Lily left us at the end of August, so we rescued Raven from the animal rescue in Evans, Colorado in September. Raven loves taking walks with me in the day time and with Tony in the evening. It’s easy to see why God delights in His unique, spiritual creation. The spiritual qualities of joy, dominion, and goodness shine out at me in those fun faces every day!
Christmas hymn by Whittier
Let every creature hail the morn
On which the holy child was born,
And know, through God’s exceeding grace,
Release from things of time and place.
I listen, from no mortal tongue,
To hear the song the angels sung,
And wait within myself to know
The Christmas lilies bud and blow.
The outward symbols disappear
From him whose inward sight is clear,
And small must be the choice of days
To him who fills them all with praise.
Keep while ye need it, brothers mine,
With honest zeal your Christmas sign,
But judge not him who every morn
Feels in his heart the Lord Christ born.
Christian Science Hymnal #170 Lyrics by John Greenleaf Whittier
Thanksgiving Bible lesson
Would you like a more spiritual concept of Thanksgiving? Maybe one that still appreciates the feast, but also helps you feel more gratitude for the good in your life? Every Christian Science branch church and society offers a church service on Thanksgiving day. They usually run about an hour and are definitely worth attending.
If you'd like to see about attending one of these services close to you, search your location here.
If you can't make a service on Thanksgiving day, but would still like to read a great Bible lesson on Thanksgiving, click here.
For more ideas on Thanksgiving, gobble on over to my blog page.
You are Love's action
I think this ad has something to teach us that goes far beyond where we buy our next fast food burger.
"And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors" (The Bible, Matthew, chapter 6). This well-known line from the Lord's Prayer is interpreted spiritually by Mrs. Eddy as, "And Love is reflected in love" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 17). Love with a capital L is God. Love with a lowercase l is Love's action.
We are all Love's creation, so it's natural for us to expect to see Love in action all around us. Yes, God is the source of compassion shown by those who help when they see bullying. And an understanding that infinite Love must be expressed in all ways by everyone lifts the standard of behavior around us. It actually has the power to prevent acts of hate. Where omnipresent Love and Love's omnipresent action are, no hate can be present. It's food for thought!
Love never loses sight of loveliness. Its halo rests upon its object. One marvels that a friend can ever seem less than beautiful. Mary Baker Eddy
(click here for quote on page)
Pianos about town
Seventy-seven donated pianos later, the city of Fort Collins, Colorado has been bringing music to their community one artist at a time. Click here to learn more about this great program!
If you'd like to read a blog on why music is so soothing, dance on over to my blog page!
A random act of kindness
Contributed by guest blogger, Judy McMillie
Most of us have a favorite restaurant or two. We aren’t exclusive with it, but we frequent it often, once a week maybe. My husband and I love Avila’s Mexican Food. It’s a very special place for us, and we have a particular booth we like to sit in. We chat up all the waiters, waitresses, bus-boys and –girls, and we tip generously. It’s what we like to do.
Recently, when we went to Avila’s for some enchiladas on a cold and windy evening, the service was slower than usual due to a big party in the back party room and a large take-out order to fill. But we didn’t mind too much – Avila’s is a pleasant place to be.
My husband Buck whose career was in law enforcement -- he retired from the federal prison system -- was transferred to La Tuna Federal Correctional Institution near El Paso in December 1969. He, his wife, and two young children drove to El Paso from their previous assignment in West Virginia, and Avila’s was the first restaurant they ate in after arriving in this decidedly Mexican-food city. The love affair began all those years ago, and a few of the employees still working at Avila’s today were working at the restaurant way back then. Luis and Chiquita are two of them. There’s a special bond between them and us, although I came on the scene many years later.
The other evening when we went to Avila’s, we were just sitting, waiting for our food, when Buck spotted something shiny on the floor under the adjacent table. He thought about leaving it alone, but he was curious and we were just biding our time, so he went to the table and retrieved the item. It was a big beautiful gold and diamond man’s ring, a really lovely piece of jewelry. At that very moment, our waiter friend Luis passed by and asked what it was that caught Buck’s attention. Buck showed him, and he became visibly breathless and weak. It was Luis’ ring, and he had been searching for it for a long time. He had been to his car and his locker, he had searched the counters in the kitchen, the area of the restaurant where employees take their breaks, the dining rooms and everywhere he could think to search. He was extremely relieved to find the ring, and then he told us the story behind the ring.
