Flexibility and Reform

I have just read a devotion by Chuck Swindoll on Insight For Living titled ‘Flexibility’ and based on Acts 16:6-10.

And I’m wondering…

Could it be that inflexibility and traditionalism don’t necessarily mean that one always refuses to do a new or different thing; but that one does all things – new and familiar – with the same old attitude, traits, judgementalism, blind following (lack of discernment), conformity, demand, prejudice, partiality, fear, insecurity…Reforming the things one does, without becoming a person reformed?

Just wondering.

Soz, Mum

Mum, I know that I’m not talking

To you as I used to do

When I was so much smaller

And I used to hug you too

But if you can just be patient

Till my brain and body grow

Once again I’ll want your wisdom

And maybe kiss you as I go

 

I know that when I’m angry

And you don’t know what to say

That I make you quite unhappy

So it’s hard for us to stay

In our home and be together

When I’m sad and all withdrawn

Staying in my room, behind the door

Even with the curtains drawn

 

But one day I’ll emerge from all

The darkness, out and in

Our communication slowly

Will no doubt begin again

I’ll be thankful that I have you

In my life to walk beside

Now I’m grown and we are family

And as friends, to love in life

 

 

4/5/2014

Love

Oh, love; on earth’s elusive

Oh, love; what should you be

Oh, love; defined existence

Not love devised of me

 

I love; but with distortion

I love; but selfishly

I love; yet incompletely

Oh that Love, would love make me

 

Love’s desire; the best for others

Love’s desire; not giving in

Love’s desire; to show true favour

Of others, though undeservedly

 

Love is value; Love is constant

Love is humble; Love’s secure

Love is truth, belief and hope

Love is all that will endure

 

Love will stand and not be moved

Love, a compromise will not

Love is ever only constant

Sit under Love or wander lost

 

 

5/5/2014

In response to Weekly Word Challenge at Suzie81 Speaks

 

From ‘John Plowman’s Talk and Pictures’

No man’s lot is fully known till he is dead: change of fortune is the lot of life. He who rides in the carriage may yet have to clean it…and he who is up aloft may have to take his turn in the pit…The thought that we may ourselves be one day under the window should make us careful when we are throwing out our dirty water…and therefore let us look well to dealings with the unfortunate.

Nothing makes me more sick of human nature than to see the way in which men treat others when they fall down the ladder of fortune…they cry, “He was always good for nothing.” Dog won’t eat dog, but men will eat each other up like cannibals, and boast of it too…The dog is drowning, and therefore all his friends empty their buckets over him…The house is on fire, and all the neighbours warm themselves. The man…has tumbled into the road…he is down and selfishness cries, “Let him be kept down, then there will be more room for those who are up.”

How aggravating it is when those who knocked you down kick you for not standing up. “What a pity he went so far on the ice!” That’s very true, but that won’t save the poor fellow from drowning…Good advice is poor food for a hungry family.

A man of words and not of deeds,                                                                                                            Is like a garden full of weeds.

…Help my old horse to a few oats, and then tell him to mend his pace. Feel for me, and I shall be much obliged to you, but mind you feel in your pocket or else a fig for your feelings.

…A noble spirit always takes the side of the weak but noble spirits do not often ride along our roads; they are as scarce as eagles…Most people will help those who do not need it…all the cooks baste the fat pig, and the lean one gets burned.

In times of prosperity friends will be plenty:                                                                                        In times of adversity not one in twenty.

While the wind serves, all aid…All the neighbours are cousins to the rich man…but Widow Needy is not heard across the park railings, let her call as she may. Men willingly pour water into a full tub and give feasts to those who are not hungry, because they look to have as good or better in return…unless it be some antiquated old soul who believes…loves his Lord, and therefore gives, ‘hoping for nothing again’? …When…folks are very polite and considerate, poor men had need beware. It was not a good sign when the fox walked into the hen-roost and said, ‘Good mooring to you all, my very dear friends.’

Down men, however, must not despair, for God is yet alive, and he is the Friend of the friendless…A good man…His hope may be drenched but not drowned. He plucks up courage and sets a stout heart to a stiff hill, and gets over rough ground where others lie down and die. While there’s life, there’s hope. Therefore, my friend, if you’ve tumbled off the back of prosperity, John Ploughman bids you not to lie in the ditch but up with you and try again. Jonah went to the bottom of the sea, but he got to shore again all the better for his watery journey.

A false faith can only float in smooth water, but true faith, like a life boat, is at home in storms. If our religion does not bear us up in time of trial, what is the use of it? If we cannot believe God when our circumstances appear to be against us, we do not believe him at all.

