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An Integrative Perspective of Mental Health in Light of Eternity

February 8, 2013 1 comment
Redemption drawing nigh

Redemption

For those who have a relationship with Christ, we look forward to redemption, both in body and spirit. The introduction of sin into a perfect and spotless world tainted everything, from the land to the health and longevity of the human body. What was once a flawless frame, complete with perfected organs, sickness, disease, and death resulted from the Fall. Most amazingly, the Author of life didn’t give up. Though His plan was eternal, physical fellowship with man, man chose separation. God still had a purposeful contingency, a second chance found through Christ’s blood. We are told in the bible, that for those who accept Christ’s sacrifice for our sins, we have an abiding hope of return to the glorified, original state God intended from the beginning. As Scripture states,

We will all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:51-53, NIV)

From the kidneys to the heart, our skin and eyes, every part of our being will be made new and perfected. This includes the brain.

Dr. Jenkins (2013) eloquently stated, “My brain is in need of redemption, just like the rest of my physical body. One day, my brain will be in its glorified state.” Time, toxic elements, chemicals, and stress all have tremendous impact in the decay of our fragile bodies. This includes the physical make up of the brain. Most often, when people think of physical health, the brain is not the first thought (No pun intended.). Negative factors, such as those listed above, greatly influence the health of brain material. Combined with genetic predispositions to disease, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, the state of the brain can be precarious, indeed. While evolutionists claim that homeostasis was a natural process that all life forms adapted to ensure the biological maintenance, creationists believe that an all-knowing God planned our bodies with purpose and design (Hart & Ksir, 2011).

Our environment and our personal choices all contribute to the state of our brain. While many issues arise that are not within our control, it is important to consider how we can better care for our health. Unfortunately, many of us do not realize or begin to get serious about these matters until damage is done or the unexpected news is delivered. With our physical mental abilities, come our volition and will.  These, too, will be redeemed and properly focused soley on the Lord.  The mind is an integration of a physical and spiritual state.  There is great hope in our redemption! One day our physical form, every part, will be perfected. We will be changed in an instant and will forever live in the presence of our loving Creator.

References

Hart, C. & Ksir, C. (2011). Drugs, society, and human behavior (14th ed.). Boston, MA:

McGraw-Hill. ISBN: 978-0-07-338090-2.

Jenkins, D. (2013). Models of addiction. Audio Visual Presentation: Liberty University

The Prospect of 2013

December 29, 2012 1 comment

The Year 2013: Is the glass half-full or half-empty?

Following the Christmas holidays, its natural for people to get sentimental, reflect on the past year and look forward to the coming year.  The media always has their “wrap-up” citing the headlines that most impacted the nation and the world.  There are wishes for a “Happy New Year,” promises, conjectured in the form of “New Year’s resolutions” (lose weight, spend more time with family, etc.).So, as I sit here and ponder the events of 2012, I must admit, my outlook is….bittersweet.  By nature, I consider myself neither an optimist, nor a pessimist.  A realist.  I know, I know, most people like to overuse that label for themselves, but truly, when asked if I see a cup half full or half empty, I will always respond, “BOTH!”Perhaps, it’s not my outlook, so much as my bull-headed determination.

I’ll stick with the previous assertion, thanks.  (Its my blog. Well, for now.)

This year has obviously been interesting with the election.  For my part, I was absolutely unclear about who was going to win, though, I certainly thought I saw tremendous support for Mitt.  However, in light of the direction the world was turning, reading the tea leaves also gave strong indications that Obama would pull through, in spite of no record, nothing what-so-ever to recommend him, and a continuing treasonous scandal.  I advocated for Romney, as much as I could, grew tense, like the rest of the country, fervently prayed, and waited.  Like many of you, that night, though I wasn’t shocked, but I was shocked.  I had been on my face, begging for God’s mercy on this country.  However, I also prayed for His will to be done.  The Lord spoke, the fate of America was solidified.

I went, immediately, to a somber state of acceptance.

Like most of you, the prospect of 2013 is dismal, in light of the political arena.  I have lost all faith in politicians, even in those I thought were truly fighting for truth and justice.  Time and time again, we have seen them bow to the will of those who grow in worldly power.

NATIONALISM VS. PATRIOTISM

I have recognized, through this process, that there is a clear distinction in “nationalism vs. patriotism.”  Nationalism retains that sense of arrogance, even in the face of God that we are better, bigger, and stronger.  That nothing will stop or hold us down.  Contrarily, patriotism is vastly different.  The patriot humbly clings to the principles that make one’s country great.  He recognizes the blessings, even undeservedly, that have been bestowed upon his nation, contingent upon obedience to the Lord and the principles for foundation.  A patriot doesn’t put faith in any man, but looks to the Lord for his sense of national direction.  He bows his knee to the Great I AM, accepting His plans, knowing that the protection of the nation is directly hinged upon what is done with the blessings and how well we uphold Biblical precepts.

