₦Sermon 44LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED“Don’t let your hearts be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me”—John 14:1, ISV.Text John 14:1-15, Psalm 91:15-16, Matt. 6:25-34We have seen from the scripture, a general caution which Christ gave his disciples against troubles of heart. The disciples were probably troubled at heart when Jesus Christ told them just for a little longer he would be for them. The disciples were troubled at heart because they felt that Jesus Christ was leaving them behind. They might conceivably be thinking at heart, how they abandoned everything in their lives and followed Christ. Now he was leaving them behind and the world will make mockery of them. The apostles’ anxiety was inwardly noticed by Christ. Though your family or business may be troubled but keep possession of your souls when you have nothing to keep possession of.The heart is the main fort that regulates the nerves and emotions of human beings. When your heart is affected by the worries of this world, your life is also entirely affected which may not absorb or engross any medication. Are you worried because you have nothing to train and feed your family with? Are you troubled because your husband has abandoned you or what you have been expecting in life is not yet manifesting? Well, you may be worried, but never allow it to weigh you down, if not it will damage your heart thereby causing it to develop to hypertension. Do not let your heart be troubled. Christ says: “Believe in God and also believe in me” John 14:2. Thus, with Jesus Christ all our troubles are quenched down and therefore whatever may be our trouble at heart should be made known to him. Do you remember the Hymn—“What a friend we have in Jesus? Just take your time and sing and meditate on it with your heart and you will see wonders God is going to do in your life today.Have you seen things getting tougher and tougher around you? Instead of being worried, trouble God for him to see you through than to trouble your mortal heart. The only solution to your problems is Jesus Christ. When you believe in him and in God, your troubled heart will be overcome with joy and peace. He says: “I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world will not give so don’t be troubled or afraid —John 14:27We have seen that Christ was not going to leave us orphans unlike our earthly masters who could exploit us and cause troubles here and there. But Christ says he is leaving us with the peace of the mind and heart. Even if sorrows and troubles come, we should not be afraid for he is with us.There are ways which our Lord Jesus Christ prescribes to us when there’s trouble. Our lives should cling unto faith. Could you remember some of our heroes in the bible that succeeded in life trouble when they have the faith in God? Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego said to king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon: “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us”— Daniel 3:17. What a great faith! They are determined to die and are not ready to compromise their faith in God. Because of this the righteous God (Christ) appeared in their midst to be with them. When you have proven your faith to your oppressors, they will at least identify you as a child of the Most High God just as the three Jewish men were identified with.We should at a time of trouble sing hymns and praises unto God. Pure worship and praises are spiritual consecrated oblations to God which always ignite the power of the Holy Spirit to do wonders over our problems. Paul and Barnabas recognized the spiritual significance of praising the Living God with hymns. Perhaps at the time they were singing hymns they forgot about their teething troubles and glitches in that prison and it seems that Almighty God was pressing gently with his right foot on the heavenly ground in accordance with the rhythm of the song and wonders started happening in that prison. The apostles who’re chained for destruction were released by God’s angel. This is how God is going to see you through as you let your problems be known to him through praises and prayers.Could you remember what Christ did to raise Lazarus from death? My brethren, God that says do not let your heart be troubled is faithful and able to solve all your problems. Just believe in him.Being angry for what people have said or done against you will never help you to grow healthy. Be always happy and fecund in thankfulness, praises and prayers even at the time of sadness. James tacitly affirms: “Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him”—James 5:13-15.It’s clearly understood from James’ prescription that those who suffer the pains that may injuriously affect their heart should take precautions as to guard their heart from trouble. James gives out his spiritual prescription for three different sets of people— the afflicted, the merry and the sick ones. Each of the patients has his spiritual drugs different from others to take and get relieved from heart troubles. Then if you’re afflicted, James tells you to pray. Hannah was injuriously afflicted and she prayed and her problem was given a positive response. When she saw herself as a woman of seven children (1 Samuel 2:5), she resorted to singing song of praises. The woman that suffered constant bleeding for twelve years met Christ the great physician of souls by faith and she was made whole. Thus, James diversifies his prescriptions of spiritual solution for any spiritual patient to put into action and see the result thereof. These two women, Hannah and the one with the issue of blood drank the spiritual opium and they got their desirable result and their hearts were no more troubled but rather at ease.Some people’s hearts are troubled because of what people said about them. They have been humiliated and as a result got angry with them. I pray that we should not let our heart be troubled by the things we see in life. Amen!—————Meditation Point———————O LORD my heart is always troubled and longing for your help! “Give us help from troubles: for vain is the help of man”— Psalm 60:11, KJV.
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Well, let me just say from the get-go here that this is a very difficult chapter to write.
Thanks to my help from God, I’ve forgiven the two doctors who listened to me complain about headaches for many years but never wrote me an MRI scrip. But, sadly, I have NOT forgotten….
