The Journal of Theological Studies, Oxford University Press

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theological-studies

http://jts.oxfordjournals.org/

The Journal of Theological Studies, established in 1899, is published by Oxford University Press in April and October each year. It publishes theological research, scholarship, and interpretation, and ancient and modern texts, inscriptions, and documents.

EDITORS

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DR. GRAHAM GOULD

who oversees the articles and book reviews in non-biblical fields of study (including patristics, church history, and systematic theology).

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Dr. Katharine Dell

(Director of Studies in Theology and Religious Studies, Reader in Old Testament Literature and Theology, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge and Fellow of St Catharine’s College).

I. B. TAURIS

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I.B. Tauris, founded in 1983, is an independent publishing house with offices in London and New York. Its declared strategy was to publish accessible works on international politics and culture. The company first specialised on publishing on the Middle East and now specialises in non-fiction books on art, history, politics and International Relations, the Middle East and Islamic world, religion, geography and environment, and visual culture (film, photography and contemporary art).

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.B._Tauris

GEORGE VI by Dr. Denis Judd

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Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
ISBN: 9781780760711
Publication Date: 28 Feb 2012

George VI was not born to be king but he became King with his unexpected accession to the British throne in 1936. He was the prince who bore the brunt of weighty responsibilities when he bravely stepped into the breach to save the monarchy and restore the nation’s confidence during the most unexpected and unprecedented changes following the abdication of his elder brother, King Edward VIII.

King George VI occupied a most extraordinary position in the history of his country. He maintained public morale during World War II and the Blitz. His calm, dignified personality was a shining beacon of hope, comfort and reassurance to the nation. He was earnest, frank and reliable, a greatly loved and much admired monarch. His life was the triumph of selfless honesty, exemplary goodness, fervent understanding and compassionate goodwill. Kindhearted and benevolent at all times, he was good, honest and kind in the face of despair, triumphing over extremely overwhelming odds.

A great-grandson of Queen Victoria and King-Emperor of the Commonwealth and Empire, King George VI set staggeringly high standards for himself to emulate in his private and public life. Not surprisingly, his daughter, Queen Elizabeth II took after her father in this respect, having admired and respected him greatly. She is her father’s daughter after all and a chip off the old block. His selfless, deeply committed spirit was reflected in her personality when at the tender age of 21, on a worldwide radio broadcast, she announced, “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great Imperial Commonwealth to which we all belong”. The Empire is gone but the Commonwealth is still here and Queen Elizabeth II, as Head of the Commonwealth, did her utmost to preserve and keep the best traditions alive.

One of King George VI’s admirable qualities was his extraordinary power to adapt to his changing circumstances and to do his utmost to the very best of his abilities. He was not a great scholar but he was a quick learner. This proved to be one of his best and most admired traits. He knew to the hilt the peculiar limitations of his role and sphere of influence as a constitutional monarch.

Though born into great wealth and brought up in palaces, King George VI projected an entirely genuine image. There was no artificiality in him. He was a genuine person at heart. He never tried to flaunt his intelligence or parade his intellectual brilliance to an astounded world.

Denis Judd presents Prince Albert’s successful transformation into King George VI in this highly acclaimed biography of the father of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, the world’s oldest reigning monarch and the longest-reigning monarch in British history.

Miriam Jacob

QUEEN VICTORIA: A Life – by Lytton Strachey

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QUEEN VICTORIA: A Life
by Lytton Strachey

Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
ISBN: 9781780760483
Publication Date: 30 Mar 2012

In this highly acclaimed, classic biography of Queen Victoria who, with her irresistible sincerity defined an entire era and etched her name into history by the power and strength of her personality, Lytton Strachey created a humane portrait of the iconic monarch whose unaffected simplicity, youthful vitality and deep conscientiousness won the hearts of her people.

Queen Victoria caught the vivid imagination of the admiring public, for the dazzling symbol of England’s amazing might rested upon her youthful head. As the Queen of England, the wheels of monarchy revolved around her in all its pomp and glory. She was an extraordinary character whose strong personality was clearly visible through the swirling mists encircling royalty.

