Prayers in church

Here’s a simple question that I think we all need to be asking ourselves: What are we praying for while attending a Christian Science Sunday Service or a Wednesday Testimony Meeting?

Concord, MA 10.11.15Now, some may wonder: “What is he talking about? I’m listening to the readings, the solo, the testimonies, and trying to be inspired!”

But is that why we, as Christian Scientists, go to these services?

Are we really just there to imbibe the thought and atmosphere for ourselves—for our own benefit?  And if so, isn’t that just a form of selfishness?  Isn’t that just a “what-can-I-get-from-it” kind of mentality that at its very core is opposed to the nature of Christian Science to bless and heal others?

Shouldn’t we instead be taking all the metaphysical work that we’ve done during the week via our study of the Bible Lesson and its subsequent revelations, and bringing that uplifted and more spiritualized thought to bear at those services?

Imagine if all of us were focusing on healing—on praying throughout the service—that anyone there, anyone walking through those doors that is looking for healing, would find it!

Imagine if we all were prayerfully supporting the Readers in their efforts to keep their thought elevated to the highest level of spiritual understanding and to fulfill what Mary Baker Eddy requires all Readers in every Church of Christ, Scientist to do, namely, that:

They must keep themselves unspotted from the world, —  uncontaminated with evil, — that the mental atmosphere they exhale shall promote health and holiness, even that spiritual animus so universally needed. (Manual of The Mother Church, p. 31)

That every word they uttered, that every idea expressed was to bring about healing!  That every thought was a treatment and demonstration of the practical and immediately tangible and effective power of omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, and omni-active God!

Unspotted and uncontaminated!  In other words, fully protected and free from wrongful influences in whatever guise mortal mind would advocate!

And shouldn’t those same qualities be what each of us should be striving to bring to church?  Not relying on the world’s ways and means—the methods of the carnal mind—but on the immediate inspiration and ever-present help of our Father-Mother God!

Mrs. Eddy wrote in Science and Health (p. 345):

When the omnipotence of God is preached and His absoluteness is set forth, Christian sermons will heal the sick.

And if we’re not seeing that immediate healing evidence at our services, then shouldn’t we be asking ourselves some serious questions as to why?

Remember, healing the sick and reforming the sinner is the bottom line. Nothing less!

So, what are your prayers in church going to be about this week?

Not always the obvious!

I enjoy playing the “Daily Challenge” in my Solitaire app on my iPhone.  It’s a little diversion that’s fun, but which I’ve noticed has other implications.

What am I talking about?

Shadows in Carlisle 09.06.15Well, for those of you who also partake of this game, you may have noticed that some days the “challenge” is pretty straightforward leading to a very simple victory.  While on others, it becomes quite—well—challenging!


Because the obvious moves don’t result in winning. They, in fact, lead to dead ends where it becomes impossible to complete the task of getting all the cards up into their proper suits.  And to win those games, you have to discipline your thought into not going for the obvious, but waiting to see what really needs to be done. What really needs to be (excuse the pun or not!) “dealt” with!

There’s a metaphysical lesson in that.

Over and over again, I’ve seen in my practice that what appears on the surface—the complaint that the patient is calling for help with—is not always what needs to be addressed.  It’s often something in their thought that might superficially appear to be totally unrelated, but which is actually the root of the problem.  And once that’s seen—once it’s exposed for what it is and replaced with the Christianly scientific truth—the healing generally follows quickly.

I’ll give you an example from my own experience.

Several years ago, I had done a 65-mile fast bike ride on a really hot day—in the upper 90’s.  The next day, I did a similarly long and energetic ride in the same conditions with some friends.  As we were returning home, two of my buddies were talking in detail about a then best-selling medical book and exclaiming how wonderful they thought it was—expounding quite a bit on some of the medical theories it purported.  I mentally blocked out the conversation.

And then, suddenly, I felt severe cramps in one of my legs making it impossible to continue pedaling—something that never happens to me.  I told my friends that I needed to stop and pray and that I would catch up with them, so they continued on.

