Its time to Share your Love, Inspiration, and Healing

Have you thought about writing for the Christian Science periodicals but never quite got around to it because you just didn’t know where to start?

Please join us on Sunday April 23 at 2:00pm, as two representatives from the Christian Science Publishing Society walk us through:

  • Mission of magazines
  • The Writing process for
    • Articles
    • Testimonies
    • Audio option
  • How to write
  • Editing – what’s involved
  • JSH process–what happens to your article after we receive it
  • Writing exercise – get that pen or computer running
  • Next steps

Get Prepared:

  • Read the March 2017 Journal interview with Barbara Vining and Tony Lobl and the submission guidelines for articles and testimonies ( found at https://jsh.christianscience.com/submit)
  • Begin that first draft and bring it with you.

Where:

Fifth Church of Christ Scientist
5655 W Northwest Highway
Dallas Tx  75220

Sunday April 23 at 2pm

RSVP: 214-361-1625 or fifthclerk@sbcglobal.net
(Please RSVP to our Clerk so we will know how many chairs to set up and water/snacks to have on hand)

There will be small follow up meetings to help you edit and fine tune your submissions via Skype.

This is the first meeting of its kind in the US.  We may be recording the session to help the Publishing Society team develop these meetings for others.

 

Son Saved in an Avalanche

Testimony of Protection

By David Shutler

My adult son survived an avalanche in a car near Lake Tahoe, California on January 23, 2017 at 1:30 a.m. PST.  This is my thanks to all who were awake at that hour and praying for the world.  Your “prayers did not return unto you void,” but fulfilled their mission in the protection of my son.  You may have seen the CBS news report of two young men taking selfies from inside an avalanche.  You might not have connected your prayers to that event.  I do.

My wife and I were asleep and unaware of the danger facing our son at the midnight hour.  Over forty years of parenting, we have prayed for the protection and wellbeing of our three sons.  My favorite is: “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord” Psalms 118:17.  But on this night, at that hour, I was asleep. And our son needed your prayers. Here’s what happened.

After an evening with friends working on a car, near Lake Tahoe California on January 23, my son and his roommate headed home together at midnight on Route 89. The road they were on follows the Truckee River through a wooded valley that has a steep pitch and is thus subject to avalanche in deep snow.  The area had seen over seven feet of snow in a short span. After about 10 minutes on the road, they saw a flash of white in front of them and immediately braked. In an instant, they were buried in an avalanche that turned out to be 12 feet deep and 140 yards across.

Several factors protected them in the car.  The avalanche front had crossed the road about 50 yards in front of their vehicle, so that the full force of the avalanche had occurred seconds before their car arrived. And although the avalanche traversed a wooded area, there was no debris in the snow that hit their car to puncture the windows. The snow was dry enough and light enough that it did not crash in the roof of the vehicle, nor did it roll them over.

Small avalanches are estimated to pack the force of 1000 pounds per square foot, so the vehicle had to be in precisely the right place to avoid a crushing blow and also avoid being pushed off the edge of the road, down a ravine and into the Truckee River about 50 yards to their left. Providentially, the snowplow berm, that had built up to the right of the road where their car was located, rose about 8 feet off the road. This apparently caused the force of the avalanche to largely pass above their vehicle, rather than hitting the vehicle broadside.

After the avalanche stalled to a stop, there was white stillness and silence.  The two men had the presence of mind to turn off the car ignition to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Of course, immediately the car became very cold.  But both men had been Boy Scouts as youths and recalled their training in cold weather protection, so quickly got out of wet socks and boots.  They had also prepared for winter weather by previously storing a blanket in the car. So they pulled it out and huddled under it to stay warm.

Looking around at their situation they realized they were in a tight spot, but rather than panic, they were jubilant that they had not been killed in the first wave of the avalanche. “Come now let us reason together saith the Lord,” (Isa 1:18) and that is what they began to do. Their plan was to wait for a rescue but be prepared to dig out if they became light headed, which would indicate their oxygen was getting low. Inside the car they had a shovel, but when they tried to open the door they found it was pressed tight to the car, so they realized that digging out would be a risky proposition. They were also mindful that a shift in position could cause the car to tumble and that an opened window could let in more snow than they could shovel. More problematic, since they did not know how deep the snow was above them, they did not know if they could even make it up to breathable air.  They figured that the vehicle cab contained about two hours of oxygen, which was true. So they decided to stay put, and consciously work to stay calm and preserve it.