One of these two doctors was my psychiatrist. I had seen him on and off for years. He wrote me several scrips for medications to deal with the mysophobia. We didn’t realize that no medication would cure the mysophobia, because the phobia was caused by a brain tumor.
In the end, the psychiatrist was the doctor who wrote the scrip for the MRI, but I think he did it in an agitated way.
“I’m sure you’re fine, but you’ve complained about headaches for so long, so there it is,” he declared as he banged his prescription pad on his lap while sitting in a chair next to me while I was crying and holding my head. The headaches were so bad at this time, spring 2009, I could hardly take it anymore.
The general practitioner (GP), a doctor I had gone to for years, to whom I had also complained numerous times about my pain, had not written an MRI scrip because he too believed the headaches were caused by the meds for my germ phobia. Instead, he gave me a scrip for physical therapy head massages, which, of course would have no effect on a brain tumor. When this GP retired, after my brain surgery, he gave me my medical folder to bring to a new GP. I looked up how many times I had complained about headaches over those years. I counted the complaints, and there were more than ten.
This reminds me of what happened in the comedy movie Kindergarten Cop. When Arnold Schwarzenegger, a detective playing a teacher, complained to the kids of a headache, one of his kindergartners says, “It might be a brain tumor.”
If anything is to be learned from my story it is this: INSIST on procedures to rule things out when you’re not feeling well. Your symptoms may be caused by the meds you’re on, but as I learned TOO late, something else could be brewing. The toll of that undiagnosed brain tumor is my life being forever changed!
The psychiatrist apologized to me twice. I know it’s rare to get an apology from a doctor, but I did. As soon as I found out about the MRI results, I called his office to tell his staff I was being sent to NYU for brain surgery. I called them when the surgery was over. I wish I could have seen his face when his receptionist told him there really WAS something wrong with me.
The GP was not so apologetic. He never owned up to being any part of this mistake. As a matter of fact, at my last appointment, after he had given me my very thick file folder full of normal doctor notes, but also FULL of headache complaint notes he took, he literally patted himself on the back for being so good with me. This has also been hard to forget….
I have been told over and over again by so many other people that I should have sued both of these doctors. I just couldn’t do it. That’s not who I am….
I even discussed the diagnosis delay casually with a lawyer once, and his response was, “You’re worth millions,” but I did not pursue anything.
I just wanted, and still want, to let go and move on.
Here is an edited version of a letter I sent to “Dear Abby” that, to my knowledge, was never printed. Even though I wrote this quite a few years ago, I still feel this way:
I hope this is well worth a space in your column, as you stated to “Gentle Reminder” on 2/25/12 about her/his work in a doctor’s office and comments about patients. I have to state the things I've observed in SEVERAL doctors’ offices since I had a massive brain tumor removed and all I do now is go to doctor appointments near and far. What people who work in those offices need to remember is that, unless we are there for a routine yearly checkup, fear and anxiety are within us because of something possibly wrong within our bodies. Coldness and abruptness by staff is upsetting because we need some form of love and concern. Even though it's their job and they can go home at the end of the day, we might have to leave knowing bad news, so please – be nice, at the very least.
Many offices need TONS of paperwork completed before we arrive or when we do, so when we are taken from the waiting room, why do we have to answer so many questions about the information that we just handed in? Nurses grill us and then the doctors do, too. It would be helpful, if we take the time to fill it all out, that we get it read by all first; along that same line, why do we have to re-state all of the meds we are on, when we just handed you a sheet with all of them listed on it? I've asked both these questions in several offices, and I usually get told it's “routine procedure.”
Now I'll move on to the phone calls to the offices: all of the buttons you have to push just to be able to leave a message, but then have to wait and wait for whatever information you need to take care of is very frustrating! Remember the old days when the phone was actually answered by a live person, and phone tag didn't take place, so you got your help in a reasonable amount of time? Similar to that – what about when you try to schedule a future appointment, but their computer can only do a few months in advance, so you have to call back in a few months, instead of doing it the old-fashioned way by turning the large schedule book pages so that you were able to leave the office knowing exactly when you would return?
And what about the HIPAA laws that are not followed? For example – doors left open so you can hear others’ discussion and they can hear yours? Or – they ask you private questions as they walk you back to your room, so strangers in the hallway can hear your answers. And – walls so thin in some offices that, as you sit and wait to see your doctor, you can hear them in the next room discussing that patients’ issues. I find this completely unacceptable!
Another annoying thing is when doctors complete scrips wrong – misspelling your name; not writing “fasting” for blood work when it is sometimes needed, so that when you arrive to give blood, it has to be rescheduled; or forgetting the doctor’s signature, so the pharmacy cannot fill it as written. All of these things happen and make a stressful time more difficult.
And finally – when you try to schedule an appointment at a time you can arrive by, the staff tells you it HAS to be 15 minutes sooner, so you reschedule something else you are involved in, but then when you arrive on time, you wait for a LONG time to be taken in, and you could've come when it was more convenient for you. This happened several times to me in a certain office, and when I finally said something about it, other patients that I didn't even know started to clap when they heard me commenting about it to the receptionist, so obviously others felt as I did. I know some of that could be due to others’ being late for their appointments, but some of it could also be over-scheduling.
