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Take 2 tablets to prove God is all; monsters are not!

Rick Stewart, C.S., Dresden, Germany
Posted Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

[Take "The 2 Tablets" to prove God is all; monsters are not!]
Christian Science Bible Lesson Application Ideas from Cedars Camps on "Ancient and Modern Necromancy, Alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced" for November 27, 2011
by Rick Stewart, CS of Dresden, Gemany 
Telephone: +49 351 312 4736    Email: RickStewartCS@aol.com
[Bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS Director and Met, PSST & PYCL Newsletters Editor]

[Editor's Note: The following application ideas for this week, and the Possible Sunday School Topics (PSST) 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 and Manfred or in Spanish thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio. YOU CAN SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters]
 
 
Have you ever believed in monsters?
Lots of moms and dads have been called into a room with: "Mom, Dad, there's a monster under my bed."  And Disney made lots of money on a Pixar Studios film, "Monsters, Inc", back in 2001. That film was a pretty funny and creative look at the "monster under the bed" story.
 
But you know my monsters were not under my bed, but in my closet or by the chair in my bedroom. And when I was alone in the dark those monsters could seem pretty scary. I could even pray, and know that God was right there with me, but they still looked scary. And my imagination could make them into something really scary. But I did have an ultimate monster weapon. When I got brave enough to jump out of my bed, race across the room and turn on the light, the monsters would just vanish.  Whew, it sure felt good to discover that I had just let my imagination run wild with me. There was never really a monster there. I had just forgotten to pick up my jacket. In the dark, my jacket hanging on the chair had turned into a scary monster. But a little light and I saw that it was just my imagination.
 
The first dictionary definition I found for monster was kind of like my "scared in the dark, imaginary monster":  "Monster: a strange or horrible, imaginary creature." But Webster's dictionary also had some other definitions for monster that are even a little scarier. We may even read about these monsters in the newspaper, see them on TV news, or see them in a movie. Monster: "An animal or plant of abnormal form or structure. One who deviates from normal or acceptable behavior or character. A threatening force. An animal of strange or terrifying shape. Something monstrous, especially a person of unnatural or extreme ugliness, deformity, wickedness, or cruelty."
 
This week's Bible Lesson is the reason I am writing about monsters. The ideas in this Lesson are kind of like my ultimate monster destroying weapon, "the light." Except the weapons in this lesson go way beyond a light bulb. The light we find in the Bible Lesson is a special, powerful light that we glows brighter an brighter as we learn more about God. It is the light of understanding that teaches us that God is really all, and that evil, the belief in an opposite to God's goodness is really nothingness. Through this Bible Lesson we are going to learn how to scare the monsters out of the shadows of mortal thought, and destroy them.    And we are going to learn how to bring every "child scared in the dark" into the Light of God's allness, even if that child is me or you.
 
But is the subject for this Bible Lesson, a little scary itself? "Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias, Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced." No it is not scary; it is filled with monster destroying truths. This Lesson shows that one of the areas of criticism that Mary Baker Eddy faced was untrue. Some people in attacking or criticizing Christian Science and Mrs. Eddy have zeroed in on her statement: "Evil is nothing." (S-4) But that is a criticism based on an ignorance of the teachings contained in Science and Health and in the Bible. Even though Mrs. Eddy did write in her textbook of Christian Science, that "Evil is nothing," she made it clear that we have to understand and demonstrate that fact through our faith in and understanding of God's allness. We "denounce" evil through proving its nothingness and removing its influence on human thought.
 
The importance that Mrs. Eddy placed on "denouncing" evil or destroying evil is shown in the following account:   "Someone sent [Mrs. Eddy] a set of the three little brass monkeys--"See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil." That, said Mrs. Eddy in substance, is not Christian Science, it is heathen philosophy. Christian Scientists do not close their eyes to evil, but open them. They open their eyes, spiritual discernment, and awaken to the true nature of evil or sin, to its false claims, methods, subtlety, etc., and then realize its nothingness, its utter powerlessness to control or harm."  from "We Knew Mary Baker Eddy," First Series, pp. 22 by John C. Lathrop, C.S.B.
 
And that is why we are studying this week's Bible Lesson!!
 
Golden Text: James 1:16, 21 
Our Golden Text, the theme for the Lesson is a great wake-up call. Looking at what some other translations show us:
James 1:16  AB   "Do not be misled, my beloved brethren."   
CEV - "Don't be fooled, my dear friends."
James 1:21     
NIV    "Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you."
PHIL   "Have done, then, with impurity and every other evil which overflows into the lives of others, and humbly accept the message that God has planted in your hearts, and which can save your souls." 
TEV - 21 "So get rid of every filthy habit and all wicked conduct. Submit to God and accept the word that he plants in your hearts, which is able to save you."
 
