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Thrive in God’s kingdom where you’ve been firmly planted!

Kathy Fitzer
Posted Monday, August 10th, 2020

Thrive in God’s kingdom where you’ve been firmly planted!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Soul”
August 10-16, 2020

Prepared by: Kathy Fitzer
kathyfitzer@gmail.com

Click here to hear Kathy Fitzer, read her metaphysical application ideas) on this week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson on “Soul.” Or paste into your browser https://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/audio/play/audio-met-on-soul-by-kathy-fitzer/

Overview:

To me, this week’s Lesson has a strong focus on the indivisible and permanent relationship of God and man — Soul and its expression. When I think of Soul I think of identity, and Soul’s unlimited expression of such qualities as beauty, creativity, joy, peace, health and harmony — shining through each one completely and uniquely. Firmly planted and rooted in the kingdom of God, we thrive — our eternal identity forever unfolding in newness and freshness.

The Golden Text from Jeremiah 32, verses 38 and 41 speaks of the covenant relationship between God and man. A covenant can be thought of as a contract — each party having a responsibility and part to play. The original Latin literally means “a coming together; a meeting or agreement of minds”. But, of course, in Christian Science we learn that there is only ONE Mind — and it is God. So, in this case the covenant is an agreement between Mind and its own idea. Ideas must be aligned with the Mind creating them, right?

Our responsibility (holding up our end of the contract) is to embrace this alignment with Mind. The reason we can do that is because God has planted His children (ALL, everywhere, always) in the land He has given them. Our neighbor has a tree in a pot. It often blows over in the wind. But, the young trees that have been planted in their yard are securely rooted and remain undisturbed and upright. We are planted — and safe.

I love God’s promise from 2nd Corinthians 6, verse 17 at the beginning of the Responsive Reading: “I will receive you.” Because of the covenant relationship with our Father-Mother, and can depend on Him to guide us. What comes before this promise does specify a requirement for man. We are to not associate with idols. Today that could translate to not buying in on the hate, fear, uncertainty, disease-filled messages, etc. projected by the media.

To elaborate on this requirement in Deuteronomy 11, verse 7 through 21, we have Moses’ reminder to keep God’s commandments, to love God, and to whole-heartedly subject ourselves to Him. What I noticed is the why Moses gave for this obedience. Not to avoid punishment, but to receive a blessing — to “be strong and go in and possess the land” (verse 8). Although the Israelites were thinking of the “Promised Land” as a geographical area, as we spiritualize that idea we can see the kingdom of heaven as the Promised Land for all. To possess their “Promised Land,” the Israelites needed to expel the current residents. To possess the kingdom of God (to realize present good), we need to alertly expel from human thought any image that would suggest that God, good is not supreme.

Keeping God at the very center of thought (even when it seems hard to do that) is holding up our end of the contract (or covenant) that enables us to see the blessings God is pouring forth.

I remember a provision in my husband’s employment contract early in our marriage that if he worked overtime, meals would be paid for. He worked a lot of overtime. But, we didn’t get that reimbursement until the expense account was filed. Completing the forms seemed like a real inconvenience and the ensuing inaction meant a delay of income. The funds were always available! It just took a little effort to see them. At times, keeping thought focused on God may seem to take a lot of effort — and we’re tempted to drift. But the benefits of seeing God’s harmony and provision is worth it! In reality, God is holding us to Him. We just have to yield!

Section 1: The glory of God gives existence and intelligence to all

Pay attention to the references in this section to light, and the relationship of the source of that light to its shine or sparkle. As citation 2 in Psalm 103, verse 19 says God’s: “kingdom ruleth over all”. ALL is light! No darkness there. I love the idea that “the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory …” (from citation 2 of Psalm 84, verse 11). To me, glory (clarity, brightness and splendor) illumines the path and reveals the way, and grace tenderly (or more forcibly, if needed) takes us by the hand and leads us. Citation 2 in Science and Health on page 466, lines 20-23, reveals what a lovely relationship this is, as long as we understand that Soul, as a synonym for Spirit, refers to God alone and is singular.

