ETERNAL IMPLICATIONS

EternityFor salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light…live honorably…,not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. Romans 13:11-14

 

It was a terrible week. We had just buried my father in Las Vegas, Nevada. I had flown back to Minnesota with my mother, placing her in an assisted living facility in spite of her pleading me to let her come and live with me and my new husband. I would not last a week with my mother, an eighty-nine year-old chronic alcoholic, living under the same roof as us. But I promised my father I would look after her, and I was doing the best I could. I was being laid off from the college where I worked, and I wasn’t sure I would have another job to go to at the end of the school year. With no time off left, I was trying to liquidate my parents’ home and belongings in Las Vegas via phone and email. A nursing assistant who had cared for my father asked to buy two recliners, but requested I hold the check until the first of the month. In the midst of all this chaos, the check fell out of my purse at a drugstore while I was filling my new prescription for anti-anxiety medication.

 

The pharmacist found the check and called the nursing assistant in Las Vegas. She called me and came unglued. She berated me first for losing the check, then for not being with my father when he died, then for “uprooting” my mother and dragging her to Minnesota in the middle of the winter. For what seemed like a very long time, I listened to her abuse and prayed for serenity. God delivered in spades. I took a deep breath and told her to keep the recliners, no payment was necessary. I thanked her for taking care of my parents when I could not. I am not always so gracious, but with God’s help, I made the best of an awful situation.

 

Jesus, Lord of Peace, help us see the eternal implications of our actions. Keep us in perfect peace. Amen

 

Alone on a Colorado mountain, Meg Corrigan faced the unthinkable, a situation that almost ended her life. Hear the details of her astounding rescue from the hands of a gun-wielding attacker and how she walked off that mountain. Hers is a story of tragedy turned holy, a journey of sorrow and healing, a powerful message of hope in the darkest hour. In her memoir, Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child, Meg credits her resilience to the grace of God. She is also the author of Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist, tales based on her years as a drummer in a Hawaiian show band; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian, released this month. Meg is a retired college counselor, author, speaker, trainer and sexual assault survivor. She is a member of the RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) Speakers’ Bureau. She speaks to churches, civic groups, college students, mental health professionals and law enforcement personnel, as well as youth in juvenile facilities. She lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota with her husband, Patrick. She loves to coax seemingly dead plants out of the soil in her yard. The couple have four daughters, ten grandchildren and a great-grandchild on the way. Contact her at MegCorrigan@comcast.net or www.MegCorrigan.com .

NAMASTE IN BED

“You shall therefore lay up these words of Mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.” Deuteronomy 11:18

My massage therapist Mary also teaches “Soma Yoga,” which is “slow, gentle exercises that re-educate the nervous system and allow the release of tight, restricted muscles, thereby promoting healing” (yogapedia.com). During the pandemic lockdown, Mary recorded herself giving several soma yoga lessons and provided them to her clients online for free. On one video, I saw her performing both standing moves and some lying on a mat. Since I can no longer get down on the floor and back up again without a forklift involved, I needed to adapt the exercises. Thus, I turned off my computer and ate several chocolate chip cookies. The next time I talked to Mary, she said, “Lie down on your bed with your laptop and do the session there.” But her recorded voice was so soothing that I ended up taking a ninety-minute nap. By now I was beginning to doubt my commitment to soma yoga, as well as my efforts to stop gaining weight during the lockdown. I could easily blame it all on the pandemic, along with my inability to balance my checkbook, my failure to write consistently in spite of a looming literary deadline,  and my desire to binge watch Star Trek reruns with my Treckie husband.

One thing I did not let slide during the lockdown was the maintenance of my spiritual “fitness.” I continued to read my daily devotions, recording my reflections on how the Scripture passages impacted my life. I collected ideas for these devotions which I later compiled into usable 400-word iterations. And I participated in our church’s prayer chain, praying for congregation members, the community, our nation and the world at large. There was and continues to be much to pray for. Moses recounted to the Israelites Yahweh’s orders for them to wear His Word as a sign on their hands and between their eyes (Deuteronomy 11:18). “Phylacteries” were small vessels containing Scripture, forerunners of spiritual practices we keep today. Keeping “fit” in the Spirit helps me live for Christ, and I might just try that soma yoga soon too!

Lord, we thank You for Your Word which keeps us spiritually fit. Amen

WHERE TO SEND YOUR DEMONS

Demom pigsWhen the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. Luke 8:33

Last Sunday, our pastor, Andy Evenson, preached on Luke 8:25-39, the story of Jesus casting out demons from a man who walked around naked and lived in the tombs in the area of Gerasenes opposite Galilee. When Jesus asked the man’s name, he said “Legion” because there were so many demons inside him. The demons begged Jesus to send them into a nearby herd of swine. The poor pigs were so traumatized by the demons that they stampeded over a steep embankment, plunged into the lake and were drowned. Before last Sunday, I always thought how mad the pig owners must have been that Jesus just gave up their pigs that way. But Pastor Andy explained that the Jewish people thought pigs were unclean animals, so they probably weren’t bothered by their demise at all.

