Sonoma  Valley  Interfaith 
Ministerial  Association
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252 W. Spain St.
Sonoma, CA 95476
S.V.I.M.A.
2019

First Church of Christ, Scientist

Manette Fairmont CS, has embraced Christian Science healing principles of divine Love, for most of her adult life, and is in the public practice of Christian Science. She became interested in this unique Christian religion after a significant healing from the effects of a debilitating accident in her youth, resulting in complete freedom. She knows there are spiritual answers to every challenge. She's proven this in her own practice and wishes to shares with others how to prove it too. Spiritual healing directly impacts families, friends, neighbors, and communities. Refer to her archived article There is a way out, on this site.

Articles by Manette Fairmont:

There is a way out!

Nanette Fairmont-Christian Scientist

 

It probably happens to most of us-we find ourselves in a situation that seems to have no way out. Perhaps we're stuck in a bad business deal, committed to a miserable relationship, incurable health problems, or so deep in debt that all we see is red. The human heart naturally yearns for freedom from the despair of what seem to be no-win situations. What's needed is some radical thinking.

 

This means we have to reach beyond the discouraging human picture of despair and hopelessness, and from all the reasons we think got us into this mess. It is helpful to then be willing to turn to divine Love with humility. Accepting the fact that God's man, our true being, is always in the Father/Mother care, never burdened or trapped. Solutions may appear that never occurred to us. Sometimes, the solutions God provides may be right in our midst, in spite of the challenges facing us. 

 

Speaking of Christ Jesus and his mission to show mankind the way out of despair, Mary Baker Eddy writes in her book Science and Health: Jesus marked out the way, Citizens of the world, accept the glorious liberty of the children of God, and be free! This is your divine right. (p.227: 23). We can also find words of comfort from Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

 

Years ago when I was in my teens a significant physical healing left a lasting impression on me, to this day. One day while in high school I was involved in a severe accident while practicing a difficult gymnastic stunt before class without proper supervision. I fell and sustained a painful, debilitating knee injury. But the powerful sense of God's loving presence and indescribable peace illumined my thought that quietly stilled the fear and acute pain. Suddenly my knee gently moved back on its own into its proper position. After arriving at the hospital emergency room, I had to wait several hours for the doctors to see me. Despite this, I continued to feel the influence of a divine presence with me and the inner knowing it was going to be alright.

 

Extensive x-rays were taken by the doctors who were alarmed at the evidence of damage to the knee and vital ligaments that only experimental surgery might help but not permanently. They concluded, my athletic days were over, and that I would need multiple surgeries into my adult years just to potentially walk with crutches. It definitely looked like a no way out zone! I remembered this line from Science and Health that comforted my thought: To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings (p.vii).

 

A week later, I visited the doctors again walking pain free with my dad before our scheduled surgery without assistance. They were stunned to find that the ligament and knee damage was healing and in perfect alignment without medical intervention. The knee appeared completely stable and useable! The doctors were perplexed and could only say it was unexplainable by medical science. I needed no surgery. Since that experience, I became a cheerleader, a few months later, and performed gymnastic stunts without fear of injury. I have since enjoyed skiing, horseback riding, scuba diving and jogging without pain or limitation. Turning to God and feeling his love will open up newfound possibilities right at hand. Then we'll see the sign that says "This way out."

God leaves no one out

Nanette Fairmont-Christian Scientist

 

What does it mean to be talented or gifted? I often hear this comment during an art exhibit, music concert or sports event where people remark "Hey, they've got talent!" My love of the arts, particularly teaching watercolor painting, has impelled me to consider this concept more thoughtfully about what it means to be "talented". It is really true that God gives more ability or talent to one than another? I believe after many years of teaching art students that what makes someone so unique and capable, whether in the arts or sports, has more to do with dedication and giving of the heart and mind. I no longer think that talent is resigned only for the select few, especially from a spiritual perspective. 

