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Trust God to silence evil lies & heal polarization. See PS

Rick Stewart, C.S., Dresden, Germany
Posted Saturday, November 24th, 2012

[Trust God to silence evil lies & heal polarization. See PS]
Metaphysical Application Ideas from CedarS Camps
for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for November 25, 2012 on
"Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced"
by Rick Stewart, CS of Dresden, Germany
 (+49 351 312 4736/rickstewartcs@aol.com)
 
This is my absolute favorite Bible Lesson of all 26 subjects we study. It always delivers great tips as to how to discover more good in our lives. And it always equips us with ways to silence all of evil's suggestions and lies. This week is no exception!! We are given very simple rules, hints, directions as to how we can stop the strife caused by listening to, or being taken in by the lies of evil. And so let's get started "listening to God and not listening to error!"
 
But first a little example as an intro.   I was the youngest in my family. The brother closest to me in age, five years older, is Scott. He is one of my heroes and also a beloved friend. But our relationship was not always so harmonious. When we were kids we fought and argued a lot. I am sure it was a great concern to my mom. But it was not really her fault. Looking back, it was mostly my fault although sometimes the blame lay with Scott. But usually it was me.  
 
I had a terrible temper and Scott knew exactly what to do to get me to "lose my temper." Others would caution, "Don't let him get your goat." The exact origins of this uniquely American phrase are hard to track down.  But it simply means, "Do not allow someone to steal your peace and calm through clever annoyance." When you "lose your goat," you are angry and you have lost your control. 
 
This Bible Lesson gives us clear steps as to how we maintain our poise, our peace, and a strife free life. We are alerted as to who the real tempter is, and it is not a brother or sister, a neighbor, a colleague, or any other person. The tempter, the one and only agitator is the one and only liar, the seeming personification of evil that Jesus describes as "a liar and the father of it." We best silence this lying agitator through steadfast dependence and reliance on the God that is Good.
 
And regarding my relationship with Scott? Well, that experience taught me a great deal.  You know there came a point where my brother and I just stopped arguing so much. And that point was when I was around 12 years old. At that point I learned that I did not have to react, or respond to any teasing from my brother. I could maintain my own poise and I did not have to let him "get my goat." My peace was not in his hands to steal from me. I had basically matured where I was alert enough to not react to the taunts of error. The result was a much more peaceful existence and a much better relationship with Scott. And this was accomplished shortly before he volunteered for a very dangerous assignment as a Scout Dog Handler in Vietnam. I was so glad for the timing of that healing. And also later on we ended up attending Christian Science Class Instruction with the same teacher at different times.
 
Also a very interesting point about this dominion over my temper and a more harmonious relationship with my brother was that it came at the same time I began to more regularly study the Christian Science Bible Lesson. Coincidence? No, I don't think so. So how about joining me in a deep study of this week's Bible Lesson?  I can guarantee you will find more peace, stability, and joy in your life. C'mon, let's go!
 
 
Golden Text: Psalms 31:1, 18. "In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; Let the lying lips be put to silence."
These are extracts from a wonderful Psalm of David. And it is the simple and profound core of our Bible Lesson's message this week: Trust in God and let the lies be silenced.
 
Responsive Reading:
James 3: 3-5, 10, 14-18
The Responsive Reading from the book of James, Chapter 3 shows the great importance of governing our tongue, what we say. We are alerted to selfishness and jealousy as "earthly, unspiritual, demonic." And also we discover that the wisdom from God is pure, peace loving, gentle, and expresses a willingness to yield to others.  This chapter introduces the concept that it is in dominion of our thought and "tongue," our speech, our words, that sows the "seeds of peace" in our lives.
Our words reflect our thought, [and hopefully our thought reflects our 24-7 commitment to living our love for God and man.]

Section 1 - God is the only power, evil is a lie. 
The Bible verses in this first section make it clear that God fills all space, "no spot where God is not." There is no power apart from God. The Science and Health citations echo this allness of God. Citation S-2 poses the question, "What is this supposed power, which opposes itself to God?" Citation S-4 answers, "The maximum of good is the infinite God and His idea, the All-in-all. Evil is a suppositional lie.   As named in Christian Science, animal magnetism or hypnotism is the specific term for error, or mortal mind. It is the false belief that mind is in matter, and is both evil and good; that evil is as real asgood and more powerful. This belief has not one quality of Truth."
 
