Ken and Martha Stewart publish their first podcast as a couple. This podcast iooks at life from a Christian perspective.
healing verses read by ken davivd stewart
a Christian with an attitude is back.
Episode 27 Clarissa Peyton
Clarissa Peyton was a Christian legalist. A legalist is someone who likes to live by laws, rules and regulations. They believe that the laws of the Old Testament are to be followed strictly. The Christian legalist sees the world only in black-and-white terms. There are no grey areas for them and there was no grey in Clarissa’s worldview. It was ironic that some of Clarissa’s beliefs showed a definite similarity with Charles Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest. To Clarissa, people fell into distinct categories such as the strong in the weak. Strong people succeeded in this world and the weak simply perished. Clarissa had little, if any, empathy for other people.
She been married to Harold for many years. In the beginning she was attracted by his wit, intelligence and charismatic personality. Early on in their marriage Clarissa had been struggling with an addiction to Valium. Harold Peyton stuck it out with her until she eventually was able to break her addiction for good.
The first four years Haroldand Clarissa’s marriage had displayed some degree of love. Harald loved Clarissa, but he had to admit that after a few years of marriage he was starting to doubt Clarissa’s love for him. There would be signs of her losing affection for him. He hated the way that she was now pushing him away any time he tried to give her a hug.
When they were first married Clarissa and Harold both attended a conservative Baptist church. Clarissa liked the middle-age pastor and admired his strict adherence to Scripture. For a period of time, Harold too appeared to enjoy going to church with Clarissa, but gradually things began to change for him.
One of his fellow teachers was a Charismatic Pentecostal Christian. Charismatics and Pentecostals believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are still alive and well in our present age. They often refer to themselves as being full gospel and pursue the spiritual gifts such as speaking in unknown tongues, the experience of being slain in the spirit and the believe that healing is still part of Christ’s atonement.
One afternoon, Harold co- worker, Jim Davidson, invited Harold to a Bible study that met every Wednesday night at Jim and Sarah’s house. Jim told Harold that he was welcome to bring his wife, Clarissa with him.
Harold took Jim up on his offer. Starting to feel there had to be more to Christianity than just being saved and then being told to follow strict laws, rules and regulations to stay on good terms with God. What seemed to appeal to Clarissa in their home Baptist Church was leaving Harold with a feeling of emptiness in his relationship with God. It was coming to the point where Harold was starting to stay at home on Sundays rather than go to church with Clarissa. This issue was causing a great deal of friction in their marriage. Clarissa was now telling Harold she thought she married a godly man, but now worried that Harold was starting to backslide in his walk with the Lord.
The next morning Harold informed Clarissa over breakfast that he would be attending a Bible study at Jim’s Jim Davidson’s house that evening.
“You are welcome to join us Clarissa,” Harold said, taking a sip from his morning cup of coffee.
“What’s the name of the church that Jim attends?” Clarissa asked.
“The House of Faith,” Harold answered.
“I’ve heard about that one. Charles Franklin is the lead pastor that church. I listened to a few of his podcasts. He’s a false prophet. His church is one of those crazy Pentecostal churches. Their theology is way off course Harold. I don’t want to see you exposed to their radical incorrect teachings,” Clarissa said as she angrily slapped her left hand on the kitchen table. I want you to start attending services again at First Baptist Church. It also wouldn’t hurt if you started coming along with me to Thursday night Bible studies at our church. Our meetings are led by our pastor, William Prichard.
“No, I think I’ll go to Jim’s Bible study this evening just to check it out for myself,” Harold replied.
“Sure. Go ahead Harold. You’ve become a backslider and I no longer consider you to be the priest of this home,” was Clarissa’s terse response to her husband.
On Monday afternoon Whisper was browsing on Harold’s computer when she found Harold’s Spotify playlists. She noticed that one of the playlists was titled as gospel. On Sunday evening Whisper located Harold’s iTunes audiobook downloads. She was cognizant of how many of Harold’s downloads were of different versions of the Bible.
Shortly after Harold returned with the bags of groceries that he had just purchased at Sobeys.
“Let me carry those bags in the house for you, Harold,” Whisper offered.
Whisper noticed how many pain medications Harold was prescribed when she discreetly went through Harold’s medicine bag.
