:
 
"He [man] was upright,... He had an habitual conformity of all his natural powers to the whole will of God.  His understanding saw divine things clearly, and there were no errors in his knowledge: his will complied readily and universally with the will of God; without reluctancy: his affections were all regular, and he had no inordinate appetites or passions: his thoughts were easily fixed to the best subjects, and there was no vanity or ungovernableness in them.  And all the inferior powers were subject to the dictates of the superior.  Thus holy, thus happy, were our first parents, in having the image of God upon them."
 
As Christian Scientists, we refer to the first chapter of Genesis when explaining to others that we view man as having a spiritual origin rather than a material history. The man herein described is wholly good and blessed.
 
Human experience often appears as anything but blessed.  But men of faith continually remind us of that original blessed state.  The passages from Psalm 115 are an example of this.  They refer to abundant evidence of God's blessing in the past, and show expectation of more blessings in the future.  Nineteenth Century theologian Albert Barnes, in his Notes on the Bible, paraphrases these passages noting the Israelites' protection during calamities and restoration from captivity.  He concludes, "There can be now no circumstances in which he cannot bestow on us all the blessings which we need; there will be none when we may not hope that he will bless us. If he could save us from such troubles, he can save us from all; if he did thus interpose, we may argue that he will always grant us his help when we need it."
 
It is a sweet thought to think of God as showering blessings upon us through every situation.  Sometimes we seem to forget that.  But this Lesson helps to remind us that we can always know we are truly blessed.
 
Section 1: The Real Man Is Blessed
Theologically, man is often thought of as a sinning descendent of Adam, bound to suffering and toil.  But the scriptures present a different picture.  "I have loved you, saith the Lord" (B-1). The Interpreter's One-Volume Commentary on the Bible points out that this message was conveyed to the Israelites when times were bad. They were full of self-pity and in doubt.  Barnes sees in the passage a promise that God is still loving and will continue to love men throughout eternity: "Tokens of His love, past or present, in good or seeming ill, are but an effluence of that everlasting love.  He, the Unchangeable, ever loved,..."  There is debate as to the meaning of the passage: "whosoever is born of God sinneth not" (B-2).  Most think it impossible that anyone could live without sin, but that the Christian's disposition is to avoid sin and be grieved if he falls into it.  The passage also implies that once having been "born" into Christ, no one is beyond the prayers of the church to save him.
 
How do you feel about this?  Some have mistakenly thought that since God's man is not capable of sinning, that it doesn't matter whether they choose to sin or not  - since "in reality" they've never sinned.  This is a tenuous position.  Others feel that their sins are added up in a cosmic accounting book, and they are going to be judged one way or the other accordingly.  "What saith the scripture? Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin" (B-3).  To impute means keep an accounting of.  So the scriptures tell us that God does not do that.  When sin is forsaken, it is forgiven and our record is clean.  Our basis for resisting sin is that we are indeed created by God not as helpless sinners, but innately pure and innocent. God is witness to our innocence,  He alone bears record of us (B-4).
 
The Psalmist considers that man, so apparently frail and weak, is attended to and loved by God (B-5).  How is it, he asks, that God can care for him when he seems so insignificant compared to the whole universe?  Well, Mrs. Eddy has revealed the answer to that, and the rest of the Lesson will explore it.
 
Science and Health teaches us that man has a glorious birthright (S-1).  He is not on the bottom of the creative totem pole, but the top.  He is subordinate only to his Maker: the scriptures confirm it (S-2).  Our Leader discovered that man, as made by God, indeed, "cannot depart from holiness" (S-3).  She also found it impossible that God could create man capable of sinning.  In Christian Science, there simply cannot be a reversal of the good God has created.  Citation S-4 is an argument for reality.  It concludes with the statement: "The perfect man...is sinless and eternal."  Why? Because he is governed by God.  Unless we are being governed by God, we are not demonstrating the perfect man.  It seems a pretty difficult job, but God is on our side.  He names us - declares our true natures - and blesses us all (S-5).
 