How does knowing this "Truth" bring peace of mind? A little example: I grew up in Florida. My dad and brothers and I shared lots of great adventures in the woods and waterways of that beautiful state. Dad taught us lots about the plants and animals and we learned from our own experiences. We were very familiar with this environment. And later when I lived for several years in a log cabin about two miles from my nearest neighbor in the wilds of Florida, I was completely at home. When I would tell some friends of taking long walks alone in the dark in this Florida wilderness they would ask, "But weren't you terrified?" No. And why, because I knew there was nothing to be afraid of. The ideas in this section help us see how we do not have to be "terrified."  We can know and love our true environment.  It is not the physical darkness that causes terror, but simply the imaginations of what is in that darkness. Can't we use this as an example of becoming so familiar with the Good that inhabits every corner of the universe that we refuse to believe that there can be a single pocket of darkness?   As in Science and Health citation S-4: "The truths of immortal Mind sustain man, and they annihilate the fables of mortal mind, whose flimsy and gaudy pretensions like silly moths, singe their own wings and fall into dust. "
 
Section 2 - Jesus' temptation   
"Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you." (B-6 , James 4:7, 8)
In Bible citation B-7 we find a perfect illustration in Jesus' resistance to the temptation of the devil in Matthew 4. The whispered suggestions that Jesus faced as he was alone in the wilderness reminded me of a recent television series my family has been enjoying. Over the last few weeks we have been watching an animated version of the The Little Prince, Le Petit Prince. The Little Prince was first published in 1943. It is a novella and the most famous work of the French writer, poet, and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944).
The novella is both the most read and most translated book in the French language, and was voted the best book of the 20th century in France.  Translated into more than 250 languages and dialects, selling over a million copies per year with sales totaling over 200 million copies worldwide, it has become one of the best-selling books ever published. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Prince
 
Many of you are probably familiar with the book. The series does a very creative job of staying true to the book and adds some new adventures. But what I have found most inspiring as I watched Alma and Johann each evening eagerly await the show is this, The Little Prince's main mission is defeating the Serpent, in Deutsch, Der Schlanger. This snake visits planets throughout the universe and finds a leader or someone on the planet and he whispers, suggests, tempts this person to listen to him. He promises many things and usually draws on the ambitions and wishes of his victim to get his cooperation. The results are always disastrous to the planet and darkness is always pending. But with the Little Prince's help one planet after another is saved and returned to the light and order that is normal. The final triumph of the series was that the Little Prince banished the Serpent from all the planets. When the Serpent is defeated in each episode he simply vanishes in a puff of black smoke. Almost into the nothingness he is. Here is a link to the international website with information about the series: http://www.leconcoursdupetitprince.com/home
 
 
Section 3 - Jesus heals the demoniac.
In this section Jesus heals a man possessed by demons. (B-10) There were no dramatic theatrics like a Hollywood film version. When the man seemed to be mentally deranged and "cried out with a loud voice... saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. "Jesus simply commanded that the evil spirit "Be silent." (NLT version) Belief in demons or evil spirits that oppose the allness of God are based on the false belief that there is a mind apart from Good. Our Leader explains in citation S-11 that "Truth, and not corporeal will, is the divine power which says to disease, "Peace, be still."
 
Section 4 - Spirit heals, matter does not.
Citation S-14 states: "Christian Science is the law of Truth, which heals the sick on the basis of the one Mind or God. It can heal in no other way, since the human, mortal mind so-called is not a healer, but causes the belief in disease. "
The universal belief in physics must yield to divine metaphysics. Faith in matter, faith in the lie cannot annul the effects of Truth, God in healing the sick.   We must remember that seeming resistance to spiritual healing is not a personal resistance. It is the impersonal resistance of the deceiver, the liar, the tempter that never acknowledges the activity of the Christ.
 
Those hungering for the "Truth" find healing through the teachings of Christian Science today, just as they did in Jesus day. This manifestation of the Comforter, the Holy Ghost is working wonders around the globe at this very minute. But the wonders are not miraculous, but simply the operation of the Truth on human consciousness and restoring proper action. The Bible asks, "Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?" (B-12)  Well, of course health is being recovered as the Christ, Truth embraces human thought. But not all are alert to seeing and acknowledging that fact.
 
