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Drink in & breathe in Life more freely!

Dan Carnesciali C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Sunday, July 8th, 2012

[Drink in & breathe in Life more freely!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for July 15, 2012
Subject: "Life"
by: Dan Carnesciali, CSof Ballwin, MO (314-374-5616 / dancarne@gmail.com)
 
[Bracketed Notes from Warren Huff, CedarS Camps Director and Editor of its Weekly Newsletters: 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 Joseph and 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]
 
Think of this week's Bible lesson and of CedarS metaphysical article like a big, fresh breath [of Life at its best, or a thirst-quenching drink of the same.] We're going to get to know Life better and live more freely.
 
Golden Text: ["The Lord is the only... eternal king" (executive), therefore]
Your Life is good.
 
Responsive Reading:
The Responsive Reading has the key elements of this week's Bible lesson. Life. Healing. Listening.  "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is none else." [Hymn #444] How can you be sure you are serving only one God? In Isaiah, God promises that rivers will form, fountains will rise up, pools of water and springs will appear in dry lands. I have been praying with the passage from Science and Health lately that says, "The lightnings and thunderbolts of error may burst and flash till the cloud is cleared and the tumult dies away in the distance.  Then the raindrops of divinity refresh the earth." (Science and Health, pg. 288:14-18)  When I hear about drought, or observe its effects, I acknowledge that the raindrops of divinity are refreshing the earth. Remember, you always have a choice of what to give your attention to. There is great power in this.
Did you notice that Isaiah mentioned cedar trees? He said that the cedar tree will appear in the wilderness. In the Bible, the word wilderness is interchangeable with desert. (Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible). Wilderness is wide open space. It symbolizes making time in your life for spiritual growth.  Sometimes, it's just good to slow down and have some "down time" so you can listen.  
Cedar trees symbolize protection and spiritual cleansing. When we are quiet, we can do some good listening. Pause for a moment. When was the last time you listened to God? I mean, really listened to God, without interrupting? Consider this. What if there was nothing else besides God and Her idea? That doesn't mean you would be tiny like a spiritual ant. It means that you would experience what Life is, in all its fullness, and nothing else.  [That puts a "full stop" at the end of the material sense of WILDERNESS as defined by Mrs. Eddy as "Loneliness; doubt; darkness." (S&H 597) -- and demonstrates the uplifted spiritual sense of wilderness that preceded some of mankind's greatest revelations to Bible characters like Hagar, Moses, Elijah, Jesus... as "Spontaneity of thought and idea;  the vestibule in which a material sense of things disappears, and spiritual sense unfolds the great facts of existence." (S&H 597)]
 
Section 1- Streams of Gladness
Consider reading all of Jeremiah 10. What you will discover is that our God is being compared, or contrasted, to gods and idols. Listen to this passage. "The idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, nor is it in them to do good." (Jeremiah 10:5, New Revised Standard Version) Idols are a thing of the past, right? Based on the passage from Jeremiah, what if we said an idol was anything that pushes you around or pulls you away from God. Think about what it is that you would like to stop pushing you around. Is it sadness? Is it lack? Is it worry? What if you regarded these problems as cucumbers? (You wouldn't let a cucumber push you around would you?)
"A river brings joy to the [camp] of our God, the sacred home of the Most High. God dwells in that [camp]; it cannot be destroyed. From the very break of day, God will protect it." (New Living Translation, Ps. 46:4, 5) These passages from Deuteronomy told the Children of Israel what they would find when they reached the Promised Land. The land would be rich with fruit and other food, and it would have abundant water. The land was in balance. (B-3)
"Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God." (S-4) Feeling and understanding that we are coexistent with Life sounds so good. God is Our Life. Coexistent means living together peacefully rather than living separately. 
 