Now the first suggestion that came to my thought was that, given the excessive heat and strenuous pace for the two days, I hadn’t been drinking enough, thereby causing the discomfort.  By the way, that’s the general sports medical belief about cramps and cycling.  But as I quickly turned in prayer to God, it became immediately clear that this supposed cause was nothing other than a smoke screen to cover up the real culprit—namely, all the medical discussion that had been taking place and which I hadn’t thoroughly dealt with metaphysically.

I proceeded to handle that discussion, knowing full-well that not only could it have no effect on me because it was not from God, but that my friends could neither be the vehicle for it nor could they be wrongfully influenced by its lies.

All of this, from start to finish, took only a couple of minutes and the cramps instantly disappeared!  Much to the surprise of my friends, I rapidly caught up with them.  And because they know that I’m a Christian Science practitioner, they were able to see first-hand how scientific prayers heal quickly and permanently!

Mary Bake Eddy wrote on p. 184 of Science and Health:

Belief produces the results of belief, and the penalties it affixes last so long as the belief and are inseparable from it. The remedy consists in probing the trouble to the bottom, in finding and casting out by denial the error of belief which produces a mortal disorder, never honoring erroneous belief with the title of law nor yielding obedience to it. Truth, Life, and Love are the only legitimate and eternal demands on man, and they are spiritual lawgivers, enforcing obedience through divine statutes.

And that, my friends, is the only obvious move to make!

Absent from the body

The title of this post comes from the Apostle Paul’s powerful admonition in his Second Epistle to the Corinthians:

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (II Cor. 5:8)

Skylight, IL 08.15.15It’s a powerful truth that if spiritually understood brings about healing.

Being absent from the body and present with the Lord—with God!

But here’s a question: Does this only apply to the physical so-called body or is it more than this?

Doesn’t this mighty assertion also refer to being mentally absent from all the beliefs of the flesh—of the “body” of material thought?

Beliefs that would argue that life and intelligence are in matter!  Deceptions that are the whisperings of the serpent—the carnal mind!

And the falsities that the world is constantly and aggressively putting before our thought via all the illusions of imaginary material health laws, of the delusive mazes of psychology and psychiatry, of the intense coercions of atheism, humanism, secularism, and sensualism, and of the myriad philosophies and religious systems whose doctrines and dogmas support and insist on cooperation with these very falsehoods—the falsehoods of mortal mind!

Mary Baker Eddy wrote:

Outside of Christian Science all is vague and hypothetical, the opposite of Truth; yet this opposite, in its false view of God and man, impudently demands a blessing. (Science and Health, p.545)

And isn’t that exactly what these lies, these systems, are trying to do—impudently demand our blessing?

Now, within Paul’s declaration there’s an implied prerequisite—a requirement that we need to take seriously.  And it’s one that requires us to honestly examine our thoughts and motives.

“So,” you might be asking, “what is it?”

Well, it’s simply this! Are we really willing to be absent from the body—from the host of material lies that have manacled us?  Or are we content to merely spin our wheels in a comfort zone of superficial words and actions—a comfort zone that lies entirely within the very falsifications that have enslaved us?

A comfort zone that is instead absent from God and present with the body!

It comes down to this: Are we willing to change our thinking and behavior?  Are we willing to reform and repent, to give up our golden calves, and strive to live a more God-like, Christly life?

A life that brings about healing!

A life that is in fact demonstrably present with the Lord!

How receptive are you?

“To what?” you might be asking.

Well—specifically to God!

Receptivity is the willingness to actually listen to what God is revealing to us—about our true nature as well as seeing and casting out what we’ve falsely identified with of mortal mind—and to humbly be obedient to our Father-Mother God’s unfoldment to us.

Clouds and rays of sun 08.02.15And that entails our willingness to change!

You’ll recall from the Gospel of Mark that a young man approached Jesus and asked him what he needed to do to inherit eternal life (Mark 10:17-22). After Jesus told him, and the young man said that he had always done those things, the Master discerned there was one thing yet that he had to do—sell his possessions, give the income to the poor, and then follow Jesus.  This hit right to the core of what was holding this individual’s spiritual progress back—but it was more than he was willing to do and he left in distress.