“Why do you need to take so many pain pills, Harold? Whisper asked as a concerned expression crossed her face.
“For my arthritis, dear. I also suffer periodic bouts and flareups of fibromyalgia,” Harold answered.
“Have you ever considered managing your pain with medical marijuana? Whispered asked.
“I’ve thought about it. My sister, Jamie, has used cannabis for pain management for about two years now. She also has arthritis. I guess it runs in the family.”
“Has it helped her?” Whisper asked.
“It must. She keeps ordering it. Jamie even has a legal cannabis medical card that she obtained from her doctor,” Harold answered.
After Whisper carried Harold’s groceries out of the car and into the house she started placing them in Harold’s refrigerator.
“Hey Harold. Did you buy anything that you can actually cook? Whisper asked.
Harold laughed. “What would be the use? I can’t cook a thing.”
Harold’s grocery purchases consisted of pizza pops, yogurt, granola bars, block cheese, cereal and assorted other items that do not require actual culinary skills.
“I’ll teach you how to cook. I’ll start you off with easy things. We’ll start with the baby steps. In the meantime, I’ll do all the cooking for you for now,” Whisper explained.
“Sounds like a plan to me,” Harold responded.
“Let’s get back your pain management. I’ll start you off on one bowl of weed and we’re going to see how you respond,” Whisper said.
“Where are we going to get the marijuana?” Harold asked
“I have some in my backpack,” Whisper answered. Whisper reached into her paisley covered backpack and found the pocket that contained a plastic sandwich bag filled with pink bubba marijuana. She reached into another compartment in her backpack and pulled out a pipe with a pink and white swirly design. Whisper proceeded to place a tiny round screen in the bottom of the pipe and then loaded the bowl with a small amount of weed. Whisper passed the luminescent pot pipe to Harold along with her lighter that displayed a picture of a marijuana leaf.
“Just light up the pipe and take some small puffs. You don’t need to hold the smoke deep in your lungs to get the full effect,” Whisper instructed.
Harold complied and took a few hits off the pipe. Almost immediately he felt some positive sensations.
“I’ve got a question for you Harold. I want you to answer before you smoke anymore dope. I want you to be reasonably lucid and articulate when you respond to my question.”
“Now you got me curious. What’s your damn question anyway?” Harold asked now sitting near the front of his Lazy Boy chair.
“Do you believe in God, Harold?” Whisper asked.
“Why do you ask?” Harold reluctantly placed his pipe in a sudden ceramic ashtray.
“I’ve noticed all the Bible audiobooks you downloaded to your computer,” Whisper said as she took out a pack of Zigzag rolling papers and made a perfect joint. She seated herself comfortably on Harold’s couch, but positioned herself so that she could look directly into Harold’s eyes.
Harold slid back in his Lazy Boy chair. He let out a big sigh.
“You sure like to ask the heavy -duty questions, don’t you? “The simple answer is ‘Yes’. I have believed in God since I was a little child. My family didn’t go to church, but our public school teachers would read to us every morning from a book of Bible stories for children. The book contained modified, paraphrased accounts of famous Bible stories such as Noah and the ark and David and Goliath.
“As little children we lived near the Red River and hung out at the river bank. On a Friday or Saturday night we would often have a wiener roast and discuss the Bible stories that are teachers had read us during the past week. A recurring topic was the future of our own our eternal destinies. The kids in our little gang who gave their parents and teachers a lot of trouble surmised that their eternal fate was almost certainly to be tortured endlessly in hell. You also need to remember that in those days there was only one depiction of the abode of eternal damnation.”
“What was that representation?” Whisper asked.
“The fiery furnace. Your body would burn forever in a state of eternal torment. This, of course, had the predictable effect upon a child’s mind and emotions,” Harold answered.
“That sounds horrible, Harold. Were you given an alternative?” Whisper asked.
“Yes. If you were a model citizen and did everything your parents and teachers told you to do and didn’t say any bad swears, you’d likely end up in heaven with Jesus after you died,” Harold answered while looking longingly at the cannabis pipe sitting comfortably in the ceramic ashtray.
“When you were little boy did you believe this?” Whisper asked.