Well, I think the staff in doctor offices will disagree with things reported here, but since we read one writer's thoughts back in February, I thought the other side was fair to state. That's it for me, though I wonder if other people have more that they could add to my list from their own experiences. I am curious if I am the only patient who feels this way, or do others agree? Thank you for letting me vent, Abby!
“Mickey” in New York
Here are some more thoughts since I sent that letter.
I guess it’s because of the HIPAA law, but when I call the doctor’s office, often they ask me first for my date of birth. To make a point, I give them my name and then my date of birth, to feel like a human and not a number.
Add to these the annoyance of being reminded by an automated call of the date and time of an appointment, but not which of their several locations they expect you at.
One doctor’s receptionist, who knew I was very detail-oriented and whom I had already corrected once, gave me an appointment card reading “Thursday, June 16, 2 a.m.” When I pointed out to her that it should be “Tuesday, June 16, 2 p.m.,” she jokingly got another office worker to make the new appointment card out, saying it was because she did not want to be in my upcoming book twice!
It's not only the behavior of doctors I object to, I believe our system of health care for the disabled and elderly is so broken in America.
I've witnessed in numerous nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, and homes with paid caregivers, patients being treated too slowly, rudely, or lazily.
When some of these workers are late for work or back from their breaks late, they speed unsafely and run through stop signs to get back on the clock on time. I live near two facilities for which this is a daily occurrence. You take your life in your hands when you're driving correctly near them. I don't understand why they're pulling into their job's parking lot two minutes before their shift.
How about setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier?
I know this late thing happens for all of us sometimes, but there are several workers that get it wrong daily (and by “wrong” I mean driving like a maniac to punch in on the time clock on time). I'm pretty sure this happens at a lot of care facilities, and it's not fair to people who live in the neighborhoods near them.
Another mistake that took place in a doctor’s office happened when I was going for an endoscopy.
I had learned a couple of years earlier that, since my brain operation, the medication propofol really gets me “worked up.” I learned that after the first endoscopy, and I went “bonkers” in the room after it was all over. So, I had put on my medication sheet the words, “No Propofol.”
As I was about to get the needle for this second procedure, I said to the nurse, “That's not propofol, right?” She said that it was. I pulled my arm back and yelled, “Does anyone in doctors’ offices read what is written on the notes we fill out and then turn in? I can't have that med!”
Then, the anesthesiologist came in, told me I was wrong and that he couldn't do the procedure without it. I told him to go look it up and come back to tell me what he learned.
He came back sheepishly and admitted that I was right, and he could only use with me a very small amount of it, mixed with some other med (whose name I can't recall) to knock me out, so I would “wake up” in better shape than the last time.
So, it all went better after that, and he met me in the lobby, as I left, to ask if I was okay. I'm sure he was more concerned if I would let others know he instructed his nurses to give me something that, in writing, it stated I wasn't supposed to be given. I'm just very glad that I asked that nurse what was in that injection, because otherwise, even more outlandish behavior could have taken place again.
Patients, for the most part, know themselves better than staff does. Listen to us better if you want our trust, and more than that, our business!
Enough about the doctors whom I had to forgive.
I’ve had several doctors who have been fabulous with me, both when I had the mysophobia and afterwards….
As I mentioned at the beginning of this book, Dr. Tamai was the neurologist who had to tell me I had a brain tumor. She was on call at the place where I had my very first MRI. She’s the first doctor who told me the mysophobia was probably caused by the tumor.
I see her regularly to this day, every three-to-four months, at what is now called Healthquest’s Division of Neurology, formerly Kingston Neurology Associates. She has listened to it all, from my stories of my crazy rampages to my in-office bouts of uncontrollable tears, etc. She counsels me as well as gives me neurological check-ups. She is the most sensitive doctor I have ever known, and I tell her that as often as I remember to.
Recently, Dr. Tamai was quoted as saying, “What’s most rewarding about my job is being able to really help a patient and know that you’ve made a difference in their quality of life.”
And, she has really helped this patient! My quality of life is improved because she listens to me and helps me figure life stuff out. [And I think her nurse Bridget is fabulous too!]
Each Christmastime, I buy Hallmark’s doctor ornament of the year and give it to Dr. Tamai with a card that expresses my appreciation for how wonderfully well she takes care of me. Words in a card and an ornament could never really match the way I feel towards her. She is a present from God for whom I will be eternally grateful. I highly recommend her to anyone in need.
Another doctor who has been wonderful with me is Dr. Pappas, my ophthalmologist. She works for Caremount, formerly the Mt. Kisco Medical Group, and I see her regularly to have my eyes checked. These appointments are very nerve-wracking for me because the tumor was behind my left eye, and I fear it may re-occur.