As I stated before, I am an eternal realist.  My worldly outlook for the nation ,as far as the state of this planet, is grave.  Evil has been unleashed.  All too common these days, we hear of rampages of brutal murder.  People immediately want an answer,

“WHY?” 

What could possibly be the reason for such senseless violence? Now we see a spectrum of blame, polarities that want to crackdown on this heinous barbarianism.  On one side, governmental leaders are grasping, white-knuckled, to the claim that the problem is GUNS.  “We MUST eliminate firearms!” Another argument from the other side is that “We MUST revisit mental illness!”

As you might expect, I do not subscribe to either.

The problem is that all sense of morality, more specific, humility before the Almighty, has been cast out.  Society, as a whole, has spit in God’s face and pushed out any shade of godliness.  People have been hypnotized by the Dark Angel, masquerading in light.  They don’t believe in evil, unless it suits their purposes.  They don’t believe in the antithesis of evil, that being salvation only through Christ’s blood.  Instead they exchange one lie for another, until all sense of rationality and reason is subjective and without basis.

So you see, we could talk about the continued, growing scandals that have growing tentacles over the White House.  We could talk about the wildfire of Radical Islamization.  We could talk about the fiscal cliff that looms, in mere hours.  We could talk about genocidal dictators racing toward mass-extermination.

But, the crux of the matter is not as complex as it seems.  People are hung up on the thousands of symptoms of a simple, albeit, eternal crisis.The world has cocooned itself in a cozy bed of Godlessness.  They have set up their own altars, whereby they sit on their own throne.  Rather than serving the God of the universe, humans, regardless of culture, ethnicity or nation (a true testament to color blindness), embrace and worship the god “within.”

This cannot last.

Just as God is grace, He is the perfect balance of Justice and Judge, as well.  He does not force His will on man, yet retains the control in decision-making.  He can allow us to make the ridiculous choices that will cause self-destruction, both individually, corporately, as a society, and internationally.

Though He allows us our own way, don’t think for a second that He isn’t angered by it.  We cannot be so pompously deluded to think that we were created by a limp-wristed pushover.

He is YAHWEH!

THE GLASS IS HALF-EMPTY, BUT IT IS ALSO HALF-FULL.

In God’s never-ending kindness, the removal of protection can serve as a wake-up call.  When we are stripped of comforts, whether in leadership, or in security, we have the opportunity to turn to the only lasting truth in YESHUA, Jesus Christ.

For the few of us, who are truly watching, wide-eyed at the plans unfolding around the world, faith is strengthened.  I’ve heard it said, “The national and international headlines are now catching up to the Bible.”  The cards are on the table.  We are coming to that fork in the road, whereby we can choose to move toward God, or turn our backs on God.  Sadly, the Bible tells me that many will fall away from the faith. (Matthew 7:14, 2Timothy 4) Further, Christ tells us, “15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” (Rev.3:15-17)

My hope is in the Lord.  I do not know the specifics of what 2013 will bring, but I trust that He is JEHOVAH.  I take great hope in His mighty power.  (Ephesians 6:10-18) My outlook for this world, in the direction it is hurtling toward, is bleak.  People have chosen the path of Baal.  The Lord is rousing from His Holy Hill and He will come with absolute Authority and Justice.

Though, I am desperate to see His glory and His might, at the same time, I tremble at the prospect of an angry, JUST God.  I fear living in a land that has chosen to shove the Lord’s hand of protection away for the false notion of self-preservation and governmental rule.

If this nation refuses to humble herself in fear of the Lord, it is doomed to destruction. 

Nationalism is idolatry.  It is an ideology that dominates both parties, both sides of the aisle. 

With all of this bleakness, comes great hope, when one seeks and clings to the ONLY hope we have!  We have access to TRUE LIBERTY!  We can be unfettered and freed from bondage in the hope that comes from faith in the Lord, through YESHUA.  When we recognize that He IS the source of life; we are liberated, REGARDLESS of worldly powers.

