Archive for November, 2005

In Search of Truth (Part 2) or Life is Football…

Football has been described as 100,000+ people desperately needing excercise watching 22 people desperately needing rest. If you were watching Ohio State in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, many times a game you would watch the fullback run the ball right up the middle. Three yards and a cloud of dust, Woody would call it. Its an utterly simple play. The fullback takes the ball and runs up the middle with all his might. His blockers get in front of him to clear the way and all eleven players on the defense move toward the fullback and do everything in their power to tackle him. The opposing players are all impediments to the fullback, who is trying to score. Each impediment could tackle the fullback, but if the play unfolds as planned, the blockers remove the impediments and the fullback will score. Statistically this does not happen often as the runner is tackled. The impediments work! Only if all the blockers, the coach, the trainers and all involved pull together can the impediment be removed and the goal achieved. Just as the fullback faces impediments to score, so do we face impediments as we strive for our goal of a full, healthy and productive life. Conflict is an impediment, as is the tendency to disconnect from those who can help you.

We need connection from trusted friends, who will be honest and objective while loving and caring for us. We move towards God because we know He loves and cares for us. We move towards family and friends, hoping for support and love they provide, We move towards friends, who care for and support us as we deal with painful issues.

So who are your friends?? Who’se your buddy? Take some time and list three of your friends. Why is this friend valuable to you?

Proverbs 18:24 (New Living Translation) There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.

You need to solve the mysteries that surround your hurt. The guilt, the shame, the anger, the rage, the anxiety or the fear you feel are impediments that can prevent us from doing the work that God as called us to do. Do the work to find the answers to your mysteries and don’t let anyone tell you it is destructive.

So here is part 2…

11. What are your five greatest strengths? Write them down and ask your closest friends to tell you what they think they are.

12. What are your five greatest weaknesses? Write them down and ask your closest friends to tell you what they think they are.

13. What have you done to misuse your strengths? Have you been a good steward or have you wasted them?

14. What have you done to use your strengths well? Ask your friends where they have seen you use your strengths well.

15. What have you done to correct or work on your weaknesses?

16. What could you do to work on them? Make a list.

17. What could you do to make restitution to those you have hurt?

18. Who could help you walk through a path of forgiveness toward those who have hurt you?

19. Write down a plan to contact those you have hurt, begin to contact them if it would not cause greater damage and take notes on the things they tell you about yourself as you discuss the past.

20. Ask someone to be your partner in truth. Ask the person to help you discover the truth about yourself and motivate you to continue to work on the areas that need help.

On June 12, 1987, President Reagan made a speech that helped contribute to the downfall of the Soviet Union. He spoke directly to the premier and said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

This is what we need to say to one another. Select one friend who loves you, will keep your confidence and is committed to help you become the person God intended you to be. Ask them to give you honest feedback and let them know you can handle the truth. Everyone needs at least one person in their life who will always love them and tell them truth.

The impediments need to be thrown off. Do it before it is too late. Do it before there are more broken hearts and broken relationships. Don’t buy into the big lie that “It does no good to look back or look inside.”

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In Search of Truth (Part 1)

We have all been hurt. We have all hurt others.

Lamentation 3:40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?

1. Starting as early as you can remember, who were the people in your life that hurt you?

2. Was there anything you did to bring on that hurt, or were they solely responsible?

3. What was your reaction to that hurt? Did you forgive them, hold on to a grudge, or try to seek your own revenge?

4. Is there any way you could have altered your reaction to the hurt?

5. Starting as early as you can remember, who were the people in your life that you hurt?

6. Did they do something first that hurt you, or were you acting without provocation?

7. Who have you hurt the worst? Arrange your list of those you hurt in the order of the most damage to the least.

8. What was your reaction when you first realized you had hurt each person?

9. What have you done to rectify the problem caused by your hurtful actions?

10. Is there anything you could do to make restitution?

Are you afraid of what you might find? Is there a skeleton in your closet?

So tell me what YOU think, is this a TRUTH OR LIE?

“It does no good to look back or look inside.”

Pain is a gift from God

In our society we spend millions upon millions just to ease the pain. Medical doctors prescribe 800 mg of Ibuprofin. Chiropractic is the fastest growing physical healing industry. But pain is a gift from God. a gift to let us know that something is not right in our life and something needs fixing. We must feel the pain, embrace it and resolve the reasons for it or your life will begin to revolve around it. You can not bury it alive, as you will have to continue to feed it and it will continue to grow, even buried. Pain is not something we actively seek but when it appears we must react appropriately, rather than deny or neglect it. It is not healthy to simply “press on”.

“You should feel fortunate, look at how God has blessed the changes that have been made”

“Just trust God and let this be between them and God”

“God works everything out to be good.”

“A Spirit filled person would have real peace about all of this.”

“Surely there were some deep problems for this to occur.”

“Surely after this time you have worked through this loss.”

“Your anger is a sin you need to repent of.”

Each of these statements are true to some degree but each can invalidate the pain you feel. Denying the pain or having no place to share it can just cause it grow and invalidate it.

What would Jesus feel? Isiah 53-3 says He would be a “man of sorrows”. Jesus felt emotinal pain to the extent He sweat blood. Jesus did not minimize it, He felt it to His very core.

Godly sorrow can and does lead to repentance and salvation. Sorrow can lead to making things right. Sometimes restitution is needed. Guilt and shame can be the result of unrestituted and Godly sorrow.

So resolve your pain or revolve around it. Feel the depth of it and use it to resolve it. Unresolved pain will lead to hurt, mistrust, anxiety, fear and anger. Bury these alive and “just press on” will end up eating you alive.

TRUTH OR LIE??

“Real Christians should have a real peace in all circumstances.”

“All I need to heal is just God and me”

We all need healing at one time or another. Many of us are in dire need of healing right now. It may be physical, emotional, spiritual or some other type of healing. We may feel we need a certain type of healing but receive another type. What type of healing are you in need of?

“All I need to heal is just God and me.” Is this truth or is this a lie?

weekly worship…

Justin Martyr (First Apology, chapter LXVII) describes a second-century church service thus:
And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need.