Queen Victoria’s life shone in the spotlight of conscientious duty. She spent her time fulfilling her numerous public responsibilities and attending to family cares. Personal portraits of the Queen, Prince Albert and their nine children present her as a loving mother enjoying precious family time. The queen recalled fondly the evenings when she and Prince Albert dined alone and looked at their photographs together. “It was such an amusement,” she wrote in her journal. “Such an interest.” Her truthfulness and sincerity were applauded. There was a striking transparency in her truthfulness – not the slightest exaggeration of facts. Her letters were a spontaneous burst of expression. Her style was exactly suited to her thoughts and feelings. Her language had a very personal flavour.

Through her writings, Queen Victoria touched the heart of the public who instinctively sensed her irresistible sincerity. It was an endearing trait and people responded warmly to her. As she aged gracefully through two-thirds of the nineteenth century, Queen Victoria became a symbol of Time. Firm and tactful, dignified and gracious, she was a model Sovereign. One of her ardent admirers described her as “the pattern and paragon of womanhood.”

Queen Victoria was a woman with a heart, sharing selflessly in the sorrows of her people and in their personal bereavements and sufferings. Her tears of sympathy were mingled with her nation’s tears. She was quite undoubtedly the “people’s Queen.” In an age of democracy, Queen Victoria was one of the most democratic rulers of her day.

On 20th June, 1837, Queen Victoria acceded to the throne and died on 22nd January, 1901 after an illustrious reign of sixty-three years, seven months and two days, setting the first record for the longest reign in the history of the British throne, until Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain became the world’s oldest reigning monarch and the longest-reigning monarch in British history. 

In the most remarkable of all British reigns, at the end of the nineteenth century and the dawn of the twentieth century, Queen Victoria’s long and illustrious life finally came to an end. She made the “Victorian Age ” the most splendid era in the history of Britain.

Miriam Jacob

 

TWENTIETH CENTURY THEOLOGIANS by Philip Kennedy

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TWENTIETH-CENTURY THEOLOGIANS – A NEW INTRODUCTION TO MODERN CHRISTIAN THOUGHT

by Philip Kennedy

Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
ISBN: 9781845119560
Publication Date: 30 Jan 2010

“Twentieth Century Theologians” has the outstanding and rare distinction of being described by Graham Ward as “a tremendous achievement – colossal in stature, subtle in intellectual grasp and enviable in its scope.”

Philip Kennedy writes impressively with the undisputed authority, crystal-clear clarity and elegant exposition of an experienced Christian theologian as he brilliantly illuminates the exponents of modern theology in the historical context of their turbulent times. With great sensitivity, admirable lucidity and remarkable precision, he draws on the most influential thinkers to give an introduction to several Christian theologians from a kaleidoscope of backgrounds. He presents their ideological lives, the unique setting in which their thoughts originated, while skillfully presenting their theologies against the backdrop of the twentieth century, a time of rags and riches, of great technological advances and horrific violence. Philip Kennedy believes that true theology will always challenge injustice and try to change the world into a better place.

“Twentieth Century Theologians” gives a fresh new insight into modern Christian thought. It provides a clear-sighted  assessment of the central ideas of modern theologians in a biographical style. It depicts how the unique lives of the theologians profoundly shaped their theologies. It is an invaluable, progressive and all-inclusive resource as it examines a wide variety of theologians of different genders and backgrounds. Philip Kennedy’s deep, insightful thoughts, his penetrating and perceptive analysis of different theologians and diverse theologies as well as his comprehensive, in-depth studies of a panoramic range of historical contexts are extremely praiseworthy.

In a world delicately and precariously balanced between massive upheavals and scientific innovations, with even more obstacles to faith than in any other previous era and growing scepticism about religion in today’s materialistic world, there is an urgent need to reassess modern theologians sensitively to make a lasting impact on culture and society. “Twentieth Century Theologians” presents a golden opportunity “to study the great minds that gave birth to the most profound and far-reaching thinking of our times.”

Miriam Jacob

IN MY BOOK REVIEWS, THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE REVIEWS IS THAT OF THE AUTHORS.

CREDIT IS GIVEN TO THE AUTHORS OF THE BOOKS FOR FACTS STATED IN THE REVIEWS.

AS I WRITE REVIEWS TO PROMOTE THE AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS, I HAVE THEIR BEST INTERESTS AT HEART.

THAT IS WHY MY REVIEWS PORTRAY THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE AUTHORS.

