March 22, 2017

bible study imageSubject: Refreshment

Golden text: Proverbs 3:7-8*

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

I Samuel 14:24-30

 And the men of Israel had been hard pressed that day, so Saul had laid an oath on the people, saying, “Cursed be the man who eats food until it is evening and I am avenged on my enemies.” So none of the people had tasted food. 25 Now when all the people came to the forest, behold, there was honey on the ground. 26 And when the people entered the forest, behold, the honey was dropping, but no one put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the people with the oath, so he put out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes became bright. 28 Then one of the people said, “Your father strictly charged the people with an oath, saying, ‘Cursed be the man who eats food this day.’” And the people were faint. 29 Then Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the land. See how my eyes have become bright because I tasted a little of this honey. 30 How much better if the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies that they found. For now the defeat among the Philistines has not been great.”

From 21st Century Science and Health**

When the curse of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and Spirit’s idea.

Beliefs that engender a national theology or political religion are the antithesis of true Christianity. Narrow systems and theories concerning God, human beings, health, and a religious society, are restrictive.

A clergyman once adopted a diet of bread and water to increase his spirituality. Finding his health failing, he gave up his asceticism and advised others never to try dietetics for growth in grace.

The mistake of thinking that either fasting or feasting makes us better morally or physically is one of the fruits of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” concerning which God said, “you must not eat from.”[1] Human mind forms all conditions of the human body and controls the organs, bones, genes, cells, blood, etc., as directly as the determination or will moves the hand.

I Samuel 14: 38-45

 And Saul said, “Come here, all you leaders of the people, and know and see how this sin has arisen today. 39 For as the Lord lives who saves Israel, though it be in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die.” But there was not a man among all the people who answered him. 40 Then he said to all Israel, “You shall be on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side.” And the people said to Saul, “Do what seems good to you.” 41 Therefore Saul said, “O Lord God of Israel, why have you not answered your servant this day? If this guilt is in me or in Jonathan my son, O Lord, God of Israel, give Urim. But if this guilt is in your people Israel, give Thummim.” And Jonathan and Saul were taken, but the people escaped. 42 Then Saul said, “Cast the lot between me and my son Jonathan.” And Jonathan was taken.

43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.” And Jonathan told him, “I tasted a little honey with the tip of the staff that was in my hand. Here I am; I will die.” 44 And Saul said, “God do so to me and more also; you shall surely die, Jonathan.” 45 Then the people said to Saul, “Shall Jonathan die, who has worked this great salvation in Israel? Far from it! As the Lord lives, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day.” So the people ransomed Jonathan, so that he did not die.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, renewal, and consistency, rather than into decrepitude and loss.

I knew a person who when quite a child adopted a whole wheat and vegetarian diet to cure indigestion. For many years, he ate only bread and vegetables, and drank nothing but water. His dyspepsia increasing, he decided that his diet should be more rigid. So, he ate only one meal every twenty-four hours, a meal consisting of only a thin slice of bread. His physician recommended that he should not moisten his parched throat until three hours after eating. The person passed many weary years in hunger and weakness, almost in starvation. The skill of the doctors was exhausted and they kindly informed him that death was indeed his only alternative, so he finally made up his mind to die. Then divine Science saved him, and perfect health was restored without a reminder of the old complaint.

This person learned that suffering and disease were the self-imposed beliefs of mortals, and not the facts of being. He recognized that God never decreed dis-ease—never ordained a law that fasting should be a means of health. Hence semi-starvation is not acceptable to wisdom, and it is equally far from Science, in which being is sustained by God, Mind. These truths opened the sufferer’s eyes, relieved his stomach, and he ate without suffering, “giving God thanks.” But, disciplined by self-denial and divine Science, he never enjoyed his food as he imagined he would back in the day when he was constantly hungry.

This new-born understanding that neither food nor the stomach, without the consent of human mind, can make us suffer, brings with it another lesson, that self-indulgence, gluttony, or bulimia, are sensual illusions and can’t give you satisfaction. This phantasm disappears as we better understand our spiritual existence and walk the line of a balanced life.

