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You ever notice how everyone else lives their lives as if they’re the center of the universe – when that position really belongs to me?  Hah!  Doesn’t that seem like the way the drama plays out sometimes?  Everyone is so wrapped up in their own stories that my story doesn’t get any air time.  So I tell my story louder and longer just to make sure nobody misses any of the details!  Sheesh!

St. Paul explains that tendency in his letter to the Romans when he writes: “the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (see chapter 8, verse 7)

Dictionary.com defines enmity as: hostility; hatred; ill will.  That means that the carnal mind – the self-centered fleshly mind – hates God, the same God who actually IS the center of the universe.  And because the carnal mind is so deluded by its own point of view and absolutely convinced of its own rightness, there’s no room for the law of God to operate.

The reality is that the law of God is the only solution to the drama!  And being willing to shift thought – even just a degree – away from the drama begins the healing.  Once the light of God’s law – the law of divine Love – begins to shine on the problem, the shadows of fearful preoccupation don’t seem so dark and heavy.  In fact, the Apostle John says as much: Perfect love casteth out fear.  (see 1st John 4:18)

Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science church, echoing Paul’s sentiment, wrote, “It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony.”  (see Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures page 390)

In other words, stop looking at the discord and get to know God better.  As you learn more about His infinitude and omnipotence – His ever present love and unending care – you will inevitably see a pathway out of the problem.

Jesus proved this.  Did he ever say, “your problem is too big;” or “you’re too far gone;” or “I don’t have time for you”?  No, of course not!  Jesus spent all his time recognizing the presence of God – the kingdom of heaven – right here on earth.  And that recognition healed the sick, raised the dead, cleansed the lepers, and cast out demons.  And he commanded that you and I do the same.  (see Matt 10:8)

So, let’s make God the center of our universe. Let’s look to Him for every solution.  Let’s keep thought focused on the truth which Jesus preached: “with God all things are possible.”  (see Mark 10:27 for example).

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.

Weight Loss

November 15, 2012

With all of the weight loss programs and diet food systems, the exercise regimens and surgical options, why would anyone pray about losing weight?  Isn’t prayer mental and weight loss physical?  How can there possibly be any correlation?  Good questions.

Let me frame the answer by first quoting Christ Jesus.  He said – pretty bluntly, actually – Take no thought for your life [or the body], what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink. Is not the life more than meat?  (See Matt. 6:25)  I don’t think he was suggesting that we be thoughtless, either.  On the contrary, I believe he was saying put your thought on God alone, and let Him work out the details.  (See Matt. 6:33)

Why would he say that?  Because the tendency of the human mind is to limit everything by measuring it: the size of the body (your own or someone else’s), the size of the portion (or the number of points and/or calories the portion represents), the size of the progress – or not, even the size of the commitment.  These measurements keep thought stuck in the body.  It is literally self absorption!

On the other hand, turning to God in prayer expands and lifts thought.  As the author of Hebrews says, “he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”  That (believing in and diligently seeking God) is the solution.  Isn’t that what Jesus did every moment?  And didn’t he resolve every situation as a result?  And didn’t he say we would do the same things as he did?  (See John 14:12)

Following Jesus’ command to take no thought either for the body or the food we put into it tends to both normalize the function and appearance of the body.  Really?  Yes!  Because it leaves both to God’s control – the same God who so loved the world He sent His only begotten son (See John 3:16).  That much love, that big a gift surely indicates God’s ability and willingness to care for you and me in a healthy and healing way.

Consider these options: If you’re willing to put the effort into counting calories, how about counting your thoughts of God instead?  If you’re willing to take the time to watch what you eat, how about watching what you think instead?  If you’re willing to exercise your body, how about exercising your spiritual authority instead?  Isn’t a prayer-filled regimen much more satisfying and all-inclusive than an exercise or diet plan?  And more permanent too – just like God’s love!

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  (Matt 6:33)

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.

