The other day I saw a story on the internet that a 13-year-old boy with cancer was going to be forced to take chemotherapy despite his desire to seek alternative treatment. I was appalled. I realize our freedoms are slipping away from us one by one in this country, but this was really scary. Since when does a doctor have authority over a person’s freedom? If I have a severe pain and a doctor wants me to take morphine, despite my refusal to take habit forming drugs, will Joe Judge overrule my personal choices? How about anti-depressant drugs? Need I go down the line? It seems that big business spearheaded by the drug companies and medical doctors have done a very good job of shutting up the small voices in the wilderness crying out that there is a better way, Believing in natural cures instead of synthesized drugs is analogous to believing in creation instead of evolution in the current scene. When will the government take away children if they teach them that God created them? It might not be far off. See my next article on atheism for more on this topic.
Here is a link to a story along with a commentary video about the young lad whose family pleaded religious grounds for abstaining from chemo. www.naturalnews.com/026283.html You can get all the details yourself.
Here’s another: jonathanturley.org/2009/05/16/court-overrules-parents-in-religious-refusal-of-chemotherapy-for-13-year-old-boy/
I had this discussion with a woman who has worked in hospitals. She has done quite a bit of research. She knew of a doctor who came up with a treatment for cancer that came from bicarbonate of soda and cost fifteen cents a dose. You can guess how well that cure would sit with people whose mansions and yachts are purchased by sick people in need of medical treatment. That would be like the oilmen hearing of a guy making fuel out of water. There is a rumor that someone did come up with such a process, and they promptly disappeared. I’ll always wonder if that story is true. I will be researching the bicarbonate of soda story.
I have decided that I would not undergo chemotherapy if I were ever told I had cancer. I truly believe that God has supplied all the things on earth that will counteract all of the bad things on earth. If the scientists spent time searching for ways that natural occurring substances can halt the spread of or cure a disease, I think we’d have better results. For example: Just the other day scientists discovered that a liquid emitted by a special coral in the red sea can cure skin cancer.
Chemo and radiation kill healthy cells. The best way to fight illness is with our natural immune systems that God provided. We need to be at optimum health to fight off an invader. Researchers need to find a way to target the trouble cells only. Think of an under the skin special forces unit. Perhaps there is some element in nature that will do that trick without man altering cells through bio technology.
If this report is accurate, it says much more than I could ever say. This document explains how 75% of doctors would not use chemotherapy on their own bodies. www.scribd.com/doc/14150181/Why-Doctors-Do-Not-Take-Chemo
There are a lot of people today touting the power of natural cures. Of course, not all of them will be reliable. Joan and Lydia Wilen have a popular book filled with natural remedies. Kevin Trudeau is a bright guy who’s fought a crusade against the federal drug bureaucracy and the big drug companies. He has a couple of books dealing with natural cures and the efforts of some parties to suppress them. Here is a link where you can read part of one of them. books.google.com/books
May 17, 2009
A couple of weeks ago a beautiful and gracious young lady, poised on the edge of being named Miss USA was asked what her belief was concerning the legalization of same sex marriages in America. She actually deflected the question with some evasive apologetic statements before indicating she believed that marriage should be between one man and one woman. The judge who asked the question said if this young lady had won, he would have run up on the stage and ripped the tiara from her head. And he cursed and called her names on his internet blog. This scene should have caused an outrage, right? Well it did but not the way it would have gone down in the era when we were leaving it to Beaver. The young lady’s character has been questioned now, not only by this judge, but by members of the media and members of the Miss California association. All this brouhaha has erupted because her opinion is not politically correct. I have to question whether having a judge ask such a question should be considered politically correct. Is it OK for a judge to grind an axe and push an agenda when performing the duties of a panelist to determine the Miss USA representative? Obviously it’s not ethically correct for him to attack her after the fact. He was supposed to be an impartial judge. Obviously that was not the case. He asked his loaded question, trapped her into revealing her character flaw of being a Bible believing Christian, and prevented her from winning the crown. Yet