An unexpected surprise

My path into the Christian Science healing practice has been unexpected and surprising.

Throughout my boyhood I saw the advantages of Christian Science in my life. After graduating from college I thought it wise to establish my post-college transition in line with God’s plan for me. So I called a…

daveMy path into the Christian Science healing practice has been unexpected and surprising.

Throughout my boyhood I saw the advantages of Christian Science in my life. After graduating from college I thought it wise to establish my post-college transition in line with God’s plan for me. So I called a Christian Science practitioner to help pray for me as I looked for a job and an apartment. Both fell into place pretty quickly.

But that was just the beginning. Over the next few years I continued to call on the practitioner, and with her support, I gradually “put away childish things” (1 Cor. 13:11). In other words, many aspects of my life—moral, physical, spiritual, financial, interpersonal—were uplifted, purified, “squared away.” The practitioner was busy, but always patient with me. Once, while waterskiing, I injured my ribs. When I called her to pray for me about this, her question was: “Were you showing off?” I answered, “I guess I was.” She’d immediately discerned the state of my thought, pointing out the importance of checking the quality of one’s thinking. Healing came quickly—and I learned something I’ve never forgotten about expressing God rather than trying to impress people.

I made a lot of spiritual progress at that time, and the wisdom and example of that practitioner stayed with me. It was indelible. As the years passed, Christian Science remained central to my life and work. I had many challenges, and I learned gradually that I could apply Christian Science to a wide variety of situations and trust the results. Prior to attempting almost any step of progress, I tried to remember to pause and let God lead me. For instance, for five years I attended graduate school at night, and by trusting that the whole process was God’s, not mine, I was able to complete the program without a single scheduling conflict between my work and school.

Once in a while, people would call to ask me to pray for them. The Bible encourages us to be generous along these lines. Jesus gives us this imperative command: “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matt. 10:8). I certainly had received freely. So when these occasional calls came, I did my best to provide the prayer. Once I even promised God that if He ever saw fit to send someone else to me, I would stop whatever I was doing and pray for them right away.

It wasn’t too long before I was tested on that. The phone rang late one night. I was tired, but I remembered my promise to God. I sat down at my desk, turned on the light, and prayed for a couple of hours, until I reached a point of understanding and peace about the situation. Then I turned in. The next the day I learned that a beautiful healing had occurred for that individual during the night.

I was never afraid of those calls, because I always knew that Christian Science was based on the law of God that never fails. But I was usually surprised when someone called me instead of a “real” practitioner.

Eventually it dawned on me that people were being prompted by their own prayers and obedience to the divine Mind to call me, and that I needed to be ready. Again I realized that my time and talents actually belonged to God, not me; and that helping His children find normalcy, strength, comfort, and meaning when they ask for it is really serving Him.

So I blocked out some hours in the evenings and weekends to be available for Christian Science practice. I established a phone line that only I answered and rented an office part-time to provide focused hours of prayer and a place to meet people in a professional setting when needed.

Jesus said, “for everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required” (Luke 12:48). As I have come to see that I am included in this statement and supported by it (after all, if God requires something of us, He also supplies the resources to accomplish it­­), other logical steps have unfolded. A few years ago I was able to leave my regular employment and become available to the healing practice full-time. A year after that I applied to be listed in The Christian Science Journal. And just recently I moved into my own office in the center of our town, where I now spend most days.

Maybe it required courage to take these steps, but really, I think it’s just a matter of listening and being willing to move at God’s pace. Divine Love “owns each waiting hour” (Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Science Hymnal, no. 207). The work of a healer is a privilege to perform–it’s challenging, rewarding, and the spiritual growth is amazing.

Article originally appeared in the Christian Science Sentinel, March 16, 2009.
Republished with permission of The Christian Science Publishing Society.

S+C | Healing with God, Part I

Episode #19 is a conversation with Barbara Zeman, a Roman Catholic, and Shirley Paulson, a Christian Science practitioner, on the subject of our healing practices. We know it’s a topic close to the hearts of many spiritually minded people, as was evident in a recent cover story with TIME magazine, called, “How Faith Can Heal.” […]

Episode #19 is a conversation with Barbara Zeman, a Roman Catholic, and Shirley Paulson, a Christian Science practitioner, on the subject of our healing practices.

