Thursday, April 19, 2018

Toxic Churches with Ingrid Schlueter

Friday, February 23, 2018

Humility and Billy Graham

I love this man. Thank you.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Loyalty is a Lifestyle

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Various Forms of Pride by James Fowler

1. Self-admiration – “Look at me!”
     a. Natural - my abilities, talents, assets. 
     b. Spiritual - my spiritual gifts, my ministry. 

2. Self-aggrandizement – “Don’t I look good/great?” 
     a. Natural - my looks, my importance. 
     b. Spiritual - my position in the church. 

3. Self-attention – “Listen to me!” 
     a. Natural - my understanding and viewpoint. 
     b. Spiritual - my Biblical and theological knowledge. 

4. Self-justification – “I am right!” 
     a. Natural - my way is the right way. 
     b. Spiritual - our doctrine and polity is right. 

5. Self-sufficiency – “I can do it!” 
     a. Natural - my abilities, my leadership. 
     b. Spiritual - our programs will make it happen. 

6. Self-aspiration – “Let me win!” 
     a. Natural - competitive spirit; one-up-manship. 
     b. Spiritual - our statistics will prove us successful. 

7. Self-seeking – “Give me mine!” 
     a. Natural - my rights; what I deserve. 
     b. Spiritual - our political rights and physical edifice. 

8. Self-exaltation – “Praise me!” 
     a. Natural - my credit, glory, commendation. 
     b. Spiritual - our procedures and success.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Grief Part 3, Learning

My dad (19) and my mom (16) on their wedding day, October 5, 1967
This week would have been my parents' 50th anniversary. My father asked us kids not to call him on the first anniversary without my mother since 1967. He just wanted to get through the day and not be constantly reminded of her absence.

It is a helpless feeling watching my father be so heartsick without his love, partner, comrade, and sweetheart. I've never seen my father cry and now that's all he does. It's heart wrenching.

The morning of my parents' anniversary, I had a vivid dream about them. I was behind my father as he was coming in their house and my mother met him at the door with kisses. Later they were in the kitchen, like I have seen many times throughout my life, hugging. I was in complete bliss watching them and that's when I realized I was dreaming. I woke in hallow anguish when reality set in. She's still gone.

I've learned so much about others and myself, good and bad. I've learned that I'm not as winsome as I hoped to be in mourning. It was a window in my heart without all the embellished covering.

I've learned that I love my family more that I thought. Losing my mom suddenly this year was a revelation of what is important, what battles are worth fighting, and unconditional love.

I learned after my mother's death which people in my life would support and who would abandon me. It's been a time of soul searching of what kind of people I'm initially attracted to and who I've ignored.

I learned the meaning of friendship, keeping them few and focused. I learned to align with genuine empathetic people and show Christ-like compassion in a time of crisis. I probably failed at these things unknowingly in the past. Marching through the trenches makes me keenly aware.

I'm also learning that forgiveness is the absence of bitterness and trusting God's sovereignty He will bring all things to fruition.

To tie this to my dream about my parents is that I need to take each day as it were my last with the people I love. I will hug, share, laugh, and even cry with those who authentically care because they are a gift that may not be within reach hereafter. "Life is a vapor..."

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!" Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Grief Part 2, Healing

There was something cathartic about writing my post yesterday of suddenly losing my mother to kidney failure earlier this year. It was good that I relived that night even though it was sad. It took me eight months to get to this point.

I read other people's account of losing a loved one and I found them oddly comforting. There's something isolating about grief. Nobody wants to talk about it.  The world still goes on with its affairs while my heart is shattered and I'm suppose to get on with life. I tried.

After running a couple of red lights, as far as I know, I decided not to drive for a couple of weeks. Come to find out being a treacherous driver, temporarily, is a normal part of grief. Who knew that I would be a danger to society? I struggled cognitively. I was in a fog.

People can even grow impatient with a person in mourning. I wish we can go back to wearing a black ribbon for a year, not for the attention but a sign that I'm not myself. I need something that says I'm still hurting so please, have mercy.

One of the most healing moments was about a month after my mother's death. There was a lunch at a pizza place with my homeschool group after an event. I was so tempted to go home. I was too raw emotionally, too tired physically, and it was raining; a perfect day to hunker down in my cozy home. I haven't been in a social function since before my mom's passing.

I felt the Lord pressing on my heart to go, so I did. Being at a table full of women was the best thing for me. It felt good to hear about other things and laugh. That was a huge. I felt so light afterwards.

All that to say is it was so tempting to isolate myself but I desperately needed loving Christian  women around me. I think that was the first time I laughed in a month. Thank you Lord.

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
 A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
 time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
 A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
                                             Ecclesiastes 3:1-4
Grief Part 1