Section 2- Loving the Good and Beautiful
Pison is one of four rivers mentioned in the book of Genesis that flowed out of the garden in Eden. (See Genesis 2)  The spiritual definition of the river Pison in Science and Health is, "The love of the good and beautiful, and their immortality." (S-5) Pison is pronounced pi-suhn; the "i" sounds like eye.  On July 4th, America's Independence Day, I took time to pray and the thought came to me to pray in a way that seemed fresh. Rather than praying about things that I "should" pray about, an angel message said to pray about things that I "wanted" to pray about. What a feeling of freedom. I listened for what to pray about.  The first thing that came to pray was very simple. "I love you God. I am loved through and through." When you feel love that is so big and lasting, what do you want to do? That's right, you want to share it. Let's let our prayers embrace a God who is good and beautiful. 
 
Section 3 - Woman's Rights Acknowledged
The name of the second river that came out of Eden was Gihon. Gihon is symbolic of, "The rights of woman acknowledged morally, civilly, and socially." (S-9) The prophet Isaiah spoke, "The Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us." God judges or discerns who we are. When the Bible says judge, don't think that God keeps track of all the things you do wrong so He can whack you later.  Love and Life don't judge you, they save you. Sometimes we feel judged when things come to the surface to be healed. That is the natural action of Truth, not God judging you. In Numbers, Zelophehedad passes on. In ancient times, property was passed down through the father to sons. The daughters of Zelophehedad appealed that they had rights that should be acknowledged. What boldness!   Their boldness was rewarded. They successfully gained the right to inherit their father's property. (B-12) Proverbs is a collection of wisdom teachings traditionally attributed to wise King Solomon. One of the purposes of Proverbs is to help us to avoid stupid blunders, how to work as a team and be successful. Let's look at this famous passage from Proverbs about the virtuous woman.  Virtuous means honorable, moral, upstanding, worthy.  Let's use these passages to better acknowledge the true qualities of womanhood. The woman in the passages notices a nice piece of land and purchases it. She knows the value of land, which is important in building wealth. Since she has money to purchase the land it tells us she knows how to make and save money. These are very valuable skills. And, what does this woman after she buys the land? She works hard!  She plants a vineyard to make a profit and increase her wealth. She is a good steward of her money and land. This woman is a wise business person.
Being a good steward means that she practices careful and responsible management of money and land. She is the type of person you would trust with your money. She also uses a portion of money to take care of the needs of the poor. Therefore, the virtuous woman is charitable. She expresses the essence of the Golden Rule. When she has something to say, she says it kindly. Can you think of a time when you wish someone had talked to you more kindly? This is a call not to limit what women can do. "The ideal woman corresponds to Life and to Love." (S-10)
 
Section 4 - Divine Science Understood and Acknowledged
In this section, we learned about the river Hiddekel,  pronounced HID-uh-kel. (B-14) In Science and Health, the definition of the river Hiddekel is: "Divine Science understood and acknowledged." (S-15) "The belief that existence is contingent on matter must be met and mastered by Science, before Life can be understood and harmony obtained. Immortal Mind, governing all, must be acknowledged as supreme in the physical realm, so-called, as well as in the spiritual." (S-18) The purpose of Christ is to bring healing. Christ is an awareness and enjoyment of Life. Jesus declared, "I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of." (John 10:10, The Message) Later, in John 10:28, Jesus says, "My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish." (NRSV) Lepers were outcasts. People literally wouldn't touch them, wouldn't talk to them. Further, treating others like this was considered spiritual and right. Jesus came with a new idea. He talked with lepers. He touched them, even though that was forbidden. Can you imagine living your whole life where no one would give you a hug, shake your hand or talk to you?  That's what the lepers experienced.  It was called being an "untouchable." The lepers didn't just need physical healing. They needed emotional healing, too.   This is why they begged Jesus to have mercy on them. The healing of ten lepers is related like this in The Message translation. "It happened that as he made his way toward Jerusalem, he crossed over the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten men, all lepers, met him. They kept their distance but raised their voices, calling out, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us! ... Taking a good look at them, he said, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests' ... They went, and while still on their way, became clean.  One of them, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God.  He kneeled at Jesus' feet, so grateful.  He couldn't thank him enough-and he was a Samaritan." (B-17) 
The author of Luke showed how radical Jesus was. Here is some background from MyBibleLesson.com. "Samaritans and Jews were enemies and did not usually interact, so it's significant that the leper, who was a Samaritan, came back to give thanks. Samaritans were identified with the Israelites of the Northern Kingdom who claimed to be descendants of Moses, though they rejected the term ‘Jew.' They considered themselves the only true Israelites. For centuries, the Samaritans and Jews disagreed about where to worship God. The Samaritans continued to worship at Gerizim long after most Jews moved their central place of worship to Jerusalem. People who lived in the first century would have been shocked that the Samaritan returned to give gratitude to Jesus. This clearly showed that God's healing power was for all people." When the thought comes that we don't like something about someone else, it often reflects the state of our own thought, not theirs. You may think, "He is so loud, so obnoxious. I can't stand it." Ask yourself, "Is that true? Is it really true? Can I absolutely know that that is true?" Be still and aware, and listen.  Notice and listen for direction. When you do this, often you will see things very differently. You may become aware of an area where you are obnoxious. This awareness is an opportunity for healing. Love will melt away what doesn't need to be there, what is unlike Love.
 
Section 5 - The True Idea of God
The fourth river to flow out of the Garden of Eden is the Euphrates. The definition of Euphrates in Science and Health is: "Divine Science encompassing the universe and man; the true idea of God; a type of the glory which is to come; metaphysics taking the place of physics; the reign of righteousness." Do you remember reading about the "true idea of God" somewhere else in Science and Health? "Christ is the true idea of God." (pg., 54:8-10) Christ is the love of God, the healing power of God, present and active in your life today. It is smashing any thought that you are beyond help or that anything is incurable.
In the passages from Ezekiel there is a stream coming out from under the temple. Did you recognize what the man is doing? He is measuring the depth of the stream every 1,000 cubits. 1,000 cubits is approximately a quarter mile or 400 meters.  (A cubit is an ancient measurement defined as the distance from your elbow to the tip of your forefinger. Because different people have different length arms the distance is approximately 17 inches to 22 inches.)  In this story, the stream starts out really small.  It is just up to the man's ankles.  The next time he measures, it is deeper. It's up to his knees. Eventually, it is a deep and broad river. This river stands for the healing idea of God in your heart. As you grow in grace, it grows.  It continues to grow within you until it is a mighty river. The NRSV translation says that this river "will become fresh; and everything will live where the river goes." Where these spiritual waters flow, there is life and healing. Here is an example of how that happened for one young woman who founded the Euphrates Institute: "I had just spent a week as the only female civilian with the Marines just outside Fallujah, Iraq, during a major battle.  A week later, I was standing along the Euphrates River a few miles downstream, marveling at the contrast between the peaceful calm and beauty of its gentle flow with the horrors of war I'd just experienced.  When I realized that this same river flowed right through downtown Fallujah, undeterred and unchallenged by the death and destruction surrounding it, it seemed a metaphor for the power of life over death, and even good over evil.  The Euphrates has been a powerful symbol throughout all time-presumed to flow from the Garden of Eden; it was later the ancient boundary between West and East.  Today, it is a purveyor of life in a parched desert, a harbinger of hope and peace in a time of conflict, and, instead of a boundary between West and East, perhaps a bridge." Read more about this journey at euphratesinstitute.org.
 
