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2020 Association Assignment for May - spirit  

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Sarah Hyatt
(@sarah)
Member Admin
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 15
01/05/2020 2:33 pm  
Dear Fellow Healers,
  Each year as we work through our assignment, it becomes easier to see why God led us to this work at this time. Paul's instruction to Timothy, his young protégé, is still wonderful guidance for all who seek to honor God in their daily lives:  "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity" (I. Tim. 4:12).  We've been reminded that youth was an issue that Timothy faced, but there are other claims that would try to keep us from being "an example of the believers."  These claims aren't something new.  Moses thought he was too slow of speech (among other reasons) to lead the Israelites out of bondage.  Jonah's fear and then his self-righteousness kept him from being willing to follow God's direction.  The list of Biblical examples is too extensive to try to recount them all.  But whatever is arguing to us that we haven't the ability to be that example is simply another impersonal lie, seeking a home in our thought.  We can refuse to be duped by those false claims. As Moses and Jonah proceeded to obediently follow God's leadings, even after mighty struggles, they were successful in fulfilling their God appointed missions, and so shall we be as we lean "on the sustaining infinite."
  Our attribute for the month of May is spirit.  This seems a particularly important quality at this time as the world situation would claim that many are dispirited. The reverse of the inspiration and joy that comes from the presence of Spirit is the depression, hopelessness and sadness that many are feeling.  Yet Spirit is never absent!  Are we ready to share the joy that comes from the right knowledge of God who is always able to meet every human need?  We don't have to be demonstrating that freedom completely in order to share the joy that is ours from the teachings of Christ Jesus and Christian Science.  Jesus said that he came and taught us so that our "joy might be full" (see John 15:11). The natural desires of your hearts to "pay it forward" for the blessings already received are God impelled, and will be God blessed.  They're the proof of your inseparability from divine Spirit, the source of your inspiration, your energy, your expectancy of good.
  The new website is gaining in number of users, and the posts under forums for the monthly assignments and for dealing with the pandemic are revealing some wonderful, fresh inspiration.  Thanks to all who have contributed so far.
  Some of you have already been in touch with me about your current circumstances.  I'd love for you each to take a moment and let me know if there are any needs that our Association can help meet.  We have a small benevolent fund that can be used in emergencies.  You're all invited to join with me in daily prayer for our Association members and for our meeting this fall.   One of you let me know that as she was praying to protect the date, she felt led to go ahead and book her plane ticket for that weekend.  Air fares are incredibly low at the moment! 
 These verses from Psalms 51 from the Christian Standard Bible can be a good way to jump start our work:
 
10 God, create a clean heart for me
and renew a steadfast[a] spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore the joy of your salvation to me,
and sustain me by giving me a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach the rebellious your ways,
and sinners will return to you.

Footnotes:

  1. 51:10 Or right
Joyfully,
Sarah
 
This topic was modified 4 weeks ago by Sarah Hyatt

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Heidi Cuticchia
(@hesterh)
Active Member
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 14
02/05/2020 8:14 am  

I came across this reading chapter of Genesis in the Science and Health this morning. "Christ is the offspring of Spirit". (SH 540 1-2) I have begun to think about Christ and Spirit as product and source, respectively. Christ means so many different things, so full of the essence of God that we are able to recognize, feel, and reflect. To me, Spirit is the animating source that gives activity.

 

I too have stayed at home, and my once very busy lifestyle came to a screeching halt. At times, I have felt depression, disappointment when my state is slow at reopening. However, through actively engaging in gratitude and being a better porter at the door of thought, I have gained traction in warding off mortal mind's attempts to dissuade me that the activity of the Christ stopped. I still struggle with limited physical activity, but I know that is an area where I need to grow.

 

The second part of the quote above states "spiritual existence shows that Spirit creates neither a wicked nor a mortal man, lapsing into sin, sickness, and death." (SH 540: 3) The work "lapsing" resonates with me because it has a definition of "temporary deviation or fall especially from a higher to a lower state". This is how I feel about exercise. I was in pretty good shape and now the change in lifestyle has forced me to deviate from my once enjoyed activities into a lower state of being more sedentary. However, as the statement in Science and Health clarifies, Spirit does not create a mortal man capable of this. We know this because of spiritual existence. I think I have more to grow in the meaning of spiritual existence, but for now, I am very grateful for this inspiration during this stay-at-home time.


