Soul Surgery

The patient had complained of unusual symptoms. Heartache. Unfulfillment. Despair. A nagging ache of hopelessness. Unsure where to turn. He was self medicating, but it wasn’t helping. He was searching for help in all the wrong places. All hope seemed lost.

He heard of the master surgeon. He scheduled an appointment. Curiosity brought me here. He said. I’ve heard it’s a radical surgery, but I want to know more. Tell me about the procedure and recovery time. I’m a busy man, and I don’t have time to be laid up. But I’m desperate for healing.

The patient asked about the cost of the surgery. The wise surgeon looked at him and opened wide his arms. Someone else has already paid the price. For you, this surgery is free.

The surgeon noted on the patient’s chart that there was no prep for the surgery. We see best results to this type of surgery when you come as you are. You are welcome in your current state. There was a large note at the top of the chart:

Come as you are. Do not try to change your current routines before surgery. All adjustments to your care will be made during rehabilitation.

The soul is lying on the operating table. The surgeon opens up the soul. There is a hunt for goodness. Kindness. Love. Peace. Joy. Patience. Truth. Honor. But all that can be found is darkness mixed with hatred and anger. Lust and fear. Dishonesty. Greed. Grudges. Gluttony. Adultery. Addictions. The cords of selfishness are wrapped so tightly around the soul that any good intentions are strangled.

It started slowly at first. Seemingly unnoticeable. A white lie led to a bigger lie. Until now, truth is hard to find. Where once peace and love ruled the heart, now grudges and discord run rampant. 

The surgeon tries desperately to find some noble deed that’s worth saving. But the search is fruitless. Life support can’t support a soulless life. The madness must end. If truth be told, truth hasn’t been told in so long that it’s unrecognizable.

As the soul was laid bare on that table, the surgeon saw that this particular surgery would be long and complicated. It was as if time stood still. But for this surgeon, a minute was as a day. And a day was as a minute. For all intents and purposes, this soul would need a miracle. 

During the procedure, he removes every wrong act and thought from the patient. He wipes out all record of wrongdoing. He cleans up the arteries and increases blood flow. Any tumors or growths are cut away. As the surgeon closes up the incision, he covers up the wound with his own red blood. He will not remember what he has seen in that soul he has made clean.


Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Romans 10:13


The surgeon was later asked if it was possible to find any life in this lifeless soul. Was there any reason to hold out hope for a new beginning? Could this soul be saved if fed a proper diet? If specific life saving disciplines were established, could this soul be fruitful and multiply? Was a miracle possible? Oh. He said. Miracles are my specialty.

Recovery would require discipline. Soul therapy would need to be scheduled on a regular basis. This soul’s eternity was at stake. Healing would take a lifetime.

In the follow up appointment, the patient asked about rehabilitation. What is involved? How long will it take? How many sessions? Can you recommend a good therapist? Where will the therapy sessions be held? Does my insurance cover this part of recovery?

The master surgeon sat down and explained that the rehabilitation would be long and arduous. It would be difficult. At times, painful. But, oh the joy when hurdles have been crossed. When victories have been won. When old lifestyle habits have been conquered. When new disciplines have been set in place.

There is no time limit to the rehabilitation, he continued. It will last a lifetime. You, the patient, play a large role in your own success. But you can’t do it alone. You will need help. You will need others who have survived and are still on the road of recovery to help and guide you. But choose wisely where you seek advice. There will be those who have been through the surgery, but didn’t fulfill the rehabilitation requirements. They will try to lead you astray. They will say that the surgery was a mistake. Don’t listen to them. Then there are others who have never had the surgery. They will be as slippery as snakes with their advice. Run from them with every ounce of strength you can find. Stay close to those who continue to seek rehabilitation. Spend time with them.

