Category Archives: Bible

Sunday Devotional: Hate not

Matthew 18:21-22

Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I say to you,
not seven times but seventy-seven times.”

Why?

Because we are told —

Sirach 27:30-28:7

Wrath and anger are hateful things,
yet the sinner hugs them tight.
The vengeful will suffer the LORD’s vengeance,
for he remembers their sins in detail.
Forgive your neighbor’s injustice;
then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.
Could anyone nourish anger against another
and expect healing from the LORD?
Could anyone refuse mercy to another like himself,
can he seek pardon for his own sins?
If one who is but flesh cherishes wrath,
who will forgive his sins?
Remember your last days, set enmity aside;
remember death and decay, and cease from sin!
Think of the commandments, hate not your neighbor;
remember the Most High’s covenant, and overlook faults.

In other words, the reasons for not hating another, but instead forgiving those who have wronged against us, are both practical and just:

  1. Practicality: Wrath, anger, hate, and vengefulness are sins (“hateful things”) and God remembers our sins “in detail”.
  2. Fairness: Do to others what you would have others do unto you. How can we expect God to forgive us, if we refuse to forgive others?

 

Here are other practical reasons to eschew anger, hatred, and vengefulness:

  • Those emotions affect our judgment. To quote Godfather 3: “Never hate your enemies — it affects your judgment”.
  • Anger and hostility (hate) make us more prone to heart attacks. Research found that healthy people who are often angry or hostile are 19% more likely than calmer people to get heart disease; and among people with heart disease, those who usually feel angry or hostile fare worse than others. Emotions of anger, hatred and vengefulness ramp up our “fight or flight” response, sending stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which speed up our heart rate and breathing, tighten blood vessels, and raise blood pressure, in order that we can run for our life or fight an enemy. But if this happens often, it causes wear and tear on our artery walls. (WebMD)

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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Nurses who saw supernatural phenomena around dying patients

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” –Deuteronomy 31:8

allnurses.com is a social-network website for nurses. It describes itself as:

“the collective voice of the nursing community, supporting the profession by providing a place where nurses can network, share, and learn from their peers. With an ever-growing community of registered nurses, allnurses is the go-to place to communicate and discuss nursing, jobs, schools, NCLEX, careers, and so much more.”

In July 2015, a nurse asked if anyone has seen something supernatural when a patient is near death or in the process of dying.

Aside from a few responses from atheists who mocked the question, most responses were eyewitness accounts of having seen what may be supernatural phenomena.

Ruby Vee, BSN, RN wrote on July 4, 2015:

“The old building, where our unit used to be located, has been converted to offices. There’s one office that is perpetually empty — no one will use it for long. Maybe it’s coincidence, but the location of that office coincides with the location of an old ICU room that we all swear was haunted . . . . “

canigraduate, RN, July 4, 2015:

“I think a lot of hospitals are haunted. I don’t have the gene to perceive this stuff, but a lot of my former patients did.

It used to creep me out when I’d have patients ask me who the strangers in their room were, when the only person there was me.

A few asked what the children down the hall were giggling about (no peds and no visitor kids).

One elderly lady told me she saw her mama walking toward her and it was time for her to go home. She died within the hour.

There was one room that a had wild call bell that would randomly go off, no matter how many times they rewired the room.

There was one morgue that I swear was haunted. This is the only time I perceived the weirdness myself. Whenever I would make a deposit, I swear I heard laughter. I stopped going down there by myself. I had a coworker try to pawn the sound off on gas release. Nope, I can tell the difference between a fart and a laugh. I’m getting chills just thinking about it.”

LittleMissKat, CNA, July 4, 2015:

“I used to work at a nursing home before I was hired at a hospital and we had this one little old lady who was blind and she liked to get up every day at 2/3 in the morning. Well one morning I was getting her up into her wheelchair when she looked behind me and asked who that young man was sitting on the bed.
Creeped me out because 1) she’s blind and 2) there used to be a young man in there who had passed away…

At the hospital we also get a bunch of older dying patients who ask about the children in the hall… It’s the adult side of the hospital and there are no kids around.”

Purple_roses, ADN, RN, July 6, 2015:

“This story didn’t happen to me, but to my coworker. She told me about it when I relieved her shift. We were taking care of a hospice client who was very close to passing. The client said, ‘Go tell my dad I’m ok,’ and then said that her dad was standing outside her open bedroom window. I know that it’s very likely that she was simply hallucinating, but at the same time, I like the idea of loved ones helping you ‘cross over’ (or whatever happens after death). “

ahosoda, July 7, 2015:

“I did some CNA work for a friend of a friend. Her dad was dying and on Hospice, but wanted to die in his home so he had aides come at certain points in the day to take care of him. His daughter didn’t trust the CNAs who came by, so she set up baby monitors all around the house. After seeing those CNAs doing horrible things over the nannycams (neglect, abuse), she hired me to take care of him.

The night he passed away, I was in the kitchen doing dishes and I kept feeling someone tapping on my shoulder. I also felt a lot of unexplainable breezes, and just a warm presence. I thought I was just spooking myself out, until we looked back at the nannycam footage. Cups sliding multiple feet across the counters, and random bursts of white light across the screen, and his dog barking at something that wasn’t there.”

Adele_Michal7, July 8, 2015:

“I had an MD write a STAT order for an exorcism. That was fun. “

TheGooch, July 8, 2015:

“When my Mom was dying she told us that she saw dead relatives.”

proud nurse, BSN, RN, July 9, 2015:

“I worked in LTC for 7 years. It was very common for the residents to see or call out for deceased relatives before they died, whether the death was expected or not. Where I worked, we had cameras everywhere. Sometimes I would just watch the colored monitors and see fuzzy white images floating through the halls.

For weeks after a resident who pretty much ran the unit died, her room was left vacant. This lady was a constant call light user/abuser. We had a panel that lit up with the room number when the call light was pushed. The panel would light up with that room number but it was vacant. We put in work orders to fix that numerous times, but it kept happening.”

Horseshoe, July 9, 2015:

“One day I was chatting with my patient’s son. He mentioned that he had an implanted defibrillator. I said, ‘Yikes. So I’m guessing you arrested at some point?’ He said that he had a cardiac arrest and it had taken 15 minutes for an ambulance to arrive, even though it happened in a restaurant across the street from a hospital! Anyway, two nurses were at the scene and did CPR until the ambulance arrived.

I asked him if he remembered any of the incident and he told me that he had a full blown near death experience where deceased loved ones greeted him to take him to a tunnel, he went through a tunnel and went into a very bright light, and he saw God. He told me ‘imagine the most love and joy and peace you’ve ever experienced, and multiply it times one million.” He said he wanted to stay, but was told it wasn’t his time yet, and he returned to his body. He said ‘I was raised Southern Baptist, but I can say that they’ve got a lot of it wrong.’ I asked, ‘What do you mean?’ He responded, ‘well first of all, everyone goes to Heaven.’ Incredulous, I said, ‘What?! Even murderers and child abusers?’ He said, ‘Yep. But you are confronted with all your actions. Every single one.’

After that, any time I witnessed an arrest and resuscitation, I would ask the patient NOT if he had had a near death experience, but simply if he remembered anything from the arrest. Sometimes they would say no, then other times I would hear about going through tunnels into the light into beautiful meadows or reunions with dead relatives and friends.”

soushee, BSN, RN, July 9, 2015:

“My unit uses tracker devices, all RNs and CNAs wear them. Several nights one week about 6 extra unidentified ‘people’ would appear on the tracker board, and would move from a specific room to the dirty utility, and up and down the ‘back’ hall (unit is a big square with patient rooms on the outside, nurses’ station and clean utility/offices in the core). Scared the CNA who had the back to death and she sat in the main station all night, scared to go back there. Can’t say I blame her! I actually went and check the rooms sometimes to see if anybody was in there, and they were empty. The mysterious trackers would never go in rooms that were occupied.”

GotRhythm, July 9, 2015:

“I work in a Peds CVICU, we had one patient about a year ago who was 23 y/o and post-op conduit replacement. For about 3 days she kept telling her nurses she saw the angel of death standing in the corner, she would even talk to him sometimes.”

TheGooch, July 9, 2015:

“This video is quite interesting.”

missmollie, ADN, RN, July 9, 2015:

“I was working as a CNA, and it was close to 11:30pm when I had to go empty my linen cart. We had this long hallway that my unit was connected to. I took the bin back there, through the double doors that require a code to get in. I’m looking at the bag and tying it, when I saw something out of the corner of my eye.

I turn to look and there is a woman standing there in a nightgown. I sighed, and wondered what hall she came from, and told her I would take her up front. I walk to the doors, put in my code, and turn around to encourage her.

The hall was empty.”

blondy2061h, MSN, RN, July 10, 2017:

“We had a patient in a room on our unit who was doing fairy well. He he kept saying, ‘Bob Jones is asking me to take a walk with him.’ Bob Jones was a patient who had been in that room for a long time nearly a year prior and died in that room. Obviously that wasn’t really his name, that’s the annoynimized version. The name was less common. The wife kept asking us who Bob Jones was and the husband/patient swore he was in the room and why couldn’t we see him? The best we could figure, these patients never met. Predictably, this patient suddenly died.”

rudecat, Aug. 10, 2015:

“While working at a LTC facility on a night shift I was alone and charting and felt a presence and saw an apparition sitting beside be . It was very calm , not frightening and I could make out a woman’s hands folded on the desk beside me watching me chart. As I said, I felt no fear what so ever . Actually, it felt safe somehow . That’s the way I would describe her presence. I found out the next day when I mentioned this to colleagues who had been there much longer than I that there was indeed a spirit but no one knew whom. Thinking it might have been a nurse??? “

GhosttRN, BSN, RN, Aug. 11, 2015:

“In my old hospital we had just one room where the pts [patients] would all call around 1-4 in the am complaining about the kids playing with a ball outside the door and asking us to keep them quiet. Never were any kids but it was an old Peds floor years prior.

On a different floor we had a guy die from CA and it seamed he stuck around in his room and the adjoining room. The call bells for those two rooms would always go off and the beds never stayed made-up when they were empty, like someone was always sitting/laying on the made bed. He would also turn on the water faucet. Really freaked out one of our CNAs one night when she was restocking. She refused to go in there at night after that.”

Carolll, BSN, RN, Jan. 8, 2016:

“The first night that I worked in one of the Hospice Houses, about 3 am I saw someone in a red top walk through the kitchen, I went to look and there was no one there. The next morning, I mentioned it to the cook and she said that the volunteers wore red tops and that it was probably one of them as many had passed. This isn’t new for me though, I’ve always heard and seen things. I questioned my mother before she passed and she told me that they had a dog when I was little that had to be put away, she said that she continued to hear the dog walk around the house and then lay down. She told me that it goes away in about 6 months if you ignore it……she’s come back to visit several times and even left her butt print in her bed once…..”

NanaPoo, RN, Jan. 8, 2016:

“In my 12 years of hospice, both inpatient and home hospice, it was very common to have patients in their last 2 days or so report seeing deceased family members in their room and particularly at the foot of their bed. They would also say they see a beautiful lady or a beautiful angel. All of the patients who had these experiences had professed to be ‘believers’ or Christians prior to the end of their lives….

I’ve been at the bedside of many dying patients who appeared to have a painful and frightening experience but 3 stand out in particular. One was a professed atheist, one was hubby’s family member who was a lifelong Baptist, and one inpatient hospice who was a young cervical CA [cancer] patient whose spiritual status I cannot remember but whose pain was uncontrolled until her demise. Hers was the most unsettling for me as a nurse because I felt my job wasn’t done properly even though her doctor ordered unlimited medication and I stood by her bed for hours pushing medications. That day will haunt me until my own death.

But my hubby’s family member did not go peacefully as most of my patients always had in hospice and over and over she said, ‘it’s so awful! it’s so awful!’ about the things she must’ve been seeing behind her eyelids. It was not a peaceful death. It was just weeks after my atheist patient’s death…. He was an incredibly intelligent man . . . But through his death he was racked with pain and anger and frustration and fear. He hadn’t had enough money for a burial and had donated his body to science….

I’ve never felt any spiritual presence in the room of my dying patients but I have had many of them tell me someone was there or noticed a difference in their dying experience. I don’t know if their dying experience is related to their own spiritual experience.”

CelticGoddess, BSN, RN, Jan. 8, 2016:

“I work on an Onc/Palliative unit, and all the nurses who work nights with me have a story. One night, one of my co-workers was standing down the hall (She was about at room 6) She says she saw a shadow out of the corner of her eye down by room 1. She would look over and it would be gone but a few minutes later she saw it again.

I have a patient who was dying of CA. She had been with us for quite some time, getting treatment for the CA. Finally she and her family made the decision that palliative would be better. One morning, as I was leaving work, I peaked in to her room to see how she was doing. I saw a shadow in the corner of her room. Oddly, her room felt very peaceful. She died that evening….

My grandma and my great Aunt both saw their deceased sister and mum when they were close to dying.”

Jbryson79, Aug. 26, 2016:

“I work in a pediatric ER and between the hours of 0400 and 0700 it’s pretty quiet in there. So there are two rooms where you always feel like someone is in the rooms. You may hear the tv go on and off, drawers open and shut and lights going on and off. It’s a little creepy.”

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” –John 14:27

~Eowyn

Clarifying Psalm 91 with the words of Jesus

To qualify for supernatural protection

“I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.” – Psalm 91:14b

The whole of Psalm 91 is a mighty promise of protection. But to benefit from that protection, we must meet the qualifications. We must “make the Most High our dwelling.”

Jesus stipulated that if we obey His words, then we will be in Him and He in us. That sounds like dwelling to me.

Please note the similarity between the verse above and the one below. They speak of the same situation. If we are proud of the the name of the Jesus before men, then we are obedient and pleasing to the Father and His angels.

The following warning should make us tremble:

“If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” – Mark 8:38

If we are ashamed of Jesus in our dealings with men and women, how can we expect Psalm 91’s protection to be ours?

Lord Jesus, I resolve to always be proud of You before the men and women of this world.

How Things Got So Messed Up

 

It all started with lies

Genesis 3:1-5

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

(Lie #1. Did you know that a question can be a lie? )

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

(Lie #2. A direct accusation that God was cheating Adam and Eve. )

The serpent was projecting his own motivations onto Eve

“…and you will be like God.” The devil was giving us window into what was driving him crazy, the fact the the serpent was not God, not the boss. Satan was looking at God’s most important creation, the beings that were made in the image and likeness of God Himself. He was likely thinking, “If I don’t wreck this thing, God will surely put these new creatures over me. Then, not only will I not be ‘the Most High,’ but I’ll even be unde the rule of these new upstarts!”

So what was the serpent’s strategy? It was to trick the humans into doing what he had done: to disobey and rebel against God.

Treason (verse 6)

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.

Eve! you idiot!

She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Adam! You were with her the whole time!
You are without excuse!

About that new wisdom (verse 7)

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Well, Adam and Eve, hows that “gaining wisdom” thing working out. You became to “smart” that you realized you were naked. 

Running from God instead of running to Him (verse 8)

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Enter Fear (verse 9-10)

But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

The first Blame Game (verses 11-13)

And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

Yup Adam not only blamed his wife, he blamed God. Smooth move, Adam.

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

The Consequences (verses 14-19)

So the Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your headand you will strike his heel.”

Did anyone notice the first Messianic prophecy in the Bible? 

To the woman he said,
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

To Adam he said,
“Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

Life After The Fall (verses 21-24)

Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

A sad day for animals. An indication that blood would have to be shed for redemption.

And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”

Expulsion! The tree of life out of reach (verses 23-24)

So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east sidee of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

Expulsion from the Garden of Eden by Thomas Cole

 

That, boys and girls, is how things got this way.

But wait, there’s more…

Eden Restored (Revelation 22:1-3)

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse.

Sunday Devotional: A Prayer for Mercy

Psalm 46:2-4

God is our refuge and our strength,
an ever-present help in distress.
Thus we do not fear, though earth be shaken
and mountains quake to the depths of the sea,
Though its waters rage and foam
and mountains totter at its surging.

Tampa Bay Times reports this morning, Sept. 10, 2017, that Hurricane Irma has regained its Category 4 strength as the storm’s center made landfall in the lower Florida Keys as of 8 a.m., with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph.

Category 4 means sustained winds of 130-156 mph, and damages to houses, trees and power lines which could make places unlivable for weeks or months after.

Irma is centered about 30 miles east-southeast of Key West and about 110 miles south of Naples, moving north-northwest at 8 mph. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 220 miles. A wind gust to 89 mph was recorded in Key West, and sustained winds of 46 mph with a gust to 72 mph was recorded at Tamiami Airport in West Kendall.

The leading edge of the immense storm bent palm trees and spit rain across South Florida, knocking out power to more than 170,000 homes and businesses, as the eye approached Key West.

“Tonight, I’m sweating. Tonight I’m scared to death,” said 60-year-old Carol Walterson Stroud, who sought refuge in a senior center in Florida’s southernmost city with her husband, granddaughter and dog Saturday night. The streets emptied and shops were boarded up before the wind started to howl.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott had warned residents in the state’s evacuation zones Saturday that “this is your last chance to make a good decision.” About 6.4 million people were told to flee. But because the storm is 350 to 400 miles wide, the entire Florida peninsula was exposed. Forecasters said the greater Miami area of 6 million people could still get life-threatening hurricane winds and storm surge of 4 to 6 feet.

The storm is forecast to weaken as it moves over the lower Keys and near or over the state’s west coast — including the Tampa Bay region — later today through tonight, potentially sparing Tampa as well Miami the catastrophic head-on blow forecasters had been warning about. But those few miles meant St. Petersburg could get a direct hit.

If the surge occurs at high tide, areas in Tampa Bay — from Ana Maria Island to Clearwater Beach — could experience 5 to 8 feet of storm surge. Forecasters warned of storm surge as high as 15 feet.

Meteorologists predicted Irma would plow into the Tampa Bay area Monday morning. The area has not been struck by a major hurricane since 1921, when its population was about 10,000. Now around 3 million people live there.

Given its mammoth size and strength and its course up the peninsula, it could prove one of the most devastating hurricanes ever to hit Florida, and inflict damage on a scale not seen here in 25 years.

In 1992, Hurricane Andrew smashed into suburban Miami with winds topping 165 mph, damaging or blowing apart over 125,000 homes. The damage in Florida totaled $26 billion, and at least 40 people died.

Matthew 18:18-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, I say to you,
If two of you agree on earth
about anything for which they are to pray,
it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.”

May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

What do Noah, Daniel and Job have in common?

Answer: Who They Could Not Save

These 3 men were famed for their righteousness. To call them influential would be an understatement. But Noah was only able to save his immediate family and the animals from the flood; Daniel was an exile himself, a remnant of an already crushed people; Job couldn’t save his own children from a disaster. So they were known for their limitations as well as their greatness.

“The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, if a country sins against me by being unfaithful and I stretch out my hand against it to cut off its food supply and send famine upon it and kill its people and their animals, even if these three men—Noah, Daniel and Job—were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign Lord.” – Ezekiel 14:12-14

By contrast, Joshua and Samuel led their generations into righteousness and times of national stability. 

All the men mentioned are righteous leaders. All sought to influence their fellows  to honor God and find salvation. Two succeeded, but the first three were not able to hold off God’s wrath.

They all lived in God’s protection and were rescued. The Lord’s judgements are not indiscriminate.

As we plead with our generation to honor God, we can expect His care for us to be secure, but we may not know if our efforts will succeed in turning people back to God.

Readers, as we observe a large number of natural disasters bearing down on this world, we plead with you to seek the Lord right now, and not wait until it’s too late.


“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

 

What I’m Not Doing Today

In keeping with my last post I am deliberately ignoring the news today.

This isn’t something I usually do, but it might be good to make it a new rule. Fox, CNN, and MSNBC are doing 24/7 hand wringing right now over North Korea. How can I benefit from being attached to this story line?

So instead, I will spend some time drawing closer to the Lord, who is the only one capable of giving us peace. My mental prescription of choice today: Psalms 23, 27, 46 and 91.

The sky already looks better, the flowers brighter, and my outlook more hopeful.

Bye bye FoxNews.

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” – Isaiah 26:3