But here’s the most important point of the story: when the newly demon-free man asked Jesus if he could come with Him, Jesus answered, “Return to your home and declare how much God has done for you” (verse 39). I would like to think I “outran” the old demons in my life—the things I did and said and thought before I got to know Jesus—and I’d rather not think about them. But here Jesus is saying we should remain in the places demons had us on the run—the tombs of our old sinful life—and make sure all the people who “knew us when” we committed all those sins could see clearly what God has done to make our lives so much better. Well. Who knew?

Pastor Andy made another really good point in his sermon: in today’s world, we might wish Jesus would cast demons into something seemingly useless, such as mosquitos. I’d like to watch all of them rush into an abyss, never to be seen again. While we’re at it, let’s send demons into robocalls, slow internet, spam email, single socks in the wash (the “hose zone”), you fill-in-the-blanks. If Jesus could banish a legion of demons into some pigs, think what He could do with our everyday annoyances!

God of Great and Tiny Things, rid us of useless sins and small exasperations. Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan tells stories of wisdom, strength, fear, joy and risk-taking. Daughter of a raging alcoholic mother, and survivor of sexual assault at gunpoint, Corrigan has shaken a dismal past and flung herself into the arms of Christ, Who sustains her in her daily walk of grace. She shares with her listeners her incredible story of surviving and thriving through many trials during her seven decades walking this fragile earth. She has been described as a Renaissance Woman, integrating her formal training in psychology and counseling, an enlightening experience as a percussionist for a Polynesian show troupe, and most recently as an inspirational author and blogger. Her exposure to many life experiences has enriched her passion for spreading Christ’s word and helping other trauma survivors. She has a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling and thirty-plus years of experience in the field of counseling and social work.  She lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, with the love of her life, Patrick, and their formerly disenfranchised rescue dog Ginger. www.MegCorrigan.com    MegCorrigan@comcast.net

Meg Blaine Corrigan tells stories of wisdom, strength, fear, joy and risk-taking. Daughter of a raging alcoholic mother, and survivor of sexual assault at gunpoint, Corrigan has shaken a dismal past and flung herself into the arms of Christ, Who sustains her in her daily walk of grace. She shares with her listeners her incredible story of surviving and thriving through many trials during her seven decades walking this fragile earth. She has been described as a Renaissance Woman, integrating her formal training in psychology and counseling, an enlightening experience as a percussionist for a Polynesian show troupe, and most recently as an inspirational author and blogger. Her exposure to many life experiences has enriched her passion for spreading Christ’s word and helping other trauma survivors. She has a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling and thirty-plus years of experience in the field of counseling and social work.  She lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, with the love of her life, Patrick, and their formerly disenfranchised rescue dog Ginger. www.MegCorrigan.com    MegCorrigan@comcast.net

CONSPIRACY THEORIES

Conspiracy TheoriesHis divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3

 

The Denver International Airport is a hub for the lizard people who run the government and much of the world. The gateway to hell is either under the Denver International Airport or along the French/Swiss border. The earth is hollow and there might be a whole other civilization of advanced beings living there. Osama bin Laden once worked for the CIA. These are a few of the more spectacular “conspiracy theories” I found posted on the internet. “Conspiracy theories” twist facts and are based on the idea that things aren’t as they seem. They are not based on flimsy or contested evidence; they are based on no evidence. A theory about a conspiracy is not the same: the final report on the 9/11 attacks showed much evidence that terrorists planned and carried out the attacks. A conspiracy theory might say, without proof, that the FBI and the CIA actually orchestrated those attacks.

 

In an article on newstatesman.com, conspiracy theories are reported to be “first and foremost forms of political propaganda…designed to denigrate specific individuals or groups or advance a political agenda.” Just because a person or many people believe a conspiracy theory does not mean the theory is true. The article goes on to say these theories are dangerous because they “promote a political agenda…by marketing seductive explanations of major events that are unlikely to be true but are likely to influence public opinion in a preferred direction.” With the advent of the internet, these unproven theories are shared and grown with alarming speed.

 

Those of us who believe that the Bible is God’s Living Word also believe the Good Book is full of truth. That is not to say the books, chapters, and verses cannot be interpreted many ways, and can in fact be used to try to “prove” many false narratives and devious agendas. But for those who seek to follow Christ and know the will of God, the Bible is still the best source we have for learning how to live a sensible and productive life. 2 Peter 1:3 states it clearly: God’s power has given us everything needed for life and godliness.”

 

God of Truth, guide us in all that is right and good. Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan is the author of three books: Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child; Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico and has over thirty years’ experience working with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, war veterans, and other trauma survivors.  Her books may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .