By Judith Hardy Olson (via CSMonitor.com)
…The suicides of two of my friends’ teenage sons were a wake-up call to me. Comforting and consoling parents and schoolmates wasn’t enough for me. Deep in my soul I prayed, “Father, how can I best help troubled teens know that they’re needed?” I listened. What came was a sweet, strong assurance that Life and Love are inseparable, for God is both. Pondering Love as the only creator, I reasoned then that our entire being has to be (and is) just as lovely and loving as God is. God’s promise in the Bible that because we’re precious to Him we’re honorable and He loves us (see Isaiah 43:4) came alive to me. It said to me that each of us is because we’re precious. Why, of course. A God who is Love couldn’t, wouldn’t, create a single idea that’s not purposeful, precious, needed, wanted… Read more
It’s not about the money.
A recent study focused on the effect of gratitude on teenagers. There are a lot of reasons teens are grateful. And being rich isn’t necessarily one of them. Similarly, there are plenty of reasons teens might act as if they had a gratitude deficit. Being poor doesn’t necessarily seem to be one of them.
The study suggests that regardless of a teenager’s socioeconomic background, he or she can experience the benefits of a grateful heart, including the benefit of better mental health. Through a few changes in outlook, attitude, and behavior, he or she can make big gains on the gratitude front. Teens who are the most grateful find a number of benefits multiplying. Such as? Things like improved academic performance, a sense of purpose, more hope, and more happiness. As these take root, they grow more common to a teen’s outlook and more natural to his or her life. On the flip side, things like hopelessness or depression – which are at times linked to suicide in teens – grow less prevalent. Read more
During the summer, I often have the privilege of working as a Christian Science practitioner, or spiritual healer, at a summer camp for teens.
I just returned from this 2 week trip and it was an amazing time. The summer camp provides opportunities for sea kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, games, and connecting with friends. There is also a greater feeling of being at one with God and increased spiritual growth that happens during this time.
I’m always so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this endeavor. And I learn so much!
One thing I learned is the spiritual power behind everyone praying and supporting an event together. Each morning we, as the staff members, would prepare for our day by studying the Bible and the teachings of Christian Science. The campers would pray about their God-given spiritual identity free from limitation, lack, fear or suffering. There was an expectation of good, protection, love, joy and freedom.
What a blessing it is to be in a mental and spiritual atmosphere such as this! The 2 week session was a great success. And when challenges did arise they were handled with spiritual dignity and resolved quickly.
I’m so grateful for the spiritual receptivity, childlikeness, innocence and purity which is natural to each of us, and enables us to see clearly Spirit’s harmonious government of our being.