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John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."

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excerpt from “The God Diagnosis”, Big Mac Publishers, Sylacauga, Alabama

Chapter One The American Dream or Nightmare?

 

By age thirty-six I had everything I wanted in life. I had reached the pinnacle. I was a doctor who had graduated number one in his class, had graduated from the finest schools, was working in a successful practice, had married a beautiful wife, had two sons, drove a hot car, wore nice clothes, owned a cute dog, and lived in a gorgeous home in a great city [Cary, NC]. I had reached heaven on earth on my own—The American Dream. I had done it! I had solved the maze of life. Brick by brick I had built my own ivory tower from the plans that the world provided me. I was taught to depend upon myself and make a name for myself, to build my own empire so I could have a nice life and provide security for our family. I was a warrior filled with selfish ambition, fighting to get ahead by letting self-discipline and self-determination provide self-accomplishment. The world kept patting me on the back for a job well done. My view of life was well cemented by worldly success and a comfortable lifestyle. I was bricked in with the mortar of pride and had no idea.

 

Chapter Sixteen The Confession of The Cure

 “Greg? We’re home. Where are you?” my wife called. I looked at my watch and saw it was after six. I had completely lost track of time and didn’t realize that over five hours had passed. I had been completely absorbed for several days finding a diagnosis. I had been studying day and night every free moment. “I’m upstairs in the office. I’ll be right down.” What would I tell her? How could I explain everything? I wondered. Would she believe me? “What did you do all day?” she asked. “I’ll tell you later tonight. It’s a long story.” “Just tell me now. Don’t be weird. You have been reading in seclusion for days.” “We need to have peace and quiet. After the kids go to bed.” “Okay,” she agreed. The rest of the night I was pensive and apprehensive. I knew she had been attending Bible study, but I didn’t know where she stood. I wasn’t certain if she was saved or understood the reality of Christianity, since we had not discussed it. I kept thinking about what to say. My heart rate ramped up as the time approached. Finally, the kids went to bed and the moment came.

 

By now my heart was pounding. I walked into the bedroom. Ruth was sitting in the bed reading. I got into bed and sat up against the headboard using a few pillows to support my back. “Ruth, you know that book you bought me that I started reading? The one about the Bible?” I said hesitantly. “Yes. Why?” she said as she put down what she was reading and gave me her full attention. “Well, I finished it. In fact, I have read the entire New Testament, and studied it in detail. I know I mentioned this to you earlier, but I never told you what I was up to.” “Go on,” she said expectantly. “Well, I decided I could believe in Jesus. I realized I could go to church and do the Christianity thing.”

 

“That’s great. I thought you had been acting a little different. Do you want to keep going to the church that David took us to?” “Sure, but wait. There’s more. About two weeks ago I stayed up late in the office. I became convicted of the problems in my life and personality. I broke down and cried out to God asking for forgiveness and change.” She was staring intently at me. “Ruth, God did something to me. He actually changed the nature of my existence. I woke up a different person. I have spent every moment since that day trying to figure out what happened to me. Now I know—I was saved. The Holy Spirit has been given to me. God now dwells within me, as incredible as that is, and is changing me. Everything is different.”

 

She didn’t say a word for a few moments. She was studying my face to see if I was serious. “Wow. That’s awesome! I have become a believer also, but I have not experienced what you are talking about.” “You have to believe me. I am not crazy or some religious weirdo now,” I interjected. “I do. I do,” she said, but I sensed a trace of doubt in her expression. “I am sorry for the way I have treated you,” I sobbed as my eyes filled with water. “I was wrong. Please forgive me. I am so sorry. I am going to make it up to you. I’m not going back to my old self,” I cried. She hugged me and said, “I forgive you. It’s okay.” “No! It’s not okay. I was a miserable, arrogant, prideful, self-centered, egotistical jerk to you, the kids, and many people I know,” I stuttered, fighting off sobs in between my words. “This is all so crazy. How can God be that close to us and real, and yet nobody is talking about it?! There is something really wrong, Ruth! Something is drastically wrong. I don’t think a lot of people realize what real Christianity is. I had no idea even after studying it that God indwells someone who is saved. I can’t comprehend the magnitude of what this means for my concept of reality. Do you realize I have lived my entire life spiritually dead, separated from God? I never said one word to him, and yet he was right there all around me. He heard what I said that night. He heard me! How can God hear me out of billions of people on the earth? Think this through, Ruth. Let it sink in! We don’t know anything about our existence. This storybook life we have lived has been a mirage and façade hiding the truth. Almost everything I was taught about the truth of our existence and purpose in life was a lie. I think our entire culture is built upon a Great Deception. “I didn’t expect this. This changes everything. It’s not about church attendance or being nice. It’s not about my career or personal achievements. I don’t know what to think. I believed it was true, but I never fathomed that God was that real and active today. This means he really did it. Jesus was actually here as God and went to the cross. How can there be so many religions when this is true? My concept of reality is crumbling!”

 “Greg, calm down. You’re getting yourself all wound up,” Ruth said. “I’m not going to calm down. Calm down? Do you understand what I am telling you? Do you realize what this means?” I exclaimed, still wiping tears from my eyes. “I think so. I’m new to this, also. I grew up in church, but it was all about church.” “I need to do a lot of thinking, Ruth. The implications are profound and astounding. I’m going back into the office to think. I am overwhelmed.” “Okay. We’ll talk more tomorrow. I love you.” “I love you too. Don’t tell anyone about this conversation! Not a word about this yet. I really want to start telling people what has happened to me, but I want to gather some more information first. I need a little more time.” “Okay.”