In contrast to that, and from the same Gospel, was blind Bartimæus who begged for Jesus to heal him (Mark 10:46-52).  Many in the crowd did everything they could to dissuade the blind man from seeking help, but after he continued to call, and after Jesus responded, the crowd suddenly changed tactics and encouraged him—isn’t that just like what the two-faced carnal mind would do!  And what was the blind man’s response?  To cast away his garment—throw off his material thought—and humbly come to Jesus who then healed him.  The Master then told him to go his way, but instead Bartimæus followed Jesus in the way!

What a stark difference between these two states of thought!

Now, we need to ask ourselves a very serious question: Which one are we identifying with?

Are we really willing to cast off our material modes of thought and leave all for God and be the healers that we—who call ourselves Christian Scientists—have been anointed and appointed to be by none other than Almighty God?

Or are we going to cling to those tatters of matter—satisfied with the “progress” that we feel comfortable with rather than what the Christ is impelling in us?

Remember, friends, Mary Baker Eddy wrote:

Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea. (Science and Health, p. 323)

Isn’t that where our thought needs to be?  Isn’t this what we need to humbly watch and pray for?

Isn’t this how we need to live our lives?

New JSH-Online Christian Science Journal Podcast

My latest JSH-Online audio podcast “Being a blessing to others” has just been posted at the Putting it on Record section of The Christian Science Journal. Rita Polatin interviewed me about how being a blessing to others can also bring about healing for ourselves.

You can hear it at:


Who are you arguing for?

This is an important question that each of us must ask ourselves.


Because it indicates whether we’re throwing our weight in the scale of God or of the carnal mind! And make no mistake: these are the only two choices there are!

Rocks on wall 09.28.14All too often in my public practice of Christian Science, I hear from folks that have been dealing with illnesses, or perhaps emotional or marital/relationship, or financial problems, for extended periods—sometimes decades—and who have not found the healing they deserve. Yet, they continue to argue—overtly or tacitly—for the very thing that has brought upon them the situation they are dealing with.

How do they do this?

Frequently, they believe that material causes or circumstances of their human history are the supposed “reasons” for what they’ve been encountering. Or, while espousing the allness of God, they simultaneously view themselves as under another “power” such as heredity, genes, or societal expectations. Still others believe they are subordinate to the oppressive actions of their spouses or family members rather than only to God.

And there are those that look at their bodies and accept mortal mind’s suggestion as being their own conclusion that this physicality is who they are, rather than their only and true identity being entirely spiritual. Being the image and likeness of infinite Spirit!

Mary Baker Eddy stated:

If the scales are evenly adjusted, the removal of a single weight from either scale gives preponderance to the opposite. Whatever influence you cast on the side of matter, you take away from Mind, which would otherwise outweigh all else. Your belief militates against your health, when it ought to be enlisted on the side of health. (Science and Health, p. 168)

So shouldn’t we be arguing for the truth of God and His perfect creation and demonstrating healing from the rules of Christian Science rather than the fables of mortal mind? Or as Science and Health (p. 259) declares:

The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea, — perfect God and perfect man, — as the basis of thought and demonstration.

We can demonstrate the healing power of Christian Science on no other basis! We cannot afford to mix in other thoughts and expect to see the healing results we desire.

And we must be willing to cast out the false concepts of mortal mind that we have identified with, accepted, and used as justifications for the ongoing problem—rather than vehemently arguing against Truth in order to maintain those falsehoods. The falsehoods that we’ve become accustomed to and even find “comfortable.” The falsehoods that we participate in, embrace, and knowingly or unwittingly use their evil tactics to sustain!

In other words, we have to be willing to put off “…the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Eph. 4)

Mrs. Eddy wrote:

Contending for the evidence or indulging the demands of sin, disease, or death, we virtually contend against the control of Mind over body, and deny the power of Mind to heal. This false method is as though the defendant should argue for the plaintiff in favor of a decision which the defendant knows will be turned against himself. (Science and Health, p. 380)

Let’s be sure that we’re throwing our weight in God’s scale—the only way forward!