Section 6 - God Alone is Life
"How precious is Your steadfast love, O God!  The children of men take refuge and put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. They relish and feast on the abundance of Your house; and You cause them to drink of the stream of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life;" (B-21, Amplified Bible)
John 3:16 says, "This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son.  And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again." (B-22, The Message) "Down the road a way in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha, ‘Gazelle' in our language.  She was well-known for doing good and helping out. During the time Peter was in the area she became sick and died. Her friends prepared her body for burial and put her in a cool room. Some of the disciples had heard that Peter was visiting in nearby Lydda and sent two men to ask if he would be so kind as to come over. Peter got right up and went with them. They took him into the room where Tabitha's body was laid out.  Her old friends, most of them widows, were in the room mourning. They showed Peter pieces of clothing the Gazelle had made while she was with them. Peter put the widows all out of the room. He knelt and prayed. Then he spoke directly to the body: ‘Tabitha, get up.' She opened her eyes. When she saw Peter, she sat up. He took her hand and helped her up. Then he called in the believers and widows, and presented her to them alive." (B-23, The Message) Peter did not accept what everyone else was accepting. Full of faith, he questioned that Tabitha had died. What do I mean by full of faith? Can anyone of us have more faith than anyone else? Not really. It depends how you define faith. Let's say faith is what you consciously give your attention to. Notice whether your thoughts are coming from the source of Truth or from what we will call the source of lies. You have a choice, even though it doesn't always feel like it. For example, a few weeks ago I was going to an anniversary party for some neighbors, but I didn't feel well at all. I tried to pray, but couldn't seem to get traction. Then, I asked myself whether what I was dealing with was really, really, really true. Was I really dealing with this problem? Questioning the thought this way broke the illusion and I was released.
 
Section 7 - Drink from the Water-of-Life Well
"I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: ‘Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They're his people, he's their God. He'll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good-tears gone, crying gone, pain gone-all the first order of things gone.' The Enthroned continued, ‘Look! I'm making everything new. Write it all down-each word dependable and accurate.' Then he said, ‘It's happened. I'm A to Z. I'm the Beginning, I'm the Conclusion. From Water-of-Life Well I give freely to the thirsty.' (B-24, The Message
"Life is eternal. We should find this out, and begin the demonstration thereof. Life and goodness are immortal. Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight." (S&H 246:27)
Camp is so full of joy and love. That's what makes it so much fun. Since you can and will take that joy and fun with you, camp isn't really a physical location. It is in your heart. It is within you. Joy is actually your natural state. It is innate, which means it has always been there. If you don't believe me, pray to humbly understand that joy is your natural state for seven days in a row. Pray not just once in the morning, but throughout your day. Here is a way to visualize joy is natural. Hold out your hands with the palms up. No flex your fingers so your fingers are flat as a board. Now, relax your hands. When you relaxed your fingers, did your fingers curl up? You are observing the natural state of your fingers and hands. Joy is like that. It is natural. It is not something you hope for, strive for or are trying to get more of. It is actually the current, relaxed state of your mind. Enjoy the prayer-conditioned environment of Soul [and of Life at Its best] this week.
[P.S. from Warren on citation S-30: Click here to listen to CedarS Practitioner Talk for today (by Christie Hanzlik, CS) that ends with passages from Psalms being shared by a diversity of campers and counselors at camp in a variety of languages showing that "Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals. It is the open fount which cries, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters." (S&H p. 13).Or paste in this URL address: http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/archives/Christie_1st_Mon.mp3 ]
 
[The College Summit taking place at CedarS Camps this Labor Day weekend is one you will not want to miss out on. Our lecturers at the summit will be Chet Manchester (the new president :), Ginny Luedeman, Christine Driessen, Tom McElroy and Shirley Paulson. There will be a Weekly Musicians Concert with Alex Cook, Jay & Tessa Frost, and Grant Taylor. Check out the Summit webpage. Hope to see you all there.]
time4thinkers.com
Let's bring it together at the start of the new school year for a college summit at Cedars Camps. Th...
 