 

God as Love leaves no one out. Along with this truth, it helps to have a deeper appreciation of our spiritual completeness and connectedness in order not to devolve into a sense of inequity or inadequacy. In the parable of the prodigal son (see Luke 15: 11-32), it is the older brother who struggles with feelings of unfairness. What gives? Their father is throwing a party for the "loser" brother who wasted his portion of inheritance. The father then patiently corrects his elder son of resentment with a promise, "Son, thou art ever with me, and all I have is thine" (Luke 15:31). I think that story sets the standard of God's love toward us as not being exclusive but all-inclusive. Heartfelt prayer and insight can bring us to this place of awareness of the spiritual abundance that defines our being. Dedication and love based desire can jump start that "God-derived" talent. The Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote, "Success in life depends upon persistent effort, upon the improvement of moments more than upon any other one thing" (Miscellaneous Writing 1883-1896 p.230).

I remember years ago while in high school, over hearing a conversation my mother had with an artist friend remarking that I didn�t have enough talent to take her private painting class and it would be a waste of time and money. I was devastated by this remark and dropped my dream of being a professional artist. It was not until my college years that I had the opportunity to take a required art class that I rediscovered my love of painting. With the supportive encouragement of enlightened instructors who saw my commitment, to go for it, that I was able to change my major from Business to Fine Art. I graduated with a Fine Arts degree with top honors for my portfolio of work to receive the Studio Art Award for my class. This was achieved after much work, heart and commitment to realize my dream of being in the arts as a profession. Within a year I had my first solo exhibit at a premier gallery in Carmel and sold all my paintings. 

The idea that I was born with just a pinch of talent has been replaced with the idea that I can learn and succeed in any interest of life with the help of divine Mind. God, the source of intelligence and creativity does not give to one and not the other. If our hearts are receptive and we are willing to humbly work our way to what God has prepared for us we can rarely be disappointed. www.christianscience.com

No Debts From The Past

Manette Fairmont-Christian Scientist

 

Is it possible to go back and revise mistakes that happened or even still, can we forgive the mistakes of others in our past. I have found that the answer involves, in part, taking a radically new look at forgiveness and its implications in our lives. The Bible which I often refer to, and Christ Jesus' inspired teaching coupled with his healings of guilt along with physical restoration, point to an answer to this question. He shows in example that our true history is the record of man's unbroken relation to God, good. It is the reality of the continuity of eternal Life or the infinite now. In this spiritual history there is no hateful work that has found a permanent foothold in our identity. On the cross Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). Later, Jesus was resurrected to show that human hatred and abuse had no power over his Life or health. The Lord's Prayer, "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors", can relieve us, even today, of an enormous burden to owe or be owed. Jesus knew, God's love is unconditional!

 

Through Christ-like forgiveness of mistakes and the restorative power of divine Love we can also revise our sense of the past. We can change our views of others, no longer believing that we are victims of our own or other people's mistakes. After a difficult time in her personal life, Mary Baker Eddy the Founder of Christian Science, writes in her autobiography, "The human history needs to be revised, and the material record expunged" (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 22). Her own remarkable spiritual healing, overcoming the physical effects of a serious injury from an accident, years of invalidism, and victimization, changed her life and perspective. Any record of fear, physical pain and limitation from her past was wiped out in that moment of healing and enlightenment. Yes, forgiveness can be essential to our health! "Forgiveness is one of those ways where we wipe clean a major threat to our well-being", said Dr. Fred Luskin, a Stanford-trained psychologist shared in a recent interview with Eric Nelson (refer to CDN article April 20 2015: "What is means to be debt free").

 

These ideas helped me to challenge resentment of my own troubled adolescence with an emotionally abusive father. I often had flashbacks reliving a disturbing past. I soon realized that it was not enough to shut out painful memories. I had the right to acknowledge my ability to love and be loved, as a gift from God, to be free from these images affecting my health. Through persistence, I gained a clearer view of what I would accept in my consciousness and chose to focus with gratitude on the abundant blessings in my life. Finally, through God's loving grace, I was relieved of the burden that I was owed. My health was renewed.

 

In the privacy of the heart and mind, a recognition that he or she who was abusive had been deceived into thinking that evil manipulation has empowerment to take away the security and trust from others. 

