Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Fine Line


As the mother of a son, who was bi-polar and committed suicide, it has always bothered me, when a Christian, would just say these diseases were of the devil.   The devil never created one thing, EVER…he only destroys, and seeks to kill.  God created my son and your children, and knew every hair on his head, for my Bible tells me so.   My son also, was saved 8/2/90 at 11 years old.  I know where he is. With my Jesus.  For if my Jesus knew every hair on his head, and knew him in my womb, then my Jesus knew he had a genetic chemical imbalance to his brain, before he was even born, and loved him in spite of it.   (Chromosome 18 from the father…as Alziehmer’s is chromosome 19.)

I have known and had a lot of broken people in my life through my long years, in all kinds of situations and illnesses.   Those that I have held up deeply as my role models, were those that surpasses unimaginable circumstances, and not just survived, but, overcame.   The first, came when I was in high school.  Two friends of mine then, (brother & sister) had to get through the deaths of both their parents, who were killed by a train.  It was a horrific tragedy at the time.   The other, a woman friend of my parents, I loved and revered.  Alice young, had done things dare-devil, like jumping off a tressel bridge into the river, swimming.  She had had a double mastectomy, had gall bladder out, appendix out, had a hysterectomy, never having her own children.  But, Allie, was without a doubt a role model still for us young girls when we were young.  She was upbeat, an optimist like my father, and could be so funny.  She was an excellent swimmer and taught us all to perfection.  Her hair was black and naturally curly and she always wore that bright red lipstick and nail polish.  I loved this woman, and as I had my own children, used to run into her, still pretty with salt & pepper hair, and freckles…and that red lipstick in her 80’s.

Then, I too remember with deep respect my friend Arlene, married too, with 4 children, who knew the God that saved her without a doubt!  Two of her children (girls) were both with Down Syndrome.  I’ve lost touch through the years, but, the last time I saw her with her girls was at the doctors and the oldest was very deformed in her 40’s and in a wheel chair.  Arlene jumped for these girls and they were in placement here for a while, and she had all agencies ready at a moments notice.  Like a general,  this beautiful woman, had sacrificed her life with her remarkable husband, for the care of these two girls.  For Arlene knew her Bible and she knew Jesus.  Once visiting her with a back sprain, here she was in bed…her Bible next to her, and all the phone books, paperwork, alongside.    Still telling VNA or others what had to be done.  She was amazing!

I’ve known others with children with Bi-Polar disorder and mental illnesses as my son.  One woman who was also saved, later divorced, had a husband who was schizophrenic and they had two sons.  She really struggled as a single mom.   Continually praying her sons would not get this illness.  Some time later she had a thyroid problem and the doctors took it out.  If you don’t know about thyroid, it can cause horrific mood swings as bi-polar, when taken out.  It did her….and she was later diagnosed with bi-polar, when it was the thyroid removal.   She moved, then came back..and we lost touch.  I only pray too, her sons, who carry this gene of their father, never were touched by this illness.

I’ve had preachers way back, saying “where’s your faith?”  My answer is, how dare  you?   Look at my testimony and tell me I didn’t have faith, when I fought all my life, and looked the devil right in the eye, telling him, “No way would you win!”    Plato said in “Dialogue, Apology sec 38, “The life which is UNexamined is not worth living!”    And this writer, had examined her life, and now has the answers in my mid 70’s that I couldn’t have surmised young.

“Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant.  It is what I have done with WHERE I HAVE BEEN, that should be of interest.”  Georgia O’Keefe 1976.  And as I will write here, it is that material, choice, and WHAT we DO with what we have been through that God will eventually judge.  (C.S.Lewis)

Do I believe in healing? ABSOLUTELY!  I’ll take it any way God gives it to me.  But, as I wrote in my books, it hasn’t always been just in the supernatural having hands lain on me.   I’m cured from long years of asthma, having had horrific allergies as a child.   Do I believe God was in charge? Yes, but  so were my allergy doctors and a round purple med called Advair.  I took Advair for 3 years, and I haven’t even any allergies any longer.   Cured, healed!  For I remember this woman in another church I was in the 80’s-90’s, who had asthma so so bad.  My understanding is she went into an awful asthma attack,  in her apartment, and refused to call 911,  instead calling a friend to pray for her.  She had a nebulizer and inhalers, and nothing worked.   This woman died at only 45 years old, because she did not do in the natural what she should have.  Call 911…(finally a neighbor did).  When you have asthma, your lungs close up, and the airways, and you start to hyperventilate and then panic sets in, because you literally cannot breath.  In that FAITH, God uses doctors too.  You can all pray for me, but, I will also take a step of faith, while trusting God, and call emergency!   That is just good common sense.

