Love, Lewis, and a letter from John

words of love from the Bible#1John#love

“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God.

Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.  But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.  No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.”

1 John 4:7-11, NLT

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Books by C.S. Lewis

sharing faith, hope, and love.

1 Corinthians 13:13

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

To start following Watercress Words , use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn, links are on the left side bar here and the Home page. Thanks so much.

cheesy-free faith-focused stock photos

The photos in this post are from Lightstock-quality photos and graphics site- get a free photo here. 

(This is an affiliate link)

                              Dr. Aletha 

Living with hope, courage, and power

In her podcast Lina interviews a variety of women and men who are following their calling to make a difference in the world. In a recent episode, I was excited to hear from Jan Silvious since I reviewed one of her books here on my blog. I learned that like me Jan is married to a veteran of the Vietnam war. Jan has had a long speaking career, working with well known Bible teacher Kay Arthur and with Women of Faith and writing books.

In my early years of practice I worked with another woman physician, Mona. She and I became friends as there weren’t many women in medicine then. We both eventually left that clinic for other opportunities, but would see or hear from each other occasionally.

A couple of years ago I attended a conference for women physicians- where almost all the attendees and speakers were women, far different from my early years of practice. One of the speakers was a dynamic young woman who talked so fast you had to pay attention or else you would miss what she had to say. I think she just naturally talks fast, but also because she is so passionate about her subject.

Originally from Lebanon, Lina is a pediatric emergency doctor, Bible teacher and writer, and at that conference she was speaking on the Bible, not medicine. I wanted to meet her so I went up and introduced myself. When I told her where I lived, she said, “My aunt lives there, and she is a doctor.”

Suddenly I knew why she looked so familiar. She is Mona’s niece! I was shocked at the coincidence. I started following her on social media , reading her blog and listening to her podcasts. I especially like the podcast she started a few months ago, The Hope Podcast.


Lina AbuJamra , M.D.

“Lina AbuJamra is a Pediatric ER doctor and founder of Living with Power Ministries. Her vision is to bring hope to the world by connecting biblical answers to everyday life.

A popular Bible teacher, blogger, and conference speaker, Lina has authored several books including: ThriveStripped, and Resolved. Lina is the host of Today’s Single Christian on Moody Radio and of Morning Minutes, a daily audio devotional available on her website.

Lina’s most recent adventure has taken her back to the Middle East and her birth country, Lebanon, where she is running several projects that give hope and healing to Syrian refugees. Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Lina now calls Chicago home. She is single and a huge Packers fan, and would not survive without her iPhone. ”

Connect with Dr. Lina here-


Lina’s blog at the Living with Power website

Living with Power iPhone App

Lina’s podcast -The Hope Podcast

In her podcast Lina interviews a variety of women and men who are following their calling to make a difference in the world.

In a recent episode, I was excited to hear Lina interview author Jan Silvious since I reviewed one of her books here on my blog. I learned that like me Jan is married to a veteran of the Vietnam war. Jan has had a long speaking career, working with well known Bible teacher Kay Arthur and with Women of Faith and writing books.

Here is a link to the interview with Jan.

My review of Jan’s book

This post does contain affiliate links; purchases through them help me fund this blog and share the heart of health.

COURAGE for the UNKNOWN SEASON

Navigating What’s Next with Confidence and Hope

By Jan Silvious

Even though Jan Silvious titled her book, Courage for the Unknown Season, we know what that season is-the season of aging and its inevitable, relentless progression toward death.

We’ve seen it, some of us are already in it, and it can be a scary place, with many unknowns other than the end. Jan refuses to let aging intimidate her, and wrote this book to help others take on our fear of aging, loss, illness, disability, and death with confidence and hope.

COURAGE for the UNKNOWN SEASON, a book
COURAGE for the UNKNOWN SEASON

She starts the book with a chapter titled “Resilience”, followed soon by “Fight Fear”. She advises us “Don’t Forget to Laugh”, and to “Clean Up after Yourself”- that is, deal with our personal possessions so our family doesn’t have to when we are gone.

I like that she offers practical tips on staying healthy that she learned from a physician friend. In the chapter “Head Toward Ninety” she lists several steps to maintain wellness-exercise, get adequate sleep, eat health promoting foods ,  and pursue a healthy mind and spirit.  She writes,

“Read, stay curious, forgive, drop the bitterness, and pursue peace.”

