Ted Cruz shares his Faith Journey

Ted Cruz Shares Intimate Details of His Faith Journey

Ted Cruz
Presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has openly shared his personal testimony with everyone who will listen. He’s campaigning in Iowa, where committed Christians make up at least half the Republican caucus voting bloc. (Reuters photo)

My faith journey began when I was a young child. When I was 3 years old, my father left my mother and me. At the time, we were living in Calgary, Canada, where my parents owned a small business. Neither of them were Christians, and both were drinking far too much.

My dad decided he didn’t want to be married anymore and he didn’t want to be a father to his toddler son. So he got on a plane and flew to Texas. I don’t remember those lonely months without my dad in the home, but surely they were stressful on my mom, as she turned to drinking even more.

Thankfully, after living several months in Houston, a colleague from the oil and gas business invited my dad to come a Bible study. The Bible study met at the home of a local life insurance agent. And for whatever reason my father went to the Bible study and he sat and listened. And what struck him more than anything else was the peace that everyone there had. He said they all had challenges, they all had problems. He remembers one woman in particular who described how her son would beat her to try to get money for drugs, and yet she and the other people at that Bible study had what the Scripture calls “a peace that passes understanding.” And my father couldn’t understand it, couldn’t understand where that came from, but he knew he wanted it.

So he kept asking questions and they said: “You know what, our pastor’s coming tomorrow night to the house. Do you want to come back tomorrow night, and you can ask our pastor these questions?” So my Dad said, “Alright,” and he came back the next night.

Now my father at that time was a young man. He was an atheist. He was a scientist. And he was convinced he knew everything. He spent four hours arguing with the pastor. “What is this religion nonsense?” “Only the weak-minded would believe that.” And he argued over and over and over until 11 that night. Finally my Dad said, “Alright what about the man in Tibet who’s never heard of Jesus?”

Very wisely, the pastor didn’t take the bait. He said, “Rafael, I don’t know about the man in Tibet. But you have heard of Jesus. What’s your excuse?” My Dad said that hit him like a sledgehammer, and he dropped to his knees in that living room and he gave his life to Jesus. He was baptized that next Sunday, and then he went and got in the car and drove to the airport and bought a ticket and flew back to Calgary.

He flew back to my mother and me. You know, a lot of people ask if faith is real. I can tell you, in my life, if it were not for the transformative love of Jesus Christ, I would have been raised by a single mom without my father in the house.

After my dad became a Christian, we all moved together to Houston. And seeing the amazing transformation in her husband, my mom became a Christian within a year as well. Thus, by age 4, I was blessed to be being raised in a Christian home with two strong (but new) believers as parents.

I was raised in the church. Each night, my dad would read with me from our children’s Bible. We’d memorize Bible verses, and compete to see who could do the best. We’d act out scenes from the Old Testament. We attended Clay Road Baptist Church, pastored by the same Brother Gaylon Wiley who had led my father to the Lord.

When I was 8 years old, I went to our church’s summer camp, along (with) my cousin Bibi. At the invitation, tears streaming down my face, Bibi and I both walked down and gave our lives to Jesus.

And it changed my life. To have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, to know that God’s only Son died to pay for my sins, that I was fallen that I am redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, nothing is more important to me. I am a new creature in Christ, and it central to who I am today.

I couldn’t run for president without relying heavily on my faith. When I have doubts, He comforts me. When I am weak, He gives me strength. From the day we launched the campaign, Heidi and I have prayed simply that His will would be done. Each day, we try not to seek His hand (asking for help winning the race), but rather to seek His face (praying that his love and glory would be seen every day in the campaign).

And it is the agape love of God that helps our two little girls (not to mention Heidi and me) endure the extended time with us on the road, away from the two of them. Sometimes Facetime on our iPhones is just not enough, and prayer helps us get through those struggles.

When I fight to defend religious liberty, it’s not purely a constitutional matter; it’s a lifelong passion and personal commitment. When I stand to defend life and marriage, it is a core tenet of my faith. And when I lead the fight for Israel, it both profoundly benefits our national security and also honors God’s promise in Genesis 12:3.

One of the very best aspects about running for president is that you get to travel the country and meet amazing people, thousands of believers who are passionate and hungry to turn our nation around. A few months back, we did a really big rally in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Couple thousand people, it was a wonderful event.

Unbeknownst to me, Brother Gaylon Wiley—the pastor who had led my dad to the Lord and had baptized me as a Christian—was now retired and living in Tennessee. Much to my surprise, he came to our event.

I hadn’t seen Brother Wiley in 34 years. I was 10 years old the last time I saw him. Now, not much rattles me, but I have to tell you, it choked me up something powerful. I had tears in my eyes, to see him after so many years. Afterward, I gave him a really long hug, and said, “Thank you, thank you for that night in 1975 sharing the gospel to my father.” He simply pointed upward and said, “To God be the glory.”