Unsubscribe…

April 24, 2012

Lots of serial e-mails come with the option to unsubscribe.  I get a number of them from organizations I appreciate or support.  Sometimes though, their sheer quantity overwhelms the e-mail that’s more important and that really needs my attention.  I’ve recently unsubscribed from several that I realize I just don’t read.  But I don’t miss them and I appreciate a freer inbox.

Your thinking is a lot like your e-mail inbox.  Lots of times it’s stuffed with interesting (or not) stuff – or maybe just repetetive stuff – or stuff that actually distracts and detracts from more substantial or more real or more progressive thoughts.  Worry can take up a lot of space in thought.  So can anger or blame.

What if you were to “unsubscribe” from those kinds of thoughts?  What if you just chose to think the thoughts that made a difference?

There is a way to do that.  It’s called standing porter at the door of thought.  Mary Baker Eddy explains it more thoroughly in Science and Health (see page 392).  But in a nutshell, it’s about realizing that you don’t have to entertain all the thoughts that come a knockin’.  Really.

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.

Self-help book

April 15, 2012

There are lots of books out there that help their readers do everything from fix a refrigerator to fix a marriage.  Some fall in the “for dummies” category and others in the “you have to have a degree in the subject before you can read it” category.  There is one book, however, that can replace them all.  What, you say?  How can just one book explain refrigerators  and marriages and everything else, at the same time?

Okay, so if you do a word search for refrigeration in the book I’m suggesting here,  it’s true you won’t find anything.  In fact, for the most part, you won’t find any “quick fixes” that way.  But you will find permanent solutions for any and every problem.  Yes, any and every problem.

The book is Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.  It’s not just a repair manual, it’s a restore manual and a redeem manual.

Here’s how it works: it explains God and His relationship with His creation; it makes plain how Jesus healed; it reveals the nature of Spirit and Soul; it illumines the Bible.  And it teaches the reader how to do anything and everything through effective prayer.

There are countless times in my own life where problems ranging from a broken refrigerator to a broken marriage were resolved by digging deep into the ideas presented in Science and Health. Issues as disparate as child rearing and what kind of car to buy have been solved.  Questions regarding what to do about unemployment or what to do in my garden were handled in much the same way.

All in all, thoughtfully reading, conscientiously applying, and practically living the scientific ideas found in Science and Health will repair anything.  Find out for yourself!

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.

A universal solution

March 22, 2012

Resolve, dissolve, absolve.  Each comes from the same original Latin word which means to release or unbind.  Doesn’t that sound like the action of divine Love?  Author Mary Baker Eddy says that Love, God, meets every human need.  Always.  (see Science and Health page 494)  That makes Love a universal solution.

The Bible agrees.  In the book of I John, it says that perfect Love casts out fear (see 4:18).

Understanding and obeying the precepts behind this Bible verse, brings permanent release from fear, pain, and lack.  It unbinds the fetters of any limitation.  It resolves, dissolves, absolves.

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.

Mental Obedience

March 2, 2012

Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 5-7), “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Jesus was making it pretty clear that you must control the thought behind the act, not just the act itself. That requires us to be pretty scrupulous about our thinking if we are to be obedient to that directive.

Mary Baker Eddy offers a way to do just that.  She says,”Stand porter at the door of thought.  Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously.”  (See Science and Health p.392)  Her statement, taken together with Jesus’ shows that you can prevent from occurring – even in thought – that which you would never allow to happen in your body.

What if this consciousness watching were applied to each of the commandments?  We would never even imagine harming our neighbor let alone indulge in wishful thinking about something that belonged to him or her.  We wouldn’t allow ourselves to even consider stretching the truth, let alone concocting an outright lie.  Our mental relationships with our parents would be respectful and joyous.  And at no time would we devote more thought to anything else than we do to God.

How do you suppose that kind of care would play out in our lives?  It’s worth giving it a try.

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.