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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).

Friday, October 20, 2017

Post-Disaster

October 20, 2017
Post-hurricane, post-earthquake, post-mass shooting,  and soon-to-be post wildfires are situations that need our effective healing prayers.

"He taketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters" (Psalm 23: 2). 

Psalm 23 speaks volumes of the care divine Love exercises over each of us. The Shepherd is the ever-present Love, while each one of us is a lamb under His care (see last page of chapter 16, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy).

This extended analogy, this timeless text (the gift of Spirit) has comforted countless individuals for millennia. It is a power and presence available for each of us at any and every moment -- no matter what language we speak, what culture we claim, what era we inhabit, or what problem we face. 

The shepherd makes the sheep of his care "lie down in green pastures." They will not lie down if they are afraid, angry, or hungry. To eliminate their fear is easy, he just has to walk out where they can see him. "Oh good, there he is," they think -- this calms them and they are no longer afraid. We need to use our innate spiritual vision and see the Ever-present Love, to feel His Presence, and let this reality assuage our concerns or trepidations.

The shepherd creates pools of "still water" so the lambs and sheep are not afraid to drink. They do not like running water. Even if they are perfectly safe, they do not want to drink from that rushing water. They need it to be still. The shepherd may know that they could safely drink from the moving water, but he patiently takes care of their uncertainty, doubt, and fear, by digging a ditch from the moving water to a circular pool that by his own effort is created. The sheep will drink from this still water. God, divine Love, will go to great lengths to take care of you, even if there is no real need to be afraid. Love will make the way easier for you if you look to him and ask. 

So to those standing in a burnt meadow where it used to be their homes, to those standing in stagnant contaminated water where it used to be a sure foothold and clean, to those that find themselves seemingly stuck in the midst of some violence or aftermath of complexities from a disaster (relationship, financial, physical, emotional) -- to those needing help -- "lean on the sustaining infinite" as Science and Health instructs, and "today will be big with blessings" (preface). Lean on your shepherd, the Spirit of Love that is present and substantial, that loves you and cares for you, and He will make your fears go away -- He will give you rest, and He will give you "living waters" (John 4:11-15). 

To help: let your thought rest on these areas post-disaster in reflection of the gentle light of Love. Know that this puts into operation the Law of the Universe -- the Law of divine Mind -- and human needs are met in unexpected and wonderful ways. Give gratitude that our understanding prayers are hands-on help that is manifesting now. 




Thursday, June 8, 2017

Intuition

When you get that little nudge that you cannot quite define, that feeling that maybe you should wait, or a totally "green light" on a decision -- all of that is intuition. Intuition is something literally built into the spiritual DNA or genetics of our Soul -- it is the actual presence of Mind in operation as our consciousness that feels after correct impulses of direction. Intuition in decision-making may push through to you at any time, under any circumstances, but it is best sought in quiet places of solitude, even if for only a moment or two. Habitual meditative times really open the door wide for intuition. You may find yourself with greatly increased discernment in various areas of experience and in relations and communication with others. When we stop trying to tell God, Spirit, everything, stop asking and asking for help, and instead listen and quiet our personal senses, then intuition comes in as a refreshing wave of calm and peaceful awakening. It "restores my soul," (Psalm 23). Wondering if something is right? A decision is to be made? A relationship or job be pursued? Quiet -- listen for angel messages -- ask and they will come. This is your natural intuitiveness -- a gift from Soul. You will know. Be grateful that you will know. Thank You for letting me know what to do, when to wait, when to move forward. Be not afraid and do not hurry. Most of all, do not argue with your spiritual intuitions or try to "logically" explain them away. They are pure and have your best interest to the front. Trust the bigger picture to God and feel His directing. The divine plan is for perfect harmony and happiness. Listen and follow, even if it doesn't make sense at the moment; even if it seems disappointing -- wait. Love wants only the best for you. There is a divine plan and nothing can interfere with it; it is operating in your behalf for your best good and to bless those that you have, or will have, in your experience. With intuition you can be the best help, the most discerning counselor or coach, because it is not the personal you thinking or speaking. You listen to what people say, and at the same time you hear what God is saying because you have nurtured that listening prayer and are always receiving angel messages. You speak what God says to your consciousness and it turns out to be perfect intuitiveness with just the right answer for the one who needs your help.