that wasn’t enough. He had to make a personal attack on her. His statement on an interview was that he gave her room to wiggle out but she chose to bring her politics and her religion into it. Hello, how can you avoid doing that when you asked a political oriented question with religious overtones and ask for the person’s opinion? And now people are questioning her character and not his? Has all sense of common decency been lost on the American populace? What comes next in this saga of American life? Will heterosexual women be barred from winning the crown in the near future. Will the Heisman trophy voters ask Florida quarterback Tim Tebow if he supports same sex marriages next year so they can preclude him from picking up a second Heisman trophy? Perhaps employers can add a question to job applications to filter out all the undesirables who believe that God made Adam and Eve with special hormones, body fluids, and complimentary parts that enhance pleasure in order to procreate. In the book What Darwin Didn’t Know, author Geoffrey Smith takes the reader through the whole complicated reproduction system. Fascinating reading. There is no logical way that process could evolve. God created us for procreation to multiply and populate the earth in addition to learning what it is like to have children so we can relate to a Heavenly Father.. Internet headlines mention the scandal at the Miss USA pageant and wonder if Miss California made a mistake. Ironically, ask someone the name of the winner of the pageant, and they probably won’t be able to provide the answer. Ask the name of Miss California, the beautiful girl with intestinal fortitude to match, and many will be able to identify Carrie Prejean. If you GOogle her name, you’ll find two million hits! I have to wonder how can it be considered scandalous to believe that a marriage should be between two people who are capable of producing offspring? I’ll delve into this topic again in more depth later, but this article was a tribute to Miss Prejean and her grace and poise in standing her ground and holding firm to her beliefs. How I long for the day when PC referred to my computer. For more on this topic including the original film clip, here’s a link to a video with Bill O’Reilly on the topic: Carrie Prejean Video
May 17, 2009
I watched a video the other day featuring a debate between Christopher Hitchens, the notorious atheist, and four Christian apologists concerning the question of whether the God of Christianity exists or not. The believers on the panel included perhaps the most brilliant Christian scholar, William Lane Craig, and Lee Strobel. I’ve been a fan of both of their writing. The other two men held up very well in their contributions to the debate as well. I found it ironic however that none of these brilliant men failed to offer the most compelling evidence against the skepticism of Hitchens which seemed to be based on the unrelieved suffering in the world. The final answer seems so obvious to me.
The lone atheist on the panel stated the case of a woman who was imprisoned in the basement or perhaps dungeon for over twenty years by her husband. The man would visit just to rape her. Hitchens offered that if there were a god, for him to stand by and do nothing for this woman was amoral and possibly evidence that the deity enjoys watching people suffer (if he does exist). This one case study was supposed to be sufficient evidence that either God is a myth or he is not good. In either case, the Christian god was proven to be a fantasy if this small piece of evidence should prove to be acceptable.
It was mentioned, but not one of the four adequately hammered home the point that God’s promises are not for this world. People who have a concept that God is like Santa Claus and hands out special gifts to everyone who ask for them are very naïve and ignorant. No one pointed out that all of the apostles except John were martyred. Here is the kicker: the ultimate example is the suffering of Jesus Christ himself. If God could let His own beloved son go through the physical and mental torture of the crucifixion, how can we complain about a little discomfort and imperfection here on Earth? Ironically, it is through suffering that we learn compassion and humility. Could it be that the Father let Jesus suffer so cruelly so we humans would see that our burdens are indeed light. The cruel fate Jesus suffered also teaches us how much He loves us?
I will be devoting an entire column to discussion on prayer and healing and why not everyone is healed. Also we’ll delve into why “stuff happens” to devout believers where nonbelievers seem to prosper. Many people have walked away from God because they didn’t receive what they asked for. They come to the conclusion that He doesn’t exist. I have to point people to the prayer that Jesus told us to use when we speak to His father. “Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” There’s no mention of praying for a new house or new wheels. Many people want to pray “my will be done.” And then they’re disappointed and disillusioned when their prayers go unanswered.
