January 25, 2017

bible study image

Subject: Entertainment

Golden text: Psalms 56:12*

I must perform my vows to you, O God; I will render thank offerings to you.

Judges 16:1-9

Samson went to Gaza, and there he saw a prostitute, and he went in to her. The Gazites were told, “Samson has come here.” And they surrounded the place and set an ambush for him all night at the gate of the city. They kept quiet all night, saying, “Let us wait till the light of the morning; then we will kill him.” But Samson lay till midnight, and at midnight he arose and took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two posts, and pulled them up, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that is in front of Hebron.

After this he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, “Seduce him, and see where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to humble him. And we will each give you 1,100 pieces of silver.” So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength lies, and how you might be bound, that one could subdue you.”

Samson said to her, “If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, then I shall become weak and be like any other man.” Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she bound him with them. Now she had men lying in ambush in an inner chamber. And she said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he snapped the bowstrings, as a thread of flax snaps when it touches the fire. So the secret of his strength was not known.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

The demands of the affections will never be satisfied if you pursue a sexy, rich, or sanctimonious partner, so make sure to engage with wisdom, sincerity, and open-mindedness.

The beliefs we commonly entertain about happiness and life actually lack evidence of permanent joy and life. The unspoiled claims of harmonious and eternal being are discovered only in divine Science.

Fear, sin, and our neglect of spirituality is what brings on and feeds all sickness. Disease is always induced by a false sense mentally entertained, not destroyed. Disease is an image of thought externalized. The mental state is called a physical state. Whatever is cherished in human mind as the physical condition is imaged forth on the body.

The depraved appetite for alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, methamphetamines, promiscuity, pornography, is destroyed only by Mind’s control of the body.

Judges 16:10-17

 Then Delilah said to Samson, “Behold, you have mocked me and told me lies. Please tell me how you might be bound.” 11 And he said to her, “If they bind me with new ropes that have not been used, then I shall become weak and be like any other man.” 12 So Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And the men lying in ambush were in an inner chamber. But he snapped the ropes off his arms like a thread.

13 Then Delilah said to Samson, “Until now you have mocked me and told me lies. Tell me how you might be bound.” And he said to her, “If you weave the seven locks of my head with the web and fasten it tight with the pin, then I shall become weak and be like any other man.” 14 So while he slept, Delilah took the seven locks of his head and wove them into the web.[a] And she made them tight with the pin and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he awoke from his sleep and pulled away the pin, the loom, and the web.

15 And she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and you have not told me where your great strength lies.” 16 And when she pressed him hard with her words day after day, and urged him, his soul was vexed to death. 17 And he told her all his heart, and said to her, “A razor has never come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If my head is shaved, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak and be like any other man.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

The power of suggestion has a long and capricious history. Research of the human mind and its functions became rather primitively active in the 18th century with Franz Anton Mesmer.[1] He recognized that human beings can be manipulated, but didn’t understand the process. Mesmer theorized this manipulation occurred by means of a physical magnetic fluid. Mesmer even concluded that this magnetic fluid could be transmitted from one breathing creature to another as a therapeutic influential agent. He termed his theory animal magnetism. Today, it is realized that he had actually hit upon the power of suggestion or collective mentality. Concerning Mesmer’s theory, the Encyclopedia Americana states, “Although it was later deemed a pseudoscience, the theory helped pioneer the study of the unconscious mind, hypnosis, and the development of medical psychiatry.”[2] Mesmer and his therapeutic animal magnetic fluid were eventually discredited. The Encyclopedia Americana continues, “Two separate commissions composed mainly of leading French scientists concluded that no such physical substance as animal magnetism exists.”[3] Ironically however, Mesmer’s name is preserved in the term, “mesmerize”. When people are being influenced by mortal’s persuasion or peer pressure, or when they are getting caught up in groupthink, or obsessed by some event, they are “mesmerized.”

