Posts tagged ‘love’
My colleague, Bob Clark from Florida, has written a thoughtful blog challenging the notion that with maturity comes debilitation. He shares a healing of Alzheimer’s disease achieved through spiritual means alone. Whether or not you are a “senior”, this is a blog worth reading. John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon.
By Bob Clark, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Florida
I live in an area with a lot of wonderful older people, “seniors” as they’re often called. I love seeing seniors walking on the beach, fishing off the piers, driving convertibles, playing golf and generally enjoying life in their later years. These are the true “senior moments”.
So it bothers me deeply when I read about Alzheimer’s disease threatening to demote seniors from their well-earned place and status to a lower level where their “senior-hood” can become a curse rather than a blessing.
Here are some startling statistics from American Family Physician, “The financial and social costs of Alzheimer’s disease are staggering. In the United States, the disease accounts for about $100 billion per year in medical and custodial expenses, with the average patient requiring an expenditure of about $27,000 per year for medical and nursing care. In addition, 80 percent of caregivers report stress, and about 50 percent report depression.”
Is there an alternative to the unjust sentence this disease imposes on our seniors and their families? Is there a way to control or even avoid its collateral costs and damage? Yes. Fortunately for all of us, there is.
As health care reform lumbers forward and costs spiral upward we are seeing increased coverage of alternative approaches to health and healing. The number one alternative, according to NIH, the National Institutes of Health, is prayer. Surprised?
Well, prayer, as it turns out, actually works, even for incurable, degenerative diseases that baffle medical experts. Below is an outstanding and inspiring example of how prayer was used to completely overcome Alzheimer’s. In this case, after a medical diagnosis, every conceivable remedy was applied: Chinese herbalism, homeopathy, ayurvedic medicine, and yoga, all in addition to the most up to date pharmaceutical remedies. After all else failed, this woman found prayer to be the only effective and permanent alternative. Hers is a must read story.
Her prayer-based triumph over Alzheimer’s is just one example of thousands, offering proof that medical diagnoses are not always final and that there is a practical spiritual alternative to forfeiting the joys of senior-hood.
by John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon
There are those times in our lives when we meet remarkable people. The last two years have been one of those times for me. You see, I get to meet with Christian Science college students at the University of Oregon every week. They’re incredible. Their insights and understanding of the principles underlying the practice of Christian Science are unparalleled. Two of them, Lauren and Denise, recently took the time to talk with me about what Christian Science means to them, and how they use it in their life. I know you will enjoy watching this video discussion as much as I did making it.
disclaimer: This was a low budget taping session. One stand alone iPhone for the video and audio, and two everyday lamps for lighting. But the message comes through loud and clear.
So just how does “sin” affect our health? And just what is sin? My colleague and friend, Keith Wommack, from the great state of Texas, has an interesting discussion on this topic. John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon.
By Keith Wommack, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Texas
If I wanted to shoot hoops today, but the only sneakers I could find were a pair of size 8½ red high-tops, I’d be frustrated. I wear 9½, and that garish crimson just won’t do. However, if I went ahead and wore them for a game, how do you think my feet would feel afterward? Likely, I would pay a price the following day.
In the above example, we could call the impulsiveness and impatience a sin; and it illustrates the way in which sin impacts health by causing physical and emotional suffering. Anger, hate, envy, dishonesty, and all selfishness have unpleasant consequences. And sin causes more than blisters on toes. The entire body is affected by thought. For example, many are studying the role stress and emotions have on cardiovascular disease. (See WebMD article) How we feel is connected and subject to how we think.
Both sins and mistakes cause trouble. But the two are dissimilar: A mistake is an unintentional action caused by ignorance, whereas sin is more than a mistake. It is a conscious course of wrongdoing.
Mistakes can be corrected by knowledge. However, sin is erased by a recognition that our actions were wrong, coupled with a refusal to ever again think and act unloving and self-destructive. Didn’t Jesus heal by exposing and destroying sin?
Every selfish, sinful thought is self-destructive. It leaves Spirit, God, out of the picture. This is inevitably bad for health, for without Spirit health becomes vulnerable. Why? Because there is an indissoluble connection between Spirit and health. The more I deny Spirit by my thoughts and actions, the more I deny this valuable connection and my health becomes subject to change. More and more, studies and articles are showing the connection between Spirit/prayer and health. (For example: How Prayer Leads to Better Health and Longer Life)
In a broad and general sense, sin is accepting something less than a good and ever-present God as well as denying His ability to care for mankind’s needs. In a specific sense, sin is thinking and acting in an immoral and unloving way.
Back to shoes and toes. I’m learning that when I try to put something too big (toes) into something too small (8½ shoes), pain is eventually going to show up.
However, isn’t that what I do? Aren’t I constantly thinking about myself rather than Spirit? Thinking I’m matter-based when Spirit made me spiritually? Attempting to live life small or limited when Life is really God, big, infinite and dynamic?
Yet, the more I understand Spirit and my spiritual nature, the fewer mistakes I will make and the greater dominion I will have over the temptation to sin.
Again, to overcome a mistake, knowledge is needed. To stop each sin’s impact on health, the sin must be stopped.
Where do I begin? First, I must know myself as the spiritual child of God, made to express goodness and grace. Second, I must recognize the weaknesses and sins I’ve accepted as a part of myself. Then I must use the truth of the first to remove the aggressive lies of the second.
I believe that God has given you and me the power to subordinate thought and body to our spiritual understanding. As we express our God-given dominion, we can erase sin and remove its impact on our own health as well as on the health of others.
By John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon
Since today is the National Day of Prayer I thought it fitting to reflect on how prayer works in my life.
