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Monday, January 22, 2018

Spiritual Defense and Offense for Flu

THE PROBLEM:
On January 8, 2018, Op-Ed Contributors of the New York Times,  Michael Osterholm and Mark Olshaaker, assessed the flu situation as it stands worldwide. They warn of the probability of a global flu pandemic -- "occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population" (Merriam-Webster). Their message is that we are "not ready." They compare the conditions at the time of the disastrous 1918 Spanish-flu epidemic where it is said that between "50 and 100 million people" lost their lives, to today. The hope of discovering an effective vaccine, they say, is within reach of our technology, however, there is insufficient funding to accomplish this goal. There are four times as many people on the planet as in 1918, and transcontinental flights bring us into proximity with one another consistently, adding to the fear of disease spreading worldwide. The remedy in the form of an efficient vaccine in sufficient amount seems out of reach.

THERE IS AN ANSWER IN SPIRIT, TRUTH, AND DIVINE LOVE.
The purpose of the blog today, is to address this issue by turning those spiritually-minded individuals to the fact of an omnipotent, ever-present "help in times of trouble." Those studying the healing works and words of the Master, Christ Jesus, know the dominion he showed over every disease or sickness. He would not be afraid of flu, nor in danger of catching it. He said, "I am not of this world," therefore exempt from illness. He also said, "Ye are not of this world." What did he mean, and how will that protect you? Truth makes us free, Jesus taught. Your are not "of this world" because in reality, right this moment, you are purely spiritual. Spirit is the one true substance, and seeing this with your spiritual sense immediately begins to act practically on one's health and well-being. There is a "medicine of Mind" that Mary Baker Eddy expounds upon in her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. The author healed thousands of people through her pure Christly prayer, and teaches us from Jesus' own words, how we can heal ourselves and others, too. Put on your Christly protection of increased spiritual understanding through your Bible study, prayer, and pure unselfish motives. Fear not, for the I Am that I Am is with you. Insist on the presence of God, Good; declare and feel that the Law of God, is the Law of Love, and is around you, your loved ones, and all.



Tuesday, January 9, 2018



Life-purpose

A new year is a new opportunity to examine life-purpose -- here is a Japanese idea, then taken to the "spiritual eye" viewpoint to expand and further bless.


While keeping an eye on the news for items to write and pray about with my readers, I stopped at a refreshing article with a Japanese, yet universal, perspective. Take a look: https://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/blogs/ikigai-japanese-lifestyle-manifesto-four-questions?utm_source=CNN&utm_medium=desktop&utm_campaign=Jan2018. 

When you go to that page, the illustration is one you will want to copy to your own paper and think on filling out. The topic? Your life-purpose discovered in four main, and overlapping categories. The visual is most intriguing.

The concept of finding this integrated and balanced life-purpose, or “reason to get up in the morning,” is called ikigai.

Here are the questions, and then some spiritually-based answers for your further consideration.
  1. What do you love to do?
  2. What are you good at?
  3. What does the world need from you?
  4. What do you get paid for?

Step one — go to the article.
Step two — read it for help with your answers.
Step three — draw out the illustration.
Step four —  and fill in the overlapping circles.

Now we come to the part of prayer and spiritualization in consideration of this concept ikigai.

For the purest, spiritual help in answering the four questions, I’m going to the life of Christ Jesus as reported in the Gospels. If our Master were asked, What do you love to do? What might he say? I have realized that almost every statement he made has the word “Father” in it. This shows how much God, as Father, was continually at the front of his thought and in his heart. His words and actions clearly show what he loved to do. He loved to heal and to save, to awaken and teach, and he loved to do these things because they showed forth the Father — the goodness and the Love that is God.

What was Jesus “good at?” Speaking to the multitudes, inspiring, healing, reclaiming, reforming, awakening, and saving people. Look at his discourses, especially the one that has become known as the Sermon on the Mount. He was an open air preacher; this means that every word or story had to stick like an arrow in the consciousness of his hearers. Was he not “good at” parables? Was he not “good at” demonstrating God, Good? and did he not love to do these things?

