I enjoyed reading this book. Here are a few of the things I learned.
- Forgiveness is not a feeling. Forgiveness is a choice to end the cycle of revenge and leave justice in the hands of God.
- Forgiveness seems to have the capacity to alter suffering from something that is purely destructive to something that has profound redemptive qualities.
- Unforgiveness has a devastating way of eliminating new possibilities. Everything remains chained to the past, and the suffered injustice becomes the single informing event in the life of the embittered soul.
- The way of forgives does not forget the past, but through truth and reconciliation it finds a way beyond toxic memory. It is the way of restorative justice.
I borrowed the book Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit from a friend, because I wanted to learn more about the topic. This is an excellent book and I found it to be enjoyable.
The book starts out with a little history and discusses how certain oils and herbs were used in ancient Oriental, Greek, and Roman civilizations.
There is also a basic explanation of Yin and Yang, as well as the five elements (Earth, Fire, Water, Wood, and Metal). The book explains how those concepts are used in preparing and prescribing essential oils.
The book gives an overview of various types of plants, how they were used in the past, and how they can be beneficial to individuals today.
- Eucalyptus can be used to treat infections, enhances breathing, and increases oxygen in the red blood cells.
- Frankincense promotes relaxation.
- Ginger oil is a decongestant that improves confidence and morale.
- Hyssop can boost the immune system and enhances courage.
The other day, I was reading Matthew 15:21-28.
21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyreand Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly. (ESV)
I started thinking about the Jewish society of that time. It was extremely prejudicial, and a person’s worth or cleanliness was largely based on race and ethnic origin. As a Canaanite and a woman, she would have been viewed with disdain. Also, the statement made by Jesus echoes that sentiment.
However, the woman trusted Jesus. She believed him to be fair and loving. She trusted him to not judge her based on superficial things. Her trust in the love of Jesus was not misplaced. Jesus healed her daughter and commented on her great faith.
Jesus had just arrived in Gadarenes when two demon-possessed men came out from the tombs. These men were so violent that nobody could enter the tombs or even pass by them.
The men cried out to Jesus, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” (ESV)
The demons acknowledged the divinity of Jesus and his ultimate victory over evil.
The demons then requested to be cast into a herd of pigs. Jesus agreed, they went into the pigs, and the pigs ran into the sea where they all drowned.
When the people in the city discovered what happened they were terrified and begged Jesus to leave their region.
I wonder what became of the two men. They were wildly insane and Jesus made them whole. They were finally able to function as normal human beings. I like to think they used their blessing to bring peace and good news everywhere they traveled.
While in Capernaum, a centurion approached Jesus. He asked Jesus to heal his servant. The servant was paralyzed and suffering horribly.
Jesus agreed to heal the centurion’s servant and offered to go to his home. However, the centurion told Jesus he was not worthy of having Jesus in his house. Instead, he asked Jesus to just say the word and his servant would be healed.
Jesus was impressed by the centurion’s faith and responded, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.” (ESV)
Jesus then told the centurion his servant was healed.
Throughout the gospels, people ask Jesus to touch them to be healed. They want to see Jesus do something to help them believe in his healing power. However, the centurion was different. He didn’t need to see Jesus do anything. He simply trusted in the word of Jesus.
A man with leprosy approached Jesus, knelt down in front of him, and asked Jesus to heal him.
Jesus touched the man and he was healed. Jesus then told the man, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded for a proof to them.” (ESV)
Why did Jesus want the man to keep his healing a secret?
- Maybe Jesus didn’t want to take the people’s focus away from the sermon he just finished preaching.
- Maybe Jesus didn’t want the crowd to overreact, start a riot, and demand they all be healed.
- Maybe Jesus wanted to test the man’s willingness to obey.
What do you think? Why did Jesus want the man to keep his healing a secret?
After leaving the wilderness, Jesus began preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (ESV)
Jesus walked by Simon Peter and Andrew, while they were fishing, and said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (ESV)
The brothers immediately put down their nets and followed Jesus.
Later, Jesus saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John mending nets in a boat with their father. Jesus called out to them and told the brothers to follow him. James and John immediately left the boat and followed Jesus.
Jesus continued traveling in Galilee, teaching in synagogues, and healing the sick.
I wonder how Simon Peter, Andrew, James, and John felt when they left everything behind to follow Jesus. Were they afraid? Were they excited to be chosen to serve with Jesus?