The Bruce Banquets!!!!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Our Neigbors On Bath Avenue

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A Walk Around Ocean Grove

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Final Sunrise

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ocean Grove, NJ

Monday, October 8, 2012

Welcome To 27 Bath Avenue

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ocean Grove, NJ

October 2012

Sunday Morning Meditation

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ocean Grove, NJ


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Meditating With The Dawn

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ocean Grove, NJ

Dawn, October 6, 2012

I Look To The In Every Need, And Never Look In Vain…


I look to Thee in every need, and never look in vain…”

 By Hope Anderson


A loved hymn again!  This one came during a moment of quiet and I wrote it down at the time as a possibility for this Lesson-subject.  Its author is Samuel Longfellow (1819-1892), and there are six hymn settings attributed to him, all favorites of mine.  I was not able to find any personal information about this prolific hymn-writer – not only was he filled with the Holy Spirit, but he wrote hymns about that Being with which he was filled!

               “I look to Thee in every need, and never look in vain;

                I feel Thy touch, eternal Love, and all is well again:

                The thought of Thee is mightier far than sin and pain and sorrow are.”

                                     (Hymn #134, verse 1, The Christian Science Hymnal)

An E-mail came to me recently from “Sounds of the Trumpet” (Allen White) which explained the above words so clearly.  He emphasized the fact that we already know everything we need to know, and that all the “learning and studying of Truth [we do] can

seem to deceive us into believing that Truth has to be poured into us from some outside source.”  “It’s a lie,” Allen stated, “There’s only one Mind – the Christ-Mind or God-Mind.”

We often find ourselves struggling to enter the silence to contact God, but Allen White, in this message, asks us to “stop the struggling to experience God because You Are God Experiencing Itself.”  He states that the need, however, is to “get very still and let yourself sink deeply into your own knowing.  Before you pray, state your intention to Bask in the Glory of Your God-Consciousness.  And sink past the din of busy thoughts.  You will glory and revel in your own knowingness and Beingness.  Just let yourself experience this truth:  I KNOW.”

               “Thy calmness bends serene above, my restlessness to still;

                 Around me flows Thy quickening life to nerve my faltering will:

                 Thy presence fills my solitude; Thy providence turns all to good.

               “Embosomed deep in Thy dear love, held in Thy law, I stand:

                 Thy hand in all things I behold, and all things in Thy hand.

                 Thou leadest me by unsought ways, Thou turn’st my mourning into praise.”

                                                           (op. cit. verses 2 and 3, my emphasis)

In the Christian Science Lesson Sermon I’ve been noticing how often Mrs. Eddy uses the word “destroy.”  There is a very long list in the Concordance to Science and Health covering the words “destroy,” “destroyed” and “destroying.”  In one instance in last week’s Lesson she speaks about the “illusive errors or beliefs” – “sin, sickness, and death” – that Jesus “could and did destroy.”  In contrast to this, Joel Goldsmith uses the expression “dissolving” when describing the eradication of the errors of sense.  The use of the word “destroy” would tend to leave the student with the idea that there is another power beside that of God,- a power with which man has to struggle, as mentioned in the previous paragraphs of Allen White’s.   The word “dissolve” would immediately bring to mind the dissolution of any error of belief into “its native nothingness.”  No contending with another power there!  And many of us have ourselves experienced the wonderful dissolving of seemingly stubborn beliefs!  (At our Class with Ken Lazdowski in Stamford, CT,  this past weekend, I took special note of the fact that he mentioned the use of the word “destroy” or “destroying” as being inaccurate in referring to correcting erroneous beliefs.   A week ago, when starting this present Lesson, I had also covered this very same point.)

                                          *     *     *     *     *     *

Mark 9, verses 27-33, tells of Jesus being with his disciples on the road to Caesarea Philippi.  On the way he inquired of his disciples, “Who do people say I am?” – in yearning to be understood.  They told him, “John the Baptist, Elijah, or one of the prophets.”  So he asked them, “And who do you say I am?”  Peter replied, “You are the Christ.”