Responsive Reading: Jeremiah 23:24-26, 28-30, 3     
Jer. 23:24      TEV "No one can hide where I cannot see him. Do you not know that I am everywhere in heaven and on earth?"    
Jer. 23:25-26, 28    NLT - "I have heard these prophets say, 'Listen to the dream I had from God last night.' And then they proceed to tell lies in my name. 26 How long will this go on? If they are prophets, they are prophets of deceit, inventing everything they say. 28 Let these false prophets tell their dreams, but let my true messengers faithfully proclaim my every word. There is a difference between chaff and wheat!
 Jer. 23:30, 32      NEB "I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who concoct worlds of their own and then say, "This is his very word."    32 I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who dream lies and retell them, misleading my people with wild and reckless falsehoods. It was not I who sent them or commissioned them, and they will do this people no good. This is the very word of the Lord."  
 
Section 1: Moses warns about cultural influences towards magic. (B-2 Deuteronomy 18)
Moses was leading his people into regions where there was the worship of lots of gods, sacrifices, and magic. Moses warned the Children of Israel against accepting the cultural influences they would encounter in their new home. Especially four areas: Child sacrifice, "pass through the fire"; Divination, trying to find things out about the future through supernatural forces rather than relying on God for guidance;   Magic. Back then witches, sorcerers, and charmers thought that there were gods that controlled nature and so they made magic spells to try and control people and events;   Necromancy (mentioned in the Lesson subject) The belief of getting information through communication with the dead. A medium, wizard, or necromancer was what was meant by "consulter with familiar spirits.  
Here are some of the Bible verses that alert to various forms of witchcraft and other occult practices: (2 Chronicles 33:6),  (1 Samuel 23),(Isaiah 2:6),(Isaiah 2:10-18), (Galatians 5:19-21)
But of course these are things for ancient times, you know way back in the old days, right?
 
In a recent news story, MTV News, cited a study conducted by the City University of New York, it stated that, "Wicca is one of the fastest-growing religions in the United States."  MTV also reported the following:"A surprising number of young witches MTV News spoke with also said that they became curious about their faith through Neve Campbell's "The Craft" and the "Harry Potter series."
 
Wicca is a modern Pagan religious movement that was started in England. It started out being known as "witch cult, and from the 1960s on was called, "Wicca." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicca
 
Have you looked at the titles offered in books, television, and movies in the last few years? 
In recent years, Hollywood has targeted our youth through a long parade of occult productions. And I say "targeted" because the story lines and themes of most of these movies and TV shows are young people.  Beyond the installments of Twilight and a seemingly endless procession of Harry Potter movies, other titles include The Craft, Practical Magic, Charmed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Wizards of Waverly Place, Bibi Blocksberg, The Little Vampire and the list goes on and on.   But what is the harm after all? Just fun entertainment?   When I saw some neighbors on the way to see the new "Twilight" film I joked with them watch out for the vampires. The Mom's comment, "Well it is really just a love story." Right, but the love story is about a 108-year-old vampire and a teenager.
 
The first Twilight film was released on November 21, 2008. Three years ago yesterday. It grossed over $392 million worldwide. It was released on DVD on March 21, 2009 and became the most purchased DVD of the year. A love story between a 108 year old vampire and a teenager.           http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twilight_(2008_film)
 
Interested in a little mental self-defense course? Check out the citations from Science and Health in this section. They will equip you, protect you and also enable you to help others. In the old movies you needed a cross, or holy water to defend from vampires. You needed wolfbain or garlic to defend from werewolves. What do we need to defend our children from the subtle influence of this fascination with witchcraft and occult themes?
 
A few years back a colleague of my wife's found herself very concerned about a religious leaflet she had found in her mailbox. She and Susanne work with autistic children and what concerned her was the kind of scare tactic graphics of the ad. She expressed her concern that the young people she worked with just did not have the filters, the mental filters, the discernment, not to be affected by the ad. So she called her church about it. The church official incorrectly identified it as related to Christian Science. So I followed up with that church official and with Susanne's coworker. It was made clear that there was no connection to Mary Baker Eddy whatsoever in the material. But I have never forgotten how concerned that professional working with autistic children was. It had motivated her to get to the bottom of the source. (This contact actually led to a very positive article about Christian Science in the local newspaper.)
 
But I remember how this Psychologist was sincerely concerned about the information swirling around out there and its influence. And so was Mrs. Eddy. A term Mrs. Eddy referred to was "moral idiocy." (The inability to discern between right and wrong). (S-2) S&H page 103 and Mary Baker Eddy's Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896, p. 107:22. 
The citations from Science and Health in this section show us why we need to be alert, concerned, and equipped to address these issues.
 
Section 2: David, Nabal, and Abigail (The Good, The Bad, and The Beautiful) (B-3 | I Samuel 25)
Wow, what a great story: Rich guy with thousands of sheep and goats, Nabal; Former shepherd and current soldier, David, and his followers protecting the man's sheep "like a wall" against all attacks; Sheep shearing time; plenty of cash flow.   So, David respectfully asks for some food for his men. The "churlish" man, Nabal (rude, mean) says, "Forget it." And David gets his men ready to take the man out. In steps the man's wise and beautiful wife, Abigail. She loads up lots of goodies for David and his men, apologizes for the rude behavior of her husband and accepts the responsibility. David is grateful that she stops him from his planned actions. When Abigail goes to tell her husband what a jerk he was she finds him totally drunk in a huge party (which means he was not hurting financially.) He is so drunk that she waits until morning to tell him. And when he realizes how close he came to being taken out, he is scared to death. Literally, because 10 days later he dies. And then the pretty, smart, and faithful wife (now widow) is asked to become David's wife.
 