“Absolutely. Nobody told us anything different. Even if our parents didn’t attend church, they found this teaching to be an effective tool when it came to keeping their kids in line.”
“Now that you’re an adult you still don’t believe the same thing, do you, Harold?” Whisper asked as she reached over to pass the pipe to Harold.
“I still believe in God, but I absolutely think that I was taught the wrong message about God’s character,” Harold answered while gratefully taking the pipe from Whisper.
“So that means you’re still a believer? Whisper asked.
“With all my heart,” Harold responded, “Despite what some of my Christian brothers and sisters may think about my present spiritual condition.”
“Why in the world would your Christian friends doubt your sincerity?” Whisper asked.
Harold hesitated for a few seconds while he picked up Whisper’s marijuana lighter, lit up the bowl of cannabis and took three deep puffs off the swirly ceramic pipe.
This morning Keith Ross was hoping that listening to Creflo Dollar’s message would help to improve his mood and provide him with some inspiration. He did attend a local church occasionally, but preferred to stay at home and watch services via the internet.
Keith had many TV preachers that he watched including Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, Joseph Prince, Patricia King, Jim Richards and Todd Bentley. Many years ago he got introduced to the Charismatic stream of Christian theology through the influence of one of his old girlfriends.
He preferred to believe in a positive, motivating theology. He knew that there were more mainstream theologies out there, but over the years he had become very disillusioned with them. Keith’s father had been a Baptist preacher who taught a very conservative view of the Bible and the Christian life. Keith had always thought that there had to be more to Christianity than this and his former girlfriend had shown him that that he could go much deeper in his relationship with God.
Keith wanted to believe that God loved him and wanted him to be blessed with good health and financial prosperity. He did not want to get rich. He only desired to get all his debts paid off and to have enough money for a comfortable lifestyle.
The next morning Keith Ross woke up and felt miserable. It was another morning where he felt as if he had never slept during the night. He groggily got off his ragged, old, broken down couch where he slept most nights. He often fell asleep on the couch while reading or watching TV.
Keith frequently watched Fox News before he went to bed. When he was young man, he was very much a socialist, but as he got older, he began to see the negative characteristics of a totally socialized society. At first, he wasn’t crazy about Donald Trump, but during the first six months of Trump’s presidency, Keith was starting to really admire the way the new president took tough stands on issues that he strongly believed in.
He took out his favorite glass of water from the kitchen shelf and began taking his massive regimen of medications and dietary supplements. Keith followed this with a bowl of Raisin Bran cereal. He preferred Frosted Flakes, but he had recently decided to be more careful about his food choices.
As soon as he finished his breakfast, Keith felt so tired that he lied down on the couch. After about five minutes had passed, he got up and looked out the window. The sun was shining brightly. He promptly turned on the weather channel to check today’s forecast. The weather channel reported a high of 28°C with sunny skies throughout the day. He started to think about going for a bike ride. Keith looked up at his beautiful, black Giant mountain bike parked a few feet behind his large, flat screen TV.
Keith decided to make himself go for a bike ride. He now had too many days when he had to ‘push himself’ to do anything. Was he getting old or was it just that he was out of shape and not eating nutritious meals? Probably Keith’s chronic fatigue was due to a variety of factors.
There was beautiful weather outside and Keith enjoyed his morning bike rides. He rated his physical stamina by his ability to keep going for bike rides year after year.
When Keith returned from his ride, he returned to his old, broken down orange and yellow couch. Keith didn’t know if it was just psychological, but Keith found that taking short power naps during the day allowed him to get more accomplished.
One of Keith’s favorite avocations was writing fiction novels. He had self published three of his original works so far, but none of them had made him any money. Nevertheless, Keith enjoyed the writing process and he found it to be very therapeutic. He found it amazing how the act of writing dredged up memories from the past and old traumas that you thought you had forgotten.
Keith was presently working on a novel that he had temporarily given the title, Chaos. He had just started his first rough draft of chapter five after re-reading and self editing chapter four.
Open Heavens, Anointing, and God’s Favour.
