CLEVELAND, Ohio - I received this email from Mike (not his real name). I ran into him years ago. We talked about our shared experiences of taking care of family members who had suffered major strokes. His note began: "We haven't talked for years..." Then he updated me about his family situation, adding his in-laws "now live with us." He added, "I do the same things ... change diapers, give baths." Now, the family challenge is dementia. His note didn't ask for sympathy. It was just a hello, an update and some kind words for some of my writings that have helped him over the years. His email also was a reminder of how wrong some of us were when we thought, "As life goes along, it probably will get a lot better." This is not to say, "Life stinks, then we die." It is to say suffering is a part of life. Not all the time. And in this country, we are immune from so much of the pain endured by the rest of the world. But it's real. I was talking to another friend, whose wife has severe … [Read more...] about Faith & You: Pain, suffering and me — Terry Pluto
Take heart i have overcome the world
I get the sense sometimes that many who claim to be Christians think suffering should not be part of their lives and they ought not to be mistreated by unbelievers. There are preachers who tell their listeners that God wants them to be healthy and wealthy (as many of those leeches are).Even if they use the Bible, the preaching of these frauds always comes back to that message, no matter where it starts. “Believe God for a miracle.” “If you are not healed, you don’t have enough faith.” “Send your money in and get a prayer cloth.”Some claim to get messages from God about healings that are going on right there on the spot.There are dear Christians who get caught up in all this and believe if they only had more faith, if they travel to be in attendance at a meeting, if they send in more money, they would be healed or their financial situation will improve.How horrific for the sick, the infirm and the poor!These false teachers can be quite … [Read more...] about Faith in Focus: Is your best life supposed to be now?
We haven’t been at the track a half-hour when Seth challenges me to a race. He does it nicely, subtly cushioning the challenge inside a joke.But then I look up from my notebook, where I’m furiously scribbling notes on this 26-year-old who broke his neck last year, was believed to be paralyzed from the shoulders down and has somehow clawed his way back into a go-kart that he drives like a skilled madman.I look up, and Seth Wannamaker is staring at me. He’s staring right at me with a look that says, “Bring it, paper boy. I will whip you with one arm tied behind my back.” And here’s the thing: We both know he will.“I have to win,” Seth confirms later. “Had to from a young age.”“Compared to the average American, he’s an absolute beast,” says Jaime Johnson, a life path specialist at QLI, the rehab center for brain and spinal cord injuries in northwest Omaha. “That quality ... is one of the very best things … [Read more...] about Hansen: Top go-kart driver who nearly died in fall fights his way back racing with one arm; ‘I have to win’
Last Updated May 18, 2011 3:48 PM EDT Because so much of today's economic growth, and future growth as far as the eye can see, is coming out of the emerging markets, The World Bank tells us that the dollar's days as the world currency are numbered. Their forecast is that the global currency markets will be dominated by the Chinese yuan, the euro and U.S. dollar, and as soon as 2025 -- and there seems to be some doubt about the euro. We've heard similar predictions of the dollar falling from first place for a while, but considering the source, this message is different. The World Bank has been around since 1944, lending funds contributed by the advanced countries to developing economies, which in the early days I suppose included names such as South Korea, Italy and Japan. This time the dollar's impotence is not coming from a big investor trying to make a point in currency trading, but rather an agency that represents the U.S. as much as it does the emerging markets. U.S. companies … [Read more...] about Dollar's Days As World Leader Are Numbered, Says The World Bank
I really want to be one of those people who just trusts God so much that they can greet every bad thing that happens, whether it be a small bump in the road or a full-on ditch, with a calm, peaceful presence.But I’m not. I am the queen of the worst-case scenario. I have missed my calling in the military. There are people there who specialize in the worst-case scenario. Their negative thinking is an asset in helping our troops be prepared. I like to tell myself that that is what I am doing, too, being prepared. But that’s a lie. I’m worrying. And my worrying is preparing me for nothing, except maybe a headache.If you want to know what your worst-case scenario is, just ask. I can give it to you in less than a minute. Thankfully (or maybe not), I have learned to keep all of my doom and gloom to myself.I have a constant tension of knowing that God is good (Psalms 119:68, Luke 18:19, Nahum 1:7) and really trusting him with the things that matter the most to me. It’s … [Read more...] about Faith & Values: Not knowing God, a worst-case scenario