Fear is a Choice.

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fear kitty

“Fear is a choice, danger is real”. I’ve yet to see the movie but the words struck a note in my heart. That’s true I thought. Fear immobilizes, drains power, curdles our wits. It’s mostly the calm, rational ones that survive crisis situations. Fear is the enemy! Not the awareness of danger causing us to avoid hazardous situations, but raw, paralyzing, all invasive fear that robs us of power to deal with peril.

So can fear be a choice? Surely it is an emotion and we can’t control our reactions. It’s true initial emotions are beyond our control, but there’s a point at which we “open the floodgates” to let them pour in overwhelming the mind and heart. Fear can be fought.

We learn this when there is no one else to call on. A parent protecting a child will often go far beyond their normal courage.

I’ve had a life long phobia of spiders, but living alone now I’ve had to overcome it. (Smaller ones are encapsulated and relocated outside and big ones – well they should know better than to be in my apartment!) Every time I have to get a handle on my fear – it’s me or them! Of course my spider phobia is a small thing, there is no real danger involved, but the principal is the same for real danger too. You must slam the door on the fear invasion, so you can rationally choose the best course of action.

It takes practice (beginning with small things like spiders) but anyone can do it. It’s harder for those who have someone they can lean on to deal with it, as its so much easier (especially for us women) but though leaning is nice when available we also need to be able to handle a crisis when that someone is not around. Being able to do so may one day make the difference between life and death for us or our loved ones.

Three Circles of Healing.

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I have resisted writing about this, but I’ve come across so many posts and comments of folks suffering long term chronic pain or sickness or have lost loved ones through cancer or other diseases that I feel I must. If it helped just one person it would be worth it.
As in my “thoughts on China” I have no claim to be an expert (hence my reluctance) but the subject is close to my heart and I’ve had a great deal of personal experience in this realm which is not always common.
My mother was a hypochondriac where I was concerned. Suffering from major health problems herself she was constantly dosing me with something. My health was weak, but I could see medication wasn’t helping, and at the age of thirteen I refused to take more. Amazingly my health improved and slowly I became strong (and thankfully have remained so).
I do use western medicine upon occasion, but I since discovered some alternative means of dealing with sickness, generally requiring greater effort on my part. I now see it as three circles which can be used interactively to compliment each other.
First, the one most of us are familiar with, western medicine. This takes the least effort, the medical profession doing most of the work. We passively submit ourselves into their hands trusting in their skill, knowledge and integrity. This tends to be the fastest and easiest method but it is also the most limited. (Think the small inner circle).
The second is natural remedies (usually some mixture of nutrition, herbs and exercise). This means more work (and discipline) on our part. It treats the cause rather than the symptoms assisting the body’s natural processes to correct the problems. This generally takes longer. Some excellent Chinese doctors I’ve known have blended Chinese and western medicine to great effect, – the western relieving the immediate symptoms while the herbal medicines correct the long term problems. A lot more things can be cured this way than with western medicine.
For example, I have had seven friends with cancer, three took conventional treatments (radiation etc.) one recovered fully, one died and one has a few months to live. The four who took various nutrition cures all made a full long term recovery (I do have a lot of “alternative lifestyle” type friends, but see what I mean?) This second circle encompasses the first but is much more far reaching. If doctors have told you your condition is incurable you could try some of these dietary methods, but be warned it’s hard to sort truth from lie and there are sadly also many charlatans out to make money this way.
The third circle is enormous (in fact it takes in every sickness and disease on earth) but requires total commitment on our part. This is miraculous healing through prayer or the laying on of hands. I have partaken of this on several occasions both for myself and on behalf of others with unexplainable, miraculous results. For this you must have strong faith or a great desperation. Basically it is tapping into power from the spiritual realm and applying it to a physical condition. I know many don’t believe this to be possible but since I have had personal experiences of this nature I must add it here. Again there can be charlatans so beware. My own experiences have come about through a personal relationship with Jesus and deep immersion in His Word. I have heard of people of other faiths receiving miraculous healing, but have no personal experience of this so can only say “God is no respecter of persons”.
A good test for charlatans in either sphere is their attitude to money. What seems to be their focus?
Though I don’t agree with him in many aspects Curry Blake is a good illustration of someone who promotes healing through Christ with selfless motives (he doesn’t charge even for his seminars at which his goal is to teach other Christians to claim their healing heritage rather than to promote himself as a healer.)
I hope sharing these things might be a help to someone somewhere, my motive, rather than promoting my own view on this subject, is that I hate that anyone is suffering when there might be a chance for their healing.

