Today is the big day of Halloween. When I was a little kid, this was a very exciting day. I love candy. And to get a whole bag just for me was awesome. I remember sitting down with my pile and trading candy with my brothers. Marti, I don't remember trading with you! Anyway, it was just a fun night trying to find the best house to get treats from.
There are some who do not want to celebrate Halloween because it has some devilish overtones. That's okay if they don't want to play the cultural game of "trick or treat." That's their right. However, don't make me feel unspiritual for enjoying the season. Don't make me feel like I am promoting a Satanic holiday. I'm not. It is the make-believe day of dressing up and enjoying the festivities. I grew up going out on Halloween night, and I always knew the difference between fantasy and reality. I was not celebrating an evil day, I was having a great time with friends and family. And I think I turned out all right with my belief system and my love for Jesus. (For some, that is debatable whether I turned out all right.....ha ha.) Anyway, have a great day, no matter if you do "trick or treats" or not.
On a more serious note, my friend Jim Murcray is still unconscious due to heavy sedation. This is his tenth day in ICU. There seems to be incremental changes for the good, but he is not "out of the woods" yet. We just feel God is doing a slow healing process and we must be patient.
It has given me opportunity to speak and share my faith with the patients in the next bed in Jim's room. It is amazing how open different individuals can be when they are faced with death and dying in emergency situations. That openness is God's opportunity to speak to many when faced with grave circumstances. And sometimes, sad to say, that is the only time some will turn to a great and loving God who will give them peace for those moments. I will not say that God always hears and heals, because he doesn't. But he always, and I repeat always, listens and gives peace for the hard times to those who are receptive.
Concerning ministry, this past Thursday I spoke at the weekly Feeding of the Homeless at Fairmount Park. In the open air, with a circle of about 50 homeless and destitute people, I preached on "consequences." I talked about how our decisions and even the decisions of others bring consequences that we must live with or try to correct. When I gave the invitation and prayed for decisions, there were five who came and stood by me to show their commitment to follow Christ for salvation and right living. It was tremendous.
On a personal note,I went to the doctor at the VA Hospital this past week. My blood pressure numbers were not good at all. I did some blood work at the lab and they had me wait for results. My cholesterol numbers are good, but they are very concerned about my blood pressure. The head nurse gave me her "scare you to death" scenario about having another heart attack or having a stroke. It worked. I have started a more strict diet and exercise routine. I don't like going to the hospital as a patient!
Lastly, this is for my friend Dan. Dan, you mentioned a book some days ago that you picked up to read. It had some great titles for chapters that really did seem to fit for inspirational sermon titles. What was the name of that book, and how hard is it to find? Thanks for any help.