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Discouraged?

May 29, 2012

It’s been said that discouragement is the devil’s favorite tool.  While I don’t believe in an actual devil, I do recognize the devilish thought called discouragement that seems to distract from finding all the good that we would rather see.  But the Bible says “resist the devil and he will flee from you.”  (see James 4:7)  In other words, resist discouragement and it will flee from you.  Yes, really.

Shifting thought from a sense of hopeless helplessness may take a little effort – but knowing that it’s possible is a great first step.  Why?  Because it directly challenges the assumption that it’s NOT possible!  Once you begin to put down that limited focus, you don’t feel, well, so limited!  That little spark of light begins to chase away the darkness.

Did you know that the best time to really defeat discouragement is when you’re not discouraged?  Joy is natural.  So claim it to be a natural part of your experience and your thought – all the time.  Contentment is also normal, because it’s not based on circumstances but on your relationship with God.  And God is ever-present.

Armed with these two spiritual qualities – joy and contentment – you can hold off discouragement until it flees from you.  Then, reap the benefits of God’s tender ministrations proving that His love was there all along.

And then comes healing.  Always.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

Health

May 24, 2012

I recently got my teeth cleaned and had to update my health history.  However, the only questions they asked me were about my body.  They didn’t ask about the health of my marriage, or the health of my finances, or the health of my job, or the health of my relationships, or… you get the picture. Maybe they thought that all of those other things were of no effect.  Actually, every one of those things has a huge impact on health!

The mistake is in thinking that health is just a physical thing, that it’s just about the condition of a hunk of flesh.  Health is so interconnected with everything else we do that it can’t be compartmentalized into just one thing: matter.  The condition of thought has the biggest influence on health.  What you think determines how you feel!

But usually, we imagine that what we feel determines how we think. It seems like our thoughts are just responses to sensations or circumstances.

Try this.  Slump down in your chair.  Let your arms hang limply at your side.  Droop your head.  In this position, it seems hard to feel much enthusiasm.

Now, start declaring in thought “I am filled with joy.  I am grateful for all things.  I am happy to be alive.”  Think it with as much vigor and sincerity as you can.   Isn’t your body starting to respond?  Isn’t there an impulse to sit up a little straighter and to lift your head?  And maybe even to smile?

What if the thoughts you are thinking have a spiritual focus?  Like “I am the child of God.  I am a pure and loved reflection of infinite Spirit.  I am made in the image and likeness of divine Love.”  Not only are you filling consciousness with more positive viewpoints, you are actually calling on your ever present connection with a higher power – a power that provides solid guidance, care, and protection.

On page 370 of Science and Health, author Mary Baker Eddy says, “The moral and spiritual facts of health, whispered into thought, produce very direct and marked effects on the body.”

So take a minute to consider your health from more than just a physical perspective.  Take a look at it through God’s eyes and see if it doesn’t revitalize your whole body, in fact your whole experience.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

Synchronicity?

May 21, 2012

I’ve been watching a new TV show called Touch.  In it, a young boy who doesn’t speak, communicates instead through numbers and symbols.  His dad, played by Kiefer Sutherland, uses those ciphers and codes, along with his son’s body language, to save the day, often touching others around the globe.  The premise is that the world becomes a little more harmonious once these synchronous events are accomplished.

It’s always lovely to see things fall into place.  And it’s fun to go along with the tense scenarios and their numerical solutions all wrapped up in a one-hour TV show.

In reality though, it’s not a sequence of numbers or some impersonal principle that governs the well-being of mankind.  It’s God.  A God who very lovingly maintains a clear and repeatable harmonious order.  A God, whose intelligent and direct care meets every human need.  A God, whom the Bible calls Love, and Truth, and Life – and Omnipotence.

Doesn’t it make sense then, that when things work out – when they go well – that it’s not synchronicity but God?  Jesus thought so, and he taught his followers the truth of it.

But does it also mean that when things don’t work out, that it’s God as well?  No.  Jesus explained that too (see, for example, the parable of The Prodigal Son, Luke 15:11-32).

Trusting in God is more than luck. It’s actually agreeing with and expecting all those Biblical promises. As the Psalmist says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  (Psalm 46)  There’s no better plan than that.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

I hear that from a lot of people who call me.  They know intellectually that God loves them – the Bible certainly makes that point (see I John 4:16 for example).  But somehow the feelings associated with love seem to be missing.

