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Watch for God, Good, as Jesus taught to shut the door to evil!

Rick Stewart, C.S., Dresden, Germany
Posted Monday, April 6th, 2015

[Watch for God, Good, as Jesus taught to shut the door to evil!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Are Sin, Disease, and Death, Real?”
for Sunday, April 12, 2015

by Rick Stewart, C.S., Dresden, Germany
+49 351 312 4736, RickStewartCS@aol.com

Golden Text: Mark 13:37 what “...what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”Watching” - Keen observation, attentiveness, alertness, and vigilance are qualities of thought that Jesus encouraged in his followers. Like the early Bible writers, our Master reminded us to not only keep our eyes and hearts open to the wonders of our Father's creation, but also to stand watch at our mental door and to oppose those elements of evil that would try to threaten the harmony of creation.

This important duty, watching, is carefully explained in our Bible Lesson this week, “Are Sin, Disease, and Death, Real?” The promise is that through “Watching” we will learn more and more that in Truth, all evil is destroyed. And yes, even sin, disease, and death are really no part of God's creation. We will learn to watch in the way Christ Jesus taught and through this watching we have the opportunity to see all creation as God saw it, “very good.”

The Golden Text comes from a chapter where Jesus is talking with Peter, James, John, and Andrew. But it becomes clear that the instruction the Master was sharing with his disciples was not just for them, but for “all.” Mark 13:37 In God's Word Translation it is shared as, “I'm telling everyone what I am telling you: 'Be alert!'”

Last Friday morning at 5:30 a.m. I was watching. I watched an incredibly beautiful moon set over the Pacific Ocean. It was difficult not to be impressed with the goodness of all that God has made. But I was also reminded that in my prayers this week I have been thinking of families touched by the tragedy of a plane crash in the Alps, of an attack on a Christian University in Kenya, and of individuals I know that face each of the problems listed in the Bible Lesson subject this week; sin, disease, and death. A deep study of this week's Bible Lesson can equip each of us to respond more effectively with the power and protection of God's Love. Some of those lost in the Garissa University attack may have actually been in the midst of prayer. Are there ways we can pray that are actually more effective in protecting ourselves and others from evil such as this attack? Is there a way we can, as our Master teaches, be more alert, more vigilant, that we can “watch” more effectively and actually be a vital part in preventing the acting-out of such evil?

I am thinking of a dear friend back home in Dresden, Paul Ashley. Paul is an engaged and eager student of Christian Science. He went through Christian Science Class Instruction some years ago and he studies deeply. In a great sense of frustration he was searching for just how we can respond better in helping our neighbors, effectively comforting those facing tragedy and heartbreak. As we yearn to help these people how can we not appear arrogant and hollow, speaking in trite phrases? As always there is no greater place to look than the Bible and Science and Health for satisfying answers that echo the power and the Truth behind Jesus teachings, that will comfort those that mourn, will heal the sick, and will wipe away all the sting of death. And will be as Paul yearned for, sincerely answering the needs of our fellow man.

Jesus speaks of a Comforter, the Spirit of Truth in the Gospel of John, Chapter 14. This is a chapter filled with promise and comfort. Sometimes I read an interesting translation named, the ERV, Easy to Read Version. I found its translation of these words of Jesus simply inspiring, “Jesus said, “Don't be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me...I can assure that whoever believes in me will do the same things I have done, because I am going to the Father...I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper to be with you forever. The Helper is the Spirit of truth. The people of the world cannot accept him, because they don't see him or know him. But you know him. He lives with you and he will be in you...the Helper will teach you everything and cause you to remember all that I told you. This Helper is the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name.”

All I can say is wow, doesn't that say it, we do have a Comforter!

It is so important to get up and embrace this Comforter early, before the devil, the liar, the suggester fills your head with non-sense.

For example, here is an early morning answer I discovered outside of a donut shop in Laguna Beach, California. My sons, our friend Pitt, and I are visiting with friends here in Laguna Beach. Our friends, Lona and Don Ingwerson, were coming out of the donut shop we were about to enter. It was 8 a.m. They had already been there for two hours. (Not eating donuts all that time!) They had shared with me the day before that the two of them love the routine of going to the donut shop at 6 a.m. for something yummy for breakfast and for two full hours of Bible study. They establish their thought with the truths found in the Christian Science Bible Lesson and in their prayers. You might call it a “morning watch.” A great way to start off the day!