Luis calls it his “anniversary” ring. He and his wife bought it when they married, and every year, on their anniversary, he would add a diamond. Luis and his wife divorced after 22 years, but it still was an outward and visible sign of their life together, the family they created, and he treasured that ring like no other. I can only imagine how upset he was when the ring went missing. And I was a witness to the relief that inundated him when the ring was found.
I am a firm believer that God places us where He wants us, and this incident seems to prove my point. Buck and I could have gone anywhere we felt like going that evening, but we went to Avila’s at that time, probably at the very minute Luis was petitioning God to help him through this stressful time. Life can be so sweet at times, and you know I’m a big fan of happy endings!
Luis ended up buying our meal that evening, although we protested as much as we could. He was very grateful to have such good friends, and so were we.
Luis certainly shouted his joy and gratitude to God and His world that evening!
Judy McMillie is a retired newspaper librarian, current newspaper columnist, self-avowed memoirist, great-grandmother, native Nebraskan, and Annette's "Aunt Judy" currently living in El Paso, Texas.
If you ever find yourself in El Paso, go eat at Avila's!
Seeing life from both sides
Contributed by guest blogger, Patti Faulkner
It's easy to get caught up in issues and pulled into the political fray. When others don't share our views, it’s tempting to try to persuade them to “see the light.”
As a Canadian, I've been watching with interest, sometimes amusement, and even bewilderment, the U.S. presidential campaign. Though it impacts me less than Americans, I'm still concerned about the outcome, so I know how I would vote. And, it came as a surprise to learn recently that friends for whom I have a great deal of respect and with whom I share many values, will be voting for an opponent. I said nothing, but secretly wondered how they could do that. Seriously, had they not been reading the same stories I was? It turns out, maybe not.
I recently read an article that illustrated that often we don't read news stories that challenge our
viewpoints, but rather ones that bolster them. And I've realized with dismay that sometimes
when I'm listening to someone with an opposing view, rather than really listening and trying to
understand them, I’m formulating arguments in my mind about why they're wrong. Is this the
right way to treat others? Jesus’ guidance on this is pretty clear: “as ye would that men should
do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” (Luke 6:31).
Mary Baker Eddy, who founded Christian Science, included a favorite article “Taking Offense” in her collection of articles in Miscellaneous Writings. It offers this advice: “We should
remember that the world is wide; that there are a thousand million different human wills,
opinions, ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different history, constitution,
culture, character, from all the rest; … Then, we should go forth into life with the smallest
expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen relish for and appreciation of everything
beautiful, great, and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction of the world shall not
wear upon our sensibilities; with an equanimity so settled that no passing breath nor accidental
disturbance shall agitate or ruffle it” (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 224).
When Justice Antonin Scalia passed on earlier this year, I was touched by sentiments shared in
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s tribute: “We disagreed now and then, but when I wrote for the
Court and received a Scalia dissent, the opinion ultimately released was notably better than my
initial circulation. Justice Scalia nailed all the weak spots—the 'applesauce' and 'argle
bargle'—and gave me just what I needed to strengthen the majority opinion.” From her tribute, it was evident that they frequently disagreed, and yet, they remained close friends, obviously sharing a mutual respect.
Justice Scalia was quoted as saying, “If you can't disagree ardently with your colleagues about some issues of law and yet personally still be friends, get another job, for Pete’s sake.” (The Christian Science Monitor, February 14, 2016).
As this election campaign heats up, I’m trying to remember that there are many different viewpoints, and to appreciate those who hold them. A recent post on Facebook pictured two people looking at a number from two different angles. One said, “Six,” the other, “Nine.” It was
captioned, “Just because you are right does not mean I am wrong. You just haven't seen life
from my side.”
My friends voting for “the opponent?” As far as I know, they still are. That's not my concern, they're still my friends. Here’s to seeing life from both sides!
Patti Faulkner is a spiritual thinker, Bible student, and borderline crazy cat lady, who lives just north of the border. She's hoping that regardless of the election outcome Canada-U.S. relations remain friendly.
Music of the spheres
"Let there be light," is the perpetual demand of Truth and Love,
changing chaos into order and discord into the music of the spheres.
