How can I experience a satisfying life?

“I can’t get no, satisfaction!” the Rolling Stones famously sung. They were articulating a feeling we have probably all felt at some time. So how do we find true, lasting satisfaction in our constantly changing world? In this audio program I respond to a variety of questions from listeners about how to experience a satisfying life.

“I can’t get no, satisfaction!” the Rolling Stones famously sung. They were articulating a feeling we have probably all felt at some time. So how do we find true, lasting satisfaction in our constantly changing world? In this audio program I respond to a variety of questions from listeners about how to experience a satisfying life.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

 

A New Year

Are you looking to make some changes this new year? Join the club. Whether you’re like one of our bloggers who welcomes the new year as a time to set

Are you looking to make some changes this new year? Join the club. Whether you’re like one of our bloggers who welcomes the new year as a time to set spiritual goals or you’re afraid your life is too far gone for a fresh start, we’ve got the right content for you.

Go ahead, have a happy New Year! It’s what God is giving you.

How detail-oriented is God?

QUESTION: Does God plan out our days like a chess game or script? How detail-oriented is God? Annette Dutenhoffer says:  No doubt we’re following God’s plan! But the chessboard concept

QUESTION:
Does God plan out our days like a chess game or script? How detail-oriented is God?

tony Annette Dutenhoffer says:  No doubt we’re following God’s plan! But the chessboard concept implies a separation between God and us—the Player and the pieces. It’s a common model: think up a strategy, put it into action. But the divine model is different. Think along the lines of the sun and its rays. We work together as one—God is and man shines. Mind (another name for God) knows and man is idea. The oneness of Mind means that there can only be one plan because it’s infinite.

Jesus said in the book of John, “I can of mine own self do nothing;” and “I and my Father are one”. 1 It follows that every grand plan and every minute detail is in the one infinite Life—yours and mine. We aren’t living out our own little lives, struggling alone to make decisions for ourselves. Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “The sun sends forth light, but not suns;…” (On page 56 of her spiritual autobiography, Retrospection and Introspection ) In the same way, God’s plan isn’t subdivided into lots of little plans. We’re living in the divine plan that He is forever unfolding.

Several summers ago I was invited to take a college course that involved giving 20-25 minute presentations in Spanish. Great opportunity, but right at the edge of my capabilities. With only a few days left to sign up, indecision set in. It became like a little god, consuming my extra moments. One night, unable to sleep, I mentally consented to God’s plan. I heard, “whether you take the class or not, whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.” What a relief! In that moment, my thought rose above the material plan with its back-and-forth rationality, and caught a glimpse of the infinite divine plan—to constantly express Him in all I do. (I ended up taking the class and loving it!)

We’re not responsible for the plan.  Our responsibility is to yield to the fact that we are active participants in the one and only infinite plan, and watch good become apparent in the details of our lives.

Annette is a Christian Science practitioner based in Longmont, Colorado.

What do YOU think? Add your comment below.

Notes:

  1. John 5:30, 10:30

Si todas las respuestas están en Ciencia y Salud porque seguimos aún cuestionando cosas?

John Biggs dice: En la Universidad estudié ballet durante cinco años. Después de los primeros dos años, yo entendía la teoría del ballet bastante bien: los movimientos musculares tenían sentido

The post Si todas las respuestas están en Ciencia y Salud porque seguimos aún cuestionando cosas? appeared first on time4thinkers.

John BiggsJohn Biggs dice: En la Universidad estudié ballet durante cinco años. Después de los primeros dos años, yo entendía la teoría del ballet bastante bien: los movimientos musculares tenían sentido y el ritmo de los pasos dentro del conjunto era claro. Pero solo escuchar a mis coreógrafos no era suficiente. Yo tenía que practicar y realmente aplicar la teoría. Yo estoy lejos de ser un excelente bailarín, pero recuerdo lo emocionante que era cada vez que de pronto lograba algo.
“Bueno, obviamente!” podrían decir ustedes. “La práctica y el compromiso son siempre de vital importancia si quieres lograr la excelencia.”
No es de esperar entonces que tengamos que comprometernos realmente –hacer preguntas, practicar, hasta luchar con Ciencia y Salud, que explica algo tan vasto e importante como la naturaleza de Dios y de toda la creación? Jesús ilustró esta idea de no temer, sino crecer ante la adversidad en su explicación de “La historia del mayordomo corrupto.” (Pueden leerlo en Lucas 16.) El Mensaje, traduce la explicación de Jesús como sigue: “utiliza la adversidad para estimularte a la supervivencia creativa, para concentrar tu atención en lo esencial, así vivirás, realmente podrás vivir, y no simplemente salir adelante complacientemente por buena conducta.
A veces me gusta pensar en Ciencia y Salud como un coach, un entrenador de carrera, que te explica cómo y por qué puedes correr y que corre contigo para apoyarte y guiarte en cada paso. En términos religiosos Ciencia y Salud y La Biblia son tu Pastor, no pueden resolver tu salvación por ti, pero sí ilustran los hechos de tu existencia y cómo puedes experimentar la totalidad de la Vida que es Dios, el bien.