I came to the conclusion after listening to this that no amount of evidence for God will convince someone who doesn’t want to believe. Finding God involves a surrender of the free will that He gave us. Without embracing the concept that the universe does not revolve around us, man can never discover God. Ironically the atheists preach that mankind is not the center of the universe but they as individuals think their intellect is. Go figure.
You can watch that debate at this address: Debate Video
May 13, 2009
If you listen to some of the leading atheists such as Richard Dawson, you’ll hear them employ an argument against the existence of a deity in which they claim He hides himself too well. In other words, if there was a god, he’d be a bit more visible. Other people lose their faith because God doesn’t perform upon demand when they beg him to heal their family members or provide a job. People cling to a mistaken notion that prayer consists of asking for presents from the Almighty as if he were Santa Claus. Unfortunately, when they don’t receive what they ask for, they assume that God must not exist or doesn’t love them. Doesn’t that seem a bit overbearing and egotistic, as if God created us so He could be our servant? It is true that Jesus did come to serve when he was on the Earth, but that servanthood role was only a cameo appearance.
Only the people who figure out that the correct scenario is exactly the reverse will ever truly understand God. There are groups of Christians who believe in the prosperity gospel. Sow into the kingdom and you shall reap a harvest, monetarily. The principle of sowing and reaping is indeed valid, but Jesus said we should be storing up treasure in Heaven. He wasn’t talking about monetary health and wealth. Our financial sowing on Earth does not generate immediate returns on investment. The people who really thrive under the teaching of the prosperity gospel are those receiving the “seed” gifts that people send in to stimulate their own financial windfall. We’ll mention this topic more in depth in a future post.
It’s taken me almost sixty years to figure out that what God really wants is for us to allow Him into our presence. That might sound funny. We have the power to keep the Almighty out of our lives? Crazy thought when we can’t control our lives in most other areas, but yet we can wall ourselves off from our creator. Unfortunately not many people spend quality time with their Heavenly Father, including me. I’m trying though. One stumbling block to our intimacy with God is how we view Him. Is he the demanding father who walks softly and carries a big stick? Or is he a loving father who wants us to sit in his lap and tell Him about our owies and our feelings? Or is he in between those two extremes? There are a multitude of songs that extol the virtues and benefits of drawing near to God, meeting Him in a secret place, entering the Holy of Holies, and dwelling in His presence.
I might be wrong, but I think perhaps those who spend time in His presence will be the ones who get lots of presents. Even if that is not the case, the peace of mind and overflowing love are fringe benefits to die for. I have a couple of friends who teach on the subject of having intimacy with God. You can listen to a radio broadcast dealing with that topic at http://www.exceedingjoy.com/ExceedingJoy/audio/FaithFM/ExceedingJoy/SusanWaters.FaithFM.ExceedingJoy.2009.03.05.mp3
Susan Waters also wrote a book called God the Ogre Syndrome in which she relates how she once viewed God as an ogre. She broke through that impediment and now helps others to seek closeness to their Heavenly Father. Jeff Reuter has a similar story. After a powerful encounter with the Father, he now travels the world delivering seminars on the Father heart of God. You can check out his Father’s Love series at http://www.prayerlifeministries.com/TapesAndCDs.asp
Regardless of what means you use to draw near to God not just with your lips but with your heart, I can’t recommend it strong enough. I do believe we are entering into the times that try men’s souls. Without a heavy dose of the Father’s love, our chances of survival will not be good.
May 2, 2009
Julie Lessman is a master (or should I use the term mistress) of taking her readers on an emotional rollercoaster ride. Her characters, despite the fact she has so many of them involved in the story, come alive as real people and not caricatures gilded with religious veneer. The extended Connor family members are normally admirable but not flawless people. They try to cling to God, but the common struggles all humans must deal with in the areas of pride and passion never stray far from their door. The exposé of pride and its damaging effects is one of the highlights of this book. I would hazard a guess that pride has killed more marriages than lust. Julie does a great job of convincing her readers that if they want precious love to last, pride must be laid aside so the spouse can come astride and peace can abide. (Sorry, I just had a poetic moment). At times I was provoked enough to want to slap one of the characters on the side of the head and tell them to wake up and smell the Irish coffee. I had to keep telling myself, this is just a book.