I can speak from another experience too, when I asked my home leader for help needing my inhaler from a pharmacy, and was starting to hyperventilate too.  I asked for a mere load of $15 for Albuterol, gasping…I was turned down. I had chest pains by this point as well…I got in my car and cashed a bad check, hardly being able to breathe, driving 6 miles to the pharmacy, who took immediate care of me, emergency.   I could have been dead, like my friend above.  My life was more important than a $25 bank charge.  Trusting God too, the check never bounced, and God intervened.   So, do I trust HIM?  You betcha, and now I’m healed!   Even when ragweed and goldenrod is out, I never have to take a pill or use my inhaler.    Thank you Jesus.

I have had osteo porosis, osteo penia, sciatica, stenosis, degenerative arthritis for 40 years, starting when I was in my 30’s because of the abuse I went through in my 20’s.   Common sense says, to do in the natural and let God do in the supernatural.  But, sometimes through doctors and medicine for HE gave us the technology.   Sometimes, too, God doesn’t always heal us.  Swaggart said this years ago, and I agree.   “The longer you are exposed to a relationship with God and the more time you spend trying to really familiarize yourself in the Word, the more you realize this:  When you try to make absolute statements about what God must or must not do, almost invariably you are WRONG!  And this doesn’t indicate a problem with God or HIS Word; the problem lies ALWAYS …with man’s conception of what God should or shouldn’t be like.  Certainly testifying is a good, moral, spiritually uplifting practice.  And we should give God glory and the credit when HE goes out of HIS way to bless us with a prayer answer.”   But no one is going to tell me I don’t have enough faith!  Not with all I’ve had in my life.   For no one trusts my Jesus and relies on only ONE Jesus, more than me all these years.

There were no CATT scans, MRI’s, X-Rays, or computers in Jesus time.  It is pure blind foolishness not to go to doctors, and do what they say, while believing and keeping your faith.    Well, this is the same for those that have mental health issues.   Many of our soldiers are coming home with deep depressions, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and loss of limbs as well.   They have seen their brothers sometimes blown a part, and more in their young lives than we can imagine.  They need help, as all with any mental illness, and who are we to judge?

I read C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity and he talked about philosophy of Freud, which is the direct contradiction to Christianity.  “And also in direct contradiction to the teachings of Jung.  But when Freud is talking about how to cure neurotics, he is speaking as a specialist in his own subject, but when he goes on to talk about general philosophy he is speaking as an amateur.  It is therefore quite sensible to attend to him with respect in one case and not the other…and that is what I do.  But, psychoanalysis itself, apart from all the philosophical additions that Freud and others have made to it, is NOT the least contradictory to Christianity.

It’s technique overlaps with Christian morality at some points and it would not be a bad thing if every person knew something about it; but it does not run the same course all the way, for the 2 techniques are doing rather different things.

When a man makes a moral choice 2 things are involved.  One is the act of choosing.  The other is the various feelings, impulses, and so on, which his psychological outfit presents to him, and which are the raw material of his choice.  What psychoanalysis undertakes to do is to remove the abnormal feelings, that is, to give the man better raw material for his acts of choice:  morality is concerned with the acts of choice themselves.   However, much you improve the man’s raw material, you have still got something else; the real FREE choice of the man, on the material presented him, either to put his own advantage first or put it last.  And this FREE choice is the only thing morality is concerned with.”   And God us FREE choice.

“The bad psychological material is NOT A SIN, BUT A DISEASE! ”  (IE Mental illnesses, Alzheimer’s, Down Syndrome….diseases, which are genetic).  “They do not need to be repented of, but to be cured. And by the way, THAT is very important.  Human beings judge one another by their “external actions”…what they see in the natural…” God judges them by their moral choices.  When a neurotic  who has a pathological horror of snakes, forces himself to pick up a snake for good reason, it is quite possible that in God’s eyes, he has shown more courage than a healthy man may have shown in winning the V.C.