But I continued, trembling as spoke, “If you hadn’t shared the gospel that night, my entire life would have been different. I would have been raised by a single mom. She likely would never have known Christ, which means, in all probability, I wouldn’t either. Living without my father in the house, and without Jesus in my life, I would have been far more likely to make bad decisions, whether turning to drinking or drugs or even worse. And I never would have met my wife, Heidi, a beautiful Christian woman who was the daughter of missionaries, which means we never would have been able to raise our daughters Caroline and Catherine in a Christian home, where they are taught the Word of God each day.”

“All from your sharing the gospel to my father at 11 at night on April 15, 1975. Ripples in a pond, lives changed for three generations. Thank you so very much for heeding the call. For spreading the Good News.”

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is a Republican Party candidate for president of the United States.

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Satan and the Demons – Unbelief Has Dangerous Consequences: Part Two

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If you have not read part one, you can find it here.

Let us look at the real reason that Satan tempted Jesus, it had nothing to do with food, or possible bodily harm, or even the offer of ruling all the kingdoms of the Earth. The real reason behind Jesus temptation was an offer from Satan of a way to circumvent the coming crucifixion of Jesus on the cross. This would have handed Satan the win, no crucifixion, no forgiveness for us. More then that, God would have been proved to be less then Satan.

Was there a chance of Jesus losing to Satan in the temptation? I do not think so. The point is however; Jesus was human as well as God, therefore the temptation was valid and real. If Satan tempted Jesus, then he is real and he will tempt each and every one of us…

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Are You Married to a Selfish Spouse?

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Does your spouse define you? Do you live out a marriage of reaction to their sin and selfishness? What if they don't ever change? Will you? Your marriage does not define your heart, God does. Here's how to honor him with a heart of worship, even in a marriage that is struggling.

Victoria (not her real name) is married to a selfish spouse. She prays for him. She encourages him. She seeks ways to serve him. Her husband soaks it up but hasn’t learned to give half as much in return. If I give examples, I may blow her cover, but most of you know marriages like this.

Maybe you’re in one.

Somewhat understandably, Victoria struggles with bitterness. If her husband only knew how much just a small bit of giving back in return would mean, how if for one hour of a weekend he could make it about her instead of about him, the relief she would feel would be enormous, buther husband’s selfishness seems to run through his core.

They have talked about it, even with a counselor, but the thing about selfishness is that the more selfish you are, the less you realize it. Her husband…

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How we used to die; How we die now

An emergency physician’s  beautifully written and agonizingly empathic account of “how we used to die” starkly contrasted with how most people die now in our death-defying, death-dealing military industrial medicopharmaceuticalized culture. 

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I know you love me — now let me die

In the old days, she would be propped up on a comfy pillow, in fresh cleaned sheets under the corner window where she would in days gone past watch her children play. Soup would boil on the stove just in case she felt like a sip or two. Perhaps the radio softly played Al Jolson or Glenn Miller, flowers sat on the nightstand, and family quietly came and went. These were her last days. Spent with familiar sounds, in a familiar room, with familiar smells that gave her a final chance to summon memories that will help carry her away. She might have offered a hint of a smile or a soft squeeze of the hand but it was all right if she didn’t. She lost her own words to tell us that it’s OK to just let her die, but she trusted us to be her voice and we took that trust to heart.

You see, that’s how she used to die. We saw our elderly different then.

We could still look at her face and deep into her eyes and see the shadows of a soft, clean, vibrantly innocent child playing on a porch somewhere in the Midwest during the 1920s perhaps. A small rag doll dances and flays as she clutches it in her hand. She laughs with her barefoot brother, who is clad in overalls, as he chases her around the yard with a grasshopper on his finger. She screams and giggles. Her father watches from the porch in a wooden rocker, laughing while mom gently scolds her brother.

We could see her taking a ride for the first time in an automobile, a small pickup with wooden panels driven by a young man with wavy curls. He smiles gently at her while she sits staring at the road ahead; a fleeting wisp of a smile gives her away. Her hands are folded in her lap, clutching a small beaded purse.

We could see her standing in a small church. She is dressed in white cotton, holding hands with the young man, and saying, “I do.” Her mom watches with tearful eyes. Her dad has since passed. Her new husband lifts her across the threshold, holding her tight. He promises to love and care for her forever. Her life is enriched and happy.

We could see her cradling her infant, cooking breakfast, hanging sheets, loving her family, sending her husband off to war, and her child to school.

We could see her welcoming her husband back from battle with a hug that lasts the rest of his life. She buries him on a Saturday under an elm, next to her father. She marries off her child and spends her later years volunteering at church functions before her mind starts to fade and the years take their toll and God says:

“It’s time to come home.”

This is how we used to see her before we became blinded by the endless tones of monitors and whirrs of machines, buzzers, buttons and tubes that can add five years to a shell of a body that was entrusted to us and should have been allowed to pass quietly propped up in a corner room, under a window, scents of homemade soup in case she wanted a sip.

