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Think Truth!!

Rick Stewart, C.S., Dresden, Germany
Posted Monday, January 16th, 2012

 
Think Truth!!
Metaphysical Application Ideas from Cedars Camps for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on 
"Truth"
 for study during the week of January 16-23, 2012 
by Rick Stewart, CS of Dresden, Germany
[Bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS Director & Editor of its 6 weekly Newsletters]
 
[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]
 
"Nicht Kaputt machen !" is a phrase often heard in families in Germany.   You usually hear this in rather loud tones as an older brother or sister implores or begs their little brother or sister not to break or destroy what they have made or built. As in, "Alma, bitte nicht Kaputt machen !"   "Alma, please don't destroy what I‘ve built."
 
Early Saturday morning that phrase was at the heart of a minor family tragedy. Well at the time it did not seem so minor to Johann.  It unfolded this way. Alma and I were up around 06:00 a.m.  Johann joined us around 07:30 a.m.   I had watched Alma (4) as she built something with LEGOs. (LEGOs are interlocking plastic building blocks developed in Denmark and now popular with kids all over the world. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lego )   I had not realized that Alma was building with LEGOs taken from an intricately built space ship that Johann had constructed  the evening before. Ooooops. When Johann came in and saw his "Kaputt" space ship he was heartbroken.
 
As we tried to pick up the pieces, literally and figuratively, I was really praying as to how to resolve this one. LEGOs often have intricate instructions for construction and Johann is a master at following these instructions. But this space ship had been built free form, with Johann following his own ideas. It was one of a kind and he was really upset about not being able to recreate it. "But I can never build it back again."
 
Now I am no LEGO builder. Johann and Noah are the LEGO masters. I am in awe of what they are able to build. It is simply amazing. But here I was with a "Kaputt" LEGO creation and an angry and heartbroken Johann. Then an idea came to me.
 
 "Johann you know I am no good at building with LEGOs. But you can build anything. You know all the pieces, how they fit together, which ones you need. You just have the ideas and you put the pieces together to create what you have in mind.   Don't be afraid that you will never be able to "re-create" what you had built. You may even build something better. You just have to "think LEGO." "Think LEGO!!"
 
Guess what? In a few minutes he had his space ship in hand. It was just as incredible as the first one, the one Alma had "made Kaputt." (We mix a lot of English and German in our family.) Anyway emotions settled; peace was restored. And I had a very valuable lesson to think about. And especially as it relates to this week's Bible Lesson, "Truth." In the blink of an eye I had gone from "Think LEGO," to "Think Truth!"
 
As I looked forward to this week's Bible Lesson, I could see how we triumph over seeming destruction through the testimony of "the spirit of Truth." When it seems that all lies in shambles before you; when it seems that you will never be able to put the pieces of your LEGO creation or your life back together; "Think Truth!"
 
When life seems to reflect the tragedy of shattered dreams or hopes destroyed as found in John Steinbeck's novella, "Of Mice and Men," or the Robert Burn's line of poetry that inspired the title; "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft agley." (The best laid schemes of mice and men / often go askew), what do we do? We "think Truth" as this Lesson shows us.  When life seems to reflect tragedy, disaster, accident, illness, lack, sin -- this week's lesson will give you a powerful restoration tool, the testimony of the "Spirit of Truth" or the promised Comforter.    The common theme of life or harmony disrupted may be found in daily life, the daily newspaper, or in the Steinbeck novella or Burn's poem. You can read them both online at the original eBook website, (http://www.gutenberg.org/
 
But if you would rather rise above the testimony of a "kaput" life, I highly recommend this week's Bible Lesson and I encourage you to, "Think Truth!" [To see another present day analogy of how to avoid wipe-outs on the slopes of life and rise from them, click here to see a fun "Daily Lift" video "parable" by Susie Jostyn, CS]
 
