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Enjoy being a garden tended by God

Rick Stewart, C.S., Dresden, Germany
Posted Monday, December 3rd, 2018

“Enjoy being a garden tended by God.”
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“God the Only Cause and Creator”
for December 9, 2018

by Rick Stewart CS, Dresden, Germany
rickstewartcs@aol.com +49 351 312 4736 +49 176 32 33 6080

Have you ever thought about how the Bible is the perfect example of translating human language to enable us to understand more, in this case more of God’s word? For example the Jewish Tanakh, the basis of our Old Testament, was originally written in Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic. (Aramaic was the language spoken by Jesus). Then the very first translation of the Hebrew Bible was into Greek. The Bible was translated into Latin which was considered the only official, or correct version according to the Catholic Church for many years. Then here in Germany a former Catholic priest, Martin Luther, translated the Bible into the language of his people, German. Tyndale and others began to translate the Bible into English. Over the years the message of the Bible began to reach more and more people in their own language.

According to Wycliffe Bible Translators, in October 2017, 3,312 languages had access to at least a book of the Bible, including 1,121 languages with a book or more, 1,521 language groups with access to the New Testament in their native language and 670 the full Bible. It is estimated by Wycliffe Bible Translators that translation may be required in 1,636 languages where no work is currently known to be in progress. They also estimate that there are currently around 2,584 languages which have active Bible translation projects (with or without some portion already published).

Year after year the Bible’s message comes to more and more people in a language they can understand. At the same time additional translations come to people in an effort to better express the original meaning of the Bible. For example, this week’s Golden Text from our Christian Science Bible Lesson was a completely new expression for me. So fresh, and so clear,

Golden Text . . . you are God’s garden and God’s building. I Corinthians 3:9 you (This is from the Contemporary English Version) [See online Warren’s PS#1 for building application insights and PS#2 for Ken Cooper’s inspiring poem.]

I had always known this verse from the King James Version, “ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.” Husbandry was not such a clear translation for me, I did not understand it well. But “garden?” I got it. And then I looked up this verse in 45 or so other translations and found these ideas: God’s cultivated field, garden and vineyard, God’s farm, God’s farmland, a field under God’s cultivation, God’s tillage, God’s earth tilling. The idea became so much clearer. And that is why I do not worry over, “But that’s not the King James Version!” I am interested in the clearest idea, I am not worried about the only officially authorized version, I want and hunger for “God’s idea” as it has come to us from His Word.

And that is where we are going with this week’s Bible Lesson, we are going to understand that God is indeed the only Cause and Creator!

Beginning in the Responsive Reading this Bible Lesson invites us to look at God’s man and God’s work from an undistorted, spiritual view. That is how the Responsive Reading begins to lead us into an undistorted view of God and His work, God and His creation.

As the New Living Translation puts our Responsive Reading: [See PS#3 for Desiree’s Hymn 499.]

Isa 65:18,20,21-25 NLT - 18 Be glad; rejoice forever in my creation! And look! I will create Jerusalem as a place of happiness. Her people will be a source of joy. 20 “No longer will babies die when only a few days old. No longer will adults die before they have lived a full life. 21 In those days people will live in the houses they build and eat the fruit of their own vineyards. 22 Unlike the past, invaders will not take their houses and confiscate their vineyards. For my people will live as long as trees, and my chosen ones will have time to enjoy their hard-won gains. 23 They will not work in vain, and their children will not be doomed to misfortune. For they are people blessed by the Lord, and their children, too, will be blessed.
24 I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers! 25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together. The lion will eat hay like a cow. But the snakes will eat dust. In those days no one will be hurt or destroyed on my holy mountain. I, the Lord, have spoken!”

These words introduce us to what could be called the divine norm. We no longer will be held hostage to a material world’s view of cause and creator. We will begin to practically accept what God’s Truth is regarding life and its prospects! The norm will not be babies dying, old folks struggling. We will expect to live as long as trees and God will answer, we will not work in vain, we will not be doomed to misfortune. God will answer our prayers even before we call. And ultimately “no one will be hurt or destroyed on my holy mountain. I, the Lord, have spoken!”

That line, “For my people will live as long as trees,” reminded me of a fun day about 25 years ago. At the time there was a delightful couple living with me in my big house. Larry and Margaret Burgos. Larry was an absolute inspiration. He loved to cook, he loved to fish, he loved just about everything in daily life. Over the years he had had so many adventures. And Larry’s view was that he was still in the middle of his adventures. He was giving no quarter to the belief of old age. Larry was 94. But one day Larry was very impressed with his 94 years and he was suffering from that belief of “old age.” As I gave some thought what I could do to help I had an idea.

I asked Larry and Margaret to join me for a little drive. We drove about one hour to a spot in Longwood, Florida. We parked the car and then the three of us walked together over a wooden boardwalk through a little swamp. We arrived at my intended destination. Right before our eyes only a few feet away was “The Senator.” It was a giant tree, a bald cypress, as a matter of fact it was considered the oldest bald cypress tree in the world, estimated at 3,500 years old. Why it was already 1,500 years old when Jesus had walked with us. Larry and I considered this wonder before our eyes and for both of us our perspective changed. We were no longer so impressed with 94 years or 40 years. As we walked together back to the car I think Larry’s step was a little quicker and his heart just a little brighter!

Section 1: God is the only Cause and Creator.

The following verses are as translated in the New Living Translation, B2| Isa 45:8,9,11,12,18 NLT - 8 “Open up, O heavens, and pour out your righteousness. Let the earth open wide so salvation and righteousness can sprout up together. I, the Lord, created them. 9 “What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?’ 11 This is what the Lord says—the Holy One of Israel and your Creator: “Do you question what I do for my children? Do you give me orders about the work of my hands? 12 I am the one who made the earth and created people to live on it. With my hands I stretched out the heavens. All the stars are at my command. 18 For the Lord is God, and he created the heavens and earth and put everything in place. He made the world to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos. “I am the Lord,” he says, “and there is no other.

B3| Isa 61:11 NLT - 11 The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere.

With much concern about changing climate and awful projections for our future sometimes it is wise to look to our past. Whether examples of Jesus demonstrations or more recent answered prayer we can indeed learn to demonstrate and know that God, Good is the only cause and creator. Take a look at this testimony from the 1890 Christian Science Sentinel.

AND EVEN THE ELEMENTS SHALL BE SUBJECT TO MAN

I. P. H.

From the September 1890 issue of The Christian Science Journal


For three weeks the thermometer had stood at an average of 104° in the shade, and for still longer time not a drop of rain! The early vegetables drooped and dried up where they were growing. Even the grass turned sere and yellow; and the dust rose in clouds as it was disturbed by moving teams and vehicles in the roads. From day to day, not enough breeze stirred to relieve the sweating brows of man and beast. Sickness was dreaded, and began its manifestations. People began to predict total failure of crops, with its attendant season of want and discomfort.

One morning, the woman who brought me vegetables told me that her whole field of early corn, from which she had expected to realize at least thirty-five dollars, would not pay for the seed planted; that unless there was rain within ten days their entire season's crop would be lost, and that her neighbors would suffer likewise; but that if only it would rain, the late and larger crops might be saved. She looked discouraged and woe-begone, for a large family of children depended upon the market garden for bread. I told her that God was able to provide. "Yes," she said, "but it appears like He leaves it mostly for us to do ourselves."

Hotter and hotter it grew that day, till at ten o'clock a. m. the thermometer stood at 110° in the shade.

In the afternoon, the woman's words kept ringing in my ears: "appears like he leaves it mostly for us to do ourselves." To do how? Why! by realizing that we have the good we desire, of course; but we can realize no more than we can understand.

Lifting up my heart in prayer that my faith and understanding might be strengthened sufficient unto the occasion, I began to treat for rain.

I realized that God never caused scorching heat and want of water to occasion the beautiful appearance of vegetable life to wither and perish, and poor, ignorant animals to suffer; but that he had given to man dominion over all these lesser creations, to hold subject to the will of man: that he is to keep them in harmony and peace by his government, even as he understands the decree of the Father that All is Good, and that Good alone can be manifest, anywhere, by the Father or His Son that plenty, to satisfy every want and to meet any emergency of man or beast, has been provided "from the beginning," and of this Divine Order there can be no end.

I began to feel a cool, fresh breeze stirring, as I sat alone on the porch at my self-allotted task. Encouraged I continued my thought. For all the farmers, and others anxious for the welfare of their crops or suffering at their labors, I realized that Spirit was all-present and always harmonious: that this horrid delusion of heat was a nightmare dream from which we all ought to awaken.

In the West dark clouds began to gather, and I heard men, as they passed, wonder if it was possible that it couldrain. Others said despondently: "No, it amounts to nothing. This is a perfect drouth." But I felt encouraged, and in turn encouraged the gathering of the clouds as I would reassure timid children afraid to enter a room where they thought themselves forbidden. "It is not the fears of the carnal mind of man that you are in subjection to, O ye elements," I thought; "it is the Spirit of the Son of God to whose command you are subject, and whose presence I feel proclaiming that there is, and shall be, peace, plenty, and harmony everywhere; and there is no fear."

Soon, a great wind arose. The thunder began to roll, and the lightning to flash, proclaiming: All Good! All Good! Then came the pattering of the raindrops hastening, with ever quickening footsteps, on their mission of ministry and love to the parched earth, the eagerly stretching leaflets, and the panting animals. Some chickens scurried down the walk, trying to catch, as they fell, the first drops wherewith to moisten their parched throats; but, as they soaked into the dusty boards, the chicks gave up the chase, and stood contentedly stretching their wings and lifting their feathers to feel the cooling drops.

Oh, how it rained!—all the afternoon, all the night,—till every cistern was filled for the busy house-wife, and every creek in the pastures was flowing with the refreshing fluid, to the dumb beasts' great content. Every parched thing was made clean and sweet,—even the humble grass shining in its fresh efforts of tender green,—all things unconsciously proclaimed the Good.

Next day, in the smiling faces of the passers-by as they greeted each other with gladness and praise of the fine rain, I read that the fears of yesterday's dream were passed; that, instead, was stirring in their hearts an unconscious praise of the Good. And I thought, when we demonstrate even a little of the understanding that in our Father's house all is Good, we are glad he leaves so much for us to do—to realize for ourselves!

Section 2: Abraham, Sarah, and you, God’s place regarding the promise that children bring.
Abraham and Sarah had a baby. It was their heart’s desire. But the promise for conceiving at 100 and at 90 made them both give a little laugh. But shall anything be beyond the only Cause and Creator. Nope, that is what they learned. [See PS#4 for Cobbey’s insights on how praying for others brings healing to them as well as to us at https://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/articles/2018/12/only/ ]

Our Leader writes about the obstetrics in Science on page 463 of Science and Health. A portion of that is included in this week’s lesson… S11 | 463:6–10, 14 6 To attend properly the birth of the new child, or divine idea, you should so detach mortal thought from its material conceptions, that the birth will be natural and safe. The new idea, conceived and born of Truth and Love, is clad in white garments. Its beginning will be meek, its growth sturdy, and its maturity undecaying. When this new birth takes place, the Christian Science infant is born of the Spirit, born of God, and can cause the mother no more suffering. By this we know that Truth is here and has fulfilled its perfect work.

This morning I received the following from Slim Okezie in Nigeria. He was on his way to open the Christian Science Reading Room in his city, Abuja, but before he headed out he wrote,

“As I was doing the lesson sermon this week, I came across the story of Abraham in Section 2. I feel my wife Christy and I experienced a little of what Abraham went through before our Jenny, our first child was born. My wife Christy and I both yearned for a child but the belief of illnesses, actual reports of a curse being placed on us, and our fears really made us doubt the possibilities. Mortal mind seemed to present suggestions that made us fear. But what brings forth shall be perfect allowing us to laugh at the lies! We are so grateful for Mary Baker Eddy and for the discovery of Christian Science and the understanding we gain. Now we are laughing every single day with our beloved little daughter, Jenny. “ Slim Okezie and Christy Ofurum Abuja, Nigeria

Section 3: Jesus and the humility leading to divine ability. [See PS#5 for more on citations B9, S13.]

Jesus makes it eternally clear that his extraordinary abilities were contingent upon his humility. He knew and clearly stated that it was the Father who was the source of his abilities. But that did not limit Jesus, it enabled Jesus. After all isn’t this lesson about recognizing God as the only cause and creator?

B9 | John 5:19 The, 20, 30 19 The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. 30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

Mary Baker Eddy who also gave God credit for all that she did wrote the following to encourage us all,

S17 | 37:22–25 It is possible, — yea, it is the duty and privilege of every child, man, and woman, — to follow in some degree the example of the Master by the demonstration of Truth and Life, of health and holiness.

With a smile as I write I remember an incident from my first lecture in the Original Mother Church. It was a practice lecture helping me to prepare for my first lecture tour. It was a little daunting to be in that location. The day before my lecture I was present as a wonderful friend, and mentor, Gordon Clarke also gave a practice lecture. It was eloquent and full of the Holy Spirit. After so enjoying his lecture I admit I called my mom. “Mom, I can’t follow Gordon. It was just so good.” Her prayerful support was immediate. And I think it focused on the fact that it was all God, and and it is not about us. Just like Jesus we have to learn that we can only do “what he (we) seeth the Father do!)

The next morning very early before my lecture I received a telephone call with no hello, it was simply a voice that I knew very, very well saying, “Strongest deliverer!” The caller then hung up. It was my mom. And it was the last verse from Saw Ye My Saviour, the Communion hymn by Mary Baker Eddy. What a perfect reminder, “Strongest deliverer.”

There was not a single thought further about my giving the lecture, I now had been reminded it was simply about reflection and expression of what God was. The lecture went great and I had so much fun.

They say the proof is in the pudding. The next day after the lecture I was in the study room of the Christian Science Publishing Society. A young employee of the Mother Church walked up to me and introduced himself. He said, “You know while you were talking it kept coming to me, ‘Hey I could do that!” I was absolutely thrilled. Yes my mom’s prayer and my healing of false pride had shown through enough that a young Christian Scientist had glimpsed that he too could follow the Master, and could serve his church. We all can. No limits. “every child, man and woman!”

Come on in the water is fine!

Section 4: What we already have is enough, Jesus proved it.

B12 Matthew 15 34 And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes. 35 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. 36 And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. 37 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.

And you say there is not enough? Not enough members, not enough workers, not enough money, not enough food to go around, not enough strength, not enough understanding,….

Oh yes there is.

S18 | 206:15 15 “In the scientific relation of God to man, we find that whatever blesses one blesses all, as Jesus showed with the loaves and the fishes, — Spirit, not matter, being the source of supply.”

S19 | 507:3–6 3 “Spirit duly feeds and clothes every object, as it appears in the line of spiritual creation, thus tenderly expressing the fatherhood and motherhood of God.”

With the allness of God. The fact that He is the only cause and creator it is possible to trust God to supply and provide what we need.

One of my father’s coworkers was the son of a Baptist minister in the state of Georgia in the 1930s. They had a very big family and they were very poor. There was a day they actually did not have anything to eat. But the the father trusted and prayed. That afternoon a large thunderstorm passed over and in the middle of the storm a ten pound large mouth bass fell into their front yard. That night they had a delicious meal of fresh fish.

Praying with an open heart trusting God and being thankful we often find exactly what we need coming to our door.

For example, in January 1986 I was in the testimony meeting at the Mother Church. A lovely lady stood and eloquently shared her experience as a young bride hosting a large family dinner. All was going well until she realized she had run out of dinner rolls. In her family this was almost unforgiveable. She retreated to her kitchen and simply prayed, Oh dear Father, help. Like expressed in this week’s Responsive Reading, “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” There was a knock at her kitchen door coming from the alley. She answered the door to find a young man with fresh baked dinner rolls. He said he was starting up a baked goods delivery service and was there with free samples. He gave her the rolls and said he would be returning on occasion to take orders. She had the rolls she desperately needed and thanked her dear Father-Mother God profusely. But that was the first and last time she ever saw that young man.

Indeed we have enough every moment if we are willing to know and not doubt.

Section 5: Get out of jail free card, issued to all serving God. [See PS#6 & PS#7 for more on citations B14, B15.]

What a delightfully wonderful experience as the apostles were freed in the night from prison by an angel. Of course they did not deserve to be in prison, all they had been doing was healing. But nonetheless the church officials locked them up, and even if they threw away the keys it did not matter. An angel opened the doors at night and I don’t think angels need keys, do they?

Then, a most interesting development, a Pharisee came to the apostles’ rescue,

B15 Acts 5: 34 Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; 35 And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. 38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: 39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

What a wonderful occurrence. As we read in Science and Health,

S28 | 423:8–12 The Christian Scientist, understanding scientifically that all is Mind, commences with mental causation, the truth of being, to destroy the error. This corrective is an alterative, reaching to every part of the human system.

Every part of the human system, bodily, religious, governmental. There is no limit to the effectiveness of faithful practice of spiritual law. It makes the adjustments that need to be made.

A dear friend who has volunteered in prison ministry with his wife was recently at a church service. While there a stranger came up, called him by name, and then reminded him who he was. He was one of the recipients of his ministrations who had been released from prison and was an active student of Christian Science and church attendant. It was a great delight and proof of the effectiveness of the Christ in opening the prison doors. Just like for the apostles.

Section 6: You are God’s now and ever!

Our sufficiency is of God, we are His workmanship, and we are the champion’s.

Once again the New Living Translation shines forth in clarity,

B17| II Cor 3:4,5 NLT - 4 We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. 5 It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.

B18| Eph 2:10 NLT - 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Let’s remember we deserve, we all deserve to succeed, to be blessed, to let Love take us all the way in our goals and needs.

The summer of our first trip to CedarS I was planning on buying our plain tickets through a last minute deal. But the fact was we were without tickets two weeks before travel dates. There was a great deal of prayer going on. Right then a dear friend called to offer some free buddy passes for stand by seating that they had been offered. Eventually their pilot friend that had offered the passes came forward with enough passes for our entire family. When we traveled to Frankfurt, five hours away, we were told by the desk agent that there were people that had been waiting three days for seats on the plane using Buddy Passes. She said, “Mr. Stewart you all should just go home.” I explained we were five hours from home. So with non-stop prayer we continued to hold out hope. The first possible flight headed out without us. Several desk agents began to act like cheerleaders as they encouraged us. “Don’t worry you will get on a flight.” And we did. God’s grace was so evident as we had our flights. A wonderful condominium on the beach for free, from friends. Then it turned out that the head lifeguard right in front of the condo on St. Augsustine Beach was someone I had known since before he was born. Johann said, “Papa this is like our beach since we know the lifeguard in charge!” He was five at the time. Then Susanne and her sister decided they would like to stay in Florida a little longer so we had to find a way to get to camp. Prayers continued full speed ahead. We looked into flights, buses any possibilities. Four days before when I had to report for duty to work as camp as a practitioner there was nothing definite. Then as we drove along on a Tuesday afternoon I received a call from our close family friend, Tom Evans, Jr. “Rick we may have found something but I have to ask a question, ‘Would you be willing to fly on a private jet?” I turned around and asked Noah and Johann, “Would you be willing to fly on a private jet to camp?” The top of the car almost blew off as the replied, “Yeah.” The only thing was we were told we would have to meet the family where the plane was kept in a hangar, in St. Augustine, Florida. We were already staying in St. Augustine scheduled to leave on the same morning as the flight to camp. Only a 20-minute drive away. Our hosts, Ken and Laurel New, were picking up their kids from camp. It was the most wonderful experience imaginable. Love had coordinated everything beyond human conception.

Like my Christian Science teacher, Virginia Guffin, CSB, used to say, “When you are working for God, He takes care of you like it is the only thing He has to do.”

The wonderful thing is that that is true for each and everyone one of us! So, what are you waiting for, get on board.

We are indeed God’s garden and His building. He tends us. He builds us. And He is a very good gardener and a very good builder!


A humble and hearty thank you to all you good builder friends who have given to our recently advertised needs on Giving Tuesday and our Fall fund raising appeal!

As of today, we need just $5,824 by December 31 to be able to receive a $25,000 "Maintenance Musts" Match! (There's a longer lead time and amount need to earn our Adopt the Herd Match for the horses and riding program. ($60,358 to go by Sept. 30th.)

So, if you have been blessed by receiving this inspiration weekly and haven't given lately, or are blessed to be able to give more, we still have many needs, big and small, that you can help meet by clicking on https://www.cedarscamps.org/give/.

Current and planned gifts are a huge proof of your ongoing LOVE made visible and are greatly appreciated!! They not only defray the costs of running this service but also provide greatly needed camperships and essential program and operations support.

Please sign up to give whatever you can on a much-needed MONTHLY basis to support CedarS life-changing work! [You can start at any amount and adjust monthly as you wish at: www.cedarscamps.org/giving ] All of your gifts add up to big blessings in the lives of today's Sunday School students (tomorrow's joyous workers in our Christ-centered church!

With heartfelt gratitude and love,
Warren, Gay, Holly & your CedarS Family

You can also reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime by
PHONE until December 6 at 417-532-6699 and after that at 636-394-6162.

or MAIL to our Winter-Spring office address (below) your tax-deductible support to our 501-C-3 organization.

(Our not-for-profit, Federal Identification Number is #44-0663883):

The CedarS Camps Office
1314 Parkview Valley Drive
Ballwin, MO 63011

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

CedarS 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. 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/meta

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