I graphically remember an experience when I was about 11 years old.  I remember attending a Christian Science lecture with my mom in Eustis, Florida. The lecturer, Lenore Hanks, stood on a stage at the front of the auditorium. At that time female Christian Science lecturers were just beginning to start wearing shorter dresses. Mrs. Hanks had on a dress that was mid-calf, not the floor length that had been the custom for quite a while. My mom was so touched by the message of the lecture that she found herself instantly healed of a very serious illness. She was joyous beyond words.
 
My mom saw a friend that was a member of the Eustis church. She approached her to say hello. All this lady could talk about was how scandalous it was that the lecturer had on such short dress. I remember the lady saying, "There were men sitting up front just so they could look up the lecturer's dress." My mom could hardly believe her ears. I was about to crack up laughing. And then the lady said, "I think I will write Boston and let them know. " My mom simply and coolly said, "Kay, go ahead. And I will write that I was healed in this lecture. Let's see which letter they will listen to." Well, a short while after this experience Mrs. Hanks was elected to the Christian Science Board of Directors, perhaps which was the answer to which letter was heard.
Was it the Truth that prompted mom's friend to make such a ridiculous remark? What do you think the source of her thinking was? The Mind that is Life, Truth, and Love?  Or the suggester, the deceiver, the tempter? Remember the Bible tells us the even the very elect will be deceived. 
 
Have you been tempted to miss the works of Truth embracing humanity and healing? Have you been tempted to worry more about appearances, clothing, furnishings, buildings, long held customs, and missed the activity of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter and its healing work? My mom and I witnessed that there certainly was a "balm in Gilead" at work with her healing of what would have been thought of as a life-threatening. (And I must say I am pretty happy for the healing that went on, because my mom was with us 45 years after that healing. And she healed and healed and healed so many people.)
 
Section 5 - There is no power in evil, thoughts, aims, or attempts to influence.
The citations in this section are powerful tools to protect us from any supposed belief in evil influences sourced in another's thought. 
 
Mrs. Eddy writes in her chapter, "Animal Magnetism Unmasked," "In reality there is no mortal mind, and consequently no transference of mortal thought and will-power. Life and being are of God. In Christian Science, man can do no harm, for scientific thoughts are true thoughts, passing from God to man."  (S-22)
 
At the end of the Second World War a friend of my mom's was involved in the negotiations to "secure" the peace. His assignment was to work with a high level Japanese diplomat in setting up the administration of the government in Japan. The negotiations had not been going well, very little progress or cooperation. As Jim was praying about his assignment he was reminded of something he had been taught in Christian Science Class Instruction. He then prayed with this specific idea about how to handle the attempts of mortal thought to influence others.  He clearly established in his thought that there was one and only one Mind, God. He was led to handle the belief of projectionism and jealousy.   He knew there was only one Father.
 
The next day he entered the waiting room of the Japanese official's office. He had been there many times before. Jim noticed something new, a large oriental vase. As he looked at the vase, the thought occurred to him, "That vase is not really here." Suddenly the vase vanished before his eyes. He realized there had been a mental attempt to influence his thought. At that point the Japanese diplomat called Jim into his office.   His first question, "What do you think of my new vase?" Jim replied coolly, "What vase?" The Japanese diplomat's eyes widened, there was a pause, and then they got right to work. This time the work and plans proceeded harmoniously and quickly. Jim had seen through the attempt to influence his thinking and this insight brought harmony to his experience. Seeing through the attempts of evil to occupy thought always brings harmony.
 
Section 6 - Choose wisely what you read, watch, and listen to.
Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health, "Whatever inspires with wisdom, Truth, or Love - be it song, sermon, or Science - blesses the human family with crumbs of comfort from Christ's table, feeding the hungry and giving living waters to the thirsty."  (SH 234:4)
 
As this section points out clearly, the opposite also claims to be true. We do indeed need to be aware of what we take in to our home and our thought. A wise selection of reading material, films, music, TV all contributes to what we might call an edifying experience. This section gives us a wakeup call to the subject matter we take in. 
 
This is clear when we realize that what we think really does count. What is occupying thought? What is being repeated in thought?  Specific prayer in support of what we or our families are taking in is important. It was this kind of concern for what is being published that inspired our Leader to found The Christian Science Monitor, a newspaper with the express purpose, "to injure no man, but to bless all mankind."
 
