Friday, June 10, 2011

Spirituality Versus Grace

Super spirituality proffers that heaven is not for the good guys but for the good guys who are able to go everyone better. You know those who have 'spiritual disciplines' embedded into their DNA; disciplines like, tithing, fasting, prayer, small group attendance, giving up 'stuff' for whatever, and/or giving oneself to something, etc. etc. etc. The subtle erosion of grace occurs when one thinks that the gasoline of grace gets better mileage when perfect performance is the additive of choice.
Nonsense! Completely unacceptable! There is no way to tie the kingdom of God to anything you or I do! God's Kingdom is here because the King brings it Himself! Not because we give It a helping hand. You or I may do anything stupid or brilliant with the freedom we have in Grace but whatever you or I do, we must never think that it is worth a plugged nickle in the process of our salvation!
Robert Farrar Capon (Between Noon and Three) remembers that Luther wrote that the reformation was a time when people went blind staggering drunk because they discovered, "in the dusty basement of late medivialism, a whole cellarful of 1500 year old, 200 proof grace -- of bottle after bottle of pure distillate of Scripture that would convince anyone that God saves us single-handed."
Century after century humanity tries to pull itself up by its own bootstraps by worrying about the perfection of their performance and then Gospel of Grace bursts on the scene by flatly stating that the saved were home free even before they started!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Why People Change Their Minds

I have always been interested in why people change their minds. I am sure you have encountered those who were very persistent in their mind set (stubborn?) and others who seemed very non committal and vague (stubborn?).
My Dad told me years ago, "He does not have reverse in his car, Son..." and by that he meant, that person will not change and therefore will fail!
As long as you have 'reverse in your car' you have a chance at growing and learning and living a fuller life of joy and peace.
But back to my original query: Why People Change Their Minds.
Stories can illustrate this answer (at least partially).
A man went to his priest and asked, "Father, I want you to say a Mass for my favorite dog."
The priest indignately stated, "What!? What do you mean you want me to say a Mass for your dog?"
"Father, it is my pet favorite dog. I loved that dog and I would like you to offer a Mass for him."
The priest replied, "We don't offer Masses for dogs here! Go to the Episcopalians, Lutherans, or the Methodists...maybe they have a service for you!"
As the man turned to go, he said, "I really loved that dog, he was my favorite! I was planning a million dollar contribution for the Mass."
The priest called out, "Hey wait a minute, you did not tell me the dog was Catholic!"
You never quite know what will influence someone to change their mind!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

One Last Post About The Rapture That Did Not Happen

Dr. Wayne Perry succinctly links the esoteric Gnostic Mindset and the false prophet Harold Campings. Read his great piece here: ( )

RJ Cherryholms (a voice from my child hood church) used to preach with the same fervor and passion of the great orators from the past. Wayne has reminded me of one of RJ Cherryholms' sermons on Pride (a cardinal sin even to Protestants! ).

He would thunder...There is the PRIDE OF FACE (spending so much time on the external appearance to the neglect of the internal), There is the PRIDE OF RACE (falsely believing that one's race gives one preference before the Almighty), and the most hideous form of PRIDE, There is the PRIDE OF GRACE (the arrogant belief that one is more holy or more knowledgeable than fellow believers and fellow followers of the lowly Christ).

The arrogance of the human heart that believes he/she has knowledge that no one has ever known previously is the heart failure experienced by Harold Campings and many of his followers.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Dooms Day Has Passed, Again

As a psychologist (and a follower of Jesus Christ), I have pondered, "why would anyone do what Harold Camping has done...." That is, through his influence and charisma he has participated in the selling of homes, the emptying of savings, and has done this twice. As of 6:15 CST (May 21), I am still here, my wife is here, and we saw several babies today as well!

I once had a dear friend who sold all he had during the year of 1999 (doomsday was coming on Jan 1, 2000, remember), moved his family, and invested hundreds of thousands of dollars on emergency contingencies ( he had a power plant installed in the basement of his new home in the country that would light a small city!)...when Jan 1, 2000 arrived, with no sign of 'the end', he never addressed the issue of being 'wrong.' He had influence over a wide range of my friends who were in varying degrees of fear as 'the day approached'...and when the 'day' passed, he never apologized nor ever addressed this issue again.