Golden Text: 
" . . . it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth."  (I John 5:6)  
Our Golden Text provides a key to the lesson and sums it up so to speak. And this week is no exception. All through the lesson we are going to be learning about:  witnessing, bearing witness, giving testimony to the truth, or to Truth. All of I John 5 has a special message about bearing witness to the Truth.   I love the  J. B. Phillips translation of I John 5: 9-11 " If we are prepared to accept human testimony, God's own testimony concerning his own Son is surely infinitely more valuable.  The man who really believes in the Son of God will find God's testimony in his own heart.  The man who will not believe God is making him out to be a liar, because he is deliberately refusing to accept the testimony that God has given concerning his own Son. This is, that God has given men eternal life and this real life is to be found only in his Son." You can read this translation and about 28 other Bible translations online at the following website: http://www.biblegateway.com
 
Responsive Reading:  John 8: 1, 2, 12-18,26 - 30.
The concept of "witnesses" according to Jewish law continues here.  Here the Gospel of John, Chapter 8 introduces us to the discussion between Jesus and the Pharisees about witnesses. (Later in Section 3, B-9, we will hear further on this topic with the woman taken in adultery story.)  This chapter is worth reading in its entirety. 
 
 Here Jesus contrasts the testimony of the material senses, the flesh, "Ye judge after the flesh," versus the testimony of two witnesses, (The Christ, "myself" and the "Father.")
 
The rules for witnesses in Jewish law are important here.  A valid witness to an event must have seen the event with his eyes or heard it with his ears. Hearsay from another person is inadmissible. The Torah says (Deuteronomy 9:15): "One witness shall not arise against a man for any sin or guilt that he may commit; according to two witnesses or according to three witnesses a matter shall stand." So, two witnesses provide conclusive proof of reality, but one witness does not. But the testimony of one witness can require a defendant to swear to his innocence.  The testimony of two witnesses is equal in its force to the testimony of three or more witnesses. So if two witnesses say an event occurred, and one hundred witnesses say it did not occur, the groups of witnesses are considered to contradict one another, but no more weight is given to the larger group; a lone witness cannot give testimony in capital cases. His testimony is useless unless there is a second witness to join him. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Testimony_in_Jewish_law
 
John, Chapter 8 and  I John, Chapter 5  introduce us to Jesus lawful reasoning that his life and experience are witnessed to by:  1. The Father,   2. The Christ, and 3. The Holy Ghost (The Comforter, the spirit of Truth)
 
Section 1 - You are my witnesses saith the Lord
Citation B-1, Deut. 32:3, 4 tells us that God's work is perfect and that He is a God of Truth.   Citation  B-2, Gen. 1:26 tells us God made man in His image and likeness.  And citation B-3, Isaiah 43:10 declares: "My people, you are my witnesses and my chosen servant. I want you to know me, to trust me, and understand that I alone am God". Contemporary English Version
 
What does a witness do? A witness sees or hears something. A witness gives testimony or tells what they have seen or heard. If we see what God has done, and bear witness to that fact then aren't we doing what God has asked us to do? And doesn't a witness to God also act with the assurance that God is present? [This is God's "witness protection program" that comes with a lifetime supply of infinite power to powerfully prevent or infallibly fix any feared retaliation for Truth-telling.]
 
The citations from Science and Health introduce the idea of man as reflection, expression, witness, proof, and representative of the God that is Truth.    (See S&H citations S-1 thru S-4.)
Citation S-3 points out that the "great difficulty is in ignorance of what God is." If man is the witness, the representative of the God that is Truth, then isn't our duty to bear witness to "the Truth and nothing but the Truth".  Once again, man acting as a witness to God's presence, and with the authority or "dominion" of God's presence.
Citation S-1 testifies: "Man, made in His likeness, possesses and reflects God's dominion."
 
Sunday evening my wife, Susanne, and I watched a scene on TV of a physical attack in a class room. Susanne's reaction was the same as mine, "No one would just sit there and do nothing."  Isn't it frustrating when we hear or see reports of those who just sat by when something terrible happened? And aren't we all inspired when an individual or a group responds with great courage or selflessness in the midst of an emergency?
 