 

It’s the actual Chapter 16 of a book written by a Cary Dermatologist, Greg Viehman, M.D.

 The God Diagnosis, Big Mac Publishers, Sylacauga, Alabama

 

 

Aramaic

www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-46650911

The Good Nigerian…

www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-46637822

Way overdue…

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-46634184

What Price Life?…

nyti.ms/2R0AM3k

Owen Kramer

October 24, 2018

Fellow believers, I share below the earthly circumstances of 3-month-old, Owen Kramer and his parents, Jennifer and Drew.

Owen Andrew Kramer: infant son of Durham couple, Jennifer and Drew Kramer

They are currently waiting on genotype sequencing tests to come back (early November).  Owen has been diagnosed with a Mitochondrial Complex 4 Deficiency which has a broad spectrum of disabilities from mild to severe (death within the first 6 months of life).

He is 3.5 months old.  He is having feeding difficulty (spitting up quite a bit, arching while feeding like he is in pain), developmental delay, and possible seizures.

Jennifer has remained out of work to spend time with him, not knowing the prognosis.  She may be seeking a second opinion at a center of excellence for Mitochondrial disease, like Cleveland Clinic, depending on the results of the genetic tests.

They have received gifts of food, cash, even vacation time; yet, with an awareness of other people in need, today, they graciously turned down newly offered material support.

What they cannot get too much of are our prayers. Would you consider adding them to your prayer list?

John 16:33 (ESV) 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Feel free to share…

a.co/5hv2kFE

Basics of the Christian faith…

8 Signs Your Christianity Is Too Comfortable

Brett McCracken provides signs that your Christianity has become too comfortable.
— Read on www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/8-signs-your-christianity-is-too-comfortable/

Great minds

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

   -Eleanor Roosevelt

 

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

– Thomas Jefferson

 

“I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” – Winston Churchill

 

“What is absurd and monstrous about war is that men who have no personal quarrel should be trained to murder one another in cold blood.” – Aldous Huxley

 

“Although believers, by nature, are far from God, and children of wrath, even as others, yet it is amazing to think how nigh they are brought to him again by the blood of Jesus Christ.”

-George Whitefield

 

“It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation.” – William T. Sherman

 

“She (Mika Brzezinski) was bleeding badly from a facelift”

   – 45th President of the United States

Veritas Aflame: Why I Expectorate at the Thought of Trump Speaking at Liberty

Oprah Winfrey and the Dalai Lama are listed among those invited to grace Commencements this year. It’s a free country; and, most certainly, colleges and universities invite whomever they want to speak at their graduation ceremonies. To me, it would be just as absurd for Liberty University to have beaten out Smith College or UC San Diego for Winfrey or the Dalai Lama as to have settled on their preferred keynote, President Trump. He is no less antithetical a figure at the podium of a Jesus-following institution.

As the Liberty website touts, “Get a world-class education with the solid Christian foundation you’re looking for at Liberty University.”

Yet, where might we find a more exemplary spirit of anti-Christ than in President Trump?

Granted, if we look no further than one thing he tells us, he would appear an apt enough choice: “I have great relationship with God. I have great relationship with the Evangelicals…”

But, if we keep listening…

We know by now, the President “does not regret never asking God for forgiveness, partially because he says he doesn’t have much to apologize for” Not only does that seem oblivious to the difference between a faux pas and sin; but, it kind of flies in the face of the bumper sticker: Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.

Shall we try squaring Trump’s assertion with real Biblical pith like Luke 18: 13, 14? 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

In the words of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: “when we come to God, we must realize our own sin and our spiritual emptiness and poverty. We must not be self-satisfied or proud in our hearts, thinking we don’t really need God.

In the words of Miroslav Wolf “Forgiveness flounders because I exclude the enemy from the community of humans ….and myself from the community of sinners.”

And by now we know that “not much to apologize for” was not just an isolated moment of hubris. Trump has gone on to remind, comfort and disclose: “Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest — and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure; it’s not your fault.” “In truth I am dazzled as much by my own creations as are the tourists and glamour hounds that flock to Trump Tower … or any of my other properties.”

Jesus said, as recorded in Matthew 15:11, it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” In saying things like the following, our President qualifies himself as, plainly, apostate.

He warned in “Think Big.” “Even your friends are out to get you: They want your job, they want your house, they want your money, they want your wife, and they even want your dog.” And he has coached: “When people wrong you, go after those people, because it is a good feeling and because other people will see you doing it,” he writes. “I always get even.” “If you do not get even, you are just a schmuck!”

Again, this scarcely comports with Jesus’s sermon in Matthew 5: “And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.” And Jesus’s words from the same sermon, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor; and hate your enemy.’ But I (Jesus) tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.

Speaking of God, the Father, Psalm 68:5 tells us, “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.” The Bible emphasizes God’s command of giving to the poor; in fact, there are at least 200 places in the Old Testament that are being summarized by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.

Old Testament passages like… “Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression, to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey!” Isaiah 10: 1, 2. Meanwhile, Trump may be living up to his bid to “bomb the sh– out of them”

Ez. 16:49 – Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.

The docent-for-a-day, President Trump, has implored his supporters to “lock their doors” to keep safe from Syrian refugees coming into the US.

Perhaps, in the context of their choice of speaker, Liberty might aptly alter their motto to “Veritas Aflame”

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