You will need to schedule daily appointments with me, the surgeon advised. Please make sure to do this, as it is of utmost importance to your survival. Continue to read the prescription that I wrote for you. It will tell you all about me, but it was written with you in mind. Call me anytime you think of me. I am always available. Do not hesitate to call me at any time of the day or night. I cannot stress enough how important this step is in your healing. Many who have come through the surgery with flying colors fall short in this area. It weakens them and opens them up to unnecessary heartache and trials. Please. Please. Please. Remember that this is most important for your recovery and survival.

This surgeon has seen a lot of souls in his day.  His daily schedule is always full, but he’s willing to perform any surgery at any time. Day or night. He is always on call. He reserves time each day for last minute appointments. He is always available for emergency surgeries. He orchestrates each surgery, but he has a band of helpers. A host of heaven’s armies are at his disposal.  Heavenly angels perform at his bidding.

The surgeon inspects each soul as if it’s his favorite. He opens up the soul and does a thorough inspection. He has seen some souls hardened by abuse and despair. Crusty and misshapen by bad attitudes, grudges, lies, distorted truths, shame and regret. Can those souls be saved? Only the surgeon knows. He is the giver of life. And he is the taker of life. He alone decides the final resting place of the soul. It is a great responsibility. Only fit for a sovereign God.

Garden of My Heart

I knelt there in the flowerbed. The weeds had been mowed down. The stubble was all that remained of the flowers of the summer. What once was full of beauty, color and life was now brown, broken and dry. No use for it.

I began cleaning up the remaining fallen leaves. I pulled the overgrown weeds that had been left to grow wild. The flowerbed hadn’t received the best of attention this summer. Life got busy. I was tired. My free time was spent relaxing and doing more enjoyable tasks. Cleaning flowerbeds and pulling weeds isn’t my idea of fun. Oh. It’s a necessity for a beautiful flowerbed, but it can be hard work. It can take time. And after a week of hard work, I was looking for a break come Saturday.

My spiritual life is much like my flowerbed. It has its moments where it shines. Where I’m in perfect rhythm with my God and Savior. Where I’m obeying and seeing the fruits of my hard labor. Where I’m pulling the weeds of disobedience and pride from my spiritual flowerbed. Where I’m spending time in prayer and Bible study. Where I’m sharing moments with godly friends who share similar beliefs. Encouraging and building up each other.

I think of the times that I don’t keep my spiritual garden tidy. I’m tired and stressed. Perhaps I’m frustrated about a situation and a bad attitude creeps in. I could be expecting an answer to prayer that doesn’t come or it doesn’t happen in the way I want. The seeds of doubt begin to grow. A dose of self pity makes its annual appearance. The perennial questioning of why continues to bloom each season.


I love you, Lord. You are my strength. Psalms 18:1


Too much sun and rain, both good in and of themselves, cause gardens to grow quickly and abundantly. It also means that the garden needs constant attention. It’s easy for weeds to overtake a garden. Pulling weeds. Deadheading worn out blooms. Trimming and thinning out overgrowth. Pruning old branches that have left their prime. Making sure the best flower buds are the ones that bloom. It’s a necessary, never ending task. If left on its own, the garden will lose its beauty and grace. If routinely tended, it will provide hours of pleasure and fulfillment.

The same goes for my heart. Bible reading and prayer are good for the soul. Too much is never enough. But there’s more involved to keeping the heart right. It takes action. Hard work. It takes cleaning out the cobwebs of a cluttered mind that can lead one astray. It means making sure the self-centered desires and actions are rooted out by God’s will and plan. Allowing God to prune the budding heart so that only the most beautiful buds will blossom.

I’ve read that sheep need to be sheared on a regular basis. If left unsheared, a sheep’s wool will add extra pounds to the sheep’s weight. This will cause unnecessary health problems, and it can even be life threatening. The sheep needs continual grooming and care from his shepherd. He needs his shepherd.

I am like that sheep. If left to my own devices, I will add extra baggage to my life. If I don’t allow God to groom the ungodly areas of my life, my poor habits and desires will take control. My soul will be weighed down and threatened, if it is left without a steady diet of spiritual food.