Section 2: Blessed By Sincere Desire
What is the effect on one of knowing and trusting in God?  One is blessed no matter what circumstance he faces.  Nothing can convince him that he will not be cared for by His loving God.  Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown's Commentary On the Whole Bible paraphrases citation (B-7): "Trials shall come upon him as on all, nay, upon him especially; but he shall not sink under them, because the Lord is his secret strength, just as the "roots spread out by a river" (or, "water-course") draw hidden support from it."  This unqualified trust in God is evidenced in the prayer of Jabez (B-8).
 
Much has been written about this simple prayer, and it has been used as an example that it is acceptable to petition God for success in our endeavors.  The subtitle of a book written by Bruce Wilkinson on this prayer is "Breaking Through to the Blessed Life."  To be sure, Jabez was ardent and sincere in his desire.  He doesn't expect favors from God without work on his own part.  He knows that he needs God's hand to guide everything he does, and asks for help that he be delivered from evil.  The name Jabez means, "brought forth in sorrow."  His prayerful request was that his life rise above sorrow, and his prayer was answered in a blessed existence.
 
The Psalmist too, asks God to hear his prayer (B-9).  He affirms that God will enlighten, direct, comfort, as the sun; and shield him - save him - from his enemies. He knows that God will withhold "no good thing" from the upright.  The man that trusts in God is blessed - completely happy - in every respect.  This is the true, deep happiness that brings the permanent joy of trusting in God, believing in Him, and leaning on Him in every situation.
 
As the Psalmist saw God as a "sun and shield" so, our Leader saw the sun as representing Soul (S-6).  The desire for happiness is universal.  Our Leader tells us that we could attain it quicker and keep it more securely if we looked to God for it (S-7).  Even more, the only way we can truly find satisfaction is to find it in God. ["Only God can bring us gladness, only God can give us peace" is the opening message of Hymn 263.]
 
Popular "feel good" theology may draw people to pray to have their wants be fulfilled, but we need to remember that even the prayer of Jabez was more than a list of requests.  His prayer was answered because he was honest and sincere in his desire to follow God.  That sincerity is a necessary part of effective prayer.  Prayer is not a tool to get God to change things in our favor.  Sincere prayer has the effect of bringing us into line with reality.  The key here is sincerity and honest desire.  If we are honestly seeking holiness, this will be proven in our lives (S-9).  When we truly are leaning upon God alone for every need, we will be blessed (S-10).
 
CedarS theme this year has been "To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings."  This is the opening line of our textbook and is a huge promise.  Let's put it to the test.  Let's really lean on that sustaining infinite and experience those blessings.
 
Section 3: Blessed with Abundance Everywhere
Whether in town or in the country, whether abroad or at home, whether for present or future use, God's blessings are there for us (B-10).  Most of us have faced some fairly lean times in our lives.  Some of us may be facing them now.  In times when supplies seem limited, it can seem pretty hard to feel blessed, but the story of the loaves and the fishes (B-12) offers some comfort.  Generally speaking "a desert place" is not the most desirable place to be.  For the multitudes that day the presence of Christ made the desert not only tolerable, but desirable.  In the face of apparent shortage, Jesus blessed what he had and gave thanks.  If we find ourselves in a desert place, we can be grateful too, for the Christ is right there for us.  By gathering up the fragments, Jesus taught us not to be wasteful, but to savor even the leftovers.  Adam Clarke notes that the story also illustrates Jesus' concern for temporal as well as spiritual needs.  He didn't just preach and let them go, he made sure they were cared for in every way.
 
There have been several times in my life when our "store" seemed low, but somehow, we were always supplied with ample resources to get by.  As our family looks back on those times, they are remembered as being particularly sweet, because we felt so close to God.  [These "WILDERNESS" periods ]
 
Our textbook affirms that nobody is left out of God's blessings.  What blesses one, blesses all (S-11).  At CedarS Camps [to encourage living in the non-covetous mindset of the 10th Commandment] Warren shares the acronym "TYG, TMT."  When it looks like someone [easily comes by or] has something that you don't, or like you might get left out, instead of getting frazzled about it and blowing up, remember TMT is better than TNT [the explosive].  "TYG, TMT" stands for "Thank You God, That's Mine Too."  In other words, [be grateful in advance that] God never leaves anyone out of His blessing.  If someone [easily comes by or] has something you don't, instead of being jealous or angry, remember that "what blesses one, blesses all." We all have equal access and opportunity to share in the [spiritual essence of all the] good gifts that come from God.  
 