Isn't it interesting how an individual's attitude can take the same situation and make it into an opportunity or a disaster? Nabal reacted to David's legitimate appeal with arrogance, and churlishness. Abigail through her grace and insight turned a terrible situation into a blessing. The same situation and depending on your approach to it, becomes either a blessing or a curse.
 
Reminds me of a situation when I was 16. I was driving our family car to a football game in another town. It was dark. A small, two lane country road.  And suddenly my best friend and I are looking at a car directly in front of us, across both lanes of traffic with no lights on. I swerved and applied the brakes. We almost completely missed the car. I only clipped about an inch of the other car's right, rear fender, very little damage to that car.   Although no one was injured, my cars right, front fender was deeply dented. . An older woman was in the driver's seat and her daughter next to her. The daughter just kept saying, "Thank you, thank you, thank you." . Everybody was safe and sound. The mother volunteered, " I will be glad to take care of all the damage to your car. We really don't need to call the police." Since she was older and wiser (it seemed), I took her at her word. 
 
Later that night when I got home I told my parents about the experience.   When I had the repair estimate I called the lady. She answered, I told her who it was, and she said she had never heard of me. I could not believe it at first. (Remember her car had virtually no damage whatsoever. It was just a tiny corner of her car that had caught my car's fender.)
 
My dad and I talked about our options. We decided not to pursue any action against her. I agreed to pay for the repairs from a roofing job that I was helping with. Our car ended up like new and I had learned some big lessons. Also I began to take my driving more seriously. In fact I pray about my driving whether it is just a short local trip or a cross country trip. In the forty plus years since that experience I have never been in another auto accident. (I have helped with prayer and care in many situations with others.)    And just a little side note about "churlishness": A few months after this experience my dad came over to me with the local newspaper. "Rick, I think you should see this." Here was an article with picture. It was my churlish little lady. Her house had burnt down with all possessions. My dad simply said, "Son, don't forget you reap what you sow."
 
The Science and Health citations in this section give wonderful examples of choosing our thoughts, motives, and actions.
 
Section 3:  King David's Soap Opera family
Citation B- 6 (II Samuel14:25) states: "In all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty:" Before we get to this episode with Absalom and David we need to hear a little bit about Absalom. He was famous for his beauty. His hair was long, thick and luxurious. And he had a pleasing personality. When his brother, Amnon had assaulted their sister he vowed to avenge her. And he did. He plotted to kill Amnon two years after the assault. And then he began to plan a rebellion against his father, King David. First he began to win the hearts of the people in a very sneaky way. And after he won over many of the people he declared himself king. His father, David, fled to the region west of the Jordan River. In a large battle of Ephraim Wood his father's forces were victorious. And Absalom got his hair caught in the branches of an oak tree as he rode his mule. He was caught there and was killed by David's followers. 
 
How heartbreaking it must have been for David in dealing with his son, Absalom: running for his life from his own son; organizing an army to defend himself and his kingdom against his own son; and the resulting death of Absalom. Psalm 3 (B-8) expresses David's anguish over Absalom and David's ever more whole hearted turning to God. [Click here to be in on a spirituality.com Question of the Week discussion on praying through tough times today in families.]
 
The Science and Health citations relate to the seeming mixture of good and evil that is presented in mortal mind.    "Usage classes both evil and good together as mind; therefore, to be understood, the author calls sick and sinful humanity mortal mind, - meaning by this term the flesh opposed to Spirit, the human  mind and evil in contradistinction to the divine Mind, or Truth and good." (S-13) | 114:1-6) 
 
There probably has never been a TV or movie family to compare with what went on in King David's family. [Although "The Tudors" portrayal of King Henry VIII's family comes close. Both families exhibit] Passion, lust, intrigue, deceit, ambition, anger, all the elements that Hollywood seems to love. But aren't we learning to look to the Bible to help us in our daily lives. Not only do we find stellar, upright, inspiring figures in the Bible, but we can also learn from those who made mistakes, sometimes very big mistakes. And without suffering the tragic end ourselves, a violent death or discord, we can learn the lessons that harmonize human existence and bless our families.
 
 As our Leader points out:
(S&H 497:3)  "1. As adherents off Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life."
(S&H 24:4) "Acquaintance with the original texts, and willingness to give up human beliefs (established by hierarchies, and instigated sometimes by the worst passions of men), open the way for Christian Science to be understood, and make the Bible the chart of life, where the buoys and healing currents of Truth are pointed out."
 
Section 4: Jesus heals "all oppressed of the devil"
Jesus healings were like the video clips of the day. The audio-visual aid to communicate his message: "The kingdom of God is at hand. God is more powerful than evil, pain, and fear." A picture is worth a thousand words. The people saw what he did and they could not deny the event. They tried to turn it sometime to their own agenda like in this case, but they could not deny that fact that event had occurred. [An undeniable event at CedarS this May, a "one-in-a-million" miracle, was a powerful proof of God's favor to "doubting Thomas" contractors and neighbors who witnessed a 6-day, 60-million gallons filling of a 15-foot deep hole to become CedarS sparkling new Mediterranean Sea just in time to be used for kayaking and cable watersports as promised for our Memorial Weekend Family Camp.]
 