She points us to Psalm 92 from the Bible, and suggests meditating on it to gain a “wealth of spiritual health.”

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
 To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning
And Your faithfulness by night,

For You, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done,
I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.”

Psalm 92: 1-4 (NASB)

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Later, she takes us by the hand, without mincing words about the pain we will experience with loss, and walks us through steps to navigate “Grief and Hope”.

Jan uses examples from her life, her family, friends, and colleagues of using our later years to cherish old memories while continuing to make new ones. She doesn’t try to convince us that aging isn’t painful, but encourages us to find new ways to find joy and fulfillment when the old ways are no longer possible.

Written especially for Baby Boomers-those of us born between 1946 and 1964- Courage for the Unknown Season offers sound advice and encouragement to anyone who wants to be prepared for aging. For those younger, it will help you understand and deal with the challenges your parents and grandparents are encountering now; but stow away a copy for 10, 20, 30 or more years when you will appreciate its wisdom for your own life.

I enjoyed reading it since I have or am experiencing much of what she discusses, and her perspective validates my own. For those things I have yet to encounter, I appreciate her suggestions and warnings.

As Jan wrote,

“No matter what season you are in, there are truths that can help you approach the unknown with confidence and hope. Trust that God is the God of our season, no matter what it looks like, no matter how unknown.”

Jan Silvious

Jan Silvious is a long-time speaker, professional life coach, wife, mother, and grandmother. She is author of eleven books, including Big Girls Don’t Whine and Fool-Proofing Your Life. Jan and her husband, Charlie, live in Tennessee, and have three grown sons, two daughters-in-love, five charming grandchildren and a very bright rescued pit-bull, Rocky-Buddy.

Jan Silvious, author
Jan Silvious, author
 
 

Disclosure: I read an advance review copy of this book which I received complimentary from  Tyndale via NetGalley in return for writing a review.

sharing the HEART of health

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

To start following Watercress Words , use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn, links are on the left side bar here and the Home page. Thanks so much.

                              Dr. Aletha 

Good Friday

Christians around the world observe the Friday before Easter as “Good Friday”, although the events remembered are dark and somber. For on this day, as recorded in the New Testament, Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross, died, and was buried.

The Cross, symbol of Christianity

Christians around the world observe the Friday before Easter as “Good Friday”, although the events remembered are dark and somber. For on this day, as recorded in the New Testament, Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross, died, and was buried.

Thus, a cross became perhaps the best known symbol of Christianity.

to the cross that the christian is challenged to follow his master. quote Hans Urs Von Balthasar
a LIGHTSTOCK.COM graphic, affiliate link

“A passerby named Simon, who was from Cyrene, was coming in from the countryside just then, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.

And they brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”).

Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross.” Mark 15 NLT

“Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene.

take up thy cross and follow me
Photo by Dr. Aletha



Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of sour wine was sitting there, …… When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19, NLT

Jesus is buried in a tomb

“Then he (Joseph) took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in a long sheet of linen cloth and laid it in a new tomb that had been carved out of rock. This was done late on Friday afternoon, the day of preparation,[l as the Sabbath was about to begin.

55 As his body was taken away, the women from Galilee followed and saw the tomb where his body was placed. “Luke 23, NLT

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Thanks for sharing these words of faith, hope, and love with me.

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

To start following Watercress Words , use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn, links are on the left side bar here and the Home page. Thanks so much.

                              Dr. Aletha 

the Good Samaritan explained- from Daily Audio Bible

Brian Hardin creator and narrator of Daily Audio Bible explains the background and meaning  of the Good Samaritan story on his daily broadcast  which you can listen to at this link.April 3, 2019 -Daily Audio Bible 

Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan to answer the question, “Who is my neighbor? “ The term “good Samaritan” means a person who goes out of their way to help someone, especially a stranger, often at  personal sacrifice .

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

“There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho.

On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead.

Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man.

“A Samaritan traveling the road came on him.

When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable.

In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—I’ll pay you on my way back.’

 “What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?”

“Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.”