IT IS THE BEST WAY IN WHICH I CAN PRESENT THE UNIQUE STYLE OF EACH AUTHOR TO PROMOTE THEIR BOOKS.

RADICAL CHRISTIANITY IN PALESTINE AND ISRAEL – LIBERATION AND THEOLOGY IN THE MIDDLE EAST by Samuel J. Kuruvilla

Radical Christianity in Palestine and Israel

RADICAL CHRISTIANITY IN PALESTINE AND ISRAEL – LIBERATION AND THEOLOGY IN THE HOLY LAND by Dr. Samuel J. Kuruvilla

Bibliographic Info
Imprint: Tauris Academic Studies
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
Series: Library of Modern Religion
ISBN: 9781848855519
Publication Date: 30 Sep 2012

Publishers Description of the Book

Christianity arose from the lands of biblical Palestine and, regardless of its twentieth century associations with the Arab-Israeli conflict, to Christians around the world it remains first and foremost the birthplace of Christianity.

GOD LOVES BROKEN PEOPLE by Shiela Walsh

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God loves us, broken people, who open up our battered hearts to allow God to heal our personal sorrows and heartaches. When our carefully created glass houses crash down, we slowly start to carve a brand new world beyond the safe haven of those demolished walls.

We are broken lambs, who limp after our Shepherd. We do not know where He goes but we want to go with Him. Our personal brokenness opens up the way to the heart of God. We broken people know that God loves us, a heart knowledge that we dare to believe, and through such blind trust, a whole new awareness emerges from the shattered ruins of yesterday’s broken pieces.

The Shepherd loves us. We have no hope and no meaning in life apart from Him. We are not alone, we have never been alone, and we will never be alone. Our divine Shepherd is with us. He has always been there except that we will never know it unless and until we welcome Him into our hearts.

The dark little fingerprints in our lives leave not-so-easily-brushed-away smudges that only the Savior can wipe away clean from our slates. Let us bring the scarred, broken pieces of our lives to God and allow Him to do for us what only He can do. He can stitch together the torn fragments of our shattered lives into the most beautiful tapestry.

God loves us with a selfless, undying passion. He has committed Himself and His supernatural, omnipotent power to getting us safely home to heaven to be with Him forever. To God be all the glory.

© Miriam Jacob

FTC Regulations Compliance & Disclosure of Material Connection:

THOMAS NELSON has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book, through BOOKSNEEZE Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

HOW HUGE THE NIGHT – by Heather and Lydia Munn

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HOW HUGE THE NIGHT

by Heather and Lydia Munn

Kregel Publications

ISBN: 9780825433108

Publication date: 3-9-2011

Growing up as a youth in war-torn, Nazi-occupied France, Julien Losier finds his very identity threatened by the horrifying and devastating effects of war. At the young age of fifteen, this can be extremely daunting for a teenager and can inflict huge psychological damage.

In “How Huge the Night,” Heather and Lydia Munn portray the unseen and unsung heroes of World War 2, as they grapple with hunger, racism and war, in a world not of their own making, struggling to come to terms with heart-searching questions about the goodness of God in the midst of conflicting ethnic tensions in communities torn apart by war.

The devastating horrors of war, the selfless heroism of adolescents triumphing in the face of overwhelming adversity and the significant choices they made are vividly portrayed as the authors deftly weave together the lives of ordinary people who promptly chose to focus their immediate attention on those in dire danger and protect them safely from harm. This historical novel, a most inspiring and compelling coming-of-age drama, will inspire people to reflect thoughtfully on the choices they make each day and the cost they have to pay to make those choices.

Miriam Jacob

FTC Regulations Compliance & Disclosure of Material Connection:

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, as part of every web or retail site review, the author or publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

BRANDED: Sharing Jesus with a Consumer Culture – Tim Sinclair – Kregel Publications

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Kregel Publications,

ISBN: 9780825438943

Published: June 2011

How do we share Jesus with a consumer culture? In “Branded: Sharing Jesus with a Consumer Culture,” Tim Sinclair boldly declares that sharing Jesus has absolutely nothing to do with mass-marketing and everything to do with being personally branded by Christ, permanently marked by our Savior. BRANDED is a clarion call to turn the Christian hourglass over, to make drastic changes in order to see new progress. It is all about branding Jesus and becoming branded by Him ourselves.