I Samuel 21:1-6

Then David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech came to meet David, trembling, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?” And David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has charged me with a matter and said to me, ‘Let no one know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.’ I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place. Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever is here.” And the priest answered David, “I have no common bread on hand, but there is holy bread—if the young men have kept themselves from women.” And David answered the priest, “Truly women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition. The vessels of the young men are holy even when it is an ordinary journey. How much more today will their vessels be holy?” So the priest gave him the holy bread, for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence, which is removed from before the Lord, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The commitment of thought to an honest achievement makes the achievement possible. Exceptions only confirm this rule, proving that failure is occasioned by a strong faith in failure.

If athletes believed it impossible to accomplish record-breaking feats, they could never do it. Their belief that they can achieve something spectacular gives their thought forces, called muscles, the flexibility and power which the unscientific might attribute to adrenaline or genes. Fear must disappear before the power of putting resolve into action can appear.

Mark 2:23-28

One Sabbath [Jesus] was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26 how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” 27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

If human mind is kept active, must it pay a penalty by having a headache or becoming exhausted? Who dares to say that actual Mind can be overworked? When we reach our limits of mental endurance, we conclude that intellectual labor has been carried sufficiently far. On the other hand, when we realize that immortal Mind is ever active, we are able to rest in Truth. When we understand that our God-given spiritual energies and resources can’t wear out, or be trespassed upon by mortal laws, we are refreshed by the assurances of immortality, opposed to mortality.

Evidence of progress and of spiritualization can definitely be seen in the world. People are realizing the power of mind. We are learning to question drug systems and surgical procedures. Less obtrusive drugs, alternative health care treatments, responsible eating, consistent exercise, and homeopathy are being pursued. The substance of medicine is being transferred from matter to mind.

Proverbs 15: 28-33

28 The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,
but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
29 The Lord is far from the wicked,
but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
30 The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
and good news refreshes the bones.
31 The ear that listens to life-giving reproof
will dwell among the wise.
32 Whoever ignores instruction despises himself,
but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.
33 The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom,
and humility comes before honor.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Human beings should renew their energies and endeavors, and see the folly of hypocrisy while also learning the necessity of working out their own salvation.

Love never loses sight of loveliness. Its halo rests on its object. Isn’t it amazing that a friend is always beautiful? Men and women of seasoned years and increased wisdom ought to advance in spirituality and health, instead of lapsing into gloom and doom. Spiritual Mind renews the body with nice features.

*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.

 

[1] Gen. 2:17

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November 9, 2016

bible study imageSubject: Immortality

Cheating mortality seems to be a popular past-time for human beings these days. Death and aging are avoided as if physical immortality is possible.

But isn’t an “immortal mortal” an oxymoron?

Nonetheless, science keeps inventing ways to slow down the aging process and push death to outer limits. New hearts, livers, and kidneys replace old ones. Botox is injected into the body to make the flesh look younger.

But there is more to life and we know this intuitively.

In light of falling birth rates and rising life expectancies, a Pew Research Study gives a peek into what Americans think about extended mortal lives. Here are a few quotes from the study, titled, Living to 120 and beyond: American’s views on aging, medical advances and radical life extensions:

“The U.S. population is rapidly aging. By 2050, according to U.S. Census Bureau projections, one-in-five Americans will be 65 or older, and at least 400,000 will be 100 or older.1

“At this early stage, public reaction to the idea of radical life extension is both ambivalent and skeptical. Asked about the consequences for society if new medical treatments could “slow the aging process and allow the average person to live decades longer, to at least 120 years old,” about half of U.S. adults (51%) say the treatments would be a bad thing for society, while 41% say they would be a good thing.

“Most Americans also foresee other negative implications. About two-thirds agree that ‘longer life expectancies would strain our natural resources’ and that ‘medical scientists would offer the treatment before they fully understood how it affects people’s health.’ And about six-in-ten (58%) say ‘these treatments would be fundamentally unnatural.’

“Opinion is more divided over whether ‘our economy would be more productive because people could work longer;’ 44% agree, while about half (53%) reject this idea.”

By reading the entire Pew report, one can see that people are indeed contemplating the idea of immortality. Either directly or indirectly. Moreover they know the value of infusing ethics and spirituality into the contemplation.

Most of us know that with more older people will come more social and economic problems. Elderly people will need to be sheltered, fed, and clothed.

Fairness is also an issue of concern. Probably only the rich people could afford anti-aging treatments.

Immortality is mentioned a few times in the Bible. Read, I Corinthians 15:53-54 and II Timothy 1:9-10.

