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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Tough Talk
Tough Talk

Choose_Words.jpgThe 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.

We 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 correctly?

The thoughts 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?
Thu, March 13, 2014 | link          Comments

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Being me
Being me

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.

We need 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.’ Mark 12

The emphasis 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 our worth,

-we need to understand God’s love for us determines our worth.

Have a great day!
Wed, March 12, 2014 | link          Comments

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Anger and Words
Anger and Words

oops.jpgCan 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,

Habitual 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…

My dear 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 listen, …”

A website[1] 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 your suggestions
·         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.

 Open 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

Ephesians 4:25-27

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.html

Most 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 anger..

Psalm 7:11
God judges fairly.
    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.

John 2
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 our enemy!

I hope that helps us through some situations today.

 God bless you!
Tue, March 11, 2014 | link          Comments


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Rift in Evil

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This suspense thriller centers on Kiara, a beautiful young woman pursued by a murderous group of people, who relentlessly and ruthlessly hunt her and her sisters. Kiara has no idea why she is being targeted! When Kiara and her family turn to the law for help, this fails. Her pursuers’ powers reach deeply into the political and law enforcement world. Family support for her dwindles when they too have to flee her pursuers. Can Kiara escape the clutches of both the law and dishonest big business? With the media broadcasting that Kiara and friends are dangerous and subversive, can Kiara clear her name and bring her pursuers to justice?

 

 
  

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 RiftInEvil.gifThe town of Zinaville is dropped into a spiral of evil causing a young man and a beautiful but abused woman to launch into an investigation that unveils an evil conspiracy.

A horrific mining accident results in Joshua Robyn's father being killed. Joshua struggles both with himself and his townsfolk as he tries to make sense of an incomprehensible situation. Is it an accident or a murder? Why is there a seeming link to evil? Why is his work environment suddenly threatening? What is the conspiracy about and what are they trying to do? As action moves dramatically from exotic African grasslands to the heart of North America's cities, the plot unfolds and the pace quickens. Will there be time? Why is a beautiful abused young woman in the center of this plot?

Evil tendrils tighten on their lives and the interplay between the visible and invisible world shows opposing forces at work.

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