As Don stepped out onto the sidewalk he didn't realize it was us coming in, “Good morning Don, did you get in some good study?” “Oh, Hi Rick, we sure did, and now we are heading home to go to work and put it into practice!”

And that, my friends, is what we have with our Bible Lesson and prayers, setting up our watch. Opening our spiritual eyes to God's messages early! And then going to work in our tower. Not an ivory tower of arrogant, hollow, philosophical contemplation, but a committed manning of the watchtower of the Christ. Applying, practicing, watching over human thinking and as Mary Baker Eddy puts it on page 392 of Science and Health, in a paragraph headed, “Guarding the door,” “Stand porter at the door of thought.” This Bible Lesson can show us how!

Responsive Reading: Psalms 30: 1-4, 5 in, 8, 10-12; II Chronicles 23:6 all
Most of the Responsive Reading comes from Psalm 30. Matthew Henry in his well-known commentary states that this Psalm is a psalm of thanksgiving and may have actually come after King David had been delivered from some great illness. This Psalm echoes David's understanding that God is the source of healing, “ I cried unto thee and thou hast healed me.” That God saves from death, “thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.” That God is the comforter, “Hear, O my Lord, and have mercy upon me: Lord, be thou my helper.” (Comforter!)

And the Responsive Reading also says what you and I are going to be doing this week and hopefully from now on,

...all the people shall keep the watch of the Lord.” [See P.S. example]

Section 1: Seeing only Thy creation.....
One of my favorite hymns in the Christian Science Hymnal is Hymn 58 (and also its new version in the supplement, 438) It begins, “Father, we Thy loving children.” The third verse affirms, “In Thy house securely dwelling, Where thy children live to bless, Seeing only Thy creation, We can share happiness.”

This section lays out the groundwork, the basis for our whole lesson, first and foremost that God does not create or see anything but good in His creation. Citation B1, Habakkuk 1: 12, 13, states “Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord my God, mine Holy One? Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:” From the Amplified Bible, “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil and can not look (inactively) upon injustice.” And citation B2 states “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31)

The questions we might ask, “Does God turn a blind eye to evil actions? Is God incapable of stopping disasters and tragedies? If we choose in our prayers to “see only Thy creation,” are we opting out to ignore evil? Or is there a deeper, clearer view available that comes from seeing God's creation as He made it?

The Science and Health citations bring out the true light meant in these Bible verses. For example, citation S2 states “God is as incapable of producing sin, sickness, and death as He is of experiencing these errors” (356:19-21). We find ourselves pointed to the nature of God when we would understand creation in its true light.

And in citation S4 we read “Everything good or worthy, God made. Whatever is valueless or baneful, He did not make, – hence its unreality. In the Science of Genesis we read that He saw everything which He had made, “and behold it was very good.” (525: 20-24)

And now comes our watching assignment. Citation S5 lays it out “We should become more familiar with good that with evil, and guard against false beliefs as watchfully as we bar our doors against the approach of thieves and murderers.” (234:9-12)

So it is not a case that God ignores evil acts, atrocities, or tragedies. It is the fact that good and only good is the fact in God's creation because it is His creation and that is what He created, a universe where everything that He made is good. We will now learn from the following sections how effective it is to “watch” our world with this holy perspective.

Section 2: Sin, God's unlikeness, not who we are!
Watch out what you are willing to accept about yourself! I know that over the years I have many times had to humbly turn to God to tell me who I really am. It could be something big, or something seemingly small, a false character trait perhaps, that I had begun to accept as a part of my identity. And sometimes alone with God or with someone else's support I have risen to a higher sense of myself.

For example, there is a popular song out right now from Meghan Trainor, “Lips are moving.” Its theme is simple, if her boyfriend's lips are moving, then he is lying. And that might sound a little harsh, but I can speak from experience. The temptation to tell lies rather than the truth can be a terrible thing. There was a point sometime when I was 8 or 9 that I would rather tell a lie than the truth. Meghan had it right, “if my lips were moving I was lying.” Some very alert “watching” from my mother's side was an effective treatment. A certain phrase still echoes in my thought, “That' not the real Ricky!” My mom made the separation metaphysically; she called on me to rise up to a better sense, and the result was that the truth became a very valuable commodity to me.