The word, immortality, in the Corinthian verses, was assigned to the Greek word, athanasia, meaning deathlessness. In II Timothy, the word immortality was interpreted from the Greek word, aphtharsia, meaning incorruptible, unending existence, genuineness, and sincerity.

Using both Greek words, an expanded definition of immortality releases us from the seduction of physical immortality. We can rather see immortality as linked to spiritual qualities, rather than the constant need to pop pills or get another heart.

We want the death of outgrown and false beliefs and traditions.

Though scientific knowledge is useful, it runs up against its own limitations. It may provide new knees, but it can’t provide new inspirations, new talents, or new forgiveness.

It is our access to spirituality and its immortality that genuinely presents a sense of ongoing goodness, a sense of pure immortality, available to everyone.

American musician and author of award winning comic book series, The Umbrella Academy, Gerard Way, was quoted as saying, “Oh how wrong we were to think immortality meant never dying.”

We learn that resisting death doesn’t promote immortality. Just as death of the mortal body doesn’t affect immortality.

Read Proverbs 12:28

While watching the 2015 film, Age of Adaline, written by J. Mills Goodloe and Salvador Paskowitz, the question of physical immortality versus spiritual immortality is staged.

The movie is about a young woman, Adaline Bowman, born early 1900s. She becomes a wife and mother, however, at the age of 29-years old, she’s in an accident, albeit weird and unrealistic, but the result keeps her at a constant 29-years old, and constantly running away from relationships.

After eight decades, Adaline’s daughter had out-aged her. But the storyline takes us to how Adaline finds out that love never dies.

Directed by Lee Toland Krieger, the starring actors, Blake Lively (portraying Adaline), Michiel Huisman, and Harrison Ford, show the setbacks, snags, and loneliness that comes with ageless human mortals. And the power of immortal love.

Fortunately, Adaline is involved in another accident, again weird and unrealistic, but she comes out of it as able to age. The gist of the story and the good acting, showed relief and an ability to accept mortal death while getting on with life.

The immortality of spiritual life and love was evidenced in this film.

From 21st Century Science and Health

We must be willing to surrender mortal thoughts in order to walk securely on the only practical road to immortality.

You may dream that you see a flower—that you touch and smell it. You learn that the flower is a product of the human mind, a formation of thought rather than of matter. With a greater imagination, you may see landscapes, auras, chakras, men, and women. The images even simulate mind, life, and intelligence. We learn that these are images which human mind embraces, evolves, and manipulates. These lessons of the imagination teach us that the human mind and material particles are not the image or likeness of God and that immortal Mind is not directly or indirectly in anything changeable.

Though the grass seems to wither and the flower to fade, they reappear. Erase the figures which express numbers, silence the tones of music, give the human being called person to the bacteria, and yet the producing, governing divine Principle lives on, in the case of people as truly as in the case of numbers and music. All this is true despite the laws of human mind which define people as mortal. Though the problems resulting from limited perspectives hide the harmony of Science, these problems can’t destroy the divine Principle of Science. In Science, our indestructibility depends on that of God, good, and follows as a necessary consequence of the immortality of good.

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 knew a person who when quite a child adopted a whole wheat and vegetarian diet to cure indigestion. For many years, he ate only bread and vegetables and drank nothing but water. His dyspepsia increasing, he decided that his diet should be more rigid. So, he ate only one meal every twenty-four hours, a meal consisting of only a thin slice of bread. His physician recommended that he should not moisten his parched throat until three hours after eating. The person passed many weary years in hunger and weakness, almost in starvation. The skill of the doctors was exhausted and they kindly informed him that death was indeed his only alternative, so he finally made up his mind to die. Then divine Science saved him and perfect health was restored without a reminder of the old complaint.

This person learned that suffering and disease were the self-imposed beliefs of mortals and not the facts of being. He recognized that God never decreed dis-ease—never ordained a law that fasting should be a means of health. Hence semi-starvation is not acceptable to wisdom and it is equally far from Science, in which being is sustained by God, Mind. These truths opened the sufferer’s eyes, relieved his stomach, and he ate without suffering, “giving God thanks.” Though disciplined by self-denial and divine Science, he never enjoyed his food as he imagined he would back in the day when he was constantly hungry.