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Sarah Hyatt
(@sarah)
Member Admin
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 15
03/05/2020 10:12 pm  

Last week’s lesson with its emphasis on tender mercies, made me connect that with our quality of the month, spirit. As we endeavor to be an example of the believers in spirit, their are myriad forms that can take. The monthly email mentioned our sense of spirit as inspiration from the Almighty being an antidote to depression, discouragement, despair, hopelessness, etc. There are many positive aspects of our reflection of the spirit of truth that can uplift our own experience and help others as well. For example, are we consciously expressing, by reflection, the tender mercies that God shows to each of us.  Isn't the world in need of that now?  

Lets use this topic this month to share how our lives are being shaped and blessed by reflecting the spirit of (fill in the blank).  We can begin with tender mercies.  Other qualities that might characterize our expression of spirit might be the spirit of compassion, the spirit of joy, the spirit of encouragement, the spirit of grace.  There are numerous opportunities each day to uplift the atmosphere of thought surrounding us. 

Please share the various ways you are thinking about and expressing the spirit of Christ.  You may use the ones listed above as a springboard for your work, and then share your own healing ideas and experiences here  

 


Heidi Cuticchia
(@hesterh)
Active Member
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 14
14/05/2020 7:23 pm  

I was reading this week's Sentinel and I was thinking about our assignment while reading through the testimonies. I know when we pray we are not praying to get rid of some human discord. I have found a clearer sense of Spirit as the substance of my thought to be diligently kept pure by seeking to know God's nature. It doesn't matter if we have been praying about a condition for 1 minute or 1 year. Getting a clearer sense of our identity as God's perfect, sinless, innocent image and likeness heals and enables us to see what is going on with our neighbors and our world in the same light of Truth. Matter's claim falls away and the real image appears right where we thought the ailment was. I am so grateful for these small but powerful reminders that bring continuity between the Bible and Mrs. Eddy's writings. I want to hold onto this small gem until I am changed like in this week's lesson with Jacob.


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Ellen Wallwork
(@guest_ellen)
New Member
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 3
17/05/2020 11:42 am  

The bible lesson on "Mortals and Immortals" has many healings and references to the action of Spirit on God's man. Marker 23 in the Science and Health p. 425:"Correct material belief by spiritual understanding, and Spirit will form you anew" is about healing. Where do we go to find this renewal?  In the closet of "sanctuary of Spirit...shuts out sinful sense but lets in Truth, Life, and Love." S&H p. 15.  In recent weeks it has meant for me to refuse to accept all the material data and calmly go into my closet and find the sweet assurance of God's love guiding my actions.  It also means healing. Recently a sense of discomfort was trying to give me a material sense picture. I knew that it was an unreal picture and just held onto God's protection for me and the safety of God's care. Within a few minutes I felt Spirit, God's vitality and power to continue on with activities I had begun.  On a grander scale, each of God's man is reflecting  renewal and gaining strength in the Spirit of Love.


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Sarah Hyatt
(@sarah)
Member Admin
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 15
25/05/2020 2:36 pm  

I’ve been thinking a lot about “joy” which is in line with May’s topic with spirit. An article in the June 1, 2020 Sentinel entitled “Unshakable Joy” by Dorcas Strong was helpful. She talks of “unprecarious joy” (My 201:19) and whether it was achievable listing some of the troubles many are feeling whether fears of the future, job security, loneliness, etc that many are feeling now. But joy from God never changes. It doesn’t depend on certain events. The writer explores several God-like attributes that help. Meekness provides courage and strength. Forgiveness frees us to go forward to find peace and joy. And Love that promotes the higher joys of Spirit. The writer sums up stating that these “higher joys” grow as we reach out with love and care for our fellow man. 

These comments are from one of our guests, Linda Alt.

 


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