In Peter’s immediate response, he was not only beholding the Christ of Jesus, but was seeing the very Christ in himself and others.  “What thou see-est, that thou be-est.”  This “seeing” enabled Peter to be one of the three chosen by the Master to be with him on the Mount of Transfiguration, that Fourth Dimension or inner Christ-Presence, which Jesus experienced as living his life for him.  Peter, James, and John could not have made contact with Jesus on that level unless they themselves had attained some measure of that same consciousness.

Peter was known to be the impetuous one, as evidenced by his comment shortly after recognizing Jesus as the Christ.  He strongly rejected Jesus’ statement that the Master was to undergo an ordeal of suffering, be killed, and then rise again after three days. Jesus had explained every step very carefully to the disciples so they would be fully informed, but Peter was severely rebuked by Jesus for not accepting his explanation of that which was to eradicate the belief in death.  The Master told Peter that he (Peter) had no idea as to God’s plan for Jesus, and after several missteps such as this one, Peter became one of Jesus’ closest allies.

In explaining the course which he was to take in regard to the crucifixion, Jesus knew that Judas was ordained by God to be his most-trusted disciple in order to support the Master in his endeavor to experience the crucifixion and resurrection.  If any of you have read Elaine Pagels’ and Karen King’s Book on Reading Judas, The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity, you’ll learn that Judas had always been Jesus’ closest friend, and that the writing in the Bible concerning this disciple was contrived to make him appear to be the “betrayer,” the incarnation of evil.  Iranaeus, the Bishop of the Church in Rome at the time, supported this falsehood without question, and branded those as heretics who didn’t accept it.

The Gospel of Judas, one of the Gnostic gospels discovered in Upper Egypt near Al Minya in the 1970s, explained that Judas did not commit suicide, as stated in Gospels, but became the first martyr because he was stoned to death by the “twelve.”  All the ignorance written in the Bible concerning Judas as Jesus’ disciple has been preserved by the Christian Church for these many centuries.  “The Gospel of Judas restores to us one voice of dissent, a call for religion to renounce violence as God’s will and purpose for humanity” (The Gospel of Judas, page xxiii).

So many of the spiritual writers we have studied knew nothing about Judas being “chosen” for his difficult assignment because the Gnostic gospels had not been discovered in their time.  Mrs. Eddy writes of Judas “conspiring against Jesus” and also mentions “the infinite distance between Judas and his Master” (Science & Health, page 47:1,2).  Joel Goldsmith describes Judas as “an example of one who did not respond to the Christ” (Art of Meditation, page 153:1).  Even the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary, put out by Unity and also usually clear in their explanations, describes Judas as a “traitor”.

                                                *     *     *     *     *

With Peter’s recognition of the Christ of Jesus, the account in the book of Acts tells how he continued on his mission of visiting the churches and doing many healing works.  In Lydda he came across a man named Aeneas who had been paralyzed and bed-ridden for eight years.  Peter told him that Jesus Christ made him whole, and he was to arise and get out of bed!  And he arose immediately, jumping out of bed – whole.

A disciple named Tabitha, loved by many in Joppa and known for her good works, had died, and was being mourned by her friends.  Since the disciples heard that Peter was nearby in Lydda, they sent two men, asking Peter not to delay in coming to them. When Peter arrived at Tabitha’s home, he put all the weeping widows out of the upper chamber where she lay, and knelt down by her bed and prayed.  Then speaking directly to her he said:  “Tabitha, arise,“ whereupon she opened her eyes, and, seeing Peter, sat up.  He gave her his hand, helping her up.  Then he called the believers and widows and presented her to them alive. When this was known throughout Joppa, many put their trust in the Master.

“When Peter was able to say, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ it was because he was able to look through the human appearance and see what it was that animated Jesus and made him a savior and a world leader.  …Peter was able to see through the appearance and recognize that it was the Christ that was really functioning as the man Jesus.

“If we see the Master in that light, but stop there, we lose our demonstration, because it is not only Jesus who was activated by the Christ:  It is you and I as well.  In fact, there is not a person in the world of whom it cannot be said, ‘God, the Father; God, the Son;

God, the Holy Ghost’” (The Thunder of Silence, page 171:2).

Last weekend Ken Lazdowski held his Infinite Way Class in Stamford, and it was a beautiful experience for all of us.  The subject was “God-Centered Existence.”  Many were there who were present at the week’s Florida Class Ken gave a short time before.

A dear friend (one who uses a walker) asked me over a month ago to accompany her to the Class since she had been unable to attend for several years. I immediately agreed to have her go with me to Stamford, CT on the train.  The morning before I was to leave I woke around 3:30 a.m. with concern as to how it was going to work out – lying in bed trying to figure out all the details in my mind – and there were many!  Thankfully, the concern didn’t last too long because, again, I turned it all over to St. Paul’s enlightened message:

     “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his [holy] purpose” (Romans 8:28).

I knew that God is in the perfect plan, and not in the confused mind.  And it was definitely a “holy” purpose!  When we got to the train station we found that whenever we needed help with our suitcases or my extra carry-on bag (so I could be free to supervise her), there was someone present, and most willing, to help.  Kindness preceded us.

We were not able to sit together, but I had a most pleasant seat-companion who told me all about his son, a US Marine, who spent four years in Afghanistan and had recently come home.  This man said that his son wanted people to know about all the good our soldiers are doing over there for the Afghan people since we hear only the negative side.  His son loved the children there, and several pictures he showed me were of this young soldier and little Afghan children.  I told him that I have regularly sent donations for the children in Afghanistan.

On arriving in Stamford, CT, as I got up to leave, I said to him, “The Lord bless thee and keep thee.”  And, to my surprise, he added, “The Lord make his face shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee.”  I finished it with “The Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace!”  We knew that we’d never meet again, but we vowed to carry this Truth with us and share it.

                          “God keepeth me from falling, fulfilleth all my need;   

                            His love doth e’er uphold me in faithful word and deed.

                            He keepeth me from evil, my onward way doth trace,

                            My going and my coming He crowneth with His grace.”  

                                         (Hymn #189:2, Christian Science Hymnal)

When we arrived in Stamford two people went out of their way to take us to where we would get a taxi to the Marriott Hotel.  My friend was welcomed with much love since she hadn’t attended a Class for about five years.  We were reminded at the Class that “we are here to bear witness to the Reality of the Christ” – we are His instruments!  As Jesus told us in John:  “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.  …The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth he works.”

The night prior to returning home, as I was getting into bed, clear as a bell the voice within said, ‘God bless you.”  Assurance of a harmonious trip home with my friend filled my being, and when we arrived at our destination we discovered that the conductor on our train had phoned ahead for someone to be there to accompany us and our luggage to my car.  The Christ had appeared to us as the invisible activity, law, and substance of all effect.


Copyright 2012 Hope Anderson

Pondering…I AM

One of my favorite activities is pondering.

In the mornings, before I get out of bed, I ponder how my day should be organized.  While brushing my teeth, I ponder:  What should I wear? How  should I arrange my waist-length hair? Is that really a zit on my chin?  At my age?  How is my husband feeling today? What is the meaning of I AM? How does a camera shutter work?  Does the cat’s litter box need cleaning? Is the dog ready for his walk?…

Wait!  What?  The meaning of I AM?

Hmmmmnnnnnnnn….and so the pondering, meditating, contemplating, ruminating begins…

From the Biblical standpoint, I AM is the name of God as revealed to Moses:  I Am That I Am.

Who is the God that did the revealing?  How did Moses know it was God’s revelation and not just voices inside his head?