It is well to put this the other way round.  Some of us who seem like quite nice people, may in fact, have made so little use of a good heredity and a good upbringing that they are really worse than those whom we regard as friends.  Can we be quite certain how we should have behaved if we had been saddled with the psychological outfit, and then with the bad upbringing, and then with the power say, of Himmler?  That is   why Christians are told not to judge. We only see the results which a man’s choices make out of his raw materials.  But God does not judge him on the raw material at all, but on WHAT he has done with it.  Most of the man’s psychological make-up is probably due to his body. When his body dries all that will fall off of him, and the central man, THE THING THAT HE CHOSE, THAT MADE THE BEST OR WORST out of this material, will stand naked. “(In front of God).   “All sorts of nice things which we thought our own, but which were really due to a good digestion, will fall off of some of us, all sorts of nasty things which were due to complexes or bad health will fall off of others.  (ME, now with all my arthritis.)  We shall then, for the FIRST TIME, see every one as he really is.  There will be surprises!”  We’re each progressing at either one state or another.

Most Christians writes talk about mere sins of thought as if they were immensely important, and then talk about the most frightful murders and treacheries as if you had only tot to repent and all would be forgiven.  But I have come to see that they are right!  What they are always thinking of is the mark which action leaves on the central self, which no one sees in this life but which each of us will have to endure – or enjoy- forever.  One man may be so placed that his anger sheds the blood of thousands, and another so placed that however angry he gets he will only be laughed at.  But the little mark on his soul, may, be much the same in both.

Each one has done something to himself which, unless he repents, will make it harder for him to keep out of the rage next time he is tempted, and will make the rage worse, when he does fall into it. If he seriously turns to God, can have that twist in the central man straightened out again; each is, in the long run, doomed if he will not.  A moderately bad man knows he’s not very good. A real bad man thinks he’s all right.  You can understand the nature of drunkenness, sober, but not drunk.   Good people know about good and evil; bad people do not know about either. ” C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Some of us face the things we’ve done in life head on, with all the ramifications of bad choices, and want to know the why’s, therefore’s.  Other’s bury their sins, and put on a front.  God is going to see that raw material and see through.  For it’s not what we have done making mistakes that HE cares about, but what we do with it after repentance.   But, again like Lewis said, some things have a genetic cause, and/or a mental illness, and it doesn’t need repentance, but needs a cure!  My son needed a cure…  One day they will operate in the not too different future and repair the brain.  That day is coming very,  very soon.  Even by lasers, they’ll be able to go in and God will lead them.   This I believe.

The thing to remember is no matter how debilitated we are or screwed up…God chose US.  We did not choose him.  He has amazing power to hold us up and together, through all kinds of circumstances.  We are to learn WHO we are in CHRIST, BECAUSE of the choices we made.  But HE always heard me…He has never ever forsaken me.  I can’t turn back the clock and undo my choices young, in this life, but we are mandated by God, to help others not to make the same mistakes we did.  HE calls us…He wants us open…IN SPITE OF THE PAIN WE WENT THROUGH.   I am blessed beyond compare.    And no one is ever going to tell me I don’t have enough faith.  I am HIS…Right where He wants me, now leaving this for you the reader.   C.S. Lewis may be deep, but, it was deeply meditated on, by a scholar who I respect deeply.

His Face

Oh, Father God, as I pray and seek your face,
How wonderful thou art and how I yearn for your everlasting grace.
We have so much to be thankful for in this great land of ours,
And yet, we’re never satisfied, for our hunger is not yours.
For you desire us to be hungry for your word,
When the things of the world take our attention and lure.
The false piety we need to rid and come back to the Cross,
To seek your face in humility God, lest we stay forever lost.
JWorthen 2002


The Apple

422963_10151168643172355_502409504_nThe following was sent to me as an email..When I read it, old memories came back to me as a child of WWII.  You see I am German decent, and remember all through high school in the 50’s how ashamed I was of being German, because of a mad man,  named Hitler.

