Friday.February 17.2006.What God has taught me.

A Few Thoughts taken from Tom Minnery’s book, “Why You Can’t Stay Silent.”

Salvation has three parts: past, present, future.

Why were the first century Christians so successful in revolutionizing their culture? They were not silent. But I bet they were not loud either.

“Our God is often too small because He is too religious.” I absolutely love that qoute. As I was discussing with John Kleinschmidt, “How big is your God?” Oddly, this idea has been a re-occuring theme for me in the last three months. For far too long, we have confined God to religion, a God that has taken a step back from a natural created order. How often is God only found and discussed in relation to church polity, but silenced in the grand realm of the ethereal. Wow, I have been promising for a week now to post some notes on the nature of reality as realized by Rob Bell. Hopefully, later in the day, I will post it.

God reveals himself in the right and wrong, in the cacoon and butterfly, in the marriage of a man and woman, in the ordinances of His divine institutions (Church, Family, Government). A wise man once said, “We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself has ordained.”-George Washington in his inaugural address.

On Tuesday in Family Life Studies, we were discussing the issues of negative self-image.
Here are the effects of a negative self-image:
Pessimistic outlook on life
Lacks social confidence
Extreme sensitivity to others
Sees others as competition
A sense of masculinity/femininity through sexual conquests
Trying to become something/somebody instead of relaxing and enjoying who you are
Fear of God
Critical
Judgmental
Defensive
Angry
Easily Hurt
Clinging in relationships
Too independent
Unable to accept praise
Self-defeating habits
Fear of being alone
Difficulty believing they are loveable
Fear of intimacy
Dependence on material possessions for security
Unable to express emotions/feelings
Using negative labels to describe self
Anticipates the worse
Follows the crowd
Perfectionist

Now, I know from the list above that I exhibit a few of these characteristics. Next, our professor asked a simple and yet extremely profound question: When was the last time that you thanked God for yourself? Wow. I thought about that and I came to the conclusion that I never have. If we cannot love ourselves, how are we going to love God?
After the lecture, we split into groups of 4 and were given these instructions: On a piece of paper, write five things that you like about yourself that are not performance based. Then after everyone was done doing this, we were to each pass each other’s paper and write five additional positive comments about each person. Next instruction: Sit and look each other in the eyes and tell each person the five qualities you find in them to be positive and give detail to why you feel this way. I was the first to receive the compliments, and I will admit it was akward at first, but then it just became amazing. This exercise made you realize your capacity or lack thereof to take compliments directed toward yourself. The experience was totally holistic as we each took our turn at praising each other. It felt like something out of the recovery movment, yet it was absolutely beaufitul. After the experience, all I could think about was the need for the church to be this transparent within the body. There is so much liberation in accepting yourself as God has made you and in turn, giving praise to others that have been created in God’s image. It was as if we were participating in redemption, as if for a few minutes, I had this unstateable feeling that we were participating in the WAY things should be. We should be edifying, not hurtful. We should be truthful and redemptive. Now, I am not saying that we should not be honest with one another when one has done something wrong. I just think that if we can be this transparent with each other in praise, then we will have the natural inclination to want to be this honest with each other when someone has done something hurtful, in order to lovingly put them back on the path of redemption.

Alright, I am done. It has been a great nite. Reading. Panerea. Alone. Cleaning. Laundry. Coffee. Fiance’.Thinking.

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