Posts Tagged ‘Make Medicine’

Looking up to see where I am presently

August 2, 2016
This photo of sign hung above an apothecary shop in Colonial Williamsburg brought to mind my former career as a pharmacist, as I "looked up."

This photo of a sign hung above an apothecary shop in Colonial Williamsburg was taken as I “looked up.”

Today’s post is in response to the daily photo challenge with the theme “Look up.” I became aware of the challenge on Joseph Elon Lillie’s blog:

The photo taken over the 4th of July holiday is of the sign hung above the apothecary shop in Colonial Williamsburg. Although I have not been actively involved with my former profession as a pharmacist for more than 22 years, my visit to Williamsburg reminded me that I am now dispensing “medications” of a different sort through my blog called “Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe” where I am “filling prescriptions to minister to the heart and soul.” Now I see that I am still compounding:

After the Art of the Apothecary

And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment,
an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary:
it shall be an holy anointing oil.

Exodus 30:25 [KJV]

I desire to follow recipes and not to vary
From the prescribed formulas for the remedies I need,
To compound after the art of the apothecary.

I long to work circumspectly and always be wary,
To measure and mix precisely for love and not for greed.
I desire to follow recipes and not to vary.

I recall yearning to learn from childhood days in Gary,
To weigh my decisions and follow as the Lord would lead,
To compound after the art of the apothecary.

I seek to formulate my ideal art and to marry
Vocation and avocation as one of love and need.
I desire to follow recipes and not to vary.

I attempt to move with wisdom but never to tarry
To master each prescription, to excel and to succeed,
To compound after the art of the apothecary.

The sweet smelling savor I desire my life to carry
Is the pure, holy anointing oil tempered of my need.
I desire to follow recipes and not to vary,
To compound after the art of the apothecary.

In a previous blog post, I concluded with a music video described as another dose of good medicine: Medicine (for someone else) by Ruben Studdard:

Look Up

Comfort: Receive it and then give it

March 9, 2016

2 Corinthians 1--3-4

Although it is now mid-morning of the next day in the region where I reside, I am still going to post comments on the Verse of the Day for March 8, 2016, even though it is actually March 9. Here is that selected passage:

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (AMP):

Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts and encourages us in every trouble so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

The passage opens by giving praise to “God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” who is described as the source of all mercies. Furthermore, He is the source of “all comfort” who imparts “the only true and perfect comfort in every instance,” according to Logos Bible software. The passage refers to comfort, used as both a noun, that which God provides and as a verb, whereby we, as believers, ease the grief or trouble of someone; we console those who are hurting.

Because we have been comforted and encouraged when we go through “any kind of trouble” or “all our tribulation,” we are able to comfort and encourage others who are going through similarly stressful situations.

The God of all comfort, the Father of mercies provides comfort in very specific ways. Jesus Christ assures us: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” The Psalmist also provides this assurance:

Psalm 23:4

Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me.

Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, which makes reference to the Word of God in some form or another in every verse, also reveals the source of our comfort:

Psalm 119:50:

This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me and given me life.

Psalm 119:52:

I have remembered [carefully] Your ancient ordinances, O Lord, And I have taken comfort.

Psalm 119:76

O may Your lovingkindness and graciousness comfort me, According to Your word (promise) to Your servant.

Psalm 119:82

My eyes fail [with longing, watching] for [the fulfillment of] Your promise, Saying, “When will You comfort me?”

The ultimate source of comfort, however, is the Holy Spirit, called “The Comforter” whose coming began with a promise from Jesus Christ who assured those who believed on him:

John 14:16

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever—

Jesus Christ further reveals the purpose of the Comforter that was to come:

John 14:26

But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.

John 15:26 further explains:

“But when the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of Truth who comes from the Father, He will testify and bear witness about Me.

Jesus Christ explains why he has to go away in order that the Comforter might come:

John 16:7

But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you].

Because we have received the Comforter, we are able to provide comfort and encouragement or to comfort one another.  1 Thessalonians 5:11 reminds us

Therefore encourage and comfort one another and build up one another, just as you are doing.

In reflecting upon the passage, I noted how believers go through trying circumstances, described as troubles or tribulation and receive comfort and encouragement, so that in turn we can comfort and encourage others who are facing similar circumstances that we have endured. In actuality, in the same way, the sufferings of Jesus Christ and all that he endured ultimately were designed to benefit others. I thought of a song which captures the essence of that message, recalling that I had used the song in a previous blog post.