In the 19th century, the term “hypnotism” came into vogue, describing the process that characteristically induces the mental state of suggestibility. Today, hypnotism is studied, used as a form of entertainment, and sometimes utilized in the treatment of mental and physical disorders, but the scattered experimentation and observations are still not completely understood. Human beings can feel hypnotized for no apparent reason doing things they wouldn’t normally do, while on the other hand there are some persons who just can’t be hypnotized.

The effort to unlearn false perceptions includes forfeiting those views completely. Then error will be submissive to Truth. The divine method of becoming responsible for every thought and action, involves unwinding our snarls and learning from experience how to divide between the human and the spiritual.

 Judges 16:18-30

When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up again, for he has told me all his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands. 19 She made him sleep on her knees. And she called a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him. 20 And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. 21 And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles. And he ground at the mill in the prison. 22 But the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.

23 Now the lords of the Philistines gathered to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to rejoice, and they said, “Our god has given Samson our enemy into our hand.” 24 And when the people saw him, they praised their god. For they said, “Our god has given our enemy into our hand, the ravager of our country, who has killed many of us.” 25 And when their hearts were merry, they said, “Call Samson, that he may entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he entertained them. They made him stand between the pillars. 26 And Samson said to the young man who held him by the hand, “Let me feel the pillars on which the house rests, that I may lean against them.” 27 Now the house was full of men and women. All the lords of the Philistines were there, and on the roof there were about 3,000 men and women, who looked on while Samson entertained. 28 Then Samson called to the Lord and said, “O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me only this once, O God, that I may be avenged on the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 And Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and he leaned his weight against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other. 30 And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” Then he bowed with all his strength, and the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he had killed during his life.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Evil is not power, but a mockery of strength, which ultimately betrays its weakness and falls, never to rise.

The mental development that has brought infidelity to the surface will need to keep improving so as to bring about faithfulness. Infidelity weakens marriage whereas faithfulness strengthens marriage.

Sensationalized education is deplorable. The mere dogma, the frightening speculations, and the nauseous fiction can be filtered out. Novels and movies remarkable only for their exaggerated pictures, unrealistic ideals, and models of rudeness, fill the viewer and reader with wrong tastes and attitudes. Commercialism is lowering the intellectual standard to accommodate the bank account and to meet a foolish demand for entertainment instead of for improvement. Incorrect views lower the standard of truth.

In vain, mortals try to kill Truth with neglect, slander, and bullet. However, the sword of Spirit topples error. Martyrs are the human links that connect one stage with another in the history of religion. They are earth’s luminaries, serving to enlighten and refine the materialist atmosphere. They permeate humanity with godly ideals. Consciousness of right-doing brings its own reward; but merit is not seen and appreciated by onlookers.

Advance in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made you capable of this, and nothing can stop the ability and power divinely bestowed on your spirituality.

[1] Mesmer, Franz Anton (1734–1815) German physician

[2] The Encyclopedia Americana International Edition, Volume 18. Connecticut: Grolier Incorporated, 2003.

[3] Ibid

*Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

** Text from 21st Century Science and Health, 5th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

December 3, 2014

bible study imageSubject: Diminishing fear

Golden text: Proverbs 29:25

The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.

Jeremiah 23:1-8, 16, 21-24

“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord. Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the Lord.

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’

“Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when they shall no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but ‘As the Lord lives who brought up and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ Then they shall dwell in their own land.

16 Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord.

21“I did not send the prophets,
yet they ran;
I did not speak to them,
yet they prophesied.
22 But if they had stood in my council,
then they would have proclaimed my words to my people,
and they would have turned them from their evil way,
and from the evil of their deeds.

23 “Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? 24 Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord.

From 21st Century Science and Health

We have overwhelming proof that the human mind pretends to control every organ of the mortal body. But, this mind is a myth and must by its own consent yield to Truth. Although the human mind throws its weight around, it is powerless. The immortal divine Mind takes away all the human minds assumed expertise and saves human mind from itself. I have endeavored to make the ideas in this book the medicine of mind/body/spirit, giving hope and healing to the needy, even if they don’t know how the work is done. Truth has a healing effect even when not fully understood.

