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Find de-light and endurance in Truth!

Rick Stewart, C.S., Dresden, Germany
Posted Monday, January 17th, 2011

[Find de-light and endurance in Truth!]
CedarS "Met", Metaphysical Application Ideas, for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Truth" for January 17 - 23, 2011  
By Rick Stewart, CS, Dresden, Germany [bracketed italics by Warren Huff, Cedars Exec. Director]

[Editor's Note: The following application ideas for this week, and the Possible Sunday School Topics that will follow, are offered primarily to help CEDARS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp! You can sign up to have them emailed to you free -- in English by Monday each week, or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French thanks to Pascal, in German thanks to Helga or in Spanish thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio. YOU CAN SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters]
 
This week's Bible Lesson repeatedly reminds us to remember the everlasting works of God.  We are told that these works endure forever, that they are wondrous and glorious, and that these works are "Truth." (See this week's Responsive Reading.)
 
There is another aspect of God's works that we also will discover in this week's Lesson.  These works are not something of a historical nature, something to remember from the past, but our actual participation in God's works being revealed here and now.  And playing an important role in this present unfoldment is a good teacher.  For example, Jesus not only encouraged a remembrance of God's historical works, he also encouraged a life that continuing in the word and continuing to "know the truth."  (See Section 4, B-11)
 
How do we usually find out about God's works?  Well, of course lots of us have had experiences or observed wonders in our own lives that show us some of God's works.  Or we have read a passage in the Bible that recounted God's wonderful works. (The recounting of God's works or acts is a major theme in the Bible.)  And then perhaps we have had teachers, wonderful examples of individuals who have unlocked the glory of God's works. (E.g. Christ Jesus, Paul, [or a Sunday School teacher] or a counselor at CedarS!)
 
I was reminded of a recent Sunday School class.  My son, Noah, and I were discussing one of the sections in the Lesson on Sacrament.  Noah said, "Papa, let's find our "gold nugget" for this section."   Noah had learned that term in his daily study of the Bible Lesson with his fellow campers and his counselors at CedarS.  So we began the search for our "gold nugget" (a favorite idea or quote to apply from the Lesson.)
 
Teachers can be so important.  Do you or did you have a favorite teacher in school?  A teacher that really reached you, inspired you, or encouraged you in your learning?  Someone that may have impressed you with the depth of their understanding, but who also awakened your own desire to learn?  Isn't that the most important function of a teacher?  Not to impress students with their own knowledge, but to share that knowledge in a way that the student can comprehend and hopefully duplicate in practice what they have learned!
 
When I look back I have to say I am really grateful for a multitude of great teachers.  But there is one teacher that truly stands out; her name was Ruth Urquhart.  Some might remember that I wrote about her in an earlier CedarS MET. (February 22-28, 2010)  She was my teacher for 2nd, 4th, and 6th grades. [Nothing's ODD about that.] What was the thing that made Mrs. Urquhart so special?  She inspired her students to put into practice what she was teaching.  When I was in the second grade of elementary school (6-7 years old) she encouraged me and another student, Barry Mitchum, to forge ahead in our arithmetic studies.  As soon as we finished our 2nd grade workbook, she gave us another.  By the end of the school year Barry and I had completed the arithmetic workbook for the sixth grade!
 
And it is that same spirit that I love about this particular Bible Lesson on Truth (all 10 Sections!).  We begin by remembering all the "works of God," the Truth, that endures forever, and then we get actively involved in the demonstration of Truth.  And isn't that the most effective way to "know the truth" (B-11).   Pilate either sincerely, facetiously, or sarcastically asked, "What is truth?" (B-20)   Mary Baker Eddy with heartfelt sincerity and obedience answers in Science and Health (S-26), "The question, What is Truth, is answered by demonstration..."  Or as our Master puts it (Section 4, B-11), "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;  And ye shall know the truth,  and the truth shall make you free."  That's what we are going to be learning about in this Lesson.
 
Golden Text:
Psalms 117:2  "...the truth of the Lord endureth for ever."  "His truth endures." (The Living Bible, LB),  "the Lord's constancy is everlasting" (New English Bible, NEB)
[To strengthening endurance in every area of your life, try looking to the light from each section of this week lesson on Truth to set you free-free from the friction of thinking and living like a mortal. Today's "Daily Lift" by Susie Jostyn on treating everyone "Like Family" brings new light, not heat, to our daily interactions. Without constantly fighting the friction of lies, your endurance will be multiplied immensely!]
 
