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Showing posts from August, 2017

Where is My God?

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. Habakkuk 3:17-19

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:11

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:8

When, where, and how will I see the goodness of my God and praise him? After the events of this past weekend, this is a fair question. I am heartbroken by the devastating loss so many families are experiencing. I realize the path ahead is painful and difficult. I did not ask for any of this. When will things get better?

When I attach my faith, security, and sense of God’s presence to material …

How Can I Navigate the Tensions in My Relationship Systems, Part 1?

In my last entry, I noted the lingering tension people are experiencing in their families and other relationships, tension exposed after the presidential election of 2016 that continues to the present. If it is true that Jesus called me to be in some kind of relationship with people who are different than me, perhaps even hostile towards me, and if this relationship is to be redemptive and reveal the love of Jesus Christ, then how can I accomplish this when they don't like me much and the feelings are largely mutual?

Bowen Family Systems Theory describes tension relationship systems (such as families, churches, friendships, and even workplaces) as the result of anxiety: an emotional response to a sense of threat. That threat can be real or imaginary. Anxiety can be chronic: the system may feel threatened all the time - a constant crisis. Anxiety can also be acute: temporary elevation in anxiety that will subside in time.

Some people's relational systems are always tense. It m…

Confederate Statues and My Relationships

The alienation and conflict experienced in many families and personal relationships after the presidential election of 2016 appear to persist in American culture as the summer of 2017 draws to a close. The topics are somewhat different (Confederate monuments, illegal immigration, race relations) and in addition to the President of the United States, people are focusing on other players (the alt-right or alt-left movements, for instance), but the emotions seem familiar: anger, anxiety, paranoia, outrage, dismay, and so on.

As a Christian, how am I to manage myself and my relationships during these tense times? Is it possible, or even desirable, for me to engage in conversations about tense topics without experiencing further conflict or alienation?

In Luke 6:27-49, Jesus gives moral and ethical instructions for his followers.

·I am to love my enemies and do good to those who hate me.
·I am to bless those who curse me and pray for those who mistreat me.
·I am to practice nonretaliation an…