These days, I treasure God’s Word.  I recognize the NECESSITY OF IT.  It is easy to get enthralled and overly distracted with the events unfolding.  Though Christ commanded us to, “WATCH!” (Matt.24:4, 42 read all of chapter 24) I must keep my FOCUS upon HIM.  We must SATURATE ourselves in the WORD.  I am constantly amazed and deeply grateful for the Bible.  Without it, faith and hope would be very burdensome.  But again, God in His grace and mercy, gave us the Cliff Notes version.

In summary: I know how the story ends;

He wins.

——————————————————————

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON:

1 Samuel 12:24-25

24 But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. 25 Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away.”

Letter to the President and Secretary of State Concering the Iranian Threat

Mr. President,

I would like you to reconsider your stance, or lack thereof, on Iran.  It is crystal clear to the American people and people worldwide that the Iranian regime has no concern for sanctions, diplomacy or talks.  Time has been spent and is now of the essence.  You have an obligation, not only to our greatest ally, Israel, but to your OWN constituents (!) to protect us from the genocide that the leaders of Iran have voiced without hesitation over and over.  Their message has NOT changed.  I beg you, Mr. President, to take ACTION NOW.  If we saw evidence of a change in rhetoric, attitude, or mindset negotiations could continue.  I KNOW, sir, that you do not want innocent blood on your hands with apathy and a lack of direction and firm standing against this regime.  Please do not forget that Hitler for years, made his intent clear to the public and we sat idylly by while millions of innocent lives were exterminated.  Your people NEED you to clearly state, under no uncertain terms that time is up and we will use ALL measures, including military action to stop the Iranian Regime from building nuclear weapons.  You have a duty to the American people and the leader of the free world, to prevent the suffering of millions of people.  Please, the time is now and CANNOT wait!!!!  Israel does NOT want a war!  The Iranian civilians do NOT want a war.  We MUST take out their nuclear capabilities before the Iranian regime uses WMD’s on Israel, America, his OWN people, or other allies in the region. Further, I know you understand that not only Israelis and Americans are in direct threat, but Palestinians and Arabs who LIVE in Israel! Please do not take the defensive measure.  We can’t afford, literally, a disaster of epic porportions to take place!!  We must lead and take offensive measures since they will not back down.  The longer you wait – the closer we are – the more lives that will be lost.

See also: http://m.yahoo.com/w/legobpengine/news/israel-disappear-iran-says-ahead-rallies-113208830.html?orig_host_hdr=news.yahoo.com&.intl=US&.lang=en-US

Letter to the President and Secretary of State Concering the Iranian Threat

Mr. President,

I would like you to reconsider your stance, or lack thereof, on Iran.  It is crystal clear to the American people and people worldwide that the Iranian regime has no concern for sanctions, diplomacy or talks.  Time has been spent and is now of the essence.  You have an obligation, not only to our greatest ally, Israel, but to your OWN constituents (!) to protect us from the genocide that the leaders of Iran have voiced without hesitation over and over.  Their message has NOT changed.  I beg you, Mr. President, to take ACTION NOW.  If we saw evidence of a change in rhetoric, attitude, or mindset negotiations could continue.  I KNOW, sir, that you do not want innocent blood on your hands with apathy and a lack of direction and firm standing against this regime.  Please do not forget that Hitler for years, made his intent clear to the public and we sat idylly by while millions of innocent lives were exterminated.  Your people NEED you to clearly state, under no uncertain terms that time is up and we will use ALL measures, including military action to stop the Iranian Regime from building nuclear weapons.  You have a duty to the American people and the leader of the free world, to prevent the suffering of millions of people.  Please, the time is now and CANNOT wait!!!!  Israel does NOT want a war!  The Iranian civilians do NOT want a war.  We MUST take out their nuclear capabilities before the Iranian regime uses WMD’s on Israel, America, his OWN people, or other allies in the region. Further, I know you understand that not only Israelis and Americans are in direct threat, but Palestinians and Arabs who LIVE in Israel! Please do not take the defensive measure.  We can’t afford, literally, a disaster of epic porportions to take place!!  We must lead and take offensive measures since they will not back down.  The longer you wait – the closer we are – the more lives that will be lost. 

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Life’s Greatest Challenge: Balancing Truth and Love

ImageAs a dedicated, human behavior observer, I am watching the political aftermath following the “Chick-Fil-A” protests.  There are many interesting points, but I wanted to briefly touch on one with some dismay.  The reason I bring this up, is that I notice my temptation to join in.  It’s an issue that creates emotion and frustration on both sides. I say this to illuminate my own humanity and not point fingers that would only serve to label me a hypocrite.  This issue has reaffirmed the great sensitivity that accompanies the issue of gay marriage.  If one isn’t careful, one can easily lose sight of the true intention of heart.  This follows for those for and against gay marriage.  We have seen the best and worst sides of the freedom of speech.  (I suppose to say there is a “bad” side of free speech might inflame some.) My point is this, to one degree or other, many people have lost a sense of civility.  I believe this is pretty obvious on the liberal side, though I know there are those who are for gay marriage AND are civil in their responses.  They stand for their belief while knowing and respecting the right Dan Cathy holds to express his belief in traditional marriage.  They didn’t lose all sense of decency and rationality, but politely and civilly disagreed.  These individuals, I imagine take flack from all sides.