The mistake I made, back when I had the tumor, was that I went to an optometrist only. I found out later that if I had been seen by an ophthalmologist, he or she would have been able to spot my tumor with the special tests these medical doctors use. Optometrist appointments are not the same, and therefore never detected the tumor, though I went for new glasses regularly.
Once, after my brain tumor surgery, a nurse in Dr. Pappas’s office was checking my pupils with a special light. She commented that something was different when she peered into my left eye versus my right eye. She went and got another nurse, and the second nurse used a different light, but said the same thing. I freaked out in the chair because I imagined the worst! Over and over in my head I kept thinking: the tumor is growing back.
Once I became uncontrollable, the nurses went quickly to get Dr. Pappas, who left another patient to come into our room and look at my left eye herself. She said that her examination light was better and that everything was fine. I’m pretty sure she spoke to those two nurses in the hallway about treating me with kid gloves because of how overly sensitive I am about the tumor’s reoccurring. Dr. Pappas is very sweet and gentle with me.
Another caring doctor who comes to mind is Dr. Keller, who works for the Hudson Valley Foot Associates. Back when I had the undiagnosed tumor and I was so fearful of germs, he would wash up in front of me and put gloves on. I needed him to do this. His staff were friendly and considerate of my special needs. I highly recommend his office for care and concern about one’s medical needs.
Another wonderful medical professional is Karl Kruszynski, P.A.-C., a physician’s assistant who has helped me with many skin problems in the two offices where he has worked.
Karl is humorous and a great listener. Most staff at his new office, “Hudson Dermatology,” are very friendly and accommodating to what I refer to as my “award-winning personality” – i.e., I’m a real pain in the butt sometimes.
I am absolutely petrified of needles and, of course, they need to be used when biopsies are taken. I have had several skin cancer episodes, “thanks” to not listening to my mommy as I child, when I was told to put on sunscreen, and then as a 20- or 30-something-year-old using a tanning bed!
Karl always smiles through my “episodes” and is still warm and friendly the next time I come back for more.
In the office where Karl worked at first, I met a doctor before I met Karl. Her name was Dr. Wendy Epstein. To this day, though I no longer see her because she left that office, I have a fond memory of her:
I was in my hospital bed, a couple of days after my brain surgery at NYU. She spoke with me over the telephone to see how I was doing. I was so touched that a doctor who only saw me for my skin conditions was a doctor who took the time to check on me like this. How many doctors can you say that about anymore?
An excellent chiropractor that I have to mention here is Judith Dougan. I met her when I hurt my back (the story in my “Music, Music, Music” chapter). She and her assistants (Vicki, Jackie, and Linda) all helped me feel better too.
And, finally, another great doctor is Dr. Jafar Jafar, the doctor who removed my brain tumor and used it in a class at NYU Langone Medical Center to teach others. Many people have asked me why his first name is the same as his last. I was curious, too, about why his name was like that, but, most importantly, I just cared that he saved my life.
Dr. Jafar is a neurosurgeon with the cleanest doctor’s desk and office I've ever seen. At my first appointment after being released from NYU, I was embarrassed when he had to tell me to wash my hair as soon as I got home. Right after the surgery, I had been so scared to touch my head with its 42 stitches that I couldn't do it, but after he said that, I went home and lathered up.
Dr. Jafar will always be the doctor who told me my tumor was the size of an orange. But, more importantly, he will be the doctor who told me I would no longer be afraid to shake hands with him, after he operated on me, since my fear of germs would be over. He was right!
So, what I try to do every day now is to forgive those two doctors who did not listen to me well enough, allowing the brain tumor to grow so large before it was discovered. I try to focus on the good, positive doctors I have met and hang on to the thoughts about them, rather than perseverating [inappropriately not letting go] about the mistakes of others.
Focusing on the positive is truly a struggle for me. I talk to God every time the bad doctor memories become overwhelming, which is way too often. Praying sometimes brings relief. I look forward to the day when I’ve completely moved on. In the meantime, I take baby steps in the land of forgiveness….
I know God is the Great Healer!
For the coming year, I will be excerpting, weekly, material from this fine book by Janet Johnson Schliff, M.S.Ed.. She wrote it over a three-year period, with some coaching and editing help from me, through my business, WriteYourBookWithMe.com. The excerpts are from the almost-final version. The memoir is now available in paperback and ebook formats from amazon.com and from its publisher, outskirtspress.com:
BOOK TALKS AND SIGNINGS
Janet Johnson Schliff was on WKNY Radio 1490 at 9:10 a.m. on Thursday, March 1, Kingston, NY.
Janet Johnson Schliff spoke at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 3, at Barnes & Noble, 1177 Ulster Avenue, Kingston, NY.
I [DWC] attended, along with almost 40 other people. The talk was especially well received, with several questions at the end, as well.
Janet Johnson Schliff spoke at the Starr Library in Rhinebeck, NY, at 7 p.m. on March 6.