Wonder if Harold Camping will do the same or will he fess up and apologize for the errors of his way and realize his paranoia is infectious.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Learn to Relax and Sleep Like a Baby

Think about how easy it is for a baby or small child to fall asleep. We're born with the instinct to relax and sleep when our bodies or minds need a break. Over the years, it becomes necessary to control and even suppress these natural urges to rest, since we must remain alert as we attend school, learn professions, go to work, or care for a family. Many people spend years conditioning themselves to perform well despite feelings of tiredness. While no one would argue that suppressing tiredness can be a necessary skill, it can impair our ability to actually "let go" and relax when we do find the time.

Relaxation is also a uniquely individual activity. Napping or just doing nothing might be your idea of relaxation, but this amount of inactivity might drive someone else crazy. Others may relax by participating in sports or undertaking physical challenges, but some people would find these activities stressful. Whatever your idea of relaxation, the following tips can help you re-train and regain some of those lost relaxation skills:

  1. Give yourself permission for some down time. Stop ruminating about work or personal problems or tasks. If it helps, make a to-do list of issues and projects and put it aside during your relaxation time. That way, you won't worry about forgetting or neglecting any responsibilities after your break.
  1. Decide if you're interested in a structured relaxation program, such as courses in meditation, yoga, or martial arts. Some may find this kind of training helpful; others may feel it adds to their stress.
  1. Try some short, simple exercises such as the Muscle Relaxation for Stress and Insomnia, Meditation for Reducing Stress and Improving Health, or 3 Minutes to Stress Relief!
  1. Practice other positive health habits such as getting exercise and eating well. The healthier your body is, the better it can function in all areas, including relaxation. An exhausted, "burned out" state isn't going to bring on restorative or strengthening relaxation.
  1. If necessary, force yourself to take emotional "time out" for relaxation. Practice shutting out stressful thoughts and images for a few minutes at a time to start out. Imagery exercises (visualizing a comforting or pleasurable setting) can help redirect your thoughts.
  1. Accept help. Talk to a loved one or counselor about your stress. The very act of sharing can provide a much-needed release of anger and frustration.
  1. Don't always equate relaxation with sleep. Particularly if you suffer from stress-induced insomnia, daytime napping can just make your nights more wakeful. Instead, focus on an activity that gives you pleasure.
  1. Remember that the best form of relaxation is finding and participating in something that brings you joy - whether it be alone or with others, sedentary or active, goal-directed or aimless - find whatever is it that brings you relaxation and peace.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Unknown Soldiers: Right now

The Unknown Soldiers: Right now: "'Not one thing was mentioned by the media,' ... 'Why have we not heard of this?'"

Paul Harvey would say, war is about old men sending off young men to die for old men's problems. And now we are on several fronts but for some political reason the Afgan "conflict" is avoided by the media. If it is my son that dies, then it is a war that needs to be focused on by the media.

Everything is political and that sullies the death of these soldiers.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Making a Banquet Out of Crumbs...Another Look at Extra Marital Affairs Health: "the deception hurt the most. 'The relationship can never go anywhere. You're making a banquet out of crumbs.'"

Human hearts are wired to deal with disappointments, grief, sorrows, and loss.Painful? Yes...and endurable and workable.

However, deception is one thing the human heart cannot work through. For a recovery from an affair to begin, there must be the slow rebuilding of trust....built on an openness that is demonstrated daily (hourly) by the secrets...full access...and then maybe, just maybe, recovery is possible.

I work weekly with this is one of unimaginable pain and fraught with multiple challenges. Even with this, as a couple 'calms down', begins to be thoughtful, and begins the process of being open, there is hope for their lives and marriage.

I have seen many couples 'rise from the ashes of pain' and rebuild their lives. Here is an excellent piece on the 'price of an affair.'

Click and Watch and Listen and Laugh and Learn