[This blessed attitude of being genuinely happy for all good has short- and long-term health benefits as well. The mindset of "obvious joy" without jealousy was a distinguishing element found by National Geographic's researcher Dr. Leaf who wrote of "an extraordinary percentage of Abkhasians" living (in the Caucasus Mountains of Southern Georgia, Russia) "to ripe old ages while retaining their full health and vigor. What I find remarkable is the high degree of physical and mental fitness commonly found among the elders in Abkhasia, and their obvious joy in life.... They never seem to tire of friendly joking, always finding new ways to have fun." (like at CedarS!)  Healthy at 100 by John Robbins]
 
Christian Science teaches [in this lesson the blessed ways of thinking like Jesus did and] that we are sustained by God in every way (S-12).  There's no need to feel that we should deprive ourselves of needful things.  God provides temporary food and clothing until we wake up to spiritual reality (S-13).  We don't have to beg for these things either.   Jesus said it is "your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."  Our Leader saw infinite opportunity for blessings.   She didn't limit or restrict the avenues through which good may be able to reach us.  She recognized that inspiration comes through many channels including sermon and song (S-14). The section closes with a reminder that our needs are provided for daily (S-15).  We don't ask for the whole year's supply of bread at once.   We take care of today's needs and trust God for tomorrow's.
 
Section 4: Blessed Ways of Thinking
Jesus had an unparalleled career, teaching, preaching and most of all, healing all manner of sickness and disease that came his way (B-13).  Jesus not only gave us the supreme example of what it is to be the "real man" of God's creating, he also taught how to approach that ideal, and he looked for and saw it in everyone he came into contact with.  Our Leader writes that it was this view of the "perfect man" that healed the sick (S-18).  Mrs. Eddy also felt that this ideal of the real man could be achieved through spiritualization of thought (S-17, S-19).
 
Jesus gave specific instructions on what it takes to be that real, perfect man in the opening of The Sermon on the Mount.  [This is a great follow-up on last week's "Christ Jesus" Bible Lesson about his teachings and how to practice them.] The Beatitudes present qualities of thought that are contrary and that may be difficult for the human mind to accept.  They seem to go counter to what conventional wisdom would say about achieving success.  Volumes have been written on the Beatitudes, and there will be much more written in the future.
 
["Heavenly happiness is a kind of happiness that you don't need things for. That's what the Beatitudes are all about." From CedarS 1999 Beatitudes Coloring Book that shows in a childlike way and by way of illustrated Bible events how to apply each Beatitude to our own lives. $10 per individual mailed copy: Only $5 each for 5 or more.]
 
Of the Beatitudes, theologian Albert Barnes writes: "...It is remarkable that Jesus began his ministry in this manner, so unlike all others.  Other teachers had taught that happiness was to be found in honor, or riches, or splendor, or sensual pleasure.  Jesus overlooked all those things, and fixed his eye on the poor and the humble, and said that happiness was to be found in the lowly vale of poverty more than in the pomp and splendors of life."
 
In the Beatitudes, Jesus presents a path to [heavenly] happiness that seems to begin with deprivation and sorrow.  The Beatitudes are ways of thinking - attitudes of spiritual mindedness - that, when lived, eliminate erroneous ways of thinking that can eventually lead to crime [and other forms of self-destruction].  They teach us the right way to happiness.  They illustrate how the "real man" thinks.  But the Beatitudes are concerned with more than mere human happiness, they are the key to deep spiritual blessedness - the type of thinking that enables us to be healers. Our space here is limited, so we will take a very brief overview of them.
 
The poor in spirit - or as J. B. Phillips says, "those who know their need for God." This blessing is directed to those who are not too proud to learn or to admit their need.  The humble heart is always blessed because it is open to those blessings rather than being closed with pride. ["Blessed are they who are free from pride" is how Larry Groce put it in CedarS 1989 "Blessed Are They" theme song cassette mailed for $8.]
 
