Getting somewhere requires effort,
faith to push on,
it's easy to screw up,
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Thu, March 13, 2014 | link
The tongue is the most remarkable. For we use it both to taste out sweet wine and bitter poison, thus also do we utter words
both sweet and sout with the same tongue.”~Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book
All of us get tripped up in many ways. Suppose
someone is never wrong in what he says. Then he is a perfect man. He is able to keep his whole body under control. James 3
Can anyone ever say they have never let their words be inappropriate?
I can’t and I doubt
any honest person can.
somehow can spew vulgar vitreous words out of the same mouth that we sing praises and speak words of love. Of all
the items we can train in life, the tongue is the most likely to go wild.
Today we could just try and keep our words clean and free from exaggerations
and we are likely to fail. Controlling our speech is one of the hardest things we can do.
Let us make sure that we attempt to do this however, as the
measure of anyone is in how much their words are salted with truth, integrity and the love of God.
How can we improve the likelihood of our speaking
in our heads influence what comes out of our mouths so really this is a question of controlling our thoughts. A subject Jesus
had a lot to say about.
From this it is apparent we are to fill our minds with good upright things and then they
will overflow from our mouths.
Shall we try that today?
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Wed, March 12, 2014 | link
I try to keep it real. I don't have time to worry about what I'm projecting to the world. I'm just busy being myself.
~ Demi Lovato
We can’t love others effectively until we understand who we are, with all our warts and malfunctions.
to allow God to forgive us for being less than adequate. We need to appreciating that this work in progress, that is us ourselves, has the ability to love deeply,
yet acknowledge that despite this we know that God loves us more deeply, and for some reason wants our love!
Jesus, teaching others to pray puts it very
simply. He says…‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’
put on the sentence is mine, but notice that this is an important part of the sentence.
God wants us to respect and love ourselves. Not that narcissistic love that has no true
value but the wholesome, complete love that knows failures and strengths and is accepting of both understanding that true
strength is found in our spirit and comes from the source of life, Jesus, who has enabled Holy Spirit to empower and give
us abilities to overcome our weaknesses and live in strength and power.
God wants us to know we count and have value to the universe
of time and space and
that our value extends past this temporary haven to eternity. We are eternal creatures born of a woman and yet granted eternity.
Strangely while we all
can feel that to varying degrees, some of us go to great lengths to try and ignore it.
I wonder sometimes if our inability to love is due
to our inability to face ourselves. It takes
courage to allow the light of God to illuminate our lives. Not everything exposed is beautiful, and yet, in a strange way
beyond the ability of words to describe, the mosaic of our lives when viewed from God’s perspective is made perfect
by our acceptance of belief in Jesus into our lives.
Holy Spirit artistically makes all our transgressions disappear into the greater
good and the work of
our lives become of great value as we move form understanding this and loving ourselves to the source of joy, which is loving
others and then to the ultimate joy of loving the God who loves us.
Isn’t it incredible that the God who created everything
has chosen to establish this fantastic relationship with us, and values our friendship?
That should above all allow us to understand who we are, and appreciate it!
So what should we do
-avoid being negative about ourselves (we are God’s workmanship),
-avoid comparing ourselves to others (God created us unique),
-we need to courageously
unleash our potential on this world,
-we need top honestly face criticism,
-we need to understand and forgive our weaknesses,
-we need to ensure that we understand the way others treat us does not determine
to understand God’s love for us determines our worth.
Have a great day!
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Anger and Words
Anger and Words
Tue, March 11, 2014 | link
Can you love a person and be angry at the same time? What happens if we try to do this?
It is hard to love someone and be angry at
the same time isn’t it? It produces conflict within us and that produces anxiety which impacts us negatively. Anger
is something that some of us have trouble controlling and we often seem to need help and techniques to deal with
our rising mood and emotions.
There are a number of anger styles aren’t there?
Here are a few some people have described…
Explosive Anger : Irritation grows until it can’t be contained and we EXPLODE,
Self-Abusive Anger : This is where we turn our angry feelings inwards,
Avoidance Anger : This is buried aggression. A smile on the face, fire in the gut,
Sarcastic Anger : Cutting comments, camouflaged in wit (Dr.
