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Side Effects, An Open Heart and A Shut-up Soul

medicine bottlesJune 5, 2017 – Side effects

This is the age of medical miracles. Each day a new medicine is in the works, being tested on animals and in some cases on human volunteers. Each day thousands of requests are received by the FDA for approval to make and sell new treatments for various diseases. It is big business. New medicines are expensive and they stay that way. I’m not sure of the time frame but I remember being told that the creators have complete rights to the recipes for seven years before a generic, less expensive type can be released.

If you look at the side effects on most medicines, most of them are pretty much the same. Nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, diarrhea, headaches and rash are normally listed on most products. These are all supposed to be short lived and go away after awhile. Some medications have long term, dangerous side effects, especially if they are not take right, for instance the methotrexate I take causes mouth ulcers, thinning of the skin and easy bruising and if too much is taken can end your life. The methylprednisolone can cause heart flutters, insomnia, headaches and all the other normal side effects mentioned.

Diseases and illnesses can have long term side effects if not treated on a regular basis. Asthma can kill you if you don’t treat it on a daily basis or carry a rescue inhaler., as can COPD also. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation of the heart, lungs, bladder, kidneys and liver and deformities of the hands, knees and feet. Chronic migraines can cause reoccurring TIA’s and stroke,

But there are some things in life that have good side effects. Reading the word of God has the side effect of increasing your knowledge and your belief. Praying has the side effects of receiving answers, healing, and the knowledge that someone is listening, someone cares, someone loves you and someone understands what you are going through. Faith has the side effects of increasing your strength and endurance and giving you hope. Love has the side effect of feeling comforted, cared for and lifted up. Today I am thankful for the elements in my life that have these wonderful side effects.

1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 4. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5. does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6. does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7. bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

heartsJune 6, 2017- An Open Heart

Jesus said‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. (Revelation 3:20). He knocks on the door of your heart and if you answer and invite him in, he will reside with you for the rest of your life.

Unfortunately, we humans, have, during troubled times closed our hearts to his message. We are so stubborn that we believe we must handle all of our troubles ourselves. Instead of going to the Lord in prayer, inviting him in and letting him take control of our lives, we blame someone else for our troubles, look for ways to resolve them ourselves and often times seek vengeance on those we believe have caused our sorrow.

In this day and age, with so much going on around us, it is hard for non-believes to have an open heart and it is hard for Christians to keep their heart open. Terror lurking on every corner, threats of violence and death always in the news, pedophiles lurking at the playground, gangs taking over neighborhoods, drug abuse rising every day with new and more dangerous drugs on the market, relationships falling apart and a government that just can’t seem to find the right way to operate bear us down with so many burdens that we often feel like there is a ton of bricks on our shoulders.

Natural disasters are forecast almost every day threatening the loss of our homes, our jobs and in some instances our very lives. Super storms, volcanoes, tornadoes, tsunamis, floods, earth quakes and close calls by meteors and asteroids are as common place as mom’s home made apple pie. Outbreaks and epidemics and new super bugs pop up on a daily basis, infecting many and killing some, and we humans keep on struggling to survive.

I’ve lived in poverty and violence at different points in my life. I’ve lost everything I had far more times than I can count. I’ve lived in fear, often wondering if I would awake the next day, and I’ve had to struggle to survive many times in my life. I’ve gone day to day wondering how I would feed myself and my son and where we would lay our heads at night.

But one day someone knocked on the door of my heart and I let them in. I was at the bottom, I couldn’t go any further down and was desperate for a way to climb back up. Since then, I have made it a habit to keep my heart open, to not close it up or close those who need me out. Things have changed so much since the day I opened the door to knock and it’s been a wonderful change in my life. Today I am thankful for an open heart.

eyeJune 7, 2017 – A Shut Up Soul

Merriam Webster defines the mind as: the element or complex of elements in an individual that feels, perceives, thinks, wills and especially reasons.  They further define the soul as: the spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings, or the universe.

I am a word person. Even though I have a pretty good understanding of most of the English language and grammar, there are times that I like to look at words or objects that people tend to think are the same and see what the actual definitions are. I know of many people who have, probably still do believe that the soul and the mind are the same.

If you look at the above definitions it is very easy to see that they are totally different. You use your mind to live, to see and understand different functions, different actions that allow you to learn, perceive, work, and gather knowledge. You have to use your mind to decide what you will eat, what you will wear, where you will work and so many other necessary daily functions.

But the soul, ah the soul, what a completely different situation is the soul. Our soul, definitely connected to our heart is what urges us to search for the reasons we are here, to search our spiritual side, to look for the intangible in us and in the world. A well developed soul realizes that we are not alone, that we are a part of something else. With our soul we seek God, we seek to understand and follow him. We find love and friendship and fellowship and faith with a being that we can neither see nor touch.

There are so many today that have a shut up soul. I would have to include a lot of scientists in that category, especially the ones who believe we developed from fish or apes and that the earth was created by an accident out in space. There are those who firmly believe that when we die, that is it, we completely cease to exist, we are no more, and that is why they seek to have all that they desire materialistically today. Today I am thankful I don’t have a shut up soul.

Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.

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