This new-born understanding that neither food nor the stomach, without the consent of human mind, can make us suffer, brings with it another lesson, that self-indulgence, gluttony, or bulimia, are sensual illusions and can’t give satisfaction. These phantasms disappear as we better understand our spiritual existence and walk the line of a balanced life.

Expanded mindsets can see immortal goodness.

When understanding modifies the standpoints of life and intelligence from a material to a spiritual basis, we gain the reality of Life. Spirituality allows us to experience the control of Soul over temporal sense and perceive Truth in its divine Principle. This must be the climax before our harmony and immortality is felt and our capabilities revealed.

Progress comes from experience. Humanity is improved as the mortal is dropped for the immortal.

 

 

August 19, 2015

bible study imageSubject: Family

Golden text: Ephesians 3: 14-16*

 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

Genesis 29: 1-14

Then Jacob went on his journey and came to the land of the people of the east. As he looked, he saw a well in the field, and behold, three flocks of sheep lying beside it, for out of that well the flocks were watered. The stone on the well’s mouth was large, and when all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone from the mouth of the well and water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place over the mouth of the well.

Jacob said to them, “My brothers, where do you come from?” They said, “We are from Haran.” He said to them, “Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?” They said, “We know him.” He said to them, “Is it well with him?” They said, “It is well; and see, Rachel his daughter is coming with the sheep!” He said, “Behold, it is still high day; it is not time for the livestock to be gathered together. Water the sheep and go, pasture them.” But they said, “We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together and the stone is rolled from the mouth of the well; then we water the sheep.”

While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10 Now as soon as Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, Jacob came near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. 12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s kinsman, and that he was Rebekah’s son, and she ran and told her father.

13 As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he ran to meet him and embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban all these things, 14 and Laban said to him, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh!” And he stayed with him a month.

Psalm 78: 5-7

He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
    so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,

From 21st Century Science and Health**

When a relationship is going well, pay attention, otherwise an increasing dependence on one another may yank the rug out from under your feet. If, on the other hand, your relationship is rocky, don’t react, but hope, pray, and wait patiently on divine wisdom to point the way.

Husbands and wives should never separate if there is no Christian demand for it. The logic of events will reveal itself. In those cases when one spouse is better, then the better spouse is good company for the worse. Dr. Oral Roberts discussed his philosophy for a successful marriage. He and his wife, Evelyn, who was better company for a time, patiently told her very busy husband that he was “making a terrible mistake,”[1] by neglecting the family. Her words struck Mr. Robert’s conscience and he disciplined himself to put God and family first before work.

When navigating aircraft through a storm, the pressure is shifting, the wind is shrieking, and air pockets are hiding in the air currents. We ask the pilot: “Do you know your course? Can you aviate safely among this turbulence?” Though brave, the dauntless aviator is not sure of safety because even aeronautical science is not equal to the Science of Mind. Yet, acting on his or her highest understanding, the pilot doesn’t avoid responsibility, but keeps working, ready to act on divine guidance. This example of behavior can be useful in any stressful relationship, including a seething marriage. Be accountable, hope and work, willingly act on divine guidance, not private interest. Divine guidance will either force a graceful change, or calm the enraged atmosphere.

To assume an alpha male or female attitude adds to one’s character is absurd. Through spiritual ascendency our Lord and Master healed the sick, raised the dead, and commanded even the winds and waves to obey him. Grace and Truth are potent beyond all other means and methods.

Exodus 2: 1-10

Now a man from the house of Levi went and took as his wife a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months. When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank. And his sister stood at a distance to know what would be done to him. Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her young women walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her servant woman, and she took it. When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby was crying. She took pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.” Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

The whole human family can be redeemed through the excellence of Christ—through the perception and acceptance of Truth. For this magnificent result, Christian Science lights the torch of spiritual understanding.

Outside of divine Science all is relative. Earthly experience exposes the relativity of error, indirectly leading to the infinite capacities of Truth. Spiritual beings agree with the absolute and harmonious Principle of being. Immortality does not sin, suffer, or die and our spiritual experiences will multiply instead of diminish as God’s kingdom comes on earth. The spiritual way leads to Life instead of to death and we realize our God-given dominion to overcome temporal limitations.