Rebroadcast of JSH-Online Sentinel Radio Edition Program

This week’s Sentinel Radio Edition on JSH-Online is a rebroadcast of a program that was first aired in 2006 entitled “Are you letting other people do your thinking for you?”

Stephanie Johnson, James Spencer, and I were interviewed on this timely topic. You can listen to it at:


The stone never dropped

We’ve all done things or had things happen to us that have not been good at some point in our lives. Maybe we’ve behaved badly, or have been dealing with illness for a long time. Or perhaps there’s been some traumatic or tragic circumstance that engulfed us or our loved ones.

Sun on the prairie 11.24.12So many folks around the world are daily haunted by these types of occurrences.

But is this necessary? Is it right for us to have to live in this way?

What I’ve found through my ongoing study and application of the truths of Christian Science is that we have the power and ability given to us by Almighty God to overthrow those claims that would limit our experiences—claims that are nothing more than the lies of mortal mind and therefore have no authority whatsoever over us.


Because they’re not from God! It’s that simple!

God is the only cause and effect. There is none other. And because this is so—and it is!—there can be only good, only God, going on since He and He alone is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and omni-active. There has never been anything else. Period!

Now you may be thinking, “Wait a second! What are you talking about? These things have happened to me!”

Well, that’s what mortal mind—the carnal mind, evil—is claiming to you by presenting its so-called evidence through the material senses—senses that both “…originate and support all that is material, untrue, selfish, or debased.” (Science and Health, p. 318)

In other words, these material senses, which are mortal mind, are the ones that are fabricating the problem and then going about through those same senses to convince you of the lie by saying “Don’t you feel this pain? Don’t you remember that difficulty and what is was like? Don’t you recall that you saw it, smelled it, touched it, tasted it, heard it?”

So, what’s the solution then?

Well, Mary Baker Eddy continued on page 318 to state what needs to be done:

We must silence this lie of material sense with the truth of spiritual sense. We must cause the error to cease that brought the belief of sin and death and would efface the pure sense of omnipotence.

And how do we go about this?

By turning whole-heartedly to God to gain the spiritual lessons that we need to learn relative to those experiences—lessons that once seen, understood, and applied, completely free us from believing that something other than good, than God, has ever gone on.

A stone not dropped into a pond will cause no ripples!

A wall or steps?

Steps after snow 02.25.15The photo at the right could be seen as a vertical wall blocking the way or as steps viewed from above. Which one is it then?

They are actually our front steps after one of the many snowstorms we had here this winter.

Now, there is a metaphysical point to this that leads directly to healing and reformation.

How are you viewing any challenges that may be facing you?

Are you seeing them as insurmountable, or at least extremely difficult, obstructions to your health and harmony?

Or are you viewing them as opportunities to grow spiritually and be lifted by the Christ, step-by-step, out of the darkness of the material lie into the ever-present light of Truth—of God, in whom we live and move and have our being? (Acts 17)

If it’s the former, you would do well to step away from that position—realizing that it is nothing other than mortal mind’s lie tempting you into identifying with it and thereby believing that it is your own observation and conclusion.  A conclusion that has nothing—nothing—to do with God and you as His image and likeness!  An image and likeness that you have never been anything less than—regardless of what mortal mind, or what the Apostle Paul referred to as the carnal mind, has been claiming!

You are always in divine Love! There is no other existence. None!

Mary Baker Eddy wrote in her Miscellaneous Writings, p. 79:

Man’s origin and existence being in Him, man is the ultimatum of perfection, and by no means the medium of imperfection. Immortal man is the eternal idea of Truth, that cannot lapse into a mortal belief or error concerning himself and his origin: he cannot get out of the focal distance of infinity.

To paraphrase what TV law enforcement officers say, “Step away from the wall!”

And step up into the light of Truth!