Rx for Your Health

Everyday on social media I read about homeopathic remedies, essential oils, alternative medicines, weight loss advice, exercise advise, etc.  Everyone but me seems to be an expert or have information I need to improve my health.  Thank  you, some of your advice is very beneficial.  Please allow me to return the favor. I am not a doctor, I do not play one on TV, but I do have the Great Physician’s Desk Reference and this is His prescription for your betterment.

gods rx

3 John 1:2, “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.”  John shares his concern for both their spiritual and physical health. With that in mind and the advice I hear from so many, let’s look at our spiritual health.

There are four keys to physical health that I think applies to our spiritual health as well.

  1. Have a Healthy Immune System. Physically, a strong immunity helps us fight off small threats that can be dangerous if not fatal. Threats like bacterial or viral infections.  Spiritually there are the threats of temptation, false teaching, persecution, and more.  These threats like bacteria and viral exposure are inevitable in the world, “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.” (1 Corinthians 5:9-10). Since we have to live here, how do we boost our immunity? The first step is to build up our resistance by avoiding temptations as much as possible, James says it this way, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7). Next we:
  2. Get Regular Exercise. Staying in good physical condition helps our body have the strength to fight infections. The same is true spiritually. The Hebrew writer encourages us to be active and not “pew-potatoes” – “And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:11-12). We are saved to serve as the Christ served, “It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28). This would include spreading the good news of Christ, building each other up, and reaching out compassionately to the lost and hurting.
  3. We also need Occasional Rest. We need replenishing.  We need to stop and sharpen the saw. We need to spend quiet quality time with the Creator. I can hear someone say, “The Devil doesn’t rest.” Maybe not, but Jesus did, “The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” (Mark 6:30-31). When Jesus did step away from activity, He spent that time in prayer (Mark 1:35). The apostle Paul took time and encouraged the Philippian church to take time to reflect on God’s will and what is right, ” . . . The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:5-8). Take time for you and God alone.
  4. Maintain a Healthy Diet. My doctor reminds me to eat food that is beneficial to me, to avoid eating what we call junk food. This is good advice spiritually as well.  We need to consume spiritual nourishment that builds us up we need the “Words of life.” (John 6:63, 68).  We need to avoid spiritual junk food! Healthy food is “sound teaching” whereas “unsound teaching” is junk food. Just like in our physical world junk food may be more palatable, but junk does not provide for healthy growth. Spend time with God’s Word that provides in which “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,” (2 Peter 1:3)

Take time today for a spiritual check-up.  Go see the Great Physician for a renewed spiritual health, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalms 103:1-5)

  • Scott

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Undercover Boss Revisited

image via CBS

image via CBS

I recently found the show Undercover Boss in syndication.  I watched this show when it first came on and have enjoyed every episode I have seen. While watching one recently, I remembered writing a blog connecting the show to spiritual matters.  Below is the original post.  I hope you enjoy it – again.

On Sunday evenings, when we get home in time, we watch a new “reality” show on CBS – Undercover Boss.  The premise of this show is simple:  A CEO of a major company such as Waste Management, 7-11, or White Castle sheds his suit and tie, dons a “blue collar,” and then goes to work in entry level and lower management positions in the different departments of his or her company.  These bosses learn a lot about the companies they run and the people who work for them.  Of the three of four episodes we watched, these bosses began to empathize with their worker, they began to understand the stresses of lower wage employees and as a result are more open to listening to those employees and implementing changes to help.
 
This is not a new concept.  Who can forget Mark Twain’s story, The Prince and the Pauper, where the young Prince Edward VI abandons the palace to switch places with his doppleganger, Tom Canty who lived in Offal Court on Pudding Lane.  The young prince’s experience as a pauper serves him well after the death of his father, King Henry VII.
 
Even that story rings of familiarity.  A ruler stepping down and living as a subject to better understand them so to give them relief from their plight is a classic plot.  Paul records, “(Jesus Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.” (Col 1:15-18).  Jesus being one with God was king of heaven, and came to earth as one of us to understand us and to save us from the plight of sin. That is why the Hebrew penmen records, “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:14-16).
 
I am glad God understands me.  Praise God for sending His Son, Jesus, to provide for my deliverance.
Scott 

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Prayer for School

 

Can you find me?In my corner of the universe school is starting for the academic year 2015-2016.  Today is the first day of classes for elementary, junior high, and high school students.  College and university students are moving back on campus and getting ready for classes to being in a week or two.  Our son is already at college for Band Camp, Freshmen Experience, and classes that begin next week.