Providentially, the exact spot in the road where the avalanche buried them had a full five bars of cell coverage. Less than a mile down the valley road, there was no cell coverage.  And providentially, their phone batteries were still charged at the end of the day. So they called 911 and made contact with a search and rescue team.  Owing to a clear cell signal, the call to the fire and rescue team was received and immediately a trained team was dispatched. Providentially, the station was located only two miles away so the team arrived at the avalanche within minutes.
After placing the 911 call, realizing they were in a very unique situation, and wanting to take their mind off the sobering aspects of it, they began streaming a Facebook live selfie from inside the car. Seeing their situation as a cosmic joke or remarkable stroke, they relaxed and enjoyed the humor in what had happened.

Outside their car, the challenge confronting the rescue team was formidable. The roadway was completely obscured in about 12 feet of snow for approximately 140 yards. In the dark of night, the blanket of snow gave no clues as to the whereabouts of the car. The crew recognized that the car had about 2 hours of air in it.  So the rescue team started a police line with 12-foot aluminum probes along the presumed road course. They had cell contact with the men, but no way to identify their location.  So they methodically worked their way across the avalanche.

After about an hour, they located the car and the men begin honking their horn. The metal probe that first hit the car glanced off the windshield. Providentially, despite the immense pressure on the glass, the metal probe did not break the windshield. The next two pole probes hit the car roof and the men began to see light from above. The rescue team began shoveling down 12 feet by hand to open the car door and allow the two man to escape.  Celebration. Shortly afterwards, snowplows began the task of clearing the roadway.

The only damage to the car, other than a couple of welcomed pole dents to the roof, was the loosening of all twenty lug nuts on the wheels, which likely occurred as the vehicle was being pushed sideways at the start of the slide. Interestingly, although two lug nuts had spun off completely, the car was still able to be driven away.

The Christian Science Lesson-Sermon that week was on the topic of Love. Several passages conveyed new meaning to me the day after I learned of my son’s rescue.

Jeremiah 23:23, 24. Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I should not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.

Joshua 1:9. Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with the withersoever thou goest.

I John 4:16, 18. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.

Science and Health 2:4–11. Are we benefited by praying? Yes, the desire which goes forth hungering after righteousness is blessed by our father, and it does not return unto us void.

Psalm 92:5, 17. 5. I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place. 17. I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.

Deuteronomy 33:12, 27. The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders. The eternal God is thy refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms: Mathew 19:26. With God all things are possible.

In these times, as parents, we long for our children’s protection.  Particularly when we can’t be there and can’t know the danger they face. Here is a poem from Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan that captures that idea for me and conveys the deep feelings involved.

 

Lord, Protect My Child

Written by Bob Dylan

Copyright © Bob Dylan Music Co.

For his age, he’s wise
He’s got his mother’s eyes
There’s gladness in his heart
He’s young and he’s wild
My only prayer is, if I can’t be there,
Lord, protect my child

As his youth now unfolds
He is centuries old
Just to see him at play makes me smile
No matter what happens to me
No matter what my destiny
Lord, protect my child

While the world is asleep
You can look at it and weep
Few things you find are worthwhile
And though I don’t ask for much
Lord, protect my child

Link to the News story in Dallas: (you will see advertising on this link)

Men Survive Avalanche; Take Selfies Waiting For Help

Principia Arts On Tour Blew us Away!

The Principia Jazz band blew us all away today at the Dallas Arboretum along the the A Capella Choir.  The first response to their smooth and jazzy beat was – Are these kids really just in high school?

Their talents are impressive.  Especially given the fact that their director , Martha Stitzel, gave them a 1-2-3 to start them off then just walked away as the kids took the music and ran with it.  She returned once or twice during the concert but more often a student member of the band gave the direction to the rest of the group.  For Stitzel to have that much confidence in the talent and cohesiveness of the group, shows the work, practice and polish that has gone on in her classroom.  But the looks on each students’ faces, they were truly enjoying their performance as much as the audience did.