Responsive Reading:
Psalms 33:4 "works are done in truth." KJ   "everything he does is worthy of our trust." (LB) "The word of the Lord holds true..." (NEB)
Ps. 111:2 "The Lord has done many wonderful things!  Everyone who is pleased with God's marvelous deeds will keep them in mind." (Contemporary English Version, CEV)
 
Section 1: Truth thinking!
What was I thinking?  Years ago I climbed to the summit of a mountain that is one of the Collegiate Peaks in the Colorado Rockies.  There are five 14,000 foot (4,300 meter) mountains named after famous universities.  A friend and I were climbing on New Year's Day.  We climbed part way, camped in the snow, and then completed the climb the next day.  But we were both from Florida; and we were not experienced climbers.  So the route we chose, the one that looked best to us actually turned out to be an old avalanche path!  I guess not the wisest or safest path in mid-winter.  But I am grateful to say that we arrived at the summit safe and sound.  It was only afterward when describing the climb to a local experienced climber that I uncovered our folly. 
 
I was reminded of this experience as I read this section:  a section that encourages a willingness to meekly learn and be led.   B-1, B-2. "Lead me in thy truth and teach me...The meek will he guide...and the meek will he teach his way."  "The entrance of thy words....giveth understanding to the simple."  There is not much wisdom in being a "know-it-all."  After all there is only one "Know-it-all," and that is God!
 
Comedians can joke all they want to about "men" not being willing to ask directions!  But what did I learned from my ignorant climb up an old avalanche path?  Ask directions.  And I have even found it important to continue to ask directions, more than once if necessary.  And who do I ask directions from?   God is always first!  I consult Him continually during the day.  And I also pray for Him to guide me to those individuals who can lead me to the information I need at the moment.  And I can say it is amazing, absolutely amazing, the wonderful, knowledgeable individuals he has repeatedly placed in my path.
 
Thinkers, true thinkers are always willing to learn.  Paul encouraged "good" thinking; (B-3) and our Leader coined a classic phrase, "The time for thinkers has come." (S-1)  A willingness to know God, Truth is indispensable to our upward climb!  Let's be willing to be educated by Truth.  "Ignorance of God is no longer the steeping-stone to faith." (S-1)
 
Section 2: Prayer brings us to Truth!
Prayer is a way of life, a way of thinking.  In citation B-7 Jesus teaches us to pray to our Father.  Jesus teaches us to "enter our closet, close the door, and pray to our Father in secret, and our Father that seeth in secret will reward us openly."   In citation S-5 Mary Baker Eddy points out that entering that closet and closing the door is an instruction to retreat from the testimony of the material senses. We mentally extract ourselves from the roar of materiality that surrounds us; we listen for the Father's voice; we commune with the one and only Great Spirit; and we remind ourselves of God's omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience.

We can pray unceasingly.  We can pray and wash dishes; we can pray and cook a delicious ginger pudding; we can pray and scrub the floor. (I have done all those today.)  We can pray as we read and study.  Prayer is a commitment of our heart to hear God's voice.  So whatever we are doing we can keep doing, AND continue to pray unceasingly.  In one sense prayer is a commitment or consecration of our thought, our lives, our every action to God, to the Truth.

A few days ago I spoke with a family friend, a mom.  She shared that they were thinking about getting a dog, and wondered where we found our dog, Theo.  I explained that we had seen Theo several times with his fellow puppies; that Noah asked if we could get one of the puppies; and that I had simply said to Noah, "Pray."  If he was willing to pray, not for a puppy, but to pray to know that God was unfolding what was right for him, our family, and the puppies, that he could trust what God would do.  And Noah did pray.  Our first word after Noah (and me too!) had been praying was a negative response from the owner of the litter of puppies we had been visiting.  All puppies were spoken for.  And then almost immediately after the negative response, I got a call from the owner of the puppies.  He had decided that it was not right for one of the puppies to go the promised individual.  We ended up with what I like to call "God's pick of the litter."  We named him, Theo. ("Theo" comes from Old German and means "God's gift.)

So I told this family friend about our experience and encouraged her to ask her daughter to pray about the desire.  And they all prayed.  And a few days later when we were talking on the phone she joyfully told me that they had found the perfect dog.  They were so happy.  And one of the wonderful things about this answered prayer was that the father in the family since a childhood incident had actually been scared of dogs all his life.  This man's willingness to let the family consider getting a dog, and his unselfed love had to be a key part of their finding a wonderful dog.  Both the dog and the family were blessed.  We met their new family member the other evening, and she is an absolutely beautiful, jet-black Labrador/German Shepherd mix.

Answered prayer is beyond anything we can come up with alone.  Answered prayer is God revealing Himself, Truth in our hearts and in our experience.

We should learn to pray about everything.  [After all, "God ... guides every event of our careers." Unity of Good, 3:28]  Followers of the Master learned to pray about everything; and they did everything prayerfully.  When the earlier followers of Jesus got together for a meal, they prayed.  Everything they did, they did with prayer.  We can do the same thing.  Prayer takes the greatest challenges of human experience and turns them into holy events.  Great tragedies become great victories.  Great hurts turn into great comforts, comforts that stay with us our entire lives.  The pain is not remembered, only the presence of the Comforter wiping away the tears, the "Spirit of Truth, leading into all Truth."

