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About Jim McGuiggan. Jim McGuiggan. Books by Jim McGuiggan. Trivia About Life on the Ash H No trivia or quizzes yet. Welcome back. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. We need the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to support people who would benefit so much by this drug Xalkori Crizotnib targeted therapy.

Please click on the image above to watch, and then share this hope-filled video with others. Well, actually it was. It seems that hot and cold foods and chewing set off the pain—and the pain has been extreme. I arrived at hospital feeling a little under the weather. Each time I have chemo they test my blood pressure, review blood tests for white cell count and other things, and test my urine for protein.

Everything needs to be right for me to proceed.


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My protein count was much too high, my blood pressure was up, and they were wondering about the tooth situation. So after ringing the oncologist, I was informed that I would be given the Alimta, but I could not have the Avastin. It was a little strange not being able to have Avastin. It was easy. Then off for a coffee and breakfast. This time there was no scanxiety. Why was this? No—if anything, my anxiety with chemo has grown worse over time. Is it that I presumed the results would be good? No—I prayed, and asked others to pray, that there would be no evidence of cancer this time round.

I think the answer is that God had enabled me to trust him with the process and the outcome. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. I know what it is to be very ill, and I know what it is to be healthy. The phone just rang. My results…. No change, still NED, no evidence of disease. Praise God! The Cancer Council exists to offer people hope in circumstances where hope is so easily extinguished. They channel money into research, education, support, resources, help lines, and more.

They help to connect people with others on the same difficult journey. Hope is a word that has come to mean so much more to me over the past 28 months. My hope has been realised in so many ways—both practical and present. But most of all, I have been able to rejoice in the unfathomable hope that comes through what happened that first ever Easter. My hope—I believe rational and considered—is a hope in resurrection. If you are in Canberra then please pay a visit. It is a fun environment—colourful, music, food, activity—a celebration of life amidst the harsh realities of sickness.

Just look for our stall on the edge of the track. I hope to see many of you there. Here are the details:. Follow Blog via Email. Hope Beyond Cure a journey with cancer and God. Skip to content. Looking for hope? Posted on January 31, by macarisms. Posted in Journey with cancer Leave a comment. Daniel Block Dr. Where we go he goes, a glorious fact celebrated by the psalmist alluded to earlier: Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!

If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. Psalm —12, ESV Above and beyond our wonder over the physical body, we have been amazed by the emotional and psychological resilience of a thirteen year old. Posted in Uncategorized Leave a comment. Lights a shabbat candle?

Chapter The God of Grace (Job ) by Don Smith

Serves or eats food at a langar? Enters a trance? Gives alms? Faces martyrdom? Dances at a corroboree? Breaks a fast, or keeps one? Receives absolution for sin? Sings at a wedding? Bathes at a Kumbh Mela? Speaks in tongues? Engenders a new life in sexual intercourse? Intones the name of a sutra? Eats the pangolin? Explicates a religious text? Kills an infidel in a just war? I have deliberately mixed the routine and extraordinary, lay and monastic, civil and violent here. As a set they should make the inadequacy of the concept of happiness clear, not only as a measure of religious life, but of life more generally.

Only some of these practices and experiences are reconcilable with the codes and conventions of modern liberal life. It is hard to say which is more scandalous: the religious cooptation of accepted notions of happiness, or religious promotion of forms of happiness condemned as uncivil. It is easier to discuss the latter, but attending to the former may do more to pry loose unquestioned assumptions of the secular- ity of worldly happiness. These practices have been criticized by elites as corrupted or even counterfeit religion. The plea- sures of condescension at the nouveau riche mix happily here with the contempt felt for credulous dupes.

Where religion promises worldly happiness by unworldly means, it seems to betray both religion and the legitimate pursuit of happi- ness in this world. In its conflation of economic and religious values and its supposed displacement of economic rationality with religious irratio- nality, it also now seems a threat to public order. Barbara Ehrenreich has found similar exuberant irrationality throughout contempo- rary American life. Exposing the antics of religious charlatans has long been a favor- ite subject of American culture, but the experiences and motivations of their followers have been rather less studied.

Most of the follow- ers of Creflo and Joel are surely not getting what it seems they are promised. Or are they getting a return on their investment after all? Actually talking to the members of such movements might show us that they are not in it for the nonmaterializing material benefits anyway.


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  8. It may be that what they are getting is participation in a more social and less materialist prosperity than their critics can imagine. In its most basic form, prosperity seems to mean not wealth but abundance: enough to be able to help others, to prosper them. Prospering is giving, not receiving; sharing, not consuming. None of this is to say that such practices are not irrational. It is certainly not to condone the exploitation of such availability.

    They are representative of more than a fringe.

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    They are more like other, nonprosperity forms of religion than their religious critics tend to admit do not most religious traditions prom- ise abundance in one form or another? And, as Ehrenreich has suggested, they have many analogs that are not explicitly religious.


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    5. Appreciated as a social phenomenon, it might teach us about a happiness that is not individual or materialist—but which consumer capitalist society leaves no other ways of conceptualizing than in individual and materi- alist terms. For two generations the academic study of religion has challenged and pluralized the conception of secular religion it inherited and once consecrated in the academy. It is difficult to challenge public under- standings, though.