We have to remember that it is not a human sense of goodness that allows us to rise above sin. There is only one way to conquer sin and that is through the Christ. Jesus showed through his life-example that it does not matter how bad a situation we are in; we always can rise to see ourselves as God see us and thereby rise above the sinning. We “do not throw out the baby with the bath water!” The dirtiest of babies is worth keeping, just get rid of the dirt!

This section includes Jesus healing the adulterous woman in citation B8 (John 8:1–12). [CC insights Download in upper right of online Met.] It has always seemed in reading this account in the Bible that the scribes and Pharisees were almost boasting of having caught this woman. “Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.” These experts in the letter of the law were ready to stone the woman and hoping to find a way to trip up Jesus also. Their intentions were not to help. But Jesus was so wise in his dealings with them, that he first stilled their condemnation and then called on the woman to rise. Obviously she was ready!

Mary Baker Eddy has much to add in Science and Health:
“When forgiving the adulterous woman he said, “Go, and sin no more.” (S-11, 11:3)

“Sin should become unreal to every one. It is in itself inconsistent, a divided kingdom. Its supposed realism has no divine authority, and I rejoice in the apprehension of this grand verity.” (S12, 354:26) and,

“Let unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love — the kingdom of heaven — reign within us, and sin, disease, and death will diminish until they finally disappear.“ (S13, 248:29)

Amen. And, [if you want help in saying “bye-bye to a lie”,] here is a link where you can listen to Meghan's hit song, “Lips are moving.” www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDc_5zpBj7s

Section 3: Watch out for the side effects of accepting sickness as real; you have a choice!
I think it can be very important to remind ourselves how entrenched the belief of sickness is in human thought. Yes, you can read in the Bible of those who glimpsed the glimmer of Light that saw sickness as something to be healed by God. But most people then and now still hold on to the idea of sickness as very real—and actually as a part of God's creation. Jesus obviously thought otherwise! He clearly stated that he was here to fulfill God's creation and yet he destroyed every form of sin and sickness that crossed his path. There was no room in Jesus thought for putting up with sickness as a part of man, a part of creation, or a part of God's plan. And that is where the watching comes in with sickness.

Citation B10 states “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” Or, as The Message paraphrases it, “Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you've got, be resolute.” (I Corinthians 16:13)

Below is the account of the healing of the palsied man that appears in the lesson (B13) as given in The Message.

“One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and religion teachers were sitting around. They had come from nearly every village in Galilee and Judea, even as far away as Jerusalem, to be there. The healing power of God was on him. Some men arrived carrying a paraplegic on a stretcher. They were looking for a way to get into the house and set him before Jesus. When they couldn’t find a way in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof, removed some tiles, and let him down in the middle of everyone, right in front of Jesus. Impressed by their bold belief, he said, “Friend, I forgive your sins.”

"That set the religion scholars and Pharisees buzzing. “Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemous talk! God and only God can forgive sins.”

"Jesus knew exactly what they were thinking and said, “Why all this gossipy whispering? Which is simpler: to say ‘I forgive your sins,’ or to say ‘Get up and start walking’? Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both...” He now spoke directly to the paraplegic: “Get up. Take your bedroll and go home.” Without a moment’s hesitation, he did it—got up, took his blanket, and left for home, giving glory to God all the way. The people rubbed their eyes, incredulous—and then also gave glory to God. Awestruck, they said, “We’ve never seen anything like that!” (B13, Luke 5:18-25, The Message)

I find it interesting how the Pharisees and religion teachers were comfortable listening to Jesus until he put his Word into action! When it was just theory and religious discussion they sat in silence. But oh when his actions set that man free they sure started to see a threat to the status quo. In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy shares the following:

“Christianity as Jesus taught it was not a creed, nor a system of ceremonies, nor a special gift from a ritualistic Jehovah; but it was the demonstration of divine Love casting out error and healing the sick, not merely in the name of Christ, or Truth, but in demonstration of Truth, as must be the case in the cycles of divine light.” (S15, 135:26)

“The humble Nazarene overthrew the supposition that sin, sickness, and death have power. He proved them powerless. It should have humbled the pride of the priests, when they saw the demonstration of Christianity excel the influence of their dead faith and ceremonies.“ (S16, 228:27)

Section 4: Death has no place in the reality of God's kingdom!
In this section we read of Peter raising the faithful church worker, Tabitha or Dorcas. There are some elements to this event that I just love. For one thing, this is not Jesus raising the dead. No one can deny the significance of this event to you and me by passing it off as something that only Jesus could do. Here was Peter, one of the disciples. But Peter was also one of the disciples that at one point in his fear and weakness had denied that he knew Jesus. And here he is raising the dead!