Tim Sinclair specifies that when it comes to sharing Jesus with the world around us, it is crucial that we acknowledge our own unique talents and abilities and use them effectively to reach out to people within our own circle and sphere of influence. As Tim states so clearly, there is no “one-size-fits-all” methodology. How do people see you? When they look at you, what do they see? Do they see love? When love is authentically lived out in a person’s life, it stands out brightly in today’s world. Do they see you as a lover of Jesus who cannot help but share Him? Do you speak about your love for Christ to the world?

As a Christian, you inadvertently advertise Jesus wherever you go. Tell your story with your own particular flair and style, boldly, confidently, as open and honestly as you can. Show the world how Jesus can make a striking and significant difference in your daily life. The story of your walk with Christ is your most powerful tool. Be a bright and shining example of the extraordinary power of Christ to transform a person’s life and make it totally new! Make those around you want to believe! Your own life is your greatest testimony! Remember the words of St. Francis of Assisi: “Preach the gospel at all times – if necessary use words.”

Tim Sinclair, a top-flight communicator in today’s hi-tech, consumer-oriented world, exhorts Christians to promptly sign on for a world-class marketing campaign for the Savior and to share their faith honestly in authentic ways for God’s glory.

Miriam Jacob

FTC Regulations Compliance & Disclosure of Material Connection:

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, as part of every web or retail site review, the author or publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

JONI & KEN: AN UNTOLD LOVE STORY by Ken & Joni Eareckson Tada

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Zondervan Publishers

ISBN-13: 9780310314691

Published: Apr 2, 2013

In their autobiography “JONI AND KEN: AN UNTOLD LOVE STORY”, Ken and Joni Eareckson Tada live out their beautiful lives for the whole world to see. Here is faith in action, a rare and treasured glimpse into the courageous lives of two faith-filled people who are faithful to God and to each other. Joni has traveled an amazing journey of faith across the tough terrain of life. Her remarkable resilience has birthed hope in millions of people worldwide. Theirs is a faith that weathers the worst of storms and endures the harshest of realities, a sort of sacrificial and unconditional love that only God can give in full measure. They have faced unique challenges, in which the normal stresses and strains of marriage were further complicated by the hurdles of quadriplegia, in a life lived for the most part, in the glaring spotlight of public gaze.

In this book, Joni and Ken have laid their lives open for others to read in the most vulnerable way. Their hard-won fidelity inspires people worldwide to conquer the obstacles of life, as they have so courageously done, for the glory of God. They are a truly selfless couple who bravely show the whole world that Jesus Christ is the answer to all life’s problems. They reveal what commitment really means, as they overcome their own personal challenges through steadfast commitment and continual surrender. Their amazing story also includes the greatest story ever told – how the Lord Jesus Christ conquered the horrors of the cross in the face of the deepest trials ever known to man. They bear a strong witness to the deep, inner strength that comes to us when we surrender our hearts and lives to the One who cares for us wholeheartedly. Theirs is a real marriage, with true, time-tested love and selfless commitment, between two very real people. They overcome their own personal struggles through a deep and steadfast commitment to each other and a full and complete surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Here is a beautiful love story for the ages and a very personal glimpse into a thirty year marriage, characterized by unimaginable challenges, as God prunes, purifies and transforms their lives by permitting trials for His glory. As we watch their trials turn into successes by the power of Christ, we get the grace to believe that our own sufferings only serve to draw us closer to Christ, shape us into His glorious likeness and make us faithful and fit for eternity. They have an unfailing love for the Lord and His work and for each other. They are loved worldwide for their groundbreaking ministry “Wheels for the World” which provides a free wheelchair and the Gospel of Jesus Christ to children and adults affected by disability. Theirs is an honest story of commitment, surrender and selfless love.

Here are two lives beautifully lived, and two hearts beating as one, for the glory of God. This profoundly powerful and eternal love story leaves an indelible impression upon our hearts. It reflects the highs and lows of Christian marriage with its struggles and triumphs, while portraying the unique challenges of a life of quadriplegia, with the price of fame and excessive ministry demands. What makes Ken’s and Joni’s marriage succeed are the rare jewels of love, tenderness, unselfishness and endless patience , powered with the presence and blessing of the precious Holy Spirit. This is a poignant and profound love story of hope and encouragement, inspired by God and reflecting His heart for marriage. Through the most intense adversity, their tender love and commitment to Christ and to each other is so inspiring and elevating, as they love, honor and cherish God as the very source and sustenance of their lives.