They that mourn - or those who know what sorrow means (Phillips). Going through hard times can hardly seem like a blessing, but in today's culture of instant gratification, it is especially important to be able to take hard experience and make it a time of learning and blessing.  Having things come too easily can spoil us.  If someone who's used to an easy time of it runs into a challenge, that one may become too easily discouraged and quit too soon.  In fact, with prayer we never quit - so as the hymn says, "for storm or shine, pure peace is thine..."  It is truly a blessing to not be dismayed by trying situations.
 
The meek - are those who claim nothing for themselves. They follow Jesus' admonition to sit at the farthest table rather than assuming their own importance by sitting in the front.  Meekness doesn't mean we surrender our rights, but it frees us from anger, malice, and revenge.  It means we are mild and gentle.  It's easy to claim, "I know my rights!" but meekness reminds us that it is better to "do" right than to "be" right. 
 
Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness - or, those whose natural appetites are inclined toward spiritual things.  The modern media bombards us to "go for the gusto" and "live for the thrill."  These material pursuits may provide temporary bursts of emotional satisfaction, but they pale in comparison to the long-lasting benefit of spiritual peace.
 
The merciful - those who are able to forgive.  ["Blessed are they who are quick to forgive" is how Larry Groce put it in CedarS Beatitudes song.]  So many battles have been the result of a lack of forgiveness.  It means we don't react with anger, revenge, or malice; we instead respond with patience, understanding, and kindness.  Dictionaries often mention mercy as a quality only fully possessed and displayed by God.  Therefore, those who are merciful are truly making the effort to be Godlike.
 
The pure in heart - those who are utterly sincere (Phillips) in their devotions to God. Their minds, motives, and principles are in total conformity to the divine.  They don't merely act good on the outside, but they are good on the inside too.  They never lie, but are always honest and upright.  A pure heart brings forth a good life.  The pure heart harbors no mixed motives but is totally trustworthy.
 
The peacemakers - those who "strive to prevent contention, strife, and war; who use their influence to reconcile opposing parties, and prevent lawsuits and hostilities in families and neighborhoods" (Barnes).  How opposite this is to the human inclination to cause trouble, ["rock the boat"] and stir up strife.  Everyone is blessed when a peacemaker enters a situation, and that one is truly one of the children of God. ["Blessed are peacemakers in this world, they win without a fight" is how Larry Groce put it in CedarS Beatitudes song. "Abigail's Peacemaking" is illustrated by Jonathan Kidder in CedarS 1999 Beatitudes coloring book.]
 
To be persecuted - means to be chased after or pursued.  Those who try to live according to the Truth are often the objects of ridicule, jealousy, and misunderstanding.  But these attacks cannot harm us.  They can only bless because they cause us to lean more on God and to seek His care.  It sometimes seems like the good we do brings more trouble than reward, but our motive for doing good isn't for reward, it should be simply because we love to do good.  When our motive is love for good, even if our good is misunderstood, we still work on for God.
 
Being "perfect" (Matt. 5:48) is our goal.  It means to be complete, finished, or full-grown like a mature tree.  Jesus expected us to be perfect.  It may be challenging, but it can be done.  We can show what it's like to be a real man.
 
Section 5: Blessed in Every Challenge
Persecution isn't the only resistance to our demonstration of true manhood.  We also meet with a variety of temptations that aim to pull us off the track.  Traditional theology and ancient mythology often present the gods as manipulating mankind in cosmic chess games.  They set up obstacles and tests to prove man's worth and loyalty.  The Bible and our textbook reveal that God isn't like that.  James tells us that we are blessed as we endure temptations and that those temptations do not come from God (B-17).  The temptations we face aren't merely allurements to do wrong, but are also the challenges that would entice us to believe that God is not entirely good and that sickness, poverty, or any other calamities are real.  Anything that tries to get us to lose faith in God is a temptation.
 
Of course, as we've said, God has nothing to do with these temptations.  As mentioned earlier, the sun is often used as a symbol of God's allness.  James adds that with God there is no changeableness, no variation.  There is no day and night, there are no seasons of hot and cold, no shadows - all is light.
 
Rather than sending temptations, God provides us with "all sufficiency" to overcome them (B-19).  The phrase "all grace" according to Wesley means, "Every kind of blessing."  Whatever we are challenged with, God furnishes us with everything we need to prove our faith in Him and to receive His blessing.
 
