October 29, 2012

Have you seen the Pretendatrin YouTube video?  It’s a spoof of all the drug ads on TV, but really quite insightful too.  I was reminded of it when a friend shared her slip of the tongue with me.  She was praying with Psalm 119 and said “O how love I thy law! it is my medication all the day.”  That’s right.  Instead of meditation, she said medication.  But upon further reflection she realized it made a lot of sense.  God’s law as medication means you don’t need any other medicine.  After all, what could be more powerful than the medicine of Mind?

That’s a phrase coined by Mary Baker Eddy.  She wrote about it in Science and Health where she explains that Mind with a capital M is another name for God, found in the Bible.  Under the marginal heading of “Question of Precedence” she has this to say: “Which was first, Mind or medicine? If Mind was first and self-existent, then Mind, not matter, must have been the first medicine. God being All-in-all, He made medicine; but that medicine was Mind. It could not have been matter, which departs from the nature and character of Mind, God.”  (see page 142)

Wow.  Think about it.  If God, Mind is omnipotent as the Bible says (see Rev. 19:6) that doesn’t just mean that He’s the MOST powerful, that means He’s the ONLY power.  Period.  So that certainly means Mind is more powerful than disease.  And it also certainly means that Love – another Bible name for God – is more powerful than drugs.

A confirming verse from Psalms helps to explain: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.”  (Ps 103: 2,3)  By the way, there are a number of additional benefits listed there too!

Let God’s law – the law of Love, the law of Mind – be your medication all the day, and you’ll be feeling better in no time.  Meditate on 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.

Does God Have Feelings?

October 23, 2012

Certainly not in the way you and I think about them.  For example, God can’t get His feelings hurt!  Instead, He is the only source of all right feelings like joy and delight.  So, does that mean there are wrong feelings?  Let me answer that this way.  Ask yourself, does God feel grumpy?  What about resentment?  Or disgust?  Sorrow?

If we define God as Spirit and good, then we have to agree that what He expresses must match: it must be spiritual and good.  Human emotions and feelings often don’t measure up to that standard.  Does that make them wrong?  No, it just makes them unreal!  What?  To clarify: God is good and expresses only good.  His creation including you and me must be like Him, for the Bible says that He made men and women in His image and likeness, and they were (and still are) good.  (see the first chapter of Genesis)

What that means then is that we can improve our emotional output – our feelings – by striving to better understand what God is expressing.  We can turn sorrow into joy.  We can lift anger into peace.  We can transform resentment into contentment.  All by rethinking what’s really going on.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m not suggesting that we intellectualize emotions in order to disconnect them.  That’s not an improvement.  What I am saying is that we have a right to a natural happiness and harmony by trusting the expression of our feelings to the One who made them: God Himself.

It definitely takes practice to recognize when we’re justifying our own view of “I have a right to feel this way.”  Gently shifting thought to ask “Father, what do You know here and how should I feel about it?” helps us to step back just a little and gain a new perspective, one that can help find a more permanent peace, naturally.  And isn’t that really what God has in mind anyway?

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.

Abundant good, always

October 20, 2012

I attended a non-profit fundraiser last night.  The presentation was good, the mission sound, and the need real.  I was inspired to donate, and prepared to volunteer.  I was ready to “make it happen.”  Then it occurred to me – the disciples query of Jesus – what is this among so many?  This question they asked upon seeing only 5 loaves and two fishes, and at least 5000 hungry followers.

Good question then and now.  It seems that limited resources, limited helping hands, limited time all bear out in limited assistance for a need that seems unlimited.  But Jesus didn’t see it that way.  In fact he said up front “thank you God.”  (see John 6:5 – 13)  Thank you that good isn’t limited.  Thank you for always taking care of your beloved children.  Thank you for making your purpose and power known to me and these.  Thank you for proving that all things are possible to You.  And then he fed that multitude, and even had leftovers.

What is the lesson for me? That perhaps it’s not so much the money I give to this non-profit, or the time I put in, or even the word I spread (and those all are definitely worthy and important).  It’s the gratitude I give for the abundant good already flowing in all directions from God Himself.

Mary Baker Eddy, 19th century theologian, wrote in Science and HealthIt is not well to imagine that Jesus demonstrated the divine power to heal only for a select number or for a limited period of time, since to all mankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good.”  (see page 494:11)  She adds this profound statement: “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.”

To be clear, it’s not that my hands (or my dollars) aren’t useful in caring for my fellow man.  It’s just that my hands, or even many hands are not the sole solution.  To the extent that I recognize that God is both the power and the resource behind my hands – and my prayers – is what I do effective and worthwhile.

As the Psalmist says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  (46:1)  That is always true.  There are no exceptions.

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.

How many is one?

October 11, 2012

Seems like a pretty straight forward question.  One, after all, is only…one.  Whether it’s infinite or infinitessimal, it’s still just one.  But that’s the cool thing about it.  Everyone knows what one means!