My soul needs constant attention. Daily feedings from God’s word and an attitude of prayer keep my soul alive and healthy. My prayer is that I remain disciplined to keep my soul in check, so I stay close to the One who loves me most and knows me best. I need my Shepherd.

A Season for Everything

It was the springtime. We were house hunting. We knew our budget, the type of house and location we were looking for. We walked into the house one Sunday afternoon. It was outdated. The house had a tired kitchen, ugly wallpaper, faded carpet, and outdated bathrooms. In fact, the entire house reeked of the 80’s.

But we fell in love with the house. The location was private and beautiful. The neighborhood was quiet and small. We made an offer. A lowball offer. After all, we would have to update the entire house unless we wanted the vintage look. We didn’t.

The offer was rejected. Our realtor suggested we wait three weeks. If no offer was received by then, the owner would reduce the price. Low and behold, that is what happened. We made another offer. They countered. Finally, we agreed upon a price. The house was ours.

The previous owner must have loved bearded irises. The south side of the house was planted with multiple colors of the flower. The iris is a flower I’ve never been fond of. I knew she had to love irises, because she had a huge bouquet of them sitting on the dining room table when we toured the house. It was iris season. I’m sure she was very proud of her iris bed. What she didn’t know was that I had plans to get rid of every last iris.

I imagine the former owner had most likely spent many hours in her iris bed. Planting. Weeding. Pruning. Deadheading. Cutting the fresh blooms to enjoy indoors.

But once she sold the house, all bets were off for that iris bed. I had plans, and they didn’t include irises. What she didn’t know was that I loved peonies, roses and zinnias. Instead of having all purple flowers, I wanted to see some pinks and reds and oranges. Even yellow.

I waited a couple of years before I decided it was time to make some changes. The flower bed was bigger than I realized, so I only managed to dig up one third of the bulbs the first fall. The next year, I removed another third of the bulbs. Finally, this year I’ve dug out the remaining third of the flowerbed.

Now I can begin the real work of making the flowerbed mine.


We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now. Ecclesiastes 1:11


It’s easy to be offended when someone comes along and makes changes to what you once held dear. Times change. Interests are updated. People grow.  What was once new is now old, and what was old is now new again.  

Change can be liberating or exhausting.  Depending on what side of the equation you’re on, someone else’s decision to change may just be the motivation to get you out of your comfort zone.  It may be the nudge to actually move on when moving on wasn’t on your mind.

Letting go of old and beloved flowers or habits or traditions or jobs can take your breath away, or it can bring new life. It all depends on the attitude of
adjustment.  It doesn’t have to be offensive.

I came to hate all my hard work here on earth, for I must leave to others everything I have earned. And who can tell whether my successors will be wise or foolish? Yet they will control everything I have gained by my skill and hard work under the sun. How meaningless!  So I gave up in despair, questioning the value of all my hard work in this world.  Some people work wisely with knowledge and skill, then must leave the fruit of their efforts to someone who hasn’t worked for it. This, too, is meaningless, a great tragedy.  Ecclesiastes 2:18-21 

The flowerbed that once held colorful bearded irises will produce something different in the spring.  White peonies.  Pink roses.  Orange Chinese lanterns.  The possibilities are endless.  Each season, the flowerbed that only held irises will now shine with new colors and blooms.  It will have a new look.  A future owner will never know irises once grew in the space.  But then again, they may remove all my hard work and start a fresh new space.  It is expected.  It is accepted.  There are times when change needs to occur in order for stagnation to be replaced by fresh newness.

There is a time and a season for everything.  Adjusting to change is hard, especially when it isn’t an expected or desired change.  Newness can bring new life and new opportunities that one would never have experienced if the change hadn’t occurred.  

It isn’t easy to embrace change, but moving on to new pastures can be refreshing and invigorating.  Otherwise, change can cause an inner death and allow a root of bitterness to grow.  Accept change.  Allow the newness of discomfort to challenge and renew your spirit.  New life blooms ahead in the new season.