Section 3: Truth, coming to light!
This section is a beautiful statement that sensitivity to the "Light" cannot tempt us to dwell in darkness.  "The rays of infinite Truth" cannot afflict! (S-6)  Coming to the Light, the Truth, can only bless.  Dwelling in the darkness of "human doctrines, hypotheses, and vague conjectures" (S-6), is never a path to Truth.  "Truth and Love enlighten the understanding..." (S-7)
 
A few years ago I awoke one day to a painful eye condition.   I did not seem to be able to bear the slightest light, without extreme pain.  I had no idea of what this condition was, or where it had come from.  A house guest at the time, Johannes, was quite patient with me, since I could not attend to any normal acts of hospitality.  Since I could not read, or even open my eyes, I simply was still and prayed.  And I remember a statement came to thought, "Nothing can close man's eyes to the Truth."  I prayed with that thought and then at some point during the day I remembered that Johannes had witnessed a wonderful healing of sea gull a few years earlier.
 We had been on a surf trip together, and what had appeared as a fatal accident for the sea gull was reversed in minutes.  Johannes and I had been the only ones present.  Immediately after the healing Johannes was dancing with joy and gratitude.
 
I realized the statement ["Nothing can close man's eyes to the Truth"] had come to me like a rebuke to any skepticism that may have crept into my friend's and perhaps my own thought.  As I affirmed that nothing can close our eyes to the Truth, the seeming aggressive physical picture with my eyes just faded away.  And then in talking with Johannes, I found out that he had begun to rationalize about that healing of the sea gull.  Although at first he had rejoiced at what had taken place, now a couple years later, he had begun to think that perhaps the injury was not as serious as we had first believed.
 
We must remind ourselves that no darkness of doubt, distrust, doctrine, or dogma can close our eyes to the infinite light of Truth revealed.
 
Section 4: Continue in the Truth
Did you notice who Jesus was talking with in this section of the Lesson? (B-11)  Jesus had been speaking with "those Jews which believed on him," John 8:31.  He had told them, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."  And then he had shared a powerful statement that we all love, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
(Students of Christian Science are very familiar with the last part of that quote since it is displayed on the walls in many Christian Science churches.)
 
The Jews he was speaking with seemed to take offence when he talked about "knowing the truth" as the key to freedom.  They immediately referred to their human heritage as "Abraham's seed." (B-11) John 8: 32  They had never been in "bondage to any man." But Jesus pointed out, "I tell you for certain that anyone who sins is a slave of sin!" (CEV)
 
How could this relate to you and me?  Wouldn't we consider ourselves as among those who "believed on" Jesus.  Don't we see ourselves in somewhat of a "heritage of Christ" situation?  Perhaps our great-grandmother, grandmother, of grandfather was a Christian Scientist?  Or maybe even a Christian Science Practitioner?  Perhaps our mothers or fathers are Christian Scientists?  Don't we have the connections, the credentials we need to be able to demonstrate Christian Science?  Shouldn't we be able to heal, since "after all Christian Science has been in our family for four generations?"  And there is sometimes a little frustration when we have studied Christian Science for so long, or our family has been in Christian Science for so long, and we still have challenges or problems!
 
What is the key here?  Science and Health citations, (S-8) to (S-12) are so helpful in reminding us where our belief is placed.  Is freedom found in human heritage or credentials, or in the Truth?  (S-10) "Love and Truth make free, but evil and error lead into captivity."
 
For about 15 years my mom kept as pets Ring-Necked Doves (also known as Cape Turtle Doves or Half-Collared Doves).  The first pair had been a Mother's Day gift from my brother, Scott.  At one point the male dove escaped from the cage and was out for several days.  He was not doing well, but he did not seem to be able to get himself back where he belonged.  He obviously wanted to be back home, but was having a hard time getting there.  My mom began to pray with the concept from John 10:9 when Jesus identifies himself as "the door."   "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."  Mom prayed to know how to overcome the seeming fear and reluctance of this dove to come home.  And then she devised a way to make the door easier to get into, a place for the dove to land, and securely walk right home.  And in just a little bit, there was the male dove in the cage and very happy to be back home.  [Good ideas for forgiving and welcoming back our non-feathered friends can be found in Bev DeWindt's reprinted Sentinel article "Seventy time seven".]
 
Our Master promised to pray to the Father for a Comforter, the Spirit of Truth that would lead into all Truth.  As my mom's dove was finally led back home, where he really wanted to be, so we can find our way home, sometimes from places and lifestyles that we have wandered into where we don't belong.
 