What a heart-warming love story that cries out to be told! It is both honest and unique, utterly penetrating and riveting, while being open and transparent, all at the same time. A God-given marriage portrays our Savior’s love for His bride, the Church. Joni and Ken embarked on their life’s journey in a marriage laced with love and hope amidst bitter hurts and hardships. In a gripping, challenging and hope-giving narrative, they open up the best and worst in their lives to portray the undeniable fact that God can use even the very worst trials in our lives for our own good and His glory.

Ken and Joni Eareckson Tada live out their faith on the world’s stage, in full view of the glaring spotlight, where every flaw is highlighted and nothing is secret. Here is a precious glimpse into the lives of two people who love Christ and each other. Theirs is a faith that triumphs over the worst odds. They inspire people to conquer the obstacles of life for the glory of God and the love of Christ. A truly selfless couple who firmly believe that Jesus is the answer to all life’s problems, Ken and Joni overcome their own personal challenges through complete surrender to Christ. They inspire us to surrender our hearts to the One who loves us wholeheartedly. Here is a unique love story for the ages as we watch their trials draw them closer to Christ and shape them into His glorious likeness for eternity. Their groundbreaking ministry “Wheels for the World” provides a free wheelchair and the Gospel of Jesus Christ to children and adults affected by disability. Here are two lives joyfully lived, two hearts beating as one, for the glory of God. This poignant, powerful love story will reverberate through the centuries as Joni and Ken display the rare jewels of love, tenderness, unselfishness and patience, anointed by the Holy Spirit. This is a story of hope reflecting His heart. Through intense adversity, their love for Christ shines through as their marriage strives to portray Christ’s love for His bride, the Church.

Miriam Jacob

I received this e-book free from THOMAS NELSON PUBLISHERS through their book review bloggers program.

FTC Regulations Compliance & Disclosure of Material Connection:

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, as part of every web or retail site review, the author has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Dr. Alex Mathew – Profile

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Qualifications:
  • Th. D, 2008 – Thesis on Abiding principles of Christian Counseling (Jerusalem University,Chennai Campus)
  • Ph. D 1984 Christian Counseling and Hindu Philosophy; a critical look into areas of compatibility.(South Western University, Arizona, USA)
  • Dip Christian Counseling & Hospital Administration, 1971 (CCT, Dodoma)
  • M. Sc 1957 -59 (Saugar University, M. P, India.)
  • B. Sc, 1953 – 55 (Mysore University, Mysore, India)
Experience:
  • Nearly forty years in Christian counseling in Asia, Africa and America.
  • 10 years of full-time teaching Botany and Plant Pathology in India.
  • 16 years of teaching Biology and doing counseling in Dodoma Africa.
  • Research in Hydro-geo-botanical investigation in Arid zones of Central Tanzania.
  • Senior Visiting Faculty of ALM-International, Colorado, USA, leading Retreats and Seminars for 30 years
  • Directorship in Educational and Charitable organizations.
  • Education Officer, Ministry of Education, Tanzania, teaching Biology and doing Student counseling, 1969 – 1985
  • Did Hydro-geo-botanical studies of the arid zones of Tanzania under the auspices of the World Bank, UNDP and the Department of Water Authority, Government of Tanzania, from 1977 to 81.
  • Group Therapist, Dodoma, Tanzania. Volunteer in honorary capacity from 1976 to 1984, under famous Australian Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. Hanna Wells.
  • Learned counseling under the mentorship of the famous Swiss Christian Counselors Dr. Hans Staub and Margarith Staub from 1971 onwards.
  • Lecturer and subsequently HOD, Dept of Botany 1959-69, M.P., (Vikram University)