My brother, Gary, told of a time in high school when he and his swimming team were witnesses to an auto accident. Gary wanted to help. His swim coach did not let them help because of the coach's concern for the safety of his students. The result was that Gary made a promise to himself that he would never stand by again when he could help. And he has prayed to be ready to help when necessary. Since that time he has had lots of opportunities to be true to that promise. He often prays with the desire to be where God would have him to be, when God would have him to be there. The results of that prayer have been really interesting.  While others stood by as witnesses to a driver stuck in a burning truck, Gary prayed and ran into the fire and pulled the man free. Another time Gary saw a convertible leave the highway and flip over, pinning the driver underneath.   Gary and others dug with their hands to make some room for the driver's escape. He was still pinned in his seat. While others lifted the car up, Gary crawled under the car and freed the driver. And less dramatic, years ago when a brother's little legs couldn't carry himself any further on a long hike, Gary had the strength to carry him on his shoulders. And I really appreciated that! We can do what we have to do with God's help, with God-given dominion and in witness to His presence. 
 
We "think Truth" and live as witnesses to Truth.
 
Section 2 - Elijah proves "Christian Science" is as "old as God."
Have you ever thought of Christian Science as being as "old as God?" Well take a look at citation S-5, 146:23.   The marginal heading? "Christian Science as old as God".   Isn't Elijah's experience of raising the widow's son a clear example of Christian Science healing? This dear mother had almost lost her son earlier to starvation, only to have both herself and her son saved through obeying Elijah's request for a "little cake" for him first.  She had the faith to graciously and obediently follow the request of the man of God. And her faithful answer was not in the midst of great material abundance, but in the very face of lack and starvation. And that is exactly where the Truth of God comes shining through. Where the material senses scream lack, drought, insufficiency, "the holy influence of Truth in healing sickness and sin," becomes apparent.   (S-5, 146:23)
 
Going back to the concept of "witnessing": What did Elijah face?   In the drought he faced overwhelming evidence of lack and insufficiency. Simple obedience to the God of Truth sustained him. Material appearances, testimony of insufficiency as opposed to the promise of the Comforter ("as old as God.")
 
When the son appeared to have died, what was required of the mother and of Elijah? Rise from a limited sense of love to the infinite sense of Life as the truth of man's being. "And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode". Where did Elijah live? Through his earlier demonstrations, Elijah witnessed how God supplied every need even in the midst of seeming lack. [In the midst of a severe drought/recession/death,] Elijah lived in the abundance of sufficiency. The conspiracy against man's unlimited sense of Life is silenced when through Christian Science man hears the testimony of spiritual Truth.   [I learned from a "Bible Note" in MyBibleLesson.com that: "This healing was so meaningful to the people of Zarephath that a yearly ceremony still marks the day when Elijah healed the woman's son." Also of note is that Zarephath will come to life for every visitor to CedarS Bible Lands Park because where the town sits between Tyre and Sidon is a somewhat of focal point where an old tree trunk is wrapped around a steel I-beam that anchors the cable watersports tower on our (Midwest) Mediterranean Sea.  We still need funding to complete before our Memorial Weekend Family Camp the paths corresponding to Paul's Journeys and the mile-markers to mount on this anchor-tree to show the direction and distance (with a scale of 1 yard = 1 mile, or 1 meter = 1.7 km) to: Jerusalem; Damascus; Antioch, Ephesus, Athens, Corinth, Rome ...]

Citation S-8 witnesses that:  "The eternal Truth destroys what mortals seem to have learned from error, and man's real existence as a child of God comes to light. Truth demonstrated is eternal life. " 
In citation B - 6, I Kings17: 24, the widow woman witnesses:   "Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth."
 
Elijah "thinks Truth."
 
Section 3 - Witness for our defense
In the portion of John 8 that we have in the Bible Lesson this week (B-9, John8:1-11, 31, 32), we find the history of the woman caught in adultery.  Eyewitnesses testified to her guilt. In the context of this week's lesson the importance of the Jewish law regarding "witnesses" stood out to me.   The woman was caught in the very act that Mosaic Law dictated as punishable by stoning.   When there is discussion today over stoning cases in Iran for example most people are justifiably horrified. It seems so barbaric. But here we have Mosaic law advocating stoning for this offense. Jesus is on record as saying that he was not here to destroy the law but to fulfill the law. So was Jesus getting in the way of justice?
 