Our specific, steadfast, conscientious prayers for our families are a powerful protection and inspiration. When I was a teenager I attended a Christian Science lecture by Alan Young. He told a story of a mother who became aware that her teenage son planned a visit to a brothel, which might not be the most supportive step for him spiritually. He and a friend planned this as a 16th birthday celebration. Rather than a confrontation the mother chose to pray. And she did! Mr. Young explained how diligently she prayed. But when the date neared for the visit she had no indication that the son had changed his plans. But she was so secure, so certain in the effectiveness of her prayers that she did not confront her son. But she continued to pray! The boys visited the house. Her son went up to the room of one of the girls. As they entered the room he noticed a book on her bed side table. In wonder he exclaimed, "What are you doing with this?" It was a copy of Science and Health. She explained she had started to read it, it was changing her life, but she had prayed for someone to talk to about what she was reading. So she and the young man talked about Christian Science the entire time. 
 
Each must choose their way, but when we care enough to think about what we, our families, and the world are taking in, we must be willing to pray diligently. Another simple thing I love to do is make sure that when my kids watch or listen to something, I know what it is. And usually I watch with them. It has brought some very special shared times into our lives and also has often inspired me greatly. (Just like our experience with the Little Prince.)
 
Section 7 - Successful defense.
Rejoice in the success of a peaceful existence when evil has been defeated. This section is a celebration, an acknowledgement of the victory of the Christ. This is our victory also as we join the Master's mission.
 
I mentioned my brother Scott earlier. He served what may have been one of the most dangerous assignments in Vietnam. He was a Scout Dog handler that would go with his trained dog on point for Special Forces and other squads. His job was to keep his eyes on his dog for alerts that only he could interpret. His dog, Thor, was trained to detect booby traps, arms caches, and also personnel. We all prayed for him on his tour, but I know my mom was absolutely conscientious. He returned home safe and sound having passed through what would appear to be as very, very dangerous assignments.
 
If you have ever watched the movie, Forest Gump, you may have heard Forest's description of how heavy the rain could be in Vietnam. One night when it was raining just like that Scott could not find any cover. Finally he tucked himself and his dog under a large truck. They hollowed out a little hole and made it through the night. When Scott awoke in the morning he rolled out of his hole only to find that he had slept the entire night on top of one of the most poisonous snakes on earth. At some point the snake had suffocated and Scott and Thor were untouched. Prayer truly is effective against every weapon and also against every snakey whisper. You could ask the Little Prince or my brother Scott.

[P.S. from Warren: I'm so grateful for the peace loving "wisdom from above" spelled out so well in this week's lesson that heals the belief in polarization and the "strife" mentioned in B-3 and B-16. I'm also especially grateful in this Thanksgiving season that my mom, Ruth Huff, was divinely guided to established the CedarS Camps with the directive and goal to "Think without strife.  We'll let our lives be examples for Thee (God).  (from CedarS song written by Ruth, whose "Remembering Ruth" webpage will be officially launched on Thanksgiving Day. Stay tuned then for the webpage address)"
A great example of this powerful, polarization-healing mindset put into prayerful action is shared in the October 2012 CS Journal article called ""A Meeting We Will Never Forget".  It describes how at the Christian Science Nurses' April 2012 AOCSN meeting in St. Louis, on issue after issue, and vote after vote, seemingly irresolvable difference were resolved with a result of total unanimity.  What a great model for healing seeming polarization in our churches, country and world.]

 [The application ideas above are from a Christian Science Practitioner who has served as a Resident Practitioner at CedarS Camps. They are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons daily throughout the year, not just at camp!  YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share Bible Lesson applications with older, as well as younger, Sunday School classes atwww.cedarscamps.org/newsletters   Warren Huff, CedarS Director & editor of these notes & bracketed, italic additions.]
 
