The Dungeons of Hell

 

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I have been to a place that I have never been before.

I had to go in to the Oncology ward to have more scans and tests done, and because of financial reasons, I was taken to the Addington Hospital in Durban.
Understand this, I do not equate this hospital with the dungeons of hell.  In fact to the poorest of the poor, and to the sickest of the sick in our society, its is a beacon of last hope.    A place where care and treatment is given, free of charge, to those in dire need.  It is for them a beacon of shining hope and help.

Derelict, depleted old, and the long dark damp red-brick corridors brought to me what the dungeons of hell could be like.   The patients, moving in dim light and shadows, grave-faced, heavy burned, some uncomfortable and in silent pain, where there was no joy at all, patiently and stoically stood their turn for attention and treatment.

But there was too a great sense of efficiency of the systems at work.  Good work was being done in an organised and proficient manner, and getting the masses lined up for their treatment and care.   The Staff were patient, and kind.   Very kind, and understanding.   One  nurse in the Oncology ward, softly sang “put your care upon Jesus”
as she took blood samples.    I had a lovely imaginary picture of a little song-bird singing among the trepidation of the treatments that were to follow.   It gave comfort and brought hope, and smile to my face.
The ministry of soft song in suffering is powerful.

I went through the motions of the day, waiting many hours till my turn came   I sat in a waiting room that was filled with light.  It had a “sea-view”, but it was a rainy day and the day and the mood was sombre and a misty grey.   As I waited I saw the passing parade of the busy street in front of the hospital.   Life was carrying on as usual – traffic cops on duty, deliveries being made, visitors looking for sea-side parking.
I saw a new and understanding doctor, who had a heart for her patients, went through the motions, did the tests and x-rays.   Then finally referred to another hospital for follow up scans and tests.   A thorough investigation of my present condition, for which I am grateful.    And all the way through my trusty husband was there to help me get through the physical obstacles, with patience and endurance.

Once done, I was helped out to the car, where a car guard offered to help where he could, in the hope of a reward.    He was an elderly white-haired Indian man in a turquoise track suit, with hardship written on his face.   He was working in the rain for a pittance for his own survival – oh the hardships of poverty !

It is an experience that I do not cherish, but do so appreciate.   For in a moment in time,  it brought me closer to those who suffer in their poverty, and in the sicknesses and ailments.
It is in  poverty, sickness, disease and death that we may perceive the horrors of hell, where there is no joy, no hope and everlasting misery – all these linger in the dungeons of hell.

Song bird

Isaiah 61:1
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the LORD has anointed Me,
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those
who are bound.

 

 

 

 

The Filter of my Mind

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I have been reading the book by Dr Caroline Leaf, Switch on your Brain – on the science of thought.  Her research has revealed how thoughts grow, are established and if acted upon become deeds or behaviour – moulding our lives, and influencing the lives of those around us.   She writes, with utmost simplicity, how the inside of our brain works.  It is truly amazing and fascinating !
Her book offers information and solutions, which are the result of years of research, practical application and clinical work, and are guidelines for managing toxic thoughts.

The human specie, is fearfully and wonderfully made.   She has linked these scientific findings with the words of the Bible.   When reading her book through the Mind of the Bible it becomes apparent that God is infinitely more intelligent and wise beyond  what we can ever ask or think.     Biologically we are His master pieces, in fact all of creation is, but the human body and the human mind must be His finest work.  In the book of Genesis it says that we are made in His image and likeness…. now there’s a thought to light up your mind so to speak. Furthermore, we are His temple, the place where God resides, His address, the place where He lives.  We are His dwelling place !!

The Bible weaves these concepts, and so much more, into our thinking, that we would be wise to pay close attention to it if we are to appreciate and discover the intricacies and purposes of His creative genius – intended for our very own lives.

From her book Caroline says : “I want to shape my world around God’s truth because I know as a scientist and a believer paying attention to my thoughts and purposefully focussing my mind leads to great transformation.”

Snippets from her book:  “whatever you think about the most will grow”  – where the mind goes, the brain will follow.”
“Choices are real, you are free to make choices about how you focus your attention; and this affects how the chemicals and wiring of your brain change and function.”

In the chapter on the Science of Thought she writes :
“It is our choices that make something out of nothing.  Its our choices that collapse the probabilities into actualities that define the state of our nonconscious metacognition which in turn inform our conscious cognition and symbolic actions.” page 134  and furthermore   :
” It is our choices that either create healthy thought universes in our brain or turn the powerless lie into a toxic thought universe – which is essentially evil.   This is the incredible power God has given us :  to be able to think and choose and create reality.  This reality can be good or evil based on our choices”.

Rest, and sleep are needed for restoration of the cells, and rest and reflection for the mind, which plays itself out in the body whether in sickness or in health, for we are more than just a pretty face (well some of us !) –  we are also a cosmic concoction of minerals,chemicals, electrons, neurons and gasses, – all well designed and orchestrated to play the beautiful song of life.   So the key to life, or death, is what we choose – and it begins in our thought-life !!
God has graced us with a free-will.  We get to choose and therefore also get the responsibility for our own life.
     I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you that I have set before you          life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your          descendants may live.   Deuteronomy 30:19 

Now that can begin a whole theological banter, but biologically speaking that’s how the mind works – through thoughts – that brings us back to the decisions we make, the good ones and the bad ones, even those we don’t make !  And the miracle of free-will is that it is designed into our DNA, we can actually switch our thoughts from the ugly to the good, and visa verse.  Our choice ! –  (We have the power people !!)
The subconscious is the storehouse of all our thoughts, they are all filed, they are our subliminal memory – it is what we draw on (positive or negative) for our life, through the decisions we make, and the consequences we face.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.   Proverbs 23:7

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For the light to go on we need to think the right thoughts ! We need to re-align our thoughts with the thoughts of God in the Bible.  He made us and He wrote the manual for us to follow.
          For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD,  thoughts of               peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.    Jeremiah 29:11

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There is so much more to glean from this book.  If you want to know more about the mechanics of the mind, I recommend you read her book.   What have I learned from her book ?  I need to observe my own thought-life, and for that to happen I need, at times, to be still, and to do introspection.    That’s when I am quiet and just listen to what I am actually thinking and filtering through my mind.

It is vitally important to feed my mind on good thoughts for a healthy thought-life ?   This will enable me to make choices in the all kinds of the everyday.
Make a decision to think on the stories and wisdom found in the Bible, the word and mind of Almighty God.
   …   whatever things are true,  whatever things are noble,  whatever things are just,  whatever things are lovely,  whatever things are of  good report,  if there is any  virtue,  and if there is anything praiseworthy,  meditate on these things.
Philippians 4:8

Rest, filter the mind and
Think on these things.