Spiritual Power

What is spiritual power? How do you get it? How do you use it? How do you give the glory to God?

A patient came to me in tears. As a child she had suffered abuse, alcoholism, and even rape. The Christianity she had known was stern and foreboding. Images of the past were hard to overcome, much less erase. Now she was in a good marriage, had a healthy boy, and was in a solid church. Nevertheless, she was fearful and depressed, feeling unable to face most days. Completing the basic tasks of life, such as caring for her infant son and keeping the house, was nearly impossible. In her dark moments, this woman was afraid that she would lose everything she had ever dreamed of, and now had.

She is not alone. One professionally successful acquaintance is going through a divorce, a job change, and struggling with alcohol abuse.  Another young woman told me of her troubles with anxiety and perfectionism while she was cleaning my teeth. A middle-aged friend struggles with his self-worth after being without a job for nearly two years. A woman jumped off the roof of her 17-story apartment building.

Continue reading “Spiritual Power”

Useful Quotations on Money, Poverty and Wealth

Pithy Prose for Politicians, Preachers, Professors, Pundits, and Public Speakers.

Mark 10:29 – Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake,

30 – but that he shall receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.

31 – “But many who are first, will be last; and the last, first.”

 

“I’m living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart.” E E Cummings (1894-1962)

“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

“If you can count your money, you don’t have a billion dollars.” J. Paul Getty (1892-1976)

“Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.” Abraham Lincoln (1809-65), U.S. president. Speech, 21 March 1864, in reply to committee from the New York Workingmen’s Association.

“Probably the greatest harm done by vast wealth is the harm that we of moderate means do ourselves when we let the vices of envy and hatred enter deep into our own natures.” Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), U.S. Republican (later Progressive) politician, president. Speech, 23 Aug. 1902, Providence, R.I.

“The forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.” Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. Democratic politician, president. Radio broadcast, 7 April 1932.

Israel at the Time of Hosea

The Kingdom of Aram (modern Syria) had long been a major military threat to Israel, and Israel had been forced to devote many resources to defense against its northeastern neighbor.  During the days of Jehoahaz (816-800 BC), crushing defeats at the hands of the Arameans had reduced Israel’s army to “not more than 50 horsemen, 10 chariots, and 10,000 footmen (2 Kings 13:7).”

An adventurer named Zakir had successfully gained power in the small kingdoms of Hamath, Luash, and the regions nearby, situated northeast of Aram. Hoping to expand his power the king of Aram, Ben Hadad III, formed an alliance to overthrow Zakir and seize Hamath and Luash. According to the Stele of Zakkur, found in 1903 near Aleppo, the Aramean coalition laid siege to the city of Hazrach (cf. Zechariah 9:1) near Damascus, and was defeated. Zakir’s victory destroyed the army of Aram and led to their precipitous decline. These events occurred around 790 BC, and within 30 years Aram had grown so weak that Israel had gained control of Damascus and Hamath themselves (2 Kings 14:28). The borders of Israel expanded almost as far as they had reached under David and Solomon.  Assyria, which would destroy Israel itself in 722 BC, was relatively weak since the passing of Shalmaneser III (859 – 824 BC).

Continue reading “Israel at the Time of Hosea”