Epilepsy and Faith

Mark 9:14-29 The Message

There Are No Ifs

14-16 When they came back down the mountain to the other disciples, they saw a huge crowd around them, and the religion scholars cross-examining them. As soon as the people in the crowd saw Jesus, admiring excitement stirred them. They ran and greeted him. He asked, “What’s going on? What’s all the commotion?”

17-18 A man out of the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought my mute son, made speechless by a demon, to you. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and goes stiff as a board. I told your disciples, hoping they could deliver him, but they couldn’t.”

19-20 Jesus said, “What a generation! No sense of God! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring the boy here.” They brought him. When the demon saw Jesus, it threw the boy into a seizure, causing him to writhe on the ground and foam at the mouth.

21-22 He asked the boy’s father, “How long has this been going on?”

“Ever since he was a little boy. Many times it pitches him into fire or the river to do away with him. If you can do anything, do it. Have a heart and help us!”

23 Jesus said, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.”

24 No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, “Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!”

25-27 Seeing that the crowd was forming fast, Jesus gave the vile spirit its marching orders: “Dumb and deaf spirit, I command you—Out of him, and stay out!” Screaming, and with much thrashing about, it left. The boy was pale as a corpse, so people started saying, “He’s dead.” But Jesus, taking his hand, raised him. The boy stood up.

28 After arriving back home, his disciples cornered Jesus and asked, “Why couldn’t we throw the demon out?”

29 He answered, “There is no way to get rid of this kind of demon except by prayer.”

I came across this reading in an Epilepsy blog I was reading the other day and decided It was time I let you know I suffer from the condition.

I won’t telling you to much at the moment as I plan to make a video blog telling you all about my life with Epilepsy later this year (I hope).

What I will tell you at the moment is I wasn’t born with it, I developed it around the ages of 11 – 12yrs old. Apart from my late teens/early twenties I went about seven years without a seizure, as I was driving for four years and in those days you had to be seizure free for three years. Then one day they suddenly returned and naturally I gave up driving though I loved it.

Since that day I have had controlled epileptic seizures by medication.

Occasionally my epilepsy will get me down but I am a positive person, therefore most times when I have a seizure or turn as I call them they generally don’t bother me.

You may be asking where does my faith come into all of this.Well first of all I believe in Jesus ‘The Great Physician’, I also have a very supportive group of family and friends who understand my condition and lastly I have a great Neurologist and Epilepsy Nurse.

I’ll finish off by asking myself the question, “looking at verse 29 have I been praying hard enough?”

Triumph of Peace

A blog with a difference today As we listen to Lt Col Ray Steadman Allen talks about ‘The Triumph of Peace’ written by Eric Ball for Brass Bands.

Peace in our time, O Lord,
To all the peoples – peace!
Peace surely based upon Thy will
And built in righteousness.
Thy power alone can break
The fetters that enchain
The sorely stricken soul of life
And make it live again.

Too long mistrust and fear
Have held our souls in thrall;
Sweep through the earth, keen Breath of Heav’n
And sound a nobler call!
Come, as Thou didst of old,
In love so great that men
Shall cast aside all other gods
And turn to Thee again.

Peace in our time, O Lord,
To all the peoples – peace!
Peace that shall build a glad new world,
And make for life’s increase.
O living Christ, Who still
Dost all our burdens share,
Come now and dwell within the hearts
Of all men everywhere.

The Secret of his Presence

Psalm 31

19How abundant are the good things
that you have stored up for those who fear you,
that you bestow in the sight of all,
on those who take refuge in you.
20In the shelter of your presence you hide them
from all human intrigues;
you keep them safe in your dwelling
from accusing tongues.

In the secret of thy presence,
Where the pure in heart may dwell,
Are the springs of sacred service
And a power that none can tell.
There my love must bring its offering,
There my heart must yield its praise,
And the Lord will come, revealing
All the secrets of his ways.

More than all my lips may utter,See the source image
More than all I do or bring,
Is the depth of my devotion
To my Saviour, Lord and King.
Nothing less will keep me tender;
Nothing less will keep me true;
Nothing less will keep the fragrance
And the bloom on all I do!

Blessed Lord, to see thee truly,
Then to tell as I have seen,
This shall rule my life supremely,
This shall be the sacred gleam.
Sealed again is all the sealing,
Pledged again my willing heart,
First to know thee, then to serve thee,
Then to see thee as thou art.

Love our Enemies

Luke 6 New International Version – UK

Love for enemies

27 ‘But to you who are listening I say: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who ill-treat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

32 ‘If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Judging others

3‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.’

There are two reasons for us to love our enemies. One is simply because God said to, but the other is because God loved us first. It was when we were still God’s enemies (Colossians 1:21 and Romans 5:10) that He demonstrated His love for us. Through Jesus (Romans 5:8) God’s love brought salvation to us.

We all have people we don’t like and of course it’s worse when we fall out with our friends Christian or otherwise.

Jesus taught us to ‘Love our Enemies’. He gave us a few rules such as ‘ Turn the other cheek’, ( to me that meant do not retaliate).

He also spoke about giving our clothes to other people and lending without expecting repayment.

It isn’t an easy thing to do is to Love our Enemies because no matter how hard we try to Love them they might not be prepared to do the same. If we pray about it, perhaps things may change for the better.

Jesus also taught us not to Judge others.

We do not know what a certain person is going through, whether it be health matters, financial or otherwise, only God knows

God and Spiritualism

Romans 8 New International Version

Life Through the Spirit

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[d] because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[e] his Spirit who lives in you.

Yesterday I shared this image on Facebook for what it says in the actual image. I read it and shared it in memory of my late father who died in 2011.

At the time of posting the image I never noticed where it came from.

It actually came from the Facebook page of Emma Ryder, Psychic medium and angel guide.

