Archive for the ‘healing’ Category

What Had That Kid Done Now

August 31, 2017

It’s Sunday afternoon. The middle-aged couple is sitting home. Relaxing. Just had lunch. It’s a good day.

Some men come to the door. You’re “requested” to come to the courthouse to confirm that a man who has been testifying there is really your son.

Our son? He’s been homeless for years. Last we heard he was begging down by the courthouse.

The judges ask when you arrive, “Is this man your son? Is he the one who was crippled from birth? How is it that he’s now completely healed?”

You live in fear of the judges. They have the power to drive you out of the community. You’d lose your job, friends, family if they got mad at you.

“He’s our son. We have no idea what happened to him. He’s an adult, let him speak for himself. Let us out of here.”

I’m still contemplating the 9th chapter of the Gospel of John. Let’s think about the parents of the healed blind man.

Here is their son. He’s encountered the Son of Man or Son of God–Jesus. He’s been healed. Both his physical sight, and as we will learn in a moment, also his spiritual sight. He could introduce his parents to this man. His parents could have rejoiced and thrown a big party that their son is now whole.

Such is the power of fear. They didn’t want to offend the authorities. In a sense, who can blame them. Who among us wants to stand up to the authorities?

What is holding each of us back? What fears lurk within us that stop us from accepting the good news? From reaching out to others in service? From introducing others to the Son of God? From resting in peace and joy?

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try Six Times

May 19, 2017

Yesterday I wrote about second chances. How instead of pointing fingers at others, pay attention to how we have also sinned and been given a chance by God through grace.

Then I went out for my exercise and tuned into a podcast by John Fischer on BlogTalkRadio which was a conversation with Susan Burton.

Susan wrote a book about her experiences, Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women.

She tells her story about going from grief to drugs to jail to release (6 times) until someone pointed her to people who would help her break the cycle.

She did, and went on to found an organization that helps other incarcerated women recover and find a better life.

It makes you wonder what we’re doing with our lives right now. Who could we be helping?

Some people believe that we are only put here on Earth to serve ourselves. But God seems to think that we should be serving others. Here is a story of a woman who was helped and is now a helper.

Thinking Too Much Can Stir Up Anger To Rule You

March 7, 2017

He’s 90 now. An amazing guy. Ran marathons in his 80s. Went mountain backpacking into his 80s. During chats in the steam room at the Y he introduced me to numerous great books.

Life happened. He’s all alone. Don’t often see him.

He’s always angry–at them.

While I was running through the park early one morning I pulled up beside him and slowed down to talk.

“I have lots of time out here to think about things,” he said. “I think about them and what they’re trying to do to me.”

We were just talking about how Paul had warned us about how our thoughts set the direction of our lives here at Faith Venture. I thought about my friend who is now far from the guy I met 16 years ago.

I’m a writer in my “other” profession. Getting well known simply means getting on the radar for publicists and press relations people. I just received a release promoting a book by a guy who is a university professor and “TV Expert.” His book, “Do You Know Your Anger Type?”, is promoted as just the information we need in the age of Trump.

“Let’s face it, everyone gets angry,” says the blurb. “Anger is a normal and acceptable human emotion. Unfortunately, anger is usually expressed in non-productive and unacceptable ways.”

In this book, we will learn:

  • How thoughts determine your emotions.
  • How to control and express your anger.
  • The 12-types of anger.
  • The rules for managing anger.

The concepts and strategies in this book will not only help you with your anger-management, it will also help you understand why you are angry and how to create positive change in your life.

Dr. Peter Sacco is the author. The Rate Your Professor website shows him rated as “hot”. Comments all are that his class is easy, although divided among whether that is a good or bad thing.

I have not read the book, yet. But it is timely. Although, (to the 40% of my readers who are not in the US) not all Americans go around angry all day. Just the loudest ones. The rest of us just go about life as it happens.

I expressed (I think that’s a psychology word) a lot of anger at a stage while growing up. I still remember the spiritual moment when I saw myself from the outside. I thought, “This is stupid.” And from that moment when I was around 12, I’ve always tried to be in control of those negative emotions. It’s why people get the impression I’m calm. Most of the time, anyway.

I practice Paul’s philosophy. I watch what I think about. Where my thoughts dwell. What information I take in.

Maybe this book will help. I’ll let you know. Or–you can read it and let me know. Maybe I’ll even have an opportunity to interview the author. That would be cool.

Get Cleansed Not Just Healed

June 16, 2016

The Gospel of Mark is a great piece of writing. Declarative sentences, concrete nouns, action verbs. The action moves at an almost breathless pace.

The book was designed to be read to the gathering. The gathering was perhaps a synagogue or a courtyard of a large home. People would gather around and someone would read. Perhaps originally someone would be in the gathering who had been at one or more of the scenes. He or she would nod their head in remembrance.

Some recent studying I was doing discussed the idea that the healing miracles Mark reports also carried the concept of cleansing.

Remember the whole Old Testament thing about Clean and Unclean? A woman menstruating was unclean. Touching a dead body was unclean. Eating pork or shellfish was unclean. Lepers had to call out “Unclean” as they walked lest someone touch them and in turn become unclean.

Unclean meant separation from the community. When Jesus healed a leper or the woman with the blood flow that never ceased, he did far more than a physical act of healing. He cleansed them. They went from unclean to clean. They could now rejoin their community.

Doctors today can perform some of the miracles of Jesus daily. Physically. But healing the whole person and restoring to community? That’s hard.

I’ve read where plastic surgeons have done great work restoring a face badly disfigured by accident or disease. When the bandages come off and a mirror is held in front of the patient, they will often not see the change. What they see in the mirror is what they remember, not what they are.

Sometimes we fail to see the cleansing we receive through grace and instead continue to think of ourselves as unclean. Sometimes we forget as we are helping someone else that part of the help is to “cleanse”, that is, to bring them back into the community restored to wholeness.