She spoke at the Golden Notebook Bookstore in Woodstock, NY, at 2 p.m. on March 17.
She spoke at the Morton Library in Rhinecliff, NY, at 6:30 p.m. on March 28.
She will appear at RCAL in Kingston, NY, at 4 p.m. on April 3. I hope to attend.
On 4/4/18 Janet will be at the Parkinson's Support Group at the Starr Library at Rhinebeck at 2:30 p.m.
On 4/27/18 Janet will be at the Stone Ridge Library at 5:30 p.m.
On 5/4/18 Janet will be at the Hurley Library at 6 p.m.
On 5/9/18 Janet will be at the Kingston Library at 6 p.m.
On 5/14/18 Janet will be at the Staatsburg Library at 7 p.m.
On 6/9/18 Janet will be at the Tannersville Library at noon.
On 7/13/18 Janet will be at the Esopus Library at 7 p.m.
More signings will be coming up, and a fine feature about her by John DeSantos [845 LIFE] appeared in the Middletown Times Herald-Record on Monday, March 12, as part of Brain Injury Awareness Month.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
₦Sermon 26THE RESURRECTION HOPE_ Blessed and holy is the one who takes part in the first resurrection”Rev. 20:6 NET.Resurrection simply means coming back to life and it’s one of the most crucial facts in the doctrines of the gospel. Before someone takes part in a resurrection, he must be confirmed dead by people. Our Lord Jesus Christ was sentenced to death. He was killed and buried to save mankind. His enemies who heard him clearly when he said he would rise on the third day, assigned guards (Soldiers) to watch so that his disciples would not come to steal his body and profess to the entire public that he had risen. The scripture says: “Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good” (psalm 127:2)At the appointed time, there was an earthquake and many saints who were waiting on the Lord’s Day followed Christ to resurrect. They moved to holy cities and were seen by many people.The resurrection of Jesus Christ comforts the Christians that there is hope in Jesus Christ. In him we put our trust and hope. The disciples who were crying when he was killed now rejoiced as he appeared to them and also ate with them.The Jews who denied that Jesus Christ is the son of God; his resurrection confirmed it that he is truly the son of Most High God and our justification is secured in his risen body (Romans 4:25, John 2:19, 10:17). His risen body is a clear proof that he has made a full atonement for our iniquities and his sacrifice was accepted as a divine justice. His body was given as a selfless sacrificial offering and his resurrection assures us that there is resurrection for the believers who died in Christ.Note: There are some people who are being watched by some occultic priests. They don’t want to see you progress in life. Whether you are at home or not they have their spiritual satellite to mirror you. Such people are enemies of progress just like the guards who were paid to stop the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They did not stop it. Therefore brethren you are unstoppable in doing what would please our God.The resurrection of Jesus Christ assures us that those who died for his sake will one day resurrect at the appointed day that is unknown by man except Jehovah our God. Therefore, there is hope for the Christians.—————Meditation Point———————Lord may I be considered worthy in your sight at the day you will judge the world. May you call up my ruined soul to follow you to your kingdom, amen!You can contact the Man of God via firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, March 12, 2018
Author of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO MY WHITE PICKET FENCE? recorded by photo-journalist John DeSanto for the Middletown [NY] Times Herald-Record:
I(A Sermon Preached by Nigerian Rev. Fortune Emerence Chinemerem Nwaiwu)
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed, we are perplexed, but not driven to despond, we are hunted down, but never abandoned by God, we get knocked down, but we are not destroyed” 2 Cor. (4:8-9).Texts: 2 Cor. 4:1-9; Isaiah 54:14-17.Christians who really understand the nature of their calling face many trials and temptations. They are hated everywhere by the ungodly children of the world. The world seems to come against them when they stand on the truth, they pass through great tribulations and persecutions and yet they are not destroyed. We should learn that no amount of troubles should shake off our faith in Christ. The bitter cup of sufferings we have drunk with Christ will not consume us without bearing fruits for the Lord Jesus Christ. Because Christ is not yet done with you, nothing can destroy you. He will always show you a way out when there is a problem. Even when you feel that your soul is about to be drowned with death, he will rescue you for he will command his angels to protect you in all your ways— Psalms 91:11.
Fear not! For the fact that you are being hunted down by your enemies does not mean that God is not with you. God has made you and designed you to be beyond destruction. Could you take your mind back to the lives of the early Christians who were persecuted, stripped naked and flogged and yet God rescued them from their enemies because they were beyond destruction? Their property might have been destroyed but their very souls were not destroyed. So, stop being afraid of those who aspire to harm the body but can’t kill the soul; instead, be afraid of the one who can destroy both body and soul in hell— Matt. 10:28.