MY PRICKING THOUGHTS – by Dr. Alex Mathew

Shared with my brother, student, friend, disciple, teacher and mentor, Mike.
• “What have you gone out for?”; Mike asked me.
• “To see the mountain”, I said casually
“I have gone out looking for the wild flowers”!
• ‘Yes, to really see, to see what is before you to be seen!
To see what you ordinarily do not see often where you come from.
Ordinarily that is;
See what I mean?
“Did you see what needs to be seen?”
“Haven’t felt the need for looking specifically for what is not

visibly seen, you see!
Any way what is there to see more than what is seen?”
• “The pain of the people in brokenness”
“Yes, I do some, some I do not see.
Do I need to see all pains, there is enough to see, you want to see more?”
• “I tell you what;, you need to look
Before you are able to see
All that is there to be seen”
“Really?
? Haven’t finished looking at my own pain!
You expect me to see more of what is not mine?”
• “Look, simply look and sense how others pain.
You can’t take it all in at one go.
The pain of the people in brokenness!
The fears of failure and angry mess
The drive for gratifications
The shame of worthlessness
I ask myself and ask you now,
“You need to see the needs of those around you!
Do other people and their pains matter to you?
Are you so short sighted that you focus on things closer to you?
Do you see beyond the tip of your nose?”

“Then I have to look beyond my pain!” I was defensive, I reckon.
• “Precisely! Look beyond your pain.
Your looking and seeing is centripetally within.
Step out and take a look at yourself within!
Then ask yourself, ‘what do I see’? ”

“Let me be honest, for a change.
I think more of my needs more than anything else.
Isn’t it the normal human bend of seeing sense?
Should other people and their pains matter to me more?
Agreed, I am so short sighted and I focus on things only closer to me !”

• “Do you see beyond the tip of your nose?

• “Did you say something?
Do I see beyond the tip of my nose?
To be honest for a change,
I tell you this
My focus is closer to myself.
What and who are closer to me.
My vision does not wander beyond my myopia.
“That does make everything else out of focus.
There is enough to worry about me and mine.-
I know that makes me blind
To what are not me and not mine!
At times I wonder”.
“When I focus on the tip of my own big nose
I even do not see my own nose fully.
Self indulgence has killed my once functional senses.
I am as good as dead looking at my nose alone.
Come and join the legions, dead pivoted on their noses.
I head the team seeking their own fulcrum
And staying put rotting on their butts.
Let me tell you what I see!
I see very clearly my own needs.
And crave for more, never caring anything else.”

“My needs are urgent and pressing as always
I need to zero in on it, if you please.
Do the needs of others matter to me?
As I said, I am focused on my needs.
My vexing is over my own loads
What and who are closer to me more than my brother?
I myself am not in focus and I cannot see even my nose fully.
You say self-indulgence kills my senses and sensitivity.
I am as good as dead looking at my nose alone.
None else bother to see my needs
Much less provide.
Honestly, I hardy see even those closer to me.
Except those who I can turn around to use.
Ironic, but often I get used, you see?
Even so I am at the game
To fix others before I get fixed.
It is a game to the bitter end
Using, fooling, flattering all around.
As usual getting fooled in the end.
However, even when I am full,
I look out and see not beyond my belly.

Is your focus on your nose or tummy?

“Perhaps some other parts of my anatomy too.
That would make all else out of focus.
I worry about me and mine.
You worry about you and yours.
What else would we do lost in desires?

“Yes, more or less it does work that way for you and me!
That would make us blind to all that is not ours.
They say it is not a great discovery
Coming to think of that, yes it is not!
It is true; we do not see anything we do not want to see.
We have faint ideas about things around.
Yet the longest focus is not beyond our tummies”.

“Self-indulgence killed my senses and sensitivity.
Now I am practically blind to what needs to be seen.
I am as good as dead when I do not see what needs to be seen.
And you know dead things begin to rot.
What fills my nose is the stink of my own cadaver.

“You become alive when you are with the living,
taking in the life that is on offering.
Beginning to see beyond death into life
To see what throbs around you and give you life
To really see,
To see what needs to be seen.
The needs of others.”

Incidentally….,
That is what you and I need to see,
not filling myself with myself or yourself
There is a whole world out there to see!
Do not join the legion of dead pivoted on their noses.
Being their own fulcrum and staying put rotting on their butts.
Start looking beyond you”.

“I would like to try brother”.