This section of the Lesson helps us identify the means for freedom, "continuing in the word," and "knowing the truth."  We cannot be free and abide or continue in belief in mortal error, mortal heritage, in sin, in an existence apart from God, Truth.  As we are willing to let go of a belief in evil's reality; as we begin to see through the temptation to believe in two opposing powers, evil and good; then we are ready to see that, "Christian Science brings to light Truth and its supremacy, universal harmony, the entireness of God, good, and the nothingness of evil." (S-12)
 
Section 5 and 6:  Truth uncovers error and grace and truth put it of business!
There is such a relief when Truth uncovers error.  (B-12)  "There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known." (New International Version, NIV)
"Truth uncovers and destroys error" (S-13) Then we don't have to labor under false pretenses or put up with something we know is illegitimate.
 
As error is uncovered we then allow the sunlight of Truth to shine in all of its gentle warmth.  The result is an experience, a condition, a relationship that normalizes and adjusts.  "Let Truth uncover and destroy error in God's own way, and let human justice pattern the divine." (S-13)
 
Years ago I got a call from my brother; he needed help finding his horse, Shiloh.  He had left Shiloh at the home of some relatives of his wife.  This family lived in the country and my brother thought it would be fun for their kids to have a horse to ride.  Then Shiloh found a hole in the fence and had wandered off.  No one knew where she was, and it was about 75 miles from my brother's home.  My brother had to work, but I told him I would be glad to head up right away and begin the search.
 
At that time I rented an office for my practice, so I put a note on my office door, took along my new cell phone and headed out.  Today my practitioner's office was going to be on the road.  I prayed as I drove the hour and half to the area where Shiloh was last seen.  It had come to me to post signs all around the little country town nearest to the relative's house.  As I posted the sign at a small store in the center of the little town, a group of teenagers came in.  A young woman spoke to me in a very disrespectful and unkind way, and said something like, "You ain't never gonna see that horse again."  And then a fellow about 15 or 16 said something in a very mean way, but it made me think he knew where Shiloh was.  To put it kindly the attitude of this group of young people seemed very confrontational and antagonistic.  So I headed out into my car, and quietly prayed.  In Section 6, (B-13) speaks of God as "longsuffering" and "gracious."  At that point I was praying with my whole heart asking God to let me express those qualities of true thought.  Longsuffering means slow to anger, and patient.  I was trying my best, but it did not seem easy to not react.
 
The young people came out of the store and headed down a country road; and then turned into a small sand road.  I had continued to watch them and then was prompted to start my car and follow them.  The young man that spoke to me headed into a small house.  And right then I saw a man that I recognized as an insurance salesman going to the same house.  I approached him, told him what my problem was and asked for his advice.  He immediately said, "Oh, that's a good kid, he was probably just showing off for his girl friend.  Go ahead and talk to him."  When I talked to the young man, there had been a real change of attitude.  He agreed to go with me to show me where the horse, Shiloh, was.  We got there only to discover that a friend of his that had been keeping Shiloh, had let her go a few hours earlier.  When they told me where they let her go, I went there and began to follow her tracks.  After about an hour of tracking, with my new young friend at my side, I found Shiloh, safe and sound.  She had gone into a pasture with an open gate.  I closed the gate, called my brother, and waited for him to get there with the horse trailer.  The young man waited with me.  He had spent several hours helping me look and waiting for my brother.  The qualities of God, "compassion, gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy," that I had been trying to embrace, this young man ended up showing in full measure.  It was a complete contrast from what had first been displayed!  [See also a spirituality.com article by April Mattson, "A stolen car - and the power of prayer".]
 
As you know prayer is often an affirmation of the divine Truth.  Prayer can be a knowing that God is governing all, and a remembrance of His, God's works and deeds (see the Responsive Reading).  But prayer also can include an uncovering of lies, the seeming opposite to Truth. (See Section 5.)  And a faith in Truth, faith in the true nature of an individual or situation, is also a powerful form of prayer.  And of course a key element to effective prayer almost always includes reversing fear.  Fear would try to convince us that there is something other than God, Truth governing a situation.  How glorious to see the Truth come to light, remove the effects of error, and truly "make man free."  (S-16) 
 
Section 7:  Crumbs of Truth........more than enough!
The experience of Jesus and the Canaanite woman is related in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. (B-15)  The woman is identified as from the [Mediterranean] coast of Tyre and Sidon.  (These important towns are located within the present day boundaries of Lebanon.)  She was a "gentile."  Not a Jew.  Mark‘s gospel refers to the woman as a Syro-Phoenician.  In both Gospels her story follows a discussion of what true "purity" means.  Remember purity for the Jewish thought had to do with many aspects of daily life and allowed no mixing of cooking utensils or of eating with "gentiles," and even had restrictions about talking with or associating with anyone other than Jews.  This woman's background sprang from some of the traditional enemies of the Jews.  ["The disciples wanted to send her away. But with persistence and quick thinking, she got Jesus' attention.  Perhaps she even impelled him to acknowledge that his healing mission was universal". Kat Collins words in her article "Practicing Truth" on this week's lesson as carried in the January 17 & 24, 2011 Christian Science Sentinel.] While it may initially seem that Jesus is being restrictive in his questions and comments about this woman, I found myself thinking that maybe Jesus was asking questions that he knew she could already answer.  Jesus was very perceptive regarding individuals and their faith.  And he eventually commended the woman for her "great" faith.  The result: her daughter was healed immediately.
Citation B-16 clearly states the Psalmist's view: "The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth."  "Sincere seekers of Truth" never need to worry about God's answer.  (S-17) "Unbiased" thought, ran both from the Master and the woman, with both being willing to reach out to the universal Truth.
 