You see now we can breathe for her, eat for her and even pee for her. Once you have those three things covered she can, instead of being gently cradled under that corner window, be placed in a nursing home and penned in cage of bed rails and soft restraints meant to “keep her safe.”

She can be fed a steady diet of Ensure through a tube directly into her stomach and she can be kept alive until her limbs contract and her skin thins so much that a simple bump into that bed rail can literally open her up until her exposed tendons are staring into the eyes of an eager medical student looking for a chance to sew. She can be kept alive until her bladder is chronically infected, until antibiotic resistant diarrhea flows and pools in her diaper so much that it erodes her buttocks. The fat padding around her tailbone and hips are consumed and ulcers open up exposing the underlying bone, which now becomes ripe for infection.

We now are in a time of medicine where we will take that small child running through the yard, being chased by her brother with a grasshopper on his finger, and imprison her in a shell that does not come close to radiating the life of what she once had. We stopped seeing her, not intentionally perhaps, but we stopped.

This is not meant as a condemnation of the family of these patients or to question their love or motives, but it is meant be an indictment of a system that now herds these families down dead-end roads and prods them into believing that this is the new norm and that somehow the old ways were the wrong ways and this is how we show our love.

A day does not go by where my partners don’t look at each other and say, “How do we stop this madness? How do we get people to let their loved ones die?”

I’ve been practicing emergency medicine for close to a quarter of a century now and I’ve cared for countless thousands of elderly patients. I, like many of my colleagues, have come to realize that while we are developing more and more ways to extend life, we have also provided water and nutrients to a forest of unrealistic expectations that have real-time consequences for those frail bodies that have been entrusted to us.

This transition to doing more and more did not just happen on a specific day in some month of some year. Our end-of-life psyche has slowly devolved and shifted and a few generations have passed since the onset of the Industrial Revolution of medicine. Now we are trapped. We have accumulated so many options, drugs, stents, tubes, FDA-approved snake oils and procedures that there is no way we can throw a blanket over all our elderly and come to a consensus as to what constitutes inappropriate and excessive care. We cannot separate out those things meant to simply prolong life from those meant to prolong quality life.

Nearly 50 percent of the elderly US population now die in nursing homes or hospitals. When they do finally pass, they are often surrounded by teams of us doctors and nurses, medical students, respiratory therapists and countless other health care providers pounding on their chests, breaking their ribs, burrowing large IV lines into burned-out veins and plunging tubes into swollen and bleeding airways. We never say much as we frantically try to save the life we know we can’t save or perhaps silently hope we don’t save. When it’s finally over and the last heart beat blips across the screen and we survey the clutter of bloody gloves, wrappers, masks and needles that now litter the room, you may catch a glimpse as we bow our heads in shame, fearful perhaps that someday we may have to stand in front of God as he looks down upon us and says, “what in the hell were you thinking?”

When it comes time for us to be called home, those of us in the know will pray that when we gaze down upon our last breath we will be grateful that our own doctors and families chose to do what they should instead of what they could and with that we will close our eyes to familiar sounds in a familiar room, a fleeting smile and a final soft squeeze of a familiar hand.

Dr. Louis M. Profeta is an emergency physician practicing in Indianapolis. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book, The Patient in Room Nine Says He’s God.

Feedback at louermd@att.net is welcomed.

Satan and the Demons – Unbelief Has Dangerous Consequences: Part One

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If I asked you, “do you believe in Satan”, what would be your answer? Did you know that many who call themselves “Christian” do not believe in Satan? What about demons? Many that do believe in Satan do not believe in demons. These beliefs are not only dangerous and wrong, more importantly they are unbiblical.

As Believers in Christ, we need to believe that Satan is real, and so are his angels which we refer to as demons. What we do not need to do is to see demons hiding behind every bush, and blame Satan for every little thing that goes wrong in life.

I am amazed and at the same time saddened that people who believe in God, do not believe in Satan. Why on earth would I be saddened over this? If you choose not to believe in the existence of Satan and his demons, then you…

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He’s braver than I am!

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It’s 26 degrees with a howling wind. It snowed last night and the streets have been covered in ice. The sun has made its appearance for the last couple of hours and has already melted most of the one inch deep white stuff in my yard. Thank you Jesus!

I hate cold weather. That’s why I live in the South. Sitting at my computer I glanced out my window. I can’t believe my eyes! “Mr. Henry” is sitting on my neighbor’s fence with his brown feathers being whipped about in the wind. Is he nuts? It’s cold out there!

He’s definitely braver than I am. “I’m not going out there to get a picture” is my immediate thought. But loving to capture rare moments I grabbed the camera and with the lens close to the window I was able to capture this beautiful Hawk through the blinds. I didn’t dare raise the blinds or it would scare him.

He let me take his picture and then flew off to entertain someone else.

“We shall mount up like eagles wings…” Okay, so he’s a hawk not an eagle but it reminds me of that scripture.

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Blessings to you and stay warm.