What does the world need from him? We need his example, and we need to know the depth of his teachings. The world needs his perfect exemplification of Man as he is in God’s own likeness. The world needs to find the “way” through studying his words and his healing works. One of the best texts ever written to help the world understand Jesus’ teachings and example is one first published in 1875, written by Mary Baker Eddy, entitled Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. The second chapter, “Atonement and Eucharist,” contains some the most profound enlightenment and beautiful words ever written concerning Christ Jesus. We need his example and we need to follow it every day. We need his teachings, practical and relevant now.

What did Christ Jesus get paid for? He was not on a payroll, although he may have been paid in his earlier years as he worked with Joseph as a carpenter. He did not need a salary; he is the one who took few loaves and fishes and multiplied these to feed “5,000 men, besides women and children.” He is the one who told the fishermen who caught nothing to cast their net on the right side, after which there were so many fish filling it that they could barely bring it in. 

How might you answer these four questions from a spiritual viewpoint for yourself?

PS — you may like the youtube connected to the article linked above. The speaker is Marianna Pohgosyan. It is entitled: “In the Pursuit of Ikigai.”


Be in pursuit of your life-purpose that is connected totally to your spirituality, to Truth and Love. Be fulfilled and happy, for the kingdom of heaven, the reality of being, is already within you, and you are within it. The purpose of Life as God is to express Itself in the life that is YOU. 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Days After Christmas

The Days After Christmas: Reflection
Scriptural Study Center

Tis the Days after Christmas and it’s time to reflect.

We have celebrated the birth of Christ, the Savior of the world. Has there been a profound and marked difference in our character or lives as a result? What about celebrating the birth of Christ, the Light of Life and Love, in our consciousness each and every day -- always a new Christmas Day, and a new Day after Christmas?

As the Christ is repeatedly born again to life and vivacity in our consciousness, things occur that very closely resemble the effects seen in the Gospel record of Jesus and his disciples, things in the way of healing, forgiveness, abundant supply, reformation, peace, increase of spiritual understanding, and closeness to God. These are wonderful Days after Christmas. I would expect that on these Days, such blessings appear naturally. In fact, they cannot be prevented.

Are we in debt the Day after Christmas? Or are we enriched? The Scripture instructs, “Owe no man but to love one another” (Romans 13:8). If we now “owe,” this can be remedied through freely giving (expressing) more Christly love, especially love and gentleness to one’s own self. Then careful love to family members (even the difficult ones who probably need it most or deserve it least). To increase supply, give more love, express it freely to all with whom you come in contact (even a crowd, or crazies in traffic). Throw a blanket of pure Love over all, and “judge not” (Matthew 7:1). Christ is present over all. Give it over to the Father. Judge not. Fear not. Just love.
Not what do you want for Christmas – but what do you want to experience the day after Christmas – that is our proposal for consideration and further reflection.

I would expect that if we asked Jesus how he would have us commemorate his birth best, he might refer us to his words already uttered and recorded. If you love me, he explained to Peter, feed my sheep (John 21:17). If you love me, he directed his disciples, keep my commandments (John 14:15). He commanded that we love one another, that we forgive one another, that we feed and help one another (Luke 6:37). These are the things we can give freely on Christmas Day, and the Days after Christmas.

What difference did this past Christmas Day make to your soul and to your life? Make it make a difference next year, this year, each day – today.

Plan ahead for this spiritual gain, this gift of Love, each and every day, and our Father will be pleased with you for these thoughts and their subsequent actions.

PLAN FOR CHRISTMAS DAYS

·       Who will we celebrate with? Extend thought more universally, purposefully
·       What will we celebrate? Not only Jesus being born Savior of the world, but also the birth of the 
     Christ-light as it sparks to life within us each day, whether for the first time, or the zillionth!
·       When will we celebrate? Not just in December, but each day of the year.
·       Where will we celebrate? In the “house of the Lord” or “consciousness of divine Love”* as  
     explains this concept -- together in the Allness of Spirit, Mind, Love.
·       Why will we celebrate? To show gratitude to God, and to express the Christ-nature within us in
     love one to another. These celebratory motives elicit healing, bring peace, and bestow the gifts of 
     Love.

Let us resolve to prepare for Christmas 2018, and the Days after Christmas 2017-18, as more blessed and intense days of spiritual and practical goodness and action for ourselves, our loved ones, and the world. 

