In a trip down memory lane, my husband, Jim, and I recently sorted through some old paperwork in our filing cabinet. We came across a folder containing past issues of Parkside Parchment, the monthly newsletter from Parkside Chapel in Visalia, California. This was Jim’s first church ministry back in 1986 where he served as the Associate Pastor of Music and Youth after his graduation from Dallas Theological Seminary (where we met).
I’ve often said that Jim is the writer in the family. He disagreed, and so we’ve settled on the fact that I’m the fiction writer in the family while he is the non-fiction/devotional writer. I thought I’d share an article from the January 1987 Parkside Parchment with you today. Let me preface this article by saying that—praise the Lord—Jim has not suffered from lingering back problems and has not been under a chiropractor’s care in years. Here’s that article:
For quite a while now, I have been experiencing a number of physical problems. I tried to ignore the pain and discomfort of these ailments since the symptoms would come and go. But in the last several weeks, these problems seemed to be getting worse. I felt that they might be related to a back condition, so my insurance company suggested I go to a chiropractor. He examined me and took x-rays in order to make a prognosis. The x-rays revealed that I was in the first phase of progressive spinal degeneration both in the upper and lower back.
What I found most interesting was his Three Point Sermon (my term) on how I could regain total health for the many pinched nerves in my back. A healthy spine is necessary for the health of the whole body, and he told me that if I followed the prescribed course of action, then in two months, the problems would be corrected and would only require monthly or bi-monthly maintenance check-ups.
The main themes of this Three Point Sermon were:
This scenario is played out many times in the Christian walk of believers. We begin to experience problems in spiritual discipline as it relates to our lives. It’s easy to ignore the symptoms and pretend that nothing is wrong. By pinching the nerves which affect our relationship with God, the pain and condition gradually gets worse. Because God wants our devotion, He sometimes brings painful situations into our lives which demand our immediate attention. We must allow the Great Physician to strengthen us with His power. However, the road back to spiritual health is not instantaneous or easy. It requires daily discipline and diligence.
●First of all, there is the relief phase where we recognize our condition and ask for forgiveness.
●Secondly, there is the correction stage where we begin to get serious about our relationship with God and obedience to His Word—building up resistance against the very things with which we’re struggling.
●Finally, there is the maintenance stage where the Word of God is studied on a daily basis, guarding against spiritual degeneration.
God demands our spiritual health. How is yours?
II Timothy 3:16: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
Until His Nets Are Full,
JoAnn Durgin (with Jim Durgin)