Hay un pasaje en Ciencia y Salud que habla acerca de cómo no podemos simplemente hojear el libro; sino que realmente tenemos que estudiarlo. (Encuentra el pasaje en la página 147, línea 1.) Pero en la época de Mary Baker Eddy, la palabra “estudiar” no significaba simplemente ”leer en profundidad”. Era algo más parecido a un aprendizaje, un compromiso de 24/7 – (24 horas al día, siete días a la semana). Durante un aprendizaje, tú eres cuidado, alimentado, cobijado – pero también debes esforzarte, poner tu trabajo para vivir y practicar lo que estás aprendiendo.
Continuar profundizando mientras lees Ciencia y Salud , haciendo preguntas – y honestamente escuchando las respuestas – no sólo es aconsejable, sino que es un requisito. La recompensa es el inevitable descubrimiento de las profundidades de las riquezas de La Biblia, el mapa de la vida, desplegando nuestra herencia como verdadero resultado de Dios.

John vive en Elsah, IL. USA

The post Si todas las respuestas están en Ciencia y Salud porque seguimos aún cuestionando cosas? appeared first on time4thinkers.

Stop – in the name of love

This is a published article about breaking through the barriers of hurry, self centeredness and fear enough to stop and help someone in need on the street. You can listen to it or read it.

stop-640x250photo by D Sharon Pruitt

This is a published article about breaking through the barriers of hurry, self centeredness and fear enough to stop and help someone in need on the street.  You can listen to it or read it.

http://journal.christianscience.com/shared/view/26xfr9q7od8?s=e

 

 

This is NOT the senior year you had in mind…

Dear Julianna, It’s the beginning of the summer before your senior year, and you are in for one of the most grand adventures! Let me give you a preview: You

Dear Julianna,

It’s the beginning of the summer before your senior year, and you are in for one of the most grand adventures!

Let me give you a preview:
You will be ill for over half the summer.
Your soccer team will lose in the first round of conference.
You and your boyfriend will break up.
You will spend most Friday and Saturday nights doing homework.
Your academic confidence will plummet.
And you will finish the year with the lowest grades of your life.

Admittedly, this is not the senior year you have in mind, but my goodness, you are about to learn so much about your relationship with God! There is no other adventure worth having.

Yes, there will be tears and heartache, but you will always be able to turn to your friends and family for comfort. More importantly, you can trust that you are prepared for each of these challenges. Just remember to lean on God and make daily prayer a priority.

There is a line you should begin to ponder from a poem by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science: “O make me glad for every scalding tear / For hope deferred, ingratitude, disdain! / Wait, and love more…” 1

Mary Baker Eddy spoke from experience. She lost relationships, struggled with illness—and at one point, she was even homeless. But she found gladness in spite of her tears by doing what she outlined in this poem: “love more.” You will, too.

Meet every challenge with love. Revel in the opportunity to prove that love makes you stronger than any problem you might encounter. You have examples to follow. From reading the Bible you know that even though Daniel did end up in the lion’s den, he was protected—and walked away unharmed. 2

This next year is your lion’s den, and you, too, will emerge unscathed. Yet have no doubt that you will also find yourself a changed person.

You will better understand what true progress looks like.
You will recognize God’s love in your friendships.
And you will increasingly trust that there is nothing you can’t handle when you’re following God’s direction.

No, these may not be the adventures you have in mind, but you will be glad for your tears, and the memories of pain will fade in the light of the amazing Love you will witness. Fear not. An adventure awaits you!

Love,
Julianna

Notes:

Christian Science Hymnal, No. 208 ↩Dan. 6:22 ↩

Suddenly you know why you’re there

Dear Daniel, You’re lying on the damp grass in the backyard of an abandoned house. It’s late summer, and the humidity of the air is still palpable even though it’s

Dear Daniel,

You’re lying on the damp grass in the backyard of an abandoned house. It’s late summer, and the humidity of the air is still palpable even though it’s past sunset. Mosquitoes swarm around you, making you even more uncomfortable. The voices of your friends and classmates meander out the broken window across the yard over to your secluded spot in the dark. They’re on their fifth game of beer pong and show no signs of slowing down. Less than two hours ago you thought that you and some friends were going to see a movie. How did you end up here? And more importantly: What’s the point?