Find support in systematic, inspirational Bible study: academy@scripturalstudycenter.org



Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Watch: Spiritualize Thought for Mental Health

Anxiety, depression, dementia, forgetfulness, and other mental disorders of any kind to any degree require the healing touch of truth, specifically the truth that God is the one perfect and infinite Mind that we reflect and express. 

The "Health News" on NBC.com, November 25, 2017, carries a story that recommends "a dose of nature" for those suffering anxiety or depression. One physician actually wrote a prescription that reads: “Five times a week… spend 30 minutes at a park near your home.” This is called "eco therapy." It is "nature-based." To breathe some life-giving, peace-producing, divine energy to that wonderful idea, let's consider God as Mind and Love, filling all space. Think of this as the very atmosphere in which you "live, move, and have your being" (Acts 17:28).

Christ Jesus instructs: “What I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch” (Mark 13:37). While "park-walking," or walking anywhere for that matter, be sure to "watch." This means to become conscious of the presence of Spirit or Love -- to know you are moving through it, encompassed by it, protected under it. This Spirit, Love, is the I AM, and this I AM is Mind. 

This term watch is given in the sense of being alert and being conscious of spiritual truth. We are to watch our thinking. Be consciously aware of your own thoughts. The aim is to think the thoughts of God, rather than general-world-beliefs, or thoughts imposed by others (well-intentioned or not). The belief in many minds, rather than the one perfect Mind, God, is an age-old belief that breaks the First Commandment. It is not conducive to healing mental or physical disorders. To heal, we must know truth. To base reasoning on the fact of one infinite God who is perfect Mind, is to access the spiritual power of Christ by knowing the truth. There must be conscious connection with this omnipotent Intelligence by understanding man's relationship to God. Think of a ray of light to the sun, and you see our true oneness, our actual, eternal relationship to perfect Mind, Love. 

The Scriptures read: “ I know the thoughts that I think towards you, thoughts of peace...” (Jeremiah 29:11). Check your thinking. Does it tend toward peace, or produce distress? If you feel anxious or nervous, go to your thinking dispassionately. Observe your own thinking. This is critical thinking. The way to have the thoughts of God is to follow "the Way" of Christ Jesus who taught: "I am the way..." (John 14:6). 

The Scriptures admonish us to “let that Mind be in [us] that was also in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5). How can we do this? Know the illness of God, the omniscience of the one God, one Mind. Then know through spiritual understanding that "man" (God's true reflection, image and likeness, your real self) reflects that Mind (Genesis 1:26). To manifest more of the truth of perfect limitless Mind, we must know this truth. Jesus declares a divine and universal Law when he instructs us to "know the truth," because this knowing will "make [us] free" (John 8:32). 

This particular truth of one God, one Mind -- keeping the First Commandment -- comes into manifestation in our experience to free us from mental issues whether they be anxiety, dementia, forgetfulness, insanity, or any other type of mental disorder. The one Mind, God, is perfect, all-knowing Intelligent I AM; man is the "image and likeness" of this one Mind. That Mind is our Mind. If we need to pray for someone with a mental disorder, this is the truth that is needed for demonstration. Rest thought on that individual and use spiritual sense to see him or her as the spiritual likeness and reflection of the one perfect Mind, God. 

Distressing, confusing, or fearful thoughts are not from God, and therefore have no real source or power. Reject so-called thoughts that are negative or limited unless you want to suffer from these beliefs that otherwise have no power to harm or restrict you. Keep the Commandment, one God, and you have one Mind, God. Just as a reflection on a still lake shows forth all that is around and above it, you show forth and experience the intelligence and peace of the Mind that is God. 

In the textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, the author explains that keeping the First Commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me," through a spiritual understanding of God, will heal anything. She proved this teaching through her amazing healing work. Helping others through prayer at-one with God, Mind, and in line with Jesus' instructions and example, she demonstrated the power of this truth thousands of times in instantaneous healings. Many unfortunate individuals were released to mental freedom, even after years of insanity. She followed Jesus' teachings and example. Christ Jesus healed everything, and he said, "The works that I do, shall ye do also." He healed countless multitudes through the power of God, Mind, his Father, our Father. 