This is episode three of the series that I’m currently working on called, A Christian With an Attitude. This is episode three. Warning: if you are not a believer, you could become one by reading my blogs and listening to my podcasts. This may not occur suddenly. It might take a few weeks, a few months or possibly even a few years, but I pray that the Holy Spirit will visit you in a prompt manner. This is up to God, not me. If you hate Christians and the church, perhaps you should read this to as there is a lot of bad press on the news and social media about the fellowship of Christian believers. Unfortunately, some of this criticism is justified In my articles and podcasts, my goal is that you come to know the real Jesus and not the fake Jesus that is so often portrayed in the news and on social media and sometimes by the church itself. What I’m saying is that I won’t take any responsibility or credit if you become a Christian. That is between you and God. If you are a discouraged Christian, I pray that I can bring you some hope, breakthrough and encouragement.
For approximately one month, I’ve been living under what I call an open heaven and have been blessed with a powerful anointing upon my life. This is also a time in which I am blessed with a special kind of favour from God. I’m not a theologian, nor do I pastor a church in the physical realm. I’m just your average garden-variety Christian. I have secular jobs such as working as a substitute teacher. I am also an author, a blogger and have my own podcast show. I’m not rich and famous yet, but if it’s God’s will, I will be someday. If I don’t become rich and famous I will continue my blogs and podcasts anyway as if even if only one human being on this planet is blessed, I will be grateful to God forever.
You may ask, faithful reader, what in the world is an open heaven? I don’t think I can theologically define the term, but I can share what it looks like to me. To begin with, I have not experienced an open heaven for a long time, until now. Just last month, God brought me out of a horrible clinical depression that probably lasted for two months. During this time, I could barely get out off my living room couch.
After my breakthrough, I began to progressively feel better on a day-to-day basis. Life gradually became a little more tolerable. I was able to accomplish at least a few simple tasks per day. After about three weeks I was back to my premorbid, baseline status. In other words, I was functional. I am now back in the saddle and am once again a productive member of society. I give God praise for this positive change and so does my wife. You can only imagine how difficult it is to be married to a man who is too depressed do anything but lie on the couch and watch television. I thank God that my wife is a godly woman and did not leave me. Many other women would have. I am greatly blessed.
When I am blessed by an open heaven, things rapidly start to improve for me. I begin to have hope, my energy level increases dramatically and I feel much more empowered to deal with the stresses of daily life. Stress in life is inevitable. It cannot be avoided. Whether or not stress will make you ill or even kill you is significantly based on your ability to cope with life’s major and minor crises. I don’t want to only be able to cope with stress. I want to thrive in stressful situations. I want to enjoy the stress. One fact that every Christian needs to know is if they stick out their neck for God and take risks, they will soon discover that they have an enemy.
The enemy’s name is Satan. And believe me he hates God and all Christians. In fact, he hates humanity in general. If one is mostly just a Sunday Christian who attends church regularly, and perhaps even attends a Wednesday evening Bible study, Satan will not likely hassle you too much because you are already saved and there’s nothing he can do about it. He doesn’t think that you pose much of a threat to his kingdom. If, on the other hand, you’re a radical Christian or as I call my podcast A Christian with an Attitude, the enemy will do everything and anything in his power, which is limited by God, to make your life miserable. As it says in the Bible, you must count the cost. My wife and I have both made the decision, to count the cost and pay the price.
Satan’s attacks are very predictable, but may show up in a variety of forms. If you usually have a harmonious relationship between yourself and your significant other, you may suddenly realize that now you are now bickering constantly. Your car may break down and you may be burdened with an expensive repair bill. You may think that you have a good relationship with your supervisor at your job and now feel that he or she is finding fault with your every move, even if none of this criticism is justified. I believe you get the idea. Satan will do anything that he can to destroy your ministry. If you are a believer, you have a ministry. You don’t need to be an ordained minister to have a ministry. If you help the needy and disenfranchised people in our society, you have a ministry. You can justifiably call yourselves lay ministers. My wife and I don’t get paid a cent for our extracurricular service to God. We don’t worry about this because God will be a debtor to no man or woman.
On an informal basis, my wife and I minister to the poor, needy, disenfranchised, mentally ill, youth at risk and to those suffering from the terrible disease of addiction. We both love our ministries both as a couple and as individuals, but believe this, it can be very draining on both our finances and physical and emotional energy. May God bless, prosper you, heal you and give you good success. In Jesus name, Amen.