The convoluted mortal view suggests there are many souls running around and that “soul is both an evil and a good intelligence, resident in matter.” (citation 3 in Science and Health, page 482:3). This suggests not only separation from good (breaking that covenant relationship of unity), but also leads to conflict of opinion and the possibility of strife — components warring against each other.

This suggestion of separation is really the basis of all of the problems we’re dealing with, including political polarization, racial and sexual relationships, lack of supply (because too many are competing for too little) and the belief of contagion (that one person can contaminate another). But, all of that so-called conflict is simply the belief of darkness. And, as citation 4 on page 72 of Science and Health spotlights, what destroys darkness? LIGHT!

Soul is the source of infinite light — ever-present and inexhaustible. As we see ourselves and everyone else as the shine of Soul (as sunbeams are the shine of the sun), we see ourselves as bright sparkles dancing with and magnifying each other, but never conflicting. As citation 1 from page 510, lines 16-18 reveals, we see God as the only source, supporting all — harmony universally reigning and intelligently supplying every need!

Section 2: The fact that God and man co-exist enlarges individuality

It’s tempting to think that we have so much more to understand about the relationship of Soul and idea in order to realize the blessings of “enlarged individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive love, a higher and more permanent peace”(Science and Health page 265, lines 5 through 15—(Wow! CedarS’ metaphysical theme is in the Lesson again as citation 9 this week!) But, it’s really about feeling closer to God and simply accepting the fact of what is! Step by step more and more will unfold in thought about this wonderful promise. What stands out to me in this citation this week is the phrase, “mortals must gravitate Godward … in order that sin and mortality may be put off.” Do we make gravity work — or do we simply yield to it naturally? Our job (the role we play in the covenant relationship) is to yield to the pull Godward that is even stronger than the pull of gravity. God is holding us. And God’s light is dispelling the darkness that would hide God’s perpetual good, and is revealing the Kingdom of Heaven — the amazing land where God has planted us.

Wasn’t that God’s promise to Jacob? Citation 4 at the start of Isaiah 44 and citation 6 from Genesis 28, verses 10 through 17 record God speaking directly to Jacob when he is in a very dark place. God assures Jacob that He will be with him on his journey and bring him back home, to dwell in the land he has inherited. Now, the blessing is seen as more than just having been bestowed on him by a human father, but by his divine Father. The covenant relationship has been firmly established as unbroken and unbreakable.

Christian Science expands our understanding of this relationship and of the “land” which we have each inherited. We see that man (men and women) as God’s image “coexists with and reflects Soul”. (Science and Health citation 6, page 120.) Because we are the image (reflection) of God, we’re not ever trapped in, confined by, or defined by a limited concept called matter — including a physical place. [This is illustrated by the fact that hundreds of online campers had their own delightful and unique camp experiences this summer —without ever setting a foot on a physical place we call CedarS.]

Rather than soul being in a physical place or in a mortal man, identity is the expression of Soul. So, man is (we are) totally unlimited, and as individual as the sparkles that shine through a prism on a sunny day. Having one source (like the sparkles), we are all complete — no one having more or less than another, just uniquely expressing the infinite nature of Soul — and each one totally necessary to form the whole! Esau’s role was different than his brother, Jacob’s role, but he each was never one iota less important in God’s eyes. We each have a niche to fill! And in God’s kingdom there are infinite possibilities, opportunities, and bountiful freedom to be experienced.

Section 3: Put your gifts into practice

I used to question this parable about the kingdom of heaven in citation 10 from Matthew 25, verses 14 through 29. First of all, everyone receives different amounts, and then the guy who tries to be careful with and conserve the one talent he’s been given is chastised, and it is taken from him. It just never seemed “fair.” But, that’s the point! If we view life from a material perspective — comparing what we have with what others have, our family history with that of another, or the breaks we get with the breaks others get, it can seem that life really isn’t fair. So, we need to shift our view to a spiritual perspective.