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1 

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Inside Out

Over the past nine years, I have changed my eating habits. I started by eating clean, so I removed processed foods, white sugar, white flour and pop. As the years progressed, my eating habits changed even further. I removed gluten, grains and soy. I’ve even removed dairy, eggs, corn and peanuts. I eat low fat.

Some may ask what’s left to eat. Fruits and vegetables, of course. I drink a big fruit smoothie for breakfast. I eat plenty of fruits and vegetables throughout the day. I eat potatoes like they’re going out of style. I’ll eat a salad and steamed veggies at lunch. I throw in some chicken or beef with my salad and steamed veggies at dinner. Occasionally, I’ll throw in a chocolate treat as a treat.

I’ve recently begun juicing. I’ll drink a big glass of celery juice early in the morning. I’ve read that it’s supposed to heal your insides. It’s supposed to heal your body of many unknown diseases and ailments. So I’m drinking it. To be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of eating celery. But drinking it? Well, it tastes like liquid celery.

Over the weeks and months I’ve been drinking it, I’ve become accustomed to the flavor. It’s still not my favorite, but it’s tolerable. I’m waiting to see if it does its internal magic. Some say the healing could take months or years. I’m still waiting. I’m not sure what healing I need, but I sure would like to get rid of some aches and pains, plus a few extra pounds.

There are days when I do eat eggs or dairy or gluten. I thoroughly enjoyed a cheeseburger lettuce wrap and fries the other day. I can’t say I’m perfect at eating this way, but I do my best. I lapse from time to time. I tell myself that eating the foods on my “NO” list won’t kill me, so it’s ok. But eating them may prolong or slow down any internal healing.


He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed. 1 Peter 2:24


I think of my soul. My spiritual life. As a person who has made the decision to be a Christian, my life is different. I need to heal from the inside out in order to be presentable to God on the day of judgment.

I’ve learned that it’s not about all the do’s and don’ts of being a Christian that make me closer to God. I’ve discovered that as a believer, I must change certain behaviors and attitudes. I’ve found that in order to heal from the inside out as a believer, I must walk the walk of Christ. I’ve learned that my life must match up to His teachings. I must lose my pride and selfish ways in order to follow and obey my Savior.

Oh. There are certain things I don’t do. There are certain words I don’t say. There are certain events I choose not to participate in. There are lines I don’t cross. But there are also certain activities that I make sure to join. There are habits I must develop in order to make Jesus Christ my priority.

I attend church. I am involved in a Bible study. I share a portion of my income to build God’s kingdom. I pray. I read the Bible. I have close friends who are also followers of Christ. I have found that doing those things isn’t enough, though.

I’ve learned that it’s not so much the giving up of things, but it’s the giving in to obedience. Obeying what the Healer says. Going where he says go. Staying when he says stay. Listening to the words he says. Saying the words he provides. Acting out his love to those who need it most.

I must work to heal my insides of judging others. I must work to rid myself of gossip. I must remove anything in my life that takes priority over my relationship with Christ. This healing will take a lifetime. Daily I learn more about my weaknesses and failures as I walk this journey. But I don’t walk alone. I am walking side by side with the Healer.

I find that as I heal, I sometimes fall back into my old ways. I will mistreat someone. I will develop a bad attitude. I will gossip. I will think more highly of myself than I do of others. This healing is a lifelong process.

This healing from the inside out isn’t really about me. It’s about who is healing me. The one who died to save me and forgive my sins. My healing will make this unworthy soul worthy to stand in his presence for eternity.

I also must constantly remind myself that everyone I meet is in a struggle for spiritual survival, whether they know it or not. I must view others as Christ does — a soul in need of salvation. When I look at others, I must have concern for them, because they too will stand in judgment for their eternal destiny. They too require healing from the inside out. I carry a message that provides healing not only for me, but for everyone I meet.