Dream word – CONSIDER
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” NKJV
Shocking Roman Catholics and the problem of pain
It was Oxford University which, in 2008, despite the dire economic climate, showed to the world that they had more money than sense, when they took a dozen Roman Catholics and a dozen atheists and stuck them in an MRI brain scanner. While these two dozen, desperate for a few quid in their pocket sets of guinea pigs lay cocooned in the resonator, scientists gazed astonishingly at the part of the brain which modulated the mechanisms of neural pain reception, for whilst administering electric shock therapy to them, they discovered that whilst the Roman Catholics meditated on a picture of The Madonna, they were able to withstand more pain than the atheist, who by the way, were simply gazing at an old Da Vinci’s painting of Lady With An Ermine. Conclusion: It is far easier to burned at the stake of you’re a believer providing you have a positive image to focus on. The response from an Anglican Bishop was typical when he said, “Of course we should expect this, for faith changes people’s perceptions.” “Admittedly,” one psychologist later remarked, “we could probably get the same results in atheists, providing we shocked them when they themselves had a more personal and positive image placed in front of them!” Say, Madonna or maybe Maradonna, or even a Mars bar. I tell you, the world has gone mad.
No, you don’t have to have faith in Jesus Christ or God The Father to learn how to control pain. However, as I write, though I do have faith in Christ right now, my lower left molar is still throbbing like a red-hot rivet! Looking at Oxford’s declared faith and pain conclusions, I have to conclude that, either my mind control techniques are awful, or my faith in Jesus Christ is pitiful. If that is the case, then I find it all rather discouraging for despite all those Christians running around Toronto now able to eat peanut brittle chocolate because of new heavenly new gold fillings, it would appear the master dentist Himself, refuses to fix my very own present throbbing molar. It’s painful, it’s not fair and frankly in my opinion, teeth are a terrible design flaw anyway. What’s a man to do?
In this fallen world, I am thankful for every incidence of the relief of personal pain in whatever form it takes. Yes, in this fallen world, the relief of any pain is a great mercy for which we should all be thankful for. You see, despite its beauty and the short seasons of pleasantness this present life and world may offer, old age, worn out-ness, accident, madness, selfishness, loss and all the horrors of war, are all our most present and most miserable lot. It is only the future life in Jesus, indeed, with Jesus in heaven, that offers a place where the present tears of pain shall cease to flow forever. Selah.
Meanwhile, we daily seek His mercy, daily seek His miracle of the relief of all our present pains, and whether it is in the form of the direct administrations of the Paraclete, or the form of the indirect applications of the famous Paracetemol, we are thankful.
The always rising and ever falling temples of youth and health are not those we should seek to permanently inhabit, but rather, whilst enjoying these two most hallowed and temporary of halls, we are encouraged to look from their bright windows and out into our inevitably gumsy and immanent futures of decrepitude, and get our lives sorted out right now for the service and worship of God. Yes, get it sorted out right now whilst the morning dew still rests refreshingly on our two most sparkling eyes and whilst we still have teeth. You see, despite the silly shenanigans of all our Oxford Dons, the preacher still calls the considering of our future and painful demise, wisdom! So tell me, how wise are you tonight?
Listen: “Honor and enjoy your Creator while you're still young, before the years take their toll and your vigor wanes, before your vision dims and the world blurs And the winter years keep you close to the fire. In old age, your body no longer serves you so well. Muscles slacken, grip weakens, joints stiffen.The shades are pulled down on the world. You can't come and go at will. Things grind to a halt.The hum of the household fades away.You are wakened now by bird-song. Hikes to the mountains are a thing of the past. Even a stroll down the road has its terrors.Your hair turns apple-blossom white, adorning a fragile and impotent matchstick body. Yes, you're well on your way to eternal rest,While your friends make plans for your funeral. Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over. Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends. The body is put back in the same ground it came from.The spirit returns to God, who first breathed it.” (Ecclesiastes 12:1-7 -from THE MESSAGE: by Eugene H. Peterson.)
Pray: The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Return, O Lord! How long? And have compassion on Your servants. Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days! Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us, the years in which we have seen evil. Let Your work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psalms 90:10-17 NKJV)
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