Mrs. Eddy counts on the potency of God's grace that brings all blessings (S-20).  For her the emphasis is not on the temptation, but in the overcoming of it.  The resulting blessing is commensurate with our faithfulness (S-21).  She advises us to not allow any claim of sin or sickness to take root in our thinking (S-22).  We know that no law of God supports either sickness or sin, and we can dismiss these evils on that basis.
 
Material laws would hold that man is governed by health laws that if violated result in illness or disease.  If we ignorantly allow these false laws to write our scripts for us, we are liable to fall prey to these lies.  The law of God annuls these falsehoods (S-23).  We are under no obligation whatsoever to agree with them.  The directions on page 495 of Science and Health (S-24) are probably committed to memory by a good number of Christian Scientists.  As we've said before, don't forget that these are instructions to be carried out, not just something to repeat in order to "get well." To receive the blessing of these instructions we need to live them.  As we implement these instructions, we will be blessed with healing.
 
Section 6: "Our Blest, Eternal Home" (Hymn 245)
In return for the blessings received by God, we bless Him.  We bestow our thanks, adoration, and praise. Matthew Henry places special significance on God's blessings to us.  He writes, "Spiritual and heavenly blessings are the best blessings; with which we cannot be miserable, and without which we cannot but be so."  St. John's vision of the new heaven and new earth (B-21) not only describes man in his heavenly, blessed state, but the total restoration of a blessed environment where this blessed man resides.  This blessed state includes no grief, persecution, lack, loss, fear, tears, death sickness sin, or pain.  There is no need for sun or moon "for the glory of God did lighten it."  There is no temple, because God is All-in-all.  The final biblical blessing is for those who "know the joyful sound" (B-22). Matthew Henry paraphrases, "Happy are those who so know the joyful sound of the gospel as to obey it; who experience its power upon their hearts, and bring forth the fruit of it in their lives."
 
Our Leader confirms that those who walk in the light will be blessed with enlightened understanding (S-25).  Based on John's vision of "no temple" in the new heaven and earth she discerns that the real man is incorporeal (S-27).  She understood John's vision to be the result of spiritual consciousness and therefore a glimpse of reality where man is "no longer regarded as a miserable sinner, but as the blessed child of God" (S-29).  To those in the midst of suffering our textbook promises that eventually, the reality will appear to us.  The spiritual fact is that "man is the idea of Spirit" (S-30).  This is the truth about us, and as we hold to that knowledge and endeavor to live up to our spiritual status, we will be blessed indeed.

[PSST-Claim Your Heavenly Happiness & Share It!]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for 9-5-10: "Man"
by
Merrill Boudreaux[with bracketed italics by Warren Huff]

P.S.S.T. - Golden Text - What a powerful message: you are blessed of the Lord. Let's begin class with a rehearsal of blessings, an attitude of gratitude. Ask students to list their blessings in writing or verbally.
[Since God made and blesses heaven and earth, we can expect the media-hyped "curse" of tornado season to be diminished and turned into a blessing of showers and a balanced sense of moisture for all who need it. You may want to tune in today to Tuesday's 2-3pm EDT chat on "Hurricanes and how to pray about them" with Beverly Peake, CSB and share it with your students. 

At the end-due to reader request and the Beatitudes in this week's lesson--I have reprinted a PSST from a couple weeks ago taken from The Gentle Art of Blessing by Pierre Pradervand. I also posted Pierre's "A blessing for teachers"-since this is a first day of school at CedarS for Principia Middle School who has used our site and core staff as their Week 1 Outdoor Classroom for over 20 years.]

P.S.S.T. - Responsive Reading - What is the blessing from God to man identified in the Responsive Reading? What do the words subdue and dominion mean? Do they mean to conquer and dominate to extinction or to nurture and support assuring availability for eternal use. Who is the "us" in Verse 12? Man, all ideas? Is the blessing in extinction or in eternal availability (life)? Look to Verse 14 with the word increase as a hint.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 1 - Who is it that blesses? Who is blessed? What is the result of Divine Love's blessing? (S1) What are the blessings stated in citation S4? If "Spirit names and blesses all" in citation S5, what has Spirit named you? Don't forget God's statement "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." See Matt 3:17, Matt 17:5, Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22.
 