I remember a story my mom shared.  She had the opportunity to introduce a well-known Christian Science lecturer, George Channing.  They were chatting before the lecture and Mr. Channing told of a special healing he had had.  He had been in a very severe automobile accident.  He was taken to the hospital where he said he received very loving attention.  And he was busy praying.  He had a complete healing in the hospital and was very, very grateful for the way he had been treated.  And then he told my mom, "And my dear, I must tell you that was a "Catholic" hospital.  His emphasis was made because of so many Christian Scientists that might think such was not possible.  Don't we have to watch "bias" running in both directions? 
 
The first time I heard the song, "That's Just the Way It Is," by Bruce Hornsby I remember thinking, "Wow, that sounds just like something Jesus might say."  Bruce sings about someone in a welfare line and someone making a rude comment.  The refrain, "That's just the way it is..... But don't you believe it."  I could just hear Jesus saying, "But don't you believe it."  Since this song was a hit at the time, and playing on the radio I gave a testimony that Wednesday about it.  There were two almost-teenage cousins in the congregation and I thought they could relate to the song and how it applied to Jesus' thought.  That was Wednesday.  On Thursday I drove to Virginia to give a lecture in Newport News.  I loved the opportunity to share the lecture and to speak with several folks from the audience.  The introducer stayed by my side and introduced me to the people that came up.  As a man approached, she said, "Oh Rick, I would like to introduce you to Dave Hornsby, his son is nominated for a Grammy award this year."  In absolute joy I said, "Hornsby, as in Bruce Hornsby?"  "That's right, he's my son."  As the saying goes, you could have knocked me over with a feather.  I was so thrilled, so in awe of the moment.  As Mr. Hornsby and I talked, I found out that Bruce's mother was a Christian Science Practitioner.
 
I could not think of a better illustration for citation S-22: "Whatever inspires with wisdom, Truth, or Love - be it song, sermon or Science - blesses the human family with crumbs of comfort from Christ's table, feeding the hungry and giving living waters to the thirsty."
 
Section 8: Rejoice in the works of Truth
The Bible Lesson includes Ps. 33:1, 4 (B-17) but I could not resist Ps 33: 1-5 from The Message:
  Good people, cheer God! Right-living people sound best when praising.
   Use guitars to reinforce your Hallelujahs!
      Play his praise on a grand piano!
   Invent your own new song to him;
      give him a trumpet fanfare.

    For God's Word is solid to the core;
      everything he makes is sound inside and out.
   He loves it when everything fits,
      when his world is in plumb-line true.
   Earth is drenched
      in God's affectionate satisfaction.
 
Isn't that cool.  Cheer God, Truth because He is doing the work (S-23) "Truth does the work, and you must both understand and abide by the divine Principle of your demonstration."
 
If you buy a cruise ticket, if you pack your bag, and if you get on the ship, are you surprised when the ship sails away from the dock and you have a great vacation?  God's Truth certainly must be more certain, more reliable, more guaranteed than the "Love Boat" or Carnival Cruise Lines!
 
Section 9: What is Truth? Demonstration.
In citation B-20 Jesus tells Pilate why he came: "To this end was I born and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice."  When one sees what Jesus demonstrates in his life, you are left with no doubt as to the effectiveness of his bearing witness to the Truth.  But what about his call to you and me?   
"He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do..." John 14:12
Citations S-24 through S-27 give our Leader's take on what is required of you and me.
 
Section 10: Truth wins.
Would you like to have some fun?  Read the rousing Bible and Science and Health citations in this section.  When you get through take Hymn 82, written by Arthur C. Ainger, from the Christian Science Hymnal and sing it with all your heart.  If you are concerned about what others might think, then get in the shower and belt it out.  Everyone sings great in the shower!
 
"God is working His purpose out
As year succeeds to year
God is working His purpose out
And the time is drawing near.
Nearer and nearer draws the time
The time that shall surely be
When the earth shall be filled
With the glory of God
As the waters cover the sea.
 
"What can we do to work God's work,
To prosper and increase
The brotherhood of all mankind,
The reign of the Prince of Peace?
What can we do to hasten the time,
The time that shall surely be,
When the earth shall be filled with the
glory of God
As the waters cover the sea.
"March we forth in the strength of God
With the banner of Christ unfurled
That the light of the glorious gospel of truth
May shine throughout the world
Fight we the fight with sorrow and sin
To set their captives free
That the earth may be filled
With the glory of God
As the waters cover the sea."
 