This section tells us exactly what death is as revealed by Christian Science. Not something to bow down to, to serve, to fear, and certainly not something to encourage as a way out.

Defined in the Glossary of Science and Health death is merely “An illusion, the lie of life in matter; the unreal and untrue; the opposite of Life. Any material evidence of death is false, for it contradicts the spiritual facts of being.” (S19, 584:9, 15)

We can see in this section that the healing of sin and sickness certainly prepare the way for understanding that life is sourced in God and therefore is not subject to death. Is it practical to consider that in these days we can also consider the possibility of raising anyone from the dead? Indeed it is practical and possible, but it certainly does require a high level of watchfulness, an alert holding of thought above the suggestions regarding the necessity of death.

Citation S21 advises “Be watchful, sober, and vigilant. The way is straight and narrow, which leads to the understanding that God is the only Life. It is warfare with the flesh, in which we must conquer sin, sickness, and death, either here or hereafter, — certainly before we can reach the goal of Spirit, or life in God. (324:13)

Section 5: Watch, let the Son light awaken you from sin, disease, and death
The last two mornings I have been awakened by sun light, but long before the actual morning sun rise. Around 5 a.m. sun light has streamed through the guest house windows that overlook the ocean. A gentle beam of light just nudged me from sleep. As I looked out the window my face was bathed in that same sun light. I looked at the surface of the Pacific Ocean and marveled at the beauty of diamond sparkles of sunlight, still long before sun rise! You have probably figured out my little riddle. The moon was huge both nights and its reflected light sparkled over the ocean's surface right into my window. Moon light, right? No. For the first time in my life I realized that it is not really moon light! I love moon light, I cherish the nights when the moon is full and sheds its soft light over the earth. But I realized, “That is reflected sun light.”

And with that little awakening I realized how important we are. I realized how important Jesus mission of reflection and teaching was. I realized how important Peter's reflection and practice was. I realized how important each of us is.

This section of the lesson continues to affirm the fruits of our watching as we discover what God has really created.

Citation B17 urges us to “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;” (Colossians 4:2)

And our Science and Health citations [put all on the altar to alter everything]:
“Glory be to God, and peace to the struggling hearts! “ (S25, 45:16)

“Suffering, sinning, dying beliefs are unreal. When divine Science is universally understood, they will have no power over man, for man is immortal and lives by divine authority.” (S26, 76:18)

“Man delivered from sin, disease, and death presents the true likeness or spiritual ideal. The epoch approaches when the understanding of the truth of being will be the basis of true religion.” (S27, 67:28, 32–2)

God saw everything He had made and behold it was very good without a single element of evil— no sin, disease, or death. Through Jesus mission, life, and ministry he proved to us the very presence of God our Father. His ultimate sacrifice as he underwent the crucifixion and ultimately rose in the resurrection shed abroad on the entire earth the reflected glory of God's Love. And that reflected Light of the Son can come to each struggling, hurting heart and bring the Light. As we maintain our vigil in the spiritual watchtowers of the world we can also reflect that Son light of Truth in healing, comforting, raising thought out of the darkness. In this light we shall see that indeed sin, disease, and death need not darken human experience. We will see because we will be watching. We will glory in the light and comfort of God's presence. And we will watch as this Light reveals that fact to all mankind. “What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” (Jesus)

P.S. Watching and its practical effect. The Word made Flesh:
Recently I have been thinking of the words describing Jesus advent in human experience, “the Word made flesh.” I have grown to see a greater significance to those words, going beyond just the birth of our Savior. I have seen how they become true in our own experience as the Word of God, or the power of God's Presence comes into our lives.

Over the years many students of the Bible have found the truths in Psalm 91 as a perfect model for how we keep watch over our own experience and the world. A perfect example of this was shared with my son, Johann, yesterday.

Johann was in Sunday School in Laguna Beach, California on Easter Sunday. His Sunday School teacher, Lona Ingwerson, C.S., a Christian Science practitioner, shared with him how her family and the family home was protected in the midst of a terrible fire in 1993.

When many, many houses were burned all around them their house was spared and all the family members were protected.

The event made national and international news. Friends in Munich, Germany saw the news reports of the fire and called to tell Lona, “We are praying for you.” As the fire was finally under control the local Fire Chief was interviewed and stated that in his opinion it was a miracle that their house did not burn with the others.