We know it’s a topic close to the hearts of many spiritually minded people, as was evident in a recent cover story with TIME magazine, called, “How Faith Can Heal.” Barbara did a healing service with her colleagues at the hospital, and I keep a full time office devoted to healing through prayer.shirleynbarbara3

Even though our traditions and practices are different, we find a common thread in our understanding of the way healing happens. God’s will is harmony, peace, wholeness, and blessing, so our prayers for healing are for the purpose of finding alignment with God. It appears that the sincere desire to be close to God inspires us to find healing for our own broken hearts, broken peace, or even broken bodies; and this is the same inspiration that impels us to extend that same kind of healing for others.

Please join the conversation and tell us your healing experiences. Click on the comments button at the end of the show notes, here on the website, “spirituality and Christianity.com.”  thank you!

References from the podcast:

Healing in the History of Christianity, Amanda Porterfield, p. 158 Saint Blaise Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, pp.326-442

S+C | Living with God on a daily basis

Episode #18 is a conversation with Bob Wellington, a long time friend and spiritual thinker. Bob has experienced a variety of religious practices, searched for his own path, and exemplifies a kind of postmodern approach to religion and spirituality. We’re discussing a very contemporary problem: how to be responsible with mounting pressures from economic stress. […]

Episode #18 is a conversation with Bob Wellington, a long time friend and spiritual thinker. Bob has experienced a variety of religious practices, searched for his own path, and exemplifies a kind of postmodern approach to religion and spirituality. We’re discussing a very contemporary problem: how to be responsible with mounting pressures from economic stress.

Sometimes people who live with a deep-seated spiritual connection with God are challenged to show how that spirituality can be relevant in the midst of lost jobs or lost hope. The theme of our conversation centers on responsibility, because so many people find it tough to take care of themselves during economic downturn, let alone care for dependents and Bob Wellingtonothers. Bob and I think that a very spiritually understanding of God, or love for God brings genuine hope and peace. It’s not naive, because finding the connection with God’s grace and government opens our eyes to the presence of goodness.

Please join the conversation and tell  us your stories. Click on the comments button at the end of the show notes here on teh website, spiritualityandchristianity.com. Thank you!

An unexpected surprise

My path into the Christian Science healing practice has been unexpected and surprising. Throughout my boyhood I saw the advantages of Christian Science in my life. After graduating from college I thought it wise to establish my post-college transition in line with God’s plan for me. So I called a Christian Science practitioner to help […]

My path into the Christian Science healing practice has been unexpected and surprising. Throughout my boyhood I saw the advantages of Christian Science in my life. After graduating from college I thought it wise to establish my post-college transition in line with God’s plan for me. So I called a Christian Science practitioner to help […]

Lecture: PRACTICAL SOULUTIONS IN ECONOMIC HARDTIMES

PRACTICAL SOULUTIONS IN ECONOMIC HARDTIMES
A lecture by Ron Ballard
New Hanover County Northeast Branch Library
1241 Military Cutoff Rd, Wilmington, NC 28405
Feb 28, 2009 – 11:00 AM – 910 762-5202

PRACTICAL SOULUTIONS IN ECONOMIC HARDTIMES
A lecture by Ron Ballard
New Hanover County Northeast Branch Library
1241 Military Cutoff Rd, Wilmington, NC 28405
Feb 28, 2009 – 11:00 AM – 910 762-5202

Lecture: TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR THINKING

[ March 8, 2009; 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. ] TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR THINKING
A lecture by Kari Mashos
First Church Of Christ, Scientist, New Bern
408 Middle St, New Bern, NC 28563
Mar 08, 2009 – 2pm – 252-633-5450

TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR THINKING
A lecture by Kari Mashos
First Church Of Christ, Scientist, New Bern
408 Middle St, New Bern, NC 28563
Mar 08, 2009 – 2pm – 252-633-5450

Lecture: IF GOD IS ALL, WHERE IS HE AT THIS MOMENT?