[This hymn is also a wonderful affirmation of the importance and certainty of our work as parents, as Sunday School teachers -and as child care providers at camp. For more great insights on "Inspired Parenting" tune in to a spirituality.com chat by that title tomorrow, January 18, at 2-3pm EST with Mark Swinney, C.S.B.]

[Please help CedarS keep a 50th season New Year's resolution to each out to all the "un-camped" students enrolled in Christian Science Sunday Schools across the world.  In the United States they apparently outnumber Sunday School students who attend 1 of the 6 camps for Christian Scientists in North America by more than 2 to 1. Experience shows that "CS-camped" children who are given the laboratory experience of putting their training from their homes and Sunday Schools into joyous practice in a "24-7" Christian-Science-laboratory experience at camp want to continue to make Christian Science their own. Therefore, please tell all the "un-camped" families you know about our work; and if possible let us know about them and their email and/or other contact information. We will gladly send them--and you--a DVD, plus show host info for over 40 CedarS shows being scheduled and everytrhing needed to help get "un-camped" students to camp -- from info on our programs for all ages; to session dates and rates; to online enrollment info; to transportation;  to financial aid forms; and more as needed.]
 
[CEDARS weekly "Mets" or Metaphysical Newsletters are provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CEDARS--as well as to thousands of CEDARS alumni, families, Sunday School teachers and friends who request it, or who find it weekly on our website or through CS Directory. But, current and planned gifts are needed: to cover the costs of running this "free" service; to provide camperships to make inspirational opportunities possible for deserving youth; and to help our facilities keep pace with our mission.]
Thanks to a matching pledge, if CedarS can raise $50,000 by next summer for our "Adopt the Herd" Riding Fund, a donor will match those gifts to cover the needs of feeding, shoeing and caring for our large and cherished herd of horses!  OF COURSE, donations are always needed and welcome for camperships -especially for the "uncamped"--because without campers there would be no camp!  Funds are also being gratefully realized and spent to complete parts of CedarS Bible Lands Park (BLP) including our new Mediterranean Sea!  We're happy to share more details if you wish to help these divine ideas come to fruition!] 

[However it comes, your support is always very welcome and tax-deductible --but during the economic downturn, your generous, unrestricted gifts have been--and continue to be--more needed and appreciated than ever!  You can make charitable donations to our 501C-3 tax-exempt, charitable organization in many ways.
1)     Thanks in advance for GIVING ONLINE! Just click here to use a credit or debit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover card) or a virtual check to make monthly and one-time donations to CedarS' Camperships, "Maintenance Musts", "Mets", Bible Lands Park, "Mediterranean Sea", Unrestricted or Endowment Funds.  Our international supporters can give to CedarS via PayPal using built-in currency exchange rates by filling in an amount under International Donors and clicking on the "Donate Online" button.
2)     Checks are also great and especially appreciated on a monthly basis! Please make them payable to "CedarS Camps" and mail them to: CedarS Camps Office, 1314 Parkview Valley, Ballwin, MO 63011;
3)     Please call Warren or Gay Huff at (636) 394-6162 to discuss gifts of IRAs, stocks, other securities or property you are considering giving in order to help underwrite CedarS spiritual growth and progress.
4)     CedarS can almost always use late-model mini-vans, Suburbans and trucks, with lower mileage, in good condition, either 4-wheel or 2-wheel drive. Please email office@cedarscamps.org or call 636-394-6162 to discuss your vehicle, its transfer and tax-deductible gift acknowledgement.  Letting this need be known recently brought about a donation of a wonderful, late-model Suburban from Minnesota!
5) Many friends and churches have already made a profound impact on CedarS past, present and future by choosing to fund ongoing legacies of love and support. Tax-saving strategies for planned gifts and enabling wording for bequests, life income gifts, and beneficiary designations can be set up by CedarS Trustee Emeritus Bill Merritt who is a planned giving professional.]

 [Camp Director's Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 10-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "Mets" (Metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians. (To keep the flow of the practitioner's ideas intact and to allow for more selective printing "Possible Sunday School Topics" come in a subsequent email.) These weekly offerings are intended to encourage further study and application of ideas in the lesson and to invigorate Sunday School participation by students and by the budding teachers on our staff. Originally sent JUST to my Sunday School students and to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study, application and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson "mets" are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way a substitute for daily study of the lesson. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension and background as well as new angles (and angels) on the daily applicability of some of the ideas and passages being studied. The weekly Bible Lessons are copyrighted by the Christian Science Publishing Society and are printed in the Christian Science Quarterly as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at eBibleLesson.com or myBibleLesson.com. The citations referenced (i.e.B-1 and S-28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "Met" (Metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the Bible (B-1 thru B-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-30). The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist. The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one. We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of the ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.]
 