Advanced Warfare.

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spiritual warfare

Reaching out with his mind he pinpointed the position of the enemy forces, images patterning his consciousness. They were strong but he was stronger! It must be an all out attack, no half measures. Captives lay shrinking in the darkness shackled by an unseen force of that gnawed at their minds, bombarding them with thoughts and images that warped their sanity. He must liberate them before it was too late.
Calling in reserves he launched an all out attack. Resolutely clutching his weapon tight in his fist he marshaled his army sending gleaming emissaries wheeling forth, light blasting from their outstretched arms. The air whistled with missiles and the clash of weapons as light wrestled darkness. It was over in a matter of minutes.
The heavy bombardment concluded his eyes raked the debris for the prisoners. There they lay quivering but whole, the shackles snapped and useless. The enemy’s legions lay scattered, cowering, shrinking away from the awesome power unleashed upon them. Reaching down he helped the furtive captives to their feet, his presence bringing hope and freedom to their shredded lives.
In sympathy the morning sun rose over the horizon bringing warmth and light to the scene of devastation. John put down his Bible, vigil over, he got ready for work.

I Live in a Bubble.

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bubble

I live in a bubble. It seems I’ve lived in it my whole life to greater or lesser extents, but as I get older it’s more noticeable.
I enjoy, a retirement pension that supplies all I need, UK law, police force, and NHS. I am free of war, want and oppression. Along with these I live in a small, old, English town still encompassing qualities England had when I was a child, (before its decline) kindness, good manners, honesty and quiet concern. There are three lakes, woodland, an allotment, half hour rail link to central London, shops, and a big supermarket within 5-10 mins. walk, all of which I can traverse safely even late at night.
My apartment is drenched in light from huge windows, rooms perfectly painted with nice furniture. There’s even a spare bedroom where friends and family can stay, and my neighbor just happens to be the estate’s local knight in shining armour (should I need one).
My kids are grown up and some live nearby, all kind, smart, honest souls of which I am intensely proud.
You see why I say I live in a bubble! I’ve often pictured myself sitting childlike in the hand of God His bent fingers shielding me even through my wildest adventures.
My only regret is that I know it’s not like this for many people, as my bubble drifts across the sky out of reach of the war and strife below my heart breaks for the afflicted. Even in times past when I still had strength to try in my small way to help, to intervene, my bubble always remained, unpoppable, shielding me. I wish everyone lived in bubbles.

The Waterfall

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rhine falls switzerland

It falls; it tumbles, to the ground, refreshing, splashing, mist
Enfolds you in its mighty arms embraces in each kiss
No arm constricts it in its flow as joyful tumble sounds
A rushing torrent still persists; its borders over bound.

So let our lives in humble grace o’er flow these earthly bounds
And so refresh all those beneath as they come tumbling down
And let each breath we freely breathe, be fresh upon the air,
The blessed truth He came to give for all around to share.

Life’s torrents ebb and flow to all and many a fall ensnare.
But do not fear the falls, but meet Him laughing through the air
And as you tumble far below you’ll find much space you’ll meet
Restrictions, walls, forever gone, you soon will find your feet.

And in the heady flow of life continue on your course
Through many a glade or sunlit field, you’ll find it good not worse
Till gushing on you one day sense the salt upon the air
Your journey o’er, you breathless rush, for He is waiting there.

(photo of the Rhine Falls in Switzerland)

Alone.