[Let us help get anyone in your church / family to camp! Note that we still have openings and full campership options for our 4th (2-week) session and our 5th (1-week) session-as well as for Family Camp! Just call us today at 417-532-6699 or email us at office@cedarscamps.org]
 
[Also, each NEW campership donation to CedarS will be matched (up to $50,000!) so that no Christian Science Sunday School student need be "un-camped" this summer!  (Even transportation costs can be covered as needed!)  Daily applications for this aid are being met by daily supply from friends of Christian Science Sunday School pupils like you!  Click on http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/campership-fund.htm for links to all ways to give.]
 
 [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.]

[PS Click to hear CedarS "Prac Talk" this morning by our current Resident Practitioner, Christie Hanzlik, CS, Boulder, CO on giving a prayerful treatment and sealing it with gratitude.

Possible Sunday School Topics by Merrill Boudreaux
for the Christian Science Bible lesson: "Life"- July 9-15, 2012
 
PSST - Golden Text - What makes God alive to you? What evidence is in your experience that God is present? Share with students there was a time when people worshipped many gods: Greeks, Romans, Egyptians; and a time when the problems in a person's life were attributed to a god being angry with him. To appease that god, sacrifices were made. About 2000 BCE a man named Abraham, whose family work was as idol makers, discovered there really is only one God. That changed his life and ours. So ask again, "What makes God alive to you, present in your life?"
 
PSST - Responsive Reading (RR) - In what or where do you find satisfaction? "Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." What are promises God made in the RR? How is it possible for a river to flow in a high place? Think of snow melt or a waterfall. How about a fountain in a valley? Think of an underground spring or aquifer - any geological formation containing or conducting ground water, especially one that supplies the water for wells, springs.... What about plants that grow and thrive in dry or desert places? What kind of plants would they be? Perhaps those with deep roots to find water below the dry surface, or those that get moisture from the air. [This is NOT true of the cedar, shittah, myrtle, olive, fir, pine or box trees that, according to the RR, will flourish in the metaphorical wilderness that "the Holy One of Israel hath created".] What kind of a plant are you?
 
PSST - Section 1 - What is the promise God makes to you in citation B4? The word ‘water' runs throughout this section. What are sources of water? What are uses for water? What are benefits of having water? How is the living God like water? To whom is God speaking in citation B3? Children of Israel. Are you one of the children of Israel? See MBE's definition in the Glossary of Science & Health, p.583.
 
PSST - Section 2 - In this section begins the flow of water from Eden into four great rivers. Eden is considered the homeland of the first humans. There are theories of where it is located today. Some scholars say it is under the Persian Gulf and others say it is in the mountains of Ararat. The four great rivers: Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel (today's Tigris), and Euphrates. The Tigris and Euphrates run through today's Iraq. The location of Pison and Gihon are unknown today. See citation S5 for spiritual definition of Pison. Can you live without goodness? This is impossible since God is Good and the source of your goodness. What is the result of the presence of Good in your life? S8. Note the words ‘always' ‘eternal' and ‘immortal'.
 
PSST - Section 3 - See spiritual definition of Gihon, citation S9. What is the petition of the daughters of Zelophehad in citation B12? What is the resolution? Why was this a significant decision because of the inheritance laws of the time where the inheritance passed unto the sons or brothers but not unto the daughters or wives? Please read citations B13, S11 and S13. See the importance of one God discovered by Abraham and its results in our lives versus the old beliefs of many gods. Ask students to make a list of what they think life was like when people believed in many gods as compared to belief in one God.
 
PSST - Section 4 - See spiritual definition of Hiddekel in citation S15. What is the nature of a river? Flowing, usually downhill to the sea. It can be fast or slow but always moving.
     See S&H 593 for spiritual definition of River. Does a river deny itself to any on its banks? How is the healing of the lepers like a flowing river blessing all it touches? The one leper who returned to give thanks was a Samaritan. What was the big deal? Help your students understand that the Samaritans and the Jews were enemies and did not interact, although both were living in Israel as descendants of Moses and Abraham. What are the benefits of living along a river? Wash in it, swim in it, drink from it, water crops from it, animals drink from it, fish caught in it, cool temperatures from it. How is Jesus' statement in citation B16 like a river? Can it be denied to anyone?
 