[ April 19, 2009; 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. ] IF GOD IS ALL, WHERE IS HE AT THIS MOMENT?
A lecture by John Q. Adams
First Church of Christ, Scientist, Asheville
64 N French Broad Av, Asheville NC 28801
Apr 19, 2009 – 2pm – 828-252-1787

IF GOD IS ALL, WHERE IS HE AT THIS MOMENT?
A lecture by John Q. Adams
First Church of Christ, Scientist, Asheville
64 N French Broad Av, Asheville NC 28801
Apr 19, 2009 – 2pm – 828-252-1787

Lecture: IF GOD IS ALL, WHERE IS HE AT THIS MOMENT?

[ April 21, 2009; 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm. 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm. ] IF GOD IS ALL, WHERE IS HE AT THIS MOMENT?
A lecture by John Q. Adams
Sandhills Horticultural Gardens Visitors Ctr,
Sandhills Community College, 3395 Airport Rd, Pinehurst NC 28374
Apr 21, 2009 – 7.30pm – 910-695-3882

IF GOD IS ALL, WHERE IS HE AT THIS MOMENT?
A lecture by John Q. Adams
Sandhills Horticultural Gardens Visitors Ctr,
Sandhills Community College, 3395 Airport Rd, Pinehurst NC 28374
Apr 21, 2009 – 7.30pm – 910-695-3882

S+C | Intimately close to God

Today I’m speaking with John Bunce, a Roman Catholic, about our spiritual journeys and how these journeys lead us to a beautiful and intimate relationship with God.

Episode #17 is a conversation with John Bunce, a spiritually motivated Roman Catholic, who has experienced what he calls intimacy with God.

That kind of close encounter with God can seem both scary and profoundly satisfying, and it certainly never leaves us where it found us. johnbunceandshirley

We discussed two basic ways of finding that kind of intimacy with God. One is through love, and the other is from listening, which is of course a form of listening. We both recognize the way some people tend to balk at this type of spiritual experience, so we talk about why we don’t believe these objections are necessary. John’s experience with the writings of St. Theresa of Avila and of Thomas Merton, and my experience with the writings of Mary Baker Eddy give us rich background for the mutual exploration of our subject.

Our stories cover John’s 4-day experience at the monastery at Gethsemane, in Kentucky and one of my aha! moments that lead to physical healing. These types of experience may be relatively brief, but they are fundamentally transforming, Interestingly, we both found that our private, intimate experience with God always ends up enlarging our heart for humanity. Rather than indulging selfishness with privileges from God, we concur that intimacy with God is the foundation for more commitment to comforting and helping others.

Here are links to some of the subjects and events we talked about.

Study on friendship decline in the United States
The real mission – be close to God St. Theresa of Avila Abbey of Gethsemani of Trappist, Kentucky

Our Individual Experience

You are unique, just like everyone else. 🙂 God instructs us and gently leads us.Over the years I have had some nice experiences with prayer taking care teeth problems. I had a molar come into position solely through prayer. Issues have faded away. F…

You are unique, just like everyone else. :-) God instructs us and gently leads us.

Over the years I have had some nice experiences with prayer taking care teeth problems. I had a molar come into position solely through prayer. Issues have faded away. For example, on one visit to the dentist, the dentist remarked that there was a spot (a cavity forming?) on a tooth he would take care of on the next visit. But, on subsequent visits he never brought it up. I have not felt the need to go to a dentist for years because God has taken care of my needs. How did I come to that decision? Through a natural progression.

Several years ago, I went to a dentist for a cleaning. It had been several years since I had had any x-rays taken of my teeth. I could sense that my refusal to allow x-rays was bothering the dentist, so I prayed to God for direction. An angel thought came, "If they would feel more comfortable having taken an x-ray, let them!" I could see he wanted to provide good care and my refusal to allow x-rays was making him fearful. So they took xrays of my teeth. And, then I waited. I mentioned to the dentist that he should check the x-ray over good. He replied, "I've gone over the x-rays twice, and I can't find anything wrong!" He was intent on finding a problem and seemed a little disappointed that there wasn't anything to fix. After that, it seemed like it was time to stop going to the tooth doctor. That was four years ago. How are things? Just fine. Whether you or I go to the dentist is not the point. What matters is while we learn more about God, that we love God and love each other.

Teeth are symbols of our God-given substance. They are not subject to decay. They are sturdy, reliable, healthy and they are here to serve us. Remember, Christian Science supports you right where you are! It is the truth of God's allness and nowness. Can you feel it? You are in the presence of God's love and power.