I read and hear a lot about prayer needing back in school and how God needs to be allowed back in school.  Despite all the statements to the contrary – God never left school and prayer still happens.  God cannot and will not be removed from where He wants to be and can be.  If you believe in the omnipresence of God then you must know that He is in schools. Especially when His children are there.  When there are teachers who are Christians, when there are staff members that are Christians as well as students who are Christians, then God is there with them as He dwells in them.  When these Christians take moments to pray, even “flash” prayers (quick prayers that last only a thought or two) then there is prayer in school.  When a teacher prays in his classroom before the students arrive, there is prayer in school.  When students individually bow before breakfast or lunch and thank God for their meal, there is prayer in school.  When these Christians live the life God would have them live others learn from God through them. God and prayer are still a regular part of school.

Christians, this puts pressure on you to live for God and to be light in the world.

With that said, will you join me in a prayer for this school year, whether or not it has started where you are?

  • Scott

“Dear Father in Heaven,

This morning we come before you to intercede for our students, teachers, school leaders, staff, janitors, aides, media specialists, counselors, administrators, bus drivers, and lunch room workers. We pray for all who are a part of our children’s and young people’s education.  Help them to be positive influences on this generation. Help them to communicate the lessons in ways that students can learn the lessons and principles they need for life.

Father, please be with the teachers of the little ones, help them to guide these young hearts and minds to a love of learning and toward good citizenship based on what is right and true. Be with the teachers of the middle children. Help them as they deal with the changes in these young people as they begin to mature. Help these teachers and others guide them in the way that is right.  Be with the teachers of teens.  Help them keep these young adults on the right track and bring others back to a direction that will benefit the student’s future.  Be with our college and university instructors and professors. Help them prepare their students to be productive citizens and moral leaders in our world.

God, there are so many others that work with our students and in the schools. Please help them to have a good influence on our youth.  Help them as they serve, guide, counsel, lead, protect, transport, and feed these children. Let their love for students be a light of hope, especially for those students who experience so little love away from school.

Father, you know the many things today’s children and youth face. You know the ideologies, temptations, and immorality that their parents and grandparents may not have faced. Give them strength to stay the course. Give them courage to say “no” to the things that will drag them down physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. Be with all our youth, especially those that are trying to live in a way pleasing to you. Help them to be a positive influence on their peers. For those that have lost their way, Father, please give them opportunity to change and to avoid the dangers that lay ahead if they continue on their current path. For those that have never known You, help them learn of Grace.

Please be with the parents and guardians of our youth.  Help them to see how best to help their charge succeed. Help them to partner with the schools to make their children’s educational journey the best it can be. Hel them as parents and guardians to create and to provide an atmosphere at home that is conducive to learning.

In Jesus’ name. . .

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Hiring a New Preacher

Like all good preachers I have a file or three of clippings (old school paper and filing cabinet) along with an folder on my computer and cloud storage of bulletin articles, blogs, and newspaper finds. Today’s post is from the hard copy file from an old newspaper clipping. In a letter to Dear Abby a C.W. Kirkpatrick then in Ludlow, Massachusetts submitted this story about a minister search committee:

After sitting through the Minister Search Committee reject applicant after applicant for some fault alleged or otherwise one member stood up to read a letter from another applicant.

“Brethren, Understanding your pulpit is vacant, I should like to apply for the position.  I have many qualifications. I have been a preacher with much success and also have had some success as a writer.  Some say I am a good organizer.  I have been a leader most places I have been.”

The committee was impressed want wanted to hear more, “I am over 50 years of age. I have never preached in one place for more than three years.  In some places I have left town after my work caused a riot or disturbance.  I should tell you I have spent time in jail on three or four occasions, but not because of any real wrongdoing.  My health is not great, but I still get a lot done. The churches I have been in have been small even when located in large cities.  I have not always had good relationships with other religious leaders in town where I have preached.  To be honest, some have threatened me and even attacked me physically.  I am not good at keeping records.  I cannot recall the names of those I have baptized. However, if you can use me, I will do my best for you.”

The committee was in shock. Why would an unhealthy, trouble making, absent minded, ex-con think they would hire him?  “Who is this?” They asked.

“It is signed, Saul of Tarsus, a.k.a. the Apostle Paul”

  • Scott

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At Hand

1901, the Pan-American Exposition was in Buffalo, New York. Exhibitions and visitors came from all over. One visitor was Bill. Unfortunately for Bill, he became the victim of a shooting.  Fortunately for this man the first aid station at the Pan-American Exposition was large, it was the equivalent of an emergency hospital. There was even a fully functional operating room – the very room Bill needed! He had taken two bullets at close range. At 4:30 in the afternoon, Bill, conscious but in severe shock, was taken inside and hoisted on the operating table and undressed.  It looked bad for Bill.

Knowing there was no time to waste, the doctors quickly began to operate. As the anesthesia was administered, Bill did not count backward from one hindered, Instead he quoted, “Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name . . .” In moments he was under. An incision was made, the abdomen opened. One bullet had grazed a rib and exited obviously deflected.  The other slashed through the front and rear walls of his stomach but there was no exit wound. Where was the bullet? Lodged somewhere in the muscles of the back? It seemed to the doctors that the projectile had simply vanished. They wanted to find the missing bullet, yet the patient might not survive prolonged probing. They closed him up, hoping for the best.  Sadly, a week later Bill was dead.

