6 reflections on dangerous relationships…

I have found meddlesome people to be the most unhappy people in the world.  When they find their own lives empty or hollow it is easy for them to seek vicarious attachment to the people around them. Here are six common things that I have found in most of the unhealthy relationships that I have allowed a little too much access into my life.

1. Dangerous people seem to want to live through me not with me.

2. Dangerous people seem to love me for what they want me to be not who I am right now.

3. Dangerous people look for my motive when they should be looking for context that leads to understanding.

4. Dangerous people dehumanize me in order to objectify me.

5. Dangerous people seem to support me when things are going well and disappear when things are going bad.

6. Dangerous people seem to try to get (need) me to believe the way they see things rather than believe what they say.

  • If you have had experience with someone who has hurt you with any of these six points what was it like?
  • How did it make you feel?
  • Did you confront them?
  • Have you ever found yourself being persistently meddlesome in the past?
  • If you are a recovering meddler (like me) what brought about your ability to see that you needed to change?
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Theologically dehumanizing people….

“Homophobia is LIKE racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to DEHUMANIZE a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood.” Coretta Scott King

Wow I just came across a profound quote by Coretta Scott King. It really puts into perspective how we can attempt to “dehumanize” an issue in order to avoid dealing with our fears or phobias.  I do this all the time with other cultures and people that I am afraid of or not familiar with. It is the easy way to deal with the human condition… to dehumanize it. I have been taught how to theologically dehumanize people. I am learning how to be more Christlike… now when I disagree with a person, don’t understand them or don’t sin like them…  I need to remember that I should not deny them their , humanity, dignity or personhood.  In that sense we both bear the image of God… our humanity.

Profound. I am thankful Jesus died for my phobias. I don’t want to reduce people to theological problems anymore in the name of Christ.

Hmmm… Do ““Our children need to understand – and adults need to understand – that they’re not broken.”?

Very sad story.

View Video Here

I don’t agree with the fathers statement….
“Sin needs to be taken out of homosexuality,” said Joe Clementi. “Our children need to understand – and adults need to understand – that they’re not broken.”

We are all broken. We are all in need of oneness through the power of God in Christ reconciling the world unto himself. We don’t have the power or the right in and of ourselves to remove our own sin or make ourselves whole.

 

Is the Gospel an idea, culture, lifestyle or God in Jesus the Christ?

I am interested in what your thoughts are concerning this article.

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevinwax/2012/06/26/the-idea-of-evangelism-makes-me-uncomfortable/

Here are some questions that I have.

  1. Did you become a Christian through argumentation or love?
  2. Did Jesus call us to make disciples or decisions?
  3. What is the difference in proclaiming something in love and proclaiming something to win?
  4. Trevin Wax says… “We don’t proselytize. We evangelize. Proselytism is about getting someone to change from one religion to another. Evangelism is proclaiming the evangel – the gospel. It’s an announcement about the way the world is. Then we call people to bring their lives in line with that reality.”
    1. What does this mean “Evangelism is proclaiming- the gospel.”
    2. Is proclaiming only a polemic act?
    3. Is the Gospel and idea, culture, lifestyle or God in Jesus the Christ?
    4. Is the Gospel “an announcement about the way the world is.”?

10 ways we keep pushing for the development of Christ in your Children!

Galatians 4:19 (NLT)

19Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives.

I will never forget the experience of being there during the delivery of my children. The words that ring in my head even today are the ones our doctor would say to my wife…. “push,push,push”.  It was with this quiet, deliberate, crescendo of intensity  that all three of our children came into the world. I have to admit I thought there would be more  uncontrolled screaming. There was some of that. But what I remember most (perhaps not my wife)  is this confident  rhythm that the Doctor would set with his calm but intense words push,push, push.

Well that’s over now our kids out, alive and healthy. But my wife and I try very hard to bring about spiritual birth in our children before we push, push, push them out the door into the real world. We are not trying to get decisions we are working toward formation. The formation of Christ in our home as a whole and in their individual lives.  I wanted to share with you how we are doing this on a weekly basis. If you have any things that you would like to share I would love to hear them.

  1. The Lords Prayer… It is like the theological hub of our family wheel. We have memorized it. We say it together every night. When problems or issues arise there is nothing that it does not address to help us out as a family.

  2. Singing before dinner… We sing The Doxology before every meal. It is very helpful because when we are having a hard day we still have to sing and it usually brings a smile to our faces.

  3. Dinner together… My wife has made our dinner time together a delight. We usually solve a riddle, ask each other how are days have been and work through situational school house ethics.