PSST - Section 5 - See spiritual definition of Euphrates in citation S20. The Euphrates is a mighty river that begins with the snowmelt in the Turkish mountains and flows about seventeen hundred miles to the Persian Gulf. The birthplace of human civilization is considered to be Mesopotamia which developed along the Euphrates. Other empires along it were Sumer, Babylon, Assyria, and Abraham's hometown of Ur.
     Read the Bible story in citation B20. What is the impact of the river in this story? Look especially at Ezekiel 47:9. When you learn the power of the river as a symbol of Love as life-giving water, underlying, overlying, and encompassing all true being, you can ask the questions in citation S22. This is a good memorization opportunity.
 
PSST - Section 6 - Is man punished for doing good? Can you suffer when performing a labor of love? Does God kill a man in order to give him eternal life? Read all of S&H in this section. Note particularly S&H 289:19, "...to the real man and the real universe there is no death-process." That means there must be a life process. What evidence do you see of the life process all around you? Do you coexist with God? How long will that coexistence last? Like, FOREVER.
 
PSST - Section 7 - Read citation B24 aloud. What are the promises in that passage?
     Read citation S30 aloud. Now think back over this lesson. What evidence did we see of impartiality? Remember how the river bestows its water on all the banks it passes. It does not deny its benefits to any on its banks. How is Life like that, like a river?

 
CedarS PYCLs--Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"Life"

The Christian Science Bible Lesson for July 15, 2012
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041
 
 [PYCL Overview on the importance of water: images of Bible Lands.]
In a land where water figures highly in the apparent life or death of a population, it is no wonder that the image of rivers, wells, fountains and springs as well as dew and rain, figure highly in Bible writings. You may want to show the kids some pictures of Bible lands and talk about what they think of the way things look there. Does it look dry?  Does it look hot?  How did most people support themselves in those days?  Many raised flocks (which need pasture), and many were farmers.  Do you think they could turn on faucets and water their animals or put sprinklers out for their crops?  So how much do you think they valued a rainfall, a river or a spring or well?  Right now much of the U.S. [including CedarS] and many places in the world appear to be experiencing drought or drought-like conditions.  This lesson reveals to us the abundant evidence of Life's ability to water the whole earth because it is the law of Life that Life is expressed.  Even the Golden Text (G.T.) seems to shout this: "He is the living God..."  So we must be eternally alive and so must His whole creation.  Of course, matter may not bear this out but as we understand the spiritual nature of Life in this lesson, we can begin to see evidence of Life's river of good around us.
 
 [PYCL Lessons from a spring oblivious to the weather...]
A couple of weeks ago when I went to pick up my oldest son at CedarS, we camped on Friday night at a nearby state park called Bennett Springs.  I was amazed to see this big, rushing river, full of clear and cool water (and lots of trout) right where it comes out of the ground [at 100 million gallons per day!].  I have seen springs before but they were modest pools coming out of the ground usually resulting in a modest creek.  But this was a mighty, rushing river, some 50 feet or so across!  It's hard to imagine that kind of abundance just springing out of the ground like that! It is oblivious to the dry conditions that surround it; its volume doesn't depend on the weather. This is a great symbol for the way that Life provides for us eternally. Its source is in Principle as it states in citation S14, and it is our Life. So see if they know about what a spring is and take some time to discuss what a "spring of water" is and why that is an important symbol for Life in this week's lesson.
 
