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4-20-2021 – A Word to the Wise – On Respect

Just how does one teach a child respect? Perhaps y making the child your best friend? Or perhaps just beating it into them? We have all seen it. We walk in the store to do a little shopping and there is a mother with a five-year-old pitching a fit wanting a toy. She bribes the brat with a sucker and he pitches it across the store and the screams intensify. Or perhaps the father who promises a sound whipping when they get home.

Given the situation this nation is in, I suppose neither method has worked. It sure has taught the sports idols nothing about respect for the nation’s flag or its historical heroes. So where does it begin how does one ingrain the child a respect for others, and for holy things?

Sixty years ago my mother summed it up in a short essay let me share a few lines with you.

You cannot teach a child respect unless you first have respect for the child. This is the point of the beginning. Attitude and emotions speak an unmistakable language which no amount of lecturing can disqualify. A child comprehends the behavior and the attitude of respect for another by experiencing it first for another.

Where does this experience come from? From the first day of birth, the child closely observes the behavior of those around him. The behavior of the adults becomes the pattern by which the child develops attitudes and behavior.

Mother goes on to say: Young people are failing to develop the proper self-respect and respect for others mainly because of the warped and inconsistent teaching they are receiving. Too often we ask them to respect us on the basis of an adult parent-teacher. This is no basis at all until it is made consistent with the basic truth. All human beings are worthy of respect.

This failure on our part has led to what we see depicted on our screens in every possible context whether, TV, computers, games, or social media. Mother goes on to say:

A child’s capacity to respect is developed by careful and consistent guidance in his sense of values. In other words, respect is a process of growth. We do not demand respect in a child. We guide him in his development of it.

My mother then summarizes the problem and process:

Too often in trying to teach respect, we only teach respect of persons which of itself is sin. Respect is taught from early childhood, and it is not based on age, but on humanity. You should not permit your child to speak to another child insultingly anymore than to you. Another child is a human being, a creation of God, therefore, he is worthy of respect. Many try to apply it to the age or parents and then wonder why it doesn’t take. Much harm is done to their whole adjustment to life because you have taught them a false set of values. All that has been taught is really a “respect of persons, rather than a “respect for persons”, a living soul, which is direct from God Himself.

I wish I had said it myself!

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4-13-2021 – A Word to the Wise – This is one passage I find myself using extensively in counseling. I want to share it along with an explanation of why I find it so important

When I was a child,

    I spoke like a child,

      I thought like a child,

       I reasoned like a child.

        When I matured,

 I put aside childish things

 (I Corinthians 13:11)

There are several reasons this passage strikes a note in my thinking. I suspect growing up in an abusive situation we develop some interpretations of life which influence our relationships and beliefs. Truly, as children we speak, think, and reason like a child because we lack the world view necessary to process the experiences. So let’s work with an example.

It’s September 1955. Ten in the evening. The family was just finishing the devotional chart. The night was disturbed by the ringing of the phone. No one ever called this late! For years to come a phone at night was a fearful thing.

Mother answered the phone and I crawled under the dining room table, Fearful; mother did not say much ended the conversation with ‘we will come in the morning.’ I knew something terrible had happened. She was very somber.

We all stood around her, and she softly said. ‘that was the Nelson’s who rent your dad’s apartment in Oklahoma City.  The body of your father was found this afternoon, he had been dead for some time.”

I was not close to my father. He was partial to my sister, my mother partial to my brother. There are many things to say but I want to reduce it to two events that fit this passage.

The first event was the funeral. Many were there, most I did not know. No one spoke to me, which to, be honest, fine with me. But what made me angry, the one thing that disturbed me greatly was all these people standing around laughing and having a great time visiting.

Even to this day, I remember the phone call and those people having such a good time.

So a few years ago the Lord brought this passage to mind to process. Even at that time I spoke of it like a child, felt only the fury a child may experience, reason? Reasoning? out the window.

The Lord said ‘you’re mature now, it is time to put aside the childish perception and process this as an adult.’ To be honest it was 60 years later and I did not want to do that. The Lord would not be put off.

Remember, Jerry jumping up and down on that grave and crying we are even now? Yes, Lord. Even for what? Not rescuing me from my horrible situation. “But child look at how many have profited from your experience, look at where you are now, and how you got here.”