 P.S.S.T. - Section 2 - What are the statements of prosperity as blessings listed in this section? Is prosperity available only to a select few; is prosperity only identified in money? This could be a good opportunity for students to write out a prayer based on prosperity blessing for individuals in their community who may seem to be "poor: or for the people in Pakistan or the miners trapped in a mine 2,000 feet down, in Chile. What is the first line in the Preface to S & H? (S10)
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 3 - Where will you and all be blessed? (B10, B11) Read aloud the loaves and fishes story in citation B12. How many did Jesus feed? There is also another story where Jesus fed four thousand. See Matt 15: 38 or Mark 8: 9. What was Jesus' command about a focus on food or on clothing? See citation S12. Share the whole "lilies of the field" story in Matt 6: 25. Remember also this statement from S & H 495: 10. "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need." What a promise; what an assurance; what a blessing!
 
 P.S.S.T. - Section 4 - What are the blessings stated in citation B14. We call these the Beatitudes. What is the definition of "beatitude". Some have stated it as the Be Attitudes. The Beatitudes are included in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7. You may wish to review those chapters to help students see the "biggies", like The Lord's Prayer, that were included. Where was Jesus before he arrived at the Mount? See Matt 4. And what did he do before and after this Sermon? See Matt 4 and 8. 
[For a lot more depth and inspiration check out the Beatitude series of Tmcyouth podcasts by Bible Scholar Barry Huff and Christian Science Lecturer Susie Rynerson Jostyn. They look at the Beatitudes one at a time, exploring their Biblical roots and practical healing application. (http://tmcyouth.com/media/library/beatitudes-1-of-9) Let your new insights on each Beatitude add depth and specificity to your mental work of blessing. See PS.

Two other helpful resources could be mailed to you by this weekend using a CedarS Sunday School teacher's special on Beatitudes teaching tools: $5 each for 5 Beatitude Coloring books; $8 for a Beatitude cassette tape with an original "Blessed are They" Beatitude song by Larry Groce. Just email us asap so your Beatitude gift package can be mailed today.]
 
It may help some individuals in your class to discuss the peacemaker beatitude in light of the "Question of the Week": "How have you prayed in dealing with a difficult family conflict?"]

P.S.S.T. - Section 5 - What blessings are included in this section? Salvation from sin and from sickness. What is the powerful assurance of blessing from sin and sickness in citation S24? What is the key word at the beginning of this assurance? "illusion". What creates the sick? Sickness? What creates the sinner? Sin? So if sickness and sin are illusions, can there be a sick person or a sinful person? The blessing is ever at hand and already in place before the temptation comes. Since the blessing is already and always in place, this assurance is preventative. So no sickness or sin need ever come. See this law in citation S23.
 
 P.S.S.T. - Section 6 - What are the blessings found in the Bible passage from Revelation? (B21). What are the blessings stated in citation S29? Does one have to wait for a future state for these blessings or are they a present reality? Where is this blessed kingdom of heaven? You are blessed of the Lord! Right here, right now.
 
 [PS "A blessing for teachers" p. 278-279 of The Gentle Art of Blessing
"I bless this day and the endless opportunities it offers to share wisdom and truth, to extend compassion and understanding, to manifest patience and love toward all the students entrusted to my care-my star-children.
 
"I bless myself in this willingness to assume full responsibility (i.e. the ability to respond with creativity and love) for any situation that develops in the classroom, to handle tensions non-violently, and generate productive relationships with parents and staff alike.
"I bless my ability to discern the divine and the good in every child/student, however contrary the outward appearance, to manifest steadfast poise and unruffled calm whatever the threats to discipline and orderly discussion in the classroom.
"I bless the students in their desire to learn and progress, in their capacity to contribute positively to the atmosphere of the class, to cooperate with and help fellow classmates, and above all to resist peer and other pressures which would entice or push them to taking drugs of any kind.
"Above all, I bless myself in my ability to produce exciting courses that stretch students' intellects, strengthen their sense of vision, world-citizenship and an authentic desire to be of serice to their community and all mankind."
 