(affiliate link)

Listen to this story now

Brian Hardin, creator and narrator of Daily Audio Bible ,explains the background  of the Good Samaritan story and offers insights on what it can mean in our lives. Listen to his talk on his daily broadcast  at this link.

April 3, 2019 -Daily Audio Bible 

Available at the website, the app, and as a podcast, Daily Audio Bible cover the entire Bible in one year. Learn more at my previous post.

Daily Audio Bible: listen, learn, live, love

DAILY AUDIO BIBLE screen shot

exploring and sharing..

faith, hope and love in cursive letters
another inspirational graphic from the Lightstock.com collections of stock images, an affiliate link

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

To start following Watercress Words , use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn, links are on the left side bar here and the Home page. Thanks so much.

                              Dr. Aletha 

Resolve to love this year

Whatever you have resolved to do this year, why not add LOVE to the list?

you cannot love without giving. Amy Carmichael

Matthew 22:36-39 CSB

And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test Jesus.

“Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?”3

He said to him, 


“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.

This is the greatest and most important command. 

 The second is like it:

Love your neighbor as yourself.

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

I hope you watch and enjoy this video, I think it has a powerful message. Whatever you have resolved to do this year

  • quit smoking
  • lose weight
  • exercise more
  • read books
  • finish school

why not add LOVE to the list? It might be the easiest-or the hardest-to accomplish.

RESOLVE TO LOVE THIS YEAR-FROM WATERCRESSWORDS.COM

Thanks for joining me for this post, please follow this blog where I regularly share words of

sharing faith, hope, and love.

1 Corinthians 13:13

                              Dr. Aletha 

cheesy-free faith-focused stock photos

The photos in this post are from Lightstock-quality photos and graphics site- get a free photo here. 

(This is an affiliate link)

Daily Audio Bible: listen, learn, live, love

Introducing you to the Daily Audio Bible this year

If you’re making new year’s resolutions about eating, exercising, saving money, or listening to your spouse better,  here is one I  hope you will try.

Listen to or read the Bible  this year.  There are many ways to read the Bible but I invite you to join me in listening to the Bible at Daily Audio Bible.  

IMG_2660.png

Brian Hardin reads the Bible every single day- a selection from the

  • Old Testament,
  • New Testament,
  • Psalms, and
  • Proverbs

so that he completes the Bible in one year. He and his team offer a unique Bible reading/listening opportunity.

If you don’t know much about the Bible, don’t worry. You will when the year is over.

Brian doesn’t just read the Bible; he

  • explains it,
  • points out its relevance to our world today,
  • encourages us to apply it to our lives and
  • to share its good news with our friends and family.

Besides English, several other languages are available, including Spanish, French, Chinese, Arabic, Portuguese, and Japanese.

IMG_2660.png

There are special versions for

KIDS and TEENS,

a daily Psalm and a daily Proverb

and a Chronological version-reading the books of the Bible in the order the events happened.

the Daily Audio Bible logo

Daily Audio Bible formats

Daily Audio Bible Mobile App- Download on the App Store

Daily Audio Bible Player

Daily Audio Bible Podcast-Listen on Apple Podcasts

IMG_2662.png

With some versions, you can also read along while you listen and you can enter your thoughts in a journal.  You can bookmark favorites.It even checks off the episodes you have listened to.

IMG_2663.png

From the DAB Core Values 

In all that we do we have the goal of irreversible change.

It’s not education, though that certainly happens,

it’s not inspiration, though that may be a result and

it’s not encouragement, though we hope it happens…

It’s irreversible change – the transformation of hearts and lives that in turn empowers an awake and alert heart to influence those within their sphere of influence for irreversible change.

One of the best parts -DAB offers this wonderful opportunity free of charge.

You pay nothing for the app and use of the web site.

Of course, it costs money to produce something of this quality;  generous donations and the sale of books and other items on the website fund the project.

So please use the links above to check it out- you have nothing to lose. I’ll check in with you in a few weeks to ask how it’s going or you can let me know now.

Brian Hardin is a music producer,  ordained minister and author of several books including

(These are affiliate links which may pay a commission to support this blog.)

REFRAME

SNEEZING JESUS

PASSAGES: HOW READING THE BIBLE IN A YEAR WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING FOR YOU

Please do me a favor and  share this post on your social media pages.