Charles Spurgeon – 1869

I know what it is to be kicked for not getting up by those who knocked me down. I know what it is to be financially, productively, relationally, emotionally, physically, spiritually down…and up. Because we have been made in the likeness of our Creator, we can care about the lot of others. We must choose. I know what it is to face, be within, and sail out of storms that looked as though they were intended to be life-taking. Life-taking can be life-giving; if what is taken was preventing life, and what is given fills the void with life.

Today, I choose life!

Quoting

Betty Edwards – Drawing on the Artist Within

We have become accustomed to thinking of artistic ability as basically unteachable…Moreover, many…have shared the unspoken belief that artistic abilities are largely non-essential…

I propose that learning to see and draw is a very efficient way to train the visual system, just as learning to read and write can efficiently train the verbal system. That is not to say that the visual system is better, morally or otherwise, than the verbal system. But the two systems are different. And when trained as equal partners, one mode of thinking enhances the other, and together the two modes can release human creativity.

My claim is quite modest…Through learning to draw perceived objects or persons, you can learn new ways of seeing that guide strategies in creative thinking and problem solving just as, through learning to read, you acquire verbal knowledge and learn the strategies of logical, analytical thought…And you will have taken a giant step toward attaining a modern brain.

Victor Lowenfeld: via Betty Edwards – Drawing on the Artist Within

We have to regard it our sacred responsibility to unfold and develop each individual’s creative ability as dim as the spark may be and kindle it to whatever flame it may conceivably develop. (Basics of Creative Thinking – 1961)

Robyn Krowicky – singing/piano teacher

Music engages both sides of the brain.

My 17 year old daughter

Sight reading and singing at the same time engages both sides of the brain.

John Anderson – ‘Open House’ interview – paraphrase

Beliefs, values, behaviour, ethics, policy.

Unsure who it was I read or heard this from but…perhaps Dr Hugh Mackay

We tend to practice what is natural or what we know already rather than practicing what is unfamiliar to further develop it.

Mick and Ruby Duncan – Alongsiders

Work from your weaknesses.

Responding

So, be holistic! Practice holistically, attend to your whole being.

We were made in the image of The Creator.

If (as I have repeatedly heard in recent years) men are naturally drawn to the ‘visual’ and women to the ‘verbal’, which should we practice more?

Have we been re-creating lopsided monsters instead of holistic persons?

That is all.

Quoting and Responding

Healing and Restoration

So, subsequent to Community or Conformity, my questions would be:

  • what constitutes healing?
  • is healing the same for everyone?
  • do my limited knowledge and view of life inhibit what I understand healing to be?
  • I could probably go on!

Jim Stallard in “You Owe Me Dinner” said,

What is most beneficial to me is not so much a building that meets all the legal requirements, but rather an attitude that meets all the attributes of Jesus. And whilst Jesus certainly healed people, he didn’t heal everyone. I wasn’t healed, but I still needed all of my faith to help sustain me.

The Designer, Creator, Restorer and Sovereign God (as, to me, He has proved Himself to be) made us for relationship with Himself and each other. When we rebelled against His design and order, spoiling both types of relationship, He made the restoration of them possible by acting  in accordance with His own design. He made whatever sacrifice, and performed whatever action, was necessary to make available these restored relationships – if we desire to return to living according to design.

This God has declared that, for those who have chosen to return to this love-relationship, He will be using everything as part of the process of completing the restoration/healing He has provided for. Even the brokenness in individuals, and families, and communities as a result of their rebellion against design and order.

My response? This God, Father, has also declared that what He wants is for no one to perish as a result of their rebellion. He stated that He will use every choice, consequence, person and power; even rebellion itself, to draw those who will come, to His healing restoration. Sometimes we want to be ‘healed’ from the thing/s which are bringing us or someone else to restoration of relationship. And I see restoration of relationship as the ultimate in healing. I choose not to pursue the temporary, thereby sacrificing the permanent; the eternal. I would prefer the temporary at present, because this is the tangible which I have known. But I have had glimpses and tastes of  eternal healing and restoration. Therefore, I will trust the One who has proven Himself faithful and a promise-keeper; I trust that He is healing me and those around me from everything that hinders my intimacy with Him and those He has given me; I trust that He is healing others from everything that hinders their intimacy with Him and those He has given them.

I have witnessed and/or experienced healing after specific prayer; with and without the anointing of oil; with and without the presence of the one being prayed for; as a result of general living in surrender to the design and power of the Creator. I have also witnessed in one healed miraculously on a number of occasions, the healing of leaving the temporary and tangible for the eternal and permanent in death – because that free but expensive ticket had been taken hold of. 

I want for myself and for you, life according to design. Purpose, fulfilment, peace, unity, love, intimacy with the Creator and the created. May the process continue until its completion, may you desire to join me in this process. This is a journey with a certain destination. This journey is already paid for. Take hold of your free but expensive ticket and join me for healing, restoration and life according to design.

 

What would healing mean for you?