Since we serve the very One that owns our very souls, then consider yourself as someone who is beyond destruction and reproach, because you make Him your refuge and a shelter.Apostle Peter was hunted down by King Herod Agrippa. He was imprisoned till the day he would be released for a public trial. The trial would have resulted to the killing of Peter the way Apostle James was martyred, but God who knew that He was not yet done with him, sent his angel in a night before his trial to release him from the prison. Thus, Peter was beyond destruction; instead, his enemies were used to pay the price of his death. As he was released out from the prison, Herod Agrippa ordered that those prison guards should be executed.
Watch out today that any monitoring spirit against your success and your life will be put to destruction. Heaven was not silent when a plan was made, to imprison Peter; Heaven did something to take away the man of God from a condition that is not designed for him.Prison is a place meant for evil doers. It is a place where notorious criminals are caged for torturing and trials. It is a place that is not convenient for people to stay. It is a place made or prepared for Satan and his agents. They will be imprisoned in the lake of hell fire. Since the world sees the Christians as evil ones, they take hold of them to put them in prison and God promises his children through Isaiah that the one who suffers will be released; he will not die in prison; he will not go hungry, 51:14, NET.Because you are beyond destruction, Satan will come at any time with his problems to check if what he hears about you is true. At times, he comes with problems of barrenness, failure in life and sometimes, uses your brothers or relatives to rise against you. The fact remains clear that whatever tactics the Satan may use to test your genuine faith in God, you are absolutely beyond destruction. Though Satan may come with his deadly disease as he did during the time of Job, but God has given us assurance as we put our trusts in Him that “no evil of deadly disease will touch us, “though a thousand fall at your sides, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you”— Psalms 91:7.
This promise is a sign that you are beyond destruction and Satan and his agents of doom are pathological liars and failures. If you can cast your mind back in the years past and then remember how you had passed through terrible conditions, how a piece of your land was taken by force and compounded with the life threatening received from your enemies and yet you were not defeated, what sign do you perceive about whom you are? Beyond destruction!The province of Asia under the rulership of Darius the Mede decided to make a law that would affect Daniel and lead to his perdition. Some group of people who had known how Daniel was skillfully handling Government matters successfully, tried to look for a way to accuse him as to ruin his reputation in governance. Probably, they might have strictly monitored him if there was a time he embezzled public funds or if he had slept with any man’s wife but could not find any fault in him. They later resorted to making a law that would affect his worship.
When this law was made, Daniel returned home and prayed to his God. Now he became guilty of the law and was thrown in to the lion’s den. The most High God shut the mouths of the lions and the lions became friends with him because Daniel was completely innocent and trusted in God in alliance with what Proverb 16:7 says: "When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him." This really shows that Daniel is beyond destruction. For you to be beyond destruction, you must totally believe in the power of resurrection and make Jesus Christ your personal Lord and Saviour and he will fortify you with his spiritual armor of righteousness and holiness to wad off every evil encroachment and reproach in your life.—————Meditation Point——————————Our prayer is that any sickness, condition or enemies who are coming into our lives like a raging sea, may God put destruction to them. May God show us a way of escape and cause our mediation on this sermon to bring healings and salvation in our souls. Amen.http://thewhisperinghope.blogspot.com/2018/03/you-are-beyond-destruction.html
Sunday, March 11, 2018
PARENTAL INVESTMENT: WHY ASIAN - AMERICANS SUCCEED
Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D.
Amy Chua’s 2010 book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, set off a fervent discussion of the degree to which Asian-American parenting styles, especially their investment in their children’s education, was important in producing the observed above-average performance of these children subsequent to their schooling.
In March 2014, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics produced an analytical report related to this issue, “Investment in Higher Education by Race and Ethnicity,” written by Tian Luo and Richard J Holden. They showed that, compared to white parents, African-American parents invested less, and Asian-American parents invested more in their children’s education, with Hispanics not being statistically significantly different from other whites in this regard. [The authors controlled for several of the most likely confounding variables in their analysis.]
Different degrees of investment in their offspring are also found throughout the entire range of the animal kingdom. In fact, those who study such things have a term for the two extreme cases of parental investment, “R and K strategies,” the terms derived from the equations generally used in the field to model the outcomes of the two strategies:
A short article (by Jared Reser) posted on the Internet by the Organization for the Advancement of Interdisciplinary Learning [http://jaredreser.com/Background/Biology/randkstrategies.html] described the two extremes:
· “R-strategists usually create an abundance of offspring in the hopes that a few will make it. The species usually have a very short maturation time, often breed at a very young age, have a short lifespan, produce many offspring very quickly, have young with high mortality rates, and invest relatively little in parental care. The parents do not focus on passing down memes, units of cultural information, to their young. Instead the behavior of the young is determined by their genes. The young are precocial, meaning that they often can make it on their own without any instruction from their parents. Examples of R-selected species include bacteria, insects, and fish.”