 

In reality, this activity can compromise their quality of life. Abusive behavior is not to be excused, ignored or indulged. The victimizer needs to recognize his or her mistakes, change and revise their belief in the pleasure of hurting others. However, freedom from resentment need not wait on another's spiritual progress. What someone else does should not impede our well-being now or in the future from past trauma. This kind of forgiveness helps to replace painful memories with new ideas of God's healing power of love, now. 

Finding Easter Gladness

Manette Fairmont-Christian Scientist

 

What does Easter have to do with reporting taxes? On the surface of things, not much. We can however look deeper into a more spiritual outlook for the significance of paying taxes along with honoring Jesus' meal with his disciples, crucifixion and resurrection. 

There are some wonderful insights and principles that can be recognized by his communion with God and his disciples, even regarding finances. Generally, there is a lot of anxiety that comes too thought this time of year when paying taxes along with feelings of regret. What lessons can be learned about appreciation and trusting God's direction with our finances as well as our taxes, health, career, family and spiritual practice. Perhaps, Jesus was showing that the same Principle which raised him from the dead to fullness of life is also the same Principle that can help with financial and heath challenges. 

To take courage, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 2:32), can actually resolve these challenges. That whatever is confronting you, is actually, an opportunity for the Christ consciousness to be "in you" that was also in Christ Jesus. He lived a life of healing and freeing people from self- imposed limitations, whether raising the dead, feeding the multitudes, healing the dispossessed that showed God's great love for mankind. 

Everything he did seemed to bring restoration and wholeness to the situation. What was not working, now worked. After all, he pulled his taxes out of a fish's mouth! He must have known something of God as being the source of supply, not just material circumstances, which included infinite possibilities being at hand. The principle "Thou shalt have no other god's before me" (Exodus 20:3), he obeyed with confidence and assurance. Sure, none of us is at present walking on water, but was he not sharing a divine Principle that we can practice even today? Interestingly, after his resurrection, he had a meal prepared again for his disciples near the Sea of Galilee, after they toiled through the night to catch some fish, with no results. He suggested that they take another tact and suddenly lots of fish were found. You would think Jesus would have better things to do than share yet another meal with his students. This "morning meal" was to celebrate the Christ Principle of eternal life and show its grand results of supply, uninterrupted. 

Years ago, I had my own challenges with paying taxes at Easter time when it looked like my husband and I had greatly underestimated the taxes we owed. We had already spent the money on a new business venture. Although we had lots of deductions, we still had a monster bill. As it is in my practice, as a Christian Scientist, I turned to God, the Bible, Science and Health with key to the Scriptures by Mary B. Eddy, for insight. 

I suddenly had a strange answer come to my thought, "reach into the fishes mouth." I said, "Right." We did not have fish floating around at home. Next thought, "Go to the mail box." I laughed, "OK, this is interesting." There in the box was an enormous check that not only covered our current tax bill, but also put more funds into our savings. The check came from the IRS for a corrected mistake from the previous year's tax return that we over paid. They owed us money. Now that is Easter Gladness! 

Listening with Humility

Manette Fairmont-Christian Science

 

It is encouraging to know that anyone willing to be humble, that is, to listen for divine guidance, and to see God as the only Ego, can replace selfishness and fear with true confidence. This helps restore the Christly sense of love, in our personal experience. The human ego tries to be a power unto its own, fighting for survival and fearing it will cease to exist. We see this played out in world events today. Even Jesus, the master healer, centuries ago, had to work and pray diligently to release a personal sense of his mission and live from the standpoint of pure humility. It was as though he were modeling for us the genius of true Christianity and its proof of humility through his healing of suffering. He voluntarily grappled with and overcame many forms of egotism. His 40 days in the wilderness fasting, was one such example within his ministry. The Bible records that during this time he was tempted, (Matt: 4:1) not once but three times, in different ways. But in each case, Jesus met the temptations of egotism with humility. He showed how real humility cannot be tempted. In other words, it's only egotism that gives an abiding place for fear, pride, or any other destructive form of self, that tries to victimize others.