This is not a lightweight work in more than one regard (it contains nearly 500 pages). Most of the action involves some aspect of romance, even among the married couples. This is not erotica, but the mention of sexual arousal and foreplay is not an infrequent visitor to the plotline. This book will not be confused with a Janette Oke story. I think it is healthy for Christians to acknowledge that they are human and have sexual appetites. This book might contain an excess of the sexual passion aspect, but the lesson is well delivered – sexual passion without God’s love is a recipe for disaster. Decisions based on the heat of moment may freeze the blood in the future. So despite being prominent throughout the story, passion is not enthroned here. A wealth of scriptural references provide a counterbalance to the passion pitting desire to please oneself against desire to please God. Much of the conflict in the story arises within the characters dealing with this internal tug of war. Another cute element of conflict was the relationship between almost eleven-year-old Katie and a street Urchin named Cluny, a young teenager befriended by Brady. Katie’s precocious comments massaged my funny bone.
The author seemed to take pains to spice up the story by introducing elements of the society in this timeframe. Thoroughly Modern Millie came to my mind as Lizzie’s haircut was described in the beginning of the story. Ironically, the character pushing Beth to embrace modernism with her stylish new name of Lizzie and hairdo was named Millie. Things like Keds, toasters, Saltines, and basketball hoops made cameo appearances. I actually did some research to make sure the copy editor didn’t mess up here and checked on a few dates to make sure they were around in 1922.
Julie even managed to smuggle in the dreaded submission clause from Ephesians. Her take on it was interesting: submission = respect. Men want to be respected above all else, and if they receive that precious commodity, they are able to cherish their wives, which is what women desire above all else. I’ll buy that into philosophy though that is on the simplistic side of things. I had the audacity to include my interpretation of that passage in one of my books. One aspect of the spiritual tangent that I found perhaps out of tune with reality was the combination of Evangelical Christian jargon with Catholicism. I was raised as a Catholic in the 1950’s and 60’s. Perhaps we were behind the times in South Dakota, but Bible reading seemed to be something that was still the realm of the clergy at that time. I am aware the church has changed a lot since then.
There was a little mystique included which allows the romantic sleuths to engage their deductive reasoning. We’re allowed to know that John Brady has a problem in his past and are given snitches of information to let us guess at what it is. That secret really drives the story since it seems to prevent John from letting himself accept Lizzie as a woman instead of just as a sister. Julie uses just enough hinting to give us insight, but not enough to totally solve the mystery. I had most of it figured out, but there were some surprising twists in the end that left me applauding the author. I suggest you get a copy and find out for yourself, unless you’re afraid of emotional roller coasters.Book review of A Passion Denied
May 2, 2009
What can you say about a book that supposedly contains a vision from God? How do you write a critique of revelation? It might be like trying writing a review of the book of Revelations. If the words are Holy Spirit inspired, does one have the audacity or the foolishness to cast dispersions upon it? I would highly recommend to anyone commenting on a book such as this that they think really hard about what they say. The Bible says ‘woe unto him who calls evil good and good evil.’ I don’t know about you, but I’ve made a practice in my life of avoiding woe. Mr. Joyner claims he received the contents of this book in a series of visions that took place over about a year in duration. Thus the big question becomes, is it legit? We as believers need to discern between God’s word, man’s word, and Satan’s lies. It’s not always easy, because the flesh is weak and Satan is definitely ramping up his activities in the area of counterfeiting the supernatural.
