Category: God’s Psychology

My secret has always been God, His presence, His word, His life, His work. Have I done great things for God or man? No. Small stuff.  I need God for the small stuff — all my stuff is small. Truth is, I cannot measure or evaluate any degree or effect of impact coming from my life. “From the desire of being great, good Lord deliver us.” A Moravian prayer How does “small” happen? God does it. He makes us small and contents us with little. A friend lived in a nursing home for 3 or 4 years. He had been afflicted with a stroke. On a recent visit we talked of many who were imprisoned or killed in the war, standing for their faith. We mused about what it must have been like, and wondered how we would have responded if it was us. My friend volunteered quickly; ‘I would…

  Job 23:14 teaches, “For He performs the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.” Job 23:10 says “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 23:6 said,  “Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me.” Struggle, strive, strain and worry comprise something not Christian, for He is faithful who has called us, who will also do it. God is performing the thing concerning me. But, Job declares these profound truths in a time of severity. Matthew Henry explains: “I am loath to think holy Job would charge the holy God with iniquity; but his complaint is indeed bitter and peevish, and he reasons himself into a sort of patience per force, which he cannot do without reflecting upon God as dealing hardly…

  Isolated? yes, so are many, but loneliness hurts people at holiday times. Is there help? Let’s look at some clinical observations first. “At the root, isolation compromises immunity, increases the production of stress hormones, and is harmful to sleep. All of this feeds chronic inflammation, which lowers immunity to the degree that lonely people even suffer more from the common cold.” “If we cling to the belief that we should be perfect, we may not risk doing things that might expose our imperfections.  …we don’t want the risk of being disappointed. Our fear of failing keeps us isolated.” “…fear of facing shame or embarrassment. We don’t want to be seen as defective—or see ourselves as flawed.” psychologytoday    John Amodeo Ph.D., MFT A solution is offered: “The curious paradox is that when I can accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” Carl Rogers “…This takes a courageous willingness to feel sad or disappointed sometimes, or even a mild sense of shame, which…

People do similar things but for different reasons. Some folks know why they do what they do, others have not a clue why. Motivations include: Love, care, compassion, hatred, indebtedness, or fear. Money moves some, or gain of power. Other ones have altruistic drives and follow a rule of what they deem as right. Still others operate from a deceitful heart. Is their a correct one? In Matthew 21:23-27 Jesus discerns motivation.  “… the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him (Jesus) as he was teaching, and said, By what authority do thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?  And Jesus answered them with a question, “… “The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men?  And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?   But if…

In the last days: “…some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;  Speaking lies in hypocrisy. Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, …” “…having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 1 Timothy 4:2-3 “…if the metaphor is from the cauterizing of a wound, as the A.V. takes it, then the idea is that these men’s consciences are become as insensible to the touch as the skin that has been cauterized.”  Pulpit Commentary ” …a conscience seared exists in a mind that will practice delusion without concern; that will carry on a vast system of fraud without wincing; that will incarcerate, scourge, or burn the innocent without compassion; and that will practice gross enormities, and indulge in sensual gratifications under the mask of piety.” Barnes Notes Conscience has been defined wrongly as the “voice of God.” Delitzsch calls it “the religious moral…

Change of mind, change of heart — the possibility of such must never forsake us. The eternal aspect of our nature allows it; there we fear not dying, for death is a thing past. The freshness of new possibilities invigorates our new and resurrected day. Can we discern the progression of being set-apart unto God, closer and closer we go, the depths of life shake us, but outcomes never disappoint us. James Whitcomb Riley writes “The Shower.” The landscape, like the awed face of a Child, Grew curiously blurred, a hush of death. Fell on the fields, and in the darkened wild, The zephyr held it’s breath. No wavering glamour-work of light and shade, Dappled the shimmering surface of the Brook: The frightened ripples in their ambuscade of willows thrilled and shook. The sullen day grew darker, and anon dim flashes of pent anger lit the sky: with rumbling wheels…

When life is not fair:  then I must leave the “fair/unfair” plane of existence. I must heighten my meager “fairness” concept to find God’s Spirit of life. I must accept my day’s wage of a penny, and realize that all get the same, “grace.” Kristen Butler said this “Sometimes you just need to talk to a four year old and an 84 year old to understand life again. powerofpositivity “If life is unfair with everyone, doesn’t that make life fair?” —  Magaola Friends, accepting the unfairness of life — does that help us? I think rather that it breeds pessimism. No, our Father instead has asked us to climb into His wisdom and insight — to share with Him the deep meaning of the universe He created, and also later redeemed. The point of unfairness lies in our tainted, finite, partially blinded perspective — not in some seeming oversight of God. God…

Let’s move from grace to graciousness. 1Peter 1:13 teaches, “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Lets look closer: Wherefore . “Because of  ‘the glorious free grace opened for Gentiles and Jews in Christ.’” Girding up. “…vivid metaphor for habit of the Orientals, who quickly gathered up their loose robes with a girdle when in a hurry or starting on a journey.” The loins, “Old word for the part of the body where the girdle was worn. A metaphor. “The believer is to have his mind (mental powers) collected and always ready for Christ’s coming. “Gather in the strength of your spirit.”  A.T Robertson Mind, “Old word for the faculty of understanding, of seeing through a thing.” A.T. Robertson Be sober. “spiritual self-restraint, lest one be…

  2 Thessalonians 2:3 teaches:  “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first…” “On May 17, 1863, Paris saw the opening of the Salon des Refusés, an exhibition of artworks that were rejected by the jury of the prestigious Paris Salon. It was the very first time the term avant garde, or avant-garde, was used in relations to the arts, and it marked the beginning of a cultural revolution. Renowned painters like Gustave Courbet, Édouard Manet and Camille Pissaro, cast aside by the critics and the public for not being conservative to their taste, organized their own shows throughout the French capital, featuring now legendary paintings. Attracting thousands of visitors, these artists announced a certain kind of rebellion that would come to influence an entire century and a half of art movements and like-minded artists, despite the ongoing ridicule they received from…

“ Here and there, in clefts and basins, and on the hillsides, grade on grade, you observe a patch of corn, a clump of olives, a single palm.” “Even in the wilderness nature is not so stern as man.” Taken from Hepworth Dixon (“The Holy Land”) Metanoea, Metanoea  Metanoea! (Repent, Repent, Repent!) The kingdom of heaven is at hand! John the Baptist/Herald proclaimed in the wilderness — Repent! “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight”  Camel’s hair, and a leather girdle about his loins he wore. Locusts and wild honey was his meat. “Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.” Matthew 3:5-6 Repent?— “a virtuous alteration of the mind and purpose as begets a like virtuous change in the life and practice.” Sorrow is not, as is popularly conceived, the primary notion of…