The A capella group who joined the stage was equally as talented in their rendition of “Take Me Home” by Kevin Olusola, Kirsten Maldonado, and Audra Mae.

Principia A Capella Group Greta Johnson, Madison Ouellette, and Amanda Brenenman
Principia College A Capella
Principia College A capella Dr Mok, Parker Tibbetts and Denny Veidelis

They also sang:  Route 66, In the still of the Night and The Lord Bless you and Keep You.

Liam Frager and Greta Johnson Tap dancing at the Tour of Arts

 

The surprise of the show was the tap dancing duo of Greta Johnson and Liam Frager. When was the last time you saw tap dancing to a Jazz band that really worked?  Today we did!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUPUwvWgdiw

Also featured at the venue was original art works by students at Principia

The whole event was a bright spot in our rainy drizzly day. Everyone there thoroughly enjoyed the show!

 

Adventure Unlimited/ Discoverybond

 

 

 

 

 

Adventure Unlimited/DiscoveryBound representatives, Linda Clark and Alex Griffin are coming to Dallas to talk about the 2017 programs for youth , teens, families and adults.

When: March 26th, Sunday

12:30 pm for Pizza and program sharing.

Where: 2706 Stoneridge Drive Garland TX 75077

RSVP

719-395-2468 Ext 101  or Linda@adventureunlimited.org

614-204-1779  or Kelleyfam2012@gmail.com

Camp Leelanau & Kohahna Presentation Sunday April 2nd

Camps Leelanau & Kohahna invite you to join us for a camp show in the Dallas Area!

Sunday, April 2, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Hosted by Diane and Michael Holland
3834 Waldorf Circle
Dallas, Tx  75229

All are invited to learn about Camps Leelanau & Kohahna, Family Camp, and Harvest Weekend for Women in October.

Snack will be provided
The pool is open and heated so bring your swimsuits

Please RSVP to Michael at thismikeguy@gmail.com or by calling him at 310-880-4540

Looking forward to seeing you there!!

The Reading Room Boutique gets a new look

Our Reading Room Boutique located in the  front entry of our church got a much needed update.  It all started when our new “You are Loved Mural” needed to find a new home.  Its place on the wall in the Sunday school did not allow it to be viewed to its full advantage.   It was decided that the painting would be moved out to the Boutique so it could be seen and enjoyed by all.

When the painting got moved, the whole area became brighter and more inviting.  The sisal flooring which  had been damaged by a water leek has been replaced.  (The leak is repaired)  New fresh furniture has replaced the worn out furniture. The walls and shelving have been repainted.  The new boutique is now a light and bright inviting space to greet all who come through our doors with “You Are Loved”!

A generous donation has been received to more than cover the costs.

Enjoy!

before
before
after
after

Houston Zone Area Report and Inspiration

Houston Zone Annual Report 

In the Houston zone, the harvest is great and the laborers are few, but man are they having fun in the process.  There are three areas that Houston volunteers are addressing: letter writing, prison and jail ministry.  In the past year, letter writing has touched 33 inmates in parts of the state that would not normally have contact with a CS chaplain.  Through this correspondence, inmates are receiving books, periodicals, monitors, hymns and lots of love, the most important thing.

 

We have a number of requests for prison visits.  Some are in the process of being set up at facilities earlier supported.  There is an active program at the Huntsville Unit, in Huntsville Prison, where inmates are supported with two church services a month.  Those inmates are also given books, periodicals, bible lessons and lecture DVDs.  The lecture DVDs are extremely popular and can be watched over and over by a wider audience.

 

At the Harris County Jail, three chaplains have volunteered over the past year.  For six-months, weekly services for women were provided and on average 5-15 women were in attendance.  Science and Health, Bibles and bible lessons were shared and much fruitage was witnessed.  Tina Houston will say more about that program and why it ended.