The Bible makes clear that God is one.  And not just one, but one and only.  (see for example 2 Kings 19:15 and Psalms 86:10)  In fact, the central theme of the Bible is the worship of and devotion to only one God.  This point is made especially profound when that worship shifts from one God to many gods.  Great suffering was the result.

And then along came Christ Jesus.  Not only did he know from deep inside that God is one, but he made the profound and startling statement that he was one with God.  (see John 10:30)  The Jews were prepared to stone him for such a ridiculous and blasphemous outburst.  Yet, Jesus proved the validity of his words.  He made plain God’s declaration that everything is good by revealing that same goodness in healing and redemption.  (see Genesis 1:31)  He upheld God’s deep love for mankind through forgiveness and restoration.

And then he had the audacity to say “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also.”  (see John 14:12)  I think that he was suggesting to his students and followers that they too, were one with God.

Imagine that for a moment.  Consider the implications.  One God.  God’s children one with Him.  Not many with Him, but one.  Mary Baker Eddy understood just how amazing that singularity is when she wrote, “One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself;’ annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, — whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed.”  (see Science and Health page 340:23)

Infinite oneness.  How many is one?

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.


October 9, 2012

It seems to be a part of human nature to fret about things in the past that didn’t go well, or that you wish you’d (or they’d) done differently.  Even though we know that fretting doesn’t accomplish anything (in fact, absolutely nothing), but because it appears to be too late to fix it we get caught up in a swirl of what ifs and yeah, buts.

What if it’s not too late to fix it?  I mean, really.  What if there were a way to resolve all of those large and small events from our past that keep niggling at thought?  We could give up the distraction of wondering and instead have the contentment of resolution.  I’m here to tell you that there is a way!

In fact, Jesus said of himself, “I am the way, the truth, the life.”  (see John 14:6)  How does that help you and me?  It puts every detail of our existence into perspective.  If we hold our history up to the light of the Master Christian’s example, we see that both his words and his deeds offer an exact solution to any and every situation.  That’s right.  ANY and EVERY.

When the woman taken in adultery was forcibly brought to him (see John 8) did he say to her, “they’re right, you know.  Sorry.”  No, he reached out to his Heavenly Father for a resolution that would bless everyone.  But, he didn’t leave it there.  He sent the woman on her way with the inspiration – and requirement – to start fresh.

When he was criticized for dining with Zacchaeus – a sinner – his resolution was to instead, bless the tax collector by confirming that “this day is salvation come to this house.”  (see Luke, chapter 19)  And in the parable of the Prodigal Son, the father doesn’t exact of the returning penitent repayment of all that he’d wasted in riotous living.  His message to both sons (yes, even the self-righteous older brother) was “thou art ever with me and all that I have is thine.”  (see Luke chapter 15)

That’s the message the healing Christ is still giving to the world today, right now: all that God has is yours.  All the good, all the salvation, all the joy, all the safety, all the progress are yours.  Don’t get stuck in wishful thinking or self-flaggelation.  Lift up your hearts and hopes and see the REAL way, truth, and life.  See and believe.  Every single event can be rewritten and reformed to bless you and all.

It’s not too late.

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.

Jesus touching words in the Garden of Gethsemane, “not my will, but Thine, be done,” indicated his humble willingness to trust that God’s plan was the only possibility.  (see Luke chapter 22)  Yes, that plan included a horrific martyrdom.  But Jesus overcame that awful event and showed his followers that life is eternal and good outweighs and even conquers evil.  His willingness to do that continues to bless all mankind.

It’s not likely that any decision you or I make will ever have that kind of consequence.  But sometimes setting aside our own will in the face of what feels like horrific circumstances, can be pretty darn tough.  Humbly trusting God’s guidance and obeying His direction, being confident that divine Love’s way is always best, sometimes feels like just guesswork.  How do we know that everything will be okay if we don’t control the outcome?  Well, if you’re like me, you can think of a number of times when “doing it my way” was a real disaster!

Okay, so there’s plenty of evidence to prove that we don’t have it all figured out.  But there’s also plenty of evidence that God does.  Can’t you look back through your life and find moments where divine Mind showed you the answer and you believed it – and everything worked out in ways you couldn’t have imagined?  Or where Spirit’s sweet angelic nudges shifted you from one pathway to another and either saved you or delighted you?

Knowing that, and always trusting that however, seem to be two different things.  But they don’t have to be.  What if you prayed that same prayer of Jesus?  What if, moment by moment, you indicated your own willingness to give up “the way it should be” for “how it is, according to God”?  What if you just made a pact with yourself that you wanted to be humbly obedient – and that you also wanted to be regularly reminded of that promise – and then followed through?  There might still be some bumps in the road, but I’m pretty sure there’d be a lot fewer of them, and your progress down that path a lot more satisfying.

Let’s do it together.  Let’s help each other remember that God really does have a plan and it’s design is Love itself.  Let’s agree that we really do trust our Heavenly Father to rightly  guide and direct us.  And then let’s go forward as if we believe it.  I’m in.  Are you?

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.