 "Don't ever think that I came to set aside Moses' Teachings or the Prophets. I didn't come to set them aside but to make them come true. Matthew 5:17  (GOD'S WORD Translation, 1995)
 
So how did Jesus get around the clear evidence of guilt that would require a death sentence? 
 
Is the key found in the verses we have already considered in the Responsive Reading?
 "Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.  And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.  It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true.  I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me." (John 8:15)
 
Jewish law requires at least two witnesses to establish guilt or innocence.   So in effect Jesus was not trying to "set aside" Mosaic Law in this case, but rather he was bringing in other witnesses. Witnesses that could speak to the true nature of the accused. These witnesses are referred to in I John 5: " And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7For there are three that bear record in Heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one."  
 
Jesus "Truth treatment" continues:
"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, 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." (B- 9, John8: 31) So in "thinking Truth" about this woman Jesus was able to silence the false witnesses, the legal nitpickers. And he gave her that encouraging word that we can all heed, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."
 
Citation S-12 states: "When forgiving the adulterous woman he said, ‘Go, and sin no more.'  The moral law, which has the right to acquit or condemn always demands restitution before mortals can "go up higher."  Truth bestows no pardon upon error, but wipes it out in the most effectual manner." (11:3, 8-10, 17-18) (restitution: the return or restoration of something to its original state.)
 
["this original man,"] Jesus "thinks Truth."
["Physical causation was put aside from first to last by this original man, Jesus." (S&H 286:12)]
 
Section 4 - The Comforter, the Spirit of Truth
"Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened." (B - 13, Matt.13:33)
"Did not this parable point a moral with a prophecy, foretelling the second appearing in the flesh of the Christ, Truth, hidden in sacred secrecy from the visible world? " (S -13, 118:6)
 
"a little leaven leavens the whole lump. A little understanding of Christian Science proves the truth of all that I say of it." (S-14, 329:5-7)
 
Although this may be one of Jesus' shortest parables, what a little leaven can do is awesome. Did you know that the amount of flour the woman leavened was rather spectacular, 38 liters or 8 and a ½ gallons!! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_Leaven
 
As we relate this parable to the wonderful discovery of Christian Science, let's never limit how much leavening a wee bit of Truth can do!!!
 
In citation B - 11 (John14:6 I am, 12, 16) Jesus declares for all time and eternity:
"I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  ... Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. ... And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;"  
 
It is here. This Spirit of Truth is ever active. The leaven is still active. The yeast of Truth is still leavening the whole of human consciousness. Every healing and demonstration awakens human thought to the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth. Mary Baker Eddy discovered for our age the active agent of the Comforter in the form of a practical system of healing.   She writes in her textbook, Science and Health, the following Marginal Heading: "Christian Science as old as God." (page 146) It was this Science that Mrs. Eddy recognized as active in the times of the Prophets, the times of our Master, Christ Jesus, in Mrs. Eddy's time and still today.   In the 9th Century, BC with Elijah. Over 2,000 years ago with Christ Jesus. Over one hundred years ago with Mary Baker Eddy. And today.
 
In 1919 my mother as an 18 month old toddler was healed through Christian Science of a crippling fever. A kind doctor had done all he could and left little hope with my grandparents for their daughter's survival. A Christian Scientist was called and my mother was healed completely. Years later this same doctor said to my mom, "Young lady you don't know how grateful you should be." And since that time 93 years ago we have born witness to this leaven of Truth in our family. 
 
This wonderful discovery by Mary Baker Eddy leavened generations with divine healing. And it certainly does make one want to "Think Truth!"
 