That is all that was said, yet the mature view yields a much different experience.  

A closely connected experience that merged with the above experience was my name. I always hated my name, I figured it took some really foolish thinking to give me the name they did. No doubt probably an unexpected twin and unwanted he deserved the name, the reasoning must have gone.

Most have no idea why I would think that way until they remember it was 1943. My name was the same slang term used to apply to the enemy, how stupid!

Ten years ago the Lord changed my name, but five years ago I discovered the meaning of my birth name. “When I was a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child,” yet I had lived my whole life not knowing what that name meant and that indeed I had lived its meaning. Swordbearer.

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4-5-2021 – A Word to the Wise – Consider what you would say. Having all your present knowledge, and the existence of the ability to time travel to the past if you were transported to the garden of Gethsemane at 1 AM April 2, 33 AD and you walk in on the scene of Jesus prostrate on the ground and His three close friends sleeping. What would you say, or do?

Consider these three men; Peter, James and John. Replace yourself with James since we know very little about him. Peter and John we know a lot about.

So Peter the spokesman for the disciples. Perhaps the oldest and married. Jesus tells him to watch and pray. This is the second time within an hour Jesus warns Peter he is about to make a huge mistake. This final time h tells him pray that you do not sin. Simply speaking at this point in time Peter could have avoided betraying his friend. Do you understand what is being said here? Jesus tells him that the future may be changed.

Some may say that this was not changeable. I disagree. Turn to I Samuel and read with me:

Now they told David, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are robbing the threshing floors.” 2 Therefore David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the LORD said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and save Keilah.” 3 But David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are afraid here in Judah; how much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” 4 Then David inquired of the LORD again. And the LORD answered him, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand.” 5 And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines and brought away their livestock and struck them with a great blow. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.

6 When Abiathar the son of Ahimelech had fled to David to Keilah, he had come down with an ephod in his hand. 7 Now it was told Saul that David had come to Keilah. And Saul said, “God has given him into my hand, for he has shut himself in by entering a town that has gates and bars.” 8 And Saul summoned all the people to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men. 9 David knew that Saul was plotting harm against him. And he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.” 10 Then David said, “O LORD, the God of Israel, your servant has surely heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah, to destroy the city on my account. 11 Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? O LORD, the God of Israel, please tell your servant.” And the LORD said, “He will come down.” 12 Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the LORD said, “They will surrender you.” 13 Then David and his men, who were about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah,(ESV)

What is important here is the Lord told David exactly what to do and what the consequences would be. But it did not happen because David listened to the Lord and understood the warning.

It was no different for Peter. The Lord told him what would happen in order to change the future. He did not listen. A second time the Lord warned Peter to pray and take heed. Why? Because the future could be altered. But we like Peter neglect the warnings the Lord gives us in life through his word, by his ministers, by our prayers and we turn our heads away.

So now we are in the garden. Why are we here? What does the Lord want to warn us about? Will it change the future?

Notice John is present yet the only thing the Lord said to him was to watch and pray with me, John carries some of the burdens that is overwhelming me. But no one was there for him. It would appear that God sent an angel to comfort him. These two verses are not in the earliest text that we have. It may or may not have occurred. Personally, I do not see how even an angel could comfort Jesus at this moment in time. If an angel did then Jess immediately rose to meet his friend and betrayer.

Now it is your turn. Your there. What will you say or do?

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4-4-2021 – A Word to the Wise – Consider what you would say. Having all your present knowledge, and the existence of the ability to time travel to the past if you were transported to the garden of Gethsemane at 1 AM April 2, 33 AD and you walk in on the scene of Jesus prostrate on the ground and His three close friends sleeping. What would you say, or do?

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3-29-2021 – A Word to the Wise – UNDERSTANDING THE PART COMPASSION PLAYS USING THE GIFTS.

Three of the gifts are talented in working with others in the healing process. Each takes a different approach with different results.

The Mercy deals primarily with pain; emotional or physical. Essentially they sit with the person listen to them maybe sys things to calm when necessary. It is a very slow process that should not be rushed.

The expected effects on the person are relief from anxiety which lessens the pain.

Now, the part often missed and neglected is the effects on the Mercy.

