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Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality

Pruning Out the Useless

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Down the road from where I live is a grape vineyard. Uncared for. Neglected. The trellised vines are still standing, but the amount of fruit produced is negligible.

Farmers know that they need to prune their trees and plants in order to be productive. Excessive limbs and vines are cut out so they don’t block sunshine and hog all the space. Fruit is then allowed to grow to a respectable productive size.

unpruned grape vines small

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I suppose the small vineyard down the road hasn’t been removed, maybe for sentimental reasons, or just because no one wants to do the work. It’s not hurting anyone and the little bit of fruit is probably feeding the birds. But is there more?

What would stop me from pruning?

Am I holding on to useless thoughts that block the sunshine of truth?

Am I neglecting to prune out excessive nonsense that prohibits the fruits of Spirit from growing?

A list of useless thoughts and actions includes: praying my life away; keeping things I don’t need; deluding myself into thinking something in this world is complete and perfect; retiring into apathy.

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From 21st Century Science and Health:

Calling on Mind to forgive our unfinished or sloppy work, is useless.

Uselessness and backwardness are not legitimate states. God made us free

Paul writes, “If Christ [Truth] has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”[1] That is, if the idea of the supremacy of Spirit doesn’t come to your consciousness, you cannot be benefited by what I say.

Until the opponents of divine Science test its efficacy according to its rules which reveal its usefulness or uselessness, it would be fair to observe the Scriptural precept, “Do not judge.”[2]

Surely we need to do more than preserve unreliable and useless dogmas, derived from religious traditions and stamped with human approval or authorization.


[1] I Cor. 15:14 (Brackets added by Mary Baker Eddy)

[2] Matt. 7:1; Luke 6:37; John 7:24

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Lesson From a Lone Lilac Tree

posted by Cheryl Petersen

lilac tree and mom 2 small lilac tree and mom small

I found this lilac tree out in the middle of a pasture, with no other lilac around. It is stunningly beautiful and majestic, reminding me of we read in 21st Century Science and Health, “Would life without friends be empty? Then the time will come when you will feel alone, without sympathy, but this vacuum is filled with divine Love. When this time comes, even if you cling to a sense of personal joys, spiritual Love will force you to accept what best promotes your spiritual growth. Friends will betray and enemies will slander, until the lesson is learned, and you are exalted; for “man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.”[1]


[1] Quote attributed to John Flavel, (1627–1691) English Presbyterian.

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Mind and the Brain

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Mind is not an entity inside the brain with the power to go against Life, Truth, and Love, now or anytime.

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Growing Respect Reveals Divine Nature

posted by Cheryl Petersen

When we were licensed foster parents, one of the children who stayed with us joined the Young Marines. The leader of the local Young Marines was outstanding. The foster boy truly responded to the discipline of the program. He was ready to participate in the annual Memorial Day service, therefore we all attended.

My respect grew. And, my respect to those who serve for our country continues to grow. Today, as a freelance reporter, I cover Memorial Day services and get to see a picture that shines a light on spirituality.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “We become more respectful and caring as we get to know the divine nature better and love Soul understandingly.”

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