In fact, we have each been planted — firmly rooted and grounded — in the kingdom of God (the realm of Mind), and have been given the fullness of Soul’s expression to utilize as we go through whatever life presents. As we accept God’s gifts — without comparing, but knowing that gifts are given “every man according to his several ability”— we’ll put into practice every thought, every lesson, every blessing we receive and have all we need. God knows each of us individually, and as we trust that relationship, we can expect the land (situation) into which we’ve been planted to flourish in a way individually suited to each of us, always including the goodness inherent in God’s kingdom.

The only thing that is frowned on in this parable is inaction — taking whatever we’ve been given and standing still — or fearfully burying our talent in fear of losing it, rather than confidently planting it so it can grow. Regardless of the outward appearance of the specific “plot” of land into which we’ve been planted, we’re never really outside of God’s Kingdom. As we are given individual opportunities, we need to resist looking at what others have been given and take advantage of what has come our way. We’ve all been given the opportunity to grow.

How do we do this? Jesus says we must “repent” (think differently or reconsider) and stop waiting for good to come, because “the kingdom of heaven is at hand” as Jesus tells us in citation 8 from Matthew 4, verse 17. Notice the definition of the Kingdom of Heaven given in the Glossary of Science and Health citation 11, page 590. All is good “where Soul is supreme!” God’s gift of goodness is here, now. We’ll be able to see the good at hand as “the human mind … yields to the divine Mind.” Then we’ll see things through “Soul-sense”, or spiritual intuition, rather than basing what we see on limited human perception. (S13; 85: 2-9) Knowing as Mary Baker Eddy states in citation 12 at the end of page 60 of Science and Health that “Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind”), we have to practice seeing with unbounded vision by looking through the lens of Soul.

We all know something about God. We learn, in Science and Health citation 14 on page 323 in a paragraph with the heading of “Need and supply,” how the key is to keep whatever it is we do know about God at the forefront of thought, to practice thinking out from the basis of that knowledge, and to trust that our loving Father-Mother will continue to reveal more and more for us to learn and practice. All that we need IS ours — it’s God’s gift! When faced with uncertainty, we should, (partial quote) “pause — wait on God. Then … push onward until boundless thought… and conception unconfined… reach the divine glory.” (Science and Health citation 17 on page 323) Accept God’s provision and use every bit of God-given good with gratitude! Then, expect progress.

Section 4: As a child, humbly respond to the authority of God

Infants and small children naturally expect to be cared for, and express such trust and flexibility that they naturally yield to authority. To me, these are the attributes of humility Jesus spoke of in citation 12 in the opening verses of Matthew 18 in response to the disciples’ question, “Who is the greatest (or strongest) in the kingdom of heaven?” We are given an example of this type of humility and respect of authority in citation 13 in verses 5 through 13 of the Matthew 8, The centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant didn’t feel a need for Jesus to physically do anything … just speak the Word. And, the servant was healed.

Jesus totally understood the indivisible relationship we each have with our Father-Mother God, and he knew that we are all securely planted in God’s kingdom of the “harmony … of unerring, eternal, and omnipotent Mind.” (from Science and Health citation 11 on page 590 (S11) He knew that “Soul and its attributes [are] forever manifested through man.” (from Science and Health citation 18 on page 210 As we practice that kind of humility and conviction, we can expect to see healing in our own lives.

I had a healing that illustrates the effectiveness of “speak[ing] to disease as one having authority over it, leaving Soul to master the false evidences of the corporeal senses and to assert its claims over mortality and disease.” These are instructions from Science and Health citation 23 on page 395 of in of this week’s Bible Lesson that have been very helpful to me. Years ago I had annual bouts with the flu. One year I had recently discovered what I call the “fighting pages” in Science and Health (pages 390-395). One day I was walking across our bedroom and felt all of the symptoms of flu coming on. I immediately recalled the phrase, “rise in rebellion.” I DID and felt an overwhelming sense of God’s power. The symptoms disappeared! No more annual flu.