When Mercy takes the pain off of another they are taking it onto themselves. They now carry the pain that was the other person.

Jesus refers to the cost in one of his healing situations.

A certain woman, who had a discharge of blood for twelve years, 26 and had suffered many things by many physicians and had spent all that she had, and was no better, but rather grew worse, 27 having heard the things concerning Jesus, came up behind him in the crowd, and touched his clothes. 28 For she said, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be made well.” 29 Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.

30 Immediately Jesus, perceiving in himself that the power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd, and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

31 His disciples said to him, “You see the multitude pressing against you, and you say, ‘Who touched me?’”

32 He looked around to see her who had done this thing. 33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had been done to her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.

34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be cured of your disease.”

(WEB)

Two very important details; first the Mercy must have the authority to act. With the Gifts, one never acts without authority because the purpose is to give the Lord, not ourselves, the praise.

Then notice Jesus says; which is easier, to tell the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven; ’or to say, ‘Arise, and take up your bed, and walk?

This indicates that it cost to person to heal another.

So what does it cost the Mercy? The effect of pain on us is stress. Stress is emotionally difficult. This is the problem often the Mercy will go for years carrying the burdens of others until they break down. So what is necessary is to learn to give up the pain quickly after absorbing it. We will address how in a moment. For now, let’s label this as being compassionate.

The second Gift that works with emotional or physical pain is the Exhorter. Like Mercy, the Exhorter works one on one more effectively. However, where Mercy actually lifts the burdened off individuals the Exhorter has the individual verbalize the problems and reasons with the person about why they are suffering and what needs to be done to deal with the problem. So to contrast these two Gifts one is silent yet lifts the burden onto themselves while the other reason addresses root problems in an effort to cause the person to address the problem and utilize the solution.

8 Immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you reason these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to tell the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven;’ or to say, ‘Arise, and take up your bed, and walk?’ 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I tell you, arise, take up your mat, and go to your house.” (WEB)

This intercession cost the Exhorter. What? Why? It takes time effort, learning, and prayer to deal with others.

So like the Mercy, if it is not released it will burn out the Exhorter.

The third Gift that works with the emotions and the body is the Prophet. This gift detects and challenges sin in the life of another person and confronts the individual. This is a terrific risk to the Prophet. They experience rejection at every turn. They have few friends. It cost them dearly. It cost Jesus his life.

Like the other two gifts, the Prophet experiences long-term problems by exercising their gift. What does it cost? Physical, emotional, spiritual energy. The result is always fatigue and the energy has to be restored. How?

Step one, the situation in each of these instances has to be given to the Lord. By telling the Lord who the person is, what the problem is, and asking him to take it into his hands.

Moreover, an inquiry has to be made about the root problem and authority for dealing with the person.

Step two, the person has to exercise compassion on themselves. So what does that mean?

There are several ways one receives compassion for themselves, some good, some bad.

The negative ways we comfort ourselves maybe addictive type activities, drugs, alcohol, sex, money, games whatever we comfort ourselves with. These distract us from the burdens but do not relieve them.

Which ones does the Lord approve of us and in fact comforts our spirits and soothes our emotions?

Music is one. We are instructed in this in I Samuel 16.

Now Yahweh’s Spirit departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Yahweh troubled him. 15 Saul’s servants said to him, “See now, an evil spirit from God troubles you. 16 Let our lord now command your servants who are in front of you to seek out a man who is a skillful player on the harp. Then when the evil spirit from God is on you, he will play with his hand, and you will be well.” (WEB)

In our time a suggestion that seems to bring the most comfort is music from the older hymns song without instrumental background with some exceptions. Definitely not music with a backbeat.

The second form of spiritual comfort which soothes the spirit is certain passages from scripture. Many from Psalms, the gospels, and Paul’s writings, and godly books.

These tend to be effective with the three gifts: Mercy, Server, and Prophet.

o compassion is offered by these three gifts in different terms but addressing the emotions and the soul.

The other four gifts Giver, Server, Organizer, Teacher offer compassion in another manner. These are nonemotional gifts so compassion is offered in a physical or intellectual manner.

So the Server observes a person under great stress. The Server and Giver look for physical ways to relieve the stress and be compassionate. The Server will look for ways to physically relieve the person by doing chores or helping in a physical manner. Comforting self also by a physical means, making, building, painting, etc.