· “K-strategists are very different in that they attempt to ensure the survival of their offspring by investing time in them, instead of investing in lots of them. It is a reproductive strategy that focuses on quality over quantity. K-strategists have relatively few offspring and make an effort at being good parents. Their young are altricial, meaning that they cannot survive on their own until they reach adulthood. This extended period of maturation is used for mimetic transference – the parents teach the young so that they can go on to reproduce themselves. K-strategists are known to have a relatively long life span, produce relatively few offspring; the offspring have lower mortality rates and parents provide extensive parental care. The offspring are also relatively intelligent so that they can internalize the lessons from their parents. K-selected species include elephants, apes and whales. Humans are perhaps the most K selected….”
The same source (Reser) produced the following ordering of organism types, from the R-strategists to the K-strategists, or quantity versus quality strategy: bacteria, mollusks, insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, apes, humans…an ordering that resembles that of evolution, from the least to the most advanced species.
More details come from an article posed by the University of Miami [http://www.bio.miami.edu/tom/courses/bil160/bil160goods/16_rKselection.html] entitled “r and K selection,” based on evolutionary considerations, which notes
· “Organisms that live in stable environments tend to make few, ‘expensive’ offspring. Organisms that live in unstable environments tend to make many, ‘cheap’ offspring.” When investment is risky, it is wise to invest little.
· It makes more sense to invest when the life spans are longer, to give time for the investment to pay off.
· If you plot the fraction who survive versus the age of the organism, the R (quantity) species (bacteria, oysters) tend to lose a far larger fraction at young ages compared to their maximum life spans than do the K (quality) species (whales, humans) compared to their maximum lifespans. Which is cause and which is effect? Do they die young because of a lack of investment? Do they live longer because of the investment? Ecologists study this kind of issue, often related to the “carrying capacity” of the environment, related to the number the environment could handle if they lived to the maximum lifetime.
When applied to the global situation for humans, this theory indicates that in dangerous parts of the world and in dangerous times, having many children is a strategy that may maximize the chance that some survive. In the less hazardous, more developed parts of the world, during peaceful times, having fewer children and giving them more input is advantageous for those who seek to pass on their genes and ideas. Thus, ethnic groups and races that traditionally have had large families are generally expected to have fewer children as their safety improves. Of course, culture and religion can work to over-ride this tendency.
Anecdotally, I have seen this investment in education by my Chinese - American in-laws: eldest child, a daughter, went to Cornell on a scholarship and eventually became an orthodontist; middle daughter, my Tina, went to Cornell on a scholarship and eventually became an Asian Studies scholar who worked for the Encyclopedia Britannica; youngest child, a son, went to a private high school and then on to Brown and became a rheumatologist. The girls would have preferred other schools but family resources were saved to facilitate their brother’s becoming an M.D. Furthermore, these parents themselves were the products of intensive educational investment, the mother having gotten her degree with a major in chemistry at China’s pre-eminent Tsinghua University, where she met their father, who went on to get his Sc.D. degree at America’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a scholarship he won in a nation-wide competition in China back in the 1930s.
Investment in education, broadly defined, pays off.
According to a research paper entitled “The Rise of Asian Americans,” published in June 2012 and updated in April of 2013 by the Pew Research Center [http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2012/06/19/the-rise-of-asian-americans/], the median family incomes---which might be taken as a measure of success---of groups in America are in almost the same order as the percentages holding bachelor’s degrees (or more) among those who are 25 and older and in those groups. Specifically, 49% of Asians, 31% of whites, 18% of blacks, and 13% of Hispanics hold a bachelor’s degree or more among the population 25 and older in 2010. Similarly, the median household incomes in 2010 were: for Asians $66,000; for whites $54,000; for Hispanics $40,000; and for blacks $33,300. Some Asian subgroups have higher poverty levels than the U.S. average, some lower, however, so other factors can trump education.
Granted, there is always some question about which is the cause and which is the effect when looking at correlations. Conceivably, this order might due to the greater availability of college to groups that have greater incomes, but it seems more likely that it reflects the greater probability for financial success of groups that have a higher percentage of their population with college degrees. In other words, investment in advanced education has paid off in terms of relative incomes, whether or not it was financially sound.
The same Pew report noted that 2/3 of Asians believed having a successful marriage is one of the most important things in life, whereas only 50% of other Americans agreed with this. Their newborns are less likely than those of other Americans to have an unmarried mother (16% vs. 41%), although that figure is higher (31%) for women of Asian ancestry born in the U.S.
The Pew report describes the arc of Asian ascension the U.S.: “A century ago, most Asian Americans were low-skilled., low-wage laborers crowded into ethnic enclaves and targets of official discrimination. Today they are the most likely of any major racial or ethnic group in America to live in mixed neighborhoods and to marry across racial lines. When newly minted medical school graduate Priscilla Chan married Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg last month, she joined the 37% of all recent Asian American brides who wed a non-Asian groom.”
Parental investments in education and in maintaining intact marriages pay off in greater probability of success for their Asian American sons and daughters.