Change in thought must result in change of outward appearances as we humbly trust the authority of Truth! We also must follow the example of the flexibility of little children and be willing “to leave the old for the new” as Science and Health states in citation 21 at the bottom of page 323. The old can be thought of as floating along with the changing currents of the carnal mind — reports of disease, lack, fear, etc., that claim new names, but really are the same old limited view. The new is the freshness of recognizing that we are truly governed by Soul — in a covenant relationship with God and planted in the Kingdom.

Section 5: The immortal radiance of Soul

It can be interesting to watch thought and see how much attention we give to considering (measuring and trying to improve) outward appearances (whether of body or property) compared to the attention we give to having thought continually governed by Soul, Mind, Truth, Love, and watch to see how God will take care of us. It can be humbling, to say the least!

It’s not that we don’t look for, and expect to see, beauty and harmony expressed outwardly. We certainly do. But these qualities will become visible as we discipline thought to accept the true identity of all things as “the reflection in multifarious forms of the living Principle, Love” from Science and Health page 477: 20-22). Beauty and order, grace, health, harmony, joy and peace are the eternal and uninterruptible effects of Soul expressing Itself. We’re told in Science and Health citation 25 at the bottom of page 247: “the recipe for beauty is to have less illusion and more Soul, to retreat from the belief of pain or pleasure in the body into the unchanging calm and glorious freedom of spiritual harmony.” If we focus on the outward appearance (whether good or bad), we’re focusing on the illusion rather than on Soul’s reality. Instead, in a paragraph with the marginal heading of “Perfect Models” on page 248 of Science & Health we are told that need to “form perfect models in thought and look at them continually” in order to see them in our experience and in the world.

The radiance of Soul never diminishes, fades, or disappears. It is indeed immortal and eternal — permanently planted in the kingdom of heaven and governed by God’s eternal contract of unity with, and care for, man. I love to think of radiance as described by Webster in his 1828 Dictionary, “brightness shooting in rays or beams; hence in general, brilliant or sparkling luster; vivid brightness; as the radiance of the sun.” That radiance is bathing all — serving as a floodlight of Truth, revealing the presence of the kingdom of heaven (unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love) that reigns within us. As we yield to this kingdom within, (quote) “sin, disease, and death will diminish until they finally disappear” (end quote) as we are told in Science and Health citation 26 at the bottom of page 248.

Notice the prayers and promises presented in the Bible portion of this section. Citation 17 from Isaiah chapter 58 points again to the covenant relationship and what’s expected of us: “open your heart to the hungry, and provide abundantly for those who are afflicted.” In other words, love our neighbor and act on that love. As the Contemporary English Bible puts God’s promise in Isaiah 58 verse 11: “The Lord will guide you continually and provide for you, even in parched places. He will rescue your bones. You will be like a watered garden, like a spring of water that won’t run dry.” And, so, we reject all suggestions of stagnation or decline (whether in ourselves or general world conditions) and acknowledge the forever bubbling forth of the spring of freshness that provides eternally for growth and unfoldment to God’s creation, firmly planted in the kingdom of heaven — God’s Kingdom!


PS. Ken Cooper's poem Oh Stand in Awe on YouTube is an exultation of man “fearfully and wonderfully made” by God, (Ps. 139:14, B5) . His Oh Keep Your Violin In Tune resonates with the full glory of Soul being self-expressed.

PPS. ONLINE GEMs-in-progress from Cobbey Crisler and others will be sent later. They include an invitation for YOU — and for all who you love – to join us with your “whole heart and whole soul” each week to celebrate ever-present, divine Love and its healing power of prayer-at-a-distance)!” This breakthrough principle of the healing power of childlike thought that is receptive to remote prayer is explained by Cobbey in GEMs#7 & #8. It is on full display at CedarS weekly Online Hymn Sings. These 30-minute global gatherings could be thought of as “Prayer Sings,” since hymns are really healing prayers set to music.
Our upcoming Fall “Take CedarS Home” Zoom sessions for grade grouping of campers also continue each week to prove the healing power of childlike thought receptive to remote prayer. These Zoom session gifts to children and their families could be thought of as prayers to put love into action every day through CedarS Five Fundamental concepts. [Great fruitage from summer Zoom sessions is available.]