Having one God, one Mind, unfolds the power that heals the sick. These Scriptural sayings are then realized. “I am the Lord, who heals you,”[2] and “I have found a ransom (a price of redemption, an atonement)!”[3] When the divine precepts are understood, they reveal cooperation between creatures, because we all have one Spirit, God, one intelligent source, compatible to the Scriptural command: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”[4] We, and our Maker have a reciprocal relationship in divine Science, and real consciousness is cognizant only of the things of God.

Matthew 21: 28-32

“What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. 30 And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.

Deuteronomy 6: 4-9

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Spiritual beings, or God’s children in divine Science, are one harmonious family; but the children of human beings are discordant and oftentimes fake.

We lose the exalted significance of omnipotence, when after admitting that God, or good, is omnipresent and has all-power, we still believe there is another power, named evil. To think that there is more than one mind is pernicious, destructive to divine theology, and on par with ancient mythology and pagan idolatry. With one Parent, God, all people would be family, with one Mind, good. The family would consist of Love and Truth, and have unity of Principle and spiritual power which constitute divine Science.

The human mind’s linear thinking is obliged to admit a more expansive thought. God and the children of the Almighty are discovered as the infinite Principle and infinite idea—as one Father-Mother with a universal family held in the gospel of Love. The Lamb’s wife presents the unity of male and female as no longer two wedded individuals, but as two individual natures in one; and this compounded spiritual individuality reflects God as Father-Mother, not as a physical being. In this divinely united spiritual consciousness, there is no impediment to eternal happiness—to the perfectibility of God’s creation.

*“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, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] Roberts, Oral. When You See the Invisible You Can Do the Impossible. Copyright 2002, used by permission of Destiny Image Publishers, 167 Walnut Bottom Road. Shippensburg, PA 17257 www.destinyimage.com

[2] Ex. 15:26

[3] Job 33:24 (Amplified)

[4] Phil. 2:5

July 9, 2014

bible study image

Subject: God’s creation

Golden text: Ps. 19:6 (ESV)*

So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Number 12:1-15 (ESV)*

Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman. And they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” And the Lord heard it. Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth. And suddenly the Lord said to Moses and to Aaron and Miriam, “Come out, you three, to the tent of meeting.” And the three of them came out. And the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the tent and called Aaron and Miriam, and they both came forward. And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them, and he departed.

10 When the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, like snow. And Aaron turned toward Miriam, and behold, she was leprous. 11 And Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord, do not punish us because we have done foolishly and have sinned. 12 Let her not be as one dead, whose flesh is half eaten away when he comes out of his mother’s womb.” 13 And Moses cried to the Lord, “O God, please heal her—please.” 14 But the Lord said to Moses, “If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be shamed seven days? Let her be shut outside the camp seven days, and after that she may be brought in again.” 15 So Miriam was shut outside the camp seven days, and the people did not set out on the march till Miriam was brought in again.

From 21st Century Science and Health*

Science shows that appearances are often mistaken, leading to false judgments and conclusions.

Physical Sensation said that he knew man and woman, and that they were made in the image of God, but were criminals. This is foul slander on their Maker. It blots the fair insignia of omnipotence. It indicates malice aforethought, a determination to condemn man and woman in the interest of Physical Sensation.

Let us be faithful in pointing the way through Christ, as we understand it, but let us also be careful always to “stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.”[1]

Matt. 1: 18-23

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”

From 21st Century Science and Health*

Whether marriage or reproduction happen or not, God’s children, spiritual beings, already created, will be recognized as we awake to the truth of being. Spiritually to understand that there is but one creator, God, reveals all creation, confirms Scripture and brings the sweet assurance of no parting and no pain, which in turn exposes the deathless, perfect, and eternal ideal.

Union of the masculine and feminine qualities represents, not is, completeness. The qualities, regarded as feminine or masculine, reach a higher tone through a blending of certain elements such as courage, strength, and empathy. The harmony of spiritual oneness is felt as the differing elements join naturally with each other. All persons, regardless of gender, should be forgiving, chaste, bold, tender, and strong. The attraction between these spiritual qualities will be perpetual only as they are pure and true, being constantly renewed like the returning springtime.

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. Spiritual happiness lasts because it is constantly poured forth from Truth and Love. Genuine happiness can’t exist alone, because it has to be shared.

Creation is a manifest impartation of divine Mind to man and woman and the universe. As human generation ceases, the unbroken links of eternal harmonious being will be discerned; and person, not of the mortal flesh, but coexistent with God, will appear.