[Writing off the perfect timing of that mega-rain incidence as a coincidence would be] a little like today's phrase regarding a healing that has taken place, as "spontaneous remission" or "spontaneous regression." Healing is healing. Healing is about freeing human thought from the oppression of the "devil," the deceiver, the liar, the belief in a power apart from God, the father of lies, or as Beelzebub is translated, "the lord of the lies."  Mary Baker Eddy was courageous in affirming that God's healing power had not diminished with the ages. Healing was a sign of God's allness and evil's nothingness. And isn't Bible citation B-9 a wonderful statement coming from the Psalmist that our success and healing are testament to God's power, not our personal worth? The whispers against our success avail nothing, "You have preserved my life because I am innocent; you have brought me into your presence forever."
 
[Check out the description of malpractice in the New Living Translation (NLT) version of citation B-9:]  "All who hate me whisper about me, imagining the worst for me. 8 ‘Whatever he has, it is fatal,' they say. ‘He will never get out of that bed' 10 LORD, have mercy on me. Make me well again, so I can pay them back! 12 You have preserved my life because I am innocent; you have brought me into your presence forever." (Ps 41:7, 8, 10, 12)
 
[Feel the all-power of The Word as made manifest in:]  "Jesus of Nazareth ... who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." (B-10 | Acts10:38)
 
[Bible scholar B. Cobbey Crisler pointed out that in Luke11:14, 15, 17-20 (B-11) Jesus not only read the minds of his critics, but also told them-- and us-the method by which he healed: "I with the finger of God cast out devils". Jesus was saying that he healed with the infinite power of God's laws, the 10 Commandments contained in "two tablets of stone written with the finger of God". (Cobbey on Deut. 9:10) See P.S. for your daily 2-tablet prescription.] 
 
[This mental prescription to heal physical disease is confirmed in the chapter "Science, Theology, Medicine":] "This is ‘the beauty of holiness,' that when Truth heals the sick, it casts out evils, and when Truth casts out the evil called disease, it heals the sick.  When Christ cast out the devil ofdumbness, "it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake." (S-21 | S&H 135:12-17, 21-26)
 
Section 5: Paul and the poisonous snake
We all know and love Paul and his courageous work in spreading the Gospel. (B-12) But there were those who thought Paul was a troublemaker. He had been arrested and the only reason he was not executed was his appeal that as a Roman citizen he had certain rights. So he was packed up on a ship and sent to Rome. He sailed first on a Centurion's ship, and then transferred to a bigger grain ship heading to Rome. The time of his travel was a very stormy time in theMediterranean. The Bible tells us that for fourteen days the ship was pushed before a storm which was probably what we call a Northeaster (or for you New Englanders, Nor'easter.) When the ship ran aground off the island, Malta, Paul and all the passengers (about 200 +) made it to shore. The local people built a fire and as Paul gathered wood or brush for the fire a snake bit his hand. (B-12) "And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live." They had already condemned him to death because they thought he deserved it.
 
Isn't it interesting how ready many people are to condemn someone without knowledge. If you get sick, you have done something to deserve it. If you have an accident, an injury, an illness, a misfortune in business, anything bad, it must be your fault. But I love the verse about Paul's reaction to the snake,   5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects.
 
What was it that Paul was shaking off? What have we been learning to shake off throughout this Bible Lesson? In the following citation from Science and Health Mrs. Eddy defines "Serpent."
 
(S-25)| 594:1-4 (to 2nd ;), 8 (Glossary) Serpent (ophis, in Greek; nacash, in Hebrew). Subtlety; a lie; the opposite of Truth, named error; the first statement of mythology and idolatry; the belief in more than one God; animal magnetism;
The first audible claim that God was not omnipotent and that there was another power, named evil, which was as real and eternal as God, good.
 
"Nachash" in the Hebrew Lexicon of the Old Testament Definition. To practice divination, divine, observe signs, learn by experience, diligently observe, practice fortune telling, take as an omen.
 
A friend and strong CedarS supporter, Tom Evans Sr. shared his observations.
"I found it interesting that that serpent (Nachash) has to do with divination...looking to the dead, not the living (God) for counsel.
Paul (of course) shakes off the viper (serpent) where it should (to mortal sense) kill him. Don't listen to mortal predictions...they don't come from God.  And the shaking off of that viper unharmed brought out the trust in God's power.  That's all error can do is show its powerlessness and so point to God.
The last line of the Bible part"...I will sing of thy power..." has reference for me to the Thanksgiving Lesson...which tells us to sing in praise and be thankful."
 
"Just shake it off," is a phrase I often heard in sports.  Often we find if we make nothing of an injury or problem we are more equipped to accept a quick reversal of the sense testimony. My piano teacher used to always tell us that if we make a mistake in a recital, just keep playing as if nothing happened. He assured that most people won't even know we have struck a wrong note.
 