Young, I worked for many Jews, who were so good to me.  I never forgot as a Christian, later saved, in 1982, how much my Jewish friends meant to me.  I will always ALWAYS, back Israel.  And I pray for Germany, too, now reconciled with my heritage, that they too, never forget.   For I remember my mother getting letters  from Germany during the war, talking to my father, when I was still a child.   Watching so many documentaries now, I see how they were lied to.   And when the yanks came in,  Germany was destroyed.   The tears they shed, the repentance they cried, when by hand, the German people were left to bury in stench, the bodies of millions, of Jews and Germans alike.  It took them 40  years to rebuild Germany…..

Then we had a “real” President, Ronald Reagan that called, “Tear down this wall”….

I had read “Night”, and as much as I could from Elie Weisel through the years…so much pain, and murder, from a mad man, that he too endured as a child.  Hitler, that with  his own arrogance and dictatorship…was playing God.

We can’t allow this again…even in Iran.  But, out of all the hates, pain, starvation, and killing, God gives us a ray of hope…For this blog is about hope,  afterall.    Here is a little story that came out of terror, and ended in love…GOD’S LOVE!

I will always pray for Israel, and stand for the Jewish people.  I think too, that was the message my parents taught me.  For as a businessman too, in electronics, many of my father’s customers were Jews.   I respected them so much, for all they endured, and survived, knowing even then, God’s hand was on them.  There is an invaluable lesson that this world is trying to push aside and  forget like it never happened.   History is being tread on, changed, and lost, and we cannot let it.

Let this little story bless and enlighten you…for it was a gift from God.

“August 1942. Piotrkow, Poland

The sky was gloomy that morning as we waited anxiously.
All the men, women and children of Piotrkow’s Jewish ghetto
had been herded into a square.

Word had gotten around that we were being moved. My father had only recently died from typhus, which had run rampant through the crowded ghetto. My greatest fear was that our family would be separated.

‘Whatever you do,’ Isidore, my eldest brother, whispered to me, ‘don’t tell them your age. Say you’re sixteen.  ‘I was tall for a boy of 11, so I could pull it off. That way I might be deemed valuable as a worker.

An SS man approached me, boots clicking against the cobblestones. He looked me up and down, and then asked my age. Sixteen,’ I said. He directed me to the left, where my three brothers and other healthy young men already stood.

My mother was motioned to the right with the other women, children, sick and elderly people.  I whispered to Isidore, ‘Why?’  He didn’t answer.

I ran to Mama’s side and said I wanted to stay with her.   ‘No, ‘she said sternly.  ‘Get away. Don’t be a nuisance. Go with your brothers.’

She had never spoken so harshly before. But I understood: She was protecting me. She loved me so much that, just this once,
she pretended not to. It was the last I ever saw of her.

My brothers and I were transported in a cattle car to Germany. We arrived at the Buchenwald concentration camp one night later and were led into a crowded barrack. The next day, we were issued uniforms and identification numbers.

‘Don’t call me Herman anymore.’ I said to my brothers. ‘Call me 94983.’  I was put to work in the camp’s crematorium, loading the dead into a hand-cranked elevator.

I, too, felt dead. Hardened, I had become a number.  Soon, my brothers and I were sent to Schlieben, one of Buchenwald ‘s sub-camps near Berlin …

One morning I thought I heard my mother’s voice.  ‘Son,’ she said softly but clearly, I am going to send you an angel.’  Then I woke up. Just a dream. A beautiful dream.  But in this place there could be no angels. There was only work. And hunger. And fear.

A couple of days later, I was walking around the camp, around the barracks, near the barbed-wire fence where the guards could not easily see. I was alone.

On the other side of the fence, I spotted someone: a little girl with light, almost luminous curls. She was half-hidden behind a birch tree.  I glanced around to make sure no one saw me. I called to her softly in German. ‘Do you have something to eat?’  She didn’t understand.

I inched closer to the fence and repeated the question in Polish. She stepped forward. I was thin and gaunt, with rags wrapped around my feet, but the girl looked unafraid. In her eyes, I saw life.  She pulled an apple from her woolen jacket and threw it over the fence.

I grabbed the fruit and, as I started to run away, I heard her say faintly, ‘I’ll see you tomorrow.’  I returned to the same spot by the fence at the same time every day. She was always there with something for me to eat – a hunk of bread or, better yet, an apple.

We didn’t dare speak or linger. To be caught would mean death for us both.  I didn’t know anything about her, just a kind farm girl, except that she understood Polish. What was her name? Why was she risking her life for me?