That’s when I remind them of all the things that Love does and is: like smiles and flowers, and friends and family, and health and healing.  So if they say, but I don’t have any of those, then I know it’s time to wake them up!

I remind them of what they do know and why they know it.  Even if I’ve never met them.  That’s because there are some universal truths about God’s love that everyone has to know, no matter what.

For example, that it IS a universal truth!  And that Jesus came to prove it.  And even that he said we’d prove it too.

And that’s where I get them – the part about us proving it.  Right here, right now.

I tell them to claim that they are loved: completely, deeply, thoroughly.  And that this love is the most powerful power there is, dissolving even the doubt that says it’s impossible.

And then I pray with all my heart for God to open up their hearts to see and know what I see and know: that God is Love.

And then Love itself – the divine omnipotence – simply washes away that which is unlovely, and wraps them (anyone, everyone) in the universal truth that they are loved and they know it.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

Express!

May 14, 2012

Have you noticed how many prefixes can be added to the word press: impress, repress, suppress, depress?  My favorite though, is express, because it explains my relationship with God.  It comes from the 1st chapter of Genesis in the Bible where God makes man in His image and likeness – His expression!  (see Genesis 1:26)

If I’m impressed with the world’s glitter and roar and think that I’m lost without it, I can know instead that God is abundantly expressing everything I need.  Nothing is left out.

Or maybe I’m depressed that things are tough and coping is hard.  I can simply trust that God is doing the heavy lifting and expressing me as the satisfied outcome.  Under all circumstances.

What if I imagine I’m suppressing all of my desires and feeling repressed as a result?  I’ve learned that by turning my desires into prayer they are purified and exalted.  Then I see their true expression in a natural happiness and joy, which is what God already knew about me.  And now I know it a little more too.

So the bottom line is to understand the God is expressing you as the very manifestation of His being: whole, complete, harmonious.  And knowing it.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

Why pray?

May 10, 2012

People ask me that all the time because it’s what I do for a living.  The short answer is, “because it works.”  Prayer brings results.  It calms me down, helps me to think more clearly from a spiritual viewpoint and to hear God’s voice, and it actually heals – not just me but those I pray for.

So, you might ask, given all of the “cures” out there – quick and easy fixes for just about anything – why pray?  Because all of the side effects are positive.  Peace of mind, improved health, happier relationships.  I could go on.

Again though, what about the dangerous stuff?  It’s true that some situations are pretty scary.  Prayer can help to dissolve fear – fear which gets in the way of making safe and practical decisions.  The Apostle John said that perfect love casts out fear (see I John 1:18).  Prayerfully connecting with perfect love, another name for God, helps to clear the fog.  And here’s another amazing side effect: once the fear is gone, the situation often resolves itself.

Mary Baker Eddy put it this way, “Love is the liberator (see Science and Health page 225).”  Pretty straight forward, pretty simple, no caveats.

So, if I can get loving liberation as a result of prayer, why would I choose anything else?  Why would anyone?

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

More on forgiveness

May 6, 2012

You often hear forgive and forget in the same sentence.  And truly, the ultimate forgiveness is to forget the offence so thoroughly that it’s as if it never occurred.  Completely erased. What a wonderful remedy!  To so understand that the real history of you and someone else – anyone else – doesn’t include anything but good.  It may be the work of a lifetime to prove that, but what awesome work it will be!   And it blesses universally and impartially as well.

And while you’re at it, once you’ve forgiven, it helps to know what forgetting is NOT.  It’s not ignoring the issue – it’s letting it go.  It’s not wondering if it will recur – it’s knowing it had no beginning.  It’s not fearing it will be perpetual – it’s simply moving on.

There’s a good dose of the Golden Rule in forgiving and forgetting – isn’t that what you hope someone else would do for you?  In fact, the whole Sermon on the Mount (see Matt 5 to 7) is pretty much all about forgive, forget, expunge.

To actually live the Sermon on the Mount is to have such a complete trust in the power of good, the presence of Love itself, that no one and no thing can hurt you. Ever.  Not because you’re armored behind callous distance, but because you’re safe in the panoply of Love (see Science and Health page 571).

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.