[YOUR QUICK SUPPORT IS DOUBLY NEEDED!!
1st "Emerge ‘n See" Response:  Based on wonderful responses to our recent pleas for help to buy hay to make up for a significant shortage caused by unexpected, dry conditions in the Midwest this summer, we were able to buy quite a bit of good hay to feed our horses!  Thank you SO much!! We still need to raise over $6,000 to cover the unbudgeted expense of being unable to grow all of our own hay this year.  (http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/adopt-the-herd-fund.htm shares details.)  Fortunately, MATCHING FUNDS DONORS FOR "ADOPT THE HERD" have committed to match your gifts up to $50,000 to buy hay and to underwrite the excellence of CedarS' popular and effective Riding Program.  Here's a sample of fruitage: "I am getting to know about horses and how to ride them. ... I am very grateful to know that God is at my side all the time." Camper
 
2nd "Emerge ‘n See" Response: We recently discovered that several of CedarS' original cabins and structures whose electrical wiring was not in metal conduits, have become fire hazards due to critters gnawing through the wire insulation. Running new wire inside conduit (plus fixing our backhoe and doing other needed -- but more routine -- maintenance throughout camp) will cost $50,000.  The good news is that work has been able to be started thanks to about $3,700 received in recent phoned-in and mailed-in donations as well as e-gifts to http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/maintenance-fund.htm .
Also. MATCHING FUNDS DONORS FOR "MAINTENANCE MUSTS" will match your gifts up to $25,000 till year-end!  "What a wonderful experience it was to be at CedarS over Labor Day weekend. I will keep it in my heart forever: the beautiful surroundings, the embracing architecture, the loving and selfless staff. CedarS and all who love it and serve it is... a very special and holy place." College Summit Participant
 
[We also have an inspiring, non-partisan gift for anyone wanting it during our U.S. post-election and Thanksgiving seasons. You can click http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/founding/ to hear now via that link(or to order a free CD by this link), two inspiring, non-partisan talks, designed to rally us together around the U.S. Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.  Thanks for e-giving, calling or mailing to our winter office (address below) your greatly-appreciated & needed gifts to help support CedarS horses, buildings, and programs that all support Christian Science youth and their appreciation and application of the Commandments, Beatitudes and Scientific Statement of Being. "I will carry with me always the lessons learned, friendships made, and spiritual understanding gained." Counselor
 
[CedarS Camps Office, 1314 Parkview Valley Dr., Manchester, MO 63011
or to make a monthly pledge or a single, credit or debit card gift over the phone, 
call us at 636-394-6162.]
 
[Additional Director's Note: You can sign up to have these application ideas emailed to you free -- by Monday each week in English; or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION: in German, thanks to Helga and Manfred; or in Spanish, thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio.  A voluntary French translation by Pascal or Denise cannot be guaranteed due to their busy schedules. An "official" version of the weekly Portuguese translation should be coming soon on a new webpage for CedarS Mets, but in the meantime you can email Orlando Trentini to be added to the list.  
 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.]

[PYCL: Exercise control over anger, frustration, temptation... ]
CedarS PYCLs--P
ossible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"
Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced"
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for November 25, 2012
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041 [Bracketed inserts by Warren Huff]
 
 [PYCL:  Put the title in contemporary language... defend against falsehoods of all sorts]
I know I've said it before, but if you are planning to share ideas from this lesson it is always good to take a look at the title and work out what it means together in contemporary language. Many of the kids will have no idea what mesmerism, etc means and hypnotism for the little ones will also be an unknown. Once you've defined these words together you can talk about how we can get hypnotized today. Do we have to have a hypnotist "do" this to us? What constitutes "being hypnotized"? Of course there are many ways in which we can be hypnotized on any given day. We can certainly get mesmerized or hypnotized by a gruesome injury, by uncomfortable sickness, by anger and so on. This lesson tells us how we can protect ourselves or defend ourselves from such suggestions by understanding that the source of such suggestions is the belief that we have a mortal mind, separate from the one Divine Mind. This mortal mind believes all sorts of falsehoods.
 
 [PYCL:  Build a mental castle with features that make it easy to defend...]
Before I read the my bible lesson version of the lesson sermon this week, I was thinking that having the kids think of their thought in terms of a castle would be cool. They could design it in a way that they thought was defensible, safe, solid. What would that look like if it were a castle? You wouldn't want to spend too much time getting off in "medieval land" thinking too much about the actual castle, but it could be a good analogy for protecting our thought since we don't build our buildings like that today. Then I read the mbl and lo and behold, they use the castle idea with each section in their cartoons, so I guess it must have been a useful analogy. You could spend a little time talking about how we protect our thought in the same way they used to design castles to be easier to defend from attack. What would a draw bridge in our thought be? Maybe when we hear mean things, we could pull up the draw bridge and our words that might join, in would have to stay put! Likewise those mean thoughts would fall harmlessly to the ground outside our thought castle, or maybe get "drowned" in the moat. What would the crenellations represent? They might be a way that we can quietly and secretly regard the incoming ideas and stay safely out of range of any ideas that are not from God. You could even populate the moat with ideas of Truth that eat any false ideas when they try to cross into your thought castle, and of course you can make them look like fun monsters too! You get the idea.
 