Hope was in such short supply, and this girl on the other side of the fence gave me some, as nourishing in its way as the bread and apples.

Nearly seven months later, my brothers and I were crammed into a coal car and shipped to Theresienstadt camp in Czechoslovakia .

‘Don’t return,’ I told the girl that day. ‘We’re leaving.’ I turned toward the barracks and didn’t look back, didn’t even say good-bye to the little girl whose name I’d ever learned, the girl with the apples.

We were in Theresienstadt for three months. The war was winding down and Allied forces were closing in, yet my fate seemed sealed.

On May 10, 1945, I was scheduled to die in the gas chamber at 10:00 AM.

In the quiet of dawn, I tried to prepare myself. So many times death seemed ready to claim me, but somehow I’d survived. Now, it was over.  I thought of my parents. At least, I thought, we will be reunited.   But at 8 a.m. there was a commotion. I heard shouts, and saw people running every which way through camp. I caught up with my brothers.

Russian troops had liberated the camp! The gates swung open. Everyone was running, so I did too. Amazingly, all of my brothers had survived;  I’m not sure how. But I knew that the girl with the apples had been the key to my survival.  In a place where evil seemed triumphant, one person’s goodness had saved my life, had given me hope in a place where there was none.

My mother had promised to send me an angel, and the angel had come.

Eventually I made my way to England where I was sponsored by a Jewish charity, put up in a hostel with other boys who had survived the Holocaust and trained in electronics. Then I came to America, where my brother Sam had already moved. I served in the U. S. Army during the Korean War, and returned to New York City after two years.

By August 1957 I’d opened my own electronics repair shop. I was starting to settle in.

One day, my friend Sid who I knew from England called me.  ‘I’ve got a date. She’s got a Polish friend. Let’s double date.’  A blind date? Nah, that wasn’t for me.

But Sid kept pestering me, and a few days later we headed up to the Bronx to pick up his date and her friend Roma.

I had to admit, for a blind date this wasn’t so bad. Roma was a nurse at a Bronx hospital. She was kind and smart. Beautiful, too, with swirling brown curls and green, almond-shaped eyes that sparkled with life.

The four of us drove out to Coney Island . Roma was easy to talk to, easy to be with.  Turned out she was wary of blind dates too!

We were both just doing our friends a favor. We took a stroll on the boardwalk, enjoying the salty Atlantic breeze, and then had dinner by the shore. I couldn’t remember having a better time.  We piled back into Sid’s car, Roma and I sharing the backseat.

As European Jews who had survived the war, we were aware that much had been left unsaid between us. She broached the subject, ‘Where were you,’ she asked softly, ‘during the war?’  ‘The camps,’ I said. The terrible memories still vivid, the irreparable loss..I had tried to forget. But you can never forget.

She nodded. ‘My family was hiding on a farm in Germany, not far from Berlin ,’ she told me. ‘My father knew a priest, and he got us Aryan papers.’

I imagined how she must have suffered too, fear, a constant companion. And yet here we were both survivors, in a new world. ‘There was a camp next to the farm.’ Roma continued. ‘I saw a boy there and I would throw him apples every day.’  What an amazing coincidence that she had helped some other boy. ‘What did he look like? I asked.  ‘He was tall, skinny, and hungry. I must have seen him every day for six months.’  My heart was racing. I couldn’t believe it.  This couldn’t be.

‘Did he tell you one day not to come back because he was leaving Schlieben?’  Roma looked at me in amazement. ‘Yes!’  ‘That was me!’  I was ready to burst with joy and awe, flooded with emotions. I couldn’t believe it! My angel.  ‘I’m not letting you go.’ I said to Roma. And in the back of the car on that blind date, I proposed to her. I didn’t want to wait.

‘You’re crazy!’ she said. But she invited me to meet her parents for Shabbat dinner the following week.  There was so much I looked forward to learning about Roma, but the most important things I always knew: her steadfastness, her goodness. For many months, in the worst of circumstances, she had come to the fence and given me hope. Now that I’d found her again, I could never let her go.

That day, she said yes. And I kept my word. After nearly 50 years of marriage, two children and three grandchildren, I have never let her go. ”

Herman Rosenblat of Miami Beach , Florida

This story is being made into a movie called “The Fence.”

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