High school isn’t easy. Classes can be challenging, and the added problems of peer pressure and social drinking don’t help. You’ve been taught since you were little that man is inherently good, and that goodness is a spiritual quality that comes straight from God. But at this point in your life, this goodness is hard to see. You’re trying to live your life in the way that best reflects this goodness, but over and over you find yourself in situations where others put you down for your choices, or shun you for refusing to drink.

You slap one mosquito, then another. It seems so unfair that living a good, spiritually-based life has landed you in this insect-filled yard in the middle of nowhere. Maybe there isn’t some grand plan for your life. Maybe God doesn’t exist?

But even as these thoughts swirl through your head, something keeps you in that yard. Like your being there has a purpose—even though that seems far fetched at the moment. Eventually, around 2 a.m., your classmates begin stumbling out of the house to head home. Most have walked here and live close by, but it looks like some drove as well. You watch as one of your classmates trips over himself several times as he struggles to pull his keys out of his pocket. There’s no way he can be thinking about driving home in that condition. He’s easily well over the legal limit; he’s also under 21. Other classmates begin piling into the back of his car and the whole situation begins to look truly alarming and unsafe.

Suddenly you get it. You know why you’re there, that you have a purpose, that this goodness you value so much has a place.

Just because others ignore or are hostile to you doesn’t mean you have to reciprocate those feelings. You have an opportunity here to do good. You’ll take the wheel. You’ll make sure your classmates get home safely. For the first time, you see so clearly that God does have a plan that includes you—and even those who would shun you. After dropping off the last person, you realize that this night did end up meaning something. You found the good you had been so desperately looking for.

Sincerely,
Daniel

Be a rebel with a cause

Have you ever considered yourself to be a rebel? Probably not. I’m guessing you’re the kind of person who respects your parents, listens to your teachers (most of the time),

Have you ever considered yourself to be a rebel? Probably not. I’m guessing you’re the kind of person who respects your parents, listens to your teachers (most of the time), does your homework, plays by the rules. All good things.

And rebels? Well, they’re people who spend a lot of time in detention, yell at their parents, probably cut class, right?

Here’s another question for you. Have you ever been in a situation where everyone around you was doing something—making fun of some kid, for example, or gossiping about another person or cheating—and you refused to join in? Maybe you even tried to stop others from joining in. I’ve got news for you. You’re a rebel.

Being a rebel can be a good thing. It all depends on what you’re rebelling against. We certainly don’t want to rebel against God, good. In fact, we want to ally ourselves with God, to cling to Him with all our might. And if we’re doing that, we’re naturally going to rebel against what isn’t good.

Let’s consider some examples of rebels. If I asked you to think of people who are rebels, this person’s name probably wouldn’t come up, but he’s actually the most influential rebel the world has ever known. I’m talking about Jesus.

Jesus’ whole life was spent rebelling against circumstances most of the world took (and still takes) for granted. He rebelled against the belief that sickness is inevitable by healing people who felt sick. He rebelled against the idea that it’s natural for people to sin by showing that there’s no real satisfaction, no attraction, to living a life out of step with God. He rebelled against the assumption that death is inescapable by bringing the dead back to life. He rebelled against blindness, deafness, insanity, paralysis, lack, because he knew a good God would never allow such things to exist. He rebelled against the very laws of physics by walking on the water, by circumventing time. He was a rebel all right.

And not only that. He rebelled against other people’s opinions. Sometimes that can be the hardest thing to rebel against. Jesus was laughed at, mocked, and eventually crucified for what he said and did. But he stood his ground. His relationship with God was so indivisible that he couldn’t help but rebel against whatever was unlike God, regardless of what other people thought of him. He said this about his connection to God: “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise”. 1

Here’s another example of a rebel you may or may not have heard of: Mary Baker Eddy. Mary Baker Eddy lived in the 1800s, a time when women didn’t have many rights or opportunities. Yet in spite of obstacles such as ill health, poverty, and public ridicule, she wrote books (her primary work is Science and Health), established the Church of Christ, Scientist (the Christian Science Church), started an international newspaper (The Christian Science Monitor), taught, lectured, healed. She understood, as Jesus did, that God is good and does not share His power with whatever is not good.

Look at a picture of Mary Baker Eddy sometime. She doesn’t look very rebellious. But, like Jesus, she questioned evil’s right to exist. And, like Jesus, she took heat for it. But she stood her ground.

Those two people changed the world. And many others before and after them have stood with them.
What about you? How can you foster your natural tendency to stand with God (good) and rebel against what isn’t good? Well, first, don’t assume that just because some challenge looks and feels very real, it is real and has substance. Human thinking tends to reason this way: I see this thing. Therefore, this thing exists. God must allow this thing to exist.