  4. Music… This is a big one for our family. At least four times a week we sing together before bed. The guitar, a hymnbook and some dancing usually brings about good discussion about God at least once a week.

  5. Responsibilities… our kids have daily responsibilities and one of them is alone time with God. We don’t micro manage. We just ask them to go of and spend time with God in their own way.

  6. Everyday before school… We sing a short song together or pray together before they get out of the car to run to class.

  7. Movie night… Every week we watch movies, and bring it’s main idea or theme back to the person and work of Jesus. The kids are pretty good at this and they surprise me sometimes.

  8. Catechism… These are  summaries of principles  in the form of questions and answers, used for instruction. Our Evangelical heritage has produced some pretty beautiful ones. We talk about whatever topic is being addressed in the lesson in a kind of free form way. I don’t always agree with whats being said. We do not like or promote the use of Catechisms in an indoctrinating way but in an engaging and critical way. Our kids are constantly reminded that believing whatever we think is wrong. And thinking about what we believe is right.

  9. The Ruler… We work hard to remind our kids that we are to love the Ruler first not His rules. We bring our children first to the forgiving and loving heart of God (the catalyst of our life) as revealed to us in Jesus Christ then show them what pleases Him. This is important to us because as a Christian family our kids could grow up thinking that because they “know the rules” that they are somehow better than others who do not. So in any way we can we bring up the fact that good works flow out of a gospel of grace based relationship with God. I love what G.C. Berkouwer said… “Grace is the essence of theology; gratitude is the essence of ethics.”

  10. Church… The place where we love, and learn about God together with our Christian family. Here we are able to minister to our Church family with our gifts and be ministered to by all the gifted ones in our body.


    So there you go these are some of the things we do. Now what about you? How do you work toward the spiritual formation of Christ in your children? We started out with very little and simple steps and it has grown and will continue to grow into the fabric of who we are.

Wonderful story about an atheist’s journey to Christ.

Wonderful story about an atheist journey to Christ.

“I believed that the Moral Law wasn’t just a Platonic truth, abstract and distant.  It turns out I actually believed it was some kind of Person, as well as Truth.”

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unequallyyoked/2012/06/this-is-my-last-post-for-the-patheos-atheist-portal.html

Dealing with loss (from a person in our congregation)

Saying that it is God’s plan is hard, even as believers, because what that plan is, is incomprehensible to us. To see the loss of someone so young, it is hard to fathom for us why that is the plan. However,  we must know that it is His plan. While on my quest for that very understanding in the death of a 14 year old young man I have to admit that it is easier to not see God in the equation because to see it as an accident makes my worldly brain able to comprehend and compartmentalize the issue into something I can handle and therefore have a hope of moving past. As a believer I find God’s plan an inconvenient truth because I can’t make sense of God’s plan. But what I am realizing is that I never can because his plan is as complex to me as Astrophysics is to a kindergarten class. It is beyond our comprehensive abilities. And though those kindergartens may grow up in their knowledge and become Astrophysicists,, God’s plan will always be beyond us and that is very difficult for me to handle. That is where faith comes in. That is where the trust I have in God to make those decisions that I can’t fathom has to come into play.

I must say that I wrestle with that faith as I think we all do at such times. We feel utterly anemic in our ability to control our world and that is where we truly define our faith. I say it is God’s plan with great conviction when some Good happens like I get a job or money when I really need it. I even say it when I don’t get a job or struggle financially; however I have trouble with the big ticket items.

I think my faith is tested most when faced with the idea of a plan taking a 14 year old boy from us. What is that plan? I can’t get that. Moreover, I don’t think any of us can. So why can’t I accept this as a plan as I can the job or money? I think it is control.

I think as Christians we are happy to give up control over our lives to a point. However, I am not sure that we can accept the loss of our own need to control on the really big moments. By control I mean understanding the reason. Our brains work like an inventory sheet and if we don’t know what column to put something into we are scrambling. I find that at moments where we most need our faith to guide us, some fight that very faith to comprehend in our minds what has happened. I think it would be easier at a point like this to be a non Christian because then I could chalk it up to an accident or bad deal. Consequently, it is on me as a follower of Christ and a person blessed by him,  to see faith as a test of not his plan but my personal need for control. I find faith as an inconvenience at times like these and I am starting to see that it is times Like these that strengthen my faith because I want answers and will dive into scripture to find them. It is easy to compartmentalize accidents as an answer but it is inspiring to look at God’s plan and to be humbled and accepting of the notion that I will never be able to understand it. Furthermore I see that at moments like this where my lack of control is so evident; that my need of that very control is weakening. My inability to control faith in my terms is making me realize that my terms are irrelevant and that is a pure thing. That is faith.

Andrew V