Having said all of this, I have noticed another side of the debate.  A side of conservative proponents that I am now seeing that can be equally as lethal.  Using print, blogging, and twitter, people take to keypads writing vicious, sarcastic, truly hate-filled words.  One of the sad realities is that the word “hate” has been twisted and translated, often, just to mean “a viewpoint that does not coincide with my own.”  Hate crimes legislation is sneered at with contempt because we wonder what is actually deemed as “hate.” With this Chick-fil-a flap, the outrage was instantly labeled as “hate speech” by many.  An individual, when asked, specifically stating his belief in traditional marriage is not hate.  This point must be made clear.  So what is hate?  For a follower of Christ, I look to the Bible as the source of absolute truth.  It has much to say about hate.  I don’t allow my children to ever say they “hate” anyone.  For stating such words is a serious business, to be regarded as “wanting to kill or wish someone dead.”

It would do us all well, to think very hard before using the words hate, projected at someone.

What I want to discuss here, however is the role of the Believer and hate, not the definition, itself.  The Bible is clear in Luke 6 when regarding our “enemies.”  Jesus says,

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?  Even “sinners” love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you?  Even “sinners” do that.”

Specifically, as a blogger and tweeter, it is important to watch what we type along with what we say in conversation.  This is a hard lesson that I have had to learn many times.  In hoping to appear clever and witty, my words can also wound and cause offense.  Don’t mistake truth in a remark as giving offense.  Unfortunately many people mistake a “hard truth” or disagreement as offensive.  That may be and at that I cannot be blamed.  It is the delivery method that I am responsible.  As a Christian, I am obligated to stand for truth and principles found in the Bible.  But, it is the Word that gives offense, at times, not me getting in the way.  I can’t put my own agenda behind it.  I can’t detract from it.  And I cannot speak the truth in a way that is deliberately unloving.  (Though that is up for interpretation.) This balance of love and truth is the cry of my heart and the refining fire in my own life, set forth by the Lord.  I’ve said it before, I’ll say again:  the balance of love and truth is impossible to achieve without the direct intervention of the Holy Spirit in an individuals life.

What I write, what I tweet, whom I follow on twitter and retweet is important.  I ended up retweeting a remark and then thought about it soon after and was not pleased with the message.  I deleted it and am thankful that I felt chastened by it.  I wish I would have thought prior to spreading the remark before, but that is the journey for me…. Upon reading more from the conservative author that I had retweeted, I was very dismayed and a little ill.  The balance of the message was in retaliation that the author felt upon his values.  Though they were resorting to name calling, he dished out with just as much acidic venom.  All of this under the guise of standing for Christ.  This is the very rhetoric that easily enflames those with a liberal viewpoint.

I need to pause here and state, that I believe as a Christian that I have a mandate to stand for what I believe is right, but not in a way that I am vicious and threatening.

I like getting sarcastic and clever, but not to cut someone down and demean them.  It is the principle we fight for, not to verbally assault people.  Its fun to add a comedic spin to our point, but this must be done with character and respect.  In searching the Bible regarding this principle, I found this,

 “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken.” – Luke 6:32

Oy.

How many careless words have I spoken?

I am working to reflect harder.  To think deeper before I respond.  To remember, that

I am a representative of the Lord, not of my own intellect.

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Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

>> Haaretz: Ex-Mossad chief said what should be clear to everyone – Israel has never been so close to attacking Iran

>> What’s the future of America? What will happen next in Israel and the Middle East? What does Bible prophecy say will happen next? Please join me for an evening of Q&A about these issues — August 9th in Denver — register for tickets today.

UPDATED:Twenty-two years ago today, Saddam Hussein stunned the world by invading Kuwait. The war erupted even though President George H.W. Bush’s administration assured Americans that Saddam was just “saber rattling.” Indeed, the American ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, had just left Baghdad to go on summer vacation. Mideast wars have a way of catching Washington by surprise and ruining vacations.

In this context,  Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is once again calling for the annhilation of Israel. “Anyone who loves freedom and justice must…

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