 

The model of how Jesus practiced humility has helped me to stay diligent in my own grappling with egotism and efforts to yield more fully to humility. Recently, I was communicating with a family member who is well known to be difficult to work with. When appointed trustee of a family estate, I knew I would eventually have to deal with him even more. I tried to avoid any contact with him whenever I could and kept communication to a minimum. However, quite suddenly I had a compelling thought to call him immediately, to be sure a significant bank check was safely received. I argued with myself, that it would be a waste of time and to just e-mail him. The thought kept persisting that I should follow this distinct direction with love and humility. This required me to let go of fear and my reluctant ego, to calmly make the call. When he answered the phone, he wondered why I was bothering him. He had more important things to do than to talk to me. I asked if he had received his check, he responded that he had. I persisted and asked if he had deposited it? 

 

Flustered and annoyed, he answered what business it was of mine to inquire. I said, it came to me to call and just wanted to be sure it was safely handled. He quickly began to panic when he searched his desk "for the check." He said, "Let me call you back after I look for it." About twenty minutes later, he called to say, he would have lost this substantial check in the dumpster outside his apartment if I had not called. Apparently, he accidently threw it away while still in the envelope. We were both grateful that I was open to this inspired direction and followed through in calling him, no matter how uncomfortable. This small but significant event changed our relationship to one of more mutual trust. In its obvious form, humility shows a mature willingness to put the stop sign on mental resistance and to allow the Christ, God's presence and power to govern with love.

Beholding the Good

Manette Fairmont-Christian Scientist

 

I love this passage in the Bible, "God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold it was very good" (Gen. 1:31). As a professional artist for many years, and guided by the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, I replace the word good with complete and beautiful! Being in the practice of Christian Science principles has helped me to see the highest art can be expressed in all our labors, which embodies and celebrates expertise, eternal truth, goodness, beauty, and grace. The founder of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy, presents a definition of divine metaphysics when she wrote, "Metaphysics resolves things into thoughts, and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul" (Science and Health, p. 269). The most remarkable thing about God-inspired thinking is that you start noticing and appreciating things at a deeper level. 

 

What I also noticed was that my first steps in prayer or meditation, were like my beginning steps in planning a painting. I carefully take note of whatever comes to thought. Some ideas are constructive and some are not. I ignore what feels like confusion and doubt, knowing that I can sort out what's true and relevant. Seeing the "good" as God sees it, requires moving past the surface sense of things based on just physical appearances. Goodness and beauty can often be a spiritual experience of the heart and soul. Does this mean being unaware of the struggle and ugliness of the human condition and putting a false facade on what is fundamentally hopeless? No. But we do have a choice of what we choose to paint on the canvas of our lives and thoughts. After all, as Jesus taught, our personal universe often mirrors what we believe and later morphs into our experience. 

 

The comforting proposition that we emanate from the highest source of being, divine Love, and not from the lowest, or the desperate and uncertain. Is this not the "good news" message Jesus brought to mankind? Is this what God, the consciousness of good, is beholding about each of us even here in this human experience? Jesus sets forth to the religious authority of his day, as well as for all of us now, an important principle: "I and my Father are one, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the father do, .. "and greater works shall he do also,.." (John 10:3, 5: 19, 14: 12). The beauty of the recognition of our oneness with God, can bring resolution to the troubled human condition, yes, sometimes slowly, imperceptibly, but inevitably. To prove this point, Jesus actively restored people from a picture of despair to one of wholeness and the beauty of peace. 

 

Let me share how I put this idea of beauty into simple practice in my own art pursuits. Recently, I was inspired by the arrival of my first grandchild to gather my watercolor illustrations into a special book designed for her. Later to find other parents so enjoyed the book that I found a way to have it published and make it available to others. This book came about through the inspiration of God to share and bless others. Over the years I've had to learn to listen for divine direction, the still small voice (I Kings 19:12), intuitive thoughts for many decisions-letting go of personal will, pride and human reasoning has brought forth amazing and beautiful creations of love and "behold it was very good."