 
[You can click on the pdf symbol (at the right of the webpage) to download a pdf version of CedarS Lesson mets for easier reading and printing from mobile devices.]

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


[P.S.S.T. --Discover the applicability of Truth--Forever and For Always!]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on Truth for Sunday, January 23, 2011
By Steve Henn, St. Louis, MO [email: steven.henn@gmail.com  --Bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS]

Hello and welcome to a lesson dedicated to Truth. 
 
Golden Text: Psalms
It may be difficult to wrap your students' minds around the idea of forever in terms of Truth enduring for a very long time...but another way to consider forever is to look at Truth as being ceaseless. The added perspective, though slight, is that Truth never has gaps in it. No matter what, we can rely on Truth, at 2am, on a mountain top, no matter where or when you are in need, Truth endures. You can ask your students to come up with the most improbable place and time they can think of and discuss how Truth will be present [and applicable] even in that moment. Consider looking at "God's Law of Adjustment" by Adam H. Dickey where he discusses a man lost at sea and what Mr. Dickey has to say about that.
How Great is God?
 
   
Responsive Reading: Psalms
The key words in this first verse are word, right and truth. What do those words mean to your students?  Think of as many synonyms as you can for those words and plug them in to Ps. 33:4.  [Some fun synonyms just for truth from Rodale's Synonym Finder are: "reality, actuality, (gospel truth, unvarnished truth), straight goods, facts, low-down, scoop, story, inside information, validity, soundness, (Math) proposition, theorem, integrity,  sincerity, straightforwardness, candor, frankness, ...] Then discuss what further meaning you are uncovering.
The rest of this responsive reading focuses on gratitude and praise. Two clear questions come up here, then: what do your students have to be grateful for (consider how God fits into this gratitude) and how do your students describe the goodness of God?
 
A Firm Foundation
Section 1: Psalms, Philippians
The qualities in this section lay the ground for a firm foundation, the kind that is built on a rock. Show your students these qualities and discuss how they can bring them into their lives on a daily basis. In particular, look at [citation 3 in] Philippians and see that this process starts with concentrated thought in the right direction--["whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report," B3]
 
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
Teach your students to think independently, not to get caught up in the false pictures of the material senses. Much of the Bible [can] seem irrelevant or outdated, or even impossible, [only] because we look at it through a limited lens. [Christian Science and CedarS Bible Lands Park seek to look at Bible events, places and messages through the lens of spiritual sense which shows their amazing, timeless applicability.] Begin with Mrs. Eddy's statements in this section to set the foundation for independent thought throughout this lesson.
 
Prayer
Section 2: Psalms, John, Luke, Matthew
How do your students pray?  What does it mean to "pray in secret"--["in thy closet"]--and to be "reward[ed] openly"? (B7) [Cobbey Crisler makes a brilliant point about the original Greek word here as closet. "It really is not translated as closet, I don't believe any other time it's used. "Tameion" has in the Greek this meaning: it's a storehouse. It's a place where our supplies are kept. Now ask yourself if you're really praying.  In prayer, in our first step, do we actually go mentally into the place where our supplies already are?  That means in prayer we can't take any problem with us. In prayer, we are in the presence of the solution, or it's not prayer, as far as Jesus' definition of prayer is concerned.  Once we're in there where the supplies are, shut the door so that the problem doesn't nag."  Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master: A Tax-Collector's Report, Click here to download a pdf order form for CDs from The Daycroft School Foundation.] 
Psalms and John also have a lot to offer about what goes into prayer, particularly the foundation for it.  Matthew [in citation B7 also in the Sermon on the Mount] presents the most famous prayer we use. Do your students look past the words to the meaning behind this prayer? You could build an entire lesson around just the Lord's Prayer [which Mrs. Eddy says "covers all human needs." S&H 16:11].
 
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
What are the results of prayer?  Citation S4 covers this clearly, but does this match your students' experience? What does it mean/feel like to be brought "into all Truth" [maybe like being in a fully-stocked storehouse]? Citation S5 takes the conversation of the closet even further.  What happens in the closet, why must it be silent? Where can your students find this kind of separation from the material picture?  Must they really separate themselves [physically] from society? [Those feeling the pressure of being "in the world, but not of it" may be released by their prayers from feeling a sense of burden by applying Mrs. Eddy's one use of the word "pressure" in S&H: "Christian Scientists must live under the constant pressure of the apostolic command to come out from the material world and be separate." (S&H 451:2)]
Help your students understand the purpose of prayer. Discuss prayer as a preventative, not just a restorative measure. [You and your students may want to ask yourselves how you -and your chosen companions-can improve in expressing the key three elements of "constant prayers"- (1)"self-forgetfulness, (2) purity, and (3) affection." (S5)]
 
Light
Section 3: John, Psalms
First, do you recognize how often Psalms are showing up in this week's lesson? What are psalms?  What is their purpose? You may even want to write a few psalms with your students. 
How do light and truth connect? 
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
Light brings Truth. How can you help your students shed light on their own daily experience? What is the source of light? How does a change in thought lead to light? 
 
