Category Archives: Article

The Affirmative Principle

I have always tried to approach the things I read in the Word as things that are True. The Word contains all things that are True from the Lord. He never misstated something. He never said something that doesn’t apply for all time. Sometimes the meaning is in the correspondence and not in the literal sense, but it is always right and True if the Lord said it. That goes for everything He said through His servant Swedenborg. Swedenborg was asked to write down the things he saw and heard, but they were from the Lord. 

When we approach the things the Lord is teaching us in the Word, knowing that all things contained there are absolute Truth, we are being left in freedom by Him to be taught and open to learn more. 

“In respect to truths the celestial angels say, Yea, yea, or Nay, nay; but the spiritual angels reason about them whether they are true or not, where the Lord’s words, ‘Let your speech be Yea, yea, Nay, nay; what is beyond these is from evil’ (Matt. 5:37). are explained).”
Heaven and Hell 214

I am not claiming to be celestial or close to being celestial, I just know and have found, that when I start with, “These are from the Lord and must be True, whether they make sense to me right now or not,” that it is the most simple, but powerful way for me to understand what the Lord says. Sometimes I don’t understand what a passage says or how it could apply to my life in any way, but later I have read something again and it strikes me deeply. I imagine that has happened to a lot of us. 

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How to Grieve: An Open Letter to the Hells

When my mother died this past winter, I was offered countless words of comfort. I was told to cherish the memories I had made with her. People quoted precious words of scripture. I received sweet cards and letters reminding me that I will see my mom again and that she is always close. I sincerely appreciate all of the comfort given to me during those first weeks of loss. But the single most useful thing anyone said to me was this: 

No matter how you are grieving, the hells will tell you that you’re doing it wrong. 

That might not seem like the most comforting statement in the world, but it has gotten me through so many low points in my stages of grief. I have turned to this phrase time and time again as the hells have attacked my grieving process at each and every turn. And there have been a lot of turns. This truth has become one of my smooth round stones with which I can slay the Goliath that tries to make me feel small and weak in my sadness. After all, being able to call out the hells is vital in fighting against them. 

The following is an open letter to the hells in response to their relentless attacks on my grieving process. My hope is that it will serve as a useful tool for others who are navigating loss. 

To: Hell
Attn: Grief Manipulation Department 

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Invisible Prisoners

I recently visited Cuba for the first time, with a few extended family members. We were there for my cousin’s graduation from med school, and we took some time to see a few sights too, in and around Havana. It was my first visit to a communist country. It was eye-opening.

Having grown up in Canada, Cuba has figured very low on my ‘awareness radar’. Everything I knew about the country, prior to my trip, I’d gleaned from my right-winged American husband. I gathered that Fidel Castro was ‘bad’ and America was ‘good’. I didn’t come across much about Fidel in my first few hours on the island, but during the medical school graduation ceremony I was introduced, albeit in a foreign language (of which I could only eke out a few words and implications!), to what looked to be the Cuban perspective on former president Fidel Castro. “Viva Fidel!” Long live Fidel! (or his ideology, as the case may be, as the man himself is deceased.)

Speakers venerated the man in their addresses, we saluted and chanted “Viva!” in response to their prompts. Wow, what a benevolent leader he was, creating this tertiary institution to benefit the people – which students attend and from which they earn their bona fide title of ‘doctora’ or ‘doctor’ free of charge! In that moment I realised that the image I’d formed in my mind of the oppressive Mr. Castro was incomplete: I’d only gotten half the story, up to that point, the other side, the American side. “Ok, Cubans really do love their leader. I was naïvely fooled into thinking that he was the enemy!” I felt some shame at having developed an opinion without learning the whole story. The rest of that day was spent rejoicing with the graduates and feeling good about their unique opportunity, and about Mr. Castro.

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Thoughts On Grief

I took a little time to read some passages about grief. This isn’t a dissertation or in-depth collection, just some passages and observations. 

“For there is a moment in His anger, But life is in His good pleasure; In the evening, weeping may pass the ​night, But in the morning there is singing aloud.” Psalm 30:5

  People experience grief in a huge range. There is sadness in a loss of something or someone. Sometimes the sadness or grief does not feel logical, just there, existing in us. 

Little children might experience grief. What might seem like a profound loss to them, might seem like a very small issue to the adults or other people around them. I think this can be true for anyone and their own experience. Something can feel like a catastrophe while in the moment or span of dealing with something, but to the people not invested, the issue can seem small. Even the people dealing with the problem, after the fact can think back on the issue as being insignificant. 

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