 

With the male inmates, we (Arthur Mays and I) have a different approach due to the sheer number of the population.  There are on average 9000 inmates in the jail, the third largest in the nation.  Most of them are male.  While once restricted, CS chaplains now have free access throughout the jail.  We walk into cell blocks and ask if anyone wants to talk about the Bible or God.  Sometimes inmates are met in the hallway and they ask us to visit their cell block.  Over the course of the past year, we have had 1,375 contacts with inmates.  We have visited special cell blocks such as military veterans, transgenders, protective custody, re-entry/education programs, medical and mental health units.  The veterans, many who suffer from PTSD and substance abuse, are very grateful for our visits.  The transgender inmates feel especially isolated and are not visited by many of the other churches.  They keep a little library of CS materials in the center of their cell block.

 

We have shared 521 copies of Science and Health.  We have given out hundreds of bible lessons and periodicals.  Houston churches (4th, 7th, 8th, 9th, Bellaire and The Woodlands) have contributed funding and materials in this effort.  More serious students of Christian Science have begun requesting Prose Works and the Manual.  Even better, many inmates are sharing Science and Health and the periodicals with others who then become interested.  The overall receptivity of inmates, of all faiths, to Christian Science is both eye-opening and inspiring.  Truly, the Truth cannot be resisted.  We all feel deeply blessed to be a part of this spiritual mission.  We look forward to sharing some of our fruitage in a few minutes.

 

The Wolf Lies Down with The Lamb

While many of my visits might be one-time encounters, I had the blessing of seeing the spiritual growth of one inmate over the past two years.  For me this is like being in the laboratory of Christian Science and seeing how Truth transforms from old to new.  Willie, known by the prison nickname of “Wolf,” was one of the first inmates I met in the Fall of 2014.  Over the course of two years he was moved around in the system but we kept being brought into contact by unusual circumstances.  Willie, who approved of my testifying, was kicked out of the house at age thirteen.  He has been in and out of prison his whole life in multiple states and for different offenses.  He is currently waiting for an appeal to a murder conviction in a 28 year-old cold case.  His ex-wife testified against him in court.  He was also estranged from other family members and friends.  He admitted that he was skeptical of CS at first and thought it might be like Scientology.  However, he enjoyed our discussions and did read a little of Science and Health.  At one point he said that CS must be like graduate-level Christianity.

 

Despite his interest and CS study, he continued to be isolated from friends and family and suffered from a number of health concerns.  He also could not wait to get out and return to a materialistic lifestyle.  After his conviction of murder and sentence of 33 years, this all began to change.  First, through his study of Christian Science he found peace with the verdict.  Next, he complained that his desire for revenge and lack of contact with family and friends was keeping him awake at night and depressed.  We discussed preying for our enemies as Jesus taught and forgiving and asking for forgiveness.  He took up this duty daily and after about two-weeks, he said he found peace and sleep.  Soon after, family and friends began to write him and visit.  Even a girlfriend he had not seen in 25 years began writing and visiting him.  Later he experienced healings of chest pain, neck pain, colds and high-blood pressure.  He also began sharing his new Christly perspective with other inmates and led prayer sessions.

 

Willie was then transferred out of the jail and into the Texas prison system.  After a few weeks, he wrote me that when he was given a prison medical exam, the doctor said he was surprisingly healthy for a middle-aged inmate.  Willie asked about a number of physical issues he had and the doctor said there was no sign of them.  This included Hepatitis C which he had for 15 years and which took the life of a girlfriend 5-years before.  Willie was so excited to tell me and so grateful to God.  Willie is receiving the weekly bible lesson and we continue to correspond.

More Inspiration

Just this week, an inmate I just met last week, told me that seven years ago while in prison he prayed with all his heart to know absolute truth that comes from God.  Having tried different religions, he has been searching for the past seven years.  In jail on a parole violation, he recently got to borrow a Science and Health from another inmate and read 20% before the inmate transferred with the book.  He did, however, write down the address for 8th Church and sent a letter asking for a Science and Health.  I received the letter and went to meet him two-days later.  He told me yesterday with tears in his eyes that this is the truth for which he was searching.  He also began to tell me like “Zacchaeus” told Jesus, how he would correct a number of sins and make good on dishonest interactions in the past.  He is now studying Science and Health, Prose Works and sharing with others in his cell block.

 

Welcome to our healing church!