The Giver relieves stress financially and for the largest part of society financial problems seem to be a source of many difficulties. So giving becomes a chief way of expressing compassion. Self-comfort is achieved through material things.

The organizer in contrast takes a complex problem being experience breaks it down into achievable parts to relieve stress. Self-comfort is achieved through seeing a project through to closure. As well as with other physical activities.

Finally, the teacher projects compassion through intellectual means. Teaching another patiently how to do a task or learn intellectually how to deal with a problem. Self-comfort generally comes in the form of reading.

What is important here is giving compassion and receiving compassion, either by self, from others, or by one’s relationship with the Lord. If the person is going to practice their Gift for the betterment of others they must learn that there is a price to be paid, learn how to give it to the Lord, and find comfort for themselves.

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A Word to the Wise

2-22-2021 – A Word to the Wise – ON SIN

I want to address a type of sexual sin that is rarely addressed, and a consequence that goes with it. I give this forewarning so some who want to avoid thinking about it, will be able too.

I will address only one of this class of sins but the results are the same for the whole class. The scripture reference is Leviticus 18 and all of the examples fall into the same category.

Now I will address a biblical incident in the light of the Leviticus passage and it will clear up the interpretation of a long standing incident.

In Genesis 9 we read of this incident, but let me retell it and see if it makes more senses.

A couple of years after Noah left the Ark he planted a wine vineyard. He got good and drunk one afternoon and passed out.

His wife, we do not even know her name, was overcome with sexual desire and standing at the door of her tent which was next to her husbands, was only partially dressed.

Ham was passing by and she invited Ham in, undressed and proceeded to have sex with him. When finished as he was leaving she told him to tell Shem and Japheth of the good time he had and invited them in as well.

Ham did tell them of his adventure, both boys were shocked, went to her tent with a blanket not even looking at her, covered her up and left.

Ham’s sin is classified as ‘uncovering the nakedness of his father’.

As you look at Leviticus 18, this whole class of sin is addressed. What is of great interest is verses 19-23. Apparently this class of sin is equated and in the end the same as devoting self, and the result, to the evil god Moleck. Ultimately such newborns were offered as living burnt sacrifices to Moleck.

But read that whole section look at this whole class of sin which scripture sees as similar.

Noah understood this about his nameless wife, and the child Canaan became representative of the consequence. As always you are free to disagree about the example, or even the interpretation as applying to the example.

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A Word to the Wise

2-19-2021 – A Word to the Wise – Our help is in the Lord, if the Lord who was on my side….. February 14, 2021

I am diabetic, I use insulin and have for over 30 years. As was usual I checked my level on my G6 before bed, it was high, I injected insulin, however there is a problem, the needle bent unknown to me until I looked down saw that it had bent and the insulin not been injected so I supposed. I redid it.

Went to bed. At 2 am. The Lord woke me up. Get up. “Look at your G6. It showed 140 B/S, ok no problem. Look at it again. The arrow showed straight down it was dropping fast. I had doubled the amount of insulin. I knew immediately.

I quickly drank 32 oz. of milk, no impact, 32 oz of juice, now it had hit 100 still straight

down. I got Lisa and Mary up it was now 70 still dropping the G6 alarms went off. Downed 15 dextrose tablets. What to do the roads were iced over Lisa said the device estimated 15 more minutes, and now at 55 B/S. Then 50……

If the Lord had not got me up when He did, even 5 minutes it would have been too late to do anything. There had been no warning symptoms, only the Lord. Our help is in the Lord. Has the Lord ever rescued you?

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A Word to the Wise

2-3-2021 – A Word to the Wise – I WANT TO ADDRESS RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS THAT OFTEN OCCUR:

To be direct discussing the difficulty will bring to light many examples from every person’s life. My examples come from dealing with a Server, while I am an Exhorter. But this occurs between any two individuals who do not have the same gift. That does not imply one should marry a person that has the same gift for that creates even more severe problems.

First, I will give and example out of my life, but it is only an example, you the reader will immediately have your own examples and the mistakes you encounter in much the same manner that I have.

Some of these examples will sound astoundingly ‘dumb’ but that only reflects the degree it might affect a relationship.

In the 9th grade I was required to take Algebra. Almost from the first day a term was used that I could not comprehend which led to a failure in the class twice. In fact twenty years later the Lord gave me a problem to solve which required a knowledge of Algebra. I did the assignment and the result was astounding.

I know this is going to sound ignorant on my part you will laugh until you understand the same thing has happened with you.

The word was ‘set’ that term reflects an important process in Algebra. I still do not understand the concept sixty years later. Do not laugh and try to ‘educate’ me. That is not the point.

Let me give you some examples that others have difficulties with. Almost universally Prophets do not understand paradox. It does not compute to them. The rest of us find it simple. We often find examples of paradox in scripture. Example Mark 1:40ff.

The Server does not process emotions (in fact several of the gifts have this problem) so when one of the emotional gifts encounter this difficulty it seems incomprehensible.

A book was written several years ago with the theme that some people have emotional IQ’s approaching zero. I concur.

Example, when you say love to a Server, it means action, do something. With a Mercy it means feel something. In real life the Mercy, and Exhorter find it impossible to bridge the gap for the physical gifts when discussing a feeling.

Starting to see the complexity of the problem? An example from my marriage. Do not mention this to my wife it would be like talking to me about ‘sets’ or a Prophet about paradox.

On second thought I better not tell the story I can just hear you laughing about it and calling her and she would be devastated. (I have managed to be married 57 years by keeping silent at times.)

But that shows you how deeply we may be affected by what others consider a problem easy to solve. These situations are not easy and in fact have been the root cause of many marital break ups.

As a counselor it has led to giving strange unusual odd, weird projects for clients to do. Years ago I encountered such a difficulty with a person and gave them a very simple task. They trusted me, did what I ask and after doing it they understood. (Since this person has a sense of humor and I would rather you laugh at them than me the assignment was to go to church barefooted! They did not understand why, but did it and it help solve the problem.

“See that was so much easier than telling my embarrassing moment.” However, if when that person looks back and sees the difference between what they were and what they are they would be astounded that such a simple task led to major relational changes.

My dilemma at this point is to give more serious examples of these type roadblocks caused by these situations, or just leave it for you to see it in your own relationships.

After consideration I have an example. I was raised in a situation that required that you wash clothes and then hang them outside to dry, after all it is free. My daughter thinks I am crazy, (and the HOA agrees they outlaw outdoor cloth lines) my wife has a different solution. She puts them in a dryer until they are 85% dry then hangs damp clothes on door knobs, chairs and other objects to finishing drying. None of the three of us comprehend the strange behavior of the other and any attempt to confront the odd behavior leads to a major battle.

Our purpose here is say all of us do and say things that may not make sense to others. It requires compassion and empathy on the part of each one of us when living with others.

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A Word for the Wise

2-1-2021 – A Word for the Wise – Seven things occur in the realm of the intellect, which affect anger: ON ANGER

1. A person has to decide not to give oneself permission to get angry. Anger is predicated on a willful decision. This decision may be made in an instant of time, in days, or even years. Even as young children when hurt or disappointed, we struggle with the decision whether to be angry and act out or not.

2. The mind must choose to take responsibility for its anger. Even if the other party is 99.9% at fault for an offense, we must take full responsibility for our anger and its expression.

3. One must choose to see anger through the eyes of the one offended. Usually we excuse our anger, failing to feel what the other person sees and feels by our acting out. We detach ourselves from the pain we cause. We must choose to see, hear, and feel the results of our anger.

4. One should search for past offenses, which are similar to those in childhood. Situations, which were never resolved, and that are re-experienced or re-enacted in the present with attitudes, or behaviors, like those in the past.

5. Anger is often an indicator of past guilt over offenses towards others. Our anger is reminiscent of these sins.

6. Forbearance is a characteristic, which powerfully affects the angry mind. Scripture tells us to be slow to speak. Forbearance with others acts out this biblical injunction and stems the angry tide.

7. The chief trait, however, that protects the mind from the type of activity which leads to or breeds anger, is the quality of humility. Humbling one’s self removes the breeding ground for anger.

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A Word to the Wise

1-31-21 – A Word to the Wise – Wisdom is not intellect, nor knowledge, it may be founded in humanism, or God inspired. You have to choose its source, or not.

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