Where do I start? How about with the reviews of the book on Amazon? Several one and two star reviews were written suggesting that Rick Joyner is a servant of the devil, deluded, and most heinous of all, doesn’t write well either. They warn that the book is dangerous. Ironically, one of the more salient aspects of the first part of the dreamlike adventure that the author goes through is doing battle against the enemy and discovering that many of the troops of the opposing army are deceived Christians. Do you see the dilemma here? Somebody is in error because they both can’t be right. Is Mr. Joyner representing God’s truth or are these reviewers being valiant defenders of the faith? The answer to that question is very critical. Besides the group of believers that are hoodwinked into fighting against God’s army in the belief they are fighting for Him are a group who just believe that they don’t need to fight. They believe that God is love, and all we need to do is just love, so they burn their draft notices. This is a different type of delusion, but is deception just the same. Personally, I’d really like to believe in a Pollyanna (or Beatles’ song) world where love is all you need. But I’ve been called to battle personally, and I recognize that the darkness is growing darker. The light is also growing more brilliant in response as the drumbeat is summoning the Christians soldiers onward. The two sides have clashed throughout the history of man. The final quest is at hand, according to this book.
Back to the quest – in between battles, the author is taken to Heaven and speaks with a few people there. Some were famous evangelists and authors who reside in the lower part of Heaven instead of the penthouse because they labored for their own glory while on the Earth. In some cases, God ended their lives early to prevent them from going all the way over to the dark side due to their pride. And in the places of highest honor, people that labored in anonymity for God with faithfulness and perseverance are found. One of these is a man who was homeless, what some would consider a bum. Ironically, my next book deals with the homeless, and the story of this man was a distinct revelation for me and an aid in deciding what to include in my book. I had to consider this a divine appointment for me to read this story at this time. Another concept that is super stressed is the importance of true humility. The author dons a cloak of humility which is a badge of honor among those in Heaven. A warning against false humility is issued, labeling it as another variety of self-centeredness. Pride is portrayed as the banner of a hidden army that the enemy uses to attack unsuspecting troops loyal to Jesus.
I have been on this humility bandwagon for a while now. I think God has been speaking to me about it. I’m reading a book by Andrew Murray on the topic. I’ve been trying to kill my flesh and ensure my motivation for any success is God centered. It’s a difficult task. This book points to centering your focus on Jesus, just like Peter did when he successfully walked on water for a few steps. We need to please Him and not the people around us, even those whom we love. And love leads to faith. From this book I’ve gained great insight into what the target should be. Self promotion, self-aggrandizement, and even self-esteem itself pale into insignificance at the comparison with the glory of God. Satan wants us to think about numero uno all the time. How else can we send out invitations to a pity party if we’re not focused on our puny little world and its inherent problems? Confucius said, “Man who wrapped up in self, makes very small package.” I’ve been guilty and still am. I’m trying to truly die to self, so that I might walk in God’s power and Spirit. That’s the kind of supernatural strength which is raising people from the dead and healing the blind and deaf. This book has given me a vision of what that is like. I highly recommend that you read it and with an open mind.
As to the detractors, what can you say about a review which portrays the author, who has just confessed being guilty to many things and extolls the virtue of humility and the danger of false humility, as being arrogant and falsely humble? My mom used to tell me, consider the source. The enemy is at work sowing lots of false teaching and doctrines and practices in our world today. It is confusing when Christians fight. However, Jesus said you will know them by their love. If any believer wants to criticize the writing or teaching of another, let him speak in love and not mockery, or I’m not going to listen. If the enemy is spreading false information (and that’s his specialty), will he not also attack the truth? Sometimes we fight battles that we don’t need to, similar to Don Quixote tilting with windmills. I truly believe that we are in the last days (many have thought that in the past and obviously they were wrong), and that means there will be a battle between God (good) and the devil (evil). Which side are you going to fight on? And remember, if Joyner’s vision is truly from God, not fighting will be the same as being on the enemy’s side. You might wonder how you can love and fight at the same time since those two activities seem to be contradictory. All I can say is – read the book, and you too will share the vision of that paradoxical position.
