Forgive

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“Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive
him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.””
‭‭Luke‬ ‭17:3-4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Forgive

Recently a retired minister told me how his family still blames him for the death of one of their relatives. All he had done was wired money to her at her request. His action came from his love for her. But her boyfriend who was drug addicted murdered her for that money. Clearly the minister had not done anything wrong, but years later he struggles with guilt, which has been reinforced, if not caused, by his family members blaming him. Now I feel certain that he has counseled people during his pastoral career about such undeserved guilt, but he has suffered for many years. Hopefully my discussion with him eased his conscience and reminded him that God forgives us when we repent and turn from our sin. In his case, he didn’t need forgiveness, except from himself.

 

December

5ACC3B75-2D82-442C-918E-9E90ED587991“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

December

December is always an exciting month. It brings winter and Christmas, as well as a break from school and work for some. This year it is the last month before the start of the twenties. I am so hopeful that this new decade will bring positive changes in our world. Obviously we cannot predict the future, but we can trust that God will keep His Promises.

Alive

F463943D-F343-4BC1-9EDB-1DD7D7747FA2“So he is the God of the living, not the dead, for they are all alive to him.””
‭‭Luke‬ ‭20:38‬ ‭NLT‬‬
Alive

I just learned that a young patient of mine died after a long battle with cancer. She had such Faith with a spirit that shined bright and beautiful. As an oncologist, I often see courage that seems beyond reason and wonder how these individuals can bear so much suffering. It is easy to say how we should face such illness, but difficult to endure when the pain intensifies beyond our imagination. Indeed this woman’s relationship with The God of The Living allowed her to pass with Peace that cannot be humanly understood.

Blessed

1149B188-E29B-46A0-8764-EB0CBE14E40EBlessed

When my brother died at age 24 in 1973, I remember my grandmother saying, “Never to have suffered means never to have been blessed.” That was a hard message to hear then and one that still can be difficult to understand. Through the years, I have come to realize that it is the tough times that allow us to appreciate the good ones. As I contemplate this situation, I try to focus on the fact that God sees all of us, living and dead, the same. Our mortal minds cannot possibly comprehend the infinite wisdom of our Creator. Today at work, an atheist stated that he only believes in the facts of science. As a scientist myself who sees the many associated shortcomings of the scientific world, I paused and thanked God for my wisdom to know all the blessings He has bestowed upon me.

Children

257E8357-BD36-4987-AD40-E33C92EA96EB“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭127:3-5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Children

As my mother and her mother always reminded us, children are a blessing. With the average cost in the USA for raising a child to age 18 of about $300,000.00, it is definitely a financial sacrifice; but, there is no greater investment of money. My children have brought much joy into my life and have taught me far more than I ever imagined. Life is a struggle and one of my goals is to help my children become all they are meant to be. They have far surpassed my intellect and accomplishments educationally; and while that is so amazing, my hope is that we all stay focused on the real prize—our eternal life with God.

 

Hope

26FC1776-92C5-42EF-B59B-C12B9B617692“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭130:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Hope

Some people have reminded me to be more positive in my BLOG posts, even though I see them as mostly positive. Living in today’s world, there is a spiritual warfare surrounding us that has escalated beyond my wildest dreams. The level of suffering and pain has reached new heights. Often, I feel helpless because one person can only do so much to correct the many problems of society. I struggle to maintain some sense of self worth, in an environment that seeks to criticize and blame and harass. What can we do? I always come back to God and rest assured that He is our only Hope. Praise be to God!

Salvation

3C09FFAE-E99C-4181-9C27-41C43B8DDDAB“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.”
‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭2:20-21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Salvation

Our Sunday school lesson raised the question of “can we regain salvation after rejecting it?” Certainly we all continue to sin and fall short of being anywhere near righteous with our own works; but, what if we denounce God and turn away from Him? Can we turn back and still have salvation?? Our culture tends to push us to tolerate, then accept, and finally embrace all sorts of sinful behavior, but what are the eternal consequences?
Apparently this is one of the BIG theological questions. Some believe there is always hope, even in this situation. Clearly it has given me reason to pause and ponder. I realize I sin even though I know better—clearly not ideal, but is that forgivable? Only God knows and we can only hope and pray.