Category Archives: Blog

The twin gods of Mormonism and Islam

I’ve been reading books on Islam recently: “Seeking Allah, finding Jesus”, and “No God But One”, both by Nabeel Qureshi, (a devout muslim convert to Christianity who recently died at the age of 34 from cancer) in conjunction with some notable books on Mormonism: “Under the Banner of Heaven” by Jon Krakauer (Into Thin Air) and “No Man Knows my History; the life of Joseph Smith”” by Fawn Brodie (biographies of Thomas Jefferson, Richard Nixon).

I was thunderstruck by the similarities I found in each of these religions. Normally one doesn’t say Mormon or Muslim, Joseph Smith or Mohammad in the same breath, but they are rooted in the same unholy spirit, the spirit of Anti-Christ.

Let me explain: (1John 2: 21-23)  I do not write to you because you don’t know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the anti-christ- he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.” 

I have also read the Qu’ran and the Book of Mormon to educate myself in the teachings and revelations they propose. They are both filled with skewed biblical borrowings strung together to create a further and final revelation to man.

The Qu’ran, transmitted by the angel “Gabriel”, denies that God has a Son, and that Jesus was only a prophet like Mohammed. The most important fact Mohammed teaches his followers is that Jesus did not die, either by crucifixion, or otherwise, and that someone, possibly Judas, was chosen to take his place on the cross, because Allah ultimately took him to heaven.

The Book of Mormon, transmitted by the angel Moroni, to Joseph Smith, a handsome, charismatic charlatan turned a “hat trick” revelation into a “native” American religion. The golden plates the angel supposedly transcribed were never seen, or found, and Joseph tried to create a “City of God” on earth he was put in jail and hanged for violating young women.

Both Islam and Mormonism denigrate and abuse women, both Mohammed and Joseph Smith had many wives, and both married child brides. The main functions of women were bringing children into the world or being sex slaves; they had no personhood except in those capacities. Mormonism teaches that Adam was God, and that godhood is the ultimate goal for every male, therefore there is no need for a savior. Women can obtain paradise only they submit to a temple marriage arranged by one of the elders.

 

 

 

 

 

People of the Book

Some of the common misconceptions and downright lies that Muslims are taught about Christianity are: 1. The Bible has been corrupted. 2. We serve three gods. 3. God cannot have a son because he isn’t married. 4. Jesus did not die on the Cross. 5. Neither Jesus nor anyone else can pay for our sins.

The Muslim argument centers on the many translations of the Bible we have from Hebrew to Greek, to Latin, to English, with so many different versions. A scholarly response is that we have many original Greek manuscripts from the 2nd C. and dozens more from the 3rd C., and all the current “versions” of the Bible are based on these original manuscripts. And the Qur’an has been translated into many different languages, and still revered as sacred, even though Arabic is the sacred language. Also, the Qur’an honors the Talmud, and the Gospels as sent from God.

The three gods we supposedly serve are Mary, Jesus and God. Mary may have           been in preeminence during the early church, and the terms, “Queen of Heaven” and “Mother of God”were often ascribed to Mary. Yet, the Qur’an devotes an entire chapter to her and the Virgin Birth. The concept of the Trinity (Three persons in One God) is very difficult to discuss until the scriptures are opened to the Muslim mind. They revere Jesus (Issa) as a true prophet from God, and his teachings.

Calling Jesus the “Son of God” is a stumbling block to Muslims. Yet, the Qur’an states unequivocally that Jesus was born sinless, and conceived by the Spirit in Mary’s virgin womb, without sex being involved. This concept must prayerfully be addressed using the Qur’an as our guide into the full revelation of the Bible.

Proving the historical fact of Jesus’ death on the cross will often dispel the myth that someone else replaced Jesus, or that he was in a “swoon” state, and revived later in the tomb, and taken to Heaven by God.

The death of Jesus becomes pivotal in describing the “blood sacrifice” God used as early as Adam and Eve in the garden as an atonement for sin. The story of the Passover clearly points to Jesus as the “Lamb of God” whose blood paid the ransom for God’s people, delivering them  from bondage and death.

Who are the “People of the Book?”  Both Christians and Jews are labeled this way in the Qur’an, and is not used as a derogatory term. They both had received sacred scriptures the Qur’an says are directly from God, and must be honored by every Muslim. It is ironic that Muslims should rightly receive this title since  they revere their “book” as a sacred entity in itself, that must never be defiled. They view the Qur’an is the last and final revelation from God, adding to what came before.  Hmmm….sounds familiar. Book of Mormon? Mary Baker Eddy’s Key to the scriptures?

Let us pray for the “People of Peace”, those Muslims who refuse to be identified with ISIS or jihad, and especially those women who are brutalized by the heavy hand of Islam. More Muslims are being saved now (since 1990) than in the last 1300 years! Jesus is revealing Himself in dreams, and using the Qur’an to open blind eyes to the reality of Isa al Masik, Jesus the Christ, their Messiah.

The 21st Century seems to be the time of their redemption.

 

 

Jesus in the Qu’ran

PART TWO:

Who is Jesus in the world of Islam?

I. Jesus is called Isa al-Masih (Arabic for the Hebrew, Meshiach, the Anointed One; the Christ, or Messiah), in the Qu’ran. This title is used eleven times, and is usually translated as Christ Jesus. Behold! The angels said: O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word  from Him; his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and in the hereafter.and of those nearest to Allah”. (Q.3:45)  “The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, is the Messenger of God and His Word conveyed to Mary and a Spirit from him”. (Q. 4:170)

II. The Virgin Birth of Jesus .Maryam is held in such high regard by Islam the Qu’ran dedicates a whole chapter to her life. Of course many stories in the Qu’ran are a curious mixture of folk tales, half-truths, and legends (Jesus speaks from the cradle, and creates a little bird from clay) There was no Arabic Bible translation available in Mohammed’s lifetime. His information about Jesus’ followers (Nasara: Arabic for Christians, followers of the Nazarene) was mostly hearsay.

O my Lord, how shall I have a son when no man has touched me?” “He (Gabriel) said: even so, Allah createth what He willeth: when He hath decreed a matter, He but saith to it, “Be”. and it is”. And He will teach him the Book (Pentateuch), the Wisdom (Five Books of Wisdom) and the Injil” (Arabic for the Gospels) (Q. 3:47) And in a chapter dedicated to Maryam (Arabic for Mary) Gabriel says, “It will be so, Your Lord says, “It is easy for Me, and we will make him a sign to people, and a mercy from us”. (Q.19:21) Jesus was created miraculously in Mary’s womb by God’s Spirit, so “sex” was not involved.   “We breathed into her from Our Spirit and made her and her son a sign FOR ALL PEOPLE”. (Q. 21:91) A Muslim will say that God cannot have a son because he did not have a wife.

“God said, Jesus, I will cause you to die and raise you up to me, and purify you from those who denied the Truth, and I will exalt your followers over those who deny you until the Resurrection Day” .(Q. 3:55a)  Jesus speaks from the cradle: So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life”. (Q. 19:33) This presents a problem because most Muslims deny Jesus was crucified on the Cross, died and then was resurrected.

III. Jesus is both Healer and Prophet in Islam.  “I, by God’s permission, heal men born blind, and lepers, and give life to the dead.” (Q. 3:49; 5:110)) Jesus, son of Mary, remember the grace I bestowed upon you and your mother? How I strengthened you with the Holy Spirit…when I taught you the Book , the Wisdom, the Torah and the Gospel…when I inspired the disciples to believe in Me and my Messenger (prophet)? They answered, We believe and bear witness that we submit ourselves to You.” (Q. 5:110, 111) “(Jesus) said, I am the servant of God; He has given me the Book, and made me a Prophet”. (Q. 19:30)

IV. Jesus is the Way. “When Jesus came with clear evidence, he said, I have brought you Wisdom and to clarify for you some of what you differ about. Be always mindful of God and obey me. God is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. This is a straight path.” (Q. 43:61)

V. Jesus is the Truth. Such is Jesus(Isa) the son of Mary-the WORD OF TRUTH-about which they are in dispute. (Q. 19:34)

VI. Jesus is the Bread of Life ” Behold the disciples said: O Jesus, son of Mary! Can you Lord send us a feast from heaven? Jesus answered, Remain mindful of God if you are truly believers. They said, we only wish to eat from it so that our hearts might be reassured that you have told us the truth, and that we ourselves be witnesses to the miracle. Said Jesus, the son of Mary, “God our Lord! Send us a meal from heaven so we can have a recurring celebration (Arabic, eid, or a solemn festival) for the first and last of us, and a sign from You. Provide for us because You are the best of providers.God answered. I will send it down to you, and anyone who denies the truth after this will be punished with a punishment that I will not inflict on anyone else in the world”. (Q. 5:112-115)  Even though this is a mixture of several different accounts, as is typical of the Qu’ran, to a Muslim we can easily point out our celebration of the Lord’s table, in communion.