Freedom
Section 4: Psalms, John
Once again, Psalms makes an appearance in this section.
Where does freedom come from? What does it mean to be truly free? How can Jesus' word lead to freedom? What does Truth have to do with freedom? In John, Jesus pits truth against sin. Why would sin result in being a servant?
When having this conversation, be aware of personality and judgment. Jesus speaks sternly about sin and the devil, but he never attacks a person.
 
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
Mrs. Eddy hits this last point home in citation 8.  We can, and must, be firm with error. Discuss how we can be firm with error and not drag personality into the conversation.  Talk further about Mrs. Eddy's powerful statements about God's creation.  She is adamant that it is all and only good. How does that view of things bring us closer to the truth? This section helps to discern between that which is real and that which is "only a mistake."  Uncover with your students what the real foundation of freedom is through a more scientific view of Truth and reality.
 
Power
Sections 5 & 6: Matthew, Psalms, Exodus
Power is not only related to [physical] force.  Expand your students' understanding of what power is all about. To live a life that is completely uncovered, what does that look like and how does it give power to your students? In Psalms, compassion, grace, and patience along with mercy share the spotlight with the power in Exodus. In a world filled with examples of power that are tied to material strength and often result in destruction, these qualities can give us and our students a healthy contrast of what true power is all about.
 
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
In Section 5, perhaps one of the most difficult lessons to learn, and yet an important one, is that God, Truth is what destroys error, not our own wisdom or personal strength. Continue to unpack what power is all about and what the purpose of power is. Do your students wish to have power in their lives that will make them truly free? Seek Truth, then.  That is where the real power lies.
 
Good For All
Section 7: Matthew, Psalms
Who deserves truth?  Researching the story in Matthew briefly, one finds that a Canaanite woman is practically the antithesis of the children of Israel, very far from a person who Jesus "should" help. And yet, he does so.  Not only that, but the multitudes who follow after her are likely not to be Israelites either. Jesus heals all of them, despite their status as enemies or as different from him. How do your students treat "others"? How do they respond to their enemies? Is it a fantasy to think we can truly heal our enemies? Who is worthy of God's love? Is it only those who we feel comfortable around? Clearly Jesus is teaching us something different.
 
 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
Sincere seekers are all that Mrs. Eddy asks for. How can we be sincere in our seeking of truth? Why would we be sincere seekers? What are we seeking? And how do we look for it? Mrs. Eddy spends a lot of time in this section outlining the true character of a Christian Scientist. What qualities are important to the demonstration of Truth? One's ability certainly does not depend on his background or heritage. But who he is now matters.  Who must we be to be blessed by Christ, to bless others?

Rejoice
Sections 8 & 9: Psalms, Matthew, John
We find it easy to rejoice in good times, to praise the Lord when things look good. But, what about when times are not so peachy? What of Jesus' statement in Matthew about being persecuted?  Can we really rejoice in suffering? If so, how will our students feel about that, or will they just call it quits before it gets that far? Before scaring your students away from the table, look at Jesus' words in John.  Jesus' kingdom is not of this world...that means that his joy is not of this world either. Where does happiness come from? Can we be happy amidst rough times? If we are standing on a true foundation, nothing can stop the happiness we feel. We do not feel the sting of an arrow that we clearly see as false. We can rejoice even in a rainstorm, as long as we know the Truth of what is real.
 
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
What is truth? Work together with your students on this question... Mrs. Eddy has much to say about it in this section. Clearly, as we get closer to an understanding of what Truth really is, we have less to fear and more to rejoice. To be even more specific, look at citation S26 and discuss what are the qualities of the best men, and how does the demonstration of Truth lead to this?
 
Victory
Section 10: Psalms
A fitting end to this lesson, in Truth we ultimately find victory. What is it your students need victory over in their lives?  What are the challenges they are facing on a daily basis? Help them to see that God is merciful and deserves to be exalted in all his glory. Praising God is not a silly thing to do, because He has done marvelous things. Again, you can cover what psalms really are, songs, often of praise. Practice praising God in your class. Why do it?  What has God done for me lately? If He is victorious, that is something to praise.
 
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
Keep it small and simple. Rather than trying to bring about world peace by the end of your class, help your students be satisfied with little steps. The great thing is that small proofs lay the foundation for something greater. But we don't need to wait until a big fight presents itself to get down to work. "Fight the good fight" on a daily basis. This builds confidence in our relationship to Truth and helps us see that in all things, big and small, Truth really is the victor. How can your students start small?  How can they practice on a daily basis in such a way that they see the practicality of their work?
 
This truly is a remarkable lesson. One cannot come close to covering all of it in a single class. Choose one of the above sections and start there. Let the class blossom outward from there and have a little fun in the process.
 

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