A special healing that took place at CedarS comes right to thought. And I just confirmed it with the original source. My son, Johann, was in the Trailblazer cabin. One of his cabin mates thought it would be fun to put Johann's laundry bag over his head. (Would that be an example of a whispered suggestion that we could reject and not accept?) Johann said he could see just a little bit, but as he walked he tripped over a broom that someone was using for sweeping the floor. He fell hitting his nose on his bunk. When the counselor brought him to me as practitioner I found I had some mental elements to deal with. The physical picture was alarming. I felt a strong personal sense, a worried sense of love.  And the parental belief of blame for the accident tried to find a place. Since it appeared a serious claim, I felt it right to alert our ever-watchful Executive Director!  I called Warren and asked for his specific support and he was at the PAL house in a flash. He assured me that both he and his mom, Ruth, were at work. Warren was firmly declaring the Truth. The personal sense just faded. Since Warren knew that my wife, Susanne, was not a Christian Scientist he assured me if I wanted to have anything checked to feel free to do so. I could just feel all the reasons for there being an injury just flow away, almost like draining a bath tub of dirty water. And as I felt this certainty of no reason to blame, nothing to worry about, I saw before my eyes a physical adjustment take place. The nose which to mortal sense seemed to be obviously broken, returned to a very normal picture. Together we all "shook off "that hissing whisperer in a moment. And that night Johann was the first jumping up to give a testimony. And I should add his very first testimony!!!
 
So there you have it. Enjoy shining the Light on every seeming monster in mortal thought. The "let there be Light" of God's creation chases away every scary imagination [and heals every disease]. 
 

[PS Here is the method by which Christ Jesus said he healed: "I with the finger of God cast out devils". Jesus was saying that he healed with the infinite power of God's laws, the 10 Commandments contained in "two tablets of stone written with the finger of God". (Cobbey Crisler on Exodus 9:10) Consider then in each of your prayerful treatments taking the following mental prescription (specified in Ex. 20:2-17).
Take "The 2 Tablets" daily into your every thought, word & deed with 10 very active ingredients:
1)
Acknowledge being set free from slavery to enemies and vow to stay free in the following ways;
 
2a) Affirm the allness of Good, and;
2b) Deny an obsession with Good's opposite, no matter how it is objectified or how often it is suggested;
3) Stop vain repetitions of God's name and instead take on Love's nature with its certain healing effects;
4) Remember your Gen. 1 completeness -- give loving attention to your divine "image and likeness" self;
5) Honor God's authority in all and "be the most systematic and law-abiding people on earth" (Ret. 87:11); 6) Banish anger and destructive criticism permanently (See Matt. 5:21-26);
7) Nip adultery in its bud of body worship and consistently cast out adult-rated lust (See Matt. 5:27-30);
8) Acknowledge joyfully that you live to give not to get;
9) Be a totally truthful witness as a "real Christian Scientist" who "constantly accentuates harmony in word and deed, mentally and orally" (Mis. 206:19); 
10) Rejoice in others good, gratefully claiming it as your's too-"Thank you God! That's Mine Too! (TMT)]

[NEW MATCHING FUND OPPORTUNITY FOR MAINTENANCE MUSTS!  A precious donor has recently re-pledged a matching grant of $25,000 if we can raise that amount by year-end for "Maintenance Musts" work on buildings and vehicles before next summer.  After our Board meeting we now have "only" $10,000 to go; so, if you have been blessed by any of CedarS 3 weekly inspirational newsletters (our Mets or our PSSTs and PYCLs for Sunday School teachers), NOW would be a wonderful time to share your appreciation.
To send an actual check please mail to:
The CedarS Camps Office
1314 Parkview Valley Dr.
Ballwin, MO 63011
 
[Your 50th Anniversary gift to CedarS--as generous as divine Love directs-will play a needed part in CedarS important, year-round work for Christian Science Sunday School students.]

[Sharing the applicable principles of Christianity in CedarS Bible Lands Park: Our new Fall-season outreach
(that is fostering a proper understanding of Christian Science) is giving tours of our new Bible Lands Park that clearly demonstrate to Bible-loving churches and youth groups of other denominations how Christian Scientists love and "take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life." (S&H 497:3)  As shown in video clips We are currently working in our Bible Lands Park to expand our ability to share applicable New Testament insights by building a trail with activity, learning stations that follow Paul's teachings and trips from Antioch to Ephesus, Corinth, Athens, Rome ... We welcome all gifts to enable such inspiring "Home Improvements" to be made NOW before it gets too cold and snowy to work outside.]
 
[CedarS recurring needs are listed at http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/unrestricted-gifts.htm Just click here to use a credit or debit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover card) or a virtual check to make monthly donations to CedarS (or to give one-time gifts) in support of spiritual growth.  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.  
 
[Lastly you can help by telling "un-camped" children and families about CedarS being a wise and happy place for them to glimpse and demonstrate more of their spiritual natures!  We'll gladly send anyone a DVD and info on CedarS financial aid forms; programs for all ages; 2012 session dates & rates; 2012 online enrollment; transportation... to help get them or anyone in your extended church family to camp!]
 