Section 5 - Jesus method of silencing the witness of disease at the pool of Bethesda
What an awe-inspiring joy it must have been to witness Jesus' healing work.   In this section the Bible (B-14, John5:1-37) gives a picture [of what] might be seen at a "health spa" or pool where many invalids gather in hopes of getting a healing through the movement of the waters [and their bodies]. As Jesus looked over the crowd, evidently one man stood out. But was Jesus looking at loads of sick people, or was Jesus bearing witness to what was eternally present for everyone there, the Christ, Truth. And evidently he recognized someone ready to rise up. Jesus asked, "Wilt thou be made whole?" This man had been sick for 38 years. At first he explained why he could not expect to be healed; he could not get into the swimming pool in time; someone always got to the water before him. But Jesus encouraged the man, "Rise, take up your bed and walk." Take up where you have laid your pain and sorrow. Rise up without drugs, physical therapy, or operation. Rise and be free. And the man followed Jesus command and was healed. 
 
The moral courage that allows us to respond to the healing Christ, Truth, does not require certain magical waters, [physical therapy regimens] or even the passage of a certain amount of time. Our ability to "bear witness" to the healing effect of Christ, Truth is unlimited by any material condition or circumstance.  The wonderful citations from Science and Health in this section are like power tips for healing. Gobble them up. I often remind myself of a favorite sentence from our textbook on healing, Science and Health: "Hold perpetually this thought,--that it is the spiritual idea, the Holy Ghost and Christ, which enables you to demonstrate, with scientific certainty, the rule of healing, based upon its divine Principle, Love, underlying, overlying, and encompassing all true being. " S&H 107:15 
 
Think Truth as our Master Christ Jesus thought Truth. Rise as the Christ prompts you. Years ago I was living on a ranch in Florida. I had two of my Sunday School students out visiting for the day. I was responsible for the care of the nine horses that had free range of the 2,000 acre ranch.   And since the girls wanted to ride, I had saddled one of these horses. I was cantering back towards where they were waiting. When I had just gotten up to a slow gallop the cinch strap that held the saddle on the horse broke. I hit the ground with a real thud. I was praying instantly as I went down and my prayers were vehement. The first picture appeared one of serious injury, perhaps even involving my back. With all my mental might I turned to the Christ, Truth. I needed to change the evidence immediately. The witnesses seemed to gang up on me. The material senses were all screaming pain, injury, and limited ability to move. But I did have that secret weapon, that ever-present Christ, Truth that embraces us all. Like the man by the pool in Bethesda it came to me powerfully, "Get up!" I rose with the Christ and immediately began to walk towards my students. I didn't have a bed to carry, but I had a saddle. So I picked it up.   I knew it was time to bear witness to all the spiritual facts, the truths we had been learning in Sunday School. The first steps were a challenge, but each step of the way I was hearing more from the Christ, and less from the body. Soon I was completely free.

Thinking Truth heals!
 
Section 6 - Truth is at work, leavening thought; what you think counts!!
"Ages pass, but this leaven of Truth is ever at work. It must destroy the entire mass of error, and so be eternally glorified in man's spiritual freedom." (S-30, 118:10)
 
Can I get a witness?
 
What are you witnessing in the world right now? Are you becoming more and more aware of the activity of Truth in all realms of human thought and endeavor? Is the spirit of Truth, the Comforter becoming ever stronger in your daily experience? Or are you beset by awful images and reports of the material, bodily senses? What you are seeing, what you are witnessing in your life is largely determined with what you have made place for in your thought. This section is a powerful conclusion to our Bible Lesson. With the ideas in this section we begin to open our thought and experience to bear witness to the Spirit of Truth in a greater degree. [This squares with our 9th Commandment duty to not bear false witness.]
 
We are called as witnesses to Truth. Jesus opened our eyes to his real identity and ours and reveals the possibilities we each share with him.   As in citation B-11, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." (John14:6 I am, 12)
 
[In citation B-17 Paul encourages the Galatians as he does us who have been called today to keep bearing witness]: "who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?  This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you." (Gal.5:7 who, 8) [An unknown author who wrote letters in Paul's name to Timothy and Titus picks up the theme:] "continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."   (B -18, II Timothy3:14-17) [See more on the authorship of the letters to Timothy at this "Googled" link.]
 