 [PYCL:  Show them how a little control keeps them from anger, frustration, temptation... ]
The Responsive Reading (RR) is a wonderful passage to look at for this age.  I find that at least my little guys get easily riled up by one another. (see the CedarS met for this lesson and Rick's relationship with his big brother).  I work very diligently with them to try to help them see that this is only the "snake" talking and they don't need to give in to anger or frustration. Sometimes the snake analogy from the Genesis story is a helpful name for error or the liar because snakes can seem so sneaky, and because he was a good liar in that story! In this RR there's that passage about how something small can govern something so large. In the same way, a small "spark" can start a large fire. Talk about what that means. Can something small and good start a great thing? Yes! (See the rudder and the bit in the horse's mouth). If the "small" idea is from God how can we tell? Well it "...is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere." Talk about those qualities. What does it mean to yield to others? That's a wonderful thought! What is favoritism? What does sincere mean? These are all ideas worth expanding upon. I think it may be interesting to also look at the story of Jesus' temptations in light of the RR. Are those temptations things springing from ambition, etc.? Or were they peaceful, loving, gentle at all times and so on? I suspect Jesus was really standing at the gate to his thought castle considering each offer and turning them away.
 
[PYCL:  Demonstrate false attraction with magnets... talk about "silly moths"...]
This lesson could be simply looked at in terms of false attraction. What does attraction mean? Bring in some magnets to demonstrate how something can be drawn to something else. When a piece of steel is around a magnet, it is controlled by the magnet's distance and presence. Do we want our thought to be controlled by or attracted to anything but God? Talk about citation S4, the part about the moths. Ask if they have ever seen how moths are attracted to light at night. In the morning you can sometimes find dozens of dead moths beneath a hot light bulb, they just flew into it so many times they finally either beat themselves or burned themselves literally to death. Does that seem like a good attraction? Obviously not... Do we sometimes find ourselves attracted to doing something we might even know is not the best for ourselves or others? What is the "flame or light" that we are being drawn to? Are we just "silly moths"? Or do we have a much stronger force and much keener Mind that can draw us to the right thing? How do we know? Remember the qualities listed in the RR?
 
All of these thoughts are pretty expandable to fill any length of time depending on what your class is interested in.
 
Have an amazing Sunday!

[PSST: Discuss & expose subtle lies prevalent in popular thought.]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on;
"Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced"  for Sunday, 11-25-12
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. This insert & GT & RR bracketed italics are by Warren Huff, CedarS Director & Met/PSST editor.]
 
PSST Golden Text:
Whose/what lips do your students feel are lying and must be put to silence?  This is a great time to check out the subject of this week's lesson to identify what exactly it is we are talking about this week.   Do your students know what necromancy is?  [Encarta Dictionary defines necromancy as "witchcraft or sorcery in general; the practice of attempting to communicate with the spirits of the dead in order to predict or influence the future." Encarta Dictionary further defines witchcraft in part as "alluring or seductive charm or influence". This might be a good way to raise thought to what the seductive influences needing to be handled by readers and viewers of the record-breaking, teen-romances of both the "Harry Potter" and "Twilight" series of books and movies. Many Sunday School pupils, at least in high school classes, have been exposed to these modern-day, fictional sagas of there being a supposed power of evil that is out there and exercised in witchcraft, magical powers, and supernatural creatures such as vampires and werewolves. Twilight fans can explore in healthy discussions from a Christian Science view some of the sagas themes how teens can deal with issues of choice, free will and temptation. Harry Potter fans can be made aware of the subtleties of that modern necromancy in a Met piece #11 that I wrote on it years ago when the first series of Harry Potter books were so popular.  Discussions can also mine nuggets of truth about what the author calls the "blindingly obvious" theme of "the choice between what is right and what is easy".]
Do your pupils understand the ideas of hypnotism and mesmerism in the context that Mrs. Eddy would have understood them?  I've heard recently that ..."the most dangerous passages in the Bible are the familiar ones, because we do not really listen to them" (John P. Meir).  I wonder if this is the case with this subject, the words may be familiar, and we may already have a sense of what they mean today, so we are in danger of not looking at them closely, and putting them in their proper context.   At the very least, I do know that Mesmerism and Hypnotism were considered legitimate modes of healthcare in Mrs. Eddy's time, thus their need to be publicly and specifically denounced.  What more can your students know about these concepts, and how do these ideas apply directly to today's world?
 