 [Camp Director's Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 11-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "Mets" (Metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians.  (Ask and look for "Possible Sunday School Topics "and "Possible Younger Class Lessons" in subsequent emails.) 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 "and Sunday School ideas 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!    And, please contact us for more info about any and all things about CedarS!
 

[PSST: Like Abigail save the day! Don't get hung up like Absalom. 2 healing tablets 4 u!]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for Nov. 27, 2011 on
"Ancient and Modern Necromancy alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced"
By Steve Henn, C.S. St. Louis, Missouri steven.henn@gmail.com 
[Steve has been a CedarS Program Director and teaches English at Principia Upper School.]
[Bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS Director]
 
PSST for the Golden Text (GT):
What choice do we have in the evils we experience? Can we consciously put out of our lives any evil?   How do we go about doing that? (Consider answering this last question throughout the lesson.)
 
PSST for the Responsive Reading (RR):
Introduce your students to "A Rule for Motives and Acts" [Church Manual, 40:4] and look for parallels between that and this Responsive Reading. [This rule was deemed important enough to be read aloud the first Sunday of every month in church services across the world. See Manual 121:16]]
 
PSST for the Section 1:
How and why do we commit our works to God?  [B-1] How do we benefit by doing so? (Must we always and only consider how we benefit?  What other reasons can there be for committing our works to God?) 
"Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God" - cross reference this [B-2, Deut. 18:13] with Jesus' command "Be ye therefore perfect..." in the Sermon on the Mount. [Matt. 5:48]  How do these ideas build on each other? 
How can we ‘cease to manifest evil'? [S-3]
What is evil to begin with? How can an understanding of evil's workings support our growth out of and away from it?
What does it mean for your lives to know that "good is infinite, is All"? [S-6]
 
PSST for the Section 2:
What about Abigail is truly heroic? [B-3] How can we, today, emulate Abigail's character and how will our experiences in school, sports, family, social life be benefited by this?
How do evil thoughts control us? [See S-7] How can we prevent this? What role does daily study of the Bible play in this defense?
Why is morality important to our defense? 
What is the source of our seeming distance from God? How can we bridge this false gap?
 
PSST for the Section 3:
What is the root of Absalom's ambitions? [B-6, B-7-Does he live by the Beatitude's shown on the Timeline: "Free from pride; a peacemaker winning "without a fight", ...] Does David respond correctly to Absalom's challenge? Why does David respond this way? Is he afraid? In what way is David's response stronger than defiance would be?
How can we stand in the face of apparent evil? How can we remain humble, gracious, and confident when others around us appear to have strength through evil? How was David able to do this?
Why is it important to recognize that Mind, Truth cannot be contaminated by error? [S-15]
What impact does it have on our experience to understand that God, good is the only Mind? 
Can you imagine not knowing sin, not being impacted by it or even seeing it? [S-16]
 
PSST for the Section 4:
What commandments connect most clearly to the first citations in this lesson? How does following that commandment help us to respond to evil?
[See PS with a link to a Commandments "App-Map" to heal like Jesus did by applying each of the 10 Commandments that were "written with the finger of God" (B-11, Luke 11:20)]
How do we respond when our good works are spoken of poorly? What can we learn from Jesus' response to evil spoken about his work? [B-11]
What is the ‘beauty of holiness'? How can we become more holy? What does morality have to do with holiness? [S-21]
Why must Science be Christianity, and why must Christianity be Science? How do they correlate in our lives today? [S-21]
How does the Christian Scientist lessen the influence of evil over him and his thought? What is the result of this? [S-24]
 
PSST for the Section 5:
Why didn't Paul suffer from the viper's bite? [B-12] How does his example impact others? How can we do the same? What beatitude must Paul most clearly be following in this story?
Where do we find the secret place? [B-13, Ps. 91:1] How do we get there? How do we ‘dwell' there? What does it mean to dwell, rather than live, or stay, or any other way of being in a place?
What is the first lie of error? [S-25] How do we combat this lie? How can our understanding of God's supremacy help in this argument?
From where does ‘the only power obtainable' come? [S-30] From where does divine power come? How can we bring these into our experience more fully over the coming week? What specific commitment can each of us make to ensure this happening?

[P.S. from Warren Huff for a 4th Section P.S.S.T.
(with links to Sunday School podcasts about the 10 Commandments by Barry Huff)
 
[In Luke 11:20
(B-11) Christ Jesus shared the method by which he healed: "I with the finger of God cast out devils".  Jesus was saying that he healed with the infinite power of God's laws, the 10 Commandments contained in "two tablets of stone written with the finger of God". (Cobbey Crisler's commentary on Deut. 9:10) Consider then in your prayer treatments taking--in a fresh and non-formulaic way--the following mental prescription from Ex. 20:2-17. "Obedience to these commandments is indispensable to health, happiness, and length of days." Misc. 67:15) Take "The 2 Tablets" daily! Ingest them into your every thought, every word & every deed with their 10 very active ingredients: (Click here to print a 10 Commandments App-Map of CedarS Bible Lands Park.)
1)
Acknowledge being set free from slavery to enemies and vow to stay free in the following ways; (In Jewish tradition "I am the Lord thy God which have brought thee ... out of the house of bondage." (Ex. 20:2) is the 1st Commandment and the next 2 combine as the 2nd.   To hear a fuller explanation by Bible Scholar Barry Huff Click here and on other podcasts below that are copywrited by The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston as Sunday School resources.)

