Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Listening to a Sermon

Found this great quote & picture on FW Boreham Twitter today.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Two Kinds of Clarity

If you find yourself confused and in the dark, there are two ways to find clarity:  use a flashlight or patiently wait until the sun rises.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Difference Between Good Ideas and Bad Ideas

I've figured out the difference between good and bad ideas.  Good ideas are the ones we create.  Bad ideas are the ones other people concoct and expect us to endorse.

In other words, if it's my idea -- it's grand!  If it's your idea, it's bland.  At least, that's what most of us think.  We tend to support what we create.

"Nobdy likes change," said Mark Twin, "except a baby in dirty diapers,"  Maybe we should add, "unless it is their idea."

So, how do we implement change in our family, community, church or workplace?

Start by listening.  Hear other people's good ideas and, if possible, agree wtih them.  Realize you don't have the corner of the insight market.  

If you are the only one who thinks something should (or should not) be done, you are either a visionary or wrong.

If you are a visionary, others will join your bandwagon eventually, and it will be their idea too.  It's amazing what can be accomplished if we don't care who gets the credit.

If you are wrong, you will be trekking up the mountain alone.  As the old Chinese proverb says, "He that thinks he leads but has no one following is only taking a hike."

God's ideas are always good ideas.  Ideas inspired by faith and prayer are beautiful.  Others are inspired by our inspiration.

I once heard leadership guru,John Maxwell say people never change until staying the same is too painful, or if the new idea is too wonderful to pass up.

In other words, we change when hurt enough or dream enough.  I prefer dreaming over hurting.  Sometimes it takes both.

One thing is certain -- you can change without growing, but you cannot grow without changing.

Life is all about change, and it doesn't do much good to resist it.

When the waves of change are rolling and they're headed somewhere near your desired destination, grab a surf board and hang on!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Purpose of Theology is Doxology

"We should never forget that the purpose of theology is doxology; we study in order to praise.  The truest expression of trust in God will always be worship to praise God for being greater than we know."
--  Geneva Study Bible note

Monday, October 13, 2014

No God But Allah Dollars

A friend forwarded an e-mail expressing concern about the emergence of dollars stamped with "No God But Allah."

So far, we have not seen any of those in Hayward.  If one shows up in the collection plate, we will deposit it.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Splendid Summer Dance

A poem I wrote a while back blending reflections on the grand finale of summer with my daughter's ballet recital:

Summer danced upon the stage
A slow ballet -- but halting.

The curtain, parting,
whispers hints of happy moments
this summertide may bring

A timid pause, then from the spring
on tip toe pirouetting --
Summer's here!

Magic gliding to the tune of
green grass, and azure sky
A choreography that flows so gracefully from June into July.

Capturing our breath, our hearts, uniting
and soulful happy thoughts begetting
The shorter days of August sadly hinting
that the dance is almost at an end.

And hardly just begun -- September coda.
Our summer dance is over.
How quickly good times fly.

A graceful bow
A glorious end, and then
The lights are dimmed.

The curtain falls
Green fades to autumn tones.
The silent dancer
leaves the stage --
contented, but alone

While the audience rises and wiping an eye,
salutes the glorious coryphee
With grateful hearts, and thundering applause.

"Thank You! Well Done! Bravo!"

Friday, October 10, 2014

Healing Troubled Hearts

Recently I had the privilege of reading HealingTroubled Hearts Through Exchanges With the Master, by therapist and minister, Dr. William Day.  Or, perhaps it would be more accurate to say this book read me.

Drawing from his own painful pilgrimage to inner healing from childhood emotional wounds, Day presents a profound and beautiful approach to integration and wholeness.  Each page is packed with rich meaning.

The first section of the book shares his story -- from the "chosen one" in the family to be a Catholic priest -- a lack of affection from his father -- going to boarding school to be trained by priests -- walking away from it all -- then zagging through life -- as a humanistic social worker -- then a New Age cult member -- a transpersonal psychologist -- and finally a Christian minister, after a dramatic spiritual conversion.

Throughout, Day does not just tell about his life -- but interprets it.  The meaning he draws from these experiences is quite profound.

Long after his spiritual conversion, Day still found himself struggling with old thought patterns, and wounds from the past.  There seemed to be a disconnect between what he knew in his head and felt in his heart.  One day, while counseling a client, he witnessed the power of Christ's healing presence for painful memories.  This began a quest to understand the true nature of his own inner healing and transformation.

The second half of the book is a guide for helping others towards wholeness, with many powerful insights.

One of my favorite take home points is that healing occurs when Christ is actually present, speaking His truth to the falsehoods we believe (subconsciously) from the past.  Real healing primarily takes place deep in the heart rather than the cognitive level.

Cognitive therapy may adjust behaviors temporarily but will not lead to true transformation.  The healing presence of Christ can accomplish what nothing else can do.

There is so much more -- a great read -- and I wish I would have understood this stuff a long time ago.

(A complimentary copy of this book was provided to me for review on this blog.  I was not required to write a favorable review.)