Ruben Studdard and The Black Academy Choir performed a comforting soul ballad called “Medicine (For Someone Else).” When I looked up the previous entry, I noted that it was posted three years ago to the exact date. Here is a link to that post which has the title

A New Prescription: “Medicine (For Someone Else)”—More Good Medicine

We close with another dose of “good medicine” from the shelves of Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe:

A New Prescription: “Medicine (For Someone Else)”—More Good Medicine

March 8, 2013
These antique medicine bottles bring to mind a song that I recently heard, bring to mind days when I "made medicine," as a pharmacist.

These antique medicine bottles bring to mind a song that I recently heard, bringing  to mind days when I “made medicine,” as a pharmacist.

Recently as I listened to a local gospel music radio station, I heard a rendition of “Medicine (For Someone Else)” performed by Ruben Studdard and The Black Academy Choir.  Described as a “comforting soul ballad,” the song brought to mind my blog “Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe,” where I thought this would make a wonderful musical prescription that I could add to the shelves of “Good Medicine.” The following excerpt from an entry posted at the beginning of last year captures the essence of what I hoped the blog would be:

During the first week of the first month of the New Year 2012, as I prepare a blog entry for Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe, I recall the early days of my first profession as a registered pharmacist. For more than 25 years I was a practicing pharmacist, but now as a writer and minister, I use my skills in poetry and prose while incorporating music and visual arts to “fill prescriptions” designed to minister to the heart and soul in this blog.

To become more faithful in blogging, I plan to post “Word for the Day: Daily Dose of Good Medicine.” I invite you to stop by and see what remedies I have been working on recently, as I continue to compound “After the Art of the Apothecary.”

To learn more about “Good Medicine” from Dr. J. click here.

Now for your listening enjoyment, here is “Medicine (For Someone Else).”

As I listened to the song again, I realize that so often seemingly adverse situations that we encounter and endure turn out to be a blessing and inspiration for others whom we provide comfort to, as the God of all comfort comforts us in all our trials:

1 Corinthians 1:3-4:

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

The lyrics to the Ruben Studdard song remind us, that as we walk in the steps of Christ we will come to realize that our lives are not really about us but about others:

Take the trials that you been through

And all the times life made you blue

Search down deep within yourself

Ooohhh make it medicine for someone else, someone else

Not too long ago, after a very stimulating discussion at a men’s meeting at our church, I was inspired to write a poem related to a distinguishing marks of manhood, described as “sacrificial living.”

Sacrificial Living: Assignment of Manhood

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,

that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,

which is your reasonable service.

Romans 12: 1

 

Forgetting things left behind, I press toward the mark.

The passion that now enflames my life was once a spark.

This all-consuming fire, great light dispels the dark,

As I abide in God’s presence in a place beyond the Ark.

I continue to strive ever toward the highest good

With sacrificial living: assignment of manhood.

 

Like Christ, I endure the cross while despising the shame

And accept this high calling and embrace my new name.

By grace to stand in His presence without any blame,

I continue to strive ever toward the highest good.

 

Always remaining aware that God is in control,

I am still running to serve as my life’s highest goal.

This zeal for God and His Word burns deep within my soul,

With sacrificial living: assignment of manhood.

 

Being fully persuaded, I now know that I know

That God will fulfill His will and declare, “It is so!”

I set aside pride; where He leads me I will follow:

I continue to strive ever toward the highest good.

 

Looking to the future, I walk by faith, not by sight.

To do all the will of God still remains my delight

To follow Christ’s command that I should be salt and light

With sacrificial Living: assignment of manhood.

 

To speak the Word of life in all that I do and say,

To follow in the steps of Christ all along the way.

Until the final victory I must watch, fight and pray.

I continue to strive ever toward the highest good.

 

Triumphant from faith to faith and glory to glory,

I still seek God’s face in the place of my destiny.

Life continues to unfold as a scroll before me.

With sacrificial living: assignment of manhood.

 

With a love so strong, yet ever so tender,

Nothing can dissuade me, nor can anything hinder.

I will hold fast to the faith and never surrender.

God’s Word hidden in my heart, I’ll always remember:

I continue to strive ever toward the highest good

With sacrificial living: assignment of manhood.

 

Hearing the song with its reference to “making medicine” along with other scriptures and conversations, I continue to be grateful for the constant reminders to live sacrificially.

Prescriptions filled in Dr. J's Apothecary Shoppe provide "Good Medicine" for those who partake.

Prescriptions filled in Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe provide “Good Medicine” for those who partake.