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Denounce & find freedom from loving or fearing anything opposed to God!

John Biggs, C.S., St. Louis, Missouri
Posted Monday, May 25th, 2015

[Denounce and find your freedom from loving or fearing anything opposed to God!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for May 25-31

Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced

prepared by John Biggs, CS of Bend, Oregon (541.418.1176 / JohnBiggsCS@gmail.com)

Sometimes I jokingly think of this Bible Lesson as the 'mouthful lesson' because of its long title. Bear with me as I stretch this 'mouthful' idea a bit. Do you like Oreos? If you're like me, it's very, very hard to have just one Oreo... and you might have even ended up with a few Oreos in your mouth at once. But the more Oreos you eat, and the more you have in your mouth, the less appetizing they are. They seem so attractive, but once you're 'sucked in' to devouring them, they are less and less interesting. To conclude the metaphor, while being mesmerized by 'the powers of the world' may seem interesting and attractive, the farther one gets in to the influence of matter, the less satisfying it is. (Note: please don't take this metaphor too seriously; I do love Oreos and don't mean to say they are the tools of a necromancer!)

As we consider this week's Bible Lesson together, see how the possibility of turning away from that mouthful attraction of material gain is illuminated in each section, and how you can really live these ideas.

I'll be embedding links to related content from TMC Youth throughout the text, and for anyone reading a print out of this newsletter, I'll put the full web links at the bottom of this newsletter so you can explore them next time you're online.

Golden Text (GT) and Responsive Reading (RR): God is ever-present
No matter how attractive, scary or overwhelming the situation around us may seem, we do not HAVE to be afraid. God's saving power is always present. Interestingly, the word 'patiently' in the RR, in its primitive Hebrew root, includes the idea of twisting (or braiding) and I love this because it tells me that when we're being patient, we're not sitting around, tapping our toes, waiting for God to hurry up and do something. Being patient is really about consciously, actively declaring our unity with God (like, a braid is one thing, even though it's made up of distinct cords) and letting that unity be our foundation. A perfect start for our consideration of why and how to find freedom from any alluring yet unhelpful mouthfuls of mortality.

You'll enjoy this blog from a Sunday School teacher about how she taught about our unity with God.

Section 1: Purity
Purity is a power of itself. It's not a fragile vase on a shelf, waiting to get messed up, or a glass of water that can lose its purity with one speck of dirt. Purity, as a quality and aspect of God, is power – and, really, is the hallmark of all true power. Think athletically: which is stronger, a fully-focused and devoted, explosive start off the line in American football, or a floppy, distracted start because the lineman wasn't focused on the quarterback's calls? Obviously the focused start is better. Purity is the same way: single-minded and single-hearted devotion to one power and one authority is what purity is. So, even if it seems like your purity has been disrupted, since it's actually God's purity and you just express it, you have the right to joyfully reclaim that armor and power and purity, and live forward with that great sense of redemption and salvation.

Have you seen this fun graphic about the armor of God? What would it be like to consciously live with this armor firmly in thought and life?

Section 2: Good Judgment
Let's remember as we read this section that we are not interested in condemning people; we are interested in correct discernment of right thoughts and qualities. Reading this section with this light will really help us reclaim the word 'judgment' which is heard with so many connotations. While it may be popular to say 'No judgment,' if you actually try living your life – or even just half of a day – without judgment, you will not know what to eat, what to wear, where to go, what to do. I'm not joking here, and I'm not making light of a serious issue. Rather than seeking a judgment-free world, we should be seeking a personal-condemnation-free world, where good judgment – correct discernment – is the hallmark of everyone's day. Citation B6 is the perfect starter for this consideration. God knows what is good; if we entertain thoughts that do not come from God or point to God, those thoughts have no true Life in them and thus they are doomed to 'end.' Our suffering as those thoughts are destroyed is simply proportionate to the extent that we claim those thoughts as our own, or as creators of our existence. Then citation B9 wraps it up by reminding us that it is God's power, God's judgment, God's perfect knowledge that bases all correct discernment and we can love to humbly lean on His perfection to guide us. Never forget to love God, to cherish and express your love for God!

You might enjoy this online discussion about judgment of oneself and others. It's a 'Question of the Week,' asked by high school and college students at TMC Youth Summits; this topic of judgment is one that often weighs heavy on people's shoulders and anything we can do uplift hearts and find strength and rest with God will be time well spent. Here's the discussion: Why do we label ourselves and others as “good” or “bad” Christian Scientists?

Section 3: Always a choice
No matter what, you don't HAVE to be afraid! The people of Jerusalem were faced with invasion at their literal doorstep, and the enemy general was doing some pretty severe trash-talking, verbally abusing both the king of Judah and God Himself. Everyone was terrified. Thankfully, God is not concerned if we are afraid. Truth doesn't change, even if we start to doubt it. Mary Baker Eddy assures us that "God is more to a man than his belief, and the less we acknowledge matter or its laws, the more immortality we possess." (SH 425:21-23) Obviously it's a good idea to keep our beliefs, thoughts, and understanding as far on the side of right as we can, and to keep progressing in this. But no matter what, God is still supreme. And the simple admission that we do not HAVE to be afraid can be just the wake-up to remind us that we do always have the choice to acknowledge God – or even just to acknowledge a little bit more – and to trust His goodness and power, and live out from there. No matter how big the mouthful of fearful and evil thoughts or circumstances, we can ALWAYS consider the greatness of God more than we consider the fear.

When things arise, it can be so helpful to have an immediate resource to clear our thought and help us remember the glory, presence and omnipotence of God. GoVerse Web is a beautiful, inspirational resource for keeping close to the Word of God. While it's certainly no substitute for the Pastor, it is a wonderful thing to have in your pocket. You can access GoVerse Web from any device or computer that is connected to the Internet. Click here to go to GoVerse now.

Section 4: What's impressing you? [Cobbey Crisler insights to come in online Download]
In a way, this links back to our earlier reflections on purity. Jesus knew that the power of healing rests entirely in God (see Miscellaneous Writings 59:18-29 for more on this) and thus to even slightly entertain the belief of partnership with matter, evil, or limits would be devastating. So, we too can practice giving all the glory to God and resting all our accomplishments and goals in His loving hands. We never need to be impressed with the material picture (although we do ALWAYS want to be compassionate to those we are serving) and can firmly, joyfully, confidently stand in honor and witness of Truth.

Learn from the example of the prophet Jeremiah. His world was falling apart, but he persisted in trusting and honoring God's Word and this kept him safe. Click here to listen to the podcast. And consider how this purity of thought doesn't just keep you safe, but allows you to clearly know how to support others.

Section 5: Keep trusting God
This section is sort of like a reality check. Christian Science is not a prosperity gospel: it's not a promise of super smooth and super easy lives if you'll just follow 3 simple steps. Rather, it assures us that God's law is superior to whatever circumstance is going on, and that this is not the end of the story. When we read the Bible, we don't get all scared and upset when Jesus is betrayed and crucified; we know that the point is that he rises again and ascends. So, no matter what 'crucifixion' period is happening in your life, you can let the Bible's story be your story too, and know that your story is not over. You have the right to persist with keeping your thought on God; you do not have to topple over into the mountain of Oreos just because they are presented to you.

Speaking of Jesus, he had more reason than any of us to give up under the immense weight, murderous intent and disappointment of the world. We are so grateful that he knew God was his Life and gave us his example so selflessly. Consider this audio podcast talking about how we can live with his example firmly in thought.

Section 6: God's Love Wins
Thankfully, as we started to consider in the last section, no matter what is going on (whether it's humanly really great OR really terrible), we have the sweet assurance that God's love is infinitely greater and is the only foundation and freedom we ever will truly have. So let's be willing to humbly set our feet on that firm foundation of Truth, divine good, and praise God no matter what. Considering our platter of Oreos one more time: we can stare at that platter all we want, trying to decide why we should or should not dive in, how we can avoid it, reasons to take just a few... or, we can turn away from that picture entirely and turn our thought and hearts to the clarity and purity of Truth – the Truth that made us free.

Consider this brief book review, posted on Time4Thinkers.com, of Rob Bell's book Love Wins. Whether or not you read the book itself, you'll enjoy the ideas shared in the review about the importance of turning thought to Love's greatness rather than to the conception of many powers or a [supposed] deity who spites his creation.

Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of, and trust in, all that God has done. This pure, loving focus naturally frees us from the seemingly attractive (and seemingly inescapable grasp) of those mouthfuls of evil. Love God, and we can't love (or fear) something opposed to God.

Links embedded throughout the text:

GT and RR: http://bit.ly/1c7dFPx

Section 1: http://bit.ly/1ElGj6j

Section 2: http://bit.ly/NoMoreLabeling

Section 3: http://bit.ly/GoVerseWeb

Section 4: http://bit.ly/1JF4NhS

Section 5: http://bit.ly/1IOiJXt

Section 6: http://bit.ly/1HxGgsI


[Bracketed italics added by CedarS Director, Warren Huff, who’s forever grateful for all the good already received and LETTING 3 SPECIAL NEEDS BE KNOWN –
Significant funding is still needed for these special opportunities:
1. 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 tell their 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! (~$15.5k needed to reach $50k goal)]


[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!


[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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