As a child I behaved like most kids. I cried when I was sad. I ran away from anything that frightened me. If I was happy I would laugh or get excited and do all kinds of crazy kid things. All of this was pretty normal, given how I grew up.
When I reached young adulthood my responses became less impulsive. I was more inclined to think about things. I reflected on what I was feeling and tried to figure out why. I would respond in a more thoughtful way to what I encountered from day to day. I have to admit, though, that not all my responses were as mature as I would like. I struggled with emotions, as I suppose we all do, pushing rationality out the window. Then my response was not so reasoned.
In my teens I started becoming aware of this entity we call God. I thought a lot about this. I went to a Sunday School (voluntarily I might add) and learned about the Bible as a source to help me understand Him.
I wanted to know how to pray in “response” to my life. I remember some of those long lonely nights in my room praying about something that was bothering me deeply. I can even remember feeling that praying was my only option because all human actions seemed out of the realm of possibility. I was praying as a last resort in response to what I was feeling.
Then I read Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, a book written by Mary Baker Eddy, and my understanding of prayer changed radically. The first chapter in that book is about prayer. Eddy writes, “God is not moved by the breath of praise to do more than He has already done, nor can the infinite do less than bestow all good, since He is unchanging wisdom and Love. We can do more for ourselves by humble fervent petitions, but the All-loving does not grant them simply on the ground of lip service, for He already knows all. Prayer cannot change the Science of being, but it tends to bring us into harmony with it.”1
My prayers began to transform. The first thing that I noticed was that I wasn’t asking God for stuff or to do something for me. Before, my prayer was a last option in response to events and feelings that troubled me. I began to understand, however, that God didn’t need to do anything he hadn’t already done. Being an omnipotent Creator, His creation was complete and perfect. This I learned from Chapter one of Genesis in the Bible. What, then, was left to ask for?
I soon learned that my most effective prayer was not to ask, but to celebrate. To acknowledge what I understand God and his creation to be: complete and perfect, including me! When I focused my prayers on God and not my troubles I found that I was at peace. And what was troubling me, even illness, was resolved.
I also noticed that I was listening during my prayers. Just filtering out the static so that an inspired thought could be recognized. Finally, gratitude became a common theme, going hand-in-hand with listening and acknowledging.
My spiritual growth and learning to pray didn’t end here, though. As I continued to develop a prayer life, I came to realize that prayer is more than a response to life.
I now understand that my every thought is a prayer. I spend many moments in my day affirming and celebrating God’s constant presence in my life. I affirm divine Love’s goodness. I acknowledge that anything unlike God doesn’t possess the reality of the ever present God Creator. Prayer is woven all through my life, and I strive to make my life a prayer!
I was once asked “what does prayer mean to you?”
Here is my response in part: “prayer is lifting my thought out of ‘me’. It is my vital function, like breathing, or my heart beating. I couldn’t function without constant daily prayer.
On this “National Day of Prayer”, I thank God that somewhere along the way I learned that my every thought is a prayer, every hour of every day.
1. pg 2
This blog post by my colleague and friend in Texas, Keith Wommack, illustrates the all inclusiveness of God’s presence and efficacy in health care. I know you will enjoy reading his thoughts on this topic. John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon.
by Keith Wommack, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Texas
The prayer that heals us (dogs and cats too) is not a matter of wishing and hoping for the best. It is based on spiritual laws. It is reliable and responsible. It makes us see more clearly how God has spiritually made us. It teaches us how loved and safe we are. Just ask Lee and Sambo.
You see, Lee loves her 12 year old dog, Sambo. Lee and Sambo live on a ranch in east Texas. The ranch is about an hour away from town. One evening, when her husband was out of town, Lee saw a five foot Timberback Rattlesnake in front of her in the yard. Lee grabbed her twenty-two rifle and started shooting. Sambo saw what was happening and rushed to protect Lee. He caught the rattler in his mouth but the snake bit him.
After lots of excitement, Lee called her neighbors (who live two miles away). They came and took care of the snake. But already Sambo showed the violent symptoms of a deadly snake bite. He quickly became stiff. Lee then called a veterinarian. The vet told Lee she was too far away. Sambo needed instant help.
Lee then remembered that a friend had given her a copy ofScience and Health with Key to the Scriptures, written by Mary Baker Eddy. Christian Science is the Bible-based method of spiritual healing discovered by Eddy. Lee had used the ideas from this spiritual guidebook along with the Bible several times when she needed comfort. So, while Sambo lay in her arms, she prayed, using what she was learning.
For a solid hour she prayed. Then her neighbors suggested Lee call the vet again. Since Sambo was still alive, the vet said to come immediately. She prayed all the way to town. About five minutes before they reached the vets office, Sambo sat up in Lee’s lap and acted normal.
The vet couldn’t believe it. He said in all his years he’d only seen one dog survive a snake bite from a snake that big. However, the vet told Lee that Sambo would be lethargic for several days. And the next day Sambo was lethargic. He lay in one spot. He didn’t move.
This is when Lee called me. Lee was calling because she knew I was learning how Christian Science heals. I agreed to pray with Lee for Sambo. And I did. Sambo then got up, ate, wagged his tail, and was fine. Sambo was Sambo again. Lee knows that without prayer she would have lost Sambo. And Sambo is again running around the ranch in east Texas.
Again, the prayer that heals us (dogs and cats too) is not a matter of wishing and hoping for the best. It is based on spiritual laws. It is reliable and responsible. Just ask Lee and Samdo.
Have you experienced or seen prayer heal? Please comment on what you are learning.