What we open our thought to [like "all kinds of good deeds"], we experience. We can conceive of what we have made place for in our thought and understanding. [II Tim. 3:17, Contemporary English Version]
 
Back in 1985 I met a young Christian Scientist from Africa.   We met in Boston at The Mother Church. I remember him telling me about the work he had done back home. He had purchased an old 16mm movie projector. He would travel to remote areas and show movies to people that had never seen a film or television.  Usually they were quite bored with city scenes that they could not in any way understand. There were no reference points, nothing for them to relate to. But there was always a moment that he could count on when the audience would be roused into attention. At one point in his film a chicken ran across the screen and was being chased by several people. These people who had never seen a movie saw that chicken. Up till then the film was of little interest. But everybody was interested in the chase for that chicken!!!
 
What is of interest to you? Is the testimony of the Christ, Truth grabbing your attention?  We are called as witnesses to Truth. I love to think of the fact that the ideas, unfoldments and revelations that Jesus shared with us also open our eyes to our real identity. He was completely unselfish in his demonstration, and his demonstration reveals the possibilities we each share with him.   What he declares for himself can also be our own statement of purpose, "To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. " [John 18:37]
 
Are we making place for new levels of awareness regarding spiritual truth? What you think counts. 
Think Truth!!

 [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. 
 
You can call us anytime at 636-394-6162 
to make a donation or to inquire about a custom CedarS experience for you, a Sunday School pupil or other loved one!
 
To send an actual check, please make it out to CedarS Camps and mail it to:
The CedarS Camps Office
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[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.]

[Here's more on helping us share the applicable principles of Christianity in CedarS Bible Lands Park:
 Our new Fall-season outreach (that is fostering a proper understanding of Christian Science) has led us to give tours of our new Bible Lands Park that clearly demonstrate to Bible-loving churches and youth groups of other denominations as well as our own how Christian Scientists love and "take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life." (S&H497:3)  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 as weather allows.]
 
[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 very helpful monthly donationsto 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-Testify as God's witness, one hand on a Bible: "to tell the truth, the whole ..."]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Truth" for 1-22-12
By Steve Henn, C.S. St. Louis, Missouri steven.henn@gmail.com 
[Steve's been a CedarS Program Director & teaches English at The Principia School.]
[Bracketed title & citations by Warren Huff, CedarS Director & PSST Editor]
 
PSST-Golden Text (GT) -
What is truth bearing witness of?  If it is bearing witness of our true character, what does truth, or Truth, see about us?
 
PSST-Responsive Reading (RR) -
What is all this about bearing record, being a witness?  [How important is it to camp and to the Christian Science Movement to have weekly testimony meetings and to be able to read testimonies in every Sentinel and Journal of witnesses testifying under oath, often with a hand--or experience--based on a "testimony" in the Bible?] Discuss how Jesus is following the law in this Responsive Reading.  What does it mean for Jesus to include God as a witness? [John 8:18}
 
PSST-Section 1 - 
[As God's witness, do you have a testimony to share?] Do you see God as worthy of greatness?  [B1] Do you trust God to be "just and right"?  [B1] What does it take to trust God, Truth?  
 
Why does God need witnesses?  [B3] Why is it important for us to be God's witnesses?  What does it mean to be a witness?
 
What do man and woman reflect?  [dominion, S1] What is our important role in relation to God, Truth, Principle?  [to reflect, S1] Why can't we be separated from Principle or Soul? [S1, S2]
 
Where does the 'great difficulty' lie?  [in ignorance of what God is, S3] How can we combat this?
 
PSST-Section 2 - 
Have you ever felt that your presence somewhere seems to result in bad things?  Think of how Elijah must have felt?  [B6] And yet, how did he respond when accused of bringing bad things on the woman's household?
 
Why does Elijah's demonstration of Truth mean so much?  [S5] What did it do for the woman in whose house he was sojourning?  What does this say about our demonstration of Truth for those around us?
 
