Tomorrow most of us in the United States will gather around overladen tables, stuff ourselves and say what we are thankful for. And that's good. But how many of us are thankful for the One who gave us all the things we are thankful for? This year, take time to reflect on God and how He has blessed us through the year.
Maybe you might like to read the following Psalm before you dive into that turkey:
Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.
And while you're enjoying that sumptuous dinner, here's some music for your listening pleasure.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Title: Break the Chains
Author: Jay D Roberts, MD
Publisher: Tate Publishing and Enterprises, LLC
If you were abused over and over again, would you become an abuser? Or would you learn to forgive? Dr. Jay Roberts had to go to prison to learn the answer.
In 1999 Dr. Roberts was in at-home hospice care preparing for his own death from a neurological disease. At the point where he finally gave up, he experienced a spontaneous, overnight healing. It was not the first time he had “cheated” death. He had survived a fifty-foot fall from a cliff, a plane crash, and attempts on his life by rebel insurgents in remote areas in the Philippines in 1970s. This near-death escape was different though, because it was the culmination of a turbulent lifelong dialogue with God which started when he was a child being bull-whipped by his alcoholic father. Yet even after his complete recovery from disease, it would take a maximum security prison environment to reveal to him the mysterious power of forgiveness.
In the telling of his fascinating story—of extreme abuse, of the compulsion to become a pain and wound care specialist, of medical school in a third world country against a dangerous political backdrop, and of his return home to deal with the demons he’d left behind—Dr. Roberts tackles the big questions illuminating physical, mental, and spiritual growth. Break the Chains affirms faith in both God and the human spirit. It is as revealing and inspirational as it is truthful and poignant.
THE STORY BEHIND BREAK THE CHAINS:
As a young child, I didn’t believe God existed. I had prayed and prayed for God to stop my torment, but He didn’t.
As I grew, I kept hearing, “Jesus loves the little children…”
So I figured that if God does love kids, he surely hates me.
And, He must hate me because I am bad, so I should be beaten more. I deserved to be tortured.
And I was.
So I figured I was right after all.
As a child and adult I knew to keep my mouth shut and never speak of what went on inside our home. I would never tell. Never.
Years and years past, then I got sick. After I almost died, I became obsessed with four things—writing my story, ministering in maximum security prisons, helping the wounded, and building an orphanage.
Writing my story has been the most difficult. I had to remove a wall of stones from around my heart that had protected me for years. It became too painful and I stopped writing. I tossed many a nights fighting a passion to write against the fear that it would kill my mother for telling the secret. Two years later, the battle was over. I could no longer squelch my thirst to write.
My mother read the promotional copy for my book. She is still alive.
Any day now she will start reading the book. I pray that she has strength and an open mind as my story unfolds in her hands. A story she already knows, but one never spoken and definitely not in print.
My wife, two sons, and sister have read the book and have praised me.
My brother refuses to talk about the book and to hear anything negative about his father.
A cousin is upset that I would “bad mouth my family… and anyway, no one would ever buy my book.”
Many have hurts and pains, and are bounded by their chains.
I am willing to take the hits from my family, if by telling my story I can help others to forgive, break their chains, and set them free.
Jay D Roberts MD is a board-certified physiatrist, specializing in the treatment of physical disabilities with a focus of adding quality to life. He is currently in private practice in California. He is a member and lecturer at national and international conferences related to his specialty, a contributing author to Current Trends in Physiatry, and author of various scientific papers. In addition to his career, Dr. Roberts volunteers as part of a Christian ministry in maximum security prisons. He and his wife, parents of two grown sons, live in Indian Wells, California. Break the Chains is Dr. Roberts’ first book. Following in the long tradition of doctors who combine their passion for saving lives with their passion for writing, Dr. Roberts is currently at work on a novel, concerning children forced to work in mines.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
|Thinking (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)|
There are some forms of New Age religion and occult practices that speak about mind control. They try to teach people how to control their minds. These practices are not only deceptive, but dangerous. They can take you places you don't want to go. STAY AWAY FROM THEM.
Because God knows how destructive our thoughts can be, He teaches us in His Word how to avoid unwanted thoughts. The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4: 8,
"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things."
In 2 Corinthians 10: 5 he writes, "casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."
It may be difficult to always keep your mind on things that are pure, lovely and of good report all of the time. What so-and-so said to you or about you, what the doctor told you yesterday, what your bank statement says may be nothing praiseworthy, but if you begin to focus on your thoughts and "bring them into captivity to the obedience of Christ" you will soon find that they conform to what Paul wrote above.
You don't have to attend some seminar or read books on positive thinking. God has given us everything we need to keep our minds on the right track. The answer lies in prayer and daily Bible reading. When you wake up each morning, pray this prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you for bringing me to the beginning of another new day. Lord, I know that my thoughts can lead me to do and say things that are not pleasing to you, and as this day begins, I ask you to take control of my thoughts. Help me to focus only on those things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely and good report so that my words and actions will honor and glorify You, in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Sunday, November 03, 2013
|Front cover of Monster (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
This is not a review of Frank Peretti's book with the same title, but it is part of the inspiration for this post. In his book, Peretti writes about a small town taken over by demonic powers intent on destroying the townsfolk and the pastor. Conditions in our world may not be as widespread as they were in the town, but make no mistake, we are being seduced by the forces of darkness every day.
We only have to look at the proliferation of movies and books dealing with vampires, alien creatures, the occult and New Age mysticism to see that we are plunging headlong into a dark abyss from which there may be no way out.
And if we choose to turn a blind eye to these occultic offerings, we can simply follow the evening news on television. We call wrong right and vice versa. In fact, there are some who say there are no absolutes, no right and wrong. As long as it feels good, do it.
Peretti begins his book with this foreword: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
Fortunately, the book has a happy ending. The forces of evil are vanquished and peace is restored to the town. This post also has a happy ending. One day soon Jesus is going to return and he'll squash the powers of darkness and peace will reign on this earth. The Bible says: Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years Revelation 20: 6.