Dr. Cooper (email@example.com), a retired scientist, is now an author, editor, and writing coach. His first book, Ting and I: A Memoir of Love, Courage and Devotion, was published by Outskirts Press in 2011. Also available from online booksellers are two memoirs he co-authored, The Shield of Gold and Kidnapped Twice, and three memoirs he edited: High Shoes and Bloomers and But…at What Cost and Home is Where the Story Begins. With Adria Goldman Gross, he recently co-authored Solved! Curing Your Medical Insurance Problems. His latest books are Write Your Book with Me and How to Manage Nursing Care at Home. On Twitter, he is @douglaswcooper. His writing, editing, coaching site is http://WriteYourBookWithMe.com/
WHAT WILL BE OUR REWARD FOR FORSAKING ALL FOR CHRIST
"Then Peter said to him, See, we have given up everything and have come after you; what then will we have?" -- Matthew 19:27 BBE
A lady left her parents, relatives and her position in church as an usher and choir mistress to follow a man that had many fortunes. She had refused to marry some men who wanted her hand in marriage. But now she had seen a man driving one Jeep, she left everything and then followed him to live with him. Later, the rich man impregnated her, and near to her child delivery, she was asked by the husband to return home to deliver the baby. The following day, she returned home, and two days later she gave birth to a bouncing baby boy. It was really a great joy because since she had given birth to a son, the man would be pleased. In most African places, a woman who gives birth to a son has a full right in the family she is married to. But, is it the case of this lady, who left all she had to follow this rich man? Immediately she delivered her baby, her mother called the man, and the man refused to answer them anymore. This lady cried: "In all that I did for him, he later abandoned me!"
I. David's Plea: Do not reject me in my old age! When my strength fails, do not abandon me!-- Psalm 71:9. Here David knows that God has been his protection right from his childhood but in his old age, a period when he would not be able to do exploit, a period he may not be able to labor for support, a period friends and companions would go leaving him alone, and a period he may be fatherless and motherless, that God should not cast him off.
We may be tempted to say, Lord, I have devoted my energy to serve you as I'm young, please cast me not in my old age when my strength is failing, reject me not when I may not be able to feel the buoyant feelings of the earlier years.
II. David's Confidence in God:
Though my father and my mother abandoned me, the LORD gathers me up.--- Psalm 27:10 ISV. David knows that parents can abandon their children. Though, it is rare for parents to abandon their children, there are some parents who could not train up their children and such children will be roaming in the streets causing nuisances to the society. People sell their babies after delivering them, and some disown their children because of their faith in Christ. And David said, even if he could be abandoned by parents, it is certain that the God he worships would pick him up, raise him out from the dust and dehumanising conditions his parents and associates have kept him.
The Fate of the Disciples:
Peter had heard Christ say, "And again I say to you, It is simpler for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a man with much money to go into the kingdom of God"-- Matt. 19:24. Since even the rich will find it difficult to enter the kingdom of God, then Peter asked Christ, what will they get since they have left their parents, relatives, friends, and occupations to follow him?
Illustration: Years ago, when a man, perhaps, a business man wanted someone who would serve him, he would definitely define agreement terms and conditions, what he would do for his servant before the servant boy's-or-girl's parents and/or eye-witnesses. In most cases, after a period of four years, the boss would establish a business for his servant. And by this empowerment, the servant had been rewarded.
Peter seemed to know how he and other disciples would be rewarded for following Christ. This is important due to they had seen that it could be hard for the rich to enter heaven and so they asked: Who then may have salvation?
The question Peter asked could be paraphrased in this way: Lord, we have abandoned all the worldly pleasures to follow you, what will be our reward? We have abandoned our wives, home and occupation as fishermen to follow you, what will be our gain? We know that men in this world can disappoint, we expect no disappointment in you as our Lord and Savior.
1. We shall sit upon the twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israelites (Matt. 19:28, Rev. 2:26-28). Thus, the authority and power Christ has will equally be given to his followers. It a great honour to us that the day Christ will return, we shall be given the power to judge our enemies, and condemn every tongue that has risen against us. Rise up, and then become active followers of master Jesus.
2. We shall be God's people with a name that will never disappear (Isaiah 66:22, Rev. 3:5). We live to die, and then our name disappears. But as long as we walk in close obedience, and fellowship with God, an eternal name of honour will be given to us.
3. We shall receive a hundred times of the things we have given up, and will inherit eternal life, (Matt. 19:13).
Brethren, wouldn't you forsake those worldly pleasures, and embrace Christ? Shun prostitution, greed, cheating, works you know that do not give you chance to worship God. The disciples forfeited their jobs, and then followed Christ. Wouldn't you seek for the reality of heaven now? Christ says in Revelation 20:12-15, "Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds ... Blessed are those who wash their robes. they will be permitted to enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life. Come on, think about without delay. Surrender your life to him now, and receive his anointing, favour and his gracious blessings. May God help you. God bless you.
Rev. Fortune Nwaiwu of Nigeria has now established his own blog, the first entry in which is: