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Showing posts from June, 2016

WHEN GOD WANTS A DIVORCE

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If you have experienced a family member, spouse or partner that ignores and humiliates you for a prolonged period of time, you may reach the point of saying that you will not stay with the one who continually hurts you.

Do you think that people with low self-esteem or those with higher self-esteem are more likely to disconnect from those who mistreat them?
Dr. Sally Singer Horwatt said,
People low in self-esteem are more likely to ostracize, but they appear to use it as a manipulative tactic rather than true disengagement. High self-esteem individuals are more likely to ostracize to terminate an unwanted relationship. Ironically, people with high self-esteem are more likely than those with low self-esteem to terminate a relationship with partners who ostracize them. [1]

Why do we think that God has no right to distance from those who reject Him? In describing His People as a bride, the God who hates divorce uses language to say that He will divorce them if they continue to deny Him.
God d…

STIFF-NECKED AND SELF-ABSORBED

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There is a troubling story where God tells his family off. He has been ignored and ostracized for a very long time and needs to communicate how the people have been toward His Kindness.



Exodus 33:Then the Lord said to Moses, “Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ 2 I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 3 Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.”

Look at what the Lord had done for them. God had led his people to their freedom and taking them to a new land to call their own. They experienced God’s kind provision of water and food, deliverance from slavery and their enemies and were given the hope of a new life. God was doing everything He promised.
For the emancipa…

THE CONSEQUENCE OF SHUNNING GOD

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While we are mostly concerned about our own sense of belonging and finding others to instil that sense into-- can there be a false sense of security that comes from mattering in the wrong ways? 

Is this not the gasoline that fuels a criminal gang, hate groups and makes pirates out of rejected sailors?
Clinical psychologist Sally Singer Horwatt said,
Happiness in life is strongly related to having some close personal relationships. Research suggests that it does not seem to make a great deal of difference what sort of relationship one has, but the absence of close social bonds is strongly linked to depression, unhappiness and other troubles… This explains the power of ostracism as a means of social control.  Ostracism - a.k.a. the silent treatment - is the actions of individuals or groups that ignore, exclude or reject others. Ostracism is intended to deprive the target of the sense of belonging.  It has been called "social death." [1]
One of the great appeals of the Gospel mess…

THE QUESTION OF BELONGING

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There is a conversation in the movie ‘A Beautiful Mind’[1] in which a brilliant mathematician John Nash is having a conversation with his colleague Charles Herman. Nash is brilliant but suffers with paranoid schizophrenia and is driven to excel in the field of mathematics.

JOHN NASH: I need to look through to the governing dynamics, find a truly original idea. That’s the only way I’ll ever distinguish myself. It’s the only way I’ll ever . . .
CHARLES HERMAN: Matter?
JOHN NASH: Yes[2]

We are deeply embedded with a desire to matter. Mattering is defined as the perception that, to some degree and in any of a variety of ways, we are a significant part of the world around us.[3]
Mattering helps us identify who we are and where we fit in. If we matter to others, we feel valued. On the other hand, to be ignored and have no one who shares with you can have a devastating effect on our wellbeing.
The desire for significance is so great that people will act out in good or bad ways to be significan…

OVERCOMING THE FEAR OF SIGNIFICANCE

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Many of Jesus’ stories reference power, money, debt and investment. All of these things have moral implications. The rich man and the beggar story teach about compassion for the poor. The prodigal son story teaches about valuing people over the cost associated. The man forgiven a great debt story teaches about forgiving others who are indebted to us. The lost coin story speaks to the celebratory, redemptive act of recovering what has been lost.
One of the moral tales of Jesus speaks to the importance of investing our lives into the work of God’s Kingdom and the consequence of living in fear and reluctance.

Luke 19:12-13 “There was once a man descended from a royal house who needed to make a long trip back to headquarters to get authorization for his rule and then return. But first he called ten servants together, gave them each a sum of money, and instructed them, ‘Operate with this until I return.’14 “But the citizens there hated him. So they sent a commission with a signed petition to…