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Truthfulness, Cancer, and e-mail/internet

You may have received a letter on new cancer research from Johns Hopkins University stating that chemotherapy has no effect on cancer.  It has passed on by lots of people, without checking the facts.  Johns Hopkins site says it is false:  http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/kimmel_cancer_center/news_events/featured/cancer_update_email_it_is_a_hoax.html 
This is one of many e-mails that are passed on - others include collecting pull tabs for cancer victims, Obama's birth certificate is not real, etc., etc.  In Exodus 20:16 we read:  “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor."  While this is technically not about testifying about our neighbor, we need to be careful on what we pass on.  Just as Jesus expanded the "Thou shalt not murder" to hate is equal to murder (see Matthew 5:21-22), so too we must expand the bearing false witness to telling the truth. 
So before you hit send to everyone in your contact list, please check your sources.  Is it really from a good friend or is that person just passing on junk? 
      The challenge I have for you, o Christian, is to tell the truth.

Vision and Christ

Today I want to talk about vision and Christ.  Not about my wife being able to see, but about how others see us.  My daughter recently sent me this blog:  http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2012/06/13/the-one-indispensable-rule-for-using-social-media/  Rev. Kevin DeYoung writes "Assume that everyone, everywhere will read what you write and see what you post."
  "You represent Christ in a real way even if it is in the virtual world."  So the challenge is this:  When others read your blog, will they be led to Christ or will they will be turned away?  The internet is very useful to spread the Gospel.  Many non-Christians will stumble upon these websites.  I have had persons from around the world read this blog.  Some have been from Eastern Europe, Lithuania, and even some from the Middle East.  How they found the blog I don't know, but others read this blog.  So we must always watch what we say.  When I was a kid I used to sing this song:

     O be careful little eyes what you see
     O be careful little eyes what you see
     There's a Father up above
     And He's looking down in love
     So, be careful little eyes what you see

So we must be careful what post.  Unfortunately, some blogs, and especially Facebook pages, did not honor God or speak respectively of others.  I have seen sites run by Christians that were full of blasphemy or images and words that would not be appropriate on any website, let alone on a Christian website.  If I posted these at work, I would get fired.
    So let us be careful little eyes and hands.  We must lead others to Christ, not chase them away.

Detached Retina, Blindness, and God

   My wife Kathy had a detached retina and this past Monday she had a bubble injected into her eye.  This past week she has had to lie on her right side to be healed.  She has one more week of lying on her right side.  Her head has to be level with the ground.  The healing is slowing occurring.  She no longer has lost all her vision - when it first happened she could not even read the big E on the wall. 
    Then I read in the Bible of the healing that Jesus Christ did.  Three things struck me:
1.  The number of times blind men were healed:
    a. Matthew 9:27 - two blind men
    b. Matthew 11:5 - proof to John the Baptist that He was the Christ:   "the blind (plural) are healed" (Luke 7:22)
    c. Matthew 12;22 - a blind man who was also demon possessed
    d. Matthew 15:31 - healing of the blind (plural) in front of four thousand men plus women and children
    e.  Matthew 20:34 - two blind men at Jericho (also recorded in Mark 10:52 & Luke 18:43)
    f.   Matthew 21:14 - blind (plural) healed at the temple.
    g.  Mark 8:24 - blind man at Bethsaida
    h.  Luke 4:18 - Jesus proclaims that healing the blind is one of His purposes.
    i.   John 9:7 - man blind from birth
    j.   John 11:37 - Criticism of Jesus who had healed the blind
2.  The complete healing of men completely blind.  "Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly."  (Mark 8:25)  In John 9:7 Jesus heals a man blind from birth.  Jesus Christ completely healed them.  He did not give them 20/300 vision.  No, they saw everything clearly.
3.  The instantaneous nature of healing.  For example, in Matthew 20:34 we read: "Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him."  They did not have to lie on their right side for two weeks.  It was instantaneous.
What a great God we serve.  Let us praise Him for giving us sight.

Joy of Family

    This past several days have been a joyful family time.  This past Thursday my mother and a niece drove down from NJ to see my third son, Thomas, graduate on Friday night.  On Friday morning my second daughter, Rachel, her husband Jeremy, and their son Jude arrived.  On Saturday my mother and niece left, but on Sunday, my son Philip returned from five months in South Africa.  Then my daughter's family left, but a nephew and his bride arrive on Monday for three days. So it has been a fun time here and will continue to be so with more family arriving.
     Many Christian sing the song "The Family of God":
         I'm so glad I'm a part of the Family of God,
         I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood!
         Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
         For I'm part of the family, the Family of God.
      Now if  you search for the exact expression "the Family of God" you will not find it in the Bible.  Does that mean the expression is contrary to the Bible?  No as there are many texts to support this comment.  Jesus taught us to pray by saying "Our Father who art in heaven."  So if we are praying to the Father, then we become His Sons.  The writer of the song says "Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,"  We are joint heirs with Jesus Christ!  How is that possible?  I do not understand how we can be joint heirs with Christ.  The write to the Hebrews writes in his second chapter, verses 10-11: 
"In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the Author [that is Jesus Christ] of their salvation perfect through suffering.  Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers." 
    So Jesus is willing to call us His brothers.  Wow.  While we have had a good family reunion here, this pales in comparison to having Jesus Christ, God the Son, as our brother and God the Father as our father.  This is one verse I resisted for a long time because it was beyond my comprehension.  But after 20 years of fighting it, I have changed my mind, and it is one of the best verses.  We are heirs with Christ.  Praise the Lord!
   So our challenge is to live like heirs!