Monday, October 20, 2014

COMING CLEAN

Washing is a universal practice for most creatures. The cat and dog in your house spend hours licking themselves and their offspring. The snake and the cicada shed their outer skin and emerge with a new covering. There is something healthy and essential about coming clean.

Most religions have cleansing rituals that involve water. The spiritual yearning for a pure heart leads to systematic practices of purging uncleanness.

There are psychological conditions where a broken person loses their instinct toward being clean. There are other conditions in which a person will obsessively scrub their hands until they bleed. Good mental health seems to find the balance in this self-care practice of hygiene.

When we come to the mission of Jesus, we find that God has come to clean us from the sickening dirt that stains us. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness.

Jesus’ country was a place where households drew water from wells and stored it in large containers. When Jesus turned the water into wine, the servants brought him the large containers of water used for washing.

Later we see Jesus refer to wine as being comparable to His blood. The cleansing that Jesus gives is better than the common ways we try to make ourselves clean or holy. When you are clean, you smell better.

It would seem that the presence of God’s Spirit in our life has an affect on how God will bring cleansing to others. Our forgiveness and lack thereof has a deep affect on others. Some will never come clean, because we have not been clean toward them.

How do you deal with the stinkers in your life? 



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

HOTEL DIEU


One of our Windsor hospitals was founded as ‘Hotel-Dieu’. Translated from French it is literally ‘House Of God’. 




The care of the sick has been a long-standing tradition of the Christian faith. The first hospitals were founded and run by the church.

While that is no longer the case, the churches have a therapeutic role in the lives of the sick.

Consider this early church instruction:


1 Thessalonians 5:14
14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.



Paul urges us to help each other, especially the weak and discouraged. We need to become very patient with everyone.

If the church is to be a hospital, we need to be a place that sick people are welcomed and expected. It is a place for healing and restoration, but also the place of comfort and understanding when you are dying.

In the House of God, there is always room. We are committed to getting you on your feet and helping you in your suffering.

You can find our staff policy written on the walls of the hospital. This is our protocol in the House of God.


Philippians 4:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.





Saturday, October 4, 2014

A STRANGER IN YOUR OWN WORLD

The consequences of not treating mental illness can amplify the fearful break from reality and lead to sad outcomes. Eric McCormack, the actor who starred as Will Truman in Will And Grace[i] noted that,

Most people, if you live in a big city, you see some form of schizophrenia every day, and it's always in the form of someone homeless. 'Look at that guy - he's crazy. He looks dangerous.' Well, he's on the streets because of mental illness. He probably had a job and a home.[ii]


When we pursue wellness, we are longing to be restored in our moods, thoughts and relationships. The effects of mental illness often drive people into isolation and uncertainty about their closest companions.

 ‘I don’t feel normal. Everyone is fine, but not myself. I have lost the ability to keep it together.’

Add guilt… add shame… add regret…

The lack of thought control can lead to acting out in ways that you are later ashamed of. You live in fear of repeating bad behaviours and guilty for inconveniencing others.

Image management is wearing you out. You recall the better days behind you and dread where this condition is taking you. Will it always be this way?

Jesus gives hope to the disciple who must face the alienation of inner turmoil. Even though, they were coming to the death of their faith, this would not be permanent. One day it will change. There will be a new normal after the resurrection.

We need to remind sufferers that it will not always be this way for them. There is help and they are not alone. Listen to Jesus’ comfort and be reminded that these words would be lost on them for a time. Their hope would die and they would be strangers to their own world.


John 16:
20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 


Those who are facing unbearable grief need others around them who still believe and pray for their healing. They need others who encourage them in getting to the doctor, finding wise counsel and empathizing with them in their sickness.