And please follow Watercress Words  as we explore the HEART of health together. 

Thanks for your time and interest .

Sincerely, Dr. Aletha 

A time to be born, and a time to die-what books teach us about dying

The books I reviewed share  common themes, and events yet are each unique as are the people in them who demonstrate both resilience and fragility. 

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,

Ecclesiastes 3, NIV

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Birth and death are the only medical events that all humans share. We can anticipate and celebrate the births of other people but not our own.

However we all can anticipate our own death although most of the time we don’t want to.  Unless we deal with a chronic life threatening disease or  are  diagnosed with a terminal illness, or thrust into a life-threatening situation such as combat or a natural disaster,  most of us don’t consider  about how or when we will die. But in truth we all will die.

I have reviewed several books about death here . Not because I  wanted to write about death but because several good books deal with death sensitively and thoughtfully.

Books about death are sometimes written by a person who is facing death. Relatives write after a loved one dies- a child ,a spouse ,a parent. The motivation for writing these books varies as does the motivation for reading them.

I reviewed these books  because by understanding how other people and their families have faced death it may relieve our dread, anxiety, or fear  about dying and death. Often it is not death itself that we  fear but the dying process -the pain , disability, dependence, isolation, unfulfilled dreams.

In an essay  for JAMA, Dr. Zachary Sager, a geriatric and palliative care physician in Boston Massachusetts, described his response to  working with dying patients-

“I witnessed how people could be simultaneously resilient and fragile. I was moved by the connectedness between individuals.

I accept that death offers not only the expected reflection on life and mourning but an opportunity for a unique form of growth and healing. ”

The books I reviewed share  common themes, and events yet are each unique as are the people in them who demonstrate both resilience and fragility.

I am posting excerpts from my reviews with a link to the entire piece. I welcome and encourage your comments about these books as well as any about how you  have navigated death in your family.

A 90 year old woman says “yes” to life

Driving Miss Norma tells the story of Norma Bauerschmidt, a WWII WAVE veteran, wife, and mother. She was still in good health at 90 years of age, until she was diagnosed with cancer.

Her doctor recommended surgery to be followed by chemotherapy, and warned her the treatment and recovery would be long and difficult. She told him no, she would rather “hit the road” with her son and daughter-in-law and enjoy her life, seeing and doing things she had not had a chance to do before. And her doctor agreed, saying that is just what he would do.

Driving Miss Norma - a book cover

Tim, her son, and Ramie, his wife, had already been living a nomadic life, travelling the country with their standard poodle Ringo in an Airstream travel  trailer they parked in campgrounds and  Walmart parking lots. They enjoyed travelling, seeing new places, meeting new people. They wondered how adding a 90 year old woman to their wandering lifestyle would work.

Driving Miss Norma- a book review

A young mother who chose life

A few months after their baby Indiana’s birth, Joey  faced the recurrence of cervical cancer diagnosed and treated years before. Despite more surgery, radiation and chemo the cancer persisted until further treatments were futile and and likely to cause more suffering. Joey decided to leave their Nashville farm,her horses, chickens and gardens, to move home to Indiana to spend her remaining time with her extended family.

To Joey, With Love

Faced with the persistence of the cancer

“Joey decided to come home-not to die, but to live.”

To Joey, With Love- a movie review

A physician who faces his own mortality

Dr. Paul Kalanithi was a 36-year-old resident physician who had, as he wrote, “reached the mountaintop” of anticipating a promising career as a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist. He had a loving wife, a supportive family and professors who respected his knowledge and skill. He seemed destined to be sought after, well paid, productive, successful, and  famous.

WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR- a book

(note: a neurosurgeon treats  brain, spinal cord and nerve  diseases such as brain tumors that can be cured or improved with surgery,)

Unfortunately, “the culmination of decades of striving evaporated” when he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of lung cancer for which the prognosis was bleak, even with treatment. He was admitted to the very hospital where he trained as a neurosurgery resident, now  to learn what it is like to be a patient with a potentially terminal illness.

When Breath Becomes Air- reflections from Dr. Lucy Kalanithi

Thank you for joining me to remember and honor Norma, Joey, and Paul. I appreciate their families’ generosity in sharing their stories and the HEART of health.

Dr. Aletha stethoscope with a heart