There was feedback on Facebook as I was asked “What was I doing posting an unchristian post on Facebook?” To which I gave the above answer.

The right direction

Proverbs 4 New International Version

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,
    and the years of your life will be many.
11 I instruct you in the way of wisdom
    and lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
    when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
    guard it well, for it is your life.
14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
    or walk in the way of evildoers.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
    turn from it and go on your way.
16 For they cannot rest until they do evil;
    they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness
    and drink the wine of violence.

18 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
    shining ever brighter till the full light of day.

19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
    they do not know what makes them stumble.

I suppose you could call this a follow up on yesterdays blog ‘Seeking Wisdom’. You see if we follow God he will keep us on the straight and narrow as the saying goes.

We are also advised to avoid ‘The wicked’ and everything they do or take part in.

I always read through my bible readings when preparing the blog ad when I read this one I was reminded of the song/hymn ‘The Pathway of Duty ‘

Pathway of Duty

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There’s a path that’s sometimes thorny,

There’s a narrow way, and straight;

It is called the path of duty,

And it leads to Heaven’s gate.

While we tread this path of duty,

We will find our needs supplied

From the river of God’s mercy

That is flowing close beside.

By the pathway of duty

Flows the river of God’s grace.

By the pathway of duty

Flows the river of God’s grace.

2.

‘Tis a blessed way and holy,

‘Tis a path of peace and joy;

Though sometimes the way be stony

And the cares of life annoy.

But this path that we call duty

Is the way the Master trod,

And the smile of love and beauty

Lights the way that leads to God.

3.

Let us walk this path of duty

With our faces to the sun,

Carry all our burdens gladly,

Finish well what we’ve begun.

From the river of God’s mercy

That is flowing by the way,

We may drink and find refreshing

For the burdens of the day.

Seeking Wisdom

Proverbs 1 New Living Translation

Wisdom Shouts in the Streets

20 Wisdom shouts in the streets.
    She cries out in the public square.
21 She calls to the crowds along the main street,
    to those gathered in front of the city gate:
22 “How long, you simpletons,
    will you insist on being simpleminded?
How long will you mockers relish your mocking?
    How long will you fools hate knowledge?
23 Come and listen to my counsel.
I’ll share my heart with you
    and make you wise.

Do you have/have had a wise friend or member of your family you could trust? Many years ago I had a Christian grandmother who was very wise in many ways .

She was the sort of person where you could come to her in confidence with your problem and she would listen and give good guidance.

After giving you her guidance, she always used to say something along the lines “It’s up to you now to decide what to do”. She also said Pray about it!

My grandmother was the sort of Christian who didn’t just help members of the family with problems. She also had friends inside and outside church who relied on my Gran to help them with their problems as well.

When she died at over 100, naturally she was a loss to the family. In fact my gran was held such high regard by other people that when it came the day of the funeral there was standing room only in the Salvation Army hall

If you have a wise friend or member of family – Church family you can trust and you have any problems share it with them and of course The Lord himself.

A Quiet time

Philippians 4 New International Version

Photo by VisionPic .net on Pexels.com

Final Exhortations

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Do you ever get those days where all you long for is a bit of ‘Me time or Quiet time’. I know I do.

In my case, on Saturday night we had my daughter, her husband and 2yr old granddaughter round for tea, and let me tell you granddaughter takes after her mum. (A real live wire).

Sunday we attended our local Salvation Army in the morning but managed to grab a bit of ‘ Me time or Quiet time’ before heading to mother in law’s for tea that night

Please listen to The International Staff Songsters and follow the words of In this Quiet moment

In this quiet moment, still, before your throne,
Conscious of your presence, knowing I am known,
In this quiet moment, set my spirit free,
In this quiet moment, make a better me.

Showing Hospitality

Hebrews 13 New International Version

Concluding Exhortations

13 Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”[a]

So we say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?

Or as the King James Bible puts verse two

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares

Have you ever had a stranger come to your door and let him or her in and shown them hospitality to them.

In my case it’s quite often workmen for our local housing partnership. You never know You or I may have let ‘Angels in’ with some of these strangers

Having said that, nowadays we have to be careful who we let in to our homes

If they are workmen we should always make sure they carry an identity badge.

We must also put our trust in God in times like this.

Love and Hate

1 John 2 New International Version

Love and Hatred for Fellow Believers

We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God[a] is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister[b] is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister[c] lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.

Wow! what a theme to follow yesterdays blog on Reconciliation, comes right to the point doesn’t it

As the above reading is telling us, ‘As Christians we are supposed to love one another’, turn the other cheek etc.

As humans it is only natural that personalities will clash even if you are Christians in the same church.

Even I have fell out with people in my Church but I don’t like the atmosphere it creates and usually when things have calmed down that is usually when the apologies come

A little on that’s full of innocence
He doesn’t know that something’s out of place
Another one dreams murder all night
He’s been living full of hatred all his life
Well, I guess it’s always been this way
A world that’s full of love and hate
Oh God, but will it stay this way
So much love, so much hate

It goes on and on and on
Around and again
On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again

A mother’s willing to give her life
While another one throws away her child
A son stands and he turns the other cheek
While another one spits in a face while it bleeds
Well, I guess it’s always been this way
A world that’s full of love and hate
Oh God, but will it stay this way
So much love, so much hate

It goes on and on and on
Around and again
On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again

It goes on and on and on
Around and again
On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again

This evil that’s within is hiding in our skin
This evil that’s within is hiding in our skin
What are we
When will we
Why are we still wondering
What are we
When will we
Why are we still wondering
Oh Jesus, I can’t take the hate anymore
Save us from ourselves before
We on and on and on
Around and again

It goes on and on and on
Around and again
On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again

On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again

It goes on and on and on
Around and again
On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again