Jesus said to ask the Father in his name, and that we would then do the works, the healing works, as he did. In this way we glorify God, the truth of one Being, one Mind, one perfect Love ever-present and expressed in each one of us. 

The one Mind is our Mind. When evil attempted to trick its way into Jesus' consciousness, he totally resisted it any entrance. Jesus completely shut out the suggestions of evil when tempted in the wilderness (Matthew chapter 4).  He gave us the perfect example of how to protect our thought from intrusive, negative, or limited thinking. He quoted Scripture as omnipotent Law, and so can we. In the final temptation, he commanded: “Get thee hence, Satan.” There are times when the onslaught of beliefs try to take over, and they need forcible expulsion. Get thee hence! any thoughts opposed to purity, peacemaking, health, or abundance!

“Draw nigh to God,” the perfect Mind that you reflect, “and He will draw nigh to you.”

Watch — carefully guard consciousness concerning yourself, body, home, family, pet, belongings, job or career, finances, and the most precious: your pure spirituality. Declare only for that which you would have manifested in your experience, and in the experience of those around you. 

Declare for one perfect Mind and one full and perfect reflection. Stick to this no matter what things look like, no matter how long an opposing thought or belief has been repeated or placed upon you, and things will change. One God, one Mind, and that Mind is your Mind.


Friday, November 17, 2017

Giving and Thanksgiving

Consider the following conversation (Luke 18:18-30). It is between Jesus and a man who came to ask a question. The man utters only 19 words total. Jesus does the preponderance of talking. The man cannot act in accord with the Master's answer -- it is too difficult for him at that moment. This interaction probably takes only a few minutes at the most, but it determines the fate of the inquirer. It is a turn-point--a spiritual testing moment. This can happen so quickly to any one of us in parallel situations. It has everything to do with giving, and with thankfully, gratefully giving, rather than withholding, saving, keeping, or hoarding.


And a certain ruler asked [Jesus], saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.
Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.
And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.
Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.

Where is our security? Is it in "riches?" Is it in Spirit. If we go straight to Spirit, does it not turn around and provide more richly than we could ever imagine? Look at the "loaves and fishes" (Matthew 14). Look at the net so full of fish (John 21:11). 

The account continues: And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
... Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.
And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake,
shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

Jesus reassures us, and demonstrates for all mankind, the true riches without limit that exist in the reality of being -- here and now -- that we each include. Give away everything to follow Christ? The man could not. Give something? Surely we can. Jesus taught that whatever we do to "the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" (Matthew 25:40). Give this thanksgiving.

Thankfully give. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Thanksgiving and “good already received”

Thanksgiving, a marked event of continued good, remains a date important to the inner strength of the United States and of every individual who engages in gratitude. Why? Because it calls, by its very name, for collective thought to stop and give thanks. Mary Baker Eddy explains the universal law concerning gratitude in a compelling inquiry: “Are we really grateful for the good already received?”


We must guard and enrich our present moment. Let it not be regret of past, or fear of future, but gratitude for present good — gratitude for “good already received.” This gratitude occurs on different levels. Most commonly, we list things we have been blessed with that fulfill needs and wants, such as a good relationship, anything positive financially, opportunities on the horizon, sufficient food or a home, freedoms enjoyed, family and friends, and so forth.

When we are “really grateful “ for these things that we already have, then the Law of the universe kicks in. as further explained in the citation under consideration. There is, however, one additional action step following our giving of thanks. We must “ avail ourselves of the blessings we have.”

What does this mean, to avail? It is to use to one’s advantage. Actively engage with all the good you already have — take nothing for granted. Maintain conscious gratitude for these things. The result, Science and Health explains, is that we are then “fitted to receive more.” So you feel you need more of something for your own, or others’ welfare? Thanksgiving provides hands-on opportunity to demonstrate increasing practical good.

Moreover, a deeper level of gratitude may be based on the synonyms for God: Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, and Love, Gratitude that there is one God, one Mind, and that we each reflect this one perfect Mind, is availing ourselves of a blessed truth that “fits us to receive “ more in the way of intelligence, memory, spiritual understanding, perspicacity, and wisdom. Gratitude for the one Mind reflected by man can bring healing to mental or emotional disorders, raise comprehension abilities, perfect decision-making, and lift consciousness into the heights of Spirit with realization. This results in added blessings innumerable!