 [PYCL Lessons from the 4 rivers, especially the rights of women...]
You may find it helpful to look at Christie Hanzlik's thoughts on the rivers in the Bible lesson (as a PS at the end).  This can give you a starting point for discussing the presence of these rivers in the Bible lesson with your classes.  It's important to look at these together as we do when reading this lesson to see how Mrs. Eddy was divinely inspired to interpret them in this manner.  I found the idea of the river Gihon especially interesting in light of what Christie shares about the challenge that Mrs. Eddy faced as a woman in her era, revealing and establishing an entire religion.  Some of the kids may find it interesting here to discuss some of the challenges she faced as a woman in her day.  Consider that as an adult she was widowed, lost the right to care for, even see, her own son, divorced (in an era when that was almost never an occurrence).  Women simply didn't have the rights that we all accept as normal today.  Have some examples from her life to share and talk about how her concept of God as unlimited Life helped her to overcome the obstacles to the success and vitality of the Christian Science movement.  You may want to look in a biography for an example.  There were many times that she was able to overcome daunting legal battles by relying on God to reveal to her exactly how to handle them.  Lawyers and knowledgeable men would sometimes try to convince her by any number of logical arguments to abandon a particular course of action.  But she would persist in her God-led path and in each case she prevailed.  Have the kids try to imagine a case in which their own child might be taken from them and whisked away to parts unknown without their consent.  And they could have no legal recourse to get the child back or even to find out where he/she had gone!  It's hard to imagine this level of injustice, yet in many parts of the world such injustice is commonplace, and Mrs. Eddy has revealed to us exactly the truth about God that can help us to combat such injustice.  Remember that Mrs. Eddy had to face injustice throughout her life, much of it after her discovery of Christian Science.  So, the fact that we struggle with the evidence of this injustice is not an indication of its power.  It is, rather an opportunity to rejoice that "...the Lord is the only God." (G.T)
 
 [PYCL Lessons from a drinking fountain...]
If you have a drinking fountain in your church or Sunday School, the next idea is easy to implement.  You could alternatively use the faucet in the bathroom and paper cups.  Take the kids to the drinking fountain and offer them each a drink.  Ask if the drinking fountain worked for some of them, but didn't work for others?  Would it still work if they came back in a few minutes for a drink?  How about in the middle of the week when church was not in session, if they had a key and could get in, would the drinking fountain still give them drink?  What if the same day that they wanted a drink they had done something terrible, would it still give them water?  Is there any circumstance short of a broken water pipe or some such silly thing in which they would not be able to get a drink?  That's how Life is.  God is always pouring forth Life, goodness, abundance and satisfaction.  We may have to head over to the "drinking fountain" and push the "on" button to realize this fact, but God really never withholds good from Her creation!  Pursue this further with the kids really bringing "home" the idea that they could have said something very unkind, they could have failed a test, or lost an important competition, and yet...Life, Love remains steadily loving and giving you abundance and joy.  "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat;...without money and without price." (Responsive Reading) And, one of my favorites, citation S30 "Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals. It is the open fount..."
 
 [PYCL A perfect antidote to envy...]
This last quote is the perfect antidote to envy if you wish to pursue this further.  Love bestows on all of us equally and impartially.  We are all equally loved and valued expressions of Life.  If we feel that we are lacking in the "brains" dept. or the "looks" or popularity dept. then we can strive to see that a loving God could only be impartial in Her bestowals.  As Warren likes to point out when we are faced with envy, we can say "That's Mine Too!" (T.M.T) and rejoice in what God has given us.  We never have to settle for anything less than abundance.  If we don't "get" what we are praying for, then bring it before God to be "...molded and exalted..."  (p.1 S&H); and we will find that our prayers become less about the fleeting material desires and more about what is eternal and full of substance and satisfaction.  This is never about settling!
 