Pay attention to Mrs. Eddy's logical reasoning in this section.  If God is all, then what?  [S6] What follows after God's supremacy?  [S7] 
 
PSST-Section 3 - 
Who are you in this story?  [B8] Do you play the role of judge - tempted to see the imperfections of others?  How must the Pharisees have felt when Jesus responded to their desire to stone the woman?
 
Why does Jesus not condemn the woman?  How can we follow this example in our own lives?
 
How do we get to be a disciple of Jesus?  And what is the result for us of being a disciple?
 
Do you accept Jesus' word?  [S10] How does this help us to escape from evil? [S10]
 
When we turn away from sin, what will we find? [Christ, S10]
 
What does it mean for Truth to wipe out error?  [S12] How can we help facilitate this process in us?  How does it make you feel to know that error is not pardoned, but wiped out?
 
PSST-Section 4 - 
What greater works could there be than what Jesus did?  [B11] Are you up for the challenge?  What does it take for us to reach this lofty goal?
 
How is the kingdom of heaven like leaven?  [B13, S13] Why does Jesus make this connection?
 
What are the effects of Truth?  [S13] How do we demonstrate these?
 
What has been Mrs. Eddy's only authority?  [the Bible, S16] Do we treat this authority with the same reverence?
 
How can we treat disease with certain results?  [S17]
 
PSST-Section 5 - 
Why does Jesus ask the man if he will be made whole?  [B14] Does this seem like a reasonable question?  Can't Jesus see what he needs?  
 
How can we avoid making the same mistakes of the man at the pool of Bethesda? (what mistakes does he make?)
 
What do we see the Father do - on a daily basis, what do we see our Father do? Do you accept that you cannot do anything except that which God does?
 
Why is Jesus' judgment just?  
 
What does it mean to say that "Truth is affirmative"?  [S20] What does the quality of being "affirmative" mean?
 
How does Truth relate to our healing of the sick?  [S21] How can we improve our abilities of healing? [S22]
 
What is required of us as healers? [S23, S24, S25]
 
PSST-Section 6 -
What is greater than the witness of men?  [B15] How does this make you feel about the way others see you, or the way you see others?  Whose vision really matters?
 
What does stop us from obeying the truth?   [B17] What distracts, tempts, prevents us - and what can we do about it?
 
How must it impact our experience to cease fearing sickness and death? [S27]
 
What excuse does Mrs. Eddy give us for accepting human opinions and rejecting Science?  [ignorance, S28]  Do you accept this excuse?
 
Why does it matter that Truth is widely demonstrated?  [S29] What is our role in that demonstration?
 
What is the mission of Christian Science? ["to take away the sins of the world", S29]
 
What is the work of the leaven of Truth? [to "destroy the entire mass of error, and so be eternally glorified in man's spiritual  freedom", S30]

[PYCL: Apply 9th Commandment! Stop tattling w/ tints. Show active yeast.]
CedarS PYCL--Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
 
"Truth"
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for January 22, 2012
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041
[Bracketed titles & links by Warren Huff, PYCL Editor]
 
[PYCL: See an open door to the 9th Commandment: "Thou shalt not bear false witness".]
This lesson provides a great opportunity to delve into one of the key lessons for Sunday school that Mrs. Eddy demanded that we fulfill.  Look at the subject of Truth as a window into the 9th Commandment from the Bible: "Thou shalt not bear false witness". What does it mean to be a witness? Can any of your pupils define it in their own words?  Now how about what it means to bear witness to the truth about something or someone?  Does that mean what you see?  
 
[PYCL: Tally up the use of the word "witness". Use spiritual senses to witness truly.]
With the readers in your classes take a look through the lesson for all the places that witness is used.  Notice that the Golden Text (GT) and Responsive Reading (RR)  talk about the Spirit bearing witness ... this is the true witness, so maybe we have to look to God and our spiritual senses to witness truly to someone's nature, to our health, to the harmony of any given situation.  
 