2a) Affirm the allness of Good, ("Thou shalt have no other gods before me") and;
2b) Deny an obsession with Good's opposite, no matter how it is objectified or how often it is suggested ("Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images");

3) Stop vain repetitions of God's name and instead take on Love's nature with its certain healing effects ("Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain";
 
4) Remember your Genesis-1, Sabbath-day completeness -- give loving attention to your divine "image and likeness" self ("Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy");

5) Honor God's authority in all and "be the most systematic and law-abiding people on earth" (Ret. 87:11) ("Honor thy father and thy mother");
 
6) Banish anger & destructive criticism permanently (Matt. 5:21-26) ("Thou shalt not kill");
 
7) Nip adultery in its bud of body worship and consistently cast out adult-rated lust (See Matt. 5:27-30) ("Thou shalt not commit adultery.");

8) Acknowledge joyfully that you live to give not to get ("Thou shalt not steal.");

9) Be a totally truthful witness as a "real Christian Scientist" who "constantly accentuates harmony in word and deed, mentally and orally" (Mis. 206:19) ("Thou shalt not bear false witness..."); 

10) Rejoice in other's good, gratefully claiming it as your's too-"Thank you God! That's Mine Too! (TMT) ("Thou shalt not covet...")]

[PYCL: Don't be fooled by lies; bring pre-planted teachings; shake off paper snakes!]
CedarS PYCL--Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced"
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for November 27, 2011
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041
[Bracketed titles by Warren, PYCL Editor]
 
[PYCL: Try to put the subject in contemporary language, like "don't be fooled by error/lies".]
Of course we'll have to take a look at the subject of this week's lesson. Let them have a go at pronouncing it all and then talk about what it means. Try to put it in contemporary language and context. Why would Mrs. Eddy have this subject? Maybe we could distill this lesson into something like "don't be fooled by error/lies" ... (no matter what the circumstance!). We don't have to dwell on every word in the subject to get to this distillation of the subject. The younger classes may not be interested in the finer details of what any of those words mean, feel free to move on to what the essence of this week's lesson is about without worrying about the why's and wherefores. As always you have to see what your class is interested in and engaged by.
 
[PYCL - Golden Text: Bring a pan with pre-planted teachings covered by rocks to pick out.]
I was intrigued by the Golden Text this week; it holds such a simple and childlike command. It also makes clear that God's teaching is already "planted". We are not putting God's teaching into ourselves or even into our Sunday school pupils. That teaching is already planted. I am reminded of what Jesus quotes from the prophets (see John 6:45) "And they shall all be taught by God". This keeps things in perspective for us teachers of all walks! And it certainly applies to ourselves as well. What about bringing a pan 8x8 or 9x13 with a couple of inches of some dry material, sand, corn meal or something not too messy?  In that mixture have some "teachings" of God planted out of sight. These could be those chocolate coins with foil covers with different Commandments or Beatitudes or the Golden Rule or other things that fall in this category, written on them. Or they could be anything flat that can carry a message. Then on top some rocks with "errors" on them that the kids have to pick out until the "garden" is free from things that would get in the way of our good teachings! This is just one thought, I'm sure you can work from this to come up with whatever would work for your kids. Discuss the idea that the teachings of God were already in the "garden" just as they are already in your heart. That the rocks aren't "planted" they are just sitting there daring you to ignore them so that you are overwhelmed by the lie and don't "dig down" to see the power of those teachings that are already within you. With the littler classes this could easily be done repeatedly and if they are ready they could add their own ideas to both the rocks and the planted treasure. Talk about how the error can seem very solid, like the rocks, hard and sometimes, when the "rocks" are big enough, too heavy to move. But they are removed just as simply as picking them out of the pan, because they are not truly solid, real ideas from God. Of course you don't have to have the visuals for this. You can have this discussion and maybe imagination will make it more vivid for the older ones.
 
[PYCL - Responsive Reading: You might try (outside) a hammer breaking ice cubes in pieces]
Look in the Responsive Reading at the analogy for the power of God's word. "Is not my word like as a fire? Saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?" Have them take a second to ponder that.  Think of the force and strength that this analogy implies.  Again the rock here is symbolic of the seeming solidity and toughness of error.  And remember in Jesus' story of the tares and wheat he has the farmer suggest that when the crops are ready for harvest that they gather first the tares and burn them ... hence the sense here that the word of God consumes all that misrepresents itself as being "like God".  This is that serpent claim that we've seen in recent lessons--that really forceful suggestion that matter is real and substantial and opposed to God.
 