Mortal belief says that fear can cause death, but fear never stopped being and its action.

Your thinking can work against your health, so it is better to employ your thinking on the side of health. You make yourself sick through the false belief of sickness even before you rush after drugs, get blood tests, and avoid society for fear of germs.

Fear weighs down humanity with superimposed and conjectural evils. Human mind is the worst enemy of the body, while divine Mind is its best friend.

Fear is to be overcome, instead of cultivated. Fear makes us wimpy, dishonest, touchy, and egotistical.

As we triumph over erroneous views and allow Soul to hold the control, we shall detest and correct sin under all its disguises.

Matthew 10: 16-31

16 “Behold, I [Christ Jesus] am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17 Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, 18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. 19 When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. 20 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21 Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, 22 and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household. 26 “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Jesus was the son of a virgin. He was appointed to speak God’s word and to appear to human beings in such a form of humanity as they could understand as well as perceive.

Christ Jesus was an excellent example. Like him, the healer should speak to disease as having authority over it, leaving Soul to prevail over the false evidences of the physical senses and to assert Spirit’s claims over mortality and disease.

When the blood pressure is too high or too low, we call these conditions disease. This is a misperception. Mortal mind is producing the abnormal pressure, and we prove this to be so, when thought power changes blood pressure, and it returns to the standard which human mind has decided upon as essential for health. Topical pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and aspirin never reduce pain or inflammation scientifically, but the truth of being, whispered into the ear of human mind, will bring relief.

Speak the truth to error in its every disguise. Tumors, ulcers, acne, inflammation, pain, deformed joints, are waking dream-shadows, dark images of human thought, which vanish in the light of Truth.

Haggai 2:1-9

In the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, “Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to all the remnant of the people, and say, ‘Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not as nothing in your eyes? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the Lord. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord. Work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts, according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not. For thus says the Lord of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts. The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.’”

Romans 8:5, 11-17

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit

11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. 12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

From 21st Century Science and Health

If the body is diseased, this is but one of the evil spirits of mortal mind. Human beings will be less mortal when they learn that matter never sustained existence and can never destroy God, who is our Life. When this is understood, humanity will be more spiritual and know that there is nothing to become malignant or infected, since Spirit, God, is All-in-all. What if the belief is multiple sclerosis? God is more to an individual than the individual’s belief, and the less we acknowledge matter or its laws, the more spirituality we possess. Consciousness constructs a better body when faith in matter has been conquered. Correct the human mortal convictions by spiritual understanding and Spirit will form you anew. You will never fear again except to offend God, and you will never believe that hormones, cells, heart, the central nervous system, or any portion of the body can destroy you.

Matter cannot be inflamed. Inflammation is fear, an excited state of human beings which is not normal. Spiritual Mind is the only cause; therefore disease is neither a cause nor an effect. Mind in every case is the eternal God, good. Sin, disease, and death have no foundations in Truth.

Divine Science silences human will, disables fear with Truth and Love, and illustrates the unlabored motion of the divine energy in healing the sick

The understanding, even in a degree, of the divine All-power destroys fear, and aims the feet in the true path—the path which leads to “a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”[1]

*The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Text from 21st Century Science and Health can’t be reproduced in part or as a whole without the written permission of Healing Science Today

[1] II Cor. 5:1 (NKJV)