Of course, Muslims will be quick to explain that Jesus was no more than an Apostle (Q. 4:171), that Jesus was not God (Q. 5:17).

Next week we will discuss the common misconceptions that Muslims have about Christianity, and who are the “People of the Book”.

  1. The Bible has been corrupted.
  2. We serve three gods.
  3. We think Jesus is God’s Son.
  4. Jesus did not die on the Cross.
  5. Jesus cannot pay for our sins.

 

 

Exploring the World of Islam

 

 

PART ONE:

IS IT AN IDEOLOGY OR A RELIGION?

As Christians, I think it is important we become aware of the doctrines, ideas, culture, and practices of the Islamic world in which we have recently been immersed through the historic migration of peoples from Muslim countries, especially Syria, and the emergence of ISIL, a radical interpretation of the Qu’ran, or the teachings of Islam, with the end result being world dominance.

According to the dictionary an ideology is a body of ideas that reflects the beliefs and interests of a nation, political system, and underlies its political action; also, the integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program, and “is usually taken to mean a prescriptive doctrine that is not supported by a rational argument”. (D.D. Raphael, 1970)

Broadly speaking, a religion is defined as an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god, or a group of gods; beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe when considered the creation of a supernatural agency, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. Religion is the human response to that which is sacred, holy, absolute, spiritual, divine, or worthy of especial reverence, and deals with the ultimate concerns about their fate after death.

Islam is the Arabic word for “submission”, and a Muslim is any person who has submitted to God, and in a sense, are slaves of Allah ( Arabic for God). The focus of their religion is to do the will of Allah, and please him by good works, known as the Five Pillars of Islam. Hopefully their good works will outweigh their evil works so they can enter the paradise of God. They have no other assurance of Allah’s acceptance before death.

 So Islam is both and an ideology and a religion.

 ISIL operates as an ideology because it sees itself as a nation state, or a caliphate, using violence, cruelty and Jihad (Arabic for struggle) against Muslims, Christians, and Jews, or those they consider apostates and unbelievers. This group teaches its adherents that the only sure way of gaining Paradise is to commit Jihad, or holy war against the infidel. It can be viewed as “Islamism” because it envisions a political solution in terms of a struggle, and demands absolute loyalty from its followers, and a willingness to die for the cause.

The 19th and 20th centuries saw the rise of Communism, Nazism and Facism, and certain forms of Nationalism. We in the 21st century are confronted with Islamism, an ideology wearing the slimy cloak of religion.

I am currently studying the Qu’ran, (Arabic for Recitation) a very difficult book to understand. Mohammed did not know how to read or write, so common in the 7th Century Arab world of Caravan traders like himself. So he transmitted it orally by reciting it to his followers over a period of some 23 years. It has no order, or spiritual coherence, and the linear Western mind sees it as a rambling jumble of half-truths. But it can also be viewed as a steppingstone for Muslims to explore the Bible, the whole truth of God’s relationship to man, from Genesis to Revelation.

What does the Qu’ran have to say about Esa al Masih (Arabic for Jesus Christ, the Anointed One, or Messiah)?

Tune in for next week’s installment. Feel free to comment and ask questions.

 

Part Two of LoveWalk in Spain

It was Tuesday, September 1st around 8:15 when we left St Jean and crossed over the Pyrenees into Spain. Our first ascent of 12 km. and 800 feet into Valcarlos took us until 4:15 that afternoon. Martes or Mardi or Marsday, became a day of war, no matter what the language. The unrelenting rain, and the unending climb hammered me into an oblivion of misery, and the end of my strength and resolve.

I had a breakdown, and met a wall of weakness in my body and soul that nailed me to the ground, and made me crawl over the remaining rocks of this final hill. Sobs shook me out of control until I cried out,  “I don’t have the strength! I can’t do this!”. Still I wouldn’t hand over my backpack to John, who was obviously shaken by the depth of my suffering. He had never seen me like this, and went ahead to secure our lodging.

When Marcos the innkeeper saw me enter, he said to John, “I can see she’s a fighter”. Those words poured over me like oil. How could he say that? Couldn’t he see I was undone and beaten?  I sat down on the bunk, and John helped me take off wet clothing and boots, grateful for a warm place to stay that night. Surrounded by a group of strong muscular women pilgrims, I felt like a whining whimp. Marcos assured us we didn’t have to leave at  the customary 8:30 the next morning. We had dinner together with him at a local cafe that evening, and encouraged him to return to faith in Christ.