House on TV is a prime example of this),
Passive aggressive Anger : This is where anger isn’t hidden but is expressed in an underhanded ‘sneaky’ way,
irritation Anger : Resentment
seeps through and a default of snide, nasty eruption of anger occurs.
Now not all anger is something easily under our control. There
is medical conditions where a person amygdala (part of the brain) seems to operate differently to other more normal behaviour
of less anger prone people. Yet even in these people the frontal cortex of the brain gets involved. In different words, this
means that as anger rises, the thinking part of us considers whether to let it.
As Christians, God tells us through James, the brother of Jesus…
brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because
human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
Note the words “Everyone should be quick to
A website from which I am taking extracts for this discussion describes listening in this way
Active listening is a two-way process that involves listening and responding in an empathic way,
combined with the right questioning and summarizing techniques.
It involves the receiver (the listener) with the sender (the
speaker). The receiver in active listening process is as active as the sender.
We need to remember however that when
listening there are a number of things we should NOT do…
Silent listening (Sitting passively and giving no feedback.) This can increase the
persons anger as they wind up more and more in an attempt to get a reaction.
Interruptions and not allowing the speaker to complete his or her thought will frustrate them
and increase anger.
Critical response and teaching – a response that expresses a form of criticism resulting from a natural tendency to judge, approve, or
disapprove of a message received can just annoy and be seen as an attack.
Advising other than when requested. Before offering advice , make sure:
that other person really wants to hear
· the other person is ready to accept it
· your advice is correct
· that receiver won’t blame you if advice doesn’t work
Changing the subject or moving in a new direction during conversation which will potentially frustrate
and annoy the person who will see this as unfair.
We do need to question the person who is angry but carefully.
Questioning in active
listening skills is more about the quality of the question. Only one question should be asked at a time
and, if necessary, unclear responses should be played back to check understanding. If there is something you do not understand,
then ask your partner to rephrase, restate, or repeat the statement.
Open questions are general not specific.
They provide room for people to decide how they should be answered and encourage
them to talk freely.
questions help to create an atmosphere of calm, for example:
● What do you feel about that?
● Tell me, why do you think that happened?
● Tell me, how did you handle that situation?
Probe questions seek specific information on what has happened
and why. They can:
show interest and encouragement: “I see, and then what?”
● seek further information by asking “Why?” or “Why not?”
or “ What do you mean?”
● reflect views: “Have I got the right impression, do you feel that..?”
It is also good to rephrase what the person has said in your
own words without adding any justification or interpretation.
Summarizing develops a connection and builds intimacy in your relationship allowing others
to know we understand or allow them to restate what they think we do misunderstand.
These are all parts of listening but as a Christian we know
we are to “love our enemies”
This means we also need to empathize or identify with angry persons emotions and opinions.
This is saying “I understand your problem and how you feel about it, I am interested in what you are saying
and I am not judging you.”
Remember: Acceptance does not mean agreement;
it does not mean the listener has to agree. It simply means showing personal acceptance and concern for the others viewpoint.
God wants us to listen
first. He also advises
25 Therefore each of you must
put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In
your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the
devil a foothold.
Speak truth and don’t sin when angry.
One of the most effective ways to deal with this is to pray before responding. I use a verse to slow me down and buy time
for me to get emotions in check. I say to myself “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give
to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” These
words of Jesus calm my spirit and get me able to respond better.
There are techniques for dealing with the different types of angers that can be
found at http://enoughisenoughau.blogspot.ca/2011/10/active-listening-as-anger-management.htmlMost importantly, we need
to understand anger is something God has as well. It is not wrong! It is sinning in anger that is wrong.
Here are some verses showing God/Jesus and
He shows his anger every day
2 Kings 17:18 Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel
and removed them out of his sight. None was left but the tribe of Judah only.
Mark 3 Then Jesus asked them, “Which
is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. He looked around
at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your
hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.
So Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courtyard he found people who were selling
cattle, sheep and doves. Others were sitting at tables exchanging money.
So Jesus made a whip out of ropes. He chased all the sheep and
cattle from the temple area. He scattered the coins of the people exchanging money. And he turned over their tables. He told
those who were selling doves, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!”
Anger is to be dealt
with carefully. Pray first, be sure to listen. Be slow to allow the anger to occur. Lets love
I hope that helps us through some situations today.
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May you be blessed today!