“DO, by all means, do that, then you begin to see; Beyond you”

“Sounds bizarre but that can happen.
Then something hides the light within me.
Not letting me see!
Light inside me gets shrouded black
I strangle the light
I kill the light
With the killed light I turn a black hole
A human black hole
The sad part is, I; the black hole
Is not easily visible
But am very much here
The evidence is the Absence of light
From me and you
Do you see me?”

• “Where are you?
Be lighted!
LIGHTED NOT TO DARKEN”

Why mine only?
“Why only my child is afflicted,
Why mine only so distorted
Why only our family is targeted?
Why ours only?”

Common cry with the afflicted
Why is God selective?
Why is He so cruel?
Why to us?
Why afflict my child at all?

More generalized questions follow.
Requesting, expecting some answers
After all, why ME is the larger question
With anyone who feels wronged
For no fault of their own.
Does God who is man’s strength and shield
Let tragedy strike the hapless man?

A handicap may be genetic
Or some accident so tragic
So unnecessary, yet so commonplace
That calls for specific explanations.
This never comes up as always.
What went wrong; you may explain.
How the whole thing came about
No one in particular worked for it.
All the same there is this suffering
But who would take the blame?
Ask that ‘why’ again
Why does this bulb above you glow?”
Of course the switch is on
.‘Why does the power flow when switch is ‘on’?
May I ask?
Because there is power in the line.
Why is power in the live wire?
Because it is connected to the power plant
Why does the ‘power’ flow from the plant?
Because power is generated in the turbine
Why does the turbine produce electric power?
Because I think the turbine turns the coil
In the magnetic field.
So why does a turning coil produce power?
It is in fact some electron shift I believe.
Why electron shifts generate electricity?
Certainly because of the displacement
Of the charge in the electron shift.

Why does it happen so?
You ask why electron shift generate electric charge.
That is a stupid question Mike!
It is like that!

Yes it is so, and that is the apt answer for all the ‘whys’!
You can try explaining some.
But finally, it is like that, it is so.
Why genetic aberrations?
They are not meant to be curse for specific individuals.
In the order of life there are
Innumerable gene permutations-combinations.
All combinations are not necessarily viable,
Not necessarily beneficial.
Not all viable ones are necessarily ‘normal’
According to our taste and desire,
Not fitted to ‘normal’ functioning.
That is not an intentional infliction,
But part of the splendor that is life.
Can the ‘why’ me, why my child’ be answered?
Chromosomal aberrations
A gene miss-allocation may be repairable in days ahead.
For now, it is part of the drama that is life.
For you and me
No point in vexing life
Asking the unanswerable question ‘why’
And ‘why’ again.

What happens as a genetic freak accident
Is not decreed for anyone in particular.’

Is it worth repeating?
“No, if you ask me
All I know is, you are not a dummy target
In the shooting range of
The all-knowing God.

In the astounding act of reproduction,
Is the built-in fortuitous gene recombination.
Occasional mishmash inevitable in this
Endless trillions of crossing-over
Within the gametes of all living beings
Including our super-species Homo sapiens – sapiens

Accidents are preventable;
Largely that is
Even with all the care
Some accidents do occur
That’s why they are called that
We may not bring it about consciously
Sometimes we do, don’t we?
It may be the result of some unthinking, uncaring, deliberate, sick, cruel,
Act of the inhuman human animal.
Or may be it is caused by
Some natural calamity
Or an inadvertent unfortunate mistake,
Pure and simple.
Once happened what is the intelligent thing to do?”

Explanations are not answers to a paining heart.
It is heartless to offer ‘explanations’ and
Expert smart logical justifications
Are they healing to broken hearts?
Yet facts, realities about life
We keep trying to change the ‘whys’
Yes, Change is needed!
In us,
we need to change,
Our perceptions need change
Keep changing, growing.
Keep growing.
I agree.

© Alex Mathew


Dr. Alex Mathew,

  • Th. D, 2008 – Thesis on Abiding principles of Christian Counseling (Jerusalem University,Chennai Campus)
  • Ph. D 1984 Christian Counseling and Hindu Philosophy; a critical look into areas of compatibility.(South Western University, Arizona, USA)

 

 

Cancer is so Limited – and so is Life: by Dr. Robert L. Lynn & Dr. Alex Mathew

Cancer is so limited—                                               And so is Life.

It cannot cripple love.                                               It quenches hatred.

It cannot shatter hope.                                             It roots optimism.