~Mary Baker Eddy
Is life a video game?
Contributed by guest blogger, Chelsea Dutenhoffer
With more than half a million views in just 48 hours, a viral video titled “Is life a video game?” has been making a lot of people take to social media recently to question what true reality is. The video is a clip from an interview with entrepreneur, Elon Musk, at Recode's Code Conference 2016, where a questioner from the audience asks Musk to weigh in on the idea that the world we're living in might really be nothing more than a computer simulation run by some non-human entity. Earlier in the interview Musk had discussed his concerns about advancements in artificial intelligence having the potential to create computers that are more intelligent than humans, and how that could spell disaster for the human race if we're not careful.
For those unfamiliar with him, Musk is the founder and CEO of both the aerospace company SpaceX and electric car company Tesla Motors, as well as co-chair of the non-profit artificial intelligence research company OpenAI. Known for making the seemingly impossible happen at his companies and also for candidly discussing mind-bending topics in interviews or via his Twitter account @elonmusk, Musk has earned himself quite a following among nerdy millennials such as myself.
The gist of Musk's response to the “Is reality just a simulation?” question is that he's thought about this idea a lot and has come to the conclusion that there is a “one in billions” probability that we're living in “base reality.” Basically, the world around us is very likely not as real as our physical senses suggest.
To clarify his explanation at the conference Musk later tweeted a link to an article by David Roberts titled “Elon Musk thinks we all live in a video game. So what if we do?” Musk's endorsement of the article reads simply “Exactly.” In the article Roberts explains that if the five physical senses are all you have to base your view of reality on, and something were intelligent enough to mislead all five of your senses in the same way at the same time, you'd have no way of knowing you were being deceived. With the physical senses as your only source of information, you have no way to test what those senses tell you against an unbiased source.
In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy states that “Matter cannot connect mortals with the true origin and facts of being, in which all must end” (p.491). This statement is similar to the statements made by Musk and Roberts; the mortal view of ourselves that we gain by listening to the claims of the five physical, material, senses does not show our true reality. Eddy goes a bit further, though, stating that “all must end” with the true facts of being. We can't settle for the illusion. So what is true reality, and how do we get to that end?
Roberts ultimately states that the answer to the question “what is true reality?” isn't important because that's not our view of things right now. He says that what really matters is whatever seems real to us in our current view, even if that's probably an illusion. But, what if by understanding even a little glimpse of true reality and bringing our view more in line with that understanding, we could begin to move beyond this illusion and improve our experience today?
This is where Eddy's views further diverge from those of Roberts and Musk, because she explains how to reach the understanding of true reality. Eddy writes, "It is only by acknowledging the supremacy of Spirit, which annuls the claims of matter, that mortals can lay off mortality and find the indissoluble spiritual link which establishes man forever in the divine likeness, inseparable from his creator” (Science and Health, p. 491). The illusion of the material senses cannot change true reality. By acknowledging that we ourselves as well as everyone and everything around us are all God's wholly spiritual and immortal creation, and therefore focusing less on the material or mortal sense of things, the illusion will become less real to us. As this illusion fades, we will perceive more and more clearly the true reality: the perfection of God's purely spiritual creation.
While some recently have theorized that the mortal existence is really a simulation or video game, Eddy describes it as a dream. She says “it is like the dream we have in sleep, in which every one recognizes his condition to be wholly a state of mind” (Science and Health, p. 188). Just as we can wake up from a dream, we can also awake to see the goodness of true reality constantly surrounding us.
Chelsea has a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle, and a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from USC. She currently works at Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech in Pasadena.
From sense to Soul my pathway lies before me,
From mist and shadow into Truth’s clear day;
The dawn of all things real is breaking o’er me,
My heart is singing: I have found the way.
I reach Mind’s open door, and at its portal
I know that where I stand is holy ground;
I feel the calm and joy of things immortal,
The loveliness of Love is all around.
The way leads upward and its goal draws nearer,
Thought soars enraptured, fetterless and free;
The vision infinite to me grows clearer,
I touch the fringes of eternity.
Christian Science Hymnal, hymn 64
Words by Violet Hay
Inspiration is all around us. It makes us feel like we've climbed a majestic mountaintop. Enjoy the view!