One account of the event can be found at the following link: http://www.lagunabeachindy.com/miracle-mystic-hills/

You can also contact Lona for a personal account of what happened, she is always glad to share the evidences of God's watchful eye that she has experienced in her life.

Mrs. Lona Ingwerson, CS
31971 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California 92651
Phone 949 415 0415
Please note: I am transitioning from juno to the following email address:
I'll be using both for awhile until the Journal catches up with me, but you might make this change now.

After Sunday School my boys and I drove up into the hills above Laguna Beach to take a closer look at that house. I am sure it has become an example to many people of the value in placing our lives under the watchful eye of our loving Father-Mother. For me it is one of those beautiful examples of the “Word made flesh.” God's practical redeeming and saving influence in our lives as illustrated in Psalm 91, the perfect Psalm for teaching us how to set up our “Watch” for ourselves and the world.


[Warren's P.S.: At CedarS whether parents and supporters are at home or are working at camp, they play an important role by joining us for an hour each day in our Prayer Watch to affirm each campers’ protection and guidance. For the past 24 summers, since starting this extra measure of loving preventative work, there has been a sharp decrease in curative efforts needed in our care facility and a marked increase in overall camp harmony. In addition to praying daily during a designated “Prayer Watch” hour, parents are asked to continue to give loving attention to their children at camp by praying for them for a few minutes of every waking hour. We join in affirming that only God, good, is “on the field” and that all God's dear ones are at peace, comfortable and confident, expressing the full spectrum of God’s gifts—such as alertness, joy, ability, strength, health, love... In Mets before every activity counselors and campers are watchful in affirming similar truths.]


Warren’s P.S. 2 at the request of Albert Baker Fund: Find out about two full-day career workshops produced by The Albert Baker Fund. They are free and open to the Christian Science community. The first is on April 18 in Los Angeles and the second is on May 2 in New York City. Workshop highlights include: connecting with experienced professionals in your field; being inspired by the real-life career experiences of fellow Christian Scientists; getting hands-on feedback on résumés and interview skills from industry insiders; learning door-opening job search and social media skills from one of the country’s leading experts

These workshop events are for job seekers and career changers, as well as those who are established in their careers. So if you are ready to take a step forward in your career, and/or help someone else by sharing your insights and experience, then please click here to learn more and register: www.albertbakerfund.org/event-registration/ ]


[The weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CedarS, as well as to CedarS alumni, families and friends who have requested it. However, current and planned gifts are a big help and are greatly appreciated in defraying the costs of running this service and of providing needed camperships, programs and operations support. Click http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/ for more about how you can provide even monthly support online. Or you can always call the Huffs at 636-394-6162 get information or discuss privately how to transfer securities or other assets to help support and perpetuate CedarS work.]

[You can also reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime by
PHONE at 636-394-6162
or MAIL your tax-deductible support to our 501-C-3 organization
(Our not-for-profit, Federal Identification Number is #440-66-3883):

The CedarS Camps, Inc.
1314 Parkview Valley Drive
Ballwin, MO 63011

THANKS TO YOU PRECIOUS DONORS FOR YOUR ONGOING, GENEROUS and NEEDED SUPPORT OF CedarS IMPORTANT WORK!

[LETTING 3 SPECIAL NEEDS BE KNOWN –
Significant funding is still needed for these special opportunities:
1. Now that CedarS
video show circuit is in full swing, it is apparent that getting many to camp will depend on "Love's Provision" of campership assistance. Could you be one of the angels who gives towards camperships and the life-altaring and life-altering experiences they provide at CedarS?]

2. Over 100 needed items are featured on CedarS Giving Tree that could fit the budget of every grateful Met-recipient and camper. You can choose for yourself $1-and-up ways to give to support CedarS needs. Click here to see 2 young alumni telltheir reasons to give.

3. Adopt the Herd” Matching Opportunity! Generous donors, aware of the ongoing need to care for CedarS herd, will match donations for our horse program! (~$20k needed to reach $50k goal)]


[The Met application ideas above are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of studying and applying the Christian Science Bible lessons 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 by clicking the "Subscribe Now" button (lower left) at http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/ ]

[For additional "Director's Notes" on the history, development & 4 translations of CedarS weekly Bible Lesson "Mets" go to Notes in our online online version of it.]

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