It cannot corrode faith.                                             It restores trust.

It cannot eat away peace.                                         It consolidates gratitude.

It cannot destroy confidence.                                 It establishes assurance.

It cannot kill friendship.                                          It rejuvenates camaraderie.

It cannot shut out memories.                                 It rekindles relations.

It cannot silence courage.                                        It revives  convictions.

It cannot invade the soul.                                        It builds up wisdom.

It cannot reduce eternal life.                                  It leads to extravagant life.

It cannot quench the spirit.                                    It soothes the spirit.

It cannot cancel resurrection.                               It guarantees resurrection.

 

Cancer is so Limited – Dr. Robert L. Lynn          And so is Life – Dr. Alex Mathew

Goliath had a Brother – by Francis Frangipane

Here’s the scene:

In a battle against sickness, oppression or struggle,

you seek God, and the grace of God touches your life.

Your victory is through a word or prayer or encouragement,

but you absolutely know the Lord delivered you.

With five stones of divine grace, you defeated your Goliath.

But then, all the old symptoms suddenly return with a vengeance.

If you were struggling with an illness, it manifests worse than ever;

if your battle was regarding a relationship or a particular sin,

it seems as though all progress has been lost.

You are back to square one.

Have you ever been there?

Negative experiences drain the faith from your heart.

You lose the anticipation and power of faith,

a spiritual paralysis immobilizes your soul.

You still attend church, but your faith is unresponsive.

When others testify of deliverance,

you worry that they, too, will “lose their healing.”

For many, the result is faith-shaking disillusionment.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Prov. 13:12).

“Heartsickness” is a spiritual disease that cripples your walk with God.

Faith is the substance of things you hope for;

if you lose hope, your faith becomes hollow.

How can you trust God when it seems He let you down?

You wonder:”Did I lose my breakthrough,

or was I only deceiving myself and never really had it?”

What you are experiencing is not a loss of God’s blessing

but an entirely new spiritual battle.

This new war is a very clever and effective deception that Satan uses

to try and worm his way back into the lives of those delivered by God.

Praying about this recurring battle, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart:

“Goliath had a brother.”

I was reminded of David’s war against the Philistine giant.

David became a great hero by trusting God and defeating Goliath.

Things changed in 2 Samuel 21:

“Now when the Philistines were at war again with Israel, David went down and his servants with him; and as they fought against the Philistines, David became weary. Then Ishbi-benob, who was among the descendants of the giant . . . intended to kill David. But Abishai the son of Zeruiah helped him, and struck the Philistine and killed him” (2 Samuel 21:15–17).

Years after David conquered Goliath as a lad,

after he became king he had to face other giants.

1 Chronicles 20:5 reveals that at least one of those warring against David

was “the brother of Goliath,” and four were his children (2 Sam. 21:22).

These giants, being Goliath’s kin, might have looked like Goliath,

boasted like him, dressed like him and even smelled like him.

The Scripture says that while fighting one of the descendants of Goliath,

“David became weary” (2 Sam. 21:15).

The Bible is silent as to what was in the king’s mind as he battled these giants.

Perhaps he wondered, “I thought I killed Goliath. What is he doing back?”

But Goliath had not come back; he was dead!

David was actually fighting the giant’s kin.

It just looked like the same battle!

You also had many successful victories.

Just because the giant you face looks like one you defeated in the past,

do not accept the lie that you never really won the first battle!

By the strength of God’s grace, you trusted the Almighty and conquered your Goliath.

The first giant is dead. Satan is masquerading as your former enemy

so he can slip past your shield of faith and thus regain entrance into your life.

Resist him. Do not accept the lie that you were never delivered. Stand in faith.

Faith is the victory that overcomes the world (1 John 5:4).

The living God who helped you conquer Goliath will empower you to overcome his brother as well.

Father, I come to You as Your servant.

Like David, I have become weary with fighting an enemy I thought I had defeated.

By the power of Your Holy Spirit, I expose the lie that this is the same foe I previously conquered.

In Jesus’ name, I rebuke the enemy.

I ask You, Lord, to send angels to strengthen me supernaturally,

just as angels often strengthened Jesus.

In the name of the Lord, Amen.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Adapted from Francis Frangipane’s book,
Spiritual Discernment and the Mind of Christ