      Unlike scholars of literature, philosophy, or sociol- ogy they do not control the brand. Well-intentioned studies of particular traditions are quickly subsumed in the world religions playlist. Even the most compel- ling accounts of different ways of construing religion and happiness would only whet the appetite of the adventurous consumer of religions.

      The Metaphysics of Healthy-Mindedness Something much like prosperity religion was a major phenomenon already in nineteenth-century America. James thought there was something particularly American in its metaphysically unconcerned experimen- talism, but as we come to better understandings of popular religion in other times and places, we find it there too. His conflicted appreciation of healthy-minded religion opens a way to move beyond liberal pieties about essentially nice religion and essen- tially secular happiness.

      James is not exactly an advocate of what he calls the religion of healthy-mindedness. He assumes his audience will share his distaste and with few exceptions like Mary Douglas scholars have steered clear of it ever since. Something more than his scientific method and an American popu- lism lead him to include it. Healthy-mindedness is in some ways the unacknowledged alpha and omega of Jamesian religion.

      Just what this means is less clear. But James is not thinking of the golden rule. In religious experience and the conduct that flows from it, humanity participates in a dynamic and open-ended universe. The examples come largely from tradi- tions James has earlier described as healthy-minded.

      The blind have been made to see, the halt to walk; lifelong invalids have had their health restored. The moral fruits have been no less remarkable. The deliberate adoption of a healthy-minded attitude has proved profitable to many who never supposed they had it in them; regeneration of character has gone on an extensive scale; and cheerfulness has been restored to countless homes The secret was out long before The Secret. Of course, Mind-Cure views are philosophically inferior to those of the sick soul, James finds.

      (3-1) Introduction

      Yet healthy-mindedness is not as shal- low as this somewhat defensive contrast with the sick-soul implies. It is defined neither by avoidance of the reality of evil nor by a callow cost- benefit approach to life—though these are clearly subvarieties—but by a sense that goods and harmonies are essential to the meaning of life. Whitman and Mind-Cure do not exhaust the healthy-minded.

      He mentions St. Francis, the young Rousseau, the eighteenth-century optimistes, and Spinoza.

      Life On the Ash heap: Reflections On the Book of Job

      He finds it in Emerson, and in Christian liberalism and the new forms of nature religion that seemed to be taking its place. There is certainly a sense in which James is slumming among the healthy-minded. What makes his struggles with the prejudices of his age important is his effort to include these varieties in understand- ings of religion as a whole. Praising saints, mystics, and faith heal- ers was scandalous to his Presbyterian audience.

      James even dares to press beyond monotheism. While shallow in other ways, this is nothing like the utilitarianism James mentioned earlier. It takes the facts of physical science at their face-value, and leaves the laws of life just as naturalism finds them. It confines itself to sentiments about life as a whole. In this universalistic way of taking the ideal world, the essence of practical religion seems to me to evaporate James This postscript ranges more widely than the timid conclusions of the lectures.

      The common denominator of all the experiences he has canvassed, including the most rigorously monotheistic, seems to be pluralizable: [T]he practical needs and experiences of religion seem to me sufficiently met by the belief that beyond each man and in a fashion continuous with him there exists a larger power which is friendly to him and to his ideals.

      It need not be infinite, it need not be solitary. It might conceivably even be only a larger and more godlike self, of which the present self would then be but the mutilated expression and the universe might conceivably be a collection of such selves, of different degrees of inclusiveness, with no abso- lute unity realized in it at all. Thus would a sort of polythe- ism return upon us They do not transcend the line between human and superhuman but move it. Mysticism, too, has a piecemeal qual- ity to it.

      Monotheism is one form that pluralism can take, rather than being the pure form of something bowdlerized by the poly- theism of lesser minds. Being philosophically deeper may be a liability. The healthy-minded, by contrast, push us to reexamine assumptions about happiness, religion, and the metaphysical structure of the world. The Prosperity of Job Even the Book of Job—a favorite text of sick souls, religious as well as secular—rewards reading in terms of the pluralistic metaphysics of healthy-mindedness.

      I have sprinkled my discussions with interpretations of the Book of Job because it is a central proof text for the view that religion at its most profound is concerned with the problem of evil. Nobody doubts that the man from Uz suffered terribly and for questionable reasons never explained to him. He lost his family, his living, his place in soci- ety, and his health. But to many, past and present, the Book of Job is not primarily about suffering or evil.

      Scripture not found.

      It is a story of the promise of happi- ness—in suffering, but also in happiness itself. Except for a brief period of his long life, Job was a prosperous man. Where once he had 7, sheep he now has 14,, etc. His children have not doubled in number but his new daughters shine with greater beauty. Job himself lives out twice the usual lifespan—not 70 but years.

      His knowledge of God has gone from a secondhand relationship of hearing to a firsthand relation- ship of seeing. Job has it all: God himself has announced his pleasure with him. And yet there is something disturbing about his story. The prosperous Job is not the Job we think we know. The Job celebrated in our time is an everyman mishandled by a cruel God, who daringly refuses to accept such treatment. He vindicates Job at the end, because he has to. Job has won the moral victory.

      God will not speak again in the Tanakh. Chesterton acknowledging, is athe- ism.