As we sat around that table, John said, “Mary, this is Our Camino“. He reminded me about times of conquering and overcoming when we hiked the John Muir trail, Mt. Whitney, and Mt. Shasta. “Those days are over, sweetheart. Nothing, no goal or plan, is more important than our marriage. This is a different season, that needs another kind of strength”. And so we changed our focus, and planned our next steps.

Typically, my desires have always trumped my abilities. And that’s when God would step in for the rescue. It was obvious I couldn’t tackle the steep ascents that remained, and the slippery slopes they entailed. The last thing I wanted to do was fall, or sustain an injury that would upend the joy of our 35th Anniversary celebration.

The next morning as we waited to take a taxi to Roncevalles, we noted an older white haired couple trudging up the path. If they can do it, I can do it,  was my immediate thought as I watched them rest on a bench. When they came over to say hello, I noticed an Irish brogue. Charlotte blessed me by her remark, ” I’m not here to be a heroine, but just a pilgrim”. We invited them to share our taxi, much to their delight, and they in turn, invited us to stay at the hotel they had booked.  Their method of Camino-ing helped us to refocus. Charlotte and Peter sent their luggage on ahead to hotels, and traveled only with a small daypack. From then on we sent our backpacks ahead for a small fee. We joined them in a special pilgrim Mass, and dinner that evening. Their light-hearted humor lifted me out of the doldrums of defeatism.

What’s a pilgrim to do after she’s met her Waterloo?  Since we are free from the burden of doing penance for our sins, and punishing our bodies, we can enjoy this, keep our spiritual antennas up so God’s love can pour through in joy and peace. One day we met these Chinese pilgrims on an ancient Roman bridge who insisted on taking my picture, wild and wooly though I be.

mary on bridge

Many God moments and Divine encounters later we met Emily, who had celebrated her birthday the day before mine. She was exactly 20 years younger and had  been injured descending the Alto de Perdon, a steep outcropping of loose rock and shale, taken to a hospital by ambulance some 20 km away to Pamplona to receive her mark of honor in the form of 8 stitches.  We linked together and spent the next few days on the Camino since her speed had been reduced to ours. Together we visited ancient churches, a hermitage and monasteries, and became soul sisters on the way. Our heart-to-heart meeting became the spiritual high point of our pilgrimage.

roman b

hermitage

church

camino

Then one day John asked me, “Do you want to go home?’ We had been planning to exit at the half-way mark at Burgos, and prayed for the Lord to direct our steps. But John had received a different burden: the Syrian Refugee Crisis across Europe, and was reluctant to share it with me. I was ready to make a change, so we took a bus to Madrid and waited for direction. It was a paradigm shift in our thinking when we received a welcoming email from Bryan Miller and his family who lived in Berlin, Germany, the epicenter of this historic ethnic upheaval, and who were reaching out to Muslim refugees. The next day we flew out.

Part One of LoveWalk in Spain

Our romantic idyll in France slowly came to a happy ending. We had fallen in love again with each other and with France, and now it was time to become true pilgrims. We mailed home a box of our fancy duds, ditched a suitcase, and switched everything into our backpacks: each carrying two changes of trekking gear, toiletries, water bottles and ponchos. John carried 18 pounds. and me, about 13 pounds.

packs
the symbol of the pilgrimage is the scallop shell which we proudly displayed on our packs.

We had a “shakedown” cruise by walking 10 km. in the rain from Malesherbes to Boulancourt, and arrived soggy, sore, and happy with our success to a small BnB.  Our hosts, Bruno and Catherine, were planning their coming wedding day after living common law for 25 years! She had chosen a passage from “Le Petit Prince” for their unique ceremony, and we exchanged rapturous remarks about one of my all-time favorite books, one that had actually began my love for the French language.

From there we caught a bus to Orleans, (where Joan of Arc had finally succeeded in liberating  France from English occupation), and then a train to Bayonne, then another train to St. Jean Pied au Port, to begin our walk.  But we missed our connection because the train was 30 minutes late! The Lord supplied us with “angels” in the human guise of Francois, a war correspondent (who just happened to cover Viet-Nam when John was there!) Latifah his Moroccan wife, and their son Sylvan. They maneuvered us to First Class seats using classy complaints. He regaled us with stories of French history as we traveled.