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    410 Sovereign Court #8, Ballwin, MO 63011
  • or call CedarS support team at 314-378-2574 (Warren) or 417-532-6683 (Gay) to share your support
  • CedarS is a not-for-profit, 501-C-3 organization with a Federal ID # 44-0663883.

    With never-changed gratitude and full-strength love to each of you,
    Warren, Holly, Gay, Kim, Jennifer, and CedarS Team

CedarS is a not-for-profit, 501-C-3 organization with a Federal ID # 44-0663883.

FYI on how our Summer and Fall 2020 tuition has been dramatically reduced:
As we prayed with the motives of loving our neighbor, being law-abiding, acting with wisdom, and offering a camping experience that is consistent with our Christian Science foundation, we were led to cancel not only our June but also our July onsite camper programs and our August Family Camp. We were led to make several adjustments to our operations for onsite CIT training and staff development in support of new ONLINE program offerings. Here are decisions that protocol compliance, our facility capacities and divine guidance led us to make:

CedarS Camps (income-)adjusted Schedule for Summer and Fall 2020:

  • Session 1 (June 7-20): Cancelled
  • Session 2 (June 21- July 4): Cancelled for campers--replaced with 14-day Precamp for all staff "in a bubble"
  • Session 3 (July 5 – July 17): onsite camper programs Cancelled, but with CIT program and staff continuing in order to support two last weeks of ONLINE, grade-level programs and an international, virtual Musical Theater camp & production. (averaged over 120 online campers per week from preschool thru 12th, from coast to coast & from 8 different countries)
  • Session 4 (July 19 – July 31): onsite camper programs Cancelled, but with inspiration to take home & share from a summer-finale, Staff Retreat Week 4.1 and closing camp weeks 4.1 & 5.
  • Family Camp, Session 5 (August 2-8): Cancelled because with protocols, not able to give an uncompromising "family feeling"
  • All ONSITE 2020 Fall Programs postponed until 2021 and beyond... This includes a Labor Day DiscoveryBound National Event, several local church and other retreats and a Maddie Maupin deep-dive Bible Study of Genesis (now from October 21-25, 2021)
  • A NEW "OFFERING PURE OF LOVE"
    Fall ONLINE Session Dates for all age groups (1st-12th grade):

    August 25th - September 26th (5 weeks)
    September 29th - October 31st (5 weeks)
    November 3rd - December 5th (5 weeks)

  • Grade Groupings, Days, Times, and Costs:
    1st-2nd grades: Tuesday 5-6pm Central, $85
    3rd-5th grades: Thursday 5-6pm Central, $85
    6th-8th grades (CIP): Saturday 10:30-Noon Central, $125
    9th-12th grades (JL): Saturday 4-5:30pm Central, $125

  • Eligibility includes youth...
    Enrolled in a Christian Science Sunday School; or
    With some Christian Science background and a supportive family member; or
    Those new to Christian Science with a sincere desire to explore it further

  • FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE WITH TECHNOLOGY: We are committed to including young people who want to grow in Christian Science, regardless of finances. Divine Love knows no digital divide! Our program application includes a place for you to indicate if you need financial support to obtain hardware or an Internet connection. If you need Internet access, the September 29th and November 3rd sessions are more reasonable start dates. We have found that it can take several weeks to activate Internet, so please let us know of the need as soon as possible.

    FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR TUITION: US and Canada, please apply to The Campership Fund. They have funds available to support up to full tuition, as needed. International applicants, please apply directly to CedarS Camperships.

  • CLICK FOR FULL DETAILS, VIDEO AND ENROLLMENT

With never-changed gratitude and full-strength love to each of you,
Warren, Holly, Gay, Kim, Jennifer, and CedarS Team


APOLOGIES FOR ANY EDITING NEEDED FROM CEDARS VOLUNTEER EDITORS, CONTRIBUTORS AND TRANSLATORS FOR THIS FREE SERVICE. Thanks for your forgiveness and your needed, ongoing support!

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