Bill had a few things going against him. He was overweight, nearly sixty. Mainly it was the result of the shooting. The wound was insufficiently cleansed and the one bullet was left untraced Bill died as a result of gangrene. “If” is a big question here. What if the doctors had been able to locate and remove the missing bullet? Bill might have lived.

“And now the rest of the story” Remember Bill was shot at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.  On exhibition at the exposition not far from the scene of the shooting, was a new invention.  A revolutionary device that could have helped.  You know this device as a portable X-ray machine. The machine – so near yet so far – was operable and would most certainly have located the fatal bullet. Instead, Bill (President William McKinley) died with an assassin’s bullet still lodged inside. (adapted from Paul Harvey, The Rest of the Story)

Help for President McKinley was at hand, near by, but few knew.  And some that did know were leery of using it. Sometimes that is the way it is with our loves.  God, His power, His promise, His purpose is at hand. Yet we live our own way and take things into our own hands.  We try to handle our marital problems, disease, disaster, or death on our own or with the tools of society in hand so we fail and we give up.  But we are not on our own in this world.  We do not have to rely on our own or simple human resources.  God is at hand! “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). – Mat 1:23. And “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6). And “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. (Zep 3:17).

Will you take advantage of the resources God offers? “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phi 4:19).

  • Scott

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For Everyone

I found this little clipping in a file of old church bulletin articles.  There is no attribution to an author, just know it is not an original of my own creation.  I just thought it was worth sharing on a Friday afternoon.

How everyone can be nice to everyone:

  • Be Silent when your words would hurt.
  • Be Patient when your neighbor’s curt.
  • Be Deaf when the scandal flows.
  • Be Thoughtful for other’s woes.
  • Be Prompt when duty calls.
  • Be Courageous when misfortune falls.

– Scott

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Bible Malapropisms – one more time

Monday we looked at five Bible Malapropisms.

My weemee

Today we look at the last four in my list.  I am sure there are more.

  1. God moves in a mysterious way. William Cowper wrote this in one of his last hymns in 1774. He based the thought on his recollections of his life and how he saw what he considered to be God’s hand in the events of his life.  The Bible does teach that God understands more than we do and that God’s foolishness is wiser than man’s wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:25) and from that we might surmise that to us God’s way is mysterious.  Paul does talk about the mystery of God that the apostles revealed – that is the Gospel, God’s plan for man’s redemption through the Christ. We need to be careful using this “malapropism” to assign actions to God that may not be His doing. Even the inspired apostle Paul said concerning Onesimus running away from Philemon and finding his way to Paul, “For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while . . . “ (Philemon 1:15 – emp.: SMc). If Paul says “perhaps” why should I think I always know?
  2. Pray and claim your blessing from God.  I hear this or something like it every time I watch certain televangelists. It seems their message is more about God blessing your life for your demanding your promises than about you serving God who already blesses you with the greatest gift of all – salvation through His sacrifices Son. I cannot find anything close to this health and wealth message taught in the Bible as something we should believe.  The closest I can find are misguided words of Bildad, Zophar, and Elphaz. These three frineds of Job only thought they knew the heart and mind of God.  God straightens them out.
  3. God needed ___(insert name of deceased here)___ in Heaven. This is one of the most unfortunate and harshest statements about God that I hear at funeral homes. Those who say this, like those who say other Bible malapropisms, think of it as a statement of faith and encouragement.  To me this particular phrase makes God out to be a self-absorbed, needy, and greedy monster.  Consider this: Your god moves in a mysterious way and everything happens for a reason. Since this god needed your mom in heaven more than you needed her, this god took her from you. You have no say and this god does not care about your feelings.  Who wants to serve a god like that?!?!  Death came into the world, not because of God, but because of Satan and our sin. God does welcome His children home as a reward for a life lived faithfully, but He does not take our loved ones from us – death does.  Death that is a part of life – no matter whether natural causes, disease, an accident, or tragedy brought about that death. If you have to say something at a funeral, please simply offer prayer and a shoulder to cry on, tell them you care, but please do not blame God for their loss. **
  4. Once saved always saved.  This is meant as a statement of eternal security.  I know we can have confidence in our salvation, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13). But that confidence lies in knowing that God keeps His promise as we continue to walk in faith. Other passages talk about the dangers of turning away from God and salvation, “For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.” (2 Peter 2:20-22). Those who escaped are those who have salvation, but they return to the world. We must remain faithful to God to have eternal security.

I would love your thoughts and even suggestions on more Bible Malapropisms.

– Scott
** For a more detailed look at tragedy and death you might what to read this series from 2014 on When Tragedy Strikes

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