Book Review of I Will Make of Thee a Great Nation by Val D. Greenwood
Review by Donald James Parker
I’m embarrassed to make this confession, but I believe that honesty is the only policy. I have never read the Old Testament from beginning to end. I couldn’t even tell you what I haven’t read. I really love Proverbs and have studied it. I’ve gone through the Pentateuch (first five books). I read some of the short books such as Ruth, Job, and Esther because we had a series of lessons on them at church. But the rest is pretty much hit and miss with miss probably being the more prevalent condition. Frankly, I haven’t found great joy in reading about God’s people of yesteryear, despite the fact that I was a history major in college and used to read history books for entertainment as a youth. When Mr. Greenwood asked me to review an advanced reader copy of his book, my first impulse due to lack of time was to quote Nancy Reagan (just say no). However, the knowledge that I’d have a chance to alleviate some of my guilt and ignorance dealing with the OT diverted my negative response to a positive one. Here was my opportunity to read about the heroes and villains of the Old Testament and gain a historic perspective of the journey of God’s people upon the planet without having to wade through the archaic language, diverse genealogies, and substantiated rumors of wars which don’t seem significant to me at this point in time.
Obviously, Mr. Greenwood is a scholar. He has a love for scriptures and an attention to detail. His book not only has the retelling of various passages from the history of the Jewish nation before Christ, but also contains a wealth of footnotes that explain terms, motivation, and relationships. The back of the book contains maps, a pronunciation chart (every pastor needs something like this), and a name index that describes the significance of the various people who influenced the world in those days. And a subject index is also included for those who want to jump right to a topic. From the title we see that the scope of the work is not the entire Old Testament but rather a focus on the nation of Judah. My understanding of the nation of Judah as compared to the nation of Israel was almost zilch. The relationship between these two nations (with Judah being paired with the tribe of Benjamin) was one of the biggest advances in my knowledge gap.
Mr. Greenwood’s writing is invisible. That sounds like an indictment, but actually that comment is meant as a compliment. I mean I didn’t notice whether the writing is good or bad, because I was flowing with the idea the writing is supposed to convey. If the writing was bad, I’d notice and be distracted from the content. If the writing was salient, I would have been distracted by my stopping to admire the phraseology or perhaps to decipher a phrase that was overly complex in nature. Either way I would be distracted and my absorption of the material would be impacted. The author’s goal here is not to impress us with his literary prowess. He’s trying to deliver the word of God in a more digestible and condensed format. I think he succeeded admirably. Since this is just a retelling of material that already exists, there is no major element of creativity involved here to critique. The author’s major challenge is to determine what to include and what to omit. After the decision on what to include, he had to determine what to focus on and what to mention briefly. This is an area that some might criticize. For example, some might want to see more about King Jehoshaphat and less about King Saul. I don’t know enough to be critical or laudatory here. I know I learned a lot, but I have no clue about what should have been included or stressed in this work but wasn’t. This type of analysis really requires a Biblical scholar.
The book itself is beautiful with a cover that impressed me greatly when I opened the package. One issue with it, in my eyes, is the size. There are only 309 pages of actual stories with a total of 367 pages including the various appendices. That is hardly intimidating for a work of this proportion, but the physical layout of the book is eight by ten inches, making it a little cumbersome to handle. This is not a book you can take to the gym and read as you walk around the track or workout on a cardiac machine. Since that is my favorite way to read, so I can assassinate a pair of birds with one rock, I found it mildly frustrating to deal with the increased size, but some people might consider this to be advantageous. The price of the book is also on the hefty side – $29.95. This is not a book that you read once and deploy it as a dust collector on your shelf. You’ll want to use this as a research tool. If you do so, you should get your money’s worth. This is a great resource, not intended to replace the Old Testament but to augment it. Thus I now need to get my Bible out and begin to read through it from start to finish, so I can reinforce what I’ve learned from this book and pick up those things which were omitted from it.