PSST Responsive Reading (RR):
Clearly one direction this Responsive Reading must go is in the direction of lying lips - our students must be careful about the concepts they speak, and that their words remain consistent to reflect a consistent thought.  What tempts us to speak in different directions?   What do your students think about their word - do they feel it is important to keep their word, to speak what is true, to follow through with their promises?  What do they need to be wary of in this Responsive Reading?
 
(An aside)  Another direction I like to take the first part of the Responsive Reading is embedded into the word GUIDANCE.  While it doesn't quite fit with the entire Responsive Reading, I really love this idea and hope it helps your classes as well. Much like a small bit making a large horse go wherever we want, or a small rudder changing the direction of a huge ship, GUIDANCE reflects the way we should be moved by the slightest nudges from God.  Break the word into four parts - G-U-I-DANCE - and you can remember that GUIDANCE really means, GOD, U & I DANCE; and what I like so much about this analogy is how powerful even the slightest movements when dancing with a partner can result in the most dramatic of changes.  When two people dance together in a partner dance, such as a waltz, or a salsa, there is a leader and a follower, and the best followers are the ones who, at the slightest hint of a movement from her partner, will be propelled into a flurry of movement that may include twirls, kicks, spins, or a change in direction.  The movement from the leader could be as slight as a touch of the shoulder, a shifting of weight, or a simple change in the angle of an arm or wrist. Clearly, when God and I dance, God is the leader; and when I think of what GUIDANCE really means, I ask myself how truly sensitive I am to God's word. Am I as sensitive as the best follower? Can I be led by something as small as a bit to a horse, or a rudder to a ship?  It is only at that point that I am truly listening and being led by God's word. [You may be led to extend concept of making one's moves in dancing to making one's moves in basketball, running, or other sports: "The disobedient make their moves before God makes His, or make them too late to follow Him.  Be sure that God directs your way; then, hasten to follow under every circumstance." (From Mrs. Eddy's ever-helpful article on "Obedience" in Miscellaneous Writings that starts on page 116)]
 
Okay, back to this week's lesson!
 
PSST Section 1:
Where is God?  What does it mean that He is 'at hand'?  What is powerful? This section provides a God-first, God-only foundation for the rest of our lesson.  Is there any power opposed to or apart from God?
 
PSST Section 2:
What is it that tempts us to believe in hypnotism, mesmerism, or necromancy?  How is it that Jesus was able to resist the devil's temptations?  Look at what Jesus says in each response he gives to the tempter  - 'it is written' - what does that mean?  What does it reveal about Jesus' familiarity with scripture?  Are we as familiar with scripture? Can we respond to the temptations that we are faced with by leaning on the 'sustaining infinite' of God's word? How do we reject the lies that face us; and how do we become more familiar with good? - Consider adding to your exploration of this section a brief article entitled What our Leader Said.
 
PSST Section 3:
What is our job, once we see the truth of God's omnipotence, and are able to resist temptation?  What do we do then?  Jesus destroyed evil with his understanding.  Can we do the same?  How?  What must we be absolutely sure to avoid (will-power)?
 
PSST Section 4:
If we are to reject any power apart from God...why does it appear that there are other powers, and what do we do if those other powers appear to be doing good?  How is it that medicine seems to heal?  Why does lying and cheating seem to get us ahead?  What really is going on here?
 
PSST Section 5:
How is honesty truly powerful in the face of dishonesty, bigotry, and malice?  What is the most effective response to error or evil of any kind?
 
PSST Section 6:
What is it that expresses true wisdom?  What is it that attracts the minds of your students? Why should we read books, watch movies, engage with ideas?  Is it for amusement only, or do we strive for improvement from interaction with others and their ideas?
 
PSST Section 7:
Why can we trust that 'no weapon formed against' us will prosper?  Where is true power?  Where is true protection?  What are the divine 'powers that be' that we are subject to?  Are your students truly rejoicing? 

Metaphysical

Reason from Spirit, not matter! Let God turn mourning into dancing! - It is undoubtedly true...
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