 [PYCL Lessons from actions in: the women's inheritance appeal to Moses; the lepers appeal to Jesus, your caring outreach to those today who seem different, outcast, marginalized...]
Life is about action, activity and expression.  What sort of actions do they see in this week's lesson?  Were those women taking action when they came before Moses in an unprecedented way to ask for an inheritance?  How about the actions of the lepers in section 4 and Jesus' action in speaking to/acknowledging them and finally healing them?  Remember that the very act of acknowledging them as people went against the Jewish law.  Think about what it must have been like to spend the better part of their lives being entirely shunned by mankind around them.  They probably started to feel like they weren't even human or deserving of human kindness.  So just calling to Jesus probably took courage.  Who can you acknowledge in the coming week that may be feeling that they don't merit the same kind of goodness in life that you perhaps enjoy?  You can probably find a way to present this to a younger group.  Are there any kids you know or have known at camp or school or anywhere, that don't seem to be very "normal"?  Are you able to move past that and acknowledge their true self hood with a warm smile or offer of help or even a kind "hello"?  One of my girls is working this summer at a Christian music camp and told me today of one girl at the camp who seems not to fit within the parameters of what most of us acknowledge as "normal".  She doesn't dress the way most dress and she smells bad and has bizarre habits.  But my daughter said to me: "You know mom, the other kids are so nice to her and treat her so decently!"  What an inspiration and example of true Christianity.  This is actively expressing Life and Love!  Are there other examples of how Life is expressed as justice and love in our experience?  Was it just for Tabitha in the 6th section to die after all the good she was contributing to her community?  Is death ever God's desire for man?  Peter proved it otherwise by raising her up.  Mrs. Eddy emphasizes this point in citation S24 by stating essentially that we don't cross over into eternal Life by dying! (also illustrated in citation S27)
 
Enjoy actively expressing Life this week!
 
[PS: Insights from Christie Hanzlik, CS, Boulder, CO on the 4 rivers in the Lesson & the CS Movement:  "The use of the four rivers in the lesson is symbolic of the steps necessary for Christian Science-the word of God revealed to our modern age-to become a movement.  These four rivers, or "channel(s) of thought," laid the foundation for the transformative Science of the Christ to expand and grow and ultimately declare the "reign of righteousness" (see Euphrates). The four rivers bring life to the movement.
The four rivers start from the same Source/Creator (God) and flow out from that Source/Creator, carrying His Word with them, and creating the channels of thought through which the movement can flow, expand, grow, and enrich life all along their path.
Here's how the four rivers relate to the establishing the Christian Science movement:
 
1) First, MBE's strong desire and love of healing/salvation and re-discovery of Jesus' message about "the good and beautiful, and their immortality" 
PISON (RIVER). THE LOVE OF THE GOOD AND BEAUTIFUL, AND THEIR IMMORTALITY.
 
2)  Second, in order for MBE's ideas to be accepted, society needed to be open to accepting the ideas of a woman.  The rights of women needed to be "acknowledged, morally, civilly, and socially."
GIHON (RIVER). THE RIGHTS OF WOMAN ACKNOWLEDGED MORALLY, CIVILLY, AND SOCIALLY.
 
3) Third, as Mary Baker Eddy shared Divine Science with the world through Science and Health, it needed to be "understood and acknowledged."
HIDDEKEL (RIVER). DIVINE SCIENCE UNDERSTOOD AND ACKNOWLEDGED.
 
4) Fourth, as the movement takes root and spreads, it doesn't stay local to New England, but "encompasses the universe and man; the true idea of God."  Ultimately, through the discovery and establishment of Christian Science, "Metaphysics [is] taking the place of physics."
EUPHRATES (RIVER). DIVINE SCIENCE ENCOMPASSING THE UNIVERSE AND MAN; THE TRUE IDEA OF GOD; A TYPE OF THE GLORY WHICH IS TO COME; METAPHYSICS TAKING THE PLACE OF PHYSICS; THE REIGN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
 
So, seeing these four rivers as the spread of the Word of God, echoing the good news about our perfect Creation, you will see other references to water bringing life and meaning to us. The Responsive Reading, First and Last sections of the lesson are full of references to life and water that carry the Word of God. "I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water." (Isaiah 41:18)]
 

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