If you had to choose but three things this moment on the various levels of gratitude, what would they be? Then be active with these things and prepare to receive more— limitless more!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Abby at Scriptual Study Center

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Personal Development through Critical Thinking and Spirituality



Personal Development through Critical Thinking and Spirituality


Combining the elements of critical thinking (criticalthinking.org) with the laws of Life, Truth, and Love (Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy) definitely leads one to higher manifestations of spiritual Christ-power that meet human needs in the way that Christ Jesus demonstrated. He said, "The works that I do, shall ye do also," and the deep understanding of spiritual reality and the Allness of God, Good, enable us to become effective disciples with the "signs following" that he expected.

There are eight elements of critical thinking (criticalthinking.org) that I have used in my daily spiritual life for personal development (although I like to think in terms of spiritual development more than 'personal').  These elements span time and space, are not barred by language or era, cut across any and every discipline, and have no limitations to their application in learning or decision-making.

Along with these eight elements of critical thinking, I combine the seven synonyms for God as found in the Scriptures and elucidated in Mary Baker Eddy's textbook, Science and Health. These synonymous terms for the I AM include: Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, and Love.

In my workshop on personal development through critical thinking and spirituality, these concepts are explored in depth, step-by-step instructions are given on the application of these items in daily life for personal growth and decision-making, and support for working through personal issues is given both during and after the workshop. Email abby@scripturalstudycenter.org to schedule a workshop or an individual healing session.

Let's now take a look at the nature of the I AM, God, as Mind. There is one God, therefore one Mind, illustrated by an analogy of one sun (for our planet) and the countless rays of light that create one illumination. Barring, for a moment, the appearance and conviction of many personal minds that are combined good and evil -- let's consider one infinite Mind that is all Light and all Good -- that would be God. Before the thoughts that instantly begin to fight with this concept prevent you from profiting from this absolute truth, put all personal sense and memories and fears aside -- just for a minute. Turn to this truth as one might turn to look at a huge, glorious waterfall to enjoy the sight, hear the thundering roar of its power, and feel the energy of the moisture in the air moving on to your face! Turn to this vision with your innate spiritual sense and take in the view of infinite soft Light "in whom there is no darkness at all" -- this is the true infinite Being that Jesus called "Father." This intelligent Light and Life is Mind. One God, one Mind (see Science and Health for in-depth teaching on Mind).

Now make a connection to this one Mind, God, that is all Goodness and omnipotent. Use the analogy of God as the sun, and yourself as a ray of light (S&H 361) that parallels Jesus words, "I and my Father are one." If God were the sun, you would be a ray of light. Just for a few minutes -- stop and think on this. Feel after this as your own actual identity. Don't let any thoughts creep in to darken this -- bar your consciousness of all else but this one thing. The Scriptures say, "Look unto Me, and be ye saved..." So turn thought to see the Infinite One of Light, all Good, all Intelligence -- then see yourself as Its own emanation or expression. If you can do this for even a moment -- and you can -- you have experienced the Christ-consciousness, and this consciousness of Truth "makes free" as Jesus taught. It heals. It restores. It lifts you into a higher sense of your actual being. It enables you to "let this Mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus" as the Apostle Paul recommends (Phillipians 2:5).

This is personal development on the highest level. Therefore, it is developing your true selfhood as "God's own likeness" coonsciously, that results in manifestation of good, and the best possible decision-making. As you feel after your oneness with Mind, angel messages speak to your consciousness, guiding, protecting, and directing. Listen for the intuitions. Think things out by listening to the divine Mind, your real and only Mind -- a truth that eliminates a margin for error and guides to the best possible daily experience.

For a workshop on this topic, simply email abby@scripturalstudycenter.org, or call 910-777-3905. Scriptural Study Center is pleased to offer this workshop in a way that best suits the needs of your group, and can be conducted in one hour, or stretch to a full-day or two-day seminar.

Here we have considered the concept of Mind combined with the critical thinking element point-of-view. In the workshops, each element and synonymous term are covered for most comprehensive personal (spiritual) development.

"Let this Mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phillipians 2:5).