Category: Suffering

    “Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love.” “and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness.” “I made my vow to you.” “I entered into a covenant with you.” “you became mine. “ Ezekiel 16 Love comes without many things: a set of rules, conditions, or inhibitions. “I read the story of a young bugle boy and a soldier. They both served in the army during the Boer war. The bugle-boy, Willie Holt, was 12 years old when he was assigned to a tent with seven godless soldiers.. One of these men was Bill. However, unlike Bill, Willie was a devoted believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Each night he knelt by his bed to silently pray and read his Bible. “…a thief had been traced to the tent where Willie and Bill had been…

Read More The Time of Love

    “When we express ourselves, our bodies release a higher level of reward hormones, and we feel great. The more we talk, the better we feel.” “Our bodies start to crave that high, and we become blind to the conversational dynamics. While we’re being rewarded, the people we’re talking to might feel cut off, invisible, unimportant, minimized, or rejected…”  psychologytoday blind-spots “The above exemplifies the eyeless example. The writer continues: “Stop assuming that others see what you see, feel what you feel, and think what you think (that is rarely the case). Your blind spots cause you to fail to recognize that emotions, such as fear and distrust, change how you and others interpret and talk about reality.” Pretty clear? The author offers a remedy: Don’t underestimate your propensity to have conversational blind spots. Start paying attention to and minimizing the time you “own” the conversational space. Share that space by asking open-ended discovery questions to…

Read More Eyeless

Do you have a friend? You can tell them things which you can’t tell others. Friends bear not only your failures, but also your humiliations. A Friend covers the multitude of your sins and tries to understand your rebellions, even. Friends want to know what we are feeling in our dejected state, they are not afraid of our adversity, our repeated errors, our besetting sins. They bear with our weakness. Our Pastor told a story: A child withdrew into their self and the family began noticing they were not emerging out. This continued for a long time and the family tried everything to get the child back. Professional help was sought and years went by. Nothing worked. One day the child’s puppy began to lick the child on the face and would not stop even as the child pushed the pet away. Something happened. The child came back. I have…

Read More My Friend

Grief stricken, a person isolated their psychological pain. Strong willed? Strong minded? The current generation harnesses many soul powers like “isolation”. Coping mechanisms or defense mechanisms can hold back the flood tides sometimes. Where do these come from? “A well-known categorization of defense mechanisms by George Vaillant in 1994 differentiated between immature defense mechanisms, such as projection (blaming others) and denial, and mature defenses, like humor and sublimation (turning your unconscious motives into productive activity).” Sounds like we have grown more sophisticated? Not just yet. Here are some other “modern” mechanisms: Isolation — keeps yourself clueless about your flaws and missteps. Self-Compensation — your attempt to find an external outlet to feel better.  Dissipation — you turn all of your anxieties onto some idealized version of yourself. Interesting, however, “The criterion for evaluating the effectiveness of a defense mechanism, in the Nanjing authors’ model, include whether it (a) distorts the individual’s self-representation (self-image), or (b) causes poorer relations with others.”…

Read More Pretend No More

  A believer reckons two things: I’m dead indeed unto sin. I’m alive unto God. Well here’s three:  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18 We reckon as in our soul’s ledger book  — zero on the sin side, heavy on the resurrection side, light on the suffering side. To conceal or reveal? that is a question in reckoning? It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.. ..It is his (man’s) glory to pass over a transgression. A talebearer reveals secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit conceals the matter. Proverbs 11:13 A prudent man conceals knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaims foolishness. Proverbs 12:23 …God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their…

Read More Reckoning — Alive Unto God

“While imprisoned in a tiny prison cell for his attempts to reform the Church, sixteenth-century Spanish mystic John of the Cross composed many of his now classic poems of the soul’s longing for God. This poem is, “Dark Night of the Soul.” On a dark night, Kindled in love with yearnings—oh, happy chance! — I went forth without being observed, My house being now at rest. In darkness and secure, By the secret ladder, disguised—oh, happy chance! — In darkness and in concealment, My house being now at rest. In the happy night, In secret, when none saw me, Nor I beheld aught, Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart. This light guided me More surely than the light of noonday To the place where He (well I knew who!) was awaiting me— A place where none appeared. Oh, night that guided me, Oh, night more…

Read More “Dark Night of the Soul.”

  Paul McCartney wrote of a blackbird singing in the dead of night; Paul, the apostle sang with Silas in jail at night and David played the harp for troubled Saul. “…I sing because I’m free, His eye is on this sparrow, and I know He watches me.” Have you ever sung a song in a dark time? “The whip-poor-will is a nocturnal bird. This means it wakes at night and sleeps during the day. It sings loudly at dusk.” “Thrushes are famous for their singing ability, but many people who appreciate bird song consider the hermit thrush to have the best song of all birds. It often sings in the late evening or at night.” “In cities, birds sometimes sing at night during the breeding season. …This was possibly because the birds confused the high levels of artificial light with sunrise. Other research in the UK on European robins showed a…

Read More Night Bird

“The world? “The world is not interested in us. Today everything is possible, even the crematoria…” His voice broke. Father, I said, “If that is true I don’t want to wait. I’ll run into the electrified barbed wire. That would be easier than a slow death in the flames.” “…everyone around us was weeping. Someone began to recite Kaddish, the prayer for the dead. I don’t know whether, during the history of the Jewish people, men have ever before recited Kaddish for themselves.” “…May His name be celebrated and sanctified…whispered my father.” “For the first time I felt anger rising within me. Why should I sanctify His name? The Almighty, the eternal and terrible master of the universe, chose to be silent. What was there to thank Him for?”  One who suffered deeply  was Elie Wiesel, so written in his book, “Night.” Men facing the harshest of the harsh bend…

Read More Hanging by a Thread

  “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.”  1 Thessalonians 5:2 “But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.”Matthew 24:43 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”  2 Peter 3:10 The “chronos,” or times and seasons hardly involve the believer in Christ, because its high time for us. We watch and wait every day. For the thief? No, thieves…

Read More Thief in the Night

  “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” Philippians 4:11-12 I’m good at abounding but not so much with abasement. Why does God allow abasement? It means “to humble,” which conjures up thoughts of pain, so this is why most folks don’t get content with it. Yes, pain we cringe at, but humility itself brings something special. Paul became content since humility brings self-satisfying; it brings us closer to God . “The perfect meekness that comes from self-humbling brings with it an all-embracing concentration on the goodness and love of God.” “None of the acts of God, whether in…

Read More Contentedly Abased