Reprint of earlier P.S.S.T.: Make to-day big with
 The Gentle Art of Blessing
by Pierre Pradervand
"On awakening, bless this day, for it is already full of unseen good which your blessings will call forth; for to bless is to acknowledge the unlimited good that is embedded in the very texture of the universe and awaiting each and all.
"On passing people in the street, on the bus, in places of work and play, bless them. The peace of your blessing will accompany them on their way and the aura of its gentle fragrance will be a light to their path.

"On meeting and talking to people, bless them in their health, their work, their joy, their relationships to God, themselves, and others. Bless them in their abundance, their finances...bless them in every conceivable way, for such blessings not only sow seeds of healing but one day will spring forth as flowers of joy in the waste places of your own life.

"As you walk, bless the city in which you live, its government and teachers, its nurses and streetsweepers, its children and bankers, its priests and prostitutes. The minute anyone expresses the least aggression or unkindness to you, respond with a blessing: bless them totally, sincerely, joyfully, for such blessings are a shield which protects them from the ignorance of their misdeed, and deflects the arrow that was aimed at you..

"To bless means to wish, unconditionally, total, unrestricted good for others and events from the deepest wellspring in the innermost chamber of your heart: it means to hallow, to hold in reverence, to behold with utter awe that which is always a gift from the Creator. He who is hallowed by your blessing is set aside, consecrated, holy, whole. To bless is yet to invoke divine care upon, to think or speak gratefully for, to confer happiness upon - although we ourselves are never the bestower, but simply the joyfull witnesses of Life's abundance.

"To bless all without discrimination of any sort is the ultimate form of giving, because those you bless will never know from whence came the sudden ray of sun that burst through the clouds of their skies, and you will rarely be a witness to the sunlight in their lives.

"When something goes completely askew in your day, some unexpected event knocks down your plans and you too also, burst into blessing: for life is teaching you a lesson, and the very event you believe to be unwanted, you yourself called forth, so as to learn the lesson you might balk against were you not to bless it. Trials are blessings in disguise, and hosts of angels follow in their path.

"To bless is to acknowledge the omnipresent, universal beauty hidden to material eyes; it is to activate that law of attraction which, from the furthest reaches of the universe, will bring into your life exactly what you need to experience and enjoy.

"When you pass a prison, mentally bless its inmates in their innocence and freedom, their gentleness, pure essence and unconditional forgiveness; for one can only be prisoner of one's self-image, and a free man can walk unshackled in the courtyard of a jail, just as citizens of countries where freedom reigns can be prisoners when fear lurks in their thoughts.

"When you pass a hospital, bless its patients in their present wholeness, for even in their suffering, this wholeness awaits in them to be discovered. When your eyes behold a man in tears, or seemingly broken by life, bless him in his vitality and joy: for the material senses present but the inverted image of the ultimate splendor and perfection which only the inner eye beholds.

"It is impossible to bless and to judge at the same time. So hold constantly as a deep, hallowed, intoned thought that desire to bless, for truly then shall you become a peacemaker, and one day you shall, everywhere, behold the very face of God.

"And of course, above all, don't forget to bless the utterly beautiful person YOU are!"

Gratefully shared with permission of Pierre Pradervand,
prader@iprolink.ch ]

[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 Stages 1 & 2 of Bible Lands Park (BLP).   (This week Principia Middle School students will be doing a service project as one of six activities for their Unity Building Week traditionally held at CedarS during the first week of school. Hopefully, we can post pictures and a write-up to our blog page about their work to build a trail to our Bible Lands Caves and to help build a fence to keep our 100 horse out of Bible Lands Park. Click on --http://blog.cedarscamps.org/-- for other pictures and write-ups on CedarS Bible Lands Park.) For those of you wanting to see CedarS new Bible Lands Park first-hand or to dig for genuine biblical artifacts planted in our cave, there are still some few places left in the Midwest Bible Conference being put on at CedarS by Bible Studies Seminars from Sept. 16-19, 2010!)

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
2) You can now download a pdf version of CedarS Lesson mets for easier printing and for better reading from mobile devices.

3) You now can and we hope you will  use your Visa and Mastercard directly (without going through PayPal) to make monthly and one-time donations and to submit tuition payments for programs.
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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