Once I had the intuition that I should not go so early to pick up my daughter from school -- I usually left with extra time. It didn't make sense to me and I fought off the light little intuition with human logic and left as always. For this, I was stuck for a really long time in a traffic jam, and when I finally arrived at the school, I had to wait because my daughter was held up talking with her teacher. This is just a tiny example, but illustrates how we need to really be obedient to the gentle promptings that come to thought in the form on intuitions.

A time when my intuitions came to the rescue occurred when a woman called me to pray with her. She said she was so weak that she couldn't really get out of bed anymore, and she was just giving up. She was scared. The angel messages that came as I prayed with her prompted me to ask if she lived alone, if she had anyone there, if she had eaten. All responses were in the negative. I was able to get her to call a family member to come assist her -- she was quite reluctant to do so because she was afraid they might take her from her home. This led to practical and gentle steps that took care of her immediate needs, and we continued to pray together a few more times on the phone. She recovered health and strength and was able to stay home safely after a few weeks. I am grateful for the angel messages that came to my thought to ask the right questions.

You can develop the strength of your innate intuitiveness through quiet meditative prayer. Doing this regularly with the purpose of expressing love and bringing healing enables you to receive the intuitions you need to help yourself and others, and have a happier, Spirit-connected life!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Two Barrels of Chlorine Gas Dropped: Prayer Needed for Healing

The question at issue, two barrels of chlorine gas have been dropped on Saraqeb, Syria (late on Monday, August 1), what can we do to help those afflicted? Who is responsible and why it was done are not the urgent questions, rather it is how we can effectively pray to bring healing to the approximate 30 suffering in consequence -- mostly innocent women and children. 


The need of the moment is for healing, for relief, for the saving power of divine Love to rest upon them. Can you help? Yes.

What do we need to include (or exclude) in our prayerful thinking so it is effective in healing? First, prayer needs to be more listening (to God) than informing Him. God knows all and knows the reality of His own infinitude of Good. We need to get on the side of His thought and vision. Right where evil, fear, pain, physical discomfort, threat, and violence appear, right there we must get into the embrace of that intelligent Love who makes us see from His higher view -- makes us see what is actual and real. The Scriptures say that God "is of purer eyes than to behold evil." It is not that He is unable to see everything -- God sees all and "behold, it is very good." We are seeing things incorrectly with a false perception. If we see things as they really are, we can see only Good, for God, Good fills all space "and there is none beside Him." This higher spiritual standpoint goes against all the physical sense presentation. However, holding to the infinitude of God as all good and all-loving, we are knowing truth, and Jesus said that would make us free. It will heal. 

So how to help? Turn thought to realize goodness and Love, like a gentle Light, filling all space and resting as a healing presence on those who have unjustly been afflicted. This is the Christ presence and it heals, comforts, and restores. 

What must we not include in our thinking? Blame, anger, astonishment. These obstruct. Turn so fully to God, Goodness and Love, that it is all that fills your thought. This Christly activity of thought manifests blessings and healing. The little ones in Saraqeb need us. Bring the true Light and behold them from God's eye view, safe in the midst of His Being of Love.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-36951783

Friday, June 24, 2016

Floods and Severe Damage Neutralized by Prayer

Thousands need immediate help as floods in West Virginia have washed away homes and left an 18-person death toll with many more unaccounted for at this time. Rescue workers need our prayerful support as they are lovingly compelled to search for and help any remaining victims.



One story, reported by the Associated Press, enumerates the increasingly shocking steps a desperate woman took as water filled her home. Speaking with her husband by phone, she told of climbing up into the attic to escape the water, and then smelling natural gas. She managed to get out through a vent and then hold tight to a tree for hours until finally rescued. Let us pray that any other brave souls who might still be clinging to life are found and saved.

In an effort to comfort and strengthen any one in a similar position as the woman holding to the tree, please take a few minutes with me to affirm the presence of the gentle Love of God, the universal I AM. Love "casts out fear," the Scriptures assure us, and "God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and a sound mind' (II Timothy 1:7). God, Love, is present; fear is abated, gone. Let the gentle presence of Love enfold all those holding on who are in scary circumstances, never expected, and give them comfort and strength. Let the divine Intelligence guide the rescue workers to go exactly to the right places and have power to successfully help.

Let us also prayerfully affirm that the hand of God, Good, is over each county that has suffered from the flooding, and that restoration be quick.