I don’t know.  I wasn’t there,  I don’t know Moses’s experience, and I have no scholarly credentials upon which to base any suppositions of such an event.  However, what Joel Goldsmith says in his Spiritual Interpretation of Scripture, the second paragraph on page 18, resonates loud and clear with me.  Goldsmith says:

“From the moment that Moses realized ‘I AM THAT I AM’ he was master of every situation, a leader of men.  He knew then that life is not a physical experience, but is expressed as states and stages of consciousness and that progress is always from the lowest to the highest, to the realization that I am eternal life.”  [Note:  Italics for emphasis are mine.]

So, according to Goldsmith, Moses realized “I AM THAT I AM.” No body told him. No body told him because God is not an exterior entity or being, corporeal or not, God is “I AM THAT I AM” or, in its short form, “I AM.”

Do this now: 

Say to yourself:  I AM.

Close your eyes, say it again:  I AM.

What do you notice?

Jot it down.

Now, proceed with reading this if you are still so inclined.

The first time I read that phrase, “Moses realized,” I had a profound feeling of release….aaaahhhhhh….as if I’d been holding my breath my whole life to hear the words describing what I’ve always known to be true:  that I AM God.  Wow!  If you’ve just done the above exercise, I am confident that you’ve had a similar experience because each and every one of us, as a Perfect Expression of the Divine, IS God.

So, the meaning of I AM is I am God.

Okay, then! Enough pondering for now…I’m sure there will be more in due course…

Aloha And Shalom!

For the past decade (almost), it has been my pleasure to get together with a wonderful group of people, my hula ‘ohana (family), to learn the intricacies and delights of hula, and, mostly, to share the spirit of aloha.

The Hawai’ian language is very nuanced.  The word “aloha,” for example, encompasses many shades of meaning.  On the surface, the spirit of aloha conveys the feelings of welcoming, of love, of well-being.  It is all of these meanings, and it also means “charity,” “mercy,” “grace,” “regards,” “devotion,” “affection,” and the list goes on.  When you are embraced in the spirit of aloha, you are welcomed and held in the Oneness of Being, the “knowing” that we are all One, the “home” that we all long for.

Coconut bras and grass skirts stereotypes notwithstanding, hula is about worshiping and honoring the ‘aina, the land, which is synonymous with Self in the Hawai’ian culture.  The land, the sea, the sky, the winds, the trees, these are all part of the hula vocabulary and symbols of the inextricable connection between humans and nature.

Every month I get together with my hula sisters to dance hula, have a pu-pu (appetizers) at Chef Yu, catch up with one another and, in general, share our mana’o (ideas, thoughts, beliefs) and aloha.  Like any family we have our disagreements and our share of tempests in teacups.   Like any family, we always know we can count on one another in our moments of joy and celebration as well as in our times of sorrow.

Recently, we had the chance to celebrate our hula sister Ka’hea’s conversion to Judaism.  Ka’hea was so named by us because she is the one who is always reminding us which ka’hea (verse) we are dancing in a mele (chant). While I’m still trying not to stumble over my own feet, Ka’hea’s clear reminder of the ka’hea we’re dancing keeps me on track. So on the occasion of her conversion ceremony, her hula sisters came to embrace her in the spirit of aloha while Ka’hea embraced the spirit of shalom into her life. We all stood in a circle around her – her hula sisters, her choir sisters, her biological sisters, her Rabbi, her new congregation – and listened while Ka’hea stated clearly and movingly how much it means to her to be welcomed into the Jewish faith and community she has so lovingly chosen.  And her Rabbi spoke about how important it was for Ka’hea to see all the strands of her long and varied life represented at that life-changing ceremony.

It was a gift for me to witness the solidarity of all of Ka’hea’s friends and family standing together in shalom and aloha on the threshold of this new adventure she has embarked on.  I was once again reminded that no matter what our beliefs may be, we are all One.

« Older entries