Summer Dinner

Summer Pudding

When Doug got home from work yesterday, he washed his face and we jumped in the car and drove to Oneonta to find Pam Strother’s house. Pam had invited us to dinner at 6 p.m. We found her quaint home easily enough and were welcomed in along with other guests from the Unitarian Universalist Church.
   Pam graded her guests and Doug and I received A’s while all the other guests received F’s….because Pam told everyone NOT to bring anything except ourselves. In other words, Doug and I were the only people who didn’t present a gift to the hostess. We may have received A’s, but we looked like heels.
   Pam had prepared a cold zucchini soup, salad, and egg plant scaloppini with pasta. Her table was set with china trimmed in gold. Fresh flowers were on the table, and a gentle breeze was flowing through the windows. The meal was fabulously tasteful and a fancy dessert topped it off.
   Conversation covered books, travel, children, God, and the highly prized tidbit of reaching Long Island via the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson ferry. We also concluded as church members, we have the right to re-claim “church” if it has been hijacked by hypocrisy, self-righteousness, or sloth. Church is a wonderful tool to use on a spiritual journey and belongs to humanity as a whole.
   Doug and I stayed up past our bed-time, the evening was so refreshing, pleasant, and mind-enlarging. Thanks for a great time Pam.

Sneaking fireworks behind the barn

I hope you all had a brilliant July 4th.

Doug and I had no plans for the evening until our neighbor, Francy, 4-wheeled over here to invite us to their place for fireworks that evening. We mentioned to Francy that back in Kennewick, Washington, it was illegal to shoot fireworks. Grass fires would get started and rush through the desert. Francy said, Oh, fireworks are illegal here too but we are careful and do it behind the barn.

Interesting.

So, as soon as twilight swooned overhead, we make a huge bowl of popcorn and walked behind Francy’s barn for fireworks.

A blazing bonfire was the hub of the audience. We were not the only neighbors present. Neighbors from miles around were there. It was glorious fun and the popcorn was munched down. Francy’s husband, Eddie, and Bob, had fireworks going for over an hour! They were safe, and they did do it right next to a pond full of water.

“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.” ~William Faulkner

“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.” ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

P.S. Doug and I also watched the movie 180 degrees South. A mini-documentary by Jeff Johnson about what inspired him to trek to Patagonia to climb mountains. I recommend 280 degrees South. Informative, moving, and striking.
Watch some of last night’s show on this youtube clipping.

An Eclectic Party

Our daughter, Leah, and her boyfriend, Anthony, were visiting us last weekend, so we decided to have a party. I walked to our neighbors houses and invited them. I emailed a few friends who live in the nearby village, and I invited whoever happen to call me on the phone before our early Sunday dinner party.

Leah made scrumptious black-bean burgers. I made tasty black-pepper/ginger greenbeans and beef, cheesecake, and tiramisu. Friends brought fresh green salad, couscous, chili, and applesauce.  Simple, yet delightful.

The atmosphere was alive with diversity and interest. Our cat, Richard, was skulking around the house trying desperately to find a quiet hiding place. The young children had to resort to playing with Richard’s toys, because our house is toyless since our chidlren are grown and gone.

Fortunately, Liz carries drawing pens and paper with her to use as an outlet for her ever-flowing love and creativity. Liz shared her coloring pens and paper with three year old Maica. Leon came as a newbie to us all, via Liz. It was comforting to meet him, an astute thinker and calming influence.

After eating, the young mothers took their children outside to romp. The rooms loudness factor dropped significantly, as if 13 people left, instead of 3 children and 2 mothers. We all inside immediately began misisng them.

Not that we didn’t have good conversation during the quiet lull. Annie spoke with her eloquent and attractive vocabulary that makes me appreciate the beauty in language. Paul and Eliane, shared travel adventures they had experienced over the last seventy years. Leah and Anthony chimed in with enterprising enthusiasm while discussing their new domain Stunt Bums Venus, Leah and Anthony’s doggie, sat on Anthony’s lap the entire time!

Eventually, the dispersion began. I cleaned up and within an hour there was no evidence of such a fortunate inclusive event.

I hope no one was offended that it isn’t my habit to say grace before eating. However, if I did say anything it would be, Thank you all for coming. I know most of you and find you stunningly interesting, therefore it stands to reason that when you get to know one another you will love each other as much as I love you all.

Hebrews 13:2-4
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“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” (NIV)

Venus and Richard

Trip to Naples, NY

Motorcycled to vistit my cousin, Darry, and his wife, Jan, yesterday, in Naples, NY. Memorial Day spirit in the air. Remembrance, humility, reuniting, and simple happiness.

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