Jesus could not have thought that way. Otherwise, he would not have been able to heal. He would have just reasoned the same as everyone else:
“Oh, this person can’t walk. That’s really sad. End of story.”
Or
“Oh, this person can’t walk. I wonder why.”
Or

“Oh, this person can’t walk. What can I do to help him walk, through my personal effort?”
Instead, Jesus must have thought differently. He must have been so aware of God’s goodness and continuous presence that God was more real to him than the problem. You could say that his awareness of God exposed the truth. In her book Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy put it this way: “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick” 2

So the question becomes, are we going to believe in what we know and feel to be true about God, or believe in what things look like on the surface? The answer determines our effectiveness as healers and our rebel potential.

I’ll give you an example of a time when I had to answer this question. One of our cats had not been acting like himself. It was clear he didn’t feel well. Around this time one of our neighbors approached me and said that several neighborhood cats had been diagnosed with an illness that was not considered curable. Their owner had the vet euthanize them. This neighbor was warning me because she had seen our cat fighting with the other cats, suggesting that he might have been infected.
We’ve always prayed for our animals, so my husband and I got busy praying for this loved cat. But at the time it seemed so hopeless to me. A vet had diagnosed the cats! He said they couldn’t be cured! Our cat was sick! What could we possibly do?

But then the rebel in me came out, and I began to think differently. Instead of being mesmerized by the problem, I chose to focus on God and what I knew about Him. I knew very well that God would never make this cat sick or allow it to be sick. I knew that God loves His creation, and protects and shelters it.

I even got mad at the very suggestion that this cat (or any cat) could be sick. The question that began coming to me was “Who says?” Who says this cat is sick? Did God say it? Not according to the first chapter of Genesis where “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good”. 3 And if God didn’t say it, then it didn’t matter what anyone or anything else said, and this problem couldn’t have the power it pretended.

Mary Baker Eddy gives some direction to readers of Science and Health: “Instead of blind and calm submission to the incipient or advanced stages of disease, rise in rebellion against them”. 4 My husband and I worked to obey this instruction by keeping our focus on what we knew to be true spiritually, and mentally rebelling against what looked true. We prayed consistently. It wasn’t long before our cat was himself again, often greeting us from the roof when we came home each day. And the neighbors were able to see him well again, too.

So what do you think? How much of a rebel are you? Are you willing to stand up for God, for good? It’s not always easy. But if you really are a rebel, you don’t necessarily do what’s easy. You do what’s right.

Notes:

John 5:19 ↩Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures p. 476-477 ↩Gen. 1:31 ↩ Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 391 ↩

Jumping in

It’s been a very wet week in Boston, and, as a result, there are several puddles dotting the sidewalk in front of the park bench I’m sitting on. On the

It’s been a very wet week in Boston, and, as a result, there are several puddles dotting the sidewalk in front of the park bench I’m sitting on. On the side of what may be the largest puddle is a pair of toddlers with their mother. Without any hesitation, the youngest one splashes into the middle of it and is closely followed by his slightly older companion.

I watch how easily they dive into the center of the puddle and think of the number of times I have paid too much attention to my doubts and fears and hesitated to dive into the center of things. Unlike the children, I’d stand on the sidelines, contemplating the puddle, and asking myself. “What if it’s too cold?” “How wet will I get?” “What will people think about me?” But for them, it’s just one thing: they wanted to splash in the puddle, and if they thought about it they probably trusted that their mother, who’d brought them to the park in the first place, had dressed them appropriately.

As a child of God, I know that God has planned my life. Jeremiah highlights our Father’s good plans for us: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end”. 1 I like how the New International Version Bible translation closes this verse with “plans to give you hope and a future.”

As I watch the children, I think about how difficult it is for me to just jump into things without over-thinking every situation. I can’t help but make comparisons: Like their mother who brought them out to the park, God is responsible for where I am in my life. Just as their mother dressed them appropriately for the trip in rain boots and sweaters, I know—no matter how much I doubt it sometimes—that God has equipped me with everything I need to experience joy in my life.

What if after coming out to the park, instead of having fun splashing around, the little ones had stood on the sidewalk, obsessing about the weather, the thickness of their sweaters, the sturdiness of their rain boots, and generally doubting their mother’s good plans in bringing them to the park? I could see that this is what I do every time I find excuses to hold myself back from following God’s plan and achieving my full potential.

How many times have I hesitated to take part in a club, volunteer to organize an event, or in some other way let an opportunity to grow spiritually slip by because I felt I was not good enough for it? Because I was doubting God’s good direction of my life?

But I am grateful for the reminder in Jeremiah and Christ’s reassurance in Luke, “Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows” 2, as well as all the other reminders of God’s continuous love for His children—for me. I can see more clearly than ever before that I am more than prepared and that I can go ahead and jump right into the middle of the opportunities that are presented to me by God, because my Father has dressed me in a warm sweater and the sturdiest rain boots, and He is standing right beside me, watching over me.

Notes:

Jeremiah 29:11 ↩Luke 12:7 ↩