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Rejoice!

November 26, 2014

Today and everyday, let your heart be filled with gratitude for the power and presence of God “who daily loadeth us with benefits.”  (Ps 68:19)  For “this is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”  (Ps 118:24)  Indeed!

Enjoy this poem by Ethel Wasgatt Dennis

A grateful heart a garden is,
Where there is always room
For every lovely, Godlike grace
To come to perfect bloom.

A grateful heart a fortress is,
A staunch and rugged tower,
Where God’s omnipotence, revealed,
Girds man with mighty power.

A grateful heart a temple is,
A shrine so pure and white,
Where angels of His presence keep
Calm watch by day or night.

Grant then, dear Father-Mother, God,
Whatever else befall,
This largess of a grateful heart
That loves and blesses all.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my dear followers and friends.  May your day be filled with rejoicing.  Here are some other wonderful articles too:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20141124173621-14383197-nurture-a-gratitude-attitude-say-entrepreneur

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ingrid-peschke/gratitudechallenge-from-t_b_6185256.html

http://gettingbalance.com/does-gratitude-impact-our-health-and-happiness/

http://www.healthycal.org/archives/17068

http://toledofavs.com/2014/11/25/lincolns-thanksgiving-day-proclamation-gratitude-in-hardship/

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.

Burden? or Blessing!

October 11, 2014

It’s all in the way you look at it.  Sometimes things that seem unbearable are lifted when we expect them to bless us.

In Genesis, in the Bible, (32:24-30) we read of Jacob returning to his home after becoming very wealthy working for his uncle.  He had fled, after wronging his brother many years before and was in terror of Esau’s revenge.  During the night prior to their encounter, “there wrestled a man with him.”  But actually, Jacob was wrestling with himself: with guilt, with shame, but mostly with fear.  Did he deserve to perish at the hands of his brother?  Was depriving Esau of not only his birthright but of his father’s blessing reason to die?

These questions were not easily answered.  Jacob had put off even considering them all the years he worked for his wife’s father.  But God told him to return to the land of his family, and he was being obedient.  He hoped that counted for something.

He struggled.  With rocks as pillows and stars as witnesses, he finally refused to ignore it any longer.  If this was his last night on earth, at least he would face up to the wrongs he had done.  He would take responsibility for his actions.

But something happened.  In coming to terms with his deceit and cowardice, he saw an aspect of himself previously unknown.  This recognition transformed him and he felt blessed.  As morning light dawned, Jacob was a new man.  No longer afraid of his brother, he wished to share his good fortune with him.

And so it was.  Jacob embraced Esau and said “I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.”  They parted as friends – and equals.

When we see ourselves and others in that light, our burdens become blessings.

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.

Whack-a-mole

September 5, 2014

You know the arcade game, where mechanical moles pop their heads out of a number of different openings.  The object of the game is to whack as many of them as you can before they disappear back into their holes.  The bobbing insectivores increase their tempo as the game proceeds, all but making it impossible to succeed.

Does it sometimes feel like you’re playing Whack-a-mole with all the problems in your life, and there’s just no way to keep up?  No matter how many you whack, there are more and more waiting right behind?

I don’t think Jesus played Whack-a-mole.  And it’s not because he didn’t have a lot going on.  There was always a need to be met: healing, saving, feeding, raising the dead, teaching, preaching.  Day in and day out.  But he was the epitome of grace and truth.  He even said to his followers to “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  (Matt. 11:28)  How was he able to be so productive, so compassionate, so effective under all that pressure?

Jesus explained it this way: “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”  (John 5:19)  He knew that his heavenly Father was the do-er.

Do you have that view of your relationship with God?  Is He the chief do-er and you are His obedient and humble servant?  Do you do only as He does?

In the first chapter of Genesis, we are told that God created His children in His image, as His likeness.  Jesus knew that, and he mirrored forth God’s power and presence in all ways.  He was so convinced that he could only do what His heavenly Father did, that he said “I and my Father are one.”  (John 10:30)

This revolutionary view of his relationship with God was not just for his own benefit however.  He proclaimed, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.”  (John 14:12)  Jesus knew that his followers were one with God, just as he was.  And he told them so: “as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.”  (John 17:21)

That oneness is right at hand, already operating.  Your relationship with God is intact, and He is ready and willing to do what needs to be done, no matter how long the list is.  As soon as you give up the false responsibility of having to do it yourself, that list begins to evaporate.  God’s will is done, His kingdom come, as Jesus promised.  (Matt. 6:10)  This is what Immanuel is – God with us, here and now.

So, no more Whack-a-mole.  You and your Father are 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.

God’s got it covered.

January 30, 2014

You may recall the story of Jesus directing Peter to catch a fish and take the coin from its mouth to pay their taxes.  (Matt 17:24-27)  Sure enough, he did just that.  You might think that was an extraordinary coincidence, or maybe the supernatural intervention of God.  But it was neither.  Instead, it was the natural outpouring of God’s love for His dear children – which Jesus understood and proved over and over.

Jesus could have just as easily said to Peter, “check with the guys to see if they have some things they don’t need and then go sell them in the market place.  With any luck we should be able to scrape enough together to cover the payment.”  That might be the option you or I would choose.  But Jesus wanted to always direct thought to God: to His provision, His generosity, His consistency.  He wanted everyone to know that God’s got it covered!

And not just Jesus proved this law of the superabundance of good.  The prophet Elisha helped a widow woman to get out of debt by selling her oil: way more oil than she had imagined was contained in that tiny little pot.  (1 Kings 4:1-7)  These are just two of many instances found in the Scriptures of overcoming limits.

Because we make the mistake of thinking that these were miracles, we don’t expect that same kind of divine generosity right here, right now.  Jesus said that faith the size of a mustard seed would move a mountain.  (Luke 17:6)  What’s the difference between moving a mountain of fear or debt or doubt – and tons of rock and earth?  It’s only perspective.  God gladly moves whatever prevents us from seeing Him as He truly is.

When the rich man came to him asking what to do to inherit eternal life, Jesus suggested that he sell everything and follow him.  (Mark 10:17-22)  The man was apparently terrified that doing so would deprive him of something necessary and helpful, and he went away very sad.  He didn’t know how generous God is.  So generous in fact, that Jesus told his disciples who had indeed left everything behind that they shall “receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.”  (Luke 18:30) There is no record in the Gospels that Jesus and his disciples were uncared for or went without.

Surely the Master – who knew his Father’s great heart and showed it to us with every word and deed – was not speaking out of turn when he said “seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.  Your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.  But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”  (Luke 12:29-32)

Isaiah said as much of God centuries earlier: “The rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”  (Is 55:11,12)

In both passages, the message is clear: God can do it, God is doing it, God will continue to do it.  Mary Baker Eddy echoes that sentiment when she writes: “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.”  (Science and Health page 494)

Remember, God’s got it covered.

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.

 

This blog was published in the Christian Science Monitor on Friday, June 7th.  You can read it here.

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