[PYCL: Share your own examples of witnessing and of judging after the Spirit.]
Can you share some examples of this witnessing from your experience?  In the R.R it states that "Ye judge after the flesh;" what does that mean?  How can we judge after the Spirit?  The lesson includes some references about God's perfect creation.  Look at citation B1 for a statement about what God is and does.  Then look at citation B2 for a statement about why we are just like that!  
 
[PYCL: Teach children to be careful what comes next whenever they say "I am."  Try "I exercises" and taking the oath to help pupils "tell the truth, the whole ...]
It might be helpful to talk about the use of the word "I".  "I" is used by God to identify or name Himself when Moses asks what he should say to the children of Israel to convince them that God was sending him to them.  If "I" refers to God, then we should be careful about our use of that word and only use it when it is "bearing proper witness to Truth".  Come up with some correct and incorrect examples of how we use this word "I".  Some of the children may not be familiar with this, and for those who are, it is a good reminder! Even for the littlest it can be a good opportunity to talk about "I". If you say "I'm angry", "I'm upset", "I'm not feeling well"...are these things God would say about Himself? Are they true about God? Can they be true about His reflection? (See last week's mirror ideas for some review material about reflections and what they can and cannot do). Practice some sentences that are true about themselves. {after swearing them in on a Bible, saying: "I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God."]
 
[PYCL: Train up witness-bearers. Look in mirror before tattling on others.]
Next you may want to tell a Bible story from the lesson.  You could talk about the woman who was caught doing something wrong (adultery); how did Jesus bear true witness to her nature?  How did he help the men who brought her to him to be better witness bearers themselves?  Did they need to have a purer view of themselves before running around looking for other people's wrongdoing?  What does this tell us about "tattling" on others?  Might we sometimes do better if we think only what we know God is thinking about them instead of pointing out their faults to others?  Can this change things?  
 
[PYCL: Use colored cellophane to illustrate how preconceptions can tint our views.]
Try holding up a piece of colored cellophane to look at a friend in class.  If you look through a red piece, the person looks red.  Are they really red?  Talk about how our eyes can sometimes lie to us; we think that someone is bad, but really our eyes are like that red cellophane. We are not looking at them clearly, the way God sees them!  We know that the person isn't really red, but sometimes we think that what we see is really true, when it's just like that red lens; we are looking through matter, not through the clear and truthful senses of God.  Don't worry too much if the littlest ones are more infatuated with the cellophane, these ideas will simmer in the back of their thoughts and rise to the surface when it's needed at some time!
 
[PYCL: Share your own examples of witnessing and of judging after the Spirit.]
There are of course other stories in the lesson that you can tell to the children or read, depending on the class. These stories are equally illustrative of the idea of witnessing to Truth. You can share the story and then take the time to discuss how Jesus or Elijah were witnessing Truth in each story. Or more broadly, just ask why that story is included in this lesson on Truth, and see what they say. This is fun because it can be done on so many age levels in different ways.
 
[PYCL: To flour, sugar & yeast (leaven), just add (warm) water to show yeast & transformative insight at work!)]
Also included in this week's lesson is the reference to leaven.  I've shared previously some thoughts on trying with the littlest classes an experiment with yeast (leaven) and a bit of flour, sugar (speeds rising process), and warm water.  They can see first-hand how the yeast lifts the dough that you stir together.  If you start this experiment at the beginning of class it will rise if it's undisturbed before the end.  Bring some already baked bread (store bought is fine!) to show them how the yeast actually transforms the flour and water into something completely different, with the help of baking of course.  Then talk about how Truth and our bearing witness to what is true, transforms everything around us.  Truth makes us see our health when we feel bad; it helps us see that our friends are God's creation by defusing ugly interactions.  We see what is really truly happening when we use the leaven of spiritually truthful insight in all that we do.  With the older ones you can look at the connection between the leaven being an understanding of Christian Science and how this understanding of what is really going on around us lifts everyone's experience to a higher, more blessed level. What are some specific ways that we can actually put that "leaven" into our daily experiences?
 
Have fun with these ideas!

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