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miner

Darkness enshrouded him. Gasping for breath he looked around seeing little in the enshrouding dust of the cave in. The glimmering light on his helmet did little to reassure, catching glimpses of crushed bodies, rock, smashed timbers, and pervading dust.
Heart pounding, he tentatively flexed each limb. Pain throbbed through one leg where a soft oozing spoke of blood, his arms ached but not past moving. He stumbled to his feet seeking a path out, his head spinning as the tiny circle of light focused again and again, scanning the rock where the tunnel had been. He was walled in!
“Don’t panic man! Don’t panic!” he told himself as his pulse raced, and mind swirled.
“There’ll be a rescue party. They’ll dig us out…” Grimly he checked the bodies, some mere hands protruding oddly from the debris, some half buried in reddened rock. He alone was spared, his “five minute break to rest his back” had distanced him from the main impact. But spared for what? To sit alone in the darkness, a mountain of rock above and below, the only company the mangled bodies of his companions?
“They will come for me! They will dig us out.” He told himself…
Hours passed. Exhaustion, shock and the slow seepage of blood drew him into unquiet slumber. He awoke to total darkness, the battery had run out.
Panic seized him. Desperately he sought in his pocket. He kept matches for the fags they’d share after work. At last he found them. Shaking hands struck wildly against the box – nothing.
“Calm down man, take it slow,” he told himself. Slow and deliberate he drew another match across. A thought hit him. Suppose it was gas? He didn’t care; at least it would be fast, better than this, alone in the darkness. A tiny light bloomed, blossomed a few moments in welcoming warmth then died, like his hopes. They weren’t coming. They wouldn’t make it in time… Between matches he sat in the darkness trying to picture the frantic digging going on in the world above him. He’d seen it once before when he was a boy. They hadn’t got there in time then and they wouldn’t now.
Match after match glowed and died, lit when he could stand it no more as hours passed and the air he shared with the tiny flames grew harder to find. The last match gone he reclined against the rocks his breathing shallow and stilted till each breath a labor.
Then it came, a tiny glimmer that grew; a voice deep and familiar. Paddy! Paddy had gotten through some how… He reached out a trembling hand to his rescuer.
“Come on man, you’re OK now. Come with me,” the gruff voice echoed in the cavern. Strong arms propelled him to his feet.
“We couldn’t leave you behind mate.”
“But I thought you were on shift with us today Paddy?”
“So I was mate, so I was.” There was a grim smile to the face.
“The others went on ahead, but I waited for you. I couldn’t let you face this alone. Come on man we’re going home.”

thoughts

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ripples

Thoughts, like ripples passing through the water, catching at the strands of the “web”, echoing through its canyons, bouncing from one source to another as the circles grow bigger encompassing more minds, more blogs, more pages, more twitters.
Careening through iron and bamboo curtains, navigating the globe in seconds, they expand or sink into oblivion, drops, though sinking beneath the surface, adding their tiny substance to the rising water levels.
Like notes of far off songs they collide with each other, battles fought on clinking keys and I pads. Thoughts are powerful and dangerous things.

Beauty and pain.

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new camera pics 062

Strangely related these two… I’m not talking about the fleeting “beauty” that flashes across the glossy covers of fashion magazines. I mean the deeper kind that’s not reliant on youth, face lifts or beauty products, the sort that beams out through any age, even through the most homely of faces, and transforms by its radiance. It can be found in the deep tenor of a sympathetic voice, a hug or squeeze that imparts comfort. It is often worn by those souls we feel most comfy and safe with.
From where does this deeper beauty come? It comes not from sunny days, an easy, indulgent, life. No, I’ve most often seen it follow in footsteps of pain, of remorse, of deep sorrow. It’s as if the light of inner beauty must dig deep within to find that place from which it shines out.

A Strange Physician.

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oak tree

Leaves rustled in the early morning breeze, the trees seemed to quiver at her approach as if in sympathy. She had to go, come to her special place, the place she felt the comfort of eons.
Sitting beneath the old oak that had sheltered her as a child she let go, face in hands, sobs rending the silent stillness. When she could no longer hold on to her smile, when she felt the pressure build to an unbearable pitch she came here.
John was slowly wasting away and there was nothing they could do to stop it. His giant frame that had once carried her across the threshold was now worn and shriveled like a deceased nut in its skeletal shell, skin stretched over bone in lurid relief, a travesty of her man.

She had to smile for him, had to go on loving till her heart tore in tiny pieces, treasuring each snatched moment, yet unable to bare them.
They’d sent him home to die in peace, to DIE! How could she bare it? They’d walked this path together many a time, as children they had played together in these branches. Now soon all that was loved and familiar would be gone, only the tree would remain with its echoes of the past.
The Mayans say trees give strength, the ancient ones yet embraced by many for their healing properties. She didn’t believe such things. Yet sitting there, sheltered by her old companion, she felt a presence. A feeling of peace enveloped her as if the ancient oak knew something she did not. It had a strange sense of eternity that seeped into her. It knew of the seasons, the death of winter the joy of spring when the sap surged forth again bringing life to sleeping branches.
Somewhere in her heart she knew. This was not the end. There would come a time once more, though far off, when those strong arms would hold her again and love would kindle anew. Revived, re strengthened she took the path home a sad smile playing on her lips.