When we arrived in St. Jean on August 31st, we were surprised at how cool it was. The pilgrims before us had suffered broiling heat  for two weeks. We were eating dinner at an outdoor cafe when a storm rolled in, complete with driving rain, hail, thunder and lightening. We were not dressed properly, and shivered inside the cafe with all the other pilgrims.

That day we had our pilgrim “passports” stamped at the municipal albergue, were blessed with a private room and double-checked  our gear. This hostel was abuzz with eager pilgrims, eager as we were to begin. The next morning, we began our  El Camino, or the “Way of St, James” ( brother of John the apostle), in a rain that continued all day. But nothing could have prepared me for the journey to our first destination in Varcarlos. We had to take an alternative path called Charlemagne’s Route ever the Spanish Pyrenees into Spain because the other primary route’s hostel was totally booked, and with weather life this, we needed lodging for the night. It was supposed to be less steep then Napolean’s Route, and much easier.

This is a statue of St. James in medieval garb, with his staff, and shell.
This is a statue of St. James in medieval garb, with his staff, and shell. The sign reads”From here all the roads to Santiago become one”. 

 

 

LoveWalk in France

“Let’s do something significant for our Anniversary next year!” I said, after watching the movie called “The Way”. Then, with no hesitation and big smiles, we both turned to each other and said in unison, “Let’s do it!”

Inspired by its depiction of an ancient 500-mile pilgrimage, El Camino de Santiago that began in France, and traversed through the Spanish Basque countryside, we began to dream. (John and I had walked the John Muir trail, climbed Mt. Whitney a few times, and Mt. Shasta about 25 years earlier). So we had earned some valid walking credentials in our history.

But when Inspiration comes, you move out with a breath of something new and exciting, many unknowns waiting to be discovered, to create an Adventure par none to celebrate the miracle of our God-breathed Marriage, with its many ups and downs, twists and turns, lavished with moments of mercy and grace.

 John began to organize our route in France: one LOVEWEEK in Paris (a schoolgirl dream of mine), of course, then Giverney (Monet’s garden, John’s favorite artist), Mont St. Michel (a Medieval fortress on an island), the Loire Valley, Rouen and Orleans (for my heroine, Joan of Arc). We planned to spend two and a half weeks in France, enough to resurrect my College French from the dust bins of history.

On Thursday, August 13th, we sat in our Paris apartment, maps in hand, ready to begin. Il pleut. It’s raining. How lovely. But there were learning curves to master: four different keys to the flat, the lift, the stores, the neighborhood, the train station, and the metro!  John masterfully oriented us in one day, and soon we toured Paris via the Seine river on a “batobus” or water taxi.

From our home base we visited Notre Dame for a Gregorian Chant Mass, the Louvre, Montmartre’s Sacre Coeur Basilica, the Eiffel Tower, museums and gardens galore, tasting all the delights this Grand Dame called Paris had to offer.

Then it was time to scale down into pilgrim gear, so we mailed clothes back home, and left an empty suitcase outside the Post Office. While in the Loire Valley we walked 10 km in the rain in ponchos with backpacks as a “shakedown” exercise for our Camino, and decided to train a train from Orleans to Bayonne and a bus to St. Jean Pied au Port. It was time to begin our pilgrimage in Spain.

on the Seine

OmahaMont St MichelMonet's garden

Rouen Cathedral

 

 

 

 

When the Milk of Human Kindness Fails

A review of  “Ghost Boy”, by Martin Pistorius, with Megan Lloyd Davies, Nelson Books, 2013.

Thank God for Martin’s parents who overcame deep personal despair in living with a child who had suddenly disappeared from sight. They had ostensibly lost all contact; his “ghost image” lay on the bed, unblinking, unmoving, and unable to tell them anything. His mother had two healthy children to care for, and after the first two years, the weight of watching her sick child slowly die finally caused her to crack, and need psychiatric attention after a botched suicide attempt. Martin’s father then became the main caregiver until his wife could fully engage again with their boy.

For untold years they would bathe, dress and feed their boy, once active in athletics, but since age twelve, a helpless, oversized baby. Medical doctors were baffled as test after test failed to give a precise diagnosis. Every kind of medical prescription applied gave a zero percent cure rate. He was finally prescribed as hopeless, and sent home to die, until God stepped in with a Resurrection miracle.

“I think my mind started to awaken at about the age of sixteen, and by nineteen it was fully intact once more: I knew who I was and where I was, and I understood I had been robbed of a real life. That was six years ago…I came to understand that my efforts would never be enough: as I came back to life, no one fully understood… I was completely entombed. The only person who knew there was a boy within the useless shell was God, and I had no idea why I felt his presence so strongly…utterly alone and yet aware that God was my companion.”

God sent him Virna, a massage therapist, who was convinced he understood her words. After learning about a communication technology called AAC through computers she asked, “Do you think you could do something like that, Martin? I’m sure you could.” Her faith in him gave him the courage to try. So, more than thirteen years after he had fallen ill, Martin enrolled in an Alternative Communication Center and learned to read, write, and eventually speak through a computerized voice. In 2006 he was the first of two South-Africans with non-functioning speech to graduate from University. He gave speeches, created websites, and fixed computers after his hidden brilliance was unveiled.

But his grandparents taught him the most important life lesson about love: “If it’s true it will last a life time, and if it’s strong enough, it can be passed from generation to generation.” Martin experienced true love through a woman named Joanna. They met on line, and were married in 2009. The next year he started his own business in the UK. They have since been happily dancing together through life there by God’s grace. Though the milk of human kindness often failed him, God’s Loving kindness restored, released, and raised Martin, as a sign and wonder to many.

 

 

God’s Dream

 

You know how it is among friends. It takes real intimacy and trust for someone to share their dream with you.

It’s an overarching vision that colors their world and drives the pistons of their soul to pursue that dream to fulfillment, and it becomes a reality (aka: “livin the dream”)

No one likes to appear foolish or radical or crazy, or be dismissed as just “a dreamer”. Yet they will risk everything to share it with you.

You hear the change in the tone of their voice, and watch them inching closer as if they are about to burst, and you can’t miss the firelight in their eyes. It’s compelling. They’ve seen into the future; a mystery has been pealed back, and seed is seen.

John and I have often asked Chinese students if they have a dream. In their study of English, they are required to read and understand Martin Luther King’s speech. It inspires them to have one of their own.

In First Century Ephesus, new born Christians definitely learned how to swim upstream early on. They lived in the center of Greek Culture and Commerce, surrounded by worshippers of the goddess Artemis, known also as Diana, patroness of fertility. They had to live out of sync with the values and goals of their society, just as we must do, plagued by the question of whether their little lives could make any real difference.

And then there’s the question of Jesus’ return. They may have been mocked, “Where is the time of His coming?” Then the aching heart’s response, “How long, Lord?”

Paul’s letter from a Roman prison reminds them of God’s ultimate dream through Christ…and convinces them that every detail of their lives [and ours] contributes (or not) to God’s Dream…A long range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in Him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth”. (The Message)

And …”that the energy of Reconciliation is the dynamo at the heart of the universe”. (Peterson’s Introduction to Ephesians)

“God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them”. (2Cor. 5:19)

Has God shared His dream with you?

Loved Back to Life, a review

Loved Back To Life: How I Found the Courage to LIVE FREE

By Sheila Walsh, Nelson Books, 2015.

 

“On the surface I had it made, and everything looked fine-except I was not fine. I had not been fine for a long time. Even surrounded by others, I felt isolated. Trapped by a suffocating anxiety. Restless, though I couldn’t say why. Numbed by a frantic pace. I felt as if I was slowly losing my mind.”(5)

 

This is a cautionary tale of how a Christian TV talk show host, a Women of Faith speaker, a well-known musical evangelist, and a popular author’s life spiraled out of control. Her sickness had no name. Her professional “friends” avoided her because they could offer no cure for what lay hidden deep in Sheila’s soul. Her public persona had been crumbling. Once during an interview, she suddenly became the one being interviewed, and started crying when her guest asked Sheila what was wrong. Her heart a burst with an unknown sorrow, and now her adoring public began sending letters of inquiry about the nature of her troubled soul.

 

Sheila finally did the unthinkable. She asked for help, and checked herself into a psychiatric hospital with the blessing of Pat Robertson, the 700 Club host. She had to face the demons of her depression brought on by childhood trauma. Her father’s violent and unpredictable anger had caused her to retreat from showing her emotions at an early age. At times she actually feared for her life as her father changed into this tormented man, full of rage, and finally was admitted into a mental hospital.

 

Sheila’s “confessional” has given hope to many as she struggled out of a deep pit of depression in order to regain equilibrium, and self-worth. Christ was always at the center of her being, and she never lost faith in His power to heal.