[1] John 7:24

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

Father and Daughter

   Weeding was a job that needed to be done, and girls can weed just as well as boys. Therefore, I weeded the row crops on the family farm right along with my 2 brothers while growing up. However, when I reached the ripe responsible age of 12, Dad also didn’t hesitate to teach me how to operate the John Deere 4020 tractor. As I proved my ability to operate machinery, Dad advanced me to balers, caterpillars, combines, and land movers. It wasn’t easy being a girl, working alongside brawny guys, but I had a Dad who stood undaunted by my side. Dad impressed me with the fact that sex, stature, or fear was not an obstacle to progress. However, what makes Dad more real to me today than ever before is he lived the fact progress can’t be stopped.
   You have a mind, don’t be afraid to use it to the best of your ability; was Dad’s motto. He spoke from experience.
   Almost 50 years ago, Dad was of the mind to pack up his new small family and move from the rocky farming ground in upstate New York to the better soil in Idaho. Within 3 more years, Dad packed us all up again and we moved to the warmer climate of Southeast Washington’s Columbia Basin. From that point on, I spent more time out on the farm with Dad, than in the house with Mom.
   Cooking? Sewing? What’s that?
   But, give me a double-stick shift Mack dump truck and I can gravel your roads. Thanks to Dad.
   Besides moving to the Idaho farm, we moved to 4 different farms in Washington, leaving them healthier and more productive then before we arrived. Dad never missed a chance to improve the land. Even when the family went on vacation, we were expected to leave negligible impact on the land. Maybe foot prints, but no litter, no holes, and no markings.
   Dad was tight with his money, in that unawareness was not affordable. I would get in trouble if I bought 36 bolts and didn’t know the price of each was $1.15. What if the price of bolts at the store next door was $1.02/each? But, Dad was generous beyond words when it came to church, the community, or helping people who needed a leg up.
   When the local school district asked people to open their homes to visiting teachers from Japan, Dad made sure we had the opportunity to do so. A teacher was given my room. I was sent back to sleep with my 2 sisters. The adventure of meeting another culture and language immediately negated any sense of sacrifice.
   Dad was a successful potato farmer. However, when I was in High School, the activity of developing an apple orchard was presented to him. Dad stood unfazed by the prospect of a different management style, different fertilizer plan, and different everyday life. His one remark to me was, “I always wondered why I took that fruit tree class at Cornell.” Dad simply applied the principles of hard work, honesty, and open-mindedness to achieve the result of success.
   For advice on how to progress as painlessly as possible, Dad would read books and seek out answers from people who weren’t afraid of change. It isn’t that Dad went against the standard practice in orchards, he raised the standard. For example, Dad implemented the latest technology that allowed farmers to plant twice, or greater, the number of apple trees per acre. Production increased and because the trees were shorter, harvesting the apples was much easier for the worker.
   The day Dad bought acreage in Oregon State’s Blue Mountains was a milestone in our family’s history. We discovered Dad could engage in recreation.
   Well, sort of.
   The first thing we had to do was plant the 1000 evergreen tree saplings he mail ordered. But, after that, through my junior and high school years we hiked, picked huckleberries, and snowmobiled in the Blue Mountains.
   Dad had a mountain cabin built and then he taught me how to sheetrock and plaster a small room in the cabin basement so I could have a room of my own. It was freezing cold in that room, but better than listening to someone breath at night, which is my nemesis. Needless to say, my sisters didn’t think I’d ever find someone to marry me. But I did. And, after 27 years now, we are still happily married.
   Guess what, I married a farmer (big surprise). We raised 2 fabulous daughters and fostered intriguing children for 15 years (okay, they raised and fostered us), and I taught myself how to cook and sew. Dad lived to see most of this, and although his body is gone, I still feel the essence of a father who stands by me when I face up to my fears and join the flow of progress.
   My husband’s and my children are now on their own, so we sold the orchard and our house on it, and then sold all of our possessions. We then bought 2 used Suzuki C50’s, packed our saddle bags and drove across the United States, landing in upstate New York where we now live and have property. Dad was correct; some acreage in New York is too rocky and hilly to farm. Not a problem, I immediately located a certified Forester and signed up for Forest Management Plan. Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

Dad and me