[PYCL - Section 1: Practice behaving as if we are happy, even if not feeling especially so.]
In B1 I couldn't help but see this as an order for us to make sure that our actions express our commitment to God, even when we aren't feeling especially inspired, happy, cooperative, etc. Usually we think in terms of getting our thought in line so that we can behave appropriately.  But here we are told that the responsibility is to our actions.  By behaving in a way that glorifies God, our thoughts will become inspired, ordered, peaceful and so on.  In fact sometimes I think this is easier than trying to "control" our thought.  On any given day we can behave as if we are happy, for example, even if we are not feeling especially so. And I can't tell you how often the feeling follows the behavior. So talk about how we can do this day to day. What about behaving in a confident manner, even if we feel unsure?  Why would this be committing your works to God? Acting in opposition to bad feelings or thoughts, keeps us from being mesmerized by them!
And in citation B2 I think you have the basis for some good discussion of how to put this into a modern context. You can explain what they are talking about too, but then move on to discuss what this means today. See if they can come up with their own examples. The Bible is a living book, so these things have to be looked at in a way that is meaningful to the kids. We kind of do this automatically, but not so with children, so these conversations can be interesting and fruitful.
 
[PYCL - Section 2: Build a strong defense--guard vs. "wandering pollen"-- "freshly weed"!] You might discuss what the "errors" are in the story of David, Nabal and Abigail.  There are errors abundant in Nabal.  He seems to be mesmerized by his possessions, the fact that they belong to him alone.  And, certainly mesmerized by greed and other bad traits.  David though was mesmerized by a sense of vengeance for Nabal's ingratitude.  He expresses his gratitude to Abigail for saving him from acting on this false trait.  Looking at citation S7: the first part reminds me of our "garden" from the Golden Text.  But the last part addresses the need to "build a strong defense".  This is something that can easily blossom into a fun activity with little and older kids. Talk about all the ins and outs of building a strong defense. What do we do to guard our thoughts against error? Talk about the "wandering pollen" analogy. We need to keep our mental garden "freshly weeded"! What does MBE say we use to defend ourselves? Why does she choose these two things? (virtue and truth).
 
[PYCL - Section 3: Avoid getting "caught up" in a false sense of self, beauty personality.]
You can look at the story of Absalom by asking what your pupils think of what Absalom was doing and why.  Is citation B8 showing us that we can declare the truth of a situation even when the error seems so apparent?  It's not included in the lesson, but what happens to Absalom?  It's cool that he gets caught up with his beautiful hair (a false sense of self, his beauty and smooth ways).  It is his own sense of evil and error that traps him and makes him fall--easy "prey" to good.  I also feel like you could connect the next section (4) with this one and talk about the "house divided" idea that Jesus brings up in the fourth section.
 
[PYCL - Section 4: Do things sometimes seem good that are actually "rotten to the core"?]
What did Jesus mean by a "house divided"?  David's "house" was not actually divided; the evidence of error cannot actually divide us from God, as His teaching is already planted in our hearts!  Error would seem to divide us and pull us away from God, all which is good.  If David's house was truly "divided" he could not have won this battle for his kingdom.  But error can sure make things look bad for awhile can't it!  Also I see a parallel in these sections 3 and 4 with Absalom's persuasive talk (serpent talk) and the scribes' equally serpentine arguments against Jesus wonderful healing works.  So you could ask some questions to see if anything comes up along these lines.  Do things sometimes seem good, but are actually "rotten to the core"?  Do you or the kids have examples where you have been taken in by such performances?  How about times where you recognized error for what it was even when it seemed so "fair"?
 
[PYCL - Section 5: Practice "shaking off" paper snakes or false suggestions?]
The last thing I have to share can be taught on several levels.  Look at the story of Paul and how he shakes of the viper into the fire.  Make sure they understand the essential elements of the story.  Why were the island residents thinking that he was evil?  Once you've covered the essentials of the story, talk about the serpent and how Paul "shook it off".  Can't we also shake off suggestions of error?  Ask how we might go about "shaking off" a false suggestion.  Talk about the teachings that contradict the false evidence of error.  The serpent elicits fear.  How do we deal with fearful thoughts?  What happens to these serpent thoughts when we shake them off?  What happened to Paul's serpent?  It landed in the fire right?  Remember that God's word is like fire?  (Responsive Reading).  Pretty cool, huh?  When we act with courage, integrity, faith, understanding, confidence-- fear is consumed by God's powerful word of Truth.  I'm sure you can come up with powerful healings to share that would illustrate this.  Can any of the students?  If not, can they think about opportunities to apply this knowledge in the future to eradicate such serpent suggestions?  Maybe hold as a goal, the idea of writing up a testimony where this understanding brought healing.
 
The littlest kids could do a dramatization of shaking off the serpent (into a make believe fire if you wish).  You can come up with creative ways to represent wrong thoughts or errors.  You could even cut them out in paper snake shapes and have them shake them into the trash or just onto the floor.  What will they replace such errors with?  Make sure they have a list of truths to keep.  Maybe this is why Paul could shake off the viper so well, there wasn't any room in his consciousness for doubt, fear, or any such false human "law"!
 
Have a great Sunday!
 

 

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