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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Women And The Presidential Elections

Politics has always been called a nasty game, but this presidential election campaign will go down in history as one like no other. The mudslinging has reached an all-time low, and it does no one, not even those slinging the mud, any good. One notable feature of the campaign is its focus on women. And that should be a good thing because, for the first in US history, we have a female presidential nominee. But instead, the female gender is being maligned and ridiculed in a way that takes us back to the dark ages.

When Jesus walked this earth, He treated women with respect, and they followed Him wherever He went. So much so that Mary Magdalene, who had been demon-possessed and believed to be a woman of ill-repute, received the honor of being the first to see the risen Lord and proclaim the good news that He was alive (John 20: 1 - 18).

Sexual abuse, sexual assault, whatever label you put on it, is never right. It strips a woman of her dignity, her self-worth and her sense of purpose. This is why I wrote the book Coming Out of Egypt. A compelling story of characters who were sexually abused and whose roller-coaster journey out of that horrible experience is well worth reading.

The book does not deal with the abuse itself, but the deleterious effects the abuse had on the life of the main character. You will see her anger, fear and mistrust transformed into love, faith, and hope with the help of a teacher and through the power of the Holy Spirit.

This is not a true story, but it is based on what I saw as a teacher many years ago, and what I still see as a therapist in behavioral health. I encourage you to get this book. The content will tug at your heartstrings, but it will also entertain you and reinforce your faith in a God who delivers. If you know someone who likes to read, this book will make a great Christmas gift.

I am posting this blog today because right now you can pick up  Coming Out of Egypt  for just .99c. Or you can read it for FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

What To Do When You Can't Sleep - II

I'm finally able to get back to this post I promised you on what you can do to improve your sleep. If you are one of those people who sometimes have to take a sleep aid to fall asleep - and I think we all do occasionally - I hope you will try my remedy. It costs you nothing, it works and benefits you in more ways than one. Prayer is one of the best things you can do for yourself physically as well as spiritually.

Okay, so what's the other thing? It is meditation. Now when I speak of meditation I'm not referring to the Eastern practice where you sit cross-legged and chant. The meditation I'm referring to is the type spoken of in the Bible.

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1: 8

Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.  Psalm 119: 97

 My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises. v 148

God's word instructs us to meditate on it "day and night." With our busy lifestyle, we may not be able to  meditate during the day, but what's to stop us from meditating on God's word during a few sleepless hours? Just reflecting on God's love and greatness is enough to erase our worrying thoughts and help us get back to sleep.

I have taken meditation to a different level. I have learned to say my ABC. Not the kind your child learns in pre-K, but the kind that focuses on the attributes of God. So A is for amazing, B is for bountiful, C is for compassionate and so on. I usually fall asleep before I've got half-way through. This works for me. You may come up with your own form of meditation that you will find effective.

Unless you have a medical condition that is robbing you of sleep, I  think you would find these suggestions helpful. Sleep deprivation is not something God wants us to struggle with. He wants us to be well rested so we can impact the world for Him. But in addition to getting a good night's sleep, your spiritual life will improve and you will find yourself having a deeper and more satisfying relationship with God.

This is by no means to be taken as medical advice. Please follow your  physician's advice in addition to consulting the Great Physician.
See my other post on this topic here

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Unity In Disaster

Courtesy morgue file
At the time of this writing, hurricane Matthew is making his presence felt on the North Carolina coast. The last time I checked, he was responsible for nine deaths along the eastern United States and the number in Haiti has been astronomical. I pray that there will be no more loss of lives and that any future damage from this storm will not be severe.

Here in South Florida we have been truly blessed. The rain and wind that we got were milder than the downpours we are accustomed to in this part of the world. We had no flooding, and didn't lose power. So we are praising God while praying for those less fortunate.

One of the things that stood out for me during the lead-up to the hurricane was the unity and caring that was evident as we made frantic preparations to secure our homes and stock up on food. As I entered the supermarket, one lady told me of a nearby store that still had bottled water. One of my neighbors cheerfully assured me that he'd survived other hurricanes in the area and there was nothing to be afraid of. In the stores, people smiled and helped each other.

This reminded me of hurricane Andrew which devastated parts of Florida many years ago. People were eager to help each other, sharing their goods, equipment and even their homes to ensure the safety of people they didn't even know.

Why can't we be like this all the time? Why should it take a disaster to bring out the best in us? On the other hand, there are those who use disaster to take advantage of others, but they are usually in the minority.

Maybe God causes disaster to teach us something. To teach us how much we value ourselves, our fellow human beings and what they really mean to us. But let us not wait until something bad happens or is about to happen. Let us show kindness to others every chance we get.

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
2 It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.Psalm 133: 1 - 3

Please continue to pray for the people of Haiti that they will get the assistance they need to rebuild their lives and that that nation will turn to God as a result of this tragedy. Please pray for those in the US still in the path of the storm.